Pre-orders for the first Asus Chromebook have begun with Amazon charging $249 for the Chrome OS laptop and shipments expected on June 26. The C200 is an 11.6-inch Chromebook that uses the newer Intel(s intc) BayTrail-M processor instead of the fairly standard Haswell-based Celeron chip found in most current Chromebooks. That’s likely a step-down in performance but with the benefit of even more battery life: Asus says you can expect 10 to 11 hours of runtime from the 2.5 pound laptop. The C200 supplements the already available $179 Asus Chromebox and a larger C300 Chromebook coming soon.
HP either can’t or won’t compete in the high-end Android tablet market so this new $99 slate takes on the no-name brands. Unfortunately, at this price range, brand name doesn’t often mean as much: There are plenty of low-cost tablets already on the market. Read more »
Like its predecessor, the LG G3 will have a case that provides information at a glance through a cut-out. The QuickCircle case also lets you take pictures, place calls or send texts without even opening it. Read more »
While IE works great on the new Surface Pro 3 as you’d expect, Chrome isn’t so hot; likely due to the tablet’s unique screen resolution. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear more on that as well as new Chrome OS devices coming soon. Read more »
Even at first blush it’s easy to see that Surface Pro 3 is a better laptop than its predecessor: It’s thinner, lighter, has a better display with more room to work and has a super trackpad. Is it a better tablet? That’s hard to say. Read more »
Microsoft is holding a Surface event in New York City and we’re there. The company is widely expected to launch a small Surface Mini tablet but there could be more than just a single new device today. Hopefully, Microsoft will update on how the Surface line is doing as well. Read more »
AT&T’s first HD Voice phone launches next week for a low price, mainly because it’s a cut-down version of last year’s Galaxy S4 flagship. Still, you’ll have clear wideband audio calls if you live in an HD Voice market. Read more »
Patents never guarantee products but this is one I’d like to see happen. A Google patent was granted for a phone that inserts into a laptop for connectivity. There could be more to it though: Why not an Android phone powering a Chromebook? Read more »
U.K.-based research firm Strategy Analytics figures that Samsung took 71 percent of the smartwatch market in the first quarter of 2014, with an estimated 500,000 smartwatches sold. Android Beat noted the milestone on Monday saying the sales estimates don’t include return rates. The company has since launched new models that run on its Tizen platform instead of Android, setting up a big showdown for next month. Google’s I/O developer event takes place in June where it will further detail Android Wear software for smartwatches. LG and Motorola plan to launch Android Wear devices at or soon after the event, offering Google Now contextual notifications on the wrist.
It’s looking more likely that Apple’s iPhone 6 will have a 4.7-inch display with 1704 x 960 resolution. So what might that look like? Here’s a side by side comparison of iOS 7 on a 4-inch and a 4.7-inch screen. Read more »
Adding to the T-Mobile phones Walmart already sells, the large retailer is now carrying two 4G Android tablets powered by T-Mobile’s network. Both come with 200 MB of high-speed monthly data with options to add more mobile broadband. Read more »
Multiple sources showed off two variants of the Galaxy S5 over the weekend: The Active and the Prime. The latter seems more interesting due to an expected 2K resolution display and faster Snapdragon processor. Read more »
Last week it was reported that AT&T would make a run for DirecTV’s satellite television business. On Sunday, it did, offering $95 a share for the company. Read more »
While Google’s annual developer event is just weeks away, you don’t need to wait for it to see what’s new in Chrome and Chrome OS. New features have recently cropped up in early test versions that solidify Google’s overall Chrome strategy. Read more »
Can Motorola attract millions of first-time smartphone users with its $129 Moto E? I think so after using the phone for a few days and that could mean big sales around the world. Meanwhile, rumors of the Nexus 6 suggest there is no Nexus 6. Read more »
Word Lens wowed me in 2010 with its real-time augmented reality language translation skills. Apparently, it wowed Google even more, as the search giant acquired Quest Visual, the makers of the app. Read more »
I’ve long stopped using screen protectors on my iPhones because they’ve generally not felt or looked as good as the native iPhone display. Zagg fixes that issue with its tempered glass screen protector. Read more »
One of the best features on the $279 HP Chromebook 11 won’t be on its successor. Goodbye great IPS panel and hello lower quality screen with poor viewing angles. The upcoming new model is also thicker, heavier and uses the same old processor as before. Read more »
Nearly three months since the last update, Apple released OS X version 10.9.3 on Thursday. According to Apple’s own support page detailing the changes, the software provides a better 4K scaling experience on both the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina Display computers. That’s assuming you own a 4K monitor, of course. There’s something for every Mac owner though including Safari 7.0.3 and the ability to sync both contacts and calendar events over a USB connection between your Mac and iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Samsung promised improved performance in the Chromebook 2 and it’s there, based on the first review. It’s not, however, comparable to performance from less expensive Chromebooks that run on Intel chips. Read more »
Clearer voice calls are coming to AT&T thanks to HD Voice service that runs on the carrier’s LTE network. It’s a limited rollout for now and while the better sounding calls are exciting, future add-on services may appeal even more. Read more »
Microsoft phones now account for the third most web traffic in North America, behind iOS and Android. BlackBerry’s share has fallen to the fourth spot, but Microsoft’s share really hasn’t grown that much. Read more »
If you needed another example of a smartphone sales slowdown at the high-end of the market, Samsung provided it on Thursday. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung co-CEO JK Shin said the company sold 11 million Galaxy S5 handsets in the first month of availability. That’s only 10 percent higher than number of Galaxy S4 phones sold in the first month when it launched in 2013. This suggests that the market for expensive phones is a bit saturated and is the reason companies such as Motorola and Nokia are creating capable low-cost smartphones such as the Moto E and Lumia 630.
More mainstream apps are hitting Google Glass that will help you hit the road. You can now check in on Foursquare, get a reservation for dinner and view your travel plans right from the wearable display. Read more »
Although Straight Talk has long advertised its mobile broadband service as “unlimited”, the company acknowledged in September that it only offered 2.5 GB per month. After hitting that limit, the provider slows down speeds on its $45 monthly plan. That speed bump is now good for 3 GB of speedy service, Straight Talk said on Wednesday. Straight Talk doesn’t have networks of its own but instead buys wholesale service from traditional carriers and resells it. Essentially, you get the same service and coverage provided by AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon, for example, at a discount on your iPhone, Android handset or other smartphone.
After debuting the Galaxy Gear smartwatch with Android, Samsung is likely changing the software to Tizen, just like its Gear 2 watch. That’s good for developers and for device owners. Read more »
Looking for a new Windows Phone 8.1 device? Nokia is ready to start selling one: The $159 Lumia 630 is now on sale in Asia with other regions to follow as Nokia prepares to battle it out with Motorola for the low-cost smartphone market. Read more »
An official Microsoft support page spotted by The Verge references the Surface Pro 3, a device that doesn’t yet exist. It’s possible that the reference is a typo meant to say Surface Pro 2 but it would seem to loosely confirm a CNET report from last week suggesting that Microsoft will debut a new Surface model at a planned event next week. That would be in addition to the expected Microsoft Surface Mini, likely an 8-inch device running Windows RT 8.1. We’ll be on-hand at Tuesday’s event to find out if Surface Mini is getting another sibling.
Although the full HD Samsung Chromebook 2 was delayed until later this month, the first hands-on thoughts of the device are appearing on Computerworld. We discuss that and other Chrome news you can use on this week’s podcast. Read more »
Can a $129 Android phone actually provide a decent user experience? Motorola thinks so and introduced the Moto E for first-time smartphone owners. My first impressions? The target audience will likely be very happy. Read more »
We saw LG’s Lifeband Touch at January’s Consumer Electronics Show and it’s finally going on sale. Expect to see it on retail shelves later this month in the U.S., along with a pair of earphones that can measure heart rate and blood oxygen levels. Read more »
One of my favorite small Chrome OS laptops is the HP Chromebook 11. The Dell Chromebook 11 is roughly the same price but may be my new favorite thanks to stellar battery life and screen that almost rivals the HP. Read more »
Both Virgin Mobile and Boost Wireless now carry the $179 LG Volt, an Android 4.4 smartphone that uses Sprint’s Spark service. The tri-band LTE network — currently available in only 24 cities — promises faster mobile broadband speeds by using different wireless frequencies depending on the activity. Downloading video, for example, will use the fastest currently available network while smaller email data chunks would flow over a slower frequency. For the price, the LG Volt doesn’t look too bad: It has a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 4.7-inch display with 960 x 540 resolution and large 3,000 mAh battery that should easily last a full day.
One line of code found in the iPhone version of Google Play Music optimizes the software for Apple’s iPad indicating a universal Google Play Music app could be on the way soon. If your iPad is jailbroken, you can get the experience now. Read more »
In a few weeks, you’ll be able to knock another item off the list of things Chromebooks can’t do offline: Support for downloading and then playing Google Play Movies and TV Shows without an internet connection is on the way. Read more »
Next week, Motorola will debut a new Motorola phone that’s “priced for all.” It’s likely the Moto E and images of it leaked out early. So too did code indicating a two new Nexus devices and one probably won’t be a phone. Read more »
Sure the industrial design of the iPhone is nice but those hard edges may not be ideal on a larger iPhone 6. Based on mocks of the next iPhone, the handset may look more like an iPod touch this time around. Read more »
Google’s long-term Chrome strategy to take over your desktop is making more progression. Chrome can now associate local Mac files with Google Chrome apps in the Finder if you have Chrome Canary installed and enable an experimental feature. Read more »
One of the senior engineers on Nokia’s PureView camera team is headed to Cupertino. While Nokia has many patents on the PureView technology, Apple could gain some imaging expertise to help make a great smartphone camera even better in future iPhones. Read more »