Updated:The Amazon Fire TV streaming stick, which can have Kodi installed, has been overhauled with a new version that brings even more features and tricks to the table.
If you’re looking to use a box for streaming content to your television, then Kodi (or XBMC as it was previously known) is one of the best pieces of software out there to use, bringing flexibility, support for a huge range of streaming services and a TV-friendly interface that makes playing your media a joy.
As well as allowing you to stream video and music files over a local network, the software also includes the ability to install plug-ins to stream from a variety of services including Amazon Prime Instant Video, Spotify and YouTube.
The only downside of the software is that Kodi doesn’t actually make a set top box of its own for the software (and no, its branded Raspberry Pi case doesn’t count) so if you want to install Kodi you actually have a dazzling array of options.
Thankfully we’ve put together this handy guide with our top picks of the best boxes to install Kodi on, from low-powered Linux machines to Android set top boxes capable of outputting at 4K resolutions.
There are also boxes you can buy which have Kodi pre-installed on them, however it’s here you’ll have to be careful. Since Kodi is open-source software, a number of third parties have been modifying and selling it with third-party add ons that enable piracy.
Since we don’t know anyone who likes lawsuits from the Motion Picture Association of America, we have made every effort to include only those Kodi boxes which use a stock form of the software, without any piracy-enabling add ons.
And while you might think that there aren’t many clean boxes out there, there’s actually a huge range of choices, all of which you can find on the pages that follow.
Update:New images show off the Samsung Galaxy S8 from the front and back, while we’ve also seen further evidence of on-screen buttons and a desktop mode. And if you’re in a rush, but need to know all about the S8, you can check out our rumor roundup videos below!
The Samsung Galaxy S7 was almost everything we hoped for, with improvements throughout leading it to be one of the most powerful, stylish and all round accomplished smartphones on the market.
It may have scored five stars in our in-depth review, but there’s always room for improvement and based on the rumors so far that’s exactly what we’ll get from the Samsung Galaxy S8,
With talk of a new AI assistant, dual-lens camera, upgraded screen, no physical home button and a rear mounted fingerprint scanner there’s plenty of information already leaked about the next Galaxy smartphone.
We also have a wish list for what we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S8 on the next page – plus, we’d love to hear what you think, so let us know in the comments below and we’ll furiously email them to Samsung.
Cut to the chase
What is it? Samsung’s next flagship smartphone
When is it out? Rumors say March 29 launch, April 21 release date
What will it cost? Maybe $850 (roughly £655/AU$1120)
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor roundups
In a hurry? Then check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor roundup videos for all the key details on the next generation flagship smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors: Part 1
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors: Part 2
Samsung Galaxy S8 release date
No MWC announcement, but maybe a video tease
March 29 currently tipped as Galaxy S8 launch date
Samsung typically announces new phones at the end of February, but its mobile president confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S8 won’t be announced at MWC 2017 – well, not announced in full at least.
Instead, we’ll see the new Android Nougat phone teased in a one-minute video at the event on February 26, according to a new report out of Korea. Most of the company’s MWC press conference will focus on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
Expect 60 seconds a slowly rotating smartphone draped in dark shadows and have it all accompanied by booming music. Maybe even a tagline like ‘The next big thing just got even bigger,’ alluding to a larger display size.
The official launch date may happen a little more than one month later, with the newest believable leaks saying it’ll be a March 29 launch event in New York that outs the new Samsung phone. The actual Galaxy S8 release date in stores is expected to be April 21.
Samsung’s biggest phones typically go through a one month lag time between their announcement and actual shipment dates, so that part at least checks out.
Of course, we’ve also heard about other possible release dates, including April 18. Either way, Samsung isn’t launching its phone as soon as it usually does.
The much larger Samsung Galaxy S8, according to the latest leaked photo (Photo Credit: Evan Blass)
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 on a two-year contract, you’re going to want to hold onto it for a few more weeks instead of upgrading to the older Galaxy S7. There will be phones like the LG G6 and BlackBerry Mercury trying to tempt you away in the meantime.
The later Samsung Galaxy S8 release date doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been delayed. It could be that the company wants to host a separate event or wait for the very latest specs to build the best phone possible.
It also taking extra time to focus on what caused the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s flammable faults – an investigation which has now been completed.
One thing we can say with some certainty though is whenever it launches, Samsung’s next phone will indeed be called the Galaxy S8, as Samsung has filed an application with the USPTO to protect exactly that.
TechRadar’s take: The March 29 launch date comes from reliable leakers, and the April 21 release date makes sense since it’s nearly one month later. Expect more Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks during MWC, even though it’s not there for the public to see outside of a 60-second teaser video.
We got bored of waiting so we spent some time creating our own video render – here’s how the phone should look:
Samsung Galaxy S8 news and rumors
You can find plenty of Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors on the internet right now, and some are likely accurate. Others we’re skeptical about.
To cut through the noise, we’ve amassed all of the major leaks onto this page and are going to do our best to determine fact vs fiction.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S8 going to have a 4K screen, a cutting-edge Snapdragon chipset and 6GB of RAM? How about an even better camera, iris scanner and foldable screen?
Some of this stuff is true, others are a better fit for the Samsung Galaxy S9. Here are the latest rumors.
Samsung Galaxy S8 screen
No flat version
4K resolution or Quad HD
New 5.8 and 6.2-inch screen size
Super wide 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Samsung Galaxy S8 may give everyone what they want: a bigger screen without making the phone dimensions any larger. Is it finally happening?
It’s going to come in two sizes, one with a 5.8-inch display and another with a 6.2-inch screen, both with curves and a Quad HD resolution, according to a leak obtained by VentureBeat.
That would make the Galaxy S8 display – in either size – larger than the 5.7-inch Note 7. Don’t worry, it’s not actually going to be any more massive.
The phone is said to max out the screen real estate by ditching the home button at the bottom and that always-gaudy Samsung logo at the top.
This is very close to an all-screen phone that nearly defeats screen bezel, as you can partially see in the leaked image above. If true, it’ll have a wider 18.5:9 aspect ratio, not the 16:9 standard widescreen ratio.
It’s going to be interesting to see how movies look on it. The all-screen theory has been backed up by leaked images of tempered glass screen protectors, shared by DforDesign, and a more recent, similar image, and even some images of the protectors on the phone, shared by @VenyaGeskin1, which you can see below, so this rumor seems strong.
While the physical home button may be ditched, it’s likely that we’ll see some software buttons on the screen, much like those in the image below, found in a system dump for the unreleased Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
What about that fabled Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 4K screen?
Samsung Display, a subsidiary of the electronics giant, has already shown off a 5.5-inch 2160 x 3840 screen, which comes in at a pin sharp 806 pixels per inch.
There’s no guarantee the Galaxy S8 will get this screen, but it’s clearly been designed for premium phones, and none get more premium than the S8.
Samsung is making a big push into VR with its Gear VR headset and one thing it really needs to make the most of that is a higher-resolution phone screen.
You don’t need a 4K screen for everyday phone use. But when a screen is two inches from your face, even with a sharp Quad HD panel, it appears pixelated.
4K resolutions in phones are the future for this reason. Whether it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 remains to be seen. It could still arrive on the bigger 6.2-inch phone to help differentiate the two sizes.
Less credible now are stories that suggested a repeat of last year’s 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch display sizes, but with a jump in resolution from Quad HD to 4K.
We’ve also heard from Weibo that the Samsung Galaxy S8 could have a 5.2-inch 2160 x 4096 screen. Other Weibo rumors suggest the S8 will have just a QHD screen, like the Galaxy S7, but add that “new materials” of some kind could be used, and that the home button will be removed – potentially meaning smaller bezels and maybe even a fingerprint scanner built into the screen.
One thing is clear: Samsung is putting a lot of work into curved screens, and a recent comment from Samsung Mobile President Dong-jin Koh claimed: “Samsung has considered that it would make the edge display the identity of the Galaxy S smartphone lineup.”
That makes it sound like we might not actually get the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge at all, and the Galaxy S8 will be a single curved variant only.
More recently we’ve heard rumors that Samsung has started sourcing curved display panels, but that it will be making curved versions in both 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch sizes. Apparently whether or not there’s also a flat screen model will come down to how many curved screens Samsung can source in time.
SamMobile has suggested that there will be both a flat and dual-edge curved version. If there is a flat version, there’s a chance it will look like the handset in the video below.
This is an advert from Samsung Display, and clearly shows a handset with no home button and almost no bezels. It’s likely just a generic creation for the video, but those same attributes are rumored for the S8, so it’s possible it will look similar.
But rather than a flat screen or even curves, Samsung might go one further and give us a foldable phone in the future. Prototypes and patents for such a device already exist, including one very recent patent spotted by Patently Mobile.
In fact, it’s rumored that Samsung will launch a folding phone in 2017, but it’s unlikely to risk attaching the untested tech to its flagship.
Samsung has been working to shrink the bezels on its devices, with a Samsung Display employee claiming the company will launch a display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in 2017, though there’s no guarantee it will be attached to the S8.
There’s also the Always On Display (AOD), a feature that debuted with the Galaxy S7. This feature has been hugely improved on the Note 7, with more pictures added to the mix and a richer display hanging about on the phone when it’s turned off.
Future updates to the AOD mean that it should become even richer for the Galaxy S8, with third parties able to add their own widgets to the screen.
Samsung recently added a music player onto this area, so it’s highly likely third parties like Spotify will be able to do the same thing by the time the S8 launches. Also, if you look at what’s been offered on the Galaxy Note 7, with the icons pictured above, you’ll realize there’s more to come from the AOD from Samsung.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung isn’t going to launch a Galaxy S8 with a flat screen, in all likelihood. After all, it only launched a curved Note 7. Another logical step is to do away with as much bezel as possible, so increasing to a 5.8-inch display and 6.2-inch display adds up. It sounds too large, but seeing the normal-sized body and impressive display in hand should be all the convincing you ever need. We’re just wondering if Samsung takes the 4K leap for the sake of advancing mobile VR or if it sticks to a Quad HD Super AMOLED screen.
Samsung Galaxy S8 design
Back fingerprint sensor
A similar but refined design
Water and dust resistance
Samsung is on to something with the design of the Galaxy S6 and now the Galaxy S7. Its melding of metal and glass has led to one of the most attractive handsets around, so we don’t expect huge changes there.
People like to see changes, so at the very least the design will probably be refined in some ways.
The loss of the physical home button, as mentioned before from the leak in late January, puts the fingerprint sensor on the back, where other Android phones have been sticking it.
However, the fingerprint pad appears to be off-center, resting next to the camera, in an odd twist. If that’s true, it’ll take some time to get used to its peculiar placement.
Samsung slightly curved the back edge of the Galaxy S7, so perhaps it will make the Galaxy S8 even more curved, so it sits even more comfortably in the hand, like the HTC One M9. Or maybe it will focus on making the phone thinner.
The main thing we’ve actually heard about the design so far is that it will be “slick”, which doesn’t tell us much, but does come straight from Samsung’s vice chairman, so it’s probably true.
We’ve also now seen some renders of the phone, based on factory CADs (computer-aided designs), which line up with the design rumors we’ve heard, but fill in extra details, such as the presence of power and volume buttons on the left edge, with a button for launching Samsung’s new AI assistaint (discussed below) on the right edge.
The leaks also add dimensions of 148.90 x 68 x 8mm for the standard Galaxy S8, which would make it just slightly bigger than the 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm Samsung Galaxy S7, despite having a larger screen.
Another leaked image, this time of a case for the phone, shows the same buttons and rear-facing fingerprint scanner, so this design is looking likely, and that design is repeated yet again in another case image.
It’s also likely to be IP68 certified dust and water resistant, both because the Galaxy S7 is and because exactly that has been rumored by sources speaking to The Investor.
TechRadar’s take: The leaked renders we’ve seen seem believable and come from a reputable source, suggesting we’ll get a familiar but refined design.
Samsung Galaxy S8 rear camera
A software-enhanced 12MP rear camera
Same great f/1.7 aperture with larger pixels
Dual-lens plans may have been dropped
There’s a good chance the Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to have the best camera on any phone, whether or not it sees a bump in megapixels.
That exactly what we experienced from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. In fact , they dialed things back from Galaxy S6’s 16MP to just 12MP.
The S7 series wowed us with excellent low-light photography thanks to having larger individual pixels and going from a f/1.9 to an f/1.7 aperture.
New Galaxy S8 camera rumors point to the same 12MP rear and a slightly better 8MP front-facing camera, both with a the same f/1.7 aperture as before.
Samsung’s specialty, increasingly, has been in its post-processing software, and the latest camera to capture even more vibrant photos, no matter the situation.
This hasn’t stopped people from speculating that The S8 is due for a big camera revision. Samsung has reportedly been working on a dual-lens rear camera.
Dual lens camera are all the rage right now, making their way into all sorts of phones, from the iPhone 7 Plus to much cheaper phones like the Honor 8.
Samsung may have been readying a rear camera combo with 12MP and 13MP lenses on the back, but the claims out of China haven’t materialized in the latest Galaxy S8 photo leaks. It looks to have just one camera on back.
There’s always a chance. A suggestion that Samsung could include two cameras to help its parts suppliers make up for lost Note 7 earnings sounds promising.
Samsung has also now registered trademarks for two camera technologies designed to enhance the brightness of images, which is often the role of a secondary lens, further suggesting a dual-lens could be in the works.
Even if a dual-lens camera doesn’t launch this time, all signs point to Samsung saving the trademarked idea for something like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
On the other hand, another Weibo poster claims the S8 will have a 30MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and a 9MP front-facing one, but we’d be surprised if Samsung pushed the rear camera’s megapixel count up that high.
Samsung has also built a ‘Smart Glow’ feature, which takes the form of a ring of LEDs around the rear camera, which can flash in different colors for different types of notifications and even light up when they detect your face, so you can more easily take a selfie with the main camera.
So far the feature is only available on the Samsung Galaxy J2, but there’s a chance Samsung will use it in the Galaxy S8 as well.
Whatever the case, you can be sure the camera will be improved, in fact Samsung’s vice chairman has even said as much.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung already has the best camera on a phone, and this one will no doubt be touted as even better than before. But it doesn’t sound like we’re due for a major revision on the back. Dual-lens cameras are the next big thing but we’re not holding out for that or the 30 megapixel rumor.
An 8MP front-facing camera
A step up from last year’s 5MP camera
May include autofocus for the first time
The front-facing camera may go from 5MP to 8MP, and with the increasing focus on selfies, Samsung seems to be giving this snapper much-needed attention.
Your selfies could benefit from autofocus, which is a feature usually reserved for rear cameras, as they need to focus at various distances.
The usefulness would technically be limited on a front-facing camera (you can only extend your arm out so far, so a fixed lens is more than fine), but it could help eliminate occasional blurry faces while possibly blur backgrounds.
Samsung also filed a recent trademark entitled Smart AF, according to Android Authority. Meaning, soon, your selfies could look stunning AF.
If the Samsung front-facing camera can eliminate the barrel distortion of its wider-than-normal selfie camera, it would also be a plus for the Galaxy S8.
3,000mAh battery for the 5.8-inch phone
3,500mAh battery for the 6.2-inch phone
Fast charging with QuickCharge 4.0
The Samsung Galaxy S8 battery capacity isn’t going to seem like ‘the next big thing’ by the rumored numbers, but that is unlikely to matter for everyday use.
According to some leaks it’ll have a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh battery in the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch phones, respectively. That’s small for phones of this size in 2017.
Some Android phones are up to 5,000mAh batteries, like the upcoming Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom. Even the S7 Edge had a slightly larger 3,600mAh battery size.
That said, a more recent leak points to 3,250mAh and 3,750mAh sizes, which would seem more reasonable for such large screens.
Whatever the battery size, Samsung has one big advantage over everyone else: it’s launching a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset that’s just 10 nanometers in size instead of 14nm.
Smaller chips consume less power, and the debut of the Snapdragon 835 (or a 10nm Samsung Exynos 8895 chipset for places outside of the US and China) means it can last a lot longer on the same or even a smaller battery.
It’s going to be more efficient when it comes to using power, so we may see these phones last longer, despite the lack of a bigger battery.
There was one battery rumor that suggested the Galaxy S8 will have a huge 4200mAh juice pack with support for both wireless and fast charging.
We’re not convinced Samsung will squeeze in a battery that big considering it wants to make the S8’s battery doesn’t meet the same fate as the Note 7.
Fast charging with QuickCharge 4.0 also makes its debut thanks to Qualcomm’s technology, and Samsung has always tried to push its wireless charging pads. Expect both of those perks to be part of the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 OS and power
A 3GHz Exynos 8895 processor in some regions
A 3.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon chip in the US
4GB or 6GB of RAM
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely going to debut Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is faster, small and more efficient than the Snapdragon 820.
In fact, a leak suggests the Galaxy S8 could have a 3.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon chipset, which certainly sounds fast.
That said, Samsung also makes its own Exynos chips and with the Galaxy S7 some regions got those and others got the Snapdragon 820, so the same is likely to happen with the Galaxy S8.
More specifically, the US will probably get a Snapdragon chip, while most of the rest of the world will likely get an Exynos one. Rumors suggest it will be the Exynos 8895, which is apparently clocked at up to 3GHz (up from 2.3GHz on the Exynos 8890 in the S7), and is supposedly also optimized for low power usage, as well as improving image processing performance by over 70%.
We’ve also heard rumors from SamMobile that not only is Samsung working on new mobile processors, but that it’s in talks with both Nvidia and AMD to build the GPUs (in place of ARM, which currently builds them).
With Nvidia behind some of the most powerful processors around and AMD’s architecture at the heart of the PS4 Pro, a move to either of these companies could give flagship Exynos chips a performance boost.
That extra power will really come in handy if Samsung plans to put a 4K screen on the Galaxy S8 or use it for high-end VR content – our betting is that both Samsung’s and Qualcomm’s chips will be heavily focused around making VR the best experience it can possibly be, which will be a boon for Gear VR wearers.
Samsung’s also applied to trademark “beast mode”, which could be a supercharged setting designed to make the most of VR.
As for RAM, speculation is growing that it’ll have 4GB of RAM, contrasting with early rumors that point to 6GB. The mid-range Samsung Galaxy C9 is also rumored to have 6GB of RAM, so that’s the least we had expected.
In fact, Samsung has created an 8GB RAM chip compatible with smartphones, though it hasn’t been specifically linked to the S8. The fact that it could still have 4GB of RAM is a bit surprising.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung is sure to dial up the power in the Galaxy S8, but will probably stick a Snapdragon 835 chip in the US version, with an Exynos processor available elsewhere. RAM is sure to be at least 4GB, but it’s likely that Samsung will up it to 6GB. We doubt it will reach 8GB.
Samsung Galaxy S8 other features
An iris scanner and AI assistant
No headphone jack
A desktop mode
Dual stereo speakers
The S Pen stylus is a big feature of the Galaxy Note range, and recent rumors suggest it could also be coming to the Galaxy S8, as an optional extra. That suggests Samsung could be aiming to make the phone better for productivity, though we’re not convinced there’s much evidence of it.
But the Galaxy S8 could get an even bigger productivity boost, by including a Continuum-like feature, allowing you to plug it into a monitor for a desktop-like experience. That’s if the image below is to be believed.
That’s not the only reference to a desktop experience we’ve come across either, as another leak suggests the S8 will connect to a DeX dock, which will allow the phone to then connect to an external monitor via HDMI.
Rumor has it the Samsung Galaxy S8 is set to lose the 3.5mm headphone jack. The rumor doesn’t say why it’s dropping the legacy tech, but does suggest the phone will instead feature a USB-C port and come with an adapter in the box.
On the other hand, a leaked case supposedly for the phone (pictured below) shows the headphone port intact, along with a USB-C port and space for just a single lens camera, so don’t count the 3.5mm jack out yet.
One area that Samsung could easily improve for the S8 is the speakers, and it just might, with rumors that we’ll get dual stereo speakers for the first time on a Samsung flagship. They could also use Harman technology, which would make sense, since Samsung has purchased the brand.
We could see an iris scanner on the phone, as the company has stuck one on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the feature has since been rumored for the Galaxy S8 more than once.
But its inclusion isn’t guaranteed, as it doesn’t really add a lot beyond a ‘hyper’ level of security that some people would need on the Note 7, given it’s part enterprise device. That said, the scanner never got much of an outing with the Note 7 being killed, so Samsung is likely to want to give it a chance.
And another source has also suggested we’ll see an iris scanner, along with 64GB and 128GB storage capacities, a microSD card slot and, oddly, a mini projector. Another rumor points to up to 256GB of storage, which would be a huge jump on the maximum of 64GB that’s built into the Galaxy S7.
One feature that’s been confirmed by Samsung is the Viv AI assistant. It’s a bit like Siri, and in fact some of the makers of Siri created it, but Samsung bought the company and is planning to build Viv into the S8.
While there’s stiff competition in this space, Viv will apparently work seamlessly with a large number of apps, potentially giving it an advantage over the likes of Siri. It’s also rumored to come with both male and female voices, dubbed Bixby and Kestra.
Samsung is seemingly making Viv a focus of the S8, with one prototype apparently even featuring a dedicated button to launch the assistant.
Samsung might also build a fingerprint scanner right into the S8’s display, according to a Weibo source, allowing it to eliminate the home button entirely. The tech exists, but would be a smartphone first if Samsung does use it.
Samsung’s ‘Smart Glow’ feature – so far only available on the Galaxy J2, has also popped up again, with additional functions such as heart rate readings and the ability to light up in different colors to represent different weather conditions apparently likely to be added to later versions of it.
Other than those features, a reversible USB Type-C connector is likely now it’s appeared in the Galaxy Note 7, and Samsung is likely to continue offering the features its flagships are known for, like an always-on screen (with enhancements), a microSD card slot and a waterproof body.
TechRadar’s take: We wouldn’t count on seeing Smart Glow in the S8, given that the Note 7 didn’t have it despite the feature already being available on a lower end handset. A mini projector also sounds like a long shot, but an iris scanner and stereo speakers are likely, while USB-C is all but guaranteed.
Samsung Galaxy S8 price
More expensive than the Galaxy S7
….or the same price as the S7
The earliest cost rumors claim an $850 (roughly £655/AU$1120) SIM-free price for the Samsung Galaxy S8.
This comes from a Weibo post with no evidence to back it up, so we’d take it with a pinch of salt, but if true the Galaxy S8 would be slightly more expensive in most regions than the £569/AU$1149 (around $750) launch price of the Galaxy S7.
On the other hand, a similarly evidence-free claim has been made more recently that while the materials will apparently cost 28% more than the S7, the cost to consumers will be the same.
In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will almost certainly come out on contract, with monthly payment plan prices starting around $33 a month until it’s paid off in full.
Samsung won’t offering the Galaxy S8 unlocked in the US at first, if history repeats itself. Instead, you have to get it from your carrier, be it AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile. Usually (about four months later), an unlocked version will be sold at full price.
TechRadar’s take: It’s very possible that the S8 will cost the same as the S7, especially as Samsung will want to make up for the Note 7 debacle. But if construction costs rise, as is likely, then that would mean making less profit on each unit, which it may not be prepared to do.
Update:A leaked Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 shot shows it alongside a keyboard and gives us a hint at when it might appear in stores.
Android tablets may feel like a dying breed but the latest rumors suggest Samsung hasn’t given up on them just yet.
Samsung is set to make a follow-up to 2015’s Galaxy Tab S2 with the – you guessed it – Galaxy Tab S3. We gave the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 four stars, citing a lighter design, the 4:3 display ratio and improved TouchWiz software as the highlights.
It wasn’t without issues though, as the spec upgrade was only small and we weren’t all that impressed by the battery life. But the Galaxy Tab S2 is still in second place in our best tablets list – so if Samsung gives it some impressive upgrades for the Tab S3 it may be ready to take the top spot.
Cut to the chase
What is it? Samsung’s latest flagship Android tablet
When is it out? Likely MWC 2017
What will it cost? Expect it to start at $399, £319, AU$499. It’ll be more for higher storage versions.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 release date
A February 26 announcement
Hitting stores on April 4
Samsung has announced its press conference for Mobile World Congress 2017 that seems to tease a new tablet announcement.
If this turns out to be true, we’ll see the new slate on February 26 this year. It took Samsung over three months to release the Galaxy Tab S2 after it was announced in July 2015, so don’t expect the Galaxy Tab S3 release date to be in the near future.
A recently leaked image included the date April 4, so that could be when the Tab S3 will arrive in stores.
The tablet has also received its official Bluetooth certification, and FCC (Federal Communications Commission – a US regulatory agency) certification, both of which suggest it’s almost ready for launch.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 specs and rumors
S Pen and keyboard accessories
A 9.6 or 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 screen
No 8-inch version
There doesn’t seem to be much agreement on what specs the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 will have.
Some recent rumors, coming from Naver News, suggest it will have a 9.6-inch 2048 x 1536 display, which is the same resolution as but marginally smaller than the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2.
The same source adds that we’ll see a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a 12MP camera, both Wi-Fi and LTE models, Android 7 Nougat and a thickness of just 5.6mm.
That thickness is the same as the Galaxy Tab S2, suggesting the Tab S3 could have a similar design, with a metal frame and plastic back. This seems likely, as the leaked image below looks almost identical to the Tab S2.
It shows black bezels around the screen, a Samsung logo above the display and a physical home button below, flanked by multitask and back keys, all of which is identical to the Tab S2.
The only real difference is the presence of an S Pen Stylus (which is rumored to be an optional accessory, with no cradle in the tablet to store it). Other differences according to the source will include the color scheme, with a new silver shade apparently launching alongside the black model.
The source of this image also largely matches the spec rumors above, saying that the Tab S3 will have a 9.7-inch 1536 x 2048 screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 12MP rear camera and a 4.7MP front-facing one, and that it will launch in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE versions.
But we can’t take a single image or source as fact, and our only other real look at the slate is a basic sketch on an FCC document.
Plus, an earlier leak out of China doesn’t entirely line up, claiming that the Galaxy Tab S3 will have 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, fast charging and an Exynos 7420 chipset.
It’s the chipset bit that’s at odds with the latest rumors, and while it’s possible that Samsung will use different chipsets for different regions, as it has with the Galaxy S7, the Exynos 7420 isn’t in any way an equivalent of the Snapdragon 820, as the 820 was a flagship 2016 chip, while the 7420 is from 2015.
And that’s not the only conflicting leak. The earliest rumors suggest it’ll boast an upper mid-range Snapdragon 652 chipset with 3GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery and 32GB of storage. While another rumor points toward the Galaxy Tab S3 coming with an 8MP rear camera and 2MP on the front for your selfies.
While we doubt it will have a mid-range spec, leaked benchmarks gave the tablet a multi-core score of 4,275, which is lower than the Galaxy S7, but still impressive.
Credit: Evan Blass
We’ve also now seen another image of the Tab S3, this time alongside a keyboard, which is likely to be another optional accessory, and which combined with the S Pen stylus could make it a serious iPad Pro competitor.
The tablet has also received its official Bluetooth certification, so we can pretty much guarantee the tablet will come with the wireless tech on board.
And although the rumors only mention one size, it’s possible that the Tab S3 will launch in a roughly 8.0-inch variant too, as the Galaxy Tab S2 did, though one source claims it won’t.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 price
The price of the Galaxy Tab S3 will come down to a lot of factors. The Galaxy Tab S2 cost $399, £319, AU$499 for the smallest storage size and 8-inch version of the tablet.
It was $499, £399, AU$599 for the 32GB 9.7-inch version of the tablet. We’d expect similar pricing this year, but there may be a few differences and it’ll likely be even more if you go for a larger storage size model.
Not content with its X Series mirrorless lenses and its recently announced medium-format GF range of lenses, Fujifilm is also announcing a new line of the Super 35mm cinema lenses, which will be known as MK.
First up is the 18-55mm T2.9, which will be available in March, and this will be closely followed by the 50-150mm T2.9, scheduled for a summer launch.
They will be available for Sony's E-mount with Super 35mm or APS-C sensors initially, with X-mount versions available towards the end of the year.
If you know Fujifilm for just its cameras and, well, film, you may be surprised to learn that that the company also has a rich heritage in cinematography, having been manufacturing its Fujinon lenses for years.
These optics have been used on movie and TV sets around the world, and Fuji says the two new lenses will offer advanced edge-to-edge optical performance and low distortion.
To combat resolving issues associated with using interchangeable lenses for still cameras in movie production, the front-focusing group of lens elements and the zooming group of elements are driven independently of one another to suppress focus shift while zooming, which eliminates the need to re-focus after zooming in or out.
The 18-55mm T2.9 will be priced at $3,799 in the US, with pricing still to be confirmed for the UK and Australia. The price of the 50-150mm is still to be announced.
Fuji adds two lenses to X mount
While things are still pretty vague, Fuji has also announced the development of two new X Series lenses – a 'telephoto prime lens' and an 'ultra-wide angle zoom lens'.
Based on the current X Series lineup we could be looking at a wide-angle prime wider than 14mm, and a telephoto around the 200/300mm mark, but that's about all – as soon as we know more, we'll let you know.
Update: iOS 10 will become iOS 10.3 soon, with the new public beta 3 already in the hands of both developers and general public testers. We're also getting very close to iOS 11, and even have a likely beta launch date for that.
Here's everything about iOS 10 and how your iPhone is about to get better.
Apple's iOS 10 and iOS 10.3 updates for your iPhone and iPad really live up to the milestone software version number, bringing major changes to your daily phone and tablet routine.
You won't even recognize portions of the interface; that's how different things are. But don't worry, almost all of the new iOS 10 features are for the best – and absolutely free to download today.
We've been playing with the new iPhone and iPad software since the iOS 10 beta stage, and we're still discovering new features with the new iOS 10.3 beta 1.
You'll need some time to wrap your head around the new functionality of this mobile operating system, so we went ahead of broke it down for you. Here's what we've learned about iOS 10 through iOS 10.3 beta.
Watch our hands-on review of the iPhone 7
When does iOS 11 launch?
iOS 10 isn't done yet, but Apple is already teasing iOS 11 ahead of the WWDC 2017 keynote. The event kicks off on June 5 in San Jose, California.
That's when you can expect your first glimpse at iOS 11 feature and a developer beta, as well as watchOS 4, macOS 10.13 and tvOS 2.
However, before that happens, we're due to get one more big update – iOS 10.3. Let's start there and work our way backward on all iOS 10 features.
iOS 10.3 new features
iOS 10.3 public beta 2 just launched for registered testers
Adds a Find My AirPods feature to the Find My iPhone app
Allegedly getting 'Theater Mode' from watchOS 3
Your iPhone is about to change yet again, as Apple just launched iOS 10.3 public beta 3. It's an incremental update, but an important one for AirPods owners.
The new feature helps you track down your new Apple wireless earbuds case. It also plays music through each AirPods in case you lose one.
So far, this is the only major improvement we see in iOS 10.3. However, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners are rumored to get the new Theater Mode.
Theater mode, on watchOS 3 at least, turns off the lift-to-wake feature off on the Apple Watch. This could be marginally beneficial on an iPhone, too.
If Apple does have an early spring event to launch the rumored iPad Pro 2, we could see the final version of iOS 10.3 be unveiled then, too.
Just be warned: iOS 10.3 beta is still unfinished software. We've experience a few screen glitches and random resets with it. None of it's been a deal-breaker for willing testers, but you should know this in advance.
iOS 10.2 features
Over 70 new emojis like shrug and fingers crossed
Additional camera and TV app settings
Celebration and Love message effects and three new wallpapers
iOS 10.2 debuted over with the adoption of Unicode 9 characters. Your iPhone is now the shortest way to express a 'shrug' and 'fingers crossed.'
Hate constantly having to fiddle with camera setting each time they reset upon closing the app? Well, there's a new configuration that lets you preserve them.
The 'Preserve Settings' camera submenu lets you lock in the camera mode (such as video, square, portrait), the photo filter (like chrome, mono and instant), and Live Photo (in case you want it off by default).
iOS 10.2 also jazzes you with a new 'Celebration' and 'Love' full-screen message effects. It also adds three new wallpapers of different colored droplets. They're artsy, but not groundbreaking.
There's a new pre-loaded app from Apple and good news: you probably won't want to immediately delete this one. It's the all-new TV app.
It pulls from sources like iTunes and streaming services like HBO Now and Hulu. US networks like Fox, CBS, The CW, AMC, Comedy Central and Starz are here too.
The great thing about this is that, as you log into each, the TV app's 'Watch Now' tab begins to populate with shows you are or should be watching. It breaks down the barriers between the different video apps out there.
Apple's TV app is supposed to replace the neglected Videos app (but for some users, both apps are present). There's no need for two now. The new app added our one and only TV show episode (a free iTunes promo from 2009) that 'Videos' had been carrying around. That tells you something about its past usefulness.
There's thankfully a lot more to the all-encompassing TV app. Behind in scenes, there's also a new settings menu for 'TV Provider.' It's designed to let the TV app pull from subscription services like Dish and .
Basically, the new TV app delivers TV content no matter where it's sourced from. It really breaks down the walls between siloed video apps on your iOS device.
Pro tip: There's no Netflix channel in the 'Store' tab, but you can add individual Netflix shows through the 'Search' tab. Just search 'Black Mirror' and you'll see a list of all three seasons that lead to any episode you want in Netflix.
Don't see the iOS 10.2 TV app just yet? You're not alone, actually. We didn't see it until iOS 10.2 beta 5 and it may not launch outside the US immediately. As they say in TV, stay tuned.
iOS 10.1 features
iOS 10.1 introduced Portrait Mode photos on iPhone 7 Plus
Also added message replay functions and fixes bugs
But iOS 10.1.1 users reported severe battery drain
Although Apple launches iOS 10 right on the nose on Tuesday, September 13 at 10am Pacific, it returned with another set of tweaks just 41 days later.
Portrait Mode is the highlight of iOS 10.1, but it can only be enjoyed by iPhone 7 Plus owners since it requires the rear dual-lens camera.
It's a special camera mode within the default app that adds a distinct bokeh effect, which blurs the background and really accentuates on your subject.
Correctly framing shots in iOS 10.1 Portrait Mode can be difficult. This software-driven bokeh is picky about lighting (dimly lit environments just don't work) and subject distance (not too far, but, hey, not too close either).
It can also be difficult to adjust to iOS 10.1 Portrait Mode because the camera angle of view is extremely cropped, tighter than when recording video. Take two steps back from where you normally shoot photos.
This awful persnickety bokeh mode comes through in the end. You can really tell the difference because Portrait Mode saves both the bokeh and non-bokeh photos to your camera roll for a quick comparison.
Portrait Mode is limited to the iPhone 7 Plus, but the 1.95GB over-the-air update is recommended for everyone else, too. Apple has fixed a handful of , as noted in the iOS 10.1.1 release notes.
All iOS 10 devices can now replay message animations in iOS 10.1.1. In case you miss a friend's iMessage with balloons or lasers, it can be replayed. Hooray! [Sent with Fireworks].
iOS 10.1 isn't without its share of problems, including extreme battery draining issues. We've experienced – and users have reported worse battery life than normal. This appears to be limited to iOS 10.1.1, which is all the more reason to take a leap of faith and update to the iOS 10.2 beta.
TechRadar's take: Download iOS 10.1 (or iOS 10.2 now), especially if you have an iPhone 7 Plus. Its new Portrait Mode adds an extra layer to the camera app, giving you photos that literally stand out from the new and also stunning and camera. Just avoid iOS 10.1.1.
Works with iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad mini 2 and iPod touch 6th gen or higher
All 30-pin dock devices are out. Lightning or nothing!
iOS 10 is available on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, unless of course you have an age-old phone or tablet that still uses the 30-pin dock connector or an older iPad mini or iPod touch.
That’s where Apple draws the line in the sand for 2016. Its forthcoming mobile operating system update won’t support for iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The iPad mini and iPod touch 5th gen are the outliers that won’t work either despite having Lightning. Time to upgrade.
It’s not a big surprise. In addition many of them not lightning connections, these devices include 512MB of RAM and it’s miraculous that they even supported iOS 9 when we thought they’d be axed from that update last year. iOS 9.3 is their software swan song.
iOS 10 raise to wake
Just pick up your iPhone and it’ll wake up
Notifications don’t vanish when brushing up against Touch ID
Apple redesigned the iPhone and iPad lockscreen, giving us the biggest revision since the first iPhone nine years ago. Slide to unlock is gone and replaced with simple instructions: “Press Home to open.”
What’s been added is the ability to raise your iPhone to wake it, fixing the all-too-common issue of blowing past lockscreen notifications when you hit the fast TouchID home button.
This is a great solution that we have seen on a select number of Android phones, like the Google and , and it almost reminds me of flicking my wrist to light up the .
This is the sleeper hit of iOS 10 that is going to change your daily iPhone routine.
TechRadar’s take: This is the best new iOS 10 feature. It makes reaching for the tiny, side-mounted sleep/wake button a thing of the past. iOS 10 is worth downloading for this reason alone.
Rich lockscreen notifications
No need to exit the homescreen for quick reads and replies
Works with third-party apps like Uber and Apple Home devices
You’ll see that notifications are broken up into bubbles now and use 3D Touch to show hidden menu actions – just hard press on a calendar invite alert and you’ll be able to accept or decline it.
3D Touch-enabled iOS 10 notifications work even better for Messages. You can immediately respond to messages as soon as you pick up your phone, without ever leaving the lockscreen. It’s all done inline.
No more digging around the home screen and layers of app menus to check vital information. If you have a doorbell camera notification, you can see who’s at the front door, use the intercom or unlock the door.
This “peeking at apps” capability via the lockscreen isn’t limited to Apple’s first-party apps. Uber is just one third-party app maker that allows you to hard press on notifications. You’ll get live updates on where your driver is on a map – usually headed in the other direction.
TechRadar’s take: You don’t really need to open your phone to do half of your daily tasks anymore. Replying to messages, accepting invitations or seeing where the heck your Uber driver is (answer: circling the wrong block a third time) can all be done from the lockscreen.
Clear all notifications button
Vanquish all notifications at once with 3D Touch. That’s it.
What may be the best change to iOS 10 notifications is the ability to clear all of your old notifications with 3D Touch. Swiping them away one by one or dismissing them in groups is a time-consuming mess in iOS 9.
Just hard press that little “x” icon within the redesigned (and now dedicated) notifications pulldown menu and tap the “clear all” box that pops up. Tap it once to just dismiss the group of notifications.
It’s super easy to clear away expired alerts with iOS 10 and it will please everyone inflicted with phone notification-clearing OCD.
TechRadar’s take: Being able to clear all notifications has been a long time coming. Our only complaint is that it didn’t arrive sooner.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are water-resistant, but all other iPhones are not
iOS 10 will warn of possible water damage and provide instructions
Only the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are water-resistant, but Apple hasn’t made a fully waterproof iPhone. So it’s making it easier to avoid potential water damage with the iOS 10 update.
The software includes a warning message to unplug the lighting cable if the phone detects water. Don’t test it out, though.
For non-iPhone 7 owners, this iOS 10 message offers a clutch set of instructions, which you should follow, and subsequently put your phone in rice, if you believe that myth.
TechRadar’s take: This is peace of mind that we never want to actually see on our screens. Powering down a phone is important – we know from experience – and this message is literal damage control.
Control Center is decluttered
Swipe-up-from-the-bottom menus is now split into several panels
Broken into: quick settings, media playback and Apple Home
Touch detection issues for brightness slider vs sliding between panels
The swipe-up-from-the-bottom Control Center overlay menu has a brand new look that helps declutters the layout in iOS 10, and it’s something Apple users have been asking for.
It once again features four app shortcuts along the bottom (flashlight, stopwatch, calculator and camera app) and moves the fifth Beatle, Night Shift, to a new, bigger spot above the quartet.
That fixes an issue where people said having five app shortcuts in that bottom row, a short-lived idea that came about when Night Shift debuted in iOS 9.3, made the buttons a tad too small.
Bigger AirPlay and AirDrop buttons appear above Night Shift, too, while toggles for Airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Orientation lock are unchanged (except for their new blue hue when on).
But what happened to the music controls? Slide right on the Control Center, and there’s a dedicated pane for the volume, playback and device output controls, and even music album cover art.
TechRadar’s take: Control Center is simpler because each pane is decluttered, yet it’s more complex because there are multiple panes to slide through. Overall, it’s a wise design move by Apple, though there are obvious flaws. The touchscreen gets confused whenever we want to engage the brightness slider, switching the pane. It’s a pain! Also, Night Shift’s real estate is too big within the Control Center menu. It would be better served by adding a toggle for Apple’s amazing Low Power Mode, at least to half of Night Shift’s space.
Lockscreen camera and ‘widgets’
Slide left to reveal the new spot for the Today widgets
It’s not as customizable as Android widgets, but closer
Too much empty space when widgets have no content
Slide right to reveal the new camera shortcut
It’s easier than ever to flip on the camera with iOS 10 because sliding the lockscreen right (when Control Center isn’t open) automatically transitions to the camera app.
This is a camera app shortcut we’ve seen on several Android phones and it beats reaching for the bottom right corner, where the camera shortcut remains in iOS 9. You use the camera app everyday, why not make it easier to access?
What happens when you swipe to the left on the lockscreen? Glad you asked a second question. It reveals a new spot for Apple’s Today menu “widgets.” It’s not as customizable as Android widgets, but it’s new location a big improvement.
TechRadar’s take: The lockscreen is now very busy. But the Today menu is in a much better space than it was in the pulldown notifications shade, that’s now dedicated to notifications. We still see a problem with widgets not being dynamic. Boxes still show if you have no OpenTable reservations, flights on an airline or upcoming calendar appointments. These boxes should be hidden rather than taking up space telling us “we have no content to show.”
Graphical 3D Touch shortcuts
3D Touch (pop) your way to more detailed information (peek)
Activity and sports score apps like ESPN provide colorful stats
Within the home screen, 3D Touching app tiles like Activity gives you a more graphical account of your fitness goals. You’ll know faster than ever that you have to close those daily activity rings.
ESPN had even richer shortcut information within its 3D Touch menu. It runs scores and there’s a button to easily add a widget. It’s even more graphical, throwing up a drawn out play-by-play interface and video of in-progress games you’re following.
All of this peeking at apps can be done without leaving the home screen, and it means that 3D Touch is becoming a little more relevant in iOS 10.
TechRadar’s take: More developers need to take advantage of 3D Touch’s new graphical capabilities, but from the apps we’ve played with, it makes the “right click of mobile” seem less plain.
Talk to Siri normally
You don’t have to talk like a robot to your robot phone
Two billion requests a week go through Siri, and it’s now going to do “so much more,” according to Apple. With that, they announced that iOS 10 will open up Siri to third-party developers.
Now you’ll be able to ask Siri things like, “Send a WeChat to Nancy saying I’ll be five minutes late.'” It can be said variety of ways and still understood by the now-smarter Siri.
In (very literal) other words, Siri also works just fine if you say it like “Tell Nancy I’ll be five minutes late with WeChat,” and even “Siri, can you shoot a message on WeChat and say I’ll be five minutes late?”
Siri for iOS 10, all of a sudden, is going to be a whole lot less “Sorry…” for miscues. This is thanks to what Apple calls an “intense API,” which even functions in this new way in its multiple languages.
TechRadar’s take: Siri is less frustrating to use in iOS 10. Saying what you want however you want to your personal assistant means you’re likely to get results the first time around.
Siri third-party apps
Siri now works with more third-party apps, not just Apple’s apps
WhatsApp, Uber and MapMyRun can now use Siri, for example
Besides WeChat, Siri is ready for other chat apps, like WhatsApps and Slack, and ride hailing services like Uber, Lyft and Didi in China (which Apple invested in recently).
Searching photos through apps like Shutterfly and Pinterest can be done with your voice thanks to Siri, and you can start, pause and stop fitness workouts with MapMyRun, Runtastic and RunKeeper.
Siri can also help you send money to friends with Number26, Square and Alipay, or start a VoIP call to tell your friend why you’re not paying them on time via Cisco Spark, Vonage and Skype.
This makes Siri much more useful now that Apple’s personal assistant has broken free of pre-loaded apps, and makes driving a tiny bit safer thanks to messaging and VoIP integration for Apple CarPlay.
TechRadar’s take: Developers are just starting to take advantage of Siri, and it’s beneficial. It’s not game changing just yet, but has the potential to drive more voice-controlled automation by the time iOS 11 launches.
Siri-influenced QuickType keyboard
Makes next-word suggestions based on whole sentence context
Suggests address, calendar appointments and current locations
Apple’s on-screen QuickType keyboard can intelligently tell the difference between what you’re saying and what computers usually think you’re saying (but not) thanks to more advanced Siri intelligence.
Using deep learning kept locally, or what Apple calls “differential privacy,” iOS 10 understands the wider context of what you’re typing, influencing the words in the suggestion bar above the keyboard.
It has better context by taking into account the whole sentence, not just spitting out the next guess based on the previous word.
This will be completely opt-in, masked and stored on the device, according to Apple. That’s different from Google’s data-harvesting using its online servers.
QuickType is also adding a handy button for your current location whenever someone asks “Where are you?” or requests someone else’s contact information. That Contacts app will go further unused.
Locally, Siri uses deep learning to analyze a conversation and is able to pick up on you and a friend talking about food, a proposed time and resturant address, and then pre-fill in Calendar event when you go to add it to the Calendar app. “Look at that, it’s already halfway filled in,” you’ll say.
Rounding out the QuickType iOS 10 features is the ability to paste a recent address you looked up without having to copy it to the clipboard, do the same for movies and restaurants you’ve searched and adjust to your multilingual typing.
It’s Apple new “easy button” for iOS 10, and it’s all about shortcuts to everyday activities.
TechRadar’s take: Apple’s QuickType keyboard always gets a little better. It’s never been as smart as the one from Google, but the layout is ingrained in iPhone users brains, so the more improvements it sees, the better.
Photos with advanced computer vision
iOS 10 automatically pieces together photo albums for you
Creates mini-movies filled with video and photos, complete with titles
iOS 10 is going to make use of deep learning so that it’ll be easier to organize photos with what it calls “advanced computer vision.” This is how Apple plans to rival Google Photos.
Again, stressing that it’s done locally, Apple touts the Photos app’s ability to create albums based on face recognition, and can do the same for object and scene recognition thanks to 11 billion computations. It also serves up a way to see photos overlaid on a map based on where they were taken.
Apple plans to take Photos to the next level with Memories, which are supposed to remind you of events in life by clustering together photos into trips, people and topics. It seems to have a nice magazine-style interface I can get behind.
iOS 10 will also let you assemble your captured photos and videos of a particular memory with a special movie that’s cut automatically. It’s customizable, with a number of mood choices and three length options, just in case you don’t want to fine tune it yourself.
Despite the AI-infused deep search and facial recognition capabilities, Apple promises privacy protection.
TechRadar’s take: You’ll actually be inspired to look back at photos and videos when Apple’s Photos app puts them together automatically. It’s not perfect, but this feature has huge potential down the line.
Apple Maps is way better
Look ahead to the next turn without springing back into place
Free to pan, zoom and explore nearby points of interest
Still can’t compete with the juggernaut that is Google Maps
iOS 10 fixes my biggest complaint about Apple Maps – its inability to scroll ahead on a route. Right now, Maps annoyingly springs you back to your current location whenever you try to look anywhere else.
You’ll be free to pan and zoom around the map with the new Apple Maps update and the navigation software is also dynamically zooming in and out of long stretches and complex interchanges.
Maps for iOS 10 is adding traffic on route to better compete with Google Maps and expanding its Nearby functionality with more points of interest that you can find along your route.
Vehicles that supports Apple CarPlay not only get suggested alternate routes based on traffic conditions, Maps’ turn-by-turn directions can pop up on the instrument (if they have a screen next to the odometer).
Apple is weaving iOS 10 information from other apps into Maps, like if it knows you go to work at a certain time, it’ll make a suggestion for the route, or make one based on a calendar event address.
That’s just the start. It’s also opening up Maps to third-party developers, so Uber riders can call, follow and pay for their ride without ever leaving Apple’s app. It’s getting there.
TechRadar’s take: Apple Maps will still get you lost at times. Sorry. But it’s now usable with fixes to the broken functionality that didn’t make any sense before. Seriously, you couldn’t look ahead on your route before. That’s fixed.
Cleaner interface for APple’s paid music streaming service
Lyrics for songs, and New tab replaces Browse
Apple Music with iOS 10 is being redesigned for its 15 million paid subscribers, and it “allows the music to be the hero,” according to Apple. It lets the cover art stand out.
It looks to be a much cleaner design, highlighting cover art properly and suggesting music that you’ll like in a more logical fashion. But it’s not going to excite you for iOS 10 if you’re not a paid subscriber.
The Apple Music refresh does add some more depth by way of lyrics (though it doesn’t seem to follow along with the words like other apps do, like SoundHound does).
The For You tab is does a better job at curating your personal playlists and it absorbs the Connect tab that we previously heard was getting a diminished role. Likewise, the ‘New’ tab has become ‘Browse.’
TechRadar’s take: The changes here are minimal, and you need to pay for Apple Music to get any use out of them. It still needs work to beat Spotify.
Magazine and newspaper subscriptions incorporated
New ‘For You’ tab filled with personalized topics
Breaking news notifications
Apple News is reaching 60 million people every month with 2,000 publications and it's in for a redesign, too. The For You tab now breaks news into personalized topics and hand-picked stories by editors.
News for iOS 10 will also introduce subscriptions so that you can see every issue of National Geographic or read the Wall Street Journal, periodicals usually behind a paywall.
Breaking news notifications have been added to this pre-loaded app so that big stories appear right on the iOS 10 lockscreen.
TechRadar's take: Apple News is a worthy Flipboard alternative. It's biggest issue it's tucked away in an app, with a small box in the Today menu for a few story snippets. That's how we access Apple News 90% of the time, and this should have a much bigger, graphically rich presence, like Flipboard on Samsung devices.
New app that ties together all of household devices
Control lights, door locks, alarms and even blinds
Siri and Control Center menu allow for quick access
Apple’s developer-focused HomeKit is coming to end-users with iOS 10 (and also Apple Watch), and the new app appears right on the homescreen unsurprisingly called “Home.”
It’ll tie all of your home-based IoT gadgets together into a simple interface and include Scenes to change the mood of rooms in a pinch, no matter who makes your home’s previously fragmented smart tech.
Siri acts as a shortcut to interact with your home accessories, and Control Center does too. Two swipes to the right in the Control Center menu brings up a grid of home accessory toggles.
Also from the lockscreen, you can peek at home notifications, say, if you get a doorbell alert. Peek into the notification by hard pressing on the bubble and a video doorbell like Ring will give you a live camera view.
TechRadar’s take: Home automation is a tough category. That’s because houses, apartments, condos, etc are all designed differently, and it’s hard for companies to make a one-size-fits-all gadget, like a smart door lock. That leads to a lot of options out there. Apple is at least doing its part by tying everything together, and whenever Apple gets into a new category, it instantly does better. Hopefully that’s the case here.
Transcriptions now available in Visual Voicemail tab
Could warn that incoming calls are ‘Possible Spam’
Contact information shortcut could point to VoIP and WhatsApp
It’s based on how you most frequently contact that user
Hate listening to voicemails? Never actually check them? Me too. That’s why I’m excited that the rumored voicemail transcription idea made it into iOS 10.
It’ll let you know what a voicemail message says via more convenient text right within the visual voicemail. Apple is also partnering with Tencent in China to alert iPhone owners there that an incoming call might be spam.
VoIP is no longer going to take a backseat, as a WhatsApp call, for example, can be answered right from the lockscreen, just like a normal incoming call. They’ll also be part of your recent and favorites lists.
TechRadar’s take: You’re probably still going to go to WhatsApps to call friends with WhatsApp, but the fact that the contact shortcuts can be switched out to other apps is a great sign that Apple is willing to let other developers be front-and-center within its native app space. More of this, please.
Emojis are three times bigger and it’s easy to replace words with emojis
Adds invisible ink, tapbacks, bubble effects, digital Ink and stickers
Messages is introducing rich links within a conversation and a live camera view as soon as you press the camera button. Like emoji’s? You’re going to love iOS 10.
Apple is making bigger emojis that are now three times as large as before, and the keyboard can now identify words you can easily replace with emojis via a single tap on each word.
Apple will include the 72 new emojis developed by the Unicode Consortium. They’re already in the company’s emoji style and Android Nougat uses them. Hop (kangaroo) to it, Apple (apple fruit) and Android (robot) fans.
Expressions don’t stop there. There’ll be bubble effects so you can “say it loud” with a bursting bunch of text, or say something “gently” with slow-to-exist texts.
You can also use “Invisible Ink” that requires the message receiver to slide their finger over a text or photo. It’ll either be a nice surprise, or horrific shock to your friends.
Apple showed off an Invisible Ink demo in which a blurry photo turned out to be a bride-to-be’s hand with a wedding ring on it. I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot of appendages sent using Invisible Ink.
You can react to individual messages with expression-driven Tapbacks (reminds me of Facebook reactions) and write out meaningful messages with handwritten “digital ink.”
With club disco lights, big emoji and full-screen fireworks for iOS 10, Messages is one crazy app. But it’ll get even more insane in the future because Apple is opening up Messages to developers with an SDK.
So far, Apple has shown off integration for licensed Disney stickers, food ordering services and bitmoji-like expressions provided by JibJab.
TechRadar’s take: Messages is now ridiculous and fully competes with Facebook and its apps. That’s good and bad. There’s a lot to learn here, and it’s only going to be more enjoyable over time if you’re not scared off. iMessages is the best combined SMS and internet messages app out there, with Mac and iPad support for easy, cross-platform messaging. You’ll have to update your Mac to Sierra to get many of the effects, but it’s well worth it.
More to come from iOS 10
Rounding up iOS 10, Apple Notes can now have multiple users editing a document, the ability to edit Live Photos without annoyingly relegating them to stills, and see threaded emails in Mail.
On the iPad, Split View support for two Safari windows has been added, finally letting you open up dual Safari windows at once on your tablet, you multitasker, you.
Apple said that despite the deep learning capabilities of iOS 10, it’ll keep that to the silicon on your device and not invade your private data thanks to “differential privacy.”
We’ll have more feature explains since the full iOS 10 update is out. We’ll certainly discover additional features to talk about in the lead up to the eventual iOS 10.1 update and iOS 11 in 2017.
Having the intent to drive safely and responsibly is crucial, but it can only go so far if you aren’t aware of the road’s challenges. Ignorance or outright failure to obey speed cameras, traffic jams, dangerous curves, and driving limits can make you lose valuable time, money, and the pleasure of driving.
Luckily, those smart little computers in our pockets can do a fantastic job at alerting you about such “traps” on time, so that you can act accordingly and don’t fall into their clutches. Grab any of these Android apps and give yourself peace of mind while behind the wheel. They cover roads and hazards all around the world and are kept up-to-date by communities of users in the millions.
CamSam turns your smartphone into a speed camera alert system. The app boasts features such as real-time alerts for mobile radar “traps,” a database of over 60.000 fixed speedcams worldwide, directional alerts for all fixed speed cams, visual and sound warnings, online/offline mode, distance and direction indications, and much more.
Radardroid gives visual and audible warnings when any fixed or mobile speed camera in the app database is approached. The app’s Pro version works as a background service, letting you use your favorite navigation app or listen to music on your phone while receiving alerts.
TomTom Speed Cameras
This app delivers timely alerts for all types of speed cameras (including fixed, mobile, and average speed) and traffic jams. The data is shared between and actualized by a community of over 5 million drivers. Fixed speed camera locations are verified by the TomTom moderation team as users deliver real-time mobile speed camera updates. The app does average speed calculation when driving in an average speed zone and issues warnings for slower-moving traffic on your route so you can brake safely. As the app is powered by TomTom Maps, it knows which road you are driving on, so it issues relevant alerts and accurate traffic information.
Sygic Speed Cameras & Traffic
Speed Cameras by Sygic covers all bases and then some. It tells the speed limit for the road you are traveling on, gives real-time alerts for mobile radar traps and fixed speed cameras location, tracks your mileage with useful driving stats, does trip logs, and it offers tons more driving functionality – courtesy of Sygic. Download for Android or iOS
Sygic Speed Cameras and Traffic
Speed Camera Radar Pro
SCR Pro detects road hazards, such as speed cameras (mobile ambush, static speed cameras, red light cameras, etc), speed bumps, and bad roads. You can make use of Map and Radar view modes, map auto-zoom and rotation, and a database of over 140 000 active hazards around the world. The app supports voice alerts and is able to keep working in background, or alongside other Navigation APPs.
When the Apple Watch Series 2 launched, it marked a change in the display used on the timepiece. Instead of using the two pieces of glass (G/G) touch panels employed on the original device, Apple switched to TOL (touch on lens) for the Series 2 version of its watch. This proved to be a hardship for supplier TPK Holdings.The company produced the panels and found that its yield rates were low and stayed low for TOL. The main issue was the curve in the screen.
TPK has been reporting losses thanks to the low TOL yields, and the company has apparently decided to stop supplying glass panels for the Apple Watch in the hope that it can return to profitability. Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly decided to move to a different form of panel for the Apple Watch Series 3. For the next version of the Apple Watch, the gang in Cupertino is said to be turning to G/F (glass-film). Possible suppliers will be General Interface Solutions out of Taiwan, or Hong Kong’s Biel Crystal Manufactory.
Shipments of the G/F panels will start in the second half of the year, which dovetails with reports that the Series 3 Apple Watch will launch sometime in the Fall of 2017.
While everyone is talking about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and its larger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S8+, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is creating a large buzz for a tablet. That’s because Sammy’s new flagship is not making the trip to Barcelona for MWC. But Samsung’s invitation to its February 26th event already hinted that tablets would be the star, and the Galaxy Tab S3 is rockin’ some pretty fine specifications.
Earlier this week, the slate’s user manual leaked out revealing a magnetic dock for a keyboard accessory. Today, a render of the tablet with the physical QWERTY accessory attached was leaked by tipster extraordinaire Evan Blass. The booklet also showed several sketches of the tablet with the S Pen, which is another accessory that you’ll have to shell out money for if you desire it.
We expect the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 to feature a 9.6-inch AMOLED screen with a 1536 x 2048 resolution. Powering the slate is a Snapdragon 820 chipset containing a quad-core CPU and the Adreno 530 GPU. 4GB of RAM is inside along with 32GB/128GB of native storage. A 12MP camera is on back with a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies and video chats. One version of the slate will be Wi-Fi only while the other will offer Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity.
Verizon Wireless is seemingly planning to release the Moto G5 Plus – a smartphone that should be officially announced at MWC 2017 later this week, on February 26.
Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) today revealed renders showing Verizon’s version of the Moto G5 Plus, which unsurprisingly resembles the previously seen (international) variants of the handset.
With a metal rear shell and a round camera bump, the Moto G5 Plus looks quite different from the Motorola Moto G4 Plus that it’s replacing. The G5 plus is also a bit smaller than its predecessor, as it sports a 5.2-inch 1080p display instead of a 5.5-inch one.
Running Android 7 Nougat, the Moto G5 Plus should be powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor – good enough for a mid-range handset. The phone will be splash-resistant, having a 12 MP camera (with dual pixel auto focus) on the back, and a 5 MP camera on the front. Other features include LTE connectivity, fingerprint scanner, 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal memory, and a 3000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging.
Verizon could release the Moto G5 Plus on April 3, since that’s the date seen on the phone’s home screen. As previously reported, the smartphone might cost around $250 off contract, though it’s unclear if Verizon will stick to this pricing. At the moment, it’s also unclear if the largest US carrier is planning to sell the smaller Moto G5 in addition to the G5 Plus. In any case, both devices will likely be offered unlocked, too.
The Windows 10-powered Galaxy TabPro S tablet is one of the best deals of the day at Best Buy. An exquisitely engineered 2-in-1 tablet offers both power and speed in a slim, lightweight form factor.
If you’ve been drooling over Samsung’s powerful device, now would be a good time to consider an acquisition. Best Buy offers the Galaxy TabPro S for just $699, $300 cheaper than the standard retail price.
Buyers will get free shipping and a Webroot Secure Anywhere 6-month subscription, which can protect any combination of up to 3 PC, Mac and mobile devices (Android tablets/phones, iOS, and Windows Phone). You’ll be needing a Best Buy account for that.
The Galaxy TabPro S is large slate with a 12-inch Super AMOLED display and a decent 6th Gen Intel Core m306Y30 processor. An Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU is included as well, along with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Connectivity-wise, Samsung’s slate can do USB Type-C 3.1, HDMI output, Bluetooth and dual-band wireless network. It’s also got an HD webcam just in case you want to video chat with friends or family.
Keep in mind that the deal is only available until the end of the day (February 21), so hurry if you want to take advantage of Best Buy’s limited time offer.