Author Archives: JC Torres


Nokia A1 Plus/Nokia 9 might be the flagship smartphone to beat

Nokia A1 Plus/Nokia 9 might be the flagship smartphone to beat

Move over OnePlus 6, there might be a new Android darling soon. We have most of the flagship Android phones this year, save for one or two still to come, and thought we’ve seen them all. HMD Global and Nokia, however, may have something still up their sleeves. A certain Nokia “A1 Plus” or “A1P” or “AOP”, which could be the Nokia 9, has been mentioned in a recent leak and, given the OEM’s reputation, it might have the best combination of hardware and software this year.

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OnePlus might soon be available on US carriers

OnePlus might soon be available on US carriers

Despite how much consumers demand it, it’s not easy for smartphone makers to make their devices available on carriers, US or not. There are a lot of business and logistic considerations involved and, more often than not, smaller companies have a harder time getting carriers’ attention. OnePlus, however, is no longer a small company that can be ignored and it plans to step up to the challenge of making its future smartphones, especially the 5G ones, available on carriers’ shelves.

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Instagram Stories can now have music to play alongside them

Instagram Stories can now have music to play alongside them

The week is almost over but Instagram definitely isn’t. This week alone it has rolled out feature after feature, asserting that it hasn’t become irrelevant in an age of Snapchat. After video-centric features, good ol’ IG has not turned its attention to music. Now you can add more drama or excitement to your Instagram Stories by choosing a track to go along with it, while you record or even after the fact.

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Concorso Italiano marks 33rd year with most exotic car collection yet

Concorso Italiano marks 33rd year with most exotic car collection yet

August is still a good month away but for car aficionados, it couldn’t come sooner. For one, the month holds host to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, regarded to be the most prestigious automotive charitable event. And part of that is, of course, the Concorso Italiano. Now on its thirty-third year, the luxury and exotic Italian car show is promising to pull out all the stops to showcase the best of Italian style, fashion, food, and wine, starting with almost a thousand rare and exotic Italian cars.

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Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is made for bigger kids

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is made for bigger kids

Android tablets may be dead for Google but they are not for Huawei or Samsung, and definitely not for Amazon. The company’s line of Fire tablets is still one of the best ways to enjoy everything Amazon has to offer, from shopping to music to video to, yes, Alexa. They also happen to be one of the most affordable tablets for kids around. And to show that it is committed to catering to kids of all sizes and ages, it is launching the new Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, it biggest tablet built for kids with bigger needs.

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Amazon Show Mode turns Fire HD 8, HD 10 into an Echo Show [UPDATE]

Amazon Show Mode turns Fire HD 8, HD 10 into an Echo Show [UPDATE]

Even before Google has a chance to finally respond to Amazon’s Echo Show with its own Smart Display lineup, Amazon is already changing the game yet again. This new Show Mode may be the reason why it hasn’t been rumored to be working on an Echo Show v2. With the Show Mode Charging Dock, a Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 tablet automatically becomes an ad hoc Echo Show, which could make Google regret it gave up on Android tablets so easily.

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Huawei commits to bi-monthly updates to Android smartphones

Huawei commits to bi-monthly updates to Android smartphones

One of the biggest complaints users have with their Android phones is the slow rollout of updates, even critical security ones. But while Samsung may be the scapegoat among OEMs, it is hardly the only guilty one. Most Chinese smartphone makers are just as bad but don’t get much coverage. Attempting to buck the trend, Huawei is putting its already embattled reputation on the line by announcing bi-monthly firmware updates for an unspecified wide range of phones, starting with a Face Unlock update for its 2017 and 2018 top sellers.

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Google Calendar features remind you to take breaks

Google Calendar features remind you to take breaks

It may have been overshadowed by the Duplex AI media frenzy, but one of Google’s strongest topics in this year’s I/O developers conference was on Digital Wellbeing. A concern echoed this month at Apple’s own WWDC, tech companies are now raising awareness on how their own products could inevitably lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Ahead of its upcoming app and updates, Google is pushing a pair of features to Google Calendar focused around the times when you shouldn’t be at work in the first place.

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Vivo Time-of-Flight 3D sensing tech challenges Apple Face ID

Vivo Time-of-Flight 3D sensing tech challenges Apple Face ID

Vivo has some crazy ideas and it’s not afraid to use them. It wasn’t content to put an in-display fingerprint scanner on the Vivo X20 UD, it had to turn half the screen into one as well. Plus, it moved the front camera out of the bezel and into a motorized sliding popup. It might bring it back to the front, though, at least to make its latest innovation possible. It’s simply calling it the Vivo TOF (time of flight) 3D Sensing Technology and it’s issuing a challenge to Apple’s own tech.

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Instagram Lite sneaks into Android

Instagram Lite sneaks into Android

Instagram has had a very busy month. From new features like IGTV and video chat to letting anyone take screenshots of Stories, the social network giant is making splashes left and right. Which makes the silent arrival of its Instagram Lite app on Google Play Store a bit puzzling. The app, after all, is carefully decided to pull in even more users to add to its billion-strong roster, especially users in markets with slower Internet speeds and smaller smartphone storage space.

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Samsung Good Lock app lets you personalize your Galaxy phone

Samsung Good Lock app lets you personalize your Galaxy phone

While Android is definitely a lot more customizable and configurable than other mobile platforms, there are still some things that are kept away from users’ reach. The recent discussion on the Substratum theming is an example of how Google doesn’t always give what users want. It does, however, leave such things up to OEMs, which allows them to create tools that let users customize their experience. One such example is Samsung’s oddly-named Good Lock app, now available for its most recent flagships running Android 8.0 Oreo.

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Philips Android TV: almost everyone gets an Oreo cookie

Philips Android TV: almost everyone gets an Oreo cookie

Those complaining about the disappointing state of Android updates for smartphones actually have it easier compared to, say, Android TV. While Google has not abandoned it the way it has tablets, at least not yet, updates are not only slow but also rare even. You don’t hear much about it because there’s not much to talk about. Philips, however, might be changing the game just a bit by bringing the latest Android Oreo update to almost all of its Android TVs dating all the way back to 2014.

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