Nearly one year after Apple announced its acquisition of music recognition service Shazam, and one month since the acquisition was completed, Shazam has now begun informing users of Apple’s plans with their data (via iGeneration). You can see the new splash screen if you have a Shazam account and open up the app.
Shazam explains that if you don’t want your data to be automatically transferred, you can delete your Shazam account within the app. This will erase all personal data associated with Shazam, including your email address and connected Facebook account. Shazams will remain in the app but they will no longer sync between devices and they will be gone if you delete and reinstall Shazam.
The company points out that analytics logs and how you used Shazam won’t be erased even if you delete your account, but the logs will no longer be personally identifiable at that time. If you never created a Shazam account and continue to use Shazam under Apple’s ownership, any Shazams recorded will not be associated with you.
At the time of the acquisition announcement, Apple said that it was “thrilled” for the Shazam team to be joining Apple. Down the line, the company hinted that users can expect more integration with Apple Music and Shazam: “Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”
Tags: Apple acquisition, Shazam
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At IFA Berlin in August, ZENS revealed three new Qi-compatible wireless chargers, including a Single Aluminum Wireless Charger, Dual Aluminum Wireless Charger, and Dual + Watch Wireless Charger. ZENS sent me the MFi certified Dual + Watch charger for the purpose of this review, and I’ve been using it as my main iPhone X and Apple Watch charging dock for the past week.
The charger has a mat with support for up to two Qi-enabled smartphones, including the iPhone X and later devices. Each section of the mat has a max total output of 10W, so the Dual + Watch Charger does support Apple’s 7.5W fast charging feature for the iPhone. Sitting above the mat is a perch for Apple Watch with a built-in inductive charging puck, which supports all models of Apple Watch.
In my testing, the ZENS Dual + Watch dock has performed just as well as other wireless chargers I’ve owned over the past few months from Belkin, RAVPower, and Mophie, with a few pros in comparison to those brands, and some cons. To start with pros, I’ve found the ZENS stand to be quite lenient in regards to positioning of my iPhone on the mat.
Of course, a nice symmetrical position over the designated power logos is ideal, but even when I threw my iPhone on the stand off-kilter a charge was registered. I mostly use Belkin’s Boost UP wireless charger, which is one of the more finicky Qi mats and requires a very specific iPhone position for charging, so I was happy that ZENS allowed for a bit of a messier approach.
The mat is also wide enough for both iPhones to sit comfortably askew, but still small at 7 inches long by 3 inches deep (the Apple Watch perch is also about 3 inches high). The Dual + Watch Charger’s ultra-slim base (8mm thin), soft edges, and shiny black aluminum finish make for an overall great looking accessory that meshed well with most rooms in my apartment.
Both iPhones are still charging in this position
I used it next to my bed to charge my iPhone and Apple Watch at night, placed it on my kitchen counter for a few days, and lastly had it on my desk. There are two LEDs on the bottom front of the dock, but they aren’t very bright and never bothered me during the night, which is a major bonus as some Qi mats I’ve liked have become essentially useless due to extra-bright LEDs at night. The placement of the LEDs also ensures that the iPhone is always preventing the dim light from shining upwards.
The surface of the mat itself is made out of a soft rubberized material that has a nice matte finish, which keeps a grip on the iPhones while they’re charging. This area of the mat also captured fingerprints every time I picked up and placed down an iPhone, but it was never so bad that it began to bother me, and in certain lighting conditions they were harder to see.
While I like the simplicity of the design of the Dual + Watch Charger, a few complications emerged when using the mat to its full capacity. With two iPhones and an Apple Watch on the dock, it was difficult to check the screen of the iPhone on the left due to the band of the Apple Watch hanging down on the smartphone. This can be alleviated by tightening the band before hanging it on the stand, but that’s easier for some bands (Sport Loop, Milanese Loop) than it is for others with two separate parts (Sport Band, Classic Buckle).
I mainly use Sport Loop bands, so this wasn’t much of a concern in my testing, but it was definitely an added step to my usual Apple Watch charging process. If you use a metal band or have a band with metal accents, like the Classic Buckle or Modern Buckle, it’s likely that the band connectors won’t touch the iPhone screen for small to medium band sizes.
For those who use longer bands with metal accents, ZENS’ stand may not be the best charging option, although I doubt the iPhone’s screen would get scratched in any dramatic way even if the band comes in contact with the iPhone.
At the same time, the Dual + Watch charger offers more functionality than even Apple’s upcoming AirPower mat, since it allows closed-loop bands to easily charge on the dock alongside Qi devices. So, while I had to get used to tightening up my Sport Loop on ZENS’ stand, this eventually became second nature and I grew to enjoy using it every day.
While the singular Apple Watch perch worked great for my bedside stand, it would be nice if ZENS offered a stand with an additional Apple Watch perch on the right side of the mat for couples, families, or friends to charge both of their iPhones and both of their Apple Watches.
In terms of charging speed, ZENS fell in line with most Qi mats I’ve tried out this past year. In one test, I placed my iPhone on the mat at 8 percent battery and at just over two hours the smartphone had reached near capacity at around 92 percent battery. Likewise, overnight charges were reliable, and I woke up with my iPhone at 100 percent battery every morning that I used the ZENS Dual + Watch stand overnight.
After a few hours of use, I never felt any concerning heat coming off the stand, even with two iPhones and an Apple Watch being charged. Like other Qi wireless chargers, ZENS’ mat is best for when you want to keep your iPhone topped off when you’re nearby, or while you’re sleeping overnight. You’ll still be in better luck with a 12-watt wired solution, or an even faster USB-C option, if you really want to fuel up your iPhone quickly.
I use Apple’s own Magnetic Charging Dock to refuel my Apple Watch at night, and ZENS’ accessory felt like it was on equal footing with Apple’s in this regard. My Apple Watch was charged and ready to go every morning, and the magnetic attachment to the perch felt reliable the entire time I used it.
Bottom Line and How to Buy
ZENS has a solid wireless charging option for iPhone owners, particularly those looking for more utility in their Qi accessories thanks to the two iPhone slots and Apple Watch dock. The price of the charger is subsequently increased because of this versatility, running for €99.99 on ZENS’ online store, but for a household looking to consolidate wireless charging for a pair of iPhones and potentially an Apple Watch, this price point feels reasonable.
Customers outside of the United Kingdom can also purchase the ZENS Dual + Watch Wireless Charger from the company’s website, but shipping costs will vary by region.
ZENS sent MacRumors one Dual + Watch Wireless Charger for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.
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Smartwatches made by designers that understand women’s fashion are becoming more prevalent, with Kate Spade’s Scallop making a particular impression at the beginning of the year. Fashion lifestyle brand Tory Burch is the latest to release a full Wear OS touchscreen smartwatch. Inspired by one of the brand’s best-selling styles, the ToryTrack Gigi looks superb — modern, classy, and free from unpleasant sparkle and glitz that can sometimes (negatively) single out a wearable made for women.
Made from stainless steel, the body measures 40mm by 48mm, and we’re waiting for confirmation of the screen size and resolution. It comes in three different finishes: An attractive black stainless steel, and a pair of polished versions in gold or steel. A metal band comes fitted, adding extra style, but the straps can be swapped out, and you can choose from a leather, rubber or grosgrain Tory Burch-designed versions.
Naturally, there are different Tory Burch watch faces, with eight in total, along with various different colors for each one. There are the traditional watch faces you see in the images here, along with some more stylised designs, including a Tory Burch logo. It’s not stated with certainty, but it appears the ToryTrack Gigi comes with the latest, updated version of Google’s Wear OS software.
This means more comprehensive fitness tracking, which will work well with the watch’s heart rate sensor, GPS, and swim-proof body that’s water resistant to 30 meters. There’s NFC for Google Pay, Google Assistant to help out with daily tasks and reminders, plus music control, a Bluetooth connection for headphones, and it works with both Android and iOS smartphones.
Inside is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor. If you’re eagerly awaiting the updated Snapdragon 3100 chip, you’ll have to wait until next year when watches with the new processor will arrive. While we don’t know the capacity of the battery inside the ToryTrack Gigi, we’d expect it to last at the most a day or so, based on experience with other watches of its type.
The ToryTrack Gigi is available from Tory Burch boutiques beginning October 25. It costs $395, which puts it at the higher end of Wear OS watch prices, and crucially $100 more than the Kate Spade Scallop, and $50 more than the Michael Kors Access Runway with a stainless steel band.
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Dell’s making good on its promise to deliver a slimmer power-packed laptop to gamers, and the company’s redesigned Alienware M15 notebook will be available beginning today at a starting price of $1,379. By relying on Nvidia’s Max-Q design, Dell was able to shave a bit of thickness and heft off of its 15-inch Alienware-branded gaming notebook. The new Alienware M15 clocks in at just 0.83-inches thick and 4.8 pounds, making it 0.17 inches thinner and just shy of three pounds lighter than the same model from a year ago. In fact, Dell claims that the new Alienware is its thinnest gaming notebook to date.
In order to shrink the laptop down to size while keeping the same 15-inch screen size, Dell invested in reducing the bezel areas around the display and flattening the lid. Dell claims that the 15-inch model is the first Alienware notebook to come with this narrow bezel display. The overall effect of redesigning the Alienware is that the laptop now comes with a more angular aesthetics, and this places the 2018 Alienware M15 within measurements of rival Razer’s new and slim Blade 15. Unlike Razer’s use of aluminum for the Blade’s construction, Dell’s opting for magnesium alloy on the Alienware M15’s lid, which the company claims as the lightest structural metal. It’s unclear if the work in redesigning the Alienware this year has resulted in extra costs, but the $1,379 starting price through Dell is $79 more expensive than Dell’s target price when it announced the notebook earlier this month.
Despite its more svelte form factor, the Alienware doesn’t skimp on performance or power and gamers will likely appreciate Dell’s quoted up to 17 hours of battery life when the Alienware is paired with an optional 90Whr battery on idle. All configurations ship with Dell’s AlienFX lighting controls and an RGB-lit keyboard with 1.4mm key travel. The laptop will be available in a number of configurations, and gamers will be able to choose from Intel’s eighth-generation quad-core Core i5 or six-core Core i9 processors. Graphics top out with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, but less demanding gamers can save some money with the base GTX 1060 configuration. The Alienware M15 can be configured with up to 32GB DDR4 memory and dual-drive setups for storage.
Like the Blade 15, the Alienware M15 will also have an option for a fast 144Hz refresh panel. The base 1080p full HD display will come with a 60Hz refresh rate. More demanding users can configure the Alienware with a 1080p resolution panel and 144Hz refresh rate or go for a high-resolution 4K UHD panel with 60Hz refresh rate. Given that the Alienware M15 is purpose-built for gamers, it will come with a generous assortment of ports, including a Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C port, three USB-A ports, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, and Alienware’s proprietary docking port to connect an eGPU.
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Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends
Is GrayKey finally dead? It seems to be at least for now. According to various sources, Apple’s iOS 12 operating system has killed off the device’s ability to break into iPhones.
If you’re not familiar with the password-cracking device, GrayKey launched earlier this year, and was aimed at providing law enforcement agencies an easy way to break into a suspect’s iPhone and gather information that might possibly be related to a crime. However, Apple has been assertively going to bat for its customers’ data security — as evidenced by its struggle against the FBI — and has been involved in a long cat-and-mouse game with the security device.
After various failed attempts to curb the effectiveness of the GrayKey cracker — including the USB Restricted Mode that could be thwarted by a $39 accessory — it seems that Apple has finally cracked the cracker, with the result that GrayKey is now unable to fully break open an iPhone running iOS 12. While GrayKey can still perform a “partial extraction,” pulling unencrypted files and metadata like file sizes and folder structures, it can no longer use its previous methods that involved brute force to open passcodes and bypass Apple’s protections against repeated guesses.
Worst of all for security services, no-one’s quite sure how Apple has managed it. While older methods like USB Restricted were fully understood shortly after being made public, Apple’s new method of locking out GrayKey hasn’t been figured out at all yet. “No idea,” said Vladimir Katalov, chief of forensic tech provider Elcomsoft. “It could be everything from better kernel protection to stronger configuration-profile installation restrictions.”
So while this is great news for iPhone users worried about their device’s security, it’s not such good news for law enforcement, who may have been relying on the GrayKey to gather essential information. With a single GrayKey unit starting at $15,000 and prices rising to $30,000 for a device that can be used on multiple internet networks, it’s also a bad day for the coffers of such forces that have invested in the GrayKey.
It’s still likely the device isn’t fully dead yet. Someone may well figure out a way of circumventing iOS 12’s advanced security, restarting the game of data keep-away all over again. If you’re still worried about your iOS device’s security, we’ve put together an iOS security guide so you can ensure it’s locked down.
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Google’s artificial intelligence is getting better and better. The company first announced Google Lens, and artificial intelligence system for images and video, at Google I/O in 2017, but since then it has brought the tech to the Google Pixel camera, Google Assistant, and more. Now, Google Lens is being integrated into another Google service: Google Images.
This year has already been a big one for Google Images. Earlier, Google announced a redesign of Google Images, which aimed to use a new ranking algorithm to help users more easily find what they were looking for. Now, with Lens integration, Images is set to get even more helpful.
Similar to how Lens works in other Google services, the system will now be able to identify objects within images. With that knowledge, you will be able to “draw” around something you’re interested in or click on the dots related to an object in an image, after which Images will surface information about that object from around the web.
Lens in Images is also aimed at helping users more easily find things they’re interested in buying. The example Google gives is that you might find an image of a couch you like, but not know exactly what model it is or where to buy it from. You could then draw around the couch or click on the dot in the image, and then visit sites to learn more about the couch and potentially even buy it.
Google Lens in Images is now live on mobile in the U.S. in English but Google says it will soon roll out to other countries, languages, and platforms. In other words, expect it to show up on desktop at some point, even if it takes a few months.
Lens is likely to continue being integrated into other Google products. The service is already available in Google Assistant, which allows users to point Assistant at an object or location in real time, after which Assistant will surface information about the object or location. On top of that, you can find Lens in Google Photos, and in the Camera app on Google Pixel smartphones. It’s available on iOS, too, so if you’re an iPhone user, you can try Lens for yourself in the Google Assistant app.
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It can be difficult finding retro consoles in good condition, but there are more reputable marketplaces to do so than others.
An original PlayStation console offers benefits that the mini PlayStation Classic just can’t compete with. It can be difficult knowing where to look to purchase an older system like this, but luckily you have a few different options that are worth your time to check out.
Where should I buy an original PlayStation One console?
While GameStop traditionally did not accept trade-ins of decades-old systems, the retail chain introduced a program several years ago to do just that and try to wrangle in retro console enthusiasts. If you’re looking to purchase an old PlayStation One, this may be the best place to do so as GameStop guarantees that every pre-owned system sold is tested and works well. Not only that, but you have a 7-day money back guarantee as well.
Because it may be difficult to find one of these bad boys in stores near you, GameStop allows you to purchase them online.
$40 at GameStop
Amazon is another reputable website where you can purchase one of these consoles. Though the retailer is only a storefront for other third-party sellers in this matter, the current seller, Sosa Games, has received thousands of great reviews. The PlayStation consoles in question are marked as being in “very good” condition despite being used, and include cords, a memory card, and a third-party controller.
If you happen to be unsatisfied with your purchase, Amazon has an extensive return and refund policy that will likely cover you in the event that there is something wrong with your order.
$48 at Amazon
What are my other options?
If you know of a local used game store near, it might be worth checking out to see what they have in-stock. One such location near me, Oogie Games, is an established local business and happens to have an online storefront and ships worldwide.
Oogie Games’ return policy covers you for a full refund within 30-days if the item is defective and you have the original receipt.
$25 at Oogie Games
Where should I avoid?
I’d try to avoid marketplaces like eBay, Craigslist, or fleamarkets as they tend to cause more issues and hassle. Your mileage will certainly vary, but you could easily find yourself scammed and out of luck.
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No minimum purchase required.
For a limited time today, eBay is running a sitewide sale that saves you 10% on your purchase when you use the coupon code PICKUPTEN during checkout. We have shared a few of these sales over the last year or so, but this is the first one that did not have a minimum purchase requirement. The coupon can only be used once per account and has a maximum savings of $100. The sale starts at 8 a.m. Eastern today, Oct. 25, and ends at 8 a.m. Eastern tomorrow.
It’s not limited to specific sellers like other coupons are, but there are a few exceptions on product categories, including warranties, Coins & Paper Money, Gift Cards & Coupons, and Real Estate. If there are a few things that you’ve been eyeing at eBay, this is your chance to pick them up for less.
These sales are the perfect time to pull the trigger on that pricey gadget you’ve been second-guessing. Whether you’re looking for a Nintendo Switch console or an Xbox One X with the newest Call of Duty game, a Philips Hue Starter Kit, Ring Video Doorbell 2, or some nice Bose headphones today is your big day. You’ll be able to find some great retailer-specific sales from big box stores like Best Buy and Newegg, along with others like Dyson and BuyDig.
Like we said, there is no minimum purchase with this sale. That’s not something eBay has done recently, and you should take advantage of it. Need a new phone case or a simple costume for your dog? Check out eBay’s Under $10 section. Fill your cart up and use the code to take 10% off the entire thing (up to $100 in savings).
Here’s a few other items you might look at:
- Sonos Beam smart soundbar – $359.10 (Was $400)
- Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II headphones – $314.10 (Was $349)
- Dyson Refurb V6 Motorhead – $143.99 (Was $160)
- Xbox Live 12-month Subscription – $44.55 (Was $50)
- Marshall Stockwell portable Bluetooth speaker – $152.99 (Was $170)
- Samsung Evo 128GB microSD card – $35.99 (Was $40)
- Microsoft Surface Go – $494.10 (Was $549)
Remember this sale is site-wide, so be sure to browse to your heart’s content and then buy everything at once. The exact same promotion is also live at eBay CA for shoppers above the border!
See at eBay
Don’t let your fun be ruined by other players.
Companies are continually pushing the boundaries of our gaming experiences to be more social than ever, but this can cause an influx of people who abuse the system and attempt to ruin the fun for others. When this happens, Sony can step in to take appropriate measures, but only if you send them a report first. Here’s how to do it on PlayStation 4
What can be reported
PlayStation provides a very clear list of what you should not do on your account. If you find anyone breaking these conditions, you may report them.
- Stalk, bully, discriminate against or abuse other users.
- Post anything that is defamatory (making an untrue statement that may be damaging to the person concerned) or racially, ethnically, religiously or sexually offensive.
- Be disruptive or threatening.
- Send spam messages or forward recommendations / offers to your contacts without their permission.
-Share other users’ and your own personal and account information. Similarly, do not ask other people to give you their personal or account information.
- Use or share codes, software or devices to cheat and do not attempt to hack, damage or exploit any bugs in PlayStation Network to gain an unfair advantage.
- Use PlayStation Network for profit or for commercial purposes, infringe on copyright owned by anybody or break the law in any other way.
- Give false information including making false complaints, giving us a false date of birth or impersonating another person.
What reporting does
When a player faces a violation of the above rules and a report is sent to Sony, the company will take a look at the report in question and determine what, if any, punishment there should be. Aside from removing the offending material, your results will vary on a case-by-case basis. Sony does not detail exactly the process through which they determine what has or has not violated their rules.
For a serious offense, Sony may either suspend or ban your account. If your account is suspended, you will see an error code when attempting to log-in on your console. You will then receive an email at the address associated with your account within 24 hours as to why and how long the temporary suspension will last. A ban, on the other hand, is permanent, and you will not be able to access a banned account at any point in the future.
How to report content and messages
Should you see a specific message or piece of content that you feel violates Sony’s code of conduct, you can report it by following these steps.
Highlight the piece of content in question, whether it be a message, video, or screenshot.
Hit Options on your controller.
To report a user completely instead of a specific message, just visit their profile and hit the Options button on your controller.
How to block players
If you want to outright block a player who has been harassing you or ruining your enjoyment of a game, you can do so as well. This will block them from sending you messages and being able to communicate with you.
From the home menu, select Friends.
Search for the User ID you would like to block.
Alternatively, scroll through your Players Met list.
Select their profile.
Select the ellipses menu icon on the top right to expand your options.
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Tempered glass screen protectors are the best option for protecting the Pixel 2’s display from drop damage and general wear and tear — although because of the curved bevel in the display’s design, you won’t get true edge-to-edge protection but you will be able to double up protection with a case. We’ve rounded up great options from the Power Support Tempered Glass from Google, to a budget-friendly amFilm Pixel 2 Tempered Glass Screen Protector.
Direct from Google
Power Support Tempered Glass Film
Google sells the Power Support as an official accessory alongside the Pixel 2 on the Google Store. It’s a bit pricey but for that money, you can be sure that it’s a quality product and designed precisely for your Pixel 2. It has a black border at the top and bottom to help with lining it up during installation and also has cutouts around the front-facing speakers.
$40 at Google
A ‘case friendly’ option
InvisibleShield Glass+ Tempered Glass Screen Protector
The InvisibleShield Glass+ has been critiqued leaving too glass exposed, but that’s because of the Pixel 3’s curved bevel. You’ll get a reliable screen protector that adheres properly and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty in which Zagg will replace the screen protector if it gets worn or damaged for as long as you own the phone — you only pay shipping and handling costs.
$40 at Amazon
IntelliGLASS 3D Tempered Glass Screen Protector
The IntelliGLASS screen protector is incredibly thin and features the ever-important oleophobic coating to prevent oils and dirt from sticking to your screen. It’s a great option that is super thin and lightweight but tough when it counts.
$20 at IntelliARMOR
Border on a budget
amFilm Pixel 2 Tempered Glass Screen Protector
This black bordered tempered glass screen protector from amFilm is designed to work with cases, so you’ll want to line up the camera and speaker cutouts to properly align this product during installation. Your best bet on a budget.
$7 at Amazon
Supershieldz Tempered Glass Screen Protector [2-pack]
If you like screen protectors with a border around the screen (which helps with installation), you should check out this affordable offering from Supershieldz. This two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors includes all the features you’d expect, such as hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings to keep your screen clean.
$8 at Amazon
For your best value, you can’t go wrong for Supershieldz Tempered Glass 2-for-1 for just $7. Meanwhile, the InvisibleShield Glass+ Tempered Glass Screen Protector is a bit more but you get the peace of mind of a lifetime warranty for as long as you own your phone.