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Microsoft announces Surface Laptop 2 with improved speed and performance

Definitely a hardware upgrade to the original Surface Laptop!

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Microsoft announced the second-generation Surface Laptop 2 at its hardware event in New York, alongside the upgraded Surface Pro 6. The new Surface Laptop 2, not unlike the Surface Pro 6, is about the beefy internals and new matte black finish.

The Surface Laptop 2 packs 8th generation Intel processors and 8GB of RAM at base configuration, which is supposed to be 85-percent faster than the original Surface Laptop. The device’s appearance is identical to its predecessor, with the same 13.-5-inch PixelSense display at a 2,256 x 1,504 resolution and 14.5 hours of battery life. The storage options start at 128GB SSD (and goes up to 1TB). Like the Surface Pro 6, the Laptop 2 comes with a matte black finish and no USB Type-C port.

Microsoft says the laptop has a keyboard that’s quieter than ever, making typing easier with an improved mechanical layout. With the Surface Laptop 2 releasing October 16, Microsoft seems to have fixed a lot of shortcomings of the original Surface Laptop in this hardware refresh. The Surface Laptop 2 starts at $999 USD for the base model. Pre-orders are open now.

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Xiaomi unveils the Mi 9 flagship

First flagship of 2019.

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Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi has announced the 2019 flagship Mi 9 today. The handset is first in line to be this year’s premium android flagship phone, with specs that could rival last year’s Huawei offering.

The Mi 9 raises the bar for this year’s upcoming Android phones in terms of specs. The 6.39-inch FHD phone is powered by Qualcomm’s first 7nm Snapdragon 855 processor, coupled with either 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM — that’s absolutely on your preference. Fueling the device is a 3,300mAh battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charging technology; that’s 27W for wired charging, and 20W for wireless. There’s also an under-the-display fingerprint sensor to use.

Interestingly, the Chinese smartphone maker has made noticeable improvements on the camera front. The Mi 9 carries along a triple-camera setup on the back, and a ‘Dot Drop’ look on the front. On offer is a 48-megapixel camera sensor on the rear, but there’s a catch! It uses Sony IMX586 sensor, which will render the photos you take with a 0.8-micron pixel size at 48 megapixels, and will be a bit noisy. The best you can get from this lens is at 12 megapixels with a 1.6-micron pixel size. DxOMark score for the Mi 9 is 107 points, for the record.

Pricing starts at 2,999 RMB ($446) for the base 6GB/128GB variant, and goes up to 3,999 RMB ($595) for 12GB/256GB configuration. There’s also a middle-tier that will cost you 3,299 RMB ($490) for 8GB/128GB. Availability of the Mi 9 remains in China for now. Given the history Xiaomi has with product launches, International release should take some time.

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Apple’s latest iPhone ad is Bokeh​’d

Did you bokeh my child?

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iPhone Ad Depth Control Bokeh

Apple has posted a new iPhone ad that shows off Portrait Mode Depth Control in action. The ad highlights how you can bokeh and unbokeh photos shot on iPhone even after you’ve captured them.

After a long time, we have seen Apple coming up with such a hilarious ad. In the clip, two parents are having an uncomfortable talk over the use of bokeh in their children’s photo. One blames the other of ignoring Jacob (her child), referring to the blurred effect which we all know as bokeh. You can watch the iPhone ad in full length below.

Depth Control on iPhone XS and iPhone XR lets you adjust the bokeh effect on backgrounds before or after you shoot. So you can turn a cute portrait of two kids into a stunning portrait of one kid.

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Apple acquires digital marketing startup DataTiger

With iPhone sales coming lower than expected, this might actually help.

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DataTiger

Apple has acquired digital marketing startup DataTiger, reports Bloomberg. The report cites a regulatory filing from December that quotes Apple as the controlling body for Operatedata Ltd., the legal name of DataTiger.

DataTiger’s CEO Philip Mohr writes “we’re re-thinking the whole marketing experience,” on LinkedIn.

DataTiger is a set of tools that enables you to build marketing software that puts your data to work. Using DataTiger is the fastest and easiest way to increase retention & monetisation. With our platform you can individually optimize the marketing flows for your customers in real-time across all channels.

DataTiger can be used as an online tool, importing your data and set up user flows in minutes, with all of your data living in the cloud – or it can be fully customized in-house, building your own marketing solution via our APIs + open-source front-end components.

Founded in 2017, DataTiger is relatively a small company, with 2-10 employees, headquartered in the UK. Apple hasn’t disclosed financial terms of the deal yet, however, it should be considered as a small-scale acquistion.

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