Samsung Makes the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 Available Unlocked

Samsung today added the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 to its list of unlocked smartphones. The two inexpensive handsets will be available to purchase directly from Samsung’s web site as well as select retailers starting July 28. The J7 (pictured) is the larger, costlier of the two with a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen and $220 price tag. It also has a 3,300mAh battery, 8-megapixel main camera, and 5-megapixel front camera with flash. The smaller J3 has a 5-inch 720p HD display and a $150 price point. The J3 also has a 2,600mAh battery, 5-megapixel main camera, and 2-megapixel front camera. Both phones support expandable memory cards, support U.S. 3G/4G networks, and run Android 7 Nougat. They have been available from several U.S. carriers (AT&T/Cricket, T-Mobile/MetroPCS) for several months.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Drops Android O Release Candidate

Google today made Android O Developer Preview 4 available to application developers and said this is the final preview before Google releases Android O to consumers later this year. This build contains the final user interface system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and optimizations, and the final set of APIs. Google says along with the penultimate version of Android O, it is offering developers the stable version of the Android 26.0.0 Support Library along with incremental updates to the SDK, Android Emulator, and other developer tools. Among the new tools is a way for developers to test their applications for Android O preparedness. Those who have enrolled their devices in the Android Beta Program should receive Developer Preview 4 over the air in the next few days. Google has already made the system images available for those who prefer to manually install updates. This new preview can be installed on the Nexus 6p and 5x, Pixel, Pixel XL, and Pixel C, and the Nexus Player. Some of the core features of Android O include picture-in-picture, notification dots, widget picker, new emoji, and revamped settings tools. Google said the final version is expected to arrive later this summer. Google still has not revealed what dessert the “O” will be.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Creepy or Convenient? Tech Firm To Implant Microchips in Employees

A Wisconsin company wants to surgically implant microchips in its employees to make it easier to buy snacks in the break room.

“It’s the next thing that’s inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it,” said Todd Westby, the CEO of River Falls, Wisc.-based Three Square Market, a company that supplies technology for micro markets and company break rooms, according to KSTP.

Westby said the implanted microchip makes it easier for people to pay for items at work. Instead of looking for coins, cash or a credit card, they would only need to place their hand in front of a scanner and electronically pay for their item.

The microchip would have other uses, as well, like serving as an electronic key to open doors and identify the user to login at a computer.

Three Square Markey is planning to sell the technology to other companies and has partnered with a Swedish firm, BioHax International, to make the chip, which uses Radio-Frequency Identification to electronically identify stored information and near-field communication, the same type of technology used to pay for items with mobile phone scans.

“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals,” Westby said in a company statement. “Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.”

Approximately 50 Three Square Market employees have volunteered to have the microchip inserted. Westby said it is not mandatory.

Three Square Market claims to be the first U.S. company to put microchips in its employees. But in Sweden, the technology has been used since at least…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Grab Pumps Up War Chest in Fight for Car-Share Dominance

The taxi app Grab has been given an additional $2 billion in financing, revealing the intense competition among car services in Asia that have forced companies like Uber to take a back seat to rivals with extremely deep-pockets.

The latest round of funding comes from Japan’s Softbank and China’s top ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing. Grab said Monday that it expects another $500 million will come from other existing and new investors. Its last announced cash injection was in September when it raised $750 million led by Softbank, whose chief executive Masayoshi Son is Japan’s richest person and a self-styled tech visionary.

Grab is vying to dominate the market for car and motorbike hailing in Southeast Asia, where it competes with traditional taxis and rival apps such as Uber.

In Indonesia, the region’s biggest economy and most populous country with more than 250 million people, it’s in a fierce battle for customers with local app Go-Jek.

Uber lost a pricey expensive fight for control of the market in China against Didi Chuxing, forced to accept a stake in Didi as a consolation prize.

As of yet, however, none of the apps, including Grab, are profitable. Didi Chuxing itself raised $7.3 billion in June last year.

Anthony Tan, the Malaysian co-founder of Grab and its chief executive, said the support from Softbank and Didi would help Grab build an “unassailable market lead” and also expand GrabPay, its mobile payments business.

The ride-hailing apps are popular with residents of congested Southeast Asian cities, who aside from using them for rides also find them convenient for fetching takeaway food, delivering documents and other tasks.

But they have also faced opposition, with Thailand’s government trying to limit their use and taxi drivers in the Indonesian capital Jakarta staging a violent protest last year that snarled traffic for hours.

Source: Mobile Tech Today

Mobile Mishap: Pokemon Go Fest Ends in Connectivity Disaster

The first ever, official Pokémon Go Fest collapsed into chaos on Saturday, after attendees who had queued for hours for the chance to catch Legendary Pokémon Lugia found the game almost unplayable due to overloaded mobile phone networks.

Developer Niantic has apologized to fans, offering a full refund on the $20 ticket, $100 worth of in-game Pokécoins, and giving a Lugia to all registered attendees, but the event still casts a shadow over what was supposed to be a very public celebration of the game’s first anniversary.

Taking place in Chicago’s Grant Park, Pokémon Go Fest featured real-world amenities like photo opportunities with Pokémon and talks from Niantic employees. But the big draw was supposed to be in the virtual world: challenges for the three Pokémon Go teams — Valor, Mystic and Instinct — a medal for visitors and a plethora of rare Pokémon in the area, in addition to the chance to be among the first in the world to capture the first of the new legendary Pokémon to come to the game called Lugia.

But trouble started almost immediately. From 6am on the day — four hours before the event was due to start — players were complaining they were unable to log in, as the concentration of high-bandwidth connections swamped, then collapsed, mobile networks in the area.

By 2pm, Niantic had acknowledged the issue, though not in time to prevent its chief executive being booed as he took to the stage, to chants from the audience of “We Can’t Play!”

“This is not the day that we had all envisioned, but we appreciate your patience,” chief marketing officer Mike Quigley told the crowd shortly after.

The company also extended the radius of the area containing the rare Pokémon, to encompass a two mile space outside Grant Park for the 24 hours of…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Alexa, can you be my new squeeze?

Alexa, can you be my new squeeze?

If you’re used to talking to someone called “Alexa” in your kitchen, then you might also be talking to her on the move too. A new update for HTC U11 owners, provided you’ve got the latest software, means that the Alexa voice assistant can now sit inside your phone too.

Alexa, can you be my new squeeze?

As with other apps, it can tell you what the weather is going to be like and what time the sun will set, but if you hook it into one of the 15,000-odd “Skills”, you can do a whole lot more.

Those with clever Nest thermostats or internet-connected lights can have them controlled by just saying, “Alexa, turn the heating down” or, “Alexa, can you dim the lights” etc. A whole lot more is available via the Amazon Alexa Skills Store, including a Skill that’ll help you when you’re bored.

Alexa, can you be my new squeeze?

Plus, as we mentioned in our HTC U11 review, you can activate Alexa by giving your phone a little squeeze. It’s good to see, and the intelligence and usefulness of this system continues to grow as more Skills are added.

The only minor thing I’ve noticed is that the Alexa logo looks a little similar to the existing HTC Sense Companion logo…

Alexa, can you be my new squeeze?

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    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

  • T-Mobile Offering Scam Protection to MetroPCS Subscribers

    T-Mobile today said it is extending the same scam-stopping tool its postpaid customers have enjoyed since April to its prepaid MetroPCS customers beginning July 25. T-Mobile introduced the network-based tool earlier this year to help identify and block potential scam calls. T-Mobile uses it to analyze every call that reaches the T-Mobile network against a global database of known scammers. If the number matches that of a scammer, T-Mobile will identify the call as a potential scam when it rings the subscriber’s phone. Subscribers can then choose to ignore the call. This feature is called Scam ID and will be activated for all MetroPCS customers automatically. T-Mobile is also offering the ability for MetroPCS customers to block scam calls entirely. Subscribing to the Scam Block tool will prevent suspected scam calls from ringing even MetroPCS phones. T-Mobile says it has learned a lot about scammers since activating the tool earlier this year. For example, many scammers place calls during regular business hours between 8am and 5pm. T-Mobile updates its database of known and suspected scammers constantly and says alerting customers to scam calls helps prevent fraud. Both Scam ID and Scam Block are free. T-Mobile originally said Scam ID and Scam Block would reach MetroPCS customers during the spring.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    How Best Buy Avoided Becoming Another Retail Casualty

    Five years ago Best Buy Co. looked like a retail dinosaur, another victim of e-commerce juggernaut Amazon.com and other online sellers. The big-box electronics chain was suffering dwindling sales and profits due in good part to “showrooming,” when shoppers would come in to a Best Buy store to check out televisions, computers and other items in person, and then buy them at cheaper prices at Amazon or elsewhere online.

    Best Buy also was struggling with executive turmoil and facing a buyout threat from a major stockholder. The chain in 2012 named a new chief executive, Hubert Joly, but the Frenchman came from the hospitality field and had no retail experience.

    His appointment stunned analysts, with one saying that fixing Best Buy was “a herculean task even for an accomplished retail executive.”

    But Joly has proved up to the task so far. Under his turnaround plan, Best Buy has rebounded to remain one major U.S. retailer that’s holding its own in the face of Amazon’s relentless growth and the conventional retail industry’s slump.

    Best Buy “came out the other side successfully to defend itself against Amazon,” said Peter Keith, an analyst with the investment firm Piper Jaffray & Co.

    As more consumers shift to online shopping, other brick-and-mortar retailers have closed thousands of stores in shopping malls and elsewhere in the last year. A few have filed for bankruptcy protection, including rival electronics chain RadioShack.

    Best Buy still operates 1,600 outlets — including 143 in California, its biggest market — and Joly views the stores as “a great asset” even as Best Buy also moves increasingly to online sales.

    “We don’t see ourselves as a brick-and-mortar retailer, we’re a multichannel retailer” that combines the stores, Best Buy’s website and its phone app to boost sales, Joly said in an interview. And he’s planning to expand Best Buy’s services,…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Extreme Networks Transforms City of Troy Into a Smart City

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — July 24, 2017 — Faced with a rise in the number of technology devices used by residents, visitors, and employees, cities are turning to wireless and wired solutions to increase operational efficiencies, promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for citizens.

    To support its increased role in providing seamless wireless networking solutions to smart cities, Extreme Networks (NASDAQ: EXTR) today announced that the City of Troy, Alabama selected Extreme’s software-driven end-to-end networking technology to provide reliable, fast, and secure connectivity across 70 locations.

    As a result, the City of Troy expanded its BYOD program to accommodate more than 10,000 wired and wireless devices with enhanced network reliability throughout areas including parks and recreational facilities, its public library, and senior complex.

    With a desire to streamline the city’s networking platform, and with a need for updated power and reliability, the City of Troy replaced its networking equipment from Cisco, Juniper, and others, with Extreme’s end-to-end technology solution.

    Following Troy’s decision to standardize with Extreme, the City has increased redundancy, which is especially important for the police department and their 911 operations, as network downtime is no longer a concern. Standardizing the network has also simplified operations for the City of Troy IT staff and brought time and significant cost savings to Troy’s employees, residents and visitors.

    Key Facts

    The City of Troy is using ExtremeManagement™ software for streamlined management, visibility and control of its wired and wireless enterprise networking solutions. Both of these solutions are supported by Extreme’s underlying ExtremeXOS™ network operating system, which provides the high performance and rich features required for each unique environment.

    Troy also standardized and simplified its switching platform with ExtremeSwitching™ to provide fast and reliable network connectivity for 70 locations, including its parks, recreational facilities, Colley Senior Complex, and the Troy Public…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    OnePlus Says 8 GB Version of OnePlus 5 Available for Immediate Shipping

    OnePlus today said the high-end variant of its OnePlus 5 smartphone is now more widely available to U.S. buyers. Specifically, the OnePlus 5 Midnight Black with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage will now ship as soon as consumers place order. OnePlus initially launched this variant in limited supplies. This high-end model costs $539. The OnePlus 5 has a 5.5-inch full HD screen, Snapdragon 835 processor, dual cameras, 3,000mAh battery with rapid charging, and broad support for worldwide LTE bands. It ships with OxygenOS, which is based on Android 7 Nougat.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News