Google Maps – Now with a speedometer

Google Maps   Now with a speedometer
I’m probably going to open up a whole can of worms here, but your car speedometer, some of the time, isn’t right. For the most part, it only needs to be accurate to within plus or minus 5 mph at 50 mph. Here in the UK the law is slightly different, allowing speedometers to be displaying a speed which 1-6 mph faster than your actual speed.

Due to the laws here and in other countries, most manufacturers seem to stay safe and calibrate speedometers to show a speed which is faster than you’re really going – by about 3-4 mph.

So, if you’ve ever had a TomTom or you’ve used a speedometer app on your phone, you’ll notice that sometimes it shows your doing 50mph but your speedo is show 53 or 54mph.

Then, of course, you have to work tyre sizes into the equation. If you’ve taken 16″ alloys off your car and put 18″ alloys on, your car is going to go a bit faster.

Google Maps   Now with a speedometer

Anyways… so, you’re in the average speed camera section on the motorway. You’re welded to 70mph, but are you really doing 70? Well, if you’re using Google Maps you can now show a speedometer. Sure, it’s been available in other apps for a bit, but I tend to default to Google Maps when I’m navigating anywhere.

To get the speedometer, head to Settings -> Navigation Settings. In there, if you scroll down, you’ll find “Speedometer”. This will tell you the speed as judged by those magical satellites and how fast your position is changing.

Google Maps   Now with a speedometer

Boom! Now you can compare speed.

The post Google Maps – Now with a speedometer is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

I’ve got a savings account. The other day I took a look at it and was pretty shocked at just how much money wasn’t there. The problem? Here in the UK our interest rates are really low. That’s great if you’re getting a loan or a mortgage, but not so great if you’re trying to save money.

Recently a whole load of apps have appeared to help you stash some cash. Most of these, like Moneybox, involve you putting money into investments.

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

Doing this really isn’t scary, but a lot of people think it is because “stocks and shares” is generally an unknown topic. However, it’s not that much different to your pension. That slowly gets bigger because the money you put in gets invested into stocks and shares. Sure, they very safe and secure investments, but they’re still stocks and shares.

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

To go further, you can also do trading on your smartphone, with stock trading on Android and forex trading on iPhone. It can, in all honesty, take a bit of time to learn, but there’s plenty of resources out on the web to help you with this. YouTube is also a good source of inspiration if you’re looking to find out how it all works.

Saving and earning money with your smartphone

Another little trick is to “round up” your change, and some payment apps now offer this. Those systems save the change by rounding up to the nearest pound. So, as an example, if you pay £2.70 for a coffee, 30p goes straight into your savings account or your investment fund. It’s these micro payments that will go a long way, so trying something like this will pay off quite quickly and usually without you noticing the “hit” too much.

Whatever you decide to do, even if it’s just a small savings pot, it’s really worth putting some money aside for the unexpected, and your smartphone can help you.

The post Saving and earning money with your smartphone is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Mario Kart – Android gameplay

Mario Kart has been a hugely popular and addictive game in our house. It’s available on the Nintendo Switch, but we’ve played it on the Wii U and the original Wii back in the day too.

For everyone else though, it’s not readily available. You can’t get it on your smartphone for example. However, that’s going to change because, right now, they’re doing an Android beta test in Japan.

Mario Kart   Android gameplay

This has given us a first look at the game, with the game looking pretty similar in terms of graphics, characters and sound effects. Where things change, however, is with the gameplay. The kart is powered automatically and just needs you to drag left or right to steer. No acceleration or braking needed.

Where things might get sticky is with the in-game loot boxes. In some countries, in-game revenue models cause them to be classed as “gambling” due to the fact that you can pay for a random selection of premium items. Due to the rewards flexing, it’s like playing at a casino. Most players will realise that, if they want to learn all about casinos, it’s best to go SmartCasinoGuide.com, the authorities in countries like Belgium see things slightly differently.

This first appeared in games like Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing, where you pay until you’re lucky enough to get a rare item you’re after. The rewards aren’t guaranteed in these games, so it’s perhaps best to learn more about betting with sites like SmartBettingGuide.com. In these games, there’s fairly low odds on achieving the top-tier items, which reaulted in Nintendo of Belgium announcing the following on their website..

Due to the current unclear situation in Belgium regarding certain in-game revenue models, we have decided to end the service for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes in Belgium. It will therefore no longer be possible to play and download the games from Tuesday 27th August 2019.

Currently, the rules in Belgium haven’t been applied elsewhere, but there’s nothing to say that other countries won’t follow suit. The new Mario Kart Tour Android app might need a bit of a re-think if they’re going to get around this. The monetisation system isn’t known as yet, but it’s expected to be free-to-play with in-app purchases funding it.

The post Mario Kart – Android gameplay is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Vodafone 5G – Mobile gaming on test

The new, faster 5G network will, when combined with connected gaming, create a whole new world of mobile games.

Vodafone have tested their 5G network in Birmingham with Gaming Expert, “Syndicate” and has been checking out some of the cloud-based games from Hatch.

Vodafone 5G   Mobile gaming on test

The new, faster 5G network means that you can get everything done in far less time. This includes everything from gaming to social media and browsing websites. You can now have more time to research your family history or check public records. I’m quite into this, and you can check this honest beenverified review, which shows just how easy it is to get past and current addresses, criminal histories, phone numbers and other related data into one simple report. I’ve used it recently and it’s also a great way to see what information is on file for you or a business you might run. If you’re looking for someone else, don’t worry, all searches are completely anonymous.

Meanwhile, back in Birmingham, Tom Cassell, aka Syndicate tested some 5G-powered games as they were streamed live via the new Vodafone network. It’s all about zero lag and responsiveness, and with the UK Gaming industry worth £3.86 billion, it’s a really big and important sector which is going to grow with the faster tech.

5G provides gamers with a low latency connection, meaning they will have a much smoother and more responsive gaming experience with no lag, buffering or dropouts. A bigger network capacity means that the “Hatch” gaming platform can operate without interupttion.

YouTuber Tom Cassell stated…

5G is completely changing the landscape when it comes to gaming on the go. (Games are) easier to play(including) higher intensity online games such as Fortnite.

Mobile gaming has increased at least 10% year on year for the last 10 years.

The post Vodafone 5G – Mobile gaming on test is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Hands On with Anker's tiny new USB-C fast chargers

Anker continues to crank out a steady stream of universal chargers, batteries, and similar accessories that are at the leading edge of functionality and small form factors. Their latest PowerPort chargers offer high-power USB-C charging in tiny packages, now with flip plugs for even more portability. They’re compatible with all Android fast charging techs, as well as iPhone, via Anker’s Apple-certified USB-C-to-Lightning cable. We checked them out in person.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Launches on Sprint June 21

Sprint will offer its second 5G phone — the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G — on June 21 for $1,300. Sprint is offering a $250 discount for customers who pre-order, which is available starting today. Customers choosing a Sprint Flex Lease will pay $40.28 per month after the $13.89/month credit from the $250 discount. The phone is available only in markets where Sprint has launched its 5G network, which currently includes Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City. 5G markets launching “in the coming weeks” are Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. The S10 5G joins the LG V50 in Sprint’s 5G phone lineup. Sprint also launched the new, mid-range Samsung Galaxy A50 today.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Nokia 1 Plus – Overview and video

Nokia 1 Plus   Overview and video
A smartphone that costs just £69.99? There’s got to be some shortcomings, right?

Well yes. Of course. You’re not going to get a Ferrari when you’re paying Ford Fiesta money, but the Nokia 1 Plus is a great first step for those who are just starting out in the smartphone world.

Nokia 1 Plus   Overview and video

It’s powered by Android 9 (Go Edition) and comes with a quad-core 1.5GHz Mediatek CPU. The memory is kinda tight – just 1GB, and there’s only 8GB of storage, so you’re going to need a microSD card if you want to store lots of images and videos on here.

Nokia 1 Plus   Overview and video

Around back, an 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with an LED flash. It’s not going to win any photography awards but, again, it’s £69.99. Up front, a 5 megapixel selfie shooter sits above the 18:9 5.45″ 854×480 FWVGA+ screen, which has a 197 PPI.

Nokia 1 Plus   Overview and video

Specs include GPS and a 3.5mm audio jack plus FM radio, GPS and Bluetooth 4.2. It also has 2.4Ghz WiFi. No NFC though.

Nokia 1 Plus   Overview and video

This comes from a slightly different world. A world of removable batteries, 2500mAh batteries and microUSB charging ports. But it’s cheap and we’ll be giving it a full test over the next few days.

Nokia 1 Plus   Overview and video

While that happens, here’s the overview video…

The post Nokia 1 Plus – Overview and video is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker – Review

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

Given the delightful summer we’re having this year, testing this one has been somewhat tricky. It doubles as a garden / outdoor speaker and has a detachable stake which lets you plonk it into the ground. It’s ideal for the beach, a garden party, a barbeque or on a camping trip. Plus, to add to the fun, you can actually connect more Diggit XL speakers to this one and create a full-on outdoor party with more than 100 Diggit XL speakers operating together for a wider sound coverage.

The video!

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

We’ve only got the one on review though, so we’ll just use that.

Just on that point.. imagine that you do have 100 of these connected together in your (huge) garden. That’s going to be a charging nightmare, surely?! 🙂

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

First impressions are very good, and I’m now getting familiar with the KitSound build quality. It’s a tube-shaped device weighing in at 614 grams. It’s also IP 66 waterproof, which means that it’ll be fine in a dusty environment and also with water jets being blasted at it. It’ll be fine in the rain, but not fine if you chuck it in a pool.

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

The top and bottom have a wooden finish which isn’t actually wood at all. It’s more of a soft-touch rubber. The upper section has, behind a waterproof flap, the microUSB charge point and a 3.5mm audio input.

Up top, four solid rubber buttons with heavy, clear identifying symbols. They’re also easy to locate if you have an evening barbeque thanks to LED back-lighting, which also goes around the top and bottom edging, meaning that they’re easy to find in your garden at night.

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

The silver meshing is a nice touch and the sound comes out from all angles, so you don’t need to be overly concerned with which way the speaker is pointing.

Charging, via the microUSB port, takes around 4 hours. Then you’re good for a full 24 hours of music depending on how loud you have the speaker. You can stick it into the ground via the removable stake, but you need to ensure that the stake is placed in the ground first before plonking the speaker itself on top. Push the speaker down onto the stake can cause issues.

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

Pairing is simply a matter of long-pressing the “multi function button” (MFB) – which is basically the power button. The LED indicator will flash white slowly and then you can pair it with your phone and fire music at it from up to 30 metres away. Other devices can be paired by double-tapping that button and you can also use the “multi-pair” button (which looks a bit like a WiFi symbol) to add additional speakers.

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

The volume buttons, when “long-pressed”, act as a track changer control, skipping forward or backward. You can also play and pause with that multi-function button.

Sound quality, well, it’s definitely got enough “oomph” to play in your garden, but there’s a lack of really deep bass and it gives a more “middle range” sound. This is despite the fact that there’s dual passive radiators.

KitSound Diggit XL Speaker   Review

The speaker also has 2 x 45 mm drivers and all of this means that you get quite a encompassing and surround-sound, rather than a meaty hard-hitting bass-filled one.

Overall

Available for £79.99 from the KitSound website, or from Amazon, I’ve no doubt that it’s louder than the existing Diggit, but it is double the price. When I tried it in the garden I found that the one speaker was very loud and could easily fill the space with a powerful sound. The battery life was fantastic and the look of it is certainly very appealing. It’s well designed and, despite the lack of really hefty bass, has a good all-round sound quality with simple controls, real-weather protection and great build quality.

The post KitSound Diggit XL Speaker – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

DAB in the UK. Quantity, not quality.

We have, for quite some time, covered a lot of the new and interesting ways to enjoy music and other types of media. Over the years we’ve featured the start of internet radio, streaming internet radio in the car and even the Virgin Mobile Lobster TV phone. Remember that? It actually used DAB. Yes, DAB. The Lobster 700 could get you 5 TV channels over the data capacity on DAB, and it was doing this way back in 2006.

DAB in the UK. Quantity, not quality.

So DAB should, by now, have knocked FM into touch. We should be living in a world of crystal-clear DAB with a wider choice of stations. However, what we’ve ended up with is a big choice of very low-quality audio streams.

If you’ve got your geek hat on, you can read my article about the mediocre, sometimes mono DAB stations that you can receive here in the UK.

Basically digital radio is just that – digital. You effectively listen to a stream, just like you do over the internet or through an app on your phone. Your favourite station will probably be wanting you to download an app for you to listen to them on. It effectively wraps their audio stream, which is fed over your 4G data connection, and adds a load of additional “helpful” content about the station. However, rather bizarrely, you’ll probably be getting a better quality stream this way than you can on DAB.

 

Bit-rates and audio quality

I might blind you with science in a minute, so let’s talk about bit-rates and explain what they are.

Generally, the higher the bit-rate, the better the audio quality. Popular streaming websites like Spotify and Pandora typically use a bit-rate of 160 kbps, which is less than that of MP3s. If you upgrade to Spotify Premium, you get 320 kbps tracks, which is equivalent to MP3s.

Back in the day we used to use something called a “CD” (remember them?!). The bit-rate on a CD is 1,411 kbps. Yeah, I know. CD wins, by a long way.

 

What this means for you..

As an example, Jazz FM (which is called that but broadcasts on DAB too) has a 112kbps stream on TuneIn. You can also get higher quality internet streams if you want or, for the full beans, perhaps use your Sky TV box on channel 0202 and get it fed down from the Astra satellites up in space.

DAB in the UK. Quantity, not quality.

However, if you want to listen to Jazz FM on your swish DAB radio, or in your car on DAB, you’re going to get a relatively rubbish 32kbps stream, encoded via AAC.

DAB in the UK. Quantity, not quality.

A 32kbps stream? When there’s a 320kbps stream on the internet?

Why?

Well, stations here in the UK are now mostly owned by just a few big media companies. Global, as an example, runs Capital, Heart, Classic FM, Smooth, LBC and Radio X to name just a few. There’s also Bauer Radio running Absolute, Heat, Kiss and so on. You’ll also find the Wireless Group, who run Talksport and Virgin Radio.

We’ve got the choice, even if it is via a few big media companies, but the margins and costs just aren’t stacking up. On FM you have to try to please as many people as possible. That results in a lot of stations that sound pretty similar. They’re expensive to run, so you have to maximise the advertising by appealing to a broad church.

If a radio station isn’t going to pay for itself, it just can’t carry on running. So, with DAB, paying for a relatively expensive, high bit-rate, high-bandwidth transmission across the whole of the UK has to be squared off against your advertising revenue.

Most of the time, that can’t be done. There’s not quite enough people listening to DAB and those that are chose to switch to it for that increase in choice. They don’t want that generic “Bob and Sue in the mornings” or “The big drive home with Zak”. They want something different – oldies, dance, talk, rock, sport and so on. All of this has resulted in a large amount of cheaper DAB stations appearing. Some without DJs, some without many adverts and most with either a low-quality audio feed or mono broadcasting.

DAB in the UK. Quantity, not quality.

That bugged me, especially when you consider the other selling point of DAB.

In addition to the choice, the relatively expensive DAB equipment is sold on how “superior” the sound is meant to be. It’s what spurred me into writing this earlier article, because a lot of people just aren’t aware that it just isn’t that way at all. I mean sure, if you’re comparing it to those MW stations that have traditionally offered extra and alternative categories of stations, then yes – it is clearer, but it’s not as good as it could be and it’s not as wonderful as the marketing makes out.

It’s almost like we’ve gone backwards in a way, especially as there was such huge fanfare when stations used to promote the high-grade audio and stereo part of their FM transmissions back in the 1980’s.

Now? Well, now we’re all using Bluetooth speakers or listening to music through the external speakers on our phones. It means that the rather inefficient MP2 encoding format that DAB traditionally used is being dropped to a lower and lower quality in order for more stations to appear. It’s being dropped lower than was ever intended or even recommended by the early DAB pioneers. Sure, a new (and more efficient) encoding method has come onto the scene now, but again – the bit-rate is being dropped to reduce the “cost of entry” for radio stations.

So that all brings me onto this. On YouTube there’s a rather excellent channel called Techmoan which I heartily recommend. A guy called Mat does some properly in-depth tech videos, covering the inner workings of old radios, dash cams, tape recorders, TVs, Laserdiscs, cameras and everything in-between. It’s a brilliant channel and he’s filmed a very informative video which puts a lot of my earlier waffle into a very slick presentation.

In the video below Mat is showing off a DAB radio he’s purchased, but at around 8 minutes 30 (it should start at that point below) he explains all about the problems we have with DAB here in the UK..

The post DAB in the UK. Quantity, not quality. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Xiaomi ROIDMI NEX Incoming. More suck. Added mop!

Last year we reviewed the rather cool ROIDMI cordless vacuum cleaner. We did it in two parts, here and here.

Put simply, it’s a high-powered lightweight vacuum (available on Amazon UK and Amazon US) with a 2500mAH battery, multiple attachments and Bluetooth connectivity. You can use it as a normal vacuum to do carpets, or as a hand-held to clean your car etc.

Now they’re working on an upgraded version.

Xiaomi ROIDMI NEX Incoming. More suck. Added mop!

Quick history lesson for you though, because this comes from Xiaomi. Those are the guys who make the Mi handsets which were launched in London last year.

This side of the Xiaomi operation is called “ROIDMI”, and following the ROIDMI F8 we reviewed, they have a new handheld cordless cleaner which is a vacuum and mop in one. Called the NEX, you can see it in the flesh below…

This one has a 145 watt motor and is quieter, with up to 60 minutes of suction per charge. It’ll clean your carpets and mop your wooden or tiled floors, plus the improved air flow tunnel system generates a stronger suction.

Xiaomi ROIDMI NEX Incoming. More suck. Added mop!

Charged and stored via a magnetic wireless charger, there’s a replaceable battery and double filters offering 6 layers of filtration. It comes with an anti-mite brush for hygienic cleaning, LED sensors and an app so you know what the vacuum is doing.

Currently they’re prepping for the Indiegogo crowdfunding, but you can get more information on nex.roidmi.com.

The post Xiaomi ROIDMI NEX Incoming. More suck. Added mop! is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News