Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BMW backtracks on Android Auto, says it won’t support it after all

In November 2015, during BMW’s quarterly conference call, its CEO Harald Krüger said that the company would add support for Google’s Android Auto OS, as well as its main rival, Apple’s CarPlay, in its future vehicles. Well, it looks like BMW has had second thoughts about those plans. In a new interview, a BMW exec has confirmed that it won’t be adding Android Auto support for its cars after all.

Android Auto: everything you need to know

December 11, 2016

In a chat with TechCrunch during the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show, Dieter May, BMW’s senior vice president of Digital Services and Business Models, he stated that while Apple CarPlay will continue to be supported, Android Auto will not. The reason May gave is that BMW wanted to be able to control the customer interface inside its upcoming cars, and because of that, the company felt that didn’t include room for an Android Auto screen.

BMW is creating its own ConnectedDrive platform, a cloud-based service that will allow its upcoming vehicles to offer features like smartphones apps to its drivers. In fact, May says that the company is excited about working with Google and other companies to integrate their voice-command digital assistants in its cars.

However, it has to be disappointing to Google that BMW has made the move not to support Android Auto. It would appear that some car makers are still debating whether or not they should use third-party operating systems in their vehicles, or make their own that can work with a number of different services. At the moment, the future of car technology still looks quite fluid, and it may take a few years before everything shakes out in this industry.

Are you disappointed that your next BMW won’t be able to use Android Auto, or did the car maker make the right decision? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

10 best travel apps for Android

This is a zoomed in image of GasBuddy and also the featured image for the best travel apps for android
Mobile phones are important tools for travelers. You can look up information, book hotels, book flights, find pit stops, and find out all kinds of information in the palm of your hand. More and more people are depending on their mobile phones for travel. Frankly, it’s easier that way. We’d like to help make your next trip easier too. Here are the best travel apps for Android! In the interest of variety, we do not cover any GPS or navigation apps here. You can find those linked just below if you need one!


Price: Free


Airbnb is one of the best independent travel apps. It also has some of the most varied options out there. For those who don’t know, Airbnb allows people to rent out spare rooms to random travelers. It boasts 2.5 million homes across over 190 countries. You can also add events to itinerary if you’re interested in other stuff. The app has had its problems and the independent nature lends itself to the occasional problem. However, it’s a really fun way to skirt the typical and go for something different.




Price: Free


Booking.com is among the most popular and highly rated travel apps out there. Its main feature is having over one million hotels, motels, and other accommodations at its disposal. Additionally, it has info on local attractions, landmarks, and even local WiFi hotspots. There are also some convenience tools like offline maps, paperless booking, adding reservations to your calendar, and more. It’s a good place to start if you’re planning a trip although you may want to cross-check with similar apps before making a commitment. The app itself is completely free to use.




Price: Free


GasBuddy is a road tripper’s best friend. Or at least it could be. The basic premise of the app is to help you find the cheapest gas that is also closest to you. Those on the road can find the nearest gas station in case they’re in the need of a fill up. The app is crowd sourced so you can report new gas prices if the ones you saw in the app were inaccurate. That way it helps everybody to help everybody else. Not that it’ll matter much, but they also run a daily promotion for $100 in free gas. The design is good and the whole experience is really easy to use. We definitely recommend it if you’re traveling anywhere by car.



Google Translate

Price: Free


Not everyone has the time to fully learn to speak, read, or write a new language. Those people should probably reach for an app like Google Translate. It features the ability to translate virtually any language into almost any other language. Additionally, there is a camera feature that lets you point your phone at a sign or a menu to get an instant translation. Best of all, there’s a real-time speech translator that can help you talk to people. It’s one of the most essential travel apps out there. It’s also totally free.


Google Translate

Google Trips

Price: Free


Google Trips is one of the relatively newer travel apps. It’s a trip planner app that lets you put all of your reservations, plans, and stuff to do all in one place. In addition to letting you store all of that stuff, the app has a list of nearby attractions that are both interesting and family friendly. Best of all, the app works offline so you’ll have access to the info even in areas with no web access. It’s newer and that means it does still need a bit of work. However, it should work more than well enough for most. Did we mention? It’s also free.


Google Trips


Price: Free


Kayak’s app has been around for a long time. It’s remained one of the more consistent travel apps for years. It’s an all-in-one app that lets you book hotels, flights, and rental cars. Along with that, it has an explore option so you check out where you want to travel. It’ll also let you track your pre-existing travel plans even if you didn’t book with them. It rounds out the experience with things like price alerts, deal alerts, and price forecasts to help you find a better deal. It does virtually everything you’d need it to do.




Price: Free


Priceline is one of the most well-known travel apps. We’ve all seen the commercials so you know what to expect. It features over 800,000 hotels along with thousands of rental car and flight options. It also features small quirks like Google Wallet support, future reservation tracking, and more. The app’s claim to fame is its various deals, such as the Express Deals, Name Your Own Price, and last minute hotel room deals. It’s not perfect, but it’s a big name in travel apps.



Travel Money

Price: Free / $2.49


Going on trips is hard enough even before you consider how much it costs. An app like Travel Money can help. It’s a simple budget app that lets you plan the financial side of your traveling. You can save your receipts and purchases during any given trip to track how much you spend. This is good if you’re vacationing on a budget. Alternatively, it’s essential if you’re traveling for business and need a record for tax season. The free version limits you to 50 purchases. That’s more than enough to let you test it out before forking out $2.49 for the full version.


Uber (and similar apps)

Price: Free


Uber, Lyft, and similar apps can help you find rides around town. They’re decent alternatives to something like a rental car for those who don’t plan on doing a lot of driving around town. Usually, their prices are fairly reasonable and you can always switch back and forth between them to find the better deals. They’re available in plenty of countries and wait times shouldn’t be too bad most of the time. We don’t recommend using them if you plan on driving a whole bunch because the money will add up. Otherwise, they’re great travel apps to pick up.


Uber (and similar apps)


Price: Free


Everybody knows about Yelp. It’s one of the top places to go if you want to know information about a business. While traveling, it can help you learn more about the area, find out where the good spots are, and help you avoid the places that aren’t great. The app uses a clean design that also makes it easy to use. You can also find various other services should you need them. It probably won’t be something you use too frequently, but it’s a handy tool should you ever need it. It’s also a good way to reference a second opinion if you’re not finding reviews on something like Google Maps.



If we missed any of the best travel apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Google’s YouTube TV is a streaming cable TV service for $35 a month

Google is making another big move for its YouTube service. The company has announced its plans to launch YouTube TV in the US, an internet-based television service that will offer access to local broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW, along with a bunch of cable networks, for $35 a month. The service will first launch later this year in the largest TV markets in the US, and will expand to more metro areas in the future.

YouTube viewers check out over 1 billion hours of videos daily, but has it reached its peak?

7 hours ago

In addition to the broadcast networks, YouTube TV will also offer access to over 40 cable channels. They will include entertainment channels like USA, FX, and SyFy, sports networks like ESPN and Fox Sports 1, and news channels like Fox News and MSNBC. The service will also offer access to the YouTube Originals shows that are available for subscribers to its YouTube Red service. YouTube TV will also offer access to the Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus premium channels for an additional fee.

One of the big features of the service its its cloud-based DVR.

One of the big features of the service its its cloud-based DVR. Google will offer an unlimited amount of cloud storage to save live TV shows, and YouTube TV will also support the recording of as many channels at the same time as you want. Each recording can be saved on the cloud account for up to nine months. The service will support up to six accounts for each paid subscription, and those folks can access up to three concurrent streams at a time. Each account can have its own personal cloud DVR storage, along with its own recommendations for TV shows.

While this service sound promising, especially its cloud DVR feature, the truth is that YouTube TV will be launching in an already crowded market. Similar internet-based TV services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and more recently DirecTV Now, are already online, and Hulu plans to launch a similar service later this year as well. There certainly won’t be enough room for all of them to stay afloat. Also, the $35 a month price for YouTube TV may be a bit too high for some users, as Sling TV already offers 30 channels for just $20 a month. and over 40 channels at $25 a month.

There’s also the fact that, at least at the moment, YouTube TV seems to be lacking a bunch of the major cable networks in its service, including CNN, TNT, AMC, Comedy Central and premium channels like HBO. It remains to be seen if the service will be able to add those networks sometime in the future. Not being able to come to terms with the many. many TV networks was one of the big reasons why Apple reportedly decided to cancel its own plans to launch a internet TV service.

Google plans to release a separate YouTube TV app for Android and iOS, and you will also be able to stream the video from those apps to your big screen TV with a Google Chromecast dongle or with a Chromecast built-in smart TV. There’s no word if a YouTube TV subscription will also include support for YouTube Red’s features like getting rid of ads or offline viewing of video.

If YouTube TV does launch in your market, would you consider paying for it and, as a result, make the move away from your standard cable or satellite service? Will this new service end up not offering enough channels and value for fans of TV? Do you think we will see one or more of these internet-based cable services shutting down because it can’t handle the competition and won’t be able to sign up enough people? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

The Sistine Chapel's masterpiece frescoes have been digitized

“In the future, this will allow us to know the state of every centimeter of the chapel as it is today, in 2017,” former head of the Vatican Museums Antonio Paolucci told the publication.

“We used special post-production software to get the depth, intensity, warmth and nuance of colors to an accuracy of 99.9 percent,” fine-art book publisher Scripta Maneant’s Giorgio Aramroli said.

Speaking of, if you can’t make it to Vatican City to check the ceiling paintings for yourself, these benchmark photos will be available in book form. Reuters writes that some 220 pages are printed at 1:1 scale, including The Creation of Adam and Jesus Christ’s face from The Last Judgment.

The thing is, the three-volume work is targeted at libraries and deep-pocketed collectors. There will only be 1,999 copies printed and for the price — $12,693 (€12,000) — so it’ll likely be cheaper to book a trip to Rome. Ciao!

Niantic teases Pokémon Go updates, along with Ingress revamp and more

Developer Niantic Labs recently launched a major new update for its AR mobile game Pokémon Go, and it apparently has some big future plans for that title, as well as some other projects.

How to hatch eggs in Pokemon Go

October 13, 2016

The last Pokémon Go update added over 80 new creatures to catch to the game. In an address held during the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show today, Niantic CEO John Hanke said players can expect three major new updates for Pokémon Go in 2017. There are no details yet on what will be contained in these updates, although there are rumors Niantic might be working on adding features like creature trading and Player vs. Player battles.

Hanke took no questions from the audience during his MWC 2017 address. However, he did reveal a few bits of interesting trivia about Pokémon Go. Fortune reports that, according to Hanke, players have captured a total of 88 billion Pokemon monsters so far. Those same folks have played the game with a total of 44 petabytes of mobile data.

Pokémon Go is not Niantic’s only game. Previous to its launch, it had developed and released a sci-fi themed mobile AR game called Ingress while it was still owned by Google. The game generated a devoted following and today Hanke said that a new version of Ingress is in the works and will be out later in 2017. He also mentioned that the developer has “some other projects” it is working on but he could not talk about them at the moment.

It seems pretty clear that Niantic Labs is doing very well, thanks to the success of Pokémon Go. Earlier this week at the Game Developers Conference, Niantic chief technology officer Phil Keslin said the game has been downloaded a total of 650 million times. The game reached the 500 million download milestone just two months after it launched in July 2016. That means the game has been downloaded 150 million times in the last five months or so.

Uber CEO argues with a driver over dropping income

The company declined to comment about the video to Bloomberg.

While it’s hard to know just how much Uber affected Kamel’s bottom line, there is some evidence to back up his claims. Uber drivers have complained that fare cuts are making the job unsustainable, and the company recently paid $20 million to resolve complaints that it exaggerated drivers’ potential income. At least for some workers, then, Uber isn’t nearly as alluring as it was in previous years.

Kalanick’s behavior isn’t unexpected, but calling this bad timing would be an understatement. Many have already accused him of being tone deaf to social issues, whether it’s sexism among his staff or his initial reluctance to leave President Trump’s advisory council despite widespread anger. While there are hints of a more receptive approach (Kalanick recently met with women at Uber to listen to their issues), the video suggests there’s still room for improvement. He’s not exactly reassuring drivers worried that they’re merely serving as placeholders until self-driving cars can take over.

How I went from a starving artist in a call center to a work-from-home coder

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links.

I graduated college in 2009, right in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis. Jobs didn’t exist, especially not for someone with zero experience holding a limp Fine Arts degree.

My life quickly stalled, but this is how I pulled myself out of a tailspin thanks, for the most part, to Python.

I had slid through my undergrad with just enough scholarships to keep me (mostly) out of debt. I had some college loan credit that helped me survive that first summer without a job.

My main medium is linoleum printing, so I threw myself into my art.

I thought I had been clever.

See, painters have a problem. Once they’re finished with a piece, they can only sell it once. Sure, they can pay to have prints made, but that’s extra expense and your final product – no matter how you spin it – is basically a cheap poster.

Linoleum printing is different. Basically, I get this fat pad of linoleum that has the texture and toughness of really hard clay. Then I carve out a piece of art using a set of special blades.

Once my design is complete, I take a roller and spread extremely sticky, thick ink all over the surface. Think pitch black molasses. Then I press a piece of paper to it, and walah! A work of art ready to dry and frame.

Mass production was my angle. Unlike painters, I could make as many prints in-house as I wanted and just keep selling them.

Only problem was… nobody was buying them.

My ratty apartment was soon cluttered with monochrome prints with my increasingly less-confident signature scrawled across the bottom.

I thought I had been clever.

Cash was running out, and fall was looming, so I went to apply for a job at a coffee shop.

Realizing that I was essentially becoming a walking cliche, I bailed on the barista application halfway through.


With few options and little understanding of the “real world” I decided to hide out in academia a bit longer. I got a master’s degree, but I still hadn’t learned my lesson.

Instead of getting something practical, I went with Visual Arts.

I ended up answering phones for an internet service provider.

It soon became clear that the 9-5 workflow didn’t agree with me at all. Every night I faced a horrendous dilemma. I could:

A) Go to bed early, meaning the next nightmarish day would come all the sooner or

B) Stay up late, postponing the next day but guaranteeing it would be even worse for my exhaustion.

I started trying to pick up some freelance design work on the side, but this was futile. Kids on Fivver are churning out good-enough work for most businesses’ purposes in a time when everyone is cutting corners.

My life, my nightmare

I wasn’t marketable.

I was getting thoroughly plastered with my friend Julian one Friday night, venting my frustrations to him.

At some point, I realized that I had no idea what Julian actually did for a living. He always seemed on social media in the middle of the day, and he never missed a party or complained about office politics. As far as I knew, the guy didn’t even have a degree.

I asked him, and he told me developed software remotely for several companies. He never clocked in, never had to commute, and only rarely had to pick up a phone.

Of course I was interested in how he got into this line of work, and his story was that he kind of just fiddled around with programming after high school for a few years living with his parents. Eventually, he had enough work to move out.

I wanted that. I wanted his lifestyle.

He never clocked in, never had to commute, and only rarely had to pick up a phone.

But I didn’t have the luxury of moving back in with my parents, and I was living in daily agony. My soul was being ground away one “Thank you for calling, how may I help you” at a time, so I didn’t think I could survive tinkering with code for the next few years just to develop a base skillset.

I needed a faster solution.

I was no stranger to investing in myself, and in spite of my situation, I still believed in the value of education. I’d paid off my student loan debt through meager living, but I was going to need to go into debt again to make this happen.

I threw several thousand dollars into online courses centered on programming.

I wanted his lifestyle.

I’m not going to lie. It was a massive uphill battle. Instead of drinking my evenings away, I would battle traffic from the office just to throw myself back in front of a computer. I would study coding until my eyeballs felt like they were about to fall out of my head, then the next day I’d do it again.

And again.

At the time, it was exhausting. But looking back, I remember those days as a Rocky-style montage of fingers flying across the keyboard and Starbucks canned espressos piling up in the trash can. Cue “Eye of the Tiger.”

My saving grace, sweet nectar of the gods

Six months later, I landed my first remote programming gig.

I told them I was fluent in Python and currently worked for an internet service provider. They never asked what I did there, and I never told them I just answered the phones.

It’s hard to believe that was three years ago.

Today my life is radically different.

I wake up at 10am most mornings, do some coding for my clients, and surf the web. I have a full workload, but I still have time to work on my linoleum prints. I’ve even sold a few.

I’m making more money than I was answering phones, and I love my life. There’s no traffic, no office politics, no cubicles.

Some days I don’t get out of my pajamas. Some days I crack a beer or two in the early afternoon to hit that Ballmer Peak.

In fact, I love what I do so much, I’ve become pretty evangelical about it. I want others to have the kind of freedom and life enjoyment that I do.

One of my pastimes now is staying abreast the kind of online classes that helped me get my act together and sharing them with people I think might like them. When I went all-in on learning how to program, I probably seriously overspent.

I threw several thousand dollars into online courses centered on programming.

If I had done a little more research, I would have discovered that many of these online courses have artificially increased prices so that instructors can occasionally hold massive price drops to attract new students without losing money.

There are a few of these flash sales that look really valuable to me currently going on at Tech Deals.

The Python 3 Bootcamp Bundle is 315 lessons spanning 9 courses, and you can get them all for $41. This includes the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Django, a popular course that’s normally $200 all by itself.

Python is a tremendously valuable programming language to learn. I got started here, and for a while, it was my primary skillset.

If you’re lucky and know how to sell yourself, you can probably land a job just with fluency in that one language.

However, if you’re serious about changing your life and becoming a master of your own day, you’ll probably need to develop some additional skillsets as well.

Ethical hacking is a good base of knowledge for anyone dealing with networks, and a beginners bundle is currently going for $49. That’s 9 courses, 340 lessons, and a solid five-star rating with over 6,000 students enrolled. You’ll have to jump on this one quick, though, because it’s ending very soon.

Learning Linux is also important, especially if you want to angle your career in the direction of a systems administrator. Another solid 5-star set of courses is currently going for $69. The Complete Linux System Administrator Bundle takes you from Linux noob to network God over the course of just a couple of months.

The mobile-minded among you might be more interested in focusing on Android app development. Although I’m personally less familiar with this programming landscape, there are two attractive looking course bundles currently available:

For beginners, there’s the Complete Android N Developer Course by Rob Percival, a veteran in the online code learning realm. Even if you don’t know anything about app development, Rob will walk you through building 17 apps of increasing difficulty. This one is also ending quite soon, so you’ll want to act quickly. $17 during the sale, normally $200.

The Professional Android Developer Bundle is a brand new bundle currently going for an introductory rate of $39. Considering the sticker price of all 5 courses is in the $300 range, this is a great opportunity reinforce your development knowledge if you already have a foundation.

Finally, if you’re more interested in the web development side of things, Rob Percival is back again with The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0. The original CWD course was one of the most popular in existence and gave a tremendous boost to Percival’s reputation in the industry. The 2.0 version is revamped, and currently discounted from $150 to $19. Once more, this one’s closing up shop soon, so you’ll have to jump on it.

If you were like me and failed to research the way online courses are packaged and sold, then you might have wound up spending several thousand dollars on all the courses I’ve spotlighted here.

But if you’re smart, and you’re willing to commit to it, then you can start building the life that you want from your laptop at home. You’ll even have the time to pursue your side interests, be it linoleum printing, self-improvement, or writing the next Great American novel.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope these resources help you out!

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Wink's connected home tech uses Alexa to unlock your doors

To get started, add your smart locks to the Wink app. Once you set unique names for each one (if you have multiple), you’ll need to enable the Wink skill inside the Alexa app. After linking that Wink account and saying “Alexa, discover new devices,” you should be good to go in less than a minute. You can then ask Amazon’s virtual assistant to actually lock the door or to check and see if you forgot to do so. Now you don’t have to leave your seat when your dinner guests arrive.

YouTube viewers check out over 1 billion hours of videos daily, but has it reached its peak?

YouTube is still the single biggest source for people seeking online video content, and has been for a long time now, despite many attempts by competitors over the years to dethrone it from the top spot. This week, Google announced the service has reached a brand new milestone. It stated that over 1 billion (yep, BILLION) hours of content are viewed on YouTube every single day.

10 best video streaming apps and video streaming services for Android

December 4, 2016

No matter how you spin it, the fact that people all over the world are spending that much time watching videos on YouTube is a huge achievement. Indeed, Google continues to expand the reach of YouTube to more devices and platforms, as it become the number one way for people to watch any kind of video content, period. It’s also been turned into a real career for many people who create content for YouTube. Some creators now have millions or even tens of millions of channel subscribers. The rise of these low-budget online video content makers was the theme of this week’s new Samsung Galaxy S7 commercial that debuted during the Oscars telecast.

Even with that daily video viewing achievement, YouTube is still fighting potential competitors to its platform.

Even with that daily video viewing achievement, YouTube is still fighting potential competitors to its platform. That includes Twitch, the live streaming service owned by Google rival Amazon. While it has mainly focused on offering gaming-themed videos, it has recently added a new sub-channel for its creators to publish live and recorded clips on any subject, similar to YouTube’s business model. Live streaming is also becoming more popular on social networking services like Facebook and Twitter, and those platforms could also threaten YouTube’s popularity. Even paid subscription services, especially Netflix, are competing for the eyeballs of online users with more and more original, and big budget, content.

YouTube has been making new additions and improvements to meet these challenges.

Google has not been sitting on a stump while all of this has been going on. It has been making new additions and improvements to meet these challenges. In the summer of 2016, it announced that it would allow YouTube creators to live stream videos directly from their smartphones, similar to what’s available now for Facebook and Twitter. Earlier this month, Google revealed that feature was now live for any owners of a YouTube channel with more than 10,000 users, with plans to offer it for everyone else soon. It’s also making some changes to its annoying unskippable ad videos for non-subscribers of YouTube Red. It’s ditching the 30-second video ads in favor of more frequent 6-second ads.

Speaking of YouTube Red, the company’s $9.99 a month subscription service that launched in late 2015 does offer some nice features like no video ads, offline viewing and original content. However, it’s current status is still something of a question mark. Google has not released any official subscription numbers for the service, but a recent, if unconfirmed, report claims that just 1.5 million subscribers have signed onto YouTube Red. Keep in mind that low number may be due to the fact that only residents in five countries can currently access the service. If Google decides to expand YouTube Red to more countries, those numbers will almost certain go much higher.

For the moment, YouTube remains the king of the huge online video kingdom, and while that may not change anytime soon, there are certainly a lot more competitors going after its vast audience than ever before. That means Google cannot rest on that 1 billion hour daily viewing milestone for very long, and more changes and additions may need to go online to keep it ahead of its rivals.

Do you still check out YouTube videos every day, and do you think any service has a hope of getting close to its current vast audience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Google has no plans to release any more Chromebook Pixel laptops

Google has confirmed what has been assumed for some time; the company has no plans to launch any future versions of its high-end Chromebook Pixel laptops with its Chrome operating system. The news was revealed by Google’s hardware leader Rick Osterloh during a chat today with journalists at the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show.

Best Chromebooks

August 10, 2016

According to TechCrunch, Osterloh stated:

Chrome OS is a huge initiative in the company. Google hasn’t backed away from laptops. We have the number two marketshare in the US and UK — but we have no plans for Google-branded laptops.

It’s not much of a shock to hear this confirmation. The company’s second, and now final, laptop, the Chromebook Pixel 2, launched in 2015, and was officially retired in August 2016. There’s been no rumors about Google developing any new Chromebooks of its own since then, and now it looks like will be the case for the foreseeable future. Instead, Google has been helping other hardware makers optimize their new Chromebooks to work with Chrome OS and for them to run Android apps, such as the recently launched Samsung Chromebook Pro.

While Google is still selling the 64GB version of the Pixel C tablet, which launched over a year ago, it looks like the company won’t be making any more of those devices either and will likely stop selling the tablet completely once it gets rid of its current inventory. For the moment, it looks like the branding is being reserved for its first-party Android smartphones, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Osterloh said today that the phones have done well, but did admit they have had issues with keeping up with the current demand.

How do you feel about Google getting out of the Chromebook hardware market, at least for now? Do you think this is a wise move, or should the company continue to develop and sell its own Chromebook laptops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Raspberry Pi Zero W costs just $10, adds wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectivity

If you hadn’t heard, the Raspberry Pi is a tiny microcomputer roughly the size of a credit card. It was originally developed for education purposes, but has found its way into the arsenal of many a tinkerer due to its low cost and simplistic development abilities. At only $5 at launch, you could buy one of these things for about the cost of an expensive cup of coffee, which made it a no-brainer for those looking to create imaginative projects which only needed a simple computer to program to.

Raspberry Pi Zero review

January 18, 2016

Today marks the 5th anniversary since the original Raspberry Pi first launched onto the market, and so the group is celebrating by announcing the newest model available to consumers, the Raspberry Pi Zero W. The new variant is the evolution of the original Raspberry Pi Zero, but adds wireless LAN and Bluetooth capabilities.

Here is the full feature list of the new Pi Zero W:

  • 1GHz, single-core CPU

  • 512MB RAM

  • Mini-HDMI port

  • Micro-USB On-The-Go port

  • Micro-USB power

  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header

  • Composite video and reset headers

  • CSI camera connector

  • 802.11n wireless LAN

  • Bluetooth 4.0

If you want to get your hands on one of these bad boys, it will only cost you $10. The team thinks that this will turn out to be one of the premiere development boards for IoT developers, and if you want to get your hands on one, head to the links below to place your order.

Buy now from Adafruit (US)

Buy now from The Pi Hut (UK)

Buy now from Pimoroni (Global)

Is this something you’re looking to pick up?

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is The GSMA Best Smartphone of the year

And the GSMA Smartphone of the year award goes to (drum-rolls) “Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge“! The GSMA Global Mobile Awards may not be as big as the Academy Awards but it is still a huge deal for smartphone manufacturer and tech geeks who have an eye for the best of the mobile technology. And you know what else is a huge deal? Bagging the award for two consecutive years in a row. Samsung has done it again this year as well with the Galaxy S7 Edge and now they must be happy after all the hardships they have been through due to the Note 7 Fiasco.

According to the company, the Galaxy S7 Edge was recognized for its “refined design”, advanced camera and an overall outstanding performance. The smartphone was crowned in the Best Mobile Handsets and devices category which had some other tough competitions from the competitors. And when we say tough competition, we are talking about the smartphones on the lines of iPhone 7 Plus from Apple, Google Pixel XL from Google, Huawei P9 from Huawei and Moto Z from Motorola.

Junho Park Vice President of Global Product Strategy, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics stated that they are honored to be recognized for their craftsmanship in design and innovation with the Galaxy S7 edge. He also stated that this award is a testament to their constant pursuit of excellence as they continue to exceed consumers’ expectations through revolutionary mobile technology. Indeed the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a great device.

As mentioned earlier, this win makes it two consecutive victories for the smartphone as last year also the S7 Edge got the award. It was not surprising since the Galaxy S7 Edge held up well during the tough times with the Note 7 as well. In fact, many users opted in for the Galaxy S7 Edge as the Note 7 phablet was exploding out in the wild. Also, it is not really surprising to see that Samsung has nominated the last year’s variant instead of the S8 or the S8+, obviously because the company decided to push the launch date. This eventually proves that the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge both are still great smartphones and anyone can buy them today without having to worry about anything.

Having said that, let us know what do you think about this and would you consider buying the S7 or the S7 Edge now, given that the S8 is just around the corner? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below and stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more such info.

SoundCloud adds a new tier to its subscription service

SoundCloud Go is now a completely different offering after the company has revamped its music streaming service. The $10-per-month unlimited subscription still offers ad-free and offline access to over 150 million tracks, but it’s now called SoundCloud Go+. A cheaper $5-per-month tier is taking over its old name: the new SoundCloud Go is the same as the free tier at its core. It can only access 120 million tracks, not 150 million like its more expensive counterpart, but it has no ads and gives you the power to listen to music offline.

Xiaomi Unveils In-house Surge S1 SoC with Mali T860 GPU & 4G VoLTE Support

Xiaomi is long-rumored to come up with its in-house processors to bring the price of its affordable smartphones even cheaper. In 2015, the company collaborated with Leadcore to launch the Redmi 2A smartphone with LC1860 SoC. The Redmi 2A was one of the most affordable 4G LTE smartphones that time. In the last few months, the leaks revealed the Xiaomi’s in-house processor to be named PineCone when its social media accounts went live. Finally, today the company has officially announced its in-house PineCone processors by unveiling the first-gen Surge S1 SoC. Xiaomi also launched the Mi 5C smartphone, the first ever smartphone to use the PineCone processor.

Earlier to Xiaomi, only Samsung, Huawei, and Apple have their own smartphone processors. The Surge S1 SoC comes with big.LITTLE design packing eight Cortex-A53 cores where four cores are clocked at 2.2GHz and the other cores are limited to 1.4GHz. This particular processor is built on TSMC’s 28nm HPC (high performance computing) process. It also packs Mali-T860 GPU which 40% power efficient than its predecessor, Mali-T760 GPU. The 32-bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP) on the Surge S1 is said to support HD calls via VoLTE connection and dual microphone noise reduction which we see on most of the recent smartphones.

It also includes 14-bit dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) will enhance the image processor capabilities. The Surge S1 supports single frame HDR with improved dynamic range. The modem on the SoC is said to compatible with OTA upgrades.Talking about the security, the Surge S1 with the TEE architecture makes its compliance with safety regulations. Coming to the comparisons, the Xiaomi places Surge S1 on the lines of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek’s Helio P10 processors. On Geekbench benchmark test, the Surge S1 with a score of 3,399 crossed both the Snapdragon 625 and Helio P10. It came close to the newly announced Helio P20 SoC. While there is no confirmation, as of now, we think the PineCone processors to be exclusive to the Chinese market.

Xiaomi Mi 5c announced, sporting in-house octa-core CPU

Not wanting to be left of out this week’s announcements, Xiaomi has just launched two new smartphones for the Chinese market. The new Redmi 4X is looking to bring premium build quality to the low cost market, while the Mi 5c is the company’s chance to show off what its newly unveiled in-house octa-core Surge S1 processor can do.

Starting with the Mi 5c, this launch marks a major milestone for Xiaomi, as this is the first smartphone to launch featuring the company’s in house mobile application processor – the Surge S1. Although not the highest end chip on the market, the Surge S1 shows that Xiaomi is looking to compete with Samsung and Huawei with the development of its own in-house SoCs, and sets up some exciting prospects going forward.

Xiaomi reveals 64-bit Surge S1 chipset, its first-ever SoC

29 minutes ago

Other hardware inside the Mi 5c breaks down to a 5.15-inch 1080p display, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 64GB of eMMC 5.0 internal storage, and a 12MP rear camera that boasts larger than average pixels for better light capture. The company has also thrown in a fingerprint scanner located in the home button, fast charging, and dual-nano SIM slots. So there are plenty of nice extras to play with, and all at a 1,499 Yuan ($220 USD) price point. The 5c’s release date is set for March 3rd.

  • Surge S1, octa-core 64-bit processor (4x 2.2GHz A53 + 4x 1.4GHz A53)

  • 5.15-inch 1080p display, 550-nit brightness

  • 3GB RAM + 64GB storage, dual-channel LPDDR3 + eMMC5.0

  • 2860mAh battery; 9V/2A fast charging

  • 12MP f/2.2 rear camera camera with 1.25 micron pixel size

  • 8MP f/2.0 front facing camera

  • Front fingerprint sensor

  • 132g, 144.38 x 69.68 x 7.09mm

Xiaomi’s second announcement is the Remdi 4X, a more budget oriented smartphone that boasts a swanky all-metal body, fingerprint scanner, and a large 4,100mAh battery. Proving that low cost handsets don’t have to skimp on features.

There are one or two compromises with this phone though. The Snapdragon 435 isn’t the fastest chip on the market and the 5-inch panel only offers a 720p resolution. However, the inclusion of a 13MP rear camera, battery life that Xiaomi boasts will last 2 whole days, and hybrid microSD / dual SIM support, make up for it. Here’s the spec rundown:

  • Octa-core Snapdragon 435 @ 1.4 GHz, Adreno 505

  • 5-inch 720p display

  • 2GB RAM + 16GB storage / 3GB RAM + 32GB storage

  • 4100 mAh battery

  • 13MP f/2.0 rear camera with PDAF

  • 5MP f/2.2 front camera

  • Rear fingerprint scanner

  • 150g, 139.2 x 69.6 x 8.6mm

The Redmix 4X will retail at two price points, 699 Yuan ($100) for the 2GB/16GB model and 899 Yuan ($130) for the 3GB/32GB version. The handset will be available in Cherry Pink, Champagne Gold, and Matte Black colour options, but we don’t have a release date just yet.

What do you think about Xiaomi’s latest offerings?

EA's Peter Moore makes a big money transfer to Liverpool FC

While Liverpool’s statement is very formal, taking time only to detail his transition, EA took time to congratulate its departing COO for his decade of service and for “following his dream to become the next CEO of his beloved Liverpool Football Club.” Although he holds dual citizenship in America and the UK, Moore was born in Liverpool and is a lifelong fan of the Reds.

Moore will replace Ian Ayre, who is taking a similar job at German side 1860 Munich, which currently plays in the second tier of the Bundesliga league. He is expected to oversee financial and other executive business when he joins the club, not help scout and develop the next Alex Hunter in a real-life version of The Journey.

World’s fastest Super mCharge unveiled by Meizu along with Temperature control

At the MWC 2017, Meizu has unveiled the World’s fastest Super mCharge which will charge the smartphone within 20 minutes. Yes, you read it right! Flyme Global which is Meizu’s official operating system has tweeted the same. Nothing much is now for now, but it will be a respite to the users who are busy and find it difficult to charge their device completely even once.

Meizu sent its invitation to the MWC event in Barcelona which was scheduled on 28th of February, but nothing was mentioned about the product it is going to showcase. Although the invite came with the tagline “Faster Than Ever” no one knows what it had in stores. Now it has confirmed its Super mCharge which brings all new technology. Meizu also announced that it would be unveiling cutting-edge wireless solution at the event and it will also unveil its technical achievements.

A few days back we have seen Meizu launching its M5s smartphone in China that came with a 5.2-inch HD IPS 2.5 curved display. To power this device there is a 64-bit MediaTek octa-core processor with a clocking speed of 1.5GHz is coupled with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with connectivity options like 4G VoLTE support, dual-SIM support but unfortunately, the second slot is a hybrid slot which can either be used for a secondary SIM or a memory card to extend the memory.

The Meizu M5s comes with storage options of 16GB and 32GB which is further expandable up to 128GB via a microSD card slot. On the camera front, the device offers a 13MP rear facing camera with dual color LED flash and also has a 5P lens, PDAF, and f/2.2 aperture. There is also a 5MP camera on the front for video calling and selfies. There is also a 3000mAh battery on the rear that comes with 18W fast charging technology.

Deal: Buy Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge and get free goodies worth $360 at Best Buy

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be announced in about a month, which means that you’ll soon find a bunch of deals on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. We have already come across a great one over at Best Buy. The retailer is giving out a bunch of freebies to customers who buy one of the company’s flagship devices.

If you pick up a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, you’ll get a wireless charger ($59.99), a $100 Best Buy gift card, and a Samsung EVO+ 256 GB microSD card ($199.99) for free. The total value of these three items is $359.98, and they will be added to your shopping cart automatically.

However, some conditions do apply. You’ll have to activate the device on Verizon Device Payment, AT&T Next, or Sprint 24-Month Installment. Supplies are limited, which means that the deal probably won’t last for long, although Best Buy didn’t mention exactly when it will end.

Get the Secure Folder feature on your Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge (Nougat only)

4 days ago

This really is a great deal for those of you who have been thinking of getting either of the two devices. We’ll probably see more deals like these in the coming months, as Samsung, as well as retailers, will try to sell as many smartphones as possible before the Galaxy S8 launches.

If you’re thinking of getting the deal, visit Best Buy’s website by clicking the button below.

Get the deal


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