Author Archives: JC Torres


Google Play Store gets its own Free App of the Week section

Google Play Store gets its own Free App of the Week section

Who doesn't like free? Especially in the world of mobile apps, free apps, or even freemium ones, have a strong pull. Google's Play Store has lots of free apps and games but it's also notorious for having tons of low-quality, even deceptive, entries. That is probably why Google has created its own curated and recommended section for free apps. But there's one catch: its highlighted app will only be free for a week.

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Apple didn’t copy iPhone design in China, says Beijing court

Apple didn’t copy iPhone design in China, says Beijing court

Apple has finally caught a break in its rather tumultuous relationship with the Chinese market. The Cupertino-based company has long been trying to woo one of the world's largest smartphone markets with mixed results. While iPhones are indeed popular in China, Apple has been experiencing rather strong opposition not just from rivals but also from government agencies and patent holding entities. At least Apple has gotten a slight reprieve now that the Beijing Intellectual Property Court has overturned a previous ruling that found Apple guilty of copying a design patent for the iPhone 6.

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Galaxy S8 leak spills all the beans days before official unveil

Galaxy S8 leak spills all the beans days before official unveil

By the time Samsung finally and officially reveals the Galaxy S8 this week, it will be doing so in front of an audience that knows practically all there is to know about the smartphone. Not that it might matter as far as sales will go, though it's still an amusing thought to consider. Leaks like this latest dump to come from WinFuture basically leave no stone unturned. And suffice it to say, we might be looking at a high-end smartphone that is going to try hard to recover from last year's fiasco.

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Norway wants to create a tunnel for ships to pass through

Norway wants to create a tunnel for ships to pass through

Elon Musk's Boring Company wants to drill underground to alleviate traffic congestion. Norway wants to drill through hills for ships. Yes, big ships carrying cargo, tourists, or fish. And, no, it's not because Norway has traffic congestion problem. The Stad Ship Tunnel, as it is being called, is meant to give ships, crew, and passengers a safer, and perhaps more scenic, route avoid the treacherous old route that the Stad peninsula is notorious for.

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Dell UltraSharp 8K monitor can now be yours if you can afford it

Dell UltraSharp 8K monitor can now be yours if you can afford it

At the beginning of the year, Dell unveiled a rather imposing monitor. Standing at 31.5 inches, diagonally, of course, the newest member of its UltraSharp line boasted of an 8K resolution never before seen on a consumer computer monitor. And, as promised, the Dell UltraSharp 32 8K UP3218K Monitor is now ready for shipping. But also as promised, the monitor is not something most users will probably be able to afford, which could severely limit the reach of this super hi-res computer screen.

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Android O on Nexus 5X, 6P gets a preliminary root

Android O on Nexus 5X, 6P gets a preliminary root

New Android releases are almost always welcomed by Android users, but power users, especially those who routinely root their devices, have mixed feelings. While it brings new features to play with, a new Android version usually also patches up exploits that are used to gain root access. Defying expectation, however, Chainfire, developer extraordinaire known for his SuperSU utility, has announced a preliminary root for Android O on the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, just days after the first Android O developer preview was announced.

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Android Experiments Magic Calendar blends paper and digital

Android Experiments Magic Calendar blends paper and digital

There is a never-ending tug of war between analog and digital, especially between paper and computers. The favorite debates usually revolve round paper notebooks and organizers versus mobile phones. One has the advantage of being "always on" while the other has the advantage of ease of management and editing. Japanese design startup Kosho Tsuboi has come up with an idea, one that some might have seen before. That is, an always-on Magic Calendar dashboard that display's your calendar on a wall. And it's powered by Android, of course.

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Here’s when the Galaxy S8 will go on pre-order in Europe

Here’s when the Galaxy S8 will go on pre-order in Europe

In about a week's time, Samsung will finally unveil the Galaxy S8. Much of what it will have to offer is pretty much known, leaving little to the imagination. The only real remaining question, other than actual performance, is when it will actually go on sale. While there are still differing dates for that in the US, Europe, or at least the Netherlands might get theirs early. If leak of the pre-order date is right on the mark.

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MyKronoz ZeTime puts mechanical watch hands on a touchscreen

MyKronoz ZeTime puts mechanical watch hands on a touchscreen

One of the biggest complaints about smartwatches, next to the dismal battery life, is how they don't really look like traditional watches. At least the classical analog ones with mechanical hands. Some watch makers tried to address that by putting out what they termed "hybrid" smartwatches, that is, analog watches with some built-in sensors and wireless connectivity. MyKronoz, however, has a different idea for a hybrid smartwatch. At MWC 2017 last month, it showed off a smartwatch with a full touch screen and mechanical hands. Weird as it might sound, it apparently sells, based on the ZeTime's Kickstarter.

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Google Hangouts is dropping SMS support

Google Hangouts is dropping SMS support

And so the Google messaging circus continues. Google has quite a few messaging apps, and some of them overlap with each other and the biggest offender is probably Hangouts. What would have been Google's main, or only, messaging platform supports chat, voice, video, and SMS, but soon it will have one less feature. According to a post on Reddit, Google will be removing carrier SMS support in May, forcing users, at least on Android, to migrate to another app, maybe Google's newly renamed "Android Messages" app.

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Tweetdeck tipped to get advanced features for a price

Tweetdeck tipped to get advanced features for a price

Given its rather unpopular attitude towards third-party apps, there was some well-founded apprehension when Twitter acquired Tweetdeck. Indeed, the multi-column Twitter client has lagged behind the official Twitter client though it still remained the tool of choice for many professional Twitter users. It seems, however, that Twitter will be making up for lost time soon, by introducing advanced features soon. However, those features will apparently come at a monthly cost, though advanced users will probably be willing to pay whatever price Twitter demands.

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OPPO F3 Plus tries to be twice the selfie expert

OPPO F3 Plus tries to be twice the selfie expert

OPPO has apparently found its calling in the sometimes hated, sometimes loved market of selfies. Each major smartphone it releases is touted as a "selfie expert" and, to some extent, that does end up being true. The OPPO F3 Plus is no different, at least not in trying to claim the title. It is, however, different in that it has twice as much selfie expertise. And by that, we mean that it does have two front-facing cameras. But not all cameras are created equal, and neither are the OPPO F3 Plus'.

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