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30
Sep

Sprint’s unlimited data plan increases to $70 a month on October 16th


A Sprint Corp. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures

If you’re been eyeing Sprint’s Unlimited Plan for an endless supply of data, you’ll want to act quickly. The carrier is increasing the cost of its unlimited data option by $10 a month on October 16th, upping it from $60 to $70. The announcement comes in the form of an “act now” promo of sorts from Sprint, offering those who are interested a chance to opt in before the price hike. The company says that in addition to those who switch over by October 15th, customers who are currently on the $60 unlimited tier will be able to keep the current rate after the changes go into effect. What’s more, the monthly cost will stay put, even when getting a new phone, as long as plan requirements are met and selected financing options are available with the data option. Sprint is offering the iPhone 6s for $1/month when you trade-in too, pairing it with unlimited data for $61 for a limited time.

[Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Via: iMore

Source: Sprint

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30
Sep

Mac exploit dodges Apple’s anti-malware app check


Security guard holding hand out

If you’ve used a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion or later, you’re well-acquainted with Gatekeeper: it’s the security measure that prevents unsigned apps from running unless you want them to. Unfortunately, it turns out that this first line of defense isn’t quite as secure as it’s supposed to be. Synack security researcher Patrick Wardle has discovered a flaw that lets malware get around Gatekeeper and do what it wants with your system. The trick ‘hijacks’ a signed app to pretend that it’s legit, and uses clever file packaging to launch hostile code once OS X declares the host app safe. Wardle only used one app in a proof of concept demonstration, but other apps should work. You could even use malicious plugins (say, Photoshop add-ons) to bypass Gatekeeper.

Needless to say, this is a potentially nasty flaw. If attackers can convince you to download and install an authentic-looking app, they’ll have a field day. The good news? Wardle took care to notify Apple before disclosing the exploit, and the company says that it’s already working on a patch. It’s not clear when this will arrive, so you’ll want to stay on your toes until then — grab apps only from those sources you can trust.

[Image credit: Getty Images/OJO Images RF]

Via: Ars Technica

Source: Virus Bulletin

30
Sep

Huawei Mate S vs Ascend Mate 7


 

Last year saw Huawei introduced its first all-metal big-screen smartphone with the Mate 7, which brought a stylish design and unique single-touch fingerprint sensor. Fast forward a year and Huawei introduced the Mate S at IFA, bringing an updated design and second-generation fingerprint scanner, but how do these two devices compare? That’s exactly what we aim to find out in this quick look at the new Huawei Mate S vs the Ascend Mate 7.

Design

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Although it has a frameless display, the Mate 7 is definitely one of the larger smartphones on the market and even though I have large hands, I find it difficult to use in one hand. With the Mate S, Huawei has made its latest flagship smaller and more manageable, resulting in a much improved in-hand experience.

The Mate 7 brought a design that’s atypical of Huawei devices and, although it’s been tweaked a little, the Mate S mostly follows the same design. Huawei says both smartphones have frameless displays and while this is somewhat true, both devices come with an on-screen bezel that reduced the available screen real estate.


Huawie-Mate-S-hands-on-AA-(13-of-16)See also: Huawei Mate S review60

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The back of the Mate S is slightly curved and a key change in the Mate S is the depth of the curve, with the new flagship curving at a higher gradient. This results in the Mate S feeling a lot better in the hand and has also allowed Huawei to make the handset just 2.65mm thick at its thinnest point, although it is 7.2mm thick in the middle.

Both devices have the power and volume keys on the right, along with the SIM tray on the right. On the Mate 7, the SIM and microSD card trays are separate while on the Mate S, these have been combined into one tray, like on the Huawei Honor 7. Beneath the camera on the back, Huawei has also added the fingerprint sensor, and while some people may not like the fact that it’s on the back, the sensor is positioned so it sits where you finger naturally does.


Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Editor's ChoiceSee also: Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Review27

Huawei-Mate-S-vs-Mate-7-AA-(5-of-10)

Up top, we’ve got the headphone jack and microphone, while at the bottom, both devices have the micro USB 2.0 port. On the Mate 7, the single mono speaker is located on the back but in the Mate S, Huawei has moved to a dual speaker for the first time on a flagship. The new speakers are much louder and offer an immersive experience, this time located on the bottom.

The Mate 7 design was certainly unique and in the year that’s passed, we’ve seen Huawei refine the design further. The Mate S may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly a unique and stylish metal design that is different thananything else on the market.

Display

Huawei-Mate-S-vs-Mate-7-AA-(1-of-10)

Another key change is in the display technology. The Mate 7 sports a 6-inch IPS display, while the Mate S offers a smaller and more vibrant 5.5-inch AMOLED panel. Both screens sport Full HD resolution and while there are better Quad HD and 4K displays on the market, Full HD is more than good enough for most users.

While the Mate 7 screen is certainly no slouch, the switch to AMOLED means the Mate S offers more vibrant and saturated colours and deep blacks. The smaller display also means a higher 401ppi density, compared with 368ppi on the Mate 7, and this certainly shows.

Huawei also have a luxury version of the Mate S, which comes with the world’s first Force Touch smartphone display, but this will only be available in certain markets and has a limited feature set that includes magic buttons and the ability to weigh a piece of fruit on the screen (yes, really). Overall, while the Mate S screen isn’t the best on the market, it does offer an impressive experience and will be sure to satisfy most users.

Hardware & Performance

Like most flagship devices, both the Mate 7 and Mate S are equipped with a range of features that we’ve come to expect from the best devices on the market.

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Both handsets are powered by Huawei’s own octa-core Kirin processor and while the Mate 7 users the older Kirin 925 clocked at 1.8GHz, the Mate S uses the new Kirin 935 clocked at 2.2GHz. The newer chipset and faster clock speed, coupled with improved software, result in a smoother experience on the Mate S. A key problem with the Kirin is the graphics performance and while the Mali T628 GPU does improve graphics and gaming on the Mate S, the experience is still subpar compared to other similarly priced flagships.

The Mate 7 comes in two storage versions; the entry-level, which we have, has 2GB RAM and 16GB storage while the premium version comes with 32GB storage and 3GB RAM. The Mate S comes with 3GB RAM as standard and either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage. If you’re after the Force Touch display, this is limited to just the 128GB model and whichever model you buy, you can expand it using a microSD card.

Huawei-Mate-S-vs-Mate-7-AA-(6-of-10)

On the back, both have Huawei’s trademark one-touch square fingerprint sensor and this is where a year has made a really big difference. The Mate 7 let you unlock your phone just by tapping the sensor and in the Mate S, Huawei have not only made this feature faster but also added gesture support to let you access the camera, take a selfie, pull down your notifications drawer or bring up the recent apps menu. The key thing that sets the sensor apart from other devices is that you can unlock your phone by tapping the sensor and you don’t need to press a button to wake the device like on other flagship devices.

As far as phablets go, battery is a big part of the experience and while the original phablets bought large batteries, we’ve noticed companies make smartphone batteries smaller. Huawei is no different and the Mate 7 offered a 4100 mAh battery that was simply outstanding, while the Mate S brings a much smaller 2700 mAh. Given that the Mate 7 battery can last a good two days between charges, it’s likely the Mate S battery life has been reduced massively. The big battery on the Mate 7 meant it takes a long time to charge to full but quick charging on the Mate S means it takes less than two hours to fully charge an empty battery.

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Both handsets offer expandable storage and Huawei says the microSD card slot also doubles up as a secondary SIM slot. On the Mate 7 however, our version doesn’t have dual SIM support but this is available in select markets. On the Mate S, dual SIM is included in all variants and lets you use two SIM cards at once, each with their own 4G connection. Huawei is using a clever dual antenna system to get around its metal build and this means the handset can intelligently switch between antennae, depending on which is offering the best reception. As a result, high data speeds, a reliable connection and great cell coverage all come as standard on the Mate S.

Software

Huawei-Mate-S-vs-Mate-7-AA-(1-of-10)

If there’s any area where Huawei does itself no favours, it is the software and it’s also where these two devices differ considerably. A key criticism of Huawei is lack of future platform upgrades and a year after launch, the Mate 7 is still using KitKat with the Lollipop update nowhere to be seen.

The Mate S runs the Lollipop update with Emotion UI v3.1 out of the box and while this is the same version of EMUI found in the Huawei P8, the software experience has been heavily improved. The bugs and glitches found in the P8 are no more and Huawei has also tweaked and added a few new features.

The Knuckle Screenshot now lets you draw a letter to launch an app, with default ones being c to launch the camera and e to launch the web browser. You can also customise the shortcuts to launch apps you use frequently. Emotion UI also comes with new themes that change accent and UI colours to match the colour of the handset you have.

Yes, Huawei is particularly slow at updating its devices and you may be waiting a while for the Marshmallow update on the Mate S, but the software experience is a lot better than on past Huawei devices. It’s a smooth interface and, aside from a missing app drawer and a fair amount of preloaded bloatware, it’s actually pretty usable.

Huawei-Mate-S-vs-Mate-7-AA-(4-of-10)

Camera

The camera on the Mate 7 was something of a let down, as the lack of stabilisation meant you had to keep the handset completely still to ensure the final image wasn’t blurry. Both devices offer 13MP sensors but the addition of OIS in the Mate S means this is a smartphone camera that mostly keeps up with some very good competition.

They say that cameras are about more than just megapixels and this is certainly true with the Mate S, which shows just what OIS can do to overall images. Now, most – if not all – images you capture are sharp and vibrant and effective stabilisation means you can now leave the shutter open for as long as a ¼ of a second and still have crisp photos. This shutter speed tops most smartphones and the addition of a pro mode lets the budding professional photographers customise all manor of settings including ISO, white balance, focus, shutter speed and aperture.

The front of the Mate 7 sports a 5MP selfie camera that can take 720p video while the Mate S brings a much better 8MP sensor that can shoot Full HD video and has a soft-light to help lighten the scene when you’re taking a selfie. While a selfie flash certainly isn’t new, it does make a difference to selfies you take and any you do take can also be tweaked using Huawei’s beauty level modes.

Overall, Huawei isn’t known for making the best camera but the company has improved things with its latest flagship, which brings the same improvements found in the impressive Huawei P8 and Honor 7 cameras. While it doesn’t top the LG G4 and Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and Note smartphones, it certainly is up there with other flagship devices.

Price & Final Thoughts

The Mate S has a price of €649 for the 32GB or £469 in the UK, while the Mate 7 has dropped in price significantly and can be picked up for around £280 for the 16GB version. The 32GB version of the Mate S comes in either Titanium Grey or the Mystic Champagne silver version we have, while the 64GB version comes in either Luxurious Gold or Cobalt Pink.

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At almost half the price of the Mate S, the Mate 7 is certainly an interesting handset but the Mate S does have enough improvements to warrant the additional cost. What do you think and which handset would you pick? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!

30
Sep

OnePlus X launching in Oct. and will sport Snapdragon 801


OnePlus set the stage for growth last year with its first device, the OnePlus One. The CEO, Carl Pei, hinted at two models for 2015 and rumors point to a mid-range device called the OnePlus X. I guess we went from simple arithmetic with the flagship phones(OnePlus One and OnePlus Two)to algebra with naming of the mid-range class.

According to gizmochina.com and their sources, the OnePlus X will arrive with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 which should help keep its price point at $249 or lower. Paired with the right hardware, the Snapdragon 801 was a great processor just a year ago and should have no issues in keeping up with the latest version of Android.oneplus-x-02

Even though this is a mid-range phone, there are other rumors pointing to a premium design with unique features such as a dual camera set-up and USB-C. The OnePlus Two is a large device with a 5.5″ display, so OP looks to be focusing purely on price and design with the X. The X is also speculated to come with a smaller 5″ display for those who prefer devices that can be used with one hand.

Of all of the rumors, I find it most interesting that the OnePlus X is slated to come out in Oct. since they are back-ordered on the OnePlus Two. Either way, I hope OnePlus does succeed with their phones as they do put pressure on other manufacturers to drop prices.

 

The post OnePlus X launching in Oct. and will sport Snapdragon 801 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

30
Sep

LG V10 renders leaked online ahead of this week’s debut


Last week, LG teased an interesting (or disturbing, if you watched the teaser video) upcoming smartphone due on Oct. 1st. We could tell that there will be some sort of separate “ticker” display, perhaps similar to what Samsung offers on the “Edge” phones.

Today, we may have a first leak at that device, courtesy of Evan Blass at @evleaks. Via Twitter, he tweeted the following image, referred to as the LG V10.

lg_v10

It’s unsure if “V10” is the name the new phone will bear. However, this shot looks like a promo pic and has “V10” etched on the back cover. The back cover is also uniquely tiled and looks really grippy.

At the top of the display we can in fact see that “ticker” display, along with what appears to be app shortcuts (maybe a favorite apps list). Alongside, we also see what looks like two camera sensors. Maybe this is a duo camera for depth controlling selfies? Beats me.  Fortunately, we only have to wait a day to know.

Does the V10 peak your interest, or do you think LG has gone off the deep end?

The post LG V10 renders leaked online ahead of this week’s debut appeared first on AndroidGuys.

30
Sep

Google acquires Jibe Mobile in an effort to commit to the Rich Communications Services standard


Google-logo-aa16x9

One of the main reasons why third-party messaging applications are so popular around the world is because standard text messaging through mobile carriers is so lacking in the features department. Group chatting, sending high resolution photos and the ability to see when the other party has read a message are all points of contention with standard text messaging, which is why Google is committing to a new standard called Rich Communications Services (RCS) to help change that.

As part of the big commitment to adopt the RCS standard, Google has announced that the company is acquiring Jibe Mobile, a messaging startup that’s been a leader in the RCS standard ever since it was founded in 2006. Jibe’s main goal now is to help carriers easily deploy RCS to their users, which should help make a big impact on carrier messaging in the future.

Google explains:

Many leaders in the wireless industry have already put great work into laying the foundation for RCS, and we’ve heard from many of them that there are ways Android can help. We’re excited to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent way. We’re already working closely with many of our partners on implementing RCS, and look forward to growing the RCS ecosystem together.


T-Mobile-G1-first-impressions-aa-3-of-13See also: T-Mobile’s new Advanced Messaging feature aims to make texting much better5

Deploying RCS for Android devices will certainly take a long time, but it’s still really great to see Google get started on this new initiative.

30
Sep

Sprint’s unlimited data plan is getting a price boost


sprint_logo_wall_signSprint’s unlimited data plan is used by many around the county. If you’re one of them, then you should know that it costs $60 per month. However, as of October 16, new Sprint wireless subscribers will have to pay $70 per month.

Sprint just announced that it’ll be changing the price of its unlimited data plan from $60 to $70. Unlike most carriers which keep lowering their prices, this is the first time in a while that we’re seeing a price raised. The change will only be for new subscribers. If you’re already on a $60 per month unlimited data plan, this doesn’t impact you. If you’re thinking of signing up with Sprint unlimited, you have up until October 16 before the price will officially be raised.

Source: Sprint

Come comment on this article: Sprint’s unlimited data plan is getting a price boost

30
Sep

Review: Xistwear’s Stretchy Bands Look Great With the Stainless Steel Apple Watch


Six months after the Apple Watch launched, there are dozens if not hundreds of different third-party band options on the market, allowing users to customize their watches with looks beyond what Apple offers. Xistwear has created a line of stretchy stainless steel Apple Watch bands in a range of colors that look great with the Apple Watch and can be purchased for less than Apple’s own metal bands, plus it offers matching bracelets.

xistwearbandmain
The Xistwear Apple Watch has a neutral look that’s neither overly feminine or overly masculine, making it suitable for all wearers. Aesthetically, this is a simple but classic-looking link-style band that is understated enough to match well with a range of different outfits. All of the bands are stainless steel, but some have a colored plating. The following color options are available:

38mm – Black, Rose Gold, Silver, Yellow Gold

42mm – Gunmetal, Navy, Silver, Yellow Gold

Bands for the 42mm Apple Watch are 24mm wide, while bands designed for the smaller 38mm Apple Watch are 22mm wide. The 42mm bands are available in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large, able to fit wrists from 146mm to 210mm.

xistwearbandonwrist
38mm bands are available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large, to fit wrists from 130mm to 190mm. I have a wrist that’s about 135mm, so I ordered the extra small, and it fits very well. All of the bands are actually elastic stretch bands, allowing them some wiggle room to fit on different-sized wrists. My band is snug on my wrist, but slips on easily and stretches if my wrist swells slightly during the day due to heat or exercise.
Read more »

30
Sep

Google explains why wireless charging was excluded from new Nexus phones


The team in charge of the new Nexus phones launched yesterday had a session on Reddit today to freely answer questions from Nexus fans. A lot of us were bothered by the exclusion of wireless charging, a smartphone feature Google began with the Nexus 4 and was carried to each subsequent Nexus, until now.

Therefore, of course the question came up in the Q&A:  “Was it a conscious decision to leave out Qi wireless charging, or was it a cost or design necessity?”

Here was the answer:

Thanks for being a Nexus fan! We added Qi wireless charging starting with N4 because plugging in USB micro B was such a hassle! (Which way is up!?) With this year’s Nexii, we support USB Type-C which has a reversible connector so there’s no more guessing. AND it charges incredibly swiftly: 1% to 100% in 97 mins on the 6P for example (the first ~45 mins of charging is especially fast). Meanwhile, wireless charging adds z (thickness). So, ease of plugging in + fast charging + optimizing for thinness made us double down on Type-C instead of wireless!

Google Nexus Team

There you have it folks. While I give the Nexus team props for doing this kind of session at all (and addressing these tough questions), I’m not feeling this answer.

Specifically, I have a hard time buying that wireless charging has existed because inserting microUSB was such a hassle. It’s more work to plug in at all. That is why people like wireless charging and that was the selling point – no plugging.

The other justification the team gave was that they felt thinness took priority. I also question this response. How thicker would it have been and would we care?

What do you think about Google’s answer to no wireless charging?

Source: Reddit

The post Google explains why wireless charging was excluded from new Nexus phones appeared first on AndroidGuys.

30
Sep

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV making its way to Europe on October 1 for €199.99


Nvidia Shield Android TV-14

Alongside the big announcement of its new GeForce NOW game streaming service, NVIDIA today revealed that it would make its SHIELD Android TV available for purchase across certain parts of Europe beginning Thursday, October 1st. Both the SHIELD and SHIELD Pro Android TV boxes will be available in the U.K., France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden from shield.nvidia.com, Amazon, and various other European online retailers.

As far as pricing is concerned, the SHIELD Android TV will cost €199.99/£149.99 and the 500GB SHIELD Pro model will cost €299.99/£229.99. The SHIELD Stand will set you back €29.99/£19.99, the SHIELD Remote can be purchased for €49.99/£39.99 and an extra SHIELD Controller will run you €59.99/£49.99.

Along with the big GeForce NOW update that’s set to roll out tomorrow, NVIDIA is also rolling out a good amount of playback enhancements to the SHIELD Android TV like lossless audio including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio pass-through with WMA-Lossless decode. You’ll also be able to watch movies at 23.976 frames per second. The update will also bring hardware acceleration for VC-1 (including M2TS and ASF/WMV container support), MPEG-2 and WMV9.

SHOWTIME, NFL Sunday Ticket and Pac 12 Football streaming options are coming to the SHIELD Android TV sometime soon, as well.

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