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Facebook has added a nifty new feature that hopefully you won’t need to use too often: notifications of nearby disasters, and a one-touch means of letting family and friends know that you’re ok … Read more
Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.
Differentiating itself from some of the other players, the Skype-based solution is video-focused, and Skype is positioning it as a communication tool for in between full-scale Skype video chats. Notably, the whole service is connected to your phone number and existing contacts list, so it doesn’t require signing up with a standard Skype account. If you send a message via Qik to a user without the Qik app, the other person will be sent an SMS text message with instructions for downloading the Qik app to view the video message. This app is based on the technology from startup Qik, which Skype acquired a few years ago.
By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.
You can view some screenshots of the iPhone app in action below:
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cameras have taken joint first place in the influential DxOMark Mobile ranking of smartphone cameras – three points ahead of the two Android smartphones which previously headed the list, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z3.
DxO Labs tests the image quality of literally thousands of cameras from entry-level smartphones to professional DSLRs, and is considered by many in the photography field to be the definitive database. The company said that Apple has “set the gold standard for smartphone image quality” … Read more
In his letter on privacy shared last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook contrasted the business model of Apple against that of its competitors while strongly taking a shot at Google, Gmail, and Android without actually naming the company and services. The infinitely entertaining executive chairman of Google and former Apple board member Eric Schmidt was recently asked by ABC News about Cook’s open letter on the company and privacy.
In short, Schmidt, who is making the media rounds to promote his upcoming book How Google Works, said Cook’s description of Google and privacy is incorrect, which you would expect from the Google chairman. But his first shot at debunking Cook’s claim was sort of out of left field (okay, as you also might expect): Read more
In all of the hoopla over the new iPhone 6/Plus, T-Mobile in the US and EE in the UK got themselves a pretty big exclusive (for now). T-Mobile has been offering Wifi calling for years but it’s recently come to the iPhone – and with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, gets even better with cell/wifi handover. (T-Mobile partnered with Gogo to enable texting and voicemails on participating airline journeys as well).
Wifi calling, for some, may be the type of feature that makes or breaks a carrier relationship. With it, you can make calls anywhere there is a wifi signal. That means basements, country homes and even foreign countries are all now open to making and receiving calls from your carrier phone number… Read more
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:
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:
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).
Stay tuned for our launch day guide and see results for all carriers as of yesterday below: Read more
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
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 188.8.131.529 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
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
Not content with a blatant copy of the iPad mini and a smartphone called the Mi Phone, Xiaomi’s latest Android overlay – MIUI 6 – bears more than a passing resemblance to iOS 7. The flat icons, the icon screens scrolling above the fixed app tray at the bottom, the calendar, calculator, compass … Read more