How To Install Super Fast, Light and Battery-Friendly Galaxy S7 edge ROM Now


Looking for a lightweight, high performance custom firmware for your Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge? Decent UltraLite custom ROM for Galaxy S7 and S7 edge brings the lightest “Nougat TouchWiz ROM You’ll See Ever,” according to its developer. Bringing amazing features from the Galaxy S8, including its Power Menu, the ROM is heavily debloated, making it super fast. Head over to the how-to section to start testing this custom ROM and don’t forget to share your feedback with us.

Decent Android 7.1.2 ROM for Galaxy S7 brings speed and Galaxy S8 features

* Based on Latest TouchWiz Stock Nougat G935FXXS1DQHN * (Netherland_August Security Patch )
* Stock S7 & S7 Edge Kernel Included *
* Updated SuperSU v2.82 SR3*
* Updated Latest BusyBox 1.27.1
* Pre-Rooted *
* Stock Deodexed *
* Highly Debloated *
* Fast, Smooth & Battery Friendly *
* Added CSC Tweaks *
* Added Build.Prop Tweaks *
* Completely Knox Free *
* Ram Optimization *
* Default Animation 0.5 *
* Fix Charging Animation * (while phone is Power Off)
* Added S8 Style Power Menu *
* Added S8 Style Reboot to Recovery in Power Menu *
* Private Mode Working * ( Not Completely )
* Added Per App Lock *
* Remove Lock Icon in Recent Apps *
* Remove MultiUser Mod In SystemUI *
* USSD codes Working *
* Remove SD card Notification *
* Decrease Auto Brightness Response Time *
* Remove High Volume Warning *
* Remove Center DataUsage in Notification Panel *
* Added ScreenCapture Toggles *
* Remove Samsung Music App *
* Remove Samsung Video App *
* Unlock after reboot with fingerprint *
* Disabled signature check *
** AND More **

Prerequisites to install Decent UltraLite Galaxy S7 edge Android 7.1.2 Nougat ROM

  • Backup any important data from your Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge as a complete wipe will be   required during the flashing process.
  • Enable USB debugging option on your device: Settings > Development Options > USB debugging.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 must be rooted, unlocked and installed with a recovery tool like TWRP.
  • Your device should be charged to at least 60% of power.
Note: this tutorial is focused on Samsung Galaxy S7 edge; do not try this guide on other Android & Samsung devices. For more details of the ROM, detailed instructions, support and to download it for other S7 variants, visit the official XDA thread.

How to flash Decent Nougat Galaxy S7 edge ROM

Required files: download Decent Nougat for Galaxy S7 edge and save it on your computer. Do not extract the contents. Once downloaded, follow these steps to install Decent Galaxy S7 edge ROM:
  1. Connect your Galaxy S7 edge to your computer using a USB cable and copy the zip file to your phone’s SD card.
  2. Disconnect the USB cord and power off your Galaxy S7 edge.
  3. Boot it into recovery mode: switch the phone on while pressing and holding Volume Up + Home + Power buttons simultaneously.
  4. Developer has asked to perform wipe tasks 3 times: “3X (3 times) Wipe Cache, Dalvik / ART Cache, Internal Storage, System & Data.”
  5. Select install and locate the custom firmware and confirm the flashing process.
  6. Once done, tap on Reboot now. First boot may take a few minutes, so don’t be worried.
You can also download Galaxy S8 ( Amazon, $639.00) mod package for Decent ROM (link) and the Aroma add-on pack (link). Is this ROM as light as it claims to be? Don’t forget to share your thoughts on this Galaxy S7 edge custom ROM.




Immersive First Person Simulation Consortium: Now The Tower Gets Free Demo


Consortium: The Tower, the sequel to immersive first-person simulation game Consortium, launched on Steam Early Access about a month ago after a successful crowdfunding campaign on FIG.
In an effort to get noticed among the ocean of new releases, Interdimensional Games just released a free playable demo which includes the entire rooftop of the Churchill Tower.
Gregory MacMartin, CEO of Interdimensional Games, said:
We’re inviting anyone out there who might be interested in a hard-core, pure single-player role-playing experience that is nonlinear and highly replayable to check out our demo. We promise you – you have never played a game like Consortium: The Tower before. Check it out and see for yourselves!
Should you purchase the game after playing the demo, you’ll be able to continue your progress seamlessly. Also, if you played the first game you can even import saved universes into the demo, though it is not required.

Below you can find a thoroughly detailed overview of Consortium: The Tower from the developers.
Inspired by both the original CONSORTIUM and old-school sci-fi first-person shooters, Consortium: The Tower is a pure first-person sci-fi immersive simulation.

GAME DESCRIPTION


We here at iDGi have invented a satellite capable of opening a rift through time and space. Travel with us through this rift to the year 2042, and take first-person control of Consortium agent Bishop Six on his first official mission. The result is a highly unique, fourth-wall shattering role-playing experience where you essentially play YOURSELF in full control of another human being.

While the game presents you with a seemingly straightforward mission to rescue hostages, you have complete freedom to approach all situations as you see fit. Decisions are remembered, and can drastically change the outcome of the story. Follow the Consortium mandate and work with your team to accomplish their goals, choose to work directly against them, even fully joining the other side, or skirt the line and play both sides for as long as you can. Both sides have their own truths, and it’s your job to sort them out and decide for yourself who to believe and why. In the middle are a host of characters from all sides of the conflict, each complete with hundreds of lines of dialogue, as well as interconnected backstories and motivations.

We aim for Consortium: The Tower to become the ultimate sci-fi action immersive simulation. Absolutely everything in this game has a narrative or world-building explanation behind it, including all of the game mechanics. In other words our goal from the very beginning was to ensure there are no “gamey” elements, allowing for maximum immersion.




Sony Xperia XA1 Plus Now For Sale US For $379


The Sony Xperia XA1 Plus is now available in the United States through online retailer Amazon. The handset was unveiled by the Japanese smartphone manufacturer back in August at IFA 2017 and customers in the U.S. have three color options to choose from – Black, Blue, and Gold. The devices sold through the retailer are unlocked and compatible with any GSM network in the country, including those from AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and Cricket Wireless.

The Sony Xperia XA1 Plus is powered by the Helio P20 chipset from MediaTek comprised of an octa-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU with a maximum frequency of 2.3GHz and the Mali T-880MP2 GPU that is clocked at up to 900MHz. Meanwhile, the included LTE Modem supports Category 6 LTE and a number of cellular technologies like carrier aggregation and 64-QAM upload on TDD-LTE networks. The handset contains 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal flash storage that can be expanded by a microSD card. The Xperia XA1 Plus has a fingerprint scanner embedded into its power button, although the module is deactivated on units sold in the United States. 



A 3,430mAh non-removable battery is included with the handset and it also supports PumpExpress+ 2.0, which is MediaTek’s own implementation of fast charging. If the built-in STAMINA mode is utilized, the manufacturer claims that the handset can reach up to two days of battery life on a single charge. 

The smartphone sports a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels and is protected against scratches by a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass. The rear camera of the Android-powered phone is equipped with a 23-megapixel Exmor RS sensor with an aperture size of f/2.0 and includes features like SteadyShot, hybrid autofocus, and 0.6-second quick capture.

 Its front-facing camera setup comes with an 8-megapixel sensor and a 23mm wide-angle lens. A dedicated shutter button, which is found on the right-hand side of the smartphone, can be used to quickly launch its default Camera app.

The device debuted with Android 7.0 Nougat, although Sony previously stated that the Xperia XA1 Plus will be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo in the near future. The handset is priced at $379.99 and eligible for free shipping if you’re a Prime subscriber.

Buy The Sony Xperia XA1 Plus




Huawei CEO Reveals Huawei May Release A Foldable Android Phone In 2018


Huawei may release a foldable Android smartphone as early as next year, according to its Chief Executive Officer Richard Yu. The head of the Chinese original equipment manufacturer told CNET that the company’s already managed to assemble a functional prototype but still isn’t ready to move to commercialization, noting that it may be prepared to officially introduce the device as early as next year. 

The prototype itself is more akin to the newly announced ZTE Axon M than a futuristic concept of a foldable smartphone that features a single screen which users can bend in half. Huawei opted for a more technologically feasible approach and created a handset with two connected screens which can be folded like a notebook, as suggested by Mr. Yu’s comments.
The CEO said that the company still isn’t pleased with “a small gap” present between the two display panels and is currently exploring options for how to eliminate it in its entirety. While Huawei‘s chief didn’t share more details on the product, his wording indicates that the two screens are likely connected with a hinge, just like it’s the case with the ZTE Axon M. Likewise, even though no official confirmation has been provided, it’s likely that the prototype runs Google’s Android or will become an Android device once it’s commercialized, with Huawei’s consumer-oriented mobile efforts being exclusively tied to Google’s ubiquitous operating system.

Mr. Yu’s interview with CNET also led to a confirmation that the Shenzhen, China-based tech giant is still negotiating with wireless carriers in the United States over potential distribution agreements in a bid to gain a significant foothold in the world’s largest market for high-end smartphones. 

The company’s newly unveiled Mate 10 lineup was announced on Monday with no U.S. availability details, though at least one of its members may launch stateside in early 2018, just like it was the case with the Mate 9 which debuted in the country last January, months after appearing in numerous other markets across Asia and Europe. Huawei also isn’t the only major OEM that could debut a foldable smartphone next year, with Samsung’s Galaxy X reportedly being ready for commercialization after years of development.




Google Home Now Gets Support For The HBO NOW Service


Support for the HBO NOW streaming service started rolling out to the Google Assistant, as suggested by the newly updated official support pages for the Google Home smart speaker. The functionality itself allows you to tell your digital companion to cast HBO NOW content on a compatible Chromecast device and already supports Netflix, CBS All Access, and CWTV. 

While HBO partnered with Google to integrate its video streaming service into the tech giant’s growing artificial intelligence ecosystem, HBO GO still isn’t part of the voice-enabled casting package. However, if you have neither, getting HBO NOW should be significantly cheaper than obtaining its counterpart seeing how HBO GO is technically a free service that’s only available to consumers paying for an HBO subscription through a licensed cable provider.

If you’re paying for HBO NOW, you’ll have to link your account to your Google Home through its dedicated mobile app. To do so, access the main Settings page of the Google Home Android app by tapping the hamburger menu icon in the top-right corner, select the “More Settings” option, and find the “Videos and Photos” section on the following menu. 


From there, you simply have to tap link next to the HBO NOW option which should automatically appear on the list if you have its dedicated Android app installed on your device. The final step is as simple as entering your HBO NOW login information in the Google Home app.

With the newly added support for HBO NOW, HGTV is the only remaining service that has yet to become compatible with the Google Assistant and was announced as one of the platform’s upcoming partners at the latest iteration of Google I/O this spring. 

The Mountain View, California-based tech giant has been pursuing partnerships with many video content platforms in recent times with the goal of expanding the capabilities of its smart speaker and AI companion and additionally grow its ecosystem. More similar casting features are likely to be debuted by Google in the near future, especially as the firm continues its IoT push with the newly released Google Home Mini and the upcoming Google Home Max.




Google Promises To Reimburse Users That Were Overcharged For Pixel 2 Phones


Google pledged to reimburse all customers who were overcharged for their Pixel 2 smartphones on launch day, the company said in a statement provided to The Verge. Reports of overpriced Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL units emerged shortly after the devices went on sale in the United States on Thursday and exclusively pertained to some Google pop-up store locations around New York City. The official statement from the Alphabet-owned company suggests that some of its pop-up stores were selling all models of both smartphones for $31 more by a mistake, with the fault possibly lying on Victra, one of Verizon’s licensed resellers and long-term partners managing over 1,100 locations across the country.

Victra was the company handling a number of pop-up stores in New York City, with some consumers providing proof that they were charged $680 instead of $649 for the base model of the Pixel 2 with 64GB of internal flash memory and $780 instead of $749 for the variant with double the storage space. Likewise, the more affordable iteration of the Pixel 2 XL was sold to consumers at some pop-up locations for $880 and not $849, whereas the high-end version with 128GB of storage went for $980 despite Google advertising it as a $949 product. 
No official explanation for the difference has been given and the change itself presumably wasn’t authorized by Verizon seeing how the largest wireless carrier in the country was selling both devices at their regular prices from day one. Activation fees and sales tax also weren’t the reason for the price hike as they weren’t included in the higher figure in the first place. Google said its representatives will be reaching out to affected consumers “shortly” and reimburse them for the confusion that may never receive a formal explanation beyond being labeled “a mistake.”
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are now officially on sale in the United States and will soon start shipping in some other countries like Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The Pixel 2 should become available in all target markets by the end of the month, though its larger counterpart is still in limited supply and may not arrive to customers who pre-ordered it before mid-November, depending on the exact country, color, and model.




Google Rolls ‘Try Now’ Button For Android Instant Apps For Android Users


Google is presently in the process of rolling out a new “Try Now” button accompanying Android Instant Apps on the Google Play Store, the Alphabet-owned tech giant announced earlier this week as part of its wider reveal of new Play Console features. It’s still unclear whether the functionality is being distributed as a client-side update, server switch, or a combination of both, nor did Google clarify on how long will it take for the button to be available on a worldwide level, save for suggesting that the wait shouldn’t be too long.
Those interested in trying out the new feature can refer to the Google Play Store banner below which will refer them to the section of the digital marketplace containing all Android apps which currently support the button. The list of compatible products is relatively short for the time being and only contains half a dozen entries. One of them is ShareTheMeal – Help children, an Android app participating in Google’s recently introduced initiative for fighting global hunger, whereas the popular collection of digital crosswords from The New York Times is also part of the pilot program.

 The remaining apps which you can instantly access by tapping the “Try Now” button are Skyscanner, BuzzFeed, Onefootball Live Soccer Scores, and Red Bull TV. The list is small but also relatively diverse and will presumably be expanded by a significant margin in the future. The new button for launching an Android Instant App version of the service whose listing you’re viewing should appear to the left of the green “Install” button.
The feature still isn’t out in all parts of the world but if you know someone in your vicinity who can access it and you can’t, make sure that you have Android Instant Apps activated in your system Settings app. The service can be found under the Google section of the main Settings interface and is enabled via a single toggle. 
The Android Instant Apps platform has only been made widely available to developers this spring after being announced at Google I/O 2016 and may gain more momentum before celebrating its second anniversary next year, with Google possibly hoping that more developers will see the value in creating portable versions of their apps which can be used without a traditional installation.
Google playGoogle Play Button NEW




See The Latest Bezel-Less Smartphone That Is An iPhone X Rival and It's 3x Cheaper


Sharp Aquos R Compact. That’s the name of the new proposal of the Japanese giant with a device without borders on screen in 4.9 inches.
Although many think that Xiaomi was the precursor of the fashion of the mobile with the borderless screen, Sharp was the first to try. Sharp Aquos Crystal has already introduced this fashion, and the Japanese company tries again in its mid-range. This is the small Sharp Aquos R Compact.

This new Sharp Aquos R Compact follows the design line that Sharp is including on all its devices, but focused on the midrange. And although the screen decreases to the 4.9 inches, do not deceive yourself: this R Compact has much to say. The secret is in its hardware.

Here is the list of specifications of the new Sharp Aquos R Compact:-

  • Screen: 4.9-inch borderless display with IGZO technology, Full HD + (2032 X 1080) and a refresh rate of 120Hz.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660.
  • Storage: 32GB internal memory
  • RAM: 3GB RAM.
  • Camera: 12.4MP rear camera with LED flash and an 8MP front camera.
  • Battery: 2 500 mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0 and USB Type C.
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo under the EMPA 7.0 layer.
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, IP68 certification, Wi-Fi, GPS.
  • Colors: Gold, white, silver and black.
  • Price: not specified.
  • IGZO screen with very high refresh rate: 120 Hz
The Sharp Aquos R Compact screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz, which includes the latest Apple iPad. This, combined with its hardware and panel resolution, promises a huge quality in the multimedia aspect. Always on paper and waiting to try it out physically.
The IGZO panels, typical of Sharp, offer high resolution and sharpness by reducing the thickness of the display assembly reverberating with the thinness of this mobile. They consume less than an ordinary LCD panel and, thanks to its high refresh rate, the Sharp Aquos R Compact should offer a smoother image with fluid movements between transitions.
Unfortunately, this device will have exclusivity with the Japanese bank SoftBank, reason why we will hardly see it outside the Japanese country. Its availability in that country will be in December, and it looks like it’s one of the best in the mid-range range segment. At least for those looking for this kind of designs without screen borders. Yes, it means that if you want a smartphone like iPhone X then it will be a good choice for you. As you don’t even have to spend a lot on a device to get iPhone X like design, the Aquos Sharp R Compact is 3X cheaper than iPhone X.
This opens the door to the possibility that we see these designs in more intermediate ranges, away from the high spheres of Android. As we all know that how difficult it was to find devices with screens smaller than 5 inches, so the idea of having a compact and well-used phone makes us simply delicious.




This Developer Drags Apple To Court Over iPhone X ‘Animoji’ Trademark Infringements


Apple unveiled the iPhone X last month that captured quite a hype. While the flagship smartphone featured various upgrades and enhancements in terms of both hardware and functionality, the most gimmicky is the Animoji, which is animated emoji. The feature basically mimics your facial actions and turns it into animated emoji. However, a Japanese software company has sued Apple in the United States court over the trademark for the ”animoji” term. The company states that Apple stole the name and used it as one of the features in iPhone X. So let’s dive in to see some more details on the subject.

Apple Sued For Infringing Animoji Trademark In iPhone X

Apple announced the headline feature on iPhone X last month. The developer of the app claims that the Cupertino-based technology company was aware of his trademark. This is because the application rested on the iOS App Store since 2014. In addition to this, Apple also tried to purchase the name. The App Store page for the Animoji app shows that the application was updated in September 2014.

Instantly reach the people you care about with fun, fully-custom, animated messages. Animoji is a fast, free and easy-to-use tool to animate your text and email messages. Create your own animated text; using any characters, in any language, including emojis. Then send your text via Messages or Mail. The recipient doesn’t need to have Animoji installed to receive the animated message!
Enrique Bonansea applied for registration through his company back in August 2014 which was further granted in March of 2015. The lawsuit was spotted by AppleInsider and is also reported in The Recorder.
This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement. With full awareness of Plaintiffs’ ANIMOJI mark, Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that “Animoji” was original to Apple. Far from it. Apple knew that Plaintiffs have used the ANIMOJI mark to brand a messaging product available for download on Apple’s own App Store. Indeed, Apple offered to buy Plaintiffs’ mark but was rebuffed. Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store. Apple could have changed its desired name prior to its announcement when it realized Plaintiffs already used ANIMOJI for their own product. Yet Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself — regardless of the consequences.
In addition to this, the lawsuit also claimed that Apple tried to withdraw the trademark on the bases of the fact that the company that filed the trademark did not exist at the time. This, according to Bonansea, is a technical error where he should have filed the trademark under his original company’s name.
Moreover, the company even asked Apple to remove other apps from the App Store that infringed his trademark. Apple’s compliance with the scenario points that the company was aware of the trademark. There will be more to the story, so be sure tuned in for more.
This is it for now, folks. What are your thoughts on Apple sued for infringing the Animoji trademark? Share your views with us in the comments.
Source: The Recorder




Consumer Reports Shows PeopleWill Not Recommend Microsoft Surface Book 2


Just a few days ago, Microsoft revealed details of the Surface Book 2 which is due to launch in November. But before the device is even available, it has been dealt a blow by Consumer Reports.
Earlier in the year, the review group said that problems with reliability meant that it was impossible for it to recommend any Microsoft laptop or tablet. Now Consumer Reports says that this extends to the Surface Book 2, meaning that the device will not be recommended.
While hardly the end of the world for Microsoft, this will still come as bad news. The company expressed disappointment in Consumer Reports' original decision, saying: "We don't believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation."

Microsoft is likely to be similarly disappointed with Consumer Reports' statement about the Surface Book 2. Speaking to Benzinga, Consumer Reports' spokesperson James McQueen said:
We will evaluate the performance of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 once we get it into our labs next month for testing, but we will not be able to recommend it. Our decision to withhold our recommendation of all Microsoft laptops and tablets is still in effect.
It looks as though Microsoft has an uphill battle on its hands.




How To Easily Rollback and Uninstall Windows 10 Fall Creators Update


The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is rolling out to users. If you install it and encounter major problems, as some users have (especially owners of Razer laptops), you might want to go back to your previous version, and wait until the update is a bit less buggy.
If you been using Windows 10 for a while, you’ll probably know how to do this, although the process may be slightly different to what you're used to.

To uninstall the Fall Creators Update, go to Start > Settings and click on Update & Security.
Click the Recovery link on the left and then click on Get started under 'Go back to the previous version of Windows 10.'
Provided you haven’t yet cleared up all the space used by the update, the rollback process will start.
You’ll now be asked why you are going back to the previous build.
You can select from:
  • My apps or devices don’t work on this build
  • Earlier builds seemed easier to use
  • Earlier builds seemed faster
  • Earlier builds seemed more reliable
  • For another reason
You need to select a reason for the Next button to appear, and can also opt to tell Microsoft more about your reasons if you wish.
Bear in mind, if you do revert to a previous build you may need to reinstall some apps and programs, and you will lose any changes you made to Settings after installing the Fall Creators Update. You’ll also be advised to backup your files as a precaution.
Before you do go back to the previous version you’ll have the option to check for updates, just in case the problem(s) you’re encountering have since been fixed.
If you’re sure you want to remove the Fall Creators Update, click on the Go back to earlier build button and the rollback will begin. Just sit back and wait.




Windows 10 Update Took 30GB Hard Drive Space After Installation: How To Free up the 30GB


Microsoft has just released its biggest update to Windows 10 yet. The Fall Creators Update introduces lots of new features and general improvements, including new privacy and security options, My People, OneDrive Files on Demand, improvements to Cortana and Edge, and more.
However, a big update like this requires a big download, and the files that Microsoft places on your system don’t get removed afterwards. In other words, the Fall Creators Update could be responsible for taking a massive bite out of your free hard drive space -- tens of gigabytes in fact. Fortunately it’s easy enough to reclaim this.
The process is very straightforward. Click Start and type Disk Cleanup. Right-click the Disk Clean-up entry, and select Run as administrator. Make sure your system drive is selected, and click OK.
The tool will calculate how much space can be regained. Ignore this for now and instead click on the Clean up system files button. Select your system drive once more, and click the OK button again.
The tool will recalculate your space savings, but this time include a new option -- Previous Windows installation(s). This will include the files created by installing the Fall Creators Update -- a whopping 29GB in my case. Check that box, and the Temporary Windows installation files one as well and click OK to remove those backed up files and regain your missing hard drive space.
The Fall Creators Update also offers another way to do the same thing. Open Settings and go to System > Storage. Under Storage Sense click Change how we free up space. On the next screen, click select the Delete previous versions of Windows option, then click Clean now.
Photo credit: Sakhal / Shutterstock
A word of warning however, these files are used to roll back your system to a previous installation of Windows and removing them takes away that option. If, however, you intend to stick with Windows 10 (and remember, the Fall Creators Update is mandatory, although you can delay it), they serve little use and so can be cleared out without problem.




Microsoft Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke Speaker To Be In Stores By October 22


I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Cortana. She is actually quite the good voice assistant. When I used Windows 10 Mobile, I found her to be superior to Siri. With that said, I don't really need a voice assistant on my desktop computer, so it feels like Cortana is invading my space when I use Windows 10. In comparison, Siri is much less apparent on macOS -- I forget she is there, to be honest.
Since I no longer use Windows 10 Mobile, and I don't really leverage Cortana on my desktop PC, I guess Microsoft's assistant is largely out of my life, right? Not so fast. On October 22, the Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker hits stores. Actually, I got one early, and I will be playing with it this weekend in the BetaNews Lab. With this speaker, the virtual assistant can serve me in a standalone setup -- no need to go to my PC. Intriguing...

"With more than 60 years of sound expertise, Harman is renowned for blending rich audio with best-in-class design. Crafted from premium materials, Invoke delivers powerful 360-degree sound from three direct-radiating woofers, three direct-radiating tweeters and two passive radiators. Invoke also features Harman’s Sonique far-field voice recognition technology with seven-microphones, ensuring that Cortana can hear you from any direction. Music services available at launch include Spotify Premium, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and we are working with Pandora to add their service in the near future," says Andrew Shuman, Corporate Vice President, Cortana Engineering, Microsoft.
Shuman further says, "With Cortana on Invoke, you can voice control your music, as well as get answers to questions and connect to your Office 365 information. Invoke utilizes Microsoft’s speech recognition technology for commands and music controls, and integrates Office 365 productivity services so you can do things like, manage your schedule, check your calendar, set reminders, and more. For instance, if I have a partner meeting downtown I could ask Cortana on my Invoke where their office is, and she’d not only tell me but could send the directions to my phone in the Cortana mobile app. Or maybe I remember something I need to do when I get into work -- a simple, 'Hey Cortana, remind me to finish the budget report when I get to work,' will result in the reminder alerting me when I get to the office."
Leave it to Microsoft to talk up office and business use when pushing a consumer electronics product! All joking aside, it will shine for personal use too. Microsoft promises the ability to control IoT devices such as Nest and Philips Hue, but it obviously doesn't yet support everything that Alexa does. For instance, it doesn't appear that Cortana can control my Harmony remote hub -- sort of a dealbreaker, sadly. Hopefully that support will come soon.
What really excites me, however, is the promising sound quality. I must be honest -- my Amazon Echo, while nice, doesn't have good audio quality. The Harman Kardon Invoke has the potential to "wow" me, since the company's offerings are often top-notch. Not to mention, it looks beautiful and seems to be very well-made.
If you want to pick one up this Sunday, it can be had for $199. You can choose from two colors -- Graphite (black) or Pearl Silver (white). While both look great, I must say, the Graphite looks amazing. It will be available from Microsoft directly, but you can also get it at Best Buy or HarmanKardon.com.
Which color will you be buying? Sound off in the comments.




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