EE announced as exclusive network partner for Google Home

We review one of these home helpers recently and, although it still has a little way to go (I still find I have to rephrase the odd request), it impressed me greatly.

Now, although the magical Google Home speaker will sit on your fridge and connect to your WiFi, EE have announced that they’ll be the exclusive mobile network partner for Google Home here in the UK. You can of course buy the thing for £129, however EE will also be offering the unit on a £19 upfront and £10-per-month payment on their “Add to Plan” for 11 months. That’s interest free.

EE announced as exclusive network partner for Google Home
The Google Home will connect to your WiFi and, once you’ve got it talking to your connected devices, you can control your lights, heating and more just by speaking to it. It’ll give real-time answers on traffic, weather, sports and will even help you convert between grams and ounces when you’re baking.

For more information, head to the EE website or go to madeby.google.com/home/.

Further details can be found below, but do head to our Google Home review for more.

EE announced as exclusive network partner for Google Home

EE exclusive mobile network partner for Google Home in the UK

New and upgrading customers are able to purchase Google Home and spread the cost over a new or upgraded EE plan – interest free

17 May 2017, London: EE today announced it is the exclusive mobile network partner for Google’s hands-free smartspeaker, Google Home. Google Home is available to both new and existing EE customers to either purchase outright, whilst new or upgrading customers can alternatively spread the cost over the lifetime of their contract by adding the hands-free smart speaker to their payment plan, interest free with EE’s Add to Plan scheme. Google Home is available for just £129 as a standalone purchase or existing customers can pay £19 upfront and £10 a month for 11 months on EE’s Add to Plan.

With a stylish and modern design, Google Home seamlessly fits into any home. The hands-free smart speaker is the ideal personal assistant, providing real-time answers on anything from the weather and traffic, to live sports and business news. Perfect for busy families who need a hand to managing their everyday lives, listening to their favourite podcasts, or enjoying high quality music streaming, Google Home has the versatility to suit a range of needs.

Google Home is a hands-free smart speaker powered by the Google Assistant, supported by 2.4GHz/5GHz WiFi for high-performance streaming. It supports a range of smart home products, from Nest and Philips Hue, to WeMo. Its high excursion speaker features a 2” driver and dual 2” passive radiator to deliver clear highs and a rich bass. Google Home supports Android 4.2 and higher, and iOS 8.0 and higher.

For more information on Google Home on EE, customers should visit https://madeby.google.com/home/.

The post EE announced as exclusive network partner for Google Home is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Amazon's Streaming Software Powers New Smart TVs

    Amazon’s streaming TV software will appear on a new line of smart TVs designed to blend streaming TV services and over-the-air channels, but not cable packages.

    The TVs from Element Electronics will be sold under the Element and Westinghouse brands and will cost more than regular smart TVs from either brand. Officials say the TVs have better hardware for reliable streaming and aren’t designed for casual viewers who buy TVs only to never hook them up to the internet.

    While Samsung and LG are still developing their own smart TV systems, many other manufacturers have abandoned in-house efforts and are turning instead to streaming TV companies such as Roku, and now Amazon. The in-house efforts have largely been weak because few streaming services bother designing apps for them, and they don’t have big teams to look for security threats.

    For the new TVs, Amazon’s Fire TV remote is getting common TV controls such as volume, while the on-screen menu is being adapted to incorporate live TV. Besides the rows of icons for various apps and streaming content, there’s now a row just for shows currently available through an antenna. There’s also a row for connected devices, such as game consoles and DVD players.

    Have cable? You can hook that up to the TV, but you won’t get the menu integration. You’ll also have to use the cable’s remote, as the Fire TV one lacks numbers for changing channels. With over-the-air broadcasts, you do that through the on-screen menu.

    Though officials say cable integration may come, the decision to focus on over-the-air content reflects the growing practice of “cord-cutting” — ditching cable services in favor of online streaming services, including the ones offered on the Fire TV.

    Prices range from $449 for a 43-inch TV to $899 for 65 inches. The new TVs, called Amazon Fire TV…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus – Review

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    OK, first things you need to know. This, the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus, is £189 on the Wileyfox website or (as I type) £164.99 on Amazon. SIM free in both places of course.

    It has a 5″ 1280×720 screen at 296 PPI with 2.5d Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It’s powered by an octa-core 1.4GHz 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 and there’s a healthy 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage (around 5.5GB is consumed out of the box) and, if you don’t want both of the SIM slots used, you can add more storage with a microSD card.

    Who are Wileyfox? Well, they’re a British smartphone manufacturer and proudly state on their website that ..

    We exist because people like you are tired of paying over the odds for mobile phones.

    This particular phone is in Gold, but they also have it available in “Rose” and “Midnight”. It starts off at a good price and a good spec. There’s also some neat additions thanks to Android Nougat 7.1.1. Cyanogen 13.0 has now taken a back seat, despite the fact that you may see it mentioned. It also has two good cameras, both Samsung sensors, with a 16 megapixel unit at the back (with 1.0mM pixel size and f2.0 aperture) plus an 8 megapixel unit up front. It’s called the “Plus” not because of the screen size, but the camera specs. The “regular” Swift 2 has a 13 megapixel rear shooter and 2GB RAM plus 16GB of storage.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    At this price-point, you’d expect to see a few corners cut. Perhaps a few specs missing, but here we still have NFC / Android Pay, we still have 4G and we still have a fingerprint sensor. It also has QuickCharge 3.0, meaning a 75% charge in just 45 minutes or 25% in 15 minutes if you’re in a rush. It’s the new Type C too. I got a good day of my insane use out of this and the 2700mAh battery coped well. The only downside? You don’t get a charger, so hope that you’ve got a fast charger kicking around.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    When it arrives you’ll receive a flat orange box and the unboxing experience is pretty too. The charge cable is wound around nicely and the phone is displayed with a small tab to help you lift it out. It’s little things like this that I appreciate.

    What you won’t find, and I nearly destroyed the box trying to find this out, is a set of headphones. It’s a risk not including these, but to be honest one worth taking. You’ve probably got a pair already, and most people prefer their own headphones instead of the ones delivered with a phone. To be honest, if a phone company can save money and reduce the sticker-price of a smartphone, ditching the headphones is a good option.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Something else that has been removed to save a bit of cash – 5GHz WiFi. Again, it’s not a massive problem, but if you want to connect to a 5GHz WiFi access point, you can’t. 2.4GHz only.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   ReviewWileyfox Swift 2 Plus   ReviewWileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    I’ll be honest and tell you the problem that budget smartphone makers have. They basically have to hit a certain margin and they have to make it for a certain amount. In the past makers have skimped on the screen, which is a horrible thing to do but it’s usually the most expensive part of the phone. Here Wileyfox have instead chosen to ditch the headphones, the charger and they’ve put 2.4GHz WiFi hardware in.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Out of the box there is a pretty angular appearance to it and that earpiece may taking a bit of getting used to. It’s also ever-so-slightly thick at 8.64mm but, next to an LG G6, you’d be hard-pushed to tell the difference in thickness.

    Despite the sizeable lower section under the screen, the navigation buttons are all on-screen and they’ll appear in a black bar for a lot of the time – consuming your real estate somewhat.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Although the design is more pointed, it’s certainly far from a “budget feel”. Despite the flat edges, there’s chamfered corners and a curvy rear panel which fits well in the hand and is made from aluminium.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Up front, for the price, the screen really isn’t too bad at all. The viewing angles are decent enough and, although the 720p won’t beat your latest flagship screen, it’s decent enough and doesn’t have that “tiny screen on a big chassis” problem that we’d previously have seen on budget phones.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    As with other smartphones, you only get the full resolution of the camera if you take photos in 4:3 format. This is despite the fact that the viewfinder is 16:9. You can tweak this by changing the Viewfinder to “Letterbox” to make it reflect the resolution setting.

    To get 16:9 shots you’ll need to almost halve the 16 megapixel resolution – 8.3 megapixels for the 16:9 shots. That said, the camera has plenty of features and you can add face detection and tweak advanced settings like the white balance or add a timer.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Swipe your finger across the viewfinder and you can switch to HDR, Panorama, Night, Action or one of several effects including Fireworks, Flowers, Snow, Party and many more – you can actually choose which of these you’d like to have as favourites so that they’re easy to access.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    I tend to like HDR and it took a couple of seconds to process each photo, which wasn’t too bad. The video mode is fairly standard – don’t expect tracking focus but it’ll record in 1080p HD even though the screen will only play it back in 720p.

    Here’s some of my example photos. Pretty decent outside, but low-light shots can suffer a little.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Full zoom

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    The bright / dark balance struggled somewhat here..

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Full zoom

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Inside, it’s a fairly unspoiled Android experience and they’ve helpfully set the app drawer to sort apps alphabetically so that you can locate them a bit easier. The full Google app-suite is there, so you get Photos, Gmail, Drive, Play Books, Play Movies etc. You also get the connected Google cloud so that everything sync’s with your Gmail account – calendar appointments and all your contacts plus their pictures etc.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    If you want to call one of those contacts you’ll find that Truecaller is installed. This is a clever system which takes over from the usual Android system, hooking into a database to identify the person or company calling before you pick up. It means that, whether landlines or mobile – even if the number isn’t stored as a contact – you can see who it is. Plus, with the sheer amount of spam calls we all receive weekly, it’ll let you screen and block all unwanted incoming calls.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Android Pay, an FM radio, the excellent Gallery system with a slideshow and in-image editor, the Chrome browser, a screen and sound recorder, a wallpaper chooser and much more. You can, of course, install a whole load more from the Play Store and that octa-core Snapdragon 430 copes very well with it all, despite a slight heart-in-the-mouth moment when I noticed the logo animation juddering upon boot. Overall it worked very well indeed and comes with those helpful little additions like “Night Light” which alters the screen tint at sunset to help you read the screen more easily. When you take a step back it’s actually very good value for money. OK, so you don’t get a 1080p screen, you don’t get 5GHz WiFi and you don’t get headphones.

    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review
    Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus   Review

    Look though, at what you do get though! It’s just £164.99 on Amazon as I write and I really don’t think I’d have huge complaints if I had to swap my top-of-the-range handset for this. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor worked well for me and I quickly got the hang of picking up and unlocking it or, if I wanted to keep it on my desk, quickly typing in my PIN unlock code.

    Those speakers at the bottom pump out up to 90dB, but there’s actually only one “big box” speaker even though it looks like there’s two. It produces good sound though.

    Overall though, the spec is very good for the price, the design is decent enough and the phone will be a good solution for many who don’t want to spend several hundred pounds on their next smartphone.

    The post Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • You Can Now Try the Windows 10’s Amazing New Story Remix Video Editor

    Video editing is about to become easier. Right after the Build 2017 Day 2 keynote finished, Microsoft just revealed their new Windows 10 Story Remix Feature that has been missing since the operating system’s launch nearly two years ago. It is just basically like Windows Movie Maker on steroids. In case you forgot about Movie […]
    Source: Mobile Magazine

    Could Wave Energy be the Future for Harnessed Power?

    An Australian company, Wave Swell Energy, is developing a new system that harvests wave energy, a renewable form of harnessed energy. The system is a giant hollow chamber that sits partially submerged on the seabed, funneling waves in and out of an underwater opening and generating electricity using a turbine. The use of renewable sources […]
    Source: Mobile Magazine

    What is a VPN anyway?

    Trust me, it’s not a scary thing. Just recently I had a relative ask why I had two WiFi networks at home. I explained that one was a VPN router, and offered me privacy and security. That, if I’m being honest, made their eyes glaze over a little.

    The term “VPN” will, to many, sound like a needlessly complicated IT term which they don’t need to know about. Even when you read it out fully, the “Virtual Private Network” sends shivers down the spines of many friends and colleagues.

    Let’s call it a “magic pipe” instead shall we? Just for the purposes of this article.

    What is a VPN anyway?

    Without one, when you’re at home or out on your mobile, the traffic you send and receive is being monitored and controlled. If you’re in a cafe or you hop onto a WiFi hotspot at the supermarket, they will know what websites you’re visiting and what traffic you’re pushing through. At the internet provider, they can then manage traffic, giving a higher or lower priority to streaming media, email, web browsing and more.

    Also, when you’re trying to get to a website in another country, or you’re trying to access some streaming video which is restricted to residents of a certain country, your IP address will reveal where you are. Want to access that new TV show that just aired in the USA? You can’t because the servers for the American TV channel will realise you’re in Europe and block you.

    With a VPN, or “magic pipe” you get to move that IP address – that identifier given to your gateway onto the internet – further away. This means that you can access region-restricted websites. You can move that gateway around ad-hoc too, and you don’t need to be at home on a laptop. You don’t even need any convoluted configurations or a large amount of faff. Just use a mobile VPN via an app and you can instantly protect your privacy. Protecting yourself from monitoring and traffic shaping.

    Apps like NordVPN are available both for iOS and Android. This one covers more than 50 countries and they’ve got around 500 servers. It means that you don’t just get the flexibility to “pretend” you’re in another country, but you get a decent throughput too. The interface is easy to use and you just need to choose server via an interactive map.

    What is a VPN anyway?

    Costly? Well, that’s perhaps another misconception. Many VPN providers won’t shout too loudly about it, but don’t forget that you can add multiple devices onto one account. Six different ones in the case of NordVPN.

    I’m currently using PureVPN, which has automatic switching to the fastest server in the location of choice. They have around 750 servers at the last count and you can use 5 different devices on one account.

    So, if you do find it a bit confusing, give it a try. Grab a recognised VPN app. PureVPN, which I’ve just mentioned, have a free version which let’s you choose from a selection of locations and you get 2GB of bandwidth even as a free user.

    Once you’ve got a “magic pipe” you are free to use the web privately. You can connect to un-trusted WiFi networks and be safely protected and ensure that traffic isn’t being “shaped” or monitored.

    The post What is a VPN anyway? is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Coolsmartphone Podcast 205 Live

    We’ve reached a fundamental episode number: 205. We will be recording live, here on Coolsmartphone.com and on YouTube, this evening at 20:00 BST.

    Interact with the show and after the crime, on Twitter obviously:

    We’ll probably go off the rails, that’s assuming there are any rails in the first place…

    Coolsmartphone Podcast 205 Live

    The post Coolsmartphone Podcast 205 Live is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

  • Sprint Launches Software-Defined Wide Area Network Services

    OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 16, 2017 — Sprint today announced it has launched its Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) services. SD-WAN is an approach to designing and deploying an enterprise WAN with software-driven centralized management that reduces complexity, maximizes network resources, and enables fast responses to changing business priorities.


    Rampant innovation, the Cloud, IoT and the diversity of network technologies, devices and carriers combined with an ever-growing mobile workforce are increasing network use and complexity.


    “The rapid change in technology is driving companies to consider SD-WAN as the answer to simplifying network challenges,” said Mike Fitz, vice president of the Sprint Global Wireline Business Unit. “The Sprint SD-WAN dashboard provides our customers with real-time, detailed visibility into the performance of their entire WAN and all of their applications, while single-click deployment minimizes the set-up time for branch offices and temporary sites.”


    SD-WAN services are successful in providing the tools that streamline network oversight, increase uptime, improve application performance, and enable lightning-fast responses to the operational aspects of WAN, including provisioning, troubleshooting and branch office support. Additionally, as enterprise bandwidth needs continue to skyrocket, SD-WAN helps businesses control costs by utilizing hybrid WAN and dynamic steering to make full use of their bandwidth.


    “Our business customers and prospects have a keen interest in realizing the benefits of SD-WAN technology,” Fitz said. “This is evidenced by the number of customers we have lined up to adopt the Sprint SD-WAN solution.”

    Sprint teamed with VeloCloud, a leader in Cloud-delivered SD-WAN solutions, and began customer trials in 4Q, 2016.

    “Sprint chose VeloCloud following a thorough vendor evaluation process and we have been working closely on customer opportunities,” said Sanjay Uppal, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of VeloCloud.

    “Sprint?EU?s managed services expertise and commitment to exceptional care, combined with our industry-leading SD-WAN platform, provides automation, network agility, increased visibility,…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Kensington Exec Honored as One of CRN's Women of the Channel

    Kensington®, announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Erin McGivern, Sales Manager, DMR, to its prestigious 2017 Women of the Channel list. The executives who comprise this annual list span the IT channel, representing vendors, distributors, solution providers and other organizations that are prominent in the channel ecosystem. Each is recognized for her outstanding leadership, vision and unique role in driving channel growth and innovation.

    CRN editors select the Women of the Channel honorees based on their professional accomplishments, demonstrated expertise and ongoing dedication to the IT channel.

    McGivern currently oversees Kensington?EU?s DMR accounts and numerous VAR accounts. In the last year she joined forces with the company?EU?s product management and business development teams to close numerous large opportunities with Kensington resellers. In addition, she worked to enhance strategic relationships with resellers and identify new ways to increase business for both resellers and Kensington. She has worked collaboratively with her team of sales reps to improve their visibility, sales approaches and responsiveness with partners. McGivern also worked with Kensington?EU?s product management and marketing teams to develop enticing new partner programs, new incentives, and new resources to enhance partners?EU? ability and motivation to increase sales.


    ?EU?These extraordinary executives support every aspect of the channel ecosystem, from technical innovation to marketing to business development, working tirelessly to keep the channel moving into the future,?EU? said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company ?EU?They are creating and elevating channel partner programs, developing fresh go-to-market strategies, strengthening the channel?EU?s network of partnerships and building creative new IT solutions, among many other contributions. We congratulate all the 2017 Women of the Channel on their stellar accomplishments and look forward to their future success.?EU?

    ?EU?I?EU?m truly honored to have been chosen for CRN?EU?s Women of the Channel award,?EU? said McGivern. ?EU?This recognition reinforces my goal…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    HTC Unveils the U11 Squeeze-Sensing Smartphone

    Unveiled earlier today, the new U11 flagship smartphone from HTC comes with an unusual feature: the ability to control certain functions by squeezing the sides of the device.

    Called “Edge Sense,” HTC said the new feature is designed to usher in “a new age of phone interactions.” The squeeze-based capabilities can be configured in a variety of ways, allowing users to use touch to do everything from launch a digital assistant to open Facebook or Twitter.

    Powered by a Qualcomm 835 Snapdragon processor and running Android 7.1, the U11 also features a 5.5-inch display and is available in a palette of “liquid” glass surface colors. Either carrier-based or unlocked versions can be pre-ordered starting at $649, with shipping set for next month.

    Squeeze Control Is ‘Natural, Intuitive’

    HTC had three goals in developing its latest smartphone: creating a new way to interact with a device, supporting voice/natural language commands across a variety of platforms, and offering next-generation support for multimedia, HTC president of smartphone and connected devices Chialin Chang said during a launch event in Taiwan today.

    HTC developed Edge Sense because it concluded squeezing was a “natural, intuitive” way of interacting with a phone. “Apply a little squeeze, all sorts of brilliant things will come out,” he said.

    For example, Chang demonstrated how squeezing the U11 could activate either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Users can specify other actions via short or long squeezes, or by combining such gestures with a voice command, he said. Edge Sense can be configured to do everything from taking photos to launching favorite apps or sending text messages, HTC said on its Web site.

    “Before, it was a hassle to reach these features, but we simplified it into a single motion,” the company said, adding that Edge Sense will also make it easier to operate…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today