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2 weeks ago

Get an Eyeful of the New BlackBerry with MrMobile

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TCL has only kind of announced their new BlackBerry, as we don't have a name or any information about when and how it can be acquired, but we do have one thing: MrMobile's hands on preview. There's not a lot of information yet, but what we do have we're happy to share with you.

If you're like us and very interested in what the new BlackBerry has to offer, you'll want to check out this video. This short glimpse at what the future holds is sure to keep you engaged with the next step for BlackBerry.

Stay social, my friends

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2 weeks ago

LG's new webOS-powered refrigerator has Amazon Alexa voice control

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This will henceforth be known as the point when Amazon brought Alexa to everything.

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The battle over making average home appliances "smart" rages on, and LG just put an additional foot forward with its new InstaView smart refrigerator that integrates Amazon Alexa voice assistant control. The setup is simple: this is a big refrigerator with a huge portrait-oriented 29-inch display, and while the base operating system is webOS the smarts all come from Amazon's Alexa.

The experience is entirely the same as using an Amazon Echo, so you don't have any drop-off in features when you move the intelligence to the fridge. So you can simply ask your fridge to answer questions, tell you about the weather and yes even play music and audiobooks — though LG isn't making any claims about how good the speaker system is on the refrigerator.

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2 weeks ago

Mercury gives us reasons to be hopeful about BlackBerry in 2017

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It's time to pay attention to BlackBerry — again.

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Talk about déjà vu: I just finished handling a pre-production version of the "Mercury" smartphone by BlackBerry. This thing is a definite blast from the past, though it doesn't feel antiquated. Instead, it feels like the next generation of BlackBerry — essentially what we had hoped the Priv would be all along.

One thing is for certain: TCL is committed to reviving the BlackBerry brand in North America. In addition to giving us a peek at what's on the horizon, the company's president offered a road map of how it plans to proceed in reviving the brand over the next few years. I left the meeting feeling particularly optimistic about BlackBerry's future — the first time in five years. Here's why you might want to start paying attention again.

The next phone is truly a BlackBerry

Although the Priv was an impressive attempt on BlackBerry's part to establish itself as an Android brand, it didn't feel like a BlackBerry precisely because it was trying to be something else entirely.

The Mercury feels like fan service to BlackBerry's history.

Conversely, the Mercury feels like fan service to BlackBerry's design language. Rather than bundle BlackBerry apps and services onto an Alcatel device — as was the case with the DTEK50 and DTEK60 — the Mercury is simply a BlackBerry in modern clothing.

Unfortunately, I didn't get much time with the software installed on the Mercury because it wasn't finalized. But BlackBerry is taking its Hub in a positive direction. And if it adds in a few software and app exclusives to pair with this modern take on its own design, it may just convince the old fans to come back.

Better carrier partnerships

Steve Cistulli, the president of TCL — which now operates BlackBerry's smartphone hardware business in addition to building devices under the Alcatel name — walked us through his plans for the brand over the next few years. He believes that what TCL needs to do first and foremost is re-stabilize BlackBerry's business. And to do so, it needs to re-establish its relationships with the North American carriers. "I think what [we did with] Alcatel is a testimony that we have the ability to put BlackBerry handsets in that upward direction," he said. "We need to make sure the carriers understand what the [BlackBerry plan] looks like in the future years."

Cistulli wouldn't say which of the carriers the company is courting, but he did mention that this year would be primarily focused on "creating a portfolio for 2019."

It's still a major enterprise player

There is an enterprise waiting to be rejuvenated.

BlackBerry's biggest selling point during its hey-day (and to be fair, this enterprise management business is still strong) was its ability to play particularly well with company policies. TCL plans to leverage that past by building on it for the future. "We intend to use all that we've had with Alcatel to make BlackBerry a true competitor to Apple and Samsung," said Cistulli. "If we can make an end solution in the industry that is best in class in all regards … and then take what we do so well and put that on top of it — which is the efficient creation, manufacturing, distribution, and after-market care of a device — then you have a true win-win situation. "

Plus, added Cistulli, since the enterprise refresh cycle is so much longer than the consumer cycle, there is already an "enterprise waiting to be rejuvenated."

With the Mercury, the BlackBerry brand definitely has a phone it can ride into 2017 with that could spark that rejuvenation.

More: Hands-on with the BlackBerry 'Mercury'

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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry announces the 'Mercury' without actually confirming anything, including its name

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BlackBerry Mercury

Every company takes to launching phones a bit differently.

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BlackBerry chose the massive CES trade show to make an official announcement of its long-rumored new Android smartphone with a hardware keyboard. But in a rather awkward situation, it's keeping many of the details associated with the phone a secret for a while longer.

So even though we're now seeing the phone, and know that it will be released to consumers relatively soon, we don't know its specs, price or new features. The funniest bit about the whole announcement is that BlackBerry isn't even revealing the name of the phone at this time — instead simply referring to it as "the phone everyone has been calling Mercury."

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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry 'Mercury' hands-on: Riding into 2017 on a phone with no name

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BlackBerry Mercury

The BlackBerry brand continues to get much-needed TLC from its new owner TCL.

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Under the new direction of TCL, BlackBerry's smartphone business is poised for a relative revival. It's no big revelation to say that BlackBerry's market share and mind share are nowhere near what they were in its prime, but at CES 2017 BlackBerry is hoping to kickstart a new direction by announcing a new phone.

And even though the company won't actually tell us the specs, price, features, launch date or even the official name, many will recognize this smartphone as the rumored BlackBerry "Mercury." So in lieu of a proper name, that's what we're calling it. The Mercury is real, that much has been established now — it's a solid metal phone that fits the overall size mold of a modern slab smartphone, but manages to fit in a full hardware keyboard on the bottom without a Priv-like slider.

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2 weeks ago

5 Best Ways To Use Your Amazon Echo

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Amazon Echo can make your life easier in innumerable ways.

Millions of people bought an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot for their homes in 2016 — and maybe you were one of them! Thanks to the growing number of skills available for Alexa, Amazon's voice-controlled AI assistant, you can make use of Amazon Echo countless different ways in different rooms in your house.

In fact, thanks to the way you can set up multiple Amazon Echo and Echo Dots throughout a house, you might be inspired to get a Dot or two for more coverage throughout your home. Here's some of our favorite ways to use Alexa to make life easier at home.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry launches a more secure software platform for autonomous cars

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QNX SDP 7.0 is BlackBerry's 'most advanced and secure' embedded platform for autonomous cars.

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In the lead up to CES 2017, BlackBerry QNX let it be known the show would be big for them and they're already off to great start, having now announced what they're calling their "most advanced and secure embedded software platform for autonomous drive and connected cars," also known as QNX SDP 7.0.

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2 weeks ago

Best Stock Market Quote Apps for Android

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Track your investments and get up-to-date stock quotes with these great apps!

You don't have to be a Wall Street big wig to keep on track of all the movement on the global financial markets. These days, you can keep track of your personal stocks and watch the markets from wherever you are via your phone.

We're focusing on apps for monitoring stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, but if you're new to the stock trade you might be interested in checking out a stock trading simulator such as TradeHero for a more hands-on approach to learning how to follow the markets.

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2 weeks ago

How to switch hands with Google Daydream

Switching between which hand uses the remote is a breeze on Google Daydream!

Google Daydream offers an awesome VR experience that uses a remote to let you interact with apps and experiences. Using the remote makes it easier to get right into games, and offers pinpoint accuracy while you are enjoying yourself. There is a catch: the remote is automatically oriented to be used in your right hand. If you aren't ambidextrous and you're left hand dominant, you'll need to change the hand orientation of the remote. Thankfully this is very easy, and we've got the details for you here!

Read more at VRHeads.com

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2 weeks ago

Keep your internet browsing encrypted with VPNSecure, now 91% off

Banking information. Mortgage payment history. Your important documents. Nearly all of your life is online these days, and while convenient that can be scary. There are tons of people out there who are looking to do malicious stuff, and we need to be sure that is in the back of our brains at all times. While you can't avoid using the internet (in most cases), you can ensure that it is a secure connection when you do use it.

VPNs have become more and more popular as the time passes because people want to make sure that the information they are transmitting is getting to the right places. VPNSecure is a great option, and right now you can score a sweet deal on a lifetime subscription to the service. With it you'll be able to connect up to five devices at the same time, use unlimited bandwidth and more.

Some of the key features include:

  • Allows you to bypass geolocation blocks on your favorite streaming networks
  • Encrypts your traffic so hackers can't access your data
  • Hides your location & IP address
  • Supports torrents
  • Allows you to connect five devices simultaneously
  • Grants you the ability to choose Data Cipher
  • Uses Stealth VPN to render your VPN traffic unrecognizable
  • Delivers unlimited bandwidth
  • Does not keep any logs of your activity
  • Includes servers in 46+ countries & counting
  • Protects against DNS leak fixes, kill switches & more

Secure your browsing sessions for less! Learn More

You are getting a whole lot for your money here. VPNSecure normally costs $450 for the lifetime subscription, but right now you can pick one up for only $39. You'll want to hurry though, because this price won't last long.

Browsing the web can get you in loads of trouble if you aren't careful, so be sure to grab this at its 91% discount to secure your browsing sessions.

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2 weeks ago

You can now watch live NBA games in VR on Google's Daydream View

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NextVR brings live basketball broadcasts in VR to the Daydream View.

NextVR offers access to live sports in virtual reality on the Samsung Gear VR in the U.S., and now the company is expanding its services internationally and adding compatibility for Google's Daydream platform. Starting today, customers in the U.S. will be able to access live NBA games in VR on both the Gear VR and Daydream, while those in Canada, UK, Germany, and Australia can enjoy highlights and on-demand content.

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2 weeks ago

What's in Alex's 2017 gear bag?

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Alex Gear bag

Find out what I pack when it's time to go places and do things!

I'm skipping CES this year, but that doesn't mean I'm staying put entirely. Throughout most of 2016 — and into the new year — I've been back and forth to events and product launches on the other side of the Atlantic.

And just like the rest of the AC team, when it's time to hit the road, I have my own preferred loadout of gear. Some of this stuff will be making way for newer, upgraded equipment in the run up to Mobile World Congress this February, but for the moment, here's what I'm using.

Behold, my gear bag, and the technology which lurks within.

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2 weeks ago

Hyundai's Blue Link service picks up Google Assistant integration

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OK Google, start my car.

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Hyundai was one of the first car manufacturers to roll out Android Auto back in 2015, and now the company is now announcing Google Assistant integration for its Blue Link connected car service. Hyundai cars connected via Blue Link can be remotely locked or unlocked, and owners can adjust the car's temperature remotely through the Blue Link app on Android and iOS. The service also supports Google Maps, and comes with a roadside assistance feature.

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2 weeks ago

How to set up a Google Pixel from an old iPhone or Android

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What's the best way to transfer data from my old phone to my Pixel?

One of the first things you'll want to do when you get your brand new Pixel phone is make sure all the data from your is transferred over from your old phone, and Google has done the work to make sure it's as painless as possible.

Included in the box with your Pixel is a USB-C to USB-A adapter which is used for the quickest and easiest method for transferring your data. We'll walk you through how to transfer your data from either an Android device or an iPhone. The process is mostly the same, with a few differences.

How to transfer your data from another Android phone

  1. If you've just powered up your Pixel for the first time, tap Let's Go to start the setup process.
  2. Tap Copy your data.
  3. Tap to connect to a trusted Wi-Fi network.

  4. Enter the password for your Wi-Fi network and then tap Connect.
  5. Once your phone is connected to the internet, it will automatically check for system updates.
  6. Connect your old Android phone to your Pixel with the USB-A to USB-C adapter and a USB cable as shown in the diagram.

  7. Switch back to your old phone and follow the onscreen instructions to unlock your phone.
  8. Tap Copy on your old phone to start the transfer process.
  9. Switch back over to your Pixel. Swipe up to scroll down and review the data to be transferred.

  10. Back on the Pixel, swipe up to scroll down and review the data to be transferred.
  11. Tap Copy to begin the transfer process. It will likely take a few minutes.
  12. Once your data transfer is complete, tap Next to continue with the setup process.

How to transfer your data from an iPhone

  1. If you've just powered up your Pixel for the first time, tap Let's Go to start the setup process.
  2. Tap Copy your data.
  3. Tap to connect to a trusted Wi-Fi network.

  4. Enter the password for your Wi-Fi network and then tap Connect.
  5. Once your phone is connected to the internet, it will automatically check for system updates.
  6. Connect your iPhone to your Pixel with the USB-A to USB-C adapter and a Lightning cable as shown in the diagram.

  7. Let the Pixel find your iPhone.
  8. Select the data you want to transfer over to the Pixel.
  9. Tap Copy to begin the transfer process. It will likely take a few minutes.
  10. Once your data transfer is complete, tap Next to continue with the setup process.

Questions? Having problems?

Let us know in the comments if you're having issues! With our iPhone, messages and photo attachments were automatically added to the Messages app, while photos were added to the main photos app.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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2 weeks ago

Casio's latest rugged smartwatch runs Android Wear 2.0, debuts in April

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Get ready for an even more rugged smartwatch from Casio.

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Casio unveiled its first smartwatch last year with the rugged WSD-F10, and now the company is launching an update that adds GPS functionality and Android Wear 2.0. The model is aptly called the WSD-F20, and shares similar features as its predecessor that sees three buttons on the right and MIL-STD-801G rating for protection against the elements, as well as water resistance up to 50 meters (this thing can take a lot of abuse).

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