TIME Huawei

This Chinese Giant Just Surpassed Microsoft

Latest Electronics Products On Display At The CEATEC Exhibition
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A Huawei phone.

The U.S. company is no longer the third-largest phone maker

Huawei is now the third-largest mobile phone maker in the world, beating out Microsoft for the number of items shipped in the second quarter of 2015, according to Strategy Analytics.

Engadget reported Friday that Huawei shipped over 30 million phones during the year’s second quarter, which is roughly a 50% increase from the same period in 2014. Microsoft, meanwhile, sold 27.8 million phones worldwide in the quarter.

According to the publication, Huawei now has a 7% global market share, which trails Apple’s 10%, and Samsung’s 20%.

“Huawei is rising fast in all regions of the world, particularly China where its 4G models, such as the Mate7, are proving wildly popular,” Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics, told Engadget.

Neil Mawston, the executive director at Strategy Analytics, added that “Microsoft’s 6 percent global mobile phone marketshare is sitting near an all-time low.”

TIME windows 10

This Windows 10 Feature Is Creating a Lot Of Controversy

GERMANY-IT-CEBIT
TOBIAS SCHWARZ—AFP/Getty Images A man shows Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

Mozilla's CEO, for one, is very unhappy about it

Windows 10 was released earlier this week, and its launch turned out to be very successful, garnering about 14 million users within the first couple of days. There have been a few controversial features so far, including a hidden fee and an unhelpful error message, but the one that people are most upset about is a feature that quietly changes your default browser for you.

When you upgrade to Windows 10, your default browser will automatically be changed to Edge if you choose the “express settings” option, ignoring the preferences that you had previously chosen. There is an option to maintain your old browser, but you have to click the button that says “customize settings,” which is much smaller than the express option, and then click another button later on to actually enable customization (hint: if you put on your reading glasses, you’ll find it at the bottom left of the screen).

You can change your settings after you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, but it’s not easy. Supposedly, it takes much more effort and technical sophistication than previous versions.

Chris Beard, Mozilla’s CEO, is particularly displeased by this “aggressive” action, which is expressed in both an open letter to Microsoft’s CEO as well as a blog post calling for them to fix the issue. He is appalled by Microsoft’s infringement on their users preferences, and writes:

The update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have…. Please give your users the choice and control they deserve in Windows 10.

TIME windows 10

This Is How Many People Are Now Using Windows 10

SKOREA-US-IT-MICROSOFT
JUNG YEON-JE—AFP/Getty Images

It looks like it was a very successful launch

Windows 10 has been available for a little over 24 hours, and so far the launch appears to be going well.

Already, there are 14 million computers around the world running the new software, according to a post Thursday on Microsoft’s Blogging Windows blog. Microsoft says that, it is “carefully rolling out Windows 10 in phases, delivering Windows 10 first to our Windows Insiders.” That means that while millions have already received the upgrade, there are millions more that are still waiting to receive their upgrades.

If you have requested an upgrade, but haven’t yet received it, Microsoft says, “we will notify you once your PC is ready for Windows 10 and it has been downloaded on your PC. The best way to know your upgrade is ready is to look for this notification in your system tray.”

Read next: Why You’ll Actually Want to Use Microsoft’s New Web Browser

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TIME

This Is What Facebook’s Solar-Powered Internet Plane Looks Like

It kind of resembles a stealth bomber

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s solar-powered Internet plane Aquila has taken flight.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Zuckerberg introduced the 140-foot wingspan aircraft that is designed to provide Internet access to remote regions.

To see the story about the plane’s design, here’s the link to the video and Zuckerberg’s Facebook post. It already has over 20,000 likes.

“Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down internet connectivity from the sky,” he wrote. “It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time.

“This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies.”

Per Re/Code:

The plane isn’t just an idea or a mockup. An actual version of the plane was built in the United Kingdom and Facebook plans to test it, probably somewhere in the United States, later this year, according to Facebook’s VP of Engineering Jay Parikh.

TIME Uber

Uber Denies There Are ‘Phantom’ Cars In Its App

Uber was responding to a recent Vice article

Although there’s nothing too spooky about the possibility of phantom cars showing up in Uber’s app, it does come across as somewhat sneaky.

Researchers are arguing that the app has cars appear when a user opens up the service, but there are actually none in the area. Uber, however, vehemently denies the accusation of “phantom” cars.

In a Vice article, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark, who are researchers from the Data & Society think tank, said an Uber representative told a passenger that the app is “simply showing that there are partners on the road at the time.”

“This is not a representation of the exact numbers of drivers or their location,” the representative continued, according to the article. “This is more of a visual effect, letting people know that partners are searching for fares. I know this seems a misleading to you but it is meant as more of a visual effect more than an accurate location of drivers in the area. It would be better of you to think of this as a screen saver on a computer.”

“Our goal is for the number of cars and their location to be as accurate as possible in real time,” an Uber spokesperson said in an interview with The Guardian. “Latency is one reason this is not always possible. Another reason is that the app only shows the nearest eight cars to avoid cluttering the screen. Also, to protect the safety of drivers, in some volatile situations, the app doesn’t show the specific location of individual cars until the ride is requested.”

TIME Google

Google Translate Just Got Way Better

Google Opens New Berlin Office
Adam Berry—Getty Images

It now works for Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish and Romanian

Google Translate is now even more useful for those last-minute translation needs.

The app now has the ability to instantly translate 27 languages from text. The way it works is simple, too: Just point your smartphone’s camera at the text you don’t understand and have the app translate it in real time.

TechCrunch reports that the app has recently expanded from translating seven languages to 27 languages, including Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, and Romanian. The update is available for both iOS and Android devices. TechCrunch spoke with Julie Cattiau, the product manager for Google Translate, who said:

Our mission is to help overcome language barriers. Whenever someone faces an obstacle due to encountering a second language, we want to be there to help solve the problem. Within that mission, our most important project is improving the quality of machine translation. But part of that is also the overall user experience, which is why we also invest in things like instant camera translation and multi-language conversation.

MONEY Internet

Verizon Internet Customers Can Now Watch HBO Without a Pay TV Package

HBO Now is now available if you have Verizon broadband.

On Tuesday, HBO and Verizon announced a new partnership allowing Verizon broadband customers to sign up for the Internet-only HBO Now service, starting immediately.

TV fans had begged HBO for years to introduce a streaming service that didn’t require the usual pay TV subscription. The TV giant finally obliged by launching HBO Now in April, at a price of $14.99 per month. At the beginning, however, HBO Now was available exclusively on Apple TV and Optimum.

Verizon broadband customers now have access to HBO Now too. Free 30-day trials of HBO Now are currently available via verizon.com/hbonow. After the introductory period ends, subscribers would pay $14.99 per month to keep the Internet-only service, which offers instant access to the usual HBO content, including series like “Game of Thrones” and hundreds of movies and sports and comedy specials.

For the time being, only Verizon’s broadband customers—Fios or otherwise—have access to HBO Now. Verizon says that eventually HBO Now will be open to 100+ million Verizon Wireless customers as well, though it hasn’t been announced when that option will be available.

MORE: Get Ready for Your Internet Bill to Soar
7 Streaming TV Packages That Will Let You Cut the Cord for Good

TIME Microsoft

Microsoft Just Unveiled This Totally Unexpected New Product

US-IT-INTERNET-SOFTWARE-MICROSOFT
AFP—AFP/Getty Images The Microsoft logo.

No, it doesn't have anything to do with Windows 10

While many Microsoft customers are patiently awaiting the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has surprised us all by quietly unveiling a completely unexpected new product: Arrow Launcher Beta.

Arrow Launcher is a basic and user-friendly Android launcher with three main pages, and as its name suggests this is an early version of the product.

Your home page contains all of your apps. It’s divided into a Recent section, displaying the ones you recently downloaded, and a Frequent section, showing the apps which you use most often. Swipe to the left of the home page to find your phone and email contacts, which are also organized by frequent use. To the right of the home page are your notes and reminders, a valuable feature that isn’t included in most Android launchers. Swipe up for a list of quick-access apps, settings, and feedback options.

Arrow Launcher is currently in private beta. In order to access it, you need an invitation, which you can ask for by joining this Google+ group. However, you may want to keep in mind that, as with any other product that’s undergoing beta-testing, Arrow Launcher does come with some bugs: the row of apps on the bottom of the home page may be cut off, the Frequent sections on the home and People pages take some time to settle in accurately and, as of yet, the launcher does not support widgets. If you think you’re strong enough to endure all that, you can request an invitation to access it by joining this Google+ group.

TIME Amazon

Amazon’s Next Innovation Could Be ‘Drive-thru’ Grocery Stores

Amazon.com Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Amazon.com's website.

Customers would order online and schedule a store pickup, report says

Amazon wants to change how shoppers tackle a top weekend errand: going to the grocery store.

The e-commerce company is reportedly developing a drive-up store concept in California, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. It would allow shoppers to order grocery items online and then schedule a pickup at a dedicated facility. The project would not only showcase a new distribution strategy for Amazon, it would also put the retailer in another major consumer spending category: grocery.

There’s no way to know for sure that this latest rumor will come to fruition. Recall that in October last year it was reported Amazon planned to open a store in New York City in time for the busy holiday shopping season. That rumored store never opened.

In the grocery aisle, there’s a lot of room for e-commerce disruption, although the tech industry has so far had little success in getting shoppers online for their grocery orders. While more than half of global consumers polled by Nielsen said they were willing to buy groceries online, online grocery sales in the U.S. only capture about 1% of total spending.

An Amazon representative wasn’t immediately available to comment on the drive-up grocery store concept speculation.

MONEY Tech

Comcast Now Has More Internet Customers Than Cable Customers

Comcast might have more broadband subscribers than television subscribers, but it still wrings money out of TV watchers.

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