Your non-Samsung phone could soon get Samsung Pay

Samsung may bring its Samsung Pay mobile payments service to non-Samsung phones for the first time, according to a new report.

Gadget 360 claims the company is investigating bringing the service to other handsets, based on information from “a source familiar with the developments”.

Sammy is said to be holding internal talks, both within the company and with OEMs, about Samsung Pay’s expansion.

The company’s mobile payments platform launched in the UK in May this year, with Samsung debuting PayPal support for US users earlier this month.

Sammy outdoes rival services from Apple and Google by allowing users to use the service with both NFC technology and magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology.

As it stands, only a handful of Samsung handsets support Samsung Pay, with some mid-range offerings in India only coming with a pared-down version of the feature called Samsung Pay Mini.

However, if the report is accurate, we could see the full service appearing on numerous new phones from other companies.

That said, outside companies will have to add a specialised chip in order to enable the use of MST technology and support Samsung Pay.

One way Samsung is trying to make this easier, according to the source, is by investigating the feasibility of an accessory, similar to LoopPay Card, that could attach to other phones.

What’s more, the source claims Samsung will be looking to introduce its plans, in whatever form they take, in mid-2018.

Samsung is yet to confirm any of this for now, so the usual due caution is advised here.

OnePlus 5 battery life set for major improvement – report

Good news! OnePlus 5 owners may be about to get a significant boost to battery life thanks to a newly rumoured software update.

Another day, another OnePlus 5 software update – at least according to a French tech blog that claims OnePlus is cooking up a seriously tasty upgrade for owners of the company’s last flagship smartphone.

In a new blog post, French outlet Frandroid claims that OnePlus is hoping to improve battery life for the OnePlus 5. The claim is that the OnePlus 5 will soon be capable of achieving seven hours of screen-on time, while consuming just 50% of the battery charge. To do this, the company is reportedly making adjustments to the kernel – the bit of software that manages all the components in your device – to give better autonomy to the phone battery.

The article notes that one possible solution would be the integration of Energy Aware Scheduling (EAS), a power management system that lets the kernel take better advantage of multi-core architectures. An example of that would be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the OnePlus 5 chipset that is built based on ARM’s multi-core big.LITTLE design.

With EAS, the OnePlus 5 would be able to better manage the different cores of the processor and distribute computing tasks accordingly, assigning processes to high-power or low-power cores dependant on the requirement.

EAS has already been implemented on the Google Pixel phones, as Google added ARM’s EAS system to the Android 3.18 kernel last summer – that’s the version Pixel phones use. Google also added it to kernel 4.4 in June this year, which is the kernel version used by the OnePlus 5.

According to Frandroid, the new version of OnePlus’ OxygenOS should be available in the coming weeks, although it admits that there may be delays if bugs emerge.

The bad news is that there’s no way of verifying this information, since OnePlus hasn’t made any official statements on the matter. Given that the article’s source is anonymous, we’d recommend taking this leak with due caution until we get official word from OnePlus about such an update.

This new WhatsApp feature isn’t exactly killer – but it’s damn useful

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp now enables users to exchange files of any kind.

In a new update, the firm has extended document attachments beyond the PDFs it enabled last year.

Now users can send any files, as long as they’re under 100MB. That also means users will be able to share higher-res photos with each other.

Elsewhere, the app will now allow users to use formatted text with bold, italic and strike-through text now possible. All you’ll need to do is hold your finger down on the words you’d like to format.

Also part of the roll-out for Android is the new photo album system, which came to iOS users last month.

The update automatically groups photos together in an album, rather than each appearing concurrently within the message thread.

The images will appear as a grid, with additional images being represented numerically in the bottom right corner of the grid.

The update is rolling out to both iOS and Android users now.

Report: Amazon’s next Echo will tackle the threat of Apple’s HomePod

Amazon is plotting a new Echo speaker featuring greatly improved sound, as it seeks to head of the threat of the incoming Apple HomePod speaker.

According to sources speaking to Engadget, the next smart speaker will add in ‘several’ tweeters, rather than the single tweeter and woofer combo featured in the current model.

This would offset the biggest criticism levied at the popular Alexa-packing device; the poor sound compared with other Bluetooth-enabled speakers, as well as the Google Home rival.

Meanwhile, the company plans to reduce the physical footprint, with the source describing it as 3-4 Echo Dot devices stacked upon each other.

Amazon is also ditching the plastic speaker grille, according to the report. Instead it’ll use a cloth covering that could ensure a more premium-looking product.

The improvements don’t stop there, Wednesday’s report says, with Amazon plotting to boost the microphone technology in a way that’s still unclear.

Currently the Amazon Echo has a total of 7 far-field mics, so it’s unlikely the firm is going to be adding more. It may be that the next-gen Echo simply improves its already excellent voice recognition tech.

It’s unclear when Amazon will release its new Echo, what it’ll be called and how much it’ll cost. However, if the retail giant is seeking to go all-in and challenge Apple’s HomePod we may end up seeing a more premium price point.

Amazon has naturally declined to comment on the reports, but we’re already prepping us for the best Echo yet. Let’s hope we see it on sale for Prime Day 2018!

Here’s when Moto will be announcing those recently leaked devices

Lenovo-owned Motorola has announced it is holding an event later this month, where it is likely to announce a fleet of new smartphones.

The #hellomotoworld event will take place in New York on July 25, where the Moto Z2 Force and the Moto X4 handsets will surely be on display.

The Moto Z2 Force has been tipped as the firm’s 2017 flagship handset. It’s said to include a dual camera, a sleek design and a front-facing fingerprint sensor built into the home button.

It will likely be a tougher and more capable version of the Z2 Play, which was announced last month. It is reported there’ll be a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB RAM and a 5.5-inch QHD display.

A recent render of the Z2 Force also showed the Moto Mods connector. As such, we’re also likely to get a closer look at the slew of new modular accessories that were tipped at an event in Ghana last week (via Android Central).

The event previewed a 360-degree camera, a GoPro-style action camera, a DSLR Mod and a Marshall-branded speaker.

As for the Moto X4, we reportedly got our first look at the specs and design this week.

The well-connected Evan Blass believes the Moto X4 will arrive towards the end of the year with an octa-core Snapdragon 620 processor running at 2.2GHz and coupled with 4GB of RAM.

The 5.2-inch full HD screen will show off Android 7.1 Nougat, while there’ll also be a 3,000mAh battery, IP68 water resistance and 64GB of internal storage, plus microSD.

The rear cameras will be 8-megapixels and 12-megapixels respectively, according to Blass, while the front-facing selfie cam will be a whopping 16-megapixels.