New indie project could lead to a bunch of Wear OS smartwatch competitors

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Soon, there could be a number of indie operating systems for your smartwatch, sprouting from an open-source code project launched last week. Indie developers making budget smartwatches can now use starting code from Project OpenWatch to craft their Android-based operating systems. The OpenWatch project is live as of last week. It was released by Blocks, the same company behind the forthcoming Blocks modular smartwatch.

Blocks’ head of engineering, Karl Taylor, said that the project is meant to “open up the smartwatch OS space to the open source community in a bid to loosen the stranglehold on the industry by other, essentially proprietary operating system.” He named Google’s Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) and Apple’s watchOS as the two…

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Google plans to boost Amazon competitors in search

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google may be assembling a supergroup of big retail brands to go to war with Amazon over the future of online shopping. Reuters is reporting that the search engine is teaming up with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and Ulta for the new project. T…
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Estimates peg HomePod build cost at $216, Apple’s margin smaller than competitors

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According to the latest research from TechInsights, Apple is shelling out $ 216 to build HomePod, meaning margins from the tech giant’s first smart speaker are much slimmer than those of its flagship iPhone line.
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Walmart joins, well most of its competitors, in selling e-books

Enlarge (credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg)

Most Walmart stores have modest book sections, but now the company plans to expand that with digital books. Walmart announced that it’s teamed up with Japan’s Rakuten to sell e-books, audiobooks, and Rakuten’s Kobo e-readers later this year.

“We have long been a destination for entertainment including digital content—whether movies through VUDU or the digital game cards we sell in our stores,” Walmart’s statement said. “E-books and audiobooks are a great addition to our assortment. Working with Rakuten Kobo enables us to quickly and efficiently launch a full e-book and audiobook catalog on to provide our customers with additional choices alongside our assortment of physical books.”

Kobo e-readers and compatible e-books are mostly popular outside the US in countries including Canada, the UK, France, Italy, and Australia. Walmart will be Kobo’s “exclusive” US partner, meaning it will be the biggest retailer to sell Kobo e-readers in the country, along with access to its library of over six million e-books.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Hardware and Software Integration Will Set HomePod Apart From Competitors

Apple CEO Tim Cook is spending some time in Canada this week, and yesterday he attended a hockey game and visited the Eaton Centre Apple Store in Toronto.

Cook today stopped by the offices of Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify, where he spoke to the Financial Post about augmented reality apps and the HomePod.

On the topic of the HomePod, Cook said that Apple’s deep integration between hardware and software will help to differentiate the smart speaker from competing products like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home.

“Competition makes all of us better and I welcome it,” Cook said. “(But) if you are both trying to license something and compete with your licensees, this is a difficult model and it remains to be seen if it can be successful or not.”

Cook also said a quality, “very immersive audio experience” was one thing missing from the smart speaker market, which Apple is aiming to fix. “Music deserves that kind of quality as opposed to some kind of squeaky sound,” he said.

The HomePod, which, at $349 in the United States is more expensive than competing products, features a 7 tweeter array, an Apple-designed 4-inch upward-facing woofer, and spatial awareness, all of which is designed to provide the best possible sound.

During his interview with the Financial Post, Cook also spoke about augmented reality, a topic he’s covered many times in the past. Cook said AR is “the most profound technology of the future” that’s able to amplify human experience instead of substitute it.

Cook said developers across Canada are adopting AR at a “very fast rate” and that he “couldn’t be happier” with developer interest in ARKit.

Cook’s full interview, which includes additional comments on augmented reality and details on features coming to Shopify, can be read over at the Financial Post website.

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iPhone X seen as ‘strategic success’ for Apple as 3D sensing cameras 2 years ahead of competitors

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Fretting over iPhone X sales data is a fool’s errand, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes, as he told investors on Monday that the premium-priced handset is a key strategic move for the company, positioning it far ahead of competitors for years to come.
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Roku Streaming Stick & Stick+ review: A great pair of Chromecast competitors

Roku was one of the first companies in the streaming set-top box market. Over the years, it has released quite a few devices, ranging from Chromecast-shaped sticks to 4K-capable boxes. You may recall that Roku revamped its lineup last month, and now sells five different products for different use cases.

The original Streaming Stick was released in 2012, and while it received generally favorable reviews, the requirement of MHL-enabled TVs (to draw power) and the poor performance were major drawbacks.

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Roku Streaming Stick & Stick+ review: A great pair of Chromecast competitors was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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iPhone X’s Top 3 Fiercest Android Competitors

The iPhone X is finally here, and it’s the first major overhaul the iPhone line has seen in years. Fittingly, the tenth anniversary iPhone is already being hailed the finest device Apple has made yet, though at $ 1,000, it’s not without its competitors. Here’s a roundup of the strongest rivals that are vying against the iPhone X:

3 Google Pixel 2 XL

Google Officially Unveils Pixel 2 and Pixel XL

Google has unveiled its second generation of in-house smartphones. The Pixel 2 XL is the pricier option at $ 849, thanks in part to its powerful Snapdragon 835 processor and 6-inch edge-to-edge QHD OLED display– which is larger than the 5.8” OLED display featured on the iPhone X. It also ushers water resistance into the Pixel lineup while doing away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack. One feature that sets the Pixel 2 XL apart from its competitors is its powerful camera, which has notched the highest score ever in the DXO Rankings for its “excellent color rendering” and “impressive dynamic range”.

The downside is that the Pixel 2 XL only has one rear-facing camera compared to the two camera setup that its peers have opted for. Not to mention that the selfie-cam on the iPhone X features a TrueDepth module with advanced lasers and sensors that identify your face, unlock your phone, and log you into apps seamlessly.

2 LG V30

LG has also jumped on the bezel-less bandwagon with its LG V30, which features a stunning 6-inch P-OLED display with a high resolution of 537 ppi for the relatively low price of $ 750. Like its Android peers, the V30 runs on a Snapdragon 835, but lags behind the Note 8 in terms of RAM (4GB). The V30 has water resistance, a dual rear camera (16MP and 13MP), a 5MP front camera, as well as a microSD slot for up to 256GB of storage expansion–something that the iPhone X notably lacks.

As far as raw processing power goes, it’s hard to beat the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic processor despite the fact that the V30 offers 1 more GB of RAM. The iPhone X stands out for its advanced TrueDepth module and FaceID, which has KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo declaring that the Apple flagship is a full two years ahead of its Android competitors in terms of security and sophistication. The V30 does offer both fingerprint scanning and face unlock which reportedly works “fine”. However, Kuo argues that the TrueDepth camera distinguishes itself for its ability to scan facial features in 3D, which paves the way for more realistic and responsive Animoji. In terms of pure specs, the iPhone X keeps up with or edges out its rivals in key categories while outstripping them in terms of raw power and technological sophistication.

1 Samsung Galaxy Note 8

4 Ways Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 Will Beat iPhone 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ($ 930) is also a strong contender for the title of best smartphone of 2017. Like the iPhone X, it is water resistant and has a dual camera setup on its rear, featuring two of 12 MP cameras. On top of that, it has an 8 MP front-facing camera compared to the iPhone X’s 7 MP camera. The Note 8 also provides a hefty 6 GB of RAM compared to the iPhone X’s 3 GB and offers a microSD storage slot for expansion to boot. Like the Pixel 2 XL, the Note 8 runs on a Snapdragon 835, Androids anointed competitor to Apple’s more powerful A11 Bionic processor.

But its standout feature is undoubtedly its massive 6.3-inch, edge-to-edge OLED display, which outstrips those of its competitors in size and quality. Dubbed the “Infinity Display”, the Note 8’s display panel dominates the bezel-less phone and has topped rankings for display quality.

By comparison, iPhone X also features a Samsung OLED “Super Retina” display that’s smaller (5.8-inches) and has a notch cut out of the top to make room for its TrueDepth camera system, which takes some getting used to. With HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and True Tone technology, the newest iPhone’s OLED display is no slouch by any means. While it provides less color saturation than Samsung’s flagship, this was a deliberate choice on Apple’s part as it paves the way for a more natural color display. And at 458 ppi, the iPhone X’s display is the most pixel-dense of any iPhone.

At the point where you’re spending more than $ 900 on a smartphone, the iPhone X, at a $ 1,000 price point, is well worth considering given the uniqueness of its marquee features, namely, Face ID and the TrueDepth camera module.

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Why The Apple IPhone Has A Leg Up On Its Competitors

Doesn’t everyone have an iPhone? Although iPhones are incredibly popular, using how to use them is not easy. If you don’t know how to use your iPhone yet, keep reading. You can quickly become an expert by following the advice in the article below.

Protect the screen of your iPhone by purchasing a protective screen. Your phone will surely fall victim to nicks and scratches if you have not purchased a screen protector for it. All it takes is a small piece of dirt to cause a bad scratch. A screen protector is affordable and a worthwhile investment.

Apple has made it super easy to get definitions for words. Whenever you see a word, you want to get a definition for, whether it’s in an email, a text message, or on the internet, you can press on the word for a second or two, and a little pop-up will come up where you can select define.

If you use your iPhone as a listening device for your favorite mp3s, use this trick. To randomly shuffle to another song, simply shake the phone gently with a flick of your wrist. This is perfect for those who prefer to listen but don’t want to stop and take the time to select another song.

Did you know that unlike many cell phones, you can assign a ringtone for each feature on your phone? Well, it is the truth! All you have to do is go to the settings, tap on the sounds feature and assign the tone. For contacts, tap on a contact and assign a ringtone to this specific entry!

If you need to get back up to the top of a page, there is no need to use the scroll bar to slowly make your way up a long web page or email. Simply tap the bar at the top with the clock and you will be right back where you started. This is a simple shortcut that can save you time.

There is a real nifty trick for using your iPhone headphone to handle your calls easily. The mouthpiece actually doubles as another button. If you are using your headphones and receive a call, just pinch the button. This lets you answer the call. If you click the button, you can send the caller to your voice mail.

To increase your storage space on your iPhone, take advantage of iCloud. This will only take you a few minutes to set up, and it can triple or quadruple the amount of space that is made available. This is especially useful if you store a lot of photographs or a big music library on your phone.

If you don’t have an unlimited messaging plan, ensure that the character count setting is enabled on your iPhone. Messages over 160 characters will be split, using two messages instead of one. To turn on this feature, go to “Settings,'” then “Messages,” and turn Character Count on. The counter will appear just above the “Send” button.

If you are in a call and cannot hear the person that you are talking to, you can adjust the volume settings on the left-side bar of the phone or put your phone on a speaker mode. This will help you to hear more clearly to improve the quality of your conversations with friends and family.

A great tip if you’re new to owning an iphone is not to store too much personal information on your phone. If by accident, your phone is lost or even stolen, someone can easily go through it, and access all of your sensitive information. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind.

Your iPhone’s calendar is a wonderful tool for organization. For faster and more efficient use of the tool, add events directly to the calendar rather than using your “+” button. First, change into “Day” view. Next, you can simply tap and hold any hour; a new event will automatically be created in that specific time. You’ll have more time to accomplish more with faster scheduling.

Do you need to create folders to organize your emails? IPhones do not support this feature, but you can use your IMAP email account to create folders. Access your IMAP server and create different folders. Save your emails in the different folders you created: this should help you keep track of your important messages.

To mark any emails on an iPhone as unread, locate that command. Find Details, click on Unread, and when the email is reopened, it will be seen as unread.

One of the most useful features of your iPhone is quite an extensive dictionary incorporated into the iOS. You can use this reference tool from virtually any app. You just need to tap and hold any word you want to learn more about, and select “Define,” which will be one of the available options shown.

You can use your iPhone to store files instead of buying a thumb drive separately. The best way to do this is to buy an inexpensive program called iPhoneDrive. Using this program, you can save files to your phone and then transfer the to your Mac at a later time.

Your iPhone is an amazingly useful and valuable piece of property. That’s what makes it such a great idea to enable Find My iPhone when you set up iCloud. Your iPhone’s internal GPS makes it easy to pinpoint its location in the event of loss or theft. You can even lock your phone or make it play sounds remotely.

If you are online with your iPhone, and you see a number that you would like to call, there is no need to go use the phone component. All you need to do is tap the number that you are interested in calling, and the phone will automatically dial it for you.

You should now know much more about the many features of your iPhone and how to use them. Now it’s time to use that knowledge. You will quickly find that there is much more use of an iPhone than you previously thought.