Don’t look now, but we’re just about out of the winter and finally into warmer weather. With the friendlier temperatures comes our favorite outdoor activities, such as biking.
I love nothing more than to toss my handset into a bag and put in some miles on the mountain bike. Very few things beat pairing some Bluetooth headphones with my smartphone and killing a few hours. The problem I run into, however, is that it’s fairly easy to deplete the battery if I’m out for more than a few hours. Between music, GPS tracking, and the occasional message, I often finish the ride with less than desirable remaining battery life.
I found a solution that I like quite well in the BikeConsole Power Plus. Available for multiple device types, I spent time playing with the Galaxy S4 version.
In essence, this is an extended battery pack, protective carry case, and bike mount kit. Not only does it allow you to see your device, it’s also charging it while you’re out and about. And, thanks to its kickstand and cutout for headphones, it’s a handy device off of the bike as well. Bonus points are awarded for the exposed camera port which lets me pull of the Galaxy S4 and snap some photos. Just know this isn’t some sleek designer case that’s going to look sexy in public.
One of the other details I like most about the Power Plus is that it is waterproof. While the battery pack itself cannot be submerged, the case is able to take a rainstorm without breaking a sweat.
The clip-on battery pack is rated at 2800mAh which means it essentially doubles your handset’s juice. No more worry about wrapping up a ride with like 30% of your battery to get you through the rest of the day.
The whole unit comes together quite easily and feels very snug when in place. Thanks to its double locking mechanism, the phone never feels like it’s going to fall off the handlebars. I’ve really come to like the Power Plus in that it brings my phone out in front of me again. Rather than keeping it in a backpack or bag, I can see the phone and interact with it much quicker.
I shot a short video outlining the process of installation but found that the official clip told the story better.
You can purchase the BikeConsole Power Plus for your Samsung Galaxy S4 for $89.99. That price is a little steeper than I’d like, and would recommend something closer to $75 for the bundle. I’ve checked Amazon and found it listing for as low as $49.99 through various retailers. If you can get one of these for that price then I say hop all over it.
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Two weeks ago, we were so busy getting hands-on with the new Samsung GS5 and Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch that an exclusive app for the two devices flew completely under our radar. That “app,” as we call it, isn’t really an app at all: it’s Spritz’s speed-reading technology, and if all goes according to plan, it will soon be embedded into loads of websites, apps and wearables devices. For now, though, the tech is making is debut on the GS5 and the Gear 2, with a public SDK set to come out in a few weeks.
Here’s how it works: Spritz shows you one word at a time through a narrow, rectangular viewing pane called the “Redicle.” That name is a pun of sorts, as each word has one letter highlighted in red (get it?!). In more technical terms, that letter is the “optimal recognition point,” the letter that helps your brain piece the word together quickly (and with as little eye movement as possible). The speed is adjustable, too, ranging from 100 words per minute to 1,000 — far exceeding Spritz’s claimed average of 220 words per minute.
Once Spritz releases its SDK, sometime in the coming weeks, developers will be able to build it into their apps, as well as create things like Chrome extensions. (Spritz CEO Frank Waldman says Spritz has no intention of doing this itself, which is probably fine, as 12,000 developers have already requested access to the SDK.). Website owners, meanwhile, will be able to integrate the technology by embedding some simple HTML code.
As of today, though, the GS5 and Tizen-powered Gear 2 are the only confirmed devices that will make use of the technology. On the GS5 in particular, Spritz will be baked into the native email application so that you can read your emails through a viewing pane at the top of the screen. I started out at 240 words per minute (just above the supposed average) and had no problem keeping up. I’ve embedded a demo gif below — and don’t mind the fact that I’m using a GS4 instead of a GS5.
It’s a similar deal with the smartwatch, which, when you think about it, is actually a genius place to install a speed-reading app. The idea is that you can speed-read from your wrist if you’re in a hurry, but if you want a longer look you can tap a “reply” button on the watch, which will prompt the email to open on your Galaxy phone. Once again, I’m using a last-gen device (the original Gear), as Spritz didn’t have any of the new devices on hand. But you get the idea.
Again, that’s it as far as officially sanctioned devices go. Still, the Spritz team has been doing some hacking on its own, if only to show developers what the technology is capable of. In particular, the company has cooked up an unofficial version of Kindle for Google Glass, allowing you to read novels and other materials, in addition to whatever you might encounter on regular websites. It’s a neat idea, and one I hope Amazon at least considers implementing. Still, it won’t be for everybody: after a few minutes of practice, I still struggled to read a simple young-adult novel at 280 words per minute. When it comes to fiction, at least, I might continue to read one sentence at a time, even if it does take me a little more time. But that’s just me. In any case, take a look for yourself (and thank the Google gods for that convenient screencasting feature for Glass).
Despite reservations from critics about its overall innovation and design, the Samsung Galaxy S5 still appears to have garnered a lot of attention and a lot of interest, becoming one of the hottest topics of the last month, but we never expected this: apparently, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is so hot that it’s set a factory on fire, in particular a factory that has been contracted to build the S5′s PCBs.
It wasn’t some small, contained fire either; the fire required the attention of 287 firefighters and 80 fire vehicles, causing an estimated $1 billion in equipment damage. Thankfully, it seems that nobody has been hurt. Samsung hasn’t outright said that this incident is going to affect the launch date of the S5, however, it has said they are looking at getting the same PCBs from other factories as to not cause a delay. With a month till the April 11th release date, we hope they get that sorted soon.
Do you think this incident is going to affect the Samsung Galaxy S5 supply when it is finally released? Let us know your opinion in the comments.
Does anyone actually cable up to a printer anymore? Not if they’re kitted out with Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, or Sammy’s new alternative: Samsung Cloud Print. The service will launch with an Android app in June, followed by an iOS version in the second half of the year and possibly a Smart TV app at some point too, and all the apps will come with a number of promises about security. Users will have their data encrypted between their device and their inkjet, and those who also use Samsung’s freshly updated Knox service are promised “enhanced security” through a level integration between Knox and Cloud Print. Finally, the Android app will also support NFC pairing, allowing a compatible mobile device to be connected to “as many as 20 printers with just a few simple taps” — although that currently only applies to Samsung’s small range of NFC-enabled Xpress-branded printers.
Another Saturday, and another late ManDroid Show. Trying my best to get these out on time, or at least the scheduled day I set for myself. The Nexus 6 is already being talked about which just shows you how the tech world is. It isn’t about what’s current, it’s always about the next thing. Enjoy the show!
Samsung’s clearly been listening to Venus in Furs a lot recently, which explains why it’s gone a bit crazy on the faux-leather all of a sudden. After covering both the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Tab Pro and Chromebook 2 in the stuff, the company has now sought to do the same to a member of its Windows notebook family. Having taken the recently refreshed ATIV Book 9 that we found at CES, this new model gains the fetish-friendly backing and, erm, not much else. We spent a few seconds with an engineering sample of this unit, and felt compelled to share your impressions with you.
Spec-wise, you’ll find the same 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 display, Haswell Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD that was available in the base model ATIV Book 9. The keyboard was, broadly, the same, although on this model they felt a tad too spongy for our taste, although the issue concerning the lack of travel remains unsolved. We liked the roomy trackpad, and imagine that the jitters we found while mousing around were merely teething troubles associated with the unfinished hardware. One of the things we were impressed with is the Sound Alive speaker tweaks, which made this slender 4.2-pound Ultrabook loud enough to drown out the din of construction that surrounded us. There’s no word on how much this hardware will cost you, or when it’ll arrive, but we’d imagine it’ll be close to the price of the existing ATIV book – after all, that faux-leather can’t be too expensive, can it?
Source: Samsung Germany (Translated)
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Samsung’s getting its own piece of the internet radio pie with Milk. Milk Music, to be exact. The company’s new adless music service brings a unique, Slacker-powered way to explore online radio. The catch? It’s only available for Galaxy devices.
By combining an Oculus Rift, Leap Motion controller and a little know-how, folks at Chaotic Moon studios developed SharkPunch. A game where you… punch sharks. And though it may be humorous, the company sees big potential for 3D-immersive tech in the education industry.
Two weeks after Mobile World Congress, Hewlett Packard quietly released its $170 HP 8 tablet: an 8-inch budget tablet with a (relatively) low res display and mediocre internals. Though, if screen size isn’t an issue, you might consider last year’s similarly-priced Slate 7.
Drones can deliver pizza, dance in synchronous fashion, and now they can electrocute people too. Dubbed the Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, or CUPID for short, this aircraft can deliver 80,000 volts of stopping power directly into your skin.
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Filed under: Misc
Samsung recently announced an application only for ‘Galaxy’ owners. It’s a free radio service without any ads; Milk Music is Samsung’s way of replying to Apple’s iTunes Radio. The app is available for download in Google Play Store and it’s compatible with the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Note 2, and Note 3 at the moment.
According to Samsung, the reason its called Milk Music is because it’s fresh and organic. Below are the features of the app, have a look:
- Stumble across new hits and old favorites with a turn of the dial.
- Music plays instantly, as you scan through stations.
- No registration or set-up required.
- Customize the dial to show only genres and stations you like.
- “My Stations” collects all the stations you love and those you create into a single station that’s easily accessible on the dial.
- Fine-tune stations based on popularity, novelty and song favorites.
- Listen to over 200 genre stations, curated from a music library of over 13 million songs.
- “Spotlight” offers a curated selection handpicked by music tastemakers and influencers.
The application is powered by Slacker.The streaming is unlimited, but later down the road, ads will come back because that’s a limited time offer. Also, Samsung might bring tablet support soon as well.
Do you have a Galaxy? Let us know what feature you liked the most in it.
The post Samsung debuts Milk Music for Galaxy owners [App of the Day] appeared first on AndroidGuys.
7digital really wants to put its music store on Samsung’s new Gear smartwatches. Really badly. Need proof? The company has announced plans to release a hybrid shopping and streaming app for Tizen devices in the second quarter of the year, and it’s eagerly highlighting the app’s support for wearables — at last check, Samsung is the only major firm producing wearable Tizen gadgets. The music provider isn’t being subtle about its intentions, then, even though it’s not making any official connection between its software and the Gear line. If nothing else, 7digital would be a logical fit for the hardware. The company has a history of being the first to offer music services on young platforms, and it was the backbone for Samsung’s Music Hub. Don’t be surprised if you can buy a hot new song from the Gear 2 on your wrist this spring.
Via: The Next Web
Samsung already made it clear that the Galaxy S5 would reach AT&T when it launched globally in April. Still, it’s nice to know the flagship is on track for an on-time arrival, right? The 5.1-inch phone just surfaced in a fresh set of FCC documents, which show a GS5 variant with AT&T-friendly LTE bands (2, 4, 5 and 17) and support for ANT+ sensors (handy for wireless heart-rate monitors and the like). Predictably, the phone also includes GSM, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS, for when you can’t manage a 4G signal. That still leaves lots of questions — how much will it cost? How good is this thing? — but we suppose we’ll just have to wait until April 11th to find out.
Update: Sure enough, a T-Mobile version of the GS5 has also surfaced at the FCC.