MacBook Pro With Touch Bar: Three Months Later

It has been three months since both the 15-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar devices hit stores. Needless to say, the new MacBook Pro has become Apple’s most polarizing device in years. That’s not to say that both devices are without love. Tech Radar gave the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar four-and-a-half stars. “Apple’s back with a bang. The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar comes close to computing perfection,” claims critic Michael Passingham, who especially praises the high-quality screen and great performance. CNET gives the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch bar four stars. There are some who love the new MacBook Pro. [Image by Daryl Deino] “With a slim bezel around its 15-inch screen and a thinner, lighter body, the top-end MacBook Pro packs a real visual punch. But if you miss the traditional HDMI and USB ports, consider the older 2015 model that Apple still sells.” However, there have been problems over the past few months in regard to both MacBook Pro units. On December 22, Consumer Reports unleashed an anti-Christmas gift for Apple. “Apple launched a new series of MacBook Pro laptops this fall, and Consumer Reports‘ labs have just finished evaluating them. The laptops did very well in measures of display quality and performance, but in terms of battery life, we found that the models varied dramatically from one trial to another.” The article added that tests revealed as little as 3.5 hours of battery life, and as a result, the new MacBook Pro series became the first not to receive recommended ratings from Consumer Reports. However, after complaints from actual MacBook Pro owners who called foul play on the tests, the magazine claimed it had reversed its “ruling” and can now recommend the new MacBook Pros after Apple released a software fix. Still, there are many who think that both the 13-inch and the 15-inch MacBook Pros have sacrificed quality for portability. Many have even suggested that the 13-inch Pro should have been called the “MacBook Air with Touch Bar.” People are still upset about the lack of ports and the fact that 16GB RAM is the max the Pros can handle. However, there is some good news for disappointed MacBook Pro with Touch Bar users. BGR reports that after the backlash, Tim Cook has promised that Apple won’t forget about its Pro users. Tim Cook says Apple did not forget about the MacBook Pro line. [Image by Daryl Deino] “Tim Cook earlier today addressed growing concerns that Apple is no longer interested in catering to creative professionals. During a Q&A session at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting, Cook said that Apple remains committed to the Pro market and that the company has no plans to abandon that specific user demographic,” according to BGR‘s Yoni Heisler. “You will see us do more in the pro area. The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular,” Cook said in response to a question about the future of the MacBook Pro. As BGR notes, 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for Apple hardware. In addition to the rumored MacBook Pro update, the iMac will receive a big update as well. Besides the Mac devices, Apple is also planning on upgrading the iPad Pro and the iPhone. The iPhone 8 is what’s causing the biggest amount of excitement for Apple. According to Fox News, Apple may be planning on killing the Lightning jack (they killed the headphone jack last year) and even the Home button. However, they are allegedly adding an edge-to-edge OLED screen, wireless charging capabilities, augmented reality features, and much more. Which Apple product are you the most excited about? Please let us know in the comments section. [Featured Image by Daryl Deino]

Samsung Galaxy S8 Will Start Smartphone Race With iPhone 8 On April 21

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be in stores on April 21. Forbes has the news. “Straight out of Samsung’s home country of South Korea is a report from ETNews which claims Samsung will introduce the Galaxy S8 at an event in New York on March 29. It will then go on sale to the public on April 21. This ties in with previous reports that the U.S. will be the company’s chosen destination after it ruled out a launch at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress later this month.” The article adds that the price tag could go as high as $1000. However, Samsung is clearly building two premium versions of its latest Galaxy smartphone. As BGR notes, the specs have been leaked. The Galaxy S8 Plus will be a 6.1-inch smartphone, and the regular Galaxy S8 will have a 5.8-inch screen. Other than the size, both phones are expected to have the same exact specs. The Galaxy S8 screen will be larger, but it will have same resolution as the Galaxy S7 Edge [Image by Daryl Deino] The phones will have Quad HD displays (not 4K ones as rumors indicated), a 12MP rear camera (8MP front-facing), an Iris scanner, and 64GB internal storage with 4GB of RAM. The phones are expected to either contain the Exynos 8895 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors. Many of the commenters after BGR‘s article seem to think that Apple will still rule in 2017 no matter what. “It doesn’t matter what Samsung does. Apple will dominate 2017 with the iPhone 8. This is a year for also-rans,” says Dart. “Samsung is always trying to copy Apple, but they will always be 2nd rate,” says SheRaHero. The iPhone 8, which will be released in September, is certainly no slouch. Apple may be forgoing Touch ID technology in favor of 3D facial recognition according to Mac Rumors. The iPhone 8 will be a huge upgrade from the iPhone 7. [Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Images] Apple’s widely expected 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will feature a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition, corroborating previous rumors, according to JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall.” The article adds that Hall claims the scanner will replace Touch ID as Apple plans to remove the Home button to allow for an edge-to-edge display. If Apple employs this type of technology, it will be similar to Windows Hello on Windows 10 devices that allows you to log in by facial recognition. However, Windows Hello hasn’t been without its problems. Some people claim it drains battery life and, at times, doesn’t recognize faces accurately. However, given that Apple has been able to perfect technology started by other companies, it will be interesting to see if Apple can make facial recognition security features mainstream. Many would argue that Apple’s Touch ID technology perfected what Samsung, Microsoft, and others started. Besides the facial recognition features and edge-to-edge display, the iPhone 8 is likely to come in two different versions — a 4.7-inch device and a 5.8-inch one as well. The website 9to5 Mac also claims we will see an all-glass design with a variety of colors and a Home button that is actually embedded inside the screen. According to Mac Rumors, inductive wireless charging could also come to Apple’s next smartphone. “Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple and could potentially provide wireless charging technology for the upcoming iPhone 8,” says Mac Rumors columnist Juli Clover, who adds that a new investor’s note from Copperfield Research outlines why Apple has no plans to use Energous’ WattUp radio frequency-based wireless charging solution. Based on all the speculation, which smartphone would you rather have — the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. [Featured Image by David Ramos/Getty Images]

Samsung Will Launch Galaxy Book To Compete With Microsoft Surface Pro 5

The Surface Pro 5 is about two months away, but it looks like Samsung may have a head start on Microsoft. The Express has the news. “Samsung could be preparing the launch of something rather powerful to go along with its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. The company is reportedly readying a new tablet powered by Microsoft’s Windows 10 software that could be launched as early as this weekend.” The article adds that this is said to be called the “Galaxy Book,” a follow-up to the Galaxy TabPro S, which — in an opinion piece last year — the Inquisitr claimed was a definite challenger to the Surface Pro 4. “One main reason to choose the Galaxy TabPro S over the Surface Pro 4 is battery life. Unless you use the Surface Pro 4 on the “Battery Saver” mode, the battery life is dismal. One hour of heavy use with the Galaxy TabPro S with the brightness set at 75 percent (which is pretty high for the Super AMOLED screen) only depletes 12 percent battery life.” 2016’s TabPro S was a hit for Samsung. [Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images] The one thing that the critics didn’t like about the TabPro S was the keyboard cover, which was included with the device. Some thought the keys were too “box-like” and didn’t like the fact you could only type on two different angles since the TabPro S didn’t have a kickstand like the Surface Pro 4. According to the Verge, Samsung released a “Book Settings” app for the Windows Store this weekend. This app includes references to the unannounced tablet, which will come with a stylus and an AMOLED display. Comments after the article are rather positive. “Wow an AMOLED windows device, will be nice,” says Bhargavbuddy. “Windows will be making a huge comeback this year,” claims Newbpwnr. This will be a busy season for Samsung, who is also getting ready to release the Galaxy Tab S3. According to CNET, the Android-running tablet will have a 9.6-inch display with a 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution, a silver, pressure-sensitive S Pen stylus, a 12MP rear camera, and 4GB of RAM with 32GB of flash memory. It is said to cost about $600 and will be announced this week. The big device everybody is waiting for from Samsung, however, is the Galaxy S8 smartphone. According to Tech Radar, likely highlights include a 4K screen (on the higher-end version), a Snapdragon 830 processor, 6GB of RAM and a massively improved camera. There’s even a chance that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have an iris scanner or a foldable screen, though the latter is somewhat less likely. According to the Sunday Express, the S8 will be missing physical buttons. “And if the alleged paparazzi shot is to be believed, something very important appears to be missing from the next flagship Samsung phone. The latest photo shows the long-rumoured, dual-curved display on the front of the device. And as predicted by the latest rumors from within Samsung, the physical buttons have been ditched.” There is a lot of excitement for the Samsung Galaxy S8 on Twitter. Why Everyone Is So Excited About Samsung’s Galaxy S8 — Larry Pacheco Jr (@LarryPachecoJr) February 23, 2017 Aahhh im so excited ???????????? Samsung Galaxy S8 concept trailer: exclusive video render via @YouTube — Luis Arevalo™ (@e_xxotic) February 9, 2017 The Galaxy Note 7 was a huge disaster for Samsung in 2016. [Image by Daryl Deino] Samsung is hoping to make a huge comeback on 2017 after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle in 2016. According to Wired, the Note 7 explosions were caused by there not being enough room for the battery before the first recall. The second recall was caused by sharp protrusions in the new batteries. Would you trust buying a Samsung device again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. [Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]

Surface Pro 5 Release Date To Be Announced Soon, Specs And Features Here

Microsoft may have accidentally confirmed the existence of the Surface Pro 5, which remained just a rumor until an employee of the tech giant seems to have leaked the tablet. Described as one of the “devices of the future,” the Surface Pro 4 successor was mentioned alongside HoloLens and Xbox in the said employee’s LinkedIn profile. The LinkedIn profile of the unnamed employee has now been edited to exclude the details, but not before eagle-eyed h0x0d was able to take a screenshot, Windows Central reports. Surface Pro 5 is a thing, apparently — WalkingCat (@h0x0d) February 17, 2017 Although Microsoft is tight-lipped when it comes to its future devices, especially those coming from the Surface line, the Surface Pro 5 has long been believed to be arriving. It was previously rumored to be coming last year, but now speculations suggest that it will be released this year. Surface Pro 5 may finally be released this year The LinkedIn leak only cemented the belief, but that’s about everything that’s known about the Surface Pro 5. According to popular rumors, the tablet will be unveiled simultaneously with Surface Book 2 and possibly with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Microsoft confirms second big Windows 10 update due later this year — The Verge (@verge) February 22, 2017 The said update or Redstone 2, as it is called, will be released in April this year. It is suspected that the Surface devices will be revealed sporting the newest features of the OS, so a March reveal with an April launch date is expected for them as well. Another piece of information that could be hinting to the imminent arrival of the Surface Pro 5 in the next couple of months is the removal of the Pro 3 from Microsoft’s online stores. TechRadar reports that Microsoft could be making room for the upcoming releases, thus fulfilling its promise of discontinuing the 2014 tablet, albeit silently. The Surface Pro 4 has also been receiving a lot of discounts these past few weeks. The latest offer had the Intel Core i5 device with 256GB internal storage priced at only $1,049, which is $150 less than the original price. Lesser variants also received a huge discount – the Intel Core m3 version with only 128GB storage is also down from $899 to $699. Other versions have not received discounts. The internet was quick to speculate that Microsoft is now disposing of Surface Pro 4 stocks for the same reason as terminating the sales of the Pro 3 – to make room for the newest Surface Pro 5. Specs and features we can expect [Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images] As for the Surface Pro 5, pricing is currently unknown, but it should not go too far from its predecessor’s launch price. It is expected to sport the latest Kaby Lake CPU. Rumors also say that it will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC for a better battery life. But seeing that the tablet will probably launch with different variants, different processors can be expected onboard. PCGamer also suggests that they may be two screen choices: one with 2K and one with 4K resolution. The Surface Pro 5 RAM should be bumped up as well with the highest option at 16GB and the other variants with 8GB or even 4GB. Additionally, the USB Type-C port should make its first Surface appearance in the upcoming iteration of the tablet. Other ports are expected to stay the same. Of course, the Surface Pro 5 will carry Windows 10 with all new features. It would not be a surprise if customers were given the option to buy a mini version of the Surface Dial, which you can see in action below. The trusted and probably improved Pen will come with the unit, though. There’s a chance that Microsoft might offer a sneak peek or even a full reveal of the Surface Pro 5 in the upcoming MWC 2017 in Barcelona. Tune in on February 27 to March 2 for Microsoft updates. [Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]

"Most Realistic" BB-8 Robots Yet Go On Sale Soon, And At An Affordable Price

With the legendary R2-D2 absent for almost the entire film, the debut of the BB-8 stole the droid spotlight in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Like R2, BB-8 is a small astromech droid whose primary function would be to provide automated maintenance and service on starships or other crafts and machinery. Despite the seemingly simplistic nature of their intended purpose, both droids have won over Star Wars fans with their quirky and often mischievous personalities, traits that are in no way necessary to their function. Of course this is what makes fans and critics love droids like R2-D2 and BB-8. “He bowled us over immediately,” Entertainment Weekly‘s Anthony Breznican wrote in 2015. “From the moment Star Wars fans laid eyes on the droid with the roly-poly body and the babyface, it was love.” Breznican’s article was more a review of BB-8 as a character than of the Force Awakens as a movie. BB-8’s appearance spawned and abundance of merchandizing, including several remote controlled BB-8 toys, but they all left much to be desired, according to critics. This BB-8 Robot is Just Like the Real Thing — (@SPACEdotcom) February 19, 2017 Now a new remote controlled BB-8 is finally doing the adorable droid justice, according to reports from i09 and others. In an article headlined “This Giant BB-8 Toy That Follows You Like a Puppy Might Be the Ideal Robotic Pet,” i09‘s Andrew Liszewski heaps praise on the new BB-8 remote controlled robot, which is produced by toy manufacturer Spin Master. “Despite being a Star Wars toy, Spin Master’s new life-size BB-8 might just be the zero-maintenance pet you’ve always wanted,” Liszewski says after lamenting the demise of Sony’s AIBO robot dog line back in 2014. “Originally announced at Toy Fair 2016, Spin Master’s BB-8 was just a prototype a year ago, with limited functionality. It was supposed to hit store shelves during the holidays last year, but the company decided to delay its release until 2017 to improve its capabilities, including a redesigned remote. We finally got a chance to play with the little droid at this year’s Toy Fair, and walked away wishing it could follow us all the way back to our offices.” Among the most interesting features of Spin Master’s Hero Droid BB-8, as it is properly known, are its size, the fact that it rolls around on its body (without wheels) just like the real-life BB-8 and its ability to follow voice commands in addition to remote control demands. “[T]he Hero Droid is a full 16-inches tall, which makes it tall enough to be a credible droid but short enough so that young children can play with it, without getting rolled over,” Avram Piltch wrote in a recent review of the BB-8 robot for Tom’s Guide. This giant BB-8 toy that follows you around like a puppy might be the ideal robotic pet. — Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) February 19, 2017 Spin Master’s BB-8 can supposedly follow 10 voice commands, including “follow me,” “ball away” (which instructs it to give the operator some room) and “Kylo Ren,” (which causes it to act scared). The robot rolls around on its body, with the head kept in place by magnets. The magnets allow the head to be removed and replaced anywhere on the robot’s spherical body without effecting its mobility. Just how impressed are reviewers with Spin Master’s take on BB-8? Some of them argue that the toy robot version might even be better than the original BB-8 from The Force Awakens. “Considering that Disney used a combination of puppets and remote-controlled props to bring BB-8 to life on screen, the Hero Droid may actually be more intelligent than the one in the movie,” Piltch concludes. Spin Master has not set a definitive date for the release of the Hero Droid BB-8 yet, but it is expected to retail for $229. [Featured image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

iPhone 8 Release Date And Specs: Will The Ailing Battery Life Ever Improve?

As news of the upcoming iPhone became public, Apple fans have been extremely excited for its launch. iPhone 8’s official release date hasn’t been exacted, but it’s confirmed that Apple will begin production of its new flagship phone somewhere in June, which is much earlier than expected. The company has decided to follow through with this in order to ensure that it has sufficient units to put on sale just in case the market vamps up causing a probable shortage of supply. Some reports mention that the iPhone 8 retains a possibility of being called the iPhone X, but it’s still hearsay. Even though Apple will commence production in June, it still doesn’t imply a premature release of the iPhone 8. The phone is still forecasted to be released in September like all its previous predecessors. Commencing production in June, Apple would have a margin of three months to produce enough units to meet the expected demand which is usually sky-rocketing during the first few weeks of release. The iPhone 6S, released in 2015, sold 13 million units in just three days! As for its successor, the iPhone 7, while Apple did not provide specific figures, Tim Cook did mention in an interview that the production level reached the market demand through January, that is four months after the launch of iPhone 7. Apple will hugely improve the screen that’s on the current iPhone 7. [Image via Daryl Deino] Another important reason for this early production, apart from catering to a sudden surge in demand, may be to ensure the quality of the iPhone 8. According to rumors, this will be the first time that Apple introduces the OLED screen and a 3D sensor in its latest smartphone. In addition, the new phone will be significantly redesigned from its three-year-old prototype. Reportedly, it will revert back to the glass and metal design and might even completely remove the home button. Perhaps one of the most exciting features which fans have been desperately waiting to hear is the mode of charging of the iPhone 8. Rumors have suggested that the new phone will support some kind of wireless charging. Although these rumors are not very convincing, but if Apple has been planning on joining the wireless power consortium, it should make sure that the technology is well beyond the experimental phase before production begins. Maybe this is why the company wants to begin production early. It’s never all happy and dandy, right? Apart from all the good and exciting things that the iPhone 8 may have in store for its fans, there’s also a possibility that some of these innovations may not be taken well by consumers. Even though it is just hearsay right now but if Apple decides to introduce wireless charging and include a second camera in attempts to create the perfect smartphone for its users, where does that leave the new phone’s battery life? Apple iPhone 8 Release Date, Specs & Other Rumors (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) Users have already complained a lot about each iPhone’s ailing battery-life, and so their criticisms will only leap ahead if the company doesn’t do much about its smartphone battery which is significantly poorer than that of Samsung’s. However, media reports claim that Apple will definitely be resolving this dilemma and increase the iPhone 8’s battery power by installing a greater size in a relatively smaller smartphone. The iPhone 8 would have dimensions similar to the current 4.7 inches of iPhone 7 which houses a 1960 mAh battery. But given the additional space in the iPhone 8, the new phone will be able to incorporate a 2700 mAh battery. The small innovation of wireless charging will surely bring about a revolution in the smartphone industry and coupled with a long battery life, Apple would ensure that its fans’ concerns are effectively catered to. The bad news, however, is that the idea of having super-durable batteries may sound awesome, but it is equally unlikely as well.