Magnetic fields make wireless charging a whole lot cooler (hands-on)

Wireless charging is one of those great technologies that’s still struggling to catch hold. A new method for charging your devices is just about ready for action.

Sometimes branded as Rezence, it uses magnetic resonance to throw a charge over a small three-dimensional space. Instead of inductive charging, where you need to place the phone or tablet directly on the pad to charge it (this is the Qi type of charging, by the way), resonance charging shoots a magnetic field up through the surface to reach your device, say a phone or wearable.

The bottom line for you: you don’t have to worry about clearing off part of your table or desk for a large charging pad. Instead, a resonance charger can be screwed or even taped underneath a surface, like a table or countertop, which means that you will be able to reclaim that space.

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How well does it work?

In the first demo (watch it in the video above), I placed a wooden block that represented a table surface on top of the plastic pad that generates charge.

Next, I placed phones and a Bluetooth device on top of that, both singly and in combination, tossing on metal objects like and paper clips and USB drives to see how that affected the charge.

Instead of the metal objects heating up as they might with an induction charger (or an induction stovetop) — or the charge stopping to keep you from handling the ultrahot metal — the devices kept on taking in current.

The second demo device converts from a flat pad into is a standup dock with a shelf to hold a tablet, in this case, one that Qualcomm made to demo this type of wireless charging. In truth, there isn’t much to these demos, but so far, so good.

It wasn’t possible in such a short time to gauge how quickly or how efficient the devices topped up, but Qualcomm says the charging rate should be comparable to a standard charger, though slower than its QuickCharge technology.

How it works

How does it all work? This type of charging, which relies on the A4WP standard of specification for wireless charging, generates a magnetic field using and antenna and coils found in both the charging station and the device. Ferrite shielding directs the magnetic field back into resonator (the antenna).

It isn’t just enough to create the charging field, though. You have to “tune” the resonator surface to make sure that it reaches far enough above to surface to power the device through a tabletop. The average conference room table is between 25 and 40 millimeters, says Qualcomm’s Mark Hunsicker, senior director of wireless power solutions.

Your device may already have it inside

Two things need to happen for this to work on your tablet or phone. First, you’ll have to install or be near a wireless charging pad of this sort. Second, the device-maker or case-maker would have to embed the right hardware, including a chip like Qualcomm’s.

The good news is that Qualcomm is already integrating magnetic resonance charging capabilities — which it calls WiPower — into its chips, like the Snapdragon 810 processor that’s found inside the LG G Flex 2. Since WiPower is a technology that Qualcomm licenses, your device won’t automatically access WiPower; it’s something hardware-makers have to turn on.

TVs and furniture too, and coming soon

The WiPower charging I demoed isn’t only coming to mobile electronics, Qualcomm’s Hunsicker said. It’s also suited to consumer electronics like cameras, tabletop lamps and bluetooth speakers. Imagine a wall-mounted TV that’s cable-free because it draws power wirelessly, and armchair furniture that contains a surface for charging up your devices as soon as you lay them down by your side.

Magnetic resonance charging like this is on track to surface in the second half of 2015.

 

 

Windows 10 Settings menu: The Network & Internet tab

Windows 10’s new Settings menu lets you quickly and easily find basic settings without digging through the not-so-user-friendly Control Panel. It’s still a work-in-progress, but the Network & Internet tab actually does a pretty good job of combining the traditional Network and Sharing Center with Windows 8’s watered-down settings menu. If you’re looking for connection settings, this is where you’ll find it.

The Network & Internet tab can be accessed several ways, you can access it through the Settings menu, by clicking your network icon in the system tray or by clicking View Connection Settings from the Networks sidebar. The Network & Internet tab has seven sections: Wi-Fi, Cellular, VPN, DirectAccess, Dial-up, Ethernet, and Proxy.

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Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi section is more of a courtesy than an actual section — there are no options except Show available connections (opens the Networks sidebar) and Advanced settings (takes you to a list of Control Panel links). However, Microsoft knows that if you’re looking for help with your wireless connection, this is the first place you’ll look so they direct you to the appropriate non-Settings-menu places.

Cellular

This section will hold your cellular connection information if you have one, because my Windows 10 system is a desktop, nothing showed up under the Cellular heading. However, based on the Ethernet connection section, you’ll probably see a clickable link to information (IP address, manufacturer, description, etc.) about your cellular connection.

VPN

This section is similar to what you see if you go to PC Settings > Network in Windows 8. Here, you can add a VPN by clicking Add a VPN connection (you’ll be able to designate VPN provider, connection name, server name/address and sign-in information). You can also access the Networks sidebar and advanced settings in the Control Panel.

DirectAccess

irectAccess is a feature that lets you access your company’s corporate network without a VPN — this is typically something you’ll use if your VPN is blocked for some reason (e.g., you’re in a hotel on a network that blocks VPN ports). This section is similar to the Cellular section (I can’t see anything because I don’t have a DirectAccess connection), if you have a DirectAccess connection, you’ll see an icon that you can click to see information about your connection.

Dial-up and Ethernet

These sections are simple connection sections like the Cellular section. If you’re using Dial-up or Ethernet, you’ll be able to see a connection icon in these two sections that you can click for more information about your connection. If you have an Ethernet connection, you’ll see your IPv4 address, DNS servers, manufacturer, description, driver version and physical address. There’s also a button that lets you copy that information, in case you need to paste it somewhere (such as in a troubleshooting email to your tech support).

Proxy

The Windows 10 Proxy section is exactly like Windows 8’s Proxy section (which you can get to by going to PC Settings > Network > Proxy). Here, you can use an automatic proxy or you can manually set up your proxy by entering in the IP address (domain name) and port of your proxy server. Using a proxy server lets you do a variety of things, such as hiding your IP address or accessing websites that aren’t available in your country.

The Network & Internet tab is one of the only Settings tabs in which each section has a link to Advanced settings. Clicking this link (which appears at the bottom of every connection section) will take you to a list of links that go to various parts of the Control Panel, such as the Network and Sharing Center, HomeGroup, advanced sharing settings, and Internet options.

Turn your phone into a computer mouse with Remote Mouse

I’m writing this one with my wife in mind, who has been using a work-issued laptop with a broken trackpad for nearly a year. She has adapted by using a wireless mouse, but since she also has a work-issued iPhone 6 , she could use that instead of the old mouse I gave her and carry one less item in her work bag. All that’s needed is the Remote Mouse app and its companion Mac/PC app.

There are free and paid versions of Remote Mouse, but the paid Pro version is currently being offered for free. The paid version lets you use the app’s keyboard in landscape mode and a full-screen touchpad mode. Remote Mouse is available for iPhone/iPod, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. The companion Remote Mouse Server application for Mac or PC can be found here.

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With the apps installed and your mobile device and computer connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the mobile app will see your computer. Tap its name to connect the two and you’ll be off and mousing.

Remote Mouse will be comforting to Mac users because it offers a similar feel to a MacBook’s multi-touch trackpad, where a one-finger tap acts as a left click and a two-finger tap acts as a right click. You can scroll with two fingers and pinch with two fingers to zoom. In the app’s settings, you can adjust tracking and scrolling speeds and disable or enable various multi-touch gestures.

In addition, the app offers a number of different panels that let you control a specific part of your Mac. There’s a Dock panel that lets you switch applications, for example, and a Media Remote panel that provides playback controls for a number of supported applications, including iTunes, Keynote, Windows Media Player and PowerPoint. You can also call up a panel with shutdown, sleep, restart and logoff buttons. Additional panels are available via in-app purchase.

Swaying Mode lets you control your Mac’s cursor by moving and tilting your phone or tablet. This worked better than I was anticipating and might be particularly useful when giving a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation. For general-purpose mousing, however, I prefer using my phone’s screen. Remote Mouse felt responsive and accurate when used with my iPhone 5S and MacBook Pro .

Open shared Dropbox links in the Dropbox mobile app

With a recent update, Dropbox has made it quicker and easier to work with shared links on an iOS or Android device. Now when someone emails you a Dropbox link and you tap on the link to open the file in your default mobile browser, you are offered a button to Open in app. This change means you can preview, save, rename and favorite the file using the Dropbox app, bypassing the need to sign in to Dropbox via Safari or another browser.

iOS users will need to tap the Open in app button each time, but Android users can choose to always directly open files within the Dropbox app.

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I tried this new feature on an iPhone and it worked flawlessly. When I opened a shared Dropbox link using the Open in app button, I was kicked over to the Dropbox app with a preview of the document or photo. I could then save the file to Dropbox by tapping the triple-dot button in the upper-right and selecting Save to Dropbox. And for files I had already saved to Dropbox, the Open in app button takes me right to the file, skipping the preview step.

According to Dropbox, “if it’s a Microsoft Office file like an Excel spreadsheet or Word document, you can edit the file right from the Office apps on your device.” I don’t have Word on my iPhone, but if I did, I could tap the edit button when previewing a Word doc to open Word to edit the doc.

The recent update to the Dropbox app also introduced the ability to save a file to Dropbox from anywhere on iOS.

Dropbox is a free app for iOS and Android.

LG unveils first 4G smartwatch, based on WebOS software

WebOS, the cult favorite smartphone operating system pioneered by Palm, is making a comeback in mobile thanks to LG and its latest smartwatch.

LG on Thursday took the wraps off the LG Watch Urbane LTE, the first smartwatch able to connect to a high-speed 4G wireless network. The smartwatch doesn’t run on Google’s Android Wear software, but instead on what the Korean electronics conglomerate calls its LG Wearable Platform operating system.

The LG Wearable Platform has its roots based on the WebOS operating system, according to a person familiar with the product. It’s the same platform that powers the company’s line of smart televisions.

The use of WebOS, which LG acquired from Hewlett-Packard in 2013, on both devices suggests the company has more ambitious plans for its proprietary operating system. WebOS, like Samsung’s Tizen mobile operating system, could be a way for LG to pare back on its dependence on Google and its Android operating system and power multiple products with its own platform.

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Samsung has employed its Tizen software, developed with partners like Intel, on affordable smartphones focused on consumers in the emerging markets, its smart televisions and some of its Gear smartwatches.

It’s an unusual path for WebOS, which began life at Palm, designer of the Palm Pilot, with its Pre smartphone. The operating system built a small, but loyal fan base, but saw mixed success with the mainstream market. In 2010, Palm sold itself to Hewlett-Packard for $1.2 billion. While HP’s ambitious plans for WebOS crumbled, just over a year later the company turned it into an open-source platform. When LG picked it up in 2013, the company initially wanted to only use its ability to multitask on different apps for its smart TV. Things appear to be changing.

LG, however, isn’t looking to break from Google. Earlier this month, it introduced the LG Watch Urbane, which lacks a 4G connection and runs on Android Wear, Google’s version of Android designed for wearable devices.

It’s unclear how different the LG Wearable Platform is from Android Wear from a user perspective — no screenshots were provided.

LG will likely continue supporting both operating systems, staying in good graces with Google while fostering an alternative platform that is more flexible to its own needs.

Android Wear itself also hasn’t been taking the world by storm. Six products running the operating system accounted for 720,000 units, or just 15.6 percent of a total of 4.6 million wearable products shipping last year, according to research firm Canalys.

There remains a question of whether consumers actually want a smartwatch, although Apple could certainly clear things up with its Apple Watch, expected to hit the market later this year.

The Urbane LTE marks the fourth smartwatch from LG. Like the Urbane and G Watch R, the Urbane LTE has a 1.3 plastic-organic-light-emitting diode circular display, which has an always-on “ambient mode.” The Urbane LTE and Urbane also employ the same 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 4 GB of memory.

But the Urbane LTE has a few key differences from its non-LTE sibling. With an independent LTE connection, it can make and receive calls and text messages. It also has a heftier 700 mAh battery, offering several days in standby mode. It includes a near-field communication chip to potentially turn it into a mobile wallet able to pay at NFC-enabled registers.

It also has three physical buttons on the right side of the smartphone — a top button for access to settings; a center button to switch between the watch and apps; and a lower button to act as a back function. Users can hold the back button down to send out a safety beacon to a preset emergency contact.

While the Urbane came in gold and silver, the Urbane LTE only comes in silver.

Both the Urbane and Urbane LTE will be paraded out at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

How to install Windows 10 on your phone

On Thursday, Microsoft published the first public beta of Windows 10 for mobile phones. The release comes after last month’s event where progress on Windows 10 was demonstrated, and plans for a mobile beta were announced.

The beta comes with a few caveats, as is typically the case with software still under development. Microsoft does an excellent job in its official announcement of the preview builds of setting proper expectations. There will be some features that break after updates, that could potentially include the ability to dial a phone number. Which, for some, is a pretty big miss.
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With that said, you should have a spare device, but if you don’t mind troubleshooting issues (you can always rollback to the previous OS should things get really bad) then by all means dive right in.

  • To load Windows 10 on your mobile device, you’ll first need to check your device against the list of compatible devices. It’s fairly short: Lumia 630, Lumia 638, Lumia 635, Lumia 730, Lumia 636, Lumia 830. If your device isn’t on the list, be patient. The team in Redmond has stated new devices will be added.
  • Make sure your device is running Windows Phone 8.1. You can do this by launching Settings and going to About followed by Info.
  • Next you’ll need to sign up for the Windows Insider Program if you haven’t already. You can do so on this site.
  • Finally, download and install the Windows Insider app from the Windows Phone Store.

Once the app is installed, it will scan the specifics of your device and guide you through the upgrade process. It’s a good idea to have your device connected to a charger, ensuring the update is able to finish without issue.

EaseUS Partition Master Pro Review

Partitioning your hard drives will help you in more than one way. Some people think that it leads to data loss, but in reality you can save all your data if you take the help of partition. Not just that if you have the perfect tool for carrying out the partition, then you will find that it is assisting you in completing several other tasks as well. You will be able to maximize the performance of your PC or even increase the size just by using the right tool. These are not tall claims; instead EaseUS has made this possible with its EaseUS Partition Master Pro software. It will serve you in many ways by solving the problem of low disk space or by extending the system partition and you can also expect the software to manage your disk space quite easily on GPT or MBR disk. It won’t hurt your pocket much and there is always an option of a free trial. If you want to see for yourself how this software will turn out, then you can go for the free trial and enjoy some of the features and when you are fully satisfied, you can go for the paid version. The Partition Master is compatible with the Windows 7/ 8/ 8.1/ 10/ Vista and XP and also supports several languages to make it easier for customers all across the globe who might not understand English.
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Extending the partition

If you feel that there is a need to extend partition Windows 7, then make use of an EaseUS Partition Master Pro to accomplish the task successfully. In order to make this happen, you will have to launch the software and then make the selection of the partition where you will have to right click. Now select the option and follow the instructions that are there and in no time you will successfully complete the task. In case you want to resize the partition or move the partition, then also you will find options for that. Other than these features, you will also be able to copy disk, copy partition, split partition, convert partition and merge partition Windows 7 safely. Merging of partition will provide you with large drive space, in case you have run out of space in any one of the partitions. So, at any point of time if you think you do with some more drive space that is free, then merging the partition will be the best option for you. The EaseUS partition software is quite easy to use and it is definitely all in one solution for disk management. If you are not able to manage your disk or are in need of more disk space, then feel free to use the EaseUS Partition Master Pro and you will see how things fall in place. The best part of this software is that it also comes with Partition recovery, therefore, if you go wrong somewhere you will be able to recover it comfortably with the use of this software.

Bringing in a new wave in entertainment through XMTV Player

No matter how hard the whole day was if at the end of it you can enjoy a good movie, then nothing can get better than that. Sometimes you have to travel a long way back home at that point of time if you have something which can keep you entertained for that period then it will help you in relaxing a lot. A light hearted movie or a funny video or some audio clips, if all of these can bring a smile on your face, then you feel blessed and if the streaming is high quality, then nothing can beat that.

 In order to access all of these facilities, it is important that you have a great media player downloaded in your mobile device. It will help you keep updated with the live streaming of your shows and in case you want to catch up with some movies, then it will bring to you just that. In case, you are a proud owner of an android device, then you already have plenty of options to choose from, but XMTV player for android definitely tops the list.

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One of the main reasons for this is the high quality streaming that it provides and along with that the image formats that it allows makes this media player an unique proposition. It definitely stands out in the crowd with its unique features. We generally have apprehensions in giving our device to our kids because most of the time they mess up everything. But, if you download this XMTV player for free from Google play store, then you won’t have to worry about that because it comes with Kids Lock. It will make sure that your child only gets access to what he is watching and won’t be able to tamper any settings or go into any apps.

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Media player for all

There are some media players available which are so complicated that you end up uninstalling it after few uses. Starting from navigation to every operation, the media players create confusion in the mind of users and things become even more complicated. But, that is not the case with this media player, instead you will find it quite easy to use and the navigation is as simple as 1-2-3.

  Moreover, you will be able to view any kind of file formats without worrying about transforming them to a particular format. Most media players only allow a certain file format and they don’t entertain different formats to be played on their media player. But, when you are talking about this media player, you will see the long list of compatible formats which includes almost everything in it. You can watch your favorite TV channels too, so from now on you don’t have to miss out on any program just because you are not in front of the TV. Just ensure that you have enough mobile data package to support your live streaming, else you can also go for the Wi-Fi connection.