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12
Apr

Friday Debate: Apple Watch, Galaxy S6, and One M9


The Friday Debate

This week, the team gets together to talk about upcoming devices – in particular, the new phones from Samsung and HTC. Our main question centered on which phone our hosts would buy with their hard-earned money. But before that talk, they speak about the Apple Watch and what it might mean for the future of smartwatches. They soon realize that the Apple Watch isn’t even out yet, even after talking about it at length in different perspectives. Oops.

We’re also making changes to the podcast very soon – nothing too big, but it will involve all of you listeners and fans! As some of you may have noticed, there was no Friday Debate written post this week, as we will somewhat be merging the two efforts in the weeks to come, while introducing a few other exciting changes. Stay tuned for all of that and be sure to keep an eye out on our social channels were will be giving you some more podcast change-related details later this week.

As always, keep it tuned to Android Authority and visit the FDP page on AndroidAuthority.com for all of the links to relevant stories and social media!

The Friday Debate Podcast by Android Authority – discussing topics in Android every week.

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Recorded on April 8, 2015 – Hosted and Produced by Joshua Vergara

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12
Apr

Samsung takes gentle dig at Apple in welcoming them to smartwatch market


samsung_gear_s_white_demo_1

In a recent interview with CNBC, Samsung’s VP for mobile in Europe Rory O’Neill indicated the tech giant is “delighted” to see Apple entering the wearable market. O’Neill says the source of the pleasure Samsung derives from Apple’s move is because it confirms there is a market for wearable devices.

“Great competitors offer great things to consumers and the fact that there are so many great competitors in this space mean that there is absolutely a market. I mean, that’s what it tells you.”

The presence of Apple as a competitor in the smartwatch space means everyone, including Android Wear device manufacturers, will have to step up their game. That will be a win for consumers everywhere no matter which platform they opt to buy.

In making these comments, O’Neill did manage to take a dig at Apple by noting that “Apple has followed us into that market.” Samsung has already produced several wearable devices, including smartwatches, over the past couple years. Considering all the lawsuits between the companies arguing about who was first, Samsung seems to be enjoying a position of being a relatively long-term player in the market compared to Apple.

source: TechRadar

Come comment on this article: Samsung takes gentle dig at Apple in welcoming them to smartwatch market

12
Apr

How to setup and use Force Click on the Mac


The 2015 versions of the MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro come with Apple’s all-new Force Touch Trackpad, and that comes with Force Click.

A Force Click lets you not only click like you would on a traditional, mechanical trackpad, but press harder to engage a second click, or a range of pressure-sensitive clicks. For example, click on an icon and then Force Click to get a QuickLook, or click on a word and then Force Click to get a dictionary definition. All of this comes enabled by default on the new MacBook and on the 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro but you can toggle it off or back on in System Preferences.

How to enable or disable Force Click on OS X

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Click on Trackpad.
  3. Check or uncheck Force Click and haptic feedback.

How to adjust Force Click firmness on OS X

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Click on Trackpad.
  3. Select between Light, Medium, and Firm.

“Light” makes it easy to engage the deeper Force Click while “firm” needs you to put even more muscle behind it.

How to assign Force Click on OS X

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Click on Trackpad.
  3. Click on Look up & data selectors
  4. Set it to Force Click with one finger to use Force Click, or Tap with three fingers to disable Force Click.

Force Touch and Force Click are brand new, and Apple has only just begun experimenting with them. No doubt other functionality, and third party app implementations, will follow.

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12
Apr

This Week in Xbox One News – April 12, 2015


Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!

We’ll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I’ll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumours and talking points into one handy thread every weekend!

There’s been a ton of major announcements this week, so without further ado, here’s our latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.

12
Apr

Oppo N3 image processing updated, we compare it, gauge reactions


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Oppo’s current flagship, the N3, brings with it some great specifications and features on both the hardware and software side. What makes this device unique though is its one of a kind rotating camera setup, with the same 16 MP unit being used for regular shots as well as self portraits.

Granted, the camera setup means nothing if it doesn’t deliver in the quality department, and fortunately, we were already quite impressed by the camera prowess of the Oppo N3 during our in-depth review. That said, a major update to the digital image processing engine was one of the key features of the latest software update of Color OS, bringing with it enhancements to modes and general image quality that Oppo hopes puts its device at par with the other flagships of today.

Read more: Oppo N3 full review

In fact, Oppo was so confident that its software update has significantly enhanced their camera experience that they challenged Android Authority to take to the streets of Los Angeles, where we showed off the device to everyday people to see how they felt both about the camera experience and the phone itself.

People’s reactions to the Oppo N3

OPPO N3 IN LA DEVICE (4 of 4)

During our time in L.A. we encountered numerous people that were willing to try out the Oppo N3, and even pit the phone against their own devices in a quick camera shootout. One recurring reaction we saw from almost everyone we talked to was excitement and intrigue over the device’s unique rotating camera. Apart from being impressed by the fact that this unique design would allow for some high quality self portraits, users were also appreciative of how easy this camera setup made it to take panorama images, with the rotating camera taking care of all the hard work that usually goes into these shots.

Because it’s the same camera as the rear, just turned around, you have the high resolution still.

As far as photo comparisons go, we’ll be taking a much more in-depth look at how the Oppo N3 and its updated camera experience fares when compared to other modern flagship devices in a follow up feature next week, but we do want to talk a little about some of the reactions people had to the image quality on the N3.

oppo n3 camera shots (6 of 8)oppo n3 camera shots (7 of 8)

Everyone who took a selfie with the Oppo N3 seemed happy with the result, and as you can see, the images really did turn out very nicely. Beyond selfies, one common sentiment was that the Oppo’s N3 did a great job of getting in close while still retaining a lot of detail. This was evidenced in many of the phones we encountered, including the iPhone 6 and several Android devices.

Turning to the reactions on the phone itself, the build quality in particular received some positive shoutouts,  with users mentioning how light it was, and that it felt more substantial and durable when compared to the plastic build of some older Android devices, like previous Samsung flagships.

I would buy it if the company (Oppo) brought it here

It’s also worth noting that there were quite a few iPhone users that played around with the Oppo N3, and yet none of them called out the phone as too big,and one person even said “it’s just like an iPhone 6″ referring to how it felt in their pocket. With Apple moving into the big screen segment with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple users are clearly a lot more comfortable with the larger sizes of Android smartphones than they might have been in the past.

Breaking down the features

So what are the biggest features offered by Oppo N3’s camera software? There’s quite a few standouts, though Ultra HD and Super Macro modes certainly got the most attention when we showed the device off to the general public.

Ultra HD

OPPO N3 IN LA DEVICE (3 of 4)

The way the Ultra HD mode works is that it takes 10 shots of scenery and superimposes the best 4, allowing for a lot more detail in the picture. It’s not exactly noticeable in the shot at first glance, but becomes more obvious as you zoom in, removing a lot of the noise that is otherwise usually seen. If you’re looking for more detail in your shots, this mode is certainly going to prove to be very useful, but of course, keep in mind that this does result in significantly larger file sizes as well.

iphone-6-vs-oppo-n3-camera-aa

During a iPhone 6 vs N3 shootout, I illustrated to the iPhone 6’s owner how the Ultra HD mode on the N3 could make a 64MP image that allowed much clearer detail than you’d see from a typical smartphone’s images. While taking the same shot of the iconic Via Rodeo resulted in image quality that wasn’t too far apart between these two phones, the difference was noticeable when zooming in further into an image, with the Ultra HD mode on the Oppo N3 allowing for an impressive amount of detail and lack of noise.

The difference becomes obvious when zoomed in.

The difference becomes obvious when zoomed in further.

Super Macro

OPPO N3 IN LA 2ND BATCH (6 of 12)

The second mode that we want to highlight is Super Macro, which essentially gives the camera a digital zoom to get a really close up shot of the intended target that you want to shoot. As you can see in the images here, the amount of detail and focus is great, and a close up shot of a burger and fries, or coffee, in this fashion will get anyone’s mouth watering. Using this mode allowed for some fantastic zoomed in shots with a lot of detail, resulting in some professional looking photos that will certainly help enhance the smartphone photography experience.

OPPO N3 IN LA 2ND BATCH (12 of 12)

Other Shooting Modes

OPPO N3 IN LA DEVICE (1 of 4)

While the two camera modes above received a special mention in the video, there is no shortage of other features that the Oppo N3 camera application packs. While panorama pictures are possible with any smartphone nowadays, with the Auto Panorama mode, the device takes care of all the work otherwise required by you having to move around yourself while holding the phone in exactly the right position.

OPPO N3 IN LA 2ND BATCH (9 of 12)

Colorful Night mode increases your shutter speed to capture in more light, and enhances the contrast and saturation of the image to let the image pop, and allows for, as the name suggests, some great scenic shots at night. HDR mode also gives your images that extra saturation for some bright photos. Finally, an expert mode is also available, that allows for complete manual control of the camera, with you able to adjust white balance, ISO values, and manually focus the shot.

Wrap up

As you can see, the Oppo N3 seemed to, at the very least, hold its own against many of the phones we ran into in L.A. Oppo might not be a familiar brand here, but most of the people we talked to seemed open to the idea of a phone that brings an experience that is a little different, thanks to the rotating camera. Stay tuned for the second part in this series, in which the Oppo N3 is pitted against the best of the best in the smartphone world when it comes to the camera experience, and take a closer look at how it fares.

Based on the shootouts you saw in the video above, and your own initial reaction to the Oppo N3, what are your thoughts on the device? Let us know in the comments.

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12
Apr

Here is the new one-handed keyboard for Windows 10 on phablets


Although Microsoft rattled off numerous new apps found in Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phone build 10051, one feature we previously did not know about slipped by us: one-handed thumb keyboard for large screen phones.

Evidently, Microsoft is giving users an option to have the full-sized keyboard, or a smaller ‘squished’ one that justifies left or right, depending on your preferred hand usage.

12
Apr

Galaxy S6 Edge Battery Life – First 24 hours


One of the biggest concerns with Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge seems to be the battery life as the 2600 mAh battery is non removable unlike past Samsung flagship devices. There’s been reports that the battery life is one of the key downsides to Samsung’s new handsets – but are these accurate? In Lanh’s review of the Galaxy S6 Edge, he said the battery life was average but I want to see if this is still the case with my different usage habits.

RelatedBest Android Phones of 2015

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To try and find this out, I’m kicking off a new series today focusing on the Galaxy S6 Edge battery life – I received my S6 Edge on Friday and I’ll be publishing my experiences with the battery life after day 1 (this post), day 4 (in a few days), day 7 (next week) and then finally after two weeks where I’ll also publish my impressions of Samsung’s new flagship.

It’s worth noting that the screenshots below were captured a few hours before the battery drained fully but the battery stats are fully accurate.

Galaxy-S6-Edge-Battery-Life1-e

Let’s take a look at the Galaxy S6 Edge battery after it’s first full charge:

  • Total battery life: 14 hours 11 minutes
  • Screen On Time: 3 hours 07 minutes
    • Full brightness: 1 hour 59 minutes
    • Screen battery used: 25 percent
  • Video streaming: 1 hour 11 minutes
  • Gaming: 36 minutes
  • Phone Calls: 28 minutes
  • Top 3 Battery App Usage:
    • Screen: 25 percent
    • Facebook: 15 percent
    • Twitter: 11 percent

Testing battery life can be subjective as each person’s usage will vary widely but to try and provide some context to these battery tests, I copied all my data and apps from my Galaxy Note 4 (running Lollipop). Whereas the Galaxy S6 Edge lasted just over 14 hours, my Galaxy Note 4 would usually last 18 to 22 hours with largely the same apps and services running.

Galaxy-S6-Edge-Battery-Life2-e

The first thing you will notice about the Galaxy S6 Edge battery is that the first ten percent seems to drain very quickly. After this initial short burst, the battery begins to level off and settle down. It’s a strange occurrence that many people have reported but it’s possible this is due to the handset being new – after a few days usage, will it still drain the first ten percent?

What does 15 hour battery life really mean? Essentially it means that the Galaxy S6 Edge should last an entire working day (say 7am to 7pm) with moderate to heavy usage but this is based on the first day. It’s widely known that battery life does suffer over time so I’m interested to see how this changes over the next two weeks!

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Do you have any questions on the S6 Edge battery life? Shout in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!



12
Apr

Top accessories for the Moto X (2014)


A phone can be awesome all on its own, but when you bring accessories to the party, it can reach new heights.

While users could certainly just buy a phone and have that be the end of it, if you want to help get the most out of your Moto X, there’s a few accessories you should consider investing in beyond a simple case. And after our months with the Moto X, here are the accessories that we believe can take your Moto X experience to the next level.

12
Apr

LG G4 leaked in all of its leather-bound glory


LG-G4-2

The LG G4 official unveiling is still a little over two weeks away, but it looks like you won’t have to wait until the 28th of April to see LG’s latest design. Yesterday Evan Blass (aka Evleaks) posted up a link to an unannounced LG Korea product microsite that contained plenty of juicy pics of the G4. Since then, the site has been taken down, but the Internet doesn’t forget.

In addition to pics, the site also contained a spec list, but that’s where things get a bit hazy. Many of the specs on the site were clearly inaccurate (like mention of Android 4.4 KitKat), while the f/1.8 aperture for the camera is correct and has already been confirmed by LG, but the 13MP resolution isn’t quite right. Bottom-line, that means the specs were placeholders and so everything on the site should be taken with a grain of salt, even if the images of the LG G4 look rather believable, very detailed, and fall in line with the hinted look we’ve seen in LG teasers.

LG-G4-1

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Turning to the looks of the phone, LG is now sporting a leather-like design, with stitching running down the middle. We can’t say for sure just yet if LG is packing real leather, or some kind of faux leather material. For those that like color choices, LG seems to offer quite a few, though we imagine only so many of these colors will actually make it to most markets and carriers at launch. Interestingly enough, for those not into the leather look, it appears like LG also has three models that bear some other kind of material, plastic perhaps.

2015 flagships

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So what do you guys think, digging the new LG G4 looks — providing the images are legit?



12
Apr

GoTech Ion: Hands-on with the foldable selfie stick


Own a selfie stick? You might want to replace it with the GoTech Ion. This selfie stick fits easily in a pocket or small pocketbook. It folds into less than 8 inches but stretches to 35 inches when it’s time to take those fabulous selfies. It makes selfies even more convenient.

Watch our GoTech Ion hands-on video to see it in action.

Most selfie sticks in the market have to be unscrewed from their phone holders for storage. The GoTech Ion lets you fold the phone holder onto the stick.

The GoTech Ion comes in two models. One version comes with built-in Bluetooth remote and the other one is wired for battery-free usage. They are now available for pre-orders at theselfiestick.com. The GoTech Ion Bluetooth selfie stick costs $29.99 while the wired version is available for $24.99.

Need other selfie sticks to compare? Check out our list of the best selfie sticks for your iPhone.

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