Is Google Maps making us drive more sensibly?

Is Google Maps making us drive more sensibly?

Yesterday I made a slight error. It’s something I’ve done before, when I strangely only allocated myself 2 hours to drive from Heathrow Airport to Stoke. I did it again, but this time I was driving back from Reading. I knew I wouldn’t get back in time. I’d already come out of my hotel room a bit late, but then there was some issues with the checkout process and I ended up on the motorway far later than I wanted.

So, my traditional “fix” would be … to floor it.

However, that fix isn’t really possible now. We can’t sit in the outside lane at 95mph any more. We’ve lost the hard shoulder because of “all lane running” and there’s average speed cameras keeping everyone at around 70-75mph. It’s easy to see why self-driving cars are appealing on our long, straight motorways. It’s almost dull now. Everyone doing pretty much the same speed, much like some US highways.

There I was then, going as quickly as I dared without triggering those little yellow cameras mounted on the gantries. I had Google Maps telling me the best route back. I tend to use it even if I know how to get back because, especially on the longer journeys, it can spot upcoming traffic problems and route around. However, Google Maps will do something else – it’ll give you an ETA.

Is Google Maps making us drive more sensibly?

I knew it was going to be tight and I wouldn’t be back for a meeting, but I was stuck against the invisible force field of the average speed cameras. Then I hit a patch of roadworks.

Well, I say a “patch”. This wasn’t a patch. It was part of the “smart motorways” work that seems to be happening on nearly motorway I travel on right now. The speed limit was reduced down to 50mph due to the thinner lanes, cones and workers.

I figured I was going to totally miss my meeting, but no – Google Maps updated the ETA as I slowed down and it wasn’t too far off the original time. It happened again a bit later when I got stuck behind a wide-load that was hogging two lanes of the motorway but, surprisingly I was only going to lose a couple of minutes from my journey time.

That just seemed a bit nuts, but it made me relax a bit. I’d lost an average of 20mph but I wasn’t losing a great deal of time off my ETA. I can’t remember exactly, but it was only a couple of minutes difference. So, by that evidence, it was clear than trying to mash the pedal and roaring along at 90mph wouldn’t have won me much either. In years gone by, in my head, flying up the motorway at over 90 would definitely get me there far quicker. In reality though, it doesn’t.

So, that got me thinking, is Google Maps making me drive more sensibly? Well yes. Yes, actually, I think it is.

Anyone else?

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Palm – My thoughts on the mini-smartphone

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone
This diddy smartphone is on Vodafone and you can get one here for £31 per month. In the USA this has been sold as a “companion phone” which I can sort of understand.

See, I’m a little confused.

It’s like Brexit in a way. There’s really no middle ground. You’re either Remain or Leave.

Hmm.. I’m going to struggle a little with this analogy, especially as every politician seems to have their own ideas of what should happen, but let’s go with it. See, for years we’ve had smartphones looking the same. They’re all big-ass screens and beautifully flat. We like them. We love them, but they’re all a bit similar.

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone

Deep down, there’s a want to have something different. A new design. Something that wasn’t just another shiny slate. The BlackBerry, with that physical keypad, looked interesting. Even the old Nokia 3310 raised a lot of eyebrows. YES! Phones could be interesting again.

But…. like Brexit, when you actually paid your money and took that BlackBerry or Nokia 3310 home… was it everything you hoped?

That’s where I am with this thing, but let’s take another look at it first.

It’s a beautiful little device, and sits nicely somewhere between a “normal” smartphone and the ultra-tiny Unihertz phones. To begin with I quote liked the Palm screen (a 3.3″ 1280 x 720 pixel panel) as there’s a custom “finger-friendly” menu system which increases the size of app icons to make them easy to launch.

In all honest I’m always quite surprised to see how easily Android deals with different screen sizes and orientations. It just seems to work. However, there’s no real getting around the fact that, once in your favourite app, you’ve got that standard on-screen keyboard. Yes, you can download bigger keyboards and yes, you can get GBoard or something similar to swipe your words in. You also get a quick-entry system where you just draw a letter and it brings up any contacts or apps that start with that letter – it’s a good way to open what you need.

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone

You’ve got to decide, I guess, whether to give up that extra real estate in exchange for a very unnoticeable handset. You can pop this in your pocket and, as I found out, you can forget it’s actually there. This actually nearly ended up in the washing machine because it’s about the size of a credit care and just 7.4mm thick.

In the US this has been sold as a “companion” phone, sitting alongside your main phone. You can take it out with you and switch on the “Life” mode to minimize distraction from the various apps on your device. It also, and let’s be honest here, reduces battery usage. It’s got an 800mAh battery which, I’ll be honest, isn’t really enough unless you switch on that “Life Mode”. If it’s on that mode, you’ll easily get a day of usage, however if you use it like a normal phone then you won’t get as long as you’d like.

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone

The Palm has water and dust resistance and feels great in the hand. It measures in at just 96.5 x 50.5 mm and has a lovely aluminium frame with Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and back.

Inside there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core 1.4 GHz CPU with 3GB RAM and you get 32GB of storage plus a microSD card slot for more. It’s certainly quick enough and you don’t struggle a great deal with multi-tasking.

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone

On the sides, as you’ll have seen in the video, there’s no volume controls. Instead it’s all on-screen and in all honesty it doesn’t feel like you’re losing a great deal.

On the back, a single 12 megapixel camera which is actually rather good. It has an LED flash too. Up front, an 8 megapixel shooter for your selfie shots.

The usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS technology is here and I tested out Strava and Google Maps – it was quite weird trying to put this tiny thing in my car phone holder to navigate around, but it worked perfectly well.

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone

In my earlier story I showed off the cool finger-friendly GUI, plus the camera quality, so do take a look to learn more. However, for me I was split…

– Yes, I do want to see phones that look a bit “different”.
– I do like to see an increased design choice of smartphone.
– This phone raised a lot of eyebrows when I carried it around.
– Using it as your main phone, especially if you’re doing lots of data-entry, could be tricky.

That last point – if you’re keen to add lots of Twitter or Facebook updates – is important. Without “Life Mode” the battery won’t last very long with that level of data and screen use. You’ll also have to cope with the smaller screen.

Palm   My thoughts on the mini smartphone

This, then, is for someone who does want a smartphone. They want a phone that’ll do all the usual Android stuff, maybe play a few games, but you don’t want to be interrupted by social media updates or emails. It’s a phone that can sit in your pocket without you even thinking about it and, if and when you actually want it, it’s there for you.

For more, check out the first part of my review below, or get one on Vodafone

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Verizon Bundles Apple Music with Premium Plans

Verizon’s top two unlimited postpaid plans now include an Apple Music subscription. The most affordable plan, GoUnlimited, still includes just a six-month trial of Apple Music, as the other plans did previously.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Sprint Launches Deals App

Sprint has a new app offering exclusive deals and cash back rewards up to 20 percent. The company launched My Sprint Rewards today, available for both iOS and Android phones. The app lets Sprint customers access exclusive discounts at Sprint as well as other brands, enter for a chance to win prizes, and earn 3-20 percent cash back on select purchases. The program is similar to T-Mobile Tuesdays, but “can be used any time, day or night, to fit your schedule. New deals will be added regularly from a variety of different brands”. Today the app is offering a free large one-topping pizza from Papa John’s “while supplies last”.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

The Honor View20 – Look closely. Notice something?

The Honor View20   Look closely. Notice something?
Creating a phone that looks a bit “different” is definitely in the interests of most phone manufacturers, however if you do there’s the risk that the phone isn’t going to be as popular. So, there’s smaller but rather cool tweaks happening to new phones now, and although they’re all still a familiar shape, you’ll find more and more screen real estate appearing.

This then is the new Honor View20, or Honor View 20 depending on how much you like spaces. It appeared at CES recently and they’ve done something to the screen. Can you spot what it is ?

Yes, there’s no “dewdrop” or “notch” here at all. No indent for a camera, sensors or an earpiece. Instead they’ve put the camera inside the screen, tucked up in the upper left corner. It’s a nice idea and doesn’t seem to get in the way too much either.

The Honor View20   Look closely. Notice something?

The phone, too, looks good. It’s won a series of “Best of” during the show and we can already see that it’s coming to the UK as it’s on the UK Honor site right now.

That in-screen camera uses a super small hole with a diameter of only and helps push the screen-to-body ratio up to 91.8%. It’s a 25 megapixel unit and, around back, there’s a 48 megapixel 3D camera with “AI Ultra Clarity”. You can learn more about this tech below…

Powered by a Kirin 980 Octa-core CPU (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55), it has a 6.4″ 18:9 1080×2310 pixel screen (398ppi) and all the usual connectivity stuff (Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band WiFi, GPS, USB-C charging, NFC etc).

There’s a few versions of this with different memory / storage setups – an 8GB memory model with 256GB storage plus another model with either 6 or 8GB of RAM which has 128GB storage. No microSD slot though.

The Honor View20   Look closely. Notice something?

George Zhao, President of Honor, told us..

We are tremendously excited about the positive reception the HONOR View20 has received. It is a privilege to be recognised by our industry peers for our efforts in creating innovative products that deliver great value to consumers worldwide. This year HONOR will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in a flagship smartphone.

The phone looks set to be launched here in Europe on January 22nd, so keep a look out for further details.

The post The Honor View20 – Look closely. Notice something? is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Cycling glasses with a HUD. Meet Raptor.

Cycling glasses with a HUD. Meet Raptor.
Over the last few years I’ve become one of those Lycra-clad cyclists. It all started because I was basically getting out of breath running up the stairs and suddenly I figured, “Wait, that can’t be good”.

A few weeks later I’d got myself a cheap mountain bike and I started off cycling up and down the flat canal tow-paths, and it kinda progressed from there. Now I’m trying to keep the belly at bay by cycling to work a couple of times a week and at the weekend.

As you do this, you tend to try and compete with yourself by checking and beating your own times with Stava, however – if you want a real-time view of what’s happening, you usually have to strap a phone or other gadget to your bike so that you know how fast you’re going and how far you’ve gone.

Cycling glasses with a HUD. Meet Raptor.

Now, though, you can get some cool cycling glasses that’ll show you a head-up display with all that juicy information on. You can even get to see what all this will look like on their website here. There’s your speed, distance travelled, your heart rate and more.

They’re a bit pricey, costing between £649 and £699, but there’s a lot more to these shades than just a cool virtual dashboard. You can play music on the go, you can connect to your phone via Bluetooth for calls and other streaming audio services, plus you can take HD pictures or capture video of exactly what you’re looking at to share later.

Cycling glasses with a HUD. Meet Raptor.

The head up display also shows you how to get around with the aid of free navigation, it’ll capture and upload your rides to sides like Strava and it includes training programmes too.

It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410E CPU and runs Android 5.1.1. There’s 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of storage. Up front is a 13 megapixel camera and it’ll last for 8 hours of continuous use. There’s Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi connectivity for getting your footage – the whole thing weighs 98 grams.

Here’s a look at the glasses in action…

Get more information on their website.

The post Cycling glasses with a HUD. Meet Raptor. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Google Fi Adds RCS, 4G Roaming Overseas

Google’s Fi mobile service now supports RCS, the standards-based rich messaging standard. Also today, the company announced that Fi overseas roaming in 33 countries (mostly in Europe) will now take advantage of faster 4G networks. The RCS standard offers rich services like typing indicators, read receipts, and hi-res videos. Fi users can take advantage of RCS simply by using Google’s Messages as their default messaging app. Google Fi already offers data service — albeit at slower 3G speeds — in over 200 countries, with no special roaming charges.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

New Bluetooth Sticker Tags Powered by Ambient Radio Waves

A new design for Bluetooth LE tags removes the need for a battery and fits into a cheap, thin, stamp-size sticker, or can be embedded directly in consumer product packaging. A tiny ARM processor transmits an ecrypted ID code like other Bluetooth tracking tags, but is powered by a new antenna design that harvests power from ambient radio waves. It can also sense temperature and weight info, and transmit that data, as well, to nearby Bluetooth LE devices, including phones. The tags have been created and successfully demonstrated by Wiliot, which has secured $50 million in funding from eight major investors, including the investment arms of Samsung, Qualcomm, and Amazon. Wiliot expects manufacturers to embed its tag into products and product packaging, which consumers could interact with, both in stores and at home, to get additional product information on their phones, or track lost items.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Uni Moke – A classic electric bike with style

Uni Moke   A classic electric bike with style
It weighs 29kg and it looks a bit like a motorbike, but this is actually a new electric bike from Urban Drivestyle.

There’s a kickstand, a big 7″ headlight, hydraulic brakes and you get Shimano 7-speed gears. However, it’ll do up to 25km/h (around 15.53 mph) or more if you ask for the restrictor to be taken off. Range-wise, you’re looking at 50-60km depending on the conditions, how you ride it and how heavy you are. That’s between 31 and 37 miles and it’ll recharge in 3-4 hours.

An LCD display lets you adjust the speed, the pedal assist level and it’ll show you how many miles you’ve done and so on.

Now, Urban Drivestyle will be the second e-bike company I’ve emailed asking for a review unit loaner, so let’s see if we can borrow one 🙂 I can’t wait to test this thing out.

Until then (that’s if they agree), here’s a look at the bike in action…

In addition, the company sells cargo racks, trailers and all manner of funky accessories for your bike!

Uni Moke   A classic electric bike with style

Uni Moke   A classic electric bike with style

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A look at the first foldable smartphone – the FlexPai

A look at the first foldable smartphone   the FlexPai

With smartphones looking more and more similar by the day, there’s always a keen interest in anything that doesn’t look slate-shaped. However, making it fun, different, usable to actually something that people will want to buy is a whole new thing. This, then is hopefully where the Royole FlexPai comes in. It’s got a fully flexible display and flexible sensor tech, and was demonstrated at CES alongside a range of fashion wearables. These included a top hat and shirt. Also shown off was the RoWrite Smart Writing Pad, which lets the owner create, capture, store and share via a familiar notepad setup.

Royole has developed and produced a new generation of fully flexible displays which are thin, lightweight and bendable. You may remember how we saw some early bendable screens shown off in 2016 at Mobile World Congress, however they weren’t ready for the mass-market just then. Now Royole have got high-resolution, high-colour saturation screens rolling off their own production facility in Shenzhen, China.

A look at the first foldable smartphone   the FlexPai

Their new FlexPai smartphone can be used either folded or unfolded, which gives you the traditional smartphone portability but with the screen size of a tablet. The device can be bent freely from 0 to 180 degrees and supports more than 200,000 different “bends”.

With all that twisting and bending you might think that you could damage it, but they tell me that it can’t be cracked or easily scratched. Here they proved that to us 🙂

The device supports split-screen mode and multi-tasking when opened and adjusts screen sizes automatically. Ideal for watching video or getting a larger workspace.

It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series flagship SoC, and has a dual-camera setup (20 megapixel telephoto lens plus 16 megapixel wide-angle lens). A developer model of this phone is available to order globally now at www.royole.com/flexpai for £1,209. If you’re in China you can get the consumer model is available.

The screen is 7.8″ 1920×1440 (4:3) in expanded mode with a screen density of 308ppi. In addition to that Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (2.84GHz) octa-core chip, you also get either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage depending on the model. You can whack a microSD card in and it’ll do GPS, WiFi, 4G, Bluetooth and so on. It’s charge via USB-C and has a 3970mAh battery.

A look at the first foldable smartphone   the FlexPai

The post A look at the first foldable smartphone – the FlexPai is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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