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28
Jun

Win your choice of Galaxy S9, Pixel 2, BlackBerry KEY2, or iPhone X and more from Bitmo!


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The Bitmo app is changing the gift card game! They’re letting one Grand Prize winner pick the smartphone of their choice, plus gifting 3 Runners-Up with a $75 gift card on the Bitmo app. Read more and enter now!

Bitmo is a new way of gifting that keeps your options open. Gift cards are a $160 billion dollar industry and 40% of those gift cards go unredeemed or lost.

We’ve all been there – you lose a card or you get one to a place you don’t want to shop. Bitmo changes all that. This free app lets you spend what you want and swap what you don’t. Regift to a friend or exchange any gift card to another retailer instantly and at no cost. You can also redeem right from your phone. No more lost $$$.

So it makes sense that they’re letting one winner pick a smartphone of their choice (iPhone X, Galaxy S9, Pixel, or BlackBerry KEY2) with a $75 gift card on the Bitmo app to Amazon. Plus, Bitmo is gifting three runners-up with a $75 gift card to Best Buy, Game Stop, or Amazon on the app.

Bitmo is a fun and easy gifting platform for sending a personalized thank-you gift, birthday present, and more. The gifts never expire plus they’re safe and secure in your account just waiting to be instantly redeemed in-store or online.

Gift better. Get more.

Enter To Win

THE PRIZE: One lucky reader will receive a choice of one iPhone X, Galaxy S9, Pixel, or BlackBerry KEY2 and a $75 Amazon gift card on the Bitmo app, and 3 runners up will receive a $75 gift card to Best Buy, Game Stop, or Amazon. All gift cards can be swapped for another retailer on the app for free!

THE GIVEAWAY: Use the widget at the bottom of this page. There are multiple ways to enter each with varying point values. Complete all of the tasks for maximum entries and your best shot at winning! The email used to enter the competition and email used to download the app must match. Please keep in mind that all winning entries are verified and if the task was not completed or cannot be verified, a new winner will be chosen.

Phone service is not included with the prize and we make no guarantees that the phone will work with your service provider, so be sure to check that before you enter. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that are at least 13 years old, as of the date of entry. To participate, you must have a valid mobile number (US only) capable of receiving a text message.

The giveaway is open through July 12, 2018, and the winner will be announced right here shortly after the closing date. Good luck!

Win your choice of iPhone X, Galaxy S9, Pixel 2, or BlackBerry KEY2 and more from Bitmo!

By entering you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

28
Jun

YouTube: Everything you need to know


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From user-uploaded videos to movies and music, YouTube’s got you covered.

In February 2005, a small company by the name of YouTube was founded. YouTube was trying something new by giving people a free, easy-to-use platform for uploading videos, and a little over a year later, it was purchased by Google.

While YouTube continues to be the largest and most popular user-uploaded video site around, it’s since expanded into the markets of music streaming, live television programming, and even creating original content similar to Netflix and Hulu.

It can be difficult to keep track of everything the YouTube brand is attached to these days, so to help keep you in the loop, here’s everything you need to know.

YouTube

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No matter what new ventures YouTube decides to tackle, the company’s bread and butter will always be its main YouTube service for user-created content.

Anyone can upload videos to YouTube, and with enough hard work and dedication, make money on them, too. You can subscribe to channels/users you’re particularly fond of, search for specific videos, and catch up with the most popular videos that are currently trending.

You can access YouTube just about anywhere, be it your Android phone, computer, or even a TV.

YouTube has always been free to use, and while there are paid versions we’ll dive into in just a minute, the main service itself can be accessed without spending a dime (as long as you’re okay with advertisements before your videos).

YouTube app for Android: Everything you need to know!

YouTube Music

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In an effort to compete with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, Google’s using its YouTube brand to take them head-on with YouTube Music.

YouTube Music follows in the footsteps of its competitors with a price tag of $9.99/month, and for that price, you get access to unlimited on-demand streaming, curated playlists, offline downloads, ad-free music videos, and plenty more.

The end goal is to have YouTube Music eventually replace Google Play Music, and to ensure that transition process is as seamless as can be, Google’s confirmed that all of Play Music’s best features will eventually come over to YouTube Music — including a digital locker for storing all of your locally owned songs!

YouTube Music began to officially roll out on June 18 to the countries that were part of its Early Access program, in addition to expanding to 12 all-new locations such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and more.

YouTube Music: Everything you need to know!

YouTube Premium

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If you’re already paying $9.99/month for YouTube Music, you might as well throw in another two dollars and get YouTube Premium, formerly known as YouTube Red.

YouTube Premium is a subscription service that costs $11.99/month, and in addition to full access to YouTube Music, you also get ad-free videos on YouTube, background playback, and the ability to watch YouTube Originals.

This basically gives you the experience previously found with YouTube Red, and even though it now costs a couple bucks more each month, is still a tremendous value. It took a while for YouTube Premium to actually launch, but as of June 18, the service has officially replaced YouTube Red in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and more.

What is YouTube Premium? Everything you need to know!

YouTube TV

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Last but not least, the YouTube brand is also used to offer an Internet-based live television service via YouTube TV.

YouTube TV costs $40/month, giving you access to more than 60 channels with local sports/news, cloud DVR, and the ability to watch on up to three screens at a time.

You can watch YouTube TV from your Android or iOS device, computer, or right on your TV through a number of smart TV apps (such as Roku, Android TV, Xbox One, and more).

YouTube TV costs a bit more than competing services such as Sling TV and Philo, but for folks invested in the Google ecosystem that want to supplement their live television shows with YouTube programming, too, YouTube TV is still worth checking out.

YouTube TV: Everything you need to know

How do you use YouTube?

Which YouTube do you use most?

Updated June 28, 2018: Tweaked the YouTube Premium and Music sections now that they’ve been released.

28
Jun

RAVPower’s newest Qi wireless charging pad is only $24 today


This is a Thrifter exclusive, so be one of the first to get this deal.

This RAVPower 10W Qi Wireless Charging Pad with HyperAir is down to $23.99 with code MNRAVPC034 on Amazon. That’s $16 off its regular price and a few bucks better than the last deal we shared. This is one of RAVPower’s newest wireless chargers.

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The HyperAir tech helps make this charging pad a lot faster than others, delivering up to 7.5W for the iPhone and 10W for Android phones. The triple temperature controls disperse heat fast and effectively, and the pad has built-in safeguards against overcharging, overheating, short circuit, and more. All you have to do is place your phone on the pad and it will detect what device you have and how fast the charge can be. The LED indicator will let you know when the phone is charging, and if you use an Android phone it will turn green when fully charged. This pad has 3.9 stars based on close to 900 user reviews.

See on Amazon

28
Jun

YouTube app for Android: Everything you need to know!


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YouTube started as a simple video site, but today it’s much, much more.

YouTube is so much more than cute cats and mindless pranks; it’s where millions come for education, information, and live, late-breaking news. YouTube streams more than just Google keynotes; it streams important political debates and allows users to stream from almost anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It’s important to understand YouTube and how to use it, and whether you’re just looking to watch your videos without Autoplay plaguing you or you’re looking to turn your feed into a legitimate cord-cutter cornucopia of enticing entertainment, we’re here to help you get it done.

Finding your way around

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First things first: let’s find where we find videos on YouTube and how we start curating our content so that YouTube’s algorithms can start working to bring us more of what we want. Want to get started with YouTube? Start here.

How to use YouTube for Android

Managing YouTube

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YouTube can run away with you (and your mobile data) if you don’t keep it in check. From managing what kinds of content can pop up in your results to what networks you use to stream in HD, these are settings you can use to keep YouTube manageable.

How to manage the YouTube app for Android

Saving YouTube videos

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See a fun video that you want to watch later? We’ve all been there. Here’s how to save videos for later — and to save them for watching offline, depending on where you live.

How to save videos in YouTube for Android

Managing your YouTube history

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We all search for things we’d rather not fess up to. We stumble upon videos we wish we hadn’t seen. It’s okay, you don’t have to burn your digital identity — we just need to clean up our YouTube histories.

How to pause and clear your YouTube history

Uploading videos

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Making the jump from consumer to creator on YouTube is a breeze. Here’s how to get videos from your Android phone onto YouTube. Getting them on the front page, however, is another matter entirely.

How to upload videos to YouTube

Taming YouTube’s annoyances

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Like any site or product, there are ways that YouTube can annoy and irritate. Luckily, here’s the way to stop some of the more visible annoyances on the app.

Best tricks to fix YouTube’s most annoying features

How to sign up for YouTube Premium

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As great as YouTube is on its own, the app’s made even better when you sign up for YouTube Premium.

YouTube Premium gives you access to a heap of extra features, including the ability to download videos for offline viewing, not having to ever watch ads, access to all YouTube Originals content, and more. If you want to give the service a shot, it costs $11.99/month and signing up takes just a couple minutes.

How to sign up for YouTube Premium

How to get the most out of Premium

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Once you’re signed up for YouTube Premium, you’ll want to make sure you tap into everything it has to offer!

It can be easy to overlook all of the benefits that come with your Premium subscription, so let us help you get the absolute most out of your money.

How to get the most from YouTube Premium: Top tips and tricks

Updated June 28, 2018: Added all-new photos, removed references of YouTube Red, and added sections for YouTube Premium.

28
Jun

Samsung Messages app is randomly sending pictures for some users


Even worse, there’s no evidence on your end that the photos were sent.

If you’ve got a Samsung phone and use the default Samsung Messages app for all your texting needs, you may want to check your gallery to make sure you don’t have any embarrassing photos in it. According to numerous Redditors, a bug is causing Samsung Messages to randomly send pictures to contacts without leaving any sort of evidence.

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This has been reported on the Galaxy S9 and Note 8 so far, but based on what we’re seeing, this could also be affecting other Samsung phones. Rather than being a carrier or device-specific quirk, the bug appears to be rooted in the Samsung Messages app itself.

Some of the complaints read as follows:

Last night around 2:30 am, my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app. However, there was record of it on tmobile logs. Why would this happen?

Oddly enough, my wife’s phone did that last night, and mine did it the night before. I think it has something to do with the Samsung SMS app being updated from the Galaxy Store. When her phone texted me her gallery, it didn’t show up on her end — and vice versa.

To make sure you don’t have any photos sent out without your knowledge, go to Settings -> Apps -> Samsung Messages -> Permissions -> Storage. From here, disable the permission and you should be safe until Samsung rolls out a fix.

5 changes that would make the Galaxy S9’s software dramatically better

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

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28
Jun

Track everything you do with the $75 Withings Activité watch


One-day only deal.

The Withings Activité Steel Activity and Sleep Tracking Watch is down to $74.99 on Amazon. This is part of Amazon’s Gold Box deals of the day, so the price is temporary. This tracker normally sells for around $99. The drop to $75 is one of the best deals we’ve seen, and it works on both the Black model and Black & White.

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We have shared deals on the newer version of this watch, the Nokia Steel HR, but that watch has never dropped to less than $100 before.

The activities this watch can track include steps, running, calories burned, swimming, and distances. It also has sleep monitoring that provides analysis of your sleep, and it can wake you up with a silent alarm in the mornings. There is a free app you can access for coaching. It comes with a stainless steel case and a silicone sports strap and works with both iOS and Android. Users give it 3.8 stars based on 625 reviews.

See on Amazon

28
Jun

Amazon Working to Further Lessen Reliance on Power Cords for Future Echo Speakers


In an effort that would give future Echo speakers with Alexa a new advantage over Apple’s HomePod, Reuters today reports that Amazon is working with chipmakers to build Alexa speakers that would not require a constant power source. As it stands, most smart assistant devices — Amazon’s main Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home, etc — require a constant draw of power due to their always-on microphones listening for the user’s voice commands, among other reasons.

Now, Amazon has partnered with chipmaker DSP Group to build a standardized chip that is “a little smaller than a U.S. 10-cent coin” and optimized for lower power consumption. Amazon and other companies will be able to use the chip to place Alexa into their own smart devices that offer greater portability to users.

Amazon already has the Amazon Tap, a portable Bluetooth speaker that doesn’t need to be plugged in to use all of its features. With a “hands-free mode” users can ask Alexa questions and command her to play music, which slightly affects battery life: 9 hours of continuous playback compared to 8 hours with hands-free mode activated.

There are also third-party companies like Fabriq that sell portable Alexa solutions, but these devices are still a small portion of the market in comparison to AC-powered speakers. With Amazon and DSP Group’s new partnership, it appears that Amazon is looking to greatly bolster the amount of cord-free Alexa devices available to buy, while also improving the user experience with internal chips that can run always-on listening features without as much of a hit to battery life.

Amazon also has numerous other chipmakers offering solutions for Alexa — including Intel and Qualcomm — but as of now DSP is said to be the sole supplier competing with a chip that offers low power consumption. DSP’s current client roster includes making chips for Samsung smart watches, cameras for GoPro, and a wireless speaker for Logitech.

Those are all large companies with many engineers, but by working with Amazon to make its chip easier to use in a device, DSP is hoping to spur more products from gadget makers of all sizes to include Alexa, Elyakim said.

“We are at a fairly early level in this market, but I think over the next 12 months we’ll see a lot of announcements,” he said.

For Apple’s HomePod, the main rumor for the next-generation speaker centers around its price tag, with numerous reports earlier this year suggesting Apple is “mulling” and “low-cost version” of the HomePod that will run between $150-$200. What this means for specific features remains unclear, but since the original speaker is believed to have underperformed due to ecosystem limitations and Siri issues, some theorize Apple could focus on combating these problems in the cheaper HomePod.


The only time that portability and a future version of HomePod were tied together came from a questionable report earlier this spring, which claimed that the “low-priced” HomePod will be placed under the Beats by Dre brand, which only sells portable rechargeable speakers. Apple has yet to introduce its Siri assistant into any non-Apple product, and one reason Beats Pill devices don’t have “Hey Siri” is likely due to their portability and lack of constant power.

Although unlikely at this point, the speculative HomePod/Beats speaker was described in a way that suggested a more portable smart speaker than the first generation, and could be similar to the proposed future versions of Amazon Echo from today’s report. As it stands, there are many pros and cons to both the HomePod and Echo, as Apple’s more expensive speaker focuses on sound quality first, while Amazon’s speaker provides one of the most robust smart home hubs on the market thanks to its numerous Alexa Skills.

Tags: Amazon, Alexa
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28
Jun

GE’s Full Lineup of HomeKit-Enabled Window Air Conditioners Now Available in the U.S.


After a soft launch of just one model earlier this spring, GE today announced the launch of its full lineup of HomeKit-enabled window air conditioning units. While there are a few other HomeKit air conditioners on the market outside of the United States, the new units represent the first HomeKit-compatible air conditioners to launch in the U.S.

GE’s air conditioners deliver 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs and can cool medium- to large-sized rooms, according to the company. With HomeKit control, customers can add the units into the Home app on iOS, connecting them to Scenes, controlling them with Siri, or automating them to activate and deactivate when they arrive and leave their home.

“Consumers told us they like how they can create their own schedules to keep rooms comfortable without wasting energy,” said John Desmarais, Commercial Director, Window A/C, Portables & Dehumidifiers for GE Appliances.

“Many people also found peace of mind in having control of the unit anywhere they have internet access. We’re pleased to offer the very first air conditioners with HomeKit integration, bringing simple and secure control through the Apple Home app and using Siri. We are confident owners will find the convenience at the tip of their fingers.”

Each unit has cooling settings for four-way air direction and an “Energy Saver” mode that automatically shuts off the fan and compressor when the room is cool enough, reducing electricity consumption and helping to save money on monthly bills. Although HomeKit control is supported, GE’s air conditioners also come with an electronic digital thermostat and remote control.

Starting today, the units are available at The Home Depot (which has three models) and Lowe’s (which has two models), and at local authorized GE Appliance dealers. Prices on the units vary depending on the amount of BTUs, starting around $279 (8,000 BTUs) and increasing to $349 (10,000 BTUs) and more.

Tags: HomeKit, GE
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28
Jun

Apple to Prevent iTunes Payment Info Changes on Very Old Versions of iOS, OS X, and Apple TV Software


Apple has announced that, starting June 30, customers will no longer be able to change their iTunes or App Store payment information from devices running iOS 4.3.5 or earlier, OS X 10.8.5 or earlier, or Apple TV Software 4.4.4 or earlier.

In an email to customers who may be impacted, Apple said it is implementing this change to continue to ensure that their financial information is protected when they make purchases on the iTunes Store or App Store. For emphasis, this appears to be a proactive move, not the result of a security breach.

Given how old the affected software versions are, relatively few customers should be impacted by this move. iOS 4.3.5 and Apple TV Software 4.4.4 were both released in 2011, while macOS 10.8.5 was seeded in September 2013 as the final update to what was then called OS X Mountain Lion.

If you’re using one of these versions on your device and need to change your payment method, Apple says to update your device to the latest version of the software. Of course, this may not be possible on older devices that have been phased out, in which case a newer device with newer software must be used.

The full email to customers courtesy of MacRumors reader Rich:

On June 30, 2018, Apple will implement changes to continue to ensure your financial data is protected when you make purchases on the iTunes Store or App Store.

Our records show that you may be accessing the store from an older version of iOS, macOS, or Apple TV software:

– iOS 4.3.5 or earlier
– macOS 10.8.5 or earlier
– Apple TV Software 4.4.4 or earlier

To be able to change your payment information with devices running the software listed above, you’ll need to update to a more recent software version.

The email was also shared on Reddit.

Apple provides more details, instructions on how to update to the latest version of iOS, macOS, and Apple TV software, and steps to change your payment method, in a support document related to this change.

Tags: App Store, Mac App Store
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28
Jun

Apple Pay Promo Offers 20% Off TGI Fridays Pickup Orders Through July 8


This week’s Apple Pay promotion is offering customers the chance to save on their Fourth of July dinners with 20 percent off from restaurant chain TGI Fridays. If you use Apple Pay to checkout in the TGI Fridays iOS app, select the order for pickup, and use the promo code APPLE20, you’ll get 20 percent off your meal through Sunday, July 8.

Apple’s new promotion encourages users to get out and shop to prepare for their Fourth of July celebrations, suggesting stores like Trader Joe’s, Party City, BevMo!, Hannaford Supermarkets, and BJ’s Wholesale Club, all of which support Apple Pay. The email also mentions Apple Pay support at ACE Hardware, where users can find supplies for summer projects.

The last few Apple Pay promotions have been themed around summer activities as well, offering customers the chance to save money on new Adidas shoes to wear during summer workouts, and two free bike rides with the ofo app. Apple tends to theme its weekly promotions around big holidays or events when they happen, offering $5 off movie tickets with Fandango in celebration of the Oscars and a free Postmates Unlimited subscription for holiday dinners last November.

Tag: Apple Pay promo
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