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30
Jun

How to Access Control Center and Home Screen in iOS 12 With the iPad’s New Gestures


Apple in iOS 11 revamped the iPad’s interface and changed the way we interact with the tablet through a new Dock, a revamped App Switcher, and Drag and Drop, and with iOS 12, further iPad changes have been implemented.

There are new gestures to learn for accessing the Home screen, App Switcher, and the Control Center, along with a new status bar and some new multitasking capabilities, which we’ve outlined below.

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The new iPad gestures are identical to the gestures on the iPhone X, with Apple preparing us for the elimination of the Home button in future iPad models. Rumors suggest upcoming iPad Pro models will feature a TrueDepth camera system and Face ID rather than a traditional Touch ID Home button.

If you use an iPhone X, the new iPad gestures will be familiar to you, but if you don’t, it could take a bit of time to get used to.

Dock Changes: Getting to the Home Screen and App Switcher

In iOS 11, when you wanted to access the Home screen from within an app, you would press the Touch ID Home button. That’s still true, but you can also now get to the Home screen when you swipe up from the bottom of the display, as demoed in the video above.

When in an app, swiping up from the bottom of the screen takes you right to the Home screen rather than just bringing up the iPad Dock within an app.

The iPad’s Home screen. Get here with one quick swipe on the Dock.
To get to the Dock to open more than one app for multitasking purposes, you need to do a swipe and a slight hold hold rather than just a swipe at the bottom inch of the screen while you have an app open already.

The iPad Dock in an app. A quick swipe brings you to the Home screen, but a swipe and a hold brings up the Dock in an app.
If you swipe and hold a bit higher on the screen, you can access the App Switcher on the iPad for quickly swapping between apps or closing apps, which is done with a swipe upwards on an app card. This gesture works both within apps and at the Home screen.

The iOS 12 iPad App Switcher, accessible with a longer swipe and hold on the Dock, either at the Home screen or within an app.

Getting to Control Center

Control Center in iOS 11 was paired with the App Switcher and was accessible by swiping up on the Dock, but that gesture now opens the App Switcher alone without providing access to Control Center.

Getting to Control Center is now done by swiping downwards from the right portion of the status bar, where it displays your battery life and Wi-Fi/Cellular connection.


All other gestures on the iPad remain the same, such as a swipe downwards from the top middle of the display to bring up your notifications and a swipe to the right to get to the Today section for widget access, but there are other iPad improvements worth noting in iOS 12.

iPad Status Bar

The iPad’s status bar has been redesigned in iOS 12, and it now resembles the status bar of the iPhone X. The date and time are listed on the left hand side of the status bar, while battery life and Wi-Fi/Cellular signal and connection are displayed on the right hand side.


The middle of the display, where the date was previously shown, is left open, perhaps for a future notch. Prior to iOS 12, the iPad’s status bar did not show the date, so that’s also a new addition.

Spacebar Trackpad

When typing on the iPad, if you press and hold with one finger on the space bar, it turns the keyboard into a trackpad to make it easier to navigate through a document and move the cursor.


This is a feature that has been available on iPhones with 3D Touch and on the iPad with two fingers, but in iOS 12, it’s simpler to use. Two fingers also continues to work.

Multitasking

On newer iPads with 2GB+ RAM, multitasking has been tweaked somewhat. While in iOS 11 you could have a maximum of two apps working simultaneously, on iOS 12, you can have three.

To use three apps at once, pair two apps in Split View with a Slide Over window. In this mode, all three apps are active, and while it’s true that the Slide Over window is going to block most of the second Split View window, you can still scroll through and use all three apps.

Multitasking in iOS 12. Note that all three windows are active.
That is not true of iOS 11, where opening up a Slide Over window in Split View would deactivate the two Split View apps until the Slide Over window was dismissed.

iOS 11 multitasking. Note that the Slide Over window deactivates the two Split View apps.
Multitasking gestures in iOS 12 have not changed. Pull an app up from the dock and to the left or the right of the display to enter Split View mode, or pull an app over an existing app to enter Slide Over mode.

More Info

iOS 12 will be released to the public in the fall alongside new iPhones, but it is available in a beta capacity to developers and anyone who wants to become a public beta tester. iOS 12 should not be installed on a primary device because betas can introduce serious bugs, and make sure to create a backup before updating to the new software.

For more information on the new features that are coming in iOS 12, make sure to check out our iOS 12 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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30
Jun

The Foreo UFO can fit into your makeup bag and your busy lifestyle



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Ask any beauty junkie, and they’ll likely tell you face masks are the answer to all your skincare problems. Face masks require you to set aside some time, which can be therapeutic in a busy week, but it can also be tough to squeeze them into your schedule. That’s where the Foreo UFO comes in. Now available for purchase, the UFO promises all the benefits of face masks, but within a speedy 90 seconds.

We took the UFO for a spin to see if it’s effective, and if it’s worth replacing your face masks.

Compact, but an odd shape

Foreo is no stranger to the skincare space. Known mainly for its Luna facial cleansing brushes and ISSA electric toothbrushes, the UFO fits right into the company’s lineup of devices with the same silicone material, as well as a compact body. While the UFO can replace the entire ecosystem of face masks — whether that’s cream, clay, gel, or exfoliating masks — it’s meant as an alternative to sheet masks. Since each treatment is simply a shrunken version of the sheet mask, you no longer have to place a face-shaped piece of paper over your face, and wait for the product to soak in over time.

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The UFO does have a steep price tag, compared to sheet masks, but the simple setup and quick execution had us easily incorporating it into our skincare routine. Whenever our skin felt dull or dehydrated, it was quick and easy to feel refreshed with the UFO, even if our schedule was jam-packed.

The circular device is small enough that it fits comfortably in the palm of a hand, and the silicone around the body helps with the grip. One side is flat, and this is where the magic happens, whereas the other side has a ribbed, metal texture with the Foreo logo, purely for show. On the flat side, you’ll find a plastic outer ring that detaches — this is where you add the sheet mask. The sheet mask is shaped similarly to the UFO, allowing you to easily line it up correctly and re-attach the ring back to the UFO’s body with the thin mask in between. Since the sheet mask is soaked in product, the ring can also become quite slippery. It’s important to make sure the ring is turned upward though (with the Foreo logo facing you) otherwise, you’ll have trouble securing it.

It was quick and easy to feel refreshed with the UFO, even if our schedule was jam-packed.

The main qualm we have about the UFO’s design is its shape. Since it’s just a flat object you’re moving in a circular motion around your face, it’s difficult to distribute the product evenly on places like the nose. With regular sheet masks, this isn’t a problem since it hugs all parts of your face. The UFO does feel a bit heavy out of the box, but it’s not noticeable once you start using it. We would’ve liked to see the UFO modeled after its LUNA facial cleansing brush, which curves just the right amount that allows for you to reach those tougher parts of the face.

In terms of travel and storage purposes, the UFO is still light and compact enough to carry around in a purse, or keep in your bathroom mirror shelf.

Using the UFO

The UFO connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and the Foreo UFO Beauty Tech app, which is available in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. You’ll have to pair the UFO with your smartphone each time you want to use it with the app, which is inconvenient, but the app lets you see how much time is left for your session; they all last 90 seconds. You can also control the T-Sonic pulsations, temperature, and the LED lights emitted from the device.

There are two kinds of masks at the moment — “Call It a Night” and “Make my Day” — and the treatments are slightly different for each. There will be different types of masks in the future, but you’ll need to activate each one by scanning the barcode on the back of the mask’s packaging. It instantly syncs to the app’s library of available masks, and tells the UFO which treatment to start. The UFO will then begin to work its magic, massaging the product from the sheet mask into your skin in circular motions. When the UFO was done after 90 seconds, we patted the remaining product to make sure it was fully absorbed.

You can also use the UFO without the app. One short press of the power button will automatically activate the day treatment mask and a second press will activate the night mask. The device will automatically turn off to indicate the treatment is done.

The pulsations and light therapy were far more gentle, leaving my skin feeling refreshed, plump, and soothed.

Between the two, the night mask is a lot rougher — its T-Sonic pulsations vibrate more harshly, and the thermo-therapy mode (which is what opens up the pores to allow the ingredients to seep into the skin) was a bit too hot for my sensitive skin. I preferred the morning mask. The pulsations and light therapy were far more gentle, leaving my skin feeling refreshed, plump, and soothed.

The plumpness of my skin is attributed to one of its main ingredients highlighted in the Make my Day mask — hyaluronic acid.

“Hyaluronic acid is a molecule in the skin that retains water, so it keeps the skin nice, supple, and full,” Natalie Yin, M.D. and chief resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital, told Digital Trends. “[It’s] a component in a lot of skincare products, but it’s also a component of skin fillers. So, [it’s] what we use to inject of build up the skin and try to redeem the youthful appearance. So, there’s really good evidence that by replacing the hyaluronic acid you can have this anti-aging effect.”

Other ingredients in both masks include ginseng which tightens and brightens skin, along with red algae that’s used to strengthen the skin barrier and is also an antioxidant that helps to neutralize damaging free radicals. Lastly, there’s also olive oil, which Dr. Dennis Gross, dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology, recommends to take precaution using it in abundance.

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“I would avoid using too much olive oil,” Gross told Digital Trends. “It is heavy and does not absorb into skin very well, causing acne. It sits on the skin’s surface, creating a thick layer, clogging pores.”

But when used sparingly, Gross explained that it’s another hydrating ingredient that contains antioxidants.

As for whether the UFO works on my skin, I can say that after using it a few times a week (switching off between morning and night) my skin feels more hydrated and smooth — especially with how easily my makeup glides on. I did see a bit of redness after using the night mask, so those who have sensitive skin may not want to use it too often or should make sure to turn the heat settings off, and to turn the red LED light settings up (which helps to reduce inflammation).

I was able to complete a Foreo UFO session, with time for my normal routine, all within the usual 10 minute cap each morning. You can’t do that with a sheet mask.

The UFO has allowed me to incorporate what feels like a facial into my quick skincare routine.

I do, however, know that it has allowed me to incorporate what feels like a facial into my quick skincare routine. Living in an apartment with one bathroom and two other roommates, time in the bathroom needs to be spent quickly and wisely. I was able to complete a Foreo UFO session, with time left to brush my teeth and complete my normal skincare routine, all within the usual 10 minute cap each morning. You can’t do that with a sheet mask.

Foreo recommends that you wash the UFO after each use — for hygienic purposes — as it can get a bit messy. The masks do seep out excess product onto the the UFO’s body, but it’s easy to clean up by running the UFO under the sink since it’s waterproof. You do need to charge the UFO as well, but thankfully the battery doesn’t drain quickly at all. It takes about two and a half hours to charge the UFO up to a full battery, which then delivers up to 40 uses.

Foreo app needs a bit of improvement

Foreo recently updated its beauty app with the ability to control the settings on the UFO. After registering the mask, you have the ability to adjust the T-Sonic pulsations (1 being the lowest vibrations, 10 being the highest), which LED lights you want turned on and how high, along with whether you want the device to cool or heat your skin or if you want it turned off completely.

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While controlling the different options is simple, the doesn’t save your settings for each specific mask. You have to manually change them each time you start a treatment, even if it has been used before. For instance, when I noticed the night mask was too hot for my skin and the vibrations were too rough, I was able to adjust it so that the treatment felt comfortable. But when I used it again a few days later, I spent most of the treatment trying to figure out what I had set it to last time — which takes the “relaxation” out of the entire process. It’d be nice if a future update allowed users to save preferred settings for each mask type.

Is it worth the cost?

At $280, the Foreo UFO is expensive, especially since you can purchase traditional sheet masks for incredibly low prices. You also need to continue purchasing UFO sheet masks, which cost $10 for seven masks. If you use the UFO once a week, that leaves you with three face masks to spare for the next month. In comparison to purchasing four traditional sheet masks per month — at about $6 each — you’ll be paying about $6 more for the Foreo masks each month in addition to purchasing the UFO for the first year.

After that, it’ll add up to about a couple dollars extra per month — but that’s only if you’re purchasing the cheapest face masks available. There are traditional face masks on the market as expensive as $135. If you frequently use face masks, it just may make financial sense to go for the UFO in the long run. For a cheaper alternative, Foreo will soon be releasing the UFO Mini — for $190 — the only difference is that it doesn’t include the LED light therapy feature.

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30
Jun

Try before you travel — Kayak launches virtual reality exploration tool



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The practice of trying before buying is coming to travel booking with virtual reality in tow. This week, Kayak launched the new Kayak VR, an app for Google Daydream that allows travelers to “visit” a location before booking it.

Kayak calls the new VR app a way to “test drive” a city from home, both to choose a location before booking a flight and to find out what to see once you get there. The app pairs 360 visual content with an audio tour of the different landscapes. As well as exploring local hotspots, the tool also allows users to virtually explore hotels.

Inside Daydream, Kayak VR offers a few different ways to explore. One, virtual travelers can use the trackpad to move around the scene while listening to that audio tour. Or, another view option is to use the app’s stereophonic sound, a mode that adapts to the where you are looking within the scene.

Exploring new locations remotely is a popular use for virtual reality, but Kayak pairs that exploration with travel tips as well as travel trends related to the area. Inside Kayak VR, onscreen information will tell viewers what landmark they are looking at, as well as details. Unlike surfing edited Instagram shots, the app gives travelers an idea of the scale and, well, that 360 look behind the actual landmark may offer an idea of tourist-filled the destination is.

The app is the travel giant’s first foray into VR. And as a travel platform, the app is designed for pre-exploration, not to serve as a replacement for actually being there. “But, let’s get this straight,” the company writes in the announcement. “Kayak VR is just a research tool that lets you try a city on for size before booking. Because nothing beats actually touching down in a new city and experiencing it for yourself.”

The app launched with two cities to start with — Venice, Italy, and Kathmandu, Nepal — on Google Play. As the first prototype of the app, that destination list will likely expand if the app sees success.

Kayak VR joins the platform’s list of different tech tools for travel, including the group trip planner, Trip Huddle, along with a recent feature to look for claims for delayed flights. Kayak also has Desktop Escape, an app that explores destinations through photos.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Plan group trips without annoying group texts with Kayak Trip Huddle
  • Vacation and chill: The best virtual destinations to ‘visit’ this Memorial Day
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  • The 100 best iPad apps for your Apple tablet
  • Kayak now notifies delayed air travelers of compensation with the Service app



30
Jun

Instagram ‘music stickers’ could help to spice up your Stories


Instagram

If you’ve ever wanted to spice up your Instagram Stories with a soundtrack, you’re in luck. After code inside the app suggested the option to add a soundtrack to Stories earlier this year, Instagram officially launched music stickers on June 28. Along with adding an audible sticker, Instagram also launched a new tool that plays background music as you record a new video.

Music stickers offer a way for Instagrammers to choose a track from a database that can then be played with a Story. Instagram Stories let users build a sequence of images and video from the previous 24 hours, with the content excluded from followers’ feeds, instead appearing at the top of the display. The sticker plays the music while viewers are looking at your Story, and also displays a credit to the artist.

To add music to a Story, tap on the stickers icon and then click the music sticker. A new pop up will display the different songs now built into the social network. Instagrammers can browse by popular songs, moods, and genres, or use the search tool. After selecting a song, you can also jump to a specific spot in the song, say, if you only want the chorus or a particular line to play in your Story.

A second similar new feature introduces a video recording mode that adds a soundtrack from a selected song. Inside Instagram’s camera, a swipe over to the new mode called Music will open a similar song library. Unlike the Stories option, the camera mode will play the music as you record to get that song in the background.

The feature is made possible thanks to parent-company Facebook recently inking deals with the major record labels. In March, for example, Facebook struck a deal with Warner Music Group that will allow users to share its music in videos and messages. The record label controls the catalogs of a slew of high-profile artists, among them Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and The Rolling Stones.

When Warner struck its recent deal with Facebook in March, the record label’s executive vice president of global strategy, Eric Mackay, commented that its extensive catalog of music tracks “will be represented throughout Facebook’s platforms … to create new opportunities for both our songwriters and Facebook’s users.”

Music stickers are already rolling out to Instagram users in 51 countries. The Music video mode, however, is heading out to iOS users first with an Android update to follow.

If you’re yet to get to grips with Instagram Stories, be sure to check out Digital Trends’ useful guide.

Updated on June 29: Added Instagram’s official announcement of music stickers.

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  • Instagram finally (sort of) gets that share button in the form of stickers
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  • Upload Stories faster — or preview the entire thing — with new Instagram tools



30
Jun

AT&T’s ultra-affordable new WatchTV streaming service is now available


Earlier this month, AT&T unveiled WatchTV, a streaming service with a relatively small channel count that can be had at a low monthly price and is even free if you have certain AT&T wireless plans. As of Friday, June 29, the service is now live, AppleInsider reports, and if you’re looking for an affordable streaming service but don’t need too many channels, it looks like this might be just the thing for you.

The service currently offers 31 channels, which include many of the channels you find on most streaming services out there. The list includes A&E, AMC, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies. The vast majority of the channels are owned by Time Warner, which makes sense considering AT&T’s recent acquisition of Time Warner.

Not all of the channels are Time Warner-owned, and six Viacom channels — BET, Comedy Central, MTV2, Nicktoons, TeenNick, and VH1 — are planned for the future, but using as many channels from Time Warner as possible is likely helping AT&T keep the costs down. This is why users of AT&T wireless plans with unlimited data get the service for free, while anyone else pays just $15 per month, which is even cheaper than rival streaming service Philo, which offers many of the same channels.

Also like Philo, you won’t find any sports or local channels here, which again is likely to help keep the service’s costs low. If you use AT&T’s new &More wireless plan, you will be able to choose either HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, or Starz to add to your service. You can also choose from non-TV options, like Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium, or VRV.

WatchTV offers on-demand content as well, with more than 15,000 movies. There are two streams available, so people can watch on up to two devices at once, but there are no DVR features. Considering how long AT&T is taking to bring DVR functionality to DirecTV Now, it doesn’t seem likely that they will be added anytime soon.

Currently, AT&T WatchTV is available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV devices. There is no word on whether other devices like Roku will be supported in the future.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Everything to know about Philo, the latest live TV streaming service
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  • Sling TV’s Cloud DVR is now on almost all of the service’s supported devices



30
Jun

Watch this robot tiptoe over stepping stones with human-like grace and agility


Ever see a kid walking across stepping stones in a park? Even if the stepping stones are an uneven distance apart and at slightly varying heights, this is a skill that most children have picked up at just a few years old. By the time we’re adults, the ability to swiftly walk or even run over this kind of terrain is something the majority of people can do without a second thought. But it’s not an easy task for robots — since it requires very precise foot placement in which even small errors can lead to potential falls.

A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University, including Professor Koushil Sreenath, Ayush Agrawal, and Quan Nguyen, may have cracked it, however. They have developed control algorithms which allows a human-scale bipedal ATRIAS robot, originally designed and built by the Oregon State University Dynamic Robotics Laboratory, to dynamically and swiftly walk over a random terrain composed of stepping stones.

“In this work, we demonstrate the capabilities of our control algorithms to be able to achieve precise footstep placement over stepping stones, with varying step lengths and step heights, on a human scale bipedal robot,” Agrawal told Digital Trends. “Walking over discrete terrain, such as stairways or wooded paths, safely and robustly is critical for legged robots as this allows for them to be deployed in applications — for example in search and rescue, in space exploration, or as personal robots at homes.”

To create their control algorithms, the researchers first built a library of periodic gaits for walking at different step lengths and heights, through a process referred to as trajectory optimization. They then created feedback control policies to allow the robot to dynamically use this knowledge even when it only has access to information about the stepping stone immediately in front of it. The robot is able to negotiate step lengths between 30 cm and 65 cm, and height variations of 20 cm.

“Enabling a robot to place its foot on a stepping stone at the end of the step is very much similar to enabling an autonomous car to stay within a lane,” Sreenath told us. “Both these are examples of safety-critical constraints. Even small violations in these constraints could result in catastrophic consequences. We use results from feedback control theory to guarantee these safety constraints.”

At present, the robots do not have onboard sensors such as cameras or LIDAR, and have to be told the information about the step right in front of them. In the future, however, the researchers hope to combine this work with computer vision research to develop a completely autonomous system.

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30
Jun

Scientists can 3D print human heart tissue now. The future is here


BIOLIFE4D

Long term, the goal of 3D bioprinting is to be able to 3D print fully functioning organs which can be used to replace the failing biological organs of humans in need of a transplant. That may still be years off, but Chicago-based biotech startup Biolife4D this week announced a major new milestone: Its ability to bioprint human cardiac tissue.

The scientific landmark followed shortly after the company opened a new research facility in Houston. It involved the printing of a human cardiac patch, containing multiple cell types which make up the human heart. It could one day be used to help treat patients who have suffered acute heart failure in order to restore lost myocardial contractility, the ability of the heart to generate force for pumping blood around the body.

“The cardiac patch that we printed demonstrated two major advancements,” Steven Morris, CEO of Biolife4D, told Digital Trends. “First, it demonstrated Biolife4D’s ability to take a patient’s own blood cells, reprogram them back into stem cells, reprogram them again to make the different type of cells which we need to 3D bioengineer our human heart viable for transplant, and then successfully 3D bioprint with those cells to make living human heart tissue. Second, this is the first time that a cardiac patch was 3D bioprinted that contains multiple cell types of which the human heart is made, and includes preliminary vascularization — all of which are needed to make a functional patch and to keep it alive after the bioprinting process.”

Given the potential life-saving ability of this technology, Biolife4D is far from alone in working toward this bioprinting goal. However, Morris noted that, while other companies have previously made similar patches, none have included each of the cell types which make up the heart, along with the vascularization needed to allow the body to nourish the cells and remove their waste products. “You can think of it like this is the first time all of the proper ingredients were used to properly make the recipe,” he continued.

Going forward, Biolife4D hopes to continue developing the patch in order to start preclinical testing in around six months. They will also continue with the broader project of printing a functioning human-scale heart by focusing on 3D bioprinting other components, such as valves, blood vessels, and a working mini-heart.

Editors’ Recommendations

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30
Jun

You can now sign up for the $15/month AT&T WatchTV


You get 31 channels and access to 15,000+ on-demand shows.

A few days after it was first announced on June 21, AT&T’s officially launched its WatchTV streaming service.

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For just $15/month with no annual contract, WatchTV gives you access to 31 live channels and 15,000+ shows and movies you can watch on-demand. Big names like Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, and TBS are on WatchTV from day one, and coming soon, the service will add Comedy Central, VH1, BET, and more.

At launch, WatchTV has official apps for Android, iOS, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. For the time being, there are no Roku or Android TV apps.

Anyone can sign up for WatchTV starting today, and if you’re an AT&T Unlimited & More subscriber, you can link your account to get WatchTV for free.

See at WatchTV

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30
Jun

Maxboost Google Pixel 2 Wallet Case review: Cheap, stylish, and functional


Maxboost’s case holds three cards, cash, and nice faux leather finish.

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No matter who you are, chances are you’ve got a wallet for storing your plastic/cash and a case for keeping your phone safe while on the go. These two things work great on their own, but if you want to live an ultra-minimalistic life, picking up a wallet case gives you the freedom of never having to carry a wallet again while still having a safe place for your money, ID, etc.

If you’ve got a Pixel 2, the Maxboost Wallet Case aims to combine your phone case and wallet into one single accessory for a little more than $10. It’s an exciting proposition, but how well does it work in the real world?

Maxboost Google Pixel 2 Wallet Case



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Price: $12.99

Bottom line: This case can easily replace your regular wallet — as long as you don’t carry a ton of cards and don’t mind some added bulk.

The Good

  • Has three card slots and a pocket for storing your cash
  • Faux leather finish looks and feels nice
  • Magnetic clasp works well
  • Can’t beat the price

The Bad

  • Only comes in one color
  • Adds a lot of bulk

See at Amazon

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A great solution for people that hate carrying a wallet

Maxboost Pixel 2 Wallet Case What I like

Wallet cases are faced with the challenge of acting as both a good case and wallet, and for the most part, Maxboost pulls this off quite well.

In regards to being a case, there’s a silicone sleeve the Pixel 2 sits in that offers protection against unwanted drops and bumps. The entire phone is obviously protected when the case is closed, but thanks to the raised edges from the silicone section, your Pixel 2’s screen is still protected even if you drop it while using it.

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The cutouts for the rear camera and fingerprint sensor line up perfectly and Maxboost even has holes on the front so you can still appreciate the Pixel 2’s front-facing speakers even when everything’s closed up.

On the wallet side of things, Maxboost’s case does well here, too. There are three individual slots for storing credit/debit cards, in addition to a pocket underneath them for housing cash or more cards. Even when you’ve got all of these slots filled up, the magnetic clasp does a great job at holding everything together.

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The cost of going two-in-one

Maxboost Pixel 2 Wallet Case What I don’t like

As with most things that try to be an all-in-one solution, however, the Maxboost Wallet Case does falter in a couple areas.

One of my biggest gripes with the case is how much bulk it adds to the Pixel 2. Even before you add any cards to the case, it makes the Pixel 2 considerably thicker. When you add cards and cash, it only gets worse.

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Also, while the Pixel 2 is one of the few phones in 2018 that can be comfortably used with one hand, that’s immediately taken away with this case. The magnetic clasp grabs onto the cover when you flip it all the way around to try and remedy this, but this still feels awkward. If you don’t flip the cover around, you’re left with the clasp awkwardly in between your fingers while trying to use your phone.

Lastly, I’d love Maxboost to add some additional colors. The black paint job with the white stitching doesn’t look bad by any means, but a few more options would be greatly appreciated.

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Maxboost Pixel 2 Wallet Case

Even with those gripes in mind, the Maxboost Wallet Case is still worth checking out. If you’re someone that already doesn’t carry a ton of cash and/or cards and wants a cheap, reliable case to replace your wallet, Maxboost might have what you’re looking for.

4
out of 5


I’m not particularly fond of how unwieldy the case can make the Pixel 2 at times, but considering it might allow you to never have to bring a wallet with you ever again, that’s a sacrifice I’m sure many of you are willing to make.

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30
Jun

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rumors: Release date, specs, price, and features!


Here’s everything we know about the Galaxy Note 9!

Now more than ever, Samsung’s Galaxy S+ phones are becoming eerily similar to the Note series. The Note used to be Samsung’s way of touting all of the latest and greatest tech it had to offer, and while this is still the case, the same can be said for this year’s Galaxy S9+.

Samsung needs more than just the S Pen to make the Note 9 stand out from its own phones and the rest of the competition, and luckily, all signs are pointing to something exciting for this year’s release. Here’s what we know so far!

June 29, 2018 — Note 9 hands-on hints at 2-day battery life, up to 8GB RAM, and more

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Eldar Murtazin has built a name for himself as one of the top dogs in the mobile industry, and after going hands-on with a Note 9 prototype recently, he shared some highlights about what we can expect from the phone.

Murtazin notes that the Note 9 is quite a bit heavier than the Note 8, and while the exact battery capacity isn’t mentioned, he says that he was able to get around 23 to 25 hours of video playback at max brightness before needing to charge up and aroudn 1-2 days of regular use.

RAM and storage will start out at 6GB and 128GB, respectively, but Samsung will also offer 8GB + 256GB and 8GB + 512GB variants. The display is also said to be more visible in direct sunlight and comes with an upgraded Always On Display (though this could be pushed back to the Galaxy S10 if it’s not ready in time).

As for the S Pen, Murtazin reports that it’ll support Bluetooth connectivity, new work modes, and will be able to remotely unlock the Note 9.

June 27, 2018 — Official launch event set for August 9

Samsung put an end to at least part of the speculation surrounding the Note 9 when it announced an Unpacked event in New York City for August 9, using a teaser image that shows a tight-in shot of an S Pen’s button. The August 9 date was previously rumored, as was the location of NYC.

That’s a couple weeks earlier than the Note 8 event last year, but a week later than the Note 7 event the year prior. This is right in the time frame where Samsung likes to get its stylus-toting phones out into the world.

What will the Galaxy Note 9 look like?

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Quick answer — a lot like the Note 8.

We’ve seen one collection of renders for the Note 9 so far (pictured above), and save for the fingerprint sensor being moved below the rear camera sensor, the phone’s shaping up to be nearly identical to last year’s model.

As such, we can expect a large Infinity Display with slim bezels, an all-glass back, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Samsung’s event teaser suggests that we’ll get at least one bright yellow color option, but I’m still crossing my fingers the Galaxy S9’s Burgundy Red gets a wide release on the Note 9 🤞.

What specs can we look forward to?

Samsung’s Galaxy Note phones are always home to some of the best specs around, and the Note 9 shouldn’t be any different.

Based on the current rumor mill and what we’ve seen from other 2018 flagships, here’s what we think we’ll see this year.

Operating system Android Oreo
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810
Screen 6.3-inch Quad HD (2960 x 1440) Super AMOLED panel 18.5:9 aspect ratio
RAM 6GB / 8GB
Storage 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Expandability microSD up to 2TB
Battery 4,000 mAh
Connectivity USB-C 3.5mm headphone jack
Security Fingerprint sensor Iris scanning Face unlock
NFC Yes

When will the Galaxy Note 9 be released?

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The Galaxy Note 9 will be announced on August 9, 2018, at an Unpacked event in New York City.

We can expect retail availability to come in a 1-2 week time frame after the announcement, if any previous launches are any indication.

How much will the Galaxy Note 9 cost?

Pricing for the Note series has steadily been going up each year, as has the majority of the smartphone industry.

The Galaxy Note 8 costs $950 unlocked, and I’d expect the Note 9 to cost either the same or slightly more. Apple proved with the iPhone X that people aren’t afraid to shell out $1000+ for a new smartphone, and I don’t consider it to be out of the question for Samsung to follow suit with the Note 9 – especially if it adopts newer technologies like an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+: Everything you need to know!

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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  • Galaxy Note 8 review
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Updated: June 29, 2018: Updated the spec sheet to coincide with latest rumors.

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