Samsung In-Person Phone Repairs; Google Bans Crypto Ads; Netflix May Bow Weekly Newsmagazine Show; Walmart Expands Grocery Delivery

A strong plus for Apple’s iPhone line has been the ability to make an appointment, and hit an Apple store when your phone is on the fritz. Now, Samsung has announced they are acting to offer in-person service for Galaxy phones in the US. Engadget.com reports that after March 15th, users will be able to visit one of 300+ uBreakiFix locations around the country and get Samsung authorized repairs in person on late model high end Galaxy phones, from the S6 and Note 5 on up to the new S9’s. Both Samsung and uBreakiFix are promising same day repairs, and in most cases 2 hour fixes. Walk-ins are ok, but appointments are encouraged. The repair chain is also adding 200 more locations, and that is expected by 2019.

Google AdWords has banned all cryptocurrency ads. 9to5google.com says the ban will take effect in June to give advertisers time to wrap up schedules. The ban includes related content in addition to actual cryptocurrencies…initial coin offerings, exchanges, wallets, and trading advice ads will be stopped. The action is no doubt in response to the high volatility in the virtual currency market lately. Google notes the havoc that can wreak in less savvy people.

Word is, Netflix may be dipping its toe into news. According to cnet.com, the streaming programming giant is working on something in the vein of ’60 Minutes’ or ’20/20,’ a newsmagazine type format that will run weekly. In addition to entertainment programming, Netflix has already expanded to documentaries, so this may be another nature extension to position them as a full service program provider.

With Amazon now utilizing their acquisition of Whole Foods to expand their own grocery delivery business, Walmart has reacted with an aggressive lan to expand its own grocery delivery service from the present 6 test markets to 100 metro areas. Geekwire.com says Walmart will be able to leverage its 800 physical stores to reach what they say is over 40 percent of US households. Walmart will charge a $9.95 fee on orders of over $30. Using the Whole Foods grocery delivery service, Amazon Prime Now members can get free delivery in 4 test markets: Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Virginia Beach. If they want delivery in an hour or less, it’s an additional $7.99.

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Possible Folding Samsung Phone Features; Toyota Plans 10 Battery EV Models; Twitter Enforces Hate & Violence Policies; Facebook Demotes Clickbait Posts

Another patent has surfaced for the folding Galaxy phone from Samsung. This one seems to indicate that the phone will not fold in half compactly like the old flip phones, but will open like a book, according to bgr.com. Also, when not in use, one screen can act as a touchpad for the other. The screens are attached with hinges, and can fold outward as well as inward to protect them, and stylus support appears to be in the plan. Ok…the phone in the drawings is really ugly and kludgy, but we’ll see what….if anything actually gets built.

Every car maker is now in full EV future mode. Reuters.com reports that Toyota is shooting for more than 10 battery EV models by the early 2020’s. They will initially bulk up EV sales in China, then move into Japan, India, the US, and Europe. Every Toyota and Lexus model will have either an electric hybrid or full battery electric version by 2025!

It’s been the wild, wild west up to now, but Twitter says it’s starting to enforce the new rules they announced a month ago about abuse, hateful conduct, and threats of violence. Theverge.com says the rules will apply to usernames and profiles as well as Tweets. They will also extend to cover accounts affiliated with hate groups both on and off the platform. They won’t apply to military or government entities, so don’t expect to see a lot of kindler and gentler posts from a well-known Tweeter on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C.

Rejoice, Facebookers! Facebook is starting to crack down on clickbait posts! According to recode.net, they have adjusted their algorithm to drop such posts down in News Feeds. The vast majority of us won’t miss those ‘like and share if you agree’ posts. It’s doubtful they can keep all such posts off our walls, but less of them will be a welcome change!


Sony PS4 Neo Event Scheduled; iPhone Outselling Samsung S7 in US again

September 7th is the date…Sony has announced their PlayStation Meeting in New York. Arstechnica.com says we can expect the rollout of the 4K ready Playstation 4 Neo. It’s rumored to have a jump in CPU clock speed, more and faster GPU cores, and more memory bandwidth. On the heels of this updated PlayStation, Sony is thought to be going to show their PlayStation VR headset in October, just a month later.

After taking a dive, Apple’s iOS got another uptick in the second quarter of this year. According to 9to5mac.com, Apple’s share of the smartphone market growing by 1.3% in the USA and 3.1% in the UK. This gave Apple a 31.8% share in the U.S. and 37.2% in the UK. Here in the US, iPhone 6s/6s Plus outsold the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge to make the iPhone the best-selling handset in the quarter at 15.1% against Samsung’s 14.1%, with the iPhone SE taking third place at 5.1%. In Britain, the iPhone SE was the best-selling smartphone for the quarter, at 9.2% of the market, just ahead of the iPhone 6s at 9.1%. Apple didn’t fare so well in China, where Apple’s share dropped 1.8% to 17.9%, putting Apple behind both Huawei and Xiaomi.


Take Note- Samsung Rollout Event a Couple Weeks Away

Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6+ sales have exploded, but Samsung has had pretty disappointing numbers for the metal clad Galaxy S6 and Edge. The Galaxy Note series has done pretty well, though. Samsung has announced Galaxy Unpacked, a rollout event in New York for August 13th. According to theverge.com, look for announcements about the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. The new Notes have been dropping in September, so it’s thought that Samsung has moved the event up in order to get the drop on Apple…which is expected to show the iPhone 6S in September.

Mobile developer NextBit is cooking up something cool for Android users. NextBit is run by alums of Google, Apple, HTC, and Amazon, and they brought out app transfer software last year called Baton…which works like Apple’s Handoff to let you move smoothly from one device to another and continue with what you were working on, watching, or listening to seamlessly. Recode.net says now they’re working on their own handset. They are claiming it will be very cool, and ‘not for everybody.’ Is this a take on the old Apple mantra ‘Think Different?’ We’ll apparently know soon.


Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini On the Way

As many smartphones have morphed into bulky phablets, Samsung continues to cover their bets with many sizes. Bgr.com says the Galaxy S5 Mini will be out in a couple weeks. It has a 4.5 inch display, a little smaller than the expected iPhone 6.

US Book publishers are now making more net revenue from online sales than from brick and mortar stores, according to the verge.com. Paperbacks are still more popular than e-books, according to the publishers.

From geekwire.com comes word that Microsoft has added new encryption to Outlook.com and OneDrive, in an effort to minimize hacking and government surveillance.