This week’s podcast breaks down the challenges Amazon Prime Air drones face and what Apple might want to do with a massive Twitter firehouse. Plus, a little advice for new media folks still trying to figure out their business model. Read more »
Can’t live without a good QWERTY keyboard but still want to use an iPhone? Neither can Ryan Seacrest who backed the Typo iPhone Keyboard, a $99 slide-on accessory with backlit keys that uses Bluetooth to communicate with your iPhone 5 or 5s. Read more »
Good news for Nexus 5 owners who aren’t happy with the device’s camera: Android 4.4.1 will noticeably improve image quality and the overall speed of the camera app. The software is rolling out over the next few days. Read more »
Wireless power company WiTricity announced on Thursday that it has entered an intellectual property licensing agreement with Toyota. The auto-maker will “offer wireless charging power capture devices on their future rechargeable hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles,” meaning that its cars won’t need to be physically plugged in for a re-charge. Instead, using WiTricity’s technology, the vehicles will get their battery charge without wires, presumably through a charging pad on the ground under the vehicle.
Flush with a 4G license, China Mobile is expected to announce network details on December 18; a day that could also see a new customer for Apple. With the carrier’s unique 3G technology though, Apple may need one more new iPhone. Read more »
Seniors may not be the prime audience for Google Glass or a smartwatch but a wearable for remote monitoring may appeal. AT&T’s EverThere is exactly that, calling for help in case of a fall and providing GPS data to first responders. Read more »
Just days after clearing the U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft’s plan to purchase Nokia’s Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion got the European Commission’s stamp of approval. On Wednesday, the EU body outlined three main reasons to let the deal happen, including Microsoft’s low Windows Phone market share, saying that Apple and Samsung will continue to compete with the merged entity. The Commission also saw no risk to Microsoft holding back Windows Phone from handset makers other than Nokia, nor Skype or Office from other platforms.
Now that China has awarded 4G TD-LTE licenses to the three largest carriers, are there are any phones ready for the network? Yup, Apple’s newest iPhones already support the technology, which could go live on December 18 on China Mobile. Read more »
Hitting the road and don’t want the hassle of international data plans or multiple SIM cards? GigSky has an option: A single SIM card that automatically provisions itself for 3G and 4G networks in 70 countries around the world. Read more »
MIcrosoft’s latest Chromebook ads are amusing but also misleading. Is the company feeling some heat at the low-end of the market? Check our recommended extension that actually helps you manage your extensions. How meta! Read more »
Following its task management hit, the folks behind Any.Do have brought Cal to Android. The sleek and simple looking calendar has tight integrations with other apps and makes it easy to manage your day. Read more »
As the market for connected wearable devices set to grow sharply, Broadcom isn’t sitting on the sidelines. The company’s latest chip includes a processor, Bluetooth Smart and wireless charging support, making it an all-in-one choice for makers of smartwatches and other devices. Read more »
Developers wanting to build mobile web apps won’t have to jump through as many hoops: The latest Chrome DevTools includes the ability to emulate an Android device or even connect one to the browser for a screen cast. Read more »
PC sales are declining in 2013 more than expected as IDC has revised its estimate downward. Enterprise sales are down around 5 percent but the consumer market is seeing a 15 percent drop as people migrate tasks away from traditional computers. Read more »
Google Play Music is officially available for Google Glass, allowing Glass Explorers to control music through their voice and hear it on an $85 stereo earbud accessory. There’s one simple reason I’m not planning to tune in. Read more »
Finding an HTC One or HTC One Mini in the U.K. is about to get more difficult. On Tuesday, Nokia earned an injunction ruling against both products for patent infringement. The One Mini won’t be sold after December 6 as a result, says Bloomberg, although the HTC One has a delayed injunction and can still be sold. No new HTC One products will be imported into the U.K., however, due to the court ruling. HTC reportedly sold 750,000 handsets from January to September in the country, per the court documents.
After a Cyber Monday meltdown that prevented customers from buying a Moto X smartphone at $150 off, Motorola is both apologizing and extending the deal for two additional days. Read more »
E Ink Holdings had a scare earlier this year as sales of ebook readers using its screen technology fell. There are other uses for E Ink screens though: Consider this large tablet used to view Autocad drawings. Read more »
There’s one less hurdle for Microsoft’s deal to purchase Nokia’s mobile hardware division for $7.2 billion. This past weekend, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the deal in the U.S. leaving EU regulator approval as the final step according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. The EU is expected to render a quick decision — as early as December 4 — which would keep Microsoft on track for a first quarter 2014 closure of the deal. The purchase is more of a formality and business management deal as Nokia is already the leading handset maker of phones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.
Getting local video and images from an Android device to a connected TV, Xbox, Apple TV or other device just got a lot easier. AllCast, now available in beta, streams that content over Wi-Fi from an Android smartphone or tablet. Read more »
Motorola’s website couldn’t handle the strain of customers looking to score a discounted Moto X smartphone. Various server errors and incorrect pricing have turned what should have been a big win into a bit of an embarrassment for a Google company. Read more »
After its September introduction, the Oppo N1 launches later this month for $599. Without LTE, this phone could be a tough sell in the U.S. but some may overlook that in favor of pre-installed CyanogenMod software. Read more »
Looking for a new Amazon tablet? Today is a good day for it, provided you’re quick on the draw. As part of its Cyber Monday specials, Amazon is discounting two of its Kindle Fire devices by $50. The 16 GB Kindle Fire HD is $199 while the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is priced at $179, or $200 less than its larger 8.9-inch cousin. If you can splurge and will do more than just read books, I’d opt for the 7-inch HDX model due to the high-resolution screen – 1920 x 1200 resolution — and faster quad-core processor.
Looking to buy a new Chromebook for yourself or as a gift? On this week’s Chrome Show podcast, we suggest which is worth the look, along with five “must have” Chrome extensions to get you started. Read more »
Need a really big phone? The HTC One Max fits the bill even if it doesn’t fit in your pocket; but is it better than its little brother? Not necessarily. The Moto G is coming this week and Google is improving the Android camera API. Read more »
After 12 months and 15,000 miles, was the Chevy Volt the right car for us? With our prior home solar panel investment and driving habits: yes. But it’s not a good car for everyone and there’s one thing I’d change. Read more »
Hoping to easily install the CyanogenMod (CM) app to change the software on your Android device? It’s no longer as easy as it used to be: The app was voluntarily removed by the CM team at Google’s suggestion as Google said it would eventually have to pull it from the store. The reason? It “encourages users to void their warranty,” which typically happens when a user gains root access to an Android phone or tablet. CM can still be installed through sideloading and is available as a direct download.
Even with more powerful phones out on the market, I still consider the Moto X to be among the best Android phones you can buy today. But you don’t want to buy one today; if you can wait until Monday, you’ll save $150. Motorola is holding a special deal on all no-contract Moto X handsets and that includes custom Moto Maker versions and the unlocked Developer Editions. A 16 GB model will cost $349 while $399 will get you a 32 GB version. According to Motorola’s John Rinaldi, the sale starts at 8am on Monday and supply will be limited.
Recent reports indicate the best selling Windows Phone is Nokia’s Lumia 520. If true, it makes sense why Nokia is launching the Lumia 525 as a successor. The only change in this model appears to be a doubling of memory from 512 MB to 1 GB, allowing more apps to run simultaneously. The handset will also support interchangeable covers in different colors. To keep costs down, the handset uses an older but still capable 1GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 8 GB of internal storage an 800 x 480 resolution 4-inch touchscreen and support for 21 Mbps HSPA+ networks in lieu of LTE.
If you had doubts that you’ll be able to speak to a computer and have Google Now bring up personalized information, Google’s newest Chrome extension should dispel them. Read more »
Here come the holidays! Tune in to this week’s podcast for our recommended Chromebook and five extensions that would make a great gift package. We also discuss how Google made Chrome for Android faster and a new web-based development tool for web apps. Read more »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »