Author Archives: JC Torres

An open source contributor and holds doubly lethal degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. When not working, he spends his time lurking and helping out in KDE Project.

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge reach end of life after four years of updates

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge reach end of life after four years of updates

Samsung is notorious for its terrible software support even for its flagship phones. To be fair, however, it has been improving and keeps on trying, despite the sometimes more publicized reports of its failures. It does try to quickly update its very latest premium phones to the latest Android release and has even expanded its software support coverage to four years of security updates. And that is happily the case at least for the Galaxy S7 line whose time has finally come after four years of receiving that promise.

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Google Play Store policies adapt to COVID-19 pandemic

Google Play Store policies adapt to COVID-19 pandemic

Smartphones have become an essential part of modern life but getting stuck at home made them even more critical. But as more and more people rely on the Internet and mobile devices, the importance of keeping these places safe from not just malware but also misinformation is becoming just as critical. Responding to the global situation, Google is making a few changes to its Google Play rules, especially when it comes to apps that relate to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

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Pixel 4 Face Unlock can finally require eyes to be open in April update

Pixel 4 Face Unlock can finally require eyes to be open in April update

The Pixel 4 prided itself with its fancy new sensors hiding behind its thick forehead. In addition to hands-free gestures, the Pixel 4 also made face unlock the only secure biometrics option for the phone, throwing the fingerprint scanner out the window. Unfortunately, some found it to be actually less secure in one specific situation which, months after launch, Google is finally addressing with the April security patch for Pixel devices and Android in general.

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Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) on T-Mobile gets a later shipping date

Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) on T-Mobile gets a later shipping date

Thanks to the frightening prospect of being bored at home, the number of purchases of entertainment devices, from gaming consoles to tablets, have surged recently. This is definitely an opportune time for Amazon Apple whose Kindle readers, Fire tablets, and iPads have become synonymous with digital content consumption. Not one to be left out, Samsung is also pushing its own affordable Galaxy Tab A slate forward but it might come a little too late for T-Mobile customers.

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Galaxy Chromebook and its 4K screen is now available in the US

Galaxy Chromebook and its 4K screen is now available in the US

Along with the surge in users on the Internet, there has also been a rise in the purchases of computers and especially laptops in the past weeks and months. This is mostly connected by the need to take work home during quarantine and shelter-in-place periods. Unfortunately, that fell outside the launch window of many new notebook computers that just got announced last week. The Galaxy Chromebook, however, was announced way back in January and it's only now that it's landing in the US to give Chrome OS users a stylish but expensive option.

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Microsoft Edge is now more popular than Firefox thanks to Google Chrome

Microsoft Edge is now more popular than Firefox thanks to Google Chrome

The browser wars may not be truly over yet but it has taken on a slightly different turn. Internet Explorer has been laughed out of the arena, practically leaving Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox at the top with a large chasm between them. Now Firefox has suddenly found itself dethroned from its already precarious position by the upstart Microsoft Edge. Ironically, that is mostly thanks to Google Chrome, to be more specific its open source Chromium base.

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Windows 10 KB4541335 is an optional update you might want to skip for now

Windows 10 KB4541335 is an optional update you might want to skip for now

Barely two weeks ago, Microsoft pledged to put optional updates to Windows 10 on hold. The reason, it explains, is to ensure that users will be left with stable and functional computers during this time of increased dependence on such devices and on the Internet. Unfortunately, it has strangely decided to do so starting only next month. Even worse, one such optional update is already causing chaos by rendering Windows 10 computers practically useless.

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Galaxy Tab S6 finally gets Android 10 and One UI 2.1

Galaxy Tab S6 finally gets Android 10 and One UI 2.1

When you buy a flagship device, you build up an expectation that device would be supported with timely updates. That's especially true if the device is barely a year old. Of course, some companies, like Apple, Google, and the late Essential, are better than others while some, like Samsung, are improving yet struggling to change old habits. The Galaxy Tab S6, for example, is not just Samsung's latest tablet, it is also one of the few remaining premium Android tablets in the market and it's only getting the latest Android update half a year after Android 10 was released.

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Galaxy S20 with Exynos 990 benchmarks fall behind Snapdragon 865 variant

Galaxy S20 with Exynos 990 benchmarks fall behind Snapdragon 865 variant

For years, Samsung Mobile has been dancing between two mobile processors, the Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm as well as the Exynos from its own sibling, Samsung Electronics LSI. In the past, the difference between the two chips in the same phone models hasn't been that noticeably but that gap seems to be getting wider and wide. Matters have seemed to come to a head this year with the Galaxy S20 and its Snapdragon 865 and Exynos 990 variants. According to benchmarks and user testing, the two couldn't be further apart in terms of performance.

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Chrome SameSite Cookie changes rolled back to keep the Web stable

Chrome SameSite Cookie changes rolled back to keep the Web stable

The Internet has taken on a critical role in the past weeks thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, too, is the software that connects us to the Internet and to each other. During these days, it would be difficult to have such technologies break down left and right if it can be helped. That's why Google has been making a few changes to its policies, including rolling back the privacy-related changes it has been enforcing through its SameSite Cookie policy, even if it means leaving users open to such abuses just for a while.

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Moto G8 Power Lite is finally official after all the leaks

Moto G8 Power Lite is finally official after all the leaks

The almost insane amount of leaked information in the mobile market has definitely changed the industry in subtle yet important ways. More often than not, consumers may have already made up their mind about a product, simply waiting for official confirmation about this or that feature. More often than not, those leaks are on the mark and leave nothing left to be surprised about. A prime example is the moto g8 power lite that has finally been revealed but not before the Internet has had their fill of apparently accurate unofficial information.

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Amazon Blink Mini keeps an eye on your home from the inside

Amazon Blink Mini keeps an eye on your home from the inside

Many people are being advised or even forced to stay indoors but that doesn't mean you can be lax about home security. Keeping tabs on what happens indoors, especially at night, can sometimes be just as important as knowing what goes on outdoors. Fortunately, indoor cameras are often less sophisticated and less expensive than outdoor ones. Especially when you take into account the latest Blink Mini camera from Amazon, offering many basic features at the fraction of a price of its rivals.

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