Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.
Band offers tracking, emergency health information with app, but limited functionality
Smartbands of all sorts are hitting the market. Some build on the buzz around fitness trackers, while others offer simpler features for specific needs. Once such band is the ActvContent Sync Smartband, a wrist-worn device that allows tracking through a smartphone or quick access to medical information in the case of an emergency. But does the ActvContent Sync offer enough to warrant a purchase, or would users be better off spending their money on something with more features? Find out in our review.
Motorola smartwatch update claimed to increase usage time by hours
Owners of the Moto 360 are reportedly seeing longer battery life for the smartwatch than at launch, thanks to an over-the-air update by Motorola late last week. The original suggestion by the company of an "all day" mixed-use battery life has apparently increased considerably, with users on Reddit surprised at the sudden battery gains.
October release date slated for curved Samsung gaming monitor
Samsung has unveiled a monitor with a similar curvature to some of the manufacturer's high-end televisions. The SD590C uses a 27-inch, 1920x1080 LCD panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, with Samsung claiming the curve provides a wider field of view than similar-sized flat displays, with users able to see items on the edges of the screen without shifting focus, allowing for a "more comfortable viewing experience."
Improved frame rates across new GoPro collection, Hero4 Silver includes touchscreen
GoPro has launched its first new additions to its action camera line after filing its IPO. The Hero4 range follows on from the Hero3+ collection, with the Black and Silver editions offering functionality better suited towards professional applications, while a new entry-level Hero is a budget-priced version for those wanting a cheap waterproof camera.
TomTom Golfer stores, regularly updates data for over 34,000 golf courses
GPS manufacturer TomTom has launched a sports watch in a similar vein to its Runner devices, aimed at golfers. The aptly-named TomTom Golfer can provide players with information about their next shot, including how far the pin and hazards are from the ball, the best approach to the green, and also keeps track of the score, distance, and time for the round.
MacNN and Electronista weekly deals for September 26, 2014
Its finally Friday! This afternoon, like every Friday afternoon, we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy. We do add deals over the weekend, so keep checking!
Stand-alone LG smartwatch rumor resurfaces in FCC listings
A rumored smartwatch from LG with a built-in SIM card is heading to Verizon, an FCC listing has revealed. A device described as a "Smartwatch + CDMA" is shown in filed documents, strongly suggesting the smartwatch will have the capability to connect to a carrier directly without requiring the use of a nearby smartphone's data connection, similar to competitor Samsung's Gear S.
Future air traffic control system not built to accommodate drones
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has taken an important step in enabling drones for commercial use, by granting six media companies regulatory exemptions. At the same time, it has also revealed its next generation of air traffic control system may not be able to cope with drones, as it was not designed to take into account the automated craft.
Schiller suggests owners with bent iPhones visit Apple Stores
Continuing to fight back against claims that the iPhone 6 Plus is structurally unsound and prone to bending in people's pockets, Apple has given some tech reporters a tour of the iPhone quality testing lab, showing that it does and did test the new iPhone to simulate situations like those seen in videos to aggravate or cause bending. The original instigator of the furor has noted that his iPhone 6 Plus was slightly bent right out of the box -- opening up the possibility that some batches, rather than the phone itself, could have structural issues.
GPS-equipped fitness tracker warns if wearer sits for too long
Polar has launched an activity tracker with a large smartwatch-style display. The Polar M400 GPS watch has a 128x128-resolution display in a black or white strap, with the device able to monitor daily activities as well as providing more enhanced functionality when the user is exercising, such as running or cycling, with the GPS able to provide information about distance, speed, and altitude changes.
Kids' mini remote-controlled drone debuts
Swann's has introduced a new toy to its remote-controlled Xtreem product range, the Mini Stealth RC Drone. The six-inch gadget is designed for kids of all ages, with a rotor diameter of three inches and a weight of under one ounce. Its 2.4GHz frequency allows the Mini Stealth Drone to fly with a strong signal indoors or outdoors of up to 330 feet, and its dual-blade rotors simplify flying for novice "pilots." The rechargeable Li-poly battery inside the helicopter provides up to seven minutes of continuous flight time, and the remote control is powered by six AA batteries. The Mini Stealth RC Drone is priced at $50.
Rumored HTC camera may have wide angle lens, slow-motion abilities
HTC has started to tease the launch of a new device at a New York "Double Exposure" event on October 8th, with the device likely to be an action camera in a similar style to the GoPro range. A video and a teaser site strongly hint at some form of camera, with each showing video shot from an action camera below water and mounted to a bicycle moving through traffic.
Outer frame of Casio TR50 camera swings out as handle for easier shot composition
Casio is joining the trend of producing cameras designed specifically for self portraits, with a new compact device. The TR50 in the Exilim range can rotate its lens, frame, and monitor to various angles, effectively turning the outside frame of the camera's body into a handle for easier "selfie" shots, as well as allowing it to be used for normal photographic purposes.
Lab126 responsible for Fire Phone, Kindle ecosystem
Amazon is planning on increasing the number of researchers and developers at its Lab126 skunkworks. Sources familiar with the matter, backed up by governmental filings, show that Amazon is looking to hire 27 percent more people, bringing the number of employees to 3,757 before 2019, which will trigger tax breaks according to the terms of a deal with California that will give the e-retailer $1.2 million in tax breaks.
Android, iOS security product featured on Amazon Home Automation
Home technology company Icontrol today announced that the Piper all-in-one home security, video monitoring and automation device is now available on Amazon's new Home Automation store. The CTIA award-winning Piper suite allows users to monitor and interact with home automation through the Internet, without service contracts or fees.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon to carry 3G-enabled Gear S
Samsung has confirmed it will be releasing the Gear S smartwatch in the United States. Launched last month, the standalone smartwatch with a curved two-inch 360x480 Super AMOLED display will be heading to AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon sometime this fall, though the manufacturer has yet to confirm exactly when it will be available.
Karma Go uses Sprint LTE network, refines device design from predecessor
Data-focused virtual carrier Karma has unveiled an upgraded version of its portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Just as it promised late last year, the Karma Go is a compact device which replaces its existing WiMax connection with one using Sprint's LTE network, a move which should provide customers with a larger coverage area to use the hotspot within.
Up to 480 songs on your wrist, perhaps, but only iPad Airs for Xmas
A new pair of rumors -- one from sketchy sources in Taiwan, the other a claim by a Wall Street analyst -- offer some unconfirmed sources of new details for the Apple Watch, as well as the company's holiday plans for the next iPad, the latter thus far being unmentioned by Apple but expected sometime next month. According to Taiwan's Commercial Times, Apple will only offer an updated 7.9-inch iPad Air for the holidays, leaving the second-gen Retina iPad mini until early next year.
Google's Currents app for iOS redesigned, renamed Google Play Newsstand
Google has announced the re-release of its Currents news article app as Google Play Newsstand, available through iTunes. Google Play Newsstand allows users to peruse news and in-depth articles featuring audio, video and more, from a variety of publishers. The latest version (v3.0) offers new navigation for accessing content, including a Read Now function that organizes subscribed articles and editions in one place, and a Topics section, featuring content most interested in by the user. The My Library section holds all subscribed content. Google Play Newsstand's aesthetic redesign is focused on a streamlined reading experience. Free to download, the app requires iOS 7.0 or later.
Wireless Display Adapter mirrors Miracast device display on connected television
Microsoft has unveiled a new compact adapter for wirelessly streaming video from a computer or device to a television. The Wireless Display Adapter can be used to share content from any Miracast-enabled device, allowing for a television to be used as a secondary monitor or as a larger display for presentations and watching videos.
CEO hints at still greater uses
People will be able to use the Apple Watch as a remote for their Apple TV, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentions in a full-length version of a recent Bloomberg interview. "I love operating my Apple TV from the watch. I don't have to worry anymore about the remote falling through the cushions of the sofa," he says. The interviewer notes that the public has yet to see the matching app. "There's -- I don't think we showed this," Cook responds. "I've got a little advance copy. And so it will operate your Apple TV, and you can imagine that it can control other things as well."
Range starts from $1,000 for 50-inch 4K-capable television
Vizio has made available to pre-order a range of Ultra HD televisions it first revealed at CES in January, priced low in comparison to other manufacturer's high-resolution sets. The P-Series consists of five televisions measuring 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 inches in size, with all capable of showing a 4K-resolution image and upscaling 1080p video.
Apple knew streaming would eventually replace product in 2003
In a new interview for the magazine Fast Company, former Apple executive and head of the original iPod project Tony Fadell, now CEO of Nest at Google, mentions his sense of loss that the last large-capacity iPod, the iPod classic, has been discontinued by Apple. While lamenting the passing of the unit that modelled most closely the design of the original iPod, Fadell notes that Apple began thinking about what would kill the product within two years of it emerging.
Formal announcement may have cleared way
Apple engineers have been spotted wearing the Apple Watch in public, according to various anecdotes on Twitter. "Saw a few Apple employees wearing the iWatch [sic] at a bus stop in mission. All were wearing the sport edition and carrying the iPhone six plus," writes one person. Another source claims to have seen someone wearing a gold model. The two cited incidents both took place in San Francisco, a home base for many Apple workers.
Canon plans PowerShot camera with large sensor, extended zoom
Canon is working on a new addition to the PowerShot compact camera range, one which may end up with a similar one-inch sensor to its recently-launched G7 X. A press release spotted by Ubergizmo mentions a camera which "combines the merits of both a large image sensor and a high-magnification optical zoom lens," packed into a "compact body." The release does not hint at when Canon will unveil the device.
Report reaffirms rumors of HTC Nexus 9 development
Google's HTC-produced Nexus tablet has reappeared in another report, alleging its existence. Sources of Wall Street Journal claim that HTC has been selected over other manufacturers to create the device, as suggested by previous rumors, with the report also stating that the tablet will have a nine-inch display, matching earlier leaked legal filings from Nvidia directly naming a device called the Nexus 9.
D-Link now shipping Wi-Fi Smart Plug
Network accessories company D-Link has announced that its new Wi-Fi Smart Plug is now shipping. Originally introduced in the spring, the device allows users to turn devices on and off from anywhere using the free Mydlink Home app, available for iOS as well as Android. A range of devices are compatible, allowing users to create power on/off schedules that are suitable for frequent travellers.
Pebble Firmware version 2.5 adds iOS 8 support, emoji
A firmware update for the Pebble smartwatch range adds iOS 8 support to the device, among other new additions. Version 2.5 of the firmware also activates its compass features using its magnetometer, allowing developers access to the component, as well as reintroducing the Domo watch face and adding the ability to display emoji within notifications and messages.
SmartEyeglass adds hologram optics to Google Glass concept
The Project Morpheus virtual reality headset is not the only head-mounted device under development by Sony. The manufacturer has revealed a prototype of a headset similar to Google Glass called SmartEyeglass, though while Google's effort relies on a small screen off to the side, Sony is opting for something more ambitious, and less discrete in terms of design.
Tylt to launch iPhone 6 family of battery cases, screen protectors in glass, plastic
Ahead of the retail release of the new family of iPhone 6 smartphones, Tylt has announced that it is coming out with three new products by the end of the year for the devices. Two different screen protectors are rolling out, including a new version of the Alin screen protector. While the standard plastic version will be available for around $20, Tylt is offering a glass version for the first time for $35. Both come with an alignment tool to ensure the correct fit.
Promo video used as evidence
The Apple Watch's S1 processor appears to be paired with a Broadcom BCM4334 Wi-Fi module, says research firm Chipworks. The claim is based on an analysis of Apple's promotional video, during which viewers can briefly see the circuitboard the watch uses. Contacts near the top of the board are believed to match a BCM4334 flip-bonded directly.
MyGlass iOS update automatically synchronizes photos between Google Glass, iPhone
An update to MyGlass, the iOS Google Glass companion app, has been updated to allow users faster access to images shot using the headwear. The Next Web writes that photographs will now appear on an iPhone or iPad for editing when Photo Sync is enabled, viewable both via the app and a separate MyGlass album. The Android version of the app reportedly already has the function built in.
Company is a 'very different place,' but changing market suits Cook's management style
A hit-and-miss profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook has brought some new details to light about changes made at Apple since Cook took over in late 2011. It also confirms that the Apple Watch project was started after former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died, that the consolidation of hardware and software teams that led to Scott Forstall's ouster was a deliberate move by Cook, and that those who work with him have no doubts about the ability of the company to continue innovating.
New product lineup adds Dolby Atmos to HDX Fire, new Fire OS
Amazon has completely refreshed its Fire tablet line, and added two new Kindles as well. Leading the pack is a refreshed Fire HD 8.9, with HDX display with a more powerful processor, exclusive Dolby Atmos and the latest Dolby Audio, and all-new Fire OS 4 "Sangria" features and services. Also added are the Fire HD for less than $100, and the Fire HD Kids Edition with a two-year replacement guarantee.
Life N Soul launches KiiTag Bluetooth item finder for iOS
Life N Soul has announced the launch of its new Bluetooth item finder, the KiiTag. Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology, the KiiTag can track and locate up to 10 items within a 200-foot range. If users travel more than 200 feet away from one of their valuables, an "out of range" alert will appear on their phone. In combination with in-app purchases, the KiiTag can perform additional tasks, including sending automatic messages of the user's location in an emergency ($5), a remote camera shutter ($4), and a two-way phone finding function ($1). Available in three colors, the KiitTag item finder is priced at $20.
New printer features free content from Autodesk, 100 micron resolution
Today, Dremel introduced the Dremel 3D Idea Builder, what the company calls "the most user-friendly 3D printing experience on the market." Through a strategic partnership with Autodesk, Dremel will provide free print-ready 3D models and simple design tools, while continuing to release new design tools on the printer's support website to coach users through the building process.
Smart thermostat ecobee3 remotely monitors multiple rooms with extra sensors
Thermostat manufacturer Ecobee has unveiled its third-generation device, the ecobee3. Much like other smart thermostats, the ecobee3 is able to work out when is the optimum time to raise or lower the temperature, though this time the unit is able to rely on a network of remote sensors to find out whether a room is occupied or not, as well as the temperature of each area.
Williams says holiday launch was possible, but bad idea
A new interview with CEO Tim Cook, lead designer Jonathan Ive, and Operations head Jeff Williams sheds some light on the development of the Apple Watch. Ive remarks that Apple first began working on the project about three years ago, and calls it "probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on." The company delved into an extreme amount of research, going so far as to invite watch historians to speak at its Cupertino headquarters. "What was interesting is that it [watches] took centuries to find the wrist, and then it didn't go anywhere else," Ive says. "I would argue the wrist is the right place for the technology."
System allows for local, remote monitoring of temperature information
Swaive Corporation today announced that it has developed the Swaive Thermometer, an "intelligent" Bluetooth-connected ear thermometer. The unit communicates with an iPhone and iPad app that analyzes temperatures, and provides vital information to monitor the health of the family, as well as syncing with Apple's HealthKit. All readings can be instantly shared with physicians, nurses, parents, caretakers, and spouses allowing remote monitoring of critical trends.
Update to Kindle line could have page-turning sensors in bezel
Amazon is looking to launch another e-reader in its Kindle range, according to details leaked through its German and Japanese stores. The appearance of the Kindle Voyage has also allegedly been uncovered, with an illustration from a supposed manual along with other details appearing to show the device's page turning buttons will be replaced by a new sensor in the bezels responding to light presses.
Wide compatibility offered by new lineup for home theater and elsewhere
Today, Logitech announced it is entering the home control market with new home automation product compatibility, and four new products. The new Harmony Living Home lineup gives users access to, and control of, a wide library of entertainment and home automation devices, all from one centralized control system.
Offers many of the same tracking features as the Shine, loses the aluminum casing
Misift, the company behind the Shine fitness tracker, announced another tracker today that aims at bringing wearables to a wider audience. The Flash functions as a fitness tracker and sleep monitor, taking on the same features found in the Shine for a lower price. Where the $100 Shine was a tracker in an aluminum shell, the Flash takes a cheaper route with polyurethane and polycarbonate construction for $50.
Google reveals apps updated with support for Chromecast streaming
Owners of the Chromecast will have more choice of what to watch in future, as Google has revealed a new collection of supported apps for the streaming device. Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD offer shows for children, with the iHeartRadio, Twitch, and DramaFever apps also joining the roster of Chromecast-compatible apps.
Stored cross-site scripting attack can steal stored cookies on tablet
OM-D E-M1 update adds USB tethering, extra shooting options
Olympus has revealed two changes to the OM-D E-M1 it launched last year. The company is releasing a silver-colored version of the professional-grade camera, with a pre-installed firmware upgrade which adds a number of changes to the device's software, as well as enabling more functionality from within its companion smartphone app.
Leica V-Lux, D-Lux rebranded versions of Panasonic FZ1000, Lumix LX100
Leica launched a number of other digital cameras at Photokina, alongside the M Edition 60. The Leica X and Leica X-E are high-end compact cameras, while the Leica V-Lux and Leica D-Lux are snappers best described as rebranded versions of Panasonic cameras, a process the manufacturer has undertaken a few times previously.
Battery life is critical to widespread consumer adoption of the Apple Watch
As an early adopter of all types of technology, I will be among the first to get my hands on an Apple Watch when it launches early next year. There is a lot that Apple looks to have nailed with it, including the typically elegant industrial design, advanced materials and system architecture combined with what looks to be the most evolved smartwatch OS by some margin. The multiple collections and easily swappable bands also make it highly customizable, greatly enhancing its overall appeal. However, the biggest question mark over it at this point is its battery life, which is a potential issue that could be addressed by Apple if it adopts a slightly different tact before launch.
Anniversary version of Leica M removes electronic assistance in retro camera design
Leica has unveiled a new limited-edition M-series digital camera to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Leica M3. The Leica M Edition 60 is a classically-influenced M-P Type 240-style camera which possibly takes its retro design too far, using an old-fashioned viewfinder rather than an electronic version, and replaces the typical rear display with a single ISO selector dial.
Compact Lumix LX100 capable of creating photographs from 4K video recording
Panasonic has unveiled a compact camera which uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor, one that is physically five times larger than the sensor used in the Lumix LX7. The Lumix LX100 packs in a 12.8-megapixel MOS sensor combined with a new quad-core Venus Engine processor, which the company claims helps achieve a shallow depth of field and a dramatic reduction in noise at high ISO levels.