Law unclear on whether new device is Bluetooth accessory or hand-held device
A man in Quebec, Canada has been ticketed with a potential fine of $120 for using his Apple Watch to manually change songs remotely on his nearby iPhone, sparking a debate about whether the Watch can be as distracting as the smartphone it ostensibly replaces in such situations, and opening a discussion about the nature of "no handheld devices while driving" laws which are widespread throughout North America. Defendant Jeffrey Macesin, who admits the case will clarify the existing law, is contesting the citation.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 28, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet to find sales, discounts, bundles, and offers on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The usual recap of still-active deals comes after the new wave of deals, including savings on USB battery packs for smartphones and tablets, noise-cancelling Beats headphones, a travel router, savings on an iPad Air 2, and much more.
Magic View display on Lenovo smartwatch prototype projects second screen into user's eye
Lenovo used its TechWorld event to show two concept devices it has been working on. A smartphone with a built-in projector was revealed, complete with a mode that offered alternative ways to interact with the device, while a smartwatch was shown with a secondary "Magic View" display that provides an alternative and private viewpoint for personal data, along with other non-standard smartwatch functions.
The newest hardware, trends in industry, and possible Photoshop errors are our topics
Thanks to a combination of the Memorial Day weekend in the US (and bank holiday long weekend in the UK) along with continent-spanning long travel days for your MacNN editor, the process of putting the final touches on this week's episode of the growing-nicely and award-eligible MacNN Podcast was delayed by a couple of days, for which we apologize. As usual, we spent time on the weekend reviewing the top tech stories of the week, and bringing you our analysis.
Round Lenovo Cast can mirror display from almost any DLNA, Miracast-enabled devices
Lenovo has revealed it is taking on the Google Chromecast with its own media sharing device. The Lenovo Cast is a compact round disc measuring 70mm (2.8 inches) in diameter and 15mm (0.6 inches) high, making it larger than Google's device, and it offers a few of the content streaming functions as its competition, except it also adds in a few more items that makes it slightly more flexible to use compared to its Google counterpart.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 27, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. A mid-week recap of still-active deals follows, along with a new batch including two extremely cheap external hard drives, and a 65-inch HDTV.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 26, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where we search for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. A recap of the still-active three-day weekend's deals follows after the new list, including a GoPro bundle, and an Acer monitor for $90.
MacNN and Electronista deals for the Memorial Day weekend
Hello and welcome to an unusual edition of Daily Deals. Typically, the staff of MacNN and Electronista do not provide a deals post on a Saturday or Sunday, but since retailers are offering sales over this three-day weekend, we're making an exception. As well as a recap of the still-active deals from earlier this week, we've been adding new deals to the list throughout the weekend, with the most recent deals added this morning at 12:50APM EDT, so you can make the most of your money.
Calcbot, Calculator for Apple Watch, PCalc, and Siri
The fact that Apple Watch only shows its face when you turn your wrist or use the Digital Crown makes us flashback to the 1970s when the first-ever digital watches needed a good thump before they'd show the time. Now the fact that you can have a calculator on your wrist is reviving memories of being called a nerd, and discovering we never had any need to calculate anything. Calcbot, CalculatorWatch and PCalc may change that -- but so might Siri.
Patent for responsive toys with microphones, cameras deemed creepy by critics
A recently published patent from Google is drawing concern from privacy groups. The patent for "Agent Interfaces for Interactive Electronics that support Social Cues" effectively describes a toy or doll that can analyze a user's speech and body language to determine if it is being communicated with directly and respond accordingly, with law-related tech company SmartUp describing it as "one of Google's creepiest patents yet."
Total Recall Technologies claims Oculus VR founder broke confidentiality agreements
The Facebook-owned Oculus VR and its founder are being sued, for allegedly using trade secrets from another company in its devices. Total Recall Technologies claims it hired Palmer Luckey in 2011 to create a prototype of a head-mounted display, confidential information that apparently formed part of the creation process of the original Kickstarter-funded Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Pebble Time backer shipments to begin from May 27
The Pebble Time smartwatch will start shipping to backers of its Kickstarter campaign from May 27, the company has revealed. In mass production since the start of this month, backers of the Pebble Time are being sent invitations to finalize their selections for backer rewards and their smartwatch, with tracking numbers expected to be provided to customers by mid-June. Shipments of the smartwatch will apparently continue on a "rolling basis" when the devices reach regional distribution centers. The company has also advised it is preparing to debut the new support apps called "Pebble Time Watch" for iOS and Android from next week
Unique headphones use bone-conduction to help keep you safe
Headphones, the humble hero of every day life. Boring commute on public transportation? Just pop in your headphones and listen to an audio book. Noisy construction outside of your window? Slip your headphones over your ears and have an impromptu Netflix marathon. Avid jogger? A great playlist can help workouts fly by, but in this case, headphones are more of a hindrance than a boon. Cutting out important audio cues, such as sounds of construction, car horns, bike bells, or yelling pedestrians can be dangerous. But there is a solution - headphones that don't work by closing off your ears. We took a look at Aftershokz Bluez, headphones designed to help keep you alert at all times.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 22, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Our last recap of the week follows after the new batch of deals, including a 1080p home theater projector, a $130 Chromebook, and the Logitech UE Mini Boom speaker.
Sales at 2.5 million units, estimated sales of 30,000 per day, says Slice Intelligence
Figures extrapolated from some 14,000 online shoppers who use Slice Intelligence's services suggests that the Apple Watch is selling approximately 30,000 units a day, following an unsurprising initial rush of over 2.5 million pre-orders. While some analysts will inevitably portray this as a slump, the drop-off is typical of new products, and puts the Apple Watch on pace to have outsold all existing smartwatches on its first day or two of pre-ordering, and outselling the early days of the iPhone and iPad.
Win your choice of Apple prize with MacNN Deals
Do you have your eye on an Apple product that you'd like to acquire, but don't feel like spending the money to buy it? MacNN Deals is giving you the opportunity to win your choice of prize from a selection of Apple products in the latest easy-to-enter competition, which can net you an Apple TV, an iPad, an iPhone 6, or even an Apple Watch if you want one.
Google, Skrillex release Live Cases for Android smartphones
Google has unveiled a set of limited-edition cases for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy Note 4 smartphones, designed in partnership with Skrillex. The Editions cases include early access to an album, a short-cut button that takes users to Skrillex's YouTube music feed, and a companion live wallpaper that updates throughout the course of the day with images shot from a specially-launched balloon satellite named after Skrillex's dog, reports Phone Arena. The cases are being sold through the Google Store for now, but the official Android blog suggests it may be available elsewhere in the future.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 21, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search the Internet to find bundles, discounts, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The last few days of still-active deals are accompanied by a new set, including a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, the Nintendo 2DS, and an Asus Transformer notebook.
Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick gain HBO Go, Showtime Anytime access on Comcast
Comcast is finally allowing owners of the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to access two major streaming apps. Showtime Anytime and HBO Go can now be used through the two streaming devices, with Comcast subscribers required to download the relevant apps and sign in using their Xfinity TV account details. Access to both Showtime Anytime and HBO Go has already been granted to a large number of other set-top boxes, including Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Chromecast.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 20, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for sales, bundles, discounts, and offers on hardware, software, and gadgetry for you, the discerning reader. A recap of still-active deals follows the new batch, which includes $300 off a Lenovo notebook, the Logitech UE Boom speaker, and the Sony AS30 HD Action Camera
An app controlled wireless smart lamp that works with notifications
Perhaps you've already seen our review of the Dotti LED display from Witti Design. Meet Notti, Dotti's "sibling". Notti is a softball sized, asymmetric crystalline shaped, opaque white smart lamp that can glow any color. Much like Dotti, the lamp can integrate through an iOS or Android app and provide colored notifications for the user's various services. It can also act as an audio visualizer, pulsing its light in any color in time with the music. We've spent a bit of time with Notti, and people react well to it when we show off the features, but there are a few things we wish it did a little better -- check out our review to see what they are.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 19, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search online for offers, sales, bundles, and discounts on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. New deals follow after a recap of still-active deals from yesterday, with today's additions including a wide discount on Dodocase products, a 4K monitor from Dell, and a 3D printer and scanner for $600.
First software update for Apple Watch adds emoji, offers bug fixes, more
On Tuesday, Apple issued its first-ever software update for the Apple Watch, nearly a month after its abortive retail debut. The popular device, still facing overwhelming demand and supply shortages due to a now-worked-out part issue, can be updated through the paired iPhone to Watch OS version 1.0.1, which brings the usual "performance improvements and bug fixes" to the device, adds more than 300 new emoji characters, and updates language support.
HealthKit, Google Fit integration to provide more Peak data to fitness apps
Basis, the Intel-owned company behind the Peak fitness tracker, is rolling out a major update to its Basis App that will allow it to work with Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, along with a number of other changes. At the same time, the manufacturer has also started selling a limited-edition version of the Peak tracker, this time made from titanium instead of the aluminum used in the standard version.
AllPlay speakers at three price points addressable through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Earlier this week, Hitachi introduced new whole-home speakers, bolstering the company's AllPlay line. Using the new speakers, users will be able to send audio through their Wi-Fi network from a local source or cloud/streaming services such as Spotify, IHeartRadio, and Rhapsody. Each speaker includes multiple inputs, allowing users to send audio to individual speakers from their mobile devices.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 18, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles for you, the discerning reader. The deals slate has been wiped clean of last week's sales, with the new batch including a 512GB SSD from Samsung, a $400 Mac mini, and an Altec Bluetooth Speaker for $30.
Successor to Lumix G7 includes Depth from Defocus autofocus system
Panasonic has launched an update to the two-year-old Lumix G6. The new Lumix G7 is a Micro Four Thirds camera that modernizes its predecessor, with its 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor now capable of recording 4K-resolution video at up to 30fps, with the captured footage also able to be used to create 8-megapixel images, by searching the video for ideal photographs and creating a screenshot of the frame.
Completely electronic shutter, OLED viewfinder used in Fujifilm X-T10
Fujifilm has unveiled a new retro-inspired camera that offers the styling of the X-T1 flagship but at a lower price point. The X-T10 interchangeable lens camera houses a 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor combined with an EXR Processor II, with it claimed to have a fast autofocus of 0.06 seconds, a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds, and a shutter lag of 0.005 seconds.
Insert 'label all the things' exclamation here
When you say the words "label printer" to people, they either just really don't care or they get incredibly excited. This is one of those "the new phone book is here!!" moments we discussed back in our Hands On for the iOS app Deliveries. Today, we're looking at the Icon label printer by Leitz. It's a bit smaller than a breadbox, and can be used without wires for power or data; most of the printing we did was though apps on iOS and Android devices. Check out what we thought of it here.
Smart TVs powered by Firefox OS use HTML5 web apps
Panasonic has started to sell its first smart televisions using Firefox OS, with Europe being the first market to receive them before it is more widely available. The new Viera sets, part of Panasonic's 2015 Smart TV range previously shown at CES in January, include a total of six televisions using the operating system to power its smart functionality, showing Firefox as capable of powering more than just smartphones.
Consumer Oculus Rift hardware to require Geforce GTX 970 or equivalent GPU
The consumer version of the Oculus Rift will require a high-powered PC when it is finally released. Oculus VR has advised of PC specifications recommended for the "full Rift experience," and though it includes some fairly standard components for a gaming PC, including 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5-4590 processor, it will also need a graphics card that is at least the equivalent of an Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 or an AMD 290.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 15, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista search for sales, offers, discounts, and bundles on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. Our last recap of the week's still-going deals follows, while the new collection includes JBL all-weather speakers, a $400 Alienware Alpha computer, and a 3D Systems printer.
New FCP X update fixes crash-on-launch bug, returns AVCCAM support
An update to Final Cut Pro X issued yesterday is minor by technical standards, but crucial to users who were experiencing a crash-on-launch bug, which affected some users. Apple on Thursday issued version 10.2.1 for Final Cut Pro X to fix the issue, as well as restoring support for Panasonic's AVCCAM video format at 25p and 30p frame rates. The update also increases accuracy as users select a range in the Timeline by dragging.
Prime subscribers can ask Alexa to re-order previously bought items
Amazon has made it easier for owners of its Echo to do online shopping, in what is an expected expansion of the capabilities of the retailer's portable speaker. Prime subscribers are now being given the option of placing orders for items they shopped for previously by voice commands alone, via the Alexa digital assistant, half a year after the Echo initially launched.
Forced to reveal hand early by erroneous Fortune report of delays
While Apple has never formally announced a specific launch date for HomeKit, its home-control automation technology, Fortune magazine claimed earlier on Thursday that unnamed sources "participating in the program" said the launch had been pushed back to August or September from an original May-June time frame. In refuting the report, Apple has acknowledged that the first HomeKit accessories will be coming to market next month.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 14, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the column where we scour online retailers for discounts, sales, offers, and deals on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Our usual recap of still-active deals follows after the new batch, which includes an Audio Technica USB condenser microphone, a Nintendo 3DS XL, and half price early access to Massive Chalice
First-generation Raspberry Pi cut from $35 to $25
The first generation of the Raspberry Pi has received a permanent price cut, following the launch of the upgraded Raspberry Pi 2. Ars Technica reports the Raspberry Pi B+, which includes a single-core ARMv6 700MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, two USB ports, Ethernet, and various connections useful for electronics projects, has gone down from $35 to $25 at MCM Electronics in the United States, while RS Components is distributing the microcomputer for £16 in the UK.
Battery bank takes 9 hours to charge with compatible solar panels
Portable solar power vendor Goal Zero today announced availability of the Venture 30 Recharger. The Venture 30 Recharger is intended to charge smartphones, tablets, and other USB-powered devices in unpredictable environments, and is the only portable power product on the market that is IPX6 weatherproof-certified without any port-covering plugs.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 13, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista search for the best hardware and software offers, sales, discounts, and bundles for you, the discerning reader. A mid-week recap of still-active deals comes after new additions to the list, including the Typinator Family Pack, a Buzzi Wi-Fi Smart Plug, and a 23-inch Dell monitor.
Space Gray, Space Black Watch models, link bracelet band now shipping
After pushing back expected delivery dates till June, Apple appears to be slowly catching up with demand on certain models. Customers report receiving "preparing for shipment" notifications on pre-orders of the Space Gray or Space Black versions of the aluminum Apple Watch Sport, even including the link bracelet or modern buckle band options. In addition, Sport models also pre-ordered on the first day of availability are continuing to be delivered.
Win a Beats Pill XL portable speaker with MacNN Deals
Do you listen to music from a smartphone or tablet using the device's speakers, and feel the need to upgrade that audio to something more powerful? Following on from earlier competitions to win an Apple Thunderbolt Display and an Apple Watch, MacNN Deals is giving you the chance to win a Beats Pill XL portable speaker worth $300.
Developer kit provides some specifications, bezel-based functions for Samsung smartwatch
Samsung has revealed more details about its upcoming round-faced smartwatch, as part of its Gear software development kit. The SDK includes screenshots showing what to expect when using the smartwatch, as well as functionality being included in the device, and the fact that Samsung will be implementing a system similar to the Apple Watch's digital crown, by using a rotating bezel.
New smart TVs bring full Roku integration
Television manufacturer TCL, announced that seven new TCL Roku TVs will be available later this month in-store and online at major retailers nationwide. Following the launch of three 3700 series models in March, TCL is expanding its 2015 TCL Roku TV lineup with three 3800 Design Series models and four top-of-the-line 3850 Decorator Series models.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 12, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where we scour online retailers for discounts, offers, bundles, and sales on hardware, software, and other interesting items for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. A recap of yesterday's still-active deals follows the new list, which includes a Netgear dual band smart router, a compact Maingear Spark A8 desktop, and a 28-inch Samsung 4K monitor.
Optical heart rate monitoring system from Mio built into latest Garmin running watch
Garmin has unveiled another GPS-equipped sports watch in its Forerunner range, but this time it includes a heart rate monitor. While other fitness-monitoring devices the company produces can connect to a separate heart rate-measuring unit, the Forerunner 225 is the first from Garmin to have an optical heart rate sensor developed by Mio built in, lowering the amount of electronics the user needs to wear.
Projector throws up to 80-inch picture, has full Android 4.4 OS
Following its Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, Touchjet today launched the Touchjet Pond projector. The new projector is the the first consumer-level device that turns any flat surface into a super-sized stylus input screen. The Touchjet Pond Projector can easily fit in a briefcase, backpack or purse and allows users to interact directly with Android apps and presentations on a large projected 80-inch display.
Entry-level action camera includes Wi-Fi connectivity, large number of mount attachments
People starting out in the confusing world of action cameras will typically gravitate towards the GoPro line, purely due to brand recognition. Smaller camera producers have to work hard to earn your custom, by offering extra features and other accessories in the box. The Kitvision Rush HD100W action camera attempts to do just that, but is it enough to stand up to GoPro? Read our review to find out.
Discoveryd issues, Apple Watch giveaway, Origin PC review, more
It's time for episode 14 of The MacNN Podcast, which this week includes a new guest: Bradley, our music provider for the show, who is also a keen reviewer of Bluetooth Speakers and, now, the Origin PC gaming computer. We also do our usual thing of going over the big tech stories of the week, cracking some terrible jokes, talk about some new features on the site, make gratuitous pop-culture references, and even squeeze in an overview of Apple Watch third-party apps.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 11, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista search the Internet for sales, discounts, offers, and bundles for you, the discerning reader. The slate has been wiped clean, leaving only new deals, including a Lenovo Y40 gaming notebook, a 50-inch Toshiba television, and an infrared thermometer from Nubee.
Amazon adds Prime Stations to Echo wireless speaker
Amazon has updated the Echo portable wireless speaker to work with Prime Stations. An email sent to Prime subscribers owning the device advises that the Alexa digital assistant can be commanded to play a personalized ad-free station from Prime Music. The verbal command "Alexa, play the Bruno Mars Prime Station" will start streaming the relevant station through the speaker, with "Alexa, thumbs up/thumbs down" rating the track for further personalization, and "Alexa, what song is this?" to receive more track details.