Huawei Currently Testing New Search App For Its Smartphones

As Huawei continues to be deprived of access to Google Mobile Services (GMS), the Chinese telecommunications and smartphone brand has had no choice but to push forward with its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and its own AppGallery. Now it seems that the company is currently working on its own dedicated search app, known aptly as Huawei Search.
News about the development of Huawei Search were first reported by XDA, who pointed out that Huawei had been recruiting users from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Inorder to test out the Huawei Search app. While the foundation of the app is clearly Android, there are obviously some major, if not stark differences between the two search apps.
Where Google’s search engine is integrated with Google Assistant, Google Lens, and Google Podcast to name a few, Huawei Search is said to be considerably more rudimentary than that. At best, it simply functions as a basic search app, allowing users to search the internet for specific webpages, images, or news articles. Again, like Google, it shows users the current weather in a location of your choosing, although it should be noted that meteorological sources are pulled straight from Huafeng-AccuWeather. A joint venture between AccuWeather and the China Meteorological Administration.

Of course, there’s the bigger and more pressing question about the Huawei Search app: which search engine it pulls its data from. Unfortunately, the good people at XDA were unable to match any of the data it searched for with data from other prominent search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex to name a few.
At the time of writing, there’s still indication as to when Huawei intends to make its Search app available, neither is there any indication that the app itself will be available outside of the HMS ecosystem.
(Source: XDA, Reddit)
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OPPO Reveals Global Version Of Reno 3 Pro; Features Helio P95 And Dual Selfie Camera

OPPO previously introduced the Chinese version of the Reno 3 Pro 5G back in December. The company has recently launched the global version of the phone in India, which has significant differences to the original.
The global Reno 3 Pro features a Mediatek Helio P95 SoC instead of a Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset found on the Chinese version, therefore excluding support for 5G connectivity. It is also equipped with 8GB RAM instead of up to 12GB, while storage comes in either 128GB or 256GB. The phone is equipped with the same 4,025mAh battery with 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0 support.

Another major difference compared to the Chinese 5G edition is its display. Instead of a single lens punch-hole cutout, the phone sports a pill-shaped cutout which houses dual cameras. That said, its display is still a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ screen featuring an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Camera-wise, the global OPPO Reno 3 Pro replaces the 48MP main shooter from the original with a 64MP instead. The rest of the sensors on its quad-camera setup remains the same – 13MP telephoto with 2X optical zoom, 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP monochrome depth sensor.

In front, the phone features a 44MP main selfie camera with a 2MP depth sensor. The Reno 3 Pro is currently the first smartphone to feature a high pixel-count for its main front-facing camera.
The OPPO Reno 3 Pro will be available in Auroral Blue, Midnight Black, and White Sky. Its configurations include a 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB models, which are priced at INR29,990 (~RM1,730) and INR32,990 (~RM1,905) respectively. OPPO has not announced release dates for other regions just yet.
(Source: OPPO India via GSMArena.)
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Mulan Might Not Be Released in China Due to Coronavirus

The Coronavirus is no laughing matter. The situation in Wuhan has been desolate, and the virus has continued to move to other regions of Europe, America, and Asia. It’s been affecting businesses and disrupting lifestyles globally as the world continues to be on edge.
The film industry, too, is feeling the strain as several promotional events and productions have either been put on hold or cancelled altogether. One such case involved No Time to Die’s premier launch in China getting cancelled. Besides, production on Mission Impossible 7 has also been postponed due to the coronavirus.
But what does this outbreak mean for Disney’s Mulan? With a large portion of its targeted market in the Orient, could the virus affect its release?
In an interview with CNBC last month, former Disney CEO Bob Iger weighed in on the Covid-19 situation. Here’s what he said:
All of the movie companies that are expecting to distribute movies coming up in China, obviously are impacted by this… Again, it is hard to tell. We have a release coming out in March, Mulan, which obviously would have been of great interest to China. It will eventually get into China, at this point, we’re not sure when. Obviously, the big issue on everybody’s mind and everyone’s concern is what’s going on with this virus. And how far will it go in terms of its impact on people.

So, yes, it seems like Hua Mulan has to fight through an avalanche for now. China is its greatest market. If it does not obtain a release in the nation, this could spell trouble for Niki Caro’s war epic. After all, the budget for Mulan has been placed at $290 million (USD). For comparison, Avengers: Infinity War’s budget was estimated to be $316 million (USD). Granted, once the pandemic subsides and a sense of normalcy is restored, Mulan SHOULD get a release in China, but for now, things are looking bleak for the feature.
While Malaysians should be able to enjoy Liu Yifei’s interpretation of the character at the end of the month, the Coronavirus has already affected several releases prior to the Chinese New Year period. This included the postponement of several Chinese films like Vanguard, Detective Chinatown 3, The Rescue, and Jiang Zi Ya: Legend of Deification.
Do remember to take constant care of your hygiene, stay hydrated, and stay safe y’all!
Mulan opens in Malaysian cinemas on the 26th of March 2020.
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Riot Games Announces Valorant; Previously Known As Project A

In October last year, League of Legends devs Riot Games announced a trio of new titles. One of them was Project A, which has since been given a proper name – Valorant. All we knew about it back then was that it was an FPS title, but the company has shared more about what the game is like.
So what exactly is Valorant? In its simplest terms, think of a 5v5 hybrid of Counter Strike and Overwatch. Specifically, the game plays a lot more like the former, with elements of the latter sprinkled in.
For most of Valorant, you’ll be using a variety of guns, regardless of the character you pick. From the looks of it, you’re free to pick your favourites, like you would in Valve’s shooter. But on the flip side, the characters each have four abilities with cooldowns, much like Activision Blizzard’s shooter.

At least, that’s what the game looks like based on its alpha gameplay that Riot Games released. From the clip shown, Valorant will also have a bomb defusal-type mission similar to the one found in Counter Strike. The game format is, as mentioned, 5v5, and each match runs for 24 rounds.
Valorant will be free-to-play on PC when it gets released. As for when, Riot Games says it’s launching the game globally in summer 2020. For us without four seasons, this is between the tail ends of June and September. There’s currently no word on a console release. You can sign up for more updates via the game’s main site, linked below.
(Source: Riot Games. Image: Valorant / Twitter)
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OPPO Reno 3 Pro Launched In India; Features Helio P95 And Dual Punch-Hole Selfie Camera

OPPO previously introduced the Chinese version of the Reno 3 Pro 5G back in December. The company has recently launched the global version of the phone in India, which has significant differences to the original.
The global Reno 3 Pro features a Mediatek Helio P95 SoC instead of a Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset found on the Chinese version, therefore excluding support for 5G connectivity. It is also equipped with 8GB RAM instead of up to 12GB, while storage comes in either 128GB or 256GB. The phone is equipped with the same 4,025mAh battery with 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0 support.

Another major difference compared to the Chinese 5G edition is its display. Instead of a single lens punch-hole cutout, the phone sports a pill-shaped cutout which houses dual cameras. That said, its display is still a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ screen featuring an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Camera-wise, the global OPPO Reno 3 Pro replaces the 48MP main shooter from the original with a 64MP instead. The rest of the sensors on its quad-camera setup remains the same – 13MP telephoto with 2X optical zoom, 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP monochrome depth sensor.

In front, the phone features a 44MP main selfie camera with a 2MP depth sensor. The Reno 3 Pro is currently the first smartphone to feature a high pixel-count for its main front-facing camera.
The OPPO Reno 3 Pro will be available in Auroral Blue, Midnight Black, and White Sky. Its configurations include a 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB models, which are priced at INR29,990 (~RM1,730) and INR32,990 (~RM1,905) respectively. OPPO has not announced release dates for other regions just yet.
(Source: OPPO India via GSMArena.)
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DOOM Eternal Can Reportedly Hit 1000 FPS, Assuming You Have The Right Hardware

DOOM Eternal’s launch is less than a fortnight away, and it’s not an over-exaggeration to say that many of us are waiting for the game with bated breath. For the ones among you getting the game on PC, know that the game can – theoretically – achieve the 1000 fps mark. Provided, of course, you have the right and necessary hardware.
The framerate revelation came from Billy Khan, Lead engine programmer at id Software, who revealed it in a featurette video by IGN. In the video below, Khan explains that the supposed 1000 fps feat was made possible through id Tech 7, the new game engine powering DOOM Eternal.

According to Khan, id Tech 7 enables allowed him and his team to maximise the game in way that wasn’t possible with id Tech 6. And while he never actually achieved the magic 1000 fps, he does states that he was able to run the game at 400 fps with hardware that he had at the time.
At the time of writing, DOOM Eternal’s official product page on Steam still doesn’t list down the official minimum or recommended hardware requirements. On that note, it should be noted that the last DOOM didn’t need such high-end hardware to run at the highest graphics setting on Full HD or 1440p. The recommended specs simply being an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290X.
That said, the id Tech 7 is a brand new engine, so it wouldn’t surprise us if id Software raises the hardware requirements to something more recent. In any case, the game touches down on 21 March, so we’ll find out then.
(Source: PCGamesN // Image: NintendoEverything)
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Sharp Converts Display Factory To Mask Production

Japan is one of the hardest hit countries by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). So, somewhat unsurprisingly, tech company Sharp has started making face masks at one of its display factories. The plant in question that’s usually pushing out TV screens is located in Kameyama, in the Mie prefecture.
Sharp will make about 150000 masks a day by the end of the month. This will reportedly scale to 500000 a day at some point in the future. These masks are expected to hit shelves by the end of the month, but don’t have a price tag attached to them just yet.

Sharp made the decision to go into mask production response to a government call for increased production of masks. The exact facility was chosen to be converted to mask production thanks to its high cleanliness standards. This also makes the company the first domestic company not in the health industry to be making them.
It’s an interesting move, even if it’s at the behest of the government. At the same time, it’s unknown if Sharp is continuing with its TV display production. It won’t be surprising if that part of the business has been halted, due to many other plants in the industry being shut down. Samsung and LG, both South Korean companies, have shut down plants in their home country due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
(Source: Nikkei Asian Review. Image: Wikipedia)
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Apple Japan Shows Off MacBook Laptops Featured In Anime

Product placement for Apple devices are abundant in various forms of entertainment – be it movies, TV shows, etc. To prove this point, Apple Japan released a “Behind the Mac” promo video which featured Macbook laptops used in various forms of Japanese anime.
Most notably, the video includes Makoto Shinkai’s hit film “Your Name”, as well as his latest flick “Weathering With You”. Other anime titles also featured are Mirai, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, New Game!, Osomatsu-san, SSSS.Gridman, and much more.

Although the video showcased characters using MacBooks for various purposes, not all of them sport Apple’s branding. Certain scenes presented the laptops with a peach, heart, or pear emblem instead of the company’s iconic logo.
Without a doubt, the intentions of using alternate logos is to either parody the actual brand or to avoid any form of infringement. However, it’s rather amusing that Apple acknowledges these indirect approaches as a form of tribute regardless.
image: screenshot from Apple Japan’s “Behind The Mac” video
Seeing that most characters in the video are depicted to be having a good time with the device, it’s likely that they’ve not experienced the keyboard flaws just yet. Come to think of it, we wonder if there’s an anime villain who uses an iPhone?
(Source: Apple Japan via SoraNews24)
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Legendary “Duct-Taped Gamer” Gets A Documentary; No Release Date Yet

If you were among those who experienced the early days of the internet, chances are you remember a legendary photo. The photo in question is of a Duct-Taped Gamer, hanging from the ceiling while playing Counter Strike. The story behind the photo is getting a documentary, and it’s being made by the people responsible for it.
For now, the documentary is being called “Internet Legends: Duct-Taped Gamer”. Naturally, it will feature Drew Purvis, the legnedary figure himself. Beyond Purvis, the documentary will also have interviews with the other gamers who were there when the legend was created.

By all accounts, taping someone to the ceiling was an extreme measure. Even for an age when people lugged their rigs around for LAN parties, it’s an extreme move to make, in the name of making space for one more person. Things are quite different now, with gaming laptops being a thing. Broadband internet today also allows for reasonable responsiveness when playing multiplayer games online.
For those who have lived those days as a gamer, this documentary will no doubt be a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Or, maybe this would instead spur you to get a LAN party going. All that said, there’s no release date for it just yet.
(Source: Duct-Taped Gamer via PCGamesN)
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Intel Updates Graphics Command Centre With Game Capture And Broadcasting Abilities

Intel recently updated its Graphics Command Centre app with a couple of features. Specifically, the app now allows consumers using Intel CPUs to perform video capture and to broadcast their current gaming session online.
Needless to say, the functions of the two feature are more or less identical to the NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience Share and AMD’s ReLive. As per the app’s official description on Microsoft Store, Capture offers a simple and intuitive way for users to record videos on their primary display or to stream to a variety of game streaming sites like Mixer or Twitch. Of course, in order to pull off the whole affair, you’ll need to ensure that you’re Intel CPU is 8th generation or later.
Apart from the video capture and streaming, Intel also added in a Combined Desktop feature that, as the name suggests, enables users to combine multiple displays and transform them into a single, unified desktop user interface.

Intel’s Graphics Command Centre is available for download via Microsoft Store. However, it should be noted that the app is still in beta and that there’s still no indication from the semiconductor maker as to when a full version of the app will be released.
(Source: TPU)
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