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Unread 2019-02-20, 07:19 PM   #11601
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Samsung’s Galaxy S10 has a built-in Instagram mode






After weeks of leaks, Samsung still managed to save some surprises for today’s event. One of the most interesting among them is a partnership with Instagram that brings Stories directly to the camera app.



It’s an interesting partnership, and mutually beneficial for both parties. For some, it could signal a kind of return to pre-loaded bloatware, but at least in the case of Instagram, the app is virtually ubiquitous for most users at this point anyway.


The mode got a brief demo onstage today — it’s pretty much what you’d expect out of the thing, bringing filters directly to the camera software and letting you upload straight to service without leaving Samsung’s default camera software.


Smartphone makers have had increasing difficulty distinguishing their camera offerings in recent years. The last several generations of products like the Galaxy line, iPhone and Pixel have increasingly relied on AI/ML/software updates to set themselves apart, so these kinds of partnerships could certainly play a role in that going forward.
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Unread 2019-02-20, 07:19 PM   #11602
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Here’s how all of Samsung’s new Galaxy S10s compare




Samsung just announced not one, not two, but four new additions to its flagship Galaxy line: the S10e, S10, S10+ and S10 5G. Want a quick at-a-glance breakdown of how they all compare? We’ve got you covered.
Brian’s got a deeper look at the different S10 models here, but if you’d rather see the key specs side-by-side, here’s a handy chart:

Most of it is self-explanatory, barring perhaps “PowerShare” — a new feature Samsung added across the S10 lineup. Whereas wireless charging lets you charge any of the phones on a compatible charging pad, PowerShare lets you use the phone as a wireless charging pad for other devices — be it another phone or, say, Samsung’s just announced Galaxy Bud headphones.
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Unread 2019-02-20, 07:20 PM   #11603
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These are Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds




After a seemingly endless stream of leaks over the past few weeks, there was essentially zero doubt that Samsung was announcing — amongst a bunch of other things — a new pair of wireless earbuds called the “Galaxy Buds” today.
Here they are.
Samsung says the Galaxy Buds should be able to pull around five hours of talk time, or six hours of music listening time. As with most of the other headliner devices Samsung has launched in recent years, sound tuning is handled by AKG (the acoustics brand Samsung bought alongside Harman in 2017).
The feature they’ll probably market the hardest, though, is the companion charging case. It plays friendly with the new PowerShare feature built into the just-announced Galaxy S10 line, allowing you to charge the case wirelessly by setting it on the rear side of the phone. It looks like this:

Samsung says the case should hold around seven additional hours of charge time, and can give the Buds about 1.5 hours’ worth of juice in roughly 15 minutes.
Samsung says the Galaxy Buds should cost $129.99, and should ship starting March 8th.
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Unread 2019-02-20, 07:51 PM   #11604
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Hands-on with Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch Active





Bye-bye, rotating bezel



Samsung just spent 90 minutes talking about its new Galaxy S10 phones that are coming out this year, including a folding model, but it also dropped information on a new smartwatch in its line of Galaxy wearables. The Galaxy Watch Active is the latest watch running Samsung’s proprietary Tizen software, and it will be available for $199.99 when it hits shelves on March 8th. We just spent some brief time with the Watch Active, and here’s what you need to know: it’s light. It feels almost unnaturally light.
The biggest change from prior Samsung watches is the lack of a rotating bezel, which is a bit of a bummer. Instead, the Active relies on its touchscreen and two side buttons for navigation. They work fine, but they are a little clumsier than the old rotating bezel. In fact, most of your interactions will consist of swiping left and right.
From the home screen, notifications are on the left, and widgets are on the right. In the app screen, you have to tap one of the tiny app icons once, verify it’s selected by a little dot, then tap again in the center of the screen to open it.
It’s awkward, but at least it’s fast. It feels much more responsive than Wear OS watches, for example, even ones running the newest Qualcomm processor.




Even though it no longer uses the area for hardware navigation, the Active has a thick bezel surrounding its display, which makes the screen look rather small. But the Active is remarkably light, and it should be rather comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The Active supports standard Qi wireless charging, which means you can use an S10 to charge it up or just put it on any standard wireless charging pad. Samsung is including a free charging pad with preorders of the Watch Active.
Overall, the device looks nice enough. It comes in at least a couple of different colors. I like that you can easily change watch straps, too. But the bezel around the 1.1-inch screen isn’t exactly small, either. This doesn’t look or feel quite as premium as an Apple Watch, but that might be too much to ask for in an Android-compatible wearable right now. Just hitting the basics in a smartwatch seems to be a struggle, but Samsung seems to have mostly done that here. I just hope it doesn’t require non-Galaxy owners to install four different apps in order to use it.




We’ll be reviewing the Galaxy Watch Active alongside all of Samsung’s new devices in the very near future, so stay tuned for more.
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Unread 2019-02-20, 10:21 PM   #11605
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Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are cheaper than AirPods and have wireless charging





True wireless earbuds are going to improve drastically in 2019, and Samsung is getting us started



What does it take to beat Apple’s AirPods? Most headphone companies have landed on the idea that the answer is better performance, noise isolation, and battery life — but every time they’ve achieved that, they’ve done it at a higher price and with a much larger charging case. Samsung, Apple’s most direct rival in the consumer hardware business, is trying to win without compromise, introducing today the true wireless Galaxy Buds that will cost $129.99 starting March 8, or come bundled for free with Samsung’s new folding phone or preorders of the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. They’ll be €149 in Europe starting March 29.
I got to see and touch (but not hear or wear) the Galaxy Buds ahead of their announcement today, and everything that Samsung presented made them look like a winner. Their pill-shaped enclosure is as close as anyone’s yet come to the AirPods’ unbelievably tiny bijou of a case. With six hours of battery life in the buds and a further seven hours in the case, the Galaxy Buds take the lead in terms of case autonomy, even if the AirPods have a longer total endurance with more pauses to recharge.




The rather futuristic feature that sets Samsung’s Galaxy Buds apart from most true wireless earphones is their ability to accept wireless charging. Samsung has built reverse wireless charging into its Galaxy S10 devices, so you can literally top up your earbuds with some spare juice from your phone. This is going to be useful in two scenarios: emergencies and when you want to show off to your friends. But being able to just pop your earbuds down on a wireless charger when you get home — thus ensuring they’re always full and ready to go when you need them — is going to be a boon on an everyday basis.
Impressively, Samsung seems to have cloned Apple’s incredibly easy pairing process for its wireless earbuds as well, just lift the lid and pair:
Samsung is touting the fact that the sound of the Galaxy Buds has been tuned by AKG. This is supposed to make us all immediately assume it’ll be awesome, but I’d be cautious about that. Samsung owns AKG (via its ownership of Harman), and so it could slap the “sound by AKG” marketing on whatever it wants. AKG is a recognized brand in pro audio, and it has built some very good headphones in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean its engineers will know how to perfect true wireless buds on the first try. This just reminds me of the Leica and Hasselblad camera branding that Huawei and Motorola, respectively, use to sell their phones and accessories.
A Samsung representative modeling the Galaxy Buds. More than anything, the Samsung Galaxy Buds appeal to me for their diminutive size and curvy, pebble-like design. They embody a designer’s recognition that gadgets which are supposed to be in close contact with the human body should have a soft and pillowy shape.
I think there’s good reason to be excited about the Samsung Galaxy Buds. With their promise of strong battery life, compact dimensions, and a lower price than the AirPods, they’re going to nudge the entire market for true wireless buds forward. 2019 will be a year of big leaps and improvement for this budding category of headphones, and Samsung is making a good contribution to that effort nice and early on.
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Unread 2019-02-20, 10:43 PM   #11606
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The Samsung Galaxy Fold Is Probably Too Thick




After months of waiting, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is official. Is its fatal flaw already apparent?

Folding phone, phone that folds, flexible phone—we’ve known since last year that this was coming and now it is a thing. Very soon, you will be able to buy a bendy device for just under $2000 from one of the world’s largest consumer electronics manufacturers.


Based on the demos we saw this afternoon, there’s plenty to admire about the engineering of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. We’ve seen disastrous iterations of concepts like this before. By appearances, Samsung has refined some of the cumbersome interface problems that might arise from designing a device with a screen that unfolds to reveal a larger screen. The “App Continuity” feature seems to seamlessly transition what you’re viewing on the smaller folded screen to the to the larger screen when you open it. And though using multiple apps on a single screen is never something I like on a touch-based device, people (some of my co-workers) seemed legitimately impressed with Samsung’s new three app multitasking feature.


During the usual hands-on demonstration time after the event, though, Samsung didn’t let anyone see the device—not that we know of at least. Sometimes companies are hesitant to show press new hardware too far ahead of launch because designs aren’t final. But given that this thing is expected to land in the hands of consumers in just about two months, I find it real odd that the company didn’t even have one behind glass for the press to leer at. April 26 is quite soon.


If I were Samsung, I’d try to drum up just as much excitement about the Galaxy Fold as possible without giving anyone with a critical eye the opportunity to see it for what it is in person. It’s simple enough to create flashy videos and impressive renders. You can do an on-stage demo that doesn’t reveal what a device is really like.





I don’t know why Samsung’s hiding the Galaxy Fold from rabid tech bloggers, but I think it’s because compared to the phones we’re all used to these days, people are going to find the device shockingly thick. Isn’t it obvious? Samsung revealed very little about the dimensions of the Galaxy Fold during the announcement. Reached for comment, a company spokesman told Gizmodo that thickness has not been made public. Some are reporting that unfolded it will be 6.9mm thick when unfolded and 17mm thick when folded, but we’ve been unable to confirm.
Let’s give a generous interpretation of the possibilities. The Galaxy S10 is 7.8mm thick. Let’s say that somehow the new device is thinner than two of those sandwiched together. Even at 14mm, it would be considerably thicker than the first generation Samsung Galaxy from 2009 (11.9mm) or the first generation iPhone (11.6mm). It’s almost exactly the thickness of the Nintendo Switch. I’ll wait so you can fish your Switch out of your backpack and decide if you want a “phone” that thick in your pocket.
I’m willing to bet that the Galaxy Fold is even a little thicker than 14mm, but Samsung won’t dish, so we’re left to guess.





Are folding phones the future? Who knows, I’m not a fortune teller. But as with all first-generation devices, it’s pretty safe to say that Galaxy Fold will not live up to the hype, no matter how thick they lay it on.
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Unread 2019-02-21, 09:08 PM   #11607
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7 hidden Android features you should use






There’s a secret world inside your Android phone, a whole host of hidden features that you may not know about or that you may have overlooked. These can make your mobile experience more convenient, faster and more fun.
We’ve uncovered some cool Android tricks that will help you translate your writing, type numbers more quickly and even improve your mobile gaming experience.

Android versions can vary quite a bit on different smartphones and tablets. The latest operating system is Android Pie (Android 9), but not every gadget can run it. That means you may have to hunt around to find these features, or that some of them might not be available on your particular device.
1. Go split-screen


You can fit two open applications onto your display at one time when you use split-screen mode. The traditional Android way of doing this involves opening an app and then holding down on the square button until the screen splits. You will see your open app on one side and be able to choose from recently used apps on the other. Tap on the one you want to use in split-screen mode. To unsplit, hold down on the square button (which is now split to indicate the new mode) and you will go back to just seeing your original app.
For Android Pie phones with gesture navigation, the process is a little different. Swipe up on the home button to see your Overview. Tap on the icon at the top of the first app you want to use in split-screen mode. This opens a small menu. Tap on "Split screen." Now pick out your second app in the lower part of the screen.
2. Translate text with Gboard


Chances are good you’re using Google’s default Gboard keyboard. This capable keyboard puts translations right at your fingertips. Here’s one handy way to use this feature: With the keyboard open, tap on the G symbol (if the top menu isn’t already visible). This opens up an array of options. Tap on the one that has a small G that looks like it’s folded over a symbol. This opens up a text box you can type into. Use the drop-down menu to choose the languages. Google will automatically translate what you type.
Get the perfect wireless headphones to go with your Android device.
3. Pin an app to the screen


Let’s say your friend wants to borrow your phone to look something up online. You can hand it to them with Chrome open and pinned to the screen. The app will stay pinned until you unlock it. It’s an easy way to keep someone else from exploring what’s on your phone.
To enable screen pinning, go to Settings, tap on Security & Location and tap on "Screen pinning," which you may find listed under Advanced settings. Make sure it’s toggled on along with the option to ask for your PIN, pattern or password.
To try this out, go to Chrome. If you’re using Pie, swipe up from the middle of the screen, tap the app icon and tap the pin-shaped icon. You will get a confirmation that the app is pinned. To unpin, touch and hold the angular Back button and the pill-shaped Home button and enter your PIN.
For earlier Android systems, tap the square icon at the bottom and swipe up until you see the pin icon. Tap on the pin. To unpin, touch and hold the triangular Back button and the square overview button and enter your PIN to unlock.
4. Open Chrome tabs fast


There’s more than one way to open all your open Chrome tabs in Android. The obvious route is to tap on the square with the number of open tabs inside it. The lesser-known way is to simply swipe down from the address bar. You’ll see all your tabs and can open a new one or close open ones. This may not really save you much time, but it’s nifty to access your tabs with a swipe rather than a tap.
5. Access app shortcuts


There’s more to the icons on your home screen than just pretty pictures. Try long-pressing on an app icon and you may see a helpful shortcut menu appear. When available, these shortcuts usually lead to common tasks you would want to do with that app. For example, long-pressing on the Google Maps icon gives me an option to open up navigation to my home. The Contacts app gives me an option to go directly to adding a new contact.
Speed up your slow Android phone with this one must-know trick.
6. Type numbers quickly


To save screen space, Gboard doesn’t display a full number row like you would get with a physical keyboard. But look closely and you will see small numbers on the top row of letters. Touch and hold down on one of these letters and the number option will appear above it. Just slide your fingertip up to type the number.
7. Block ads in gaming apps

You’re trying out a new game and you feel like you’re battling the advertising just as much as the villains. For some apps, you can quash those ads by putting your phone into Airplane mode. This works by blocking the app’s ability to serve up online ads. Airplane mode can be a little inconvenient, so also check into upgrading to an ad-free version of the game if you enjoy playing it and want to support the developer.
These clever and cool tricks and features will make you feel like an Android insider. Try them out and enjoy how they enhance your mobile experience.
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Unread 2019-02-21, 09:32 PM   #11608
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Samsung Galaxy S10 tidbits: Bixby button remapping, RIP notification LED, colors, more






After several weeks full of rumors, reports, and leaks, Samsung officially unpacked the Galaxy S10 and S10+ today at a San Francisco event. The company’s new lineup brings a ton to the table, and a lot of the exciting bits and pieces about the device didn’t make it to the presentation on stage. Here are a few Galaxy S10 details you might have missed.

You can officially make the Bixby Button do whatever you want

If you ask me, this is the biggest news of the day. On the Galaxy S10, Samsung is officially letting you remap the Bixby button to any app on your device. Can I get a hallelujah up in here?
As pointed out by The Verge, there’s a setting on the Galaxy S10 which lets you assign a single or double tap of the Bixby button to any application on your device. However, it seems like it’s one or the other. If you assign a single tap to open Google, for example, a double-tap will open Bixby. In either case, a long-press still triggers Bixby Voice. Currently, it’s unclear if this same setting will extend back to older Samsung devices with the devil’s button.

You can make the Bixby button on the Galaxy S10 do whatever you want
The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is FIDO-approved

One of the biggest concerns with in-display fingerprint sensors so far has been security. Optical sensors have proven relatively easy to break into, but it seems Samsung has worked things out with the ultrasonic sensor in the Galaxy S10. Apparently, this is the first ultrasonic fingerprint system ever to feature FIDO Alliance Biometric Certification. That means it meets globally recognized industry standards for detecting users, offering “vault-like security” to keep the device safe.
TheFIDO Alliance announced today that the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ smartphones are the first products to feature certification from the FIDO Alliance’s newBiometric Component Certification Program. This certification validates that the new in-display fingerprint recognition system meets industry standards for user verification and detecting presentation (or “spoof”) attacks. By being first to market with FIDO Alliance biometric component certification for their new line of Galaxy devices, Samsung is positioning the Galaxy S10 and S10+ as the industry best practice for biometric-enabled devices…
These new colors are awesome

Samsung is launching the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10+ in a slew of new color variants. There is, of course, the standard Prism White and Prism Black options, but also Green, Blue, Yellow, and Pink options. Some are vibrant, and others are just beautiful. If you can take a peek at Android Central’s shot of the Prism Blue Galaxy S10 below and not want to buy it, my apologies.












The Galaxy S10e doesn’t have a tele camera sensor

Samsung’s Galaxy S10e has only two cameras where its bigger brothers have three, but it keeps the ultra-wide sensor instead of the tele sensor. That means you won’t get the bit of optical zoom that sensor usually provides, but if you ask me it’s a very worthwhile tradeoff.
1TB will cost you a pretty penny

The Galaxy S10 family sees a hefty price increase from the S9 before it. Where that device started under $800, the base S10 costs just shy of $899, and the S10+ hits $999. However, if you want the top of the line, ceramic-backed, 1TB-housing, 12GB of RAM-ridiculousness Galaxy S10+, you’ll be paying a whopping $1,600 for it. The Verge points out that that comes out to $53.34 a month on AT&T’s payment plan, easily making it one of the most expensive devices available today. Until the Fold.
Goodbye sweet notification LED

While the Galaxy S10 does keep the headphone jack, it does lose another quickly disappearing part of Android’s older days. For the first time on a Galaxy S device, the S10 lacks a notification LED (via SamMobile). Admittedly with added features such as the always-on display, the clock was ticking on this feature anyway, but still, Samsung was one of the last holdouts with the option. I can see the pitchforks going up already, but in all reality this probably shouldn’t stop you from buying a Galaxy S10.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Europe

While the Galaxy S10 5G will be exclusive to Verizon in the United States for a while, it’s going to hit several operators out in Europe. Samsung details that major mobile network operators in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK will carry the S10 5G this year.
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • EE (UK)
  • Orange (France)
  • Sunrise (Switzerland)
  • Swisscom (Switzerland)
  • TIM (Italy)
  • Vodafone
  • Telefonica (Spain)
Bixby Routines are basically Siri Shortcuts, but Bixby (so they’re worse)

Bixby was barely mentioned on stage at Samsung’s launch event today, but there was a new addition to the assistant today in the form of Bixby Routines. Arriving on the S10, Bixby Routines is basically Siri Shortcuts, but for your Samsung phone. It can program specific tasks to a key phrase, such as saying “Good night” and having Bixby turn on your phone’s Blue Light filter, turn off the ringer, and maybe set an alarm for the next morning.
The phone that learns your habits to blend seamlessly into your day. #GalaxyS10 #SamsungEvent
Learn more: https://t.co/1q8ihACGjB pic.twitter.com/zNIlrP46kd
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) February 20, 2019
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G doesn’t have a microSD slot

The Galaxy S10 5G definitely looks like the power user phone out of this lineup, but you might want to hold back for just a second. While it does have the biggest screen, biggest battery, and the addition of things like a DoF sensor on the front, it lacks a microSD card slot as SamMobile points out. Most likely, the phone needs the extra space for 5G radios, which is why it’s probably so big in the first place.
There are other compatible glass screen protectors

Earlier this week one accessory maker claimed to be the only tempered glass screen protector that would work with the S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, but it seems that’s not the case. Belkin says that its “InvisiGlass Curve” protectors will work on the S10 and S10+ with the fingerprint sensor when they debut on March 8th. Samsung also mentioned to The Verge that it’s working with third-party accessory makers to make compatible glass screen protectors.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G support USB-PD for fast charging, but the others still use ancient Adaptive Fast Charging

Fast charging is a very important part of smartphones today, so it’s a shame when flagships come with chargers that are slower than they can and should be. Apples aside, Samsung has been including the same fast charging tech in its flagships since the Galaxy S6, and it’s getting old at this point. The Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e still ship with that same Adaptive Fast Charger, but the S10 5G ups the ante a bit.
As Android Police points out, the Galaxy S10 5G finally includes USB-C Power Delivery. That’s the same standard found on Google’s Pixel phones and plenty of other Android phones with USB-C. It’s probably only there because of the huge 4,500 mAh battery, but hopefully, it’s a sign of what’s to come on future Galaxy flagships.
The LED Cover has some seriously cool tricks up its sleeve

As noted in leaks leading up to the launch, Samsung is bringing a whole lot of new accessories alongside its new smartphone family. This includes a new LED cover which has some really cool tricks. HerGadgetMatch shows in a Facebook video that the case can actually show a timer for taking phones of yourself using the rear cameras. That’s probably just scratching the surface, but it’s insanely cool.

There’s another exclusive Fortnite skin

Samsung was the first OEM to get access to Fortnite on Android, and the Galaxy Note 9 came with an exclusive skin that people still ask for to this day. With the launch of the Galaxy S10, Samsung is launching another exclusive Fortnite skin, and this time it’s modeled after Jung Chan-woo, a member of South Korean boy band iKon. As The Verge points out, this skin is exclusive only to the S10+, so it won’t be available for the standard S10 or S10e either.

Samsung Galaxy S10+’s exclusive Fortnite skin
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Unread 2019-02-22, 01:41 AM   #11609
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Personal Tech


Samsung pulls sheets off costly phone-cum-fondleslab Galaxy Fold – and a hefty 5G monster

Innovation? In my smartphone market? It's more likely than you think




Some day in the future you'll have a piece of material you can fold neatly away in your pocket, a canvas that just happens to be a communication and information device. Until that day, "foldable" phones will be transitional things, reminding us how far short we fall of the ideal.
Samsung took a step towards that future yesterday, a modest step with a heavy price tag.
"The internal screen does not merely bend. It folds," Samsung said of its Galaxy Fold. "Folding is a more intuitive motion, and a more difficult innovation to deliver." No doubt.
The Fold resembles a fat conventional phone with a front-facing display, only with a hinge. Just as the old Nokia Communicator, which it superficially resembles, opened up to become a mini laptop, the Fold opens to become a tablet. There's an undeniable advantage to playing full-screen games, or viewing photos or spreadsheets on a 7.3-inch (QXGA+) display for sure, but not having to lug around a large and easily breakable tablet.
Right now – or from 3 May when the Fold ships – that convenience will set you back $1,980.

The Galaxy Fold hinge from the rear

The premium laptop pricing is justified by performance and convenience. Samsung packs the Fold with high-end specs (12GB of RAM, 512GB storage, stereo speakers) and a new UI to make multitasking less onerous: it can display three apps at once. Samsung touts its DeX capability. The biggest compromise is the battery, which is considerably smaller than you'd expect from a tablet: just 4,275mAh.
The phone industry knows that the market is saturated and its products are commodities – and everything that can be done with today's designs has already been done. It will welcome anything that brings some enthusiasm back. The Fold will, at least, be talked about. Samsung avoided the circus that's Mobile World Congress, where thousands of manufacturers vie for attention, to give the product a higher profile.
The Galaxy S10 'range'

Whether Samsung's 2019 flagship, the Galaxy S10, can revive the market is more doubtful. Although it's the tenth galaxy, its debut yesterday reminds us how ordinary these very fine products have become – and how incremental the changes are.
What was previously introduced as a pair of devices (regular and large) is now a "range" of four. Details, such as the hole punch cutout inside the display area, had been widely leaked. Here Samsung plays catchup to features Huawei and others introduced last autumn in its Mate 20 Pro: reverse wireless charging, and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Another Huawei feature, optimal switching between Wi-Fi and LTE, makes a debut.
For photography, Samsung shuns the Google route and goes for more sensors, rather than a bigger sensor. Three main (12MP+12MP+16MP) camera sensors are complimented by two selfie camera sensors. Sensory overload?
The regular 6.1-inch S10 in black, white or green ships on 3 March. £799 buys you the 128GB model, a 512GB model is £200 more expensive.
The 6.4-inch S10+ starts at £899 and is heavier than the model it supersedes at 199g. Both S10 and S10+ models pack a larger battery than last year's S9 and S9+.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

A smaller, slightly lower-priced version, the Galaxy S10e, uses the same 5.8-inch form factor as the regular S9. Priced at £669, this is hardly a bargain for the consumer looking for a sub-£500 deal. The proposition here is that the size is pocket friendly, but you get the latest triple camera.
Wisely at this stage, the fourth S10, the 5G variant, will be a separate product. Vodafone and EE will stock the device for bleeding edge adopters in the UK. This is a 6.7-inch display monster with a larger battery: 4,500mAh capable of fast (25W) charging.
Samsung's spec sheet can be found here – we'll give you hands-on impressions from Mobile World Congress next week.
Summary

So there are no "new" eye-catching innovations here. But like Apple, Samsung promises to package them so they appear safe and risk-free for the consumer. This is no crazy Wild West, Samsung assures us. Its enduring brand and attention to detail – the fit and finish of the UI, for example – are how Samsung will compete with price and spec wars from increasingly confident Chinese manufacturers, led by Huawei.
Last year I gave a warm review to the Galaxy S9 for precisely this reason. Reg readers are also recommenders. "Time-poor" buyers who seek our advice rarely welcome additional complexity in their lives, from gadgets which should by now be mature.
The hardest recommendation of all, though, is whether to suggest buying a 2019 model at all. Music Magpie calculates that the Galaxy S9 has decreased in price by up to 64 per cent over 10 months, more than any previous Samsung. ®
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Unread 2019-02-24, 06:52 PM   #11610
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Huawei announced a handful of new products at MWC, but the showstopper was the Huawei Mate X, the company’s first foldable-display smartphone. While Samsung beat Huawei to the punch by a few days, the Huawei Mate X may be a better-engineered phone than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.


The phone Huawei unveiled uses a completely different design approach, placing the foldable-display on the outside with a thin sidebar on the back of the device which houses the USB-C port, power button with fingerprint sensor, cameras and volume buttons. This means there is just one display (which folds around the front and back of the phone) and fewer cameras as well. The unique hinge mechanism features 100 components which allow the display to fold while eliminating any gaps while folded. Huawei’s also managed to dramatically reduce the thickness of the device when unfolded, resulting in a thickness of just 5.4mm compared to the 6.9mm of the Galaxy Fold. When the device is folded, it’s thickness increases to only 10.8mm while the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a massive 17mm.
Specification


As for the display, users will have an edge-to-edge 8-inch (8:7.1 aspect ratio), 2480 x 2200 panel which then folds into a 6.6-inch (19.5:9 aspect ratio), 2480 x 1148 panel on the front and a 6.38-inch (25:9 aspect ratio), 2480 x 892 panel on the back. As you can see from the pictures, there’s no notch in sight since the cameras for the phone are housed in the sidebar.
The Huawei Mate X is powered by the Kirin 980 Soc with Huawei’s new Balong 5000 5G modem which will allow download speeds of 4.5 Gbps, which is double the speed of Qualcomm’s X50 5G chip. The device will also feature 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Huawei is also throwing in dual-SIM card support with its new nanoSD expandable storage.

On the software front, the Huawei Mate X doesn’t seem to introduce anything revolutionary. Users will be able to use two Android applications side by side and the camera app will allow people to see themselves when you have someone taking a picture for you since the phone’s display wraps around the back.
The phone’s 4500 mAh battery isn’t necessarily that big for having such a large display, but it does support 55W fast charging which can deliver an 85% charge in 30 minutes, that’s 600% faster than the iPhone. The included charger actually goes up to 65W if you use it with Huawei MateBook devices.

Price and Availability

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X isn’t quite ready to hit store shelves in the next month or two, but you won’t have to wait too long. Huawei is delivering the phone to its carrier partners very soon and plans to start selling the phone in June in several regions. Anyone looking to buy the Huawei Mate X will need to pay €2299.
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Unread 2019-02-24, 06:54 PM   #11611
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The new Samsung Galaxy Fold was unveiled last week at Samsung’s Unpacked event, but the company didn’t allow any press to get hands-on time with the device. Now, Samsung has uploaded its own hands-on video of the phone which walks us through the phone’s design and functionality. The issue is that Samsung forgot to give us a voiceover narrative and actually tell us anything in the video. The only audio you will hear is the sound of the phone opening and closing and the camera shutter.
Take a look at the video and let us know what you think.


Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS9CWfLg1zg


Despite the lack of audio or background music, the Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on video does give us the best look we’ve had so far of the phone’s hinge mechanism with the phone folding and unfolding several times. We’re also given a closer look at some of the unique software features which are enabled by the large display on the inside of the Galaxy Fold as well.


Based on what we’ve seen here, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a good looking device, but it is definitely quite thick. It’ll be interesting to see how many people will be willing to pay the premium that Samsung is demanding for this phone while sacrificing the slim end elegant designs we’ve become used to over the past few years.
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Unread 2019-03-04, 12:37 AM   #11612
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Android Q isn't even out yet, but it has already been rooted






Magisk developer John Wu has a history of quickly rooting both new phones and Android versions almost as soon as they land, but he's exceeded his own already high standards today. Android Q may only exist for consumers as leaked, half-built, buggy builds circulating among forums, but Wu has already rooted it.
Android Q is officially rooted (before any official build is available). Weird flex but OK pic.twitter.com/tQ3tomb35n
— John Wu (@topjohnwu) March 3, 2019
The news comes courtesy of an announcement from the developer himself over on Twitter, with a split-screen image demonstrating the proof: Magisk running on a device reporting to be Android Q.
Curiously, the version of both Magisk and the Magisk Manager shown in the screenshot is the current Canary build. Either Wu only needed to tweak the installation method, he didn't change the build numbers when making the required changes, or the current installation method and app/Magisk versions work on Q without modification.
Whatever the mechanism, Wu maintains his reputation as one of the most prolific developers in the rooting community, stepping up the implicit challenge he issued against Google last year.
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Unread 2019-03-04, 11:45 PM   #11613
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Samsung finally gets Bluetooth earbuds right




Granted, this news is maybe a bit too late. Samsung’s already sold out of the free Galaxy Buds it was throwing in with S10 pre-orders. That said, the new Bluetooth earbuds are worth the $129 asking price, especially for Galaxy device owners.



As with many fellow S10 reviewers, I’ve been using the Buds for about a week now. They happily hitched a ride in my ears from San Francisco to Barcelona and then back home to New York. And I’ve been digging them the whole time.



This certainly isn’t Samsung’s first wireless earbud rodeo, but frankly, it took the company taking more than a few pages out of Apple’s playbook to get things right here.
The Galaxy Buds are heavily inspired by the AirPods’ simple “just works” approach to the category, bucking Samsung’s tendency to overstuff products. That approach mostly works like a charm on handsets, but the best thing a set of earbuds can do is fade into the background. On that front, the Galaxy Buds work like a charm.

The AirPod comparisons are clear the moment you open the Galaxy Buds case the first time, triggering a dialog box on the screen of your Galaxy device. Like Apple’s version, the headphones will work with any Bluetooth device, but they work best with the company’s own products. Ecosystems, people. For other Android devices, you’ll need to download Samsung’s SmartThings or Galaxy Wearable apps for the proper effect.



The charging case itself is a bit more bulky and bulbous than the AirPods, but it’s certainly small enough to carry around in your jeans pockets. I also actually kind of prefer the pill shape to Apple’s Glide dental floss design.
The case offers two other distinct advantages:
  1. There’s a charging light on the outside
  2. It can be wirelessly charged
Apple’s no doubt working on that latter bit with the AirPods 2 (remember AirPower?), but Samsung’s beat the company to the punch here — and for that matter, with Wireless PowerShare, which lets you charge the case by simply placing it on the back of the S10. That was one less cable I needed to pack.

The battery should last you a while regardless. The Buds are 58 mAh each and the case is 252 mAh. That should translate to six hours a go on the Buds and seven hours with the case. I know I didn’t run out of juice during the day.



The Buds fit well and the silicon tips should ensure they fit more ear sizes. They also form a nice seal, keeping sound in and passively canceling out ambient noise. They’ll stay put pretty well — I didn’t have any issues keeping them on at the gym. The sound, tuned by Samsung-owned AKG, is solid. It’s not the best I’ve heard in a pair of wireless buds, but it’s perfectly fine for walking around and hitting the coffee shop.


All in all, a nice little surprise from Samsung, and a great addition to the Galaxy ecosystem. Perhaps they’re even good enough to convince Samsung to drop the headphone jack — but hopefully not.
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Unread 2019-03-05, 10:02 PM   #11614
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Galaxy Note 10 Will Deliver A Serious Galaxy S10 Beat Down



Samsung has been rightly heralded for its impressive trio of 10th-anniversary smartphones: the Galaxy S10 (details), Galaxy S10 Plus (details) and Galaxy S10e (details). But a surprising shortcoming has been discovered which suggests you’d be better off waiting for the (even more ambitious) Galaxy Note 10…

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 conceptTechConfigurations




A teardown by TechInsights has revealed that Samsung cut a significant corner with its entire Galaxy S10 range: performance. All three Galaxy S10 models are fitted with three-year-old UFS 2.1 storage, despite UFS 3.0 being twice as fast, commercially ready and launching in premium smartphones from April.



And Samsung is among the companies jumping aboard. UFS 3.0 is confirmed on Samsung’s official Galaxy Fold specification page and that phone launches on April 26 - just seven weeks after the Galaxy S10 line-up.

Moreover, UFS 3.0 is about more than just speed. Yes, its leap from the 11.6Gbps of UFS 2.1 to 23.2Gbps is dramatic and apps will load and respond faster, but UFS 3.0 is also more efficient thanks to a new 2.5V power supply. In short: you’re getting a huge performance boost for less power consumption, which means longer battery life.

Samsung UFS 3.0 storage chipsSamsung



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And if you want these benefits while avoiding the Galaxy Fold (which costs $2,000), it’s a shoo-infor the August arrival of the Galaxy Note 10.



We already know Samsung is pushing the boat out with its Galaxy Note 10 upgrades and UFS 3.0 will be the icing on the cake. So take note, given the Galaxy S10 price increases, the smart move is becoming clear: Wait.
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Unread 2019-03-07, 11:39 PM   #11615
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Order the Galaxy S10 and save $750 on a second one or get the S10e free

Two Galaxy S10 smartphones are better than one.



What's better than the inevitable and awesome official release of the Samsung Galaxy S10? Saving money while ordering your new sexy smartphone! Right now, if you buy the Galaxy S10 or a Galaxy S10+ at Verizon you can get a Galaxy S10e for free or save up to $750 on a second Galaxy S10 phone. You could also choose to go with the trade-in program and save up to $200 on select devices. If you pre-order today, March 7, you'll get a pair of Galaxy Buds earphones for free, too.


The release is right around the corner, and if you haven't gotten your order in yet, Verizon's deal is the best way to save right now. All you have to do is add the two Galaxy S10 devices you want to your cart, add a new smartphone line to one of the phones, and then you'll see the money credited to your account over a 24-month period.


If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, our review of the Galaxy S10+ paints a clear picture. It has one of the best smartphone displays we've ever seen, powerful technology, and three cameras that include one 16MP ultra wide-angle camera you'll just want to mess around with. The review said, "the Galaxy S10 gets as close as possible to fulfilling the promise of being the best phone for the widest range of people out there" and reviewer Andrew Martonik added, "I can recommend a Galaxy S10 or S10+ to anyone and not worry that it'll be missing something they want or rely on in a modern high-end smartphone."
Upgrading to a new smartphone can be complicated, even one as great as the S10. We've got everything you need to know about the device, whether you should upgrade from a slightly older generation, and all the best accessories you'll need to go with your new purchase.


To get your Galaxy Buds, you'll need to download the Shop Samsung app to your new phone. Create an account and fill out the S10 promo registration form before April 4. You'll get your Buds shipped to you in the next six to eight weeks. The Buds are Samsung's newest true wireless headphones, and they compete with the best.
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Unread 2019-03-07, 11:43 PM   #11616
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AirPods vs. Galaxy Buds: The best wireless earbuds are...

We tested out Samsung's new wireless headphones against the AirPods to find out which ones have the best sound, most comfortable fit and best features.


Samsung's new Galaxy Buds are giving Apple's AirPods a run for their money. Like the AirPods, they are in-ear, truly wireless headphones. They have a magnetic charging case that can give you a boost on the go and seamlessly integrate with Galaxy phones. Unlike the AirPods ($159, £159 or AU$229), the Galaxy Buds ($130, £139 or AU$249) can charge wirelessly. The Galaxy Buds also cost less (apart from in Australia).


But the specs don't always tell the whole story. We tested both these buds for about a week to find out which one comes out on top -- and help you decide which is right for you.


Design: AirPods are light, Galaxy Buds are snug

It's hard to miss the AirPods when they're dangling from someone's ear: The bud rests inside the ear while the Q-tip-like cylinder sticks out down your earlobe. The AirPods are only available in white.



The Galaxy Buds are slightly bigger and protrude more than the AirPods, but they sit more snug in your ear thanks to different wingtips that you can swap out for a better fit. The Buds come in black, white or yellow.
The Galaxy Buds sit securely in your ear thanks to interchangeable tips so you can choose the best size for your ear.
Angela Lang/CNET
The fit and comfort level obviously depends on the shape of your ear, but in general we found the AirPods were slightly more comfortable, especially for extended wear, because they're so lightweight. The Galaxy Buds looked nicer and more subtle in our ears. Both stayed in place during everyday activities like commutes and workouts, but the Galaxy Buds felt more secure because of the tighter hold. The tips of the AirPods make them susceptible to falling out if you brush up against them with your hand. Neither one is fully water resistant, but the Galaxy Buds have an IPX2 rating which means they'll withstand intense sweat sessions.


The downside (or upside depending on what you're looking for) of having a tighter seal is that the Galaxy Buds block out more ambient noise than the AirPods, even when you're not listening to music. The open design of the AirPods means you hear a lot more of your surroundings and you don't have to take them out to have a conversation when you're not listening to anything. We'll discuss the actual sound quality in more detail later.



Both these earbuds magnetically clip in to their cases for storage and to recharge the battery. The Galaxy Buds have a slightly larger case that looks a bit like a cylindrical pillbox or contact lens case, while the AirPods have a smaller case that reminds me of dental floss.



Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds for a more secure fit (although we do prefer the AirPods' case)
Features: What else can these buds do?

The AirPods and the Galaxy Buds pair automatically with their companies' respective devices as soon as you crack open the case. The first time you bring the buds near the phone, just tap to connect and you should be ready to go. The connection experience is not as seamless with devices outside of their respective ecosystems, but you can still pair them both manually from the Bluetooth settings on any phone, tablet or laptop.



Once paired, both buds let you tap to control calls, music playback or summon a voice assistant (Siri or Bixby, respectively). Customize the AirPods controls from the Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and pick from four different options: play and pause, skip forward, go to the previous track or summon Siri.



When paired with Android, the Galaxy Buds can be customized through the Galaxy Wear app. They offer the same tap controls as the AirPods, plus the ability to adjust the volume from the buds. You can increase or decrease ambient noise and tune the sound quality from the app. If you're using the Galaxy Buds with an iPhone, however, you'll only be able to use the default controls. The level of customization on the Galaxy Buds is unbeatable, but if you do choose to customize the taps, remembering what gesture controls what feature may take some time to master.



If you lose either of these buds, you can use your phone to find them, but neither of the "find my buds" features is perfect. On the iPhone they only show the last location where they were paired, and sometimes didn't ring or show up as found until they were next to the phone. The Galaxy Buds don't show their location on a map and only play a chirping sound when you ping them -- an effect that only works if the buds are turned on and connected. Remember, you won't be able to ping either of the buds if you're using them with a device outside the ecosystem. Bottom line, try not to lose either one.


Winner: Galaxy Buds for the level of customization
Sound quality: Galaxy Buds offer more for audiophiles

Out of the box, the sound quality on the Galaxy Buds is notably richer. Because of its tighter fitting design, you don't have to pump up the volume as much to hear your music. If you're listening to the AirPods by themselves, the sound quality is perfectly adequate. It's only when listening to them side by side with the Galaxy Buds that we noticed they sound a littler thinner and weaker. The AirPods' more open design also means you also need to crank up the volume if there's a lot of ambient noise competing with them.


Sound on Galaxy Buds is tuned by AKG, and you have the option to customize the sound profile in the Galaxy Wear app. The app also gives you an Ambient Sound setting that brings in more outside noise when paired with Android devices and has a Voice Focus option that makes voices stand out. In the real world, these features do let in more ambient sound and let you hear voices more clearly, but it can sound like you are in an echo chamber, and you still don't get as much ambient noise coming through as you do with the AirPods. The AirPods don't have a native app, but you can use an equalizer in your music app to adjust the sound. We still preferred the AirPods over the Galaxy Buds for walking commutes or runs where you have to be aware of your surroundings, even with the Ambient sound option enabled.



For calls, we had the opposite experience. Both buds have dual microphones, but the AirPods isolated the voice better in the call while the Galaxy Buds let in more ambient noise. The AirPods sounded much clearer and louder to the person on the other line.



Winner: Galaxy Buds for sound quality, AirPods get points for call quality
Performance and battery: Which can go longer?

The Galaxy Buds support Bluetooth 5, while the AirPods have Apple's W1 chip. We conducted an informal range test where we paired them both with their respective phones, started streaming from Spotify and left them on a table. Both were able to get an impressive distance from the table before the music started to cut out, but the AirPods were able to get about 5 feet (1.5 meters) further than the Galaxy Buds.



The Galaxy Buds did, however, outlast the AirPods in terms of battery life by almost 2 hours. We were able to get about 5 hours of continuous playback with the AirPods and almost 7 hours with the Galaxy Buds. But the AirPods hold more charge in the case than the Galaxy Buds, so you'll be able to get more juice out of them on the go if you don't have access to an outlet. The AirPods use a lightning cable to charge, while the Galaxy Buds have a USB-C port.



But the Galaxy Buds have a charging superpower up their sleeve that the AirPods don't have yet: wireless charging. Not only can the case be charged on a charging dock, if you have a new Galaxy S10, S10 Plus or S10E you can use your phone to charge them in a pinch.



Winner: Toss up. The AirPods have a slightly longer range and more total battery life, but the Galaxy Buds last longer on a single charge and can charge wirelessly
Let's break it down: Which one is the best?

The Galaxy Buds are the clear winners. They have more features and offer greater customization at a cheaper price than the AirPods. But it also depends on your use case. The Galaxy Buds are the obvious pick if you have a Galaxy or Android phone and your main priority is sound quality. But the AirPods may be better if you're looking for seamless integration with your iPhone and want a well-rounded set of buds that you can wear in just about any scenario.



That said, it's important to keep in mind that the AirPods are 2 years old at this point and can still hold their own against the brand-new Galaxy Buds. Apple is expected to release a sequel to the AirPods in the coming months, so check back for updates to this comparison when that happens.
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Unread 2019-03-07, 11:44 PM   #11617
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The best part of the Galaxy S10’s hole punch is the potential for wallpapers





Hole-y mole-y






Samsung’s new Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10E have many new advancements, but the biggest change to their designs compared to last year’s models is the new hole-punch display. In the hole punch cutout, which is round on the S10 and S10E and oval on the S10 Plus, is the front-facing camera system. This allows for a larger screen, while side-stepping the notch design that is so controversial.
It also allows for some fun wallpapers.


Since the announcement of the phones, there have been various wallpaper designs floating around the internet, turning the S10’s hole punch into R2D2’s single eye or the S10 Plus’ into Johnny 5’s double lens face. Other designs have the ball of Jordan’s Jumpman logo placed strategically over the cutout, or Futurama character Bender’s face occupying the space. Most of them are quite fun.
ok fine the hole punch is Now Good pic.twitter.com/kzGd8CkFtz
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) March 7, 2019
prolly gonna stick with this one tho pic.twitter.com/SSj20PPbiK
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) March 7, 2019
Unsurprisingly, there’s now a subreddit for the wallpapers, as reported by Android Police. It’s a nice repository of the wallpapers so you can go find your favorites, if you’ve got an S10 in hand. Perhaps Samsung should embrace these designs and throw some licensing money at Disney and other companies to make official versions, but the community-created ones will work nicely in the meantime.
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Unread 2019-03-10, 04:56 PM   #11618
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How to Get Rid of the 'Hole Punch' on the Galaxy S10's Display


Image: Samsung
Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 might not have a notch, but it does have a hole punch camera on the front.

The forward-facing camera can sometimes look as if someone literally punched a hole in your display, which depending on who you are is either not a big deal or the most distracting thing of all time.

Luckily, Samsung included a way to cover up the hole within the device settings, CNET points out.

To remove the hole punch on your device:
  1. Go to the Settings menu (the gear icon on your device’s homepage)
  2. Select Display
  3. Select “Full screen apps”
  4. Toggle on the button for “Hide front camera”
With the hide feature toggled on your phone will add a black bar to the top of the screen so the front camera is no longer visible.
That’s it! And if you miss that sweet circle at the top of your screen you can toggle it back on whenever you’d like.
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Unread 2019-03-13, 05:53 PM   #11619
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Here’s everything new in Android Q Beta 1 [Gallery]



Google announced the Android Q Beta this afternoon and it’s shaping up to be a big release even in its early form. There are already a number of functional and visual changes. We’re enrolling in the Beta Program and sideloading the OTAs right now to explore them all, but in the meantime, catch up on all the new features for apps and developers with our updating (reverse chronological) list below.

As we dive into Android Q DP1 over the coming days, we’ll post new features and changes we find. (The newest updates will be at top of the list.)
If you want to quickly install the Android Q developer preview on your compatible Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, or Pixel 3 XL, be sure to check out our step-by-step guide.
Undo widget or app icon removal

A toast message now appears to confirm the removal of a widget or app icon from the homescreen. More importantly users can now “Undo” that action and return the item to its original placement. (Thanks Jondan)

‘Time to read’ setting

A new accessibility option in Android Q called “Time to read” lets users “choose how much time you want to read and take action on messages that automatically go away.” Increments range from 10 seconds to 2 minutes and gives users more time to read alerts. Google notes that support for this setting is up to each app.

Updated APK installer UI

When sideloading an APK, Android no longer opens a fullscreen interface. Android Q features a new pop-up that conveys the same warning, progress bar, and controls. (Via Dylan)








New notification ‘bell’ identifies which one ‘rang’


Wi-Fi gets ‘Easy Connect’ with QR code sharing and setup


Dark mode & Device theme removal

Not to be confused with theming, but Android Q removes the “Device theme” option in Display settings. However, users who updated to today’s Beta from Pie with ‘dark’ enabled have retained the look. The dark mode is now system-wide — primarily notification backgrounds — and is enabled with the battery saver.







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Unread 2019-03-13, 05:54 PM   #11620
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Material Theme for Files app

Also getting the Material Theme treatment is the Files app, which is currently not loading content in Downloads. Gone is the blue app bar and in is a white revamp with content pickers above. The navigation drawer is still leveraged with new rounded selection indicators. Material Theme icons are also used throughout to denote file types.








Material Theme for Google Wallpapers

The Google Wallpapers app has been tweaked with some Material Theme elements when selecting a background. The “Set wallpaper” button is now in the bottom-right corner, while an “Explore” button is on the other side. All text and descriptions on this screen are now centered.






Pixel Launcher

As noted below “Change icon shape” have been removed from the Pixel Launcher’s Home settings to Developer options. In its literal place is a new development feature to “Share Event Database” of: “Launched App Package Name,” “App Launch Time,” “Semantic Place (e.g. Cafe, Airport) when app is launched,” and “Lat&Lng when an app is launched.”
This data is being used for “offline testing,” though it’s not clear whether this is referring to a no data mode or some other scenario. This will likely be removed before a public launch.






Share menu

Google announced Sharing shortcuts earlier to let developers “share targets that launch a specific activity in their apps with content attached.” That feature should begin appearing when third-parties add support, but in the meantime, Google has tweaked the pane by centering “Share” at the top and allowing direct sharing. For example, when users open the system Share menu in Chrome, the URL is already noted with a convenient copy shortcut.

Device Theming

At the bottom of the Developer Options menu is a “Theming” section where users can customize Accent color, Headline / Body font, and Icon shape. Varriants for Accent include Device default (blue on the Pixel), black, green, and purple. The font choice is between Google Sans and Noto Serif / Source Sans Pro, while icon shapes — moved from the Pixel Launcher — include circle, teardrop, squircle, and rounded rectangle.










For more read out our full spotlight on Theming.
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Unread 2019-03-13, 05:54 PM   #11621
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Notifications: swipe direction, long press actions

In Android Q Beta 1, notifications can no longer be swiped away in both directions. A swipe to the left reveals snooze and the option to “Block,” “Stay silent,” and “Alert me.” The latter — expanded — options are now presented more graphically through icons compared to 9 Pie. Meanwhile, swiping to the right deletes notifications.








Battery time estimate in Quick Settings

The Quick Settings panel has been slightly revamped with a new battery time remaining estimate at the right. However, this comes at the expense of battery percentage in the top corner. The percentage indicator returns when charging.

Battery icon on AOD

The Always-on Display sees a slight tweak where the battery is no longer displayed at the bottom of the screen. It is now in the same position as when the screen is active in the top-right corner, complete with battery icon. Settings for it have been rearranged, with “Ambient display” in the Display menu replaced by “Lock screen display.” This opens a new page organized by “What to show” anbd “When to show.”



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Unread 2019-03-13, 05:58 PM   #11622
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One of the Galaxy Note 10’s marquee features was just confirmed in a new leak







Last week, Samsung finally released its exciting new Galaxy S10 flagship smartphones. The Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ are the completely redesigned handsets that Android fans have been waiting for, and they managed to deliver on the hype. The new Galaxy S phones offer sleek new all-screen designs with trendy hole-punch cameras, exciting new features like an in-display fingerprint reader, big upgrades where power and camera performance are concerned, and plenty more.


There are already reports that sales of Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 phones are expected to soar, and it’s easy to see why. Samsung fans were hugely disappointed by last year’s boring Galaxy S9 upgrade since it looked exactly like 2017’s Galaxy S8 and offered no compelling new features at all. The Galaxy S10, however, is exciting and new in every way. Of course now that the S10 family has been released, attention is turning elsewhere and gadget fans are already looking to the future. Lucky for them, a fresh leak just revealed a marquee feature coming to Samsung’s next big flagship phone release: The Galaxy Note 10.








In 2019, 5G doesn’t matter. Carriers and smartphone makers are doing their best to try to convince you that it does. In fact, AT&T is trying so hard that it’s going as far as updating phones with a fake “5G E” icon to mislead customers and make them believe they’re connecting to a next-generation network. Sorry, AT&T subscribers, but it’s the same old network you were connecting to before.
No wireless carriers in the United States will offer substantial 5G coverage this year. So, if you buy yourself a shiny (and pricey) new 5G phone, you mostly likely won’t be able to reap any benefits from the addition of 5G support. Of course if you’re like most people and you plan to keep your phone for several years, then paying a little extra for 5G is definitely worth it. As these next-generation networks continue to roll out, people with 5G compatible smartphones will experience faster data speeds and better coverage than they’ve ever seen before. In the meantime, they can consider it an investment in the future and keep their fingers crossed that their wireless carrier of choice deploys 5G in their area sooner rather than later.
You can probably see where we’re going with this.
Samsung’s upcoming new Galaxy Note 10 is expected to offer many of the best new features of the Galaxy S10 series, and more. It’ll have things like an in-display fingerprint sensor, a hole-punch Dynamic AMOLED screen, and the great next-generation cameras from the S10 series. It should also feature an updated S Pen stylus and nifty new software features to go along with it. On top of all that, a new leak confirms that at least one version of the Galaxy Note 10 will support 5G.






We’ve known for a while that the Galaxy Note 10 is being referred to internally at Samsung as “Da Vinci.” The codename was revealed by Samsung insider Ice Universe all the way back in September last year. Now, the team over at XDA Developers has found references to the davinci inside the source code for the Galaxy S10. But it’s not just any davinci reference, it’s a reference to a “davinci5G.”

In case you’re worried that the 5G version of the Galaxy Note 10 might be the only version and you’re going to have to get a home equity loan to afford Samsung’s upcoming new Note phone, there’s also a reference to a regular “davinci” without support for 5G connectivity.

Nothing else of note was pulled from the S10’s source code, but now that three of Samsung’s four Galaxy S10 phones have been released we can expect the rumor mill’s attention to turn to the Galaxy Note 10. If Samsung stays true to form, and we expect that the company will, the new Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 5G will be unveiled at some point in August.
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Unread 2019-03-14, 12:39 AM   #11623
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How To Stop, Block Robocalls On Android, iPhone -- Or Turn Into Cash, As Scams Skyrocket



iPhone detecting spam call.Credit: Apple



[UPDATE*] Never assume you're too smart to fall for a phone scam.


I recently witnessed a successful phone scam unfold at a retirement community I was visiting. This tony enclave of 65-and-older residents is located in a large metropolitan area in the northeast and the residents are almost to a person highly educated, wealthy, formerly successful people.


The call was short and to the point. Basically, the scammer claimed it was a courtesy call to let the person know that they were withdrawing money from an account the person had -- a legitimate account, by the way.


It worked because the person panicked -- the key to any successful scam. This is best illustrated in successful kidnapping scams when scammers try to quickly amp up the urgency, in an attempt to get victims to react viscerally.

In my case, the person's immediate reaction was, "I need to call them and find out why they're withdrawing the money." I had to wrest the phone from the person's hand and calm him down. It was a lot harder than you may think. It took me about 10 minutes to fully convince this otherwise- very-intelligent person that it was simply a common scam.


Scammers only need to score big on occasion: luck plays a part
I don't know what would've happened if I hadn't been sitting next to the person when the call came but it's certainly possible that he would've called back and given the scammer sensitive account information, letting the bad guy walk away with a sizable reward.








My takeaway is the scammer lucked out -- which eventually will happen if you are robocalling thousands of numbers in the right area codes. Lucked out because the account the scammer cited was a match to the actual account and the dollar figure the scammer mentioned was close to the actual amount associated with the account. So, as soon as the victim heard that figure, he went into a tizzy -- and in the process he jettisoned any rational train of the thought.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I've been fooled by email scams. Again, the key is luck. Eventually one of the tens of thousands of scammy emails will get through (i.e., not go into junk mail) and, by sheer luck, hit on something that seems relevant and believable.
Hiya...estimates that global spam calls grew 325% to 85 billion worldwide...26.3 billion...total # placed in the U.S.
Callers pretend to be an official representative of the bank
and request sensitive information or items which will allow
them to access the victim’s bank account.
--Robocall Radar, 2018 Report (PDF), Hiya, a robocall-blocking firm

Do Not Disturb on iPhone's iOS 12.Credit: Apple





How to protect yourself: the quickest, easiest way
While apps provide some level of protection against robocalls, spam, and scams, they're not bulletproof.
The hard truth is that call screening apps that claim to block unwanted calls are not always effective at actually stopping the call from getting through.


That, after all, is the point: to block unwanted calls.
But there's one way** to stop these calls cold and save your sanity in the process. Here's the starter kit for turning on Do Not Disturb on the iPhone and Android:
  • With the iPhone it’s a snap. Go to Settings, then tap on “Do Not Disturb” then select “Allow Calls From” then “All Contacts.”
  • On Android 9 "Pie," Go to "Sound" then turn on "Do Not Disturb." Like the iPhone, you can set exceptions for things like Contacts.
There are several ways to tweak how restrictive Do Not Disturb is, as shown in the images above and below.
Google also provides written how-to on its support page: here.
As does Apple: here.
The beauty of tweaking the settings is it turns Do Not Disturb into a very effective robocall/spam/scam blocking tool.


On caveat: this will stop all unwanted calls from ringing your phone. That includes unexpected calls that aren't necessarily unwanted. And notifications will be blocked too.
But you won't miss calls completely. You will typically see it as a missed call or a voicemail. Again, use trial and error to determine if this is the best option for you. And, again, you can toggle this on and off.


If revenge is your thing you might be able to cash in
If you're out for revenge, there is a website that facilitates going after the robocallers, according to a report from Fox 29 in Philadelphia.


"The site points to a little known portion of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act designed to protect consumers from auto-dials and robocallers. It also allows consumers to collect cash from callers who break the law and are subject to fines," the report says.


One user made five thousand dollars, the report said.
----
NOTES:
*Updated with (1) Hiya data and (2) news item on how to turn robocalls into cash.


**I use Do Not Disturb on my iPhone, currently an iPhone XS Max running iOS 12, and on my Android phone, currently a Google Pixel 3 XL running Android 9 "Pie."
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Unread 2019-03-14, 12:40 AM   #11624
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Android Q changes could spell trouble for root access, says Magisk developer



Root has been a part of the Android community for years and years now, and it was looking like Android Q wouldn’t be the end of it. However, just a few hours after the first beta for Android Q launched, it’s been discovered that getting root access on the latest version might be a bit more difficult than anticipated.

John Wu, the developer behind Magisk, tweeted some bad news tonight for root fans. Apparently, it could be a while before Android Q is successfully rooted. While he was able to root an early build of the OS just this month, things aren’t going so well for the beta version.
Apparently, Google switched Android Q to logical partitions for the system block, leaving no simple way to mount the block. At first, Wu thought he might have to rebuild Magisk from scratch to get things working, a process which he expected could take “months” just to get it to boot on Q.
Luckily, after taking another look at things shortly after, Wu found his first clue to implementing Magisk on Android Q. In another tweet, he explains some of the things Google changed in Q from the ground up, including “completely changing” how the system works with root access.
Bad news: Android Q root won't come anytime soon. Android Q has switched to logical partitions for the system block, which means there is no easy way to mount the block by any means. I'm currently thinking of what tricks can I do other than implement everything from scratch….
— John Wu (@topjohnwu) March 13, 2019
It will take me an extreme amount of time to figure out how to workaround all this mess. I won't expect Magisk to be even able to boot on Q in months.
— John Wu (@topjohnwu) March 13, 2019
Sigh… Google really like to rewrite things over and over again. So far I found out:
1. Completely changed how system as root works
2. Stop using DTBO for normal boot
3. Stop appending DTB after kernel
4. Stop placing fstab into DTB
And the journey continues…..
— John Wu (@topjohnwu) March 13, 2019
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Unread 2019-03-14, 10:56 PM   #11625
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Samsung Galaxy Buds review: Exceptional everyday earbuds

These Buds are for you.



Truly wireless earbuds are all the rage now, with dozens of companies getting in the game and making great products. But Samsung was actually very early in this trend: its first IconX earbuds came out in in 2016. With years of experience in smartphone accessories, and its acquisition of Harman in 2016, Samsung has seriously improved its audio prowess — ranging from high-end equipment down to lifestyle products like the new Galaxy Buds.


The move to a more consumer-friendly "Galaxy" branding and tight integration with Samsung's Galaxy phones should give you a hint as to where Samsung is looking with the Galaxy Buds: it wants some of that sweet AirPods money. Samsung isn't leaning so hard on the fitness angle anymore, and has positioned the Galaxy Buds as every-day headphones to accompany your phone for everything from commuting to daily call duties and hitting the gym after work.


The Good


  • Excellent comfort for all activity
  • Solid sound quality for wireless earbuds
  • Compact case with wireless charging
  • Good Bluetooth and L/R connection
  • More than adequate battery life



The Bad

  • Case only provides 1 full recharge
  • Touch controls require precise control
  • "Ambient sound" passthrough is useless

Samsung Galaxy Buds What I love



With lots of history in consumer electronics — and plenty of it in headphones — it's no surprise Samsung has done really well with the Galaxy Buds hardware. Starting with the earbuds themselves, they're extremely comfortable and easy to fit in your ear the "right" way as to not distract or cause discomfort. With multiple eartip sizes to go in your ear and silicone "wingtips" that rest on the outer edge of your ear, you should be able to find a fit that works (I stuck with the default mid-sized set just fine). Because these are self-contained little earbuds with no protrusions, there's zero chance that they can get hung up on your headwear, long hair, scarf, hood or anything of the sort.
The Galaxy Buds are supremely comfortable and stay put no matter what.
The earbuds manage to fit securely in your ear while also not putting any considerable pressure on any portion of the ear, which is a feat. They're incredibly light as well. Most hard plastic earbuds put unnecessary pressure on my ears, but this design that supports the entire earbud on just the silicone attachments and not the actual body of the earbud is really smart. I never had a single concern about them coming out of my ears during any daily movements or trips to the gym.


Despite being tiny, the Galaxy Buds offer touch controls on either earbud. You can tap once to play/pause music, double tap to accept/end a phone call and triple tap to seek tracks. Then in the Galaxy Wearable app, you can configure a touch-and-hold function for each earbud: either volume down (left earbud) and up (right earbud), or your choice of activating "ambient sound" (more on this below) and voice commands for Google Assistant or Bixby on either left or right.






The touch controls can be a little finicky considering the small size of the touch pad. That said, I far prefer touch controls of any sort (to say nothing of this comprehensive set) to not having touch controls at all. If you can get acquainted enough with the touch controls to even use them for the most basic level of interaction, such as play/pause music or accept/end calls, it's immediately saving you time over having to pull out your phone. And because the touch controls are configurable between left/right and with different functions, you'll be able to find something to use them for.






Nobody should expect exceptional audio quality out of earbuds, and especially not wireless earbuds. My standards are pretty low for these types of headphones because they're purely about convenience and comfort rather than quality, but the Galaxy Buds at least exceeded the low expectations. Particularly when you use the equalizer built into the companion app, sound quality is plenty good for the application — there's little bass and the overall sound can be a bit hollow, but you're just never going to pick these up for thoughtful music listening anyway. If you get the right eartip sizing, sound isolation is good enough that it helps with the overall listening experience.
Sound quality is fine, but just as importantly wireless connectivity has been solid.
With a couple weeks of listening under my belt, the Bluetooth connection to the phone and the left-right connection between the earbuds has been very good. I never had an earbud drop its connection or sync, and only experienced a couple little jitters in the phone connection as would be expected with any pair of Bluetooth headphones. Call quality was also fine. Polling people at the end of phone calls reported back many "it sounds fine" and nobody had any concerns with hearing me; on my end, I could hear callers just fine.


Outside of the simple automatic pairing process with Galaxy phones, there doesn't seem to be any difference in using the Galaxy Buds with my Galaxy S10+ and Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel recognized and paired with the Buds just fine like any other Bluetooth headset, before even installing the Galaxy Wearable app — though it's quite useful, so you'll want to install it.
This case is finally small enough to not be cumbersome — and it pack a few nice-to-have features.
Big advancements have been made in the case, even compared to the previous-gen IconX earbuds, making it one of the best overall truly wireless earbuds cases I've seen. It's considerably smaller than the last generation, pushing it down to a point where I can actually slip it in my jeans pocket next to my wallet (front pocket wallets forever, folks) without hassle; or put it in a coat pocket and completely forget it's there. By my rough measurement, the case at its largest dimensions is 69 x 40 x 26 mm — pretty darn small. The lid stays closed confidently with a strong magnet, and lighter magnets grabs the earbuds in so they're easy to toss in for charging.






I was initially worried about battery life, not because of the industry-standard 6 hours of life from the earbuds themselves but because the case only provides roughly one recharge. After using the Buds regularly since I received them with my Galaxy S10, I haven't once run out of power. Even though the earbuds are incredibly comfortable, I'm never wearing earbuds of any sort for more than 6 hours straight — and any time they're in the case, they're quickly being recharged. And with the case offering both USB-C and Qi wireless charging, it's easy to quickly charge it back up its tiny 252mAh capacity while you listen to the buds. And unlike some cheaper earbuds, the Galaxy Buds let you use one earbud or the other while charging the opposite one, which is helpful if you end up taking long phone calls with a single earbud.
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