LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 said to debut by the end of the year

A report from Bloomberg cited ”person/persons familiar with the matter” four times, so we will approach this story with the deserved amount of skepticism.

According to the report, Apple could be releasing an LTE-enabled Apple Watch alongside the iPhone 8 or toward the end of the year. But according to “another person familiar with the matter” (from the same report, mind you) it could be delayed well into 2018”. Do you see where the skepticism comes in?

Anyhow, Apple had reportedly delayed an LTE-enabled version of the Watch before the Series 2 launched but had to put it off because it needed more time to improve overall battery life over an LTE connection, which is limited by the battery’s relatively smaller size compared to a smartphone. Speaking of LTE, Intel is slated to provide the modem chips for LTE. Qualcomm was Apple’s main modem supplier but the two companies are in a bit of a legal bind at the moment.

Back to the report, Apple was said to have already been talking to US carriers about its connected wearable. Carrier support would be limited at launch, though the four major US carriers are all said to plan to sell the new Watch.

1st-gen Apple Watch

Here’s why we think it’s still too early for Apple to release a new watch: Apple’s first watch was released in April of 2015 and the new Series 2 came out alongside the iPhone 7 in September of 2016, about 1.5 years later. Following this timeframe (because this is all we have to go off of) it’s more likely that Apple would launch a Series 3 Watch in Q2 of 2018 to offset the launch of its iPhone 8, which is supposed to start at $850. Furthermore, Tim Cook said that the Apple Watch’s sales have grown 50% year over year and is the #1 selling smartwatch “by a very wide margin”.

If you had a product and it was selling increasingly well, you’d want to ride the wave as long as possible, right? Apple would be jumping the gun if it released the Series 3 next to the iPhone 8 in September. We are just speculating here since, for all we know, Apple could even release a new Apple Watch next to every iPhone from here on out. A more likely scenario is Apple releasing an LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 2 next to the iPhone 8.

This report is definitely one of the more obscure ones. So we personally won’t be holding our breaths for a new Apple Watch this September.


Europe to get Meizu Pro 7 flagship duo soon

Unveiled late last month, the Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus flagship smartphones will go on sale later this week, with China the first market to get them. However, Europe will also get the handsets soon.

Meizu France and Spain have started teasing the Pro 7 series through their official social media channels.

MEIZU France @MeizuFr
Replying to @MeizuFr

La preuve en vidéo 😍#FanOnEstFan #PRO7


MEIZU France @MeizuFr

Le #Pro7Plus dispose aussi de la technologie AMOLED et avec le #Pro7 ils sont déjà tous les deux bien grands #ÇaGranditVite#LesDeuxFrères

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MEIZU España


Shoot by LOVE. Shoot by PRO#MEIZUPRO7

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Sadly, there’s currently no information on exactly when the flagship duo will land in European markets and at what price.

In addition to China, France and Spain, the devices will also be made available in following markets worldwide: Brunel, Cambodia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Yeah, no US and UK there.


Alphabet reports record-breaking $26B revenue in Q2 2017

Alphabet has revealed Google’s earnings for Q2 2017. The company recorded $26 billion in revenue, 21% UP compared to the same quarter last year. Net income is only $3.5 billion because of the $2.7 billion fine by the European Commission.

The advertising business rose 18% and brought in $22.7 billion, driven by a 52% increase in paid clicks. “Other bets” by Alphabet that include Nest, Fiber and other companies recorded an operating loss of $772 million. This is less than the $855 million back in Q2 2016.

In a separate announcement, Alphabet announced its newest member of the Board of Directors. His name is Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google since 2015. He is responsible for Google’s product development and technology strategy and will answer to the board on the same issues.


Best Buy is currently selling the HDHomeRun Connect for $70

hdhomerunconnect 3

If you’ve been thinking about going the cord-cutter route, consider this a sign. Best Buy is selling the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Connect for $70 right now. This external TV tuner features two tuners, allowing you to watch over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV on two sets or to record one show while watching the other.

The Connect’s specifications say it supports up to 1080p, but broadcast TV is usually 1080i. That’s still 1920-by-1080 resolution, however. The one extra thing you will need in addition to the tuner is a digital antenna.

Once you’re all set up the Connect allows you to pause, rewind, and record broadcast TV. It also works with “most DLNA TVs,” allowing you to hook the device into your router for a multi-room setup.

When we reviewed the Connect back in 2015, we really liked this box. It’s a solid tool for cord cutters who still want to pick up local broadcasts for live sports and the like. You can also use it in concert with Plex and a PC as a heavy-duty DVR.

The one thing the Connect lacked when we reviewed it two years ago was any kind of first-party software to access the tuner on devices. That has since changed, with apps available for Windows 10, Mac, Linux, and Android.

hdhomerunconnect 2SiliconDust

[ Today’s deal: SiliconDust HDHomeRun for $70 at Best Buy. ]


The TV Buying Guide for People Who Want a Less-Crappy TV

Buying a television can be even more confusing than deciphering your cable bill. So here’s how to demystify the tech, decode the abbreviations, and make sure you walk away with the best set your money can buy.

1. Make It Easy on Yourself
The overwhelming process of buying a TV feels way more manageable when you realize that all the best TVs are “smart,” plasma is dead, and 3-D never should’ve existed. So forget that stuff! You actually have fewer decisions to make than you used to.

2. Lock in Your Budget
At the $700-to-$1,000 price range, you’re in the sweet spot: You’ll get 80 percent of the latest features, image quality, and design of crazy-expensive flagship models. You can get a 42-inch TV with stunning image quality or a massive 65-inch-plus television that—somehow—looks incredible (but turns your living room into a media room).

3. Remember: With TVs, “Bigger” Means “Way, Way Bigger”
You know how you’re supposed to measure your floor space before buying a rug? This is even more important. Use painter’s tape to map it out on your wall, remembering that—thanks to geometry—a 75-inch TV has more than double the screen area of a 50-inch one.

4. Know Only Three Abbreviations!

  1. UHD: Ultra HD. Otherwise known as 4K. The highest standard for pixels and clarity. You want this.
  2. HDR: High dynamic range. Better contrast ratio—blacker blacks, brilliant whites—and more of everything in between mean a better picture quality.
  3. OLED: Organic light-emitting diode. As with organic food, it’ll cost ya—but it’s worth the bucks for breathtakingly lifelike images.

5. Actually Go to a Store
You might be thinking about skipping the showroom. But that’s like buying a car without test-driving it. Fiddle around with the settings, watch something other than the glorious Planet Earth scene it’s probably playing, and zone out the other, more expensive units set up next to the one you’re looking at. Use your hands as blinders if necessary. Finally, ask the salesperson, “Could you help me find an HDMI cable?” If he steers you toward something under $15, trust him. If he offers you a $55 ultra-speed booster-pack HDMI, thank him for his time and Amazon Prime your TV on the way out.

…Or Skip All That and Just Go Buy One of These

The Best TV Under $1,000:
Vizio’s long had a rep for making the best budget TVs, and this year’s E-Series is again a huge value: 60 inches of 4K and HDR for a lot less than a grand.
$750 |


The Greatest TV of All Time:
At 3.8 millimeters thick, the LG Signature OLED TV W looks like part of your wall. General rule: The thinner the TV, the thinner your wallet. This is as thin as it gets.
$7,999 |


mAadhaar App Review: The New UIDAI App Is a Work in Progress

mAadhaar App Review: The New UIDAI App Is a Work in Progress

Carrying around the Aadhaar card, the biometrics-based unique identifier, recently became a lot easier when the supervisory agency UIDAI launched the mAadhaar app for Android devices. The app enables you to store all your Aadhaar details, such as name, date of birth, gender, address, etc. on your smartphone, instead of having to keep the physical card with you anymore. But the UIDAI clarified, the mAadhaar app is still in beta testing stage, and we quickly realised this to be true when we checked it out. Here we take a look at the mAadhaar app, its features, and areas where it can do with some improvements.

mAadhaar app: What is it?

For one thing, the features present in the mAadhaar app are still pretty limited. Using the app, you can download you Aadhaar details to your device, which can be used in place of the Aadhaar card itself. The downloaded details include your photo, name, date of birth, Aadhaar number, and a QR code that people can scan to get your Aadhaar information.

Beyond that, you can use the mAadhaar app for Android to see if your biometrics are locked or unlocked, and you can change this status. Of course, it was already fairly simple to lock and unlock your biometrics, via the UIDAI website, but having it available through an app on your phone should simplify things.

One more thing that you can do with the app is generate a time-based OTP (TOTP) through the app, which can be used instead of the SMS-based OTP. This is a useful feature given how unreliable SMS networks can be – if you’ve tried to authenticate anything (such as e-verifying your tax filings, perhaps) with your Aadhaar number, then you know how much of a delayed response this can lead to at times. Having a TOTP option should, hopefully, be much more reliable and faster.

maadhaar app review android google play how it works maadhaar_app_review_android_google_play_how_it_works

mAadhaar app is a work in progress, and has several areas of improvements for now

In fact, the mAadhaar app itself is a great example of why SMS OTP does not really work. That’s because, in order to use the app, when you enter your Aadhaar details, you’re verified via SMS OTP. Except of course, when we tried to use it, there were a huge number of issues. The SMS did not come and it took multiple attempts before we finally got it. The app tries reading the SMS automatically, except the app would freeze automatically, and we had to start over from the beginning.

This went on multiple times, with the app crashing rather than being willing to add us, until finally, with no real explanation, it worked and we were in.

mAadhaar app: Areas of improvement

Another issue with the way SMS OTP has been implemented with this app is that you can’t manually enter the OTP. You have to give the app access to your SMS inbox, and if you were thinking that you could keep the app on your tablet while getting the OTP on your phone – that’s not going to work. This also means that you can’t store your family members’ Aadhaar details using the Aadhaar app, as the number that’s linked to your Aadhaar should match with the SIM card in your phone. That’s quite likely intended as a security precaution, and thus not likely to change over time.

On the other hand, the mAadhaar app is expected to add new features over time, which would be great, because right now it’s of limited use. TOTP is one reason why we would want to have this app; unlocking biometrics quickly is another area which could be useful. But unless you’re using the Aadhaar for a lot of authentications, it’s not clear why you’d need to have these features on your phone.

5 things you should know about the mAadhaar app

Watch the video below to check out the five things you need to know about the new mAadhaar app, such as checking out the updated look of the Aadhaar card if you update some details, among others.


Bixby Voice officially starts rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ in US

After an Early Access Program that Samsung launched last month, the public roll out of Bixby Voice has now begun in the United States. Effectively, that means Bixby now offers full voice capabilities for US English.

That’s definitely good news for Galaxy S8/S8+ users in the country, who can now start using Bixby’s voice service immediately – all you have to do is to make sure that the application is updated to the latest software version.

“At launch, Bixby will be fully integrated across core Samsung apps, so almost anything you could do with touch or typing, you can now do with your voice, including multi-step, and cross-app requests,” the company says in a press release.

“Support for additional native and third-party apps will be available via Bixby Labs, which includes select applications that are offering preliminary integration with Bixby.”

Samsung says Bixby Voice currently offers US English support both in the US as well as South Korea (where it also understands Korean). The tech giant also shared the following Bixby-related videos through the press release:


New leak shows the Nokia 8 in a different color

We already know that the Nokia 8 will launch with at least four color options – blue, which we already saw, gold/blue, gold/copper and steel. It’s that last one that is the latest in the series of Nokia 8 leaks, so feast your eyeballs on this.

Nokia 8, the Steel color option
Nokia 8, the Steel color option

HMD has been fairly restrained with its color palette. We do think the Nokia 6 & co. has some interesting color options, though we miss the wacky colors – yellow, orange, red, cyan, green – of the older Nokias. It certainly made the Lumias stand out. The new 3310 has some of those hues, the 105 and 130 as well, so we hope the smartphones get more exciting paint jobs eventually.


How to get rid of hum and eliminate other noises from your audio and video systems

electrical noise

Editor’s note, July 16, 2017: We updated this story with new illustrations and new tips and tricks throughout. So you just unboxed your new entertainment gear, hooked everything up, and you hear a buzz, whine, hiss, chatter, or any number of other annoying noises that have been known to plague audio equipment. You might even see some banding or waves on your TV. So you take it all back to the store, only to watch the salesperson plug it in and have everything work perfectly. What the…?

I’d love to tell you that you did nothing wrong, but you may have, at least inadvertently. Then again, it could be bad wiring, defective equipment, or just a noisy electronic environment. Whatever the type of noise you’re hearing—and whatever the cause—here’s how to get rid of it.

Note: Some noise is inherent, such as tape hiss, or hiss when you turn up the gain on an input. It’s part of the equipment, and the only cure is generally better equipment.


  • Ground loops
  • AC line noise
  • Wires
  • RF interference
  • USB/HDMI cable noise

Ground loops

The number-one cause of unusual audio noise and weird video is the ground loop, simply because it’s so darned easy to create. The most common manifestations are a loud buzz or hum coming through the speakers, or scrolling bands on a TV screen. It could also be a much quieter, yet equally annoying buzz or hum that you only hear when the room is otherwise quiet.

A ground loop in entertainment equipment typically occurs when one or more pieces of equipment are plugged into the AC (alternating current) at different locations, then connected together by electrical (versus optical) signal cables—RCA, HDMI, composite, component—whose shielding is connected to ground. In the simplest terms, this creates a single-loop antenna that just loves to suck in various types of noise via electromagnetic induction. You can see how a loop is created in the diagram below.

ground loop


Mysterious Samsung device spotted on GeekBench with 1.77GHz Quad-core CPU [updated]

Update: Another Samsung device under SM-G96XX model series has been spotted on Geekbench. The listing reveals SDM845 SoC (which is rumored to be Snapdragon 845).

So, a model number series that should ideally be for a 2018 Galaxy S flagship, plus Snapdragon 845 SoC, plus reports that Samsung is eyeing SD845 for its next S series flagship. Are we looking at the Galaxy S9? Well, our guess is as good as yours.

Original story follows:

We are looking to the fall for Samsung’s next major announcement, that of the Galaxy Note 8. But before looking at Samsung’s phablet, we are trying to figure out what the latest Samsung leak could be.

A Samsung device with the model number “SM-G9600” has been spotted on GeekBench with some intriguing specifications. First off, the device ran Android 7.1.2, which has yet to make it to many devices outside of the Pixel and late-Nexus family of smartphones. Otherwise, the benched smartphone has 4GB of RAM, and runs a CPU: “Qualcomm @ 1.77 GHz… 4 cores”.

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Roland Quandt @rquandt

Samsung SM-G9600 with Snapdragon 840 (!) and 4 GB RAM. Seems like an S8 “Lite” to me.,98550.html 

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Leaker Roland Quandt tweeted the results claiming it might be a “Snapdragon 840”. Which prompted many other outlets to report the same, but a quad-core CPU with 1.77GHz couldn’t possibly be anything more than a Snapdragon 600 series chip. Given somewhat mid-range performance scores, we could be looking at a “Mini” or “Lite” version of the Galaxy S8.

What throws off that theory is the SM-G9600 model number. The Galaxy S8 uses the SM-G95XX number and the Galaxy S7 and Note7 preceding it used the SM-G93XX. SM-G94XX was skipped, likely for the same reason OnePlus skipped using the number “4”: cultural superstition. This aside, the SM-G96XX numbering scheme would logically mean it’s a 2018 model. Perhaps it’s only a placeholder, as many early devices use to keep folks like us guessing.