Wirelessly charging an iPhone usually means you need some bulky case accessory. The iQi adds it without the bulk and lets you choose your own case or cover. How does it work? Quite well as you can see in this video demonstration. Read more »
Acer continues to round out its Chromebook C720 lineup, announcing on Tuesday its new touchscreen model for $299. That’s a far lower price than the other touchscreen Chromebook currently available: Google’s Chromebook Pixel starts at $1,299. Of course, you don’t get the Pixel experience with the C720: It uses an 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 resolution screen, for example. Acer says the new C720 touchscreen model runs on the same Intel Celeron as the other C720 devices, meaning it should offer similar battery life of around 7.5 hours. The device, available in early December from Best Buy and Acer directly includes 32 GB of internal flash storage and 2 GB of memory.
For a limited time, when you buy a Nexus 7 from Google Play online, you’ll get a $25 credit to the Google Play app store. Read more »
You should now have an easier time searching for the apps you want in Apple’s App Store, according to a report that its search engine has been refined. Read more »
BBM Channels is becoming available to all users with a handset running BB5 or higher today, with an update to the Android and iOS apps to follow in the coming months. Read more »
WhatsApp and a handful of other over-the-top communications apps — including BBM — are cementing their dominance in social messaging across the world. People still love Facebook Messenger, just not as much as they used to. Read more »
In tandem with Monday’s rollout of KitKat for the HTC One Google Play edition, Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 Play edition is also getting the software. Google shared the news late Monday evening on its Android Google+ page. With Android 4.4 being the largest upgrade since the sale of Google Play edition phones, the quick release of the software shows a sort of “pecking order” for Android upgrades. Obviously the Nexus phones, which aren’t carrier controlled, get the software first, quickly followed by the Google Play phones, which are largely a pure Android experience. One notable exception is Google’s own Motorola phones; Android updates for the Moto X began last week.
Add another tablet-optimized app to the list for Android. DoubleTwist, the excellent music player with AirPlay support, has a new look and new features that make it better on tablets. Read more »
You can order an unlocked Moto G today starting at $179. The phone starts shipping next week. Read more »
Apple has been awarded a patent for a “Digital camera including refocusable imaging mode adaptor,” which sounds a lot like a Lytro-style camera that lets you refocus photos after you’ve taken them. Read more »
Android cameras are set to get a lot better, starting with the Nexus 5, thanks to a new API. Read more »
There’s a battle of the bike locks going on — melding physical security with smartphone smarts and sharing-economy potential, Lock8 and Bitlock offer different takes on the same idea. And Lock8 just got an extra boost through funding from Horizon Ventures and Otto Capital. Read more »
How will children play when the first toy they often get is an iPhone or an iPad. We discuss the future of connected toys on this week’s podcast. Read more »
Harman’s Aha streaming radio service will soon carry location-based ads, which, thanks to Placecast’s geofencing technology, know when you’re driving near an advertiser’s store. Read more »
Want a smartwatch with color display that runs for days on a charge? Qualcomm’s Toq is one option and the device is now available for pre-order. Expect to pay $349 though because it’s a showcase of Qualcomm’s technology. Read more »
When asked if you’d like your HTC One supersized, think long and hard before you answer. Read more »
Chromebooks are already priced relatively low, yet this Friday, they’ll be even lower. I found not one, but two deals for the HP Chromebook 14, which can save you a $100 on the purchase. Read more »
So where’s the new Nexus 10? Maybe it’s not here because it won’t actually run Android and will instead, run on Google’s Chrome OS platform. And that’s fine by me! Read more »
Amid falling smartphone sales as rivals are seeing gains, ZTE is planning to launch its own smartwatch in early 2014. Unfortunately, the watch will only work with ZTE phones. Why aren’t wearables more platform-centric? Read more »
Automatic Labs’ Link will get exposed to a much broader potential customer base thanks to a retail distribution deal with Amazon. The appliance establishes a connection between your car’s engine and your smartphone. Read more »
If you’ve got a Google Play edition of the HTC One, you should be seeing an update to Android 4.4 KitKat coming your way shortly. Read more »
Big changes at BlackBerry continue: On Monday, the company announced that COO Kristen Tear and CMO Frank Boulben are leaving. BlackBerry recently replaced its CEO with John Chen following in the footsteps of Thorsten Heins, making for a full executive sweep of late. After watching its handset market share erode and failing to sell the company, Chen has his work cut out for him. There are no quick-fixes likely available, although the company is sure to continue pushing its services, even as large organizations consider alternatives: Earlier this month it was reported the Pentagon is distancing itself from using BlackBerry.
Apple has confirmed a one-day shopping event in stores and online this Friday, November 29. Read more »
HTC today announced a new gold variant of the HTC One. Unlike the 18-carat version introduced last month, this phone is merely gold-colored. Read more »
The deal gives Apple proven technology (it powers Microsoft’s Kinect controllers) that could be used in a wide range of contexts. Read more »
Listen in to a conversation between Om Malik and Kevin Systrom about how Instagram uses data when making design decisions, taken from our Roadmap conference. Read more »
Looking for a better screen capture app for Chrome or Chrome OS? Consider SnagIt from TechSmith. It’s both an app and an extension; the two work together for capturing images, annotating them and then syncing them up to your Google Drive. Read more »
Time bombs, digital barriers and biometrics–noteworthy technologies that are looking to provide Mission Impossible-style control for secure enterprise information. Read more »
GeoPoll is using the lowly SMS to engage with and collect survey data from people in developing countries around the world. It’s one of the many means SMS is being used as a stand-in for the internet. Read more »
Motorola is quick on the draw, pushing out Android 4.4 to its Moto X on three U.S. carriers within just a few days. Google is highlighting tablet-optimized apps now and speeding up its Chrome browser for Android phones and tablets. Read more »
Google is reportedly discussing some type of partnership with VSP Global, a vision care provider that also makes lenses and frames. The company could be helpful in creating new frame looks for Google Glass as well as prescription lenses. Read more »
Nokia’s $499 Lumia 2520 tablet is priced $50 higher than Microsoft’s own Surface 2, mainly because it comes with an integrated LTE radio. Neither come with a keyboard at that price, but for a limited time, Nokia is providing a free Power Keyboard with its tablet. The normally priced $149 keyboard cover has a battery inside, which adds five hours of run-time to the tablet. The offer ends on December 2, and you’ll have to send this form in by January 31 to receive the Power Keyboard in the mail.
Verizon Wireless has introduced a new plan to keep your tablet connected: $5 will get you 300MB of data for 24 hours. Read more »
Instagram, a visual communication platform is looking for way to expand its appeal to its 200 million (and growing) community of users. First it was short-form video. Now it has a whole new feature up its sleeve. What is that? Read on to find out. Read more »
Wireless charging add-ons tend to bring added bulk to an otherwise thin iPhone. That’s what makes iQi so interesting; it’s only 0.5 millimeters thick save for the lightning port. A review unit is on the way for testing. Read more »
Apple on Friday introduced a SIM-free, unlocked iPhone 5s to its U.S. online store. Of course, this has also been available since day one, in the form of an unlocked phone that ships with a T-Mobile SIM card — simply pop the T-Mobile SIM out and pop another one in. This latest version ships with no SIM at all, allowing you to insert one for your GSM-compatible operator of choice. The phone starts at $649 for a 16GB model, which is the same price as the T-Mobile version. And you might want to buy that T-Mobile version anyway – the SIM-free phone shows an estimated 1-2 week wait to ship, while the T-Mobile model takes just 3-5 days.
Motorola’s intelligent app that causes your phone to take action based on your schedule, time of day or movement is now in the Google Play Store. This lets Motorola update the Assist app without waiting for carrier approval. Read more »
If you own an Android tablet, your app experience is about to get much better. Google has finally made a “Designed for tablets” section the default view for tablets on Google Play. Read more »
Earlier this week the Korea Herald quoted an unnamed ARM executive as saying 128-bit processors could make their way into mobile devices within a couple of years. On Friday the British chip design house, whose designs power the vast majority of mobile devices today, said the report was simply “not true”.
In a blog post the firm said, “64-bit processors are capable of supporting the needs of the computing industry now and for many years to come” and “there are absolutely no plans underway for 128 bit ARM-based chips because they simply aren’t needed.” Quite so — the mobile industry is only just starting to move to 64-bit architecture, which is arguably overkill for a smartphone’s current requirements.