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Apple might remove 3D Touch from iPhones this year

They are also bigger and brighter!

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As the excitement from the recent Samsung Galaxy Note 9 dwindles, the hype train for the next iPhones has turned things up to 11. With that, rumors and details are coming out of the woodwork.

Today, a new batch of details are shaping up the next iPhones. This year, Apple is going bigger and brighter.

As reported earlier, Apple expects to launch three models this year, but it’s going to be a little different. Of these, the company is making waves with its predicted 6.1-inch model. For the first time, Apple is breaking into the Android-inhabited 6-inch market.

However, the unspoken third variant is pushing the boundaries even more. Instead of just touching the 6.1-inch barrier, the premium model will round out to a whopping 6.5-inch screen.

Further, Apple looks to launch more color options this time around. Traditionally, the company has relied on smooth pastels for its phones. Apple has often reserved bolder colors for limited editions or lesser phones. This time, these colors will finally come out on launch.

Finally, the company might eliminate a feature that it once touted as a flagship feature — 3D Touch. When it released, the iPhone 6s boasted the feature as a new way to interact with your phone. 3D Touch allowed users to vary the pressure with which they touch the screen. From that, users could access additional features just from the homepage.

However, the feature never launched as the highlight that Apple wanted it to be. In fact, most users get by without using the feature at all.

As a result, key analysts Blayne Curtis and Ming-Chi Kuo have noted that the company will do away with the feature altogether. With the feature’s reception, this comes as no surprise. If the rumor proves true, 3D Touch’s farewell might not come with much fanfare, good or bad.

If anything, the three decisions prove that Apple is gunning for a new direction this year.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPad explodes inside an Amsterdam store

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Philips Hue is now available in the Philippines

With starter kits included

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Image by GadgetMatch

Philips Hue has been around since 2012. Just two years ago, we listed Philips Hue under must-have devices for a smarter home. Now, they officially launched it in the Philippines.

In case you missed it, the Philips Hue system is not just about “smart bulbs”, it’s also a connected lighting system for your home — strips, spots, lamps, and controls all included. With the excellence of developers, there are more than 700 third-party apps designed for the Hue.

The Philips Hue is responsible for switching light controls and changing colors within the reach of your fingertips. You can personalize and choose from the spectrum of 16 million colors in order to change your interior’s ambiance. It also has a feature that increases the brightness when you wake up in the day.

Other than that, there are also light scenes such as Tropical Twilight or Tokyo Lights, or even a customized scene based on your liking. The light activity can even depend on the music, video, and games you are playing — especially that it has an integration on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Best of all, you can control it through voice commands with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Nest. It’s also compatible with other smart-home platforms such as Samsung SmartThings, Bosch, and Logitech.

Price and availability

The Hue White ambiance Starter Kit includes a Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb, bridge, and wireless dimmer switch.

Meanwhile, the Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit includes three white and color ambiance bulbs, plus a bridge.

Here are the official prices:

Starter Kits

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit — PhP 10,390
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit — PhP 7,490

Bulbs

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb — PhP 2,990
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb — PhP 1,790

Controls

  • Philips Hue bridge — PhP 3,690
  • Philips Hue wireless dimmer switch — PhP 1,290
  • Philips Hue Motion sensor — PhP 2,690

You can get the Philips Hue in select Power Mac Centers, Switch, iStore, Nifty, Urban Gadgets, Infomax Glorietta, Abenson Global City, and online at the Philips Lighting Official Store on Lazada.

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TikTok will launch a Spotify competitor

Will release in December

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

For quite a while now, TikTok has captured the short-form social media landscape. Whereas the past had the incredibly popular Vine, the world now has ByteDance’s equally popular platform. However, unlike Vine, TikTok looks like it’s here to stay. And, because of TikTok’s success, ByteDance can already expand beyond its niche.

Reportedly, ByteDance is currently negotiating content deals with major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music. The deal supposedly relates to an upcoming, still-unnamed music streaming service. The developer is already amassing a workable cache of songs to include.

Besides the music content, the service will also include a smaller short video archive. The short videos will play over the interface while users search for more music. Additionally, users can sync the music to the videos.

According to the same report, ByteDance will launch the service as early as next month. It will come out first in smaller markets — like India and Indonesia — before a wider worldwide release.

Of course, the service’s popularity is still in question. TikTok is currently considered a security threat in the US.

As for price, the service will cost less than the world’s most popular option, Spotify. However, this alleged price compares Spotify’s current US price of US$ 10. (As such, this doesn’t mean much since Spotify costs less depending on region and package.)

SEE ALSO: Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

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WT:Social is a social network without ads and fake news

It’s created by the co-founder of Wikipedia

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In this digital age, fake news and ads have proliferated on the internet. Their proliferation has a big impact on society. That’s why Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched WT:Social, an alternative social networking platform to Facebook and Twitter.

WT:Social is an abbreviation of Wikitribune Social. It aims to provide users with quality headlines by eliminating fake news. It does this by providing a news feed gathered from different “subwikis”. These “subwikis” act as communities where users can join and post news articles. Users can also report misleading headlines and fake news. In the future, the platform will also implement an “upvote” button.

The whole platform seems inspired by Reddit. Unlike Reddit though, a private company doesn’t own WT:Social. It operates through donations, which is also how Wikipedia operates. Through donations, the company promises to sell no personal data — a clear dig at major tech companies like Google and Facebook.

“We will never sell your data. Our platform survives on the generosity of individual donors to ensure privacy is protected and your social space is ad-free,” the platform states on its website.

Privacy-conscious users looking for an alternative to Facebook and Twitter may find WT:Social useful. They can now sign-up through this link, but there is currently a waitlist for new members.

With 80,000 members and counting, Jimmy Wales expect more users in the future. A privacy-focused social networking site focused on eliminating fake news is what the world needs right now, considering that fake news has the power to influence an election, and even generate a scandal.

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