Google ‘Embracing’ Notch Design in 2018 Android Update, Preparing for New Wave of iPhone X Clones

Google’s upcoming software update for its Android smartphone operating system will “embrace” an iPhone X notch-like design, according to people familiar with the company’s plans speaking to Bloomberg.

With the software, referred to as Android P, Google is readying a “new generation” of Android smartphones that will be “mimicking” the iPhone X’s front-facing camera cutout design.

Just like iPhone X, this cutout is believed to be where Android smartphone makers will be placing cameras and other sensors to help Android phones compete with Apple devices in the high-end market.

While Google controls the Android software, many other companies manufacture Android devices and have the ability to tweak the software as they see fit. Because of this, Bloomberg pointed out that “not all Android phones will have notches.”

In total, Google’s plan for Android P — shortened from Pistachio Ice Cream — is to convince more iOS users to switch sides by “improving the look of the software.”

While Android dominates the middle and low-end of the global smartphone market, Apple controls much of the high-end with users who spend more on apps and other services. Embracing the notch may help change that. The design will mean more new Android phones with cutouts at the top of their screens to fit cameras and other sensors. That will likely support new features, helping Android device makers keep up with similar Apple technology.

[…]building notch capabilities into Android suggests Google expects the iPhone X look to catch on more broadly.

Otherwise, Android P will reportedly focus heavily on Google Assistant and improving its abilities. Tighter software integration with the AI assistant will allow developers to integrate it inside of their apps, and Google is considering adding the assistant into the search bar on the Android home screen, but “neither of these changes are finalized for introduction this year.” Android P is said to also introduce improved battery life on smartphones and support new designs, including “multiple screens and foldable displays.”

Following the launch of the iPhone X, clones of the device began appearing around the world, including in China with the LEAGOO S9 smartphone and its notch-inspired design. Many users have disliked Apple’s notch design, and Android smartphone maker Samsung played into that criticism by making fun of the notch in a Samsung Galaxy ad posted on the weekend of the iPhone X launch.

While Android P is said to be a “dramatic” overhaul amid support for notch designs on a growing number of Android smartphones, Apple’s own iOS update in 2018 is believed to be focused more on stability. In January, it was reported that Apple has chosen to delay new software features until 2019 — like a home screen refresh, Mail improvements, CarPlay updates, and more — and instead focus on addressing performance and quality issues this year.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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WhatsApp to Pull Support for Older iPhones From Next Year

WhatsApp announced on Thursday that its mobile app will stop working on some older smartphones from next year, as it concentrates on developing new features for the popular messaging platform.

The decision means that from January 1, 2018, WhatsApp will pull support for the app on iPhone 3GS and older models, as well as iPhones running iOS 6 and earlier. The list of unsupported phones also includes Android 2.1 and 2.2, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Phone 7.

Explaining its reason for the move, WhatsApp said that when it was founded back in 2009, the mobile landscape was very different.

“About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia,” the company said. “Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time.”

Apple’s iPhone 3GS was released in June 2009, while iOS 6 was released on September 19, 2012, followed by iOS 7 in 2013. According to Apteligent Research, less than 0.04 percent of iPhone users are currently using iOS 6. Apple’s most recent mobile OS, iOS 11, was released on September 19, 2017, and accounts for over 75 percent of active iOS users.

(Via Sky News.)

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5 beginners tips for buying art

Buying art let’s face it we (most of us) don’t go out buying it every day and the more I go on my artist’s journey, the more I am learning that the art world is huge. Art is becoming THE place that everyone is investing their hard earned cash in. Some people are buying art with the intention of pure investment. Others buy it because they fall in love with the piece. New up and coming artists are the place investors are looking to for future cash in value of their products.

Here’s some tips to think about when buying your art.

Tip 1.

Following on from the above, are you buying that piece of art because you love it or purely for an investment? Original art or even limited edition prints are going to be pretty unique. Purely by their uniqueness they will command a greater price compared to say a general mass produced print in your local shop.

If you are buying for an investment and it’s a print, then research the type of ink that has been used. I am currently researching getting my art onto prints and yesterday was speaking to a printer who uses special printing ink that will last 200 years.! That’s where I will be getting my prints done!

If you want to buy for investment, also consider what type of paper it is printed on. Will you go for canvas? Is it a limited edition print (which commands a greater price), a one off original piece? Is it on canvas or is it on paper? These are all factors to consider. Because a print says limited edition doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be more valuable just because it says so. If the artist does not become successful then the value will not increase. Some old prints for example which have advertised films can equally be valuable and they have not been signed for.

Tip 2.

Decide where you are going to hang it before you buy. Seems an obvious statement by sometimes people can get so excited about the piece without considering where they will hang it, only to get it home and find either no wall space big enough or else it hangs in the wrong room not originally intended for.

Tip 3.

Do your research. What sort of art do you like? It’s a bit like marmite what one person loves, the other hates. Also you may find as you learn more about “what’s out there” that your tastes change. Talking of taste consider who else is in your family that may have to live with that piece of art. I know from living with his lordship that he has very definite views about art. A painting needs to look like a photo for him to appreciate it. For me, as I am learning more, I have different tastes to him. Although I don’t appreciate a lot of wacky abstract art and the prices they command, I am slowly learning why some art costs the price it does.

I am also seeing some very talented artists that have spent days, maybe even weeks painting something and not charging enough for their work, whilst others seem to totally inflate their prices.

Tip 4.

When considering costs, do your research about frames. Sometimes framing can be as expensive as the painting, but a good frame can really enhance a piece of art. It’s amazing how a different coloured frame can really change a painting. Generally I have seen in art galleries they either use black or white frames. Boxed canvases can look great just as they are. Also take consideration about the insert (the part that goes around the painting between the frame). Sometimes two different inserts in two colours can look really well and enhance your purchase.

Tip 5.

Decide to buy from an auction house or buy from a local gallery. Art Auctions are the place for a bargain in some circumstances, or deal with the artist directly and dont be afraid to haggle.

Tip 6.

If you are wanting to have the piece of art as an investment then keep all paperwork or any other information that goes with the piece. Crazy as it seems, some artists forget to sign the piece, so check there is a signature on it and a certification of authenticity. If you can trace it back to the artist

Building society bucks branch-closure trend and opens 7 new sites

More than 500 high-street bank branches will close their doors this year but one small building society is bucking the trend.

Nottingham Building Society is taking over seven branches currently owned by Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, which were among 28 branches facing closure from September.

Reader Service: Find out how to increase your savings income by up to 350% with the Telegraph Concierge Cash Service
The Nottingham has taken on 19 branches previously owned by rivals since 2012. The new market-town sites in Spalding, Stamford, Huntingdon, Bourne, Thetford, Dereham and Fakenham will expand the network to 67 – more than double the number of branches it had five years ago.

In addition to everyday banking services, the mutual offers financial planning and estate agency services. It also offers whole-of-market mortgage advice, which is free for Nottingham Building Society members who have had at least £500 in one of its savings accounts for at least a year.

It charges a fee of £249 to non-members or new customers or £149 for new customers to estate agents Harrison Murray and Nottingham Estate Agency. Previous customers of Nottingham Mortgage Services will also get the cheaper deal.

Customers want face to face contact

For futher details please visit Mortgage Broker Belfast for a face to face sercice that offers the personal touch when entering the stormy mortgage market

Banks closing branches say their customers’ banking habits have changed and more people are using online and mobile services.

For example, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, which announced 158 site closures in March this year, said branch transactions have fallen 43pc since 2010 and mobile transactions have increased by more than 400pc.

Mortgage Seekers now more savvy than ever online

The Mortgage clinic in Belfast was formed in 2015 with the aim of providing consumers with a fresh approach to mortgage and insurance advice.

Traditionally financial advisers used to rely on ‘word of mouth’ and referrals from existing customers and estate agents, even door to door calls, but these days an increasing number of customers search online for this service.

‘I believe that these old fashioned marketing methods are less effective and more time consuming than new digital methods’ says Helmut Elstner owner of The Mortgage Clinic.

‘Today we are using Google, social media, and online chat facilities to communicate with our consumers, and reach large audiences quickly’

Online presence is key!

In the modern world we ‘Google’ everything we want information on, we research everything before even engaging with a provider, so in business we need to appear

attractive to the consumer online, and grab their interest. At The Mortgage Clinic we are working to meet customer expectations online. When seeking out a professional mortgage adviser customers are asking the following questions: Who is the mortgage adviser? How experienced are they? Do they have good reviews? Are they trustworthy? And our website gives them the answers they are looking for!

What does the future hold?

Certainly we will continue to expand our online offering, with new online insurance quote facilities arriving later in 2017 for various types of insurance, like Life & Critical illness Insurance, Home Insurance, and Private medical insurance.

As financial advisers we offer a very different service than price comparison sites, which simply aim to provide a range of prices but do not communicate the differences of these insurance policies and the benefits of one policy over another.

This could mean the difference in successfully making a claim on an insurance policy! And our aim is still to advise customers that want our advice.

For futher details please visit Mortgage Advisor Belfast

Should you buy a refurbished iPad? Ebay, iRefurbstock, & more

irefurbstock review ipads

What’s better than an iPad? A cheap iPad. The iPad is a great device, but it can still cost as much as an entry-level laptop even if you go with the cheapest 16 GB Wi-Fi-only iPad Air 2. And if you need a data connection, you can add more money to the price. But before you decide that you can’t quite afford one, let’s take a look at some ways you can make the purchase of the iPad cheaper.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from Apple

An easy way to cut the price of an iPad is to buy a refurbished unit. In fact, this is a good trick with many devices from laptops to gaming consoles. Apple’s online store sells a wide variety of refurbished iPads and you can usually save off the price. If you combine this with buying the last generation iPad or an iPad mini, you can get a great device for fairly cheap. Worried about buying a refurbished device? A refurbished iPad from Apple comes with the same 1-year warranty you get with a new iPad, which can ease concerns of buying refurbished.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from a third party (

Apple’s refurbished prices are still quite pricey, so it may be worth checking out other non apple sources for refurbished units.  As long as you are getting a good warranty and returns policy, you should be able to (in most cases) buy with confidence.

We purchased an older model iPad Air 2 from  After a few weeks it arrived boxed, with full accessories.  All was in pretty good condition and the ipad itself looked almost brand new.  This seller includes an Apple care warranty with each ipad, so its worth calling into you local Apple store if you have any issues.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from a third party (

Just do a quick ebay search for Refurbished iPad and you are met with hundred of offers as usual check seller feedback and you should be ok.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from a third party (Amazon)

Did you know you can buy used products from Amazon? Go to Amazon, search for the iPad and click on the model you want to buy. Once at the product’s detail page, you will see how many used units they have for sale. These iPads are sold from a variety of different stores, and not only can you see details about the iPad such as what condition the device is in, you can also see the seller’s satisfaction rating.