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Sky’s new voice control lets you shout at your remote to change telly channels

SKY Q customers will no longer have to fumble their way around the remote control with their fingers. Viewers will be able to speak into their remote control to change channels and choose recorded shows. Shouting “change channel to Sky Atlantic” will see fighting for the remote take on a new level, as families will […]

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SKY Q customers will no longer have to fumble their way around the remote control with their fingers.

Viewers will be able to speak into their remote control to change channels and choose recorded shows.

Play the Walking Dead using your voice alone
Sky

Shouting “change channel to Sky Atlantic” will see fighting for the remote take on a new level, as families will be able to shout over each other to flick channels.

You can tell your remote to pull up a recorded show by saying “play Tin Star,” for example.

Missed a crucial moment when making a cuppa?

Fear not, you can ask it to “skip back 30 seconds” or “watch from the start”.

Voice Control makes it even easier for customers to find their favourite sports, movies and shows, with phrases like: “go to Sky Store”, “go to Sky Sports”, or other sections of the Sky Q menu.

It should become available to customers over the coming weeks, Sky said.

It follows the introduction of a voice search function, launched earlier this year.

A stonking nine million voices searches have been made since its launch in March.

Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s chief marketing officer said: “Our customers already love Voice Search on Sky Q and we think they are going to love Voice Control even more.

"You will be able to find your recordings, rewind an amazing goal to watch again or change the channel all through a simple voice command.

"It’s a quicker, easier and more fun way to get to the shows, sports and films you want to watch.”


READ NEXT How to watch shows on Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Arts if you don't have a Sky subscription


Voice control is a hot trend at the moment, with smart speakers Google Home and Amazon Alexa flying off shelves.

Panasonic are planning on launching a TV that is entirely controlled using your voice.

The TVs are controlled via “Alexa” - the talking technology in Amazon Echo or Echo Dot smart home hubs.

So a viewer can say from anywhere in the room: “Alexa, turn the volume up” or “Alexa, put on BBC1”.

Sky recently offered long-serving customers free broadband upgrades, Sky Q and early access to TV shows.

The new rewards initiative - Sky VIP - will also offer free tickets to sporting events such as the Premier League and preview screenings of the latest movies.


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iPhone 8

New report ranks the new iPhone 8 behind OLD Samsung phones

APPLE already sold millions of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units, but launch weekend estimates fell short of what’s expected from typical iPhone launches. It’s not that the iPhone is losing its appeal all of a sudden, but this year isn’t a usual one for Apple. The best iPhone of 2017 hasn’t even launched […]

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APPLE already sold millions of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units, but launch weekend estimates fell short of what’s expected from typical iPhone launches.

It’s not that the iPhone is losing its appeal all of a sudden, but this year isn’t a usual one for Apple.

Apple Corps
Testers at Consumer Reports don’t rate the latest iPhone model (pictured)[/caption]

The best iPhone of 2017 hasn’t even launched yet, as the iPhone X won’t be released until early November, which is why many buyers skipped the iPhone 8 models.

But the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are still great phones.

In fact, the New York Post called the 8 Plus the best smartphone in the world right nowboring though it may be.

The testers over at Consumer Reports don’t agree though, and they believe that old Samsung phones are better than the iPhone 8.

Apple Corps
Consumer Reports believe that the iPhone 8, pictured, isn’t as good as old Samsung models[/caption]

The organisation ranked the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus as the top two devices when it comes to performance.

The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, with Samsung’s 2016 Galaxy S7 sitting in the third position.

That’s right, Consumer Reports thinks the 18-month-old Galaxy S7 is a better phone than either new iPhone 8 model.

It’s not all good news for Samsung, whose Galaxy Note 8 only comes in sixth, after the two iPhone 8 models.

Apparently, weak durability and weight affected the Note 8’s review.

The LG V30, which is an iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8 rival, has not been included in Consumer Reports’ ranking as it wasn’t yet launched in the US while the site was testing.

It’ll be interesting to see how the iPhone X will fare in the same performance and user experience tests. After all, the iPhone X has almost the same internal components as the 8 and 8 Plus.

That said, the iPhone X does have plenty of unique features that may affect the overall experience, including an all-screen design, no home button, a new dual-lens rear camera, a bigger battery, and Face ID that replaces Touch ID.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

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Phones & Gadgets

How to save battery on iOS 11 and beat the power drain issue on iPhone or iPad

THE release of a new operating system for Apple iPhone and iPad is sometimes a bittersweet moment for Apple gadget owners. Yes, it’s brilliant to have all the new features of iOS 11 – but now software often means that battery life is reduced. Since rolling out the official version of iOS 11 last month […]

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THE release of a new operating system for Apple iPhone and iPad is sometimes a bittersweet moment for Apple gadget owners.

Yes, it’s brilliant to have all the new features of iOS 11 – but now software often means that battery life is reduced.

Apple has issued two new updates to iOS 11 since its release
EPA

Since rolling out the official version of iOS 11 last month to coincide with the release of the iPhone 8, some Apple fans have reported a frustrating dip in the length of their battery life.

A study of 50,000 moderate to heavy iPhone and iPad users carried out after the new iOS was launched found the average battery used to go for 240 minutes on iOS 10 but plunged to just 96 minutes with iOS 11.

Apple moved quickly to address the battery concerns and released two new updates to iOS 11, which appear to have solved the problem for many people.

But if you’re still suffering from battery problems – or just want a bit more Apple juice in your smartphone – there are some simple steps you can take to avoid putting too much strain on the battery.

Here are some tips on how to boost battery life if you’re using iOS 11.

LOW POWER MODE

The most obvious and simple solution is to turn on Low Power Mode.

Your phone will automatically suggest you use this mode when your battery drops below 20 percent but you can switch it on in the Settings under the Battery category to conserve some mobile juice when needed.

The mode turns down the display brightness, reduces the time for auto-lock to kick in and disables various features like background app refresh and automatic downloads.

The ability to make a looping short film was introduced in iOS 11

TURN OFF SIRI

If you’re not that keen on Siri being at your beck and call every second, you can turn stop the digital assistant from constantly listening to you.

You can still use Siri by holding the home button, but she (or he) just won’t be listening out for you to say “Hey Siri” to engage.

You can turn the feature off by going to Settings, then Siri & Search, then turn off Listen for “Hey Siri”.

iOS 11
People who installed iOS 11 can turn on a 'do not disturb' mode while driving
Instagram

TURN OFF ASSISTIVE TOUCH

This feature is for people who have difficulty touching the screen and is designed to assist with your finger dexterity when doing gestures like pinch or multi-finger swipe on the touchscreen.

If you happen to have it turned on, it will contribute to draining your phone’s battery so to switch it off, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch.

Apple iOS 11 was released in the Autumn of 2017
Getty Images

TURN OFF EMAIL FETCH

If you’re not desperately waiting on an e-mail from your boss, you can stop your phone from constantly searching for new messages dropping into your inbox. Instead, it will only refresh to look for new emails when you open the app.

You can also change it from automatically fetching data to doing so every 30 minutes of every hour.

To toggle with this feature go to Settings > Accounts & passwords > Fetch New Data.

Apple has issued two new updates to iOS 11 since its release
EPA

TURN OFF BACKGROUND APPS

You can also stop your phone from working to refresh the data on all your apps as well. Even if you’re not worried about chewing the battery, this is a good thing to do for those trying to be less distracted by their smartphone by limiting which apps are able to refresh themselves in the background.

Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and there you can choose which apps you want to stop from constantly updating in the background.

This article originally appeared on news.com.au.

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Google

Google and Sonos do battle for control of the living room with release of new voice-controlled ‘smart speakers’

THE battle among tech giants to control our living rooms intensified last night – with TWO giants unveiling new voice-controlled “smart speakers”. A £199 device from Sonos and two from Google – a cut-price mini-speaker for £49 and a high-end one at £399 – will go head to head with products from Apple and Amazon. […]

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THE battle among tech giants to control our living rooms intensified last night – with TWO giants unveiling new voice-controlled “smart speakers”.

A £199 device from Sonos and two from Google – a cut-price mini-speaker for £49 and a high-end one at £399 – will go head to head with products from Apple and Amazon.

PA:Press Association
Google’s Home Mini will set you back a reasonable £49[/caption]

Smart speakers – set to be the must-have gadgets at Christmas, experts say – play music and radio with voice commands.

But they also have artificial intelligence brains so they can control household gadgets or answer questions.

Amazon was first to launch smart speakers and its Echo – brought to life by its Alexa assistant – is the top dog.

It has sold around 30million globally, with around 5million in the UK, and links up with the most apps and gadgets.

The Sonos One will be £199

The Sonos One and Google’s Home Mini and Home Max will go head to head with four new versions of the Echo unveiled last week plus another from Apple that hits shops in December.

All four tech firms plus big retailers like Currys, Argos and John Lewis are set to spend millions pushing them.

Sonos invented multi room speakers where users can dot them around their home and stream music to them from their phone.

Now it’s new £199 Sonos One speaker has voice control – also using Alexa after a tie up with Amazon. The One can also control other existing Sonos speakers too.

Those with a range of existing Sonos speakers don’t need to panic – a software update coming to them over Wi-fi will allow them to be voice controlled too with the One.

Reuters
Google’s Home Max, set to be £399, is a bigger, more powerful addition to last year’s Home[/caption]

Plus they can also be voice controlled from any Echo speaker.

Google’s Home Max, set to be £399, is a bigger, more powerful addition to last year’s Home, which is still on sale and costs £129. The Mini costs £49 and will be an entry-level offering for those not wanting to spend too much.

Jonathan Marsh, head of tech buying at John Lewis, said: “Not since iPads and rival tablets sold like hot cakes at Christmas 2012 or the battle of the new Playstation 4 and Xbox In 2013 have been seen interest like this for gadgets.

“Sonos has the pedigree as one of the best speaker firms. Amazon is market leader in smart speakers. Apple has the most successful smartphone and it’s given them huge influence. And who would bet against Google?

“They all want to be at the centre of our living rooms but how that happens is still up for grabs. The next battleground is the home.”

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