The decision by "Fortnite"-maker Epic Games to bypass the Google Play store in rolling out an Android version of the game could cost Google an estimated $50 million in 2018, a report states. The Android version of the game is available exclusively through Epic Games' website, which has prompted concerns that bypassing Google Play could leave security holes in the download.
Nintendo Switch Online will launch in mid-September, a company news release states. Switch users will be able to access several new features, including saving game data online via the Save Data Cloud backup, while subscribers will gain access to several classic Nintendo Entertainment System titles, including "Balloon Fight" and "Donkey Kong."
With its news feed losing favor with brands, Facebook is playing up the marketing strengths of Instagram and Messenger, writes Seb Joseph. Instagram and its video Stories are seen as ideal for brand building while Messenger is better geared toward brands' customer relationship management, he writes.
Samsung has unveiled a new whole-home solution for Wi-Fi coverage; it uses artificial intelligence and mesh networking to act as a smart home hub. The SmartThings Wi-Fi router teams Plume's AI-based Wi-Fi mesh networking with Samsung's SmartThings Hub to offer an all-in-one solution for smart home Wi-Fi management.
Sweden's Ericsson will be relying on a Florida-based manufacturing services company to begin producing mobile network gear in the US this year. But the company will also consider whether to launch its own production in the US, thus avoiding any possibility of Washington-imposed trade barriers.
Arris will roll out a new router that has been certified for use with the EasyMesh standard created by the Wi-Fi Alliance this year. This is the first device to receive the new certification, though Arris has not announced a release date.
Responding to evidence of a renewed political influence campaign, Facebook plans to stiffen authorization requirements for users managing pages with a large number of US followers. These users will be subject to two-factor authentication and confirmation of their primary home location.
Podcasters using the Anchor platform can now collect suggested donations monthly from their audiences. The new Anchor Listener Support feature is easily activated and allows listeners three monthly donation options of 99 cents, $4.99 or $9.99.
Epic Games is rolling out "Fortnite" battle royale for Android on certain Samsung devices, a launch timed to coincide with the introduction of Samsung's Galaxy Note 9. A wider Android beta for the game will be coming soon, although it will be available only through Epic's website and not in Google Play.
Samsung announced a Bixby-enabled smart speaker at an event Thursday. The Galaxy Home is controlled by eight microphones, along with a built-in subwoofer for managing far-field communication and a cloth covering and a tripod for easy placement.
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