Tagged With consumer tech

Synaptics's Clear ID sensor is not the first sensor to scan your thumb print through a display. The Vivo X20 phone, available now in China, is not the first phone to read your thumb through the screen. You might not know this if you'd seen the headlines coming out of CES - where Synaptic's Clear ID was haled as a game changer that fixed the problems we all have with the iPhone's Face ID and the Galaxy S8's awkward fingerprint reader. But it's the truth. This isn't the first tech to come along as a challenge to Face ID's impending dominance, but it definitely something different.

Fire up an iPhone X alongside a Galaxy Note 8 and you might not think there's all that much to choose between Android and iOS any more. They offer the same apps, in the same sorts of grids, with similar approaches to notifications and quick settings, and at this stage in the game you're probably happy with your choice of mobile OS and sticking with it. Is there really any reason to switch? Well, yeah - there's still a few!

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

The photos from most smartphones have gotten so good nowadays, they have basically killed the market for point-and-shoot cameras. That said sometimes you need a zoom. For people wanting to push image quality a little higher, there's still value in a small, compact camera with a (relatively) big sensor and a long reach.

It's all but impossible to reach the end of the Harry Potter books or movies without secretly pining for a wand of your own, but it's probably best for humanity that we aren't all flailing magical sticks around. The next best thing would be JAKKS Pacific's new interactive Wizard Training Wands that make it feel like you're learning to cast spells, without wreaking havoc on Muggles.

These are the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ https://t.co/deXGg39m0d pic.twitter.com/RNGezrF4Bs

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 26, 2018

With Mobile World Congress coming up at the end of the month, the smartphone world is ramping up to peak hype in preparation for the Samsung Galaxy S9's expected debut there on February 25th. The rumours are flying so we scoured the net and gathered up the most credible leaks and rumours to give you the best idea of what Samsung will announce in just a couple of weeks.

The seemingly endless string of iOS bugs is a sickness that just won't go away. Just a month ago, people discovered that a strange hyperlink could cause Messages to crash. And while that issue has been patched, a new bug has appeared that can wreck Messages, along with a number of other major apps.

Between the Russia scandal, Robert Mueller's special investigation, and high-ranking officials seemingly stepping down left and right, the United States government hasn't exactly presented a united front over the past year. However, based on remarks made at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, it seems there's still one thing the government can agree on: That Huawei, and its fellow Chinese networking and smartphone producer ZTE, cannot be trusted.

In the past year, graphics cards have gone from the reasonably priced computer part you pick up on Amazon or Newegg to something bordering on as precious as gold. If you happen to find one being sold at its MSRP, you can easily snatch it up and sell it on Amazon for twice the price. The market has gotten so cutthroat in the face of a GPU shortage that vendors like Microcenter have limited the number of GPUs you can buy and will only sell at the original MSRP if you can prove you're buying it for personal use. And into this fierce market enters AMD with a new CPU with an integrated graphics card so good you can leave the other GPUs to the cryptominers.

Sometimes, years pass before Apple creates a completely new product like the HomePod. During that parade of iPhone redesigns and MacBook upgrades, it can be easy to forget that when Apple enters a new space, the company does it with swagger. The products are beautiful. They work well. But they are also usually exclusively designed to work with other Apple products and services. The $449 HomePod is all of these things, and it drives me crazy.

If you're living your life away from power outlets than at some point you'll need to invest in an external battery pack. Only not all batteries are the same. Aside from the various ports you might see on one, such as USB Type-A, micro USB or USB Type-C, it's also critical to consider the kind of power output your device requires if you want to actually juice up your laptop and phone.

Video: As if the fear of a looming nuclear war wasn't enough, Sam Battle, the hacker-musician behind the YouTube channel Look Mum No Computer, hacked together 44 Furby toys to build the world's first (and hopefully last) singing Furby organ, introducing a whole new element to your nightmares.

Despite all the hype and hoopla for Google's "first" homegrown phone, the Pixel was met with a lukewarm reception when it launched back in the spring of 2016. It wasn't very pretty and its build quality wasn't great either, and it often suffered from a host of issues. But the most frustrating of these problems was that a number of Pixels shipped with a defective microphone, which made it difficult for people to use their Pixel as an actual phone.

Apple is well known for keeping a notoriously tight grip on the code powering its iPhones, only rarely revealing the inner workings to the public. But in a move that some Mac and iOS experts are calling the "the biggest leak in history," an unknown source appears to have laid bare parts of the iPhone's critical boot code on Github.

A few years ago we reviewed a souped-up NES clone called the Analogue Nt with a prohibitively expensive aluminium housing. It was a beautiful piece of hardware, but ultimately it only served to remind my coworker Adam Clark Estes of just how basic and boring 8-bit NES games are. Nostalgia really needs a 'your results may vary' warning, because my trip down memory lane with the Super Nt, a souped up SNES clone that works on modern HD TVs, instead reminded me how much I still love 16-bit gaming.

With less than three weeks to go until Samsung officially unveils it next flagship Galaxy S phone, leaks and rumours have already given us what seems to be a pretty good look at the phone. And despite a body that's almost indistinguishable from last year's phone - especially from the front - the Galaxy S9 is shaping up to be a solid update. However, there is one tidbit of info regarding the S9 that is much less encouraging: Its price, which according to multiple reports will be higher than any Galaxy S phone ever before.

Do you remember when everyone thought the arrival of the iPad heralded the demise of E Ink-based devices? Even yours truly far prefers the experience of reading books on the bright, full-colour LCD display of the iPad Mini. Consequently I've spent a lot of time questioning the need for e-ink devices like Amazon Kindle. But at CES last month I had an abrupt change of heart. It was there I was able to try out the reMarkable tablet for the first time, and after playing with it for a few minutes, I was excited at the thought of finally being able to go completely paperless; no more notebooks, no more misplaced scraps of paper, and no more sticky notes. I immediately begged them to loan me a unit to review, and after nearly two weeks with it I'm still in love - even if I know this thing has big problems.