How to repost on Instagram

If there is one word at the heart of social media, it’s this: sharing. When people post something on social media, they want people — whether it’s their close friends and family, or the entire world — to see it. Photos, videos, and lame jokes flow freely, which makes it all the stranger that Instagram doesn’t have an easy, readily apparent way to share content you find in your feed. If you really want to learn how to repost on Instagram — an action we omitted from our roundup of some of the more popular Instagram tips and tricks — there are a couple things you can try. Sharing a photo of your friend’s latest creation or a touching graduation video isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Use a reposting app

App stores abhor vacuums. If there is a niche to be filled, some app developer will try to fill it, so it should come as no surprise that there are several apps available that allow users to repost content on Instagram, such as Repost for Instagram and Insta Repost. These apps tend to be free — with ads — and are pretty straightforward. As an example, we’ll use the apt-titled Insta Repost.

Step 1: Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, open Instagram. Find a post you want to repost, and tap the button in upper-right corner that resembles three gray dots.instagram repost step 1

Step 2: Tap the button labeled Copy share URL.

instagram repost step 2

Step 3a: Insta Repost will then automatically launch. You will be given a prompt allowing you to choose Repost now or Save to repost later. If you want to post immediately, choose the first option.

instagram repost step 3

Step 3b: If you chose to Save to repost later, the post will be filed under the Saved section in Insta Repost, which you can access by tapping the star tab on the top. Then, when you want to repost said content, simply tap the saved post in question.

instagram repost step 4

Step 4: Whether you choose to repost now or later, you will eventually arrive at a screen like the one featured below. Once here, tap the Repost button at the bottom to post the image or video to your Instagram account.

instagram repost step 5

Take a screenshot and post it

There are plenty of reasons not to install a reposting app. Maybe you don’t want to clutter up your phone’s storage with more apps, or you don’t like the idea of giving yet another app access to your photos and files. Regardless, if you don’t want to use an app to repost, you can always just take a screenshot of a post you like and share that.

The process to take a screenshot differs from platform to platform, but, thankfully, we have guides on how to take a screenshot on an iPhone and how to take a screenshot on an Android phone. Once you take the screenshot, just go to Instagram and upload it as you would any other photo or video in your camera roll. Note that you should credit the creator of the original post!

Your iPhone can now be a measuring tape, thanks to the magic of augmented reality

Image: Shutterstock / Apidol Khamsron

Apple’s new augmented reality framework will monumentally shift the way we use our phones, if the first few demos are any indication.

The new ARKit is Apple’s framework to bring augmented reality applications to iOS devices, launched at WWDC this year. 

New demos such as this measuring tape app, show a simple and useful application of ARKit.

The applications use the camera to measure distances and are shown alongside tape measures to indicate their accuracy.  One of the apps, AR Measure can be used as a measuring tape or just by drawing a line between two points. 

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There’s already more than one of these, with ARuler which is very similar. 

ARKit is still new, but the demos are quite impressive. Another recent demo shows an ARkit app that lets you draw in mid air using just your iPhone:

A recent demo even used ARKit to display a rendering of the new iPhone.

These demos are cool themselves, but what’s even more exciting is that ARKit is still brand new. These demos are merely scratching the surface of what could eventually be possible with ARKit. 

For something like a measuring tape that never seems to be around when you need it, an iPhone application could be the perfect solution.

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Alexa update offers in-home intercom support between Echo devices

Why it matters to you

You can easily create a whole-home, wireless intercom system with inexpensive Echo Dots.

Rolling out to all Echo devices this week, Amazon’s new update to the Alexa software will include the ability to make intercom-style calls between rooms that have an Echo, Echo Dot or an Echo Show. Useful for large families, users will be able to specify a room in the home they want to call. For instance, if a parent has just finished preparing dinner, they can use the Echo to call their kids to the table without having to shout across the home.

To activate this functionality, users will first need to download the Alexa app to their Android or iOS mobile device. Using the app, each Echo device within the home will have to be assigned a specific name. In addition, users will have to enable the drop in feature to activate the intercom. The intercom function isn’t tied to a home’s Wi-Fi network, but rather the household groups created within the app.

To place a call, the user will have to say something like “Alexa, drop in on the kitchen” in order to call the kitchen’s Echo device. Be aware that the drop-in feature lets users immediately start chatting with you or video conferencing if you have an Echo Show. This could be problematic for anyone in the family that prefers privacy over intrusion, such as the vast majority of teenagers.

Interestingly, users will also be able to activate the intercom system outside of the house using the smartphone or tablet app. For instance, a parent using the app could remotely call in order to make sure a latchkey kid got home safely from school. If video is enabled from a smartphone to an Echo Show, pet owners could use the device to check up on their dog or cat and speak over the intercom device.

This new feature is likely strategic by design for Amazon; basically increasing the number of Echo devices customers own and install within homes. Ultimately, this will increase the accessibility of Alexa’s features within a home, ideal for a retail company that’s aggressively promoting voice ordering and other services like Amazon Music Unlimited.

Expect additional promotions related to voice ordering and sales on the Echo family of devices within the next two weeks. Amazon’s next Prime Day is currently scheduled for the second week of July 2017. It’s likely the Echo and Alexa will play a significant role in the event.

Verizon Wear24 review

Smartwatches, the Dick Tracy-inspired gadgets that track your workouts and buzz when you get a text message, are a little more commonplace than they were a few years ago. Now, there’s a smartwatch at every price point, with luxury Swiss brands like Movado and Tag Heuer filling out the high end and ZTE, Misfit, LG, Huawei, and others sitting somewhere in the middle.

Given the well-established competition, it’s a little surprising that Verizon, the U.S.’s largest cellular carrier, is jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon. The Wear24, a watch made in partnership with Taiwanese company ODM Quanta, boasts high-end hardware in a lightweight, $300 package. It’s got a waterproof body, a colorful display, and 4G LTE connectivity.

Despite that laundry list of features, Verizon’s Wear24 falls short in crucial respects. Namely, it omits sensors the competition doesn’t. That’s not to say Verizon’s first attempt at a smartwatch isn’t good, but it’s tough to recommend the Wear24 over similarly-priced watches from Apple, Huawei, Samsung, and others.

Elegant minimalism

On paper, the Wear24 seems pretty compelling. Verizon’s first smartwatch has an unibody that measures 13.4 x 42 x 42mm and weighs 85 grams, making it smaller and lighter than the ZTE Quartz (14 x 46 x 46mm and 89 grams).

The Wear24 is round and compact, and elegant — there’s a single physical button on the side, and lugs that protrude a little too much. It’s a little heavy, but on the whole, the Wear24 is minimal — if a little bland.

It’s IP67 rated for water- and dust-resistance, meaning it’ll emerge unscathed from watery depths up to 3 feet, and packs a 1.39-inch, AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 400 x 400 pixels. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, like most Android Wear smartwatches, and it comes with 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 450mAh battery that supports wireless charging.

It’s fast, too. The Wear24 flew through Android Wear 2.0’s menus in our testing, never once showing signs of slowdown in the course of a long work week using Google’s activity-tracking Fit software, turn-by-turn Google Maps directions, and a deluge of Trello, Facebook Messenger, and email notifications running in the background.

On the whole, the Wear24 is tastefully — if a little blandly — designed.

Our testing didn’t seem to make a dent in the Wear24’s battery. Despite the battery’s comparatively smaller, 450mAh size (the cheaper ZTE Quartz packs a 500mAh), the Wear24 tended to last about a day and a half on a charge. Even with Wi-Fi and LTE enabled and the brightness cranked to maximum, we struggled to run the Wear24’s battery down below 25 percent. That’s much better than we managed with the LG Watch Sport, which frequently fell short of the 20-hour mark, and it’s on par with the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S3, both of which last about a day.

On the subject of the Wear24’s battery, we found the charger — a wireless dock that comes packed in the box and plugs in via MicroUSB cable — to be a nice touch. It’s much easier to use than the Huawei Watch 2’s finicky magnets, and a lot less finicky than the ZTE Quartz’s clip-on charger.

True wireless

The Wear24 is one of the few Android Wear smartwatches to support 4G LTE. In real-world terms, that means you can use it in lieu of your smartphone — Android Wear 2.0’s native calling features let you answer and place calls with your cellphone plan’s number, or respond to incoming texts.

You can dictate messages or tap text out letter-by-letter on Android Wear 2.0’s tiny keyboard. Alternatively, a nifty handwriting tool turns the letters you doodle with a finger into text.

Verizon Wear24

Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

There’s also Smart Replies, which uses on-device machine learning to generate short, contextually relevant message replies. When you get a text message from a friend asking if you’re free this evening, for example, you’ll get options like, “Sounds good,” or, “Can’t make it.”

Mobile data doesn’t come free, of course — adding the Wear24 to an existing Verizon data plan is $5 a month. But if you’re the kind of watch wearer who appreciates the freedom of being able to ditch your smartphone when heading to the grocery store or go for a jog, the convenience might be worth the cost.

The lack of an ambient light sensor means it won’t adjust the brightness automatically.

That said, we were disappointed by the Wear24’s speaker quality, which tended to sound tinny and washed out. The speaker comes in handy on those rare occasions when you aren’t wearing earbuds and your smartphone’s out of reach, and we would’ve liked to see more attention paid to it for that reason.

The Wear24 isn’t without other drawbacks. The screen is less sharp than the Huawei Watch 2’s display (290 ppi versus 326 ppi); its body has a lower IP rating than the Samsung Gear S3 and the LG Watch Sport (IP67 versus IP68); and it doesn’t have removable wrist straps, meaning you’re stuck with the thin, flimsy silicon bands that come permanently bolted to it.

While it has GPS, the Wear24 doesn’t have a heart-rate sensor — so you won’t be able to track fitness activities more accurately, unlike comparably-priced watches. The lack of an ambient light sensor means it won’t adjust the brightness automatically, and it does feature Near Field Communication (NFC) radio, but it doesn’t support Android Pay. The LG Watch Sport, Huawei Watch, and Moto 360 use NFC to let you tap to pay at retailers that accept Android Pay, Google’s payments platform, but the Wear24 inexplicably doesn’t.

Android Wear 2.0

The Wear24 is one of the first smartwatches to ship with Android Wear 2.0, the latest version of Google’s smartwatch operating system. That’s a good thing, because it’s a huge improvement over its predecessor.

Verizon Wear24 Compared To

In contrast to the first version of Android Wear, which we found to be a little clunky and confusing, Android Wear 2.0’s interface is fast, intuitive, and simple. Swiping down from the top of the watch brings up quick settings, and swiping up scrolls through your notifications.

The watch face options are improved as well. Apple Watch-like Complications — animated widgets for watch apps — show updates and notifications in real time. By default, the Wear24 offers the choice of a battery indicator, step counter, and weekday planner, but third-party apps add their own Complications. Swiping left lets you customize the layout and appearance of Complications, or swap watch faces entirely.

Verizon Wear24

Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

The Wear24 misses out on one new feature of Android Wear 2.0 — hardware shortcuts. Unlike the LG Watch Sport, which has a rotating dial that serves as a scroll wheel or zoom adjustment in Android Wear apps, the Wear24’s inputs are pretty much restricted to touch. Short of pressing the crown to access apps and the Google Assistant, most interactions are of the tapping and swiping variety.

The Wear24, unsurprisingly, ships preloaded with Verizon’s Messaging app, which handles texting on the watch and phone. It’s optional — you can use Android Wear 2.0’s default messaging app, if you choose — but Verizon’s app helpfully dismisses text message notifications on your phone if you’ve viewed them on your watch, and vice versa. That said, it also encourages you to purchase in-app stickers, which is why we recommend avoiding it.

Warranty, availability, and pricing

Verizon offers a standard 12-month limited warranty on the Wear24, which protects against defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service. If you’re claim is approved, the carrier will repair your damaged Wear24 using new or refurbished parts. It doesn’t cover moisture damage, “unauthorized” modifications, damage caused in shipping, or Wear24 devices purchased from unauthorized third parties.

The Verizon Wear24 is available from Verizon for $350 unlocked, or $300  on a two-year contract. It comes in steel, black and rose gold, and is available on Verizon’s website and brick-and-mortar stores.

Our Take

Verizon’s Wear24 is a pretty good smartwatch, but it needs to be cheaper. At $300 on a two-year contract, and $350 unlocked, it’s just not good enough to justify the asking price. The competition has sharper screens, heart-rate tracking features, ambient light sensors, Android Pay support, and more. The Wear24 handles Android Wear basics, like notifications, messaging, and watch faces, just fine. But its princely price makes it hard to recommend.

Is there a better alternative?

Yes. The ZTE Quartz, which is admittedly bigger and bulkier than the Wear24, is a good deal less expensive at $192. The LG Watch Style is a close second, but it’s $50 more.

If you’re the uncompromising type, consider the Huawei Watch 2 Sport or the LG Watch Sport for their better screens, heart-rate monitors, and NFC sensors that support Android Pay. The former, unlike the Wear24, doesn’t support 4G LTE, but it’s cheaper than the unlocked Wear24 at $300.

How long will it last?

The Wear24 is Verizon’s first Android Wear smartwatch, so it’s a little difficult to tell how long the carrier will support it. But if other Android Wear devices are any indication, we expect it to receive updates for at least 2 years.

Should you buy it?

No. Simply put, the Wear24 is an expensive smartwatch with deal-breaking shortcomings — namely, the lack of heart-rate monitor and support for Android Pay. There are far more competitive options at its $300 to $350 price range.

The best iOS 10 widgets for your iPhone or iPad

We’ve shown you all the great things iOS 10 has to offer, but one of the best features is the ability to add widgets. In iOS, widgets aren’t a separate download. When you download an app, if a widget is available for that app, as is the case with Google Maps, it will be in the list of widgets automatically. Unlike Android, widgets don’t live on the home screen — they’re a part of the Notification Center, which means that you can access them all with a simple swipe.

How to access and add widgets

Keep in mind that you can access widgets on your iPhone by swiping right on the lock screen or home screen, but also by swiping down to access the Notification Center and then swiping to the right. To add widgets, simply scroll all the way down and tap Edit.

If you’re still finding your way through iOS, don’t forget to take a look at our iOS 10 tips and tricks. Now let’s take a closer look at some of our favorites widgets in iOS 10.

Fantastical 2 ($5)

best ios 10 widgets fantastical 2
Fantastical 2 is one of the most powerful calendar apps you can download for iOS. You can use it as a reminders app, to schedule appointments, and to help you organize your life. You have an expansive view of your reminders or events that make it very easy to handle. The widget alerts you of anything coming up throughout your day, whether it’s an appointment or a reminder. The search feature is very handy as you can search your calendar for specific events or reminders. It will even sync with your Facebook events. This app serves as a powerful calendar app if you want to replace Apple’s stock Calendar app.

Download now for:

iPhone iPad


best ios 10 widgets copied

Have you ever had to copy and paste things into a document or an email? If you have, then you know how frustrating it can get going back and forth between webpages or images. Copied is the perfect solution for this problem. This clever iOS widget keeps a history of things that you have copied, whether they are images or text. You can copy what you need and then use the widget to paste your images or text into the document or note. Instead of going back and forth between several things, all you have to do is pull down the Notification Center, and everything you copied is in the widget for quick and easy access.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad


best ios 10 widgets cortana

Is Siri letting you down sometimes? Well, the good news is that Microsoft’s Cortana is available for iOS. Having Cortana on your iPhone is an excellent idea if you’re a Windows user. When you use Cortana on your PC to set a reminder, for example, she can alert you right on your iOS device. Siri remains the best option if you want to control your iOS device with your voice, but Cortana is a great addition to iOS. The widget makes it easy to set reminders or ask Cortana a question.

Download now for:



best ios 10 widgets espn

ESPN is a must download if you’re a sports fan and need to have quick and easy access to the latest scores. The widget is extremely useful because when you first set up the app, you can customize it with your favorite sports. That means all the information that you get in the widget is important to you, instead of being a random ticker of sports scores. You can open the app itself through the widget, and there you will find all the latest sports articles and videos.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad

Google Maps

best ios 10 widgets google maps

The Google Maps widget is one of the most powerful in iOS. Once you install the app, you have two widgets that you can add — Nearby Traffic and Nearby Transit. You can update departure times near you right from the widget to find transit options, while the Nearby Traffic widget locates you and lets you know how the traffic conditions are in the vicinity. In many ways, Google Maps remains the go-to maps app in iOS. Unlike the Apple Maps Transit widget, with Google’s Nearby Transit you can see the line schedules around you. In contrast, Apple Maps needs you to add your favorite lines before it shows you anything in the widget.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad


best ios 10 widgets launcher

If you have hundreds of apps and you’re getting a bit overwhelmed, Launcher can make your life a lot easier. The app lets you create a launcher for an action or app that you need to access quickly. If you need to play a favorite song, email a specific contact, or get directions with just one tap, this is the iPhone widget for you. The app is free to download, but there are in-app purchases to unlock all the features.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad


best ios 10 widgets todoist

The best way to describe this iOS widget is that it is simple and fast. The widget lets you add or mark your to-do items as finished. Items disappear from the widget as you check them. It makes organizing your tasks very easy. The basic functionality of the app is free, but if you want to set reminders for something on your list, for example, you will have to upgrade. The app has a premium subscription that is billed annually at $29, but if you only need the basics, then the free version of this widget is perfect.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad

Weather Underground

best ios 10 widgets weather underground

The Weather Underground widget is one of the best weather-related iOS widgets out there. When you install the app, you get access to two widgets. WU Weather lets you see the weather throughout the day. You have a choice to see a graph or to show the weather conditions right on the widget. The WU Radar widget shows you satellite information based on your current location. If you want to see a satellite animation view, you can launch that right from this widget.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad


best ios 10 widgets workflow

Workflow helps you get things done quickly. When you open Workflow, you can create shortcuts to things that you want to do. You can use the app to add a workflow. You can see each workflow in the widget in the form of an icon. When you tap the icon, it will perform that task. With one tap, you can post the last picture you took to Instagram, or you can share whatever you copied into your clipboard. There are many actions you can add to the widget, and we’re confident that you will love how much time this widget saves you during the day.

Download now for:

iPhone & iPad


best ios 10 widgets favorites

Apple’s Favorites widget is one of the best iOS widgets around, and you don’t need to install anything. When you add a favorite in iOS, it will ask you to choose what you want to do when you tap on the contact. You can choose to call, iMessage, FaceTime, or email them. It depends on the information that you have for that contact. You can add the same contact a few times to accomplish a different task. You can add them once to call them and once to send them a message. The widget shows you all your favorites after you add them using the Phone app. Now you have a way to call or message someone quickly without having to open the phone app, or even unlock your device.

If you’re still learning how to use iOS and are having any problems, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Make sure you read through our guide on how to fix the most common problems with iOS, and to compliment all your new widgets, don’t forget to check out our choices for best productivity apps for iOS.

AR Measure turns your phone into an AR-powered measuring tape

Why it matters to you

You’re probably not carrying around a measuring tape or ruler in your back pocket, but if you need to find the length of something in a pinch, this upcoming app can help.

As cool as augmented reality can be, the truth of the matter is, there just aren’t yet that many practical applications for the technology. After all, how many rooms in your home do you really have to redecorate? And how many coloring books do you actually want to bring to life? But fret not, friends. If you’re looking for a way to introduce some augmented reality into your life in a really useful way, meet AR Measure, a new app that lets you measure things with your phone.

But wait, you say — I can already measure things with my phone — I just use my physical handset as a de facto ruler! Sure, that works, if you’re really looking to hack a solution. But AR Measure is a much more elegant way to go about things. The brain child of creative collective Laan Labs, this little mobile app actually allows you to have an adjustable ruler on your phone. And it all relies on augmented reality.

In order for the app to work, AR Measure determines the distance between identified points in space. This in turn lets you measure any physical object using nothing more than your phone’s camera. You just point the camera at your desired starting point, pull your phone away from it, and end at the end of an object (or distance) — think of it as a measuring tape that you reel off with your phone’s camera.

The development of the app is still in relatively nascent stages, and as per the footage in the demo video, the resulting measurements aren’t completely accurate. But we’re talking a matter of millimeters, not inches, so it’s quite impressive all the same. And seeing as you probably don’t carry a ruler or measuring tape around in your back pocket, this app could be seriously helpful in a surprising number of situations.

Alas, Laan Labs has not yet announced a release date, so there’s no telling when we’ll actually be able to play around with AR Measure. But we do know that the app runs on Apple’s new ARKit framework, which means that it’s likely the app will appear when iOS 11 rolls out in full. That said, Laan Labs will let you enter your email address so you can be notified when the app debuts.

OnePlus 5 vs. Google Pixel XL: Can the OnePlus workhorse defeat the Android darling?

The so-called “flagship killer” is back for 2017 — after months of rumors, OnePlus has finally unveiled the OnePlus 5. The Chinese manufacturer is known for offering flagship-tier phones at a reasonable price, and that trend continues with its latest addition. The OnePlus 5 boasts the latest processor, copious amounts of RAM, and a strong camera.

The OnePlus 5 may be one of the best Android phones on the market right now, but it’s not the only great device on the market. Google’s proprietary set of smartphones, the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, were widely praised, and the Pixel sits as our favorite Android smartphone at the moment. Can the OnePlus 5 take that crown? We put the two phones to the test to find out.


OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

Google Pixel XL

Size 154.2 × 74.1 × 7.25 mm (6.07 × 2.92 × 0.28 in) 154.7 × 75.7 × 8.5 mm (6 × 2.9 × 0.3 in)
Weight 5.39 ounces (153 grams) 5.92 ounces (168 grams)
Screen 5.5-inch AMOLED 5.5-inch AMOLED
Resolution 1,920 × 1,080 pixels (401 pixels per inch) 2,560 × 1,440 pixels (534ppi)
OS Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 7.1.2 Nougat
Storage 64GB or 128GB 32GB or 128GB
SD Card Slot No No
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 6GB or 8GB 4GB
Connectivity GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE / CDMA
Camera Front 8MP, Rear Dual 16MP and 20MP Front 8MP, Rear 12.3MP
Video 4K 4K
Bluetooth Yes, version 5 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, barometer, proximity sensor
Water Resistant No No
Battery 3,300mAh 3,450mAh
Charger USB Type-C USB Type-C
Quick Charging Yes Yes
Wireless Charging No No
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color offerings Black, gray Black, silver
Availability Unlocked, OnePlus Unlocked, AT&T, Verizon
Price Starts at $480 Starts at $770
DT Review 4 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

There’s no point beating around the bush here — no matter how you look at it, the OnePlus 5 is a more powerful phone.

There are a few reasons for this. For starters, the OnePlus 5 makes use of Qualcomm’s latest chip, the Snapdragon 835. This is a top-tier chip that powers many of the flagship phones for the year, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11, and — if the rumors prove true — Google’s successor to the Pixel. The Pixel XL, on the other hand, boasts last year’s processor, the Snapdragon 821. Now, the Snapdragon 821 is an excellent chip in its own right, but the fact remains that it just doesn’t beat the Snapdragon 835.

The onslaught doesn’t stop with the processor; the OnePlus 5 also boasts tons of RAM and storage. There are two variants of the OnePlus 5 — one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Compared to the Pixel’s 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 128GB of storage, the OnePlus 5 is the clear winner here.

Between the better processor and the ability to get up to double the amount of RAM as the Pixel, the OnePlus 5 scores the win here.

Winner: OnePlus 5

Design, display, and durability

oneplus 5 front

The OnePlus 5 has been criticized as being an “iPhone copy,” and while that certainly looks to be the case, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a sleek look, one based on simplicity. The device features the OnePlus logo squarely on the back, along with a dual camera in the upper-left corner, which is raised slightly from the body. The front is also a little basic. Here, you’ll find the display, which sits in at 5.5-inches, as well as a home button on the bottom of the device. Some are likely to be disappointed that OnePlus hasn’t adopted a full-width display like that of the Galaxy S8, but the display is one of the primary ways in which OnePlus cuts costs, so it’s not all that surprising to see it stick with what it has.

The design of the Pixel XL is also somewhat basic, but a little different than the OnePlus 5. On the back, you’ll find the top half is made of glass, while the bottom half is metal. You’ll also find the fingerprint sensor toward the top of the back, whereas the OnePlus 5’s fingerprint sensor is built directly into the home button. The front of the Pixel does away with the home button in favor of software controls.

Design is subjective, but some aspects of design are not. For example, the OnePlus 5 is significantly thinner than the Pixel XL, coming in at just 7.25mm, whereas the Pixel XL comes in at 8.5mm. The Pixel XL excels in display — while both have the same 5.5-inch screen, the Pixel XL has a higher resolution. The OnePlus 5 offers a 5.5-inch display with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution.

Durability is also an important thing to consider, though it’s a little harder to determine a winner in this category. Neither the Pixel or the OnePlus 5 are explicitly water-resistant, so you won’t want to use them near a pool or in the bath. That leaves only breakage — and considering the fact that half of the Pixel’s back is glass, we think the OnePlus 5 will probably prove to be more durable.

We’re giving the win here to the OnePlus 5 because it’s thinner and less fragile, but the Pixel XL has a higher resolution, and sharper screen. Keep in mind there’s also the $650 Pixel, which has a 5-inch screen with a 1,080 pixel resolution. If you prefer a higher resolution screen, and you like the look of the Pixel XL more — go for it.

Winner: OnePlus 5

Battery life and charging

canada smartphone unlocking google pixel xl home

While the Pixel XL has a bigger battery (3,450mAh) than the OnePlus 5 (3,300mAh), it also has a higher-resolution screen — that drains the battery faster. In our usage, we’ve found the OnePlus 5 to have better battery life. It’s likely also the work of the Snapdragon 835, which is a more battery-efficient processor.

The OnePlus 5 also boasts OnePlus’ proprietary fast-charging technology called Dash Charge, which is one of the best quick-charging methods available. The Pixel does feature fast-charging tech, but it’s not as fast as the OnePlus 5.

Winner: OnePlus 5


oneplus 5 camera

The camera has become one of the more important aspects to consider when buying a smartphone, likely because it allows us to leave our traditional point-and-shoot camera at home. Thankfully, the OnePlus 5 boasts an excellent camera, but it can’t quite match the Pixel XL.

The rear camera on the OnePlus 5 is a dual camera, one that features both a 16-megapixel main lens and 20-megapixel telephoto lens, which helps it impart photos with a “bokeh” or blur effect. The main lens also has an aperture of f/1.7, which is relatively large, and should help the camera in low-light situations. The front-facing camera is rated at 8 megapixels.

The Pixel, on the other hand, is slightly less technical. There’s only one 12.3 megapixel camera on the rear with an aperture of f/2.0. The front-facing camera sits at 8 megapixels, like the OnePlus 5. Based on our usage, the Pixel XL still reigns king as the best smartphone camera. It take snappy, incredible photos in varying environments. That doesn’t mean the OnePlus 5 is bad — you can still take some great shots, and you may find the portrait mode to be more useful than Lens Blur on the Pixel.

Winner: Pixel XL


android 711 developer preview 2 google pixel bestof

The software on these two phones is fairly similar, and for many, that’s a good thing. More and more customers are beginning to demand so-called “stock Android,” or plain Android as Google intended it. That’s largely what the Pixel offers — a plain yet easy-to-use Android experience. The OnePlus 5 offers a similar experience with OxygenOS. The Pixel XL runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat, while the OnePlus 5’s OS is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Using OxygenOS, you’ll find a few differences that you won’t find elsewhere. For example, the Oxygen Shelf feature is hidden to the left of the home screen where you would otherwise find Google Now, and it’s aimed at giving you bite-sized pieces of information when you need them. It can also be deactivated, if you so choose. OxygenOS also offers a ton more customization than the Pixel’s software, which gives it an edge.

But there’s another thing to consider here, and it’s updates. If you’re into quick and reliable updates, then the Pixel XL is the better option. As a Google-built device, it’ll get updates as soon as they’re available. OnePlus hasn’t been bad with software updates, but the OnePlus 5 won’t beat the Pixel in this regard. OnePlus seems to also cut off support for its older devices quicker than Google.

Winner: Pixel XL

Price and availability

oneplus 5 front

OnePlus is known for offering top-tier specs at a reasonable price point, and this year is no different. While the 32GB and 128GB configurations of the Pixel sits in at $649 and $749, respectively, the OnePlus 5 undercuts both by a mile. A 128GB model of the OnePlus 5 with 8GB of RAM will only set you back $540, and there’s a cheaper version for $480, which comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Now, the price makes the OnePlus a clear winner here, but there are a few caveats. For starters, the Pixel is available online, from both Best Buy and Verizon, and is compatible with all four major carriers in the United States. The OnePlus 5 is only available from the OnePlus website, and is not compatible with CMDA networks, which cuts out Verizon and Sprint.

Still, if you are willing to buy the phone outright, and are taking it to a GSM network, the OnePlus 5 is the clear winner here.

Winner: OnePlus 5

Overall winner: OnePlus 5

This one is pretty easy to judge — and that’s because one of these phones is a 2017 flagship, while the other is a 2016 flagship. It will be a harder decision when the Pixel’s successor enters the mix, but for now, the OnePlus 5 is the phone to get if you’re deciding between these two, especially if you’re on a GSM network.

How to get Apple’s iOS 11 public beta on your iPhone

If you’re unable to contain your excitement at the host of new features and improvements in the latest version of Apple’s mobile platform — whether it’s the redesigned App Store, indoor maps, or the ability to send payments via Apple Pay in iMessage — then you’ll want to try out iOS 11 just as soon as you can. For that very reason, we’ve conjured up this handy guide on how to get the iOS 11 public beta before it’s released to the general public in the fall.

There are two different paths available to you if you want to download and install the iOS 11 beta. We’re going to guide you through your options with some easy-to-follow instructions. One thing to keep in mind is that it will have issues — a lot of your favorite apps and games may not work properly and you are going to find bugs. After all, the whole point of beta is to find problems and resolve them before the public release. Just be aware that installing it on your main iPhone, which you rely on day-to-day, might not be a good idea.

The first thing to check is that your device is capable of running iOS 11. Apple said iOS 11 will only run on 64-bit devices, meaning 34-bit devices, like the iPhone 5, will not get the update, or future security patches. 32-bit apps will also stop working on devices with iOS 11. Here’s what’s supported:

  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad 9.7-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad Pro 12.9-inch, iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPod touch (sixth generation)

Head over to Settings > General > About > Applications > App Compatibility, to see which of your apps will no longer be supported — that is, until developers add support.

How to sign up for the public beta

Getting the iOS 11 public beta on your supported iPhone is simple.

  1. Choose the device or devices you want to install iOS 11 on.
  2. Back up your iPhone or iPad before you begin, to ensure you don’t lose anything.
  3. Make sure that it’s fully charged and connected to Wi-Fi.
  4. Visit and sign in with your Apple ID.
  5. You should then receive instructions to download a profile. After it has been downloaded, follow the instructions on your screen.

How developers can get the iOS 11 beta

The first people to get their hands on the new platform version are developers and the developer preview is available now. If you want to register for the Apple Developer Program it will cost you $99 per year. Once you are a developer, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  1. Choose the device or devices you want to install iOS 11 on — Apple doesn’t limit the number, as long as they’re associated with your developer account.
  2. Back up your iPhone or iPad before you begin, to ensure you don’t lose anything.
  3. Make sure that it’s fully charged and connected to Wi-Fi.
  4. Log in to your account and visit the Apple Developer download page on your iOS device.
  5. Download the Configuration Profile and follow the installation instructions.

You can also get the iOS 11 beta via a Mac or PC. Once again, pick your device and do a backup first, then:

  1. Log into your developer account at the Apple Developer website and download the iOS beta software restore image for your device.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed, start it up, and plug your iOS device in.
  3. Select your device in iTunes and open the Summary tab.
  4. Hold the Option key on a Mac, or the Alt key on a PC, and click the Check for Update button.
  5. Choose the iOS beta software restore image you downloaded and click Open.
  6. It will install, and then your device will reboot.

If your device isn’t registered, it’s easy to add it to your developer account. Here’s how:

  1. Log in to your developer account.
  2. Click on Certificates, IDs & Profiles.
  3. Click the + button in the top right corner.
  4. Select Register Device.
  5. Enter a name for the device and the UDID (You can find the UDID by plugging your device in and starting iTunes. Select your device, then on the Summary tab, click on Serial Number).
  6. Click Continue, review the information, then click Register.

If you do decide to try the iOS 11 beta, make sure you back up your iOS device first, and remember that it’s probably going to be buggy. The final public release of iOS 11 is expected this fall.

Preview the look of golden hour in 3D with this Ephemeris photo app update

Why it matters to you

A popular photo app for planning how the light will look during a photo shoot now allows photographers to see just how those shadows will fall across the mountains too.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris is a popular tool that allows creatives to view just how the light will look at any scene at any given time — but now the tool is getting a modern refresh. The developer will launch a new tool that integrates lighting information with a 3D topographical map with The Photographer’s Ephemeris 3D, expected to launch worldwide on Tuesday, June 27.

Like the original app, the 3D version will allow photographers to preview how the sun, moon, and even the Milky Way will influence their shots by depicting their location in the sky, making the app a popular choice for landscapes or for photographing the moon. Unlike the original app, however, 3D topographical information will allow photographers to see just how the shadows will fall in the mountains, the adjusted sunset time in the valley, and when the moon or Milky Way will appear right next to that mountain peak.

The developer, Crookneck Consulting LLC, says that the app update capitalizes on recent advances in 3D content on mobile devices, including an iOS update that was a necessary prerequisite for such an app. Because 3D mapping is so data-heavy, most apps won’t allow users to look at the horizon. Adding in lighting details requires more data, which means other developers haven’t tried it yet because that means less terrain can actually load on a mobile device, the developer says.

“TPE 3D pushes the limits of what can be achieved currently with simulated lighting, due in part to the sheer scale of the model that we need to illuminate,” the developers wrote in a blog post. “The shadow of a large mountain extends for a great many miles around the time of sunrise and sunset, and so the lighting and shadow algorithms are stretched in this app.”

The new app mixes the lighting data from the original app with topographical information, allowing photographers to check how a non-flat scene will look at a particular time. Users can control how complex the scene is to choose between fast loads and more detail, such as switching to enhanced mode for more detail. While the app requires an internet connection, locations can be virtually scouted using the app well in advance, including the use of actual coordinates and both a daily and annual list of lunar events.

While the app includes data on the moon’s phases, information about solar and lunar eclipses is excluded. The topographical information is also limited to between 83 degrees north and 83 degrees south.

The company plans to continue refining the new app, including a possible premium subscription that would allow users to access the information without an internet connection. After launching in Ireland and New Zealand last week, the app is expected to launch worldwide on June 27. The 3D app will list for $20, with discounts available for users who already own the $9 original app.

Facebook creators will soon have access to extra live tools through a new app

Why it matters to you

Facebook creators will soon gain more tools and analytics while users may start seeing custom stickers during live broadcasts.

Videos are expected to make up 74 percent of online traffic by the end of 2017 and Facebook is continuing to push the medium by launching a new app dedicated to creating videos. The app, which has yet to be named, was teased during VidCon, with Facebook sharing that the app is under development with a release expected before the end of the year.

The app is designed specifically for the creators behind Facebook videos and not as another viewing platform. The app is expected to include exclusive tools within Facebook Live, including the ability to add intros and ending outros. App users can also design custom frames and stickers, allowing viewers to use them during the live broadcast.

Along with expanding on features for actually creating the video, the upcoming app is also expected to include more analytical data that reveals more about who is watching the video and how. Facebook says the app will have a Community tab for connecting with followers.

The announcement is just one of the ways the social media platform is pushing video as the medium continues to grow. Along with focusing on adding features for live-streaming, Facebook has entered several agreements for original shows. Reports indicate that Facebook is testing new categories for the recent video tab in the app, while the platform is also reported to be testing the ability to download videos. Facebook also launched a video-focused app for Samsung smart TVs and Apple TV earlier this year.

The upcoming video app has several things in common with Facebook Mentions, a separate app for verified public profiles, including journalists and celebrities. Like Facebook Mentions, the upcoming video app is not designed for every Facebook user but geared toward the content creator with more analytics and features. Facebook originally launched live video capability inside the Mentions app before making the feature universally available.

Separating video creation tools into an entirely different app is an interesting move, but one that could gain traction with enough unique tools. Since Twitter launched the ability to go live without the Periscope app, users have questioned if Periscope would continue to stick around or become part of the Twitter app completely. With enough distinct features, the app could potentially encourage more — or perhaps better — videos on Facebook.