Mobile VR is taking off quite fast. Google spearheaded the movement with the original Cardboard initiative and Samsung helped take it to the next level with Gear VR. It’s Leap Motion’s turn. Continue reading
If you’ve been following along with our Black Friday and Cyber Monday coverage, there is absolutely no question that you took advantage of some of the best deals in the country over the past few weeks. Of course, the odds are good that you still have a few people left on your holiday shopping list to purchase gifts for, so you’ll be happy to know that we’re nowhere close to being done with the sweet sales this season. Amazon is shifting gears from Cyber Week straight into its “12 Days of Deals” sale, which offers big discounts across a wide range of categories for… you guessed it… 12 consecutive days. The action is already underway, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know right here.
First of all, as always, you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to fully take advantage of the sale. You can still shop most deals without subscribing to Prime, but you won’t always have access to the cream of the crop. Plus, you won’t get free two-day shipping unless you subscribe to Prime. You can start a free Prime trial right here.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at what Amazon has in store for this big sale:
- December 4: Gifts for kids
- December 5: Books and media
- December 6: Gifts for entertaining/gifts for foodies
- December 7: Gifts for gamers
- December 8: Fashion
- December 9: Tools and DIY
- December 10: Gifts for travelers
- December 11: Fitness and activity
- December 12: Tech and gadgets
- December 13: Gifts for crafters and hobbyists
- December 14: Gifts for pets
- December 15: Stocking Stuffers
As you can see, Amazon’s got some pretty terrific themes in the works over the course of the remaining days, and here’s the link you’ll want to visit each morning to check out Amazon’s deals: Amazon 12 Days of Deals.
The Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL are getting a big bundle of bug fixes today. Build NMF260 is making its way out of the oven with a bunch of fixes. Continue reading
Monday lunchtime tradition dictates that we should always have a new beta version of iOS to play with, and who is Apple to mess with tradition? The latest beta version of iOS, 10.2 beta 6, has landed for developers or anyone on the public beta channel to play with (and break) to their heart’s content.
So far, the iOS 10.2 beta has brought us new emoji, shiny new wallpapers, and Apple’s new TV app. We’re still looking to see precisely what’s new in the iOS 10.2 beta 6, but aside from any new features, it’s probably worth downloading just for the bug fixes.
iOS 10.2 beta 6 is available immediately as an over the air (OTA) update for registered developers and anyone already on the public beta stream, and it can also be downloaded from Apple’s developer website and installed using iTunes.
We’ve rounded up the best features that you should expect on your phone when Apple finally releases the master version of iOS 10.2 to the general public. Among the best changes are new emoji — awkward canoe incoming — that TV app we talked about, a new screen effect in Messages, and a new Emergency SOS feature that promises to be equal parts lifesaving, and incredibly annoying. Continue reading
Google has launched a brand new app called Trusted Contacts that wants to bring a little extra peace of mind to anyone that frequently travels alone, at night, or in any other less than 100% safe situation. The concept of the app is pretty simple; you pick a few favorite, trusted contacts, and the app […]
Come comment on this article: Trusted Contacts is a new Google app to keep track of friends and family
As is becoming tradition, Sprint rolled out a bunch of “limited-time” offers on data plans for Black Friday. As it turns out, the only time limit is “as long as people want the deal.”
Considering that the plans Sprint are offering are a steal — provided you like Sprint and live somewhere with good service — it’s not a surprise the network is extending the offer for an unspecified amount of time. That surprise shouldn’t stop you from taking a good look at your Verizon bill and considering if it’s worth it, though.
Sprint’s offer is exactly the same as it was over Black Friday: port at least one line to Sprint, and you’ll get unlimited text, talk and data for $20 per line if you have five lines. The price breakdown only makes good sense if you’re an account with four or five lines. You pay $60 for one line, $100 for two, and then the third, fourth and fifth lines are free. That’s $33/line for three lines, $25/line for four, or $20/line for five. To be honest, I’d probably just start carrying around three cellphones, all with unlimited data.
Of course, Sprint’s plan, just like T-Mobile’s (and everyone else) isn’t actually unlimited — your video and music is throttled, hotspot data is limited, and heavy users are subject to throttling at peak times. But provided you don’t rely heavily on the mobile network to watch HD Netflix videos, it should provide all the mobile data you need for a small amount of money per month.
There’s a catch, though, and that’s Sprint’s network performance. The latest report from OpenSignal, a company that uses crowdsourced data to show real-world performance of cell networks, puts Sprint firmly in last place among the big four networks. Sprint’s the worst on network availability and download speeds across the country, although city-by-city performance varies a little. Other network tests, which generally rely on testing networks at a bunch of pre-determined spots and are arguably less representative of the nation as a whole, show Sprint to be much closer (and sometimes better!) to the other networks in speed and coverage.
Still, if Sprint’s service isn’t bad in your home city and you have a couple of lines on the same account, this deal could be a particularly cheap way to get plans for the next year. The $20-per-line pricing lasts until January 31st 2018, so you’re only tied into Sprint for the next year. Continue reading
Google just unwrapped Android 7.1.1 factory image files for Pixel and Nexus devices. That’s right on schedule with Verizon’s news this morning and matches up to Google’s previously monthly releases. Not only is this Android 7.1.1, but it should be the December security patch as well. So far, we are seeing 7.1.1 files for Pixel […]
Almost everyone wouldn’t mind seeing a nice tablet or smartphone for them under the Christmas tree this year. But, if you’re shopping for the tech enthusiast, they might be looking for something a little more new and exciting, such as a smartwatch. It goes without saying, smartwatches right now are essentially for early adopters. They’re […]
Come comment on this article: Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Best Android Wear smartwatches
Last week, Netflix launched the one feature that binge-watchers worldwide have been wanting: support for movie downloads on mobile devices. The move is meant to help you binge on your favorite shows while you’re on the move, without worrying whether you’ve got access to a wireless network, or whether you have enough data on your cellular plan. But it turns out that Netflix also wants to help out with the obvious side-effect of downloading movies for offline viewing: killing your phone’s storage.
The easiest way to save data on downloads is to lower the resolution of movies and TV shows. But streaming giant came up with a way to save data without compromising on video quality. That means you can either download more episodes of your favorite show for less data or improve video quality for offline downloads without taking massive hits when it comes to storage.
As Variety explains, Netflix adopted a new video codec for downloads. Netflix uses Google’s open source VP9 codec that makes possible videos of the same video quality but with significantly less data. Or, you can get better video quality for the same amount of data. In either case, your storage does not take a hit.
The problem with VP9 is that it’s only used on Android but not the iPhone. Netflix has an H.264/AVC High codec to replace VP9, compared to the H.264/AVC Main is the codec it uses for streaming videos.
However, Netflix didn’t give up and used a different trick to bring the same storage-saving feature to iOS devices.
Netflix realized that different scenes in different movies need different amounts of data. The more special effects in a scene, the more data it’ll need to play on your device. To make up for the iPhone’s lack of VP9 support, Netflix decided to simply split all videos that can be downloaded on an iPhone into chunks between one and three minutes. The computer then analyzes each scene and chooses how to encode it.
These technologies (VP9 and splitting videos in short clips) help Netflix save some 36% data on average for videos that look the same to the human eye. When H.264/AVC High is in use, iPhone users would still save 19% of data. A more technical explanation is available on Netflix’s blog.
Netflix could use the same new codec technology for mobile streaming in the future, and offer better quality videos to users who are on slower internet connections. Continue reading
Having launched the modular LG G5 to mixed reviews earlier this year, the South Korean consumer electronics company recently launched its successor to the LG V10 to a much better reception from the media and consumers alike. Named the LG V20, the device was launched in India earlier today, although its predecessor was never sold […]
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