#113 Fortnite Season 9 Debuts

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#71 WhirlwindFX Vortx Unboxing

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5G smartphones are coming in 2019. What does that mean?

5G is already here, but you can’t do much to access those super-fast speeds unless you live in a specific place with a particular piece of technology. That’s about to change. Samsung and Verizon jointly announced Monday the companies would sell a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. Although they didn’t say which phone would support 5G, Samsung usually announces its latest Galaxy S smartphone in the spring.

Fortnite’s Season 7 gets start date and chilling first tease

Between the shambling monsters, meandering cubes, and inter-dimensional butterflies from beyond time and space, Fortnite’s sixth season has certainly been memorable. All good things must come to an end however, and Epic has now confirmed that Season 6 only has only three days left to go. On a happier note, it’s also shared the very first tease for Season 7. For weeks now, Epic’s subtle and not-so-subtle in-game shenanigans have lead many to believe that Fortnite’s Season 7 will have an appropriately wintery sub-zero theme. There’ve been hints of frost and snow in a number of new cosmetics, and then there’s the not-inconsiderable matter of the great snowstorm bearing down on Battle Royale island right now.

Indie Developers Don’t Like Steam’s New Revenue Sharing Policy

Steam is constantly evolving behind the scenes, but the latest reorganization of the storefront’s molecules has left some developers scratching their heads. Now, if a game makes $10 million, developers have to share less money with Valve. And if it hits $50 million, even less than that. Valve announced tweaks to Steam’s revenue sharing system in a post on Friday. Previously, all developers had to give 30 percent of their revenue to Valve. Now, if a game makes $10 million, its developer only has to toss 25 percent of earnings after that into Valve’s bottomless money abyss. If it makes it all the way up to $50 million, the developer only owes Valve a 20 percent cut of remaining sales. “The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants,” Valve wrote. “Finding the right balance to reflect those contributions is a tricky but important factor in a well-functioning network. It’s always been apparent that successful games and their large audiences have a material impact on those network effects, so making sure Steam recognizes and continues to be an attractive platform for those games is an important goal for all participants in the network.”

Unboxing The Whirlwind Vortx

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Why Hardcore Gaming Phones Are So Popular

Why Are Hardcore Gaming Phones So Popular?

Why are hardcore gaming phones the in thing today?  These are very popular among those who love to play games on their devices.  So why are they so popular?

Playing games on mobile phones have been very popular for a long time now.  It serves as stress relievers for some, past time for others.  Most of the popular games are pretty casual fare.  Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or Pokemon Go are among the most popular games.

There are also plenty of Android games which are more hardcore.  But these games have not gotten as much mainstream attention.

The Popularity Of Hardcore Gaming Phones

Companies have either released or announced several new smartphones lately.  These devices are not just for playing Candy Crush.  They are designed for hardcore games.  These include graphically intensive titles with deeper game play.  These hardcore games include Shadowgun Legends, Vainglory, and battle royale games like PUBG.

This is the reason why these Phones became popular.  Since Online gaming has become the trend and in thing today, gamers need to have smartphones which they can use to play these games.  Naturally, with the rise in the popularity of hardcore games come the rise in the popularity of these smartphones.

Some Of The Best Phones For Gaming

Because of the popularity of hardcore gaming phones, many smartphones are out in the market today.  Here are some of the best phones which are perfect for hardcore gaming.

     Razer Phone – this device started the current gaming phone trend.  This phone has a         wide range of gaming hardware and accessories.                                                             Xiaomi Black Shark – this phone for gaming was launched April 2018.  It is only               available in China at the moment.  The design of this phone is like that of a gaming             laptop shrunk to the size of a smartphone.                                                                       Nubia Red Magic – this is another phone  from China.  What is unique about it is its           angled rear design.  Nubia claims the angled back helps in cooling the phone.  This             means you can play for a long period without heating your phone.                                     Asus  ROG Phone this phone is still upcoming.  The company is wisely using its             Republic Of Gamers (ROG) PC brand.  The phone has some interesting features for             hardcore gaming.

These are just some of the phones that are best for hardcore gaming.  Their unique features and design make them suitable for hardcore gaming.

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Xiaomi Rumored To Release An Army Of Smartphones

An Army Of Smartphones Rumored To be Released By Xiaomi

Rumors are out that Xiaomi will release an army of smartphones.  This “army” will be composed of the Xiaomi Mi A2, Xiaomi Redmi 6, 6A, and 6 Pro.  It will make its debut in Taiwan, alongside the XIaomi Mi A8.

The Xiaomi Mi A2

Since Mi A2 is the rebranded version of the Mi 6X, it will have the same specifications as the Mi 6X.  The phone gets a 5.99-inch full HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio.  Its processor is the 2.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660.  It supports expandable storage via a micro-SD card support as well.

The rear camera is 12MP+20MP with the 12MP sensor sporting f/1.5 aperture and Artificia Intelligence features.  While the 20MP sensor has f/1.8 aperture.  The front camera is 20MP with LED flash.  The device supports facial recognition feature to unlock the phone.  It is backed by a 3010 battery with QuickCharge 3.0 technology support.

Xiaomi Redmi 6, Redmi 6A, And Redmi 6 Pro

Two new Xiaomi smartphones have been spotted on certification websites.  It is still unclear, however, which of these new phones will be called Redmi 6, Redmi 6A, or Redmi 6 Pro.

A Xiaomi smartphone that does not have a notch has been listed with three model numbers.  The phone features a 5.45-inch full HD+ display with 19:9 aspect ratio.  A 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor could power it,coupled with 2GB/3GB/4GB RAM and 16GB/32GB/64GB storage.

One  model has been listed with an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP selfie shooter.  The two other models will probably feature dual rear 12MP+8MP rear cameras and 5MP front lens.

Another Xiaomi smartphone with a notch has been spotted with three model numbers.  It will be powered by a 2GHz octa-core CPU.  The processor is not specified.  Dual rear cameras is expected in this Xiaomi smartphone as well as a 5MP front shooter.  The device will be backed by a 4000mAh battery.

For now, we should just wait until these Xiaomi smartphones are out to be able to know their exact details.

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Top 5 Smartphones Of 2018

Smartphones On 2018’s Top 5 List

Here are the Top 5 smartphones of 2018.  Smartphones have been part of our everyday lives.  These smartphones have different features and we acquire those which suit our needs.

With the evolution of technology come the development and updates of these smartphones.  This 2018, let us present the smartphones which are among the top 5 on this year’s list.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

This is said to be the best smartphone around.  It is a big phone designed for big hands.  It puts together in a compelling package the very best on the smartphone market.  Its screen is the Super AMOLED 6.2-inch display and is measured to be one of the best around.

It has a 3500mAh battery, better than the smaller S9.  Its camera is among the best in the market.  It has dual-aperture capability which offers some great images when it gets darker.

The iPhone X

The iPhone X is the best Smartphone Apple has ever made.  This is what the iFans have been crying out for – the redesigned Apple iPhone X.  Its got a new shape, the notch on top, and more expensive.

The screen is 5.8-inch OLED, the best that Apple has ever crammed up.  Its battery life is pretty good.  It will last 12 hours if you are a heavy user.  If not,  it could comfortably last the whole day.  iPhone cameras have always been superb.  iPhone X’s camera delivers still shots that are rich in detail.

Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro’s screen is a 6.1-inch display and only Full HD.  But it helps with battery life.  This is the weakest part of the phone.  It does not have the vibrant colors that its competitors have.  Its battery will get you to a day and a half of light to moderate use.  The camera is the stand out feature of this smartphone.  It offers three lenses, which are actually useful.  The resolution is pin sharp, with excellent photo optimization.

Samsung Galaxy S9

This phone is designed for those with small hands.  It is more palm-friendly, but is packed with power and top screen quality.  Screen: A QHD 5.8-inch, which takes up most of the front of the phone.  Battery life is a little disappointing.  Heavy users are advised to be prepared with wireless or fast chargers to be able last the whole day.  It only has a single sensor camera.  This means it is not good for photography.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Its S pen is its real point of differentiation.  Its screen maximizes Samsung’s dual curved edge and nearly bezel-less Infinity Display.  It has a superb camera with dual lenses for optical and digital zoom.  Its battery is not that good, but will still last you a day provided you do not do a lot of video streaming.

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Samsung To Unveil Note 9 with Updated Camera on August 9

South Korean giant Samsung is reportedly ready to announce the Galaxy Note 9 in an New York Event in August.

Ahhh the internet. Full of wonderful information and a treasure trove of rumours. And with the Note 9 being one of the most anticipated phones this year, there are plenty of rumours to go around.

Recent reports point to the unveiling of the latest Note flagship earlier than anticipated. According to a report by Bloomberg, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is set to be unveiled on August 9 in the Unpacked event. It will be held in New York, about two weeks earlier compared to last year.

So what can we expect from the Note’s latest iteration?

Screen protectors leaked online show that the Note 9 will have a bigger screen. The Note 8 has a 6.32 inch screen, its predecessor is likely to have an even bigger one at 6.38 inch. This will be largely due to reduced bezels at the top and the bottom of the phone.

People familiar of the matter also claim that the phone’s appearance is going to be similar to the Note 8. However, it will come with a better processor, we are guessing the Snapdragon 845.

What people are more excited about is the upgraded camera. Multiple reports claim that the Note 9 will of course be sporting a better camera. This year’s S9 came with new features such as adjustable aperture, a super slo-mo video feature and multi-frame noise reduction.

It is very likely that the Galaxy Note 9 will also come with these, plus more. Are you excited?

 

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Siempo’s New App Will Stop Your Smartphone Addiction

Stop Your Smartphone Addiction With Siempo’s New App

A new app called Siempo can stop your addiction to your smartphone.  This app will un-addict you from your smartphone and its lots of attention stealing apps.  The startup, which launched a few weeks ago on Google, actually started as a hardware company.

 

From Hardware Startup To Software

How did Siempo started?  Andreas Gala and Jorge Selva, the original co-founders, began developing a minimalist feature phone device called Minium in 2015.  This is their response in today’s always-on culture.  But hardware designing from scratch is hard, so they shifted to making a mindful smartphone called Siempo.  They used existing handsets from China.

The following year, Siempo brought on Mayank Saxena (CTO), who previously ran data storage engineering apps at Net App.  And Andrew Dunn (now CEO), who was previousle number sixteen employee at Flexport.

“I struggled with smartphone and social media addiction as a teenager.  I had been working on a wearable to help people balance their relationship with tech”, explains Dunn.  And according to him, Mayank has grown increasingly concerned about raising balanced children in the digital age, even before he joined Flexport.

But the company did not reach its goal when it tried raising funds on Kickstarter in2017.  What the team underestimated was how difficult it is to convince people to switch smartphones.  People will be be asked to try a whole new type of mobile experience, and not just asking them to buy new hardware.

How Does Siempo Work

Siempo reverses some of the persuasive,  psychological addictive techniques that have been built in your phone software and mobile apps by developers.  These developers specifically designed their apps to increase our engagement, without fully understanding the consequences of their action.

The world is now starting to realize these mistakes.  These include the people who built the system in the first place.

Once installed, Siempo makes your homescreen a calmer interface.  It also leverages a number of design techniques to distance you from your distractions, including by unbranding app icons and turning them to greyscale.

The launcher also organizes apps where the distracting apps are further away on the third page.  The app has now been endorsed by the Center for Humane Technology as an example of humane design.

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US bans American Companies From Selling Components To ZTE

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that companies can no longer sell components to ZTE amidst allegations of dishonesty.

(Credit: CNET)

It seems that trade relations between the US and China in the teleco industry is not getting any better. After US companies cut ties with Huawei, ZTE now faces a similar issue.

The Chinese telecommunications giant has been denied of export privileges after the Commerce Department has imposed a ban on them. US companies can no longer sell any products or services for seven years to ZTE following a violation.

In March 2017, the China-based company pleaded guilty for illegally shipping US equipment to Iran and North Korea. In the plea agreement, it promised to pay $1.2 billion in penalties and take actions against the employees involved.

According to the Commerce Department, company officials lied about reprimanding the employees.

“Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement on their website. “This egregious behaviour cannot be ignored.”

The company was supposed to to fire four senior employees and discipline 35 others. However, the company only fired the four staffers but did not take any action against the others.

With the ban in place, Qualcomm and Dolby both of whom operate in the US, will no longer be able to supply the company.

 

Sony Xperia: New Teaser Video Hints Mysterious Phone at MWC

 

Rumors have it that Sony is likely to unveil a new Sony Xperia phone at the Mobile World Congress this month. This new speculation surfaced after Sony released a new teaser video.

 

Avid Sony users spotted the teaser video in a tweet posted by the official Xperia account. Details sourced from the video show that a hand and ripples cascading down. This hints  that a device will be announced come February 26.

 

Sony hints new Xperia phone to be unveiled at MWC

But gadget enthusiasts claim that Sony’s leaked and promotional videos indicate that Sony is expected to debut a new flagship at this year’s MWC. They have not named the new phone, but they are certain that it would be added to the Sony Xperia product lines.

 

Obviously, Sony is good at building a product anticipation. While most of the people are checking Samsung Galaxy s9, Nokia, among others. Previous years, the company had missed and hit regarding launching their devices in the competitive market.

 

One of Sony’s best strategy to keep a captured market is to cast a wide net. By doing so, they would be able to know who among the customers are taking a bait. Hence, Sony is launching several devices and eventually know what device is doing well.

 

Having said that, what we know so far is that Sony would likely announce a new Sony Xperia XZ2at the MW. And as expected, the company’s new flagship would have powerful features.

Why Do Our Smartphones Slow Down Over Time?

It is acknowledged and we are very much aware that gadgets slow down due to old age. But the questions is, why? What is the reason that they keep on slowing down?

Why do gadgets slow down over time?

Let’s face it. Our laptops and smartphones don’t have the same “spring” from the first time that they were first taken out of the box.

So we might be thinking — what are the reason for this kind of slowing down?

Gadget slowdowns aren’t typically just the result of one cause but rather several contributing factors working together.

Both hardware and software can suffer, which is why a complete reset won’t necessarily solve all your speed issues.

Every time Apple, Microsoft, or Google push out a new OS update, it typically includes more powerful features and more powerful apps. At the same time, older and less efficient code can get overlooked and left behind.

Because of this, the gadget needs more power to keep up with the recent updates made.

It’s the same story with third-party apps too, as developers update their code to take advantage of newer hardware and tack on additional features—an extra instant messaging component here, a new AR filter there—while your hardware remains unchanged.

Before you level all the blame at software developers, you’re contributing to this yourself too. As you use phone apps and desktop applications, you add to their complexity with your user data, your settings preferences, your saved files, and so on.