Published on August 31 2015

Apple's fourth-generation Apple TV will be released in October with a starting price of $149 or $199, according to 9to5Mac. The report claims that Apple will also continue selling the third-generation Apple TV for $69 as an entry-level device, although the set-top box is not expected to have support for an App Store or Siri.

Next-Generation Apple TV Said to Launch in October for $149 or $199

The report adds that Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service will be available "as soon as next year" through a software update for both the third-generation and fourth-generation Apple TV. The web-based TV service is expected to deliver a lightweight package of about 25 channels for around $40 per month.

The new Apple TV is rumored to feature a dual-core A8 processor, an App Store with a native SDK for developers, Siri voice control, HomeKit integration, a new user interface and a redesigned remote control with motion sensors, a touchpad on the top, physical buttons on the bottom and a microphone.

Apple is expected to announce the new Apple TV at its September 9th media event.

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Published on August 29 2015

Apple has just announced its traditional fall iPhone launch, sending out invitations to the press for an event on September 9th at 10AM PST, as expected. Less expected? The venue, San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. That's a new one for Apple — and it's a massive venue with a 7,000-person seating capacity, so expect a lot of news.

The company is expected to unveil a new pair of smartphones: the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Not much is known about what the new devices might offer in the way of upgrades, but it's a good bet that the displays will incorporate Force Touch — technology that allows for force-sensitive touches and has already appeared on the Apple Watch and newer MacBooks. A dramatic camera upgrade has also been rumored, so we'll be looking for that.

Apple iPhone event announced for Wednesday, September 9

We've also seen images of packaging that purportedly belongs to the iPhone 6S Plus from Chinese tech site cnBeta. The image shows an iPhone with what looks to be a Butterfly Koi. It's been suggested that this could be one of a new set of animated wallpapers arriving with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. This style of "motion wallpapers" have previously been seen on the Apple Watch, with the company said to have photographed one flower 24,000 times to create a single watch face.

What else? We've also heard rumbles that new iPads might be in the mix, including a rumored larger iPad Pro, and persistent whispers of a revised Apple TV never really seem to go away, although it seems as though that new-look streaming service still won't make it in time. And of course we'll see iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, and watchOS 2, all of which should be ready for primetime release.

Gonna be a big one, and we'll of course be there liveblogging and covering it all. Get ready.

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Published on August 23 2015

Samsung gives users a new reason to switch to iPhone

While it’s understandable that Android OEMs these days feel they have to be creative when it comes to finding new ways to make money, they also have to be careful that they don’t overstep their bounds and significantly annoy their user base. Earlier this month we saw that HTC had started serving some One M8 and One M9 users ads in their notification centers, which is something that didn’t go over very well among Android diehards. After all, if you’ve already paid hundreds of dollars for a phone, why should that phone spam you with marketing you didn’t ask for?

Now Android Police is reporting that Samsung is pulling the same trick and is pushing out ads to some users’ notifications centers.

“In case you have not heard, here’s an ad in your notification shade,” writes Android Police. “It looks like this has happened to at least a few people thanks to the Samsung Push Service. In a separate incident, I myself have been served an ad by the bundled Peel remote app. Is nothing sacred anymore, Samsung?”

Apparently not.

And it’s not as though Samsung devices are $200 zero-margin cheapies like the devices Xiaomi pops out on a regular basis. These are high-end devices that charge you a premium price to use.

In addition to the degradation of the user experience, pushing ads into our notifications is also a perfect piece of propaganda for Apple. After all, many of us probably already get enough notifications as it is — why should we have to deal with our smartphone manufacturer sending us notifications for things we don’t even want?

While Samsung and HTC may get short-term revenue boosts out of these tactics, over the long haul they’ll drive users to either embrace the iPhone or Google Nexus phones

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Published on August 23 2015

In the market for a new smartphone? Choosing which smartphone you want can be a difficult decision. But there are a number of recently-announced models that you should consider as you research your options. From Samsung’s latest flagships to a new OnePlus phone to new models by Motorola and Sony, here are the new entrants to the smartphone market that are worth a look.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Edge+

As The Cheat Sheet reported recently, Samsung recently introduced the latest models of two of its most popular phones. The Note 5 and the Edge+ both feature 5.7-inch displays, are equipped with Android 5.1 Lollipop, and will be the first to support the Samsung Pay mobile payments system when it launches in the U.S. on September 28. Both phones have a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera, 32GB of 64GB of storage, Samsung’s new Exynos 7420 processor, and support for traditional and wireless charging. Samsung is heavily marketing wireless charging as a way to differentiate its offerings from Apple’s iPhones.

The Verge’s Dan Seifert characterizes the Galaxy Note 5 as “the best Note Samsung’s ever made,” an important goal for the company to achieve given that the Note line represents the “pinnacle” of Samsung’s smartphone lineup. The Note 5 takes cues from the Galaxy S6’s processor, display, camera, and materials, with a solid metal frame and a glass front and back. Samsung’s usual S Pen is located in a slot at the lower right of the phone, and is nicer than the one included with previous phones, with improved pressure sensitivity and writing performance.

The Edge+ is a larger version of the first S6 Edge, and as such is very similar to the earlier model, but with a bigger display and battery. Its design, however, is more refined, and the sloped edges look more impressive on a larger phone, even if some reviewers have noted that the edges make the phone awkward to use, in practice. The Edge+ also adds more reliable battery life, and some have noted that Samsung has toned down the annoying software features of past smartphones.

ZDNet reports that scientific analysis by DisplayMate has shown that the Note 5 and the Edge+ have the best displays available — which is a good thing considering that they’re also some of the most expensive Android phones on the market. Even though the Galaxy Note 5 has the same screen size and resolution as last year’s Note 4, Samsung made significant improvements to the peak brightness, screen visibility and readability, and power efficiency of the OLED screen.

OnePlus 2

The OnePlus 2 follows in the footsteps of the OnePlus One, which made headlines as an excellent but affordable smartphone. Nathan Ingraham reports for The Verge that OnePlus 2, which the company has dubbed the “flagship killer,” doesn’t deviate from the formula that made the One such a success. The OnePlus 2 features a 5.5-inch 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 810 processor, and either 16GB of storage with 3GB of RAM or 64GB of storage with 4GB of RAM. It also features a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. As Ingraham notes, most of those specifications are standard for a high-end smartphone, but the price makes the phone stand out. The 16GB model costs just $329, while the 64GB model costs $389.

The OnePlus 2’s frame is mostly built of aluminum, and the phone features a USB-C connector, a three-position switch to cycle through notification settings, and a front-facing fingerprint unlock sensor. The phone runs on Android 5.1, with OnePlus’s own clean OxygenOS on top to add extra features. Ingraham characterizes the software implementation as “graceful and minimalist, with thoughtful additions like the ability to swap between on-screen navigation buttons versus using the capacitive buttons below the screen.”

Motorola Moto X Style, Moto X Play, and Moto G

Source: Motorola.com

Motorola recently unveiled its new lineup of smartphones, comprised of the Moto G, Moto X Style, and Moto X Play. The phones update Motorola’s previous models, and as Romain Dillet reports for TechCrunch, play to Motorola’s customary advantages on the fronts of price, customization, and minimal bloatware added to the Android software. Dillet explains, “The Moto G is a 5-inch Android phone that costs $180 without any carrier subsidy. The Moto X Style is an updated Nexus 6-style phablet as Motorola is the maker behind the Nexus 6. And the Moto X Play is a cheaper version of the Moto X Style that you won’t find in the U.S.”

The Moto G is intended for budget-conscious shoppers, and this year’s edition is waterproof. The phone features a 5-inch 720p display, either 1GB or 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a Snapdragon 410 chip, and the same 13MP camera module found on the Nexus 6. The new Moto G now comes with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with little bloatware, featuring customizations that are much more lightweight than Samsung’s. The phone can be customized with swappable back shells.

The Moto X Style, called the Pure Edition in the U.S., features a 5.7-inch display, Snapdragon 808 chip, 3GB of RAM, 21MP camera, and up to 64GB of storage. It’s expected to ship in September for $200 to $300 less than comparable smartphones. The Moto X Play, on the other hand, is a cheaper 5.5-inch device for markets other than the United States, and will go on sale in August in Europe, Latin America, and Canada. It will feature a Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 21MP camera.

Sony Xperia C5 Ultra and Xperia M5

Source: Blog.sonymobile.com

Sony recently unveiled two new smartphones, which Romain Dillet reports for TechCrunch focus on what the company does best: smartphone cameras. Sony is one of the leading suppliers of smartphone cameras, and provides them for some of the biggest smartphone makers in the world. (Apple and Samsung, for instance, rely on Sony for the cameras in the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6.) Dillet reports that the Xperia C5 Ultra and M5 illustrate what kind of camera you should expect in your next smartphone, even if you’re not likely to see them “in the wild,” since most users opt for an Apple or Samsung phone instead of a Sony phone.

While most smartphone makers put a sub-par camera on the front of the smartphone, the Xperia C5 Ultra features the same 13MP camera on the front as on the back. The camera features a 22mm lens, plus a front flash. The C5 Ultra also features a 6-inch display, a 1.7 GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM. The Xperia M5 features the same front camera as the C5 Ultra, but has a better rear camera, which can shoot 21.5MP photos and 4K video. The phone is both smaller, with a 5-inch display, and waterproof like its predecessor. It also features a 2.0GHz processor and 3GB of RAM.

Article Source: 7 New Smartphones That May Be Worth Buying

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Published on August 22 2015

The Galaxy Note series is no longer the face of Samsung's phablets. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is.

And depending on where you stand in terms of design, the phone's two curved screen edges are either cool in your book or totally lame and not worth the $100 premium over the Galaxy Note 5's flat screen.

There is no doubt in my mind the S6 Edge+, which sells for around $800, exists only to throw down with the iPhone 6 Plus, the most powerful phone Apple's ever created.

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is essentially a larger version of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

The S6 Edge+ was designed to beat the iPhone 6 Plus into the ground with better and faster specs, and a design that dazzles and surprises.

It's the right strategy. When any company, big and small, wants to make a premium phablet worthy of your hard-earned money, it has to innovate in a way others can't. Samsung seems to have settled on curved screen edges as its show-stopping feature.

If you're the getting-work-done type, the S6 Edge+ is not for you — the Galaxy Note 5, with its S Pen stylus, is the phone you want. Samsung says the S6 Edge+ is designed more for people who like to watch videos, but I disagree; I say it's designed for the fashion-conscious and types of people who are tired of being a drone and having a phone that looks like every other phone.

The flashiest phablet ever

The S6 Edge+'s thin metal frame and glass back are still as futuristic-looking and premium-feeling as its little brother's. Compared to the iPhone 6 Plus, the phone's got a bigger screen, but it's shorter and not as narrow, which I loved because it's easier to pocket and use with one hand.

Samsung's industrial design has come a long way since the original Galaxy Note days. It's hard to see how Samsung can make a prettier phone next year that's not just thinner and lighter. The only design peeve I have with S6 Edge+ is how glossy the glass back is — it attracts skin oils, smudges and fingerprints like crazy and can make the phone look real grimy.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a pretty face and that's pretty much it

The 5.7-inch display with 2,560 x 1,440 (Quad HD) resolution is beyond stunning. It's one of the best phone displays I've ever seen. It's bright and colors look amazing... but those two curves come with downsides.

The curves are great conversation starters on the subway and in cafés, but they distort the content on the screen too much. Text appears warped on the edges, fullscreen videos roll off the top and bottom and on light-colored backgrounds, and the entire screen looks like it's bending into itself. The curved edges also make reflections even more noticeable.

Power, power and more power

As detailed in my hands-on, the S6 Edge+ is a powerful phone — Samsung's most powerful, in fact. The Galaxy Note 5 is its only equal.

Sandwiched between the metal frame and glass front and back is an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor and 4GB of RAM. That's one of the fastest processors in any phone and the boatload of RAM ensures Android 5.1 Lollipop with TouchWiz runs at peak performance all the time. Unlike Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal, who noticed some occasional freezing while reviewing the Galaxy Note 5, I didn't experience any software issues on the S6 Edge+.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a pretty face and that's pretty much it

The entire OS is incredibly responsive, apps launch quickly, scrolling through more than 50 suspended apps in the multitasker is smooth and jitter-free and 3D games like Batman Arkham Origins, Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8: Airborne load and run like nothing.

I still prefer stock Android and dislike TouchWiz with a passion, but I can live with it. I tested the UK version in the U.S. with a T-Mobile SIM card, so the phone didn't have any carrier bloatware on it. I can't be sure if the U.S. models will be the same, though. For what it's worth, the T-Mobile GS6 and GS6 Edge we reviewed had a bunch of T-Mobile junk pre-installed.

And speaking of pre-installed apps, the phone comes with an entire folder of Microsoft apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. Unfortunately, you can't remove these.

The fingerprint sensor, which works with with a tap like the iPhone's TouchID sensor (and not a swipe like on the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge) works really well. In some cases it's even better than the iPhone's sensor.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a pretty face and that's pretty much it

The cameras are the same ones in the S6 and S6 Edge — 16 megapixels on the back and 5 megapixels on the front, both with f/1.9 apertures for knockout low-light photos and serious depth of field. They're the best smartphone cameras money can buy, and DxOMark, the industry standard for camera and imaging ratings, agrees.

The back camera shoots 4K-resolution video, which looks good, but as always I'd recommend just sticking to 1080p full HD resolution video because the phone tends to get hot when you're shooting at 4K.

Like the Note 5, the S6 Edge+ has a sealed 3,000 milliamp-hour (mAh). Power users will mourn Samsung's decision to go with non-swappable batteries for its phones, but I didn't mind. I consider myself a power user and I've never missed a swappable battery on the three iPhones I've owned. It's not really an issue when battery packs and cases are so cheap these days.

For the most part, the battery is solid and can last 10-12 hours of normal usage with well-managed settings that reduce power suckage.

Samsung also allays battery fears with fast charging and fast wireless charging, which charges the S6 Edge+ from 50% to 100% in about 30 minutes and from 0% to 100% in about 2 hours, respectively. You will, however, need to have a fast charger and fast wireless charger ($80 from Samsung) to get the quicker charging times.

The thing that may disappoint you are the two storage options: 32GB and 64GB. There's no 128GB model like there is for the GS6/GS6 Edge. To me, that doesn't make sense, especially since there's no microSD card slot and as a media-focused device, people are going to want to have as much storage as possible. My personal phone is a 128GB iPhone 6 and I'm already down to my last 10GB of storage. Hopefully Samsung will offer a 128GB model later or Incipio will make a version of its offGRID battery case that adds back the microSD slot back.

Edgy enough yet?

Our biggest gripe with the S6 Edge when we reviewed it was that its edge features didn't do anything particularly useful to justify the extra $100 over the flat S6.

The S6 Edge came with two exclusive features: People Edge and an Information Stream. The former displays shortcuts to five of your favorite contacts and the latter is basically a bedside clock that shows the time, weather, news headlines from Yahoo News and notification alerts. Neither of the features were as useful as the Note Edge's curved screen, which at least let you add app shortcuts.

The S6 Edge+ still has both of those features, but it's also got Apps Edge, which shows shortcuts for up to five of your favorite apps and works exactly like People Edge with a swipe in from curved screen edge. And since it's accessible from anywhere (on the lockscreen, homescreen or within an app), it's extremely convenient.

It still not as versatile as the Note Edge, which lets you add way more app shortcuts and customize the panels with different items like news from CNN, but it's a step in the right direction.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a pretty face and that's pretty much it

From a strict design perspective, there is nothing else like the S6 Edge+. It's the supermodel of phablets, but for me, it just doesn't do enough. Apps Edge is neat, but it's still too limited.

Personally, I like the Galaxy Note 5 and its curves on the backside more. I also feel the new S Pen features (especially the offscreen memo) are more useful than Apps Edge or Peoples Edge, but if you absolutely must have a big phone that doesn't look like every other big phone, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the best choice out there.

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Published on August 20 2015

Pro tip: How to prepare your iOS device for iOS 9

iOS 9 is the next incarnation of iOS that Apple will be releasing later this fall, presumably alongside of annual updates to iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. While we're still at least a month and a half before this time, it's never too soon to start preparing your device (and yourself) for the upgrade.

The new iOS 9 will work on a few more generations of devices than past iOS releases, as Apple intends to extend the life of your iPhone and iPad by adding new features through these iOS updates.

Compatible devices

iOS 9 will work with the following devices:

iPhone

  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus

iPad

  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3rd generation
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini 3

It's important to note that on the iPad, the iPad Air 2 is the only model of current iPad device that will allow the use of the new iOS 9 multitasking and Picture-in-Picture (PiP) modes.

iPod

  • iPod touch 5th generation
  • iPod touch 6th generation

Create a backup

Before you proceed with the upgrade path, you'll want to make sure that you're implementing a valuable backup plan to consistently backup the data on your device should something go awry during the upgrade process.

There are two ways to back up your iOS devices: through iTunes and through iCloud. If you don't wish to pay for iCloud storage, then iTunes may be your only viable option, but it requires a bit of planning. iCloud lets you "set it and forget it" when it comes to backups. iCloud will back up your device nightly when you plug it in to charge. iTunes, on the other hand, will require you to sync your device to complete the backup process.

Another reason to use iCloud backups instead of iTunes is that you can restore from an iCloud backup from any of your devices, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. With iTunes, you have to be manually connected to your Mac to restore.

For a list of ways to backup your iOS device to your computer, or to iCloud, check out my previous article, "Backups: iCloud isn't better than iTunes, and vice versa."

Get a list of necessary accounts and passwords

When it comes time to upgrade your device to iOS 9, you'll want to be sure you know two important key pieces of information before proceeding with the upgrade: your iCloud credentials and the passcode for your iOS device.

If you have Touch ID enabled on your iPad or iPhone, then you may very rarely remember the 4-digit PIN (or longer password) needed to unlock your device if Touch ID is unavailable. You'll need this full PIN or password to proceed with the upgrade. So, before starting the update, be sure to know this information.

You'll also want to know your credentials (email and password) associated with your iCloud account. When iOS 9 completes the installation, you'll be walked through the setup options, and in one of those options, you'll be prompted to verify your iCloud password. If you don't know this information, it might stall your upgrade process until you have this information handy.

Are you ready to upgrade to iOS 9 come this fall when it's released to the public? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.

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Published on August 20 2015

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 remains a solid phablet that boasts a powerful display and powerful innards stuffed inside that can even run a Gear VR virtual reality headset without issue. Aside from its high cost and large size, the handset received a 4.5 rating.

With the Galaxy Note 5 freshly announced, it's clear this new device will be on equal footing with the Galaxy Note 4, although it's initially hard to see where the big upgrades are.

Touted as the ultimate productivity powerhouse, the Note 5 has been slimmed down without sacrificing an impressive array of specs and new software features.

Samsung hasn't announced global availability just yet but you can pick up the Note 5 in the US on August 21, with pre-orders beginning August 13. Pricing will vary and depend on the following carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon Wireless. The device will also be available at Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy, as well as Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Costco Wholesale, Inc., Sam's Club, Target and select Walmart stores.

Off contract, the new Note will cost you $739.99 (about £474, AU$1,005).

Display, specs and performance

The videos and pictures are vibrant thanks to the Note 5's 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution (518ppi), equalling the size of the Note 4's screen though the pixel density is lower on the older device.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

It's also a tad larger than the iPhone 6 Plus's Retina HD 5.5-inch display and the OnePlus 2's HD 5.5-inch IPS LCD In-Cell display.

Samsung designed the Note 5 to be less unwieldy by incorporating curved side edges on the back panel. I have tiny hands and there's no denying the fact that phablets will never be comfortable for me to hold, but I did notice it was a bit easier to grasp the Note 5.

Its measurements of 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm and 171g weight - which is both slimmer and lighter than the Note 4 - probably helps with the bulkiness. Again, despite the seemingly marginal number differences, there's a clear distinction when holding the phones - I could see the thinner design and surprisingly, feel the difference in weight.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

The Note 5 will ship running Android 5.1 with an Octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset at 2.1GHz (or 1.5GHz) and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. There won't be an SD card slot - rather only 32GB and 64GB storage capacities are available.

There wasn't enough time during my demo to really stress test the Note 5's capabilities by running games or apps but YouTube and web pages loaded quickly despite the hotel's bad Wi-Fi.

The battery also hasn't been tested, of course, but at 3,000mAh it's smaller than the Note 4's 3220mAh. But Samsung believes it's got that covered. With Power Saving and Ultra power saving modes, even if the Note 5 has 10% battery life remaining, it should still allow a substantial amount of standby time.

The charging has been upgraded to mirror the Galaxy S6's wireless charging abilities (with both PMA and Qi standards supported) and will charge rather quickly thanks to the more efficient technology.

Design and S-Pen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will come in two colors: Black Sapphire and White Pearl. It's also far sleeker than I expected despite it being a larger, productivity-centric mobile device. (The Note 5 is pictured with a Galaxy S6 Edge+ below).

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

Placed next to the Galaxy Note 4, it looks positively radiant thanks to its slightly curved edges and lack of plastic and textured backing.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

The S-Pen - one of the key features of the Note series - is also back and slightly different from the Note 4 iteration. Instead of pulling the pen out, you push it into the chassis and it clicks out. It's easier to access and makes more sense than its previous method. Once the pen is in hand, you can also immediately jot down notes on the Note 5 screen without needing to open any extra apps.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

Software-wise, the S Pen use is all about making it easier to write stuff on the screen, as you'd expect. For instance it'll save your notes automatically and "Air Command" (the little box of options that appears whenever the pen is brought close to the screen) has been enhanced as well with an always on icon for the S-Pen.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

Shortcuts to frequently used apps will be easier to find from any screen and there will be fewer steps to start writing. The latency and friction have been lowered to allow a better writing experience as well.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

I've never had problems with the S-Pen on the Note 4 in terms of writing so it was difficult for me to discern between the two when doodling on the both at the event.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

Scroll Capture is one of the new functions of the S-Pen that will allow you to screen capture a whole page. Whether it's directions from Google Maps or a web page, you can use Scroll Capture one of the Pen's apps to continuously capture and save content, even if it's not all on one page. The feature itself is a bit hard to find since it's not explicitly labeled in the phone.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

It seems particularly useful if you're traveling without access to Wi-Fi - simply use Scroll Capture to save a page, then pull up the info when you need it. You'll also be able to annotate the screens.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

I've always wanted a feature like this on my phone so it's great to see it come to fruition. It makes it easier to save important info instead of needing to take 10 screenshots just for one web page. My only peeve was with the constant tapping to use Scroll Cap. I'd much rather just hold the Pen down to capture the screen.

PDFs will also be easier to work with. To make it easier to deal with PDF documents, new software has been included to let you open a PDF, sign it or annotate, then send immediately.

Samsung Pay and Sidesync

Like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the Note 5 has Samsung Pay incorporated allowing you to pay with NFC and MST - Near Field Communication and Magnetic Secure Transmission, respectively.

There are three quick steps to use the payment method. Whether your phone is on or off, you swipe up, verify your identity with your fingerprint, then place the Note 5 on the magnetic card reader to scan.

Security for Pay includes Samsung's updated Knox program - which includes real time anti-hacking, biometrics and encryptions. Fingerprint verification and digital tokenization round out the security measures.

Samsung Pay should be more widely accepted compared to Apple Pay and won't require vendors to purchase another machine to scan your gadgets. Rather, you simply place the Note 5 up to standard card readers already used in stores. It then registers a digitized token account number - not your live account - that is processed by the card company's servers, then authorized for the payments to go through.

You won't have to worry about choosing how to pay either. Samsung reps said that the card readers will automatically detect the "purest signal" between NFC or MST when paying.

It worked well enough during the demo but may be different in practice. The Samsung Pay beta is available now, and will be ready commercially on September 20 where it will be accepted in stores worldwide.

Sidesync has been around for awhile but has been updated to include syncing with Macs as well as Windows. The demo worked really well over a USB connection and I was told in theory, should work just as well over Wi-Fi since the hotel's connection was extremely spotty.

Basically, you'd be able to transfer your pictures, videos and even show off YouTube videos in high quality just by connecting to your to your PC or tablet.

Multimedia

The rear camera remains largely the same as the Note 4 at 16MP with optical image stabilization, although it's been given new features and power to make it into something more attractive.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

RAW support is now included (something all the camera fans out there will love, although why it's been added into something like the Note is unclear, given it's not really something people will buy the phone for) and live streaming, where private YouTube channels will be created so you can share what you're doing with friends in real time.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

Through the camera app, you'll be able to start live video broadcasts that are immediately shown on your YouTube channel, in real time. Similar to Periscope sending out a tweet to your followers notifying them you've started live streaming, you'll be able to let friends know through social media when to tune in.

The front-facing snapper has been vastly upgraded for the selfie types. receiving a boost up to 5MP.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

The Note 5 also feature 4K video filming which can be displayed on a 4K TV.

The Note 5 audio settings will look different from the Note 4's equalizer. At 24bit/96kHz, audio has been upscaled allowing ultra high quality (UHQ) opposed to just high quality.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

Samsung says music should be fuller and richer through headphones. During my demo, switching from normal to UHQ definitely made a difference. It doesn't seem to work without headphones though and it's not clear if UHQ is for music only or for all multimedia. Bluetooth has been enhanced to 24bit/96kHz as well to improve music quality for the speakers and headsets.

Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review
Early verdict

The Note 5 is a worthy successor that's quite capable of surpassing the Note 4 with its less clunky design and improved features.

Though there aren't too many new goodies that truly separate the 5 from the 4, it's still clear Samsung attempted to include better software to improve productivity.

Immediately being able to write while cutting out the need to open an app after popping out the S-Pen stands out the most to me, however simple it may sound.

Live streaming to YouTube is an integration I didn't see coming for the Note 5 but could be a potential hit. I suppose it's Samsung's equivalent and answer to the iPhone 6 Plus - and everyone's uploading videos of cats to YouTube these days.

From my short time with it, the Note 5 looks like a decent alternative for those looking for a lovely display and powerful handset. Pricing is still in the works and dependent on the carriers but should fall within range of the Note 4's off-contract $800, £600 (around AU$960). Let's just say the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 won't be cheap because it wasn't cheaply made.

Article Source: Hands on: Galaxy Note 5 review

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Published on August 16 2015

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Galaxy Note 5 is the first version of the stylus-toting phablet that has an all-premium build. Let's see how it compares to last year's model, the Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Size:

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

No major differences in height and width. The Note 5 is a hair shorter and 4 percent narrower.

Thinness is a big step forward for the Galaxy Note 5. It's 11 percent thinner than the Note 4.

Weight

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Weight is only a minor upgrade, with the Note 5 measuring 3 percent lighter.

Build (frame)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Both phones have aluminum frames, though the Note 5's has a more Apple-like design, with its bottom edge (just like in the GS6) looking more than a little influenced by the iPhone 6.

Build (back)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

This is where the premium factor comes in, as the Galaxy Note 5 switches from faux leather (plastic) to a beautiful Gorilla Glass 4 back with sloped edges.

Colors

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Samsung is selling the Note 5 in four different color options this year.

Display size

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

No changes here, as the new model sticks with the same large 5.7-inch display we saw in last year's model.

Display resolution

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Resolution also stands pat, with incredibly sharp Quad HD resolution.

Display type

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Samsung always uses AMOLED panels in its flagships. They give you rich colors, deep blacks and great contrast.

S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

It wouldn't be a Galaxy Note without an S Pen. The stylus in the new model looks and feels a bit more premium than the Note 4's pen, but the new version's metallic-looking finish is still plastic.

Click-out S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

To unsheathe the S Pen in the Note 4, you have to dig your fingernails into ridges on the end of the pen. It isn't exactly a chore, but it also feels a little less than 100 percent seamless.

In the Note 5, just push in the cap on the pen and it will pop out enough that you can more easily pull it out from the phone.

Processor

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Note 4 was a fast phone when it launched, but the Note 5 should have zippier performance, thanks in part to its octa-core Samsung Exynos processor – the same chip found in the Galaxy S6.

RAM

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Note 5 also gets a RAM upgrade.

Storage

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Both handsets ship in 32 GB and 64 GB options.

MicroSD

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

But the Note 4 is the better choice for storage, as Samsung dropped the microSD slot from the new model.

Camera megapixels

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Note 4 has a very good camera, but the Note 5 gets the same excellent cameras found in the Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge.

Physical camera shortcut

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Like on the GS6, you can double-tap the Note 5's home button to launch its camera.

Camera aperture (rear)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Note 5's camera has slightly wider aperture.

OIS

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Both handsets' rear shooters have Optical Image Stabilization.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The new model has a slightly lower-capacity battery, but that doesn't mean it will have shorter battery life.

Fast charging

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

When using the stock cable, both handsets can juice up quickly from a nearly-dead battery level.

Wireless charging

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Note 5 has wireless charging built-in, but it also has a new fast wireless charging feature that can juice up the phablet from 0 to 100 percent in about 2 hours.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

When Samsung Pay launches, the Note 5 will let you use your phone as a wallet – not only at NFC terminals (like Apple Pay) but also at standard credit card readers.

Fingerprint sensor

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Note 5 has the same touch-based fingerprint sensor found in the GS6 (similar to the one in the iPhone 6), while the Note 4's sensor requires you to drag your finger across the home button.

Heart rate sensor

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Both handsets have heart rate sensors on their backsides.

Keyboard cover

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Samsung is launching a new BlackBerry-like keyboard cover that slides onto the Note 5.

Gear VR compatibility

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

When the "full consumer" Gear VR launches, we'd be surprised if the Note 5 wasn't part of the fun. But right now, it's left out of the Oculus-powered virtual reality party.

The Note 4 works with the original version of the Gear VR, which has a wider field of view than the GS6 edition, but – much more significantly – has overheating problems. Long term, we'd bet on the Note 5 being the much better bet for VR.

Screen-off notes

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The new Galaxy Note has a nifty feature that lets you scribble notes on its black screen after pulling out the S Pen (a trick that's only practical on AMOLED displays). It lets you jot down thoughts without even waking your phone's display.

Multi-page screenshots

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Have you ever wanted to grab some content on a Galaxy Note that couldn't fit on one screen? The Note 5 lets you do that, capturing things like long documents or entire web pages.

Software

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Both phones have Android Lollipop at their cores, with Samsung TouchWiz on top, but the Note 5 will likely stay up-to-date longer than the Note 4 will.

Release

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Galaxy Note 5 launches alongside the Galaxy S6 edge+ this month. The Note 4 has been around since last October.

Starting price (full retail)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

Prices on the year-old Note 4 vary a bit, but the Note 5 is launching at around the same price points we've seen for every Galaxy Note.

Just remember that most people won't need to throw down US$750 at once; some carriers still offer on-contract pricing (usually starting around $300) and installment plans that let you pay the full price over two years.

For more, you can check out Gizmag's hands-on with the Galaxy Note 5 and our full review of the Note 4.

Article Source: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

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Published on August 12 2015

There’s finally an upcoming iPad upgrade worth getting excited about

It’s been a long time coming, but it finally seems appears that the iPad mini will be getting some long-deserved and welcome upgrades. A new report from 9to5Mac relays that recently discovered data strings in OS X El Capitan point to the iPad mini 4 getting support for Split View mode, a feature that will become available once iOS 9 drops.

With Split View mode, iPad users will be able to view and use two separate apps side by side. This multitasking functionality will instantly transform the iPad into a much more capable and appealing computing device.

On top of that, we can expect the iPad mini 4 to come with a slew of other improvements, including a more glare-resistant display, a faster processor, an improved camera, and an even slimmer design that should rival the current iPad Air 2. This should be welcome news given that Apple’s iPad Mini update last year was pretty dull, to say the least.

Indeed, the only only substantive enhancement Apple bestowed upon the iPad mini 3 was the inclusion of Touch ID. In almost every regard, the iPad Mini 3 was nothing more than a slightly souped up iPad mini 2, with the two products sharing the same A7 processor, the same iSight camera, and even the same display technology.

Now whether or not a beefed up iPad mini 4 will help stem the tide of slumping iPad sales remains to be seen. With iPad sales trending downwards for 8 straight quarters now, pundits and analysts have been asking if the iPad’s best days are behind it. Tim Cook, for what it’s worth, has said on numerous occasions that Apple remains committed to the iPad and that the product category still has lots of room for innovation. Additionally, keep in mind that Apple is rumored to be working on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a product which will hopefully see the light of day before 2016.

As for when we can expect new iPad announcements, it’s rumored that Apple will be holding a special event on Wednesday, September 9 where the company will reportedly unveil new iPhone models, a refreshed Apple TV, and perhaps new iPad models.

Laslty, and to serve as a quick refresher, you can reacquaint yourself with Split View mode in iOS 9 with the video below

Article Source: There’s finally an upcoming iPad upgrade worth getting excited about

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Published on August 12 2015

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is gearing up to launch its Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ on August 13. However, the company has already been working on the next year’s flagship smartphone Galaxy S7. Samsung’s profits are sliding and it is losing its market share. The company badly needs a revolutionary device that would set it apart from the crowd. And the Galaxy S7 could be that device.

Galaxy S7 May Feature A Revolutionary Holographic Display
How the Holographic display works

Patently Mobile has spotted a patent application filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) by Samsung. The patent, filed in the second-half of 2014, details a holographic display that can project 3D objects in mid-air. The patent describes a smartphone that can display images above the screen.

Galaxy S7 May Feature A Revolutionary Holographic Display

If incorporated in the Galaxy S7, the technology could revolutionize the smartphone industry. Going by Samsung’s historical release cycle, the S7 may not arrive until March 2016. The holographic display has long been a dream of technology giants and consumers. But the technology is far more complex than it appears.

The objects projected above the screen, as described in the patent filing, are just pre-defined icons. Users will be able to select icons by touch, and the 3D projector may use the smartphone’s camera to detect interactions. Samsung uses a special case with a translucent panel to create 3D images. However, achieving the same thing with movies or photos will be a difficult task.

Galaxy S7 may run Snapdragon 820

It is just a patent, so it is too early to say if the technology will eventually make it into the Galaxy S7. Separately, a leaked internal document posted on Chinese microblogging site Weibo revealed that Samsung is testing Qualcomm, Inc. ’s Snapdragon 820 processor for the Galaxy S7. It has sparked speculations that the Korean company might finally opt for Qualcomm’s chips after using its own Exynos 7420 chipset in the Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S7 is internally code-named “Jungfrau.” The leaked internal document showed that the Korean company was adding support for Jungfrau and MSM8996 to its Android M software development plan. MSM8996 is the model number for Snapdragon 820 processor that is based on 14nm FinFET technology and offers 35% better performance than Snapdragon 810.

Article Source: Galaxy S7 May Feature A Revolutionary Holographic Display

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