Pebble owners rejoice, since the Pebble App Store is now live on the Google Play Store and is packed full of great Apps for the smartwatch.
Key Features of the Pebble App Store (require Android 4.0 or newer):
– Browse, find, and install watchapps and watchfaces for Pebble.
– Discover new and most popular watchapps by category: notifications, fitness, daily use, tools & utilities, remotes, and games.
– Watchapp locker: conveniently store your favorite Pebble watchapps when not in use.
– Receive notifications when software updates for Pebble are ready to install.
– Troubleshoot issues and make suggestions right from the app.
Previously sideloading Apps onto your Pebble smartwatch was a complicated process that involved downloading them from third-party websites and manually uploading them to the Pebble. The new App Store now acts as a central verified repository for all the add-ons available for your smartwatch, that can be installed with a simple click.
Pebble claims the reason for the delay in bringing the Android version of the Pebble App Store to consumers over the iOS version was the complexity of developing apps compatible for those found in the Google Play Store, combined with the small development team that Pebble can utilise.
Regardless, the Pebble App Store is live and is full of goodness to get your Pebble smartwatch stuck into.
Talon for Twitter, one of our favorite Twitter apps, received a much needed updated today.
Not long ago, we wrote that Talon was taking a huge step in the right direction. From the theme customizations to the great use of Immersive Mode, Talon was a force to be reckoned with. It was. Soon after writing the piece, the bugs became too much to handle, causing us to switch Twitter apps.
All of the qualms we had with Talon are now solved in the update to version 2.0. Higher quality images, uploading pictures, and Talon Pull fixes, and new widgets, just to name a few.
Here’s a list of the featured changes in Google Play:
- Talon Pull overhaul
- Floating compose button
- Discover main drawer element
- Pictures, mentions, and favorites on profiles
- post from different accounts on compose window
- tons of widget options and a new bar widget
- View retweeters of a tweet
The list of new features and updates is way too long to post, so here’s the link to the full changelog.
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Google have just announced a special offer for select Chromebook owners which enables them to try Google’s All Access music streaming service for free for 60 days.
The Google Play All Access provides instant streaming to over 20 million tracks and usually costs £9.99 a month. Google Music recently got updated to provide playlist-based radio stations to aid in music discovery, bringing it in line with offerings from competitors such as Spotify. If you qualify for this offer then it is a fantastic way to sample Google’s music streaming service to see if it complements your new Chromebook.
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Google is loved and hated all across the globe. When a new product or service is launched we primarily see it only available in the U.S. for quite some time before it goes global. This is understandable due to legalities and regulations in other countries, but it is also very frustrating to those that live outside the U.S. Google’s Chromecast device is one of those magical little devices that people all over the globe want to get their hands on, but very few actually have the ability. In a recent Keynote speech from Sundar Pinchai at SXSW, he revealed that the Chromecast dongle will go on sale in “many more countries”.
It isn’t surprising that it will be making it over the ocean to other lands, but the statement is about as vague as you can get. No specific country was mentioned nor was anything other than a few weeks noted for a time line. Google had mentioned that the Chromecast would be coming to the UK in the beginning of March, but it has failed to appear on the suggested retailers website, Curry’s. I suppose the beginning of a given month has a different meaning to those that say it. I personally think the first 7 days, where I have talked to others who say the fist 14. It was also rumored that it would be coming to Australia soon with extra content from Telstra.
We will be keeping our eyes peeled for the Chromecasts release in overseas markets and let you know when it becomes available. Until then, check out the official apps that Google worked with, some of the ones we dug out a few weeks ago and for new ones.
We have always had a special place for BRAVEN. We have been fortunate enough to spend countless hours pumping tunes through various BRAVEN speaker models over the years and with every new model they only get better. We first saw the new BRAVEN BRV-X at CES 2014 and have been eagerly waiting for them to launch the device. The BRV-X is the big brother of the BRV-1 that they launched last year that we were able to review for you guys as well. Along with the BRAVEN 850 and the BRAVEN 855s.
The new BRV-X is capable of pumping out HD sound for a continuous 12 hours thanks to the 5200 mAh battery inside. That is some serious all day rocking during your adventures this summer. It is also IPX5 water-resistant rated giving you piece of mind when out rafting or boating. Add in the indoor/outdoor switch to instantly adjust the sound for the environment you are in, the omnidirectional passive bass radiator and the heavy-duty strap and you have a beast by your side. It also offers fast and easy pairing via NFC, only weighs 1.5pds and will charge your phones/tablets and anything else that might be dying on your trips.
hopefully the good weather is on the way and you all have some outdoor trips planned, I know I sure do. We will be doing a review on this bad boy shortly, so stay tuned. If you know the brand and the name well, then you know you can buy with confidence. Currently we only see them available for purchase at Braven.com in black. The press release shows us a white one as well with a price tag of $229.99. They will find their way to Amazon and other retailers shortly. Until then, head over to BRAVEN to check it out.
We saw Epson’s Moverio BT-200 glasses back at CES, and while not much has changed on the hardware front since then, the company dropped by SXSW to demo a few new games. There’s also a new homemade camera rig, so it’s now possible to share the excitement here. Moverio supports the full version of Android 4.0, but unlike smartphones and tablets running the same OS, these glasses include a pair of embedded transparent displays, which provide a surprisingly usable view, while also preserving some of your field of vision — we absolutely would not recommend walking, driving or interacting with humans while wearing them, though.
We tested out the motion-tracking-equipped BT-200 using a custom game called Sky Temple — its creator describes the simple demo as a “real first-person version of Temple Run.” You can move by looking forward, while turning your head will change your direction in the game. Navigating the OS is handled using a wired trackpad (about the size of a small smartphone), and while we definitely prefer the efficiency of a touchscreen, this solution serves its purpose quite well. We’ve seen the hardware before, though, so today’s all about the video demo. You can check that out below, but keep in mind that gameplay was much smoother with the glasses mounted on my head, so we’d hesitate to draw conclusions based on the awkward rig used to capture this footage.
The frost-crusted wooden cage was carrying me to my death. I didn’t know that for sure, but something just didn’t feel right as the winch kicked into gear and the empty square of Castle Black retreated from my feet. My knees buckled as I began to ascend the 700-foot Wall. The floor rattled beneath my boots and I had to reach out to steady myself against the side of the ramshackle elevator. There was nothing beyond the stone battlements that the Night’s Watch calls home. Well, not nothing exactly. There were a few towering pines and squat rocky mountains whose lower reaches were blanketed in thick featureless snow. Their peaks, if you could call them that, were black stains smeared across the blinding white expanse of the Kingdom of the North. As I climbed higher, the cool breeze turned into an icy gale and my collar flapped against my neck like a sail in a storm.
The truth is that my feet were firmly on Texas soil, but HBO and its partners Relevent and Framestore (which recently won an Academy Award for visual effects in Gravity) certainly managed to fool my brain. It wasn’t just the Oculus Rift over my eyes or the headphones pumping realistic sound effects into my ears — the experience was augmented by an assault on all of my other senses. For one, I was stuffed inside an actual cage. Its floor creaked as I shifted my weight and, even though I couldn’t see my hands, I could reach out and feel the rough-hewn lumber surrounding me in the virtual Westeros. The cage rumbled and rattled as I rode up the wall and fans mounted in the ceiling blew cold air over me. It was easily the most immersive experience I’ve ever had with the Oculus.
While you would never mistake the graphics rendered in the Unity game engine for real life, the experience still felt real. When I stood on a flimsy platform of narrow planks hanging 700 feet above the frosted ground, my heart leaped. I was actually afraid I was going to fall to my death — this virtual world inspired very real fear. It was so gripping that when the inevitable happened and I found the wall screaming past my face in the wrong direction, the wind howling around me, I couldn’t breathe.
HBO is hardly the only company pushing the boundaries of the Oculus for marketing purposes. In fact, it’s arguable that advertising agencies and content studios are doing more to advance the capabilities of virtual reality than the game developers that Oculus is designed for. Beck partnered with Lincoln on an advertising campaign that included him recording an epic orchestral rendition of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision.” At Sundance, that was turned into an immersive experience that sucked you in primarily by playing with sound. As you turned your head, the sound of instruments shifted to the appropriate virtual location. If you were staring at the string section then turned around, the sound of the strings would appear to come from behind you.
Ogeeku created that advergame CorollaCade for Toyota, which made the simple tweak of putting a steering wheel in your hands. It might seem obvious, but even simple changes that take the gamepad out of your hand can really improve the Oculus experience. Studios like Chaotic Moon are even hacking together solutions just for fun. At this year’s SXSW, it showed off SharkPunch, a silly and fun game that pairs the Oculus with a Leap Motion. So, rather than mashing buttons, you control the game by throwing actual punches. It will probably be one of these companies creating branded experiences that finally ties the Oculus together with motion control and other sensory input such as smell to create a virtual world so real it’s terrifying.
The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t exactly generate much excitement on EverBank Field. However, they’ll soon have something attention-worthy above that field: a pair of the world’s largest LED-lit, HD-capable displays. Daktronics is installing end zone screens at the stadium that each measure 362 ft. wide by 60 ft. high, handily eclipsing the 200 ft. by 80 ft. panel at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All that visual real estate will serve up to three HD replay videos at once, even as it shows the (likely dismal) score. The setup is overkill for a football team whose chances of a Super Bowl are currently very slim. Look at it this way, though — at least the move gives the Jaguars something to lord over their more successful rivals.
Alongside the release of iOS 7.1, Apple TV also received a software update today. Most notable among the changes? An easier method for hiding those channels that you don’t watch. Before now, you had to take a trip to the Settings menu and hide each option from a list. After installing Apple TV version 6.1, pick a channel from the main menu and hold the Select button to make the icons dance. Once they start to jiggle, use the directional buttons to move around before hitting the Play/Pause button to hide that content source. This certainly isn’t a major leap, but it’s sure you save some time and extra navigating for tidying up that primary menu.
Competitive gaming depends heavily on live streaming to build its audience these days, and it’s about to get a big boost through a new partnership between Capcom and Twitch. The two are launching the Capcom Pro Tour, a year-long Street Fighter IV tournament. The worldwide competition will have players duke it out across both major events, like DreamHack and EVO, as well as smaller online and local events; Capcom will stream all the big gatherings through its own Twitch channel. The tour experience will be familiar to fans, but it could give eSports a higher profile by introducing many to both online spectating and pro-level play.