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Galaxy Watch 4: Samsung is coming for Apple Watch's crown with Wear OS 3 – CNET

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The Galaxy Watch 4 (left) and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (right) look sharp. And they’re running a whole new Google-Samsung OS.


Drew Evans/CNET

This story is part of Samsung Event, our full coverage of Samsung Unpacked.

There’s one clear go-to smartwatch for iOS: the Apple Watch. But for Android, there hasn’t been a singular option. Will the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 finally be that watch? At Samsung’s newest folding-phone-focused Unpacked announcement where the latest Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 phones were unveiled, the company also announced the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic — which can be preordered now and go on sale Aug. 27. They’re the first Samsung watches to have the Google co-designed Wear OS 3, which isn’t coming to other smartwatches until next year. Following the already-excellent Watch Active 3, will the Galaxy Watch 4 be even better? It certainly looks like it.

Much like previous Samsung watches, there are two designs: a sleeker, less expensive Watch 4 and a more traditional-looking Watch 4 Classic. The latter brings back Samsung’s physically rotating outer bezel and has more traditional watch-like looks and straps. The prices ramp up based on either design ($250 for the aluminum 40mm Watch 4, $350 for the stainless steel 42mm Watch 4 Classic), size (the larger 42mm Watch 4/46mm Watch 4 Classic cost an extra $30) or LTE data compatibility (an extra $50 on top of that). In the UK, the Watch 4 starts at £249, and the Classic at £349. Australian prices are TBD.

Samsung’s watches have always been good. Then there’s also been Fitbit and even Google Wear OS. But Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is looking to tie it all together and reboot the Android watch landscape by finally not having a weird split between Samsung’s watch experience and Google’s. 


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Promises of better watch-phone connection

The Watch 4’s new Google- and Samsung-developed OS will eventually show up on other smartwatches. But for Samsung’s newest watches, it should mean a more Android-fluid connected experience. Notifications, calls, controlling your phone, syncing with your phone settings: Samsung promises that the Watch 4 will do all this better than previous watches. Samsung’s also promising better battery life and speedier performance. That battery life may still only be about two days, but it’ll be enough to go to bed with and track sleep overnight. Samsung also renamed its watch: The Watch Active name is gone. (Welcome back, Galaxy Watch.)

The Galaxy Watch 4 is only made for Android phones, with no plans for iOS compatibility right now. While previous Wear OS and Samsung watches could pair with iPhones, the Watch 4 is clearly made to be a seamlessly connecting watch for Android (and specifically Samsung) phones. Samsung’s “One UI” philosophy is about syncing wallpapers, designs and settings across phone and watch. Will the watch feel like a seamless extension of the phone? We’ll see when we test-drive one.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 ClassicSamsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

The new rear sensor array includes electrical bioimpedance, which promises scale-like body fat/BMI estimates.


Drew Evans/CNET

Health tech: Snore detection and bioimpedance-based body analysis

There are several new health features on the Watch 4 on top of the ones that carried over from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Besides heart rate, blood oxygen and electrocardiogram (and stress-sensing/blood pressure testing that requires calibration with a blood pressure cuff), Samsung is adding a few extras to sleep tracking. Snore detection works using the paired Android phone’s microphone, and the blood oxygen checks now run continuously once a minute overnight (or as a spot-check during the day).

Samsung also added a new sensor to its rear array: an electrical bioimpedance sensor for full-body analysis using a weak electrical current to measure how conductive you are — and therefore showing what you’re made of. This type of sensor tech hasn’t been on recent smartwatches; the last wearable I remember promising bioimpedance was the Jawbone Up 3

When using the body analysis feature, there will be readouts on your BMI, muscle mass and body water along with body fat percentages, much like some scales. I’m not sure how I feel about that! Samsung Health will use this readout to calculate a range of where your health is compared to optimal levels. 

New sensor tech is always a toss-up: Will it work? Will it be useful? We don’t know yet. Samsung is aiming for this to be a comprehensive body analysis tool, which sounds awfully ambitious. Last year, the Fitbit Sense also introduced new electrodermal stress-detection sensors, but I never found them meaningful in my everyday life. Jury’s still out on the bioimpedance features, too.

Samsung Health remains the fitness and health platform default for the Galaxy Watch 4, despite the OS change. But a shift to Google Play for apps and new support for watch face complications should mean a lot of fitness apps make the shift, too. (Complications are basically those little watch-face widgets that show data from other apps, and they’re pretty helpful.) Samsung’s already announced that Strava, Calm and Adidas Running are supported. Spotify’s also supported for on-watch music playback.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 ClassicSamsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

See that rotating bezel? It’s back.


Drew Evans/CNET

Boosted specs

The Watch 4’s new processor should be faster than the last Watch 3 (20% faster CPU and 50% faster GPU, according to Samsung) and there’s more RAM (1.5GB) and storage (16GB) than before. That should make animations and app-launching speedier. The Super AMOLED display is sharper: the 1.2-inch 42 and 40mm models have a 396×396-pixel resolution, while the 1.4-inch 44 and 46mm models are 450×450. The watches can also quick charge, gaining 10 hours of battery life on a 30-minute charge.

The rotating bezel is back

Both the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic lean heavily on touching the outer rim of the watch to “spin” and navigate: the Watch 4 has a touch-sensitive rim, while the Classic has a physical rotating bezel. Samsung’s also putting touch controls into these watches to allow swipe navigation, much like Wear OS watches. You can choose how to interact.

A few other buttons on the side of the watch control moving back and forth in the interface and can be reprogrammed. One can be pressed and held for Samsung’s Bixby assistant; the other for Samsung Pay. But you can make Google Assistant and Google Pay the go-to apps instead.

5-3p-apps.png5-3p-apps.png

Some of the Google apps on the Galaxy Watch 4 have a familiar Google look.


Google

Google apps onboard

Google’s Wear OS 3 being on the Galaxy Watch 4 means it’ll hook into Google Play, but it’s also getting some revamped Google apps. Google’s already committed to new YouTube, Google Maps, Google Pay and Messages apps, which have new designs for Wear OS 3. There are also third-party updates with new Tiles: Calm, Komoot, MyFitnessPal, Period Tracker, Sleep Cycle, Spotify and Strava are among the first to get updates. Google is committing to rolling out more updates over time, meaning that both Samsung and Google should be keeping this watch full of apps.

But you’re stuck with Bixby for now. Samsung’s voice assistant is still the default on the watch, which comes up when pressing and holding the top button. Google Assistant isn’t available at the moment, which is frustrating — that’s one of the top things I’d want to access on a Google-connected watch.

Could this be the best Android watch?

The Galaxy Watch 4 looks like the ultimate fusion of a Samsung watch with Google watches — and that could be a winning formula for using Google Maps, connected phone features and third-party fitness apps on Google Play, which is the Galaxy Watch 4’s default app store. It should be the hardware-boosted Google watch that we’ve been waiting years for. The software interface seems exactly like what you’d expect: part Samsung, part Google. But is it worth waiting to see how it works out, or should you just go for this first model? Hard to tell, since it’s the first of its kind.

It’s not surprising that Samsung’s new health features and its new OS aren’t coming to older Samsung watches for now. Some of them might, but expect this to largely be a clean break and a reboot. And we also don’t really know how many of the Galaxy Watch 4’s features will carry over to the rest of Google’s future Wear OS 3 watch lineup, which will include watches from Mobvoi, Fossil and eventually Fitbit.

Those Wear OS 3 watch updates won’t come to those other watches until 2022, which makes the Galaxy Watch 4 the only new Google-connected Wear OS 3 watch this year. For that reason alone, it could very well be the best Android watch of the moment. As to how it actually feels and works? We’ll have full hands-on impressions and a review in the days ahead… but the Galaxy Watch 4 looks extremely promising for any Android phone owner who wants a much more hooked-in watch.

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‘Genshin Impact’ Sumeru Gift Codes For Free Primogems, 3.0 Character Banners, Release Date – Forbes

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At long, long last, Genshin Impact just wrapped up its new 3.0 special program, revealing a whole lot of new information about the new region, the new element, Dendro, new characters and of course, there are free goodies if you hung out and wached the stream. Or even if you didn’t, I have them right here.

We’ll just get these out of the way first, here are the three gift codes for free primogems and other materials that you can redeem here. These ones are only good for 24 hours, I believe, so you better hurry.

  • 8ANCKTWYVRD5 – 100 Primogems and 10 Mystic Ore
  • EA7VKTFHU9VR – 100 Primogems and 5 Hero’s Wit
  • KT7DKSFGCRWD – 100 Primogems and 50,000 Mora

Past that, the most pressing information is probably the release date for Genshin Impact’s Sumeru update, which is August 24, 2022.

We also were told about the first two character banners for 3.0, which will include three total Sumeru characters with only one five star. Those are:

  • Phase 1 – Tighnari (5 star), Zhongli (5 star), Collei (4 star)
  • Phase 2 – Ganyu (5 star), Kokomi (5 star), Dori (4 star)

While other Sumeru characters were shown or teased onscreen, it will be deeper into the 3.0 patch series before we get to those, which is not unexpected, given that’s how Inazuma worked, and we ended up getting new Inazuma characters for essentially an entire year. And we’re probably still not done.

Sumeru is probably going to end up being the most significant addition to the game to date, because unlike Inazuma, it’s not just a new region, it also has an entirely new element being added to the game for the first time, Dendro. While Dendro has cropped up here and there among a few enemy types, this is the first time we as players can wield it ourselves, and these new characters will be our first introduction to the concept. Like all the elements, you can probably have attack/defense/support focused teammates using the element, and we’ll have to spend some time digging deep into all the new characters to find out exactly how best to use them in their new roles with this new elemental type supporting your team.

Genshin Impact continues to generate massive amounts of revenue, and I have to imagine the Sumeru region is going to boost that even further, even in the face of new rivals like Tower of Fantasy that has just arrived this month. Genshin is the gold standard at the moment and it’s going to be hard to compete with it as it expands to seven massive regions over the next few years.

Follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to my free weekly content round-up newsletter, God Rolls.

Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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Poll: Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, Watch 5, Buds 2 Pro — what are you most interested in buying? – Android Central

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Samsung’s latest Galaxy devices were just announced, and they’re already making waves. The company’s latest foldables offer plenty of refinements on last year’s models, the smartwatches bring bigger batteries for a new target audience, and the earbuds promise to take active noise cancellation to another level.

Now that Samsung’s devices are finally out there, we want to know which device you’re most looking forward to getting your hands on.

Which new Galaxy device are you most interested in buying?

If you’ve been holding out on Samsung’s foldable smartphones, now might be the time to consider them. For instance, the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 is thinner (and wider) than ever, packs a fast new processor, and gets an upgraded camera array.

Be sure to check out Nick Sutrich’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera review to find out how it stacks up to the best foldable phone of 2021.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has the same new processor, a bigger battery, and many color combinations to choose from, letting buyers design their phones to match their style.

For anyone looking for a smartwatch, the new Galaxy Watch 5 series gets a boost in battery life, with Samsung claiming up to 50 hours for its standard watches and a whipping 80 hours for the new Pro. In fact, Samsung says the new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is ideal for anyone with a love for the outdoors, thanks to its tough titanium chassis and Sapphire Crystal display.

Read up on why our Andrew Myrick decided to trade his Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for the new Watch 5 Pro.

Lastly, Samsung announced the latest Galaxy Buds 2 Pro with a new design and improved ANC, enough to block out most outside noise.

All Samsungs devices are currently available for preorder and will hit store shelves later this month on August 26. Please drop a comment on our Twitter and Facebook accounts and let us know which device you’re most interested in buying and why.

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How to Enable Encryption in Facebook Messenger – OSXDaily

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Facebook Messenger

By default, communications through Facebook Messenger are not end-to-end encrypted, which means that theoretically another party could retrieve sensitive information from the chat if they were nefariously minded. It also means that the conversations are basically wide open for reading by Facebook and whoever has access to Facebook data.

If you’re a privacy buff (then why are you using Facebook, which is the antithesis of privacy?) you may be interested in enabling end-to-end encryption on your Facebook Messenger chats. End-to-end encryption makes it so that nobody, including Facebook, can read the content of your messenger conversations.

Curiously, Facebook does not have a global end-to-end encrypted messaging setting, which probably demonstrates how enthusiastic they are to not be able to read your messages, so you have to enable this one by one on a per conversation basis.

How to Enable End-to-End Encryption in Facebook Messenger for iPhone

  1. Open the Messenger app if you haven’t done so already, then tap on the conversation you want to encrypt
  2. In the messenger thread, now tap on the persons profile at the very top of the screen
  3. Look for “Go to secret conversation” under the More actions section
  4. Tap back, then repeat with other conversations you want to end-to-end encrypt as desired

Now that you have end-to-end encryption enabled for a particular Facebook Messenger conversation, you can be somewhat more confident that nobody is going to be creeping in on your conversation. But it’s still Facebook, which is not exactly a bastion of privacy given that you and your information are their product, so how much you trust them as a secure platform for communication is entirely up to you.

If you’re serious about having secure conversations that are encrypted and less likely to be snooped upon by who knows what and who, you might consider using something like Signal, which is always end-to-end encrypted, and offers other nice features like disappearing messages too. Given that Signal’s entire business model is focused on security, privacy, and encryption, it’s probably more reasonable to trust something like that, compared to a company like Meta/Facebook whose entire business model is gathering details about you and selling your information.

Don’t forget to check out more Facebook Messenger tips if this strikes your fancy!

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