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17
Apr

Samsung Smart Switch makes it easy to get your old stuff on your new phone


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Smart Switch is easy to use. Here’s everything you need to know.

The worst part of getting a new phone is moving all your content from your old phone over. If you went to a store and bought a new Galaxy S7, there’s a good chance someone there had a gadget that helps them do it for you, but nowadays a lot of us shop online to make buying a phone a little more hassle-free. If that sounds like you, Samsung Smart Switch is something you need to take a look at.

It’s built into the Galaxy S7 settings (look under the Backup and Restore section) and it works if your old phone was running Android, iOS or BlackBerry. It’s really simple to use and the app walks you through the whole thing no matter which phone you’re coming from. All your photos, music, videos, call logs and messages get moved over in one quick and easy process. If you’re coming from another Samsung Android phone, it can even move Galaxy Apps and their data over, just like using Samsung Kies from a computer to do the swap. Even if you breezed past the restore settings when you first setup your Galaxy S7, you can still fire up Smart Switch and have a go with it.

Here are a few tips to get you started

You need a way for the phones to talk to each other

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The Smart Switch app is already inside your Galaxy S7, but to get content from your old phone you need to have a way the two can talk to each other.

  • For Android, download the Smart Switch Mobile app from Google Play on your old phone.
  • For an iPhone, you’ll need the 30-pin cable or lightning cable and the adapter from your box (more on that later). Check out this video from Samsung to see the process in action.
  • For a BlackBerry you’ll need to visit a URL to get the app you need. Use this link for BB 7 devices. Use this link for BB 10 devices. Install the app you download the normal way.

After that, start up Smart Switch on your Galaxy S7 and follow the simple directions.

If you’re coming from another Android phone, you can use Smart Switch wirelessly. But there’s a better way using the included USB adapter.

For Smart Switch, the little adapter from your box is great

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Inside the box your Galaxy S7 came in, you’ll find a small white USB adapter. It’s in the cubby hole with the power brick and the USB cord.

To use it, you connect it to your Galaxy S7’s microUSB port. Insert the supplied USB cable in the other end, and attach the microUSB side of the cable to your old phone.

The little adapter is a USB host adapter, and it allows the two phones to talk to each other through the Smart Switch app. This is a lot better than using Bluetooth or WiFi direct — it’s more stable and faster than a wireless connection — and you have to use it if you’re coming from an iPhone or a BlackBerry.

It also is a pretty cool little gadget in its own right when you’re done moving everything over.

That little adapter does a lot more

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Keep track of that little white box! Even if you never use Smart Switch to transfer data, you can use it to connect other supported USB devices to your Galaxy S7.

It works great with thumb drives, SD card readers and USB hard drives if you want access to a ton of storage through the built-in file manager. It also can allow you to use a keyboard when you’re typing out a long email or use a USB mouse with your phone — or both with a wireless USB mouse/keyboard adapter. It can even be used with some generic USB game controllers.

The coolest thing? You can charge USB devices like headphones or even another phone right from your Galaxy S7. Put that big battery in the edge to good use!

Remember how much storage you have

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If you’re going to try moving everything from a 128GB iPhone or Galaxy S6, you might not have enough space on your Galaxy S7. The Smart Switch app will tell you how much room you have to move your stuff over, and will use the SD card for things when it can, but only if your Galaxy S7 has enough free space in total.

Most times there won’t be any problems here, but if your old phone is filled to the brim with pictures and documents and videos, you’ll need to make sure you have a big enough SD card in place.

That’s part of what it’s doing when it is searching through the content it can transfer. Pay attention, and if you need to move some important stuff off of your old phone, do that on a computer first!

Is your old phone *really* old?

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This goes for both using Smart Switch and transferring stuff you backed up through your Samsung account.

If the phone you’re coming from is more than a few years old, you won’t be able to transfer everything over — and you shouldn’t.

I’ve got an old backup on Samsung’s servers from a Galaxy S4. I can import contacts, phone call logs and messages over using my Samsung account and the restore feature, but my Galaxy S7 didn’t like that very much. Things have changed in the past few years, and the data from my old S4 isn’t fully compatible with my S7 edge. Both the messaging app and the phone dialer freeze up and crash if I import that old data.

Pictures transferred over just fine, and that’s probably the most important thing to me. But if you need to keep a record of something like an old SMS thread, your best bet is to take a picture of the screen or print the messages out — better safe than sorry.

If you try this and things turn out badly, don’t get worried. Your phone didn’t break and all you need to do is factory reset everything through the settings and start over. The next time be sure not to move that old data over to your new phone.

Smart Switch is really easy

You have the option to use Smart Switch during the initial setup of your new Galaxy S7, or you can use it any time from the settings.

It’s not magic — you can’t move iPhone apps to your new Android (or BlackBerry apps) though it will suggest proper replacements from Google Play.

There’s also a limit of how compatible it is with data from old versions of Android for your messages app or call logs. That’s to be understood — Android has come a long way in just the past few years.

But for the things you can transfer from any phone — videos, pictures, documents and music — it’s really easy and works great. It’s especially helpful if you don’t have a computer or don’t want to install Samsung Kies, and it’s way better than trying to email everything from one phone to another.

Simple content transfer apps are a great idea, and with the latest version of Samsung Smart Switch it’s easy and reliable.

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17
Apr

Ben Heck’s luggage detective


The Ben Heck Show - Episode 232 - Ben Heck's Luggage Detective

Your valuable belongings getting damaged? Ben Heck the Luggage Detective is on the case. Using an NXP accelerometer and motion sensors, Ben produces a logging device that can fit inside your baggage to see just how mistreated your belongings get on a long-haul flight. Felix also gives us some insight into why he chooses to use Linux and which distribution is his favorite. Find out more about this episode, including the Arduino code used, on the element14 Community page, where you can suggest builds and engage with The Ben Heck Show team.

17
Apr

Apple to Release iPhone With Glass Casing and AMOLED Screen in 2017


KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report that again predicts Apple will switch to non-aluminum casing, with glass being the most likely candidate, for the majority of new iPhone models starting in 2017. If accurate, the design change would not apply to the iPhone 7 expected to launch this September.

Specifically, Kuo believes that in order to differentiate iPhone from an increasing number of competing aluminum smartphones, Apple will return to iPhone 4s-like glass casing next year to allow for an all-new form-factor design. The switch would allow Apple to again “enhance the competitiveness” and innovation of iPhone.

If iPhone 7 still uses an aluminum casing in 2016, it will be the fifth year in a row that iPhone has done so, which means there is no longer a feeling of freshness to appeal to consumers. Also, a lot of Apple’s (US) competitors are also adopting aluminum casings, which means iPhone no longer has a clear edge due to a lack of differentiation. On expectations that iPhone shipments will decline in 2016, we believe Apple will be more strongly motivated to use non-aluminum casings in 2017 in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of iPhone by offering an all-new form-factor design.

The oft-reliable analyst adds that the ratio of new iPhone models using aluminum casing will likely drop from 100% currently to 40% or less, indicating that some aluminum-based iPhones will likely remain available for at least the short term. This could be older models like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 series.

Kuo notes that some investors are concerned that glass casing would be too heavy or fail a drop test. However, the analyst believes that a return to glass casing will not be problematic for Apple, and the weight in particular could be offset by the switch to AMOLED screens in 2017.

Apple already uses glass casing for iPhone 4/ 4S, and non-Apple brands have also been using glass casings. We therefore think a drop test will not be problematic for glass casing. A glass casing may be slightly heavier than an aluminum one of the same thickness, but the difference is so small that the use of the thinner and lighter AMOLED panel will compensate for that.

Multiple sources have claimed that Apple will release an OLED-based iPhone as early as 2017, with possible suppliers eventually including Samsung, LG Display, AU Optronics, Japan Display, Foxconn-owned Sharp, and others. Kuo said at least one model could have a 5.8-inch OLED screen with curved glass casing.

Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, AMOLED, OLED
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17
Apr

Odyssey Toys X-7 Microlite review – CNET


The Good The X-7 Microlite’s body design guards its propellers and its bright LEDs make it fun to fly in a dark room or at night. Does flips and rolls with a button press and is a pretty stable flyer.

The Bad Plastic body can crack when crashed. Doesn’t fly well outdoors in anything more than a light breeze. Flight time is about 7 minutes with a 90-minute charge time.

The Bottom Line If you’re looking for a palm-size quad that’s a bit different than the rest, Odyssey Toys’ X-7 Microlite drone is a bright spot to add to your collection.

The X-7 Microlite quadcopter from Odyssey Toys is the kind of thing I would expect to see someone hawking on a carnival midway. With its propellers shielded for protection and ringed in bright LED lights, the palm-size quadcopter is stable enough to just toss into the air and quickly send it hovering around a crowd of onlookers as it dips and flips and rolls with ease.

It’s at that point you’d reach into your pocket and hand over $60 (roughly £40 or AU$80) for your very own chance to perform such aerial maneuvers, and you’d probably be happy that you did. You’ll have to buy four AA-size batteries for the controller, which is essentially the same length and width of the drone itself, but otherwise it’s ready to go out of the box.

More drone coverage
  • The best toy drones you can buy right now
  • Best drones of 2016
  • Seven things you should know before buying your first drone

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The drone’s small 3.7-volt 500mAh rechargeable battery gets you about 7 minutes of flying, which will send you running to a USB charger to refuel for about 45 minutes. The flight time is short, but average for this size drone, so picking up spare batteries and a charger isn’t a bad idea.

The X-7 can fly indoors or outside, but only as long as there’s little wind to speak of. It’s relatively easy to hover and beginners can use a low-speed setting to get a feel for its performance. It won’t be long before you’re doing flips and rolls, which require no more than a button press and a quick push of the controller’s right stick. The lights and overall design are nice, and a bit different than your average microquad (except maybe this one). It handles crashes and hard landings well, too, though you might end up with cracks in its plastic frame.

For the money, the X-7 Microlite gives you an enjoyable flight experience with a splash of color.

17
Apr

HP Stream review – CNET


The Good The HP Stream is a stylish little laptop with a comfortable keyboard and long-lasting battery. It includes a year of Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive online storage.

The Bad Performance and trackpad response can be slow. The 32GB SSD storage is low.

The Bottom Line The HP Stream laptop deftly balances fashion and function at a rock-bottom price.

The HP Stream succeeds where many others have failed: making cheap look good. And I mean cheap in a literal sense — the best laptops start around $1,000, while the HP starts at $200. (That’s £180 in the UK, or AU$300.)

Almost identical to last year’s model, but now running the Windows 10 operating system (and, unfortunately, a slightly slower processor), the HP laptop brandishes an 11.6-inch screen and a beautiful, vibrant shade of blue that I absolutely love. (It also comes in a magenta-ish color.) Like a vase of fresh flowers or little puppy’s tummy, it makes me smile, and, judging by a few positive comments I got while using it in public, I’m not alone.

It’s also available in a 13-inch version for a list price of $30 more, but we’ve seen the online price difference as little as $5. The larger model weighs 13 ounces (372 grams) more and its battery is about 25 percent less prodigious.

Opening up the plastic laptop shell reveals a bright, white, perfectly-spaced keyboard situated on top of a polished blue keyboard tray. In a departure from the solid matte blue found on the outside, the HP Stream has a glossy, gradient woodgrain pattern on its keyboard tray, adding more pizazz to its design. And that surprisingly not-tacky white keyboard? It’s the electronic equivalent of a writing with a silky, smooth, gel ink pen. In addition to its low price and stellar design, it has a long-lasting battery — better than 8 hours in our video rundown test — and includes a year of Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive online storage (a $70 value).

To be sure, at this price, you’re definitely making some compromises. HP downgraded the Stream 11’s processor speed, meaning this model is slower than last year’s. It also has a measly 32GB SSD that requires you to always upload to the cloud or make good use of the MicroSD card slot or two USB ports. Additionally,the touchpad response is rather slow. And the screen isn’t anything to write home about: it doesn’t have a touchscreen, and the 1,366×768 screen resolution is underwhelming. (Pro tip: connect it to a TV or monitor with the HDMI output, and it supports resolutions up to 1,920×1,080.)

Still, it’s a full Windows 10 laptop for $200, and perfect for Facebooking, Netflixing and streaming audio to a Bluetooth speaker. Unlike a similarly priced Chromebook, it can run things like Java (still a necessary evil for some of us), as well as full apps such as Photoshop and Microsoft Word (not their browser-based equivalents). While it’s not as slick or light as an iPad, it costs less — you can get two Streams for the price of the most affordable iPad Air 2, or one for less than the iPad Mini 2. And while competition on the bargain laptop front is heating up — , check out the similar Lenovo Ideapad 100S, for instance — the HP’s divine design would tip the buying scale for me.

In fact, if all cheap things looked as good as the HP Stream 11, maybe the word “cheap” wouldn’t have such a negative connotation.

17
Apr

From the Editor’s Desk: Ask away …


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I’m spending all day on an airplane. Maybe not my favorite thing to do on a Sunday, but there are worse ways to get from Point A to Point B, for sure.

And as is the tendency when I end up at 35,000 feet for the better part of a Sunday, I’m going to spend most of it working. Writing, actually. But let’s also open things up a bit. Have a burning question? Ask away in the comments. I’ve got hours to kill, in-seat power, and a phone full of music.

But before we do that … a few quick thoughts on things:

  • The most amazing thing about this Sprint vs. T-Mobile “ghetto” thing isn’t that it happened. People say dumb things all the time. Lord knows I do.
  • I don’t blame the woman who said it. I don’t even blame CEO Marcelo Claure, who was sitting next to her. That was a marketing and PR blunder, pure and simple. We’ve all said dumb things that never should have left the room they were uttered in.
  • No, what’s amazing is the restraint T-Mobile CEO John Legere showed (or that his people got him to show) in not responding to it. That’s as classy as it was smart.
  • Did I really see people write that the HTC 10 is gimmick-free?
  • In the past several weeks I’ve hopped from the Galaxy S7 to the LG G5 to the HTC 10 and now the Huawei P9. And I have absolutely zero doubt which phone is the best.
  • This week’s podcast was all about the HTC 10. Last week’s was all about the LG G5. That means we’ve missed out on emails and voicemails. We’re making up for it in our upcoming episode.

And with that, have at me. What do y’all want to know?

17
Apr

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: The Tesla Model S gets an upgrade


The Tesla Model S is one of the highest-rated electric cars ever, and it just got even better. This week the automaker rolled out an upgrade that gives the vehicle a bigger battery, a refreshed exterior and a “bioweapon defense mode.” Meanwhile, the Solar Impulse sun-powered airplane is getting set to fly across the Pacific Ocean after a lengthy stop in Hawaii. Stephen Hawking teamed up with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner on a plan to send postage-stamp sized spaceships to Alpha Centauri in search of life. IKEA announced plans to launch a chainless bicycle later this year, and a popular new bike/stroller hybrid hit the market only to sell out in a matter of hours.
Stormy weather is the bane of most solar panels, but a new type of graphene photovoltaic is able to turn rain into clean energy. In other energy news, a device called the Watly is able to provide internet, solar power and drinking water for communities in need. Researchers floated plans to power the entire planet with a fleet of 2,500 orbiting solar panels. And Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners unveiled plans for a vertical Skyfarm that produces wind power and fresh veggies.

In design news, a team of researchers just created the strongest material in the world: an exotic form of carbon called carbyne. Scientists also developed a biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging that’s made from seaweed. The Milan Furniture Fair is the world’s largest design event, and this week we hit the shows to bring you 14 incredible lamps, including chandeliers grown from crystal and a “LightGarden” that turns any wall into a work of art. We also spotted the world’s first “digitally transformable sofa,” which shifts shape with the tap of a smartphone, and we showed you how to make a sliding LEGO table that stores bricks and acts as a building base.

17
Apr

The After Math: Governance gaffes


With the 2016 presidential elections beginning to reach fever pitch, some candidates have adopted the classic tactic of blaming the guy who’s already got the job. That’s not to say the administration has been without reproach for the past eight years, but there’s been plenty of blame to go around this week. Like the fact that a public university spent nearly $200,000 to delete images of its police force brutalizing its student body, or how the feds are spending $3.1 billion on a blue ribbon cyber-security commission. Here’s what big brother’s been up to, by the numbers.

17
Apr

Highlights from the all-electric Formula E competition in Long Beach


Formula E All-Electric Race Series | Translogic 198

Translogic heads to the Formula E Long Beach ePrix to take in the all-electric race action. These electric open-wheel race cars are limited to 170 kW during competition, with an additional 100 kJ of power available to three drivers via a controversial “FanBoost” social media tie-in.

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17
Apr

China’s realistic robot Jia Jia can chat with real humans


The University of Science and Technology of China has recently unveiled an eerily realistic robot named Jia Jia. While she looks more human-like than that creepy ScarJo robot, you’ll probably still find yourself plunging head first into the uncanny valley while looking at her. Jia Jia can talk and interact with real humans, as well as make some facial expressions — she can even tell you off if she senses you’re taking an unflattering picture of her. “Don’t come too close to me when you are taking a picture. It will make my face look fat,” she told someone trying to capture her photo during the presscon.

The team spent three years designing her, making sure her mouth moves when she speaks and that her eyes glance around the room naturally. But they’ve yet to figure out how she can laugh or cry… and how to make her hands look less like a department store mannequin’s. Those might come with version 2, since the researchers intend to continue working on Jia Jia despite having no plans of mass producing her. Team leader Chen Xiaoping said they hope to give her deep learning and facial recognition capabilities in the future.

Is she nice? China’s first interactive robot can respond to human orders, make micro facial expressions and do morehttps://t.co/MLs5TS5Jj7

— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) April 15, 2016

Source: Xinhuanet

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