This week saw the LG G Watch specs possibly leak while two new devices were launched. Say hello to the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S slates with super AMOLED screens and Huawei’s Ascend Mate2 for $299 off-contract. Read more »
Once the only third-party apps on smartphones — remember the first iPhone in 2007? — web apps are in the spotlight again. Mozilla is showing how HTML5 apps for Firefox OS can easily run on Android phones. Read more »
While Samsung has its own line of smartwatches running Tizen, the company is listed as a Google Android Wear partner. A new FCC filing shows a smaller Samsung watch that could debut alongside the LG G Watch and Moto 360. Read more »
You generally need an iPhone or Android handset if you want a smartwatch or health tracker, because most of these don’t work with Windows Phone. But there’s a change coming: Fitbit is working on Windows Phone 8.1 support. WPCentral caught this brief statement on Fitbit’s official support forums: “Fitbit is developing an application for Windows Phone 8.1. Thank you for all your feedback and support!” That’s not much to go on. However, there is a Fitbit app for Windows 8.1 already, so with Microsoft’s new universal app support, it may not take too much effort for the Fitbit team to bring its app to Microsoft handsets. Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.
Google’s Chrome OS has used the Ash window manager for nearly two years and it’s not well optimized for touch. References to Project Athena suggest a new interface is in the works and it could be used for a Chrome OS tablet. Read more »
Teasing the tagline “Tab into Color,” Samsung is holding a press event in Madison Square Garden. We’ll be there to share the news, which likely includes new Samsung tablets based on the event teaser. Tune in by 4pm PT for the scoop. Read more »
Could the iPad Smart Cover get even smarter? Yes, based on an Apple patent filing that shows notification lights built-in to the cover. Also shown is a transparent window that could display information directly from the iPad screen through the cover. Read more »
Without broad carrier support, it’s hard to break into the U.S. phone market. Huawei knows this so it just opened its own direct sales website with the Ascend Mate2 smartphone available for pre-order at $299. Read more »
Customers in two trial areas must have drank up enough wireless charging juice to satisfy Starbucks: The coffee house will include recharging mats in all of its U.S. stores in a continued partnership with Powermat. Read more »
Trying to get its Firefox OS phones in more hands, Mozilla is aiming for a $25 handset to be sold in India and Indonesia later this year. The low-cost phones could be a great stepping-stone from feature to smartphone. Read more »
Football fans are gearing up for the World Cup and so is Google: The company is pushing out an update to Google Glass for World Cup scores, standings and news. Read more »
Got an Intel-powered laptop, tablet or phone? In the future, you may be able to charge it without wires over distance thanks to a new agreement between Intel and WiTricity. Read more »
The hard-to-get OnePlus One phone just got even tougher to acquire. Thanks to recent OpenSSL issues, the handset is held up while security fixes are addressed. It’s the right decision since it’s easier to address the problem on the production line. Read more »
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.