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Android device

Useful Shortcuts on Android Devices

Android now equips 84% of smartphones in the world (yes yes), and 71% in Europe, overwhelmingly for Google’s mobile OS (ZDNet figures). It’s apparently a little less brilliant for tablets, but it’s still a few million devices.

If I believe my Google Analytics over the last 30 days, among the visitors who come to this blog from a mobile device you are 62% on Android, 34% on iOS, the few remaining crumbs divided between Windows Phone and some brave BlackBerry, Playstation Vita or Firefox OS.

In short, I think an article to improve the use of your favorite device can be useful. There are a few shortcuts that many don’t know about, but they can make our lives easier. Here’s a nice list.

Open the camera with a double-click on power

Sometimes you have to react very quickly so you don’t miss a nice photo, and the time it takes to grab your camera, unlock the screen, open the camera and take the shot really doesn’t help in this task.

Android developers have already offered a handy shortcut in a corner of the home screen that allows you to open your device directly on the dedicated app.

But it is possible to go even faster, at least on smartphones not too old: since Android 6.0 it is enough to click twice in a row on the power button to launch the application, even the screen off. It’s as simple as that.

Some facetious manufacturers may have changed this behavior, such as Samsung prefers double-clicking the Home button, or Motorola prefers to break your wrist by shaking its device.

Note that if you too frequently take pictures of your pockets inadvertently because of this feature, and you want to turn it off, it’s possible in Settings / View.

Quickly search for an app

When you install a good amount of applications on your device, it can quickly become tedious to go through the long list to find the one you’re looking for.

The first thing to do is often to organize your home screens to have on hand the ones you use most often. And that’s a good thing, I made a full article here.

For the rest, there are two little tricks that save a lot of time:

– just start typing the name of the searched app from the home screen in the Google search bar, only to see it appear almost instantly under the search results (capture left)

– or in case you haven’t seen it, there’s a search bar at the top of the application list (right capture). You can even land directly in it by pressing the app icon over a long time from the home screen. Also noteworthy is that the “access to the Play Store” link that appears just below during a search keeps the typed query and can also save time to search for new applications.

Use quick answers for text messages

Here is an underestimated feature of our Android smartphones, which quickly becomes indispensable when you have taken a liking to it.

The quick response feature allows you to politely reject a call by explaining to our caller by SMS the reason for our unavailability.

On the classic Androids since version 4.0, just swipe up your finger at the time of the call, and choose the desired message from a small list (capture left).

The most being that it is of course possible to customize these messages to his liking. It happens in the phone app, Settings, Quick Answers. 4 different messages are customizable, it’s limited but this must be able to deal with most situations (right capture).

Facetious manufacturers who have nothing else to do but hide the functions of Android may have stored it somewhere else, I’ll let you look in their docs while cursing them until the 3rd generation.

Bonus: Fly your device by voice to do it faster

After the course of fun with this feature that seems to plunge us into a science fiction film, we can realize that voice control can really be very practical if we bother to tame it.

So much so that I made a complete article some time ago (which also concerns Siri and Cortana, no jealous). To sum up quickly, it is possible, for example:

– do some research,
– open apps,
– control your camera and your music,
– setting alarms and appointments,
– call your contacts and send them text messages or emails (see capture. I hid Chuck’s number to respect his privacy,
– use navigation,
– translate in real time,
– …

I really invite you to take a look at all this.…

Smartwatch

Fitbit Unveils New Versa 2 Smartwatch Equipped with Alexa

Fitbit launches its new Versa 2 smartwatch, which features more advanced built-in apps and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

The company, well known for its physical activity instructors, says it wants to “make health accessible to everyone.” To do this, it seems to be banking on a two-pronged strategy that involves accessories, such as the new Versa 2 smartwatch, and the Fitbit Premium subscription service, designed to help users learn how to better care for their health and fitness.

The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. The Versa 2 integrates with Fitbit Premium, as do most other Fitbit watches and monitors. As for the Versa 2 itself, it’s a smartwatch for all (and all) that accepts voice commands thanks to Alexa’s integration.

First Impressions of Fitbit’s Versa 2

Fitbit versa 2

The Versa 2 is a logical continuation of the Versa, the Versa Special Edition and the Versa Light Edition. (It replaces the first while the others remain in the collection.) The design similarities extend in particular to the bracelets: you can use those of the Versa and the Versa light edition with the Versa 2.

In terms of functionality, the Versa 2 measures the same parameters: physical activity, sleep and heart rate. It syncs with the Fitbit mobile app (for iOS and Android) but you can also always check your stats and monitor progress to your daily goals on the watch itself. Fitbit also states that it will be possible to keep the screen on at all times, a frequent request from users.

One of the key features of the new watch is how it fits with certain services and apps. First of all, there’s Alexa, Amazon’s popular voice assistant. This is the first time Fitbit has integrated a voice assistant into one of its products and this is a promising move. With Alexa, you’ll be able to schedule alerts and reminders, control your home appliances, search for local businesses and get answers to your questions.

Not all of Alexa’s features are available, however. During my brief essay so far, I have noticed that it is not possible to control music playback or place calls or send messages to my contacts. You can, however, reply to incoming text messages aloud, but only when the watch is paired with an Android phone. I will know more after a detailed evaluation, the results of which I will publish here at a later date.

However, I noticed a nice new feature: the Spotify app now offers a complete feature. We can, therefore, access our playlists and control the broadcast directly from the watch. It always takes a phone to access the music itself, but Fitbit has just corrected a long-standing flaw. And Deezer works the same way, a sign of increased compatibility with streaming music services.

The Basics of Versa 2

This new watch features an AMOLED screen and a new, more powerful processor. It always offers GPS assistance and water resistance, including clearwater swimming. Up to 15 measurable-goal exercises and workouts can be hosted directly on the watch, so you don’t have to check your phone over and over again. Note that Fitbit estimates battery life at 2 to 5 days, but it can vary depending on usage, especially if the screen is turned on often.

The interface has undergone significant changes although some aspects remain familiar. If you already had another Versa model, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting used to it. There are up to 3000 apps and other display templates of the hour to customize the experience.

There is also a special edition available with two different bracelets and offered with a free 90-day fit of Fitbit Premium. Replacement wristbands are also part of the newly launched product line; Among them are models in different materials, including leather, fabric and rubberized plastic.

Fitbit Premium

Fitbit Versa 2 bands

The new Fitbit Premium service offers a free 30-day trial of all of its functions, including tailored workouts, expert advice and more in-depth follow-up. It will be accessed from the existing Fitbit app and will cost $13.49 per month at the end of the free trial.

I will need to test the service more thoroughly when it is officially launched in the coming weeks, but the goal is to provide a more comprehensive and active approach to managing the health and lifestyle of users. This will include tips on sleep and healthy lifestyles, guided programs, tips, full workouts and more. The service will also establish a health check, developed in consultation with doctors according to the company. Fitbit believes that users will be able to pass some of this data on to their own physicians, who will be able to interpret it correctly.

Overall, the service seems quite complete, but since the Versa 2 does not have an electrocardiogram or built-in blood pressure monitor, it will be interesting to see how the service can manage certain chronic medical conditions. We’ll talk about it on this blog after its official launch.

Coming soon

Fitbit’s new Versa 2 will be available shortly and you can already pre-order yours, in black, petal, stone or special edition anthracite woven bracelet models.…

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a VPN If You Are Located in Canada

Despite the fact that Canada is quite liberal with internet censorship and lawns, still there are several websites that cannot be accessed by Canadian visitors and residents. Going for the best VPN according to topvpncanada.com will be a good idea for you if you want to keep your identity safe and secure in Canada. VPN is also needed if you want access to certain restricted websites or if you are in the look out of reliable and high-speed connections. Accessing restricted websites is one major reason why individuals in Canada choose VPN; there are even some other significant reasons.

VPN to Browse in Complete Privacy

People who browse the internet on open wireless connections in cafes and hotels are actually compromising their security. For Canadian visitors or residents who require access to different websites with sensitive content, making use of a VPN is important. VPN is a kind of Canadian defense against cyber security threats. It offers more control on information you put down on the internet. It helps you in ensuring that you are going for a provider who will not be logging or tracking down your browsing information.

VPN is Needed for Accessing Inaccessible Sites

There are many sites that cannot be accessed when in Canada. However, the visitors who need access to these sites will have to use VPN. This will help them in avoiding situations where they miss TV sessions simply because they are in Canada. VPN by-passes geographical limitations and offers individuals with a brand new virtual venue where they can access almost any site.

VPN is a Must for Accessing Internet Streaming Solutions

There are many internet streaming solutions that are unable to broadcast outside the United States mainly due to copyright issues. These services include Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. For people visiting Canada, the use of these streaming services will be restricted due to their foreign IP addresses. Making use of a VPN with US UIP address can solve this problem. A VPN can help you in accessing all these streaming services without having to go through any kind of difficulty.

VPN Helps in Doing Away with ISP Logging

The internet service providers serving in Canada are bound by law when it comes to logging the internet usage of their consumers. Making use of search engines without having the browsing history or traffic logged in Canada is only possible with the use of a VPN. The IP address of your system is non-tractable on a virtual private network. Therefore, you have the freedom of keeping all your private searches confidential while in Canada.

VPN is Needed for Securing VOIP Calls in Canada

VOIP or Voice-Over-IP Calls can easily be tracked. Services such as Lync and Skype can easily be kept confidential in Canada by going for VPN. The use of a VPN for securing VOIP calls can be highly beneficial for individuals into making sensitive business calls or for the ones looking to protect the information of their customers.

When in Canada, you can easily protect your private internet traffic from censorship, interference and snooping by going for VPN.…

Acer Change 7 Evaluation

Discrete GPUs are typically limited to 15-inch laptop computers, with the periodic 14-inch system seen in the wild. It’s a task in itself that Change 7, a much smaller sized gadget, includes a discrete GPU.

Other base hardware consists of 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, in addition to a 2256×1504 (3:2 element ratio) IPS LCD, also merely a 35.1 battery. Stuffing a discrete GPU into this gadget has taken its toll in a minimum of one location, which seems the battery capability.

In the meantime, I wish to speak about the construct quality of Change 7. This is a premium-priced item at $1700, so I was a little bit dissatisfied with the last develop, both tablet and the consisted of the keyboard cover.

The products used are great– smooth glass on the front, metal on the sides and back– also there are a lot of joints in the building and construction, especially around the I/O and around the screen, which does not make it feel or look as high-end as the very best tablet or laptop computer styles out there. The Microsoft Surface Area Pro, for instance, includes a more refined metal style in keeping with its cost.

They are also a couple of positioning and balance problems with the Change 7 that you would not get with a much better-developed item. The webcam, for instance, is balanced out to the right by a big range for apparently no high factor.

As quickly as I saw the system, I believed something wasn’t rather ideal about the bezels, and after about ten measurements simply to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, I undoubtedly validated one bezel is bigger than the other — a strange style option.

There are two buttons situated along this bottom edge that launch the spring-loaded hinge system, and from there, you can change the precise angle to your preference. It’s a hassle-free system, as all you need to do is position the tablet on your desk, and it’s currently propped up and all set to utilize, whether you have the keyboard connected or not.

This default angle appropriates for desk work. Also, there are times I liked to utilize a more sharp edge, especially in glary environments, which the spring system restricts.

Change 7 does consist of a fingerprint reader on the front beside the display screen, which displays typical efficiency. Even more up the edges are the front-facing speakers of remarkably good quality, maybe due to the minimal volume that avoids horrible distortions.

The keyboard cover is undoubtedly an essential function of the Charge 7, and it’s great to see it consisted of in the rate, unlike with a specific Microsoft item. The cover is a bit hit or misses out on, utilizing plastic around the secrets and an okay-but-not-amazing material on the other side.

The typing experience is excellent, with a comparable tactile feel to most laptop secrets, if a bit lighter than regular.

3-Way Mechanical RGB Keyboard Battle

The Innovative keyboard I have on hand is the Noise BlasterX Lead K08: the only keyboard that Creative presently offers. It strikes all the ideal buzz words for existing video gaming keyboards but, with mechanical key switches from Omron, complete RGB abilities, and devoted macro secrets. It’s also the most affordable keyboard in this roundup, presently retailing for $30 less than the other two.

The version I was sent out consists of Razer Green key switches, which are the clickiest of the three alternatives, while Orange changes offer quiet operation and Yellow switches are tailored towards ultra-fast direct actions.

Style and Convenience

The develop quality and products used for each keyboard is various throughout the board, although all three usage completely black aspects.

The inset style of the Lead and BlackWidow keyboards leads to a more extreme RGB impact, at the cost of style appeal and ease of cleaning.

The BlackWidow uses a cool magnetic system, the best alternative if you just desire to use the wrist rest at particular times, while the Lead K08 merely sits atop little tabs on the rest to avoid it moving away throughout use.

Functions

It was frustrating to see the BlackWidow being the only keyboard without devoted media secrets, as this is a function I discovered very convenient on the other offerings. Both the Corsair and Noise Blaster keyboards consist of an outstanding metal scroll wheel for volume controls, together with play, stop, and avoid buttons. Both also include committed secrets for brightness and locking the Windows secret.

The Razer keyboard does consist of media and brightness controls; nevertheless, they are mapped as extra functions on the F-keys. Some applications and video games need using the F-keys, so it would have been great to see devoted controls for these crucial functions instead.

Macros on the Lead K08 can just be established through Creative’s Noise Blaster Link software application. There does not seem any method to develop macros on the keyboard itself, which suggests you cannot rapidly produce macros on the fly.

The K70 RGB Rapidfire is the only keyboard here that does not consist of devoted macro secrets; you’ll need to acquire the pricier K95 RGB Platinum to get this performance. You can set up macros for any secret on the keyboard (as well as remap secrets, launch apps, and more) through Corsair’s Energy Engine software application. 

The K70 includes a number of extra functions not discovered with the other keyboards. Along the back edge is a switch that enables you to alter the ballot rate of the keyboard rapidly, and put it into a unique BIOS mode that offers the best compatibility when using your PC’s BIOS. There’s also a 2nd set of FPS, and MOBA keycaps consisted of that you can switch in for increased texture on the essential video gaming secrets like WASD.

OnePlus 5 Review

OnePlus has established a significant fan following over the last number of years, driven by their marketing and the enormously appealing cost of their flagship-quality items. The business is back at it in 2017 with the OnePlus 5, once again trying to dismiss the incumbent champs like Samsung with the very best hardware at the most affordable possible rate.

The OnePlus five is still more affordable than the majority of flagship phones, though it’s not as much of an exceptional worth proposal as it when was.

The cam system is among the most significant upgrades, relocating to an iPhone 7 Plus-like double sensing unit service.

To be more accurate, it ‘s not merely the electronic camera system that OnePlus has obtained from current-gen iPhones: the chassis is also extremely comparable, particularly the electronic camera lens and flash assembly on the back, which is near similar fit and placing to the iPhone 7 Plus.

I think in some aspects, it’s difficult for phone designers to be exceptional when most phones are comparable fit and function, but with the OnePlus 5, some elements wander off too near ‘copying’ area. With that stated, the OnePlus 5’s construct and style are outstanding in basic.

The edges are more easily rounded, which makes it a bit simpler to grip the handset, though the OnePlus five is simply as slim as previously. I enjoyed the style of the OnePlus three and 3T, but it’s an action above with the brand-new OnePlus 5.

The front of the phone corresponds to the OnePlus three, aside from some small modifications.

The OnePlus 5 continues to utilize capacitive navigation buttons listed below the screen, providing users the complete 5.5 inches of display screen realty. The sensing unit is quick and works effectively, and doubles up as a house button with no concern.

While the OnePlus five does have a speaker above the display screen for calls, it just utilizes a single speaker along the bottom edge for audio. A number of contemporary phones are choosing to use the in-call speaker in combination with a bottom speaker for extra audio, which does cause a much better experience while seeing videos and playing video games without earphones, but not on the OnePlus5.

The bezels on either side of the display screen are slim, which helps with the use of the phone, though above and listed below, you’re stuck to huge pieces of the bezel. A screen-to-body ratio of 73% is the exact same as the OnePlus 3, and a far cry from the Galaxy S8+’s 84%. I understand a lot of individuals aren’t entirely offered on high mobile phone screens, but I like them a lot and choose a taller screen than the ineffective bezel.