Nokia 8 Smartphone Rolling Out Worldwide in September

Today’s topics include the debut of HMD's flagship Nokia 8 smartphone; the new Active Status feature for LinkedIn's messaging app that shows when it's a good time to chat with contacts; why Box selected Google's cloud vision technology for image recognition; and the launch of Microsoft's Azure Event Grid cloud service for event-based apps.

The latest flagship Nokia smartphone, the Nokia 8, will begin rolling out around the world in September with a 5.3-inch quad HD LCD touch-screen display, 4GB of memory, Zeiss optics and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor.

The new handset, which is being distributed by HMD Global, will sell for an average of $705 worldwide, according to the company.

The phone also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display cover that resist cracks, 64GB of built-in flash storage, a microSD card slot supporting cards up to 256GB, dual 13-megapixel auto-focus main cameras, as well as a 13-megapixel front-facing auto-focus camera.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn is blurring the line between social media and messaging platforms. LinkedIn, which Microsoft acquired last year for $26 billion, announced last week a new Active Status feature for LinkedIn Messaging. But rather than use the new status indicator to see when friends and family are available to trade memes, gossip or wish each other well, LinkedIn is positioning Active Status as feature that can help nurture career opportunities.

To help users find more favorable times to reconnect with their industry peers and former co-workers, Active Status gives the green light when LinkedIn contacts have the time to chat.

Box will use Google's Cloud Vision technology to help its customers manage image files uploaded to its content management platform. The integration will enable enterprises to automatically catalog images uploaded to Box into thousands of categories that make them easier to identify, organize, manage and search.

"Images are the second most common and fastest growing content type in Box," said Ben Kus, senior director of product management at Box in a blog. Enterprises of all sizes are uploading massive libraries of images that include product photos, completed forms captured via mobile phones, images of structures and buildings as well as images of claims forms and loan applications.

"To help unlock the value of these images to your business, we're excited to introduce image recognition with Box," Kus noted. Google's Cloud Vision API lets organizations enable vision detection features such as labeling, face or landmark detection, and content tagging, within applications.

Microsoft took the wraps off a new service called Azure Event Grid that enables developers to build event-based and serverless applications on the company's cloud platform.

Enterprises are warming to the agility and modularity offered by serverless architectures like Amazon Web Services Lambda. Rather than unpacking big and monolithic business applications when an update is required, developers can use serverless architectures to swap in the components of their business applications, which take the form of micro services that run in memory—hence the term "serverless."

Corey Sanders, director of compute at Microsoft Azure, announced the company's new Azure Event Grid service on Aug. 16, which the company says will make it easier to build and deploy event-based applications using a serverless approach.