Livescribe recently introduced its third-generation smartpen and its first iOS app, Livescribe+, which aims to serve as an alternative to Evernote. We met the company this week in New York City, where we put the digital pen to task against our hastily scribbled notes. The concept is certainly promising, but does the new software and hardware really serve as an effective note-taking system for iPhones and iPads?
American audio company, Wren Sound Systems, is now shipping its latest speaker product, the Wren V5BT portable speaker. Powered by Intersil's classic D2 50-watt DSP-controlled class D amplifier, the V5BT is able to deliver room-filling sound in a compact design.
Acer's Aspire R7 convertible 15-inch notebook has been overhauled just in time for holiday shoppers. The refresh brings a Core i5 or i7 Haswell processor, more RAM, improved battery life and an optional active stylus, among other upgrades. The company has given us a chance to spend some hands-on time with the new build before it arrives on the market next month.
Apple is looking to expand its trade-in program for iPhones to developing markets. 9to5Mac on Friday pointed to job listings on Apple's site seeking a Reuse (Trade-In) Worldwide Program Manager. Whoever fills the position, according to the description, will work on current and future "Global Reuse (Trade-In) Programs for Apple Online Store, Education, Retail and the Reseller Channel."
We've made no secret of the fact that we're fans of mobile devices with styluses, as evidenced by our raves about Samsung's Galaxy Note series. So it should come as no surprise that we were interested in checking out Dell's new Venue 8 Pro device and its active stylus. The 8-inch tablet runs Windows 8.1 – the full Windows – so we're also interested to see how well Microsoft's struggling platform works on an 8-inch slate form factor. Dell sent us a review unit, and you can check out our initial impressions by clicking on through.
The 2014 Civic Coupe will support iOS mirroring when it becomes available on December 4th, Honda has announced. The car has a 7-inch multi-touch display built into the dash, which people will be able to use to control an iOS device without having to use a mount or reach down. Honda adds that promised Siri Eyes Free updates for its vehicles will also be available in early December.
Google has reportedly reached out to a traditional eyewear company to collaborate on potential alternative designs for Google Glass, according to a Wall Street Journal report (sub. required). The companies are also said to be discussing ways to showcase the devices in optometrists offices, hinting at a distribution strategy as the hardware moves beyond the invite-only "Explorer Program."
Only some Apple Stores in the US and Canada will be opening early on Black Friday, reports note. In the US a portion, generally ones inside malls, will be open at 6AM. Others will be open at their regular times, and/or between 7 and 9AM. Canadian outlets will be open no earlier than 7AM, but otherwise follow a similar pattern. Apple's retail website provides details for individual store hours.
Image processing developer, Akvis, has announced its release of version 7 of Magnifier. Available for Windows and Mac operating systems, Magnifier provides tools to resize digital images without losing quality, and is able to not only reduce an image's resolution, but increase it by dozens of times with no halos or artifacts. Intended to be easily configurable, Magnifier can be used with its preset tools or have its parameters adjusted to one's preference. Version 7 of Magnifier includes new tools as well as native support for 64-bit for Windows.
Yesterday, in the MacNN forums, one very frustrated Mac Elite lashed out at Apple's changes to iMovie, claiming that Apple "ruined it for no reason" and in a rage demanded to know "what is Apple smoking?" Others disagreed with his assessment. Also yesterday, "tadd" was concerned that their iPhone may have been infected with malware or some kind of keylogger after noticing strange behavior, another member chimed in that it is likely just the NSA conducting surveillance.
Currently, Apple's online store has a selection of refurbished Mac mini and iMac models at low prices. A $260 price cut is offered on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, now priced at $539. The refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has been cut by $270 to $1,229.
Amazon currently has a bundle deal that includes a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 seven-inch tablet with 16GB micro SDHC card, earbuds, stylus, cleaning kit and cloth. It was $260, but has been reduced to only $190. This bundle is $17 less than the lowest price we've seen anywhere else. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of built-in storage, microSD card slot, a seven-inch screen, GPS, two cameras and speakers. A one-year warranty is included from Samsung.
Motorola's modular smartphone has taken one more step into becoming a reality, thanks to a multi-year agreement with a manufacturing partner. 3D Systems has agreed to create a "continuous high-speed 3D printing production platform" for Project Ara, and ultimately creating modules as "Motorola's exclusive fulfillment partner" if it completes the platform's development.
Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg said this week that the tech media has exaggerated the company's problems with teenagers, and that reports of declining engagement among younger users are overblown. Pulse 2.0 carried a report of Sandberg's most recent comments, which came in the midst of Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference event. Asked about Facebook CFO David Ebersman's comments on teen use during the company's last earnings call, Sandberg said that those comments had been misinterpreted.
Apple's main supplier, Foxconn, is planning to spend $40 million in Pennsylvania connected to a new factory, says Bloomberg. $30 million of that is going toward the factory itself, which will be based in Harrisburg and produce telecommunications equipment and Internet servers. The remaining $10 million will go toward research and development at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University.
Comcast is reportedly mulling a potential takeover bid for competitor Time Warner Cable, unnamed sources have told CNBC. Although Time Warner Cable is said to be considering various buyers, the company is claimed to favor a merger with Comcast if it finalizes the decision to sell.
Amazon is in discussions with Transport for London (TfL) to turn ticket offices for the London Underground system into delivery drop-off points, according to a report. Details of the talks surfaced after London mayor Boris Johnson revealed plans to make the Underground operate 24 hours per day by 2015, while also closing the majority of ticket offices in the network.
Apple's US online storefront has begun selling SIM-free unlocked models of the iPhone 5s. Units are currently shipping in 1 to 2 weeks. T-Mobile models are also unlocked, and shipping in just 3 to 5 days, but going with the SIM-free option may save some hassle for people choosing AT&T or a pre-paid GSM carrier.
Two of the jurors in the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial are crediting an accountant witness, Julie Davis, for the $290 million verdict in Apple's favor. Jury forewoman Colleen Allen tells Bloomberg that Davis was a "superstar" who stayed steady even when she was being cross-examined. Allen's opinion is backed by juror Barry Goldman-Hall, who says it was Davis' testimony that helped the jury come to a precise figure. There were eight people on the jury in all, consisting of two men and six women.
Vodafone has launched a mobile payments system in Spain, one which will be making its way to other areas of Europe in the future. The Vodafone Wallet, and first accompanying payment app Vodafone SmartPass, will be able to make payments using their Android smartphones, with funds being transferred from a nominated bank account.
Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, is interviewed along with fellow designer Marc Newson on the latest episode of the Charlie Rose Show on PBS. The show aired last night in some parts of the US, but is only scheduled for 11PM Eastern tonight in others. It has also yet to become available on the Charlie Rose website, although Bloomberg has a short clip (below).
Paris-based Deezer will finally offer its music-streaming service in the United States. The service, which has launched in a number of other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe, will be available to use in the US sometime next year, though the company is reluctant to provide a final launch date until it can find another company to provide extra support.
Passengers on flights in the United States may be allowed to use the cellular connection on their smartphones and tablets while traveling in the future. New proposals from the FCC come weeks after the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allowed device use at all stages of flight, and after the European Commission (EC) permitted 3G and 4G LTE connections during transit.
The console wars have begun in earnest with the launch of the Microsoft Xbox One. The new console promises to be a one-stop shop for all of your entertainment needs, from gaming and socializing, through to watching Blu-ray discs, TV and streaming entertainment apps. In this first look at the Microsoft Xbox One, we take a quick look at its user interface and its gaming chops. Microsoft may have had its hiccups ahead of the launch of the Xbox One, but all of that will quickly be forgotten now that it is in the hands of consumers. So how is shaping up so far?
The Google Play Store has been updated to showcase apps "Designed for tablets," something Google announced it would do last month. Tablet users will see the tablet-aimed apps as the default view in Google Play, according to an Android Developers Google+ post, with apps that do not meet specific criteria to be "Designed for tablets" to be marked as "Designed for phones" instead.
Ouya has released a limited edition version of its Android-based game console. At the same time as revealing the white edition, available just in the United States, the company released a firmware update to existing versions of the console, which introduces an updated menu system and support for USB-connected external storage.
Apple is now offering telephone support to publishers in a dozen major countries to support its iBooks Author program, that allows the easy creation of e-textbooks and e-books for all types. The move is designed to make iBooks Author more welcome among book publishers and large publishing enterprises that require high-level technical support for core applications and navigating a project from its initial stages through to publishing on the iBookstore.
Apple has added a new page to its website showcasing the abilities of the iPad in real-world scenarios, called "Life on iPad." The page feature six stories that feature the iPad in a wide variety of usages, from how windmill power technicians use it to replace bulky repair schematics to doctors using the iPad to envisage surgical techniques that minimize risks for patients. The lead illustration, and the stories, are drawn from an iPad Air video which debuted at the latest generation's unveiling last month.