Personalize your phone to suit your style with the best iPhone wallpapers

As an iPhone owner, are you sometimes envious of all the customization options on Android smartphones? Well, there might not be a whole lot that you can do to change iOS, but one of the things that you can do to make your iPhone stand out from the crowd and match your style is to use custom wallpapers instead of the ones Apple gives you.

Take a look at these five awesome websites where you can find some of the best iPhone wallpapers around and get your iPhone looking just the way you want it.

If you’re looking for more places to find great wallpapers, check out our picks for the best wallpaper apps for iOS and Android.

Papers.co

best iphone wallpapers papers co

Papers.co is a very intuitive website to use, whether you’re on your computer or visiting on your iPhone. You will find a wide variety of categories to choose from, and when you select the wallpaper you want, there is an option to select your device for the exact right size. Each wallpaper can also be downloaded to your desktop so that you can match your iPhone with your computer if you wish. There is also a companion app for the iPhone that you can download and use right on your device.

Papers.co

Zedge

best iphone wallpapers zedge

Zedge has a great selection of wallpapers that you can choose from, and a versatile search feature that also allows you to select your device. Once you choose, the website will remember which iPhone you have, by saving a cookie on your computer. When you do this, the website shows you wallpapers specifically for your device every time you go back. It also has a family filter on in case you’re looking for wallpapers for a minor.

Zedge

iDeviceWalls

best iphone wallpapers idevicewalls

The iDeviceWalls website is ideal for those looking for interesting theme-based wallpapers. With categories such as Jailbreak and Flash, you will find some very interesting wallpapers that may not be available elsewhere. The website is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is choose the wallpaper you want and save it to your camera roll. The downside is that every time you choose a wallpaper, an ad will take over the screen and you have to close it before you can save the wallpaper.

iDevice Walls

WallpapersHome

best iphone wallpapers wallpapershome

Wallpapers Home is one of the smartest websites for wallpapers you’ll find. There are many categories to choose from, the wallpapers are modern and beautiful, and it has a very simple and intuitive design. The website is easy to navigate on your iPhone or desktop. It detects your screen resolution automatically when you choose a wallpaper. So if you’re visiting the website from your iPhone, all you have to do is tap the photo, and it will pull up the correct wallpaper size.

Wallpapers Home

Wallpapers Wide

best iphone wallpapers wide website

Wallpapers Wide has a beautiful collection of wallpapers for your iPhone. There are a huge number of resolutions to choose from, or you can just filter the results by your device resolution. It also has many categories like animals, architecture, funny, vintage, and a lot more. The downside to this website is that, even though the wallpapers are of high quality, there is a watermark on the lower right of each wallpaper with the name of the website. It is low enough that is quite unintrusive, and you can certainly crop it out, but it is worth noting.

Wallpapers Wide

Editors’ Recommendations

Matrix PowerWatch review

Tech companies are constantly working on better ways to charge and power your devices. Apple, for example, has finally adopted Qi wireless charging in its phones, and the technology for true wireless charging technology is well on its way. A California-based company called Matrix, however, is trying a different approach with the PowerWatch, its Indiegogo-funded smartwatch. The Matrix PowerWatch uses body heat to charge, meaning as long as you’re wearing the device, it’s juicing up. This technology is a big deal, because who wants to hook up a watch to a charger every night? We took the PowerWatch for a spin to see how its highlight feature performs.

Chunky watch, monochrome screen

The Matrix PowerWatch is undeniably chunky. It may be an issue for some with smaller wrists, but on medium- or larger-sized wrists, it doesn’t look too out of the ordinary. There are three different models you can choose from: Black, silver, and a sportier black variant called the PowerWatch X.

Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

The watch we’re reviewing is the standard black, and it comes with a black mesh strap. The watch has a masculine design, with exposed screws on the front, and a very angular look — despite the round display. We like the strap, because it’s easy to adjust it to your liking, and it looks stylish. As with many metal straps, there were a few times where it caught our wrist hair, and that’s never pleasant.

On the right edge of the watch, there are two buttons and a rotating crown, which can adjust the watch’s software. The top button changes the watch’s mode, such as daily activity, running mode, stopwatch, and watch settings. The bottom button lets you start and stop the stopwatch, and you can use it to cycle through settings in the menu.

The PowerWatch is undeniably chunky, which is fine on medium and large wrists, but may be an issue for those with small wrists.

The buttons can be frustrating to use. They require a good deal of pressure to work, and it gets tiring holding down them down to turn the watch on or off. You can activate the watch’s backlight by pressing down both buttons, but we ended up just checking the time on our phone instead. The crown, on the other hand, is easy to use. It rotates flawlessly, and lets you cycle through options on the main screen and in some of the settings.

The PowerWatch packs a monochrome LCD display, which helps conserve power. It’s sharp, and relatively easy to read in most environments, but it doesn’t get as bright as we’d like in direct sunlight.

The all-black model of the watch looks minimal, but its size may put people off.

Thermal power

What sets the PowerWatch apart is its ability to charge up with heat emanating from your wrist, thanks to thermoelectric technology. It means you never have to worry about replacing the battery, or plugging in the watch every day. The use of your body heat goes beyond charging too – the PowerWatch can also see how many calories you’re burning more accurately. To round out its health-tracking capabilities, the watch can also count steps.

Matrix PowerWatch review

Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

But first, does the thermoelectric technology work? Yes, and it’s impressive. We wore the watch for more than a week, and it never ran out of juice. We also didn’t wear the watch for a week, and it still didn’t die. If you leave the PowerWatch unattended for a long period of time, it will simply turn off before completely running out of power. You can turn it back on again and wear it to charge it back up.

Not having to charge a smartwatch is great. We’re not yet at a point where this technology could charge a more feature-packed device like the Apple Watch, but it’s exciting to see it genuinely work.

Simple software

Matrix is a hardware company, not a software company. That’s evident in what exactly you can do with the PowerWatch. The main screen shows the time, and the ring around the watch face shows the amount of power being generated. Use the buttons to switch modes to quickly glance at data like steps taken, calories burned, and access the stopwatch.

Matrix is foremost a hardware company, and that’s evident in what you can actually do with the PowerWatch.

There are a few annoyances we’d like to see addressed. For starters, you have to manually tap the sync button in the watch’s settings to see fitness information on your phone, which is a little annoying. It’s easier to see your step count straight from the watch itself, of course, but the advantage of syncing with your phone is that the data can sync with Apple’s HealthKit and Google Fit.

We also encountered a bug with the watch. It’s unclear if it’s software or hardware-related, but the watch would constantly state my skin’s temperature and the watch case’s temperature as 492 degrees Fahrenheit. We’re not scientists, but 492 degrees Fahrenheit sounds just a little too warm for skin temperature. Resetting the watch fixes the issue for a few seconds – but it goes right back to displaying the incorrect reading. We’ve reached out to Matrix about the bug, and we’ll update this review if it’s fixed.

The iOS- and Android-compatible app is barebones, but it gets the job done. After downloading it and pairing your watch, it shows you data like steps taken, calories burned, and accurate sleep metrics (like how long you’ve slept for). You can add “friends” in the app, and then you can compare fitness data. That’s about all there is to it.

Price and availability

The PowerWatch does very little. If you’re in the market for a watch that can measure your basic fitness data, track your sleep, and has a stopwatch built-in, we recommend buying a hybrid watch like the Fossil Q Commuter.

The Q Commuter is a beautiful timepiece that hides its smarts well, and it can last for 6 months to a year depending on your use — just replace the cheap coin cell battery to extend its life. That doesn’t mean the PowerWatch is bad — there’s just no real reason to recommend such a bulky watch that does so little, but costs $200.

The watch is largely a showcase of thermoelectric technology, and it truly is incredible. We can’t wait to see it miniaturized in a more attractive, future version of the PowerWatch that packs a few more features.

DT Editors’ Rating: 3/5

Editors’ Recommendations

These are the best iPhone X cases to protect your new Apple investment

We knew the 10th anniversary edition of Apple’s influential iPhone was going to be something special. The iPhone X sports a big and beautiful, edge-to-edge, bezel-less screen, packs some serious power under the hood, and boasts a dual-lens camera. Our hands-on iPhone X review lauded the gorgeous design, but glass panels on the front and the back may indicate fragility; we suspect this phone can be damaged all too easily. Let’s check out some of the best iPhone X cases and covers to add some much-needed protection to your new Apple smartphone.

Native Union Clic Canvas ($35)

Native Union always delivers style in spades with its Clic smartphone cases, and the new Clic Canvas for the iPhone X is no exception. It delivers plenty of drop proofing, with strong reinforced edges that extend over the screen for facedown, table-top protection, and around the camera lens too. It’s the canvas section that makes the Clic Canvas look and feel great. It’s tactile, hardwearing, and looks cool. The Native Union logo is raised, giving the back an even classier look. It’s also lightweight and easy to fit and remove. The button covers are quite hard to press when the case is new, though.

Buy one now from:

Native Union

Photo: Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Skech Vortex Case ($45)

The clever new Vortex case from Skech combines top-quality protection with some seriously nifty features. It’s a hard shell that has been drop tested up to 10 feet. There’s a lovely soft-touch finish and a clever metal ring on the back that can be extended to act as a kickstand for propping your iPhone X up. You can also slip a finger into it to keep a firm hold on your phone. Each Vortex case ships with a magnetic vent mount for the car. The only drawback is that wireless charging doesn’t work because of the metal.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Photo: Simon Hill / Digital Trends

Mikol Waitomo Ruby Travertine Case ($175)

Seeking something different? Mikol offers a stunning range of marble, amethyst, and other stone cases. This travertine case is expensive, but the Italian limestone gets its special look from mineral springs and it glows in the dark. The case itself is minimalist, black plastic with accurate cut-outs for easy access to everything. The hand-cut and sanded stone is unique, and you can get your initials or name engraved in hold on the back for an extra $25.

Buy one now from:

Mikol

Photo: Simon Hill / Digital Trends

Gear4 D3O Piccadilly Case ($40)

Crafted using the remarkable D3O material, this case from Gear4 can handle drops and bumps with ease, protecting your iPhone X from falls of up to 10 feet. The case is clear with accurate cut-outs for the camera, side button, and port, and tactile button covers. The chunky, colored, rounded frame adds some grip and extends beyond the screen to take the sting out of impacts. It comes in white, rose gold, gold, or black.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Photo: Simon Hill / Digital Trends

Caudabe Veil XT Case ($20)

At just 0.35mm thick, this is among the thinnest iPhone X cases around. If you don’t want to cramp Apple’s style, then this could be for you. Don’t expect much in the way of drop protection, but the textured finish will enhance your grip. There’s a raised lip around the camera lens, but there’s no bezel around the screen. The button covers and openings are precise, and this case feels like a second skin. The frost version is translucent, or you can opt for bright blue, red, or black.

Buy one now from:

Caudabe

Noreve Tradition Case ($64+)

Stylish padded leather from France is a nice way to dress your iPhone X, providing an elegant look and ensuring protection against damage. This case flips open with a hinge at the bottom and a secure snap closure at the top. The iPhone X is held snug and secure and you’ll find cut-outs for the buttons, camera, and port. You can choose the precise leather grain and color you want to achieve your ideal leather iPhone X case.

Buy one now from:

Noreve

Nomad Clear Case ($40)

Nomad always makes great use of leather in its cases, and the Clear Case for the iPhone X may be our favorite design from the company yet. It doesn’t overdo the leather, restricting it to a single panel on the back of the phone, to enhance grip and give the case a classy look. The rear panel is crystal clear polycarbonate, which is blended into softer, protective TPU on the sides. Nomad has put the case through some serious protection tests, and says it’s good for drops from up to six feet. Nomad also makes the same case for the iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

Buy one now from:

Nomad Amazon

Grovemade Minimalist Tough Case ($100)

When you shop for rugged iPhone cases it can be difficult to find solid protection that doesn’t compromise on style. An industrial, durable aesthetic isn’t going to work for everyone, and that’s why Portland-based Grovemade has developed a new line of iPhone X cases that blend drop protection with stylish, natural materials. These tough frames combine anodized aluminum with a shock absorbing elastomer band and come with a choice of wood or leather back panels. Our top pick combines black aluminum with American Walnut, which has a discounted pre-order price of $100, but you can also snag the bumper for $80 or the black leather version for $110.

Buy it now from:

Grovemade

Nodus Access Case ($50)

This classy wallet case is made from Italian leather and comes in brown, black, gray, and teal varieties. The neatly stitched, textured leather exterior is stylish and practical. Inside, things are a little different from the majority of wallet cases, because there’s no plastic shell. Your iPhone X is held in place by a micro suction pad of adhesive that won’t mark your device. There’s a single, large pocket for cards or cash in the cover and you can fold it back to act as a landscape stand. The interior has a soft, microfiber finish and, because there’s no shell, you have uninterrupted access to ports, controls, and other features, but there is a cut-out on the back for the dual camera.

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Nodus

Rokform Crystal Case ($50)

The big attraction of Rokform’s cases is the clever mounting system for securely fixing your iPhone to your bike, car, motorcycle, or anything else. You don’t just get Rokform’s clever locking system, though, there’s also a magnet on the back and each case ships with a magnetic mount for the air vent in your car. These cases meet military drop test standards and mix clear polycarbonate with flexible, black TPU padding where you need it most. The Crystal is the slim option and it comes in a range of different colors, but they also do a Rugged Case with a textured finish for the same price.

Buy it now from:

Rokform Amazon

Mous Limitless Case ($40)

Here’s another case manufacturer intent on delivering military-grade protection in a stylish package. The Limitless case from Mous is a fairly slim shell with an inlaid back panel that comes in a range of different materials including wood, carbon fiber, leather, and marble. Mous relies on “AiroShock,” a smart material that can absorb a lot of impact shock and take the sting out of falls. The case design includes the usual range of button covers and cut-outs for easy access to all your iPhone’s functions.

Buy it now from:

Mous

Speck Presidio Ultra Case ($40)

Sometimes you want extra protection, but you don’t necessarily want your iPhone to wear a bulky case all the time. Speck may have the answer. The Presidio Ultra offers drop protection up to 15 feet with four layers of protection, including dirt and dust resistance thanks to button and port covers. But the base is a regular Presidio case, which is a slim, protective plastic shell with the full range of cut-outs you need, drop protection up to 10 feet, and a durable finish. When you want the extra protection, you simply slip the Impactium Ultra bumper on top.

Buy it now from:

Speck Amazon

Snakehive Pastel Collection Wallet Case ($30)

Designed in the U.K. and handcrafted in Europe, these soft leather wallet cases for your iPhone X come in a range of appealing pastel colors for a different look. The Nubuck leather exterior is sanded to give it a soft suede texture that’s comfortable to hold. There’s a magnetic closure on the cover and you’ll find space inside for a few cards. The cover can also fold back to act as landscape stand. There’s a plastic shell inside to hold your iPhone X in place, but openings and button covers provide full access to everything.

Buy it now from:

Snakehive Amazon

Peel Case ($25)

The ethos behind Peel’s cases seems to fit with Apple’s iPhone perfectly. These cases are intended to be minimalist, subtle, and free of logos. They’re only 0.35mm thick and have a semi-transparent matte finish in a wide range of different colors. Apple’s design shows through, but you benefit from a thin layer of protection against scratches and bumps. We wouldn’t rely on these iPhone X cases for drop protection, but if you just want something simple, they’re ideal.

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Peel

Karapax Shield+ Case ($12)

This one-piece shell case allies polycarbonate with TPU to safeguard your iPhone X from tumbles and bumps. It feels flexible, sports cut-outs in all the right places, and has soft button covers that are easy to press. The back features an industrial design with black gloss and carbon fiber highlights. If you’ve never heard the name Karapax before, that’s because it’s a new case brand from one of our favorite portable battery charger manufacturers, Anker. This iPhone X case offers decent drop protection at a low price.

Buy it now from:

Anker Amazon

Mujjo Leather Wallet Case ($50)

Leather feels good in hand and it ages gracefully, acquiring more character as it breaks in, so Mujjo’s full-grain leather cases are well worth a look. We like the wallet variety because it includes a simple, slanted leather pocket stitched onto the back, capable of holding a couple of credit cards and your ID. There are leather button covers, openings for the camera and other features, and a slight bezel around the screen. The inside of the case is super soft microfiber.

Buy it now from:

Mujjo Amazon

Case-Mate Brilliance Tough Case ($60)

For serious eye-catching sparkle, the Case-Mate Brilliance range cannot be beaten. Each case features more than 800 real crystals framed by metal accents. The underlying dual-layer shell meets military drop test standards, so your iPhone X can survive a fall with this case on. You’ll also find a raised lip to safeguard the screen, metallic button covers, and generous openings for ports and other functions. The Iridescent version is pictured, but this also comes in rose gold, lace, and champagne.

Buy it now from:

Case-Mate Amazon

Otterbox Strada Series Folio Case ($45)

One name comes up again and again when you talk about smartphone protection: Otterbox. Otterbox cases are put through a stringent series of tests, from normal drop tests to makeup resistance, so you can be sure that Otterbox cases are built to last. Their Strada folio series is of particular interest to anyone who wants to keep their device protected, but still give off an air of executive style. A wrap-around premium leather cover keeps the touchscreen protected when not in use, and comes with a vertical card slot to keep transport tickets, credit cards, or cash close at hand. The polycarbonate shell snaps onto your iPhone, has a raised edge to protect the screen even when uncovered, and is covered by Otterbox’s Certified Drop+ Protection. Excellent protection paired with style you’ll be happy to show off.

Buy it now from:

Otterbox Amazon

Moment Photo Case ($30)

We haven’t had much time to play with the iPhone X’s camera yet, but if it’s as good as the dual-snappers on the iPhone 8 Plus, then it’s likely to be a showstopper. If you’re looking forward to iPhone X photography, then this case from Moment will help take your shooting game to the next level. The thin but durable body of the case protects against drops and bumps, while the back panel of black canvas provides a textured surface to help keep your grip while taking the perfect shot. A layer of microsuede inside the case cushions and protects your phone, and the bottom of the case even has a wrist-strap attachment for ultimate peace of mind. And what sort of Moment case would this be without attachments for each of Moment’s premium photo lenses. The perfect case for any smartphone photography enthusiast.

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Moment

Olixar X-Ranger Survival Case w/ Multi-tool ($28)

Olixar has done a great job bursting into the smartphone accessory scene with a range of affordable products, and the X-Ranger is their attempt at diversifying their range of cases. Rubberized bumper pads and a textured metal-effect to the polycarbonate lend grip to the case, while the bottom of the case can be folded out into a stand for easy viewing. But that’s not all — behind the kickstand you’ll also find an Olixar-branded multi-tool with 26 different functions, including a knife blade, set of hex wrenches, a screwdriver, and more. If you don’t need the multi-tool, then you can easily replace it for a credit card. Simple, but effective.

Buy it now from:

Olixar Mobile Fun Amazon

Spigen Hybrid Armor Tough Case ($30)

Spigen‘s newest addition to their line of classic cases, the Hybrid Armor is a double-whammy of protection. An inner layer of shock-absorbent TPU protects the phone from bumps and adds grip, while the outer layer of polycarbonate adds firm protection and doubles-down on defence. Spigen’s Air Cushion technology protects the vulnerable corners of the iPhone X, and raised edges along the outside of the screen and the camera cut-out elevate those areas from surfaces and keep them away from potential hazards. The look screams protection, and the case itself feels solid in your hand, while still not adding too much bulk to your sleek and svelte phone. Another potential hit for Spigen.

Buy it now from:

Spigen Amazon

Vaja Premium Leather Wallet Case ($150)

Why should your iPhone X settle for anything other than the best? This wallet case from Vaja blocks RFID, comes with four card slots (and a pocket for folded notes), and has a hard polycarbonate backbone. But what really makes Vaja cases stand out from the crowd is the sheer quality. Each Vaja case is handmade by a master artisan, from the finest Patagonian leather that only gets more beautiful and luxurious with age. These cases are soft, feel great, and are simply the best leather cases that money can buy. And if you really want a special experience, you can order your own specially crafted custom case with your choice of leather and color.

Buy it now from:

Vaja

Want more options? The Manual has rounded up the most stylish iPhone X cases available, and our list of the best iPhone 8 cases might also inspire you. Happy shopping!

Editors’ Recommendations

Five9 President Dan Burkland: Leveraging Tech for Great Customer Experiences

Dan Burkland is president of Five9.

In this exclusive interview, Burkland talks about using the latest cloud-based contact center technologies to create better customer experiences.

Five9 President Dan Burkland

Five9 President Dan Burkland

CRM Buyer: What are some key trends in the world of contact centers and customer service?

Dan Burkland: We’re seeing a digital transformation take place, where companies are moving their contact centers to the cloud. There are two key criteria for a contact center — there’s the CRM and the contact center infrastructure, and those two really go hand-in-hand.

You bring a call, chat, text or email into the center, and you have to look for an agent who’s available and properly skilled to handle such an interaction. Once you make the decision about where to send the call, that triggers the CRM so it can answer all the questions about that customer and that type of caller and interaction.

There needs to be integration between CRM, where the customer data lives, and the contact center. That’s all done as CRM moves to the cloud, and it’s much easier for companies to have their contact center infrastructure in the cloud.

CRM Buyer: Why is the cloud such a revolutionary force in contact centers?

Burkland: There are a few reasons. One is the most basic: There’s all the IT and other required staff needed to serve a large enterprise with multiple data centers, and also the need to keep the software at consistent levels and pay for the upgrades in order to stay current. When you move that same infrastructure to the cloud, there’s zero footprint for a data center for the client.

The second is as that takes place, you have a central place for phone calls to land and be distributed throughout the world.

A third area is integration. By having a single instance of CRM and contact center, we have the ability in real time to see all the resources that can handle an interaction, on the fly, at a moment’s notice.

Finally, a fourth area is innovation. When you’re with a cloud, the company keeps the software always current, and when a new innovation or feature is developed, it gets pushed out immediately without any infrastructure demands on the customer.

CRM Buyer: What is intelligent routing, and why is it important?

Burkland: The first step is identifying, and the next is deriving intent. If we can do those two things, the better we can make a match with the proper agent and deliver the proper information to that agent so they can handle the call.

I want to ping my database for an identifier, where I can then hit my CRM database and do a search for that customer, to pull up their information. I can determine what type of customer they are and why they could be calling.

The more information we receive from our database and from the caller right when the call is beginning, the more an intelligent routing decision can be made.

CRM Buyer: Why is CRM integration important for contact centers?

Burkland: Let’s look at the example I just described. If I receive a phone call, I could ask if they’re calling for sales or service, and then route that call. But that’s all I would know. I wouldn’t know if they’re an existing customer or new customer.

CRM not only helps with routing, but it also helps me to equip the agent so they’re not asking the customer to re-explain who they are. When the call is delivered, the CRM system will pop up on the screen, so an agent can greet a caller with a lot more information.

It’s about creating a better customer experience for those consumers, and in today’s world, the customer experience is key.

CRM Buyer: What are some of the latest trends and innovations in mobile customer engagement?

Burkland: A perfect example is visual IVR. When a caller reaches a contact center, it answers and prompts the caller for information. With visual IVR, I can use an app on a phone and be able to press one button on my keypad and communicate with a company. It can give me my result right there on my phone, without my ever having to call or use my computer.

If I do reach out for an agent, I can see the queue time, or I can ask the company to call me back in 15 minutes and place me in a virtual queue.

That’s one example of many that allows us to use the intelligence of mobile devices to allow consumers to contact companies. It gives mobility to both consumers and supervisors, who can see in real time the queue times and calls they’re handling, and they can do all of that from anywhere in the world.

CRM Buyer: What’s in the future for call centers? How are they evolving?

Burkland: The biggest trend we’re seeing is a lot of interest around AI and machine-learning, and using bots to handle some of the human elements that are now handled manually. As an industry, we’re looking at how we leverage AI for a contact center use-case.

Bots can alleviate some of the labor for mundane or repeatable questions that get asked, and they can get customers the answers that they need. They can search a database using natural language processing, looking at a text message, for instance, and giving a response.

Also, if a customer has a question, a bot can interrogate a database and give the agent suggested or likely responses based on what the system thinks the question was. This kind of assistance helps agents provide better service.


Vivian Wagner has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. Her main areas of focus are technology, business, CRM, e-commerce, privacy, security, arts, culture and diversity. She has extensive experience reporting on business and technology for a variety
of outlets, including The Atlantic, The Establishment and O, The Oprah Magazine. She holds a PhD in English with a specialty in modern American literature and culture. She received a first-place feature reporting award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.
Email Vivian.

If skiing doesn’t excite you, check out the Samsung Olympic Showcases instead

In less than 48 hours, the world’s most highly anticipated show of athletic grace and prowess will take the stage in South Korea. But it’s not just PyeongChang who is playing host — Korean tech giant Samsung is opening up its doors as well. The company is promising to bring excitement to fans, athletes, and officials alike at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games by way of “interactive experiences” that can be found at a series of Samsung Olympic Showcases. These dedicated showcases are slated to encourage visitors to “Do What You Can’t” through immersive experiences.

In total, Olympic attendees and athletes will be able to check out nine Samsung Olympic Showcases that feature an amalgamation of cultural, technological, and immersive fan experiences, all of which will leverage virtual reality technology. These showcases will be found in the Olympic parks and villages, as well as the main press center, and Incheon International Airport.

Broadly speaking, the showcases are thinly veiled PR displays — a release notes that viewers will be able to experience “the Samsung brand history and heritage in engineering, design, and craftsmanship, and then the partnership history with the Olympic Games.” Somehow, we think this will be slightly less exciting than the Olympics themselves.

But then, by way of VR, nonathletes may be able to feel what it’s like to snowboard with an Olympian, or participate in alpine or cross-country skiing contests. Moreover, visitors will be able to check out the unrelated (but still cool) “Mission to Space VR: A Moon for All Mankind” created by Samsung. This will take participants on a space mission that includes a mission briefing, training suit and helmet try-on, and even some time in the Moon rig to feel lunar gravity.

“For two decades as a worldwide Olympic partner, Samsung has connected fans, visitors and athletes from around the world with our latest technological innovations, which have now evolved to also include immersive experiences,” said Younghee Lee, CMO and executive vice president of Samsung Electronics. “We’re delighted to share Samsung’s latest mobile technologies and products so fans and athletes can enjoy new, unique experiences while at the Olympic Winter Games.”

In addition to immersive VR experiences, Samsung will also be showing off the new Galaxy Note8 and S Pen, both of which will be on display quite prominently in the Portrait Pool. This experience will allow visitors to transform their selfies into paintings to share on social. The S pen will act as a paint brush, where as the Galaxy Note8 will ostensibly behave as a canvas.

And of course, Samsung would be remiss if it didn’t offer visitors an opportunity to actually buy the products they see — there will be full purchase and customer service available throughout the games so you can leave with mobile products and accessories.

Editors’ Recommendations

10 absurd Travis Kalanick quotes from the Waymo-Uber trial

Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of ride-hailing app Uber, let out some laughs, reminisced about old colleagues, and shared his awe over flying cars during several hours of questioning in a San Francisco courtroom this week.

Quick overview: Kalanick is one of many witnesses in the trial over autonomous vehicle technology that Waymo, a driverless-car company spun out from Google, accuses Uber of stealing. 

Waymo alleges that a former engineer who worked for the company, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded 14,000 files of proprietary information that he later brought to Uber’s self-driving team. 

Uber is accused of using what Waymo considers secret information, including research about LIDAR, a laser and sensor technology that helps cars navigate on their own. Levandowski’s own self-driving truck company, Otto, was suspiciously acquired by Uber shortly after he left Google’s autonomous vehicle project. 

Kalanick took the stand for about an hour Tuesday and for another two hours Wednesday morning. While he stayed professional in court, his true competitive nature came through. He managed to refrain from saying anything wildly inappropriate. Here are some memorable moments:

1. “First heard it from my high school football coach.”

Kalanick was asked about a text exchange between himself and Levandowski. The text from March 2016 said, “I just see this as a race and we need to win, second place is first looser (sic).” He told the attorney that this isn’t a phrase only the self-driving car industry uses, but one that he’s heard for years, even back in high school.

2. “There’s a winky face right there.”

Levandowski’s text, “Here’s the speech you need to give ;-)” with a link to Michael Douglas’ character’s “Greed is good” speech from the 1987 movie Wall Street is being used as a prime example of, well, Kalanick’s greed getting the best of him. Kalanick was asked if he looked at this text and the accompanying link. He couldn’t remember, he said, but laughed when he noticed the winky face emoticon Levandowski sent him.

3. “Something I said a couple times.”

Kalanick laughed when the Waymo attorney jogged his memory and asked if the former CEO called Levandowski “a brother from another mother.” This was intended to show the tight relationship between the two that led to collusion, but Kalanick made it more about his respect for Levandowski in the driverless car industry.

4. “He was also very charming.”

That’s how Kalanick described Levandowski, despite moments later admitting hiring Levandowski turned into a mess. “This has been a difficult process,” he said.

5. “This makes it not as great as it was in the beginning.”

Levandowski’s hiring turned into a legal battle over driverless vehicle tech like, LIDAR. Laser technology was a big factor in Uber’s self-driving program, and once Levandowski was on the team Uber thought they were closing in on the Waymo competition. Then this lawsuit happened. Kalanick testified that he didn’t hire Levandowski for access to trade secrets or information he could bring over from Waymo.

6. “It was a lot of fun.”

That’s how Kalanick described being CEO of Uber. He continued to praise the company he started and used the word “us” when talking about Uber despite resigning in June. He still sits on the board.

7. “Little brother with big brother.”

This is how Kalanick described Uber and Google’s early relationship. Back in 2013, Google invested in Uber. Kalanick met with Alphabet’s current CEO Larry Page and was picked up in a self-driving car — Kalanick thought that was cool.

With a sad smile Kalanick remembered how as the “little bro” Uber looked up to Google.”We were trying to get more of their time than they were trying to give,” he said. Before Uber’s own autonomous vehicle program, Kalanick said he didn’t consider Google a competitor. They were doing autonomous vehicles, Uber was doing ride-sharing. He wanted to partner the two ventures, but it never happened.

8. “Google was super not-happy. Un-pumped.”

Kalanick described Google founder Larry Page as “a little angsty” once Uber started developing its own self-driving car technology. Once they acquired Otto (Levandowski’s startup) the relationship soured even more. He said Uber was worried about getting sued because Google was upset that Uber was “doing their thing.” 

9. “iPhone games are my thing.”

Waymo attempted to show Kalanick’s cheating nature and asked if he played video games now that he’s between jobs. But Kalanick pushed back and stubbornly insisted he only plays games on his smartphone.

10. Cheat codes are “part of the fun of the game.”

In the same line of thinking, Waymo tried to corner Kalanick into admitting cheat codes are an easy, but unfair, way to win — something akin to Uber using Waymo self-driving car tech without developing it themselves. Instead Kalanick argued that cheat codes are part of the game and designed to be there. It’s just a matter of finding and using them.

It’s premature to say that Kalanick’s testimony is the highlight of this trial — we’re only on day three of a month-long trial — but when he casually says things like Google’s flying car effort “sounds pretty cool” we perk up a bit.

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Will OnePlus release a new OnePlus X model after the OnePlus 6?

According to a rather suspect leak on tech website TechPP, Android success story OnePlus might be looking to reach back into the budget market, following the release of the OnePlus 6.

We’ll be completely frank with you before we start the rundown — TechPP isn’t a well-known source of leaks, and the details of the story are a bit wonky, too. According to “Tech Auntyji”, a nice man said that OnePlus are looking to reinvigorate its OnePlus X brand, bringing a new lower priced OnePlus model to help cement itself into the Indian market. The phone would essentially be comprised of leftover parts from the OnePlus 5, with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display running a 16:9 aspect ratio resolution, powered by the Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and having two storage variants of 32GB and 64GB. This will all be powered by a 3,000mAh battery, and will feature a similar camera suite to the OnePlus 5, including an optical zoom.

But if you were worrying it might be the exact same phone as the OnePlus 5, then don’t worry too much. There might be some changes to the outside though, with the possibly named “OnePlus X2” coming in glass and sandstone variants, and it will also likely come with OnePlus’s new Face Unlock feature, thanks to a front-facing 16-megapixel camera. TechPP estimates this device will be in the Rs 15,000-17,000 price range — so roughly $250, or 200 British pounds — putting it firmly into competition with phones like the Honor 7X, or the HTC U11 Life.

There do seem to be some conflicting rumors that TechPP addresses — other reports claim the phone will come with a 5.2-inch display, and will sport an 8MP camera on the front, rather than the 16MP. Obviously it’s hard to comment on the validity of these claims since, well, the original rumors are unfounded as well. And you’d be right to be skeptical — OnePlus big man and co-founder Carl Pei has addressed the rumors on Twitter with a brief and healthy “nope.”

So while the idea of a OnePlus 5 rehash for the budget market was nice while it lasted, it seems that these rumors are just that. Rumors. Still, we’re on the edge of our seats waiting for the OnePlus 6, so we’re not too worried about the lack of a new budget OnePlus X.

Editors’ Recommendations

Smart home camera maker Arlo will spread its wings, leave the Netgear nest

There’s been an explosion of interest in smart security systems recently, and companies across a range of industries have managed to capitalize on our obsession with smart cameras, video doorbells, and the like. Chief among them has been a rather surprising candidate — the computer networking firm Netgear, whose line of Arlo smart home cameras has proven to be quite a hit. Now, the company is officially separating its Arlo business from the rest of Netgear, underscoring just how much customers are investing in smart home devices these days.

Arlo is slated to become its own company, made official by way of an initial public offering (IPO) of the newly minted Arlo Technologies, Inc. And now that this company will be free to focus exclusively on smart home devices (rather than being beholden to the broader Netgear computing family), we may soon see a whole lot more innovation from this team.

Don’t expect any immediate movement, however. The IPO isn’t expected to be completed until the second half of 2018, and it will likely still be a few months before Arlo “confidentially [submits] a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the first half of 2018.”

Netgear decided to separate the two companies because, as CEO and chairman Patrick Lo explained, “Both NETGEAR and Arlo have reached the point where they can succeed by being independent of one another.” Indeed, Arlo has proven to be quite the contender, even among companies that are dedicated exclusively to creating security cameras.

As it stands, Arlo boasts a line of both home and business security systems that provide customers with HD video quality, two-way audio, live-streaming, free cloud recording, instant alerts, and more. We reviewed Arlo’s latest product, the Arlo Pro 2, just a few weeks ago, and called it the “best home security system we’ve ever tested.” While it’s not inexpensive (it’s available only in two- and four-camera bundles, starting at $480), the camera has a number of unique features, including seven days of free cloud backup, wired or wireless operation, weatherproof design, and geofencing capabilities.

Netgear has long held a reputation for producing quality products at the high end of the market, and if this trend holds, we can expect to see great things from Arlo as an independent entity, too.

Editors’ Recommendations

Ahead of global rollout, the Snapchat redesign could already be sparking growth

Snapchat was prepared to possibly offend some users when launching a redesigned app — but even before the global rollout, Snap Inc. already appears to be benefiting from the changes. In its fourth quarter and 2017 year-end earnings call, Snap Inc. shared that the platform has seen the highest user growth since 2016, growing five percent in the last quarter to 187 million daily active users. And after a rocky start on the New York Stock Exchange, the company ended up posting 72-percent revenue growth compared to 2016.

Snapchat’s redesign separates actual friends from businesses. While Facebook’s test of a split news feed has publishers seeing big declines, Snapchat is seeing the opposite. In the app’s first test market, publishers sharing content inside the app’s Discover section saw a 40-percent increase in viewers over the old design, CEO Evan Spiegel said. The CEO said that growth among users over age 35 has also been higher in areas where the new design is available, but didn’t offer any hard numbers as to how much higher the growth is.

Snapchat says the redesign will roll out to all users in the first quarter of 2018, which means the change is coming before the end of March. “While we are still very early in the rollout, we are optimistic about the potential to unlock additional growth with the redesign of our application,” Spiegel said. “As expected, it will take time for our community to get used to the changes, but overall, we are pleased with the initial results and will be making the redesign available to our entire community in the first quarter.”

Spiegel says that the team has been optimizing the update based on feedback from users in the early markets where the redesign is live, including Australia, Canada, and the U.K. Last month, early reviews of the new design were largely negative inside the App Store, BBC reported. Optimizations of the new user interface will continue over the next few quarters, the company says.

Snap Inc. says the new design isn’t the only way they are planning to grow the platform in 2018. New partnerships with wireless carriers are reducing bandwidth costs for users in more than twelve markets worldwide.

Enhancing the Android version of the app was also a focus for the team last year, and Spiegel says that retention for users on an Android operating system has increased 20 percent, while the percentage of Android users making up those daily active numbers is the highest in Snapchat’s history. Annual growth for users grew by 18 percent compared to 2016, or 28.8 million users.

Despite a growth in users, expanded advertising, and a growth in revenue, Snap Inc. is butting the brakes on hiring, and will even make a handful of layoffs last month. This marks a change from the trend of the last few years, when the company added around 2,400 workers. Spiegel said that “it has become clear that we can now unlock substantially more productivity by simply changing the way that we work and by continuing to build an inclusive and creative culture.”

Editors’ Recommendations

HP’s new 4K desktop display lineup includes a 42.3-inch model for $799

HP announced several new products on Wednesday, February 7, including four displays packing a 4K resolution. One of these is the company’s first 4K-capable EliteDisplay-branded model that can recharge a laptop battery using a USB-C connection. The other three fall under HP’s “Z Display” umbrella sporting USB-C connectivity, 10-bit color depth, and 65 watts of output power to charge your connected PC. 

Here are the specifications of all four: 

  EliteDisplay
S270n 
Z27  Z32  Z43 
Size: 

27 inches 

27 inches 

31.5 inches 

42.5 inches 

Type: 

IPS 

IPS 

IPS 

IPS 

Resolution: 

3,840 x 2,160 (60Hz) 

3,840 x 2,160 (60Hz) 

3,840 x 2,160 (60Hz) 

3,840 x 2,160 (60Hz) 

Brightness (max): 

350 nits 

350 nits 

350 nits 

350 nits 

Contrast ratio: 

1,300:1 

1,300:1 

1,300:1 

1,000:1 

Aspect ratio: 

16:9 

16:9 

16:9 

16:9 

Response time: 

14ms gray to gray 

8ms gray to gray 

14ms gray to gray 

8ms gray to gray 

Viewing angles: 

178 degrees (H, V) 

178 degrees (H, V) 

178 degrees (H, V) 

178 degrees (H, V) 

Ports: 

1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x HDMI 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 3.1 G1 

1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB-C 3.1 G1
1x Audio out
3x USB-A 3.1 G1 

1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB-C 3.1 G1
3x USB-A 3.1 G1 

1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB-C 3.1 G1
4x USB-A 3.1 G1 

Power delivery: 

60 watts 

65 watts 

65 watts 

65 watts 

Availability: 

Now 

Now 

Now 

Now 

Price: 

$549 

$559 

$899 

$799 

 The specifications speak for themselves: All four include multiple outputs, one of which is a USB-C connection that can recharge a connected device, including a laptop. Overall, the EliteDisplay model provides the smallest list of connections, but the smallest starting price in the batch as well. 

The beauty of USB-C is that it reduces the number of cables connected to your PC. Not only can it charge a laptop, it supports the DisplayPort 1.2 video protocol, thus your connected laptop not only gets a charge, but outputs video to the screen at the same time. This is ideal if you want to add a second screen to your laptop in the office for an extended desktop view. 

“To address the high standards of engineers and designers who need a consistent color calibration, the new HP Z27 and HP Z32 are factory color calibrated to meet the requirements of these users’ unique workloads,” the company said. 

Based on the specs, the “Z” models target professionals seeking a high color depth. According to HP, all three support 1 billion colors along with the sRGB and Rec. 709 color spaces. They include an integrated VESA mount too if you need the screen mounted on a wall versus keeping it on the included stand and placing it on your desktop surface. 

These panels are available now and will join additional new products arriving sometime in February including the EliteBook B30 G5, the EliteBook 840 G5, and three other EliteBook and ZBook models. 

Editors’ Recommendations