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19
Sep

Not just for photographers anymore, Loupdeck+ now supports Adobe Premiere Pro


HIllary Grigonis/Digital Trends

Loupedeck, the hands-on photo editing “keyboard” is no longer just for photos. On Wednesday, September 19, Loupedeck announced Adobe Premiere Pro CC compatibility with the controls and dials of the Loupedeck+.

About the size of a standard keyboard, the Loupedeck+ replaces keys with dedicated dials, wheels, and buttons for editing images, and now videos. Loupedeck was originally designed specifically for Adobe Lightroom, with dedicated physical controls for a majority of the slider controls inside the popular photo editing software. Those same controls can now be used inside Premiere Pro with an update to the Loupedeck+ software.

The color controls at the top of the Loupedeck+ for adjusting the HSL (hue, saturation, and luminance) panel in Lightroom become color-grading tools for Premiere Pro. The already-labeled color tools don’t need to be adjusted to adapt to the video editor, but other tools can be custom configured to better fit the workflow for video, Loupedeck says. The custom control scheme can also be saved and exported to another computer.

The update to the software that customizes those controls also allows video editors to toggle between different Look Up Tables (LUTs)  to save time editing, Loupedeck says. The controls on the console can also be set to navigate through the timeline, trim content, and adjust clips. Like in Lightroom, buttons on the Loupedeck can also be assigned to keyboard shortcuts.

While the original Loupedeck was designed for Lightroom, the Loupdeck+ made a few enhancements to the controls and also expanded compatibility with Skylum Luminar, and soon, Capture One. Premiere Pro is the first video compatibility for the Loupdeck.

“Our mission is to keep on improving the editing workflow, so it’s only fitting our next step is in the video editing space,” Mikko Kesti, founder and CEO of Loupedeck, said in a press release. “Just like we developed the Loupedeck+ exclusively from community feedback, we felt it was imperative to listen to what our users had to say and make the device’s functionality even more well-rounded, providing all the same editing functions that photographers have at their fingertips to videographers. Users can now count on Loupedeck+’s intuitive design and user-friendly approach to enhance their video editing quality and increase their output. Our ongoing partnership with Adobe made introducing these new capabilities with its Premiere Pro CC suite an easy decision.”

The company says Premiere Pro is just the start of the video capabilities — additional software compatibility in the video space is expected to be announced later this year. While the software has changed, the hardware has not — the Loupedeck+ is already available, retailing for about $230.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Is full Photoshop coming to iPad?
  • Photo FOMO: Adobe’s slick Hollywood editing suite, IGTV’s test for teasers
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  • Newly redesigned Moment Pro app has manual controls — and Pixel Visual Core



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19
Sep

PowerDirector, PhotoDirector aim to balance advanced tools with easy editing


cyberlink photodirector powerdirector 2018 announced auto keystone copy Cyberlink

Cyberlink’s photo- and video-editing software packages are getting a boost to help create high-end results minus the steep learning curve. Cyberlink has launched updates to the suite of Director-series multimedia editing software, including PhotoDirector 10, PowerDirector 17, ColorDirector 7, and AudioDirector 9.

The update, the company says, aims to give users more advanced tools while maintaining the simple user interface. The update also brings a subscription option — though users will still have the one-and-done payment option — to gain access to all four programs under Director Suite 365.

“Director Suite has always strived to provide all the creative tools professional creators need to realize their visions,” said CyberLink CEO Jau Huang. “We’re living in a time of rapid change, where people are continually pushing creative boundaries. To realize this, they need technology that is ahead of the curve, providing them with all the tools they need to fulfill their creative potential.”

PhotoDirector 10


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The company’s photo-editing program gains a few features typically associated with professional-level software. Tethered shooting, which sends images from the camera directly into the software, is included in the update. The tool is commonly used for instantly previewing shots in studio.

PhotoDirector 10 also sees updates to layers, another feature commonly found in advanced editing software. While layers were available in previous versions, the update brings the ability to group layers, create clipping masks to apply the layer only to one part of the image, and the option to add a blank layer. The software also uses Express Layer Templates to jump-start layer-based edits.

PhotoDirector’s Content-Aware tool can now clone objects in addition to moving and removing objects in photos. The update also includes one-click Keystone Correction, which fixes perspective errors, and soft proofing, a monitor mode that’s closer to what the image will look like when printed.

PowerDirector 17


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The updates that cross into pro-level editing continue in the video-editing platform, PowerDirector. Users can now use three color samples when editing out the green Chroma-Key background. Nested videos allow for editing projects with multiple videos, while precut helps slice up longer videos into clips with more precision.

A new multicam tool helps editors sync footage of the same scene shot from different angles. The tool works by analyzing the video’s audio to sync the clips. The synced multicam videos can then be used inside collage templates.

Updates to the program also include advanced motion tracking, new title effects, and additional styles for the program’s artificial intelligence-style transfers.

The color-grading and audio tools often used with PowerDirector also gain new features. ColorDirector 7, the company says, has improved global adjustments made to an entire clip, as well as better regional adjustments to selected footage. Presets now also have keyframe support, which gives editors the ability to control the intensity of an effect.

AudioDirector 9 acquires the ability to batch-process multiple files at once. A new spatial audio panner helps create soundtracks for immersive video, while the mixer room feature is designed to save time when testing multiple audio effects.

The software suite is available beginning September 19, with perpetual licenses between $100 and $130 for each program, or $140 for both PowerDirector 17 and PhotoDirector 10. The new subscription option for Director Suite 365 includes all four programs, as well as additional plug-ins, effects, and 100 GB of cloud storage for $30 a month, $70 for three months, or $130 per year. A subscription for only PowerDirector, including 50GB of cloud storage, is $20 a month, $40 for three months, or $70 for a year.

Editors’ Recommendations

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19
Sep

Apple iPhone XS vs. Samsung Galaxy S9: 2018’s biggest flagships clash


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Apple iPhone XS has been revealed, and it’s a gorgeous example of what makes a great 2018 phone, with powerful hardware and a beautiful look. But it takes more than power and beauty to beat Apple’s biggest rivals, and they don’t get much bigger than Samsung.

Now that the iPhone XS is here, it’s time for each company’s chosen champion to duke it out in a futuristic flagship fracas. Is the Apple iPhone XS better than the Samsung Galaxy S9? Which should you buy? We took a look to find out.

Specs

iPhone XS

Samsung Galaxy S9

Size
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm (5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30 inches)
147.6 x 68.7 x 8.4 mm (5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 inches)

Weight
177 grams (6.24 ounces)
163 grams (5.75 ounces)

Screen size
5.8-inch Super Retina AMOLED display
5.8-inch Super AMOLED display

Screen resolution
2,436 × 1,125 pixels (458 ppi)
2,960 x 1,440 pixels (570 pixels per inch)

Operating system
iOS 12
Android 8.0 Oreo

Storage space
64GB, 256GB, 512GB
64GB, 128GB, 256GB

MicroSD card slot
No
Yes, up to 512GB

Tap-to-pay services
Apple Pay
Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Processor
A12 Bionic
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM
TBA
4GB

Camera
Dual 12MP rear, 7MP FaceTime HD front
12MP (with OIS) rear, variable aperture, 8MP front

Video
2,160p at 60 fps, 1,080p at 240 fps
2,160p at 60 frames per second, 1,080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 5.0

Ports
Lightning
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C

Fingerprint sensor
No
Yes

Water resistance
IP68
IP68

Battery
TBC

Fast charging (fast charger not included in the box)

Qi wireless charging

3,000mAh

QuickCharge 2.0

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace
Apple App Store
Google Play Store

Network support
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint
T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint

Colors
Gold, Silver, Space Gray
Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple

Price
$1,000
$720

Buy from
Apple

Samsung, Amazon

Review score
Hands-on review
4 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy S9 is powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor — the same chip we’ve seen in many 2018 flagships, including the Galaxy Note 9, OnePlus 6, and the LG G7 ThinQ. It’s a very powerful chip, and we’ve yet to see it provide anything less than super-smooth performance and excellent gaming performance. However, the new A12 Bionic processor in the iPhone XS might manage to top even the mighty Snapdragon 845. Apple showed off some spectacular footage from the upcoming Elder Scrolls: Blades video game running on the iPhone XS, and it’s likely the iPhone XS will usher in a new level of power for mobile processors.

It’s not so conclusive where battery life is concerned. Apple hasn’t revealed how large the iPhone XS’s battery is, but we do know it’s slightly larger than the 2,716mAh battery in the iPhone X. We should expect around a day from the new iPhone — which is about the same as the Galaxy S9. In terms of charging there’s wireless charging on both phones, and fast charging too. Apple continues to fail to include a fast charger in the box though, which seems odd when most phones — the Galaxy S9 included — ship with a fast charger.

Despite the lack of a fast charger in the box, the iPhone XS’s performance looks set to blow us away — and it wins this round.

Winner: iPhone XS

Design and durability

  • 1.
    iPhone XS
  • 2.
    Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a bezel-less style that sees the display blend seamlessly into the glass and metal body. Flip it over and you’ll find a single camera lens and a fingerprint scanner on the back. It’s a beautiful phone, and one of our favorite designs. It’s smooth and sleek, and thoroughly modern.

Similarly, the iPhone XS is a beautiful combination of glass and metal, with an all-encompassing bezel-less design. Apple has improved on the iPhone X by adding a gold finish to the XS, giving the phone a distinctive gleam. You’ll find two camera lenses on the back of the iPhone, but there’s no fingerprint scanner, and there’s no headphone jack either. The iPhone XS also has that notch — but most Apple fans are probably used to that by now.

Thanks to an upgrade from Apple, both phones have IP68-water resistance and should be able to withstand a drop in the pool or bath. You’re probably going to a want a case for both though — the glass is fragile, and both glass bodies attract fingerprints. Apple is boasting that the glass on the iPhone XS is its most durable ever, but we’ll have to see how that stands up in practice.

Both of these phones are exceptionally gorgeous in different ways, and it’s very hard to pick between the two. The iPhone XS may be the better looking, but that is balanced out by the headphone jack and fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S9. This is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple’s OLED rollout is complete, and you will only find LCD display technology in one iPhone this year. The Super AMOLED display in the iPhone XS is a work of art, with support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Apple’s True Tone feature. We haven’t had much chance to play with it yet, but the little we saw blew us away.

But is it better than the Galaxy S9’s Super AMOLED display? Samsung is arguably the king of OLED, after breaking DisplayMate records with the Galaxy S9 and Note 9. Both the S9 and iPhone XS come with a 5.8-inch display, but the Galaxy S9’s is sharper, thanks to a higher resolution.

While both have stunning displays, we’re betting on the Galaxy S9’s sharper display and Samsung’s experience.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S9

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung continues to impress with the single 12-megapixel lens on the Galaxy S9. The variable aperture means that the phone is able to intelligently change between aperture as required, and it’s capable of taking incredible photos. However, that lack of a second lens is likely holding the S9 back, and we thought the dual-camera system on the iPhone X was superior back when we pitted those two phones head-to-head.

Apple hasn’t stood still since then, and the iPhone XS continues to improve on smartphone photography. The XS rocks two 12-megapixel lenses — one with telephoto capabilities — and a host of new features powered by the A12 processor. There’s a Smart HDR mode that combines the best bits from multiple photos to create a single image and a setting that allows you to set the depth of the background blur in Portrait Mode shots, as well as a host of improvements to existing tools.

The S9 has an edge thanks to super-slow-motion video, with the ability to capture video at 960 frames-per-second, but it’s not an everyday feature, and we think most people will appreciate stronger images over slow motion. The selfie cameras are similar, with the S9 rocking an 8-megapixel lens, while the iPhone XS has a 7-megapixel TrueDepth lens.

This category is tough to judge since both have exceptionally strong features and camera suites, but the dual-lens iPhone XS takes it.

Winner: iPhone XS

Software and updates

You will find Android 8.0 Oreo on the Galaxy S9, with Samsung’s custom Samsung Experience UI laid over the top. Most people with previous Android experience shouldn’t have any issue using this custom UI. However, this heavy modification means that major Android updates can take a while to come to Samsung’s phones. While the S9 will be receiving an update to Android 9.0 Pie, don’t expect it to arrive quickly.

This isn’t a problem on the iPhone XS’s iOS 12. Since Apple controls both iPhone hardware and the iOS operating system, it can push out updates as it pleases. In addition, Apple tends to support its phones for longer than any other manufacturer — so it’s likely the iPhone XS will still be getting major iOS upgrades after the Galaxy S9 has been written off.

Comparing iOS and Android is extremely difficult, and it often comes down to personal preference. However, the iPhone XS wins here thanks to Apple’s strong update record.

Winner: iPhone XS

Special features

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll find a bunch of special features on both of these handsets. You’ll find Apple’s latest features on the iPhone XS, including the latest Siri updates, augmented reality-powered Animojis, and Apple’s impressive FaceID face unlock. The Galaxy S9 can be used with Samsung’s DeX pad for desktop capabilities, has Animoji-like AR Emoji, and the voice assistant Bixby. There’s also Iris Recognition unlocking on the Galaxy S9.

It’s hard to anoint a winner here since both have some strong features that different people will enjoy. This is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is available now, with prices starting from $720 for the 64GB model. As it’s a Samsung flagship it’ll work with most U.S. carriers. The iPhone XS starts at an eye-watering $1,000 for the 64GB model. Like the S9, it’ll be available on most U.S. carriers.

Overall winner: iPhone XS

As ever with the Samsung-Apple dynamic, this fight was close, and it could have gone either way in more than a few categories. However, the powerful new A12 Bionic processor, improved camera, and Apple’s update policy really swung it for the iPhone XS.

However, your decision shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion. If you prefer Android phones, then it goes without saying that you should buy the Galaxy S9. Even if it loses out in certain categories, the S9 is no slouch, and has the power of the Snapdragon 845, an exceptional camera, and some great software. Plus, the Galaxy phone is close to $300 cheaper.

But for anyone who isn’t put off by the $1,000 price tag, and is simply interested in getting the best phone — pick the iPhone XS.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Apple iPhone XS: News, release, specs, and more
  • Apple iPhone XS vs. iPhone X: What difference does a year make?
  • Apple iPhone XR: Everything you need to know
  • Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR: All the hands-on photos you could ever need
  • Apple iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 6s: Which is best for you?



19
Sep

Be an online phantom and web surf safely with Ghostery’s mobile browser


Personal data is currency and if you’re not paying for a service, you yourself are probably the product. Personal data scandals involving services like Facebook and the implementation of the European Union’s GDPR online privacy regulations have meant that more people than ever worry about keeping their private lives private in a world that constantly wants us to show more. But how can you make sure you’re browsing safely at all times?

There are ways to improve your privacy on Android devices, and Apple claims it can gather data without infringing on user privacy — but another great way to stay secure and anonymous on the internet is to use a specialized privacy browser. Ghostery is one such browser, and it’s launching a whole new version of its Ghostery Mobile Browser with new tools and features that could make it the top choice for the privacy concious on Android and iOS.

Browse and search like a ghost

Ghostery’s logo is a ghost, so it’s fitting that it allows users to act like phantoms that leave no trace. Ghostery’s Ghost Search feature is one of the browser’s most unique features, and it provide users with immediate search results, without needing to complete a search.

Ghost Search works by suggesting up to three websites as users type their query, tossing up search results it thinks will be the most useful. See the correct result? You can click on the card to go straight to the website, neatly bypassing the need for a separate search engine. It worked well for us, giving us relevant results most of the time, and reducing the need to click through to DuckDuckGo, Ghostery’s default search engine. Don’t worry that you’re simply trading one master for another — Ghostery’s owner Cliqz is dedicated to user privacy, and doesn’t store personally identifiable info, and uses its own independent web indexing.

Need to be even more phantom-like? Enable Ghostery’s private browsing mode, Ghost Mode, and sites you visit won’t show up on your browser history, further enhancing your privacy. If you’ve ever used Incognito Mode on Chrome, or Private Browsing on Firefox then you’ll be familiar with the idea.

Enhanced web protection from tracking, ads, and more

Ghostery isn’t just about ghost-based branding — the browser comes with all the privacy mod-cons you’d expect from a security-focused browser in 2018. The first time you boot up the browser, it will ask you to choose an ad-blocking philosophy, whether to block all ads & trackers, the most troublesome ads & trackers, or allow everything. Users can see which websites are tracking their data and where it’s being sent.

Android users also get the ability to block trackers individually or in bulk, as well as having access to the A.I.-powered Enhanced Anti-Tracking software that overwrites potential personal data points. Anti-phishing software is built in, and Ghostery claims its software detects up to four times more than Google’s, and reacts quicker to new sites. It also prevents sites from running cryto-mining add-ons in the background.

We’ve seen a lot of these features in browsers before, and we’re starting to see ad-blocking tools added into browsers as a matter of course. Ghostery doesn’t really add much that’s new, but instead brings everything together and refines these features into a browser that should be rock-solid for protection against ads, tracking tools, and more sinister attempts to hijack your browser. Best of all, Ghostery gives you control over your blocking, and allows users to enable and disable protection as you see fit, giving all the necessary tools to the user.

Since Ghostery is built on Mozilla Firefox’s mobile browser, users also have access to Firefox’s large database of add-ons to further tweak and enhance their experience. That said, Ghostery’s packed to the brim with features already, and adding more add-ons to the mix runs the risk of slowing the browser down. We noticed that Ghostery wasn’t always the fastest feeling browser around, and more add-ons could slow it down further.

Other features

Ghostery also comes with a suite of features that allow users to save their mobile data. Users can choose to only load images over Wi-Fi to reduce data usage, and can also enable a feature that stops auto-play videos from playing — especially useful if you’re on a strict limit for your mobile data. Another extremely useful feature for iOS users only is the ability to download YouTube videos for later. Simply access the video you want to download, then tap the download button to save your video in either 720p or 360p. Videos download extremely fast, and this is a feature that we’re sure many will enjoy.

Another useful feature is the Smart Tab feature. When users open a new tab, they’re presented with a variety of news items from trusted sources, as well as links for commonly visited websites. There’s a built-in password manager, too, with support for fingerprint scanners and FaceID on iOS.

If you’re interested in checking out Ghostery’s new features, then you can find it on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Ghostery isn’t just about mobile safety either, and you can lock down your browser with Ghostery’s browser extension, available on most popular browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Editors’ Recommendations

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19
Sep

Skype Preview’s SMS Connect for Android: A promise of things to come


If SMS is your go-to way to message, you’ll want to follow the progress of Skype’s SMS Connect.

skype-sms-connect-lead-8wpo.jpg?itok=JCe

Online messaging services are growing in popularity, but for many people, SMS is still the go-to way to message. Skype has had a number of attempts to allow users to send SMS messages from a variety of devices, but the most recent iteration may be the most promising.

Skype Preview’s SMS Connect works with Windows 10 desktops and PCs when a user has Skype set up on their Android phone. It’s still in preview so it’s not perfect, but there’s enough available already to talk about what Microsoft needs to do with it to make it mainstream.

To get the app you’ll need to be running Skype Preview on both your Android phone and your Windows PC or Mac. It’s worth pointing out that this works on older versions of Windows.

A promising future

skype-sms-thread-blur.jpg?itok=y6suF8PP

As mentioned earlier, this isn’t Skype’s first foray into SMS messaging. You’ve been able to message from Skype accounts for a long time and Windows 10 Mobile had a couple versions of sending SMS messages from your PC. But this version is aimed at Android phone users, aligning it with Microsoft’s vision of mobile computing regardless of the platform. The fact that it works on Windows 10, older versions of Windows, and Mac computers is very promising because it seems unlikely that Microsoft would work on support for three major platforms and then pull the plug, though you never know.

To set it up you just open Skype’s settings on your PC or Mac and pair your phone. It worked quickly for me and I sent messages right away. There were some issues with sending messages but I’ll credit those to it being the first release of a preview feature.

I’ve been harsh on Skype in the past but I’m happy with SMS Connect. Skype is still used by millions of people on a regular basis and if Microsoft can get SMS Connect to be an iMessage competitor then that’ll be a huge win for them.

Some gaps to fill

skype-sms-dark-theme-blur.jpg?itok=RbTcY

While I’m generally happy with SMS Connect, there are some gaps to fill before it can compete with other messaging apps. This is understandable since it’s in preview, but Microsoft has to iron these out before release — not halfway fix them and then change their mind as they have in the past with SMS related feature.

First, messages show up as completely independent threads from messages with the same person. Microsoft at least needs an option to combine these threads to stop users from having to jump between multiple conversations with the same person.

Second, despite the fact that I created a message by clicking a preexisting contact, the person’s name didn’t appear on the message. This is a bit of an odd bug but I imagine it will be fixed.

Lastly, Microsoft needs to see if there’s a way to roll this out to iOS, at least onto iPads. This might be impossible with its limitations, but maybe there’s a chance Microsoft can get around it by working through the cloud. SMS Connect can be a great asset to users with Android phones, however, if messages sync with their PC, Mac, phone, and not their tablet, some will turn their nose at it. Then again, for people who aren’t on iOS, that won’t matter in the slightest.

Overall thoughts on Skype Preview’s SMS Connect

skype-send-sms-blur.jpg?itok=stI2PGLI

Skype Preview’s SMS Connect is yet another step in Microsoft’s long journey to bring SMS messaging to every device it can. Previous attempts have failed or been abandoned, but Microsoft seems determined to make this work. This is evidenced by the widespread support of SMS Connect on Mac, multiple versions of Windows, and Android phones but is also clear because of Microsoft’s efforts to release their Your Phone app.

SMS Connect isn’t perfect yet, and it would be unfair to expect it to be. It works well enough to show promise for what could be an easy to use cross-platform SMS messenger that works with an app many people already have.

Download: Skype Preview (free)

19
Sep

Is it worth trading in the Galaxy Note 8 for the Note 9?


For some users, the trade might make sense.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — if you’re shopping around for a large Android phone, it’s hard to do better than the Galaxy Note 9. The Note 9 is chock full of exciting features, but then again, so is last year’s Note 8.

note-9-vs-note-8-overtop.jpg?itok=v0YWUP

There are a number of trade-in promos that offer a pretty good chunk of money for trading in your Note 8 for the Note 9, and while these offers can be exciting, is it worth handing in a powerful phone that’s just a little over a year old?

Here’s what the AC forum users have to say.

avatar996591_1.gifj_hansen
09-13-2018 02:51 PM

Note 2,3,4,8 user here and I’m not bothered with the 9 just yet, spent money on the Galaxy Watch instead and will await the price drops we’ll see on the Note 9 just before latest iPong hits the shelves… Black Friday… Cyber Monday… X-mas…. Note 9 plus freebies are going to good soon enough that I’m not buying now 🙂

Reply

default.jpgGary02468
09-13-2018 04:43 PM

I upgraded, clearing just under $400 by selling my Note8, and got the free Duo charger, Dex station, and AKG bluetooth headphones along with the Note9. So in effect, I got all that for $600, and I’m happy with the upgrade at that price. The Note9 is noticeably better.

Reply

avatar2400689_6.gifjeetu4444
09-13-2018 04:57 PM

Definitely an upgrade from a note 8..I shifted from Note 8 to S9+ and now to Note 9…I would upgraded anyway for bigger battery and stereo speakers…but the bluetooth S pen is really handy…even better fps placement is good

Reply

avatar2411778_3.gifIva_LadyDiCaprio98
09-13-2018 07:15 PM

I upgraded from a Note8 even though I initially said I wasn’t going to lol but all in all I am happy I did. The Note9 is truly the best phone I’ve had by far – larger memory in comparison to the Note8, larger RAM, slightly bigger screen, and in the color I’ve always wanted – blue! You won’t be disappointed I don’t regret moving up to the 9

Reply

What do you think? Is it worth trading in the Galaxy Note 8 for the Note 9?

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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19
Sep

How to fix problems from the 6.0 update for the PS4


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While the 6.0 update was supposed to help with back-end abilities, there have been quite a few reports of things going haywire ever since people updated their consoles. Well, Android Central is a collection of tech professionals and we’ve found some solutions for you, so check out below to see how you can fix yours!

Products used in this guide

  • Amazon: 3.0 USB Flash Drive ($20)
  • Amazon: PlayStation Camera ($59)
  • Amazon: PlayStation Pro ($503)

Dealing with error codes (SU-42118-6), (CE-36329-3) and, (CE-30002-5)

Go to your Notifications from the main menu.

Delete the Update Notification and restart your PS4. After restarting, if there was no change, move to the next step.

lan-cable-ps4_0.jpg?itok=QSMonQO3

Plug your PS4 directly into an ethernet cable.
Go to Settings from the Main Menu.

Select System Software Update from the menu options and update via internet. After restarting, if there was no change, move to the next step.

playstation-update-1.jpg?itok=T_MM4SGh

Manually download the Update File to a USB drive from here
Make sure the file is saved by creating a folder named “PS4”. Inside that folder, create another folder named “UPDATE”.

Save the PS4UPDATE.PUP file in the “UPDATE” folder.

playstation-usb.jpg?itok=DvTj7NtR

Connect the USB to your PS4.
Select Settings.
Select System Software Update.
Follow the on-screen instructions.

These three error codes will appear when you attempt to load a game that connects you to the internet. Not only will you receive this error code, but it may even refuse to launch the game entirely. Following any one of these steps may help you get your PS4 to behave again. If not, try contacting support to see what they can do for you.

Manually updating PlayStation VR software

Go to Settings from the Main Menu.

Select Devices from menu options.

playstaion-vr-update-screens-1.jpg?itok=

Select PlayStation VR from menu options.

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Select PlayStation VR Device Software from menu options.

Not many people know that most of your PSVR software won’t update on its own. After your PlayStation finishes downloading the 6.0 update, follow the instructions below to also ensure your headset equipment isn’t mucking up either. If your PSVR games and apps are still giving you troubles, check in with customer support to see what they can do for you.

Errors using 3rd party software to download saves to transfer them via USB

Wait for the patch to come out from the 3rd party’s official page.
Download the patch.

Each time PlayStation comes out with a software update, all 3rd party software used for saving and transferring game files always stop working. All the 3rd party software engineers that regularly maintain their product will always come out with a patch after an update so that you can continue to use it. If a patch is not released, it may be time to look for a new one.

No longer being able to use PSVR without the PlayStation Camera

Buy a PlayStation Camera.

Everyone who was by-passing the need for a PlayStation Camera, for whatever reason, might be a little upset to hear this news. Before, you could go around a back way to avoid having to set up the camera when using your PSVR for Cinematic mode and other features. With the new 6.0 update, there is no longer a way to do this. (as of right now) Until one is discovered, you’ll need to borrow a PlayStation Camera to hold you over if you don’t want to buy one.

Errors when restoring a PS4 that is in 6.0 Beta

Install the 6.0 update to both of your PS4 consoles via the instructions above.
Go through the usual process of restoring or transferring your PS4 data.

When it comes to restoring to transferring data from one PS4 to another, both of your PlayStations need to have the same update on them. If you were previously using the 6.0 Beta, you will need to upgrade both of your consoles to the official 6.0 update since the Beta version is no longer available.

Game errors after updating to 6.0

Hover over the game in question from the Main Menu of the PlayStation.
Press the Options button on your Dualshock controller.

Select Check for Update.

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To avoid this issue in the future, it may be best to set up Automatic updates. To do this, continue on to the next step.
Go to Settings from the Main Menu.

Select System from the menu options.

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Select Automatic Downloads and Updates.
Select Application Update Files.

How to contact support

Call PlayStation support between the hours of Monday – Friday, 6AM – 10PM, PST and Saturday & Sunday 7AM – 8PM PST at 1-800-345-7669

Send a Tweet to @AskPlayStation.

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Check the Support Forums to see if your question has already been answered.
Check the warrenty of your device.
Put in a ticket for support to check.

Our top equipment picks

Of all the consoles you could have, the PlayStation 4 Pro is still reigning over all the options for a multitude of reasons.

Upgrade to the best system

PlayStation 4 Pro

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$503 at Amazon

Currently the best PS4 console out there

The Pro features compatibility with 3.1 Gen1 USB ports for faster data transfers, 4K TV and the ability to use “Boost Mode” for your HD games, and 4.0 Bluetooth for better recognition to your devices.

With all the specs that are upgraded with the PlayStation Pro, it’s hard to not want to upgrade. Not only will your PSVR experiences be significantly enhanced, but all of your usual games will run (and look) that much better with all the mode options. Performance aside, the PlayStation Pro is sure to have space and specs required to run all of the updates (including those in the future) with ease. On top of this, it has a 1 TB hard drive to store all those games and save files you hold dear.

19
Sep

Latest Bixby update for Note 9 has a new press twice to open option


Here’s the lowdown on one of 2018’s most powerful smartphones 💥

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It’s finally here. After relentless leaks, rumors, and more, Samsung’s finally unveiled the Galaxy Note 9.

Even though we already knew a lot about the phone prior to its official announcement, there’s still plenty to talk about. What colors does it come in? What are the final specs? Were we impressed during our hands-on preview?

All those questions and more are answered right here, so without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

The latest Galaxy Note 9 news

September 19, 2018 — Latest Bixby update for Note 9 has a new press twice to open option

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Ever since we were first introduced to Bixby on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung’s virtual assistant has proven to be an annoyance rather than genuinely helpful more times than not. Users have previously been allowed to disable the physical Bixby button if they don’t want to use it, but with the Note 9, Samsung removed this option.

A new Bixby update is rolling out now to Note 9 owners, and while there’s still no way to disable the Bixby button entirely, you can make it more difficult to accidentally trigger the assistant.

Under the new Bixby Key setting, you can now choose to open Bixby by pressing the button once or twice. By switching over to twice, it’s far less likely you’ll unwantingly open Bixby when you mistake its button for the power/lock one.

What do you think of this update? Is it enough to keep Bixby at bay or do you still want a way to turn it off completely?

September 17, 2018 — A woman is suing Samsung after her Galaxy Note 9 caught on fire

Ever since Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle from a couple years ago, the company’s been under a fine microscope when it comes to the safety of its devices. A little less than a month since the Note 9 officially went on sale, there’s already one report from a woman in New York claiming that her Note 9 randomly caught on fire while it was in her purse.

Diane Chunge is a real estate agent in New York City, and according to her recently filed lawsuit against Samsung, she was in an elevator when she noticed that her Note 9 was unusually hot. She put the phone in her purse, but shortly after, she says “she heard a whistling and screeching sound, and she noticed thick smoke.”

Chunge did make it safely out of the elevator (someone in the lobby she exited the elevator from threw the Note 9 in a bucket of water) and is now suing Samsung for unknown damages and wants it to cease further sales of the phone.

Following this, a Samsung spokesperson said, “We have not received any reports of similar incidents involving a Galaxy Note9 device and we are investigating the matter.”

It’s believed that this was a one-time fluke seeing as how Samsung’s phones now go through a rigorous battery safety check following the release of the Note 7, but even so, it’ll be interesting to see if any additional reports come to light following this.

August 27, 2018 — Samsung’s now offering free Gear VR adapters to Note 9 owners

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While there was a lot of hype and fanfare surrounding the Note 9 when Samsung announced it, something that was noticeably absent was a new Gear VR. Last year’s model doesn’t currently work with the Note 9 due to the phone’s larger size, but thankfully, Samsung’s announced a small fix.

If you call 1-800-SAMSUNG and give the company your Gear VR’s serial and model numbers, you’ll be sent an adapter within 10 business days that allows the Note 9 to properly fit inside the headset.

There’s currently no way to purchase the adapter online or in-stores, and as a quick reminder, this only applies to the Gear VR headset that was released last year alongside the Note 8.

August 21, 2018 — Google names the Note 9 as the best phone for YouTube

galaxy-note-9-signature-devices-youtube.

The Note 9’s 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display is one of the best you’ll find on a smartphone in 2018, and thanks to this, Google’s deemed it as the best phone for binging YouTube on.

YouTube’s Signature Devices list recently launched as a way to highlight Android phones that offer the best experience for all things YouTube, and as part of it, it’s noted that:

With this transition from TV screen to phone screen, YouTube has announced its Signature Devices for a best-in-class YouTube experience. Ranked against a variety of key attributes, YouTube endorsed a variety of devices as best-in-class for the platform.

Their top choice? The Samsung Galaxy Note 9

August 21, 2018 — The 512GB Note 9 saw more pre-orders than the 128GB model in Korea

Pre-order numbers for the Galaxy Note 9 are slowly trickling out, and according to a report from The Investor, Samsung’s highest-end 512GB model was the most popular in the country.

SK Telecom, Korea’s biggest wireless carrier, notes that “users mostly preferred to buy the 512GB version” which costs 1.35 million won (or $1,208 USD). At this time, it’s unclear if the 512GB preference carriers over to the U.S. and other markets.

Korean pre-orders for the Note 9 have also been stronger than that of the Galaxy S9, but not as high as last year’s Note 8.

August 17, 2018 — Galaxy Note 9 already getting a software update that adds August 2018 security patch and more slow-mo video options

The Note 9 won’t officially be released until Augst 24, but even so, Samsung’s already pushing a software update to the phone that adds a couple goodies.

This update changes the software version number to N960FXXU1ARH5 and allows users to record Super Slow-Mo video for moments that last either 0.2 seconds or 0.4 seconds when in manual mode. 0.2-second shots are still in glorious 960 FPS while 0.4-second ones are limited to 480 FPS.

Additionally, this update also brings the more recent August 2018 security patch.

August 15, 2018 — Samsung talks about what it took to make the Note 9 so darn pretty 😍

It’s no secret that Samsung makes stunning phones, and with the Galaxy Note 9, the company put all of its design prowess on full display. However, as much fun as it is to look at and hold the Note 9, it’s even more exciting to take a closer look at just what goes into crafting a device of its caliber.

Samsung’s Infinity Display is once again being used on the Note 9, and measuring in at 6.4-inches, is the biggest the company’s created to-date. Samsung also says that the Note 9’s screen is an ever deeper black compared to past handsets, which “allows it to blend in with the bezels when the device is off and enhances the overall aesthetic.”

A process called Die-cutting was used to craft the Note 9’s frame, and as a result of this laborious process, the frame of the Note 9 ” features an interplay of glossy and matte finishes that complements the Galaxy Note9’s premium design cues.”

To read more about the Note 9’s design and the time/attention that went into its S Pen, check out Samsung’s full deep dive below.

Beautiful From Every Angle: The Design of the Galaxy Note 9

All the big details

Check out our written and video reviews

Before you do anything else, be sure to check out our full review of the Galaxy Note 9!

This is Samsung’s biggest and most powerful phone of the year, and as a quick spoiler, it definitely doesn’t disappoint. The Note 9 has a gorgeous display, insanely fast processing tech, a massive battery, and much more.

Get the full lowdown in the video review above and our written one below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: Welcome to the one comma club

Here are the specs

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Like past Notes before it, the Galaxy Note 9 is packed to the gills with all of the latest available tech. That means it has the latest processor, a massive battery, an insane amount of RAM, and much more.

Here are all the specs you can look forward to.

Operating system Android 8.1 OreoSamsung Experience 9.5
Display 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 2960×1440 (18.5:9)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Storage 128/512GB
Expandable MicroSD up to 2TB
RAM 6/8GB
Primary rear camera 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel, OIS, f/1.5 or f/2.4
Secondary rear camera 12MP, OIS, f/2.4, telephoto lens
Front camera 8MP, f/1.7, auto focus
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO, 1.2Gbps (Cat-18) LTE, Bluetooth 5.0 LEANT+, NFC, GPS, Glonass
Audio Stereo speakersDolby Atmos3.5mm headphone
Battery 4000mAhNon-removable
Charging
Water resistance IP68
Security One-touch fingerprint sensorIris scannerSamsung KNOX
Dimensions
Colors Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple (U.S.)Midnight Black, Metallic Copper (intl)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 specifications

Should you upgrade from the Note 8?

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As exciting as the Galaxy Note 9 is shaping up to be, last year’s Note 8 is still one heck of a smartphone.

The Note 9 offers the expected improvements in regards to RAM, camera performance, etc., but really gets a strong edge over its predecessor thanks to its improved S Pen and a massive battery.

Then again, if you already have the Note 8 and don’t feel like throwing down $900 (?) on a new phone, maybe upgrading isn’t the right move for you?

Let Andrew break everything down for you in his comparison of the Note 8 and Note 9

How’s it compare to other phones?

galaxy-note-9-vs-galaxy-s9-plus-1.jpg?it

That’s fine and dandy, but how’s the Note 9 hold up against other non-Note devices?

Without a doubt, one of the Note 9’s biggest competitors comes from Samsung itself with the Galaxy S9+. A lot of features are shared between the two phones, including a large Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 845, Samsung’s custom software, excellent dual cameras, and more.

The Note 9 is obviously the only one of the two that uses the S Pen, but is that reason enough to make the pricey upgrade?

Similarly, there are still plenty of other phones that are scheduled to come out before 2018 is over — most importantly the Google Pixel 3 XL. Rumors and leaks are hinting at a phone with considerably slimmer bezels, an even better camera package, and an all-glass back (not to mention the ginormous notch).

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Galaxy S9+

Should you buy the Galaxy Note 9 or wait for the Google Pixel 3 XL?

A lot is new with the S Pen

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The S Pen is easily the biggest reason so many people flock to the Note series year after year, and this time around, Samsung’s giving the S Pen one of its biggest upgrades in years.

For the first time, Samsung’s adding Bluetooth Low Energy to the S Pen. With this new connectivity, the S Pen picks up a heap of new features that allow you to control the Note 9 from a distance.

Some use cases include being able to use the S Pen and its button as a camera shutter, navigating through presentations, and more. The presence of Bluetooth also means this is the first S Pen to have a battery, and as with all things that have a battery, the S Pen will need to be charged.

Thankfully, seeing as how the S Pen seamlessly charges in the background when stored inside the Note 9, this shouldn’t ever prove to be an issue of any sort.

Get the official wallpapers right here!

New Samsung phones always come with striking wallpapers to help jazz up your home screen, and even if you don’t have the funds/interest to get a Note 9 right now, you can still bring its look to your exisitng handset with its official wallpapers.

We’ve got all 12 listed above for your viewing pleasure, and if you want to throw one (or all) of them on your phone, feel free to download ’em as you see fit.

What color should you get?

Samsung’s typically one of the better OEMs when it comes to offering a good variety of colors, and with the Note 9, that’s no different.

In the United States, buyers will be able to choose from Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple. In other parts of the world, Samsung’s releasing Midnight Black and Metallic Copper.

Which color Galaxy Note 9 should I buy: Blue, purple, gold, or black?

Don’t forget about the cases!

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The Note 9 has a striking design that combines metal and glass into one gorgeous package, but as great as the phone might look, it’s certainly not the most durable handset you’ll find.

Thankfully, to help keep your Note 9 looking as good as can be through all sorts of wear and tear, there are already a number of cases being sold.

Here are our favorites!

Best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Cases

Here’s everything you need to know about buying the Note 9

There are a lot of reasons you may want to pick up the Note 9, and whatever those reasons may be, you’ve got a lot of options for deciding where to get it.

In the United States, pricing starts at $999.99 for the 128GB model and goes up to $1249.99 for the 512GB one. You can get the phone at Best Buy, Amazon, Samsung’s website, all of the major carriers, and more.

However, there are some questions that pop up when thinking about buying the Note 9. Should you buy it unlocked or through a carrier? What storage size is the best to pick up? You’ve got the questions, we’ve got answers.

Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9: Best deals for your new phone
Should you buy the Galaxy Note 9 unlocked or from a carrier?
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Which storage size should I buy?

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

AT&T
Verizon
T-Mobile
Samsung
Amazon

Updated August 16, 2018: Updated this guide with a news-roll and the latest available info!

19
Sep

Chrome OS 69 is now rolling out to the Stable Channel


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Not sure what’s new in Chrome OS? We’ve got you covered!

Chrome OS, Google’s own desktop operating system, receives regular updates to outfit it with new features, bug fixes, and more. There are three main levels of Chrome OS (Stable, Beta, and Developer) and while you can learn more about what these mean here, this guide will be updated regularly to highlight the main additions with each new release.

Since Google releases updates so frequently, we’ll only share them when something significant is added or patched as new builds are rolled out.

Without further ado, here’s what’s new in the Stable, Beta, and Developer Channels for Chrome OS!

Stable

September 19, 2018 — Stable Channel now getting Chrome OS 69 with Material Theme UI, easy emoji access, and more!

After making its way to the Beta Channel last month, users in the Stable Channel are now receiving their official update to Chrome OS 69.

All of the changes we were introduced to last month are included here, meaning there’s a new UI for the Files app, refreshed Material Theme design for the Chrome browser, the night light feature can be enabled without having to mess with flags, and using a Chrome OS device in tablet mode should now feel a lot better.

Chrome OS 69 also brings something we’ve been waiting for for years — easy access to emojis! Just right-click on any open text field, click “Emoji”, and a virtual keyboard will pop up at the bottom so you can quickly find what you want.

The update is rolling out to everyone on the Stable Channel now, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

June 7, 2018 — Progressive Web Apps can be installed and Tablet Mode gets split-screen support

Chrome OS’s Stable Channel was updated to 67.0.3396.78 on June 7, and it comes equipped with a host of new features.

One of the big highlights is the ability to download Progressive Web Apps as standalone applications — similar to how you’d download Android or regular Chrome OS apps. Progressive Web Apps are technically portals to websites but come with refined user interfaces and increased performance. They essentially give you desktop apps for things like Spotify, Flipboard, and more without developers having to create apps specifically for Chrome OS, meaning that we’ve just about ended the complaint that Chrome OS doesn’t have enough applications available for it.

Another big addition is that you can now use apps/websites in split-screen while in Tablet Mode. With devices like the HP Chromebook X2 and Acer Chromebook Tab 10 now around, a feature like this couldn’t have come at a better time.

Other goodies include a cleaner list of your Bluetooth devices, the ability to zip files on Google Drive via the built-in Files app, and new shortcuts that pop up when holding down your power button.

Read through the full changelog here

Beta

August 24, 2018 — Chrome OS 69 adds a blue light filter, Linux app support, and Material Theme UI

Chrome OS 69 is rolling out now to the Beta Channel for “most” Chrome OS devices, and there’s a lot of cool stuff to check out.

First of all, Linux app support is finally included! This is something that’s been limited to the Developer Channel for quite some time, so it’s exciting to see it now be ready for Beta users. Linux support is only available for select Chromebooks, including the Pixelbook, HP Chromebook X2, Samsung Chromebook Plus, and more.

Also new is a night light / blue light filter mode right in the quick settings. This is something that previously required you to enable a flag, so while not an entirely new feature, it’s much easier to access now.

Lastly, this update brings an updated UI with elements from Google’s Material Theme aesthetic and changes to the BIOS and trackpad firmware.

June 7, 2018 — All HTTP sites are now labeled as “Not Secure”

HTTPS is the future of website security, but for whatever reason, there are still some sites that continue to use the old HTTP standard.

As it stands right now, sites using HTTPS show a green “Secure” badge to the left of the domain. Starting with the Chrome OS 68 beta, that “Secure” badge is being removed and all HTTP sites wil show a “Not Secure” label so users can more easily identify if they’re on a site that’s not as safe as it should be.

Read through the full changelog here

Developer

July 11, 2018 — Android Nougat’s app shortcuts are now live!

chrome-os-dev-channel-app-shortcuts.jpg?

App shorcuts, first introduced with Android Nougat, are finally making their way to Chrome OS.

On July 11, 2018, Chrome OS evangelist François Beaufort announced that they are now live in the Chrome OS Dev Channel.

To start using them, simply enable the flag chrome://flags/#enable-touchable-app-context-menu. Once that’s done, right-click on an Android app that’s pinned to your shelf or in your app drawer and you’ll see the app shortcuts menu pop up.

The flag is still experimental, so don’t be alarmed if things are a bit buggy right now.

June 8, 2018 — The Pixelbook’s power button can act as a physical two-factor authentication key

Two-factor authentication is a great way to secure your online presence, and one way to go about this is by using a USB key. If you’ve got a Pixelbook running the Developer Channel, you can now mimic the functionality of a USB U2F key with its power button.

To enable this, simply open a Chrome Shell and enter u2f_flags g2f. As with everything in the Developer Channel, this feature isn’t the most stable so consider having a USB key anyways just in case something goes wrong.

June 5, 2018 — Chrome OS’s emoji shortcut is now available!

Chrome OS has long been in need of an easy way to access emojis, and if you’re running the Developer Channel, there’s a new tool that allows you to do just that.

After enabling the flag chrome://flags/#enable-emoji-context-menu, right-click on a text field and you’ll see a new “Emoji” option. Click on this, and you’ll be able to insert whatever emoji you’d like.

It’s reported that the implementation is still a little wonky, but it should smooth out as it makes its way through the Beta and Stable Channels.

How to change your software channel on Chrome OS

Chromebooks

  • The best Chromebooks
  • Chromebooks in education: Everything you need to know
  • Should you buy a Chromebook?
  • Chromebook Buyers Guide
  • Google Pixelbook review
  • Join our Chromebook forums

19
Sep

Best alternative to Inbox by Gmail


We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. There are plenty of email apps available for Android, and now that Inbox is leaving in March 2019, we’re here to help you find your replacement.

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In March 2019, Google will shut down Inbox for good. We’ll still be using it until then, but when it comes time to transition to a new email client, your best bet will likely be Gmail. Here’s why.

Our pick

Gmail

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  • Free on Google Play

The closest you’ll get to the Inbox experience.

Although many of us used Inbox because it had lots of features that were lacking in Gmail, this has steadily changed over the years. With plenty of useful features and far greater stability than anything else on our list, Gmail is the best Inbox alternative.

Who should use Gmail?

If you haven’t checked out Gmail since Inbox stole you away from it in 2014, a lot’s been added that makes Google’s primary email app worth revisiting. Emails are sorted into specific categories so you can focus on what matters, it’s easy to switch back and forth between multiple accounts, you can use Smart Replies, and more. It may not be a perfect Inbox clone, but it’s already pretty great and only going to get better.

Is it a good time to try it out?

Absolutely. Gmail’s changed a lot since Inbox was first released and is now more polished and feature-rich than ever before.

Reasons to use Gmail

  • It’s free
  • Very fast and smooth
  • Smart Replies
  • Customizable swipes
  • Undo sent emails

Reasons not to use it

  • Fewer categories/bundles than Inbox
  • Can’t see reminders

Google’s building Gmail into a version of Inbox that’ll be around for years to come

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When Google released Inbox a few years back, many users flocked to it because it offered a considerably better experience on both mobile and desktop compared to Gmail. In fact, even now in 2018, there are some things Inbox continues to do better than Gmail.

Over the years, however, Google’s brought Gmail back up to speed and has now grown it into an email client that’s steadily becoming a more effective Inbox replacement with every passing day.

With Gmail, you can now snooze emails, use Smart Replies, customize your swipe actions, view all of your accounts at once, and view your emails in three pre-made bundles. Those bundles are what really sold Inbox for a lot of people, and while Gmail’s Social, Promotions, and Updates bundles aren’t quite as extensive as what Inbox offers, they still do a good job at helping your inbox feel a bit less cluttered.

Google’s slowly bringing Inbox’s best features to Gmail one at a time.

Gmail’s Android app looks and feels great, and at any second now, we’re expecting it to get a complete visual refresh to match Google’s Material Theme UI. If you prefer checking email on your computer, the big Gmail update that landed earlier this year still works great and continues to feel much better than the old version.

Other niceties include rich notifications on Wear OS, integration with the Google Assistant, and — as always — Gmail is 100% free to use.

Lastly, there’s something to be said about the stability of Gmail going forward. While Google’s been known to launch and kill off services fairly often as we’re seeing with Inbox, Gmail’s been around since 2004 and is one of the most popular email clients in the world. In other words, it’s not going anywhere.

There are lots of other email apps that try to replicate Inbox’s formula, but with small, third-party clients, there’s no telling how long they’ll be around for.

Alternatives to Gmail

Despite all of the progress Google’s made with Gmail, we understand that it still won’t be a good fit for everyone. As such, we’ve outlined a few other options that are worth checking out.

Runner-up

Microsoft Outlook

microsoft-outlook-app-icon-2018.jpg?itok

A clean UI and built-in calendar make this a great pick.

Free on Google Play

Another good alternative to Inbox is Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is a very pretty app that runs smoothly, keeps you focused on the emails that matter, and even view your calendar. In addition to Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Outlook.com, the app also supports Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts.

If Gmail doesn’t offer enough to tickle your fancy, Microsoft Outlook might do the trick. The Focused inbox filters out non-priority messages, things like flight info and files are easy to find, and we love having a built-in calendar to quickly view any upcoming appointments without having to leave the app. Outlook is probably the best choice for users of Microsoft services, but we love that there’s also support for Gmail and Yahoo Mail users, too.

New kid on the block

Edison Email

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A promising client that’s still in beta.

Free on Google Play

Edison Email is a newer email client that’s currently in beta testing on the Play Store. That means there are still some bugs here and there, but Edison has a lot of good ideas. It’s got a great user interface, customizable gestures, and custom tools for tracking packages, unsubscribing from emails, and more.

If you don’t mind putting up with the usual assortment of bugs that come with apps that are still in beta testing, Edison is a new email client that may be the perfect fit. There’s a feature that makes it easy to unsubscribe from emails, a dedicated travel page so you can easily see flight & hotel info, and even a package tracker! Edison works with just about everything, too, including Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Exchange, Hotmail, Outlook, AOL Mail, IMAP, Alto, iCloud, and many more.

AI alternative

Astro Mail

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A powerful client with built-in AI.

Free on Google Play

AI seems to be everywhere these days, so why not add it to your inbox? That’s exactly what Astro Mail does. With the Astrobot, you can quickly archive heaps of email, view calendar appointments, unsubscribed from mailing lists, and more.

Astro Mail’s AI bot is easily the big feature that helps it stand out from the rest of its competition, but that’s not the only thing it brings to the table. You’ll also find a calendar, can schedule emails to be sent out at certain times, get notified when someone reads your emails, and there’s even an Alexa skill for the app! There are a lot of complaints about various bugs in Play Store reviews, so keep that in mind before getting your hopes up too much.

Bottom line

There are a lot of cool, experimental features in our above picks, but if you want an email client that works well, is super stable, and still offers some powerful tools, Gmail is the way to go for most people.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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Joe Maring is Android Central’s News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to joe.maring@mobilenations.com!

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