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19
Oct

Apple Encourages Developers to Get Their Mac Apps Notarized


In macOS Mojave, Apple introduced a new notarization feature for apps distributed outside of the Mac App Store that’s designed to further protect users from malicious Mac apps.

Apple is encouraging Mac app developers to submit their apps to Apple to be notarized. An Apple-notarized Mac app comes with a “more streamlined Gatekeeper dialog” to assure users that an app is not known malware.

Apple already provides trusted non Mac App Store developers with Developer IDs that are necessary to let the Gatekeeper function on macOS install non Mac App Store apps without a hassle, but notarization takes it one step further and adds an extra layer of security.

Notarization automatically scans Developer ID-signed software and performs security checks for malicious code and code signing problems.

According to Apple, in a future version of macOS, notarization will be required for Developer ID-signed software.

macOS Mojave is here. Give Mac users even more confidence in your software distributed outside the Mac App Store by submitting it to Apple to be notarized. When users on macOS Mojave first open a notarized app, installer package, or disk image, they’ll see a more streamlined Gatekeeper dialog and have confidence that it is not known malware.

Download Xcode 10 and submit your software today. In an upcoming release of macOS, Gatekeeper will require Developer ID-signed software to be notarized by Apple.

The notarization process is designed for non Mac App Store apps and is not required for those that are submitted to the Mac App Store. More information on notarization can be found on Apple’s developer site.

Tag: Mac App Store
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19
Oct

When tech goes wrong: Banksy’s shredder was meant to totally destroy his artwork


Banksy said this week that the plan was to shred the entirety of his artwork, not half of it. But the shredder built into the frame suddenly stopped halfway through.

For those who missed the hullabaloo, the art world went into meltdown earlier this month when Banksy’s famous Girl With Balloon stencil self-shredded just seconds after it auctioned for around $1.4 million.

Hardly surprisingly, it was none other than the international man of mystery himself who was behind the stunt, rather than some rogue employee at the London Sotheby’s where the sale took place.

As the artwork began to be ripped to shreds, those inside the auction room couldn’t quite believe their eyes. But as the shredder reached about halfway, it suddenly ground to a halt, leaving a portion of the torn picture dangling down beneath the frame, and the half intact, still inside.

Banksy, whose true identity to this day has not been officially confirmed, released a video shortly after the auction that showed him, or his team, building the shredder into the frame. The clip also showed the moment inside the auction room when the shredder cranked into action.

But this week, Banksy posted a slightly longer video of the incident, this one called “the director’s half cut.” Running for nearly three minutes, the footage suggests that the artist actually wanted to shred all of Girl With Balloon, not just some of it.

“In rehearsals it worked every time,” an on-screen message reads before showing a demonstration of the shredder working its way through an entire print of Girl With Balloon, one of the artist’s most iconic images.

It’s not clear why the shredder was unable to complete its mission, but its failure to do so is thought to have added even more value to the piece.

Indeed, at first it wasn’t clear if the woman that made the million-dollar bid would go through with the purchase following the artwork’s destruction, but having realized she could own something truly unique by an acclaimed artist, she decided to stick by her winning bid.

As the piece isn’t quite what it was, it’s now been given a new title — Love Is in the Bin — and been granted a certificate by Banksy’s representatives, Pest Control.

Commenting on the bizarre stunt, the anonymous European buyer said, “At first I was shocked, but I realized I would end up with my own piece of art history.” All thanks to a faulty shredder.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Banksy artwork self-destructs after it auctions for $1.4 million
  • Apple’s original computer expected to fetch more than $300K at auction
  • What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (November 2018)
  • Crazy vending machine swaps computer art for your permanent selfie
  • The best movies on Netflix right now (October 2018)



19
Oct

Intel Core i9-9900K review and benchmark


Luke Larsen/Digital Trends

The Core i9-9900K isn’t the first Core i9, but it’s the first one that matters to gamers.

Intel’s Core i9 platform launched well over a year ago, bringing higher core-counts and clock speeds to home desktops. Yet those chips were targeted more towards productivity because they prioritized core count over clock speed. That’s not a winning combination for game performance and, as a result, the Core i9 chips often weren’t the best pick for games.

That’s no longer true. Intel claims the i9-9900K is the “world’s best gaming processor” — in other words, a processor that the average person was meant to own and use. So, does Intel’s latest and greatest live up to the hype, or fizzle under the pressure?

The stakes

Though still built on the familiar Coffee Lake 14-nanometer microarchitecture, the Core i9-9900K is indeed the launch of an entire new generation of processors. With that comes the familiar controversies around performance claims and benchmarks typical of generational launches.

Intel came out of the gate swinging, claiming its new Core i9 bested AMD’s Ryzen processors by as much as 50 percent in some benchmarks. That’s a huge leap, especially since Intel has played catch-up in core count since AMD launched the Threadripper platform just over a year ago. Beyond that, Intel’s well-documented delay of 10-nanometer has been painful to watch, especially as AMD has been building out its 12-nanometer platform throughout all of 2018.

Real-life performance was where the Core i9 blew us away.

But Intel has done it again.

Rather than compete directly with either the Threadripper 1900X or the Ryzen 7 1800X, the Core i9-9900K promises the best of both worlds. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, matching the Ryzen 7, but boosts up to an audacious 5GHz Turbo frequency. Not even the 2nd-gen Threadripper has cracked that milestone. Its core count might be far behind, but the Core i9-9900K can hit higher per-core clock speeds at default settings.

It’s priced like a Threadripper, has the core count of the Ryzen 7, and boosts faster than either. This Core i9 isn’t the same as other processors we’ve seen before.

Record-breaking processing power

We tested the Core i9 in Asus’ new ROG Strix GL12CX desktop, which also featured an Nvidia RTX 2080 and 32GB of RAM. The results weren’t just impressive. They were record-breaking.

We compared the Core i9-9900K against the Ryzen 7 1800X. We also set it side by side with AMD’s Threadripper 1920X and 1950X, both of which have higher core counts than Intel’s product. Still, the Core i9 is the clear winner in every benchmark and test we could put it through.

In synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench, the Core i9 beats the Threadripper 1920X in multi-core scores by around 21 percent. That increases to 28 percent in single-core. It looks even worse for the Ryzen 7, which nearly 40 percent behind Intel.

Against the previous generation Core i7-8700K, the Core i9 matched its single-core performance, but flexed its eight-core muscles by upping its multi-core score by around 25 percent. That’s the kind of improvement two extra cores provides.

Real-life performance tests are where the Core i9 blew us away. The system encoded a 4K video in Handbrake in just one minute and sixteen seconds. That’s the new record for systems we’ve tested, and well over half the time it took AMD’s Threadripper 1920X.

The best gaming processor, indeed

The Core i9-9900K is an attractive processor for any demanding use, but gaming is the headline feature. Its impressive performance makes a difference, though only in games constrained by the CPU.

Civilization VI, which performs many AI calculations simultaneously, benefited greatly from the high clock speeds and eight cores of the 9900K. The Core i9-9990K outperformed the Threadripper 1920X by 40 percent. We saw similar results in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, where draw distance and high numbers of NPCs tap the CPU more heavily. In games like these, the Core i9 scores like no other processor.

On the other hand, we saw little improvement over the competition in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Battlefield 1. Regardless of whether you’re playing in 4K on Ultra or in 1080p on Medium, much of the processing power was wasted. The GeForce RTX 2080 is doing the heavy lifting here. Game performance is capped by the GPU, not the CPU.

Much of the controversy surrounding the benchmarks of the Core i9 revolve around the Threadripper’s Game Mode, which is said to improve game performance at the expense of peak processor performance. However, it should be noted they don’t ship with the setting on by default, which means gamers probably won’t experience a performance benefit. If you’re curious, though, flipping Game Mode on reduced the 40 percent lead in Civilization VI to 32 percent.

The unsurprising champion

You likely won’t be surprised to hear the world’s best gaming processor comes at a high price. The Core i9-9900K will set you back $530 if you buy it at retail. That’s a huge bump over the $360 i7-8700K or the $374 i7-9700K, and much more expensive than a Ryzen 7 processor. The pricing actually makes AMD’s Threadripper the prime competition.

Luke Larsen/Digital Trends

Luckily for Intel, the Core i9-9900K boasts game performance that beats Threadripper and, on balance, everything else. The processor’s combination of respectable core count and per-core speed is the secret sauce games love.

This doesn’t mean you have to buy the Core i9-9900K. You can enjoy an awesome gaming experience on a far less powerful processor, like Intel’s Core i5-8400 or AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X. But if you want the best of the best, the Core i9-9900K is it.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best processors for gaming
  • Leak shows Intel’s Core i9-9900K comes in a cool 12-sided box, but costs $580
  • The best Intel processors
  • Why Intel and Nvidia controversies prove you should always wait for benchmarks
  • AMD vs. Intel



19
Oct

The Google Pixel 3 XL is the best unlocked Android phone you can buy


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The Google Pixel 3 XL is easily the best phone Google has ever made, and that also makes it the best unlocked Android phone available. Simplicity is the name of the game here: the hardware is efficiently designed, the software gets out of your way, and all of the features have a distinct purpose. It also offers the best overall camera experience of any Android.

Our pick

Google Pixel 3 XL

xl-render-front.png

$899 from Google Store
$899 from Best Buy

The best unlocked Android phone.

The Pixel 3 XL focuses on having the fastest, simplest and most helpful software experience, running on simple and powerful hardware. It accents everything with an amazing camera and a handful of features that make it stand out from the competition.

Who should buy this phone

The Pixel 3 XL is not for those who measure a phone’s quality by the level of its specs or the raw number of features it offers. But if you just look at the spec sheet and the features, you’re missing out on the bigger picture: the Pixel 3 XL is an amazing phone to use and experience.

The Pixel 3 XL offers an exceptional smartphone experience, whether you’re a novice or a pro.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, Google’s software experience is appealing. Android 9 Pie is simple, smooth, easy to use and doesn’t have a bunch of features or extras that get in your way. You won’t experience bloatware or unwanted apps, and the deep integration with Google services makes setup and sync effortless. Everything you do on the Pixel 3 XL is fast and easy to manage, and you can do as much, or as little, as you see fit with it.

One of the biggest selling points is its cameras. The rear camera takes the best photos in the business, whether you want to just point and shoot or get deeper into the extra features. On the front, a pair of cameras offers fantastic selfies for just you or a group.

This phone is the complete package. Sure it’s missing a couple of the highest-end specs, and it isn’t as customizable as the competition, but the pros heavily outweigh those cons.

Is it a good time to buy this phone?

Yes. The Pixel 3 XL was just released, and Google holds to a strict yearly cycle for releasing phones. This will be the latest and greatest from the company for months to come.

Reasons to buy

  • Amazing photo quality
  • Great selfies
  • Super-loud stereo speakers
  • Simple, intuitive software
  • Wireless charging
  • Guaranteed software updates

Reasons not to buy

  • No headphone jack
  • Display notch

There are so many great Android phones available, but the Pixel 3 XL stands out

It should come as little surprise that Google’s own Pixel phones offer the best possible Android experience. It starts with the hardware, which is clean, efficient and robust. The three color options give you choices on the look, but regardless you get great speakers, wireless charging and solid (if unspectacular) battery life. The screen is also great, with the extra-large 6.3-inch OLED panel giving you plenty of room to view everything.

It should come as little surprise that the best Android experience comes directly from Google.

Android 9 Pie is an excellent operating system filled with nice-to-have features, but at the same time isn’t weighed down by extra cruft or bloatware that you don’t want. It’s capable of being a simple and easy to use system, or a super-powerful tool for more advanced users — the choice is yours. In either case you benefit from fantastic performance and smooth animations, plus deep integration with Google’s services. You also get three years of guaranteed software updates, plus unlimited Google Photos backups at full resolution — nice perks.

On both phones, you get the same industry-leading camera performance. The rear camera has just a single sensor and lens, but Google’s software takes it to new heights. You can take amazing photos with little thought in any scene, and new enhancements to processing give you better digital zoom and multi-frame capture without any configuration or changing of modes. The dual selfie cameras give you flexibility to shoot super-sharp single shots, group wide-angle shots, or uniquely processed portrait mode photos.

Every Pixel 3 XL is unlocked (yes, even the ones Best Buy and Verizon sell), with the same hardware, so you don’t have to worry about network band compatibility or dealing with different versions of the phone.

Alternatives to the Google Pixel 3 XL

The Pixel 3 XL is a great choice for so many people, but of course there are some potential buyers who don’t want to go all-in with the Google way of doing things. That’s why there are other phones out there that offer a different experience and are worthy of considering.

Compact pick

Google Pixel 3

3-render-front.png

$799 from Google Store

The complete Pixel experience, in a smaller size you can easily manage in one hand.

This is a pretty simple equation: take the Pixel 3 XL, and scale it down to a size that’s much more manageable in one hand. You get all of the same specs, features and camera quality as the larger phone — you just get less screen to work with, and a smaller battery that leads to shorter battery life.

Not everyone wants a huge phone, and the Pixel 3 delivers the same great Pixel experience while keeping the size comfortable for a wide range of hand (and pocket) sizes. The Pixel 3 is small enough to fit in your bag or pocket even with a case on, and you won’t find yourself fumbling around to awkwardly wrap your hand around it.

Despite being smaller, the Pixel 3 has all of the same great hardware, specs, features and camera quality as the larger 3 XL. That includes the glass build, wireless charging, screen quality and stereo speakers. The only things you miss out on here is just the sheer size of the 3 XL’s screen, and its larger battery. Things may feel a little more cramped in some apps, requiring a little more zooming or scrolling, and at the end of the day you’re going to have less wiggle room in the battery. If you’re a heavy phone user, the Pixel 3 may not be able to manage everything you throw at it without a midday top-up.

A do-everything flagship

Samsung Galaxy S9+

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$739 from Amazon

A great all-around phone with mass appeal, and amazing hardware and features.

The Galaxy S9+ is the phone anyone can pick up and make their own. You don’t miss out on a single spec or hardware feature, and it has both one of the best displays and best camera experiences available. And it’s cheaper than Google’s latest phones.

Samsung makes phones that appeal to the widest possible market, and that’s why the Galaxy S9+ is so easy to recommend. It has every hardware feature and spec you could want out of a phone in 2018, and the software is there to make it all work. You can also customize the software to do whatever you want, but that also means it takes a lot more setup and massaging to work just right — and in the end, it still won’t match Google’s simplicity.

But the GS9+ does most things just as well as the Pixel 3 XL, and even bests it in a couple areas: namely its higher display brightness, expandable storage and headphone jack. Being several months old, it’s also much cheaper. You’ll pay about $715 for the Galaxy S9+, which is a considerable savings over the Pixel 3 XL and enough of a discount to make many people consider it.

Special stylus

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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$959 from Amazon

An incredible phone with a huge price to match.

The Galaxy S9+ is great, but the Samsung Note 9 is even greater. It does everything the GS9+ does, but adds in a larger screen, more storage, longer battery life and an S Pen stylus. And it’s about $200 more because of it.

The Galaxy Note 9 is easily the best Note phone Samsung has ever made, and for once it’s actually better than the latest Galaxy S phone in every way. The battery has jumped up to 4000mAh, which gives you effortless all-day battery life, and the rest of the experience is the same as what the Galaxy S9+ offers.

That means you get top-end specs, a great camera, an industry-leading display and so much more. And the Note has an S Pen, which remains unmatched in the smartphone world. The problem is its $1000+ price tag, which is a tough pill to swallow when you can get almost the same experience for about $200 less with the Galaxy S9+. That makes this an “upgrade” and not the standard recommendation.

Budget pick

Moto G6

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  • $219 from Amazon

This is the best budget Android phone for most people, giving you all of the basics at an incredible price.

The Moto G6 is a budget-priced winner in every respect. From the modern design to the dual camera setup and excellent performance, the Moto G6 represents the pinnacle of Motorola’s dominance in the budget phone space.

In a world filled with great low-cost Android phones, the Moto G6 stands above the rest — and that makes sense, because Motorola has been dominating this space for years. The Moto G6 is just over $200, yet offers a modern design and many of the same software features as the higher-end smartphones on this list.

It offers a big screen, good battery life, surprisingly good performance and a nicer camera than you’d expect for the money. It has modern conveniences like a USB-C port and fast charging, plus bonuses like a 3.5mm headphone jack. Motorola’s software is also fantastic, with a clean interface and useful features you’ll take advantage of every day.

Bottom line

The Google Pixel 3 XL is the best unlocked Android phone you can buy today. It has amazing performance, simple and powerful software, great cameras and no clear issues or downsides. Its hardware matches the competition in terms of quality and features, and finally isn’t let down by a subpar screen. You can also get the same features in a smaller size (for less money) with the Pixel 3. Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ and Note 9 offer compelling alternatives to those who want more features and can manage the software, and for the truly budget-minded buyer, the Moto G6 is a great phone for a fraction of the price.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at andrew.martonik@androidcentral.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

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Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.

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Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation’s Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently he is using Google’s Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

19
Oct

What Pixel 3 cases do you recommend buying?


You’ve got a lot of great options to choose from this year.

Google opted for an all-glass back this year with its Pixel 3 series, and while this does allow for wireless charging, it also makes the phones much more prone to scratches and cracks.

spigen-rugged-armor-pixel-3-xl-2.jpg?ito

There are a ton of excellent cases out there to choose from, but ones are truly worth your money?

According to the AC forum community, these are the cases you should be keeping on your radar.

avatar1065439_2.gifbhatech
10-12-2018 10:18 AM

I got the speck presidio and Google fabric case. Presidio case already delivered and fabric case will be delivered next week.

Reply

avatar3043574_1.gifMr Segundus
10-12-2018 01:29 PM

I ordered the Otterbox Defender a couple of days ago from Verizon and it was just delivered via FedEx.

I purchased the 128GB Pixel 3 XL and I don’t want my $1,000 phone to get damaged if I drop it.

Reply

default.jpgboourn
10-12-2018 05:09 PM

I bought the Spigen Slim Liquid Crystal Soft Cover – not the best drop protection but I prefer clear cases and thought I’d buy this one to tide me over until more options come out in the market.

Reply

default.jpgSturm Rider
10-12-2018 05:47 PM

Went with the “Encased” Slim Holster and case. Always preferred a holster and the Verizon one’s clip keeps breaking on me. So try something different.

Reply

What about you? What Pixel 3 cases do you recommend buying?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL review
  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL specifications
  • Join our Pixel 3 forums

Best Buy
Verizon
Google Store
Project Fi

19
Oct

Google doesn’t need to make a ‘cheap’ Pixel phone


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The days of a cheap ‘Nexus’ phone are dead; it’s time to move on.

Complaints about the Pixel 3’s price have been loud. Even louder than complaints about the Pixel 3 XL’s notch. It’s reasonable to argue whether the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are worth the full freight of $799-899 given their spec sheets. And I think even a $50 lower price on each would’ve done a lot of good to help change the conversation around just how expensive they are.

But some have asked why Google doesn’t just go back to making “cheap” phones again — as it did in the heyday of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. A lower price, they say, would appease the Android fans who just want an inexpensive phone from Google with “stock” Android, but also give Google’s Pixel brand a fighting chance of growing its market share from the current doldrums.

Building yet another cheap Android phone doesn’t make Google money, nor does it advance its branding.

To think Google would decide to make an inexpensive Pixel — either by cheaping out on the whole thing or losing money on every phone sold — simply to sell more phones is counter to all of its messaging since the first Pixel. “Expensive” Pixels are here to stay, and it’s the right move for Google to accomplish its stated goals for its phone business.

I put “expensive” in quotes above because we have to remember that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are priced right in line with the market they’re attempting to compete in. High-end phones released this year cost between $800 and $1000, that’s just the reality, and Google has priced them to match. That should be the only indication you need to understand what market Google wants to try and get a foothold in, and what the competition is. But there’s more.

Google is attempting to show that it can make the best phone at any price, competing with Samsung and Apple in particular. Why, exactly? Well these are ultimately the most valuable consumers — the dedicated buyers who want a phone for its features, design, status and brand. Those are the people who turn into repeat customers, make the most money for the company on a per-phone basis, and ultimately come away with a positive feeling about Google as a company. Pixels are, ultimately, a physical advertisement for Google.

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Then there’s the reality that Google knows the flagship-level space provides more creative freedom of design and features than the mid-range does. The slim margins of the budget phone space make it a poor choice from a business perspective for a company the size of Google, which has the chops to make a truly competitive high-end phone. If Google were making a Pixel for perhaps $450, it would be unrecognizable to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL we have available today. Hardware and specs would be scaled back substantially, the screens wouldn’t be this good, and all of the extras like unlimited Google Photos backup and nice in-box accessories wouldn’t make the cut.

Sure it’d be great if Google just took a loss of some $200 on every Pixel 3 and 3 XL it sold by undercutting the market, but that isn’t realistic. Google’s hardware division can’t just lose billions of dollars — it has an expectation of being profitable like every other division outside of Google X. At that point, what would differentiate a Pixel from the dozens of other great cheap phones out there? Very little, really. Google also already has Android One, which isn’t far removed from the Pixel software experience, that hasn’t shown to be a huge driver of device sales as it is.

Pixels are effectively a physical advertisement for Google — it doesn’t want to be associated with cheap phones.

It also doesn’t make much sense for Google to wade back into the mid-range market where Android already dominates, outselling all others by an order of magnitude in the sub-$500 price bracket. Google isn’t going to be able to justify entering that market, where we’ve established it won’t make money nor grow its brand presence anyway, just to insignificantly increase Android’s share of the segment. As established above, Pixels are a public-facing marketing tool for the Google brand, not Android as a whole.

And as much as it seems illogical to the former Nexus fans among us, Google just doesn’t care about making a cheap Pixel phone “for the fans” anymore. There market is small, won’t make Google enough money to justify it, and ultimately doesn’t expand its market of potential customers.

Google shows no sign of reducing the price of its Pixel phones, either in the short term with the Pixel 3 or in the long term with subsequent replacements. Given that realization, Google’s goal needs to be justifying the price tag. It’s done so with the tech press, garnering really positive reviews from us and many other publications and pundits alike. The products are clearly good in the eyes of the smartphone observers — now, it needs to expand that goodwill into the public sphere. Just lowering the price may garner more sales, but it isn’t going to magically make “Pixel” a household name or accomplish Google’s goals for its smartphone business.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL review
  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL specifications
  • Join our Pixel 3 forums

Best Buy
Verizon
Google Store
Project Fi

19
Oct

The OnePlus 6T could work on Verizon Wireless


OnePlus is going to end 2018 with a bang.

Ever since it was released this past May, the OnePlus 6 has been one of the absolute best values in smartphones we’ve seen in 2018. The phone’s only gotten better thanks to striking new colors and fast software updates, and right around the corner is its incremental successor — the OnePlus 6T.

The 6T likely won’t shake up the OnePlus 6’s formula too much, but even so, it’s already shaping up to be one of the year’s most interesting smartphones.

Without further ado, here’s everything we know about the OnePlus 6T!

The latest OnePlus 6T news

October 19, 2018 — The OnePlus 6T could work on Verizon Wireless

Every year, one of the biggest complaints about OnePlus phones is that they aren’t compatible with Verizon’s network. No matter how fast they are or how much the cameras have improved, none of this matters for people that rely on Verizon for their cell service.

However, that could be changing this year. According to a report from PCMag, “multiple industry sources” have said that the OnePlus 6T “may” work with Verizon.

Although we won’t see the OnePlus 6T being sold in Verizon stores as we will with T-Mobile, the unlocked variant of the phone is said to support LTE Band 13 for use with Verizon’s LTE network. This means you won’t get any CDMA coverage, but considering how mature Verizon’s LTE service is these days, that really shouldn’t be an issue.

Verizon compatibility is not confirmed at this point, and unless OnePlus or Verizon makes an announcement in the next few days, it won’t be until the 6T’s unveiling on October 30. With that said, even if we don’t see Verizon support this year, it’s still awfully encouraging to hear that OnePlus is even working on this.

October 17, 2018 — OnePlus 6T confirmed to ship with Android 9 Pie

We’re about two weeks away from the OnePlus 6T reveal, and if you’ve been following details on the phone, you’ll know that a lot of its info and features have already been revealed. Now, GizmoChina has confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will ship with Android 9 Pie out of the box.

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed the news on Chinese social network Weibo, and in addition to this, also noted that the Android Pie update for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 3 devices is being delayed as the company’s engineers need more time to perfect everything.

October 12, 2018 — OnePlus teases new gestures and redesigned UI for OnePlus 6T

Leading up to the OnePlus 6T’s announcement at the end of the month, some of the OnePlus team took the company’s official forums to talk about the improved software experience with OxygenOS on the phone.

Starting first with the UI, OnePlus notes that “a whole new UI” will be present on the phone and that you’ll “have to experience for yourself to really understand.” OnePlus went on to say, “Our goal was to express the OnePlus design language in our UI, making this the most distinct and intuitive version of OxygenOS yet.” Exciting stuff.

Along with that, there’s also confirmation that the 6T will ship with revamped gesture navigation.

Whenever you swipe up in an app, the application window will follow your finger, making for a more natural experience. It’s also faster in two ways: with a quick flick from the bottom of the screen towards the right of your screen, you can change between 2 recently used apps.

Add that together with promised behind-the-scenes improvements to the camera and further focus on making OxygenOS as fast and fluid as possible, and the 6T’s software experience is shaping up to be something special.

October 9, 2018 — The OnePlus 6T will launch on November 6

According to The Verge, the OnePlus 6 will launch a week after its October 30 announcement: November 6. The company will hold a launch event in New York City on October 30 starting at 11am ET.

We still don’t know pricing, which is the last remaining elusive piece of information we need. What do you think? $549? $599?

October 9, 2018 — OnePlus 6T will feature a 3700mAh battery, pre-bookings now live on Amazon India

OnePlus has confirmed that the 6T will feature a 3700mAh battery, 10% larger than the one in the OnePlus 6. The increased battery capacity was leaked a few weeks ago, and OnePlus is now confirming the same. The phone will also offer the company’s Dash Charge fast charging tech.

OnePlus has also opened up pre-bookings for the OnePlus 6T on Amazon India. Customers pre-booking the device will get a pair of OnePlus’ Type-C Bullets earphones for free, along with a ₹500 ($6.75) Amazon gift card. The phone itself will be going up for sale in India on November 2.

See at Amazon India

October 8, 2018 — The OnePlus 6T is launching on October 30

The #OnePlus6T is coming. Unlock The Speed on October 30. https://t.co/LuPoTr8ZyF pic.twitter.com/s8OfmZuXdX

— OnePlus (@oneplus) October 8, 2018

OnePlus has confirmed that it will unveil the OnePlus 6T on October 30. The phone will be making its debut at an event in New York, and OnePlus is set to kick off pre-orders on the same day.

The company will also hold a satellite event in India — its largest market — on October 30, and fans will be able to purchase tickets for the same starting 10:00am IST on October 17.

October 7, 2018 — OnePlus teases Monday announcement on Twitter

Check back in 24 hours for an exciting announcement. #OnePlus6T pic.twitter.com/mIeveZ0n6H

— OnePlus (@oneplus) October 7, 2018

The OnePlus 6T is expected to be announced to the world any time now, but we might not have to wait much longer — at least, for an event date. OnePlus tweeted out a tease for fans, telling them to come back in 24 hours for an “exciting announcement”.

While we expect said announcement to be an event date for the official unveiling of the OnePlus 6T, there is also a chance that the official announcement of the device. OnePlus has had a busy week of teases, leaks, and the official confirmation that the 6T will lack both a headphone jack and wireless charging, and OnePlus might be ready to show the world one of the most anticipated phones of the year.

Tomorrow is also the day before the Google Pixel 3 event — and the beginning of Pixel 3 pre-orders — so whatever OnePlus announces tomorrow may very well end up being an appetizer before the October 9 feast of new Google products.

October 2, 2018 — OnePlus 6T confirmed to not have wireless charging, better water-resistance

CNET recently sat down for an exclusive interview with OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, and during it, a few interesting tidbits were revealed.

Perhaps most importantly, the interview confirms that the OnePlus 6T will not support wireless charging. According to Lau:

We’re working hard on this. When we get to the day that the wireless charging can get up to speed of [Dash Charge] without the implication of heat that we expect, then I believe we can integrate the technology.

Lau also commented on the 6T’s water resistance, saying that it’s the most water-resistant phone the company’s made yet. However, in an attempt to save money, you won’t find an official IP rating.

Last but not least, Lau confirmed that one of the main reasons the 3.5mm headphone jack was removed was to make room for the in-display fingerprint sensor. He also said that it was “one of the most difficult decisions for us [OnePlus] to make.”

Read the full interview here

October 1, 2018 — Here are renders of the OnePlus 6T in Midnight Black and Mirror Black

oneplus-6t-midnight-black-front.jpg?itokoneplus-6t-midnight-black-back.jpg?itok=

Midnight Black

Need more OnePlus 6T renders in your life? Lucky for you, WinFuture recently got their hands on just that.

A few new images of the phone show its front and back in both Midnight Black and Mirror Black finishes — two colors that are also available for the OnePlus 6.

oneplus-6t-mirror-black-front.jpg?itok=ooneplus-6t-mirror-black-back.jpg?itok=mj

Mirror Black

Although the 6T’s design has already been confirmed in other leaks, these renderes once again show off the waterdrop style notch, the absence of the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and dual rear cameras.

September 28, 2018 — OnePlus begins teasing the 6T

We already know that the OnePlus 6T is coming, but now thanks to a teaser clip on its official Twitter page, OnePlus is ready to start hyping up the phone ahead of its announcement.

OnePlus 6T. It’s coming. pic.twitter.com/Wrdt9sCdIs

— OnePlus (@oneplus) September 28, 2018

The short clip is just 5 seconds long and features the tagline “Unlock the Future” along with the OnePlus 6T logo.

There’s not much else to see, but with the hype train starting, an official reveal should be coming soon.

September 26, 2018 — OnePlus 6T appears in a bunch of new renders

oneplus-6t-onleaks-1.jpg?itok=-WBVxWj2

Earlier this month, we got our first render of the OnePlus 6T showing off the top rear portion of the phone. Now, thanks to @OnLeaks and MySmartPrice, we have full device renders of the 6T that shows what it’ll look like from every angle imaginable.

As expected, the 6T’s body shares a lot of similarities with the Oppo R17. There’s a large 6.4-inch display around front with a tiny waterdrop style notch at the very top. Around back is a dual camera system, glass construction, and no fingerprint sensor. This time around, OnePlus is hiding it underneath the display.

The 6T is said to be a bit thicker and wider than the 6, coming in at 157.5 x 75.7 x 8.2mm compared to 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm.

Are you liking what you’re seeing?

September 19, 2018 — OnePlus 6T teaser video airs in India, shows off dual rear cameras

OnePlus has started airing a OnePlus 6T teaser video in India that shows off the back of the upcoming phone. A render from earlier today revealed that the device will have dual rear cameras — and not three like previously rumored — and the video further reinforces that. The commercial features OnePlus’ India ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, and also references the in-display fingerprint sensor.

Amazon India is also building up interest for the device by opening up a “Notify Me” page for the OnePlus 6T ahead of the rumored October 17 launch.

September 19, 2018 — OnePlus 6T render confirms dual rear cameras, logo also teased

better-oneplus-6t-back-render.jpg?itok=1

Thanks to the folks over at WinFuture, we now have our very first render of the upcoming OnePlus 6T. The render admittedly doesn’t reveal a lot of the phone, but even so, it does manage to confirm a couple of key details.

First of all, it would appear that OnePlus will be sticking with two rear cameras on the back. On that same note, the cameras are also in the exact same position as they are on the OnePlus 6.

oneplus-6t-vs-6-back.jpg?itok=7IRpfiOG

Along with this, we can also see that there’s no longer a fingerprint sensor below the camera lens. OnePlus already confirmed that the 6T will be its first phone to use an in-display sensor, so we’re now seeing how all of that will come together.

Last but not least, WinFuture also shared the 6T’s official logo. There’s nothing particularly exciting about it, but here it is for your vieiwng pleasure.

oneplus-6t-logo.jpg?itok=RKYjaIwG

September 13, 2018 — The OnePlus 6T will not have a headphone jack

Yep, you read that correctly. As confirmed by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei in an interview with TechRadar, the 6T will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Having a headphone jack on its phones is something OnePlus has adamantly bragged about for the last few years, so why is the company now deciding to remove it? First of all, Pei notes that by removing the headphone jack, more features can be crammed into the 6T.

Some of that space is likely going to the in-display fingerprint sensor that was already confirmed by the company, and along with that, Pei says battery life is being improved, too. We don’t have raw numbers, but it’s said that the improvement will be “substantial enough for users to realize.”

Another reason for the jack’s removal is timing. Per a survey that OnePlus conducted earlier this year, 59% of its users already have some sort of wireless earbuds. Furthermore, Pei expects that number to now be higher following the release of the Bullets Wireless.

OnePlus expects some backlash from its community, and like we’ve seen from Apple, Google, and others, a 3.5mm-to-USB-C dongle will be included in the box so you can continue to use your old wired headphones.

What do you think about the 6T not having a headphone jack?

September 10, 2018 — OnePlus confirms in-display fingerprint sensor for OnePlus 6T

oneplus-6t-lock%20screen.jpg?itok=1qJT-h

Less than a week since the OnePlus 6T retail box leaked, OnePlus has confirmed to CNET that one of the main features shown there — specifically the in-display fingerprint sensor — will be present on the phone at launch.

In an email sent to the publication, OnePlus said:

We unlock our phones multiple times a day, and Screen Unlock reduces the number of steps to complete the action. By adding this feature as an addition to other display unlocking options such as Face Unlock, users will have options to unlock the display in a way that is most efficient for them.

OnePlus also shared a screenshot of the 6T’s lock screen, and as you can see, an icon near the bottom of the display will show users where to put their finger to unlock the phone. Similar to devices like the Vivo X20 Plus UD and Vivo Nex, the 6T uses an optical scanner under its screen that views your print, matches it with one that’s been set up, and unlocks your phone.

In-display sensors have typically been slower than traditional ones on the front or back of a device, and if that’s the case with the 6T, at least we’ll also have Face Unlock as an unlocking option, too.

September 4, 2018 — Retail box reveals an in-display fingerprint sensor and “waterdrop” notch

Our first big OnePlus 6T leak has finally arrived!

oneplus-6t-box-4.jpg?itok=dTGvJqFnoneplus-6t-box-3.jpg?itok=EiHvKaQIoneplus-6t-box-2.jpg?itok=yhv_QteR

A retail box for the phone recently appeared in a few photos online, and while the phone itself isn’t anywhere to be seen, the packaging actually confirms a couple key details about it.

Thanks to an outline of the 6T inside the box, we can see that it adopts a very similar design compared to the Oppo R17 that was announced in mid-August. As such, we’ve got a phone with very slim bezels, a tiny chin at the bottom, and a waterdrop style notch at the top.

This outline also shows a fingerprint near the bottom center of the display — suggesting that the 6T will be the first OnePlus phone to adopt an in-display fingerprint sensor.

August 17, 2018 — OnePlus 6T to launch on T-Mobile in the U.S. in October

A new report from CNET surfaced today, and if you’ve been waiting for more juicy details on the OnePlus 6T, there’s plenty for you here.

OnePlus phones in the U.S. have always been sold exclusively as unlocked handsets through OnePlus’s website, but with the 6T, OnePlus will be launching the phone on its first carrier partner in the States — T-Mobile. The T-Mobile version of the OnePlus 6T is said to be “optimized for T-Mobile’s network” and will work beautifully with the Un-Carrier’s 600Mhz band.

Pricing for the OnePlus 6T is said to be about $550 (a slight increase from the $529 OnePlus 6) and it’ll launch at some point in October.

August 14, 2018 — The new Oppo R17 is likely the phone the OnePlus 6T will be modeled after

oppo-r17-front-back.jpg?itok=WbknfmaY

If you’ve been following OnePlus for a while, chances are you know that its parent company is Oppo. OnePlus typically uses Oppo phones as references for its own hardware, and this year, the reference device for the OnePlus 6T will likely be the all-new Oppo R17.

While the 6T won’t be identical to the R17, the phone’s biggest features will likely carry over — including the waterdrop notch at the top of the display and all-glass back.

oppo-r17-notch-up-close.jpg?itok=KdG2A5G

The R17’s notch is one of the smallest we’ve ever seen, and should this make its way to the 6T, it’ll be a big win for the phone’s design. The display below that measures in at 6.4-inches, and to not much surprise, retains a resolution of 1080 x 2280 Full HD.

Where will I be able to buy the OnePlus 6T?

t-mobile-store-nyc-2018.jpg?itok=qoKMh6u

Like previous OnePlus phones, we’re certain that the OnePlus 6T will be sold unlocked on OnePlus’s website.

However, new this year in the U.S., OnePlus has apparently secured its first carrier partner.

In addition to selling the phone unlocked, OnePlus will also sell the 6T via T-Mobile. The unlocked variant will work just fine on TMO, but by having the phone sold directly through the carrier and available to purchase via monthly financing, this should hopefully get the 6T in more people’s hands than previous OnePlus devices.

When will the phone be released?

According to a report from CNET, the OnePlus 6T will launch this fall — sometime in October, to be exact.

Seeing as how the OnePlus 5T went on sale November 21 and sales for the 3T opened up November 28, we have no reason not to believe OnePlus will shoot for an October launch. It’s not uncommon for OEMs to move up launch dates by a month or so compared to previous releases, and seeing as how the next-gen iPhones will be announced on September 12 and the Pixel 3 will be unveiled on October 9, OnePlus appears to be slotting itself in nicely with those big-name launches.

How much will the 6T cost?

oneplus-6-silk-white-hands-on-3.jpg?itok

Per that same report, the OnePlus 6T will cost $550.

In typical OnePlus fashion, that’s a minor price hike compared to its past releases. Here’s how the $550 OnePlus 6T will compare to previous OnePlus phones:

  • OnePlus 6 — $529
  • OnePlus 5T — $499
  • OnePlus 5 — $479
  • OnePlus 3T — $439
  • OnePlus 3 — $399

OnePlus 6 review: The matter is settled

OnePlus 6

  • OnePlus 6 review
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
  • These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
  • The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
  • Join the discussion in the forums

19
Oct

Google app licenses for Android phones in the EU will cost up to $40/phone


The pricing for apps varies by pixel density on phone displays.

giant-android-statue-google-campus.jpg?i

Back in July of this year, the European Commission fined Google $5 billion for heavily pushing its software and services on Android phones. Google appealed to the fine on October 16, and one of the biggest changes to come out of said appeal is that Google will now start charging OEMs in Europe that want to use its apps without pre-installing Chrome and Search.

Up until now, it’s been unclear exactly how much Google would charge. Thanks to a new report from The Verge, however, we now know that Google will require OEMs to pay up to $40 per phone.

That $40 per phone fee apparently applies to devices that have a pixel density on the display of 501ppi (pixels per inch) or greater. The pricing then works out as follows for lower resolutions:

  • $20 fee for devices with 400 to 500ppi
  • $10 fee for devices with 399ppi and lower
  • $2.50 fee for “lower-end phones in some countries”

In addition to the new fees, companies that choose to not install Chrome and Search on their phones won’t receive any revenue that comes from Google searches on the company’s browser. Per part of the agreement:

If the Company elects not to place the Google Chrome browser on the Application Dock for any Qualified Device(s) supplied into the European Economic Area, Company will not be entitled to any portion of revenue generated from Google Chrome for such Qualified Device(s).

These new rules are set to go into effect for any devices that are activated either on or after February 1, 2019.

Google response to EU fine allows forked devices, shifts un-bundled apps to paid license

19
Oct

Rowkin Ascent Charge+ headphones review: Truly wireless, truly frustrating


rowkin-ascent-charge-plus-case.jpg?itok=

These need a bit more time in the oven.

As truly wireless earbuds have become cheaper and better, I’ve been more and more tempted to pick up a set. What’s kept me away from most brands has been a bit shallow: I am trying to get all my devices to charge over USB-C instead of Micro-USB. Brands have stuck with the older connection, so I’ve stuck with waiting. I went strolling through Best Buy a few weeks ago, and finally found a pair that had a giant battery, USB-C charging, and a few more tricks up its sleeve.

Wireless wonder

Rowkin Ascent Charge+

rowkin-ascent-charge-plus-press.jpg?itok



  • $140 from Amazon

Great sound and a giant battery.

If you want wireless earbuds that can last weeks on a charge, these are for you. That is — if you can deal with the connection issues.

The Good

  • USB-C and Qi charging
  • Decent sound
  • Comfortable fit

The Bad

  • Takes way too much effort to connect correctly to your phone
  • Gesture controls are finicky

Rowkin Ascent Charge+ What’s in the box

You may see a few different Ascent headphones from Rowkin in stores, but the actual earbuds inside the cases are the same. The big difference comes down to the battery case and the other accessories. The less expensive Ascent Micro comes with a more diminutive battery case, meaning it can fit in smaller pockets and it has less reserve charges for the earbuds. The Ascent Charge comes with a much bigger battery and case, large enough that Rowkin added a Qi coil for wireless charging of the case itself. The Charge+ is the same product as the Charge, but comes with a Qi pad included in the box.

With each set, you also get a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging, a female USB-C to male USB-A adapter and three different ear gel sizes.

rowkin-ascent-charge-port.jpg?itok=HfQ3T

Rowkin Ascent Charge+ What I like

Everyone’s ears are different, but I’ve had trouble with other truly wireless buds. They either fell out of my ears or became painful before too long. I haven’t had any such problems with the Ascent Charge+, and I’ve been able to have them in my ears for long gym sessions without them either falling out or making me regret using them.

The case is also about the right size for my use. I’m glad that Rowkin offers a smaller case for those with smaller pockets, but I have no problem sticking this in the same pocket where I keep my keys and wallet. And with a large battery, I’ve yet to charge the case once since buying the headphones over a week ago.

It’s great to finally use the same charger for my laptop, my smartphone and my headphones.

Speaking of charging the case, this is what initially drew me to these headphones. There aren’t too many headphones that you can charge on a Qi mat, but more important to me in the immediate future is the inclusion of USB-C.

I really enjoy how these earbuds sound. No, they’re not going to be as detailed as professional studio monitors, but for on-the-go wireless earbuds they’re good. You don’t get AptX or other advanced audio codecs, but the trade-off is battery life: these earbuds easily last three hours on a charge, and can be topped up three more times in the case.

Rowkin has an app for Android and iOS where users can change equalizer settings, update the earbud firmware, or locate their earbuds if they go missing. I haven’t felt the need to change the EQ settings at all, but it’s good to see people have an option to get the sound better suited to their tastes.

Rowkin Ascent Charge+ What’s mediocre

The Ascent Charge+ has a big enough battery that you can use it to top up your smartphone, but you probably shouldn’t. The case itself has a capacity of about 2000 mAh, so it likely wouldn’t charge your phone more than halfway. You’re splitting that charge with the earbuds as well, and the USB-C only outputs at 5W. Having the battery is great in a pinch, but you’ll be much better off carrying a dedicated external battery.

rowkin-ascent-charge-buds.jpg?itok=8_tSC

Rowkin Ascent Charge+ What I Don’t Like

Using the same charger as my phone is great, but there are some problems when it comes to using the earbuds themselves. What should happen is you take the earbuds out of the case, they connect to each other, then they connect to your phone. Your music then comes through, and everything is great.

Using these headphones is just more trouble than it should be.

I’d say I’ve had about a 50% success rate of getting my music to play on the first attempt. I’ve used these earbuds with the Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S8 and the LG Stylo 4, so it’s not an issue with a specific phone or a certain version of Android. The earbuds show they’re connected, but music still comes through my phone’s internal speaker. Sometimes I can open Bluetooth settings on my phone, manually disconnect and reconnect and the problem is solved. Other times, the earbuds have to go back in the charging case so they turn all the way off, then I take them out of the case and repeat the process.

You get playback controls on the earbuds in the form of tap gestures. A double-tap on the right earbud pauses playback, while a triple tap activates your voice assistant. On the left bud, a double tap will skip forward and a triple tap will skip back.

The biggest issue I’ve had with these controls is consistency. I’ve tried a few different cadences to my taps, but I can’t nail down how to make the controls do what I need them to. Sometimes I have to jab the earbuds — and therefore my ears — to get controls to work. Other times, a light brush counts as a tap and I end up activating my voice assistant when I just wanted to pause my music.

Rowkin Ascent Charge+ Should You Buy These?

Probably not — at least not until the connection issues are fixed. Give Rowkin a few more months to work out the control and pairing issues before spending the money on these. For a similar price, you can get the superior Jaybird Run or Samsung IconX 2018, or for a bit more the excellent Jabra Elite 65t.

3
out of 5


These earbuds fit and sound great, and it’s nice that I can use the same charger as my smartphone and laptop when it comes time to top up. If Rowkin can work out the kinks, these will be easier to recommend.

See at Amazon

19
Oct

UK Daily Deals: Fitbit trackers, Amazon devices, Cadbury’s chocolate, more


Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.

We found plenty of great deals today on Fitbit trackers, Amazon Echo and Fire hardware, Cadbury’s chocolates, Xbox Live Gold membership, Philips Wake-up Lights, and much more!

View the rest of the deals

Each day, the Thrifter UK team scouts out and shares amazing deals on products you know and love, helping you find the best prices on the ‘net.

For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK and follow the team on Twitter for the most up-to-the-minute coverage.

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