Mihăiță Bamburic

Most US Samsung Galaxy Note7 users choose replacements over refunds

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Another day, another development in the Galaxy Note7 recall. This time, Samsung indicates that it is making good progress getting US customers to turn in their affected units, after a report by Apteligent released earlier this month revealed consistent usage rates following the recall program's introduction.

Samsung says that it has exchanged "about half" of the Galaxy Note7 units that it has sold in the US. The company has already shipped 500,000 safe devices in the country, and is believed to have sold around one million units before the recall news broke.

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Many reports of exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7 units are false

womansurpriseexcitedlaptop

We have heard lots of stories about exploding Galaxy Note7 devices, but how many of them are actually true? In another episode of the Galaxy Note7 recall saga, Samsung has revealed that it has received multiple false reports from consumers claiming that their new smartphone caught fire, suggesting that, perhaps, there are fewer destroyed units in the wild than we have been lead to believe.

Samsung says that it has dealt with 26 such reports from alleged Galaxy Note7 owners, and that in 12 cases it has been unable to find an issue with those devices. What about the rest of the claims?

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The best new features in macOS Sierra

macOS Sierra

Apple has officially released macOS Sierra, the latest version of its Mac operating system. Just like its recent predecessors, it is available for free. But, unlike any of the major releases introduced since 2001, it no longer bears the OS X name, as Apple wants to bring it in line with its other consumer-facing operating systems.

So, it is called macOS Sierra, and not OS X 10.12 Sierra. Does that mean it is a completely new operating system underneath? No. What Apple has done is improve upon OS X 10.11 El Capitan by adding a significant number of changes that should keep Mac users happy for one more year. The user experience has not been changed dramatically, though there are some pretty exciting things in macOS Sierra.

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How to create a bootable macOS Sierra USB drive

macOS10Sierra6

There are times when you may not want to use App Store or the recovery mode to install macOS Sierra on your Mac. So Apple gives you the option of creating a bootable USB drive. You can use it anytime and anywhere to quickly get the operating system running on any compatible Mac. An Internet connection is not even required as everything you need is already on the drive.

Creating a bootable macOS Sierra USB drive is very easy. All you need is a Mac, as the tools provided for the process are only available on OS X and macOS, and a USB drive with a capacity of 8GB or more. I will also explain how to use a dedicated third-party tool, in case you decide that this option suits you better.

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OnePlus 3 receives OxygenOS 3.2.6 OTA update

OnePlus 3 front

OnePlus has done a fantastic job with its latest "flagship killer". The OnePlus 3 is an awesome smartphone not just because of its impressive hardware but also its software, which has received constant attention since launch. OnePlus has released a significant number of updates so far, which have noticeably improved the user experience. The latest official build to see the light of day is OxygenOS 3.2.6.

The "sizable" OxygenOS 3.2.6 OTA update, which is rolling out now, addresses certain issues, improves different features of the Android distribution, and adds new options. It also packs the latest security patches from Google, released in September.

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How to tell if your replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 is safe to use

Why Confused Question Mark Woman Wall Puzzled

Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note7 earlier this month following reports of exploding batteries, and promised to replace the affected units free of charge. To make it easy for customers to find out whether their device should be exchanged, the company has released an official IMEI lookup tool that informs them if the built-in battery is safe to use or not.

And for those who receive a replacement unit -- and for new users -- Samsung has added some visual identifiers to help folks figure out if they are looking at a revised (safe to use) Galaxy Note7. There are two major changes, over the affected units, that you should look for.

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The most popular iPhone 7 is the Plus model

iPhone 7 Plus

When Apple said that iPhone 7 sales will be determined by supply and not demand it meant it. Earlier this week it issued a statement saying that all iPhone 7 Plus versions and the Jet Black iPhone 7 sold out quickly after going up for pre-order -- and they will not be available to walk-in customers, as a result.

While we do not know how many iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units Apple had available for the pre-order round, a Slice Intelligence report claims that the bigger model is more popular with early adopters. Last year, it was the iPhone 6s which enjoyed the biggest success during pre-orders.

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Microsoft has the most open source contributors on GitHub

Microsoft

GitHub has published The state of the Octoverse 2016, a very interesting report that offers an insight into how its 14 million users leveraged the hugely popular repository this year. Among them is a list of organizations with the most open source contributors, most popular coding languages, most used emoji reactions, new user interactions and much more.

The list of organizations with the most open source contributions is particularly interesting, because it shows Microsoft leading the pack with over 16,000 users. The software giant is followed by Facebook and Docker, with Google only coming in fifth place. For folks who associate Microsoft with closed-source this must come as a pretty big surprise.

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Removing the headphone jack from future MacBooks would be a mistake

Apple MacBook headphone jack speakers

I can understand the logic behind Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack from its latest iPhones. Some folks may not like it, but fact of the matter is that space is at a premium on such small devices. If a manufacturer can add meaningful features that improve the user experience by dropping the headphone jack then it is well worth it -- despite the fact that you can no longer charge your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and use the headphones at the same time without buying a dongle.

But Apple is testing the waters to see if it could drop the headphone jack on other devices as well, as it is now asking users of the MacBook Pro with Retina display if they "ever use the headphone port". This is no longer about "courage". It would be change for change's sake.

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CloudMagic gets rebranded to Newton, adds subscription-based premium features

Newton email app

Subscriptions can generate a lot of revenue for developers, which is why we are seeing them in so many apps these days. And it is not just new titles that now involve regular payments, as subscriptions are making their way to existing apps as well.

This is now the case with CloudMagic, one of the best -- and my favorite -- cross-platform email apps. It just got an update that changes its name to Newton and adds a number of new, premium features. The latest extras are offered as a rather costly one-year subscription.

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The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are a huge hit at Sprint and T-Mobile

iphone-7-plus

The latest iPhones may not be hugely different compared to last year's models, but consumers do not seem to mind it. According to pre-order reports from Sprint and T-Mobile, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are off to a great start, being received extremely well by their customers.

Sprint today announced that, in the first three days, pre-orders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are more than 375 percent higher compared to last year. The carrier does not say whether that is a new record for the iPhone. Over at T-Mobile, however, the new smartphones did set a new bar.

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Samsung will prevent Galaxy Note7 from exploding with an OTA update

samsung-galaxy-note-7

The Galaxy Note7 recall is a huge mess. Samsung may be giving customers the option to have affected devices replaced, but there is no word as to how long it will take before every faulty Galaxy Note7 is exchanged. But the biggest problem is that users who want to take Samsung up on its exchange offer still have to live with a device that could explode and cause some real damage after that.

The only way to prevent that from happening is to stop using the device, but for customers who have the Galaxy Note7 as their only smartphone that is clearly not an option. The good news is that Samsung will come up with a solution to keep them going until a replacement device arrives.

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HP buys Samsung's printer business

HP logo sign

HP believes that the printer market still has lots of potential, as it just announced that it is buying Samsung's Printing Business Unit. The tech company says that its new acquisition will enable it to "disrupt and reinvent" the copier industry, a market evaluated at $55 billion that "hasn't innovated in decades".

HP will pay $1.05 billion for the South Korean giant's printer business, with the acquisition expected to complete within a year. After the deal is finalized, Samsung will make an investment in HP, said to be between $100 million and $300 million.

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The iPhone 7 won't sell well in China, IDC predicts

Falling sales graph

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature some pretty big improvements over the previous generation, but some folks are not convinced whether it is worth upgrading from an older iPhone or an Android smartphone. The main problem is the removal of the headphone jack, though it seems that the lack of enough (visual) differentiating features compared to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also play a part in this.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus may end up breaking sales records, but we will not find out until later this year. However, IDC already predicts that Apple's flagships will underperform in the world's largest market -- China. And there is some logic behind that.

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How much will the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cost in Europe?

iphone-7-plus

The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be hugely expensive in Europe when they go on sale later this month. Apple has decided to increase the prices of its new flagships compared to the previous generation, with the bump likely triggered by the US dollar's gains against the Euro and British Pound.

To put things into perspective, it is interesting that the iPhone 7 Plus will also see a $20 price increase over the iPhone 6s Plus in the US, while the iPhone 7 will continue to be sold at the same price as its predecessor. The bigger device now starts at $769, as opposed to $749 for the iPhone 6s Plus, while the iPhone 7 kicks off at $649.

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