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  • Android O Rumors

    The technological world is buzzing with the new release of the Android O which is just around the corner. Yet, there’s been no news about its release, keeping the Android O a mystery to the Android community. Now, Android's SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has commented here and there about the name, however, he hasn’t leaked out any information on what we can expect.

    However, just because he hasn’t said anything, doesn’t mean the rumor mill hasn’t been speculating the features of the Android O. From what people are saying, there’s going to be an update on notification, camera mode and more. So, let’s get to it and show you what people are speculating will be featured in the Android O.

    App icon badges This update was one in the waiting. The iPhone has had this for years, so it’s about time Android jumped on the bandwagon. Rumor is, the app icons in Android O will have badges for active notifications. Through these badges, you’ll be able to quickly look at your active notifications without having to open the app. So, this will appear directly on your home screen which users are going to love.

    Picture-in-picture mode Now, the details on this are slightly murky, however, from the title, it’s somewhat straightforward. The picture-in-picture mode is going to resemble that of Android TV. The picture-in-picture mode from Google was a part of Android TV. Since it’s already on Andriod TV, it only makes sense to offer this on other Android devices such as tablets and smartphones. We’re crossing our fingers for this one!

    Adaptive icons Think of adaptive icons like Google Pixel. This feature is still quite vague on what it really means, however, it’s most likely connected to dynamically changing icons which will probably be used with the Google Now Launcher, if it’s included in the Android O smartphone.

    Smart text selection floating toolbar The smart text selection floating toolbar is rumored to come with Assistant integration. This feature is rumored to be called “Copy Less” which automatically copies the information you need from apps when needed - so it’s probably going to be a smart text floating toolbar. It’ll come with recognition of texts such addresses and finger gestures. But, this is still a rumor that has yet to be confirmed.

    Improvement to MediaRecorder API MediaRecorder API works in permitting apps to take video and audio clips, saving this data to persistent storage. Rumor has it, that Android O is going to be improving on this feature. In addition, Google is focusing on working with improving audio latency, so we’ll probably see this in the Android O.

    New notifications Now, there is no solid information on what the notifications will look like in the Android O. However, there’s news that the notification system, but in the past, there were rumors about Andromeda and Android 8.0 merging, so this could be it. Or it could simply mean that Google is updating the graphics of the notifications. Though we know what Google is capable of doing, so they may be syncing your notifications to your Google account, making all your accounts in sync on any device.

    Restricted background activities Google has recently come out with Chrome 57 with one of its best features being power saving of background tabs. This means that Google is going to be restricting the activity of background apps in the Android O. So, your battery is going to last much longer than it already is right now, which you’re probably happy about. Plus, who needs background apps to be working when you’re not using them anyways? Just a waste of battery. It’s nice to be given some control over phone and not let apps run things.

    Sadly, there isn’t as much information leaking out as we would like. On one side, this builds up the excitement for when it’s released, however, for the time being, we’re all sitting here wondering what they’ve come up with! As it gets closer to being released, more information about the updated features will leak out to the community. So, stay tuned as we try to find out more information about the Android O.

  • What's New in iOS 11

    Apple fan? Then you probably already know that iOS 11 was announced by Tim Cook recently at WWDC 2017. With a breadth of new features, it’s sometimes a bit overwhelming when a new version of iOS comes out. After all, the days of marquee features like copy and paste are now long gone. In its place are a number of smaller, quality-of-life-focused additions that Cupertino promises will vastly improve your overall experience. Let’s take a look, shall we?

    Synchronized Conversations Hallelujah, Synchronized Conversations are finally here. While in the past your messages would be sent to all of your devices, users would often complain that when they would delete a conversation on their tablet, for example, that the deleted message would still show up on a phone or Mac. Now you’ll never have to worry about losing your messages them or having to delete them twice. What’s more, your messages will be stored on iCloud so you’ll be able to retrieve them whenever you’d like.

    Peer-To-Peer Transactions You probably noticed peer-to-peer transactions becoming a mainstream hit. Naturally, Apple jumped on this opportunity and decided to expand their peer-to-peer transactions on Venmo and Square Cash. iOS 11 will be introducing the Apple Pay Cash Card where you’ll be able to receive funds from peer-to-peer transactions and have that money transferred to your bank account.

    Siri Another favorite of the Apple features is Siri. Well, Apple’s been working on Siri and has made the voice sound more natural when speaking to users. What’s the amazing part of Siri now, is that it’ll be able to translate from English to Chinese, Italian, German, Spanish or French. In addition, Siri is also becoming “smarter.” Siri will be able to use on-device learning which means it’ll be able to learn the topics or phrases you browse most often on Siri.

    Updated Camera Everyone loves the iPhone for its camera, and we don’t blame them. Most publications agree — the iPhone’s camera is the best on the market right now. iOS 11 brings with it an updated Camera app that’ll allow users to take Portrait mode images with optical image stabilization either by using flash or HDR. It’ll also include new loop and bounce effects that you’ll be able to use on live photos. In addition, the HEIF Apple is using will be able to essentially shrink the amount of storage your photos need on your iPhone, so you’ll be able to store more photos than before.

    Redesigned Control Center iOS 11 has a completely redesigned control center that is broken up into various “panels”. One panel will highlight your most frequently used icons and settings and another will be entirely dedicated to music. Looks like Apple is staying true to its iPod roots after all. Oh, and say goodbye to the frosted glass look. The new Control Center is all clear, baby.

    New Dock and Drag and Drop This new feature is exclusively for the iPad. iOS 11 makes it so that the iPad’s dock will function very similarly to how it does in macOS. This means that you’ll be able to add more apps to it and even customize it to your liking. The new drag and drop feature will also allow you to move media around from one side if the split-screen to the other. Finally!

    Simplified Files App With iOS 11, you’ll be able to easily access your files on your device and see the ones that are also stored on your iCloud, OneDrive and Dropbox. It’s not a huge addition, but it’s a nice feature to have on your iPhone or iPad.

    Indoor Maps Apple is featuring indoor maps of airports and shopping centers in selected cities. You’ll be able to receive the layouts for these cities: Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, Tokyo, Washington, DC, Hong Kong, Boston, LA, New York and Philadelphia. You won’t have to waste time finding your way through a busy airport or crowded shopping mall - Apple is helping you out.

    Updated Maps Apple is hoping that iOS 11 will bring you back to Apple Maps. The new update brings speed limits, land guides and a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature. This “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature prevents texts from annoying you to no end while you hit the pavement. Waiting for something urgent? Senders will also be allowed the option to send “priority” messages in case you really need to see that text.

  • Top 7 iPhone 8 Rumors

    iPhone 8

    Another year, another iPhone. If Apple decides to follow the pattern they’ve established over the past couple of years, then we’ll probably get to see a new phone sometime this Autumn. With a new iPhone just around the corner, you’re probably wondering what features the iPhone 8* could possibly boast over the previous models. Furthermore, since 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, you know that Apple will want to mark the occasion with something big. And since it’s Apple we’re talking about, you probably also know that the rumor mills are churning in over time as we head into the summer. So without further ado, here’s everything we know so far.

    Radical Redesign

    Every iPhone that comes out has a new, sleek design to go along with it. When it comes to the iPhone 8, the rumors have all been consistent in saying that it’ll be a much more marked redesign than the “incremental approach” sported by the “not-that-different-than-the-iPhone-6”, iPhone 7.

    So what exactly will be new about it? How does an edge-to-edge display sound to you? Imagine the possibilities afforded by a full-screen display that actually takes up every piece of physical real estate on your device!

    The device is rumored to be keeping the same dimensions as the iPhone 7 (4.7 inches) and 7 Plus (5.5 inches) except that the iPhone 8’s base model’s screen will be as large as the 7 Plus’ due to the (implied) fact that it won’t sport a bezel.

    It’s also rumored that the aforementioned screen would be curved on both sides just like the Samsung Galaxy S7, but new information has been released that suggests that it’ll look similar to the iPhone 7 albeit with a slight curve.

    Flexible Plastic OLED

    Typically, the iPhone came with an LED screen, however, rumors suggest that Cupertino has decided to opt for a flexible plastic OLED screen instead. This allows the device to be thinner in size and consume less battery which, in turn, will allow the display to be brighter and display even more realistic colors.

    Typically, the iPhone came with an LED screen, however, rumors suggest that Cupertino has decided to opt for a flexible plastic OLED screen instead. This allows the device to be thinner in size and consume less battery which, in turn, will allow the display to be brighter and display even more realistic colors.

    Touch ID

    There won’t be the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that was featured at the bottom of the bezel with previous models. Instead, it’ll be built directly into the display. What this means is that there won’t a physical Home button that you’ll be able to press. Instead, you’ll have your fingerprint scanned right on your screen and everything on this phone will be accessible via virtual buttons on your screen.

    Glass Body

    Apple is allegedly deciding to move away from the aluminum body that was used in the iPhone 5, 5s, 6, 6s, 7 and SE models, making a triumphant return to the use of glass. If you forgot what the glass body iPhone looked like, it’ll likely be somewhat similar to the design of the iPhone 4/4S models. The glass body will be built around a stainless steel frame, a design cue which they’ve used previously when building the Apple Watch.

    Water Resistant

    Not completely revolutionary given that the iPhone 7 is water resistant as well. However, Apple is reportedly making going further than it did with its previous device. While the iPhone 7 was IP67 rated, the new iPhone 8 should be able to withstand rain, submersion in water, and all manner of splashes.

    Not completely revolutionary given that the iPhone 7 is water resistant as well. However, Apple is reportedly making going further than it did with its previous device. While the iPhone 7 was IP67 rated, the new iPhone 8 should be able to withstand rain, submersion in water, and all manner of splashes.

    Wireless Charging

    Palm Pre fans, rejoice. The one feature that was the hallmark of webOS devices half a decade ago has finally made it to Apple devices, should the reports be believed. The iPhone 8 is supposedly going to have a 10-nanometer chip that’ll make the phone work faster and perform better. That same chip will also allow the phone to charge on a pedestal-type device. That’s right, the iPhone 8 may not even include an in-wall charger in the box.

    Palm Pre fans, rejoice. The one feature that was the hallmark of webOS devices half a decade ago has finally made it to Apple devices, should the reports be believed. The iPhone 8 is supposedly going to have a 10-nanometer chip that’ll make the phone work faster and perform better. That same chip will also allow the phone to charge on a pedestal-type device. That’s right, the iPhone 8 may not even include an in-wall charger in the box.

    3D Sensing Front-Camera

    Undoubtedly, the best feature of the iPhone is its camera. Apple’s phones produce shots that are clean, crisp, and always featuring eye-popping colors. So, with that being said, rumor has it that the front-facing camera will have 3D sensing capabilities that’ll use PrimeSense technology. What does that mean? By using PrimeSense technology, the iPhone 8 will be able to find the location of a given object or person as well as achieve facial and iris recognition. It’ll even know how far away objects are from the camera! In addition to working on PrimeSense tech, they’re also trying to improve the front-facing FaceTime camera as well as exploring the idea of a vertical rear camera.

    Undoubtedly, the best feature of the iPhone is its camera. Apple’s phones produce shots that are clean, crisp, and always featuring eye-popping colors. So, with that being said, rumor has it that the front-facing camera will have 3D sensing capabilities that’ll use PrimeSense technology. What does that mean? By using PrimeSense technology, the iPhone 8 will be able to find the location of a given object or person as well as achieve facial and iris recognition. It’ll even know how far away objects are from the camera! In addition to working on PrimeSense tech, they’re also trying to improve the front-facing FaceTime camera as well as exploring the idea of a vertical rear camera.

    While hundreds of other rumors exist, we’ve brought you the ones we think are most likely to be included with the new 2017 iPhone. Knowing how unpredictable Apple can be, however, be sure to expect some surprises.

     

    What feature do you want to see on the new iPhone 8? Make sure to leave a comment below.

    *Logic would dictate that this phone should be called the iPhone 7S. Still, since it’s the 10th year anniversary of the first iPhone, many on the internet have taken to calling it the iPhone 8.

  • Siri Getting A Voice Upgrade

    Siri Getting A Voice Upgrade

    We all love using Siri as much as possible. From setting alarms to asking it to Google something for us, it feels great to have a digital assistant. Plus asking it for help means we won’t have to put in the extra ten seconds it would take to look something up on our own. Those are seconds we could be sleeping. One of the defining qualities of Siri has always been the robotic quality of its voice. Well, that might be seeing a pretty interesting change pretty soon. What does the future of Siri hold? Let’s take a look.

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    What’s Happening?

    Since the premiere of Siri, it’s had pretty much the same voice. While there are some variants in terms of gender and accent, Siri would always have a robotic sound to its voice to almost give it an “android” feel. And no, not an Android phone feel. With iOS 10 on the horizon, Apple is going to make a change to the system’s voice. Let’s see what will be different with the new update.

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    What Will Be Different?

    The main change coming to iOS 10 will be to give Siri a more realistic sounding voice. The change will be done through a deep neural network, or DNN for short. What is a DNN? I’m not totally sure. But it appears to be a magic portal that turns robots into humans. Whoa, that would be an awesome movie. I’m writing that down.

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    What Do I Think?

    To be totally honest, I really enjoy Siri’s voice just the way it is. The robotic feel of the voice makes me feel like I have a cyborg assistant to help me Google what movie celebrities were in. Once it gets too realistic, it might feel kind of strange. Well, like it or not, the more human-ish Siri is on its way.

    Siri's voice to benefit from machine learning improvements in Apple's iOS 10

  • Panorama Mode Now On Windows10 Mobile

    Panorama Mode Now On Windows 10 Mobile

    One of the greatest things that smartphones every replaced is cameras. I still remember the dark days of people having to bring their digital cameras everywhere, upload the photos onto their computers, and tag everyone on the popular social media of the time. You’d have to wait weeks just to see low resolution pictures of yourself at a party. Truly those were difficult times. However, mobile phone cameras have not only replaced the old portable cameras, they’ve added so much more. Let’s talk about one great feature in particular that’s coming to cameras on certain Windows Phones.

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    What’s The Deal?

    Well, here’s the deal. All Windows 10 mobile phones will now have panorama mode included. For the uninitiated, a panorama is when you take a photo and extend the view in a wider shot. So it’s kind of like if you taped three different cameras together and took one wide photo. However, with the new panorama mode on Windows 10, you won’t need to tape all your cameras together any longer. What a relief!

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    Should You Use It?

    Personally, I have never used a panoramic camera. However, I have seen friends use them and, I must admit, they’re pretty cool. Being able to take a wide photo without trying to squeeze everyone in is a fun, innovative idea. And hey, it’s better than having to carry around a selfie stick.

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    The Bottom Line

    Overall, new features are always good news for Windows phones. With applications such as WhatsApp coming over to Windows and plenty of new features such as panorama being added, things look good for current Windows users and those looking to make the switch alike. And, considering the importance of photography on modern smartphones, it’s a good move on Windows part. Now about getting Pokemon Go on the Windows Store...

    Panorama mode now available on all Windows 10 Mobile devices

  • How Did Angry Birds Get So Big

    I feel like being an adult and seeing the insane amount of Angry Birds merchandise flowing through stores in recent years must be what my parents felt when Power Rangers came out. All of a sudden, there’s an extremely large amount of Angry Birds merchandise spilling out. And, as somebody that had a non-smartphone (dumbphone?) when the phase started, I felt very out of the loop when I saw everyone with Angry Birds shirts, shoes, and umbrellas (probably). So why has the war between birds and pigs gotten so big? Here’s a few reasons why:

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    The Games Are Pretty Good

    Let’s begin where it all started: the games. The concept is pretty simple: birds vs. pigs. You know, just like in real life. You slingshot your bird at the pigs and try to make them explode (wow, I would have loved to have seen that pitch meeting.) It’s all about gravity with a bit of puzzle strategy thrown in there. It’s basic addicting arcade style gaming that’s perfect for a casual audience. In other words, it’s a good time killer. It’s like Pac Man fever, except instead of teens wasting all their allowances in an arcade, anyone can play it anywhere.

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    The Characters Are Marketable

    It all started with Angry Birds. And then we started getting Angry Birds Transformers, Angry Birds Star Wars, and I believe Angry Birds Mr. T is coming out soon. Clearly, the world of Angry Birds is easy to market with colorful characters and a world that can have so many different tie-ins. But it’s also branched out into non-bird-flinging genres. For example, Angry Birds Go! mixes the Angry Birds characters with classic kart racing. Angry Birds Epic acted as an RPG imagining of the birds vs pigs war. But perhaps you don’t want to play Angry Birds, maybe you’d rather watch them. They now have cartoons and even a movie dedicated to the avian slingshots.

    And, be honest, you would totally play Angry Birds Mr. T Edition.

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    It’s All Free

    On Android devices, the core Angry Birds games are absolutely free. This makes it extremely approachable for the general audience. Unlike something like Mario or Halo, any 7-year-old borrowing their mom’s phone can try it out. And when they try it out, they’ll want the other games. And when they play the other games, they’ll want the merchandise. Then the endless cycle begins again. Trust me, I used to collect Yu-Gi-Oh cards.4

     

    As somebody that got caught up in every craze of the 90’s and 2000’s, I can understand why Angry Birds went from time-wasting phone game to a multimedia phenomenon. Need proof? The crates of trading cards and action figures in my parents’ attic will back me up.

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