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11
Aug

One quick way to fix your internet connection: Restart your devices – CNET


11
Aug

14 Google Maps tips and tricks – CNET


If you use Google Maps on your phone, a lot has changed recently — especially so over the last few weeks. There are lots of new features that are easy to miss and make navigating a lot more efficient, like these keyboard shortcuts.

Here are 14 tips and tricks to help you become a Google Maps master.

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Offline Maps

Unlike a dedicated GPS unit, Google Maps doesn’t store all the map data on your phone — that would take up too much space.

But for places with spotty reception or international travel, you can download the maps of specific areas so you can access them without an internet connection.

  • In the app tap the hamburger button in the upper left of the Google Maps screen and select Offline areas.
  • Tap the plus button in the lower right corner, drag the map to the area you want to download (pinch to include more or less of the map) and tap Download.

Just know that these map downloads are usually in excess of 100MB, so you may want to do it over Wi-Fi if you have a data plan limit.

The most recent update allows you to choose between storing the downloaded maps on the internal storage or on a removable SD card on an Android device. If the app doesn’t give you the option when you start to download, hit the settings button in the upper right corner of the Offline areas menu and tap Storage preferences.

Wi-Fi only

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Taylor Martin/CNET

If you’re trying to minimize data usage while navigating, Google recently rolled out a new feature for its Android app that limits Google Maps use to Wi-Fi networks. With this feature enabled, Maps and navigation will only work in your downloaded areas or when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

To enable it, tap the hamburger button in the upper left corner of the mobile app on Android, scroll to the bottom and select Settings and tap the toggle switch beside Wi-Fi only.

If you have an iPhone (which doesn’t yet have this option), you can make the same thing happen by disabling Google Maps’ access to cellular data. Head to Settings > Cellular and switch the toggle for Google Maps.

Mark important places on the map

Adding your home or work address to Your places allows Google Maps to alert you of traffic before you leave the house for work in the morning or head home in the evening. It also makes your home or work easier to quickly spot on the map.

To make them stand out, open the Your places menu in Google Maps for Android and hit the action overflow button for Home. Select Change icon and select one from the list of stickers. Tap Save when you’re finished, and your home location should be marked on the map with the sticker.

Send directions from your computer to your phone

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Taylor Martin/CNET

If you prefer to do your navigation planning from a computer, you can easily send directions to your phone.

  • Make sure you’re signed into the correct Google account and search for a location in the web version of Google Maps.
  • Once a place is selected, an option to Send directions to your phone will be visible beneath the listing. When you click this button, a dropdown menu with all connected phones as well as Email and Text will appear.
  • Choose your preferred method of sharing directions and they will be pushed to your device.

There are also other share options from the web version of Google Maps and within the mobile apps. From mobile, just tap the action overflow button in the top right corner and select Share directions to pull up the standard issue share menu of your operating system.

Add multiple stops (finally!)

If you need directions to more than one place, you can now do that in the Google Maps app. First, search for one of your destinations. Then, before hitting the navigate button, tap the action overflow button in the top right corner and select Add stop. You can then search for and add multiple locations to your trip. You can drag and drop to rearrange the destinations, seeing which order of stops will yield the fastest overall route.

See where you’ve been

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Google Maps is most used for searching for and navigating to new and unknown places. But it can also be used to see all the places you’ve been.

If you open Maps on an Android phone, hit the hamburger bar and select Your timeline, you can see — with creepy accuracy — all the places you’ve been and how long you were at each location on any given day. You can use this to find that store you went into the other day and can’t recall the name of or to prove to your boss that you did actually go to the doctor’s office — or your phone did, at least.

If you are an Android user and want to see a list of all the places you’ve visited, not just a map view, open the side menu once more, tap Your places and open the Visited tab. You will see a list of all the places you’ve visited and how long it’s been since you were there last.

Earn extra Drive storage and more

If, like a good neighbor, you review the places you visit, Google will reward you. This is part of Google’s Local Guide initiative, where it’s relying on locals to be its eyes and ears.

In exchange for a review, photos, answering questions about places or adding and editing new locations, you get points. Earn enough points, and you get early access to new Google products and features, get to participate in exclusive workshops or Hangouts and even get 1TB of free Google Drive storage for a year. The Drive storage is offered at level 4, which is reached by earning over 200 points.

Measure distances

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Taylor Martin/CNET

If you just need to see how far apart two places are, you can search for directions. But that will give you the distance of the route, not exactly how far apart the two places are from one another.

  • To measure the distance in the Android app, drop a pin at the first place and swipe the information card up from the bottom of the screen.
  • Select Measure distance and drag to place the marker over the second location to get a relatively accurate measurement between the two spots.
  • To add a third location to the measurement, tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Quick search while navigating

On longer trips, you may need to stop for gas, a restroom or some extra caffeine to get you through the home stretch.

To find a stop along your existing route, tap the search button (the magnifying glass). Coffee shops, gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants are suggested as quick searches, but you can also type a search result by hitting the search button once more. Selecting a location from the search will add it as a stop in the middle of your current route.

Use your voice

If you’d rather not type while driving, there is a microphone button above the search button which will allow you to speak various commands, such as “What’s my ETA?” or “Where do I turn next?” Additionally, you can mute or unmute the voice guidance, ask for alternate routes, toggle satellite view or toggle traffic by voice.

Avoid the tolls

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Tolls roads are the worst. To avoid them, first search for your destination and before starting the navigation, tap the action overflow button in the upper right corner, select Route options and tick the checkbox beside Avoid tolls. In this menu, you can also select Avoid highways or Avoid ferries.

Check transit schedules

It’s no secret that you can search transit directions using Google Maps. But if you want to see a list of train and bus departures from a certain location, search for directions to a location, select transit as the mode of transportation and tap on one of the cards to expand it. If you tap on the transit listing in the route view, you can see a full list of departure times.

Order an Uber

Back in March, Google added ride share estimates in taxi transportation section of navigation. Uber fare estimates show up as an ad, and tapping on one of the cards will prompt you to download the Uber app if it’s not already installed.

Google has now added more ride sharing options. As such, you may see ride sharing estimates from GO-JEK, Grab, Gett, Hailo and MyTaxi depending on your country.

Gestures

Pinch-to-zoom is second nature by now, but it also requires two-handed operation. If your hands are full and you need to zoom in or out on the map, try double-tapping and, without lifting your finger, sliding it up or down the screen. Sliding up will zoom out and sliding down will zoom in.

Additionally, you can twist with two fingers to rotate the map. Tapping the compass will reorient the map to truth north. Also, you can use two fingers to swipe up to view the map at an angle. This gives you a flyover view (with 3D buildings) of the section of the map you’re viewing.

11
Aug

6 ways to customize the Windows 10 lock and sign-in screens – CNET


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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you’re a Windows 10 PC user — like me — you probably haven’t put much thought into customizing the lock and sign-in screens. I run Windows 10 on a desktop, and the lock screen felt redundant so I simply turned it off. But these two screens, and they are separate screens, can be customized to suit even desktop users’ needs with notifications, app statuses and cool wallpapers from Bing’s homepage. Here are a few different ways you can make the lock and sign-in screens look and feel the way you want them to:

Put Cortana on the lock screen

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Cortana got a big update in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and she can now look up stats and make appointments without you ever having to unlock your device. To put Cortana on your lock screen, open Cortana and go to Settings > Lock screen > Use Cortana even when my device is locked. This will let her perform basic tasks, such as looking up information or the weather, while your device is locked. If you want Cortana to be able to access your personal information and do things like make appointments, you will need to check the box next to Let Cortana access my calendar, email, messages, and Power BI data when my device is locked.

Turn on Windows Spotlight

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

You have three options for the lock screen background: A picture of your choice, a slideshow or the super-cool Windows Spotlight, which pulls high-resolution photos from Bing’s homepage. Spotlight photos cycle periodically, and you can rate them to let Bing know which ones you prefer and which ones you dislike for future reference (like a Pandora of wallpapers). To turn Spotlight on, open the Settings menu then go to Personalization > Lock screen > Background and choose Windows spotlight from the dropdown menu.

Add some apps

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you want your lock screen to be functional, you can add up to eight apps that will display at-a-glance statuses — one app to show detailed statuses and seven apps to show quick statuses. To pick these apps, open the Settings menu and go to Personalization > Lock screen > Choose an app to show detailed status or Choose apps to show quick statuses. You can then click or tap a box to pick an app.

If you don’t want to show apps, click each box and set the app to None. Apps that can show statuses include Weather, Skype, Calendar, Mail, Store and Xbox. They’ll vary depending on the apps installed on your device.

Change your sign-in screen background

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Ridding yourself of the flashy Windows logo on the Windows 10 sign-in screen used to be an ordeal. But now that logo screen is gone forever and you have two options for your sign-in screen background: A solid color or the photo displayed on your lock screen.

To toggle between these options, open the Settings menu and go to Personalization > Lock screen > Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen. If you turn this option off, your sign-in screen will display a solid color. To choose this color, go to Personalization > Colors and pick an accent color.

Hide your email address

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

In the interest of privacy, Windows 10 now lets you hide your email address on the sign-in screen. In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, this option is turned on by default. You can toggle it on or off by opening the Settings menu and going to Accounts > Sign-in options > Privacy > Show account details (e.g. email address) on sign-in screen.

Turn off notifications

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you don’t want your notifications to pop up when your device is locked, you can turn that off. To do this, open the Settings menu and go to System > Notifications & actions > Show notifications on the lock screen and turn it off.

11
Aug

Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 (2016) review – CNET


The Good The Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 comes with all the trimmings — a slim metal chassis, backflipping touchscreen, speedy solid state drive and accurate touchpad — for hundreds less than you’d expect. A face-recognizing camera, rare for any laptop, is icing on the cake.

The Bad The glossy touchscreen creates distracting reflections, and a poorly-placed power button is easy to press by accident. Uninspired design, heavier than competing laptops and battery life is slightly below average.

The Bottom Line Whether you need a 13-inch portable or a 15-inch workhorse, the Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 offers unheard-of value for money. You can invest in an external battery pack to extend its battery life.

I’m going to save you a lot of time. Do you like how this laptop looks? Does it meet your tight budget? Then buy it. Buy it and never look back.

I’ve never said that about a laptop before, but the Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 series is truly exceptional. For just $750, these 13- and 15-inch laptops don’t merely punch above their price bracket, they do it without removing any of the features you’d want and expect from a PC in 2016.

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The Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1, in 13- and 15-inch models.


Josh Miller/CNET

Where Dell excels

To reach a sub-$800 price, PC manufacturers typically cut a lot of corners. This Dell doesn’t.

  • While manufacturers are usually happy to sell you a plastic laptop by adding a thin veneer of metal up top, this Dell is metal all the way around.
  • While some vendors stuff a crappy low-resolution LCD panel into their cheaper computers — or maybe one with terrible viewing angles — both the 13- and 15-inch Dell come standard with a crisp 1,920×1,080-pixel IPS touchscreen display that’s completely competent.
  • While some cheaper laptops start with a slower Intel Core M processor, Dell goes tried and true here with a current-gen Core i5 chip.
  • While some of the very best laptops pretend to give you a deal by sticking you with a paltry 4GB of memory or 128GB of solid state storage and charge extra for more, this Dell comes standard with 8GB and 256GB modules that won’t bog down your system.
  • While some laptop manufacturers forget about having a decent backlit keyboard and touchpad in their never-ending quest for thinness, the Dell is well above average on both counts. No issue with scrolling or pinch to zoom, which is rare for Windows laptops.
  • And while some laptops have drastically different specs, ports and prices if you opt for a version with a larger screen, the 13- and 15-inch Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 are practically identical. (Only the 17-inch version is different — we’ll review it separately in the weeks to come.)

But Dell’s new laptop isn’t merely competent for less money, it goes above and beyond. This $750 computer is one of the very few with a Windows Hello face-recognizing camera, and it’s one of my favorite new features in years.

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This infrared camera lets you log into Windows with your face. Watch our video to see how.


Josh Miller/CNET

The camera lets you securely log into Windows with your face just by looking at the screen. Just train the computer to recognize your face (Start -> “Set up face sign-in”) and there’ll be no need to type passwords when you log into Windows. Because the infrared camera can see in 3D, it can’t easily be fooled by a picture of a face: Only the real deal.

It’s a shame the camera’s a little sluggish to start up — way slower than the one we tested in Toshiba’s pricier Radius 12 late last year — but it’s still faster than typing a password. I use it constantly.

The only notable flaws

The Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 has two weak points. The first is the terribly-placed power button on the front right edge of the machine. I’m still trying to train myself not to accidentally put the computer to sleep when I pick up this PC.

The second is battery life. I only saw about 6 hours from the 13- and 15-inch models in our standard video streaming playback test, and roughly 4-5 hours of real work. That’s not great for a thin-and-light laptop — in our tests, the best usually muster 8-10 hours of streaming video playback on a charge.

11
Aug

Best Heavy Duty Cases for the HTC 10


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Keep your phone safe from harm with these great HTC 10 cases!

Heavy duty cases are not typically the most stylish accessories out there, but they’re big, bulky, and sturdy by design for one purpose: keeping your phone as safe as possible.

If you’re worried about damaging your HTC 10 from an accidental drop, you may want to pick up one of these…

  • Supcase Beetle Pro series
  • Spigen slim armor
  • i-Blason Armorbox
  • Cimo shockproof
  • Kaesar Slim Fit Protector

Supcase Beetle Pro Series

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The Supcase Beetle Pro series has everything you need to be protected. It has a hard polycarbonate shell that protects all sides and edges of the phone from scrapes; a built-in removable screen protector to prevent scratches on your screen; and dust covers for your phone’s ports to keep out dust and pocket lint.

The case also comes with a detachable clip on the back, which is perfect if you’re the type of person who needs quick access to their phone throughout the day, or simply likes the holstered phone look.

It comes in two colors, black or blue, but the blue case will cost you slightly more. You can find the Supcase Beetle Pro for around $18.

Seet at Amazon

Spigen Slim Armor

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Spigen’s Slim Armor is the perfect balance between protection and style. Your HTC 10 slides into a silicone sleeve, which is then secured with a hard polycarbonate shell. Together, the two-piece case gives your phone the ability to come survive a big tumble with no significant damage.

The Slim Armor holds up to its name by not adding a lot of bulk or weight to the phone. Don’t kid yourself, you will notice it, but unlike some other heavy duty cases it won’t feel like you’re holding a brick

The added feature of a metal kickstand lets you watch your favorite content in landscape mode hands-free. We’ll just call that icing on the cake.

See at Amazon

i-Blason Prime

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The i-Blason Prime starts around $14 and offers excellent protection for everyday phone users.

It’s composed of two different pieces, a flexible TPU plastic sleeve which will protect it from the shock when it first hits the ground, and a hard polycarbonate shell for added protection. The headphone jack and charging port are kept covered by a plastic flap to prevent dust from getting in when they are not in use.

It also has a few extra goodies to sweeten the deal. The detachable clip on the back of the case will allow you to holster your HTC 10 to your waist easily whenever you want, and it also has a built-in kickstand that gives you the ability to watch YouTube or any other content hands-free.

See at Amazon

Cimo shockproof

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The Cimo shockproof case is perfect for people who want to make sure slippery hands never get the best of them.

It’s a one-piece case that is both a mix of hard polycarbonate and silicone, meaning it’s protected from almost anything you can throw at it. The back of the case is incredibly textured; it isn’t slippery at all, and it’s thick enough around the camera to protect the lens from scratches.

It’s available some bright funky colors — like pink and purple — in case you want to make a statement. Plus the Cimo shockproof case is about $8, making the cheapest heavy duty case option on this list.

See at Amazon

Kaesar Slim Fit Protector

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Starting around $10, the Kaesar Slim Fit Protector is a two piece case that offers great protection without adding a ton of bulk and weight to your HTC 10.

With an interior TPU sleeve that protects your phone from the shock of dropping it on the ground and a hard polycarbonate shell that prevents the back and the side of the phone from getting scratched up, the Kaesar case should keep your phone looking great!

The brushed metal finished on the back of the case not only looks cool, but minimizes scratches from showing on the case itself to ensure your phone always looking in mint condition!

See at Amazon

What do you use?

How have you been protecting your HTC 10? Let us know in the comments below!

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11
Aug

ASUS video showcases ZenFone 3 Laser’s insanely fast laser autofocus


ASUS has posted a new video which showcases the insane speeds of the laser autofocus in the ZenFone 3 Laser. Much like on the ZenFone 2 line, ASUS makes the Laser line stand out with its lightning-fast auto-focus to improve the quality of the pictures that you can capture with the phone. The ZenFone 3 line was first debuted back at Computex, and not much has been said about them since.

From the video’s description:

ZenFone 3 Laser is the smartphone that focuses in just 0.03 seconds for near-instant clarity, and wrapped in metal for next-level luxury with peerless style. Focus in a moment, elevate your elegance, and always shoot at light-speed!

Are you excited for the ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser, or are you looking forward to something else? Let us know in the comments.

More: ASUS ZenFone 3 preview

11
Aug

Huawei P9 Plus review: The big and the bold


Huawei is fast emerging as one of the most popular smartphone brands in the world. A lot of that notability is thanks to its budget sub-brand, Honor, which cranks out affordable but high quality phones. Still, Huawei has done a lot of work on its own-brand phones too, with the P9 and P9 Plus arguably being its finest creations yet.

We’ve already reviewed the regular P9, but now it’s time to turn our attention to its big brother: the 5.5-inch P9 Plus. Don’t let appearances fool you though. It’s not just a slightly bigger version of the P9, it also has some extra features that help justify the climb in price. Is it the one to go for?

Huawei P9 Plus review: Design

It’s probably no surprise to discover that the P9 Plus looks and feels like a bigger version of the Huawei P9. The metal frame is thin, with a brushed pattern which is coated with some kind of lacquer, giving the phone a slippery and glossy texture, rather than a soft-touch metal finish.

Although the corners are almost square, the edges are slightly rounded to ensure the phone doesn’t feel too uncomfortable in hand. And thanks to the slim bezel on the large 5.5-inch display, the phone doesn’t feel overly huge – it’s smaller than an iPhone 6S Plus in every dimension. But the shiny back doesn’t exactly make it feel secure in hand.

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The P9 Plus’s right edge plays home to the only buttons on the device: the volume rocker switch and the small, textured power/sleep button – which Huawei has seen fit to give a red trim on the Plus model. It’s not a necessary distinction, but it’s one we like.

The USB Type-C port is on the bottom edge of the device, alongside the the 3.5mm audio jack and the loudspeaker which – similar to the HTC 10 – combines with a speaker in the earpiece to produce a stereo-like effect. This is just one of a handful of features that separates the P9 Plus from the regular model. Sadly, its effect is minimal. When the bottom speaker is covered there’s nowhere near enough audio power from the speaker in the earpiece. On its own, it’s very muted, and when the bottom speaker is playing it’s completely overpowered, which negates the purpose of them both playing together. 

One other difference is the inclusion of an IR blaster on the top edge which works in conjunction with the smart controller app to control your TV, Blu-ray player, set-top box and other media peripherals.

All in all it’s an attractive device. It may not have an overly exciting aesthetic, but it’s pretty elegant nonetheless.

Huawei P9 Plus review: Display

The Plus’s 5.5-inch Full HD display is big, bright and sharp – although that 1920 x 1080 resolution means it’s not the most pixel dense on the market, meaning the level of detail isn’t quite as sharp or smooth as you can get on a higher-resolution panel. 

It is AMOLED-based technology, too, which means colours are vibrant and contrast levels are superb. Blacks are incredibly dark, giving the screen a punchiness you don’t get from an LCD panel. It’s not perfect though. At certain angles, the screen colour seems to alter colour slightly – with whites appearing a little blue or pink.

Huawei P9 Plus review: Software

In the past, Huawei’s EMUI software running on top of Android has been the one major downside of any experience with the company’s smartphones. But although it’s not perfect, things do seem to be getting better. Albeit slowly.

We’ve covered most of it in our Huawei P9 review, so we’ll focus mostly on the differences in this review.

The one element that does take some getting used to is the pressure sensitivity of the P9 Plus’s touchscreen, which the company calls “Press Touch”. Like the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, the Plus has added software tweaks that activate when the screen is pressed harder.

Specific default apps on the home screen have shortcuts that can be accessed this way. Pressing hard reveals a pop-up list of shortcuts for apps like the Camera, Settings and Messages (among other pre-installed programmes). Pressing harder again quickly activates whichever function is starred on that list. It’s like levels of pressure sensitivity – and can even be used to magnify details in a photo, if you’re using the pre-installed Gallery app.

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You can choose which one of the actions you want to be your favourite, thankfully, but it took some time to get a handle on how hard and long a press should be in order to just show the menu. Often we launched the favourited function, when we meant to simply open the quick-action menu.

The other issue with these Press Touch features is that they’re not easy to remember to use. Some of the shortcuts are no quicker than just dropping down the notification shade, or launching an app. So they’re arguably superfluous.

Huawei P9 Plus review: Performance

The Huawei P9 Plus is one of the smoothest and most responsive phones we’ve tested. Everything from launching apps and browsing the web, through to the transition animations when opening up folders or dropping down the notification shade from the top – it’s all free of stutter or delay.

In our testing we didn’t have a single instance of delay in loading content or games. This is thanks to the built-in Kirin 955 processor combined with a generous 4GB RAM. That combination ensures there’s both adequate memory for running apps and a fast processor which is capable of translating all processes and data quickly. 

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Since this is the Plus model, it also means you get 64GB of built-in storage as standard – which should be plenty for all your photos and other media. But if you do require more, the SIM tray also has a slot for a microSD card to supports expansion up to an extra 256GB. 

Huawei P9 Plus review: Battery Life

The 3,400mAh battery inside the P9 Plus finds one full day of use no problem whatsoever. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, there’s Android Marshmallow’s own Doze feature which kills excessive background activity when the phone is in standby. Then there’s Huawei’s own battery optimisation which can kill apps if they’re using excessive amounts of power.

However, Huawei’s optimisation means, initially, you do have to check through the list of apps that are allowed background use – otherwise it might kill an app or a feature that you need. Apps like Strava that track your runs/bike rides, or smartwatch apps that push information to your wearable, for example.

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In our testing, and without a smartwatch connected, we managed to get through two work days use on a single charge. And what’s even greater is that the P9 Plus comes with a rapid charging wall adapter (it delivers similar wattage to Quick Charge 3.0), so you can top it up again in no time once depleted. Around 40 per cent in half an hour isn’t bad, eh?

Huawei P9 Plus review: Camera

With the Huawei P9, the Chinese tech giant introduced an interesting dual camera setup in partnership with Leica. In basic terms, it’s a couple of 12-megapixel sensors, one colour, one monochrome, which can also act together for post-shooting depth of field effects.

Like the P9, we found ourselves drawn to the monochrome sensor because it creates some fantastic black and white shots – because of the way the sensor works they look better than if they’re shot on a colour sensor and converted to B&W afterwards. 

As with many camera apps these days, there’s a superb array of different capture modes. You can shoot slow-motion video, timelapse video and panorama photos as well as dedicated low-light modes like night shot and light painting.

Quality-wise, as we’ve mentioned with the P9 previously, the camera isn’t quite up there with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, but it is a wonderful and interesting camera capable of producing great images.

For a more in-depth look at the camera, be sure to check out our original Huawei P9 review.

Verdict

So P9 or P9 Plus? Well, the Plus offers a slightly larger screen with “Press Touch” technology, plus better battery life and 64GB on-board storage for its £500 asking price (making it about £100 more than the standard P9).

Otherwise features are largely similar, with both phones featuring the defining dual camera – which deserves high praise for the most part. Its controls are intuitive, making it easy to fine-tune your shots, the performance is very reliable, while the monochrome sensor is a quirky addition.

However, the overall software experience is an acquired taste. We’re still far from being fully sold on Huawei’s “EMUI” – but it is possible to download launchers to customise the way it looks to soften the blow. Going some way to counter its downsides is an excellent fingerprint scanner, which is among the fastest and most accurate going.

As an all-round device, the Huawei P9 Plus is brilliant in many ways. In the same breath, however, there’s nothing to help it truly stand out from the competition.

11
Aug

Pokemon Go: How to use battery saver


Pokemon Go’s biggest problem is battery drain. In a world where smartphones are notorious for eating battery really quickly anyway, it’s a double-whammy of battery carnage.

Fear not, for in the recent update to the Pokemon Go app, the battery saver feature was re-enabled. Here’s everything you need to know about saving battery when playing Pokemon Go. 

How to find Pokemon Go battery saver

The battery saver feature sits in the settings menu. To access that menu, tap the Poke Ball on the main screen, and then “settings” in the top right-hand corner.

The Battery saver option is a simple tick box, so just tap to turn it on.

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What does Pokemon Go battery saver do?

It doesn’t do a huge amount in reality. The Pokemon Go battery saver is only there to cut out one of the biggest drains on the battery when you’re just walking. It does this by dimming the screen.

It’s worth noting that it doesn’t turn the display off, but dulls to a very dark state with the Pokemon Go logo – as you can see above. During the day you won’t see it, but at night, there’s still a slight glow. 

Importantly, the battery saver function only works when your phone is upside down. The idea is that you carry your phone upside down when walking, saving battery because the display isn’t then shining out at full brightness. It’s slick, fast, and definitely something you should use.

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How else can I save battery life in Pokemon Go?

You need to use your device to manage other battery drain. Even with Pokemon Go’s battery saver feature engaged, it’s still tracking location and you’ll still get vibration alerts. 

If you want even less battery drain, then look for the power saving features on your handset. This will let you lower the brightness of the display when it’s on, as well as reducing the power used by your hardware, like the processor.

That might mean your phone is a little slower, but it’s not burning through battery trying to be the fastest phone on the planet. The game will still run exactly as it should.

On Android, head into your battery or power settings and look for power saver or battery saver (each manufacturer uses different names).

On iPhone, head into settings > battery and turn on low-power mode.

Pokemon Go: External batteries

Of course the long-term answer for power players is to have an external battery for your phone, or a phone with a bigger battery. Phones like the Huawei Mate 8 have huge batteries, but for many of us, buying an external battery is an easy answer. There are loads to choose from, but in reality, getting a battery pack that’s bigger will mean you can play for longer, as well as being able to easily charge your phone several times.

  • Best smartphone battery packs: Pokemon power and more
11
Aug

UK grants new powers to remotely block illegal prison mobiles


Mobile phones have to be one of the most valuable kinds of prison contraband, where they’re used for keeping in touch with loved ones all the way through to running criminal empires from behind bars. According to the UK government, close to 15,000 handsets and SIM cards were confiscated last year alone. But thanks to new powers granted to prison and police officers, they can now be disconnected remotely, removing the need to physically find the things to take them out of circulation.

The new measures are being provided through the Serious Crime Act, and as long as there is evidence linking a phone number to a prison mobile, officers can apply for a Telecommunications Restriction Order (TRO). Should that be granted, the appropriate network will be obliged to cut the number off, rendering it useless.

This power, the government says, will cut down on crime being orchestrated from within prisons without the need for complex blocking technology. Earlier this year, the first official confirmation that sophisticated Stingray tracking devices were being used in the UK came from the Scottish Prison Service, not that they were proving particularly effective in blocking mobile traffic.

One thing the government has neglected to mention is how officers are expected to go about gathering the evidence they need to apply for a TRO. It sounds like the type of information that may crop up as part of a targeted investigation of someone on the outside. Not a daily occurrence, in other words. Also, disconnecting SIMs doesn’t takes handsets out of action, and smuggling tiny bits of plastic into prison must be much, much easier than sneaking in the devices themselves.

Source: Home Office

11
Aug

Amazon chronicles Hugh Hefner’s life in upcoming original series


Like Hulu and Netflix, Amazon continues to add to its library of original content. Today, the online retailer announced a 13-episode show that will chronicle the life of Hugh Hefner. American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story will span the media mogul’s six-decade career at the helm of Playboy magazine. The show will take on a documentary-style approach, starting with the founding of the iconic publication in 1953. Using 17,000 hours of never-before-seen footage from the magazine’s archives and content over 2,600 of Hefner’s personal scrapbooks, there’s sure to be a wealth of info for the series to pull from.

90-year-old Hefner says he’s been looking for someone to tell the story of Playboy and now he feels like he’s working with “the right partners.” Stephen David Entertainment will handle the production duties with Stephen David (The Men Who Built America, The World Wars), Peter Jaysen (You Me Her) and Dick Rosenzweig (The House Bunny, The Playboy Club) as executive producers. The series is set to debut in US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan sometime next year.

“Although Hugh Hefner is an iconic figure known worldwide, most people may not be aware of the impact he has had on some of this country’s most important social revolutions,” said Amazon Studios head of unscripted Conrad Riggs said in a press release. “We are excited to bring Prime members the untold story of Mr. Hefner’s remarkable life and his contributions to modern American history.”

Playboy has made some interesting moves over the last year. The magazine announced that internet porn had forced it to go PG-13, which meant that it would no longer feature fully nude models. It also launched a new model app last fall to feature its articles instead of its photography. Perhaps Amazon’s new show will chronicle the media landscape that led to those changes. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while to find out.

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