Tag: samsung

SiriusXM now streams radio stations to your Apple TV

SiriusXM is now available on 4th generation Apple TVs and Apple TV 4K. Subscribers with streaming access can use the SiriusXM app to access its over 200 channels, which can be customized with MySXM. Users will also be able to access archived programming on demand and the app's user interface has been optimized for Apple TV.

The SiriusXM app has already been available on LG, Roku, Samsung and Sony smart TVs as well as Amazon Fire TV and Playstation. Apple TV owners also recently just got access to the Amazon Prime Video app.

To start listening to SiriusXM on your Apple TV, just go to App Store and search for SiriusXM. Then click "Get" to install, sign in with your SiriusXM username and password and you're good to go.

Source: SiriusXM

Why Qualcomm’s Tech Summit this week mattered

Qualcomm had so much news to share this year that it decided to throw a three-day "Tech Summit" in Hawaii for hundreds of press and analysts. In addition to unveiling the latest generation of its high-end mobile processor, Qualcomm also announced new Snapdragon-powered laptops from HP and ASUS, a new dedicated Hi-Fi audio DAC and a partnership with AMD. Speaking of partnerships, many of the companies that work with Qualcomm also attended the event to discuss the future of technologies like AI, 5G, AR and VR.

Given the battle Qualcomm is waging against Apple, as it fends off a potential takeover from rival Broadcomm, the Tech Summit has been as much a news announcement event as it was a show of force. Qualcomm isn't just a mobile chip maker, and it sure as hell wants you to know. Catch up on all you may have missed from the company's big event this week in under four minutes with this short video!

Tesla’s Gigafactory might be behind a global battery shortage

Tesla has been besieged by reports of production delays and quality control issues lately, and now it's coming under fire for problems at its Gigafactory, which have led to a global shortage of cylindrical batteries. According to sources quoted by etnews, it's now "impossible" to purchase cylindrical batteries in Japan -- where most of the world's electronics manufacturing happens -- because Gigafactory has hoovered up the supplies needed to create them, but has failed to do so.

Sources say that Panasonic has given most of its Japanese battery supplies to Tesla in order to kick-start production, leaving companies that need batteries knocking on the doors of Samsung, LG and Murata (formerly Sony), to no avail. As a result, global IT, electric vehicle and home appliance companies are unable to get the materials they need, "and it will not be easy for them to secure additional supplies until the end of the first half of 2018."

Sources have blamed Gigafactory's operational structure for the shortfall, claiming that its inaccessible location in the Nevada desert has resulted in a shortage of manpower, and that its reliance on renewable energy has caused production problems. Tesla has famously never turned a profit and sinks $1 billion a quarter into the business, which many would say is a noble endeavour in pursuit of a cleaner, brighter future, but its admirers will no doubt be less enthralled when its ventures start having a detrimental effect on the rest of the world.

Source: etnews

The iPhone 8 goes up against the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Before you start throwing down cash for new phones like a Grinch post heart-expansion, watch our video to directly compare more factors than just name brand and price on two of the most popular phones. The iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are both less than $1000 (no thanks, iPhone X) but still expensive, beginning at $699 and $825, respectively.

Either would make a great gift to yourself or someone else, but it all depends on what you're going for. The iPhone 8 looks a little ho-hum in terms of standard old design, but acts zippier because of the new A11 bionic chip, which Apple claims makes it 25% faster.

Alternatively, maybe you love Samsung or are just now open to one because of Apple's no headphone jack policy. The S8 and S8 Plus have a slick design that our own phone reviewers absolutely love and its display (a dazzling 2,220 x 1,080) compared to Apple's (a meh 1,334 x 750) really put it at the top of the visual appearance heap.

And then there's the camera test. While on paper the smartphone's cameras seem very similar, (Apple with a 7-megapixel front-facing camera, 12-megapixel back; Galaxy S8 Plus with 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 12-megapixel back), in practice, the selfies from the Galaxy S8 Plus seem far superior.

After testing set-up, call quality, video downloading time, playback, visual appearance and cameras on each of the phones, we picked the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus as the winner of this particular head-to-head challenge. Let us know in the comments what we should test next!

This article was briefly removed from the site to update the video thumbnail and pricing. Prices now reflect MSRP rather than Amazon's "Buy Now" option in our database.

Samsung’s 512GB chip will give your phone PC-like storage

Samsung has begun mass production of the world's first 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS), meaning its flagship phones can now hold double what they could last year, when the company released its 256GB version. Phones with the new chips can store up to 130 10-minute UHD videos.

Read and write performance has been given a boost, too. Sequential read and write speeds reach 860MB per second and 255MB per second respectively -- not a huge increase on the 256GB chip but enough transfer a 5GB HD video clip to a solid state hard drive in around six seconds, or more than eight times faster than a standard microSD card. It also has a random read speed of 42,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) and a write speed of 40,000 IOPS.

Samsung pitched previous versions of this technology to the automotive market as cars will soon need to record high volumes of sensor data, but says at this time that next-gen smartphones and tablets are the best candidates for the chip, and plans to "steadily increase an aggressive production volume" to meet increasing demand for advanced mobile storage.

Via: Business Wire

Select Chromebook owners can get six months of Netflix for free

If you're picking up a Google Pixelbook, a Samsung Chromebook Plus or a Samsung Chromebook Pro this holiday season, Google wants to make your present (whether to yourself or someone else) even better. Through the end of the year, any of these devices comes with six months of Netflix for free. This appears to apply to recent purchases as well.

The deal is for the $10.99 per month plan, which includes streaming to two screens at a time (sorry 4K users). According to the terms, it appears as though if you are already a Netflix subscriber, you can apply the offer to your existing account, even if you have a different plan than the one stated above. Basically, Google is giving users $65.94 in Netflix credit, and you can use it any way you like, except as applied towards gift subscriptions.

To get your free Netflix, you can visit the Chromebook offer site and hit "Redeem" from the eligible machine. There are also some other interesting deals to take advantage of, including a $20 Google Play credit for Samsung Plus or Pro owners.

Via: The Verge

Source: Google

The best VR headsets and games to give as gifts

Virtual reality headsets were once so expensive that they would have only made suitable gifts for early adopters and serious gamers. By now, though, prices have dropped across the board, and there are enough compatible games that we're willing to recommend these headsets to a broader audience. The VR section of our holiday gift guide includes items at both the budget end of the spectrum (think: Samsung's Gear VR and Google's refreshed Daydream View) alongside higher-end offerings like the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift and Touch bundle. Need some games to go with it? We suggest Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Fallout 4 VR, Superhot VR and Rez Infinite. Need some accessories for someone who already owns a headset? Try the PSVR Aim Controller Farpoint bundle or the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap.

Source: Engadget Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Samsung envisions phones that read your palm

There's a good possibility that you've forgotten a password and had to get hints or recover it. But the process for that isn't very trustworthy. Intruders can guess security questions, for one thing. Samsung might soon have a subtler way of helping you remember your password, though: it would give you a palm reading. A recently published patent application shows that Samsung has been exploring a system that would scan the unique lines on your palm and use them to display hints in the form of incomplete characters. You'd get a nudge in the right direction, but nothing so obvious that a thief could guess it (even if they could use your hand).

This could theoretically extend to signing you in, although Samsung would likely want to implement depth sensing or a similar technology to prevent evildoers from cheating with photos.

There's no certainty that you'll ever see this in the Galaxy S9 or any future Samsung phone. It's just a patent filing, and that won't necessarily translate to a finished product. It's a simple-enough concept, though, and it could be extremely helpful if you're struggling to get into an online store or are worried that you've locked yourself out of your phone.


Source: WIPO (PDF)

Samsung’s W2018 flip phone has a variable aperture camera

Smartphone makers are always pushing for the fastest-possible camera aperture, and until today, the record was held by LG V30 with its f/1.6 lens. But it didn't take long before Samsung hit back with an even lower f-stop.

Earlier today, the Korean giant announced the W2018 which is its tenth extravagant dual-screen flip phone -- likely priced at above $1,500 -- made exclusively for China Telecom's "Heart Of The World" charity series. To our surprise, rather than simply repackaging existing flagship components into this form factor, Samsung actually threw in some new tech this time: not only does its 12-megapixel main camera come with an even lower f/1.5 aperture, but it can also switch to f/2.4 for a deeper depth of field when lighting is ideal.

While this is the first time that variable aperture is applied to a smartphone's fixed lens since the Nokia N86 MP, Samsung was surprisingly quiet about this rare feature. Thankfully, we came across a close-up video of the W2018's main camera in action, and the mechanism appears to be a miniaturized version of conventional aperture blades, except it's limited to two aperture settings. The effectiveness of such variable aperture on a smartphone camera remains to be seen, but at least this gives Samsung a good head start, especially if this tech does end up on the upcoming Galaxy S9 -- we may find out as soon as January.

The camera is otherwise pretty much identical to those on the S8 series and the wide-angle imager on the Note 8: it features large 1.4um pixels, dual-pixel auto-focus and optical image stabilization.

Another first for Samsung's premium line of flip phones here is the addition of Bixby, which started supporting Chinese voice input as of last month. Of course, this means you have a new dedicated button on the side of the phone to toggle Samsung's very own digital assistant.

Much like its predecessor, the W2018 features two 4.2-inch 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreens, a rear fingerprint reader, dual SIM slots, NFC, a 5-megapixel f/1.9 selfie camera and a surprisingly small 2,300 mAh battery. Luckily, the rest is as you'd expect on a modern flagship device: Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB of RAM, a storage option of 64GB or a whopping 256GB plus a USB-C port (yes, the W2017 still had a micro-USB port). There's even an iris scanner if you prefer using that to unlock, but it's only accessible when you flip open the phone.

At the time of writing this article, neither Samsung nor China Telecom had yet to confirm the price for the W2018; we tend not to hear about it until much later on (not that any of us outside of China are going to buy one, anyway). But what we do know is that both parties have donated a total of four million yuan (about $605,000) to the China Youth Development Foundation to help build ten "Heart Of The World Samsung Smart Schools" in rural areas next year. Each of these schools will be equipped with PCs, tablets, smartphones and interactive whiteboards, in the hopes of helping impoverished children as well as influencing other schools by training teachers with these equipments.

Via: Engadget Chinese

Source: Jason Wang (Sina Weibo), Samsung, Sohu, Sina Tech

Samsung’s ‘graphene ball’ battery could lead to fast-charging EVs

When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, you can have fast charging speeds or high capacities -- take your pick. Now, Samsung researchers, working with Seoul National University, have figured out how to give batteries both qualities thanks to our old friend, graphene. By coating the electrodes with a thin, popcorn-shaped layer known as a "graphene ball," they were able to produce a battery that could fully charge in just 12 minutes with up to 45 percent more capacity. The research, if it pans out, could lead to lighter and faster-charging electric vehicles.

The problem with current lithium-ion tech is the dreaded "side reactions" that can wear away the electrodes, especially if the battery is charged too quickly. Researchers have found that nanomaterials like graphene can reduce the wear and tear on them, while simultaneously increasing their conductivity. The problem is that coating electrodes uniformly has proven to be a challenge, and many efforts have resulted in an undesirable tradeoff by increasing charging speeds but decreasing capacity.

Samsung's approach is to use a material assembly called a graphene ball to coat nickel-rich cathodes and lithium-based anode materials. The thin, popcorn-like substance can be coated onto the cathode evenly, making it more effective, while also giving the anode a capacity boost.

That technique increased both the stability of the battery and its conductivity, "improving the cyclability and fast charging capability of the cathode substantially," the researchers note. What's more, they hit energy densities of nearly 800 Wh/L, around the same as Li-ion batteries today used by Tesla (below) and others.

This isn't just a laboratory effort, as Samsung knows a thing or two about production. Its researchers figured out how to coat the electrodes using "Nobilta" milling in a way that's reasonably fast and accurate. The process, they say "would not require a substantial change" to current manufacturing techniques for advanced lithium-ion batteries like the ones used in EVs.

Batteries that can fully charge in 12 minutes would make EVs a hell of a lot more practical, even if capacities remain unchanged. It's hard not to believe that our hopes won't be dashed again, but maybe, just maybe, Samsung's manufacturing expertise could actually turn the research into something useful.

Via: Samsung

Source: Nature