Saturday, September 30, 2017

Super Mario Run September Update: What to Know

The first big Super Mario Run update just arrived and it’s exactly what the hit game needed. After hitting iOS in 2016 as a refreshing twist on the iconic Mario, the game is starting to slow down. This update brings a brand new twist to Super Mario Run, and here’s what fans need to know.

After launching with a short amount of levels and a high price tag, Super Mario Run quickly ran out of steam. Eventually, it arrived for Android, but that wasn’t enough. If you’re one of many waiting on something else, this is it.

Read: Super Mario Run Cheats & Tricks

The September Super Mario Run update delivers a brand new game mode, along with tons of unpredictability that makes it refreshingly fun, again. We’ll explain that and more after the break.

Super Mario Run Update Details

So what’s new in this old-school turned touchscreen game? A new game mode called “Remix 10”. Essentially, Remix 10 cuts up the Mario Run stages into little pieces and throws 10 different stages at you at a time. It’s all out of order, exciting, yet easy to beat in a few seconds.

If you die, it’s game over. Additionally, there are new rainbow-colored coins scattered throughout the game. If you don’t die and collect the coins, after beating all 10 stages players can unlock new items in the Kingdom Builder Mode.

Better yet, if you complete enough of the Remix 10 courses you might even find Daisy. She’s lost somewhere along the way, and it’s up to you to find her.

New World & More

Furthermore, this “biggest update ever” added a new world. This includes the new World Tour that brings courses like a forest and an airship armada, giving players more options than ever before. Travel through plains, caverns, ghost houses, airships, castles, and more.

Another big aspect of this update is new the new Daisy character, who you can play as. Daisy is a neat new addition and can jump while she’s already in the air. Basically a double-jump. This will surely help you finish some of the course. If you beat course 4-6 and build homes for Luigi, Yoshi, and Toadette in Kingdom Builder mode, you can get them to join your adventures as playable characters.

Finally, the Toad Rally received some changes. Do some crazy moves to start the coin rush mode. And if you win the rally, cheering toads come live with you in your kingdom. Nintendo also added the option for users to listen to their own music collection while playing.

Super Mario Run is half off until October 12th, and the update is available now. Next, we’ll have to wait until next month for Super Mario Odyssey.

18 Best LG V30 Cases

Are you looking for the best LG V30 cases to protect your big-screen phone and keep it looking new? If so, we’ve rounded up some exciting cases worth considering as the October 5th release date nears. This phone has a big 6-inch curved screen and glass covering the front and the back, so a case is highly recommended.

Luckily, LG V30 cases come in a bunch of different styles, colors, and materials to get exactly what you need. Some are super slim, others are very robust, but all of them should keep the phone safe. Choose a V30 case from brands we know, use and trust.

Read: LG V30 vs LG G6: What to Know

We’ve found some priced as low as $8, which is certainly cheaper than replacing a broken screen for $250. Then, you can spend $15 or even $20 to get the most durable cases or options from reputable brands we know and trust. Furthermore, we have cases with kickstands, leather cases and more to fit any users needs.

A high-quality case from trusted brands is the best route, but with the phone being so new the options are somewhat limited. As more arrive, we’ll update this list. That said, even a cheap $6 TPU case is better than nothing. For more protection, some of the expensive cases have screen protectors built-in or use more durable materials. Keep in mind that the LG V30 is IP68 dust and water-resistant, so you won’t need to buy a waterproof case. It actually has a full military compliant MIL-STD 810G rating for durability.

Read: 7 Best Galaxy Note 8 Alternatives 

Popular case styles for a big phone like the LG V30 include wallet cases or a case that has a built-in kickstand. We have those and plenty more below. We’ve also found cases that are extremely thin, or clear cases to show off one of the four fancy colors you can choose when buying the LG V30.

It is worth stating that while the design is similar to the LG G6 or V20, the phone is bigger and curved on all sides. That means you’ll need a new case if you have one of LG’s past smartphones.

Often buyers find cases in carrier stores that are overpriced and skip a case completely. Don’t do that. We’ve done the hard work for you and have great cases to recommend. Our recommendations are from big names including Spigen, Lumion, Supcase, and others at affordable prices. As more big brands like Speck, Incipio and Otterbox release options we’ll update our slideshow below. Get a case today before your phone arrives starting October 5th.

Spigen Rugged Armor Slim Case

 1 / 18
Spigen Rugged Armor Slim Case

First up is the popular Spigen Rugged Armor. Spigen is one of the best case manufacturers who always offers different styles, levels of protection, and features all for a good price. 

The model most users choose is the Spigen Rugged Armor and its neat faux carbon fiber styling. It’s so popular that other case makers started copying the design. 

The Rugged Armor is 100% TPU, which is a soft and flexible blend of rubber and plastic. Giving it rigged strength but enough flexibility to resist drops and impacts. The inside is layered with extra lines of TPU to spread out the force from drops, and the edges have raised lips to keep the screen and camera safe at all times. You can lay it face-down on a table and the screen will never touch. 

Lately, Spigen’s cases are even better-looking thanks to new glossy accents and edges, along with the carbon fiber styling at the top and bottom. This is one of the first cases we always recommend.

Buy it Now for $12.99 on Amazon

 1 / 18

Friday, September 29, 2017

Save up to $300 off HTC’s best phones during “Green is Good” week

If you’re on the hunt for a new phone, listen up because we’ve got a deal for you. HTC is kicking off its “Green is Good” promotion on Monday, October 2 and is giving you the opportunity to save a ton of cash. During the week-long promotion, you can get deals on HTC’s best smartphones and accessories from 2017. It will also be running giveaways through the week on phones, a VIVE headset, and other prizes. Here’s how all the deals break down:

  • HTC U Ultra: $749 $449. Save $300

  • HTC U11: $649 $549. Save $100 and get a free gift pack

  • HTC Bolt $600 $400. Save $200

  • 50% off accessories with the purchase of a phone

  • $10 select phone cases

HTC is offering $300 off the U Ultra, $100 off the U11 and $200 off the Bolt. Those are pretty steep discounts! The U11 has one of the best cameras in any phone this year and fantastic build quality. If you value mobile photography and how your phone feels in the hand, $549 is not bad. A quick look at Sprint’s website (the only carrier that sells the U11) shows that it’s asking $696 for the device, which makes the $549 sale price look even better.

The U Ultra was released earlier this year with a pretty hefty price tag at $749. If you’ve been waiting for a price drop to pick yours up, this would be a great opportunity. In our review, we pointed out that we loved the metal and glass design and the wonderful camera. While it doesn’t have the most modern specs (or a headphone jack), the U Ultra is still a very good phone.

Keep in mind that HTC will be doing giveaways through the week too. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, you can still head over to HTC’s site and sign up for its mailing list to be notified of when the sweepstakes start. I know I’ll be trying to win that awesome VIVE VR headset!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Best Fast Car Chargers for the Galaxy Note 8

Recharge your Galaxy Note 8 just as fast in the car as you do at home by getting a fast car charger. In this buying guide, we’ll explain the benefits of getting a fast car charger for the Note 8 and share a list of the best options available.

Buying the right charger will make a big difference in terms of how fast your phone recharges. Most users don’t know about this feature, and if they do, they don’t think about it when buying a car charger. Which is why we’ll recommend a few great options below.

Read: 40 Galaxy Note 8 Tips & Tricks 

Whether you’re trying to fix bad Galaxy Note 8 battery life or just want a faster charge, this is one of the easiest methods. Buying any random car charger isn’t going to work. Instead, you’ll want to choose one from a reputable brand. Some in our list are as cheap as $10, while others from Samsung cost a little more. Below we also explain what quick charging is and how it works.

How Quick Charging Works

The Galaxy Note 8 uses a technology called adaptive fast charging. Also known as Qualcomm Quick Charge. With this, instead of taking 3 hours to recharge phones can fill up in around 80 minutes. Additionally, it enables the Galaxy Note 8 to charge from 0-50% in just 20-25 minutes.

The charger feeds the phone more power than usual and it recharges extremely fast. Then, after 20-30 minutes it goes back to regular speeds (but still fast) to preserve the life of the battery cells. Otherwise, your battery would degrade over time and no longer hold a full charge. That’s why the first half of the charge is faster than the rest.

Without an adaptive or quick charge certified charger, the Galaxy Note 8 takes between 2-3 hours to recharge. See the benefit? In just a 20 minute drive you’ll have enough battery for the rest of the night after work, etc.

This is extremely useful, but it only works with the right type of charger. Samsung provides one fast wall charger in the box, and you’ll want those same incredible fast speeds in your car or while traveling. As a result, we’ve round-up a list of the best fast car chargers for the Galaxy Note 8 in our slideshow below.

Official Samsung Adaptive Fast Car Charger

 1 / 5
Official Samsung Adaptive Fast Car Charger

First up, we’ll recommend an official adaptive fast car charger made officially by Samsung. This has precise power output levels perfect for the Galaxy Note 8 and is nearly identical to the wall plug that comes in each box with the Note 8. 

Samsung’s fast car charger has two USB outputs too, allowing owners to plug in more than one device at a time and get a quick recharge. 

This ensures a safe, fast and efficient charging experience while you’re traveling. Keep in mind that only one of the two ports is “fast charge capable” although the second one still uses a decent 2.0 amps of output power. Samsung provides both a USB Type-C and a micro USB cable in the box. 

Buy it Now from Samsung for $39.99 or at Amazon for $17

 1 / 5

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Amazon Fire TV 4K & New Amazon Echo Speakers Upgrade Your Home

Amazon just announced a new Fire TV with 4k support, three new Amazon Echo speakers, a box that lets your Echo call landlines, Echo Buttons and Alexa Integration for BMW.

While Apple and Google are trying to carve out a place in your home and the new Apple TV 4K is just going on sale there is a new series of Amazon hardware that is set to dominate this fall and during the holiday season.

Here’s what you need to know about the new Amazon Fire RTV 4K, new 2017 Echo speakers and other new Amazon hardware.

2017 Amazon Echo

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>The new Echo is smaller, cheaper and better sounding.

The new Amazon Echo delivers better sound thanks to Dolby Audio, it’s smaller, it looks better and it’s only $99. Amazon thinks this will compete with the Sonos Play:1 and be a better solution for many users than the Apple HomePod, which can’t play Spotify by voice commands.

Amazon designed the new Echo with metal and cloth, and you can change out the shell to deliver a different look that fits your house better. Amazon previously announced multi-room audio support for Amazon Echo, and you will be able to place these throughout your home to get a whole home audio system for $99 a room.

FireTV with 4K & HDR

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>The new Fire TV supports 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos for less than half the price of the Apple TV 4K.

You can pay $149 for the Apple TV 4K or you can pay $69.99 for the Amazon Fire TV 4K with HDR support. This small device plugs into the HDMI port on the back of your TV and streams 4K content with HDR support. It also includes Dolby Atmos support for enhanced sound. This device includes the Alexa smart remote that you can control with voice. Amazon just dropped the price of 4K movies sold through the Amazon Video store.

Amazon Echo Plus

The Amazon Echo Plus is your gateway to Alexa, but it’s also your smarthome hub. Similar to how Apple uses the Apple TV to control your smarthome, Amazon is using the Echo Plus. This looks similar to the original Echo and it works with over 100 smart home systems right out of the box.

If you can control it with Alexa, this is your home’s best friend. You won’t need a hub like SmartThings or an Apple TV. This device can search for smart home devices and connect to them without the need for users to add skills and configure things in an app. The Echo Plus works locally and includes cloud support. You get the Echo Plus and one Hue smart bulb for $149.

Amazon Echo Spot

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>The Echo Spot is a smart alarm click like device with Alexa.

The Amazon Echo Spot is a small, round version of the Echo Show with a 2.5-inch display that shows you information at a glance. It’s like a small smart alarm clock or kitchen hub that shows you weather or the time, but that’s not all. It also supports video calling, like the Amazon Show, and you can use it to access Alexa. The new smart clock is coming in December for $129.

Echo Buttons

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>Echo buttons can be used to play games with an Echo device.

Amazon is also hoping to further connect you to Alexa with Echo Buttons. These are small $19.99 buttons that you can use to trigger Alexa or to connect with the Echo. You can set them up to do different things when you push them. Amazon offered up one use case, of playing Trivial Pursuit on an Echo, but it’s unlikely many families will spend $80 just to play a game with Echo.

Echo Connect

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>Call anyone with your Echo using Echo Connect.

Do you miss your landline? Amazon Echo devices can now call landlines if you buy the $35 Echo Connect and set it up at your house. You can already make calls with Echo devices to other Echo devices, but this will let you call any number. The $35 device goes is available for pre-order today.

Alexa in Your BMW

We saw Ford add Alexa earlier this year, and BMW is jumping on board now. Starting with BMW cars in 2018 you will be able to summon Alexa in your car to control a variety of options and you can expect to see that Echo Plus smart home integration come in very handy while driving home. No specific models or trim levels were mentioned.

What is Amazon Echo & What Can Alexa Do?

Stream Music From Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora & More

 1 / 15
Stream Music From Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora & More

 Alexa can stream music from Spotify to the Echo, Echo Dot or a paired Bluetooth speaker. You can also stream Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio or TuneIn radio to the Echo using your voice. 

Open the Alexa app and tap on the menu in the upper left. Tap on Settings and then on Music & MediaTap on the account you want to use and then link to your account by logging into the account. You need to have Spotify Premium installed for this service to work with Spotify.

You can log into all the accounts you have and when you ask Alexa to play you can say “on Spotify” or on a different service to choose where to listen. On the bottom of this page, tap on Choose default music services to pick the service Alexa should use if you don’t specify.  

 1 / 15

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT: 5 Things You Need to Know

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is all new with loads of tech features that you’ll love, a great driving experience and the Elantra GT Sport with a turbocharged engine and upgraded suspension. If you’re looking for a compact hatchback that is loads of fun to drive, has the room you need to haul your friends and your stuff around, and you’re looking to spend about $20,000 the Elantra GT and Elantra GT Sport need to be on your short list.

We put the 2018 Elantra GT Sport to the test with the standard manual transmission and this is what we learned. Hyundai offers both the Elantra GT and the Elantra GT Sport with a standard manual transmission which is refreshing. You can also get the Elantra GT with a six speed automatic transmission and the 2018 Elantra GT Sport with a 7 speed dual clutch system.

How Does the 2018 Elantra GT Sport Drive?

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>Read our 2018 Elantra GT Sport first drive review.

After testing the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport on a twisty course around Ann Arbor, on several unforgiving roads, we came away impressed with the suspension’s ability to absorb bumps while . still offering a connected driving experience. The GT Sport suspension is different than the standard Elantra GT, and it performs well.

We are impressed with the Turbocharged 1.6L engine and the manual transmission which was very easy to find the right shift points on. if you want, it’s easy enough to squeal the tires and have some noisy fun, but you can also drive with more restraint when situations call for it. There’s a good amount of power here with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque, but there’s not a lot of engine noise in the cabin. Outside you get a good exhaust note, but we’d love to hear a little more of this while driving.

If you’re looking for a fun hatchback with a manual transmission and plenty of power, the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 aren’t the only contenders you need to look at.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Tech

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is packed full of awesome technology features. Hyundai’s built-in infotainment system is good, but we love that you also get support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. With this support, you can use your smartphone apps for navigation, music and communication easily on the car’s screen. Android Auto includes Waze support that will alert you to traffic jams, police activity and road hazards.

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>You’ll find Apple CarPlay & Android Auto standard.

There’s also a built-in Qi wireless charger so you can place your iPhone 8, iPhone X or many Android phones on a pad to charge while you are driving without the need to plug in a cord. There is no wireless CarPlay or Android Auto support, but you can stream music via Bluetooth and take calls on Bluetooth while wirelessly charging.

Hyundai includes Blue Link support complimentary for three years. This allows you to remotely control your car using your iPhone, Android, smartwatch or even Amazon Alexa. You can remote start the Elantra GT, lock, unlock and even set climate control options to control the temperature or turn on defrost. If you are in an accident Blue Link can also request help through emergency numbers.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Safety

Hyundai packs a lot of safety and convenience into the 2018 Elantra GT as well. Driver Blind Spot mirror alerts are standard on the Elantra GT and you get Blind Spot Detection with Cross traffic alert standard on the Elantra GT Sport. This lets you know if someone is in your blind spot, and we prefer this system to the camera setup in the Honda Civic. A rear view camera is also standard, allowing you to easily back out of a parking spot or parallel park easier.

Optional safety features on the Elantra GT Sport include smart cruise control that can keep you a set distance from the car in front of you, bring you to a complete stop and start back up. This is only available with the Tech Package on the Elantra GT Sport with the Dual Clutch option. This tech package also includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keel assist, high beam assist and  driver attention alert that can warn you when your driving habits indicate you need to take a break.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Interior

<figcaption class=" wp-caption-text/>There’s a lot of cargo room in the Elantra GT.

Hyundai is quick to point out that the 2018 Elantra GT offers more cargo space than the Civic Hatchback, Cruze Hatchback, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Focus Hatchback and the Golf. The spacious hatch looks well suited for hauling a lot of gear and the 60/40 split backseat allows you to pack in even more when you don’t need passengers.

The Elantra GT Sport seats are comfortable and the interior looks pleasantly modern and up to date. Controls are easily within reach and there are a good number of steering wheel controls to handle common actions. The driver and passenger both have plenty of room and the backseat also offers a good deal of space for your passengers. The GT Sport includes red accent trim throughout the cabin.

You can get the Elantra GT with dual temperature control and with heated and ventilated seats. We don’t typically find ventilated seats in this price range and style. If you’re in a hot climate, you will love that option.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Price

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT starts at $19,350 for the base GT and $203,250 for the entry level Elantra GT Sport. The table below outlines the pricing without a $885 destination charge.

Elantra GT2.0L 4-cylinder6-speed Manual Transmission$19,350
Elantra GT2.0L 4-cylinder6-speed Automatic Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC®$20,350
Elantra GT Sport1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder6-speed Manual Transmission$23,250
Elantra GT Sport1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder7-speed EcoShift® Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC®$24,350

There are two packages on the Elantra GT, a Style package and a Technology package that add $1,800 and $4,300 respectively. The Technology package includes the Style package. The 2018 Elantra GT Sport includes a tech package that adds, $3,850 to the price and packs in a lot of technology and safety features.

Google celebrates its 19th anniversary with 19 in-browser activities

The appeal of Google’s Doodles is completely lost on me. They’re one of those popular things that I just don’t get the appeal of. Like Coen Brothers movies. Or sunbeds.

Anyway, for those of you who can’t get enough Google Doodle action, boy have I got some good news for you. In celebration of Google’s 19th anniversary, the company has re-introduced 18 games and activities from Google Doodle’s past, and a brand new one.

The titles are accessed via a “Surprise Spinner” at Google’s homepage (you can click the GIF above to go there), meaning not only do you get the thrill of actually playing these games, but also the anticipation of waiting for the wheel to land on one of the least boring ones.

Among the classic titles, you’ll find the Pac-Man recreation from 2010; sports game Cricket Cricket (nope? Me neither); and an all-new version of Snake like the one popularized on the infamous Nokia 3310.

Let us know your favorite in the comments, or head here if you just want to try out Birthday Piñata — my high score is 104.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

7 Things to Know About the iPhone 6 iOS 11.0.1 Update

Apple’s rolled out a new iPhone 6 iOS 11.0.1 update and it delivers key fixes to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also brought some new problems to the aging former flagships.

iOS 11.0.1 is live for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users around the world. The update doesn’t come with any new features (that we’re aware of) but it does deliver some key bug fixes including a solution to Exchange mail issues.

If you’re already running iOS 11 your iOS 11.0.1 update is just bug fixes. iOS 11.0.1 doesn’t bring any new security patches to the iPhone.

If you still haven’t moved from iOS 10, your version of iOS 11.0.1 will deliver the changes Apple delivered in the first version of iOS 11. These include notable upgrades to Siri, screen recording, improvements for AirPods, security patches, fixes, and many other changes.

The iPhone 6 will also get new emojis and person-to-person Apple Pay payments in Messages when they arrive inside an iOS 11 update later this year.

iOS 11.0.1 is treating us, and many others, pretty well but there are problems. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users are complaining about a variety of issues including abnormal battery drain, issues with Bluetooth, and annoying problems with various applications.

Our guide to the iPhone 6 iOS 11/iOS 11.0.1 update goes over these problems and provides fixes to those in need. It also highlights iOS 11 features that are missing on the iPhone 6 and provides you with some information about the next major iOS 11 release for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

We’ve been using the iOS 11.0.1 update on the iPhone 6 for a few hours now and we want to start with some initial impressions of its performance on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 iOS 11.0.1 First Impressions

 1 / 7
iPhone 6 iOS 11.0.1 First Impressions

Before we get into a quick look at the iPhone 6 update’s performance, a few notes about the download and installation process. 

The iPhone 6 iOS 11 update is rather big, several hundred MBs if you’re coming from iOS 11.0, but it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to download provided you’re on a high-speed Wi-Fi network. If you’re still on DSL, find a friend with a fast connection. The installation process took a little bit longer, about 6 minutes on our iPhone 6. 

If you’re installing iOS 11 for the first time, your download and installation will take a bit longer. For more on that, take a look at our roundup

The iPhone 6 is getting up there in age but it’s still performing at a pretty high level.

We haven’t noticed any major issues with battery life or connectivity (Bluetooth, cellular data, and Wi-Fi). That could change and we’ll let you know if it does. 

A few apps have crashed (Spotify, Chrome, Gmail, SoundCloud to name a few) but that’s not unusual after a major iOS release. We expect app performance to settle in and for developers to continue to release iOS 11 support updates. 

Lag and random reboots have been a problem on our iPhone 6. Our device hasn’t rebooted itself yet but we have noticed a bit of UI lag. We had a similar experience on iOS 11.0.

Animations are occasionally choppy and we’ve experienced some keyboard lag in Messages. Again, it sometimes takes a few days for software to settle in so we aren’t too concerned yet. 

Overall, we’re enjoying iOS 11.0.1 and iOS 11 on the iPhone 6. If you’re feeling leery, you might want to wait for long term feedback to emerge. 

If you’re on the fence, take a look at our list of reasons to and not to install the iOS 11 update on your phone right now. 

 1 / 7

Guess who just switched to an Android phone

Bill Gates. Yupp, the co-founder of Microsoft has reportedly put his Windows phone aside in favor of an Android device.

According to the most recent statistics, Windows-powered phones managed to round up only 0.3 percent of the market, and among that minuscule number of people was, of course, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. However, in an interview with Fox News, Bill Gates revealed that this is no longer the case: he has officially ditched his Windows phone in favor of an Android-powered smartphone. While he never specified which Android phone he was using as a personal device, he did add that it has “a lot of Microsoft software.”

In some ways, Bill Gates’ decision to go with an Android phone makes a lot of sense. After all, Microsoft’s very own Windows Mobile OS never caught on, mostly due to its counterintuitive UI and lack of dev support, and after the Lumia 950, the company seemed to have given up altogether. That probably left Bill Gates with two options: iOS or Android. While both Apple and Google are Microsoft’s direct competitors, the feud between Apple and Microsoft goes way back. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs may have been friends, but the ongoing battle between PC vs. Mac is just one of the reasons why it might have been particularly awkward for Gates to use an iPhone.

Android is a slightly different story, however. While it is Google’s mobile OS, it’s used and modified by hardware partners without any charge, so unless he’s using a Pixel, it’s not such an apparent conflict of interest. It also offers a level of flexibility and customization that’s simply not available on Apple’s devices, which is one of the reasons why tech enthusiasts tend to stick with Android phones.

Assuming that he bought his phone in the US, statistically speaking, it’s extremely likely that it’ll be a Samsung-made device.

Now, the question is “Which Android phone does Bill Gates use?” Assuming that he bought his phone in the US, statistically speaking, it’s extremely likely that it’ll be a Samsung-made device. Samsung has had multiple partnerships with Microsoft, not just for its PC division and now-defunct Windows phones, but also for its Android-powered Galaxy series.

Of course, we’re just going to have to keep guessing until Bill Gates himself reveals which model he’s using as his personal phone, so what would be your guess? Which Android phone do you think the co-founder of Microsoft is using? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Thoughts on London’s Uber ban: Innovation vs Regulation

best transit apps

Technology has the power to fundamentally change the status-quo in an incredibly short space of time. Smartphones have reshaped mobile computing, the growth of internet streaming has thrown the music and TV industries upside-down, and Uber has done much the same with its private car hire app – shaking up the industry with a new business model and pushing down prices for users.

However these shakeups often cause fallout, and Uber has yet again clashed heads with regulators. The company is now facing the prospect of being banned from operating in London by the end of the month, pending an appeal and/or compromise. Uber claims to have some 3.5 million users in London and 40,000 drivers on its platform in the UK capital. So there are lots of customers and jobs at stake.

Transport for London (aka the TFL) decided not to renew Uber’s private hire operator license after it expires on 30 September. The decision, backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, found that Uber fails to meet the regulatory criteria to ensure passenger safety. More specifically, Uber is allegedly inadequate in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates for staff, and in how it carries out criminal record checks. In addition, the company’s use of the controversial Greyball software, which attempts to hide the company’s drivers from law enforcement officials amongst others, was also highlighted as a cause for concern. Meanwhile, Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has written an open letter apologising for “mistakes we’ve made”.

As a Londoner myself, I’ve had a number of perfectly pleasant trips with Uber over the years, and that’s arguably what most people care about. But the situation in the UK’s capital is a little more complex than just the quality of the service on offer and strict regulatory requirements.

Uber’s chequered past strikes back

What’s particularly interesting about the TFL’s decision not to renew Uber’s license is the use of the phrase “lack of corporate responsibility”, an expression the company is used to hearing by now. Uber has become a controversial company over the past few years, with a number of accusations made about its working conditions, a culture of sexual harassment, and even the theft of self-driving car technology from Alphabet.

No matter how you look at it, the rise of Uber has been far from squeaky clean, and has also given lawmakers plenty to ponder.

Central to much of Uber’s controversy and the latest TFL case is the company’s status, or lack thereof, as an employer. Like other gig economy ideas, the business model was built upon contracting out rides to “freelancers”, which conveniently removes many of Uber’s legal obligations to its drivers, such as pensions, health insurance, and the like. Furthermore, Uber has constantly clashed heads with lawmakers over pay, taxes, and whether or not it meets local legal requirements to run a private hire service.

The company lost a landmark case in the UK last year and has to classify its drivers as employees in the country, entitling them to paid holiday and a minimum wage. Uber will be appealing the decision. In California and Massachusetts, Uber overturned a similar ruling in exchange for a settlement. Not forgetting that Uber has been spending a notable sum of money lobbying lawmakers to look favourably on the “ride-sharing” business model. No matter how you look at it, the rise of Uber has been far from squeaky clean.

London’s a particularly complex case

Outside of Uber’s chequered history and some of the more complex issues surrounding the growth of the gig economy, the situation in London is fraught with some more classic issues of vested interests and playing politics. These risk overshadowing some of the more nuanced issues, but they’re worth highlighting, given that readers abroad may not be aware of them.

Drivers of London’s iconic Black Cabs, comparable in recognition to New York’s yellow taxis, have long campaigned against this major new competitor and have repeatedly lobbied City Hall over the past five years to take Uber off the streets. They even brought some of the capital’s streets to a stand-still in protest on numerous occasions over the threat posed to their way of business. Some Uber supporters suggest that this may have had a part to play in the TFL’s decision.

Uber’s business model has resulted in counter-lobbying from private hire companies, heaping skepticism on the impartiality of regulatory investigations, particularly in London.

It’s not just existing private hire models that have to contend with Uber’s shake-up of the market, public transport can feel the pressure also. TFL, which regulates London’s public transport and taxis, is currently overseeing the costly expansion of 24-hour Underground services, and appears to be in desperate need of additional revenue to cover its expensive borrowing habits. Such is the problem that Mayor Khan ran for office on the promise of freezing travel fees, only to be accused of breaking that pledge by raising the cost of day tickets and travel cards within weeks of taking office. Low-cost taxis are clearly a competitor to expensive public transport too, and so many may be right to question TFL’s impartiality in this case.

At the same time, many consumers have been more than happy with Uber’s price pressure on cab fares, and some 40,000 drivers have undertaken employment in the industry inside London, suggesting it’s not a bad way to work. Furthermore and contrary to TFL’s claims on safety, many commuters are now concerned about the prospect of returning to the days of extortionate late-night taxi ranks, unmarked cabs prowling nightlife hot-spots, and walking back from bus stops late at night. Meanwhile, drivers will undoubtedly have to reface the challenges of collecting cash or card payments from intoxicated or other unsavoury patrons.

After all, Uber’s actual innovation in the private hire space was offering a middleman to give both customers and drivers peace of mind and a more convenient experience. The lower prices were really just a bonus.

Regulation is increasingly behind the times

London-based issues aside, what’s becoming increasingly clear, in my opinion, is that Uber isn’t a traditional private hire company, but nor is it simply providing a service for “freelance” drivers. Uber shouldn’t be able to shirk all responsibilities to its employees or legislation, but it’s clear that the company has a different relationship with its staff that means it’s not going to replicate the relationship that current private hire companies provide. In that sense, current legislation for traditional taxi companies doesn’t seem like a particularly good fit for Uber.

Looking at the gig economy more broadly, there are plenty of similar examples where companies are fulfilling the role of connecting sellers to buyers, rather than actively being involved in the product, which leads to similar legal issues. Should AirBnB hosts be beholden to the same regulatory requirements as hotels? Are services like Dolly or AnyVan really anything like your traditional man with a van? And what about the products and services sold through sites like Etsy or PeoplePerHour — is the host company responsible for their quality or is the seller?

All of these services are helping to facilitate the very basic and important free market principle of unimpeded trade between two parties. They’re benefiting customers with new products and freelancers looking to make the most of their labour. The snag is that the introduction of a corporate middleman raises a whole new set of legal, as well as ethical, questions about their responsibilities to the buyers and sellers, which doesn’t apply to more traditional business models.

The gig economy isn’t the only area of tech innovation that governments are struggling to keep up with. We’ve had numerous similar debates revolving around data collection and privacy, the tax situation of huge multinational corporations, and issues involving net neutrality.

What’s clear is that, as technology continues to enable new ideas and business models, lawmakers, employees, and even users are going to have to get used to adapting much more quickly than they currently are. Innovative ideas might just require more innovative legislation too.

5 Things to Know About the iOS 11.0.1 Update

Apple’s released its first iOS 11 maintenance update and iOS 11.0.1 delivers bug fixes and improvements to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

While the company typically puts new iOS releases through beta, the company skipped an iOS 11.0.1 beta in favor of a fast release for iOS 11 users.

iOS 11.0.1 is the first bug fix update for the company’s new operating system though it’s actually a fairly sizable download. The iOS 11.0.1 update is a whopping 280MB for the iPhone 7.

While Apple’s latest iOS 11 update is here to fix issues with iOS 11.0, there’s also a chance it’ll bring new problems to the company’s mobile devices. In fact, we’re already hearing about a few early iOS 11.0.1 problems.

This guide goes over the most important things to know, right now, about the new iOS 11.0.1 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It includes some quick impressions, a brief look at iOS 11.0.1 problems, the iOS 10 downgrade, and what to expect next from Apple.

iOS 11.0.1 Impressions

Most maintenance iOS releases are a few MB but the iOS 11.0.1 isn’t your typical bug fix update. Apple’s new iOS 11 update is nearly 300MB for the iPhone 7 and it’s also a substantial download for other iOS 11-powered devices.

If you’re on a fast Wi-Fi network it should only a take a minute or two to download. It took us about a minute and a half to get it on board during peak hours.

The installation took about five minutes on the iPhone 7 though we were coming directly from iOS 11. If you’re coming from an older version of iOS, your download size and installation time could be a lot longer.

We’ve only been using the iOS 11.0.1 update for a few moments but we haven’t noticed any catastrophic issues with the new firmware.

Battery life is holding up, we’ve successfully connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, cellular data is normal, and we haven’t experienced a decline in app performance, at least not yet. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s are both fast with iOS 11.0.1 on board. Same as iOS 11.

That said, you’ll want to be careful with iOS 11.0.1. New software, even small ones like iOS 11.0.1, can cause problems, particularly on older devices.

If you need additional feedback about iOS 11, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11 update on your device right now.

iOS 11.0.1: What’s New

Apple’s iOS 11.0.1 change log is vague though it says the update includes bug fixes and improvements for the iPhone and iPad. The fixes are likely for minor issues plaguing the initial iOS 11.0 release.

The update doesn’t come with any new security patches either. Apple notes that iOS 11.0.1 includes the security content of iOS 11.0.

iOS 11.0.1 Problems

It’s early but we’re already hearing about some initial problems with iOS 11.0.1.

iPhone and iPad users are noticing connectivity issues, installation problems (the update’s getting stuck during the download/installation process), weird battery drain, and issues with first and third-party applications including the company’s Mail app.

If you’re seeing iOS 11.0.1 bugs or problems, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 11 problems. Our list should have you covered. You might also want to take a look at our tips to improve iOS 11 performance and iOS 11 battery life.

iOS 10 Downgrade Open

The iOS 10 downgrade is still open.

Those looking to move off iOS 11.0 or iOS 11.0.1 can still drop back down to iOS 10.3.3 in an effort to improve performance.

Apple will, at some point, close up the iOS 10 downgrade path so those interested in dropping down will need to move quickly. Our guide will take you step-by-step through the downgrade process.

There’s no way to drop back down to anything older than iOS 10.3.3 without a jailbreak.

What’s Next

iOS 11.0.1 is the first update for iOS 11 but it won’t be the last.

Apple’s promised several new iOS 11 features including Apple Pay Cash and person-to-person Apple Pay payments in Messages. These features will likely arrive in a milestone upgrade.

It’s also planning to bring Unicode 10.0 and its new emoji characters to the iOS 11 keyboard. The list of new emojis includes a zombie, a genie, an elf, an exploding head, a mage, a coconut, a sandwich, and a vampire.

On top of those, Apple says it’s also planning to bring back the 3D Touch App Switcher Gesture in a future iOS 11 update. The company hasn’t said when that update will roll out.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 11.0.1 & 9 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 11 for Better Security

 1 / 13
Install iOS 11 for Better Security

If the security of your device is important to you you’ll probably want to install iOS 11.o.1 today or sometime in the near future. 

The iOS 11.0.1 update doesn’t come with any new security patches. It simply features the patches from the iOS 11.0 update.

Apple’s iOS 11.0 update delivered several patches for potential exploits. These patches address serious vulnerabilities in iOS. If you’re coming from iOS 10, the iOS 11.0.1 update delivers eight patches to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. 

That’s not all. iOS 11 also comes with new security features aimed at keeping your data safe. Elcomsoft recently discovered a change to the way iOS deals with trusted devices. 

In iOS 11 you can’t establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You’ll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust. 

If you skipped previous versions of iOS, your iOS 11.0.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches. 

Apple’s iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called “Broadpwn.” 

If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you’ll get 23 additional patches in iOS 11.0.1. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you’ll get 60 security patches with your version of iOS 11.0.1. 

If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11/iOS 11.0.1 soon. This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.

 1 / 13

How to Fix Bad iPhone 8 Battery Life

Some iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus users are running into battery life issues. If you start to notice abnormal battery drain on your iPhone 8 try a fix from this guide before taking scheduling an appointment at your local Apple Store.

Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are two of the best smartphones money can buy but they aren’t perfect. Early adopters are running into a myriad of problems including weird battery drain.

Some iPhone 8 users are noticing rapid battery loss in situations where the battery shouldn’t be taking a significant hit. In some cases this may be related to a bad battery. In most cases though, it’s an app gone rogue or simply bad habits from the person behind the wheel.

We expect Apple to roll out frequent iOS 11 maintenance updates but there’s no telling how long you’ll have to wait for the next upgrade. While you wait, you should try and fix these bad battery life issues yourself.

This guide will take you through some potential fixes and some tips that will help if and when you start noticing weird drain on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

Restart Your iPhone 8

Sometimes all it takes is a simple restart. If you start to notice odd battery drain on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, hold down the power button and power the device down.

Use Low Power Mode

Your iPhone 8 comes with an extremely useful battery saving function called Low Power Mode. Low Power Mode minimizes animations (you can also do this manually) and optimizes your devices performance. Services like AirDrop and iCloud Sync will be disabled but you can still make phone calls, receive texts, etc. You can turn Low Power Mode on whenever you want.

In order to enable Low Power Mode head into your iPhone 8’s Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode > and toggle it On whenever you want to save a few battery percentage points and don’t want to turn Airplane Mode on.

You can also put a shortcut to Low Power Mode into Control Center (the menu that pops up when you swipe up from the bottom of your display) for easy access to the toggle. To do that, head to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green plus sign next to Low Power Mode.

Use Airplane Mode

If you’re in a terrible service area your phone will struggle to pull down a signal. When your phone is working like that, your battery is probably dropping.

When you are in a spotty area flip on Airplane Mode from Control Center or the Settings app. This will disable all of your connections including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular data. This could help you save several percentage points.

Check Your Apps

There’s a very good chance your iPhone 8’s battery drain issue is related to an application on your device. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to investigate your apps.

Applications like Facebook are known battery hogs. They’ll eat up your device’s battery when in use and when they’re working in the background. It’s important to keep tabs on your apps and you can do that from a very simple menu located in your iPhone 8’s settings.

Go into your Settings > Battery and take a look at the Battery Usage tool. The tool shows you the apps doing the most damage to your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus’ battery life.

If you notice something out of the ordinary, check for an update on the App Store. Developers have been rolling out iOS 11 support updates and the recent bug fixes could help improve performance.

If it continues to struggle, you might want to delete the app. You can always re-install an app once you determine it’s not at fault.

Manage Your TrueTone Display

Your iPhone 8 comes with a beautiful True Tone Display. While gorgeous, the display can do some serious damage to your battery life if you aren’t careful.

If you’d rather not have to deal with managing your display , you can turn on Auto Brightness. Your iPhone 8’s sensors will do all the work and adjust your display based on your lighting conditions.

Sometimes the sensors don’t work right and the device will light up, or dim, in situations where it shouldn’t. If your screen is bright for no reason you’re going to lose some battery.

Try manually adjusting your display to suit your lighting conditions. To do this, you’ll need to turn Auto Brightness off.

To do this, go into Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Auto-Brightness > Off. Once you’ve shut it off, you’ll need to manually adjust your screen brightness. This is extremely easy on the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

Simply pull up Control Center (swipe up from the bottom of your phone) and adjust the screen as needed. You can also adjust it in the Settings app.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Apple recommends avoiding extreme temperatures. Your device is is designed to operate normally between 62° to 72° F. If the temperature exceeds that you might notice some abnormal battery fluctuation.

The company says ambient temperatures that are higher than 95° F can permanently damage your iPhone’s battery capacity. Charging your iPhone 8 in high ambient temperatures can do further damage.

Apple also says iPhones operating in extremely cold environments may exhibit decreased battery life.

Turn Off Location Services

Location services like GPS can wreck havoc on battery life. If you’ve used Waze or Google Maps you probably know what we’re talking about. Fortunately, you have a lot of control over the services actively running on your device.

To do this, head into Settings > Privacy. At the top you’ll see Location Services. Tap it. You can shut them off entirely if you toggle it off but we recommend going through your apps to determine what apps should be using your services and when.

If an app you barely use is working in the background you’ll want to limit its capabilities. To do that, tap on the app in question and select Never.

Stop Using Live Wallpapers

Animated wallpapers look great on the iPhone 8’s display but they can and will drain the phone’s battery. If you want to save your battery use static backgrounds.

Remove Your Case While Charging

Charging your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus inside of certain cases could generate excess heat and that can affect your device’s battery capacity.

If you start to notice your iPhone getting hot inside of a case while it’s charging, take the case off and charge it naked.

Update Your Phone

If an update is available for your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus try upgrading. It might not list it in the change log but the update could improve your device’s battery life. Just make sure you read reviews first.

Limit Your Notifications

If an app is frequently lighting up your phone’s display with notifications it’s probably draining the battery. Fortunately, you can turn these push notifications off.

Go into Settings > Notifications. Tap the app in question and set Allow Notifications to Off. If you have a lot of apps you’ll need to go down the list one-by-one.

Disable Vibrations

When your iPhone 8 vibrates when you receive a phone call or a message it’s working. When your phone has to work it eats up power. If you don’t need vibrations going off every time you get a message, shut then off.

If you’re fine without vibrations go to Settings > Sounds and toggle Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent off. You’ll also want to go into each individual Sound and Vibration and make sure Vibration (located at the top of the screen) is set to none.

Disable Raise to Wake

Your iPhone 8 comes with a nifty feature called Raise to Wake which wakes your phone up every time you pick it up. Turning it off could save you some percentage points.

If you’re fine manually turning your phone on every time you pick it up, head into the Settings app > Display & Brightness and toggle the Raise to Wake function off.

Reset All Settings

If none of those work, try resetting your Settings.

To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode if you’ve enabled one on your iPhone 8.

The process could take a few minutes and it will restore your device’s settings to their factory defaults so make sure you have all of your Wi-Fi passwords handy. Your device will forget them.

Buy a Battery Case or Battery Bank

If you’re willing to spend a little money you might want to pickup a battery case or battery bank for some extra juice.

There are already a ton of iPhone 8 case options out there so take a look at the best iPhone 8 cases and iPhone 8 Plus cases to get started.

If you don’t want to cover up the iPhone 8’s beautiful design with a bulky case you might want to buy a battery bank.

Battery banks are small and lightweight gadgets that give you multiple charges. For instance, the RAVPower battery pack can give you six full iPhone charges. You should also take a look at Mophie’s powerstation plus mini and the Anker Powercore 20100, both of which are solid and affordable.

9 Things to Do Before the iPhone X Release Date

Go Hands-on With the iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

 1 / 9
Go Hands-on With the iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

One thing you’ll want to do before the iPhone X goes on sale is go hands-on with Apple’s two other iPhones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. 

The iPhone X is the flagship but the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more than capable. iPhone 7 users probably shouldn’t upgrade to either model but those of you using older iPhones might want to consider making a move. 

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be in Apple stores and in retail locations like Best Buy in the buildup to the iPhone X release. If you have a few minutes or a few hours to spare on an upcoming weekend, go and check them out. 

Some of you might leave the store for a new phone, others will go home feeling more confident about the decision to buy the iPhone X. 

 1 / 9


google analytics

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Last Hour Hits

Copyright © Tech Visions