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22
Jan

New Live TV Streaming Numbers Place YouTube TV at Just Over 300K Subscribers and Hulu at 450K


Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV both launched in the spring of 2017, offering customers over-the-top live television streaming options in line with established services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now.

Today, sources revealed to CNBC that Hulu with Live TV now has 450,000 paid subscribers — “not including recent promotional customers” — while YouTube TV has just over 300,000 as of the beginning of 2018.

Although neither service has been on the market for one full year, the sources delivering the subscriber numbers said that each company is “making some progress” in convincing users to cut the cord. However, analyst Rich Greenfield commented that any company offering a live TV streaming service may have trouble substantially growing their subscriber base “because canceling is so easy” and basic on-demand versions of Hulu and YouTube could be enough for many users.

“If you don’t care about live sports, the original Hulu product is awesome,” Greenfield said. “You can get all of the programming you want for more than $30 less. And YouTube is free. It actually shows you how poor the value proportion is for live TV.”

[…] cable and satellite TV are stickier businesses than web-based services because they’re so difficult to cancel, Greenfield said. “You can cancel these live streaming services with four clicks of a button,” Greenfield said. “Have you tried canceling your cable?”

Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV are both beaten out by Sling TV and DirecTV Now, which were previously reported to have reached 1 million and more than 2 million paid subscribers, respectively. Another contender is PlayStation Vue, reported at 455,000 subscribers in Q3 2017. The subscriber numbers reported by CNBC today have not been confirmed by Hulu or YouTube, so there is still no official word regarding how accurate the data might be.

In terms of price, Hulu with Live TV starts at $39.99/month and YouTube TV starts at $35/month. Hulu’s service is also technically still in the beta phase, and on the FAQ section of its website Hulu states, “While we are truly proud of Hulu’s live TV offering, we know that introducing any new service can come with “hiccups” from time to time, so we are first opening it up as a “Beta” to be transparent with our viewers.”

The upcoming Apple TV app for YouTube TV
Since some of these over-the-top services are still new, many of them are in the process of adding a few user-requested features following their launches. At CES, Hulu announced Live TV will get a more traditional guide interface for browsing channels, and DirecTV Now customers are waiting for its cloud DVR to launch sometime in 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, YouTube TV also plans to debut an app for the Apple TV.

Tags: YouTube, Hulu, YouTube TV
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22
Jan

AT&T Launches $35 Smart Wi-Fi Extender to Boost Coverage by Up To 1,000 Square Feet


AT&T has launched the “AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender,” a device built to enable a stronger and more consistent Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. AT&T’s product is one box that keeps devices connected to the internet as you move from one room to another, and customers can purchase additional boxes for bigger homes.

The Smart Wi-Fi Extender is designed for customers with an AT&T internet subscription who have Wi-Fi gateways 5268AC or BGW210, boosting coverage by up to 1,000 square feet and reducing network congestion. The company said that it automatically selects the “best and fastest available connection” for every device that you connect to the internet within your home.

The company priced the Smart Wi-Fi Extender at $34.99, and said it offers the same Wi-Fi boosting abilities of competitive mesh systems “that cost hundreds of dollars.” It appears that the Wi-Fi Extender was available for some AT&T customers to purchase ahead of the wider launch this week.

That’s why we are introducing the new AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender – a state-of-the-art device that gives you the strongest Wi-Fi signal throughout your entire home. Its mesh technology keeps your devices connected as you move around, so you experience a seamless connection everywhere. Now you can stream, download, surf, and work on your devices anywhere, worry free. No dropped connection as you step into the backyard. No more interruptions or watching the football freeze in mid-air.

The 4-inch box is a 1600Mbps dual-band concurrent wireless access point and includes a port for 2 Gigabit Ethernet LAN and a power cable. AT&T also noted that it is compliant with 802.11ac and 802.11n standards, as well as being backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g wireless standards.

The Smart Wi-Fi Extender will connect to an established AT&T Wi-Fi network, which can be managed via the Smart Home Manager iOS app. The company announced the app last summer and refers to it as a customer’s “Wi-Fi concierge.” With the app, users can change their network name and password, check who is connected to the network, invite guests to join with a text or email, and contact customer service in a chatroom.

Tag: AT&T
Discuss this article in our forums

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22
Jan

Analyst predicts Apple will retire iPhone X in summer of 2018


The iPhone X may not have garnered the sales that Apple was hoping for, but the Cupertino, California, company’s latest phone is by no means a failure. We loved it enough to name it one of our best products of 2017, and millions of Apple devotees have already taken the plunge — but even more have noted that the divisive “notch” design and the huge $1,000 price tag were enough to put them off buying the phone, with many opting for cheaper iPhones as a result.

But it’s still a shock that Apple may well be ditching the iPhone X in the summer of 2018. Apple Insider points to a research note from KGI Securities suggesting Apple will retire the flagship device ahead of a new cycle of iPhones in fall 2018. This would be the first time Apple has ever brought an iPhone to the end of its lifespan before a new product launch, instead of keeping it on as a cheaper model.

Focusing on China, KGI blames the design of the iPhone X for lackluster sales. Despite the iPhone X having the largest screen ever seen on an iPhone (5.8 inches compared with the 5.5-inch screen on the iPhone 8 Plus), KGI believes the notch at the top of the screen that houses the phone’s sensors has tricked many consumers into assuming that the phone has less usable real estate than a standard iPhone Plus model. Since scale isn’t obvious in most marketing materials, and most consumers would likely assume that the model with the “Plus” moniker is the largest available, this isn’t an unfair assessment to make.

Despite this possible setback, it’s highly likely that Apple will be looking to continue an iPhone X-style design with its next series of iPhones. Whether the notch will remain is up for debate (Apple had hoped it would become as iconic as the circular home button), but it’s fair to assume that the edge-to-edge design will remain. And regardless of how the iPhone X has performed, iPhone sales are still expected to continue strongly, with Apple well on the way to becoming the world’s first company valued at $1 trillion during the course of 2018.

Finally, it’s also worth noting that an early retirement of the iPhone X would essentially make it a limited edition run — somewhat fitting, since it was originally intended to commemorate the tenth birthday of the brand. Whether retirement rumor will boost sales remains to be seen, but if you’ve been pushed into buying one by this news, read out our iPhone X buying guide for the best way to buy your bezel-less beauty.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Analyst suggests customers prefer cheaper iPhones to the iPhone X
  • Apple iPhone 11: News, rumors, specs, and more
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  • Is the iPhone X too expensive for you? Rumored price cut may change that
  • Apple iPhone X review


22
Jan

An Echo-less Alexa will hit select Windows 10 PCs in the first quarter of 2018


Amazon will remove one of the highest barriers for entry to its Alexa vocal assistant platform in the next few months by launching an Alexa application on select Windows 10 devices. With no need for additional hardware, the potential audience for Alexa will expand exponentially as more and more Windows 10 PCs become compatible at some point in Q1 2018.

There is an extended “family” of Alexa compatible devices already, including the Garmin Speak Plus dash cam, the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 speaker, and the Moto X smartphone. With the Alexa app though, Amazon is making it possible to utilize Alexa with a mere download. All you need are a PC with a microphone and speakers, though the app will launch on specific manufacturer devices first.

Many of the abilities that already exist with Alexa hardware will carry over to the Windows 10 app. Users will be able to use Amazon Music, SirusXM, and IHeartRadio to listen to music, read books through Audible and Kindle, set reminders, and set up smart home devices, among other abilities. Echo family hardware will have a slightly expanded range of abilities to start with, including wider app compatibility and the ability to make voice calls.

In a short video on the new Windows Alexa app site, Amazon showcases some of its capabilities, including asking questions, utilizing it to alter shopping lists and thermostat controls, and checking account balances.

Slated to make its debut at some point in the first quarter of 2018, Amazon will first launch the app on Windows 10 PCs from Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and HP, with plans to expand the lineup of compatible hardware in the future. We also learned that the app will be available to U.S. customers only for now, thanks to Mary Foley.

Although we don’t have a full list of supported hardware for the upcoming application beyond the manufacturer logos on the Alexa app page, we do have the names of a few laptops that should support it soon. The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition is cited in one product image, as well as the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga, the HP Pavilion Wave, and the Zenbook UX331.

The question that now arises is how Microsoft will respond. Windows 10 PCs have been one of its flagship platforms for pushing its own Cortana smart assistant. It will be interesting to see what the blue-tinted lady thinks of the competition.

Editors’ Recommendations

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22
Jan

Android Wear 2.8 update brings readability updates for your wrist


Android Wear has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, with 2017 giving us some of the world’s most desirable smartwatches from fashion and watch brands alike, as well as the old smartwatch holdouts like LG. There’s never been a better time to grab yourself a smartwatch and stay constantly appraised of your updates, when and where they happen, without having to ever look at your phone’s screen.

We’re massive fans of Android Wear, and that’s why we keep as close an eye as possible on the latest news and updates to the system. Android Wear 2.0 has been and gone, and the upgrade to Android Oreo on Android Wear is rolling out as we speak. But that doesn’t mean that the updates have stopped; quite the opposite, in fact. Google has switched over to a “more-is-more” approach for Android Wear, pushing out smaller updates more frequently — so if your smartwatch is slated to receive those updates, you should see it constantly evolve over time.

Here’s the latest update news for Android Wear.

Android Wear 2.8 update

This update goes straight through to your app, rather than being an OTA update through to your watch, and it’s aimed at making your notifications easier to read on your watch.

The changes are fairly small, as we’ve come to expect from most Android Wear updates these days, and most of the meat of this particular update is centered around a new layout that should make your notifications easier to read at a glance. In addition, the background of your notifications has been made slightly darker, so the notification texts stands out even more.

Which watches can expect to receive this update? Since it’s an update to the app itself, any watches that have received the Android Oreo Android Wear update should be receiving this update. But as always, if you’re unsure then it’s worth contacting your manufacturer directly.

Android Wear 2.7 update

This isn’t an OTA update to your watch, so expect to see this update downloaded straight to your app.

Users can expect some quality-of-life improvements with this update, adding the ability to see more on your watchface, and cutting down on some accidental screen-presses and swipes that you might have experienced. The additions and changes are as follows:

  • Better glanceability with improved typefaces and font weights.
  • Complications now work with Talkback for improved accessibility.
  • Text size of notifications adapts to message length, adding an extra line of text on most notifications.
  • Swipe down in Quick Settings to easily see your connection (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile).
  • Check on download progress with new progress indicator notifications.
  • Launch your last-used app right from your watch face with the Recent App complication.
  • Better prevention of accidental side-swipe and long-press gestures.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Apple’s WatchOS 4.1 update adds phone-less music streaming, GymKit
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22
Jan

Putting Google Assistant in everything is easy — getting everything *else* in there is hard


Now that Google and Qualcomm have the silicon worked out, it’s time to get (really) serious about the services.

It sure didn’t take Google too long to reach parity with Amazon on the hardware front, did it? Consider how long the Amazon Echo has been around. Decades, right? (OK, just a few years now — the OG Echo was released in limited numbers at the end of 2014.) Google Home has been around for a year and change. Both pretty much do the same thing at this point, with some of the smarts built in by their respective companies.

But the real genius in products like Alexa and Google Home (I’m mixing hardware and software metaphors here, but stick with me) comes with enabling other companies to tie in their own products and services. As we knew from day one it was really going to be all about the APIs. Amazon calls them “Skills.” Google calls them “Actions.” There’s a fundamental difference between the two — Google’s tend to be a little more hidden than Amazon’s, which has a huge repository full of Skills of varying usefulness. When it comes to hooking in other pieces of hardware, though, Google makes it a bit easier, with a visible list of what’s available.

And this is what it’s really about. It’s about hooking in your lights and sprinklers and fans and thermostats and speakers and cameras and … all the things, really. What good is smart hardware if it doesn’t tie into your smart assistant, right? And to that end, Amazon still has a major lead.

lenovo-smart-display-10-7.jpg?itok=iVRyM The Lenovo Smart Display, coming in the summer of 2018.

Wait — where’s that thing?

It doesn’t take more than a passing glance at the list of devices in the Google Home app to see that a lot of companies and devices are still missing. Where’s my Ring Doorbell? Where’s my Rachio Sprinkler system?

Here’s everything that works with Google Home

Those are just two examples of things I use in my home all the time that don’t show up in Google’s list of “Home control” devices. And that actually brings up a good point: Just because it’s missing from the list here doesn’t mean Google can’t control it. Both Ring and Rachio are absolutely controllable from Google Assistant. And at some point, I connected the services.

Knowing whether your smart things will work with Google Assistant is still very much a mess.

Logitech Harmony — I’m a big fan of the remotes — is another example. Missing from the Home Control section, but it most certainly can work with Assistant.

Some of this is a failure on an application level — Google just needs to surface all this stuff much better. (Or maybe sniff out your devices over Wifi and offer to connect the services?)

At this point, I’m not even sure how incomplete Google’s list is compared to Amazon’s Skills. That’s a whole other problem unto itself.

In any event, this is something Google needs to sort out, sooner rather than later. It’s only going to sell more Google Assistant devices as time goes on — starting with the $29 Google Home Mini. And now that every other manufacturer on the face of the planet is getting in on the game — any every other manufacturer is already building things with Amazon Alexa baked in — Google has to get really serious about the services.

That starts from the developer standpoint, and I’d be surprised if Android Things and Google Assistant weren’t huge tracks at the Google I/O developer conference later this year. But it also continues into (and perhaps is just as important) in the user-facing products and services.

If we don’t see all the things I use listed as being available with Google Assistant, it’s that much more likely that Alexa is going to continue to hold my attention.

echo-show-video-call.jpg?itok=yJfF1wsa Video calling on the Amazon Echo Show. ($229 on Amazon.)

Will you need another new app? (Probably)

And then there’s the matter of Google Assistant with displays. The Lenovo Smart Display and LG ThinQ WK9 (seriously, someone needs to take that name out back and shoot it) will be a couple of the first products out of the blocks. Google’s showed them using its Duo video calling app, and showing feeds from Nest cameras. But it needs to do much more, lest it fall into the same trap as Amazon and the Echo Show.

Google’s Duo app is good. Working with existing apps would be even better.

Duo’s a fine app. But it’s not the now the only thing folks use for video calling. Nor is it anywhere near the most popular. While putting it on a shiny new display might get a few folks to switch over, I’d rather see Google take the approach it’s done with Android Auto, which made it remarkably easy for developers to extend their apps to the in-car screen. While I’m talking apples and oranges from a developer perspective — Android Auto is run from your phone, while these Android Things products are self-contained devices and have different onboarding issues — end users will have just one question:

Will this stuff work with what I’m already using?

The Echo Show is largely a paperweight for me. Do I really want to deal with another instant messaging/voice calling/video calling app?

Google’s upcoming products need to have an answer for that question, lest they succumb to the same fate.

Google Hardware

home-family.jpg?itok=iUP4ApSp

  • Google Wifi review
  • Google Home review
  • Everything you need to know about the Chromecast Ultra
  • Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra: Which should you buy?

Google Wifi:

Google
Amazon

Google Home:

Google
Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google
Best Buy

22
Jan

What smartphone are you carrying right now?


These are the phones our forum members carry on a daily basis.

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, it’s awfully hard these days to buy something that you’ll be disappointed with. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is an excellent handset for people that want a phone that can do everything (and then some), the Google Pixel 2 has the best camera ever seen on a phone, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro offers stupendous battery life, etc., etc.

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The options that are available to you are more than abundant, and as such, it’s interesting to learn about which phones other Android fans carry and why they chose the phone they did.

These are the phones some of our forum users choose to rock.

avatar1259824_1.gifArmeniandave
01-20-2018 06:35 PM

I switch between the pixel 2 XL and the essential phone. Essential phone is hands down the best feeling phone I’ve ever had but the camera and reception are what bring me back to my pixel. When I know I’ll have good reception and don’t care about taking pics I use the essential.

Reply

default.jpgKida66
01-20-2018 06:38 PM

I had a Samsung Note 8 and recently sold it and bought a Pixel 2 XL (Panda). I really like the pixel so far and fell in love with the software right away. I likes the note 8 at first but Samsung’s software grew tiresome. I also thought that the phone was always just too big to carry and use comfortably. the pixel seems to be just the right size for everyday use.

With that said I do have a…

Reply

default.jpgsixty_four
01-21-2018 06:50 PM

My Pixel 2 is my main phone. I do use my Moto E4 Plus (best $100 phone I’ve had) around the house a lot while on WiFi or while on my bicycle.

Reply

avatar2313781_23.gifMike Dee
01-21-2018 07:41 PM

Pixel 2XL is my daily.
I have other phones but I only use them as backups except for my v20 which I sometimes used to play audio because of the Quad DAC

Reply

Now, we’d like to hear from you – Which phone are you using right now as your daily driver?

Join the conversation in the forums!

22
Jan

Android One: Everything You Need to Know


moto-x4-android-one-logo.jpg?itok=87xyXM

Google has changed it strategy for bringing Android to ‘the next billion’ users, and it’s gotten better.

Depending on where you live, “Android One” means something different. It will also have varying levels of importance — if you’ve heard about it at all, that is. Android One is a Google initiative that’s been around since 2014, and though the goal of the program has changed since it launched it still remains an important part of Google’s strategy of bringing a cleaner, more consistent Android experience to more people around the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about Android One — past, present and future.

Where Android One began

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When it was first introduced back in 2014, Android One was a distinct version of Android designed for low-end phones in developing countries. But the program went beyond just software — it was truly a software and hardware partnership with Google helping a variety of manufacturers like Micromax, Spice, Karbonn, Mito, Nexian, Cherry Mobile and others make inexpensive phones ($100 and under) that still hit a minimum standard of quality and performance.

Android One was ambitious, and in its initial design it just didn’t turn into sales for manufacturers.

Android One was a program designed to bring Android to the “next billion” users who couldn’t afford typical Android phones. The phones ran what we’d consider “clean” Android with very few customizations, and focused on speed and fluidity despite their low-end specs. It was an ambitious idea with lots of moving parts, and people who bought a cheap Android One phone undoubtedly got a better experience than they would with any other random phone of the same price.

For a variety of reasons, Android One never really seemed to take off as designed. The phones weren’t very good looking, weren’t clearly differentiated to consumers and definitely weren’t marketed strongly. Some companies found success working with Google to release these inexpensive phones that performed better than the similarly priced competition, but others went back to doing things the way they did originally. “Android One” as a brand didn’t really matter at these low-end price points so much as the price and some niche features did.

And so, Google repositioned the brand.

What Android One means today

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Fast forward to 2017, and Android One means something entirely different. Android One phones are no longer exclusively low-end or entry-level, and aren’t exclusive to emerging markets anymore. Instead, Google is partnering with bigger brands for more expensive phones and selling them in new markets like Western Europe and North America. This new breed of Android One phones are made by companies like Xiaomi, Motorola and HTC, and are priced in the $250 to $400 range — hardly budget devices when compared to where Android One started.

Better in every way than the original Android One phones, but built on the same philosophy.

With these higher prices, Android One could really be set free. The phones have compelling designs, nicer materials, bigger screens, better internal specs and performance, good cameras, and a company name on the back you may have actually heard of before. But all of these improvements simply build on the core of what Android One was originally all about: giving you a clean, Google-sanctioned software experience. Every phone has the same basic software, with just a few extras thrown in. Google lays it out pretty clearly on its Android One website: “Everything you want. Nothing you don’t.”

Android One Moto X4 review

Android One phones don’t have a bunch of manufacturer or carrier software customizations. From one to the next, they work the same. In many ways, they operate just how Nexuses and Pixels do. They have all of Google’s apps built in, and Google makes sure that the software operates to a high standard. Perhaps most importantly for a less-expensive phone, Google also guarantees two years of software updates.

The beauty of these new Android One phones is that they appeal to both novices who want the simplicity of the experience and enthusiasts who understand the value of having Google-backed software. They’re great for someone who just wants a smartphone to do the basics, but also someone who appreciates a Google Pixel 2 and just wants to spend a bit less.

Android Go takes the reigns for the ‘next billion’

android-go-7.jpg?itok=mGTbchOs

Google making the decision to move Android One from the super-entry-level devices up to mid-range value-focused offerings didn’t mean it was going to leave those next billion users out in the cold, though. At Google I/O 2017, a new initiative called “Android Go” was announced. Android Go isn’t a replacement for the Android One program, but it aims to address the super-low-end smartphones originally targeted by One.

Android Go lets manufacturers go their own way, but users still get the benefits of Google software.

Android Go is simply a configuration of the operating system, going forward starting with Android 8.0 Oreo, that tweaks and optimizes the software for phones with very low specs — we’re talking about 8GB of storage and 512MB of RAM here. Android “Go edition” gives manufacturers that target low-end specs a version of the operating system that can make these phones run smoothly and efficiently — and unlike Android One originally, there’s no further partnership there. They can keep making phones how they want, and benefit from the streamlined version of the operating system.

Android Go uses less memory to run the operating system, and takes up less internal storage so there’s more left over for the user. Critically, Google has also designed “Go” versions of its core apps that do the same — there’s Google Search, Assistant, Gboard, Maps, Gmail and more. It’s all designed not only to be lightweight and simple, but also tweaked for the types of situations where these phones will be used. Data-saving settings are turned on by default, things more aggressively pre-cache and download while the phone is on Wi-Fi, the operating system has peer-to-peer sharing without a network, and so on.

But just like Android One, Android Go has the simplicity and security of being offered and sanctioned by Google. You get the same basic security improvements that any phone running any version of Oreo would, even though your phone cost the equivalent of $79.

Android Go in many ways continues the original vision of Android One, and does so in a bit looser way that really targets the next billion users who will be coming online with a smartphone as their first taste of the internet. Not only is it a good solution for this problem, but it also lets Android One itself grow and expand to bring this idea of a clean Google software experience to even more people in more places.

Where can I get an Android One phone?

What Android One phones are available really depends on where you live. We have a list of all Android One phones available that you can check on as we update it regularly. Google also maintains its own list of available Android One phones.

These are all of the Android One phones available today

See Xiaomi Mi A1 at Amazon
See Moto X4 at Motorola

22
Jan

Best apps for Fitbit Ionic


samsung-gear-sport-fitbit-ionic-7.jpg?it

The Fitbit Ionic’s app selection is growing all the time, and these are a few of my favorites.

When the Fitbit Ionic first launched last September, the app selection was a bit barren. Big names like Starbucks, Pandora, and Strava were there, but there wasn’t much of anything else. However, following a lot of developer support, that’s started to change. The Ionic received its first major update in early December, and with this brought a host of new watch faces and apps to check out.

If you own a Fitbit Ionic, these are the apps that deserve a place on your wrist.

Barcodes

fitbit-ionic-barcodes.jpg?itok=o6Z5_wYP

One of the apps that launched on the Ionic right out of the box was Starbucks. It still works perfectly fine by allowing you to have your Starbucks card live on your wrist, but that’s about all it does. Barcodes is a similar app, but it takes things a step further.

In addition to being able to store your Starbucks card on Barcodes, you can also add your gym membership, student ID, rewards card for the grocery store, and more. Up to five cards can be stored, and you can assign each its own name and color to help distinguish what’s what.

Philip Hue Lights

fitbit-ionic-philips-hue-lights.jpg?itok

Although I control my Hue lights mainly my talking to the Google Assistant on my Pixel 2 or Google Home, there are times when I need to turn the lights on and off without waking up my fiance. Setting up the Hue app on the Ionic is simple as downloading it and pressing the button on your bridge, and once this is all done, it works rather nicely.

The app does take a second to load upon opening it, but it’s still convenient for quickly turning lights on and off when your phone isn’t nearby or you’d rather not use your voice. You can activate scenes, turn all of your lights on/off at once, and control individual bulbs.

Switchr

fitbit-ionic-switchr.jpg?itok=m8R9lWiz

If you’re a fan of IFTTT, Switchr is for you. Switchr ties into IFTTT Web Hooks and allows you to perform a variety of actions with just a simple button tap. IFTTT is compatible with a wide variety of services and connected gadgets, including the likes of iRobot, Jibo, LG appliances, Nest Cam, and more.

I personally use Switchr to connect to my Wemo devices, and this enables me to turn on the coffee pot first thing in the morning with just a couple taps on my watch.

Hydrate

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As much as I love the built-in health features of the Ionic, one of the things that still baffles me is the fact that Fitbit doesn’t have an official app for tracking your water intake. I imagine something like this will be added in the future, but until then, we have Hydrate.

Hydrate allows you to track how much water you drink throughout the day, and better yet, syncs this information with your Fitbit account. You’ll set a default number of ounces to show up each time, but if you drink more or less than what you set this to, you can increase and decrease the amount using the Ionic’s two buttons or touch screen.

Fitbit Coach

fitbit-ionic-fitbit-coach.jpg?itok=afXXr

This last pick might seem like a copout considering it’s installed on the Ionic out of the box, but I’ve absolutely loved using Fitbit Coach ever since I first started using the Ionic.

Fitbit Coach allows you to follow workout routines directly on your watch, and the three included with the Ionic are 7-Minute Workout, 10-Minute Abs, and Treasure Chest (a 15-minute chest-focused workout). You’ll have to pay an annual subscription of $39.99 to access additional workouts, and in my opinion, it’s more than worth it.

Your choices

Did I miss any apps that you’ve been loving on your Ionic? Let me know what your favorites are down in the comments below!

Samsung Gear Sport vs. Fitbit Ionic: Fitness smartwatch showdown

22
Jan

India wants to collect taxes from its cryptocurrency investors


India’s income tax department has sent notices to tens of thousands of people dealing in cryptocurrency, after learning that $3.5 billion worth of transactions have been conducted over a 17-month period. The move comes as India’s finance ministry grapples with regulations for virtual currencies, which are attracting around 200,000 users and raking in 20 billion Indian rupees ($315 million) worth of trade per month, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has issued repeated warnings labeling digital currency investments “Ponzi schemes,” amidst a backdrop of police complaints from hundreds of investors of fraudulent transactions. The tax department’s notice asks those dealing in cryptocurrency (such as ethereum and ripple) to pay tax on capital gains. It also includes enquiries about their total holdings and source of funds. Like China before it, India is worried about its citizens trading on offshore exchanges.

Hitting a peak of almost $20,000 in December, Bitcoin recently plummeted to below $10,000 for the first time since November. Although the virtual currency is gradually being dragged into the financial mainstream in the US, courtesy of the Cboe’s launch of the first bitcoin futures exchange, countries continue to struggle with its legitimization.

Late last month, South Korea — the world’s third largest cryptocurrency market, behind the US and Japan — enacted new legislation for monitoring exchanges and banned the creation of anonymous cryptocurrency accounts. And, in the US, digital currency exchange Coinbase cried foul after a California court ordered it to share the financial info of over 14,000 users with the IRS.

Source: Reuters

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