Skip to content

Archive for

28
Aug

Apple Seeds Eighth Beta of New watchOS 4 Operating System to Developers


Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming watchOS 4 update to developers, one week after seeding the seventh beta and more than two months after introducing the watchOS 4 update at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS 4 beta 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 needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

watchOS 4 introduces three new watch faces, including a dedicated Siri watch face that displays dynamic information unique to each individual and is perhaps the most significant new feature in the update. There are also new complications for Now Playing and Apple News, and an enhanced Workout app that supports High Intensity Interval Training and new swimming options.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
GymKit, a new technology platform, will let the Apple Watch interface with gym equipment for workout data sharing purposes, and the Activity app will offer up intelligent coaching and tailored workout encouragement along with new monthly activity challenges.

Many other small tweaks and changes have been introduced, all of which are outlined in our dedicated watchOS 4 roundup.

watchOS 4 is only available to developers and will not be provided to public beta testers, so non-developers need to wait until the software sees an official release in the fall to try it out. With September approaching, we are nearing the end of the beta testing period.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Discuss this article in our forums

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

28
Aug

Apple Seeds Eighth Beta of Upcoming tvOS 11 Update to Developers


Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11 update designed for the fourth-generation TV, one week after seeding the seventh beta and more than two months after releasing the first beta during the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Registered developers can download the tvOS 11 update by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C cable and installing the beta software using iTunes.

tvOS 11 didn’t receive a lot of attention at the Worldwide Developers Conference because it’s a modest update, but according to Apple’s release notes, it does introduce a few new features to the operating system.

tvOS 11 brings automatic switching between light/dark mode based on local time, Home screen syncing options that keep multiple Apple TVs in a household in sync, new background modes and notification support, Focus API improvements, custom sound support, network-based pairing and development support, improvements to Mobile Device Management, and more.

The eighth beta of tvOS 11 most likely focuses primarily on bug fixes and other small refinements, as the first seven betas did. Apple’s new tvOS 11 update is available for both registered developers and public beta testers. It will see a public release later this year.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)
Discuss this article in our forums

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

28
Aug

ZTE Blade Z MAX – a potential game-changer in the budget smartphone scene (Review)


As I touched on when I went hands on with Metro’s ZTE Blade Z Max a couple weeks back, this phone has a ton of potential to redefine the concept of a budget smartphone. Typically when we think of budget phones, we look to low-end phones from big-name manufacturers such as LG and Samsung; poor products with awful specifications that still sell units because they have the big-brand name slapped on them.

But ZTE strives for more, bringing as many of the popular features from its higher-end Axon line as possible and cramming them into a $130 phone that pretty much anyone can afford. With that pricepoint in mind – and not comparing it to flagship phones – what follows is my honest and largely-uncensored thoughts on the ZTE Blade Z Max, from Metro.

Build

While unibody aluminum chassis(es) are en vogue right now, and glass bodies are making something of an ill-advised comeback, not every phone – and certainly sub-$200 phones – can afford such a luxury. And that’s definitely the case with the Blade Z Max, which is a combination of plastic siding and a textured, softer-plastic backing. The phone has solid heft for its 6″ frame, but is rather remarkably thin considering the battery it’s packing. The fingerprint sensor, which is quick and accurate, is located on the back of the phone, like other ZTE products. While the screen does not utilize the industry standard Gorilla Glass, it does feature something called DragonTrail Glass, which has been described to me as such:

 “Dragontrail glass is an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass engineered for a combination of thinness, lightness and damage-resistance, similar to Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The material’s primary properties are its strength, allowing thin glass without fragility,  high scratch resistance and hardness.”

In my time with the Blade Z Max, the screen has accumulated no scratches despite being used without a screen protector, and even a couple minor falls show no dings or scratches on the frame. Overall, the Blade Z Max feels much more premium than its price tag would suggest, and it has thus far proven to be every bit as resilient as any modern smartphone – which, admittedly, is not a high bar to reach.

Screen

Here’s the skinny on the display – it’s not world-shaking or revolutionary. It’s just okay. But okay, in this price range, is pretty damned good. It’s a 6″ IPS LCD screen with a 1080p resolution, with a bezel bringing it to a 70% screen-to-body ratio. The color and clarity of the screen are as described above – just okay. There’s no frills or gimmicks here, just a phablet-sized display with an adequate resolution and industry-average panel technology.

Internals

You knew there was a catch, right? There’s no way this phone can possibly be as good as described at the price listed without some serious drawbacks…right?

You’re right, dear Android Guys. The internals on the Blade Z Max are not anything great, or even good, really. It runs a Snapdragon 435 processor, clocked at 1.4GHz, which is about par for the course for budget smartphones these days. It won’t run high-end games, but hey – it ran Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes just fine for me, and combined with that battery (detailed below) it can run it for hours without breaking a sweat. With just 2GB of RAM (but 32GB of expandable internal storage), the Blade Z Max is definitely on the low end of the “usable” meter, but it’s remarkably memory-efficient, given that it doesn’t need to use any additional resources on a custom UI or ROM.

As with every aspect of this phone, the modest specs need to be taken in context – keep your eyes on that price tag when taking it all in.

Features

Aside from the battery, the list of internal features is, perhaps, what most surprised me when I was using the Blade Z Max. Featuring Bluetooth 4.2 (not quite modern), WiFi 802.11n (not quite the newest standard), Type-C USB charging (only 2.0, but still the most modern connector), a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, Dolby sound, and a dual-lens camera, this sub-$150 phone packs a pretty slick set of components – much better quality than you’d expect at that price-point.

Battery Life

4080mAh. 31 Hours of talk time. A processor that sips juice even at max usage. You should get at least two days usage out of this baby even with heavy use – and I routinely have in my time with it. It’s a beast, if nothing else. Truly great for both older and younger audiences, and for those that don’t use their phones for heavy applications.

Camera

My daily driver is a OnePlus 3T. It’s got a decent shooter – 16MP, great detail even at full zoom, and solid performance at most light levels. But this new fad of having a dual-lens on the rear camera of a phone appears to be here to stay, and for good reason. After using the 16/2MP dual sensor on the Blade Z Max, I never want to go back to taking pictures with my 3T. There are simply more options, with better software. With on-the-fly exposure adjustments, panorama/manual/multi-exposure/time-lapse modes with the 16MP lens and a plethora of options using both lenses (including the obligatory Bokeh and Portrait modes, as well as a very entertaining Mono-Color mode), the sheer number of options in ZTE’s camera app and hardware makes it an easy favorite.

Software

I’m an Android purist. I hate that LG and Samsung feel compelled to slap  a coat of shiny paint on all their devices in order to stand out from one another. Imagine my absolute joy when I discovered that not only does the Blade Z Max run Nougat 7.1.1, the most up-to-date version of Android released, but it runs it in a largely uncorrupted state. While ZTE has modified a couple AOSP apps to suit its needs (and the needs of Metro), and the aforementioned Camera app is totally custom, the interface remains pure Nougat-y goodness.

Value

I feel like it’s utterly redundant of me to say that this phone is an amazing value if you’re on the Metro network, or if you can buy it at retail and unlock it for use on T-Mobile or AT&T. At $130, that’s certainly an option. The Blade Z Max, as mentioned above, is a tremendous value phone for people that don’t need a workhorse phone.

28
Aug

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


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from 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. 

Stock Ticker

Stock TickerPicker is an intuitive, powerful application that lets you view watch lists of real-time stock quotes as well as stock/charting data for technical analysis about any listed company.

Available on:

iOS

Herotime

The world’s first and only single-button multi-stopwatch enables a single coach to time several athletes at once with maximum precision no matter the start configuration.

Available on:

iOS

iSchool

i-School is a study organizer and Timetable Schedule Planner, both for schools and universities. It’s very minimalistic but has everything you need.

Available on:

iOS

Beer Boards

Find out what’s on draught at all your favorite craft beer bars. Post your favorite bar’s beer boards for other people to see, check out upcoming events at each bar, and add them to your calendar.

Available on:

iOS

Cloud Hub

Cloud Hub is a simple documents reader and manager for the iOS platform. It allows you to download or upload files from cloud services like Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Drive, and iCloud.

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 playback quality usually delivered by professional studio headphones.

Available on:

iOS




28
Aug

Microsoft clarifies its vision for Windows Mixed Reality, partners with Steam


Why it matters to you

Windows Mixed Reality will partner with Steam for content, and two tiers of hardware requirements have been defined.

Microsoft has announced a major new software distribution platform that will be supported by Windows Mixed Reality. Steam content will run on Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Joe Ludwig of Valve had a few words to say about the importance of Microsoft’s building Steam support into its solution:

“The introduction of Windows Mixed Reality headsets is big step forward for VR. Working with Microsoft to include SteamVR compatibility with these devices is also a big step in growing VR as an open platform for developers and consumers. With a broad range of hardware options available from leading PC manufacturers, the Steam community will have more choice than ever to experience the amazing potential of VR.”

This reveal came as part of a broad push to put Windows Mixed Reality in the limelight at the start of IFA 2017, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show. We went hands-on with Windows Mixed Reality just prior to the show’s start, and found it to be a promising start at an affordable price point. Yet its present focus on virtual reality (VR) rather than augmented reality (AR) led us to wonder at Microsoft’s use of the word “mixed.”

In response, the company has clarified what the term means. A Microsoft representative told Digital Trends the following over email.

“While the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets are closer to the full digital end of the spectrum, they do begin to incorporate elements of the physical world, such as environmental awareness and full 6DoF hand input via motion controllers. Furthermore, Windows Mixed Reality is a unified platform that spans the entire spectrum, enabling the upcoming headsets to elegantly interface with devices closer to the physical reality end of the spectrum, such as Microsoft HoloLens. Our vision has been clear from the start, and this is why we call all of it Windows Mixed Reality.”

Thus, in a sense, Microsoft’s believes its vision is realized with HoloLens representing AR, the new headsets representing VR, with the Windows Mixed Reality platform tying all of the hardware together.

Microsoft has also announced some tantalizing tidbits about the PCs that will be coming to host the platform. The company is introducing two levels of Windows Mixed Reality-compatible PCs depending on the kind of content that MR customers want to run and the level of performance at which they want to run it.

  • Windows Mixed Reality PCs: Desktop and laptops equipped with integrated graphics will be able to drive immersive content at 60 frames per second. Prices will start at $500.
  • Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs: Desktops and laptops equipped with discrete graphics will be able to run content at 90 frames per second

Again, this is just a teaser, as Microsoft will be releasing more details on the Windows Mixed Reality platform during IFA 2017. This includes the recently revealed Dell Visor, which is priced at $400 and can offer support for full motion control.




28
Aug

Dell joins the hologram party with its own mixed reality Windows headset


Why it matters to you

The Dell Visor will start at $400, and boast resolution higher than the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Handheld controllers cost an extra $100.

As Microsoft promised, headsets mixing virtual and augmented reality together are now beginning to pop up in the last quarter of 2017. One of these is the new Dell Visor, which does not give you mutant powers to blast through concrete using laser eyeballs. Instead, it supports the Windows Mixed Reality platform baked right into Windows 10 Creators Update, for both productive and entertainment experiences.

To get you caught up, “virtual” reality engulfs you in a virtual environment to battle robots, explore new worlds, and so on. But this experience can also flow into the workspace, enabling you to create a virtual office with shelves that display “grabbable” apps. We saw an example of this in October 2016 when Microsoft revealed the first Creators Update installment for Windows 10.

Meanwhile, “augmented” reality brings virtual objects into the real world, such as holograms. As we saw in October’s presentation, you could shop online for furniture, and bring those items into the real world to see how they look in your home or office. Of course, the presentation used Microsoft’s $3,000 Hololens headset, but you won’t pay anything close to that with the mixed reality headsets for Window 10.

As for the Dell Visor, the company set out to design a headset for long-term wear. That includes “well-cushioned” head and face padding, a cable management clip that secures the cable to the back of your head, and a “weight-balanced” headband (read more in our hands-on review of Windows Mixed Reality). This headband pulls the pressure off your nose and cheeks, which should make the Visor more comfortable than previous headsets.

According to Dell, its headset includes a flip-up visor so you can quickly jump back into reality without having to rip the entire headset off your noggin. That also should be a convenient feature for everyday use.

Other Dell Visor extras include a thumbwheel for adjusting the headset to any skull size, and an anti-stain coating that keeps the Dell Visor clean. It relies on two 1,440 × 1,440 LCD panels, which is higher than the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift’s two 1,080 × 1,200 screens. Those headsets produce a total screen resolution of 2,160 × 1,200, so expect the Dell Visor’s resolution to be even higher.

News of Dell’s headset arrives after the developer edition of Acer’s mixed reality headset went live on Microsoft’s store at the beginning of August. The hardware requirements for running both are likely the same, such as an Intel Core i7 processor with six cores or more (or AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700), 16GB of system memory, 10GB of free space, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (or 1060) graphics card. AMD’s Radeon RX 480 or better works too.

The Dell Visor mixed reality headset will be made available to pre-purchase for $400 in September and will begin shipping on October 17. A pack of two controllers will be sold separately for $100.




28
Aug

Windows Mixed Reality hands-on preview


More than two and a half years ago, I flew across the country to Seattle to try out HoloLens, an ambitious augmented reality project Microsoft had been secretly working on beneath (of all places) the campus visitor center. Last week, I travelled a much shorter distance, to the Microsoft Store in midtown Manhattan – and got a peek at just how the ideas behind HoloLens have translated to mainstream virtual and augmented reality.

Microsoft sells a Development Edition of the Hololens today for $3,000, which is a neat product, but not something for you or me. We probably aren’t building apps or figuring out how to incorporate mixed reality environments into our company’s workspace. We want to play games, explore new environments, and interact with our friends and colleagues in new ways.

For you and me, there’s Windows Mixed Reality.

No external gizmos required. These headsets can map a play space using the headset’s cameras.

Microsoft set up shop in the top floors of its Fifth Avenue retail facility to showcase a variety of headsets under that tagline from partners such as HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Dell. (Dell released details on the Dell Visor headset Monday morning.) Mixed Reality headsets are low-cost goggles you strap around your head just like an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive or Samsung Gear VR, and they run a special Windows environment optimized for virtual reality. The lineup will go on sale this fall, with headset and motion control bundles starting at $400. Those will work best with more-powerful computers featuring discrete graphics chips; systems that work with integrated graphics chips, and contain slightly more processing power of their own, will go for $500.

If you think that sounds a lot like the premise of those other VR headsets, give yourself a gold star. Everyone in technology thinks virtual reality or augmented reality (or some mixture of the two – hence the name) will transform the world of computing. Microsoft’s efforts are broader than what you’ll find in today’s best VR headsets, considering the company’s first-mover lead in the AR space, but the new line of products primarily caters to what consumers want now: games. After all, gaming is the primary reason people buy VR headsets today.

Windows Mixed Reality systems aim to address many of the pain points with current systems. No external gizmos are required, as these headsets can map a play space using the headset’s cameras. They also don’t require third-party applications. The compatible Windows Mixed Reality software is built right into Windows 10.

I was blown away when I first tried on HoloLens. Would Mixed Reality prove as cool?

Slipping into mixed reality

On a steamy New York summer in a not so well-ventilated store, I stepped into a back room and fitted an Acer headset over my head. It looks and feels exactly as you’d imagine — picture blue ski goggles with rigid plastic rather than stretchy rubber bands around your head. A foam pad surrounds the eyepiece (I could feel “Oculus Face” setting in) and a dial at the back tightens to hold it to your head. The system can be put on by one person, but a perhaps overly cautious Microsoft employee insisted on helping me, tightening the dial through a series of clicks until it was comfortable. Well … somewhat comfortable.

Four headset that promise to bring consumers into the world of Mixed Reality.

The Acer headset felt heavier than the Playstation VR and less secure than the Rift, which you can dance in without having it slip off. The weight of the Acer system was a pressure on my nose and cheekbones that I wanted to relieve by adjusting the placement on my head, though honestly, overall it wasn’t too disconcerting. It was just very much there. A cord ran off the headset on the left side, which irritated my ear a bit, and connected the system to a laptop.

The system slipped over my eyeglasses comfortably, and once on my head, I didn’t give a second thought to my lenses. Almost every VR headset claims to be compatible with glasses, but most fail when you try it. Of course, your results will vary, depending on the size of your frames.

Overall, the Acer headset felt no better or worse than other headsets I’ve worn, and it doesn’t solve a fundamental issue of virtual reality. I don’t want to hang out in ski goggles. No one does.

Hand controllers are optional, and give you a way to interact with the world around you, as well as the built-in head tracking. Microsoft’s controllers look a lot like Oculus Touch: a molded plastic grip, triggers at your pointer fingers, a touchpad and a wand for each thumb. A “home” button lives under the ball of your thumb to get you out of an application and back to the main environment, though it lacked a dot or raised button to let you know where it was. Details, details. Still, once your thumb knows to go for it, you can find it.

Microsoft says its headset works just fine connected to an ordinary laptop. To test that, I wore the system when connected to a high end Razer Blade Pro (2017), a notebook PC with discreet graphics, and a more mainstream HP Spectre x360 “Sphinx” 13, a notebook PC with integrated graphics. The headset never lagged or stuttered during either demo.

Virtual reality? Windows has an app for that

Windows 10 has evolved with the Creators Update, but at heart it’s still based around the same 2D desktop metaphor as Windows 3.1. The same holds true for Apple’s MacOS 10 High Sierra. A 3D interface requires a new metaphor, so Microsoft has built a virtual house environment for you in its mixed reality space. You use the thumbstick to look around, and the thumbpad to jump forward to a different location. Or maybe it’s the other way around? I kept getting confused, but I only had half an hour or so with the headset; after a little use movement became second nature.

Within the various rooms of your virtual house, floating movie screens hang like pictures on the wall, and are used to access programs. Since Microsoft is focused on gaming at launch, the company filled my demo house with a variety of game demos. You can imagine how HP would build a house with a window to tech support, or Dell would build an out-of-the-box experience with a link to its software store. It’s a far more fleshed out and robust environment than that I’ve seen in other VR systems, though I didn’t have as much time to explore it as I would have liked.

But back to the games! I tried several titles that were exactly as immersive and wonderful as those you’ve tried or read about from other platforms. Standing before one of the hanging windows, I clicked a button to enter the app it stood for, and a virtual reality world leapt up to surround me: Space Pirate Trainer. Using one controller as a lasso to rope in alien invaders, I picked them off like an ace.

I also tried Arizona Sunshine, where I blew up shambling zombies with a six-shooter in the Wild West. Using the hand controllers, I picked up cartridges and an ammo belt, and found myself reloading and killing like a professional zombie hunter. I even fought off assailants in Superhot by throwing ninja stars at them, just as is possible with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.



Then there’s the grand-daddy of the space: Minecraft. Minecraft in VR is vastly superior to the desktop version. After building a 3D world you can explore it, leaping from block to block like a gazelle. Using the thumbstick to look around, I found a likely spot, and hit the thumbpad to jump there.

The hand controls were intuitive in all the games I tried, and the system was robust, though admittedly still a little buggy. One or two games crashed, although they reloaded almost instantly at the push of a button. I also found myself frequently pushing the wrong button on the controller and zapping out of the game environment, which was frustrating.

A few paragraphs ago, I wrote that gaming was “as immersive and wonderful” as on other platforms, and that’s both a pro and a con. Sure, it’s great that Microsoft can equal what’s already available, through partnerships like one announced this morning with Steam. But all those games are already available elsewhere. That leaves Windows Mixed Reality without a much-needed killer app.

The VR/AR competition goes bonkers

As Microsoft has developed its platform, the world around it has evolved. What seemed groundbreaking two and half years ago is still impressive, but in that time virtual reality has exploded, and is becoming very complex. Windows Mixed Reality will have plenty of competitors.

Google said at its I/O conference in May that it plans to launch a whole array of standalone virtual reality headsets which won’t require a separate phone. Samsung has the exact same plan, something the company calls “Odyssey.” And there’s the looming threat of Apple’s ARkit, which turns an ordinary iPhone into an augmented reality marvel.

People want more affordable, more intuitive VR, and Windows Mixed Reality will bring it.

Microsoft’s advantage is supposed to be in augmented reality, given the head start HoloLens gave the company. Yet, based on the demo Microsoft gave me, I couldn’t tell how AR fits into the whole system, which is very much designed for virtual reality. So far, Windows Mixed Reality appears to be virtual reality with a different name. So I asked Microsoft where the AR was.

“We believe that mixed reality represents a spectrum spanning everything in between full physical reality and full digital or virtual reality,” a spokeswoman told me. “While the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets are closer to the full digital end of the spectrum, they do begin to incorporate elements of the physical world, such as environmental awareness and full [six degrees of freedom] hand input via motion controllers.”

Two and a half years ago, I saw the future. An electrician remotely helped me rewire a light switch, drawing on the wall before my eyes to show me which wires to touch and which to stay away from. That’s the real power of AR, and it makes tremendous sense.

Microsoft’s Mixed Reality headsets don’t show that side of the equation just yet. They instead focus on a more convenient, slightly less expensive alternative to current virtual reality headsets. That falls short of the vision originally promised – but it may still be enough to move VR forward. People want more affordable, more intuitive VR, and Windows Mixed Reality will bring it.




28
Aug

Short on phone storage? Here is our guide on how to uninstall apps in Android


We’ve seen the reports — millennials are lacking in loyalty toward apps. When you look at the average user’s app habits, it is easy to see why. There are now more than 3 million apps available on the Google Play store, and not every app is going to be perfect for you. Your device’s memory is limited and it is filled with apps that you no longer want — it is time to purge your device of the apps you never use. But how do you cleanse your device of unplayed games, lifestyle apps, and otherwise? Have no fear! We heard your terrible plight and we put together this simple guide on how to uninstall apps in Android.

As a small tip before we begin, if you do not intend to reinstall the app you are removing, take the time to “Clear Data” on any app you are uninstalling. You can usually find this button in the “Storage” section near to the “Uninstall” button in each of our guides. This ensures that as little data from the app as possible will be left on your device post-uninstallation. If you are just removing an app temporarily — for instance, to make space for an operating system update — feel free to leave the data there, so it will still be available when you put the app back onto your device later.

Finally, some apps are not able to be removed. This is usually the case with apps crucial to your device’s daily running, or — in more insidious cases — apps that have been added by your carrier or phone manufacturer. Thankfully, even though you cannot remove these apps without rooting your phone (here is our guide on rooting your Android phone if you are interested in that), you can usually disable them, and we added small notes to each of our guides to highlight how you can do this. But be warned — be sure you know what you are disabling. While it is difficult to brick a phone by disabling apps, it never hurts to be sure you are turning off something you really don’t need. If you need a more in-depth guide to purging your phone of these apps, then check out our guide on removing bloatware.

How to uninstall apps in stock Android

Stock Android is the base level of Android, as created by Google. Though stock Android is found primarily on Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices, you will find that many phone manufacturers put a light modification on top of stock on their devices (usually referred to as “skins”). Since stock Android is the underlying skeleton of most Android phones out there, you usually only need to look further than this entry if your phone has a more heavily modified Android skin, like Samsung’s TouchWiz (recently re-dubbed Experience).

Uninstalling apps from stock Android is simple:

Select the Settings app from your app drawer or home screen.
Tap Apps or Applications.
Scroll down the list until you find the app you want to remove and tap it.
Select Uninstall.

If you come across one of the apps that cannot be removed, then simply follow the same instructions as above, just substituting Disable for Uninstall in the final step. That should ensure that the offending app — while not removed totally — cannot be activated or impact your day-to-day activity.

How to uninstall apps in Samsung Experience

Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Samsung’s modified Android skin has evolved a lot over the years. Previously known as Touchwiz, it was maligned as one of the worst Android skins in the world — to the point where Google almost stepped in to make it better. The Samsung Experience that comes with the Galaxy S8 (and now with the Note 8) is a much better experience and one that changed a lot since the bad old days, giving us the smooth and sleek feel we have come to crave.

Strangely enough, uninstalling apps on Samsung Experience is actually easier than on stock Android. While you can still navigate to the Settings app, to the app list, and so on — Samsung has given users an even quicker shortcut to uninstall or disable unwanted apps.

Find the app you wish to uninstall.
Long-press (tap and hold your finger) on the app, and wait for a pop-up menu to appear.
Tap Uninstall.
If you want to uninstall multiple apps on an S8 or newer, then you can tap “Select multiple items” from the same pop-up menu, select each app you want rid of, then tap “Uninstall” at the top left. This option isn’t available on older Samsung phones like the S7 Edge pictured.

To disable apps that are not able to be uninstalled, simply follow the same steps again, only tapping Disable instead of Uninstall.

That is the simple low-down on how to uninstall apps in Android and one of the most popular non-stock Android devices out there. Looking to refill that space after doing a good clear-out? Then check out our up-to-date list of the best Android apps currently available, or just relax with our pick of the best Android games.




28
Aug

The refreshed Dell XPS 13 laptop is a pretty and speedy way to get things done


Why it matters to you

Dell’s updated XPS 13 laptops include new technologies offered by 8th gen Intel Core CPUs, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

In addition to conjuring up a huge new load of Inspiron 7000 2-in-1s and clamshell laptops, Dell also snuck in a refreshed XPS 13 laptop just prior to the opening of IFA in Berlin. Arriving in Silver and Rose Gold flavors, the device is based on a handful of seventh-generation Core i3/i5/i7 “U” processors, and two of the latest eighth-generation i5/i7 “U” chips. The XPS 13 also includes a battery promising up to 22 hours of run-time when the screen is set to a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution.

This is what is on the new Dell XPS 13 menu:

Screen size:
13.3 inches
Screen resolution:
3,200 x 1,800 with optional Touch
1,920 x 1,080 no Touch
Screen brightness:
400 nits
Screen contrast ratio:
1,000:1
Processor (7th Gen):
Intel Core i7-7560U
Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Processor (7th Gen with vPro):
Intel Core i7-7660U
Intel Core i5-7300U
Processor (8th Gen):

Intel Core i7-8550UIntel Core i5-8250U

Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Memory:
4GB / 8GB / 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Storage:
128GB SATA SSD
256GB PCI Express SSD
512GB PCI Express SSD
1TB PCI Express SSD
Audio:
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
2x one-watt stereo speakers
Dual array digital microphones
Connectivity:
Killer 1535 Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports:
2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A (one charges)
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
Camera:
720p webcam
Battery:
60WHr, not replaceable
Keyboard backlighting?
Yes
Precision touchpad?
Yes
Dimensions (in inches):
7.88 (D) x 11.98 (W) x 0.33 to 0.60 (H)
Starting weight:
2.7 pounds non-Touch
2.9 pounds with Touch
Operating system:
Windows 10
Ubuntu Linux
Chassis:
CNC machined aluminum
Carbon fiber composite palm rest with soft touch paint
Availability:
September 12
Starting price:
$800

Fundamentally, this is the same Dell XPS 13 that we’ve consistently called the best laptop you can buy. Now, though, it offers a quad-core processor instead of a dual-core chip — though, to be clear, base models will continue to ship with the 7th gen Intel Core dual-core. If you do upgrade to the quad-core ship, you should see a big boost in multi-core performance.

Aside from the processor, the Dell impresses with strong hardware across the board. It offers up to a terabyte of fast PCI Express hard drive space, up to 16GB of RAM, and a screen resolution of up to 3,200 x 1,800. While the small XPS 13 is still more about portability than speed, it can become quick in high-end configurations.

The look and feel of the design hasn’t been touched. “The top cover and base are precision cut from a single block of aluminum,” Dell says. “The carbon fiber palm rest is strong like aluminum, and thin, but feels cooler to the touch. Machined aluminum provides strength and durability.” Frankly, Dell still doesn’t need to overhaul the system. It remains one of the thinnest, lightest, most attractive laptops sold today.

Given that the screen bezels are so narrow, Dell shoved the built-in webcam to the bottom left of the screen’s lower bezel. Thin, horizontal speakers are mounted on each side of the laptop, but there’s no sign of a dedicated microphone jack.

Dell’s new XPS 13 laptop will land on September 12 for a starting price of just $800.




28
Aug

The refreshed Dell XPS 13 laptop is a pretty and speedy way to get things done


Why it matters to you

Dell’s updated XPS 13 laptops include new technologies offered by 8th gen Intel Core CPUs, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

In addition to conjuring up a huge new load of Inspiron 7000 2-in-1s and clamshell laptops, Dell also snuck in a refreshed XPS 13 laptop just prior to the opening of IFA in Berlin. Arriving in Silver and Rose Gold flavors, the device is based on a handful of seventh-generation Core i3/i5/i7 “U” processors, and two of the latest eighth-generation i5/i7 “U” chips. The XPS 13 also includes a battery promising up to 22 hours of run-time when the screen is set to a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution.

This is what is on the new Dell XPS 13 menu:

Screen size:
13.3 inches
Screen resolution:
3,200 x 1,800 with optional Touch
1,920 x 1,080 no Touch
Screen brightness:
400 nits
Screen contrast ratio:
1,000:1
Processor (7th Gen):
Intel Core i7-7560U
Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Processor (7th Gen with vPro):
Intel Core i7-7660U
Intel Core i5-7300U
Processor (8th Gen):

Intel Core i7-8550UIntel Core i5-8250U

Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Memory:
4GB / 8GB / 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Storage:
128GB SATA SSD
256GB PCI Express SSD
512GB PCI Express SSD
1TB PCI Express SSD
Audio:
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
2x one-watt stereo speakers
Dual array digital microphones
Connectivity:
Killer 1535 Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports:
2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A (one charges)
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
Camera:
720p webcam
Battery:
60WHr, not replaceable
Keyboard backlighting?
Yes
Precision touchpad?
Yes
Dimensions (in inches):
7.88 (D) x 11.98 (W) x 0.33 to 0.60 (H)
Starting weight:
2.7 pounds non-Touch
2.9 pounds with Touch
Operating system:
Windows 10
Ubuntu Linux
Chassis:
CNC machined aluminum
Carbon fiber composite palm rest with soft touch paint
Availability:
September 12
Starting price:
$800

Fundamentally, this is the same Dell XPS 13 that we’ve consistently called the best laptop you can buy. Now, though, it offers a quad-core processor instead of a dual-core chip — though, to be clear, base models will continue to ship with the 7th gen Intel Core dual-core. If you do upgrade to the quad-core ship, you should see a big boost in multi-core performance.

Aside from the processor, the Dell impresses with strong hardware across the board. It offers up to a terabyte of fast PCI Express hard drive space, up to 16GB of RAM, and a screen resolution of up to 3,200 x 1,800. While the small XPS 13 is still more about portability than speed, it can become quick in high-end configurations.

The look and feel of the design hasn’t been touched. “The top cover and base are precision cut from a single block of aluminum,” Dell says. “The carbon fiber palm rest is strong like aluminum, and thin, but feels cooler to the touch. Machined aluminum provides strength and durability.” Frankly, Dell still doesn’t need to overhaul the system. It remains one of the thinnest, lightest, most attractive laptops sold today.

Given that the screen bezels are so narrow, Dell shoved the built-in webcam to the bottom left of the screen’s lower bezel. Thin, horizontal speakers are mounted on each side of the laptop, but there’s no sign of a dedicated microphone jack.

Dell’s new XPS 13 laptop will land on September 12 for a starting price of just $800.




%d bloggers like this: