Tim Cook on the Apple Car….Keys

Although he was characteristically mum about an Apple car, CEO Tim Cook did tease about cars in London. Geekwire.com reports he said in an interview that the Apple Watch is designed to be able to replace car keys and what he called ‘the clumsy, large fobs’ which are now used by many vehicles. Apple already has a patent on smartphone tech to unlock cars.

Ford is working on cutting car emissions by speeding parking. Arstechnica.com says the automaker is looking towards self driving cars, and using off the shelf parts and a crowdsourced, real time database, your car would head right to a parking space. Ford claims 20-30% of vehicle emissions now come from hunting for parking.

YouTube for Android is getting a useful…and some say overdue…feature. According to thenextweb.com, you can finally trim videos. It’s reportedly precise enough to nearly edit down to the frame. A preview allows you to check your work before finalizing the upload.


LG’s Urbane Smartwatch Gains Independent Phoning

LG has upgraded it’s new Watch Urbane already. Engadget.com says it can call on LTE without a phone, make NFC payments, and use mobile data…but it has a third the battery life of a phone. It also has a two way radio feature-calling Dick Tracy! LG will show more of it at Mobile World Congress in March.

Future iPhones will be harder than ever for thieves to unload. BGR.com reports that Apple has patented a feature that requires the passcode to shutdown. Otherwise, the phone LOOKS shut down, but still transmits its location to Find My iPhone.

Amazon has filed patents for actual on demand delivery. According to Geekwire.com, they would print at a warehouse or even show up with a truck, and 3D print the item for you on the spot.

Freshened Moto E Budget Phone Gets LTE & a Bigger Screen

Motorola has rolled out a freshened Moto E. According to the verge.com, it has LTE, a 4.5 inch screen, more storage, and a faster processor. The budget Moto smartphone gets a small price bump from last year’s model, now $149. You can pick up the old model without 4G LTE for $119.

It’s been out for iOS for a month, but Twitter has dropped it’s ‘while you were out’ feature for Android. Geekwire.com reports it posts a recap of top tweets you may have missed from accounts you follow. If you aren’t interested, it hides with just a click.

There’s a new perk for Uber riders. Engadget.com says you can now earn points at upscale Starwood hotels and resorts. It’s a point or more for every buck spent on Uber. You have to be enrolled in the Starwood Preferred Guest program to qualify.

The Genius Bar Goes Concierge

A makeover is coming to Apple’s Genius Bar. 9to5mac.com says they’re launching what they call a Concierge service. Once you’re in the store and the problem is inputted in their system, they will send you text messages…freeing you to go shop elsewhere while you wait.

Google Glass’ demise is apparently greatly exaggerated. According to bgr.com, Glass 2 prototypes are already in the hands of developers. This time, it’s a very small selection of trusted developers, and no word yet on what improvements Google has made.

Valve is jumping into the virtual reality market. Geekwire.com reports that the Steam games developer will show a new VR hardware system at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week.

The Nexus 6 To Get WiFi Calling on T-Mobile

WiFi calling may be coming to the Google Nexus 6…at least on the T-Mobile system. According to gigaom.com, they hope to have the exclusive feature ready to go by the end of March. They will also add voice over LTE and another band of frequencies by mid year with software updates.

Virgin Mobile has dropped the iPhone. 9to5mac.com says they have no plans to carry the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and the iPhone pages now redirect people to their full smartphone inventory page at the web store. It may have just been too much of a challenge to sell the expensive Apple handsets to prepaid phone users.

For the person that’s truly addicted to their smartphone and apps, there’s the new Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush. At a pricey $220…more than a number of actual smartphones…geek.com reports the brush and its app will track how long you brush, how much pressure you use, and nag you to floss. But wait…there’s more…the app will also bring you the morning news and weather! You wouldn’t want to be off the grid for those two minutes of brushing, now would you?

Google’s Bringing Back Google Wallet

Google is apparently getting set to revive Google Wallet to compete with Apple Pay. 9to5google.com says they are in talks with banks, carriers, and handset makers, and plan to re-launch Wallet at Google I/O in late May. A fly in the ointment may be Samsung…which just this week acquired LoopPay to roll their own mobile payment service.

According to theverge.com, Apple will open iOS to public testing, like the beta program they reinstated on Macs with Yosemite. iOS 8.3, with support for CarPlay, new emoji, and simpler Google logins will be out in beta form the middle of next month. Apple will reportedly accept 100,000 beta testers.

Bing, the Avis of search, has added a couple features to lure more users. Thenextweb.com reports that you can now check out hotel info and reviews right from the search results. Even better, there’s a new ‘order online’ button with the restaurant listings, so you can place orders for take out through services like eat24 right from your browser.

Trade In Your Old Surface for a Surface Pro 3

Because everybody likes a deal, Microsoft is offering trade in credit on the Surface Pro 3. Cnet.com says you can get up to $650 in credit for your old Surface tablet on a 3, but only at Microsoft’s online site and from now until March 8th.

That OTHER tablet now has Inbox by Gmail. According to thenextweb.com, Google has released its invite only mail app for the iPad now. It works with Safari and Firefox, as well as Chrome. If you do have an invite, it’s available at the App Store now.

IF triple T has released a flurry of ‘DO’ apps for Android and iPhone. Gigaom.com says they just give you a big, simple button to do something when you’re ready…send pics to your family, turn on your connected thermostat, or send a document to Evernote with one press instead of a series of clicks and swipes.

Sony Pressing Ahead On SmartEyeglass Wearables

Despite GoogleGlass being gone for now, Sony is getting ready to ship a developer edition SmartEyeglass wearable March 10th. Appleinsider.com says they can be preordered now for $840. Unlike GoogleGlass, these need to talk to an Android smartphone via Bluetooth.

Hulu is getting smart. Engadget.com reports that they’ve added Watchlist…a smart playlist that will bump shows up in the que it notices you tend to watch first. It’s a coming trend…Ray has a universal remote now that tracks your habits for $199.

How many people upgrade smartphones to get the latest and greatest? A report by Gartner picked up by techcrunch.com says 60% in the US & Germany. This also means a big 2nd hand phone market. Gartner says it will go from 56 million last year to 120 million in 2017.

Microsoft Opens Up Office To Other Cloud Services

Microsoft has announced cloud storage integration for Office with other than their own cloud service. According to office.com, one of Redmond’s official blogs, in addition to OneDrive and Dropbox, you now have built in file integration for iPad and iPhone. They are also working on Android, Salesforce, Box and Citrix.

Patentlyapple.com reports that Apple has patented a video headset that you slide an iPhone or iPod into for the video. It has picture in picture, so you can still see your surroundings or view email and the like. It’s controlled by haptic touch and Siri.

Worldwide, 1.2 billion smartphones were sold last year, according to German analysts GfK, in a report picked up by tech crunch.com. That was a 23% increase, mainly powered by bigger screen models and South America. They see 14% growth this year, due to saturation of countries in Asia.

Microsoft Apps Coming to Android Via Samsung

Microsoft appears to be making a major move to invade Android’s turf. Business insider.com has picked up a report from Sam Mobile that says Redmond may have cut a deal to have apps like Microsoft Office Mobile, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype pre-loaded on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6. We’ll know for sure March 1st when the S6 is introduced.

If you’ve been wanting to use Apple iWork apps on other than your home Mac, you’re in luck. Apple has made Pages, Numbers, and Keynote accessible through iCloud Beta to users without an apple device. Mac rumors.com says you get a gig of storage when you sign up for a free iCloud account.

The contextual home screen for Android called Aviate, which changes through the day to suit your needs, has added search outside the US. Engadget.com reports that the app…which was bought by Yahoo last year…is a free download from Google Play.