Opinion

Now is not the time to buy a Wear OS watch

If you have been itching to get your hands on a new Wear OS watch, right now is not the right time. Even with the decent deals for the Huawei Watch 2 Classic or the newly announced Skagen Falster 2, I would not recommend buying either of those watches.

Why? Two things. One is the two year old Snapdragon 2100 that these watches are running on. Two, the release of the Snapdragon 3100 in just a couple of weeks away. Any savings you might get now is not worth the battery life and smoother experience a new processor may bring. Even though these theoretical improvements, I’ll bet you there will be additional price drops for existing watches running the 2100.

If you can hold off on getting a smartwatch (and I don’t see why anyone would absolutely need one). Now is the time to stick it out and wait a couple weeks. You never know, maybe you’ll end up with a rumored round Apple Watch instead.

News

Sony announces new noise cancelling headphones (WH-1000XM3)

image from Sony

I was a huge fan of the original MDR-1000X before my hand band started cracking. It had world class noise cancelling that was better than the Bose equivalent, an amazing 20 hour battery life, great sound quality, and neat features like being able hear conversations around you while still cancelling out other noise. The reason I ended up getting rid of it and not getting the updated WH-1000XM2 was largely due to the cracked head band and bad microphone that made it hard for me to use it for conference calls.

It has been two iterations since then. Sony announced today the 3rd generation WH-1000XM3. The device now supports USB-C charging with 5 hours of charge after just 10 minutes. It also has a completely new audio processor, the QN1, that is said to improve the noise cancelling even further. The new processor also includes a 32-bit DAC and amplifier which should also improve the audio quality.

As someone that definitely misses the MDR-1000X, I am definitely interested in picking these up. With early reviews saying the noise cancelling blocking out almost all sound on an airplane, you’ll definitely see a review on these in the future.

News Rumors

Everything we know about the Pixel 3

image from Rozetked

The Pixel 3 is a highly anticipated phone that is reportedly launching in October. The recent leaks are getting out of hand. Multiple videos and images have surfaced throughout the past couple weeks that have

Pixel 3 XL will feature a large front notch that houses two front facing cameras.

image from Rozetked

Multiple leaks and rendered have shown the large notch that will be on the Pixel 3 XL. This notch is going to house two front facing cameras which rumored to be used for a wide angle selfies and a “super selfie” mode.

Pixel 3 will have wireless charging

A leaked video has also confirmed that the Pixel 3 will have wireless charging. This is quite exciting as the Pixel 3 looks to be the first Pixel/Nexus phone that is going to support this technology, finally catching up to other flagships that have supported it for years.

Pixel 3 will still have a single rear camera

image from Rozetked

Google looks to be continuing the single rear camera trend. This shouldn’t be much of a surprised considering the single camera on the Pixel 2 has been and still is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. Google is still able to do more with less.

images from xda-developer

CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage we expect

Much of the other specifications are in line with what we expect. The CPU is the new Snapdragon 845 with the Adreno 630 GPU. The RAM is staying at 4GB and the storage will still be 64GB and 128GB variants. No word on whether they will offer higher storage capacity.

Slightly smaller battery on Pixel 3 XL

The leaked Pixel 3 XL has a battery of 3,430 mAh which is 90 mAh lower than the Pixel 2 XL. With the new processor, I do not think there will be much difference in battery life between the Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 2 XL.

Some New Accessories

image from Rozetked

In the accessories department it looks like the Pixel 3 XL will be getting a new usb-c wired Pixel buds.

Will you be getting one?

The Pixel 3 leaks have left little to the imagination. Given everything we know so far, will you be getting a Pixel 3?

Announcement

Announcement: Mindful Gadgets and SSL

With the release of Google Chrome version 69, Chrome will start marking sites as insecure if they do not have https enabled by default. Due to this release and our general philosophy around data privacy and security, we have been working diligently to get Mindful Gadgets fully encrypted by default. In the coming weeks or so you should start to see that the site will now default to https rather than http. Thank you for your continued support and stay mindful!

Update: 09/20/2018 SSL support is here!

News

Surface Go is official: The 10 inch $399 mini Surface

image via Microsoft

Microsoft announced the Surface Go a couple weeks ago and demo units have finally started popping up in retails stores. The 10 inch 1.15lbs device is said to be running Windows 10 in S-mode with the ability to do a one time switch to full Windows 10 if the user so desires. The device also supports the usual array of accessories that the bigger Surface Pro supports, from the surface pen to the surface dial. A smaller version of the Type Cover with the Alcantara is also available for purchase as an accessory.

image via Microsoft

The device starts at $399 for the 4GB RAM 64GB eMMC Storage model with the 8GB RAM 128GB SSD being $549. Both models have the Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU and Intel HD Graphics 615. With a 3:2 ratio screen at 1800 x 1200 resolution, the display should be pretty sharp and pleasant to use. Microsoft has also rated this device to get up to 9 hours of video playback.

I have spend a bit of time playing with the demo unit and so far it seems to perform decently well. It certainly should be able to perform basic tasks like email, browsing the web and watching Netflix. Once the unit is officially out on August 2nd, we will dive more deeply into just how far this little tablet can go in terms of performance.

News

Google gets fined €4.34 billion for antitrust practices with Android

image from wikipedia

Google is getting fined 4.34 billion euros for three major antitrust practices on Android. Google now has 90 days to stop these practices or face additional fines. The three antitrust practices that the European Commission are referring to are:

  • Google requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome as a condition for licensing the Play Store.
  • Large payments made to large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they only pre-install Google Search on their devices.
  • Prevented manufacturers from selling devices with forked versions of Android (e.g. Lineage OS) with pre-install Google apps.

As a consequence of the ruling, Google, at the minimum, would be barred from re-engaging in the above three points. This ruling could fundamentally change the way Google works with manufacturers and the amount of control Google may have on the operating system.

Question is, does Google engaging in these three points stifle competition? I think it does. It is hard to not use Google on an Android phone. On a platform that is designed to be open source, this should not be the case. I think the best solution is to give the consumer choice when they first setup the phone and allow them to import the previous configuration from a previous phone. This way consumers have the option to opting to default to a different browser and different default search while still having the ability to use the Play Store.

What do you think? Please comment below!

Source: EC Press Release

News

Macbook Pro 13 and 15 finally get refreshed, but not by much

Macbook Pro 13 and 15 finally get refreshed, but not by much

image via Apple

After 2 years, Apple has finally taken the time to refresh their aging macbook pro line up. The refresh is mostly a spec bump and includes a handful of new features. The Macbook Pro 13 inch with touch-bar now finally has an 8th generation processor and can be configured up to 2TB of storage. The 15 inch Macbook Pro now has the option of using the i9 six core processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and 4TB of storage. Both models are said to have quieter keyboard (though that was never the compliant of the older model), ability to use Siri without having to hit any key, and the ability for the screen to automatically change color temperatures based on where you are. Given that there has been a 2 year gap, ideally we would of liked to see a complete redesign. With Microsoft’s surface line and other Windows laptops innovating at a faster pass, its getting harder to justify the premium of a Macbook.

Source: Apple

How To

How To: Install Visual Studio Code on Chrome OS

So you have a new Chromebook and want to start coding on it. With Chrome OS new support for Linux apps, it is actually pretty enjoyable developing on Chrome OS.

Switching to the Dev Channel

Depending on when you are reading this article, you may need to change your Chromebook from the stable channel to the dev channel. I would recommend backing up anything you will need since switching back to the stable channel will require you do to a factory reset.

To switch to the dev channel, simply click on the three dots on the top right of the chrome browser -> Help -> About Chrome OS -> Detailed Build Information -> Change Channel -> Select “Developer – unstable”. This will trigger Chrome OS to download the developer build and restart once its done installing.

Once Chrome OS finishes restarting, go into setting and enable Linux (Beta). This should install the Linux container as well as a terminal app that should show up in your launcher once it is done.

Installing Visual Studio Code

The first thing you are going to want to do is download the DEB file for Visual Studio Code.

Next you will want to open the “Files” app and click on the download tab to find the file you just downloaded. Drag and drop the file you just downloaded to the “Linux Files” tab.

You are now ready to install the DEB file to your Linux container. Open up the “terminal” app and run the following command:

sudo dpkg -i NAME_OF_FILE.deb

You will probably get a message about a bunch of missing dependencies. If you do, run the following command:

sudo apt -f install

This will install any dependencies necessary to install vs code. Once the dependencies have been installed, rerun the previous command and vs code should install properly.

Running Visual Studio Code

Now that you have vs code installed, there are two main ways you can launch the app. One way is to go to the launcher and simply click on the visual studio code app icon. Another way is through the terminal itself. You can run:

code

to open up the app directly from the terminal.

There you have it. You now are able to use vs code within the Linux container. By default the Linux container also has git installed and you should be able to generate ssh keys and develop as if you were using Ubuntu.