Skip to content

Archive for

30
Mar

IFTTT Announces Support for iOS Applets Connected to Calendar and App Store


Popular automation platform IFTTT today announced a few new iOS-focused toolsets that will integrate Apple’s Calendar and App Store into new applets, allowing users to streamline certain workflows related to each of Apple’s applications.

With Calendar Applets, users can get important information funneled right into their daily agenda. This includes automation flows that add in weather reports to the calendar at certain times of the day, track Foursquare checkins and work hours, or get daily email summaries of every new Calendar event.

The company said that App Store Applets will keep a user’s device “full of the newest and best apps” that Apple’s store has to offer. With the new IFTTT feature, users can get notified when a certain app gets a price drop or receives an update, or even when a new game enters into popularity in the top ten free apps list.

Services that work with your smartphone or tablet have been an important part of IFTTT since the very beginning. Today we’re excited to announce two brand new ways to do more with your iOS devices: the iOS Calendar and App Store services.

In total there are a collection of IFTTT applets for iOS users surrounding first-party Apple apps like Contacts, Reminders, Photos, and the Safari Reading List. The company has listed a few examples of these on its website here.

Tag: IFTTT
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors-All?d=6W8y8wAjSf4 MacRumors-All?d=qj6IDK7rITs

30
Mar

Best app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers make paid apps free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest apps on sale in the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money, and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

More: 200 Awesome iPhone Apps | The best Android apps for almost any occasion

Pushpin

Pushpin is a beautiful, blazing fast, and feature-packed Pinboard client for iOS. Designed for power users and newbies alike, Pushpin lets you browse, search, add, edit, and delete bookmarks seamlessly with a gorgeous interface.

Available on:

iOS

Six Pack Abs


Six Pack Abs by VGFIT helps you get in shape, lose belly fat, improve your core strength, and stay fit. Get your six-pack abs with the most intensive range of exercises you can perform at home, outside, and at the gym, with four levels of difficulty.

Available on:

iOS

Studio Music Player

This simple and smart player takes headphones like EarPods, and many other models, to a completely new level, providing the playback quality usually delivered by professional studio headphones.

Available on:

iOS

Math Pro

Math Pro will take you through high-school math and beyond. It is a powerful tool that is overflowing with the tutorials, examples, and solvers from the following applications: Algebra Pro, Geometry Pro, Probability Pro, Statistics Pro, PreCalculus Pro, and Calculus Pro.

Available on:

iOS

Coyn

Coyn is a simple, secure, and stylish way to manage your cash balance. Manage your money like it’s no one else’s business, and make sure you’re the only one who tracks your cash expenditures and earnings.

Available on:

iOS

Epica Pro

Turn yourself into whomever (or whatever) you want with Epica Pro, the photo-editing app whose number one priority is to make you and your friends laugh.

Available on:

iOS

30
Mar

AOC releases the U3277PWQU 4K UHD for gamers and creative professionals alike


Why it matters to you

Anyone looking for a midrange 4K UHD display now has another great option that also promises outstanding color support and overall excellent image quality.

Recently, no matter what you’re looking for in a PC display, whether you’re shopping for bargains or have an unlimited budget, chances are that there’s new display that will meet your needs. This is particularly true for high-end displays sporting high dynamic range (HDR) and 4K UHD resolution.

AOC has introduced a number of monitors over the last several months, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Its latest model is the U3277PWQU, and it looks to be focused on providing a premium, high-resolution experience.

More: Rise of HDR and 4K on display in the top 5 monitors at CES 2017

The U3277PWQU is a 32-inch 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) display utilizing a VA panel to enable both high responsiveness and wide color gamut coverage. The monitor supports 1.07 billion colors via a “10-bit” panel that offers 8-bit with Frame-Rate-Control (FRC) technology. Viewing angles are wide at 178 degrees horizontally and vertically, and refresh rates hit 60Hz. Finally, brightness is rated at 300 nits, and so overall the display should provide solid performance for creative professionals.

In terms of ergonomics, AOC has equipped the U3277PWQU with a height-adjustable stand that allows for tilting between -3.5 degrees and 1.5 degrees, swiveling, and height adjustments up to 130mm. The monitor can support various uses cases with a 90-degree pivot that allows for easily switching between landscape and portrait modes. AOC has implemented a number of features to reduce eye fatigue, including flicker-free performance via a DC backlight system.

The U3277PWQU supports a broad array of connectivity options. Inputs include VGA, DVI-D, HDMI, and DisplayPort 1.2, and two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports are provided for data. Picture-in-Picture (PiP) and Picture-by-Picture (PbP) support means that up to two external sources can be displayed at one time.

The AOC U3277PWQU is available today from a variety of retailers, including Amazon, at a list price of $700. B&H Photo Video has the monitor available for a limited time at the promotional price of $500.

Amazon

30
Mar

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. Galaxy S8: Is this year’s ‘Next Big Thing’ really worth it?


samsung-unpacked-background-banner-280x7

Samsung experienced just about one of the most up-and-down years a company can in 2016, excelling out of the gate with the impressive Galaxy S7, before struggling through the back half of the year after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

The South Korean tech giant needed to hit it out of the park with this year’s flagship, and so it took its time, neglecting to reveal the Galaxy S8 during Mobile World Congress in February, and overhauling its safety protocol in the meantime. Now, at long last, Samsung has returned — and made a statement in the process. The Galaxy S8 looks to be one of the most significant leaps forward, particularly in design, of any new product in the company’s flagship lineage.

More: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: Our first take

But last year’s Galaxy was no slouch either, and although the S8’s exterior certainly fits the revolutionary bill, it remains to be seen if Samsung’s latest boasts enough meaningful improvements to necessitate an upgrade — especially when the S7 can be had for significantly less after a year on the market. How do they compare? We put them head-to-head to find out.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

samsung-galaxy-s7-640x640-220x220

Samsung Galaxy S8

s8-thumb-123x250.png

Size
142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 millimeters (5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches)
148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm (5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches)
Weight
5.36 ounces (152g)
5.47 ounces
Screen
5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED
5.8-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED
Resolution
2,560 x 1,440 pixels
2,960 x 1,440 pixels
OS
Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Upgradeable to 7.0 Nougat)
Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage
32/64GB
64GB
MicroSD card slot
Yes
Yes
NFC support
Yes
Yes
Processor
Qualcomm MSM8996, Snapdragon 820 (U.S.)
Samsung Exynos 8890 (International)
Qualcomm MSM8988, Snapdragon 835 (U.S.),
Exynos 8895 (International)
RAM
4GB
4GB
Connectivity
Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, GSM, HSPA+
Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+
Camera
Front 5MP, Rear 12MP with OIS
Front 8MP, Rear 12MP with OIS
Video
2,160p 4K UHD
2,160p 4K UHD
Bluetooth
Yes, version 4.2
Yes, version 5.0
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Other sensors
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, iris scanner
Water resistant
Yes, IP68
Yes, IP68
Battery
3,000mAh
3,000mAh
Ports
Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Quick Charging
Yes
Yes
Wireless Charging
Yes, Qi and PMA
Yes, Qi and PMA
Marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store
Color offerings
Black, white, gold, silver
Black, silver, Orchid Gray (U.S. Models),
Blue, gold (International models)
Availability

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
Price
$570
Starting at $720
DT review
4 out of 5 stars
First take

In the U.S., the Galaxy S8 trades its predecessor’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip for the newer, more powerful 835. Elsewhere, the S8 will receive Samsung’s new Exynos 8895, replacing the 8890 seen in the international variant of the Galaxy S7. Both the Qualcomm and Samsung chips were comparable in performance last year, and the same looks to be true this time around.

Whichever S8 you buy, it’ll be capable of seriously fast download speeds over LTE — up to 1,000Mbps to be exact. Carriers will soon begin rolling out their gigabit-class LTE networks in limited capacities, and — unlike the S7 — the S8 is future-proof with the necessary hardware to take advantage of the new infrastructure as it proliferates over the next several years.

The Galaxy S8 also utilizes Bluetooth 5.0, which offers improved range and data transfer, though not at the same time. It’s still far superior to the Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity on the S7.

In terms of memory, the S8 retains the 4GB RAM of its predecessor. However, Samsung has thankfully followed the example of Apple and LG and decided to bump up base storage in the S8 to 64GB, up from half of that in the S7. As usual, you can add a MicroSD card to raise that total even higher, if you wish.

The added processing power, future-proofed LTE connectivity, and greater stock storage make the Galaxy S8 the clear winner in the specs race.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

30
Mar

LG G6 vs. LG G5: Are slimmer bezels worth the upgrade?


At Mobile World Conference, LG officially announced the G6. A whirlwind of rumors and speculation led up to the phone’s unveiling and we now have the specifics on the latest flagship model from LG, which launches early April.

With a new metal exterior, rounded edges, and super-slim bezels, the G6 looks like a different sort of monster compared to its predecessor, the LG G5. But is it worth the upgrade? We’ll show you the specs and you can decide for yourself.

More: LG hits all the right notes with the waterproof, nearly bezel-free G6

Specs

LG G6

LG G5

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 millimeters (5.8 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches)
149.4 × 73.9 × 7.7 millimeters (5.9 × 2.9 × 0.3 inches)
Weight
5.7 ounces
5.6 ounces
Screen
5.7-inch LCD
5.3-inch LCD
Resolution
1,440 x 2,880 pixels (565 pixels-per-inch)
1,440 × 2,560 pixels, (554 ppi)
OS
Android 7.0 Nougat
Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Upgradeable to 7.0 Nougat)
Storage
32GB + MicroSD storage card (64GB is some markets)
32GB + MicroSD storage card
NFC support
Yes
Yes
Processor
Snapdragon 821
Snapdragon 820
RAM
4GB
4GB
Connectivity
Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA, GSM
Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, GSM, CDMA
Ports
USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Camera
Front 5MP,  Dual rear 13MP + 13MP wide
Front 8MP, Dual rear 16MP + 8MP
Video

2160-p 30fps, 1080-p 30/60fps

2160-p 30fps, 1080-p 30/60fps
Bluetooth
Yes, 4.2
Yes, 4.2
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Other sensors
Gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity, compass, barometer
Gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity, compass, barometer
Water Resistant
Yes, IP68-rated
No
Battery
3,300mAh
2,800mAh
Quick Charging
Yes
Yes
Wireless Charging
Yes
No
Color offerings
Black, Platinum, Mystic White (outside the U.S.)
Silver, titan, gold, pink
Availability
Available March 30 on Verizon, April 7 on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint
 Now
DT Review
4.5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Specs and battery life

The G6 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM. Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon 821 is 10-percent faster than the Snapdragon 820 built into the G5, and it shows. In the U.S., you’ll only get 32GB variants of both the G6 and G5, but they both support MicroSD card expansion in case that’s not enough.

Both are capable of running Android 7.0 Nougat (you’ll need to update your G5), and both feature USB Type-C ports with 3.5mm headphone jacks. Rather than using a 2,800mAh modular battery, the G6 includes a built-in, 3,300mAh battery. Like the G5, the G6 can charge up more quickly with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge capacity. What’s better is that U.S. models will also utilize wireless charging.

You’ll certainly have a smoother experience on the G6, and your smartphone will also last longer throughout the day.

Winner: LG G6

30
Mar

New iOS app allows video creators to link to products right inside videos


Why it matters to you

Social media users could start shopping right from videos on their Facebook and Twitter feeds if this new iOS app catches on, while video creators could start earning extra cash.

Pinterest now allows users to shop from photos — but what if you could do the same thing with a video? That’s the idea behind Dubcandy, a new iOS app that allows videographers to add up to five affiliate links directly into their videos before sharing on Facebook or Twitter. Today’s U.S. launch of Dubcandy is also accompanied by Dubsuite, a more powerful iOS video editor than the developer’s original Dubdub for 90-second music videos.

Using Dubcandy, users can tag up to five products in their videos using an affiliate program such as Amazon’s. That link brings a small popup during the selected segment of the video. Since the platform uses existing affiliate programs, viewer clicks to that product page will earn affiliate income just like a link inside a web browser.

More: Dubdub storytelling app wants you to make a big impact in 90 seconds

The app also gives content creators access to more data, including how many viewers clicked through to that affiliate page, as well as attribution, intent, and other purchase data.

For now, Dubcandy only works on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the Dubdub site — the affiliate videos don’t work with YouTube at this point. The developer says the Dubcandies have ten times the engagement of YouTube product links.

Dubsuite, in the meantime, has been created as a simple video editing app with more user control than exists with the developer’s Dubdub music video app. The iOS-only app allows users to add text, images, and rights-free music, along with direct shares to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

“Our vision at Dubdub is to fully empower creators by giving them tools to create high-quality, authentic, unsponsored content as easily as possible,” said Zbigniew Barwicz, President and CEO of Dubdub. “Within minutes of downloading the apps, Dubdub users can create and tag their beautiful videos with products from popular retailers and get the video out to their audiences and start profiting without any complicated setup.”

Both apps also come with the announcement of a new New York studio space for video creators. Dubbed Dubloft, the Bryant Park studio provides technical guidance from videography experts.

Both Dubcandy and Dubsuite are available to download now for free at the App Store.

30
Mar

Reinventing the wheel: MIT develops method for making smaller chips


Why it matters to you

This new technique could keep Moore’s law progressing, which means smaller and faster components for our electronics for years to come.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago have discovered a new method for developing microchips which could help extend Moore’s law, which relates to the rate at which semiconductors continue to improve their performance, and which has seen us through many decades of progress. While the process is innovative, what’s most impressive is the way that it uses three existing methods in novel ways.

Although Moore’s Law hasn’t been strictly maintained in recent years, the steady improvement in processor performance and reductions in their size has continued. However, as we edge towards the 10nm die size, yield issues have become increasingly common. Most expect big changes will be required to continue to shrink the size of new microprocessors and this new method could go some way to aiding that.

Developed by post-doctorate Do Han Kim, graduate student Priya Moni, and Professor Karen Gleason of MIT, and post-doctorate Hyo Seon Suh and Professor Paul Nealey from the University of Chicago, the new technique uses common manufacturing techniques, but in new and novel ways.

More: Time for some chaos? Reconfigured processors may extend life of Moore’s Law

The first part of the process involves creating a pattern of lines on the chip surface, using standard lithographic techniques — an electron beam essentially prints the pattern onto the chip. The next step puts down a layer of two different polymer materials which are laid down in the original patterns. It’s those polymers which will attract the final layer using vapor deposition.

That process involves heating precursors so they evaporate and then allowing them to condense on the chip. This process forces the copolymers to form into vertical layers rather than horizontal ones and in actuality, form far thinner lines than their bases. New layers can be formed atop the initial one, creating a much thinner, interconnected chip than is created by traditional manufacturing techniques.

This could allow for the much more simple creation of sub-10nm components, which was seen as the next big barrier in computing.

Most importantly, this utilization of traditional chip manufacturing methods in a novel fashion means that existing fabrication plants don’t need to be refitted to make use of the technique. The question now is whether it can be repeated on a mass scale. MIT is confident that it can and that it will be economically viable as well.

30
Mar

Drag right — Tinder for PCs now available in Italy, Sweden, Brazil, and other countries


Why it matters to you

Tinder Online could be a much easier way to match up with people you could be interested in, especially for those who don’t use Facebook.

Tinder is looking to expand beyond its smartphone application, with the announcement of a new web browser version of its dating platform. Called Tinder Online, the new service is currently available in a handful of countries in what Tinder describes as an expansion into territories where unlimited data and high-speed mobile internet are far less common.

Tinder Online has now become available in Italy, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, and Sweden (thanks Mashable) and offers the same sort of functionality as the mobile application. Users can input their details, a few pictures, and swipe through various profiles of potential matches. Of course, though, this being a PC rather than a touchscreen, you’ll ‘swipe’ to express preferences by dragging your mouse left or right.

There’s a reason for many of these territories being targeted first, as Tinder is hoping to capture new markets comprised of people who don’t have access to high-speed wireless internet, or who may not have unlimited data plans. However it does plan to bring the website to other nations, including the U.S., in the future.

More: Start dating more efficiently with one of these 8 apps

There are benefits to using the web version over the app, as well, and this could help increase Tinder’s popularity and attract users who aren’t as comfortable with smartphones. The benefits of a larger screen means you can view a person’s profile while chatting with them and there are keyboard shortcuts which enable faster profile viewing.

There is also a feature currently being tested where users can create an account with a phone number only and without the need for a Facebook profile. That in itself could lead to many more signups: While Facebook is one of the most popular online services, it is far from ubiquitous. There are billions of people who don’t have Facebook accounts and many people who do may not want to use their account for identification purposes.

30
Mar

Synaptics’ new fingerprint sensors come in all shapes and sizes


Why it matters to you

Synaptics has a new line of fingerprint sensors, and chances are you’ll see them in a future smartphone.

The name Synaptics may not ring a bell, but you’ve likely encountered the San Jose, California-based company’s products before. The firm is responsible for some of the more novel touch-sensitive technologies around, including a capacitive spacebar with pinch-to-zoom and a fingerprint sensor that works with wet fingers. The company’s latest creation — the FS4600  — is in keeping with that philosophy of innovation.

The FS4600 is a versatile lineup of fingerprint sensors. The new sensors come in square, round, pill, and slim rectangular shapes that fit on the front, back, and side of devices. On Android devices, up to two soft buttons can be used as navigation keys, and a “fast swipe” navigation feature is supported natively. Force measurement — akin to Apple’s 3D Touch — enables “consumer-specific applications.” And an encrypted fingerprint sensor offers super-secure 256-bit AES encryption with TLS 1.2.

More: Synaptics’ new fingerprint sensor puts all of 2016’s devices to shame

The fingerprint sensors can be coated with polymers, ceramics, or glass, depending on the manufacturer’s preferences.

“The FS4600 family is a terrific extension to our industry-leading Natural ID portfolio, offering compelling, feature-rich capabilities and performance to a broader [market],” Anthony Gioeli, vice president of marketing at Synaptics’ biometrics product division, said in a press release.

It comes on the heels of the firm’s other new flagship, the FS9100, which can scan fingerprints through glass up to 1mm. Notably, Apple is rumored to be working on a fingerprint sensor that would work inside a phone’s display.

More: The Synaptics Smartbar is a touch-sensitive spacebar with pinch-to-zoom

But despite all the security built into Synaptics’ latest sensors, they still suffer from a perennial problem: Protection against forgery. Researchers at Michigan State University were able to demonstrate how an inkjet printer with silver conductive ink can fool most off-the-shelf fingerprint sensors, and other groups have successfully bypassed scanners using 2.5D images made with latex milk and white wood glue.

Making matters worse is the relative ease with which fingerprints can be lifted off of a device. Germany’s Chaos Computer Club, for example, was able to extract fingerprints off of the iPhone’s glass surface by taking high-resolution pictures.

More: This innovative fingerprint scanner can discern fake fingerprints from real ones

But there may be solutions on the horizon. Scientists at the Langevin Institute in Paris recently developed a scanner capable of discerning fake fingerprints from real ones by capturing the “inside” of a person’s finger. In a similar vein, Qualcomm’s Sense ID uses ultrasound to penetrate the outer layers of your skin to see inside the ridges and special characteristics that make up your fingerprint, and detect whether the fingerprint is attached to a living human by checking blood flow.

30
Mar

Synaptics’ new fingerprint sensors come in all shapes and sizes


Why it matters to you

Synaptics has a new line of fingerprint sensors, and chances are you’ll see them in a future smartphone.

The name Synaptics may not ring a bell, but you’ve likely encountered the San Jose, California-based company’s products before. The firm is responsible for some of the more novel touch-sensitive technologies around, including a capacitive spacebar with pinch-to-zoom and a fingerprint sensor that works with wet fingers. The company’s latest creation — the FS4600  — is in keeping with that philosophy of innovation.

The FS4600 is a versatile lineup of fingerprint sensors. The new sensors come in square, round, pill, and slim rectangular shapes that fit on the front, back, and side of devices. On Android devices, up to two soft buttons can be used as navigation keys, and a “fast swipe” navigation feature is supported natively. Force measurement — akin to Apple’s 3D Touch — enables “consumer-specific applications.” And an encrypted fingerprint sensor offers super-secure 256-bit AES encryption with TLS 1.2.

More: Synaptics’ new fingerprint sensor puts all of 2016’s devices to shame

The fingerprint sensors can be coated with polymers, ceramics, or glass, depending on the manufacturer’s preferences.

“The FS4600 family is a terrific extension to our industry-leading Natural ID portfolio, offering compelling, feature-rich capabilities and performance to a broader [market],” Anthony Gioeli, vice president of marketing at Synaptics’ biometrics product division, said in a press release.

It comes on the heels of the firm’s other new flagship, the FS9100, which can scan fingerprints through glass up to 1mm. Notably, Apple is rumored to be working on a fingerprint sensor that would work inside a phone’s display.

More: The Synaptics Smartbar is a touch-sensitive spacebar with pinch-to-zoom

But despite all the security built into Synaptics’ latest sensors, they still suffer from a perennial problem: Protection against forgery. Researchers at Michigan State University were able to demonstrate how an inkjet printer with silver conductive ink can fool most off-the-shelf fingerprint sensors, and other groups have successfully bypassed scanners using 2.5D images made with latex milk and white wood glue.

Making matters worse is the relative ease with which fingerprints can be lifted off of a device. Germany’s Chaos Computer Club, for example, was able to extract fingerprints off of the iPhone’s glass surface by taking high-resolution pictures.

More: This innovative fingerprint scanner can discern fake fingerprints from real ones

But there may be solutions on the horizon. Scientists at the Langevin Institute in Paris recently developed a scanner capable of discerning fake fingerprints from real ones by capturing the “inside” of a person’s finger. In a similar vein, Qualcomm’s Sense ID uses ultrasound to penetrate the outer layers of your skin to see inside the ridges and special characteristics that make up your fingerprint, and detect whether the fingerprint is attached to a living human by checking blood flow.

%d bloggers like this: