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Health department to you: Step away from your smartphone – KGO

The California Department of Public Health is urging you to keep your smartphone away from your body and out of your pocket as much as possible.

Smartphones emit radiation when they send and receive signals to and from cell towers. And, according to some scientists and health officials, research suggests long-term, heavy use may impact your health.

“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”

About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, according to CDPH, and 12 percent use their smartphones for everyday internet access. Kids are also getting their first smartphones around age 10, often keeping them by their beds at night and nearby most of the day.

“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said Smith. “Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”

The scientific community has not yet reached a consensus on the risk, but the health department has issued guidelines to reduce risk of radiation exposure.

They include:

  • Keep your cell phone away from your bed at night.
  • Reduce cell use when the signal is weak.
  • Remove your headset when you’re not on a call.
  • Reduce use of cell phones for streaming audio or video.
  • Avoid products that claim to block radio frequency energy. The health department says those products may actually increase exposure.

Android App ‘weMessage’ Lets You Get iMessages on Your Android Smartphone With a Mac

There’s no official way to get iMessages on a non-iOS device like an Android smartphone, but a new Android app aims to provide a workaround, at least temporarily. weMessage is designed to allow you to get iMessages on an Android device, but for it to work, a Mac is required.

weMessage uses a weServer app on a Mac, which takes iMessages that are delivered to a Mac and forwards them to an Android smartphone or tablet. As described by the developer on reddit, the weServer app acts as a bridge between a Mac and an Android device, using Accessibility features to tap into Apple’s Messages app for the Mac.

weMessage works by using Apple’s developer tools that hook into the Messages app, as well as by turning on Accessibility features that will perform the message sending. There was zero reverse engineering involved in the creation of this app, so all messages being sent are legitimate. In addition, I believe this implementation is fair, as you still need to have an Apple device to use iMessage, but it is merely being extended to all devices.

According to the developer, all iMessage features are supported, including group chats, attachments, notifications, Do Not Disturb, content blocking, and more, with notifications enabled by sending messages to the Google Firebase platform.

Unfortunately, while this appears to be a solid attempt at routing iMessages to an Android device based on reddit comments, this is not an app that’s likely to last. Similar apps and methods of forwarding iMessages to Android devices have popped up in the past, but have been shut down by Apple.

It’s likely Apple will require the developer to shutter the app, and it may soon be removed from the Google Play Store, but in the meantime, it’s available for any Android users who also have a Mac and want to experiment with iMessage.

There have been rumors suggesting Apple has considered an iMessage app for Android devices, and Apple even reportedly created detailed mockups of what such an app might look like, but there has not been concrete evidence that an Android iMessage app has ever been in the works.

Apple execs are said to believe that iMessage, as a “superior messaging platform,” helps to spur iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales, suggesting iMessage is not likely to expand beyond Apple’s devices anytime soon.

The developer behind weMessage was originally charging $2.99, but it’s now available to download for free.

Android App ‘weMessage’ Lets You Get iMessages on Your Android Smartphone With a Mac

There’s no official way to get iMessages on a non-iOS device like an Android smartphone, but a new Android app aims to provide a workaround, at least temporarily. weMessage is designed to allow you to get iMessages on an Android device, but for it to work, a Mac is required.

weMessage uses a weServer app on a Mac, which takes iMessages that are delivered to a Mac and forwards them to an Android smartphone or tablet. As described by the developer on reddit, the weServer app acts as a bridge between a Mac and an Android device, using Accessibility features to tap into Apple’s Messages app for the Mac.

weMessage works by using Apple’s developer tools that hook into the Messages app, as well as by turning on Accessibility features that will perform the message sending. There was zero reverse engineering involved in the creation of this app, so all messages being sent are legitimate. In addition, I believe this implementation is fair, as you still need to have an Apple device to use iMessage, but it is merely being extended to all devices.

According to the developer, all iMessage features are supported, including group chats, attachments, notifications, Do Not Disturb, content blocking, and more, with notifications enabled by sending messages to the Google Firebase platform.

Unfortunately, while this appears to be a solid attempt at routing iMessages to an Android device based on reddit comments, this is not an app that’s likely to last. Similar apps and methods of forwarding iMessages to Android devices have popped up in the past, but have been shut down by Apple.

It’s likely Apple will require the developer to shutter the app, and it may soon be removed from the Google Play Store, but in the meantime, it’s available for any Android users who also have a Mac and want to experiment with iMessage.

There have been rumors suggesting Apple has considered an iMessage app for Android devices, and Apple even reportedly created detailed mockups of what such an app might look like, but there has not been concrete evidence that an Android iMessage app has ever been in the works.

Apple execs are said to believe that iMessage, as a “superior messaging platform,” helps to spur iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales, suggesting iMessage is not likely to expand beyond Apple’s devices anytime soon.

The developer behind weMessage was originally charging $2.99, but it’s now available to download for free.

Consumer Reports: iPhone X is NOT the best smartphone you can buy

If you’re thinking about paying $1,000 for Apple’s iPhone X, Consumer Reports says you may want to take a closer look at the iPhone 8 instead.

Comment: Upcoming ‘Top 5’ Android smartphone with in-screen fingerprint sensor is too little, too late

It was long-rumored that Apple was working on embedding Touch ID into the display of the iPhone X. The Cupertino company had multiple patents for different approaches to the task, and it confirmed after launch that it had been working on the technology.

Synaptics has now announced that it has put an in-display fingerprint sensor into mass-production for a ‘top 5’ Android smartphone manufacturer, under the branding Clear ID. The company isn’t saying who, but does reference ‘infinity displays,’ making Samsung a prime candidate.

But with Apple having instead opted for Face ID, my view is that offering an embedded fingerprint sensor as a competitive feature is too little, too late …


9a3a3_screen-shot-2017-03-30-at-14-48-26 Comment: Upcoming 'Top 5' Android smartphone with in-screen fingerprint sensor is too little, too late

NordVPN

Touch ID was an extremely sophisticated implementation of a fingerprint sensor, and combining it with the Home button made it almost seamless in use. It was a hugely popular feature, and early reports that this year’s flagship iPhone would switch to an embedded version of it seemed to make perfect sense.

Apple had already switched to a solid-state version of the Home button, which was a necessary step along the way to an embedded one. It had also effectively (if not literally) embedded Touch ID into the secondary display on the MacBook Pro.

Once the iPhone X was launched, Apple was quite open about the fact that it had been working on both technologies. The pre-launch rumors were that the company was struggling to make an in-display Touch ID sensor work reliably in production volumes.

Not so, said Apple after launch. It said that as soon as work progressed far enough to compare the two technologies, it abandoned all work on an embedded Touch ID sensor. Face ID was, it said, clearly superior.

Indeed, Phil Schiller went as far as claiming that Apple was so convinced that Face ID was the way to go, it ‘gambled‘ on the technology at a relatively early stage in the development of the iPhone X.

Clearly there was a point in the process where we had to commit to the fact that it would be a full top-to-bottom screen on the front with no home button, which means you’re counting on Face ID working as we’d hope, and being as good.

Whether that’s literally true, or marketing hyperbole, I am willing to believe that Apple abandoned embedded Touch ID as soon as it had experience of Face ID in real-life prototypes.

And Apple’s confidence has been borne out by the experience of iPhone X owners. Everyone I know who owns an iPhone X has been completely won over by Face ID, even if they were initially skeptical.

Touch ID was almost seamless. You picked up your phone, pressed the Home button and you were in almost instantly. If you wanted to authenticate your ID in an app, you touched the Home button and were almost instantly in.

But Face ID takes this to a whole new level. When a notification arrives, I just look at my phone to unlock the content. When I want to login to my banking app, I just open it and that’s all: the authentication process happens completely automatically. It’s no longer a separate step.

I agree 100% with Apple. Face ID is a far superior technology to Touch ID, excellent as that was. And any Android manufacturer hoping that an embedded fingerprint sensor will put them on a level playing field with Face ID – or even give them an edge – is going to be very disappointed.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

The iPhone X’s notch is perhaps its most derided feature. Yet there’s no denying that the notch makes the iPhone X look unlike any other smartphone currently on sale. And there’s no denying that, when Apple does something, Android competitors pay attention.

Apple’s influence over the industry, as well as the wide adoption of “bezel-less” screens, make the rise of the notch almost inevitable.

Here’s why we think the notch will be the big design trend of 2018.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

For the iPhone X, Apple decided to use a nearly bezel-free design for the phone’s 5.7-inch display, something that has been a growing trend on many other Android smartphones for the past couple of years or so.

Apple’s take on the subject, however, is a bit different. Instead of leaving very small bezels on the top and bottom, like we have seen on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 along with the LG G6 and V30, the iPhone X uses a very noticeable notch on top of the display, which houses the front-facing camera and its Face ID sensors.

Of course, the iPhone X was not the first phone to feature a notch. Unveiled in May 2017, the Essential Phone also has a notch on its bezel-free display, but it’s much smaller due to the fact that it only houses a camera.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

The iPhone X notch may turn out to be the preferred way for Android phone makers to implement truly bezel-free displays, at least for now. That may be especially true if more phones adopt facial recognition technology to replace fingerprint sensors.

Looking back in the short history of smartphones, we have seen design features that have been introduced by Apple, and later copied by others.

Looking back in the history of smartphones, we have seen design features that have been introduced by Apple and other top smartphone makers, and later copied by others.

For example, prominent antenna bands, which have appeared on the back of the HTC One (M7) and were popularized by the iPhone 6, have continued to pop up on many other smartphones to this day.

More recently we have seen the 18:9 display ratio for smartphones taking hold, thanks to the popularity of the Samsung 2017 flagship phones, the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and the Note 8. More and more phone makers are adopting this screen ratio for their phones.

The ideal smartphone: how would Android Authority build it?

Of course, not all design choices that were made by Apple and other influential companies have taken hold over the past few years. That may also be the case for the iPhone X notch as well, but we don’t think that will actually happen.

Why the notch is here to stay

We already know that the iPhone X notch is a very controversial design move, but some people have been quick to embrace it.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

Just days after the iPhone X was announced, developer Damian Piwowarski released an app called Smartphone Upgrader 2017, which when installed allows any Android smartphone to look like the iPhone X, with both its notch and its rounded corners (the app lets you make your handset look more like the Essential Phone as well). The app is tongue-in-cheek, and a bit silly, but the fact that at least some people are interested in giving their phones fake notches did not go unnoticed.

A report from Engadget shows that a Chinese OEM is marketing an otherwise ordinary Android phone, the Hotwav Symbol S3, that includes a white “notch” to house its two front-facing cameras. The clear intention was to make people think they are getting an iPhone X, with its notch, but if you take away the white surface, it’s just another Android phone.

Leagoo, a notorious Chinese clone maker, is also hard at work copying the iPhone X. See the Leagoo S9 below.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

Clones aside, a number of legitimate Android manufacturers are experimenting with notch designs for their phones. In addition to Essential, which was first out of the gate, we have seen Sharp release the Aquos S2 in Asia. It has a bezel free design similar to the one found on the Essential phone.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you Sharp

But it’s Huawei (and its sub-brand Honor) that leads the pack when it comes to adopting the notch. And it’s not just a cosmetic touch — Huawei is also working on 3D facial recognition system of its own, that Huawei claims is superior to Apple’s Face ID.

Images teased at the recent P10 launch in China (via WinFuture) showed off what Huawei’s implementation might look like, and it’s very similar to the iPhone X notch.

Honor is even working on an Animoji-style feature of its own.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

Meanwhile, parent brand Huawei is likely to add a notch to its 2018 smartphones.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you XDA Developers

If Huawei is planning on adding this tech to a future bezel-free phone, it’s likely that other phone makers are making similar plans for their phones that have both facial recognition hardware and a bezel-free display.

Xiaomi, an early adopter of bezel-less designs with its Mix series, is a likely candidate. So far, the company found ways to hide or relocate components like the earphone speaker or the front-facing camera. But those solutions are far from ideal, so the temptation to move to a notch will be high.

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

Even manufacturers that have their own distinctive design languages might be pressured to add some form of notch to their phones. Minimal bezels are fast becoming the norm, leaving very little room to place components like front facing cameras, speakers, and various sensors. Plus, it’s an arm race: when everyone else is adopting a certain feature, the companies that hold out risk falling behind.

Case in point, patent applications that were published this year reveal that LG and Samsung are mulling adding notches to their phones.

Here’s LG design, which we initially thought would be used on the LG V30:

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you

And here’s one design that Samsung has been working on:

12e37_iphone-x-notch-840x421 The notch is coming to a smartphone near you
Add all of this up and 2018 may be the year the notch becomes the most copied design choice for Android smartphones. It also means that app makers may have to make adjustments to their apps to accommodate notches in future smartphones.

Wrap-up

Even with the trend toward bezel-free displays on phones, there is certainly some debate on whether or not consumers will “embrace the notch” to coin a phrase. We will also admit that the notch may just be a brief design trend that may ultimately amount to nothing.

Will you buy a future Android bezel-free smartphone with a highly visible notch on top of its display? If so, why, and if not, why not? Let us know how you feel about this design choice in the comments!

What was the best Android smartphone of 2017? [Poll of the Week]

38bed_best-of-android-2017-header-imp-840x630 What was the best Android smartphone of 2017? [Poll of the Week]

Looking back at 2017, it seems like just about every phone manufacturer brought its ‘A’ game to the smartphone world. That makes it difficult to figure out which phone really is the best of the year, but we’re sure going to try. Yet again, we’re pitting the best Android smartphones against each other in hopes to find the best one out there.

We’ll be giving out around 30 awards this year to various OEMs for different categories, and we’ll crown an overall winner this Friday, December 15. Those awards are given out based on the results of rigorous display, audio, camera, and performance testing. You can learn more about our Best of Android 2017 series at the link below.

Don’t miss: Best of Android 2017 – Which smartphone really is the best?

But we want to know what you think. In your opinion, what was the best Android smartphone of 2017? Cast your vote in the poll attached below, and speak up in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to add. Results of this poll will be published on Sunday, December 17.

Best of Android 2017 – Which smartphone really is the best?

e7be1_best-of-android-intro-announcement-branded-840x582 Best of Android 2017 – Which smartphone really is the best?

Every year, smartphones become more homogenous, the differences smaller and the risk (associated with the ever-increasing cost) higher. 2017 was no different — with every manufacturer bringing their best to the table, and with mainstream smartphones hitting the $1,000 mark for the first time, the age-old question becomes ever more important:

Which smartphone really IS the best?

Two years ago, we set out to answer this question for the very first time with Best of Android 2015, with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 topping five competitors to become the inaugural Phone of the Year. Last year, we made Best of Android even bigger, with the budget-friendly OnePlus 3T knocking out nine other flagships to take home the crown.

For 2017, the stakes are the highest they’ve ever been and we’re taking our end of year awards to a whole new level. Since the first Best of Android, we’ve spent over 1,000 hours revamping our reviews format to really help answer the most important question that we are asked. The resulting testing methodology will be used in every Android Authority review in 2018, but until then, we’re putting ten of the best phones of 2017 to the test.

The phones we’re featuring in our third annual Best of Android comparison are:

Throughout this week, we’ll walk you through each test, the results, and what it all means! Here’s what you can look forward to.

Testing, 1, 2, 3

All of our testing was conducted in our brand-new testing lab in San Francisco, which features an entirely blacked-out room, dedicated computer with testing gear and fixed equipment to ensure that every camera sample is taken from the same angle and position.

Throughout the tests, we’ve adopted either custom solutions of our own, off-the-shelf solutions that are widely recognized and respected, or partnerships with industry-leading companies who are experts in their respective fields.

Display

Smartphone displays don’t undergo drastic changes in design often, but 2017 saw almost every flagship adopt a new, taller aspect ratio, as the battle to shrink bezels and increase screen real estate heated up. Our tests haven’t changed much from previous years but the addition of gamma testing gave us another criterion by which to identify the smallest of differences.

Audio

Our audio tests take into consideration max bit-rates and major advancements in audio, as well as testing the loudness of the loudspeaker and the quality of the headphone jack output. The latter includes how loud the headphone jack actually gets, as well as the noise level, total harmonic distortion, and frequency response.

Battery

Last year, we developed our in-house custom battery testing tool to allow us to measure three key areas of battery life: video playback, gaming, and web browsing. Of course, real world usage is often a combination of these, so running a combination of these over a 90-minute period allows us to extrapolate what screen-on-time potentially could be. Your mileage may vary, but the results are certainly interesting.

This year, we’ve improved the app and tested more phones than ever before. We’ve also expanded our battery recharge time test to focus on the percentages gained at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes from empty, as well as how long it takes to charge to full. With lots of competing standards, which one is the best? Stay tuned to find out!

e7be1_best-of-android-intro-announcement-branded-840x582 Best of Android 2017 – Which smartphone really is the best?

Camera

For most of 2017, we’ve been focusing our efforts on testing the nuances of smartphone cameras. Yes, it’s often about what looks best to you rather than what is technically the best – and we’ll be covering that as well – but we believe we have conducted the testing needed to confidently crown the winner of the all-new Camera of the Year award.

We’ve partnered with leading image testing company Imatest to collect and analyze the shots taken by all of our reviewed smartphones. All of the testing was conducted in a controlled environment, free of outside light and with the same exact lighting conditions for each test.

For our needs, we’ve selected eight key tests across the following categories:

  • Color and noise
  • Resolution
  • Video resolution

Of course, the numbers don’t matter to everyone and that’s why we’ve also conducted a camera shootout with all ten of these phones. If you’re into photography and the camera on your phone is important to you, stay tuned to find out which phone has the Camera of the Year!

Performance

Measuring smartphone performance becomes trickier with each new chipset generation. With most flagships featuring the same specs list – most of the devices are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor – the differences are more and more minute. While we’re still creating and refining our own testing methods, we’ve chosen some of the industry leading benchmarks to help us take a closer look at performance.

User experience

Of course, a smartphone that’s good on paper isn’t necessarily good in real-world conditions. That’s why our User Experience section takes a look at the Hardware and Software features that help create the best all-round experience. We also take a look at the features that help a phone stand out from the competition, and dive into each of these devices in more detail.

e7be1_best-of-android-intro-announcement-branded-840x582 Best of Android 2017 – Which smartphone really is the best?

Value for money

As important as the question of “Which phone is the best” is, there’s another question that’s even more important to the next generation of smartphone owners: Which smartphone offers the best value for money?

Each smartphone offers something different to each user so quantifying this is the biggest challenge we’ve faced, but we’ve come up with a method that should provide a little clarity. By taking the cost of a device relative to the overall score it achieves throughout our 100+ point testing process, we can establish a base “value for money” indicator. From here, we compare each of the ten value for money indicators to find out which phone offers the Best Bang-for-your-buck!

The results

Now you know the testing, but how do we actually crown the winner? Across a total of 44 individual tests (and over 100 different criteria), we score each phone and give it a points tally depending on its ranking to each of the other devices. The best phone gets 10 points, second best gets 9 points, and so on, until the worst phone gets 1 point.

At the end, we tally up all the points, run it through our value for money indicator to get a final value for money score and then add both of those together. The winner is the phone with the most points overall, and with a maximum score of 440 available, everything is to play for!

Best of Android 2017 is our biggest and boldest comparison ever: 10 phones, 44 tests and only 1 winner – which phone will be crowned Phone of the Year 2017?

Nirave Gondhia

Now you know what to expect, join us later today as we kick things off with a look at the best smartphone displays of 2017!

Here’s the full order of what to expect for this week:

  • Monday: Best of Android 2017 – Display
  • Tuesday: Best of Android 2017 – Audio
  • Tuesday: Best of Android 2017 – Which camera LOOKS the best? (camera shootout)
  • Wednesday: Best of Android 2017 – Performance
  • Wednesday: Best of Android 2017 – Which camera IS technically the best? (technical comparison)
  • Thursday: Best of Android 2017 – Battery
  • Thursday: Best of Android 2017 – User Experience
  • Friday: The Phone of The Year 2017 is…

Which phone do you think will win? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned! Remember, our Best of Android 2017 Mega Giveaway is running right now and we’re giving away the top three phones overall. You could be one of three winners to win one of these smartphones!

Check out the widget below to enter and get five extra entries using the unique code: BOAWTE.

Best of Android 2017 3 Phone Mega Giveaway!


Credits

Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Edgar Cervantes, Sam Moore, Oliver Cragg
Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Chris Thomas

Xiaomi’s first-ever Android One smartphone Mi A1 gets a price cut

Robin Sinha | Gadgets Now | Updated: Dec 11, 2017, 12.26PM IST

e6d8d_62017861 Xiaomi's first-ever Android One smartphone Mi A1 gets a price cut

Xiaomi launched its first-ever Android One smartphone, the Mi A1, in September this year in India. The company launched the handset at Rs 14,999. But now, the company has slashed the price of the smartphone by Rs 1,000, making new price cost of the device at Rs 13,999.

The company’s global vice president and India managing director, Manu Kumar Jain announced the price cut on micro-blogging website Twitter. Interested users can buy the device from Mi.com and Flipkart websites.

Xiaomi Mi A1 price cut announcement comes just few days after the announcement of the smartphone’s Rose Gold colour variant in the country. It was already available in Black and Gold colour versions.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat and comes with pure Android UI onboard. The company is already testing Android 8.0 Oreo for the smartphone. Running Android One on the Mi A1 is likely to receive quick OS updates, bug fixes and a clean interface. Xiaomi says the device is also get Android P.

Sporting a 5.5-inch full HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution display with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass, the Xiaomi Mi A1 features a full metal body with rounded edges. Under the hood, there is a mid-range octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, clubbed with 4GB RAM and Adreno 506 GPU.

The smartphone comes with 64GB inbuilt storage, which can be expanded using a microSD card.

The dual-rear camera of the smartphone consists of a 12MP wide angle and a 12MP telephoto lens for an improved bokeh effect in portrait shots. The telephoto lens enabled 2x optical zoom. This pairs with Mi A1’s 10x digital zoom. Some of the camera features users will get include Beautify 3.0, Portrait Mode, HDR and more. At the front, the smartphone has a 5MP camera.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 supports 4G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, hybrid SIM card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, GPS and Bluetooth. It is backed by a 3080mAh battery and has a fingerprint sensor at the back.

Xiaomi Mi A1 specifications

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e6d8d_62017861 Xiaomi's first-ever Android One smartphone Mi A1 gets a price cut

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Xe6d8d_62017861 Xiaomi's first-ever Android One smartphone Mi A1 gets a price cut

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What to know before seeing a doctor on smartphone or computer

If you’re like most of your neighbors and friends this time of year, you probably feel crunched. Between our jobs, holiday shopping, school events, housework, child care and errands, it’s no wonder that more than 60 percent of working Americans say they do not have enough time to do what they want.

In our precious downtime, nearly 80 percent of us rely on a smartphone to stay connected to news, services and each other. A study by UnitedHealthcare shows that nearly 30 percent of Americans use the internet or mobile apps as our first source for information about health conditions. In fact, you might have noticed a growing number of apps that enable you to receive medical care virtually. Virtual care, also known as remote care, telehealth, telemedicine or online visits, is medical care that’s delivered using technology rather than through an in-person consultation.

Research has found that 77 percent of consumers are open to seeing their doctor virtually. Yet fewer than 20 percent have done so.3 Is virtual care a good choice for you? Here are some things to consider:

• Check your benefits: Some health plans offer virtual visits as a benefit, through physicians in their local networks and/or through a national service.    

• Grab your smartphone, tablet or computer: Via an online connection that uses special security to protect your privacy, a doctor or other clinician sees and hears your concerns and symptoms, and prescribes treatment. A virtual visit can take place anywhere you have Wi-Fi or data access, and in many cases 24/7.

• Use virtual visits for the right things: Virtual visits are for minor medical conditions. They can be a huge time-saver for people who suspect a bladder or urinary tract infection, a respiratory or sinus infection, a rash, stomachache or diarrhea, or a migraine headache.4 Some care providers offer telehealth visits for chronic conditions or behavioral health issues. Virtual visits aren’t appropriate for a hands-on physical exam, or for certain tests or X-rays. In an emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

• Understand the cost: Virtual visits through your health plan usually cost the same or less than an in-person doctor visit. Independent telehealth services usually charge $50 to $75 per visit. In any case, your cost for virtual visits is usually lower than urgent care and emergency room visits.5

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) pointed out that a virtual visit saves 106 minutes on average, compared to an in-person appointment.6 Tapping an app could give back more than an hour of your day.

Best of all, virtual visits can help you access the care you need, when you need it. Whether that means learning that your cough is nothing serious or getting treatment sooner when pinkeye appears on a Saturday night, virtual care might be just what the doctor ordered.

 

Dr. Thomas Biuso is senior medical director at UnitedHealthcare of Arizona.

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study – Surrey Now

A recent study looking at iPhone’s built-in pedometers is a step toward using the tool as a clinical intervention in improving people’s health, a University of B.C. researcher said.

Smartphones pose an opportunity for researchers to gather objective data on the public’s health and physical activity but before they can be used, the accuracy of the devices need to be tested, lead author Mark Duncan said in an interview Saturday.

“This was very much a first step to make sure that we understand what the data looks like and how well it represents the actual behaviour,” he said.

The study involved 33 participants testing the phones in regular living conditions and in a lab.

Comparing users’ step count on the iPhone pedometer with an accelerometer worn on their waists in their day-to-day life, the study found the iPhone was underestimating the number of steps by 21.5 per cent or 1,340 steps.

The phones fared better in lab tests where accuracy was within five per cent when users walked at a normal pace.

At a slow pace of only 2.5 kilometres an hour, the accuracy of the phones dropped between 7.6 and 9.4 per cent.

Duncan said the discrepancy is likely due to people forgetting to carry their phones at all times.

“If someone goes off to the washroom or to the kitchen and leaves their phone on their desk, obviously it’s not going to count those steps,” he said.

While the accuracy of the device isn’t strong enough to be a primary research tool, Duncan said the information is valuable for the average user interested in improving their health.

“If your goal is the standard 10,000 steps per day and the phone says you’ve completed that, chances are you’ve done a bit more which is not a bad thing for your health,” he said.

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It could also be a tool for physicians to monitor and prescribe more activity to their patients, especially as more Canadians carry smartphones.

“There is quite a lot of research saying physicians want to be able to prescribe more physical activity and help their patients to become more physically active but they lack the time and the tools to do so,” he said. “This is potentially one tool that a health care provider could use to both assess physical activity and tell their patients to use it as a tool to increase their physical activity.”

He said now that researchers understand the accuracy of the devices, they can begin testing whether it’s effective to use smartphone pedometers as a motivational tool to increase a user’s physical activity.

Smartphones could also be used to compliment other studies by providing an indicator of participants’ past level of physical activity. Duncan said a challenge with trials is that some people increase their level of activity because researchers are monitoring them, skewing outcomes, and having that historic data can help flag a change in behaviour.

The study was published last month in the Journal of Sports Sciences.


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If you think the $999 iPhone X is expensive, check out LG’s new $1800 smartphone

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38a86_104885048-lg-signature-edition.530x298 If you think the $999 iPhone X is expensive, check out LG's new $1800 smartphone

The iPhone X is pricey with a $999 starting price, but LG’s new Signature Edition smartphone costs $1,800.

LG announced the device Thursday morning, which is based on the LG V30 flagship device and will be sold locally in South Korea for 2 million won, or about $1,800, according to The Verge. It’s made out of ceramic, a tough material that’s resistant to cracks and fracturing and was used in other smartphones this year, including the Essential phone.

It features some of the specs you’ll find in the iPhone X, including an OLED panel (though it’s slightly larger at 6 inches), wireless charging and up to 256 gigabytes of storage. LG is also packing premium BO headphones in the box. It’s powered by Android.

LG is only building 300 of the handsets, so you’re probably mostly paying for the exclusivity.

Read the full report from The Verge.

38a86_104885048-lg-signature-edition.530x298 If you think the $999 iPhone X is expensive, check out LG's new $1800 smartphone



5 signs that you’re ready to upgrade your smartphone

It seems like the next must-have smartphone is never more than a week or two from launch. This constant stream of snazzy new flagships might make you assume people are finding it harder and harder to stick with a single phone for very long.

Surprisingly, most users get about two years out of their smartphones before finally upgrading. The most recent data indicates the average user will upgrade his or her daily driver after 22.7 months with the device. But as contracts with wireless providers become less common and we’re no longer bound by a two-year upgrade cycle, how do you know when it’s time for an upgrade?

8590c_HTC-U11-1080p-60-fps-software-update-AA-840x560 5 signs that you're ready to upgrade your smartphone

1. It doesn’t run the latest version of the OS

Android flagships are typically supported with software updates for two years following their release. So when you buy the latest Samsung Galaxy, you can probably expect to receive the next two major Android versions. However, it’s worth noting that most OEMs prioritize flagships, while budget and mid-range devices don’t receive the same level of support. It’s a little different over at Apple, though. While Android flagships usually have a two-year support cycle, iPhones tend to receive software updates for longer, usually between three and four years.

Is having the latest version of the mobile OS all that important? It is for some, but less important for others.

Of course, all the core functions you’ve come to expect and love from your smartphone will be present whether you’re on Android Nougat or KitKat. Where it makes a difference is with security; newer versions of Android address the security vulnerabilities that hackers inevitably find and exploit. Up-to-date software offers a level of protection from such vulnerabilities.

How do you know if your phone is still supported by the manufacturer? OEMs usually have lists on their websites of devices for which they publish updates. Reaching the end of a device’s support cycle is generally viewed as a great reason to upgrade your device. You can also keep an eye on our Nougat update and Oreo update trackers to see if your phone is on the list.

8590c_HTC-U11-1080p-60-fps-software-update-AA-840x560 5 signs that you're ready to upgrade your smartphone

2. Performance has declined

We’ve all marveled at how snappy a smartphone feels when it’s brand new and freshly unboxed. Over time though, it will feel less peppy and less capable of running demanding games without dropping frames. After a year, there’s usually noticeable lag throughout the UI and things take much longer than before. Why does this happen?

Performance decay is something of a controversial topic in the Android world. Many believe it’s actually the user’s fault, due to the inevitable build-up of bloat after months and months of installing apps, which take up space and often run continuously in the background. Others insist that, while having an abundance of apps installed certainly worsens things, performance decay is due to the fragmented nature of file management, which allegedly makes a mess of its system files over time by breaking them down and spreading them all over the place.

The reality is that apps are constantly becoming bigger, more complex, and more resource-intensive. Your device may run the current crop of popular apps without a hiccup, but in a year or two the newer versions of those apps will inevitably put your phone under more strain than they do today. This can be caused by software and firmware updates gradually becoming geared towards more powerful, newer phones, or newer API versions your phone isn’t running. So while you may be able to download Asphalt 8 on a flagship from 2015, that doesn’t mean it will run well on such dated hardware and quite possibly won’t.

If it’s been a couple years since you’ve last upgraded your smartphone, whether from file bloat or just not being able to handle the strain of new software, it’s probably a good idea to start looking for an upgrade.

8590c_HTC-U11-1080p-60-fps-software-update-AA-840x560 5 signs that you're ready to upgrade your smartphone

3. Battery life has become poor

In addition display and camera quality, battery life is one of the biggest selling points when shopping for a new smartphone. Depending on who you ask, it might actually be the most important feature.

As smartphones become more powerful, their batteries are put under a growing amount of strain. Moreover, every time the battery in your smartphone runs down, its full capacity will be slightly less when it comes time to charge. It’s not just with smartphone batteries; this performance decay is something that all lithium-ion batteries exhibit.

From the moment you start using a new smartphone, the battery loses some of its capacity with every charge. Batteries are only ever guaranteed for a finite number of charge cycles, which is defined as anytime you plug your device into its charging cable to charge when its power level is at 70 percent or lower. According to the Battery University, the battery in your smartphone will be somewhere between 84 and 73 percent of its original capacity after 250 charge cycles; assuming you charge your phone once per day, that’s a little less than eight-and-a-half months.

The battery is what allows you to use all your smartphone’s great features. So on a phone with a non-removable, and sometimes non-replaceable battery, once it has gone seriously downhill, it might be time to get a new phone.

8590c_HTC-U11-1080p-60-fps-software-update-AA-840x560 5 signs that you're ready to upgrade your smartphone Alex Dobie

4. The display shows burn-in

Our own Robert Triggs recently wrote a piece that explains display burn-in quite nicely, but here’s the gist of it: burn-in is when you see the “ghost” of an image permanently fixed on the display. Once it’s there, screen burn-in will be visible no matter where you are in the operating system and no matter what is being displayed on the screen. Lately, burn-in has become especially concerning when it comes to on-screen or software navigation buttons.

If you want to check your smartphone for burn-in, find an image file that’s just a single solid color (white is the go-to for this exercise) and open it full-screen. Then look around the display for anything that looks like a watermark. If you see something, it’s not a secret message hidden in the image; it’s burn-in. If your device uses software navigation keys, that’s one of the most common places to see burn-in.

If your smartphone has an OLED display, burn-in is basically inevitable. Many smartphone makers have been looking for ways to prevent or slow this process down. For instance, Samsung and other OEMs have made tweaks that cause on-screen buttons and always-on display elements to periodically shift by a couple pixels. The shift is so small that you’ll only notice if you’re really looking for it, but this minute shifting of pixels ensures that the navigation buttons aren’t continuously lighting up the exact same pixels anytime the display is on.

LCD displays aren’t susceptible to burn-in, but for those whose smartphones have OLED displays, burn-in is a genuine concern. After using a device with an OLED display for two years, it’s likely that you’ll see some noticeable burn-in. If that burn-in is compromising your experience (i.e., making media consumption distracting and less enjoyable), it’s probably time for a new phone.

8590c_HTC-U11-1080p-60-fps-software-update-AA-840x560 5 signs that you're ready to upgrade your smartphone Reddit

5. There’s physical damage that affects everyday use

If you’ve had your smartphone for a while, it’s probably been dropped. These drops can crack displays and break rear panels. Typically, a broken rear panel doesn’t affect usability with dangers of cutting oneself on shattered glass notwithstanding. A shattered display, however, tends to be a bigger problem. Even if the touch layer is still intact, it affects visibility and threatens to cut your fingers.

Drops can cause damage to other parts of your smartphone, too. With any impact, there’s a risk of causing internal components to shift and become loose. Buttons and ports, which can fail with regular use after sufficient time, can also stop working. The camera sensor could become detached from the main circuitboard, preventing you from taking photos or videos. The USB port might likewise get knocked loose, making it impossible to charge your device (unless it has wireless charging).

Drops can result in a major impedance to your overall user experience, even if it’s still usable. And smartphones wear out sooner or later anyway, even if they’re not dropped. When you’ve incurred damage that affects the user experience, you’ll likely find yourself upgrading ahead of your intended timeframe. Some can live with a damaged smartphone, but that depends on how the phone has been damaged. In many cases, it’ll no longer be serviceable sooner or later.

Why you should never buy a new smartphone in the first month

Conclusion

Any of these reasons can be enough to warrant an upgrade, but that’s not to say there aren’t others. There are plenty of reasons why a person might choose not to upgrade, too. Maybe you’d prefer not to switch into a new phone unless it’s the one you really want, which may not have come out yet. With plenty of people keeping their phones for about two years, upgrading isn’t done haphazardly, nor should it be when you consider ballooning prices.

It’s also worth mentioning that after a couple years of using the same smartphone, the difference when you do get a new phone will be much more noticeable. The two-year contracts of yesteryear conditioned many users to the ritual of upgrading every other year. So even if there aren’t any clearly measurable “signs” that you’re ready for a new smartphone, maybe you’ll know you’re ready because you just feel it.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you use any of these indicators as signs that it’s time for a new smartphone? Is there some other way you know it’s time? Do you keep a smartphone for a couple of years or do you upgrade more frequently? Sound off in the comments below!

Smartphone and Internet addiction can alter teenage brain chemistry: Study

SINGAPORE: Internet- and smartphone-addicted teenagers may have chemical imbalances in the brain that are similar to people experiencing depression and anxiety, said South Korean researchers.

The research found that smartphone-addicted teens have an abundance of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain’s emotional control centre, according to lead study author Hyung Suk Seo, a professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, who presented at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago on Nov 30.

GABA is found in everyone’s brain, but too much of the neurotransmitter in the wrong areas can have mentally dulling effects.

In a pilot study by think-tank DQ Institute and the Nanyang Technological University conducted in April, children as young as 12 years old spend almost 46 hours a week – or over 6.5 hours daily – on a gadget. The same study also found nine-year-olds spending over 24 hours a week, or about 3.5 hours daily, doing the same.

Internet addiction, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, is an excessive use of the Internet that impairs everyday life, sleep and relationships. Checking email first thing in the morning or spending an hour scrolling though Instagram after work does not signify an Internet addiction.

The teenagers whose test scores indicated an addiction tended to say that their Internet and smartphone use interfered with their daily routines, social lives, sleep and productivity. These teenagers also had significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, insomnia and impulsiveness than the control group.

However, due to the study’s small sample size (19 Internet-addicted and 19 non-Internet addicted teens participated), it may be too early to link the teenagers’ chemical imbalances to anxiety and depression, said Max Wintermark, a professor of radiology and the chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University, who was not involved in the study.

Further testing on a larger group of people is needed, he said in an online Live Science article.

The good news is, the chemical imbalance is reversible using cognitive behavioural therapy. This was noted in 12 of the Internet-addicted teens who went through the therapy for nine weeks. According to the researchers, those teens did weekly 75-minute sessions of mindfulness exercises, including recognising Internet impulses, finding alternative activities, and expressing emotions.

“With appropriate intervention, the teens were able to basically correct those chemical changes” in their brains, said Prof Wintermark. “That’s the part of the study I find most interesting. It shows there’s hope.”

Yes, smartphone addiction does harm your teen’s mental health

To all parents who were ever concerned about their teenage son’s or daughter’s addiction to their smartphone: you have serious grounds for worry, a new study suggests.

A new study suggests that smartphones do put teenagers at risk when it comes to mental health.

Is your teenager glued to their phone? Are they always online, checking social media, or looking at cat and bunny videos? Well, researchers from the Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, say you have grounds to worry.

A consumer survey carried out this year found that 82 percent of Americans own or can use a smartphone, 92 percent are likely to use it while shopping, 78 while eating at home, and 44 while crossing the street.

Moreover, according to a Pew Research Center survey, 73 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, and 92 percent of them say that they go online every single day.

Dr. Hyung Suk Seo, of Korea University, warns that there’s more danger in this addiction than just the potential of wasting a lot of time sharing memes and viral videos. In fact, teens who are addicted to their phones and the Internet have a chemical imbalance in their brains that predisposes them to depression and anxiety.

The researchers presented the results of their study at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held in Chicago, IL.

4d295_mnt_history_leaderboard Yes, smartphone addiction does harm your teen's mental health

Addicted teens more likely to be depressed

Dr. Seo and team worked with 19 adolescents — aged 15.5 years old, on average — comprising nine males and 10 females who had been previously diagnosed with smartphone or Internet addiction.

These were matched for biological gender and age with other 19 participants without smartphone addiction (the controls).

The participants’ brains were examined using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which is a technique that allows researchers to evaluate levels of various chemicals in the brain.

Of the 19 smartphone- and Internet-addicted teens, 12 also received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) over 9 weeks as part of the study. The CBT type that they received was adapted from a program targeting gaming addiction.

To evaluate just how serious the participants’ addictions were, the researchers used standardized tests focusing on the extent to which smartphone and Internet use impacted the performance of daily activities, harming productivity and social life, as well as sleep and mental health.

“The higher the score [on these tests],” explains Dr. Seo, “the more severe the addiction.”

Participants with a more severe Internet and smartphone addiction were also found to have problems with depression and anxiety, as well as sleeplessness and impulsive behavior.

4d295_mnt_history_leaderboard Yes, smartphone addiction does harm your teen's mental health

Chemical imbalances in the brain revealed

The addicted teens underwent MRS both before and after CBT, while the control group was only examined using MRS once. The researchers were interested in measuring levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate-glutamine (Glx) in the brain.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that interacts with neural synapses, slowing down signaling between brain cells. GABA balances out the effect of Glx, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter that speeds up electric signaling in the brain.

Imbalances in GABA and Glx levels have previously been found to play a role in mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Following the MRS exams, the team found that addicted participants, in comparison with the healthy control group, had a higher ratio of GABA to Glx before CBT in the anterior cingulate cortex area of the brain, which is implicated in cognition and the regulation of emotions.

Chemical balance, however, was largely restored in the brain following CBT interventions.

Dr. Seo explains that ratios of GABA to Glx and GABA to creatine — a natural substance that plays a role in emotional regulation and cognitive ability, among others — are significantly linked to the severity of smartphone and Internet addiction, as well as with the development of anxiety and depression.

The researcher hypothesizes that GABA levels in the anterior cingulate cortices of youths with a smartphone or Internet addiction could be associated with damaged cognitive and emotional processing in the brain. Still, this idea is yet to be confirmed by further clinical studies.

The increased GABA levels and disrupted balance between GABA and glutamate in the anterior cingulate cortex may contribute to our understanding the pathophysiology of and treatment for addictions.”

Dr. Hyung Suk Seo

In the meantime, Dr. Seo and team’s findings should inspire us to revise our relationship with technology and set a healthy example for younger users.

So much more than a smartphone! From a secret SOS signal to a hidden spirit level, FEMAIL reveals a host of genius …

Just when you thought you knew everything your smartphone was capable of, FEMAIL has rounded up the most useful tricks you can do on your iPhone, opening up a world of possibility that goes far beyond the more obvious uses. 

Indeed, even the most tech-savvy of people may have missed the hidden SOS signal, or that fact that you can solve a series of complex math equations without ever opening the calculator. 

Plus, there are so many apps that you use everyday that have more than one duty – from the compass serving as a spirit level to hidden tricks on your Safari browser. 

Here, FEMAIL reveals the most useful hacks you can use on your iPhone today…  

1. Emergency SOS signal

08c53_46E320B700000578-5136845-image-m-58_1512157127083 So much more than a smartphone! From a secret SOS signal to a hidden spirit level, FEMAIL reveals a host of genius ...

SOS: FEMAIL has put together a list of the most useful secret iPhone hacks, such as clicking on the lock button five times quickly in order to generate an emergency SOS signal

If you’re ever in an emergency or an unsafe situation and don’t want to take your phone out to make a call, or if you find yourself physically unable to do so – you’re in luck. 

Unbeknownst to many, there is actually a way to discreetly make a call with just one button.

All you have to do is quickly click the iPhone’s lock button (which is located on the top right side) five times in order to get the option of sending out an emergency SOS signal.  

The screen that appears allows you to easily call the police through the SOS line or get medical attention fast, simply by swiping a finger across the phone.

2. Spotlight math

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08c53_46E320B700000578-5136845-image-m-58_1512157127083 So much more than a smartphone! From a secret SOS signal to a hidden spirit level, FEMAIL reveals a host of genius ...

Math: Quickly complete math problems in the Spotlight drop-down for easy answers

Want to do a quick math problem instead of counting on your fingers in public? No problem. 

There is no need to ever open the Calculator app again when you’re trying to compute simple math problems quickly. 

Simply swipe down on your screen to open Spotlight and type in the math problem right there. 

It makes it so much easier to quickly divide up the check at a restaurant, add a tip, or find out how much something is on sale for if you’re in a store. 

3. Reachability

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Reach: Double touch (not tap) the home button to make the screen shorten and make it easier to reach with a single finger

This is one trick that many people probably know exists but aren’t aware of the function. 

Usually the reachability feature happens by accident. If you double touch, (not tap), the home button twice, it brings the entire screen down. 

So, by bringing the screen down, it allows your fingers can touch maneuver the phone without reaching. 

It’s the perfect feature if you’re on the move with a ton of stuff in your hands and don’t have a lot of mobility.

4. Check that a surface is level 

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Level: The Compass app can be turned into a spirit level by swiping left when the Compass app is open

There is a secret purpose to the Compass app. Never really understanding the purpose of the Compass app other than for show, there’s actually a hidden second feature to the app that is seriously useful and mind-blowing. 

It turns out, when the Compass app is open, simply swipe left and your iPhone turns into a handy-dandy spirit level.

A spirit level is the instrument used to test if a surface is at a horizontal or vertical level. The feature can be used two ways – either when the phone is laid down flat or perched on its side.

5. Hit backspace in Calculator 

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Backspace: By swiping left or right at the top of the Calculator screen you can easily delete a single digit at a time

When using the Calculator app, it can get frustrating to mistype digits because once you’ve typed a number, in order to delete it you have to clear all progress.

Fortunately there is a way to delete a single digit without having to hit clear (the C button) each time and start anew. 

You never have to clear progress again because you can simply swipe to the left or right at the top of the screen where the digits are being displayed and it will delete the last single digit that was typed in. 

This simple swiping motion acts as a backspace or delete button.

6. Filling out the Medical ID section

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Medical ID: Found in the Health app, the Medical ID section can be used as a way to find your iPhone if lost and save your life

Whether you’re in a serious situation, a medical emergency, or need assistance, the Medical ID section in the iPhone Health app is key. 

Whatever information and details are plugged in here will appear on the lock screen of the phone in the case of someone dialing the person’s Emergency link. 

It’s also a smart idea to plug in any allergies one may have, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry and can be a great help in certain scenarios.

As an added plus, the app can also be used in place of the Find my iPhone app to retrieve your iPhone if it’s been stolen or is lost. 

The contact information filled out for next of kin may come in handy if someone finds the phone and wants to return it to the rightful owner.

7. Save time sending emails and searching on a browser

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Shortcut: Never waste any time sending an email or searching in a browser because there are shortcuts on the keyboard for URLs and email addresses

The struggle of switching back and forth from different keyboards, whether its from 123 to ABC, typing in an email address that has a combination of both letters and numbers, or typing in a website with a .com or .org – never waste time again.

Simply hold down the period icon, (‘.’) , in the bottom left corner when sending an email to someone, so that a list of short-cuts appear.

These options will pop up on the screen: .us .org .edu .net .com – from there, tap on whichever ending is needed and it will automatically add it to the end of the email address. 

Same goes for websites. While typing out an address in a browser, hold down the ‘.’ to bring up different URL suffixes such as .net .uk .com and other easy short-cuts.  

8. Lock your cameras focal point

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Locked: When taking a photo with the Camera app, a focal point can be locked and doesn’t disappear when the phone is moved

Many people know that by tapping the screen when taking a photo on the iPhone, the camera automatically focuses on whatever focus was tapped on. 

The only issue with this feature is that a variety of different aspects such as lighting or a shaky hand can make the yellow focus box disappear. 

Never worry about that again because instead of just tapping the screen quickly, hold down for two seconds until an ‘AF Locked’ pop-up box appears on the screen. 

That means that the focal point is locked in and you can move the phone any which way you want and it will not lose focus – brilliant. 

9.  Set your music on a timer

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Sleep timer: Never wake up to loud music in the middle of the night again because the timer app allows music to stop playing at a certain time

This is not just a hack, it is a life-changing revelation. Who knew that a timer could be set on the iPhone to stop playing music whenever instructed? Think of this as a sleep timer set on the TV, but with music. 

If you’re the type of person that enjoys listening to soothing music before bed or perhaps some delta waves, you know the troubles of falling asleep only to be woken up by bizarre music. 

This feature is especially handy when it comes to many popular music streaming sites who automatically play ‘recommended songs’ or ‘you may also like’ without asking for permission, making it hard to sleep when being woken up at 4 a.m to loud techno.  

All you have to do is open the Clock app, scroll all the way to the bottom right where it says Timer, then click on the ‘When Time Ends’ tag. From there, scroll all the way down to the bottom where it says ‘Stop Playing,’ click that tab and hit the Set button in the top right corner. 

Now the timer is set to automatically stop playing music for the allotted time, instead of setting an alarm off. 

10. Your iPhone is secretly an Etch A Sketch

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Etch A Sketch: Simply shake your iPhone to erase any unwanted text

Similar to the Reachability hack, this one is probably known to many because it has caused some frustration when accidentally set off. 

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Siri: Order an Uber via Siri by simply saying ‘Siri get me an Uber’

However, when used the right way, the ‘Etch A Sketch’ feature is actually amazing. 

Any activity recently done on the iPhone, whether something was written down in notes, a text or an e-mail by way of clumsy fingers or a butt dial – those errors can be deleted by a simple shake of the phone. 

When wanting to erase something accidentally written or a typo, just shake the iPhone side to side and it will delete. 

Don’t worry, it will give you a warning ‘Undo Typing’ pop-up with the option to either Cancel or hit OK, before deleting. 

11. Order an Uber using Siri 

Hands full? A few too many cocktails? That’s where this feature comes in handy. Simply order an Uber via Siri without having to tap through the app. 

The entire process of calling an Uber can be done hands-free via Siri. Make sure the Uber app is downloaded on the iPhone, a valid account is logged in, and there is a correct payment option and card attached.

From there, all you need to do is shout, ‘Siri, get me an Uber,’ or Siri, take me home in an Uber XL,’ and you’re good to go. 

12. One-handed keyboard 

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One-handed: Move the keyboard to the left or the right to make it easy to type with one finger

One-handed keyboard is perfect for those with an iPhone plus.

However, it is also convenient in other situations such as having your hands full and only having the option of a single thumb to type with. 

The iPhone allows the user to shift the entire keyboard to the left or right so that it’s possible to easily type something with just one finger.

For users on iOS 11 or later follow these five simple steps:

Settings General Keyboards, and tap One-Handed Keyboard. Select Left or Right.

13. Planes overhead?

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Planes: Easily find out fun facts about planes flying overhead including where the plane is going and where it came from

This is one for those who are always wondering about weird things and really enjoy fun facts. 

Do you ever hear planes flying overheard and think, I wonder where that’s headed? Now you can find out in seconds. 

If a plane is flying above you, all you have to do is ask Siri, ‘Planes overhead?,’ and you will immediately get a detailed description of the plane.

Not only do you find out details about the plane, you can find out where the plane is headed, where it came from, and so much more. 

14. Record your screen

08c53_46E320B700000578-5136845-image-m-58_1512157127083 So much more than a smartphone! From a secret SOS signal to a hidden spirit level, FEMAIL reveals a host of genius ...

08c53_46E320B700000578-5136845-image-m-58_1512157127083 So much more than a smartphone! From a secret SOS signal to a hidden spirit level, FEMAIL reveals a host of genius ...

Recording: Now you can record the screen of the iPhone for interviews, to show snippets of songs, and more

Hidden in the Control Center tab of your iPhone is a sneaky little recorder. 

Whenever you want to record what you’re doing on your phone to show someone how to do something or show a snippet of a song or interview someone, this feature is perfect.

To set this option up on your Control Center so it can be easily accessed, follow these four simple steps.

Head to Settings Control Center Customize Controls  Screen Recording – there you can add to the customizable settings.

15. Say goodbye to pop-ups

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Ratings: Never see this screen by simply turning off in-app ratings in settings

This just may be the best thing that’s ever happened in an iOS update. What’s worse than playing a game or using an app when all of a sudden a pop-up appears asking you to rate it. 

Well, you never have to again. The iPhone allows you to disable in-app pop-ups for ratings and reviews and frustrating feedback requests. 

It’s as easy as one two three: Settings iTunes App Store turn off In-App Ratings Reviews – that’s all. 

Apple’s iPhones Prevail Over Android in Smartphone Performance Battle

Interestingly, both Android and iOS devices have seen their failure rates increase quarter-over-quarter. In Q2 2017, for example, the failure rate for iOS devices worldwide was 12 percent. This has since increased to 16 percent in Q3 2017. Android devices have experienced a similar struggle, with the failure rate worldwide jumping from 25 percent in Q2 2017 to 30 percent in Q3 2017.

Key highlights from the Q3 2017 trend report include:

  • The iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 Plus models are plagued by high failure rates. In Q3 2017, the iPhone 6 had the highest failure rate (26 percent), followed by the iPhone 6S (11 percent) and the iPhone 7 Plus (9 percent).
  • Samsung, Xiaomi and LG smartphones struggle with performance issues and failures. In Q3 2017, Samsung was the Android manufacturer with the highest failure rate (53 percent). Meanwhile, Xiaomi and LG emerged in the list of Android manufacturers with high failure rates, at 4 percent and 2 percent respectively.
  • WiFi, receiver and Bluetooth problems cause frequent lags on iOS devices. Based on our Q3 2017 diagnostics data, WiFi accounted for 3 percent of the performance issues worldwide on iOS devices, followed by the receiver (2 percent) and Bluetooth (2 percent).
  • Battery charge and carrier signal issues frustrate Android smartphone users. In Q3 2017, battery charge ranked as the fourth most common performance issue (5 percent) on Android smartphones worldwide. Meanwhile, the carrier signal also ranked high on the list of performance issues worldwide, at 6 percent.
  • iOS apps crash seven times more frequently than Android apps. In Q3 2017, iOS apps crashed at a rate of 57 percent. This is significantly higher than the rate at which Android apps crashed (8 percent).
  • Rooting is commonplace among Android users, while iOS jailbreaking is on the decline. According to our Q3 2017 data, Android users are more inclined to root their devices than iOS users are to jailbreak their iPhones. In fact, the rate of jailbroken devices worldwide was only 0.038 percent, which is considerably lower than the rate of rooted Android devices (0.99 percent).

In September 2017, Apple unveiled its newest iPhone models – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. These models have been lauded by mobile industry experts and have received significant interest and sales from users already. “Apple has always tried to offer the best quality and reliability with its iPhones,” said Russ Ernst, VP of Product Management, Blancco Technology Group. “There’s no doubt that Apple will continue to innovate with these newest models. But with drastic design changes and the introduction of new technology features, such as the facial recognition feature on the iPhone X, there may be some challenges and performance issues that will arise. If and when these occur, accurately diagnosing and resolving those issues will be key to improving the user experience and customer satisfaction.”

About Blancco Technology Group
Blancco Technology Group (AIM: BLTG) is the de facto standard in data erasure and mobile device diagnostics. The Blancco Data Eraser solutions provide thousands of organizations with an absolute line of defense against costly security breaches, as well as verification of regulatory compliance through a 100% tamper-proof audit trail. Our data erasure solutions have been tested, certified, approved and recommended by 18 governing bodies around the world. No other security firm can boast this level of compliance with the most rigorous requirements set by government agencies, legal authorities and independent testing laboratories.

The Blancco Mobile Diagnostics solutions enable mobile network operators, retailers and insurers to easily, quickly and accurately identify and resolve performance issues on their customers’ mobile devices. As a result, mobile service providers can spend less time dealing with technical issues and, in turn, reduce the quantity of NTF returns, save on operational costs and increase customer satisfaction.  

For more information, visit our website at www.blancco.com.

Media Contacts:
SHIFT Communications for Blancco Technology Group (US)
David Heffernan, Account Director
T: (617) 779-1839
E: blancco@shiftcomm.com

SAY Communications for Blancco Technology Group (Europe)
Robert Hickling, Senior Account Manager
T: 44 (0) 20 8971 6427
E: blancco@saycomms.co.uk

Blancco Technology Group
Ragini Bhalla, Senior Director of Global Communications
E: ragini.bhalla@blancco.com

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/apples-iphones-prevail-over-android-in-smartphone-performance-battle-300563577.html

SOURCE Blancco Technology Group

Related Links

http://www.blanccotechnologygroup.com

Xiaomi launches its new budget smartphone – Redmi 5A – in India

64d13_redmi-5a-4-840x472 Xiaomi launches its new budget smartphone – Redmi 5A – in India

Xiaomi has announced the launch of its new budget smartphone in the bestselling Redmi series, the Redmi 5A.

Xiaomi has launched two memory variants of the Redmi 5A – one with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage and the second with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of internal storage.

We strongly believe that the best of technology should be made accessible to as many people as possible, because technology can improve lives. With Redmi 5A we take another step in offering a great all-round experience for users looking for their first smartphone. We believe Redmi 5A is the smartphone for everyone.

– Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India

Xiaomi Redmi 5A Specifications

  • Operating System: MIUI 9
  • Display: 5” HD (1280 x 720)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core | 1.4GHz max – 64-bit | Adreno 308 GPU
  • RAM: 2/3 GB
  • Internal Storage: 16/32 GB storage; expandable up to 128 GB with a microSD card
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP with LED flash | ƒ/2.2 aperture | 1.12 μm pixel size | PDAF
  • Front Camera: 5 MP | ƒ/2.0 aperture | 1.12 μm
  • Dimensions: 140 x 70.1 x 8.35 mm
  • Weight: 137g

64d13_redmi-5a-4-840x472 Xiaomi launches its new budget smartphone – Redmi 5A – in India

The 2 GB + 16 GB variant of the Redmi 5A is priced at ₹4,999 ($78) while the 3 GB + 32 GB variant is priced at ₹6,999 ($109). The price of the lower spec’d variant is discounted for first million units, post which the price will be ₹5,999. The Redmi 5A is available in three color variants – Dark Grey, Gold, and Rose Gold – and will go on sale on Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Homes across the country starting December 7 at 12 noon, and soon across Xiaomi’s offline partners.

Redmi 5A is a successor to the popular Redmi 4A which sold four million units within eight months of its launch, and looks like Xiaomi has got another winner on its hands. What do you think of the Redmi 5A, and would you like to pick one up?

Xiaomi launches its new budget smartphone – Redmi 5A – in India

33c86_redmi-5a-4-840x472 Xiaomi launches its new budget smartphone – Redmi 5A – in India

Xiaomi has announced the launch of its new budget smartphone in the bestselling Redmi series, the Redmi 5A.

Xiaomi has launched two memory variants of the Redmi 5A – one with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage and the second with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of internal storage.

We strongly believe that the best of technology should be made accessible to as many people as possible, because technology can improve lives. With Redmi 5A we take another step in offering a great all-round experience for users looking for their first smartphone. We believe Redmi 5A is the smartphone for everyone.

– Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India

Xiaomi Redmi 5A Specifications

  • Operating System: MIUI 9
  • Display: 5” HD (1280 x 720)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core | 1.4GHz max – 64-bit | Adreno 308 GPU
  • RAM: 2/3 GB
  • Internal Storage: 16/32 GB storage; expandable up to 128 GB with a microSD card
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP with LED flash | ƒ/2.2 aperture | 1.12 μm pixel size | PDAF
  • Front Camera: 5 MP | ƒ/2.0 aperture | 1.12 μm
  • Dimensions: 140 x 70.1 x 8.35 mm
  • Weight: 137g

33c86_redmi-5a-4-840x472 Xiaomi launches its new budget smartphone – Redmi 5A – in India

The 2 GB + 16 GB variant of the Redmi 5A is priced at ₹4,999 ($78) while the 3 GB + 32 GB variant is priced at ₹6,999 ($109). The price of the lower spec’d variant is discounted for first million units, post which the price will be ₹5,999. The Redmi 5A is available in three color variants – Dark Grey, Gold, and Rose Gold – and will go on sale on Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Homes across the country starting December 7 at 12 noon, and soon across Xiaomi’s offline partners.

Redmi 5A is a successor to the popular Redmi 4A which sold four million units within eight months of its launch, and looks like Xiaomi has got another winner on its hands. What do you think of the Redmi 5A, and would you like to pick one up?

Addicted to your smartphone? Here’s something that might help

72a6d_substitute-phone-klemens-schillinger-design_dezeen_2364_col_4-1704x1168-840x576 Addicted to your smartphone? Here's something that might help

Many of us will have experienced habitual smartphone usage; operating our devices, not in the service of a specific, legitimate need, but simply because it’s there. If you’ve found yourself using your smartphone in such a scenario, an Austrian designer known as Klemens Schillinger might have a product to help you break that habit.

Schillinger has created a series of smartphone-like tablets — which he’s appropriately calling Substitute Phones — inspired by this compulsive smartphone checking idea. Each of these features a different arrangement of inset beads for you to move your fingers across — some of which emulate a specific smartphone gesture, like scrolling up and down a page, unlocking a device, or pinching-to-zoom — to recreate the feeling of using a modern handset when you have the urge to do so

72a6d_substitute-phone-klemens-schillinger-design_dezeen_2364_col_4-1704x1168-840x576 Addicted to your smartphone? Here's something that might help

According to Dezeen, which broke the story, these Substitute Phones act as “therapeutic tools” to help “frequent smartphone users cope with withdrawal symptoms” if they stop using their real device.

The Substitute Phone, then, isn’t intended to be a “fun” replacement for operating a smartphone, just a coping mechanism in its absence. With new reports springing up with alarming regularity linking smartphone usage to mental health problems (specifically, depression), what could at first be viewed as quite a silly idea may actually serve as a partial remedy for a growing issue (though I concede that the same could be said of almost anything that attempts to reduce time spent online).

Amazon Cyber Monday: Essential Phone, Sony TVs, Macbooks, smart home, headphones and more!

This isn’t the first such device the designer has made that was inspired by giving up phone habits, either — here’s a lamp that only lights up if you relinquish your phone:

Schillinger is expected to sell the Substitute Phones via his online store in the future for a yet to be disclosed price. What’s your take on the concept? Let us know in the comments.