Thrifty Duchess Kate picks up period fashion treasures from Downton Abbey’s favourite antiques market

 

The Duchess of Cambridge has been picking up stunning fashion accessories from the same antiques store used to kit out the cast of Downton Abbey! At the recent royal Garden Party, the 35-year-old accessorised her look with a clutch bag purchased from Alfies Antique Market in Marylebone, London. The royal picked out her purchase from Tin Tin Collectables, a dealer at Alfies who sell their beautiful vintage items to film and TV shows, including Downton AbbeySuffragette and Cinderella. The pretty tan design was adorned in a multi-coloured pattern and contrasted beautifully with her outfit. It is no suprise that Kate chose to shop second hand either, nor that she is a fan of antiques markets. The down-to-earth royal regularly shops at high-street stores like Zara and L.K. Bennett, and often recycles her outfits and accessories at public events.

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Kate accessorised her outfit with a patterned clutch from an antiques market in London

At the garden party, the Duchess looked fabulous in a Christopher Kane coatdress and a ‘Sweet Delight’ hat by Lock & Co. The striking turquoise design cinched in at the waist to enhance her slim figure and was teamed with a pair of leg-lengthening tan heels. We first saw the silk-satin dress – sans hat and with sparkling dangle hoop earrings for an evening look – in July 2012 at a Palace reception for the Olympics opening ceremony. Giving the piece another outing, the royal wore a near replica of her 2017 daytime styling, from hat to nude shoes, to an Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor in 2014.

On Monday Kate made another sensational fashion statement when she attended the opening of Royal Ascot in a summer-ready white lace McQueen dress. The beautiful calf-length design – a bespoke number by the British fashion designer – features a high neckline and a ribbon-style waistband.

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Kate looked stunning in white lace at the opening of Royal Ascot 

And it appears that Kate’s style has influenced another member of the royal family – Autumn Phillips. The stepped out on the second day of the annual race event in a striking embroidery print dress by British brand Rumour London which featured a pretty two-tier pleated skirt in hues of royal blue and cream and scalloped edges.

And while Autumn certainly ensured that all eyes were on her, on close inspection, it was evident that the 39-year-old’s outfit bore a striking resemblance to the Duchess of Cambridge’s McQueen dress worn during the Royal Tour in Canada back in 2016. On the second day of the tour, Kate looked stunning in the custom-made design, which also featured a pleated two-tier skirt, white cuffs and an almost identical pattern – just this time in pink.

 

Video: HTC U11 doesn’t hold up well in bend test

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Whenever a new smartphone is launched, the world waits for a durability test from popular YouTube channel, JerryRigEverything. Until now, Zach from JerryRigEverything has taken certain flagships through his rigorous durability tests, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6. Now, HTC’s latest flagship is the latest smartphone to go through his tests and it comes out with unexpected results.

The HTC U11’s body is made of a glass-metal combo and that does not sound very assuring on paper. However, HTC has perfected the art of making phones with glass panels that can undergo drops and bends impressively, like Samsung. That explains the reason why the HTC U11 was able to keep its rear glass intact in the bend test, even though the front glass panel shattered. It seems that the functional surfaces of HTC U11 are prone to scratches and shatters whereas decorative surfaces like the rear panel hold up quite well. HTC’s latest flagship is the latest smartphone to go through his tests and it comes out with unexpected results.

The reason we say that because, like the front panel that shattered, the ‘Edge Sense’ side frame was also prone to extreme bending. The metal frame provides a limited structural support to the handset, thus deforming the U11 under some stress. The front display panel is also subject to scratches from sand particles while being unaffected from coins and other stuff that stay in pockets.

While the U11 doesn’t hold up as well as the Galaxy S8, considering the Samsung flagship has more delicate glass surfaces than the U11, the U11’s Edge Sense frame needs some kind of structural strengthening, which we hope that HTC could come up with during the life cycle of the U11.

 

Sony Mobile to discontinue mid-range Xperia line up

 

Telecommunications company Sony Mobile has confirmed plans to discontinue the mid-range Xperia line-up of smartphones and will only focus on flagship devices going forward.

The dropped line up which the company considers “premium standard” includes models like the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs at the top end and mid-rangers like the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra.sony-xperia-XA1-Ultra-launched-mwc-2017

“Sony is seeking to try and recover market share in 2017 and hopes to differentiate its products with technologies that only Sony can deliver,” the company said in a blog post. ALSO READ: Sony DPT-RP1 digital paper tablet with Bluetooth support, 16GB storage launched: Price, specifications and feature

The company will also only focus on markets, where it can leverage its brand strength including territories such as East Asia, APAC, Middle East and Europe.

 

Apple’s Pitch to Indian Developers: Think Local, Stay Up to Date, and Aim for Design Awards

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple opened its App Accelerator in Bengaluru earlier this year
  • At the App Accelerator, Apple offers guidance to developers
  • Developers say they are happy with Apple’s efforts so far

India is home to one of the largest developer communities in the world, and has been attracting the attention of several global players for years.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook, along with HasGeek, Helpshift, and Thoughtworks have long been actively contributing to foster the developer community in India, holding various events and going to college campuses to find and coach talent.

One major player, however, was missing from the list for the longest time, and it was the company that thousands of developers in India were anxiously hoping to talk to, and get feedback from: Apple.

With just under half-a-million registered Apple developers in the country, India is among the most active markets when it comes to making apps for Apple’s platforms, but the iPhone-maker took its time before getting involved with the local ecosystem in a meaningful way.

Things started to change earlier this year, when Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, flew to India to officially kickstart Apple’s App Accelerator – a first-of-its-kind initiative, in namma Bengaluru.

More than three months later, the company’s efforts are starting to shape up. Gadgets 360 spoke to many developers who have signed up for the App Accelerator, and they are pleased with how things are going so far. Registration to the App Accelerator – which is capable of hosting 500 developers per week – as well as attending the sessions, is free and open to everyone.

“The experience at the App Accelerator has been really good; Apple really wants Indian developers to be part of the global players,” Alvin Varghese, founder of Swift India Developer Community, an unaffiliated group that focuses on building a vibrant community of Apple’s Swift developers, told Gadgets 360. “We are glad that Apple is doing this.”

apple app accelerator

At the App Accelerator sessions, which range between two to four hours, “evangelists” from the company are getting developers up to speed with the newest technologies, and guiding them to improve their apps and make the best out of the available resources. Developers told Gadgets 360 they get to understand what new technologies Apple specifically recommends they target, with SiriKit being one such example.

That’s a big and helpful change, developers say, because Indian companies often take long time in leveraging new features Apple introduces. Only a small number of companies have shipped any iMessages extensions, for instance, even though the company announced support for extensions in Messages last year.

“We generally take around two years on an average to integrate company’s new frameworks,” Prasad, a Bangalore-based developer tells Gadgets 360. “We typically wait to let people first get the latest iOSupdate, and only then we start working on implementing new frameworks,” he added.

These pitches are in line with Apple’s vision for the developers in the country. Speaking to Gadgets 360 at the launch of the accelerator earlier this year, Schiller said that the company wants to guide Indian developers about the latest technologies on Apple’s platforms.

“Here we give a greater opportunity for the developers in the market to learn about these innovations quicker, play with them, experiment with them, understand how they can best use them in their apps, I think that can help them to make more innovative apps, quicker than if we weren’t here,” Schiller had said.

The most crucial advice that developers have walked out of the campus with, they tell Gadgets 360, has been to reconsider their target audience. The evangelists have told them to make apps that serve to the needs of the local market, instead of focusing their energies in chasing the Western audience.

“What will work in the US or elsewhere may not work here. Don’t copy any app. Try to think of your own use case and your users’ needs. Study other apps but be original,” Mayur, a Delhi-based developer recounted Apple’s message.

To recall Schiller’s remarks from earlier, he said Apple wanted this accelerator to “help the local market create apps for customers in India that better meet the needs of our growing customer base here.”

Even as there are feedback sessions and opportunities to have one-on-one interaction with experts at the App Accelerator, the overall environment is very disciplined, five developers told Gadgets 360.

That’s not to say that they don’t make jokes. There is a running joke among many evangelists that developers should only focus on Apple’s platforms (and avoid Android, and other rival platforms). Though some developers said that the message is more than a joke, “Apple would really like if you stick to its ecosystem,” a developer said.

As Apple pushes to find its next big market in India, the company would need the help of these developers. Apps that cater to the local market, leverage new technologies, and are built with right coding practices could create the best user experience for Indians.

To further incentivise the developers, Apple tells them that it wishes to see an Indian developer win at Apple Design Awards (ADA), the annual WWDC fixture that recognises the best and most innovative iOS and Mac apps. So far, these awards have been mostly won by developers in the US and Europe.

“They are looking to mentor Indian devolopers so that even we make great apps for India,” Paul, a Bangalore-based developer who has enrolled at the App Accelerator told Gadgets 360.

 

Review: HTC’s New Android Phone Struggles to Keep Up

 

The good: Sharp screen, Excellent front-facing camera, Great audio
The bad: Too large to hold comfortably, Battery life could be better, Second screen doesn’t improve the experience, Expensive
Who should buy: Android fans who want an exceptionally large phone with a nice screen — but those who prioritize portability and battery life should look elsewhere.

A little more than four years ago in 2013, HTC made my favorite Android smartphone: the One.

Its sleek metal design set it apart from competing Android phones at the time, many of which felt like they were made of chintzy plastic. The One also had an excellent screen and the best speakers of its class. But while the One’s successors brought mild improvements, they have largely felt like the same phone repackaged with upgraded internals and slightly altered looks.

That’s why I was excited to get my hands on the $749 U Ultra, which HTC began shipping in March. The U Ultra marks the first time in years that HTC has released a high-end smartphone that feels dramatically different, eschewing the company’s long-favored metal build for a glossy colored back and a larger frame. The U Ultra also works with HTC’s virtual assistant, called the Sense Companion, and includes a secondary screen that sits atop the main display.

Unfortunately, while the One pushed Android smartphone design forward, the U Ultra is a step backwards. The massive 5.7-inch screen is visually impressive, but the phone is so big that it’s unwieldy to actually use. It’s a particularly apparent problem given that rivals like Samsung and LG are finding ways to offer bigger screens without making their phones physically larger, usually by eliminating the bezel around their displays.

Part of the problem lies with the HTC Ultra’s new dual display, which sits atop the device’s screen and displays information like calendar alerts, reminders, and weather forecasts. While it sounds useful, I found it to be more distracting than helpful. (LG and Samsung have explored similar features before on their V20 and Galaxy Edge phones, respectively.)

The U Ultra’s other headline feature is the Sense Companion virtual aide. HTC promotes it as a proactive digital helper that makes suggestions throughout the day, similar to Google Now. But it’s designed to get to know users better over time, so I couldn’t really get a feel for how well it works during my limited testing period. The U Ultra also features another virtual aide, the Google Assistant, and most users probably won’t find a need to use both.htc-u-ultra

The U Ultra’s 12-megapixel main camera captures crisp images, but the color wasn’t as vibrant as those taken on the iPhone 7 Plus or the Google Pixel. The 16-megapixel front camera was more impressive, balancing the right amount of detail and skin smoothing so that selfies looked polished but not over-processed.

Like the iPhone 7 and Moto Z, the U Ultra lacks a headphone jack, but it comes with a pair of earbuds that fit into the phone’s charging slot. That might be a deal breaker for those who have a favorite pair of wired headphones they’re not willing to give up. Another bummer: The U Ultra isn’t as water resistant as the iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S8, both of which can withstand being dipped in water. HTC’s new phone, by comparison, can only endure light sprays such as rain.

I also wish the U Ultra better delivered on battery life, as I was only able to get through one full day of usage on a single charge. That’s acceptable, but given its size, I was hoping I’d get a bit more mileage, especially considering the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel typically last me more than a day. (Better battery life is a common benefit of larger phones, which tend to sport bigger, longer-lasting batteries.)

There are some things to like about the U Ultra. Its 2,560×1,440 screen is sharp and colorful. The BoomSound speakers offer rich audio that’s louder and clearer than the Google Pixel’s. It also supports up to 2TB of expandable storage, which is rare, as most smartphones top out at 256GB. And the phone certainly sounds promising on paper, with a new virtual assistant, a second screen that lets you see more information at a glance, and a sharp front-facing camera.

Unfortunately, most of these features aren’t as useful in practice as they sound. Nor are they compelling enough to keep up with the brisk competition from rivals like Apple, Samsung, and Google, especially at $749. But most of all, the U Ultra is done in by its unwieldy design, which simply makes it too difficult to use in daily life.

Review: LG’s New G6 Android Phone Is a Big Step Up From Last Year

 

The good: Sharp screen; Compact design; Wide front facing camera; Good battery life
The bad: Easily picks up fingerprint smudges, Power button and fingerprint sensor placement can feel awkward; Lacks other new features that differentiate it from other new smartphones
Who should buy: Android loyalists who want more screen space in a smaller device will be happy with the G6. But it may be worth waiting to check out the Samsung Galaxy S8.

With Samsung on the proverbial ropes following its Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, rival Android smartphone makers like HTC and LG had a rare opportunity to leapfrog the perennial market leader. The former’s effort, the HTC U Ultra, largely failed in that regard. Now it’s LG’s turn to try.

LG’s new G6 Android phone is radically different from last year’s G5, which was designed around a customizable “modular” concept that never caught on with consumers. This time, LG is pinning its hopes on a design that dramatically reduces the “bezels” alongside the edge of the display, allowing for a bigger screen without increasing the size of the phone itself.

But is the G6 enough to go toe-to-toe with Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8, which features a similar design? Here’s what it’s like to use the LG G6, which costs between $650 and $720 depending on your wireless carrier and plan.lg-g6-02

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By far the standout feature on the LG G6 is the sharp and all-consuming screen. Colors and text looked crisp whether I was scrolling through Facebook, watching Netflix, or reading news articles. The quality looked similar to that of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus and Google’s Pixel XL. But thanks to its nearly bezel-free design — the latest trend among handset makers — the G6 has a slightly taller screen in a similarly-sized body. (LG put a 5.7-inch screen on a 5.86 by 2.83-inch phone, while the Google Pixel XL measures 6.09 by 2.98 inches and has a 5.5-inch screen. The iPhone 7 Plus similarly has a 5.5-inch display with dimensions of 6.23 by 3.07 inches). That means users get the benefit of a bigger display while the phone stays pocketable and one-handable.

LG has designed some of its apps to take advantage of the G6’s extra screen space. Square Camera, for instance, uses half the display to show you a preview of an image after it’s captured. And like older LG phones, the G6 can run multiple apps on screen simultaneously. Unfortunately, there’s little else that makes the longer screen more useful beyond watching video and the like.

Smartphone shutterbugs won’t find much to fawn over with the G6. The phone’s 13-megapixel cameras (one wide angle, one standard) will get the job done, but the results aren’t breathtakingly impressive. During a side-by-side test with the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL, the G6 produced colors that were just as vibrant as its competitors, but the autofocus wasn’t as capable. But frequent selfie-takers might be happy to know that the G6’s front-facing camera captured more background than the other devices.

Some reviewers have knocked LG for putting an older Qualcomm processor in the G6, which could be a handicap against rival devices with the latest-and-greatest hardware. But in practice, the G6 felt plenty fast when opening apps, launching the camera, processing photo edits and so on.

Although the G6 is different from last year’s LG G5 in nearly every way, there’s at least one characteristic they share: a rear-mounted power button and fingerprint sensor. LG has been placing the power button on the back of its phones for years, but it still feels awkward if you’re not used to it. The back of the G6 is also covered in glass rather than metal this time, giving it a classier look but making it prone to fingerprint smudges.

Like Google’s Pixel phones and HTC’s U Ultra, the G6 also ships with Google Assistant, the search giant’s new digital aide. The Assistant is designed to get to know your habits and behaviors over time, but I found it to be more capable than Apple’s Siri software right out of the box. When I asked the Assistant how to make red sangria, then followed up with “how about white?,” it pulled up the right recipes. After asking Siri the same question, it thought I wanted info about a friend with the last name White.

Bigger phones typically mean better battery life, and indeed, I was able to get through a full day with the G6 without having to plug it in — but barely. Rival phones, like the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus, can comfortably last for nearly a day and a half. That said, the G6 has fast-charging tech that lets the battery jump from 10% to 50% in about a half-hour, making overall battery life less of an issue.

All told, LG’s G6 is an improvement over the G5 and a solid choice for Android fans who want a bigger screen without a phone that’s physically larger. But display aside, there’s little that differentiates it from rival Android flagships out there. Android users in need of an upgrade, then, may want to wait just a little bit longer until Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is available before pulling the trigger.

LG Elec Says First Quarter Profit up 82 Percent From Year Earlier

 

FILE PHOTO: Models pose for photographs with a LG electronics’ new V20 premium smartphone during its unveiling ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc <066570.KS> said on Thursday its first-quarter operating profit rose 82 percent from a year earlier to its highest in nearly eight years on the back of healthy sales for its appliances and television businesses.Reuters

LG said January-March profit was 922 billion won ($816 million) in line with its estimate earlier in April. Revenue rose 9.7 percent to 14.7 trillion won, also in line with the company’s previous estimate.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters.

 

Nokia Is Cutting Up to 200 Jobs in Finland

Nokia plans to cut up to 200 more jobs in Finland because of weak demand for its telecom network equipment.

The Finnish company said on Thursday that the cuts are part of a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) global cost-savings plan which was announced after its 2016 acquisition of Franco-American rival Alcatel-Lucent.

“In order to succeed in this market environment we must continue to streamline our cost structure and to increase efficiency,” Nokia country manager Tommi Uitto said.

The new cuts would focus on the networks operations and support functions, he added.Image result for Nokia Is Cutting Up to 200 Jobs in Finland

Nokia (NOK, -0.81%), which has 6,100 employees in Finland and 101,000 globally, cut 960 jobs in its home market last year and also said it would do away with 1,400 positions in Germany.

A Nokia spokeswoman declined to give an overall estimate for the global headcount reduction, but unions have forecast a total of 10,000-15,000 jobs.

Nokia, which competes with Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei, reported falling first-quarter profits last month, but said the networks market was showing signs of recovery.

Ericsson (ERIC, -0.60%), which plunged to a loss in the first quarter, cut almost 5,000 jobs last year as part of its own restructuring efforts.

LG’s T-Mobile G6 BOGO deal has its end date moved up

 

Over the weekend, there was some confusion regarding the BOGO deal that LG was offering on the T-Mobile G6. Now that Monday is here, though, some new info has surfaced.

LG today updated its T-Mobile G6 BOGO offer to end today, May 15. The offer was previously scheduled to be available until June 8.

A T-Mobile memo leaked out yesterday that said that this LG offer had been pulled. Today T-Mo is telling customers that the deal is on, but is also saying that anyone with questions needs to contact LG, which makes sense because this is an LG offer, not a T-Mobile one. tmolgg6blackHowever, for reasons unknown (and unlikely to be officially announced), LG has moved up the offer’s end date by several weeks.

With LG’s deal, you can buy two T-Mobile LG G6 phones and get a $500 electronic rebate check to cover the cost of the second device after you submit your contact info, a photo of the receipt, and a photo of your IMEI. The G6 is a highly-specced flagship that’s only a little more than a month old, so this was a pretty good deal for those folks that’ve been able to take advantage of it.

Have you taken LG up on its T-Mobile G6 BOGO deal?