Tag: smartphones

Samsung Foldable Phone: Everything We Know So Far

Think the Samsung Edge display was cool? Something cooler is on the way.

We’ve been hearing about foldable displays for a number of years, and Samsung finally gave us an idea of what a phone with this technology will look like at its annual Samsung Developer Conference.

Information about the phone, which has been rumored to be called the Galaxy X or Galaxy F (not to be confused with the Galaxy S10 that we also anticipate), has slowly been trickling out over the last year or two.

We’ll be referring to it as Samsung’s foldable phone to keep things simple until an official name is revealed. Here’s everything we think we know about it so far.




Release and price

We expect the new device to be out at some point in the first half of 2019. It may make an appearance at CES in January, or Samsung may wait until Mobile World Congress, which is in February.

The latest rumor, courtesy of the South Korean Yonhap News Agency, states the phone will be announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2019 and released the following month.

When it comes to price, however, things are even more unknown — all we really have right now is speculation. Expect to pay a high price for the phone.

Kim Jang-yeol, head of research at Golden Bridge Investment, says the phone could cost as much as 2 million won at release, Korea Times reports. In the U.S., that converts to about $1,850.

This is similar to the Royole Flexpai, a folding smartphone with a small production run.

Specifications

While Samsung did discuss the display at the Samsung Developer Conference, it did not go into the specs under the hood. To date, there’s only one rumor about specs for the upcoming Samsung foldable phone.

The prolific (and usually accurate) Samsung leaker Ice Universe said the upcoming phone will feature a 7nm processor.

Design

Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t reveal too much about the design of the phone, beyond the display and what it can do, but we do know that you’ll be able to use the phone when it’s folded up as well, and it will act like a traditional smartphone in this mode.

Samsung also announced it’s working with Google to develop a new user interface for Android on its smartphone — dubbed OneUI — and it will allow for features specific to foldable phones.

All of these announcements were made at Samsung’s developer conference, meaning the company still needs third-party developers to bring foldable phone support to their apps.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

The Foldable Phones Are On Their Way!

Futuristic-looking bendable tablets and smartphones have captured our imagination for years.

Whether it’s the folding tablets found in Westworld or the many book-like slates with foldable pages in Microsoft’s future vision videos, a phone that folds out into a much larger device is dreamlike.

Samsung is now trying to make these wild concepts a reality.

The Galaxy maker showed off its new Infinity Flex Display yesterday, a display technology that will allow a tablet-sized screen to fold into a device that approximates the size and shape of a smartphone.

While we’ve seen flexible and bendable wearable devices, this is one of the first times we’ve seen such a display in a phone that’s rumored to ship in 2019.

Samsung’s device was “disguised” by what appears to be a chunky case, and shown only under dim light, but it’s far more than just concept art.




Samsung is actually using two separate displays to create its foldable phone — one on the inside, and a smaller display on the outside — unlike Royole’s FlexPai, which uses a single folding display on the outside of the device.

Samsung’s internal display is 7.3 inches with a 1536 x 2152 resolution (4.2:3). It folds in half to reveal a second display on the front of the device.

This second “cover display,” as Samsung calls it, functions as a 4.58-inch phone interface with a resolution of 840 x 1960 (21:9).

It’s also flanked by much larger bezels at the top and bottom compared to the internal display. Although it looks very stocky, Samsung says the device hiding inside the disguise is actually “stunning.”

This combination of displays has given us an early glimpse at what to expect from foldable phones in 2019 and beyond. As glass is not pliable, Samsung has had to develop new materials to protect its new display.

The Infinity Flex Display uses a polymer that Samsung says is both “flexible and tough,” meaning it can keep its strength even when folded and unfolded “hundreds of thousands of times.”

Samsung has combined this with a new adhesive that laminates the various display layers together to allow them to flex.

None of this is glass, though, so it could feel a little different than what we’re used to with modern phones, tablets, and touchpads.

Foldable phones are the obvious initial market for this screen technology, but manufacturers will get far more ambitious as the display technology matures. Samsung is also promising rollable and stretchable OLED displays in the future.

Imagine folding or rolling a 55-inch TV into something that will fit into your bag, or finally replacing pen and paper with a foldable tablet. It sounds unbelievable right now, but we’re only at the very beginning of our flexible future.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

This Robotic Finger Attachment For Your Smartphone Will Gently Caress Your Hand

Our smartphones are cold, passive devices that usually can’t move autonomously unless they’re falling onto our faces while we’re looking at them in bed.

A research team in France is exploring ways to change that by giving our smartphones the ability to interact with us more.

MobiLimb is a robotic finger attachment that plugs in through a smartphone’s Micro USB port, moves using five servo motors, and is powered by an Arduino microcontroller.

It can tap the user’s hand in response to phone notifications, be used as a joystick controller, or, with the addition of a little fuzzy sheath accessory, it can turn into a cat tail.




MobiLimb is a research project by PhD student Marc Teyssier and his team across from French universities. Teyssier shares more process photos on his website as well as a detailed explanation for the project.

In the spirit of human augmentation, which aims at overcoming human body limitations by using robotic devices, our approach aims at overcoming mobile device limitations (static, passive, motionless) by using a robotic limb,” he writes.

There’s definitely an unsettling, creepy way in how it moves. Maybe it’s the way it drags its lifeless phone-body across the table to let you know you have a new message.

Or maybe it’s the human flesh cover for the finger that turns it into a dismembered digit? I can’t quite place my MobiLimb on it.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

How To Record Professional Audio

We’re going to show you how to record audio with a smartphone microphone.

Video is powerful. It can make your business more accessible and open up a dialogue with your customers. But hiring a production company can be expensive.

What if all you want to make is a quick little video to send to clients?

Maybe you need a video cover letter? We’re going to show you how, with minimal outlay, you can make the best looking, best sounding video on your mobile phone.

Why sound is important

Even if you don’t want to invest heavily in film gear, we implore you not to skimp on audio. Online audiences are somewhat tolerant of bad lighting and dodgy effects, but poor sound is going to drive them away in droves.

Before you learn anything else, we want to be sure that you know how to capture the best sound when recording on your phone.

All you’re going to need is your smartphone and a lavalier mic from amazon or eBay. If you want to be able to monitor your recording, you’ll also want to get some kind of headphone splitter.




Where to record

First thing we’re going to discuss is where you’ll be shooting. Ambient sound can compete with your voice and distract the audience. Where possible, try to record your video in a space where you can control the ambient noise.

In an office setting fans, air conditioning and computers generate a lot of sound. Switching these off or switching them to their lowest setting will mitigate any humming or droning sounds.

Another thing to be wary of is big empty rooms. If you go into a professional recording booth, you’ll notice how small they are. This is because sounds bounces, which causes echo.

When you’re looking for a space to record, look out for high ceilings, hard floors and no furniture.

These spaces produce an awful echo that can be hard to get rid of. Now you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars making your office acoustically insulated.

Filming outdoors presents different challenges. A little bit of ambient sound is okay, in fact the audience will expect a little bit of natural sound.

But strong wind is a nightmare for sound recording. Covering the mic or hiding it in your clothing can mitigate the effects of wind, but if it’s really strong you may have consider another location.

Monitoring and playback

It’s always a good idea to play back and listen to anything that you’ve recorded. Sound problems are incredibly difficult to fix after the fact.

If you want to monitor the recording, you’ll need that headphone splitter we mentioned earlier. This device lets you plug in both a microphone and headphones.

But let’s say you don’t want to film yourself wearing headphones. If you don’t have a friend or colleague you can coerce into monitoring your audio, the safest option is to play back what you’ve just recorded.

When in doubt, do one more recording for safety.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

 

Alternative Android Browsers That Beat Chrome at Its Own Game

Web browsers are one of the most important apps on any device. Having the right features and performance while browsing the web can literally change your entire experience.

Finding the right one can be difficult because there are so many options and the face of the web is changing all the time.

Let’s take a look at the best Android browsers of 2018 (so far)! You can also click here to see the best web browsers on most platforms!




Brave Browser

Brave Browser is one of the newer Android browsers. It came out in 2016 and has a variety of features. There is an ad blocker built-in.

Additionally, it can block third party cookies, block scripts, and it has HTTPS everywhere. Included is per-site settings just in case you need that.

It also boasts optimizations for speed and battery life improvements. You can even keep track of all the stuff that it blocks. In real world use, it is highly functional and even occasionally fun to use.

It also has most of the basic features like bookmarks, history, and a privacy (incognito) mode. The app is entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads.

Dolphin Browser

Dolphin Browser has seen a lot of success on Androidy. It has a decent set of features as well. That includes theming, flash support, ad-block, incognito mode, and some tertiary features like gesture controls.

There is also add-on and extension support if you need that. A lot of people swear by Dolphin Browser. It covers most of the bases and that’s more than enough to rank it among the best.

It’s definitely one of the best Android browsers.

Ecosia Browser

Ecosia is an environmentally friendly mobile web browser. It features all of the usual stuff like bookmarks, multiple tabs, a private browsing mode, and downloads.

It pulls from Chromium’s open source project. Thus, it looks and feels a bit like Chrome as well. The big draw here is the cause. The browser donates up to 80% of its profits to plant trees.

That isn’t a browser feature, but it’s definitely nice. This one is good for those who don’t need to browse the web often, but still want something that works well. The trees thing is a bonus. It’s also free.

Flynx Browser

Flynx by InfiKen Labs has come a long way since its inception. This unique browser works in a floating window as opposed to a full screen mode.

This allows for quick web browsing. It also doesn’t force you to leave the app you’re currently using.

When you click links, they open a little bubble on the side of the screen and the page will load in the background until you decide to click the bubble to read it yourself.

It also comes with a few other features, such as night mode. It’s something different in the Android browsers space.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Screen-Addicted Teens Are More Likely Unhappy

Happiness is not a warm phone, according to a new study exploring the link between adolescent life satisfaction and screen time.

Teens whose eyes are habitually glued to their smartphones are markedly unhappier, said study lead author and San Diego State University and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge.

To investigate this link, Twenge, along with colleagues Gabrielle Martin at SDSU and W. Keith Campbell at the University of Georgia, crunched data from the Monitoring the Future (MtF) longitudinal study, a nationally representative survey of more than a million U.S. 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders.

The survey asked students questions about how often they spent time on their phones, tablets and computers, as well as questions about their in-the-flesh social interactions and their overall happiness.

On average, they found that teens who spent more time in front of screen devices — playing computer games, using social media, texting and video chatting — were less happy than those who invested more time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction.




Twenge believes this screen time is driving unhappiness rather than the other way around.

Although this study can’t show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use,” said Twenge, author of “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — And Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.”

Total screen abstinence doesn’t lead to happiness either, Twenge found. The happiest teens used digital media a little less than an hour per day.

But after a daily hour of screen time, unhappiness rises steadily along with increasing screen time, the researchers report today in the journal Emotion.

Looking at historical trends from the same age groups since the 1990s, the researchers found that the proliferation of screen devices over time coincided with a general drop-off in reported happiness in U.S. teens.

Specifically, young people’s life satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness plummeted after 2012. That’s the year that the percentage of Americans who owned a smartphone rose above 50 percent, Twenge noted.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Attached To Technology And Paying A Price

When one of the most important e-mail messages of his life landed in his in-box a few years ago, Kord Campbell overlooked it.

Not just for a day or two, but 12 days. He finally saw it while sifting through old messages: a big company wanted to buy his Internet start-up.

I stood up from my desk and said, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,’ ” Mr. Campbell said. “It’s kind of hard to miss an e-mail like that, but I did.

The message had slipped by him amid an electronic flood: two computer screens alive with e-mail, instant messages, online chats, a Web browser and the computer code he was writing.

While he managed to salvage the $1.3 million deal after apologizing to his suitor, Mr. Campbell continues to struggle with the effects of the deluge of data.

Even after he unplugs, he craves the stimulation he gets from his electronic gadgets. He forgets things like dinner plans, and he has trouble focusing on his family.




His wife, Brenda, complains, “It seems like he can no longer be fully in the moment.”

This is your brain on computers.

Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.

These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.

The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cellphone-wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks.

And for millions of people like Mr. Campbell, these urges can inflict nicks and cuts on creativity and deep thought, interrupting work and family life.

While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise.

Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress.

And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist. In other words, this is also your brain off computers.

The technology is rewiring our brains,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and one of the world’s leading brain scientists.

She and other researchers compare the lure of digital stimulation less to that of drugs and alcohol than to food and sex, which are essential but counterproductive in excess.

Technology use can benefit the brain in some ways, researchers say. Imaging studies show the brains of Internet users become more efficient at finding information. And players of some video games develop better visual acuity.

More broadly, cellphones and computers have transformed life. They let people escape their cubicles and work anywhere. They shrink distances and handle countless mundane tasks, freeing up time for more exciting pursuits.

For better or worse, the consumption of media, as varied as e-mail and TV, has exploded. In 2008, people consumed three times as much information each day as they did in 1960.

And they are constantly shifting their attention. Computer users at work change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour, new research shows.

Please like, share and tweet this article.
Pass it on: Popular Science

Google Unveils Latest OS, Out NOW On Pixel Phones

Android 9 Pie: If you have the right phone, you can get the new Android right now.

Android fans can today download the latest version of Google’s hugely popular mobile OS.

Android Pie, the ninth iteration of the operating system, has been officially unveiled by the search engine giant today.

Android 9 introduces digital wellbeing features, better notifications and promises to extend battery life for devices. And it’s available to download today via an over-the-air update for Google Pixel devices.

In a blog post, Sameer Samat, the VP of Product Management for Android and Google Play, said: “The latest release of Android is here!

“And it comes with a heaping helping of artificial intelligence baked in to make your phone smarter, simpler and more tailored to you. Today we’re officially introducing Android 9 Pie.




We’ve built Android 9 to learn from you—and work better for you—the more you use it.

“From predicting your next task so you can jump right into the action you want to take, to prioritizing battery power for the apps you use most, to helping you disconnect from your phone at the end of the day, Android 9 adapts to your life and the ways you like to use your phone.”

Google described Android Pie as an experience “powered by AI” and said it will adapt to how individuals use their phones and learn user preferences.

Personalised settings include the new Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness modes.

These former setting, as the name suggests, adapts to how users use their phone so apps which aren’t used don’t drain the battery.

While the latter setting automatically adjusts the brightness level to how the user prefers it.

App Actions also predict what users are going to do next based on the “context and displays that action right on your phone”.

Slices, a new feature which is launching later this year, shows relevant information from users’ favourite apps when they need it.

So, for instance, if a user starts typing the name of certain taxi apps it will also show prices for a ride home in the search results screen.

Android Pie is also introducing a new system navigation featuring a single home button.

But one of the biggest additions will be the digital wellbeing features previously announced at Google I/O earlier this year.

Google said: “While much of the time we spend on our phones is useful, many of us wish we could disconnect more easily and free up time for other things.

In fact, over 70 percent of people we talked to in our research said they want more help with this.

“So we’ve been working to add key capabilities right into Android to help people achieve the balance with technology they’re looking for.”

The digital wellbeing features are officially launching later this year, but are available right now for Pixel phones in beta.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Qualcomm Releases New Antennas That Will Make 5G Phones A Reality In 2019

Qualcomm actually announced two antenna modules.  The first is called the QTM052 mmWave antenna module and was engineered to “open up spectrum and improve mmWave signal using 5G technologies.”

Since the mmWave signals don’t travel very far and are easily blocked by objects as small as your hand, Qualcomm created this antenna array to overcome those challenges.

It uses something it calls “beam forming, beam steering, and beam tracking for bi-directional mobile mmWave,” allowing it to improve overall range and coverage.

The module is also a series of antennas to be placed in the handset so the beams can move whenever there’s signal blockage.




The second antenna, called the QPM56xx sub-6 GHz RF module, works on lower 3.3-4.2 GHz, 3.3-3.8GHz, or 4.4-5.0 GHz bands. This sub-6 antenna will provide more consistent 5G coverage in fixed locations

These antennas will be used alongside the Snapdragon X50 5G modem that was released in 2016. The two antenna modules will be used in tandem to deliver 5G speeds in a variety of settings.

Several of the world’s largest handset manufacturers, including Xiaomi, Sony, HTC, Samsung, and LG, have already confirmed that they will work with Qualcomm in the coming months to create mobile devices that are compatible with 5G.

These devices should be released during the first half of the year with many likely making their debut at Mobile World Congress next February.

Huawei has also announced it is planning a 5G phone for late 2019. Earlier this year the Chinese tech giant announced its Balong 5G01 modem.

The modem is schedule for the third quarter of 2019, meaning we should see its 5G handset soon thereafter.

And while we’re still many months away from seeing 5G handsets, most of the major networks are quickly building out their 5G networks to prepare for the launch.

AT&T and Verizon have each indicated they plan to release 5G hot spots (also known as pucks) later this year in selected markets so users can get a taste of 5G.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Water Resistant Gadgets Aren’t Waterproof

The terms water-resistant and waterproof get bandied around quite a bit in the gadget market, but that doesn’t mean you chuck your gadgets into the nearest pool with impudence.

Water-resistance is most definitely not waterproof by any measure.

Last week we dove deep into the nomenclature and standards surrounding the testing and production of water-resistant gadgets.

This week we’re back with a lighter overview that’s perfect for people looking for a broad overview of water-resistant gadgets without so many tables and technical specifications.

Let’s take a look at the most important things you need to know about water-resistance and your gadgets.




What’s the Difference?

Every year thousands upon thousands of consumers fry their supposedly “waterproof” gadgets because of a poor understanding and poor marketing.

Understanding the basics of water-resistance is key to keeping your gadgets safe as well as purchasing the right gadgets for your outdoor and sport needs.

The most important thing you need to understand about the entire concept of “waterproof” is that it isn’t a real thing outside of very misleading marketing material.

There is no waterproof gadget on the market.

Every single phone, watch, sport band, GPS device, portable speaker, or the like that bills itself as “waterproof” should really bill itself as “Water-resistant within the parameters specified by the manufacturer.”

Think of it like “earthquake proof.” It is impossible to build a structure that is completely impervious to earthquakes.

No matter how well-built and over-engineered a structure may be there is always a combination of earthquake intensity and duration that will bring it to the ground.

Water-resistance is exactly the same. Every “waterproof” gadget has a point where the it has been submerged too long, too deep, or in water too hot or too cold, and the seals on the device fail allowing water inside.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science