Review: iTunes Video Upgrade Makes the New Apple TV Worth It

It might seem odd to review the new Apple TV streaming device — one specifically designed to display super-sharp video known as 4K — without actually owning a 4K TV.

But in a way, that’s the point.

Most people still don’t have 4K TVs, so the new Apple TV model doesn’t offer them much. But if you’re an Apple fan and already have 4K, the choice is clear. The new Apple TV 4K is out Friday starting at $179, or $30 more than the regular model. It’s a small difference compared with the price of your TV.

It’s worth noting that alternatives to Apple TV are cheaper and equally capable at a basic level. All of the devices connect to a TV so you can stream most major video services on a big screen. Roku and Amazon have 4K models for less than $100 and non-4K versions for even less. Both are even ahead of Apple TV in being able to stream Amazon video now; it’s coming soon to Apple TV.

But none of the rivals will play movies or shows purchased from Apple’s iTunes, at least without clunky workarounds. To watch those on a big screen directly, you need an Apple TV. And Apple has just sweetened the deal on that front.

The Future Has Arrived

Apple’s embrace of 4K is significant, despite the fact that Roku, Amazon and other rivals beat Apple to that milestone. Apple often waits until there’s broad enough appeal for new technologies. That time is now, given growth in sales of 4K TV and more movies and TV shows released in 4K formats.

Parallel to that is the rise of high-dynamic range technology in television sets. HDR increases color range and produces brighter whites and darker blacks. Better contrast means details in bright scenes aren’t washed out. Apple TV 4K supports…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Asus Brings ZenFone 4 Lineup to U.S.

Asus recently announced plans to bring its ZenFone 4 series of phones to the U.S. unlocked market this year. The lineup includes the flagship ZenFone 4 Pro, the mid-range ZenFone 4, and two versions of the ZenFone 4 Max, both of which have large batteries but otherwise lower-end specs. The ZenFone 4 Max 5.5″ is available now, while the rest will go on sale in the coming months. All have basic support for AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, including bands 2, 4, 5, and 12.

  • ZenFone 4 Max 5.2″: Has a 4,100 mAh battery, 5.2-inch HD LCD display, Snapdragon 425 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. Also includes a fingerprint reader, memory card slot, 13 megapixel camera, 5-megapixel wide-angle camera, and 8-megapixel front camera.
  • ZenFone 4 Max 5.5″: Has a 5,000 mAh battery, 5.5-inch HD LCD display, Snapdragon 430 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a metal body. Other features are the same as the 5.2″ version. (shown)
  • ZenFone 4: Has a 3,300 mAh battery, 5.5-inch Full-HD LCD display, Snapdragon 630 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a glass back. It also sports NFC, USB-C, Cat. 12 LTE, and a better main camera with OIS and 4K video recording. Like the rest of the series, it has dual rear cameras and the touch screen works through gloves.
  • ZenFone 4 Pro: A flagship-class phone with all of the features of the ZenFone 4, plus a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6 GB of RAM, an AMOLED screen, 3,600 mAh battery, fast charging, auto-focus front camera, 16-megapixel telephoto camera (instead of a wide-angle camera), laser focusing, and better support for AT&T’s LTE network with bands 29 and 30.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Belkin BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad

Belkin continues to embrace the iPhone moves towards wireless charging with the BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad, which will support the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X (probably other products that were not included in the press release!).

Belkin BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad

“Customers around the world love iPhone and we believe wireless charging is the future. We are excited to continue expanding Belkin’s growing portfolio of wireless charging solutions with the new Boost↑Up Wireless Charging Pad for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, holding to our mission of helping consumers realise the power of new technology,” said Steve Malony, general manager and vice president, Belkin. “Today we deliver the best cable-free and convenient charging solution for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X users.”

Belkin BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad

Boost↑Up Wireless Charging Pad Features

 

—    Cable-free convenience

—    Charges iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X on contact while maintaining full functionality of device including ability to receive calls

—    Charging levels optimised up to 7.5W for compatible devices

—    Ability to charge through cases up to 3mm thick

—    The latest Qi wireless charging standard

—    Connected equipment warranty up to £2,500 + bonus warranty

The unit is available for £59.99 from Belkin or £54.95 from Apple direct.

The post Belkin BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Should You Upgrade? Four Things To Know About Apple's iOS 11 Update

    Holding off on upgrading your trusty old iPhone? You won’t need a spiffy iPhone 8 in order to get new maps, photos and other features with a free software update Apple began rolling out Tuesday.

    The iOS 11 update brings a variety of enhancements, including a new voice and functionality for the Siri virtual assistant and a new photo format to reduce file sizes.

    Consider waiting a few days in case unexpected problems emerge. The update will work with iPhones and iPads going back a few years, but older models won’t get all the new features.

    Once you get iOS 11, here are four things to look for.

    Look and Feel

    The Control Center offers easy access to the flashlight and other tools with a swipe up from the bottom. It got separated into multiple pages last year to increase the options available, but the extra swipes got annoying. With iOS 11, it’s back to a single page. The extra options remain available, and Apple now lets you customize further, such as by adding an Apple TV remote or one-touch access to the voice recorder.

    After taking a screenshot, you’ll now see a thumbnail in a corner. Tap on it for the ability to quickly annotate and share it. Need to remember where you parked your car? Just screenshot a map and draw an arrow.

    The update brings additional camera filters to tweak your photos. To find them, you can now swipe up as you’re taking the shot; swipe down when you’re done. With camera improvements, the iPhone 8 models automatically use an exposure-balancing technology called HDR and no longer save unadjusted versions. You can restore that in the settings, though it’ll use more storage.

    Apple Maps now offers speed limits and lane guidance on highways and indoor maps for some airports and shopping malls.

    And a new feature…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Nest Labs Debuts Smart Doorbell with Facial Recognition Technology

    Home device maker Nest Labs is adding Google’s facial recognition technology to a camera-equipped doorbell and rolling out a security system in an attempt to end its history of losses.

    The products announced Wednesday expand upon the internet-connected thermostats, smoke detectors and stand-alone security cameras that Nest has been selling since its inception six years ago.

    Although Nest has been among the early leaders in the effort to make home appliances as intelligent as people’s smartphones, it hasn’t been able to make money to the frustration of its corporate parent, Alphabet. In an attempt to shake things up, Alphabet brought in cable industry veteran Marwan Fawaz to replace Nest founder Tony Fadell as CEO after Fadell stepped down 15 months ago.

    Nest had been supplementing its existing product line with slightly different choices until Wednesday’s move into entirely new categories.

    The Hello doorbell comes with a built-in video camera and speakers that will make it seem like it can recognize and talk to people.

    The doorbell will draw upon Google’s facial recognition technology so it can warn a home’s occupants when a stranger approaches. Google bought Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014 and then spun it off after it hatched Alphabet as its parent company.

    Nest is now lumped into a group of risky companies venturing into new areas of technology that have collectively lost $10.6 billion during the past three-and-half years alone. Alphabet hasn’t disclosed how much Nest has contributed to it the losses in its “Other Bets” segment

    Nest isn’t announcing a price for its new doorbell until it hits the market sometime during the first three months of next year.

    Google’s facial recognition technology is coming to the doorbell a few months after Nest introduced a more sophisticated indoor security camera featuring the same tool. Nest also announced Wednesday that the same facial recognition tools…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Japan's Emoji Creator Saw Nuance in Pictures

    The tiny smiley faces, hearts, knife-and-fork or clenched fist have become a global language for mobile phone messages. They are displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They star in a new Hollywood film.

    The emoji is heir to a tradition of pictographic writing stretching back millennia to Egyptian hieroglyphics and the ideograms used to write Chinese and Japanese.

    Despite their ubiquity, they started in 1998 with one man: A 25-year-old employee of mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo who created the first set of 176 in one month as he rushed to meet a deadline.

    “I happened to arrive at the idea. If I hadn’t done it, someone else would have,” said Shigetaka Kurita, who now is a board member at Dwango Co., a Tokyo technology company.

    Kurita’s challenge: NTT DoCoMo’s “i-mode” mobile internet service limited messages to 250 characters, which cried out for some kind of shorthand.

    A message that said, “What are you doing now?” could be menacing or nosey, but adding a smiley face softened the tone.

    “Digital messaging was just getting started, and so I was thinking about what was needed,” said Kurita.

    Following i-mode’s launch in 1999, that nuance made emoji an immediate hit in Japan, where the demands of courtesy make for a complex art and a tiny mistake can prove costly. Emoji combines the Japanese for “picture,” or “e” (pronounced “eh”), and “letters,” or “moji” (moh-jee).

    Kurita collected common images including public signs, weather symbols, the zodiac and comic book-style pictures such as a light bulb or a ticking bomb.

    With simple lines, he made five faces — happy, angry, sad, surprised and perplexed. The heart and a smiley face are still his favorites.

    Some visuals transcend culture. A drop of sweat rolling down a cheek means exasperation or anxiety. Others confuse: A camcorder was misread by many as a…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    T-Mobile, Sprint Reach Breakthrough On Potential Merger

    T-Mobile and Sprint have made significant progress in ironing out merger terms, according to Reuters. T-Mobile and Sprint have made a “major breakthrough” on a merger between them. As it stands, SoftBank, Sprint’s parent, would own between 40% and 50% of the combined company, with Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent, owning the majority stake. These terms are near final and will require due diligence before a deal is announced, which may happen as soon as the end of October, according to Reuters’ sources. In addition to shareholder and board approval, the deal would face regulatory scrutiny from the U.S. government. SoftBank was forced to abandon an attempted merger with T-Mobile back in 2014 due to government pressure. The combined T-Mobile/Sprint entity would catapult to 130 million customers, putting it just behind rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile and Sprint declined to comment on Reuters’ story.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    Charge Rockstar for all your charging iPhone needs

    Got a shiny new iPhone? Still missing your 3.5mm connector? You want to charge the phone and listen to music through a 3.5mm jack? Well, you are in luck dear reader! Belkin has launched the Charge Rockstar, the 3.5 mm Audio + Charge RockStar adapter for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus. The 3.5 mm Audio + Charge RockStar plugs into the Lightning®connector, offering a way for users to simultaneously charge their iPhone and listen to music using 3.5 mm headphone jack devices. This adapter also allows for data syncing through the Lightning connector as well as microphone and remote control on the headphone jack.

    Charge Rockstar for all your charging iPhone needs

    “We’re excited to offer yet another way for iPhone owners to simultaneously charge and listen to audio using the headphones that they know and love,” says Marco Peters, vice president of product management, Belkin. “We listened to consumers who wanted a reliable way to use their existing headphones, and we took learnings from last year’s Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar to deliver what people asked for and more.”

    3.5 mm Audio + Charge RockStar Features:

    • Dual functionality so users can listen to 3.5 mm audio and charge iPhone simultaneously
    • Compatible with headphones, speakers, AUX cables and other devices with a 3.5 mm headphone jack
    • Supports optimal pass-through charging for iPhone
    • Supports remote and mic control on MFi certified 3.5 mm headphones
    • Supports syncing to transfer music and photos to and from MacBook
    • MFi certified to meet Apple specifications for use with iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 9 or later

    You can pick the Rockstar up for £29.99 from Belkin or Apple.

    The post Charge Rockstar for all your charging iPhone needs is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • EE launches Enhanced HD Voice

    EE launches Enhanced HD Voice
    There’s a lot of technical gobbledegook behind this particular story, so if (like me) your eyes glaze over, the take-home message is basically that you’re going to be getting a really clear and high quality line when using EE.

    For the more technically minded, it goes a bit like this..

    Today EE have become the very first operator in the UK to launch something called “Enhanced HD Voice”. It’s billed as the next generation of voice calling, and delivers super high quality calls over 4G Calling and WiFi Calling.

    For this, you’ll need an appropriate smartphone. Currently EE tell me that the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the only ones that’ll do it, but further smartphones will be enabled soon.

    Even if you can’t use this new whizz-bang technology, the current 4G Calling system is already seeing five million customers making over 300 million high-quality calls every month. The network is also keen to point out that 600 sites are to be upgraded with the latest 4G spectrum over the next six months.

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  • Monqi – A safe smartphone for your kids

    Monqi   A safe smartphone for your kids
    A few years ago I worked for an internet provider. My advice, if any parents ever asked, would be to keep the PC in a “family room”. Now, well now you just can’t do that. Kids demand phones, and those phones aren’t “dumb phones” either. No. The latest iPhone, the latest Android, will let your child access a whole load of stuff without you knowing.

    Yes, you’ll think that someone is keeping an eye on things, but in reality most of those big social media companies and developers rely on reactive reports, and that doesn’t work too well. Has your child got YouTube on their phone? Yeah? Wait until they do a search for “fatal crash” or “deaths caught on camera”. Oh yes, kiss goodbye to that innocence in seconds, and YouTube just can’t be a***d. Sometimes there might be a warning, but they’ll just have to push the “OK” button. Not hard.

    Monqi   A safe smartphone for your kids

    So, to try and combat this, Carphone Warehouse are to be the exclusive retailer of monqi, a smartphone with a tweaked Android OS which creates a safe environment for your child. Best of all, it comes with a parental Android or iOS app that you can install on your own phone in order to keep an eye on things. You can manage, control and observe screentime plus you can see where your child is. You can approve, add and edit contacts, approve and manage apps, limit app use, calls, texts and data usage plus it’ll connect safely to the internet.

    You can set a schedule to enable features and apps to specific times, set geo-fencing and you can also remotely lock the phone.

    Monqi   A safe smartphone for your kids

    The monqi phone itself looks like an adult phone and will be available from early October. Until then, register your interest here. It has a 5″ 720×1280 display, 13 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front, WiFi, Bluetooth and a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU with 8GB storage, 1GB RAM and a microSD slot.

    Here’s a video showing you around..

    Head to monqi.co or Carphone Warehouse for more.

    The post Monqi – A safe smartphone for your kids is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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