One of the biggest gripes of smartwatch ownership is the (usual) dependency on your smartphone; do you really want to carry two devices when you’re going out for a run? If you’re an Android Wear fan, you won’t have to in the near future. Google tells CNET that “several” updates are coming to its wearable platform before the end of the year, some of which will let you cut the figurative cord. Bluetooth headset support will let you put some music on the watch to listen at any time. GPS support will let you map your run while leaving your phone at home, although you’ll logically need a watch with position tracking built-in — in other words, don’t expect it to show up on your early G Watch or Gear Live.
The first of these updates is due this week, and it should improve both navigation and voice commands. Google hasn’t said just when some of the deeper feature upgrades are coming, but at least one of them will include that previously promised support for custom watch faces. Android Wear might have felt a little undercooked when it first launched, but it’s obvious that Google wants to fill out the feature list very quickly.
If you’ve been itching to tip YouTube video producers, you’ll be glad to know that you can finally reward those people for their hard work: the Fan Funding feature has launched in Australia, Japan, Mexico and the US. If a video host sets up a virtual tip jar, you can use your Google Wallet account (including any attached credit cards) to contribute right from a video page or the Android app. You can specify any amount you like, although YouTube will take a small cut to handle the deal; in the US, it’s five percent of your donation plus another 21 cents. Support is coming to both other countries and iOS users soon, so don’t despair if you can’t contribute to your favorite channel just yet.
[Image credit: Rego Korosi, Flickr]
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Support
Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) interviews with celebrities run the gamut from stellar to ugly, but they’re usually entertaining — and there’s now a dedicated app. That means you won’t have to wade through the site’s copious content to find interviews with the likes of Aaron Paul (above) or Bill Gates. You can choose hot, recent or all-time popular AMAs, then see a description of the interviewee. From there, you can narrow it down to just questions that were answered, or see every question posed. Reddit told Variety that it’s trying to be more proactive in marketing features like AMA, rather than solely relying its (formidable) organic growth. For instance, the AMA’s recent explosion in popularity was due in large part to an impromptu session by President Obama. The AMA app is now available for iOS and should be hitting Android next week.
It’s the first week of September, which means we’re getting ready to attend the annual IFA trade show in Berlin. IFA is a difficult show to describe: While it’s becoming a huge launchpad for smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, it’s also traditionally been a place for companies to exhibit their latest fridges, microwaves and vacuum cleaners (most of them equipped with smart capabilities, at least). Whether you’re into the latest tech or just looking for a new blender, there’s plenty to see here — though you’ll forgive us if we glaze over news about upcoming sewing machines, instead focusing on Galaxy Notes, Xperia tablets, Android Wear watches and other consumer electronics. We’ll be liveblogging announcements from Samsung and Sony, so stay tuned for those; and keep this page bookmarked to see everything we announce from the show.
Microsoft today updated its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint iPad apps to allow users to purchase a monthly subscription to Office 365 directly in the apps.
Previously, customers were able to purchase a yearly subscription for Office 365 Home within the apps for $99.99, but it’s now possible to buy a monthly subscription for Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home via in-app purchase.
As we continue to bring Microsoft Office to all platforms and devices, it’s important for customers to manage their Office 365 subscription–easily and on the go. You asked for more flexibility in signing up for Office 365 subscriptions on iPad. So starting today, you can buy a monthly subscription to Office 365 from within Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPad. You can choose between Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home
Introduced in March, Office 365 Personal is aimed at individual users who want to use Microsoft’s apps on just one PC/Mac and one tablet, while the Office 365 Home subscription is designed for households with up to five computers and five tablets.
Office 365 Personal is priced at $6.99 per month, while Office 365 Home is available for $9.99 per month. All of Microsoft’s apps can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
Apple today released a new version of OS X Yosemite to developers, two weeks after releasing the sixth Developer Preview and three months after unveiling the new desktop operating system at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
The update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and through the Mac Developer Center. There’s also a new version of Xcode 7.
OS X Yosemite brings a flatter, more modern look to OS X, with an emphasis on translucency and redesigned dock, windows, and more. It also includes a multitude of new features, such as improved integration with iOS 8 through Continuity, a new “Today” view in Notification Center that offers integration with third-party apps, a retooled Spotlight search with new data sources, and several new features for apps like Mail, Safari, and Messages.
Over the course of the beta testing period, each Developer Preview has added new features and refined the look and performance of OS X Yosemite. DP 4, for example, added a revamped version of iTunes with a streamlined design and support for Family Sharing, while an earlier beta introduced a new Dark Mode. Developer Preview 6 added several new icons, a new look for the dashboard, and new Yosemite-themed wallpapers.
Today’s Developer Preview is limited to registered developers, but in late July, Apple made a version of OS X Yosemite available to the public as part of a wide-ranging beta test. The pre-release version of Yosemite available to those participating in the public beta program has not received as many updates as the developer version and is on its second iteration. Apple is expected to release Yosemite to the public in the fall.
Android Engineering Director, David Singleton, has confirmed a few things this morning in an interview with CNet. Soon, Android Wear will officially support GPS, Bluetooth Headset pairing and third-party watch faces.
We have all known that third-party watch faces would be supported with Android Wear at a later date. It was confirmed a while back when Wayne Piekarski talked a little bit about the subject via Google+. He reassured the world that the watch face API would be coming soon. At the time, they recommended that developers that had already created the custom faces hold off on publishing them to the Play Store for the time being. As for the GPS and Bluetooth Headset support, David Singleton had this to say;
One of the things we’re going to be able to do is add the ability for these devices to start working with some of the other devices you might wear on your body. So we’ll have an update coming that allows you to pair a Bluetooth headset with your watch. And that means you can play music stored on your watch directly on your Bluetooth headset.
Alongside that, we’re introducing GPS support for the platform. So that’s obviously only for devices that have the GPS hardware. But we’re excited about those two features together because it unlocks a whole set of new use cases…
If you’re someone who likes to go for a run, it might be convenient to be able to leave your phone at home. So you can start recording your track with GPS on the watch. You can throw on some music and have a really enjoyable run. And when you come back home, everything will be synced up with the apps running on your phone.
Google’s Android Wear platform will be a constantly evolving arena. It will give manufacturers a variety of ways to approach the development of wearable devices and allow them to add or leave out a whole host of connection options to capture price points across the boards. There is a lot coming too, Singleton also made mention that there are multiple updates coming to the platform before the end of the year. Sadly, he didn’t offer up a time frame for which updates might offer some of the functions mentioned above.
The post Android Wear will soon support GPS, Bluetooth headsets and Third-Part Watch Faces appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
ASUS CEO Jerry Shen confirmed to FocusTaiwan that they would be looking to target a price tag beneath $199 with their Android Wear based ASUS ZenWatch. Currently, at least through the Play Store, the lowest priced Android Wear device is the Samsung Gear Live that retails at $199. We have seen the LG G Watch appear through other retailers for $179 as well though.
The ASUS Zen branding is already known for packing a fair amount of hardware and tech into a device with a small price tag. I fully expected the ASUS ZenWatch to follow a similar model when it finally came to light. ASUS has pushed out a number of small teaser videos for the upcoming gadget, but all specs on the ZenWatch have been tight lipped. I am not sure that it would matter all that much if they did leak out early though. ASUS will be making the ZenWatch official tomorrow during IFA where we will finally get some details on the actual specs of the new device. I wonder if it will bring GPS hardware for the upcoming Android Wear update?
The post ASUS ZenWatch unsurprisingly confirmed for under $199 appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
New photos shared by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] once again claim to show a 2,915 mAh capacity battery from the 5.5-inch model of the iPhone 6. These details follow an earlier Nowhereelse.fr report that showcased a claimed rear shell from the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model.
The battery in these latest photos appears identical to one detailed in a leak last month from Chinese site Apple Daily, down to the March 2014 manufacturing date. The authenticity of either part is unconfirmed, but both batteries have markings similar to other Apple batteries and appear to be sized for a larger iPhone model. Both are also still from the prototype stage, with placeholder text used in several locations on the batteries.
If legitimate, this 2,915 mAh capacity is a significant jump from the 1,560 mAh battery included in the iPhone 5s and the 1,810 mAh rumored for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. It also places the iPhone 6 on par with other larger-sized phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8. A significantly larger battery for the 5.5-inch model compared to the 4.7-inch would be possible to the much larger volume available inside the device with the larger display. That larger display may also arrive at much higher pixel count which would necessitate a larger battery to support it.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 at a press event to be held September 9 at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. The new iPhone 6 appears set to include a rounder design, faster A8 processor, improved Touch ID sensor, near field communications (NFC) capabilities, and a new camera stabilization feature.
IFA is one of the largest consumer electronics trade shows in the world, and it’s also one of the most unique. The annual show, held this week in Berlin, has a knack for announcing new washing machines, sewing machines and kitchen appliances alongside the latest smartphones, smartwatches and tablets. Here at Engadget, we’re primarily focused on the latter (though who doesn’t love a free fruit smoothie sample from time to time?), and there’s a lot to cover. Let’s head straight into what new gadgets and devices we can expect to see announced at this week’s event.
Before 2011, very few companies launched smartphones or tablets at IFA. Only a handful of phone makers bothered showing up with new devices, and in most cases they were mid-range at best. That all changed after Samsung launched the Galaxy Note at the show — and turned the practice into an annual IFA tradition. Now, as the company prepares to release its fourth large-screened flagship phone in as many years, several manufacturers have followed and now use IFA as a launching pad for the latest and greatest gadgets.
Samsung has made it no secret that it plans to follow precedent and announce the next entry in the Note series, thanks to a series of teasers leading up to this week’s unveiling. It’s done a fantastic job of preventing major leaks, however; nobody knows for sure what it looks like, because the company’s managed to keep images and specs of the Note 4 close to its chest so far. Chances are, Samsung won’t be ready to ship the device for a few more weeks, which would follow the same pattern set by the Galaxy S5 this spring.
The rumor mill is pretty dry for other Samsung phones. We’ve seen recent reports that Samsung has filed a trademark with the USPTO for something called the Galaxy Note Edge, but we can’t take this as a guarantee that the company will introduce such a product at IFA. We’re also excited to see the Galaxy Alpha, which is a sleek device with a metal frame that was officially announced a couple weeks ago.
Whereas Samsung has done a fantastic job at keeping quiet about its upcoming Note phone, Sony’s the complete opposite. Unless the company has something new up its sleeve, we’ve likely seen its entire holiday roadmap. At IFA, plan on seeing the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact: As you might expect, the former is the flagship, while the latter is a smaller version. If the rumors are true, the Z3 Compact will be just as close in specs to its larger brother as the Z1 Compact was. This is fantastic news, because it means that users who prefer smaller screens won’t be forced to endure midrange hardware.
Microsoft Devices — y’know, Nokia’s phone division — will also come to Berlin with at least one or two smartphones. The company hasn’t been shy about showing it off internally to employees, as we’ve heard several reports indicating that Stephen Elop has been proudly talking up the devices at recent town hall meetings. The higher-end of the two is the Lumia 830, which will be the most affordable PureView-branded device. If the leaks are accurate, we can expect the 830 to look similar to the 930 and come with a 10MP camera. There’ll also be a “selfie phone,” presumably the Lumia 730, which will focus on bringing a solid front-facing imaging experience to mid-tier buyers.
LG’s already announced most (if not all) of its product lineup, which includes the G3 Stylus. It’s a less-expensive version of the G3 that comes with a 5.5-inch qHD screen and — you guessed it — a stylus. We may also see the Gx2, a followup to a device that landed exclusively in Asia last year, and a couple of low-end L-series devices designed for emerging markets.
IFA will house several other manufacturers, so there will be plenty of other smartphones on display. Acer, ASUS, Alcatel OneTouch, HTC and Lenovo will all be there, so be on the lookout for some of their wares. Lenovo’s made the most noise from this group, thanks to its Vibe X2 teaser mocking Apple’s iPhone event invites. (And yes, that is indeed a lollipop in the teaser.)
Smartwatches have been around in at least some capacity for several years — it all started with Microsoft SPOT and has continued on through Sony, Pebble and others — but people didn’t seem to notice or care until Samsung came out with a “mainstream” product known as the Galaxy Gear. The Android-based watch came out alongside the Galaxy Note 3 at last year’s IFA. It’s amazing how much can change in twelve months: Samsung is showing off its sixth watch, LG will have its second on display, Sony will have two more and ASUS will join the party with its first.
Both Samsung and LG officially announced their watches last week — curiously, within just a few minutes of each other — and the two devices are completely different from each other. The Samsung Gear S is a Tizen watch that comes with a curved display and built-in SIM slot, so you can either pair it to a phone or use it as a phone. On the other hand (wrist?), LG’s newest Android Wear watch steers closer to a truly classic look thanks to its circular display. It’s called the G Watch R, and despite the clunky name, it’s got enough chops to give the Moto 360 some tough competition.
Sony hasn’t made any announcements yet, but the leaks for its watches, the Smartwatch 3 and SmartBand Talk, are just as prominent as the company’s phones. The former is a squarish Android Wear watch, while the latter is a fitness band with E-Ink display and a mic. Finally, ASUS’ first watch will be an Android Wear device called the ZenWatch, and the company will reportedly sell it for under $200, which will be aggressively priced against its competitors.
VR and everything else
A few months ago, we broke the news that Samsung was working on its very own virtual reality headset called the Gear VR, and reported that it would likely launch at IFA. Sure enough, plenty of leaked images and renders have followed; given the number and strength of the rumors, we’d be surprised if Samsung didn’t release the product at this year’s show.
There’ll also be a few tablets, but they seem like much more of an afterthought. Sony’s leaked Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a horrible name, but looks like a good 8-inch tablet; Huawei’s got a Mate 7 tablet inbound; and per tradition, ASUS will have at least one or two tablets there.
Finally, expect to see some news on the chipset and Chromebook fronts. For the former, Intel is planning to introduce hardware — likely tablets and laptops — running its new Core M chipset based on Broadwell architecture. Additionally, Qualcomm teased a new HTC smartphone with a 64-bit processor inside. As for Chromebooks, at least a couple new models from Acer and Toshiba will pop up, although we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few other options showing up.
As always, these are simply a few products we expect to see at the show, and let’s face it — events like this hardly ever go exactly as planned. There’ll be new TVs and Smart Home products, and we’re sure a new washing machine or two. We’ll be liveblogging Samsung’s and Sony’s product launches, and we’ll be there to cover everything else that happens in Berlin, so keep our event page bookmarked!