Production process issues caused delays in Jawbone Up3 release
Jawbone will be missing out on the bump in revenues from holiday sales of its new flagship product entirely, it has been reported. The Up3, launched at the start of November and originally set to ship before the end of the year, will instead be delayed to early next year, thanks to delays caused by a number of manufacturing issues.
Google adds Colbert Report set to Street View using Business View
Google has recreated the set of The Colbert Report in Street View, in honor of the show's last episode. The virtual tour of the studio, including around the main desk and interview area, was created by Business View, a service which uses a Google-certified photographer or agency to take photographs at a location before generating the explorable 360-degree images.
Google Glass-style Sony headset clips onto existing eyewear, sunglasses
Sony has unveiled its own take on the Google Glass wearable concept, with a similar heads-up display. The Single-Lens Display Module is a two-section unit which can be temporarily attached to a normal pair of glasses or sunglasses, providing a small Glass-style OLED screen to one side of the user's field of view which can be used to show various kinds of data useful to the wearer at that moment.
Project gains Bluetooth LE beacon stickers, competes with iBeacon
Google's attempt to take on Apple's iBeacon platform has taken its first major step since its announcement in October, with the release of hardware compatible with the framework. Blesh, a Turkish company who already works with iBeacon hardware, is offering a bundle of Bluetooth beacons for use with the "Physical Web" project.
Streaming app from HBO hits Fire TV today, Fire TV Stick in spring
HBO Go is heading to a number of streaming devices now and in the near future, it has been revealed. Owners of Roku streamers on Comcast will soon gain access to the app and Showtime, while Amazon's Fire TV users are able to stream from the service straight away, with the app also including support for the Fire TV's voice search functionality.
Reports of skin issues after wearing Fitbit Charge prompts company statement
Fitbit is under fire from some users of a recently-launched fitness tracker, as skin-related issues are starting to resurface. The Fitbit Charge, an updated version of the Fitbit Force from last year, has been subject to complaints from some users claiming to have irritated skin after using the device, with the company response suggesting the instances to be less severe than the earlier wearable tracker.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for December 15, 2014
The rush to acquire gifts is mounting, with Christmas just ten short days away and slightly fewer days remaining to receive a delivery on time for the big day. Today's Monday Deals hopes to offer some cut-price suggestions for what you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, could pick up cheaply to give to your nearest and dearest. As per previous deals posts, pricing is correct at the time of writing and may change between now and when you read this, so always check the price before buying, and come back to this post as more deals are likely to be added to the list later.
MacNN and Electronista deals for December 12, 2014
[Updated with more deals] Christmas is just 13 days away, and unless you spent wisely during Black Friday, you have just two weekends left to buy presents. Hopefully today's Friday Deals, the post where we list the best online deals worthy of the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, will provide some gift inspiration for you. As always, deal pricing is correct at the time of publication but could change at a later time, so verify the price before purchasing. Also, remember to check back to this post later, as we will continue to add more deals across the weekend.
LTE-equipped Nexus 9 priced $120 more than Wi-Fi equivalent
A variant of the Google Nexus 9 tablet with cellular connectivity is now on sale in the United States, two months after it was first unveiled. The Nexus 9 LTE, being sold first through T-Mobile before other carriers and Google Play, is identical to the already-available 32GB Wi-Fi model, but includes the requisite cellular radios to connect to T-Mobile's network.
Ultrasonic pulses used to connect guest smartphone with Chromecast
The Google Chromecast is finally allowing guests to cast content without joining the same Wi-Fi network, courtesy of a new update. Originally teased during Google IO in June, the new Guest Mode can be enabled on a Chromecast individually, with the Chromecast and the guest smartphone or tablet also attempting to open communications without requiring any user configuration.
Apple, Quanta allegedly solve yield problems with various components
Apple and one of its suppliers, Quanta, have solved yield problems with various Apple Watch components, claims Taiwan's United Daily News. As a result, the Watch is now expected to go into mass production in January, instead of as late as the end of February, which some earlier rumors had hinted. The problem was solved through manpower; Quanta has reportedly grown its workforce from 2,000 to 10,000 people, and expects to hire another 20,000 in the near future.
Gift cards are impersonal. Get a gadget instead!
The rubber's hitting the road on the Christmas season, and if the throngs around you aren't in the holiday spirit (read "panicked about buying") then they will be soon! Fortunately, its not too late for online ordering, and we've got your back! MacNN and Electronista have been squirreling away ideas for the gadget and accessory freak in your life. We did part one of this list last week, so here's more ideas for those hard to buy for people instead of a boring gift card!
LG smartphone, smartwatch, stylus rumors surface before end of 2014
LG may be scaling back its smartphone launches for 2015, lowering the number of devices it will ship in the first half of the year, following similar moves by Sony and Samsung. At the same time, there is word that the South Korean electronics producer may be looking to include stylus input in a future device in a more meaningful way than before, as well as another addition to its smartwatch line.
Virtual reality headset ships via Samsung, AT&T for $199, requires Note 4
Samsung has started to sell its virtual reality headset in the United States. The Innovator Edition of the Gear VR, a headset which requires the use of a Galaxy Note 4 as a display panel and for processing visuals, is the company's first virtual reality device being sold directly to consumers, alongside some demonstration programs and resources for coding VR content.
It can be Black Friday every week if you read this column
Welcome to the post-Black Friday edition of Friday Deals! Each week, we round up some great savings on cool stuff for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. During the holiday buying season, the deals are plentiful, so keep checking back over the weekend, as we add new deals we find or that readers let us know about! As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later time. Double-check before buying!
New coat also contains 1500mAh battery, ability to detach panels
Clothing vendor and designer Tommy Hilfiger is rolling out a new line of jackets with embedded solar panels to charge mobile devices. The battery-equipped tartan garments, available in both mens and womens' styles, have detachable solar panels manufactured by solar company Pvilion.
Mirrored front of camera helps frame self portrait shot
Casio has launched another camera designed for taking selfies a few months after the Exilim TR50, one which features a hidden camera lens. The Exilim MR1, also known as the "Kawaii Selfie by Mirror Camera," hides a 14-megapixel sensor with a 21mm wide-angle lens behind a large curved mirror on the front of the device, allowing the user to accurately frame themselves for their self portrait shot.
Get nearly everyone on your list something good
Gift hunting can prove to be difficult, especially if you're trying to find something for a gadget lover or general tech enthusiast. Not because there are no options, but that there are so many -- even when narrowing down your scope to tech accessories. To help with the gifting season stress, we've compiled some great suggestions for surprising your friends and loved ones.
Optional fee provides refund on crowdfunding purchases after project failure
People paying into crowdfunding campaigns may gain some protection on their funds, thanks to a new scheme being tried out for the first time. Indiegogo is testing out crowdfunding insurance, with one campaign offering the ability to get back the cost of the donated product or device if the project fails to deliver within a reasonable timeframe.
Intel said to be planning promotion of Google Glass in industry
Google's next iteration of the Glass headset will be packing an Intel processor, claims the Wall Street Journal. The current Texas Instruments processor in the first generation of Google Glass will be replaced by an Intel-based version as part of Intel's push into wearables, report sources claim, with the next model expected to ship next year.
win a Verve 2
What is the Verve 2? We asked ourselves the same question when we first heard of it. It turns out that it is quite unlike anything we have ever seen before. The Verve 2 is a sensor system that can be used to interact with a computer in a whole new way. We have one Verve 2 system to give away to our readers. Read on to learn more about this unique technology toy, and find out how you can win.
Razer fitness tracker priced at $100, release 11 months after unveiling
Razer is finally going to release its fitness tracker, just in time for the holiday sales. Originally launched at CES in January followed by delays caused by hypoallergenic testing and a beta test with developers, the Razer Nabu is being made available to purchase from the Razer website and retailers from December 2nd in North America, with Razer pricing the fitness band at $100.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for Black Friday 2014
Welcome to Friday Deals, on today, Black Friday. If you don't fancy wandering through the post-apocalyptic retail landscape caused by ravenous shoppers arguing over cheap televisions, we're listing the best online deals here for you, the discerning (and wise to stay away from the battle) MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, and considering the sales today, may change rapidly, so check before purchasing. Check back to this post later, as we aim to add more deals as and when we find them, and also look at yesterday's deals post as many of the deals included there may still be active now.
Initial Puls smartwatch release said to be smaller than planned
The release of a smartwatch created by musician Will.i.am will apparently take place next month, but with a smaller release than originally thought, a report claims. A second generation of the Puls smartwatch with a few slight alterations is also touted for release, but it is believed to be heading to market early next year in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Regulatory symbols on devices can be removed, shown in software instead
The backs of smartphones will become slightly better looking, after a bill concerning the labeling of electronic devices has been signed into law by President Obama. The E-Label Act, created by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), will allow manufacturers to leave off a large amount of the logos and other regulatory iconography from the device itself.
Amazon Kindle tablets and e-readers from $49
Black Friday deals are on now at Amazon. No need to wait outside in the cold, or battle the hoards of deal-hungry shoppers to get these great prices. To kick things off today, the online store is offering discounts on their line of Kindle tablets and e-readers. The all-new Kindle with touch has been reduced again by $30, and can be had for only $49 with special offers that display on the lock screen, or $69 without the ads.
Report claims GoPro drones could cost between $500 and $1,000
GoPro may be supplementing its action camera range with a line of low-cost drones for consumers and business use, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Report sources claim the camera company is developing the multi-rotor flying machines and is planning to ship them for between $500 and $1,000, in order to let sports enthusiasts take advantage of drone photography.
Rumored Sony e-paper watch to focus on style, not competing with smartwatches
Sony may be working on a smartwatch using e-paper for release next year, according to a report. Said to be part of a "venture-style approach" to product creation by Bloomberg, the electronics company is apparently making the device in preparation for a release sometime next year, though it may not offer the same level of functionality as Sony's existing smartwatch offerings.
Top pick Apple Watch is curious choice, but shows public anticipation
Time magazine has picked out its top 10 Gadgets list (among other Top 10s such as Video Games and Toys) for holiday season shoppers, and unsurprisingly Apple devices or accessories dominate the selection, taking four out of the 10 slots -- the most of any single company. In a list that seems determined to rank some promising but nascent technology higher than one would expect, the rankings are puzzling for the surprising amount of "vaporware" on it -- including its top choice, the coming-next-year Apple Watch.
Small 2-inch cubed CuBoxTV controllable by smartphone, keyboard and mouse
SolidRun has added another device to its CuBox range, one aimed for use as a streaming media set-top box. The CuBoxTV, measuring a compact 2-inches on each side and weighing 9.9 ounces, works as an XBMC streaming device straight out of the box with the use of a smartphone app, keyboard and mouse, infrared or CEC TV remote controls, and other interface devices.
Samsung NX1 with 28.2-megapixel sensor available to pre-order.
Samsung is finally releasing the NX1 mirrorless camera in the United States, one which is capable of recording 4K-resolution content. Launched in September, the NX1 has a 28.2-megapixel BSI APS-C sensor, with the updated NX AF System III's autofocus capabilities offering 205 phase-detection points and 209 contrast AF points, and a focusing speed of 0.055 of a second.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 24, 2014
Welcome to the second installment of Monday Deals, which we will be running throughout the holiday shopping period. While it is just four more days until shoppers become uncivilized and argue over who gets to buy the last of a heavily-discounted product, we are listing various deals you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, can take advantage of now. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later reading, so check before purchasing. Also, check back on this post in the coming days, as more deals will be added as time goes on.
Unofficial replica faces being blocked from download sites
A number of major watch brands have been sending cease-and-desist notices to websites and individuals claimed to be offering smartwatch copies of trademarked or copyrighted name-brand watch faces without permission, a report says. Some smartwatches -- particularly ones based on Android Wear -- offer the ability to load custom face designs. A few people have been creating ones based on existing watches, however, triggering copyright and trademark complaints.
Google Nexus 9 is the first high-end 64-bit Android on ARM device
The new Google Nexus 9 is acting as the single replacement for the Google Nexus 7 and the Google Nexus 10, which Google is marketing as being a "just right" compromise between the two sizes. It is also the first tablet from Google to feature a 4:3 aspect ratio (instead of 16:9), which is the ratio favored by Apple for its iPad range. Among other "firsts," it is the first Android tablet to launch with Android 5.0 "Lollipop," while it is also the first Android tablet to feature a 64-bit ARM-based processor. So how is it shaping up ahead of our full review?
Calls, texts, appointments will appear on Basis Peak display
The Basis Peak, a fitness tracker launched in September, will soon gain some extra smartwatch-style functionality. The tracker from the Intel-owned company will be able to show notifications from a connected smartphone on its monochrome display, while another change will let the wearable device pass heart rate data to other fitness-related mobile apps.
Starbucks adds Powermat wireless charging to 200 San Francisco stores
Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.
Improved image stabilization, autofocus speed touted in Sony A7 II
An updated version of the Sony Alpha 7 has been launched in Japan. The A7 II is a 24.3-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera and the first of its kind to have a five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, one which is said to reduce shake by up to 4.5 CIPA-standard stops, and is capable of automatically combining it with the in-lens stabilization of an E-mount lens with OSS.
Fire TV Stick described as most successful Amazon device launch ever
The Fire TV Stick, Amazon's second media streamer after the Fire TV, has started shipping. Pre-orders of the competitor to the Google Chromecast are the first to go, dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis, though new customers will have a considerable wait for their order, as new stock will not be available until January 15th, 2015.
New projector easy to install, features 2200 lumens of color brightness
Epson today announced the PowerLite Home Cinema 5025UB, the newest addition to its high-performance line of 3LCD 2D/3D Full HD 1080p home theater projectors. The new projector delivers to home entertainment enthusiasts 2,200 lumens of color brightness and 2,200 lumens of white brightness, up to a 600,000:1 contrast ratio, and advanced image processing technology for a big screen experience.
Which fashion-forward recipient will you gift with a smart watch?
Wearable devices have become an important part of the technology industry this year, with almost every manufacturer producing a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or some other form of technology designed to be worn, not carried. If you feel the need to buy a present for someone you know who wants a wearable item, here is Electronista and MacNN's first gift guide of the season, covering the newest expansion of mobile technology.
Multitasking Jolla Tablet achieves funding goal within hours
Jolla, a Finnish startup formed by ex-Nokia employees, has moved from creating a smartphone into tablets. The company is aiming to produce the Jolla Tablet, a device running its Sailfish OS, though in a process similar to the ill-fated Ubuntu Edge smartphone, Jolla is trying to cover the cost of production via crowdfunding efforts, with seemingly more success.
Smartwatch app offers retailers code to accept PayPal payment
PayPal is filling out its roster of apps for mobile payments by smartwatch, with the launch of its first Pebble app. Available to download from the Pebble App Store, the PayPal app allows the wearer to make payments in stores directly from the watch, without needing to bring out their payment card or having to interact with the smartphone PayPal app.
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC-enabled speakers offer 360-degree sound coverage, compact size
Accessory maker Rapoo announced the US release of two of its wireless speakers today, bringing the revamped style of the A500 and A300 models to a new audience. Both of the Bluetooth 4.0 speakers feature NFC pairing, a dual-mode that enables an auxiliary connection, and 360-degree sound coverage. Each speaker has its own construction features, as the A500 contains speakers made from bio-fiber materials, while the A300 has an aluminum alloy exterior.
8.2 release enables testing of Apple Watch apps
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Google Nexus 6 pre-orders begin in United Kingdom
The Google Nexus 6 will be going on sale soon in the United Kingdom, with a number of retailers offering pre-orders for the device. Carphone Warehouse is selling the smartphone SIM-free for £499 and £549 ($780 and $860) for the 32GB and 64GB models respectively with delivery expected on December 1st. Amazon UK is stocking the 32GB model at the same price, but with a later release date of December 15th. Google Play does list the Nexus 6 for the UK, with identical pricing for both versions, but it is not allowing for pre-orders, nor states when it will be available.
Android-based Nokia N1 tablet has 7.9-inch display, Z Launcher
Nokia's first hardware release since its break-up with Microsoft is an Android tablet, though rather than producing the device itself, Nokia is applying its branding and design skills with a third-party manufacturer. The N1 possesses a 7.9-inch 4:3 aspect ratio IPS display with a high 2048x1536 resolution, protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and using the same fully-laminated zero air-gap process as its smartphones, packed into a 6.9mm-thick aluminum unibody casing highly reminiscent of the iPad mini.
LG G Watch R delivers breakthrough high-quality circular P-OLED display
We have previously taken a look at the LG G Watch, LG's launch device that helped to usher in Google's wearable platform, Android Wear. LG has introduced the next model in its Android Wear range, the LG G Watch R, which is a much more interesting and thoughtfully-designed smartwatch. Where the rectangular G Watch is quite nondescript in appearance, the G Watch R incorporates much more design flair and much more interesting technology.
Ecobee3 gains shelf space alongside Honeywell smart thermostat
Starting on Monday, Apple Stores are now carrying at least one rival to Google-owned Nest's self-titled smart Learning Thermostat. The Ecobee3 offers an advantage over the Nest in terms of multi-room support, utilizing sensors that can be bought separately to bring more intelligent energy management to the full home rather than relying on a single point of reference. Like Nest and Honeywell's rival entry, the smart device can be managed through a smartphone app from anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The Ecobee3 sells for the same price as the Nest, $250.
Analyst firm believes Apple will sell 20 million units in first full year
The Apple Watch is not yet out, and is expected to entirely miss the holiday buying season this year -- and may not even hit the alleged internal goal of coming out before Valentine's Day -- but is still expected to sell some 20 million units in its first year, according to analyst Amit Darayanani of RBC Capital Markets. The firm raised its target price on AAPL from its current $115 a share -- a goal likely to be accomplished before the year's end -- to $120. Darayanani predicts the average selling price of the Apple Watch range will be about $520.
Shenzhen conference gathered HomeKit, iOS accessory manufacturers
On the heels of reports that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips that feature Apple's HomeKit API already embedded in them are now arriving to accessory makers, Apple announced during its "Made For i" (MFi) developer conference in China that manufacturers can now submit product plans for HomeKit-based products to the iPhone maker for approval, making it possible that the first group of such devices could arrive before the end of the holiday buying season. Apple's MFi certification would be the last step for devices before hitting the market.