Microsoft announced today that it is bringing its Cortana apps for iOS and Android to the UK. The app itself is receiving a new look as well. The Android app is available from the Play Store now. Read more…

Microsoft today released a new Office Insider Preview build for Android devices, bringing the version number to 16.0.7668.xxxx. There’s only one new feature that’s listed in the changelog. Read more…

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Notetaking)-22 (in hand front colorfy app)Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Notetaking)-22 (in hand front colorfy app)

In case you’ve missed it — which I highly doubt — the Galaxy Note 7 was recalled by Samsung due to risk of malfunction and fire. Although the tech giant has been trying hard to get users to return their Note 7 devices, some of them decided to take the risk and keep using the smartphone.

In Canada, around 90 percent of users have already returned their Galaxy Note 7. And to make sure that the rest follow suit, Samsung is opting for a strategy it has already used in New Zealand and Australia. The company will soon disable the radios of the remaining Note 7s in Canada, which means that the devices won’t be able to make and receive calls, send text messages, and access the internet.

See also:

The Note 7 wiped out Samsung’s mobile profit in Q3

October 27, 2016

Starting December 12, Samsung will first turn off the phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality. On December 15, the remaining Note 7’s will be barred from connecting to any Canadian mobile network, which will make them effectively useless. The devices will, however, still be able to call 911 in case of an emergency.

Samsung is urging users to return their Galaxy Note 7’s to the place of purchase between December 7 and December 15, where they will receive a refund or a different device.

“As a recalled product, Note7 device owners are legally prohibited from selling or even giving away the recalled device. We would like to remind customers that they need to return their Note7 device.” – Samsung Canada

What are your thoughts on Samsung’s plan in Canada? Do you think it’s the right thing to do?

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Olympic Edition-13Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Olympic Edition-13

I love the smell of rumors in the morning. We’re well and truly in the heart of Galaxy S8 rumor country now folks, and our tour guide is pointing out items of interest left, right and center. The latest comes from no less a source than Bloomberg, which claims the Galaxy S8 will feature a bezel-less display akin to the Xiaomi Mi Mix, with a screen-to-body ratio greater than 90 percent.

The source also re-confirmed that the Galaxy S8 will only be available with a “wraparound display” with no flat-screened version released. The fingerprint sensor is once again tipped to appear under the display glass, representing the demise of the long-standing physical home button. All of this we’ve heard before though, going back a few months:

Samsung is reportedly targeting a March release date for the Galaxy S8, but this may be pushed back to April due to more stringent testing in the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 recall.

Bloomberg‘s sources tip the Galaxy S8 to come in the same display sizes as the Galaxy S7, with a 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch model. This contradicts other recent rumors of a 5.7-inch and 6.2-inch diagonal. The sources also claim the dual camera array has been scrapped, due to high manufacturing costs

There have been plenty of other recent rumors, including abandoning the 3.5 mm headphone jack and adopting a QHD AMOLED display (which had previously been rumored at 4K resolution).

USB Type-C seems a lock and the new AI virtual assistants called Bixby and Kestra are definitely on board. Smart AF for the front-facing camera and stereo speakers have both been bandied about and Force Touch technology is apparently a possibility.

No matter makes the cut and what disappears into the mists of rumorville, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a lot riding on it. Samsung needs it to be a hit more than it has ever needed any device to be a hit, so going out on a design limb is a high stakes risk.

Fortunately, the overwhelmingly positive reception of the Xiaomi Mi Mix means that if the Galaxy S8 truly does go bezel-less, its chances of being welcomed with open arms is high. Samsung has more than enough engineering prowess to deliver a beautiful piece of electronics, and everything we’ve heard so far sounds very promising indeed (except that headphone jack bit).

How does this Galaxy S8 sound to you? Are you excited for a bezel-less dual-edge design?

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After endless rumours, Samsung has officially unveiled a glossier version of the Black Onyx Galaxy S7 edge, which will be available in select markets only in 128GB.

See also:

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge now available in Blue Coral variant in India

17 hours ago

Right after the introduction of the Blue Coral version of Samsung’s flagship – Galaxy S7 edge – we saw reports pointing to yet another colour option on its way. Those rumours did not stop, and we even saw pictures of the device in this new finish. Well, it’s finally here, folks: Samsung has officially announced that the Galaxy S7 edge will be available in the all-new Black Pearl colour in select markets starting December 9th.

As you may have guessed, the new Black Pearl variant is Samsung’s response to the insanely-popular Jet Black version of the iPhone 7. Similar to Apple, Samsung has decided to keep this glossy finish exclusively for the 128GB variants. The company says the new colour option is “inspired by calming, natural hues… designed to be modern and striking.” To me, it looks only slightly darker than my Black Onyx S7 edge, but you can judge for yourselves by clicking on the images below:

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The original Black Onyx colour is more grey than black whereas with Black Pearl, it seems like Samsung is bringing back the black we’ve been seeing in its mid-rangers: true black. The aluminium frame is considerably darker as well although it doesn’t look like it’s been coated with anything, and the front and back of the device are still glass. This means that although the Black Pearl Galaxy S7 edge may not be as shiny as the Jet Black iPhone 7, it probably won’t be as scratch-prone as Apple’s latest smartphone.

The aluminium frame doesn’t look like it’s been coated with anything, so it probably won’t be as scratch-prone as Apple’s Jet Black iPhone 7.

Will you be buying the Galaxy S7 edge in Black Pearl or will you wait for the Galaxy S8 to come out next March? What are your thoughts on the new finish? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!

Alcatel Idol 4Alcatel Idol 4

In a press event in New Delhi, Alcatel launched the IDOL 4 smartphone in India. The IDOL 4 and IDOL 4S were first unveiled at the MWC 2016 earlier this year.

The highlight of the IDOL 4 is a bundled VR headset that offers an immersive 360-degree multimedia and gaming experience. The smartphone packs in dual-speakers that offer a total audio output of 7.2 watts with Waves MaxxAudio technology, and there’s a pair of JBL stereo headset in the box.

One of the unique features of the IDOL 4 is the Boom Key that that gives you access to a wide range of functions and apps with the press of a single button.

We are excited to launch our flagship device, IDOL 4 in the Indian market which marks another milestone for us. We are proud to be the pioneers in democratizing technology by bringing the benefits of VR to consumers across economic spectrum at disruptive price-points. Another innovative feature – the Boom Key boom-ifies everything, from the sound to photos to gaming. We are optimistic that the consumers will love this product.

– Praveen Valecha, Regional Director, Alcatel India

alcatel-idol-4alcatel-idol-4

Alcatel IDOL 4 Specifications

  • Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Display: 5.2-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS LTPS | Live UI | Parallax UI
  • Processor: Octa-Core Snapdragon 617 (4 x 1.7GHz + 4 x 1.2GHz) | Adreno 405 GPU
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Internal Storage: 16GB; expandable up to 512GB with microSD card
  • Rear Camera: 13MP | Dual-tone LED Flash | f/2.0 aperture | PDAF | Electronic Image
  • Stabilization
  • Front Camera: 8MP | LED flash | 84-degree wide-angle lens
  • Dimensions: 147 × 72.5 × 7.1mm
  • Weight: 135g
  • Battery: 2610mAh | Quick Charge 2.0

Priced at ₹16,999, the Alcatel IDOL 4 comes in three color variants – Gold, Metal Silver, and Dark Grey colors – and will be available exclusively from Flipkart starting today at 2PM.

What do you think of the Alcatel IDOL 4? It’s got decent specifications on paper, and the bundled VR headset offering might appeal to multimedia and gaming enthusiasts. Tell us in the comments!

Buy Alcatel IDOL 4 on Flipkart

fitbit-alta-amazon-deal-aafitbit-alta-amazon-deal-aa

Looking for a last minute holiday gift for your fitness-focused friend? Boy, have we got a deal for you. The Fitbit Alta, one of the best fitness trackers on the market right now, is available on Amazon for only $84.96. Not only is that a savings of $44.99, that also puts the Alta at the lowest price we’ve ever seen.

The Alta is available in three sizes – Small, Large and X-Large – and comes in five different color options. You can pick up the Black, Blue, Plum or Teal models for the discounted price, though you’ll have to spend an extra $65 if you want the fancy Gold/Black model.

It’s worth noting that this deal is only available for today, December 7, so you’ll need to act fast if you want to save some moolah.

See also:

Fitbit Alta review

March 29, 2016

Personally, the Alta is one of my favorite fitness trackers. Not only is it one of Fitbit’s best looking wearables, it’s also super accurate, has a battery that will last about five days, and, oh yeah, it’s really affordable.

Interested in picking one up for yourself? Head to the Amazon link below for the details!

Buy now from Amazon

qualcomm-snapdragon-logoqualcomm-snapdragon-logo

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 835 mobile processor a few weeks ago, but so far the company hasn’t offered any official info on its clock speed or graphics performance. However, new online benchmarking results may have provided some early information on those details.

See also:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 versus Apple A10 Fusion

5 days ago

The GFXBench site has recorded what appears to be the development board for the Snapdragon 835. Its numbers show that it has an octa-core design with a clock speed of 2.2GHz. However, the numbers for the processor’s Adreno 540 GPU may be more impressive. The benchmark indicates 30 percent better performance compared to the Adreno 530 that’s part of the current Snapdragon 821 processor.

Keep in mind that these numbers come from an online benchmarking site and, as a result, they may not be completely trustworthy. Also, the stats come from an early development board for the Snapdragon 835, so the final production board could see some performance improvements and final clock speeds could always change.

The Snapdragon 835 processor is expected to start showing up inside select smartphones sometime in early 2017. Unconfirmed rumors claim the first phone with the 835 will be none other than the Samsung Galaxy S8, which could be revealed in late February as part of the Mobile Word Congress 2017 trade show.

pebble time round review aa (13 of 28)pebble time round review aa (13 of 28)

Pebble, one of the first smartwatch companies, has now confirmed previous rumors that it has been acquired by fitness wearable company, Fitbit. As a result, Pebble will shut down as a standalone entity and will refund all outstanding backers of its most recent Kickstarter campaign. The specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but unconfirmed reports claim that Fitbit bought Pebble’s assets for between $34-40 million.

See also:

The best smartwatches

4 weeks ago

In a blog post, company founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky stated that while it will no longer be making any new smartwatches or other devices, all current Pebble products will continue to work. He did add that some smartwatch functions could be reduced in the future and that all warranty support has ended. All of the company’s Kickstarter backers who have not yet received their awards will get a full refund within four to eight weeks.

Bloomberg reports that Fitbit has sent job offers to about 40 percent of Pebble’s team members. Migicovsky will not be one of them; Bloomberg states he will be moving on to startup incubator Y Combinator.

Pebble used the Kickstarter crowdfunding site to raise money for its first smartwatch in 2012 with a $100,000 goal. It ended up with over $10 million by the end of that campaign, blowing away previous records for Kickstarter. However, the company never reached a big enough mainstream audience for its devices, despite more successful Kickstarter campaigns, along with additional venture capital funding.

Are you sad to see the end of Pebble? Or are fitness bands a better option for you?

Nvidia Shield Android TV-14Nvidia Shield Android TV-14

NVIDIA is preparing a refresh of its Android TV hardware next year as part of its upcoming lineup of SHIELD products, according an anonymous industry source. The new TV hardware will apparently be unveiled at NVIDIA’s yearly CES event, which has typically focused on automotive announcements in the past.

The report suggests that NVIDIA is preparing to make a few important changes to its hardware over its previous generation. The new SHIELD Android TV device is tipped to come with 802.11ac WIFI and MIMO antennas to make the most of faster home WiFi networks. NVIDIA is also expected to mention 4K content integration and support. This should bring support for ultra high definition Google Play Movies releases to the platform, along with other 4K streaming services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Video.

The company also looks to be making some important changes to its SHIELD Controller. WiFi Direct connectivity looks set to be replaced by Bluetooth  Low Energy, and this change may be applied to the SHIELD Remote too.  This should help keep the accessories powered up for longer without having an impact of device performance or responsiveness, although range may now become an issue.

See also:

NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Tablet K1 updated with Vulkan 1.0.1.0 support

November 3, 2016

We don’t know how much NVIDIA is planning to charge for its new SHIELD Android TV device. Hopefully it will be priced at around the same level as the first generation’s launch price. We’ll likely see the new hardware unveiled at CES 2017 on January 4th.

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