We’ve covered quite a few Moshi products here at AndroidSPIN, and the one resounding characteristic of all of these products is style. A close second to that is simplicity and function, and with that in mind, we take a look at Moshi’s new Moshi SenseCover Case for Samsung Galaxy S5, it’s newest accessory for Samsung’s first flagship of 2014 and one which should allow you to use your phone even with the case still closed.
What’s in the box
Contents of the SenseCover box are pretty light with only the case itself and some instructions for downloading the companion app included. No screen protector was probably deemed necessary as this is a full device cover and a screen protector might even interfere with the abilities of the case to work with the touchscreen.
Just looking at the front of the SenseCover case, I have to say that it is incredibly good looking. The texture on the front of the case gives the illusion of brushed aluminium, but Moshi says it is covered in a leatherette material. It definitely feels cloth-like, but still very smooth.
Inside the case, more funky materials are featured. The inside of the front cover features what is probably microfibre – one of Moshi’s favored materials – which creates a “shock-absorbing inner shell” to give some protection to your screen when the cover presses against it. The actual case that holds the Galaxy S5 is some kind of hybrid material – it’s not quite hard or stiff enough to be polycarbonate and gives sufficient flexibility to put in (and take out) your Galaxy S5 without much of a fuss.
How does it perform
The SenseCover performs admirably – it’s easy to get your phone in and out of it, and it appears to provide quite a lot of protection from daily bumps and bruises. The hybrid material of the plastic inner case gives me more confidence than some of other Moshi’s polycarbonate cases.
There is ample room given to all the various access ports, camera and speaker included, and there are button covers for the hold and volume buttons that will let you use them even when the device is in the case.
Of course, the main attraction here is the front cover of the SenseCover case. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an operational Galaxy S5 on hand, however we can still take a look at what the device is supposedly capable of. The chief purpose of the SenseCover is to allow users access to the Galaxy S5′s features even with the case closed. This is of course to emulate the functions of Samsung’s own S-View cases, with perhaps a few additional features.The SenseCover, as the inscription in the front cover suggests, will allow you to take phone calls simply by swiping along the cover – swipe right for answer, left for decline. While it might not immediately look obvious from just the case, the SenseCover App prompts the user with graphics when a call is incoming.
I downloaded the SenseCover app quickly to check out what additional features it had – note that the app will naturally be of no use while you don’t have the actual SenseCover case. In addition to being able to answer calls and see part of the screen through the window, the SenseCover app will also allow you to control your music and also take quick photos all without even opening the case. Moshi does suggest that you increase your screen’s sensitivity so that touches are definitely registered through the case.
What I like about the Moshi SenseCover Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
I’m a huge fan of the exterior of the case. The leatherette finish just makes the SenseCover case look so stylish and professional, all while providing very good function and protection. This is pretty much the hallmark of Moshi’s accessories and it definitely looks like they’ve done it again.
What I don’t like about the Moshi SenseCover Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
While I like the brushed-metal magnet and the clasp mechanism, because it is essentially a smooth surface, that means the clasp can move from time to time. While this is perfect when opening the case – the front cover basically just slides back on – closing the case can sometimes be less straightforward than expected. When the case is being closed, it’s possible that the clasp will only partially meet the magnet, leaving a small gap between the front cover and the rest of the case. While that’s probably not too much of an issue as putting it in your pocket will likely close the case completely, it does open the possibility of dust and what not entering the case unintentionally. At the heart of it, this is really just a niggling annoyance.
I love the Moshi SenseCover Case for the Samsung Galaxy S5. I think it’s a masterpiece in style and simplicity with some great extra functions thrown in. My only real gripe is that I don’t have a Galaxy S5 so that I could use the SenseCover to its full potential, but I’ll leave that decision up to you. It is a bit dear, but when you consider the extra use cases, it makes a little more sense. The SenseCover is available now for $59.99 AUD/$59.99 NZD and is available from selected retailers in Australia and New Zealand.
For more information about the Moshi SenseCover Case for the Samsung Galaxy S5, you can visit its product page on the Moshi website here.
Gallery of Photos
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If you’ve ever wanted to modify a virtual reality headset (or even create one from scratch), Oculus VR just gave you a big head start on your project. The Facebook-owned firm has opened up the code, mechanical elements and design for its first VR wearable, the Oculus Rift DK1. Provided you have the know-how and tools, you can now build upon everything Oculus learned in its early days about screens, head tracking and ergonomics. The source material won’t help you recreate the more advanced technology of newer Rift kits or the Gear VR, but it should be worth a look if you’re curious about the inner workings of immersive displays.
This week, we reviewed Apple’s new large-screened iPhones, investigated Microsoft’s investment in Minecraft, whipped up some magical butter, learned about Google’s new budget handset initiative called Android One and more. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last seven days. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our Flipboard magazine!
Presence. It’s the ability of VR headsets to fool your mind and body into thinking that you are actually in a virtual world, and that experience is what Oculus seeks to deliver with its latest prototype. Codenamed Crescent Bay, it’s an evolution of the DK2 headset that only recently started making its way into the hands of developers. I got to try out the new hardware today at Oculus Connect, the company’s inaugural developer conference. Come live vicariously through me, dear reader, as I tell you how it went.
I’m fortunate enough to have worn every Oculus Rift since the first prototype was revealed to the world almost two years ago at CES 2013. Each time I put on one of the company’s new headsets, it has been a markedly improved experience over prior iterations. Crescent Bay is no different.
First off, the hardware, despite being a hand-built prototype, is surprisingly well put together. This time around, Oculus ditched the elastic ski goggle strap of its forefathers in favor of a plastic chassis and nylon straps to snugly fit it to your melon (akin to Samsung’s Gear VR). It also has integrated headphones attached to the frame, so external headphones are no longer needed. It’s noticeably lighter than any other Rift I’ve held, and that drop in weight makes it more comfortable to wear. My only qualm was the light leakage around my nose, but once the demos cranked up, the issue was hardly noticeable.
Unlike some past Oculus demos, this newest one was on rails, so I was not in control of where I was going. However, I could very much control what I was looking at. The headset works using a new camera (Oculus wouldn’t say what’s different between it and the one paired with the DK2 we saw back at GDC), and with this new combo comes 360-degree depth and head tracking in about a 1.5 meter square space. What that means in real world terms is that you can now truly explore a virtual environment and examine closely every object or detail as you would in real life. It’s a much more immersive experience, and one that gets awfully close to delivering the feeling of presence that Oculus craves.
It’s not perfect. When moving my head side to side or squatting then standing up, I noticed some juddering and tearing in the objects around me. Those little glitches kept me from feeling fully immersed in the various digital scenes I was dropped into. Still, being able to shuffle around and examine the switches and knobs in a submarine or squat beneath an exploding car as it hurtled over my head is a thrilling experience. The sounds coming through the headphones wasn’t as powerful as I expected them to be, either, but that was probably due to a lack of volume more than any failing in the audio implementation.
I did come close to the feeling of presence, I think, during one portion of the demo that had me moving slowly forward through a giant disintegrating orb. I wasn’t moving, but my brain definitely thought I should be, and I found myself slightly swaying forward as a result. It truly felt like the digital world had begun to take over more than just my visual perception. The feeling was fleeting, but Oculus’ latest dose of virtual reality gave me a glimpse of presence. And that taste has me wanting more.
Today we’re going to take a quick look at the NomadKey from Nomad. If the name Nomad seems familiar, it’s because we’ve taken a look at their ChargeKey and NomadClip products before. The NomadKey is essentially an evolution of the ChargeKey after what seems like a bit of rebranding by Nomad, so let’s jump in and check out what’s changed.
The NomadKey is Nomad’s newest conveniently sized charging cable. Available in both micro-USB and Lightning cable, the NomadKey is designed to be put on your keychain and used in cause of emergency when charging or data transfer is needed. At first glance, the NomadKey looks incredibly similar to the ChargeKey, but there are some very key (excuse the pun) differences. For one, the USB end of the NomadKey is now a fully-formed USB, not the half USB of the ChargeKey. Presumably this reduces the chance of things chipping off while in your pocket next to nasty things like your keys.
The other thing you will notice is that the NomadKey is somewhat thicker around the rubber area. This gives it a much more sturdy feeling while still giving it the freedom to bend in whatever position you deem necessary.
Probably one of the most prominent changes is the loophole where the NomadKey can be mounted onto keychains. It’s become a lot thicker, reducing the opportunities for it to break off and helps to make the NomadKey look a lot more like, well, a key.
Overall, it looks like the NomadKey has evolved in all the right places and given us a much improved device that should be able to survive anything our pocket (and keys) throw at them. The NomadKey can be pre-ordered now from hellonomad.com – it will cost you $29 USD a pop and they’ll start shipping out on October 15th. If you buy 2 or more, shipping is free – shipping for one is a $5 flat rate. You can also pre-order Nomad’s other gadgets, the NomadClip and NomadPlus, both of which cost $39 USD.
To find out more or pick one up for yourself, be sure to visit the NomadKey product page here.
The post A Quick Look: The micro-USB NomadKey is an evolution of an incredibly convenient design appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
It must be a nervous time being a Nexus 4 owner. After Google essentially left the Galaxy Nexus out in the rain when it released Android KitKat last year, it’s a possibility that Google might do the same with the Nexus 4 with Android L. While signs are pointing at a tentative “yes” for Android L on the Nexus 4, any new evidence is still a good thing. At the very least, it appears that Google employees themselves are testing Android L on the Nexus 4, spotted on the Chromium issue tracker as they discussed their issues with their current build, in this case LRW52G – the latest Android L build we have seen is LRW66E on the Nexus 5.
With this news, the previous release of partial preview code to AOSP, and the fact that Google is updating the super-budget-friendly Android One devices, one would hope that Google will continue to update the Nexus 4 especially after the hell that has been wrought on users after the Android 4.4.4 update. That said, the Galaxy Nexus was more than capable of running Android KitKat – even the Nexus One was – the final call is up to Google – these employees might just be doing viability tests. All we can do is cross our fingers and wait till Android L is officially released sometime in the next month or so.
What do you think the chances are of Android L on the Nexus 4 happening? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The post Hopes of Android L on the Nexus 4 gain traction after Googlers spotted with build on Chromium appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Going large: LG G3 billboard gets Guinness World Record awarded for largest outdoor advertising structure ever
LG really wants you to buy a LG G3. How much, you ask? Well, they just got awarded a Guinness World Record for a LG G3 billboard that they put up next to the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. The 240 metre wide and 12 meter high structure is the largest outdoor advertising structure in the world, and allegedly uses 1,800 tons of steel in its almost 3000 square meter construction. The real question is whether the billboard will be worth it and LG is so far saying yes, quoting the 20 million visitors that pass through the airport every year which they expect will result in $25 million more revenue every year.
LG says it’s also going to reuse the billboard in the future – while it’s advertising the LG G3 now, future devices may take up all or some of the billboard’s space. The LG G3 is of course LG’s crown jewel for 2014, and its no small wonder that it has been so popular globally. For quite awhile, it was the only major flagship device with a Quad HD display, making great use of its 5.5-inch display, powered by the equally impressive Snapdragon 805 – or 801, depending on your region – which puts it in very unique company at the top of the Android device charts.
What do you think about LG’s giant LG G3 billboard? Do you think manufacturers really need advertising this big? Let us know your thoughts.
Source: LG via Phone Arena
When we saw the Samsung Gear VR at IFA, Oculus CTO John Carmack showed us a basic version of an app store made for mobile virtual reality. But when the headset ships to consumers sometime later this year, the VR outfit has bigger plans. It’s rebranding the current Oculus Share “store” into Oculus Platform and turning it into a launcher of sorts for apps and other experiences, as noticed by TechCrunch. Platform will act as common store across the firm’s entire platform including the Rift and mobile. Like the prototype from earlier this month, the store will exist within virtual reality and will house games, apps and stuff like the virtual movie theater, Oculus Cinema.
The plan is eventually to have it available on just about any platform you can think of: Android, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, iOS, Safari and Windows Phone. In case you were wondering just how seriously Oculus and Samsung (OcuSam? SamUlus?) were about this whole thing, that list should help erase any doubts. What’s more, when Oculus releases its own apps to Platform it’ll release them as open source as well. Want the Oculus-branded movie theater to look more like your local multiplex? You’ll be able to fix that.