LG announces the LG G6+ and a big update for present G6 owners

LG has announced a new version of the LG G6 with some slightly improved specs. You might expect an upgraded G6 to have the newer Snapdragon 835 processor, but the upgrades are mainly about storage.

The LG G6 Plus has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The RAM boost should help performance, even with the Snapdragon 821. Other than that, this is the same LG G6 we reviewed a couple of months ago. It will be available in gold, blue, and black, and it will come with some fancy B&O Play headphones.

LG also had some news for current G6 owners. An update will be rolling out to all G6 variants with a few major changes. Face Print will allow you to unlock the phone by recognizing your face, similar to Samsung’s Face Unlock. There will also be increased battery life thanks to a new Low Power Consumption. The update will be available early next month.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is finally available in the US

Last week saw the opening of pre-orders for the Sony Xperia XZ Premium for interested parties in the US. This comes a month after the device launched in the UK and a few months after the device’s official announcement at MWC 2017.

However, the wait is now over, as the XZ Premium is now available from various retailers including Best Buy and Amazon. As for pricing, you’re looking at dropping about $800, and are limited to using the device with GSM carriers as there is no built-in CDMA support.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Specs

  • 5.5-inch 4K Display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB Expandable Storage
  • 13MP Front Camera
  • 19MP Rear Camera
  • 3,230mAh Battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat

If you’re interested in picking up the Xperia XZ Premium for yourself, hit the button below and give us a heads up.

BUY SONY XPERIA XZ PREMIUM

The Galaxy Note 8 could be unveiled earlier than expected

A recent report suggested that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 would be announced at IFA 2017 in Berlin. However, a new rumor claims Samsung will be throwing a standalone event for the device. IFA is scheduled for September, but Samsung could be shooting to show off the phone a bit earlier.

A South Korean publication is reporting that Samsung will hold an event on August 26th in New York. That would still be about a month later than they unveiled the device last year, but not as late as IFA. Sources claim Samsung moved it up to August to announce the phone before Apple.

The report also confirms that the fingerprint scanner will be on the back again, which is something we’ve been hearing a lot lately. It will also have a 6.3-inch Infinity display, improved S Pan, dual cameras, and Bixby.

Are you hyped for the Note 8?

7 Awesome Livestream Apps You Should Have

One of the biggest trends in the last few years has been live streaming video apps. An app called Meerkat kicked things off in May of 2015, but it was quickly overshadowed by bigger names. The funny thing about this trend is that live streaming apps are very old. Ustream and Tango were popular apps when Android was still young, but the phones weren’t good enough yet. Now we have high-speed internet and HD cameras. There’s no better time to download a great live streaming app and broadcast to the world. Here are the best:

1. Periscope

periscope

Periscope is a live video app from Twitter. Naturally, it works really well if you already have a Twitter account. You can start a live stream from the Twitter app, which makes it very easy to use. People can even watch your live stream from their Twitter feed or web browser without installing Periscope. Viewers can “like” the stream by tapping the screen to give hearts and write comments that pop up on the screen.

A Periscope video can be replayed for 24 hours after the broadcast has ended. Periscope automatically creates “Replay Highlights” so your followers can watch the best parts. You are given the option to save your own broadcast when the stream has ended. The Discover tab makes it easy to find live video throughout the world to watch. Overall, Periscope is a great choice for live video.

GOOGLE PLAY

2. Facebook Live

b-live

If you’re not much of a twitter user, Facebook Live is the best choice. You can start a live video directly from the status box in the mobile app. Facebook Live works basically the same as Periscope. Viewer comments scroll across the bottom of the screen. “Likes” and emojis float across the screen as they are sent in.

Facebook allows you to schedule live videos so your audience can be ready. You can watch live videos from the Facebook app and on the web. A Facebook Live video can be up to 90 minutes. Once finished, you can upload the video to Facebook in HD for later viewing. Most of the people in your life are already on Facebook, which makes FB Live an easy choice.

GOOGLE PLAY

3. Instagram

instagram-live

Instagram is the most recent app to add live video streaming. You can start a live video from the “Stories” screen. Simply swipe over, select “Live”, and start the video. Your live video will show up in the same place as Stories, but your profile photo will be marked with a “LIVE” badge.

Instagram’s implementation of live video is a littler different from Periscope and Facebook. Since Instagram is a mobile-only app, you can’t watch live videos in your web browser. There’s also no way to replay live videos after the stream is over. If the moment is the most important thing to you, Instagram is a nice choice.

GOOGLE PLAY

4. Livestream

livestream

The aptly named Livestream is one of the oldest streaming apps, Since Livestream isn’t owned by Twitter or Facebook, you can easily share your stream to both social networks. Comments are displayed at the bottom of the screen. You can apply filters and categorize your stream so others can easily discover it. Livestream doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it’s fast and reliable.

GOOGLE PLAY

5. Kanvas

kanvas

Kanvas bills itself as the “craziest live streaming experience ever.” It offers a ton of visual effects, filters, GIFs, stickers, and drawing tools. Kanvas is more about being creative and entertaining, whereas other live streaming services are about sharing an event. Viewers can react with hearts, emojis, and stickers. Streams can be replayed at any time on any device.

GOOGLE PLAY

6. YouNow

younow

YouNow is another service that allows you to share your stream on any social network. The big thing with YouNow is the ability to send and receive “gifts.” This means you can actually make money if your streams are popular enough. Another cool thing about YouNow is the stats you get after a broadcast. Other than that, YouNow works how you would expect. There is a live chat room underneath the video and users can “like” the stream.

GOOGLE PLAY

7. Streamago

streamago

Streamago describes itself as “live video selfies,” but it’s similar to YouNow. Viewers can send goodies to their favorite broadcasters. Another cool feature is the ability to do public or private streams. If you want to go live with only a few friends, you can do that. Live streams can be shared on most social networks. Users can view replays if they missed the live video.

GOOGLE PLAY


Are you a live streamer? Do you use any of these apps? What do you think of live streaming? Do you follow anyone that goes live a lot? Let us know in the comments below

Get the new LG G6 Smartphone for N50,000 if you’re a new Sprint User

Best Buy has a killer deal on the LG G6 if you’re a new customer to Sprint. New customers can get the G6 from Best Buy for only N50,000. Since it’s a monthly payment promotion, you’ll just end up paying N2600 per month for the device along with your new wireless plan from Sprint.

The G6 has been one of our favorite devices so far this year. Dual cameras offer multiple shooting angles for those who find themselves needing different perspectives. The Snapdragon 821 is not the Snapdragon 835, but it’s plenty powerful for a 2017 flagship. And that roomy 3,300mAh battery inside is decent. Not a bad price on a great phone.

Samsung announces Bixby voice assistant preview

Nearly two months after the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus’ launch, users might finally be getting access to one of the phones’ main selling points: a new virtual assistant called Bixby. Today Samsung announced an assistant preview in which some S8 and S8 Plus owners can test Bixby’s voice features before anyone else.

Only a limited number of people will receive this early access, Samsung says, so there are no guarantees even if you sign up. Still, you can try your luck here. This early access will let users send a text, change their settings, or make phone calls with their voice.

We don’t know when the preview will launch other than in the “near future.” Already, S8 and S8 Plus owners can use limited Bixby features, like Bixby Vision augmented reality, Bixby Home, and Reminders. The delay in shipping its full voice assistant is reportedly attributed to the company’s difficulty in optimizing it for English commands. This makes sense given that Bixby already fully launched in South Korea. Samsung shows no signs of letting that hurdle hold it back, though, as it announced this past month that it plans to build Bixby into its smart fridges and eventually expects to include the assistant in all its products.

All cellphones sold in Canada must be unlocked starting in December

The CRTC, Canada’s wireless regulator, has ruled that every cellphone sold in the country must be unlocked, and carriers can no longer charge their customers to unlock their current devices, according to the CBC. The rules will take effect on December 1st, allowing customers to move to different carriers with their device as they wish.

According to the CBC, Canadian carriers charged their customers $50 Canadian dollars ($38) to unlock their devices, which added up to $37.7 million CAD ($28.5 million) in 2016. The carriers, of course, fought the ruling by the CRTC, claiming that customers should have to “bear the cost of the unlocking,” as Rogers vice president Howard Slawner said back in February, failing to note that carriers themselves lock devices.

But the argument is moot now. Canadian carrier customers will be able to unlock their phones at will come December.

The Verge

WordPress Will Require Users to Have HTTPS This Year

WordPress recently announced that it will require all hosts to have HTTPS and restrict certain WordPress features to sites that have a valid SSL certificate.

Don’t panic just yet. If you already have HTTPS, this shouldn’t affect you. But if you’re still using HTTP, you’ll need to upgrade soon. The good news is that the transition is not as difficult as you think it is and the benefits outweigh the assumed disadvantages.

This article will go over what the WordPress HTTPS mandate means for you as a site owner; the advantages; as well as how to upgrade to HTTPS if you haven’t already done so.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS adds a security layer to HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTPS essentially encrypts data (using SSL or TSL) that is communicated between servers and clients until it reaches the intended recipient.

This prevents cybercriminals from accessing sensitive user information and also reduces the risk of tapping and modification of sensitive data. Although HTTPS is not completely foolproof, it undoubtedly has major security advantages.

HTTPS sites can be easily identified, as they have a locked padlock icon located on the link bar in most common browsers.

Why is WordPress Pushing HTTPS?

There’s mainly two reasons for this, so let’s quickly dive into them.

Google Prefers It

It is no secret that greater encryption and cyber security has made the Internet a safer place for users. As usual, a Google update signaled the necessity of HTTPS for user experience, SEO and internet security.

In 2014, Google suggested that enabling HTTPS on your site could result in higher search rankings. Although it still isn’t the only important factor in raising your site rankings, you shouldn’t underestimate its value. For example, if two sites are equal in all ways, but one site has HTTPS, that site would get a boost in rankings.

Chrome will display a green padlock in the link bar when a site is using HTTPS, assuring users it's using the latest security protocol.

Chrome will display a green padlock in the link bar when a site is using HTTPS, assuring users it’s using the latest security protocol.

In January of this year, Google released version 56 of Google Chrome. This new release brought about some changes, notably with how Google Chrome treats HTTPS vs. HTTP sites. The browser now clearly identifies sites that are not operating HTTPS on their systems. For example, a “Not Secure” message now appears on pages without HTTPS that try to collect passwords or sensitive information. You can expect that, eventually, all pages not using HTTPS will clearly be labeled as having insecure connections.

We can reasonably assume that Google’s preference for HTTPS has been a contributing factor for the changes implemented by WordPress.

Users Prefer HTTPS Too

A secure connection can make all the difference from a user’s perspective. Users see HTTPS as a positive signal that you are taking your site security seriously, for their benefit. So, having HTTPS could mean more traffic and longer usage times on your site.

HTTPS is particularly important if you are operating an e-commerce site. Simply seeing the padlock icon could make users more comfortable in entering their payment details and other personal information. Particularly with the new Chrome update (mentioned earlier) which shows a “Not Secure” label on e-commerce sites or sites that require a user login or credit card information, but don’t have HTTPS.

Both Google and user preference should be enough reason for you to upgrade your site to HTTPS. It is simply necessary to ensure watertight security for your users and to protect your online business reputation.

Sites that require users to login or enter credit card information are now displayed as "Not secure" in Chrome when they haven't switched to HTTPS yet.

Sites that require users to login or enter credit card information are now displayed as “Not secure” in Chrome when they haven’t switched to HTTPS yet.

Remember when JavaScript was first introduced and quickly embraced by users and webmasters? Looking back, we can see now that JavaScript was essential for smoother and better user experience. HTTPS similarly, presents a number of unique advantages for user experience and security that we should all quickly embrace.

We know that you may be overwhelmed switching from HTTP to HTTPS. After all, change does takes time to get used to, but in this instance, you may need to quickly get on board. At this point, the advantages of HTTPS have greatly outnumbered the disadvantages. Plus, upgrading to HTTPS is no longer the costly, time consuming, and difficult process that it once was. In fact, getting an SSL certificate in 2017 is fast, sometimes free, and quite easy to implement.

How to Get HTTPS

WordPress hosting partners should now provide an SSL certificate for all accounts. (It is required that they all do so as early as the first quarter of this year.)

Your hosting provider may already provide a free SSL certificate, so check with them first before you make any third-party purchase. If they do not offer a free one, you could ask them if they sell third party SSL certificates. Once purchased, you can ask your provider to install the certificate for you on your server.

Dozens of major companies are already backing Lets Encrypt, including Automattic (known for WooCommerce, Jetpack, Akismet and WordPress.com)

Dozens of major companies are already backing Lets Encrypt, including Automattic (known for WooCommerce, Akismet and WordPress.com)

Another option is to explore the free alternatives, independent of your hosting provider. There are projects such as “Let’s Encrypt” which have now made it easy and quick to secure a free HTTPS certificate for your website.

Let’s Encrypt is an authorized open Certificate Authority with millions of active certificates in place. There are other comparable projects out there that can help by guiding you step-by-step through the installation process or who have been authorized to deliver certificates.

Remember that SSL certificates upgrade the website, but not the content itself. That means that the content on your page will also need to be updated so as to avoid 404 errors. Google may interpret the error as a mismatch in the security level of your site. The only way to avoid this is by encrypting the content of your website to match your SSL certificate.

To track and resolve any 404 errors on your site, you may want to use a specialised plugin such as Redirection to do so.

What if You Just Don’t Want to Upgrade to HTTPS?

You could see a number of things happening to your site over time if you do not upgrade to HTTPS. The first may be facing the consequences set out by Google, i.e: lower rankings and having your users staring at a “Not Secure” warning when they try to access your site via Google Chrome.

The second is that you could struggle with WordPress updates and lose some or all functionality on specific WordPress plugins.

Third, your site may be an easier target for hacking.

Those are three consequences that require you to seriously reconsider if you really want to take the risk of not upgrading to HTTPS.

Wrapping Up

Let’s put it this way: you will simply have nothing to lose by adopting HTTPS. Yet, if you do not use HTTPS, you could risk leaving your site in the “dark ages” of the Internet.

But then again, if you’re a WordPress site owner, you have no choice. Take the plunge and let us know how it worked out for you!

SEMP

Sony on PS4 Pro: ‘We see 4K as being the next HD’

In late 2016, the focus of Sony’s PlayStation division was on hardware. During a span of around 60 days, the company launched three new devices: a slimmer base PS4, the more powerful PS4 Pro, and the PlayStation VR headset. The surge appears to have been largely a success; the PSVR has topped 1 million units sold, while Sony says the PS4 is “close to” hitting the 60 million mark.

The question mark is the PS4 Pro. The company isn’t releasing specific sales data for the upgraded hardware, but it says that since the debut in November, one in five new PS4s sold has been the Pro model. (Sony says the actual number “runs into the millions.”) Nonetheless, Sony is committed to the Pro and the shift its added power represents.

“We see 4K as being the next HD,” says Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, “and PlayStation 4 Pro is our answer to that opportunity.”

For many consumers, some confusion remains around the PS4 Pro. While the hardware features an enhanced GPU and the ability to play games and other media in 4K, it’s not always clear which games or developers are actually supporting the device, or what features are only available on the pricier console.

When Prey launched on May 8th, for instance, it purportedly supported PS4 Pro. But it wasn’t until last week that a patch was released, adding in a large number of Pro-specific improvements.

In comparison to Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio — which the company says will offer 4K support and performance improvements for all Xbox One games — the advantages of upgrading to PS4 Pro aren’t as immediately clear.

According to Jim Ryan, president and CEO and Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, the responsibility to support the hardware lies with game developers. That is to say, each developer must spend time and resources to tweak and patch their games to take advantage of the PS4’s added power.

“It’s one of those things where we very much leave it to the content creator to make what they will of the power of the machine,” he says. “I think the proof of the pudding is in the tasting; when you look at something like Horizon Zero Dawn, which is just gorgeous on PS4 Pro, you can see firsthand what the device delivers. Now there are other games where the benefits of Pro are less apparent, and frankly in some cases less necessary. So it’s down to the individual developer.”

Shawn Layden.
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Project Scorpio is expected to launch later this year, but at Microsoft’s E3 Keynote on June 11th the company will be revealing more details about the console. According to Ryan, the relative mystery around Scorpio, along with PS4 Pro’s one-year head start, has been advantageous for Sony. “We were able to get out and lay out our agenda before anybody else,” he says. “We don’t know yet when Microsoft will come with Scorpio, there’s much that’s yet to be known about that product. We don’t know the date, we don’t know the price, we don’t know the quantities. So we’re able to get out there and do our thing, and we’re very happy about that.”

The entire concept of mid-cycle upgrades like PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio — consoles that are more powerful than their predecessors, but not an entirely new generation of hardware — is still largely unproven territory, and recent studies suggest that a majority of consumers are unaware of the new devices and the advantages they offer.

Historically, raw power has had little impact on the success of a console; just look at the meteoric sales of the original Wii compared to the more powerful PS3 and Xbox 360. That said, Ryan believes updates like the PS4 Pro will help Sony appeal to early adopters and those consumers who don’t even know what a PS4 Pro is.

“For us, it’s about trying to strike a balance between having a platform have a certain lifespan that will allow developers to become familiar, and to exploit the platform, but at the same time, to allow those who wish to upgrade mid-cycle to have something that’s new and shiny and more powerful,” he says. “I think we’ve struck really an elegant balance between those two factors.”

The Verge

ROLLS-ROYCE CUSTOM-BUILT THIS GORGEOUS COUPE FOR A MILLIONAIRE

By

If money were no object, what kind of car would you buy? Many people would probably choose a top-of-the-line sports car, or even a super-car or hyper-car. Others might opt for a more practical luxury vehicle and tick all the options, like the Tesla Model S P100D. But regardless of your real-life financial situation, we all basically approach this dream scenario the same way: somewhere in the world there’s a car that we want more than all the others.

For the richest people in the world, though, this game has an entirely different set of rules. Yes, if you have enough money — I’m talking island-buying, jet-flying, so-rich-that-one-minute-spent-deciding-between-cars-would-actually-cost-you-money rich — you can apparently pay Rolls-Royce to design a car for you.

That’s the story the company is telling, anyway, about the new “Sweptail” coupe that was unveiled this past week at the yearly Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este event in Italy. According to a (fantastically baroque) 2,500-plus-word press release issued by the company, a very rich man who considers himself a “connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private aircraft” came to Rolls-Royce in 2013 with a request: would the automaker be so kind as to create a bespoke car for him?

Four years and a reported $13 million later, and the answer to that question is in the official press pictures below, which show off what is ostensibly the most expensive new car ever purchased.

The Sweptail is named after the tapered “swept tail” rear ends that helped make the company’s Phantoms famous in the early 20th century. In fact, many of its design elements were plucked from some of those iconic coupes. The Sweptail borrows from the round door look of the 1925 Phantom I, the silhouette of the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon, and the swept tail designs of cars like the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon.

Of course, this car’s got plenty of 21st century touches, too. The panoramic glass roof makes the one on the Tesla Model X look like a sunroof — there’s practically nothing blocking this mystery buyer’s skyward view while he drives (or gets chauffeured) around town. (Or, as Rolls-Royce put it, “What a place to be as one watches the world slip by through the vast windows and roof, detached from the outside world in a cocoon of luxury whilst feeling one is part of that passing landscape.”)

The interior is lined with “generous quantities” of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao wood, because modest amounts of those materials are obviously out of the question. The analog clock in the dash uses machined titanium. The center console hides a champagne chiller and two crystal flutes. Instead of a hidden umbrella, like in the Dawn, the car’s side walls conceal a pair of carbon fiber attaché cases that have been specifically designed to fit the buyer’s laptop, and they match a set of custom luggage found in the trunk. There’s even a shelf for his hat.

So the next time that dream car crosses your mind, remember that you could actually dream even bigger if you had enough money to bend the rules. Who knows? Maybe someday you will. If the last two years on this Earth have taught us anything, it’s that everything is possible. Especially a custom-built Rolls-Royce with a built-in champagne cooler.

The Verge