LG Announced a Storage and Memory Update to Its V30 Phone Earlier This Year

LG, the South Korean electronics giant, is steadily gaining interest as the company goes public with a few surprises. During the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC), LG announced the LG V30S. The smartphone is the updated version of the V30 launched last year under the ThinQ brand. Like the LG ThinQ speaker, which is powered by Google Assistant, LG has put a plus on AI for this updated version.

Storage and Memory Changes

The V30 has an awesome design and a very decent camera. It supports wireless charging, retains the headphone jack, and has a microSD slot. The downside is its OLED screen that doesn’t quite satisfy, what with the $830 price tag. That’s a big issue that could drive away many buyers.

To counter this disadvantage, LG is reportedly making various updates on the V30S. The most notable ones are the storage and memory upgrades. The updated version V30S uses the exact design as the V30 and runs on Android Oreo. It has a dual camera, a screen with 18:9 display, a battery capacity of 3,300mAH, and the Snapdragon 835 CPU. The main update is on the memory: from 4 GB to 6 GB and from 64 GB or 128 GB to 128 GB or 256 GB.

LG Lens and New Colors

It’s also reported that the new phones will feature the LG Lens, which are akin to Google Lens used exclusively on the current Pixel phones. What the LG Lens does is it identifies and recognizes objects in the photo you are taking, using the angle and your current location. The tool will provide relevant results based on what the object or scene onscreen is.

There are new colors too, Platinum Grey and Moroccan Blue. There are also rumors about featuring a translation option like the Google Translate photo mode.

Software Updates and More

LG also announced software updates during the MWC:

  • For AI Cam, LG licensed the EyeEm Vision, which is trained to detect and machine-learn up to 100 million images. The tool pulls related keywords prompted by the image that it recognizes on your screen, whether it’s an object or scenery.
  • LG also tweaked the V30 camera to its V30S version with Bright Mode, which combines four pixels into one to take better pictures in extremely low-light settings.
  • LG added the QLens image detection tool, which works with Amazon, so you could shop with ease by taking a photo of a product you want to purchase. The tool could use some improvement, though, because of its disappointing inaccuracy.

New V30S Updates, New LG Users

With continuous updates on its lineup of tech products, LG could really use more efficient and accurate tools on its smartphones. The current lineup of smartphones that feature Google tools makes for the kind of camera technology that consumers are looking for these days.

Point-shoot-post has become the trend because of popular social photo apps like Instagram and Facebook. The V30S updates can encourage Android users to try this new LG device rather than the competition. With LG working closely with its partners, competitors are definitely in for a good fight.

Apple iTunes Has Finally Come to the Windows Store

Almost a year following its original announcement, and a few months later than initially planned, iTunes is finally on the Windows Store. This means Windows 10 S users can now enjoy Apple’s most popular app.

One Year (and More) in the Making

During a 2017 developer’s conference, Microsoft announced that an iTunes app would soon be available in the Windows Store. The original release date was at the end of that year. Microsoft revealed that a team had been working closely with Apple to make this happen. iTunes is one of the top searched apps, and its absence in the Windows Store hurt both companies.

The original plan to release the app in the latter part of 2017 didn’t transpire. But after several months of delay, both Apple and Microsoft have finally made good on that promise. The iTunes app is now available for download in the Windows Store. This easy access provides users the opportunity to purchase music, movies, and TV shows without hassle. It also provides them access to the Apple Music streaming service.

A Full-Fledged Version of iTunes

The new iTunes app that rolled out in the Windows Store last April is similar to what has long been accessible to most Mac and PC users. Since iTunes is an Apple product, it’s readily available on Mac. On the other hand, Windows users must first go to Apple’s website to download the app.

The iTunes app available in the Windows Store is most relevant for users of Windows 10 S, which is a more structured edition of Windows 10. This move is especially important because Windows 10 S is designed for economical computers and laptops used in classrooms. Most of these low-cost machines couldn’t run iTunes because their OS only allowed them to download apps found in the Windows Store.

Windows 10 S was launched around the same time that the plans for iTunes to be made available in the Windows Store was first revealed to the public. Now Windows 10 S users can easily access Apple’s digital media app on their computer. They can also listen to Beats 1 radio. By installing iTunes, they can also have their own Apple Music subscription.

The iTunes app installer is around 478 megabytes. It is a 64-bit app that supports both x64 and x86 systems. To successfully download the app, the Windows 10 version must at least be 16299.0. The app also needs to be installed on the computer’s internal hard drive.

Like in the past, those who don’t use Windows 10 S can freely use the standalone iTunes installer direct from Apple’s site. They can also download iTunes via the Windows Store if they want to receive updates.

How About Google Chrome?

There are rumors that Microsoft is finding ways to bring apps like the Chrome browser to the Windows Store. But there are also indicators that Google Chrome may never show up on Microsoft’s digital shop, since Google would need to remodel its browser to conform to Microsoft’s rigid app specifications. For the time being, the only hope for this to happen is if Google decides to develop a new version of Chrome that is tailored for the Windows Store, as they have done for iOS. However, this is less likely to happen.

Samsung Announced That the 16-Megapixel ISOCELL Slim 3P9 Image Sensor Is Now Available

Samsung is an electronics and technology products giant known not only for its lineup of smartphones but its imaging solutions as well. Aside from producing some of the best smartphones available today, Samsung also leads in semiconductor technology. A concrete proof of this is its announcement of the new 16MP ISOCELL Slim 3P9 image sensor with Plug and Play solution. The product is a camera module that has been pre-optimized and is OEM ready.

Upgraded Image Sensor

The ISOCELL Slim 3P9 has 1.0µm pixel size. It uses Tetra Cell technology, which allows slim smartphones to capture vivid and bright photos. Tetra Cell combines four pixels to allow the 3P9 to become a 2.0µm image sensor. This is used in front-facing smartphone cameras. Tetra Cell also uses the Phase Detection Auto Focus or PDAF for faster and more efficient focusing. The 16MP ISOCELL 3P9 camera allows mid-range phones to take better photos using their front cameras even under low-light settings. Images will appear clearer with the optimized 2.0µm pixel size.

Below are the features of the ISOCELL Slim 3P9:

  • 1.0µm pixels combined with the Tetra Cell technology for high-quality images using the front camera
  • Advanced PDAF that works more accurately with twice the auto-focus power compared to other PDAF sensors today
  • Electronic image stabilization via gyroscope

What’s more is that Samsung has also come up with a complete solution for the back-camera module that includes actuators and lenses. Samsung has optimized and tested its imaging solutions at the module level instead of just on the sensor alone. This allows manufacturers to just plug the Samsung camera into their phones and save ample time—up to four months—on development.

As for image stabilization, Samsung uses movement data generated by the gyroscope in the device for adjusting photos and videos. Traditional electronic stabilization technology only analyzes every frame in order to detect and then adjust for any movement.

The ISOCELL Slim 3P9 is available for OEM. Samsung’s tech partners now have access to the ISOCELL Slim 3P9 and the Plug and Play system. However, there are no sample photos yet. The first smartphones to use this new product from Samsung will most likely come out this summer. Until then, we can only imagine how photos will look when taken with this hardware component.

A Leader in Image Sensors

Samsung has bagged the Top Chipmaker recognition based on revenue and by selling more smartphone units than any other manufacturer last 2017. That doesn’t stop the company from its attempt to advance and take Sony’s spot as the top producer of image sensors. According to several reports, Samsung aims to double the production of its sensors before 2018 ends.

The move to increase production of its camera sensors is a good one for Samsung. This will cushion the effects as China continues to mass produce in the coming years. NAND and DRAM prices are expected to drop in the process. Getting a very good share of the market for image sensors would give Samsung an advantage and a leeway for potential future losses.

Anker’s Audio Brand, Soundcore, Is Releasing More than a Dozen New Speakers

Perfect timing to usher in the summer season, Soundcore, Anker’s audio brand, is releasing a bunch of new headphones and speakers. Soundcore develops high-quality products at a lower price, perfect for audio enthusiasts who are budget-conscious but want quality as well. These new speakers are great for their impeccable battery life, which is a specialty of the Anker brand. Here are a few of the new products they’re coming out with very soon:

Flare and Flare+

Even with their petite sizes, the Flare and Flare+ sure pack a great punch. They are water-resistant, which makes them perfect to take with you on a beach trip or by the pool. The Flare is priced at an affordable $59.99, and they come in several color options such as black, red, gray, and blue. On the other hand, the more advanced Flare+ retails for $99.99, with its louder sound and 20 hours of playback capability. The Flare+ will launch in August.

Space NC

These are headphones with over-ear cushions that are noise-canceling. They can last up to 20 hours of playback, complete with noise cancellation and 40 mm dynamic drivers. The design is sleek and chic with a matte finish. These headphones are priced at $99.99 and have been up for sale since last 14th of May. They will become available online at Amazon towards the end of May.

Liberty Lite

With the popularity of Apple’s AirPods, the Liberty Lite is Anker’s attempt at producing a better version. These were made to be a cheaper version of the Anker Zolo Liberty, which cost $99 and launched earlier this year. They are considered to be the first ever sweatproof sports earbuds available on the market, equipped with Anker’s innovative SweatGuard technology. The Liberty Lite earbuds are able to run for 3.5 hours after every charge. They will sell for $69 and are set to launch on June 18.

Split Series

The Split Series consists of 3 earbud pairs with varying battery lives and prices. They are sweatproof and designed specifically for athletes and active fitness enthusiasts. The Spirit is a set of in-ear earbuds that is priced at $39.99 with 9 hours of battery capacity, while the Spirit X is more hook-styled and has 12 hours of battery life, selling for the same price of $39.99. The Spirit Pro, on the other hand, is a premium choice at 10 dollars more with a 10-hour playback time and a Qualcomm chip.

More audio products are set to be announced by Anker in the coming weeks. Among the most anticipated is the Infini series, which are advanced soundbars for television and can also double as Bluetooth-capable speakers. The BassUp technology and the newest SweatGuard technology give these new Anker products an edge. The Anker Innovations brand is a leader in consumer and charging electronics and, with this new venture with Soundcore, they are looking to continue taking the lead, although quietly, in the audio game.

The Best Phones for Gaming on the Market Right Now

Smartphones are just that—smart. These devices are specifically designed to cater to human interests and to offer convenience, whether it’s for productivity or entertainment. One of the most prominent uses for smartphones, especially for the younger generation, is gaming.

Of course, not all smartphones are created equal. There are niches that big brands cater to, groups who have specific preferences such as the selfie-conscious crowd or the busy executives. This is why each phone is developed with a special feature that will sell to a specific group. As such, the gaming crowd is a particularly picky bunch, with their tech know-how and detailed specs preferences.

If you’re a part of this crowd and looking for a phone that will give you the ultimate gaming experience, here are the 5 best phones for gaming available on the market today:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

After giving us a blast—literally—the previous year, Samsung has made a major comeback with the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It is considered to be the most ambitious flagship phone that Samsung has ever released. It has a crisp Infinity Display and houses powerful internal support perfect for heavy gaming. Its screen measures 6.3 inches with an AMOLED display and an excellent resolution of 1440p.

Under its sleek hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 runs on Snapdragon 835 SoC with an Adreno 540 GPU and an octa-core 2.35 GHz processor. It has a 6 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage. As for battery power, it has a capacity of 3,300 mAh.

OnePlus 5T

The OnePlus 5T is the cheapest phone on this list, without sacrificing performance. It has a new edge-to-edge screen that will give you an excellent viewing experience with its 1080p display. It also houses a Snapdragon 835 SoC, Adreno 540 GPU, and an octa-core 2.45 GHz CPU. It has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB internal storage. The battery power is also good, with a capacity of 3,300 mAh.

iPhone 8 Plus

Considered a top contender as the best gaming phone, the iPhone boasts excellent internals that will wow gaming fans. It is a classic iPhone with bezels at the top and bottom of its 5.5-inch display. The display is great with an IPS LCD 1080p, although not as great as the others on this list. As for its internals, it packs an A11 Bionic chipset, hexa-core CPU, and an Apple GPU. The downside is that it only has 3 GB worth of RAM.

Razer

A popular brand in the gaming community, the Razer phone lives up to its name. Its display features a reset rate of 120 Hz, making it the best display out of all the phones on this list. It has an IPS LCD of 5.71 inches with 1440p resolution. It houses a powerful Snapdragon 835 with Adreno 540 graphics and 2.35 GHz processor. As for storage, it has a staggering 8 GB of RAM, although it only has 64 GB internal storage. Among its best features is the battery power—an impressive 4,000 mAh battery pack that will last you through a gaming marathon just fine.  

What Is Android P? The Next Version of Android

If you’re an Android user, Android P is about to take over your digital life. During Google’s 2018 keynote event, which took place May 8–10, the tech giant highlighted its aim to make smartphones flexible for its users. This is mainly done through a comprehensive UI cleanup. The majority of these changes and updates will be on Android P, which is a follow-up to last year’s Oreo release.

There’s still time away before the new Android OS becomes available to the public. But even in its beta form, Android P is already exhibiting a great deal of promise. And while certain features and specs are bound to change before its official release, for the time being, here’s what you need to know about Android P:

Gesture-Based System

In 2011, Google launched the three-button navigation system—Back, Home, and Recents—via Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Since then, the system has grown to be an iconic Android feature that users have come to know and love. After seven years, this beloved navigation system will be replaced by a brand new gesture-based system. With the new Android OS, Google will heavily rely on gestures for user interface navigation.

This is how the new system works:

  • To go to Home, click the Home button.
  • To access the Recents page, swipe up.
  • To launch the app drawer, either make a long swipe or do a double swipe.

The Back button will appear on certain apps, and only if needed.

These combined actions of taps and swipes can be a bit confusing. But experts anticipate that Google will present a more sophisticated and polished version of the new gesture-based system in the final build.

Round and Vibrant User Interface

The visual improvements in the new Android OS are not as extreme as the changes made from KitKat to Lollipop. But Android P will certainly display noticeable changes compared to Oreo. Two obvious updates are easy to spot: the rounded corners of icons and the more colorful icons seen in Settings.

Another noticeable thing about Android P is its vibrancy. It has a more lively and dynamic feel compared to previous versions of the operating system. But this isn’t much of a surprise. Between the new gesture-based system and improved animations, Android P is definitely Google’s most animated OS yet.

Petit Four or Popsicle?

Google has already presented tons of information about Android P, but its official dessert-themed name remains undisclosed. There are a lot of speculations floating online, but the top contenders are Petit Four and Popsicle.

It’s not common knowledge, but prior to Google settling on alphabetized dessert names, Android 1.1. was known internally as Petit Four. As such, it’s likely that Android 9.0 will be named after this tiny, delicate French cake.

Alternatively, the new Android operating system may be introduced as Android 9.0 Popsicle. This isn’t a far-fetched idea since Google already used a frozen dessert before, the Ice Cream Sandwich.

Since Google hardly ever reveals the names of new OS versions during conferences, we can likely expect the announcement a few weeks before Android P’s release date.

 

Alexa Blueprints: Amazon Just Released a New Way for Users to Customize Alexa

If you’re an Alexa user, you’ll find Amazon’s newly released Alexa Blueprints a lifesaver. Not only does it make using Alexa less complicated, it also lets any beginner, with or without experience, use Alexa pretty well with ease.

What is Alexa?

For those who haven’t heard, Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon. It was originally developed to be used in Amazon Echo and the succeeding Amazon Echo Dot speakers back in 2014. Given that it is a virtual assistant, it has voice interaction capabilities, along with music playback, to-do list functionality, alarm setting, podcast and audiobook playback, and the usual traffic conditions, weather reports, and the latest news updates. It can also function as a home automation system as it can remotely control smart devices.

Alexa is activated through a wake word, while on other devices, a user will need to press a button to activate the listening mode on Alexa.

What is Alexa Blueprints?

Almost four years later since Alexa’s launch, Amazon has developed Alexa Blueprints. Alexa Blueprints is a new way for users to customize Alexa, giving them the chance to add new skills and responses without having to alter Alexa itself. There are no coding skills needed. Users can now create voice apps of their own and teach Alexa how to respond to certain questions. Be it a slew of stories for the little ones or some trivia games, Alexa Blueprints can help even those who have zero coding skills customize their own experience.  

How does one use Alexa Blueprints?

Given that it is marketed to those who have no prior background in app building and coding, Alexa Blueprints is very simple to use. You can create a new skill or personalized response on Alexa by simply visiting blueprints.amazon.com, where you can select a template to work with.

There is a selection of 20 templates available for users to customize. The templates are arranged under categories of interest, such as Learning & Knowledge, Fun & Games, Storyteller, and At Home. Once you’ve chosen a design, it is pretty straightforward from there. You simply enter your information or the things you want featured in your app. After you are finished filling up the template with your desired content, you can publish Alexa’s new skill or response with just a quick click of a button. Once you’ve published it, this new skill or response will now be available on all your devices that are Alexa-enabled and linked to your personal Amazon account.

 

With Alexa Blueprints, there are no complicated steps, nor will you even need to look up how to use it. The templates are available for you to try out before you are ready to make your own. Advanced users can of course proceed to making more complicated skills and responses to their own liking. Alexa Blueprints is a great way to personalize Alexa for all its users, whether they are tech-savvy or not.

How to Block and Filter Phone Numbers on Your iPhone with the Tools in iOS

Our phones receive tons of notifications, and they’re usually more than enough to keep us busy throughout the day. As we try to catch up with every single notification, we would often receive unsolicited calls or messages—in other words, spam.

Not to mention, there may be some people in our lives we’re not so keen to get in touch with. Whatever the personal reason may be, all you want is to rid your phone of unwanted messages. Whether it’s a telemarketer or someone we’d rather not talk to, we all have that one person we wish we could easily delete from our phone.

The good news is there are actually two easy ways to achieve this. The best part of it all is that you can do it discreetly without letting them know that you’ve blocked them. This guide is written for those who currently own an iPhone. So, for all iOS users out there, read on below to find out how to block and filter phone numbers on your iPhone.

Block This Caller Option

The easiest way to block a number is by using the Block this Caller option. As long as you have the sender or caller’s record on your phone, you will be able to use this option.

One way is to access the person’s number through the Phone app. To start, simply tap on the Phone app and head over to the Recent section. Find the number you wish to block, and you will see a blue “i” icon next to it. Tap on the “i” and scroll down to find the Block this Caller option. After you’ve tapped the option, you are now freed from the caller or sender.

Another way is to block the person through the Messages app. All you have to do is to find the conversation with the person, and you will see the blue “i” icon. Tap on it and find the Block this Caller option below.

Call Blocking Management

If you would like to access a list of all the contacts you’ve blocked, you may do so through the Call Blocking Management settings.

To access this list, you would need to head over to Settings. From there, you will find a list. Tap on Phone or Messages and it will bring you to another set of options. Go to Blocked or Call Blocking and Identification to manage all blocked contacts.

 

Once there, you will be able to see all the numbers you’ve blocked. If you would like to unblock someone, find the Edit tab in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. After tapping on it, you will find a red minus symbol beside each blocked number. To unblock, tap on the symbol.

Alternatively, you can also block someone while on the Blocked or Call Blocking and Identification page. Below the list of blocked numbers, you’ll find a Block Contact tab. Tap on it and search for the number you’d like to block.

Moto E5, Moto E5 Plus, Moto E5 Play Specifications and Price

Lenovo-owned Motorola didn’t just stop with the new Moto G6 Series this year. To accompany the G6 Series, they’ve also announced another line of smartphones to their roster: the Moto E5 Series. The Moto E5 series is currently composed of 3 models, namely, the Moto E5, the Moto E5 Plus, and the Moto E5 Play.

With the G6 right above the line, the Moto E5 series was actually created to accommodate a more entry-level segment. In fact, many have already named it as the ultimate budget phone of the year. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that the E5 falls behind the G6 in quality.

For a phone that’s friendly to the wallet, the E5 has a lot of promising features that are definitely worth more than the price it came with. The Moto E5 and E5 Plus will be available to the Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Latin America by June 2018. However, the E5 Play will be restricted to customers in the USA only.

For now, read on below to find out more about this series before it hits the shelves.

Moto E5 Price and Specifications

At an MSRP of EUR 149, the Moto E5 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo and it comes with a 5.7-inch LCD in 1,440 x 720 pixels. And for an entry-level phone, it has an impressive 13-megapixel camera—the best among the three.

The Moto E5 has a 2GB storage, expandable up to 128GB. It also has a notable battery capacity of 4,000 mAh—a far cry from the average of 2,800 mAh with other phones.

Moto E5 Plus Price and Specifications

The Moto E5 Plus is definitely at the top of the series with an impressive 5,000 mAh battery life and TurboCharge support. This system is said to provide extra power of up to 6 hours with just 15 minutes of charging time.

This phone also has a 6-inch LCD size, the biggest among the three. It is also the only phone in the E5 Series that has an 18:9 display ratio. Although its camera isn’t as advanced as the E5, it surely does not lag behind with its 12-megapixel camera. Also running on the Android 8.0 Oreo system, the E5 Plus has a storage of 3GB and is also expandable up to 128GB.

At EUR 169 MSRP, the E5 Plus is an entry-level phone that deserves to be at the top.

Moto E5 Play Price and Specifications

The price for the E5 Play has yet to be revealed, but based on its specifications, one can guess that this model will be the most budget-friendly of the three. With its display size at 5.2 inches, the E5 Play is obviously the smallest of the bunch. Its camera is also at the lower end of the spectrum with a resolution of just 8 megapixels.

And compared to the generous battery life of both the E5 and E5 Plus, the E5 Play has an average battery capacity of just 2,800 mAh. Also running on Android 8.0 Oreo, the phone has a 2GB storage, expandable up to 128GB.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs. Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X

No one can deny that smartphones are in the prime of their development today. The bad news is that consumers are becoming even more confused as to which smartphone to purchase.

As of today, the Sony Xperia XZ2, Samsung Galaxy S9, and the iPhone X are at the top of the list. Perhaps you’re looking for the smartest phone of the bunch and would still like to get your money’s worth. Here’s the rundown on the best qualities of each phone:

Design

Smartphone designs today are not very different from each other. But if there’s one aspect that consumers still take into consideration, it would have to be the overall size of the device. If bigger means better for you, the Sony Xperia XZ2 wins this round by a few millimeters. Alternatively, if you prefer something slim, the iPhone X is your choice among the three.

Display

In relation to the phone size, many people look to the display as well. Despite being the bigger phone in size, the Sony Xperia XZ2 has the smallest resolution among the three. It comes with a display size of 5.7 inches, while both the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 have a display size of 5.8 inches. However, the Samsung Galaxy S9 wins by a couple of pixels in resolution.

Camera

For all the photo junkies out there, you’ve probably already heard that these smartphones offer the best in photo quality. But if you’re looking for the ultimate choice, you might be interested in getting the Sony Xperia XZ2. With an impressive 19-megapixel camera, there’s no other phone that can give you a crisp and clear photo. On the other hand, both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X are at a tie, both having 12-megapixel cameras.

Hardware

There are definitely some consumers who don’t care too much about appearances. But what matters most is what’s on the inside. Bearing this in mind, both the Sony and Samsung phones have the higher system memory at 4 GB RAM, while the iPhone X comes with only 3 GB RAM.

And no conversation about hardware will be complete without a comparison of storage. As we all know, the highest storage memory of an iPhone X at the moment is at 256 GB, while both the Sony and Samsung phones have their built-in storage at 64 GB with possible expansion up to 400 GB.

Battery life

When it comes to battery life, the Sony Xperia XZ2 clearly wins this round, having a capacity of 3,180 mAh. This number significantly means that it has the longest music and video playback time as well. At the other end of the scale, the iPhone X has a capacity of only 2,716 mAh, falling behind the 3,000 mAh Samsung S9. Now that we have listed the best smartphone for each category, the choice is yours to make. We hope that this simple guide was able to help you make a decision. Enjoy your new phone!