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7
Sep

Disney Confirms Upcoming Streaming Service Will Include Marvel and Star Wars Films


In early August, Disney revealed that it plans to pull all of its movies from Netflix and launch its own streaming service in 2019. Users were understandably curious as to which Disney-owned brands that might include, particularly once Disney CEO Bob Iger referenced the company’s interest in potentially branching off Marvel and Star Wars into their own, separate streaming services.

Today, Iger cleared up any confusion by confirming Marvel and Star Wars films will be available on the upcoming Disney-branded streaming app (via Deadline). Current films in these franchises on Netflix — like Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — will be removed from Netflix and arrive on the Disney platform when it launches in 2019. It’s still unclear at what point between now and 2019 Disney will begin removing these films from Netflix.

Last month Reuters reported that Netflix was in “active discussions” with Disney to keep Marvel and Star Wars films on the popular streaming platform, but it appears those talks have now fallen through.

Films from Marvel and Star Wars that now go to Netflix will move to Disney’s planned ad-free direct-to-consumer streaming service, CEO Bob Iger said today at an investor gathering.

“We’re going to launch big, and we’re going to launch hot” by late 2019, he told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.

The outcome for Marvel and Star Wars TV shows was not specified, but Iger said that the Disney streaming app “will have the entire output of the studio — animation, live action and Disney including Pixar, Star Wars and all of the Marvel films,” potentially including television content. Right now, users can watch Marvel and Star Wars TV shows on Netflix including Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Last month Iger confirmed that Disney “has no plans” to remove any of the Netflix-owned and created Marvel series from the service, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. These original Netflix shows were formed under a separate deal from the one created in 2012, meaning they’ll continue to be Netflix original shows for the forseeable future. Iger said Disney is even potentially willing to license even more Marvel characters for future shows.

On the Disney branded side of things, the app will include four or five “mostly live action” original movies, as well as four or five original Disney TV shows. Besides the new content, the service will of course also house the company’s back catalogue, spanning nearly 500 films, 7,000 episodes of television, and “thousands” of short films. Neither Disney nor Iger has mentioned the subscription cost for the service yet, but the CEO said a price will be coming “in the months ahead.”

Tags: Disney, Star Wars, Marvel
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7
Sep

iPhone 8 Manufacturing Issues May Lead to Extended Supply Shortages and Shipping Delays


Apple’s upcoming OLED “iPhone 8” with an edge-to-edge display and facial recognition faced multiple production issues early in the manufacturing process, which is likely to result in “extended supply shortfalls and shipping delays,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

The production problems have led to a setback of “about a month” in Apple’s manufacturing timetable, but Apple supplier Foxconn is ramping up development and working to hire new employees.

Today’s report is nothing we haven’t heard before. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said for months that he expects the iPhone 8 will be hard to come by until early 2018, and we’ve heard several rumors pointing towards problems with the display lamination process and other high-tech components like the 3D sensor embedded at the front of the device. The Wall Street Journal points to OLED assembly as a major reason for the delays.

Apple and its suppliers also ran into trouble manufacturing the OLED displays. The display modules are being produced in Vietnam by an affiliate of Samsung Electronics. Unlike the OLED display module in Samsung’s own smartphones, in which the display and touch panel are integrated, iPhone’s display module has the touch panel outside of the display, according to a person familiar with the technology.

The iPhone manufacturing process requires more steps and more layers of adhesive and protective film than are involved in Samsung’s manufacturing process, the person familiar with the process said, creating a greater risk of manufacturing error.

Apple also wanted to add Touch ID to the display of the new device, but it “proved difficult,” leading Apple to abandon the fingerprint sensor and lose valuable time as deadlines loomed.

While we hear rumors of supply shortages each and every year, it’s worth noting that this year’s rumors are both more concrete and more dire. If Kuo’s predictions are correct, many of us hoping to get our hands on a new device could be waiting for weeks or months as Apple works to ramp up production.

Extended shortages may also impact Apple’s holiday sales period, which is often the company’s strongest, but because there’s also a new iPhone 7s and 7s Plus on the horizon, it’s difficult to determine the effect extended iPhone 8 shortages might have on the company’s Q4 bottom line.

Customers hoping to get an iPhone 8 as soon as possible will want to pre-order the device right when it goes on sale. It’s not entirely clear yet if the iPhone 8 will be available shortly after being introduced on September 12 or if the supply issues will lead Apple to delay shipments beyond September.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
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7
Sep

Want to know how to password protect a PDF? These are the best ways


PDFs are the closest thing the internet has to a paper document. They’re standard, they look the same on every system regardless of what fonts you have installed, and typically aren’t something users can edit. But if you want to secure them, you need to know how to password protect a PDF.

Fortunately, with PDFs there is support for password-protected encryption built directly into the format. Whether you’re running a Windows PC or a Mac OS system, there are a few different methods to go about it and this guide will take you through each of them, step by step.

If you’re more interested in making changes to your PDF, we have a great list of the best PDF editors too, and a guide on how to merge PDFs together.

How to password protect a PDF in Windows

Password Protecting a PDF on a Windows machine isn’t as easy as you might expect. Although premium programs such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat can handle the task with ease, Windows doesn’t offer an out-of-the-box tool for doing so in the way Mac OS does.

Fortunately, you can always opt for the seven-day free trial of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, or utilize a free application such as PDFMate PDF Merger. Let’s break down both methods, starting with the Acrobat free trial.

Password protecting a PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Step 1 — Navigate to the main Adobe Acrobat Pro DC free trial page and click the blue “Get Started” button. You’ll need to sign up for an Adobe Creative Cloud account which involves giving over your name, email address and creating a brand new password.

Once that’s all input, click the sign-up button at the bottom of the forms. From there the download will begin.

Step 2 — If you don’t already have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you’ll need to install the DC Pro version, otherwise it will simply upgrade what you already have installed to the fancier version. If asked whether you want to buy or simply continue your trial for now, pick the option to continue.

Step 3 — Once Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is launched, if you aren’t already, make sure to “sign-in” using the link in the top right-hand corner. Then, click the “File” menu in the upper-left corner, and select “Open.” Choose the PDF file you want to password protect from its respective save location and click the “Open” button.

Step 4 — Click the “File” menu again when viewing the open document, followed by “Properties” and then click the “Security” tab.

Step 5 — Click the drop-down menu beside “Security Method”, then select “Password Security” from the list of options.

Step 6: A window should appear prompting you for a password. Check the box beside “Require a password to open the document” and enter your desired password in the corresponding text field.

If you’re sending this password to others, it’s probably best to choose one that you don’t use for other services. Recent versions of Adobe will even rate how difficult your password will be to guess, so try to pick a password that gets a strong rating. Preferably one that includes a combination of lower-case letters, capitalization, and numbers.

If you’re worried about forgetting it, you can always use a password manager.

Restricting edits and printing with Adobe Acrobat

Password protecting a PDF document isn’t necessarily a catch-all. The “Document Security” menu of Adobe Acrobat DC, for instance, will additionally allow you to password protect certain tasks such as editing and printing. Here’s how to do just that.

Step 1 —  Open the PDF document as you would normally and access the “Security” panel as previously outlined.

Step 2 — Select “Change Settings” to access the Password Security menu. From there, check the box beside “Restrict editing and printing” and enter a password in the box to the right of “Change Permissions Password.”

Here’s an overview of the available editing limitations.

  • Inserting, deleting, and rotating pages: This allows the person with access to the document to get rid of parts of the document, add pages, and flip the pages around.
  • Commenting, filling in form fields, and signing existing signature fields: This allows the person to leave comments on the document, fill in sections that have boxes to add text, and electronically sign the document.
  • Any edits except extracting pages: this allows others to make any necessary changes to the document except for cutting it down.

That’s it! Now your PDF is password protected. When opened, this password prompt will automatically appear.

Password protecting a PDF with PDFMate

Not everyone wants to throw down a healthy portion of their paycheck every time they want to password protect a document. Thankfully, there are alternatives to Adobe’s premium suite so long as you don’t mind opting for a third-party utility with barebones features and design aesthetics.

Once installed, PDFMate Free PDF Merger allows you to combine specific pages and encrypt entire documents without the exuberant price tag. Additionally, it lets you set permission passwords in a similar manner to Adobe Acrobat and Reader — meaning you can set specific passcodes for tasks such as editing, copying, and printing — though, the interface is far less attractive.

Step 1 — Head over to the PDFMate Free PDF Merger website, click the green “Free Download” button near the top of the page, and follow the on-screen installation instructions. When complete, launch it.

Step 2 — Click the “Add Files” button with the addition sign in the upper-left corner and double click the PDF document you want to password protect.

Step 3 –Your PDF will then automatically appear in the list of files. Check the box beside “Open Password” and enter your password into the corresponding text field. You can also check the box beside “Permission Password,” which will allow you to enable password protection for editing, copying, and printing by checking the appropriate tasks underneath.

Step 4 — Select “Build” in the bottom-right corner of the application window when you’re finished adding your password. Afterward, a folder will automatically open with your new Password protected PDF. Presto!

How to password protect a PDF in Mac OS X

Your Mac comes with Preview, a piece of software that’s capable of opening most documents and image formats. It also offers some basic editing capabilities, which is why we called it the hidden Paint app on every Mac. As it turns out, this same program can encrypt any PDF in just a few steps.

Step 1: Launch Preview, click the “File” menu in the upper-left corner and select “Open.”  Afterward, choose the PDF file you want to password protect from its respective save location and click the “Open” button.

Step 2: Once you’re finished editing the PDF document you want to password protect, click the “File” menu again and select “Export” from the resulting drop-down. Then, name and select a save location for the resulting file, check the box directly left of “Encrypt,”and enter your desired password in the space provided. Verify your password if prompted.

Step 3: To ensure that your PDF is protected, open your newly-modified PDF in Preview. A password prompt screen should then appear, indicating you successfully password protected your PDF document. Afterward, enter the correct password and enjoy the privacy of your new PDF!

Now that you know how to protect PDFs, why not turn some of your non-protected documents into one? Here’s the best way to print to PDF in Windows.

Updated 09/07/2017 to confirm methods still work and update copy.




7
Sep

Note 8 hands-on: Bigger and better where it truly counts


Samsung has bounced back since the problems with its last explosive device (sorry, had to say it), and after reintroducing a nearly bezel-less display as the Infinity Display, version 8 has now arrived for the Note line.

How does one of the most feature-packed smartphone lines ever redeem mistakes of the past? We seek to find out in this Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hands-on impressions post.

Don’t miss:

  • Galaxy Note 8 pricing: What you need to know

It’s easy to think that the Galaxy Note 8 will basically be a Galaxy S8 Plus with an S Pen. And while that isn’t too far from the truth, it’s also a bit too simplistic.

a return to prominence for Samsung

Indeed, what we’re looking at here is not only a return to prominence for Samsung, but a great example of how the company continues to pack just about everything you would want into one smartphone for the masses.

To start, the phone currently comes in four colors: black, grey, gold, and blue. For the US market, however, only the grey and black will be on sale. This is why I went straight for the blue edition in this hands-on, because it is my personal favorite of the bunch and I might not get a chance to use it later.

Let’s get the obvious part out of the way – the phone looks, and feels, a bit big. The screen is very similar to the Galaxy S8 Plus at 6.3 inches. Think about that for a second – the Note line used to be known for its 5.7-inch displays and now they are finding ways of extending it by three quarters of an inch.

The curved Infinity Display definitely helps with handling, though, like the Galaxy S8 Plus, it is still a bit difficult to use in one hand. Overall, the slopes on the sides help to mitigate what we once considered a tablet-sized screen.

the curves have been dialed back a tad

As a result, the display continues the trend of taller and narrower displays, at 18.5:9. The difference here is that the curves have been dialed back a tad, making for a phone that is a bit squarer compared to its Galaxy S8 brethren. It still retains symmetry, but the slopes are significantly steeper and more aggressive. Compared to the Note 7 or the Note Fan Edition (seen below), the phone is slightly taller and slightly thicker, but keeps a familiar profile.

Viewed straight-on, the Note 8 almost looks like a straight slab of black until the screen powers on and your eyes adjust to just how much damn screen there is on the phone.

By far, the most enjoyable part of the Note line for many has been the large screen size, and users are getting more than ever here. As with the S8, the physical home button has been replaced with an equivalent tucked beneath the screen and soft keys. A hard press where the home button should be gives a quick vibration feedback and still performs much like a regular home button. Speaking of buttons, the rest are all where you’d expect, and the Bixby button now finds its way to the Note line.

The Note series has always delivered a significantly more premium experience. Even when compared to the Galaxy S devices, the Note generally tried to have better specifications, and that philosophy definitely returns in the Note 8.

Display 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity
2960 x 1440 resolution
521 ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
Processor US: 64-bit octa-core (2.35 GHz Quad + 1.9 GHz Quad) Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 10 nm processor

Global: 64-bit octa-core (2.3 GHz Quad + 1.7 GHz Quad) Samsung Exynos 8895, 10 nm processor

RAM 6 GB
LPDDR4
Storage 64/128/256 GB
MicroSD expansion up to 256 GB
Cameras Rear camera
– Main: 12 MP wide-angle AF Dual Pixel sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture, OIS
– 12 MP telephoto AF sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture, OIS

Front camera
– 8 MP AF sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture

Battery 3,300 mAh
Non-removable
Fast charging on wired and wireless
WPC and PMA wireless charging
Water resistance IP68 dust and water resistance
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
VHT80 MU-MIMO
1024QAM
Bluetooth v5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
ANT+
USB Type-C
NFC, MST
Location: GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou
Sensors Accelerometer
Barometer
Fingerprint Sensor
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Hall Sensor
Heart Rate Sensor
Proximity Sensor
RGB Light Sensor
Iris Sensor
Pressure Sensor
SIM Nano SIM
Software Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Dimensions and weight 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm
195 g

There is one obvious spot of discrepancy in the spec sheet, however – the 3,300 mAh battery that is smaller than the one from last year. While we always prefer to see bigger batteries for better longevity, we can also kind of understand the motivation behind this move. And power shouldn’t be far from reach, with fast wired and wireless charging solutions.

6 GB of RAM is the real story here

The Snapdragon 835 keeps the phone as on par as it should be, but 6 GB of RAM is the real story here. This marks the first time that Samsung has gone past 4 GB as a standard feature across all phones, and we’re happy to hear it. More RAM should really help with the daily grind under features like the Edge UX and everything the S Pen can do.

The Edge UX gets one useful update for multitaskers out there – users have told Samsung that due to the large screen, split screen is being utilized a ton. For those users, the Note 8 adds dual app shortcuts called App Pair. These can be created in the home screens or nestled in the Edge panels for easy access, and they open up the two specified applications right away in a split format. Imagine a shortcut to open up the calendar and Gmail to really bolster productivity, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for ultimate chattiness, or YouTube and pretty much anything else, like I probably would do.

Which brings us to the S Pen – the main “extra” for any Note device. Over the years, the S Pen has seen so many new features that it’s hard to list them all. Open up Pen Command and you can see screen capture and edit, note creation, and smart selection. For a bit of fun and passing time, you can use the pen and all of its brushes and pressure sensitivity to do some coloring. Maybe share some of your doodles in the artsy PEN UP social media network, or just use the S Pen much like a mouse for precision pointing, clicking, selecting, and dragging.

Some features have been updated, like text translation that can process whole phrases and sentences now instead of just singular words. And for the real note-taker, the Screen Off Memo that activates from standby can now record a hundred pages of editable notes without the need to unlock the device first.

The main new feature in the S Pen is Live Message, which records the user’s path to writing a short message into an animated GIF. Added effects like sparkles and neon lighting give it more flair, helping to make pleasing GIFs you can send to friends, significant others, or anyone that deserves that little bit of attention. It might not be the most productive addition, but it’s fun and practical, adding to the already large list of S Pen features.

Samsung UI continues to look about as streamlined as ever, finding ways of looking simple despite all that it is capable of

And to the point of software, the Samsung UI continues to look about as streamlined as ever, finding ways of looking simple despite all that it is capable of. The software on the Note 8 looks very similar to the one from the S8, with very few changes in appearance. The updates are happening mainly in Bixby, it seems, where voice commands were finally made available not too long ago. The Note 8, we’re told, will be getting more updates to the assistant and Bixby will continue to evolve. We’ll test Bixby and see how every aspect gets better, from Home to Vision to Voice to Reminders.

Which leads us to the biggest story of the Galaxy Note 8 – the camera. As expected, a dual camera has made it to the Samsung ecosystem, adding that second lens on the back within an obvious black area. This black color is a little jarring, as it’s not blending in with the grey, gold, and blue editions of the phone. It might not be the best look to everyone, but these cameras really pack a punch – 12 MP dual pixel sensors with OIS in both, and one lens is a 2x optical zoom at f/2.4 aperture.

10x digital zoom is possible throughout with some losses in quality, but having OIS as part of the zoom lens is a big deal. Getting far into a shot always makes the jitters and movements more obvious and image stabilization will hopefully mitigate that issue. Zooming simply requires a quick tap on the button in the viewfinder, but another nice touch is a slide added to the shutter button that acts like the zoom on a camcorder – hold it up slightly and it will zoom slowly, or crank it in either direction to make it move faster.

the biggest story of the Galaxy Note 8 – the camera

The interface for the camera has changed to reflect this shift in optical packages – live focus is now a prominently displayed feature. Much like the portrait modes from the iPhone and the OnePlus 5, the Note 8 will use a combination of the zoom lens and software-enabled depth of field to make subjects stand out from the background, resulting in very pleasing portraitures. And yet another nice touch has been added in, as users are able to take these portrait photos and a regular wide photo at the same time, just in case.

We applaud the move to a dual-camera setup, and so far, it seems that Samsung is putting some real thought into its version of the feature. It already benefits from fast focusing dual pixels, the dual OIS, and every other mode that we’ve seen on previous Samsung phones. And this is all alongside the front-facing 8 MP camera that has autofocus and 2K video recording to boast. We’ll be putting all these lenses to the test when we get our hands on our review unit.

And so, there you have it – the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Samsung continues to pack in all of the bells and whistles they possibly can in a smartphone. Normally, that would mean a big device overall. But the Note 8 manages to be just slightly larger than its predecessor, but much bigger – and badder – in every other area that truly counts.The screen is a sight to behold, adding a zoom lens gives people more possibilities, and the S Pen remains one of the most useful tools to anyone that bothers to use it, especially for productivity.

Read next: The top 5 features of the Galaxy Note 8

Preorders start on August 24, with the phone going out on September 15. We’re excited to get our hands on the Note 8, as always, and we will be bringing you our full  Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review in the near future, so stay tuned!

7
Sep

Xiaomi Mi A1 first impressions: How’s stock Android on a Xiaomi phone?


The pitch for the new Mi A1 by Xiaomi is that the phone is ‘created by Xiaomi, powered by Google’. It’s an interesting amalgamation, but does it bring any value to the consumer?

I spent some time with the Xiaomi Mi A1 in last few days, and here are my initial impressions of the first Xiaomi device that is powered by Android One.

Design

At first glance, the Mi A1 impresses with its minimalistic yet premium design and full metal chassis. The antenna bands fluidly blend with the top and bottom edges at the back, and while they look quite prominent in gold and rose gold variants, they are hardly noticeable in the black variant. There’s a minor camera bump on the back, but it’s not an eyesore.

Also, it’s slimmer than other Xiaomi devices with curved corners which makes it a compact smartphone that fits comfortably in your palm and at 165 grams, it weighs just right too. The buttons on the side and the fingerprint sensor on the back are also comfortably within reach.

Overall, I think it’s the best-designed Xiaomi device in its price segment as yet. It has a refreshing new design language, something similar to what we recently saw with the Mi Max 2, and the Mi A1 looks like a smaller sibling of the Mi Max 2.

Display

The Mi A1 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display with a 2.5D curved glass, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top for protection.

The display is quite bright and the text and images look sharp. Even though the display is a tad reflective, sunlight legibility is good enough and viewing angles are great.

Hardware

For the Android One experiment, Xiaomi goes back to its recent favorite, the Snapdragon 625 chipset paired with 4 GB of RAM. The mid-range Snapdragon 625 processor is not the most powerful in the business, but offers a good balance of power optimization (leading to longer battery life) and performance push.

And with those internals, the Mi A1 does quite well chugging along nicely with whatever one throws at it. I’ve not stress-tested it till now, but multitasking with several apps in the background and everyday navigation is quite breezy. There’s no noticeable lag or stuttering, and the smartphone is quite responsive in everyday usage.

Like always, the Mi A1 packs in a hybrid tray so you can either use two SIM cards or one SIM card and one microSD card for storage expansion. However, 64 GB of onboard storage on the Mi A1 should be good enough for most users.

The Mi A1 packs in 3,080 mAh battery under the hood, and thankfully, Xiaomi has now opted for the USB Type-C port for charging keeping up with the times. Like always, there’s an infrared blaster as well.

Software

The Mi A1 is powered by stock Android, and comes with Android 7.1.2 out of the box. As an Android One smartphone, it aims to offer pure Android Nougat experience with a guarantee of Android Oreo update before the end of this year. In a surprise announcement at the launch, it was shared that the Mi A1 will also receive the Android P update, whenever it’s available.

While there’s no bloat of MIUI, Xiaomi’s proprietary customization layer, there are three Xiaomi apps – Mi Remote (to use in conjunction with the IR blaster), Feedback, and the Mi Store – which also can be uninstalled if one so wishes. The Mi A1 also uses Xiaomi’s own camera app, which is expected since the default Android camera app doesn’t support dual cameras as of now.

See also:The most exciting new Android phone is… an Android One?related image

The most exciting new Android phone is… an Android One?

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While Android UI is a matter on one’s own preference, and there are quite a lot of fans of MIUI especially considering the nifty add-on features it brings to the table, using a Xiaomi device with stock Android is a refreshing experience. It’s zippy, and smooth. There’s support for Google Assistant and free unlimited cloud storage on Google Photos in high quality.

Yet, there’s nothing unique about this Android experience, and a Nokia or Lenovo smartphone with stock Android offers pretty much the same deal. Essentially, there’s no USP in terms of software department, except regular and timely Android updates.

Camera

While the partnership with Google made all the headlines, the highlight of the smartphone is its dual camera setup at the back. There’s a 12 MP wide-angle lens and a 12 MP telephoto lens that work together to help you click photos with depth-of-field effect, popularly known as bokeh. The telephoto lens also supports up to 2X optical zoom.

There’s a 5 MP front camera, that takes serviceable selfies unless you have shaky hands.

With the few shots I took, I realized that the rear camera works just as expected. It manages to capture some impressive photos, but few very ordinary ones as well. The bokeh shots are inconsistent.

Overall, the camera is quite good for its price, and one of the best in the segment. Of course, it’s not the same as OnePlus 5 or the iPhone 7 Plus which we wouldn’t even have considered but for the comparison that the company asserted.

Summary

At a price of ₹14,999 ($235) in India (and coming to several other countries soon), the Xiaomi Mi A1 is a pretty good smartphone on its own. It looks quite premium, and performs like a good, trusted workhorse.

And then there’s the Android One affiliation, which brings stock Android experience, if it’s important for you, as well as regular updates.

What are your thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the resurgence of the Android One program? Tell us in the comments, and meanwhile we’ll do a deep dive into the product, and share our complete review soon.

7
Sep

LG Q6 review – budget beauty


For the past few years, Chinese manufactures have dominated the low-end smartphone market. The fierce competition between manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Motorola, and Lenovo has had a very positive effect on consumers. As the number of options available for those on a budget has rapidly increased, so has the amount of value each of those options offers.

Unfortunately, this amount of increased competition has also resulted in more risk aversion. This has made cheap phones today feel predictable and somewhat stale. For example, it’s not difficult to imagine what the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 will bring. While we can appreciate a few spec bumps and slightly newer software, the present feeling of complacency can make phones in this segment feel a tad boring.

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Perhaps that’s why we were excited to take the LG Q6 for a spin. With the Q6, LG, a manufacturer primarily associated with high-end smartphones like the G6 and V30, has brought their FullVision display technology to the low-end smartphone segment, as predicted.

This raises an important question: was LG able to implement such technology on a shoestring and still create a smartphone well-rounded enough to be worthy of your consideration? Let’s find out with our comprehensive LG Q6 review!

Design

The LG Q6 looks similar enough to the LG G6 to align with LG’s design language, but also does a few things differently to avoid being overly derivative. Yes, the Q6 shares the same front design with minimal bezels, a premium metal frame, and a glossy back. If you take a closer look, however, you will notice some important distinctions.

This time around, the glossy back is plastic instead of glass. Plastic does have a couple advantages. It’s much less likely to crack if you accidentally drop the phone. It’s also cheaper to manufacture, which surely helped LG keep the Q6 affordable.

With that said, the Q6’s plastic back is not quite as premium as the G6’s glass back. It scratches very easily and doesn’t do much to hide fingerprints. For these reasons, we’d suggest considering a third party case in order to better protect your investment.

The rear camera configuration has been reduced to a single lens with the Q6. LG decided to place the lens in the top left corner instead of the top center, likely as a way to make the design appear just slightly more minimal.

This is especially plausible when considering the Q6’s lack of a fingerprint reader. Yes, you read that correctly; there is no fingerprint reader on this device. This could certainly be a deal breaker for some. After all, phones costing half as much even manage to include this important asset.

LG’s answer to this exclusion is to instead use the Q6’s face recognition feature. This feature works by comparing the front-facing camera’s input to a saved profile of your face which you setup in the phone’s settings. This sounds like a great substitute, but does not work well in practice.

The face recognition feature is quite frankly a sorry alternative for a fingerprint reader

In a dark room? Recently shaved your face? Styled your hair differently? Prepare to enter your password manually, as the face recognition won’t be able to recognize you. Add in the increased security risk of using this feature to authenticate, and this is quite frankly a sorry alternative for a fingerprint reader.

With that said, if you can get over not having a fingerprint reader you’ll generally appreciate the Q6’s design. Most impressively, the build quality is better than that of your average cheap phone. The Q6’s solid build makes it apparent that LG did more than just slap on their brand name.

Speaking of branding, the Q6’s is beautifully discrete. A single small “LG” logo blends in extremely well with the front black bezel. This is a nice change from some other phones on the market today.

Display

One of the LG Q6’s main selling points is its FullVision display. You may recall this same technology from the LG G6. The Q6’s display is similar in that it offers the same 18:9 or 2:1 aspect ratio, has elegantly curved corners, and leaves a near bezel-less footprint.

Also check out:What is LG’s 18:9 aspect ratio all about? – Gary explainsrelated image

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March 10, 2017

The display size has also been bumped down to 5.5-inches from the G6’s 5.7-inches. This smaller size combined with the compact bezels allows the LG Q6 to be surprisingly small.

The Q6’s compactness is one of our favorite aspects, as it makes the phone considerably easier to use, especially with one-hand. You’ll be hard pressed to find another phone in this price range with a screen-to-body ratio this good.

LG has once again proven that it knows how to deliver a quality display

The display itself is better than we expected too. It’s a 2160 x 1080 IPS LCD panel, and provides good contrast levels and accurate color reproduction. There’s just the right amount of saturation to make colors look vibrant enough but not oversaturated. LG has once again proven that it knows how to deliver a quality display, even when cost is a constraint.

Sunlight readability isn’t the best, but that’s pretty much the norm at this price point. The display is also coated in Gorilla Glass 3, which might be disappointing for anyone hoping for Gorilla Glass 5, but both generations have similar scratch resistance, with Gorilla Glass 4 getting thinner and Gorilla Glass 5 being better at impact resistance while maintaining a similar level of scratch resistance as their predecessor.

Performance

Under the hood, the LG is packing an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435. We won’t sugar coat it — the Snapdragon 435 is a pretty low-end processor. It’s better than some MediaTek chips out there, but it’s far from impressive on paper.






With that said, the LG Q6 is a very capable performer day-to-day. It’s not unbearably slow and unless you compare it directly next to a more expensive phone, you may not notice enough of a difference to make it feel agonizingly sluggish.

The integrated Adreno 505 is one of the better GPUs available at this price, so you won’t have any issues with casual mobile gaming. There’s also 3 GB of RAM, which will be enough for most users.

Hardware

Interestingly, the LG Q6 will be sold in both single and dual SIM variants. Our unit came unlocked out of the box, but we’re not sure whether LG will partner with some wireless providers in the future to offer customized carrier variants. Either way, you’re getting a microSD card slot so you can expand the phone’s 32 GB of internal storage if needed.

One of the more disappointing aspects of the Q6 is its distorted-sounding rear-facing speaker. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this configuration and for good reason: audio output is almost always flawed when it’s projecting away from your face.

It’s also quite difficult to avoid covering the speaker when placing the phone on a flat surface. Unfortunately, you really get what you pay for here. Luckily, all is not lost as you can still use your standard audio accessories with the Q6 since it features a 3.5mm headphone jack.

LG also decided to stick with a microUSB port

LG also decided to stick with a microUSB port. We understand that some users may not want to upgrade to the new reversible USB Type-C standard. However, it has been out for around two years now and many people have already switched, so we’re going to chalk this up as a negative.

Battery life












Full disclosure: we were unable to connect to United States 4G LTE networks during our review period as our review unit did not support the proper network frequencies. You won’t have to worry about this when officially purchasing the LG Q6, but we must note that our test results are likely inflated.

With moderate use, the 3,000 mAh battery should be able to get you a full day of use with about four hours of screen on time. That’s pretty good, but not surprising considering how power efficient the Snapdragon 435 processor is.

The phone charges to 50 percent in around 45 minutes

While LG isn’t advertising any fast charging technology for the Q6, we found the phone charges to 50 percent in around 45 minutes. That’s certainly not a bad charging rate given how affordable the Q6 is.

Camera

The LG Q6 sports a single 13 MP f/2.2 rear camera. The Q6 not only loses the G6‘s adored dual-lens setup, but also its flagship level quality.

The camera is a bit slow to capture images

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. That’s especially true with the cameras here. We should preface our sample images by stating that the camera is a bit slow to capture images.

This is problematic as it prevents you from capturing a sequence of images in a short period of time, so you could very well miss a key moment. The slower camera can also cause motion blur if you don’t have a near perfectly steady hand, which you can see in some of our samples images.

Images taken in good lighting are decent looking. Generally, color reproduction is very good and there’s a decent level of detail. Dynamic range leaves something to be desired, but that’s to be expected at this price point.

Most of these images are good enough for social media platforms. However, if you use your phone’s camera frequently, you may want to consider buying a more expensive smartphone instead.

Our low-light sample images are sadly of significantly lower quality. There’s a bunch of digital noise, images aren’t as detailed, and color reproduction takes a considerable hit.

To be fair, we have yet to see a low-end phone camera perform well in low-light conditions. Still, this is something to keep in mind if you’re able to pay a bit more.

You can record up to 1080p videos with the LG G6, but the video quality is not very good. Please see our video review, linked above, for a sample clip.


The front facing 5 MP f/2.2 camera also isn’t great. As you can see, the selfies are quite blurry and color reproduction isn’t all that accurate.

LG’s built-in camera app provides a basic shooting experience. There are a number of filters as well as three different modes: auto, panorama, and food. Unfortunately, there is no manual mode. We don’t consider this to be much of a drawback since professional photographers will almost certainly gravitate towards more expensive options.

Software

As expected, the LG Q6 ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat with LG’s UX 6.0 layered on top. This is the same software that’s on the LG G6.

LG’s software isn’t all that different from stock Android. Instead of adding their own unique software features here, LG has differentiated by making some minor design tweaks. For example, there’s no app drawer by default, the settings menu is organized by tabs, and the system apps have their own designs.

There is also Nougat’s split-screen multitasking feature on board, so you can use two apps at once. The Q6’s 18:9 display really shines in this area, as there is enough vertical space available to comfortably fit in two apps.

Many users will appreciate LG’s balanced approach to the software

We are sure many users will appreciate LG’s balanced approach to the software. This approach has left a solid, polished software experience, which cannot be said about all phones in this price category. With the LG Q6’s software, you get exactly what you expect. Nothing more, nothing less.

Specifications

Display 5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ FullVision display
2160 x 1080 resolution
442 ppi
5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ FullVision display
2160 x 1080 resolution
442 ppi
5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ FullVision display
2160 x 1080 resolution
442 ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform
RAM 4 GB 3 GB 2 GB
Storage 64 GB 32 GB 16 GB
Cameras Rear: 13 MP Standard Angle sensor

Front: 5 MP Wide Angle sensor

Rear: 13 MP Standard Angle sensor

Front: 5 MP Wide Angle sensor

Rear: 13 MP Standard Angle sensor

Front: 5 MP Wide Angle sensor

Battery 3,000 mAh
Non-removable
3,000 mAh
Non-removable
3,000 mAh
Non-removable
Network LTE / 3G / 2G LTE / 3G / 2G LTE / 3G / 2G
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
USB Type-B 2.0
FM radio
Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
USB Type-B 2.0
FM radio
Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
USB Type-B 2.0
FM radio
Software Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Dimensions and weight 142.5 x 69.3 x 8.1 mm
149 g
142.5 x 69.3 x 8.1 mm
149 g
142.5 x 69.3 x 8.1 mm
149 g
Colors Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Marine Blue Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Mystic White, Terra Gold Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Terra Gold

Gallery

Price

The LG Q6 is now available in India for 15,000 INR (≈$234). Color options include black, platinum, and gold. Availability in the United States is still to be determined.

LG has also announced a slightly lower-end Q6a and a slightly higher-end Q6 Plus. We expect that these devices offer similar overall experiences, with natural allowances for better or worse hardware. Again, your choice will likely come down to your budget.

Conclusion

With the Q6, LG has successfully brought their FullVision display technology to a very accessible price point. The display’s 18:9 aspect ratio along with the phone’s minimal bezels truly make the Q6 stand out from its competitors. The phone’s compact size (despite its 5.5-inch display) and great software are also good reasons to buy this phone.

We cannot recommend the LG Q6, however. The lack of a fingerprint reader, unimpressive cameras, and other minor issues just make it tough to justify over competing options. Unless you really want a near bezel-less display for a cheap price, you will probably be happier with something else.

As always, please do leave any questions or comments below.

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Best unlocked Android phones

July 4, 2017

7
Sep

Twitter’s new night mode for desktop eases eye strain for night owls


Why it matters to you

Use Twitter on your laptop or PC? The new night mode option is kinder to your eyes.

Lying in bed at night, do you ever check Twitter on your smartphone? Chances are you switch to night mode to ease the strain on your eyes, an option that offers a more gentle display than the bright white alternative.

It’s been a long time coming, but the Twitter team has finally gotten around to offering the same mode for its desktop website. This means that night owls who like to tweet from their PC or laptop — or folks who simply prefer low-light settings in their home — can now switch Twitter’s web interface to darker colors that are much easier on the eyes.

The San Francsico-based company announced the new feature on Wednesday, though it had been testing the option with select users over the last few weeks.

It’s quick to access: Simply click on your profile image at the top right of your display and you’ll see “night mode” at the bottom of the drop down list that appears. Click on it and you’re away.

Twitter introduced night mode for iOS and Android in 2016, but clearly felt little need to rush out the same feature for desktop. But now it’s here, offering Twitter users not only a less harsh display for the eyes, but also an alternative look that some might prefer over the traditional white interface, regardless of whether they access it in darker surroundings.

Broadening service

While Twitter continues to make small but useful tweaks to its service, the company in recent months has also been making some significant investments in a bid to broaden its service and attract new users.

Live video has been at the center of its expansion plans, though it’s having to compete with the likes of Facebook and Amazon to secure deals.

A few months back we learned that Twitter had inked deals with 12 media outlets for original video content, including Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, the PGA Tour, MLB, The Players’ Tribune, and Live Nation.

But the company is still struggling to grow its user base, which for the latest recorded quarter stood at 328 million globally, identical to the quarter before. It even lost 2 million users in the U.S. over the same period, with the figure dropping to 68 million.




7
Sep

The best keyboards for Android will have you texting faster than a 13-year-old


Sometimes the keyboard app that comes with your phone just doesn’t cut it. Luckily, there are thousands of keyboards to choose from on the Google Play Store with fun themes, new features, and support for other languages. It’s also important, however, to know the risks of keyloggers and other malware when using a third-party input device, which is why Apple resisted third-party keyboard support for such a long time. Still, these days a third-party keyboard feels like a necessity for staying up to date on the latest features, including stickers, emojis, predictive text writing, and more.

That’s where we come in. We’ve gone ahead and done the research for you to find the best keyboards for Android that not only offer great features and look great, but have a strong history of user security and robust privacy policies so you can rest easy when typing away. If you decide to go with a lesser-known or new keyboard app, we’ve also included precautions for you to consider to protect your information — not just for keyboard apps, but any apps from the Google Play Store and beyond.

Best keyboard apps

SwiftKey (free)

SwiftKey comes highly rated on the Google Play Store, and the legions of faithful fans will boast of excellent suggestive typing, high accuracy rates, and predictive emoji. It also lets you switch effortlessly between languages mid sentence, which is great for bilingual folks. SwiftKey has a robust privacy policy that carefully differentiates between data to help the keyboard learn your typing habits, while protecting sensitive data like login information and credit cards. It leaves control of that data in your hands, allowing you to easily opt into cloud services or remove your info. It also offers tons of themes and other features.

Download now from:

Google Play

Google Keyboard (free)

It’s not the flashiest of the bunch, but if you want top-notch Android integration and assurance of total privacy, you can’t go wrong with Google’s own lightweight keyboard. Depending on your device, this may be the stock keyboard already. The keyboard offers tons of languages and dictionaries. If you’re running Android 4.4 or later, you’ll also get built-in emoji support for hundreds of useful symbols and emoticons, as well as a number of different shortcuts from voice commands to space-aware gesture support. Since it’s developed by Google, you know there is no need to worry about malware, adware, or any nasty stuff on this app.

Download now from:

Google Play

Fleksy Keyboard (free)

The Fleksy keyboard was used to set the world record for fastest texting twice, so if snappy response times and customization for speed are your thing, this is the keyboard for you. It’s also free, and it doesn’t come with any annoying adware. Rather than swiping or drawing the letters, you’ll tap just like you used to, and use gestures to delete words or select auto-correct options. You can shrink or grow the keyboard for your needs, as well as change the colors and layout. Fleksy’s privacy policy is sturdy, too, and clearly outlines what information the keyboard is able to see. It even allows you to opt out of any programs that you find uncomfortable.

Download now from:

Google Play

Swype Keyboard ($1)

If you’ve ever typed an entire word on your phone’s keyboard without lifting a finger, you have Swype to thank. More than five years ago Swype started the hype with drawing your sentences out, rather than pecking them out on the keyboard. There’s a free version, but the paid version is only $1. To type, you draw a line through all of the letters, and then the app uses auto-correct to figure out which letters were the important ones. It’s extremely accurate and intuitive to use. Swype also boasts bilingual support, audio-response typing, and gestures. You can even change the theme to match your favorite sports team, or set the key size for the perfect fit to your fingers, and save settings across multiple devices.

Download now from:

Google Play

TouchPal (free)

TouchPal has also been around for nearly 10 years. First off, its status as a longstanding app ensures a robust security and privacy policy. The free app also features voice recognition, emojis, stickers, one-touch writing, and other nifty tricks. It handles add-ons through an internal store, which also includes a miniature app store for advertising purposes. You do need to watch out, though, as the app is riddled with some full-screen ads if you don’t pony up for an annual subscription ($5). At least it doesn’t feature any adware or other apps that will take over your device.

Download now from:

Google Play

Minuum ($4)

The biggest feature of Minuum is its focus on being small. The Minuum keyboard is condensed down to rely more heavily on auto-correct to figure out what word you typed. It’s especially helpful if you own the iPhone SE or other small devices with a 4-inch or smaller screen. Whenever screen real estate is especially valuable, this is the keyboard you need. You can adjust the size of the keyboard, condensing the extra rows of letters into small sections, similar to the way numeric keyboards put multiple letters on each key. The interface is so efficient, it even works on smartwatches and Google Glass. Minuum has a comprehensive privacy policy that lets you contribute usage data anonymously or keep it all to yourself.

Download now from:

Google Play

Microsoft Keyboard for Excel (free)

Here’s something a little more niche. Eschewing the current trend for flashy additions, Microsoft’s Keyboard for Excel is just that — a keyboard that’s focused on making Excel usage on phones that much easier. Optimized for number entry, and lacking in features like autocorrect and gestures, the description admits that this is an experimental keyboard, created by Microsoft’s experimental Garage division. It’s definitely not something you’re likely to stick with if you don’t do a lot of number work — but if you do, this might be the keyboard you install.

Download now from:

Google Play

Chrooma Keyboard (free)

Looking for a free, lightweight, easy-to-use keyboard with one-touch typing? Chrooma Keyboard has you covered. It’s a straightforward, simple, fast keyboard with a colorful twist. Every time you change the app, it tries to replicate the colors with a Google-esque aesthetic, thus ensuring a stylish way to type.

Download now from:

Google Play

Go Keyboard (free)

If you’re someone who enjoys having a lot — and we mean a lot — of keyboards to choose from, then Go Keyboard is the way to go. It offers thousands of custom themes, thus allowing you to show off your favorite sports teams, school colors, or just pick something that suits your style. Along with the core typing experience and themes, you also get access to emojis and other fun extras. Just keep in mind that the Go Keyboard has a fair amount of ads, including some that appear on top of the keyboard, which isn’t so cool.

Download now from:

Google Play

Hacker’s Keyboard (free)

Ever tried remotely accessing a computer or Linux terminal from your Android device? You might notice how much trouble it is to try and enter commands, such as control-alt-delete, without all the different keys on a typical PC keyboard. Despite the menacing name, Hacker’s Keyboard gives you an easy way to enter all those complicated commands from your Android device by emulating the same keyboard you have on your desktop. It’s especially useful when trying to use ALT, arrow keys, or function keys you’d otherwise not have access to, and it’s a must-have for anyone using TeamViewer or a terminal emulator.

Download now from:

Google Play

GIF Keyboard (free)

Do you love GIFs in an almost criminal way? Then you’ll probably want an easy way to find and share your favorite GIFs via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and a host of other social platforms. This isn’t necessarily a traditional keyboard, but more of an app that you can load on the fly to search for your favorite GIFs. Then, mix them up with custom filters before sending them out alongside your messages and chats.

Download now from:

Google Play

Google Handwriting Input (free)

Some folks might own a Samsung Galaxy Note or other smartphone with a dedicated stylus. If that’s the case, you might really enjoy the experience of writing with your own pen just as you would with a notepad. Google’s dedicated handwriting app is great for this. It offers the ability to write entire phrases at a time, emojis, and more. Plus, being a Google app, you can rest easy knowing that you’re using the best handwriting recognition software available — and one that’s also void of adware.

Download now from:

Google Play

Ginger Keyboard (free)

For another all-in-one option, Ginger Keyboard is worthy of your consideration. It comes with all the extras you’d expect from a keyboard app, including spell-checkers, emojis, and predictive text — but it also rocks a grammar checker, translation options, and even has the option to add apps to a smart bar, so you can switch seamlessly. We’re a bit confused by the addition of games to a keyboard, but if that sounds like your bag then give Ginger Keyboard a try!

Download now from:

Google Play

Cheetah Keyboard (free)

After something stylish and fun? Then look no further than the 3D reactions of Cheetah Keyboard. With thousands of free themes to browse and collect, Cheetah Keyboard also supports DIY themes — hundreds of of different fonts, sounds, and backgrounds can be put together to create your own personal theme. And it’s not style without substance — Cheetah boasts all the usual predictive text, swipe typing, and autocorrect features you’d expect from one of its more famous brethren.

Download now from:

Google Play

7
Sep

15 of the best keyboards for the iPhone


The iPhone’s auto-correct function is a source of endless entertainment and frustration for iOS users. Although most users probably don’t stop and think about it, Apple’s keyboard is, in part, to blame for this comedy of errors. Sometimes you may feel so frustrated that you may even want to turn off the auto-correct feature entirely. If you’re an Android user, or you know someone who is, you know the keyboard that comes pre-installed on your device isn’t the only option out there. Android users have been enjoying some of the best third-party Android keyboard apps around for quite some time.

For years, Swype, SwiftKey, Fleksy, and more took over millions of Android smartphones as the default keyboards, while iOS users looked on enviously. But ever since June 2014, iOS users have been downloading alternative keyboards like crazy. Here are our picks for the best keyboards for the iPhone.

Are you trying to decide between Swiftkey, Swype, and Fleksy? Check out our comparison review to help you decide which one fits you the most.

Our favorite iPhone keyboards

Gboard (free)

Gboard is a keyboard from Google for your iPhone. The keyboard is simple in that it includes everything you’d ever want within a single app. Whether you are sending GIFs, emojis, searching through Google for information, sending directions, or something else, Gboard has you covered. No more app switching; just search and send, directly from your keyboard. With Gboard, you can search and send anything from Google, including information on nearby restaurants, videos, images, weather forecasts, news, sports scores, and more. The app also adds Glide Typing, which allows you to type messages faster and more accurately.

Download now for:

iOS

SwiftKey (free)

SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS is a smart keyboard that learns from you, replacing the iPhone’s built-in keyboard with one that adapts to the way you type. SwiftKey Keyboard is loaded with tons of features that make typing even easier, including multilingual typing, support for over 800 emoji, and speedy swipe typing with SwiftKey Flow. With the app users can type less, type more accurately, and type in their language. SwiftKey offers support for over 90 languages including four versions of English, two kinds of Portuguese, Italian, German, four kinds of French, and three kinds of Spanish. The app also allows users to customize their message apps with colorful themes.

Download now for:

iOS

Fleksy (free)

Fleksy offers users a fun and interactive way to type in your own way and your own style. Flesky lets you customize your keyboard with powerful extensions and more than 50 colorful themes. Some of the themes cost $1, but many are free. More than 800 emoji come with the app, and it also has its own GIF search engine built in. The keyboard supports 42 languages including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Hebrew, Dutch, and more. It learns your typing habits as you go, enabling it to give you accurate predictions, which helps cut down on typos.

Download now for:

iOS

Swype ($1)

Swype has finally come to iOS. The third-party keyboard is an incredibly intuitive one that can accurately predict what users wish to type or swipe. The keyboard has an extensive emoji collection, seamless regional dialect support, and offers users five free themes, with more that can be purchased. Swype gestures allow you to quickly enter symbols, punctuation, and capital letters, making texting quick and effortless. You can also add or remove words from your personal dictionary to avoid auto-correction. Users will also find customizable keyboard layouts and much more.

Download now for:

iOS

Minuum ($4)

With Minuum users can type faster, see more screen, and take control of autocorrect. Minuum is a smart keyboard that learns more with every word you write. You can rely on the powerful autocorrect tool, choose from multiple word predictions, or turn autocorrect off completely. Minuum is the best keyboard for typing comfortably on smaller devices. The app makes it easier than ever to type one-handed or in landscape mode. Some of the features included in the keyboard are smart emoji, international language support with 13 languages, beautiful themes, keyboard shortcuts, dictionary control, and much more.

Download now for:

iOS

Themeboard (free)

Taphive’s Themeboard keyboard for iOS lets users choose from themes created by leading designers. Many of the themes are free, but some of the fancier ones will cost you $1, and theme packs are typically priced at $2. In addition to looking pretty, Themeboard’s keyboard can predict what you’ll type, auto capitalize, correct errors, show suggestions, and so on. There’s also a handy emoji bar on top that you can customize with your favorite emoji in settings. It also supports a few languages, including English, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.

Download now for:

iOS

Go Keyboard (Free)

Go Keyboard gives you next word prediction, swipe typing, emojis, and stickers. This keyboard is very customizable with themes, custom backgrounds, and even key tones and fonts. What makes Go Keyboard stand out is the impressive number of languages it supports. The free version supports more than 40 languages, and there’s even a paid Pro version that tops 60 languages. If you’re in a country where you need a keyboard in something other than English or Spanish, particularly if you have a need for hard-to-find foreign languages like Thai, Urdu, and Lithuanian, then this is a keyboard you will most certainly want to try out.

Download now for:

iOS

Touchpal Keyboard (Free)

Touchpal gives you all the usual features you’d expect from a top keyboard. What sets this one apart is the number of available themes. You also have access to more than 800 emojis and can take advantage of swipe gestures called TouchPal Curve. All these features, together with new themes, and more than 100 new text art options for your key fonts, make Touchpal the keyboard for those who really want to customize to match their style.

Download now for:

iOS

Clips – Copy and paste anywhere with widget Keyboard (Free)

One of the most useful things for enhanced productivity is access to a clipboard and a history of what you have copied. Instead of having to go back and forth between your document and other things you want to copy, Clips allows you to save a history of things that you’ve copied so that you can quickly paste them into a document or an email. You can access the Clips shortcut and add text, images, and links to websites. After you’ve added all the information, you can then access a list of everything you’ve copied by holding the globe on your keyboard and choosing Clips.

Download now for:

iOS

Color Keyboard Maker ($2)

The king of keyboard customization is Color Keyboard Maker. Sure, it gives you emojis, auto-correction, and even allows you to tap and hold the space bar to be able to move the cursor, which is something that you can do on the iOS keyboard with 3D Touch, but what really sets this keyboard apart is the option to change anything you want about the look of the keyboard. You can change the keyboard background with solid colors, gradients, textures, and even your own pictures. You can also customize the buttons themselves by changing the colors, borders, adding shadows, customizing the fonts, and even changing the sounds. So if your aim is customization, Color Keyboard Maker takes things to the next level.

Download now for:

iOS

7
Sep

How to redeem free Netflix if you’re a T-Mobile subscriber


T-Mobile newest promotion provides free Netflix to all T-Mobile One unlimited customers with two or more lines on their account. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an existing T-Mobile or Netflix customer or not — either way, you can get in on the deal. Signing up couldn’t be easier, so follow this guide and you’ll get to binge-watching in no time.

For current Netflix subscribers

On or before September 12, the carrier will make a URL available where subscribers of both Netflix and T-Mobile can link their accounts together. T-Mobile will then take over paying your Netflix bill, so you don’t have to do anything. However, it may take up to two billing cycles before payment transfers over.

For new Netflix subscribers

Once you’ve signed up for a qualifying T-Mobile One plan, you’ll receive a text to a page that will instruct you how to create a Netflix account connected to T-Mobile. You won’t have to arrange to pay for the monthly subscription — T-Mobile will handle that for you.

What kind of subscription is it?

You’ll get one Standard Netflix subscription, which runs $10 per month. You can stream content in HD, and you can watch Netflix on two different screens at the same time. To put that in perspective, Netflix’s Basic streaming package costs $8, doesn’t include HD streaming, and limits you to watching on only one screen at a time. The Premium tier costs $12, bumps simultaneous streaming up to four devices, and includes 4K content.

What if you want Premium?

If you want to upgrade to the higher package, T-Mobile will continue paying Netflix the full $12 every month, but you’ll pay the difference between the Standard and Premium rates to T-Mobile. That’s $2 currently, and it’ll be tacked onto your monthly T-Mobile bill.

How long does it last?

Interestingly, nowhere in T-Mobile’s announcement or the FAQ section of its site does it say that this is a limited-time deal, or constrained to a year for every customer. It would seem the carrier is prepared to extend this offer to its subscribers indefinitely. As always, we’ll let you know if that changes.

What else should I know?

Again, this offer is only available to T-Mobile One customers with two or more active lines. If you recently joined T-Mobile through one of its recent “line-on-us” promotions, it seems you’ll have to forgo your current rate to qualify for the deal, as the carrier is encouraging these customers to switch to “the latest T-Mobile One plan” if they want to save on Netflix.

You should also note that streaming quality on the basic One plan prevents streaming at full HD resolution — to do that, you’ll need to upgrade to the One Plus plan, which runs an extra $10 per month per line. This is only the case when you stream via 4G LTE on your mobile phone. The web version is unaffected, regardless of your Internet Service Provider. As always, you’ll be able to download movies and TV shows at full quality if you wish, which is one potential way to sidestep the streaming cap.




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