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19
Jul

Questionable Rumor Says Apple May Introduce New iPhone SE at Event in Late August


A questionable rumor has surfaced today suggesting Apple could unveil a new iPhone SE next month, but it might just be more noise in iPhone silly season.

The rumor comes from French-language blog iGeneration, which cited an unnamed source claiming Apple will hold a product event in late August to introduce an updated version of the 4-inch smartphone.

Mickaël Bazoge, the author of the article, told MacRumors that he received the info from a “new source” with an unproven track record. He expressed some skepticism, but added that the source “seems reliable.”

The timeline is immediately questionable given Apple has never introduced any new iPhone model in August. Beyond the current iPhone SE and iPhone 4s in March 2016 and October 2011 respectively, Apple has officially debuted all other iPhone models at events in June or September each year.

Moreover, given the current iPhone SE essentially has iPhone 6s tech specs, the next model’s tech specs would likely be closer to the iPhone 7. And if that happens in August, then the new iPhone SE would be nearly as powerful as the iPhone 7 with a much cheaper price tag, potentially cannibalizing Apple’s sales.

There have also been few if any rumors about a new iPhone SE. Back in November 2016, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it was unlikely that Apple would release a new iPhone SE in the first half of this year. That claim proved to be accurate, but Kuo hasn’t outlined any new predictions since then.

When introducing the iPhone SE, Apple acknowledged that some people simply love smaller phones, and revealed that it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015. The device looks like an iPhone 5s, but it has newer tech specs, including a twice-as-fast A9 chip and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera.

iPhone SE remains Apple’s cheapest smartphone, starting at $399 in the United States. Today’s rumor claims the next-generation model could start at €399 in Europe, down from €489 currently. The rumor also says Apple will hold a second event in October to introduce the supposedly delayed “iPhone 8.”

Apple doubled the current iPhone SE’s storage capacities to 32GB and 128GB, up from 16GB and 64GB, in March.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Tag: igen.fr
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone SE (Caution)
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19
Jul

‘Amazon Pay Places’ Lets You Make Real-World Purchases, Starting with TGI Friday’s Pickup Orders


Amazon today announced a new feature coming to its iOS and Android apps called “Amazon Pay Places,” which will let users pay for in store items and order ahead meals using the payment information saved in their Amazon accounts (via TechCrunch).

Amazon is opening up the feature with a small scale launch, however, and only enabling pay-ahead food orders through one restaurant, TGI Friday’s, at locations in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Virginia, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

To use Amazon Pay Places, users on the Amazon iOS mobile app can tap on the hamburger icon to find “Programs and Features” in the navigation tab, where Amazon Pay Places will be located. When tapped, users will be able to browse TGI Friday’s menu, place an order, and pay directly within the app.

Amazon is today introducing a new feature called Amazon Pay Places, that allows customers to pay for in-store and order ahead shopping experiences using their Amazon app. That is, instead of using cash, check, credit or debit while shopping out in the real world, you can just use your Amazon account information instead.

According to TechCrunch, Amazon Pay Places will eventually encompass multiple in-store and “physical world” retail applications in the future, placing the Amazon iOS app as more of a potential Apple Pay competitor than the initial launch’s focus on ordering ahead. Amazon didn’t mention when new partners will be announced for Pay Places, or when the feature might launch in markets outside of the United States, where it will currently only be supported.

Amazon Pay Places is an expansion on the company’s current “Amazon Pay” checkout option, which allows retailers to place a button on their websites to give users an easy checkout option, similar to PayPal. With Pay Places, the company is now looking to slowly expand the use cases of Amazon Pay out into stores and restaurants in the real world, although it remains unclear how such in-store transactions will work.

Tag: Amazon
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19
Jul

Apple Releases iOS 10.3.3 With Bug Fixes and Security Improvements


Apple today released iOS 10.3.3 to the public following several weeks of beta testing with six betas provided to developers and public beta testers. iOS 10.3.3 comes more than two months after the launch of iOS 10.3.2, a minor bug fix update.

iOS 10.3.3 is a free over-the-air update available to all users with a compatible iOS device. It can also be downloaded and installed on iOS devices using iTunes on a Mac or PC.

No outward-facing changes or features were discovered during the short beta testing period, so it appears iOS 10.3.3 focuses on bug fixes, security enhancements, and other minor improvements, much like iOS 10.3.2.

Apple’s work on iOS 10 is winding down as the company prepares to launch the next-generation version of iOS, iOS 11, which first debuted at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. iOS 11 will see a release in the fall following a summer of beta testing. With work shifting to iOS 11, iOS 10.3.3 is likely to be one of the final updates we see to iOS 10.

Related Roundup: iOS 10
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19
Jul

Apple Releases Minor watchOS 3.2.3 Update for Apple Watch


Apple today released a new software update for the Apple Watch, upgrading watchOS 3.2.2 to watchOS 3.2.3. The watchOS 3.2.3 update comes two months after the release of watchOS 3.2.2, which introduced bug fixes.

watchOS 3.2.3 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone.

An iPhone running iOS 10 or later is required to download the new software, but it is available for all Apple Watch models.

During the beta testing period for watchOS 3.2.3, no major changes or new outward-facing features were discovered, so watchOS 3.2.3, like watchOS 3.2.2 appears to focus mainly on performance improvements and bug fixes.

watchOS 3 will soon be succeeded by a new version of watchOS, watchOS 4, which was introduced at the June Worldwide Developers Conference.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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19
Jul

Apple Releases tvOS 10.2.2 for Fourth-Generation Apple TV


Apple today released a new update for tvOS, the operating system designed to run on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS 10.2.2 update comes two months after the release of tvOS 10.2.1, a minor update.

The tvOS 10.2.2 update can be downloaded on the fourth-generation Apple TV using the Settings app. Go to System –> Software Update to install. For those who have automatic software updates turned on, the Apple TV will be upgraded to tvOS 10.2.2 automatically.

We didn’t find any new features or design changes during the short tvOS 10.2.2 beta testing period, suggesting the update focuses on bug fixes, security enhancements, and other under-the-hood improvements.

tvOS 10 will be replaced with tvOS 11, the next-generation version of the tvOS operating system, this fall. For that reason, tvOS 10.2.2 may be one of the last updates to tvOS 10.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)
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19
Jul

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.6 With Security and Stability Improvements


Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.6, the sixth update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched in September of 2016. macOS Sierra 10.12.6 comes two months after the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.5, an update that introduced a headphones audio fix, enhanced Mac App Store compatibility, and more.

macOS Sierra 10.12.6 is a free update for all customers who have a compatible machine. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store.

There were no bug fixes, feature additions, or other changes found in macOS Sierra 10.12.6 during the beta testing process, suggesting the update focuses on security improvements and other small enhancements.

macOS Sierra 10.12.6 is likely to be one of the last updates to the macOS Sierra operating system, as Apple is preparing to shift focus to macOS High Sierra, the next version of macOS. Apple introduced macOS High Sierra at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5.

Related Roundup: macOS Sierra
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19
Jul

Tired of the same old arrow? Here’s how to change your mouse cursor in Windows


The mouse cursor is one of the pillars of modern user interface design. Even if you’ve transitioned to a tablet or touchscreen device like the many Windows 10 2-in-1s that have hit the market, sometimes you just need that reliable old cursor, especially in an operating system that still skews heavily toward the conventional desktop (i.e. Windows). But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the default option. Users looking for different cursor colors and size, whether for better visibility or simply based on cosmetic preference, can follow our simple guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows.

Making the cursor bigger, or inverting default color to black to make it stand out more on a white background, are the primary reasons for doing this. Changing the cursors to a variety of built-in Windows 10 “themes” — which function as collections of cursors for normal operation, text selection, hyperlinks, etc. — is fairly easy, but users can also customize individual images or install themed packs.

Changing the default cursor

Click or press the Windows button, then begin typing “mouse.” Click or tap Change your mouse settings from the resulting list of options to open the primary mouse settings menu. This is also available from the primary Settings application. In Windows 10, go to Devices, click or tap Mouse & touchpad, and select Additional mouse options.

In Windows 8, click on Control Panel, then double-click Mouse. In older versions of Windows, the Mouse or Touchpad settings shortcut is usually found from within the Control Panel.

The Mouse Properties window hasn’t changed much since Windows 7. What we’re looking for, in particular, is the Pointers tab, though it might be useful to check out some of the other tabs for usability adjustments later. Once found, click on Pointers.

The first option under the pointers tab is Scheme, and it’s all that most users will need to adjust. Click the drop-down menu and you’ll see roughly a dozen different cursor schemes. These are collections of static and animated images that completely replace the default “arrow” cursor and its associated tools. Most of them are boring but functional, and they take on the regular Windows look. The variations come in white and black for the best contrast, and in a variety of sizes to suit different screen resolutions and those with poor eyesight.

Click on any of the schemes to see a preview of the applicable cursors in the bottom half of the window. You can move back and forth between them to compare the color and size. The “inverted” schemes are especially useful for those who have a hard time seeing the standard white cursor. If one of these schemes looks good to you, simply click Apply to implement the changes. Then, return to the Mouse Properties menu for any additional changes in the future. The Enable pointer shadow option adds a cosmetic shadow to the cursor — it’s interesting, but not all that useful.

Customizing cursors

If you’re looking to change one or more individual cursors, that’s easy to do as well. In the Customize portion of the window, select the cursor you’d like to change. There are 15 different cursors that can apply to different situations in Windows 10, though most of the time the primary pointer, link pointer, text select, and window resizing cursors are all you need to worry about. To select a custom cursor for the highlighted individual item, click Browse.

This will open the default Cursors folder, C:WindowsCursors, where hundreds of different cursor options are available. Click one that matches the function (not the scheme) of the current cursor, then click Open to apply it to the current scheme. You can repeat this step as many times as it takes to get the desired result or click Use Default to return to the standard cursor for the scheme in question. Repeat the process with any other individual cursors you’d like to change, then click Apply to make them active.

Downloading cursor packs

Customizing Windows interface elements has become less popular as of late, but it’s still an option for more advanced users. There are many programs that will install additional cursor schemes or individual cursors to the default menu, such as Stardock’s CursorFX, and sites like Customize.org and the Open Cursor Library have dedicated sections for custom cursors. Once installed, these are selected in the process mentioned above.

If you’ve found one or more individual cursors that you want to install manually, you’ll need to copy their image files directly to the Cursors folder. In Windows 7, 8, and 10, this is in the default Windows installation folder, usually located at C:WindowsCursors. The Browse function we previously outlined can actually go to any folder on your PC, but it’s usually best to keep all your cursor files in the default folder for easy access.

When downloading individual cursor files or add-on programs, exercise caution as with any download — ransomware and other malware attacks are increasingly serious problems and can’t be taken lightly. Do not download files or programs from questionable sources, and check files with a virus scanner — like Windows Defender — before opening them.




19
Jul

Chuwi Hi-Dock: Quick impressions of a useful charging hub for your desk as well as your trips


If you’re like me and have multiple smartphones or devices on you at any time, you know charging all of them at once is a pain if you have limited power outlets or adapters.

To solve this common issue, there are several charging hubs out there in the market. Chuwi, the Chinese smart devices OEM, recently launched one which is pretty good for your desk or bedside as well as to lug it around in your bag when you’re travelling.

The Chuwi Hi-Dock is a quite handy and compact charging hub that offers four USB ports that are hidden under flaps. Three of these ports output at 5V/2.4A each while one of them supports the latest Quick Charge 3.0 technology. This port, marked in orange, supports 3.6-6.5V/3A, 6.5V-9V/2A, and 9V-12V/1.5A power rates. The Hi-Dock is powered by the included power cable that you’d need to plug into a power outlet.

If you have one of the latest smartphones that support QC 3.0 standard, this hub is a good fit. Of course, Chuwi could’ve supported quick charging on all or at least two of the ports, but that would’ve bumped up the cost.

The Chuwi Hi-Dock is not just a charging hub, but also a mobile stand. The flaps that cover the USB ports also double as stands for smartphone and tablets. However, one, you’d mostly be able to support them in landscape mode else they’ll topple over. And secondly, don’t expect to fit four smartphones at one time, especially with the tangle of wires.

While Hi-Dock’s design is otherwise very smart and quite practical, the mobile stand bit is only an added convenience and should not be your primary consideration. Apart from the chic design, the build quality too is top notch.

The Chuwi Hi-Dock eliminates the need for multiple wall chargers, and is a useful and ingenious accessory that is a must have if you juggle multiple devices. At less than $25, it’s quite affordable as well.

Buy Chuwi Hi-Dock from Amazon

19
Jul

Skagen Jorn Hybrid review – do smartwatches still matter?


When I was in New York City celebrating my birthday a few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself to a hybrid smartwatch that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. I have to admit that even as I was buying it, I was a little skeptical. Why move away from a highly functional touchscreen smartwatch in favor of what’s essentially a dumb watch with a few neat tricks?

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore today.

Do smartwatches still matter? Is there room in the extremely crowded wearable market for hybrid smartwatches? I’ll try to answer that in my review of the Skagen Jorn Hybrid Smartwatch.

Don’t miss:Best smartwatches

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The hybrid category of smartwatches isn’t anything new, but it has been making more waves as of late. While companies like Fossil and all of the properties underneath its umbrella have moved into making Android Wear versions of their existing watch lines, there has been a growing trend of analog watches that simply bring features like notifications, vibration feedback, and fitness tracking to the mix. The Skagen Jorn is one of them.

Outfitted with a slim yet sleek body, this smartwatch comes with a light leather band that gives it a nice mixture of style. It is casual enough to wear with any normal clothing, but just fancy enough to fit in with a button down or even a suit. Part of the reason for that kind of style is the fact that this hybrid smartwatch has an analog face that is simple and doesn’t overwhelm with too much information. And, of course, it is not a touchscreen.

Which leads me to my first thought about smartwatches – we went too far too fast. Remember when the LG G Watch first came out as the inaugural Android Wear watch? While the Samsung Gear Live tried to add a little bit of style to Wear 1.0, the LG G Watch was probably the best precursor to what smartwatches essentially became: yet another screen, only on one’s wrist. The result was a fully touchscreen experience that was translated from the smartphone into a wearable, and with that came all the imaginative possibilities and all of the potential pitfalls.

The fact remains that smartwatches provide yet another screen to occupy our attention. Think of what a watch was originally meant to do – tell us the time – and how little effort and time it took to do that. Over time, smartwatches got bigger, thicker, and arguably better; unfortunately, that gave people the ability to read whole messages or notifications, swiping or dialing them up little by little. That’s literally the same amount of time spent looking at the watch that you probably would have spent looking at your phone anyway.

So, the Skagen Jorn tells the time and then a few other pieces of information when pressing one of three buttons on the side. Yes, this is a bit like the Pebble that I loved and have sadly set aside, but at least these buttons are programmable for a number of different functions. The list is a bit extensive: music and volume control, camera shutter button release via Bluetooth, telling the date, showing a secondary time zone, and showing step count.

It’s when showing different bits of information that things get interesting. On the top left of the watch is an area that shows 0-100, which is the percentage of one’s daily step goals. This is also programmable in the Skagen Connected app, and when the button is pressed, both watch arms come together to 0 and move to what your actual percentage for the day is. As for the actual step counting, the Jorn is a bit too liberal with its counts but still gets the job done.

This movement of the arms is really cool and hasn’t gotten old – it’s definitely an appealing aspect of the Jorn, one that it takes an analog timepiece and makes it do more. After all, weren’t all the different spy watches that James Bond wore fancy timepieces that had hidden features? Consider the cool factor of that compared to a watch that is basically all screen and all apps. Less hidden and thus less cool, for sure.



Other functions include pointing at the different dates from 1 to 31 around the watch and then notifications. Notifications are supposed to be the crux of the smartwatch experience, but unfortunately that is where the Skagen Jorn falls short. Much like with other hybrid smartwatches, notifications are programmed in the companion app to a certain portion of the watch – in this case, it is to one of four different colors on the left side of the watch face. When the programmed notification comes in on the phone, the watch vibrates and then the two arms point to the corresponding color. It takes a little bit of memory on the user’s part, but doesn’t take long to get used to.

My main problem with this notification method is the weak vibration feedback. Because the Jorn is a thin bodied watch, the vibration motors are also smaller and thus aren’t very powerful. It seems Skagen knew this would be the case as they didn’t even bother to have an alarm function on the Jorn. As a result, alarms and notifications are basically useless here.

But with that in mind and after a few days with the Jorn, I realized something: I don’t miss having notifications going off on my wrist all the time. We’re already inundated with so much information in our connected world, and I’m usually in front of a computer or looking at my phone fairly often to begin with, so it’s not like I will miss out on an e-mail or a message for very long. And unlike with my Pebble or any Android Wear watch, I’m not being nudged to look at my wrist practically every five minutes.

And battery life? Forget about it. Really, you basically can, because the Jorn and other hybrid smartwatches use coin batteries that can last for months on end. Compare that to my Pebble that worked for up to a week and pretty much any other smartwatches that go for no more than a couple days without dying and needing a charge.



It comes down to this – I realized that I didn’t actually miss a lot of what smartwatches are supposed to provide users. Without notifications, I’m not getting poked at all the time; without apps, I’m not using my watch for functions that are already possible via plenty of other methods; and as far as customization, I’m quite happy with the looks of the Jorn and would gladly take the long battery life in exchange for a swappable watch face.

So, do smartwatches still matter? That’s entirely up to you, so I want to know what you think in the comments below. I am but one example of someone that has changed from the full touchscreen experience and moved to a hybrid smartwatch. There are plenty of other ways go to go – fitness tracker or maybe you want to just go back to full analog – but I think it’s important to know why someone might want to make the jump. For me, I didn’t know how I really felt about the different facets of a smartwatch until I no longer had them in my daily life. Give it a try for yourself, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

19
Jul

Emergency dial bug may cause the OnePlus 5 to reboot when you need it most


Why it matters to you

Everyone wants their phone to work when calling an emergency number, but the OnePlus 5 may have a problem that prevents it from happening.

Making a call to Domino’s, only for your phone to reboot after you dial, would be frustrating. For your phone to do the same when making a call to the emergency services would be one of the worst situations imaginable. There are some reports saying exactly this problem exists with the OnePlus 5, the newest phone from the popular manufacturer.

A post made on the r/OnePlus Reddit board, and cross-posted to the r/Android board, highlighted the frightening issue. OnePlus 5 owner Nick Morrelli said he needed to call 911 and report a nearby fire, but the phone rebooted without connecting to the service. This happened a second time, and Morrelli was able to replicate it again at a later point, and capture it on video.

The problem isn’t limited to OnePlus 5 owners in the United States either, with one Reddit commenter in the United Kingdom saying they had also found the same problem after running a test for the 999 emergency number. OnePlus has been quick to respond, and told Digital Trends:

“We have contacted the customer and are currently looking into the issue. We ask anyone experiencing a similar situation to contact us at support@oneplus.net.”

There is some speculation about the cause. It may be an issue with third-party dialer apps, or modifications to the Android dialer app when it’s part of a custom user interface. The problem has been noted on phones other than those made by OnePlus in the past, but reports of emergency dialing problems have turned up on the OnePlus forums, indicating older OnePlus phones and software may have suffered from isolated instances of this happening too.

Dialing an emergency number is something none of us want to do, but would absolutely want to work should the situation arise. The question is, how do we know if our phones — whether it’s a OnePlus 5 or not — actually connect with the service? The answer is not to randomly and repeatedly dial 911 or 999. Do not do this. Again, do not just call emergency services to see if the call connects. This could be considered an offense, and may prevent a real emergency from getting through.

If you’re in the U.S., there is an official way to test the line, and directions can be found on the 911 website here. It involves calling your local non-emergency phone number and scheduling a time to do so. In the U.K., contact your local police and ask for advice on how and when to test the line.

We’ll update here, and in our guide to other OnePlus 5 issues that have been reported, if OnePlus releases a fix for the problem.




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