A $150 discount never hurt anyone.

It was pretty hard to buy a lousy phone last year, and one of the better ones that didn’t receive all that much attention was the LG V30. The V30 is easily one of LG’s best phones to date, but unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the likes of the Note 8, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone X. However, thanks to a new discount, now might be the best time to pick it up.

If you head to B&H’s website right now, you can purchase the V30 for just $675. That’s a saving of $150 compared to its regular price of $825, and it’s for the 64GB Cloud Silver model.

This is the unlocked V30, and it can be used on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. There’s a 5.7-inch OLED display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and dual 16MP + 13MP rear cameras.

We aren’t sure how long this deal will last, so be sure to click/tap that button below soon to make sure you don’t miss out.

See at B&H

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

After initial reports suggested a new security flaw was confined to Intel systems, researchers have now disclosed that nearly all modern processors are affected.

Security researchers have disclosed two new exploits that can be executed against modern processors. Dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” the exploits use similar methods to impact processors from Intel, AMD and ARM across PCs, mobile devices and in the cloud. The researchers explain:

Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware bugs allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This might include your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.

Meltdown and Spectre are distinct attacks, but they both allow attackers to break isolation between applications to access information. Perhaps the biggest difference, however, is the specific processors affected by each attack. Meltdown, the researchers say, has only been assessed to impact Intel processors. However, the range of potentially affected processors is vast:

More technically, every Intel processor which implements out-of-order execution is potentially affected, which is effectively every processor since 1995 (except Intel Itanium and Intel Atom before 2013). We successfully tested Meltdown on Intel processor generations released as early as 2011. Currently, we have only verified Meltdown on Intel processors. At the moment, it is unclear whether ARM and AMD processors are also affected by Meltdown.

Spectre, on the other hand, appears to have a much wider reach. According to researchers, nearly every type of device is affected by Spectre; it has been verified to work across Intel, AMD and ARM processors. Spectre is harder to exploit than Meltdown, but researchers caution that it is also harder to guard against. The attacks also work against cloud servers, which could leave customer data vulnerable.

Fortunately, at least some fixes are in the wild or on the way. For Google’s part, it has an FAQ listing the status of its products and how they’re affected:

  • Google says it has patched the vulnerabilities in the January security patch to be released to Android devices.
  • Chromebooks with an Intel processor and kernel 3.18 or 4.4 are patched with Chrome OS 63. Chromebooks with older kernels will be patched via Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) in a future release. Chromebooks on ARM processors are not known to be vulnerable, but will receive KPTI in a future update regardless.
  • Version 64 of the Chrome browser, due to release this month, “will contain mitigations to protect against exploitation.”
  • Google Home, Chromecast, Google Wifi and Google OnHub are all listed as “no additional user action needed.”
  • G Suite (Google Apps) has been fixed on the back end and requires no user interaction.

Google also claims that it is “unaware of any successful reproduction of this vulnerability that would allow unauthorized information disclosure on ARM-based Android devices.” The question is, of course, how that could change now that more details about the exploits have been revealed and before the myriad Android manufacturers get security patches released to their devices.

For the true nerds among us, ARM has gone into detail about which types of processors using specific ARM designs will be vulnerable to specific types of these attacks.

There are patches against Meltdown for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Spectre is not an easy fix, it seems, and the researchers say that there is ongoing work to “harden software against future exploitation of Spectre, respectively to patch software after exploitation through Spectre.”

You can read more on Spectre and Meltdown, including more technical details, in the researchers’ full report.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

The two new platforms are called Roku Connect and the Roku Entertainment Assistant.

There are a lot of different smart TV platforms to choose from these days, but if you want access to the most content possible and don’t want to be stuck between middle school feuds, Roku is the way to go. Roku’s been releasing media streaming boxes since as early as 2008, and ten years later in 2018, the company has announced its two latest projects – Roku Connect and the Roku Entertainment Assistant.

Roku Connect

Starting with Roku Connect, this is a new platform the company is launching for smart speakers. There have been rumors of Roku diving into the smart speaker space for a few months now, and this is how it’ll be going about it. However, the approach is a bit different from what we’ve seen from the likes of Google and Amazon.

Rather than creating its own smart speakers, Roku will license out its tech and the Roku Connect platform to third-party OEMs (not unlike what it does with Roku TVs). Roku Connect will be able to power single speakers like we’ve seen with Echo and Google Home products, as well as sound bars, surround-sound systems, and multi-room audio solutions. Roku Connect speakers can connect to each other wirelessly, and TCL will be launching the first Roku Connect-powered device at CES 2018.

We aren’t sure exactly what to expect from this gadget just yet, but it’ll likely just be the first of many that we see throughout the year.

Roku Entertainment Assistant

Powering these Roku Connect speakers is the Roku Entertainment Assistant. This is similar to Alexa and Google Assistant seeing as how it’s a virtual assistant, but that’s where the similarities end. You’ll talk to The Roku Entertainment Assistant by saying “Hey, Roku”, and then the command that you want.

You’ll be able to use the Roku Entertainment System for playing music on your Roku Connect speakers, controlling media playback on your Roku TV/streaming box, turning off your television, and more. Roku wants its Assistant to be focused for only entertainment purposes, meaning that you won’t be talking to it about the weather, traffic conditions, etc.

Roku plans on launching the Roku Entertainment Assistant to its TVs and streaming boxes by Fall of this year, and the idea is that it’ll be used alongside other smart assistants – not as a replacement for them.

Android TV vs. Roku: Which smart TV platform is right for you?

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Create lists, transcribe recordings, doodle, collaborate on to-do lists, and much more with Google Keep.

Google Keep isn’t your average note-taking client. While the app sports a minimal interface and is easy to pick up and use, it offers a set of powerful tools that make it an effective task management utility. From creating collaborative to-do lists to transcribing voice notes and saving bookmarks, the app does it all.

The best part about Keep is that all changes are synced automatically, giving you quick access to your notes across all your devices, and on the web. Here’s what you need to know to get started with Google Keep.

How to install and log in to Keep

This part’s straightforward. Just head to the Play Store, search for Keep, and install the app.

  1. Open the Play Store from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Search for Google Keep and tap the first search result (by Google).
  3. Tap Install.

  4. Following the installation, open Keep and tap the Get started button.
  5. Select the Google account you want to associate with the app.

How to create and edit your first note in Keep

One of Keep’s strengths is that it is very simple to use. Creating a note or editing an existing note is about as easy as it can get.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Take a note section at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Enter the title and text, and tap the Back button to save the note.

  4. Tap the note you want to edit.
  5. Tap the desired section to start making changes to the note.
  6. Tap the Back button to save the changes.

How to create and manage lists in Keep

Keep allows you to easily create and manage to-do lists. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the List button at the bottom.
  3. Set a Title for the list, and start adding items. To delete an item, tap the Delete button on the right.

  4. If you’ve already started a basic text note, you can turn it into a to-do list by tapping the + button at the bottom left of the screen.
  5. Tap the + button, and hit the Checkboxes option to turn the note into a to-do list.
  6. You can turn the note back into a text note by selecting the Menu button in the top left and selecting Hide checkboxes.

How to share notes and add collaborators in Keep

Keep has an excellent collaboration feature that lets you quickly share your notes and to-do lists with your friends and family. I use the feature to collaborate with my wife over grocery lists, chores for the weekend, and things to buy for the house. Here’s what you need to know about sharing notes.

  1. Tap the note you want to share.
  2. Tap the Action button at the bottom right.
  3. Tap the Collaborator button.
  4. Allow Keep access to your contacts.

  5. Enter the email address or name of the person you want to share the note with.
  6. After adding the collaborator, tap the Save button to share the note.

How to set reminders in Keep

The ability to set reminders for notes or to-do lists is one of Keep’s most useful functions. The reminders feature works the same way as it does in Google Now: you have the option of creating a reminder based on time or location. Here’s how you can easily set a reminder in Google Keep:

  1. Launch Keep from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the note for which you want to set a reminder.
  3. Tap the Remind me button in the top right.
  4. Set a reminder that triggers at a particular Time or at a Location.

You can also set recurring reminders for things like shopping lists. Reminders set in Keep will show up in Google Now and Inbox. When you’re setting a reminder, you get default options for Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. Here’s how to change the default options.

  1. Open Keep.
  2. Tap the menu button on the left. It looks like three stacked lines.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. In the Reminder settings section, tap Morning to change the default time for notification alerts in the morning.

How to dictate audio notes in Keep

In addition to text notes, you can also dictate notes to Keep, with the audio getting automatically transcribed. It is a lesser-known feature that comes in handy when you’re taking notes in class.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap the Speak button at the bottom.
  3. Start recording your note. After you’re done speaking, you’ll see a text form of the note along with the recording underneath.
  4. Tap the Play button to listen to the note.

How to add an audio recording to an existing note

Adding an audio recording to an existing note is really easy.

  1. Launch Keep from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the note to which you’d like to add an audio recording.
  3. Tap the + button at the bottom left.
  4. Tap the Recording button and start speaking. You’ll see a text version of the recording as well as the audio added to the bottom of the note.

You can delete the recording by hitting the Delete button at the right of the audio. Doing so doesn’t delete the text, which you’ll have to clear manually.

How to take images using Keep

You can easily take photos from within Keep, and extract text from within images.

  1. Launch Keep from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Camera button in the bottom right.
  3. Tap an image from your gallery or tap Take photo to take a new photo.
  4. Add a title and text to the image if required.

How to extract text from an image

Want to grab the text from a photo you took, but don’t want to manually transcribe from the image? There’s a feature for that.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap a note with an image in it.
  3. Tap the image.
  4. Tap the Menu button in the top right.
  5. Tap Grab image text.
  6. You can also make annotations to an image by tapping the Pen button in the top left.

How to add an image to an existing note

If you’re looking to add an image to an existing note, it’s quick and easy.

  1. Launch Keep from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the note you want to add a photo to.
  3. Tap the + button in the bottom left.
  4. Choose Take photo to take a new photo to add to the note.
  5. Tap Choose image to add an image from the gallery to your note.

How to doodle in Keep

Like doodling? You can use Keep to draw digitally, with three modes available.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the Pen button from the bottom.
  3. Tap between Pen, Marker, and Highlight tool.

  4. Start drawing on-screen. To go back, hit the Undo button on the right.
  5. Tap the Eraser from the bottom bar to erase your drawing.
  6. Tap the Select button from the bottom bar to select and move part of your drawing.

How to use Keep as a bookmark tool

Remember Delicious? You don’t need a dedicated tool to save bookmarks anymore, as Keep does a capable job of saving and organizing your bookmarks.

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Navigate to a website.
  3. Tap the Menu button from Chrome to save a link to Keep.
  4. Tap Share.
  5. In the Share via screen, navigate to Keep to save the link.

  6. Use the Label button to assign a label to the link.
  7. Tap Save to add the link as a note in Keep.

How to export notes to Google Docs

While Keep has a lot of features, it doesn’t offer rich text editing. If you’re in need of more robust formatting and editing tools, you can export your note to Google Docs, Evernote, Word, or other word processing services.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap and hold on a note to show menu options.
  3. Tap the More button from the top right.
  4. Tap Copy to Google Doc to turn the note into an editable Google Docs document.

  5. If you’re looking to edit the document in another word processor, hit Send from the menu.
  6. Tap your editor of choice from the Send note menu.
  7. Tap to save the note in your word editor.

You can also save several notes to a single Google Docs file. Just hold down to select individual notes, and then tap Copy to Google Doc.

How to archive or delete older notes in Keep

If you no longer need a note, you can easily archive or delete it. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap a note.
  3. Tap the Archive button to archive the note.
  4. Tap the Action menu from the bottom right to access the delete option.
  5. Tap Delete to delete a note.

How to recover archived notes in Keep

If you’ve accidentally archived a note, you can recover it by going to the Archive tab from the hamburger menu.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap the menu button (looks like three stacked lines) on the left.
  3. Go to Archive.
  4. Tap the note you want to recover.
  5. Tap the Unarchive button located at the top right corner.

You will be able to do the same for deleted notes, with notes staying for up to seven days in the trash.

  1. Tap the menu button on the left.
  2. Go to Trash.
  3. Tap and hold on the note you want to recover.
  4. Tap the Restore button.

How to sort and organize notes with labels in Keep

Keep lets you add labels to organize your notes. If you’re like me and take a lot of notes throughout the day, labels are absolutely essential to make sense of the clutter.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap the note for which you want to add a label.
  3. Tap the Action button in the bottom right.
  4. Tap Labels.
  5. Add your desired label.

How to add labels via hashtags in Keep

You can also add labels quickly with the hashtag (#) symbol.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap the note for which you want to add a label.
  3. Type a #, which brings up all available labels.
  4. Add your desired label from the list.

How to edit and organize notes based on labels in Keep

You can create, edit, and organize notes by labels with ease.

  1. Tap the menu button (looks like three stacked lines) on the left.
  2. Tap on a label to show notes tagged with that particular label.

  3. Tap Edit to change label names.
  4. Tap the Edit button on the right to edit the name of a label.
  5. Tap the + button to add a new label.

How to color code notes in Keep

Along with labels, you can use colors to visually differentiate between different types of notes.

  1. Launch Keep.
  2. Tap the note for which you want to add a color.
  3. Tap the Action button in the bottom right.
  4. Tap the desired color from the options at the bottom.


If you’re looking for a minimalist note-taking app with a robust feature-set, it’s time you gave Keep a try. The note-taking service is now integration into Google Docs, making it easier for you to surface information from your notes into your documents.

What do you use Keep for? Let us know in the comments below.

Updated January 2018: Updated with the latest additions to Google Keep.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Thank goodness for ports.

Portrait mode on the Pixel 2 is one of the things that continues to impress me on the phone even after months of using it, and it’s something that was recently ported over to the first-generation Pixel, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X as an update to Charles Chow’s Camera NX app. Now, thanks to another developer by the name of Arnova8G2 on the XDA Developers forums, the Pixel 2′s portrait mode can be used on certain non-Google phones running Oreo.

With Arnova8G2′s modification to Chow’s latest work, NX Camera 7.3 can be installed on other Android devices with a fully functional portrait mode. The OnePlus 3/3T, Moto G5S Plus, and Galaxy Note 8 are among the devices that have been confirmed to work with this, and while it should be compatible with most Android phones on Oreo, you’ll need to download the app and test it out for yourself.

Portrait mode is currently only working for rear cameras, but it’s expected that Arnova8G2 will release an updated version of the app so that it can be used with front-facing cameras, too.

Although this isn’t an official solution, it is something worth trying out if you can’t pick up the Pixel 2 but want to dive into the world of excellent portrait shots. The app seems to be working just fine for some folks, but others are reporting that it continually crashes. Again, your milage will vary.

If you decide to try the app for yourself, drop a comment down below and let us know what your results are.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |