Review: Apple’s iPhone XR is a fine young cannibal

This iPhone is great. It is most like the last iPhone — but not the last “best” iPhone — more like the last not as good iPhone. It’s better than that one though, just not as good as the newest best iPhone or the older best iPhone.

If you’re upgrading from an iPhone 7 or iPhone 8, you’re gonna love it and likely won’t miss any current features while also getting a nice update to a gesture-driven phone with Face ID. But don’t buy it if you’re coming from an iPhone X, you’ll be disappointed as there are some compromises from the incredibly high level of performance and quality in Apple’s last flagship, which really was pushing the envelope at the time.

From a consumer perspective, this is offering a bit of choice that targets the same kind of customer who bought the iPhone 8 instead of the iPhone X

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Google’s latest hardware innovation: Price

With its latest consumer hardware products, Google’s prices are undercutting Apple, Samsung, and Amazon. The search giant just unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, tablet, and smart home device and all available at prices well below their direct competitors. Where Apple and Samsung are pushing prices of its latest products even higher, Google is seemingly happy to keep prices low and this is creating a distinct advantage for the company’s products.

Google, like Amazon and nearly Apple, is a services company that happens to sell hardware. It needs to acquire users through multiple verticals including hardware. Somewhere, deep in the Googleplex, a team of number crunchers decided it made more sense to make its hardware prices dramatically lower than competitors. If Google is taking a loss on the hardware, it is likely making it back through services.

Amazon does this with Kindle devices. Microsoft and Sony do it with game consoles.

more Google Event 2018 coverage
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Waze navigation is now available on Apple CarPlay

If you're an iPhone owner in need of driving directions, you've probably had one thing on your mind since June: when will that version of Waze with CarPlay support show up? Thankfully, you don't have to wait any more -- it's here. Hot on the heels of a corresponding Google Maps upgrade, the Waze app can take advantage of your car's touchscreen to provide its crowdsourced approach to navigation. The experience will likely be familiar if you've used the Android Auto equivalent.

Source: App Store

Happy 10th anniversary, Android

It’s been 10 years since Google took the wraps off the G1, the first Android phone. Since that time the OS has grown from buggy, nerdy iPhone alternative to arguably the most popular (or at least populous) computing platform in the world. But it sure as heck didn’t get there without hitting a few bumps along the road.

Join us for a brief retrospective on the last decade of Android devices: the good, the bad, and the Nexus Q.

HTC G1 (2008)

This is the one that started it all, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the old thing. Also known as the HTC Dream — this was back when we had an HTC, you see — the G1 was about as inauspicious a debut as you can imagine. Its full keyboard, trackball, slightly janky slide-up screen (crooked even in official photos), and considerable

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Square finally has a Lightning card reader for newer iPhones

If you have a newer iPhone, it's been a pain to take payments from magstripe cards using a Square reader -- without a native headphone jack, you've had to plug in a dongle and hold it steady while you serve a customer. Isn't Square overdue for a more iPhone-friendly version? Thankfully, it's here. You now have the option of a magstripe reader with a Lightning connection instead of the usual 3.5mm plug. There's nothing new apart from the port compatibility, but the identical $10 price makes it an easy choice if you run an iPhone-centric shop.

Source: Square

Google brings accessible Morse code typing to Gboard on iOS

Google is expanding the reach of Gboard's Morse code support. The search firm has introduced the accessibility-focused keyboard to Gboard for iOS, making communication easier for iPhone and iPad owners with limited motion. As before, it replaces the usual letters with giant dot and dash buttons and offers text suggestions that include the Morse code for a given word. If you're not sure how to write, don't worry -- Google is providing some help on that front as well.

Via: 9to5Google, CNET

Source: Google, App Store, Morse Typing Trainer

Apple’s Shortcuts will flip the switch on Siri’s potential

At WWDC, Apple pitched Shortcuts as a way to ”take advantage of the power of apps” and “expose quick actions to Siri.” These will be suggested by the OS, can be given unique voice commands and will even be customizable with a dedicated Shortcuts app.

But because this new feature won’t let Siri interpret everything, many have been lamenting that Siri didn’t get much better — and is still lacking compared to Google Assistant or Amazon Echo.

But to ignore Shortcuts would be missing out on the bigger picture. Apple’s strengths have always been the device ecosystem and the apps that run on them.

With Shortcuts, both play a major role in how Siri

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Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it needs to be to be considered a world-class service.

Maps needs fixing.

Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps.

It’s doing this by using first-party data gathered by iPhones with a privacy-first methodology and its own fleet of cars packed with sensors and cameras. The new product will launch in San Francisco and the Bay Area with the next iOS 12 beta and will cover Northern California by fall.

Every version of iOS will get the updated maps eventually, and they will

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Gmail for iOS now sends money and snoozes emails

Gmail on your iPhone can now help you settle a tab with a friend. A quiet update to the iOS app has introduced the ability to send and receive money using Google Pay. As on Android devices, Gmail sends the payment as an attachment -- the recipient only needs an email address to receive their money. The feature might not be as simple on iOS given that you need to download an app to use it, but it's easier than some third-party apps and more widely available than Apple Pay Cash.

Source: App Store

What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility

From an accessibility news standpoint, this week’s Apple event in Chicago was antithetical to the October 2016 event. At the latter event, Apple began the presentation with a bang — showing the actual video being edited using Switch Control in Final Cut. Tim Cook came out afterwards to talk some about Apple’s commitment to serving the disabled community before unveiling the then-new accessibility page on the company’s website.

By contrast, the education-themed event in Chicago this week went by with barely a mention of accessibility. The only specific call-out came during Greg Joswiak’s time on stage talking about iPad, when he said “accessibility features make iPad a learning tool Continue reading "What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility"

What educators think about Apple’s new iPad

Yesterday's Apple event showed that the company wants to make a serious push back into the education sector. This isn't anything new, though, according to CEO Tim Cook; it's just the company going back to its roots. The centerpiece here is a "new" iPad, a 9.7-inch tablet with Apple Pencil support that aims to woo teachers everywhere. There's also a redesigned iWork suite that lets students doodle and create digital books within Pages; the Schoolwork app, for tracking, well, schoolwork; and a kid-friendly tool for coding AR. Apple is hoping that will be enough to win over schools.

Apple’s “Pencil” now works with its iWork toolkit

Apple is bringing its pencil to the masses.

The pencil tool will now work across Apple’s suite of iWork tools — including the popular Pages (document creation) Numbers (its spreadsheet app), and Keynote (for presentations) apps — on the low-cost iPad that Apple first brought to market last year.

At an event today in Chicago, Apple announced its latest iPad, in a bid to challenge the dominant player in the education technology — Google (a subsidiary of Alphabet).

In addition, the company said that Logitech is introducing a $49 pencil stylus called the “crayon” which slashes the cost of the pencil hardware from its previous, $99 price point.

 

 

 

Mobile gaming is having a moment, and Apple has the reins

It’s moved beyond tradition and into the realm of meme that Apple manages to dominate the news cycle around major industry events, all while not actually participating in said events. CES rolls around and every story is about HomeKit or its competitors; another tech giant has a conference and the news is that Apple updated some random subsystem of its ever-larger ecosystem of devices and software .

This is, undoubtedly, planned by Apple in many instances. And why not? Why shouldn’t it own the cycle when it can — it’s only strategically sound.

This week, the 2018 Game Developers Conference is going on and there’s a bunch of news coverage about various aspects of the show. There are all of the pre-written embargo bits about big titles and high-profile indies, there are the trend pieces and, of course, there’s the traditional ennui-laden “who is this event even for” post that accompanies

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Google Assistant gets a proper home on the iPad

This is the year every voice assistant adds native iPad support, it seems. Hot on the heels of Microsoft's Cortana update, Google has released an iPad-friendly version of Assistant. The updated app takes full advantage of the tablet's larger screen, of course, but that also includes multitasking support in iOS 11 -- you can send commands to the AI companion while you're chatting with a friend or planning your day. The app is available now in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portugese and Spanish.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: App Store, Google

Google makes it easier to search from the comforts of iMessage

GBoard is great for accessing Google without leaving iMessage, but, unless you're already using it as your default keyboard, switching back and forth is clunky. That should change with today's update for the Google app on iOS. Now the Google app is available within the iMessage app drawer and it offers weather forecasts, trending news and location-based information in addition to GIFs, YouTube videos and search.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Google

Microsoft will preview the Edge browser for iPad next month

Though Microsoft has been rolling out Edge to more devices, iPad users have been left waiting. But it appears that the browser will finally be making its debut on the iPad sometime soon. As Neowin spotted, Sean Lyndersay, an Edge program manager, tweeted that the iPad version will be previewed through Microsoft's TestFlight next month and should see a wide rollout soon thereafter.

Via: Neowin

Source: Sean Lyndersay (Twitter)

The best Black Friday deals 2017

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‘Dance with flARmingos’ in a mixed reality mating ritual

Flamingos rule everything around her. Her clothes are covered in them. Her workspace is littered with representations of their spindly legs and hot-pink plumes. She's spent hours studying their migratory patterns, mating rituals and native environments. She's traveled the world speaking to conservationists and ornithologists to better understand them. She even adopted 20 of the winged icons to aid in her research and their preservation.