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  1. Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy Partner-Up

    Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy Partner-UpWhile Mac users had iPhones that easily paired with their laptop or desktop models, Microsoft Windows users struggled to find an easy way to do things like transfer a photo from their phone to their computer. Oh, sure, it was possible, just not as easy as it is for Apple users.

    All that may be about to change with the latest pairing of Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy phones. What does it mean for the estimated 1 billion Windows users in the world? It means they have a simpler solution to do some of the things that Apple users already find easy. And, according to this article in GeekWire, this is hardly the first time Microsoft and Samsung have teamed-up:

     

    Samsung and Microsoft have partnered on PCs for many years, and on smartphones and tablets in a more limited capacity. But the expanded partnership marks “a profound shift in how we interact with the many devices in our lives,” vowed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s event in New York City.

    “For years, applications have been purpose-built for single devices, whether it’s the phone, the PC, the TV or even your watch,” Nadella said. “But in a world of 5G, cloud and AI, we get to rethink it all and reimagine it.”

     

    GeekWire also breaks down exactly what the partnerships means for consumers by listing the specific features users can expect to exploit.

    How long will the partnership actually last? That's anybody's guess. But as long as it works for both companies, the people who use Windows PCs now have a solution when it comes to doing things Apple users have been able to do for quite some time.

     

     

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  2. Are iPhone Prices About To Increase? Not So Fast

    Are iPhone Prices About To Increase? Not So FastThere's currently a trade war between the United States and China, which normally would go unnoticed by most consumers, except most of the stuff we consume these days is built in China. So does the latest round of U.S. tariffs on good manufactured in China mean iPhone prices are about to increase? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Some economists have predicted prices for iPhones will go up about $100 after this latest round of tariffs. But others are saying no, that's very unlikely because Apple will simply move production outside China to avoid the tariffs:

     

    Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that any tariffs implemented by the US won't impact Apple's pricing because of supply chain moves implemented by Apple CEO Tim Cook, and because of that pre-planning, there won't be any impact to Apple's shipments.

    Read more of what Ming-Chi Kuo has to say on the matter right here.

     

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone on record saying that the company has no plans (or capacity) to take iPhone production outside of China but some of their parts suppliers are already making moves:

     

    We’ve already seen reports of some iPhone exports from the country, confirming expectations that Indian production won’t be limited to domestic sales, though only on a very small scale to date.

    There have also been reports of MacBook and iPad production in Indonesia, Pegatron building production lines in India and Vietnam and AirPods contract manufacturer GoerTek beginning test production in Vietnam.

    You can read more about these production moves in this article by 9to5 Mac.

     

    For now, the Apple says it intends to absorb the cost of the import taxes rather than immediately pass them on to consumers.

    But how long can the company keep that up? No way good way to tell. Apple is certainly flush with capital at the moment, so theoretically they could keep it up for quite some time. But it seems as if, sooner or later, something will have to give. Either the tariffs or the production in China. Or maybe Apple will simply stop paying the fees themselves and just pass them on to consumers.

    So far, nobody really knows what the future will hold.

     

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  3. 5G Is Coming! Is Your Smartphone Ready?

    5G Is Coming! Is Your Smartphone Ready?In case you haven't been paying attention, a new type of cellular capability known as 5G wireless in coming, and it stands to change everything about smartphone technology.

    According to everyone who has tried it says that 5-G wireless makes your smartphone faster than your desktop or laptop computer at home:

    In a real-world test I did with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on an AT&T network in Hollywood, California, I saw data transfer rates of 1.8 Gbps (gigabits per second). That’s 60 times faster than the national average of 30 Mbps (megabits per second). In real-world numbers, it’s the difference between downloading an entire season of "Stranger Things" or "Orange Is the New Black" from Netflix in three minutes versus three hours.

    If you want all the technical details of how 5G works and why it works, check out the rest of this article from USA Today.

    Despite the promise of how much better 5G is than what we've become accustomed to, our current crop of smartphones (with a couple questionable exceptions we won't get into here) just can't handle it. They need upgrades and manufacturers from Samsung to Apple and everyone in between are scrambling to get them ready.

    The roll-out of 5G networks will be gradual, but inevitable. And the first smartphone makers to have their devices ready will no doubt have an advantage.

    Apple executives know this, so they are preparing not one, or two, but three different 5G capable iPhone models. They also took the step of buying Intel's 5G modem business.

    Kuo's new estimate is up from the two 5G iPhone models the analyst previously estimated Apple would produce. Apple, however, will need to compete with low-cost 5G options. Its 2019 iPhones that will likely be announced in September are still not expected to support 5G.

    "Apple has more resources for developing the 5G iPhone after the acquisition of Intel baseband business, " Kuo said in his note. "We expect that the prices of 5G Android smartphones will decline to $249-349 USD in 2H20," he added, noting that "consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function" by the time they're launched.

    You can read more about Apple's plans for 5G smartphones and what you might expect from this latest upgrade in this article by The Street.

    In the meantime, let us know what your plans are for a possible upgrade of your smartphone. Are you ready now or will you wait to see how the new tech shakes out  before taking the plunge?

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  4. Are Your Smartphone Apps Spying On You?

    Are Your Smartphone Apps Spying On You?Have you tried the new FaceApp challenge to show your friends what you might look like 50 years from now?

    Neither have we.

    The reason is because it is an insecure app which basically wants to retain the rights to your images for any purpose they see fit to use them for. This is not too different from the disclaimers which come with other apps (Have you ever read the Snapchat or Instagram terms of use?) The big difference here, however, is the company behind the app. Forget for a moment they are a Russian company and focus instead on the fact they really have no track record by which a user could determine their eventual intentions. Good? Bad? Trustworthy? Untrustworthy? Nobody knows.

    That got us thinking about other apps being downloaded by the thousands (millions?) every day. Are smartphone users taking the right steps to protect their privacy and keep their data protected? Probably not.

    And it turns out, we're not the only ones wondering how careful app users are being with their data. Business News Daily had an excellent article detailing all the steps a person can take to both enjoy the use of apps and protect their data:

    The apps we download are what make our phones unique to us. We entrust our data to these apps in exchange for their use. But what happens when that trust is violated? In recent years, major apps have been the center of massive intrusions from hackers and data breaches that have left our private data exposed.

    To help you keep your private data safe, we spoke with security experts about the steps you can take to make sure the information on your phone data isn't vulnerable – whether you're connected to your small business's network or just watching cat videos.

     

    The article goes on to list different steps you can take to protect your yourself from intrusive apps that might steal, sell or simply mis-use your data. It's definitely worth a rad, especially if you're prone to downloading an app without reading the user agreement. Read the article here, and start taking your data privacy a little bit more seriously.

     

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  5. Take Your iPhone To The 'Next Level'

    Take Your iPhone To The 'Next Level'Nothing says "read me!" quite like a headline that offers to help you take your iPhone experience to the next level, and this article by Digital Trends certainly delivers on its promise.

    The author, Mark Jansen, lists 13 different tips for iOS 13 users from 'Dark Mode' to 'Apple Maps' to Siri shortcuts, there's something for even the most proficient iPhone users.

    Look Around is Apple’s answer to Google Streetview, and it allows you to “look around” a location before you visit. To use it, head to a location on Apple Maps and select it by long-pressing on the map. If Look Around is supported in this location you’ll see a Look Around image. Tap it to jump down to street level and drag to move around. While you’re here, you can also drag up from the bottom of the screen to see facts about the location, or add it to your Favorites.

    Jansen even offers some "what is coming next" insider tips for those of you who are already awaiting the next Apple iOS update. In the meantime, check out the complete article here and let us know if you think he missed any cool tricks in the Comments below!

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  6. Sony Is Rolling, Rolling, Rolling Smartphone Tech

    Sony Is Rolling, Rolling, Rolling Smartphone TechHave you heard about the latest smartphone innovation? No, not foldable phones. we're talking about an even more advanced advancement: smartphones that roll up like a Swiss roll.

    That's right. Instead of following the foldable phone model that companies like Samsung and Huawei have been pursuing, Sony is going in a (somewhat) completely different direction.

     

    While we wait for folding phones from Samsung and Huawei to go on sale, Sony is apparently working on some flexible display tech of its own – but in this case we're talking about a rollable phone rather than a foldable one.

    Tipster Max J from AllAboutSamsung says that he has genuine intel about prototypes being worked on at Sony. Note that we're talking prototypes here, so the details could change before a full consumer launch.

    There are no specific details available yet. Just a whole bunch of insider gossip, tips and patents which have led us to the point where we're all anxiously awaiting the moment we can roll up our smartphone and sip a soda through it.

    (Ok, we don't recommend you do that with your new smartphone, whether it rolls up or not!)

    TechRadar has a detailed article about the moves Sony is making, including details about the model expected. You can read that here. In the meantime use the Comments to let us know what you think about a smartphone that rolls up versus one that folds or the more traditional models that just sit there and occupy space.

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  7. Is Your Smartphone Secure? It Should Be

    Is Your Smartphone Secure? It Should BeYour smartphone may seem secure--you use a thumbprint or facial recognition to log-in and you are always careful about which you download and trust--but is it really as secure as you think it is?

    The number of mobile phone account take overs nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018--that means fraudsters have been striking lucky often enough to make smartphones a more attractive target.

    Kansas City Business Journal has a handy list of all the precautions you should be taking to protect your privacy and account while using your smartphone.

    With smartphones playing a critical role in our everyday lives, personal security is becoming an even more prevalent discussion than past years. Mobile security is more advanced than ever before; however, scammers are also getting smarter in their tactics.

    When it comes to your smartphone, there are many precautions you can take to eliminate the risk of fraud and increase security measures. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate your life from home to work and everywhere in between.

    You can read the article for the entire list, here. In the meantime, let us your thoughts on smartphone security in the Comments below. Do you feel safe using your smartphone? Do you feel your smartphone is secure enough? Let us know!

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  8. 'Next Level' iOS 13 Tricks

    'Next Level' iOS 13 TricksWelcome to iOS 13 Apple iPhone users!

    From Dark Mode to Reminders, unique Animojis to sharing music over Airpods, just about everything got some sort of tweak to its functionality, and some have seen some major updates which provide vast improvements.

    Lucky for us Digital Trends went through all the changes that come with iOS 13 and breaks them down, one by one:

    While there are third-party editing apps for iOS, the base iPhone software has always lacked its own editing tools. That is, until iOS 13. Now you can adjust various key parts of your photos and videos from your Photos app. To give it a go for yourself, head into your Photos app. From there, select a photo and then tap the Edit button. From there, try swiping between options and adjusting sliders to see how altering various options changes the look of your picture.

    Many of these editing options are also available for videos, and you can now rotate videos with the Photos app.

     

    Digital Trends has more than a dozen different tips and tricks for iOS 13 and you can check them all out in this article. Then let us know in the Comments which new feature you like best!

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  9. Put That Smartphone Camera To Good Use

    Put That Smartphone Camera To Good UseToday's smartphones have the most advanced and technologically superior digital cameras commercially available today. It is not so long ago that digital camera quality was limited to hard body DSLR models that required a Masters degree in Science and Engineering to figure out. Now everyone has a high quality DSLR in their pocket. This type of high-tech access to high-quality photographic equipment has led to more user-generated content being posted every day than human civilization created in the previous 20 centuries. Unfortunately, despite this plethora of selfies, not everyone knows how to use these cameras to anything near their fullest potential so most of that content is subpar.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of people ready to offer some basic tips to help you start taking pictures today!

     

    Use a composition grid, available on most smartphones, to divide the scene into nine equal rectangles.

    The idea is to add a point of interest at any of the six intersections.

    By placing the subject off-centre it appears to have more space to move around and in to.

    You can find a great list of basic smartphone camera tips to get you start right here. But remember, practice makes perfect, so keep up the great work! And feel free to share your best photos with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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  10. New LG W-Series Smartphone On The Way

    New LG W-Series Smartphone On The WayHow many cameras are too many?

    When smartphone cameras eclipsed DSLRs in quality everyone thought "Wow! How can they top that?!"

    Then they put a camera on both sides of the device and everyone thought "Wow! How can they top that?!"

    Then they put double cameras on phones and triple cameras and everyone thought "Wow! How can they top that?!"

    Well, LG believes the way to top that is to offer those same features in a much less expensive device.

    LG smartphones are powered up by A.I. and the W-series will have the same features. This is a budget smartphone; however, it will have many features of an expensive smartphone such as a wide-angle lens, triple camera, five camera modes, and more. The W-series will be available in unique colors such as sea-green, electric blue and black, which are never seen before in any smartphones.

    If you ask us, getting the very best smartphone technology without a need to break the bank, sounds like the best innovation of all!

     

    You can read more about the new LG W-Series smartphone right here.

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