Thursday, August 31, 2017

Amazon’s latest drama ‘Tin Star’ premieres September 29th

Tin Star, a new drama coming to Amazon Prime Video, just got a premiere date and a trailer. The show stars Tim Roth who plays ex-British detective Jim Worth who recently moved his family to a small Canadian town called Little Big Bear. But a big oil refinery moves into town shortly thereafter, bringing with it lots of problems including organized crime, and the company’s corporate liaison — played by Christina Hendricks — seems to be the strong, unwavering front of an even stronger, unsavory corporation. However, Wright is no saint himself and after a family tragedy, his violent, alcoholic alter-ego Jack is awakened.

LG V30 price, release date, and carrier deals (Updated)

In case you missed it, the LG V30 is finally official. With its 18:9 FullVision display, Snapdragon 835 processor, and dual camera setup, LG’s new flagship is one heck of a flagship smartphone. But you’re not here for the specs, you want to learn more about where to buy the LG V30. Look no further! In this post, we’ll walk you through the LG V30 price, release date, and any carrier deals we can find.

Related reading: LG V30 hands-on – a mobile photography powerhouse | LG V30 specs – a true multimedia machine | What you need to know about the LG V30 | LG V30 vs LG G6

The LG V30 release date is Thursday, September 21 in South Korea, followed by North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Unfortunately LG hasn’t given us release date details for any other region yet.

The LG V30 price has not been announced yet, though we likely won’t have to wait much longer. Since the V30 release date is only three weeks away (at least in Korea), it shouldn’t be long before carriers begin announcing pricing and availability details.

Rumor has it that the V30 will go for the starting price of 800,000 KRW in South Korea, the equivalent of around $699 for the version touting 64 GB of internal space.

Not every market will get the LG V30 Plus. In its announcement, LG noted that the V30 Plus with 128 GB of storage will be available in “limited markets”, and the good news for US consumers is that Sprint has already confirmed that it would carry the V30 Plus stateside.

The 64 GB V30 comes in four color options: Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, and Lavender Violet. There’s no word yet as to which color options will be available with the V30 Plus.

B&O Play earphones will be packaged with the V30, but only in some markets. LG says these earphones feature digital filters that adjust the pre- and post-ringing of the impulse response of music with three different user-selectable features. There are also four presets that mix and match sound frequencies and decibel scales to help produce high-quality audio.

LG V30 carrier and retailer deals:

Unlocked: (stay tuned)

Verizon: (stay tuned)

AT&T: AT&T has announced plans to carry the LG V30 this fall, though no pricing or availability details were given.

T-Mobile: (stay tuned)

Sprint: Sprint has announced that it would carry the LG V30 Plus in the US, bringing the 128 GB version of LG’s just-announced flagship to North America. Pricing and release date are not available yet, unfortunately.

US Cellular: (stay tuned)

Developing! – Stay tuned in the hours, days, and weeks to come as we’ll expand this post with carrier specific and region-specific LG V30 pricing and release date information as it hits.

YouTube TV adds 12 more new US cities, brings total to 27

We were pretty happy with YouTube TV when we first checked it out, but one of the service’s more glaring problems when it launched was availability, or lack thereof. As such, it comes as welcome news that Google has brought its cord-cutting service to 12 more markets in the US.

The new cities include Cleveland, Denver, Greensboro, Harrisburg, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and St. Louis. They join the previous YouTube TV markets of  Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

As a quick refresher, YouTube TV lets you watch live and recorded content in any of the aforementioned cities. So long as you are signed in with your Google account, as well as able to pay at least $35 a month, you are good to go. It currently features 57 channels, though the availability of some will depend on your zip code.

When we first took a look at the service, we thought it was a great start for Google, albeit one that needed some ironing out in a few spots. One of those spots is where you can watch YouTube TV, though it seems that Google takes availability seriously. As such, make sure to check back from time to time as we will continually update this page whenever the service gets wider availability.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

TomTom watches push you to roll back your 'fitness age'

Depending on what your Fitness Age is, you’ll get Fitness Points every time you exercise. The more activities you do, the more points you get, and if you get 500 points thrice a week, you’ll see your Fitness Age go down little by little. The last feature called Personalized Workouts will then analyze how you’ve been doing. It will adjust the intensity and duration of the 50 different running and cycling workouts it offers based on your fitness level.

TomTom will release these features, along with phone notifications and autopause, across its existing sportswatch range. If you have one of the brand’s fitness watches, keep an eye out for the major software upgrade sometime this September.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2017 here!

Update: Andy Rubin apologizes for Essential’s huge privacy blunder

Update #2: Essential founder Andy Rubin has confronted the issue head-on, recognizing the error in customer care which resulted in personal information from approximately 70 customers being shared with a small group of customers. He goes on to say:

One of the most important jobs of a founder is to recognize when things aren’t going quite right, and make the necessary decisions and take action to correct them before customers are impacted. Founders are often faced with thousands of micro-decisions daily to keep their companies laser-focused on delivering products into the right markets at precisely the right time.

Yesterday, we made an error in our customer care function that resulted in personal information from approximately 70 customers being shared with a small group of other customers. We have disabled the misconfigured account and have taken steps internally to add safeguards against this happening again in the future. We sincerely apologize for our error and will be offering the impacted customers one year of LifeLock. We will also continue to invest more in our infrastructure and customer care, which will only be more important as we grow.

Being a founder in an intensely competitive business means you occasionally have to eat crow. It’s humiliating, it doesn’t taste good, and often, it’s a humbling experience. As Essential’s founder and CEO, I’m personally responsible for this error and will try my best to not repeat it.

I remain heartened and motivated by the groundswell of support that Essential has experienced since unveiling the company on May 30th. We continue to believe deeply in our vision and the innovation we are bringing to life via our Home, Phone and 360 Camera products. I humbly thank our customers and channel partners for your patience and understanding as we proceed with the launch of our first products.

You can read the full blog post here.

Update #1: Essential has reached out to us with word that the email fiasco is not, in fact, a phishing attack.

While the situation has yet to be completely eradicated, an Essential employee has verified the authenticity of the email, meaning it’s not a phishing scam.

We will be sure to update you as we learn more.

Original post: If you’ve received an email from Essential asking to provide “additional verifying information”, do not reply.

According to our readers, folks on Reddit, and many other reports around the web, Essential Phone customers received an email last night from a support account – [email protected] – claiming that the company needs “additional verifying information” to finish processing their order. The full email, attached below, asks for an alternative email address, phone number, as well as a picture of a photo ID clearly showing the customer’s photo, signature, and address.

Take a look at the full email below:


Our order review team requires additional verifying information to complete the processing of your recent order.  This verification is performed to protect against unauthorized use of your payment information and similar to what is conducted for in-person purchases.

Please provide an alternative email and phone number to confirm this purchase..

We would like to request a picture of a photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, state ID, passport) clearly showing your photo, signature and address. NOTE: the address on the ID should match the billing address listed on your recent order.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation.  Once verified, we look forward to shipping your order.


Essential Products Customer Care

Essential is aware of the situation however, and says it’s working to mitigate the phishing attack:

As previously stated, do not reply to this email. If you know anyone who’s purchased an Essential Phone, please pass this along.

We’ve reached out to Essential for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

It’s official: Bezel-less Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 to be revealed on September 11

The reveal of the Mi MIX 2 is just around the corner. Xiaomi has confirmed via its Weibo account that it will take the wraps off the phablet on September 11 in China. The company has posted a promo image online along with the announcement teasing the upcoming device which, unfortunately, doesn’t really reveal anything we don’t already know.

As you can see above, it shows a silhouette of the phablet that hints we can expect to see a bezel-less display, just like on last year’s Mi MIX. However, the smartphone is said to feature even a larger screen-to-body ratio of 93 percent, an increase over the “mere” 91.3 percent of its predecessor.

Xiaomi hasn’t shared any specific info regarding the device, but we have a good idea of what to expect in terms of specs thanks to a number of rumors we’ve come across so far. These claim that the Mi MIX 2 will sport a 6.4-inch display and should be powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset. We also expect to see 6 or 8 GB of RAM, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and possibly even a dual-camera setup on the back.

When it comes to software, the smartphone will likely run Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 on top. To learn more, check out our Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 rumor roundup post to get up to speed with all the latest gossip regarding the phablet.

Any thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2? How do you think it will stack up against the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, and other bezel-less smartphones. Let us know down below.

7 Best Galaxy Note 8 Alternatives

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a big phone with dual cameras and plenty of features. It’s also pretty expensive and costs nearly $1,000. Whether it costs too much, you don’t want a curved screen or it’s simply too big, these are the best Galaxy Note 8 alternatives. Comparable phones that are available now or coming soon.

And while most phones don’t have an S-Pen stylus like the Note 8, they have other enticing features that make them great Galaxy Note 8 alternatives. We’ve found phones that have similar big screens, dual cameras, longer battery life or are just more affordable.

Not all of our alternatives are direct copies though. Some have slightly smaller screens with the same beautiful bezel-free design, or even dual cameras that offer different features. Others run stock Android with a cleaner user interface and have fingerprint scanners in more convenient places. Choose what’s right for you.

Every one of these devices costs less than the $930-$960 asking price for the Galaxy Note 8. Popular brands like LG, Google, and Huawei make great phones that are more affordable. That said, even Samsung’s own Galaxy S8+ is a good choice. Not to mention newcomers like the Essential Phone or devices that aren’t available yet but are coming soon.

Read: Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8+: What Buyers Need to Know

In closing, here are the 7 best Galaxy Note 8 alternatives. These phones will get you a big screen or a Note 8-like experience without some of the cons of buying the Galaxy Note 8.

Best Galaxy Note 8 Alternatives

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+

  • LG G6

  • Google Pixel XL

  • Huawei Mate 9 (or 10)

  • Essential Phone

  • LG V30

  • Google Pixel XL 2

Monday, August 28, 2017

Google Project Fi offering $20 to those affected by Hurricane Harvey

For those of you who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Project Fi is offering a $20 service credit so that you can stay connected.

Hurricane Harvey is said to be the strongest hurricane in the US since Charley in 2004, and it’s already claimed eight lives in Texas. In situations like this, staying connected is paramount, and that’s why Google is offering eligible Project Fi customers automatic $20 service credits. As the company explains on Reddit, as long as your billing zip code is one of the impacted areas, you should see it applied to your account over the next few days:

For those of you whose indicated billing zip codes are part of impacted areas, we’ll be automatically applying a $20 service credit to your account over the next few days. If you have any other questions or concerns, please know that our support teams stand ready to help and can be reached by dialing 611.

As you may already know, Google isn’t the only company to offer free cellular and data services to areas hit by Hurricane Harvey. Verizon is offering 3 GB of extra data to qualified Texas counties, T-Mobile and Sprint have waived calling and texting fees for those in select areas in Texas and Louisiana, and AT&T says that it will issue credits to wireless customers in impacted areas for additional data, voice, and text charges.

Verizon is offering free data, T-Mobile and Sprint have waived calling and texting fees, and AT&T says that it will issue credits to wireless customers in impacted areas for additional data, voice, and text charges.

With Hurricane Harvey still at full force in areas like Galveston and Houston, every little help from companies like Google will prove to be important. If you are a Project Fi user, check your email for more details, and most of all, stay safe.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

iPhone 8 Fast Wireless Charging Feature Detailed

The iPhone 8 will feature wireless charging. Long a feature of rival Samsung devices, iPhone users had to rely on third party cases and accessories to add this convenient charging method to the iPhone, but that is about to change.

We’ve heard from two sources that are planning for an iPhone 8 that features wireless charging, and one of those companies is on the record as to how fast the iPhone 8 wireless charging will work.

Allen Fung, GM ofRAVPower, tells Gotta Be Mobile, “Our sources tell us the next iPhones have special technology for wireless charging that we have in this charger. Our wireless charger will wirelessly charge the next iPhones at full speed, as well as being able to charge other mobile devices wirelessly.”

New information details the iPhone 8 wireless charging feature.
New information details the iPhone 8 wireless charging feature.

Fung is speaking about this RavPower charger coming out this fall which supports 10W of voltage output to deliver faster wireless charging. The charger supports Quick Charge 3.0, which is a Qualcomm technology capable of charging a phone up to 80% in 35 minutes. We’ve seen Quick Charge technology on Samsung Products and the latest products like the Galaxy S8 and the new Note 8 support Fast Wireless Charging.

In addition to RavPower preparing for the iPhone 8 wireless charging feature, we heard from a major car manufacturer who is including wireless charging in a 2018 model that they believe will work with the iPhone 8 wireless charging standard. This company uses the Qi charging method, which is commonly used in vehicle wireless charging systems and works with the Galaxy S8 and other Android phones.

This news comes on the tail end of iPhone 8 price rumors that put the phone at $999 and also mention wireless charging support as a major feature.  We expect to see the iPhone 8 on stage in mid September with rumors pointing to an event on September 12th, which means a potential iPhone 8 release date a week and a half later on September 22nd.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Some early Chevy Bolts suffer from battery issues

According to GM rep Chris Bonelli, some of the first units the company manufactured might show more range than they currently have due to lower battery voltage. In truth, they could have very little charge and could run out of power without warning. Brad Berman of PlugInCars, a website that covers electric vehicles, even broke the story because his Bolt suddenly lost power despite showing 100 miles in range. Newer units don’t seem to be affected by the issue due to updated parts and other changes.

Bonelli said the problem can be fixed either by repairing faulty batteries or replacing them completely. GM has already gotten in touch with customers who might be affected by the issue and will arrange free service for them.

Vivo launches Vivo Y69, a mid-range selfie-focused smartphone, in India

Vivo has announced a new smartphone under its mid-range Y series, the Vivo Y69. The smartphone sports a 13 MP camera at the back and a 16 MP Moonlight Selfie Camera.

The Y69 offers several camera modes like Bokeh, Group Selfie, and Live Photo. Vivo’s first smartphone with Live Photo feature allows the rear camera to bring photos to life by creating a moving image.

We are pleased to introduce the Y69 in the Y series product portfolio and are confident that its premium design and superior camera features will offer great value to customers at an ideal price point. With the festive season around the corner, we are committed to fulfilling our brand promise and adding a surprise element for our valued customers with innovative devices.

– Kenny Zeng, CMO, Vivo India

Vivo Y69 Specifications

  • Operating System: Android 7.0 with Funtouch OS 3.2

  • Display: 13.87cm (5.5-inch) HD (1280 x 720) IPS | Corning Gorilla Glass 3

  • Processor: 1.5 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6750

  • RAM: 3 GB

  • Internal Storage: 32 GB; expandable up to 256 GB with microSD card

  • Rear Camera: 13 MP | f/2.2 aperture

  • Front Camera: 16 MP | f/2.0 aperture

  • Battery: 3,000 mAh

  • Dimensions: 154.6 x 75.7 x 7.7mm

  • Weight: 162.8g

Priced at ₹14,990 ($235), the Vivo Y69 will be available in two color variants – Champagne Gold and Matte Black – from September 1 in retail stores across the country and on Flipkart and Amazon online.

What do you think of this new mid-range selfie-focused smartphone from Vivo? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2: All the rumors in one place

In this post, which will be updated regularly, we take a closer look at the latest rumors surrounding the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 specs, features, release date and price.

Last year, Xiaomi took the wraps off the Mi MIX that basically started the trend of the so-called bezel-less smartphones (though Sharp released “bezel-less” phones before, they had little impact). It has minimal bezels on the top and the sides, and a slightly bigger — but still quite thin — chin that houses the front-facing camera.

Since its release, other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Essential have also released bezel-less smartphones that have proven to be quite popular on the market. That’s one of the reasons why Xiaomi plans on announcing the successor to the Mi MIX later this year.

Read: Galaxy Note 8 vs Essential Phone

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at all the rumors that are going around the upcoming Mi MIX 2. We’ll talk about the Mi MIX 2 release date, specs, design, and more, so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.

But before we dive into specifics, let me just point out that everything you’ll read down below is still considered a rumor for now. Xiaomi hasn’t confirmed — or denied — any of the rumors regarding the smartphone so far and will probably keep details under wraps until the smartphone’s official reveal.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2: Release date

The Xiaomi Mi MIX was announced in October 2016 and then went on sale in China a month later. According to the latest rumors coming out of China, the company will speed things up a bit this year, as the Mi MIX 2 is expected to be unveiled on September 12. No word on the exact release date for now, but if the reveal date is correct, the smartphone will likely go on sale in October, but only in China.

As you may know, Xiaomi’s smartphones aren’t available in most Western markets, including the US. It’s possible that this will change with the Mi MIX 2, although I wouldn’t hold my breath. However, based on its predecessor, the upcoming phablet just might make its way to markets outside China, but likely at a later date. The Mi MIX was also released in a few other countries including the UAE and Vietnam.

Of course, none of these rumors have been confirmed yet, so it’s possible that the device will be announced at a later date. Our best guess is that the worst-case scenario would be for the Mi MIX 2 to be revealed in October, just like the original version of the device.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2: Specs

Just like its predecessor, the Mi MIX 2 is expected to be a high-end device. Rumors regarding its specs vary from source to source, with each one telling a slightly different story.

The smartphone was listed on benchmarking website GFXBench back in July, revealing a few details about it. It should come with the Snapdragon 835 chipset, 8 GB of RAM, and a 5 MP selfie snapper that will be positioned in the bottom bezel of the smartphone. That’s definitely not the best location, but it’s probably the only option as there just won’t be enough room on top — more on that later. The listing also reveals that the smartphone will sport a 6.4-inch IPS LCD display, although some rumors claim that Xiaomi will actually opt for an AMOLED panel. The resolution is said to be 2,540 x 1,440 pixels, but there’s still a chance that Xiaomi will stick to 2,040 x 1,080, just like on the Mi MIX.

According to the website MyDrivers, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 will be available in two variants. The already mentioned model with 8 GB of RAM will offer 256 GB of storage, while the second option will feature 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Unfortunately, the smartphone isn’t expected to sport a microSD card slot.

When it comes to camera rumors, things get a little bit confusing. Some claim that the device will have a 12 MP shooter on the back, while others believe that the smartphone will have a 19 MP sensor. What’s more, some also claim that the device will feature a dual-camera setup, just like a lot of other flagships these days. Rumors also point towards a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a facial recognition feature, and Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 on top.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2: Design

Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, confirmed in a Weibo post that the Mi MIX 2 will be designed by Philippe Starck, who also designed the original Mi MIX. We haven’t seen any official images of the upcoming device yet, but we did get a glimpse of its design thanks to the concept video shared by Starck on Facebook. It only shows the front of the device revealing extremely thin bezels around the screen. There’s barely an outline of bezel on the top three sides, while the chin of the device that houses the camera looks about half as wide as that found on the Galaxy S8. You can check out the short video below.

Keep in mind that this is a concept video and, therefore, might not show the final design. However, it was shared by the designer of the upcoming phablet,  which means that the distance between concept and reality is significantly reduced.

Design rumors also suggest that the smartphone might be even more compact for its screen size than the Mi MIX. According to anonymous sources cited by MyDrivers, the Mi MIX 2 will feature a screen-to-body ratio of 93 percent, an increase over the “mere” 91.3 percent of its predecessor.

In addition to the video, we have also come across an image allegedly showing the prototype of the Mi MIX 2, which was shared on the Chinese social network Weibo. It tells us the same story as the video above, which is that the phone will feature extremely thin bezels, which will give it a very attractive look. See for yourself below.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any images that show the back of the device, which would help us figure out whether or not the Mi MIX 2 will feature a dual-camera setup.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2: Price

When the Xiaomi Mi MIX launched in China, the 4 GB RAM/128 GB storage option retailed for RMB 3,499 (around $525), while the version with 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage was available for RMB 3,999 (around $600).

If the latest rumors are to be believed, the Mi MIX 2 will, unfortunately, be more expensive. MyDrivers reports that you’ll have to dish out RMB 3,999 (around $600) to get the entry-level model with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of space, while the 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage option will set you back RMB 4,999 (around $750).

Of course, these prices will likely only be valid in China and if the smartphone makes it to Western markets, it will probably cost more. In case it remains exclusive to China and maybe a few other Asian countries, you’ll still be able to get it via various online Chinese retailers that ship products worldwide, like GearBest, for example. However, prices are expected to be higher, and you must also consider various import taxes and fees that you might have to pay depending on where you live.

These are all the rumors regarding the Mi MIX 2 we have come across so far. As soon as we hear more, we’ll update this page to keep you up to speed.

Read: The best Android smartphone

Meanwhile, do let us know your thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 rumored specs and features. How do you think it will stack up against other bezel-less smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Use Google search to see if you might need to talk to someone about your depression

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, might be one of the more common mental health diagnoses around, but there is still plenty of stigma around the diagnosis and about mental health in general. Google, in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), hopes to subvert the wall of silence built on top of that stigma with a PHQ-9 questionnaire that now pops up in Google search results.

To provide some context, the Patient Health Questionnaire, better known as the PHQ-9, is a brief self-report tool that screens, diagnoses, monitors, and measures how severe one’s depression is. Your Severity Score depends on how you answer each of the nine questions, with the provisional diagnoses ranging from minimal symptoms to major depression.

What makes the PHQ-9 such an attractive tool is that not only is it simple and accurate, but it can be administered several times in order to see whether someone’s depression after receiving treatment has improved or worsened.

To take the PHQ-9, you will need to search Google for “depression.” Once you do, scroll down until you see the info card and press on “Check if you’re clinically depressed.” You will then be taken to the PHQ-9, which should not take you very long to complete.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that PHQ-9 results are not replacements for official diagnoses from a clinical professional. Rather, the questionnaire is there to nudge you to seek out a clinical professional. The PHQ-9 also only pops up in Google search results in the US, with no word whether that will change in the near future.

Even with such caveats, the PHQ-9 can better inform you of what is going on and, as such, be able to have a more informed conversation with your doctor. NAMI also hopes that, by putting the PHQ-9 within Google search results, folks can become more aware about what is going on and break down the wall of silence to approach a clinical professional.

Google expects the feature to fully roll out on mobile in the US over the next day or so.

How and When to Watch the Galaxy Note 8 Event Livestream

The Galaxy Note 8 launch event Livestream kicks off tomorrow, August 23rd. Millions around the globe can tune in and see what’s next for Samsung. However, thanks to countless leaks and rumors we already know exactly what to expect. Here is how and when to watch the Note 8 get announced.

The event is Samsung Unpacked, and the Galaxy Note 8 will take center stage. Of course, most can’t head to New York and see it live, so you’ll need to watch it happen on the Livestream video below.

Read: Galaxy Note 8 Photos Confirm 5 Exciting Features

The event starts on August 23rd at 8:00 AM PT, or 11:00 AM ET for those in the United States. Catch the excitement live on YouTube, as well as Samsung’s own website. You can expect a new Gear Fit 2 smart-band, some accessories, but most of the attention is on the Galaxy Note 8. Here are some last-minute details for those interested.

Users will be able to tune in and see the flagship phone unveiled and shown off on stage for the first time. Not to mention hearing about its bigger screen, new features, water-resistance, and possibly even a release date. Although so far we’re hearing it may come around September 9-15th.

How to Watch the Galaxy Note 8 Livestream

We mentioned a few ways to watch the event above, but this year Samsung actually has multiple ways you can tune in. Including a 360-degrees feed for the Gear VR. Again, that’s August 23rd at 8:00 AM PT.

Those are the four easiest ways to see Samsung’s new Note 8 get announced live on stage.

Galaxy Note 8 Release Info

Once Samsung formally announces the new Note 8, potential buyers will want to know when they can get one. Especially all the Note 7 refugees that had to return the last Note. For any and all the information you’ll ever need click here.

Countless leaks and rumors suggest a release date on September 15th. However, other leaks believe a date closer to September 6-9th is when Samsung will release it to the public. Either way, pre-orders should begin within a week of the announcement so you can reserve your very own Galaxy Note 8.

So what are we expecting? Samsung’s Note 8 should come with a bigger 6.3-inch Quad-HD Infinity display with curved edges. The Galaxy S8 gives us a good idea of what they have in store. It’ll be a little bigger, have dual cameras on the back, and of course the S-Pen stylus. This will likely be Samsung’s fastest, bigger and most powerful flagship smartphone released thus far.

For more information on the Galaxy Note 8 and whether or not you should buy one, check out our slideshow below.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Promotional price on Kickstarter success

You’ve got your Samsung Galaxy S8, now you need some equally classy accessories. Look no further – We would stick the XVIDA Magnetic Samsung S8 Charging Kit high on that list. Wireless chargers aren’t a new thing, but if you’ve watched the product video above you gotta admit this would make a pretty kickass addition to your life.

This kickstarter success story will fully charge your device in just 100 minutes, and the super-sleek frame can hold it at a variety of angles. Once you put your phone in the slim-line XVIDA case, the carefully positioned magnets will automatically snap it into the correct position. Cable charging is a thing of the past

Boy does it look cool.

Obviously the design of this charger makes it a sexy piece of desk-candy for the office. But where it really comes into its own is in the car. Forget your old dashboard phone holder – The XVIDA charger will let you use your phone as a Sat Nav while still charging it at high speed. And boy does it look cool.

We’re spotlighting the XVIDA charger today because right now you can pick it up at the promotional price. Usually retailing for $109, today you can get your hands on one for just $83. The offer is on a countdown though, so don’t miss out.

Grab it now in black, silver or gold by hitting the button below.

Is this deal not quite right for you? Head over to the AAPICKS HUB for more savings you’re going to love! For notifications of offers and price drops, sign up for our Deal Alerts newsletter.

We may get a small percent from purchases made through our posts. However, the AA Picks team only showcases verified, legitimate deals. It’s a nice way to help keep the lights on around here, and it decreases our reliance on pesky ads. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out at [email protected].

Square Enix announces Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition for Android

Final Fantasy XV is coming to mobile, but not in the way you might expect. Today at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Square Enix let us in on its plans for the FFXV universe and it looks cute as hell.

The brand new Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition is a completely reimaged mobile version of the road trip through Eos. Square Enix describes it as “an all-new adventure that retells the beloved story of Final Fantasy XV.” Pocket Edition will have an all new art style with touch-based controls, though it appears that all the same mechanics will carry over from the console version.

The story will be chopped up into ten episodes that will launch this fall on Android, iOS, and Windows 10. Square Enix says that the first episode will be free with the rest presumably coming as in-app purchases, although pricing information wasn’t provided.

15 iOS 11 Release Date Tips

The iOS 11 release date is probably just a few weeks away which means iPhone and iPad users should start preparing for its arrival.

Apple’s released a new iOS 11 beta 7 to developers just one week after releasing beta 6 and just two weeks after the release of beta 5. The company appears to be ramping up its testing ahead of the official release.

The iOS 11 update is confirmed for the fall but the company still hasn’t attached a specific release date to its next operating system though all signs point to a release next month.

New iOS operating systems typically arrive alongside new iPhone hardware. Apple hasn’t announced its next batch of iPhones but rumors point to an iPhone 8 launch sometime in September. If Apple sticks to its usual iOS release protocol, we should see iOS 11 arrive a few days before the iPhones hit shelves in the United States and countries around the world.

With an iOS 11 release date inching closer for select iPhone and iPad models, you should be paying close attention to iOS 10’s eventual successor.

iOS 11 isn’t coming to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c or iPad 4 but it is coming to popular devices like the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 7.

If you own a device that’s compatible with iOS 11, take a look a these early iOS 11 release date tips. They’ll help you make a smooth transition from iOS 10 (or whatever version of iOS you’re currently on) to the iOS 11.

Learn About iOS 11

It’s August which means iOS 11’s fall release date is only a few weeks away. If you haven’t been paying attention to the iOS 11 update and its beta, now would be a good time to start getting familiar with the changes.

The iOS 11 update continues to evolve as Apple and its army of developers and beta testers put it through its paces. In the weeks since its June arrival, we’ve seen the company tweak features, add enhancements, and fix a whole lot of bugs.

You might love some of these changes. You might hate them. But you’ll never know if you don’t dig into the update ahead of its release date.

It’s important to be comfortable with an update before you download it. In the case of iOS 11, you’ll want to be extremely comfortable because of the cosmetic changes it has on board.

For instance Control Center, that menu that appears when you swipe up from the bottom of your screen, it’s completely different in iOS 11.

If you don’t want to try the iOS 11 beta on your iPhone or iPad (we highly recommend using a spare device if you have one), take a look at our iOS 11 vs. iOS 10 walkthrough to get acquainted with the key differences between the two.

Apple’s released its own iOS 11 guide that highlights some of the major changes coming to its mobile devices this fall.

The company’s also released its own set of iOS 11 tips for the iPad Pro. iOS 11 will be a substantial update for the the iPad Pro and Apple’s other iPad models.

Don’t Count on iOS 10.3.4 or iOS 10.4

If you’re dealing with iOS 10 problems, on iOS 10.3.3 or something older, don’t sit around hoping for an iOS 10.3.4 release.

While it would be great to see Apple push out an iOS 10.3.4 update to address iOS 10.3.3 problems and lingering iOS 10 issues, the odds of a release are extremely slim.

These days, Apple puts its maintenance releases through extensive betas. To give you some idea, the iOS 10.3.3 update went through six betas before it was released to the public. The iOS 10.3.2 update went through five.

Apple could surprise us but at this point we’re guessing the company’s shifted its resources to iOS 11 and its release.

If you’re dealing with iOS 10 problems you’ll need to be extremely proactive in the weeks ahead. We expect the iOS 11 update to fix some iOS 10 issues but that probably won’t be its focus.

For a list of fixes for common iOS 10 problems, check out our guide.

Start Preparing for iOS 11

It might seem early but it’s really never too early to prepare for the next iOS update. There’s always work to be done.

As we approach the iOS 11 release date, here are a few tips iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users should keep in mind:

  • Use the time between now and the iOS 11 release date to cleanup your device. Get rid of files (apps, music, etc), anything you no longer use. Cleaning up your device could also improve your device’s performance.

  • Start backing up your data. If you don’t know where to start, you’ll want to research iCloud backups, iTunes backups, and the differences between the two.

  • If you want to download iOS 11 right when it comes out, make sure your device has at least a 50% charge (or you’re near a charger) around 10AM Pacific.

  • Track down all of your login information. Make sure you have the device’s passcode, Apple ID, and your important logins ready on release day. The iOS 11 update could log you out of various apps and services.

This might seem tedious but a little prep work should help you avoid major problems during the iOS 11 installation process. It’ll also help you avoid headaches once the software’s up and running on your phone or tablet.

When to Check for iOS 11

It’s difficult to predict the iOS 11 release date but the release time is extremely easy to pin down. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we approach the iOS 11 release date.

  • Apple will likely confirm an iOS 11 release date on stage with its new iPhones. You don’t need to check for iOS 11 before that, unless you’re using the iOS 11 beta.

  • iOS updates almost always arrive around 10AM Pacific.

  • This 10AM release time applies to iOS 11 beta releases as well.

  • iOS betas typically come every 1-2 weeks, usually on Monday but sometimes on Tuesday-Thursday.

Again, we expect the iOS 11 update to emerge in September, not August, so there’s no reason to check your phone or tablet for new updates this month unless you’re using the iOS 11 beta.

How Long Will the iOS 11 Update Take?

We expect iOS 11 to be a pretty sizable update so you can expect it to take much longer than a bug fix update like iOS 10.3.3.

The iOS 11 update will almost certainly be over 1GB for most iPhones and iPads so you can expect the download to take a few minutes to complete. If you decide to download iOS 11 on release day, you’ll encounter much longer download times.

The exact download and installation time will vary based on your device and your current version of iOS.

If you’re going to be upgrading from something older than iOS 10.3.3, your iOS 11 install will take awhile because it will include features and fixes from the updates you missed.

We’ll know more once Apple releases the iOS 11 GM.

Dig Into iOS 10 Updates If You Need To

If you decided not to download iOS 10.3.3, iOS 10.3, or iOS 10, make sure you look into those updates before you download the iOS 11 update on your phone.

If you skipped iOS 10.3 or iOS 10 entirely, the changes from the updates you skipped will be baked into your version of iOS 10.

This includes new features (iOS 10.3 delivered a ton of them earlier this year), bug fixes, and important security patches.

We’ve put together a guide that will walk you through all of the key changes in the most recent versions of iOS 10 and you’ll want to get comfortable with those before you download the iOS 11 update to your phone, tablet, or iPod touch.

Be on the Lookout for the iOS 11 GM

The iOS 11 beta 7 isn’t the iOS 11 Gold Master (GM) which means we’ll get at least one more beta before the final version of iOS 11 is released to the public.

Apple’s iOS 11 GM release, the last iOS 11 beta, will probably arrive sometime next month. Last year, Apple released the iOS 10 GM on September 8th, a few days before iOS 10’s September 13th release date.

This will be an important milestone because the company’s iOS 11 GM will be virtually identical to the version of iOS 11 Apple rolls out to the general public.

In the days between the iOS 11 GM release and the official release it would be a good idea to dig into feedback from testers. Take note of any new features and missing features. You’ll also want to gather feedback about the GM’s performance on your phone or tablet.

It’ll help you decide if you want to install iOS 11 or stay put on iOS 10.

Prepare for iOS 11 Problems

If you choose to install the iOS 11 update on release day there’s a chance you’ll run into an issue during or after the installation process finishes up.

The iOS 11 beta will squash a ton of bugs but you can expect issues to carry over into the final release. Common issues include severe battery drain, problems with Bluetooth, broken Wi-Fi, and app instability.

Sometimes it can take a couple of days for an update to settle in. If you notice weird battery life on release day, give it a day or two to even out. If problems persist after two days with iOS 11, or if the issues are serious, you’ll want to take action.

There are tons of resources out there but our list of fixes for common iOS problems is a great place to start. If you don’t consider yourself an expert, you’ll want to bookmark those fixes so you’re ready to tackle problems as soon as they popup.

If you can’t fix your problem and/or you want to help the community, you’ll want to report any iOS 11 problems you encounter on your device.

You can relay your problem to Apple Support on Twitter or you get into contact with Apple Support via the company’s website.

We also recommend reporting your problem on Apple’s Discussion forums to alert Apple, and other iOS 11 users, to your issue.

You Can “Test” iOS 11

If you don’t want to download the iOS 11 beta on your device (and we don’t blame you now that we’re this close to the official release), you can take the official version of iOS 11 for a test drive, provided you’re already on iOS 10.3.3 when it arrives.

For a short time, Apple will allow you to downgrade from iOS 11 to iOS 10. Apple is no longer signing off on iOS 10.3.2 or iOS 10.3.1 so you won’t be able to drop back to either of those updates.

It is, however, signing on iOS 10.3.3, the current version of iOS 10, and we expect that to continue through the iOS 11 release.

Most of you will probably want to stick it out on iOS 11 but others might benefit from dropping back down to iOS 10.

Downgrading could help improve your device’s performance. It’ll also restore iOS 11 features you hate (like Control Center) to their former glory.

Be Ready to Downgrade to iOS 10

If you aren’t familiar with the iOS downgrade process, now is a good time to get familiar with it.

Apple won’t sign off on iOS 10 forever. We expect the iOS 10.3.3 downgrade loophole to close soon after the release of iOS 11. Probably within a few weeks.

The company won’t give you a date on stage or in a press release. It will close it on a day of its choosing without any kind of warning.

Once the loopholes to iOS 10 are closed, they’re closed forever. Apple won’t magically open the iOS 10 update back up.

If you’ve downgraded before, you should be in good shape for iOS 11. If you haven’t, make sure you get comfortable with the process ahead of the release date.

How to Get Off the iOS 11 Beta

If you decide to try the iOS 11 beta on your device and you don’t want to get thrown onto the next iOS 11 beta (we could see a new one released shortly after the official release date), you’ll want to unenroll from the iOS 11 beta before or shortly after the final version of iOS 11 is released.

It can be a bit tricky so you’ll want to get familiar with the process right now so that you’re ready to move once Apple pushes the official update.

Avoid iOS 11 If You’re Jailbroken

If you want to keep your jailbreak you’ll want to avoid the iOS 11 update (and the iOS 11 beta) when it arrives. It’s as simple as that.

Jailbreak developers have reportedly jailbroken at least one version of the iOS 11 beta. Thus far, they’ve kept the jailbreak private and it’s unclear if they’ll release a public jailbreak tool for iOS 11 beta users. At this point, that probably won’t happen.

Instead, we’ll probably see jailbreak developers save the iOS 11 jailbreak for the official version of the software. Unfortunately, there’s no telling how long it might take.

To be safe, you’ll want to avoid iOS 11 when it arrives.

If You’re in IT, Start Getting Ready

If you work in IT you should start prepping for iOS 11’s arrival.

BlackBerry recently posted a blog telling IT professionals they need to be proactive ahead of the iOS 11 release date. The company says “iOS 11 will present challenges that IT will have to overcome in order to support mobile workers on the new OS.”

From its blog:

Make sure your users have the latest version of all apps, as many third party apps will require updates to run properly on iOS 11. Most app updates will be downloaded automatically to a user’s device, provided they have auto-update enabled. That said, it may still be worthwhile to communicate the importance of using the latest apps for iOS 11, and to encourage users to update manually.

BlackBerry, like many others, believes Apple will release iOS 11 next month.

Keep an Eye Out for App Updates

As we get closer to the release date we’ll start to see iOS 11 support updates trickle out. Make sure you keep an eye out for these releases because they’ll help to stabilize your applications with bug fixes and enhancements.

You Don’t Need to Install iOS 11

The iOS 11 update is a huge upgrade and its been generating a ton of buzz since Apple’s WWDC 2017 announcement in June. You might be feeling some of that excitement. If you are, you might be tempted to download the iOS 11 update right when it’s released.

For some of you, particularly those using the iOS 11 beta, that’s a sound plan. Many others will be better off taking a rain check. For a few days at least.

Apple won’t force you to install iOS 11. The choice is yours. So make sure you make the right call for you and your device.

There are plenty of reasons to avoid installing on day one. For instance, new iOS updates tend to wreck havoc on older devices. If you own an iPhone 5s, consider waiting a few days for feedback about iOS 11 performance to emerge.

Take your time with iOS 11. Dig into feedback if you need to. This way, you’re aware of the update’s potential benefits and problems.


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