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Belkin Opens Two Exclusive Stores in Oman

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Belkin International, a global consumer electronics leader, opens two exclusive Belkin stores in Oman in partnership with AAMAAL LLC. The outlets, located at the Mall of Oman and the City Centre Qurum, showcase the unique and latest range of Belkin products while increasing brand awareness across the Middle East. The opening follows the success of two trial franchise concepts in the Sultanate. The grand opening was inaugurated by the footballer Ali Al Habsi. Belkin has signed Oman national football star and 2022 FIFA World Cup Ambassador Ali Al Habsi as the face to drive brand awareness about the upcoming Belkin stores and Belkin products. He will also represent the brand at various official functions.

Fawad Mir, Regional Managing Director of Belkin EMEA, said, “The retail environment in the region is increasingly sophisticated, with customers looking to experience products before making their buying decisions. Our two new stores in Oman cater to this trend while reaffirming our commitment to the region. We invite customers to experience our innovations and premium quality in an attractive and modern setting. We will continue to expand and grow our business while keeping customer centricity at the heart of our operations.”

Sheikh Al Harith Al Khalili, the Executive Partner at AAMAAL LLC, expressed, “This is an important milestone in Belkin’s journey in Oman and the region. Belkin stores aim to provide state of art customer experience, which the brand has to offer. This collaboration will strengthen AAMAAL’s footprint in the region, and AAMAAL looks forward to a sustainable business partnership with Belkin.

The stores will offer a one-of-a-kind retail experience for customers across Oman to explore products in an interactive setting. A custom-built video wall at the storefront and audiovisual projections on the inner LED screens will guide consumers through the product journey. Customers will also have access to a customer experience desk with an experiential display showcasing top-selling products in categories such as audio, power banks, Magsafe charging products, and more. The full range of Belkin products will be in stock with trained salespeople to guide customers through the product experience. The stores will also host exclusive product launches and special events for customers.

Speaking on his collaboration with Belkin, Ali Al Habsi, one of Oman’s top football players, said, “I am honoured to be representing a globally renowned brand like Belkin, which is synonymous with premium quality and unique designs. Belkin continues to offer its consumers innovative and smart products, providing them with convenient and upgraded lifestyles. I look forward to contributing to the brand’s continued success in the Sultanate of Oman and the Gulf region.”

Belkin has already enjoyed five successful years in Oman selling in other channels and is now looking forward to delighting customers in a dedicated standalone store. The brand’s commitment to quality and excellence was on full display at CES 2022, the world’s most influential technology event, where Belkin was named CES 2022 Innovation Awards Honoree for the SOUNDFORM Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds, and Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking.

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Audio Devices

Sony Intros ULT POWER SOUND Series of Speakers and Headphones

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched ULT POWER SOUND series – a new series of wireless speakers and headphones designed to make you feel like you have dived into the front row of the arena. Built for music lovers, it produces powerful deep sound designed to make your heart tremble. The new range consists of wireless speakers ULT TOWER 10, ULT FIELD 7, ULT FIELD 1, and wireless headphones ULT WEAR. All models in the series include the ULT button, providing signature sound quality by enhancing the music with one or two different sound modes.

ULT TOWER 10
Turn your home into party central with massive bass, 360° Party Sound, 360° Party Light and karaoke, thanks to a supplied wireless mic. You can even connect the speaker to your TV to boost the sound of the things you love to watch.

ULT FIELD 7
Liven up your day with punchy bass and expressive lighting wherever you go. The ULT FIELD 7 lets you take the party anywhere thanks to the waterproof and dustproof construction plus a long battery life means you can party for longer. You can even connect to a mic for karaoke on the go.

ULT FIELD 1
Bring your favourite tunes anywhere with enhanced bass built into a compact package with the ULT FIELD 1. Complete with a multi-way strap for ease of use, take your waterproof, dustproof and even shockproof speaker anywhere for longer, thanks to a long battery life.

ULT WEAR
With exceptional bass and improved Noise Cancelling, Sony’s new ULT WEAR headphones let you bring your favourite festival or club feel with you, everywhere you go.

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Apps

Safari to Get Smarter? Leaked Code Hints at AI Assistant

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Eagle-eyed developer Nicolás Álvarez has spotted clues in Apple’s backend code suggesting a major upgrade for Safari in iOS 18: a browsing assistant powered by artificial intelligence. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed the existence of the code, but details remain scarce.

The assistant might leverage Apple’s privacy-focused iCloud Private Relay to transmit relevant data for analysis, potentially requiring an iCloud+ subscription. This aligns with the rumoured focus on generative AI in iOS 18, aiming to streamline iPhone experiences.

Several browsers already boast AI tools like Microsoft Edge’s GPT-4-powered Copilot and Arc Search’s webpage summarization. Apple’s assistant could offer similar functionality or even go beyond.

Another intriguing discovery by Álvarez was “Encrypted Visual Search” within the code. While details are sparse, it could be related to last year’s leak of a “Visual Search” feature for Apple’s unreleased Vision Pro headset. This feature allowed copying and pasting real-world text into apps. Perhaps Apple is refining the technology for a secure iPhone debut, or it might be an extension of the existing Visual Look Up feature for identifying objects in photos.

With Apple’s WWDC keynote scheduled for June 10th, we can expect official details on these potential features in just a few months. So, get ready for a potentially smarter Safari experience in iOS 18!

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Apps

Android Gets Supercharged Find My Device Network: Locate Lost Devices Even When Offline

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Android users rejoice! Google has finally launched its highly anticipated Find My Device network, offering a significant upgrade to lost device recovery. This new feature goes beyond the limitations of the previous Find My Device setting, which only worked for powered-on and connected devices.

The key lies in Bluetooth. This new network leverages Bluetooth signals to locate missing phones, smartwatches, earbuds, and even trackers, even if they’re disconnected from Wi-Fi or cellular data. It’s like a digital bloodhound, sniffing out your lost tech.

Here’s what the network offers:

  • Offline Tracking: Lost your phone with a dead battery? No problem. The Find My Device network can locate Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones even when powered off.
  • Expanded Range: The network finds any compatible Android phone or tablet, regardless of online status.
  • Bluetooth Tracker Integration: Starting in May, use the Find My Device app to locate items like keys or luggage attached to Chipolo and Pebblebee Bluetooth tracker tags. These tags are designed specifically for the network and offer additional security features, like unknown tracker alerts across Android and iOS devices.
  • “Find Nearby” Feature: (Also coming in May) Can’t find your phone under a pile of laundry? Use Bluetooth tags to pinpoint its location, even if it’s hidden nearby.
  • Nest Integration: The Find My Device app will show you the location of a missing phone or item relative to your home Nest devices, giving you a helpful reference point.
  • Sharing Device Tracking: Permit trusted individuals to track your device with you.

This launch comes after a delay announced in September 2023. Google prioritized user privacy and addressed concerns about the potential for misuse of Bluetooth trackers. Reportedly, the upcoming iOS 17.5 beta includes security measures that address these concerns, paving the way for Google’s network launch.

While only Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro benefit from powered-off tracking, the network itself works with any Android phone running Android 9 or later.

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