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Powerbeats Pro: 9 tips and tricks to master Beats’ completely wireless earbuds



The new Powerbeats Pro offers everything Apple’s AirPods ($199 at Amazon) do, but design for those who are more active. They’re sweat- and water-resistant and have Apple’s H1 chip for easy pairing, Hey, Siri functionality, extended range and long battery life.

Apple began taking preorders last week, with deliveries of the black Powerbeats Pro expected May 10. The remaining three colors won’t ship until later this summer.

With nearly the same feature set as the AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro go beyond being just another pair of Bluetooth earbuds. Learn how to master your Powerbeats Pro with pairing, battery life, and physical controls.

Pair to your iPhone, iPad

Pairing the Powerbeats Pro with your iPhone is way too easy. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Pairing the Powerbeats Pro with your iPhone takes two seconds — literally. Unlock your phone and open the charging case. An animation will show up on your phone; tap Connect.

This same process will also work on an iPad or iPod Touch ($200 at Walmart) running the latest version of iOS. As with Apple’s AirPods, the initial pairing of the Powerbeats Pro will sync across all Apple devices using your iCloud account. So that two-second process just paired it with your iPhone, Mac, iPad and Apple Watch ($349 at Amazon).

Pair with an Android phone

Of course, you can still use the Powerbeats Pro with a non-Apple device. If you haven’t already paired the earbuds to another device, open the case next to your Android phone and go into the Bluetooth settings menu on your phone.

If you have paired the earbuds with another device already, place both earbuds in the case and then hold in the button near the front of the case until the status light begins blinking white.

‘Hey, Siri’

Thanks to Apple’s H1 chip that’s used in the Powerbeats Pro, the earbuds support the “Hey, Siri” wake command out of the box. Whenever you’re using the earbuds, just say “Hey, Siri” followed by a command to play music, check messages, or ask Siri questions. You don’t have to wait for Siri to respond after the initial wake phrase — just keep talking.

Turn off Automatic Ear Detection

Powerbeats Pro auto ear detection
If you’re not a fan of auto-play or auto-pause, you can disable it. Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Powerbeats Pro will automatically detect when they are put in or taken out of your ears. If you’d rather not have audio pause or start automatically, you can disable it.

While using the Powerbeats Pro, open the Settings app on any iOS device and select Bluetooth. Tap on the “i” next to the Powerbeats Pro name > toggle Automatic Ear Detection to the Off position.

Rename your Beats

If you want to personalize the name used in Bluetooth menus for your Powerbeats Pro, you can do that in the same Bluetooth settings. On any iOS device go to Settings > Bluetooth > tap the “i” next to the Powerbeats Pro name > Name. Type in your custom name and exit the settings app.

Physical controls

Both earbuds have volume controls as well as a button that can trigger Siri and control media playback. The Beats logo is a multifunction button, with various presses triggering different controls. Here are the actions we’ve discovered so far:

  • Long press: Triggers Siri
  • Single press: Play/Pause
  • Double press: Skip track
  • Triple press: Go back one track

And yes, the physical controls even work on non-Apple devices. 

Check battery life

Powerbeats Pro has some of the same features as Apple’s AirPods, such as easily checking battery life. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Checking the battery life of your earbuds and the charging case by placing the earbuds in the case and opening it next to your unlocked iPhone. A pop-up similar to the initial pairing prompt will show up, detailing the battery life for all three pieces.

Another option is to enable the Battery widget in the Today view and viewing battery life when you’re actively using the Powerbeats Pro.

Get a better fit

Inside the box, under the charging case, you’ll find an instruction booklet, a USB Lightning cable for charging the case, and three additional sets of tips for the earbuds. Each set is a different size, which should help you find the best fit for inside your ears.

The Powerbeats Pros wrap around the back of your ear, and that, too, is adjustable. The ear hook bends in every direction, so you can position each earbud for a tighter or looser fit based on your comfort.

Fast charging

Place the earbuds into the charging case for a quick top-off. David Carnoy/CNET

The charging case can fast charge your earbuds. A 5-minute charge gives you 1.5 hours of use, while a 15-minute charge gives you 4.5 hours of use. In total, the Powerbeats Pro has a battery life of up to nine hours.

In case you’re curious: Charging the earbuds is done by placing them in the case. The right earbud needs to go on the right side of the case, and the left goes on the left. As you place the earbuds into the case, magnets will guide the earbud into the right spot. The charging case is charged via a Lightning port on the back of the case.

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Source: Powerbeats Pro: 9 tips and tricks to master Beats’ completely wireless earbuds

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Tech News

Apple disables its walkie-talkie Watch app due to vulnerability




Apple has disabled its Walkie Talkie Watch app due to a vulnerability that could’ve allowed someone to listen in on other iPhones, the company told Techcrunch. In a statement, Apple said that the vulnerability — which requires specific conditions and actions to exploit — hasn’t been used against anyone as far as it knows. It apologized to users and said it would restore the app once a fix is found.

We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Walkie Talkie is a FaceTime feature that enables push-to-talk calls between users, provided they grant permission. The feature was added to Watch with the release of watchOS 5, and gives users a fun, Dick Tracy-like way to communicate, anywhere in the world.

Facetime has been Apple’s biggest security headache of late. Early this year, a teenager discovered a vulnerability that allowed someone to listen in on a call before it was picked up. Apple failed to respond promptly to that issue, which drew the attention of a US House Committee.

The company seems to have learned its lesson, handling the bug (reported on its vulnerability portal) promptly and taking action to mitigate it. Apple also took decisive action just yesterday after a major bug was reported with Zoom’s videoconferencing software.


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Tech News

Google shuts down Nest app for Apple Watch and Wear OS




People take control of their smart thermostat from their wrist so infrequently that Google has decided to completely scrap its Nest app for both Apple Watch and the company’s own Wear OS platform. The smartwatch Nest app offered a quick way to adjust the thermostat’s target temperature or operating mode. But now it simply displays a “Nest is no longer supported on Wear OS” message when opened and instructs customers to uninstall it.

“We took a look at Nest app users on smartwatches and found that only a small number of people were using it,” a Google spokesperson told 9to5Google. “Moving forward our team will spend more time focusing on delivering high quality experiences through mobile apps and voice interactions.”

Is this some monumental loss? No, not really. You can still just pull out your phone and do those same things (and more) with the Nest mobile app on Android and iOS. Notifications from the Nest smartphone app will continue to show up on your watch. Plus, anyone with a Wear OS watch can use Google Assistant to control Nest devices with their voice. Apple Watch owners don’t have that fallback, however.

So even Google has concluded one of its own Wear OS apps — one that was a good example of a smartwatch’s convenience — just isn’t worth the effort any longer. It’s putting even less work into supporting the Apple Watch, with 9to5Google noting that Google Keep is the company’s last remaining watchOS app.


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Huawei looking to Russia for technology to cut reliance on US tech




Chinese telecom giant Huawei has contacted several Russian tech firms to create joint ventures and use their technologies, sources told business news outlet RBC. Huawei plans to significantly increase its sales in Russia.

Over the past few months, Huawei has contacted several Russian firms, including the developers of Elbrus processors and Alt operating systems (OS), as well as a producer of software and information security equipment.

People familiar with the matter said the Chinese corporation is interested in using the Elbrus processor in its hardware, including the servers. Talks on cooperation are currently underway.

Huawei is also in talks with Basalt SPO, the Russian developer of a software platform, which is producing the Alt processing systems. Russian operating systems for workstations and servers are being produced on the basis of the company’s software platform.

“Huawei wants to license Alt operating systems in order to use them in its own computers and servers. Negotiations have been ongoing for several months already, with both sides strongly interested in cooperation,” one of the sources said. According to another source, after the Alt licensing process is complete, Huawei computers and servers will be sold both in Russia and on Asian markets.

The general director of Basalt SPO, Aleksey Smirnov, told RBC that the company is interested in cooperation with large international corporations. He, however, declined to give any details.

All the sources noted that Huawei has intensified its presence on the Russian market after Washington barred US tech companies from dealing with Huawei.

Last month, the Chinese telecom reportedly started negotiating a replacement for Android OS with the Aurora OS which is currently being developed by Moscow-based firm Russian Mobile Platform. The possibility of installing the Aurora operating system on Huawei smartphones has even been discussed during a meeting of Russian and Chinese leaders. They have also talked about the potential localization of some of Huawei’s production facilities in Russia. Huawei has also launched a pilot 5G project with the Russian telecom MTS.

In May, the world’s biggest telecom equipment supplier and second largest smartphone manufacturer, Huawei, was put on an “entity list,” as part of the trade war between Washington and Beijing. The Trump administration severely restricted American companies from trading with the Chinese tech firm.


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