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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active vs Samsung Galaxy Watch

Latest Tech News - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 05:00

Samsung has now launched the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, the second wearable in what's now become a range. This is offered as an alternative to the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch and we've given both of them four-star reviews. But there are lots more differences than just an adjective added to the Active's name.

That said, the two wearables also have plenty in common, and the decision you make isn't as simple as opting for the Galaxy Watch Active if you want a sporty wearable and the Galaxy Watch if you don't.

With that in mind we've compared these two watches, highlighting all the key differences along with what's the same, so you can make an educated choice as to which to buy.


The Samsung Galaxy Watch comes in both 46mm and 42mm sizes, with 22mm straps used for the larger model and 20mm for the smaller. While it comes with a silicone strap, you can swap that out for any standard pin-based watch strap.

The body of the watch is metal, but it's a substantially-sized thing at either 41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7mm or 46 x 49 x 13mm (depending on whether you go for the small or large option). It's also a hefty thing at either 49g or 63g (depending on what size you choose) without a strap, but it undeniably looks high-end.

Everything is a little simpler for the newer Galaxy Watch Active, as you can only get it in a 40mm size. The actual dimensions are 39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5mm, so it's a little smaller than even the smallest variant of the standard Galaxy Watch.

It's also a whole lot lighter at just 25g without a strap, despite also being made of metal, and that light weight makes it ideal for working out in. Speaking of the strap, you'll get a 20mm silicone one, and as with the standard Galaxy Watch this can be swapped out for other bands of that size.

Other differences include the presence of a rotatable bezel on the standard Galaxy Watch, which can be used for navigating the wearable's screens.

It's a handy feature and arguably would be even more useful on the Watch Active, since its compact screen can make the watch a bit cramped to interact with, but it's not offered here, perhaps to ensure a smaller build.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active does come in a slightly wider range of colors though, with black, silver, rose gold and green shades offered, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch just comes in silver, midnight black and rose gold.


The Samsung Galaxy Watch has either a 1.3-inch or 1.2-inch 360 x 360 circular Super AMOLED screen that comes in at around 278 pixels per inch. The screen size is matched to the body size - so the 46mm watch has a 1.3-inch display, while the 42mm one has a 1.2-inch screen.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active meanwhile comes in just one size - a 1.1-inch screen, but it's still 360 x 360, so has a marginally higher pixel density, and as with the standard Galaxy Watch it's Super AMOLED.

Of course, while the Active might be a little sharper, it's also a bit more cramped - if you have big digits you might get on better with the larger screen on the Samsung Galaxy Watch. We didn't find the small screen too much of an issue in our review though, and we found both displays to be bright and colorful.

One additional thing to note though is that while the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active's screen uses Gorilla Glass, the standard Galaxy Watch uses Gorilla Glass DX+, which should make it a little more resistant to scratches.


 Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Image Credit: TechRadar

While the standard Galaxy Watch isn't quite as focused on fitness as the Galaxy Watch Active, nor is it lacking in that area, as it has a heart rate monitor, GPS, an altimeter, a barometer, and it's waterproof, so you could wear it in the pool if you so desired.

It can track 39 different exercises, with six of them auto-tracked, and it can also track your sleep, measure your stress and vibrate on your wrist to remind you to move more.

It also comes with a stress monitoring feature that uses the heart rate tracker to give you a clear picture of your stress levels throughout the day. When it thinks you're experiencing stress it will offer you breathing exercises and mindfulness sessions to help calm you.

Stress monitoring on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Image Credit: TechRadar

These worked well in our tests, though aren't a rival for paid meditation apps like Headspace and Simple Habit.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active offers all this and adds a blood pressure monitor to the mix. We haven't been able to test this yet so can't say whether it's any good, but that and the more lightweight design are the only real things this watch does to earn its 'Active' moniker above and beyond what the Galaxy Watch offers.

Battery and features

Samsung Galaxy Watch. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a wearable that just keeps on going, with battery life of around four days in our tests. At least, for the larger model with its 472mAh battery. The smaller model has just a 270mAh battery, and despite its smaller screen it's only rated for around three days between charges.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active meanwhile has a 230mAh battery, so it's smaller than even the smallest Galaxy Watch one. In our tests we found it would last just around two days between charges, which actually is pretty standard for smartwatches, but a lot worse than the standard Galaxy Watch.

As for features, highlights of the Galaxy Watch include NFC, which lets you make use of Samsung Pay for contactless payments. It also optionally comes with LTE, meaning you can get calls and texts on the watch without it being connected to your phone.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active meanwhile also has NFC but doesn't have LTE, so if you want to stay in touch with the rest of your world you'll have to keep your phone with you.

OS and power

Samsung Galaxy Watch. Image Credit: TechRadar

Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Watch run Tizen, which is a rarity on smartwatches, but it's an operating system that we like a lot. It also has access to over 60,000 watch faces and a variety of apps.

As for power, both watches have a 1.15GHz dual-core Exynos 9110 chipset and 4GB of storage. RAM is similar but not identical - the Galaxy Watch comes with either 768MB or - if you opt for the LTE model - 1.5GB, while the Galaxy Watch Active comes with 750MB.

So there's not much to choose here other than there being a little more RAM in the standard Galaxy Watch. In practice we found performance on both watches was generally smooth.


Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Galaxy Watch Active costs £229 / $199.99 / AU$348, which is a mid-range smartwatch price.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch launched at $329 / £279 / AU$499 for the 42mm model and $349 / £299 / AU$549 for the 46mm version. 

If you want LTE it costs $379 / AU$599 (around £290) for the 42mm model or $399 / AU$649 (roughly £305) for the 46mm one. Though you can often now find it for a bit less than those prices.


The Galaxy Watch Active is a smaller, cheaper alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Watch. It looks just as stylish, performs similarly well and has most of the same features. It also adds blood pressure monitoring to the mix.

Yet it doesn't do much to justify the 'Active' name, and it lacks the rotating bezel and optional LTE of the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch. It also has worse battery life in our tests.

So unless you really want blood pressure monitoring the Samsung Galaxy Watch is arguably the better device overall, but it's priced at a premium, so if you're on a budget or have dainty wrists then the Galaxy Watch Active is the better choice.

As we noted at the top, we awarded both wearables four stars, so you can't really go wrong with either.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei sees no impact on its 5G business from Middle East despite US accusations

Latest Tech News - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 03:13

Huawei will not be put off by the false accusations of spying by the US and its allies and will push ahead with its 5G rollout and investments in the Middle East.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Samena Council’s Leaders’ Summit 2019, Charles Yang, president of Huawei Middle East, said that the US has not been able to prove its allegations and it will not impact its business in the Middle East.

The world’s largest telecom networks equipment manufacturer has come under the microscope and the US has asked many countries to block Huawei from supplying telecom equipment despite Huawei repeatedly denying the allegations.

In fact, the US is also expected to push its allies at a meeting in Prague on May2-3 to make it difficult for Huawei to dominate the 5G telecom networks space. According to media reports, Germany and Poland have no plans to stop Huawei from participating in the race for super-fast internet network.

US applying diplomatic pressures

So far, Yang said that only Australia is following the US way to scrutinise Huawei and applying political measures and diplomatic pressures.

“It is using the power of the country against a company which is not seen in the open history. The truth will prevail in the end and will be shown to the world. If the US wants to accuse Huawei, they need to have solid evidence.”

He added that cybersecurity is a top priority for the company that has served three billion users in 170 countries (1,500 carrier networks) and never had any network security incident. Moreover, he said that Huawei is the first telecom supplier that has proactively and voluntarily accepted the strictest network security reviews from the UK since 2010.

Huawei has 283 global partners and 57 regional partners for 5G and expects to have one million bases stations globally by 2020. Yang added that “5G is the most secure network ever as it uses a 256-bit algorithm compared to 4G’s 128-bit algorithm.” 

Jyoti Lalchandani, vice-president and regional managing director for research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), told TechRadar Middle East that Huawei may feel a short-term pinch, but it is unlikely to experience any major long-term pain as it has strong relations with global telecom players and market forces will “inevitably” come into play.

“Huawei is a much stronger player in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and certain parts of Europe. The company is making major strides in 5G and has been expanding its R&D investments significantly over the past few years,” he said. 

Huawei has been active in the Middle East telecom space for 19 years, and Yang stressed that there has never been any security incident which is why the regional telecom operators trust Huawei. He urged the governments, partners and vendors to work together and set up a unified standard for cybersecurity. 

“If a unified standard for cybersecurity happens, Huawei will be the first vendor to sign the deal,” he said. 5G is not only important to the telecom operators but also to the whole of society. “4G changed the life but 5G will change the society. We think that it will take three years for 5G to attain 500 million users while 4G took six years and 3G took nine years to achieve the 500 million user base,” he added.

Flexing muscles

Sukhdev Singh, vice-president at market research and analysis services provider Kantar AMRB, said that the US regulators and the government always have clout on influencing other countries decision with whom they should partner with and that can have an impact on the telecom operators globally.

However, he said the local technology adoption is getting more mature and not so much dependence on the US technology providers now.

“It all depends on how much each government is convinced, and if the governments' influence is not there to ban Huawei, then it will not have a big impact on Huawei.  If the US and other countries ban Huawei, they will have constraints and have fewer players in the telecom space and it may hurt the telecom industry’s innovation and growth,” he said.

How important Huawei is in the 5G race?

According to online market intelligence platform IPlytics, the Chinese company leads the race in the number of 5G standard technical contributions by a company. Huawei held 11,423 patents in 2018, followed by Ericsson with 10,351 and Nokia with 6,878, the other two big networks equipment makers.

With Huawei investing $15 billion in R&D annually and ranks among the top five, it has a clear strategic positioning in the 5G race and has the capacity to mass produce 5G chips, 5G mobile routers and CPE (customer-premises equipment), a wireless router for home.

Huawei is also one of the few smartphones manufactures, after Samsung and Oppo, to showcase 5G mobile devices.

Categories: Tech News

Crawford vs Khan live stream: how to watch the fight online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 17:20

Amir Khan is going over to US turf to take on the unbeaten American boxer Terence Crawford. The prize on offer is the US welterweight belt which is currently held by Crawford who has not been defeated in 34 fights. And you can get a full Crawford vs Khan live stream by reading this tailor-made guide.

Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) was out of the ring for over a year before returning to win back-to-back fights against Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas.. But Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is a new level for Khan to take on as he's not only a three-weight world champion but is highly regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers out there right now.

While 32-year-old Khan may be seen as at the end of his career by some, the former unified junior welterweight champion still packs a punch and could give Crawford some real problems in the ring. 

Sounds like an intriguing contest, doesn't it? Well the good news is that it's being broadcast live around the world, and we're here to help you discover the best places to watch a Crawford vs Khan live stream.

Live stream Crawford vs Khan from outside your country

If you've been looking forward to this fight and already know where to watch, your plans may be scuppered if you're out of the country when it's on. That's because broadcasters geo-block their coverage if you try to watch from abroad.

But there's a clever workaround for this, which is perfectly legal (assuming the broadcaster's Ts&Cs allow it) and it involves using a piece of software called a VPN - better that than trying to get some dodgy stream from Reddit.

Live stream Crawford vs Khan in the US

How watch the Khan vs Crawford fight in the UK

How to watch Khan vs Crawford in Pakistan

We've looked and we've looked (and we've looked) and we can't find any news of a broadcaster in Pakistan showing Amir Khan in all his mean, lean glory this Saturday. Not great if you're there and were hoping to see him fight on Sunday morning. If that changes, we'll be sure to let you know.

The only alternative is to use one of our best VPNs as described above, set your location to a country on this page that is broadcasting and go from there. But do bear in mind that most paid streaming services do require a credit card based in the country the service is from.

Categories: Tech News

Libreoffice vs Apache OpenOffice: how to choose the right free office suite for you

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 13:00

When it comes to free office software, there are two main choices: LibreOffice and OpenOffice (or, to give it its proper name, Apache OpenOffice). The two are remarkably similar, so how can you choose the right one for you?

First, it's worth thinking carefully about whether you need desktop office software at all. Provided you have an internet connection, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides might offer everything you need, without the need to install anything, and with the extra bonus that everything you create will be automatically saved to the cloud. No more lost documents, or having to email work to yourself.

However, if you write, create spreadsheets or make presentations regularly, you might find that you need some of the more advanced features that you only get in desktop software. If you're in that camp LibreOffice and OpenOffice are two of the best options around. They're both free to download and use, even professionally, and they're open source, which means their code is publicly available.

Indeed, they're so similar that you might have a hard time choosing between them, but there are some key differences.

Why are they so similar?

LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice share a common ancestor: OpenOffice.org. This open source office suite was originally developed by the software giant Sun Microsystems, but not all of its developers were happy with the project's direction after Sun was acquired by Oracle.

As a result, a group of developers broke away and created a new fork. This became LibreOffice, which has been hosted by The Document Foundation ever since.

In 2011, Oracle announced that it was ending development of OpenOffice.org, and donated the code to Apache

LibreOffice Calc and Apache OpenOffice Calc (Image credit: The Document Foundation; Apache)

What are the differences?

Frequency of releases

One of the biggest differences between Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice is the frequency of releases. LibreOffice is updated much more frequently than Apache OpenOffice, which means you'll receive new features and bug fixes more quickly.

The frequency of updates means there's also more potential for bugs in LibreOffice, but any that do appear are likely to be resolved quickly.

Selection of tools

Both LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice offer essentially the same set of apps (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math), but LibreOffice also includes a tool called Charts. As its name implies, this is a small application specifically for creating charts and graphs, ready to be imported into other documents. Handy for presentations.

Language support

If you're multilingual, it's worth noting that Apache OpenOffice offers more in terms of flexibility when it comes to languages, letting you download additional language patches as plugins. If you choose LibreOffice, you'll need to pick one language at the start and stick with it.

Presentation templates in LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice (Image credit: The Document Foundation; Apache)

Pre-installed templates

If you often need to make presentations, LibreOffice has the edge in terms of the number (and quality) of slide templates available. Both software suites offer plenty of user-made designs to download, but LibreOffice's selection of pre-installed options is far superior to OpenOffice's.


As you can see from the screengrabs, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are almost identical. The functional differences are very minor; for example, the sidebar in OpenOffice Writer is open by default, whereas in LibreOffice it's closed.

LibreOffice does look a little more modern thanks to its larger icons and leaning towards subtle pastel hues, but it's nothing that'll affect your everyday work.

Supported file types

This is likely to be the biggest deciding factor for many people. Although both LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice can open and edit native Microsoft formats DOCX and XLSX, only LibreOffice is able to save to these formats.

If you're going to be sharing documents with people using Microsoft Office, LibreOffice might therefore be the better choice.

Categories: Tech News

Apple reportedly planning big upgrades to the cameras on the iPhone 11

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 09:30

What's on your wishlist for the 2019 iPhones? Based on analyst reports, Apple is planning to give both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras on the iPhone 11 models a significant upgrade this year.

Well-respected Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo says that the selfie camera will get a boost from 7 megapixels to 12 megapixels, 9to5Mac reports.

An extra layer of glass will apparently be added to the lens as well, for boosting the quality of your snaps, and these upgrades are being tipped to come to all three iPhone 11 models due in September.

Around the back, meanwhile, Apple is being tipped to add a third lens with super-wide angle capabilities on the two higher-end models, so you can fit more in your shots.

Go wide

The successor to the iPhone XR will have a dual-lens rear camera, Kuo says, with the follow-ups to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max featuring triple-lens rear cameras, with the new 12MP super-wide angle lens.

A triple camera array is something we've been seeing a lot in the iPhone 11 leaks that have appeared online so far, and it makes sense that Apple would want to upgrade the camera capabilities this time around.

The new report suggests Apple is going to use a special coating to make the front-facing cameras and the third rear-facing camera lens almost invisible.

That might make the square rear camera design a little less jarring – it's appeared in several leaked renders, and looks likely to dominate the back of the two premium iPhone 2019 models.

Categories: Tech News

Disney’s biggest competitor isn’t Netflix - it’s Fortnite

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 09:00

Back in 2013 Netflix’s Ted Sarandos perfectly captured the strategic challenge that  the growing streaming service rapidly faced: “The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us”, he told GQ magazine, in reference to the premium cable powerhouse that broadcasts the likes of Game of Thrones.

In other words: Though Netflix’s streaming technology is new and exciting (or at least it was five years ago), the technology alone won’t keep Netflix ahead - content matters too. That’s why, fast-forward to 2019, Netflix has utterly transformed both the living room and the movie theater. This year it is expected to spend a eye-watering $15 billion on films and TV shows for us to watch. 

In just a few short years Netflix has transformed from the new upstart challenger into the 800Ib gorilla in the entertainment industry. Even Amazon, a company that eats entire sectors for breakfast, has to play second-fiddle to Netflix when it comes to streaming.

And for that reason, there are some people out there like John Meyer, an industry analyst and founding partner at Transpire Ventures,  who think that even Disney, one of the biggest names in entertainment, might not be able to beat it. 

"I strongly believe Disney will not become a threat to Netflix whatsoever"

John Meyer, Transpire Ventures

"I strongly believe Disney will not become a threat to Netflix whatsoever," Meyer said in an email to TechRadar. "After all, they are a tech company at heart and have enormous power with the data they capture on their millions of subscribers, which helps them design what original content to create."  

But here’s the thing: Maybe Disney doesn’t need to beat Netflix. Maybe Netflix isn’t even Disney’s biggest strategic challenge. Instead, maybe Disney CEO Bob Iger should probably spend more time worrying about Fortnite

 (Image Credit: Epic Games) 

Picking your battles

Now, at first that might sound confusing. Why would Disney+, a new streaming service that bears close resemblance to Netflix, compete with an online game?

The answer was probably best given by Netflix itself in a letter sent to shareholders earlier this year: “Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.” 

"We compete with (and lose to) Fornite more than HBO."

Netflix, in a letter to shareholders

Furthermore, “We compete with (and lose to) Fornite more than HBO.” 

That's a pretty telling statement.

It's basically acknowledging that streaming services aren't that concerned with one another and instead, they're looking at the bigger picture - not only your generation, but the generation coming up right after it, too. 

And Netflix knows they're going to be much harder to win over.

If Disney wants this to be their future, it will have to start winning kids over now.  (Image Credit: Netflix) 

Disney will need to duke it out with Fortnite

At this point you might be thinking that Disney, rights holders and creators of franchises like Star Wars and Frozen must have kids wrapped indefinitely around their finger, and that that gives them an advantage here, right?


Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you grew up in a vastly different media environment to kids today. The reason we’re so excited about Disney+ is because it appeals to us, our interests and our sense of nostalgia. 

But if you’re eleven years old today, your world isn’t (exclusively) one of Marvel and Disney Princesses. It is one where mindshare is dominated by Fortnite, aggressively dumb YouTubers and, presumably, a bunch of other entertainment brands in the gaming, fashion, music and movie world. Instagram influencers. Snapchat stars – not to mention the content your friends are producing.

So there could be a generation of kids growing up today who lack the pavlovian reaction we have when we hear John Williams’ Star Wars theme tune, because that mindshare has instead been stolen by the Epic Games upstarts.

We might love these characters, but it doesn’t mean the next generation will too.

It’s inevitable that Fortnite the game will at some point be knocked off of its perch as top dog and replaced by another new game in the next year (cough, Apex Legends), but the real threat to Disney in the long term is that there’s currently a generation of kids who will have a similar reaction when Epic Games reboot Fortnite in 20 years time that we have to the Star Wars Episode IX trailer.

We can already see the generational schism starting to happen. When Solo came out, the childrens’ market research firm Kids Insight found just 2% of kids mentioning the film in the month before it was released - performing worse than Deadpool 2 (not exactly a kids film) and Peter Rabbit (yes, the one with James Corden). To them, Star Wars is less a cultural touchstone and more just a logo on one of dad’s old t-shirts.

Similarly, when The Muppets performed at London's O2 last year, they failed to sell out the arena - because the characters lack the cultural cachet they once commanded with an older generation. We might love these characters, but it doesn’t mean the next generation will too.

Kids love Moana, but they might love Fortnite even more... (Image Credit: Disney)

Kids are the key

Disney owns your childhood and, if everything goes right with Disney+, it will own your kid's childhood, too.

Whether Disney+ manages to beat Netflix in terms of subscribers numbers is almost irrelevant. Even if it ends up second or third place, there will always be a place on your smart TV or your iPad for Disney+. Why? Because Disney owns your childhood and, if everything goes right with Disney+, it will own your kid's childhood, too.

For both better and worse, Disney isn’t a company that makes a technology platform, or even one that makes films. The entire company is instead focused around intellectual property - hence why theme parks are just as important to the company as feature films. Under current CEO Bob Iger, Disney has hoovered up all of the characters you enjoyed as a kid: It bought the Muppets in 2004, Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, LucasFilm in 2012 and 20th Century Fox just this year. 

Think of the mindshare that gives Disney - whether it is Kermit, Buzz Lightyear, Captain America, Han Solo or Homer Simpson you want to watch, you have to hand over your cash to their single corporate gatekeeper.

Disney is still thinking about that future generation - this year alone, Disney is rolling out Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars Episode IX and a remake of The Lion King, all of which will attract a young audience and win significant mindshare - but the utter cultural dominance of Fortnite among young people is an example that even though Disney might seem unbeatable today, it shouldn’t assume that the characters and stories that we love will continue to work forever.

  • Disney+ streaming service: price, release date, shows, movies and more
Categories: Tech News

Man City vs Spurs live stream: how to watch today's Premier League football online

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 07:07

Got your breath back yet? Well it's time to go again. Same teams, same stadium, same result? Unlikely, but Man City have a Premier League title to win and Spurs will want to show that going through on Wednesday was no fluke. You're in the right place to get a Man City vs Tottenham live stream - regardless of where on Earth you are.

So which way is this one going to go? Forget the two legs of the Champions League and the smart money would always be on Manchester City. With that attacking force that includes Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and both Silvas, very few teams on the planet can compete.

But that's exactly what Spurs have done over the last couple of weeks. And they will want to embrace the confidence and take it back to the Etihad today. Without talismanic striker Harry Kane, they'll be weakened in attack. But Son Heung-Min has shown that he's more than capable of leading the Spurs front line.

Keep reading to discover all the details you need in order to live stream Man City vs Tottenham Hotspur, regardless of where in the world you are. And to find out how to watch every single league game this season, you should also take a look at our guide on how to live stream Premier League football

Use a VPN to watch Premier League football from outside your country

If you're abroad this weekend but still want to watch your home coverage, you'll need a VPN to do so. That's because your normal coverage will be geo-blocked. It's really easy to do and stops you having to tune in to some dodgy stream you've heard about on Reddit.

How to stream Man City vs Spurs live in the UK 

How to watch Man City and Tottenham: US live stream 

How to watch a Premier League live stream in Canada

How to live stream Man City vs Tottenham in Australia for FREE!

How to watch Man City vs Spurs: New Zealand live stream 

How to live stream Premier League football in India

Categories: Tech News

BlackBerry Messenger is closing down for consumers at the end of May

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 05:30

Having once dominated instant messaging conversations across the planet, BlackBerry Messenger or BBM is closing down its consumer operations on May 31.

"The technology industry... is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on," explains current developer Emtek in a blog post.

If you're still using BBM, you'll need to download any your photos, videos and other files you've shared before the service shuts down for good.

After May 31, the apps will no longer work and you won't be able to access your conversation histories. If you've got questions, Emtek has put up a FAQ.

Fond memories

"We are grateful for your support and wish to thank everyone, especially our users, partners, and employees, for being part of the BBM consumer service journey," says Emtek.

"We hope you will cherish many fond memories of BBM consumer service that helped shape messenger platforms to become what they are today."

And that's no exaggeration – BBM first appeared in 2005, way before any of the modern alternatives like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger had been invented. In the end though, the competition was too great.

If you still need a BBM fix, BlackBerry Limited (which retained the rights to the business version of BBM) has said that BBM Enterprise will be made available on iOS and Android for free for a year, with a $2.49-per-year subscription fee after that.

Via Gizmodo

Categories: Tech News

Galaxy S10e deals: reduced prices on Samsung's cheapest flagship phone

Latest Tech News - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 04:59

Well the Samsung Galaxy S10e is certainly fulfilling its main purpose as the cheaper alternative to the Korean giant's flagship phone range. Forget picking up a phone that debuted a year or two ago - going for Samsung S10e deals lets you get a 2019 phone for a much more attractive price than the S10 or S10 Plus.

And this Easter weekend is looking like the perfect time to grab one thanks to a flurry of newly reduced S10e deals from two of our favourite retailers, Mobiles.co.uk and e2save. Constantly coming up with some of the best value tariffs on the UK phone market's best (and budget) handsets, they have really outdone themselves on the S10e.

There are price cuts across pretty much Mobiles.co.uk's entire tribe of S10e deals, so we've picked out three that have caught our eye the most. They range from one of the cheapest overall contract deals we've seen yet on the budget Galaxy phone, to big data alternatives. And there are treats in store for fans of EE, Vodafone and O2.

Our favourite three Samsung S10e deals for Easter:

Read more:

Categories: Tech News

Leak claims Moto Z4 will pack a Snapdragon 675 and 6.4-inch screen

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 17:13

A new leak claims that the Moto Z4 will pack a midrange Snapdragon 675 chip, the same expected to come in the Moto Z4 Play, according to GSM Arena

That would rebut a rumor floating last November that alleged the Moto Z4 – or the ‘Motorola Odin,’ a codename that may or may not refer to the next flagship Moto device – would pack a Snapdragon 8150 (now known as the Snapdragon 855), the top-tier chip that debuted in the Samsung Galaxy S10.  

Now, it’s possible that the leak is referring to the Moto Z4 Play, especially since an earlier GSM Arena report noted it would come with the lower-performance Snapdragon 675 – which fits the Play version’s typically lower-specced, lower-cost role. The only flaw in that theory? The new leak is about a phone with a 6.4-inch screen, and the Moto Z4 Play was previously reported to have a 6.22-inch screen. 

Tricky implications for 5G

This would be a bit odd for the main Moto Z line’s value. The preceding Moto Z3 might not have been a terribly impressive device, but its dated yet still powerful flagship Snapdragon 835 chip made the phone a bargain at a mid-range cost. If the Moto Z4 comes with a mid-range processor, it won’t have quite the value.

More importantly: we don’t know if the Snapdragon 675 has the performance to handle 5G. The Moto Z3 has clung to relevance by sporting the Moto Mod 5G that lets it connect to Verizon’s (still very limited, we found) 5G network and it’s likely there’s extra processing power in the mod to get the combined phone package up to speed to harness the advanced network. 

The question is – can a Snapdragon 675 keep up as well as the Snapdragon 835 in the Moto Z3 in a network test? Even Qualcomm's own numbers show the former's LTE peak download speeds (600Mbps) lower than that of the latter (1Gbps).

The leak also noted that both the Moto Z4 and the Moto Z4 Play will pack 48MP rear cameras, with the former coming with a 25MP selfie camera (no word on the Moto Z4 Play’s front-facing camera). That would be a big jump from the 12MP dual rear shooters on the Moto Z3. 

  • Here's our list of all the 5G phones coming in 2019 – and beyond
Categories: Tech News

Amazon Music playlists are now playable on Echo speakers for free

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 15:26

Amazon has announced that Echo owners will be able to use part of Amazon Music for free. The new, free service doesn’t require an Amazon Prime subscription and can be used to access playlists or start new stations by saying "Hey, Alexa," and then a music genre or artist name. 

The caveat here is that this new tier of Amazon Music is only available in the US at launch, and the service is fairly minimal. For instance, you don't get on-demand access to Amazon's entire library, and you’re going to hear ads in between songs.

The good news is that you’ll be able to use it on all US Alexa devices – including the Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo Show and Amazon Echo Plus – right out of the box, without signing up for Prime Music through Amazon Prime ($119 per year) or Amazon Music Unlimited ($7.99 per month for Prime members, $9.99 for non-Prime members).

Not bad, but Google's offer is better

While this is certainly a step forward for Amazon – giving things away for free isn't usually its strong suit – but it comes just one day after Google announced that YouTube Music would be available for free on every Google Home speaker

The difference here is that YouTube Music allows you to play music on-demand from YouTube Music's massive catalog. Google still puts ads in-between songs, but it' s still a far more appealing offer than Amazon's fairly limited service.

Google's offer is clearly better but in today's era of subscription everything, we'll take the free things wherever we can get them.

Categories: Tech News

Apple macOS 10.15 may adapt even more iOS 12 features, like Screen Time

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 15:06

Apple's closed ecosystem may start to get more uniform as well, as there have been ongoing hints that iOS and macOS will start to share more and more features and applications. The latest rumor is that a few select iOS 12 features will appear in macOS 10.15, according to sources speaking with 9to5Mac.

The iOS features expected to come to macOS 10.15 include Siri Shortcuts (and potentially the Shortcuts app), Screen Time, improved Apple ID management and special iMessage effects.

While the iMessage effects may be fun, and the Apple ID management tools could help avoid issues similar to recent iOS 12 problems, the Siri Shortcuts and Screen Time integration are the biggest highlights.

What it all means

The inclusion of Siri Shortcuts in macOS 10.15 will allow users to quickly perform certain tasks automatically by giving Siri a verbal instruction. Users can create their own specific automation using the Workflows app, which is one of the best iPad apps for productivity. Users should get other basic Siri features as well, with ways to get quick information or set timers and alarms.

The addition of Screen Time will also allow users to keep track of the amount of time they're spending their Mac. It can monitor and report how much time is being spent on which applications and which types of applications. It also allows users to set time limits, which can be handy for limiting children's screen time.

All of this pushes iOS and macOS closer together, with Apple expected to debut the tool behind iPad-to-Mac app conversion at WWDC 2019. While the move makes sense, offering coders an easy way to create one program for multiple platforms and offering Mac users some extra features, it goes slightly against Apple's past stance.

On the merging of iOS and macOS, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed the company's reasons for keeping them separate:

"We don't believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible,” Cook said. “One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two ... you begin to make trade-offs and compromises.”

While the two platforms aren't likely to become one any time soon, they certainly look like they're going to start overlapping.

  • Here's where you can get the latest on WWDC 2019
Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy S10 series is getting a Night Mode for its camera

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 11:57

The Samsung Galaxy S10 series is getting a dedicated night mode in its camera app in an update that’s reportedly live in Switzerland, per SamMobile, and logically should roll out to other regions soon. 

The night mode is reportedly a dedicated version of the ‘Bright Night’ feature that S10 cameras would automatically switch to in low-light situations. Now, users will be able to switch to a dedicated mode, conceivably swiping to it in the camera app’s mode carousel alongside panorama, pro and live focus.

The new mode should seriously augment the S10 line’s camera shortcomings. While their lineup of lenses is impressive, like every other flagship, the S10’s fall short of the Google Pixel 3’s Night Mode, which renders a remarkable amount of context into low-light and night scenes, which we noted in the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review.

But how good will it be?

Truth be told, we didn’t find the Galaxy S10’s auto-activating night mode to outperform other flagship phones’ night modes. But, given its erratic activation, it was tough to judge the mode anyway – we look forward to testing it against other top camera contenders.

Of which, admittedly, there are several – and even a month after the S10 line launched, the Huawei P30 Pro looks like it may outperform even the mighty Pixel 3 in low-light situations.

The update comes with April’s security patch (again, only live in Switzerland for now), so you’ll have to wait for both.

  • Check out how the Galaxy S10 ranks on our best phones list
Categories: Tech News

The top 5 best broadband deals to grab this Easter - from UK's cheapest to fast fibre

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 11:31

You know the score - it's an Easter article. So you'll be expecting a choc-load of egg-based puns and maybe even some ill-judged allusions to things rising from the dead. Well, not here - just a quintet of fabulous broadband deals for you to choose from and get one of your holiday tasks ticked off with ease.

And coincidentally, there are a bunch of great internet deals to choose from at the moment (It's almost like the ISPs know that people will be shopping for broadband this weekend). Among them are the very best cheap broadband only deal in the UK, BT fibre with FREE Google Home and a TechRadar EXCLUSIVE on the market's best priced fibre plan.

1. £20 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card with cheap fibre 2. The UK's cheapest broadband only deal 3. FREE Google Home with BT Superfast fibre 4. Broadband with added Game of Thrones 5. Go all out with Virgin Media Best broadband deals this Easter weekend:

We'll choke on our chocolate if at least one of the above internet plans isn't going to do it for you. But if you have more time to search around, then use our broadband comparison chart below, where we can immediately tell you the best broadband prices for your postcode. 

Categories: Tech News

Get the Apple Watch on sale for only $199 at Walmart

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 11:30

If you've been waiting for the price to drop to snag yourself an Apple Watch, now is a perfect time. Walmart has the best-selling Apple Watch Series 3 on sale for $199. That's an $80 discount and the best price we've found for the Series 3 smartwatch.

The Apple Watch 3 is like having an iPhone on your wrist with additional health-focused features. The waterproof smartwatch tracks calories, activities and popular workouts such as yoga, running, and cycling. The Series 3 also offers heart rate monitoring and will even notify you when an unusually high or low heart rate is detected.  The Apple watch also includes basic smartwatch features such as the ability to send messages, make calls, and receive notifications and has a battery life of up to 18 hours.

The Apple Watch 4 currently retails for $399 which makes the $199 price tag on the Series 3 extremely attractive. This particular deal from Walmart includes the 38mm model with GPS technology and comes in a black or white sport band with an aluminum case. Keep in mind this is a limited-time sale from Walmart so make sure to take advantage of this deal before it's gone.

If you're interested in a smartwatch with LTE connectivity, Walmart has the Series 3 with GPS and Cellular on sale for $299. This allows you to get internet and phone connectivity on your watch even when your iPhone is far away. If you'd prefer a larger display, Walmart also has the 42mm Series 3 with and without LTE connectivity on sale.

Discover more Apple watch sales with the best cheap Apple Watch prices and deals that are currently available.

Interested in other smartwatches? We also have the best cheap Fitbit sale prices and deals that are happening now. 

Categories: Tech News

AMD's Zen 3 processors to be built in new way that improves efficiency

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:52

AMD is already set to make the leap into processors (CPUs) built on a 7-nanometer (nm) process with its upcoming Zen 2 family of chips. But, new information about the 7nm+ process that will be used to create its Zen 3 chips is making the future of AMD's Ryzen, Threadripper and Epyc processors all the more exciting, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will make them using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, according to China's Commercial Times.

There are a few reasons this is exciting. While the Zen 3 chips will still be 7nm, like the Zen 2 chips, the use of EUV lithography is going to allow for an extra-dense transistor arrangement. The new chips will reportedly be able to offer a 20% increase in transistor density with a 10% reduction to power consumption compared to Zen 2.

That increase in density and decrease in power consumption are also based on only limited use of EUV lithography. According to the report, the EUV lithography will only be used for some layers of masks that serve as manufacturing templates.

What will this mean for you

We're still a little bit away from even getting an official launch of the Zen 2-based Ryzen 3rd Generation CPUs. Processors built on Zen 3's 7nm+ architecture won't be here before 2020.

But, when those new Zen 3 processors do arrive, we can expect them to offer a slight performance boost and a considerable improvement in efficiency. Powerful Zen 3-based mobile processors are likely, and the improved efficiency can lead to longer battery life, lower-profile cooling solutions, and the possibility of smaller power adapters.

The shift to EUV lithography also suggests a pathway for CPUs to continue getting smaller, faster and less power hungry in the future. With silicon computer chips reaching their limit in terms of the rules set forth in Moore's Law for transistor density to double every two years, EUV could be a solution that helps keep density increasing steadily for some time to come.

  • Check out our review of AMD's 7nm graphics card, the Radeon VII

Via Hothardware and PCGamesN

Categories: Tech News

Beats and the battle for your ears: how Apple changed the sound of Dr Dre's cans

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:00

You’ve heard of Beats – whether you’ve used its headphones or not. 

Founded by rapper Dr Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine in 2006, Beats has been a power player in the world of consumer audio since its inception, fast becoming a market leader in terms of sales alongside the likes of Sony, Sennheiser, Skullcandy, and Bose. 

Beats’ enormous market share is likely what attracted tech giant Apple to the company, which acquired Beats in 2014 for an astonishing $3 billion

So how has that acquisition changed Beats as a company, and more importantly, the quality of its headphones? We spoke to Beats President, Luke Wood about the company’s first true wireless earbud, the Powerbeats Pro, which he tells us is “the culmination of the full integration of [Beats and Apple] working together from a technological standpoint.''

“We thought we were pretty good until we got to Apple, and then we started learning what ‘good’ really was”, he admits between sips of green tea. 

What was Apple doing that Beats wasn’t? “Apple had so much incredible discipline and rigor around product quality” Wood says.

Does that mean Beats headphones were sub-par in the past? They’ve certainly been dealt their fair share of criticism for being too bass-heavy, too brash, and ultimately unsuitable for any true discerning audiophile. 

The Powerbeats Pro are set to be launched in May (Image credit: Apple)

Turning down the bass

That bass-heaviness didn’t just spring up out of thin air. Bass has been creeping up in the balance of popular music genres for decades now, infiltrating the charts through disco, funk, soul, hip-hop and R&B in the late 20th century.

Then, the 2000s saw in an explosion of dancehall and grime traditions into mainstream popularity, particularly in the UK and the US. Nowadays, chest-thumping sub-bass lines are present in even the most saccharine pop songs. 

In short, bass was everywhere, and Beats wanted in.

"Hopefully people will respect the fact that we learned and grew.”

Luke Wood, President of Beats

“No one was making headphone products to articulate the bottom end” Wood says – but he concedes that Beats’ reputation for overly bass-heavy products was “absolutely taken into consideration” when creating the new PowerBeats Pro. 

Since then, Wood says Beats has “got better and learned the tools of [its] trade” in the years after it released its first studio headphones in 2008. 

“Hopefully people will respect the fact that we learned and grew.”

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones (Image credit: TechRadar)

"Sonically, they're super dope"

It’s clear that Wood is extremely excited by the PowerBeat Pro true wireless headphones as he explains the inner workings of their all-new “pistonic drivers” and improved acoustic housing.

“Sonically, they’re super dope”, he says giddily, “a beautiful acoustic instrument”. Does that mean the new buds boast a better sonic balance than previous models?

Wood thinks so, describing the company's "evangelical, almost zealot approach to sound".

"We’re trying to religiously get back to articulating the album as it would have sounded in the studio”, he explains.

It's not only about the sound quality; first and foremost, the PowerBeats Pro are a pair of true wireless workout earbuds. As such, they’re waterproof, and are designed to fit snugly and comfortably in your ear, no matter how vigorous your training session gets. 

And, like the new Apple AirPods (2019), they’re powered by Apple’s new H1 chip, which offers fast connection times and hands-free Siri voice control – the Powerbeats Pro are unmistakably an Apple product through and through.

Luke Wood in the studio (Image credit: Beats)

Looking to the future

It’s been rumored that the Apple AirPods 2 will be a health and fitness device as well as a pair of true wireless earbuds, after Apple filed a patent for biometric sensors that would allow them to monitor the user’s heart rate. Is this something Beats would consider for future fitness earbuds?

Wood thinks it’s unlikely. “We never want to labor customers with a bunch of useless, borderline avant-garde tech”.

“If you have a smartwatch that’s giving you all that information, do you really need to replicate that in your headphones?” he asks. Perhaps it is necessary, if you’re claiming to have made the “number one fitness headphones in the world”.

Whether Wood’s position on biometric sensors would change should Apple start using this kind of ‘avant garde tech’ in its own headphones remains to be seen, but it’s clear that his company has benefited immensely from its acquisition by the tech giant. 

As he puts its, it has allowed Beats to “take advantage of [Apple’s] great research and development and innovation, and put it into our products”. Ultimately, to what extent Beats and Apple's partnership has been successful won't become clear until the Powerbeats are released next month – but we’re excited to find out.

Categories: Tech News

Facebook's latest blunders affected contacts and passwords for millions of users

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 09:30

Facebook has a long, long record of privacy fails and data scandals, but even by its standards the latest one is a jaw-dropper: the platform has revealed up to 1.5 million Facebook users might have had their email contacts unknowingly uploaded to the site.

The process was unintentional – according to Facebook – and happened when users were prompted for their password as part of a security verification process. It's been going on since May 2016 but Facebook says its now deleting all the scraped data.

On top of that, the shoddy password storage techniques used by Facebook that we reported on last month have in fact affected millions of Instagram users – not the "tens of thousands" that Facebook initially said.

In this case passwords were being stored in plain text, easily visible by Facebook engineers and developers. The passwords weren't leaked outside of Facebook, but the practice should still ring alarm bells – and again, Facebook has promised to fix it.

Keep up at the back

In summary, the plain text password fail of last month affected more Instagram users than we thought, and Facebook has also been uploading our contact lists without permission.

Still, Facebook promises to do better in the future, so there's that to hold on to. And a dark mode feature is rolling out in Facebook Messenger to distract you from all the ways that your data is being improperly handled.

At this point it seems Facebook is lurching from one scandal or gaffe to the next, without any real sign of permanently changing its ways. Meanwhile users are switching to other services – though admittedly many of them are also owned by Facebook.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg seems keenly aware that the social media landscape is changing, and has said the platform will move towards more private sharing in the future. Let's hope our data stays private too.

Via Ars Technica

Categories: Tech News

Newly leaked Pixel 3a renders apparently confirm a May launch date

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 05:30

It's fair to say we've seen a fairly extensive series of leaks for the upcoming mid-range Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, but we've now got a fresh set of renders showing off the phones in advance, as well as another hint about the launch date.

The pictures, obtained by Android Headlines, show the two phones inside simple cases, so they don't actually reveal too much about the handsets – from the front they look pretty much as you would expect them to. Note the lack of notch though, and the apparent inclusion of a headphone jack.

Google Pixel 3a leak (credit: Android Headlines)

Take a closer look and the date on the home screen is interesting. May 7 is when this year's Google IO gets underway, so it looks as though we've got two new phones to look forward to as well as all the latest news on Android Q.

This launch date had been previously teased by a teaser posted on the Google Store online, so it's looking just about certain that May 7 is the date when the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will be unveiled.

Leaks aplenty

That said, Google isn't going to have much left to unveil at this rate – we've seen specs leaked and colors leaked, making the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL two of the worst-kept secrets in tech at the moment.

The phones should arrive with Snapdragon 670 chipsets and 4GB of RAM under the hood, with 32GB and 64GB rumored to be the internal storage options.

These are less powerful than the main Pixel 3 phones then, but apparently they're still going to rock the same 12.2MP camera on the back. Screen sizes have been tipped to start at 5.56 inches.

We should find out everything about these phones on May 7 – after that it's a countdown to the big unveiling of the Pixel 4, which we're expecting to happen around five or six months afterwards.

Categories: Tech News

Bad bots are responsible for a fifth of all web traffic

Latest Tech News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 05:30

Yes! You heard it right, about a fifth of all website traffic now comes from malicious bots. This makes it roughly 20.4% of web traffic daily. This automated traffic is responsible for offensive attacks on websites, APIs and mobile apps; the financial sector (especially banking) being the worst.

According to Distil Research Lab’s Bad Bot report, hundreds and billions of “Bad Bots” requests were found. Moreover, they also enable large scale malicious activity like web scraping and competitive data mining.

The research released on Wednesday 17th, 2019 mentioned 73.6 percent of bad bots as “Advanced Persistent Bots.” Although the number of bad bot traffic has shown a decline over the years; thanks to the sophisticated encryptions, the report said.

Industries hit hardest by bad bots

Financial services were targeted the most by malicious bot traffic (42%). In 2018 Akamai reported over a billion fake credential attempts on financial firms.

The report says that ticketing (39%) government sectors (30%) and education (38%) were also affected by the malicious intent of this malicious traffic. The government domain is the least likely to be affected as there is no financial gain to retrieve. However, it might be driven by election for intervening the voter’s registration and account. Airlines were not forgiven too; they were also targeted with reported (25.9%) from bad bot traffic.

Gaming and gambling also saw a quarter of bad-bot traffic with reported (25.9%). However, Ecommerce got a surprisingly low percentage with only 18% traffic coming from bad bots. Malicious activities on e-commerce activities include credit-card fraud, gift card abuse, and account takeovers.

Image Credit: Pixabay

How hackers utilize bad bots

Bad bots are usually used by hackers, fraudsters and malicious competitors. They then use these malicious bots for web scraping, hijacking, transaction fraud, spam, and distributed denial-of-service attacks.

“While bad bot activity on industries like airlines and ticketing are well-noted, no organization – large or small, public or private – is immune from such attacks,” said Kleemann. CEO of Distil Networks.

Advance persistent bots can switch user agents and cycle through random IPs. They can even enter through anonymous proxies and mimic human behavior and change their identities. APBs are slow, but they do carry out significant assaults.

In the last five years, a total of 14.7 million data breaches took place. The credentials of those data breaches are used for malicious deeds; businesses with a login page are often confused with too many requests.

In terms of geographical location over half of the bot traffic (around 53.4%) were from the United States. On the contrary, Russia and Ukraine combined contributed nearly 48% of the country-specific IP block requests. 

Bots are used by cyber-criminals to steal credentials and data. Every new data breach means increased availability of credentials which lead to a higher volume of bad bot traffic. 

In the world of cybercriminals, is your online presence secure with protocols? If not then think again and asses where you lack.

Now, you know what these malicious bots do and what are their targets, it is your time to act!

Devin Smith, Marketing Director at ReviewsDir

Categories: Tech News