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8
Jan

Dell’s impressive new XPS 13 is now available on Microsoft’s online store


If you’re salivating like we were over Dell’s new near bezel-less XPS 13, you’ll be stoked to know that you can now order the device through the Microsoft online store. The impressive laptop was originally only available from Dell’s online store, but you now have have more than one option for ordering.

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8
Jan

Crossy Road finally makes its way to Google Play


The day has finally come, folks. After months of being available exclusively on iOS and the Amazon Appstore, Crossy Road has finally hopped into the Google Play Store. The game takes most of its inspiration from the classic arcade game, Frogger, and offers up a unique block-like world to play in. Just like Frogger, your goal is to make your way across roads, rivers and train tracks while dodging cars, trucks and trying not to fall in the water. Collect as many coins as you can to digitally purchase more characters. If you’d like to take a step further, you can buy new characters instead of waiting to randomly win them.

The best part? To celebrate the launch on the Google Play Store, the developers have included the bugdroid as a playable character. We have no idea when the character will come up if you’re trying to win it randomly, though. If you don’t want to wait, the little Android mascot is available for $0.99.

crossy road bugdroid

Crossy Road is available for free in the Play Store. While the game does offer a few in-app purchases, they aren’t pushy or in-your-face like many other games out there. Seriously, this is one of the most addicting games we’ve ever played, so you should probably check this one out. Follow the Play Store link below and start hopping away!



8
Jan

Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity [iOS Blog]


During CES 2015, Nest announced a number of new partnerships, including one with auto accessory maker Automatic. For those unfamiliar with Automatic, the company produces an easy-to-use OBD port accessory that plugs into a range of different vehicles to provide at-a-glance car information on the iPhone.

Automatic’s Connected Car Adapter is now capable of interfacing with the Nest Thermostat, letting customers create new interactions that will allow the Nest Thermostat to be adjusted based on vehicle activity.

For example, users can create a setting in the Nest app that wakes the Nest up when the car gets near to the house, or set it to Away mode when leaving to save energy. The Nest and Automatic integration allows the thermostat to detect the location of the car, so it’s possible to set the Nest Thermostat to adjust house temperatures as a user is driving towards their home.

A wide variety of rules can be created through the new integration between the two products, using filters for location, time of day, day of the week, and more, for more precise control over temperature when away from the home.

automaticnest

The Automatic integration offers customers a chance to maximize potential savings through intelligently chosen rules that give the Nest thermostat a more timely understanding of when heating or cooling is needed–and when it’s not needed.

“At Automatic, we’ve focused on saving people money from the very start with our fuel-efficiency coaching, which has saved many users hundreds per year on fuel costs. Now we’re thrilled to extend the connected car’s benefits into people’s homes, to make life more automated, convenient, and efficient,” said Thejo Kote, CEO of Automatic. “The home and car are people’s two most expensive budget items. The Automatic and Nest platforms now work together to make those less of a burden in every way we can.”

Both Nest and Automatic have been working hard to build partnerships to connect their products to a range of other devices. Automatic, for example, also integrates with the Jawbone UP, select Ford vehicles, and app IFTTT.


The Nest Thermostat now works with an even wider range of products, including Whirlpool washers and dryers, Philips hue lights, Kevo Smart Lock, Dropcam, Rachio sprinklers, August Smart Lock, and more.

The Nest Thermostat can be purchased from the Nest website for $249.

The Automatic connected car adapter can be purchased from the Automatic website for $99.95.



8
Jan

Samsung Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 launching in Europe


Galaxy_A5_picture1

Consumers in Europe searching for a handset with a more premium feel will be excited to know that Samsung plans to release the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 there. Despite facing production issues at the start, Samsung will launch the two handsets in Europe. Samsung has not publicly confirmed its plans to do so; however, firmware for European versions of the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 surfaced online. Clearly, this means that their arrival is imminent.

Via: SamMobile

Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 launching in Europe

8
Jan

Samsung Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 launching in Europe


Galaxy_A5_picture1

Consumers in Europe searching for a handset with a more premium feel will be excited to know that Samsung plans to release the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 there. Despite facing production issues at the start, Samsung will launch the two handsets in Europe. Samsung has not publicly confirmed its plans to do so; however, firmware for European versions of the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 surfaced online. Clearly, this means that their arrival is imminent.

Via: SamMobile

Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 launching in Europe

8
Jan

Alcatel Onetouch opens online store to sell devices in the US


Alcatel OneTouch Hero Rear Brand 2014 AA -5

Alcatel Onetouch has made a name for themselves in the European market, but have been pretty scarce in America so far. Though the company has sold devices to the US in the past, they haven’t really made a huge footprint in the States. That may change soon, as Alcatel Onetouch has just announced the launch of their new e-commerce store to sell unlocked devices to consumers in the US. In the past, Alcatel has really only sold devices through carriers, so this is a big step forward for the company to really break into the US market.

The website is powered by Amazon, which gives users the opportunity to checkout using Amazon’s payment system. The store is launching with only a few devices for now, but more will be added overtime. The list of available smartphones include the Idol X+ and Idol 2 S, and the tablets currently being offered are the Pop 8 and Pop 7. All four of these devices are 4G LTE-compatible, so US consumers aren’t going to have to make many sacrifices when it comes to data connectivity.

What’s more, Alcatel plans to extend the e-commerce store to Canada sometime in Q1 2015, as well as open up availability to more European countries in the near future. Alcatel has made a name for themselves selling midrange devices at very low price points, and the company hopes their business model will catch on in America. If you’d like to get your hands on one of these devices, head to the new Alcatel Onetouch online store.

Show Press Release
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — CES – ALCATEL ONETOUCH today announced the inaugural launch of its first-ever e-commerce channel for North America, allowing consumers to purchase unlocked smart devices and accessories directly. Beginning today, consumers looking for affordable unlocked smart devices and accessories can visit www.alcatelonetouch.us to begin shopping in the U.S. A new e-commerce channel for Canada will be available later in Q1 2015.

“Launching this e-commerce channel allows us to form a more direct relationship with our customers, while providing them greater access to affordable, feature-rich technology,” said Steve Cistulli, Senior Vice President of North America for ALCATEL ONETOUCH. “Bringing our key global devices to consumers, unlocked, is a natural progression of our growth in North America and is another step we’re taking to ensure consumers have the choice and opportunity to buy the smart devices they need at affordable prices.”

This first for ALCATEL ONETOUCH in North America is an expansion of the online channel shop.alcatelonetouch.com which went live in Europe in November 2014 offering a full range of accessories for customers in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. In 2015, the European e-commerce store will expand to include other countries in Europe.

In the U.S. this new online sales channel, powered by Amazon, gives consumers the opportunity to experience the best of ALCATEL ONETOUCH’s global technology with the flexibility to choose what fits their needs best. These are the first unlocked devices and accessories offered directly to shoppers online in the U.S. by ALCATEL ONETOUCH, which includes some of our most popular smartphones and tablets. Accessories available on the webstore range from device covers and NFC tags, to 1800mAh power banks and Bluetooth headsets.

SMARTPHONES AVAILABLE INCLUDE:

IDOL X+ (4G):

  • 5-inch Full HD IPS 1920×1080, 440 PPI capacitive touch display
  • 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek processor
  • 13MP rear camera with auto-focus, LED flash, 4x digital zoom and EIS video stabilization
  • Ultra-slim, lightweight design, weighing only 4.5 ounces
  • 2500mAh battery for up to 16 hours of talk time and up to 600 hours of standby time
  • 2GB RAM / 16GB of storage (Expandable to 32GB via MicroSD)
  • Android 4.4 KitKat operating system
  • Available starting at $275 (USD)

IDOL 2 S (LTE):

  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) HD IPS 1280 x 720 16M color display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 8MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash and 4x digital zoom + 1.3MP HD front camera
  • Lightweight design, weighing only 4.4 ounces
  • 2150mAh battery for up to 7 hours of talk time and up to 400 hours of standby time
  • 1GB RAM / 8GB of storage (Expandable to 32GB via MicroSD)
  • Android 4.3 operating system
  • Available starting at $198 (USD)

CONNECTED TABLETS AVAILABLE INCLUDE:

POP 8 (4G):

  • 8-inch IPS 1280×800 16M color capacitive touch display
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor
  • 4060mAh battery for up to 3.5 hours of gaming, 5.5 hours of video playback and 350 hours of standby time
  • 1GB RAM / 4GB of storage (Expandable to 64GB via MicroSD)
  • 2MP main camera with additional front facing camera
  • Lightweight, thin design, weighing just over 11 ounces
  • Available starting at $199 (USD)

POP 7 (4G):

  • 7-inch TFT 1024×600 16M color capacitive touch display
  • Dual-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor
  • 3240mAh battery for up to 8 hours of browsing and 280 hours of standby time
  • 1GB RAM / 8GB of storage (Expandable to 32GB via MicroSD)
  • 2MP main camera with additional front facing camera
  • Lightweight, thin design, weighing just over 10 ounces
  • Available starting at $149 (USD)

To shop the new ALCATEL ONETOUCH web store in the U.S., or learn more about the company, visit www.alcatelonetouch.us.

About ALCATEL ONETOUCH
ALCATEL ONETOUCH is simple, unexpected, down to earth, irreverent and colorful. We believe that what makes technology smart is what you can do with it rather than what it can do.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH is a brand within TCL Communication, an international multicultural company which designs, develops, and markets globally a growing range of mobile and Internet devices. TCL Communication is a public company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (2618.HK) and part of TCL Corporation, one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH is a SMART MOVE.



8
Jan

Verizon to offer a 20-30 channel package for mobile-only viewing later in 2015


Lowell McAdam Source url

Speaking at the Citigroup Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced Verizon’s plan to offer an over-the-top video service at some point later in 2015. The service will include 20-30 channels and will initially be available on mobile devices only.

As MultiChannel reports, McAdam told those at the conference that TV providers were now realizing that customers weren’t interested in paying for “300 channels” when they only watch a select number of channels.

Verizon itself is coming off a failed challenge to Netflix with their streaming video joint venture with RedBox. But this time, Verizon is aiming at strictly LTE customers who want to watch entertainment on their mobile devices. To gear up for this new challenge, Verizon has purchased Intel Media’s OnCue online video assets, content delivery company EdgeCast and upLynk, a startup that develops multiscreen video publishing platforms.

But even with the new acquisitions, Verizon will face the same uphill battle that other video offerings battle against: license restrictions. Intel put hundreds of millions into their failed video venture and were unable to strike a single content deal. Not one.

VerizonUplynkEdgecast GigaOM

In his speech to the conference, McAdam admitted to the annoyance of dealing with such restrictions and noted that the license restrictions were why Verizon could only offer the video service initially to only mobile-devices.

Even with Verizon’s size and current FiOS offerings, the chances of them getting broadcasters to loosen programming rights (so that customers could watch shows wherever and however they want) is unlikely.



8
Jan

CES 2015: ibattz Claims Upcoming Power Banks Will Fully Charge in 15 Minutes [Updated] [iOS Blog]


Earlier this week, mobile accessory manufacturer ibattz turned a few heads at the Consumer Electronics Show with a new external battery charger called the ASAP Fast Charge Power Bank that the company claims can fully charge an iPhone 6 from 0 to 100 percent in just 15 minutes. (See update at bottom of this article for correction.)

Available in two sizes of 5,600 mAh and 11,200 mAh, the new charging banks are the company’s fastest to date. By using lithium polymer batteries and replacing the traditional 5V 1A input with a 20V 2A upgrade, the company says the ASAP charging banks can reach a recharge speed of up to four times faster than traditional external battery packs.

Screenshot (98)
No specifications have been given on the charge time for any device besides the iPhone 6, and no pricing or tentative launch date has been announced by the company.

Though the company has a decent track record with its existing lineup of other power bank and battery case devices, hands-on time with the device will be needed to test the company’s latest claims. Users will also want to weigh potential long-term negative effects from charging their phone batteries so quickly in deciding whether ibattz’s new power banks will be a worthwhile investment.

Update: ibattz has clarified to MacRumors that the power bank itself can charge in 15 minutes, with charging of an iPhone from the bank taking about an hour. The company has not yet updated its press release to correct the error.



8
Jan

Montar Universal Car Mount review


Montar

One smartphone accessory have begun to use more and more is a car mount for my device. With all the laws going into place to prevent texting from behind the wheel (I don’t do that…), the last thing I want to do is get pulled over for pulling my phone out of my pocket to answer a call.

I have been struggling to find the perfect car mount for myself, having owned a few different ones. The problem is, some devices don’t work very well with certain car mounts. WinnerGear was nice enough to send me a MONTAR Universal Car Mount to review, and let me tell you that I am impressed not only with its design, but its functionality.

First off, this car mount is not flashy whatsoever. When they designed it, they kept in mind that its job is to hold a phone; not to be the center piece of your car. As long as the mount has functionality, it brings along with it a certain type of design that is appealing. That is exactly what WinnerGear has done with the MONTAR Universal Car Mount. Other than the red rubber inside the claw that holds your device and a small M representing the MONTAR logo, this car mount is entirely gloss black.

The car mount also features a suction cup for mounting that has a gel coating over it, which gives it maximum grip. We’ll cover that later. The mount that actually holds the device does swivel 360 degrees which allows for maximum compatibility with smartphones today.

Montar window mount

The jaws spread out to just over 3.5 inches so the biggest phones on the market will fit. That includes the popular phablets such as the Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Nexus 6. They edges of the claws are just under one inch tall, so the grip they have on the device is slim, yet sturdy. This is due to the fact that all phones have different volume rocker and lock button locations and it was a great move by the design team.

Montar overview

Like I stated earlier, I have been trying to find the perfect car mount, so I have been through about three or four different ones. The MONTAR Universal Car Mount gives by far the strongest grip of any previous car mounts I have used.

The claws are very taut and the red rubber lining that it has help immensely when gripping a device. I am currently sporting the Nexus 6. I could put my device in the claws and shake it vigorously and my phone would not fall out. That is how strong the grip is on this car mount.

To coincide with strength of the claws that hold your phone, a car mount is worthless if it can be mounted properly to your vehicle. The MONTAR Universal Car Mount has a suction cup on the bottom that features a gel like coating. This gel gives the suction cup amazing grip once you use the handle to lock it in. I have had problems with mounts before falling off my windshield and or dashboard; not with this one. In the two weeks I have used it, it has never fallen off.

Montar suction cup

To check the strength of suction cup on the car mount, I put it on the inside of my car door, on the side panel. It wasn’t even on the window, so it was suction cupped to the vinyl. I slammed my door a few times and the car mount never fell off. I even trusted it enough to put my phone in the car mount while I did it. The suction cup never failed.

Overall, this is one of the most satisfying accessories I have ever gotten for my device. Not only does the Montar Car Mount look sleek and is easy on the eyes, it is functional beyond belief. That is one thing that companies forget about when making a product, but WinnerGear definitely spearheaded the right idea. I am impressed with strength in both the claw and suction cup and it never failed me.

If you are looking for a car mount, give this one a shot. You can find it on Amazon for $34.99 and it is Prime eligible.

Writers note: Since all cars a different, have different sloped windshields, dashboards, etc., be mindful of which device you have and which car mount you choose to purchase.



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8
Jan

The new Typo 2 for iPhone’s not that great, but their iPad keyboard’s kinda neat


Typo made a splash at CES 2014 with the BlackBerry-aping Typo keyboard for iPhone, and they were at CES 2015 to show off their new not-patent-infringing Typo 2 keyboard. But really, the more interesting news out of Typo was their new iPad keyboard, it doesn’t try to copy Apple. If anything, it feels more like a copy of the Microsoft Surface Type Cover, but with some slick software.

But first, let’s look at the Typo 2 for iPhone. Leaving behind the BlackBerry-style design of version one was obviously the right legal call for Typo, but it’s led to a keyboard that’s not quite as functional as before, and certainly nowhere near as attractive (not that the original Typo was a good-looking device). Additionally, the Typo 2 still covers up the iOS home button, and while there’s a supplementary home button on the keyboard, it lacks the Touch ID fingerprint sensor you can find on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, which means you can’t use Apple Pay. Typing was decent, but in our short time we found the keys rather stiff and the offset layout a little difficult to get used to.

The Typo for iPad, however, actually isn’t that bad. Typo says the $179 keyboard is the thinnest Bluetooth keyboard for iPad. Both the full-size iPad Air and the smaller iPad Mini keyboards offer full-size keys, although the iPad Mini one combines a few keys (tab and Q, for example) to help with the condensed layout. Typing was a relative breeze on both models.

The keyboard’s not the only part of the Typo Air. There’s also a case for the tablet that while adding some bulk, also ads a friction hinge metal kickstand to prop up the tablet at whatever angle you desire. Typo says their using the same provider that builds the hinge that keeps the MacBook Air‘s display upright.

Possibly the coolest part, and likely the most controversial, is the software that Typo’s developed. On one part, they’re touting built-in autocorrect (not predictive typing), something that few other Bluetooth keyboard manufacturers can claim. That comes courtesy of the Typo app for iPad, which includes a custom software keyboard that’s not at all a keyboard. In their demo, Typo brought up a calendar inside their keyboard app, essentially giving the iPad dual-app capability. But if we had to guess, that kind of app would flies in the face of Apple’s App Store review guidelines.

Even without the app, the Typo for iPad keyboard seems like it might be pretty decent. We’ll need to get more time with it to make a final judgement, but even the combination of the keyboard and case might well be enough.

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