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Apple opens all US stores for the first time since COVID-19 pandemic began

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2021 11:47

Apple opens all US stores for the first time since COVID-19 pandemic began Apple Inc has opened all of its 270 US-based stores for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Over the past year, Apple has been cautious and reactive in the operation of its stores in the United States. In order to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the iPhone maker has not had all of its U.S. stores open at any time.

Instead, Apple has relied on local information and public health policies. In some cases, Apple has decided to shut stores even when it is technically permitted to keep them operating under local health policies.

It also took other measures such as its Express format, which allowed it to sell some items outside the store at sales counters protected by plexiglass.

With the recent opening of several stores in Texas, Apple now has all of its stores opened although some may still have limitations, such as a requirement to make appointments for in-store shopping.

AfterDawn: News

COVID-19: Twitter will punish users for vaccine misinformation

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2021 11:37

COVID-19: Twitter will punish users for vaccine misinformation Twitter has detailed how it will target users for misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out around the world and central to most government's plans to curb their viral epidemics. With such large numbers of inoculations required to make an impact, it is not surprising there is a lot of confusion and questions about the new vaccines on offer.

Nowadays social media platforms will fill a void with information of varying quality and accuracy. The question of how to balance the rights of users to share information freely and protect against the spread of misinformation has been around long before the COVID-19, but the pandemic has focused attention on the problem.

Social media firms have already punished users for what they deemed to be misinformation regarding the pandemic itself. Since introducing its COVID-19 guidance, Twitter has removed around 8,400 tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts.

Following Facebook and others, Twitter is now taking aim at COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on its platform. It will target infringing content with labels, strikes, suspensions, and permanent bans.

A tweet that is deemed to be spreading misinformation will be labeled in much the same way Twitter labeled tweets in the aftermath of the 2020 US President Elections. Tweets subjected to the label cannot be re-tweeted by others (but can be quote-tweeted) and will contain a link to authoritative information on vaccines.


AfterDawn: News

Fix the error: "AMD: The system has detected a link failure"

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Mar 2021 6:11

Fix the error: "AMD: The system has detected a link failure" One of the dreaded error messages with no apparent logical reason must be the AMD graphics adapters error about problematic signal.

The error message reads exactly like this: System has detected a link failure and cannot set the requested resolution.

We hit the same problem recently and had to investigate the problem bit further. Down the line, it is about DisplayPort connection from PC to monitor that causes this error message. More specifically, error relates to DisplayPort 1.2 connection.

We found out three different ways to debug and possibly solve the problem.

Power off your display completely

In most such cases, thhe right way to solve thhe issue is to unplug your monitor entirely. Remove its DisplayPort cable, its power cable and let it cool down a little bit. Then plug everything back and see if this helped. For most cases, this solved the problem.

Check your monitor cable connections

This is kinda no-brainer, but do it anyways. Check that the monitor cable is connected properly to both, PC and display itself.

Switch off DisplayPort 1.2 support from your display

Some displays allow you to switch off DP 1.2 support from its menu. This downgrades the display to use previous DisplayPort methods, but wont hinder the picture quality at all. Check your monitor's manual if this is possible - and test it.


AfterDawn: News

Fix it: Website wont load with first try on Android's Chrome?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Mar 2021 5:49

Fix it: Website wont load with first try on Android's Chrome? Several people have complained during the past few weeks about an issue with Android phones and Google Chrome browser about weird hiccup.

The problem is this: When entering an address or a search term to Chrome's address bar, blank page appears, but nothing gets loaded. This might happen once, twice or three times, but after repeated tries, the search results or the page requested finally loads.

We have witnessed this behavious happening with several relatively recent phones, most notably, with two OnePlus Nord models with latest Chrome installed, running with Android 11.

After tweaking with settings, at first, nothing helped. The problem hasn't been related to the network used, as it happened whether we used mobile network or various WiFi networks.

However, we found a way to isolate the problem and to fix it. Here's how:

1. Open Chrome

2. Go to Chrome settings

Tap three dots in top-right corner of Chrome


AfterDawn: News

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Mar 2021 5:10

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it? Android 11 was released in September, 2020. Only handful of phones in fall of 2020 were actually released with Android 11 operating system, but the list of phones announced that will get the update has grown significantly over the months.

In this list, we try to keep track of all promised, rumored and confirmed Android 11 updates to all major manufacturer phones. Some of the list is based on -Google's own list, some of the list is based on manufacturer's own announcements.

It should be remembered that even when specific phone model is promised to have an Android 11 update, it doesn't necessarily mean that your phone will get it. The models promised to get the update include typically only unlocked phones, not those customized to specific operator - it is up to operators to decide whether their custom models will get the said update or not.

Android 11 has already arrived or has been promised to arrive to these phone models:

Google phones

  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4a

All the mentioned Google phones can already get the official Android 11 update.


OTA (over-the-air) updates already available:
  • Galaxy S20
  • Galaxy S20+
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Galaxy S20 FE
  • Galaxy Z Flip
  • Galaxy Note 20
  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Note 10
  • Galaxy Note 10+
  • Galaxy S10 Lite
  • Galaxy S10
  • Galaxy S10+
  • Galaxy S10e
  • Galaxy Fold
  • Galaxy Z Fold2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 (OTA rolled out in Europe: 5th of Feb, 2021)
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
  • Samsung Galaxy M21
  • Samsung Galaxy M31s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

March 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70

April 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s
  • Samsung Galaxy A80
  • Samsung Galaxy M51

May 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • Samsung Galaxy A71
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

June 2021:
  • Samasung Galaxy M40
  • Samsung Galaxy A31
  • Samsung Galaxy M11
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
  • Samsung Galaxy M01
  • Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020 model)

July 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A30
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

August 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A10
  • Samsung Galaxy A10s
  • Samsung Galaxy A20
  • Samsung Galaxy A20s
  • Samsung Galaxy A30s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019 model)

September 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy M10s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019 model)


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus Nord gets Android 11 update

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Mar 2021 5:08

OnePlus Nord gets Android 11 update OnePlus's entry to the mid-priced phones, OnePlus Nord, released back in summer 2020, finally gets its Android 11 update.

The Android 11 update, bundled with OnePlus's own Oxcygen OS 11, started rolling out through OTA update in several countries today. Thhe update brings Android 11 to the first Nord series phone of OnePlus.

The update is a whopping 2910 megabytes in size and should appear through System menu in Settings, if the phone itself hasn't informed about the available update yet.

Updater package also includes Google's latest security patches to Android, released on 1st of February, 2021.

Full changelog:


  • Update to Android 11 version
  • The brand new UI design brings you a more comfortable experience with various optimizations of details
  • Optimized the stability of some third-party apps and improved experience

Ambient Display
  • Newly added Insight clock style, a joint creation with Parsons School of Design. It will change according to the phone usage data (Go to: Settings – Customization – Clock on ambient display)
  • Newly added the Canvas always-on display, which can extract the subject's outline from any photo and display it on your lock screen (Go to: Settings – Customization – Wallpaper – Canvas – Choose photo preview and it can be generated automatically)

Dark Mode
  • Added the shortcut key for Dark Mode, pull down the quick setting to enable.
  • Now supporting automatically turn on feature & customize time range. (Go to: Settings – Display – Dark Mode – Turn on automatically – Automatically enable from sunset to sunrise / Custom time range)

  • Brand new shelf UI
  • Newly added a weather widget with smarter animation effect

  • Newly added the Story feature, which can automatically create the weekly stories by using your local photos and videos
  • Optimized the loading speed to improve the image preview experience


AfterDawn: News

Neato model comparison chart (2021) - D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, ..

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 26 Feb 2021 5:23

Neato model comparison chart (2021) - D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, .. Neato is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of robotic vacuums. Company was founded back in 2005 and is based in California, United States. Company products are mostly manufactured in China, but designed in the U.S.

Back in 2017 Neato was sold to a German Vorwerk, but continues to operate as an independent company, despite being fully-owned by Vorwerk. Neato's current product line consists several different robot vacuum models and it is quite confusing to know what is the difference between each model.

In this article we try to clarify how different Neato models differ from each other. And also to shine light to some oddities in product names found globally with Neato's products. We have reviewed and tested most current Neato models, so this analysis is based on tech specs and our own review findings.

  1. Similarities
  2. Difference with Neato filters
  3. WiFi frequency
  4. Sidebrush
  5. Boundary markers
  6. Turbo / Eco mode
  7. Main brushes
  8. Battery life differences
  9. Number of floorplans supported
  10. Zone cleaning
  11. Price
  12. Neato D3 vs Neato D4
  13. Neato D4 vs Neato D5
  14. Neato D5 vs Neato D6
  15. Neato D6 vs Neato D7
  16. Neato Plus models (Neato D4+, etc)
  17. Comparison chart of Neato models
  18. More to read


AfterDawn: News

Amazon Music available for Android TV, Google TV

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Feb 2021 1:48

Amazon Music available for Android TV, Google TV Users of Android TV and Google TV set-top devices can use Amazon Music properly from today.

Amazon Music is now available for set-top boxes and other devices running Android TV or Google TV from today with the release of an updated app. Until now, Amazon Music on Android TV has been restricted to the Nvidia Shield TV, while more limited casting could be performed from Android mobile devices.

For now, the rollout of the app is limited to the U.S., U.K., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Japan, and Australia. It is available for both premium and free users. Premium users have full ad-free access to their library, similar to rivals like Spotify.

Users with no premium account can access ad-supported playlists and radio stations.

You can get the Amazon Music app for Android TV and Google TV from the Play Store.

AfterDawn: News

Pokemon Go cheaters get warnings, permanent bans

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Feb 2021 1:35

Pokemon Go cheaters get warnings, permanent bans Niantic has targeted more than five million players identified by its anti-cheat system, some of whom have received permanent bans.

The developer has provided details on actions it has taken against players of Pokemon Go, Ingress, and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. In total, more than five million have been targeted since last year, and of them, around 20 percent have been banned permanently for persistent offenses.

"More than 90% of users who received their first warning, stopped cheating afterward. This is quite encouraging for us, as we continue to find the right balance between punishing casual cheaters versus the more egregious ones," the developer wrote on a blog.

"We are committed to ensuring fair gameplay across our game portfolio. Every day newer forms of cheating or spoofing tools are made available on the internet, and we are continuously working to combat these cheaters and focus on improving our detection and enforcement; as they have no place in our games."

Niantic has also reminded players only to download the official versions of its games from Google Play, the Apple App Store, and Samsung Galaxy Store. Furthermore, it stresses that jailbroken and rooted devices are unsupported.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung brings four years of Android security updates to most of its Galaxy phones

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 23 Feb 2021 7:22

Samsung brings four years of Android security updates to most of its Galaxy phones Samsung used to be the pariah of Android world for many years, as it was reluctant to deliver Android updates to even its relatively recent phone models. Since last year, company has improved dramatically - and now pushes the envelope even further.

This week, Samsung announced that most of its Android phones and tables will receive Android security updates for four years after their initial release. This, coupled to the fact that Samsung made a huge change to its Android major update policy last fall, will make the Korean manufacturer much more competitive in Android world.

Furthermore, Samsung promises to deliver four years worth of security updates to even select models from 2019. Company previously had promised only two years of security updates, even for its most expensive phones.

To summarize Samsung's new Android update and security patch policy:

  • Galaxy S series, Galaxy Fold series, Galaxy Tab S series, Galaxy A series and Galaxy Note series will get three major Android operating system updates during their lifetime. This means, for example, that Samsung Galaxy S20, which launched with Android 10, will get Android 11, Android 12 and Android 13 updates.
  • Most of the Samsung's mid-priced and high-end phones will get four years of Android security patches. These include Galaxy S series, Galaxy Fold series, Galaxy Tab S series, Galaxy A series, Galaxy M series, Galaxy Xcover series, Galaxy Tab A series and Galaxy Note series. Only the low-end phones will be excluded.
  • High-end phones will get security patches monthly, while mid-priced phones will get quarterly patches.

Samsung is obviously hoping that long support time and fast Android updates will benefit its marketing - and they probably will. As of now, Samsung is doing pretty well in our Android 11 update tracker.

AfterDawn: News

Xbox Series X/S will run older Xbox games more smoothly, thanks to FPS Boost

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 18 Feb 2021 5:27

Xbox Series X/S will run older Xbox games more smoothly, thanks to FPS Boost Microsoft announced that it will release a new feature for its new console that will probably make gamers quite happy.

The new Xbox Series X|S console will run select Xbox One titles more smoothly that Xbox One was ever capable of. The new feature, dubbed as FPS Boost will do the magic here.

FPS Boost will improve game smoothness by increasing significantly the frames per second the console outputs to the TV. For most FPS Boost enabled titles the increase will be double, but for some titles, the framerate will increase by 4x, when compared to Xbox One.

Obviously, such feature is most sought-after for first-person shooters and other heavy, graphic quick action games. This is highlighted by the list of titles that will get the FPS Boost first: ar Cry 4, New Super Lucky's Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2.

FPS Boost, visible in game info

Microsoft plans to bring FPS Boost to more games over the spring. Each game that will get the feature will have an option within game's settings to turn on the FPS Boost feature. If it is in use, the info will also be shown on game screen when game is paused.


AfterDawn: News

First time in decades: Windows market share drops below 80 percent

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 16 Feb 2021 6:51

First time in decades: Windows market share drops below 80 percent Many of the younger generation can't even figure when was the last time that Microsoft Windows wasn't the de facto home computer operating system. Since the launch of Windows 95 26 years ago, Windows has dominated the desktop OS game without any real challengers.

Many remember the early 2000s when there was hope that one day Linux might truly challenge Windows on desktops. Didn't happen. Only Apple's macOS has managed to carve some kind of market share - and even that is mostly in United States and handful of other countries.

However, things have changed - quite dramatically - over the last few years: Chromebooks have finally managed to create a viable alternative to Windows dominance. Sure, that is mostly in budget-friendly laptops, but it is still a feat that no one else has managed to do in decades.

Recent statistics from TrendForce claim that in year 2020, Windows market share in notebook computers dropped below 80 percent, first time since mid 1990s. TrendForce also expects the slide to continue in 2021, with Windows marketshare slipping to 70 - 75 percent.


AfterDawn: News

Roomba update messes up robovac's navigation completely

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 28 Jan 2021 3:03

Roomba update messes up robovac's navigation completely In past few weeks, the most expensive Roomba models got a new firmware update - and it messed up the robots pretty badly.

All over the discussion forums and other venues, angry Roomba owners are complaining about the recent 3.12.8 software update that has rendered their expensive robot vacuums almost useless.

The update seems to somehow change the way how Roombas navigate and apparently, the update wasn't tested all that well. Problems caused by the update vary from Roomba not being able to find its charging dock to the extend where Roomba simply gets confused in opeen area and starts doing circles until its battery runs out.

Time lapse video of i7+ attempting to return to clean base after 3.12.8 update. After over 15 minutes of this, the roomba stopped due to low battery, failing to dock. from r/roomba

Problems are related to Roomba s9, Roomba s9+, Roomba i7, Roomba i7+, Roomba i6 and Roomba i8+ models - the very top-of-the-line of Roomba models (see our Roomba model comparison chart here). Also, the high-end floor mopping robot, Braava m6 is affected by this update.


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus founder's new tech company is called Nothing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Jan 2021 11:04

OnePlus founder's new tech company is called Nothing Carl Pei founded the smartphone company OnePlus alongside Pete Lau in 2013, and it gained immediate traction with the affordable "flagship killers."

The company has since evolved from a start-up into a proper smartphone manufacturer that has offerings in nearly every price point. The change accelerated especially recently, and might have been either a result of Pei leaving the company or resulted from it.

Nevetheless, Carl Pei left OnePlus in October last year, and informed that he was looking forward to new adventures. Today, Pei announced a new company he has founded.

Nothing, is a London-based consumer technology company that has attracted very influential investors, including iPod inventor Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, YouTuber Casey Neistat, and iPod inventor Tony Fadell.

So far there's no clear cut picture of what Nothing will release but they've promised one of their smart devices in the first half of the year, and more is to come.

Pei aims to release devices in difference categories and create eventually an ecosystem of devices.

When it comes to the name there are a few things Pei and co. have to say about it. Firstly they want to build devices from ground up, so much so that when they try to reach further, there's nothing.


AfterDawn: News

Mozilla releases Firefox 85 to combat supercookies and more

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Jan 2021 12:33

Mozilla releases Firefox 85 to combat supercookies and more Mozilla has announced today officially the release of the latest and greatest Firefox browser. There are a lot of updates to the browser but Firefox has made this one mostly about cracking down on supercookies and other user tracking.

According to Mozilla, the so-called supercookies, a more pernicious version of the rather mundane tracking method, are one of the greatest threats on the web for user privacy and security. The new version of Firefox combats this by disallowing cross-site tracking using partitioning.

The company has released an entire blog post about the new, and upcoming, measures to prevent the extensive tracking we experience on the web these days.

There are other changes too, though. Firefox 85 now finally removes Flash entirely and there's no longer an option to enable it. There also improved bookmark views with easy access to your bookmarks via a toolbar folder and bookmarks by default on newly opened tabs.

Another addition is the one click removal of all saved logins from the password manager that helps you clean your passwords faster.

More about the new Firefox 85 can be found in the official release notes. You can download the new Firefox 85 here.

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