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This Week's Chitter Chatter - Samsung Galaxy A8, iPhone Batteries and Free Roaming.
Let's start this week with some rather interesting leaks concerning the Samsung Galaxy A8 recently. In fact a video featuring the forthcoming Samsung smartphone was leaked online. If the short film is accurate then the Galaxy A8 specs are very impressive as it is set to feature a beautiful 5.7-inch Super AMOLED 1080p resolution display and will be ultra slim at just 5.9mm. It's thought that it will come with a fingerprint sensor and will boast a 16-megapixel camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. Under the cover, the Samsung Galaxy A8 will be powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM and will run on the Android Lollipop 5.1 operating system. There's also 16GB of onboard expandable storage and a good-sized 3050mAh battery. There is no confirmed launch date as yet but we're expecting it to be officially unveiled soon.
Moving on from Samsung onto Apple, and it should now be a whole lot easier to get your iPhone battery replaced at one of Apple's stores. Apple have revised their AppleCare+ warranty policy which means that batteries in iPhones and other small iOS devices can be replaced once it goes below 80% of its initial capacity. If you have an Apple Mac, then the same policy now will cover your Mac for a battery swop if the capacity dips under 50%. Previously Apple would only allow a replacement battery for iPhones where the battery capacity had gone under 50% and Mac batteries would only be replaced if they were faulty.
And now something that's good news no matter what smartphone you own and that's if you call an 0800 or 0808 number it's now free from both mobile phones and landlines. Telecoms regulator Ofcom have been busy overhauling the phone number system and also the way in which phone calls are charged and the free calls came into effect last week. Essentially if you are calling a 'freephone' number then there is no longer a charge to call from a mobile phone. Phone calls to service numbers beginning with 084, 087, 118 or 09 have also been revised so that the cost of the call is split between the mobile phone provider and the company being called.
And finally, more good news for mobile users and that's the end of expensive and unpopular mobile phone roaming charges in the EU. An agreement has been provisionally drawn up to abolish roaming charges within the European Union so in two years time (July 2017), we will no longer be charged additional costs for calls, texts and internet usage if you're travelling in an EU country. Over the last few years, the cost of using a mobile phone in Europe has been coming down and these will be reduced again significantly from the end of April next year before being scrapped completely in July 2017. This means that the cost of using your smartphone in the EU will be the same as it would be in the UK, however there will be some sort of cap on how much roaming you can rack up to stop it being excessively used.