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  1. Android P Developer Release - First Impressions

    Android P Developer Release - First ImpressionsThe first developer preview of Android P hit the street recently at first blush it appears Google is thinking "simpler is better." Which no doubt comes as a relief to many people who believe smartphones are getting more and more cluttered every day.

    This is only the first developer release, so more changes are likely before the final release reaches consumers, but according to people who have seen it the new Android P is more streamlined, more colorful and makes much more sense from a users perspective:

    The clock has moved from the far right to the far left side of Android P’s top status bar. And since the new OS is optimized for notches that might cut into the top display area, it starts putting notifications right next to the time. Up to four different app icons will appear; after that, Android P displays a simple dot to let you know there are more waiting once you slide down the notification tray.

    Google seems obsessed with constantly changing and reworking the Settings screen with every major Android update. This year, it’s making things a bit more colorful with new icons to the right of sections like Network, Display, Battery, etc. The actual layout of things has barely changed, but the grayscale icons from Oreo are gone and replaced by colorful circles. Very Samsung.

    As more previews are released we'll see which changes are permanent and which are simply Google's way of testing the water. But we'll all have to wait and see what is in the final Android P user update to know exactly what we think about it.

    You can read more about the initial developer preview of Android P right here in this article by The Verge.

     

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  2. iPhone X SE is Coming (Soon)

    iPhone X SE is Coming (Soon)It's been less than a year since the world welcomed the iPhone X and some people are still trying to get their hands on one, but are having trouble coming to grips with it's price tag (about $1000, give or take.)

    Fortunately for them, Apple engineers have been working hard to blend the best features of the iPhone X into a less pricey model, called the iPhone X SE.

    And now some say Apple is gearing the new phone up for release!

    The iPhone X SE (or iPhone SE 2 as it is also known) is the smartphone world’s hottest topic. A phone which blends cutting-edge iPhone X technology with a lower asking price, it is tipped to be the most exciting of Applethree iPhone launches this year. And it may be coming a lot sooner than you expected…

    Apple has officially announced a major event for March 27th in Chicago and websites, leakers and analysts are falling over themselves to declare they have news that this will be the official launch date of the iPhone X SE.

     

    Hard to tell whether they will or they won't or whether the iPhone X SE will live up to expectations in both price and performance (you can read more about that in the original story at Forbes.com right here)

    In the meantime, let us know if you're excited about an iPhone X SE and if so, why (price, performance, something else?)

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  3. Upgrade To Samsung Galaxy S9 (Or Not)?

    Upgrade To Samsung Galaxy S9 (Or Not)?It's a question as old as the smartphone market: is it worth the time and money to upgrade to the latest smartphone model?

    Thus is the question facing owners of the Samsung Galaxy S8 who now have the option of upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S9. At least one CNET reviewer says the differences between the S8 and the S9 are so small as to make an upgrade irrelevant.

    The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus look an awful lot like their predecessors -- but don't be fooled. There are plenty of changes under the hood, even if Samsung kept fan-favorite features such as the headphone jack and microSD storage.

    But are any of these changes important enough for you to upgrade right away? I don't think so. "The differences between the two phones are so minor, there's no point in upgrading," wrote my colleague (and long-time Samsung Galaxy reviewer) Jessica Dolcourt. Plus, we're still testing the phone's battery life -- it's not clear the S9's battery is better, and it might even be worse.

    The CNET reviewer takes the time to do side-by-side comparisons for all Samsung Galaxy models, not just the S8, so if you have an older model phone and want to know the benefits of upgrading to the S9, check out his full list right here.

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  4. Is "iPhone X2" Your Dream Phone?

    Is "iPhone X2" Your Dream Phone?Some say Apple erred when it released the iPhone X. They called it "over priced" and a ridiculous competitor to its own, also newly released iPhone 8.

    And why did they completely ignore the iPhone 9?

    Well, here we are a year later and it seems the naysayers --- well, some say they were right and some they were wrong. Who are we to judge?

    For the 10th anniversary of the Apple iPhone a Korean graphic designer released what he considers to be a real upgrade to the already iconic iPhone X on the YouTube channel ConceptsiPhone. He calls it the iPhone X2.

     

    ConceptsiPhone is a YouTube channel that posts videos featuring iPhone design concepts, as you might imagine. It used to be a neat source of cool designs, though the videos on this YouTube channel have recently begun to devolve into the realm of ridiculousness. One recent video showed an iPhone design that could become completely invisible. I mean, come on.

    The channel’s most recent video showcases an “iPhone X2” design by Korean graphic designer Gunho Lee, and it isn’t ridiculous at all (although the name definitely is… iPhone Ten Two? Really?). In fact, it’s kind of awesome.

     

    we're not so sure what to make of it, but it looks kinda cool. Read the article here, watch the video and let us know in the Comments below what you think about it.

     

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  5. Who Has The Best Smartphone?

    Who Has The Best Smartphone?You might be an Apple fan through and through. Or, perhaps you prefer the Samsung Galaxy line. Or maybe, just maybe, you are a recent convert from one of those flagship phones to the Google Pixel. Whatever smartphone you currently have on you it is very likely you think it represents the very finest handheld tech money can buy.

    But does it? Really?

    We came across and interesting article comparing all three flagship smartphones and the results are interesting, to say the least:

    Can Samsung make lightning strike twice with a similar design? It’s still too early to tell, and we’ll have a review soon that should tell you exactly how good Samsung’s newest flagship is. In the meantime, we’ve put the S9 and S9 Plus head-to-head against some of its biggest competition, including the Pixel 2, iPhone X, the Essential Phone, and more to give you a better idea of what the smartphone landscape looks like and help you start making the decision of what phone should get the coveted spot in your bag or pocket.

    You can read the article here and check out a side-by-side comparison chart of all the major features of each device right here. And please let us know which device you prefer and why in the Comments below.

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  6. Wow! Apple Watch (Literally) Saves Lives

    Wow! Apple Watch (Literally) Saves LivesWe saw a story recently which finally answers the question "How useful is the Apple Watch?"

    Apple Watch continues to save lives by placing life-changing technology in ordinary places. Kacie Anderson, who shared her story with Shape.com, is the latest example of someone with an incredible experience with Apple Watch. Anderson says her watch helped save her and her nine-month-old son’s life when they were hit by a drunk driver.

    This is hardly the first time the Apple Watch has been credited with saving a life, but it certainly is one of the most dramatic instances. Apple likely didn't design the Apple watch to save lives (Or maybe it did) but regardless, the variety of features on the Apple Watch provide plenty of opportunities for the device to save lives in a multitude of ways.

    You can read more about the story above right here.

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  7. Android Got Tricks Too!

    Android Got Tricks Too!It seems everyone is sharing (and/or searching) for the latest iPhone tips and tricks. But how about showing some love for the Android users of the world?

    Android users represent more than half of all smartphone users of the world. However, because that O/S works on a multitude of different smartphone devices it can be difficult to find tricks which work the same way on every Android enabled device. However--here are 15 tips which will help get Android users started:

    In this list, we cover how you can take screenshots on Android, quickest ways to launch the camera, using Google Assistant, making the most of notifications, checking for updates, setting up Do Not Disturb mode, customizing your home screen, using Multi Window, making sure you are backing up photos in Google Photos, and more!

    Check out the complete list here and watch the video.

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  8. Apple Watch Tips and Tricks

    Apple Watch Tips and TricksIf you are one of the lucky who got their hands on a new Apple Watch - congratulations!

    Fiddling with it for just a few minutes you likely have worked out just about everything it can do for you. But, as usual, there a few things which might be more difficult to discover on your own. Fortunately, there are people who make it their business to uncover all the hidden features Apple builds into their devices. Like this one for Disney fans who wear an Apple Watch:

    If you’re a fan of the Mickey and Minnie watch faces, you might be surprised to find that they can actually speak to you. When using either of these faces you can tap on the characters for them to read the current time. If this isn’t working for you, make sure it’s enabled under settings, then sound and haptics, then make sure tap to speak is enabled.

    There are several more Apple Watch tips in this article. Check them all out and let us know which are your favorites!

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  9. Get A New iPhone X? Learn To Care For It!

    Get A New iPhone X? Learn To Care For It!If you finally knuckled under the pressure; could resist temptation no more and bought yourself (or convinced someone who loves you dearly to buy for you) a brand new iPhone X, then you owe it to yourself to immediately learn how to properly care for it.

    Obviously the first step is to buy yourself a new case from Luvvitt! But then there's the question of everything you can do with your new iPhone X. So many features, in fact, you might need some help. Fortunately, there are people who specialize in providing tips and tricks to help you get the most from your new device:

    If you have locked yourself out of your phone, you should look online for ways to fix it. Many people have had this happen to them as well, so there are videos and other tutorials on how to unlock an iPhone online. Just be aware that this is the last resort, as it will likely delete all of your information when you reset it.

    You can easily create your own dictionary and shortcuts with the iPhone. When you use this, your phone knows exactly what you are trying to change. You can add more shortcuts and phrases by programming them into your phone. When typing messages, the auto correct feature will also take these into account.

     

    You can find many more useful tips and tricks in the complete article right here.

     

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  10. Apple Watch Gets Even More Useful!

    Apple Watch Gets Even More Useful!The Apple Watch is one of those really cool tech devices that still seems more of a status symbol than an actual tool. Sure, it works great as a fitness tracker, and pairs with your phone, and even has a few cool apps, like Pong! But face it, when it comes to actual usefulness it is still sorely lacking.

    That might be about to change. Last week Whirlpool said it was working with Apple developers to give Apple Watch users control of a new line of smart appliances.

    Whirlpool gave CNET some examples of the types of things you’ll be able to do with the app.

    • Ovens — Check temperature, change oven settings during a cook cycle

    • Washing machines — Change the type of wash cycle when the washer’s in use

    • Dryers — Check if a cycle has started, see how much time is remaining on a cycle

     

    You can read the entire CNET article here, which includes a video of the recent 2018 CES event.

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