Samsung releases new set of ads taking jabs at the iPhone 6’s battery, screen, and more

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Samsung was already taking shots at the iPhone 6 this morning with some new ads, but the Android handset maker has gone even further by releasing a set of new videos on YouTube today mocking everything from the iPhone 6 livestream problems to the device’s hardware (via Engadget). The ads are part of the “Note the Difference” campaign, and these specific videos belong to a playlist called “It Doesn’t Take a Genius.”

The ads feature two guys in blue shirts—the titular Apple Store “Geniuses”—discussing the upcoming device’s features (and lack of a stylus) and the companion Apple Watch. Each ends with a promotion for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. You can check out all six ads in the playlist below:

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In-depth, high-quality hands-on video of iPhone 6 assembled from leaked parts

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We now have our best look yet at the iPhone 6 until Apple officially launches the device on September 9th. Russia-based YouTuber Rozetked has put together what appears to be a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (hands on footage of the 5.5-inch model went online this morning) with several of the leaked components that we’ve seen all over the web the last several months. The comparison shows both black and white front plates, along with a space gray rear shell. The video compares the design to the existing iPhone 5s and gives a very close look at the overall design aesthetic. You can find the video along with some more still photos below:

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Where’s the best place to trade in an iPhone? $400+ offers compared at Apple, Amazon, NextWorth, Gazelle and more

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We’re 2 short weeks away from Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement and that of course means it is almost time to trade in your current but now outdated tiny iPhone 3/4/5/s/c. Giving your non-sapphire 4-incher to a friend or relative? That’s nice of you but for those in the US who prefer cold hard cash, there are lots of great options out there.

In years past, we’ve put together roundups (2013, 2012) that include 12 different options but things change pretty quickly so we wait right until launch week to update ours.  This year, Statista compared the major US trade in options out there two weeks ahead of time to find the best pricing.

The TL;DR is that Amazon gives you the most credit for an iPhone across all carriers and models and we’ve had good success here using Amazon. Additionally, Amazon credit for most of us is almost as good as cash (compared to say Best Buy where we might not be making another electronics purchase in the near future). That said, Amazon doesn’t offer the iPhone directly as a purchase and many folks will prefer to use the credit to directly buy their next iPhone.

As for cash money options, Glyde and NextWorth seem to be the winners with Gazelle bringing up the rear in most cases (Gazelle is offering a price lock which might be driving down their current offer).

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Stay tuned for our launch day guide and see results for all carriers as of yesterday below: Read more

Skipping the US Customs and Border Protection queues? There’s now an app for that …

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is trialling an iPhone app that allows travellers returning to the United States to bypass the normal immigration queues by entering their details into the app and getting a QR code containing their electronic approval.

You still have to show the code to a CBP officer, but you can bypass the normal queues and use a special Mobile Passport Control lane that should be significantly quicker …  Read more

Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more

3D renderings compare Samsung’s iPhone-like Galaxy Alpha to the real deal

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Earlier this month Samsung announced yet another Android handset dubbed the Galaxy Alpha that many observers noted borrows design cues from the iPhone 5 first introduced by Apple nearly 2 years ago. The Galaxy Alpha does feature a metal frame with chamfered edges, but does it really favor the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s or is it more Samsung than anything else?

Designer Martin Hajek has created a new collection of 3D renderings to help visualize that comparison and answer that question showing Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha handset side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone 5s. Read more

Samsung acquires iOS-connected home automation company SmartThings

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About a month ago, word broke that Samsung was interested in acquiring home automation firm SmartThings and today the two companies have made things official. A blog post by the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Hawkinson acknowledged the deal and stated that SmartThings will continue to act as an independent company under Samsung’s Open Innovation Center group.

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iOS holds two-thirds of enterprise market, but drops five points to Android

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The latest enterprise market share data from Good Technology shows that iOS holds two-thirds of the market, at 67 percent, but has dropped five points to Android – which increased its share to 32 percent. Windows Phone remains flat (and irrelevant) at just 1 percent. (BlackBerry data is not included as the company uses its own servers and activations are invisible to Good Technology.)  Read more

UK carrier reports increased Apple Maps usage as ComScore numbers show downward trend

Apple’s Maps app, introduced as part of iOS 6 in 2012, has had its fair share of technical issues and was the source of a PR crisis and the ejection of multiple long-time Apple executives. But two years later, if data from UK carrier EE is any indication, Apple Maps usage appears to be on an upward trend. Here’s the latest usage data for Apple Maps from the network:

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Review: Lumsing Prophet $20 Bluetooth Speaker/phone rocks out with its dock out

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Although we’ve covered the gamut of portable Bluetooth speakers here at 9to5Mac, we typically recommend higher-end products like the Bose Soundlink Mini ($199), JBL Charge ($138) or Ultimate Ears Mini/Boom ($80/$179). It’s usually not worth cheaping out on Bluetooth speakers (unless you are looking for niche products like wearables) because the sound quality degrades heavily once you drop below the top tier. Lumsing-Prophet-review Sadly, today’s entrant into the Bluetooth speaker cage-match lot isn’t going to compete with any of the $100+speakers above. But I have to say, the Lumsing Prophet isn’t bad at all, especially if you aren’t listening to bass-heavy tracks. And, the freaky part is it only costs $20 bucks after coupon code PROPHET0 (expires 8/13) at Amazon which makes it an absolute steal… Read more