All posts in “Mobile”

How to turn on Now Playing and see music history on your Google Pixel

Google has made it easier than ever to see what music is playing near you. The company offers a handy exclusive feature for its Pixel phones called Now Playing, which was announced alongside the Google Pixel 2, but will also work on any Pixel released since then, including the Google Pixel 3 or the Pixel 3a. Now Playing automatically shows you the title and artist of any song playing near you on the lock screen of your Pixel phone. Not only that, but it keeps track of those songs — so you can go back and see what songs were playing at that party last night.

Of course, you have to enable this feature to get it to work, but thankfully that’s pretty easy to do. Here’s how to turn on Now Playing on your Google Pixel and see what songs you’ve heard recently.

How to turn on Now Playing

Now Playing shows songs that are playing in your vicinity right on your lock screen, but it is only supported on the Google Pixel 2 or later — so you won’t be able to follow these instructions on other phones or the original Pixel. Here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound, then tap Now Playing.
  3. Turn on the switch next to Show songs on lock screen.
  4. When your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and charging, it will download a song database to recognize songs.
  5. Once your phone has downloaded the database, you’ll automatically get song info on the lock screen.

How to see your Now Playing history

Want to see a song that was playing yesterday? You can do that too. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound, then tap Now Playing.
  3. Make sure the switch next to Show songs on lock screen is on.
  4. Tap Now Playing History.
  5. You’ll then see a list of songs that have played near you.
  6. You can tap a song to listen to it or share it in your music app.

How to manage Now Playing notifications

Don’t want notifications to show up at the top of your display when a song is playing? You can switch off those notifications so that you’ll only see what’s playing on the lock screen. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound, then tap Now Playing.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Turn off the switch next to Show notifications.

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5G reportedly coming to premium iPhones in 2020, all models in 2021

The latest report from renowned Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo already has an eye on 2020 and beyond. The news lines up with other reports around future iPhones, noting that the high-end versions of the handset are set to get 5G in the second half of next year. By 2021, all models are set to be on-board with the next-gen wireless standard.

The report is inline with recent rumors that have the company holding off on 5G until 2020. That puts Apple somewhat behind the curve of a number of Android manufacturers who have been racing to get the technology to market. Of course, those companies (including Samsung, LG and even OnePlus) may be putting the cart before the horse, with wireless carriers providing extremely limited access to the tech through the end of 2019.

Apple’s push into 5G is believed to be a primary driver behind the company’s recent decision to make nice with Qualcomm, though Kuo believes that the company is shooting for 2022/2023 to begin manufacturing its own wireless chips. That would help Apple further divorce itself on reliance from third party component makers, which seems to have been the plan all along.

The report has Apple continuing to release three models of iPhone later next year. The list includes a 5.4 inch and 6.7 inch OLED models, making the smaller iPhone even smaller and the larger even larger. The XR successor, meanwhile, would maintain a 6.1 inch display, getting upgraded to OLED next year, while only offering up an LTE modem — a move that could muddy the waters a bit for consumers.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro render shows 2019 really is all about weird camera arrays

The next entry into Huawei’s Mate series is most likely going to be called the Mate 30, and include a Mate 30 Pro model, with previous experience telling us it will be revealed during the second half of 2019. Huawei is in the midst of battling a ban by the U.S. government; but this has not stopped rumors and leaks giving us an idea about the Mate 30.

This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far:


What will the Mate 30 Pro look like? A series of renders of the possible design shows the phone with an evolution of the Mate 20’s square camera lens setup, which continues the 2019 trend of alternatively designed camera lens arrays. The Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro were among the first phones with a square camera lens array, mounted top-center on the back, but for the Mate 30 Pro this may morph into an oblong array and contain four camera lenses. It’s certainly easier on the eye than if it was set in one of the rear corners of the phone.

Around the front, the Mate 30 Pro may share some similarities with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Minimal bezels, a curved screen, and a dual-lens selfie camera inside a hole-punch screen are pictured in the render. Red, blue, and black color schemes are shown, which look rather ordinary for a new Huawei phone. These designs are not official, and may not be genuine representations of the final look.


We do know there may be a 5G version of the Mate 30, as Huawei Business Group’s chairman Richard Yu said so in an interview with Digital Trends earlier in 2019. The smartphone will most likely use Huawei’s own Balong 5000 5G modem, along with the Kirin 985 processor or even its successor, depending on whether Huawei makes changes to the timeframe of its the next generation mobile chip.

The camera on the rear may echo what we have seen in the P30 Pro, and come equipped with a strong 50x digital zoom and a 5x optical zoom feature. The only other specification rumor so far concerns the battery, which may have a 4,200mAh capacity and Huawei’s new 55w SuperCharge system, which will debut on the Mate X folding phone.


When will the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro arrive? This is not known yet. The Mate 20 series launched in October 2018, so we expect the sequel to arrive around the same time this year. However, the uncertainty around Huawei’s business situation, due to the current U.S. ban on trade, makes where it will launch and with what software onboard difficult to speculate about.

In China, smartphones do not have Google services installed and run modified versions of Android. This would make releasing a new phone easier in mainland China at first, if the situation has not been resolved. Additionally, Huawei is working on its own mobile operating system, but this is not expected to be available until 2020.

We will update you on the Mate 30 series here, as more is leaked or revealed.

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Global Honor 20 launch marred by fear, as Huawei gets squeezed by U.S. ban

honor 20 pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The launch of the Honor 20 series may be the first new device range to be seriously hit by Huawei’s presence on the Entity List, which prevents the company from purchasing U.S. made goods and services without U.S. government approval. Huawei executives are reportedly watching the forthcoming European launch closely, according to anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg. There is some expectation that sales will be poor, which may force it to cut off shipments.

Honor will launch the Honor 20 on June 21 in the U.K., France, and other European countries. The Honor 20 Pro does not have a final international release date yet, and may not arrive until July. Bloomberg’s sources state two major French carriers will not stock Honor devices at all. Refusal to stock Honor’s latest smartphones may come over concerns the device’s will not have access to future Google Android software updates, although Honor has stated the Honor 20 series is not affected by the ban.

The Honor 20 Lite is already for sale in the U.K., where it can be purchased right now from Carphone Warehouse, while the Honor 20 can be pre-ordered ahead of the June 21 release date though the same company. Honor has already released the Honor 20 in China, where it has sold more than a million units already, and the Honor 20 Pro is also scheduled for release. However, Chinese versions do not come with Google services installed, and do not have access to Google Play.

Not only does Huawei fear the Honor 20 series will not fare well in Europe, it’s also expecting a considerable reduction in smartphone sales during 2019 generally, according to the report. In 2018 the company sold more than 200 million devices, but is now anticipating this figure to fall by somewhere between 40 million and 60 million phones. While 140 million-plus phone sales would not be disastrous, it stalls Huawei’s continued assault on Samsung’s world number one phone manufacturer spot.

How the Honor 20 is received after June 21 will be the first test of the impact the ban is having on Huawei’s business, and the public’s perception and understanding of the situation. Huawei has shifted the launch date of its Mate X folding phone to September, which is also around the same time as a new Mate 30 Pro is likely to arrive. A temporary extension that allows Huawei to continue doing business with U.S. companies ends on August 19.

We have contacted Honor for comment on its expectations for the Honor 20 launch, and sales.

American Airlines expands its fast in-flight Wi-Fi, but it still costs

Major airlines are slowly but surely responding to customer calls for better in-flight Wi-Fi.

The biggest change has come with the introduction of satellite-based systems that offer better coverage and faster speeds than the older ground-based alternatives.

After completing the rollout of satellite-based Wi-Fi to its widebody fleet in 2018, American has now completed installation of the same system to the whole of its mainline narrowbody fleet comprising more than 700 planes, TechCrunch reported. Specifically, these include its Boeing 737 aircraft and Airbus A319 and A320 jets that ply its domestic routes.

American Airlines’ satellite-based Wi-Fi system uses Gogo 2Ku or ViaSat Ka to get passengers online. Advances in technology in the last few years has brought huge improvements to in-flight Wi-Fi, transforming what was once a frustratingly slow and limited service into a fully featured offering similar to what many of us now enjoy when our feet are on the ground.

Take note though, whereas some rivals such as Delta offer free Wi-Fi access to travelers, American Airlines still charges, with prices starting at $10. There is one exception to this, however, as American earlier this year began offering free in-flight access to Apple Music for subscribers of the streaming service.

Commenting on the rollout, Kurt Stache, American Airlines’ senior VP for marketing, loyalty, and sales, said in a release: “Elevating the travel experience is one of our top goals at American and we’ve been working hard to provide our customers with the same level of entertainment and connectivity options they enjoy in their own living rooms.”

Free Wi-Fi for all air passengers?

Looking at the industry more broadly, it feels as if the day when we can expect free Wi-Fi on all flights is creeping ever closer. In 2017, JetBlue became one of the first airlines to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi. Other international carriers have followed, with Delta recently testing free Wi-Fi with a view to rolling it out to all passengers in the near future.

Besides Wi-Fi, other improvements coming to American’s mainline fleet include the power outlets for every seat and the addition of tablet holders for much of its narrowbody fleet as it and other airlines move toward ridding aircraft of in-flight entertainment systems, instead streaming content to passengers’ own mobile devices.