When you buy a company's product, the experience doesn't end at the store. Well, at least it shouldn't. While some companies may wipe their hands after the sale, the truly high-quality brands will focus on the overall experience for the life of the product. Apple, for instance, does an excellent job here, making you feel like you've joined a club that cares about you. While buying Apple Care improves that experience, even without it, some consumers may end up with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Another company focusing on the customer experience? LG. If you weren't already aware, owners of the G6 Android flagship -- an excellent smartphone -- are able to get a complimentary second year warranty at no charge. Yup, you can register for what the company calls the "LG G6 Second Year Promise." In fact, the company even guarantees an expedited turnaround time if your under-warranty G6 should need replacing. Quire frankly, this warranty -- coupled with decreasing price -- makes buying the device a no-brainer. To highlight this previously announced promise, the company has now created a new video explaining it.
New Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16251 is rolling out now and brings with it lots of changes and some great new features, such as the ability to shut down or restart your PC using Cortana voice controls.
The standout feature though is cross-device web-browsing that lets you browse the web on an Android phone and then switch to continue browsing the same site on your Windows 10 PC. Here’s how to use it.
Finding what you're looking for on eBay can be tricky. You need to find the right words to home in on exactly what you mean, and there's no guarantee that the seller will use quite the same wording. Far better, you might think, to be able to search using a photo of the item you want.
eBay agrees. With Image Search, users can take or upload a photo from their camera roll to search for matching items. The second new tool, Find It On eBay, can share images from the web -- including social media -- to eBay and use them to conduct searches. eBay says both features are facilitated by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
If you ignore its G and V series, LG makes some rather boring smartphones. Its new Q8 is an exception though. It may not have a premium design, like a high-end device does, but it is really close to flagship territory in terms of specs. In fact, it's nearly on the same level as its bigger brother, the G6.
The Q8 packs a 5.2-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 by 2,560 and it also has a secondary screen, with a resolution of 1,040 by 160. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. There's 4GB of RAM on board and a 3,000mAh battery too.
Google's announcement last week that it was rolling out an updated algorithm-powered feed to its mobile apps led to (nonsense) speculation that the company's search page was also getting a redesign. After pooh-poohing this suggestion, Google has also revealed that its new mobile feed rollout has hit a snag.
Users who updated to the new feed experienced problems with it being blank. Tight integration with the Android home screen is causing issues, and now the rollout is being scaled back.
Just like Facebook did with Facebook Lite and Facebook Messenger Lite, Microsoft is launching a cut-down, data-sipping version of LinkedIn for mobile users. LinkedIn Lite launches in India initially, and is designed for countries with limited mobile internet access.
This is an app designed for emerging markets, and as such it is Android-only; there are no plans for an iOS version. While LinkedIn Lite is starting out its life in India, it will eventually spread to a further 60+ countries.
Samsung's Galaxy Note line of devices totally changed the smartphone landscape forever. Not only did the company revolutionize the "phablet" screen size, but with the addition of the wonderful S-Pen, it made handwriting entry relevant again. Even Apple faced the pressure of big-screen Android devices, finally altering its own iPhone with bigger displays.
Life was good for Samsung's Note smartphones, until it wasn't. In a sad turn of events, the most recent variant, the Note7, was recalled due to exploding batteries. While many companies would be unable to survive such a calamity, Samsung has. In fact, its brand is still incredibly strong and many consumers are clamoring for the next such smartphone. I am happy too say that, as rumored, the much-anticipated Galaxy Note8 will make its triumphant debut next month. It will be revealed in New York City at Samsung's annual "Unpacked" press event.
Dragging itself kicking and screaming into 2017, Transport for London's (TfL) Oyster card is finally set to benefit from a mobile app that allows for top-ups from a smartphone.
A new Oyster app is scheduled for release for iOS and Android in August. It will supplement changes to the Oyster system that mean online credit purchases can be collected from any station rather than a nominated one, and will be available in 30 minutes rather than 24 hours. The sped-up processing will be welcomed, but the Oyster card app is likely to generate more interest.
Google has announced a significant update to its iOS and Android apps, introducing a new algorithm-driven feed that pushes personalized content at users. The company says that the update makes "it easier than ever to discover, explore and stay connected to what matters to you -- even when you don't have a query in mind."
The feature, known simply as "the feed", has been around since December, but this is an important update that sees Google further leaning on the algorithms it has come to love. The feed draws on machine learning to create a personalized stream of content made up not only of news, but also videos, music and other content Google thinks may be of interest.
Over the weekend, distress rippled around the HTC community as advertisements suddenly appeared in the TouchPal keyboard. The keyboard is installed as the default on many of HTC's Android phones, including the HTC 10, and users took to social media to voice their unhappiness and concerns about privacy.
Despite the ire directed at the Taiwanese company, HTC is not directly responsible for the keyboard, or the update that pushed ads onto people. Rather, the developer issued an update resulting in the SNAFU that upset so many people.
The latest addition to WikiLeaks' Vault 7 cache of leaked CIA documents details an app that can be used to intercept SMS messages on Android devices. The HighRise tool can grab messages before sending them on to a CIA-controlled server.
The app itself goes by the name of TideCheck and it serves as an SMS proxy to allow for the interception of messages on a target's phone. The app itself is password protected (with the word "inshallah") to prevent unwanted tinkering. It also seems to serve a dual purpose, acting as a secure communication channel for CIA operatives.
Over the years Facebook has done plenty of tinkering with the News Feed -- and not always for the better. Like Google, the social network frequently experiments with new ideas, and groups of users are often used to beta test features. One such recent experiment saw the arrival of a new version of the timeline for some users via a rocket icon in the Facebook app.
Now this new option is rolling out on a wider scale. Known as Explore Feed -- and retaining the rocket icon from beta testing -- the idea is to encourage Facebook users to look at more content on the network rather than just the post of their friends and pages they follow. You'd be forgiven for missing the option as it's not entirely obvious.
WhatsApp is now rolling out a new update for its messaging app that finally gives users the ability to send any type of file that they want. This feature was first seen in the beta channel last month.
That means that, among other types of files, users can now share items with extensions like APK (Android apps), DOC (Word files), XLS (Excel files), and so on. It is not the only change in the latest version of WhatsApp though.
While Apple iPhone smartphones are rather expensive, I am willing to pay a premium for one. After all, I like the build quality, and more importantly, I love the iOS operating system. With all of that said, it is getting harder and harder to justify that premium. You see, there are some very impressive Android phones for super-low prices that could make you think twice. Even if you aren't a fan of Google's operating system, it is hard not to be tempted.
Case in point, today ZTE announces a beautiful smartphone running the latest Android 7.1.1 for $99. No, that is not a typo. For under $100 you can score a truly sweet device for AT&T prepaid service. Called "Blade Spark," it has a 5.5-inch display, 3140 mAh battery, a fingerprint reader, and expandable storage via micro SD. OK, sure, the 1.4GHz QualComm Snapdragon 425 processor isn't top of the line, and the 720p screen is a tad disappointing, but it should be good enough for many consumers -- especially at this price.
Chromebooks are great for many scenarios, but they really shine for education. Why? Well, they are often inexpensive, and best of all, they are very secure thanks to the Linux base and restrictive software design. ASUS has a new such laptop called "Chromebook Flip C213." The 11.6-inch notebook is designed to be very rugged so that if a student abuses it, it should hopefully survive. ASUS even promises an impressive 12+ hours of battery life.
This convertible laptop is powered by a 2.4GHz Intel processor and features 4GB of RAM. This should run Chrome OS very well. Besides the traditional camera at the top of the screen, there is an additional camera above the keyboard. When the laptop is folded to a tablet, that second camera becomes a "rear" camera. Cool, right?