Facebook Intros A Dedicated Video Platform Called 'Watch'

Facebook hopes its new platform will entice people to consume more video content through Facebook. Facebook Watch is a place for episodic shows that will be available on mobile, on PCs, and in Facebook’s TV apps. Facebook says the service is personalized to help people find new content, sometimes based on what users’ friends and communities watch. People will be able to leave comments on shows in order to connect with friends and others. Shows may offer dedicated Facebook Groups for more in-depth discussions. Facebook says Watch is a platform for creators and publishers seeking to find dedicated audiences, similar to the way YouTube stars have created their own niches. The company has high hopes that creators will put together daily episodes, live shows/events, and even shows that follow a narrative arc. The company has funded a small collection of original programming in order to get Watch on its feet. Facebook will be testing Watch with a limited number of people in the U.S. first. The social network expects to roll it out to wider audiences over time.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Moto Gamepad Mod Hits Verizon Aug. 25 for $80

Verizon Wireless recently provided details on the availability and cost of the Moto Gamepad Mod for the Z2 Play and Z2 Force smartphones. The Gamepad, available for preorder via Verizon’s web site, will ship by August 25. Verizon said the Gamepad will be available online and in stores. The phone snaps in magnetically via the Mod connector. The pad features a standard set of gaming buttons and joysticks positioned on either side of the screen, in addition to a 3.5mm headset jack and USB-C port for charging. The Gamepad includes its own 1.035mAh battery, so it won’t suck juice from the phone and in fact can provide the Z handset with up to 8 hours of gaming time. The Gamepad will cost gaming enthusiasts $79.99. The Moto Gamepad Mod is a Verizon exclusive, as is the new JBL SoundBoost 2 speaker Mod.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

LG V30 to Feature Camera with F/1.6 Lens Made of Crystal

LG’s forthcoming V30 flagship will be the first to make use of an f/1.6 aperture camera, according to the company. LG says the device will include several camera innovations to improve its photography and videography performance. The f/1.6 lens in a significant start, as it allows 25% more light to reach the sensor when compared to an f/1.8 lens. This will dramatically help with low-light photography. Further, LG is adopting what it calls a Crystal Clear Lens that’s made of glass, rather than plastic. The glass permits more light to travel through it, while also allowing for better color reproduction. Like the V20, G5, and G6, the V30 will have a dual camera array with one wide-angle lens and one standard-angle lens. LG said it was able to cut down on edge distortion by 33% in the V30’s wide-angle camera when compared to the V20. Last, the V30 camera module is 30% smaller than that of the V20 while still including optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, and electronic image stabilization. Together, all these advancements will make the V30 a better photography device than the V20. LG has already said the V30 will adopt a curved, plastic OLED FullVision display with a 2:1 aspect ratio and minimal bezels. LG is expected to reveal the V30 in full at an event scheduled on August 31 at the IFA trade show in Berlin.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Review: Coolpad Defiant for T-Mobile

Coolpad’s low-cost Defiant is an entry-level device sold by T-Mobile. Some aspects of this Android handset are great, but it is held back by some egregious missteps. Here is Phone Scoop’s in-depth report about Coolpad’s not-so-cool Defiant.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Facebook Offs Its Lifestage and Groups Apps

Facebook this week has done away with two separate apps, Lifestage and Groups. The Lifestage app, launched less than 12 months ago, was aimed at teens. Facebook hoped it would gain usage among Snapchat fans, but it never truly took off. The Groups app was available to Android and iOS devices and was meant to help manage group activities. Facebook decided, after digesting user feedback about that app, that it simply wasn’t a good stand-alone offering. Facebook says registered users will no longer be able to log into their app starting September 1. Facebook is encouraging Groups users to take advantage of the same tools, which are baked into the full Facebook mobile app.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Essential Moves Closer to Phone Debut, But Still No Date

Essential Products says it will reveal the launch date of its PH-1 smartphone within one week, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company first said the phone would launch within 30 days of its initial debut, which took place back in May. When the phone hadn’t appeared by mid July, CEO Andy Rubin said the Essential Phone would arrive “in a few weeks.” That time frame has come and gone and there’s still no firm release date for the phone. Beyond the launch date, Essential confirmed to the Journal that the phone will be sold by Amazon.com and Best Buy in the U.S. in addition to Sprint, which is the only U.S. carrier that has agreed to distribute the phone. The Essential PH-1 has a bezelless design, a magnetic mod system, dual cameras, and a Snapdragon 835 processor. It is priced at $699.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Disney Will Launch Its Own Streaming Services for Movies, Live Sports

With new streaming services in the works, Disney is trying to set itself up for a future that’s largely been framed by Netflix: Providing the stuff you want to watch, when you want to watch it.

The Magic Kingdom is launching its own streaming service for its central Disney and Pixar brands and another for live sports. That would allow it to bypass the cable companies it relies on — and Netflix — to charge consumers directly for access to its popular movies and sporting events.

“They’re bringing the future forward. What they talked about were things that looked inevitable, at some point,” said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Weiser. What’s less clear is if Disney will be able to make big bucks from it, he said.

This is important as the decline in cable households and the shift to smaller, cheaper bundles pressures the profitability of Disney’s cable networks. Fewer subscribers and fewer viewers mean less money. In the nine months through July 1, cable networks’ operating income fell 13 percent from the year before, to $4.12 billion.

Kid Stuff

Starting in 2019, the only subscription streaming service with new animated and live-action Disney and Pixar movies will be the Magic Kingdom’s own app. That will include “Toy Story 4” and the sequel to the huge hit “Frozen.” Older movies will be there too, as well as shows from the TV channels Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD, and original TV and films. That could be hugely attractive for families with young children in the U.S.

Disney is ending an exclusive earlier movie deal with Netflix, and the streaming giant’s shares tumbled in after-hours trading. Netflix today has grown into an entertainment juggernaut in its own right, however, as it focuses more on its own exclusive programming.

Netflix already seemed to be bracing for the…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Foxconn Plant: Are Tax Incentives Worth It to Wisconsin?

It would take at least 25 years for Wisconsin taxpayers to break even on Gov. Scott Walker’s incentives to lure Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to the state, according to a fiscal analysis released Tuesday.

Walker’s bill would exempt construction materials from the state and local sales tax and hand the company up to $2.85 billion in tax credits based on the number on the number of jobs generated. It also would exempt the company from a host of environmental regulations and borrow $252 million to rebuild Interstate 94 near the plant site.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of the bill found that Walker’s administration found the cost of the tax credits would exceed potential increased tax revenues by $1.04 billion at the end of fiscal year 2032-33. After that year, payments to Foxconn would end and increased tax collections would ring in at about $115 million annually. At that rate, the break-even point would come during the 2042-43 fiscal year.

The break-even point could come even later, though.

— Foxconn hasn’t picked a site yet but the company is eyeing an area just across the Illinois border. If 10 percent of the jobs associated with the plant go to Illinois residents, the break-even point would be pushed back to 2044-45, the analysis found. If 40 percent to 50 percent of the jobs go to out-of-state residents, the break-even point would be pushed well past 2044-45, the analysis said.

Foxconn hopes to open the plant with 3,000 workers. Critics have questioned whether the company really intends to add more employees. If the facility employs closer to 3,000 people, the tax benefits from the project would decline from $115 million to $27 million annually and the break-even point would come well beyond 2044-45.

What’s more, borrowing for the interstate rebuild would leave the state on the hook…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Register and check callers via the Telephone Preference Service

A lot of smartphones now come equipped with a blocking system to let you stop unwanted calls from repeatedly bothering you. On the HTC U11 I’m testing now, you can see that in action below..

Register and check callers via the Telephone Preference Service

However, in the UK we have something called the “Telephone Preference Service”, or TPS, which all cold-callers supposedly need to register with before they start calling you. If you, as a consumer, are on the TPS database, you shouldn’t receive calls from those companies.

Register and check callers via the Telephone Preference Service

Now there’s an app called TPS Protect which gives you an easier way to integrate your phone into this database – allowing the registration of your mobile number to the “do not call” list and the direct reporting of numbers that are bothering you. So, instead of just blocking, you can report and stop them hassling others via a “Trust Score”.

Register and check callers via the Telephone Preference Service
Register and check callers via the Telephone Preference Service

Although the app is free and will let you see the “Trust Score” for incoming calls and file complaints, you need to pay 99p per month for the blocking of calls. That seems a bit nuts being as a lot of smartphones will block calls by default once you’ve added them to your block list, but there we go.

Full press release below.

New TPS Protect app launches to help put an end to nuisance calls

TPS Protect allows consumers to see if incoming calls might be a nuisance or scam caller,
helping consumers decide if they want to answer

9 August 2017 – Today the DMA launches TPS Protect, a new app to help consumers avoid nuisance and scam calls. Developed in partnership with First Orion, the app offers an easier way for consumers to avoid unwanted calls, register their mobile number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and quickly register complaints about nuisance or scam calls. Available on Android and Apple handsets, users can benefit from the app as soon as it’s downloaded, completely free. New users will also receive a free 60 day trial of the additional paid-for features available.

By using TPS Protect, users can both protect themselves and help others avoid nuisance or scam calls. The app is powered by its users, with every nuisance and scam call that is blocked, reported or complained about in the app helping to determine the Trust Score for that number. This means that every user’s feedback helps TPS Protect to work better for all its users.

As part of the app’s sign-up process users can ensure their mobile number is registered with the TPS, the official central opt-out register on which consumers can record their preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations – including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties – do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.

Consumers will always be able to see the Trust Score for incoming calls, look-up, report and file complaints for nuisance or scam call numbers. For an additional 99p per month, once their free trial expires, users can effectively block any unwanted calls by diverting them direct to voicemail, with greater call filtering customisation, and the ability to create a custom Approved List and Blocked List.

Users can add numbers to their personal Blocked List to ensure they no longer receive unwanted calls, as well as using the Approved List for those calls they never want to miss. Custom Settings allow users to tailor the types of call they are happy to receive, for example blocking the majority of unwanted calls by setting your Trust Score to 5, but still receiving calls from specific groups, such as ‘Charities’.

John Mitchison, Head of Preference services, compliance and legal at the DMA, said: “When it comes to scam and nuisance callers, don’t fight a lone battle. Stand up. Join the growing movement of people fighting back. TPS Protect is an app for your phone that rates incoming calls using information from consumers. Each rating helps callers decide how trusted an unfamiliar call could be, from scammers with criminal intentions to someone you can trust. When scam calls get reported, their trust score drops. So your voice matters.”

Robert Baker, European MD at First Orion: “Unlike other call blocking apps, TPS Protect does not access your phone contacts and never will. We respect and value customer privacy. We’ve launched the app today with data we have collected over several months of testing and the protection will get better for every person that downloads and uses the app. So we encourage people to join the movement and share the news with their family and friends, as the more people use TPS Protect the more we all benefit.”

What’s a Trust Score?

The TPS Protect app’s Trust Score is an indicator created to help users work out who is calling and whether they should pick up or not. The information provided by users helps TPS Protect to better understand whether callers are legitimate businesses, nuisance callers or scammers, allocating an appropriate score according to all the information available. Once enabled on their phone, users can immediately start to see the Trust Score for any incoming call, enabling them to decide whether they want to pick up or not.

Users are able to set their Trust Score from 1 to 5, enabling them to control the overall level of protection they receive. A score of 5 is the highest level of protection, sending all telemarketing and scam calls to voicemail that have a trust score lower than 5, only allowing telemarketers that have received very few complaints and your approved list to ring your phone. A score of 3 will allow calls from most call centres, sending to voicemail those with a score of 1 and 2 which indicates many customer complaints. A score of 1 will allow all calls, including those from suspected scammers.

– ENDS –

For further information contact the DMA Press Office:

Tim Bond, Head of PR & Insight Ed Owen, PR & Content Manager

T: 020 7291 3328 T: 020 7291 3324

E: tim.bond@dma.org.uk E: ed.owen@dma.org.uk

About TPS Protect

TPS Protect is an app developed by the DMA in partnership with First Orion. The app is available for free to Apple (iOS 10.1 or above) and Android (4.4 and above) devices, including a free 60 day trial of additional features for new users. For an additional 99p per month, users can effectively block any unwanted calls by diverting them direct to voicemail, utilise greater call filtering customisation, and have the ability to create a custom approve and block list.

The post Register and check callers via the Telephone Preference Service is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


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  • In Boon to Cricket Customers, Google Home Gains Deezer Music Streaming Service

    Deezer this week said its music streaming service will soon be available for streaming on the Google Home smart speaker. Deezer competes with Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited. It offers some 43 million songs, personalized playlists, and recommendations. Deezer subscribers can simply say, “Ok Google, play Deezer” to get going. The service supports skipping tracks, finding song/artist names, and more. Deezer said its music service will go live on Google Home in France and Germany this week, with the U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia coming soon. The addition of Deezer to Google Home benefits Cricket Wireless customers. Cricket preinstalls Deezer on many of its handsets and offers discounted service plans to Cricket subscribers. According to Cricket and Deezer, the music service is popular with their U.S. customers.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News