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Android TV Receives a Huge UI Overhaul

Android TV Receives a Huge UI Overhaul


Announced during Google’s 2017 I/O they are bringing a big over haul to the UI for the Android TV experience. This was a highly anticipated interface makeover. Android TV is based in the living room as an entertainment platform that streams all sorts of multimedia including Youtube, Netflix, NBC, and various others.

Google is essentially updating the UI to become a lot more familiar to original TV viewers. An Android TV application is able to publish multiple channels which can be represented as rows of programs on the screen. Content is organized by relevance and users can fine tune what content suggestions show up on the home screen. To engage the viewers, a video preview can be shown when highlighting your selection. Therefore, themes and shows are arranged in a way that keeps things relevant for the viewers.

There is a quick launch bar at the top of the home screen interface which includes things like favorite apps and the “Watch Next channel”. Beneath all the programs are showcased based on viewing patterns and options set. Overtime the programs should be a lot more fine tuned towards you than anyone else.

A new inclusion to the Android  TV ecosystem is Google Assistant. Just like you can with your Android smartphone, viewers will be able to command Google Assistant to run shows, launch apps, and control your Android TV experience.


Instagram is Betting on becoming Your next Messaging App

Instagram is Betting on becoming Your next Messaging App


Instagram is beefing up their Direct messages function in their apps. They’ve added the ability to add landscape and portrait photos in addition to link sharing. Instagram has come a long way since their growth began 5 years ago. On the surface adding these updates to Direct messages is not all the exciting but this is an interesting move to enhance Instagram Direct. User’s may find using the Portrait and Landscape photo’s in Direct to be rather useful and is expected to be used more often. The Link functionality itself is pretty diverse in its reach. It supports phone numbers, direct links, and links that lead you to other social apps such as Twitter.

Instagram has made it possible to stay within Instagram Direct and still view and share all information and sites when users click on links (which opens up an internal browser within Instagram).

Instagram is staying ahead by offering functional updates that users want and it is truly evolving. iPhones will receive the updates first then Android at a later date even though Links are already available in the latest Android app updates.



OnePlus 3T Being Discontinued for the OnePlus 5!

OnePlus 3T Being Discontinued for the OnePlus 5!


As time quickly passes by we know that the OnePlus 3T is slowly being phased out in preparation for the OnePlus 5. The company has announced that the OnePlus 3T has reached the end of its production life and will be on sale until out of stock.


The OnePlus 3T was launched last year in the month of November which was well received by critics and users alike. It was the cheaper alternative to high end flagship phone’s that still boasted the same high end specs as well. OnePlus has promised to continue to provide software updates and support to the OnePlus 3 and 3T for some time.

People who are looking to purchase the OnePlus 3T will be looking at a last call basis of ordering before stock runs out.

OnePlus is not as large as Samsung or Apple, thus as a small company it simply want’s to focus all of it’s available resources in manufacturing the OnePlus 5.

The OnePlus 5 is coming in June.


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Samsung DeX Review (In Depth!)

Samsung DeX Review (In Depth!)


We all know that computing processes are getting smaller and smaller. Chipsets either retain or improve in performance yet become physically smaller so it it shouldn’t be a big surprise that we are now approaching a new future where our desktop experiences come from our own smartphones. The Samsung DeX offer’s an alternative way of experiencing your S8 or S8+. It doesn’t feel like a gimmick.

Is DeX useful?


After a few weeks of usage we finally have a better idea of this accessory for your S8+. DeX is more of an expanded function available on your smartphone than it is a replacement for a full windows desktop workstation.

The DeX costs about 150$ and is a simple dock where you drop in your S8 or S8+ into. You will need an external monitor that hooks up to the HDMI out port along with a mouse and keyboard that can connect to the two full-size USB ports. There is also an ethernet jack. The USB port is high quality and works instantaneously with mice and keyboard so no worries there. To connect bluetooth headsets and peripheral’s just connect to the S8+ directly for the best experience.

The USB port is not compatible with everything though. For example, the DeX dock does not work with various webcams that we tried and USB microphone’s did not register with DeX either. Card readers and flash drives are supported and you will have no issues there.

Remember to pack your power cable


DeX need’s it’s own dedicated charging cable while on the move. It is possible to use the TV’s available in hotel rooms with your DeX platform but if it does not have a TV, well, you’re out of luck. Remember to always pack the necessary accessories if you travel with DeX.

Samsung DeX does not have an apparent way to let you use the headphone jack. The s8+’s head phone jack is found at the bottom of the phone which is blocked by the dock itself. The only option would be to utilize bluetooth enabled speakers.

DeX Introduces a New Desktop Interface


The interface consists of something that many could expect, menu systems, an app drawer, a task bar (equivalent to the status bar found on Android), and the app windows opened can be moved around just like you can on Windows PC’s. The only time’s we could not move the window’s is when the application is designed to work for mobile environment’s only. A marker is shown sometimes which signals you to know whether or not a landscape mode is available.

The operating system integrated into DeX is quite impressive. There aren’t as many issues when using DeX as one would encounter on the still growing Chromebook market. The Chrome browser works beautifully enabling us to connect to our wordpress sites and write up documentations. RAW photo edits were done easily via Samsung Gallery’s photo app. It is important to remember that all of this is still running on your S8+. In all these respects, we absolutely love the UI experience.

Not everything is perfect

There are limitations found on the DeX desktop experience. For example, touch heavy games will not work well with your set up and web apps such as Spotify cannot even function. Also, opening up too many tabs in your browsers and apps will bring up a low memory warning on screen. It is not wise to open two Chrome browsers at the same time.

Drag and drop functionality is non existent yet between folder’s. Certain apps also do not register mouse pointers at all. It will require constant usage for user’s to find a proper way of utilizing DeX.

Whats Supported?


Currently, there are only 16 applications which support Samsung DeX. Adobe products are supported, and so are Microsoft suites. Skype will work great as well as with remote desktop controlling apps and VPN clients. Apps that aren’t optimized for the DeX UI will immediately realize that these app’s don’t understand the whole DeX environment and will not play nice.

Is Samsung DeX worth it?

As with anything, it is always suggested to weigh the pros and cons for your given circumstances. Why do you need this? What does it offer that you can utilize efficiently and make it worth the cost and effort? As stated in this article there is only as tiny amount of apps that really take advantage of DeX. If you are looking for a full fledged desktop experience like that of Mac OSX or Windows, we suggest you just save the headache and buy a laptop. However, if you are part of the crowd who would simply like one for the experience because it is an interesting accessory that is available for your expensive smart phone, by all means get it as it could give you a fun toy to play with for a little bit.

After a while it could be a pain to constantly set up your TV, monitor, mouse, keyboard, and phone if you travel a lot. A laptop would win in these cases most of the time. However, we view the DeX as a fun set up in the living room where you can just plop your s8 in and watch some fun things on the big screen with your family. For everything else, we feel that the laptop, desktop and already existing technology has us covered with a maturity that is unrivaled.




Here’s Why You Should Unlock Your iPhone

Here’s Why You Should Unlock Your iPhone


You can’t be an iPhone fan and not love the iPhone 7! With a 64 bit quad-core chipset and the updated retina display, this phone is sure not to disappoint. And at $649, it’s cheaper than some other phones. Of course, you could buy a SIM-locked phone for way less, but that is not without its restrictions. Here’s why we think you should unlock your iPhone7:

  • Freedom from customer service woes

People with unlocked phones do not have to put up with horrible customer service. Sad for you if your contract is tied to one service provider. Bill disputes, dropped calls and rude customer service staff are all incredibly common. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do besides complain over and over again, and pray the problems are resolved. With an unlocked phone, you can switch network carriers when you want and choose providers that offer a better deals and service.

  • Freedom from roaming charges

If you’re going on vacation outside the country, don’t forget to unlock your iPhone7. With a SIM-locked phone, you can’t just pop a new SIM card in and start using your phone. Some service providers offer to temporarily unlock the phone, if you’re travelling abroad, but there are several restrictions. A good idea is to unlock your phone using our codes and to replace your SIM card with a local SIM card bought in the country you’re traveling to.

  • Freedom to pick your own plan

With an unlock code, you don’t have to restrict yourself, period. You get to pick and choose service providers who’re willing to offer good deals.

Are you looking for unlock codes? Contact us – we’ll send you the codes you need in less than 2 minutes!


iPhone 7 VS Other 2016 Phones

iPhone 7 VS Other 2016 Phones


Surprisingly, the iPhone 7 wasn’t the best selling phone last year; that crown belonged to its predecessor, the iPhone 6. Slow sales could probably be blamed on the fact that a lot of features Apple introduced weren’t earth shaking. Read on to find out how the iPhone 7 compares to other phones launched that year?

iPhone 7 Vs. Samsung Galaxy 7

The Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a Series 7000 aluminum chassis, making itdust and water resistant. The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a slightly higher waterproof rating of IP68, against iPhone 7’s IP67. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7 inch width but valuable screen real estate is lost thanks to the large top and bottom bezels. This isn’t the case with the 5.1 inch Galaxy 7 screen that’s compact. And when it comes to battery life, the Samsung wins there, too.

iPhone 7 Vs. Huawei Nexus 6P

The Huawei Nexus 6P was released in 2015 but shares some features with the iPhone 7. Although the Nexus 6P comes with Android 6 Marshmallow, Huawei has instant access to Android 7 Nougat – a super-powerful operating system that offers multi-window support and bundled notification. The Huawei Nexus 6P also has 3GB RAM, while the iPhone 7 only has 2GB RAM capability.

iPhone 7 Vs. LG G5

The LG G5 has the Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB RAM that runs on Android Marshmallow. The LG G5 has a superior display, a MicroSD port, dual rear-facing cameras – all of these features at a much cheaper price than the iPhone 7. They also guarantee a free screen replacement.

But if you’re a fan of the iPhone, nothing can compare to the excitement of owning an iPhone 7! Thanks to us, buying a SIM-locked phone needn’t restrict your iPhone experience. Contact us to unlock your iPhone 7 so you can switch service providers and choose plans that are just right for you!



Galaxy Note 7 Refurbished to Galaxy Note FE and will be sold soon!

Galaxy Note 7 Refurbished to Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition)


Since the Note 7’s got cancelled last year due to a fire hazard it seems like Samsung has decided to refurbish the units with an updated battery and a new name. Dubbed the Note FE (which stands for “Fan Edition”). The newly refurbished Galaxy Note 7’s is expected to go on sale next month in South Korea. The devices will have a slightly smaller battery and a reduced price point.

Previous reports stated that the Note 7 refurbished units would be called the Note 7R, but Samsung made a smarter decision to remove the “7” from the moniker altogether to prevent users from being reminded of all the problem’s it faced. Calling it the Fan Edition instead. Samsung will not be selling these units in the US.

Samsung has set up their manufacturing line to produce 300,000 refurbished Note FE units in June. The cost is almost half of what it originally sold for.

It will have a 3,200 mAh battery while boasting the same design and look of the original Note 7. The Note FE is designed to target loyal customers and fans of the Samsung franchise. We are aware that there are still much praise going on with people reminiscing about how good the Note 7 was.

This decision may also have been impacted by environmental groups and activists who urged Samsung to make smarter and greener choices in disposing these already produced Note 7 units that were mass recalled. Initially, the reports stated that Samsung would extract rare metals, reusable components, and then chuck the rest into the land fill. That would be a detrimental problem to the environment. Refurbishing a lot of the phone’s and selling it to the consumer is a nicer way to delay the process of having the landfill eventually filled with the Note 7’s.

Would you purchase the Note FE if you could? Let us know in the comments below.


Most Important Updates from Google I/O 2017!

Most Important Updates from Google I/O 2017!


At Google I/O the company announced various updates and product’s that can bring about a lot of excitement. The information provided is to help developers and consumers interact with Google products each day. Here we go.

Android O beta is now live


The public beta is now available for Android O! This is the second Developer’s Preview available  and you can now download it for your Pixel or Nexus device.

Check it out here!

Android updates

Dave Burke, lead Android Engineering announced that Android Wear 2.0 is launching on watches available from 24 of the world’s best watch manufacturers. Google is also bringing in Assistant to Android TV along with a UI overhaul.

A new announcement is Fluid Experiences in Android O which demonstrates picture-in-picture mode in O which is a part of the big effort to push intuitive multitasking setups.

The inclusion of Notification Dots in Android’s notification centers make it smarter giving users the ability to long-press icons to preview details of that app’s alerts.

TensorFlow will help developers work with neural nets to create smarter AI-enabled abilities.

Autofill with Google eliminates a lot of headache when setting up a new phone or tablet bringing your usernames and passwords (Saved through Chrome) into your new device. In O, machine learning automatically learns phrases, names, addresses, and phone numbers.

Google Play Protect is an extension of the Verify Apps protocol. Google scans over 50 billion apps each day to make sure the Play Store is a safe environment.

Google has also enabled Kotlin an officially supported computing language which is a robust language that many developers have been asking for for a good alternative to Java.

Android Go

Android Go is a new platform which is a version of Android that is optimized for low-specced, low-cost devices. a new set of Google Apps are introduced that utilizes less memory and data as well as a version of the Play Store that shows apps that are suitable for Go devices.

Due to the low specs of the devices, data management is important. Google is including a quick settings button for data allowances. Data saver is enabled by default in Chrome and Youtube Go enables users to download Youtube videos via Wi-Fi to watch later on the go.

“Building for Billions” is Googles new initiative that will help developers form best practices in creating apps that target’s emerging markets.

From now on every Android release will also be accompanied by a “Go” version for low-memory phones. The first Android Go devices will be available in 2018.

Virtual Reality, AR, and Daydream

Google announced that LG’s next flagship phone later this year will support Daydream. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will also be updated to add Daydream support later this summer via a software update.

On top of this a new kind of Daydream VR is coming. A standalone VR headset with included hardware built specifically for VR. It will contain the latest chipset from Qualcomm and will be built in conjunction with Lenovo and HTC, coming later in the year.

On the augmented reality front, ASUS’s Tango-enabled ZenFone AR will also be launching this summer.

In light of Tango, Google has announced their Visual Positioning Service (VPS) which will help you in finding specific objects in the real world relying on key visual feature points. You may be able to find a specific type of fruit or hardware from a store. AR will also be useful in the class room with the introduction of Expeditions which introduces interactive and educational experiences.

Android exceeds 2 billion active devices

In light of announcements, Android has actually passed 2 billion active devices as of today.

The huge growth rate of Android continues while Android enjoys a 2 billion active device milestone. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that “it’s a privelge to serve users at this scale.”

Google Drive has 800 million users, Google Photos has about 500 million with 1.2 billion photos uploaded each day.

Google Lens Introduced

Google Lens is based on a set of vision based computing that have the ability to identify things in the real world via Google’s AI and knowledge graph. It will be made available in Google Assistant and Photos. It can identify specific flowers, finding the Wifi username and password by scanning a sticker and identifying restaurants in the world.

Google Photos

Google is receiving new features that make sharing photos easier. Sharing will be able to help you pick out the best pictures of people and share them. Machine learning is incorporated to recognize people in your photos and offer you the option to share it with that person which is also based on your sharing patterns.

A new Shared Library feature can help you by automating the sharing of photos to specific people. Shared Libraries can notify users of new photos and automatically save them to personal libraries.

A new printing service is available via Google Photo Books which lets you print from your library and creates a Photo Book, available in the US. A softcover book would cost 9.99$ while a hardcover will cost 19.99$.

Google lens will be included in Google Photos which will help identify what’s in your photos.


CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki mentioned that viewers watched over 1 billion hours of video content in 2016. They will be rolling out 360-degree video and live 360 video functionality as well. You can use your remote to pan around.

A new YouTube paid promoted message system is getting a creative update called Superchat. The new API will allow Superchats to trigger actions in the new world such as turning the lights on in a creator’s studio. It is an interactive update.

Google for Jobs

Google for Jobs utilizes Google’s AI and neural net to match potential applicants to job openings. 46% of employers have open positions but have trouble finding people to fill them. Google for Jobs is a commitment to help people find work. The Cloud jobs API was announced last year in Novemenber but is being used by FedEx, Carrier, and Johnson & Johnson. There is documented improvements of finding applicants through the API.

Google Daydream Standalone: Update

Google Daydream Standalone: Update


At Google I/O today, VR VP Clay Bavor introduced their next step in Daydream’s evolution. They are moving away from having their headset’s tethered to the smartphone for power. The next step will be a standalone VR headset that is not powered by your smartphone. Clay called this the Daydream Standalone VR.

Essentially, there are various models of these VR headsets that have been introduced by Google. Google has partnerships with Lenovo and HTC for these Daydream Standalone VR headsets that look quite different but at the same time promises to provide the same experiences. There are three focus points these headsets are tackling:

  1. Easy to Carry around and use
  2. Self contained hardware and specs eliminating external cables, a smartphone and PC.
  3. Integration of Google WorldSense for precise head tracking.

Google WorldSense, what is it?


Google’s very own inside-out tracking has been trademarked and branded as “WorldSense”. Basically the headset now utilizes sensors that allow the user’s movements to be tracked as they move around in any direction. The technical term for this is “6DOF” or Six Degrees of Freedom. This is what allows you to experience true VR content as how it should be experienced, immersive.

Google is not the only company who came up with this concept, Microsoft has their own “World Scale” experience which will be included in their Windows Mixed Reality products and Oculus has been working on their own inside-out tracking prototypes (code named Santa Cruz).

Without a Smartphone, what power’s these VR headsets?


The two headsets that were teased by Google at their I/O will have a standalone display which is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor along with a large battery pack. The chip manufacturer Qualcomm has marketed their latest Snapdragon 835 as the best in market mobile VR processor available today. The company released developer kits which are designed to offer inside-out tracking and precise body movements.

Thanks to the Adreno 540 on board we can expect to see great graphical performances in the upcoming headsets. We are not given details as to what types of displays will be used, other specs, and exactly how the wireless controller will work.

The teasers also showed that Google is still making the Daydream controller available with these headsets. We are unsure if there will be major changes to the controllers to take advantage of 6DOF, we will need to wait and find out soon.

What does this all mean for Daydream?

To wrap things up, these are exciting times indeed. The new Daydream VR headsets will still give you all the awesome Daydream experiences you have been seeing today (if you own one already) but the big deal will be the much improved VR experiences that is on its way. With the new technology users will be given the opportunity to walk around virtual objects, kneel and move your head closer to the object on the ground and much more. Currently, such technologies are available only with expensive products such as the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift, but we are excited to see this now being included into the mobile VR platform.

When is it Available?

No dates have been announced yet, but we expect for a more mature update sometime this Fall. Google typically makes their headsets available to developers once it is developed enough, then eventually it is released to the mass market. Hopefully we will see it this year.

Fathers Day Gift Ideas under 50$ (2017)

Fathers Day Gift Ideas under 50$ (2017)

As Fathers Day approaches many people are looking to get something for their dads for all the hard work they put in. Check out our list of ideas below for awesome tech gifts for your dad in 2017.

1. Amazon Echo Dot (Gen 2)


Undoubtedly the future is all about “smart home” technology. Help your dad ease into this new trend with the awesome second generation Amazon Echo Dot. It is able to receive simple tasks such as timers and weather reports but also take in advanced commands such as controlling other Smart Home appliances. The AI built in is called Alexa which is, by now, pretty well known. For under 50 dollars this is a pretty awesome steal.

2. Google Chromecast Audio


The Chrome cast has been around for quite some time now and it has undergone various updates and improvements under Google’s supervision. With the chromecast audio your dad will be able to turn any of his old stereo systems or any speakers he may have into a wireless music system. Simply connect your dads smartphone to the Chromecast Audio and start streaming via Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, and more. The music travels via Wi-Fi so you won’t need anything additional. The device also connects with iPhone’s and iPad’s if your dad is into Apple products with some apps supported. However, using an Android phone would ensure true unrestricted usage of the Chromecast Audio.

3. Panasonic RP-HTX7


Need some cool headset’s for your dad? Then check out these Panasonic RP-HTX7’s which are over the ear head phones. These cans are full size yet they are light weight and they do a great job at blocking out external sounds. All for a fantastically low price. The sound quality is also great that comes out of these Panasonics. You normally have a choice of five colors (black, red, pink, green and white.)

4. Skullcandy Grind


For those people whose dad’s are still pretty hip then these head sets may be for him for under 50$. Gift yourdad some Skullcandy Grind’s that feature the Skullcandy death head’s logo. They cost somewhere between 25$ and 32$ and they are a pretty good choice. The sound quality is surprisingly good for it’s price and it is lightweight and comfortable to wear. A remote/mic is built in to the left ear cup while the headband is made from metal. These headsets ensure good sound on-ear while you can still save a lot of bucks.

5. Amazon Basics Portable Bluetooth Speaker


This mobile bluetooth speaker is small enough to travel yet it delivers better sound quality compared to smaller bluetooth speakers that are sub 50$. The Amazon Basics Portable Bluetooth speaker is modestly priced and has a simple yet attractive design. The feature set is quite decent and it also has a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls.

6. Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa


Another Amazon product to wow your dad with. This 40$ Amazon Fire TV stick has the Alexa Voice Remote included. This is one of the least expensive devices to stream videos from your Netflix accounts, while Amazon, HBO, Sling TV and many other online services are available as well.  The whole system is responsive and lightning fast while you are charged less for a TV package that includes a voice enabled remote.

7. Amazon Kindle


If your dad loves to read, the Kindle may be for him. Though the cost may be about 80$, Amazon has frequent sales which bring the cost below 50$. The Amazon Kindle is an entry-level e-reader. It is the most affordable yet it still received important upgrades (slimmer, lighter, and Bluetooth). It has smoother edges and comes in either white or black. This is a perfectly good e-reader that can help introduce your dad to the comforts of e-books.

8. Logitech K380 Multi-device Bluetooth Keyboard


If your dad is in need of a bluetooth keyboard, check out the Logitech K380 Multi-device Bluetooth keyboard! Around 30$ the K380 is perfect to replace on screen virtual keyboards and give a more tactile typing experience for your dad. You can toggle between three connected devices (for example between a PC, android device, and your laptop) all with just a click of a button!

9. iHome iSP8 SmartPlug


If you bought your dad an Amazon Echo already then check out this iHome iSP8 SmartPlug! It transforms any “dumb” lamp’s or products compatible with your smart home platforms. Simply connect the iHome to the network and you can send commands to Amazon Echo to turn on or off your lamp.

10. Amazon Fire Tablet


The Amazon Fire Tablet is available for under 50$ and provides a standard tablet experience, a perfect gift for your dad. Though we do recommend purchasing the 8 inch model (though it may cost double) but your dad is worth it.