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    Apple's new iPad Pro ad says users can avoid printing in public

    By Caiden,

    Apple on Tuesday released another spot in its recent series of iPad Pro ads, this time concentrated on the idea that the tablet can let people avoid using printers.
    The video is based a post by a real Twitter user, @ROSESplease, in which she complains about printing personal documents at work and having to "run to the printer to get your stuff before anyone else does." The ad then notes that you can email documents directly from an iPad, using an Apple Pencil to sign them.

    Like other entries in the campaign, the new ad is just 15 seconds long. This likely reflects a shift in Apple's marketing focus towards digital and social media, de-emphasizing TV.
    The company has allegedly reduced its marketing budget, leading its main ad partner —TBWA\Media Arts Lab —to lay off people at offices around the globe, even its Los Angeles headquarters. Apple is also reportedly adopting a regional focus instead of trying to translate global campaigns, an early example being the "Meu Bloco na Rua" commercial for Brazil.

    Less clear is why Apple would be airing iPad ads now when new models could be just a month away. The company is typically expected to deliver three new ones, including an updated 12.9-inch tablet, a new 10.5-inch size, and a budget version of the 9.7-inch form factor. There's been no indication of an iPad mini update.

    Microsoft will pay $1.2M to settle class-action suit over misprinted retail store receipts

    By Caiden,

    Microsoft has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit against its retail efforts, paying almost $1.2 million in compensation to customers and legal costs, over an accusation receipts provided by Microsoft Stores provided too much information about a customer's payment details. 
    The lawsuit, filed in 2015 in the Southern Florida US District Court by Carlos Guarisma, claimed the Microsoft Store in Aventura, Florida printed a receipt that broke the 2003 US Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), reports The Register. According to the law, which has required compliance since 2006, retailers are permitted to display the last five digits or the expiry date of a credit or debit card number used in a transaction on a receipt. 

    It is alleged that the receipt Guarisma received showed ten digits from the card number, with the first six and the last four numbers of the credit card on the paper. The receipt also included other information, including the customer's name and the identity of the salesperson involved in the transaction. 

    "Despite the clear language of the statute, the defendant willfully or knowingly chose not to comply," the complaint alleges. 

    According to the settlement proposal, Microsoft has agreed to pay out up to $100 to customers in the United States who shopped at a Microsoft Store with a credit or debit card between November 2013 and February 24 of 2017, while lead complainant Guarisma will receive $10,000. Microsoft is putting up close to $1.2 million to cover the compensation requests, once it is approved by Judge Cecilia Altonaga, with one third of the total potentially being paid out in attorney's fees. 

    "This was a technical bug that we fixed immediately when it was brought to our attention," a Microsoft spokesperson advised. "We're pleased this matter is resolved and are committed to protecting our customers." 

    Microsoft started up its Microsoft Stores initiative in late 2009, attempting to sell Windows PCs, Microsoft products, and other services to customers, imitating Apple's retail effort. So far, Microsoft hasn't managed to emulate the success of the Apple Store, opening 106 branches in the United States and 116 stores worldwide.

    YouTube TV to offer live TV from four major networks this spring for $35 per month

    By Caiden,

    Google on Tuesday announced YouTube TV, a live TV service launching this spring that will compete with other internet-only providers like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.
    The base package will cost $35 per month and offer channels from ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, among them affiliated ones like Bravo, Syfy, and ESPN, Recode reported. In all the package is expected to include about three dozen options. 

    People won't, however, have access to channels from companies that only operate on pay TV, some examples being AMC and Time Warner. Those companies could be included at later date, according to Recode, but Time Warner executives told the site that it won't be offering the likes of HBO until YouTube signs a deal for its Turner networks.

    While initial content may be limited, Google says it will be offering cloud DVR functions with unlimited space, something so far reserved for PlayStation Vue. It will also include a recommendation system based on Google AI, and the company is promising "reliability and scalability," likely a jab at services like AT&T's DirecTV Now, which launched with serious glitches.

    YouTube TV will be separate from YouTube Red and get its own app. Indeed Google is aiming for a "mobile first" strategy, though people will also be able to watch on computers and TVs, for instance using Google's Cast technology.

    A live TV service From YouTube has been rumored for some time. It will likely go head-to-head this season with a Hulu alternative, which has been promised but not officially announced.


    By Caiden,
    This is an RSS Test

    Leaks show off Samsung's Galaxy S8 & S8+ ahead of March 29 reveal

    By Caiden,

    Photos and videos posted over the weekend allegedly show the final designs of Samsung's latest answers to the Apple iPhone, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, which should be officially revealed at an event in late March.
    Both devices appear to use curved, edge-to-edge displays and omit physical home buttons in favor of virtual ones, as seen in a photo posted to Slashleaks, as well as videos on YouTube. 3.5-millimeter headphone jacks remain, despite the technology being jettisoned by some other Android phones and last fall's iPhone 7.
    The leaks echo rumors about this year's upcoming "iPhone 8," which is expected to use a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED panel —likely made by Samsung —with a 5.1-inch practical area, the rest being dedicated to virtual buttons. Last week however a report suggested that Apple may be abandoning the idea of a curved screen, owing to yield problems and poor drop-test results. 
    Samsung has meanwhile announced a March 29 press event, to be held at the Lincoln Center in New York City, according to TechCrunch. The invitation includes a silhouette matching recent leaks.

    Original iPhone, 3G, 3GS still in active use, 2016 web traffic report reveals

    By Caiden,

    Older iPhones are still in use despite their age, according to a report on mobile Internet usage, with the original iPhone 3G, and 3GS all highlighted in traffic monitoring research for 2016 that compares the use of Apple devices against other manufacturers in the smartphone market. 
    The research from analytics firm DeviceAtlas, based on web usage data derived from User Agent strings, found web traffic from Samsung devices "grew significantly" in the fourth quarter of 2016, increasing in a number of major markets by over 2 percent, including the United States at 2.3 percent, and Italy with a 2.7 percent rise. 

    In the quarter, Samsung declared it had the best fourth quarter performance for the last three years, with sales of other smartphones helping counteract the bad publicity caused by the Note 7 recall fiasco. A Gartner report earlier this month was more pessimistic on the effects of the recall, with shipment estimates for the quarter down 2.9 percent year-on-year. 

    For the same quarter, the share of web traffic attributed to Apple devices dropped in many markets, including 5 percent in Italy and 3.6 percent in the U.S. Despite the reductions of usage in most markets, Apple's web traffic share did increase in a few, with Japan up 2.2 percent, South Africa up 2 percent, and up 1.7 percent in Canada. 

    When analyzing graphs for 20 countries selected for the comparison, it is still apparent that Apple is a major force in a number of markets. In Australia, Canada, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., Apple continues to be a source for a greater amount of web traffic compared to Samsung smartphones

    When comparing Android against iOS, Android continues to have a higher market share overall. The data reveals there are 42 countries out of 56 where Android devices generate more web traffic, while iOS traffic is higher in 14 countries. 

    It is noted that countries with a preference for using iPhones to go online over Android are highly-developed regions, with Japan and Denmark heading up the list, followed by countries including the UK. Canada, Australia, and the United States. On the other end of the scale, Android is seen to be extremely popular in markets with a generally weaker economy, where Android smartphones are bought due to their lower cost. 

    Older models of the iPhone are still being used in a number of areas, with the report noting their long lifespan and high resale value making them "a better investment than most Android phones." The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s still has over 3.5 percent of the mobile web traffic share in Russia, with over 2 percent in France and Japan. 

    The original iPhone, as well as the 3G and 3GS, are still in use in some countries, making up close to 1 percent of mobile web traffic in Sweden, and has a share of around 0.5 percent in France, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and Italy. The iPod Touch is still holding a 0.5 percent share in Canada, with lower percentages detected in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Japan. 
    DeviceAtlas also examined the popularity of iPhones with a 4-inch screen for web browsing compared to the other sizes of iPhone, in a small number of markets in the last quarter. In some areas, it is noted that web traffic from 4-inch iPhones is close to the popularity of 4.7-inch iPhones, and is the most popular in Russia. 

    It is noted that web traffic for 5.5-inch Plus models of iPhones is significantly lower than the other two display sizes in many cases. DeviceAtlas suggests that pricing may be more of an important factor than user preferences in this case, due to the high price of plus models compared to the 4-inch versions.

    New T-Mobile promo offers three unlimited One lines for $100

    By Caiden,

    U.S. carrier T-Mobile on Monday announced a promotion designed to attract new subscibers as well as keep existing ones, offering three lines of the company's unlimited One tier for $100.

    The promo will be available to both new and existing subscribers beginning March 1, with the discount coming in the form of bill credits, T-Mobile said. Typically three lines cost $140, essentially making it a 3-for-2 deal.

    Along the same lines, any customer with two or more voice lines will be able to add an extra line for free, regardless of whether they have One or a Simple Choice subscription. 

    The promo is due to run for an unspecified amount of time. People who sign up will of course be able to keep their extra line after the event ends.

    T-Mobile's deal is just the latest salvo in an escalating battle between the four major U.S. carriers, all of which are trying to outdo each other in the unlimited arena. In practice, all of the recent plans are capped between 22 and 28 gigabytes, since throttling limits their usefulness beyond that point.

    Earlier today AT&T announced revised unlimited plans set to take effect on Thursday. Both appear to address cost complaints about a plan introduced earlier this month, though the cheapest is limited to just 3 megabits per second.


    Apple releases iOS 10.3 beta 4 for iPhone and iPad

    By Caiden,

    Apple is rolling out the fourth iOS 10.3 beta for developer testing on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The upcoming software update includes Find My AirPods support, CarPlay improvements, Apple’s new filesystem, and more. We’ll update and highlight any changes discovered below.
    iOS 10.3 is currently only available in beta for registered developers and public beta testers. The public beta version of each update usually follows a few days after the developer version if not the same day.
    iOS 10.3 is the first version to include Find My AirPods in the Find My iPhone app, Wi-Fi Calling for iCloud-connected devices for Verizon customers, and a new 32-bit alert that suggests iOS 11 could be 64-bit only.
    Apple will also introduce a way for developers to reply to app reviews with iOS 10.3, and a new system-wide app review request feature will be added. iOS 10.3 also includes iCloud Analytics for the first time.
    Here’s an overview of changes discovered so far:
    Find My AirPods added to Find My iPhone app Siri support for cricket scores from Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council Safari support for Reduced Motion preference Prominent user security section in Settings app iOS 10.3 uses new Apple File System (APFS) which may free up some space Podcasts app has a widget like Music app, same app design New system level way for developers to request app rating, opt out option in Settings CarPlay status bar has persistent quick access to media, communication, and travel apps for quick switching without accessing the Home screen CarPlay gains quick access to albums from songs in Music, new Up Next screen Weather data in Maps app now has 3D Touch forecast  
    You can see our hands-on with the first iOS 10.3 beta below:

    Today’s release follows one week after the previous beta which is sooner than beta 1 and beta 2. We’ll update with any changes found in iOS 10.3 beta 4.

    iOS 10.3 Beta 4 includes an restart message whenever a button is hit during the update installation process.  
    Find My iPhone Find My iPhone now supports Location and Play Sound for AirPods. • Location and Play Sound should now work as expected • Play Sound emits a noise from the AirPods that reaches a high volume after a few seconds. Please remove both AirPods from your ears before testing this feature.  
    iCloud Analytics During setup, users should no longer reach the “iCloud Analytics” page if they have not yet signed in.  
    iCloud Backup Nightly backups should no longer fail with the error message “Some files were unavailable during the last backup.”  
    LAN Asset Cache LAN Asset Cache functionality should now work as expected.  
    Lightning Video Adapters Lightning video adapters should now work as expected.  
    Managed and Shared Devices • On managed devices, users should no longer be able to override the current iCloud Document Sync setting. • Shared iPad settings should now work as expected.  
    Xcode Simulator • The legacy iCloud button in Settings has been removed. iCloud settings are now available within the new Apple ID settings pane. • Scrolling in the Today View should no longer crash. • Attempting to enable iCloud Drive through the iCloud Drive app before the user is signed into iCloud should no longer cause Settings to crash.

    Fixed SPAM issues

    By Caiden,
    Email validation is now required upon sign up. So that should be all fixed now Enjoy!

    Third-party iPhone screen repairs no longer void warranty, Apple says

    By Caiden,

    In an apparent policy shift, Apple recently notified store technicians that third-party iPhone screen repairs no longer void the handset's standard warranty as long as the unauthorized fix does not damage the casing or other related components. 
    According an internal memo distributed to Apple store employees on Friday, and subsequently obtained by MacRumors, iPhones that have undergone third-party screen repairs or replacement are now eligible for partial coverage under Apple's warranty. 

    AppleInsider sources confirmed the legitimacy of the report, but noted even slight damage caused by out-of-network screen repairs, up to and including housing damage, will void Apple's warranty and result in a full repair charge. Further, problems stemming from an unauthorized part could result in extra fees.

    As can be expected, the device must be within the original warranty period, either the gratis one-year defect guarantee or extended AppleCare+ plan, and free of apparent tampering or other damage that might result from a third-party screen replacement. Evaluations are performed at the discretion of Apple store workers. 

    Budget conscious iPhone owners have for years used outside service providers to replace or repair broken screens in a bid to save money. Previously, repairs by out of network firms immediately voided Apple's warranty. 

    The display is usually a smartphone's single most expensive component, and the one most likely to break in the event of a drop or other accident. Apple sought to address the issue by instituting a new line item to its AppleCare+ service last year, offering users the option to replace broken screens for a $29 flat fee. Of course, the extended warranty coverage comes at a premium — currently $129 for iPhone 7.

    Freshly FCC-approved LTE-U wireless rolls out on T-Mobile this spring

    By Rusty,

    The FCC has given several companies the go-ahead to activate a wireless technology called LTE-U in their base stations; if all goes as planned, devices will be able to communicate cellular data over unlicensed frequencies technically overlapping with those of Wi-Fi.
    The basic idea behind LTE-U (and related techniques called License Assisted Access and MuLTEfire) is that some frequencies in the 5 GHz band used by Wi-Fi routers were going unused. Carriers and device makers had proposed allowing these unlicensed bits of spectrum to augment existing base stations’ signals, potentially improving short-range connection speeds.
    Some have raised objections over the last couple years of developmnet saying this would lead to interference and congestion in the 5 GHz band, but studies from Qualcomm (a champion of the tech) and others suggest otherwise. Well, we’re about to find out.
    The devices approved today by the FCC are base stations from Ericsson and Nokia already in service and compatible with both LTE-U and LAA.
    “These transmitters were already approved as LTE base stations previously,” an FCC representative told TechCrunch. “The grants issued today are for the ability for the devices to operate under Part 15 rules in the 5 GHz band.”
    T-Mobile appears to be the first to take advantage of this, and compatible base stations should get the LTE-U boost in the spring. Other wireless companies have been bullish on the tech as well and will likely make similar announcements soon.
    Additional information:
    Source // TechCrunch

    New iPhone 8 Camera Leak Gives Apple The Edge

    By Oirad20,

    The ever-trustworthy Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities is at it again with fresh iPhone 8 news, this time about a possible camera update.
    According to Kuo, via 9to5Mac, Apple will incorporate a 3D sensing front-facing camera in the next iPhone. This would require the addition of an IR module and an improved front-facing camera.  
    Not dissimilar to the Lumia 950 XL’s dual-sensor setup, the new camera would be able to capture a 3D image of the user, which will have multiple uses including biometric security and AR gaming.
    The innovation is the result of previous acquisitions PrimeSense, which will power the new tech, and, Lumentum’s IR technology. The recent acquisition of Israeli startup, Realface, which specialises in facial recognition technology, also comes into clearer focus with today’s news.
    Apple gets a new trick
    The most interesting aspect of KGI’s report is the assertion that Android is “years” behind Apple in terms of 3D algorithms. The exact quote reads,
    If this report is accurate, and Apple is staking its individuality on 3D algorithms, then it’s a smart direction to head in for two obvious reasons.
    Firstly, the AR market has had a huge injection in the last year thanks to Pokémon GO. Millions now know, understand and are comfortable with the AR concept and would be open to new innovations and smartphone-related features.
    If Apple is planning on heavily focusing on AR and 3D tech in the iPhone 8, then it couldn’t have picked a better time than now thanks to the Pokémon craze.
    Secondly, the reasons for buying an iPhone over an Android - or vice versa - are dwindling. All manufacturers need something to stand out. The operating systems are matched in features and design, whilst there’s little between the iPhone 7 and recent top Android handsets in performance and design.
    So a solid, genuinely innovative feature like fast and accurate biometric security facial recognition, or AR-inspired gaming, would certainly set the iPhone 8 against the competition.
    There are a few hurdles to clear, however, when it comes to facial recognition as a security feature. Namely inaccuracy and, as a result, speed. The Lumia 950XL suffered badly because of it, but I suspect Apple will have a better go of it, especially if the plan is to replace Touch ID.
    Between Samsung’s foldable phone and Apple’s new AR technology, 2017 is shaping up to be a year of smartphone innovation. Something the industry has lacked in recent in recent times.
    Via [Forbes]