The Chinese have a way of messaging that’s way better and safer than texting

Commuters use smartphone

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The Chinese have been messaging each other in a way that almost puts texting to shame given how many accidents we’ve had from walking while texting or the often fatal driving while texting.

Rather than glue their eyes and attention to the screen for those crucial moments while they type, most Chinese people use voice messaging.

No, it’s not at all a new way of communicating, but voice messaging is now the norm on WeChat, the messaging app with over 500 million monthly users, according to Quartz.

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Push-to-talk messaging’s growth in Asia is widely attributed to the difficulty of typing in Chinese. Vocally messaging people is just simpler and more personal, but also loud.

Specifically in China, the custom is more widely accepted than in other Chinese-speaking countries like Taiwan, where loud voice messaging in public would be frowned upon for being rude.

Thomas Luo, the founder of the leading Chinese tech blog Pingwest, told Quartz:

Chinese and Taiwanese express themselves very differently. For me, I always speak loudly, even in my office. But Taiwanese people are more quiet.”

Like any culture, the Chinese adhere to specific formalities in communication that might otherwise be unacceptable elsewhere. In the digital age, voice messaging found its popularity from the internet cafe culture of the mid-2000s when gamers sent voice messages rather then texts. When mobile was introduced, those habits carried on.

Luo also attributed voice messaging habits to educational backgrounds:

People that aren’t very well-educated will use voice messages no matter what, whether the sentences are long or only one second. But middle-class or well-educated people will send voice messages if they want to say something that is informal but also complicated. If it’s simple, they’ll just type.”

Would voice messaging in public be acceptable in a country like the U.S. where talking loudly on your phone in public isn’t that all unheard of? Maybe not in public, but it’s definitely the safer alternative when you are driving in the privacy of your car.

iPhone “Pause” app is designed around your brainwaves and Tai Chi to help you relax

Your phone may be a constant source of distraction, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Amid endless notifications and bombardment of visual stimuli, it may be hard to conceive your smartphone as a place of peaceful refuge. However, ustwo (the creators of the massively popular Monument Valley game) set out to turn that conception on its head.

Introducing Pause, ustwo has created an app that aims to help you relax to a calmer state of mind. Pause brings “focused attention” to your iPhone’s screen, and is grounded in cognitive psychology and physiology resulting in a patent-pending technique to activate the restoration process and relaxation response.

Pairing up with PauseAble, the app is inspired by Tai Chi with slow and continuous movements. Essentially, it’s Tai Chi for your thumb, using a mix of sound and stimulation to keep your attention away from distracting and stressful thoughts.

Learn more about the app at its website here, and purchase it for $2 USD on the App Store.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: The first smartphone with a 4K display

The recently announced Sony Xperia Z5 Premium can boast of being the world’s first production smartphone with a 4K display, by way of a 5.5-inch screen and 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, equating to an unparalleled 806 pixels per inch.

However, Sony also claims the Z5 has a two-day battery life, defying conventional wisdom that a higher-resolution screen consumes more power. To achieve this feat, Sony engineered the Z5 to only display photos and videos at the ultra-high 4K resolution, while all other content is displayed at 1080p Full HD for battery conservation purposes.

Otherwise, the Z5′s other selling points include complete waterproofing, 4K video recording with image stabilization, a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, and a 23MP rear camera. While pricing and availability is yet to be announced, you can find more details here.

Ken Jeong featured in bizarre ad for smartphone game “Cookie Jam”

Mashable (by Patrick Kulp):

Ken Jeong definitely knows how to make an entrance. In a breakout role in The Hangover, Jeong memorably leaps from a car trunk stark naked, madly flailing a crowbar. After that part, Jeong burst onto the comedy scene with a cast-member spot on NBC‘s Community and turns in several blockbuster movies.

Jeong was similarly unfazed with the absurdity of it all when the game makers first presented him with the script.

I knew exactly the tone they wanted to do — it was something that was really broad and physical but also with a deadpan delivery to it,” Jeong told Mashable. “It’s almost like a meta-commercial, where you’re satirizing old school commercials.

He was even able to put his own spin on the role, after spitballing a few different antics for his character.

We punted him a few different ideas of what we wanted to do,” said Josh Brooks, SVP of brand strategy & marketing for Cookie Jam maker SGN. “He was absolutely in character, coming up with unique ideas…Ken loves diving in and making things his own.”

The 30-second spot was good practice for Jeong’s current day-job, he says, where he is in the middle of shooting his first sitcom in a starring role, ABC’s Dr. Ken, and he has found himself with more creative control than ever before.

So it’s only fitting that the doctor-turned-actor makes his appearance in a new commercial for smartphone game Cookie Jam by barging Kool-Aid man-style through a wall into a hair salon clad in a cookie costume.

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Samsung’s Galaxy A8 is its slimmest phone to date

Although many of us are eagerly awaiting to hear more about the iPhone 6S, Samsung recently launched its slimmest phone to date in rather quiet fashion. The Galaxy A8, features a full-metal body who’s width measures in at an impressive 5.9mm, when comparing it to its A7predecessor’s 6.3 mm thickness.

The Korean tech giant’s latest mid-range model is also boasts a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED display and a 16-megapixel rear camera, along with a 3,050mAh battery that’s larger than the Galaxy S6 model. Subtle tweaks like the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor and a hand-wave detection system that allows for easy self-timer photos have also enhanced user experience.

Those interested in purchasing one will have to wait for the time being, as the Galaxy A8 is only available in China as of now.

Nintendo’s upcoming NX gaming console won’t run on Android

Nintendo has shot down rumors that its yet-to-be-unveiled NX gaming console would run on Android. Responding to a report by Japanese business daily Nikkei, a Nintendo spokesman said of the rumors, “There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX.”

Nikkei previously claimed that Nintendo’s hush-hush Wii U successor would run on the Google-developed operating system, citing sources familiar with the goings-on at the Kyoto-based gaming company’s headquarters. Those sources claimed that by adopting Android, Nintendo would “be able to tap into a deep pool of software developers already creating programs for mobile platforms.”

If the rumors had indeed been true, it would have marked the latest expansion for the OS as Android has gone from smartphones and tablets to televisions and wearables as of late.

Lenovo (China) “Smart Cast” projects a touchscreen onto any surface

In recent years, smartphone innovations have plateaued; screens have gotten bigger, features more advanced, but no company has created an industry shifting technological or functional leap in any way. Lenovo has grown tired of waiting for that leap. They’re moving forward themselves with a smartphone that brings something legitimately new the table: a projector that beams a touchscreen or virtual keyboard onto any surface.

Lenovo’s Smart Cast – the world’s first smartphone with a built-in laser projector – can project onto walls much like similar projector devices, but it goes a step further with “surface mode.”

Activated when the Smart Cast is propped up on its kickstand, “surface mode” beams a variety of virtual keyboards or a full touchscreen onto the surface in front of it. Want to play the piano? Type an email on the go? Shoot some zombies in Dead Trigger 2? The Smart Cast gives you a new way to control anything you want on your smartphone. It’s bold, and highly ambitious, but genuine innovation – after years of incremental upgrades – is always welcome. The Smart Cast has just been announced at Lenovo’s Tech World, expect further details to drop soon.