From BGR: The unthinkable happened: New Android phone crushes iPhone X in speed test

Apple’s hot new iPhone X has it all. From design and display quality to features and performance, the tenth-anniversary iPhone is a class-leading smartphone through and through. The design in particular has been praised to no end. In fact, even some of the iPhone X’s harshest critics (myself included) have come around to love the controversial “notch” design with the phone’s display.

Of course, the sleek design and gorgeous display are only half of the equation here. The software side of the user experience is even more important, and the iPhone X delivers there as well. Benchmark test scores are off the charts, and we’ve seen time and time again what the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic processor is capable of. But savvy Apple fans know that despite how impressive the iPhone X’s performance is compared to most devices out there, there’s something that has been holding the phone back. Now, that issue has caused the iPhone X to lose its title as the reigning speed test champ.

On its surface, iOS 11 has been a pretty terrific update. There are new features and refinements abound, and iOS 11 on the iPhone X introduced a slew of smooth new gestures that further enhance the user experience. But beneath the surface, iOS 11 has also been marred by issues with RAM management.

You wouldn’t know it considering how well the iPhone X has performed thus far in speed tests against rival Android phones, but the phone is actually being held back right now by issues with its operating system. Apple is working to address these issues, but there is currently no fix in place in the latest release build of iOS. As a result, a new champ snuck in and stole the iPhone’s speed test crown.

YouTube channel EverythingApplePro got its hands on the new OnePlus 5T and pitted it against the iPhone X in a real-world speed test showdown. We already told you about how much faster the OnePlus 5T’s Face Unlock is than Face ID, though it is far less secure, and now we can see how the two phones perform in other areas.

This test doesn’t use the “lap” format that most similar tests have adopted, but the results are still pretty clear. The new OnePlus 5T runs a near-stock version of Android Nougat, which has been refined over the past year. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone is running the newer iOS 11 platform that still has some serious bugs to iron out. That’s right… this is one rare instance where Android fragmentation paid off, at least in terms of speed.

Check out the full test below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1besnW-Oww

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From BGR: ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ was just released a day early on iOS and Android

Late on Sunday evening, Nintendo announced that the wait for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was nearly over. The mobile game would be available on smartphones around the world on Wednesday, November 22nd, but it looks like the rollout began a bit earlier than expected as the game is already available on the App Store and the Google Play store in the United States. If you’ve been waiting anxiously to try the game, now is your chance.

“You’re in charge, so you can decorate your own campsite however you like!” reads the description of the mobile app on the App Store. “Make it fun, make it cute, make it sporty—it’s up to you to craft the kind of furniture and amenities that will make your camp a must-see for animals visiting the area.”

As in other Animal Crossing games, your goal is to help your neighbors in order to gain Bells (the in-game currency), which you can use to acquire upgrades for your camper, purchase new clothes for your character or craft furniture for your campsite. It’s a boiled-down version of the main series, but it captures the same spirit.

I downloaded the game as soon as I saw it on the App Store this morning, and unlike the shaky launch of Pokemon Go last year, I haven’t had any issues with the servers so far. It’ll be interesting to see how the game holds up as the day goes on, but if you want to jump in right now, here are the download links for iOS and Android:

At the very least, now you have something to do when everyone else falls asleep after Thanksgiving dinner.

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From BGR: Can someone please explain why Apple didn’t include this $13 accessory with every pair of AirPods?

Apple’s cord-free design is clearly one of the best things about its AirPods, but it’s not always convenient. What about when you want to pop them out of your ears for a second to do something and then put them right back in? Do you really want to hold them in your hand? Or how about when you’re in the middle of a rigorous workout and one pops out of your ear? Are you really going to fish it off the gym floor and put it back in? The VIMVIP AirPods Strap with Magnetic Closure is an awesome accessory that Apple should’ve included in the box with AirPods. It lets you use AirPods like normal corded wireless earbuds when you want, or you can pop it off in a second and go back to a truly wireless experience.

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

* Magnetic Function: It is a newest upgraded version design for anti-lost your airpods – Magnetic Adsorption. Added magentic suction function inside the strap hole,it can adsored and fixed firmly at neck to againt sliding down when you do not use it, you will feel comfortable whatever you are doing sport,walking or sitting in car.
* Skin Care: Adopted findest soft silica gel to make of, and it becomes more softer after machining by excellent hand painting technique and artistry.It is so soft that you don’t worry about skin irritation in Long-term wearing.
* Tensile Resistance: Used high quality and flexible wire with a high tensile strength, not easy break. Superior design features enable a much longer service life than competitive Product.
* Easy to Wear: With the advantages of beauty, lightness and rational design concepts, this apple airpods strap is very easy to use, you just put your airpods in the hole of this airpods strap and you can wear it firmly. Never lost your airpods.
* What You Get: VIMVIP Magentic Apple AirPods Strap and our 12 months warranty and friendly service for you.

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From BGR: The Galaxy S9’s best new feature might be Samsung’s software


A report earlier this week said the Galaxy S9 may not come with a 3D facial recognition system similar to Apple’s iPhone X, although Samsung is already looking to equip 2018 devices with 3D sensors. The same report claimed that the Galaxy S9 will not have too many features to differentiate it from the previous generation, although the phone is expected to pack better hardware and deliver a better camera experience.

A Samsung exec even went on record to say that the Galaxy S9’s best feature might be Samsung’s software innovations. “Although the Galaxy S9 may not have the innovative features expected by the market, we are focusing on enhancing the completeness of the Galaxy S8 hardware and an innovative user experience (UX),� that person said.

A new leak tells us more about that “innovative user experience.�

I have absolutely no idea what “the completeness of the Galaxy S8 hardware� means, given that the Galaxy Note 8, which sports exactly the same hardware, does better in performance tests than the Galaxy S8.

The real innovation might be on the software side, at least the part that’s controlled by Samsung. Gone are the days when Samsung software on Android devices meant a bunch of bloatware that users hated. Samsung still doesn’t control the underlying software of its smartphones, and it’s dependent on Google’s innovations. But the company polished the user interface that sits on top of Android and plans to introduce new features next year.

Prominent Chinese leaker Ice Universe posted on Twitterthe following image: https://twitter.com/UniverseIce/status/932919492497235968

It’s apparently a presentation of Samsung’s Galaxy AI UX, with the Bixby logo also clearly present.

We have no idea what Galaxy AI UX is, but it certainly has something to do with artificial intelligence and machine learning. After all, everybody else is doing it, including Google and Apple on their devices. We can safely assume that Galaxy AI UX will bring over various AI features and automation to future Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S9. Samsung’s flagship phones may become smarter, and more aware of what’s happening around them, offering a customized user experience that may take into account various factors, including device usage, location, and time of day.

I’d also expect all these smart Galaxy S9 features to be served under the Bixby assistant, which is Samsung’s own response to Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri.

Samsung is yet to unveil its Galaxy AI UX to the world, although the image below does suggest the company did present it to at least a few people recently. The leaker doesn’t say where the picture was taken and doesn’t offer other images.

In closing, we’ll also address the tweet above, posted on Monday. Apparently, Ice Universe also believes that Samsung is interested in 3D face recognition components, even though I have no idea what he meant to say.

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From BGR: Google’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are all about the smart home

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching, and Google wants you to know that it prepared various deals for shoppers looking for Google-made hardware.

You should really curb your enthusiasm if you’re looking for cheaper Pixel gadgets. The Pixel phones and the Pixelbook are not discounted for Black Friday, or such deals are yet to be announced. However, if you want to smarten up your home with the help of Google’s Assistant-enabled speakers, then Google’s got some deals for you.

Buyers shopping for a cheaper Google Home Mini should know that Google has one of the best offers in town. The speaker costs just $29 and gets you $10 store credit, effectively dropping the price down to $19. The Home Mini is also priced at $29 instead of the original $49 at Best Buy and Target, Google says. eBay is one place that matches Google’s deal, as the auction site sells the speaker for $29 and offers buyers a $10 eBay gift card.

The Google Home costs $79 in Google’s online store, but also at Best Buy, Target, and in other places, which is $50 off the regular price.

Google sells the Chromecast for $25, and so is Target. Walmart has the better deal, though, selling the accessory that turns your TV set into a smarter machine for $20 — the Chromecast is usually priced at $35.

That’s how much the Chromecast Audio also costs. But on Black Friday, you’ll be able to snag one for $25 at Google, Best Buy, and Target.

What’s great about Google’s offer is that the deals are valid from 12:01 AM EST on Thanksgiving Day through 11:59 PM PST on Cyber Monday. It’s very likely that Home and Chromecast products will see similar discounts at other stores through Cyber Monday.

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From BGR: Apple plans to make iPhones and MacBooks from recycled materials

Apple wants its products to be as eco-friendly as possible and keeps working on improving its environmental policies. During events and on product pages, Apple keeps advertising its progress manufacturing devices that have a minimal environmental impact, and the company has an entire team looking at ways of reducing pollution and improve recycling.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to running an eco-friendly business in a recent interview, saying that it plans to manufacture its popular products like the iPhone and MacBook from recycled materials and new materials like bioplastics.

“What we’ve committed to is 100 percent recycled material to make our products, or renewable material,â€� Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson told news.com.au in an interview.. “We’re working like gangbusters on that.â€�

“As far as I know, we’re the only company in the sector trying to figure that out. Most people talk about recycling electronics, but the material is not necessarily used in new electronics,� the exec added.

As commendable as it might seem, the task is not an easy one considering the number of devices Apple sells every year. But the company does want to “stop mining the earth altogether.�

A new report from Amnesty International commended Apple for being the industry leader when it comes to responsible cobalt sourcing.

The mineral, critical to batteries found in plenty of everyday devices, including Apple gadgets, comes in large quantities from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produces more than half of the worldwide supply. However, working conditions are hazardous, and the mineral is mined by hand, and sometimes by children. Apple earlier this year said it would stop using cobalt mined by hand in the country.

That’s great and all but it might be a while until Apple actually manages to stop mining the earth and manufacture its products out of recycled materials only.

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From BGR: Apple is still interested in developing next-gen Micro LED displays

Even though we supposedly hit peak iPhone years ago, no one really bothered to tell Apple. On the contrary, Apple continues to spend billions on R&D every year, and the company in recent years has shown a considerable interest in developing next-gen display technologies. Even though the iPhone X represents the first iPhone to ship with an OLED display — a display which may very well be the best OLED-based smartphone display we’ve ever seen — Apple is already angling to figure out what comes next.

Over the past few years, Apple engineers has been busy exploring Micro LED display technology, hardly a surprise given Apple’s obsession with developing thinner, lighter, and more energy efficient displays. Just a few months back, Apple reportedly placed an order for a batch of Micro LED displays for testing amid reports that Apple may incorporate the display technology into its product line as early as 2018. Specifically, the next-gen Apple Watch may be the first device to feature Micro LED technology.

Now comes word via Digitimes that Apple is shifting the focus of its R&D efforts from its Taiwan based research group to the company’s Cupertino campus. At the same time, Apple is said to be holding talking with TSMC to resolve some manufacturing bottlenecks.

Apple has reportedly downsized its R&D team for development of Micro LED display products in Longtan, northern Taiwan, due to issues related to mass transfer of Micro LED chips onto receiver substrates, according to sources from Taiwan’s upstream LED suppliers.

The slow progress in the development of the mass transfer technology is believed to impede related panel makers from realizing volume production of Micro LED panels in the short term, and therefore persuading Apple to realign the personnel of the Micro LED team, said the sources.

Apple is reportedly still interested in Micro LED though it remains to be seen when we’ll see it on a shipping product.

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From BGR: The Tesla Semi acceleration sounds like it’s straight from the future

Tesla last week finally unveiled its long-rumored semi truck, an electric-powered monster that features 500 miles of range on a single charge and, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, will be far more economical than a standard diesel truck right from the start. As far as specs are concerned, Tesla boasts that its semi-truck can go from 0-60 MPH in five seconds flat. What’s more, the Tesla Semi, when hauling 80,000 pounds, can go from 0-60 MPH in 20 seconds.

By way of contrast, your standard diesel truck needs 15 seconds to go from 0-60 MPH and a full minute to go from 0-60 MPH while attached to an 80,000 pound load.

“We designed the Tesla truck to be like a bullet,” Musk said during last week’s unveiling event, which also saw the surprise introduction of a next-gen Roadster.

Though production isn’t slated to begin in 2019, a number of companies like Walmart have already put in orders for the Tesla Semi. Of course, given Tesla’s storied history of missing deadline after deadline, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tesla Semi be subject to delays, though we’d love to be proven wrong.

In the meantime, we can at the very least appreciate Tesla’s undying efforts to revolutionize transportation across all types of vehicles, from long distance trucks to family SUVs and everything in between.

Recently, a video of a Tesla Semi showcasing its unrivaled acceleration surfaced online, and as the title of the video says, it “sounds like nothing else.”

True to form, the Tesla Semi accelerating sounds downright futuristic, if not something you might see on Transformers or some futuristic sci-fi movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht9aHlmlcCE

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From BGR: Face ID has a cool feature you probably haven’t even discovered yet

Apple has had a string of solid and, at times, impressive iPhone releases over the past few years. Still, it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a new iPhone model actually stir up some genuine excitement amongst iPhone users. Sure, camera technology on the iPhone has improved tremendously over the past few years, but the overall look and feel of the iPhone itself has essentially remained unchanged since the iPhone 6 was released more than three years ago. As far as new features are concerned, you might have to go as far back as Touch ID on the iPhone 5s before coming across a new iPhone feature that managed to generate some genuine buzz on its own.

The iPhone X, therefore, is a welcome breath of fresh air. Sporting an edgeless OLED display and a new facial recognition system dubbed Face ID, the iPhone X is the radical redesign iPhone fans have been looking forward to for years. Though it wasn’t entirely clear how consumers would initially take to the iPhone X, it’s now overwhelmingly clear that the iPhone X is a breakthrough product and that Face ID, specifically, works exactly as advertised.

With Face ID being a completely new feature, one of the more enjoyable aspects of the iPhone X is that users are still uncovering some thoughtful design touches Apple added to Face ID. The most recent example sprung up on Reddit over the weekend and involves the alarm app on the iPhone X. Now we’ve all likely experienced the frustration that comes along when trying to lazily turn off an annoyingly loud iPhone alarm early in the morning when you’re still angling for a few more minutes of sleep. The iPhone X, though, has the perfect fix for this issue.

As the first-hand account explains below, the iPhone X alarm app will decrease in volume the moment you look at it.

Woke up this morning to my iPhone alarm and when I looked at my X, I noticed the volume lowered itself. I tried this again to make sure I wasn’t just imagining it after waking up, and it does! That is such a little thing that didn’t need to be a feature, but the fact that it is, is amazing. Now when I wake up and look at my phone its a softer volume instead of continually blaring the alarm at me. Little things like this are awesome.

Is this a groundbreaking feature? Of course not. Still, it speaks to the level of detail Apple tends to obsess over relentlessly. More than that, it speaks to how Face ID has the potential to impact all facets of the user experience.

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From BGR: Best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals: Console, games, and accessories

The Nintendo Switch launched in early March in various markets around the world, and Nintendo is still unable to satisfy demand. It’s likely the console and Switch games are on the Christmas shopping lists of many gamers and/or parents, with many of them looking to take advantage of some hot deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday season.

The bad news is that you’ll still have to deal with stock supply. Furthermore, retailers are selling the console for the same full price. That’s $299.99 for the console only, with no bundled games. However, we’ve still found some deals worth checking out. Meijer offers $30 off your next shopping trip with every Switch purchase, while Target says that it’s ready to sell you $299.99 Nintendo Switch bundles although it’s not clear what that means.

Here’s what you can expect from retailers, based on what we’ve seen so far in leaked Black Friday ads:

Nintendo Switch:

Accessories

Games

We’ll update this Nintendo Switch Black Friday guide with more deals as they come in.

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