Tag: Mobile

Imgur’s Snacks is a Story-like collection of curated GIFs

Imgur began as a way for Redditors to share images quickly and easily, but has grown into a pretty robust site and accompanying mobile app. Last week, the company announced two new features that should help you find more time-wasting goodness: a tag-based content feed and a new Snacks feature, which echoes Snapchat (and Instagram, Facebook and YouTube) Stories.

Your new feed is accessible from its own tab on your Imgur home screen, right next to the "Most Viral" tab. You'll need to tap through a few tags of your own interests and your feed will fill up with images and GIFs from the people and tags you follow. You can up/down vote, comment and add favorites from the endless scroll of Imgur content. It's a nice way to just browse stuff you're interested in, instead of what's most viral on the service.

You can find Snacks in the search tab within the Imgur app. You'll see a bar at the top, just under the search field, with a curated list of GIFs that you can tap and just, well, watch. There doesn't appear to be a way to create your own list, unfortunately, which separates Snacks from the other social media story features.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Imgur


Google’s Pixel AR stickers are available starting today

During Google's Pixel 2 event in October, the company teased its upcoming AR stickers and starting today, Pixel users can actually get their hands on them. Those with Pixel phones running Android 8.1 Oreo will have access to AR stickers like Foodmoji, 3D text and celebratory balloons and champagne just in time for the holidays. And ahead of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Pixel users can also get a pack of Star Wars-themed AR stickers.

You can check out the Star Wars stickers in the video below or the image above and overall they look pretty great. They seem to have a much better quality than the Stranger Things AR stickers that we've seen previews of before and are also being released today. And they look way better than that Snapchat Star Wars Lens.

To add these stickers to your photos or videos, just open the camera app, switch to AR Stickers mode, select which sticker pack you'd like to use and the drop the stickers into the scene. You can then resize them and move them around and they'll also interact with whatever else is in the image.

The new AR Stickers are rolling out to Pixel users over the next few days and Google says more sticker packs will be released in the future.


‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ adds gardening to its list of chores

Collect fruit, trade it with villagers, build furniture, rinse, repeat. That's been the experience with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp thus far, and if it's getting tedious, know that there's an update coming soon that'll add some variety to the mix. Next month, you'll be able to start crafting clothes like shirts, pants and shoes. Players will also gain access to a garden. As you might expect, the garden is where you can plant flowers, and you can even water friends' flower beds for them.

At this point, the flowers could just be another resource type for building stuff (like apples), but there's every chance that gardening could be a full-blown new activity. We won't know until we get our hands dirty. Even with this update, Pocket Camp is a far cry from full-fat Animal Crossing, but it's a step in the right direction. Compared to something like Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes, though, it's feeling pretty sparse at the moment.

Source: Animal Crossing (Twitter)


OnePlus 5T needs an update to play Netflix in HD

The OnePlus 5T is defined by its cinematic 18:9 screen, but don't expect to get the full effect while you're watching your favorite streaming service... at least, not yet. Owners have learned that the 5T and its OnePlus 5 ancestor can't play Netflix or Amazon Prime Video in HD, since they both lack the Widevine rights management certification need to play at anything beyond standard definition. Yes, your $500 pride and joy currently plays video at a lower resolution than phones costing half as much. Thankfully, there's a solution in the works.

The company has explained to The Verge that an update is in the works to enable HD streaming on these devices. There's no indication as to when this update is coming or why more advanced Widevine support wasn't included from the start, but a solution is in sight.

However quickly the update comes, the situation doesn't help OnePlus' current situation. It has already had to fix some glaring software mistakes, and this is one that you'll definitely notice if you're streaming Stranger Things or American Gods. It also illustrates one of the concerns about digital copy protection: your ability to watch video at the best possible quality is dependent on software factors outside of your control.

Source: OnePlus, The Verge


Andy Rubin returns to Essential amid questions over his past

Android mastermind Andy Rubin is back at the helm of Essential after his surprise personal leave... although you could argue that he never really left. Recode has learned that Rubin is back "less than two weeks" after the company announced that he'd taken a break. Neither Essential nor Rubin was willing to comment, but insiders claimed that he technically didn't have to leave the building -- he continued to work with his venture capital company Playground Global, which shares the same office spaces.

The end to the partial leave comes as questions linger over revelations that Rubin's departure from Google came after an investigation ruled that he's been involved in an "inappropriate" relationship with a subordinate. Rubin's spokesperson has maintained that it was a consensual relationship and nothing wrong took place, but the woman had filed a complaint with human resources that led to the investigation. There's no evidence linking Rubin's recent leave to the Google story, although the timing has certainly raised eyebrows.

Without details of what the complaint entailed, it's difficult to know just how much of a cloud this casts over Rubin's work at Essential. You can safely presume that concerns over the relationship aren't what the company at large wants, however. While Rubin's return will reassure backers worried that Essential would face a leadership crisis, it's having enough trouble getting people to buy its first smartphone -- the conduct of its founder doesn't help matters.

Source: Recode


Google Maps will wake you up when you need to get off the bus

Google Maps will make taking the train or the bus in places you're visiting a lot less stressful: according to TechCrunch, the app will soon guide you through every step of a mass transit ride, including telling you when it's time to get off. Once the feature rolls out, you'll apparently find a "start" button at the bottom of the screen when you look up how to go to a certain destination. If you tap that button, you'll get live updates on where you are as you walk or as your ride moves, not only within the app, but also on your Android lock screen.

[Image credit: TechCrunch]

You probably won't need a feature like that for your daily commute, but if you're traveling to a new city, state or country with a transit system that can be overwhelming for first timers, then it could be a godsend. Simply glance on your lock screen to see where you are (if your GPS and mobile internet are working inside the vehicle, that is) or wait for your phone to tell you that you've arrived. You can even scroll up and make sure you're going the right way. TechCrunch says the feature will go live "soon," but make sure to check your app right now -- it might have already rolled out to random users for testing.

The concept isn't completely new. Transit's self-titled app has a "Go" feature that takes you through every step of a bus or subway ride. Google's implementation would have a clear advantage, though: on Android, you wouldn't have to download a separate app.

Source: TechCrunch


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai ‘jokes’ about being a Verizon shill

Many have accused FCC Chairman Ajit Pai of being a telecom shill between his background as a former Verizon lawyer and his determination to ignore all public input (not to mention complaints about comment bots) as he kills net neutrality. And apparently, his attempts at joking about it are only reinforcing those views. Gizmodo has obtained video of Pai trying to roast himself at the Federal Communications Bar Assocation's annual event, including a pre-recorded skit where an actual Verizon executive (senior VP Kathy Grillo) talks about wanting to "brainwash and groom a Verizon puppet" to become the FCC chairman, with Pai responding that it sounds like an "awesome" idea.

Aside from the jokes falling flat, there are all kinds of problems with the routine. To start, FCC officials shouldn't be joking about being shills. Whether or not they have industry backgrounds (like former Chairman Tom Wheeler), they're supposed to take corruption allegations seriously instead of turning them into comedy sketches. The humor fails in part because there's a painful degree of truth to it -- it wouldn't have come up if Pai weren't pursuing the exact deregulation policies that major telecoms want. And crucially, telecom executives shouldn't ever be involved. If anything, Grillo's inclusion in the skit supports accusations that Pai is on the take, since he's clearly cozy enough with Verizon to recruit one of its VPs for a gag.

For that matter, why would a Verizon executive agree to appear in a skit that makes light of corruption, especially knowing that the video might become public and damage the company's reputation? It's safe to say this is unusual even for a telecom that hasn't been shy about voicing its political stances and omitting views it doesn't like. The company appears unfazed about the connection, however, and even seems to endorse it. When asked for comment, Chief Communications Officer Jim Gerace joked that "we never knew Kathy was so funny."

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Pai will face any repercussions in the near future. He was recently chosen to serve a second term, and his closeness to the companies he's supposed to regulate is par for the course at the moment. This just backs notions that Pai is comfortable flaunting his industry ties, and that he won't be shy about it going forward.

Source: Gizmodo


Tested: The OnePlus 5T is the fastest-charging smartphone right now

By Mark Spoonauer

You just realized that your phone is low on juice, and panic sets in. How much charge can you get in a limited amount of time? We tested 10 of the top flagship phones and found that the OnePlus 5T is the fastest in the land.

The good news is that most of the premium Android phones these days offer some form of quick charging via their USB-C adapters. In the case of the latest iPhones, you can get fast charging, but only if you pay extra for both a 29-watt power adapter and a USB-C-to-Lightning cable (about $68 total). Yes, I'm serious.

For our first round of testing, we wanted to find what battery percentage these phones could reach in 30 minutes of charging with their included adapters. The phones were on, but the screens were turned off. With the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, we used both the standard AC plug and the fast-charging gear to bring you both sets of results.

The OnePlus 5T led the pack, reaching an impressive 59 percent in 30 minutes. The advantage for the OnePlus? Unlike most other Android phones, it doesn't use Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology. Instead, it employs the proprietary Dash Charge, which delivers higher amperage than QuickCharge and uses dedicated circuitry in the charger itself for heat management. (Android Central has a great explainer on how Dash Charge works.)

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

The next-best phone in the first round of our testing was the LG V30, at 53 percent. The iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were all close behind, at 50 percent, 49 percent and 47 percent, respectively, when we used the fast-charging gear Apple sells separately.

Flagship phone battery capacity and battery life compared

Battery Capacity Battery Life*
Google Pixel 2 XL 3,520 mAh 12:09
Galaxy S8+ 3,500 mAh 11:04
Galaxy Note 8 3,300 mAh 11:11
OnePlus 5T 3,300 mAh 11:12
LG V30 3,300 mAh 6:30
Galaxy S8 3,000 mAh 10:39
iPhone X 2,716 mAh 10:49
Google Pixel 2 2,700 mAh 11:07
iPhone 8 Plus 2,691 mAh 11:16
iPhone 8 1,821 mAh 9:54

* Based on Tom's Guide web surfing battery test over LTE

However, it's important to note that these iPhones charge slower than the rest of the field even with their included adapters. For instance, the iPhone X hit only 17 percent after 30 minutes.

Among other phones, the Galaxy Note 8, S8 and S8+ were all in the same ballpark, at 35 to 38 percent, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL had comparable results.

So how about after an hour? The OnePlus 5T once again took the prize, reaching 93 percent in 60 minutes. The LG V30 snagged second place, at 86 percent, and the latest iPhones all vied for third place, though the iPhone X had the most capacity, at 81 percent. And, yes, you could argue that you need to cheat to hit these numbers with the iPhone, because you have to buy extra gear.

Overall, if filling up your phone fast is a top priority, the OnePlus 5T is the champ. And at $499, it's also the most affordable phone you can get that comes with flagship-level specs and performance.


Twitter blames bug for accidentally banning a bunch of accounts

What's allowed and isn't allowed on Twitter isn't always clear. Even though the company has come out with a hateful conduct policy and has unverified and banned some of those who violate it, it still makes a lot of mistakes, like suspending accounts in error. Well, it seems like Twitter has made yet another boo-boo. In the past 24 hours, the company has "banned" over a dozen accounts by accidentally marking them as "withheld" from the whole world.

According to Buzzfeed News, over 21 accounts were affected. Instead of being suspended or outright banned, their accounts were marked as "withheld: worldwide." This is part of Twitter's "country withheld" program, where certain accounts are barred from being viewed in certain countries, usually because it violates the country's laws of expression. Being "withheld worldwide" would, however, effectively ban your tweets from being seen by everyone.

Buzzfeed News notes that one of the users that was hit with the "withheld worldwide" ban had been critical of J.K. Rowling. But according to Twitter, it was all a mistake. According to a Twitter spokesperson: "We have identified a bug that incorrectly impacted certain accounts. We have identified a fix, are working to resolve the issue, and anticipate it will be fully resolved shortly."

Be that as it may, this isn't good news for a company already beleaguered with problems that include Russian trolls, broken searches and, unfortunately, hate speech.

Source: Buzzfeed


Apple’s Jony Ive will return to his design management role

Apple's chief design officer, Jony Ive, is picking his old management duties back up again, 9to5Mac reports. Back in 2015, Ive was upgraded to chief design officer from senior VP and day-to-day management was taken over by Alan Dye and Richard Howarth. Earlier today, 9to5Mac noted that Dye and Howarth were no longer listed on Apple's leadership page and now word's out that Ive is back at the management helm. In a statement to Bloomberg, an Apple spokesperson said, "With the completion of Apple Park, Apple's design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design."

Apple has come under fire for some of its recent design choices, like the way its Pencil and Mouse charge, the lack of ports in the MacBook and, of course, that iPhone X notch. That may or may not have anything to do with Ive's return, but as 9to5Mac notes, the writing may have been on the wall. Dye and Howarth haven't really been in the spotlight much since becoming senior VPs while Ive has retained a fair amount of public exposure.

We've reached out to Apple for comment and we'll update this post when we hear more.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Bloomberg