Samsung Finally Going Metal

Samsung will launch it’s first all metal smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha August 4th. 9to5google.com says it will have a 4.8 inch screen and a fingerprint scanner.

With Amazon making major noise about getting into the mobile payment business, tech crunch.com reports that mobile payment power Square has rolled out a reader for the new (to the US anyway) payment cards with embedded microchips.

Three ex-Zynga developers have snagged 2.5 million for their new game studio Juicebox Games. Their first game release, HonorBound, has 3 million downloads and is already generating revenue for the startup.


A Monitor That Will Focus Without Glasses

Cal Berkeley, MIT, and Microsoft have teamed up to work on an experimental monitor that adjusts, so you don’t need your glasses to see it clearly. If all goes well, it will be out in a couple years for desktops and mobile devices. Because it adjusts to your eyes, no large screens viewed by multiple people are contemplated. Geek.com reports the next step is a Kinect like system to keep the screen in razor sharp focus even when you move around.

Appliance giant GE adds to the wired home and internet of things. Cnet.com says they’ve had connected ovens, but they were built ins over 3 grand. Now, there are WiFi connected freestanding stove and oven models. Still pricey, but half what the built in ones run. Check on that meal from your smartphone or tablet without ever going into the kitchen!

Apple’s iBeacons are paying off big for advertisers. Bgr.com says Hilshire’s American Craft sausages got a 500% increase in sales using the system.


Car Tech Helps Deal With Squirmy Kids

The 2015 Toyota Sienna van will let you use the built in microphone to holler at the kids. Engadget.com says your admonitions to Junior will come through the back speakers.

Immedia Semiconductor has a home security camera on Kickstarter. This one’s half the size of a smartphone, and runs $69. Gigaom.com reports that the killer feature is that it can run on a pair of batteries for a year, like a smoke detector.

There are lots of chat apps that delete your messages, but don’t you wish you could do that easily on Twitter and Facebook sometimes? Geekwire.com says Xpire is an iPhone app that lets you set delete times for your posts on those two social media platforms.


Microsoft Ditches Android

Besides laying off thousands, mainly from the Nokia merger, Microsoft is also ‘laying off’ Android. The Nokia Android phones will be switched to Windows Phone and the Lumia brand, according to gigaom.com.

Thenextweb.com reports that the Google Analytics app is now available for iOS. You could already check your web & app data on Android with the app.

Just when you think nothing else can leak out about the iPhone 6, macrumors.com says it will sport a 13 megapixel camera, up from 8 on the 5s.


Another Player Joining the ‘Internet of Things’ Party

Samsung is about to join the ‘internet of things’ party, in talks to buy SmartThings for $200 million. Bgr.com reports this would put them in the game with Google’s Nest and Apple’s HomeKit. Another option for those who need to control their appliances, light bulbs, security system, & garage door with their smartphones!

Gigaom.com reports that Amazon is testing a Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service for $9.99 a month. It gives unlimited access to 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks.

Metromile is expanding to California. Techcrunch.com says you plug the gadget into your car, and you can save money on pay-per-mile insurance if you’re one of the 70% of people that drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Keep in mind that 70% of Bay Area drivers DON’T drive less than 10,000 miles a year, though.


Large iPhone 6 Delay & Makerbot Printers at Home Depot

Apple may have to delay the larger 5.5 inch iPhone 6 until after October according to 9to5mac.com. A research note from usually reliable KGI Securities says supply problems with the in-cell touch panels is the reason.

In a major turnabout, Bittorrent is dabbling with paywalls. They will charge $10 for an 8 episode sci-fi series after a person watches the pilot episode. Engadget.com notes that this is risky, considering how set Bittorrent users are with getting things for free.

Makerbot 3D printers will be sold and demoed in 12 Home Depot stores, including some here in California. Techcrunch.com says soon you may be able to print an odd hinge or part on the spot!


Roll Up That…TV Screen?

LG has just revealed OLED display panels that are flexible and rollable! 9to5google.com says they can make them up to 50 inches now, and shooting for 60 inches by 2017. You probably won’t want to roll up your TV, but it’s a move to much lighter, thinner sets!

On the subject of TVs, bgr.com reports that Google has added a phone and tablet mirroring feature to Chromecast. Whatever you’re doing on your smart device, you can now put up on your big TV screen!

In a move to diversify, Apple is getting the first batch of processors from Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC. Up to now, Samsung has been the sole iOS processor supplier, according to gigaom.com.