This Week in Mobile is a weekly podcast available on Apple iTunes or Google Podcasts where I bring you up to speed on the top mobile news stories of the week.
Joining me this week to discuss these top mobile news stories and more is tech veteran Eric Leandri, the co-founder and CEO of search-engine Qwant and Romain Lacombe, the CEO of Plume Labs' Air Report App.
Oppo reveals flagship smartphone with world's best screen-to-body ratio
Last week, Chinese mid-range smartphone maker Oppo unveiled a flagship device, the Find X, at the Louvre museum in Paris, France that has the world's best screen-to-body ratio (93.8%) thanks to its near bezel-less design.
Just like the Vivo Nex S (91.24%) the week before - unsurprisingly, both Oppo and its low-cost brethren Vivo are parts of Shenzhen's based BBK Electronics - the Find X is a full-screen smartphone without a notch on the top of the device's front screen or no camera bump in the back. To make this happen, Oppo hid the front and back cameras on a separate motorized plate inside the device which pops-up to unlock the phone or when users launch the camera app. The side bezels are also tiny thanks to curved edges a-la Samsung S9.
The $1,170 Find X has impressive specs, including the top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, making it one of the most powerful handsets on the market, its 3D facial recognition technology (O-Face) similar to the one found in Apple's iPhone X, and an under-the-screen fingerprint sensor.
Oppo has also revealed a $2,000 Lamborghini edition of the Find X features a carbon fiber body with the famous Taurean bull logo on the rear, a whopping 512 GB of onboard memory and its amazing Super VOOC charging technology that can completely recharge the phone in 35 minutes!
Vivo NEX teardown reveals a high-quality design
Teardown and repair manual website MyFixGuide published its teardown of Vivo's latest flagship device that launched earlier this month, the NEX, which features a notch-less, full-screen and a selfie camera that slides up when activated.
The NEX teardown revealed that low-cost smartphone brand Vivo - which is now moving upmarket - used innovative and high-end quality material, on par with Apple, Samsung or Huawei, to build its flagship phone and one of the most innovative device launched this year so far.
Apple in legal crosshairs over App Store monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court decided it will review the case in which the plaintiffs argue that Apple has established a monopoly over mobile applications for iOS, charging developers 30 percent of their software sales and requiring that apps be exclusively distributed via its App Store, which means higher prices for consumers - a violation of federal antitrust laws.
This could hugely affect other companies that operate marketplaces on behalf of third-party sellers, such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Google, and as well have a broad impact on e-commerce overall.
Australia fines Apple for refusing to fix iPhones
The Federal Court in Australia fined Apple $6.6M for refusing to fix iPhones and iPads that were made inoperable - also known as "error 53" - after the U.S.-based company issued a software update.
These devices have been previously repaired by third parties repair shops who replaced or affected in some way the Touch ID fingerprint sensor which is also used to securely authenticate mobile payments made with Apple devices.
This case is somewhat reminiscent to Apple's software update that throttled the performance of older iPhones to avoid unexpected battery shutdowns.
Android Messages lets you text from your computer
Google released a Web client for Messages, its default messaging app for Android based on the RCS (Rich Communication Services) standard, that lets you send and receive texts from your computer.
With Messages for web, you can send stickers, emoji, and attach images in addition to sending text.
However, unlike Apple's iMessage or Facebook's WhatsApp, Android Message doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption which means that the content of the messages sent through Google's messaging service will be accessible to cybercriminals, governments or Google and its affiliates for user profiling.
App of the Week: Plume Air Report
Plume Labs' Plume Air Report is an app (iOS, Android) that tracks live air quality around the world and reveals pollution peaks and fresh air moments throughout the day, thanks to 12,000 official government monitoring stations in 65 countries, along with satellite feeds and urban emissions data.
It also has a unique artificial intelligence (AI) engine that can forecast future smog levels in your area and notify you of pollution alerts so you can plan your activities accordingly.
Lastly, the app lets you easily compare the air quality in your area with other places around the world and quickly see how the air pollution in your city measures up with others.