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4 fun things to do with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s S Pen

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Samsung’s newest darling has just launched, to the delight of Note aficionados the world over. The Galaxy Note 8, a follow-up to the hotly received Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy Note FE, dazzles with its sleek design.

But, what new tricks does the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 bring to the table?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with S Pen

For tactile phone users like me, the whole point of the Note series may seem a little less obvious. So, armed with the S Pen, I set out to see what it can do.

Live Messages

In today’s tech times, there’s premium in being personal and creative. Everyday conversations online may be made more fun and exciting with the Note 8’s Live Messages function.

Live Message on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

With the S Pen, you can write personalized messages, draw, scribble — the love letter possibilities are endless! The Note 8 preserves these notes forever by converting them into GIFs that you can then post or send to whomever you please.

Live Message sample from the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Live Message sample

Quick notes

The instant note-taking function on the Always On display makes a comeback on the Note 8, but this time around, you get more blank pages to potentially write on.

Quick notes on Always On Display, writing on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

100 more pages, to be precise — that’s a lot of notes. ?

Now, assuming you’re not off to write a novel on your smartphone, this is still a pretty useful function for the everyday life of those not so organized, like yours truly.

Translate sentences

Not well versed in foreign languages? No need to open a Google Search tab with the Galaxy Note 8!

S Pen translation on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The S Pen allows for instant sentence translations, all without having to pull up any new windows. Just set the pen to translate, highlight the text, and voila, Google will do the magic for you. It’s the most convenient way to understand a foreign language!

Convert units and currency

If you’re as bad at math as I am, this will be super convenient.

 Conversion with the S Pen on Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The conversions are all at the tip of your S Pen. Just like that, you don’t have to solve for anything! This works for units and currency.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Live Message

Interestingly enough, my favorite S Pen feature is not any of the ones discussed above.

Aside from all these functions, my favorite is how the pen feels when I scribble on the phone. There’s still novelty in actually writing things down, even in 2017 — though a high-tech pen on Samsung’s most high-tech phone is definitely the best way to do it.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Hands-on: By an iPhone user

CES 2018

Episode 001: Getting lost at the world’s largest tech show

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In this first epidose of GadgetMatch Podcast we talk about the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) which just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Michael Josh and Isa share behind the scenes challenges of covering the world’s largest tech show. And the team talks about the most attention grabbing tech from the show including an entire range of Artificial Intelligence and Google Assistant gadgets, Vivo’s new phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, Sony’s new robot dog, and Razer’s Project Linda.

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Apps

How to hide from Instragram’s new Activity Status feature

It’s on by default!

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Instagram silently rolled out a new feature of its app. If you don’t like your friends to know that you’re online (and also protect your privacy), you might want to take action. Why? Because it’s automatically turned on.

If you have the latest app, you probably noticed something new inside the Direct Messages section. This new feature dubbed “Activity Status” lets your Instagram buddies know if you’re online. If you happen to be scrolling through your timeline moments ago, the status will show that you’ve been available earlier.

This is switched on by default but the data is only shared with users that you follow and those you message privately. There’s no need to panic if you think a stalker will know that you’re online — unless you follow them, too.

How to turn it off?

You can easily switch it off inside the app. Just go to your profile page and tap the top-right icon for Options.

Next, scroll down until you see “Show Activity Status” and switch the toggle button beside.

That’s it! Now that it’s off on your end, your status will not show up to your buddies. Although, you won’t be able to see the status of other accounts as well.

Since the new feature was smoothly included in the recent updates from the Play Store or App Store, it’s not clear when Instagram introduced the function. Some might not have it yet, which could mean it’s still an experimental approach with a limited number of users.

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Automotive

The Best Car Tech of CES 2018

Exciting times ahead!

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We recently wrapped up CES 2018 (see our top picks) and even though the trade show originally revolved around consumer electronics, a big chunk of what was introduced was directed towards connected cities with a focus on making driving a lot smarter.

The idea of self-driving cars surely isn’t new and has been around for quite some time now. It’s basically the concept of what the future is like in addition to flying cars. At this year’s CES, brands who participated made us realize that this “future” isn’t too far away.

Here are some of the most promising cars and car technology that we’re excited to see in the near future.

Assistance

Multiple brands showed off their new toys left and right. There’s the announcement of Amazon’s Alexa coming to cars for voice assistance and content consumption. Toyota will be the next to adapt voice assistance in addition to BMW, Ford, and Hyundai. Meanwhile, Waze has also been integrated into select infotainment systems.

Nissan, on the other hand, is taking the user-machine a step further by introducing the brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology. It basically uses a system that could read your brain patterns and signals to better prepare for what you’re about to do next while driving.

Platforms

In terms of services, Ford is slightly stepping out of the shadow of car-making and plans to be the new platform for autonomous vehicles. It has partnered with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza, and Postmates to create an operating system which small to large businesses can use for their unique services.

Speaking of unique services, Toyota unveiled its e-Palette concept vehicle which has all the potential to go big in the future of mobility. It’s envisioned as a self-driving vehicle running on Toyota’s tech and platform that other brands can use for food deliveries, as a moving boutique, or even a mobile hotel that you can rent.

As far as ride-sharing goes, expect it to join the bandwagon as smart cities are developed. During the trade show, car tech company Aptiv was present and was hand-in-hand with Lyft as they demonstrated their self-driving cars to the participants of CES. The public could just hail a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center using the app and enjoy the view of the Strip to their destination.

Additionally, NVIDIA has also added Uber and Volkswagen to their growing roster of brands that will run on the company’s self-driving computer platform.

Cars

Apart from the new platforms, there were cars — quite a lot, actually. From concept to actual models on display, we got a peek at these vehicles that probably want to take on Tesla.

Derived from Bytes on Wheels, BYTON wants to blur the line between digital and automotive with their electric intelligent SUV concept. The new-gen smart device communicates with users and pedestrians via lights and patterns on its grille and recognizes the driver and passengers by face.

Kia was also present with its very own Niro electric crossover. This concept is basically an electric version of the Niro Hybrid but gets a new grille design. Like BYTON, it is now an interactive panel with a built-in Active Pedestrian Warning System, but what makes this something to look forward to is its range. It can go as far 383km (238 miles) before needing to charge again — beating what the Tesla Model 3 can offer.

Car designer Henrik Fisker gave another shot at making vehicles; this time in the form of the EMotion luxury sedan. The vehicle is a level 4 autonomous car and is equipped with the world’s first Butterfly Doors. Fisker also wants to set standards for other EVs so they made the vehicle last up to 644km (400 miles) on the road.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is continuing its push to go green and introduced the NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle. It has a more efficient engine, is a lot quieter, and maintenance is kept to a minimum. Although the best thing about it is that it emits nothing but water vapor. Features-wise, it has autonomous driving, self-parking, self-retrieval — the whole shebang.

In-vehicle Networking

Software updates are an important aspect of vehicles relying on digital systems. Tesla has somehow established its system already but for other car brands, updating hundreds, even thousands of vehicles across a country, is still not an easy task.

Hyundai and Cisco addressed this and aims to overhaul the process of in-vehicle networking. With the use of Ethernet connectivity and the Automotive Linux platform, they promise to be able to roll out updates remotely and it’s as simple as pushing a button.

 

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