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  1. Apple Event Next Week: What To Expect?

    Apple Event, Apple Watch, iPhone 11,We've heard the rumors--they've been circulating the chat rooms and forums and newsrooms for months--but although much has been said, nobody really knows what to expect at next week's annual Apple Event.

    A new iPhone? Seems likely. An update to iOS? Maybe. What about Apple watch--there's a possibility there, sure. And will we get new MacBooks?

    The answer is--nobody knows for sure except Tim Cook and a handful of Apple engineers and assorted employees, all sworn to secrecy.

    Good thing for those of us who "need to know right now" what's going to be announced next week, CNET has rounded up and sorted through all the rumors to give us a pretty decent idea what Apple might announce on September 10.

    Apple is expected to launch three new iPhone models in 2019, similar to last year's lineup. This year's iPhone XS, XS Max sequels are rumored to be called the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, adding yet another element to Apple's already complicated naming scheme. The cheaper iPhone XR sequel, on the other hand, is set to be called the iPhone 11, with no additional letters, numbers or Roman numerals.

    In terms of design, the three phones will apparently look almost identical to the 2018 lineup, at least from the front. The 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are said to have 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED screens, while the 11 will have a 6.1-inch LCD screen with the same size notch at the top on all three models. Many of Apple's competitors, including Samsung, have eliminated the notch.

     

    But CNET doesn't stop with iPhone possibilities. Their story also includes the most-likely-to-be-true rumors about the Apple Watch, iPads, AirPods, MacBook Pro and Apple TV.

    Check out the full CNET story here.

     

    Which new Apple product update has you most excited? Tell us the Comment section below!

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  2. Keep Your Smartphone Battery In Good Health

    Keep Your Smartphone Battery In Good HealthToday's smartphones do a whole lot more than make calls. Texts, email, social media, apps, smarthome control -- there seems to be no end to what your smartphone can do, provided it has enough charge to last.

    There have been repeated warnings from smartphone manufacturers about the dangers of charging your smartphone for too long. But did you know letting it run down to zero is also not the best idea? Wireless charging versus traditional plugged-in charging: is one worse or better than the other? Meanwhile manufacturers are offering software updates that promise to increase battery life. But do they work?

    Up, down and around and around. Smartphone battery care can be almost as confusing as the smartphone itself.

    Fortunately, there is lots of useable information available for consumers who want to get the most life out of their smartphone battery.

     

    Like the tips in this article from Wired:

    Managing battery life is a delicate operation, and it's something that iOS and Android are gradually getting better at. You shouldn't really need another reason to keep the software on your phone up to date, but if you do, this is it.

    Thanks to lots of proactive nudging by manufacturers, it's getting increasingly difficult to keep your phone out of date for long. Which is great, not just battery life but the security of your device, compatibility with other apps and hardware, and so much more. In fact, you should go ahead and turn on auto-updates everywhere you can.

    There's a whole lot more smartphone battery care tips in that Wired article. You can read them all right here.

    In the meantime, what special steps do you take to care for your smartphone battery? Let us know in the comments below!

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  3. 5G Is Coming Sooner Than Thought

    5G Is Coming Sooner Than ThoughtCan't wait until next year to get your hands on a suped-up 5G capable smartphone?

    One-Plus feels your pain, and so its announced new 5G smartphones coming in 2019. (That's this year for those of you without a calendar.)

     

    From a recent Forbes article:

    One-Plus CELO Pete Lau confirmed the details in an interview with the Financial Times. XDA Developers’ Jeff McIntire has the details:

    "OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed his company is preparing to manufacture a second 5G phone before the end of 2019, this time being 5G-capable globally… This device should pick up the mantle from its predecessor OnePlus 7 Pro, the company’s first 5G-capable phone."

    The news comes as a surprise to many and a relief to early adopters who weren't satisfied with 5G hardware stuffed into a smartphone model that was 'same old, same old.' They want something new and spiffy to show off not only the blazing fast speed of 5G but also the latest smartphone design.

    So if you've been itching to get your hands on a new 5G capable smartphone, you might want to keep your eye on OnePlus. Or wait until next year to see what Apple may (or may not) be releasing next.

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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