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Apple TV Concept Envisions iPod Touch-Style Remote [Mac Blog]

There have been several mockups of the next-generation iPhone and Apple’s much-rumored iWatch, but few designers have tackled what could lie in store for Apple’s upcoming revamped Apple TV set-top box.

German technology magazine Curved has explored what the future of the Apple TV could look like, posting some conceptual images of a set-top box that includes iPhone 5s design elements and a touch-based remote.

The reimagined remote control features a touch interface that mimics the existing interface of the Apple TV, offering access to specific channels like Netflix along with specific controls for music and playback.

The main attraction is the revamped remote control, completely redesigned as a touch device that might be wirelessly rechargeable via Apple TV. iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c are still functioning as remote controls as well. Additionally, a separate App Store for Apple TV should be available. With 9,8 x 9,8 cm, it comes in the same size as the 2-year-old 3rd generation, but will be even thinner with 1,67 cm. We expect models to be available in grey, gold and silver.

There has been no indication that Apple is planning on launching a product with a touch-based remote control, but an analyst suggested the company could go in that direction back in 2012.

It is also unclear what a redesigned Apple TV might look like, but Curved imagines a new product might retain the existing product’s square shape while adopting some of the features of the iPhone 5s, such as a shiny white or black exterior with gold and slate accents.

Rumors have indicated that Apple has plans to release a redesigned Apple TV product in the spring, with a number of improvements including an upgraded processor, game support, and possibly even a full App Store. Apple may also have more ambitious plans in the works, aiming to partner with traditional cable companies to provide additional content on the set-top box.



Apple Updates ‘Apple Store’ Apps for iPhone and iPad With Minor Improvements [iOS Blog]

applestore.pngApple today updated its Apple Store apps for the iPhone and the iPad, adding some minor enhancements to both apps. The iPhone version has gained improvements to In-Store Notifications, allowing users in the United States to view their notifications within the app and and on the lock screen.

Improvements to in-store notifications, including ability to view notifications in the app as well as on Lock screen. (US only)

In-store notifications were added to the Apple Store app back in December, when Apple began rolling out its iBeacon system designed to give consumers more information on products while browsing within Apple retail locations.

Notifications include information on online orders, store events, product reviews, and iPhone upgrade eligibility.

The Apple Store for iPad app did not gain the same notification improvements, but it was updated with the ability to allow users to purchase Apple Store Gift Cards within the app, which can be ordered in any amount from $25 to $2,000. Gift Cards can be emailed or delivered via mail.

Now buy Apple Store Gift Cards right from the app. Gift cards can be shipped by mail or delivered within 24 hours via email and they’re available in any amount from $25 – $2,000.

Both apps were also updated with unspecified improvements and performance enhancements.

Apple Store for iPhone can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Store for iPad can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]



Home theater deals of the week: 03.14.14

With the NCAA Tournament approaching next week, it may be time to consider a purchase for the living room. Don’t fret if you’re not into college basketball; we’ve included something for everyone in today’s gaggle of gadgets. Jump down past the break to take a look at the set-top and audio picks that are seeing price drops at this very moment.

If there are other home entertainment gadgets you’re after that we haven’t included here — join us and add them to your “Want” list. Every time there’s a price cut in the future, you’ll get an email alert!

Yamaha YSP-1400

Price: $400
Regular Price: $450
Buy: Amazon

For those instances when your TV’s speakers just aren’t loud enough, a soundbar — like the YSP-1400 — can make for a quick and easy solution. This option may not meet the audio quality of more expensive options, but it’ll do a solid job of giving play-by-play and chase scenes the volume boost you’re after.

TiVo Roamio Pro

Price: $524
Regular Price: $600
Engadget Global Score: 84
Buy: Amazon

The TiVo faithful won’t need much convincing here. For those that may need a nudge, the Roamio Pro packs six tuners for simultaneous recording, built-in WiFi and a whopping 3TB capacity to store all of those episodes of Game of Thrones. To see how this model matches up with other TiVo offerings, consult our Compare tool.

Onkyo TX-NR626

Price: $499
Regular Price: $599
Buy: Amazon

Perhaps it’s time to upgrade the audio in your living room. If that’s the case, Onkyo’s TX-NR626 receiver is a solid option. The unit packs six HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth streaming. There are loads of Onkyo receivers in our Product Database, and you can use the Compare tool to see how they stack up with this one.

Western Digital WD TV Play

Price: $51
Regular Price: $70
Engadget Global Score: 81
Buy: Amazon

If you’re looking for an alternative to Apple TV and Roku boxes, the WD TV Play could fill the void. Despite missing sports-streaming apps, the device does offer Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and Spotify access alongside sorting your personal media collection in full HD. So, you could opt for Ken Burns’ Baseball over live action.

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Here’s a much clearer look at Valve’s new Steam Controller

You see that image above? That’s the new Steam Controller, headed to SteamOS. Sound familiar? That’s because this is the second iteration of the Steam Controller first unveiled last year. Astute readers might be thinking, “Haven’t I seen this somewhere before?” That’s also a strong possibility, as we got a first glimpse of it back at Steam Dev Days earlier this year (albeit via shaky cellphone camera). Today, however, Valve’s deigned us worthy to see it in high-res glory. Heck, the folks at Valve even juxtaposed the new one (on the left) against the original version of the controller (seen on the right). Sad about that missing touchpad? We are too, but perhaps those fancy new buttons will help make up for it, eh? Head below for a much larger version.

(Click to embiggen)

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Uber now insures drivers (and passengers) whenever its ridesharing app is turned on

Surge pricing and conflict over its presence (in some cities) aren’t the only issues facing Uber and other ridesharing services these days. Unanswered questions abound about who pays when an UberX driver gets into an accident. Rather than wait for insurance companies to figure things out — and continue leaving its drivers and customers in a potential coverage no man’s land — Uber’s extending its insurance policy to offer contingent coverage when a driver has the Uber app on, but isn’t on a trip. Prior to this change, drivers’ personal policies were the only insurance available, and it’s unclear whether personal insurance will always apply in such instances. So, that’s why Uber’s now offering coverage up to $100,000 for bodily injuries (at a max $50,000 per person) and up to $25,000 for property damage if an accident happens and the driver’s personal policy won’t pay out.

The coverage the company’s offering is certainly better than nothing, but it’s far from the $1 million policy that kicks in when drivers are actually on a trip, and provides a lot less than most personal policies, too. That said, it’s also important to mention that the move is really a stopgap measure. According to Uber, it wants to help out drivers “while the insurance industry and state governments update policies and regulations for the new world of ridesharing transportation.” Makes sense to us, but might we recommend joining the Peer-to-Peer Rideshare Insurance Coalition to help them along?


Source: Uber


Google Wallet’s tap-to-pay feature will require Android 4.4 KitKat starting April 14th

Google Wallet NFC payment on a Nexus S

It’s time to upgrade that old phone you’ve been using for Google Wallet payments at the local store. Google is now telling Android users that they’ll have to run KitKat to use Wallet’s tap-to-pay feature from April 14th onward. The company prefers the newer OS’ “improved experience” for NFC-based payments; in other words, it would rather use a more universal, cloud-based approach to processing your banking info. You may be out of luck even if you are using KitKat, though, since the new requirements rule out support for the EVO 4G LTE, Galaxy Note 3 and 2012-era Nexus 7. We suspect that many Wallet fans are early adopters that already carry qualifying devices, but Google’s move could have many shoppers looking for alternatives.

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Via: Droid-Life

Source: Google


Transcend Debuts 128GB RAM Upgrades for 2013 Mac Pro [Mac Blog]

transcendTranscend has introduced new RAM updates for the 2013 Mac Pro, allowing users to bring the total amount of memory in their machines to 128 GB, double Apple and OWC’s maximum 64 GBs of RAM.

Transcend’s DDR3 RDIMMs are available in 16 and 32 GB modules to boost Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro machines to 64, 96, or 128 GB of memory, but its 1333 Mhz 32 GB modules run more slowly than the 16 GB 1866 Mhz memory modules it offers, along with those from OWC and Apple.

While the slower speed of the 32 GB modules may be an issue in certain situations, the possibility of bumping RAM to 128 GB will outweigh the speed loss for many power users.

“The new Mac Pro 2013 is advertised to support up to 64GB of memory, and we understand that pro users running applications that place high demands on RAM have a need to meet and most likely exceed this threshold,” said Angus Wu, Director of Research and Development at Transcend. “For this reason, we have developed and fully tested higher density modules to give users the option of raising their Mac Pro system memory to the advertised 64GB right up to 128GB.”

According to the company, the memory modules are easy to install, guaranteed to work with the Mac Pro, and come equipped with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Pricing has yet to be announced.



Sega Gearing up for Launch of Crazy Taxi: City Rush

No drivers license? No problem! Sega’s Arcade classic, Crazy Taxi, is going to making a fresh appearance on mobile in Crazy Taxi: City rush. Sega brought back the original creator of Crazy Taxi, Kenji Kanno, to help keep the game true to its roots, but bring it to mobile. Lets face it, not all ports are super when flopped from an Arcade/console to a mobile device.

Crazy Taxi City Rush Sega Crazy Taxi City Rush Sega

“I’m very excited to finally be able to share with you the first news of Crazy Taxi™: City Rush,” said Executive Producer and creator of the arcade original, Kenji Kanno. “We are delivering a truly fun game that captures everything our fans love about the original and infusing it with several new features to create an even more fantastic and memorable experience.”

They let us know that the controls are going to be very straight forward and more like a endless runner style with simple swipe and tap actions. It will offer a variety of missions, special challenges in an all new city scape. You will be able to expand the city for more fares, customize and upgrade your taxi fleet to increase their power and make them look cool.

Crazy Taxi City Rush Sega Crazy Taxi City Rush SegaSega only mentions that the game will be free to play, as in in-app-purchases, and will come out to Android and iOS later this year. They also mention that it is available in select regions right now as part of a soft launch.


Original Crazy Taxi FREE for a Limited Time

Sega recently announced that they are in the process of a soft launch for their upcoming Crazy Taxi: City Rush game. It will be a totally new game built for mobile with one touch swipe and tap controls. It looks pretty good. In the announcement they also wanted to show their appreciation to long time fans of Sega, and of the Crazy Taxi game, and have placed the originally Crazy Taxi in the Play Store on special for FREE.

Crazy Taxi Sega of AmericaThe title was a port with added on screen controls for drive, reverse and steering. optionally you can flip over to tilt controls if that is your thing. While it is fun, it isn’t AMAZING. It is worth picking up for free to relive some Crazy Taxi glory days though.

Be sure to head to the Play Store and pick it up for FREE while you can because the offer end march 19th.

Get it on Google Play


Sprint Brings new Prepaid Plans, Not to be Confused with Boost or Virgin

Sprint Prepaid Phones New BrandSprint has announced a set of prepaid plans for customers who have no desire to be tied to a lengthy contract. The new Sprint Prepaid is a third, and separate brand, from their Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands, so don’t go mixing them up. Sprint Prepaid will include a line up of devices that will be LTE and Spark compatible. The initial device lineup will be the following:

So, ya, a little bit of a choice to be made it sounds like. The good news is Sprint Prepaid customers can participate in the Sprint Buyback program to sell an old device to them for credit towards your account. At launch this option will only be available online. As for the plans;

  • Sprint Prepaid Smart – $45 a month for Unlimited Talk and Text. (NO DATA AT ALL)
  • Sprint Prepaid Smart Plus – $60 a month for Unlimited talk, text and data.

Sprint Prepaid plans

“Our goal is to respond to customers’ shifting demands by featuring a variety of wireless plans that meet different needs,” said Jeff Hallock, Sprint chief marketing officer. “This new Sprint Prepaid offer allows us to play more competitively in the monthly prepaid space. Prepaid plans are a viable solution for many consumers, and we’re now making these available to people who have an affinity for the Sprint brand, are looking for savings, and desire no-contract options without compromise.”

Seems a bit off kilter to me. Sprint will be launching more Sprint Prepaid Plans and devices over the course of the year.

You can dig in a bit deeper to the Sprint Prepaid at their new landing page.


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