Samsung Offers $$ To Keep Note 7 Owners in the Fam; Chipmaker Revenue Shows iPhone 7’s Selling Well; Google Pixel Phones on Verizon Get Android Updates With Unlocked Phones

Samsung is making the extra effort to hold on to customers burned (some literally) but the burning and exploding Galaxy Note 7. They will give $100 credit to exchange one for a Galaxy S7 Edge or other Samsung device. Engadget.com says this comes on the official Consumer Product Safety Commission recall of all Note 7’s. There have been 96 battery issues in the US alone since mid-August when the Note rolled out.

Chipmaker TSMC is reporting record profit and sales in Q3, and has raised its forecast for 2016 revenue. Yeah, so? This points to strong iPhone 7 sales, according to 9to5mac.com. After crunching the known numbers, like what percentage of TSMC business comes from the A10 chip in the new iPhones, it looks like Apple shipments of iPhone 7 models will be around 82 million…notably higher than earlier estimates. In other words, it’s not the boring dog of an iPhone a lot of the tech press predicted!

Contrary to earlier reports, Google says Pixel phones on the Verizon system will get Android updates simultaneously with unlocked phones. 9to5google.com reports that this indicates Google will be pushing out the updates like Apple does on iOS, not delivering them to Verizon, who many feared would sit on them.


New iPhone Color; Google Maps & Pokemon; Galaxy Note Blows Up in Samsung’s Face; Google Self-Drivers Spot Cops; Netflix Grabs 3 ‘Mythbusters

Tomorrow, we’ll know for sure, but for weeks, the tech media has been complaining that there’s nothing cool about the upcoming iPhone 7…not even a dual lens camera that may allow focusing after the fact. Now, they’re all excited about a….color. Mac rumors.com says there will be a glossy ‘piano black’ color. Never let it be said the tech media isn’t shallow!

Google Maps has added a Catching Pokemon feature to the timeline. According to thenextweb.com, you can now show in Maps when and where you’ve been Playing Pokemon Go.

In an amazing gift to Apple, Samsung is recalling all Galaxy Note 7’s..up to 2.5 million, due to batteries that can explode when charging! What has been reviewed as the best Android ever will now be recalled just as the iPhone 7 is rolled out. Bgr.com reports that you can either take it back to where you bought it, or call Sammy at 1-800-SAMSUNG. Whether you decide to swap it for a less ‘explody’ one, or trade for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, Samsung will throw in a $25 gift card.

A couple of quick notes….Google has gotten a patent for self-driving cars detection of police vehicles. Thenextweb.com says it picks up on the flashing lights. The cars will automatically move to yield.

The ‘Mythbusters’ build team is getting a show on Netflix. According to bgr.com, Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara will star in ‘The White Rabbit Project,’ which will start airing on Netflix December 9th. They’ll investigate things from science, pop culture, and history…and it’s a good bet some things will blow up. Hopefully, not any Samsung batteries.


Next Year’s iPhone Anniversary May Bring 3rd Model; Twitter Night Mode Hits iPhone; Facebook Tests Autoroll Video With Sound

In a report out of Japan picked up by macrumors.com, Apple is planning a third iPhone model next year with a 5.5 inch OLED screen that will sport curved edges. Earlier rumors had Apple adapting OLED screens in 2018, but now it appears one model of the iPhone 8, or 10th Anniversary iPhone, or whatever they plan to call it will have it, while the 4.7 inch and other 5.5. inch models will have the same LCD screens as the present models. OLED screens have blacker blacks, and the colors on screen ‘pop’ more. Samsung has been using them on their Galaxy series. Of course, the Galaxy S7 Edge also already has the curved screen Samsung has made for a couple years now.

Last month, Android users got Twitter’s Night Mode, and yesterday it rolled out on iOS, according to cnet.com. I like it. It darkens all the white space and pictures, and the Tweets show up as white text on a black background. It even works on my old iPad that doesn’t support Apple’s Night Mode. Find the little settings cog icon, and it’s one of the selections.

In a move certain to infuriate everyone (except advertisers), Facebook is testing out autoplaying video WITH sound! Thenextweb.com says actually, the social giant is testing two versions in Australia. One just autoplays, and another has an unmute button in the lower right corner. The so-called ‘feature’ can apparently be disabled in settings. Hopefully, Facebook will choose the unmute button version if they decide to roll the feature out to everyone.


Samsung Plans Millions of Galaxy S7 Phones by February; App Finding Apple Pay Merchants Sees Huge Usage Increase

Samsung is planning a run of 5 million of their next generation flagship Galaxy S7 smartphones ahead of the February rollout. Venturebeat.com reports that 3.3 million will be the 5.2 inch flat screen models, and the rest will be the 5.5 inch model with the curved screen dubbed the Galaxy S7 Edge.

A new app called PayFinders uses crowdsourcing to find merchants that accept Apple Pay. According to appleinsider.com, they had a 750% increase in usage in two days on December 26th and 27th. Apple Maps already has badges showing Apple Pay merchants, but really only the larger chains are represented, and it doesn’t always show all of the stores that have the system.