Author Archives: JC Torres


iPad Pro 9.7 revisited: making it work for work

iPad Pro 9.7 revisited: making it work for work

When Apple first unveiled the already much leaked iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch one, it made a very bold declaration. This iPad, which had a specially designed keyboard cover and worked with a specially designed stylus, is the ultimate PC replacement. It was, perhaps, the most controversial thing about the iPad Pro. Of course, like Microsoft's similar claim about the Surface Pros, the reality wasn't as rosy. We've already seen it in action, when Chris Davies took in on a trip just three months ago. But now we take another look at the iPad Pro, the same 9.7-inch model, to answer an equally burning question: how can it replace a PC, especially for some serious work.

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WhatsApp still isn’t as secure as you might think

WhatsApp still isn’t as secure as you might think

Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp in early 2014 raised all sorts of red flags for security and privacy interest groups. Facebook, then and to some extent now, isn't exactly the epitome of those two values. Over time, WhatsApp has tried to assuage fears by implementing features such as end-to-end encryption. Apparently, that may be futile after all. Forensic scientist Jonathan Zdziarski revealed that, while the app does encrypt the messages it stores, it doesn't actually completely delete them and its backups still leave users open to spying or law enforcement.

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Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch to bring rotary bezel in September

Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch to bring rotary bezel in September

While Samsung is eying a very early launch for its next Galaxy Note phablet, it doesn't seem in a rush to do the same for its next Gear smartwatch. Dubbed the Gear S3, because what else would you call it, the company's next high profile smartwatch isn't expected to debut to the public until September, during its usual IFA affair. And when it does, it will be sporting the same rotary bezel control that put Samsung's smartwatch back on the "interesting" map, enough to warrant a successor.

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Nest silently sneaks in Apple Watch support in latest update

Nest silently sneaks in Apple Watch support in latest update

When you're a company set on conquering every household with smart monitors and sensors, you can't afford to ignore even your parent company's fiercest rivals. That is especially true for Nest, formerly owned by Google, now owned by Alphabet. Although the company has had an iOS app for quite some time now, one important piece of the puzzle was still missing. Well, consider that puzzle now complete as Nest has, rather silently, finally added support for the Apple Watch in the latest update to its iOS app.

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Microsoft Phone future gets darker with 2,850 layoffs

Microsoft Phone future gets darker with 2,850 layoffs

What Microsoft says and what Microsoft does are two very different things. Granted, it hasn't actually committed to a solid smartphone hardware business, but it hasn't completely discounted that future either. But if there were any doubt that Microsoft doesn't really have smartphones in mind, as far as devices are concerned, this revelation of nearly 3,000 job cuts should probably banish all that. And with that employee exodus, Microsoft has practically rid itself of the Nokia smartphone business that it acquired two years ago to the tune of $7.2 billion.

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Motorola opens the Moto Mod door, apps now available

Motorola opens the Moto Mod door, apps now available

Moto and Verizon have just unleashed the collective power of all Moto Z editions, including the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid. But while the smartphones themselves are already the head turner, they become even more so thanks to one crucial part of the spiel: Moto Mods. And Moto is doing more than making these Mods commercially available and configurable through apps. The company is also giving an open invitation to bright minds and tinkerers to expand the ecosystem by developing their own mods.

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Ubuntu Touch takes a huge step towards Convergence in OTA-12

Ubuntu Touch takes a huge step towards Convergence in OTA-12

Ubuntu has a very ambitious goal with Ubuntu Touch. It proposed an operating system that could work equally on any capable device, a smartphone that can truly be your computer, no holds barred. That was the promise of Convergence, which we took for a spin with the Meizu PRO 5 smartphone and, before that, the bq Aquaris M10 tablet. The results back then where disappointing yet promising. Ubuntu Touch, as it was when we reviewed these devices, still lacked that punch that would make you truly go "wow!". But, unlike other operating systems, Ubuntu is fast evolving, and the latest OTA-12 brings much needed improvements to bring us closer to true Convergence.

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Apple Watch game Cosmos Rings from Square Enix now available

Apple Watch game Cosmos Rings from Square Enix now available

Some people still can't make heads or tails of what smartwatches are or should be. Some do see them as mere extensions of their smartphones but others also want these wearables to do almost everything by themselves. One thing most seem to agree on, however, is that smartwatches aren't exactly the best devices for gaming. Square Enix apparently didn't get the memo and has, as earlier reported, launched Cosmos Rings, a game that is played solely on the Apple Watch. No, not a companion watch app for a mobile game but a 100% Apple Watch only game.

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Sony Xperia X Performance climbs to #1 (or 3) in DxOMark

Sony Xperia X Performance climbs to #1 (or 3) in DxOMark

HTC and Sony seem to have some things in common as far as smartphones go. Both have put out strong looking 2016 flagships that, on paper, looked commendable. Both, however, seem to have problems backing that up with solid sales numbers. On a positive note, both also happen to be at the very top of DxOMark's smartphone camera list. The digital photography benchmark site has given the Xperia X Performance a glowing score of 88, so far the highest in the list, rubbing shoulders with the HTC 10 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

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Surface Pro 3 battery woes only a software bug, says Microsoft

Surface Pro 3 battery woes only a software bug, says Microsoft

"Stay Calm and Keep Updating." That seems to be the message that Microsoft, at long last, is giving baffled and irate Surface Pro 3 owners regarding their concern about the suddenly degraded battery life of their beloved 2-in-1 tablets. Rather than a cunning marketing ploy to get those to upgrade to, say, a Surface Pro 4 or even a Surface Book after their warranties run out, Microsoft simply claims it is a simple case of a software bug and that it can simply be fixed with an update. Whenever that update comes.

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HTC Nexus “Marlin” render unsurprisingly looks like an HTC 10

HTC Nexus “Marlin” render unsurprisingly looks like an HTC 10

We aren't hearing much about Google's upcoming Nexus smartphone, or smartphones, which isn't that unusual given the flood of information coming in for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the iPhone 7. However, not everyone is a Sammy or Apple fan and some are more interested in the vanilla goodness of a Nexus. For those of you in that crowd, TechDroider is giving you some respite by showing off a render that it made based off all the leaks available so far. In short, this is as close as we'll get until Google officially proves otherwise.

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LastPass browser extensions reported to be vulnerable to exploits

LastPass browser extensions reported to be vulnerable to exploits

Passwords are the first and last line of defense against getting hacked, which is why users are strongly advised to use strong and different passwords for each service. Keeping track of those, however, is more than our little brains can handle, which is why password managing services have thrived. But what if those services themselves become vulnerable? That was the situation LastPass found itself in when its web extensions were discovered to be exploitable and can be used to trick users into giving away their passwords. The good news is that LastPass has already addressed those issues, but should still serve as a warning to everyone.

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