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  1. Is The Lightning Port Going Away Forever?

    Is The Lightning Port Going Away Forever?The lightning port was one of those "love it or hate it" type of changes that made Apple a household name.

    Apple’s proprietary charging and connection cable has always been a point of contention for users. There's really no reason for it, although Apple says it improves charging and connection. Really it's always been more about Apple forcing its customers to buy every single product from them, and only from them.

    But now that seems likely to change. Apple might be forced to switch to a universal standard.

    Lifehacker.com has a great story on it:

    Members of the European Commission will vote on whether to force all tech companies to adopt a single charging method that will be universal across all devices and manufacturers, including Apple’s.

    According to the BBC, the European Commission has been trying to implement a single charging port standard across all devices for over a decade. There have been numerous attempts to bring Apple into the USB fold, but this upcoming vote would be the final nail in the Lightning cable’s coffin, and could also close legal loopholes that allowed Apple to continue using Lightning ports despite agreeing to move toward USB.

    They go into detail about the case and about how this ruling might impact consumers in the future:

    If the vote passes, it will mark the end of the Lightning charger era. Apple won’t be able to sell its products in the EU without adopting USB-C (likely), and that change will affect any products it makes and sells in the US and other countries. That means your next iPhone will probably use USB-C or wireless charging and not a Lightning port.

    There are still a lot of unknowns including what the eventual ruling will be. If you want to find out exactly what's at stake and when it will all be decided, read the rest of the LifeHacker.com article right here.

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  2. Samsung Embraces 21st Century with 'Selfie Type'

    Samsung Embraces 21st Century with 'Selfie Type'You need to send an email on your phone. it's going to be lengthy. You grab your Galaxy, set it vertically on the nearby table, and pout your hands out as if you're sitting at a type writer.

    Then you pretend to type on your imaginary keyboard while the actual letters and words and sentences appear in an email on your phone.

    It's amazing, but it isn't magic. Samsung says it will use the selfie camera to actually capture where your hands and fingers are, and acclimatize to where you feel the different letters are, and then let you type by just pretending to type.

    According to users at CES 2020 the technology is fully realized and actually works really well. TomsGuide has a great story on it with lots of details:

    Selfie Type doesn’t require any peripheral and doesn’t project anything. Instead, it uses the Galaxy’s camera to simply track your hands as you memory type. According to the information posted by a user in Samsung’s community site, “Selfie Type is a technology that utilizes the front camera and AI to analyze finger position and type without physical buttons.”

    According to the source, who claims that Samsung will introduce it at CES 2020 this week, only English is currently supported. It seems pretty simple: just put your phone or tablet on a vertical position — or, if you have a Galaxy Fold, set it up in L-mode — and start typing with your fingers pretending you are hitting actual keys. Selfie Type appears to support gestures too, like pinching the air to send a message.

    You can read more about exactly how 'Selfie Type' will work in this article by TomsGuide right here.

    Check out this video and let us know what you think--are you excited or frightened?

     

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  3. What 10 Years Will Do To Your Smartphone

    What 10 Years Will Do To Your SmartphoneHappy New Year!

    As 2019 ends and 2020 begins we mark the beginning not just of a new year, but also a new decade. For better or worse, we have the roaring 20's (again.)

    The folks at TechRadar.com decided now was a good time to prognosticate about what we might see in smartphone technology for the NEXT decade (2030.)

    It's a pretty cool, in-depth look at what are natural extrapolations of where the technology has gone up to this point, and how that indicates where it is likely to go in the future.

    While you may think the future will bring you phones with plenty of smartphone cameras, far more so than now, that might not end up being the case: there are only so many different kinds of lens, so we’ll soon reach a point where adding more lenses adds nothing new.

    No, in fact, the real change will likely be megapixel count – at the end of 2019 the highest resolution in a smartphone is 108MP in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, but it looks like a number of phones in 2020 are gearing up to match that. In 10 years, though, that number could be through the roof.

     

    They make a few interesting predictions for the next decade, but it does make us wonder if we won't hit those marks even sooner as companies continue to attempt to one-up each other in terms of the next Big Thing.

    Read the entire TechRadar article here and let us know what you think the next decade will bring for our smartphones.

     

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  4. New Android Smartphone? There's An App For That!

    New Android Smartphone? There's An App For That!If you got a new Android smartphone this past Christmas (and millions of you did) then you no doubt want to immediately start downloading apps (if you haven't already.)

    But which apps are the best? Just as you might have already guessed, someone has written a nice article detailing exactly which apps to download first.

    9to5Google.com had a great little article which includes a review of the new Google SMS tool:

    In the US at least, messaging has traditionally been a sore point of Android smartphones. Thankfully, Google has been hard at work trying to fix that in recent months and now, the solution known as RCS (Rich Communication Services) is available to every Android smartphone in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom too.

    How can you get RCS on your device and, more importantly, what’s the benefit? The benefit, firstly, is that RCS is much more capable than SMS/MMS. Pictures can be sent in higher quality, typing indicators, and more all arrive with RCS. Group chats also get a huge upgrade too. Basically, RCS is like Apple’s iMessage, but for Android phones.

     

    You can read the rest of the 9to5Google.com article right here.

    New Android Smartphone? There's An App For That!And if you have a new iPhone, then check out this article from TheVerge.com specifically for you:

    If you’re lucky enough to have unwrapped a new iPhone as a holiday gift this year, you’ll probably want to install some new apps on it. Fortunately, we’re here to help with some suggestions. We’ve divided them into two types: great apps that are just generally fun or useful to have on your phone, and apps that you should download to replace the default ones that Apple ships on your iPhone.

     

    You can read the rest of that article right here.

     

    In the Comments below let us know what the first app you downloaded to your new phone was, and why!

     

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  5. Best Smartphone of 2019?

    Best Smartphone of 2019This has been a busy a year for smartphone manufacturers - and consumers. new releases from Apple )of course) but also Samsung, and OnePlus and a half dozen others you may or may not have heard of.

    It seems everyone has a favorite smartphone brand. Apple and Samsung may be household names but they are hardly the only smartphone manufacturers. The world is a big place and there are manufacturers developing phones you will never see.

    But, the major players are the ones to watch. And Tom's Guide has been watching them. In fact, they rounded up the year's best and put them together into a nice year-end review:

    With so many smartphones vying for your attention, it's not easy to pick the best phone. Tom's Guide reviews dozens of new handsets each year, and we evaluate them in our lab and in the real world based on design, features, performance, camera quality and battery life.

    We also perform in-depth face-offs between flagship phones to decide on our best phone rankings. But not everyone has the budget for a flagship, which is why we also provide recommendations for cheaper phones.

    Our best phone list has something for everyone, whether you prefer Android or iOS, a big-screen phone or small phone or you want to save some money by going with an older phone.

     

    You can read the entire article in Tom's Guide right here. In the Comments below let us know what your pick is for "Best Smartphone of 2019".

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  6. What To Do If Your iPhone Freezes

    What To Do If Your iPhone FreezesBack in the early days of smartphone technology it wasn't unusual for these devices ti get bogged down by gummy apps that would force them to freeze. If you were lucky you could just turn it off and back on, make sure you quit out of whatever was causing the problem, and everything would be good as new.

    These days a frozen iPhone is much less common, which means people are less likely to know how to handle the situation if they encounter it. Fortunately, some folks are still researching all the different ways to restart your iPhone is it freezes:

    ...Hold these buttons down simultaneously for 10 seconds or longer. Those with an iPhone 7 or later will have to perform the hard reset by holding the volume down button and side button. 

    When the Apple logo comes up on the screen, you can let go of the buttons.

    The phone will start and everything should go back to working properly. If it does start working, you should try to look into what caused it to freeze in the first place.

     

    You can read the rest of that article right here.

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  7. Introducing the Escobar Fold 1

    Introducing the Escobar Fold 1So, a world renowned drug dealers brother, who once also worked for the drug cartel himself, is introducing a new foldable smartphone called the Escobar Fold 1.

    Yes, the drug dealer mentioned previously is Pablo Escobar, but it's his brother, Roberto Escobar, now 71 years old, who is releasing the foldable smartphone.

    Roberto De Jesús Escobar Gaviria, the brother of late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, is going toe-to-toe with the $1,500 Motorola Razr, $1,980 Samsung Galaxy Fold and $2,400 Huawei Mate X by releasing a foldable phone: the Escobar Fold 1. It's a whole lot cheaper at $350, coming unlocked and compatible with "all networks" worldwide.

     

    You can't buy one yet but you can read a bit more about it and watch some, erm, interesting marketing videos in this article at CNET.

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  8. Samsung Galaxy S11 Gets Radical

    Samsung Galaxy S11 Gets RadicalSamsung’s Galaxy S11 will most definitely come equipped with the requisite hardware to handle 5G, which is good news not just for those wanting to buy the Galaxy S11 but for the entire industry because it sets the bar for hardware releases in 2020. The people have spoken and they expect 5G capability from their smartphones.

    The Samsung Galaxy S11 does not disappoint in that regard.

    Forbes has an article explaining what the specs tell us to expect from the forthcoming release:

     

    That said, elsewhere we know Samsung is aiming high. Samsung is equipping its Galaxy S11s with a potentially groundbreaking camera codenamed ‘Hubble’ due to its extreme zoom capabilities. There will also be new shooting modes, a new design, big performance upgrades, next-gen memory, a supersized fingerprint sensor and a real crowdpleaser: much bigger batteries.

    You can read all the news on the Samsung Galaxy S11 including what to expect from the hardware in the complete Forbes article, right here.

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  9. Your Phone Is Only As Good As Your Network Signal

    Your Phone Is Only As Good As Your Network SignalYou might have shelled out hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars for the latest and greatest piece of smartphone hardware you could get your hands on.

    Now, if you could just find a decent signal you'd call your friends and let them know about your new phone.

    Poor smartphone signal got you down? Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can try if your smartphone is having trouble connecting to your network. Dropped calls, poor call quality or just "No Signal" messages are enough to make anyone scream from the rooftops (where you likely went to get a better signal.)

    This article from Digital Trends has some great suggestions for getting connected and staying connected:

    We’ve all done the signal bar dance, trying to find that elusive sweet spot where the bars pop up. It’s common to have dead spots in homes or offices. They can be caused by interference or building materials blocking the signal. The simplest thing to do is try moving somewhere else to make a call. Go upstairs, go outside, go to the window, find a spot where the reception is good and remember it for future calls. While this may work, it’s not ideal if your desk or living room happens to be in a dead spot, so you may want to try something else.

    In this Digital Trends article they offer some very specific tips and tricks for getting through when the technology just will not co-operate with you.

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  10. Start Your Holiday Shopping Early

    Start Your Holiday Shopping Early Thinking of going all out and getting your significant other a new smartphone or smartwatch for Christmas?

    Maybe what they really want is a new ebook reader or a new tablet, but who knows which one is best and which one is available at the best price for the holidays?

    Fortunately, Engadget  has a handy gift guide loaded with the latest and greatest gadget, cell phones and tech accessories available.

    This year's picks include Apple's iPhone 11, its cheapest flagship in years, and Google's Pixel 3a, whose sub-$400 price belies its amazing camera. We've also included our favorite portable battery pack from Anker and Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite, and the Brydge Pro remains one of the best keyboards for transforming your iPad Pro into something resembling a laptop replacement.

    As an added bonus not everything on their list is a brand spanking new smartphone. There are tablets, accessories and gadgets galore. For each item, Engadget breaks down its specifications and the best price available. they also explain just who mgiht appreciate that particular piece of technology.

    Engadget did a great job with this list and just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping! Check out the full list in this article by Engadget and then, don't forget to grab a new smartphone case from Luvvitt!

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