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Inside Tech

Inside Tech
How does a $100 smartphone compare to a $1,000 flagship?

If you buy a smartphone for $100, how much are you really missing out on compared to higher-end phones? I recently tested the new Alcatel 1X and pitted it against an iPhone X (pronounced “ten” – fitting because it costs ten times more). It is undoubtedly impressive how much you get for $100, nowadays. Now […]

Apple is taking longer to release hardware updates

Waiting on Apple to update a gadget before you make an order? It’s not your imagination – the time between Apple’s product updates is getting longer. Using data from MacRumors’ Buyer’s Guide, I tallied the average days between hardware updates for Apple TV, iMac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro. I chose […]

How the Welcome to Las Vegas sign has changed over the years

The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign you see today isn’t exactly the original. Perhaps that’s to be expected in a desert where violent winds and blistering sunlight can take a toll on any plastic, but it may surprise visitors who pose with one of the most photographed signs in the world. First, some backstory: […]

Data plans are a hot mess – here’s how to fix them

When I bought my cellular-connected Apple Watch, I was stunned to find that carriers charge $10 per month for data. That’s an extra $120 each year to shoot emails and texts to my wrist. Then I found out that $10 per month doesn’t allot additional data, but instead siphons my iPhone’s existing ration. To top […]

Wires marring Las Vegas sign photos need to go

It’s possibly the most photographed sign in the world. “There is probably no bigger Las Vegas icon than that sign,” said Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak. Behind the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign lies the Strip, rows of palm trees, and – depending on your camera angle – up to 12 power lines […]

THE LATEST
What Apple’s nav bar evolution says about the company

Remember iReview or iCards? Those tools once occupied coveted space atop one of the 100 most-visited websites in the world: Apple.com. Both were short-lived products. Most changes to Apple.com are gradual. Rather than a splashy periodic redesign that overhauls everything, the site tends to evolve so gently that changes are barely noticeable. A cursory review […]

In a digital age, why aren’t restaurant grades in search results?

Recently, my dad’s cousin (whom I haven’t seen in seven years) visited from North Carolina. He was in Las Vegas for just one night and invited me to pick a spot for dinner. I asked a friend for recommendations; I researched options online. I read reviews and scoured menus. I opened Google Street View and […]

Your digital assistant could be a better student

At my last newspaper, I gave tours of the press. Whenever someone asked a tough question, I’d try to find the answer for them. What I wouldn’t do is apologize and forget about it. Yet that’s exactly what our digital assistants – Alexa, Cortana, et al. – do. When our virtual assistants don’t know an […]

We don’t know what Siri’s capable of, and that’s a big problem

You want to find an app or create a folder. Do you do it yourself or summon Siri? If you’re like me, you probably try to accomplish your goal sans Siri. That’s a stunning fall from grace for the once-extolled digital assistant. When Siri was born eight years ago, she was smart. Now, she’s entered […]

150+ things Siri still can’t do for you

With all her shortcomings, it’s come in vogue to inveigh against Siri. But how short has she really come? I was curious why the bodiless voice that seduced us at launch no longer satisfies expectations. So I put Siri to the test and assembled a list of skills one could reasonably expect by now. Alas, here’s a […]

Apps for everything? There must be a better way

Every Sunday the greeters at my church hand out bulletins. They typically run out. In this digital age, when nearly everyone has a screen in their pocket, why are we still using paper bulletins, guidebooks, programs, menus, et cetera? The problem isn’t putting the information online. It’s getting newcomers and short-term visitors to the right digital […]

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

How often does your smart speaker get smarter?

I bought Amazon’s Echo soon after it launched in late 2014. Since then, the device has received dozens of new features – and a few competitors, like the Google Home and Apple’s HomePod. With three tech giants now offering their own monochromic, tubular robots, which company is giving me the most free new stuff post-purchase? […]

6 things you didn’t know about CNN’s drone program

CNN may have the most advanced drone program of any news outlet in the U.S. The network’s senior director of aerial imagery and reporting, Greg Agvent, recently visited Las Vegas. Here are six things you probably didn’t know about how CNN uses drones to cover news: 1. CNN typically flies DJI drones The standard drone […]

Amazon Echo can’t make video calls unless you have a phone

My grandparents recently received an Amazon Echo Show. My family hoped the device would let them easily video chat with their children and grandchildren. We quickly learned, however, that Echos can’t make calls (video, audio, or messages) without a cell phone. And my grandparents don’t own a cell phone. They have a tablet, which allowed us […]