Galaxy Note 8 To One Up iPhone 7 Plus Cams; Flash will (Finally) Go Bye-Bye; Roku Bests Chromecast in Users

The Galaxy Note 8 may be about to better the flagship feature on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus…the dual lens camera. Bgr.com reports that Samsung wanted to put the feature on the Galaxy S8, but instead opted for the Note. Like with Apple, the Note will have a regular and telephoto lens. Samsung will have a 3x optical zoom on the Note, where Apple only has 2x, and will include optical image stabilization on the telephoto as well as main lens, which Apple doesn’t. They also are making the wide angle lens 13 megapixel, while Apple shoots with 12 megapixels on both lenses…a negligible difference, but enough to tout as a feature.

It’s been a long, slow death, but Adobe is finally pulling the plug on Flash, probably the most frequently compromised software on anyone’s computer. Mashable.com says it won’t happen until 2020, but at least there is an end date to the problematic software that Steve Jobs panned back in 2009! Most all major browsers support HTML5, and many disable Flash Player by default already. Bye, Flash…we won’t miss you.

According to info from eMarketer picked up by recode.net, Roku pulls in around 40 million people in the US per month. This gives them 23% of connected TV users, easing past Google’s Chromecast with 22% and Amazon Fire TV with 21. Apple TV is an anemic 7%. The big number is 37%….that’s how many just watch via smart TVs. Mine isn’t even all that new, but has dedicated Netflix and Amazon buttons on the remote, and was dead simple to set up.

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iPhone Claws Back Market Share from Android; Tesla’s Gigafactory Will Be Solar Powered; Amazon Prime Bows Cashback Rewards Visa Card

According to the latest data, Apple’s iPhone picked up 6.4% in market share in the US for the 3 months ending last November. 9to5mac.com also says that Apple did the same in 7 of 9 other key markets. The iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and 6s were the 3 most popular phones in the US for the period, combining for 31.3%. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge where next, grabbing 28.9% share. Apple snagged a whopping 9.1% in the UK…mainly crushing the hopes of Windows phones.They did drop 5.4% in China to local brands and lost out 3.2% in Germany, where Android picked up share.

Theverge.com reports that Tesla plans to power its Gigafactory with a 70 megawatt solar installation on the roof! That would make it 7 times larger than the present largest rooftop solar array. Excess power picked up would be stored by Powerpack storage units for use after dark, etc. The solar panels will all come from Solar City of course. Tesla acquired them last year.

If you need a reason to spend even more money with Amazon, have they got a deal for you. TechCrunch.com says Amazon is partnering with Chase to offer Prime members an Amazon Prime Visa card with 5% cash back on Amazon purchases. The card would give 2% back for restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% elsewhere. There’s no annual fee on the card. Amazon is believed to have between 58 and 69 million members, or roughly half of US households. The card is available today.


10 Android Phones On Sale Now at Amazon; There’s An App For That-Connected Weed Vaporizers

So you can’t go for the new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, and you’re still iffy about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, even with the safe batteries. There are 10 unlocked phones spotted by bgr.com on Amazon with big discounts today and tomorrow. Some examples: For fire sale price, there’s the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 for 99 bucks. Another C-note buys you the $400 Nesbit Robin at half off. You can pick up the $650 LG G5 for $479. You get the idea. Go get ‘em, bargain hunters!

On the higher end of the scale, Pax considers itself the Apple of vaporizers. Mashable.com reports that they’ve introduced 2 new app connected weed vaporizers. The Pax 3 heats up in 15 seconds, a full half minute faster than its predecessor, and recharges in and hour instead of 90 minutes. You can swap between flower and ‘waxy concentrates’ in seconds. The app will allow users to customize flavor and vapor volume by setting the precise temperature, as well as customizable LED color themes, interactive games and the ability to lock their device. $274.99 and you get haptic feedback and a choice of colors…10 year warranty, too.

The Pax Era uses pre-loaded cartridges, so it’s handy for when you’re on a hike or on the town. It also connects with the app. The down side? Right now you can only buy Pax Pods in Colorado or with a medical card in California. The Era is $59.99, with the Pods about $40. Everything should be out next month.


Some iPhone 7 Plus Models Sold Out in Hours; FAA- Advises Against Galaxy Note 7s on Planes

Apple put the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on pre-sale at midnight Friday morning. In less than 4 hours, according to bgr.com, some models were sold out. The 2 larger capacity iPhone 7 Plus models in the new glossy Jet Black are now backordered until November. Plus models in black or silver, it’s a 2-3 week wait. The Jet Black 128 gig iPhone 7 is also looking at a November ship date. Most of the iPhone 7 models can still be ordered for delivery next Friday. Of course, with Apple, it’s always a question of whether a shortage is from high demand, Apple’s mis-calculating demand, or artificially caused to keep the ‘reality distortion field’ going! I went with black over the Jet Black, which Apple warned may scratch more easily.

The gift that keeps on giving from Samsung. The FAA has strongly advised not to use or charge a Galaxy Note 7 on planes, due to possible battery explosions. Recode.net says it’s not an outright ban. That’s good, since Samsung is recalling the recently released handset that’s been reviewed by many as the best ever Android device. Fliers are also advised not to place the phones in checked baggage. The recall just days before Apple’s iPhone 7 rollout has to have Samsung reeling. Still, it remains the best Android handset, and with the company in the process of replacing 2.5 million of them, the problem should clear up relatively quickly.


Outlier iPhone 7 Rumor; Xbox One Getting Cortana; Zuck’s Social Media Accounts Hacked

There are enough rumors and renderings out that we pretty well think we know what the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be like. Here’s an off the wall one picked up by bgr.com, though. It’s from MobiPicker, and they’re saying the the 7 will have 16, 64, and 128 gigs of RAM, but the Plus will have 32, 128, and 256 gigs. Also, the 7 will get two 12 megapixel rear cameras, and the Plus 21 megapixels. The Plus is also rumored to lose the Lightening port and get USB C. This is the only source claiming these things, so keep that in mind!

Microsoft has announced that Xbox One will get Cortana support in a summer update. TechCrunch.com reports that it won’t be just limited to gaming functions, either. You can use Cortana to check with friends, start a party, and search for nearby restaurants. Beta testers should be getting the update shortly, with a rollout to everybody in waves later this summer.

If you haven’t changed your LinkedIn password, stop reading or listening to this and do it now. Venturebeat.com says Mark Zuckerberg has had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked over the weekend, and it points strongly to the LinkedIn password dump of a couple weeks ago. Even the CEO of mighty Facebook can be hacked if he doesn’t change his password after a major hack and dump. Just do it!


LG Was 1st, But Google’s Modular Phone is Coming; iPhone 7 Dual Lens Cam Change & FOUR Speakers?

Project-Ara-Designs-1

LG beat them out of the blocks with their G5 phone and it’s bottom drawer that slides out so you can swap components, but Google will release their Project Ara modular phone to developers this fall. Thenextweb.com points out that it’s quite modular…but not as originally touted…the RAM, storage, and display won’t be customizable. What will be is and e-ink second display, fingerprint reader, fisheye camera assembly, fresh battery, and a speaker/microphone setup…oh…and non-functional ’style’ tiles…yippee!

Apparently, Sony has not been able to supply Apple with enough dual lens cameras for the upcoming iPhone 7 Plus…or Pro, depending on the rumor. Macrumors.com says Cupertino is switching to LG to get it enough in time for launch. Part of the problem was damage to Sony’s facility from an April earthquake. Also, there’s a prototype case that’s appeared on a French blog with 4 speakers. It doesn’t have a headphone jack, as previously rumored, but this single 4 speaker leak is iffy.


Standalone Android VR Headset Coming; iPhone 7 Plus Will Have 2 Rear Cams; iTunes NOT Stopping Selling Downloads

Google will reportedly announce a standalone Android VR headset at I/O next week. Techcrunch.com says the untethered headset will be less powerful than the Vive or Rift, and it’s expected to come in at well under the $300 price point. Needless to say, it will cost more than the 15 bucks for a cardboard headset, but you need an Android phone to use that anyway.

Early rumors had a premium version of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus getting the dual rear camera setup, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities, all the Plus phones will come with the high end camera. According to theverge.com, the bigger handset will also have 3 gigs of ram in order to handle the image processing for the new cam. There’s still conflicting information as to if the Plus, or all iPhone 7’s or none will have the Smart Connector like the iPad Pro.

Apple put out a rare statement late yesterday dispelling a rumor that they planned to stop selling downloads over iTunes. Appleinsider.com says one rumor had Apple dropping downloads in 2 years, and another in 3-4. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said ‘not true.’