Since the August launch of the Moto X we’ve been waiting for the exquisite wood back option from Motorola, which was rumored to be a fourth quarter option for $50. According to Motorola, it should be available very soon. Read more »
The touch web is pretty good on mobile browsers, but it’s a slightly different story when you start tapping around on a desktop browser. We share the experience on this week’s Chrome Show podcast, along with a recap of all things Chrome. Read more »
A pair of new Google Play Edition devices are available and both are big. Skype on Android tablets improves for multitaskers while there’s talk of a Nokia-built Android phone in the works. Read more »
One of my fave and most used features on the Moto X smartphone got a little bit smarter: Motorola improved the Touchless Control app with a new update available in the Google Play Store. As noted by Android Central, the app now interacts with more Google Now commands even when the Moto X is locked. And, assuming nobody is around, you can unlock your Moto X by speaking your PIN code. Lastly, the app has a new listening sound when you say “OK Google Now”; just in case you weren’t sure the phone was always listening. (Hint: It is.)
It just got easier to hold a video call and work in another app on an Android tablet. Skype for Android 4.5 supports a floating window for your call, even when using a different application. Read more »
My Chrome OS tablet experiment has morphed into a surprising purchase: One that offers some of the best of my Chromebook Pixel and my iPad Air. It’s not perfect, but this 2-in-1 shows promise for the way I work. Read more »
Pebble owners that haven’t already updated their smartwatch firmware today have a nice surprise waiting for them. PebbleOS v.1.14 launched late on Thursday evening, adding a few new features and fixes. Among the more prominent additions is a customizable Do Not Disturb mode, which disables notifications moving from your smartphone to your watch. Overall control of notifications is improved as well and data coming from iOS devices will begin to appear quicker after the update. The firmware update is available both for iOS and Android users directly from the Pebble smartphone app.
A little statistical analysis on a Friday never hurt anyone, right? OK, maybe it’s not your thing but Horace Dediu is great at it. And his graph illustrates why 180 million Apple iPhones could be used in the U.S. by 2017. Read more »
It’s official: Five U.S. carriers have agreed to six new voluntary policies that will assist consumers in phone unlocks. Half of the new procedures take place within 90 days while the other half will follow over the next year. Read more »
After months of private beta status, Cover is now available in the Google Play Store. The free app, still in a public beta status, is a smart lock screen of sorts for Android devices, showing specific apps based on context such as time of day or location. That means apps you use at home would appear when your handset location is home as compared to work apps showing while at the office. Cover even learns which apps you use or would be most likely to use on the road, showing maps, music and messaging apps while in your car.
Getting your out-of-contract or fully paid smartphone unlocked should be less of a hassle if the FCC has any say. And it does. It’s working with carriers to ease the process and actively telling consumers when their contract is up. Read more »
Can a new logo and catchy name add some juice to a wireless charging group? That’s the hope of Rezence, the new brand of the A4WP, or Alliance for Wireless Power. Read more »
After using an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for several weeks, I’ve decided it’s not for me, even though it’s an outstanding device. My wife likes to live in Amazon’s limited world, however, and it didn’t take her long to buy Amazon’s new tablet. Read more »
Following its app launcher and Chrome App support for Windows earlier this year, Google announced support for Mac devices on Wednesday. On a Mac OS X computer with the Chrome browser installed, users can search the Chrome App store online for apps that run both online or off. The company has made a push for its Chrome Apps of late, trying to boost engagement for Google services both on mobile devices and desktops alike through its Chrome browser.
Calling it “built from the ground up”, the newest version of Google Sheets adds speed, new features and one very important function: The ability to work offline, just like all other Chrome Apps. Read more »
A Nokia-built Android phone might actually help Microsoft. It could reduce costs but the bigger benefit is this: Every such phone built on the platform is one less phone for Google to earn ad money or gather user data. Read more »
Music service Spotify is now offering free music on iOS and Android mobile devices. The company announced the news on Wednesday, saying that listeners could shuffle music based on a favorite artist or could tune into self-created playlists or the playlists of other friends on Spotify. Previously, the company offered music in its mobile and web apps for a fee; it will still do so as the new free music service is ad-supported. Customers can still pay for Spotify Premium for an ad-free experience.
A video shows off the benefits of cross-platform, multi-device Chrome Apps, but will developers bite? We also learned a bit from our Chrome OS tablet experiment and find a must-have Chrome extension for folks that open dozens of tabs in Chrome. Read more »
Hasn’t Dell seen the latest Microsoft showing how Surface is great for students? Apparently not, because the company announced its Dell Chromebook 11 specifically for the education market. And it’s not stopping there. Read more »
More Google Play Edition devices are available: One tablet and one smartphone. LG’s G Pad 8.3 slate and Sony’s Z Ultra phone are the newest devices sold directly from Google with a pure Android experience. There’s a new white Nexus 7 too. Read more »
Sometimes more is less. Google Glass can now be a music player but various reports echo my initial concerns: Listening to tunes on the wearable display quickly chews up the diminutive battery. Read more »
With just 5GB of free storage, Amazon(s amzn) might not be the best place for iOS users to store data, but it has become a better place than before to keep photos and videos. The latest iteration of the app, version 2.0, adds automatic backup to iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices. Videos are limited to 20 minutes in length if the auto-save option is enabled. Apple’s own PhotoStream is the more likely option for images in the cloud; however, those memories rotate out as Apple’s 1,000 image limit is hit. Perhaps Amazon’s online option isn’t a bad backup plan if you’re not already using Dropbox for the same function?
The mobile wave continues to build with no signs of cresting. According to StatCounter’s data, mobile devices accounted for 21.6 percent of global web browsing as of last month. PCs still have their place but it’s diminishing quickly for some activities Read more »
Can Google Chrome Apps rival native software on desktops and mobiles? The company thinks so and is creating the tools necessary for developers to build such apps. This video shows them off along with software that runs on multiple devices and platforms. Read more »
After having to re-take multiple images from the Google Glass camera since you can’t pre-frame a shot beforehand, this third-party app is right up my alley. It enables a live view from the camera on the Glass display before you take a picture. Read more »
Apple’s iBeacon isn’t the only game in town when it comes to Bluetooth Smart proximity devices for retailers. Qualcomm’s Gimbal Proximity Sensor is now available, supporting iOS today and Android in the future. Get ready for a hyper-personal in-store shopping experience. Read more »
It’s estimated that Microsoft rakes in nearly $2 billion a year from Android device makers thanks to patent royalties. That figure could drop significantly going forward as a German court has invalidated one such patent. Read more »
Traveling up to the Great White North from the U.S.? AT&T customers who do so can take advantage of the country’s first LTE wireless roaming agreement: The carrier announced a deal with Rogers Communictions on Monday. It’s definitely a handy option, but be prepared to spend some serious money as the service costs more than your passport fee. AT&T hasn’t changed its Data Global Add-On packages so you’ll pay the following prices: 120MB for $30 a month, 300MB for $60 a month or 800MB for $120 per month.
Microsoft turned up the volume of its Scroogled campaign with another ad showing how Chromebooks are inferior. So much effort on what the company considers a useless product is interesting, and effective. Read more »
You can now play more music if your Android supports microSD cards. Moto is taking a do-over on its Moto X Cyber Monday sale. And much ado was made about Chrome apps for Android; something that was demonstrated back in May. Read more »
Microsoft introduced its 2-in-1 products nearly 14 months ago. The device type didn’t fit my needs then but I recently took another look, buying an Asus Transformer T100. It’s still hard to make a hybrid laptop / tablet due to requirements at odds with each other. Read more »
A new mobile app from researchers at ETH Zurich can create super-detailed 3-D scans of physical objects by tapping into the phone’s GPU and motion sensors. I’ve seen a number of these apps, but none have shown such detail. Check the video and see. Read more »
Google and HP have been quiet since the Chromebook 11 was pulled from shelves due to overheating power supply issues. Now, a replacement charger has appeared on the Google Play store for $19.99. Will existing owners get it for free? Read more »
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.