Amazon Fire TV includes broadcaster on-demand services alongside Amazon Instant Video
Amazon has started to sell its Fire TV media streamer in the United Kingdom, marking the set-top box's first foray in Europe and outside the United States. Following a pre-order period which started in early September, Amazon is selling the Fire TV for £79 ($126) including tax, and is also shipping the Amazon Fire Game Controller separately for £35 ($56).
Second Nook-branded Samsung tablet goes on sale in time for holiday shopping
Samsung is continuing to produce devices under its Nook agreement with Barnes & Noble, by launching its second co-branded tablet in time for the holidays. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 follows the same pattern as laid out by the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, in using effectively the same hardware as the standard Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, but combined with Nook software.
Latest Moto 360 update adds battery saving option, mood lighting
Owners of the Moto 360 smartwatch have received two bits of good news this week. The latest Android Wear update for the Motorola smartwatch introduces more battery-related improvements, along with other software tweaks, while Google Play has started to include the Moto 360 Wireless Charging Dock among its hardware listings.
Alpine launches headphone line with emphasis on feel, adds app to create 'energy' playlists
A new set of consumer headphones was released by Alpine Electronics that sets out to bring the concert experience to users in order to "feel their music." The patented TKR3 full-frequency immersion technology attempts to recreate the sensation of a live show with a "unique sound field expansion." The Bluetooth headphones feature 40mm drivers, programmable audio processing, powered digital amplifiers, and a lithium battery for up to 10 hours of play. The Alpine Headphones can be used with the Alpine Level Play app for iOS, which creates playlists based on the "energy level" of the songs on the device. The Alpine Headphones are available at Alpine's website or Apple Stores for $300.
FCC listing may indicate a late-October release for Razer wearable device
Razer's Nabu connected wristband is getting closer to launch, after finally receiving approval from the FCC. The wearable, which first surfaced at the start of the year before undergoing public beta testing and being subject to delays over hypoallergenic testing, is tantalizingly close to meeting a supposed October launch time, which could allow Razer to capitalize on holiday sales in an increasingly congested market.
Top 5 Barcode Scanners
When it comes to choosing the barcode scanner you are going to buy for your business, there are a lot of choices. But you can't just go out and buy the first scanner you come across. There are some significant differences between some types of barcode scanners. The most important criterion to get a handle on is the type of barcode you use. There are 1D codes like the UPC codes you can find in just about every retail store and then there are 2D codes like QR and DataMatrix which are rarer, and in the case of QR codes, mainly used for other purposes. Some scanners can read all types of barcodes while others can only read the 1D codes. If you use a 1D code format, any scanner you pick will read it so the only other criteria you need to concern yourself with are price and mobility.
No mandatory recall taking place as long as small adjustments made by company
Fitbit offered a statement last week on the findings of an investigation into the Force fitness wristband. The company decided to voluntarily pull the device from store shelves in February 2014, as it was thought to be causing rashes on the wrists of users. CEO James Park took to the company's webpage to give an update on the independent testing and other findings from medical experts, confirming what was believed in the preliminary tests in February.
Approval granted only one day after Google halted pre-orders on Android TV device
Last week Google halted all pre-orders on the Nexus Player after it was discovered that the company didn't have the proper approvals to sell the device. Google jumped the gun on selling the player that is set to ship in November, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) didn't grant the required approvals for to Asus to begin selling the device. However, the suspension of sales was short lived as the FCC approved the device for sale on Sunday.
Two-day battery, heart rate monitor claimed inside Microsoft wearable device
Microsoft could introduce its own wearable device in the next few weeks, a report claims. According to sources of Forbes, Microsoft's rumored smartwatch will attempt to beat its counterparts, such as the Samsung Gear range and the Moto 360, by offering a battery life said to last for more than two days from a single charge, something many current smartwatches struggle with.
Controller uses dedicated motion capture system, snaps together for normal use
Electronista and MacNN's article series Crowdfunding Critic brings readers projects from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that the team believes are interesting or potentially useful. However, be aware that the articles aren't an endorsement of any given project. All crowdfunding campaigns come with risks, so we ask our readers to carefully research the items they are pledging to, as they are investments. In this edition, we take a look at the Mad Genius motion controller.
WatchKit SDK to help development of apps for Apple Watch
Apple is going to help developers create apps for the Apple Watch before its release early next year, by making available a software development kit for the device. WatchKit, being made available to download in November, will allow developers to work on and test their smartwatch apps without having the Apple Watch hardware to hand.
Budget VR headset from Archos can hold a 6-inch smartphone
Archos has stepped into the virtual reality market with its own headset accessory. The Archos VR Glasses are similar to the Samsung Gear VR, the Zeiss VR, and Google Cardboard, in that it can accept a smartphone in the front of the headset to be used as the main display, with the device said to be compatible with Android, Windows Phone, and iOS devices with a screen size of up to six inches.
New iPads for sure, but invitation may hints at a surprise or two
Many sites, pundits and people think they have a sure grip on what's going to be announced later today at Apple's press event, which begins at 10AM Pacific time (1PM Eastern time) and is being held in Apple's own community town hall theatre at the company's headquarters. This generally means a smaller affair and a strictly press-only audience, and on tap for the event is the expected announcement of new iPad models. But what else is likely to happen? We weigh up the rumors and make a few wild guesses.
The Puls makes phones calls, surfs the Internet with built-in 3G radio, AT&T SIM
Singer and entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched the Puls wearable device at Dreamforce in San Francisco today, giving consumers a new wrist-worn device that blends the worlds of fashion and technology to make a modern, functional accessory. Repeatedly reminding the crowd that the I.am.plus Puls was not a watch, Will.i.am showed off a bevy of features the "smart cuff" carries, including the ability to make phone calls or browse the Internet.
Nexus 9 uses 8.9-inch 2048x1536 display, HTC BoomSound front speakers
At the same time as launching the Nexus 6, Google revealed its new larger-sized tablet. The 8mm-thick Nexus 9, produced by HTC, is equipped with an 8.9-inch IPS LCD screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a resolution of 2048x1536, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection, housed in a casing with a soft-grip backing and a brushed-metal trim.
Google-branded HDMI set-top box manufactured by Asus
In conjunction with the other Nexus releases, and the reveal of Android Lollipop, Google has also debuted yet another shot at a television-connected Android device. Called the Nexus Player, the Asus-built device is similar in functionality to the Amazon Fire TV, but draws content from Google Play rather than Amazon Prime.
Google Glass update adds smartwatch-style notifications
Google Glass will soon have the ability to show notifications from a smartphone on the heads-up display, a feature common to smartwatches. Notifications Sync on Glass will show all notifications from the connected Android smartphone, not just those which offer Glass functionality, with the software update expected to roll out to users of the MyGlass app this week.
New Fitbit fitness trackers look similar to Force, adds heart rate monitoring
Fitbit is close to releasing two new models of fitness trackers, with one including a new function, a report suggests. Marketing materials for two wrist-based devices called the Fitbit Charge and the Charge HR has surfaced, and while one seems to be a remodeling of a previous device, the other appears to add the ability for the wearer to monitor their heart rate.
New device creates audio-only network for Sonos streamers
As expected, speaker company Sonos has released the Sonos Boost, a device which aims to provide "enterprise-grade wireless capabilities" to the company's speaker offerings, doubling the Sonos Bridge's effective range. The device connects to an existing Wi-Fi network, and makes a separate network for the wireless Sonos speakers. This removes the traffic from the main network, minimizing streaming problems that may cause audio dropout as a result of network congestion.
Smartwatch from Will.i.am reportedly launching this week
Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am is planning to launch a smartwatch on Wednesday, a report claims. According to The Telegraph, the watch will be launched on Wednesday, and though it may not necessarily be the same device as he teased previously, it will apparently include apps for social networks, use a curved display, have its own cellular connection, and also have a music service powered by 7digital.
Passenger attention lost to devices during safety briefing, claim Association of Flight Attendants
Flight attendants are challenging a decision made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last year, over the use of electronic devices by passengers at all stages of flight. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has sued the FAA over the matter, claiming the change makes flights inherently more dangerous because passengers may not fully understand the safety announcements.
Nearly $250M in accessories sold after iPhone 6 debut, up 43 percent
According to a new report from sales analyst NPD, mobile phone accessories in the US hit a new record in the two weeks immediately following the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Accessory sales were seen to be 43 percent higher than the two weeks before the launch, and far better than the 17 percent increase seen in the same period after the release of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s last year. The new total for accessories in the fortnight was $249 million, topping last year's $195 million.
Exclusive version of Xperia Z3 heading to Verizon alongside Sony SmartWatch 3
Two more Sony devices will be added to Verizon's mobile device roster later this month, the carrier has revealed. A repackaged version of the Xperia Z3 will be going on sale, a smartphone called the Xperia Z3v, while the company's Android Wear device, the SmartWatch 3, will also be heading to the carrier's stores in due course.
Sony Digital Paper e-ink tablet lowered in price by $100 to under $1,000
Sony has lowered the price of its Digital Paper e-ink tablet aimed at legal professionals and educators, though not by much. The tablet, complete with a 13.3-inch 1,200x1,600 e-ink display equipped with stylus input, a three-week battery life, and Wi-Fi connectivity, is said by The eBook Reader to have dropped from $1,100 to $999.
Model Liu Wen had hinted photo shoot previously; will receive promotional spread
The Apple Watch will be prominently featured on the front cover of Vogue China's November issue, worn by top model Liu Wen and accompanied by a feature spread on the forthcoming wearable device. The magazine will hit stands in China on October 17, the same day as pre-orders open for Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were delayed by regulatory snafus. Liu had previously hinted at the collaboration with Apple, tweeting a picture from the recent Colette event and referring to it as her "second" meeting with the watch.
Google announces Chromebook business features aimed at office environments
Google has announced the release of new business-focused features for its Chromebook laptop. Users can now switch easily between personal accounts and one's organization's credential-secured account, and its new single sign-on feature allows for logging in with the same credentials and identity provider used in the rest of an organization. Certificate management for wireless networks is also included, with provisioning Chromebooks with client certificates to access 802.1X EAP-TLS networks now being easier for businesses, schools and government institutions.
Listings for Apple TV, Philips television packages in India spotted
Philips has started to offer a new range of televisions in India, with the sets being made available bundled with the Apple TV. The collection, which will start from Rs 29,990 ($490) for the base model, will apparently include the Apple set-top box to provide smart TV functionality, as Philips attempts to cash in on holiday season sales in the country.
Google News & Weather released for iOS
Google has released its News and Weather app for iOS, offering iPhone and iPad users a personalized news interface. Originally released for Android last month, users can access news coverage from sixty-five thousand publications by way of simple swipe-access to various categories. The layout is highly customizable, with option to choose from sixty country-specific editions and news sections such as Hollywood, NASA, Fashion, and more. To view more in-depth content, users can tap any story to view a full story. Free to download, Google News and Weather requires iOS 7.0 or later to run.
Google adds backdrop customization options to Chromecast app
Google is starting to enable customizable backdrops for the Chromecast, a feature it first revealed in June. Rolling out from today, owners of the streaming dongle can customize the image feed from the Chromecast app for Android and iOS, including photo albums from Google+, artwork from the Google Cultural Institute, and news images from various publications. More information about an image on display can be brought up by asking the Google search app "What's on my Chromecast?" on any other mobile device on the same network.
Both have ring of six micro lights around lens, WG-30W adds Wi-Fi connectivity
Ricoh has added another pair of cameras to its ruggedized outdoor snapper range. The WG-30 and WG-30W are compact 16-megapixel cameras designed for use outdoors in extreme activities, with the pair able to survive submergence to a depth of 12 meters (39.3 feet), environments as cold as -10C (14F), withstand drops from a height of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet), and being crushed by up to 220 pounds in weight.
Set-top box from EE streams to four tablets over local network
British carrier EE has expanded its service into the living room, by launching its first set-top box. The EE TV is similar to YouView, in that it provides access to over 70 Freeview broadcast channels, catch-up services, and access to other online services such as YouTube, though unusually the company has opted to heavily integrate it with mobile devices.
Delayed HTC smartwatch held back to make it more 'compelling' to use
A smartwatch will not be making an appearance at today's HTC launch event, according to a report. The manufacturer is apparently holding off from launching its own wearable device until sometime next year, though comments from high-level employees seem to suggest the reason behind the delay is more case of perfectionism rather than too much competition.
Price may be key factor in low interest, but regard for Apple generally still growing
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has revealed more of the results of his semi-annual survey of teenaged buyers, which recently showed the iPhone and iPad as continuing to dominate teen buying choices when it came to smartphones and tablets. The latest data unsurprisingly showed that teenagers are lukewarm about the forthcoming Apple Watch.
Square updates its Cash app, introduces Nearby Payments feature
Square has released an update for its Cash iOS app, including a new Nearby Payments feature. Cash allows users with a US bank account to send or request money via text message or email, free of charge. Payments are deposited to one's bank account in minutes, using an existing Visa or MasterCard debit card, and payments that are not claimed within 14 days are automatically refunded to the user.
Squarespace announces major platform update, adding Google Apps, Getty Images
Squarespace has announced the release of Squarespace 7, a major platform update comprised of new features and integrations. Squarespace provides tools for Web and mobile content creation, and the latest release aims to improve upon the rebuilt codebase of Squarespace 6. Using a new visual language, according to its Frequently Asked Questions page, Squarespace 7's icons and buttons are now clearer, simpler and more intuitive.
Preorder of Plastc Card begins now, shipment commences summer 2015
Gadget company Plastc announced its first product -- the Plastc Card. The Plastc Card consolidates many physical magnetic strip cards into one device -- including credit, debit, loyalty, gift, and access cards. Working in tandem with a Plastc Wallet app for iPhone and Android, the company claims that its device provides more security than traditional cards as well as other digital wallets.
Alleged internal document claims December Gear VR launch, $187 price
Samsung will start shipping its Gear VR peripheral at the start of December, a report claims. The virtual reality headset, officially unveiled during September's Unpacked event, is said to be heading to retail in South Korea from December 1st, with an allegedly leaked internal document claiming it will cost consumers 200,000 won ($187).
Rumored HTC-produced Nexus 9 may be squarer than earlier devices
Rumors about a HTC-produced Nexus tablet are not continuing to snowball, with two new sources suggesting such a device is on the way. An image on Twitter allegedly shows the back of the fabled tablet, while a separate report stemming from an FCC filing suggests the display could have a slightly different aspect ratio compared to earlier Nexus devices.
FCC listing shows cross-platform Lenovo fitness tracker with seven-day battery
A wearable device from Lenovo has appeared at the FCC, appearing to depict a form of fitness tracker. The Lenovo SW-B100 Smartband, pictured extensively in the filing, shows a watch strap with a narrow and flat area in the middle, with a basic LED or LCD display likely to be visible on the outside of the device when worn, while a sensor which could be a heart rate monitor is spied on the inside.
Amplification of existing standard utilizes existing resources, new development
ARM has announced a new software platform and free operating system to simplify and speed up the creation and deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) products. The ARM mbed IoT Device Platform has been built around open standards, and will bring Internet protocols, security, and standards-based manageability into one solution aimed at inexpensive low-power connected devices.
Leonardo DiCaprio drops out of consideration for Jobs role; Boyle on as new director
The Sony Pictures-produced, Aaron Sorkin-authored big-budget biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has undergone some changes recently, notes The Hollywood Reporter. Original director David Fincher who was previously reported to have left the project, has been replaced by Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle. Boyle, who wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the title role in the movie, will have to pick another star, as DiCaprio has dropped out of the race for the part. Other actors possibly in the running include Ben Affleck, Christian Bale (Fincher's original choice), Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon.
MacNN and Electronista weekly deals for October 3, 2014
It is the start of October, which means that there's only a few weeks to go until a vast amount of chocolates and candy needs to be acquired to hand out over Halloween. While you still have some cash, before spending too much on sweet food for costumed children, have a look at the sales and deals we find for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying.
TV and movie streaming service updates its subscription-based iOS app
Hulu Plus, a TV and movie streaming subscription app, has received an update, featuring an overall redesign. Requiring a paid subscription, users can watch current episodes of popular TV shows, kids shows, and classic series. Hulu Plus v4.0 features a new simplified aesthetic, with key features including Shows You Watch, a Navigation section for viewing Hulu's catalog, a revised Search and a Share functionality for sharing content to social media platforms. The Home feature displays curated content suggestions, and its Player has new controls and a nested menu for captions, sharing and casting to a TV.
Upgraded Android tablet from Tesco ships in range of 64 colors
British retailer Tesco has launched its expected follow-up to the Hudl Android tablet. The Hudl 2 increases the size of the screen from the original's 7-inch 1440x900 to a 1080p 8.3-inch version, powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.83GHz with 2GB of RAM, with a fair number of other areas receiving similar small upgrades.
Mirroring update for Roku 3, Roku Streaming Stick rolling out now
Roku owners are able to mirror their Windows desktops with the streaming set-top box, the company has revealed. The screen mirroring option, offered in beta for the Roku 3 and the Roku Streaming Stick, has been available in a range of devices for some time, most notably in the Chromecast, with the addition bringing Roku in line with its Google-created competitor.
Designer will remain based in UK, lead his own company
Designer Marc Newson, recently hired to join Sir Jonathan Ive's design team at Apple, has confirmed in a new interview that his work with the iconic iPhone maker is part-time, and that he will continue to run his own design company and operate out of the UK -- confirming rumors that Newson would only be called to California on occasion. "My role at Apple doesn't necessitate all of my time, and that was for very specific reasons," he said, but couldn't elaborate on what he was working on for Apple.
Piper Jaffray's Munster forecasts 10M units in first year, ASP of $500
Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, while calling the Apple Watch "light years ahead of any other smartwatch on the market," nevertheless advised both clients and market watchers to expect "conservative" initial sales of the device in its first year. Like the iPod, which took three years to become the dominant force in music players, Munster said that "consumer application may be limited initially, until developers begin to create useful applications for the watch."
Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS watch shows smartphone notifications on color display
Garmin has introduced another device in its Forerunner GPS watch range. The Forerunner 920XT, a follow-up to last year's Forerunner 910XT, is able to track the wearer's physical activities and provide a variety of statistics on its display, but improves on its predecessor by using a color display, being 15 percent lighter, and offers increased connectivity options.
Software update adds background activity tracking to Pebble smartwatch
Pebble, the Kickstarter-funded smartwatch, has been updated with some new functionality, and new prices. An incoming update for the smartwatch will enable activity tracking functionality for the first time, with the manufacturer dropping the price of both the standard Pebble and the Pebble Steel by $50, bringing them to $99 and $199 respectively.
HighPoint Technologies launches RocketStor 6361A Single-PCIe slot Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis
HighPoint Technologies has announced the launch of the RocketStor 6361A, the newest product within its RocketStor 6300 Thunderbolt 2 Adapter series. A single PCIe-slot Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis, the RocketStor 6361A is designed for Thunderbolt- and Thunderbolt 2-capable Mac platforms, delivering 20GB/s bandwidth for interface cards such as media capture, 10GB/s Ethernet, Fibre Channel, or external storage/RAID controllers.