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2 weeks ago

Facebook Video is now on Android TV

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Facebook has updated its app for Android TV, but with a twist.

While you won't see a dedicated Android TV version of the app itself, you will find a slick Facebook Video player built for your big screen. Once installed and logged in (you'll need your phone handy for the login part), you can check out suggested videos by topic, live videos, games, and your own videos. You can also search to find something worth watching using your TV remote.

Getting the app is easy. Fire up the Google Play Store on your Android TV and install the Facebook app. You can search for it or find it at the top of the "Top Free Apps" list. Google Play knows you're using an Android TV device so it automatically sends you the Facebook Video app.

If you don't see Facebook for your TV right away, don't worry. Google Play can take a day or two to have an update available for everyone and you might not have it just yet. We also have no word on when (if ever) to expect an optimized Facebook timeline app for Android TV. For now, this will have to do.

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2 weeks ago

Google Chrome's latest update helps soup it up for more robust web apps

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With every new update, Google appears to be readying Chrome for a future where few "real" apps exist.

If you're an Android user, Google Chrome is probably your mobile browser of choice. And if it is, then this latest update might get you excited about a future where you don't even have to worry about having an entire app installed to get to its best functionality. Many of Chrome 59's new features seem to have been added with the goal of revving up the browser so that it's both able to support and compatible with the purported future onslaught of web-based apps.

Android Police helped break down the various new pieces that make up Chrome 59. The update adds animated PNG support, which is actually a format utilized heavily by Apple's iMessage; an image capture API, which gives websites more access to a device's front- and rear-facing camera abilities, and improved security, like cutting off a known technique used by spammy websites that launch pop-ups on your mobile browser. Just say no to spam, kids.

Developers have access to a few new features within Chrome 59, too. They include the ability to implement the Installed Related Apps API, which refers to a very specific feature that essentially checks to see if you have an actual application installed, as well as a new "headless mode," which hides the navigation bar and forces the webpage on display into fullscreen mode.

Many of Chrome 59's new features clearly point to a future where instant and web-based mobile apps are the norm. Even the most minor feature additions, like the ability for a webpage to go full screen, seem to have been added in an effort to make webpages more dynamic by giving them more control over a device's user interface — after all, full-size mobile apps already function in this manner. It makes sense if you consider Google's investment in Instant Apps and progressive web apps.

If you're curious about the new Chrome features, wait for the update to hit your mobile device this week. The update is coming to the Chrome desktop app, too.

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy S6 and S6 edge users on T-Mobile are finally getting Android 7.0

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You can hold off on upgrading your aging Samsung device for a little bit longer.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge may no longer be the two most popular Samsung smartphones, but if you're still holding on to one of the two and you're on T-Mobile, you're due for an update. Both devices are officially getting Android 7.0 Nougat, which includes interface tweaks, Android's multi-window mode, and Doze capabilities. You're still a few minor iterations behind the very latest version of Android, but at least the 2-year-old device has a few more months of relevance before you retire it.

Those of you holding on to the mega-size Galaxy Tab S2 purchased from T-Mobile will also see the Nougat update hit the tablet device. And note that if you're holding onto a regular, non-contracted Tab S2, there might be an Android 7.0 update waiting for you.

Software updates are always good news, especially if the updates are for the near-latest version of Android on an aging device. For many, the update to Nougat could be enough to help spark a bit of new life in a device that's still chugging along, even after a year and a half of constant usage. There's no word on whether the old Galaxy S6 and S6 edges on T-Mobile will still receive their security updates, but at least this is enough of an update to tide you over until you can commit to another two years of monthly payments for a new device.

Those of you with other U.S. carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, who are still waiting on Nougat may have missed the update when it hit earlier this year.

Samsung Galaxy S6

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2 weeks ago

Win a Peel case for Pixel or Pixel XL from Modern Dad!

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There's no shortage of chunky cases out there, and that's great. But when it comes to phones like the Pixel and Pixel XL, it can be hard to find something that's truly next to naked.

That was before I ran across the Peel case, though. It's less than a half-millimeter thick (0.35mm, to be precise), and it's a ridiculously great option if you want to protect the finish on your Pixel but not feel like you just wrapped your phone in a spacesuit.

And Modern Dad has a few to give away. Six for the Pixel, and eight for the Pixel XL, in a smattering of colors. Hit up the widget below to enter.

And be sure to subscribe to Modern Dad on YouTube!

Win a Peel phone case from Modern Dad!

Modern Dad

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2 weeks ago

The HTC Vive you can buy now is very different from the original

Take a look at how much the Vive has improved since launch.

If you are one of the many people with a pre-ordered launch edition of the HTC Vive, you'll be a little surprised to see how different the Vive is now for someone walking into a store to pick one up off the shelf. The latest refresh happened in January, and all of the little changes come together to form a decent little refresh.

Here's what's changed since the original launch Vive!

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Modern Dad does basic storm tech

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High-tech gadgets can be lifesavers when severe weather hits. But don't count out some low-tech options, too.

We've reached that part of the year in which those of us who live in storm-prone areas start to take stock and make sure we're ready for the worst. Maybe (fingers crossed) that'll mean nothing more than a temporary power outage. Maybe it'll be something more serious.

In any event, though, we've got more tech today than we've ever had, helping us prepare, ride out and then recover from a storm.

Batteries are more prevalent than ever, of course. The Anker PowerHouse is crazy big (and not cheap because of it), but I've also been having fun with their $60 solar charger. Because for as great as external batteries are, they still need to be recharged at some point.

But the most important thing after a storm? A low-tech $10 sun shower. Trust me on this.

Modern Dad

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2 weeks ago

4 reasons to buy a U.S. unlocked Galaxy S8, and 3 reasons to be cautious

47
Samsung Galaxy S8 and SIM cards

You have the option to break the carrier shackles.

Slowly but surely, Samsung is doing a better job of offering and promoting its unlocked phone options. With each year of Galaxy S phones on U.S. carriers we get a closer launch of the U.S. unlocked variants, and the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are prominently displayed as being available unlocked on Samsung's website.

But what are the pros and cons of buying unlocked in the U.S. versus buying from a carrier as so many do already? We have you covered right here.

Reasons to buy a U.S. unlocked Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

We so often preach the importance of looking for an unlocked phone rather than going directly to a carrier, but perhaps don't always enumerate the benefits. Here's what you can look forward to when buying a Galaxy S8 or S8+ unlocked directly from Samsung.

No bloatware

One of the most annoying aspects of buying a carrier-sold phone is all of the apps and software it includes. Some carriers add a dozen or more apps and trials on the phone, cluttering it up with tons of things you don't need or want.

When you buy unlocked directly from Samsung, you don't get any of that. We wish we weren't all subjected to this time after time, but the carriers continue to leverage their market dominance by adding in all of these apps, and the only way to avoid them is skipping their sales channel altogether.

Not locked to any carrier

We all just want to be free. Free from being forced into using one carrier. And when you buy a phone directly from a carrier, chances are for some period of time your phone will be locked to use on that carrier — especially if you're buying the phone on a financing plan.

While you may not go hopping from carrier to carrier every month, just knowing that you have the option is empowering. It can be a practical feature, too, if you travel internationally and want to use your phone with a local SIM card rather than pay your U.S. carrier for data roaming charges.

But all big networks are supported

Even though the unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8+ don't have any of the carrier software or apps pre-loaded on them, Samsung has still done the work to certify that they will work fully on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. That means you don't have to worry about compatibility when popping in your SIM, or switching between carriers in the future.

That also means you'll have options to try lower-cost prepaid carriers, too, since they almost all operate on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks.

Samsung and Best Buy offer financing, too

Carriers moved away from two-year contracts, but found a new way to lock us in: financing plans. Now, people are so often incentivized to buy from carriers just so they can pay off their phone over time. But when buying a Galaxy S8 or S8+ unlocked, you actually have the same sort of offering from Samsung and Best Buy.

Samsung offers 24-month zero-interest financing when buying from its website, while Best Buy offers the same terms using a My Best Buy credit card. Consider these options instead of just jumping at the carrier because you're afraid of that big hit of a full $725 or $825 price.

See at Best Buy
See at Samsung

Reasons to be cautious

Galaxy S8 and S8+

For all of the big upsides of buying unlocked, it isn't all roses. Here are some potential downsides you should be aware of.

When will the updates come?

Here's the big question any enthusiast looking at an unlocked Samsung phone has: will I get software updates? Last year's U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 edge lagged way behind in software updates. And for all of the crap we give carriers for delaying software updates, some of the carrier models have actually been kept up to date — with most getting Android 7.0 Nougat well before the unlocked model.

Samsung says it can turn this around and get the U.S. unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8+ their updates on time — and hopefully before carrier models — but history isn't on its side in this regard.

Limited color options

For some, it's all about looks. While you may be okay with the black Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, many are intrigued by the orchid grey or arctic silver colors — and those aren't available for the unlocked models (at least right now).

This is likely the case so that Samsung can limit its inventory of devices that aren't likely to sell that well, but with any luck we'll see the colors come later.

No carrier incentives

For as much as we dislike what carriers do to phones, they do still sometimes offer really good deals on phones. If you're looking to get a discount on service, a buy-one-get-one deal or maybe a gift card rebate of some kind, you're most likely to find that at a carrier rather than buying unlocked.

Some would say that getting a carrier-branded phone in the end isn't worth whatever discount you got, but for a lot of people money is the number one consideration for buying a phone — do your research and see what deals are available.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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2 weeks ago

Work Towards Cisco Certification with this Comprehensive Training suite

Getting ready for a career change, or ready to take your current one to the next level? If so, you've got some studying ahead, lots of prep work, and maybe even a large cost associated with the choice.

Pay less for a limited time Learn More

You don't have to spend a fortune in order to get ready for the next step in your career, especially with this Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Training Suite which is currently 90% off! Learn at your own pace with two years of access to these comprehensive training courses.

The courses included in this bundle are:

  • Cisco CCNA R/S (200-125): The Complete Course — Everything you need to prepare for and pass Cisco's new CCNA R/S 200-125 Certification Exam!
  • **Cisco CCNA IPv4 Course — Enhance your knowledge and understanding of the IPv4 protocol!
  • Cisco CCNA CCENT / ICND1 (100-105): The Complete Course — Your complete guide to prepare and pass Cisco's CCENT Certification!

Don't miss out on this 90% savings! Learn More

Priced at just $39 you are getting way more than you are actually paying for. Normally this certification training would set you back over $400. By course's end, you'll be ready to take the certification exam (not included in package) and dive headfirst into a lucrative new career.

Don't miss out on this sweet deal, your future self will thank you!

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2 weeks ago

How to uninstall Gear VR apps

Uninstalling Gear VR apps is easy from within the Oculus app.

Gear VR delivers all sorts of excellent experiences that are delivered right from your phone. However, the day may come when you need to unistall a few apps to make enough room for something new. When that time comes, the process is very simple, you just need to deal with it from inside of the Oculus app. We've got the details for you here.

Read more at VRHeads

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2 weeks ago

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for Google Pixel

10

As usual, the curved screen of the Google Pixel makes finding a tempered glass screen protector that much harder.

Looking to keep your Pixel's screen in pristine condition? A tempered glass screen protector is your best bet. The problem is, like so many newer phones these days, the Pixel has a slightly curved screen around the edges which is less than ideal and can result in the dreaded halo effect.

It's been a point of discussion in the forums, with the consensus being that the following screen protectors are your best bets. It's also worth considering pairing your screen protector with a quality case, which will add another layer of protection and help cover a bit around the curved portion of the screen.

Mr Shield [3-pack]

Mr Shield offers the best value for Pixel screen protectors — you can get this 3-pack for under $10. When properly installed this screen protector will like up with the actual screen of the phone but leave the curved bevel along the side and edges exposes. That's where a case will come in handy to provide protection in those vulnerable areas.

These screen protectors feature a cutout around the front-facing camera and ear speaker and come with everything you need to get a clean and dust-free installation the first time — though if you mess it up you've got two more fresh attempts.

See at Amazon

Supershieldz [2-pack]

Supershieldz is another trusted brand for tempered glass screen protectors, and it offers a 2-pack for the Google Pixel. Similar to Mr Shield's offerings, these screen protectors feature cutouts along the top for the front-facing camera and ear speaker.

Again, because the screen is curved and the tempered glass is flat, this won't provide the ideal edge-to-edge protection, but it will protect against direct impacts to the screen and also features an oleophobic coating to help keep fingerprints from smudging up your screen.

See at Amazon

Orzly Pro-Fit

The Orzly Pro-Fit screen protector offers really good protection with a trim around the screen that's available in either black or white to fit the style of your phone, so if you've been looking for edge-to-edge protection this is your best shot.

However, to get that full protection requires a dot matrix grid that may be hardly noticeable to some and extremely distracting to others. Users have also reported that this screen protector is a fingerprint magnet so you may need to carry around a microfibre cloth to keep your screen protected and smudge-free. Either way, if full-screen protection is what you're after, it's worth giving it a try.

See at Amazon

Spigen [2-pack]

Spigen actually offers a full line of tempered glass screen protectors for the Google Pixel, which are all case friendly. That's good news, because of Spigen also makes some really great cases. It offers a 2-pack of crystal clear tempered glass screen protectors that come with everything you need for a clean install. If you've had difficulties installing a screen protector before it can be really handy to have that second screen protector if you need a second go at it.

Alternatively, Spigen also sells single screen protectors with trim around the screen (very similar to the Orzly screen protector) available in black and white. It aims to offer true edge-to-edge protection and are also worth considering if that's exactly what you're after.

See at Amazon

What's your take?

Do you use a screen protector on your Pixel? Got an opinion on one we've featured here? Let us know in the comments!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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2 weeks ago

How to listen to audiobooks using Amazon Alexa

6

Setting up alexa to read your audiobooks is a breeze.

Talking to Alexa can make keeping organized easier, but it's definitely useful for more than just an interactive to-do list and search engine. You can also use Alexa to listen to your Audiobooks when you're ready to relax. We've got the details on how to get listening to your favorite books in no time.

Alexa can read audiobooks

Alexa on the Amazon Echo can connect to a variety of different apps and services in an effort to make your life easier. This ranges from everything from shopping lists, to movies, and yes, even audiobooks. By just asking asking Alexa to open one of your audiobooks up, you can lay back and listen to the book you've been craving.

To access them you'll need to connect to either your Audible or Amazon account, depending on which service you prefer to listen to. This means that if a new book comes out that you just have to have, you can order it, and then lay back and have Alexa open it for you.

Getting set up shouldn't take any time at all, since your Audible account is connected to your Amazon account. The most you'll need to do is make sure you are signed in to the Audible app if you plan on purchasing more books. The app should automatically sync up your library, letting you listen to the books you are interested in within moments of purchase.

How to use the Alexa app to listen to an audiobook

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the overflow icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Music, Video & Books.

  4. Tap Audible.
  5. Tap the audiobook you would like to listen to.

Are you listening?

Alexa is here to make your life just a little bit easier, and that includes playing your audiobooks for you when it's time to relax. With virtually no setup required, this means you don't need to worry about anything but settling in to listen to the story you want to hear. Have you been listening to audibooks with Alexa? Let us now about it in the comments below!

Amazon Echo

Amazon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 weeks ago

Someone is trying to make a Galaxy S8 case that covers the Bixby button

48

Sick of accidental Bixby launches? This might be a case you want.

Calling Samsung's Bixby service not fully baked is perhaps the most gracious way to put the thing that was supposed to totally change how we interact with the world around us. Bixby Vision barely works, Bixby Voice still doesn't exist yet, and the core Bixby recommendation engine really only sees the light of day when I accidentally press the dedicated Bixby button on the side of my S8.

Samsung won't let you disable the button, and it won't let you reprogram the button, so the only option left is to make a case to cover the button up entirely and forget it exists. Would you like a case like that? Kickstarter has what you need.

The case itself looks nice enough, but it's clear by the I Hate Bixby stickers and hats that are also a part of the campaign there are some deep feelings held by the creator. It's a little unnecessary to go quite that far, but a case to cover this mostly useless button until Samsung gives you a real reason to use it doesn't seem like a bad idea.

See at Kickstarter

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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2 weeks ago

To those who think you don't need a screen protector on the Galaxy S8

67
Samsung Galaxy S8

It's one of the oldest questions in smartphones.

Phone screens have gotten larger, and at the same time quickly lost all protection from the bumps and scrapes of daily life. The Galaxy S8 is probably the best example of just how vulnerable a piece of glass can be — with curved edges and no real bezels to protect.

Sure there's Gorilla Glass 5 on front, which is supposed to provide some scratch protection, but that doesn't mean this ongoing debate about whether or not to use a screen protector has been put to rest. Forum user flyingkytez posted his frustration with seeing small scratches develop on his GS8 as a warning to consider a screen protector. Not everyone agrees, though!

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naturalguy 06-05-2017 06:09 AM “

Mine is in and out of my pocket a lot during the day, I am pretty rough on my phones, I don't use a screen protector and have no scratches

Reply

This is obviously dependent on how you're using your phone. What's "normal" use to some may not be the same for others. If you'r eon the road, pulling your phone in and out of your pocket or tossing it on tables, it's far more likely to get these tiny scratches over time. You won't notice them as they accumulate, but once they hit a critical mass you'll see them.

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ThrottleJohnny 05-31-2017 04:50 PM “

I'm okay with fine scratches. I will be keeping this phone 5 more months max.

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Then others are more pragmatic. They know no matter what they do they're bound to pick up some scratches on the curved screen of a phone like the Galaxy S8, but they understand that's part of the deal. If you don't plan to hold onto a phone for that long anyway, why baby it or compromise screen quality with a plastic protector.

Where do you land on this discussion? Is a screen protector worth the hassle to avoid small scratches, or do you just deal with it in order to use the phone as it came out of the box?

Join the discussion in the forums!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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2 weeks ago

Many SanDisk microSD cards and Lightning/USB-C flash drives are at all-time lows today

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with great savings on a variety of SanDisk memory products.

Amazon's one-day sale scores you up to 25% off a variety of SanDisk's memory products ranging from high capacity microSD cards to portable Solid State Drives. SanDisk has been in the business for a long time and many people use its products daily and speak quite highly of them.

Whether you are looking to add some extra storage to your phone or camera, or are in the market for some additional external storage for your computer, you won't want to miss these discounts. Some of the items on sale include:

microSD cards

Flash Drives

External Drive Packages

There are a few other products not listed here that are also included in this deal. For a full list of the items be sure to hit the link below. Remember, these prices are only good for today, June 7, while supplies last so don't miss out!

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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2 weeks ago

OnePlus 5 rumor roundup

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Everything we know about the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus has had a pretty good year, what with the success of its OnePlus 3 and 3T phones and some massive overhauls internally that, against all odds, led to improvements to its Oxygen OS software, with more frequent updates.

Now we're seeing the first signs that a sequel is in the company's future and that OnePlus is skipping the "4" name altogether and readying flagship successor, the OnePlus 5. Here's everything we know so far.

What will it be called?

After previously confirming the OnePlus 5 name to Android Central, OnePlus has since started to use the moniker on its website and in promotional materials. This one's official.

Why would OnePlus skip the OnePlus 4 name? One thought is because in Chinese culture, the number four is considered bad luck when attached to a product. And besides, the OnePlus 3T is sort of a fourth OnePlus phone, so there's that angle, too.

When will it be available?

The OnePlus 5 will be unveiled on June 20, as OnePlus announced an online launch event for that day at 12:00 p.m. ET. This is just a week later than the OnePlus 3 launched last year.

OnePlus has planned nearly a dozen pop-up events on both June 20 and 21 to let fans get an early look at the phone and even buy one on site. We don't yet know if online sales will open on launch day, but considering the company's previous launches it would make sense to at least take pre-orders right after launch.

What are the specs?

The specs of the OnePlus 5 aren't clear just yet, but there are a few elements we know and a couple others, based on leaks, we can pretty accurately guess.

Here's what we know so far:

Category spec Operating System Oxygen OS based on Android 7.1.2 Display 5.5-inch AMOLED
2560x1440 pixel Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Adreno 540 GPU RAM 6GB LPDDR4 (8GB in some markets) Storage 64GB storage (128GB in some markets)
Non-expandable Rear Camera Dual 12MP Front Camera TBD Audio 3.5 mm headphone jack Battery ~3600mAh
Non-removable Charging USB-C
Dash Charge Water resistance TBD Wireless charging No Security Front one-touch fingerprint sensor Dimensions TBD Weight TBD

I wouldn't be so sure about an 8GB RAM version for North America.

Breaking it down a little more, there are a few variables to keep in mind. We know that the phone will launch with a Snapdragon 835 processor, because of course it will — OnePlus' CEO even confirmed it. OnePlus has launched all four of its flagships with that year's canonical Qualcomm SoC, and this year will likely be no exception. The OnePlus 3 had 6GB of RAM, so you can expect that same number in the OnePlus 5; it also came standard with 64GB of internal storage, so you can expect that, too. I wouldn't put too much credence in the idea that it will ship with 128GB standard, nor that it will come with 8GB of RAM. We're not there yet, and OnePlus gains little from offering those in a base configuration.

We've heard that there may be an 8GB/128GB variant of the OnePlus 5 for China, specifically, which makes a lot of sense since that country is obsessed with maxing out what's possible in a phone, but I wouldn't count on it coming to North America. It's possible OnePlus will, instead, offer a 6GB/128GB or even a 6GB/256GB model in North America for $50 or so more.

On the screen front, we're hearing that OnePlus will keep its 5.5-inch display size and that, while the screen will do away with as much of the top and bottom bezels as possible, it will keep the front fingerprint sensor, and may also maintain the OnePlus 3 series' 1080p resolution. From a battery-saving perspective, it would make sense to keep the OnePlus 5 at 1080p, especially if the AMOLED panel used is of very high quality — even devices like the Huawei Mate 9 have fantastic screens despite relatively low pixel densities — but given that most competing phones have upgraded to 2560x1440 or an equivalent QHD resolution at various aspect ratios, it would make sense for OnePlus to do the same.

A dual camera setup on the OnePlus 5 could be its most exciting feature.

At either resolution, we'll likely see the OnePlus 5 support Google's Daydream VR platform, which will make for another popular handset in the category.

Finally, another big upgrade is to the battery. While the OnePlus 3T already saw an improved capacity, from 3,000mAh to 3,400mAh, the OnePlus 5 is expected to pack a 3,580 to 3,600mAh cell. That could translate, along with the more-efficient Snapdragon 835, to much better battery life.

What about performance?

Pete Lau, OnePlus' CEO said in a blog post that the phone will not only run a Snapdragon 835, the fastest chip on the market to date, but it will also be optimized for touch latency and RAM management, two areas where the OnePlus 3 and 3T were heavily criticized. He said this in a post on the company's forums:

But choosing the right components is only the first step. You also have to optimize performance to create the best user experience. When we began developing the OnePlus 5, we envisioned a smartphone with flawlessly smooth performance. To illustrate how we made it happen, we'd like to share a bit about our process.

One of the main areas we wanted to improve was touch latency. Our engineers tested why scrolling occasionally differed between phones. There wasn't a lot of precedent for them to work with – no benchmarks, no industry case studies to learn from. So we used a special high-speed camera to track screen movements and measure input speeds. As a result, apps respond quickly to your touch for a seamless user experience.

We also wanted to improve the overall feeling of smoothness. To achieve this, our engineers added a feature to OxygenOS to better manage the way your apps perform. The apps you use most are ready to go when you turn on the OnePlus 5. Apps you rarely use are deprioritized and kept from affecting performance.

That's really good news, considering that even now, after a few updates, the OnePlus 3 and 3T have excellent touch latency and, while still not great, much improved RAM management.

A few odds and ends

  • Despite rumors to the contrary, there's no reason to think that OnePlus will drop the headphone jack from this year's unit.
  • We haven't heard whether OnePlus will add waterproofing to this year's flagship, but the company would be doing itself a huge disservice by going another year without it.
  • Wireless charging? Not likely, since it looks like OnePlus will stick with a metal back again.
  • Renders show that OnePlus is likely to keep its physical mute switch on the side of the phone.
  • Dual speakers? Not this year.
  • Removable battery? gtfo.

What will it look like?

As mentioned above, the OnePlus 5 is probably not going to look too different from its predecessor — don't expect the same jump that we saw from the OnePlus 2 to the OnePlus 3. Instead, you can be sure that OnePlus is going to go out of its way to shrink the phone as much as possible without sacrificing usability. Front-facing fingerprint sensor? Definitely, but you'll probably also see space-savings elsewhere on the device.

Our most reputable look at the phone, shown above, comes from Android Police and shows a more rounded look, with dual cameras on the back and a more pronounced "2.5D" glass front. It's hard to get a sense of scale from the render, though. Part of the render was confirmed by a teaser photo sent out by OnePlus itself, showing a smooth back, rounded corners and a dual camera setup in the top-left corner.

So it will have a fingerprint sensor on the front?

Yep, the company's CEO confirmed as much to GizChina in an interview, which means that it will still likely have a 16:9 aspect ratio and optional capacitive buttons on either side of it.

Have you heard anything about the camera?

The camera on the OnePlus 5 is expected to be cameras. OnePlus is expected to be adopting the dual camera trend, with two identical 12-megapixel rear sensors. It's unclear at this point whether the lenses will be of different focal lengths, but either way you can expect some cool camera tricks and an overall improved photo taking experience.

What would be cool is to see a OnePlus 5 with the same wide-angle lens as the LG G6, since I think a lot more people would be interested in that than the "telephoto" distance of something like the iPhone 7 Plus. An improved front-facing camera, likely with auto focus, is also in the cards.

We do know that OnePlus is teaming up with popular camera benchmark company, DxO, to optimize and "enhance" its cameras.

We're happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5. DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark. They've got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.

Working alongside DxO, we're confident the OnePlus 5 will be capable of capturing some of the clearest photos around.

What about the software?

Expect another iteration of Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 5, launched with a slightly updated version of what we currently have on the OnePlus 3 and 3T, running Android 7.1.2. The phone will launch long before Android O is public.

Oxygen OS has turned into quite the capable piece of Android software, and while it's unclear whether the OnePlus 5 will have any distinctive hardware elements that change up the software experience, what is clear is the company's desire to keep Android as simple and fast as possible, while relegating the gimmicks to the background.

And software updates?

OnePlus doesn't have a great track record of maintaining updates for longer than a year or so — the OnePlus 2 still doesn't have Nougat despite a number of promises — but the OnePlus 3 and 3T are still getting regular updates well into their lifespans, and after a somewhat close call on a promise to get Android 7.0 by the end of 2016, the phones are now seeing new software regularly.

In other words, we don't know. Hopefully, OnePlus will keep the OnePlus 5 updated long into its lifespan, but we have more confidence in its ability to do just that than we did a year ago.

What will it cost?

Judging from the minor price bump between the OnePlus 3 and 3T, coupled with rising component costs throughout the world, the OnePlus 5 may cost somewhere between $449 and $499, which puts it creepingly close, but still a step below, the flagships that it's competing against. At $399, the OnePlus 3 was a serious contender for "amazingly cheap"; at $439, the OnePlus 3T is just "inexpensive." A OnePlus 5 at $469 or so would be close to "Should I spend the extra money on another phone?" Still approachable, and maybe even affordable, but losing its pricing edge.

Color me impressed!

Oh right, colors! Almost forgot! OnePlus has teased four color options for the OnePlus 5, including black, red, gold and what looks to be a multi-colored gradient extravaganza. Fun!

Will I still be able to buy a OnePlus 3T for a little bit less?

Nope! The OnePlus 5 will completely replace the 3T, according to the company. Too bad, since we really like the OnePlus 3T and think it could be a great buy at $100 less than its current $439 price tag. But you also have to understand that OnePlus is interested in getting people up to date with its latest hardware.

Anything else?

We'll have lots more on the OnePlus 5 when it's unveiled in "early summer," which is getting here sooner than later! In the meantime, check out our OnePlus 3T coverage and let us know what you want in OnePlus's new flagship!

OnePlus is doing everything right lately

Update June 7, 2017: This post has been updated with the latest rumors of what to expect with the OnePlus 5, including new renders of the device.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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