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Vodafone named UK's least favourite network yet again

Latest Tech News - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 05:41

Vodafone has once again been ranked as the UK's least popular mobile network.

The operator finished bottom of the latest survey from consumer watchdog Which?, marking the eighth year in a row it has achieved the unwanted title.

Giffgaff was voted the UK's best provider, with fellow small operators Utility Warehouse and Plusnet Mobile scoring highly, but EE and O2 filled the bottom three places alongside Vodafone, which has now finished bottom in all eight of Which?'s annual reports.

Value for money

Thirteen UK mobile network providers were included in Which's survey of 6,135 members. The watchdog says it aims to highlight the best network choice for consumers in the UK, including areas such as customer service and value for money.

Vodafone saw one-star ratings for customer service, value for money and technical support, with one in five of its customers telling Which? "customer service, including complaints handling and the way their queries were dealt with, was poor".

Vodafone apologised to users for its poor showing, saying it was sorry customers were unhappy and that it was, "working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do."

“We are determined to provide our customers with the best possible mobile service," the company said in a statement to TechRadar Pro. "We continue to invest in our network, our customer service and our products and last month saw our consumer satisfaction score reach its highest ever level.  We have also introduced a new loyalty programme for our mobile customers, VeryMe, which is proving very popular."

In contrast, Giffgaff customers said the network was "good or excellent" value for money.

"The continuing reign of smaller networks over the big players goes to show exactly how important customer support and value for money are to mobile users," said Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services.

"If you think you're paying too much or are not getting the level of service you expect from your provider, you should shop around for a better deal - you might find you save yourself some money and probably a lot of grief, too."

Earlier this month, EE was named as the UK’s best mobile network according to analysis from OpenSignal, which said the operator had the fastest speeds, lowest latency and greatest availability of all four major networks.

Categories: Tech News

Best TV 2019: the best TVs to buy for big screen action

Latest Tech News - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 02:39

Best TV Buying Guide: Settle in for TechRadar's round-up of the best TV sets you can get your hands on in 2019.

Picking a TV is no simple task. If you're a movie buff, this screen may end up as your best friend not just for the coming months, but years – while we replace our phones on a fairly regular basis, the best TV screens should sit prettily in our living rooms for a good long while. They're pricey purchases, and we expect to get our money's worth. 

And with so many features to consider, with new TV technologies being introduced all the time, making a decision is getting harder all the time. A brand new top-of-the-line TV can offer such a wide range of different technologies and features that it can be hard to know what you're looking for. With the major manufacturers in a yearly arms race to outdo rivals, keeping up with all the latest developments isn't always easy. 

  • Confused about high dynamic range? Don't miss our guide to HDR 

Feeling flummoxed? Don't worry, TechRadar is here to be your guide. Our guide to the best TVs available will help you separate the cheap panels from the best 4K screens. We'll help you find an awesome flatscreen without wasting hours of research comparing spec sheets. 

If you're looking for a buying guide that deals with TVs that only support the new Ultra HD resolution, check out our guide to the best 4K TVs. If getting a flatscreen on the cheap is your main concern, check out the best 4K TV deals.

But, if you're looking for the best-of-the-best TV out there today without limits or stipulations, this is the place for you. 

"So, should I buy a TV now or wait it out?"

We hear this question a lot. Like most technology, TVs are getting incrementally better all the time, but recently there has been a huge flurry of progress as manufacturers have rushed to embrace new display standards including Ultra HD and HDR.  

Thankfully, things seem to have settled down a little in this department, and the majority of TV manufacturers now support these next generation of features, including newer versions of HDR such as Hybrid Log Gamma. 

So long as your next TV purchase supports these technologies (looking for an Ultra HD Premium certification is a good way to go), we reckon you won't be kicking yourself in six month's time when the next batch of sets arrive 

That said, we'd be remiss if we didn't let you know about the cool technologies that are just around the corner in TV tech. Chief amongst them is support for the new HDMI 2.1 standard, which as well as allowing support for 8K at 60 frames per second and 4K at 120 will also allow for FreeSync to be supported over HDMI. 

It's cool technology for sure, but unless you're seriously into your gaming then we reckon you're safe making a purchase now. 

  • Want better audio? Check out our guide to the best soundbars available.
  • Once you've decided on a panel, make sure you read our guide on how to set up your TV to make sure you're getting the most out of it.

From the moment we laid eyes on the the XBR-65Z9D we’ve been desperate to get our hands on one. It is, hands down, the holy grail of television for 2017: a TV able to combine the extreme, high dynamic range-friendly brightness of LCD technology with a backlight arrangement capable of getting LCD closer than ever before to the stunning light control you get with OLED technology.

This backlight arrangement comprises more than 600 LEDs that sit behind the 65Z9D’s screen that are capable of outputting their own light levels independently of their neighbors. This should enable the TV to produce more of the extremes of light and shade associated with new high dynamic range (HDR) technology while suffering less than other LCD TVs with distracting clouds, stripes or halos of unwanted, extraneous light.

As if this wasn’t already attraction enough, the 65Z9D also sports Sony’s new ‘X1 Extreme’ video processing system and the latest version of Sony’s reliable Triluminos wide color technology for unlocking the extended color spectrums associated with HDR sources.

The LG W7 OLED is truly something special. Not only is it one of the thinnest TVs to ever grace our vision (it’s 2.75mm thin), but it’s also one of the most gorgeous. When fed the right kind of content – in this case, 4K HDR10 or Dolby Vision video – it truly shines. A super-slim design alone wouldn’t have been enough to warrant the extra cost to upgrade to LG’s latest panel. But the thin frame on top of a Dolby Atmos soundbar on top of four types of HDR support on top of the magnetic mounting system on top of the new webOS 3.5 operating system surely did the trick. This incredibly gorgeous TV isn’t without its faults (see: motion handling, its sticker price and soundbar issues), but in terms of sheer picture performance there’s nothing else like it right now. 

It looks like someone on Samsung’s TV design team has been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. The 65-inch Q9 is a ringer for that film’s mysterious black monolith thanks to the way both its front and back sides are completely flat and feature ultra-robust, polished finishes. Ultra HD HDR playback is what the Q9F was created to do and, given Samsung’s potent HDR track record, it's no surprise to find that it does it supremely well. Even though the Q9F has 4K HDR optimisation in its DNA, it’s capable of looking seriously good with high definition standard dynamic range content too.

The X930E Series builds on last year's X930D series in a few important ways, the first of which is by including one of Sony’s new X1 Extreme chipsets. These are around 40% more powerful than the original X1 chips, and introduce separate databases to help the TV analyze noise and upscale sub-4K sources to the screen’s native 4K resolution. Add in an apparently much-improved sound system and Sony’s Triluminos technology for delivering today’s wider color ranges and the X930E series seems to tick all the right boxes. 

Unfortunately, though, even an improved version of Sony’s Slim Backlight Drive can’t completely hide the fact that with current edge LED technology there’s always a backlight-based price to pay for all that HDR-sating brightness. 

When it came out, the KS9800 produced the most dramatic demonstration of what new high dynamic range technology was capable of. Its brightness in particular was unprecedented, which helped it deliver a much fuller sense of HDR's expanded light range and color capabilities than we'd ever seen.

The screen features that helped it excel with HDR also made the UN65KS9800 gorgeous to behold with standard dynamic range sources, and it even sounds fantastic despite having no visible speakers. That said, it was expensive.

But instead of going straight for Samsung's flagship from last year, consider LG's E6 or G6 OLED TVs as well. The OLED screens deliver superior black levels, avoid backlight bleed issues and excel with standard dynamic range content, but the UN65KS9800 delivers more punch, dynamism and detail with HDR.

If LG's OLED isn't your thing, spend some time checking out Sony's version.

The 55A1 – and the A1 OLED series overall – are crowd pleasers in just about every way. Their ‘picture only’ design has been beautifully realized, managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. 

Their vibrating screen delivers a far more powerful and effective sound performance than I’d thought possible, too. The real stars of the show here, though, are the A1’s exquisitely detailed, contrast-rich and colourful pictures. 

These prove emphatically what we’ve long suspected: More brands using OLED technology can only lead to good things. 

Only it's exceptionally high price tag prevents it from toppling LG's budget panels.

The TH-65FZ1000M is a luscious OLED that puts performance first. Its colour handling is class-leading, and its HDR talents are a match for any of its rivals. In fact, it just might offer the best picture performance that we’ve seen on a 4K OLED to date. 

The TH-65FZ1000M isn’t the complete package, lacking as it does Dolby Vision and Atmos compatibility, but it wins more arguments than it loses. We suspect you’ll appreciate the easy sophistication of its smart platform, the quality of that low-lag game mode, and the sheer musicality of the Technics soundbar. 

Continue on to page two to read about what to look for when buying a TV! 

What TV technology is best? Which is the best LCD TV? Which screen size is best for your living room? What's the difference between LCD and LED TVs?

The answers aren't always obvious. In fact, buying a new TV can be stressful even for the tech-savvy - there are so many brands, so many features, so many screen sizes, colors, technologies and flavors to choose from.

So which one is right for you, your family and your living space? In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about buying a new TV.

What types of TV are there out there?

There are a lot of different screen types out there, all working in different ways to produce the same results. Each technology has its own unique strengths and weaknesses so here are some basics to consider:

LCD TV: CCFL
Until recently, all LCD TVs were backlit by always-on, CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent) lamps. This ageing technology has been superseded by the superior LED method on more expensive sets, but is still standard on some cheaper models.

LED TV: Direct LED
These displays are backlit by an array of LEDs (light emitting diodes) directly behind the screen. This enables localised dimming – meaning immediately adjacent areas of brightness and darkness can be displayed more effectively – and greatly improves contrast. LED TVs are also more power efficient and capable of a wider colour gamut than CCFL sets. Because of the extreme cost of mounting these arrays of LEDs, Direct LED TVs have largely been out muscled by Edge LED...

LED TV: Edge LED
With these TVs, LEDs of the backlight are mounted along the edges of the panel. This arrangement enables radically slender displays and offers superior contrast levels to CCFL, but can't achieve the same picture quality as directly lit LED sets. However, they do come in far cheaper which is why most LED TVs out there now use this technology.

OLED TV
The backlighting on OLED (organic light emitting diode) sets is achieved by passing an electric current through an emissive, electroluminescent film. This technique produces far better colours and higher contrast and also enables screens to be extremely thin and flexible. This is the holy grail display technology and only in 2014 did a bigscreen OLED TV go on sale. So it's new, it's expensive and the top brands are still struggling to get their heads around it. To date, only LG has been able to release full sized OLED TVs.

Quantum Dot
As yet we're not quite at the stage where we're going to get self-emitting quantum dot LEDs, but they're a-coming. What we do have though is Samsung producing its Nanocrystal filter based on quantum dot technology to produce a seriously improved colour palette and contrast levels that get mighty close to the pinnacle of OLED.

Plasma TV
PDP (plasma display panel) TVs use glass panels containing millions of tiny cells filled with a mixture of inert gases. Electricity excites the gases, causing them to illuminate the pixels across the screen. Plasma, while arguably superior to LCD in terms of contrast and colour accuracy, is only viable on large (42in+) screens and has been dropped by all but a handful of manufacturers. You'll be lucky to find one on the shelves these days.

Curved TV
Some manufacturers are now making TVs that have slightly curved screens. But unlike old CRT TVs, the curve is inwards rather than outwards. The idea is that this makes every pixel equidistant from your eyes, delivering a more satisfying picture. However, there are drawbacks for this type of screen - the main one being that if you sit far enough to one side – more than 40 degrees or so – the curve clearly starts to affect the image's geometry, foreshortening content near to you and compressing the image's centre.

What resolution tech should I go for?

HD
HD TVs come in two resolutions. Sets with the HD ready are required to be able to display a minimum 720p picture, and generally has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Meanwhile, Full HD TVs have a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It's highly advisable that you don't go for anything less than full HD in this day and age.

Ultra HD and 4K
The resolution of Ultra HD is exactly four times higher than full HD - 3840 x 2160. It means a far more detailed picture, with content requiring a lot more bandwidth and storage space. 4K TVs tend to be good at upscaling HD video to Ultra HD but there are currently very few options for watching native 4K content. Read more about 4K.

HDR
Potentially the next big thing in TVs, HDR produces astounding levels of visual fidelity and can be found in some of the latest Ultra HD TVs. Arguably the shift to HDR video could make a more dramatic difference to your viewing experience than moving from HD to 4K. Like still HDR images, the moving version expands the range of both the light and dark ends of spectrum, providing more detail for both. HDR needs new filming methods though - at the moment there is no way to backfill HDR into existing video. It also needs new TV tech too, with Samsung the only ones to create specific screens, though LG and Sony are going be able to update some of their existing stock to be compatible.

What else should I consider?

Buying a flatscreen television is a major investment and one that you can't afford to take lightly. Just popping into the closest store and grabbing the first plasma or LCD you see won't get you the best deal, the screen that suits your needs, or the gear you require to make the most of your new purchase.

Size matters

People tend to pick the size of their flat TV based on the amount of space they have for it, this isn't necessarily wise. Flat TVs take up much less space than you might think, so your new TV may end up a foot or two further away from your viewing position, making the picture appear smaller.

Also, with hi-def, you can have a bigger screen and the same viewing distance without worrying about seeing blemishes inherent to the source. HDTV's lack of noise means that the ideal distance to sit from the screen is three to four times the height of the TV.

How to calculate the right size HD TV:

The trick here is to ensure that your TV is big enough to fill your line of vision, but small enough to be sharp and clear. Remember, if you intend to only watch standard-definition sources, the bigger the screen gets, the worse the image will look.

The ideal screen size can be calculated by multiplying the distance that you intend to sit away from it by 0.535 and then rounding this up to the nearest size.

So, if you sit 80in away from your TV, the ideal size is 42-inch (80 x 0.535= 42.8).

What features should I look out for?

Features are too numerous to go into here, but here are some things you should consider.

Photo viewing: If you have a digital camera, a TV that has a slot for memory cards or a USB socket for a card reader will let you view your photos onscreen.

Here are some of the things we look for when we review a screen, so you should, too...

Contrast: Bright whites shouldn't have any signs of green, pink or blue in them, while blacks should look solid and not washed out, grey, green or blue.

Colours: Look at how bright and solid they are; how noiseless their edges are; how 'dotty' richly saturated areas are and how natural skin looks, especially in dim scenes.

Fine detail: How much texture does the screen give? Does a tree look like a green lump, or can you see the individual leaves

Edges: Check for ghosting, bright halos and jaggedness, especially around curves.

Motion: Check moving objects and quick camera pans for smearing or blurring, trailing, jerkiness and fizzing dotty noise.

Image artefacts: Look for blockiness, colour bands, grain, smearing, dot crawl: anything that looks like it's added by the TV picture processing or a weak TV tuner. Tinker with a TV's picture settings before making a final decision. Factory settings are rarely good for everyday viewing.

What about sound?

To provide the best audio to complement the pictures, your TV should be hooked up to a surround sound system, but this isn't always an option. So, here's what we listen for when testing a TV's speakers:

Bass: Deep, rounded rumbles that don't cause the set to rattle or speakers to distort, cramp or overwhelm the rest of the sound; but that expand when needed.

Vocals: Voices should sound open, rich and clear, not boxed in, nasal or thin.

Trebles: Treble effects should sound clean, rounded and smooth in loud scenes and shouldn't dominate the soundstage.

Soundstage width/depth: A good TV should throw the sound away from the TV, to the sides, forward and back, to give an extra dimension to what's on screen, without losing any coherence.

Questions to ask before you buy

Taking the time to consider these questions will make choosing the best TV easier...

HD or 4K?

4K TVs are stunning and even though there is currently little native 4K content to enjoy, the good ones are able to upscale HD to 4K very well. That being said, unless you're buying a very large TV - we're talking 65-inches plus - full HD should be adequate.

What size do I need?

This is dictated by the dimensions of the room where the TV is going and the amount of cash you're prepared to spend. As a general rule of thumb, work out how far from the set you'll be sitting (in inches), multiply that distance by 0.535 and then round up the result to the nearest screen size. Bear in mind that a decent smaller telly is often a more sensible investment than a larger, less accomplished one. And if you're going to buy a 4K TV, you can sit much closer because of the higher resolution.

How many HDMI sockets do I need?

For a living room TV you should be looking for a minimum of 3 HDMI inputs. If you want to attach a set-top box as well as games consoles etc, those HDMI ports will fill up fast.

Can I connect my older, analogue kit?

Most new sets carry no more than two composite connections, while S-video is fast approaching obsolescence. Check that your new TV can hook up to older digiboxes, VCRs or DVD decks that you might want to plug into it.

Do I want to hang my TV on the wall?

First off, you'll need to consult a construction expert to check that the wall in question is strong enough to support a flatscreen. Then find out if the set you want is designed to be wall-mounted and, if so, ask if the relevant bracket is included in the basic package or as an optional extra.

Will I be connecting it to a home cinema?

If the answer is no, you might want to think more carefully about your set's audio performance. Look for a screen that can go as loud as you'll need without distortion or cabinet rattle. Consider how dialogue sounds and how much low-end rumble the bass is capable of.

Conversely, it's pointless paying out more cash for exceptional built-in speakers if you already have a decent home cinema system.

Happy shopping!

Categories: Tech News

Latest Google Chrome update draws government and telecom concerns

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 23:16

The encrypted version of Google's Chrome browser has raised concerns among a number of internet safety watchdogs and intelligence agencies who fear the move could endanger the safety of children online.

Critics of the encrypted version of the browser, which is currently available for download but not the default version, argue that it could make it more difficult for companies to block harmful material online as it will bypass most parental control systems.

As it stands now, harmful materials like terrorist propaganda and child-abuse images are blocked by internet companies through filters that scan the web's domain name servers. 

However, with the encrypted version of Chrome, users are able to bypass these filters and connect to its server instead.

Encrypted Chrome

According to The Sunday Times, talks will be held in May where broadband providers including BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk will come together with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to discuss the risks posed  by the encrypted version of Chrome.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials also fear that the new Chrome will allow Google to collect even more details on users' browsing habits.

A government official voiced their concerns to The Sunday Times, saying:

 “Google will have a lot more than their searches — it will have their entire browser history. That’s an incredible amount of data,” he said. It will also be able to track devices rather than just household accounts." 

Google responded to the Times' argument against it by saying that it has not made any changes to the default behavior of Chrome.

Via The Drum

Categories: Tech News

Worldwide server shipments set to peak in 2020

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 22:46

While the global server market is predicted to continue growing in 2019, new research from DRAMeXchange has revealed that this year's server shipment growth has shrunk by 3.9 percent compared to last year under the pressures of business cycles and worldwide uncertainty.

The company's senior analyst Mark Liu pointed out the worldwide server growth momentum in 2018 derived mainly from North American brands which comprised over 30 percent of total shipments.

Enterprise servers still form the largest shipment group though shipments to data centers are growing year by year up from 35 percent in 2018 to 40 percent this year.

As 5G begins to transform businesses with its global rollout this year, telecommunications companies and internet providers will increase in their demand for servers and current predictions highlight the fact that server shipments are expected to peak in 2020.

Server shipments

Looking back at the first season of this year, data center demand was relatively unaffected by the traditional offseason as total shipments continued to experience stable growth. ODM direct business shipments grew by 1.3 percent compared to the previous season and as orders continue to arrive in the second season, we may still see seasonal growth of around 1 to 3 percent bringing market shares up to to 26.6 percent.

Some brands were hit by the offseason in the first quarter with the their shipments falling by over 20 percent compared to last quarter but the market made a notable recovery during the second.

In terms of global market share rankings of server brand manufacturers in 2H 2019, Dell EMC, HPE and Inspur took the top three spots with market shares of 15.8 percent, 13.7 percent and 7.5 percent respectively. 

According to DRAMeXchange, China's top cloud service providers will drop by about 15 percent year over year in server purchases this year, while North American companies will be less affected with their purchases projected to keep growing by 5 to 10 percent.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei’s cheaper MateBook 13 is now available in Australia

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 22:34

Eager to take on Apple's MacBook Air in the ultra-portable space, Huawei is finally bringing its new MateBook 13 laptop Down Under, announcing that it's available to buy in Australia from today (April 23) in Mystic Silver and Space Grey colour options.

Huawei's 13-inch MateBook offers some pretty impressive specs within its slimline 14.9mm frame, boasting either an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U (256GB SSD model) or i7 8565U (512GB SSD model) Whisky Lake processor, a GeForce MX 150 Discrete GPU, a 2K resolution sRGB display (3:2 aspect ratio) and a 10-hour battery life.

According to Huawei, the MateBook 13 offers "new ways for users to connect their notebook with smartphones, blurring the lines between mobile devices and personal computers".

Very nice, how much?

Priced at $1,799 for the 256GB model and $2,199 for the 512GB version, the Huawei MateBook 13 can be purchased in-store from Sydney's Microsoft Store on George Street, or from Microsoft's online store

As an added bonus, the Microsoft store is currently offering a $119.95 discount on both MateBook 13 models, bringing their prices down to $1,679.05 and $2,079.05 respectively. 

In our five-star review, we named the Huawei MateBook 13 our "Best in Class laptop in 2019," also describing it as "the most value-packed flagship laptop to date".

Categories: Tech News

iOS 13 will reportedly include four new Animoji characters

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 20:58

Historically, Apple has used its annual WWDC event to debut new details and features of its upcoming version of the iOS mobile operating system, with the new OS then releasing a few months later with the arrival of that year's new iPhones. This year, WWDC is scheduled for June 3 and we fully expect iOS 13 to take center stage – meaning we don’t have too long to wait before we find out exactly what iOS 13 will bring later this year.

Rumors have already hinted at what could be part of iOS 13’s feature set – according to one report, we could see a system-wide dark mode, app tabs and a new undo gesture, alongside a major overhaul of the interface for iPads.

Then there’s the slew of Animoji sprites we’re expecting to see in iOS 13. Apple already gave us a preview of 230 new characters being added to the library, but a new leak suggests four more could be incoming.

According to developer Steven Troughton-Smith, users of the latest iPhones will soon be able to get into the head of a cow, octopus, mouse and… wait for it… an emoji face.

While that last one seems like it would be a heck of a lot of fun, it’s the mouse Animoji we’re rather keen on. Apple has partnered with Disney in the past to bring us branded content – we already have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Apple Watch faces after all. So it would be interesting to see if that mouse Animoji will be just a, well, mouse or if it would be one of Disney’s much-loved characters.

The Animoji feature is available on the iPhone X, the latest iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR, along with the latest iPad Pro.

Categories: Tech News

Best shows on Amazon Prime US (April 2019): what you should watch

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 20:01

Looking for the best shows on Amazon Prime? You've come to the right place! Each week Amazon Prime Video adds exclusive TV shows and fresh new episodes to its library - which is great - but it can be difficult to choose just one to binge on next.  

That’s why we're here to help you make that all important decision about which TV series you should binge watch this weekend and what we recommend you should skip. We've collected together a big selection of TV shows for you to choose from, including shiny new series through to Amazon's own original shows. 

  • April Update: April is a surprisingly good month for movies on Amazon Prime Video between A Quiet Place (arrives April 2) and The Shawshank Redemption (April 1). While things are a bit more sedated on the series side, we will get the fifth season of Bosch on April 19 and the third season of Humans on April 27. 

In our guide you'll discover our pick of the best Amazon Prime TV shows that are currently on offer. We have options for fans of thrillers, comedy lovers and those who enjoy nothing more than a fantasy police drama. 

So, what's the best Amazon TV show to get sucked into without regretting it by the end of season 2? Read our Prime Video recommendations to find out.

If you can only watch one...

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 2)

Winner of a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tracks Midge on her rise to the top of the comedy scene in the 1950s. The basic premise of the show is that Midge, a perfect stay-at-home wife, never quite gets the recognition she deserves from her drunk, deadbeat comedian husband. She picks up the mic herself and, as it turns out, is actually funnier than her lesser half. The monologues Midge delivers feel as appropriate for today's audiences as they were for the fictional crowd in the '50s, if not moreso. The result is genuinely funny, inspirational and, above all, human. The first season aired last year and now Midge is back and better than ever in season two. 

Amazon Prime or Netflix? Check out our comparison video below!

Bosch

With 20-something novels to mine for source material, Bosch is a character that was always destined for the small screen. Created by Michael Connelly but brilliantly brought to life by actor Titus Welliver, the series follows the exploits of LA Homicide detective Harry Bosch and features enough grit to pave the longest of driveways.

This is no surprise - the series has been created by Eric Overmyer, who was part of the alumni that created The Wire. Bosch is another show that has been put together by Amazon Studios - proving that streaming services are becoming just as powerful as the HBOs of the world when it comes to producing compelling drama.

Bosch Season 4 has now landed on Amazon Prime, continuing the saga of Harry Bosch and it comes with a nice uplift in quality too, building season upon season to become one of our favourite shows on Prime at the moment. 

Number of seasons on Amazon Prime: 5

Goliath

Billy Bob Thornton stars as a washed-up lawyer looking for a big break who stumbles on to a big case that may well give him the solace he needs. Made by David E Kelly who loves a bit of courtroom drama, having already created Boston Legal, The Practice and Ally McBeal, the show works well as a standalone series but there's talk that it may get a second season. Goliath is part of Amazon's Original series of TV shows.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2

Good Girls Revolt

Let me set the stage for this one: It's 1969, and there's a war going on in America. The war is being fought in business offices around the country and the group leading the charge are women in the workforce, fighting for equal rights and equal acknowledgement for the work they've performed for years. Good Girls Revolt is set in this backdrop, at a fictional news outlet where the women have for too long been swept under the rug.

The show scores major points for its poignant subject matter – both in the way that it covers the struggles of women in the workplace pre-1970, but also in the way it handles talking about the American history that the women in question are tasked with covering. Part raunchy history lesson, part stellar drama, Good Girls Revolt is a smart interpretation of a still-ongoing issue.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Instant Video: 1

Hand of God

Last seen in Sons of Anarchy, Ron Perlman has moved from the mad world of biker gangs into the stranger world of law. Perlman plays a vice-riddled barrister who, after suffering a breakdown, starts to believe he is a messenger from god.

The full first season for Hand of God arrived on Amazon Prime, after a successful pilot. A second season is also available, which will sadly be the last as Amazon has decided to not renew the show. This is a shame as it may not be a light-hearted ride - but it is one drama that takes dark turn after dark turn and is all the better for it.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2

The Last Tycoon

F Scott Fitzgerald may be known for The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night but The Last Tycoon - his last and unfinished novel - is perhaps his most ambitious piece of work. It peels away the glitz and glamour of Hollywood in the '30s to show a time when backstabbing was the norm, fascism was on the rise and everyone had an unbelievable amount of money. Kelsey Grammer is superb as movie mogul Pat Brady, while Matt Bomer is also great as Monroe Stahr, the up and coming film exec who wants to make it big. The Last Tycoon is occasionally flawed but it's a sumptuous watch.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Downton Abbey

Like watching fictional posh people live their lives in early-twentieth century opulence? You're not alone – millions of people tuned in to Downton Abbey during its TV run, and it's now available to stream in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video.

Following the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family on the titular Downton Abbey estate, it's a kitchen sink drama of sorts – except all the cutlery is made of silver, and it's an army of servants doing the washing up. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 7

Sneaky Pete

Sneaky Pete's plot maybe a little cliche - a con man assumes the identity of someone else to try and make a new break in the world - but Giovanni Ribisi is superb as Marius, the titular character and there's plenty of intrigue to keep you glued to this new Amazon Original. 

Interestingly, the show is co-created by Bryan Cranston which makes him the streaming king, given he's done so well with Breaking Bad on Netflix. Don't expect Sneaky Pete to be as intense as Breaking Bad - it's a crime caper, yes, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. 

As of March 2018, the second season of Sneaky Pete has landed on Amazon. The premise is that Marius is on the cusp of starting fresh and leaving all of his mess behind. But that'd hardly make a compelling second season, would it? Luckily for fans he's dragged back into the drama kicking and screaming.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 3

Transparent

Anything Netflix can do, Amazon Prime can do better it seems, especially when it comes to winning a Golden Globe. Netflix may have made history by being the first streaming service to win a Golden Globe, courtesy of the acting talents of Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, but Amazon went and topped this by winning the Best TV Show prize in 2014 for Transparent.

It was much deserved. Transparent is everything you want in a TV show. It's heartwarming, funny and packs a real punch about a subject that doesn't get enough attention: transgenderism. Jeffrey Tambor's Maura Pfefferman is a television character we hope will be around for a long time.

The fourth season will be available to stream from 22 September.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 4

Comedy

Catastrophe

From the minds of Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney comes one of the funniest, most well-written sitcom in years. The plot is slight: a one-night stand turns into a relationship once Sharon announces she is pregnant. But the series contains some of the most cut-to-the-bone humour seen on TV. Combine this with a nice slab of pathos - nestled among many a sex joke - and what you have is a modern classic.

Check out the fourth and final season of the show on Amazon Prime now.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 4

Comrade Detective

Comrade Detective is a weird gem on Amazon. Starring Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the show is a parody of gritty American buddy cop shows and Communist Propaganda from the Cold War.

It's an unusual combination, but it works. Each episode is presented as though it's a remastered real episode of a lost Romanian Communist Propaganda series from the 80s which was used to entertain and promote Communist ideals. The entire show was filmed in Romania with Romanian actors and then dubbed over by Tatum and Gordon-Levitt.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

The Grand Tour

Clarkson, Hammond and the other one are back for Grand Tour: Season 3. Well, we kind of knew that they would be as they all have massive contracts that mean we will be seeing quite a few seasons of the Definitely Not Top Gear But Quite A Bit Like Top Gear show. This season sees Clarkson drive a fast car, Hammond drive a faster car and nearly die, and the other one drive a fast car considerably slower than the rest. If you enjoy watching middle aged men burn rubber in the middle of the desert, like a scene out of Mad Max: Fury Road, then this is for you. And if we haven't quite convinced you yet - Gizmodo offered up this quote about the show: "Some men doing stuff for no clearly defined reason." Lovely stuff. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 3 (new episodes weekly)

I Love Dick

Recently graduating from Amazon Originals pilot to fully fledged TV show, I Love Dick is a great subversive watch. The show stars Kevin Bacon and is based on the celebrated book that looks at a married couple who are having marriage issues and their relationship with college professor, Dick. Bacon is on top form as the charismatic Dick and the show's multiple POV storytelling (Rashomon style) works well.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video TV: 1

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

A new series from Gilmore Girls creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel tells the story of 1950s Jewish housewife Miriam Maisel. After her husband confesses he's been having an affair, Midge drunkenly gets on stage at a comedy club and discovers that she's utterly hilarious. In a time when women aren't encouraged to be publicly funny, Midge pursues her new-found comedic talent in the male-dominated stand up comedy world. 

Check out season two of the show on Amazon Prime now! 

Seasons to watch on Amazon Prime: 2

Mad Dogs

The UK version of Mad Dogs was a breath of fresh air when it first aired. Well, the first season was then it all went a little too strange. This remake - green-lit from Amazon's burgeoning Originals series - takes the best from the UK version and mixes it with a plot that's a little easier to follow and humour that's more laugh out loud than pitch black.

The premise is the same: a bunch of mates go and visit one friend at his luxury villa to celebrate his early retirement, only for murder, mayhem and mind-boggling plot developments to ensue. A touch of genius is the recasting of Ben Chaplin. While he played the rich, retiring Alvo in the UK version here he gets to try his luck in a bigger and better role.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Mozart in the Jungle

Now into its fourth series, Mozart in the Jungle was this surprise winner at the 2015 Golden Globes, where it won Best Comedy Series. The show is a comedy set in the strange world of classical music. Gael García Bernal plays young conductor Rodrigo who replaces a retiring conductor played by Malcolm McDowell. Based loosely on a true story and created by the likes of Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola, it's well worth a watch.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 4

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec is a joy of a show. Originally seen as a quasi spin-off of the Office - using the same documentary style camerawork, awkward pauses, asides to camera - it soon grew from an amusing first season, about the goings on in the parks department of Pawnee, to a comedy phenomenon that spanned a fantastic seven seasons. It's not just the script that makes it great, it's also the characters - headed up by the ever-brilliant Amy Poehler.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 7

Red Oaks

The '80s is the en vogue decade when it comes to nostalgia. Not only are Seth Gordon and Adam Goldberg mining the era for their superb prime-time sitcom The Goldbergs, Red Oaks has appeared to prove that it is respectable to set shows in the '80s. Amazon-exclusive Red Oaks - made by another Green, this time David Gordon - focuses on David, a tennis player at the Red Oaks country club and his summer shenanigans. Great casting - Jennifer Grey! - some brilliant nods to '80s films, a short run time means this is a series you can eat up in one neon-fuelled sitting.

The third and final season is now available to stream in its entirety on Amazon Prime and is a fitting end to one of the best shows around at the moment. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 3

Thrillers

The Americans

The Americans was cruelly mishandled when it originally came to UK TV, so we are glad it has finally found a decent place to reside. The show is a cracking crime period thriller that follows the exploits of a couple of KGB agents posing as US citizens around the time Ronald Reagan became US president.

It may occasionally flit between the ridiculous and the sublime but you would expect nothing more from a show that's main conceit comprises characters duelling with duality. The '80s setting is fantastic, too, though there aren't enough shell suits for our liking.

The final sixth season of The Americans is now free with Amazon Prime Video.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 6

Mr Robot

The popularity of Mr. Robot meant that there was something of a bidding war to see who would show it. Amazon, Netflix and other more traditional broadcasters fought for it, proving that even bean counters can see the worth in counter culture.

Amazon won in the end and is the perfect place for a show that focuses on the exploits of hacker Elliot (a superb Rami Malek). Mr Robot is Fight Club for the Tor generation, lifting a lid on a world where what Linux kernel you use is not just a badge of honour but a way of life.

Now in its third season, Mr Robot is proving to be one of the most addictive things on television right now.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 3

Man In The High Castle

There have been a number of successful Amazon pilots that have made it to a full series but none have the epic potential that Man In The High Castle has. This Philip K Dick adaptation is finally available to stream - with all episodes ready for your consumption. High Castle imagines what the world would be like if Germany had won World War II and the Nazis had taken global control. Turns out it's a bit worse than us all driving around in VW Beetles and wearing Hugo Boss coats.

Season 2 is now available and expands on the mythos. Given this is a cautionary tale about what could happen when the hard right takes over America, things suddenly don't feel too far fetched.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 3

True Blood

One of the biggest advantages Amazon Prime Instant Video has over Netflix is its massive back-library of HBO programming that will make anyone with a monthly subscription salivate over. While each show could have its own entry on this list we instead chose to highlight the best of the bunch, starting with The Wire. A close, though vastly different second is True Blood, a show about the preternatural, social issues and sex. Lots and lots of sex. And if that  tag line doesn't sell you, nothing will.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Instant Video: 6

Vikings

If you have any interest in Norse mythology then the name Ragnar Lothbrok will mean a whole lot to you. Basically he was a king and powerful ruler that was a right git to the English and the French.

Vikings is a series that traces his Norse-based goings on with enough charm and scope to take on Game of Thrones in the sword and sandals stakes. Yes it takes a number of liberties with its source material but the acting is top class, as is the cinematography in a historical romp that's now deservedly in its fourth season - the second half of which is now available.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 5

You Are Wanted

The first season of this German cybercrime thriller has been on Amazon Prime for just over a year, but now the second season is available too. Set in Berlin, the TV show is about a man called Lukas who has all of his online accounts hacked and gets accused of being involved in criminal, terrorist activity. In the age where it feels like big companies know more about our data than we do, it's a compelling contemporary tale that might leave you feeling like you really go and tweak your privacy settings or delete your online presence altogether.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan

While the hype overblew the final product, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is still worth a watch. Starring John Krasinski (a.k.a. Jim from The Office) as the titular character who is "just a mere analyst". (Pro tip: He's not just an analyst.) Ryan's adventures are thrilling and entertaining, pure Tom Clancy incarnate. If action is your scene, check out the first season of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, now on Amazon Prime. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Sports, the best of the rest, and coming soon

Tomorrow's World

Tomorrow's World was a ground-breaking BBC documentary series that ran for 38 years from 1965 to 2003. In 2017 the brand was 'revived' as part of a new series that explores the same themes of technology, science and the future as an umbrella brand for BBC's science programming. 

The latest season has recently landed on Amazon Prime and it covers artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biometrics, the quest for immortality and how researchers, big corporations, doctors, scientists and inventors are shaping the future. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 1

All Or Nothing

Anyone who wants something to fill their Friday Nights Lights hole need to look no further. This documentary is a superb look at how gruelling a season of American football is. It gives the viewer unprecedented access to the coaches, the staff and, most importantly, the players and it's a fantastic watch. Tying the whole thing together is also some superb narration from Mad Men's Jon Hamm.

Not keen on the American version of the sport? You can watch whole seasons of Manchester City play in the Premier League or watch the infamous New Zealand All Blacks tear it up on the rugby pitch. Whatever your sport, All or Nothing has you covered.

Seasons on Amazon: 5

Thursday Night Football

Speaking of the old gridiron, Fox and Amazon have teamed up to stream Thursday Night Football to Amazon Prime members. There aren't a ton of regular season games left in the season, but if you're a cord-cutter it's well worth tuning in for what's left. Expect to see this return in 2019, too.

Grand Prix Driver

This new Amazon Original documentary takes viewers underneath the glitz and glamour that is the surface of Formula 1, to explore the inner-workings of the 2017 McLaren team. Narrated by Michael Douglas, this documentary follows  rookie driver Stoffel Vandoorne over four episodes, as he and his team prepare for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship. 

Season on Amazon Prime Video: 1

Grimm

Merge a fairy tale fantasy with a police drama and you get Grimm. It's all about Nick Burkhardt, a detective based in Portland in the US who discovers he's a Grimm. Which basically means he's a kind of mystical guardian who must keep the peace between humans and creatures called Wesen. As you might expect, a lot of the characters are inspired by Grimms' Fairy Tales, but the show draws from many other sources too to create a story that's a little like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but with fairy tale creatures.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 6

Coming soon to Amazon Prime: Oasis

The works of Michel Faber nearly always translate well to the big and small screen. The Crimson Petal and the White was given a great mini series adaptation by the Beeb in 2001. And Under The Skin is one of the most inventive films ever made. Another one of his works, The Book of Strange Things, has been given the Amazon Originals Pilot treatment. Called Oasis, the show is a twisty opaque look at a priest who is living in a human colony on another planet.  Richard Madden, last seen in Game of Thrones, stars. 

Coming eventually to Amazon Prime: The Lord of the Rings

The biggest project Amazon has in the books is its insanely expensive interpretation of The Lord of the Rings. The latest incarnation of Tolkien's classic fantasy tale will reach Game of Thrones heights... and budgets... with some $250 million set aside for production. Amazon has apparently already signed a five-season contract with the crew and production should start in the near future. Hold onto your hobbit holes! 

Categories: Tech News

Fortnite’s next event will be Avengers: End Game-themed

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 17:12

In case you needed another reason to get excited about Avengers: End Game’s rapidly-approaching release date on April 25, you can now add a Fortnite crossover event to that list.

Today on Twitter, Fortnite teased a second crossover event with Marvel for Avengers: End Game that will start one day before the film hits theaters. 

While the tweet doesn’t give us much to go off of other than the date, it’s fair to expect either new character skins or another appearance of Thanos in-game. (If you weren't around for it last year, Fortnite ran a crossover event for Avengers: Infinity War that put Thanos in the game for a few weeks.) 

The silver lining here is that we don't have long to wait to find out what the cryptic clue means, as the update lands on Thursday. That's good for the True Believers out there... and maybe not so good for folks who don't like being inundated with advertising.

Categories: Tech News

The next Samsung Galaxy Fold could fold twice over

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 17:11

Samsung has officially delayed launching the Samsung Galaxy Fold to address malfunctions reported by early reviewers in the device’s folding screen. And yet, a leak has emerged claiming the company is working on two different designs for dual-hinged foldable displays, according to Korean site The Bell.

The display concepts are referred to by letters, which describe their form: the ‘G-type’ has two outer secondary screens folding inward toward each other (much like Xiaomi’s foldable phone design). This resembles the patent found in March, which LetsGoDigital visualized with a rendering (above).

The other concept – the ‘S-type’ – folds in thirds like you’d expect (one resting over the center screen, one under, like a snake). This looks much like the Samsung patent discovered back in November, as visualized by Mobielkopen.


Both the designs described by The Bell are larger than the 7.3-inch Galaxy Fold’s fully-unfolded screen. Per The Bell, it seems like the G-type will have an 8-inch screen, while the S-type will reach 13 inches; they are allegedly intended to compete with Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad Mini and the largest 12.9-inch iPad, respectively. 

How likely are these designs to see the light of day?

It’s impossible to tell how far Samsung has developed these designs, but we can look to past patent and concept leaks to see how much those resembled the final product. 

For example, this leak from mid-2016 shows a clamshell layout that bears a striking resemblance to the eventual Samsung Galaxy Fold. While the final design ended up being far taller/narrower than these wide halves (and doesn’t have the mid-hinge charging port), the exposed hinge is very similar to the Fold’s eventual look.

There’s other evidence that Samsung isn’t abandoning a center-fold layout. Back in March, a report noted the company had two potential foldable phones in the works – one with a horizontal (and thus, wide rather than tall) ‘clamshell’ design while the other folds vertically. Both, however, seem to have the screen on the outside, much like the Huawei Mate X

All the optimism might be stymied by the Galaxy Fold launch delay, though, as Samsung rushes to fix issues with its much-ballyhooed first-to-market flagship foldable. Who knows how these struggles will impact Samsung’s folding designs going forward.

  • Here's how these concepts look next to all the foldable phones we know about
Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5 release date, news and rumors

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:45

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5 leaks and rumors are already starting to circulate, and we may be several months away from the announcement of the new tablet. Before that day comes, we want to keep track of all the bits of information we've heard and all of the hopes and expectations we have for the future Galaxy Tab S5.

It's been less than a year since Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab S4, so it may still be early to start wishing for a Galaxy Tab S5. To hold us over, Samsung did launch a more budget-focused Galaxy Tab S5e back in February, though the new tablet has taken more than two months to actually release in stores.

It's also worth noting that the Galaxy Tab S5e isn't the full Galaxy Tab S5we're expecting. It offers a slimmer, lighter design and can come configured with up to 6GB of RAM, but it has no S Pen and uses a mid-tier chipset. That may be why the Galaxy Tab S4 still costs over 50% more than the Galaxy Tab S5e.

So, with the Galaxy Tab S5e not serving as a true successor to the Tab S4, here's what we want to see from the real heir to the Tab S family throne.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? Samsung's next premium Android tablet
  • When is it out? Likely in August 2019
  • What will it cost? Likely more than the $650 (£599) launch price of the Tab S4
Price and release date

We've only got a little to go on in this department, but history can be a decent indicator. The Galaxy Tab S4 launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9 in August 2018. So, the new tablet will presumably launch alongside a new phone once again.

We anticipate an August launch for the Galaxy Note 10, and therefore expect the Galaxy Tab S5 in August as well. In terms of price, the Tab S5 will likely launch in the ballpark of $650 (£599) at a minimum. This was the launch price of the Galaxy Tab S4. But, if Samsung includes some of the upgrades we hope to see in the Galaxy Tab S5, the price could go up a considerable amount.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Some screen upgrades

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 did upgrade the display from the Tab S3, but the Tab S5 could stand to go even further.

The Tab S4 has a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED displays with 2560x1600 resolutions.For the front of the Galaxy Tab S5e, Samsung managed to stuff that same 10.5-inch display from the Galaxy Tab S4 into a frame that it smaller in every dimension. That makes them plenty sharp, and in that regard, the Galaxy Tab S5 doesn't really need to make any improvements to still offer excellent visual clarity.

But, even with the newly reduced bezels on the Galaxy Tab S5e, there's still a considerable amount more needless black border on the 2018 tablet than on Samsung's new, premium smartphones.

With the Galaxy Tab S5, it would be exciting to see a bit more screen filling the space. Samsung could theoretically fit an 11.5-inch display in the same form factor as the Galaxy Tab S5e, and that would leave almost no bezel.

A bezel-free Galaxy Tab S5 would also help resolve one of our main complaints with the Tab S5e, its bland design. And, while Samsung's at it, the in-screen fingerprint scanner from the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus would be nice to see.

Support for new HDR standards, please

While this is technically still a matter of the screen (to a degree), we feel the high dynamic range on the Galaxy Tab series should be explained more clearly.

Samsung doesn't provide many details when it comes to HDR on its tablets. Sure, they get sharp, Super AMOLED displays that can display great visuals, but as more and more content is getting the HDR treatment, it would be good to see a full commitment to new HDR standards from Samsung on some of its biggest OLED displays.

That Galaxy Tab S4 has a screen that Samsung lists as "HDR-ready," and the Tab S3 product page listed HDR support but only for video on the Amazon app. The Galaxy Tab S5e having what appears to be the same display as the S4 is presumably also HDR-ready, but what this means for users is unclear. 

If you go to the main product pages for the Tab S5e, you won't find any mention of HDR for the display, and the Tab S4 doesn't say anything more than HDR-ready. Meanwhile, if you check Samsung's latest phones' product page,  you'll see clear certification for HDR10+ on all four models.

The large tablet display of the Galaxy Tab S5 would make it an ideal platform for content consumption, and official support for the new standards in HDR like HDR10+ or even Dolby Vision would be an excellent improvement. Better still if that support isn't limited to just a few apps.

Image Credit: TechRadar

The latest Qualcomm chipset

We've already seen a leak suggesting that the Galaxy Tab S5 will get the Snapdragon 855 chipset that powers the new Galaxy S10 phones and Galaxy Fold. Here's to hoping that rumor is true.

When the Galaxy Tab S4 launched, it didn't get the latest chipset at the time, opting instead for the Snapdragon 835 over the the Snapdragon 845. For a tablet that could be used for productivity, seeing an outdated chipset is not exciting, as it just means everything will be that little bit slower. And, the Galaxy Tab S5e didn't even get a high-end chipset, with Samsung going for the mid-tier Snapdragon 670 instead.

So, for the Galaxy Tab S5, we hope the Snapdragon 855 will be powering everything. And, in the tablet form factor, maybe an advanced cooling solution can be applied to help the CPU run even faster than it does in phones, perhaps by means of overclock as the Asus ROG Phone does. Topping it off with 8GB of RAM would also be helpful for multitasking.

The Snapdragon 855 chipset would also open up the door for a number of other features, like an in-screen fingerprint scanner, HDR10 video capture, HDR10+ video playback, 10-bit color, and support for dual-4K external displays.

The return of S Pen and Dex

There are two features we fully expect to see come back with the Galaxy Tab S5.

Samsung's S Pen is a staple of the tablet family, yet it was excluded from the Galaxy Tab S5e. Not only was it not included with purchases of that tablet, but it isn't supported for users who buy it separately. 

For the Galaxy Tab S5, we believe the S Pen will be back with some new flourish. The Galaxy Tab S4 launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9 with upgrades to the S Pen, if the Galaxy Tab S5 indeed launches alongside the Galaxy Note 10, the pair may tout even more S Pen upgrades, like a built-in camera.

We also expect Samsung's Dex feature to come back with the Tab S5. It was also excluded from the Tab S5e, but for a more premium device like the Galaxy Tab S5, Samsung should include its desktop-like Dex experience for users that want to be productive on their tablet.

Wireless PowerShare

The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have considerably large batteries for smartphones, so Samsung included a nifty feature first introduced by Huawei: the ability to wirelessly share your phone's battery. Samsung calls it Wireless PowerShare.

Given that the Galaxy Tab S5 will have a substantially larger battery than Samsung's phones, it could make sense to offer that same feature here. This would let the the Tab S5 serve as a tablet and on-the-go wireless battery bank.

Image Credit: TechRadar

5G and Wi-Fi 6

Connectivity is seeing some big shifts right now, and it would benefit customers to get a little future-proofing from their premium tablet in that regard.

Wi-Fi 6 is a new standard for connectivity that supports higher performance, faster speeds, and more connected devices. With networks are becoming more congested, it only makes sense for the Tab S5 to be prepared for the latest network standard.

On that note, 5G may also be a smart optional feature, even if it's only for Samsung to get 'first 5G tablet' bragging rights. Not everyone is going to need 5G in 2019 or even 2020, but as mobile carrier's roll-out of the new technology you may benefit from the extra bandwidth – eventually.

If Samsung includes the Snapdragon 855 chipset, it could also include a 5G modem. As with most other tablets, adding a cellular connectivity option tends to bump the price up, and a 5G option would likely be a considerable bump compared to just 4G LTE connectivity. But, it may be worth it for some.

Categories: Tech News

Save $100 on Dyson vacuum cleaners at Walmart and Amazon

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:26

Spring is officially here, and for most of us, that means beautiful weather, vacations and the inevitable spring cleaning. To help you with this daunting task, retailers like Walmart are slashing the prices on top-brand cleaning appliances that can normally be quite pricey. Right now you can get the Dyson DC33 Upright Vacuum on sale for $179.99. That's a $100 discount and the best price we've seen for the bagless vacuum.

The Dyson vacuum cleaner works on all indoor surfaces so you can seamlessly clean your carpets, tile and wood floors without having to switch inputs or change the vacuum head. The powerful DC33 features root cyclone technology and a lifetime HEPA filter to capture dirt and microscopic particles and remove allergens and bacteria from your home. Because this vacuum is bagless, the dirt is stored in a hygienic bin that's conveniently released with a push of the button. The Dyson DC33 includes a wand and hose that releases in one smooth action and includes tools to help clean hard to reach areas such as curtains, stairs, ceilings and more. 

Dyson vacuum deals:

If you're interested in a cordless vacuum cleaner, Amazon has the best-selling Dyson V6 Motorhead Vacuum on sale for $149.99. The powerful V6 offers 75% more brush bar power than the V6 Cord-free vacuum and the motorized head can clean any floor type.

If you want to shop other Dyson vacuum sales, see our best cheap Dyson deals and offers that are currently available.

Interested in robot vacuums? We also have the best robot vacuum cleaner sales and deals.

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy Fold launch officially delayed – no release date in sight

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:25

Update: Samsung has officially announced it's delaying the Galaxy Fold, specifically pointing to feedback from early reviewers that showed the device "needs further improvements." Initial findings, the company wrote, suggested the impact on top and bottom of the hinge might have lead to issues with the display, as well as substances that filtered into the device. Samsung didn't state how long the launch would be delayed, only that they'll announce a new release date "in the coming weeks."

The Galaxy Fold is malfunctioning, according to a handful of tech journalists, and that's been enough for Samsung to delay the planned April 26 launch by a least a month, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sources told the publication that they haven’t decided on a specific launch date for the Fold, but said that the revised rollout window should be in the “coming weeks.” 

This news comes a day after another report claimed the Galaxy Fold launches had been delayed in China, but was still scheduled for April 26 in the US. Assumedly, the Wall Street Journal's story suggests a larger global launch delay in a rush to fix the issues that have called the Galaxy Fold’s durability into question.

Fixing the fold

Several tech outlets and online reviewers who got an early look at the device – which was slated to be the world’s first mainstream foldable phone to hit stands –innocuously peeled off what looked to be a screen protector covering the unfolded inner screen. This caused the inside display to malfunction and, in some cases, stop working entirely.

At least one other reporter, who didn’t remove the inner screen protector, tweeted that one side of the display started flickering after a few days of basic wear and tear. Another said in a tweet that one side was responding faster than the other, resulting in a “jelly” problem.

Those half-dozen reports quickly sent Samsung into damage control mode, assuring that the company was investigating these instances. We’ll have to see if these reported delays indicate a more serious problem in the Galaxy Fold’s design and durability, or if there are quick and lasting fixes for the first big attempt to launch a flagship foldable phone. 

Categories: Tech News

The Blink XT home security camera gets a $50 price cut at Amazon

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 11:45

If you're looking for a cheap and easy-to-install home security system, then you've come to the right place. Amazon has the wireless Blink XT home security kit on sale for just $79.99. That's a $50 discount and the lowest price we've found for the best-selling one-camera system.

The Blink home security camera is battery powered and includes two AA lithium batteries that offer an impressive two-year battery life. The weatherproof security camera can be used for indoor and outdoor use and features infrared night vision so you can monitor your home in the dark. The Blink camera also includes a built-in motion sensor that sends alerts to your smartphone or tablet when motion is detected. There's no monthly subscription fee with Blink, and you can even stream a live HD video from the camera with the compatible app. The Blink XT also works with Amazon Alexa so you can control your entire home security system with the command of your voice.

Like we mentioned above, this is the best price we've seen for the top-rated Blink XT, so if you've wanted to add security to your home - now is a perfect time.

If you're interested in a two-camera kit, Amazon has the Blink XT home security system on sale for $139.99. That's a $90 discount and the best price we've found for the two-camera security kit.

You can find more home security sales with the best cheap home security camera deals that are currently available.

You can also shop more smart home deals with the best cheap smart home devices and gadget deals.

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus 7 Pro confirmed to have a 'super-smooth' display and 5G, but cost more

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 11:07

Your decision between the forthcoming OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro just a little bit easier to make, thanks to fresh specs confirmed by the company's CEO today.

The OnePlus 7 Pro will feature a new display that 'stunned' CEO Peter Lau, who has described it as "super-smooth and very crisp," according to an interview with The Verge.

Previous rumors suggest that the OnePlus 7 Pro display will sport a 90Hz refresh rate, and that appears to be exactly what Lau is translating in this interview.

The piece also indicates that 5G will be offered by the OnePlus 7 series, making it one of the first 5G phones in the world, though it also tempers 5G expectations. That's very not different from many of the first 5G phones we tested.

Two reasons the OnePlus 7 Pro display matters

We've seen smartphone screens with higher-than-60Hz refresh rates before: 90Hz from the Asus ROG Phone and even 120Hz from the Razer Phone and Razer Phone 2. They are silky smooth when gaming and even when scrolling a webpage.

However, if the OnePlus 7 Pro indeed has a 90Hz refresh rate, it'll be the first inside of a more mainstream phone, not a gaming-centric handset for a niche audience. 

That's an important development that could push Samsung and Apple to finally adopt similar screen technology. But, equally important is how it'll effect the price.

The OnePlus interview suggests that the company is paying three times as much for the cutting-edge display in the OnePlus 7 Pro. For OnePlus fans used to a cheap phone with flagship-level specs, this is going to be a different sort of game changer.

Categories: Tech News

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: what’s the best premium tablet available now?

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 10:00

Some people want a tablet as a cheap laptop-lite, but others are looking for a processing powerhouse with an impressive display and other cutting-edge features, and both Apple and Samsung have this corner of the market covered with the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, two top-end tablets.

Both companies have designed devices that could easily trump many laptops in terms of specs and design, but they also sit at the top of the food chain in terms of price, and you’ll have a hard time spending more on a slate than you can on these two tablets.


But which premium tablet is the best you can buy right now, the Android or iOS powerhouse? We put the two head-to-head to figure it out.

Price

One massive difference between the iPad Pro 12.9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the price. The Galaxy Tab S4 comes in two variants, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which will set you back $650 / £509 / AU$979 for a Wi-Fi-only connection or $730 / £559 / AU$1,179 for LTE, and another with 256GB storage which costs $750 / AU$1,179 for Wi-Fi and AU$1,379 for LTE – this larger size isn’t available in the UK or with cell connection in the US.

You can buy the iPad Pro with four different amounts of memory – 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and a massive 1TB model – and after that you can choose Wi-Fi-only or LTE, and on top of that the Apple Pencil ($129 / £119 / AU$199) and Smart Keyboard ($169 / £169 / AU$299) aren’t included, whereas the S Pen is for the Galaxy Tab S4, which will all add up quickly.

For a full breakdown of all the iPad Pro 12.9 prices check out the graph below, but just know you could be spending between $999 / £969 / AU$1529 and $2,197 / £2,157 / AU$3,367 depending on the size of the tablet and how many peripherals you include – that’s a considerable amount more than the Galaxy Tab S4.

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) image prices. Image credit: TechRadar

Display

The iPad Pro 12.9 has a significantly bigger display than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, which at 10.5 inches is closer in size to the aging iPad Pro 10.5

The iPad Pro 12.9 has an LCD display with Apple’s ‘Liquid Retina’ LCD tech, which is nearly as sharp and colorful as a typical OLED display, and colors shown on it were bright and clear, although black wasn’t exactly as dark as it would be on an OLED screen.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has an AMOLED display, which displays colors just that little bit better, and has a higher max brightness as well. 

However, you’re getting 2.4 inches less of that high-quality display than the iPad Pro, and pixel density is similar, with the 1600 x 2560 Tab S4 coming in at 287 pixels per inch, while the iPad’s 2048 x 2732 screen is 265 pixels per inch, so it’s up to you which is better for content and work.

Design

With a bigger screen comes a bigger body, and fittingly the iPad Pro 12.9 is a much bigger tablet than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.

With a  280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm body, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) is very wide, although it’s actually thinner than the Galaxy Tab S4, which has dimensions of 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm, though 7.1mm is still thin as handheld devices go. There’s a big weight difference though – while the iPad Pro 12.9 weighs 631g for the Wi-Fi model and 633g for LTE, the Galaxy Tab S4 is much lighter at 482g and 483g respectively.


In terms of overall appearance, though, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) and Galaxy Tab S4 are probably the most similar an iOS and Android tablet have looked – they both have button-less fronts with screens that go nearly to the edge, and they both have rears that are rather clean save for a camera (the Galaxy Tab S4 has one that’s central, whereas the iPad Pro’s is in a corner).

One difference that may make a difference to some is regarding headphone ports – the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) doesn’t have one and you’d have to use an adaptor with its USB-C port if you want to use wired headphones, whereas the Galaxy Tab S4 comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack alongside its USB-C connector.

Peripherals

Both the iPad Pro 12.9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 have a pen and keyboard peripheral to change how you use the tablet.

You can get the S Pen, the Galaxy Tab S4’s stylus, included with the tablet, however the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro costs $129 / £119 / AU$199. We found the S Pen great for purpose – unlike the Apple Pencil it doesn’t require charging, has a holster on the keyboard, and has a protrusion on the side so it doesn’t roll away, so it’s probably the better tablet stylus.


You have to buy both the Smart Keyboard ($169 / £169 / AU$299) for the iPad Pro and the Book Cover Keyboard ($150, roughly £115, AU$210) for the Galaxy Tab S4, but we found the latter too fiddly, with loads of unnecessary buttons, and it slowed down our workflow, so we can’t recommend it as a useful addition.

Battery life

The iPad Pro 12.9 has a 9,720mAh battery while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4’s power pack is only 7,300mAh – on the surface it would seem that the former would last far longer, but that’s not necessarily the truth.

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) didn’t feel optimized for everyday use, and it lost charge rather quickly for its battery size, whereas the Galaxy Tab S4 seemed to last a lot longer in our experience.

When we put them both through our battery test, in which we play a 90-minute video at full brightness with Wi-Fi on and accounts syncing in the background, the iPad Pro lost 22% charge while the Galaxy Tab S4 only dropped 12% – that shows the latter is optimized a lot better for media use, and can play games or stream content for longer.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar


Charging was quicker on the iPad Pro though, as it took two and a half hours to charge to full instead of three and a quarter. Neither supports wireless charging, which is a shame because of how convenient the feature is, but also understandable given the confusing logistics of balancing a tablet on a wireless charger.

Features

The biggest difference between the two tablets is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 runs the Android 9 operating system whereas the iPad Pro 12.9 runs on Apple’s iOS 12 – both have fans and people who dislike them, but ultimately they run rather similarly.

In terms of specs, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) knocks its competitor out of the water. While the Galaxy Tab S4 runs on a mid-to-high range Snapdragon 835 chipset, and has 4GB of RAM, the iPad Pro has the superior A12X Bionic processor with 4GB of RAM (unless you get the 1TB version with 6GB). This extra processing power gets you a faster framerate in games, quicker video rendering, and a whole other range of features.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar


Other than that, the tablets run in pretty similar ways – both support face recognition to unlock, both can support split-screen modes so you can run multiple apps at the same time, and both are just as useful as media players as they are work tools.

Verdict

The biggest thing to decide if you’re split between an iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the price – the cheapest iPad Pro model costs quite a bit more than the Galaxy Tab S4, and the most expensive model costs a lot more.

Whether the extra price will provide extra value depends on what you’re looking for in a tablet – the extra screen space, better specs and access to iOS (which, if we’re being honest, is a little better suited to tablets) is a blessing, but if you just want a ‘big phone’ you don’t need to shell out that much.

Categories: Tech News

UK government adds 12,000 snippets of info to Alexa and Google Assistant

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:30

The more precise Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can be, the more useful they are – and with that in mind the UK government has added a hefty 12,000 pieces of information to the digital assistants.

That means not only can you ask your smart speaker how the weather forecast is looking or how tall the Tower of London is, you can also ask when the next bank holiday is scheduled for or what the current minimum wage is.

The data also covers questions like "what age can I retire?" and "how do I apply for a passport?" – all the sort of stuff you might search a government website for (the Gov.uk sites are the primary source for the new data).

"This is all about making life easier for people who need to access information about government services," Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden said in a press statement. "And with millions now using smart speakers, I want government to keep up and work smarter too."

More on the way

The new information data dump is the result of six months of testing, planning and preparation, and should be live now on devices enabled with Alexa or Google Assistant – there's no need to run a manual update.

Government agencies say more information is on the way too, and smart speakers could soon be able to give you details of how to get married and how to renew your car tax.

It's more evidence of the growing intelligence of these smart assistants, which to begin with could run basic web searches for data and that was about it.

Nowadays they're far more nuanced and comprehensive – but the most accurate and useful results come when information is specifically organised and added, as is the case with the UK government here.

Via Android Police

Categories: Tech News

Realme 3 Pro vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:09

Celebrating its first anniversary, Realme Mobiles unveiled their top-of-the-line Realme 3 Pro that is going to take on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro in India. In just a short span of one year, the company has managed to take the fight to mid-range champions. Realme 3, which was launched just last month, has sold more than 600,000 units and has garnered a positive response. 

On the other side, we have Xiaomi’s crown jewel in the mid-range market, the Redmi Note 7 Pro which is the best phone one can get under Rs 15,000 in India. 

So, does the Realme 3 Pro manage to do one better than the Redmi Note 7 Pro? We find out in our specifications based comparison of both the phones.

Price and availability

Realme 3 Pro and Redmi Note 7 Pro are priced at the same mark- Rs 13,999 with 4GB RAM and Rs 16,999 with 6GB RAM. 

While the Redmi Note 7 Pro is selling like hot cakes both offline and online, Realme 3 Pro is set to go on its first sale on April 29 on Flipkart and Realme India Store.

Design and Display

Built out of polycarbonate, the Realme 3 Pro is 8.3 mm thick while the Redmi Note 7 Pro beats it at 8.1 mm even after having a glass built. There’s a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back of the Note 7 Pro, while the Realme 3 Pro has it on the display.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes in three gradient color options- red, blue and black while the Realme 3 Pro will be available in grey, blue and purple hues.

Both the phones have a 6.3-inch IPS display with Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) resolution, topped with Gorilla Glass 5. The two phones implement a similar u-shaped notch design, giving the screen a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

Given the asking price, the display on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is just good, as we noted in our review.

Camera

Realme 3 Pro brings the Sony IMX519 sensor with its dual camera setup. There’s a primary 16MP camera with an f/1.7 aperture which is assisted by a 5MP depth sensor.

Redmi Note 7 Pro has a dual camera setup on the rear which consists of a primary 48MP sensor and a 5MP secondary camera for depth-sensing.

On the front, the Realme 3 Pro sports a 25MP snapper whereas the Note 7 Pro has a 13MP selfie camera.

The phones pack in really advanced photography hardware and we really impressed by the Redmi Note 7 Pro during our time with it. As for the Realme 3 Pro, we will be using its camera for some more time to have a verdict.

Performance and battery

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, the Realme 3 Pro has an octa-core CPU and Adreno 616 as its graphics processor. The Snapdragon 710 is usually found on phones priced upwards of Rs 20,000 but the Realme 3 Pro brings it down to the mid-range segment.

Under the hood, Redmi Note 7 Pro is powered by Snapdragon 675 chipset with an octa-core CPU and Adreno 612.

Both the phones are offered in two variants- 4GB RAM with 64GB storage and 6GB of RAM with 128GB onboard storage.

Realme 3 Pro has a 4,045mAh battery which supports fast charging via VOOC 3.0 charging solution. The VOOC 3.0 20W adapter is provided in-the-box and can charge the battery upto 50% in around 30 minutes.

The Note 7 Pro is fitted with a 4,000mAh battery and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 but the fast charging adapted isn’t provided in-the-box and has to be purchased as a separate accessory.

We’ll be using the Realme 3 Pro and will update this comparison with our overall experience soon.

Categories: Tech News

Best HR outsourcing of 2019

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:00

Handling employee paperwork can be a nightmare maze of tax and legal compliance issues. It's time consuming work that offers little obvious reward, and takes your attention from simply growing your business.

For small business owners, it can be an welcome headache to tackle it directly, but even with larger businesses this means having to invest in HR managers and software which may not necessarily seem cost-effective, especially in the short-term.

Luckily, there are a number of HR outsourcing options available. Some are full service providers, and cover everything from recruitment to payroll, to tax deductions and legal compliance. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that lack HR expertise or might find it expensive to build and accommodate their own HR team. Outsourcing allows another company to deal with all those complexities and liabilities for you.

Others providers allow you to pick and choose which HR service you'd like to outsource. This is especially the case where a business may want to provide extra support for its existing HR department. After all, HR isn't all about tax and insurance, but also about employee recruitment and providing training provision. Third parties may be able offer these services to add another layer of expertise without having to introducing an administrative burden on your business.

Some HR outsourcing companies are certified by the IRS or accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), which can provide guarantees to the level of service, not least for avoiding double-taxation penalties. This can be especially important for large businesses. However, smaller HR outsourcing companies may not come with either credentials, but that doesn't mean they may be any less capable, especially when dealing with less complex small business needs.

To help you choose between HR outsourcing providers, we've featured the five best below.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.   

Image Credit: ADP

ADP Comprehensive Services is designed for larger businesses that want to focus more on strategy, or else could benefit companies undergoing a merger or acquisition. The Comprehensive Services package allows a business to outsource either all of its HR services to ADP, or just selected HR services.

The services available include employee recruitment, retention, and engagement, with performance management and compensation benchmarking. ADP can also handle all aspects of benefits administration, from carrier connections and eligibility reporting, to open enrollment administration, as well as new hire and life event enrollments, and all administrated under COBRA guidelines. ADP can also ensure compliance with legal frameworks, not least ACA and FMLA.

Of course, ADP can also take on board payroll administration to reduce compliance risk, not least in dealing with managing time and attendance, but also with regards to federal and state tax changes, as well as offering proactive guidance on best practices.

Overall, ADP is one of the biggest names in HR outsourcing, yet the Comprehensive Services package for HR outsourcing is designed for businesses with anywhere between 1-1000+ employees.

Image Credit: G&A Partners

G&A Partners' Full-Service HR Solution provides an outsourced alternative for businesses to manage and administrate HR services, payroll, and employee benefits. They run this using their own HR technology platform, Worksight, which offers SaaS (Software as a Service) that works with SSO (Single Sign On) technology. 

Using Worksight, G&A are able to cover all aspects of recruitment, onboarding, time and attendance, performance management, benefits enrollment, and performance management. For recruitment, G&A use an applicant tracking system (ATS) which allows them to search online applicant databases in order to create job descriptions and compensation packages suitable to the post. G&A can screen applicants, and allow them to communicate through the recruitment process.

The Worksight platform allows all employment forms to be signed and stored directly in the system, and provides real-time updates on the employee onboarding process. The time and attendance system allows for employees to clock in digitally, and also manage all aspects of creating and managing schedules, as well as vacations and sickness. 

G&A Partners also provides expert guidance on a range of other issues, not least safety at work compliance, healthcare reform, and benefits administration tailored to weighting these to the most needed positions as required.

Overall, G&A Partners provides a wide range of services, which can be packages together as a single solution or worked with individually depending on which actual HR services you need.

Image Credit: Insperity

Insperity offers HR outsourcing solutions according to two main plans: the first being 5-149 employees, and the second for 150-5000 employees. Both cover all the HR basics, not least HR admin and payroll, risk-management and compliance, benefits, as well as employee training and management. The main difference between the programs is a case of where the put the focus of the service, and of course the price.

The first plan for small businesses is a full-service solution focused on providing a strong, stable, and supported HR management plan in the first place, while being able to offer insurance benefits normally expected with a Fortune 500 company. Insperity also uses its own software platform to manage all aspects of payroll, accounting, and cost administration, not to mention tax filing. As expected, they also provide support and advice for compliance and liability issues, as well as performance management.

The second plan for medium to large businesses provides the same services while putting the focus on productivity and profitability, not least to work to prevent IT sprawl and inefficiencies that necessarily plague business systems the larger they get. The aim is to provide detailed cost inventory and manage them to ensure budget certainty. This is especially relevant where a business may be involved in a merger or acquisition and needs to integrate employees from different payroll systems into one.

In all, Insperity provide a wide-ranging solution, and although two different plans have been mentioned, Insperity also provide individual HR services as required.

Image Credit: Paychex

Paychex offers both human resources consulting as well as HR outsourcing and PEO services. This means you can look at different levels of service according to your business needs, from simply asking for guidance on how to better streamline your existing HR workflows, to completely outsourcing all of your HR and employment needs to Paychex.

As expected, Paychex provides all the expected services in terms of HR management, payroll and benefits administration, as well as compliance and legal services. Where Paychex differs from the competition is its focus on digital streamlining where possible, in order to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity in all aspects of human resources management. 

For example, with Paychex Flex you can easily manage your business health insurance, section 125 plans, 401(k) and other employee benefits from a single online platform. Changes can be made in real-time, and set up so that employees can easily access the information without having to ask for it.

The whole process means less time is spent on low-value administrative tasks, while streamlining existing procedures. Additionally, it's also easier to search for actionable insights to improve efficiency, with analytics automated to work through the Paychex HR management system to reveal trends and provide custom reporting. 

Altogether, Paychex is another strong company with a strong suite of services, and even better in that you can easily select the right level of service for your business.

Image Credit: TriNet

TriNet offers a range of HR services, including HR consultancy, benefits management, payroll services, risk mitigation, all run through a single software platform. They can also provide mobile apps for employee expenses, time management, wages and benefits statements. These services can be taken packaged together, as individual outsourced services, or even a full-service PEO (Professional Employer Organization) as required. 

What makes TriNet standout a little more from its competition is that its advisers have specialist industry experience, not least in architecture & engineering, consulting, financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, marketing, retail, technology, and nonprofits. The aim is to make sure this expertise translates into actionable insights specific for your business, and therefore help improve some aspect of efficiency, workflows, or productivity.

Another advantage of TriNet is that it charges on a per-employee basis, rather than as a percent of payroll. This means your HR costs are predictable and consistent, which can be especially advantageous to small businesses who need to have a very clear idea of costs. TriNet is also able to work comfortable with businesses of different sizes, tailoring plans accordingly, though some services may require an employee minimum to make them financially worthwhile.

Overall, TriNet is a flexible provider that could offer industry insights while providing a comprehensive range of HR outsourcing services.

Categories: Tech News

Don't get fooled by scammers sending WhatsApp verification messages

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:08

The Telecommunications Authority of the UAE has issued an advisory on Twitter for WhatsApp users and warned that they should not reply to code verification messages unless it is triggered by the subscriber. Many WhatsApp accounts have been hacked through this method.

Nicolai Solling, Chief Technology Officer at security solutions provider Help AG Middle East, told TechRadar Middle East, that this is a widespread phenomenon and it is known as “social engineering”.

“Scammers have hacked many accounts globally and their main intention is to gain control over WhatsApp accounts. What the scammer does is that he or she sends you a code on WhatsApp and tells the user to reply by clicking a link to verify the phone number,” he said.

Normally, when you install WhatsApp on a device, WhatsApp sends a verification code to check if you are the owner of the phone number and it is done automatically. However, in this case, the scammer is sending you a WhatsApp code and a link.

“If you click the link, you are confirming that it is you on behalf of the scammer. By that way, the user can lose control of the WhatsApp messages and the scammer can read and send messages on your behalf."

If a user hasn't requested for a WhatsApp code, they should not click on any conformation links on WhatsApp.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei Band 4 Pro: what we want to see

Latest Tech News - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:00

The Huawei Band 4 Pro is likely to land later this year and it could shake up the fitness tracker scene by providing a plethora of features at a budget price.

At least, it has got the potential to if it builds on what the Huawei Band 3 Pro offers without building on the price too much.

For now we don’t know much about it, but we’d expect rumors to start rolling in soon and will add them to this article as soon as they do. And in the meantime we’ve come up with a list of features and improvements that we want to see, along with educated guesses at when it might land and what it might offer.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The successor to the Huawei Band 3 Pro
  • When is it out? Possibly around October
  • What will it cost? Likely at least $69.99 / £79.99 / AU$110
Huawei Band 4 Pro release date and price

The Huawei Band 3 Pro was announced in October 2018 so there’s a fair chance we’ll see the Huawei Band 4 Pro in or around October of this year (2019), especially as the Huawei Band 2 Pro landed in the second half of 2017 – so there was roughly a year between the previous two wearables.

There’s no news on exactly when the Huawei Band 4 Pro might be announced, but with the Band 3 Pro being unveiled alongside the Huawei Mate 20 range we might see the Band 4 Pro alongside the Huawei Mate 30 range.

We don’t know what it will cost either, but the Huawei Band 3 Pro retails for $69.99 / £79.99 / AU$110, so we’d expect the Band 4 Pro would cost at least that much.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Huawei Band 4 Pro news and rumors

There aren’t any Huawei Band 4 Pro rumors yet, but we’ll be sure to update this article as soon as we hear anything credible about the wearable.

We can take an educated guess at some things though. For example, it will almost certainly sport full GPS, a heart rate monitor, water resistance and a reasonably low price, given that the Huawei Band 3 Pro has all those things.

What we want to see

Below you’ll find the main things that we’d like to see from the Huawei Band 4 Pro. Some may well happen, others are less likely, but we want them all.

1. A comfier fit and a sleeker design

The Band 3 Pro is a bit bulky. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Huawei Band 3 Pro isn’t a bad looking wearable. In fact, with its glass and metal build it’s arguably quite nice, but it’s rather chunky, which isn’t ideal, especially for something we’d be working out while wearing.

More problematic though is how it feels on the wrist, as in our review we found that it’s just not quite as comfy as some rival bands like the Fitbit Inspire HR, so we’d like to see both the size and comfort improved for the Huawei Band 4 Pro.

2. A breathing mode

A breathing mode on a fitness band is almost a standard feature at this point, but it’s one that the Huawei Band 3 Pro didn’t have (despite the fact that the Huawei Band 2 Pro does have one).

So for the Band 4 Pro we’d like to see it reinstated, and if they can improve it – by adding multiple different guided breathing exercises for example – then all the better.

3. Slicker GPS

We don't want to wait to work out. Image Credit: TechRadar

Getting full GPS at all in budget fitness bands is far from guaranteed, but we’re almost certain the Huawei Band 4 Pro will have it since the Band 3 Pro does.

However, the Huawei band 3 Pro’s GPS takes longer than average to lock on in our experience, so we’d like to see it work faster on the Huawei Band 4 Pro. After all, if you’re trying to work out the last thing you want is to be left standing around.

4. Auto brightness

The Huawei Band 3 Pro has a bright, colorful screen, but late at night or when in the cinema you don’t necessarily want it to be bright, and while the brightness can be adjusted this has to be done manually – there’s no auto brightness. It’s an obvious feature that we’d really like to see added to the Huawei Band 4 Pro.

5. Wireless charging

The Huawei Band 3 Pro has a clip-on charger like many wearables, but for the Band 4 Pro we’d like to see support for wireless charging, and not of the proprietary kind.

Not only would that be convenient, but that way if we need to juice it up when we don’t have the charger with us there’s a solid chance someone will have a wireless charger we can use.

6. More watch faces

The Band 3 Pro doesn't have many faces. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Huawei Band 3 Pro only comes with a selection of three different watch faces. Now, by fitness tracker standards that’s not awful, but given that many smartwatches give you thousands to play with we’d like to see a greater selection offered on the Huawei Band 4 Pro. That way you’d be better able to tailor it to your style.

7. An ECG

This is one of our more unlikely hopes for the Huawei Band 4 Pro, but with the Apple Watch 4 and Withings Move ECG sporting an ECG (electrocardiogram) it’s not totally out of the question.

This feature goes beyond merely monitoring your heart rate and can potentially detect some serious heart issues, such as atrial fibrillation, so it would be great to see it on more devices.

Categories: Tech News

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