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3 weeks ago

Samsung will continue Gear S2 and S2 Classic sales, update with latest software

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Samsung Gear S3, S2 and Fi

Keeping old models will fill out the wearable lineup.

When the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic are released later this year, they won't be taking store shelf space away from the Gear S2 — all four watches will sit together along with the Gear Fit 2 as important components of Samsung's wearable ecosystem. Going a step further, the Gear S2 models will also be receiving an update by the end of the year with all of the new features being shown off on the Gear S3s — and considering that the Gear S2's hardware is more than capable even a year on, they should be able to handle the software just fine.

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic specs

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They cram a lot inside these watches.

Samsung's Gear S3 Frontier and Classic are notably larger than their predecessors, but that means they hold improved specs, larger displays and perhaps most importantly a bigger battery. Though the specs aren't groundbreaking, the fact that they all fit in a smartwatch size is pretty impressive, and the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic make it look good as well. Here's the full spec list:

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3 weeks ago

Liveblog: Samsung at IFA 2016 — 6 p.m. CET (noon ET) Aug 31

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Samsung at IFA 2016

Get ready to see the latest in mobile from Samsung at IFA.

Where Samsung goes, we all go. And so we've found ourselves at the Tempodrom in Berlin — the usual haunt for Korea's largest manufacturer of, well, everything. What to expect at this year's IFA event? Well, Samsung's already been teasing a new Gear smartwatch, so that's a pretty good guess at this point.

But will we see anything else alongside it? Only one way to find out. Things kick off August 31 at 6 p.m. CET — that's noon on the east coast of the U.S., and 9 a.m. out west.

Let's get our liveblog on!

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3 weeks ago

Best car mounts for Galaxy Note 7

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What are the best car mounts for the Galaxy Note 7?

The Galaxy Note 7 is such a beautifully designed phone, you may never want to put it down. Of course, you should always put your phone down when you're behind the wheel. Beyond it becoming increasingly illegal in different jurisdictions, it's just good common sense.

That's where a convenient car mount can make all the difference. You'll still have one-touch access for accepting calls or skipping tracks on the road trip playlist. Car mounts keep your phone accessible by attaching to your windshield, dashboard, air vent or even your car's CD changer. There's a ton of variety, so find the one that will be most convenient for your vehicle.

Spigen Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount

Spigen makes a lot of really ingeniously designed smartphone accessories, and their Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount is as convenient as it gets. The mount itself quickly and securely clips onto an air vent on the dash.

As the name suggests, this mount secures using magnets. That will require you to attach a metal plate to the back of your phone, or better yet to your Galaxy Note 7's case. Once installed, all you have to do is hold your phone close to the mount and it pops right on. With no clips or holsters to deal with, you can easily grab your phone with one hand as you leave the car. You can also take the Spigen clip with you and use it as a portable kickstand which holds your phone at the perfect hands free viewing angle.

But for all the positives, there are some drawbacks to this design. Adhering the metal plate on to back of the phone may potentially interfere with wireless charging and the NFC-based Samsung Pay service. If these are important features to you, you may want to look elsewhere, or slap the metal plate on the inside of a thin case so you can quickly pop your phone out when you want to wirelessly charge or pay via NFC.

See at Amazon

iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless Qi Car Mount

From a car mount that might interfere with wireless charging to a car mount that supports wireless charging, the iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless Qi is the ideal mount if you prefer your Galaxy Note 7 to be fully charged when you reach your destination.

This mount attaches to your dashboard or windshield and features a two-step locking mechanism to accommodate both smooth and textured surfaces. It includes a micro USB charging cable to provide power to the Qi wireless charging pad, so you'll also need a USB car adapter to get full functionality. Mounting your phone is simple. The one-touch button on the back closes the arms around your Galaxy Note 7, holding it securely in place. It features a telescopic arm that's adjustable up to 180 degrees along with a ball joint so you can set your phone exactly where it's most convenient for you. Grabbing your phone is just as easy — simply press in the two arms to release your phone and be on your way.

See at Amazon

Anker CD Slot Magnetic Universal Phone Holder

If your car has a CD changer, but you've moved beyond physical media thanks to, say, cramming all your favorite music onto your new Galaxy Note 7, you can still get use out of that CD slot — with the Anker CD Slot Magnetic Universal Phone Holder.

The CD changer is typically the centerpiece of a car's console, so using it as a place to mount your phone just makes sense. Anker's mount uses a rubber-coated clamp provides a firm grip while keeping the CD slot scratch-free. Installing is as easy as inserting the mount into the cd play and flipping the lever on the bottom.

Like the Spigen above, this car mount also uses magnets to securely hold your phone, meaning you'll need to mount a metal plate to the back of your phone or to a thin case. Similar issues may arise regarding regarding wireless charging or your phone's NFC capabilities, so keep that in mind.

See at Amazon

Kenu Airframe Plus Portable Car Mount+

Minimalism and simplicity are important features for a lot of people. The Kenu Airframe Plus+ is a simple car mount that's slim enough to comfortably fit in your pocket, but securely holds your phone by clipping to an air vent.

There's really not too much to this one — no suction cups, adhesives or adjustable arms — so there's less places for this mount to break or fail. The clip is able to mount to any vent type, whether they be horizontal, vertical, angled or circular. It's so portable that you can take it with you and also use it as a kickstand. Simply slip a business card or something of a similar size in the clip on the back and it will stand on its own.

Versatile, simple and portable — what more could you want?

See at Amazon

Spigen Style Ring

This little accessory from Spigen is handy in a bunch of ways, but we'll be focusing on the car mount feature.

While the Style Ring might be the star of the show, the adhesive-backed hook mount is so incredibly handy. Simply clean off an area of your dash, peek off the backing and press and hold it onto the dash until you've got it securely mounted.

Once you've installed the Style Ring on your phone or phone case, the next time you hop in the car you simply loop the style ring around the hook mount and press. There's a little divot built for the swivelling post in the center so you can push the phone until you feel it pop in to know that phone ain't going anywhere — that is until you arrive at your destination and pop it off the hook mount. The way the Style Ring swivels lets you easily rotate your Galaxy Note 7 from portrait to landscape mode and since there's no arms or attachments gripping your phone around the edges, it will appear as if your phone is just sort of floating on your dash.

See at Amazon

How do you drive with your Galaxy Note 7?

Did we miss your favorite car mount on our list? Leave us a comment below!

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3 weeks ago

Tile introduces the Slim, its thinnest way to keep track of your stuff

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Tile has introduced a thinner way to keep track of your favorite devices with the Tile Slim. Previously, Tile needed to go on a key ring and was a bit clunky, but their development team has redesigned it to be much thinner. Now you can stick a Tile to your computer, tablet and other devices.

For those not familiar, Tile is a Bluetooth tracking device that can help you locate your items by sound when it is out of sight. If the audible alert doesn't help you find it, you can hop into the app and check its last known location on a map, and even use the Tile community to help you find the item.

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3 weeks ago

Hands-on with the ASUS ZenWatch 3: Android Wear 2.0 in the round

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ASUS has a new ZenWatch and they've finally gone 'round.

This is the new ASUS ZenWatch 3. It has dual distinctions: it's the first Android Wear 2.0 device that will see a full launch (after the botched LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE) and the first take on a round smartwatch from ASUS. The previous two iterations of the ZenWatch sported square displays, so this new ZenWatch 3 marks a significant departure for them.

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3 weeks ago

Report shows Motorola is the fastest to roll out updates, but you already knew that

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In the market for a new Android phone? You're better off waiting for this year's Google phones.

Mobile app insights firm Apteligent has published its Android manufacturer update report for July 2016(PDF), detailing the track record of manufacturers when it comes to rolling out updates in the U.S. and India. Outside of Nexus devices, Motorola is the fastest to roll out Marshmallow to its devices, and overall the company has done a great job of getting updates out quickly in spite of a few missteps.

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3 weeks ago

Grab the Gear VR for its lowest price yet!

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Right now you can grab the Samsung Gear VR for just $60 at Amazon, which happens to be its lowest price yet. If you didn't get a free one with your purchase or are looking for another, you won't want to miss out on this deal. This isn't the one that Samsung just announced with both USB-C and MicroUSB compatibility, but it will work with the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Galaxy S6 and S6 edge and others. The headset offers a great entry point into the world of virtual reality with its comfortable fit and precision motion tracking.

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3 weeks ago

Galaxy Note 7 shipments delayed as Samsung conducts additional quality tests

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Last week, reports emerged of a Galaxy Note 7 exploding while charging, and we're seeing another reported instance today. It is likely that the phones were using third-party microUSB to USB Type-C cables, but Samsung is now taking a look at the situation to ensure customers aren't in harm's way. The South Korean company is delaying shipments of the Note 7 to conduct additional tests on the phone.

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3 weeks ago

Qualcomm details what's inside the Snapdragon 821

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ASUS revealed earlier this year that the ZenFone 3 Deluxe will be the first phone to run the Snapdragon 821 SoC. At IFA, Qualcomm is providing additional details on its mid-year refresh, delving into the performance improvements and feature additions over the Snapdragon 820.

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3 weeks ago

ASUS unveils sleek round ZenWatch 3, priced at €229

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ASUS goes round and rose gold with its third Android Wear watch.

Continuing in its tradition of launching watches at the IFA show, it was fitting that ASUS unveiled the ZenWatch 3 this year in Berlin. The Android Wear-powered wearable is the first round watch from the company, and is generally a big departure from the look of the first two ZenWatches.

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3 weeks ago

Acer announces Liquid Z6, Z6 Plus, and Iconia Talk S tablet at IFA

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At IFA in Germany, Acer unveiled the Liquid Z6 and Z6 Plus along with the Iconia Talk S tablet. The phones will be making their debut in EMEA (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) markets, with no word on North American availability. The Iconia Talk S will be available from September for €169 ($188), the entry-level Liquid Z6 will head to shelves starting November for €119 ($130), and the mid-range Liquid Z6 Plus will debut in December for €249 ($275).

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3 weeks ago

How to disable DT Ignite bloatware

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How do I get DT Ignite bloatware off of my phone?

If you own a Verizon HTC 10 and noticed it's felt a bit slower after the latest software update, the issue might be related to a pesky piece of bloatware called DT Ignite. Typically hidden from the list of installed apps by default, DT Ignite is used by a bunch of carriers install on Android devices. [AC's own Jerry Hildebrand wrote a primer on the bloatware that you should definitely read.

In a nutshell, DT Ignite is basically a system program that runs in the background and allows carriers to advertise and install other apps on your carrier-branded phone. Fortunately, it can be disabled.

How to disable DT Ignite

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to access the notification shade.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Tap Apps (might be labelled Applications or Applications manager depending on the phone you're using). NOTE: Some phones may show DT Ignite as an installed app, while others will lump it in with the system apps. See steps 4 and 5 if you cannot locate DT Ignite in the Apps settings.

  4. Tap the menu button in the top right corner. It should look like three dots or lines.
  5. Tap Show system. This will reveal all hidden system apps running in the background.

  6. Find and tap on DT Ignite.
  7. Tap Disable.

And that's it!

AC has confirmed that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Rogers, America Movi, Vodaphone and Deutsche Telekom sell phones with DT Ignite installed, but not every phone they sell will include it.

Your phone might also have a DT Ignite folder on the storage. Once you disable the app and uninstall anything it downloaded, you can safely delete this folder.

HTC 10

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3 weeks ago

ASUS IFA 2016 liveblog: 1 p.m. CET on Aug. 31 (7 a.m. ET)

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ASUS is another darling of the annual IFA event, bringing along scores of computers, tablets, phones, watches and more. And this year should prove to be no different. That means it's liveblog time!

We'll get things going Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. Berlin time — that's 7 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time and 4 a.m. on the West Coast (sorry, guys).

Join us!

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3 weeks ago

Xiaomi rolls out a $250 robot vacuum cleaner

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Xiaomi isn't your average phone manufacturer. The Chinese company makes everything from air purifiers to hoverboards, smart rice cookers, smartwatches, body scales, power banks, routers, and even an electric screwdriver. Xiaomi brings these products to market under its Mi Ecosystem label, which sees the company facilitating startups across various categories by providing monetary assistance and connecting them with its supply chain partners.

The latest entrant in the Mi Ecosystem is the Mi Robot Vacuum, which will go on sale in China starting September 6 for ¥1,699 ($250). The vacuum cleaner features a laser distance sensor that is able to scan its surroundings up to 1800 times a second. The Mi Robot Vacuum uses its complement of 12 sensors — including an ultrasonic radar sensor, cliff sensor, gyroscope, and accelerometer — to map out the interiors of your house, and the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm calculates the most efficient route for cleaning.

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