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6
Sep

Satechi Launches New Wired and Wireless Aluminum Keyboards Designed for iMac and iMac Pro


Satechi today announced the launch of two new keyboards that have been designed for use with the iMac and iMac Pro.

The Aluminum Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard and the Aluminum USB Wired Keyboard offer up enhanced scissor switch keys and an extended keyboard layout with full numeric keypads. Each of the keyboards is available in silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold to match Apple’s lineup of Mac devices.

There are built-in hotkeys designed for macOS that are able to play/pause media, switch between applications, adjust brightness, adjust volume, search, and more.


With the Aluminum Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard, up to three devices can be connected at once with three buttons available for quick switching between them. It features a built-in USB-C port for recharging the battery, which Satechi says has enough capacity for 80 hours of uninterrupted work. The keyboard can continue to be used while charging with a USB-C connection.


The Aluminum USB Wired Keyboard connects to a USB-A port on an iMac or iMac Pro using an included USB-A cable and is ideal for those who prefer a wired connection to a Bluetooth connection.


The Aluminum Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard is priced at $79.99 and and the Aluminum USB Wired Keyboard is priced at $59.99.


Both of the keyboards can be purchased in silver today from the Satechi website or Amazon.com, while the space gray, gold, and rose gold options can be pre-ordered and will ship by the end of September.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Satechi and Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

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6
Sep

Opinion: Apple needs to modernize its antiquated annual app update routine


Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

While there are many things that set the two biggest mobile operating systems apart, something that’s often overlooked is the difference in Apple’s approach to system-level apps like Mail, Messages, and Photos compared to Google’s. When Apple updates iOS every year, it tends to cram everything in together, and much of what it highlights are app updates. By contrast, Google updates its major apps individually in a piecemeal fashion year-round.

If we look at the best features in iOS 12, we find group chat added to FaceTime, Animojis and other effects added to iMessage, a Maps app redesign, and updates to the Photo app, Voice Memos, Apple Books, and more. There are system-level upgrades in there too, like grouped notifications and better performance, but look at the last Android update and you’ll see it’s almost completely focused on those system-level features.

Google has broken its apps out of the Android operating system and updates them independently, frequently rolling new features into Google Maps, Chrome, Gmail, Google Photos, and many others. This is partly driven by Android fragmentation, as Google tries to find ways to bypass carriers and manufacturers dragging their feet with software updates to the main OS, but that’s not the whole story.

Why does Apple do it this way?

Apple likes to put on a show. The big annual event has been a mainstay of Apple’s mobile approach, though its roots go back further. Apple has been holding its annual WWDC developer conference since 1987, bolstered by special events for hardware unveilings. Steve Jobs understood the importance of showmanship and Apple has always been comfortable blowing its own trumpet, whereas Google’s approach is quiet and unassuming – it often releases app updates with a simple blog post.

Because Apple makes the hardware and the software, there are no barriers to it creating close ties between apps and the OS. It is often suggested that this allows for greater speed and efficiency, so they work more smoothly together. This is true of the relationship between hardware and software, which is why Google has taken that direction with its Pixel phones, but it’s not necessarily true with apps and the OS. There are some definite disadvantages, which we’ll get to in a minute.

When Apple updates iOS every year, it tends to cram everything in together and much of what it highlights is app updates.

You could also make an argument that Apple does it this way because it wants to force you to use its own apps. It doesn’t really want you using Google Maps instead of its own Maps app. Although you can delete many built-in Apple apps now – a feature that was much requested for years before it arrived — any replacements you employ will not enjoy the same level of integration with Siri and other system settings.

Another reason Apple bundles everything into an annual update is because that’s the way it has always been done. Software developers have traditionally packaged together all sorts of features into one big build, but tradition is a terrible reason to keep doing something the same way – progress relies on change.

We reached out to Apple for comment on this story, but Apple has yet to respond.

We should note, Apple occasionally (and we mean rarely) does introduce new features outside of the big OS update, such as when it debuted new features for its Clips app after the release of the iPhone X.

Is Apple’s approach antiquated?

If we view this briefly from a software development perspective, there’s no doubt we have moved collectively away from annual updates to continuous integration and delivery. The idea is we can integrate feedback and speed up improvement by making small, frequent changes. Tight coupling in software is unfashionable nowadays as everyone seems to be pursuing a modular approach that’s more flexible, scalable, and secure.

For the smartphone-toting public, it’s difficult to see how bundling updates is advantageous. Isn’t it better if new features, bug fixes, and improvements can be rolled out swiftly and independently into apps, instead of requiring a platform update? Now that you can delete and reinstall superfluous apps like Stocks, why aren’t they updated separately from iOS?

The rush to hit one big deadline and integrate, then properly test all the code from a disparate group of teams working on different apps can and does lead to problems. Serious bugs have been creeping into iOS more frequently in recent years. But if teams miss their deadline, they face the prospect of waiting a whole year to push out what they’ve been working on – no wonder they’re tempted to rush.

Serious bugs have been creeping into iOS more frequently in recent years.

Take a look at group Facetime, for example. It’s now being delayed for another version of iOS 12 (presumably iOS 12.1), but if Apple issued app updates regularly, the FaceTime team could simply push the feature out when it’s ready.

This bundling approach makes it harder to fix flaws, and there’s a risk that a rushed patch will introduce yet more bugs. It’s a lot of pressure to put on developers and that’s rarely conducive to quality – though Jobs would obviously disagree. He always ostensibly pushed for the impossible and often achieved it, through what biographer Walter Isaacson called his “reality distortion field.”

Perhaps the culture Jobs helped to build at Apple persists, but we’re getting back to tradition. Just because it has been done that way in the past doesn’t mean you should keep doing it that way. The balance between speed, features, and quality is a very tricky one to strike, and it’s impressive that Apple has managed it for such a long time, but there are signs that equilibrium may be slipping.

Is Google’s way better?

We’ve seen the arguments about the dangers of Android fragmentation many times and, while Google has tried to find ways to separate security patches and make them easier to apply, with some success, it would be fair to say that Apple devices are more likely to have the latest updates. What we rarely hear about in Android vs. iOS arguments is the impact of Google’s app updates for all Android users. When Google Maps gets a new feature – almost every Android device can immediately get that update.

If Apple rolls a new feature into a core app, only devices with the latest version of iOS can get it. While Apple does enjoy a far higher adoption rate for updates, let’s remember that Apple does leave devices behind, and that’s a problem that will only grow over time.

Neither platform is perfect, but Google’s approach seems more in tune with modern software development thinking. It also brings new app features into the hands of people as soon as they’re ready – instead of on an arbitrary date every year – and it should mean fewer bugs because there isn’t the same pressure to rush to meet a specific deadline.

Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding and we’d argue Google’s suite of apps, such as Gmail, Maps, and Photos, are stronger than Apple’s equivalents. Apple has some work to do to hit the same standard with its core apps, and the annual update system may be one of the things that’s holding it back.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • iOS 12’s best new features
  • WatchOS 4.0: Everything you need to know
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  • You can now search the Apple Store app using your voice
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6
Sep

ADT’s new cybersecurity suite adds four levels of digital protection


ADT continues to augment its traditional home and business security solutions with the announcement of Digital Security by ADT, a new cybersecurity service with four levels of digital protection in the home.

The new ADT security suite includes identity protection, dark web defense, a secure VPN, and home network protection.

At CES 2018 in January, where the company introduced a video doorbell and the ADT Go monitoring service, ADT also announced its intention to launch additional cybersecurity products this year. The Digital Security by ADT rollout fulfills that promise.

Augmenting ADT’s conventional home security alarm systems and 24/7 monitoring with digital products and services is a logical next step.

“With online threats occurring more often than ever before, our mission evolved to not only help protect the premises,” ADT CEO Tim Whall said in a statement, “but also people on the go and their network and digital identity.

“On average, cyberattacks are happening every 39 seconds, and Digital Security by ADT is an opportunity to extend the breadth and scale of our security monitoring to our customer’s personally identifiable information and network.”

Digital Security by ADT services:

ADT’s four cybersecurity service levels will roll out starting September 5 and during the next few months. Prices will range from $5 to $30 per month depending on the protection level.

  • Identity Protection — The only service available today, Identity Protection helps monitors credit activity and scores, public and criminal records, and address changes. If your identity is stolen, ADT has a fraud incident resolution feature with a theft expense reimbursement program.
  • Dark Web Defense — According to ADT, the Dark Web Defense service monitors both the public and private internet watching for any nefarious use of your personal information. As with Identity Protection, if the Dark Web Defense app alerts you of unapproved use of your identity, you can enlist ADT’s fraud resolution service.
  • Secure VPN — Shield your internet connection from crooks who want to hack into your system any reason with ADT’s virtual private network app.
  • Home Network Protection — ADT’s highest level digital security service includes the other three services plus an ADT-installed Norton Core secure Wi-Fi router to protect your home network and all connected devices.

ADT also partners with Samsung in the Samsung SmartThings ADT Home Security Kit, using ADT hardware in parallel with Samsung smart home devices. The new Digital Security by ADT differs from the ADT/Samsung home security kit by focusing on the digital home including user and network security, while the Home Security Kit monitors traditional property security threats such as break-ins, fire, water leaks, and carbon monoxide.

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6
Sep

Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 range supports Spanish-language FreeTime content


Amazon has taken the wraps off the latest revamp of its Fire HD 8 tablet range, and the improved tablets come with more storage than ever before, and complete hands-free Alexa support with a screen in standby. In addition, the new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition will also come with support for Spanish in FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited.

Tweaked tablets

Not much has changed between this generation of Fire HD 8 tablets and the 2017 Fire HD 8, with Amazon making only small changes to the overall formula. Like most of the Fire tablets, the new Fire HD 8 is made from a hardy plastic shell that’s — according to Amazon — twice as durable as the iPad Mini 4. The 8-inch screen runs a 1,280 x 800 display, and the tablet should run smoothly with a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5GB of RAM.

There’s been a slight boost in available storage over the last generation of Fire HD 8, and while the onboard storage options stay at 16GB or 32GB, the cap on expandable storage has been lifted to up to 400GB more via MicroSD card. As if that wasn’t enough, Amazon has also added the ability to save apps to expandable storage, helping to boost available storage significantly. That’s supported by a battery that Amazon claims will last for up to ten hours of mixed usage.

Alexa support is back, and she’s no longer tethered by the status of your screen. Unlike older generations of the Fire HD 8, users of the new Fire HD 8 will be able to trigger Alexa even while the screen is off, and will be able to ask her to play Audible books, answer questions, or control your smart home. Show Mode is included, too, and users will be able to set their Fire HD 8 up to show the latest news, weather, videos, and more.

A new Fire Kids Edition is also arriving, hand-in-hand with the new Fire HD 8. The improved Fire HD 8 Kids Edition comes with the 32GB model of the Fire HD 8, Amazon’s world-class parental controls, and a kid-proof case in blue, pink, or yellow. As usual, Amazon is so confident in its kid-proof case that the Kids Edition comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee that promises no-questions-asked replacements should your child break their tablet.

Pre-orders for the new Amazon Fire HD 8 range start today, and will ship from October 4. The standard tablet will start at $80, while a Show Dock to use with Show Mode will set you back another $40. Amazon is also offering a bundled tablet and dock for just $95. The Kids Edition comes with a tablet and case with prices starting at $130, but you can buy two at once for just $195.

FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited — en Español

As ever, the Kids Edition of the Fire HD 8 comes with a year’s worth of free subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service — but Amazon is expanding the reach of that service with the addition of over 1,000 books, apps, games, and more in Spanish, in addition to the 20,000 apps, books, and games available in English.

Whether fluent in or learning the U.S.’s second-largest language, kids will be able to access Spanish-translated versions of popular books and games like Harry Potter, Lego Ninjago, Minecraft, and more. As with all of Amazon’s FreeTime catalog, each has been hand-picked and tested to ensure that all available content is totally age appropriate.

A subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service costs $3 a month for Amazon prime members, or $5 a month for everyone else.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Dish’s devices just got easier to control with new Alexa voice commands
  • Cord-cutting 101: How to quit cable for online streaming video



6
Sep

How to buy a refurbished iPhone


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple’s iPhones are some of the best smartphones around, and they can last a long time when properly looked after, but they’re also very expensive. Stir these factors together and you get a roaring trade for used and refurbished iPhones.

When Apple releases a new line of iPhones many people upgrade, and they generally get rid of their old iPhones. We have guides on how to sell your smartphone and how to sell your iPhone specifically, but what if you’re looking to buy?

You could always take your chances buying directly from another individual, but it’s less risky to buy a refurbished device that comes with a warranty. That way, if something goes wrong with it, you have some chance of getting a replacement or a refund. We’ve looked at refurbished electronics before, but today we’re going to examine how to buy a refurbished iPhone.

What is a refurbished iPhone?

Because the term refurbished covers a lot of different scenarios, it’s important to take your time and understand what you’re buying. A refurbished iPhone is an iPhone that the manufacturer or a trader has tested and repaired where necessary. It should come with a warranty, but it may not have the original packaging or accessories, and it might have some signs of cosmetic damage.

Some refurbished iPhones will be devices owners returned because there was a fault or simply because they decided they didn’t want them. Others will have been used and then sold by the owner, perhaps to raise funds for a newer model.

To help buyers understand the difference, a grading system is often used. The precise meanings may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer or trader to trader, so read listings carefully, but these are generally accepted definitions:

  • Grade A — Near mint condition, so the iPhone should look like new.
  • Grade B — Minor cosmetic damage, such as light scratches, or small chips.
  • Grade C — Looks used with clear signs of wear.

Best places to buy

Trevor Mogg / DT

You can find deals on refurbished iPhones at a wide variety of retailers and carriers. There are also many online services that buy used iPhones and refurbish them for sale. You can also buy refurbished iPhones directly from Apple now in some countries, including the U.S.

Here are some of your top options with our thoughts on the pros and cons.

Buy a refurbished iPhone from Apple

Where better to buy your refurbished iPhone than Apple? Every handset is fully tested and in working order. They come with a brand-new battery fitted, a new outer shell, in a fresh white box. You get a 12-month warranty and Apple support is generally excellent if you should run into any problems. You also have the option of going into an Apple Store.

The downside to buying from Apple is the discounts tend to be quite shallow. You may only be saving $50 compared to a new device.

Buy a refurbished iPhone from a big retailer

Big stores like Walmart and Best Buy offer a wide range of refurbished iPhones and they tend to offer deeper discounts than the manufacturer. The iPhones they sell are fully tested and usually come with a cable and charger, but there’s no battery or outer shell replacement like Apple offers, so expect scratches and other signs that the device has been used.

A 12-month warranty is standard, but it may be provided by a third-party. You can sometimes get further discounts for picking your iPhone up from a local branch. That may also prove handy if you need to return it for any reason, but check the terms of the warranty to make sure you can take it back to the store where you bought it if something goes wrong. For example, Best Buy uses CCR Warranty and you’ll have to contact them about any issues.

Buy a refurbished phone from an online service

There are various services online like Gazelle, Decluttr, and Back Market that buy iPhones from people, refurbish them, and then sell them. You’ll often find bigger discounts here than the manufacturer or big box retailers will offer, but all iPhones are shipped and these services lack physical locations you can visit.

They all fully test iPhones and offer some details on the condition of the device you’re buying, but the specifics of their terms differ. For example, Decluttr offers a 12-month warranty and Back Market offers 6 months. With Gazelle, you get 30 days to change your mind and return postage is covered.

Buy a refurbished phone from your carrier

Carriers tend to prefer the term “certified pre-owned” for their refurbished wares, but they amount to the same thing. They fully test used iPhones and repair them where necessary. You’ll get a charger with each one, but there could be signs of wear and tear.

The discounts aren’t generally that good unless you go for an older device. There might be certain incentives and discount offers for existing customers and you can potentially pick up and return devices in store, however, warranties are usually limited to 90 days.

Best time to buy

Most people sell their old iPhones when Apple releases new iPhones and that’s in September every year. You’ll likely find the best deals between August and October. Lot’s of different factors impact the prices and they fluctuate daily, so it’s worth shopping around and doing your homework to find the best deal.

Always check the warranty

Selecting the right iPhone is about more than being happy with the price and condition — you must check the details of the warranty being offered. If your refurbished iPhone develops a fault, a good warranty allows you to arrange a replacement or refund. Look for a minimum 12-month warranty, make sure that you understand what is covered, and consider who is responsible — the retailer, trader, or manufacturer — as that’s who you’ll have to deal with if something does go wrong.

Keep in mind that even when you can return the iPhone for a replacement or refund, it will likely be your responsibility to pay for postage. You should also consider performing due diligence by checking out reviews of the service you’re considering using. Find out how other people’s experiences have been and what kind of customer service you can expect should you need it.

Now that you know how to buy a refurbished iPhone, it’s time to snag yourself a bargain.

Editors’ Recommendations

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6
Sep

AMD’s new gaming-ready Athlon processor starts at just $55


Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

AMD announced an affordable desktop processor with integrated graphics that’s made for gaming. With pricing starting at just $55, AMD described its Athlon 200GE as a reimagined chip that’s been “optimized for everyday PC users.” The dual-core Athlon 200GE comes in two SKUs — a general consumer release and an AMD Athlon Pro 200GE targeted at enterprise and business users.

Both the Pro and non-Pro variants share similar specs, with two cores and four threads, a base clock speed of 3.2GHz, and three graphics compute units. Neither variant comes with boost speeds, and AMD lists 5MB of cache for the Pro model. The main difference between the two variants is that the Pro version will benefit from commercial support and better manageability. The Athlon 200GE is a 35W processor that combines the dual-x86 Zen compute cores with AMD’s Radeon Vega graphics architecture for a system-on-chip design.

The chips are based on AMD’s Raven Ridge architecture, which combines CPU and GPU into what the company labels as its APU, or accelerated processing unit. The Athlon 200GE is unique in that unlike prior members of the Athlon family, the GPU portion isn’t disabled. AMD claims the chip is ready for advanced workloads, like high-definition gaming.

“It offers up to 67 percent more graphics performance and up to two times greater power efficiency, delivering 84 percent faster high-definition PC gaming than the competition,” AMD said in a statement. We’ll have to wait and see how AMD’s new Athlon processors benchmark and perform in real-world tests, but gamers looking for more performance may likely want to upgrade to AMD’s Ryzen series of processors. The Ryzen 3 2000G, for example, retails $100 currently and comes with a quad-core processor architecture and improved integrated Radeon Vega 8 graphics.

AMD’s new Athlon 200GE will likely compete against  Intel’s entry-level Pentium Gold G5400 processor, which debuted earlier this year. The Pentium G5400 comes with a similar dual-core and four-thread design processor design along with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 610. Intel’s chip has a base speed of 3.7GHz and comes with 4MB of cache, but it’s a less energy efficient processor at 58 watts. Intel’s model retails for $64. An upgraded Intel Gold G5600 processor retails for $88, and that chip comes with a slightly faster 3.9Ghz clock speed. Both Intel Pentium processors and AMD’s pair of Athlon 200GE CPUs are based on a 14nm design.

AMD also announced new 2nd-generation Ryzen Pro for commercial clients. The Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X and Ryzen 7 Pro 2700 come with an eight-core design with 16 threads. The 2700X is a 105-watt chip and has a 3.6GHz base speed, while the 2700 model is a 65-watt processor with a 3.2GHz base speed. Both the 2700 and 2700X have a boost speed of 4.1GHz. The AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2600 is a six-core chip with 12 threads that utilize a 65-watt design. That processor has a base speed of 3.4GHz and maximum boost speed of 3.9GHz,

Editors’ Recommendations

  • AMD’s new 32-core Ryzen Threadripper desktop CPU rips into wallets at $1,800
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  • Leak shows Intel’s 9th-gen Core i7 desktop CPU won’t have hyper-threading
  • AMD’s new 32-core Ryzen Threadripper chip is out, and you can get one for free
  • AMD’s next batch of Ryzen desktop CPUs may focus on better power efficiency



6
Sep

The new Logitech G Pro Hero looks familiar, but plays better than ever



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After two years of research and testing with more than fifty professional gamers, Logitech G is now making available its new family of “Pro” mice consisting of one wired version costing $70 and one wireless version selling for $150. Both models are based on the company’s latest optical sensor, the Hero16K, packing a sensitivity of up to 16,000 dots per inch. Yet, the wireless version is the only model in the duo sporting an ambidextrous design, catering to both left- and right-handed gamers.

The successor to Logitech’s Hero sensor (short for High Efficiency Rated Optical), the Hero16K packs “critical upgrades” over the previous generation to track at over 400 inches per second and support more than 40G of acceleration. The company says it set out to create a high-performance sensor that requires very little power, therefore requiring a smaller battery and enabling lighter form factors without sacrificing performance.

That said, both mice weigh around 2.93 ounces, feeling pleasantly light but not enough to see your hand suddenly take flight in the heat of battle. If you’re coming from the G903, the new Pro mice are both lighter and slimmer, feeling less bulky under your fingers. There are no gaping crevasses either as seen with the G903, which we find can lead to garbage collecting on the mouse switches, causing annoying clicking issues with the buttons.

Take or leave the wire

What’s interesting about the new G Pro and G Pro Wireless is that they’re not the same: Logitech didn’t simply rip out the wireless component and re-sell the resulting device at a lower price.

For starters, the wireless version includes the two click buttons, the mouse wheel and two buttons on each side. It ships with four button covers enabling you remove two of the unused side buttons and cover the openings. The DPI switch is actually a button on the bottom of the mouse providing five customizable settings. Three hidden LEDs mounted behind the top click buttons temporarily illuminate as you cycle through these settings.

The wired version isn’t quite so friendly with lefties. It also feels and appears less rounded, using a flatter, boxier shape in its overall design. With this version, the DPI button resides behind the mouse wheel, joining your standard left- and right-click buttons along with two permanent thumb buttons on the left side. The added bonus is that this mouse provides an illuminated, customizable RGB strip running along the side and around the back of the palm area.

logitech g502 pro gaming mouse review g new

Both, then, have their pluses and minuses. But if you’re a long-time wired PC gamer who snubbed wireless peripherals over the years, you may need to make a double-take with Logitech’s latest efforts. The company’s Lightspeed wireless technology aims to bring wired-like connectivity to your twitchy gaming with speeds as fast as one millisecond. Of course, the higher your polling rate the faster you’ll drain the battery. But if you own the PowerPlay system, that really won’t matter.

The Logitech G Pro Gaming Mouse is one of the few peripherals that support the company’s wireless charging station. Just slap the magnetic charging puck into the socket under the mouse, and you’re good to go. If you don’t own PowerPlay, this socket is a good place to store the Pro’s provided Mini USB dongle. This mouse also ships with a USB cable sporting the company’s proprietary forked connector to charge the peripheral, as a USB port resides at the front of the device.

On a performance level, the wireless model is no different than any other Lightspeed-based peripheral we’ve tested thus far. Despite the wireless connection, Logitech’s proprietary 2.4GHz connection showed no signs of latency in games such as Prey: Mooncrash, Far Cry 5 and Destiny 2. If anything, we had to refine our twitch movement given we were used to pushing the heavier G903 mouse. Naturally, we didn’t experience any performance issues with the wired model either.

Overall, we’ve found our new, favorite mice until Logitech G cranks out another upgrade. They just feel right, a byproduct stemming from the feedback of more than fifty professional gamers who helped mold both peripherals. The collaboration is obvious in the overall presentation, feel and performance. There are no crazy, unnecessary frills here, just the very best performance and refinement, so you can focus on conquering games rather than battling hardware.

Editors’ Recommendations

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6
Sep

Chrome’s new design brings fresh problems for Google to fix


Chrome’s fresh new look is also bringing in a fresh batch of problems. For its tenth anniversary, Google gave its browser a makeover with the release of Chrome 69, but users are already reporting numerous issues. Though most like the new aesthetic, quite a few would like the option to revert back to an older build just to gain additional stability. Reports of lag, crashing, and the browser’s inability to render websites correctly are reported on Chrome for desktop and Chrome for mobile.

“Many websites are grayed out/dimmed out,” user Luke Avveduto wrote on Google’s product support forum. “I’m using a PC and my monitor is at 100 brightness. I have turned off night mode and any other programs that may turn down the brightness. This is only an issue in websites just a blank new tab and the chrome settings are the proper brightness.”

Though not an exhaustive list of user-reported problems, we’ve read user reports indicating that Chrome downloads SWF files instead of playing them, notification blocking doesn’t work, problems exist with lags when scrolling with touchscreens, websites won’t load, and there are sync issues, crashes and freezes, problems with logging in, displaying of the wrong language, inability to save passwords, and crashing when opening bookmarks or tabs.

Surprisingly, some users are also having issues loading popular websites, like Twitter and Facebook. Several users have noted that Twitter wouldn’t load in the normal browser, but will load fine when incognito mode is enabled. Other users report missing icons when loading Facebook’s site.

On Android, users have been vocal about problems with Chrome after the update. The most common complaints include crashing when opening bookmarks, lags, and error messages. Based on user reviews on the Play Store, it seems that Chrome on mobile is at least more stable than Chrome for desktop, with most users complaining about the lack of a dark-themed night mode to make it easier to browse at night as well as the inability to install extensions.

“Since the new update my Chrome has been doing all kinds of weird stuff,” one user wrote in a review posted on Google’s Play Store. “First of all I can’t even change tabs or swipe to close them, second my keyboard typing don’t show up on the search bar. The new white look also is ugly and slows down my app.”

While the white theme may boil down to user preference, those with an AMOLED screen complain that the extra bright white background greatly affects battery life. As a workaround, some users resorted to enabling incognito mode to get rid of the all-white theme.

And while it doesn’t affect stability, another design concern voiced by Android users is that Chrome 69 displays tabs up top, making it harder for users to open and close tabs on a phone. Yet, despite the many complaints, there appears to be many users happy with the update. Let us know if you experience any problems with the update and what your impressions are of the new interface design.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Daydream VR users can browse with Google Chrome in virtual space
  • Chrome 69 arrives in September with Google’s Material Design overhaul intact



6
Sep

¿Es tu hijo bilingüe? Amazon’s FreeTime now offers content en español


Por fin el español está recibiendo la atención que merece. Las grandes empresas de tecnología van incorporando poco a poco la lengua de Cervantes en sus productos y a pesar de que los pasos son más pequeños de lo que quisiéramos que fueran, son siempre avances sólidos. Siempre la noticia de un nuevo servicio en nuestro idioma será recibido con los brazos abiertos.

Tal es el caso de Amazon Free Time, un servicio de contenido de Amazon hecho y curado para los niños. Pudimos hablar en exclusiva con Kurt Beidler, Director General de Amazon Free Time en anticipación al lanzamiento de este servicio en español, quien nos brindó más detalles acerca de lo que podemos esperar una vez el servicio sea lanzado.

Los hogares son cada vez más bilingües

Beidler nos indicó que en Amazon siempre están buscando satisfacer las demandas de los clientes. Estando ubicados en un país donde el español está tan presente en ciertas áreas, tenía sentido hacerlo. La llegada de Free Time y Free Time Unlimited brinda contenido bilingüe, ideal para aquellos hogares donde se habla tanto el inglés como el español al mismo tiempo. “El español es el segundo idioma más hablado en los Estados Unidos y es ensenado como un idioma extranjero en muchas escuelas primarias hoy en día,” afirma Beidler.

Vale la pena resaltar que el bilingüismo se ha tomado los títulares últimamente. No solo Amazon se está enfocando en ello, sino que su competidor Google también se está enfocando en brindar facilidades en casas donde se habla más de un idioma. Por su parte, se conoce que la Asistente Alexa de Amazon hablará español muy pronto, e incluso, la plataforma Alexa Skills se encuentra disponible para que desarrolladores hispanos creen sus propias habilidades o skills en nuestro idioma.

En el caso de Free Time, no solamente habrá más de 1,000 títulos en español que incluirán libros, aplicaciones y videos en nuestro idioma, sino que, además, la biblioteca se alimenta también de los 20,000 títulos disponibles en inglés, ideal para los niños que crecen hablando los dos idiomas en su casa o que están aprendiendo español en la escuela. La interfaz se ha rediseñado además completamente, brindando mayor apoyo para que los niños encuentren el contenido que quieren ver más fácilmente.

Las actualizaciones de Free Time no se reducen a hacer más contenido en español disponible. También viene con actualizaciones de sus productos asociados como lo es el Parents Dashboard, que anteriormente solo se encontraba disponible en inglés y el cual era accesible únicamente a través de la tableta.

“Gracias a la retroalimentación de los padres, movimos el centro de control de los padres a la nube”, afirma Beidler. Ahora, podrán controlar las tabletas de los hijos de forma remota, al ingresar a parents.amazon.com desde una computadora o un celular. “Muchas veces ibas a cambiar algo y te encontrabas con que la tableta estaba descargada”. Con esta solución, podrás entonces utilizar tu computadora y disminuir la cantidad de tiempo que tu hijo puede ver videos, por ejemplo.

Vale resaltar que FreeTie Ilimitado en español, estará inicialmente disponible únicamente en los Estados Unidos. Amazon no descartó la opción de que llegue a otros mercados, pero por ahora, se están enfocando en construir una biblioteca bilingüe en este país.

Algunos de los títulos más populares que estarán disponibles en el servicio son Sesamo, La vuelta al mundo en 80 días, El código del dragón, Miss Alegría e Invasión del mundo principal: Una aventura Minecraft. También, habrá versiones traducidas de libros, videos, apps y juegos populares como lo son Harry Potter, LEGO Ninjago, Teen Titans – Teen Titans Go!, y Where’s My Water? producidos por marcas como Pottermore, LEGO, Disney, Cartoon Network y más.

Contenido para escuchar

Kim Wetzel/Digital Trends

Amazon FreeTime anunció también que Audible, su servicio para descargar libros narrados en formato de audio llega a Free Time Unlimited. En Audible, puedes escuchar también Podcasts y programas de noticias cortos, así como escuchar revistas y otro tipo de contenidos.

Los libros que estén disponibles a través de free Time serán aptos para su edad y en español, sin ningún tipo de costo adicional en la suscripción.

La ventaja al incorporar contenido en español en Audible es que se puede utilizar para acceder a narraciones a través de las bocinas de esta empresa, como por ejemplo el Echo Dot, una versión de Alexa hecha especialmente para niños. De esta forma, tus niños podrán pedirle amablemente a la Asistente de Amazon que les lea un libro en particular en español.

Se actualizan las tabletas para niños

Si eres padre de familia, seguramente habrás escuchado acerca de las tabletas Fire HD Edición para niños. Pues bien, el tercer anuncio de Amazon es que se lanza una nueva generación de esta popular tableta para los más pequeños. La Fire HD 8 Kids Edition sigue contando con un borde en silicona ultra resistente a las caídas.

Sin embargo, la tableta ha mejorado en varios aspectos, conservando el mismo precio de $129.99 dólares. Siempre la idea de obtener algo mejor por la misma cantidad de dinero es atractiva, ¿verdad? “Estamos muy emocionados por hacer esta tableta para niños aún mejor”, indica Beidler.

Lo más importante es que ahora la tableta viene con más almacenamiento, de hasta 400GB con una tarjeta MicroSD. El almacenamiento del dispositivo es de 16 y 32GB de memoria.

La compra de esta tableta viene con un año gratuito de FreeTime Unlimited, un servicio que cuesta $2.99 dólares al mes para miembros de Amazon Prime y $4.99 dólares para usuarios sin Amazon Prime.

Disponibilidad

Las nuevas tabletas Fire HD 8 para niños y el servicio FreeTime y FreeTime Unlimited en español estarán disponibles a partir del próximo 4 de octubre.

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6
Sep

Is anyone using the Galaxy Note 9 without a case or skin?


According to the AC forums, it sure doesn’t look like it.

Without a doubt, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is one of the most eye-catching phones you can buy right now. Its all-glass back and curved 6.4-inch display look fantastic, but at the same time, also make the Note 9 incredibly fragile.

note-9-purple-front-full.jpg?itok=IVk36_

The Note 9 is one of those devices that almost everyone should use a case or skin with, but is there anyone out there that’s brave enough to use the phone without any sort of protection?

Here’s what our AC forum members have to say.

avatar2368707_15.gifladiinay
09-05-2018 05:11 AM

I can’t stand fingerprints and smudges. The only time my phone is without a case is when I’m wiping fingerprints and dust from it or changing the case to what I feel like looking at.

Reply

avatar2808796_3.gifbandofbrothers2112
09-05-2018 07:37 AM

I tip my hat to those that are brave enough to go naked but I just can’t.

My choice of workplace is outdoors and in a warehouse so to be careful I always attach a dbrand skin and screen protector and to be minimalist I use the Rhinoshield Crashguard Bumper.

Like others every month or so I remove the bumper to give the phone a clean when at home so keep it naked for a short period.

Reply

avatar774615_8.gifdedduck0121
09-05-2018 09:01 AM

I love the look of these phones and I think rocking them without a cover/case is the way to go..

However… They make these sleek designs but make them near impossible to hold in your hand without them slipping out. Way to risky for me when the edges and back are slick.

Reply

avatar1737_23.gifareyes163
09-05-2018 05:07 PM

I tried to go naked. But I couldn’t stand the fingerprints nor could I stand that greasy feeling after holding the phone for a but and your hand gets sweaty. Went back into its case. Tried a skin and didnt like it when I hit the edges. It is a beautiful device though.

Reply

How about you? Are you using the Galaxy Note 9 without a case?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 9 specifications
  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

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