Mihaita Bamburic

Opera Max can now compress Netflix and YouTube videos, lowering data consumption

Opera Max Android

Video streaming is one of the quickest ways to max out a data plan. This is especially true for high-definition videos, which are the commonplace on websites like Netflix and YouTube and, understandably, the obvious quality choice for many mobile viewers. Since not everyone can afford or have the option to use an unlimited data plan, we often have to sacrifice how much content we watch to not pass the traffic limit.

However, an update to Opera Max for Android promises to let us watch more videos without sacrificing much in terms of quality. The app can achieve such results through compression, and the feature is now enabled for Netflix and YouTube.

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Google expands Android One into Africa

Infinix HOT 2

Android One is slowly but surely making its way to major emerging markets across the globe. The latest expansion sees the program being introduced today in Africa. For the moment there is only one Android One smartphone available to local consumers, which retails for roughly $87.

There is huge growth potential for Google and Android One in Africa, as Internet use remains relatively low on the continent. A study by Internet Society estimates that, by the end of 2015, 23 percent of mobile phones will be able to have Internet access, a figure which is extremely low when compared to Asia, Europe or North America. So it is very important for Google to get Android One right in Africa.

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How about an Android flip phone with high-end specs?

Samsung G9198 flip phone Android high-end

Flip phones are nowhere near as popular nowadays as they used to be a few years ago, but they are much more interesting as manufacturers introduce new models that try to keep up with the times. A great example is Samsung's new G9198, which comes with high-end internals and runs Android.

Basically, it is the flip phone for people who love the form factor but not its typical shortcomings. And, yes, in case you are wondering, there are still lots of consumers interested in buying a flip phone in 2015. Understandably, they are just not your typical smartphone buyers.

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ASUS' new ZenFone Max packs a 5,000mAh battery

ZenFone Max

Smartphones have evolved a great deal over the years. We now get insanely-fast processors, lots of RAM, high-quality cameras, and amazing displays, not to mention high Internet speeds. But one thing has mostly remained the same, and that is battery life.

With its new ZenFone Max, however, ASUS might have removed this concern for prospective owners by designing the smartphone with a huge, 5,000 mAh battery. Coupled with energy-efficient hardware, it should deliver amazing battery life.

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Dump Google Chrome to extend your MacBook's battery life

MacBook Pro 2015

One of the main benefits to owning a MacBook is the superb battery life. Apple's laptops can work for a great deal of time on battery power alone, thanks in no small part to the numerous improvements made to OS X in recent years. Take my 2013 13-inch MacBook Air for example: it gets well over six hours of battery life on Yosemite, despite being nearly two years old at this stage. I rarely have to worry about plugging it in.

In fact, it could last even longer. The trick is not to use Chrome, which, despite Google's recent efforts to lower its power consumption, continues to be the most power-hungry major browser on OS X, more so than Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox.

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Microsoft's Outlook gains Apple Watch support

Outlook on Apple Watch official support

Apple Watch has been quickly gaining the support of major iOS developers, as more and more top titles have been updated to work well with the best-selling smartwatch on the market. So it should come as no surprise that Microsoft, with its increasing focus on mobile, has introduced Apple Watch support in the latest version of its Outlook mobile email client.

Apple Watch users have been able to take advantage of Outlook features prior to this update, which bumps up the app's version number to 1.3.5, but in a more restrictive manner. The official support, however, brings some new features that make Outlook much more useful on the smartwatch.

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Apple Music has 11 million trial users


Apple Music's success will be determined by its number of subscribers, and, by that measure, the streaming service is heading in the right direction. Just over a month after the big launch, Apple Music has reached 11 million trial users.

Of the 11 million users who are trialling Apple Music, two million went with the family membership. It allows up to six users to share a subscription to the service, for $14.99 per month. A plain subscription costs $9.99 per month per user, which is not as attractive, cost-wise, in comparison.

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T-Mobile has the fastest mobile network in US

speed road fast

T-Mobile has received some great news this week. The magenta carrier has finally overtaken Sprint, becoming the third-largest carrier in US. And its mobile network is said to be the fastest in the country, a title which will undoubtedly find its place in many comparisons against more popular rivals AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint's latest earnings report is what has actually confirmed T-Mobile as the third-largest mobile carrier in US, revealing 57.7 million subscribers to the latter's 58.9 million subscribers. The speed title comes from Ookla, the company behind renowned Internet speed testing app, and website, Speedtest.net, which has posted results for the four-largest carriers in US.

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Apple's iPhones gaining ground in Europe

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

The move to bigger iPhones is arguably the best decision that Apple has made in recent years. Consumer demand has been extremely strong from launch, proof being that Apple was able to match Samsung's shipments in Q4 2014 and post record sales quarter after quarter. The result? Record earnings.

The strong iPhone sales also translate into a strong market share. In Europe, Apple's handsets are gaining ground across all five-largest local markets, at the expense of either market leader Android or third-place rival Windows Phone, according to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

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Which Lumia smartphones will get Windows 10 Mobile first?


Microsoft can focus on Windows 10 Mobile now that Windows 10 is officially available to PC and tablet users. While we do not yet know exactly when the software giant plans to introduce the new version of its smartphone operating system, we do have an idea about which Lumia handsets will be the first to receive the coveted software upgrade.

Windows 10 Mobile will be available to virtually all smartphones that run Windows Phone 8.1, partly because the system requirements are pretty much the same. The Lumia devices that will get the software upgrade first are newer handsets that either sell well at the moment or are positioned at the top of the lineup.

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Slack shows off beta Windows Phone app

Slack is tardy to the two-factor authentication party

There is nothing more frustrating about Windows Phone than finding out that one of the services that I have to use on a daily basis does not have an app in Store, nor is there a third-party offering available. The poor developer support is one of the main reasons why I switched to iPhone 6 Plus late last year, after using Windows Phones exclusively for nearly two years straight.

However, in the case of some services, at least there is hope. Slack, the communication tool that we use at BetaNews, does not currently have a Windows Phone client, but the company behind the service is actively working on one, showing off an early build on Twitter.

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Nokia sells HERE to Audi, BMW and Daimler for €2.8 billion


It's finally official. Nokia today announced the sale of its HERE division to German car makers Audi, BMW and Daimler. The mapping and location services business is probably best known for powering products offered by major tech companies like Baidu, Facebook and Microsoft.

Audi, BMW and Daimler have agreed to pay €2.8 billion ($3.07 billion at the time of writing this article) to gain ownership of HERE, with Nokia expecting to receive "slightly above €2.5 billion", after factoring in "certain defined liabilities" coming in at just under €300 million. Not too shabby, but well below the rumored asking price of $4 billion.

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Celebrating SysAdmin Day with a System Mechanic giveaway

Red Cake

The last Friday in July marks not only the beginning of a lovely weekend, but also the day when system administrators across the globe are celebrated. July 31, 2015 is the sixteenth System Administrator Appreciation Day, and we have prepared a BetaNews giveaway to mark this special occasion.

Just like last year, we will be giving away 10 System Mechanic licenses, courtesy of iolo, the software's maker. As always, every BetaNews reader is welcome to enter the giveaway. Here is what you need to know.

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How to clean install Windows 10


Windows 10 is now officially available, and many of you want to run the new operating system on your PCs and tablets right away. And why not? There are lots of cool features to get excited about, like the new Start menu, Cortana, Action Center, multiple desktops, and Edge. And it is offered as a free upgrade, if you have a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license, which makes it even more attractive.

Obviously, those who are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade straight to Windows 10. But, the same cannot be said about Windows XP or Windows Vista users, who have to perform a clean install. That being said, a clean install is always recommended when moving to a new version of Windows, as it allows you to have an untainted experience, devoid of any issues that can crop up as a result of an upgrade. Here is how you can make a clean install of Windows 10.

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How to install Windows 10 on your Mac

MacBook Pro 2015

Windows 10 is now officially available to PC users across the globe, launching in 190 countries on July 29. But Microsoft's latest operating system can also be experienced on Macs, requiring even less effort to get it up and running on your Apple-branded device. And here is how you can join the Windows 10 bandwagon right now.

Just like on a PC, there are two ways you can install Windows 10 on your Mac. The first is by using virtualization software, like Parallels 10. And the second is through Boot Camp. Here is what you need to know about both options, and which one is best for you.

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