AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Unpacked 2019: Hands-on with new Galaxy S10 and accessories

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Feb 2019 20:11

Unpacked 2019: Hands-on with new Galaxy S10 and accessories Samsung held its yearly Unpacked event this time around in San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. A new city and a new venue for Unpacked brought out some new approaches to press events of this sort.

Samsung started with a bang by unveiling Galaxy Fold, or Galaxy F as we knew it previously. However, it was never to be seen after the keynote when we got to try out the new Galaxy devices. Neither were Galaxy Fit, an affordable (one can presume even without price details) fitness tracker, or perhaps the most anticipated Galaxy device, the 5G version of Galaxy S10.

What we did get to handle weren't all that bad either. So let's go through our first feelings after the initial hands-on.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple to release new 16 inch MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Display

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Feb 2019 9:14

Apple to release new 16 inch MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Display Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is known for his iPhone analysis, which we told you about yesterday. However, the man has some insight on other devices as well, some of which we haven't seen in years.

According to the KGI Securities analyst, Apple is finally going to release and update to highly-anticipated Mac Pro, The Verge reports. The modular trash can Mac Pro (pictured), originally from 12 years ago and revamped in 2013, is going get new hardware and updated design.

To compliment the PC-like hardware of Mac Pro, Apple is supposedly introducing a new monitor as well. It's not certain if Apple will revive the Cinema Display brand, but it's said to be 31.6 inch display with 6K resolution.

Ming-Chi also expects new MacBook Pro models, which were last updated over two years ago. Perhaps a little surprisingly Apple is going to bring back larger MacBook Pros with 16 or 16.5 inch display.

It's been a while since Apple has supported such a large notebook. You might remember the 17-inch MacBook Pro that was sold between 2006 and 2012.

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AfterDawn: News

Death of Blu-ray is imminent – Samsung no longer introducing new players

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2019 11:42

Death of Blu-ray is imminent – Samsung no longer introducing new players You still remember the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD? Well, you probably remember, or realize, that Sony-backed Blu-ray won that battle.

Thus, ever after early 2008, Blu-ray was the de facto disc format for high-definition video. However, discs never really managed to fight off the beast that is Netflix.

For years we've seen the decline of physical media, and Blu-ray was certainly not an exception. Even though movie studios started supporting 4K Blu-rays in late 2015 and tech companies introduced Ultra HD players in the first half of 2016, it seemed inevitable that Blu-ray would die off soon.

One of the killing blows to Blu-ray was when Sony, the company behind the brand, decided to not support Ultra HD Blu-ray in their newest PS4 Pro gaming console.

Now the demise seems to be closer than ever with Samsung stopping the production of 4K Blu-ray players. In fact, Samsung isn't going to bring any new Blu-ray players to the U.S. market, CNET reports.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple analyst reveals his take on this year's new iPhone features

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2019 11:27

Apple analyst reveals his take on this year's new iPhone features There's one man above others when it comes to analysis about future iPhones. Every year it seems to be KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from Taiwan to whom we turn to about upcoming iPhone models.

This year is no different, as he has given his take on what the 2019 iPhone will feature. On the basis of previous guesses, we should take these fairly seriously.

Since last years iPad Pro was revealed to be the first USB-C iOS device, one of the main feature changes for this year's iPhone has been rumored to be the charging connector.

According to our main man Ming-Chi Kuo, though, it is not going to happen. Apple will hold on to at least 2020 before introducing an iPhone with USB-C charging.

There also won't be changes to models in terms of display sizes or technologies, and Apple is looking to stick with three different models. This means there's going to be a cheaper LCD option and two sizes in more expensive OLED screened iPhones.

One thing Apple intends to upgrade is the Face ID camera. In addition to better facial recognition there's also going to be new bigger batteries, frosted glass backs, indoor navigation with a new radio sensor as well as bilateral charging, which allows you to charge other devices (like the AirPods) with the iPhone.

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AfterDawn: News

How to transfer all the important data from an old Android to a new one

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Feb 2019 13:06

How to transfer all the important data from an old Android to a new one The world is filled with Android devices. While Apple might be king of high-end smartphones, Google's operating system has conquered the world in numbers.

This also means that it is cheaper to replace Android phone with a new one, especially if you don't use the most expensive Google or Samsung phones.

In the cheaper phones, however, also the limited amount of storage capacity often becomes a reason for upgrade. That's why it's important to know how to easily transfer your data from an Android phone to a new one.

So let's get into it.

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AfterDawn: News

JP Morgan releasing their own cryptocurrency

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Feb 2019 12:06

JP Morgan releasing their own cryptocurrency Cryptocurrencies were the hottest trend in 2017 as Bitcoin was climbing at an unforeseen pace. While last year was horrible for Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, the blockchain technology is still seen by many as the future of currency, and perhaps even the internet as a whole.

Even traditional financial sector is recognizing the possibilities blockchain and its distributed ledger. One of the largest banks in the U.S., JP Morgan Chase, has now revealed that it has a cryptocurrency of its own.

This is the first time a major U.S. bank has introduced a digital blockchain currency.

JP Morgan's coin, incidentally called the JPM Coin, isn't going to be shared publicly like the Bitcoin, however. While their crypto is still in the early stages of testing, we already know that it's only meant for transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business, CNBC reports.

The actual testing will commence in a few months and a small portion of the wholesale payments will be done with the new blockchain currency. The currency is used as a digital token to pay customers. The token can be created instantly, which is its core strength against traditional currency.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft has started testing next year's massive Windows update

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Feb 2019 11:43

Microsoft has started testing next year's massive Windows update Microsoft tends to release a couple important updates a year to Windows 10. However, software giant has already started testing a significant update due next year.

The next major update is the codename 1H19 which, as you might guess, should land sometime the first half of the year, possibly in April. There's probably going to be another update later in the year, but Microsoft is already looking at 2020 in the Windows Insider program.

The beta testers within the Windows Insider program can join a Skip Ahead group, which updates their operating systems straight to 2020. Apparently the 1H20 update is going to require more comprehensive testing than the usual biannual updates.

There's no word on why this is the case, and what the big new features are. Rumors have it that Microsoft is changing the system from the very foundation, which would explain the heavy handed testing.

Testing for the second update of 2019, or 2H19, hasn't yet started, so we don't even know how that is going to change the game. 1H19 update, however, should include things like separating Cortana and search, and a new lighter colored theme.





AfterDawn: News

Review: Sony WH-1000XM3, Worth the Hype?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Feb 2019 11:07

Review: Sony WH-1000XM3, Worth the Hype? Over the past few months, Sony's newest set of wireless active noise canceling headphones have gotten a lot of press and good reviews. The WH-1000X series has reached its third version, Mark 3. This WH-1000XM3 has been crowned the new ANC king by some reviewers and influencers alike.

Sony promises a fairly diverse set of features with the WH-1000XM3, which should prove them one of the more versatile headphones around. There should be top notch noise cancellation, support for passive use, quality design, a multifunctional smartphone app, and amazing sound.

So, of course, we had to try out these things ourselves, and see if the hype is really real.

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AfterDawn: News

Flickr had to delay their new free tier limitation

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Feb 2019 13:19

Flickr had to delay their new free tier limitation One of the more popular image hosting services over the years, Flickr, has decided to move towards more restrictive policy.

Perhaps they realized there's no fighting against Google and its unlimited storage on Google Photos. Flickr's new free tier only allows 1000 photos, and they are going to enforce it retroactively.

This means that people with more than 1000 photos on their free accounts will lose portion of their photos if they don't take action. The last date to backup your Flickr library was February 5, but now they've had to push it back.

After an uproar by users, Flickr has informed that a new deadline has been set. Since some people argued that they weren't able to save their photos before Tuesday, Flickr moved the date to March 12.

The new policy was implemented after Verizon sold Flickr to SmugMug. Previously Flickr offered one terabyte of storage for free.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft reveals: Build 2019 to clash with Google I/O

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Feb 2019 13:04

Microsoft reveals: Build 2019 to clash with Google I/O Microsoft has announced their next Build conference. This years Build will be held in Seattle between May 6 and 8, ZDNET reports.

Coincidentally it happens to clash with another developer conference, namely Google I/O. Google I/O is held in Mountain View, CA from May 7 to 9.

While it's possible to pay attention to both keynotes, they are a day apart after all, it's going to be hard for developers, or even press, to attend both conferences.

Both will surely attract their own crowd to their respective hometowns, but would seem like Google has the advantage having set the date before Microsoft.

Build 2019 will surely bring information about upcoming Windows 10 versions as well lots of developer specific updates. There's no word on whether Microsoft is readying any hardware launches for May.

In fact not much is known about the agenda altogether.

Build is not traditionally the place Microsoft launches consumer products, but things like a new HoloLens could be unveiled.

We'll be keeping a close eye on both Build 2019 as well as Google I/O, of course.





AfterDawn: News

Apple's new privacy settings at odds with web VR

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Feb 2019 14:51

Apple's new privacy settings at odds with web VR Apple is about to release a new version of its mobile operating system iOS. It's going to add some hotly anticipated features, including a new version of Safari, but there might be some problems with the improvements to the browser.

The Verge reports that Safari's new Motion and Orientation Access setting is going to be off by default. This should improve privacy and security, but also might be consequential to online VR and AR apps.

The setting, previously on by default, allows websites to get information from device's accelerometer and other sensors to determine position and motion.

Many of the VR and AR web apps use this information to function. Many of the developers of such software have expressed their concern, Digiday reports.

At this point it's unclear whether the user has to enable the setting by hand from the settings for it to function at all, but it is likelier that the website can ask the user to enable it in a popup just like location information.

After the backlash from developers, and adverse effects to likes of Sony's First Man website and the Samsung Within ad campaign, perhaps Apple is making it easy to enable.

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AfterDawn: News

Spotify releases new subscriber figures, confirms two podcast acquisitions

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Feb 2019 11:36

Spotify releases new subscriber figures, confirms two podcast acquisitions Spotify has released their fourth quarter results today, and furthermore announced two acquisitions in the podcast space.

The world's largest streaming music service has been looking for new ways to acquire listeners and paying customers at that, and podcasts are perhaps the most important avenue.

In October Spotify introduced new tools for podcasters, and just last week we reported on rumors that Spotify was going to acquire podcast producer Gimlet Media.

Now the company has confirmed the acquisition as well as the upcoming acquisition of another podcast company, Anchor.

While Gimlet will produce podcasts, like Reply All and StartUp, for Spotify (and others), Anchor will provide tools for podcasters. Anchor's expertise is in podcast creation, publishing, and monetization services.

Spotify did not reveal the details of either of the deals, but they did say the acquisitions should be finalized before the end of the quarter.

The company also revealed new financial and subscriber figures as a part of the quarterly results. Spotify managed to grow the Premium subscriber base another 11% to 97 million. Total monthly listeners including ad-supported users totaled 207 million.

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook adds unsend feature to Messenger

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Feb 2019 10:16

Facebook adds unsend feature to Messenger Year and a half ago WhatsApp, the world's most popular messaging platform, added a feature called Unsend to its apps. Now Facebook has taken the feature and copied it to the world's second largest messaging platform, Messenger.

Unsend of course means that the app will remove the message that you've sent. However, there are limitations of course.

Unsending a message works only for 10 minutes after you've composed and sent the message. If you delete the message before the 10 minutes expire, it will be removed from both you and the recipient.

Just like on WhatsApp, the recipient won't see the message but there will be a placeholder saying a message was deleted.

Facebook has revealed previously that it is trying to integrate much of WhatsApp's and Messenger's background functions. They deny that the services are meant to be entirely integrated, though.

To Unsend a message you long press the message and select "Remove for Everyone". The feature has been made available to both Android and iOS users.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook's next Oculus VR headset is Rift S?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Feb 2019 10:04

Facebook's next Oculus VR headset is Rift S? The pioneer of modern VR hardware, Oculus, is readying a launch of a new headset, rumors suggest. According to UploadVR it will be likely called the Rift S.

The company lead by id Software co-founder John Carmack and Facebook's VR boss Hugo Barra is fairly close to releasing the next-generation Rift-headset, if rumors hold true.

There's some new information in addition to the fairly unimaginative name. According to the source, Rift S will integrate new environment sensing cameras. This would mean that there's no longer necessity for an external camera, and in that respect Rift S could function like Oculus Go and Oculus Quest.

It likely won't be a standalone device, however, like the aforementioned duo. Rift S, like its predecessor, is meant for PC gaming where the PC rig does all the hard work.

It won't be wireless either which will limit the movement possibilities as you are tethered to the computer. On the counterbalance you'll have much more impressive graphics, likely in both resolutions and all-important refresh rate.

There's still no official word from Oculus about new products, but they have promised an exciting year to The Verge.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple rewarding the teen that found critical FaceTime bug

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Feb 2019 17:51

Apple rewarding the teen that found critical FaceTime bug One of the worst bugs in living memory was found just last week in Apple's video chat platform, FaceTime.

The bug allowed a severe privacy breach with a simple trick available to anyone, and allowed people to eavesdrop on your iOS device or even Mac computer without them knowing.

Fortunately Apple acted quickly and removed the feature temporarily and has promised a fix in the coming days with a software update.

Now Apple has also decided to reward the person that found the bug in the first place. It happens to be a 14 year old teen Grant Thompson, who might be getting a check soon.

Thompson's mother tried to inform Apple about the bug in different ways but it was only after media started reporting on the serious problem that Apple took notice.

Afterwards Apple boss flew personally to thank Thompsons and ask for advice how to make the reporting process better. He also revealed that they would probably be receiving a reward for their efforts.

Reporting a software bug to Apple has previously resulted in rewards between $25,000 and $200,000. It's not yet known how much Grant Thompson is going to receive, but if severity of the issue has anything to do with it, then give the boy $200k.

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