BTLR; YouTube Director App, Netflix On The IPad, Deleting IOS10 Apps, And AppleTV Gaming

YouTube Director app helps business owners on a budget create DIY video ads.
YouTube today announced a new suite of tools to help business owners get started with creating video ads on a budget.

You can finally watch Netflix while doing other stuff on your iPad.
You can now watch Netflix videos while using other apps on your iPad. It’s about time.

Deleting Apple’s pre-installed apps in iOS 10 doesn’t actually ‘delete’ them
One of the most talked about features in Apple’s upcoming iOS 10 is the ability to delete many of the apps that come pre-loaded on your iPhone or iPad. But it turns out that deleting the apps doesn’t actually delete them.

The Apple TV finally has a chance to be a gaming platform
Immersive games require a serious controller and the Apple TV Siri Remote is not a serious controller. Yet until recently Apple required game developers to fully support the Siri Remote for all games, which is likely one of the reasons developers haven’t fully embraced the platform.

BTLR; Net Neutrality Win, Game Center, Batman, And Android Messenger

Net Neutrality upheld by appeals court.
An appeals court in Washington DC has upheld the FCC’s Open Internet Order, affirming that Net Neutrality can live to fight another day. While the appellate judges have had to rule in favor of telecoms companies in previous cases, the FCC’s law is now watertight and is acting within its powers. The decision is likely to stick in the craw of many networks, including AT&T and Verizon, which fought bitterly against provisions to maintain a free and fair market online. Unfortunately, Net Neutrality still has plenty of critics in high places, and several Republican politicians have attempted to gut the FCC in the hope of getting their own way.

Apple kills the Game Center app, but the service will continue.
With the introduction of iOS 10, Apple will finally allow users to delete the pre-installed apps – like Compass, Stocks, Tips, Maps, Watch, and more – from their smartphones and tablets. But there’s one app that you won’t need to remove: Game Center. Apple confirms that Game Center will continue as a service, but it will no longer be available as a standalone application on their devices.

Batman is coming to PlayStation headset this October.
The caped crusader is getting his VR on. Or is it the Joker?

Facebook Messenger now lets Android users send text messages.
Tired of switching back and forth between Facebook Messenger and SMS on your Android? On Tuesday, Facebook announced that the Messenger app now supports SMS messaging. That means Android users can set the app as their default texting client.

BTLR; Samsung And Ads, New Fraud Alert, Tinder For Insurance, And Paypal Kills Windows Phone

Samsung is adding new obtrusive ads to your old smart TV.
If you’re Samsung and you want to wring additional cash out of your television business, what do you do? Add annoying advertisements to TVs that people already have in their homes, apparently. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is readying the European expansion of an initiative it started in the United States last June: adding interactive advertisements to the menu bars of its high-end smart TVs. The impact isn’t going to be limited just to customers buying new Samsung televisions, either, as the company reportedly plans to use software updates to retroactively bring the ads to older models that people already have in their homes.

Fraud Alert: Scammers Get Victims to Pay With iTunes Gift Cards.
Everyone likes gift cards — even scammers.
A gift card is like cash — a quick, convenient and untraceable way for con artists to get money. And even if the victim realizes they’ve been scammed, there’s typically no way to reverse the transaction. Right now, the popular iTunes gift card is the payment method of choice for many swindlers.

Tinder for insurance lets you insure your electronics by swiping right
An American startup is hoping to overhaul the stuffy insurance industry with a couple of swipes.
On Monday, Trov launched its latest product in Australia: On-demand insurance for single items through its mobile app. Founded in 2012, the company’s free iOS and Android app previously allowed people to create a digital inventory of their possessions, but it’s now adding an extra level of service. The insurance offering is currently iOS-only.

PayPal drives another nail into the Windows Phone and BlackBerry coffins.
In February, PayPal launched a new version of its mobile app, 6.0, and it wants iPhone and Android users to upgrade to it until the end of June. Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Fire users, however, are getting a different message: Paypal is discontinuing the app on these platforms on June 30.

BTLR; Omen Gaming Hardware, Apple And TV Content, Jamming Cellphones, And Old Tech Worth Money

HP unveils a bunch of new Omen gaming hardware.
To be fair, an omen isn’t necessarily a portent of negative things. If it was, we wouldn’t feel obligated to qualify it using words like “bad.” Still, the word carries with it some fairly ominous overtones, surely not helped by the 1979 film that carried the title, centering around a young antichrist.

Apple considered buying Time Warner last year, will ramp spending on original TV content.
The Financial Times is reporting that Apple considered a buyout of Time Warner late last year, with Apple executive Eddy Cue raising the idea at a meeting with Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy, Olaf Olafsson.

Florida man fined $48k for jamming cellphones while driving.
A Florida man who stashed a high-powered phone jammer under the passenger seat of his Toyota Highlander has been fined a cool $48,000 for disrupting cellular service on his daily commute to Tampa.

A 2001 iPod worth £807.
Millennials’ nostalgia for ‘old-fashioned tech’ drives up prices,
Old iPods, VHS players and CD Walkmen have grown in value as millennials clamour for products which remind them of childhood, research has found.

BTLR; Google Offices Raided, Google Nexus Player, Twitters Character Limit, And Google Maps

Google offices raided in Paris as prosecutors announce fraud probe.
French investigators have raided Google’s Paris headquarters, saying the company is now under investigation for aggravated financial fraud and organised money laundering.

Google stops selling the Nexus Player.
The writing has been on the wall for a while, but it finally happened: Google has stopped selling the ASUS-made Nexus Player through its own store. Google hasn’t said what prompted the move, but it tells us that you’ll have to go to the handful of third-party retailers still stocking the Android TV box if you just have to get the official experience. Otherwise, you’ll have to either get a third-party device like the NVIDIA Shield or a TV set.

Twitter drops media and @name replies from 140-character limit.
Well, that was quick. A week after Bloomberg reported that Twitter was getting ready to relax its rules for what counts against your 140-character limit, the company is confirming the move today.

Google Maps is about to get a lot more ads .
Get a good look at Google Maps now, because it may soon start filling up with lots of company logos. In a blog post today, Google says it will start experimenting with showing logos for physical business locations on Google Maps, both in your desktop browser and on the mobile app.

BTLR; Apple’s Bricking Updates, Passwords, Oculus Rift Update, And Tim Cook

Apple pulls latest iOS update from iPads after bricking reports
Following complaints that the iOS 9.3.2 update has bricked newer iPads, Apple pulled the latest update for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Soon, you might be able to unlock your MacBook with your iPhone
Passwords are a nuisance — especially in a world that constantly demands us to remember a dozen (or several dozen) different ones. One way to alleviate the issue is to use one unlocked device to automatically unlock other devices — for example, an Apple Watch can be set to automatically unlock when your iPhone in its vicinity.

Oculus Rift update accidentally makes piracy easier
Last Friday, Oculus released a software update blocking Revive — a piece of software that allowed users to port Rift games they’d bought from the Oculus store onto HTC’s Vive headset. However, it seems Oculus’s intervention may have backfired, with an update to Revive not only allowing users to port titles again, but also bypass the Rift’s DRM in the process, opening the door to easier VR piracy.

Tim Cook admits iPhone is too damn expensive
Buying an iPhone is a major financial decision for most people that pine for Apple’s pricey products, but according to CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone could soon see a price cuts in certain markets.

BTLR; ITunes, Walmart, Twitter And Google

Apple Releases iTunes 12.4 With Design Tweaks.
Apple today released iTunes 12.4, bringing some minor design tweaks and important bug fixes to its media software. iTunes 12.4 comes seven months after the launch of iTunes 12.3, which was released to the public in September, and nearly two months after the last minor iTunes update.

Apple Pay holdout Walmart brings its own digital wallet to over 500 stores.
While Walmart remains among the list of stores stubbornly resisting Apple Pay, the retail giant is slowly pushing forward with its own mobile payment service called Walmart Pay. An update to Walmart’s mobile app added support for the digital wallet last month, and today the retailer announced that over 500 stores across two states now support Walmart Pay at checkout.

Twitter to drop links, pics from 140-character limit.
Twitter users will soon have more space to craft updates on the social network.
According to a report from Bloomberg, citing an anonymous source, photos and links will no longer count against the 140-character limit used on tweets. The change could arrive in the next couple weeks.

Google’s new social app bakes YouTube, Chrome and search into group chats.
We may have more messaging apps than ever before, but sharing with small groups is still a problem — at least, according to Google.

Martian Notifier Smartwatch Review

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Smartwatches are a funny thing. In today’s world where “Smart” devices are becoming more and more prevalent, even going as far as having a genre of gadgets coined “Internet of Things”, it’s hard to say which of these are the best. They all do many of the same essential functions, they alert you of notifications that you receive on your phone.

Sure, there are some extra bells and whistles in some of the higher tiered smartwatches, but they essentially all function to make receiving notifications less of a bear when by displaying on your wrist rather than requiring you to take your phone out of your pocket each time.

In a world where smartwatches come in varying sizes, colors, and prices, we set out to answer a very fundamental question: could you buy a smartwatch that you are satisfied with for under $40? We’re going to answer that question here today. We’ll be reviewing the Martian Notifier, a very basic smartwatch for less than $35.

Design

The Martian Notifier has a very simplistic yet traditional design. On the surface we have a standard analog watch which is round with a slick metal “M” to the side of a small rectangular display. To the left of the display is an LED light that flashes when a notification comes in. The Roman numeral that dictates the hour 12 at the top of the display is a nice touch and gives a rather premium feeling to the watch. The rest of the watch is an incredibly grippy rubber material that gives the impression of a sport / fitness watch but has neither built into its functionality.

On the sides of the watch are silver metal buttons, the clock’s dial on the right with two buttons on the left. The two buttons have separate contextual buttons based on what’s on the display. For example, say a notification appears on the display and you want to dismiss it, quickly press the bottom silver button. There’s also a metal clasp at the end to tie the whole watch around your wrist. There’s also a vibration motor inside the casing that is responsible for alerting you when a notification comes in. To be honest it feels kind of heavy on your wrist but it adds a premium feeling weight to it.

Functionality

Here’s where the Martian Notifier really shows its price. This watch does the very bare essentials. You connect the Notifier to your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth which was really simple to setup. You enable Bluetooth on your device, turn on the Notifier and you will be prompted to enter a passcode that is displayed on the watch. Once that’s entered on your device, the two will be paired seamlessly.

From day to day use, the Notifier proved to be actually pretty handy. I am using an iPhone 6 paired with the Notifier so any push notification that is sent to my device is pushed to my Notifier. A strong motor buzzes the Notifier on your wrist when you receive a notification which really helped me catch all notifications. This proved especially useful in large crowded areas where a lot of ambient noise was present. While I couldn’t hear the vibration on my watch, I most certainly felt it. It was actually pretty handy. There’s not a touch screen, nor any response technology like a speaker or microphone, which was something I saw myself wanting after a few days, but it really isn’t any evidence against the watch itself.

Conclusion

So let’s look back at the original question, could you buy a smartwatch that you are satisfied with for under $40? The short answer? Yes, yes you can. For less than $35 you can get a watch that is both stylish and functional. You will get a watch made of strong, sturdy materials that honestly does not feel cheap. You get all the basic functionality of a smartwatch by having all push notifications buzzed on your wrist so you never miss a beat. You will notice after a while, especially if you have friends with substantially more expensive smart watches, that you are missing features like responding to messages you receive, taking photos, and more. However, I would argue that you don’t really need those things in a smartwatch. My ideal smartwatch is one that alerts me whenever my phone receives a notification which the Martian Notifier does very well.

While I would like to see things like a speaker for audible notifications along with the very strong vibration motor, the vibration is enough to train my brain to know I have received a notification when I feel that buzz on my wrist. When it comes down to it, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy smartwatch if all you’re looking for is an extension to your smart phone. For around $35, you’re getting a great deal with the Martian Notifier.

So what do you guys think? Have you purchased a sub-50$ smartwatch? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

 

iOS No Longer Malware Free

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Well, it looks like iOS can no longer tout the security of their platform. According to findings by Palo Alto Networks, iOS has its first piece of malware codenamed “AceDeceiver”. AceDeceiver uses flaws found within Apple’s DRM for devices in China. This exploit allows for a “man-in-the-middle” attack by hackers in order to hijack an iOS device through a 3rd party software that mimics the user interface of iTunes. To the end user, there is no difference which pivots the exploit in a very dangerous spot for end users.

The time has come where we can say is that the days of having a completely virus and malware free OS are gone. Now all the major platforms contain some form of malware. Compared to iOS competitors like Windows Phone and Android, this is a pretty big deal for iOS as they have been able to keep ahead of the bunch by having the most secure platform. With all the buzz coming from Apple v. FBI in recent events, it makes you wonder how this malware could have slipped by Apple’s radar. Whatever the case is, it is a very interesting development.

Source: Mashable