LG isn’t the only tech giant rolling out Google Cast-friendly devices this month. Sony is launching two AV receivers (the STR-DN860 and STR-DN1060) and two sound bars (the HT-NT3 and the HT-ST9, above) that all take audio from Google Cast-capable mobile and web apps, so you won’t have a problem sending music to your TV’s speakers. Outside of the NT3, you’ll also get alternatives like Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and (on the receivers) Apple’s AirPlay.
Beyond that, you’re mostly paying for extra power. The receivers start off with the $500 DN860, which delivers 150W across 7.2 channels, Bluetooth and WiFi support for both Google Cast and AirPlay; splurge on the $600 DN1060 and you’ll get 165W of power, 4K video support and Spotify Connect. Among sound bars, the $700 NT3 is a straightforward 2.1-channel system with 450W of juice and Bluetooth, while the $1,500 ST9 kicks things up to 7.1 channels with 800W of total output. The two receivers will ship in May, alongside Cast-less HT-CT380 ($350) and HT-CT780 ($450) sound bars. If you insist on better sound for your TV, the two higher-end sound bars are due in July.
After the better part of a year, Samsung is ready to launch new tablets in the States — if not quite the high-end models you might be looking for. It’s releasing 8- and 9.7-inch versions of the Galaxy Tab A, a low-cost slate whose centerpiece is an iPad-like 4:3 aspect ratio that gives you more breathing room when you’re browsing the web or reading a book. Neither model is especially powerful between the 1.2GHz quad-core chip, 1,024 x 768 screen, 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front shooter, but they do carry Samsung’s lighter-weight software loadout, including bundled Microsoft apps. You’ll also get between 16GB to 32GB of storage, depending on the model. The Tab A will reach American shops on May 1st starting at $230 for the 8-inch model, and $300 for the 9.7-inch version. And don’t worry, cost-conscious Galaxy Note fans, Samsung hasn’t forgotten about you: a version with a bundled S Pen is due on May 17th for $350.
Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)
Last week Google released an update to Chrome for Android taking it up to version 42. At the time it was noted that a couple new features were added, including support for push notifications and quick home screen icon creation. The Chrome developers have followed up on that release with some more information about how and why they see these additions as a step forward for the browser.
One of the main goals the Chrome team is pursuing is to increase engagement between users and the companies or individuals behind the sites they visit. The Chrome developers recognized this created a balancing situation for developers who had to decide between the reach of mobile web site and the engagement provided by a native app. The addition of push notification support is meant to augment that second criteria by saving users the effort of manually checking a site for updates. Instead, the site can function more like a native app.
According to the Chrome team, users can expect to see some early adopters like Beyond the Rack, eBay, Facebook, FanSided, Pinterest, Product Hunt, and VICE News start to roll out support for push notifications over the next few weeks.
As mentioned when version 42 was released, the Chrome team also added some new capabilities so that users can quickly and easily setup an icon on their homescreen to launch the browser directly to a site. The browser developers felt this would be an easy way for users to get back into their favorite sites, especially when they are just passing time while commuting or waiting in line. The Chrome developers do indicate that sites have to be “modern, mobile-optimized” sites, like Flipboard or Medium, to have this option available for users. If present, the browser will provide the user with a one tap button that will create an icon on their device homescreen.
source: Chromium Blog
Come comment on this article: Chrome team discusses latest Chrome 42 update for Android
Last year Google started testing an option for users to download their search history instead of just viewing it in their browser. Google appears to have now rolled out this feature to all users. If you surf to your history, accessible at history.google.com, you can click on the settings icon in the upper right corner and you should see an option to Download. According to a statement from Google,
“You can download all of your saved search history to see a list of the terms you’ve searched for. This gives you access to your data when and where you want. When you download your past searches, a copy of your history will be saved securely to the Takeout folder in Google Drive. You can download the files to your computer if you want a copy on your computer.”
When Google finishes processing an account’s history, an email will be sent notifying the user the file is ready for download. Since search histories can include some sensitive information, Google advises users to use 2-step verification on their accounts and to be sure they will not be forced to leave the file behind on a computer they no longer have access to, like a work computer.
The file that Google delivers is a zip file that contains JSON files. Based on a sample, it appears Google packs three months worth of data into each JSON file.
source: Google Operating System Blog
Come comment on this article: Google Search history now downloadable
Xiaomi has scheduled a “Premier” event for April 23rd in New Delhi when many people expect the company to launch a new device for the global market. The device has been described as a “lite” version of the company’s flagship Mi 4 smartphone and appears to be dubbed the Mi 4i. A lower case “i” has figured prominently in the teasers that Xiaomi has been releasing.
Thus far Xiaomi has released three teasers about their new device. The first two focused on the resolution of the display and the battery size of the device. The latest ad targets the craftsmanship of the smartphone and asks whether all smartphones are “Crafted the same?” The answer put forth is, “iDISAGREES” which is the same tagline used in the two previous teasers.
Sources indicate the Mi 4i is expected to run on a Snapdragon 615 processor and will have 2 GB of RAM. The device will have a 4.9-inch full HD display and will run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out of the box, with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on top. Sources say the phone will support 4G LTE and should work in most global markets.
Xiaomi has slowly been working their way toward being a player in the global smartphone market. They have already risen to become the third largest manufacturer in China based on sales in their home country and in India. However, they have been very deliberate about not expanding from those markets too quickly, so the release of a global smartphone is a major step for the company.
Come comment on this article: Xiaomi preparing for new global smartphone launch
Apple Watch pre-orders are being sent to centralized distribution points across the United States as couriers prepare the shipments to be delivered ahead of the wrist-worn device’s launch on April 24, according to a source for MacRumors that has provided accurate information in the past.
Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts confirmed earlier this month that Apple Watch pre-order deliveries will begin on April 24 as scheduled, although many customers have received shipping estimates of 4-6 weeks or later and it remains unknown how many Apple Watch pre-orders will be delivered on day one.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders began switching from “Processing Items” to “Preparing for Shipment” on the Apple Online Store for several customers on the Monday prior to Friday delivery, so customers that pre-ordered the Apple Watch early should see their order status change soon. Due to limited stock and the wide 4/24—5/8 delivery estimate for launch day pre-orders, however, there is a possibility that pre-order statuses may take longer to change.
To date, we’ve not seen any reports of pre-orders changing or credit cards being charged.
Apple Watch pre-orders were available on April 10 at 12:01 AM Pacific through the Apple Online Store in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom, and sold out completely in less than six hours. The company also began taking Apple Watch try-on appointments the same day at Apple retail stores and select fashion boutiques such as Selfridges in London, Isetan in Tokyo and Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
With Apple Watch’s April 24 delivery date getting closer and closer, a few accessory manufactures have been revealing new stands for the wrist worn device.
First is “The Timber Catchall for Apple Watch”, a more comprehensive version of Pad & Quill’s “Luxury Pocket Stand“, which the company announced closely following Apple’s “Spring Forward” event. The Timber Catchall aims to provide grooves for keys and loose change with a larger area on its base built for charging a resting iPhone, along with an elevated specified area designed for the Apple Watch.
Pad & Quill’s Timber Catchall can be pre-ordered from its website in three different color options at three different price points: American Cherry ($99.00), African Mahogany ($109.00), and Premium American Walnut ($139.00). All versions of the stand have an estimated “Late May” shipping date.
DODOCase’s “Charging Stand for Apple Watch” has a similar natural wood finish akin to Pad and Quill’s line of stands, but with a weighted base that the company promises will provide “sturdy placement” and less fumbling when removing the Watch from the stand.
As a less traditional charging option, DODOCase is also selling the “Dual Charging Dock Organizer“, which is fashioned after a novel and allows users to simultaneously charge their Apple Watch and iPhone. The slot for an iPhone “Holds all iPhone sizes, and can fit most phone cases”, according to the company, and a hidden compartment lies underneath to thread the Watch’s MagSafe adapter and allow for an easy laid-flat charging solution with the wearable.
Most interesting is a hidden storage compartment underneath the charging area of the stand, big enough to hold headphones, charging cables, and even extra Apple Watch bands when not in use.
Part of our Apple Watch accessory collection: a Dual Charging Dock Organizer for both your iPhone and Apple Watch. Our innovative Charging Dock is made from a Baltic Birch wood tray, which magnetically attaches to a handmade Bookbound Cover. Apple’s inductive MagSafe charger is seamlessly integrated into the wood dock, allowing your watch to lay flat while your phone slides into a carved divot perfectly angled for optimal viewing capability.
The book features a hidden compartment beneath the Birch tray to store cables, headphones, and extra watch straps. When not in use, close the cover and everything disappears into the disguise of a book. The Charging Dock Organizer will become your essential bedside table companion or desktop accessory featuring traditional craftsmanship for today’s modern technology.
DODOCase’s Charging Stand retails for $99.95, but is on a pre-order sale for $77.95. Similarly, the Dual Charging Dock Organizer will retail for $79.95, but those interested can pre-order it at only $59.95.
This deals ends tonight plus FREE international shipping!
Interested in getting into drone photography or videography but aren’t quite ready to shell out hundreds of dollars? The Extreme Micro Drone 2.0 is the perfect solution. This tiny quadcopter just needs to be tossed into the air and its self-righting algorithm and sensors will stabilize its flight. Safe for indoor or outdoor use, the Micro Drone runs off of a USB rechargeable battery and has a range of up to 400ft. This unit comes with a 640 pixel camera and remote control. All you’ll need to add is a memory card and you’ll be soaring the skies in no time. At just $74.99, this would make a great gift or even a treat for yourself.
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AT&T on Monday confirmed the LG G Flex 2 will arrive in select retail stores starting from April 24. Priced $299.99 with a two-year service agreement, the phone runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and features a 5.5-inch 1080p display and a 13-megapixel rear camera. Toss in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage and you’re in the running for one of 2015’s best phones.
AT&T will also offer the G Flex 2 on its Next Plans for qualified customers. At $0 down, the pricing breaks down as so:
- $23.64 per month for 30 installments on AT&T Next 24
- $29.55 per month for 24 installments on AT&T Next 18
- $35.45 per month for 20 installments on AT&T Next 12
Of course you can always buy the phone outright; AT&T has tapped the G Flex 2 with an all-in cost of $708.99.7