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28
Jun

Rogue Amoeba Releases Audio Hijack 3.5 as Nicecast Replacement for Broadcasting Live Podcasts and Audio


Rogue Amoeba today announced it has updated its audio recording utility Audio Hijack with support for streaming audio to SHOUTcast and Icecast servers, ideal for live podcast recordings, live DJ sets, and internet radio.

Audio Hijack version 3.5 features a new Broadcast block that can stream audio to Shoutcast 2, Shoutcast 1, and Icecast 2 streaming servers in either the popular MP3 streaming format or the more modern AAC streaming format.

By placing multiple Broadcast blocks in one Audio Hijack session, you can create multiple streams for multiple servers, making it easy to offer high and low quality broadcasts, or stream audio in multiple audio formats.


To help beginners get started with broadcasting, Audio Hijack version 3.5 includes a new template for “Internet Radio.”

The latest version of Audio Hijack serves as a replacement for Rogue Amoeba’s dedicated audio broadcasting tool Nicecast, which the company ceased development of in March, and will stop supporting at the end of 2018.

Rogue Amoeba strongly encourages all Nicecast users to migrate to Audio Hijack for a more modern broadcasting setup with several advantages, including full SHOUTcast 2 support, AAC/AAC+ streaming, the ability to create multiple streams for multiple servers, track titles, and improved accessibility.

Rogue Amoeba notes that the last version of Nicecast, version 1.11.13, works as expected on macOS High Sierra and earlier, but may experience compatibility issues with macOS Mojave. And, as a 32-bit app, Nicecast will eventually not work at all once a future macOS release only supports 64-bit apps.

Audio Hijack version 3.5 is a free update for existing owners of Audio Hijack 3. For new users, a license to the full version costs $59, while users of any older version of Audio Hijack can upgrade for $25. Nicecast users can also save $20 off the purchase of Audio Hijack through the end of 2018.

Tags: Rogue Amoeba, Audio Hijack 3, Nicecast
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28
Jun

Sling TV Increases Cheapest Plan to $25/Month, Introduces Limited Free Content and À La Carte Channels


Sling TV today announced that it will be increasing the price of its entry-level Sling Orange service by $5 per month, jumping the price up to $25 per month for subscribers. Existing subscribers will not be grandfathered in to their old price, and all Sling Orange customers will see the new monthly $25 price reflected in their bills starting in August.

Sling TV president Warren Schlichting explained in a blog post today that while the company’s goal is to keep subscriber prices as low as possible, programming fees and other aspects of the service necessitate the monthly price hike. “Our team works hard to negotiate fair programming deals, with the goal of keeping your price as low as possible,” Schlichting said. “Programming fees, however, only go one direction, and that’s up!”

No other aspects of Sling Orange have been changed, so users can still subscribe to the $25 plan and get just over 30 live channels (including ESPN) and DVR features. Comparatively, Sling Orange is still one of the cheapest entries in live TV streaming market, with DirecTV Now starting at $35/month (down to $20/month for AT&T Unlimited plans), and Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV starting at $40/month.

Alongside the price increase, Sling TV revealed a slew of new updates aimed at introducing free content, à la carte channels, movies on-demand, and more without requiring customers to pay for a base subscription (for now only on Roku devices). Part of the announcement is an attempt to get anyone who previously subscribed to Sling TV to return to the service.

When returning customers re-open the Sling TV app, they’ll be able to access more than 100 hours of free TV shows and movies without restarting their subscription. These customers will also see ribbons that highlight free shows and films to watch, at launch including “Good Behavior,” “Wrecked,” “The Detour,” and more.

Additionally, anyone can now purchase select channels à la carte without needing to sign up for an entire Sling TV tier. Right now, there are only eight channels available, but with the update if you’re interested in only watching one of these channels in the Sling TV app, you can pay individually per month to get the access you want without other channels you might not watch. The company said that more channels will be added in the future, but as of now include:

– Showtime: $10
– CuriosityStream: $6
– Stingray Karaoke: $7
– Dove Channel: $5
– Outside TV Features: $5
– Up Faith & Family: $5
– Pantaya: $6
– NBA League Pass: $28.99

Outside of a Sling TV subscription, customers can now buy pay-per-view events as a one-time purchase in the app as well. There’s also the option to buy movies in Sling TV without a monthly subscription, including a catalog of 5,000 popular films.

The company didn’t clarify when exactly non-Roku users will see these updates, but confirmed other devices will be supported “in the near future.”

Tag: Sling TV
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28
Jun

‘DC Universe’ Digital Streaming Service Entering Beta in August, Coming to iOS and tvOS


DC Comics today revealed new details about its upcoming “DC Universe” streaming platform, which will hit iOS and tvOS devices this fall. Before that time, the company will launch a beta of the platform in August, allowing a small group of users to test out DC Universe before a wide rollout.

The main draw of the service will be exclusive TV shows that feature popular DC characters, including live action shows like Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing, and animated series like Young Justice: Outsiders and Harley Quinn.

Existing DC films and TV shows will also be available on DC Universe, like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, the original Christopher Reeve Superman movies, Lois and Clark, and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman series, available for the first time in HD.

“DC UNIVERSE is so much more than a streaming service. It’s a welcoming place for everyone to immerse themselves in their own level of DC fandom, with the epic characters, stories, and experiences they have come to expect from DC,” said Jim Lee, chief creative officer and publisher, DC Entertainment.

“We are investing in and creating original, high-quality shows including the new Titans series, and curating the most beloved nostalgic content, while at the same time elevating the comic reading experience to new heights. Nothing this robust has ever been offered to fans before.”

Additionally, DC revealed that DC Universe will house more than just TV shows and movies, but also include comics, a merchandise shop, community forums, an interactive encyclopedia of DC characters, and more. Comics will include both modern and classic digital series, from Action Comics #1 and the first appearance of Superman to the recent “Rebirth” event — and even support reading on big screen apps like Apple TV.

Members of DC UNIVERSE can:

WATCH exclusive originals and classic favorites;
READ from an extensive list of curated comic books;
CONNECT with the DC community;
EXPLORE the latest breaking news and the ever-expanding DC encyclopedia;
WIN premium rewards and participate in sweepstakes and contests;
SHOP for exclusive merchandise.

As of now, DC has not hinted at how much subscribers will be paying monthly for DC Universe. The platform will be entering a heavily saturated market of streaming services (soon to include Apple), but its focus on popular characters in the DC canon should prove to be favorable and worth a monthly subscription for some users.


Disney is also planning its own streaming service for launch at the end of 2018, which is rumored to bundle Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Walt Disney Animation Studios content under one monthly price. After Disney announced it will remove its TV shows and films from Netflix beginning this year, rumors swirled that Marvel would be getting its own dedicated service — like DC Universe — but Disney CEO Bob Iger quickly denied those rumors and confirmed Marvel will be found alongside Disney’s content in the upcoming streaming app.

For DC Universe, the service will launch on desktop, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Google Chromecast this fall, and those interested can sign up to be among the first to receive beta news on the company’s website.

Tag: DC Universe
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28
Jun

The Instagram Lite app is so small, your Android phone won’t notice it’s there


A Lite version of the Instagram app has been launched in the Google Play Store, and despite being less than 1MB in size, still manages to squeeze in all the main features we know and love from the full-size Instagram app. Interestingly, it removes several features that have seen Instagram evolve beyond its photo-sharing roots recently, returning the app almost to basics.

Instagram Lite is a 573KB app, while the standard Instagram app varies depending on which device it’s installed. On our BlackBerry Key2, it is 83MB. Doesn’t that mean a complete lack of features? No. The Lite app lets you post pictures and add filters, just as you’d expect, and also create Instagram Stories. The Stories can only be modified with text rather than adding animations or GIFs. The Explore tab is ready to introduce you to new people.

The app does not have any of the messaging features found in the main app, or the ability to share video, though in the Google Play Store description it states these will come soon. How much difference it will make to the app’s file size is not known. Facebook, which owns Instagram, also makes a Lite version of its primary app, and of its Messenger app too.

Wondering why you’d need a Lite app? You may not, if you have a brand new phone with potentially hundreds of gigabytes of storage space. But for those with Android phones that are older, or more modern without a high specification, space for apps is often at a premium. Lite apps minimize the impact downloading and installing an app can have on a device and makes it easier for it to remain on the device, even when the owner wants or needs to install more.

Facebook isn’t the only company making Lite apps. There are minimalist versions of many other big-name apps, including Twitter, Skype, and Linked In. Google itself is pushing smaller, less space-intensive apps with its Android Go operating system, which comes with miniature versions of its own app suite. The phones on which Go is installed are low-cost, and the perfect examples of the devices on which Lite apps will be installed.

While Instagram Lite is listed in the Google Play Store, it’s not available to download everywhere, or potentially by everyone either, at the time of writing. It’s not compatible with any of our phones in the U.K., and reports show it’s similarly impossible to install in the U.S. too, indicating it’s in a final test phase at the beginning of the app’s launch. It’s likely Instagram will open it up to more people in the future.

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28
Jun

HP slashes prices up to 52 percent for its Fourth of July sale


Finding a decent laptop or desktop computer for an affordable price is never an easy task. It can take hours of arduous research, immense patience, and a keen eye for discounts and sales. But we want to take all of that of your shoulders and direct you to only the best possible deals on PCs that meet our high standards. With summer in full swing, we direct our attention to one of the most exciting sales we’ve seen this season — the HP Fourth of July sale. HP is slashing prices up to 52 percent on some of their best laptops, monitors, 2-in-1’s, and desktop PCs from now through July 4.

We gathered a few of our top picks from the sale below, but if you would rather peruse those discounts on your own, you can head directly to the sale for more info. Whether you’re looking to upgrade, gift, or just add a new laptop to your workstation, there is no better time to find a great deal.

HP Envy x360 15 Convertible Laptop —  $300 off

Jeremy Kaplan/Digital Trends

The Envy x 360 is one of the most popular laptops from HP. Sporting a gorgeous premium design, 2-in-1 capabilities, and a top-notch screen, this HP laptop is a perfectly polished powerhouse. Though this great PC is normally priced around $1,000, the sale drops that down to an affordable $700. If you’re looking for a laptop that can work as hard as you, but won’t break the bank, the HP Envy x360 is definitely an option you should consider.

If you’re looking for some more in-depth information on this particular model, our hands-on review can offer some great insights.

Go to sale

HP Spectre x360 13 Convertible Laptop — $260 off

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

If you’re looking for something with a little bit more horsepower than the Envy x360, the HP Spectre x360 13 is exactly what you need. Our editors actually liked it so much they gave it a 9 out of 10 in their hands-on review due to its outstanding performance as a 2-in-1 laptop. It’s flexible, it’s fast, and has an excellent battery life for productivity and media. With an excellent touch screen, keyboard, and attractive and well-built chassis, the Spectre x360 is a great option for both your professional and personal life.

The Spectre x360 13 would normally cost you about $1,200, but the sale cuts that down to just $930.

Go to sale

HP Envy 17 Laptop — $350 off

If you’re not planning on using your laptop for gaming, then the HP Envy 17 is a great option to consider. We featured it as one of the best 17-inch laptops we’ve seen so far, so it has both our approval and our respect. While other options in the Envy line are a bit more versatile, this particular model offers a lot of processing power and a much larger display. It’s a little bit heavier than some of HP’s thinner laptops, weighing in at 6.7 pounds, so it’s a more of a desk laptop than an on-the-go option.

The HP Envy 17 is normally priced around $1,300 from the company’s site, but during this sale, you can pick it up for just $950 — a pretty considerable price drop.

Go to sale

HP Pavilion 24 All-in-One PC — $125 off

If all you’re looking for from this sale is a decent desktop setup that won’t slow you down, this HP Pavilion all-in-one is the perfect PC for you. Though it may not have all of the same bells and whistles that come with some of the more expensive options you will find in this sale, it will get the job done. The biggest draw to this particular model isn’t it’s processing power, cool features, or display, it’s the fact that you get so much for what you pay. Even without the sale, this PC is a great affordable option for anyone who isn’t looking to drop more than a grand for home PC.

The HP Pavilion is normally priced around $855, but a $125 discount drops the price to just $730 for a limited time.

Go to sale

HP Envy Curved All-in-One PC — $300 off

Looking to add an entertainment powerhouse to your home this summer? The HP Envy Curved All-in-One, is exactly what it claims to be, an all-in-one piece of equipment. Perhaps one of the most striking displays around, HP came out with this line of PCs to surround your senses and provide a fully immersive experience. Though there are a lot of different discounts that catch our eye in this HP sale, we can’t help but be drawn to one of the biggest, baddest setups on the list. If you’re looking to upgrade your home or office with a new computer, and have a bit of cash to spend, this model comes highly recommended.

The HP Envy Curved is normally priced around $2,180, but a nice $300 discount brings that down to just $1,880 for the duration of this sale.

Go to sale

Looking for more great stuff? Find Laptop deals and more on our curated deals page, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for regular updates.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at dealsteam@digitaltrends.com.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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28
Jun

Best Small Android Phone of 2018


  • Best overall
  • Best for features
  • Best on a budget
  • Best tiny

Best Overall

Google Pixel 2

google-pixel-2-top-glass-camera.jpg?itok

See at Verizon
See at Google Store

For two years, the Pixel has been the quintessential Google phone, and the HTC-made Pixel 2 is our top recommendation for shoppers in need of a small phone.

The Pixel 2 may wield last year’s processor, the Snapdragon 835, but it sits in a class of its own when it comes to performance. It’s comfortable to hold thanks to a relatively small 5-inch 1080p display, and features front-facing speakers, water resistance, and one of the best cameras on the market. Despite a seemingly small 2700mAh battery, it even manages impressive battery life.

Bottom line: For the Google purist in search of a small phone, the Pixel 2 is the pretty much the complete package.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 lacks a headphone jack and wireless charging, though it does include a USB-C audio dongle in the box.

Why the Google Pixel 2 is the best

There’s no better way to experience Android the way Google intends it than with a Pixel phone. The Pixel 2 dispels the notion that small phones can’t offer a flagship experience, with the same spec sheet and performance as the larger Pixel 2 XL — without its various known issues.

The Pixel 2 is the first Google-branded phone with IP67 water resistance, and the first to offer front-facing speakers since the Nexus 6P. It also takes some of the best photos we’ve ever seen from a phone with its 12.2 MP primary camera, and the front-facing camera can capture great-looking selfies — even offering Portrait Mode through the use of machine learning. Google also sweetens the deal by including free unlimited backups on Google Photos for Pixel 2 owners.

You can buy the Pixel 2 in one of three attractive colors (Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White), and two storage options (64GB or 128GB), though there’s no microSD expandability, so choose wisely.

Best for features

Samsung Galaxy S9

samsung-galaxy-s9-coral-blue-on-table.jp

See at Amazon

The Galaxy S9 is one of the most powerful compact phones on the market, and even though it features a 5.8-inch display, it’s in a body barely larger than the Pixel 2. The Galaxy S9 takes all of the great design qualities of the GS8 and improves upon them, repositioning the fingerprint sensor to a logical place and dramatically improving the camera. Thanks to stronger glass and thicker metal, it’s less scratch-prone, too.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S9 is a one-handed marvel, even though it’s got a large 5.8-inch display.

One more thing: The Galaxy S9+ is the phone’s larger sidekick, and it comes with a bigger screen, larger battery, and dual cameras.

Best affordable phone

Moto G6

moto-g6-review-22.jpg?itok=Z3GTRAdN

See at Amazon

The Moto G6 is one of the best smartphone deals today. It’s a modern-looking phone with a 5.7-inch 18:9 display, a reasonably powerful Snapdragon 450 processor, and a surprisingly good 12MP rear camera — all for just over $200. The 3000mAh battery lasts a good while, and the ultra-clean Oreo-based software is about as good as it gets for the price.

Bottom line: The Moto G6 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable unlocked phone in a fairly compact size.

One more thing: Don’t be scared off by the Prime Exclusive version — it just comes with some Amazon software that can be disabled anyway.

Best “really tiny” phone

Xperia XZ2 Compact

sony-xperia-xz2-preview-23.jpg?itok=XsXI

See at Amazon

Sony’s Xperia XZ2 Compact brings all of the features one expects of a flagship down to the palmable size. The line is one of the few that balances features, performance, and dimensions, and the XZ2 Compact is no exception, with a Snapdragon 845 and all the camera improvements of its Xperia XZ2 counterpart. Thanks to the combination of a 5-inch display and an 18:9 aspect ratio, it’s much smaller than even the Pixel 2.

Bottom-line: You won’t find another 5-inch phone with such high-end specs and small bezels, and it’s made even better with Android 8.0 Oreo on board.

One more thing: There’s now a fingerprint sensor on the back, and it works in the U.S.

Conclusion

The Pixel 2 is simply the best compact Android experience around. You get pure Google software, a best-in-class camera, water resistance, front-facing speakers, and high-end specs, all in a small form factor that can easily fit in your hand or pocket. As always, it can be a bit difficult to find certain configurations in stock, but once you get your hands on one, the Pixel 2 leaves little to be desired — except maybe a headphone jack and wireless charging.

Best Overall

Google Pixel 2

google-pixel-2-top-glass-camera.jpg?itok

See at Verizon
See at Google Store

For two years, the Pixel has been the quintessential Google phone, and the HTC-made Pixel 2 is our top recommendation for shoppers in need of a small phone.

The Pixel 2 may wield last year’s processor, the Snapdragon 835, but it sits in a class of its own when it comes to performance. It’s comfortable to hold thanks to a relatively small 5-inch 1080p display, and features front-facing speakers, water resistance, and one of the best cameras on the market. Despite a seemingly small 2700mAh battery, it even manages impressive battery life.

Bottom line: For the Google purist in search of a small phone, the Pixel 2 is the pretty much the complete package.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 lacks a headphone jack and wireless charging, though it does include a USB-C audio dongle in the box.

Update, June 2018: We’ve replaced the Moto G5 Plus with the Moto G6 as our affordable recommendation.

28
Jun

What was your first smartphone?


Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

If you take some time to really think about it, it’s truly amazing how far we’ve come in the smartphone space over the course of just a few years. Not all that long ago, phones like the Galaxy S9, iPhone X, and others would seem like something out of science fiction movie.

pre-vs-droid.jpg?itok=QfdgdGkp

As great as the phones of today are, however, there will always be a special place in everyone’s heart for their very first smartphone. It may not be amazing or even good by today’s standards, but it can still be a lot of fun to look back at what used to be.

One of our forum users popped the question of “what was your first smartphone?”, and this is what some of you had to say.

avatar305138_2.gifdjrakowski
06-26-2018 12:37 PM

Blackberry Curve 8330 on Verizon, and I think it cost $199 and tied me to a 2-year contract with hefty termination fees. Good times!

Reply

avatar2882902_2.gifDMP89145
06-26-2018 06:22 PM

Motorola Droid Maxx HD.. I think 2011. Up until then I was rocking a flip phone and thought smart phones would be a fad.:p

Reply

avatar1305408_1.gifkenorian
06-27-2018 11:33 AM

I think I will have most folks beat…
Palm Treo 650, circa 2004.

Reply

default.jpgankit3302
06-28-2018 04:45 AM

My first smartphone was Samsung Galaxy Y which had Android2.3.3 version i.e. Gingerbread version.

Reply

As for me, my first smartphone was the Palm Pre from 2009. Even though it’d probably be maddening to try and use the thing in 2018, I’ll occasionally find myself daydreaming about its quirky design, great keyboard, and fantastic operating system that was WebOS.

Now, let’s hear from the rest of you! What was your first smartphone?

Join the conversation in the forums!

28
Jun

Instagram Lite launches on the Play Store, available first in Mexico


Instagram will expand the app’s rollout to other countries later in the year.

instagram-pixel-2-hero-2.jpg?itok=MLbPD5

Similar to what we’ve seen from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Instagram’s now testing a new, lightweight version of its mobile app called “Instagram Lite.”

As the name suggests, Instagram Lite strives to offer all the core features of Instagram in an app that’s considerably smaller and easier to run on lower-end hardware. Instagram Lite weighs in at only 573Kb which is a huge step down from the main app’s 32Mb size, and you can use it to scroll through your feed, post pictures, and even watch your friends’ stories.

instagram-lite-screenshot-1.jpg?itok=EkRinstagram-lite-screenshot-2.jpg?itok=7cqinstagram-lite-screenshot-3.jpg?itok=a5S

There’s currently no way to access your direct messages in Instagram Lite, but according to the Play Store listing, this is a feature that’s “coming soon.”

Unfortunately, you might have to wait a while before you can actually download the app. Instagram told TechCrunch that Instagram Lite is currently only being tested in Mexico, but the company plans on expanding it to other countries throughout the year.

If you do happen to live in Mexico, though, you can download Instagram Lite right now by clicking/tapping the button below.

Download: Instagram Lite (free)

28
Jun

Totallee Google Pixel 2 Case Review: The perfect case for people that hate cases


Totallee’s slim Pixel 2 case is totally worth your money.

totallee-pixel-2-case-review-7.jpg?itok=

I hate cases. I know they’re important to use and often do a great job at protecting your phone, but I can’t stand the added bulk or weight they usually add. As such, when I came across the Totallee case on Amazon, I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP.

Totallee designed a case that offers basic protection from small drops and bumps without adding any sort of bulk found with 99% of other “slim fit” cases. I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not Totallee’s asking price of $20 would be worth it, so how do the company’s efforts pay off?

Totallee case for Google Pixel 2



pixel-2-totallee-case-amazon.jpg?itok=qh

Price: $19.97

Bottom line: It protects your Pixel 2 from minor bumps and falls and doesn’t feel like anything’s there.

The Good

  • Fits the Pixel 2 like a glove
  • Comes in a good selection of colors
  • It adds zero bulk or weight

The Bad

  • Sometimes difficult to press power/volume buttons

See at Amazon

totallee-pixel-2-case-review-9.jpg?itok=

Are you sure there’s a case on this thing?

Totallee Pixel 2 Case What I like

Without a doubt, the thing I love the most about Totallee’s case is just how thin it really is. It looks like a case and pops onto your phone like one, but once it’s on there, the feel in-hand is no different to a naked Pixel 2 (save for the frosted plastic texture that adds a good amount of grip).

totallee-pixel-2-case-review-5.jpg?itok=totallee-pixel-2-case-review-11.jpg?itok

Despite not adding any sort of bulk, the Totallee case still manages to offer good, basic protection. You don’t have to worry about smudging or scratching the glass panel on the back, the metal frame and back are safe from any sort of chipping of the coating Google adds to the Pixel 2, and you can lightly toss it on a table without having to worry about the end of days.

I opted for Totallee’s Really Blue color, and while it’s not quite as bright as pictured online, still looks leaps and bounds better than Google’s Kinda Blue paint job. If blue isn’t your thing, you can also choose Grey, Frosted White, Midnight Black, and a Clear option that comes with a soft finish.

totallee-pixel-2-case-review-8.jpg?itok=

Press, press again

Totallee Pixel 2 Case What I don’t like

My only real gripe with the Totallee case lies with the cutouts for the power button and volume rocker.

While they aren’t terrible, I do notice that I’ll sometimes go to change the volume and have nothing happen until I move my thumb slightly to the left or right. I think this has to do with how flush the cutouts are around the buttons, and while it’s never a deal-breaker, it’s something that can still be slightly irritating throughout the day.

totallee-pixel-2-case-review-4.jpg?itok=

Totallee Pixel 2 Case

Does Totallee’s case offer complete protection over serious drops or falls? No. If you drop your Pixel 2 on its front, will the screen crack? There’s a good chance, yeah.

If you want a case to offer protection over serious spills like that, get something else. I could give Totallee’s case a terrible review for not offering the same level of protection compared to similarly-priced and cheaper cases, but that’s not what it’s designed to do.

4.5
out of 5


Totallee made this case so you can get a basic safeguard against regular wear-and-tear while also giving your phone a new splash of color. In those regards, they knocked it out of the park.

See at Amazon

28
Jun

Amazon’s Show Mode docks turn the Fire HD 8 and 10 into Echo Shows


There’s also a new Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet.

Alexa seems to have invaded just about all of Amazon’s hardware products, including its Fire HD tablets. Hands-free Alexa functionality was rolled out to the Fire HD 10 last year, and following up on those efforts, Amazon’s now releasing something called “Show Mode.”

amazon-fire-hd-10-show-mode-dock%20cropp

Show Mode will be available on the Fire HD 8 and 10 as part of an over-the-air update on July 2, and once it’s enabled, Show Mode will essentially turn your tablet into a portable Echo Show.

With this on, you’ll be able to ask Alexa to show you the weather, get lyrics to your favorite songs on Prime Music, start a video call with friends and family, and more. All of the same visual elements from the Echo Show and Spot are present with Show Mode, and to help you get the absolute most out of the new feature, Amazon’s also launching Show Mode Charging Docks for both the Fire HD 10 and 8 that’ll keep your device juiced up and automatically enable Show Mode once the tablet is docked.

The charging docks aren’t required to use Show Mode, but they are a nice touch that should make the whole experience feel a little more complete. Also, if you’ve got a Fire HD 8, you’ll need to be connected to power in order to use Show Mode.

amazon-fire-hd-10-kids-edition%20cropped

Additionally, Amazon also announced its new Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet. Similar to other Kids Edition tablets Amazon’s released, the 10-inch variant comes with a fully-featured Fire HD 10 tablet, rugged kid-proof case, two-year “worry-free” guarantee, and a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited.

If you’re interested in any of this, here’s what pricing for Amazon’s new toys looks likes:

  • Fire HD 8 Show Mode Charging Dock — Pre-orders are open at $34.99 (launches July 12 for $39.99)
  • Fire HD 10 Show Mode Charging Dock — Pre-orders are open at $49.99 (launches July 12 for $54.99)
  • Fire HD 10 Kids Edition — Launches on July 11 for $199.99, pre-orders are open now

See at Amazon

Amazon Fire tablets

  • Amazon Fire 7
  • Amazon Fire HD 8
  • Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition
  • Amazon Fire 8 Kids Edition
  • Amazon Fire HD 10

See more at Amazon

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