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27
Apr

Okidokeys Review


We are in a time period where technology is rapidly evolving, but also stagnating. The most popular technology, the smartphone, hasn’t seen any real advance in technology in awhile. Outside of that world though, there are advances happening that are very real, and coming very soon. One of those areas is the smart home, and Okidokeys is one of the first companies that’s primary focus is to make your home smarter. I have had the opportunity to live with an Okidokeys unit for the past few months, so let’s take a look at whether or not your home needs an Okidokeys.

Set up

When I first got the Okidokeys, I was stoked to try it out. My apartment complex was kind enough to let me change the the lock on my door, as Okidokeys makes it clear that changing your lock is easy, and can be changed back if need be. The installation process was a little difficult, but I think it had more to do with the position of my door than anything. Okidokeys provides video how-tos to walk you step-by-step on the installation process, which helped me a lot (I tend to be better with technology than tools).

Once the actual lock was installed, all that’s needed is to register the lock so that you can download the app on your smartphone. The portal on Okidokeys website is simple enough, although navigating it took some learning. After some tinkering though, I got me and my wife’s phones all set up, and everything worked pretty well.

General usage

Using the Okidokeys at first was really exciting. The ability to walk up to your door and use your smartphone to unlock your door is an uncanny feeling, and when I use it I still think its surreal. However, using the app seems to be inconsistent on my phone, but always works on my wife’s phone (I have a Moto X (2013) and she has a LG G2). You have to turn on Bluetooth for it to work, but you don’t pair your phone with the lock like a traditional Bluetooth device. Instead, you have to rely on the app to recognize the lock is within distance before locking/unlocking the door. For me, I could never find a system that would consistently recognize the door was within distance. So, unlocking my door ended up taking 3 times as long than just using my regular keys. That may not seem all that long, but after a long day, getting home is the first thing on your mind, and dealing with an app that won’t work right away isn’t exactly fun.

Like I said, though, my wife tells me she has never had an issue and it always works, and the few other people who have tried it have had no issues. So I can’t really say “it doesn’t work” when it seems to just be the case for me. Speaking of other people using it…

Special Features

The special features are what make the Okidokeys a great buy. I’ll give you an example: my parents came and visited for a few days over a weekend, and then for Monday and Tuesday. While they were here, my wife and I had to work on the Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, my wife and I woke up early and went to work. When my parents got up, we realized we had forgotten to leave a key with them so they could leave the apartment. Never fear, Okidokeys is here! I pulled up my Okidokeys portal, and sent my dad a “key” to use on his smartphone. The email walked him through setup, and in just a few minutes they had the door locked and were on their way.

This is easily the most convenient feature of the Okidokeys. My in-laws also visited before my parents, and we set them up with a key as well (we had remembered ahead of time). The amount of “keys” available for the Okidokeys is only controlled by you. Furthermore, if you want to give someone a key for only a short time, say when someone is house sitting, you can set an expiration on the “key”. The uses of this are endless, and require no hassle of making an extra physical key to keep track of.

What is neat, though, is you can get physical keys, but I don’t mean a metal one. You can purchase a credit card sized key, a bracelet key, or even just a sticker to give to people to use with the lock (you need to buy an extension for this to work). If someone in your household would rather have an old-fashioned key, the ones you had before still work with the Okidokeys (there is no change to the outside of the door, just the inside).

Conclusion

All-in-all, the Okidokeys is an improvement to your lock. Even if the app is a little finicky, you can still open the door with a range of things, from an old-fashioned key to another you can get from Okidokeys. The ability to give keys to people without anything more than accessing your portal is priceless. While this isn’t a palm-reading lock, Okidokeys has opened the door (pun intended) for the future of homes.

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The post Okidokeys Review appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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27
Apr

App of the Day: TapDeck


Do you like HD wallpapers? Enjoy making your homescreen a visual representation of your inner soul? Maybe you just like switching out your wallpaper more often that other like to switch clothing. Whatever the case may be, finding a good wallpapers can be as simple as going on the internet and clicking on the first kitten wallpaper you see or as hard as researching for hours to find one that really speaks to you. For those of you that fall into the latter category though, we may be able to offer you something that will make that search a bit simpler, our App of the Day, TapDeck.

TapDeck is a wallpaper app that takes a different approach than that of similar apps in that it allows you to change the wallpaper with a simple click. So instead of having to launch the app itself to have to search and select a wallpaper, all you have to do is double tap and the wallpaper will change automatically. This is a fantastic feature for those that like to keep their homescreens fresh but do not like having to go and search for them. TapDeck has a great assortment of wallpapers so you don’t have to worry about getting one you don’t like, and if for some reason you do, all you have to do is double tap! If TapDeck sounds like something you have been missing from your life, then make sure to use the widget below to download the app or get some more

The post App of the Day: TapDeck appeared first on AndroidGuys.

27
Apr

LG Watch Urbane now in stock in the UK


lg watch urbane aa 9

The LG Watch Urbane has now begun shipping in the UK with retailer Clove, who announced the news on their Twitter page. Featuring the same specs as the LG G Watch R, the LG Watch Urbane was announced back at MWC 2015 and brings a different style as LG aims to target the premium wearables segment.

More from LG:

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The LG Watch Urbane features a 1.3-inch P-OLED display with 320×320 pixel resolution – which offers 245 pixels per inch density – and is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. The LG Watch Urbane runs on Android Wear and is IP67 rated, offering dust and water resistance up to 30 minutes and 1-metre underwater. Other notable specs include a barometer, gyro, heart rate monitor, Bluetooth v4.0 (LE) and a 410 mAh battery which is rated as offering all-day battery life.

Clove are offering the LG Watch Urbane for £259.99 (£216.66 excluding VAT) with the wearable now in-stock for next-day delivery. For more on the LG Watch Urbane, head over to our hands on back at MWC and check out the video below.

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27
Apr

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 unboxing and first impressions


Back at MWC 2015, we took a look at the 5.5-inch Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 – the budget-friendly, reversible smartphone that packs a punch in both hardware and software. While our full review is on it’s way, we thought we’d give you a look at the unboxing experience you’ll get if you order one of these devices. Without any further ado, let’s jump right in!

Read more: Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 hands-on and first look

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Unboxing

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (12 of 21)

The main reason we wanted to do this unboxing is because of the beautiful retail packaging Alcatel Onetouch included with this smartphone. The box is big, and gives us a very good feeling that what’s inside is nothing short of a premium device. After we ‘unlock’ the box, a number of flaps open up, revealing a few of the device’s specifications.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (2 of 21)

Included in the box are all of the normal add-ons we see with just about every smartphone – a Micro USB cable, wall adaptor and SIM card removal tool. Alcatel has even included a nice pair of JBL earbuds and a USB thumb drive as an added bonus.

First impressions

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (20 of 21)

At first glance, the 5.5-inch device reminds us of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the LG Nexus 4. Overall, the design is very minimalistic and feels great in the hand. The entire chassis is made of plastic and features a nice metallic trim that surrounds the outer edges. You’ll find two front-facing speakers flanking the 5.5-inch Full HD LCD display, and you’ll soon see that the device has minimal bezel surrounding the screen.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (3 of 21)

The button layout on the Idol 3 is mirrored from what we’re used to on most other smartphones, so the power button can be found on the left side, while the volume rocker sits on the right edge. Moving down to the bottom, the Micro USB port can be found on the right-most side of the bottom edge.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (6 of 21)

The back of the device has a nice brushed aluminum look and feel, similar to what the LG G3 brought to the table. The Idol and Alcatel Onetouch logos are also found on the back side, with the 13MP camera module up on the top left corner.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (21 of 21)

Though it’s easy to see that while the Idol 3 is running a customized version of Android, the user interface still takes a ton of cues from Lollipop. The application drawer, notification shade and settings menus all closely resemble a device running vanilla Android, while the rest of the software experience is bestrewn with Alcatel’s flat and bright design enhancements.

alcatel onetouch idol 3 unboxing and first impressions aa (14 of 21)

One other little feature unique to this device is the ability to flip it upside down and still be able to use it. It’s possible to turn this feature off in the notification panel, but we’d wager that most users will find it extremely convenient.

Overall, this phone is making a great first impression on us. And when we take into account that the device is launching for only $250 unlocked, that makes it an even greater value.

Pre-order now for just $249.99!

Our full review of the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 is coming soon, so be sure to stay tuned with Android Authority for more coverage in the coming weeks!



27
Apr

Facebook introduces free video calling to Messenger


Facebook has just announced that it’s bringing free video calling to its Messenger application on both Android and iOS. The update, which is rolling out now in the Play Store, will allow you to simply tap the video camera icon on any existing Messenger conversation to instantly connect with your friends and family.

messenger-video-call-carousel

The update is now available in the U.S., the U.K., Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal and Uruguay. Facebook says that more countries will be added in the coming months.

Facebook adding free video calling to Messenger is big news, especially because it now pits them up against other popular video chatting applications like Skype, ooVoo, Tango and many others. Facebook has been introducing many other features to Messenger lately, such as third party app integration, launching Messenger as a standalone website and more.

Be sure to head to the Google Play Store to grab the newest version of Messenger!

Get it on Google Play



27
Apr

Apple Watch Display Quality Judged ‘Excellent’, Calibrated to Match iPhone 6


DisplayMate Technologies has extensively tested the Apple Watch’s flexible OLED display and shared the results today based on several categories, including screen reflection, brightness and contrast with ambient light, color gamut with ambient light, and viewing angle variations. Overall, the company found the Apple Watch to have an “excellent smart watch display” with accurate colors and picture quality.

Apple Watch DisplayMate Chart
In a side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 6 display, the display calibration company found that Apple has taken measures to ensure that the Apple Watch display has the same colors, color calibration and color accuracy as the larger smartphone screen. The stainless steel and gold Apple Watches with sapphire crystal displays, however, have much higher reflectance in ambient light and mandatory automatic brightness control to preserve battery life.

“Since the Apple Watch is often used right next to the iPhone 6, Apple has gone to considerable lengths to give them the same colors, color calibration, and color accuracy. The two most significant differences (other than size) are the much higher Reflectance of the Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal (8.2 percent compared to 4.6 percent), and the aggressive Brightness control using a mandatory Automatic Brightness Ambient Light Sensor in order to increase the running time on battery for the tiny watch.”

DisplayMate Apple Watch Reflections
The full-length report offers a comprehensive look at the Apple Watch’s ion-strengthened and sapphire crystal displays, and reiterates that enhanced sapphire, which lowers the screen reflectance of sapphire to be much lower than glass, will soon be available for use in smartphones, smartwatches and other mobile devices. Additionally, DisplayMate’s previous tests of the Samsung Gear 2 and Sony SmartWatch 2 displays provide good comparisons to the Apple Watch.



27
Apr

Samsung Moves Away from ARM Chips in Favor of Custom Exynos M1 Chipsets


 

exynos7chip

Samsung famously (or notoriously) ditched Qualcomm this year when it came to powering the next iteration of its Galaxy S series of phones, the Galaxy S6. Citing overheating and general performance issues, the Korean giant opted against the Snapdragon 810 in favor of a newer iteration of its Exynos in-house chip. The downside to this, however, is a reliance on ARM architecture (which Qualcomm and others, including Apple, do not use),

In what looks to be a bold, but predicted move, Samsung’s next line of in-house cores will likely be powered by an Exynos M1 core, and utilize custom architecture in an effort to avoid being dependent on ARM.

Samsung-Exynos-M1-CPU-Cores

The leak comes via a references to the Exynos M1 that’s been added to the latest development tools for ARM cores.

Chipset makers typically release new technology to developers nine to 12 months away from the start of a new production cycle, which would fall in line with the M1 series being used on the (presumed) Galaxy S7 next spring. Reports say the new Exynos M1 is 45 percent faster than the Exynos 7420 used in the Galaxy S6.

Utilizing custom processors could also open up the new Exynos series’ use for other applications, such as custom GPUs. Samsung has been a regular player in the chip supply business for many years, and there’s no reason to assume it won’t want to diversify and maximize the potential of an all-new custom processor.

Source: SamMobile

Come comment on this article: Samsung Moves Away from ARM Chips in Favor of Custom Exynos M1 Chipsets

27
Apr

Facebook brings video calling to Messenger


Video calls in Facebook Messenger

Facebook is no stranger to video chat, but it’s been keeping a low profile as of late. Well, it’s no longer content to sit on the sidelines while Skype and Hangouts steal the show — the company has just introduced video calling in Messenger. Whether you’re using Android or iOS, you only need to tap a single button in an existing conversation to start a face-to-face session. The feature is available today in 18 countries (including the UK and the US), so give it a shot if you’re a Facebook fan and would rather not fire up another app just to see who you’re talking to.

Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile, Facebook

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Source: Facebook Newsroom

27
Apr

‘Minecraft’ finally has a free girl character


Alex in 'Minecraft'

Lots of girls play Minecraft, but you wouldn’t know it from the default character options. Unless you’ve been willing to pay up or install a mod, your only real choice so far has been Steve, the game’s male mascot. At last, though, things are opening up — Mojang is giving builders the choice of a free girl character, Alex. She’s been around before as a randomly assigned character in the computer version, but the move will help female players on all platforms sculpt their dream worlds using a character they can identify with. PlayStation and Xbox gamers will get Alex as of April 29th, while mobile users playing the Pocket Edition should see her this summer.

Filed under: Gaming, Microsoft

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Via: Washington Post

Source: Mojang

27
Apr

Instagram debuts three new filters and emoji hashtags


The five new filters that Instagram released back in December have reportedly been such a hit with users, the company has unveiled three more retouching options: Lark, Reyes and Juno. According to Instagram’s blog, Lark softens reds in favor of blue and green hues to highlight landscape shots while Reyes washes out the image as a whole to create a weathered and vintage feel. The Juno filter is geared more for portraits. It boosts warm tones and whites while adding a slight green tint to cooler colors.

Additionally, Instagram now supports emoji in its hashtags. As the company’s blog explains, “…you can discover even more by adding them to your own photos and videos, searching them on the Explore page and tapping on them when you see them in captions.” These features roll out today; look for iOS version 6.11.0 in the App Store and Android version 6.20.0 in Google Play.

Filed under: Internet

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Source: Instagram (blog)

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