How can one device be considered a great value for the price and a terrible performer at the same time? Welcome to the Samsung Chromebook 2 which is seeing early reviews across the spectrum. Read more »
Was the LG G3 worth the wait? My first look suggests yes, even though many around the world are still waiting for it in their region. The large screen is beautiful yet the overall phone size is kept to a minimum. Read more »
Choosing between reading an ebook on your own or having it read to you just got a little easier: Amazon updated its Kindle reading app with Audible integration on Tuesday. You’ll have to pay a little extra for the professional narration but you won’t have to switch between the Kindle and Audible apps if you want to hear your book aloud. Amazon’s Whispersync for Voice function keeps track of your place regardless of whether you or an in-app narrator is reading. Amazon says the updated Kindle app is now available for both iOS and Android devices.
You probably won’t need a Windows Phone if you want Microsoft’s expected smart watch. Previously, the device was said to work with Android and iOS and now a new report suggests it will work with PCs, Macs and even the Xbox One. Read more »
After using the iOS 8 beta for nearly a week, it’s clear that some of the reasons to choose Android won’t be valid reasons in a few months. Android still has advantages though, so will you make the switch or stay put? Read more »
More alleged images of the larger iPhone 6 appeared online from a site in China, the country where Apple’s iPhone is produced. These detailed photos show even more evidence of a larger, but more rounded, iPhone. Read more »
“Wake-up sleepyhead! It’s time to get off the subway!” That’s what Google Now can do for you thanks to an optional alarm setting in the public transit cards already honed in on your travel plans. Read more »
Based on its Kinect hardware for Xbox, Microsoft knows a thing or two about gesture-based interfaces. A report suggests that upcoming Windows Phones could use gestures and sensors to simplify smartphone use without even touching the handset. Read more »
Android 4.4.3 is here and non-Nexus devices are already getting the update. Check our first look at the unique Asus Padrone X, a phone and a tablet combination, while we wait for the newest Android-powered notebook from HP. Read more »
Microsoft continues its cross-platform focus with a OneNote Clipper extension for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS devices, turning OneNote into Microsoft’s poster child for gathering data regardless of what device or platform you use. Read more »
Apple’s Health app won’t just track quantified self data from third-party apps or manual entry: It can work directly with Bluetooth-enabled wearables which could make some app makers feel a little ill. Read more »
Handset makers are starting to make good progress getting Android 4.4 to phones in the U.S. and Canada, based on data from Chitika. If you want your phone upgraded the fastest, a Nexus or Motorola handset is the way to go. Read more »
After what seemed an eternity, Google Chromebook owners can finally watch Google Play video content offline on their devices. Earlier last month Google announced this requested feature was coming and on Thursday night, the company launched it with a short post on Google+. Chromebook users will first need to install a new Google Play Movies and TV extension in order to download video purchases or rentals for offline playback. Of course, if the screen on your ChromeOS device isn’t big enough, there’s a Chromecast button to send video wirelessly to a larger display.
At long last, iOS is getting widgets; just in time to help the iPhone become a smart home controller. Philips already has a concept widget for controlling its intelligent light bulbs. Read more »
Amazing new technology doesn’t come cheap. Take Google’s Project Tango tablet, for example: When it becomes available later this month, it will cost developers $1,024 to purchase. The 7-inch tablet with mobile Nvidia Tegra K1 processor is filled with various sensors to add 3-D mapping and other advanced scanning software. Here’s the thing: There really isn’t much software for the device because it’s really an attempt to see what developers can do with the hardware. Google says that programmers can “express interest” in buying the tablet now with Google I/O attendees getting the first crack at the prototype hardware, while the tablet SDK is available now.
OS X Mavericks provided the first hint at upcoming new iMac hardware and now OS X Yosemite takes it a step further with super high-resolution references in the code. Retina display iMacs appear likely, possibly in the fall when Yosemite launches. Read more »
If you want a Galaxy Tab 4 tablet with the Nook branding and experience, Barnes & Noble will sell you one come August. After making its own tablets, the company is turning to others for new devices to expand content sales. Read more »
Samsung has found great success selling mobile devices with Google’s Android software. But it knows it needs its own platform to be truly different. Tizen is that platform and here’s what it looks like: Very familiar. Read more »
A new experimental feature takes advantage of the sensors inside Google Glass. When Glass receives a new notification and sounds a chime, users simply have to look at the small display to see it appear thanks to eye-detection. Read more »
Google tried and failed to create a wireless home music streamer two years ago for $200. Now, Motorola may have the answer for one quarter of the price. Even better: It doesn’t just work with Android devices. Read more »
Tired of catching a breeze from the fan inside an Intel-powered tablet or laptop? You won’t feel one from the next round of mobile devices using Intel’s latest chip: The Core M is fanless but powerful enough to run Android or Windows. Read more »
After watching Apple show off two hours worth of software developments, it’s clear there’s a big change in Apple’s walled garden. You can see it in iOS 8, for example, which elegantly adds many features that will appeal to Android owners. Read more »
Mac and iOS developers migrate annually to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference to see what’s in store for the coming year. We’ll have a running live-blog during the Monday morning keynote at 10am PT so you too can get a glimpse of Apple’s future plans. Read more »
Are you addicted to Chrome extensions on your Windows computer? That’s fine but going forward, you won’t be able to install extensions from third-party sources if you’re on either the Beta or Stable channel of Google’s web browser. Read more »
This week finally saw the launch of LG’s G3: Will the extra bells and whistles entice buyers to choose it over the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8? AT&T is readying the Asus Padfone X and Cliq is a nifty NFC case. Read more »
Google Glass with Google Now works well at surfacing important information. But it only works with Google accounts. The new reQallable app adds support for other types of email and smartly prioritizes contextual information for you. Read more »
Rumored earlier this month, Samsung now has a firmware update for last year’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch that replaces the Android software with Samsung’s own Tizen. Sam Mobile reported the news on Friday, saying the update will bring longer battery life, voice commands for the camera and a music player app to the Galaxy Gear. After the update, currently available as a download, the Gear will look and behave far more like the newer Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. The change won’t likely impact Google, which has its own Android Wear smartwatches due out next month from other hardware partners.
If you don’t think the Galaxy S5 can handle your on-the-go lifestyle, the Galaxy S5 Active might be the better choice: It’s more tolerant of vibration shock and changes in temps or moisture. Read more »
Apple’s annual developer conference is slated for next week. We’ll be on-site sharing news live from the keynote but for now, here’s what we’re thinking, hoping and wishing will be shown off by Tim Cook and company. Read more »
We knew Microsoft has had smartwatch aspirations for some time — remember the SPOT Watches above from a decade ago? — and now it appears that such a device will work with more than just Windows Phone. Forbes reported on Thursday that Microsoft’s watch will also support Bluetooth notifications from Android and iOS handsets, which would be a clever move: Microsoft’s global smartphone share is relatively small, but expected to grow through 2018. Forbes’ sources suggest the possibility of a release within months with the watch capable of health and heart-rate tracking through optical technology from the Xbox Kinect group.
Smartwatch makers have generally ignored Windows Phone, opting instead to support Android and iOS handsets. The Hot Watch is getting some help from Microsoft to change that with Windows Phone support coming next month. Read more »
Wi-Fi hotspot sign-in with Facebook was announced last year and now there’s a new router that uses the service: Just check-in to your location on Facebook and you’re online for free. Read more »
It’s a safe bet that new iMac hardware launches at or soon after next week’s Apple WWDC event. Might there be a cheaper entry level Mac or is it time for one with a 4K display? Read more »
The promise of contextual, useful information at a glance is coming with Android Wear smartwatches. A first look at notifications illustrates this but consumers will have to carefully manage which apps can talk to the watch. Read more »
Android will keep its majority smartphone share thanks largely to lower cost handsets says IDC. Wait a second: doesn’t that segment bode well for Microsoft too? Read more »
After four years of full pricing, Apple is offering a $20 to $30 educational discount on its iPad line. Why now? Perhaps its just an effort to ramp up iPad sales, but it could be part of a bigger battle in the classroom as well. Read more »
After showing off the 2-in-1 Asus PadFone X in January, AT&T is ready to sell it. The phone is a step behind some recent flagships in terms of capabilities but still quite capable. Slip it into the tablet and you’ve got a large screen. Read more »
Tired of waiting for the three wireless charging groups to agree on a solution? So is Broadcom. The company’s newest chip is a multi-standard power manager that works with all three of the current wireless charging standards. Read more »
The reign of the U.S. is nearly over when it comes to handset revenues. Research firm Strategy Analytics pegs 2014 as the year that China unseats the U.S. thanks to an expected 430 million handset sales in China by year-end. That’s far and away above the 163 million to be sold in the U.S. All of those phones in China will produce revenues of $87 billion, compared to the $60 billion for U.S. phone sales. The revenue figures show that the U.S. market is skewed higher to expensive smartphones, unlike China whose smartphone growth is in the early stages while 3G and 4G networks are built out.
How often do you see laptop models differ in screen size only and cost the same? Not very but that appears to be the case with the new Asus C200 and C300 Chromebooks. Read more »