Xbox One update due February 11, adds battery life indicator
Microsoft's Xbox One is set to have an update released, addressing issues encountered by users since the console's launch. The update is due February 11th, featuring issue corrections regarding storage management, and the addition of a battery life indicator for the console's controller. Libraries will be split into two separate lists of 'My Games' and 'My Apps', as to simplify file searches. Also expected in the update is the added ability to use a USB keyboard with the console.
Inductive charging, screen-mounted solar panel, movement charging touted
Apple is experimenting with alternative charging methods that could be used in the rumored iWatch, claims the New York Times. Rather than charging a smart watch by plugging a wire into a port, Apple is apparently looking into using magnetic induction charging for the device, with a solar-charging layer added to a curved glass screen also touted by report sources.
Braven releases BRV-Bank rugged smartphone battery, BRV-X HD wireless speaker
Braven on Tuesday revealed its latest product releases: the BRV-Bank portable backup battery, and the BRV-X outdoor speaker. Both products are intended to be rugged, with both products holding an IP water-resistant rating. The Braven BRV-X is equipped with custom-made HD drivers, an omnidirectional passive bass radiator, and setting for indoor and outdoor locations. Its noise-cancelling speakerphone, USB charging capability and integrated power bank allow for versatile function, and easy pairing with NFC offers users true left and right stereo sound with a second BRV-X.
Third-party batteries, grips not compatible with latest DSLR firmware
The latest firmware update for some Nikon digital cameras has apparently caused some unexpected issues for some owners. Reports have surfaced suggesting that the update, which is supposed to help the camera more accurately detect the remaining charge for a specific battery used on some DSLR and Coolpix cameras, is now preventing third-party batteries and battery grips from working on the cameras.
New cells also remove conflict minerals from construction process
A team of Berkeley Lab battery researchers led by Elton Cairns has invented an improved lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell that, for the first time with the sulfur-based technology, offers both long cycle life and a high discharge rate in addition to the inherently low cost and light weight of Li/S batteries. Tests show that the Berkeley Lab Li/S cell had an estimated specific energy of nearly 500 Wh/kg, more than double that of current Li-ion cells which run around 200 Wh/kg.
SnowLizard SLPower 7 portable battery charger
Owning a smart phone or a tablet is great, but having the battery die while on the go is not so great. There are various ways to avoid having this happen -- one of them being a portable battery charger. SnowLizard's SLPower 7 charger provides 7000mAH of power that can be used to simultaneously charge two tablets or smartphones. Electronista has one of these to give away to our readers.
The Jackery Fit features three LED charge status indicators, built-in flashlight
Jackery, a producer of rechargeable battery products, has released its latest product: the Jackery Fit. A high-capacity 2.1-amp fast-charging portable battery, the Jackery Fit can charge a variety of tablets and smartphones. Featuring three LED charge status lights that indicate when the battery is fully charged, its 7500mAh provides up to 160 hours of additional operational time for a charged device. The Jackery Fit can be purchased online at the current sale price of $40, and is available in orange and silver.
BluFit Smart Water Bottle tracks water intake with app
BluFit, the smart water bottle that can track its user's water consumption, is available for pre-order pledging on Indiegogo. The glass bottle encased in a silicone sleeve notifies users to drink more water, based on a calibration of personal data such as weight, age, activity level, and more. The bottle transmits data by way of its Bluetooth LE chip to the BlueFit app, such as when and how much water was consumed.
Cable battery production by LG to occur in coming years
LG has started mass production of curved batteries, something which it hopes to use in future smartphone designs. The new batteries will remove the need for manufacturers to design a mobile phone or tablet with a rectangular battery in mind, with the curved version seemingly being built to work alongside the also-announced curved smartphone displays.
JLab's headphones feature tangle-free cord, fully rotational cups
JLab has released its new product, the Intro On-Ear Headphone, as quality budget choice for audio listening. Priced at $25, Intro is equipped with 40mm drivers and foam ear cups. Its tangle-free cable is flat, and features a gold-plated jack, universal mic and built-in track control. Fully rotational cups with custom hinges allow the user to wear, adjust and store the headphones with ease and flexibility. Buyers can purchase JLab's Intro On-Ear Headphones, available in black and white, on JLab's online store.
Giant+ battery offers 40 additional charging hours
Today Jackery -- a provider of rechargeable battery products for mobile devices -- announced the launch of their latest product, the Jackery Giant+. An upgraded release of the Giant, which is a battery which offers up to 220 hours of charging time for electronic devices, the Giant+ features up to 260 hours extra operational time for one's electronic device. Easily portable, the battery weighs 10.4 ounces and measures 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.8 inches. The Giant+ can charge two devices simultaneously, and retain a charge for up to six months in standby mode. Alongside the rest of the Jackery lineup, the Jackery Giant+ is available through Amazon, and is priced at $50.
Kensington announces Proximo's Android compatibility
Today Kensington, a mobile accessories company, announced that its Proximo app-enabled accessory, originally for iOS, is now compatible with Android. The Proximo system is designed to assist users in finding one's phone, keys or valuables easily, and ensures that misplacement doesn't occur.The Bluetooth 4.0 fob attaches to a user's keys, while an attachable tag can be used with a phone or other valuable, allowing users to then receive alerts when moving out of range from the other component. Proximo's app dashboard can track up to five items, including a customizable activity proximity meter. Proximo's app version 1.6 now supports Samsung Galaxy series Android phones, as well as iPhone. Proximo's starting package is priced at $60, with additional tags and fobs priced at $25 and $40 respectively.
Hulu gains 144 BBC shows in multi-year, non-exclusive deal
Hulu has signed a deal with BBC Worldwide to bring 2,000 episodes from 144 different BBC shows. The multi-year deal will bring titles such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Luther to the streaming service, with hundreds being made available this week. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is not an exclusive deal, due to similar arrangements with Netflix and Amazon.
External battery for mobile devices identifies type of device
Anker has announced the release of its second-generation Astro2 external battery. A high-capacity 9000mAh battery, the Astro2 is able to charge two mobile devices simultaneously. The charger has no buttons, and instead requires a brief shake to activate the battery and LED power indicator. Available for $45, the Astro2 can be purchased at Amazon.
Booq Viper Courier messenger bag launched in two sizes
Case manufacturer Booq has unveiled the new Viper courier laptop bag. The new bag is dyed and water-repelling, and the Viper has a padded laptop compartment inside so a stored computer stays protected and scratch-free. Other storage space in the form of interior pockets and an exterior backside pocket fits necessary documents, with a concealed quick-access pocket for mobile devices such as an iPhone. The bag is now available in two sizes -- the 13-inch model retails for $100, and the 15-inch model sells for $110.
Agrees to pay $56.5M in fines, jail time for executives
Panasonic has agreed to pay $56.5 million in fines for its part in price fixing conspiracies. The US Department of Justice announced that the Japanese electronics manufacturer will plead guilty for helping fix the prices of automotive parts and battery cells, which inflated the production cost of notebooks and cars for various manufacturers.
SLXtreme accessories now available for iPhone 5 and iPad
Snow Leopard has expanded their collection of heavy-duty cases, offering waterproof protection as well as battery charge supplementing to a users' iPhone 5 and iPad. The SLXtreme case for iPhone, the SLXtreme 5, has an integrated 2250mAh battery, powered by a solar panel, doubling the battery capacity of the phone. The case is designed to be waterproof down to six feet while maintaining full functionality. SLXtreme for iPad protects the iPad 2 or later, and offers waterproof protection for underwater and splash-prone environments. Optionally available is a built-in 1150mAh battery, complete with a USB out that enables users to charge other mobile devices while on the go. Both available in Fall 2013, the SLXtreme 5 will be priced at $130, and SLXtreme iPad for $150 with battery and $100 without.
Battery four times more powerful than iPhone 5's
Today, SwitchEasy released its Tanks high capacity portable battery for charging smartphones and other mobile devices. Tanks includes a 6000mAh battery, and can hold four times more power than the built-in iPhone 5 battery. The four-step white LED gauge clearly displays the battery's charge level, and charges using a standard USB connection. Available in white or black finishes, SwitchEasy's Tanks is available online for $70.
Samsung battery inflates on charge near sleeping owner, melts phone
A Samsung Galaxy S III suffered a potentially hazardous fault yesterday, according to a user of Reddit. Photos on the social news site appears to show a phone that started to smoke and an inflated battery, with damage ranging from melted and burned plastic on the smartphone itself, a small burn on the poster's finger, and a hole in their foam pillow mattress cover caused through the excessive heat.
South Korean suffers second-degree burns to thigh
A man in South Korea was injured on Saturday after his Samsung Galaxy Note exploded. The 55-year-old man apparently suffered second-degree burns to his right thigh, after the smartphone and spare battery he stored in his pants pocket suddenly ruptured and caused damage to his body and clothing.
Could come from increased number of Wi-Fi checks
MacNN and other tech outlets are seeing some user reports that the latest release of iOS, 6.0.2, is causing additional battery drain on at least some devices. Reports of issues first surfaced on Apple's own support forums, and so far seems to be limited to only some of those who were able to upgrade to v6.0.2. Apple's recent iOS and OS X updates have both suffered from scattered reports of battery drain compared to previous versions of the respective OS, though the company generally fixes them over time.
Research to boost power five times in five years
The US Department of Energy is making a push to improve the technology used in batteries. The newly-formed Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), originally the Batteries and Energies Storage Hub, hopes to develop batteries five times more powerful than at present, at a fifth of the cost, over the next five years.
Battery fits leaked frame
Corroborating recent reports, a fresh leak surrounding the iPhone 5 suggests Apple's sixth-generation smartphone will integrate a slightly larger battery than its predecessor. An alleged iPhone 5 battery obtained by electronics repair company iResQ appears to perfectly within the phone frame that is also claimed to be sourced from the official assembly lines.
Charging efficiencies in larger batteries increased hundredfold
South Korean scientists claim to have found a way to greatly reduce electric car charging times from hours to minutes. The researchers have altered the geometry and physics of a lithium-ion battery to allow the cell to charge evenly throughout the battery, rather than charging from the terminals inward during a standard reduction-oxidation reaction on larger lithium-ion batteries.
Modest voltage, wattage suggests LTE radio drain solved
One of the factors that kept an LTE "4G" radio out of the iPhone 4S was the compromise of the battery-draining next-generation cellular data transceiver. As many "4G" phone owners know, the advanced technology requires a lot of power, even when not in active use. Purported next-iPhone batteries seen in photos and sporting slightly higher specifications than existing iPhone batteries may, if accurate, suggest that Apple has overcome the LTE issue with a modest compromise.
Domestic shipments, UPS, Fedex unaffected
Effective May 16, the United States Postal Service (USPS) regulation prohibits shipping any electronic device with a lithium battery from being mailed to a destination outside the United States. The ban does not apply to private carriers such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS. The ban is in response to improperly packed lithium batteries being involved in two plane crashes since 2006, including a UPS jet in Dubai that caught fire and crashed moments after takeoff.
Models affected: 1 V1, D700, D800, D800E
A small batch of Nikon batteries for the 1 V1, D7000, D800, and D800E cameras are at risk of overheating and becoming distorted during the charging process, Nikon has announced. The company has announced a battery replacement program for the affected run of the EN-EL15 battery.
Testing shows bad indicator can cheat users
The bad battery indicator in the new third-generation iPad has been further tested by Dr. Ray Soneira, the president of DisplayMate and the leading scientist testing and explaining the technology behind the new iPad's doubled resolution and advanced "Retina Display" screen, as well as one of the first to uncover that the battery indicator falsely reads "100%" more than an hour before it is actually fully charged. He has since clarified some of his findings.
Testing points to bad calculation in algorithm
A leading researcher examining the third-generation iPad has discovered through testing and actual voltage readings that the latest iPad requires around two hours of additional charging beyond the point where the indicator reads "100%" in order to truly achieve maximum charge. Initial testing indicates that the problem lies only in the accuracy of the on-screen battery charge indicator rather than a hardware fault, but could lead to consumer confusion on performance.
Largest capacity Eneloop AA batteries
Sanyo has introduced its latest AA-size batteries that fit into the company's Eneloop lineup. The Nickel-Metal Hydride cells, labeled 'XX', are said to be the company's highest capacity Eneloops, with 2500 mAh of power. Like the rest of the series, the XX offerings ship charged and promise up to 75-percent remaining power after a year of storage.
Could pack 3x capacity in the same footprint
Sumitomo Electric has developed a technology to make aluminum porous that could significantly improve lithium-ion batteries. The new porous aluminum, called "Aluminum-Celmet," could give these batteries one and one-half to three times greater capacity. It could alternately help to reduce the size by up to two-thirds without shrinking battery life.
Slightly more capacity, significantly lower cost
Newer Technology has added a 52 watt-hour replacement battery specifically for the Late 2008 and Early 2009 15-inch MacBook Pros (the first of the "unibody" MPB designs, also known as MacBookPro5,1 and MacBookPro5,2). While the new batteries offer only a modest four percent increase in capacity over the Apple original batteries, they sell for 23 percent less money compared to replacement batteries from Apple for those models.
Stylish, lightweight protection doubles battery
British designers iKit have added the NuCharge battery case to their line of iPhone 4 accessories. The product acts as both a lightweight spare battery and a protective case, and is compatible with both the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4s. The black (also available in white) case is only six millimeters (0.24 inches) thick and adds only two ounces to the weight of the iPhone 4, but doubles the battery life by sporting a full 1400mAh battery.
System pairs all necessary features
Solar Components has finally begun shipping its latest solar charger, which was demonstrated this week at Macworld Expo. MacNN checked out the Joos Orange, a slab-shaped device that combines solar cells with an integrated battery. The general design reminded us of Solio's offerings, but with a bigger battery that is claimed to charge a dead iPad up to 65 percent.
PowerPak XT and PowerPak Duo
Technocel on Tuesday introduced two new products for its line of portable batteries and in-home chargers: the PowerPak XT and PowerPak Duo. Both devices are re-designed versions of the previously released PowerPak, and offer larger batteries. By using the interchangeable tips they are said to support roughly 95 percent of available handheld USB devices, along with any standard USB cable included with most wireless products. Each portable battery also features built-in LED indicator lights for displaying the amount of remaining power.
PowerPak charges most hand held devices
Technocel has announced the PowerPak, a new all-in-one portable battery and home charger. The PowerPak is designed to extend the run time of portable electronic devices when users are on-the-go and away from power outlets. It supports a wide range of devices including cellphones, PDA’s, MP3 players, or Bluetooth headsets. A variety of interchangeable tips are included, enabling the charger to work with almost any USB-powered product.
Incident matches reports from Apple online store
MacNN reader Robert-Anthony Bunoan has voiced frustration with Apple after the battery in his 17-inch MacBook Pro reportedly swelled to the point of rupturing the case. The notebook was approximately two years old, with a removable battery instead of the integrated lithium-polymer design featured in the latest aluminum-unibody models.
QuickerTek Air battery
QuickerTek has released its latest notebook accessory, a new external battery for the MacBook Air. The external pack powers the device while simultaneously charging the internal battery. The company claims users can achieve 12 to 16 total hours of run time, or around 6 to 10 extra hours of power. The charger is also said to charge the internal battery in only three hours.
myPower iPhone battery
Tekkon has debuted the myPower leather sleeve for the iPhone and iPhone 3G. The case features a built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that is claimed to double the battery life of the iPhone while ensuring that the external battery drains before the phone draws from its internal power. An integrated power-level indicator displays the charge status of the battery. Users can recharge both the case and iPhone simultaneously, using an outlet power adapter or a USB cable connected to a computer.
QuickerTek power extender
QuickerTek has released an external battery that connects to the iPhone 3G, iPod touch, or any iPod with the 30-pin dock connector. The additional power can be used for 30 hours of music playback, six hours of video, or three hours of talk time, the company claims. A retractable USB charging cable is included with the package. The cable simultaneously charges both the external battery and the iPod/iPhone internal battery. The product is similar to the Richard Solo backup battery, but offers the additional iPod connectivity.
Power Slider iPhone case
Incase has unveiled the Power Slider, a case for the iPhone 3G that also contains an extended battery. The case is designed to drain its own battery first, then leaves the user with a fully charged phone. The hard-shell construction protects the entire phone, while a soft-touch coating offers improved feel and grip. The 1330 mAh lithium-polymer battery is claimed to increase standby time by 330 hours, audio playback by 26 hours, and internet use by five to six hours. Talk time on the 3G network increases by five hours, while talk time on the 2G network is extended by ten hours.
iPhone Handy Battery Pack
USBfever has released its latest accessory for the iPhone 3G, the Handy Battery Pack. The pack fits around the back of the phone like a case, leaving the buttons, ports, and camera accessible. Two gaps are left near the bottom corners, allowing sound from the speakers to be heard while watching video or listening to music. The charging status is indicated by two LEDs on the front of the battery pack. Users can connect the phone, battery pack, and charging cable at the same time, but cannot sync while the device is attached to the phone.
QuickerTek MacBook battery
QuickerTek has unveiled its latest Mac laptop accessory, an external battery for 15-inch and 17-inch MacBooks that is claimed to extend the power life by 8-12 hours. The device uses a standard MagSafe connector which charges the notebook battery before taking power from the external source. The Li-ion polymer cells are enclosed in a housing that measures nine by six inches, with a thickness of one inch, and weighs approximately five pounds.
Juice pack iPhone battery
Mophie has introduced its latest accessory for the iPhone 3G, the Juice Pack 3G battery extender. The device features a lithium polymer battery that is claimed to offer an additional 350 hours of standby time, 6 hours of 3G talk time, 12 hours of 2G talk time, and 6-7 hours of internet use. Rather than drain the internal phone batteries before switching to alternative power, the pack drains the external supply first. The charge status is displayed with four integrated LEDs located on the back panel.
FastMac iV ships
FastMac has launched the FastMac iV, a charger and extended battery for the iPhone that also adds a built-in flash and can charge USB devices concurrently. The iV triples the iPhone's talk time to 24 hours, as well as 31 days of standby, over 20 hours of video or 70 hours of audio playback. The battery inside the iV is rated at 3100mAh and can power and charge the phone at the same time.
Kensington ships new gear
Kensington has announced "Works with iPhone" certification from Apple for its line of battery packs and chargers for the iPhone 3G. The line includes full-size and miniature battery packs, car chargers and September arrivals for an International Travel Charger and a Power and Sync Cable. The products work with the Apple iPhone 3G, 2G and iPod touch.
Zpower zinc-silver battery
Zpower, a provider of silver-zinc battery technology, announced the inclusion of their silver-zinc cells in a major notebook computer in 2009. Zpower claims their batteries have run-times up to 40 percent longer than comparable Lithium-ion cells, while simultaneously offering safety and environmental advantages. Zinc-silver batteries have almost been forgotten about but improvements in materials and manufacturing processes have brought them to compete in a market currently dominated by Li-ion cells.
Oncore six-bay charger
Oncore Power Systems is introducing a six-bay battery charger for iBooks and MacBooks targeted at the education market. The company is also selling a "power upgrade kit" consisting of the new charger and six replacement batteries. The company says the products are designed to "give new life" to older classroom computers. The unit has built-in safety circuitry and LED status lights for each bay.
Mophie Juice Pack 3G
Mophie on Monday unveiled the Juice Pack 3G, an updated version of its battery extender for the iPhone, offering new 3G owners similar enhancement to the device's run time. The Juice Pack 3G allows users to operate the iPhone 3G for an extra 350 hours on standby, while allowing for an additional six hours of talk time (12 on 2G) and internet, another eight hours for video playback, and 28 hours of audio. Mophie is offering the Juice Pack 3G for $100, and it will ship in September.
China-based OEM manufacturer Better-Power Electric has developed a unique combination speaker and charger for the iPod and iPhone using a 4800mA, 3.7V Lithium-Ion Battery. The company says the device can charge an iPhone in 50-80 minutes and also works with various iPods and other mobile devices via USB. The speaker can play music for more than 12 hours, and iPhone owners can reportedly use it as a speakerphone.