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14
Jul

A Detailed Look at How the Apple Watch Functions in Water


Apple is cautious with its Apple Watch and doesn’t market the device as waterproof, instead giving it a water resistance rating of IPX7. Apple says it’s fine to wear the watch in the rain or while washing your hands, but the company doesn’t recommend submerging the device.

Many Apple Watch owners have tested Apple’s water resistance claims, coming to the conclusion that the Apple Watch is more water resistant than Apple claims. It’s survived submersion in a bucket, laps in a pool, lengthy swim tests, and even a 10m dive with no damage.

applewatchwaterImage via Craig Hockenberry
iOS developer Craig Hockenberry of Iconfactory has followed up each of those tests with a thorough look at the Apple Watch’s ability to function in water, which he’s compiled into a detailed report that’s well worth a read.

Hockenberry wears his Apple Watch while swimming in both pools and the ocean with no discernible damage. Because other reports have already proven the Apple Watch can function in water, Hockenberry goes deeper and looks at how well the watch works while it’s in water, how it can be used while swimming, how accurate the data tracking is for water-based activities like swimming, and how to keep the Apple Watch in good condition after using it in salt water and chlorine.

The Apple Watch’s capacitive touch screen doesn’t work while the device is under water, nor does Force Touch. This is a problem when using the Workout app, as it can’t be accessed in the water, and occasionally, water can activate a swipe on the display, swapping from the timer to the calorie view. A workout can only be started before getting into the water and ended after getting out, leading to some inaccuracies.

You have to start the workout before getting in the water and stop after you’ve gotten a chance to dry off.

For an ocean swim, this screws up your timing: you don’t really start swimming until after you get beyond the surf break. If there’s heavy surf, this can take several minutes. Workout data is being collected while you’re standing and waiting for waves to clear.

Hockenberry postulates that Apple recommends customers don’t use the Apple Watch in water “because of the erratic behavior it causes” when the screen is wet, rather than out of concern for how well it holds up in water. As he suggests, it’s possible water activity tracking will improve upon the release of WatchOS 2 if native swimming apps are allowed, but it is not clear if Apple will approve swimming apps as they encourage users to wear the Apple Watch in a way that Apple does not support.

Hockenberry’s full, detailed report on how the Apple Watch functions in water can be read over at his site, Furbo.org.


14
Jul

Taylor Swift’s Apple Music Letter Surprised Her Record Label, but Pushed Talks ‘Over the Edge’


Ahead of the launch of Apple Music, Taylor Swift made headlines when she wrote a scathing open letter to Apple, criticizing its decision not to pay artists for their work during its three-month free trial. Her letter, combined with pushback from indie labels, led Apple to reverse course and opt to pay artists during the three months that customers can listen for free.

Record label exec Scott Borchetta, who serves as the head of Big Machine Records and signed Swift when she was 14, recently spoke at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Tech conference and shared some backstory on the negotiations that eventually led Swift to write the letter. According to Borchetta, he’d been in talks with Apple and told the company that his label couldn’t support no compensation during the three-month free trial, but wasn’t making headway.

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Borchetta hadn’t spoken to Swift about the negotiations and was caught unawares by her letter, which she didn’t clear with her record label. He wasn’t angry, though, because her post, as we know, caused Apple to change its policy and made negotiations easier.

“She literally texted me and said, ‘Don’t be mad,’ with the link,” Borchetta said. “She was in Europe. I responded and said, ‘You don’t have any idea how good your timing is right now.’”

A day after Swift’s letter, Borchetta had a conference call with Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue, where they capitulated and agreed to the demands of both Swift and many other artists who had been resisting signing on with Apple Music due to the free trial.

Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager, was also at the Fortune event and said that Swift’s letter gave Apple the push the industry needed to secure a better deal. “Everyone was fighting that fight,” he said. “Taylor pushed it over the edge. She made them aware it wasn’t just the executives. Sometimes it’s good to hear the artists saying it.”

Shortly after Apple changed its policy, the company secured a deal with Swift and signed deals with thousands of indie labels a week ahead of Apple Music’s launch. Apple Music became the first and only streaming music service to offer Swift’s most recent album, 1989.


14
Jul

ZTE Axon vs the competition


ZTE AXON Phone vs LG G4 Quick Look-5

ZTE has its sights set on third place in the US market and its new Axon phone wants to bring some additional competition to the established brands in the market. So let’s take a look at how the ZTE Axon’s hardware stacks up against the best of 2015’s flagship smartphones.

Beginning with the processing hardware, ZTE has opted for Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 processor, which is built from four ARM Cortex-A57 and four Cortex-A53 cores configured in a big.LITTLE arrangement. This set-up is used throughout the 2015 flagships, even in Samsung’s Exynos chip, with the exception of the LG G4, which uses the cooler running hexa-core Snapdragon 808.

  ZTE Axon Galaxy S6 One M9 Xperia Z3+ LG G4
Display 5.5-inch LCD
QHD (2560×1440)
5.1-inch AMOLED
QHD (2560×1440)
5-inch LCD
FullHD (1920×1080)
5.2-inch LCD
FullHD (1920×1080)
5.5-inch LCD
QHD (2560×1440)
SoC Snapdragon 810 Exynos 7420 Snapdragon 810 Snapdragon 810 Snapdragon 808
CPU 4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.1GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53
2x 1.8GHz Cortex-A57
4x 1.4GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Adreno 430 Mali-T760 MP8 Adreno 430 Adreno 430 Adreno 418
RAM 4GB 3GB 3GB 3GB 3GB
Storage 32GB 32/64/128GB 32GB 32GB 32GB
MicroSD No No Yes, up to 128GB Yes, up to 128GB Yes, up to 128GB

On the GPU side we see an Adreno 430 GPU, which should be able to provide some extra graphics grunt to push additional pixels to the QHD display. This should give the handset an edge over the G4’s Adreno 418, but the lower display resolution of the One M9 or Xperia Z3+ will result in better frame rates for gamers.

While we’re on the subject of displays, the ZTE Axon matches the leaders in the field with a huge QHD (2560×1440) display resolution. At 5.5-inches, the G4 is the Axon’s closest competitor in screen size. The display is based on Sharp’s rather good LCD technology, but it probably won’t end up with as wide of a color gamut as Samsung’s AMOLED.

ZTE AXON Phone vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Quick Look-6

The Axon’s QHD display resolution matches that of the Galaxy S6, Note 4, LG G4 and Nexus 6.

The one area that ZTE has decided to go above any beyond the competition is with an extra GB of RAM, bringing the total up to 4GB compared with 3GB for every other major flagship. Android has become a bit more of a memory hog these days, but you’re not going to see much of a noticeable improvement in performance by moving from 3GB to 4GB. However, very heavily multi-taskers may find that apps open a little quicker, as there’s extra room to keep these in the background on ZTE’s handset.

In terms of internal storage, ZTE’s Axon matches the 32GB of internal memory offered by most 2015 flagships. Sadly there doesn’t appear to be support for a microSD card, which might leave the phone lacking space if you’re a big media consumer. Samsung opted not to include a microSD card slot with the Galaxy S6, but at least there are models with 64 and 128GB of memory available.

In terms of performance, the ZTE Axon looks able to match the very best Android phones on the market right now.

  ZTE Axon Galaxy S6 One M9 Xperia Z3+ LG G4
Camera dual rear (13MP, and 2MP)
8MP front
16MP rear
5MP front
20MP rear
4MP front
20.7MP rear
5MP front
16MP dual rear
8MP front
Battery 3,000mAh 2,500mAh 2,840mAh 2,930mAh 3,000mAh
LTE Category 6 Category 6 Category 6 Category 6 Category 6
Fast Charging? Quick Charge 2.0 No Quick Charge 2.0 Quick Charge 2.0 Quick Charge 2.0
Wireless Charging? No PMA and Qi No No Qi (optional cases)
Dimensions 154 x 75 x 9.3mm 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6 mm 146 x 72 x 6.9 mm 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm
Weight 175g 138g 157g 144g 155g
Unlocked Price $499 $700 $650 $650 $540

Moving on to the smartphone’s additional hardware features, we can see a number of high-end features packed in. There’s no support for wireless charging or an infrared port, but the Axon does support NFC, fast LTE data speeds, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology. ZTE also touts “Hi-Fi audio” via its AKM 4961 codec, which boasts a 32-bit 192 kHz DAC, but there’s actually only one speaker at the bottom of the phone. We certainly won’t attempt to make any calls about quality without a good listen, but it will be interesting to hear how the phone stacks up with the One M9.

ZTE has also paid a lot of attention to this year’s hotly contested smartphone camera feature list. There’s a dual rear camera setup, which sports a 13 megapixel camera with a secondary 2MP cam, allowing for depth refocusing, a feature that was quite popular last generation.

ZTE Axon camera sample images

The Axon’s camera sample images show some impressive low light shots.

Delving a little deeper into the camera specifications we note a BSI sensor which is accompanied by a 6 element lens and f/1.8 aperture, which matches the LG G4. The aperture can also apparently span to f/1.0 for superior image in low-light settings. The Axon has also opted for a higher resolution 8MP front facing camera with 88 degree wide angle lens. Again, we can’t call camera quality without some hands-on time, but the spec sheet suggests that ZTE’s phone will give Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG a run for their money.

The only marginal complaint about the paper specs seems to be that the ZTE Axon is a bit taller than other handsets of a similar size and it also weighs a little bit more. We’re really looking at a phone closer in size to the Galaxy Note 4, which some will love but others may find a little too large.

ZTE AXON Phone Hands On-27

Overall, an initial look at the hardware suggests that ZTE has doubled down with the Axon and has produced a phone that appears to offer the cutting edge hardware that you would expect from a flagship smartphone at a retail price that substantially undercuts most of the competition. The LG G4 is probably the Axon’s closest rival for value for money. At $500, US consumers might be tempted to overlook ZTE’s past reputation to grab a bargain. (Update: actual price for the Axon is $450 as it turns out, not $500).

14
Jul

Commodore is back, this time as a smartphone company


commodore-return

If you grew up (or were already an adult) in the 80s or 90s, odds are you have at least heard of Commodore. In fact, there’s even a pretty good chance you owned or knew someone who owned one of their computers, very likely a Commodore 64.

The C64 was one of the best-selling computers of all time, and was also one of the best gaming devices of the era. Over time however, the brand fell out of favor and eventually died.

While it was resurrected briefly in 2013 for a new nostalgia-driven Intel Atom machine named the C64x, the device sold poorly and the resurrected “Commodore USA” collapsed shortly thereafter. Now the brand is back once more, this time jumping into the smartphone game.

The original Commodore PET

Old Computers The original Commodore PET

Dubbed the Commodore PET, after Commodore’s first computer (also named PET), the new phone offers a 1.7GHz Mediatek 64-bit octa-core processor and a 5.5-inch 1080p display. Depending on if you get the 16GB or 32GB storage option, you’ll end up with 2 or 3GB of RAM. Other specs include a microSD slot, a 3000 mAh battery, a 13MP main cam, and an 8MP front cam.

As you’ve probably already figured out, just because the PET has Commodore’s name and logo on it — doesn’t make it the Commodore of old. The new Commodore is actually officially registered as “Commodore Business Machines Limited” in the UK, founded by Massimo Canigiani and Carlo Scattolini. Just like “Commodore US” in 2013, the new brand shares nothing in common with the original Commodore, save for the branding.

The PET doesn’t look like a horrible device by any means, but nor is it exactly an amazing device. Will nostalgia be enough to sell it? Only time will tell for sure, though we’ll find out soon enough when the device launches across select parts of Europe later this month at $300 for the 16GB model or $365 for the 32GB version. Commodore also says it plans to eventually offer the phone in more markets, including the US.

What do you think, excited by the idea of a Commodore branded phone? Or is this nothing more than a nostalgia driven gimmick that isn’t worth picking up?

14
Jul

ZTE Axon includes free repair for two years with Axon Passport program


ZTE Axon Passport AA

We’re here in New York City where ZTE has just officially announced the Axon, a new smartphone that comes with an all-metal build, front-facing speakers, a Quad HD display and many other notable features for just $449 off-contract. We’ve already gone hands-on with the new handset and pitted it against the competition, but this impressive smartphone isn’t the only thing the Chinese manufacturer announced today.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an Axon, ZTE will throw in a protection program called ‘Axon Passport’. The program, which is included with the purchase of the device, comes with a two-year warranty with incidentals, as well as one year of free shipping. This means that if something happens to your device during the first year, you can send it in and get it fixed at no extra charge whatsoever. If something happens during the second year, you can still send it in to the company to get it fixed, but you’ll have to cover the shipping costs yourself.

Axon Passport also includes 30-day buyer’s remorse, so you’ll be able to send back the phone within the first month at no extra charge if you don’t like it.

ZTE AXON Phone Hands On-27

We’re still getting more details when it comes to the Axon Passport, but so far it seems like a solid program. It seems very similar to what HTC offers with its Uh-Oh protection plan, which has proven very useful to many consumers since the company unveiled it back in March.

Be sure to check out all of our coverage on the brand new ZTE Axon, and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

14
Jul

Inateck offering deals ahead of Prime Day


Inateck has long been know for offering great products at reasonable prices. No need to spend a fortune on a product when you can get a similar experience at a much lower price. For those of you that have not had the opportunity to try out their devices, now would be a great time to start.

Inateck has decided to partake in Amazon’s Prime day festivities and is offering some great deals on their products ahead of the official Amazon Prime Day Sale. The codes listed below the products are all Primed up and ready to go, so all you need to do is enter them at checkout to reap the discount.

Compact USB Charger Dual-Port Charger Audio Receiver
51LUtgraFoL._SL1024_ 51BCG8m7CuL._SL1300_ 51A5uYgQgKL._SL1000_
JARIXKW7 JARIXKW7 JARIXKW7
BTSP-10P MercuryBox Stainless Steel Keyboard
719Dk3DkMiL._SL1300_ 71fmhIdc7ML._SL1300_ 61p9mkix7PL._SL1300_
JARIXKW7 JARIXKW7 AYQ99F7C

The post Inateck offering deals ahead of Prime Day appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Jul

Android gives news of some Prime Day sales


Amazon gives us information of a few of its deals for its Prime Day. Prime Day, which will run all day tomorrow, July 15, is its shopping event this week to celebrate its 20th anniversary. In addition to deals that will be available for the event’s entirely, new, lightning deals will be offered up to every 10 minutes, starting from 12AM PT. Here are some of the those that will be available, courtesy of Amazon via Android Central :

Product Deal
Fire TV Stick $15 off
Kindle $30 off
Fire HD 7 $60 off
Fire HD 7 Kids Edition $60 off
32-inch LED TV $75 price
40-inch 1080p LED TV $115 price
Bose headphones Lowest price ever on the site
Chromebook laptop $199
Brand-name 32-inch Smart HDTV under $200
50-inch 4K TV bundle under $1,000
Two select Nikon COOLPIX cameras over 50% off
Two security camera-kit $279.99 price
iRobot Roomba Pet Vacuum Cleaning Robot under $300 price
Husqvarna mower under $300
Amazon Gift Card multipack Receive $10 in Amazon.com promotional credit
5,000 or 10,000 Amazon Coins Get 25% bonus Amazon coins when you buy

Finally, this is a reminder that these and other deals will only be available on July 15. Therefore, if you’re interested in buying anything at prices Amazon explains are better than Black Friday, be sure to browse the site on this day.

The post Android gives news of some Prime Day sales appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Jul

Samsung may unveil the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus on August 12


Following on from the numerous rumors we’ve already heard regarding the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, the latest one to hit the internet is probably the most important – when the device will actually appear.

According to SamMobile and ‘people familiar with the matter’, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 5 alongside the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus in New York on August 12th, with orders available on August 21st.

In addition to the two handsets, Samsung will reportedly also release their mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, in the US.

The Note 5 is expected to be 5.7-inches with 4GB of RAM with a glass back and thin bezels in silver, gold, black, and white. As for the Galaxy S6 Edge+, it will obviously have the dual curved edged screen and will also be 5.7-inches with a QHD display, powered by a Exynos 7420 and 3GB of RAM.

The devices have apparently been accelerated in their development and release in order to help Samsung drive their declining profits, and also compete with the devices Apple will unveil this year.

Source: SamMobile

The post Samsung may unveil the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus on August 12 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Jul

New Acer device, ‘S59′, sees its specifications surface online


acer_chromebook_13_acer_logo_TA

Specifications for an unannounced Acer phone have surfaced online, showing what looks to be a mid-range device.

According to the GFXBench listing, the device, which is labeled as ‘S59′, comes with Android 5.1 pre-installed and a 5-inch 720p display. The camera, though, looks to be the exciting part. This model comes with a 13MP rear camera capable of shooting 4K video. It also has the same 13MP camera on the front with the same video resolution, making for a great selfie camera in addition to shooting high resolution video. The smartphone will come with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and an octa-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 processor which provides LTE Cat 4 support, Bluetooth 4.0 and a Mali T720 GPU.

The device should be revealed during IFA 2015 in September.

Source: GFXBench
Via: GSM Dome

Come comment on this article: New Acer device, ‘S59′, sees its specifications surface online

14
Jul

TapDeck, a smart content discovery app, launches after a successful beta


tapdeck-logo

TapDeck, the app that lets you discover new and exciting content through your wallpaper, has finally launched after a successful beta. Today’s launch update brings with it many new and engaging features, including an all-new design.

Users can now connect to social networks and begin building followers. It’s a unique system in that you can drop pictures to a follower, and that follower will find it on his or her home screen.

You can also “retap” pictures, which will push them to your feed so that all your followers can see them. In layman’s terms, it’s essentially a retweet on Twitter or “share” on Facebook. TapDeck has also gotten a much needed report feature to flag inappropriate content for removal.

Click here to view the embedded video.

If you haven’t used TapDeck just yet, it’s a content discovery system. The developer claims that it transforms your device into a gateway for content discovery. For instance, after setting the app up, you can double tap your wallpaper to swap it out with a new one. Additionally, you can swipe upwards for information and related content of your current wallpaper. It actually works really well and dishes up some interesting content.

If you’re interested in taking TapDeck 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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tapdeck-3
tapdeck-2
tapdeck-1

Come comment on this article: TapDeck, a smart content discovery app, launches after a successful beta

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