Vimeo's Couch mode feature adds compatibility with Leap Motion controller
Video content platform Vimeo has announced that its Couch Mode feature is now compatible with the Leap Motion controller. The new addition allows Vimeo users to control their viewing with hand-based gestures, such as a circle gesture with one's finger fast-forwarding or rewinding a video, and tapping one's finger in the air engages playing or pausing. A swiping gesture engages the next video in queue.
Charming, surprising, intriguing finds now available or coming to market soon
Continuing our look at some of the more interesting devices and services we ran across at Macworld in San Francisco last month, MacNN and Electronista staffers will periodically write about items and vendors that caught our eye at the show that we thought our readers would like to know about. Today's focus is on two successfully-funded Kickstarter campaigns: The Roost stand for notebooks, and the iMacompanion USB port from Wiplabs.
Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use
Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.
Photos stored in Auto Backup now accessible in Gmail messages with new button
Google today announced its latest addition to Gmail's email message composition tools, with the release of the Insert Photo button for its web version. Allowing users to access and insert photos that have been uploaded to their Auto Backup from their phone, including photos in emails through a web application is now simplified. Entire albums can also be shared, if images are uploaded and organized on Google Photos. Within the body of an email draft, users can resize images by dragging on any corner of the inserted photo.
Details remain scarce
Following a Nikkei report to the effect earlier this week, Alpine has officially confirmed plans to ship aftermarket receivers compatible with Apple's CarPlay. The units will roll out in the US and Europe towards the end of 2014, but apart from a concept image, no other details are available. The Nikkei account suggested prices would fall between $500 and $700.
Five new receivers planned
Audio specialist Pioneer has announced plans to ship five Apple CarPlay-compatible receivers this summer. The new models in the NEX series will all have large LCD displays, but come in at very different price points. The cheapest model, the AVH-4000NEX, is set to cost $700. Higher-end models will ship for $750, $900, $1,200, and $1,400. Pioneer is also promising various non-CarPlay related improvements; the units are expected to have more responsive interfaces, for example, and better sound and safety features.
$400 off 27-inch iMac
MacMall.com has dropped the price on the 27-inch iMac from $1,800 down to $1,400. Until April 30, a $100 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price even further to $1,300. That is about $200 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Uncertain if device will have Apple sanction
Car audio and navigation company Alpine will start selling its first aftermarket CarPlay upgrade in the fall, according to Nikkei. Details are relatively scarce, but the unit will reportedly cost between $500 and $700, and "likely" measure 7 inches. Given the nature of CarPlay, the unit will presumably need to be dealer-installed.
TYLT announces new Energi Sliding Power Case and ALIN screen protector for new Galaxy S5
Portable power and wireless charging manufacturer, Tylt, has today introduced its Energi Sliding Power Case and Alin Screen Protector for the newly released Samsung Galaxy S5. The Energi Sliding Power Case pairs portable charging with physical protection, and is equipped with a 2,800mAh internal battery that is double the capacity of the Galaxy S5. The ALIN screen protector facilitates an easy installation, with its accompanying alignment tool. Four screen protectors are provided, with each featuring two removable tabs to avoid fingerprints during the application process.
iOS home screen improvements
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss ways that Apple could change the home screen in iOS after "Hawykeye_a" noted that there hasn't been any real changes in the way that iOS works and provided some suggestions of things he thought could be modified. Today, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for a way to edit icons on their Mac, and turned to the forums for advice.
MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and more
At MacMall.com this week, save $350 on the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro which has been cut from $1,800 down to $1,550. A $100 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price further to $1,450, beating the next lowest price by $210. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Charming, surprising, intriguing finds coming to market soon
Now that we've had time to recover from the fury of meeting so many vendors at this year's Macworld, MacNN and Electronista have had a little time to reflect on some of the products and services we saw there. Many have yet to come to market -- a running joke was the number of projects crowdfunded last summer that will be arriving in stores soon -- some have won awards, and some are just little gems we were delighted, intrigued and wowed by. First up in this ongoing series is a successful Kickstarter startup, Glowdeck.
Kinivo launches BTE40 Bluetooth Receiver and headset
Kinivo has announced the launch of its new Bluetooth receiver and wireless low-profile headset, the BTE40. Its audio receiver features multi-point Bluetooth support, allowing for simultaneous connection to up to two devices for wireless streaming, even while switching between sources. Its headphones, which connect to the BTE40's receiver, doubles as a remote control for mobile devices.
Adesso releases Tru-Form Media 1500GB wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse
Computer peripheral manufacturer, Adesso, has announced its release of a new wireless, ergonomic keyboard and mouse set, offering users two input devices with ergonomic design. Featuring a wireless range of up to 30 feet, the Tru-Form Media 1500GB keyboard and mouse set includes a "gently-sloped" keyboard with a split design that accommodates the natural positioning of hands, wrists and forearms; the accompanying laser mouse also aims to reduce hand strain. The keyboard's membrane key switches provide improved tactile response and a quieter typing experience, lasting up to five million keystrokes.
Corsair's Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard new keyswitch colors
Gaming hardware developer, Corsair, has announced that its Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard, originally available in black aluminum with red backlit keys, is now available in new keyswitch color options. Now offered in Cherry MX Blue and Brown keyswitches in addition to the original Cherry MX Reds, the refreshed K70 features an anodized black aluminum chassis and red backlighting.
Logitech launches K830 illuminated keyboard in US, Europe
Logitech has introduced the K830 Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard. The wireless, rechargeable keyboard has a range of up to 33 feet from its 2.4GHz USB adapter, and an integrated trackpad for mouse controls. The backlit keys, along with the multimedia keys, automatically dim and brighten based on the amount of available light, with the backlight switching off after five seconds of inactivity. Logitech is shipping the K830 in the US and Europe this month for $100.
G502 gaming mouse includes adjustable weights, free-wheeling scroll wheel
Logitech has unveiled a new and highly customizable gaming mouse. The G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse is claimed to be the first to use a 12,000dpi sensor to track its position, which when combined with other features, allows the user to heavily personalize the mouse depending on what they're playing and what kind of surface they are using.
May tie into earlier Time Warner rumors
An FCC filing made by Comcast and Time Warner -- attempting to defend their proposed merger -- also hints that Apple is developing a new Apple TV set-top, reports note. "Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas," part of the filing reads. "Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box."
iMacs, cameras and MacBook Pros
This week, MacMall has cut the price on the 21.5-inch iMac by 20 percent -- bringing the cost down from $1,300 to $1,080. A $40 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price further to $1,040, making this $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, along with an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics board. Included is a Apple wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse and one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Snow Leopard users get separate version but continued support
Late on Thursday, Apple updated its drivers for Xerox printers, print servers and its WorkCentre line. The new version, 3.0.1, covers updated drivers for OS X Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9). Release simultaneously but separately was version 2.3 for Snow Leopard (10.6) only. The drivers update support for existing models and add support for new Xerox products, and the two versions are identical in terms of what products they support.
Also include HDMI, USB 3.0, Ethernet ports
Elgato has released the Thunderbolt Dock, its own entry for MacBook owners looking to expand connection options. The peripheral includes two Thunderbolt ports, the second enabling passthroughs to other Thunderbolt devices. Also present are three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and Ethernet connections, and headphone and microphone jacks.
Panasonic reveals new line-up of eneloop rechargeable batteries
Panasonic Energy Europe has announced the arrival of its new line-up of eleloop reusable batteries to the UK this April. A combination of the performance of dry cells with the sustainable aspects of rechargeable batteries, envelop can be recharged up to 2100 times, claiming to be the most reusable battery in the industry. The new products line-up will feature "standard", "pro" and "lite" models. Eneloop batteries are resistant to self-discharge, as well as offer versatility in respects to a wide range of temperature conditions.
Reign23 Bolt portable USB wall battery charger released
Reign23 has released its combination USB wall charger and rechargeable portable battery, Bolt. Its portable battery has a 3000mAh capacity, large enough for two full charges of an iPhone or other mobile device. Initially launched as a Kickstarter project in 2013, Bolt is small, at 2.75 inches by 1.33 inches by 1.10 inches. Its smart charge technology automatically bypasses the battery when fully charged, and is available in blue and black color options. Priced at $60, the Bolt USB Wall Charger and Battery can be purchased online.
Includes USB charging, adjustable light levels
Soundfreaq has started shipping the Sound Rise, a new Bluetooth-based clock speaker. The device is relatively straightforward, for instance featuring built-in dual alarms, which can use separate weekday/weekend settings and a gradual volume increase, whether an alarm is toggled to FM radio, a connected device, or a chime. The speaker also includes a sleep timer which can be set in increments up to 120 minutes, and dimmable display brightness that can even be shut off completely.
Twitter updates to include new tweet date range search option
Social media platform Twitter has added a new element to its search function. On its Advanced Search page, Twitter users can now search for tweets by a date range, making old messages easier to find with a date range estimation. Though this feature was technically available prior to now by including the search terms "since:" and "until:," manual operators are now not required.
VisionTek announces availability of Mac Pro quad-channel memory upgrades up to 64GB
Upgrades and accessories manufacturer, VisionTek, has announced the immediate availability of new high-performance Error Correcting Code (ECC) 1866MHz quad-channel matched module memory upgrades of up to 64GB for Apple's Mac Pro 2013 models. Test certified at both the component and module level, the memory upgrades are accompanied by a lifetime warranty. Four upgrades are available, and can be purchased as singular 16GB modules for $220, or 32GB($430), 48GB ($640) and 64GB($830) kits.
27-inch iMac for $1,450 and more
At MacMall.com this week, get a 27-inch iMac for $1,450 -- it was $1,999, but has been reduced to $1,550. Save an additional $100 via a mail-in-rebate offer, making this $150 less than the lowest price we have seen anywhere else. This iMac features a 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
May include full-sized analog sticks
More information has reportedly leaked on Razer's upcoming iOS game controller, codenamed Kazuyo. The combination case/gamepad is expected to include features like pressure-sensitive buttons, and full-sized analog sticks, which should make some games easier to control. Since earlier incarnations, the device appears to have been given a more rounded design.
New 2TB wireless hard drive offers portable storage for Apple devices
Seagate Technology has announced the upcoming availability of its newest capacity option of the LaCie brand hard drive Fuel. A wireless hard drive with a 2TB capacity, the LaCie Fuel is intended for users who would benefit from a large storage capacity, such as journalists, photographers and bloggers. Offering the same features as the 1TB model, the LaCie Fuel includes the ability to wirelessly stream content to up to five devices without an internet connection, wireless hotspot creation, Airplay compatibility, and a 10 hour battery life. The LaCie Fuel 2TB can be reordered through the LaCie online store for $250, and will be available worldwide through retailers in April, 2014.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Successful crowd-funded projects a fresh source of innovation
Macworld/iWorld 2014, currently going on at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, handed out its Best of Show awards on Friday, including a mix of hardware devices and software apps, many of which started life as successful Kickstarter or similar crowd-funded ideas, both from established companies and novice entrepreneurs. Winners included a portable RAID drive, a thermal camera for the iPhone, an app to get kids to do their chores, and new Thunderbolt adapters, among other useful apps and gadgets.
21.5-inch iMac for $1,100
This week at MacMall.com, get a 21.6-inch iMac for $1,100. It was $1,500, but has been cut to $1,180 -- and until April 30, save an additional $80 through a mail-in-rebate offer that drops the final cost to $1,100. That makes this the lowest price we have seen on this model by roughly the same price margin. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
OWC introduces 128GB memory upgrade kit for latest Mac Pro, doubles RAM vers
Other World Computing announced the expansion of its MaxRAM Certified Upgrades to include up to 128GB memory upgrade kits for the Apple Mac Pro 2013 six-core, eight-core, 12-core models. Offering both OWC 32GB modules and matched kits up to 128GB, pricing per module starts at $600. The new 128GB upgrade kit is priced at $2,130.
Booq launches multi-fold folio and snap case for iPad Air
Tech-related accessories company Booq has announced its release of its latest multi-fold folio and snap case, the Booqpad for iPad Air. A combination of a folio and case, the Booqpad facilitates protecting one's iPad Air while accommodating viewing and typing. Its multi-fold cover folio magnetically attaches to the polycarbonate snap case, opening to reveal a 50-sheet notepad for traditional note-taking.
Canon Pixma Pro-100 with paper only $130
Amazon this week is offering the Canon Pixma Pro-100 color inkjet photo printer for $388 with free shipping. That's $112 off the list price of $500, and if buyers order before March 31, they can save an additional $200 through a mail-in-rebate offer. Add a 50-sheet pack of LU-101 or SG-201 paper, or two 20-packs of PM-101 paper, and receive an additional $100 off, for a total savings of $300 -- bringing the final cost to around $130. This is about $70 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This printer features eight dye-based inks, three of which are grayscale. It also offers 4800x2400 dpi resolution, Wi-Fi printing, PictBridge and two-way paper feeding.
Does the oddly-shaped peripheral help or hinder gameplay?
Online gameplay is becoming more and more competitive, to the point where there an assortment of leagues where "pro gamers" can be found earning a very good wage, if they perform well enough. In the past, some gamers have turned to "modded" controllers, meaning console controllers that have been artificially boosted in some way; but lately, nearly all of these have been banned from organized play. One that has not been banned is the Avenger Controller peripheral -- a snap-on case, extending the reach of buttons on the controller, and allegedly reducing response time and boosting the overall gameplay of the user. Lofty claims -- but do they hold up? Read our review and find out!
Tumblr adds two-step verification to log-in procedure
Blogging service Tumblr announced today its addition of a two-step authentication when logging into one's account. Authentication codes are sent either through a text message or an app like Google's Authenticator, and the received code can then be input with the remainder of one's login credentials. The verification process will not interfere with using mobile apps, but creating a one-time password with one's account settings with be necessary for signing in.
Samsung 840 EVO 1TB for $420 and more
At Rakuten.com, save 23 percent on the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB internal solid state drive, which has been cut from $600 down to $460 with free budget shipping. Use coupon code '4D5198F' at checkout to drop the price down to $420. That's $96 less than the lowest price we have seen anywhere else. This weekend only, save even more with coupon code 'SUPERWKND' which gives you 10 percent back in Rakuten credits. This SSD features 1TB of storage with read speeds of up to 540MB per second and write speeds of up to 520MB per second. It is backed by a three-year warranty on parts and labor from Samsung.
Major consumer problems with technology 'solved' according to CEO
At yesterday's HP shareholder conference call, HP CEO Meg Whitman revealed that the company would enter the 3D printing market. An press event is scheduled for some time in June, that Whitman refers to as a "big technology announcement" regarding the nascent technology.
New drive supports Blu-Ray disks up to 128GB
Mac and PC upgrade and storage technology company Other World Computing has upgraded its OWC Mercury Pro External Blu-ray optical drive to achieve professional-grade 16X BD-R write speeds, adding 128GB BDXL compatibility, and high-speed USB 3.0 connectivity. The upgrade offers expanded support for up to 100GB of data on triple layer BDXL-R/BDXL RE discs and up to 128GB on quad-layer BDXL-R discs.
Microsoft's Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850 announced
Microsoft has announced its new lightweight wireless mouse, the Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850. Priced at less than $15, the 1850 uses 2.4GHz wireless technology for a reliable computer connection, and holds a built-in mini USB transceiver that can be plugged into one's computer or hidden inside the mouse. The mouse will be offered in black, red, pink, purple and dark blue, and is due to be available this month.
printers, tablets and SSDs
At MacMall's Apple Blowout sale, save big on the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 e-all-in-one printer, which has seen a $96 discount from $246 down to $150. That make this about $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This printer features print speeds of up to 18ppm in black and 13ppm in color, has a 250-sheet capacity, built-in scanner, fax machine, and offers connectivity on a wireless or wired network. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from HP.
Currently missing live content
Apple has introduced another app channel to the Apple TV, ACC Sports. The app is a collaboration between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Campus Insiders, covering all of the schools participating in the ACC, as well as a smaller selection of events from other conferences. The app doesn't offer any live content however, only highlights and miscellaneous pre-recorded features.
Devices launches in UK 'very soon' with 'many more countries' to follow
A recent update to the Chromecast software reveals that countries outside of the United States may soon be able to get their hands on the inexpensive smart TV option from Google. The update adds support for over 50 languages on the Android version and 20 on the iOS version as the device readies a wider launch. This supports previous information that Chromecast would be expanding after news surfaced in February about a possible March 1 release date for the device in the United Kingdom.
Plastic models up to 18 inches in height can be printed on Replicator Z18
MakerBot has opened up pre-orders for its latest 3D printer, made for those wanting to make larger 3D-printed prototypes or products than previous versions are capable of producing. The Replicator Z18 is the biggest in the MakerBot range, capable of printing objects up to 18 inches tall on a 12 by 12-inch build platform, giving it a printable capacity of 2,592 cubic inches.
AccuWeather launches MinuteCast on web version, iPhone and iPod touch app
Weather prediction and reporting app AccuWeather has launched its new MinuteCast feature. Now available for its web version as well as its iOS 7-optimized app for iPhone and iPod touch, MinuteCast gives users a continually updated forecast, ideal for making decisions based on weather. MinuteCast predicts start and end times for precipitation on a by-the-minute basis for the next two hours, specific to a user's exact street address. Precipitation is tracked at approximately a half square mile, and refreshed every five minutes to provide users with the most relevant and accurate forecast available.
MacBook Pros, SSDs and more
At MacMall's St. Patrick's Day blowout sale, save $449 on a 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which has been cut from $2,199 down to $1,750. That beats the next lowest price by $330. This MBP features a 2.4GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, with both Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics and the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
New Mionix gaming mice face off in a deathmatch versus each other
Mice are a part of the computer experience that is hard to live without, even more so if someone is going to be gaming. There are tons of different mice to choose from based on the needs of the customer. Mionix recently released two new entries into the gaming mice arena, with the Naos and Avoir 7000. Each mouse brings something different to the table, but are either of them worthy to grace a desktop in a market that features competitors like Razer or Logitech? Check out our review to find out.
Bypasses Parental Controls menu
In tandem with iOS 7.1, Apple has released new firmware for the Apple TV, v6.1. While a relatively minor update, the code adds the ability to hide unwanted apps, a frequently-requested feature. It was previously only possible to change visible apps by blocking them through the Parental Controls menu. 6.1 can be downloaded through the Apple TV Software Update system.
Pre-encrypted wireless router now shipping
Networking hardware producer, TrendNet, is now shipping its new Extreme Performance AC1900 (TEW-818DRU) wireless router. Powered by a 1GHz processor, high-power radio amplifiers for extended wireless coverage, and Gigabit Wireless AC networking speeds, the unit is designed to optimize wireless connections within the home. The TEW-818DRU is pre-encrypted, to help with mitigating the threat of hacking based on using unchanged default login credentials. The unit is priced at $260, and is available from retailers now.