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26
Jun

Asus ZenFone 5 coming to the UK on July 9 for £350


Asus is also offering a £50 discount if you pre-order the phone.

Asus is continuing its ZenFone series this year with the Asus ZenFone 5, and if you live in the United Kingdom, you’ll be able to purchase it on July 9 for £349.99.

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We got a chance to go hands-on with the ZenFone 5 during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this past February, and while its design clearly takes a lot of inspiration from the iPhone X, it did manage to impress with incredibly loud external speakers, promising cameras with a wide-angle secondary one on the back, and a respectable 3,300 mAh battery.

If you can’t wait until July 9, pre-orders for the ZenFone 5 are live starting today and come with a £50-off discount as a way of Asus thanking its early adopters. That brings the price down to just £300, and for a phone of this caliber, that’s not a bad value proposition at all.

Other key specs for the ZenFone 5 include the Snapdragon 636 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a 6.2-inch display with a resolution of 2246 x 1080.

Pre-orders for the ZenFone 5 are live right now on Asus’s website, but when July 9 comes around, you’ll also be able to pick it up at Carphone Warehouse and John Lewis.

Do you plan on getting the ZenFone 5?

See at Asus

26
Jun

WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard is officially rolling out to replace the 14-year-old WPA2


The new standard wants to make your Wi-Fi network more secure than it’s ever been.

As our mobile world progresses with new phones, smart home gadgets, and more, it’s becoming even more critical that our online presence is as safe and secure as can be. To ensure things stay that way, the Wi-Fi Alliance is now certifying products that support the new WPA3 standard.

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WPA3 is officially replacing WPA2, and considering that WPA2 was first released in 2004, the time for this is long overdue. Although not much is changing from a consumer point-of-view, WPA3 is chock-full of new features and tools to ensure your wireless internet connection is more secure than ever before.

One of the highlights found with WPA3 is that it makes it much more difficult for hackers to tap into your network using offline password-guessing attacks. WPA2 allows deviants to capture data from your router and then repeatedly guess your password over and over on their computer so they can gain access to your Wi-Fi setup, but with WPA3, one incorrect hacking attempt will render this data useless.

Even though WPA3 is finally here, it’s going to take a while for everyone to adopt it.

Nothing will change with the way you enter your Wi-Fi password on your phone, but the manner in which hackers usually try and break into your network is much more difficult with WPA3.

Other benefits with the new standard include added privacy over your data when connected to a public Wi-Fi network, making it impossible for hackers to recover your data even if they break an encrypted transmission from your network, and more.

As for when all of this is rolling out, it’s going to take some time for WPA3 to be as widely adopted as WPA2 is right now.

You’ll need to buy Wi-Fi routers, phones, and more that support WPA3 out of the box, but if you’re lucky, the manufacturers of your current gadgets will update them so you don’t have to go out and buy all-new tech to benefit from WPA3.

The Wi-Fi Alliance expects WPA3 to be more widely available later in the year, and when the new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard comes out in 2019, it should ramp up even more.

You’ll still be able to connect to WPA2 networks using gadgets that support WPA3, and similar to the old standard, the Wi-Fi Alliance says it’ll regularly update WPA3 over the years to ensure it stays as safe as possible no matter what gets thrown at it.

Wi-Fi Alliance announces EasyMesh, Qualcomm promises support for WPA3

26
Jun

Google Podcasts vs. Pocket Casts: Which podcast app should you use?


A battle of Google integration vs. every feature you could ask for.

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After years and years of waiting, Google finally launched an official podcast app on June 19. Android’s long been in need of a first-party solution for downloading and listening to podcasts, and now that that solution is here and we’ve had time to really dig deep into it, it’s time to determine whether or not it was worth the wait.

Prior to the launch of Google Podcasts, Shifty Jelly’s Pocket Casts has long been considered to be the go-to podcast app for Android. Is that sentiment changing now that Google’s app has arrived, or does Pocket Casts still reign supreme as the home for podcasts on Android?

Without further ado, this is Google Podcasts vs. Pocket Casts!

What Google Podcasts does best

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If you’re a fan of Google’s new design language for its first-party apps, you’re going to feel right at home with Google Podcasts. The Product Sans font is on full display along with plenty of white and the colorful Google logo at the top. The UI is also really easy to understand with search and menu buttons at the top and a playback bar at the bottom.

The integration with Google Assistant/Home is incredibly useful.

As nice as the Google Podcasts Android app looks, however, the real star of the show lies with its direct integration with the Google Assistant.

Whether you’re on your phone or talking to Google Home, you can ask the Assistant to play a podcast and it’ll automatically pick the latest episode of the show you ask for or pick up where you left off. Once you stop listening, you can hop back into the Google Podcasts app and resume where you left off on your Google Home.

This syncing between Google Podcasts and Google Home works like a charm, and the best part is that no set up in required in order to get it to work.

Also, Google Podcasts has a handy feature that allows you to quickly donate to shows you love right from the app. If a show supports it, just tap the blue Donate button and you’ll be able to start funding it right away!

What Pocket Casts does even better

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For all the things Google Podcasts gets right, however, Pocket Casts still reigns supreme when it comes to the in-app experience.

Pocket Casts still offers more features and user-customization out of the box.

The Pocket Casts home screen shows all of the podcasts you’re currently subscribed to and you can quickly reorder their appearance by podcast name, episode release date, manually configure the layout with drag and drop controls, and even change the grid size to see more (or less) on your screen at once.

Both apps allow you to download individual episodes, but only Pocket Casts makes it possible to manually download all unplayed episodes and auto-download new ones as they’re released.

Other Pocket Casts goodies include two dark themes, advanced notification settings, syncing across your Pocket Casts account, and easier podcast discovery with the ability to find new shows by category, network, trending, and more.

Also, while Pocket Casts may not be integrated with the Google Assistant, you can cast it to any of your Google Home speakers and/or home groups made in the Google Home app.

Price

When it comes to price, this is where Google gets a big advantage.

Google Podcasts is completely free to download, but on the other hand, you’ll need to shell out $3.99 to get Pocket Casts on your phone.

Furthermore, if you want to access Pocket Casts on your computer, you’ll need to pay another $9 to access its web client.

Final thoughts

Although both of these apps aim to do the same thing, they’re very different in their approach to doing so.

Google Podcasts offers a very basic in-app experience that’s functional but lacks some key features we’ve come to love from competing services. However, if you’re someone that has a Google Home and would rather use your voice to listen to your favorite shows rather than fumble with a mobile app, Google Podcasts is an excellent choice.

Download: Google Podcasts (free)

With that said, if Google Assistant controls aren’t important to you, Pocket Casts easily offers more features, a better thought-out design, and will be getting a huge revamp later this year to make it even better.

The $3.99 price of admission does need to be taken into consideration, but for the amount of polish and features Pocket Casts comes with, $3.99 is a steal.

Download: Pocket Casts ($3.99)

What do you think?

Now that I’m done talking, I’d love to hear from you! Having you been using and love Google Podcasts, will you stay with Pocket Casts, or do you get your podcasts somewhere else? Drop a comment down below and let me know!

26
Jun

This Sun Joe pressure washer is down to $140 at a variety of retailers


Make that sidewalk look like new!

The Sun Joe SPX4001 2030 PSI electric pressure washer is down to $139.99 on Amazon. This price matches the lowest we’ve seen, and it has only dropped this low once or twice in the past. It has been selling for around $170 this year and was going as high as $190 previously. You can also find this deal at Walmart and Home Depot.

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The pressure washer has a 14.5-amp motor that generates up to 2030 PSI cleaning power. The wheels are designed for maximum maneuverability. It doesn’t always have to be at maximum power, either. Choose the low 1450 PSI option for easier jobs like dirt or grease. It has five quick-connect spray tips for a multitude of tasks. The hose reel stretches 20 feet. Users give it 4.1 stars based on 151 reviews.

See on Amazon

26
Jun

All Google Home speakers now support Spanish


The Google Home and Home Mini are also launching in Mexico today.

Google’s Home speakers are fantastic, and today, they’re getting a big accessibility update with Spanish being added as an officially supported language.

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There are three different versions of Spanish you can choose from based on your location, including Spain, Mexico, and the United States. If you want to enable Spanish on your Home speaker, just open the Google Home app on your phone and tap Settings -> Preferences -> Español.

You could previously use Spanish when talking to the Assistant on your phone, and while it’s unclear why it took Google so long to roll out the language to its Home speakers, we’re glad to see that it’s finally arrived nonetheless.

On a similar note, Google says that the Home and Home Mini are now available for purchase in Mexico. The two speakers launched in Spain last week and you can buy them in both countries on the Google Store right now.

Google Home Mini review, 6 months later: The smart speaker that should be in everybody’s home

Google Home

  • Google Home review
  • Google Home Mini: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Home Max review
  • These services work with Google Home
  • Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
  • Join our Google Home forums!

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26
Jun

Yi’s 1080p indoor security camera is down to $41 at Amazon today


HD security.

The Yi 1080p Dome Camera is down to $40.99 on Amazon when you use coupon code 2V3O5G4V. This camera usually sells for closer to $60.

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With its HD video and 108-degree wide-angle glass lens, this dome camera has the ability for complete 360-degree coverage as it can rotate up to 345 degrees horizontally and 115 degrees vertically. It has advanced night vision with built-in infrared LED beads to extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in pitch darkness. It has a built-in microphone and speaker which you can use to talk to someone using the Yi Home app on your mobile device.

You can also use the app on your PC, though it is for viewing only and does not work with the microphone. It also has motion tracking which can send you real-time activity alerts while you’re away from home; it’ll keep the camera on that moving target too which is a great addition. It has a bunch of other features too like Auto-Cruise which will survey the area 360 degrees or go through your “bookmarked” locations of which you can save up to eight.

Yi has a cloud service called Yi Cloud which keeps your data secure and has no storage limit, though it would cost you monthly. Plans range in price from $66 to $199 a year depending on your needs. A cheaper option would be a micro SD card, though the maximum size it can hold is a 32 GB card.

See on Amazon

26
Jun

Android Switchers Represent 15-20% of iPhone Buyers, Tend to Opt for ‘Plus’ Models


Most recent Android owners who switch to the iPhone ecosystem tend to opt for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, according to a new report sent to MacRumors today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The data was gathered during the fiscal quarter that ended March 31, 2018 and is based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. Apple customers who purchased an iPhone during that time.

In a given quarter, CIRP estimates that between 15 and 20 percent of iPhone buyers are switching over from the Android operating system. In terms of popularity, these switchers are opting for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (40 percent of those moving from Android to iOS), and to a lesser extent the iPhone 7/7 Plus (about 25 percent) and 6s/6s Plus (about 12 percent).

Android users switching to iOS also tend to buy a “Plus” model iPhone more than iPhone owners looking for a new device. In total, 39 percent of Android switchers purchased a Plus model, compared to 29 percent of iPhone users buying another iPhone. “With Android manufacturers offering larger form factors for a longer time, it appears that Android owners appreciate iPhones with larger screens, as well,” explained CIRP Partner and Co-Founder Mike Levin.


For older models, more former Android owners are buying the 7, 6s, and iPhone SE models than those users buying an iPhone who already previously owned an iPhone. This makes sense, as current iPhone owners are likely moving on to the latest models, while Android switchers are more content with entering Apple’s ecosystem with a slightly older model.

“In marketing iPhones, Apple attempts to persuade current users of Google’s Android operating system to switch to its iOS operating system,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and Co-Founder.

“Apple has had varying success, with seasonal variation in the percentage of buyers that are making the switch. We analyzed how Android owners that switch to Apple iPhones differ from repeat iPhone buyers. The former Android users gravitate to the lowest-priced iPhone models, which makes sense to us, with Android phones offering a wide range of models, many at relatively low-price points. And since everything on an iPhone is new to them, there is less value in purchasing the latest flagship model with the most advanced features.”

For the iPhone SE, Android switchers purchased the low-cost smartphone at twice the rate as iPhone owners during the six months ending in March 2018, proving the ongoing entry-level popularity of the small device. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Android switchers purchased the iPhone X (currently the most expensive iPhone) at half the rate as iPhone owners.

While today’s report focuses on switching operating systems, CIRP’s last survey looked at users who stick with an OS and discovered that Android had a 91 percent loyalty rate in 2017, compared to 86 percent for iOS. This meant that for those users surveyed, Android customers were more loyal to the Android operating system than iOS users were to the iOS operating system.

In April, Apple encouraged Android owners to switch to iPhone with a set of new ads in its “Life’s easier on iPhone” series. The videos focused on iPhone features like the App Store, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting, and the company linked back to its “Switch” website that’s designed for customers who use an Android device or other smartphone and are thinking of switching to an iPhone.

Tag: CIRP
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26
Jun

New ‘BBC Sounds’ Mobile App Set to Replace BBC iPlayer Radio


The BBC is releasing a new free mobile app today called BBC Sounds, which brings together the broadcaster’s extensive library of live and on-demand radio, music, and podcasts within a single audio player interface.

The BBC says the app has been designed to learn from the user’s listening habits and introduce them to shows and podcasts that they might not otherwise know about, as Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer, explains:

“Every user’s experience of BBC Sounds will be unique as it’s designed to learn from your listening habits, providing one-tap access to the latest episodes of your favorite BBC podcasts and radio shows and introducing you to new audio you wouldn’t otherwise have discovered from the 80,000 (yes, really) hours available.”

This content is delivered in a “Recommended for you” section, which showcases 10 on-demand shows at any one time, and automatically refreshes based on recent listening.

The live radio section of the app retains the virtual tuning dial used in the BBC iPlayer Radio app, which Sounds will eventually replace, and acts as a portal to all of the BBC’s 18 national and 40 local stations.

There are also hand-picked collections of podcasts and on-demand music shows on offer to match the listener’s mood, like Funny Chat, Upgrade Your Life, Live Sessions, and Dance Mixes.


Podcast and show categories cover the full gamut of content available, such as hip hop, classical, crime, and science and technology, while a “Continue Listening” section highlights podcasts and radio shows that have only been listened to part-way through, as well as next episodes to consider.

Users can add any individual episode or clip to the “My List” section to listen to later. In addition, subscribing to podcasts and programs generates a personalized feed of the latest episodes via the “My Sounds” section.

The BBC says there are several additional features in the pipeline for Sounds this year, including downloads to enable offline listening, so expect updates in the months ahead.

Tags: BBC Radio, BBC iPlayer
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26
Jun

Apple Finishes Runner-Up to Amazon in ‘Most Valuable American Brand’ List


In the latest company rankings, Brand Finance has detailed the 500 Most Valuable Brands in the United States for 2018 [PDF], with Apple earning 2nd place this year and not moving spots from last year. A lot has shifted around the company, however, with Google dropping from 1st place last year to 3rd place this year, and Amazon rising from 3rd to become Brand Finance’s #1 most valuable U.S. brand in 2018 (via Business Insider).

According to the methodology, Brand Finance evaluates which brands “are the strongest and most valuable across all markets.” This includes an “Enterprise Value,” “Branded Business Value,” “Brand Contribution,” and “Brand Value.” The researchers then combine this with a “Brand Strength” index, which calculates a score out of 100 based on three factors: marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.

Images via Brand Finance
Overall, the researchers found that 2018’s results prove companies in the technology sector “have cemented their position as absolute leaders in the market.” In first, Amazon grew its brand value 42 percent this year to $150.8 billion, overtaking Apple’s stationary spot in second place. Although the company didn’t move, it did grow its brand value 37 percent to $146.3 million.

Google grew its brand value 10 percent to $120.9 million, but was still “unable to keep pace with the remarkable growth of the top two brands.” Rounding out the top 10 were Facebook in 4th (45 percent brand value growth), AT&T in 5th (5 percent brand value drop), Microsoft in 6th (6 percent growth), Verizon in 7th (5 percent drop), Walmart in 8th (1 percent drop), Wells Fargo in 9th (6 percent growth), and Chase in 10th (15 percent growth).


It’s important to note that Brand Finance’s rankings don’t directly measure each brand’s actual revenue or profit from a given year, but focuses instead on its own specialized system to discover a brand’s value. Specifically, Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said the corporate brand valuations are compliant with the International Organization for Standardization’s 10668 and 20671 specifications.

In other recent rankings, Apple dropped to the 4th spot in Fortune 500’s annual list of the top U.S. corporations based on gross revenue. Earlier in the year, the company earned the top spot as the most intimate brand in the U.S for millennials in a list that measured which brands had the deepest emotional connections with respondents.

Tag: Brand Finance
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26
Jun

Apple’s Free Schoolwork App Now Available to Teachers


Apple today announced that its free Schoolwork app, introduced at its education event in Chicago in March, is now available for teachers.

Schoolwork enables teachers to share assignments and announcements with students, track student progress, tailor instructions to student needs, collaborate one-on-one with students, provide instant feedback, and more.

Schoolwork makes it easy to create and send announcements and assignments with almost any type of content, from web links to PDFs and documents, and even specific activities in apps. Students can use Schoolwork to stay organized and keep track of the work they need to complete and when they need to hand it in.

Schoolwork works alongside Apple’s existing Classroom app for iPad, and soon Mac. The app allows teachers to monitor every student’s iPad in class.


Classroom on iPad, for example, helps teachers keep students focused on a specific app or website and lets them view student screens during class, share documents with students, assign shared iPads, reset a student’s password, and more.

More details about the Schoolwork and Classroom apps and deployment are available on Apple’s education tools website.

Tags: education, Classroom, Schoolwork
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