Features

Google I/O announcements: What can Android P do?

Pretty cool stuff!

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Even if we don’t know what Android P stands for yet, we now know a lot about what it’ll be able to do. At Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, we got a sneak peak of what’s to come.

This year’s highly anticipated Android update was explained and it’s looking pretty awesome. Google highlighted three main themes: intelligence, simplicity, and digital well-being, and Android P’s features centered around these three themes.

Android P will have an adaptive battery feature powered by machine learning. Basically, your phone will learn your usage patterns and be able to optimize power based on that. This means more battery life for devices, something we all need and clamor for. Adaptive brightness is also improved on Android P. Your phone will actually learn your preference vis a vis actual ambient lighting and adjust your phone’s screen brightness according to that.

Your phone will also be more suggestive. App actions — those two buttons you see below — show up depending on usage patterns. It will also suggest things to you based on context or activities on your handset.

Slices are introduced. These are snippets from the actual app that you can interact with. They’re found straight from the phone’s UI.

Imagine being able to book a Lyft from your Google Search screen! Yup, it will be possible soon.

Google envisions technology that will fade into the background. The following features were designed for that easier smartphone experience.

In line with this, new gestures are unveiled: A swipe up brings you to your overview, a second swipe will show you all apps, and swiping right even allows you to slide through recent apps!

More intuitive changes were also announced. A new volume slider turns up (or down) the media volume by default; it was previously the ring volume. And a tiny rotation button will show up on the navigation bar once you tilt the phone for easy screen orientation changes (my favorite feature thus far).

Google places importance on meaningful engagement and champions digital well-being in this year’s conference. Thus, the Android dashboard is born. This will tell you a lot about your relationship with your phone: how much time you’ve spent on your phone with a particular app, and what you actually do most on your device. It can even tell you how many minutes you’ve spent watching on YouTube across all your devices. It will not only tell all this info and more, it’ll also help control your impulsive phone usage tendencies with Controls. This new feature allows you to set time limits per app. When the time’s over, the icon is grayed out so that you know you shouldn’t be on it anymore.

There’s also a new Shush mode which automatically puts the phone into Do Not Disturb mode every time it’s placed on the table on its face — perfect for dinners and meetings! Of course, you can always star certain contacts to makes sure certain people can still get to you despite the DND mode.

Another great feature addition is the Wind Down mode. This will help you sleep better at night by switching to a grayscale screen in the evening during your bedtime so you won’t be distracted while on your phone.

Android P Beta comes to Pixel phones and a number of other devices today.

Computers

Reports suggest many new PCs are infected with viruses

A good bargain doesn’t necessarily mean a good product

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It always feels good to save up for and earn a new computer or console for yourself. Until, you discover that the console or PC you bought is loaded with all sorts of problems — particularly, viruses.

Now, imagine that but instead of just one PC, an entire company finds it in 83 percent of its new computers in several Asian countries. Microsoft’s Asia PC Test Purchase Sweep, the company’s initiative towards educating consumers and enterprises, provides information against piracy and its risks. They found that these new PCs were sold in retailers that offered computers at a much lower price than intended to.

The report suggests that these retailers turn off Windows security features for them to install pirated software on these PCs. It also found that they contained software infected with viruses and trojans. Microsoft generally explains the risks that come from turning off these features, such as leaving your PC vulnerable to cyber threats and malware.

“Cyber criminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures, and embedding their malware is one of their tactics,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel from Microsoft Asia.

These findings are concerning for people who purchase new PCs through special deals, especially those that come with free software. Schrade suggests that consumers who want to purchase PCs should look for retailers that provide genuine software when bundled with the PC.

To avoid any more complications, it is also recommended to keep their software updated and follow safe internet practices. Such practices include avoiding potentially dangerous websites, legally downloading software or purchasing licenses to use them, and use recognized cloud-based file sharing systems.

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Hands-On

Dyson Airwrap hair tutorial and real-life hold test

Is it hard to use? Does it really work?

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The Dyson Airwrap, ever since its announcement, has been the stuff of hairstyle dreams and legends. The high-tech curling iron revolutionizes the way we do our hair!

But, does it really work? Can a normal girl like myself actually get her hair to look as fab with this new-fangled hair gadget? I put it to the test.

In the video above, you see me doing my hair and the final looks. I try a total of two styles — curly and straight — and take my ‘do out and about to see if my hair would hold. And yes folks, this was only the second time I used the Airwrap on myself, ever.

The results impressed!

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, click HERE to watch

Stay tuned for the full review of the Dyson Airwrap on Her GadgetMatch. For similar topics and features, visit the website here.

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Deals

Plan for Black Friday early with these amazing deals

It’s time to ready your shopping list and wallet

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We’re midway through November already, inching towards Thanksgiving and one of the most awaited dates for shopping — Black Friday. To help you get yourself and your wallet ready, we scoured through the internet to find some of the best tech deals that’ll be popping up next week. Here are some offers that you might want to take advantage of on November 23rd.

17.3-inch ASUS TUF gaming laptop (US$ 999)

This ASUS Gaming Laptop will be going down by US$ 400, so if you’ve been wanting a gaming laptop, this might be the time to cop one. And if you have a more limited budget, you could also check out the HP Pavilion CX0056WM Gaming Laptop for  under US$ 600 with over US$ 100 worth of extra gaming software at Walmart.

HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub for MacBooks (US$ 69.99)

This would make a perfect gift for that person you know who lives the #donglelife. Check out the deal at Best Buy.

Sony PS4 1TB Slim Spider‑Man Bundle (US$ 199) and Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle (US$ 299)

The best console deals come out this time of year, and next week, both the Spider-Man PlayStation 4 bundle and the Minecraft Creators Xbox One S bundle will be up for grabs!

Nintendo Switch Super Mario Kart Deluxe Bundle (US$ 299)

Another console being featured this Black Friday is the Nintendo Switch. Why not get the Switch with an amazing party game for your holiday gatherings? You can check the deal out at Best Buy or Walmart.

Pac-Man or Galaga Retro Arcade Machine (US$ 249)

For retro gamers or those who want to reminisce about the arcade days, this would definitely be a great item to pick up. Check it out at Target.

Amazon Echo Dot (Gen 3) (US$ 25) and Google Home Mini (US$ 25)

Get in the smart home/speaker game with the Amazon Echo Dot at half the price! You can also go with the Google Home Mini, if Alexa’s not your jam.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (128GB) with keyboard (US$ 599)

Why not get a powerful and portable device? The Surface Pro 6 will be US$ 360 cheaper on Friday, and it might be a good time to pick it up. The deal will be available at Best Buy.

65-inch 4K Smart Roku TV (US$ 398) and 40-inch Hisense 1080p TV (US$ 99)

This Walmart deal is probably one of the best TV deals we’ve ever seen. But if 65 inches is too big or you have a more limited budget, there’s also a 40-inch option that’s an incredible deal, as well.

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones (US$ 99)

It might be a great chance to pick up a pair of wireless buds from one of the best audio companies out there for under US$ 100. If that’s still a bit too steep though, the Skullcandy Method Wireless Earbuds will also be available at Best Buy for US$ 25, and they’re good quality too.

Anki’s Cozmo (US$ 139.99) and Vector (US$ 199.99) Robots

Anki has been making their rounds on the internet with these two adorable little robots. They would make for a great gift for children and adults alike, and will be marked down at Best Buy this Thanksgiving weekend.

There you have it! Just a few sneaky bits we found ahead of all the ads. We’re sure there’ll be loads more amazing stuff to check out, but this is a good place to start. We hope you enjoy your holidays, and be careful if you’re planning to face the Black Friday mobs. Happy Thanksgiving!

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