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12
Sep

Slickwraps Hero Series skins put your favorite superheroes all over your tech


slickwraps-hero-series

Looking for a way to adorn your smartphone? Cases can be bulky, but if you are to use your phone without one, it’s a good idea to put a skin on it, just to keep your handset free from scratches. Not to mention, some of these skins look great, especially when they come from Slickwraps.

Today the company has released a new set of skins dubbed the Slickwraps Hero Series. As the moniker entails, these skins are embellished by some of your favorite super heroes. These would include Batman, Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk and Captain America.

These limited edition wraps were created in collaboration with tldtoday, so they happen to be pretty special. You should go ahead and get them while they are around, as they won’t always be.

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All you need is a supported device, really. And the good news is they don’t only cover the most popular phones, but also computers and consoles. You can get these Slickwraps skins for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Nexus 6, HTC One M9, Macbook, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

These are all available from the dedicated page at Slickwraps.com. Oh, and you can even get yourself a 10% discount if you use coupon code “10NOW”. The only trick is this offer is only available for today. You won’t have the same luck if you wait around to purchase your wraps tomorrow!

The smartphone skins cost about $25, which is certainly not a bad deal for one of these awesome limited edition covers. Are you getting one?

Buy the Slickwraps Hero Series skins!

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12
Sep

Marshall London: What happens when an amp maker builds a phone?


Why does a company famous for making guitar amps decide to make a phone? The Marshall brand realized clinging to its rock heritage won’t serve it forever. That’s why it already moved into headphones and Bluetooth speakers — modern day lifestyle products — via a collaboration with Zound Industries. The “London” phone could easily have just been a rebadge, but the first hint it was going to be something different came at the press event. The news conference had all the trappings of a “proper” handset launch: a nice venue, presentations, even a few famous faces joining the CEO on stage. But, unlike, say, awkwardly peddling U2’s new album, Marshall dished out shots of JD and put on punk rock performances. At one point, an executive on stage proclaimed the company was going to [verb beginning with F] the competition, in the [orifice beginning with A]. Whether that’s going to catch on like Tim Cook’s “We think you’re going to love it,” I’m not sure. I’ll admit, though, it made me instantly warm to Marshall.Slideshow-318746

Marshall's London Phone: A Closer Look at

With its 4.7-inch 720p display, 8-megapixel camera, 2GB of RAM, 16 gigs of storage and 1.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, the London looks quite tame, especially for the $499 asking price. Said differently, it hardly lives up to the Marshall reputation of going to 11. But, after speaking with the team behind the phone, I get the impression the London is trying to cater for a user who doesn’t care about MHz and GBs — for those that just need a phone that does the basics well enough, but fits into your life in other ways (in this case, music). That’s also possibly a way to excuse a mediocre spec sheet, but for what it’s worth, I believe them.

Conceptually, the London reminds me of the Nokia 808 PureView: an otherwise forgettable phone with a huge 41-megapixel camera attached. The London’s music features give it a similar deliberate focus, but to much less of an extreme — the phone’s totally alright and the music features are solid.

About those features: From what I can tell, there’s a little bit of something for everyone, whether you’re a creator, listener or remixer. For example, there are two headphone jacks, and each gets its own volume control. The dedicated Cirrus/Wolfson sound hub in the London means each listener gets full-power music, too (not a split signal). It’s a neat touch, but no one likes the music I do, so less handy for me.

What I find more interesting is that these jacks are also inputs. With a TRS cable, you can feed a signal (guitar, mic, et cetera) and record it into one of the phone’s (multiple) bespoke recording apps, which you can access with the dedicated “M” button, along with various media players. One of them is a skinned version of Loopstack, a looping app that’s perfect for these audio inputs and Foley recordings — if only I had the right sort of skills, I’d show it off properly. I spent some time meddling with it, and it’s tons of fun: I lost an hour trying to do something for this article. Clearly I need more practice!

My favorite hardware feature is something that’s not immediately visible. Marshall threw in two microphones (on the top and bottom edges), which means you not only get active noise-cancellation on calls, but also get the ability to record proper stereo audio — and the London does that rather well (for a phone). Below is a recording from a gig that switches between an iPhone and the London. The London beats Apple’s phone easily in my opinion, with a much broader range of frequencies recorded/fuller sound, and with so much headroom there’s almost no chance of clipping. The iPhone, however, is tinny and artificially loud (compressed). Listen to it first — it switches every five seconds — and see what you think.

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/220980780&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true

Have you decided which is better? First or second (and then alternating then on out)? The iPhone was first, and if you listen again, it should be clear (it definitely is with headphones). As for listening on the London, there are two loud (for a phone) speakers on the front, which do a sterling job; they sound better than my LG G4, but I will never, ever want to listen to music on phone speakers. Ever. This is probably a good time to mention that the bundled headphones are Marshall’s own $70 Mode in-ears. I prefer my Aiaiai TMA’s, but for pack-in headphones, these are way better than what you normally get.

It’s unusual that I’d get seven paragraphs into an article about a phone without talking about the actual “phone” part, but there’s not really much to dwell on. The handset itself is pretty cute. It has a soft-touch finish designed to look like the leather Marshall uses on its amps and speakers, and the brass accents are a nice touch. In terms of looks, it’s definitely unique. I dig it, although a few people did ask me if it was a phone in a Marshall case, and that’s indeed kind of what it feels like.

The “Androidy” part of the phone is, eh, okay. It’s Lollipop, and it runs nice enough, although I had a few instances where apps would crash trying to open FLAC files (something the London is very capable of), or moving the volume control — the lovely gnurled brass wheel on the side — wouldn’t do anything. These all seemed sporadic, and cleared after a reboot, but still. Marshall tells me it designed the London so it can receive software updates without carrier involvement, which is something. This includes new features, like a Marshall DJ app that should arrive later this year. Given the dual headphone jacks, this would make the London a legit monitor-and-line-out setup — no crappy headphone splitting, two dedicated audio channels. Another important update will boost the support for 64GB microSD cards to a FLAC-friendly 128GB.

I digress. Software bugs aside, the phone doesn’t feel overly sluggish — just a shade slower than a typical flagship. (I use the G4 as my daily driver.) The same goes for the 720p display. It might be low-res compared to QHD, but in practice it never felt subpar. Not to mention, it helps the (replaceable) 2,500mAh battery last for the two full days I’ve been getting out of it, which is nice. The camera is also not memorable, but you’re probably too rock ‘n’ roll for Instagram anyway, right? In seriousness, the imaging here is fine; it’s just not one of the highlights.

The London is something of a conundrum. For not too far off the $499 asking price, and a bit of shopping around, you can buy a higher-spec phone, like the LG G4 or HTC One M9. The way I see it, why does logic necessarily have anything to do with it? Phones are no longer tools; they’re a part of our daily lives. When you buy a car, some will go for value, or practicality; others will say “screw it” and buy what makes them feel good. And that’s what the London is: It’s singing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the top of your voice in your (original) Mini convertible. Because why the hell not?

Filed under:
Cellphones, Mobile

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Tags: android, IRL, london, marshall, marshalllondon, mobilepostcross, music

12
Sep

Microsoft acquires Double Labs, developer of the popular Android app Echo Lockscreen


microsoft-logo-mwc-2015-5

Echo Notification Lockscreen is one of our favorite lockscreen replacement applications on Android, and it looks like it now has a new owner. According to Business Insider, Microsoft has just officially purchased Double Labs, developer of the lockscreen app. Microsoft has already released the Android app Next Lock Screen, which is quite similar in functionality to Echo.

Although it may seem odd that Microsoft now owns two lockscreen replacement apps for Android, according to Microsoft Chief Experience Officer Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft’s main goal is to take productivity to the next level. A lot of the notable features currently present in both Next and Echo lockscreen apps will make their way back to Windows 10, Office and any other Microsoft product that sends out notifications. In order to properly deploy these features into Windows products, Microsoft can push out unique features to the third-party apps first so the company won’t accidentally ship half-baked features to the millions of Windows users out there.

To see just what Echo Notification Lockscreen can do, check out the promotional video attached below.


C-Locker best android lock screen appsRelated: 20 best Android lock screen apps and lock screen replacement apps502846

Microsoft has been pretty good at bringing interesting features to its in-house built Next Lock Screen app, so it shouldn’t be long until we see some interesting improvements coming to Echo.

Download Echo Notification Lockscreen from Google Play

12
Sep

Canon gets into the consumer VR game


Canon's VR prototype

Canon might not be a contender in the field of consumer VR right now, but a prototype seen on the show floor at this week’s Canon Expo definitely promises good things in that arena. The development unit sports two 5.5-inch LCD panels, each coming in at 2,560 x 1,440 for a total 5K resolution — topping many devices already on the market (or coming soon). Slideshow-318861

The VR unit isn’t ready for primetime just yet, though. The current model lacks any kind of built-in audio, requiring users put on a pair of external headphones to get the full experience. And it’s not a headset so much as it is a handset — grips on each side allow users to hold it in front of their face. The plus side to this arrangement is that the eyepiece is way more comfortable for glasses-wearers.

The demo video placed me in a large golden room with a domed ceiling, placed in the center of a flamenco performance. The VR unit sports a 120 degree view, and to that effect I was able to turn my head all around to look at each performer individually, including one particularly intense guitar player situated directly behind me. The image was incredibly bright and sharp, as befitting its high resolution, but there was a disconcerting bit of blur whenever I redirected the handset to look at something new — not as bad as say, earlier versions of the Oculus Rift, but still a noticeable flaw in an otherwise attractive experience.

Like many products at Canon Expo, the VR unit is still a work-in-progress with no set release plans. But given the amount of design polish and ergonomic consideration present in the demo unit, I wouldn’t be surprised if the company has something to offer consumers soon.

Filed under:
Misc, Canon

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Tags: canon, CanonExpo, CanonExpo2015, VR

12
Sep

Dell’s next XPS 12 looks like a Microsoft Surface rival


Dell's leaked XPS 12

Wondering why Dell is cool with selling Microsoft’s Surface Pro when it doesn’t have a direct equivalent right now? This might be why. Giga claims to have leaked details of a reborn XPS 12 that would ditch the convertible laptop design in favor of the Surface’s tablet-plus-keyboard combo, right down to the kickstand. Yes, Dell appears to be taking a page from Lenovo’s book and competing with Microsoft’s 2-in-1 PC on its home turf. Not that this would be a direct clone, mind you. The XPS 12 reportedly touts a color-accurate 4K touchscreen with a super-thin, XPS 13-style bezel. You’d also get a Thunderbolt 3 connector (great for docking a slew of devices using just one cable) and a sharper 8-megapixel rear camera.

There’s no mention of pricing. The presences of a 4K screen and Thunderbolt suggest that the XPS 12 won’t be cheap, but the cost will depend on both the choice of processor (a Core M or low-voltage Core i seems likely) and the amount of built-in storage. However, there’s no question about availability: the leak hints at a release in October, right when the Surface Pro reaches Dell’s corporate sales channels. While it’s doubtful that Dell built the new XPS with its Microsoft partnership in mind, it’ll conveniently serve as an alternative when you want a little more oomph from your pro tablet.

Filed under:
Tablets, Dell

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Via:
The Verge

Source:
Giga (translated)

Tags: computer, dell, leak, pc, tablet, windows, windows10, xps12

12
Sep

Dell’s next XPS 12 looks like a Microsoft Surface rival


Dell's leaked XPS 12

Wondering why Dell is cool with selling Microsoft’s Surface Pro when it doesn’t have a direct equivalent right now? This might be why. Giga claims to have leaked details of a reborn XPS 12 that would ditch the convertible laptop design in favor of the Surface’s tablet-plus-keyboard combo, right down to the kickstand. Yes, Dell appears to be taking a page from Lenovo’s book and competing with Microsoft’s 2-in-1 PC on its home turf. Not that this would be a direct clone, mind you. The XPS 12 reportedly touts a color-accurate 4K touchscreen with a super-thin, XPS 13-style bezel. You’d also get a Thunderbolt 3 connector (great for docking a slew of devices using just one cable) and a sharper 8-megapixel rear camera.

There’s no mention of pricing. The presences of a 4K screen and Thunderbolt suggest that the XPS 12 won’t be cheap, but the cost will depend on both the choice of processor (a Core M or low-voltage Core i seems likely) and the amount of built-in storage. However, there’s no question about availability: the leak hints at a release in October, right when the Surface Pro reaches Dell’s corporate sales channels. While it’s doubtful that Dell built the new XPS with its Microsoft partnership in mind, it’ll conveniently serve as an alternative when you want a little more oomph from your pro tablet.

Filed under:
Tablets, Dell

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Via:
The Verge

Source:
Giga (translated)

Tags: computer, dell, leak, pc, tablet, windows, windows10, xps12

12
Sep

Huawei Honor 4C Plus expected to launch on September 14th


Huawei_Honor 4C Plus_teaser image_091215Next week, Huawei is expected to launch an upgrade to its Honor 4C handset dubbed the Honor 4C Plus. The handset will include a slightly improved design along with a bump to specifications.

The Honor 4C Plus will improve upon the Honor 4C in a few ways. It’s expected to include a 5-inch display (720 x 1280) powered by a Kirin 620 SoC with an octa-core 1.2 GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM. A 13MP camera is expected to be included at the back and an 8MP camera on the front side. It will include 16GB of internal storage space which is double its counterpart which had only 8GB. A 2550 mAh battery will try and last the full length of your day. It’s currently unknown whether the handset will include the company’s KitKat-based Emotion UI or a new Lollipop-based UI. We should find out more on September 14.

Via: MobiPicker

Come comment on this article: Huawei Honor 4C Plus expected to launch on September 14th

12
Sep

Cyanogen OS to integrate Cortana?


Not too long ago, Cyanogen made deals with Microsoft to pre-load their apps like Skype, Bing and Office on the commercial OS (not the custom ROM). Microsoft also recently released a beta version of their homebrewn Cortana assistant for Android phones. They are now reportedly expanding this deal to integrate Cortana into the popular Cyanogen OS that ships on phones like the OnePlus.

Previously, Cortana was unlikely to offer competition against Google Now, mainly because of how it’s integrated, but this new deal could see that change.

In an interview with International Business Times, the Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster revealed that Microsoft and Cyanogen are working to bring Microsoft’s digital assistant over to the OS but in a way that goes much deeper than the current Cortana Android app.

Natural language coupled with intelligence is very important but as an application it doesn’t really work because you need to be embedded into the framework of the OS because that is where you get all the signal from the services that makes that intelligence smarter.

Quite simply put, this means that Cortana will be able to properly compete with its competition.

How do you feel? Is this ruining Cyanogen with more boatware?

cortana-android-2-1280x643

 

The post Cyanogen OS to integrate Cortana? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

12
Sep

Taking gaming into the real world


Playing video games and enjoying the outdoors don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Various creative minds have come up with ways to take gaming into real-world environments. Why chill at the crib when you could be out driving a real-life Mario Kart or letting hadoukens fly at Burning Man? We’ve highlighted just a few of these pioneering projects this week, so head to the gallery for a look at the gaming experiences you’ve missed by staying home.

Slideshow-317383

Filed under:
Gaming

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Tags: burning man, hadouken, mario kart, outrun, pacman, pong, site 3 fire arts, sxsw, tetris

12
Sep

Recommended Reading: Streaming is the future of New York Fashion Week


Creatures Of The Wind - Runway - Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week

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.

Why Live Streaming Is the Future of Fashion Week
by Chavie Lieber
Racked

Don’t worry about trying to secure a ticket to New York Fashion Week. In September 2014, 2.6 million people livestreamed the festivities rather than making the trip to the Big Apple. And the best part? The runway shows are available for free through the NYFW app on iOS and Android.

Breaking Madden: 44 Quarterbacks vs. 44 Defensive Ends
Jon Bois, SB Nation

A new NFL season means “Breaking Madden” is back, and the first matchup of the year puts 44 QBs up against 44 defensive ends.

Race to the Top: The Meaning of ‘Key and Peele’
Wesley Morris, Grantland

Key and Peele is no more, and this piece from Grantland’s Wesley Morris examines why the show was so important.

​The US Owes the World $4 Trillion for Trashing the Climate
Brian Merchant, Motherboard

This quick read looks into the United States’ role in global warming and what it could do to help.

How to Live with the 16GB iPhone’s Pitiful Storage
Brian Barrett, Wired

Let’s face it: 16GB of storage just won’t cut it for long on a new phone. And with iOS 9’s new imaging tech, you’re going to need a strategy.

[Image credit: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images]

Filed under:
Misc

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Tags: breakingmadden, fashion, fashionweek, globalwarming, iphone, keyandpeele, livestream, madden, newyorkfashionweek, recommendedreading, redreading, science

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