Sony’s Unreleased WH-1000XM4 Headphones Show Up on a Number of Web Sites

 

 

When it comes to wireless over-ear Bluetooth audio, Sony’s flagship WH-1000MX3 headphones are among the best on the market.  The launch of the fourth-generation model appears to be right around the corner.  In the meantime you can purchase these from certain Web Sites.  Use Google to do a search and “Hey Presto” they are available.

So what are the features of  Sony’s WH-1000MX4 noise cancelling headphones, including some notable new features and a $348 (£269 U.K.)  price tag?

The specifications list, of the forthcoming model will include Edge-AI, Sony’s latest codec for upscaling compressed audio files in real-time. This technology uses artificial intelligence to restore the high-range sound which is lost in compression.  Sony states that this allows for a richer, more complete listening experience.

Adaptive Sound Control is a new mode that lets users create custom profiles in the companion app that will adjust the noise cancelling based on location, and new Precise Voice Pickup Technology promises to pick up the user’s voice better through the five built-in microphones when on a call.

The 1000XM4’s will now be be able to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. This is a big plus – previous models haven’t supported dynamic switching between audio sources.  This meant that users had to manually disconnect the headsets from for example an “‌iPhone“‌ so that they could be  connected to say a “Mac” and vice versa.

Bose’s QC35 and 700 headphones can be  paired with two devices and can automatically switch between them based on which one is transmitting an audio signal. In our Bluetooth age, it’s hard to overstate just how convenient and useful this feature is.

As is the case with the current model, the 1000XM4’s will offer 30 hours of wired/wireless battery life on a single charge, and users will be able to get five hours’ worth of charge after 10 minutes connected to a power outlet. Sony hasn’t officially announced the new 1000XM4’s yet, but a search of the Web will show that these headsets are available for purchase from numerous outlets.

This article which is modified from, “Sony’s Unreleased WH-1000XM4 Headphones Show Up in Walmart Listing” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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CardioBot Apple Watch Heart Rate Tracker

CardioBot is a powerful app for iOS and watchOS that taps into the data collected by your Apple Watch to provide a comprehensive overview of your health. A new version of the app adds iOS 14 home screen widgets for blood oxygen statistics, new workout features, and more.

This new version of CardioBot includes  new home screen widgets for iOS 14: blood oxygen, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and a small version of the heart rate summary.  When you add these widgets to your iOS 14 home screen, you can monitor your Apple Watch health data at a glance.

There are also new compilations for your Apple Watch faces: blood oxygen, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability.

The latest version of CardioBot has a new workout screen in the app that shows more details on your heart rate during a workout.  An attractive features is that it will even send you a haptic feedback notification on your Apple Watch whenever your heart rate zone changes.

Full details for the latest version of CardioBot are:

  • Blood oxygen widget added.
  • Resting HR widget added.
  • HRV widget added.
  • Small Heart Rate summary widget added.
  • Blood oxygen complications added.
  • Resting HR complication added.
  • HRV complication added.
  • Heart Rate summary complication redesigned.
  • Start workout button fixed.
  • Heart points goal limit changed.

CardioBot is available on the App Store as a free download with an in-app subscription.     [The information above is an extract from 9TO5Mac]

For Price Comparative Site for Apple Products Click Here

 

 

 

Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Dock Charges iPhone, Apple Watch and Air Pods

Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Dock

Belkin is known for its range of accessories for Apple devices. It has recently launched the Boost Charge 3-in-1 Wireless Charger, which can charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.

Priced at $110, Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Charger is more affordable than most other 3-in-1 wireless chargers on the market, making it an attractive option.

Available in either black or white, the 3-in-1 Wireless Charger from Belkin is made from a plastic material. It’s not the best quality charger out there because of the all-plastic build, however unless you are seeking a robust item most users will be quite happy with it..

There’s an upright wireless charging interface that can accommodate an ‌iPhone‌, an ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck, and behind that, a small circular divot for the ‌AirPods‌ or AirPods Pro case.  Many other 3-in-1 wireless chargers have enough space for charging two iPhones at once.  The Belkin charges is designed specifically for a single ‌iPhone‌ and ‌AirPods‌, which is something to be noted.

With the ‌AirPods‌ charging space located right behind the watch, care needs to be taken  that the  ‌Apple Watch‌ does not knock the ‌AirPods‌ out of position or .  Taking into account the layout of the charging docks  care must be taken to position things correctly.  The ergonomics of the design is far from ideal and  crowding is likely to be an issue for anyone who has a loop-style band.

The upright charging space for the ‌iPhone‌ is nice because it makes it easy to put the ‌iPhone‌ down and go, with no need to position it or make sure it’s in the right spot to initiate charging, something that’s often an issue with a typical flat wireless charger.

As for the ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck, it’s fine. It charges the ‌Apple Watch‌ in Nightstand Mode like many other charging options on the market. There are small LEDs on the front and side of the charger that let you know when it’s powered on and charging something, and a single power cord sticks out from the back. These lights can’t be disabled and could be a bit irritating at night.

This is a 7.5W wireless charger so it charges iPhones at the maximum speed possible, which is not super fast. It’s great for charging overnight or when you just need a bit of juice, but it’s not the best solution when you need power quick.

Summary

A lot of the 3-in-1 wireless charging options on the market are priced at around $150, so it’s nice to have a name brand option that’s more affordable and reliably charges the ‌iPhone‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, and ‌AirPods‌ all at once.

At $110 this is still a lot more than individual charging options for the three devices, so it’s still somewhat of a luxury.  The Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Charger is not the best looking option, but it occupies a small footprint and the price tag is lower than the competition.  It is a bit of a hassle to make sure the ‌Apple Watch‌ and ‌AirPods‌ are lined up at times when using a loop-style band, but this should be seen as a minor inconvenience relative to the advantages listed.

This is an abridged article which first appeared in MacRumors.com  “Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Dock Charges iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods Affordably

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Samsung Launches SmartThings Find

Samsung Galaxy

Samsung Launches SmartThings Find, a New Way To Quickly and Easily Locate Your Galaxy Devices

This is Part of the SmartThings app.

SmartThings Find helps you quickly find your connected Galaxy devices.

Samsung Electronics recently announced the launch of SmartThings Find, a new service that helps you quickly and easily locate Galaxy devices. Six million users across Korea, the U.K. and U.S. signed up for early access to the service. SmartThings Find is ready for a global launch on devices running Android 8 or later. SmartThings Find uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ultra-wideband (UWB) technologies to help people find select Galaxy smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and earbuds.

 

Utilizing the latest in BLE and UWB technology, SmartThings Find will make your life less stressful when it comes to searching for misplaced Galaxy devices.  It has the added advantage of using AR in conjunction with maps and sounds to guide you back to your devices.  SmartThings Find is a simple and visual solution that will help you easily locate your favourite devices. This is just one example of the new meaningful mobile experiences that UWB technology will bring to people across the world.”

Easily Find More of Your Devices

After completing a quick registration process, SmartThings users can easily find their Galaxy devices – from smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, down to each individual earbud. Whether you dropped your Galaxy Note20 Ultra behind the sofa, can’t remember where you stashed your Galaxy Buds Live, or left your Galaxy Watch3 somewhere so secure you can’t find it, the SmartThings Find service will help you keep more of your Galaxy devices safe through the easy-to-use SmartThings app.

Offline Doesn’t Mean “Off-The-Grid”

With the SmartThings Find service, you can easily locate your missing device even if it’s offline. That’s because SmartThings users can now opt in to securely use their Galaxy smartphone or tablet to help others locate their lost devices. Once a device has been offline for 30 minutes, it produces a BLE signal that can be received by other devices. If you report your device as lost via SmartThings Find, any nearby Galaxy smartphone or tablet that has opted into helping find misplaced devices can alert the Samsung server about its location, which will in turn notify you. All SmartThings Find user data is encrypted and securely protected, ensuring that the device’s location is not revealed to anyone except its owner.

Find Your Galaxy Faster With More Detailed Directions

Locating your missing device is a breeze with integrated map directions and the ability to “ring” a lost device to find it more quickly. When you lose a device, you can simply open SmartThings Find on your smartphone or tablet and select the device you want to locate. Your smartphone will then show you the exact location of your device on a map. Once you’re close to your device, you can choose to either have your device “ring” or locate it using the AR-based Search Nearby function, which displays colour graphics that increase in intensity when you are getting closer to your device.

 Availability

A new software update for the SmartThings app will be released for Galaxy smartphones and tablets running Android 8 or later around the world.  After that, users can access the SmartThings Find service by tapping the banner at the bottom of the home screen in the SmartThings app. In addition, from early next year (2021), Samsung will further expand these capabilities to tracking tags, which will help users locate their favourite items, not only for Galaxy devices, but also others as well.

This information extracted from Samsung Newsroom.  For more information about the SmartThings app and SmartThings Find service, please visit here.

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Gmail App’s Dark Mode for iPad and iPhone

Has Gmail App’s Dark Mode Finally been Perfected for iPhone and iPad?

The image above lets you see what “Dark Mode is about.

After many false starts and software with problems of functionality, Google appears to have mastered the long-awaited “dark mode” for Gmail.

This functionality is for Apple iPad and iPhone.

Version 6.0.200519 of Gmail, which propagated through the App Store overnight, includes the following release notes:

” You can now switch between dark or light theme after upgrading to iOS 13.

You can use the system theme set by default.

Google first announced dark mode for its Gmail app in September 2019.

Progress since then has been patchy on iOS.

Problems such as users managing to activate dark mode in the app, only to find that it vanishes when they close the iPad or iPhone and restart it.

Some potential users haven’t been able to access the feature at all.

The recent update should hopefully bring to an end months of waiting for a significant number of users.

To enable dark mode in Gmail on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, update the app on your device, then follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Gmail app.
  2. Tap the Menu icon (the three lines) in the top-left corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and tap Settings.
  4. Tap Theme. (If you don’t see the option, try force-quitting and then relaunching the app.)
  5. Select Light, Dark, or System default.

The latter option makes Gmail’s theme default to your device’s system settings. This default option is useful if you’ve set the appearance of IOS to change automatically depending on the time of day.

Note that if your device is running iOS 11 or iOS 12, you’ll see a Dark theme toggle instead of a Theme submenu in the Settings screen.

 

This edited article, first appeared in full on MacRumors.com

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Apple’s Foldable iPhone – Rumour or Reality?

iPhone Prototype Allegedly Features Separate Display Panels Connected by a Hinge

 

Samsung has already brought to the market a foldable smart phone the “Galaxy Z Phone 5G”.

It is too early to comment on how successful the Samsung product will be in the market.

 

APPLE is working on a foldable iPhone prototype.

Reportedly it will feature two separate display panels that are connected by a hinge.

The Samsung Z Phone has a single display across the fold.

Though the ‌iPhone‌ features two separate displays connected by a hinge, it is claimed that the panels look “fairly continuous and seamless.”

 

SAMSUNG’S Galaxy Fold

Samsung’s foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, is designed as a single display with a fold in the middle that allows it to open and close.

 

Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Duo

It is reported that Apple’s prototype looks similar to Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Surface Duo

The Microsoft phones are foldable dual display devices that feature two displays connected with a hinge.

 

There is no indicative time scale of when Apple might develop a foldable ‌iPhone‌.

However, there have been rumours about work on such a device dating back to 2016.

Patents for such a device have been filed.

It’s not clear if the foldable ‌iPhone‌ will ever move out of a prototyping stage, but it doesn’t look like a foldable device is launching in the near future.

 

Perhaps Apple will await to see how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G progresses in the market and how dependable and durable it turns out to be when in the hands of users.   This could be a “wait and see situation”.  It will also let provide Apple with additional time to further develop their product.

 

This abridged article is taken from MacRumors.comApple’s Foldable iPhone Prototype Allegedly Features Separate Display Panels Connected by Hinge

 

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The Power of Apps on “IOS” or “ANDROID” Phones

Apps IOS

What is an App?

“Apps” enable you to do things quicker on your Phone and access Programs in a shorter time period without going through a number of additional steps to open a program.

“App” is short for Application and is a program you install on your phone to perform a specific task.

Some Apps come pre-installed on your phone, such as calendar, alarms, emails apps.  However, most Apps you may want to use will have to be downloaded from an App Store.  There is a separate store for Apple Apps and Android Apps, due to the fact they are two separate operating systems.

Apps for IPHONES and iPads

On either of these devices there will be an “App Icon”.  Tap on the App Icon store and you will be taken to the store and a reasonably easy to follow means of selecting what you require.

Your main source of finding preferred Apps will be the search button.  When you search for an APP to address a challenge you may have, then frequently there may be a choice of Apps.  Details will be provided for each App and often a rating system.  However many applications have a single unique App i.e. say a Banking Service.

Once you have decided on an App you want , tap “Get” to download it (or the price in the event it is a paid for App).  If it is a paid App you will have to enter your Apple ID password or use “finger print recognition” as ID.  When the App is fully downloaded you will be able to see the App on the screen.  When you tap on it it will Open and you will be able to use the features provided.

Apps for ANDROID PHONES and Tablets

To get an Android App you will need to go to the App for “Google Play Store” on your Home Screen or your App Drawer.  At the bottom of the screen select Apps and this will enable you to see the featured Apps or do a search using the “search bar” at the top of the App Screen.

To download the App tap “Install” if the App is Free or Price if a paid App.  If a paid App your will have to enter your Google Account details or use your finger print if this is set up on your machine.  When the App is installed tap Open or go to the App Drawer to access it.

Apps Android

Some Popular Apps to Try (most of which are Free)

Translation Services

Radio Apps – most radio stations have their own App.

Skype – make telephone calls.

Zoom – for video calls.

What’s App – for group communication mostly by text but also video.

Satnav – Google Maps can be downloaded and use for mapping journeys etc in real time.

Banking and Credit Card Apps for the Accounts you have with the relevant Banks.

There are literally thousands of Apps both free and paid.

Happy searching and using!

Google Becomes Pro-Active in Covid 19 Mapping

Google - Covid 19 Maps

Google Rolls Out Covid 19 Driving Route Alerts for IOS and Android Operating Systems

Google has launched several new transit features to Google Maps on iOS (read Apple hardware) and Android (read Galaxy, Microsoft etc).  Their aim is  to help users travel safely as lockdown measures gradually ease in some countries following the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest version of Google Maps alerts users whose travel will be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, including requirements like wearing a mask on public transport and whether a chosen route has checkpoints. The update was detailed in a Google blog post:

Getting from A to B can be more complicated these days. Because of COVID-19, it’s increasingly important to know how crowded a train station might be at a particular time or whether the bus is running on a limited schedule. Having this information before and during your trip is critical for both essential workers who need to safely navigate to work and will become more important for everyone as countries around the world begin to reopen.

Users of public transport will get crowd-sourced information on traffic being experienced by services.  Drivers will receive alerts about checkpoints and restrictions on their route.

Google says the transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S. where it has information from local transit agencies, with more coming soon.

In addition, users navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centres will get alerts reminding them to verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away or causing additional strain on the local healthcare system.

Starting this week, alerts for medical facilities will be available in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S., while testing centre alerts will also be available in the U.S. Alerts are based on authoritative data from local, state, and federal governments or from their websites.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free.

This modified article, first appeared on MacRumors.com

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The best camera phone in 2020

The best camera phones take photos and video that can compete with traditional cameras.

The best camera phones use the latest technology and are often capable of delivering better results than the a ‘dedicated’ camera. As screens get larger, camera phone sensors get more advanced and chipsets get more powerful, it can be challenging to keep up to date with of latest and best mobile phones.  A list of the best can be accessed  for you right here.

The best camera phones don’t just deliver a lot of  power – they also consist of a package of convenience, with numerous apps at your fingertips. However, one of the most impressive aspects of these handsets is their megapixel count. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has an impressive 108MP sensor, 8K video and a 100x digital zoom – specs that traditional cameras just haven’t achieved yet.

The S20 Ultra isn’t an outlier. Powerful sensors are becoming the norm for flagship phones.  While phones aren’t yet able to beat the best DSLRs or the best mirrorless cameras for image quality, the technology is moving so quickly that it almost feels like it’s only a matter of time.

The most significant advantage that camera phones hold over cameras is how small they are in comparison. Even the best compact cameras can still prove annoyingly bulky, but folding phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr are making massive strides in compact technology.

A present and future aspect of camera phones is the advent of 5G, with 5G phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the OnePlus Nord hitting the market this year. It will be interesting  to see what the upcoming iPhone 12 brings to the table when it’s finally released this year.

Smartphone technology moves quickly, so this list is constantly changing. As we move towards the end of 2020, 5G is set to become the next big thing, so make sure to check out the best 5G phone for photography guide if you live somewhere with 5G infrastructure.

This article is an abridged version of Digital Camera World review.

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Should You Buy an iPad or a Laptop?

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet, and starting with iOS 10, Apple opened up the operating system and allowed third-party apps access to features like Siri. As the iPad continues to grow in processing power and versatility, will it replace other more bulky computers i.e. the Laptop?

Here are a few areas where the iPad has an advantage over the PC.

iPad Pro with and without a keyboard

 Security

The iPad is actually quite secure when compared to a PC.  It’s almost impossible for a virus to infect an iPad because viruses work by jumping from one app to the next.  The architecture of the  iPad OS software puts a wall around each app.

It’s also difficult to get malware onto the iPad. On a PC, malware can do things like record all of the keys you press and let someone remotely control your computer. It often makes its way in by tricking the user into installing it.  Apple, continues to maintains full control over the App Store, meaning it checks each new App thus controlling or eliminating rogue developers adding Apps.  The only way to add software to the iPad is via the Apple store.

The iPad also provides tools to secure your data and the device itself. The Find My iPad feature allows you to track your device if you misplace or lose it. You can also lock it and wipe its data remotely.  With the  the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, you can secure your data with your fingerprint.

Performance

Various models of iPad Pro have used Apple’s A9X, A10X, and A12X chips. These processors are comparable to Intel’s i5 and i7s, and in many cases, they’re even better. You can get better hardware in an iPad Pro than you’ll find in an entry-level laptop, and comparable builds to standard-issue ones. PCs are available that can outperform an iPad Pro, but you’ll end up paying a lot more for them.

Value relative to Price

The iPad and a PC (at the lower specification end) can be similar in terms of the prices you’ll see at the store, but you’re going to pay more for a higher specification and performance model powerful enough to do more than browse the web and with higher life expectancy.

The iPad comes with Apple’s iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and the iLife suite (GarageBand and iMovie). While Microsoft Office is more powerful than iWork, Apple’s office suite is up to the task for most people. And if you want to find the equivalent of iMovie for the PC, you’ll have to buy it separately.

Versatility

The iPad comes with software you won’t find in comparable PCs, but it also has some added features you won’t find.  In addition to  Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the newest iPads have good cameras built into them. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a 12 MP camera that can compete with most smartphones. The bigger Pro and the iPad Air 2 both have an 8 MP back-facing camera, which can still take pretty good pictures.

The iPad is also more mobile than a laptop (due to size and weight), which is a big selling point. This mobility isn’t just about carrying it with you when you travel. The biggest selling point is how easy it is to carry around your house or office.

You can get some of the same versatility with a Windows-based tablet, but when compared to a laptop or desktop PC, the iPad certainly has an advantage.

 

Reliability and Simplicity

One of the biggest reasons a PC’s performance degrades over time and it begins to crash more often is user error, particularly installing software that loads when you power up the PC, not doing a proper shutdown when powered off, and many other common mistakes that can eventually plague a PC

The iPad doesn’t have these problems. While it may become slower or experience strange bugs over time, you can usually clear these up with a simple reboot. The iPad doesn’t allow apps to self-load at start-up, so they won’t suffer a slow degradation of performance.  A user can’t power down an iPad without it running through a proper shutdown sequence

This simplicity helps keep the iPad bug free and in good working order.

 

User Friendly

It biggest selling point is that it is easy to use and hard to “mess up”.  This means ever member in a household can use it from the youngest to the oldest.  There are also Apps to meet every taste – games, educational, finance, movies, recreational etc, etc.  With the picture quality available on the iPad, the quality of the images even on a movie (which is normally made for wide cinema screens) does little to detract from your enjoyment of this media.

The iPad’s parental restrictions let you control the type of apps, games, music, and movies younger members of your family are allowed to download and watch.

Items above are a “taster” for iPad features and are an abridged article from Lifewire.

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