Design sketches, website render of OneWatch hint at OnePlus smartwatch design
OnePlus, the manufacturers of the CyanogenMod-based OnePlus One smartphone, may be making its own smartwatch. Leaked images suggest the company is working on a round-faced smartwatch in a similar vein to Motorola's Moto 360, with a screenshot of the OnePlus website seemingly suggesting the OneWatch will be launching sometime in the near future.
Curved LG OLED 4K television apparently shipping in September
Just days after LG put its 105-inch curved Ultra HD television up for pre-order, it appears the electronics producer is preparing to do the same with a smaller model. The 65EC9700, a 65-inch Ultra HD curved television using OLED will apparently start shipping sometime in September, with a price tag far below its 105-inch counterpart.
Wunderlist 3 gets design revamp, real-time sync, public lists, more
To-do app Wunderlist has reached version 3.0, and is celebrating with fresh, iOS 7-inspired look, among other changes. The biggest changes users would immediately notice are the design, the real-time sync and a new option to make a list public. Users can also share lists with selected other Wunderlist users (such as family) across nearly any mobile or desktop platform, with instant updating.
Campaign funds a second low power screen for Android devices
It's time for Thursday's edition of Crowdfunding Critic. Every Tuesday and Thursday here on MacNN and Electronista, we're going to look at crowd-funded projects that we find interesting. Keep in mind that we aren't specifically endorsing anything, or telling you that there aren't any risks in funding a prospective project, we're just pointing out projects we found that we like. Please do your research before investing! Today's selection brings an underused technology, E-ink, to smartphone cases -- the InkCase Plus by Oaxis.
Bendable Ultra HD television can switch from flat to curved screen using motors
A television capable of moving from a flat display to a curved screen is being made available for pre-orders in South Korea. Samsung's Bendable Ultra HD TV is able it switch between flat and curved on its own, with motors on each side of the television pushing the edges out to create the concave shape, as well as pulling the display back to its flat form.
Effect on launch schedules uncertain
Changes in profit forecasts at TPK may signal delays in iWatch production, reports suggest. Taiwanese publication UDN notes that TPK -- thought to be making touch modules for the iWatch -- has pushed back a predicted third-quarter profit surge into the next quarter. Since suppliers often experience such surges in association with Apple orders, it could mean that iWatch production has suffered setbacks. TPK also provides touch components for devices like the iPhone and iPad, however.
Large 105-inch LG television goes on sale one week after similar Samsung screen
LG has opened pre-orders for the 105-inch curved Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES, one week after Samsung did the same for its own large-screened television. The 105UC9 LG display has a relatively similar specifications list to the Samsung screen, with an almost identical price tag as well, though LG is opting to initially offer it just within South Korea, before attempting to put it on sale elsewhere.
Apple technology will be used by Swirl, Motorola Solutions to deploy in Canadian, US stores
HBC Department Store Group, which owns both the Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay department store chain, has announced it will be using indoor iBeacons leveraging Apple technology, manufactured by Motorola Solutions and powered by software from Swirl Networks across more than 130 of the corporation's stores in Canada and the US. The move follows in the footsteps of Macy's, which did a similar deployment of iBeacons last November in stores in New York City and San Francisco.
Software confirms Gear VR modular design, installs three apps for use including manager
On top of getting their hands on a render photo and a name for Samsung's upcoming virtual reality (VR) device earlier this month, Sammobile was able to spend some time with an early version of the software responsible for controlling the Gear VR. Called Gear VR Manager, the software shows off some of the basic usage features of the headset, along with the setup.
Sony's PlayStation announces upcoming 3D Blu-ray support for PS4
Sony's PlayStation has announced that its next system update for PS4 will include support for 3D Blu-ray releases. The firmware update, v1.75, is anticipated to arrive next week, according to PlayStation Europe's tweet from earlier today. This information was released in light of Microsoft's announcement of Xbox One's upcoming 3D Blu-ray support.
MacNN and Electronista Friday deals for July 25, 2014
It's that time of the week again, time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy! We have a tendency to add deals over the weekend as we find them, so check back often!
Google Glass developer kit adds support for external webcams
Google has added support for external cameras to Google Glass, on top of the existing built-in imaging sensor. Android Police reports the latest Glass Development Kit update enables the use of an external webcam connected via a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable, though it warns plug-and-play does not work, and if it includes a microphone, it may disable voice commands. Glass owners looking to try it out will have to wait for a developer to create an app for it, as Google does not supply an application to view through a connected webcam.
Does the matchbook-sized digital to analog converter perform?
Every computer with a microphone or headphone port has one -- a digital to analog converter (DAC). There are nearly as many chipsets and DAC models as there are models of laptop, and as many opinions on the efficacy of various implementations. Cambridge Audio has a USB one to supplement its line -- the DacMagic XS. Does the little device do as it promises, and actually boost the listening quality of digitally encoded music? Read our review and see.
One-year anniversary of Chromecast celebrated with extended music trial
Google is providing owners of the Chromecast streaming dongle in the United States free access to Google Play Music All Access for 90 days. An extension of an offer which has already been made available in other Chromecast countries for some time, it is being made available to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Chromecast's launch.
E-book subscription service Oyster launches web and mobile web reader
Oyster, an e-book subscription service, has announced its launch of new web and mobile web readers. The expansion marks its second new platform in the past month (with the first launch specifically for Android users in June). Pages in the web reader will scroll smoothly from top to bottom, with five reader themes to select from. Oyster is partnered with over 1,600 publishers, and offers access to a diverse library for $10 per month.
Says it only supplies some components to mobile phone makers
Swatch has quickly denied a report that it's working with Apple on iWatch-related projects, according to Reuters. A spokeswoman for the company claims that the report is unfounded, and that the only involvement Swatch has with phone makers is supplying various components, such as integrated circuits. Apple's iWatch is expected to ship in the fall.
Razer Nabu slated for launch in US in next two months
Game peripherals manufacturer Razer is adding support for WeChat to its Nabu smartband, while also confirming the device is shipping soon. The two companies are apparently working together on ways to use the Nabu, including exchanging contacts by shaking hands and comparing fitness statistics with friends using WeChat, as well as allowing the wearable device to display notifications from the messaging service.
Collaboration, if true, could bring diversity of styles and models
Though Swatch is perhaps best-known these days for pooh-poohing the idea that Apple's forthcoming "iWatch" health device would "be a revolution," a new rumor from anonymous sources claims that the Swiss watchmaker may be among other watch firms working with Apple to bring the "iWatch" technologies to a wide range of co-branded devices for different markets. While such collaborations would be unusual for Apple normally, the company has been opening itself up to more partnerships lately.
Griffin Technology's Survivor Slim rugged iPad Air case now available
Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.
Plug gives control, data on power consumption, but application needs work
Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs, and ramping up to larger machines like refrigerators and washing machines, the home automation market appears to be growing every day. Smaller devices are still paving the way for consumers to jump into "smart home" products, giving companies like D-Link a chance to test the waters with new offerings. One such product, the Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) gives consumers a small taste of remote home control and monitoring. But is it the correct entry item for users to try? Find out in our review.
Kenu's Airframe+ phone car mount now available
Kenu has released a new extended size of its Airframe phone car mount, the Airframe+. The Airframe+ allows drivers to have their smartphone at eye level in the vehicle, ready for accessing GPS directions, streaming music, and engaging in hands-free calls. Its expandable, spring-loaded jaw supports a full range of smartphones and "phablets", the mount is capable of accommodating devices that include the iPhone 5 and 5s, with a four-inch screen, to the Lumia 1520, with a six-inch screen. Oversized cases, such as the Otterbox Defender and Mophie battery cases, can also fit inside the mount.
Curved 4K television includes installation by Samsung engineers
Samsung has put the 105-inch Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES this year up for pre-order in the United States. The UN105S9, a super-sized curved television capable of displaying a 4K-resolution image, is being priced by the electronics giant at $120,000, far higher than any other television in the company's entire S9 television range, including last year's $40,000 set.
Says meeting involved company's product creation process
In a new TV interview, LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant confirms that he did recently meet with Apple design head Jonathan Ive. Talking with Bloomberg, though, Bryant makes no mention of the iWatch or other future Apple products. Instead he says that he has been talking to leaders across industries to learn more about the product creation process, since he is moving into business as he comes to the end of his basketball career.
Suggests basic and rejected iWatch capabilities
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a comprehensive patent titled Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor, which describes a number of the ideas the company has since integrated into its upcoming iWatch. The concept watch -- in diagrams referred to as the "iTime" -- would, for instance, be able to connect to devices like iPhones, iPads, and desktops. An unusual suggestion though is that it might be dependent on a special wristband, equipped with technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, haptic feedback, biometric sensors, and/or wireless receivers.
Xiaomi Mi 4 has 5-inch 1080p display, claimed quick-charging battery
Chinese mobile device manufacturer Xiaomi has unveiled two new items for the Chinese market. The Xizomi Mi 4 continues the Mi device line with a 5-inch display and a hint of iPhone styling, while the Mi Band is a low-cost fitness band which can be used as a proximity security system for the smartphone, allowing the Mi 4 to automatically unlock when it is held in the same hand that is also wearing the band.
Does Patriot have the right formula for high quality backup batteries
Mobile device batteries are better than they used to be, but there's always a scenario where users could use more juice. Upgrade manufacturer Patriot has a solution -- it has a line of portable batteries intended for charging devices on-the-go, called the Fuel+. In theory, a booster battery is easy -- implement a battery, some ports, and a way to charge the battery, and done. In actuality, proper execution of an external battery is a bit more complex. Does Patriot have the balance right? Check our review to find out.
Meeting between executives concerned Android Wear, Tizen use in smartwatches
Google is unhappy by Samsung's choice to use Tizen for its main smartwatch platform instead of Android Wear, according to a report. CEO Larry Page is said to have spent time earlier this month with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee in a "tense private meeting" over the smartwatch software issue, with Samsung allegedly spending more on devices running Tizen than Google's new Android offshoot.
Rumored Shield Tablet has similar appearance to predecessor, metallic speaker grilles
An image of what is believed to be Nvidia's next attempt at a gaming tablet has leaked. Thought to be called the Shield Tablet, tying into an earlier certification leak, the device appears to have a similar appearance to the company's previous Tegra Note 7 tablet, though apparently it will have a slightly different placement of front-facing camera and metallic sections covering the speaker grilles.
In-store testing of Google Glass provided to potential users
Google is stepping up its Glass promotional efforts, by offering free demonstrations of the wearable device. The search company is sending e-mails to potential users interested in the headwear, inviting them to to try it out, supervised by a Google employee, at one of the Glass service centers in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Natural acoustic iPhone dock Eight now available
A new acoustic amplifier has been released for iPhone, composed of a natural wood construction. The Eight is hand sanded and hand oiled, making the wood structure the center of the design. Made of walnut and Birdseye maple, the iPhone dock features a built-in microphone, and its speakers are inspired by the shape of an ear, with conically-shaped chambers that produce aesthetically pleasing sound. The iPhone is accessible for use while in the dock, and its built-in slot includes a Lightning cable that can charge an iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Priced at $300, the Eight wooden dock is available internationally.
Nest is essentially jailbroken, uses a custom tool to end reporting back to company
A group of researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) discovered a way to root the Nest thermostat in the process of finding a way to hack the device to steal data and install malware. Led by engineering professor Yier Jin, the team used physical access to accomplish the hack even though it is built with security in mind. During the hacking discovery, the team came up with a way to stop the device from reporting data back to Google (or Nest).
SlingTV reuses Slingbox 500 hardware, adds software update
Sling Media has launched two new models of its Slingbox media streamer, including one spotted at the FCC one month ago. Upgrades to the Slingbox 350 and 500 launched in 2012, the Sling M1 is an entry-level streaming device providing simple remote access to home TV channels, while the SlingTV adds a software update to existing Slingbox 500 hardware to provide smart TV features and to act as an alternative to a set-top box from a cable provider.
Google's Chrome browser app for iOS adds Chromecast support
Google has updated its Chrome browser app for iOS today, adding Chromecast support. Chrome for iOS syncs tabs and bookmarks across devices, can translate webpages in any language, and allows users to open as many tabs as is desired. Chrome v36.0.19 allows mobile sites that have added Cast support to work one's Cast-enabled device. Additionally included in the update are stability-focused improvements and bug fixes. Chrome for iOS is free to download and requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Says sapphire will be reserved for most expensive model
There are three different versions of the iWatch planned for launch this fall, claims Taiwanese publication the Economic Daily News. The main distinction is said to be between models with 1.6- and 1.8-inch displays. The latter, though, is expected to come in two forms, one with sapphire coating and the other without.
New NAS can push 30FPS 1080p video to five devices simultaneously
Synology America has unveiled the DS415play, the four-bay follow-up to 2014's popular two-bay DS214play. As the second Synology NAS to support hardware video transcoding, the DS415play delivers full 1080p HD video to nearly any media-streaming device, with multiple streamers able to connect simultaneously.
Third-party companies previously made iBeacon devices, intent of device is unknown
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released documents on July 4 outlining a new device from Apple which point to a company-made iBeacon. The device was first spotted by router maker Securifi, which lists the new device seeking approval wireless certification from the FCC for the "Apple iBeacon." Previously, iBeacon hardware was only made by third-party manufacturers.
Pilot scheme makes 3D printers available in 12 Home Depot stores
Home Depot is expanding its products range to include 3D printers in some of its retail outlets. A total of 12 stores located in California, Illinois, and New York will start stocking MakerBot devices from today as a pilot program, with the products available including not only MakerBot's Replicator line, but also the Digitizer 3D scanner, accessories, and plastic filament for use with the devices.
Upgraded Raspberry Pi adds more USB ports, microSD slot
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched an upgraded version of its popular Raspberry Pi micro computer. The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is similar to the original credit card-sized PC in many respects, but with quite a few updates to modernize and improve the device, as well as making it even more useful for various electronics-based projects and in education.
Logitech announces Harmony Ultimate now working with Nest Learning Thermostat
Logitech has announced that its smart remote control, the Harmony Ultimate, is now compatible with the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Harmony Ultimate allows users to control home theatre devices behind closed cabinets and walls, as well as access IR devices as well as Bluetooth game consoles. Its new Nest compatibility means that when the remote is paired with the thermostat, the Harmony Ultimate can facilitate setting temperatures. Additionally, the remote sensor can detect the user's nearby presence, and so can switch off nest's Auto-Away mode. The Harmony Ultimate is priced at $350.
Google Cardboard offers an incredibly good VR experience
One of the highlights of the Google I/O developer event for 2014 was the debut of the experimental Google Cardboard project. With the dawn of mass market virtual reality finally upon us thanks to the arrival of the Oculus Rift (at least in early beta hardware form), Google Cardboard seems decidedly low-tech by comparison. Seemingly a little odd at first, the Cardboard premise is a simple one: bring a virtual reality experience to an even wide audience, on the cheap, to anyone who owns a relatively recent Android smartphone. Made from its namesake cardboard, could it possibly be any good?
Electronista and MacNN staff deal picks for July 11, 2014
Another week, another episode of "Friday Deals!" Every Friday, we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy!
LG G Watch and Android Wear don't deliver a revolutionary wearable experience
There is a term in product development called "Minimum Viable Product," used to refer to products that are designed only to be sufficient for getting feedback or market testing a concept. Enter the LG G Watch. It is like a blank canvas that represents the minimum requirements to showcase Google's nascent Android Wear mobile platform. However, at $199, it represents a relatively affordable entry point into the world of wearable devices for early adopters who want to see whether Android Wear could be the next big thing.
IK Multimedia launches portable Lightning/USB iRig MIDI 2
IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets -- IN, OUT and THRU -- which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.
Wearable wants to help users establish a routine rather than count steps
Adidas keyed the public in on the official release of the Fit Smart wearable today during the Wearable Technologies Conference 2014 in San Francisco. The band was initially reported on in June, after FCC and retailer listings revealed that the athletics company planned to release an entry into the growing wearable market.
LivePro projector can act as LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for eight devices
Sprint is launching a new device on its network later this week that combines three items in one. The ZTE-produced Sprint LivePro is a miniature portable projector, which aside from being able to project an image between 10 inches and 10 feet in size, also functions as an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and is capable of charging up a smartphone or tablet using its 5,000mAh battery.
Hospital management, smart homes, retail, enterprise use all expected to grow
A new report from ABI Research claims that the technology behind Apple's iBeacons is set to expand on a massive scale over the next five years, thanks to new applications that will make use of the "indoor GPS" abilities and personal notification services of Bluetooth LE-powered beacons. While Apple is the best-known "brand" of Bluetooth-enabled sensors with its iBeacon hardware and technology catching on, the study says Apple is unlikely to get into making the actual hardware that will generate $500 million a year by 2019.
Nike's exit from wearables market turns into gain for 'iWatch' project
Two former Nike Fuelband engineers have jumped ship to join Apple, presumably to lend further support to the company's expected "iWatch" health and fitness device, according to discoveries made on the pair's LinkedIn profiles. Both hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale started with Apple last month, just two months after Nike gutted its own Fuelband team and essentially exited the wearables market.
Samsung's foray into virtual reality named 'Gear VR,' to be announced with Note 4
New information on Samsung's virtual reality (VR) headset was leaked today, according to Sammobile. The company claims that a new photo of the device was found, indicating that it's closer to the Google cardboard VR accessory rather than a full headset like the Oculus Rift. The publication says that the Gear VR should be announced during Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2014 in September.
Panasonic updates Toughpad FZ-G1 10-inch rugged Windows tablet
Panasonic has announced the release of an upgrade to its Toughpad FZ-G1, a rugged 10-inch tablet. Featuring a faster fourth-generation Intel Core i5 vPro processor, an advanced Windows 8.1 Pro update, and a new battery life of up to 10 hours, the Toughpad FZ-G1 is intended for mobile professionals such as military personnel and first responders.
MBPs, monitors and more
This week, Adorama has the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro for the reduced price of $2,550. That's $150 off the list price of $2,700, and the lowest price we've seen on this model by nearly $100. This MacBook Pro features a 2.8GHz processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.