Mobile

adminSeptember 27, 2018
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6min

Once in awhile, it isn’t bad to reward ourselves with a well-deserved vacation. Well, it isn’t every day that we get time off from work and travel for pleasure. So, in preparation for making that trip, I will tell you about some useful travel apps that will help your vacation become less taxing and stressful.

Travel apps well-deserved vacatio

CityMapper

CityMapper is an app that focuses mainly on public transit and mapping service. It incorporates information regarding every single urban mode of transport, which ranges from walking and cycling to driving and taking the subway, focusing more on public transport.

Compared to Google Maps, CityMapper is presumably better since its routes and use of data is way better. Moreover, it won’t just advise you how to go along your trip but also show you how much it will cost. If you wanted to do some sightseeing on the way to your destination, you can always use the “bus only” or cycle routes option.

You can download CityMapper for free for both Android and iOS devices.

Duolingo

Some people think that if they speak English slowly, and sometimes loudly, that they will be able to bridge the gap between languages and that they will be able to communicate well with others. In reality, that is certainly not the case. Like they say, “Do what the Romans do.” If you want an app that can help you learn a certain language easily, then you should definitely try Duolingo.

Duolingo is a first-rate language-learning platform that features a language-learning website as well as an application and a web-based language proficiency assessment exam. It offers free, detailed courses in 29 languages that will help you in speaking different languages in just a short time.

You can download Duolingo for free for both Android and iOS devices.

Google Translate

If you aren’t too excited to try Duolingo, then Google Translate can help you with your translation needs. Google Translate is a free service that Google offers that instantly translates words or phrases between English and more than 100 other languages.

In order to use this service, all you need to do is download the language(s) you want before your trip and then you can lookup any word offline. If you have Wi-Fi, you can use the app in order to translate on the go.

You can download Google Translate for free for both Android and iOS devices.

Airbnb

Even if you have everything already planned out, there’s still a reason to try using the Airbnb app. Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service company where members can offer or arrange lodging or tourism experiences like walking tours, concerts, cooking classes, kayak adventures, and forest therapy, to name a few.

You can download Airbnb for free for both Android and iOS devices.

HotelTonight

For people who like taking spur-of-the-moment trips, HotelTonight can offer you some great deals for bookings. Plus, the app is pretty easy to use with its user-friendly interface. Depending on the destination, you can even lookup availability up to 100 days prior to check-in. In view of that, it will probably be better to look elsewhere since HotelTonight is best for spur-of-the-moment reservations.

You can download HotelTonight for free for both Android and iOS devices.

TripIt

TripIt is recommended for travelers who want to have an organized itinerary. It is a smart travel organizer that assists travelers with managing their plans so that they can go about their day more smoothly. All you need to do is to make a booking and forward it to TripIt, and then it will add your booking to an automated itinerary. It provides a smart and organized way of managing your day.

You can download TripIt for free for both Android and iOS devices.

FourSquare

If you’re having trouble looking for a good place to eat, Foursquare will be handy as it can give you recommendations, as well as local reviews, of nearby restaurants and local shops. Rather than going to the same restaurant all throughout your trip, you can now eat where the locals actually eat and drink and truly enjoy your vacation.

You can download FourSquare for free for both Android and iOS devices.

Already planning on your next trip? Download these apps and see how they can truly make your vacation stress-free and more enjoyable.


adminSeptember 26, 2018
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5min

The Galaxy S9 Plus might look similar to last year’s S8 Plus, but it features the company’s most advanced gigantic phone. With its oversized screen and excellent cameras, it definitely tops the list of the best phones of 2018. Not only is it an amazing all-rounder, but it is also the 2018 flagship phone of Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Key Features
  • 2-inch Quad-HD+ OLED display
  • Dolby Atmos speakers
  • 3500 mAh battery
  • AR Emoji
  • Primary 12-megapixel camera
  • Secondary 12-megapixel camera
  • Headphone jack
  • Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
  • 6GB RAM and 64GB/256GB storage
Pros
  • Impressive camera
  • Loud stereo speakers
  • The OLED display is great and adaptable
Cons
  • AR Emoji mode is overrated
  • Pricey for 0.4 inches of extra screen
  • Some lag with Samsung’s software
Design

With its design of melding two glass panels with a metal frame, the Galaxy S9 Plus is the most elegant-looking smartphone you can buy today. Although it doesn’t look much different from the Galaxy S8 Plus, it carries with it small yet significant changes that Samsung has set up for its flagship phone.

One of those changes is the realignment of the fingerprint sensor on the rear portion of the device; it’s now placed right below the camera instead of beside it. Although it still could not be considered as the optimal placement for the sensor, it’s somewhat better.

Conversely, there are also some elements that Samsung has decidedly retained: the 3.5mm headphone jack, the microSD card slot, and the Bixby button.

The Galaxy S9 Plus is available in five colors: midnight black, coral blue, titanium gray, sunrise gold, and lilac purple.

Display

With regard to display, the Galaxy S9 Plus has a 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED curved screen with an aspect ratio of 18:5:9. In addition, its display has a very little bezel, resulting in 90% of the screen being entirely all screen. With its stylish curved edges, vivid display, and high contrast ratio, you will be seeing images and videos that are brimming with life.

However, this big-screen device can sometimes lead you to touch the wrong key at times. For instance, you might touch the backspace key by accident when all you’re trying to do is grip this gigantic phone. Also, there is no in-screen fingerprint sensor although lots of smartphones already make use of this technology.

Camera

If we’re talking about the camera, then the camera on Galaxy S9 Plus is among the best since it performs really well even in low light conditions. It presents an improved 12MP camera that features an f/1.5 maximum aperture, which gives the Galaxy S9 Plus its advanced low-light and noise-defeating abilities.

Like the Note 8, the Galaxy S9 Plus also has a dual-lens rear camera, which gives it telephoto capabilities. The primary lens can capture super-slow-motion video at 960 frames per second. The 8MP front camera, on the other hand, can be used to create your very own AR Emoji, Samsung’s take on Apple’s Animoji.

Looking at the features of the Galaxy S9 Plus, one could see that it is trying to surpass Apple’s iPhones, but it brings with it a 3.5mm headphone jack and the best photographic capabilities on any smartphone.


adminSeptember 26, 2018
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5min

Asus is well known for producing first-rate desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and hybrid devices. In the last few years, Asus also started producing a series of mid-range Android phones that are powered by Intel and Qualcomm SoCs, which is known as the ZenFone series.

However, with the launching of the ZenFone 4 Pro, Asus seems to finally throw their hats into the ring with this particular high-end phone. Let’s check out if it could indeed beat the various high-end phones in the market.

Zenfone 4 Pro

Key Features

  • Gorilla Glass rear and front
  • 5-inch ALOMED display, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, extendable up to
  • Gigabit LTE + 802.11ad Wi-Fi
  • 3600mAh battery with fast charging
  • Main camera: 12MP, 1.4µm, f/1.7, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Secondary camera: 16MP 2x zoom lens
  • Front camera: 8MP, 1.4µm, f/1.9, AF

Design

Similar to the Zenfone 4, the Zenfone 4 Pro has a metal core with Gorilla Glass covering the front and back portion of the device. As a whole, the quality of the Zenfone 4 Pro’s frame is impressive.

Although the Zenfone 4 Pro has thick bezels compared to other high-end phones, the quality of the design and body can be considered as one of the best. It also features a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Hardware and Display

In comparison with its simple and neat design, the hardware that Asus uses for the Zenfone 4 Pro is of top-quality. The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and a 6GB RAM, which makes the Zenfone 4 Pro at flagship level.

Other great things about the Zenfone 4 Pro is the Gigabit LTE, which offers super-fast Wi-Fi with the most recent 802.11ad standard, and the 3,600mAh battery that supports fast charging as well.

Cameras

The Zenfone 4 Pro lets users shot beautifully vivid photos and videos with its high-quality Sony sensors across all its cameras. It also has a 2x zoom lens on its second rear camera, which functions quite well but is totally inconsistent with the other models of the series.

Apart from the zoom camera, the Zenfone 4 Pro also has a standard rear camera that is equipped with appropriate hardware in order to grant it lots of potentials. It has big pixels, wide aperture, and optical image stabilization, which enables it to capture a lot of light, making it adaptable in low light conditions.

The front camera offers a wide range of live beauty enhancements, which you can use to broadcast yourself using those enhancements in real-time.

Overall, the design and the hardware of the Zenfone 4 Pro make it an impressive phone. It certainly gives the feeling of being high-class. However, consumers might find the price to be a tad too expensive compared to their other models. I guess that is to be expected when you’re getting all the power and capabilities in one sleek design.


adminSeptember 25, 2018
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8min

At present, there are a number of existing, as well as up-and-coming, consumer electronics companies that are launching brand new smartphones every now and then. Among these several smartphones being sold in the market today, which are considered to be performing best? Let’s find out.

Smartphones today come at all shapes, sizes, and prices. Below you will find some of the first-rate phones that you could buy today.

What to Consider When Choosing a Phone

If you’re going to choose a phone, there are six things that you should always put into consideration: build quality, design, features, performance, user-friendliness, and value.

Generally speaking, a great phone should be sturdy and have a simple yet functional design. It should also offer multiple features, perform really well, and easy to operate. Most importantly, it should be something that brings value to your money. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it must be cheap, but it should be worth every penny that you spend on it. It shouldn’t leave you feeling like you’re better off with a much cheaper phone.

Choosing the best phone differs from person to person because we all have different opinions and preferences, so it’s best if you figure out first what you want out of a smartphone. From there, you can easily weed out the long list of smartphones that are presently being offered in the market and find the best phone for you.

Which is Better, Android or iOS?

The truth is there are several mobile phone operating systems, but these two are the only ones worth talking about since they are both widely known compared to other mobile phone operating systems.

Among the numerous phones being sold in the market, the majority of them utilize Android OS, the latest version of which is the Android Pie. Conversely, even if the iOS platform has a significantly lower market share than Android, many developers practically release their apps on iOS most of the time; therefore, it has the best app store you’ll find anywhere. If you wish to try as many games as you want, then you’d definitely consider getting an iPhone, for its iOS.

Best Smartphones in 2018
  • OnePlus 6

Not considering its lack of wireless charging and waterproofing, the OnePlus 6 is one of the finest phones you could buy today. Not only is it fairly priced, but it also has great specs that other mobile devices could only hope to have while having the same tag price. Additionally, it also has a nice design and an excellent camera that could rival other high-end phones on the market.

The OnePlus 6 has a glass design, with an amazing display and notably quick performance. Considering the price gap with other high-end phones, OnePlus 6 is a gem to have.

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S9 is another great phone to have right now, even if it cost considerably higher than most phones in its generation. Aside from having everything that a modern phone is supposed to have, it also allows users to charge wirelessly and also includes a headphone jack, not to mention that it is fully water-proof.

The Galaxy S9 also happens to have an excellent design with a massive screen, minus the top-notch at the top of the screen as some mobile phones apparently have. It might appear a lot like the Galaxy S8, but it boasts an improved camera and dual speakers.

  • Huawei P20 Pro

The P20 Pro finds its way into this list because of its three amazing rear cameras. Compared to other smartphones in the market, the P20 Pro stands out because of its camera system. It lets you shoot great photos even under low light conditions.

The device is designed with a combination of glass and metal, which makes it look more stylish than the previous P10 phones. It is even available in a Twilight color scheme, which is incredibly exquisite. It still lacks wireless charging and a headphone jack, but it doesn’t really matter because it has the best low light camera on any smartphone.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Compared to its predecessor, the Note 8, the Note 9 has taken the design of the previous version and enhanced it further by having better build quality as well as a larger screen and a well-placed fingerprint scanner. In addition, Note 9 also boasts a sizeable 4,000mAh battery.

Moreover, the Note 9 also has the best display, stereo speakers, and camera on any smartphone you will find in the market, not to mention that it also has the smoothest Samsung software so far.

  • Apple iPhone X

iPhone X is the most expensive smartphone on our list. However, if you’re looking for a great display, great camera, great build quality, and sophisticated features like Face ID unlock system, then this is the phone for you.

At £999 or $999, the iPhone X is indeed expensive. Still, you should remember that quality comes with a price. With the iPhone X, not only will you get OLED display, but you also have great dual cameras, wireless charging, improved battery life, and excellent security feature.


adminSeptember 25, 2018
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11min

For those who want to buy a new iPhone, everything often boils down to one thing: how much storage capacity would you get and how much do you have to pay for it?

Starting with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, each generation of iPhone came in two models: the standard and the Plus models; you could see it in the iPhone 7 and 8 series. So, choosing the most suitable iPhone model for you and your needs has inevitably become more complicated.

Another thing to consider when choosing an iPhone model is their features; do you prefer having TouchID rather than the Face ID? Or maybe all you are chasing after is the Animojis?

If you’re planning to buy a new iPhone, you simply have to decide on what features and functions you want from your iPhone. Below you will find some useful information that you could use to nail down which iPhone model is right for you.

iPhone X

If you’re looking for an iPhone with the most cutting-edge technology, then you should definitely buy the iPhone X since it is the only iPhone that features facial recognition via Face ID and an edge-to-edge OLED screen, which lets you view highly-detailed, vividly clear HDR images.

Among all other iPhone models, the iPhone X is considered to be the top of the line model. It has the largest screen, which is ideal for gaming and movie watching. Plus, the iPhone X is designed for wireless charging and has the best camera; it even offers enhanced Portrait Lighting features.

Like other previous models of the iPhone, the iPhone X supports NFC and Apple Pay, as well as Apple Watch and wireless AirPods earbuds compatibility. Moreover, it also has the latest and fastest chips.

The only shortcomings of the iPhone X are its expensive price tag, which starts at $999 for the 64GB and $1149 for the 256GB model, and the absence of the customary headphone jack. It might not be a big deal to some, but for those who are accustomed to having the headphone jack, it might be somewhat irksome.

iPhone X

iPhone 8 Plus

If you’re looking for an iPhone that has most of the iPhone X’s features but doesn’t have the budget to buy one, then you may want to consider the iPhone 8 Plus. It also features Apple’s 2nd generation fingerprint scanning technology, which can be accessed by pressing the phone’s Home button.

However, unlike the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 Plus doesn’t have the Face ID system, and so you won’t be able to access facial recognition as well as any other feature that goes along with it, including the Animojis. It also has an inferior screen display compared to the iPhone X since it doesn’t use OLED, doesn’t support HDR, and isn’t edge-to-edge. Also, the screen of the 8 Plus is only 5.5 inch, while the screen on the X is 5.8 inch.

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8, like with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7, shares the same features with its Plus model; nearly all features of the iPhone 8 Plus can be seen on the iPhone 8, including storage options, processors, 3D Touch, Touch ID, support for NFC and Apple Pay, and Apple Watch compatibility. Plus, it also offers the best value since it costs significantly less than the equivalent Plus model.

Even though it was released at about the same time as the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 doesn’t feature Face ID or the OLED/HDR or even edge-to-edge screen on the 8 Plus and the X. It also lacks a couple of advanced photo features found on the 8 Plus and the X and is generally smaller in screen size. Also, since it is one of the latest models, it is much more expensive than the earlier generations of the iPhone. Plus, it doesn’t have the customary headphone jack.

iphone 8

iPhone 7 Plus

Even though it isn’t the latest iPhone model, the iPhone 7 Plus is still considered a great phone, with its screen and camera and with its performance and compatibility with various Apple accessories.

Also, since it has been succeeded by the X and the 8 series, the iPhone 7 Plus got a more appealing price; it has a starting price that is $130 less than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Its only shortcomings are the lesser camera, slower processor, lower storage capacity, and the lack of wireless charging. Plus, since all Plus models are generally big, it looks bulky in most people’s hands and pockets.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7

At a reasonable price of $549, the iPhone 7 is a great phone to have since it offers nearly all of the 7 Plus’s strengths. It also has a 4.7-inch screen, which is an easy fit in anyone’s hand or pocket.

Since it shares most of the 7 Plus’s hardware and features, it also shares the same weaknesses. Plus, it has a lesser camera than that of the 7 Plus since it doesn’t support the special “Portrait” modes, among a number of other features. It might not make a difference to some, but it will be considerably noticeable to photographers or aspiring photographers.

iPhone 7

iPhone 6S Plus

The iPhone 6S Plus is a pretty solid phone. Even though it has been two years since it was first introduced, it still has strong features and performs really well. In addition, you will have support for key Apple technologies such as the Apple Pay, Touch ID, the Apple Watch, 3D Touch, and Retina Display, to name a few. Also, if you want an iPhone with the customary headphone jack, then whichever of the two models in the 6S series will be the one for you since they are the last ones to have it.

Since it has been two years since it was introduced in the market, it doesn’t give off a “new” vibe and is starting to look a little outdated. Plus, it has lower storage capacity and slower processors than succeeding iPhone models, as well as lacking the wide-angle, telephoto, and depth-of-field camera features of the 7 Plus.

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6S

If you’re planning on getting the iPhone 6S, then the price is probably your major reason to consider it. At $449, it nearly has the same features as the 6S Plus. Except for the camera, all the other hardware features that are present on the 6S Plus that make it a great phone are also seen on the 6S.

Considering that it has the same hardware features as the 6S Plus, it also has the same drawbacks; for instance, having slower processors than the other iPhone models on this list. Moreover, it also has lesser camera capabilities and lacks features like optical image stabilization.

iPhone 6S

Putting it simply, when making a phone purchase, the most important thing to think about is if you can afford it. That is also true when choosing which iPhone model to buy. If you can buy the most expensive model, get it since it will provide the best performance and features, last the longest, and hold its value the longest if you’re planning to resell it in the future. If not, settle with the previous versions since they will be cheaper.


adminSeptember 24, 2018
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6min

With the launching of its latest flagship phone, Google is set to conquer the hearts, as well as wallets, of consumers today. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now available for purchase, and many people are curious whether the device is worth every penny.

With Pixel 3 XL, it is evident that Google has invested in things that people want out of a smartphone: great screen, great camera, and a sizeable battery life, among many other elements that make a great phone. Whether the claim rings true or not, let’s try to find out.

 

Pros

  • Improved screen
  • Superb front-facing speakers
  • Exceptional camera and wide angle front camera

Cons

  • Awkward notch
  • Rear finish is prone to scratches
  • Limited availability from US carriers and internationally

 

Screen and Display

If you’re curious what the biggest improvement on Google’s newest release is, I would say that it’s the quality of the screen. The screen of the Pixel 3 XL is absolutely wonderful as it uses OLED technology, which displays vibrant and bright colors, as well as deep blacks, and significantly lowers the power consumption of the device.

Looking at it as a whole, one could easily conclude that the company has spent a lot of its time and resources to make its flagship device worthy of being called just that by means of enhancing almost every aspect of the device, including longevity, brightness, and color accuracy.

Another great thing about the Pixel 3 XL is the new color mode that Google is using as a default scheme, and it is called adaptive. Adaptive considerably enhances the vibrancy of the colors on the screen without making human skin tones look out-of-this-world. Of course, it still doesn’t compare to the screen technologies of Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X, but you will notice that the purples and the reds can be quite flattering.

Going back to the screen, the Pixel 3 duo are indeed significantly larger than the previous models, which they owe to reduced bezels and taller aspect ratios. It is especially true for the Pixel 3 XL since it has been extended to the top corner, which gives it a chin and a notch.

The notch can be quite annoying for some people, but you will see that the often you use the phone the notch becomes kind of unnoticeable. Actually, it looks way worse in photos than it does in real-life.

As for the speakers, they have indeed been improved. The company is claiming that they are 40% louder, but there isn’t that much extra volume when tested out. However, instead of the extra volume, it seemed like the quality of the sound had been improved.

Hardware

Now I can finally say that the latest Pixel phones are worthy of their price tag. These top-tier models cost a thousand bucks, and I believe that it’s worth every penny. It’s not to say that it’s better than Samsung’s and Apple’s flagship devices, but it’s finally on par with these high-end phones. As a matter of fact, it’s the little things that actually make these phones feel premium.

The Pixel 3 XL finally features a Gorilla Glass 5 front and rear panel and, more importantly, its overall fit and finish are way better than the previous models. It also comes in three color: “not pink”, “clearly white”, and “just black”. You’ll also be delighted to see that the only logo you will see on the whole device is a single G on the back, which is one of Google’s logos.

Camera

The camera is definitely one of the major reasons why someone would choose to buy the Pixel 3 XL. Google didn’t really change much about the traditional camera specs as there is still only one camera at the back with a 12.2 megapixel sensor located behind an image-stablized f/1.8 lens. In addition, the Pixel 3 XL also makes use of an updated Pixel Visual Core chip for image processing.

The biggest hardware update so far is the second wide-angle selfies camera located on the front portion of the device as well as a flicker sensor at the back, which means that most of the changes would come from the software. Most of the camera capabilities and tricks are still the same although they are significantly better at it now.

Should you choose the Pixel 3 XL as your new device? Well, it depends on your preference. If you want to have a great Android experience and the best phone camera, then you should definitely try out the Pixel 3 XL.

 


adminSeptember 24, 2018
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9min

Although iOS is arguably the world’s first smartphone operating system, Google’s Android is without a doubt the most popular among consumers. Android has come a long way since its release back in 2008. Looking at it in retrospect, it has already been 10 years since then and a lot of significant updates have come to pass.

Seeing that this year is Android’s 10th year anniversary, let’s look back on the brief history of the OS and its various updates since then.

A Brief History

Android was first introduced to be used on an HTC-made T-Mobile device in 2008. However, the origin of Android dates back before it was even made available on smartphones. As a matter of fact, Android was first developed and released for digital cameras in 2003 by Andy Rubin.

He soon realized, however, that digital camera operating systems aren’t all that profitable, and so he shifted his attention toward smartphones. By 2005, Google purchased Android and used it to enter into the mobile device business. The company promoted Android to other manufacturers, specifically catching the eye of HTC, who used the platform to produce the first Android phone, which is the HTC Dream.

The Different Android Versions

Android mobile operating system had its origin with the release of the Android beta on November 2007. A year later, the first commercial version, which was named Android 1.0, was released to the public. From there on, there had been a number of minor and major updates to the mobile OS. Here is the complete list of the Android updates to date:

  • Android 1.0
  • Android 1.1 – Petit Four
  • Android 1.5 – Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 – Donut
  • Android 2.0 – Éclair
  • Android 2.2 – Froyo
  • Android 2.3 – Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0 – Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 – KitKat
  • Android 5.0 – Lollipop
  • Android 6.0 – Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0 – Nougat
  • Android 8.0 – Oreo
  • Android 9.0 – Pie

Various Updates on the Android OS

Following the production of the first Android phone, Google released Android version 1.0, which was obviously far less developed compared to the operating system that we have today. It featured the Google Play Store, which was called the Market at the time. Moreover, it also featured the use of home screen widgets, which the iOS didn’t have at the time.

A year later, Google made its first two updates to the operating system: Android 1.1 and Android 1.5. Not only did the OS get a new version number; it was also the first update to use Google’s unique naming scheme as well. Android 1.1, which was called Petit Four, was released on February 9 and featured a few minor changes, including longer in-call screen timeout and the ability to save attachment in messages; whereas Android 1.5, which was also known as Cupcake, was significant for a lot of reason. The most important one would be that it was the first version to have an on-screen keyboard. The new update also allowed users to capture photos, which they were not able to do with the previous version.

The next big update on Android came in the form of Android 1.6, which is also called Android Donut, in 2009. The much recent update offered support to CDMA networks like Verizon, Sprint, and other big networks in Asia. Donut was primarily aimed to making Android more user-friendly, for example, by enabling it to support different screen sizes. By doing this, manufacturers could create devices with varying display sizes and Android could still run in them.

In the same year, Google made another update on Android, which has now become Android 2.0 Éclair. Éclair perhaps is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, update on Android to date. Most of the changes it brought are still prevalent today, including Google Maps navigation, HTML5 support, and the lock screen.

The following year, Android 2.2 Froyo was introduced, which served as a means to refine the Android experience for users. Froyo also brought mobile hot spot support to the table, as well as the PIN lock screen.

In the same year, Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released and offered a redesign of Android’s widgets and home screen. The update also came with an enhanced keyboard, which lets users to press on multiple keys in order to get access to a second set of keyboard, and the front-facing camera. Would anyone care for a selfie?

In 2011, Google made two other updates to the Android OS, namely the Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. These updates were made to refine most of what is seen on the home screen as well as the widgets. Other features that were added were face unlock, data usage, analysis, and apps for the calendar and mail.

Another big update on Android came in 2012 with the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There are a number of significant changes made by this update, but I would say the most important would be Google Now and Project Butter, which aimed to notably improve the touch performance of the OS by tripling the buffering graphics.

After Android Jelly Bean, Android 4.4 KitKat was launched and brought with it a number of amazing features, mostly focusing on aesthetic changes to the OS at the time. KitKat also brought changes like the “OK, Google” command prompt, a new phone dialer, and the Hangouts app, among many others.

Android 5.0 Lollipop was then released a year later after Andoid KitKat was released. Lollipop featured the company’s “Material Design” philosophy; however, the changes were not all about aesthetics alone. Google also made some major changes under the hood.

After Android Lollipop, along comes Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which brought some design changes as well as changes under the hood. The most significant change would probably be the app menu. In the new update, the background is white rather than the typical black background from the previous OS versions.

The 14th Android version would be the Android 7.0 Nougat, and it is arguably one of the biggest updates to Android since its first release. Google Now got replaced with the much better Google Assistant. Other notable changes are the split-screen mode, an improved multitasking capability, and an enhanced notifications system.

A year after Android Nougat was released, another update was made and was subsequently called Android 8.0 Oreo. This new update brought about a lot of amazing features, such as picture-in-picture, notification dots, and native split-screen.

The most recent Android update, which was released just recently, is named Android 9.0 Pie. Android Pie offered a lot of visual changes; as a matter of fact, looking at a visual standpoint, it is arguably the biggest update to Android in the last few years.

All these complete the evolution of Android, from its simple beginnings to how impressive it is now. With that, I do believe that we will be seeing a lot more impressive things from Android in the coming years.


adminAugust 1, 2018
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6min

Samsung has announced that it has updated its Augmented Reality (AR) Emoji creator tool with better facial tracking as well as a few new options for customization, which would enable the AR Emoji to capture each user’s individuality.

The latest update on Samsung’s AR Emoji tool will make it possible for users to tweak various features of the creepy avatar; from the shape of its soulless eyes to the size of its disconcerting grin.

Samsung’s AR Emoji

Galaxy S9’s Augmented Reality Emoji

The feature works by generating a digital version of your face that can then be used to log your facial expressions. In a nutshell, the feature creates an avatar of the user and allows him or her to modify elements like hair, complexion, clothes, and so on.

Galaxy S9 will use the avatars to create a set of 18 animated stickers that can eventually be used in other messaging applications like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, which would allow users to share the AR Emoji with friends that don’t have the AR Emoji feature on their gadgets.

Interestingly enough, users who don’t want to use their own face can opt to use the face of Disney characters instead. Samsung has collaborated with Disney in order to let you use the feature with characters like Mickey Mouse and The Incredibles, for instance.

Galaxy S9’s Augmented Reality Emoji

How to Create and Use Galaxy S9 AR Emoji

In order to start the process of creating an AR Emoji, you would have to launch the camera application on your mobile phone and then tap on the AR Emoji mode, which can be found on top.

Then, you take a photo of your face, just as you would when you are taking a selfie. The AR Emoji feature will then automatically spot key data points, such as your eyes and nose, to create a digital version of you.

Just as a warning though, the digital version that the feature creates may not initially look like you. This is where the abovementioned options come into the picture as they can be used to fine-tune your avatar to perfection. The hair, eyes, nose, cheeks, ears, complexion, and other features can be adjusted with the use of sliders.

Once you’re satisfied with the avatar you’ve created, you can then use the front camera on the Galaxy S9 to record your voice and facial expression. After that, you may send the animation you’ve created to your family and friends.

AR Emoji feature

How Samsung S9 AR Emoji Compares with Apple’s Memoji

When compared to Apple’s Memoji feature, one can say that Apple did a lot better job of creating a feature that most people would want to use. From the beginning, Apple offered a variety of options for customization, which gave users more control over what they look like.

Additionally, when it was examined, it became clear that Samsung’s AR Emoji relied only on software, as opposed to Apple’s Memoji, and so that maybe the reason for the quality gap.

Samsung S9 AR Emoji Compares with Apple’s Memoji

However, Samsung actually did something right, in one aspect at least, by giving users sliders that allows them to hone specific elements. Now that is something that Apple may want to consider incorporating in their Memoji feature.

Overall, I think that the Samsung S9 AR Emoji is worth a try. Although I have to admit that there is still more room for improvement and that it is still a tad creepy, the new update could make the experience more interesting and fun.


adminJune 11, 2018
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5min

Asus has yet again wowed the market with the recent launch of the ROG Phone, a high-performance smartphone that is designed for the mobile gaming enthusiast under their gaming brand, Republic of Gamers.

The ROG Phone signifies the entrance of ROG, a brand that has always been well-known for their gaming laptops, in the smartphone scene. It was presented at the Computex 2018 that was held last Monday, June 4.

The ROG Phone proves to be the flagship of Asus’s smartphones, with its specifications and features, but it has been visibly tuned to appeal to more serious mobile gamers. It is built with a modified Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, the clock speed of which has been upped to 2.96GHz from the standard 2.8GHz. The ROG Phone is the first one to carry this faster version of the Snapdragon 845, which has clear benefits for the phone’s gaming performance.

Asus ROG Phone is More Than Just another Gaming Phone

What makes the ROG Phone exceptional is its pumped-up processor, which is perfect for power users who do everything on their mobile devices. It has 8GB of internal RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 2.1 storage, and of course, the modified Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.

To address the additional heat, which a faster processor may produce, cooling was made as a key component for the phone. The ROG Phone uses a 3D vapor-chamber cooling system, which boasts a heat dissipation area that is 16 times larger than standard systems.

Asus’s ROG Phone has an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes its body narrower and easier to hold. To protect its screen from inadvertent damage, the ROG Phone is built with Gorilla Glass, and its water-resistant design protects the body against liquid infiltration.

Dual front-facing speakers use Smart Amp technology to produce more volume with less distortion for its dazzling audio. Depending on your preference, you can also plug in analog headphones or the new ROG Delta Type-C headset and immerse yourself in virtual surround sound with a measure of privacy.

ROG Phone’s integrated networking is also top-notch with Gigabit LTE cellular and WiGig-certified 802.11 and 60GHz WiFi. Its side-mounted port also supports Gigabit Ethernet over Type-C, HDMI, and USB. These Type-C ports work with regular chargers for convenience and compatibility.

What really makes ROG Phone shine is the included HyperCharge adapter, an upgraded adapter that integrates the charger IC that is typically in the phone, which increases the power delivery up to 20W and lowers charging temperatures for the handset. ASUS ROG Phone can charge its 4,000mAh battery up to 60% capacity in only 33 minutes and can get up to an 85% charge in just over an hour.

Asus’s ROG Phone also comes with a fingerprint reader which gives instant unlocking abilities to its owner. The ROG Phone captures 12MP images with the use of its primary camera, while the secondary camera takes 8MP wide-angle shots with a 120-degree field of view.

A New Era of Mobile Gaming

It really is impossible not to be amazed by the ingenuity and engineering that is evident in the ROG Phone. It’s definitely one of the most ambitious projects from Asus to date.

The Asus ROG Phone may have managed to set the bar high for mobile gaming. Its powerful technology and versatile accessories set the foundation in redefining what portable computers should be.


adminJune 7, 2018
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6min

With the way the world of technology is advancing today, it isn’t so surprising to hear about someone finding their true love online. In fact, since online dating sites and apps have rapidly gained fame, we all know at least one person who has found love through the Internet.

And obviously, because of this trend, various online dating sites and apps have begun crowding on the Internet. It is, of course, a bit scary to sign up for an online dating site because one might worry about the trust and security aspects, not to mention that some of these online dating sites require a subscription fee. But contrary to popular belief, there are some online dating sites that are privacy-safe and surprisingly free, including Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Tastebuds, Passion Network, and DateMySchool, to name a few.

Facebook Announces Dating Feature

During Facebook’s annual F8 Developer Conference, Mark Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook and is currently leading it as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, talked about how Facebook is developing a proprietary dating app separate from the rest of Facebook’s products; a new feature that will only be visible to non-friends who also opted into dating.

“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships and not just for hook-ups,” Zuckerberg told the audience, explaining that the opt-in feature will allow users to build and share a separate dating profile.

With the way Facebook has collected data on every user, “a dating tool has always seemed the next logical step,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, said.

Facebook Announces Dating Feature

How Will This New Feature Work?

First of all, users can opt-in to create a profile with just their first name. Their profile won’t be visible to friends, users who didn’t choose to sign-up for the dating feature, and most importantly, it won’t show up in the News Feed.

After that first and most important part, users are allowed to browse events in their city and groups that would match their interests; users can select to “unlock” one for dating. Then, users will be able to see the profiles of other dating users who’ve unlocked the same events or groups.

And after that, users can browse through other user’s profiles that show off a few of their photos together with some basic information about them. Users will be shown users based on mutual interests and friends, plus other data Facebook has on you.

Lastly, if both users are interested, they will be able to start a conversation in a special box, which is separate from Messenger and WhatsApp. For the user’s safety, only text can be sent through this message box for now.

How Safe Will This New Feature Be?

Facebook Privacy and Safety

However, the most important question to be asked is whether Facebook has built enough barricades between its social network and new dating feature. It will certainly be awkward to expand your network and then trying online dating in just one app. Also, if something bad happens, they could end up blaming the new dating feature, or worse Facebook itself. However, as Chris Cox explained, dating was always a natural fit for Facebook thanks to its ubiquity, data, and trusted platform for identity.

“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning,” Mark Zuckerberg said. The company has been under fire recently for possibly not doing this with its other features over the years.

So, how will this new dating feature fare? Let’s wait and see. As for most people, I think they would find it fun and interesting because it would surely help them build confidence and it would be a fun, new way to meet other people.



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