LG recently announced the global availability of the LG G watch R. That would be the other round Android wear watch. The device is slated to start hitting digital and physical shelves all over the globe in November. We know it will launch in the Play Store for sure, but now we also know that AT&T will carry the device in-store as well.
They don’t offer up any more detail than that though. Pricing and availability will announced at a later date.
A quick recap: The LG G Watch R carries the Snapdragon 400 processor, 512 RAM, 4GB internal storage, 410 mAh battery, a 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED screen and various sensors. It is also IP67 dust and waterproof rated. It measures in at 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm and weighs 62 g.
As far as round Android Wear devices, this is looking like a good option. I am hearing some distaste for the ll black housing though without any other immediate option. Where does your Android Wear heart lay? Did you already pick up one that you love, or are you waiting for the G Watch R, or perhaps the ASUS ZenWatch or Sony SmartWatch 3.
Amazon has made an announcement this morning about a new connected device for your TV, the Fire TV Stick. Just like the name sounds, it is a HDMI dongle similar to the Chromecast and Roku. The Fire TV Stick packs in some hardware with a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It needs these boosts in hardware over the Chromecast because it has its own UI and ability to install its own apps. It also packs in dual-band, dual-antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi and an exclusive feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) that will cut out buffers by predicting what movie and TV episodes you will want to watch and buffers them ahead of time.
Also unlike the Chromecast the Fire TV Stick comes with its own physical remote. There is also a free Fire TV app for your phone which also includes voice search functionality. If you want voice search ability on the remote then you will have to buy a separate remote that supports it. That little voice search enabled remote will set you back $29.99 all on its own. The device also lets you mirror your Kindle Fire tablets and Fire phone, along with Mirror cast capable devices to your TV. Toss in gaming ability with the remote, or separate purchase of a controller, and you a pretty powerful little media stick.
The Fire TV Stick is available for pre-order starting today for $39. If you happen to be a Prime subscriber then you can nab one for $19 for the next two days. You won’t see the price drop for Prime member orders until you check out. Hit the link below to get one pee-ordered.
Powerful hardware—dual-core processor, 2x the memory of Chromecast, dual-band, dual-antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi, and exclusive features like ASAP for instant streaming
Best of both worlds: included remote control means simple and easy navigation, plus you can use your phone as a remote with the free mobile app that includes voice search
Simple and easy to use—features Amazon Fire TV’s award-winning user interface—just plug it in and you’re ready to stream in minutes
Vast selection of the most popular video and music services, including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, NBA Game Time, Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, and more for instant access to shows like Transparent, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and The Wire—plus the largest selection of movies and TV episodes to rent or buy from Amazon Instant Video
Fling or mirror content from your phone or tablet directly to Fire TV Stick
For two days only: as a thank you to new and existing Prime members, Fire TV Stick is just $19
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 27, 2014– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Less than seven months ago, Amazon introduced Amazon Fire TV, and it quickly became the best-selling streaming media box on Amazon. Today, Amazon is bringing the same experience customers love about Amazon Fire TV—ease of use, great performance, and vast selection—to a smaller and even more affordable device. Introducing Fire TV Stick, a small stick that connects to the HDMI port on your HDTV for instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games. Fire TV Stick is just $39 and is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/fire-tv-stick and will ship November 19. As a thank you to new and existing Prime members, Fire TV Stick is available for two days only for just $19 onAmazon.com.
“Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming media stick available—a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, dual-band and dual-antenna Wi-Fi, included remote control, voice search with our free mobile app, easy set-up, an open ecosystem, and exclusive features like ASAP for instant streaming,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “The team has packed an unbelievable amount of power and selection into an incredible price point—Fire TV Stick is just $39.”
Fire TV Stick delivers instant access to a vast selection of content, including the most popular video and music services such as Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, NBA Game Time, Twitch, SHOWTIME ANYTIME, Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, Vevo, Plex, A&E, PBS, PBS KIDS, WATCH Disney Channel, YouTube.com, and more. The number of video services and games available on Amazon Fire TV has tripled in just seven months, with more services and games being added every week. You can also rent or purchase over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video, which has the world’s largest selection of videos to rent or buy, including new releases and blockbusters.
Amazon Fire TV Stick features:
- The most powerful streaming media stick—Dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM, and 8 GB storage for fast and fluid navigation and instant search results. Fire TV Stick has 50% more processing power and 2x the memory of Chromecast; it has 6x the processing power, 2x the memory, and 32x the storage of Roku Streaming Stick—this results in faster and more fluid navigation, plus more storage for apps and games. It delivers stunning 1080p HD video and immersive audio with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. All of this power comes in an incredibly small package—Fire TV Stick is the size of a pack of gum.
- Simple to set-up and easy to use—Arrives pre-registered so you can simply plug it in and start streaming in minutes. Features the same fast and fluid user interface as Amazon Fire TV, with big, beautiful images and easy-to-discover content.
- Includes a remote control—Customers have told us they want to use a remote control, not just their phones, to watch TV. Now, everyone in the household can watch movies and TV shows without borrowing your phone—use the included remote to easily navigate and discover movies, TV shows, apps, and games.
- Free Fire TV Remote App (with Voice Search)—If you prefer to navigate using your phone as a remote control, the Fire TV Remote App for Fire phone, Android phones, and coming soon to iPhone, lets you navigate and manage playback from your phone. The app also features voice search that actually works—it is powered by the same voice search engine as Amazon Fire TV, enabling you to simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, or genre into your phone, and you’re done.
- Fast, reliable streaming—Fire TV Stick features dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi with MIMO for fast and reliable streaming. Chromecast only has single-band, single-antenna Wi-Fi.
- Instant streaming with ASAP—No more waiting for your movies and TV shows to buffer—ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and buffers them for playback before you even hit play so videos start instantly.
- Fling movies and TV shows from your phone or tablet—Fling movies and TV shows from your Fire tablet or Fire phone to Fire TV Stick, turning your TV into the primary screen and freeing up your phone or tablet to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more, while you watch a movie. Fire TV Stick supports standards like DIAL so you can also fling services like YouTube, Spotify, and coming soon, Netflix, from your Android phone or iPhone.
- Mirror your phone or tablet display—Wirelessly mirror your tablet display to your Fire TV Stick from Fire tablets, Fire phone, and Miracast-enabled phones or tablets including devices from Motorola, Samsung, LG, and Google without any additional apps or software.
- X-Ray for movies and TV shows—Using Second Screen on your Fire tablet or Fire phone, you can see X-Ray information as your movie or TV show plays on your TV via Fire TV Stick. See information about cast and crew, the names of songs as they play, as well as a list of music in the movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories so you can easily remind yourself of the character’s history. X-Ray is exclusive to Amazon and is powered by IMDb.
- X-Ray for music—Lyrics display and scroll line-by-line automatically as the song plays, so you can follow along with songs.
- Great for casual gaming—Play your favorite casual games like Monsters University, Ski Safari, and Flappy Birds Family.
- Personal photos and videos—Play slide shows and choose your favorite album for the screen-saver on Fire TV Stick. Photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, so they appear on your Fire TV Stick.
Fire TV Stick is not a gadget—it’s a seamlessly integrated service that brings together the features customers expect from Amazon, including:
- Whispersync—Amazon’s Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your video and music library across all of your devices. Start watching a movie on your phone or tablet, and when you get home, pick up where you left off on your TV. For games that support Whispersync, your place in the game will also sync across devices so you can always pick up where you left off.
- Watch on hundreds of devices—When you buy a movie or TV show on Amazon, you can watch it on hundreds of devices, including iOS, Android, and Fire OS devices.
- Worry-Free Archive—Automatically backs up your Amazon digital content in the cloud so you never need to worry about losing your collection.
- Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service—When a customer shops on Amazon, buys a Fire TV Stick, or buys digital content from Amazon, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world-class customer service. Customers with a Fire HDX tablet or Fire phone can also use the Mayday button to receive 24×7, free, live, on-device tech support for all their Amazon devices.
- Free Month of Amazon Prime—Amazon continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring Prime members new movies, TV shows, songs, and books to enjoy at no additional cost. Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video. Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV Stick.
Fire TV Stick is available starting today for just $39—order at www.amazon.com/fire-tv-stick. As a thank you to Prime members, Fire TV Stick is available for two days only for just $19 on Amazon.com. Customers who are new to Prime can sign up for a free trial and also receive this special price.
You can also choose to upgrade to the Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote for $29.99.
Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV Stick.
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It’s Friday, time to hit the town with friends. If you’re going to be drinking you might want to consider adding the BACtrack Vio to your keychain. The BACtrack Vio is one of the smallest personal breathalyzers I have ever seen, it’s just about the same size as a Bic lighter. The Vio can be added to a keychain or ride in just about any pocket. When paired with your smartphone, the Vio is a powerful tool that is easy to carry anywhere.
Setting up and using the Vio is a simple matter of downloading the BACtrack app and pairing the device with your smartphone of choice via Bluetooth. When you’re ready to test your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), you fold out a tiny tube that you then blow into. The app gives you directions that are easy to read, understand, then follow. Even after a few drinks the Vio is easy to use.
After blowing into the Vio you get a reading that is big, bright and full of information. A clever feature that the BACtrack app offers is something called ZeroLine. ZeroLine estimates, then tells you what time you should be sober. I wouldn’t rely on ZeroLine to tell you if you’re able to drive, but it’s useful information none the less.
The BACtrack system really shines when you use the social features. You can share your your BAC, location and photos with friends who might not be out with you. This turns the Vio into something that you WANT to use, rather than something that you HAVE to use. By keeping track of your alcohol consumption you can be safer when you’re out, so any feature that promote use of the Vio is good in my book.
There are a couple negative things to consider before buying your own Vio. This breathalyzer is not as accurate as others on the market. I was able to compare the Vio to a portable police issue breathalyzer. The Vio consistently read several points higher than the professional unit, but the police unit was much bigger. In the past I had played with personal or mobile breathalyzers and the readings were all over the place. Not so with the Vio, while it read high, it was at least consistently high.
The only real problem I had when I was testing the Vio was with the app. Sometimes the app would tell you it was warming up, but then would skip straight to the result page. Restarting the app fixed the problem, but the same problem would pop up occasionally. Not a big deal, but it could be something that gets annoying, especially if you’re trying to test yourself while intoxicated.
If you want a personal breathalyzer that is easy to carry the BACtrack Vio would be a great choice, especially for only $49.99. The social features make this something that is fun to use when out with friends. The size of the Vio means that it won’t be as accurate as larger units, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. The Vio could definitely help make a night out with friends more safe, you just need to be aware of the shortcomings. The police don’t even rely on their mobile breathalyzers for exact readings, so you shouldn’t either. Just remember that if you are impaired, in anyway, leave the driving to someone sober.
While the Note 4 is being heralded as a premium device with a new premium design, one of the things that hasn’t been upgraded to a new premium feel is the S-pen. It still feels like the Samsung of old with its plastic base and its fake metal accents. Well, International, watch, jewelry, and writing instruments maker Montblanc has those wishing to take the S-pen to the next level covered.
Montblanc, in conjunction with Samsung, are introducing a new line of writing instruments and leather covers for the new Note. Two of the new instruments, the Pix and e-StarWalker, are a pen/S-pen combination that has an e-refill concept. On top of that, the company is releasing leather covers that are enhanced with digital content and exclusive writing features.
Montblanc has the two S-pen replacements and its leather covers available on its web site. If you’re interested in seeing each accessory in action we have a video for you below. Enjoy!
Come comment on this article: Montblanc introduces premium accessories for the Note 4
A lot of different payment options besides cash have sprung up in recent years. While credit and debit cards have been around for quite a while, they are far from the new kids on the block now. The most recent developments in payment options are digital wallets and contactless payment.
The term “digital wallet” is actually a rather broad and all-encompassing term that enfolds a number of disparate payment options. The term digital wallet can include ID verification and multiple payment options that can cover purchasing with multiple different credit cards, according to Credit Cards. However, it’s important to note that digital payment options are still in their infancy. Credit cards, on the other hand, are a staple of the world economy and of people making purchases. For digital wallets and other contactless payments to take over from credit cards, some serious changes in economic infrastructure and consumer opinions will need to take place.
There are a number of different options available when looking for a digital wallet, otherwise known as an e-wallet, or other contactless payment method. For the most part, digital wallets are all smartphone apps available through various companies for both Android phones and iPhones. In fact, Hong Kiat provides a list of ten potential digital wallets anyone can download and use. Some of the companies that offer these services include Google, Apple, PayPal, and Square.
These apps don’t just hold on to your payment information, they can also store data from loyalty programs and member cards so you can continue accruing your earning rewards and the like even without the physical card. To use these digital wallets, all you ever have to do is swipe your phone across a reader. Of course, this means the business you’re shopping at needs to have a device capable of reading the unique wallet signals. If the store has the proper reader, then customers have an even easier and more convenient check out experience.
On the business side of things, there are expectations of digital wallets becoming the next big thing and taking over the world of payments. In an interview about digital wallets with CNet, Mario Shiliashki, the senior vice president of emerging payments for MasterCard said of the rise of e-wallets; “It’s absolutely an opportunity for us; we see it as what will help our business grow for the next 10, 20, 30 years, even faster than we’ve grown in past decades.”
The Odd Case of Contactless Payment Cards
“But I thought digital payment options were supposed to avoid the need for cards?” Some of you might ask, well, that’s why contactless payment cards are an odd mixture of both digital wallets and regular credit and debit cards. They can be considered in the group of digital wallets since you just need to swipe them pass a sensor to pay, but they’re a plastic card that still sits in your actual wallet and holds all your credit and debit card info. However, contactless payment cards don’t necessarily have to be cards; according to Transport for London, contactless payments might be made with key fobs and stickers as well.
In an article discussing the new San Francisco startup, Coin, Slate discusses the new idea of another type of payment card. This card, which Coin states will “simplify, improve, and fit seamlessly into your life,” is another plastic card with a changeable magnetic strip that can mimic the attributes of up to eight different credit cards. The card syncs up to an app on your smartphone via Bluetooth where you can designate which card it is to mimic at that particular moment. But like a regular credit or debit card, you swipe this one
There’s not too much to say about credit cards. They’ve been around for a number of decades, a ton of people have them, or multiples of them, and just about every business has a card reader. Of course these generalizations aren’t entirely true, but the fact is that credit cards are all over. And with mobile card readers and POS systems like those by Shopify becoming more and more popular, credit cards don’t really look like they’re going away any time soon. Although, during the CNet interview, when discussing global payment usage, Shiliashki stated, “This gives us a lot of runway to truly revolutionize the world and digitize payments, both in the 15 percent that is already using credit card networks, but also in the 85 percent that is still using cash.” Time will tell what Shiliashki and Mastercard will do.
Who Will Win?
As you can see, digital wallets, contactless payments and credit cards aren’t really disparate payment methods. All three are intertwined with credit cards as the primary foundation. The other methods are really just different ways to store your credit card info to make it easier to pay. Perhaps something major and different will be developed in the future at some point. However, until then, credit cards could technically be called the winner since the other payment methods stand on the back of the little plastic cards.
The post Will Digital Wallets or Credit Cards Reign Supreme? appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
I don’t necessarily classify myself as a gamer. More so a game enthusiast. Maybe that is the right term. I prefer average Joe really. I am “one of those” guys that enjoys it. I don’t care if I get killed 30 times and only take out 10. I don’t get upset that a bullet goes through a wall and kills me a full 10 seconds after I ducked behind cover. It just isn’t my nature. I have fun either way. I have learned that your gaming gear does make a difference in your playing habits and you enjoyment though. While this might not be the perfect place to talk about a PC gaming headset, I find it to be very useful in my daily Android life as well as my gaming life.
Whether you listen to a lot of music, watch a lot of movies or play a lot of games, there is no doubt that some of you spend a lot of time doing it. In my case, much of it is spent in front of my home computer in my bedroom. I am constantly reading my emails, feeds and articles along with responding and general browsing. While I sit here I tend to have a set of headphones on blasting tunes from Spotify or Google Play Music. The louder the better. It helps me drown out my random thoughts and keeps me focused. There is a pretty major downside though, I tend to miss a lot of calls, especially when gaming. Lets face it, when you are deep in battle the last thing you want to do is reach for your phone. Roccat has designed a rather unique solution with their Kave XTD 5.1 Digital gaming headset units that I found particularly helpful, Bluetooth pairing integration for your phone.
I wrote my full review of the Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 over on our all tech site, thesavvytechs, today, but the Bluetooth integration seemed worthy of mentioning in a separate post here. We do have a lot more followers here then over there still.
The Kave XTD’s have a heck of a lot going for them in-terms of sound, comfort and control. Especially in the realm of PC gaming. With the Bluetooth integration you can pair your phone to the control unit like you would any other Bluetooth device. Simply long press on the “phone” button until the Bluetooth light flashes. Then pair it to your device. Once paired the first time, it will auto pair when it is is in range.
Now, when a call comes in your games audio mutes. You can answer from your phone or by pressing the phone button on the controller unit. It is quite handy when you are in the middle of something a bit more important at the time of a call. It does get a little better too. If you have your phone set up for voice commands, via Google Now or Motorola’s Touchless Controls, a simple push on the phone button on the controller unit will initiate your voice actions and you can speak to it.
I found it to work really well in the middle of games and would allow me to concentrate on what I was doing more so than fumbling with the phone and tucking it under the earcup to talk. Don’t look surprised, I know you have done the same thing and it usually ended in a wreck or a death. There is a group of settings to change your out going voice through the Roccat software. You can change to a rubber duck, monster , man or woman. Unfortunately, as you hopefully read in the full review, I had a cat eat the cable. The mic still works, but the headphone aspect is shot. I never did get to test the voice changing function on mobile prior to the demise of the headset. Right now it doesn’t work, but I can’t confirm if it ever did. It did work out well on games and PC apps though.
While the call functionality and voice controls are nice, that is all you can get out of it. Don’t expect to sit down and connect to the Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital and play some Angry Birds on your phone and have full audio blasting to your brain. I wouldn’t want that in 5.1 digital surround sound either. It is a good cross-platform, solution solving, side to the headset that might keep you from sleeping on the couch if you are an avid PC gamer though.
Head over to my full review about the headset for more details and pricing if you are interested.
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The Moto 360 flew off the digital shelves of the Play Store quite quickly. You still could order it through Motorola or pick one up at BestBuy or other locations, but it isn’t the same as getting it from Google. Luckily it would appear that sometime over the weekend, or today, a new batch of stock has arrived and is available for order.
Currently the Black Leather and the Stone Leather are the only two strap color options available. The Gray Leather says it is out of stock. Word has it that the Gray Leather was discontinued and was to be replaced by the Stone Leather. Which is sad, I really liked the gray one. Any-who, she is back in the Play Store if that is and was your preferred ordering method. Price still holds at $249 with either of the color options shipping out in 1 – 2 business days.
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There are two particular accessory items for the HTC Nexus 9 that are of particular interest. The first is the Keyboard Folio. As the name would suggest, this is a folio style case that offers a built-in Bluetooth enabled keyboard for use with your Nexus 9. It will be offered in a Black Leather color and is designed specifically for the tablet. It will offer you two screen angle options, one being more upright like a laptop, and one slightly elevated at an angle for better viewing when you are more elevated above the set up. The Keyboard Folio isn’t available to order just yet, but when it does go up it will set you back $129.
The second, and probably the more interesting of the bunch, is the origami inspired cover. The cover will connected via magnets to your Nexus 9 and offer you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your screen. It is really interesting because the cover is just one piece. You don’t get two, if you want to protect the front and back with one, you will need to buy a set. However, most people are more worried about the screen when sticking their devices in bags and purses. Since the cover is magnetic and removable easily, you can quickly move it from the screen to the rear of the tablet. This is where all the magic happens. When it is placed flat on the rear you have a quick flip to access just the camera lens without having to remove the cover entirely.
The cover takes its design somewhat from origami art and while you might see a flat cover for your tablet, you might also see some of the bendable aspects that give it more than one use.
Again, the Nexus 9 Cover isn’t quite ready for people to throw money at it just yet. When it does go on sale though you will have a few color choices: Mint Indigo, Coral Amethyst, Lime Stone and Black. The more colorful of the options give you one color on each side. They look pretty cool. Feel free to check them out for yourself via the links below.
The Nexus 9 is already shaping up to be a top notch tablet, but with the addition of the keyboard accessory it can be so much more. The keyboard measures 320 x 228 x 5mm, includes a 450 mAh battery and attaches to the tablet magnetically. The keyboard is your standard 5 row type, which includes a dedicated number row and dedicated emoji keys. While the Nexus 9 is not as powerful as a Microsoft Surface Pro, the combination of the tablet and keyboard could be a powerful productivity tool at lower price. Price and availability for the keyboard cover hasn’t been announced yet, but I would imagine that we hear soon, we’ll keep you updated!
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Smartwatches and wearable tech have been on the rise over the lat few years. The early years produced some odd creations. There were a number that took off and stood out, like the Pebble and Martian. Now we have Android Wear, and more prolifically known, the Moto 360. Along with the Apple watch. When Google and Apple get in the mix, that is when heads start to turn and the wearable tech concept starts to make its way to the more average consumers of the world. There is still somewhat of a disconnect, I feel, in the wearable space when it comes to the female side of things. Some of the fitness tracking wearable aren’t too terrible looking for active ladies, but they aren’t the kind of thing you would wear out to dinner. At least, not my wife. However, she is interested in having a smartwatch or wearable that offers her quick glance information, so long as it is small and elegant. That is what the H. TIMES is trying to accomplish with their new wearable, the H. Tang.
Like most wearable tech, the H.Tang uses Bluetooth 4.0 BLE to wirelessly connect to your Android or iOS device to deliver information to your wrist. It also monitors UV, temperature and humidity. The design of the H.Tang is certainly what is a bit more interesting. Its surface incorporates hand-polished sapphire glass and, a limited edition version, is encrusted with Swarovski diamonds. The main body will be offered in gold or silver with a variety of wrist bands.
The company is doing a funding run on Pozible right now. At the time of writing this the H.Tang already has hit $9,551 which cleared their start-up goal of $8,156. . There are still some Earlybird Specials left that put you with H.Tang in silver without the Swarovski stones for $82. If you want the Swarovski stones you can help fund for $98. It goes up from there. They have them listed with an estimated delivery of December 2014. Head over to the H.Tang Pozible page and take a look.