OnwardMobility Partners With Foxconn To Release 5G BlackBerry Smartphone
OnwardMobility, a US-based startup founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur Peter Franklin, who worked for Microsoft and online game company Zynga, has announced its plan to release a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a physical keyboard.
The startup has already made agreements with BlackBerry, which has agreed to license its brand, and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, which will provide its world-class design and manufacturing expertise.
“This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile,” said Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility. “Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience.”
Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the global need for better information security, and smartphones play an essential role in the personal and work lives of most people. During the pre-iPhone era, BlackBerry devices were the go-to choice of productivity-oriented professionals, but the rise of modern smartphones with touchscreens forced BlackBerry to stop selling them in 2016.
To revive the brand’s former glory, something several other companies have unsuccessfully attempted before, OnwardMobility will have to do a lot more than just slap a physical keyboard on a run-of-the-mill Android smartphone. The startup knows that it faces an uphill battle, which is why it’s betting on the combination of security and productivity.
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“We are excited that customers will experience the enterprise and government level security and mobile productivity the new BlackBerry 5G smartphone will offer,” commented John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.
The new BlackBerry device will first launch in North America and Europe. No release date has yet been announced, but all involved parties hope to release it within this year. Currently, OnwardMobility is speaking to customers and mobile carriers on a global scale to develop its distribution plan. Understanding the critical importance of the Asian market, the goal is to enter it as soon as possible.
Adobe Firefly AI Image Generator Comes To Photoshop
The Generative Fill tool will arrive in the app’s tool palette sometime in the second half of this year.
Adobe Photoshop is the latest app to benefit from the explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, gaining a new tool called Generative Fill. The company’s AI image generator Firefly benefitted from the new feature in a web-only update back in March, and today, the Generative Fill tool launches in beta for the popular photo editing program.
Generative Fill is a little like a smarter version of Adobe’s existing Content-Aware Fill feature and works within individual Photoshop image layers. The tool can be used to expand the borders of an image (a feature known as outpainting) or to generate entirely new objects, and contains a text prompt to add direction to the AI technology.
Adobe claims its AI is only trained to work on Adobe Stock images, licensed content, and images without copyright restrictions. Generative Fill also supports a system called Content Credentials, which attaches metadata-style attributes to images before they are shared online, informing viewers that content was created or edited with the help of AI.
“By integrating Firefly directly into workflows as a creative co-pilot, Adobe is accelerating ideation, exploration and production for all of our customers,” announced Ashley Still, the senior vice president of Digital Media at Adobe. “Generative Fill combines the speed and ease of generative AI with the power and precision of Photoshop, empowering customers to bring their visions to life at the speed of their imaginations,” she added.
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Generative Fill isn’t yet available in the latest version of Photoshop, but if you’re curious about how the tool works, you can download the desktop beta app or try it out within a module of the Firefly beta. Adobe is still tight-lipped about the exact release date of Generative Fill, but says we can expect the new feature to drop sometime in the second half of 2023.