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January 2017 | Mobile phone latest news Google+ Follow Smartfonefreaks on Twitter




In news that will please Samsung fans, it seems the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is set to be showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017. 

This is after it received certification from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S


With that sorted, what do we know about the impending Samsung Galaxy Tab S3? Well it is expected to come in two variants that's one. 

One of the variants is said to be a Wi-Fi only system that has a model number of SM-T820 and the other variant of SM-T825 will support both Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity. According to Price Raja, the SM-T825 variant has received FCC's approval.
READ: FIRST IMAGE OF SAMSUNG S8 LEAKED

Also from the FCC data, a sketch of the rear side of the device has surfaced which shows a camera.

As for what's under the hood, one of the variants is to be powered by Snapdragon 820 chipset while the other one would be running on Exynos 7420 chipset. Both the processors are coupled with 4 GB of RAM. The tablet will be arriving with a 9.7-inch display that would carry 2,048 x 1,536 pixels.


As for the hard drive size, the Galaxy Tab S3 will have 32 GB out of which it will provide 24 GB of storage space to the users. As for the rear camera it is reported to be a 12-megapixel while the front camera will be of 5-megapixel. 

The tablet would be arriving preinstalled with Android 7.0 Nougat OS and it is pegged to include a USB Type-C port.
It was speculated that the Galaxy Tab S3 release was scrapped last year because of the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco which occurred in September.

All rumours point to the Tablet being launched in the first quarter of this year.




America's President Donald Trump has somehow incensed the entire world again this time with his restriction on Immigration from certain countries that are largely Islamic.

Since then there have been a ton of protests from people all over against the move, but from the looks of things, this may only be the start.


According to Bloomberg, a new executive order set to be launched will crack down on the work visa program in the US. Foreign work visas, known as H-1B visas, are important to the hiring practices of US tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft.

If the order goes through, companies could have to change hiring practices and attempt to find employees in the US first before seeking workers internationally, according to the report. Seeing as a lot of tech talent comes from overseas, this could hit tech companies who hire a lot of foreign talent.


The move will most likely elicit robust responses from tech companies who have been very vocal in their displeasure of the immigration restriction by the US government.

So it remains to be seen when the law could go into action, but it sure seems that there's a storm.






Feeling safe with the Pattern lock on your Android phone? Think again! If you feel secure with your Android phone's lock pattern, think again. 

According to a new report from Tech times, a group of researchers from the Lancaster University, Northwest University in China, and the University of Bath found out that Android's pattern lock system can be cracked in just five attempts. 

What's worse? the more complex your pattern, the easier it is to crack. Yes, i kid you not.

The Pattern Lock is one of three security levels on the common Android phone. There's just the swipe screen and also the security code. The Lock Pattern is often described as a mid-level security measure, not too easy to crack but also not the safest.


According to the report, researchers have through the use of a sophisticated algorithm software, been able to crack the code by filming and analyzing fingertip movements and positioning of the device. Researchers used 120 unique patterns that were collected from different users and were able to figure out more than 95% of the patterns in just 5 attempts.

There is general worry that this method of cracking your code would enable thieves to obtain personal information from stolen phones. This algorithm can also be used by attackers across the room inside a busy café or a restaurant.

According to 
Dr. Zheng Wang of Lancaster University "Pattern lock is a very popular protection method for Android devices. As well as for locking their devices, people tend to use complex patterns for important financial transactions such as online banking and shopping because they believe it is a secure system,

"However, our findings suggest that using Pattern Lock to protect sensitive information could actually be very risky."


The group also remarkably found that the more complicated a pattern, the easier it is to crack because they narrow down the possible options. Guixin Ye, a researcher from Northwest University, added that it might even be safer to use shorter, simpler patterns instead of the more complex ones.


So perhaps when next you want to sort security for your Android phone, you can use a pin code instead or if you insist on patterns then at least try hiding it whenever you want to access your phone.





The debate as to which OS trumps the other between the Google's Android and Apple's OS will continue to rage as long as both systems exists, it does seem that Apple is winning-- or at least they are in the eyes of the British military.

According to a new report from TechRepublic, the UK Ministry of Defence recently have chosen Apple’s iPhone 7 as the “device of choice” for sensitive communications that warrant the utmost security against malicious actors.

Also reported is that BT, England's communication giant is already doing their utmost to heighten the security safeguards on the iPhone 7 for military and defense personnel. 

Once done, the users of these secured iPhones will be able to adjust the security mode of their device depending on the level of sensitivity a particular communication demands. The report also adds that BT is also working on methods to develop “secure storage containers” for top-secret data.

From the looks of things though it seems like the initial plan was to work with the Samsung Note 4. According to Steve Bunn, BT’s technical business manager for defence, work on a secured communications device was initially with Samsung.

“But as more and more development and testing was done,” Bunn explained, “the security associated with it wasn’t deemed to be sufficient, so that’s why we moved [to iPhone].”

Now this seems like a slight on Samsung, so to make nice BT issued a follow-up statement indicating that the Note 4’s security wasn’t inadequate.

“We would like to clarify that the MoD has not expressed any views about the suitability of dual-persona technology from specific handset/technology vendors and is prototyping a range of devices,”

So which OS do you think is more secure, the Android or Apple's OS?





It has been widely reported for a while now that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be unveiled on March 29th and will hit shelves on the 21st of April.

What has come out within the last 24 hours though is an image purporting to be the first image of the flagship phone.


According to a image on Twitter, posted by a leaker, said to be gotten from tech news outlet, Venture Beat, the back of the device is very similar to last year’s Galaxy S7 but the front marks a fairly radical departure from Samsung’s typical design. In place of the physical home button and touch-sensitive navigation buttons is a large, curved display that seemingly runs edge to edge dominates the Galaxy S8. 

Here is the image put out on Twitter.






Reports have stated that Samsung will have a feature resembling Windows Continuum that will give the Galaxy S8 desktop PC-like functionality when plugged into an optional HDMI dock. 

It will also come with it's own personal assistant, reportedly called Bixby, a new feature made possible by the company’s acquisition of Viv Labs in 2016.
This is still not certain as there hasn't been any comment from Samsung, but what do you think about the look of the S8, sound off in the comments below.

IMG Src: Tomsitpro


These days, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are synonymous with unblocking websites. Need to watch U.S. Netflix abroad? Use a VPN. Want to Google something in China? Use a VPN. Itching to use Facebook? You get the idea.

However, simple using a VPN to access blocked sites would be selling it short. Want to unlock the full potential of your online Swiss Army knife? Here are four more ways to use your VPN.
1. Secure your data
VPNs were first created to enable businesses to share confidential information securely. Although they have since been adapted for private use, they remain a wonderful asset for data security.

Next time you log in to your online banking service or social media profile, fire up your VPN to make sure your account credentials are encrypted and shielded from opportunistic third parties.

Some users may worry that using a VPN makes it difficult to access local network devices, thereby creating a dilemma between security and convenience. The good news? Split tunneling is now a standard feature of leading VPNs, allowing you to send your internet traffic through the VPN tunnel while retaining local network access.
2. Stay anonymous online
Not only can VPNs keep your data safe, but they can also keep your online identity a mystery.

Internet service providers (ISP), governments, and some web services often track individual browsing histories. While some do so for public safety reasons and others for profit, the truth is, your fundamental right to online privacy is being violated.

By encrypting all of your device traffic and sending it through the VPN server before it reaches the internet, a VPN hides your online identity from the rest of the world. Even if someone could see the online requests you’re sending, it’d be impossible for them to link it back to you.

So next time you’re thinking of torrenting something, remember to turn on your VPN first—your ISP or local authorities don’t need to know about it.
3. Get more from online gaming
Gamers live and die by their internet connection. No matter how good you are, a laggy connection often results in you getting pwned by angsty teenagers somewhere else in the world.

When you use a VPN, your internet traffic no longer runs through your ISP. This makes it impossible for them to throttle your connection, giving you high-speed gameplay every step of the way.

What’s more, a VPN helps gamers beat geo-restrictions by changing your IP address to an overseas one. Want to join a match that only allows Russian IPs? Sure thing. Want to download some UK-only DLC? You got it.
4. Enjoy lower prices online
Spending a lot of money on your VPN provider? You can earn it all back when you shop online.

Whether it’s books or airline tickets, companies often show different prices to customers from different countries. The solution? Use your VPN and connect to a location with lower prices. Not only will you save more money, but you may even find exclusive deals not available in other regions in the world.

And when you finally reach that dreamy vacation locale via your discounted flight, let your VPN do the heavy lifting as you stay connected with friends and enjoy your favorite online entertainment.








 


President Donald Trump might be disliked in many quarters but it is still a worry that he is reportedly using  an unsecured Android phone to send his tweets, according to The New York Times.

According to a security analyst, Bruce Schneier, this could be a huge issue as he could be bugged if he keeps it up.


"There are security risks here, but they are not the obvious ones," he said.


Schneier is a widely respected cryptography expert. He's a fellow at Harvard Law School, and he's written several books on information security.

Schneier posits that the "bigger risk" from Trump's actions isn't so much that the data on it could be stolen, but that a hacker could compromise the device and turn it into a presidential spying machine.





Schneier continued, "That Android has a microphone, which means that it can be turned into a room bug without anyone's knowledge, 


"That's my real fear."

Schneier added that a forged email could "easily move the stock market," and that by using a consumer device, Trump is "at risk from everybody, ranging from lone hackers to the better-funded intelligence agencies of the world."


While some of the claims may seem a bit far fetched, whistle blowers such as Edward Snowden have claimed that smartphones can be taken over. It might be something President Trump might want to watch out for.






If recent reports are to be believed, we could be seeing future Samsung phones using another operating system besides the Android.

The Korean company has been reported to be planning to use the Tizen 3.0. OS for one of their upcoming smartphones


According to GSM Arena, Samsung is developing a smartphone that will not run its usual Android OS and will instead be using the OS for their wearables and other tech products. 

Word on the street is that the Tizen 3.0. mobile OS will be incorporated to an upcoming Samsung phone dubbed as Samsung Pride.

READ: SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 8 IS COMING DESPITE NOTE 7 DISASTER


Little is known about this phone but there have been suggestions that it would be like the Z series that was previously introduced by Samsung.


The said development of the device and the incorporation of the said OS aims to market voice control functionality rather than phone's hardware, according to Phone Arena. Also, Samsung Pride will reportedly feature Bixby, Samsung's newest virtual assistant.


The plan for the device is for it to be introduced to some of the more emerging markets such as India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. In Europe, those interested in trying the Tizen 3.0 OS, may be able to purchase the device in Russia, as mentioned by the same website. There is still no news at the moment about a European release for Samsung's Tizen 3.0 smartphone.







Is the S pen coming with the Samsung Galaxy S8 which is billed to come out in a couple of months?

It may well be so if new reports are to be believed.




No confirmation has been made as yet, but some new designs of the S8 case show that there is space for the S pen.

What the cases don't reveal is whether the smartphones will be curved edge or not, the cutouts at the side do seem to imply that the areas are being left free for fingers to slide over. 

If this is indeed so then it well might be that there isn’t going to be a Galaxy S8 edge and we’ll have a Galaxy S8 Plus instead. 

In terms of size, the Galaxy S8 seems to have almost the exact same dimensions as the Galaxy S7 while the Galaxy S8 Plus might end up wider than even the Galaxy Note 7.

Back to what the case says about the inclusion of the S pen; one of the cutouts at the bottom of the case seems to match the location for an S Pen. 

This matches rumors circulating that the Galaxy S8 will be compatible with Samsung’s iconic stylus that's if it doesn't have the pen.

The phone comes out in March and will hit shelves in April, i guess at this point, all the questions will finally be answered.





Samsung truly want to take 2017 by storm, with the noise coming about the Galaxy S8 which is to launch in late March before becoming available for purchase in April.

What's interesting is that a report from the Guardian claims that users will be able to turn the S8 into an Android-running desktop computer by hooking it up to a dock, monitor and keyboard, with a new feature called desktop extension (DeX).

Expected to work in a similar manner to Microsoft’s Continuum, Samsung will likely use DeX to push the S8 as a bona fide business device.
READ: WHAT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 SCREEN COULD LOOK LIKE


Reports that have been swirling for a while also state that the Galaxy S8 will come in two different size options from 5-6-inches, and feature a larger screen than its predecessors.


The display will reportedly cover a huge chunk of the smartphone’s front face, what this means is that there's likely to be no room for a home button or even Samsung’s logo. The solution? they moved the fingerprint scanner to the phone’s rear side.

The two phone variants are said to feature dual-edge curved displays, like the Galaxy S7 Edge also contrary to earlier reports, it seems Samsung is keeping the 3.5mm headphone jack around.

The iris-scanning biometric technology used by the Note 7 will be included too, allowing users to unlock the S8 and authenticate purchases with their eyes.

This new ability to act as a desktop while not exactly new, would certainly be another reason why the Galaxy S8 might just be the go-to phone for 2017.





Apple's Siri has been a major feature of the iPhone for years now (from the iPhone 4S) and most will agree that she's pretty damn smart. If reports are anything to go by, then she might be in line for a major upgrade which will in turn make her smarter than ever.


According to a report on Digitimes, the Assistant could well come with a lot of major upgrade. This is in line numerous rumors that the next iPhone, possibly called the iPhone 8, will mark its 10-year anniversary with big changes like an edge-to-edge display and glass body along with a smarter Siri that can learn your behavior.
READ: SIRI CAN NOW SEND YOU MONEY USING PAYPAL

Apple have not confirmed this story yet meaning it may not be the case, or they're keeping their cards close to their chest.

At this time Siri is behind its major competitor, Google's combination of voice search, Google Now and Google's AI Assistant.

While Siri has included incremental updates and features since "she" was first introduced back in 2011. Siri can't answer follow-up questions or access different applications like Google Assistant can making her fall short of Google's little bot (Google's probably smirking at this).

So if these changes are made to Siri in 2017 and she is given the AI treatment, then it is safe to say that Siri will be able to go toe to toe with any other assistant in the market (and probably win)






Ask any graphic designer, editor or photography enthusiast even a regular Joe and they'll know about Adobe Photoshop. The program has been one of the best things to come to the PC in many years. So you can imagine how stoked anyone would be about the Adobe Photoshop Express Premium for Android.



So we at Smartphonefreaks (cos we're nice like that) have decided to provide the free link to the Adobe Photoshop Express Premium v3.1.42 FULL APK here.

It's almost needless to go on and on about how awesome it is but at least i'd say a few things; Adobe Photoshop Express Premium is fun, fast and groundbreaking. You can edit images, touch up pictures and even create your own meme using this app.



To Download the app free all you have to do is: select the needed file and click on “Download Adobe Photoshop Express Premium APK”, then select one of the download links that you want to get the apk file and tada! you'll have the Adobe Photoshop Express app.

Here's what to expect getting the app


  • Basics: Crop, straighten, rotate and flip photos. Remove red eye and pet eye.
  • Auto-Fix: setting one touch for the contrast, exposure, and white balance.
  • Stain removal: with a touch, remove stains, dirt and dust from your photos.
  • Color: controls sliding to clarity, contrast, exposure, Glitters, shadows, temperature, tint, sharpness and intensity.
  • Filters with a touch of “expected”: choose from more than 20 eye-catching effects! And now they control the intensity of the eyes.
  • New image processing engine improves performance and allows the handling of large files, i.e., panoramic photos.
  • Borders: Add a distinctive personal touch to your photos with 15 boundaries and frames.
  • Express yourself!
  • Support of RAW photography: import and edit photos in RAW format.
  • Share all your social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Adobe Revel, and more.
  • A place for all your photos: upload your photos in albums private Revel to view and share memories through the devices.
  • Add the Premium pack seeks to give to your fun photos, fresh look with 20 new filters impulsional.*
  • Add the advanced paid package (formerly called noise reduction package). This pack includes:
  • Noise reduction to minimize grain and not desired their speckling pictures at night.





Please select one of the download links below to start downloading Adobe Photoshop Express Premium v3.1.42 FULL APK file, after that save file to your Android device SD card and then use one of the File Manager app you want to open file & install it manually onto the Android device.







After a disastrous outing and two very expensive recalls, the Galaxy Note 7 can't be seen as anything more than a failure.

But does that mean Samsung are giving up on the series?

NO

While the battery issues of the Note 7 were bad for business, the Korean company has plans to release a much safer, less fiery Samsung Galaxy Note 8.


According to Samsung mobile head DJ Koh “I will bring back a better, safer, and very innovative Note 8.”

So there you have it, Samsung are not out of it and just as well. The numbers show that despite taking a huge hit with the Note 7, many people are still loyal to Samsung as the amount of people who initially refused to give up their Note 7 shows.


The Galaxy Note series has produced some of the coolest and handiest smartphones in recent years, and so it’s not surprising to learn that Samsung is prepping a Note 8. 

We have little or no information as to when the Note 8 is coming, but with its announcement you can be sure that there'll be a whole lot of talk about it in the coming months.






Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi have suffered a bit of a blow after it was announced that one of their bigwigs and their primary English spokesperson, Hugo Barra.

The Brazilian-born computer scientist joined Xiaomi 3.5 years ago from Google in what was at the time a major coup and now his departure has raised more than a few eyebrows.

This year, for the first time, Xiaomi declined to provide annual sales figures and admitted it grew too quick, raising doubts about whether it can continue the impressive growth that gave it a $45 billion valuation two years ago.

Barra in announcing his departure on Facebook stated that homesickness was a major factor in his decision. He also said he plans to head back to California.


READ: THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE XIAOMI MIX NANO

He said, What I’ve realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health. My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return.
He added that the company’s global footprint, which was his primary responsibility, is “in a very good place.”

Barra changed a lot for Xiaomi, when he first arrived, Xiaomi was limited to Greater China. What he achieved was to help them expand across Asia and beyond to reach more than 20 countries making them one of the biggest players in the Asian market.

All the success hasn't come without a few slip ups as Xiaomi lost its crown as China’s top smartphone maker losing to Huawei.



Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin, also a former Google executive, said senior vice president Xiang Wang would lead Xiaomi’s international business going forward. Wang, a former head of Qualcomm China, joined Xiaomi in 2015 and previously led its supply chain and intellectual property teams.

Lin lauded the departing Barra saying, "When Hugo joined us 3.5 years ago, we started an amazing adventure to turn Xiaomi into a global player. We have come a long way since, and I couldn’t thank him enough for contributing so much to Xiaomi’s journey. As much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Barra has said he has plans to get some rest before embarking on an exciting adventure back to Silicon valley.







We've waited for months and months, with speculation and conspiracy theories flying about, but no more.

Finally Samsung have revealed what it was that caused many copies of the Galaxy Note 7 phablet to explode.

They released their findings as promised yesterday. According to the company’s own investigation and independent scientific analysis of the issues by three consulting bodies, the overheating was caused by separate problems in batteries sourced from two different suppliers.

Their report stated that the batteries sourced from Samsung SDI didn't have enough room between the heat-sealed protective pouch around the battery and its internals. Because the phone was so slim, tight quarters placed stress on the upper right corner of each battery. In the worst scenarios, that caused electrodes inside each battery to crimp and come into contact, leading to thermal runaway and short circuiting.

Focusing on the batteries sourced from Amperex Technology Limited, some cells were missing insulation tape, and some batteries had sharp protrusions inside the cell that led to damage to the separator between the anode and cathode. The batteries also had thin separators in general, which increased the risks of separator damage and short circuiting.

The findings were announced after testing 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries in a giant charging and recharging test facility built for the task. Samsung mobile communications chief D.J. Koh says a team of 700 company engineers conducted internal testing, and independent reviews of potential problems were carried out by UL, Exponent, and TÜV Rheinland.

At the event announcing these findings Samsung stated that it has overhauled its safety testing process as a result of the investigations.

According to Koh, “We are taking responsibility for our failure to identify the issues arising out of the battery design and manufacturing process prior to the launch of the Note 7,”

READ: VERIZON LANDS DEATH BLOW ON NOTE 7

Samsung added that it explored any potential problems involving system software, manufacturing, and Note 7 hardware during its months-long investigation. They tested with the phone’s iris-scanning feature turned on and off, downloaded third-party apps to see if that had any effect, and tested to see if USB-C charging played a role.


There were a lot of new technologies with the phone seeing as it was supposed to be a game changer of sorts and with this came the possibility of danger. But is seems it didn't. According to Jay Whitacre, a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, he said of USB-C charging having a role to play in the explosion, 
“It seems unlikely, since the battery-facing components in most phones are chips that are used broadly in many phones,

“A cell made to be fast-charged should be engineered to accept the high currents without overheating or having internal shorts. As long as a battery is designed to be fast-charged, it should pose no additional danger.”

Whatever perfect storm of power-management failures could have occurred, they shouldn’t have caused the battery to explode. Safe lithium-ion batteries have features that mitigate disaster in these types of situations, but short circuits and internal battery damage are harder to defend against.

“A well-designed battery with good safety considerations should be able to safely fail in the event of a faulty control circuit,” Whitacre says. “It might vent or puff up, but not actually burn or flame.”

Koh has stated that Samsung will now safety-test batteries at every point in the manufacturing process. They’ll also train employees at every level of the supply chain.

It is hoped that with this there is some progress made on the size of batteries viz a viz the size of the phone and that a disaster of this scale is prevented from ever happening again.



At the risk of sounding dramatic we want to say-- this is the moment you have all been waiting for!

Remember the Note 7, the Samsung flagship phone that was supposed to blow the iPhone out of the water and be really cool and have everyone like it but instead literally blew up in people's faces? Yeah, that one, the flight risk, the security hazard, the one that cost Samsung billions after two global recalls.

Well it seems that we'll finally learn what caused the mishap. Samsung had earlier revealed that they were going to investigate the matter and give out their findings and it seems the time is soon.


The Korean company has announced that it will be holding a press conference to explain exactly what happened with its flagship phablet, and what it will be doing to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

“Following several months of comprehensive investigations, Samsung executives will announce the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 incidents and quality enhancement plan during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, on January 23, 2017 at 10am (KST)” said Samsung’s announcement of the conference.


The plan is for Samsung to use the conference to reveal its own findings and also that of “independent expert organisations who conducted their own investigation into various aspects of the Galaxy Note 7 incidents.”

It was further stated that the company will also use the opportunity to “unveil new measures Samsung has implemented in response to the incidents.”

The whole conference will be live streamed in the Samsung’s Newsroom, and will be simultaneously translated into English. 

So for those not in Korea, the streaming will be available on January 22 at 5pm (PST) in the US, and January 23 at 1am (GMT) in the UK, 12pm (AEDT) in Australia and for Nigeria it'll be at 2am.




Apple last updated their iPad Mini series in 2015 and going by all that has happened before, it is expected that the company might release their iPads sometime this year.


The iPad Mini 4, launched almost two years ago, used to be the best in the world of 8-inch tablets and it is believed (hoped) that the next iPad will witness the same overhaul, as was experienced by iPad Mini 4.




Due to circumstances we cannot even begin to fathom, the iPad Mini 5 was conspicuously missing during 2016 September/October event. This has naturally led to speculation that the iPad mini has perhaps be taken to the "big farm over the hill"

According to 9to5Mac, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that Apple is working on three iPads this year which will be announced in March 2017 - a 12.9-inch model that will succeed iPad Pro, a 10-inch model that will be the pricier iPad and a 9.7-inch variant as the entry level iPad.


Kuo did leave out talk on any iPad Minis and suggested that iPad Pros will be sold at a higher average selling price, this could mean there's nothing in the iPad mini range anymore.


Apple have made no official announcements about discontinuing the iPad Mini series, so it remains to be seen what happens on that front, but i guess the best thing we can say is that we're crossing our fingers.

Till then.







While Verizon may have been late to the party in terms of taking measures against its customers who still use the recalled Galaxy Note 7, they may be the ones to strike the most decisive blow.


According to reports, Verizon have plans to finally stop the most stubborn of customers from using the Samsung Note 7 and there seems to be no way around it

READ: CAUSE OF NOTE 7 EXPLOSIONS TO BE REVEALED THIS MONTH


Verizon have admitted that there are still thousands of customers using the Galaxy Note 7 but that should soon end as Verizon are about to make it impossible to make calls from the phone. All non-emergency calls will be automatically diverted to customer service moving forward.

Verizon had earlier along with other carriers, issued a special Galaxy Note 7 update a few weeks ago that should have crippled the phone and stopped it from being able to recharge. But trust the geeks, they were able to avoid the update thereby foiling the plan, but the odds of them avoiding the new measure seems unlikely.

According to a Verizon spokesperson, “In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase,

“The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them.”


The cause of the fault that made many phones blow up is still unknown, but some reports speculate that Samsung will reveal the cause later this month.








The talk of the Samsung Galaxy S8 has reached fever pitch with an almost daily stream of rumors, reports, leaks and so on.

Even earlier this week there was a leak from a Poland-based gadget tipster who posted an image that may be what the display design for the upcoming Samsung phone and its larger variant will look like. 







What we have here seems to be in line with earlier rumors as to how the face of the Samsung Galaxy S8 could look like.

It shows two display shells that are supposed to be for the Galaxy S8 and the larger S8 Plus. Both look like they have curved screens with very little bezel. They also both look much like the smartphone mockup that was used in the recent videos from Samsung’s Display division.

READ: SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 PROTOTYPE LEAKED ONLINE?
 

Looking at the many sensor windows on top of both display shells it is suspected that these may be a heavy indicator that the phone could come with features like iris scanning that was included in the aborted Galaxy Note 7.


Of course it goes without saying that without any official confirmation from Samsung, this may well not be what we are to expect, but if it is, then it is quite nice to look  at.


The Galaxy S8 according to rumors is set to be launched sometime in April. 




Of the three phones Apple is planning to release this year, at least one of them is going to have a wraparound screen according to reports.

An analyst from Cowen and Company, Timothy Arcuri, said
 in a note to investors on Wednesday, that he spoke with supply chain sources who told him Apple is planning an iPhone 8 this year that will come with a "fixed flex" screen.






This design is in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and it has featured before in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It is reported to measure 5.8 inches and wrap around the sides. 

The phone is also reported to feature an edge-to-edge display, effectively turning the face of the handset into a big screen.



Apple has been rumored to be working on a big update to the iPhone. Reports have been mixed on what exactly the handset might offer, but a curved, OLED-based screen measuring 5.8 inches has been floated before. An edge-to-edge screen has also been reported, along with a new Touch ID sensor that would be baked into the glass, eliminating the need to have a home button under the display.


Arcuri also spoke about Apple's big iPhone update which at the moment has been surreptitiously codenamed iPhone X. He said it could come with facial and gesture recognition that would be powered by a laser sensor. It's also likely the handset will ship with wireless charging support.


By all indications, Apple should announce its new iPhones later this year and will go ahead and possibly release the devices in September.




When Google introduced the Pixel phones there was a lot of curiousity as to what the company would do with it and fast forward months later and we know-- and we love it!

The phones have been an overwhelming success selling off the shelves wherever they are. This is not to say it's a perfect phone as there have been complaints of sound distortion and so on, but it's still without a doubt the top Android phone of the moment.

According to a new report, Pixel “demand is exceeding supply” at Verizon.


Big Red is still the only US carrier selling Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone, and the investment has been paying off for the company. Verizon committed a $25 million marketing budget for the phone after its launch and continues to promote the phone, although spending has cooled.



According to Fierce Wireless, Wave7 Research shows that the Pixel is the most demanded Android phone even beyond the holidays

The report stated, “Along with Apple, Samsung, and Droid, the Pixel/XL continues to be heavily advertised—on an equal footing with top OEMs—at a price point of $10 (Pixel) or $15 (XL) per month with trade-in of a high-end smartphone,” the firm noted. “It is clear that demand is exceeding supply.”

Fierce conducted a survey of 50 carrier stores in the past week and their findings were that the Pixel accounted for 9.5% of smartphone sales at Verizon last month. 


What makes it even more amazing is that Verizon subscribers aren't the only buyers, the Pixel and Pixel XL can be used with other US carriers, and T-Mobile specifically targeted the handsets with a promotion not too long ago.

The report continued, “AT AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint stores, 39% of reps (13 of 33) are aware of an average of ~2 Pixel activations each at these 13 stores,
 
“Most Pixel XL SKUs are shipping in March and most Pixel SKUs are out of stock as well.”

So perhaps you're looking to get an Android phone, perhaps you could go for the Pixel-- if you can actually find it.




The rumour mill is certainly cranking up when it comes to news about the next Samsung Galaxy phone with the launch getting ever closer.

The flagship phone which is seen as many as being the phone which will make the public forget the disaster that was the Note 7 has had its fair share ofrumors surrounding it.



The latest rumor now has it that the Galaxy S8 will launch on March 29th and is allegedly scheduled to become available from the week beginning April 24th with a hefty price tag of around $849.

This is according to @Ricciolo1 on Twitter. There have been previous rumors claiming that the new flagship phone will indeed debut in April, so this lines up pretty well with that. 

According to the tweet, Samsung will be present at MWC, but that the Galaxy S8 will not be unveiled to the general public. Instead, it’s believed that the new model will be shown off to a small selection of media outlets.

Now it is as usual prudent to take this rumor with a pinch of salt as there have been no official announcements regarding the release date for the S8. We'll keep you posted on any new developments on this front.






There was palpable excitement at the imminent return of one of the great phones of yesteryears-- the Nokia. 

There were doubts as to its comeback especially when it was announced that the Nokia 6 was going to be a mid-range phone as opposed to a flagship, but that seems to have been dispelled as a great number of people in China (where it is being launched) who signed up on the pre-sale register. 

The very first day of registration saw a quarter of a million people sign up and now the number is almost a million (945k) for the January 19 sale.

READ: WELCOME BACK NOKIA, WELCOME TO THE SMARTPHONE GAME

So why are people so stoked for the Nokia 6?


While it is admittedly not a flagship phone, the device's simplistic design language and premium build quality has caught the fancy of not just Nokia enthusiasts, but also the new generation of consumers.

What is meant is that the Nokia 6 series comes with a premium metal-clad frame around the edge and nothing was spared for the power button and the volume which are on the right side as they were made from the same high-grade material.

There are two-grille speakers at the bottom to the right, a type C USB port at the center and a mic to the left and on top, there's a lone 3.5mm audio jack.







On the face of it, the new Nokia features the brand name on the top right corner and camera to its left. In the center, it house single-grille call speaker. The dual amplifiers is said to deliver a 6dB louder sound than a regular amp, giving higher voice, deeper bass and with Dolby Atmos audio system, listening to music on Nokia 6 will be enriching for sure.

While the phone is officially being only released in China, there have been rumours that HMD, who are the official licence holder of the Nokia brand, might announce the international variant of Nokia 6 along with flagship phone (that is Nokia 8) on February 26, one day ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, Barcelona (February 27-March 2).

So fingers crossed that the rest of the world gets to experience the durability and magic of a Nokia phone once more.





Samsung have had an interesting 6 months or so and things just keep getting weirder and weirder with reports from the local press indicating that the head of the Korean company could be facing arrest for corruption.

Lee Jae-yong, the defacto head of the company is being accused ofElectronics Vice Chairman Lee is suspected of transferring an equivalent of $18.3 million in bribes to a firm run by Choi Soon-sil, impeached President Park Geun-hye’s friend. What they allegedly got in return was the state's support of the controversial merger between Samsung’s two subsidiaries.

READ:SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 PROTOTyPE LEAKED ONLINE?

According to reports, Choi allegedly used her connections to have the national pension fund support the merger in July 2015. Samsung were said to have made two more donations in the following months hence, becoming Choi’s biggest contributor among local companies. 


Reports further indicate that Samsung did indeed confirm making contributions to the firm and two foundations run by the president’s confidante but denied they had anything to do with the merger.


A Korean Prosecutor, Park, requested of a Seoul court an arrest warrant for Lee. The court are yet to grant the request, this according to the NY Times.

Lee Jae-Young is the Vice President of Samsung but has been running it as its head ever since his father had a heart attack in 2014.






The buzz around the Samsung flagship phone for 2017 -- the Samsung Galaxy S8. It is being seen as many as Samsung's comeback after the Note 7 fiasco and therefore the furor around it has been massive.

Samsung Display have not helped matters releasing two promotional videos showcasing a Samsung phone. The internet has been agog with speculation that the videos reveal the prototype of the Galaxy S8 smartphone.


What we know so far from several leaked renders is that the smartphone would be arriving with a larger screen-to-body ratio. The two videos released by Samsung Display are in Korean so we have no idea what was said or written but we do see the display that will be incorporated on future smartphones by the Korean company.




According to online rumors, the phone shown in the two video is a prototype of Galaxy S8 and it sports a thinner top and bottom bezels compared to the recent Samsung flagship. The physical Home button is absent on the device.




From earlier reports it has been gathered that the Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to come in two screen sizes. Its 5-inch screen variant is rumored to launch as Galaxy S8 whereas its 6-inch display model is speculated to arrive as Galaxy S8 Plus. The larger of the two devices is believed to come with a dual camera setup where the rear panel of Galaxy S8 is expected to feature single camera.


As for what's under the hood, the phone houses the Snapdragon 835 SoC while 6 GB or 8 GB RAM is likely to power the Galaxy S8 variants. Samsung is also expected to release Exynos 8895 chipset variants for Galaxy S8. It is expected to come loaded with Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS. It is expected to come in storage models of 128 GB and 256 GB.




The rumours have suggested that like the iPhone 7, the 3.5 mm audio jack will be dispensed of, but some renders have suggested otherwise.

Other features of the smartphone include water-resistance capabilities, microSD card support, Bluetooth 5.0 and 4,200 mAh battery. Speculations have also hinted that the Samsung may sell an option S-Pen accessory for Galaxy S8 models.


We don't know the exact date of the launch of the S8, but rumours suggest it could be the 18th of April.

You can check out the videos in contention below.









Whatsapp is secure, or at least that's what we thought until a new revelation came to light which showed that the Facebook-owned chat medium has a security backdoor that can allow Mark Zuckerberg's staff to intercept and read encrypted WhatsApp messages.


According to the Guardian, Tobias Boelter, a cryptography and security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, said that due to the way WhatsApp has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol, Facebook can intercept and read users’ messages.

This was in an article which went on to explain how Whatsapp works in terms of security. The report said that WhatsApp’s encryption relies on the "generation of unique security keys," which are traded and verified between users to ensure that communications are secure and cannot be intercepted.

READ: HOW TO GET WHATSAPP VIDEO CALL ON YOUR ANDROID

Facebook, it has been revealed, can resend undelivered messages with a new security key, effectively allowing the company to access the 'encrypted' messages without the sender or recipient being aware or able to prevent it from happening. (The sender is alerted after the fact if they have opted into encryption warnings.)

This is of course a big issue in terms of Freedom of speech with the possibility of spying a huge fear here.

According to Boelter, "If WhatsApp is asked by a government agency to disclose its messaging records, it can effectively grant access due to the change in keys," 


The report has been made available to Facebook but nothing has been said yet, so we have no idea what will happen moving forward, but if nothing is done, then one will have to be very careful of their activity on WhatsApp, because you never know who's reading.





Japanese gaming behemoth, Nintendo have finally unveiled their new console, the Nintendo Switch (Tada!)

Nintendo has been the darling of an older generation of gamers who had grown up on the NES and the SNES with epic titles such as Super Mario, Zelda and so on.

The Switch which is their latest console after the Wii U was unveiled at a presentation in Tokyo. 



According to 
Nintendo’s head of software development Shinya Takahashi, The Switch “inherited all of Nintendo’s entertainment DNA” across the company’s broad line of products.

Also at the event, the long-delayed Breath of the Wild (Zelda), originally planned as an exclusive to the Wii U platform, was announced to go on sale with the new console. 

Fpr those wondering when they will be able to buy it, The Switch will hit shelves on 3 March in Europe, Japan and the US, and cost  $299.99.






While Zelda fans can be excited with the new game that comes with the console, Mario fans will have to be a bit more patient as the first Mario game on the platform will not debut until later in the year: Super Mario Odyssey which has been described “a large Mario sandbox world,” by producer Yoshiaki Koizumi. The premise is that Mario will be exiled to our world-- that's all we know for now.

Footage from the game shown at the presentation featured Mario leaping through realistic forests and over yellow taxi cabs. Koizumi also produced the Mario Galaxy franchise for the company.




So apart from Price and the games that may be released on it, what else do you need to know? Well, Nintendo will be rolling back its digital rights-management protections slightly (translation, the company will not region-lock its games. YAY!) meaning that Switch games will be playable whether or not they were purchased in the same country as the console itself.


Also a new online multiplayer service will debut with the Switch, but like competitors Sony and Xbox, Nintendo’s service will be subscriber-only by the end of the year, with a grace period of a few months for early adopters.

Nintendo, like they did with the Wii, will also create games that are designed to keep the players active like the Wii sports games.

All in all, it's been good news all round. We can't wait for the Wii to hit shelves in March. Till then.
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