28 June 2016

Evernote to restrict free users to two devices, raises price of paid plans



Evernote has announced that it would be making some changes to the free Basic tier of its note syncing service. Going forward users on the free tier would only be able to sync their notes between two devices although Evernote would be giving those users a heads up before these changes come into operation probably within the next two weeks. 
The two device limit however doesn't include the web version, which means users could take to using the web version of Evernote when they're on their laptops or desktops.

Users previously on the Basic tier who need to sync their notes across more than 2 devices would have to look towards the Plus or Premium tier options, whose prices have been raised by a dollar or two are priced at $4 and $8 respectively.






27 June 2016

Twitter nicks a Snapchat feature, as #Stickers comes a TimeLine near you


Twitter announced today in it's blog that it would be introducing a #Stickers features to its platform, borrowing the ever increasing popular feature from Snapchat. 

The freshly minted #Stickers feature would allow Twitter users add any of number of stickers to their photos. This new stickers feature would be rolling out to Twitter users on iOS and Android ,(sorry no Windows Phone, yet) over the coming weeks. Besides adding stickers, users would also be able to see how other people are using the stickers when they tap on the sticker.


Hey Samsung, Hold off on that Iris Scanner


Rumour has it that Samsung would be equipping the soon to be announced Galaxy Note7 with an Iris scanner, and for the life of me I can't seem to phantom why Samsung would do such a thing beyond going back to its insane ways of packing its devices with features that no one asked for or would use.

The Iris scanner is supposed to add another layer of access security for smartphones but in my view it's one step too much. Not only would it increase the thickness of the device, it would also increase the length if the schematics of the patent filed by Samsung is anything to go by.

Besides increasing the physical dimensions of the Galaxy Note7, it's not going to make accessing your device any faster if not for anything it would make it slower. The slower access speeds would easily put off any user. 

If the iris scanner wouldn't be adopted enmass by would be buyers of the Galaxy Note7, why should Samsung bother with the increased manufacturing costs of slapping another useless feature to the Galaxy Note7?. I hope someone in Samsung's headquarters has the senses to put a stop to such madness before it becomes a reality.

25 June 2016

Evleaks confirms Samsung Galaxy Note7, to come with Iris scanner



Samsung has been rumoured to be skipping the Galaxy Note6 in favour of the Galaxy Note7, a move that would see the electronics conglomerate unite numbering system of the Galaxy S7, its other flagship devices. 

Serial leaker Evan Blass popularly known as Evleaks has confirmed that the next Galaxy Note Smartphone would be named the Galaxy Note7, he's also confirmed that there would be an iris scanner which would offer an additional layer of security on top of the fingerprint sensor. The rest of the specs includes the usual 5.7inch QHD Super AMOLED display,a 12MP/5MP back and front camera combo, 64GB base memory with microSD card slot, waterproof and dustproof and in an option of black, silver and blue colours. 

It should be noted that validity of these reported specs aren't confirmed yet, however with Evans record it's pretty much a done deal.

16 June 2016

LG adds four new smartphones to its X-Series Line


LG today announced four new additions to their X-Series line with the X Power, X Mach, X Style and X Max. These new smartphones would complement their V and G series line of smartphones and share some of the features found in those devices. 

The LG says that each of these X smartphone would have a unique feature that matches it to a specific user need or interest such as bigger battery capacity, faster processor, more sophisticated styling or a larger display.
                              

The X Power is aimed at power users who spend more time on their smartphone and packs a 4100mAh battery in a 7.9mm slim body. The X Power also features fast charging (PE+) technology allowing to charge twice as fast.

The X mach is all about speed and performance, featuring a speedier 1.8 Ghz processor along with LTE Cat 9 3CA. It also features a crisp Quad HD IPS Quantum display for clearer images. The curved body of the X mach allows for better handling and the large 1.55μm sensor camera would allow users to take better photos in low light conditions.
The X Style differentiates itself from the rest of the line-up with its graceful curved design and extra-slim body.
The X Max completes the line-up features a large display for enhanced viewing experience which is ideal for media consumption.



Source: LG


Samsung reinvents the smartphone notification LED with Smart Glow


According to Sammobile, Samsung is set to introduce an alternative to the notification LED called "Smart Glow". The "Smart Glow" feature is enabled by an illuminated ring around the back camera lens, the ring would light up for notifications and users would be able to set it up to light up for priority alerts such as incoming calls, messages, battery status, usage alerts and more.

Besides notifications, the Smart Glow could potentially be used to assist users when taking selfies with the rear camera by lighting up when it detects a face. The Smart Glow is said to launch with the soon to be released Galaxy J2 (2016) which will be launched in India.  





Samsung acquires Joyent to compete with Amazon, IBM, Google and Microsoft



Samsung Electronics announced today that it has acquired Joyent, a US based cloud services provider. This acquisition would allow Samsung reduce its dependence on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and own its own cloud services to power its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, mobile and software services. 





Source: Joyent

15 June 2016

Samsung Pay launches in Australia



Samsung is continuing it's gradual global roll-out of its payment solution with a launch in Australia. This launch expands the presence of Samsung Pay to six markets after launching in South Korea, USA, China, Spain and Singapore.

Samsung would be partnering with American Express and Citibank for the launch, this would allow customers with CitiBank issued credit cards or American Express cards to shop at retailers with NFC contactless payments systems in addition to traditional magnetic stripe payment systems. Samsung Pay would be available to customers with compatible Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge on the Telstra network.

14 June 2016

OnePlus 3 with 5.5 AMOLED Display, 6GB RAM officially announced

OnePlus today unveiled their latest flagship device, the OnePlus 3. The OnePlus 3 hasn't really been media shy and today's announcement pretty much confirms a lot of the things from one of the several leaks we've had. The OnePlus 3 sports an all metal finish with a aluminium unibody which is reminiscent of the HTC One M9 when viewed from the back thanks to the antenna lines and the positioning of the camera.

The front of the OnePlus 3 features a 5.5inch 1080p AMOLED display protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 4 and a home button with an embedded fingerprint sensor. The Home button is flanked by two capacitive navigation buttons. The OnePlus 3 is powered by a Snapdragon 820 quadcore processor clocked at 2.15GHz, an Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage. The OnePlus 3 has got the usual connectivity options such as Bluetooth 4.2, aGPS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, USB Type C port, and dual SIM support. In the camera department, the OnePlus 3 packs a 16MP Sony built IMX298 sensor with an F/2.0 aperture, PDAF, OIS, and EIS. The front facing camera is an 8MP IMX179 sensor with 1.4um large pixels and an f/2.0 aperture also built by Sony. The battery capacity of the OnePlus 3 maxes out at 3000mAh and supports Dash Charging which can give the device a 60% boost in 30 minutes. It would run OxygenOS which is based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box.

OnePlus 3 will be sold sans the invite system in a choice of Graphite or Soft Gold. The smartphone is been priced at $400 in the United States and €400 in Europe. The OnePlus 3 can be purchased via the OnePlus Loop VR app or Amazon India where it is priced at Rs. 27,999.

APPLE WWDC 2016 ANNOUNCEMENTS 2016: HERE'S EVERYTHING APPLE ANNOUNCED



Apple earlier today announced some changes to it's entire line of Operating Systems from the macOS to iOS. if you missed the live event, here's a rundown on everything that was announced.



iOS 10 

iOS got some cool new features, one of which is one which it borrows from the Android ecosystem, offering glanceable notifications allowing users to view their notifications by just lifting up their iPhone. Users can now quickly reply to notifications from the lockscreen using 3D touch. The camera is now even more accessible requiring just a swipe from left to right from lockscreen to launch the camera.Other changes are mainly app specific with the Apple Maps, Photos, News, Music, Home and Phone get some new features. With iOS 10, Apple is announcing the end of its software support for older iDevices such as the iPhone 4S. For the first time ever, Apple is taking Google's approach to updating its stock apps by posting them on the App Store, users would also be able to delete those stock apps now.

With Photos, Apple is incorporating facial recognition to sort photos kinda like what Google Photos does now but unlike Google Photos this is done locally on the iDevices instead of the cloud. The Photos app can now create movies based on photos taken within a period of time. Apple Maps now offers recommendation shortcuts making it easier to find things on Maps. I can also help you to calculate how much time detour stops at a gas station or restaurants would take from your itinerary. Apple is also opening up Maps to third party developers, allowing them to build some functionality into their apps allowing users to carry out tasks such ass booking a table from maps or even a ride. The Music app sports a new look with larger photos and tabs. The News app gets a similar redesign and adds subscriptions. The Phone app gets voicemail transcription and third-party call filtering. iMessage gets bigger emoji, photo and text blur and animations.


WatchOS 3

With WacthOS 3, Apple is focussing on improving the loading speed of apps and is said to be seven times faster than WatchOS 2. Apple is also bring the command control and docks from iOS to the WatchOS, the command control and docks is accessible by swiping from the watch face or a button. Apple is also incorporating "Scribble" a handwriting recognition in addition to quick reply buttons with predefined responses. 



The Watch OS 3 also incorporates an emergency or SOS mode, which allows users to hold down the button to call emergency services.


tvOS
Apple is increasing the number of video channels available on the Apple TV from 80 to 1,300. it is also releasing a remote app which would come in handy in case of a missing or misplaced remote. It is now easier to access love TV or VOD with the introduction of a single sign on mode allowing to easier access to all channels available on your cable provider.



macOS
Apple confirmed the macOS rumours by announcing the change of the name of Apple desktop and laptop Operating System from OS X to macOS. it also announced a new version of the OS called Sierra, which connects the Apple ecosystem even further as users who own an Apple Watch would now be able to unlock their Mac or Macbook by just having the Apple watch close to it. With Sierra, Apple is finally bringing Siri and Apple Pay to macOS, although the Apple Pay would require an iPhone or Apple Watch to authenticate transactions. Another cool feature is the Universal Clipboard which would all users to copy text on their iPhone and tend paste it into a document on their Mac. Sierra introduces a new file management feature which offloads old files unto your iCloud drive. 


Swift Playbook
Apple introduced a cool iPad app which would help kids learn how to code on their iPad. The app takes a game-like approach in helping kids learn how to code .





13 June 2016

Microsoft is buying LinkedIn and it is all about Office



Microsoft announced today that it is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion in cash, which translates to $196 per share and a healthy premium of 49% on the value of LinkedIn shares. Which is a great deal if you're a LinkedIn shareholder. However for the rest of us mortals, this acquisition couldn't be more confusing, thankfully we've got the CEO of Microsoft Nadella to explain it to us.

We are in pursuit of a common mission centered on empowering people and organizations. Along with the new growth in our Office 365 commercial and Dynamics businesses this deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes. Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional's information in LinkedIn's public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you're trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.



At the end of the day, it's all about making Microsoft's Cash cow Office better for its users. I do hope their LinkedIn purchase works out better for Microsoft than Skype or Nokia.

11 June 2016

Get 2GB for just N200 or 6GB for N500 on Airtel Nigeria

Yeah you read that right😃, Airtel Nigeria has got a ridiculously cheap data plan offering 2GB of data for N200. The data is valid for 14 days, if you're worried about the validity there's another plan offering the same 6GB for N500 but this one lasts for 28 days.

To Subscribe to the 2GB/6GB Plan
Dial *482*1# for the 2GB at N200 which is valid for 14 days
Dial *482*2# for the 6GB at N500 which is valid for 28 days.



There seems to be some confusion on how much data the N500 plan gets you, the Airtel Customer Care channel on Twitter says that it's 2GB but on subscribing to the plan i had 6Gb of data (see image below)


Before you scurry off to subscribe to the plan, you should note that there's a small catch as these plans only work on Airtel's 2G network.😡

Samsung Pay set to launch in Singapore on June 16

Less than a week after launching in Spain, Samsung Pay is berthing in Singapore. In a press release yesterday, Samsung says that its Pay service would be available in Singapore by June 16th.
Samsung has partnered with MasterCard, VISA, CitiBank, DBS/POSB, OCBC Bank, and Standard Chartered to make the process work seamless for customers. Samsung Pay would be available to users who own Samsung Galaxy Note 5 4G+, S6 edge+ 4G+, S7 4G+ or S7 edge 4G+. Samsung Pay incorporates both MST and NFC which ensures that it would work with payment systems.
With its Singaporean launch, its first in Southeast Asia, Samsung Pay is now available in five countries.

Source: Samsung


10 June 2016

LENOVO WORLD TECH 2016: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOTO Z AND PHAB 2 LINEUP

Yesterday Lenovo announced a slew of smart devices from laptops to tablets to smartphones. However we aren't going to concern ourselves with the first two product categories.

The smartphones announced yesterday at the Lenovo Tech World included the first Project Tango device, the all new Moto Z lineup and its budget friendly big sized smartphones.

MOTO Z AND MOTO Z FORCE
Motorola unveiled their new flagship line ditching Moto X brand for the Moto Z brand. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force both sport a 5.5 inch Quad HD AMOLED display powered by Qualcomm's quadcore Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM, an option of either 32GB or 64GB of storage expandable via a microSD slot, fingerprint sensor. The Moto Z has a 13MP/5MP rear and front camera combo with front flash while the Moto Z Force has a 21MP/5MP combo. The Moto Z has a smaller 2600mAh battery while the Moto Z Force has a bigger 3500mAh capacity battery.

The Moto Z Force features a shatterproof screen which ditches the Corning Gorilla Glass for plastic. While the plastic doesn't shatter it is however prone to scratching. With the Moto Z, Motorola ditches the 3.5mm headphone jack and instead includes a USB-C to 3.5mm connector, which is asinine by any standards .
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force would come in a variety of colours such as Grey & Black, Black & Rose gold, White and Black & Gold, however the pricing of these devices is yet to be made public.

MOTO Z DROID and MOTO Z DROID FORCE
These are basically the same Moto Z and Moto Z Force but for Verizon.

MOTO MOD

The Moto Mod is basically Motorola or Lenovo take on what modular smartphones should be. The Moto Mod allows users to add more functionality such as bigger speaker, pico projector, power packs etc to their smartphones via back plates held to the Moto Z by magnets.
As of launch time, four of these moto mods were demoed:

  • JBL SoundBoost Speaker
    Which basically adds a small Boombox to the back of your smartphone. The JBL SoundBoost speaker also includes a kickstand and its own speaker which is capable of powering the device for up to 10 hours
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector
    This adds a pico projector to the back of the Moto Z. The Moto Insta-Share Projector has its own power source and a kickstand enabling users to either give presentations with their Moto Z or perhaps screen a movie in their homes.
  • Power Packs
    These are probably easily the most useful one of the mods. By just attaching them to the back of the phone users can give their phone a power boost without the pesky cables
  • Moto Style Shell
    These are basically the same Moto Style customizations but using Magnetic snapbacks to add real wood, leather, and other unique personalizations to the back of your phone.

THE PHAB 2 LINEUP
On the outside these devices are largely similar sharing the same design language. The same large size display standing at 6.4inches. But that's where the similarities kinda ends with the internal components and even the body being made of different materials.

The PHAB 2
The Phab 2 is the entry level variant of the line-up and that shows with a plastic body and the lack of a fingerprint sensor (come on Lenovo). The Phab 2 packs a 720p IPS LCD display which passes it south of Retina display territory (227 PPI). The capable MediaTek quadcore MTK 8735 and 3GB RAM ensures that this device would run just about any app. The rest of the specs includes 32GB internal storage expandable via a microSD slot, a 13MP back camera with phase detection autofocus, 5MP front facing camera and a 4050mAh battery.

The Phab 2 would be available in Gunmetal gray and Champagne gold and would retail for a sweet $199.99.

The PHAB 2 PLUS

The Phab 2 Plus is expectedly an improvement on the base specs of the Phab 2 swapping the plastic build for a more premium feeling all metal aluminium build. The display also gets a boost into Retina territory (342 PPI) with the 1080p HD LCD display. It also packs the same quadcore MediaTek MTK 8735 chipset with 3GB RAM and a fingerprint sensor. In the camera department, the Phab 2 Plus one-ups the Phab 2 with an 8MP front facing camera and a dual 13MP main camera setup. And all this is powered by the same 4050mAh battery found in the Phab 2.

The Phab 2 would be available in Gunmetal gray and Champagne gold and would retail for $299.99.

Although the Phab 2 Plus is a hundred dollars more, I think it's a better value for money than the Phab 2 considering you get a fingerprint sensor, 8MP front facing camera, sharper display and an aluminium build. I'm not really sold on a need for the dual camera setup as it would just end up being one of those things that never gets used.

The PHAB 2 PRO

The Phab 2 Pro is unarguably the star of the Lenovo Phab 2 lineup, claiming the title of the first Project Tango mass market device. The Phab 2 Pro shares the same design language as the other Phab 2 devices but that's where the similarities end.

The LCD display of the Phab 2 Pro retains the same size as the Phab 2 lineup but the pixel count goes all the way up to Quad HD resolution. Lenovo swaps the MediaTek built chipset for a Qualcomm built Snapdragon 652 chipset with 4GB RAM and 64GB built-in memory. Being a Tango device, the Phab 2 Pro has got a bunch of improvements to the 16MP main camera optics ranging from a RGB camera to a fish-eye camera, and an IR emitter fo measuring distances or time of flight. The front facing camera is the same 8MP as the Phab 2 Plus. The 4050mAh battery and fast charging completes the package.

The Phab 2 Pro would be available in Gunmetal gray and Champagne gold and would retail for a $499.99

The dual-SIM capable Phab 2 smartphone lineup would be available for retail globally in September.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 now available for purchase in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain

Samsung has just announced that the Gear Fit 2 fitness band would be available for purchase in more markets such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Spain in addition to the USA. Samsung says that the Gear Fit 2 would eventually be available globally.

The Gear Fit 2 fitness band unlike the original Gear Fit runs on just about any Android device running at least Android 4.4+ KitKat with 1.5GB RAM. The Gear Fit 2 is available in three colour options - Black, Blue and Pink and two sizes for large (155-210mm) and small ( 125-170mm ) wrists.

Source: Samsung