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8
Jul

The official Star Wars app has made its way to the Play Store


Star_Wars_Logo

Disney has brought the official Star Wars app on the Google Play Store. The free application is aimed to be a central hub for everything Star Wars–breaking news, trailers, posters, social media updates, and more.

If you want a central location for all of your Star Wars content, this app will more than do that. You’ll get notifications for breaking news, big announcements, trailers, and general movie news, which is presumably box office statistics, launch dates, and etc.

The Star Wars app at its core is a jack of all trades–you can customize the interface based on the light or dark side, you can take Star Wars-themed selfies, there’s mini games you can play, you can read Star Wars blogs inside the app, and much, much more.

Click here to view the embedded video.

It feels like an app that really doesn’t know what it is–it’s a poorly designed conglomerate of everything. But if you’re interested in taking it for a spin, be sure to scan the QR code or hit the download link below.
qr code

Play Store Download Link

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Come comment on this article: The official Star Wars app has made its way to the Play Store

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8
Jul

Google Store now selling an ethernet adapter for Chromecast


chromecast_ethernet_adapter_wrapped

There are areas in just about every home that experience trouble maintaining a wireless connection. And when the device being used is Chromecast, a steady connection is absolutely necessary for streaming. Today, the Google Store began offering an ethernet adapter for Chromecast that connects directly to a router. Users just have to connect the included USB cable to Chromecast on the other end. From there, it should be a smooth, stutter-free experience with the dongle darling.

Google has priced Chromecast’s ethernet adapter at $15 and shipping is free.

[Google Store]

Come comment on this article: Google Store now selling an ethernet adapter for Chromecast

8
Jul

Alcatel OneTouch Watch now available in White color option


Alcatel OneTouch Watch White AA 1

The Alcatel OneTouch Watch, which was first unveiled at CES 2015, went on sale a few months ago on the company’s website and Amazon for just $149.99. The only version that was available at the start was the Black sport band variant, but today Alcatel OneTouch has released a new White version. This new color option is available for purchase from Alcatel OneTouch’s website for the same price, though it’s worth noting that the new color is only available in the Small/Medium (7.2-inch band) sizing.

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The Watch has a sleek, circular design, not unlike that of the Moto 360 or LG G Watch R. It does sport a “flat tire” on the bottom of the 1.22-inch display, though tapping on that portion allows you to toggle between the watch face and the menu. The Watch itself is made of metal, and the bands will come in a few different varieties, though only the rubbery sport bands are available at the time being. They’re also non-removable, so you’ll unfortunately have to pick a band and stick with it. It will feed you notifications, display time, track your steps and calories, and also comes equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor and IP67 certification.

We went hands-on with the wearable at CES, and you can find that video attached below.

If you’re interested in checking out the White variant, head to the link below.

8
Jul

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active vs Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge


There’s no denying that the latest additions to the Samsung flagship family, the Galaxy S6, and its curved display counterpart, the Galaxy S6 Edge, are two of the best smartphones of the year thus far. Of course, Samsung does tend to launch multiple devices with various features and capabilities that share the flagship moniker, and that’s exactly what you get with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active.

The new active variant of the Galaxy S6 is a ruggedized, waterproof, and overall beefier version of its original brethren. Is this version of the Galaxy S6 the one that is best suited to your needs?

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Before we fully jump in and do our best to answer that question, it has to be mentioned that a lot of what made the Samsung Galaxy S6 a success returns with the Galaxy S6 Active. Particularly the performance between the two devices will be largely the same, due to the fact that it sports the same processor, GPU, and RAM. Still, there are a number of enhancements or compromises made with the Galaxy S6 Active, which is why we will skip over all that is same and instead focus solely on what makes the Galaxy S6 Active different from its flagship namesake.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and take an in-depth look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Design

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The big difference between these devices, of course, begins in the design department. Many of us were excited with Samsung’s decision to move on to a different build material in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, with their metal and glass unibody designs finally offering the premium look and feel that we wished for. This is why the all plastic build of the Galaxy S6 Active may feel like a step back, but is a necessary change to create a device that sports a sturdy and beefy build that can take any punishment you bring its way.

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Speaking of taking any punishment, there’s plenty that the Galaxy S6 Active has to offer in terms of protection. Its IP68 rating for resistance to dust and water means that apart from being almost entirely protected from dust, the device can also be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for as long as 30 minutes with no negative impact on usability and performance. The Galaxy S6 Active is also Military Standard MIL-STD-810G certified, making it resistant to salt, dust, rain, vibration, solar radiation, and transport and thermal shock. Basically, accidental spills, drops, and bumps aren’t going to do much to keep this device down, as this phone is outfitted for so much more than what the clumsiest of people can dish out.

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These protection capabilities are in stark contrast with the seemingly fragile glass encased Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, whose thin, and what looks like delicat, builds give an impression that even a small drop from the hand to the table could cause damage. While making the Samsung Galaxy S6 review, the protruding camera of the device did crack from just falling over, which has resulted in me being wary of even any small stumbles. There isn’t any form of waterproofing either, so don’t go spilling any water on it or dunking the phone in liquids, as just about everything will malfunction if you do.

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In order to reach an alleviated level of durability with the Active some compromises had to be made, and they’re easy to see at first glance. For starters, the button layout has been made fully tactile, and the home button also loses the fingerprint scanner. This poses a problem that isn’t that far removed from what occurs with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, with there always being a danger of the device being triggered in the pocket, because of the presence of a tactile home button. This might be more prevalent with the Galaxy S6 Active though, because of a quick launch button on the top left corner that can wake the phone and automatically go into preset applications which, while incredibly useful, can be an issue when the device is in the pocket.

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The Galaxy S6 Active sports a rugged design and is significantly thicker than its flagship counterparts, with a camouflage print on the back making for a device that may not be particularly attractive to everyone. That isn’t the point here though, with the device being built to withstand anything that is thrown at it. Where an elegant, but somewhat delicate, device like the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge may turn heads, the Galaxy S6 Active provides a peace of mind that will be useful and necessary for quite a few users out there.

Display

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When it comes to the display, the same 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution is found across the board, so the main difference in this area comes with regards to the edges of the Galaxy S6 Edge, with capabilities that include tickers and quick shortcuts, all of which are overshadowed by the only truly useful feature, the night clock.

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The Galaxy S6 Active obviously doesn’t have the curved sides of the display, that ultimately helps with handling, helped along with the extra girth that the device features. In the case of the Galaxy S6 Edge, handling and comfort are helped by the curved sides, but what became a nuisance was accidentally triggering the screen from to time, along with the many times that our palms emulated a long press on the screen and stifled any other taps on the screen as a result. Overall, the better handling experience the Galaxy S6 Active provides is more useful than the abilities of the edges of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

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This isn’t an issue with the regular Galaxy S6 of course, which makes it the middle path device here. The Galaxy S6 and the S6 Active won’t suffer from touch problems like the Galaxy S6 Edge, but the latter is definitely the most attractive of the lot. Granted, the Galaxy S6 Active may turn heads as well, but not for the same aesthetic reasons as is the case with the sleek S6 Edge.

Hardware

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We keep using the word “beefy” to describe the Galaxy S6 Active, but that is just not in association with the size of the phone, but is also related to what the device packs underneath the surface.

This is mainly seen in terms of battery life, with the Galaxy S6 Active featuring a larger 3,500 mAh battery that has been proving itself, giving this device one highly contestable point over its original siblings. With typically heavier than average use a full 12 hours of work was possible with relative ease, and I was comfortably able to end most days with at least 25% of battery life left in the tank. With fast charging capabilities still available, it doesn’t take long to get the device back to full capacity either, and the device also comes with the same wireless charging capabilities as its siblings. While the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge also come with these features, you might find yourself relying on fast charging more often than is comfortable, and the batteries of these devices feel quite paltry when compared to the beefier Galaxy S6 Active.

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As mentioned, there are compromises though, like the understandable omission of the fingerprint reader, with its press type implementation something that we really enjoy on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. If it is a feature you absolutely need than the Active probably isn’t the right device for you, but if you are someone who won’t miss it much, and give more importance to external protection, the choice is obvious.

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The customizable quick launch button on the top left of the device allows for two applications to be launched, via a tap or a long press, and has proven to be incredibly useful. Have them set to open up a music application and your fitness tracker, or to open up Evernote and a calendar app for any important meeting or notes, and you’ll find yourself pressing consistently. You also don’t have to waste a precious slot on the camera app, as a double-tap of the home button will quickly and smoothly launch the camera. This extra button on the side for customized launches will be useful to everyone, and it is something we’re hoping isn’t just limited to Active iterations in future devices.

Camera

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The same sensor and features of the Galaxy S6 return with the Galaxy S6 Active, with its f/1.9 aperture, pro modes, and video recording that includes 4K and slow motion capture. As expected, the picture quality is fantastic with the Active as well, with images benefitting from higher saturation and high detail even in lower light conditions. As mentioned in the reviews of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, the best part of the image quality stems from a lack of post processing artifacts. Noise reduction is kept to a minimum, allowing for details to be shown the way they are, without any smudging that otherwise occurs.

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The only real difference here is addition of an Aqua Mode with the Galaxy S6 Active, which makes the touchscreen inoperable, and requires using the Active button for photos, or the volume buttons for video capture. It’s a typical move for swimming photos that make another case for the inclusion of this Active button in future Galaxy smartphones.

Software

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On the software side of things, you get the same new trimmed down, speedy, and smooth version of TouchWiz, which certainly proved to be pleasantly surprising when we first used it. With both these devices sporting the identical operating system, it’s hard to really give the edge to either in this department.

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The Galaxy S6 Active does come with an Activity Zone though, but it’s really nothing more than a easy to find grouping of tools that are mostly found in S Health already, including a compass and barometer. The Galaxy S6 Active doesn’t get much more in the way of software features, but having a rugged phone that is ready for the active lifestyle makes sense when it can still take advantage of all the sporty and fitness related apps found on the Google Play Store.

Specs comparison

  Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
Display 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
577 ppi
5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
577 ppi
Processor 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor
Mali-T760
2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor
Mali-T760
RAM 3 GB 3 GB
Storage 32/64/128 GB
not expandable
32 GB
not expandable
Network 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0
Camera Rear 16 MP with OIS.
Front 5 MP wide angle lens
Rear 16 MP with OIS.
Front 5 MP wide angle lens
Software Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Battery 2,600 mAh – S6 Edge
2,550 mAh – S6
3,500 mAh
Dimensions 142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm
132 grams – S6 Edge
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
138 grams – S6
146.8 x 73.4 x 8.6 mm
150 grams

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Pricing and Final Thoughts

While the curves of the Galaxy S6 Edge result in a significant increase in the price when compared to the regular Galaxy S6, usually around a $100 more, the larger battery, rugged exterior, and extra useful button of the Galaxy S6 Active will set you back only $10 more. At least for the moment, the Galaxy S6 Active is available exclusively from AT&T.

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So there you have it for this closer look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active vs Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge! The Galaxy S6 Active is really the phone made for anyone that doesn’t feel as safe with Samsung’s more elegant, but also more delicate, offerings. Despite the move back to plastic, or as a result of, the Active can take a beating and keep things ticking along. Its usefulness is more than catered just towards the rock climber, the drink spiller, or the clumsy handler, with its larger size allowing for a battery capacity and longevity that we only wished the Galaxy S6 could muster, and the Active button is useful for everyone who wants an easy access method to their most used applications. If the Galaxy S6 Edge is the luxury sports car, and seems to be priced accordingly, the Galaxy S6 Active is the off-roading vehicle that can still show off on the streets, and in this scenario, also gives far better gas mileage.

Buy now from AT&T

8
Jul

6 gadgets that give you real-life superpowers


By Cat DiStasio

Nearly every child dreams of having superhero powers, and it’s safe to say a lot of adults still wish for them too, if the success of the recent Marvel films is any indication. Luckily, engineers and inventors have come up with some really cool gadgets that give plain ol’ homo sapiens awesome, real-life superpowers. If you’ve ever longed for a cloak of invisibility or dreamed about having superhuman strength, you’ll be excited to check out these amazing advances in technology. Read on to find out what kinds of super strengths these newfangled gadgets can give you.

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8
Jul

Sony’s Folding@Home Android app now fights cancer while you sleep


Sony's Folding@Home works while you sleep

Want to help cure Alzheimer’s or breast cancer? From now on, you don’t have to do much more than charge your phone. Sony has released a big upgrade to its Folding@Home app for Android that can use your phone’s processor for medical research on a continuous basis — so long as you’re on WiFi and charging, you can doze off knowing that you’re contributing to a good cause. It also ties into your Google account to both accumulate time on multiple devices as well as earn game-like achievements. The refresh is available now, so give it a shot if you’d like your phone to do more in its idle time than fetch your email.

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Via: Android Community

Source: Sony, Google Play

8
Jul

iHeartRadio brings its streaming app to U-Verse TV


2015 iHeartRadio Country Festival - ShowEven though AT&T’s busy trying to merge with DirecTV, the company is still focused on improving its current home entertainment product, U-Verse. Starting today, customers who are subscribed to a television package can access iHeartRadio, the popular radio-streaming service. Once you tune in to the new channel (532 or 1532), you’ll be able to listen to thousands of stations based on genre, keyword or location. There are also ways to save your favorite content and get personalized recommendations — the more you listen, the more the app knows what you like. iHeartRadio says it’s the first live-streaming radio application available to U-Verse TV subscribers, which also highlights AT&T’s ongoing efforts to make the platform better for people.

[Lede image credit: Getty Images]

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8
Jul

Apple Introduces Revamped Two-Factor Authentication for iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan


With the third betas of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple is introducing a revamped two-factor authentication system, according to both the beta release notes and a detailed support FAQ that outlines the changes.

The new two-factor authentication system is different from Apple’s existing two-step verification system, using “different methods” to trust devices and deliver verification codes. Apple also says it includes a “more streamlined user experience.”

Based on the support document, the new two-factor authentication system works similarly to the existing two-step verification system. Any device that you sign into using two-factor authentication in iOS 9 or El Capitan becomes a trusted device that can be used to verify identify when signing into other devices or services linked to an Apple ID.

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Apple recommends that iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan beta testers using the new two-factor authentication system update all of their devices to iOS 9 or El Capitan for “the best experience.” As outlined in the release notes, customers who use two-factor authentication with older devices may be required to use a six-digit verification code at the end of a password instead of in a dedicated verification field.

If you enable two-factor authentication, iTunes purchases on Mac and Windows will require you to append a 6-digit code to the end of your password on every purchase. The 6-digit code will automatically be sent to your iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan devices.

Older devices are also not able to receive two-factor authentication codes when used with devices running iOS 9 and El Capitan, but customers who stick with the older two-step verification system should not run into any issues as Apple tests the newer two-factor authentication system. Apple does not recommend that customers using two-step verification swap over to two-factor authentication until the feature is available to all.

First introduced in March of 2013, two-factor verification is an opt-in system that increases the security of Apple ID accounts. Since its debut, Apple has been woking to expand two-factor authentication to cover several different services like iCloud, iMessage, and FaceTime.

It is not entirely clear what other changes the new two-factor authentication system brings to iOS and Mac devices, but the switch to a new system may allow Apple to further extend the functionality of two-factor authentication in the future.


8
Jul

iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan Public Betas Coming Soon


With the third betas of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, Apple introduced a new two-factor authentication system. A support document accompanying the feature explicitly mentions that it’s designed for “the public betas of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan,” suggesting public beta access to the operating systems is coming soon.

When Apple introduced iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan at its Worldwide Developers Conference, the company promised that a public beta would be available beginning in July, so customers who are enrolled in Apple’s public beta testing programs may not have much longer to wait to get access to the new software.

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It is not clear exactly when the public beta will be seeded to customers, but the wording in the support document suggests beta testers will be receiving access to the same third betas of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 that were seeded to developers this morning.

Public beta tests for major software releases are a relatively new feature from Apple, introduced for OS X with OS X Yosemite last year and iOS with the release of iOS 8.3 in March of 2015. iOS and Mac users can sign up for Apple’s Beta Software Program on the company’s dedicated beta testing site.


8
Jul

iOS 9 Beta 3 Tidbits: 4×4 Folders on iPad, Screenshot and Selfie Folder, News App, and More


Apple today released the third beta of iOS 9, which has turned out to be the biggest update to the operating system so far. It adds a revamped Music app with access to Apple Music, the News app that was first unveiled at WWDC, a new two-factor authentication system, and several other smaller tweaks, along with the traditional performance improvements and bug fixes.

With today’s changes, the beta is feeling faster, more polished, and more full featured. For beta testers and those eager to know what’s coming in the OS ahead of its official release, we’ve rounded up a complete list of all of the new changes introduced in iOS 9 beta 3 below.

News app – Today’s beta is the first iOS 9 beta to include Apple’s new News app, first announced at WWDC. The news app offers up a curated list of news stories based on each user’s preferences and interests. The News app appears to be available only to U.S. users for the time being.

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Two-Factor Authentication – iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan include an entirely revamped two-factor authentication system that Apple says is more streamlined.

App folders on iPad – App folders on the iPad now display apps in a 4×4 arrangement instead of a 3×3 arrangement, allowing users to see more apps in a folder at a glance.

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Photo app folders – There are new folders for selfies and screenshots in the Photos app, where face shots and screenshots are aggregated.

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Music app – The Music app in iOS 9 has been updated, giving beta testers access to Apple Music, Beats 1 radio, and Apple Connect.

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Music settings – There’s a new option in the Settings app under “Music” to stream music at the highest quality while using a cellular connection.

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Additional feature updates in iOS 9 beta 3 will be added here as they are discovered. Apple should continue to release regular updates to iOS 9 at two to three week intervals throughout the beta testing period to bring minor performance boosts and changes ahead of the operating system’s official launch. iOS 9 is expected to be released to the public in the fall, but a public beta test will come first and is expected in the near future.


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