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Android Phones In Europe Are About To Get More Expensive Thanks To The EU

From the end of this month, OEMs selling Android phones in Europe will have to pay a licensing fee if they want to install the Google Play Store. This is the result of the EU’s $5bn fine for tying the Play Store To Chrome and Search. OEMs will no longer have to install any Google component; and Chrome and Search can be installed on a free license. The thing that makes Android useful and a true competitor for iOS is the Play Store, and as a result it will be the one thing OEMs can’t drop. And you can be sure that licensing fee will be passed straight on to the consumer. I’d say the EU got it wrong in this case, but either way it will be the customer who ends up suffering. At least until a third party App Store is available to provide the breadth of apps the Google’s currently offers. 

Google Has Dropped LG Displays For Samsung In The Pixel 3 XL

Remember how the Pixel 2 XL was roundly panned for the poor quality of its LG manufactured OLED display panel last year? Google obviously does. iFixit tore apart the new 3 XL and (after something of a struggle to get it apart) discovered the LG panel is gone, replaced with a Samsung display. That’s a wise move given universal acceptance that Samsung makes OLED panels which outgun anybody else’s offerings. Right now that means that, despite investment from both Apple and Google in LG, Samsung provides the displays for the vast majority of the phones sold in the premium sector today. 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro -Everything But The Kitchen Sink

When Huawei designed its latest Mate Pro it threw in every possible 2018 feature you can cram into one device. In fact if you look at the spec sheet there are only two features which are missing from the Android playbook. Those are the Galaxy Note’s stylus and the Oppo Find X’s pop-up camera. Otherwise it’s all here, multiple cameras, in display fingerprint sensor, 3D face recognition, a focus on AI. Whether that all works together and how well, will have to wait for some fairly extensive hands on time. In the past loading up on features in this way was not always the best way of building an Android smartphone. Until then though, it does look like the combination of cameras, features and screen size make this the most appealing Android phone on the market today. 

Fernando Alonso Erroneously Believes LMP1 Is Competing On A Level Playing Field

In a world where privateer entrants in the Le Mans Prototype class have to overcome huge legislative handicaps which ensure the official Toyota works entries win, Fernando Alonso has been telling Autosport that the difference between the teams is down to better teamwork.That's patently nonsense and if anything, says more about the deluded state of Alonso's mind than the competitiveness of LMP1. Alonso remains a legend in his own mind. And nowhere else.

Morgan Knutson Opens Up On Google’s Broken Culture

On this thread on Twitter, Morgan Knutson opens up on his time at Google. It’s a real eye opener. Especially when he writes about Google+, the project he spent his time working on. Microsoft was knocked off its pedestal by a badly broken culture, seems like Google is heading the same way. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s revelations. 

Formula E: Vandoorne And Paffett To Race For HWA Mercedes

Stoffel Vandoorne And Gary Paffett will make their Formula E debuts this year driving for the HWA team, which will shed its interim branding to become the official Mercedes entry in 2019. Vandoorne’s F1 career has been blighted by association with a McLaren team on the downhill slope. A step into Formula E seems like a sensible move for him. Paffett meanwhile, leaves DTM with Mercedes, having secured to Championship titles to add to a string of junior formula silverware. It’s unlikely HWA will perform any miracles in its first season, however starting out with customer Venturi motors should at least keep them competitive. And given its efforts managing Mercedes DTM entries over the last few years, competitive is certainly where you’d expect them to be. 

Apple’s Push For Subscriptions Is Allowing Scammers To Game App Store Customers

Two recent articles at Forbes and TechCrunch have lifted the lid on a particularly nasty brand of deception which threatens to drag the reputation of the App Store down from its lofty perch. Fuelled by Apple’s drive to get developers to embrace subscriptions, a group of rogue developers are delivering ‘free’ apps which convert to subscriptions costing hundreds of dollars a year within a few days. The most worrying thing about this is not that it happens, but that Apple has failed to properly vet the subscription process for these apps and seems to be tardy when dealing with reported violations. One of the biggest selling points Apple has is the security and safety of the App Store. Losing that would be a major problem.