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19
Oct

Oppo’s two latest Android phones were cheating on processor benchmarks


The Find X and F7 are the latest Android phones to juke the stats.

The Oppo Find X and F7, two of Oppo’s latest Android phones, have recently been outed for cheating on processor benchmarks with the popular 3DMark benchmark app.

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UL Benchmarks revealed this info on October 18, saying that the two Oppo phones were designed to know when 3DMark was running and then crank themselves into high-gear to get the best possible results. When a private version of 3DMark was used on the phones, results came in at 41% lower.

The Oppo Find X was previously listed as the #4 fastest phone in one of UL Benchmarks’ tests, but following this new evidence, both it and the F7 have been delisted from the site.

Oppo responded to UL Benchmarks, saying:

When we detect that the user is running applications like games or 3D Benchmarks that require high performance, we allow the SoC to run at full speed for the smoothest experience. For unknown applications, the system will adopt the default power optimization strategy…After the user has not actively operated for 5 to 10 seconds, the device limits the system performance to 70% to 80% of the maximum performance (according to different platforms)…When there is a user operation, it will immediately cancel the performance limit, to ensure that the user experience is not affected.

Along with that, Oppo also noted that it’s working on “upgrading the system” and looking for ways to “distinguish between the requirements of undetected apps or the subjective needs of users.”

OPPO Find X review: A beautiful disaster

19
Oct

Deals: Carriers Kick Off iPhone XR Promos, Anker and Choetech Launch New Charging Sales, and More


Today is iPhone XR pre-order day, and like with previous iPhone models you are able to pre-order the XR from all of the major cellular carriers, most of which are offering promotions. If you haven’t pre-ordered your iPhone XR yet, check out the list below to see all of the various deals and offers you can get when buying the colorful new iPhone.

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

  • AT&T – Buy one iPhone XR and get another $700 off / both must be bought on AT&T Next with wireless (minimum $80/month) / must have DirecTV (minimum $29.99/month)
  • Verizon – Buy any iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, or X and get the 64GB iPhone XR at no cost, or get $750 off a higher capacity / must add a new line to one of the iPhones / bill credit of $31.25 over 24 months starting in 1-2 billing cycles
  • T-Mobile – Get T-Mobile Unlimited with iPhone XR at $40/month ($30 for the plan and $10 for the iPhone XR) for four lines / qualifying credit, finance agreement, and trade-in required (including iPhone 7/7Plus and 8/8 Plus)
  • Sprint – Get the 64GB iPhone XR for $0/month when purchased on Sprint Flex lease with eligible trade in (including iPhone X, 8/8 Plus, and 7/7 Plus) / $31.25 bill credits applied within two bill cycles / requires 18 month lease with new line of service or eligible upgrade and approved credit

Of course, a few retailers are also offering promotions if you visit their stores to buy the iPhone XR. If you pre-order the iPhone XR at Sam’s Club you’ll get a $100 Sam’s Club gift card, as long as you purchase and activate the smartphone by October 28 on an installment or two-year device plan. Sam’s Club says that all major carriers are participating in the offer, and it will keep pre-orders up for the iPhone XR through October 21.


If you visit your local Best Buy store, you can get up to a $275 Best Buy gift card when trading in iPhone 7 Plus or newer models, which you can put towards an iPhone XR pre-order. If you choose to go the Best Buy route, the retailer also supports the carrier offers for Verizon (BOGO $750 off) and Sprint ($0/month on Sprint Flex lease with trade in). Note that this offer is only available in Best Buy stores and not online.

Besides the iPhone XR, there are a few other deals going on as we head into the weekend. Over on Amazon, Anker has introduced two new discount codes for its premium nylon USB-C to USB-A cables of varying sizes. Additionally, Choetech has introduced a trio of new discount codes for shoppers interested in stocking up on cheap and reliable wireless chargers and car chargers. Check out all of these sales and a few others below:

  • Anker Premium Double-Braided Nylon USB-C to USB-A Cable (2-pack, 3ft) – $7.19 with code ANKER322, down from $8.99 (exp. 10/24)

  • Anker Premium Double-Braided Nylon USB-C to USB-A Cable Black (2-pack, 6ft) – $8.09 with code ANKER333, down from $9.99 (exp. 10/24)

  • Choetech iPhone Wireless Charger – $6.99 with code PXGTHIDM, down from $12.99 (exp. 10/20)

  • Choetech Dual USB QC 3.0 Car Charger – $5.99 with code P5I5G7O9, down from $13.99 (exp. 10/30)

  • Choetech Bluetooth Sweatproof Sports Headphones – $12.99 with code WGFRPHUM, down from $18.99 (exp. 10/30)

  • Top Greener’s USB-A and USB-C Wall Outlet – $20.92 with promo code TYWIRE20, down from $26.15

  • Eve Degree Weather Station with HomeKit compatibility – $54.95, down from $69.99

For information on other savings be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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19
Oct

Chrome 70 Now Enables Picture-in-Picture by Default on macOS


Google Chrome now enables picture-in-picture as a default setting on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers as of Chrome 70. If you are up-to-date and watching a compatible video in the Chrome web browser, you can minimize it and continue browsing the web in other tabs, while the video keeps playing in a new miniature screen (via Android Police).

The feature works similarly to Safari’s implementation of PIP: on compatible websites you can two-finger click twice on a playing video to find “Picture in Picture.” This will pause the video on the main tab, turn it black, and display the video in a new window that can be moved around anywhere on the screen.

PIP was previously in the Chrome 69 beta but it had to be manually enabled, so it appears that Google is making it easier for users to gain access to the feature with Chrome 70. PIP still isn’t available on every video-playing website since it will have to be adopted by each site, but you can enable PIP with YouTube in Chrome on macOS starting today.

Tags: Google, Chrome
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19
Oct

Jony Ive Discusses His Team’s Move to Apple Park, Remains Tight-Lipped About Prospects of Apple Car


Apple’s design chief Jony Ive sat down for an interview over lunch with Financial Times reporter Nicholas Foulkes earlier this month, discussing a wide range of topics, including the Apple Watch, Apple Park, and prospects of an Apple Car.

Jony Ive portrait via Financial Times
Questioned on why Apple’s design team was among the last to move into the company’s new Apple Park headquarters, Ive said that was the plan all along, adding that relocating some 9,000 people takes time:

It wasn’t late, it was always scheduled to be then. When you’re moving 9,000 people, you don’t do it in one day. We’re one of the last groups. It’s a loaded and significant event because it meant leaving a studio that has decades of history, where we designed and built first prototypes. This is the studio I went back to on the day that Steve died. And it’s the place where we figured out the iPhone and the iPod.

Ive said his team’s move to Apple Park has allowed for increased collaboration among different areas of creative expertise:

Moving to Apple Park represents the coming together, at last, of these different areas of creative expertise that are incredibly diverse. I’m fairly confident that this has never happened before, to have industrial designers next to font designers, next to prototypers, next to haptic experts. The best haptic experts in the world are sat next to a bunch of guys who have PhDs in material science.

On the prospects of an Apple Car, Ive remained tight lipped. In general, he said it’s important to work on the associated issues and challenges with any new product, rather than talk about it and risk having the ideas and technologies copied:

We explore so many different thoughts and so many different technologies for products or services. Some companies use the fact that they are exploring lots of different ideas as a PR tool — we don’t. If you are genuinely working on something, it’s better to be working on it and struggling with the associated issues and challenges, rather than talking about it. Our capital, our equity, is our ideas and the technologies that we’re developing. It’s important that as long as possible that remains ours, to try and postpone that point when they will then be copied — which is what history suggests.

When asked if the Apple Watch is best described as a watch, Ive instead referred to it as a “very powerful computer”:

No, I think that this is a very powerful computer, with a range of very sophisticated sensors, that is strapped to my wrist. That’s neither very descriptive nor very helpful. You and I share the same perspective and we had this same challenge with the product that we called the iPhone. Clearly the capability of the iPhone extends way beyond the function of what we would traditionally call a phone.

Ive went on to say that Apple believes it has a responsibility to understand and mitigate the implications and consequences, both positive and negative, of the products it creates — i.e. Screen Time in iOS 12. “It keeps me awake,” he said:

If you genuinely have a concern for humanity, you will be preoccupied with trying to understand the implications, the consequences of creating something that hasn’t existed before. I think it’s part of the culture at Apple to believe that there is a responsibility that doesn’t end when you ship a product… It keeps me awake.

Also See: Jony Ive Talks Secrecy, His Future, and More at WIRED Anniversary Event

Tag: Jony Ive
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19
Oct

How to Scan Documents With Your iPhone in Three Quick Steps


The document scanning feature found in Apple’s stock Notes app is a great way to digitize all sorts of print-based content, from letters and receipts to recipes and photos.

If you often make a digital record of paper in this way, you’ll be familiar with the typical steps involved: unlock your device, launch the Notes app from the Home screen, create a new note, tap the “+” button, choose Scan Documents, then line up the document you want to shoot and save.

It’s not immediately obvious, but there is a way to cut out several of these steps and make scanning a document a much quicker process, which is great news if you tend to scan things several times a day. First, you’ll want to add Notes to the Control Center, like so:

Launch the Settings app.
Tap Control Center.
In the More Controls list, tap the green “+” button next to the Notes entry.
Now that’s set up, you can get to the document scanning screen in fewer steps, as described below.

How to Scan Documents in Three Quick Steps

Launch Control Center from the Lock screen: On iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; on iPhone X/XS/XR, swipe down from the upper right “ear”.
Hard press (or long press) the Notes icon.
Tap Scan Document and allow Face ID to automatically authenticate you (If you’re using an iPhone with Touch ID, place your finger on the Home screen to unlock.)
You’re now ready to scan your document and save it as a note.

Don’t forget, if you want to generate a PDF of the scan as soon as it’s been saved as a note, simply tap the Share Sheet icon (the box with an arrow pointing out) at the upper-right of the screen and select Create PDF from the third row of options.

Once it’s generated you’ll be offered the option to save it to the Files app, or you can share it elsewhere with another tap of the Share Sheet icon.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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19
Oct

Best AC Adapter for PlayStation Classic


We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. We’re an expert team of techies who also go nuts over video games. These recommendations come directly from the personal experiences of the men and women who write them.

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The Anker Dual USB Wall Charger provides not one, but two capable USB ports for powering the PlayStation Classic. That means you can have your game going and maybe even charge your smartphone at the same time.

Our pick

Anker Dual USB Wall Charger

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  • $11 at Amazon

It’ll serve you well in more ways than one.

It has two capable USB ports to power your PlayStation Classic and another device of yours at the same time powered by Anker’s PowerPort 2 technology.

Who should buy this AC adapter?

The PlayStation Classic doesn’t use a traditional AC adapter, and can instead be powered by any USB wall charger outputting 5 volts and 1 amp. That means most USB chargers available will work just fine. You might even already own one, but if not, this is what you want.

Is it a good time to buy this AC adapter?

Anker’s latest PowerPort 2 and PowerIQ charging technology are in play here, meaning you are getting the company’s latest standard of quality and power. It has everything it needs to power most current devices and likely many others in the future.

Reasons to buy

  • Two USB charging ports
  • PowerIQ charging tech ensures save maximum voltages
  • Pleasant design that looks right at home on the wall
  • Compact build that fits into any pocket, bag, or purse.

Reasons not to buy

  • You already own a USB wall charger
  • You plan to plug it directly into a USB port on your TV

Ubiquity makes this a winner

Sony decided to exclude a power solution for the PlayStation Classic as a cost-cutting measure. This would have been an exorbitantly money-hungry gesture had the charging adapter and cable been proprietary, but the PlayStation Classic only needs a standard USB charger to work. That means you might already have what you need, and if you don’t, it’ll be very affordable to get one.

We suggest starting with Anker’s PowerPort 2 USB wall charger. At a paltry $11, this puck has all the makings of a fine USB wall charger. Starting with what you can see, it has two full-fledged USB ports capable of charging and power most compatible devices, including your smartphone, tablet, and — in our case — the PlayStation Classic. Its power plug can be stowed away into its tough outer shell and there’s an LED light to indicate when the juices are flowing.

Anker is unmatched in quality, affordability, and technology.

What you can’t see is Anker’s PowerIQ technology working on the inside. It allows the device to accurately read the exact power needs of whatever’s plugged into it and only serves up as much of a surge as that device can handle. It does this independently in each charging port, so your PlayStation Classic, smartphone, or whatever you’re charging won’t have a chance to compromise each other.

The cherry on top of all this is that Sony does still include a USB cable in the box, so you won’t have to supply one of those.

Alternatives to the Anker 2-port USB Wall Charger

There are endless products out there which can power your PlayStation Classic. One alternative is another Anker staple, which is the 4-port version of their wall charger just in case you have way too many devices to charge. You can also find something a bit cheaper than Anker’s 2-port charger.

Runner-up

Anker 4-port USB Wall Charger

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More ports to charge more of your things.

$25 at Amazon

It has everything you’d expect from an Anker product — smarter and faster charging — but handles twice the devices.

Anker’s 4-port USB Wall Charger is a fair bit more expensive, but you’d get double the ports and the same charging and power capabilities. This option is perfect for those who have more than just a couple of devices to hook up on a regular basis.

Value pick

YUNSONG USB Wall Charger

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It’s super basic, but it’s also super cheap.

$5 at Amazon

If your budget is really tight, this thing means you only have to give up one cup of coffee to afford it.

YUNSONG’s charger has one port, delivers power and charging currents at one rate, and the wall plug can’t be stowed away. It’s an ugly little thing and the company who makes it probably won’t be able to help you if it ever breaks. But it’s also only $5.

Bottom line

The Anker 2-port USB Wall Charger is worth paying the extra few dollars for. Anker has our trust for safety, quality, and reliability in all it power-related products, and that doesn’t change for the use case of powering a PlayStation Classic. And with this purchase, you can take solace in the fact that it’ll eventually be useful for other things, too.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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Quentyn Kennemer has had a passion for gaming and tech for as long as he can remember. His recommendations are drawn from decades of personal experience in all facets of the two industries.

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James Bricknell is the resident UK gamer. When he’s not entertaining us with his wit, you can find him using his 3D printers to create miniaturized versions of all his favorite geek things.

19
Oct

‘Company of Heroes 2: Master Collection’ Now on the Mac App Store for $39.99


Feral today announced that the Company of Heroes 2: Master Collection is now available on the Mac App Store.

Originally developed by Relic Entertainment and generally regarded as the definitive version of the critically acclaimed real-time strategy game, the Master Collection on Mac utilizes an implementation of Apple’s Metal that brings a leap forward in performance and graphics, according to Feral.

Company of Heroes 2: Master Collection challenges players to direct their troops through fast-paced real-time battles in the brutal fight to turn the tide of World War II. From the desperate defense of Stalingrad to victory in Berlin, they must defeat a tenacious enemy through the deadly cold of the Russian winter and the fast-moving battlegrounds of the western front.

The Company of Heroes 2: Master Collection comes with the base game, its entire catalogue of DLC, and all three expansions, including The Western Front Armies, Ardennes Assault, and The British Forces.

The Western Front Armies changes the course of multiplayer warfare by bringing U.S. Forces and the German Oberkommando West to Online and Skirmish mode. Meanwhile Ardennes Assault puts players in command of U.S. Forces in a single-player campaign against the Germany army. The British Forces challenges players adds a new multiplayer army and a new set of maps ranging from northwest Europe to Nazi Germany.

The game officially supports the following Macs:

  • All 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros released since 2016
  • All 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros released since Mid 2012
  • All 15-inch MacBook Pros released since Mid 2012 with a 1GB graphics card or better
  • All 21.5-inch iMacs released since Late 2013 with a 1.8GHz i3 processor or better
  • All 27-inch iMacs released since Late 2013 (Late 2012 models with Nvidia 675MX or Nvidia 680MX graphics are also supported.)
  • All 27-inch iMac Pros released since Late 2017
  • All Mac Pros released since Late 2013

Company of Heroes 2: Master Collection is now available from the Mac App Store for $39.99/£38.99. Customers who already own the Mac App Store version of Company of Heroes 2 will receive all the DLC and expansion packs in a free update.

Tag: Feral
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19
Oct

Google Maps brings its real-time journey-tracking feature to iPhone


Google Maps has been getting a slew of useful updates this year, and on Thursday, iPhone users of the app received yet another one.

ETA sharing lets you share your route in real-time with selected contacts, so everyone knows the whereabouts of each other ahead of a gathering.

The feature has been available for Android users for more than a year, but rolling it out for iOS helpfully extends the functionality to one and all.

Announcing ETA sharing for iPhone, Samuel Mclean, product manager of Google Maps, said the feature lets you share live details of your trip with loved ones more easily “so you can keep your hands off your phone and your eyes on the road.”

It works like this: Once you’ve begun navigating to where you want to go, tap on the “˄” button in Google Maps, and then on “Share trip progress.”

That takes you to a page where you’ll be able to share your live location, route, and ETA with all your favorite contacts, simply by selecting the relevant friends and family from a list of common contacts or by entering names to search for others.

The feature works whether you’re driving, cycling, or walking to your destination, and should be useful in a number of scenarios. For example, if you’re meeting a friend in town and you’re running late, it’ll give your buddy the option to go off and do other things, while at the same time they can also track your progress as you make your way to the meeting point.

You can see the feature in action in the video above.

Thursday’s Google Maps update also enables the location-sharing feature for across third-party apps, among them Facebook Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp, enabling you to communicate with friends on your platform of choice.

On a privacy note, the new feature automatically stops sharing your location with those who you selected once you reach your destination.

While location sharing has been available with other apps like Waze and Glympse for some time, adding it to Google Maps — by far the most popular mapping app in the world — certainly brings extra convenience for users.

Looking to get even more out of Google Maps? Then be sure to check out Digital Trends’ handy guide offering lots of tips and tricks.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best Waze tips and tricks
  • WatchOS 5: All our favorite new features
  • How to use Google Maps
  • YouTube is making it easier to track how much time you spend watching videos
  • How to turn off Snapchat’s location-based Snap Map



19
Oct

iPhone XR Now Available for Pre-Order From Apple’s Online Store


Apple is now accepting pre-orders for the new iPhone XR through its online storefront on the web and through its Apple Store app on iOS devices.

The 6.1-inch iPhone XR is the third iPhone in the 2018 iPhone lineup, and the most affordable of the new devices.

Rather than an OLED display, a dual-lens camera system, a stainless steel frame, 3D Touch, and Gigabit LTE, the iPhone XR features more affordable components that include an LCD display with a resolution of 1792×828, a single-lens camera system, lesser water resistance, an aluminum frame, Haptic Touch, and LTE Advanced.


On the plus side, the iPhone XR has a longer battery life than the iPhone XS and XS Max, and it comes in six colors: white, black, blue, coral, yellow, and (PRODUCT)RED. Design wise, it looks similar to the iPhone XS and XS Max with an edge-to-edge LCD display that includes a notch and a TrueDepth camera system, but its bezels are slightly wider.

The iPhone XR adopts the same Face ID functionality as the iPhone XS and XS Max, with Apple eliminating the Home button in all of its flagship iPhones in 2018. The iPhone XR also supports dual-SIM functionality like the iPhone XS, and it has the same super fast A12 chip.


It also features a glass body that supports wireless charging functionality, and through software enhancements, it supports many of the same camera features including Portrait Mode, Depth Control, and Smart HDR.

Pre-orders for the iPhone XR are available in first wave launch countries including Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Herzegovina, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UAE, UK, US and US Virgin Islands.

All of the major U.S. carriers — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile — are accepting pre-orders for the new devices, as are many other carriers around the world. Major online retailers including Best Buy and Target are also accepting pre-orders starting today.


Pricing on the iPhone XR starts at $749 for 64GB of storage, with 128GB of storage available for $799 and 256GB of storage available for $899. iPhone Upgrade Program customers can get the iPhone XR starting at $37.41 per month.

In the United States, customers can purchase iPhone XR models from any of the four major carriers using Apple’s site. SIM-free models are not available at this time, suggesting supplies of the iPhone XR could be somewhat constrained.

Customers who successfully place an order for launch day delivery can expect to begin receiving their devices starting on Friday, October 26, the official launch date for the iPhone XR.

Related Roundup: iPhone XRBuyer’s Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)
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19
Oct

Apple Debuts New USB-C Magnetic Apple Watch Charger


Alongside the iPhone XR, Apple today released a new 0.3m Magnetic Apple Watch Charger that’s equipped with a USB-C connector for the first time.

At $29, the USB-C version of the Apple Watch Magnetic Charger is priced the same as the USB-A version that’s long been available.

The USB-C version of the Apple Watch Charger is only available in 0.3m, and is not available in the longer 1m and 2m lengths. It’s not clear why Apple has decided to only offer it in the smaller size, but additional chargers with longer USB-C cables could be added in the future.

Apple has been selling Lightning to USB-C cables designed for the iPhone for quite some time, but there was no equivalent option for the Apple Watch, so it couldn’t be charged via a USB-C power adapter or a USB-C Mac sans adapter.

The new USB-C Apple Watch Charger will ship out in one business day and will be available in Apple retail stores starting next week.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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