Monday, August 24, 2015

Asus' New ZenFone 2 Deluxe Has 256GB Of Built-In Storage

When it comes to the mobile smartphone business, manufacturers are trying everything they can to outdo their competition. One of the big things that manufacturers try to push to consumers is storage space. For people who use their phones a lot and use a lot of applications and things, storage is a critical issue. There is nothing more upsetting than having to go through your phone and pick and choose what you want to keep and what you need to get rid of, especially if pretty much everything in your phone is essential or valuable to you.

Right now there's a pretty standard model for phone storage capacities. The old model used to be 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. Recent phones have upgraded this to 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. However, these phones tended to take away the option for users to add external storage, like MicroSD cards, which didn't go over too well with consumers. But it seems like the people over at Asus are aiming to make any concerns about smartphone storage a thing of the past.

CEO of Asus Jerry Shen recently announced the pricing and availability of the ZenFone 2, the ZenFone 2 Deluxe, the ZenFone 2 Laser and the ZenFonr Selfie for users in Brazil. The announcements came by way of the famous Ibirapuera Auditorium in São Paulo, which was designed by world-famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. In addition to that, Shen also announced the upcoming ZenFone 2 Deluxe Special Edition model.

According to Shen, "We are very excited to bring our latest ZenFone models to the Latin American market. They offer Latin American consumers empowering luxury with perfectly-balanced beauty, functionality, and performance, together with a premium user experience that can be tailored to the individual needs of mobile users."

But what does all of that have to do with storage space? Well, that's where the Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition comes into play. This smartphone is a brand new addition to the successful ZenFone lineup and comes with 4GB of RAM and a staggering 256GB of internal storage. You read that right, 256GB of storage. Mind you that's 256GB of internal storage, which means this is what you get when you get the phone.

This phone is nearly identical to the high-end version of the original ZenFone 2 but with a faster Atom Z3580 processor. In addition to that, this phone also comes with a MicroSD slot, meaning that this phone can top out at an incredible 384GB of storage. The phone will be available in 2 colors, one with a diamond-pattern back and the other with black and gray diagonal stripes. Both will have an orange trim around the front screen and navigation panel, as well as around the volume buttons on the rear.

The unfortunate thing is that this phone has only been announced for distribution in Brazil and will most likely be made by the local manufacturing branch of Foxconn specifically for that market. While there have yet to be any indications of a wider release market, I think it is safe to say that Asus is probably going to take a good look at how well the phone does in Brazil and then make a decision on whether or not to expand production.

Regardless, the fact that a phone with the potential for 384GB of storage even exists is fantastic. Hopefully, more smartphone manufacturers take a cue from Asus and start offering bigger storage capacities on their phones (or, at the very least, they stop removing the option for external storage!).

Content originally published here and here
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rumored Galaxy S5 Neo to Have Mid-Range Specs

If you have a Samsung Galaxy, then you should be excited for what is coming out later on this year. SamMobile has leaked out details for the new Samsung release, the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5 Neo.

The Galaxy S5 Neo will offer a lot of the same qualities as last years smartphone. It will have a 16-megapixel rear camera, 16GB of internal storage, 2GB RAM and a 2,800mAh battery. In addition to that, it is also said to be the same size and weight of the original model.

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If you're wondering what the difference with the Neo is, there isn't much of one. The S5's Qualcomm processor is now a 1.6GHz 64-bit octa-core Exynos chipset from Samsung. Also it's said that the S5 Neo's front facing camera is now 5-megapixels instead of 2, meaning that the quality of the photos are very close to that of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The Galaxy S5 could also offer support for LTE-A connectivity, which isn't found in the original model. This will allow your data connections four times the speed of the traditional 4G LTE.

So if you're looking for a new Samsung Galaxy, be patient for the S5 Neo to come out later on this year. It may be sold in single-SIM and dual-SIM versions and could also come to China, India and Russia.

Content originally published here

Monday, May 11, 2015

Make Google Chrome Use Less......Everything

Chrome, Google's internet browser, was originally designed to stay out of your way and be a minimal browser, but now it's an entire application platform. Chrome manages to burn through a lot of battery life, especially on Macs. Also, if you have a PC with low amounts of RAM, Chrome seems to take up a lot of memory. Even after you close it, Chrome still continues to run in the background. It continues to take your battery life and a lot of your memory, so when you really want to close Chrome fully, you have to right click the Chrome icon and select Exit Chrome. If you installed Chrome apps that continuously need to run in the background, you may just want to disable it. All you need to do is right click the icon for Chrome system and uncheck "Let Google Chrome run in the background." This will shut down Chrome altogether when you close your Chrome browser windows.

If you haven't noticed by now, browser extensions will completely slow down your browser, they take up more of your memory, and drain you system resources. If you are using Chrome, you can what the browser extensions are doing to your system by clicking the menu icon, going to More tools, and clicking Task Manager. The items that appear that begin with "Extension:" are the browser extensions that Chrome is running. Uninstalling an extension that's lets say using over 100 MB of RAM, that's draining your battery power dramatically, and if you don't really need it could help drastically.

Every browser extension doesn't show up in this list, however. Some of them don't run as their own processes and some include scripts that run when you are loading web pages that provide their features. Running these other scripts will take more CPU and help drain more of your battery so make sure you are uninstalling these extensions that seem to be taking up resources in the task manager.

You may see a "Background Page" if you check your Chrome Task Manager. It's different than an extension or app and they consume memory and CPU resources. For example the Google Drive background page appears when you enable offline access to your documents in Google Drive. It causes a background page to continue running even if you close all your Google Drive tabs. This background process syncs your offline cache with Google Drive. If you don't really use the offline documents feature, then you could go to the Google Drive website, go into the Settings screen, and be sure to uncheck the Offline option. You won't have to deal with a background page, but you won't have offline access to your Google Drive documents.

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Another thing to be sure to do, in Chrome, to help save some of your battery is to enable click-to-play plug-ins. All you have to do is open Chrome's Settings page, click "Show Advanced Settings," then click "Content Settings," and finally under Plug-ins click "Let me choose when to run plugin content." It will keep Adobe Flash and other plug-ins from running in the background, because a lot of Flash advertisements popping up will help destroy your battery. By enabling click-to-play plug-ins, it will only allow specific Flash content to run, as well as doing the same with other plug-ins.

Saving memory can become a bit of an issue and running multiple tabs at once can take a lot of that memory. If you want to save memory and some battery power then try not to have a bunch of tabs opened. This can have too many web pages running in the background and use CPU resources, as well as taking up your memory and battery life. Just bookmark or save some web pages in a read-it-later service like Pocket, to prevent some of those pages from constantly running.

Chrome can be a bit of a hassle with all of its browser extensions and features. You could always try running a different browser like the Safari browser. It's way better on your battery life when using Macs. If you're using Windows on a PC with a low amount of RAM, then running Mozilla's Firefox will help take up less of your memory. Also using Internet Explorer on Windows will help your battery last longer. If you're just using a modern PC, then using up a lot of memory shouldn't be an issue if you have enough of it. The major issue of running Chrome is how it effects your battery life. Just be sure to uninstall those unnecessary browser extensions and close those tabs you don't NEED open and you should be just fine.

Content originally published here

Friday, May 1, 2015

Apple Watch Malfunctioning for People with Tattoos

The Apple Watch could be a great product for you....unless you have tattoos, that is. Apple is officially warning people who have tattoos that their Apple Watch might be having trouble getting reliable heart rate readings due to your ink. The company recently updated its Apple Watch support documents to note potential problems for some people with tattoos after people started complaining about it online.

According to the new document, "Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."

When people are going through their workout the heart monitor on the Apple Watch uses a method known as photoplethysmography (PPG). This method shines a green light onto the skin and looks for the change in absorption that comes with each pulse. During regular activity the watch measures infrared light reflection. This is supposed to use less power than the green LEDs but if a wrist has too much heavy ink on it then the watch would have trouble shining a light through it.

The good news is that not all tattoos will cause a problem. iMore has tested several tattoos and discovered that solid red and black ink caused the biggest issues, causing extremely inaccurate readings and/or complete failures. Lighter colored ink only produced slight inaccuracies and it was also noted that patterned or variegated ink didn't seem to cause any problems at all.

This is important because fitness tracking is one of the main features of the Apple Watch. In addition to that, a recent report from Consumer Reports noted that the heart rate monitor is just as accurate as the group's highest-rated chest-worn monitor. Sure there are a ton of other reasons to buy the Apple Watch but just know that if you have tattoos you could experience some technical difficulties.

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Content originally published here

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Asus Chromebook Flip with Touchscreen

Google has been putting their OS on a lot more devices lately, like the Asus Chromebook Flip and the Asus Chromebit. This spring, the Chromebook Flip comes out with a touch screen that rotates 360 degrees. The Chromebit comes out this summer, and it will let you use the Chrome OS on your HDTVs.

The Asus Chromebook will have a price tag of $249, and looks a lot like one of the Yoga notebooks. It has a 10.1 inch IPS display and weighs less than 2 pounds even with it's all metal chassis. It will be powered by a Rockchip 3288 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC flash memory. There will also be a more expensive version that will have 4GB of RAM and 16GB of SSD storage. It will have 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, and will be able to last for up to 10 hours on a full charge.

Right now the Chrome OS is not optimized for touch screens yet, so it is a bit unusual that they added one to this notebook. Not only that, but it's pretty odd that they would add a touch screen to a budget system at all. Hopefully it works out great and the added feature really pays off.

As far as what's under the hood, the Chromebit has  pretty much the exact same stuff as the Chromebook Flip actually. It is a little bit bigger than a regular thumb drive and will have an HDMI port and a USB 2.0 port that it will be powered by. It will be able to connect to the Internet via 802.11ac Wi-Fi and it also has Bluetooth capabilities.

Asus is not the only company that is coming out with new Chromebooks though. Haier and Hisense have both announced 11 inch Chromebooks that seem to have the same internals as the new Asus coming out this spring. The only major difference is that they will cost about $100 less than the Asus. Of course, it doesn't look like they will have a touch screen, but if the Asus touch screen doesn't go over well because of the operating system, then you might spend $100 dollars less and have something that is less troublesome. I guess we will find out soon enough when we can get our hands on them!

Content originally posted here

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Can Do 7 Things Apple's iPhone 6 Can't

Photo Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is now available and it won't take long before people start throwing out comparisons of the phone to the iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus). People will vehemently defend either their iPhone 6 or their Galaxy S6, saying what each phone can and can't do. Well a neat little video (which can be viewed below) popped up over at Business Insider showing some of the things the new Galaxy S6 can do that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus definitely can't.

The fist thing that the S6 can do that the iPhone 6 can't is launch the camera app from literally any screen. By simply double-clicking the Home button the Galaxy S6's camera app will instantly launch. You could be on your home screen, in an app, surfing the web and you have instant access to your camera app. What makes this feature even better is that you can even do this from the lock screen meaning you'll never miss another perfect photo opportunity again!

Once your camera app is launched you can then take a picture with the front-facing camera by tapping on the sensor on the back of the phone. We've all experienced the struggle of trying to take a selfie by ourselves or with a group and fumbling around with the picture button on the front of the screen. This new sensor is located in a more natural location for where your finger will most likely be when taking pictures with the front-facing camera. In addition to that, you can also take pictures with the front-facing camera by tapping anywhere on the screen.

One of the coolest new features is the ability to multitask by running multiple apps on the same screen. Placing your finger in the top left corner of your screen when an app is running allows you to drag and resize the app screen, much in the same way you can on a computer screen. When this is happening the app is still running in its own window, allowing you to open up other apps, resize them and multitask to your heat's content.

Health and fitness apps are all the rage these days and a lot of smartphones are starting to come with these apps pre-installed. However, the Galaxy S6 does you one better as it has the technology already built into the phone. By tapping the S Health app you can check your body's heart rate by placing your finger over the back sensor when prompted.

Battery life in smartphones is one of the key things that developers are always trying to have over each other. The longer your smartphone can go without needing to be charged is a huge selling point but most smartphones don't have many options for conserving battery life aside from lowering the screen brightness. The Galaxy S6 comes with a Power Saving Mode and an Ultra Power Saving Mode, allowing you to adjust how much battery your phone is burning through.

Speaking of battery life, another detriment to some smartphones is the duration of the charging period. Well, the Galaxy S6 can charge fast, I mean really fast. According to a video within the video Samsung's Justin Denison can be heard telling a crowd of people that the Galaxy S6 only takes 10 minutes of charging to get up to 4 hours of everyday use. Denison also states that to charge from 0 to 100 takes roughly half the time of the iPhone 6. The Galaxy S6 also supports wireless charging (wireless charging pad sold separately).

When it comes to debates between smartphones, especially the Samsung Galaxy Series and Apple's iPhone Series, everybody claims that their phone can do things the other can't. Well, this video shows you 7 things that the Galaxy S6 can do that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is actually incapable of doing. Check out the video below!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Has Your iOS Device Been Hacked By The CIA?

Let me start this out by stating that we, in no way, can confirm any particular reasoning, whether it be beneficial or malicious, as to the CIA's attacks on Apple's devices and software. That being said, if you own any type of Apple device that has come out since the release of the first iPhone, there are some recent developments that you should definitely be aware of.

While we don't know everything for sure, we do know that the CIA and the NSA have been making attempts to hack into Apple's security networks. This has come as a shock to just about every consumer that has found out about it. Of course when asked about it, the CIA had no comment on the story.

So what exactly has even been happening, you may wonder. Since the first generation iPhone was in development, The CIA have been have been both sponsoring and attending an event call "Jamboree". This event was designed to figure out the latest and best tactics at cracking Apple's security codes and developer tools. One Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, has come out and shown some of the slides that were presented at one of the previous Jamboree events. The slides explain multiple efforts to weaken and break through Apple's security within their multiple devices. One of the slide's even talks about creating and infected version of Apple's Xcode.

Xcode is the development code used to design applications on both iOS and OS X devices. The "dummy" code would allow access to all of the applications utilizing a backdoor implanted within the code itself. This particular "whacked" code would be targeted at budding developers who might be unfamiliar with the original, unaltered Xcode. Should these newer developers end up using the tampered Xcode, they would be allowing a backdoor to be created within the program, unknowingly of course. Needless to say, this type of tampering and targeting towards newer developers is violating more than a few laws.

As far as we know, there have not been any successful attempts at cracking into Apple's security encryptions. That being said, this doesn't mean that we as consumers and the developers are safe from the prying CIA. They are still very capable of weakening the security of Apple devices, as well compromising any app developed by the developers that fall prey to the CIA and their infected code.

What type of data was the CIA even planning to take from us? Well apparently they've been looking to ascertain the GID keys used by our devices. A GID key would be used to track a single user on one device. The GID key, however, would be used to gain access to an entire product line as they likely use the same application processor. If the CIA were to get their hands on these GID keys, they'd be able to create their own type of firmware to install on an entire product line that shares the same app processor, thus allowing for mass surveillance.

Again, there is no confirmation as to the reasoning that the CIA has for these malicious attacks on Apple's product security. That being said, this is disturbing to say the least.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.