Over on Android, you don't have to sign out of your Google accounts before wiping your phone (see below), but do make sure all your stuff is backed up. You might need to deauthorize certain apps though--Google Play Music is one example where you have a limited number of devices you can sync to. As a general rule of thumb, the services you're paying for are the ones you need to look out for. If rely on your phone for getting past two-step authorization protection on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you might need to temporarily disable this feature and set up on a new device before you get rid of your old one. Check the small print for the services you're using (here's how to move Google Authenticator to a new device, for example).
Alphabet's Google has struck a $1.1bn (£822m) deal with Taiwan's HTC to expand its smartphone business. Google will not take a stake in the firm, but some HTC staff will join the Silicon Valley giant. The Taiwanese company was once a major player in the smartphone market but has struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Google expects the deal to close by early 2018, provided it gets the all clear from regulators.
Future Google smartphones may look a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S8 if recent reports are to be believed. Google is looking into an $880 million investment deal with LG Display Co. to manufacture flexible OLED displays for future Google smartphones, according to ETNews. Since the deal is not yet finalized, it is likely the upcoming Google Pixel 2 may not feature a curved display. However, devices thereafter may be among the first Google smartphones to adopt the new design. Curved display smartphones are gearing up to be the new standard of design.
Although it looks brand-new, boffins have been working on augmented reality for fifty years, starting with multimillion-dollar in-helmet displays used by jet fighter pilots that let them easily control a very complex aircraft, while at the same time engaging in supersonic dogfights with the enemy. It took Steve Jobs and the iPhone to bring the price of augmented reality down to earth: nearly every element of a smartphone can be reassembled into a next-generation augmented reality system that looks something a lot like a fancy pair of sunnies. Put on those sunnies and what you see is the perfect blend of reality and the imaginary. Sensors and software on those sunnies scan the world around you continuously, mapping all the walls, floors, ceilings, objects and people. Augmented reality needs this constant stream of information so it can place virtual objects into the world seamlessly -- whether that's Pokemon or tomorrow's weather forecast.
Greetings from the end of the relative calm of the tweener holiday week, or what we in the technology industry like to call the calm before the storm. CES, the huge annual gadget and consumer tech conference, begins next week in Las Vegas. Looking back, 2016 feels to me like an unresolved mega-cap sumo wrestling match. The biggest companies in the industry squared off against each other, grunted a lot, made some feints and jabs--but failed to push each other out of the ring. Facebook (fb) cruised for much of the year and then got blamed for threatening all civil life as part of the fake news controversy.