5 Important Features of the Latest Android 9.0

5 Important Features of the Latest Android 9.0 2After Nougat and Oreo, Google’s new OS Android 9.0 Pie is here! As the newest version of a select group of smartphones, the latest Android is packed with amazing features. Similar to other Android versions, this delicious ‘Pie’ is stirring a lot of buzz. Every gadget-lover wants to know what Google will be offering now.

This post from RTC Electronics will answer several questions about the new Android 9.0 version. Take a look at the five important features!

1) New Gesture Navigation

Unlike the three navigation buttons, home, back and overview at the bottom of the screen, the new version offers gesture navigation system. The traditional buttons are replaced with a pill-shaped icon that moves. Instead of three separate buttons, you can use this single control for the functions you need. Tap it to go home, pull it up to open the app drawer, flick it up to view recently used apps and hold it down to active your Google Assistant. The back button appears whenever you open an app, however, the overview button disappears.

2) Digital Wellbeing

Digital Wellbeing is a collection of Google’s anti-smartphone addiction tools that enables your phone to work for you and not the other way around. It’s one of the major highlights of this latest version, as it helps limit the amount of time you spend on your smartphone. But, it’s in beta testing for a few users. For example, with the dashboard feature, you can see how much time you’re spending on your phone and in the apps. With the App Timer, you can set limits for specific apps and with the Do Not Disturb (DND) function, you can silence both audio and visual alerts.

3) Adaptive Battery and Brightness

Another feature of Android Pie that can make your smartphone more personalized is adaptive battery and brightness. This system learns your usage patterns, predicts which apps you will use in the next few hours, and directs the power to only those apps. Similarly, the artificial intelligence in your OS will automatically adjust the screen brightness by learning from your manual adjustments in different lighting environments. This is a customized touch that will help increase the battery life of your device.

5 Important Features of the Latest Android 9.0

4) Slices

Slices, as the name suggests, displays information about the app directly when you search it on Google. For example, if you type Uber in the Google search app, a small ‘slice’ of the Uber app will appear below the search suggestions. A preview of the time and price for the trip to your destination will also appear. This is a great improvement for Android, as it allows you to find results from the internet and from your device at the same time. You can now search for ‘data’ and expect relevant web results, while having quick access to your device’s mobile data settings. It is truly an interesting ‘slice’ of Pie.

5) Privacy

With each version of Android, Google is improving its security features to make your smartphone more secure and to prevent the risk of data breach. In Android 9, Google has revamped the way the OS handles background apps that have permission to access your device’s location, camera, microphone and network status. Now, these apps won’t be able to access this information when idling in the background, making it harder for other devices to steal your information or spy on you without your knowledge.

The latest version of Android is packed with several ‘tasty’ upgrades. Apart from the above-mentioned features, there are improvements that focus on enhancing the overall performance of your phone. Try the Android 9.0 today and let us know which part of the ‘Pie’ you liked the most. To learn more about the latest gadgets or find the best certified electronic accessories, contact RTC Electronics.

What You Need to Know Before Buying Refurbished Computers

 Refurbished ComputerIs buying a brand-new computer out of your budget? If so, then buying a refurbished computer is the best budget-friendly solution. These reconditioned PCs or laptops cost 30-50% less compared to a new piece and are also good for the environment. However, many people hesitate in buying refurbished gadgets and electronic accessories because of several misconceptions.

If you’re considering buying a refurbished computer, then go through this blog post. We have addressed these misconceptions and tried to clear the confusion regarding refurbished devices by explaining all the important things you need to know before making the purchase decision.

Meaning of a Refurbished Computer

The common misconception is that a reconditioned computer is second-hand and of poor quality. But, the actual meaning is something different. A refurbished computer generally means the devices can’t be sold as ‘new’. As a result, they are offered for resale at discounted prices. Computers that are returned by a customer, unable to meet the standards and then restored by the manufacturer like the new, come from a cancelled order or rebuilt with new and updated components are considered as refurbished.

Process of Refurbishing

Many people fail to understand what exactly a computer goes through when it is reconditioned. It depends on the manufacturer what a refurbishment process would involve. It generally consists of a factory reset, cleaning and testing of the system. But, if the unit was damaged or faulty, repairs and/or replacement of the damaged component are also involved before the unit is sold. The process can vary depending on who is doing it. So, purchase the computer from the reputable manufacturer or an authorized dealer instead of third-party sellers to ensure that the device has undergone the appropriate level of testing.

Reasons to Buy a Refurbished Computer
Reasons to Buy a Refurbished Computer

  • Choosing a reconditioned computer can save from 20% to 50% of the cost of a brand-new piece. If you have a limited budget, then you go for a ‘like-new’ computer to get all essential features at a comparatively lower cost.

  • You’re assured of the quality of the device as it is tested and cleaned to meet the strict quality standards.

  • You get better performance at the same price as the refurbished computers often come with updated software and operating system to make them like new in appearance and performance.

  • Buying a reconditioned computer is a ‘green option’ as helps in reducing the amount of electronic waste by making the life cycle of devices way longer.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Refurbished Computer

Before you make the decision of purchasing a ‘like-new’ computer, it is important to consider all important aspects related to it.

  • Assess your current and future computing needs before buying to get the right device. If you’re planning to get the computer mostly for surfing the net, storing documents, using social media platforms and reading your mail, then a three-year-old refurbished PC will be good for you. But, if you want to install the latest video editing software or high-end games on the computer, then go through the minimum and recommended system requirements of the refurbished piece.

  • Make sure that you buy the computer from an authorized refurbisher or a certified electronics store that sells reconditioned equipment. If you make the mistake of buying used computers from a flea market, then they are likely to disappoint you with their performance.

  • Go through the warranty and return policy carefully as revamped computers generally don’t offer a two-year warranty, instead, you’ll get up to two-month warranty to cover manufacturing defects. Also, pay attention to the fine print about the seller’s refurbishment process to find out whether it includes testing or not.

  • Not all reconditioned PCs and laptops are good deals so doing some research will help you get an understanding of which model to buy.

Buying a refurbished desktop or laptop involves a little risk compared to a new computer, but it has some perks as well. Whenever you consider buying a reconditioned device, use this guide to consider every important factor and then make the purchase. To learn more about electronic accessories, contact RTC Electronics.

5 Mobile Photography Tips to Take Instagram-Worthy Pictures

5 Mobile Photography Tips to Take Instagram-Worthy PicturesMobile photography has become extremely popular in a short time. Every person with a smartphone wants to shoot stunning photos. Social media platforms like Instagram has brought mobile photography or iphoneography into vogue and encouraged the hidden photographers among us to realize their passion and make the most of this opportunity. The convenience, extra tools and flexible software in smartphones have added to the popularity of this trend.

However, irrespective of buying a high-end smartphone and having a strong desire to click beautiful pictures, not everyone is a mobile photography pro. It is true that taking incredible photos with an iPhone or other high-end smartphones is actually very easy, but only if you follow certain guidelines. In this blog post, the gadget experts at RTC Electronics will help you master the art of capturing Instagram-worthy pictures with these five useful tips.

1) Understand Your Smartphone Camera

Every mobile phone camera performs differently. Understand your device’s limitations and adjust to capitalize on the features it has. Generally, these cameras have a fixed aperture and a limited shutter speed. So, to make a good image a great one, adjust the in-camera exposure manually, according to the situation’s requirement. Also, you can download some apps that can help you overcome the limitations of your mobile phone camera.

2) Do Not Use the Zoom Feature

The zoom feature on mobile devices allows you to get a closer view of the subject. You can access it by stretching two fingers on the screen. But, instead of taking a closer and clearer picture of the subject, it crops the image and decreases its quality, thus giving a blurred or pixelated photograph. The reason is that the camera offers a digital zoom and not an optical zoom. So, if you want to take a photo of a faraway subject, walk closer and take a better-quality shot, instead of using the zoom.

Instagram-Worthy Pictures

3) Keep Your Camera Steady

Shaking your camera while clicking pictures, especially at night or in low light conditions, will make you lose out on a great picture. When you take photos in low light, your smartphone camera uses a slow shutter speed to allow more light into the sensor. If you make any movements during this time, then the image quality is compromised. Fix this issue by keeping your camera steady, holding it horizontally for a wider frame, trying burst mode to click moving objects and using a proper shutter button or timer.

4) Try Different Angles

Don’t stick to one style of photography. Try unique angles and viewpoints to add interest to the photographs. If you have had enough of landscape photography, then take portraits and macro pictures to develop new styles. This practice will make you versatile and help in mastering various genres.

5) Use the Rule of Thirds for Composition

The composition of a picture is as important as focus and exposure. If the composition is poor, the picture you clicked will fail to grab attention, let alone getting likes on Instagram. To improve your composition technique, use the rule of thirds. It is a guideline which states that an image should be divided into nine equal parts (by two vertical and two horizontal lines). When composing an image, the subject should be placed along these lines or their intersections. This alignment makes the picture well-balanced and interesting. Practice taking pictures with off-centre composition to click an eye-catching photograph.

Use the above-mentioned tips to improve your mobile photography skills and to learn some more tips, consult other photographers. But, remember that you need to have a high-end smartphone to use its camera for awesome pictures. Make sure that you purchase your smart-phone and other gadgets from a reputable electronic store to get value for your money.

A Guide to Different Types of Microphones

A Guide to Different Types of MicrophonesWhether you’re performing live on stage or recording in a studio, a suitable microphone is a key element to your rendition. It produces superior-quality sound and enhances your performance by converting the sound waves into audio signals and controlling the frequencies according to your needs. However, the tricky part is that not all microphones are the same.

There are various types of microphones that covert sound differently into electrical signals. They also contrast on the basis of directionality, diaphragm size and transducer or capsule. That’s why it’s important to choose the right type according to your purpose.

But the question is, how do you determine which one will be suitable for your performance? Fear not, RTC Electronics, a well-known electronics store in Mississauga, has compiled a guide that explains the different types of microphones to help you buy the right one.

Directionality or Polar Pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone is the direction in which the device will pick up the sound. Devices that are more sensitive to sound arriving from a particular direction, block the sound from other angles or positions. Understanding the polar pattern of a mic is crucial to catch the required sound and eliminate the unwanted noise. Some of the popular versions are listed below:

1) Omnidirectional Mics

Microphones with an omnidirectional polar pattern can pick up sound within a 360° radius. They can be represented with a perfect circle or sphere. Their design enables them to efficiently capture nuances and produce a more natural sound. This type of mic is ideal for recording acoustic instruments or when recording sound in an open space such as a choir or orchestra. The only problem with these microphones is that they lack noise rejection, which makes them unsuitable for loud and noisy venues.

2) Cardioid Mics

Cardioid microphones are commonly used by professionals. They have a heart-shaped polar pattern and are more sensitive in the front part. These front-focused mics allow you to record the sound from a single sound source while isolating it from the unnecessary ambient sounds. They are suitable for both live performances and studio recordings as they are good at noise reduction. However, these mics become less sensitive and pick up less sound when the object or source moves around.

3) Hyper-Cardioid and Super-Cardioid Mics

Mics with super-cardioid polar pattern and hyper-cardioid polar pattern are variations of a cardioid shape. However, they are more directional than the cardioid mics. Apart from picking sound from the front, they are also sensitive to sound from the rear and sides. The only difference between super-cardioid and hyper-cardioid is that the rear directionality or pick-up area of the former is narrower than the latter. The directionality of these mics helps them provide higher-resistance to feedback and enhanced noise rejection. They are the go-to choice for noisy stage performances and untreated recording rooms.

4) Figure-8 Mics

Figure-8 mics get the name from the graphical representation of their polar pattern which looks like the number 8. They are equally sensitive to sound from the front and the rear, but have a high rejection to sound coming from the two sides. With these mics, you can record two voices at the same time by placing sources at opposite ends of the device. They are also ideal for stereo recording.

Diaphragm Size

A Guide to Different Types of Microphones 2

The diaphragm is an important component of a microphone. It is a thin and flexible material that vibrates when sound waves strike it. The design, material, thickness and diameter of the diaphragm plays a vital role in determining the sensitivity, internal noise level, pressure level handling and dynamic range of the device. Therefore, mics are also classified based on their diaphragm’s size.

1) Small Diaphragm Mics

These microphones have stiffer diaphragms that enable them to handle higher pressure levels and have wider frequency range. They also have low sensitivity and increased internal noise. Their compact design (pencil-shaped) makes them easier to carry and position, and are recommended for acoustic instruments such as guitar, cymbals and hi-hats.

2) Large Diaphragm Mics

Microphones with large diaphragms are more sensitive to sound because of an increased surface area. These mics have large and flexible diaphragms that are capable of detecting even faint differences in sound. However, they have a limited frequency response because the diaphragm is larger and the sound waves need to move more mass. They are most commonly used as modern USB microphones as they produce more transparent and natural sound.

3) Medium Diaphragm Mics

These microphones combine the features of their small and large counterparts. They catch high-frequency sound like a small diaphragm and produce fuller and warmer sound like a large diaphragm. They are not as popular as other microphones but do a decent job in both live performances and studio recordings.

Transducer Type (Capsule)

A transducer, also known as a capsule, is a device or sensor in a mic that detects an audio signal and converts it into an electrical signal. A microphone can have different types of transducers, which can be classified into the following:

A Guide to Different Types of Microphones 1

1) Dynamic Mics

Dynamic microphones are one of the most commonly used varieties because of their versatility, durability, inexpensiveness and less sensitivity to ambient sound. They have a simple, sturdy structure and don’t need a power supply. These mics have a moving coil magnetic diaphragm that catches high sound pressure levels. They’re an ideal choice for recording sound from loud instruments such as electronic guitar and drum kits. Dynamic mics are great for both live performances and studio recordings as they eliminate unwanted distortion while recording loud sounds.

2) Condenser Mics

Condenser mics have a thin conductive diaphragm placed near a metal backplate. In this arrangement, the condenser is charged with electrical currents to create sensitivity. Instead of moving coils, these mics use capacitance to create audio signals, which improves the sound quality. As they are very sensitive to breathing and popping, they pick up a lot more details compared to dynamic mics. That’s why they are perfect for precision recording and capturing subtle sounds such as acoustic guitars and pianos. Due to their high sensitivity, they are an inappropriate choice for high-level sound. If you’re using a condenser mic for recording vocals, a popper stopper or pop shield is required to stop the excess air pressure from vibrating the microphone.

3) Ribbon Mics

Ribbon microphones are not as popular as the above-mentioned types, but they’re the most fragile. They have a delicate design that features a very thin ribbon element in a magnetic field within the capsule. This ribbon vibrates and converts sound waves into electrical signals by magnetic induction. These expensive mics are great to pick up the nuances of intricate sound sources. The extreme sensitivity of these microphones make them ideal for vocals, piano, choirs and string instruments.

The world of microphones is unique and diverse. There are several varieties of microphones that are divided on the basis of polar pattern, diaphragm size and the type of transducer. Hopefully, the above-mentioned guide will help you understand the different types of microphones and choose a suitable one according to your needs.

If you have already decided on your favourite type, browse through our collection of high-grade wireless microphones and hand wired microphones to select the one that suits you.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Subwoofer

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Subwoofer 2A subwoofer is a loudspeaker dedicated to reproducing bass or low-frequency sound. It is designed to improve the low-frequency range of loudspeakers producing high-pitched frequencies and enhance your general listening experience. This impressive device is available in a variety of sizes with various configurations. With so many options to buy from, selecting a suitable one can be a little tricky.

At RTC Electronics, a leading electronics store in Mississauga, we have an understanding of what to look for in an electronic device. That’s why we have compiled a list of key factors that you should consider when buying a subwoofer to make the most of your purchase.

Size

The size of a subwoofer is an important factor as the larger the surface area, the deeper the sound will be. The larger the box, the more air is moved by the subwoofer and louder bass is produced. If you want your device to produce a tighter, richer sounding bass, then go for a small-sized subwoofer. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a deeper and louder sound, then a larger device is best. Subwoofers are generally available in four sizes, 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches and 15 inches. When choosing the size, make sure that you have ample power and space for the subwoofer. For example, if you have chosen 15 inches’ device, but you’re unable to provide the power required to produce the sound, then it is a waste.

Enclosure

Subwoofers are generally placed in a wooden enclosure that comes in two kinds of builds, sealed and vented. A subwoofer with sealed enclosure is built to produce tight, accurate bass as there is no place for air to move in or out. On the contrary, vented or ported enclosures are built to produce the maximum output from the subwoofer. They are suitable for producing sound with deeper bass. In this enclosure, vents are used to reinforce low bass frequencies, but in order to do so, their accuracy takes a hit.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a SubwooferSealed enclosures are not as efficient as vented enclosures because they require more power to produce the same amount of bass. In short, if you want more thumping sound, then a subwoofer with ported enclosure is the right choice whereas if you’re looking for clarity over power, then go for a sealed enclosure.

Power

Considering the power handling capacity of a speaker is essential as not all subwoofers can receive the same amount of power. Make sure that the subwoofer you want to purchase matches with the amplifier you’re using to get the maximum output. That said, if you want plenty of bass, then go for a powered subwoofer with built-in amps and driver so that there’s no need to get additional power from your home theatre receiver.

Design

There are two types of subwoofer designs, down-firing and side-firing. As the name suggests, a down-firing subwoofer is pointed downwards whereas a side-firing subwoofer is pointed in the front or on the sides. Interestingly, bass is less directional than treble or higher-frequencies. But, if you want the bass to directly come towards you, choose a front-firing sub whereas if you want the bass to spread evenly inside the room, then a side-firing is the best choice.

When buying a subwoofer, make sure that you consider its size, power handling capacity, design and enclosure type. It will help you choose an appropriate device for your home theatre and boost the quality of sound produced. To learn more about finding the right subwoofers, contact RTC Electronics, a leading e-commerce retailer of electronic accessories in Mississauga.

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