This month, backers of the very successful Pebble Time campaign on Kickstarter will receive their smartwatches. Once backers receive their units, the Pebble Time will likely replace the older models on the company site. That could by why both the Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatches are discounted right now directly from the company. The original Pebble is available for just $89 and a selection of six straps cost $15 each. The Pebble Steel’s discount is even steeper at $149 and buyers can include a metal strap for an additional $20.
The same discount also applies to models sold through Amazon with eligibility for the retailer’s free two-day shipping for Prime subscribers.
What smartwatch, if any, do you have your eyes set on? Let us know in the comments.
Come comment on this article: [Deal] Pebble smartwatch available for $89, Pebble Steel for $149
Google Play Music just got a lot more convenient… if you’re using a cutting-edge Android wearable, that is. Smartwatches running the new Android Wear 5.1.1 update (such as the LG Watch Urbane) now let you browse your recent Play Music items. If you’re bent on finishing an album or can’t stop revisiting a favorite playlist, you no longer have to pull your phone out of your pocket. You can also check out All Access radio stations if you’re in the mood for some variety. This upgrade won’t be much help if you want to sift through your whole collection, but it could save you a lot of time when you’re listening on the move.
Source: Android Central
Google’s getting ready to face Amazon and eBay, according to The Wall Street Journal, and will be adding buy buttons directly to its search results. You’ll see those buttons accompanying sponsored results under a “Shop on Google” heading — they won’t be used for non-sponsored links returned by the algorithm — when you search for products on mobile devices. Upon clicking one, a separate product page will load where you can pick sizes, colors and ultimately complete your purchase. Any product you buy will still come straight from retailers, the WSJ says, so it doesn’t sound like Google’s stocking up warehouses with goods like Amazon does.
However, some major retailers are apparently worried that they’ll get stuck with back-end order fulfillment with no real customer interaction. Since Google wants to remain in good terms with them (they are some of its largest advertisers, after all), it will give shoppers the choice subscribe to their marketing programs. That typically means mailing lists and the like, so the company’s giving them access to customers’ info, most likely names and addresses.
In addition, Google promised them that the product landing pages will be heavily branded with their names and will link to more of their products. The company also won’t take a cut from their sales and will only get paid for every person that clicks their links. Mountain View will reportedly offer several payment options, “including digital payment methods from other providers,” but it (thankfully) won’t be giving retailers access to payment details. If you input credit card info to make a purchase, the website will save it for future transactions, but it will remain with the company.
As for why the feature will only be available on mobile, well, Google has a plethora of reasons. The biggest one is most likely the fact that more people now perform searches on their phones than on computers. According to the WSJ, you might spot a buy button or two as soon as the coming weeks. We don’t have a list of official partners yet, since Google hasn’t officially announced anything, but Macy’s might be one of the first retailers available.
[Image credit: shutterstock]
Source: The Wall Street Journal
A month later than expected, Samsung is now finally distributing the long-awaited Android 5.0 Lollipop update to all unlocked variants of the Galaxy Note 3 with the model number SM-N900S in South Korea.
All the changes you’d expect to find are bundled into this upgrade, including support for multiple accounts, improved notifications, a smoother multitasking experience and the recently-announced Material Design guidelines.
The full changelog can be seen below.
- Material Design: You will quickly notice a whole new colorful look and feel to your device – from fluid animations to new application and system themes, colors and widgets.
- Notifications UI & Priorities: In order to alert you to the mosttimely and relevant information, the format and behavior of notifications have evolved:
- notifications will appear on the lock screen and are intelligently ranked by type and who sent them.
- you double-tap to open one, swipe left or right to clear one, or clear all notifications from the bottom of the list.
- you can set the priority and privacy of notifications for each application.
- very high priority notifications will pop up briefly over other applications so that you can take action.
- when you dismiss a notification on one device it will be dismissed on your other Android devices, if they are connected to the Internet.
- you can further tailor how notifications behave with the new Downtime and Ambient Display settings (see below).
- New Interruptions & Downtime Settings: You can tailor how interruptions behave, choosing to allow all, none, or only priority interruptions. You can personalize what counts as a priority interruption (reminders, events, calls, messages) and even tailor them to be from only contacts you specify. The Downtime setting will allow only priority interruptions during the times and days that you specify. e.g. allow only priority interruptions on the weekend.
- Recent Apps (Multi-tasking): The redesigned Overview space (formerly called Recents) will include both applications and separate activities within those applications. For instance, each open tab in Chrome will also appear here along with recent applications; both your Gmail Inbox and a draft email message will appear as separate cards. This provides a consistent way to switch amongst tasks.
- Flashlight: Lollipop includes a new flashlight option as part of Quick settings (swipe down with two fingers from the status bar to see it).
- Pin a view/app: Screen pinning allows you to keep a specific app or screen in view. For example, you can ‘pin’ a game and your child will not be able to navigate anywhere else on your phone.
- Battery: The Battery settings panel now shows an estimated projection for how much time you have left while discharging or charging. You can also enable a new battery saver mode that will save power by reducing performance and most background data operations to extend your battery life.
- Smarter Internet Connections: With Android Lollipop, your phone will not connect to a Wi-Fi access point unless there is a verified Internet connection. This feature improves hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular connections, helping to maintain your video chat or voice-over-IP (VoIP) call as you switch.
- Performance: Your phone now uses the new Android Runtime to help optimize application performance. After upgrading to Lollipop, your applications will undergo a one-time optimization process. Note that the optimization for ART requires more space.
- Security: Encryption can now use a stronger 256-bit key to help protect your data. Note that the stronger key willonly be used after you perform a factory reset on Android Lollipop. Otherwise encryption will continue to use 128-bit key. You can turn on encryption in the Security settings menu.
As is customary with all manufacturer updates, the upgrade is being rolled out in stages, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a notification confirming that it’s ready for your device, you could always search for the update manually. To do this head into Settings, followed by About Device, then System Update and hit Check for Update.
Come comment on this article: Samsung distributing Lollipop OTA for the Galaxy Note 3 in South Korea
All kinds of personal-sized, eco-minded rides have been popping up on the market ready to propel us through the streets. Whether it’s for a quick commute or a casual cruise, these electric rideables help save time and fossil fuels. Not only do they get you from point A to point B quickly, but they’re also fun to ride… and you won’t sweat up a storm along the way. But which one is right for you? Below, we take a look at all the bikes, scooters, skateboards and everything else in between to serve up some useful personal transport suggestions. You never know, there might be a pair of RocketSkates in your future.
Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.
How Daimler Built the World’s First Self-driving Semi
by Alex Davies
In case you missed it, Daimler built a self-driving big rig, and it just recently got the OK to hit the road in Nevada. The Freightliner truck, known as Inspiration, took a team of around 60 engineers six months to build. Wired’s Alex Davies offers a behind-the-scenes look at the project, detailing some of the tech that’s onboard.
While the Texas Instruments TMX 1795 could be considered the first microprocessor, it has been all but forgotten by most. This piece chronicles its history and its major impact on the computer industry.
I Was an Undercover Uber Driver
Ever wonder what it’s like to drive for Uber? Well, one journalist signed up and got behind the wheel to offer a first-person account of the goings on — including an orientation via YouTube video.
Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park
Facebook’s Instant Articles arrived in the News Feed this week, piping in content from The New York Times and more. This piece is an interesting collection of observations on the new feature — the good, the bad and the ugly.
The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car
The head of Google’s self-driving car project sets the record straight on minor accidents and miles logged, providing an update on the team’s status in Mountain View.
[Image credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Eurobest]
Filed under: Misc
Meizu is rumored to launch a new version of its Android-powered MX4 smartphone on May 18, according to a Chinese report. Only this time, it will be running the Ubuntu OS.
This upcoming Meizu Ubuntu smartphone, shown at MWC in March, will feature a 1920 x 1152 5.36-inch display, a MediaTek SoC, sporting an octa core processor, and 2GB of RAM.
This’ll be the second Ubuntu smartphone available to consumers. The first smartphone to run Ubuntu was the BQ Aquaris E4.5, an inexpensive and low-budget solution. That said, it’ll be nice to see a higher spec’d Ubuntu option, and see what developers do with it. After all, there’s already some fascinating things happening with it, such as Android ports, over on the XDA Forums. As bugs and kinks get worked out, it’ll be interesting to see a fully functional ROM for Android devices.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Meizu is bringing to the market on May 18. Are you? Let us know in the comments.
Come comment on this article: Meizu rumored to launch an Ubuntu-powered MX4 May 18
SpaceX has released a few Mars travel posters in the same vein as NASA’s vintage exoplanet ones, and they’re making us sad we were born too early for space exploration. Valles Marineris the “land of Martian chasms and craters,” as the poster says, is an enormous series of canyons. Olympus Mons is tallest peak and biggest volcano we’ve seen in the solar system, thus far, at thrice the height of Mt. Everest. Finally, Phobos and Deimos are the planet’s two moons, though we’ve explored the former more between the two. Elon Musk announced earlier this year that he doesn’t only plan to go to Mars, he also wants to establish a city on the red planet. We might all be too old — or you know, too dead — to live there or visit when the time comes, but maybe these posters can help you imagine how it would be for our children’s children (sniffs).
[Image credit: SpaceX/Flickr]
Filed under: Science
Source: SpaceX (Flickr)
Motorola’s Moto E (2nd Gen) recently got the update to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and now it looks like it’s the first generation’s turn.
This update is massive, bringing with it a whole slew of changes. Notifications now appear on the lockscreen and are ranked by type who who sent them, priority and privacy notifications can be set for each application, high priority notifications, such as Amber alerts or Emergency notifications, will briefly pop up over an app your currently using, and you can customize how notifications behave with new Downtime and Ambient Display settings. That’s just a small preview of what this update brings. There’s a whole lot more.
If you haven’t received this update, your device should notify you shortly. However, you can manually grab the update by hitting Settings in the app tray, tap About Phone > System Updates, and then select, “Yes, I’m in.” The update will then begin to download, and after it’s downloaded, you can just hit the install button, and you should have Android 5.1 Lollipop in minutes.
Now we’re just waiting on the Moto X (1st Gen) to get the bump to Lollipop. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer of wait.
Have you gotten the update for your Moto E yet? What do you think of the new changes? Let us know in the comments.
Come comment on this article: Moto E (1st Gen) getting Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OTA
One of the problems with virtual currency is that when it’s robbed from a bank, it’s going to take an awful lot of work to make it look exciting in a movie. So I feel for future filmmakers who have to dramatize something like the recent Chinese cyber heists where the culprits demanded bitcoins from the Bank of China and Bank of East Asia in exchange for not launching attacks on their websites. Regional publication The Standard reports that the each of the financial institutions’ websites were hacked last Saturday, with emails sent stating that to avoid another distributed denial of service attack, bitcoin payments would be necessary. Authorities say that the intrusions came from multiple countries and that no bank or customer data had been affected. Eat your heart out, Michael Mann. Oh, wait.
Filed under: Internet
Source: The Standard