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The Vivaldi browser lands on Android – TechCrunch

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Vivaldi has long billed itself as a browser for advanced users who want to be able to customize their browser to their heart’s content. With that mission, it managed to get a foothold in the desktop market, but until now, the browser company co-founded by Opera’s former CEO Jon von Tetzchner, didn’t have a presence on mobile. That’s changing today with the launch of Vivaldi for Android, which retains the browser’s look, feel and speed without getting bogged down in trying to bring all of its myriad features to mobile.

For the most part, I like to use the same browser on desktop and mobile, simply to keep my bookmarks in sync (and Vivaldi says it doesn’t use Google’s servers to sync, in case you’re worried about being tracked). For the longest time, that was one of the reasons why I always switched away from Vivaldi on the desktop again, despite the fact that the browser is essentially made for a user like me. With the mobile version, I think that’ll change.

The overall browser experience is pretty straightforward. I appreciate the fact that the Vivaldi team put all of the standard UI features (backwards, forward, tab switcher and URL/search) at the bottom. You can still use the address bar at the top of the screen and the menu, too, of course, but in this age of giant screens, I appreciate a browser that can be used with one hand for much of the time.

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As far as features go, Vivaldi covers all the bases, with speed dials and bookmarks, some advanced tab management features that aren’t usually available on mobile, including the ability to clone tabs, and a screenshots feature that lets you capture either the full page or just the visible area. If you regularly use different search engines, you can also use Vivaldi’s shortcuts in the address bar (think ‘d’ for DuckDuckGo, for example). There’s also a reader view and pretty much everything else you expect from a modern mobile browser.

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One area where I’d like to see a bit more work from Vivaldi in general, both on mobile and desktop, is tracking protection. That’s been a focus for Firefox in many of its recent releases and even Microsoft’s new Chrome-based Edge browser is offering the ability to block trackers by default. Vivaldi, at least in its current form, doesn’t yet any tracking protection by default. That’s not much of an issue on the desktop, where you can easily install an extension, but on mobile, I’d like the company to do a bit more.

Overall, Vivaldi on Android is a worthwhile contender. It’s fast and easy to use — and if you’re already using Vivaldi on the desktop, it’s a no-brainer. Even if you’re not, it’s still worth a shot and may just get you to try the desktop version, too.

vivaldi in use galaxyS8



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AYA-NEO puts a different spin on the PC gaming handheld

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By now, the idea of a handheld Windows computer is no longer novel but their implementations are still rare. The earliest models, mostly from GPD, had to make do with either less powerful Intel Atoms or, later on, beefier Intel Cores that still weren’t made for gaming. It was only with the 11th gen Intel processors with Iris Xe graphics that PC gaming handhelds may have started getting a chance but the AYA-NEO is taking a different route towards that portable gaming PC goal.

The AYA-NEO takes after the Nintendo Switch, or rather the Nintendo Switch Lite with its permanently attached controllers flanking the screen. This was the same design adopted by the GPD WIN 3 which just finished its own crowdfunding run. The key difference in design is that the WIN 3 used a sliding mechanism to reveal a capacitive keyboard which, based on early reviews, was more of a liability than a winning feature, pun intended.

The differences run deep, however, and the AYA-NEO has one other defining trait. It runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U which, among other things, comes with a Radeon mobile graphics processor. Naturally, the AYA-NEO boasts of the ability to run games that wouldn’t otherwise run on Intel-only silicon. that includes the infamous Cyberpunk 2077, though only at 30 fps.

The AYA-NEO also has a larger 7-inch screen but with a 1280×800 resolution only. In addition to your usual game controller buttons, it also has shortcuts for some keyboard combos and keys needed for some PC games. With gyro and accelerometer sensors, the entire handheld can also be used to control games or maybe rotate the display for other games and apps.

At around $790 for the base 512GB model on Indiegogo, the AYA-NEO is a rather hefty investment. The campaign is also offering add-ons like a dock that will turn the gaming PC into a true desktop with the right peripherals. The campaign zipped past its funding goals with 28 days to spare but, as with any crowdfunded product, it will take faith and patience before the final item is delivered to your doorstep.

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Apple iCloud bug locks user with “True” surname

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Many computer software, be it locally or on the cloud, are designed to take into account ways that people, intentionally or not, could break the system. Programmers tend to account for potential errors in human input or intentional methods of gaming the system, but it’s statistically impossible to be prepared for all of them. One strange case, in particular, has seemingly locked an Apple iCloud user from her account for months, just because Apple cloud storage software wasn’t prepared to handle someone whose last name happens to be “True”.

In many computer languages, “true” is a reserved keyboard to denote something that is, well, true. Of course, that is also a normal and often-used word in the English language and may even be someone’s name. Unfortunately, a single capitalization mistake seems to have made iCloud’s software mistake one for the other and lock Rachel True out of her account.

The author took to Twitter to express her frustration at a months-long problem that didn’t have any end in sight. Her surname is “True” but, whether by her own mistake or the system’s, was changed to “true” somewhere in the process. That, in turn, was interpreted by the software as an actual part of the code and triggered a bug that locked her out of her iCloud account.

This would have been a funny anecdote if not for the fact that Ms. True has been trying to get that situation fixed since September last year to no avail. In the meantime, she was still paying the monthly subscription fee for Apple iCloud despite not having access to it, probably just to keep her files intact. According to some programmers, what looks like a trivial issue may not actually be that simple to fix, especially if it means touching a cloud-based service used by thousands of users around the world.

The somewhat good news is that all the media attention finally got True part of her intended results. Apple said they will get back to her next week, hopefully with a real and more permanent solution.

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Galaxy A52 and A72 leaks paint an encouraging picture

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Samsung’s premier premium smartphone for early 2021 is already out and it’s time to give its other models, particularly those for lower tiers, their time under the spotlight. It seems that that time will be coming soon if the steady flow of leaks for the Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72 is any indicator. These phones will undoubtedly be mid-range but it seems that Samsung has prepared some features that could make the phones more enticing beyond just their accessible price tags.

The Galaxy A52 was already leaked in its entirety, revealing all the specs and even the design of the phone. Now the phone has been spotted in alleged hands-on photos, confirming the matte finish on its back and four cameras in a smaller camera bump. The tipster also confirmed the IP67 dust and water resistance rating of the phone as well as the 64MP main camera.

Perhaps more interesting are the details surrounding the Galaxy A72. Although the Snapdragon 720G on 4G LTE model may sound a bit disappointing, the rest of the specs, do sound a bit hopeful. More importantly, however, the phone also brings a few features that have never before been seen in the Galaxy A series.

It is, for example, the first in its tier to be given Samsung’s “Space Zoom” feature, though only up to 30x zoom. It is also the first to feature dual stereo speakers, utilizing the top earpiece as the second audio output.

Both the Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72 also appeared early on Samsung UAE’s website, confirming the appearance and specs of the phones. It could hint that the two are just around the corner but the actual launch date might not be until later this month or early April at the latest.

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