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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Kovach’

It’s a make-or-break moment for Samsung with the launch of the Galaxy S8

DJ Koh, Samsung president of mobile communications, shows the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones during the Samsung Unpacked event in New York City, United States March 29, 2017. Samsung Mobile CEO DJ Koh with the Galaxy S8. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Samsung’s big test is coming in less than a week.

On April 21, customers will get their hands on the Galaxy S8, Samsung’s first flagship phone since the embarrassing Galaxy Note 7 debacle that damaged the company’s reputation and wiped about $17 billion from its value last year.

Not a good look.

But early impressions of the Galaxy S8 have been amazing.

From a design perspective, the phone features a gorgeous curved screen that takes up almost the entire front of the phone. (Samsung calls it an “Infinity Display” because it gives you the impression that there are minimal borders on the sides.) It’s also made from all glass and metal, with a svelte body that feels great in the hand or pocket.

Overall, the phone features a larger screen in a slim and light package. The iPhone looks chunky by comparison. The Galaxy S8 is the early favorite for the best phone of 2017.

Plus, there are loads of thoughtful hardware innovations like wireless charging and a top-of-the-line camera that has yet to be beaten by competitors. Even after last year’s stumbles, it feels like Samsung is gearing up for a major redemption thanks to the Galaxy S8. (As long as the battery doesn’t explode again, of course.)

Still, there are a few concerns ahead of the launch. Samsung was forced to admit Tuesday that its new voice assistant Bixby won’t be ready when the phone launches. That’s probably a good thing, given that Bixby struggled to work properly in an early demo I saw a few weeks ago. But it’s an embarrassing admission by Samsung that it can’t keep pace with the growing voice-control category dominated by Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Samsung’s decision to create Bixby didn’t make much sense in the first place, since the phone will also ship with Google Assistant, Android’s excellent digital helper. That threatens to confuse users with two different assistants on the same device. Good luck with that.

And until Bixby does launch with a software update later this spring, the dedicated Bixby button on the side of the phone won’t serve a purpose at all. That’s another bad look at a time Samsung needs to really wow users again to make up for last year’s embarrassments.

All that said, the Galaxy S8 will likely live up to most of its expectations. Samsung hasn’t commented specifically on demand, but did say the phone saw growth in pre-orders in the US over last year’s Galaxy S7, which was also well received.

If I had to bet, most people will look beyond the relatively minor software flubs Samsung is making with the Galaxy S8 and instead focus on the innovative hardware and design. Frankly, the iPhone has never looked so far behind in those categories.

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19 things in tech we’re thankful for this year

TurkeyGobble! Gobble!REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Ah, Thanksgiving.

Turkey. Stuffing. Arguing over fake news stories with your crazy uncle.

What’s not to love?

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, so the Business Insider tech reporting team likes to look back at all the products, services, and other tech gizmos we’re thankful for each year.

Keep reading to see our picks.

View As: One Page Slides

Steve Kovach, senior correspondent: Hey Siri, OK Google, and Alexa have changed the way I interact with a lot of my gadgets. These “wake commands” make it easy for me to get information or perform simple tasks on my phone or Amazon Echo.

Steve Kovach, senior correspondent: Hey Siri, OK Google, and Alexa have changed the way I interact with a lot of my gadgets. These "wake commands" make it easy for me to get information or perform simple tasks on my phone or Amazon Echo.

Amazon

Kovach: I’m also thankful for Amazon Prime. It’s tough to find time to shop, and I buy everything on Amazon from cat food to toilet paper. It more than pays for itself every year.

Kovach: I'm also thankful for Amazon Prime. It's tough to find time to shop, and I buy everything on Amazon from cat food to toilet paper. It more than pays for itself every year.

Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

Rob Price, reporter: My Amazon Kindle. While I love reading physical books, the Kindle is an incredibly useful tool, and I’ve got more use from it than any other gadget. After six years, hundreds of books, and thousands of miles, mine finally gave up this year and I can’t wait to get another.

Rob Price, reporter: My Amazon Kindle. While I love reading physical books, the Kindle is an incredibly useful tool, and I've got more use from it than any other gadget. After six years, hundreds of books, and thousands of miles, mine finally gave up this year and I can't wait to get another.

Amazon

Kif Leswing, reporter: I’m thankful for iMessage and the fact that you can send them from your Mac. It’s pretty much the main way I keep in touch with friends and family, which are what I’m REALLY thankful for.

Kif Leswing, reporter: I'm thankful for iMessage and the fact that you can send them from your Mac. It's pretty much the main way I keep in touch with friends and family, which are what I'm REALLY thankful for.

Screenshot/Tech Insider

Jim Edwards, editor in chief of Business Insider UK: I’m thankful for Nuzzel, an app that gets rid of all the garbage on Twitter and saves only the best bits in the form of a constantly updated, super-relevant news source.

Jim Edwards, editor in chief of Business Insider UK: I'm thankful for Nuzzel, an app that gets rid of all the garbage on Twitter and saves only the best bits in the form of a constantly updated, super-relevant news source.

iTunes

Jim Edwards: I’m also thankful for the Reddit mobile app. You’re never bored if you have access to Reddit.

Jim Edwards: I'm also thankful for the Reddit mobile app. You're never bored if you have access to Reddit.

Reuters

Antonio Villas-Boas, reporter: I’m thankful for the devices that turned my old house into a smart house. I have a smart security system so I don’t have to wonder if I locked up after I leave, a smart thermostat, and a video doorbell.

Antonio Villas-Boas, reporter: I'm thankful for the devices that turned my old house into a smart house. I have a smart security system so I don't have to wonder if I locked up after I leave, a smart thermostat, and a video doorbell.

A shot from Antonio’s video doorbell.Screenshot from Vivint app

Julie Bort, editor: I’m thankful for Google Maps. I’m one of those people without a sense of direction and from traveling internationally to finding a new restaurant in my town, I couldn’t do it without this app.

Julie Bort, editor: I'm thankful for Google Maps. I'm one of those people without a sense of direction and from traveling internationally to finding a new restaurant in my town, I couldn't do it without this app.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Julie Bort: I’m also thankful for MyFitnessPal. It’s not a perfect app, but it has made calorie counting and exercise tracking so much easier. I’m now using it with my friends to stay motivated during the dark of winter, when all we want to do is sleep and eat sweets.

Julie Bort: I'm also thankful for MyFitnessPal. It's not a perfect app, but it has made calorie counting and exercise tracking so much easier. I'm now using it with my friends to stay motivated during the dark of winter, when all we want to do is sleep and eat sweets.

Business Insider’s Julie Bort is an avid cyclist. Here she is with Lance Armstrong.Julie Bort

Avery Hartmans, reporter: I’m thankful for the VSCO app, which lets me quickly and easily make sophisticated edits to photos on my phone.

Avery Hartmans, reporter: I'm thankful for the VSCO app, which lets me quickly and easily make sophisticated edits to photos on my phone.

App Store

Avery Hartmans: I’m also thankful for the integration of Google services like Maps, Gmail, Photos, and Calendar. I love being able to pull up directions to my next meeting by clicking the address in my calendar, or quickly back up all my pictures so I can access them anywhere.

Avery Hartmans: I'm also thankful for the integration of Google services like Maps, Gmail, Photos, and Calendar. I love being able to pull up directions to my next meeting by clicking the address in my calendar, or quickly back up all my pictures so I can access them anywhere.

Google

Matt Rosoff, executive editor: I’m thankful for the Eero wireless router, which is the first WiFi system that was as easy to set up as promised and has blanketed my house in fast, reliable WiFi. It’s the best tech purchase I’ve made in a long time.

Matt Rosoff, executive editor: I'm thankful for the Eero wireless router, which is the first WiFi system that was as easy to set up as promised and has blanketed my house in fast, reliable WiFi. It's the best tech purchase I've made in a long time.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Matt Rosoff: I’m thankful for Slack. It lets our tech reporting team collaborate, gossip, and even joke around, which is super important since we’re collaborating across the country. I love the freewheeling nature of our Slack chats.

Matt Rosoff: I'm thankful for Slack. It lets our tech reporting team collaborate, gossip, and even joke around, which is super important since we're collaborating across the country. I love the freewheeling nature of our Slack chats.

Slack

Steven Tweedie, deputy editor: I’m thankful for my Hue lighting system at home, which lets me customize the warmth and color of all my lights (I hate the sterile glow of most bulbs). I can also set things up so everything turns on when I walk in the door, and it also plugs into my iPhone’s widgets and Siri so I don’t have to worry about light switches. If you’re a fan of uplighting, go with the Hue Lightstrips (pictured below) instead of the traditional bulbs.

Steven Tweedie, deputy editor: I'm thankful for my Hue lighting system at home, which lets me customize the warmth and color of all my lights (I hate the sterile glow of most bulbs). I can also set things up so everything turns on when I walk in the door, and it also plugs into my iPhone's widgets and Siri so I don't have to worry about light switches. If you're a fan of uplighting, go with the Hue Lightstrips (pictured below) instead of the traditional bulbs.

Steven Tweedie

Alexei Oreskovic, deputy editor: LinkedIn! It makes our jobs as reporters so much easier when we need to find sources.

Alexei Oreskovic: I’m also thankful for the algorithm-based elevator at our WeWork office in San Francisco. It doesn’t let you push a button for your floor and forces you to wait for whichever elevator its mysterious brain deems to be in your interest.

Alexei Oreskovic: I'm also thankful for the algorithm-based elevator at our WeWork office in San Francisco. It doesn't let you push a button for your floor and forces you to wait for whichever elevator its mysterious brain deems to be in your interest.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Lori Janjigian, intern: I’m thankful for the Kindle app on my iPad and Amazon’s selection of ebooks. It makes my commute to work so much easier to have a whole book at my fingertips.

Lori Janjigian, intern: I'm thankful for the Kindle app on my iPad and Amazon's selection of ebooks. It makes my commute to work so much easier to have a whole book at my fingertips.

iTunes

Matt Weinberger, reporter: I’m thankful for Twitter. Despite its many, many flaws it’s still been a fabulous tool for discussion, learning, and different perspectives. Boy howdy, do they have a lot of work to do though.

Matt Weinberger, reporter: I'm thankful for Twitter. Despite its many, many flaws it's still been a fabulous tool for discussion, learning, and different perspectives. Boy howdy, do they have a lot of work to do though.

Thomson Reuters

Nathan McAlone, editor: I’m thankful for the travel app Hopper, which tells me the optimal economic time to book my flights so I can see my family across the country in California without going bankrupt.

Nathan McAlone, editor: I'm thankful for the travel app Hopper, which tells me the optimal economic time to book my flights so I can see my family across the country in California without going bankrupt.

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