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23
Oct

Volgende stap naar toestel met volledig scherm; de slider


De huidige trend in smartphone-land is een zo groot mogelijk scherm in een zo klein mogelijke behuizing. Die zoektocht gaat gepaard met concessies; de notch. De gehate inkeping is niet de enige manier om de selfiecamera kwijt te raken. Verwacht de komende tijd een andere oplossing; de ouderwetse slider.

De slider ken je misschien van jaren geleden. De laatste populaire slider was de Nokia N97 uit 2008. Hier ging het om een horizontale slider bedoeld om een volledig toetsenbord tevoorschijn te toveren. Het slide-mechanisme waar wij het nu over hebben is juist bedoeld voor de selfiecamera. Fabrikanten spelen nu volop met het idee. Het voordeel? De gehele voorzijde kan nu uit scherm bestaan. Geen notch meer nodig. Enig nadeel is de iets dikkere behuizing maar dat is mogelijk iets waar de consument mee leert te leven.

De eerste verkrijgbare telefoon met uitschuifbare selfiecam is de Oppo Find X en de Vivo NEX. Het gaat hier om een mechanische slider waarbij de selfiecamera uit de bovenkant schuift. Toch bracht dit andere fabrikanten op ideeën want die experimenteren nu volop. Zo ook Huawei die binnenkort de Honor Magic 2 op de markt komt. Bij dit toestel kan de gehele achterkant omhoog geschoven worden waarna een 16 megapixel selfiecamera tevoorschijn komt. Het mechanisme lijkt bovendien ideaal voor friemalaars onder ons ter vervanging van de verder vrij zinloze fidget spinner.

Ook goed voor de privacy

Ook Xiaomi zou aan een dergelijke oplossing werken in de binnenkort uit te komen Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. Hiermee lijkt de zogenaamde schuifcamera vaste voet aan de grond te krijgen en lijkt het iets te zijn waar we in 2019 niet omheen kunnen. Wat ons betreft een positieve ontwikkeling omdat het mechanisme twee problemen oplost: het verdwijnen van de notch en het afschermen van de selfiecamera. In het huidige klimaat waarbij telefoons zonder op te merken gehackt of overgenomen worden plakken steeds meer mensen deze af. Als deze in de behuizing verborgen is hoeft dat niet meer. Twee vliegen in één klap dus.

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23
Oct

Apple Plans to Expand Uses of Haptic Touch on iPhone XR Over Time


By now, you’ve probably heard that the iPhone XR features a new technology called Haptic Touch instead of the usual 3D Touch.

Haptic Touch is simply a marketing name for a long press combined with haptic feedback from the Taptic Engine. The feature is a substitute for 3D Touch , which Apple wasn’t able to include on the iPhone XR in order to achieve a nearly edge-to-edge LCD screen, a remarkable engineering feat.

The biggest downfall with Haptic Touch is that it currently works in only a few places, such as the flashlight and camera shortcuts on the lock screen, and in Control Center to pop open additional toggles and menus. Fortunately, that won’t be the case forever, according to The Verge’s Nilay Patel.

From Patel’s iPhone XR review, emphasis ours:

Haptic Touch does not have equivalents to everything 3D Touch can do, however — I missed previewing links in Safari and Twitter quite a bit. Apple told me it’s working to bring it to more places in iOS over time, but that it’s going slow to make sure the implementation is right.

Apple did not provide a timeframe, but it’s safe to assume that additional Haptic Touch gestures will be added in future software updates.

It’ll be interesting to see where Apple expands Haptic Touch across iOS, as the feature can only be implemented for actions that don’t already rely on a long press. For example, long-pressing on an app icon on the home screen enables “wiggle mode,” allowing apps to be deleted or rearranged on the home screen.

For that reason, Haptic Touch does not work with Quick Actions when you long press on an app icon on the iPhone XR home screen. Haptic Touch also doesn’t support Peek and Pop for previewing content such as links and messages.

3D Touch : Quick Actions on left, Peek and Pop on right
Apple already works around the lack of 3D Touch for keyboard trackpad mode. In iOS 12, users can simply tap and hold the space bar to enter the trackpad mode, which allows for easier movement of the cursor within text fields. This user interface change was more than likely inspired by the iPhone XR .

A few months ago, Barclays analysts said it is “widely understood” among Apple’s supply chain partners that all 2019 iPhones will lack 3D Touch. If accurate, Apple’s plans to expand Haptic Touch may go beyond software. For now, the pressure-sensitive feature lives on with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Related Roundup: iPhone XRTags: 3D Touch, Haptic TouchBuyer’s Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)
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23
Oct

Kuo: New iPad Mini Coming as Soon as Next Week’s Event, AirPower in Late 2018/Early 2019


Ahead of Apple’s October 30th event, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared some details about what we can expect to see Apple to unveil during the event as well as information on other products that we might see from Apple in late 2018 or early 2019.

Kuo has several interesting predictions, including an updated iPad mini and details on the launch of the AirPower.

iPad Pro

Kuo says that we can expect to see two new iPad Pro models that are equipped with USB-C, improved displays, and an Apple Pencil with a new design. Further details were not shared on what improvements to expect with the displays or what a redesigned Apple Pencil might look like.

All of these features have been previously rumored for Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro models, which are also expected to feature Face ID, edge to edge screens, and no Home button.

iPad mini

Kuo says that Apple will launch a new version of the iPad mini, which has not seen an update in several years. Kuo says the device will feature an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel.

Kuo does not know, however, if Apple will announce it during the media event or launch it sometime later in the year/early next year, but if an updated model is in the works, it makes sense for it to launch alongside the iPad Pro .

Mac models

At Apple’s event, we can expect to see several Mac updates with upgraded processors and other internal improvements. Kuo says we can count on a new low-cost notebook and updates to the MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini.

AirPower and AirPods

According to Kuo, Apple could launch new AirPods and the AirPower either late in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019, but he doesn’t yet know the company’s specific plans.

It’s possible that if Apple is planning on debuting the AirPower before the end of 2018 as promised, it could be mentioned at the October event, but Kuo doesn’t say either way. The AirPower, first unveiled in September 2017, is meant to charge three devices at once, including an iPhone, the AirPods , and the Apple Watch, but it’s been delayed for several months now.

As for the AirPods , we can expect to see an upgraded wireless charging case that will work with the AirPower along with a new wireless chip that enables “Hey Siri” functionality.

Apple’s October event is set to take place on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. This year’s event is being held earlier in the day than normal because it is being hosted in New York City instead of Cupertino.

Apple will provide a live stream of the event on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV, but for those who can’t watch, MacRumors will provide live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air, iPad mini 4 (2015)Tag: Ming-Chi KuoBuyer’s Guide: 10.5″ iPad Pro (Don’t Buy), Mac Mini (Don’t Buy), MacBook Air (Don’t Buy), iPad Mini (Don’t Buy), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Don’t Buy)
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23
Oct

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.1 to Developers


Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave 10.14.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and over a month after releasing the macOS Mojave update.

macOS Mojave introduces a new method of installing software updates, so after the initial beta has been installed using the appropriate profile from the Developer Center, additional betas can be downloaded through opening up System Preferences and choosing the “Software Update” option.

The 10.14.1 update includes support for Group FaceTime, a feature that was removed during the beta testing period. Group FaceTime, which lets you chat with up to 32 people at once, is also present in the iOS 12.1 beta.

macOS Mojave 10.14.1 introduces more than 70 new emoji characters that are also available in iOS 12 .1 and watchOS 5.1. There are new options for red hair, curly hair, no hair, and gray hair, along with characters to represent superheroes, cold face, party face, pleading face, and face with hearts.

There are a number of new animals and food items like kangaroo, parrot, lobster, mango, lettuce, and cupcake. Tweaks have been made to some existing emoji as well. The iPhone emoji, for example, has been updated to look like the iPhone X with no bezels or Home button.


We didn’t find any other significant new features in the first four developer betas of macOS Mojave , so it’s not clear if there are any additional changes. The update likely includes performance improvements and bug fixes for issues that have been discovered since the release of the original Mojave software.

macOS Mojave is a major update that brings features like a systemwide Dark Mode, stacks for organizing messy desktops, new Finder capabilities, new tools for taking screenshots, a Continuity Camera option for easily transferring photo scans and documents from iPhone to Mac, and more. For more on macOS Mojave , make sure to check out our roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
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23
Oct

North Focals hands-on preview



Research Center:

North Focals

Never got a chance to try Google Glass for yourself? If you liked the idea of smartglasses but didn’t want to be labeled as a “glasshole,” you might be interested in giving Focals a shot. It’s a pair of glasses that shares similar features to Google Glass, allowing you to walk about in the real world with notifications and other data displayed on the glasses, meaning you can leave the phone in your pocket or handbag.

Focals is made by a Canadian company called North, formerly known as Thalmic Labs. We’ve covered Thalmic Labs before, as they created Myo, an armband that can detect gestures. The branding change to North is also a part of today’s announcement, and a reason for the change was that Thalmic Labs sounded too “techy,” according to North CEO Stephen Lake.

“It’s not the right brand for this product,” Lake told Digital Trends. “We started from a lifestyle/fashion perspective, saying we want to make amazing-looking glasses you’ll wear every day. And so, we wanted a brand that sort of reflected that as well. North means two things: One, it’s kind of the North Star of how technology should evolve and kind of this positive way of being there in the real world … and two, it just speaks to the origin story of being from the north instead of Silicon Valley.”

We spent some time with a pair of Focals and went through the process of making one — here’s what it’s like.

Custom-fit design

Focals are eyeglasses, and acquiring a pair will be quite difficult at first. You’ll need to be near New York City or Toronto, as North has opened two showrooms, where you will need to schedule an appointment to go through a fitting process. The glasses also cost $999, so it’s a bit of an investment.

Each pair of Focals is custom-made, and this process starts with a 3D scan of your head. You’ll be in a little room, where a showroom employee will ask you to stare at a dot on a screen. Various other cameras surrounding you will create a 3D scan of your head, which will be used to establish a size for the Focals. Optometrists will also be available to take your lens prescription if needed and to answer any additional questions, or you can just get prescription-less glasses if you have 20/20 vision or wear contacts. Next, you’ll need to choose a style.

We tried on a pair, and they felt comfortable, just like a traditional pair of glasses.

“The number one problem that we had to solve from a product perspective is how to make it not look like you’re wearing smart glasses,” Lake said.

That’s why there are a few design and color options to choose from that mimic traditional eyeglass design, and Focals are made from the same materials. They look fairly normal from a distance — it’s difficult to tell they are smartglasses — but pay a little more attention as you get closer, and it becomes more obvious. The projector helps give it away, because it sticks out of the inside of the glasses, but the arms also look quite thick. Still, these are undeniably more subtle than Google Glass. It helps that there’s no camera, and that the glasses won’t look “smart” until someone gets quite close to you.

Marie Stipancik, head of eyewear design at North, wearing Focals. Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We tried on a pair, and they felt comfortable, just like a traditional pair of glasses. The glasses didn’t quite fit us perfectly because this was a demo model. We weren’t able to wear them for much time, so we can’t quite comment yet about fit. After you choose the style you want, you’ll need to revisit the showroom to receive your final unit and make sure the fit is correct.

You can’t fold the arms of Focals entirely like traditional glasses, due to the tech inside, but you can fold them halfway. Each pair comes with a carrying case you can place them in, which doubles as a battery pack. Lake said Focals should last an entire day based on normal usage. We’re a little concerned at the size of the case, because it looks like it will take quite a bit of room in your handbag or backpack.

Smart functionality, navigated by Loop

The idea behind Focals is to limit the time we spend staring at screens, and to help us become more present. Having a handful of core notifications and some essential information show up near our eye, Lake believes, is more beneficial to us than constantly having to pull out our smartphones.

We love the way the user interface is designed, with colorful and minimal icons that share a synthwave aesthetic.

“We’re getting more distracted looking at screens and what’s happening out there in the digital world,” he said. “The alternative we saw … is how do we give you those amazing benefits of technology … the things that are so great about it — staying connected to the people you care about, staying on top of what’s important — but do it in a way that lets you stay heads-up and present in the real world.”

Focals, which are powered by a smartphone-grade processor, can show the time, weather, text messages, calendar events, third-party notifications, and turn-by-turn directions. All this information is sent from the projector onto the glass of the lens, which is then reflected into your eye. Lake said it’s a minimal amount of light, and it’s harmless. We love the way the user interface is designed, with colorful and minimal icons that share a synthwave aesthetic.

Looking at Lake, we noticed him looking slightly off our right, and we could see a slight flicker of purple light on the glass; he was checking his notifications. It was subtle, and it hardly took him out of the conversation. It would be completely different if he took out his phone and started swiping around on it during our chat.

You can control the notifications you want to see through the smartphone app, so you don’t need to be bombarded. It’s Bluetooth that connects the glasses to an Android or iOS smartphone, and like smartwatches, you can respond to notifications on Android but not on iOS.

There are only two third-party integrations at the moment: You can access Alexa — and it’s just as useful as in an Echo — and you can request an Uber. Lake said the company wants to control the quality of apps created for Focals, so it’s not opening up to third-party developers just yet.

How do you interact with Focals? There are no touch controls. Instead, you have to wear another wearable — the Loop. It’s a ring that has a tiny joystick. You can move the joystick around in five directions with your thumb, and you’ll see the interface move on the screen. It’s quick to react, but it feels a little silly. The joystick design doesn’t stick out, but it could have been a little more subtle. Thankfully, it’s not as dorky as swiping gestures on the side of the glasses. The Loop has a spot to charge in the same case as the Focals, and Lake said it should last a week or more.

To respond to texts, you can choose from quick responses — including emojis — or use your voice. There’s also a speaker on the arms of Focals that let you hear pings when notifications come through, Alexa when she’s responding to you, or sounds from moving throughout the operating system.

These notifications fade from view five seconds after they appear, and we didn’t find them distracting to look at, but we also stood stationary. We’ll need to take Focals out on the street to see if they will help keep us “heads-up,” instead of staring down at our screens.

Pricing and availability

North’s Focals cost $999, which includes prescription lenses if needed, the Loop ring, and the charging case. It also comes with sun clips to convert them into sunglasses. Pre-orders are open now, and you’ll need to schedule an appointment to start the fitting process. The New York City showroom is at 178 Court Street, Brooklyn; and the Toronto showroom is at 113 Ossington Avenue.

North is offering a one-year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects.

Focals replicates more or less what you can do with a smartwatch, but with a watch, you’re still looking down. Will having this information by our eyes change the way we use our smartphones, or walk around? Time will tell, but the biggest hurdle is convincing people to wear a thick pair of glasses all the time.

23
Oct

North Focals hands-on preview



Research Center:

North Focals

Never got a chance to try Google Glass for yourself? If you liked the idea of smartglasses but didn’t want to be labeled as a “glasshole,” you might be interested in giving Focals a shot. It’s a pair of glasses that shares similar features to Google Glass, allowing you to walk about in the real world with notifications and other data displayed on the glasses, meaning you can leave the phone in your pocket or handbag.

Focals is made by a Canadian company called North, formerly known as Thalmic Labs. We’ve covered Thalmic Labs before, as they created Myo, an armband that can detect gestures. The branding change to North is also a part of today’s announcement, and a reason for the change was that Thalmic Labs sounded too “techy,” according to North CEO Stephen Lake.

“It’s not the right brand for this product,” Lake told Digital Trends. “We started from a lifestyle/fashion perspective, saying we want to make amazing-looking glasses you’ll wear every day. And so, we wanted a brand that sort of reflected that as well. North means two things: One, it’s kind of the North Star of how technology should evolve and kind of this positive way of being there in the real world … and two, it just speaks to the origin story of being from the north instead of Silicon Valley.”

We spent some time with a pair of Focals and went through the process of making one — here’s what it’s like.

Custom-fit design

Focals are eyeglasses, and acquiring a pair will be quite difficult at first. You’ll need to be near New York City or Toronto, as North has opened two showrooms, where you will need to schedule an appointment to go through a fitting process. The glasses also cost $999, so it’s a bit of an investment.

Each pair of Focals is custom-made, and this process starts with a 3D scan of your head. You’ll be in a little room, where a showroom employee will ask you to stare at a dot on a screen. Various other cameras surrounding you will create a 3D scan of your head, which will be used to establish a size for the Focals. Optometrists will also be available to take your lens prescription if needed and to answer any additional questions, or you can just get prescription-less glasses if you have 20/20 vision or wear contacts. Next, you’ll need to choose a style.

We tried on a pair, and they felt comfortable, just like a traditional pair of glasses.

“The number one problem that we had to solve from a product perspective is how to make it not look like you’re wearing smart glasses,” Lake said.

That’s why there are a few design and color options to choose from that mimic traditional eyeglass design, and Focals are made from the same materials. They look fairly normal from a distance — it’s difficult to tell they are smartglasses — but pay a little more attention as you get closer, and it becomes more obvious. The projector helps give it away, because it sticks out of the inside of the glasses, but the arms also look quite thick. Still, these are undeniably more subtle than Google Glass. It helps that there’s no camera, and that the glasses won’t look “smart” until someone gets quite close to you.

Marie Stipancik, head of eyewear design at North, wearing Focals. Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We tried on a pair, and they felt comfortable, just like a traditional pair of glasses. The glasses didn’t quite fit us perfectly because this was a demo model. We weren’t able to wear them for much time, so we can’t quite comment yet about fit. After you choose the style you want, you’ll need to revisit the showroom to receive your final unit and make sure the fit is correct.

You can’t fold the arms of Focals entirely like traditional glasses, due to the tech inside, but you can fold them halfway. Each pair comes with a carrying case you can place them in, which doubles as a battery pack. Lake said Focals should last an entire day based on normal usage. We’re a little concerned at the size of the case, because it looks like it will take quite a bit of room in your handbag or backpack.

Smart functionality, navigated by Loop

The idea behind Focals is to limit the time we spend staring at screens, and to help us become more present. Having a handful of core notifications and some essential information show up near our eye, Lake believes, is more beneficial to us than constantly having to pull out our smartphones.

We love the way the user interface is designed, with colorful and minimal icons that share a synthwave aesthetic.

“We’re getting more distracted looking at screens and what’s happening out there in the digital world,” he said. “The alternative we saw … is how do we give you those amazing benefits of technology … the things that are so great about it — staying connected to the people you care about, staying on top of what’s important — but do it in a way that lets you stay heads-up and present in the real world.”

Focals, which are powered by a smartphone-grade processor, can show the time, weather, text messages, calendar events, third-party notifications, and turn-by-turn directions. All this information is sent from the projector onto the glass of the lens, which is then reflected into your eye. Lake said it’s a minimal amount of light, and it’s harmless. We love the way the user interface is designed, with colorful and minimal icons that share a synthwave aesthetic.

Looking at Lake, we noticed him looking slightly off our right, and we could see a slight flicker of purple light on the glass; he was checking his notifications. It was subtle, and it hardly took him out of the conversation. It would be completely different if he took out his phone and started swiping around on it during our chat.

You can control the notifications you want to see through the smartphone app, so you don’t need to be bombarded. It’s Bluetooth that connects the glasses to an Android or iOS smartphone, and like smartwatches, you can respond to notifications on Android but not on iOS.

There are only two third-party integrations at the moment: You can access Alexa — and it’s just as useful as in an Echo — and you can request an Uber. Lake said the company wants to control the quality of apps created for Focals, so it’s not opening up to third-party developers just yet.

How do you interact with Focals? There are no touch controls. Instead, you have to wear another wearable — the Loop. It’s a ring that has a tiny joystick. You can move the joystick around in five directions with your thumb, and you’ll see the interface move on the screen. It’s quick to react, but it feels a little silly. The joystick design doesn’t stick out, but it could have been a little more subtle. Thankfully, it’s not as dorky as swiping gestures on the side of the glasses. The Loop has a spot to charge in the same case as the Focals, and Lake said it should last a week or more.

To respond to texts, you can choose from quick responses — including emojis — or use your voice. There’s also a speaker on the arms of Focals that let you hear pings when notifications come through, Alexa when she’s responding to you, or sounds from moving throughout the operating system.

These notifications fade from view five seconds after they appear, and we didn’t find them distracting to look at, but we also stood stationary. We’ll need to take Focals out on the street to see if they will help keep us “heads-up,” instead of staring down at our screens.

Pricing and availability

North’s Focals cost $999, which includes prescription lenses if needed, the Loop ring, and the charging case. It also comes with sun clips to convert them into sunglasses. Pre-orders are open now, and you’ll need to schedule an appointment to start the fitting process. The New York City showroom is at 178 Court Street, Brooklyn; and the Toronto showroom is at 113 Ossington Avenue.

North is offering a one-year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects.

Focals replicates more or less what you can do with a smartwatch, but with a watch, you’re still looking down. Will having this information by our eyes change the way we use our smartphones, or walk around? Time will tell, but the biggest hurdle is convincing people to wear a thick pair of glasses all the time.

23
Oct

Motiv smart ring can use your walking pattern to unlock online accounts


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Looking for a way to easily manage your online security without having two-factor authorization codes sent to your phone, or easily lost fobs? Motiv is expanding the capabilities of its fitness tracking smart ring, giving you quick and easy security confirmation that fits on your finger.

We’ve been following Motiv’s smart ring for some time now. If you’re not familiar with the finger-based smart device, the titanium-coated ring pairs with your Android or iOS smartphone, and it counts your active minutes — ensuring you hit 150 minutes a week. It even includes a heart-rate sensor, giving people a much more subtle option for casual fitness tracking. Now, Motiv is looking to branch the subtle device into other elements of everyday life — and online security is at the top of the list.

Motiv’s new security features come in two varieties — token authentication and biometric identification. Token authentication allows your Motiv smart ring to work as the second layer of defense for your most important accounts. Rather than sending a two-factor authorization code or request to your smartphone or email address, you’ll be able to certify your login attempt with a simple gesture of your Motiv ring. It will also support password-free logins on Google Chrome and Windows Edge with FIDO2 and WebAuthn.

There’s the ability to use biometric identification to shore up your security as well, with fingerprint scanning and facial recognition available through the Motiv app, using your phone’s own sensors. But the ring isn’t without its own biometric security too. Motiv has also announced WalkID, which uses your unique method of walking as identification. According to Motiv, gait is as individual and unique as a fingerprint, and the smart ring’s continuous tracking will allow it to keep track of this.

These features will be coming to all Motiv smart rings, and will be available from today on iOS, and through open beta on Android. Motiv is also releasing three new finishes, rose gold, silver, and black. All finishes have also been upgraded with a new, superior scratch-resistant coating. There hasn’t been an increase in price either, and you’ll be able to pick up the Motiv smart ring from $199 from Amazon or Motiv.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Use your face or finger to log into accounts using Microsoft Edge
  • You’re so vein: Palm-based biometric system could help confirm your identity
  • Google’s Pixelbook 2 tablet could debut with fingerprint security
  • The big four U.S. carriers are joining forces to get rid of app passwords
  • How to protect your iCloud account



23
Oct

Misfit Vapor 2: Everything you need to know


misfit vapor 2 news fossil vaper

Last year, Misfit released its first touchscreen smartwatch called the Misfit Vapor running Google’s WearOS. The smartwatch particularly stood out because it not only offered heart rate tracking but has an affordable $200 price tag. As a follow-up to the smartwatch, Misfit is launching the next-generation version, the Misfit Vapor 2.

This time around, the smartwatch comes with a few new features. In addition to heart rate tracking, the Vapor 2 comes packed with built-in GPS, NFC support (available in select countries), and runs Google’s latest version of Wear OS out of the box. To accommodate wrists big and small, the Vapor 2 also comes in two different size options.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Design and display


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In our review of the Misfit Vapor, we liked that it had a comfortable and minimal look to it that looked sleek on the wrist. The Vapor 2 is no different — its satin-finished stainless steel case comes complete with a round AMOLED touchscreen display (with 328 ppi). This time around, you have the option to choose between a 41mm or 46mm case, unlike the Vapor which only comes in a 44mm case.

The Vapor 2 will come in eight different colorways including a black case with a black sport strap, rose-tone case with a midnight blue sport strap, and rose-tone case with a rose beige sport strap. It also comes in plain stainless steel or rose-tone stainless steel. The watch straps on the Vapor 2 are also interchangeable, allowing you to customize the smartwatch even further.

Specs

Under the hood, the smartwatch features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 2100 platform. Seeing as how Qualcomm recently unveiled its new Wear 3100 chipset last month, it might be worth it to wait for a smartwatch that runs the new technology, especially since it comes packed with more capabilities. It also comes with 4GB of internal storage so you can store music to the watch.

In select countries, users will also be able to take advantage of the integrated NFC chip to make payments using only their smartwatch.

Software and fitness features

While the processor isn’t up to date, the software included on Misfit’s new smartwatch is. On the Vapor 2, you will have access to the latest version of WearOS — its redesign comes along with tons of improvements in comparison to its previous user interface. Not only is it much more streamlined, but a lot easier to use since you no longer need to memorize a variety of gestures.

With the new WearOS, you will use simple swipes to get to your notifications, health metrics, shortcuts, and more. We’ve had experience with the new platform on the Fossil Q Venture HR and found there’s been a significant improvement when it comes to navigating the operation.

While the Misfit Vapor came with heart rate tracking, the Misfit 2 takes it up several notches. In addition to tracking heart rate (Misfit says the Vapor 2 includes a new and improved built-in heart rate sensor), calories burned, and steps taken with WearOS, its built-in GPS feature means you no longer be tethered to your smartphone when tracking runs or bike rides. You will also be able to pair your Bluetooth headphones with the smartwatch to play music during your workouts.

Price and availability

The exact date of when the Misfit Vapor 2 will be available has yet to be revealed but as for pricing, the Vapor 2 will start at $250.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Skagen’s new Falster 2 smartwatch is now available for purchase
  • The best Wear OS watches
  • Skagen Falster review
  • Less glitz, more tech for Michael Kors and its new Access Runway smartwatch
  • Mobvoi Ticwatch S review



23
Oct

The best in-ear headphones you can buy


Choosing a pair of in-ear headphones is tough. We all have different tastes, budgets, and needs, and there are thousands of models to choose from — ranging from $20 all the way to $900. Since there’s no dearth of in-ear headphones to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the best options available, including USB-C earbuds, neckbuds, and wireless options.

Budget pick

Panasonic RP-TCM125 Ergofit

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If you’re looking to get a pair of budget earbuds to replace the ones bundled in your phone’s box (if there’s a pair included in the first place), then the Panasonic RP-TCM125 should be at the top of your list. They’re affordable, durable, and come in several colors.

$13 at Amazon

Bone Conduction

AfterShokz Sportz

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Say goodbye to sore ears and hello to hearing important sounds around you with bone conduction technology. These AfterShokz Sportz wired headphones are perfect for listening to music and still being able to carry on a normal conversation or hear traffic noise. And since they aren’t going in your ear, they always fit.

$60 at Amazon

Quiet Comfort

Bose QC20

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These Bose QC20 headphones have the same active noise cancellation as their bigger, over-ear siblings in a smaller, in-ear form factor. They sound great and are comfortable to wear, but best of all you’ll get 16 hours free of airplane noise, road rumble, or anything else that takes away from the sounds you want to hear.

$249 at Amazon

Everyday carry

Aiwa Prodigy-1

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Headphones you’ll want to carry around for everyday use need to sound great, be comfortable to wear, and need to be built tough. These Aiwa Prodigy 1 earbuds are all three and include an inline mic for calls and Google Assistant, plus a tangle-free cord. Don’t leave home without them.

$50 at Amazon

Deep Bass

Shure SE215

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Shure makes some of the best headphones available, and even if you’re not spending $1,000 you can get detailed sound plus enhanced bass response with these SE215 in-ear headphones. They also feature a detachable cord system that can convert from 3.5 mm to USB C or Lightning to work with every portable device you own.

$99 at Amazon

Wireless ANC

LibraTone Track+

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The Libratone Track+ wireless in-ear headphones are sweatproof, and have adjustable active noise cancellation that can cut out everything or allow some ambient noise so you can hear anything important when you need to. The behind-the-head cable makes them comfortable to wear and five different tips make sure they stay in place.

$199 at Amazon

USB-C option

Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds

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The 3.5 mm headphone jack is slowly becoming a thing of the past. If you want wired headphones, that means you’ll probably want to get a set that uses the USB-C connector. Google’s Pixel USB-C Earbuds have an adjustable loop for the best fit, a button to activate Google Assistant, and sound great. Best of all, they’re priced right!

$30 at Google

Budget audiophile

HiFiMan RE-400

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HiFIMan makes some of the best sounding over-the-ear headphones you’ll find, and its in-ear options are nothing to scoff at either. The RE-400s offer an extremely comfortable fit, and they deliver a neutral soundstage that makes them stand out from the rest of the offerings in this price range.

$45 at Amazon

Loud and low

Marshall Mode EQ

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The Marshall Mode is like the HiFiMan RE-400 in that it delivers a balanced soundstage, but there’s an option to turn up the bass by pressing a toggle on the remote. It comes with a sturdy construction, a single-button remote that lets you receive calls and control music playback, integrated microphone, and retro design flair that makes it stand out.

$43 at Amazon

At the gym

Jaybird X4

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If you’re looking for a solid pair of workout earbuds that will endure the rigors of the gym, the Jaybird X4 is a great option. They’re extremely durable, the neckband connecting the two earbuds can be configured over- or under-ear, and Jaybird offers a one-year warranty against sweat-related damage.

$130 at Amazon

Wireless buds

Jabra Elite 65t

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The Jabra Elite 65t give you great sound quality, a comfortable all-day fit, a compact charging case, and they work with Google Assistant and Alexa. Did we mention that they’re also 100 percent wireless earbuds? The fit and finish, as well as the overall sound quality, makes the Jabra Elite 65t a great option if you’re looking to go truly wireless.

$168 at Amazon

Hi Res

1MORE Quad Driver

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Audiophile-grade sound in a set of earbuds is a real thing. The 1MORE Quad Driver features four drivers in total — three BA (balanced armature) drivers along with a diamond-like carbon driver — and they manage to deliver stellar sound that’s balanced and full of detail. They’re also the world’s first THX-certified headphones.

$160 at Amazon

There are still plenty of great choices when it comes to in-ear headphones no matter what type you’re looking for. Companies know that we like different choices and all have different needs and no matter what yours are, you’ll find a set that is perfect for you. We’ve tried plenty of these products and each of us have our favorites: The 1MORE Quad Drivers really do sound as good as the ad copy claims, and the Marshall Mode EQ buds deserve the Marshall name in every way. You can’t go wrong with any of these, so pick the set that suits you best!

23
Oct

Does the Pixel 3 camera live up to the hype?


Here’s what the AC forum community thinks about the Pixel 3’s camera.

The Google Pixel 3 is one of the best smartphones of the year, but one area in particular where it truly shines above just about everything else is its camera performance.

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For the last couple of years, Google’s Pixel series has been the gold standard when it comes to smartphone photography. The Pixel 3 continues that trend with great prowess, and if you caught our full review of the phone, you’ll know that we’re more than impressed with what Google was able to achieve this year.

However, in day-to-day use for the AC forum community, is the Pixel 3’s camera just as impressive?

avatar2279_4.gifSooks
10-22-2018 06:09 PM

I came from the iPhone XS. The cameras are what I would consider a wash, pixel is a little on the cooler scales and iPhone warmer, really comes down to preference. The video on Pixel 3XL isn’t even close, the iPhone blows it out of the water… hopefully they can fix it with some software updates.

Reply

avatar2313781_23.gifMike Dee
10-22-2018 04:02 PM

As an avid photographer with multiple DSLRs and about 20 lenses in my collection I used to laugh at cell phone photography. Don’t get me wrong…some cell phones took nice snapshots but I was never impressed enough where I felt comfortable going away without a dedicated camera so I bought a compact DSLR with a internal zoom lens to get by. That was until I purchased a Pixel 2 XL. I was…

Reply

avatar2910658_12.gifmustang7757
10-22-2018 04:13 PM

it is the bomb 💣

Reply

avatar1845132_1.gifrobinhelenehebert
10-22-2018 04:56 PM

It is on par with DSLR at times for sure thanks for the great post

Reply

What do you think? Does the Pixel 3’s camera live up to the hype?

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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!
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