Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Game Dev Tycoon combines gaming with business on Android for $4.99

  • Game Dev Tycoon has made its Android debut.

  • In the 1980s-style game, you must launch and grow a successful video game development studio.

  • The mobile version includes a super-hard pirate mode, and more awesome features.

We have all played video games, and many of you reading this may have even made games. But have you ever run a game development studio? Well, now you can run a virtual one with the Android launch of the cult hit business simulation Game Dev Tycoon.

Editor’s Pick

The game was first released for PC, Mac, and Linux by Greenheart Games, and made its way to iOS in late November 2017. The Android version, which is priced at $4.99 with no in-game ads or purchases, puts you in the great decade of the 1980s, when the video game industry was still a new type of business. You not only have to have your team members design and make games, but you also much research new technology, make new game engines, and learn from reviews of your titles.

As you become more successful, the game will let you expand your office space to hire even more people to make games, on your way to fame and fortune from your dedicated fan base. The Android version, in addition to getting some user interface changes for phones and laptops, also gets some new and improved features, including a super-hard pirate mode. Are you ready to become a game tycoon? Let us know what you think about this latest title in the comments.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

BLU’s Pure View offers an 18:9 display and $200 price tag

  • The BLU Pure View was recently spotted on Amazon.

  • The phone features dual front-facing cameras, an 18:9 display, and a $200 price tag.

  • Oddly enough, BLU has not officially announced the Pure View.

As 18:9 displays become more popular, companies like BLU eventually adopt the stretchy standard. That eventuality came as a surprise yesterday, when the company quietly launched the Pure View.

The Pure View features a 5.7-inch, 18:9 display with HD+ (1440 x 720) resolution. Around back is a 13 MP camera and fingerprint sensor, while the front sports dual 8 MP cameras with flash. According to the Amazon listing, the front-facing cameras are also used for face unlocking. We are not sure if the Pure View includes any specialized hardware à la the iPhone X and Galaxy S8.

Elsewhere, MediaTek’s octa-core 1.3 GHz MT6753 chipset and 3 GB of RAM power the Pure View. You can boost the 32 GB of internal storage by an additional 64 GB through the microSD card slot.

We do not know what version of Android the phone features. Knowing BLU and its propensity to use older versions of Android, it would not come as a shock if the Pure View runs Android Nougat.

Editor’s Pick

Either way, the phone looks to be a decent option that introduces you to the world of 18:9 displays without breaking the bank. Then again, the Honor 7X and Moto G5 Plus have proven to be solid alternatives for around the same price.

Even though the Pure View is listed on Amazon, it is currently out of stock. Also, BLU has not officially announced the phone, though the listing appears more than legitimate. Just remember that the Pure View will only work on GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.

If you are interested, you can keep tabs on the phone at the link below.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Deal: Buy refurbished Google Pixel for $320 and Pixel XL for $360

  • Daily Steals has refurbished versions of the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL currently on sale at deep discounts.

  • You can cut down the prices even more if you add in promo codes “RICKPIXEL” for the original Pixel, and “RICKPIXELXL” for the Pixel XL.

  • All of the phone’s color options are available at the moment as well.

The original Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones may have launched way back in October 2016, but both are still excellent phones that will continue to receive great software updates in the future. Now you can get refurbished models of both phones at some solid discounts, thanks to the Daily Steals website (via Android Police).

The site has listed the Pixel at $339.99 for the 32 GB model, but you can get it for just $319.99 if you add in the promo code “RICKPIXEL” at checkout. You can get the same $20 discount for the 128 GB version, which is normally priced at $399.99 on the site, but priced at $379.99 with the code. The 32 GB version of the Pixel XL is priced at $399.99, but applying the “RICKPIXELXL” discount code at check out chops off $40 from that price, down to just $359.99. Again, the same $40 discount is available for the 128 GB version, which is normally priced at $449.99 on the site, but with the discount code, the price goes down to just $409.99.

At the moment, the site has all of the Pixel and Pixel XL’s colors available for sale. They are also are the models made specifically for Verizon Wireless, although they can still be unlocked to work on all US carriers. Keep in mind Google plans to update the Pixel and Pixel XL with not only upcoming versions of Android Oreo but also at least the next version of Android when it is released.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Launch Event Confirmed

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and bigger Galaxy S9+ are coming sooner than you think. For months on end, we’ve heard reports and rumors and even circled late February on the calendar. However, Samsung recently confirmed its first “Unpacked” event of 2018, and will formally announce the Galaxy S9.

To be specific, the Samsung Galaxy S9 announcement is February 25th in Barcelona, Spain, days before the annual Mobile World Congress tradeshow.

Read: Galaxy S9: Everything You Need to Know

Each year Samsung hosts an “Unpacked” event to showcase it’s latest smartphones, tablets, wearables and other technology. The first Unpacked of 2018 is February 25th. And just in case you weren’t convinced, here’s the invitation. S9: The Camera. Reimagined. 

Yes, Samsung will announce it’s two new smartphones at the end of February. That’s all we officially know right now. At the same time, most leaks believe a release date will follow closely behind that launch event. Potentially releasing the phone as early as March 11-16th.

From everything we’ve seen and heard so far, the Galaxy S9 will have plenty to offer. Samsung made huge changes to the camera, the fingerprint scanner on the back, and potentially drastically improved battery life.

That said, potential buyers need to temper expectations. The Galaxy S9 and a bigger Galaxy S9+ will look almost identical to the Galaxy S8 from 2017. Featuring the same 5.8 and 6.2-inch curved Quad-HD Infinity screens. However, the camera on that back will reportedly have a variable aperture camera. This basically means it can change the aperture to get the best possible photo, in any situation.

Other changes include a centered fingerprint scanner that’s easier to reach and use, stereo sound, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Android 8.1 Oreo, wireless charging, water-resistance and longer battery life. Of course, we don’t know anything for sure until Samsung makes it official come February 25th. In the meantime, check out a few reasons why you should, or shouldn’t wait for it in our slideshow below.

Galaxy S9: 5 Reasons to Wait & 5 Reasons Not To

Wait Because You Don’t Have to Wait Long

Wait Because You Don't Have to Wait Long

This is maybe the best reason to hold off on buying a Samsung phone or any other phone right now. 

Samsung typically announces, and releases, its new Galaxy S flagships in the first half of the year. That won’t change in 2018. 

According to Samsung and the latest rumors, the company will likely showcase the Galaxy S9 for the first time toward the end of February followed by an official release in March. 

If you’re into specific dates, we’re hearing the phone will launch on February 25th or February 26th at Mobile World Congress, and hit stores on or around March 16th.

If you like to pre-order, Galaxy S9 pre-orders could begin as early as February 26th or sometime in around March 1st.

Nothing is official until Samsung makes its round of announcements, but everything is pointing to a Galaxy S9 launch, and release, in the next few weeks. 

This only happens once a year and that’s a great reason to think about holding off on buying a new Android phone today. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

ZTE confirms Axon 9 will be the Axon 7’s successor

  • ZTE announced that the Axon 7’s successor will be called the ZTE Axon 9.

  • The jump in numbers may have to do with how the Axon 8 branding sounds in Chinese.

  • The Axon 9 is expected to launch sometime later in 2018.

The ZTE Axon 7 launched in mid-2016, and since then many fans of that affordable flagship smartphone have been waiting for its true successor. Today, ZTE confirmed such a phone was in the works, but that it would be branded as the Axon 9, rather than the Axon 8.

The news comes from (via Pocketnow), which reported on the China launch of ZTE’s recent foldable phone, the Axon M. Company CEO Lixin Cheng confirmed the name of the Axon 7 competitor during the press event in China.

Why skip over the name “Axon 8?” There’s speculation that it all has to do with language. Specifically, the Axon name translates to “Sky machine” when spoken in Chinese, but Pocketnow says that if someone using that language says, “Sky machine 8”, it would include a homophone that would translate into “mess-up” in that language.

If that is indeed the reason for using Axon 9 instead of Axon 8, it would not be the first time that an issue with the Chinese language caused a smartphone to get a new name. OnePlus decided to bypass the OnePlus 4 name for its successor to the OnePlus 3, beacause “four” is linked with death in China’s culture.

In November, ZTE confirmed that the Axon 7 is no longer being manufactured, but also stated that a successor for that phone will be released at some point. Now it’s just a matter of time before ZTE launches the Axon 9, which is expected to happen sometime in 2018.

Best Keyboards for Android (2018)

This guide details the best keyboards for Android, and why you might want to use one. Most people use whatever keyboard is on their phone. However, millions of users also download replacement keyboards. These typically offer better features, more customization, or a faster and better typing experience. With that in mind, we’ll show you which Android keyboards are the best in 2018.

The default app on your Samsung, LG or HTC smartphone probably works fine. That said, tons of alternatives are on the Google Play Store. Swype was popular for years, Swiftkey has amazing text prediction, and others are highly customizable. Our personal favorite is Gboard, from Google.

Read: Best Twitter Apps for Android

So, whether you’re looking for a better typing experience, faster typing, or more customization, we have you covered. Everything from swiping gestures, GIFs, themes, custom background images and more. If you want to text like a pro, try one of the many apps detailed below.

The video above is a quick look at Gboard, which replaced Google Keyboard. It’s our first choice. Keyboards have really improved over the past few years, and Google offers one of the best. Then, Samsung bundles the popular Swiftkey keyboard in all of their flagship smartphones. Although you’d never be able to tell. Not to mention almost every major manufacturer has swipe or gesture-typing and emoji support.

All of the keyboards mentioned below offer more features than your stock keyboard or a better experience. In addition to some level of customization, themes, or are more secure.

Read: How to Change Your LG Smartphone Keyboard

Be sure to use caution when trying keyboards on Google Play, and only install or use one from a trusted developer. Some could potentially log keystrokes and banking information. This warning appears when you change the default keyboard, but it’s worth mentioning. In closing, everything on slideshow is worth using and comes from a trusted developer. These are the best keyboards for Android.

Gboard by Google

Gboard by Google

For years many enjoyed Google Keyboard. Essentially the stock Android keyboard available from Google Play for other devices. However, over the years Google has improved it into what’s potentially the best keyboard for Android. 

Gboard was first introduced for iPhone after Apple started to allow third-party keyboards. Then eventually Google released it for Android and replaced their original version. It has everything one will ever need from a touch keyboard. It’s completely free, has tons of customization, themes, and most importantly — the Google Assistant built in. 

As you saw from the video above, there’s a little “G” logo above the keyboard. Which allows users to get directions, share directions to a restaurant, do Google searches or send a GIF all from the web. Right inside the keyboard without leaving the app you’re already in. It’s amazingly helpful once you remember that the option exists. Between the modest theme options, gesture (swiping to text) controls and word prediction, this is the most feature-filled android keyboard. And our #1 recommendation. 

Download Gboard Today

Monday, January 22, 2018

Deal: Buy the Moto Z2 Force, get two months of Amazon Music Unlimited and free Amazon Alexa speaker

  • If you pick up the Moto Z2 Force, Motorola will throw in the Amazon Alexa Moto Mod and a two-month Amazon Music Unlimited trial.

  • You have until February 25 to buy the phone, and until March 27 to redeem the free Moto Mod.

  • You have until May 5 to redeem the two-month Amazon Music Unlimited trial.

The Moto Z2 Force might be Motorola‘s current flagship smartphone, but it has not sold like it. Promotions tend to help with that, with the latest netting buyers a free Moto Mod Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa and two months of Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan.

In addition to buying from Motorola, you can buy the Moto Z2 Force from AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Best Buy, and Verizon. Motorola still sells the Moto Z2 Force for $720 outright, while some carriers offer the phone at lower prices.

You must buy the phone between now and February 25 to qualify for the promotion. If you are eyeing the Verizon Moto Z2 Force variant, you’ll want to wait a few days— the promotion starts on January 25 for those owners.

Once you make your purchase, you have until March 27 to go online and redeem your free Amazon Alexa Moto Mod, which normally goes for $150. You should receive the free Moto Mod four to six weeks from whenever you redeem the offer.

Editor’s Pick

Meanwhile, you have until May 5 to get the two-month Amazon Music Unlimited offer. To redeem it, attach the Amazon Alexa Moto Mod to your Moto Z2 Force, create a new Amazon account, and press on the notification that asks you to accept the two-month trial. Because you must create a new Amazon account, you must also be a new Amazon Music Unlimited subscriber to take advantage of the promotion.

As a quick recap, the Moto Z2 Force sports a 5.5-inch display with a Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and magnetic connectors that support the Moto Mod ecosystem. While the Alexa-powered Smart Speaker Mod doesn’t seem like a great value for $150, it’s hard to argue with no price tag. Head to the link below for the deal!

Why You Shouldn’t Buy the Galaxy S8 Right Now

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are two of the best smartphones on the market. However, they’re two phones you shouldn’t buy, at least not right now. With big and beautiful curved screens, water-resistance and fast performance they’re tempting offers, but we recommend waiting a little longer. Here we’ll explain why.

Even the Galaxy Note 8 is a tough sell now, and that’s because we just kicked off 2018 and tons of new phones are on the way as January comes to a close. If you’re unsure if you should wait a bit or get something released last year, we’re here to help.

Yes, there is always something bigger or better coming soon, but January-February is not a good time to buy a smartphone. Holiday deals are long gone, and new phones are on the horizon. We’re not only talking about the Galaxy S9 either. There are several reasons we think it’s smart to wait a few months if you can.

If you didn’t get a new phone during Black Friday or Christmas, you’re in that middle ground area where it’s worth waiting. Waiting for new phones from Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC and even OnePlus. There are multiple exciting new Android smartphones coming in the first few months of this year. Phones you’ll want to heavily consider instead of the Galaxy S8.

Early Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ Release Date

There are a number of reasons to avoid buying the Galaxy S8 today, but none are more apparent than the upcoming Galaxy S9. Simply put, it will be Samsung’s best smartphone to date. Furthermore, we’re hearing it will arrive earlier than almost any other Galaxy S phone. Potentially as early as late February. And while all the reports and rumors suggest it will look nearly identical to the Galaxy S8, there are several important changes.

If they’re going to look the same, why buy the phone that is nearly a year old? It just doesn’t make sense, unless you’re on a budget. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will feature the same big 5.8 and 6.2-inch curved screens that are better than any other display on the market.

However, it’s the small changes and overall improvements one year make that are important. Samsung’s adding the latest specs and technology, a bigger battery, improving the camera, and putting the fingerprint scanner in a better location. We’re also hearing the camera will have some neat tricks up its sleeve.

Read: Galaxy S9 Release: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re considering the Galaxy S8, hold off for the Galaxy S9, which we’re hearing will arrive around February 29th. Yes, that’s just over a month away. You can put up with your old phone just a little longer, right?

Powerful Dual Cameras on the S9+

Additionally, the Galaxy S9+ won’t just be a bigger version of the Galaxy S9. Samsung’s adding a secondary rear camera, similar to the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X, and including an even bigger battery. Basically, the Galaxy S9+ will get better battery life than any other flagship Samsung smartphone.

If any phone is worth waiting for right now, it’s the Galaxy S9+.

Upcoming LG Flagship Smartphone

Over the past few years, LG has made huge strides in offering some of the best smartphones on the market. The LG G6 came out ahead of the Galaxy S8 and offered an exceptional experience across the board. Delivering a big screen with small bezels, impressive dual cameras, water-resistance and more.

For 2018 LG is doing something completely different. They’ll still offer an excellent high-end flagship smartphone in February or March, one that will rival (or beat) the Galaxy S9, but it’s not the LG G7.

LG is going to do away with the G and V branding for its smartphones this year. Instead, they’ll streamline both products into an excellent smartphone that will hopefully take on Samsung and Apple. LG came closer in 2017 to matching Samsung than any year prior, and if any year is LG’s year, it’s 2018.

We thought some sort of LG G7 replacement was coming in February, but now we’re hearing a better LG V30 with some AI smarts and Google technology is coming instead. That’s still exciting, but it’s nothing amazing either. Something will replace the LG G6 this year, we’re just not sure when or what.

HTC U12 Coming Soon

Another company that used to create excellent smartphones but now doesn’t get much attention is HTC. However, in 2018 HTC is going to deliver some great phones that will compete with Samsung and Apple. In fact, we’re already seeing a leak of the upcoming HTC U12, and it’s going to match the iPhone X style with nearly no bezels.

This is the all-screen HTC U12

Basically, if leaks are accurate, the HTC U12 will be all screen on the front. Save for a small cutout at the top for the front camera, sensors, and speaker grill. HTC consistently makes some of the best hardware, and the company was recently acquired by Google.

So yes, expect an impressive HTC U12 within the first 3-4 months of 2018 with plenty to offer and changes from Google sprinkled throughout. This could be the start of something exciting for the once-popular company.

Samsung Galaxy A8 Is Worth A Look

Another idea is to wait a few weeks and buy the impressive new Samsung Galaxy A8. It’s basically a slightly smaller, refined, and more affordable Galaxy S8. Delivering the same style everyone loved about Samsung’s phones last year, dual front-facing cameras, and an affordable $500 price tag.

We’re still waiting for some official information regarding a release in the United States. Either way, Samsung’s new Galaxy A8 will hit stores before the end of January with an affordable price tag attached.

Other Competition

In closing, it’s worth stating that the Android smartphone competition is going to heat up in 2018. For the sake of time, and because most of them aren’t coming until this summer, we’re bunching the rest into one category.

We’re expecting a new Moto X5, the Moto Z3 Force, and OnePlus 6 before the end of the summer, if not sooner. Not to mention a new Essential Phone 2 in August. You’ll want to pay close attention to new phones from Huawei this year too. Huawei is the 3rd most popular smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung and Apple and will have phones available from US carriers for the first time in 2018. So Samsung and LG will have some solid competition this year.

If you’re interested in the Galaxy S8 or Note 8 you probably need a phone right now. Meaning you can’t wait until summer, or even August, for something like the Galaxy Note 9 or Google Pixel 3. However, it’s still something we need to mention.

Samsung is speeding up its release cycle, so we’re expecting a new Galaxy Note 9 in early August. Then, come September or October Google’s new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will be on the horizon. This is important because Google now officially owns HTC, and will use that prowess to create beautiful phones that rival Samsung and Apple. Speaking of the Note 9, we’re hearing it might have no bezels and holes on the screen to still have a speaker and front camera shine through. A crazy idea we’re seeing in trademark filings.

Of course, you probably can’t wait until August or October for a new phone. And that’s ok, because a new Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, and LG smartphone will all be available in February or March. If you can wait just a few more months, you’ll get arguably one of the best phones of the year.

As more information surfaces for each and every phone in our list, we’ll update this post with all the details. So be patient, wait for Samsung’s next phone, and stay tuned for the latest information. And if you don’t like what you see next month, expect lucrative Galaxy S8 deals throughout 2018.

Friday, January 19, 2018

WhatsApp launches new messaging app for small businesses in US and UK

A new version of WhatsApp has hit the Google Play Store in selected markets. Aptly named WhatsApp Business, the app is purpose-built for helping small business communicate with their customers via the Facebook-owned messaging service.

As of today, small business owners in the US, UK, Italy, Indonesia, and Mexico can take the app for a spin by downloading the app and registering a new business account. This can later become a Confirmed Account – like those launched last year – once WhatsApp checks the phone number details match your business.

Editor’s Pick

As well as profile space for details like a company email, address, website, and a general business description, the app also includes “smart messaging” tools such as automated replies to frequently asked questions, greeting messages, and customizable away messages during non-work hours.

In addition, WhatsApp Business provides simple analytics so business owners know which messages are the most effective. It’s also compatible with WhatsApp Web, so you can check your messages and respond via a desktop browser.

Android Police also note that users have the option of registering a landline number. This differs greatly from the regular app which restricts accounts to a mobile number.

The business-focused account doesn’t interfere with the regular WhatsApp experience either, as users can happily use both apps on the same device. You can try the app for yourself – as long as you’re in one of the five selected countries – by clicking the Play Store button below.

For everyone else, WhatsApp noted in a blog post that the app will roll out around the world “in the coming weeks”. Considering the same blog post notes that “over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil” use WhatsApp for business purposes, it’s safe to expect those two countries will be next in the pipeline.

Google Fuchsia OS seen running on a Pixelbook — here are the details

  • Ars Technica has gotten Google’s mysterious Fuchsia platform up and running on a Pixelbook.

  • The new OS supports smartphone and laptop display formats, though many features remain unfinished.

  • A recent apps menu and split-screen mode are functional, but app buttons are nowhere to be found.

Google Fuchsia is another operating system that the company is developing alongside Chrome OS and Android. Google’s been working on it since 2016, but has remained tight-lipped about the project. We checked it out back in 2016 when it was in a bare-bones state, but now, Ars Technica has got the latest version up and running on a Chromebook. Here’s what’s new.

The current version of Fuchsia runs on a UI called Armadillo, based on Google’s own “Zircon” kernel; unlike Android, this doesn’t rely on Linux. Instead, Fuchsia has been built from the ground up and its official documentation says the platform “targets modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors.”

Ars Technica

This dual-system approach is clear immediately as, even from the log-in screen, there is an option to use the display in laptop or mobile device modes (you can even select portrait or landscape orientation). Though there’s no reason to use the smartphone-like screen on the Pixelbook right now, it does a good job of showing off how Fuchsia could eventually work on both devices.

Fuchsia is much further along than last time we checked in on it, with a working trackpad and keyboard, touchscreen, and USB ports (which also allow you to connect a working mouse). Wi-Fi isn’t working, however, along with numerous other features, and the Pixelbook was said to be very hot when running it: it’s clearly still in the early stages of development.

Ars Technica

There isn’t much to see on the home screen right now: there are battery and Wi-Fi indicators like on your Android phones, along with date and time, but no app icons to speak of. These can be launched via a local search panel, however, after you type in their name.

So apps are a thing, as is the recent apps menu. This will build up (live) thumbnails of recently used apps in the same way Android does, which can then be swiped away or dragged on top of each other in a (vertical or horizontal) split screen mode.

Ars Technica

That’s about all we got to learn about the system in the short playthrough, and it looks like Fuchsia could still be years from a full release. What’s more, the Armadillo UI might not be the one that ships with the final version—at least, not without some big additions like app buttons and system settings.

For now, you can check out a video of the software in action over at Ars Technica. Give us our thoughts on Fuchsia in the comments.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

5 Things to Know About the iOS 11.2.5 Update

Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 update remains in beta for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but a release should be getting close now that the company’s released its sixth beta to developers and the public.

The iOS 11.2.5 update is official though it’s still unclear if Apple will release iOS 11.2.3 and iOS 11.2.4 before it lands for iOS 11 users.

The company recently pushed an urgent iOS 11.2.2 update, but that doesn’t mean iOS 11.2.3 and iOS 11.2.4 are next in line. Apple could also simply choose to release iOS 11.2.5 if no additional updates are required.

The incoming version of iOS 11 comes with a iOS x.x.x firmware version which means it will likely be a maintenance release for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.

Apple’s maintenance releases typically come with a short list of fixes, enhancements, and patches. That said, iOS 11.2.5 could be a  bit bigger than your standard bug fix update.

While iOS 11.2.5 will almost certainly fix some iOS 11 bugs and performance issues, it looks like it could bring at least one new feature to iPhone and iPad users.

In this guide we’ll take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iOS 11.2.5 update’s changes, the iOS 11.2.5 release date, the iOS 11.2.5 beta, and the iOS 11.2.5 release time.

iOS 11.2.5 Beta

If you don’t want to wait for Apple to release the official version of iOS 11.2.5 you don’t have to. You can try the update on your device right now via the company’s iOS 11.2.5 beta.

Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 beta is available for developers and those in the Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free though it requires an Apple ID.

Pre-release software isn’t for everyone and the iOS 11.2.5 beta could cause major issues on your phone or tablet. Beta testers have already tracked down several annoying bugs and we expect the list to grow as more people decide to jump onto the software.

If you’re interested in trying iOS 11.2.5 ahead of its release date, check out our pre-installation guide to the iOS 11 beta. It’ll help you avoid some common mistakes.

You’ll also want to check out our list of reasons to, and not to, install iOS 11.2.5 beta on your phone or tablet. Most people should avoid it.

If you decide to try the iOS 11.2.5 beta and you encounter bugs or performance issues, you’ll want to report those issues to Apple. This way, Apple can improve the final version.

How to Downgrade from iOS 11.2.5 Beta

Fortunately, there’s a way to get off the iOS 11.2.5 beta if the update starts causing problems.

As of right now, iOS 11.2.5 beta users can downgrade to three official versions of iOS 11: iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, and iOS 11.2.2. There’s no way to downgrade to anything older than iOS 11.2.

The downgrade process is rather straightforward and our guide will walk you through the steps you’ll need to take in order to get off iOS 11.2.5.

iOS 11.2.5 Release Date & Time

Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.2.5 release date. And with no media launch date in sight, the company might not announce one ahead of time. iOS release date announcements are typically reserved for major launch events.

The company typically hosts a spring launch event in March though we’d be surprised if Apple kept iOS 11.2.5 in beta for two more months.

Apple says it plans to release a new iOS update in “early 2018” with “new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance” but it’s unclear if it’s referring to iOS 11.2.5 or another version of iOS 11. It could be that it pushes it in the developer beta its promised to release in February.

All signs point to an imminent release so keep an eye out for an iOS 11.2.5 release in the near future.

The exact iOS 11.2.5 release date is hard to pinpoint, but the iOS 11.2.5 release time isn’t.

Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 update will most likely arrive around 10AM Pacific on release day. iOS 11.2.5 betas for developers and public testers should also arrive around 10AM Pacific.

Apple typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks though releases typically come faster once the company gets close to the final release date.

Here’s what the iOS 11.2.5 release time looks like for other regions in the United States and countries around the world including Australia, India, and Japan:

  • Eastern – 1 PM

  • Central – 12 PM

  • Mountain – 11AM

  • London – 6 PM

  • Moscow – 9 PM

  • New Delhi – 10:30 PM

  • Shanghai – 1 AM

  • Tokyo – 2 AM

  • Melbourne – 3 AM

  • Auckland – 5 AM

iOS 11.2.5: What’s New

iOS 11.2.5 beta testers have discovered several potential features on board Apple’s sixth betas.

According to iOS 11.2.5 users, the beta re-introduces AirPlay 2.

AirPlay 2 was first announced as part of iOS 11 over the summer and it’s the first major upgrade to the company’s audio streaming in seven years. As such, it comes with some exciting features including multi-room audio playback from iOS and higher level buffering.

The iOS 11.2.5 beta also includes a new Siri ability where users can instantly stream a news podcast when the service is asked about the news. This feature is also rolling out to iOS 11.2.2 users.

iOS 11.2.5 beta 6 also appears to patch up a malicious link exploit.

If you receive a specific GitHub link through the Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable. Fortunately, the iOS 11.2.5 beta comes with a fix for the exploit.

Beta testers have also discovered a few additional tweaks and bug fixes. The change log is still short, but Apple could add to iOS 11.2.5 as it progresses through the beta.

iOS 11.2.5 Jailbreak

Jailbreak users should avoid the iOS 11.2.5 beta.

The iOS 11 update has been jailbroken for devices running iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, or iOS 11.1.2. The LiberiOS jailbreak is for advanced users only and it doesn’t include Cydia.

There isn’t a working jailbreak for iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.2, or the iOS 11.2.5 beta and we aren’t expecting one to emerge anytime soon.

For more about the iOS 11 jailbreak, take a look at our roundup.

12 iOS 11.2.5 Release Date Tips & Tricks

Start Preparing Right Now

Start Preparing Right Now

We’re getting closer to the official iOS 11.2.5 release which means you should start doing some prep work. 

If you need to, use it to cleanup the storage on your device. Go into your device’s storage and delete the files (photos, apps, etc) you no longer need. Cleaning up your device could also improve your device’s performance.

Now would also be a good time to start backing up the data stored on your device(s). If you don’t know where to start, you’ll want to dig into our guides covering iCloud backups and iTunes backups.

Make sure you track down all of your login information before the iOS 11.2.5 update arrives. Have your Apple ID/iCloud login and the login info for your important apps and services ready to go. iOS 11.2.5 could log you out of some of your apps and services. 

If you want to download the iOS 11.2.5 update right when its released, make sure your device has at least a 50% charge (or you’re near a charger) around 10AM Pacific Monday-Friday.

This might seem tedious, but a little prep work will help you avoid major problems before, and after, the iOS 11.2.5 update’s release. 

Italy’s antitrust body is investigating Apple and Samsung over planned obsolescence

  • The Italian government opened a probe into Apple and Samsung phone complaints.

  • Italy’s antitrust body alleged both companies diminished phone performance to push people toward new phones.

  • Neither Apple or Samsung has commented on the matter.

Italy’s antitrust body announced Thursday it is looking into complaints regarding Apple‘s and Samsung‘s alleged use of software updates to push people to buy new smartphones.

According to Reuters, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) says both companies executed “a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce customers to buy new versions.” This policy, says the watchdog, possibly infringes on several articles of Italy’s consumers’ code.

This alleged infringement could cost Apple and Samsung millions of euros in fines, if both companies are found guilty.

AGCM possibly gained interest in the matter when Apple confirmed it slows down CPU speeds of older iPhone models. The Cupertino company said it throttles speeds to prolong the usability of the lithium-ion batteries in older iPhones.

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Even though Apple said this was for our own good, the news added fuel to the fire that it purposely slows down older iPhones to get people to buy the latest and greatest. Apple has since launched a program that replaces an out-of-warranty iPhone’s battery for $29.

That did not stop numerous entities from suing the Cupertino company, with France wondering whether Apple violated the country’s planned obsolescence laws. This ruckus seemingly aided the “Right to Repair” legislation, though, which recently gained some traction among lawmakers.

Since Apple’s announcement, Android device manufacturers like HTC and Motorola confirmed they do not throttle performance via firmware updates. Samsung remained notably quiet amidst the announcements, though that might have been best — its smartphones were known to slow down in a matter of months.

Apple and Samsung have yet to comment on the matter, so we will make sure to update you with the latest information as we get it.

Twitch takes on YouTube with new Video Producer tools

  • Twitch is debuting a new set of tools for content creators called Video Producer.

  • Streamers can now debut new, pre-made videos to their audiences at set times.

  • Streamers can also set up reruns so new subscribers can see older content.

Twitch announced in a blog post today that it’s debuting new tools for content creators. The new tools, called Video Producer, let creators make landing pages for new videos and rerun their previous content.

The biggest change is that streamers can now upload pre-made videos and debut them at a specific time. The premiers must have a landing page, where creators can add a countdown timer to increase the anticipation.

Twitch is also allowing content creators to set reruns. As the name suggestions, these are videos that have already aired and can be played again. The thought here is that just because it aired once, not everyone got to see it. Subscriber counts can vary wildly as streamers become more popular, so it’s beneficial to them to replay their content several times.

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Many content creators stream games on Twitch, then take clips from their stream and upload it to YouTube. It seems like Twitch would rather keep those videos and the viewers on the site rather than letting them go somewhere else to view the content. These moves appear to do just that. On YouTube, videos are uploaded and go live immediately or at a set time, but Twitch wants to make videos more like a movie premiere. The video’s landing page will feature countdown timers and special popcorn emojis, and alerts will tell users when to tune in.

These moves make a ton of sense for both Twitch and its streamers. The streamers have already built a following on the site. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to force users to go to another site for more of your content. For Twitch, it’s all about keeping viewers coming back. The more often that viewers come back for content, the more loyal they become. Additionally, it increases the chance that people may purchase a paid subscription to a streamer or donate bits to them, and Twitch gets a part of both of those transactions.

The new features also make sense on a larger scale. Amazon owns Twitch, and has been publicly feuding with Google, who owns YouTube. Recent trademark registrations indicate that Amazon may start its own YouTube-like streaming site, but maybe it doesn’t have to with changes like these.


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