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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Apple iOS 9.3 Released, It Has 3 Great New Features

1. Smart Education Upgrades
Education is at the heart of iOS 9.3. In fact so much so Apple has released a dedicated education section on its website just to preview all the changes the update will bring.
Apple iOS 9.3 marks a seismic shift in the company's education ambitions. Image credit: Apple

Highlights include iPad multi-user support (called ‘Shared iPad’) which enables students to log onto any iPad and get full access to their apps, books, documents and places them exactly where they left off. ‘Photo ID’ will show the student’s picture once they’ve logged in to avoid iPads getting mixed up during the class. Young students get a more basic version accessed with a simple four digit PIN.
Also breaking new ground is the ‘Classroom’ app which allows a teacher to control all the iPads of the students in their class (for example to open a particular app) and even jump to individual student’s iPads to monitor work (‘Screen View’). Meanwhile ‘Apple School Manager’ is a hub for teachers to compile courses, purchase class books and apps, track individual iPads and more.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Apple buys emotion-detecting AI start-up

Apple has gobbled up a startup whose technology can read facial expressions.

The tech giant has reportedly acquired Emotient, a San Diego-based company that uses artificial technology to detect emotion from facial expressions, Apple confirmed toThe Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal, Emotient had been seeking to raise new funding but was unable to do so. The company had previously raised a total of $8 million from investors such as Intel Capital and Seth Neiman.

And decrypting human emotions by analyzing facial expression is a growing area among tech companies. Along with Emotient, others like Affectiva are also working with brands and retailers to help them with a variety of tasks including preventing shoplifting and figuring out what a shopper thinks of a display of merchandise. Others, like IntraFace, are working on virtual and augmented reality applications.

Samsung announces new Notebook 9 series laptops

Samsung has been somewhat of a small player in the notebook market lately, but today they are announcing two new devices which should appeal to anyone looking for a very portable laptop. The new Notebook 9 series laptops, in both 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch sizes, come in at a very svelte 1.85 lb (840 g) and 2.84 lb (1.29 kg) mass, respectively. The 13.3 is one of the lightest notebooks around, and the 15.6-inch model is, as far as I know, the lightest 15-inch laptop yet. As well as being light, the magnesium framed devices are also very thin, with the smaller model just 13.4 mm thick, and the larger model only 14.5 mm.

So they are small. Both of them are powered by Intel Skylake-U series processors, which have a 15 Watt TDP. Normally 15.6-inch notebooks can sport quad-core H series due to the extra size and mass, but Samsung has clearly made an effort to keep these as thin and light as possible. RAM is 4-8 GB, and storage is 128-256 GB SSDs, which is pretty typical for an Ultrabook.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

iPhone 7 to feature wireless charging and waterproof body

Apple's next iPhone will reportedly be the first to sport wireless charging, according to a report.

Support for the QI charging technology, which charges phones when they are placed on and inductive pad, will feature in the new model, a source told Fast Company.

The iPhone 7 will also boast a waterproof body thanks to chemical coating and will do away with the iPhone's headphone jack, as previously reported.

Should Apple choose to incorporate the technology, iPhone owners could take advantage of Ikea's wireless charging furniture range, alongside charging hubs in Starbucks and McDonalds across many countries.

Apple could drop the headphone jack from the next iPhone

Apple could drop the headphone jack from the next iPhone so that it can get even thinner, according to reports.

The iPhone 7 might have people plug their headphones into the Lightning port rather than the traditional 3.55mm hole, according to a rumour from MacOtakara.

As well as allowing the phone to become much slimmer, the change could also bring new features to the headphones. The new headphones would be able to draw power so that they could include an amplifier, for instance, or send more detailed information back to phones such as a request to open specific apps.

But it will also mean that owners of existing phones will have to buy adapters, which will be able to convert the old format to the new USB one.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Samsung's Galaxy S7 phones may have microSD and water resistance

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S7 phones (both the regular and the curved-screen variants) will include expandable storage via microSD and IP67 water resistance, according to a report at VentureBeat. The S7 phones will also reportedly have larger batteries. That's in addition to the pressure-sensitive screen we heard about a few weeks ago. Adding back in expandable storage, water resistance, and a bigger (though not replaceable) battery is a kind of return to traditional Samsung form.

The Galaxy S6, its 2015 flagship, won some well-deserved praise for its design, but power users were unhappy with its battery life and storage options. It wouldn't be fair to say Samsung is turning back the clock on its design this year, but if these specs turn out to be true it's at least a sign that the company knows what its most dedicated users want — and plans on delivering it.

Samsung reports 6.1 trillion won in 4Q operating profit

Samsung Electronics said Friday that its fourth-quarter profit rose 15 percent over a year earlier, a smaller-than-expected gain as the world's largest maker of smartphones and memory chips struggles to revive growth.

The South Korean company reported in its earnings preview that it recorded 6.1 trillion won ($5.1 billion) in operating profit for the October-December quarter, compared with 5.3 trillion won a year earlier.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Windows 10 Tablet Announced

For as yet unknown number of dollars, you’ll get a 12-inch Windows 10 tablet that features a typical Samsung screen – Super AMOLED – and said to be every bit as good as you’d expect. The Galaxy TabPro S features a 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution and is so energy efficient that Samsung is claiming a full 10.5 hours of battery life from the built-in 5200 mAh battery from a single charge.

Behind that screen, Samsung has crammed in an Intel Core M processor, 4GB of RAM, and a generous 128GB of storage. GPS and NFC chips are also present, should you need to do some map reading or mobile payments while out and about with your 12-inch tablet. It also features 5MPcamera both on the rear and front.

There’s also the keyboard case which attaches to the screen for typing. Speaking of keyboard case, it comes included with every purchase of TabPro S. Microsoft, Apple and Google, please take note!

Clearly going toe-to-toe with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, Samsung’s offering is thinner and lighter thanks to its lack of any fans, but that means it also doesn’t have the array of connectivity optionssome may expect. Samsung will be offering a hub that will give users access to HDMI as well as USB Type-A and Type-C ports to go with the one Type-C port that can be found on the tablet itself, though.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Apple wants Samsung to pay another $180 million for copying its design

Apple is demanding Samsung pay an additional $180 million in the companies' long-running patent dispute. The request comes less than two weeks after Samsung finally agreed to pay Apple $548 million in accordance with the original verdict. But now Apple says it's owed additional money for interest and supplemental damages related to five phone models sold after 2012, when Samsung was first found guilty of infringing Apple's patents.

Apple filed the motion yesterday in a US District Court in California. It's unclear which Samsung phones Apple is seeking damages for because a majority of the documents are sealed from public viewing at the moment. The filing was first noticed today by patent expert Florian Mueller, who has been following the intricacies of the case on his blogFOSS Patents.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Samsung Galaxy A9

The Samsung Galaxy A9, which the company launched in China on Wednesday, does have several very important improvements.

Besides the 6-inch, 1080p AMOLED screen (which may not be an improvement for some), it also sports an enormous (but non-removable), 4,000mAh battery, which should hopefully extend the phone's battery life over the dreaded barely-one-day mark we so often see in smartphones these days.

Other specs include an octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (expandable via microSD cards up to 128GB in size), and a 13-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel selfie cam.

It runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop — a trend we're seeing a lot these days, though Android 6 has been available since October. A fingerprint scanner and support for Samsung Pay are included as well.