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Volvo’s First CarPlay Vehicle in the U.S. is the 2016 XC90, Available Now

After long promising to implement CarPlay support in its vehicles, Volvo recently announced that the new 2016 XC90 is the company’s first CarPlay-enabled car in the United States, reports CNET.

The new vehicle is equipped with a 9-inch touchscreen in the center console, with the CarPlay interface featured on the bottom half of the screen. Volvo’s Sensus Connect controls remain at the top of the screen, offering access to features like directions, media playing, temperature, and more.


A button on the steering wheel brings up Siri, allowing users to compose messages, place phone calls, and access built-in CarPlay apps.

Like most CarPlay vehicles, Volvo owners will need to connect their iPhones directly to the vehicle using the built-in Lightning connector. Volvo has said it will support wireless CarPlay features in the future, but wireless capabilities are not yet available.

All 2016 XC90 vehicles are eligible for CarPlay support. Those who already purchased a 2016 XC90 can make a service appointment with their dealer to get the update installed.

Though CarPlay was first announced in 2014, it’s taken many months for car manufacturers to get on board. Late 2015 and early 2016 will see more than a dozen car makers releasing their first vehicles with CarPlay support, and we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all upcoming CarPlay cars.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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[Deal] Best Buy has Acer’s Iconia Tab 8 for $99


A tablet is probably something on your shopping list for a friend or family member this Christmas. Luckily, not every tablet is going to cause your piggy bank to break. And the ones that are on the more affordable side won’t sacrifice quality. Just don’t walk out of CVS or Walgreens with one of those no-name tablets. Then I can guarantee you wasted your hard-earned money. So consider the Iconia Tab 8 from Acer. Best Buy is selling it right now for just $99.


The tablet, which is normally sold for $129, has worthy specifications considering the price. The Iconia Tab 8 has an 8-inch display, a processor from Intel, and runs Lollipop. It’s perfect whether you’re gifting a tablet for a beginner or keeping one for yourself on the coffee table.

Key specifications:

  • 8-inch (1280×800) LCD display
  • Intel Atom Z3735G processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • 5MP / 0.3MP cameras
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

The electronics retailer has the Iconia Tab 8 available for $99 with free shipping that has the tablet arriving just before Santa Claus places presents under the tree. If you want to get the tablet yourself, give your local store a check with Best Buy’s Store Pickup tool.

[Best Buy]

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Best Buy has Acer’s Iconia Tab 8 for $99


Facebook is shutting down its Creative Labs division


Facebook started Creative Labs to act like a start-up within the company. It was used to push employees to try new things with innovative new mobile software. However, Facebook has been watching how these new apps have been doing and has decided to pull the plug.

Starting today, Slingshot, Rooms, and Riff have been pulled from app stores on iOS and Google Play.

Facebook commented, saying the apps have not been updated in a long time and they decided to pull them.

“Since their launches, we’ve incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps,”

Creative Labs has been around for two years as an experiment. However, most of the apps created out of it mainly copied features from other apps. Slingshot was created by Joey Flynn and Rocky Smith, which grew into 10 people over two years, but the idea was to take photos and send it to friends in hopes that they respond back with a picture message. Basically, what Snapchat already does. Also, Facebook didn’t really promote it too much.

Rooms had potential as it tried to take normal forum post and reimagine them. However, for unknown reasons, to join a forum you had to take a screenshot of a QR code.

Facebook has said it will continue to experiment with new apps, and support current apps like its Paper newsfeed-reading app. Of course, it will still work on features for much larger apps like Instagram’s Hyperlapse video.

Source: CNET


Come comment on this article: Facebook is shutting down its Creative Labs division


Turing’s super-secure smartphone won’t ship this year

Bad news if you were hoping to get the extra-secure, extra-strong Turing smartphone as a gift this holiday: it’s not going to happen. Turing Robotic Industries is telling customers that it won’t ship its namesake Android phone on December 18th as promised, and that orders will instead arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2016. The company needs more time to live up to its promise of a “truly secure OS” while still offering Google Play app downloads, according to the email. Suffice it to say that this is s bit of a rude surprise, especially if you were counting on a new phone for an end-of-year trip.

Via: Android Community

Source: Android Police


Ford safety feature snitches out hit-and-run driver

One of the more helpful safety features found in newer vehicles is their ability to automatically call emergency services after an accident. It turns out it’s also great for catching hit-and-run drivers.


Source: ABC 7


USPS will email you images of what’s in your mailbox

We’ve all done it. Take a few minutes to walk to the mailbox only to discover it’s either empty or filled with junk that immediately goes in the trash. The US Postal Service is testing a new tool that will save you a trip if there’s nothing interesting to be found. The feature is called Informed Delivery and it sends up to 10 images a day of what’s in your physical mailbox to your email inbox.

Via: The Next Web

Source: USPS


Amazon takes the wraps off new Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition

Fire HD 8 Readers Edition

Earlier today, Amazon took the wraps off its latest Android-powered tablet, the Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition, which is available to pre-order from the company’s online store for $249.99 with shipments expected to leave the warehouse on Wednesday, December 9.

Unlike previous Fire models, the Reader’s Edition ships with a nifty Blue Shade feature that makes reading at night significantly easier. When switching to this mode, a filter to restrict  exposure to blue light is applied to the display and the brightness is dimmed to an ultra-low setting to ensure that words are clearly visible.

All other hardware on board the Reader’s Edition is identical to the standard Fire HD 8, which means that it packs an 8-inch IPS display, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB/16GB of expandable internal storage and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

If you’re not entirely sold on Amazon’s newest addition to the Fire lineup, the online giant’s hoping a year’s free subscription to Kindle Unlimited will seal the deal. This will give users access to over one-million books along with thousands of audiobooks. Amazon’s also throwing in a free protective case, which is described as having the “look and feel of a real book cover”.

If you’d like to find out more about picking one up — hit the source link below.

Source: Amazon


Come comment on this article: Amazon takes the wraps off new Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition


Google publishes Android 6.0.1 factory images for Nexus devices


Google has published the factory images for the long-awaited Android 6.0.1 update for the Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 7, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. The upgrade brings a brand new Emoji set to these devices, in addition to the latest security patch which is targeted at resolving any critical issues present in the open-source operating system.

Hit the source link below to download the factory images from the official Google Developer Blog for manual flashing. Alternatively, you can wait for the OTA to start rolling out, which should start soon.

Source: Google Developers


Come comment on this article: Google publishes Android 6.0.1 factory images for Nexus devices


HTC will roll out the Android 6.0.1 update for the One A9 and One M9 later this month


Earlier today, HTC’s Vice President of Product Management, Mo Versi, took to his official Twitter page to announce that the Taiwanese company will be rolling out the upcoming Android 6.0.1 update to all Unlocked variants of the One A9 and One M9.

The upgrade will transport the brand new Emoji set to the handset, along with the latest Android security patch, which is aimed at fixing any critical issues present in the open-source operating system that may have otherwise put user data at risk.

Source: Mo Versi (Twitter)

Come comment on this article: HTC will roll out the Android 6.0.1 update for the One A9 and One M9 later this month


Lack of advertising model is hurting Vine, causing brands to flee


Vine launched more than two years ago as a video sharing service that limits uploads to just six-second clips. The service, which is overseen by Twitter, has been forced to fight with Snapchat as the go-to for short-form content. While Snapchat has been securing partnerships and launching new feaures, Vine is in a place of confusion. After all, video has become a vital part of Twitter. And the overall problem for Vine could be the lack of a clear advertising model. Brands are fleeing Vine in favor of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and, obviously, YouTube to spend even more of their money.

Tyler Hissey of Hill Holliday, Boston-based marketing communications firm, told Adweek that Vine is missing tools to keep brands on the service:

“Over time, it became difficult for many marketers to achieve scale. In the last six months or so, brands have started to de-emphasize Vine as a channel because of the targeting capabilities on all these other platforms.”

Adweek looked at research done by Tubular Labs, examining the social media accounts of forty major brands. Between September and November of this year, a meager 4.5% of the 2,500 videos posted could be found on Vine. A large number of brands are halting the use of Vine altogether without caring that their accounts have been inactive for months. Vine hasn’t clicked with marketers after the buzz surrounding the service ended. Its only advantage seems to be enlisting the stars of Vine to create content published on their own channels rather than the brands’.

Vine may be wealthy in user-made content, but the brands are what will keep the lights on. If Twitter can’t figure that out, Vine could be spun off into its own entity or sold to another company seeking to enter the world of video.

Source: Adweek

Come comment on this article: Lack of advertising model is hurting Vine, causing brands to flee

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