Tech News

Amazon wants to scan your hand to authorize shopping sprees

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 07:16

Amazon is planning to roll out new biometric scanners which will use hand scans as a means of identifying customers at Whole Foods supermarkets. The company is currently testing the system in its own offices, giving employees the opportunity to make purchases from vending machines with their hands.

Code-named Orville, the system can process transactions in just 300 milliseconds rather than the three or four seconds card payments take, reports the New York Post.

The payment system will be made available to Amazon Prime subscribers who will be able to link a payment card to a scan of their hand so they can benefit from fast check-out in stores.

Amazon's hand scanning system differs from traditional fingerprint readers in an important way. Much like iris scanners, there is no need to physically touch the scanner. Instead, sensors use depth geometry and imagery to identify hands with impressive speed and accuracy.

The New York Post's anonymous sources say that the system is currently accurate to within one ten-thousandth of a percent, but Amazon is said to be looking to improve this to one millionth of a percent.

Faster, but at what cost?

The move away from requiring payment cards – or even a phone – would certainly make payment quicker and easier for customers. What's not clear, however, is how the system will be received.

With any biometric system there are privacy and security concerns, and this appears to be something Amazon has considered in opting for hand recognition rather than facial recognition.

It remains to be seen whether Whole Foods customers are ready to embrace hand-based payments, but we'll find out as the system is due to roll out to a small number of stores by the start of 2020, before spreading to all US branches of the supermarket.

Categories: Tech News

BT has slashed the prices of its fibre broadband deals for the first time in ages

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:49

BT has built up a pretty good system for shifting its broadband deals - freebies, gift cards and yet more freebies. It's the UK's most popular ISP but because of its slightly higher than average price tags, the plethora of free gifts felt like a necessary touch for BT to compete...until now.

Across a range of its broadband deals, including our favourite - Superfast Fibre - BT has slashed prices. Cutting broadband prices is a popular move for ISPs - Vodafone, Virgin, TalkTalk, Sky, they all do it. But that's just not generally BT's style which is why we were so surprised to see them not just cut their prices but cut them pretty significantly.

And those freebies we were talking about above, they're not gone either. On top of the price drops, BT is also offering Gift Cards (i.e. pre-paid Mastercards) of up to £100. If you take that into account you can score BT's Superfast Fibre package for an effective £23.43 a month which dare we say...makes BT an affordable fibre option now? We dare indeed!

You can see our picks for the best BT broadband deals down below. While these price cuts are great, it is worth noting they are only available on a select number of deals from BT.

BT's cut price fibre broadband deals What are BT's Gift Cards?

The Gift Card that BT sends out is a pre-paid credit card that you can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. In short, that's around a million shops, cafes and restaurants around the world, so you shouldn't find it difficult to find places to spend, spend, spend.

It's an old-fashioned chip and pin card, rather than contactless. But do make sure that you claim your Reward Card within three months of installation, otherwise you'll lose out on all that cash.

Today's best BT broadband deals
Categories: Tech News

Facebook can now recognize and tag your face – whoever and wherever you are

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:37

Facebook is rolling out facial recognition to all of its 360 million users, making it easier than ever for your friends and family to tag you in embarrassing photos.

Facial recognition first arrived on Facebook in 2017 under the name 'Tag Suggestions', but was only available to a small sample of users. It's now accessible worldwide under the more logical name 'Face Recognition'.

Face Recognition will be turned off by default, and if you weren't part of the Tag Suggestions trial group, you'll see a notification in your News Feed asking if you want to activate it. 

New users signing up for Facebook will also receive a News Feed notification letting them know about Face Recognition.

If you were part of the Tag Suggestions group, however, you won't get the News Feed alert. To check your facial recognition settings, take a look in your privacy options and see whether the new Face Recognition switch is toggled on.

About face

Facebook's decision to make facial recognition global is a bold one, due to the bad press the technology has received in recent weeks.

San Francisco banned police forces from using facial recognition in May, and a London housing developer was prompted to switch off facial recognition at a site in King's Cross after public backlash. There's also increasing concern about the use of facial recognition at airports, which critics worry will normalize the technology and socialize people to accept it.

Facebook has published a blog post that aims to allay any fears about its own use of facial recognition. "We’ve continued to engage with privacy experts, academics, regulators and people on Facebook about how we use face recognition and the options you have to control it," the company said.

"We’ve made the steps to update your settings clearer and you can opt to leave your setting off right in the notice, as opposed to having to go to a separate screen. If you do nothing, face recognition will remain off for you."

Whether you're happy with facial recognition or not, this is a good time to take a look through the rest of your privacy settings on Facebook and make sure they're all up to date – particularly if you haven't checked them since last year, when the company embarked on a major overhaul to make them more transparent.

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy Fold release date is September 6, according to new leak

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:19

The Samsung Galaxy Fold release date has been incredibly hard to pin down – since the device was unveiled in February, a series of setbacks and delays has meant that six months later, the foldable phone still isn't available to buy.

That looks set to change though – we'd previously heard the Samsung Galaxy Fold is set to launch in September, and a new leak has given us a specific date: September 6.

That's according to the Korea Herald, which cites "industry sources" as saying Samsung is aiming to roll out between 20,000 and 30,000 units of the handset on that date.

That's not exactly many compared to modern flagship smartphones, but it's worth bearing in mind that Samsung is likely aware that this new piece of kit won't be popular from the moment it debuts, as novel tech takes a while to gain audience awareness.

And the timing, sudden as it seems, is no accident, as a re-launch event is expected to be held at IFA 2019, a consumer electronics event in Berlin, on the same day.

This initial launch is likely just for people who buy the Samsung Galaxy Fold outright though, as separately South Korean phone carrier KT (as reported by TizenHelp), has stated the folding device will land from September 11 with customers who pre-ordered.

If you're eager for the Samsung Galaxy Fold but don't live in South Korea, you may be waiting a little longer however, as these dates likely just apply to that country. Prolific leaker Evan Blass pegged the release elsewhere as September 27.

At the time of writing, IFA 2019 has already started, so we could see the new Galaxy Fold very soon. TechRadar is reporting on all the new tech products from the massive event, so follow our IFA 2019 coverage to keep up to date.

Categories: Tech News

Audio-Technica's latest true wireless earbuds boast outstanding battery life

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:10

Audio-Technica has announced two new true wireless earbud models, the ATH-CKS5TW and its budget sibling, the ATH-CK3TW. 

Designed to be affordable without compromising Audio-Technica's sonic heritage, the true wireless buds are bassier than the company's previous offerings, making them ideal for blocking out the world on your daily commute. 

Both earbuds come with an Auto Power On/Off feature that enables them to automatically pair with your smartphone or portable audio player when you take them out of their respective charging cases. 

Plus, with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, they should boast a reliable connection. They also come with an IPX2 water resistance rating, which means they should be able to survive sweaty workout sessions.

Incredible battery life and booming bass

The more expensive of the two true wireless earbud models, the ATH-CKS5TW, feature 10mm drivers with a dual-layer diaphragms, which use a combination of hard and soft materials. 

According to Audio-Technica, this combination allows the buds to deliver "rich but accurate bass sounds and clear full-range audio". With a focus on those bass frequencies, these wireless earbuds will likely sound a little different to their predecessors, which are well-known for their natural accuracy-driven soundstage.

Audiophiles will be pleased to know that they're also compatible with aptX, SBC, and AAC codecs for lossless playback of your Hi-Res Audio files.

The eartips have also been redesigned, for an "improved, stable, and comfortable fit", as well as strong noise isolation that should block out a good amount of ambient noise that might otherwise disrupt your music. 

The real calling card of the ATH-CKS5TWs is their outstanding battery life; with 15 hours of playback held within the buds themselves, they're set to outperform some of the best true wireless earbuds, including the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1, in this regard. 

You also get an additional 30 hours of juice from the charging case, bringing the total battery life up to 45 hours. They're not outlandishly expensive either, at £149 (around $180 / AU$265).

To control the ATH-CKS5TWs, there are buttons on the outer housing on each bud, as well as compatibility with Siri and Google Assistant if you prefer to go hands-free.

The budget option

If you're looking to spend less than $100 / £100 / AU$180, then the ATH-CK3TW will probably appeal more than their pricier sibling, costing £99 (around $120 / AU$175). 

With 5.8mm drivers, they should deliver a strong sonic performance despite their compact size. 

Designed for use on the go, these true wireless earbuds come with built-in smart sensors that detect when they have been removed from your ear, and stop your music accordingly. When you put them back in, your music should start up again totally seamlessly. 

The ATH-CK3TW's battery life is only six hours, but you do get an additional 24 hours from the charging case – that should be more than enough to get your through a week's worth of commuting. 

But, if you're looking for that longer battery life, you'll have to splash a little more cash on the more expensive ATH-CK3TWs.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs should get faster as fix for boost clock issues is incoming

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 05:48

AMD is preparing to deliver a fix for the Ryzen 3000 boost clock issues which have been much talked about of late, most recently by renowned overclocker Der8auer, who conducted what was a pretty damning survey on the face of it.

As you can see above, AMD took to Twitter to clarify that it’s working on a BIOS update which will address the issues folks are having with boost clock speeds and “includes additional boost performance optimizations”.

The boost clock problem is down to a firmware issue, which is apparently situational, AMD says, and the company further clarifies that we’ll get a timeframe for the arrival of this patching on September 10 next week.

Of course, not only will AMD need to finish the fix itself, but then it’ll need to be delivered to motherboard makers, who will subsequently need to roll the update out – which will take more time.

At any rate, AMD has admitted there’s some kind of problem with boost speed here, although the statement still takes the time to clarify that the boosts users achieve will depend on all sorts of variables (which is a fair point to make, particularly regarding the cooling solution used with the CPU, and related issues like case airflow).

Hopefully the firmware fix will arrive in a reasonably timely manner, and address these boost problems without causing any fallout in other respects (for example, in terms of chips running warmer – with potential consequences for longevity, which is certainly one fear that has also been aired online).

Flak fired

Indeed, if you’ve been following this whole controversy over online forums and the likes of Reddit – and not forgetting the comments on Der8auer’s video – there has been a lot of flak fired at AMD for this.

In fact, a good deal of the criticism revolved around AMD keeping quiet and not commenting on this issue in recent times, so it’s good to see a statement finally being made.

Perhaps now we can give the CPU maker the benefit of the doubt, that it was investigating the matter thoroughly and seeking out the best path for a fix, but didn’t want to actually come out and say anything until it was sure of the way forward.

Meanwhile, those Ryzen 3000 owners who have been frustrated over boost speeds have been making some pretty cutting remarks, not to mention floating conspiracy theories – such as the prospect that AMD is reserving the highest quality 7nm chiplets for Epyc processors (for servers) rather than consumer Ryzen.

However, one of the most persistent attacks on AMD that we’ve seen is the threat that the Ryzen chips failing to hit advertised boost speeds could lead to a lawsuit down the line. And that prospect is probably fresh in everybody’s minds because of the recent resolution of the false advertising lawsuit over AMD’s FX Bulldozer chips which ended up costing the company $12.1 million (around £10 million, AU$17.9 million).

Keeping some perspective

Despite all the hoo-ha around this, there are a few things we should bear in mind to keep this affair in perspective. Firstly, that the Ryzen 3000 chips are without doubt excellent pieces of silicon – boost clock issues, or no boost clock issues – as we’ve documented in our many detailed reviews of the processors in the range.

They run damn well, period, and we’ve got to remember that clock speeds aren’t everything in CPU land – the architectural improvements that Zen 2 ushers in cannot be underestimated in terms of lifting overall performance (this is, of course, why old CPUs might have similar-ish clock speeds, but very different performance levels to contemporary silicon).

And the other argument to bear in mind is that often these maximum boost speeds are only reached very fleetingly, and given this, for many tasks, raising that max boost might only have a pretty limited impact on overall performance.

That said, any chip which is launched with a black-and-white spec that promises it reaches a certain boost speed, should be able to reach that boost speed – at least for a peak moment, no matter how fleeting – for, well, obvious reasons.

In a way, all this controversy has stemmed from issues of trust and transparency, as much as any performance concerns.

Categories: Tech News

iPhone 11, iOS 13, Apple Watch 5 and new iPad details leaked in sketchy document

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 05:17

The biggest Apple leak of the year may have just emerged, as a supposedly official PDF has been shared, detailing the names and launch dates of various Apple devices, including the iPhone 11 range.

Shared by AppleBeta2019 on Twitter (an account which has accurately leaked information about Apple’s operating systems in the past), the document suggests that Apple’s upcoming handsets will be called the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. These are names we’ve heard before, though we remain unconvinced by the last one, as it feels clunky.

The new phones will apparently hit stores on September 27, but given that we know they’re going to be announced on September 10 that doesn’t quite line up with Apple’s usual release timings – we’d expect them a week earlier than that.

iOS 13 meanwhile will apparently launch on September 23, with iOS 13.1 landing sometime in October. Though there’s some confusion here, as the document suggests the iPhone 11 range will have iOS 13.1 on day one, but that a security patch named iOS 13.0.1 will arrive on the phones in October.

Moving on to the Apple Watch 5, this unsurprisingly is said to be announced on September 10 alongside the iPhone 11 range. Four versions carrying the model numbers A2156, A2157, A2092 and A2093 are said to land then. They will apparently run watchOS 6, with watchOS 6.1 scheduled to land in October.

The document also mentions two new iPad models, which will apparently hit stores in October, though it’s not clear whether they will be announced alongside the rest of these devices or at a later date.

They apparently carry the model numbers A2068 and A2198, with the former being entry-level while the latter is said to be a new iPad Pro, and both are to ship with iPadOS 13.

That software, along with watchOS 6, tvOS 13, macOS 10.15 Catalina and – as previously mentioned – iOS 13, is said to roll out to existing devices on September 23.

Lots of red flags

We would, however, take all of this information with a huge side of salt. Beyond our concerns above about it not matching Apple’s usual release schedule, and the iOS 13 roll-out dates not adding up, numerous other issues have been pointed out.

For example, @AppleSWUpdates notes that there are no watermarks and that – in contrast to what the document states – Apple apparently won’t release another iOS 13.1 beta. They also claim inconsistencies in the build numbers and naming.

9to5Mac has similar concerns, adding that official Apple documentation apparently always refers to the ‘developer program’, whereas this mentions the ‘development program’. The site also notes that the constant switches from product names to model numbers when talking about devices seems unusual.

So with all that said we reckon this document is probably fake, though we can’t completely rule out the possibility that it’s accurate.

Via AppleInsider

Categories: Tech News

Latest Audio-Technica turntable makes playing vinyl records easy

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 05:01

Audio-Technica has over 50 years of expertise in the field of record players, and its latest turntable, the AT-LP5x, combines the looks of the 20th century with 21st century technology. 

The successor of the popular AT-LP5, the new record player builds on the classic design of turntables from the 60s and 70s, while allowing you to digitize your entire vinyl collection via a USB output.

A cable to connect the AT-LP5 to your PC or laptop is included in the box, as well as a download link for music recording software Audacity, which can be used to convert your precious records to MP3, WAV, and other digital formats. 

Plug and play

Audio-Technica is famed for its turntable cartridges – and as such, the stylus of this record player is fully customizable. It comes with the new AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet stereo cartridge, which is pre-mounted on an AT-HS6 headshell – this means your setup is pretty much ready to go straight out of the box. 

However, you can swap this cartridge out for any in the VM95 range if you're looking for a different stylus shape or material. 

There's no need for an external amplifier (instead the AT-LP5x relies on a built-in phono/line preamp) so you can plug it straight into your computer, stereo, or speakers – no complicated setups necessary. 

New to the AT-LP5x is the ability to play your records at 78 RPM, as well as 33 and 45 RPM – although you will need an additional AT-VM95SP stylus to do this. 

Like its predecessor, the tonearm sports a stylish J-shaped design, harking back to classic record players from the 60s and 70s, as well as metallic gimbal suspension system and precision bearings.

This, combined with an adjustable anti-skate control means that any unwanted tonearm movement is prevented, which in turn prevents damage to your records and ensures they play as smoothly as possible. 

Design-wise, the turntable chassis comes in a sleek matte-black finish, which should look great in any home – and by using anti-vibration damping materials, unwanted resonance that could jeopardize the sound of your vinyls is minimized. 

At £349 (about $425 / AU$630), it's not the cheapest Audio-Technica turntable out there; turntables vary wildly in price, going for anything from $99 to $2000. How much you spend on your turntable depends on your budget and needs, but at a first glance, the AT-LP5x seems to cater to budding audiophiles who want a simple setup and have a little pocket money to spend on it.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

Sky Broadband promises reliable Wi-Fi in every room or your money back

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 05:00

Tired of flakey internet speeds the further you get from your main home router? Sky Broadband has announced a new 'WiFi Guarantee' that wants to make all of the ISP's Broadband Boost customers happy with their performance all over the home.

The WiFi Guarantee promises that if a customer isn't happy with their signal anywhere at all in the home, then they get their money back.

It's a lofty claim - how is Sky going to manage to make good on this? Firstly, this is specifically for those signing up to the Sky Broadband Boost package. That means they will be sent out the latest Sky Broadband Hub that crams in a massive eight antennas for better signal across floors and rooms in most homes.

Secondly, this slow level of speed has been measured by Sky. The minimum speed will be 3Mb, as tested through the Sky online checker or via the My Sky app and if you don't get that then you can file for a claim. This will mean you get the full amount paid for Sky Broadband Boost right back to the start of your contract. It will also mean the Boost fee is waived for the rest of your contract.

"Innovation that matches customers’ connectivity needs"

This promise comes into practice from Friday, September 6 and will not only apply to new Broadband Boost customers but to anyone already on that package right now. Sky Broadband Boost with WiFi Guarantee will be available from £5 per month and can be added to any Sky Broadband package.

Aman Bhatti, Head of Propositions for Sky, said: “WiFi Guarantee reflects Sky’s commitment to innovation and technology that matches our customers’ evolving connectivity needs.

“The need for fast and reliable broadband that reaches every room is more important than ever before

"Our WiFi Guarantee, combined with the new Sky Hub, genuinely guarantees a strong signal in every room of the house – strong enough to stream movies and TV from Sky Go and Netflix – or your money back.”  

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update is now breaking search on some PCs

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:59

It looks like Microsoft’s latest update for Windows 10 is encountering yet more issues, with some users reporting that Windows Search no longer works.

This follows recent reports that the same update was causing an issue where Cortana was being particularly greedy when it came to CPU usage, impacting the performance on affected PCs.

Now, there have been several users taking to social media, forums, and the Windows 10 Feedback Hub app complaining that since installing the update, the built-in search tool in Windows 10 no longer works.

According to some users, while the search box remains in users’ Taskbars, when they try to search for something, a black box is displayed rather than their search results.

It looks like the issue could be to do with the Windows 10 KB4512941 update and the Group Policy or Registry entry for how Windows Search and Bing (Microsoft’s online search engine) work together – which was the issue with the high CPU usage problems that users were also reporting.

It looks like the way to fix this issue is to uninstall the update for now. You can do this by opening up Settings, clicking 'Update & Security', then clicking 'View update history'. Click 'Uninstall updates' then select the KB4512941 update and click 'Uninstall'.

Windows 10 KB4512941 installation error

Not only is the Windows 10 KB4512941 update causing issues for some people once it’s installed, there’s also reports that some Windows Insiders (who test out early updates for Windows before they’re made public) can’t even install the update, with the installation producing an 0x800f081f error code.

However, considering the issues plaguing this update, not being able to install it might be a blessing in disguise.

Microsoft claims it’s looking into the problems affecting the update, but it hasn’t released any official fixes or workarounds.

It’s not a great look for Microsoft, which has faced criticism in the past over issues with previous Windows 10 updates. The company has promised to overhaul the way updates are tested and rolled out in a bid to avoid future issues, but it appears not to be working so far.

Via Windows Latest

Categories: Tech News

Google Calendar makes it harder for your boss to pester you outside work hours

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:53

Google Calendar now has an updated Work Hours feature, which should make it easier for you to manage your work-life balance by avoiding commitments outside your regular office hours.

Working Hours has been around for a while, letting you define when you're going to be available for meetings and other engagements. If someone attempts to schedule an appointment that goes outside those times, Google Calendar will issue a warning that you might decline.

It's a handy feature that helps avoid the awkwardness of telling someone you'd rather head home and crash on the sofa at the end of the day, but until now it's been necessary to activate it through the app's settings.

Now, as 9to5Google reports, Work Hours is enabled by default – even if you haven't told the app exactly when you clock in and out of the office each day.

A balancing act

When the update reaches you, Google Calendar will estimate roughly when your work day begins and ends based on previous appointments and present these times in a pop-up window. If they're not quite right, you can edit them before proceeding.

The updated Working Hours tool is rolling out for G Suite users now, and will be arriving for free Google Calendar users soon.

Categories: Tech News

TechRadar Pro Best for Business Awards 2019: Best computing devices

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:46

Last month, we gave our readers a chance to cast their vote to help us narrow down our extensive longlists of the best B2B tech and accessories for the TechRadar Pro Best for Business Awards 2019, in partnership with Avast Business. Well the votes have been counted and here are our picks for the best computing devices in 2019.

Best Business PC: Apple iMac

Apple’s iMac has certainly come along way since it was first introduced 21 years ago. Now the company’s sleek all-in-one desktop computer can be found at the front desks of many businesses and Apple has even released the iMac Pro to better cater to the needs of creative professionals. In 2019, Apple refreshed the iMac with all new components including 9th-generation Intel desktop processors, Radeon Pro graphics and faster SSDs. The luxurious 5K Retina display is just another one of the many reasons the Apple iMac was voted the best business PC in this year’s awards. 

Best Mobile Workstation: 15-inch MackBook Pro

The 15-inch Macbook Pro is this year’s choice for best mobile workstation because the device is a literal powerhouse designed to help mobile professionals stay productive on the go. Just like the iMac, it was recently refreshed with Intel’s hexa-core 9th-generation processors and this laptop can even be outfitted with up to 32GB of RAM and Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics. The 15-inch Macbook Pro can handle any task you throw at it without breaking a sweat while still retaining its now iconic design. 

Best Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad T480 with 72WHr battery

The ThinkPad has remained a top choice among business users since it debuted in 1992 and the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 retains the line’s best features while also incorporating a huge 72WHr battery. This laptop allows you to work for longer (17-19 hours longer) and you can rest assured knowing your data is protected with the inclusion of a built-in fingerprint reader, Lenovo’s end-to-end ThinkShield security solution and the T480 also includes the company’s new ThinkShutter which slides over your webcam to help protect your privacy. The tactile, smile-shaped keys and TrackPoint pointing device make the Lenovo T480 a joy to type and edit documents on.

Best Business Tablet: Surface Pro 6

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 is this year’s choice for best business tablet. The Surface line has come a long way since its introduction in 2012 and in our opinion, the Surface Pro 6 is the company’s best tablet yet. The device is faster, longer lasting and now comes in a sleek, new black shell. The Surface Pro 6 can even be customized with up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. While the latest model is more of an incremental upgrade, if you’ve been on the fence about buying a Surface, there is no reason to wait any longer. 

Best Business Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The original Samsung Galaxy Note made large form factor smartphones popular and helped coin the term phablet. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 continues this trend with a larger 6.4-inch screen, a hefty 4,000mAh battery and a massive 1TB of storage option making it an ideal smartphone for mobile power users. The camera has also been improved and the Bluetooth-connected S Pen now offers even more functionality with fun customizable shortcuts which can be activated remotely. If you’re a commuter or just want to get actual work done on your smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a no-brainer which is why it was chosen as this year’s best business smartphone. 

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus TV to be powered by a dedicated “Gamma Color Magic” picture sensor

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:17

As we near the OnePlus TV launch, the company continues to reveal more interesting details about it, this time about the new dedicated picture processor.

One of the key selling points of the OnePlus TV is going to be the picture quality. The OnePlus 7 Pro was the best display on any smartphone and the TV wants to follow suit. The company’s CEO revealed that the OnePlus TV will be powered by a new picture processor that was built in-house. Dubbed as the “Gamma Color Magic”, this upcoming processor will supposedly give the TV best-in-class image quality along with the widest colour gamut, basically enabling the TV to output a bigger range of colours.

The OnePlus TV is also confirmed to implement a custom QLED panel for an improvement in brightness and colours. QLED panels are generally seen only on high-end TVs and are arguably better than OLED panels as well. The TV will also be capable of playing back HDR content, thanks to Dolby Vision. You can expect a very high max brightness level along with darker blacks for an overall richer image.

Along with top-notch visuals, the OnePlus TV will also be Dolby Atmos-certified, making use of the 8 speakers on the TV for an immersive surround sound experience at an output of 50 watts. 

OnePlus is not just looking to provide impressive hardware, but also glue all of that together with a rich software experience. Running on Android TV OS, OnePlus will be customising and optimising the software to make it more seamless and connected with other OnePlus products. Voice commands are also going to be a big part of the user interface, used for navigation, checking the weather and schedule and look up content on Google Play. Chromecast support will be built-in.

The rumoured launch date is September 26 for India, and could share the stage with the OnePlus 7T series of smartphones. If that is indeed the actual release date, we should get more details around these products very soon.

Categories: Tech News

This Chromecast-enabled soundbar transmits room-shaking sound for serious cinephiles

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:10

Slim, sleek, and subwoofer-ready; the new Definitive Technology Studio Slim promises to be the soundbar of any dedicated cinephile's dreams.

Announced at IFA 2019, the new soundbar is Chromecast-enabled too, meaning it's just as much a part of the smart home as it is a part of your home cinema setup.

What does that mean in real terms? Having Chromecast built-in also has the benefit of allowing you to easily cast your music, favorite radio stations, and podcasts from your smartphone to the soundbar over Wi-Fi.

Unlike a Bluetooth connection, this enables you to connect multiple devices to the soundbar simultaneously and control your music playback wherever you are in your home.

This also means that you can hook this soundbar up to your other Chromecast-enabled speakers via the Google Home app to create an entire home audio system.

So, if you have a Google Home speaker like the Google Home Max or Google Home Hub, you can give voice commands to the Google Assistant built into these speakers to control playback on the Studio Slim soundbar.

Room-filling sound

Now, let's get down to the audio nitty-gritty: the Studio Slim soundbar features left, center, and right channels, which are driven by seven individual transducers and amplifiers.

Definitive Technology says that this delivers "room-filling three channel sound, for precise imaging, wide soundstage, and reproduction of surround content", while the adjustable center channel "allows users to custom tailor" the voicing of the soundbar.

Three one-inch aluminum dome tweeters and with four three-inch oval drivers work in tandem with the accompanying eight-inch subwoofer, which should a welcome boost of bass to your favorite film's soundtrack.

The soundbar comes with three EQ presets (Movies, Music, and Night), which should make it easier to switch between different types of content.

According to Definitive Technology, Movie mode "widens the sound stage and heightens dialogue and effects for immersive home theater", while Music mode "focuses the imaging and simplifies processing, resulting in accurate, uncolored reproduction" – this should appeal to purist audiophiles. 

Meanwhile, Night mode "tailors overall output and bass response for more subdued late-night viewing", so your explosion-laden action film shouldn't disturb your long-suffering neighbors. 

Cinematic audio comes at a cost

In terms of connectivity, the soundbar hooks up to your TV via a single HDMI cable, and as it's HDMI ARC-enabled, you can control it using your TV's existing remote control.

The use of one cable also means you don't have to deal with annoying wires cluttering the space behind your TV – and saving space is exactly what Definitive Technology had in mind when it designed the Studio Slim soundbar.

Standing at just under two inches tall, the soundbar shouldn't block the bottom edge of your TV, and it's brushed aluminum top panel should look great in any home.

If all that sounds good, you may be a little perturbed by the price; at $999 / £999 (around AU$1800), it's one of the pricier soundbars we've come across – still, it's not the most expensive we've seen, and if it lives up to its impressive spec list, it could prove to be well worth the money.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

Urbanista launches two true wireless earbud models to rival Apple AirPods

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:01

Swedish audio brand Urbanista has unveiled two new true wireless earbud models to rival competitors like the Apple AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, and Beats Powerbeats Pro

The more expensive of the two models, thee Urbanista Athens true wireless earbuds are made with runners in mind, with an IP67 waterproof rating, which means they should withstand a little rain, as well as a sweaty workout. 

Priced at £119 (Around $140 / AU$215), the true wireless buds come with eight hours of playback, while the charging case provides an additional 24 hours; and, with Siri and Google Assistant compatibility, your music playback can be controlled with your voice. 

Made with sports in mind

In terms of sound quality, Urbanista says that the in-ear design of these wireless headphones provides "provides maximum comfort and sound isolation allowing you to focus on your performance without distraction".

There's a focus on bass, which is specifically designed for sports, providing an audio experience that's "geared to help push you through that extra mile". Also useful for athletes is the ability to use one earbud at a time, so you can hear your surroundings while listening to music or taking calls.  

Design-wise, they look a little like the Samsung Galaxy Buds, weighing just 5g for a comfortable fit over long period of time. 

The cheaper true wireless earbud model, the Urbanista Paris come in at £99 (around $120 / AU$180) – relativtely cheap for this kind of wireless earphone

These buds draw inspiration from the unique look of the Apple AirPods, with long protruding stems and a pillbox-like charging case.

Urbanista says that these buds provide "strong passive noise-canceling', thanks to the seal created by the in-ear design, and like the pricier Athens, come with Siri and Google Assistant compatibility. 

With five hours playtime and an additional 15 hours of juice provided by the charging case, the Urbanista Paris true wireless buds don't have the best battery life we've ever seen, but they do look pretty slick, coming in black, white, rose gold, and luxe olive green. 

They look similar to the Urbanista Stockholm true wireless headphones, which we reviewed recently; we were impressed by their stylish design and simple controls, but felt the sound quality was sometimes lacking.

The Urbanista Paris, which will hopefully improve upon the sound quality of their predecessors, are available to buy from November 1, while the Urbanista Athens true wireless earbuds will be available from October 1.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

Logitech MX Master 3 is the most advanced mouse in the world

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 03:31

Logitech has unveiled its most advanced premium mouse and keyboard releases to date.

The company says its new MX Master 3 offers unparalleled speed and precision in scrolling for a wide range of users, from software programmers to graphic designers.

In addition, the new MX Keys keyboard looks to be an ideal partner to the mouse, offering a top of the line typing experience that also offers intelligent lighting and ergonomic support.

MX Master 3

The MX Master 3 is Logitech's most powerful mouse to date, featuring a completely re-designed wheel that can scroll a thousand lines in one second - a potential lifesaver for programmers hunting for a particular line of code.

The new wheel, made of Swiss stainless steel, features 90 percent faster scrolling speeds than previous generations, with magnets inside the body cutting down on both friction and noise.

Users can still opt for a haptic feel when scrolling, with the option of a silent ratchet mode alongside traditional experiences. Thanks to a 4,000 DPI sensor, the MX Master 3 is also incredibly precise when tracking on any surface, even glass.

On the device itself, Logitech has made the thumb wheel of the MX Master 3 larger than ever, as well as making it out of stainless steel - although total weight is still an incredibly mobile 141g. 

This gives easier access to the forward and backwards quick buttons, with a new hidden thumb button used to mimic gesture controls for navigation, such as zooming and switching across screens and apps. Logitech has also optimised the device for a number of common apps such as Photoshop and Microsoft Excel, allowing custom mapping.

Battery life is up to 70 days from a single charge from its USB-C port, with three hours usage possible after just a minute of charging.

MX Keys

Along with the MX Master 3 mouse, Logitech has also launched the companion MX Keys keyboard, which it says is "shaped for your fingertips" to offer "ultra-fluid typing".

The MX Keys features a backlit surface to allow you to work in low light or even darkness, with a built-in proximity sensor detecting when a user is near whilst also detecting the surrounding light level to help save battery life.

Battery life is around 10 days with this backlighting enabled, but turning it off ups this to a staggering five months, with recharging via USB-C connectivity.

There's also the option for customisable mapping, allowing users to set their own layouts, and a number of hotkeys for specific functions.

The 810g keyboard itself has been stabilised to allow maximum comfort, with a metal plate inside helping keep it steady, and a memory foam palm rest meaning it's comfortable to use even for long periods.

Both the MX Master 3 and MX Keys are able to work with Windows, Mac and Linux devices, and can even operate across different platforms to transfer files, images and documents thanks to Logitech's Flow service.

Both devices will go on sale later this month, with the MX Master 3 costing £99.99 and the MX Keys is £99.99, although a package including the palm rest will cost £109.99.

Categories: Tech News

England vs Australia 4th Test live stream: how to watch Ashes cricket from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 03:25

The 2019 Ashes series has been completely turned on its head after England miraculously won the third Test from a seemingly irretrievable position at Headingley. With the series back to 1-1 and everything to play for, England head to Manchester on a high, while Australia are boosted by the return of talismanic batsman Steve Smith. Read on to find out the best ways to get an England vs Australia 4th Test live stream.

For England, the big talking point going in to the 4th Test has been the loss of pace bowler Jimmy Anderson following a recurrence of his calf injury, with Somerset’s Craig Overton called into the first XI. It will be an otherwise unchanged team for this match, with Joe Denly set to swap in the batting order with Jason Roy.

Having bowled England out for 67 and with the Ashes within their grasp, the Aussies somehow conspired (with a bit of help from Ben Stokes) to lose the third Test and it will be interesting to see what impact the manner of that loss will have on the visitors.

A major positive for Australia is the comeback of Smith at the expense of Usman Khawaja, returning from the concussion he suffered after being hit by a 92mph Jofra Archer bouncer. They'll also be hoping the inclusion of a fresh pace bowler - either Peter Siddle or Mitchell Starc - will help turn the tide back their way.

You can watch all the action from pretty much anywhere on Earth by following our Ashes 4th Test cricket live stream guide below.

Watch the 4th England vs Australia Test away from your country

In the UK, Australia, India or the US and looking to find out how to watch the fourth Ashes Test? We've got all the details about the broadcaster with the rights to show the series in your region below. 

But if you're away from home country - maybe abroad on business or on holiday - but still want to tune in to your domestic Ashes coverage then you'll run in to issues. Because of broadcaster geo-blocking, you won't be able to watch online from overaseas. By using a VPN however, you'll be able to watch the game without having to resort to watching a potentially illegal feed from a dubious website.

How to watch the Ashes 4th Test in the UK

Live stream the 2019 Ashes 4th Test in Australia for FREE

How to watch England vs Australia: live stream in India

How to live stream England vs Australia in North America

How to get an Ashes 4th Test live stream in New Zealand

Categories: Tech News

Android 10 has a puzzle game hidden inside

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 03:17

If you've upgraded to Android 10 on your smartphone, there's a big new feature that Google didn't even mention, and you can access it straight away: it's a puzzle game, hidden away in the new operating system.

Spotted by 9to5Google, this puzzle game is a little easter egg, a hidden extra on a piece of software included as a joke, maintaining the tradition of Google popping in small games or fun extras to find in the software. 

It's a little harder to access than previous years, but we can help with that.

This particular game is a nonogram, which is a style of grid-based puzzle where you need to color in, or leave blank, squares, depending on clues in the margins. It's also known in some areas as 'picross', and you may know it from branded games like Pokemon Picross or Mario Picross.

The Android 10 nonogram is quite extensive, with many levels, although we haven't yet found out how many – enough to make the easter egg compare with a nonogram app though, that's for sure.

If you want to play the Android 10 hidden nonogram puzzle game, this is how: the technique was originally found by 9to5Google, but we've followed the steps to verify it works.

How to access Android 10 easter egg game

Firstly, you're going to have to be on Android 10 to access the easter egg, and as of writing only Pixel phones are eligible for this. 

If that's you though, you can easily update by going to Settings, System Update, then updating to the latest version.

Once you're on Android 10, go to phone Settings, select 'About Phone', then press 'Android version' repeatedly. Now you'll be faced with a giant 'Android 10' logo.

Tap repeatedly on the '1' of 'Android 10' and it'll rotate – you can also drag it around the screen. What you need to do now is rotate it and drag it, until it's positioned through the '0' to make a 'Q'.

(This is something of an in-joke, as Android 10 was supposed to be called Android Q as part of the traditional Google naming ceremony, but was switched to be named 10 to fit in with the search giant's plans to make the new operating system versions a little easier to understand.)

Now press the Android logo once more, and the nonogram game will launch. It's a game that starts on quite high difficulty, but when you work out how to play, it becomes incredibly logical – even more so that the visual answers to the puzzles are all Android-related images.

There is a bug in the game, and it's that while traditionally nonograms have clues along the top and left side of the grid, the Android 10 game is too big, so you can only actually see either the top or left clues at once. Rotate the screen to see the other batch.

However, it's an intriguing game to get as part of the main operating system - so go forth and find it (if you're a Pixel user that upgrades your OS the second a new version lands...).

Via 9to5Google

Categories: Tech News

Finally! Nikon D6 confirmed as being in development

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 00:21

With the 2020 Olympic Games less than a year away, and the D5 approaching its fourth birthday, many have been expecting Nikon would shortly reveal that it had a D6 DSLR in the works – and now, it's done exactly that.

The company has confirmed that the model is on the way, and while it claims that it will be its "most advanced DSLR to date," it's stopped short of confirming any specs. 

There's also no word on pricing or availability yet, although it has confirmed that a AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR lens is being developed alongside.

The news follows earlier leaks from Nikon Europe's social media team, which promised that the D6 would "reinforce Nikon DSLR's advantage in sports photo journalism."

Nikon D6.

It's the first Nikon DSLR to be confirmed for over a year, following the D3500 that was launched back in August 2018. Since then, Nikon has placed much of its focus on developing the lens line for its new Z mirrorless system, and rumors of new Z-series bodies continue. 

Categories: Tech News

Nikon gives its NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S lens the official stamp

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 00:10

Nikon has confirmed full details of the next lens to join its Z mirrorless system, the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S. 

The NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S blends a usefully wide focal length with a fast f/1.8 aperture, and is fitted with one extra-low dispersion and four aspherical elements to help keep image quality high. 

Nano Crystal Coat technology is also on hand to supress reflections, while nine diaphragm blades should keep the aperture nice and round for smooth bokeh.

The barrel has a dust- and drip-resistant design, and makes use of magnesium alloy for rigidity. As we'd expect, it's been designed with a deep control ring, whose function can be customized when not required for manual focus.

Other features include a 25cm minimum focusing distance, a 72mm filter thread and internal focus to keep the lens at the same length at all times.

The new lens mounted on a Nikon Z7.

The lens is the latest in a string of f/1.8 Z-series optics, following the likes of the NIKKOR Z 35mm F1.8 S and NIKKOR Z 50mm F1.8 S. It's also the widest prime lens Nikon has released yet for the Z system, although it's set to lose that crown next year with the arrival of a 20mm f/1.8 S optic.

Two more lenses by 2020

Like other manufacturers who have recently launched mirrorless camera lines, Nikon has been reasonably open around the lenses currently being worked on to maintain plenty of interest in the system.

The Z 24mm f/1.8 S is now the fourth lens to arrive from the six that were promised for 2019, following the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 SNIKKOR Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S and most recent NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S.

The roadmap shows just two further lenses set for release this year, with more following in 2020.

The lens roadmap shows this leaves just two lenses before the year is up, namely a NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 S lens and the super-fast, attention-seeking NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, a lens that stole most of the headlines at the system's launch.

The NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S will be available from mid-to-late October at a price of $999.95. Pricing information for the UK and Australia has not yet been disclosed.

Categories: Tech News