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29
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. 

TunesFlow

Customize your experience with a 10-band equalizer and use different presets or build your own settings library assignable to songs, albums, lists, and even genres.

Available on:

iOS

Weather Now

Get information on your selected location, including local time and current weather with detailed weather conditions, and of course, an incredibly beautiful three-dimensional image of the globe.

Available on:

iOS

iSchool

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

Available on:

iOS

NiteFan

This app will allow you to choose between the sounds of four different fans to help you fall asleep when your head hits the pillow. Play one type of fan or mix them together to create your own custom fan sound.

Available on:

iOS

Make a Face

Make a Face is photography software to create unique, animated composite pictures and videos of faces. If you like creating interesting photos and animations of the faces of your friends and family, this is the app for you.

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




29
Aug

Could Yuneec’s latest UAV be the most versatile camera drone yet?


Why it matters to you

Yuneec’s new high-end commercial drone is here to help with all your camera-based needs.

Looking for a robust six-rotor commercial drone with camera options for carrying out everything from night-vision search-and-rescue missions to mapping to recording cinema-quality video? Of course you are — and electric aviation company Yuneec International is here to help.

Announced at the start of this year, Yuneec’s high end H520 drone is now available to order. Described by its makers as the perfect all-in-one drone package, the H520’s most impressive feature is its range of cameras, which can be swapped out depending on what you need to do with it.

Its E90 camera is a wide-angle HD gimbal stabilized shooter, with a 20MP sensor and an H2 high speed processing chip. That’s perfectly suited for law enforcement, search and rescue, 3D mapping, or broadcast. Then there’s an E50 camera, offering a medium focal length, stabilized snapper with a high aperture 1/2.3-inch CMOS imager that’s capable of stunning 12MP stills. Finally, there’s a CGOET camera that comes with thermal imaging, simultaneously records two separate video files for each lens, and boasts low-light recording capabilities that are 20 times superior to the human eye in the same setting.

The drone comes packed with a pro-grade, Android-based ST16 controller, which sports a 7-inch integrated display and HD 720p video downlink for real-time video reception. If that’s not good enough, you can also utilize an HDMI uplink to watch the footage on external monitors.

“With its suite of advanced features, the H520 is dependable, reliable and capable of fulfilling virtually any commercial need,” said Yu Tian, group chief information officer and CEO of Yuneec Technology Co. “Pilots can fly with confidence knowing they have an array of camera options for a variety of situations and industry-leading safety features including intelligent obstacle navigation with Intel RealSense Technology.”

There’s also plenty of third party accessory compatibility, a software development kit allowing developers to tap into Yuneec hardware and software to create applications for the H520, and an extended service program.

In terms of pricing, expect to pay between $2,499 and $4,499. Given the quality of the company’s previous offerings, we can’t wait to put one through its paces!




29
Aug

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Can the Note take out the iPhone?


After the explosive Galaxy Note 7 recall last year, many expected Samsung to terminate the Note series. That speculation can be put to rest with the recently-announced Galaxy Note 8.

The Note 8 goes up against some serious competition. Setting aside the other top-tier Android phones currently available, there’s also the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which is the best iOS phone currently available. So how does the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 compare with the iPhone 7 Plus? Below, we pitted the two against one another to find out.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

iPhone 7 Plus

Size
162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm (6.40 x 2.95 x 0.34 inches)
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight
6.88 ounces (195 grams)
6.63 ounces (188 grams)
Screen
6.3-inch Super AMOLED
5.5-inch LCD
Resolution
2,960 x 1,440 (522 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi)
OS
Android 7.1.1 Nougat
iOS 10
Storage
64GB (U.S.) 128, 256GB (International)
32, 128, 256GB
MicroSD card slot
Yes
No
NFC support
Yes
Yes (Apple Pay only)
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Samsung Exynos 8895 (international)
A10 Fusion with 64-bit architecture, M10 motion coprocessor
RAM
6GB
3GB
Connectivity
GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera
Dual 12 MP rear both with OIS, 8MP front
Dual 12MP rear one with OIS, 7MP front
Video
4K
4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps
Bluetooth
Yes, version 5.0
Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Touch ID
Other sensors
Accelerometer, barometer, gyro, geomagnetic, heart rate, proximity, iris, pressure
Barometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Water resistant
Yes, IP68 rated
Yes, IP67 rated
Battery
3,300mAh
2,900mAh
Charging port
USB-C
Lightning
Marketplace
Google Play Store
Apple App Store
Colors
Midnight Black, Orchid Gray
Gold, rose gold, silver, black, jet black
Availability

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked

Price
$930
$729
DT review
Hands-on
4 out of 5 stars

You might think the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 mops the floor with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, but that may not necessarily be the case. The iPhone 7 Plus features Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, which has proven to be a formidable opponent for Qualcomm’s processors — so much so that the A10 Fusion has consistently beaten out the Snapdragon 835 in benchmarks, especially when it comes to single-core tests. That’s no different in this phone. Even though the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 boasts a hefty 6GB of RAM, the iPhone 7 Plus, with only 3GB of RAM, has still consistently beaten other Android phones with 6GB or even 8GB of RAM.

Of course, benchmarks are only one indicator of performance — what’s really important is real-world use. Thankfully, both phones will prove to be nice and smooth in almost all use-cases, and will continue to do so for at least the next few years.

When it comes to storage, in the U.S. the iPhone offers more options. The Galaxy Note 8 comes with 64GB of internal storage, but there’s a MicroSD card slot so you can upgrade your space if needed. The international model comes with 128GB and 256GB options. While the base storage option on the iPhone 7 Plus comes is 32GB, it does not have a MicroSD card slot. If you need more space, you can look to the 128GB or 256GB options.

Still, it’s hard to look past the raw performance on the iPhone — that makes it the winner here.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Design, display, and durability

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 features a similar design as the Galaxy S8 before it — but it’s a little bigger. The device features a massive, 6.3-inch display, which is bigger than most and is largely owed to how the display covers such a large portion of the front of the phone. The iPhone is also a beautiful device, but it’s not as unique as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

When it comes to the display, the iPhone 7 Plus offers a 5.5-inch LCD display with 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 really steps things up with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display, one outfitted with 2,960 x 1,440-pixel resolution. That puts the device well ahead of the iPhone 7 Plus in the display department.

The Galaxy Note 8 is also arguably more durable. While the iPhone 7 Plus offers IP67 waterproofing — which allows it to withstand up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes — the Galaxy Note 8 features an IP68 rating. This allows the Galaxy Note 8 to withstand up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. You shouldn’t take either of these two devices swimming, but if you happen to drop them in the pool or bath, they should be alright. Durability also means drops, though, and considering the iPhone doesn’t have a display that wraps around its edges or glass on both sides, we think it will likely perform better with accidental drops.

Because the Galaxy Note 8 has better waterproofing, a better display, and a more unique design, we’re giving this one to Samsung.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Battery life and charging

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a larger battery than the iPhone 7 Plus, coming in at 3,300mAh versus the iPhone’s 2,900mAh battery. This doesn’t necessarily translate to longer battery life, especially given the more-intensive display on the Galaxy Note 8. Still, it is a significant boost and while we’ll have to wait and see how long the battery lasts, for now the bigger capacity puts the Samsung phone ahead.

The Galaxy Note 8 also offers better charging capabilities. While the iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t really offer anything in the way of quick charging, the Galaxy Note 8 offers Adaptive Fast Charging, which lets you charge the device 50 percent in 30 minutes. That’s pretty huge — so even if the battery life on the device does end up being a little shorter, you’ll be able to charge it significantly quicker. Not only that, but the Galaxy Note 8 also has wireless charging, something that Apple has traditionally shunned — although that may change with the release of the iPhone 8.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Camera

The iPhone has traditionally been a leader in the camera department, but lately other manufacturers have been putting a lot more focus on their cameras. The result is excellent cameras on most flagship smartphones. Both the Note 8 and the iPhone 7 Plus offer a dual 12MP camera on the rear, with one telephoto lens and one wide-angle lens. For the Galaxy Note 8, both camera lenses feature optical image stabilization, which means photos taken at 2x optical zoom or higher are less likely to be blurry.

Samsung has a Live Focus feature on the Note 8, which is similar to the iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait Mode. Focus on a subject and you can blur the background before and after you take a photo. Dual capture mode also takes a photo with each lens, so you get a wide-angle shot and a zoomed in one as well.

The iPhone’s camera was also pretty well-received, offering optical image stabilization on one lens. The Note 8’s features seem to take things a step further, but we’ll have to test it out to see how it fares. For now, it’s a close tie.

Winner: Tie

Software

Spoiler alert: We’re not going to award a winner here. But we will note a few key differences between the software on these two phones. The iPhone, which runs Apple’s iOS, has long been known to offer an extremely simple and easy user experience, and for good reason. The operating system is built for simplicity, so if you’re looking for an operating system that “just works,” then look no further. Android, on the other hand, is known to offer better customization, so if customization is important to you, then the Galaxy Note 8 might be better.

Keep in mind the Note 8 comes with the S Pen, a stylus with special nifty features like instant translation, writing notes on the always-on display, and more. If stylus features like these are important to you, go for the Note 8.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The iPhone 7 Plus has been available for some time now, and you can get it from Apple unlocked, or from any major carrier. It starts at $769, which is a lot of money, but not insane for today’s phablet-sized devices.

What is somewhat insane is the price of the Galaxy Note 8, which costs anywhere from $930 and $960, depending on who you get it from. That’s a lot of cash. The Galaxy Note 8 is available for pre-order as of August 24, and for purchase outright starting September 15. It’ll be available from Samsung, Best Buy, Amazon, and all major carriers.

Considering how much cheaper the iPhone 7 Plus is, it’s the clear winner here.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Overall winner: Tie

So, which device should you buy? This may end up being a classic case of iOS vs. Android, meaning it largely depends which operating system you’re plugged into. If, however, you have no platform preference, then the Galaxy Note 8 is newer — but it comes at a serious price. The iPhone, on the other hand, is around $200 cheaper, and it’s a slightly better performer. Of course, you really can’t go wrong either way here — no matter which phone you buy, you’re getting a premium device that should last for at least a few years.

If you want the cutting edge and don’t mind paying for it, the Galaxy Note 8 is the phone to get. If, however, you just want a reliable and easy-to-use device and wouldn’t mind saving some money, then the iPhone might be a better option.




29
Aug

It’s still business as usual at Uber as it rolls out new features for drivers


Why it matters to you

Uber drivers are now getting some functions that passengers have already enjoyed for years.

Even in the midst of its leadership change, Uber is putting its product first. On Monday, the ridesharing giant announced a series of new features that ought to please its (potentially dwindling) source of drivers. The latest changes, Uber says, are meant to improve the overall driver experience, and ought to “ensure control and peace of mind, helping to keep all driver-partners safe before, during, and after every trip.”

First and foremost, there’s the new Driver Share My Trip feature. While users have long been able to share their locations with friends and family members to ensure that someone always know where you are, drivers haven’t had the same luxury. Now, that’s all changing. On Tuesday, Uber switched on this feature for drivers in more than 140 cities around the world, and promised to roll the function out to all drivers by early fall.

Uber notes that this is a highly requested feature among drivers, who have expressed a desire “to be able to share their whereabouts with a friend or loved one when they’re out on the road.” Drivers can now start and stop sharing location route information with their contacts, and those they choose to share details with can see a driver’s position on a map, as well as quick-dial contact details and a license plate number.

Then, there’s the introduction of a new ID check in “several countries” that will require new passengers without an electronic payment method stored in the app to verify their identity via Facebook. This, Uber hopes, will further help guarantee the safety of drivers. And finally, the company is offering new insurance solutions, like Driver Injury Protection, which “provides benefits for lost income from disability, as well as survivor and accident medical benefits.” While this was initially announced earlier in the summer, the insurance has now become available to drivers in more than 30 states, and is said to be coming to drivers around the world.

So if you’re an Uber employee or contractor, everything seems to be business as usual. Because no matter who’s holding the CEO position, someone has to keep the wheels turning.




29
Aug

Diesel On Full Guard Smartwatch review


Research Center:
Diesel On Full Guard Smartwatch

When it comes to wearable technology, fashion brands are doing it right. Diesel is the latest to jump on the smartwatch bandwagon, but there’s nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary about its watch. Instead, in our Diesel On Full Guard smartwatch review, we found the company did a great job in taking inspiration from its distinct analog watches to its first Android Wear 2.0 watch. This is important, because people want to wear Diesel watches, and getting people to wear smartwatches is a problem. Diesel’s giving the On Full Guard the best chance in life.

Well proportioned, and definitely a Diesel

Features aren’t really the important part of most smartwatches, even more so on on the Diesel. This is all about the design. From the LG Watch Sport to the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, Android Wear smartwatches lately have been massive, with thick bodies, lugs that extend over wrists, and bezels that emphasize size. The Diesel On Full Guard isn’t a small watch, but the way it has been shaped makes it look sensible on the wrist.

There’s some visual trickery at work that helps create this effect. The bezel, or edges around the display, is sloped, gently integrating the screen into the body. Diesel has added four side pieces to the screen, two with buttons and the other two with fake screw heads, to give the watch some visual drama. It also matches design principles seen in its analog watches. The crown sits between two guard pieces, and if you take a look on the opposite side of the watch, the Diesel name is stamped on the body.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Flip the watch over to find Diesel’s familiar logo on the underneath. There’s no heart rate monitor here, because it’s not a sports watch. Ours came with a brown leather strap, but other models with metal bands will be available later. The strap has two black screw heads, another nod to Diesel’s analog watches, and it’s attached using quick release bars so it’s easy to change for another band. This may be necessary because in the week we’ve been wearing the watch, the leather has rubbed against the stainless steel buckle quite badly, resulting in it looking a little worn.

Lightweight and comfortable, wearing the On Full Guard all day hasn’t been a problem.

Software and watch faces

Many of the most desirable analog Diesel watches have a colored, iridescent coating over the crystal, giving it a color-changing, sci-fi look. Diesel has worked hard to add the same look to the On Full Guard, only digitally using custom watch faces. The effect can be added to any of the three Diesel watch faces included, and it looks great. Moving the watch around changes the color on the screen, just like the analog models when the light catches it in a certain way.

When it comes to wearable technology, fashion brands are doing it right.

The customization doesn’t end there. The hands, face, and movement can be changed and modified, giving the watch a look that’s completely yours. There are also three modes for changing the style of the face depending on the weather, your activity, and keeping your notifications private. For example, dust appears on the face when you haven’t moved around enough. In the near future, Diesel will add an assistant called T-ON-I, which will remind you of calendar appointments, and encourage you to up your step count in a jokey, friendly way.

The On Full Guard watch runs Android Wear 2.0. The user interface can’t be customized by manufacturers like regular Android on your phone, so the style stays consistent across all Android Wear watches. It’s faster and easier to use than Android Wear 1.0, and apps can be loaded onto the watch itself. Forget about the clunky interface you may have tried before, Android Wear 2.0 is miles ahead. However, the number of useful apps are limited, and they’re mostly forgettable. Like other smartwatches, I find the On Full Guard most useful for notifications, music control, and navigation. Anything outside of this, and it’s preferable to just get out my phone.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The crown button opens the the app screen, which you swipe through. Sadly, the On Full Guard doesn’t have a rotating bezel like the LG Watch Sport to make navigating the menus easier. The top button opens the the mode changer — where weather, activity, or do not disturb is activated — and the bottom button brings up recommended Google apps and services. A long press of the crown starts Google Assistant. Swipe up on the screen to see notifications, and down to show the quick access control center.

Diesel has concentrated on the design, and welcomed the On Full Guard into its family of watches. It’s a good thing, as Android Wear continues to be relatively underwhelming. It’s way better than it once was, but we still question the long term appeal of the platform. Detailed functions, like replying to messages with anything more than a single word, is often annoying and long-winded. Voice control isn’t something we use out in public either, limiting Google Assistant’s usefulness.

Our advice? Wear the On Full Guard because you want to wear the watch, not in anticipation of never touching your phone again. Android Wear isn’t ready for that just yet.

Screen and performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor, designed for wearables, powers the Diesel On Full Guard with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage space. Performance is more than adequate, and I didn’t notice much slow down through normal use, and I could happily swipe through the operating system without being frustrated by lag or software stutters. Using other apps was also pleasant. For example, Google Maps works using the GPS on your phone, and the experience matched the generally impressive speed of the On Full Guard.

We tried the On Full Guard connected to both an iPhone and an Android phone. The experience is very similar regardless, only more apps are available when you use an Android phone. We had no problems connecting to the watch on either platform, although on the iPhone we’d have to reconnect manually after restarting either the watch or phone.

The 1.4-inch circular screen is bright enough to be seen outdoors, and the automatic brightness adjustment worked as expected. It’s also very colorful, and deals with the iridescent hues beautifully. The 454 x 454 pixel resolution makes it sharp and crystal clear, and is higher resolution than most other Android Wear watches. It really shows. The screen’s clarity perfectly complements the watch’s bold look, and highly-detailed watch faces.

Battery life

Diesel has made a mistake by putting a small 370mAh battery inside the On Full Guard. It’s charged using a magnetic pad attached to the underneath of the watch, and takes around two hours from flat to full. In return we received about a day and a half’s use, and that was with turning it off while sleeping. This worked out to less than 24 hours, with average use.

Charging the watch every night is the only way to ensure a full day’s use. This is poor, and means we’ve got yet another device to think about charging; but it soon becomes an automatic movement, the same as charging up our phones overnight. Battery life on smartwatches isn’t going to change drastically anytime soon, so we’ve just got to live with it for now.

Feature limitations

The Diesel On Full Guard is a fashionable smartwatch, where features come second to the style. While we don’t think this is a bad thing — smartwatches, like analog watches, should be as much about the look as the features — it’s important to point out what you don’t get. It doesn’t have a heart rate sensor, GPS, or NFC.

That means you won’t be going for a run and relying on the watch, you won’t be tracking your location without your phone, and you won’t be paying for stuff with Android Pay. Think that makes the On Full Guard cheap? It doesn’t.

Availability and Warranty

The Diesel smartwatch seen here costs $325 with the brown leather strap, and will be released on October 25. Other versions with different straps, including metal ones, will cost more and be introduced later in the year.

Our Take

The Diesel On Full Guard is a modern-smartwatch-done-right. It puts a bold design first on the list, which in turn will make it appeal to fans of the brand. We need to treat buying smartwatches like choosing an analog watch, not a smartphone. This means prioritising how the watch makes us feel when we wear it, over how many gigabytes of memory it has, and the amount of features it packs in. The Diesel smartwatch won’t please tech-addicts, but that’s OK, because it’s not made to do so.

Are there better alternatives?

Because the Diesel On Full Guard is technically very similar to most other Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches, all available models  should be considered an alternative. For $350 the Huawei Watch 2 has a far greater spec sheet, with a heart rate monitor and comprehensive fitness tracking features. However, it’s a very sporty design compared to the On Full Guard.

Somewhere in-between the Huawei Watch 2 and the On Full Guard is the Samsung Gear S3. The watch is big, but it’s customizable with different straps, and we like the look of the Frontier version a lot. It runs Samsung’s Tizen software, which is an excellent alternative to Android Wear. Do note that supported apps are limited.

Diesel On Full Guard Smartwatch Compared To

Samsung Gear S3

Motorola Moto 360 (2015)

LG Watch Sport

Huawei Watch 2 Sport

Huawei Fit

Samsung Gear S2

Apple Watch Series 2

Vector Luna

Martian Passport MP100WSB

Garmin fenix 2

Sony SmartWatch 3 SWR50

LG G Watch R

Martian Notifier Watch

Samsung Gear 2

Phosphor Touch Time

If you have an iPhone, the Apple Watch Series 2 is the smartwatch to buy. It integrates with iOS perfectly, provides a wealth of features including Apple Pay and an array of apps, and it’s endlessly customizable using the many different strap options out there.

However, if design is the most important thing to you, then the Diesel On Full Guard is well-priced, mostly coming up against technically identical Fossil watches. If you want to spend $500 or more, the Movado Connect is a sleek Android Wear smartwatch.

How long will it last?

Smartwatches aren’t going to get passed from generation to generation. The software and battery restrict this practice. Software updates should come to the watch on a semi-regular basis over the next couple of years, but there will come a time when they stop, meaning the watch may get slower or not run new apps. The battery also has a finite lifespan.

Another thing to consider is we’re still in the early stages of smartwatch design and technology. In two years time, devices will be different, and upgrading to a new model will be tempting. Like a smartphone, a smartwatch will be coming to the end of its life after two or three years. It won’t stop working, but tech will have moved on.

Should you buy it?

Yes, provided you’re aware it’s a purchase decision based on style and not features. Remember, it doesn’t provide the same array of features for the price as the Huawei Watch 2, the Apple Watch 2, or the Samsung Gear S3. However, while it doesn’t compete when judged on features, it beats them hands-down in style. The Diesel On Full Guard looks like an analog Diesel watch, it’s slim and comfortable, the screen is colourful and crystal clear, and we love the customizable watch faces. It’s a smartwatch you’ll buy because you like the way it looks, and that’s a rarity in the smartwatch world, particularly at this price.

We genuinely feel that design-first smartwatches are the way forward, and the Diesel On Full Guard is one of the first true examples of an industry coming to realize the fact.

29
Aug

Diesel’s On Full Guard smartwatch is big, bold, and bloody awesome


Why it matters to you

If you want to make a statement with the watch you wear, then Diesel’s On Full Guard Android Wear smartwatch will do the job.

Diesel is the latest fashion brand, joining Armani, Movado, and others, to embrace Android Wear and make its own smartwatch. It’s called the Diesel On Full Guard, and if you already like Diesel’s big, bold watch designs, you’re going to love its smartwatch.

The body around the circular screen is large and covered with sharp lines, angles, and neat design touches, while the custom watch faces are directly influenced by Diesel’s mechanical watches.

We think it looks great, but it’s not going to be a watch for the shy and retiring. It’s big, at 48mm x 54mm, and the straps come in either metal or leather with oversize screw heads and stitching on the band. Diesel watches all exude confidence, and it’s exciting to see the smartwatch version continuing the theme so well. The On Full Guard comes in five different styles, including a silver/black combination and a gold/black model, with eight different strap options. The leather and metal straps will be joined by Diesel’s traditional denim option, a silicone strap, and a canvas version.

Getting the right style of watch for you should be achievable, and the watch faces are equally customizable. There are three dial designs, with the chance to change the hand design, the component colors, and the finish. The best news, at least for Diesel watch fans, is the dial’s “crystal” can be given that cool, colored iridescent look, as seen on Diesel’s Mini Daddy and Big Daddy 2.0 watches amongst others.

Filters can be added to the dial as well. These are unusual, and use the face in a different way to let you know certain details about your day. When the watch is in do not disturb mode, notifications are hidden behind a “shattered” screen, and dust gathers around the edges when you’re way behind your daily step goal. It’ll also show weather reports using graphic representations of what to expect.

Soon after the watch goes on sale, Diesel will release an app call T-ON-I, which is like a virtual assistant for the On Full Guard watch. The name stands for Time, Organizing, Notification, Intelligence, and it will deliver requested notifications and updates based on your calendar, activity, and environment up to five times a day. It’ll apparently do so in a chummy way, with messages being more personal, like they’re coming from a friend.

On the technical side, the On Full Guard watch uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 platform, and has Android Wear 2.0 with Google Assistant installed. The screen size, resolution, and other hardware specs are still to be confirmed; but we do know it’s IP67 water and dust resistant, and the wirelessly charged battery should last 24 hours.

The first Diesel On Full Guard smartwatch goes on sale August 29 for $325, and will come with a black case and brown leather strap. The full line-up will be in stores on September 25. The T-ON-I app will be sent out as a software update on October 25.




29
Aug

Google ARCore will bring augmented reality to Android phones running Nougat or higher


Why it matters to you

Thanks to ARCore, you shouldn’t need to spend hundreds on a new Project Tango-enabled phone to get a great AR experience. So long as your device runs at least 7.0 Nougat, you’re in luck.

Google is bringing high-quality augmented reality to Android — and not just to one phone, or even a few, but eventually to every device running 7.0 Nougat or higher. It’s all happening through a new software development kit called ARCore, and Google spilled the details today in a blog post.

ARCore folds everything Google has learned over the last several years in developing its AR platform, Project Tango, into a software package that requires no special hardware to run. To date, Tango has only launched in two phones — Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro and Asus’ ZenFone AR — and that’s because it bears certain system requirements. ARCore doesn’t, and so Google says it is targeting 100 million active devices by the end of the preview phase. It is partnering with the likes of Samsung, Asus, LG, Huawei, and others to bring its ambition to reality.

“ARCore builds on Tango technology but makes AR broadly available across Android phones without having to add any additional hardware,” a Google spokesperson told Digital Trends.

What will your phone be able to do with ARCore? Google has focused on three critical elements of the AR experience in developing this SDK: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and lighting. ARCore can determine its own position and orientation in space by anchoring onto specific landmarks in a room. It can detect horizontal surfaces especially well, which is typically where AR objects are placed. It does a much better job of reading ambient lighting, so computer-generated figures are seated as seamlessly as possible in the real world.

If you happen to be one of the few people in the world who own a Project Tango device, ARCore likely isn’t going to deliver any improvements. But for the wide majority, it should significantly enhance your AR experience. The preview goes live today, only for the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S8. Developers can start tinkering with some of the tools to support ARCore right now — and there are a few Google has called attention to.

There are two 3D creation services that have been developed with ARCore in mind: Blocks and Tilt Brush. Google says they make it easy to build assets specifically for AR applications. The company has also developed a prototype desktop internet browser that can match ARCore’s capabilities, for web developers who are seeking a bit of AR functionality to add to their site. Perhaps best of all, Google says they also play nice with Apple’s AR suite, ARKit.

When asked if the birth of ARCore means the death of Tango, Google told us the public “may not see consumer-branded Tango devices moving forward … We think of Tango more and more as an enabling technology — it’s akin to GPS, where you don’t see devices or apps branded as having this technical capability.”

For everyone without a Pixel or Galaxy S8, Google has launched an AR Experiments showcase to demonstrate to users how ARCore can improve their devices. With AR paving the way for the future of mobile, Google will be in an excellent position if it can deliver a high-quality, consistent integration across many different Android devices.




29
Aug

Amazon adds multi-room audio to Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show


You can now listen to Amazon Music — and other services — simultaneously across multiple Echo devices.

Long expected and highly anticipated, Amazon today announced that its flagship Echo devices now support synchronized music playback. Multi-room audio, that is. It works on the original Echo, the venerable Echo Dot, and the new Echo Show.

You’ll set up groups of devices in the Alexa app (go into settings and the look for “Multi-room music.”) You’ll create groups of at least two devices, and supported services include Amazon Music, TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio and Pandora. SiriusXM and Spotify will be added later.

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Which Amazon Music subscription should you get?

After that, it’s music time, all over the house.

Amazon says multi-room audio is initially available in the United States, the UK, and Germany. It’s also added documentation for developers to take advantage of multi-room audio as well.

See at Amazon

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See at Amazon

29
Aug

Stop searching for a place to plug-in and charge with the $7 RAVPower mini battery pack


Our friends at Thrifter have a great deal on a mini portable battery charger!

The whole point of the smartphone revolution was we could carry the power of a full-blown computer in our pocket. We didn’t have to make room for more stuff… until it came time to charge the battery. Then you needed a backpack just to carry all your cords and power adapters and giant, monolithic, battery packs.

That’s the beauty of a mini external charger like the RAVPower Luster Mini 3350mAh portable battery pack. It can fit in your pocket, or purse, and you don’t have to go out of your way to keep your phone juiced up. Right now it’s down to $6.99 with code KJAPB335.

Its normal street price is $11.99. While it’s hard to tell if there have been other coupon codes just as good as this, it hasn’t had a direct price drop this low since last year.

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Despite its size, it still has enough power to fully charge an iPhone 7 and similar phones. Assuming you actually leave the house with a full charge (and didn’t forget to charge it all night like I usually do), it should keep you topped off while you’re out. Other features include:

  • Thoughtful And Ergonomic Design: White plastic cap at the top and unique clip-inspired design prevent the charger from scratching and rolling off your desk
  • Easy-to-press power button plus three status LEDs keep you informed of remaining capacity
  • 1A output and 1A input: charge faster and smarter than others. Automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for any connected device, which ensures the fastest and most efficient charge
  • Short-circuit and over-current protection will make the charger automatically shut down if a short circuit or overload output occur while the unit is charging
  • Ultra reliable Lithium-Ion battery with over 500 battery charge cycles

RAVPower offers an 18-month warranty for the charger as well.

This charger only comes with one USB to micro USB cable, so grab an extra USB-C cord or Lightning cable if you need one.

See at Amazon

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For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

29
Aug

Grab the Moto Z Play with a $50 gift card and photo video kit for $350


If you’re looking for a Moto Z Play, you won’t want to miss this deal from our pals at Thrifter!

Package deals can tend to be a hit or a miss when it comes to value, but this offering from B&H Photo is a great one. The company is bundling a $50 B&H e-gift card and a basic photo/video smartphone kit with the purchase of the phone, and it doesn’t cost you any extra. That means you get the phone and the two freebies for $349.99, which is a $100 savings from its original selling price.

The bundles are valued at $84.95. The photo/video kit includes a tripod, smartphone mount clamp, USB-chargeable LED light and a microfiber cleaning cloth. As for the phone, it has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and offers the best battery life in an Android phone right now.

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To make the offer even sweeter, B&H is offering free expedited shipping on these phones right now, and if you live outside of NY or NJ, you won’t pay sales tax at the time of purchase.

See at B&H Photo

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  • How to avoid baggage fees
  • How to buy and resell your wedding decor

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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