August Home today announced that its new August Doorbell Cam Pro is now shipping following nearly three weeks of pre-orders.
Like other video doorbells, the Doorbell Cam Pro is equipped with a full-color HD camera and microphone for two-way audio and one-way video. Using the companion August Home app (HomeKit isn’t supported), homeowners can see and speak with visitors at their door in real time, even when they’re not home.
A built-in motion detector triggers instant alerts via push notifications when something’s happening at the door. A new feature called HindSight adds a few extra seconds to the beginning of a video recording so homeowners can see what’s happening just before motion is detected, rather than someone walking away.
The updated camera features a built-in floodlight that enables it to work during the night. By comparison, its competitor Ring uses infrared in the dark.
An optional August Video Recording plan, available for $4.99 per month or $49.99 for a one-year plan, lets users replay, download, and share recordings of activity at their door through the August Home app.
The video doorbell replaces a home’s existing wired doorbell, and has a USB dock for easy setup ahead of installation.
August Doorbell Cam Pro is available immediately for $199 USD in silver and dark gray from August.com and select other retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy. By comparison, the Ring Video Doorbell starts at $179.
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Apple has shared a new Paper and Packaging Strategy white paper, outlining steps the company takes to reduce its paper impact by using paper more efficiently, sourcing it responsibly, and protecting or creating sustainable working forests.
iPhone 7 packaging
To protect the environment for the future, Apple said three priorities guide its efforts:
1. Reduce impact on climate change by using renewable energy sources and driving energy efficiency in products and facilities.
2. Conserve precious resources by using materials efficiently, using more recycled and renewable content in products, and recovering material from products at the end of their life.
3. Identify, develop, and utilize safer materials in products and processes.
The change in iPhone packaging from iPhone 6s to iPhone 7 illustrates the significant impact of Apple’s efforts.
While the iPhone 6s packaging included two stacked plastic trays that hold the device and accessories separately, Apple came up with a new design for the iPhone 7 packaging that allows a single tray to do the work of two. Eliminating the second tray significantly reduced the packaging’s material footprint.
Apple’s environmental teams also found a fiber-based material that could be used to make the trays, replacing the petroleum-based plastic previously used. The white paper says a similar exploration of new materials and design led to innovations in the EarPods carrier, further reducing the use of materials.
For the iPhone 6s, Apple designed a plastic EarPods carrying case that discreetly wraps the cables and holds the headphones in place. For the iPhone 7, however, Apple developed a more environmentally friendly paperboard-based solution with a set of folds and cuts that secure the EarPods and cable.
These changes contributed to an 84 percent decrease in plastic usage for iPhone 7 packaging compared with iPhone 6s, according to Apple.
For the iPhone 8, Apple even sourced a more environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic wrap that protects the iPhone’s wall charger. Apple’s white paper reveals the meticulous steps it took to achieve this feat, which involved working directly with a supplier to alter aspects of the manufacturing process.
Finding a fiber alternative proved challenging since fiber naturally expands and contracts with changes in humidity. The significant number of suppliers and locations through which the power adapter wrap would pass made controlling the humidity of the environment impossible. This required Apple to take a very hands-on approach, working directly with the supplier to alter aspects of the manufacturing process to create a fiber wrap that would meet technical needs. While the power adapter wrap is a small piece of the iPhone packaging, it represents a significant amount of material given the number of iPhone units sold.
Ultimately, Apple said it hopes that its program highlights a process for others to take responsibility for their impact on global resources, and work with external stakeholders to protect the environment.
Tag: Apple environment
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Apple’s augmented reality developer framework, known as ARKit, launched within iOS 11 on September 19. The debut turned hundreds of millions of iPhones into advanced AR-capable devices in the span of a few days, leading to the first wave of ARKit apps on the iOS App Store.
One of these apps is called “Pixie,” which existed prior to ARKit with its own proprietary AR technology, but the company updated its main app and “Pixie Point” trackers with Apple’s technology last month. I’ve been testing Pixie’s new ARKit-enabled tracking devices for about a week, and so far the app’s augmented reality solution to finding lost items has provided a fun and engaging experience for item rediscovery, when it works.
Unfortunately, my experience with Pixie was too often plagued by a low-quality app guidance system and inconsistent success in its main function, making the whole package feel like a beta product for a better iteration down the line.
Like other Bluetooth trackers, you attach Pixie Points onto items you might lose frequently, or simply fear losing in the future. For Pixie’s tracking technology to work reliably, one of the Points has to be attached to your iPhone via an included silicone-like case.
The Pixie Point sits embedded in the top right of the case’s back, and this coupled with the slippery feel of the case made me more conscious of how I was holding my iPhone and how close it was to falling from my hand at times. You could also use the Point’s adhesive backing to stick it directly to your iPhone, but for obvious reasons I preferred not do that.
Pixie includes a keychain accessory in the box
The Pixie app’s setup process begins by syncing the Point you want attached to your iPhone, and then continuing with any other Points. For me, each point had to be updated individually out of the box, greatly lengthening the time from opening the package to having all four Points synced, updated, and attached to an item.
After each Point is added, the Pixie app’s main screen looks similar to Tile’s, with a list of Points, approximate location and distance of the last time they were seen, and a customizable image next to each. Similar to other Bluetooth tracking apps, you’ll need to ensure Bluetooth on your iPhone is constantly on and allow Pixie to always access your location even when the app is closed.
The actual discovery process that Pixie uses is its most interesting aspect; you start by tapping on a Pixie Point associated with your lost item (I used the accessory key ring for my keys, placed one in my wallet, and used the last as a sort of bookmark). After choosing which item is lost, Pixie asks you to hold your iPhone up at arms length, and then rotate in a circle so it can generate a scan of your environment and locate the lost Point.
When it works, Pixie is both a satisfying tool for people who consistently lose items, and a fun AR experience. You’ll follow a series of floating bits of “Pixie Dust” and end up in a rotating sphere of lights with the Point somewhere in the vicinity. When close enough, your iPhone turns into a metal detector-like object, so you can scan around and play a game of hot-and-cold until you find the item.
Unfortunately in my experience, Pixie has worked flawlessly like this just 3-5 times, and has more consistently shown aberrations in its user interface, tracking technology, and reliability. Even when it works, the 15-25 seconds of spinning slowly in a circle each time you want to find something could lead to frustrations when you are in a hurry.
For the app itself, Pixie’s UI is inconsistent in text font and visual language, with some parts appearing aesthetically clean and simple (the main front-end menu) while other, more information heavy areas are clogged with unappealing Comic Sans-like fonts and cluttered elements (the initial setup screen, a few how-to pop-ups).
In my testing, I’ve come to discover that two floors somewhat impede Pixie’s reliability, with the app unable to connect to a Pixie Point that I placed downstairs as I stood upstairs. The app usually got stuck at the connection screen, then asked me to walk around a little bit to get closer to the Point in question, eventually leading me downstairs and activating AR mode. While somewhat functional, it still felt like more of a hassle in my own house, where I could be consistently one floor away from a lost item. A handful of times, the app would also simply fail to connect at all while I stood above the lost Point on the bottom floor.
One time, it did discover the Point, but it ended up leading me to the location on the second floor right above where the actual Point was located below. Pixie says items can be discovered within 30-50 feet indoors (and 150 feet outdoors), but certain physical obstructions — and verticality — appear to still thwart the Points. I tried with all three of the included Pixie Points that were sent to me, and came across similar findings for each. I asked the Pixie team and they said that they have noted “rare” issues with multi-story households, and a maintenance update is being worked on to fix this issue.
In terms of long range discovery, Pixie’s app is a bit barebones. You’ll be presented with a generalized last known location on a map and a “search for it now” button, which hinges on your location to the item being within Pixie’s 150 feet of outdoor Bluetooth range to work. So, if you’re constantly losing things outside of your home, Tile’s anonymous lost-and-found community is far more of a useful and precise resource.
As of now, I’d say the same is true for Pixie’s in-home tracking technology as well. Using ARKit to find your wallet when you’re rushing out of the house, or to locate where your Apple TV remote fell between the cushions, is an enticing concept that Pixie offers, but only on a basic level. There’s a likely chance the app and trackers will see steady improvements over time once developers — not just Pixie’s — realize ARKit’s full potential. For now, Pixie just feels like a novelty in beta.
Pixie collections start at $39.99 for a 2-pack, then increase to $74.99 for a 4-pack (what this review covers), and $139.99 for an 8-pack. Each collection requires one Point to be attached to your iPhone, so the cheapest tier at $39.99 means you can keep track of one other item. For more information on Pixie, check out the company’s website here.
Tags: ARKit, Pixie
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Snapchat today introduced a new feature called Context Cards, designed to add more information and functionality to your Snaps. Context Cards offer quick access to options like location information, directions, reviews, and ride sharing services.
Context Cards can be accessed by swiping up on any Snap that has a “More” option, with the info attached to Snaps tagged with venue-specific Geofilters or submitted to Our Story.
Snaps will display reviews, directions, phone numbers, and more from partners that include Tripadvisor, Foursquare, Michelin, and goop, while integrations with Uber and Lyft allow you to summon a ride and OpenTable, Resy, or Bookatable let you make restaurant reservations.
Snapchat says many locations will have Stories integrated into their Context Cards to make it easier to find Snaps from places nearby, with the Snaps made up of stories submitted by the Snapchat community.
At launch, Context Cards will be available in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, and New Zealand, and Snapchat plans to expand its content partners going forward.
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Why it matters to you
Looking for an affordable phone with excellent data speeds? The ZTE Blade Force, available from Boost Mobile, might be for you.
ZTE has taken the wraps off of its latest Boost Mobile-destined smartphone, the ZTE Blade Force. Like some of ZTE’s other recent launches, the phone is aimed at offering decent specs at a reasonable price, and will cost $130 from Boost Mobile.
So what are those specs? Well, for starters, it’ll offer a 5.5-inch HD display with a 3,000mAh battery — which should be plenty to get most people through the day, even heavy users. It also offers an unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon chip with 2BG of RAM, and comes preloaded with Android 7.1.1 Nougat. While that’s not the latest version of Android, the phone is still relatively up to date.
The camera has become increasingly important in a phone over the past few years, and the camera on this phone doesn’t look to be all that bad. It sits at 8-megapixels, with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. A good amount of storage is also important, and the ZTE Blade Force comes with 16GB of it — though that can be expanded with the microSD card slot.
Perhaps the most important thing about this phone is that it’s the cheapest to support Sprint’s High Performance User Equipment, or HPUE, which basically allows for LTE connection speeds of up to a massive 1Gbps. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll hit those speeds, but it does mean that if you live in an area where it’s supported, you may be able to get some pretty fast speeds in the right conditions.
Sure, the phone isn’t a flagship, but it seems to offer some pretty great value for money.
“The ZTE Blade Force continues to demonstrate how ZTE seamlessly blends innovation and affordability into our lineup, while remaining true to what consumers want most in their smartphone,” said Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices, in a statement. “The Blade Force packs big features, Sprint’s HPUE technology, and a lot more into an affordable price point.”
To get the phone, you’ll need to be a Boost Mobile customer or willing to switch over to the mobile virtual network operator. As mentioned, it will set you back $130. Check it out for yourself on the Boost Mobile website.
Just when you thought it was safe to pick your smartphone upgrade, Google drops a bombshell. Google’s new Pixel 2 XL is a stunning phone, packed with the latest version of Android 8.0 Oreo, a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, and a massive 6-inch screen paired with an almost bezel-less display. If you’re looking for an update to your phablet, or are looking to sample the delights of a large-screened phone, then the Pixel 2 XL has to be on your watch list.
What about the rest of the market? Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus is the king of hill in the phablet market — even if that title is hotly contested with the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 knocking around. While we can’t honestly compare the two phones until we’ve got our mitts properly on the Pixel 2 XL and spent a good amount of time with it, we can at least compare what each phone is bringing, and whether it’s worth buying the iPhone 8 Plus now, or holding your pennies until the Pixel 2 XL is available.
Google Pixel 2 XL
iPhone 8 Plus
157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 inches)
158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm (6.24 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches)
175 grams (6.17 ounces)
202 grams (7.13 ounces)
6-inch P-OLED display
5.5-inch IPS LCD Retina HD display
2,880 x 1,440 pixels (538 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi)
Android 8.0 Oreo
MicroSD card slot
Yes (Apple Pay only)
Snapdragon 835, with Adreno 540
A11 Bionic with 64-bit architecture, M11 motion co-processor
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
12.2MP rear, 8MP front
Dual 12MP rear (both with OIS), 7MP front
Up to 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps
Up to 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps
Yes, version 5.0
Yes, version 5.0
Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Active Edge
Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Yes, IP67 rated
Yes, IP67 rated
Fast-charging with 7 hours in 15 minutes of charge
21 hours of talk time, 13 hours of internet, 14 hours of video playback, and up to 60 hours of audio playback
Fast charging offers up to 50 percent charge in 30 minutes (with separate cable).
Wireless charging (Qi standard)
Google Play Store
Apple App Store
Black, Black and White
Gold, Space Gray, Silver
Best Buy, Unlocked from Google, Verizon
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Apple
4 out of 5 stars
The Pixel 2 XL comes with Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 835. We’ve previously seen this processor in many flagship Android smartphones, such as the Galaxy Note 8, the LG V30, and the OnePlus 5. It’s a stunningly powerful processor, and the 835 is sure to provide a smooth experience to Pixel 2 XL users for the lifespan of the phone.
But no matter how powerful the Snapdragon 835 is, it can’t compare to Apple’s new A11 Bionic processor. The previous generation of iPhones were equipped with the A10 Fusion processor, which is still capable of beating the latest generation of Snapdragon processors — so it comes as no surprise that the A11 has already obliterated the competition.
The way iOS and Android handle RAM is very different, and it makes comparing amounts of RAM on these phones tricky. As a general rule of thumb, iPhones are able to have less RAM on-board, due to the close integration between software and hardware that just isn’t possible with the wide variety of hardware set-ups available on Android phones. As such, we can’t really say that the 3GB of RAM on the iPhone 8 Plus is trumped by the 4GB available on the Pixel 2 XL — it just doesn’t work that way. Both phones should have enough RAM to keep them running smoothly throughout their lifespan.
Both devices come with 64GB of storage in their base model, and neither phone packs a MicroSD card slot to expand that space any further. You can get a 128GB model for $100 more for the Pixel 2 XL, but the only other option for the iPhone 8 Plus is a 256GB model for a $150 more. It’s worth noting that for $950, you can either get a 256GB iPhone 8 Plus or a 128GB Pixel 2 XL — you get a lot more storage with Apple.
Both phones are first-rate, top of the line flagship phones with a lot to offer, and they’re both likely to offer amazing performance over a long period of ownership. However, the sheer power of the A11 Bionic processor, as well as the option of 256GB of storage in the top model (for the same price as the top storage option of the Pixel), make the iPhone 8 Plus too much for the Pixel 2 XL to handle in terms of pure specifications.
Winner: iPhone 8 Plus
Display, design, and durability
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends
Since you’re deciding between these two phones, it’s a good guess that you’re looking for a larger phone, or “phablet.” The iPhone 8 Plus is slightly taller and wider, though the Pixel 2 XL is thicker than the iPhone.
The iPhone 8 Plus largely sticks to the same design theme since the iPhone 6 Plus, but there’s a few changes. Largely it’s the addition of a glass back which supports wireless charging. It’s still a good-looking handset, but the 2017 smartphone trend is the bezel-less design, where the edges around the screen are as minimal as possible. Apple is using this design with the iPhone X, so the iPhone 8 Plus ends up looking a little dated. The 5.5-inch screen has a 1,920 x 1,080 LCD IPS display that delivers the usual clean and sharp finish that we expect from Apple’s smartphones, and the addition of True Tone technology from the iPad means that the screen continues to look great in any environment, with the sensors shifting the color temperature of the display to match your surroundings. It’s a nifty trick, but it’s still not a huge change from what we’ve seen previously.
In contrast, the Pixel 2 XL is quite different from its predecessor. While the very original (and divisive) look from the Pixel has survived — the iconic glass strip at the top of the rear — the fingerprint sensor is now on the bottom. Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus, Google has tried to embrace the bezel-less future, even if it falls short when compared to competitors like the LG V30 and the Note 8. A massive 6-inch OLED screen dominates the front of the phone, with dual front-facing stereo speakers. The power button is found on the right-hand side of the device (and is colored a bright orange if you choose the black and white color option), with the volume rocker found just underneath.
On the durability front, both devices come with an IP67 rating, so you can expect them to handle short dips in the water with few ill effects. Neither phone now comes with a 3.5mm jack, but you’ll find a headphone jack adapter in the box so you can still connect your devices without needing to go fully wireless. If it helps, both phones use the new Bluetooth 5 standard, which offers faster data transfer and better range. The glass back on the iPhone and the strip at the top of the Pixel are both going to be worries for anyone who’s accident-prone, and although both Google and Apple have proclaimed that these areas are well protected, we still recommend cases for the iPhone 8 Plus and the Pixel 2 XL.
Overall, this isn’t a terribly difficult category to score. In most areas, the phones are neck-and-neck, with IP67 ratings, a lack of headphone jack, and gorgeous displays being the order of the day. However, the ageing design of the iPhone 8 Plus is why we’re giving the Pixel 2 XL the win.
Winner: Pixel 2 XL
Battery life and charging
The iPhone 8 Plus is a part of the first range of iPhones to have wireless charging thanks to the all-glass back. Currently, the iPhone accepts 5 watts via wireless charging, but it will be able to take in 7.5 watts after an update before the end of this year. Battery capacity is smaller than the battery on the iPhone 7 Plus — down to 2,675mAh from 2900mAh. Apple is adamant this drop in pure numbers won’t translate to any real loss of the battery power, as the improvements made to the A11 processor over the A10 have made it more power efficient. We’ve certainly seen the iPhone 8 Plus last us a full day of use, with some change if you’re not using it too heavily. Charging speed was a disappointment, though. Apple claims that fast charging is capable of charging to 50 percent in 30 minutes, but it’s not possible with the cable present in the box. Our tests saw the included cable charge the phone from 36 percent to 100 in an hour and a half.
The Pixel 2 XL does not come with wireless charging, but it does come with a beefier 3,520mAh battery. We’re yet to get our hands on the handset to test the performance for ourselves, but based on the smaller capacity of the original Pixel XL battery, we expect that the battery will last at least a day. Fast charging is where the original Pixel shines, and we expect that to continue with the Pixel 2 XL. Google currently claims that fast charging the Pixel 2 XL will give it seven hours worth of charge in fifteen minutes, but we’ll have to really test those claims when we get chance.
While the iPhone 8 Plus does come with wireless charging and all the convenience that brings (you still need to buy your own), the lack of a faster charger in the box, the larger battery on the Pixel 2 XL, and Google’s fast charging pedigree mean the Pixel gets the win. It’s a close call, though, and we’ll test them more thoroughly.
Winner: Pixel 2 XL
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The iPhone 8 Plus sports nearly the same camera as the iPhone 7 Plus, with a few improvements via software. It has two 12-megapixel cameras — one wide-angle f/1.8 aperture lens and one f/2.8 aperture telephoto lens, both with optical image stabilization. It’s a fantastic camera set-up, and much like the iPhone 7 Plus, it was good enough to get it our current top spot as the best smartphone camera. Most of the improvements and additions can be found within the camera’s Portrait Mode. Added is Portrait Lighting, giving you access to five lighting filters to apply to your portrait shots to give each a different feel; Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono. HDR mode is now permanently-on, cutting down on those overblown skies and giving a deeper range of color. In terms of video, the 8 Plus can shoot 4K video in a variety of frame rates (24, 30, and 60 frames-per-second), and can also shoot slow-motion 240fps video at 1080p quality. The 7-megapixel front-facing camera is similarly impressive, but is again pretty much unchanged from the iPhone 7 Plus.
The Pixel 2 XL only packs a single camera on the rear of the device, and you might expect that to put it at a disadvantage against the dual-snappers of the iPhone 8 Plus. That doesn’t seem to be the case — the Pixel 2 XL’s camera has broken camera-testing site DxOMark’s previous rating record, scoring an incredible 98 out of 100, making it the best smartphone camera ever tested. That single lens is a 12.2MP camera with an f/1.8 aperture, and we expect it to give the iPhone 8 Plus some serious competition for the top of our camera charts once we get our hands on it. The real star for Google is their impressive software, which is capable of adding the selective blur (or “bokeh”) effect that dual-camera set-ups are delivering. The front-facing 8-megapixel camera also benefits from this software, meaning you can take Portrait Mode selfies.
It’s worth noting the iPhone also scored highly on DxOMark’s tests, coming in with an amazing score of 94. We look forward to putting the Pixel 2 XL’s camera to the test, but until we’ve had a chance to really put it through the gamut, we can’t call this category yet.
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends
Regardless of whether you pick up the Pixel 2 XL or the iPhone 8 Plus you’re going to be getting the best of what each platform offers. The Pixel 2 XL will come with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, and will benefit from timely security and OS updates straight from Google. The iPhone 8 Plus will come on Apple’s latest iOS 11, with longer support from Apple in regards to updates. Your choice here really comes down to familiarity and which software you tend to prefer. Since both devices come straight from the OS manufacturer, we expect both will benefit from that and come with the smoothest and fastest versions of each OS.
Both Google and Apple are making strides with augmented reality (AR). If you go for the Pixel, you’ll get access to a preview of ARCore. iPhone owners will get to play with ARKit apps. However, Google has their fingers in more pies than Apple, as the Pixel 2 XL will ship with Daydream VR support — if you’re into virtual reality, the Pixel is a solid bet for mobile VR. The Pixel 2 XL also has a neat feature called Active Edge, which is the same “Edge Sense” trick on the HTC U11. Essentially, you can squeeze the phone to trigger the Google Assistant.
It’s apples vs. oranges here. This one’s a tie.
Pricing and availability
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The iPhone 8 Plus is currently available, having launched on most major providers in the U.S. Buying the base level handset will set you back $800, with 64GB of storage space. Upgrading to the larger 256GB model will increase that price to a staggering $950 — perilously close to the $1000 barrier set by the iPhone X. Those prices vary across carriers, and you can read more about buying the biggest new iPhone in our iPhone 8 Plus buying guide.
The Pixel 2 XL is up for able to pre-order, and you can snag one from Best Buy, Google, and Verizon. Picking up a Pixel 2 XL will start at $850 for 64GB of storage, and upgrading to the 128GB model will increase that price by $100 to $950. However, Google is offering a Google Home Mini onto every purchase, which retails for $50. You can find all of your options in our Pixel 2 XL buying guide.
Both of these phones come at an extreme premium, with the top level of each phone coming in just under $1000. For that price, the iPhone comes with twice the available storage space, and has a much wider range of carriers to purchase from. The Pixel 2 XL is a Verizon exclusive, and while it can be unlocked for use on any carrier, it’s a pain that buyers may not be willing to put up with — and we can’t blame them for that. For those reasons, the iPhone 8 Plus takes the final round.
Winner: iPhone 8 Plus
Overall winner: Tie
It’s a tie, because there are a few too many variables that are too close to call. Both smartphones are powerhouses with heavy-hitting performance, with great cameras though we’ll have to do more testing to confirm which can take a better photo. Your choice is likely to be based on which ecosystem you’ve spent the most time in. If you’re dead set on staying with Apple, then it’s definitely worth checking out the iPhone X as an upgrade choice. It’s pricey, but it has the next generation looks that the iPhone 8 Plus is lacking, and comes with all of the same technology and power — it even has a bigger and better display. But if you can get a better deal on an iPhone 8 Plus, or simply need the phone right now, then there’s no shame in plumping for the iPhone 8 Plus. It’s still a great phone.
If you’re on Android, the Pixel line is the cream of the crop as you can expect a great marriage of hardware and software, as well as fast Android version and security updates.
Warby Parker’s At-Home Prescription App Makes Getting Glasses Even Easier
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Warby Parker’s At-Home Prescription App Makes Getting Glasses Even Easier
Renewing and refilling your prescriptions can take a toll on your daily life and bank account. For those of us who wear glasses, Warby Parker’s at-home prescription app makes getting high-quality, steezy eyewear at an affordable price even easier.
Earlier this year, while we were showcasing the new line of glasses, the affordable eyewear revolutionaries at Warby Parker launched an iPhone app called Prescription Check. The mobile service allows you to renew an eyeglass prescription from the comforts of your own home or office.
If you’re an eligible participant — for starters, you must be between 18 and 60 years old and have a single-vision prescription — then you will be asked to take three easy tests via the app. A doctor will review your results and, just like that, you receive an updated prescription for $40. In addition to using the app at home, you can also go to eligible Warby Parker stores or participating locations. Half of the U.S. population is now covered by the service.
Built from the idea that nobody who needs glasses should be forced to shell out a large sum to replace a lost or broken pair, Warby Parker’s at-home prescription check is a cheaper and more-accessible alternative to the monopolized eyewear industry and medical prescriptions that are typically only valid for a year.
Co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa spoke with The Atlantic about the moment his entrepreneurial itch started after losing his first pair of expensive prescription glasses.
“They were Prada glasses, simple metal frames, and they fit my face well … I had never stopped to think about why glasses were so expensive. When I lost those, I needed a new pair, and it was at a time when I also needed a new phone … so I went to the Apple store, and I paid $200 for one. It did all these magical things that people couldn’t have even contemplated a few years earlier. That made me start thinking about why I was being asked to pay $700 for a new pair of glasses. Something just didn’t compute.”
Warby Parker’s motivation stems from the fact that almost one billion people worldwide lack access to proper eyewear. In partnership with nonprofit VisionSpring, Warby Parker’s at-home prescription service distributes a pair of glasses to someone in need with each product sold.
If you need tips on how to find and fit the eyewear that suits you, check out our guide to fitting sunglasses.
Feature image courtesy of Warby Parker/Facebook.
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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.
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Get into the holiday spirit with this collection of Thanksgiving-themed wallpapers for your iPhone.
Smart Merge Pro
Your contacts are the most important data in your phone. Smart Merge Pro easily helps you detect and merge duplicate contacts.
When you are getting paid via contract, or from multiple sources, it is critical for you to track your activity for each project, as well as the amount of time you spend on each. Insert your schedule and your pay will be displayed in a variety of formats.
Cardiograph is an application which measures your heart rate. You can save your results for future reference, keep track of multiple people with individual profiles, add notes and locations, and more.
KeyWi is a custom keyboard for your iOS device that allows you to type using your computer’s physical keyboard.
Ukulele Tuner Pro
Tune your ukulele with precision and ease, all within seconds. This app features 11 tunings for soprano, tenor, concert, and baritone ukuleles.
Why it matters to you
Want to engage your friends in an aerial battle? The Rockee drone is here to help.
Who says you can’t relive Top Gun in your own backyard? Certainly not the makers of the Rockee, a new Indiegogo project heralded as the “most enjoyable DIY athletic battle drone” on the market. These tiny little first-person-view (FPV) drones allow pilots to exercise their control via a smartphone or a remote.
And thanks to its virtual reality capabilities, flyers can don a pair of VR goggles to effectively sit in the Rockee’s cockpit, seeing everything from the lens of a 720P HD camera. That means that you’ll be able to receive real-time images by way of a Wi-Fi connection, capturing every detail in a battlefield (or you know, the great outdoors). And thanks to the pressure-set-height system, the Rockee promises to prevent feelings of dizziness or queasiness for pilots who may not have their VR legs completely under them just yet. Regardless, this drone promises high-definition recording and photographing.
With a control radius of up to 150 meters and an ascension limit of 100 meters, you can fly quite far and quite high with this FPV drone. After all, this drone weighs in at less than a pound, which ought to make it supremely maneuverable and navigable in the air. Indeed, everything about this drone is about getting more bang for your buck. It’s said to take just 30 minutes to charge, and can fly up to 10 minutes.
You can also battle your friends with the Rockee by using its “highly sensitive infrared shooting” capabilities. When you fire an infrared “bullet” and hit another Rockee drone, the affected drone will flash red, simulating wounded rotation, and will land automatically after being hit three times. Think of it as aerial laser tag — because why should you have to enjoy the thrill of flying a drone alone?
You can order a battle pack of Rockee drones (which is to say, two of them) for $170 from Indiegogo now. Shipment is estimated for November 2017. Alternatively, you can order just one Rockee drone for $99, though this is one product that certainly seems to work better in pairs. Spare batteries can also be ordered for $20 for extended flight times.
This is one of the most fundamental features of a smartphone.
Being able to take a screenshot on our phone is something we all need to do on a regular basis. Whether it’s to send off to someone or save for your own use later, it’s the fastest way to grab information on your phone. For all of the changes in the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, one thing has remained: taking a screenshot is dead simple.
How to take a screenshot on the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL
Open up whatever you want to screenshot.
Press both the power and volume down buttons and hold them for 2 seconds.
You’ll know it completed when the screen briefly flashes and displays the screenshot.
Check the notification shade to see your screenshot.
- You can tap the notification to view it in full, or expand the notification and tap the share button to share it directly or delete to discard it.
See? That’s about as simple as it gets. If you don’t need to work with the screenshot right away, you can clear the notification and view your screenshots later in any gallery app of your choice or the default Google Photos app.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
- Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL hands-on preview
- Google Pixel 2 specs
- Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
- Join our Pixel 2 forums