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AirDrop made in China, and more tech news you need to know today

AirDrop without Android, U.S. Navy airdrops bean bags onto ships, and Redmi has a new 5,000 mAh phone dropping soon.
August 19, 2019
OnePlus 7 and Xiaomi Mi 9 and ASUS Zenfone 6 trio with focus on the displays

Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, August 19, 2019!

1. AirDrop, but China: Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo create new alliance

A poster announcing Xiaomi, vivo, and OPPO's file sharing feature.

One of the very useful Apple features across macOS and iOS is AirDrop. Fast, free, and peer-to-peer file transfers with or without data or Wi-Fi make it a rare feature Android hasn’t really been able to copy with wide success.

Google did try, introducing Android Beam in the past, which used NFC to pair devices for sending files, but I know I’ve never used it. Google’s rebranding it to be called “Fast Share” in Android Q, for internet-less sharing of images and text and more between nearby devices.

Now Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo are creating their own alliance to support peer-to-peer file sharing outside of Android.

Why are three Chinese manufacturers teaming up? And why does it matter?

  • The move is a forced one. The Fast Share feature in Android Q will reportedly be packed in as part of Android’s Google Play Service.
  • That means it might not be compatible with smartphones sold in China, which has pushed Xiaomi, vivo and OPPO, to create a new cross-platform standard.
  • That’s 49 percent of the Chinese market, and 24 percent of global shipments in the last quarter. HUAWEI is the big name missing, which would add another huge percentage.
  • Per a Weibo post by Xiaomi, transfer speeds will be up to 20MB/s, and use Bluetooth to pair and possibly Wi-Fi to do the file-transfer work. No third-party app required, although presumably a download of some kind, or included in a device update.
  • A beta version of the service is expected by the end of August.
  • Will HUAWEI join? The Weibo post indicates the alliance is open to new members, to try and reach a more universal standard.
  • Will it come out of China to the West? Will only new devices be supported or will it have support for existing devices? We’re guessing Bluetooth compatibility means backwards compatibility but it’s a guess for now.
  • This could be construed as China’s manufacturers working together to build out Android functionality to try and make Google’s version of Android redundant, at least in China.

2. Huawei’s 90-day reprieve expires today, so what now? (Android Authority).

3. Trump says he talked to Apple CEO Tim Cook about tariffs and Samsung: Cook said it wasn’t fair that Samsung products, made in South Korea, don’t incur tariff costs, and Trump listened (CNBC).

4. Loup Ventures ran its annual Digital Assistant IQ test, more or less the Google Assistant vs Amazon Alexa vs Apple Siri test, featuring 800 questions asked to each AI. Google won, again (Loup Ventures).

5. New Redmi phone with big 5,000 mAh battery appears online: Is it the Redmi 8? (Android Authority).

6. Deal: Complete Cisco Network Certification training bundle – work on gaining Cisco engineer certifications for just $59 (TechDeals).

7. NVIDIA ray-tracing on “Minecraft” looks surprisingly cool (Engadget).

8. Ikea goes all in on smart home tech: ‘We are just getting started’ (The Verge).

9. The U.S. Navy is going back to WWII-era communications: dropping bean bags onto ships to avoid detection of messages (

10. The new Bugatti Centodieci hypercar is a striking throwback: 1,600 HP, $8.9m, just 10 to be made, and immediately sold out (CNET).

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