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Apple’s 2018 9.7-inch iPad goes down to a new all-time low price of $229

A $250 sixth-generation iPad already felt like a pretty great deal, at a cool $80 discount, but if you pulled the trigger on one of the many occasions Apple’s latest 9.7-incher fetched that price recently… prepare to eat your heart out.

That’s because the most patient bargain hunters out there can get the early 2018-released Apple iPad for as little as $229 right now on Amazon. That’s obviously a new all-time low price for a still-popular tablet with a timeless design, beautiful screen, and plenty of processing power.

You’re looking at brand-new units on sale here, ready to be shipped for free nationwide before Christmas. The only minor inconvenience is that the heavily marked-down $229 price tag is good exclusively for the silver color option. The gold and space gray models will each set you back $249 with 32GB storage space and Wi-Fi-only connectivity, while digital hoarders need to settle for the snazzy gold version if they want to maximize their 128 gig savings.

Normally available at $429, that particular configuration currently costs $329, representing a cool 100 bucks discount, with silver and space gray models fetching $350 a pop.

Keep in mind that the iPad (6th Gen) technically offers Apple Pencil support, but the optional stylus has to be purchased separately. Powered by an Apple A10 Fusion SoC, the 9.7-inch slate promises around 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, also featuring respectable 8 and 1.2MP cameras, a “conventional” Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and a stunning “Retina” display with 2048 x 1536 resolution. 

All in all, that’s an arguably impressive list of features for a new starting price of $229.

Apple iPhones With Both Face ID & Touch ID Could Be A Thing Of The Future

Image via Apple

Apple fans waved their fists in the air when Apple killed Touch ID, its fingerprint recognition system. The feature was replaced with Face ID, which was said to have had a one-in-a-million chance of your device being unlocked by someone else—in comparison with Touch ID’s probability of one in 50,000—when it debuted. Apple has since introduced an “improved” Face ID with iPhones XS and XS Max.

Thankfully for those who want the best of both worlds, a new patent filed by Apple at the European Patent Office (EPO) suggests that the tech giant might consider integrating both Face ID and Touch ID in an iPhone.

In the document uncovered by blog Patently Apple, Apple surprisingly admits that its facial recognition tech doesn’t work all the time. It “require[s] a user to almost perfectly align a biometric feature in a same manner during both enrollment and each iteration of authentication,” which could spur “false negatives.”

The patent recommends a system that would prompt Touch ID if Face ID fails to approve purchases or bank logins. Unfortunately, the filing doesn’t cover anything about this version of Touch ID being able to unlock iPhones.

With that being said, Apple is known to go on patenting sprees for legal coverage, and such technologies often don’t come to fruition.

Should Touch ID make a comeback, though, it could be revived through iPhone’s purported new screens that are made by Samsung. The Y-OCTA display fuses the touch sensor into OLED panels, which means Touch ID could be made possible without a home button.

[via Intelligencer, cover image via Apple]

Google marks Gboard’s 500 language support milestone with new update

Google has launched a new Gboard app for Android devices, something that’s not unusual at all considering that updates for the keyboard app have been delivered on a monthly basis. However, the most recent update comes with an announcement that took us by surprise a bit.

It looks like Gboard for Android now supports more than 500 languages, quite an astonishing achievement considering the fact that the app was launched with just 100 language varieties exactly two years ago.

To mark this wonderful milestone for the keyboard app, Google announced that the latest update adds support for 50 more languages. With these additions, Google says that more than 90% of the world can type in their first language with Gboard, thanks to the keyboard layouts especially built for each language.

Aside from being able to type in more than 500 languages, Gboard users can take advantage of more than 40 writing systems, ranging from alphabets used across many languages to scripts that are used for only one language.

Anyone who wants to see if their language is already supported in the latest Gboard app can do so in the Play Store, though it’s highly unlikely that it won’t, considering today’s announcement.

Unlocked LG G6+ is half off on Amazon (Prime Exclusive deal)

LG Mobile is selling quite well in the United States, as the company is ranked number three smartphone vendor in the country. Unfortunately, things aren’t going that well to the South Korean handset maker at the global level.

Many of the unlocked smartphones that LG sells in the U.S. are fully compatible with both GSM and CDMA carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The same goes for the LG G6+ (128GB), which is now on sale for half off on Amazon.

There’s a catch though, as the price is for the Prime Exclusive model, which comes with some Amazon apps pre-installed such as Amazon Widget, Prime Music and Amazon Photo storage.

If that doesn’t bother you, then the LG G6+ is still a decent high-end smartphone, one year after being introduced in the United States. The phone comes with dual rear cameras, Hi-Fi Quad DAC for amazing audio, and a generous 5.7-inch QHD FullVision display.

Also, it’s IP68-rated for dust and water resistance, and got its MIL-STD-810G certification after passing 14 different military-standard tests for durability. Keep in mind that the LG G6+ is the same as the regular LG G6 smartphone, but with more storage – 128GB.

Huawei to invest $2 billion in cybersecurity to avoid facing more bans

Huawei is determined to prove that any concerns or allegations towards the security of its network equipment are totally bogus. The first step in battling global concerns about these security issues is upgrading lab facilities and adding more qualified people.

The Chinese company said at one of its press conferences in front of two dozen international journos that it plans to invest about $2 billion over the next 5 years to focus on cybersecurity. Huawei’s main concern is that the bans is now facing are aimed to lock it out from the telecom network gear market, Reuters reports.

Huawei made headlines in the last few months, as the company has been hit with bans and even arrests among its execs. For the time being, it looks like the United States is Huawei’s biggest enemy, as the government is telling its allies to drop the Chinese company’s network equipment.

It’s even been suggested that the U.S. government conditioned giving its blessing for the T-Mobile and Sprint merger unless the carriers’ parent companies, Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank, stop using Huawei equipment.

It remains to be seen whether or not the United States and its allies will have a change of heart after Huawei supposedly toughens up the security of its network.

Alexa Guard is now rolling out to Amazon Echo smart speakers in the U.S.

Amazon revealed back in September a brand new feature for Echo smart speakers owners – Alexa Guard but did not say when it will actually be usable. Fast forward three months and it looks like the feature is finally making its way to Echo speakers in the United States, CNET reports.

As the name suggests, Alexa Guard has been built to make your life more convenient and safe as long as you own an Amazon Echo speaker. Simply say “Alexa, I’m leaving” and if you get an answer like “OK, I’ll be on guard,” your smart speaker should keep your home safe.

Once the Guard mode is enabled, Alexa will send so-called Smart Alerts about glass-breaking sounds, smoke detectors, or carbon monoxide alarms detected in your home. Also, Alexa Guard can turn the light on and off to discourage thieves from entering your home.

Additionally, if you have an alarm system from Ring or ADT, they can be integrated with Alexa Guard so that your Amazon Echo will immediately notify your home security monitoring service.

Now, all these features Alexa Guard can do are very nice but keep in mind that this is not a replacement for an alarm system or life safety devices. It’s also worth mentioning that none of your Smart Alerts are monitored by Amazon, so the company won’t be able to call 911 on your behalf.

Pornhub says it had more traffic from Android than iOS devices in 2018

At the end of every year, Pornhub presents its year in review. Sticking to the data related to mobile devices, we find that over 80% of global visitors to the website came from mobile devices this year. Smartphones accounted for 71.6% of traffic, while 8.7% of visitors viewed the site from a tablet. That is an 8% gain in smartphone viewers for the year, and an 8% decline in tablet users. Desktop visits declined 18%.

When it comes to Pornhub, it appears that Android users have a greater desire to visit the site than those with an iOS device. Android powered gadgets made up 54.4% of worldwide visitors this year, compared to the 44.4% that used an iPhone or iPad. There was a 2% gain in Android wielding visitors, and a 2% decline in those visiting Pornhub from an iOS flavored device. But since Android users are more apt to use different mobile browsers, Chrome barely edged out Safari as the most used mobile browser on the site by 41.1% to 40.1%. For Chrome. that was a 1% gain on the year compared to the 2% decline in Safari users.

Some events caused traffic on Pornhub to rise, while other events caused huge drops in the number of visitors. Interestingly enough, Apple’s Gather Round event held on September 12th, during which the 2018 iPhone models were introduced, resulted in an 11% global decline in Pornhub viewers using an iOS device.

Check out some graphs produced by Pornhub in the slideshow below.

Save up to $100 on Garmin smartwatches and fitness trackers

Garmin smartwatches are quite expensive, especially if you want to buy the most recent model launched on the market. For example, the Fenix 5 Plus can go up to more than $1,000, depending on the size, color, and strap.

That’s why any tiny discount the company offers during sales helps to bring down the price to slightly more affordable amounts. So, if you’re still looking for a good deal on the Garmin 5 Plus series, you can now check out the company’s online store for the latest deals on these smartwatches.

All Fenix 5 Plus smartwatches are now $100 off, regardless of the MSRP. On top of that, Garmin is running a sale on its much cheaper hybrid smartwatches, which are now available for $30 off.

Last but not least, some of Garmin fitness trackers are on sale as well, such as the vivofit jr., vivofit jr. 2, vivosport, vivofit 4, and vivosmart 3. The holiday discounts are likely to be up by the end of the week, so you’ll have to hurry with your order if you want to have your wearable device by Christmas.

Instagram introduces new ways to interact with friends and people you follow

Instagram is trying to come out with new features that would put its social network services on par with the competition. Today’s announcement is all about new ways Instagram users can interact with their friends and people they follow.

For example, if you have an Instagram account, you’ll now be able to use the questions sticker for music recommendations in Stories or to simply connect with people you follow on Live. Also, Instagram now features a new interactive sticker in Stories, which is meant to enable users to show you a countdown of moments with friends.

You can now connect through music on Instagram Stories by responding to your friends’ question stickers with a song from the music library. A new music icon is available in the app when you want to use the questions sticker. In addition, there are new effects in the camera that should respond to the beats and sounds of a song, which can be found in the Music tab.

The new question sticker can also be used in Live if you want to ask an influencer something while they’re live. In order to use this feature, you’ll have to go to someone’s story and respond to their questions sticker so that when they go Live to answer.

Instagram will be rolling out Questions in Live for iOS and Android starting today, while the ability to share photos and video in Live will be available for broadcasters on iOS and viewers on both iOS and Android. Also, the music features should be out to everyone using Instagram on their phones starting today, assuming they live in regions where Instagram’s music library is available.

HTC executive says the company will try to gain market share and turn a profit in 2019

HTC has been out of the smartphone conversation for some time, possibly going back to 2014’s HTC One (M8) with its dual camera setup and unique design. But since then, the company has been going downhill. Third quarter revenue amounted to only $130.8 million, a drop of nearly $400 million from the previous year. HTC’s recent phones have been overpowered by releases from Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and Apple to name a few. The company’s global market share was reportedly .9% last year, down from 8.8% in 2011.
As we told you last month, HTC is not giving up. The company that built some of the most iconic Android phones in history, such as the T-Mobile G1 (the first phone in the U.S. to be powered by the operating system) and the Nexus One, says that in 2019 it will focus on high-end and mid-range handsets. HTC Taiwan president Darren Chen told Digitimes today that with this strategy, the company hopes to start building market share and generating profits.

HTC needs to pull out the stops, throw caution to the wind, and develop a smartphone that will take the spotlight off of the usual suspects. Whether the company has the talent to do this is unknown at this point. But no company can afford to bleed red ink year after year, and if HTC wants to stay in the smartphone game, it needs to make itself relevant again.

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