First Samsung Galaxy J7 Duo render appears

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Recently we learned the mysterious SM-J720F phone is actually going to be called Samsung Galaxy J7 Duo and is bound to arrive in India. Today, the first press render of the phone popped up, showing a fairly standard standard Galaxy J series design. Samsung Galaxy J7 Duo The front panel of the Galaxy J7 Duo hosts a standard 16:9 screen, a physical home key below and capacitive buttons in the newer Samsung Experience designs. The selfie camera is coming with an LED flash for all the selfies in low-light environment. Looking on the left side there’s no Bixby button, with Samsung…

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The iOS App Store Shrank for the First Time in 2017

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Last year, Apple removed hundreds of thousands of scammy and low-quality apps from the App Store. It also tightened the rules and regulations on the App Store that led to the removal of many apps and also phased out 32-bit apps from the App Store. The result of all this? Continue reading
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Cumulative App Store titles declined for first time in 2017, report says

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Apple’s gigantic selection of App Store apps contracted for the first time in 2017, with the online storefront shedding 5 percent of its total app count over the year, according to a report from reporting platform Appfigures.
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JVC’s first DLP 4K projector is $2,499

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JVC has a number of 4K projectors, but the cheapest model is $ 3,999, and all of them use JVC’s own special-blend D-ILA technology.

But JVC is finally stooping down to serve the masses with a more traditional DLP-based 4K HDR projector at a (relatively) affordable $ 2,499 price point. JVC’s new LX-UH1 is a 2,000 lumen projector with a 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and support for HDR10. JVC has kindly included a wide range of vertical and horizontal lens-shifting angles, and a touch of zoom, so it should be relatively easy to install this projector and get the image aimed at the correct spot on your wall.

Without some in-depth reviews, it’s hard to tell what makes JVC’s new projector $ 1,000 better than the Optoma or BenQ 4K…

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App Store shrank for first time in 2017 thanks to crackdowns on spam, clones and more

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The App Store shrank for the first time in 2017, according to a new report from Appfigures. The report found the App Store lost 5 percent of its total apps over the course of the year, dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end.

Google Play, meanwhile, grew in 2017 — it was up 30 percent to more than 3.6 million apps.

Appfigures speculated the changes had to do with a combination of factors, including stricter enforcement of Apple’s review guidelines, along with a technical change requiring app developers to update their apps to the 64-bit architecture.

Apple had also promised back in 2016 that it would clean up its iOS App Store by removing outdated, abandoned apps, including those that no longer met current guidelines or didn’t function as intended. That cleanup may have well stretched into 2017, as app store intelligence firms only started seeing the effects in late 2016. For example, there was a spike in app removals back in October 2016.

Then in 2017, Apple went after clones and spam apps on the App Store. Combined with those apps that weren’t 64-bit compatible and those that hadn’t been downloaded in years, the removals reached into the hundreds of thousands over a 12-month period. Apple later went after template-based apps, too, before dialing back its policies over concerns it was impacting small businesses’ ability to compete on the App Store.

To see the App Store shrink, given these clear-outs, isn’t necessarily surprising. However, Appfigures found that removals of existing apps weren’t the only cause. iOS developers weren’t releasing as many apps as they had during the growth years, it also claims.

Android developers launched 17 percent more apps in 2017 to reach 1.5 million total new releases. But iOS developers launched just 755,00 new apps — a 29 percent drop and the largest drop since 2008.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean developers weren’t creating as many iOS apps — it could mean that Apple’s review team has gotten tougher about how many apps it allows in. Thanks to the spam and clone app crackdown, fewer apps of questionable quality are being approved these days.

In addition, some portion of the new Android app releases during the year were iOS apps being ported to the Google Play platform. More than twice as many apps came to Android in 2017 than Android apps coming to iOS, the report said.

The full report also developed into the numbers of cross-platform apps (450,000 are on both stores), the most popular non-native tools (Cordova and Unity), the rise in native development, the countries shipping the most apps (U.S. followed by China) and the Play Store’s growth.

It can be viewed here.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Apple releases first macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 public beta

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Lagging a little behind the beta releases of iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1, the first public beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 was released by Apple today. A release exclusively for developers arrived last night. Like the first iOS 11.4 beta, the initial 10.13.5 beta appears to restore support for Messages in iCloud, a feature that stores…Read More
Apple – VentureBeat
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This tough, $700 phone is meant for first responders, but you can buy it if you want

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I have a soft spot for ultra-rugged devices. Sure, they may not always be the best phones out there when it comes to things like cameras or razor-sharp displays, but they’re a fascinating example of what happens when you take a multipurpose device like a smartphone and turn it into a gadget that’s designed for just one thing. In this case, that’s sheer and almost ridiculously overengineered ruggedness. Joining the ring as a new contender for the toughest phone yet is the Sonim XP8, which recently went on sale at AT&T, via Android Police.

As an Android phone, there’s not much to see here. It still runs Android Nougat, instead of the newer Oreo, and internally, there’s a Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (which can be…

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Tinder begins testing its first video feature, Tinder Loops

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Tinder is getting into video. On Wednesday, the popular dating app will begin testing its first video-based feature, Tinder Loops, with iOS users in Canada and Sweden. The company says it will evaluate how users respond to Loops before making a decision to roll it out to other markets.

As you may have guessed by the name – “Loops” – the feature isn’t focused on traditional video, but rather on a shorter, almost GIF-like looping video format that’s been popularized by apps like Instagram’s Boomerang and, before that, Twitter’s Vine. In Tinder’s case, Loops will be just two seconds long, and can be added to users’ profiles alongside their photos.

The company says it decided to test videos because it believes videos can show more of users’ personalities, and that can increase people’s chances of getting right-swiped (liked, that is). It suggests the videos could be used for showing off your favorite activities – like shooting hoops or cliff jumping. But it’s likely that Tinder users will find other use cases for looping videos beyond that.

Loops represents the next step in the evolution of our classic profile,” said Brian Norgard, Chief Product Officer at Tinder. “With the addition of video, users have a new way to express themselves while also gaining key insights into the lives of potential matches. Whether it’s dancing at a concert, doing cartwheels on the beach, or clinking glasses with friends, Loops makes profiles come alive. We anticipate Tinder Loops will lead to even more matches and conversations and look forward to seeing how our users creatively adopt the feature,” he added.

More realistically, looping videos may better show people as they are – not hidden behind a soft photo filter or snapped from a classic MySpace angle. And that could lead to less surprise on first dates, as people will have already gotten a better sense of who they’re meeting, as well as how they like to have fun.

But at only two-seconds long, Loops are not as intimidating as posting a “real” video for users who are more shy.

To try the new feature, iOS users in the supported markets will be able to go to their profile, then tap the “Add Media” button to upload a video. Once the video is selected, you can drag the time strip to select the part you want to loop, preview it, and post it to your profile.

Tinder Loops currently supports only videos or Live Photos imported from your iOS Camera Roll. It doesn’t allow users to capture Loops directly from the app.

Alongside the option to add Loops, a subset of users in the test markets will also be given the ability to upload nine photos (or Loops), instead of just six. That could encourage more uploads of Loops as users won’t have to remove their existing photos to give the feature a try.

Tinder would not be the first dating app to dabble with video.

Starting last year, a number of its rivals began to support video in various contexts, as well. Hinge started allowing users to add videos up to 30 seconds long to their profiles; Match and Bumble announced Stories-like features involving video (BumbleVID didn’t pan out); and Zoosk tried video in a separate app, Lively, which has since pivoted to trivia. Integrating video, it appears, is not that easy.

The feature’s launch comes at a time when the competition between modern dating apps has been heating up. Specifically, Tinder and Bumble’s battles have gotten nasty, with Tinder parent Match Group suing Bumble over patents, and Bumble suing Match Group back for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets. Tinder also recently said it would roll out a ladies-first option in its app, which is the thing Bumble is best known for.

Now, with Loops, Tinder is differentiating itself further from the rest of the pack. Whether or not users will respond, however, remains to be seen.

Loops is rolling out today to the supported test markets.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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First mobile phone call made 45 years ago today

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A historic milestone occurred April 3, 1973: the very first call on a mobile phone. It was the phone equivalent of landing on the moon. But that call wasn’t an inspirational message — some equivalent of “a giant leap for mankind.” Nope, Martin Cooper, who headed up Motorola’s team developing the cell phone, called Joel Engel, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Apple issues first macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 beta to developers

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Following the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 on Friday, Apple has restarted the operating system testing cycle once again, issuing its first beta of macOS 10.13.5 to developers enrolled in Apple’s testing program on Tuesday.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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