Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, HTC reveals the second generation of the Vive VR headset for developers, Oculus reveals some Kickstarter backers will get the consumer headset for free, the PlayStation 4 sold very well over the holiday season, and the developers of Shenmue 3 will not provide late PayPal backers the same exclusive rewards that Kickstarter backers will receive.
The annual CES showcase is presenting a bevy of new "smart home" options that include HomeKit compatibility, showing that Apple's standard is starting to gain traction more than a year after its initial introduction -- similar to CarPlay, which is only just now seeing wider adoption, two years after its debut. Grid Connect has two new entries in its ConnectSense lineup, while iDevices presented a range of lighting gear such as light sockets and wall switches, while iHome has updated its existing SmartPlug with a new version that adds HomeKit compatibility.
Logitech has launched an updated version of its G502 Proteus Core gaming mouse from last year, one that ships with the addition of controllable lighting. The G502 Proteus Spectrum gaming mouse retains the same specifications and features as the original model of high-performance mouse, except that Logitech has introduced RGB customizable lighting, allowing users to change the color of the LEDs to match their desk or home office's color scheme.
Nikon used CES to unveil three new cameras, with two DSLRs accompanied by the manufacturer's first action camera that can record 360-degree images for viewing with VR headsets. The D5 is the successor to the D4 and is capable of shooting 4K UHD video, the D500 is a 20.9-megapixel shooter that is meant to work well with smartphones and tablets, and the KeyMission 360 is a compact camera capable of recording 360-degree video in challenging shooting environments.
Apple has announced that it will reveal its fiscal Q1 earnings on January 26 at 2PM PT (5PM ET) with its usual live audio webcast that is available for public streaming. The December quarter included the holiday buying season, but investors are worried that Apple will be unable to match last year's blockbuster $74.6 billion in revenue and $18.04 billion in revenue, which was the best quarterly earnings and profit any company has ever recorded. Last year's Christmas buying season was boosted by the introduction of the larger iPhone 6 line into China and the US.
Yeah, CES is well underway. That doesn't mean that you can't get new stuff now! As always, MacNN is here to help -- we've got a range of deals for your to consider in your quest for new stuff. Today's highlights include a monochrome laser printer from Pantum for $25, an Amazon Fire TV for $85, and the GoPro Hero4 Silver action camera for $310.
The LaCie and Porsche Design collaboration continues, with the pair announcing new devices today. Housed in enclosures that reflect the Porsche Design style, the new Mobile and Desktop Drives feature USB-C connectivity with high capacities in a compact form factor. Also released today by LaCie, the Chrome by Neil Poulton utilizes USB 3.1 Generation 2, as well as a SSD RAID for maximum speed.
Huawei has unveiled a pair of Android Wear smartwatches at CES, unusually aimed at women. Similar to the earlier Huawei Watch releases, the Huawei Watch Jewel and the Watch Elegant each have a 1.4-inch 400x400 screen protected with a sapphire crystal lens for scratch protection, though while the Elegant has a patterned edge circling the round display in cold-forged stainless steel, the Jewel adds 68 Swarovski Zirconia stones measuring 1.5mm each around the rose gold-plated edge.
Countries that celebrate the lunar new year (which begins on February 8 this year) will see specially-designed editions of Apple's Watch Sport and Beats Solo2 headphones as part of the company's annual observation of the major shopping holiday. Buyers in mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia will be able to get the limited-edition items, which are also tied in with the Global Fund's PRODUCT (Red) campaign, meaning some proceeds will go to fight AIDS, HIV, and malaria in Africa and other countries.
App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we highlight a deal on digital planner Pagico 7, as well as bring you recent updates to time manager Alarm Clock Pro, backup software ChronoSync Express, network scanner AirRadar, disk cataloger DiskCatalogMaker, note-taker Alternote, and file synchronizer DropSync.
A total of 913 US financial institutions (not counting two store loyalty cards, Kohl's and BJ's Wholesale Club) are now issuing cards supporting Apple Pay, according to an update on Tuesday to Apple's partner list for the mobile payment technology. Another 58 banks and credit unions were added in Tuesday's update, though Apple has recently been focused on expanding the international reach of Apple Pay through deals with American Express and UnionPay in China.
LG has introduced its range of OLED, LED, and LCD TVs for 2016 at CES, with HDR 4K images being the main focus of the new product launches. A total of eight OLED-based televisions were launched, along with a large number of LCD and LED sets, while the electronics giant's new Signature OLED TV boasts an extremely thin design where the screen is barely thicker than a sheet of glass, measuring 2.57mm, thanks to its Picture-On-Glass design.
Accessory manufacturer iHome has shown its entire 2016 product line at the Las Vegas CES. Highlighting the 2016 lineup are new products from the company's iHome Control smart home brand, as well as a new rugged portable speaker line called Weather Tough. Also demonstrated are other gadgets for the home, continuation of the company's Bluetooth speaker lines, mobile docking/charging stations, and headphones.
New ClamCase owner Incipio has announced the first new iPad Bluetooth keyboard cases made since the company took over its rival last year, including three models for the iPad Air 2 and a new model for the iPad Pro, along with one for the iPad mini 4. Most models include keyboard backlighting, wth one model featuring a rear OLED screen for notifications while the case is closed, and the one for the iPad Pro including a storage slot for the optional Apple Pencil drawing stylus.
Alongside the high-end tuner it announced earlier Harman International Industries showed the refresh of its Omni speaker line. The new Harman Kardon Omni+ Wi-Fi enabled HD home audio system has been redesigned, to deliver "more clarity and the detailed nuances of a performance" according to the company.
Device manufacturer Akitio today unveiled the Thunder3 Duo Pro, the industry's first hardware RAID and display dock solution designed for the new Thunderbolt 3 technology. The Thunder3 Duo Pro offers fast data transfers with the added flexibility of a DisplayPort video output in a small form factor.
The endless runner: perhaps the most oversaturated genre of mobile game, potentially only second to match-3. We thought we saw it all, and we were prepared to write it off, but we're happy to tell you we've found an endless runner that is actually trying something new: Endless Flip Runner.
At this week's Consumer Electronics Show, Altec Lansing has shown the DVR DJ-Style Headphones. In addition to the 40mm drivers in the headphones, the set integrates a a 1080P action camera into one ear cup, allowing for wireless streaming, or recording, of what the wearer is looking at.
At the CES yesterday Harman International Industries previewed the forthcoming Mark Levinson 519 Audio Player, an ultra high-end source component designed to accommodate every digital audio format. The 519 was designed to be the heart of high-performance audio systems, with the ability to play back virtually any audio format including from streaming music services, networked storage, discs, high-resolution digital inputs and Bluetooth wireless. In addition, it includes high-performance headphone connectivity and integrated digital volume control allowing it to serve as a fully integrated digital music source.
Say you like news but not enough to go looking for it: Nuzzel 2.0.3 is for you. This iOS and Apple Watch app tracks your Twitter and Facebook feeds for news articles that are being shared. If around three or more people you're following share the same article, Nuzzel tells you about it with a notification on your iPhone or a tap on your wrist.
Smart home security and monitoring company Alarm.com, launched a new app for the Apple TV. Using the new app, users can watch up to four live feeds from video cameras around their property simultaneously in real-time 1080P HD, using Apple TV's as the surveillance hub of the system.
Garmin has expanded its Fenix 3 multisport smartwatches with a trio of new fitness-tracking devices for the wrist. The updated models all include sapphire glass to protect their displays, with versions including a premium variant with a titanium bezel and band, one with easily changeable leather and nylon straps, and a third "HR" model that uses Garmin's Elevate wrist-based heart rate monitoring system that can be used to improve and optimize the wearer's exercise routine.
Do you want to start 2016 by catching up on all the excellent shows on streaming services you missed? If so, why not enter the giveaway through MacNN Deals to win yourself a brand new fourth-generation Apple TV!
The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group charged with fostering the Ultra HD ecosystem, today unveiled a program to identify devices, content and services capable of delivering a "premium" 4K Ultra HD picture. The logo is licensable, and is reserved for products and services that comply with performance metrics for resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), peak luminance, black levels and wide color gamut.
Linksys has launched a cavalcade of home networking devices at CES, covering a wide variety of product categories. New launches include DOCSIS cable modems, modem routers for both cable and DSL connections, a selection of Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) routers and extenders, and even changes to the companion app for the devices that updates the interface and adds new features to help users manage their home connections more effectively.
Everyone has them: the oft dubbed "dumb" electronics. Whether it's your window air conditioner, your favorite floor lamp, or your beloved Christmas lights, these tend to be trusty companions that work on the rapidly archaic notion of physically turning them on and off via an inconveniently placed light switch or button, a power strip hidden behind a decade of AV equipment, or God forbid: plugging and unplugging them directly from the outlet. Instead of getting rid your "dumb" electronics for an updated "smart" version, why not just update your outlet? That's what Nyrius did with their crowd-funded Smart Outlet.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are tracking devices that can help you locate things you have lost or misplaced, including smaller devices for your keys, a larger version for your car, and one to find out exactly where your pet keeps going when it leaves home.
Currently, USB-C 3.1 is just an up-and-coming technology that offers considerably faster speeds and greater power charging, among other benefits, but isn't yet widespread. If vendors from this year's CES show in Las Vegas have their way, however, next year will move the emerging standard a great deal forward, beyond its present best-known presence on the Retina 12-inch MacBook and Google's Chromebook Pixel line. On Monday, accessory makers Belkin and Griffin unveiled a host of new USB-C cables and devices.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE