Google Home Max Now Available for $399; Verizon Discounts LG V30

Verizon Wireless today began selling the Google Home Max in-home assistant and speaker. The Max relies on the same Google Assistant that powers the Google Home and Google Home Mini devices, but packages the voice-based tool in a larger, music-focused box. The Max has twin 4.5-inch woofers and can analyze the room to automatically adjust its tuning for the best possible sound. It supports streaming services such as Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Spotify, and can interact with Chromecasts and other cast-enabled devices. The Google Home Max is available online from Verizon and Best Buy. Verizon Wireless also rolled out a promotion for the LG V30. Customers can snag a $300 discount on the phone when purchased on a 24-month payment plan. The $300 discount is applied monthly until the phone is paid off. The LG V30 deal is only available online.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Essential's Andy Rubin Back to Work After Short Leave

Andy Rubin has returned to his duties as CEO of Essential Products after a very short leave of absence, reports Recode. Rubin took leave from Essential in late November after a relationship he had with a coworker during his time at Google became public. Rubin insists the relationship was consensual, though it involved an employee on his Android team at Google. Rubin was moved to a different division at Google and later left to found Playground Global, a venture capital firm, and Essential Products. Earlier this year, Essential debuted its first handset, the PH-1. The PH-1 is an all-screen Android device made from high-end materials and top specs.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

OnePlus 5T Can't Stream HD Content from Netflix, Google, Amazon

The latest flagship smartphone from OnePlus cannot stream video content from certain providers in high-definition, according to The Verge. The services impacted include Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies, and Netflix. The OnePlus 5T has a full HD+ display and a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor with 8 GB of RAM, meaning the hardware is certainly capable of delivering HD content. OnePlus confirmed the issue to The Verge and said a future update will resolve the deficiency. The issue pertains to the 5T’s lack of support for Widevine Level 1 DRM, something content services often require for HD streaming. OnePlus did not say when the software fix might be made available.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Highlights Which Android Watches Will Get Oreo

Google recently provided a list of Android-based wearables that have or will receive the Android 8 Oreo update. According to Google, Oreo is already available to the Fossil Q Venture, LG Watch Sport, Louis Vuitton Tambour, Michael Kors Sofie, and the Montblanc Summit. Watches that are testing Oreo include selections from Casio, Diesel, Emporio, Fossil, Guess, Huawei, Hugo Boss, LG, Michael Kors, Movado, Polar, Tag Heuer, Tommy Hilfiger, and ZTE. As always, the exact timing of the update is up to each individual manufacturer. Android 8 Oreo for Android Wear is a minor update that tweaks some notification behaviors and vibration settings, and adds new languages and notification channels for improved battery life.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Verizon to Make NFL Content More Widely Available on Phones

Verizon and the NFL today said they’ve agreed to a new multi-year deal that will see NFL content reach more people on mobile devices. Verizon says it will stream national and local football games across several of its media properties to fans on any mobile network. Via the Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, go90, and NFL mobile apps, people will be able to watch pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and the Super Bowl from their smartphone. The partnership kicks off in January with this season’s playoffs. Beyond weekly games, Verizon will give fans access to NFL highlight reels, news, and other content throughout the year, such as the NFL Draft. Last, Verizon said it intends to work with NFL teams to deploy smart stadium technology in their stadiums for better on-site mobile experiences. The new live mobile NFL experience will first be available from the Yahoo Sports app for iOS and Android in January. The partnership is valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

A week abroad with the Note 8

Usually when I go on holiday I like to reach out to contacts I have made over the years to loan a recent device to road test.
A week abroad with the Note 8
This year, Three kindly stepped up and loaned me a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for me to use. You may remember our earlier detailed coverage from the launch.

Thankfully I am already a Three customer, and knew that Tenerife was a Feel at Home roaming destination so I would not be charged any extra just because I’m in a different country.

During my week away I’ll be using the Note 8 as my camera, GPS, blogging tool, multimedia device and keeping in touch. I’m even typing most of this up in the hotel room using the Note 8, just to prove how good or bad it is 🙂

I will break the coverage down into a few sections so it is easier to follow, and you can pick out the bits that you want.

A week abroad with the Note 8

Battery Life

Battery life was one area I knew the Note 8 would be amazing at, and I was definitely not disappointed here. With a massive 3300mAh battery and AMOLED screen, the Note 8 is one of best out there if you want all day battery, even with heavy use.

My days usually consisted of keeping in touch on social media, taking photos and videos as my only device for this, and in the evenings watching YouTube with a Bluetooth speaker in the hotel room.

A week abroad with the Note 8

Camera and Video

The camera has to be one of the.. if not THE most important features of any smartphone I use.

I love taking mobile photography to new levels and seeing what it can do, I also love being able to share straight away. Because of this I have not owned a digital camera for years.

Samsung have always had a great reputation when it comes to their camera samples, and the Note 8 is no exception thanks to having two lenses on the back. Having two cameras is not new for the industry with Huawei, Apple and LG already using them in flagships, but Samsung have decided to make the Note 8 their first.

The main features of having two cameras in the back are for zooming in and not dropping quality, and the main use is for bokeh effects, blurring the background whilst keeping your subject in focus like a fancy DLSR.

Video recording goes all the way up to 4K and captures a lot of detail whilst even in low light conditions, something I was very pleased with.

Below are some sample photos taken right off the phone with no editing.

A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8

Multimedia

My normal video use is split over two different apps. Netflix was ideal when roaming and the recent version allowed me to even download some content before I left so I had things to watch on the plane.

Thanks to MobileFun I also had the black stand case which let me stand the Note on its side and use my Bluetooth headset to really enjoy my TV series. The other app I use a lot is YouTube and I follow a lot of tech sites on there.

Thankfully streaming as not a problem using Feel at Home, I was able to watch plenty of videos with no buffering on that lovely large screen.

A week abroad with the Note 8

Connectivity

Connectivity is key when it comes to getting information, and the Note 8 packs plenty of options in, some I didn’t need but was handy to have in case.

GPS I will go into more detail below so no need to cover here, Bluetooth was there for me to use my headset to watch Netflix and YouTube in comfort too. When it comes to network options you have 4G/3G/2G and when I was roaming I got 3G all of the time.

The reason I was always on 3G was right now there are no 4G roaming agreements with Three UK, but didn’t find that a problem at all, easily being able to watch videos, make video calls via WhatsApp, stream music and use GPS.

A week abroad with the Note 8

I even purchased a day pass to Three Passport giving me unlimited data for a day. This included tethering and it allowed my fiance to watch videos, post on social media and stream music too. Very handy and well worth the small cost.

The tethering meant I could use the Note 8 as a mobile hotspot, something many people use instead of needing a separate costly MiFi.

Navigating

Anyone remember the old days of being on holiday and having those big maps and directions printed to get around? Not only was it time consuming it was also a real pain in the ass!

A week abroad with the Note 8

Thankfully mapping systems on smartphones have made the job a whole lot quicker and easier. They’re always being updated and come with voice directions too. Google Maps has always been my map app of choice, even when using an iPhone. Here on the huge Note 8 screen it was a joy to use.

Having to get around by foot all of the trip, I was able to not only locate the best places to eat, but also get voice turn by turn directions given to me whilst looking at the gorgeous display.

This was such an easy process to get setup and I saved a lot of time and hassle being able to quickly and easily plan my route.

Whilst this app is available on other smartphones, the large clear bright screen on the Note 8 was fantastic to use and made it enjoyable.

A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8
A week abroad with the Note 8

Note Features

The reason people will pick the Note 8 over say the S8+ is because of the stylus features from the included S-Pen.

I found this very addictive to use for a lot of different situations from highlighting a screen shot I was sending, to writing a live message to send my fiance on her birthday.

Whilst we are now used to using fingers for inputting data, the accuracy of the pen was scarily good. It also allowed you to also draw sketches with a lot of detail, there are even templates you can colour in and make your own.

The biggest use of the pen will be if you need to sign anything and email off, no more faffing about with getting your signature on a document, just take out the pen, sign and your done. You can tell a lot of thought went into the pen when you notice the click button on the top, which only feature is to satisfy your itchy fingers wanting to click a pen.

Conclusions

I was really happy when Three offered me the Note 8 to take with me, Samsung have always had decent cameras on them even in low light, the phone is waterproof and the screen is huge so watching video is ideal.

Using Three I knew I would get Feel at Home Roaming which means you can use your phone like back at home with no extra cost, data included up to 12GB in my case.

Being able to use data on the go for finding great places to eat and directions was so handy, but more so was the quiet nights back in the room where I was able to watch Chelsea vs Liverpool with no buffering, watch YouTube videos as well as all my normal social media activity.

Speeds were super fast and often beat my EE SIM which was getting 4G, very impressive. The camera was really good to use and quality excellent, one of the best cameras I have used on a phone.

Looking back at my week with the Note 8 I would definitely have to recommend it to anyone who either wants a large phone with great battery, or is aftet a great camera and screen for video playback.

Thanks go to Three UK for the loan of the Note 8 and you can buy one yourself here.

Just a note about this article, it has not been sponsored or influenced by Three at all, the device was loaned for me to cover when on holiday, I just was lucky to have a Three SIM to use when there and experience Feel at Home.

The post A week abroad with the Note 8 is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Review: Google Pixelbook Is the King of Chromebooks

    With the Pixelbook, Google is asking whether a Chromebook with high-end laptop features, which runs Android apps and can become a tablet by folding in two, can really be worth $999 [or £999]. The answer is complicated.

    The Pixelbook is the successor to Google’s first own-brand hardware, the Chromebook Pixel line of $1,000 Chrome OS machines. It takes Google’s light and fast Chrome OS — an operating system built around the Chrome browser now with added Android apps — and puts it on high-end convertible laptop hardware to see what it can really do.

    Part Chrome Laptop, Part Android Tablet

    It feels like a combo of the Chromebook Pixel and Google’s Pixel C Android tablet. Like many other convertible PCs, the screen can fold all the way round on to the back. It will also stand on its end like a tent with the screen facing out, or screen out with the keyboard resting on a table. On a desk, the hinge will hold the screen at any angle without overbalancing the laptop, which is quite impressive.

    Build-quality and design are exquisite, with a solid-feeling hinge and smooth lines. A white glass panel on the lid breaks up the otherwise all-aluminum body. At 10.3mm thick the Pixelbook is noticeably thin for a laptop and not much thicker than some tablets. It weighs 1.1kg, which is light for a laptop, but a bit heavy for a tablet.

    The screen looks great, with good brightness, color and a high pixel density matching top-end competitors, but it is also pretty reflective. It has relatively large bezels around the outside, which makes it look a little dated compared to the likes of the MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 13.

    At times I wished the screen was a little bigger — without the bezels I suspect you’d be able to…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Smartphones – Opening the door for you and to you

    I mentioned recently how smartphones can pose a danger to kids. This is because of the ease and the instant nature to which live video feeds can be pushed out onto the internet. Gone are the days when smutty websites were the only ones offering webcam content. Now your son or daughter is doing it too.

    Social media sites are facing a challenge. They need to attract users and they want to make full use of your smartphone. Their argument is that, if they didn’t offer the live streaming functionality and the commenting interaction, someone else would, and that site would become more popular.

    Smartphones   Opening the door for you and to you

    Likewise, the gambling industry has found itself in deep water. Just recently one site ended up in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a “socially irresponsible” ad showing gambling in the workplace.

    Trouble is, smartphones offer millions of people free access into your home. Also, as many of us are no doubt aware, they also offer you unlimited access to sites and services at all hours of the day or night.

    Smartphones   Opening the door for you and to you

    So you can gamble whilst on a coffee break at work. You can gamble while you’re taking a “bathroom break” and everywhere in between. However, if you’ve watched any TV show after 10PM at night, you’ll no doubt be aware that there’s many, many gambling websites offering many, many deals to get you to sign up.

    AskGamblers is a website dedicated to helping spread honest and helpful information in a world filled with people trying to mislead players. AskGamblers holds gaming websites accountable and ensures everyone gets a fair game. They work hard to spread the most accurate information, and their new Gambling Guide is no exception.

    Smartphones   Opening the door for you and to you

    This new Gambling Guide is an extension of what they’ve been doing all along, which is spreading the types of important information that other entities might not be in a hurry to share.

    In the AskGamblers Gambling Guide you can, in perhaps your own free time rather than at work, gain the knowledge that will help increase your chances of winning. Gambling sites will do everything they can to tilt things in their favour, so you need to arm yourself and ensure that you’re well versed before thinking about gambling on your phone with real money.

    The post Smartphones – Opening the door for you and to you is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Caution: Smartphone Addiction Can Imbalance the Brain

    Worried you or a loved one are too attached to your phone? There may be good reason for concern and now scientific proof, as well. Researchers have found an imbalance in brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet.

    They presented their findings at the Nov. 30 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), concluding that the addicted teenagers in their study had significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, impulsivity, and insomnia severity.

    The Science Behind the Findings

    The research was led by Hyung Suk Seo, M.D., a professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea — working with Eun-Kee Jeong, Ph.D., Sungwon Choi, Yunna Kwon, Hae-Jeong Park, and InSeong Kim.

    Dr. Seo and colleagues used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) — a type of MRI — to measure the brain’s chemical composition in a group of 19 smartphone- and internet-addicted teenagers, including 9 males and 10 females, average age 15.5 years old. They compared the results against a gender- and age-matched control group and found a significant difference.

    First, to determine the severity of addiction, the research team used standardized internet and smartphone addiction tests. Questions focused on the extent to which phone and internet use impacts daily routines, social life, productivity, sleeping patterns, and feelings. The higher the score, the more severe the addiction.

    Dr. Seo reported that the addicted teenagers had significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, insomnia severity and impulsivity.

    The researchers then performed MRS exams on the addicted youth prior to and following a behavioral therapy program. Twelve of the 19 addicted youth received nine weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy designed to overcome their addiction.

    For comparison, a single MRS exam was performed on the control patients. The goal of the MRS exams was to measure levels of “gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurotransmitter in…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Returns to Hardware

    Jony Ive, Apple’s chief designer, will once again have direct oversight of the company’s hardware and software design. Ive handed those responsibilities off to other managers in 2015 in order to concentrate on larger projects, such as Apple’s new headquarters building and retail stores. With those projects complete or well under way, Ive will tackle Apple’s consumer products once more. “Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design,” Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette told Reuters.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News