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.
TextExpander Touch adds new keyboard variations, VoiceOver accessibility feature
Productivity applications developer Smile has released an update for TextExpander Touch, a customizable typing shortcut tool for iOS devices. Users can expand custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently-used text, and is able to function in all apps. TextExpander touch v3.1 offers the addition of Portugese and Swedish keyboard variations, as well as QWERTY variants to French, German, and Spanish keyboard via the app's Layout setting. "Play Expansion Sound" and "Key Clicks" are now separate preferences, and abbreviations that contain or end with spaces are supported. VoiceOver accessibility to on-boarding is included, as well as minor bug fixes. Priced at $5, TextExpander Touch 3.1 requires iOS 8.
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.
Zeiss VR One able to accept variety of smartphones using custom trays
Lens producer Carl Zeiss is stepping into the virtual reality headset market, with its own device. Similar in construction to the Oculus Rift, the Zeiss VR One works by turning a high-resolution smartphone into a display, similar to how the Samsung Gear VR uses the Galaxy Note 4, though Zeiss' effort will in theory be able to work with a wider array of devices.
Increases small number of CarPlay options
As hinted at earlier in the year, Alpine has joined Pioneer in introducing CarPlay-compatible in-dash receivers, beginning with the iLX-007. The unit has a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen, and three 2V preouts as well as aux and Lightning inputs. Drivers with rear-view cameras can connect those as well.
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.
Requires separate software for Blu-ray movies
NuMac has announced the BluDrive Plus, an unusual new Blu-ray drive for Macs. Merged with it is 2TB of onboard storage, rated at 100MBs (for both reading and writing), which can be accessed via a separate USB 3.0 port. The Blu-ray component relies on its own USB connection.
UltraWide screen monitors, cheap 4K TVs and more
Newegg.com this week has the LG 21.9-inch UltraWide screen backlight LCD monitor on sale for $250. That's already $100 off the list price of $350, and when coupon code 'AUTMNTIME88' is used at checkout, the price drops even further to $210. All together, that is around $40 less than the next lowest price. This monitor features a resolution of 2560x1080, 5ms response time, a contrast ratio of 1000:1, and provides a variety of input options including DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from LG.
Logitech releases wireless mouse with asymmetrical, curved form
Logitech has introduced a new wireless mouse, designed with a curved shape for a natural hand position. The M320 wireless mouse features an asymmetrical form, with a wide wheel for improved scrolling and an updated optical sensor for precise responsiveness. Though intended for wireless use, its Nano receiver allows users to elect using a cord; when used wirelessly, the mouse automatically enters a sleep mode when not in use to improve the duration of its battery charge. Available in blue, red, black and gray color options, the M320 wireless mouse is priced at $30.
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.
Keyboard takes new approach with redesigned switches, Arx Control app
During Penny Arcade Expo 2014, Electronista had a chance to have some time with a prototype version of Logitech's G910 Orion Spark keyboard before it was officially announced. We sat down to talk to Director of Logitech Gaming Vincent Tucker to about the genesis of the keyboard, as well as the company's gaming accessory design process.
Marks first practical support for platform
Pioneer has issued long-delayed firmware updates, bringing support for Apple's CarPlay platform to several of its NEX receivers. These include the AVH-4000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, and AVIC-8000NEX, which range in cost from $700 to $1,400. CarPlay is also an option on the new $600 AppRadio 4. To leverage of the technology, users must have an iPhone 5 or better, running at least iOS 7.1.
Extensis announces availability of its new modular digital asset management system software
Extensis is launching a new digital asset management (DAM) system tomorrow, Extensis Portfolio. Aiming to provide a more affordable system for companies of all sizes, Extensis Portfolio allows users to holds millions of assets in one catalog or several, and can be used by multiple departments. Companies can choose what they will use with Portfolio's modular platform, with options for mobile DAM, single sign-on, web portals and more. The system's new "Restful" API provides simple integration with other third-party applications, such as eCommerce Systems, collection managements systems, and web content management systems.
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.
Revised dock has eight ports, pass-through Thunderbolt 2 port
Accessory manufacturer Belkin today introduced the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD with cable, a cross-platform docking solution designed for both OS X and Windows-based computers. Equipped with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, the new dock allows users to take full advantage of the technology's high-speed 20Gbps bandwidth, and provides reliable transfers between laptops and up to eight other devices connected through the dock using a single Thunderbolt cable.
Razer bulks up the new RGB LED mouse version with a 10,000DPI optical sensor
Razer announced some additional details for the new Chroma version of the DeathAdder mouse. On top of the 16.3-million-color adjustable LED lighting that was announced in August, Razer is adding a 10,000DPI optical sensor for the mouse. The new sensor is said to support movement speeds up to 200 inches per second, with 50G of acceleration; the same speed of the older version. Previously, however, the DeathAdder had only a 6,400DPI optical sensor.
Offerings advance beyond sports
UK TV network Sky has expanded its Now TV offerings on the Apple TV to include its Entertainment and Movies packages, according to an announcement. The app's user interface is largely the same -- including New In, Most Popular, and Must See categories -- but now extends beyond sports, and has adopted a "flat" look to match the Apple TV's new iOS 8-style aesthetics. The Now TV iOS app has offered a wider range of content for some time.
Simpsons World yet to go live
Apple has silently updated the Apple TV with an expected FX Now app channel. The app offers on-demand streaming of content from FX, FXX, and FXM, featuring shows such as American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy. Viewers must, however, authenticate a cable subscription from a provider such as AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, or Time Warner Cable to utilize the Apple TV channel.
Hybrid capacitive keyboard released in United States, coming to Europe in November
Cooler Master's Novatouch TKL "tenkeyless" keyboard has hit the market in the United States, offering consumers a new switch type that the company calls "hybrid capacitive." The Novatouch is meant not only for gamers looking for an edge, but also professionals looking for a high-quality keyboard with quick response. Cooler Master worked with Japanese company Topre to create the new design, which is a cross between dome and mechanical switches. It requires only a 45-gram force and 1mm travel, less than we were told at Penny Arcade Expo, to actuate.
Palm Pilots? (un)predictive text? iOS 8 internet problems?
This week in the MacNN Forums, "subego" started a thread that appears to be showcasing some of the bizarre interpretations Apple's new predictive text in iOS 8 creates -- either that, or he is simply trying to live up to his "Clinically Insane" ranking by spewing incoherent gibberish. Today a Fresh-Faced Recruit who goes by the name "Swervage" has started a rather unusual thread, lashing out at Apple for not making Mavericks compatible with Palm Pilots, going as far as saying that this is "monumentally moronic" of Apple.
MacBook Air, HP printer and more
Amazon has slashed the price on the 11.6-inch MacBook Air from $999 down to $805. That 19 percent discount dropped the price by $194, and also made this the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by roughly $15. However, at B&H.com they are offering this same Air for $820, and it includes a full copy of Photoshop Lightroom 5 and $50 off Timbuk2 Commute messenger bag. This MBA features a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
CEO hints at still greater uses
People will be able to use the Apple Watch as a remote for their Apple TV, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentions in the full-length version of a recent Bloomberg interview. "I love operating my Apple TV from the watch. I don't have to worry anymore about the remote falling through the cushions of the sofa," he joked. The interviewer notes that the public has yet to see the matching app. "There's -- I don't think we showed this," Cook responds. "I've got a little advance copy. And so it will operate your Apple TV, and you can imagine that it can control other things as well."
New keyboards, headsets and mice offered under the PC gaming company arm
Corsair, known for a wide array for PC parts like solid state drives and power supplies, announced today that it has created a new division within the company specifically for PC gaming. To kick off the launch of Corsair Gaming, three new RGB keyboards, an RGB mouse and two headsets were released to give consumers options, each built with the help of eSports teams and enthusiasts.
Set-top could serve as hub for smarthome platform
The latest Apple TV firmware also includes support for HomeKit, the home automation platform built into iOS 8, a source for Forbes notes. Apple hasn't promoted the fact, and the source suggests this is because there's little reason to do so until other peripherals support it. While HomeKit is available as a platform, and partners like Honeywell and Philips have been announced, certified products haven't begun reaching stores.
D-Link now shipping Wi-Fi Smart Plug
Network accessories company D-Link has announced that its new Wi-Fi Smart Plug is now shipping. Originally introduced in the spring, the device allows users to turn devices on and off from anywhere using the free Mydlink Home app, available for iOS as well as Android. A range of devices are compatible, allowing users to create power on/off schedules that are suitable for frequent travellers.
Sony cameras, 3D TVs, Harman Kardon earbuds and more
Right now at Amazon, save 44 percent on the Sony NEX-6L/B compact interchangeable lens digital camera in black. It was $898, but has been reduced to $500 and is eligible for free two-day shipping. That discount makes this the best price we have seen anywhere by about $230. This digital camera features 16MP resolution, with 10fps burst shooting, Full HD video, interchangeable e-mount lenses, fast hybrid auto focus, Wi-Fi sharing, multi-interface shoe, built-in HDR mode, dual format media card slot, and tons more.
MacNN and Electronista weekly deals for September 19, 2014
Standing in line at the Apple store? We aren't, so this afternoon we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals 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 do add deals over the weekend, so keep checking!
Shrike update teased at PAX Prime made official, upgrades include DPI, LED lighting
Tesoro officially announced the update to the Shrike laser gaming mouse today, a new version that the company had on display at Penny Arcade Expo earlier this month. The mouse retains the same styling and some of the features of the original Shrike, including the adjustable weight system, eight programmable buttons and 128KB memory. The sensor in the mouse has been updated, bumping the DPI from 5600dpi to 8200dpi. An improved version of the software is being released for the mouse, with the LED color programming updated as well.
Will eventually support iCloud Photo Library
Accompanying iOS 8 today is updated firmware for the Apple TV. Immediately visible are new cosmetic touches, namely thinner fonts and "flatter" app icons. It also includes some feature additions, such as a Beats Music channel, making it possible to listen to the subscription service Apple acquired earlier this year.
G910 Orion Spark works with Arx Control mobile app, offers extra in-game data
Logitech has launched a gaming keyboard which offers extra functionality with a smartphone. The G910 Orion Spark can be used with an Arx Control app for iOS and Android, turning the smartphone into a second screen displaying data about the player's performance, with the keyboard also including a small docking area to hold the mobile device upright.
Keyboard works on iOS, Android, Windows, new wireless mice also on the way
Microsoft announced a slate of new accessories with wireless features today, one of which is ready for use with three of the major mobile operating systems. A universal keyboard, wireless mouse, Bluetooth mouse and a PC-ready Xbox One controller are expected to make their way to consumers, starting in the fall.
new Mac Pro for $3,199
This week at MacMall.com, get the new Mac Pro for the sale price of $3,149. That's $150 off the list price of $3,299, and $100 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of California, Tennessee and Wisconsin. This Mac Pro offers a 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage, dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics, and comes with OS X Mavericks (10.9) pre-installed. As always, Apple's one-year warranty on parts and labor applies.
MFi gathering will brief companies on HomeKit, iBeacon, other tech
Apple will hold its annual Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad summit between November 12 and 14 this year in Shenzhen, China, according to an announcement. The event is intended to brief accessory and peripheral manufacturers. This year, Apple says that sessions will concentrate on HomeKit, iBeacon, AirPlay, and in-app purchases.
Netflix announces availability of Post-Play feature for Google Chromecast
TV and movie streaming platform Netflix has announced that its Post-Play feature is now available for use with Google Chromecast devices. Netflix "casted" to Chromecast is now capable of playing the next episode in a TV series automatically after the end of an episode. Customers using Android or iOS devices sending content to a Chromecast dongle can utilize this function as they already have been able to when viewing Netflix on their device alone. PC support is expected to be made available in the future.
Regular Apple event prep underway
The online Apple store has gone down temporarily, ahead of today's press event. Apple regularly takes the store offline just before an event, so that product pages can be put in place without spoiling announcements. Typically, the store only returns after the event is completely finished.
New Tizona LED, Excalibur LED and Shrike mouse put on display with company's catalog
At Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, peripheral manufacturer Tesoro put a number of new devices on display for consumers, including new keyboards and mice. Some new devices, including an LED version of the Tizona, the recently-announced Excalibur LED, and a new version of the Shrike mouse are said to be coming to the market in the next two months.
TopGum backup battery with Lightning cable announced at IFA 2014
Just Mobile has announced the launch of its new backup battery at IFA 2014, the TopGum. A portable power pack clad in unibody aluminum, TopGum features a tangle-free Lightning cable and a magnetic recharging dock, for recharging without the need to find additional cords. The TopGum's capacity allows for an iPhone to charge up to three times, or top up an iPad mini to 75 percent. Also featured is a standard USB connection, meaning USB-powered devices can be recharged, and TopGum's internal batteries can be refilled when its dock is out of reach. The TopGum backup battery is priced at $80.
21.5-inch iMac slashed to $1,030
MacMall.com has the previous-generation 21.5-inch iMac on sale for $1,110, which is already $390 off the list price of $1,500. An $80 mail-in-rebate offer is also available, that drops the price further to $1,030. That discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by more than $350. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Mobile payment service Isis Wallet to rebrand itself as Softcard
Isis Wallet, a mobile payment service for iOS and Android, is moving to rebrand itself in the coming weeks as Softcard. Initially announced in July, the company has stated that the name change is to avoid association with Middle Eastern militant group ISIS. The new name, Softcard, aims to reflect the visual nature of its already-established payment system, which allows its users to pay for purchases by adding participating credit cards to their "Wallet."
Cross DJ for Android updated, adds controller compatibility, record and sharing on Mixcloud, SoundCl
DJing app Cross DJ has updated its Android version, now enabling external controllers and other features. Users can now connect their Android device to the U-Mix Control-Pro, a MIDI controller that has all Cross DJ controls mapped onto it. When using the controller users can browse, scratch, sync tracks, add effects and more.
Switch toggles between Bluetooth-connected devices
Logitech has announced a new keyboard peripheral, the K480. While usable as a generic, compact Bluetooth keyboard, the K480 is more versatile in being able to connect to three devices simultaneously, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Chrome OS devices. A dial lets users change which device is being controlled.
Komplete gets new Rounds, Kontour, Polyplex instruments
Native Instruments has announced Komplete 10, the next version of its audio production suite, bundling together all its instruments with some extra perks. This version adds several new instruments, including Rounds, Kontour, and Polyplex. Rounds combines sound design and sequencing functions, while Kontour is a synthesizer with "organic" textures. Polyplex designs drumkits, combining up to four samples per slot; randomization can be applied on a global, sound, or sample level.
iPad mini for $200
Right now at BestBuy.com, get the 16GB iPad mini in Space Gray on sale for $200. That is $100 off the list price of $300, and about $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This iPad features a Retina display, 1GHz A5 dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, iSight camera and a FaceTime front-facing camera. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Great control, quick DPI adjustments packaged with hybrid optical sensor
Selecting the correct gaming mouse comes down to finding a device that balances the needs of a user with a price they can afford. Often the features break down to styles of play, allowing manufacturers to design and market peripherals for specific genres of games. For first person shooters (FPS) the market is especially competitive, forcing companies to innovate and push themselves to come up with something new that gamers can't resist. Logitech Gaming recently released the Hyperion Fury, a mouse created fit the needs of demanding FPS players. But does the Hyperion Fury have what it takes to lure gamers in, or is it just another device on the shelves? Find out in our review.
iPads, iMacs and curved HDTVs
Staples.com is currently offering a $30 price cut on the 32GB iPad Air in Space Gray, which drops the cost from $599 down to $569. Use coupon code '11605' at checkout to drop the price down to $469, beating the next lowest price by more than $65. This iPad features 32GB of storage space, a 9.7-inch Retina display, A7 chip with M7 motion coprocessor, built-in Wi-Fi, 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera and a battery that lasts for up to 10 hours. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Live streaming locked to authenticated subscription
In addition to an updated iTunes Festival app, the Apple TV has also been refreshed with Showtime Anytime, an app for the Showtime TV network. While some episodes are available on-demand for free, full use of the app -- including live streaming -- requires authenticating a subscription with compatible providers. That list includes AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and a number of regional firms.
Dropbox update for iOS adds higher fidelity previews for Word and PowerPoint documents
Cloud storage platform Dropbox has updated its iOS app today. Allowing users to access any file saved to their Dropbox from an iOS device, v3.3 can now offer search within Word and PowerPoint documents. Larger animated GIFs are supported, and improved caching allows the app to use less data and disk space.
Satechi's Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard now available
Satechi has announced the release of its new Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard, suitable for Mac or PC systems. Measuring 0.7 inches thick, the keyboard's wireless functionality allows users to have an extra USB port available to them, and can use the keyboard from up to 33 feet away. Its multimedia keys provide access to controlling video and audio content, including play/pause, volume, forward/backtrack and activating functions on other mobile devices. The white version of the keyboard features specific keys mapped for use with OS X and iOS, and the black version mapped for PC and Android features. Priced at $55, Satechi's smart keyboard is available through Amazon and the company's own online store.
Juno Power announces cloth braided Lightning cables
Portable power solutions company Juno Power has announced its newest line of Lightning adapter cables, named Kaebo. An Apple-certified charge-and-sync cable, the Kaebo features high-strength cloth that is resistant to rips or tears. Its aluminum build is designed to withstand most accidental damage. The cable is equipped with an aluminum connector and USB head for optimal performance, and is available in silver, light gold, and slate gray. Measuring at one meter (3.3 feet) long, the Kaebo is priced at $22 through Juno Power and Amazon.
MacBook Air, iMac, HDTVs and more
BestBuy.com this week is offering a $150 discount on the current-generation 13.3-inch MacBook Air, dropping the price from $999 down to $849. That discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by about $50. This MacBook Air features a 1.4GHz Intel core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.