Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know

 

It seems like only yesterday, or just over seven weeks ago, that we found out Destiny 2 would be coming to PC, shedding the original’s console-only shackles. On Thursday, Bungie revealed more details about the upcoming multi-player first-person shooter. A lot of it’s good, some of it’s not so good, and some of it’s downright surprising.

Here’s what PC gamers need to know about Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 will be a Battle.net exclusive

Say what? Yep. The PC edition will be available from Activision Blizzard-owned Battle.net, not Steam.

Bungie signed a 10-year publishing deal with Activision so it makes a little sense to see Destiny 2 on Battle.net, but it’s still surprising. Until now the site was exclusively for Blizzard’s own games, with other Activision games such as Call of Duty appearing on platforms like Steam and the Windows Store.

Does Destiny 2‘s arrival on Battle.net herald the beginning of another rival to Steam or an Activision-wide version of EA’s Origin? Not according to Blizzard. The company says this is all about getting Destiny 2 out to the world as quickly as possible. Bungie can focus on making a great game (and spinning up game servers), while Blizzard takes care of the social and retail aspects. Sounds reasonable, but it’ll be interesting to see if any more non-Blizzard games show up on Battle.net over the next year or so.

Lots of PC-friendly features

This doesn’t sound like a half-assed port, as Bungie’s plans include a lot of PC-centric features, according to PC Gamer. That includes full keyboard and mouse support, custom keymapping, 4K and ultrawide resolution support, an uncapped framerate (consoles will be limited to 30 frames per second), and the ability to adjust the field of view–a blessing for anyone who suffers from FPS motion sickness.

No cross-save between PCs and console

It’s a rare feature anyway, but cross-play and cross-saving won’t be available with Destiny 2, as first reported by USGamer. With Microsoft playing up the Xbox Play Anywhere program and the popularity of Destiny among gamers of all stripes it’s a shame to hear Destiny 2 won’t break out of the usual silos.

Choose your platform carefully. This is a game that is best played with friends, and if all your friends are on Xbox while you’re on PC—well, you need better friends.destiny2big

No PC release date

As of now there isn’t a release date for PCs. The game will hit the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 8. The PC release date, meanwhile, is still not set and won’t be for at least a few more weeks, Bungie told PC Gamer. Bah.

Beta for all

On the plus side, there will be a beta for PC, but we’ll have to wait and see when that will happen. Will the PC beta roll out at the same time as the console beta, for example, or will we be waiting longer for that too? We don’t know yet.

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How to download YouTube videos: 4 things you need to know

Sure, it’s easy to download videos from YouTube, but doing it legally is another proposition. While there’s no law that specifically says you can’t download videos from YouTube for free, YouTube’s rules are very clear.

Before you start downloading YouTube videos, read on for four things you need to know, starting with…

There’s only one 100-percent legit way to download videos from YouTube

If you want to download YouTube videos confident in the knowledge that you’re on the right side of the law, there’s just one way to do it: by signing up for YouTube Red.

Among other benefits (including ad-free videos, original shows and unlimited music streaming), YouTube’s $10-a-month Red subscription service lets you save any YouTube video for offline viewing.

A couple of key restrictions apply when it comes to “offline” YouTube viewing. For starters, you can download YouTube videos only by using the YouTube app for Android and iOS. No PC or Mac downloads are allowed.

Saved YouTube videos will disappear after 30 days, and some videos may not be available for download at all depending on the decision of the content uploaders. Once your Red subscription expires, so will all your saved YouTube videos.

YouTube Red

Ben Patterson / IDG

The “offline” videos you save using YouTube Red will (typically) expire after 30 days.

While there are strings attached when it comes to downloading YouTube videos via YouTube Red, at least you’ll be able to do so without worrying that you’ve broken the law.

YouTube explicitly forbids the downloading of any YouTube videos outside of its Red service

The moment you start watching YouTube videos, you put yourself at the mercy of its “terms of service,” which reads (in part):

Samsung won’t stop saying weird things about the Galaxy S8’s design

 

A little over three weeks ago, Samsung felt it needed to explain the design of its gorgeous Galaxy S8 to everyone with yet another annoying design story. If you ask me, the Galaxy S8’s design doesn’t need any explanations, at least as long as they sound as bad as the design posts Samsung used to write when it had to defend its plastic phones. But Samsung did it anyway. For some reason, Samsung is now back with a second Galaxy S8 design story, and it’s just as equally disturbing as the first one.

This time around, the blog post is structured as an interview between Samsung and Samsung. I’m not even going to get into the fact that a Samsung employee is interviewing a different Samsung employee for the time being. Let’s just check out some of the “best” parts of it.

The oneness is back

“It’s often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and this certainly rings true for smartphones,” Samsung designer Hyoungshin Park said. “So, in line with our philosophy of neutrality, we aimed to create a seamless design that highlights the visual unity of the device under the concept of ‘oneness.’”

“The Galaxy S8 in particular is differentiated by the oneness of its materials,” designer Hyejin Bang answered when asked how the concept of oneness applies to glass and metal.

Later in the interview the reporter asked this question: “Considering so many different people worked on various aspects of the design, how were you able to apply the concept of ‘oneness’ to create a coherent design?” It really is something every Galaxy S8 user should know.

The response itself would not be important, but Park gave us this tidbit: “Designing the Galaxy S8 was a lengthy, systematic process – one that lasted much longer than a year! – and required a great deal of teamwork.” Later in the interview, Samsung designers explained how they interacted with the development team and the hardware team to come up with the final version of the Galaxy S8. “In the end, however, we were able to collectively, as one, achieve our goals.”Galaxy S8 Design Story

All that teamwork talk only made me wonder how long the design, development, and hardware teams spent on creating the Galaxy Note 7 last year and whether they had enough time to do a good job given Samsung’s pressure to release the phone as early as possible. But the Samsung reporter did not ask any hard questions, so we’ll never know.

One thing that also sticks out is that the word “safety” doesn’t appear anywhere in the interview, which is strange considering Samsung has been under a lot of pressure to deliver a product that won’t explode or show any other massive manufacturing fault.

That elusive true essence

Oneness isn’t the only buzzword Samsung is throwing out there. We also have the true essence of the Galaxy S8. To create a device under the concept of oneness, Samsung “focused on creating a design that is harmonious, natural and centered on the true essence of the Galaxy S8.”

It’s really unclear what that true essence of the phone is, but as you keep reading you find out it’s the display. Apparently, at some point during the development of the phone, the design team recognized the smartphone’s true essence is the display, more than anything else. Better late than ever, I suppose. It’s only been 10 years since everyone realized the display is all that matters in a smartphone.

To maintain that essence, Samsung placed the home button under the display and moved the fingerprint sensor to the back, “a location users can easily reach when holding the device in their hand.” Yes, Samsung said that.

Furthermore, it gave the phone black top and bottom bezels to make it appear like it stretches seamlessly from the top to the bottom. The Bixby button is also a solution Samsung created to avoid compromising the design of the phone. Too bad the button doesn’t really work right now.

The full interview is available at this link, but you’d be better off just looking at this pretty picture of the Galaxy S8 than reading the second party of its design story.

Image Source: Zach Epstein, BGR

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8 things Apple could do with its $250bn cash pile

 

 

Apple has money in the bank: a lot of it. The iPhone maker, one of the world’s most profitable companies, revealed on Tuesday night that its cash holdings have surged to $256.8bn (£198bn), an almost unfathomable sum.

The company’s financial reserves have swelled largely because almost all of it is parked offshore, with Apple awaiting a tax holiday that would allow it to bring the money home.

Apple has money in the bank: a lot of it. The iPhone maker, one of the world’s most profitable companies, revealed on Tuesday night that its cash holdings have surged to $256.8bn (£198bn), an almost unfathomable sum.

The company’s financial reserves have swelled largely because almost all of it is parked offshore, with Apple awaiting a tax holiday that would allow it to bring the money home.

When this happens, Apple is likely to return the cash to shareholders, pay down debt or spend it on some big acquisitions. But if we spare the reality for a second, we can imagine just what $250bn could buy the world’s biggest company.

395 million iPhones

iPhone
CREDIT: AP

At a retail price of $649 (£599 in the UK), the iPhone 7 is at the more expensive end of the smartphone market, but Apple has enough cash to buy one 395,685,670 times over.

That’s enough to buy everyone in the UK and the US one each – although we imagine Apple would probably be able to wangle a discount on its own phone.

2,214 Paul Pogbas

Paul Pogba
CREDIT: REUTERS

Manchester United stunned the footballing world when it paid £89.3mfor Paul Pogba last summer, eclipsing the prices paid by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Buying the world’s most expensive footballer would be a rounding error for Apple. The £8.5bn of profits in the last quarter meant it earned a Paul Pogba every 23 hours.

$35 for everyone on the planet

Planet Earth
CREDIT: REUTERS

The Population Reference Bureau estimated the world’s population at 7.4 billion in August 2016, which is expected to grow to 9.9 billion by 2050.

If Apple split up its $256.8bn and divided it between the world population, that would work out at around $34.70 (£26.70) each.

15 years of Britain’s payments to the EU

Brexit bus
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Britain pays some £12.9bn a year to the EU after accounting for the annual “rebate” that lowers its contributions. A sizeable sum, no doubt, but Apple could finance it for 15 years and four months – well after the UK leaves.

After that, the money would naturally go to the NHS.

These six technology companies

This is one idea that might not be too far from the truth.

Apple is often seen as a potential buyer of Netflix or Tesla should it wish to find new growth areas, but with its cash it would be able to buy both as well as Uber, Snapchat, Twitter and Spotify.

12 Trump border walls

Trump wall
CREDIT: AFP

According to a leaked report recently obtained by Reuters, Donald Trump’s 1,250-mile border wall will cost as much as $21.6bn to build by the time it is completed in 2020.

Apple would be able to buy almost 12 of those walls, equivalent to around 14,500 miles: more than half the earth’s circumference.

Any company in the FTSE 100

Royal Dutch Shell
CREDIT: PA

Britain’s biggest listed company is the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, with a market cap of just over £165bn ($213bn). If Apple ever decided to pivot into oil production, it would be able to buy it with change to spare.

Some of Britain’s less valuable but famous names, like Tesco – valued at £15bn – could be bought more than 10 times over.

A luxury yacht for every member of staff

Yachts
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Apple has around 115,000 employees across its head office, international offices, stores and so on, so its cash pile could be divided up to give them all around $2.2m.

That’s easily enough to buy everyone a luxury yacht, such as this beauty.

 

8 things Apple could do with its $250bn cash pile

 

Apple’s cash pile has swelled to $256.8bn CREDIT: AP

Apple has money in the bank: a lot of it. The iPhone maker, one of the world’s most profitable companies, revealed on Tuesday night that its cash holdings have surged to $256.8bn (£198bn), an almost unfathomable sum.

The company’s financial reserves have swelled largely because almost all of it is parked offshore, with Apple awaiting a tax holiday that would allow it to bring the money home.

Apple has money in the bank: a lot of it. The iPhone maker, one of the world’s most profitable companies, revealed on Tuesday night that its cash holdings have surged to $256.8bn (£198bn), an almost unfathomable sum.Apple logo

The company’s financial reserves have swelled largely because almost all of it is parked offshore, with Apple awaiting a tax holiday that would allow it to bring the money home.

When this happens, Apple is likely to return the cash to shareholders, pay down debt or spend it on some big acquisitions. But if we spare the reality for a second, we can imagine just what $250bn could buy the world’s biggest company.

395 million iPhones

iPhone
CREDIT: AP

At a retail price of $649 (£599 in the UK), the iPhone 7 is at the more expensive end of the smartphone market, but Apple has enough cash to buy one 395,685,670 times over.

That’s enough to buy everyone in the UK and the US one each – although we imagine Apple would probably be able to wangle a discount on its own phone.

2,214 Paul Pogbas

Paul Pogba
CREDIT: REUTERS

Manchester United stunned the footballing world when it paid £89.3mfor Paul Pogba last summer, eclipsing the prices paid by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Buying the world’s most expensive footballer would be a rounding error for Apple. The £8.5bn of profits in the last quarter meant it earned a Paul Pogba every 23 hours.

$35 for everyone on the planet

Planet Earth
CREDIT: REUTERS

The Population Reference Bureau estimated the world’s population at 7.4 billion in August 2016, which is expected to grow to 9.9 billion by 2050.

If Apple split up its $256.8bn and divided it between the world population, that would work out at around $34.70 (£26.70) each.

15 years of Britain’s payments to the EU

Brexit bus
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Britain pays some £12.9bn a year to the EU after accounting for the annual “rebate” that lowers its contributions. A sizeable sum, no doubt, but Apple could finance it for 15 years and four months – well after the UK leaves.

After that, the money would naturally go to the NHS.

These six technology companies

This is one idea that might not be too far from the truth.

Apple is often seen as a potential buyer of Netflix or Tesla should it wish to find new growth areas, but with its cash it would be able to buy both as well as Uber, Snapchat, Twitter and Spotify.

12 Trump border walls

Trump wall
CREDIT: AFP

According to a leaked report recently obtained by Reuters, Donald Trump’s 1,250-mile border wall will cost as much as $21.6bn to build by the time it is completed in 2020.

Apple would be able to buy almost 12 of those walls, equivalent to around 14,500 miles: more than half the earth’s circumference.

Any company in the FTSE 100

Royal Dutch Shell
CREDIT: PA

Britain’s biggest listed company is the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, with a market cap of just over £165bn ($213bn). If Apple ever decided to pivot into oil production, it would be able to buy it with change to spare.

Some of Britain’s less valuable but famous names, like Tesco – valued at £15bn – could be bought more than 10 times over.

A luxury yacht for every member of staff

Yachts
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Apple has around 115,000 employees across its head office, international offices, stores and so on, so its cash pile could be divided up to give them all around $2.2m.

That’s easily enough to buy everyone a luxury yacht, such as this beauty.

 

The 3 Best And Worst Things About The BlackBerry KEYone

 

The BlackBerry KEYone.

BlackBerry used to rule the smartphone space, then the iPhone came along. Rather than accept the tide was turning, BlackBerry watched as most of its market share was gobbled up by touchscreen smartphones running iOS and Android. Now, BlackBerry sells Android phones, and fans of the classic BlackBerry design have been anxiously awaiting the company’s latest device, the KEYone. Does it live up to the hype? Is the keyboard making a comeback? You be the judge as we go over the best and worst things about this phone.

The Best

  • The keyboard: If you want an Android phone with a keyboard, this is your only option right now. It happens to be a pretty good keyboard, though. The keys are clicky and have more travel than you’d expect. Even if you have larger thumbs, the buttons are easy to hit, and there’s a satisfying surety when you type on a physical keyboard. Each one can also be set as a shortcut for apps and contacts. BlackBerry also slapped a fingerprint sensor in the spacebar, a clever design quirk.
  • The software: BlackBerry is launching this phone with Android 7.1.1, which Samsung and LG can’t be bothered to do (those phones have 7.0 only). What’s more, BB isn’t messing around with clunky custom UI layers. This is very close to stock Android, but there are a few useful BlackBerry apps and services included like the Hub, Password Keeper, and more. BlackBerry also promises tight security and frequent updates.
  • Battery life: The KEYone has a huge (relative to its size) 3,505mAh battery. The modest hardware and smaller screen mean this phone can easily make it through two or three days of heavy usage. When you do need to refill, it has quick charge support over the USB Type-C port.

The KEYone's keyboard.

Ryan Whitwam

The KEYone’s keyboard.

The Worst

  • The small screen: If you don’t absolutely need a keyboard, the KEYone doesn’t make a lot of sense. The screen has to shrink to accommodate the keyboard, so it’s only 4.5 inches and 1080×1620 pixels. The panel is bright and clear, but it’s not good for playing games, and it can feel cramped.
  • Performance: The KEYone is not a slow phone, but it’s nowhere near as fast as a Pixel or Galaxy S8. This phone has 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 625 ARM chip. Basic tasks like messaging, browsing the web, and multitasking are fine. However, apps can sometimes be slow to load, and gaming performance is disappointing. Although, I don’t know why you’d buy a phone with a keyboard if you want to play games.
  • Price: BlackBerry still seems to be counting on its name to carry some weight here. The KEYone will cost $550 unlocked. That’s only $100 less than the Pixel, which is faster and has more mainstream appeal. You have to pay a premium for that keyboard, and that’s going to drive away some people who were on the fence about going back to a physical QWERTY phone.

Sacrificing screen real estate.

Ryan Whitwam

Sacrificing screen real estate.

7 things we love about the HTC U11… and 6 things we hate about it

 

It might have been one of the last heavy hitters to make an appearance this year, but HTC didn’t disappoint with the U11: it’s a fantastic phone that is just begging to be slipped into your pocket.

With some of the most distinctive colour schemes we’ve seen on a phone since the crazy days of Nokia, and high-end hardware to match, there’s lots here to like.

Don’t think it’s all positive, though – because the U11 isn’t perfect. Here are some of the things that grind our gears about HTC’s latest, as well as the good stuff that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

7 THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THE HTC U11

1) THOSE EYE-CATCHING COLOURS

There’s no getting away from it – the U11 has some truly terrific colour choices. HTC’s Liquid Surface glass adds different hues and shades to give the impression of a water droplet, one that shimmers and shifts colour when you hold it at different angles. Compared to a flat black Galaxy S8, or Space Grey iPhone 7, the HTC wins every time.

At launch, Amazing Silver is the star of the show, thanks to a mix of blues, purples and silver, polished up to a mirror finish, but wait a month or two and the luxurious Solar Red should arrive. It’s curiously crimson from the front, but switches to glorious gold at the edges. It’s a real stunner.Image result for 7 things we love about the HTC U11... and 6 things we hate about it

2) IT TAKES FANTASTIC PHOTOS

A 12MP sensor doesn’t sound all that impressive, but with dual-pixel autofocus and the world’s first 5-axis optical image stabilisation in a smartphone, the U11 punches well above its weight when it comes to the camera. The detail packed into each snap is fantastic, either matching or beating major rivals such as the iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8.

It’s a dab hand when it comes to low light, too, thanks to an f/1.7 aperture that lets as much light hit the sensor as possible. HTC’s image processing algorithms are delicate, too, so detail isn’t stripped away just to hide noise.

3) WE’LL NEVER GET TIRED OF SQUEEZY SIDES

No, they don’t do very much right now, but the U11’s Edge Sense panels soon will. As a feature it’s bags of fun, and a totally different way to get things done on your phone. You can use those squeezable sides to do all manner of things: turning on your flashlight, for instance, or take a selfie, or summon Google Assistant (without having to shout “OK Google” first).

And that’s just the start. Once other apps support it properly, the possibilities will be huge.

4) IT’S A PERFORMANCE POWERHOUSE

Any discerning 2017 flagship phone has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 inside, and the U11 is no exception. That instantly gives it an edge over the likes of LG’s G6 and the Google Pixel, which make do with last year’s silicon. It’s quick enough to run just about anything you can throw at it from the Google Play Store, and has no trouble keeping Android 7 Nougat ticking over without any stutter or slowdown.

It’s not a battery hog, either. The U11 has a 3000mAh battery, but can easily last an entire day away from the mains – even if you’re feeding a serious Clash of Clans habit.

5) SPEAKERS THAT REALLY SING

Boomsound was easily one of the best things about HTC’s last-gen phones, and now we’ve got an even better version. They might not face forward any more, but the U11’s stereo speakers are so powerful that you won’t need a Bluetooth speaker to get the party started: just crank up the volume and let the phone do all the work.

Turning the inside of the handset into an acoustic chamber doesn’t exactly create a cacophony of bass, but it sounds much, much louder than any other flagship phone. Don’t think it’ll be nothing but distortion, either – sound quality really is very good for such a small set of speakers.

6) AMAZON’S ALEXA WILL SOON BE ON BOARD

The U11 will be the first phone to properly get Amazon’s Alexa, complete with wake word that’ll bring the handset out of standby and straight into the Alexa interface. Other phones have tried, but this is the first time we’ve seen it go completely hands-free.

That’s great, but one AI assistant just isn’t enough these days, and the U11 duly has room for two: Google Assistant is also onboard. While Alexa bests Assistant in areas such as smart home control, and will of course let you buy things on Amazon, Google’s helpful AI can still help out with Chromecast streaming and Google searches. The more the merrier, eh?

7) THE NOISE-CANCELLING CANS

Previous versions of HTC’s USonic ear buds already adjusted themselves to suit your own ear drums, using sonic pulses and built-in microphones to tweak the music EQ accordingly, but now they’ve got built-in noise cancelling too. And it really works!

OK, so it’s not quite as silence-inducing as a pair of noise-cancelling ‘phones from Bose or Sony, but they get the job done on public transport, and keep your office buddies from disturbing you when you’re trying to get some work done too. Not bad at all, seeing how they’re free and all.

AND 6 THINGS WE HATE ABOUT THE HTC U11

1) WHERE’S THE HEADPHONE JACK?

Come on, HTC – haven’t you learned by now? No-one wants to have to jam a dongle into their phone just to listen to music. The bundled USonic in-ears might be decent, and plenty of people have Bluetooth buds now, but that’s still no excuse.

If the mighty Apple can do it and still incur the wrath of its customers, there’s no way you can do the same and think you’ll get away with it. The bundled headphones don’t work in any other USB-C phone or laptop, either. Bring back the 3.5mm port!

2) THE BEZELS LOOK BEEFY NEXT TO THE COMPETITION

Samsung and LG did something a little different for 2017 – ditching the display bezels and finding room for 18:9 aspect ratio screens that stretch almost across the entire front of each phone. Samsung even added curved sides into the equation.

Sit either one of them next to the U11 and its thick top and bottom bezels make it look positively antiquated. The fingerprint sensor might be easier to reach on the HTC, but from the front you’d struggle to tell it was a 2017 phone. Its rivals are positively futuristic by comparison.

3) AN HDR SCREEN WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE, TOO

Both the G6 and Galaxy S8 also have HDR-ready displays, which let you watch Netflix or Amazon videos with more vibrant colours and greater contrast than you’ll find on a standard smartphone. HTC could have done something similar, but it decided not to bother.

OK, so we doubt many people are ready to stream HDR videos to their phone right now, but expect the tech to take off in the next year or so – and leave the U11 looking decidedly old hat.

4) SNAPS CAN FEEL A LITTLE SLUGGISH

As much as the U11 takes fantastic photos, it’s not quite as snap-happy as some of its big rivals. There’s a small delay between tapping the shutter button and the photo being saved. It’s not long enough to miss something crucial, but it’s still annoying – especially when the U11 is lightning-fast in just about every other area.

The Edge Sense shutter is even slower, but that’s because it needs to wait until your hand stops shaking after you’ve given the phone a squeeze. We don’t mind it so much here.

5) ALEXA AIN’T HERE JUST YET

Sure, we’re excited at having Amazon’s AI assistant built into our phones, and having Alexa accessible with a shout instead of a button press is a whole lot slicker than the setup you’ll find on other phones, but Alexa on the U11 isn’t ready just yet. We’ve got to wait till Amazon decides to give the green signal for Alexa to arrive in India.

Seeing how this is one of the things that helps the U11 stand out from the competition, we’re hoping HTC can get everything in place before its rivals do something similar.

6) EDGE SENSE DOESN’T SEE SENSE… RIGHT NOW

Those squeeze-able sides are a fun little extra right now – one that HTC says will be a lot more useful once its customisation app arrives in July. Until it does, though, Edge Sense is just another way of opening the camera app, or summoning Google Assistant.

You aren’t going to buy a phone on potential alone, so we’ll just have to wait until the app turns up to see if Edge Sense is truly as revolutionary as HTC says it will be.

We’ll get you the full review when HTC give us the go signal for the Indian launch dates.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch: 5 Things You Should Look Forward To

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Samsung Galaxy S8 to launch on Wednesday
Safety will be top priority for the company
Bixby implementation will also be a key factor
With just a few hours to go before Samsung officially unveils the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, there is a lot of hype around the phones right now. With the countless leaks that have surfaced in the past few months, we have a pretty clear idea of what Samsung’s next flagship smartphones are going to look like.

The Galaxy S8 has a lot riding on it after the fateful demise of the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung knows that it not only needs to come out with something flagship-worthy, but it also needs to be something special to win over the hearts of fans and skeptics alike. Looking at the leaks, there were a few things that Samsung seems to have been done right:

1. Break the design lull
Smartphone design has seen a bit of a stagnation over the years and Samsung has tried to break that trend in the past by launching dual-edge smartphones. Bezel-less displays are the new order of the day with Xiaomi and LG having raced ahead by launching near bezel-less smartphones with the Mi MIX and LG G6 respectively. Glass is slowly trumping metal as the new premium and if the leaks are right, the Galaxy S8 promises to bring just that – a mostly all-glass smartphone with a large display, and almost no bezels.

All the leaks and renders have shown us that Samsung is keeping the front just for the display, moving the fingerprint scanner over at the back, and ditching the Home Button and navigation buttons altogether. This leaves all the room in the front to house a large display for an immersive viewing experience. The Galaxy S8 allegedly touts a 18:9 aspect ratio with extremely slim bezels on the top and bottom. The back is expected to be all glass as well. From the looks of it, the Galaxy S8 has an attractive design and will offer something different from the current exhaustive lineup of smartphones.

ALSO SEEWill Bezel-Less Smartphones Become the Big Tech Trend of 2017?

However, there are some uncertainties with bezel-less smartphones and it’s still early in the day to know just how well these displays will work on a daily basis. One of the biggest concerns is the fragility of the smartphone since the front is pretty much completely exposed to breaks and shattering. Secondly, no bezels means one might need to handle the device in a way to avoid accidentally touching the display every now and then.

2. Spot on iris scanner
Fingerprint scanners are so 2014, and Samsung wants you to know just that. By now you would have spotted that the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 is being kept awkwardly close to the rear camera module. One concern here is you could end up accidentally smudging the rear camera every time you try to unlock the smartphone. Not to mention the placement of the sensor could also make it difficult to reach with your finger, especially on the bigger Galaxy S8+. This is perhaps why Samsung has also included an iris scanner, as per leaks.

The company wants you to make use of the iris scanner in the front. But to get this right, Samsung will need to make the technology incredibly fast and responsive. We got a taste of it with the Galaxy Note 7, but we’ll know for sure just how useful this can get with the new phones. Additionally, if rumours are to be believed, we may also see a facial recognition feature for added security with the upcoming flagship. If Samsung takes the Apple route, offering extra premium features for ‘Plus’ models, then the facial recognition feature could be exclusive to the bigger Galaxy S8+.Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch: 5 Things You Should Look Forward To

3. Safest Samsung smartphone ever?
It’s about time we move on from those awful “exploding Samsung” jokes and no one wants that more than the South Korean giant. This is perhaps the biggest test for Samsung, and the company would have pulled out all the stops to make sure its units are perfect. Even a single incident – be it legit or otherwise – can potentially hammer the company even worse than before.

After the massive recall of the Galaxy Note 7 that ultimately saw its end late last year, Samsung not only incurred some heavy loss financially but it also took a hit on credibility. Safety is one of the main concerns for the company, and according to reports, Samsung has upped its safety check by adding an eight-point safety check protocol, which includes x-raying the batteries.

As much as Samsung is pushing the boundaries with design, it is also playing it safe when it comes to battery capacity. From the leaks so far, Samsung will limit the battery for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ to 3000mAh and 3500mAh, respectively, similar to what was found in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
4. Keeping it under $1000
With a brand new design language for the Galaxy S8 and top-of-the-line specifications and features, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will not go easy on the pockets. As of now, the device are expected to be priced starting at EUR 799 (roughly Rs. 56,000) for the Galaxy S8 and EUR 899 (roughly Rs. 63,300) for the Galaxy S8+. However, a leak out of Italy pegs the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ at EUR 829 (roughly Rs. 58,500) and EUR 929 (roughly Rs. 65,500), respectively.

These prices are expected to be higher than last year’s Galaxy S7. But Samsung fans may be willing to shell out a little extra if the smartphones live up to their expectations. Again, a lot of it will also depend on how the new phones battle the shadow of Galaxy Note 7. Moreover, a pricing over $1000 could be a psychological barrier for fans and Samsung should not cross that bar just yet.

5. Implementing Bixby just right
Samsung will also introduce its personal voice assistant, called Bixby, with the Galaxy S8. Samsung’s AI will compete against Apple’s Siri. However, the latter has had some years to improve its digital assistant, so Samsung will mostly look to show off Bixby as a smarter version of its S Voice for now. Bixby, developed by Viv Labs, was recently unveiled ahead of the Galaxy S8. According to Samsung, Bixby will let you operate compatible apps completely by voice.

Without a live demo, we still don’t know how well Bixby will be integrated in the upcoming flagships. The company says that Bixby-enabled apps will let you complete most tasks using just your voice. Samsung also says that Bixby is more conversational, much like Google’s Assistant, and this could give Samsung the edge it needs over Apple.

ALSO SEESamsung Galaxy S8’s Bixby Assistant Functionality Leaked Ahead of Launch

Samsung Galaxy S8 specifications and features
Bezel-less display and iris scanner aside, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ is expected to pack some serious firepower under the hood. The two smartphones will be powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC, but some markets will get the home-grown Exynos 8895 chip as well.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are expected to sport 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Super AMOLED pressure sensitive displays respectively, with QHD+ display resolutions (2400×2960 pixels). The smartphones will pack 4GB of RAM with China and South Korea said to get 6GB RAM variants as well. The devices will run on Android 7.0 Nougat.

ALSO SEEHere’s Everything We Know About the Samsung Galaxy S8 So Far

Samsung will also look to reclaim its crown in the camera department. The company has done extremely well in this area with recent Galaxy flagships sporting stellar cameras. Interestingly, reports so far tell us that the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will get a 12-megapixel dual pixel rear camera. This sounds similar to the Galaxy S7, at least on paper. But you can bet Samsung will add some touches to it that should improve the quality over last year. Samsung is also expected to bump up the front camera to an 8-megapixel sensor.

The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be unveiled in a few hours at an event in the US. You can catch the live streaming of the launch right here.

Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8

Rs. 57,900
Buy
REVIEW
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Design
Display
Software
Performance
Battery life
Camera
Value for money
Good
Gorgeous looks and excellent construction quality
Brilliant displays
Phenomenal camera quality
Class-leading performance
Bad
No flat screen option
Nearly unusable fingerprint reader
Software stuffed with unnecessary features
Read detailed Samsung Galaxy S8 review
BUY AT
SAMSUNG Galaxy S8 (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
Rs. 57,900
SAMSUNG Galaxy S8 (Midnight Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
Rs. 57,900
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Samsung Galaxy S8+

Rs. 64,900
Buy
REVIEW
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Design
Display
Software
Performance
Battery life
Camera
Value for money
Good
Gorgeous looks and excellent construction quality
Brilliant displays
Phenomenal camera quality
Class-leading performance
Bad
No flat screen option
Nearly unusable fingerprint reader
Software stuffed with unnecessary features
Read detailed Samsung Galaxy S8+ review
BUY AT
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Midnight Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
Rs. 64,900
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
Rs. 64,900
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Coral Blue, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
Rs. 64,900
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Tags: Samsung, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, Samsung Galaxy S8 Price in India, Samsung Galaxy S8 Leaks, Samsung Galaxy S8 Rumours, Samsung Galaxy S8 Features, Samsung Galaxy S8 Specifications, Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch, Mobiles, Android

 

BlackBerry enables `Enterprise of Things` to thrive with enhanced mobile-security platform

With an estimated 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how we live, and the Enterprise of Things is transforming how we work. As such, BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) today announced productivity and security enhancements to its enterprise software platform designed to power the Enterprise of Things.

As part of BlackBerry Secure, the most secure and comprehensive platform to connect people, devices, processes and systems, BlackBerry® Enterprise Mobility Suite provides secure, management policies and controls across key platforms (iOS, Android™, Windows® 10, macOS, and Samsung Knox™) and device ownership models such as BYOD and Corporate Owned. It can be delivered on premises, as a cloud service, and now includes the following features to improve productivity and security:

  • Manage and Secure Microsoft Office 365 Mobile Applications: IT can manage and apply protection policies to Microsoft Office 365 mobile applications such as Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint from BlackBerry UEM.
  • Access Business Data on Unmanaged Laptops: Users of BlackBerry Access, will now be able to securely work with business data on their personal or BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-Laptop) Windows 10 and MacOS computers.
  • Provide In-line Comments, @Mentions and DocuSign: BlackBerry’s secure Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution, BlackBerry Workspaces, has been updated to allow in-line comments, @mentions and alerts. DocuSign has also been integrated, adding a key workflow for legally binding documents such as loan applications and financial transactions.Image result for BlackBerry
  • Leverage Application Analytics: BlackBerry Analytics can now track daily and monthly active users, daily minutes used, usage by OS type and version, daily launch count and user engagement by feature (such as 1:1 chat vs group chat). This application analytics capability gives IT and developers the key insight they need to increase business productivity, such as modifying UX flow, modifying training or altering maintenance schedules.
  • Manage More Wearables: BlackBerry has extended its endpoint management software capabilities to include modern workforce devices such as smart glasses. Applications specific to wearables, such as Ubimax and Atheer, can also be securely managed.

“The explosion of devices and consumer applications is making it increasingly difficult for enterprises to balance information security and compliance with productivity and connectivity,” said Billy Ho, executive vice president of enterprise software, BlackBerry. “MDM and EMM are simply not enough, which is why we offer a Unified Endpoint Management platform that lets companies secure and manage these devices, plus the associated applications. By making it easier to use, we are removing one of the biggest IT challenges – getting employees to use corporate applications.”

The company’s industry-leading security is trusted by organizations in government, defense, intelligence and other environments with the most stringent security requirements. In addition to more than 80 security certifications, BlackBerry was once again named a Leader in Gartner’s June 2017 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites. This year, the company moved higher in execution and farther in vision and was one of four EMM vendors to be positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant. BlackBerry also received the highest score in all six use cases of Gartner’s August 2016 “Critical Capabilities for High-Security Mobility Management” report.

For more information on BlackBerry’s platform and core capabilities available today, please visit: www.blackberry.com/enterpriseupdate.

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry is a mobile-native security software and services company dedicated to securing people, devices, processes and systems for today’s enterprise. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company was founded in 1984 and operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.