Apple releases iOS 11.2.1 to restore limited HomeKit functionality

Apple has released iOS 11.2.1 for iPhone and iPad following last week’s discovery that HomeKit had a major security vulnerability. The bug, first reported by 9to5Mac, allowed unauthorized users to access connected smart devices like lights, thermostats, locks and garage door openers. Apple’s server-side fix of the issue corrected the problem but also disabled remote access to shared users. That functionality is now restored with the update.

The iOS 11.2.1 update says it “fixes bugs including an issue that could disable remote access to shared users of the Home app.” Apple has also released tvOS 11.2.1, which 9to5Mac says is likely related to the same issue. Both updates are rolling out to iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users now.

Via: 9to5Mac

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‘Life is Strange’ comes to iPhone and iPad December 14th

If you haven’t had the chance to play 2014’s Life is Strange or its recent sequel Before the Storm, now’s your chance. The brilliant episodic narrative game revolves around teenaged Max and her ability to rewind time, returning to her hometown only to find it and her previous best friend Chloe in very different straits. Beginning December 14th, a whole new audience will be able to experience their story on iPhone and iPad.

According to developer Black Wing Foundation, the game’s Unreal 4 Engine underpinnings will help everything look even better than before. You’ll also get Life is Strange iMessage stickers and an in-game photo mode. You’ll be able to share both your progress in the game as well as the pictures you take on social media, as well. You can pre-order the game on the App Store now, with the first three episodes coming online on the 14th, with episodes four and five following in the first part of 2018. An Android version is planned for early 2018 as well.

“Everyone here at DONTNOD is really excited to share the adventures of Max and Chloe in Life is Strange with a new audience on mobile,” said CEO Oskar Guilbert in a statement. “We welcome new players to Arcadia Bay’s community and look forward to discovering the story choices that they make during their stay.”

Source: DONTNOD Entertainment

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Algoriddim’s djay Pro 2 adds AI for DJ cruise control

Algoriddim has been improving its DJ software consistently over the past few years for both mobile and desktop, with its most recent foray breaking ground on Microsoft’s turf. Today, the company announced another step forward with an update to its Mac desktop app called djay Pro 2 (macOS 10.11 or higher). This is still a high-functioning hybrid with both music and video mixing capabilities, but new features along with various tweaks to the look and feel are welcome changes.

The standout feature here is Automix AI, which leverages machine learning as part of its improved functionality. It may seem like a slight against practiced human ability, but as long as you’re not trying to Paris Hilton your way through gigs, it’s actually quite useful. You can let this feature take the reigns both selecting and blending tracks at small gatherings or house parties, while still being able to jump in for some mixes and giving it a nudge in the right musical direction.

While the Automix AI mode is useful, it still has a way to go at handling more complicated rhythms. Techno tracks with a simple 4/4 beat-driven style get mixed rather well, while the AI falters a bit on more complicated and orchestrated tracks. Tunes like Derrick May’s “Strings of Life” have always taken a deft hand and ear, though. Algoriddim’s AI should improve over time and it’s already been fed a steady diet of human DJ mixes for practice. Any downside is more likely to be a lack of keeping the vibe alive, rather than trainwrecks. The system is adept at keeping tempos matched and adjusting various knobs to facilitate the transition.

That said, it’s nice to have the mix session go on cruise control for a bit if you’re opening to an empty venue or just chilling around the house. The algorithms for picking the next tune work similar to services like Pandora and the blends usually go well enough, especially if you’re not focusing too much on the mix. Plus, you get the opportunity to chat once in a while and give your spidey-sense of when a track is about to end a rest.

As for looks, you’ll notice a fresh skin on the software, with semi-transparency and subtle shades taking over for solids in some places. There are also new and flexible layouts to enjoy aimed at providing a less crowded interface while still surfacing important features. New layout views include the Automix hero mode which makes it easy to see what’s playing, along with the single track view, which is perfect for music management work like prepping playlists, setting cue points and loops.

djay Pro 2 single track view in addition to split library view.

The associated track and file view is also much better now, letting you create playlists in the djay Pro 2 app itself with the ability to mix and match files from selected local drives, Spotify and iTunes all in one place. The split library view lets you see your working playlists and your various libraries all in one go, making it easier to search and drag files between them. New smart filters have also been added to the playlist section, letting you narrow down tracks by BPM, key and more.

You’ll also want to get some photo slideshows ready before your gigs, now that the video mixing portion of djay Pro 2 includes PhotoBeat. Just drag photo albums or groups of files and drop them onto a video mixing deck. This will create beat-matched visual output, shifting images according to the music with time ranges of 1/4 beat to 4 beats per photo.

Other new features include seemingly minor but incredibly useful additions like fully customizable keyboard shortcuts, post fader effects (so you can echo out of one track while mixing into the other) and the ability to drill down into more detailed, high-res waveforms.

You can find djay Pro 2 in the Mac App Store today for $ 40 — a limited time discount off the regular $ 50 price. The iPhone and iPad versions of the existing djay Pro app will also be 50-percent off as part of a limited launch sale, priced at $ 5 and $ 10 respectively.

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Tested: The OnePlus 5T is the fastest-charging smartphone right now

By Mark Spoonauer

You just realized that your phone is low on juice, and panic sets in. How much charge can you get in a limited amount of time? We tested 10 of the top flagship phones and found that the OnePlus 5T is the fastest in the land.

The good news is that most of the premium Android phones these days offer some form of quick charging via their USB-C adapters. In the case of the latest iPhones, you can get fast charging, but only if you pay extra for both a 29-watt power adapter and a USB-C-to-Lightning cable (about $ 68 total). Yes, I’m serious.

For our first round of testing, we wanted to find what battery percentage these phones could reach in 30 minutes of charging with their included adapters. The phones were on, but the screens were turned off. With the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, we used both the standard AC plug and the fast-charging gear to bring you both sets of results.

The OnePlus 5T led the pack, reaching an impressive 59 percent in 30 minutes. The advantage for the OnePlus? Unlike most other Android phones, it doesn’t use Qualcomm’s QuickCharge technology. Instead, it employs the proprietary Dash Charge, which delivers higher amperage than QuickCharge and uses dedicated circuitry in the charger itself for heat management. (Android Central has a great explainer on how Dash Charge works.)

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

The next-best phone in the first round of our testing was the LG V30, at 53 percent. The iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were all close behind, at 50 percent, 49 percent and 47 percent, respectively, when we used the fast-charging gear Apple sells separately.

Flagship phone battery capacity and battery life compared

Battery Capacity Battery Life*
Google Pixel 2 XL 3,520 mAh 12:09
Galaxy S8+ 3,500 mAh 11:04
Galaxy Note 8 3,300 mAh 11:11
OnePlus 5T 3,300 mAh 11:12
LG V30 3,300 mAh 6:30
Galaxy S8 3,000 mAh 10:39
iPhone X 2,716 mAh 10:49
Google Pixel 2 2,700 mAh 11:07
iPhone 8 Plus 2,691 mAh 11:16
iPhone 8 1,821 mAh 9:54

* Based on Tom’s Guide web surfing battery test over LTE

However, it’s important to note that these iPhones charge slower than the rest of the field even with their included adapters. For instance, the iPhone X hit only 17 percent after 30 minutes.

Among other phones, the Galaxy Note 8, S8 and S8+ were all in the same ballpark, at 35 to 38 percent, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL had comparable results.

So how about after an hour? The OnePlus 5T once again took the prize, reaching 93 percent in 60 minutes. The LG V30 snagged second place, at 86 percent, and the latest iPhones all vied for third place, though the iPhone X had the most capacity, at 81 percent. And, yes, you could argue that you need to cheat to hit these numbers with the iPhone, because you have to buy extra gear.

Overall, if filling up your phone fast is a top priority, the OnePlus 5T is the champ. And at $ 499, it’s also the most affordable phone you can get that comes with flagship-level specs and performance.

  • OnePlus 5T vs Pixel 2: Why OnePlus Wins
  • Best Android Apps You’re Not Using
  • 10 Reasons Android Beats the iPhone

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Apple’s Jony Ive will return to his design management role

Apple’s chief design officer, Jony Ive, is picking his old management duties back up again, 9to5Mac reports. Back in 2015, Ive was upgraded to chief design officer from senior VP and day-to-day management was taken over by Alan Dye and Richard Howarth. Earlier today, 9to5Mac noted that Dye and Howarth were no longer listed on Apple’s leadership page and now word’s out that Ive is back at the management helm. In a statement to Bloomberg, an Apple spokesperson said, “With the completion of Apple Park, Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design.”

Apple has come under fire for some of its recent design choices, like the way its Pencil and Mouse charge, the lack of ports in the MacBook and, of course, that iPhone X notch. That may or may not have anything to do with Ive’s return, but as 9to5Mac notes, the writing may have been on the wall. Dye and Howarth haven’t really been in the spotlight much since becoming senior VPs while Ive has retained a fair amount of public exposure.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and we’ll update this post when we hear more.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Bloomberg

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The Morning After: Wednesday, December 6th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to Wednesday, where the line between phones and PCs is blurrier than ever, and we’re entering a new round of Google vs. Amazon.

Thanks to mobile CPUs.‘Always Connected’ Windows 10 PCs have 20 hours of battery life

Late last year, Microsoft announced plans to make Windows 10 work on ARM CPUs — usually used in phones and tablets — and now we’ve seen the first real devices. The HP Envy x2 and the ASUS NovaGo both have Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chips inside, but run all your usual Windows programs. The best part is that, just like phones, they’re instantly on and promise incredible battery life. Plus, AMD is getting in on the trick.

Ooops.How not to store your bitcoin

Some finicky software, a broken laptop and the skyrocketing value of bitcoin combine to make for one epic tale.

Here we go again.Google is blocking YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show and Fire TV

Amazon only recently brought YouTube back to its Echo Show, and now Google says it will block the company’s devices again. Google is ticked off because Amazon isn’t selling some of its hardware or making Prime Video work with Cast, putting the two at odds.We’ll see who blinks first (or ever).

Yes, we know you would rather use microSD.Samsung’s 512GB chip will put PC-like storage in your phone

So many podcasts.

Choose whatever carrier you like.Apple’s iPhone X is available unlocked and SIM-free in the US

If you’re paying $ 1,000 or more for a new handset, you should be able to choose your network at will, and now you can.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Marvel is making a scripted ‘Wolverine’ podcast for Stitcher
  • HQ’s live trivia is coming to Android in time for the holidays
  • The iPhone 8 goes up against the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
  • Netflix cuts ties with Danny Masterson following rape allegations
  • Honor squeezed more screen into its budget View 10 flagship

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Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.

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The iPhone 8 goes up against the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Before you start throwing down cash for new phones like a Grinch post heart-expansion, watch our video to directly compare more factors than just name brand and price on two of the most popular phones. The iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are both less than $ 1000 (no thanks, iPhone X) but still expensive, beginning at $ 699 and $ 825, respectively.

Either would make a great gift to yourself or someone else, but it all depends on what you’re going for. The iPhone 8 looks a little ho-hum in terms of standard old design, but acts zippier because of the new A11 bionic chip, which Apple claims makes it 25% faster.

Alternatively, maybe you love Samsung or are just now open to one because of Apple’s no headphone jack policy. The S8 and S8 Plus have a slick design that our own phone reviewers absolutely love and its display (a dazzling 2,220 x 1,080) compared to Apple’s (a meh 1,334 x 750) really put it at the top of the visual appearance heap.

And then there’s the camera test. While on paper the smartphone’s cameras seem very similar, (Apple with a 7-megapixel front-facing camera, 12-megapixel back; Galaxy S8 Plus with 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 12-megapixel back), in practice, the selfies from the Galaxy S8 Plus seem far superior.

After testing set-up, call quality, video downloading time, playback, visual appearance and cameras on each of the phones, we picked the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus as the winner of this particular head-to-head challenge. Let us know in the comments what we should test next!

This article was briefly removed from the site to update the video thumbnail and pricing. Prices now reflect MSRP rather than Amazon’s “Buy Now” option in our database.

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December 2nd is making some iPhones soft reset

It’s not even New Year’s Day yet, and there’s an apparent date bug causing problems for iPhone owners. Around the world, users are reporting that after 12:15 AM, incoming notifications from apps that use daily or repeat settings can cause their devices to suddenly use 100 percent of the CPU and then soft reset. According to iMore, the problem seems to be tied to locally generated notifications, as opposed to notifications internet services send to your phone.

If you’re affected by this issue, the best fix appears to be disabling notifications from any apps that use the local settings. You can try resetting your date to December 1st, but that may cause other problems. So far Apple has not publicly commented on the issue, but posters on the company’s support forums and Reddit say that phone reps have informed them iOS 11.2 includes a fix for this issue.

PSA: iPhone Reboot/Respring Issues Megathread from iphone

Source: Apple Support forum, r/iPhone

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DxO’s snap-on Android camera is now available to pre-order

DxO One is a compact snap-on camera that drastically improves the quality of your smartphone photos, but only iPhone users have been able to benefit so far. It recently arrived on Android, however, and is now up for pre-order as a fairly attractive “Early Access Pack.” For $ 499, you get the camera, a protective shell and DxO’s PhotoLab software, effectively saving about $ 260. The caveats are that there’s still no shipping date, and the device only works on newer models that have built-in USB Type-C ports.

The DxO One is one of the few survivors of the “camera phone” era of a few years ago, with the most notable contenders at the time being Sony’s QX10 and QX100 models. DxO’s model likely struck a chord because of its more practical direct physical interface and relatively compact, pocketable size.

At the same time, you’re getting a large 1-inch, 20.2-megapixel sensor and f/1.8, 32mm equivalent fixed lens that gives you photo quality akin to a nice compact camera like Sony’s RX100 V — better than any small-sensor smartphone can manage. However, if you’re okay with pairing your phone wirelessly, you’d be better off spending a bit more on a dedicated camera like one of Sony’s previous RX100 III and IV models or Panasonic’s Lumix LX10.

Supported mobile phones are the HTC U11, Huawei Mate 9, Huawei P10, LG G6, LG V20, Moto Z, Nexus 5X, Nokia 8, Nubia Z11 mini, Samsung Galaxy A5 2017, Samsung Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Huawei Honor 9. You can also select “other” and specify your brand of phone, and hope for the best.

As mentioned, the DxO One for Android is on pre-order for $ 499 including the Outdoor Shell and cable back door, along with the DxO PhotoLab software. It’ll be able to do most of what the iOS version can, but some recently announced features like time lapse and Facebook Live streaming will come later.

Via: Android Central

Source: DxO

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