Sprint Will Have Exclusive on Essential Phone Launch; Xbox One X Reveal; HelloSign Gets $$ to Help You Stop Having to Sign Paper DocumentsSprint will be the exclusive vendor for Android father Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone. 9to5google.com says the titanium and ceramic phone with the edge to edge display will sell separately from the 360 degree camera attachment for VR content, though. Interestingly, there’s no word on availability or price, but you can pre-register online at Sprint’s website. So….do you feel lucky? It’s the most powerful and smallest Xbox yet…the Xbox One X was revealed yesterday. It will be $500, and should be out November 7th. According to businessinsider.com, it is capable of 4K gaming and can handle 4K Blu Ray discs. Microsoft is touting that it has ‘6 teraflops’ of processing power, which blows away the Xbox One and Playstation 4 Pro. Anyone who has had to sign a 6 inch stack of documents to buy a house will love this…HelloSign, the eSignature platform, has obtained 16 million in financing. Techcrunch.com reports that they will have a ‘freemium’ product for up to 3 documents per month, and are comparing themselves to Box and Dropbox. They also are offering HelloWorks to turn .pdf forms into easy to edit digital files. HelloSign claims they have talked 55,000 companies into using its paid subscription service, competing with Docusign and Adobe Sign. Here’s hoping one of those companies is your title company next time you have to re-fi or buy a house!

Sprint will be the exclusive vendor for Android father Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone. 9to5google.com says the titanium and ceramic phone with the edge to edge display will sell separately from the 360 degree camera attachment for VR content, though. Interestingly, there’s no word on availability or price, but you can pre-register online at Sprint’s website. So….do you feel lucky?

It’s the most powerful and smallest Xbox yet…the Xbox One X was revealed yesterday. It will be $500, and should be out November 7th. According to businessinsider.com, it is capable of 4K gaming and can handle 4K Blu Ray discs. Microsoft is touting that it has ‘6 teraflops’ of processing power, which blows away the Xbox One and Playstation 4 Pro.

Anyone who has had to sign a 6 inch stack of documents to buy a house will love this…HelloSign, the eSignature platform, has obtained 16 million in financing. Techcrunch.com reports that they will have a ‘freemium’ product for up to 3 documents per month, and are comparing themselves to Box and Dropbox. They also are offering HelloWorks to turn .pdf forms into easy to edit digital files. HelloSign claims they have talked 55,000 companies into using its paid subscription service, competing with Docusign and Adobe Sign. Here’s hoping one of those companies is your title company next time you have to re-fi or buy a house!


iPhone 8 Possible Pricing; 4K Zoom Nest Cam; Twitter Has Considered Premium Subscription

In a report picked up by 9to5mac.com an analyst from UBS says the iPhone 8 won’t start at a grand, as has been speculated. He claims the new Apple hero phone will debut this fall for $870, and go up to $1070. The thought is, Cupertino won’t want to break that important thousand dollar psychological barrier with the base model of their new hero phone. He also predicts it will take up 45% of iPhone sales next year.

Alphabet owned Nest is working on a 4K indoor security camera. According to Android Police, it’s not that anyone needs 4K for that, it’s for a smart zoom feature. If you zoom in on an area with this cam, it won’t become all distorted, but give you a nice 1080p section of the view…like we’ve seen in movies for years! The new Nest Cam may be out shortly, and will reportedly cost over $300…yes, for ONE camera!

Twitter, the social network so many love and rely on, but which can’t seem to find a way to make any real money, is considering offering a premium subscription service. Recode.net reports that the short form firehose of information hasn’t decided to do it for sure, but if they do, it would include access to special features and services. CEO Jack Dorsey did stress that it was very important to them that Twitter be free and open to everyone around the world, however.


Windows 10 S Laptop Guns for Chromebooks; 43 Inch LG Monitor Supports 4 Sources; Twitter Adds More Streams and Shows

Microsoft has revealed its answer to Chrome OS. Windows 10 S is a ‘streamlined and secured’ version of Windows 10…translation….it’s sandboxed. That’s not the biggest part, though. Techcrunch.com reports that Microsoft has talked most major PC makers into making Windows 10 S machines. Base level ones will start at $189, and should be out this summer. Redmond expects school districts to snap up the laptops at that price point. They come with a one year free subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition, and Office 365 apps are free for both students and teachers.

As Apple announced they were getting out of the monitor business (then had a change of heart of sorts), other companies have jumped in with displays to take up the slack. Now, 9to5mac.com says LG has quietly unveiled a 42.5 inch 4K job that has 4 HDMI ports and supports up to 4 display feeds….for under $700! Four feeds, so you could keep a browser open, watch a game, PLAY a game, and have a window for actual work!

We heard yesterday that Twitter was building out a 24/7 streaming video service with Bloomberg. Now, they’ve announced live video plans with Live Nation, Buzzfeed, The WNBA, and almost a dozen partners. According to recode.net, the partners look so far to be heavy on sports, then news, with a little entertainment sprinkled in. It remains to be seen how much of the new content will materialize and when.


Ford Will Build Electric SUV; Amazon’s Fire TV Baked in to Some 4K TVs; Intel Inside-Your Car

Ford will produce and all electric SUV in 2020. Theverge.com reports it will be built in Flat Rock, Michigan, and will sport a range of 300 miles on a charge. They are also cooking up hybrid versions of the Mustang and F-150 pickup. Present electric vehicles are mostly stuck in the low 200’s for range, with the Chevy Bolt claiming 238 miles and the upcoming Tesla Model 3 at 215. Ford is also testing wireless charging for their models.

Amazon’s Fire TV will now come in several lower cost 4K TV models. According to Variety.com, Seiki, Westinghouse and Element Electronics will all roll out Fire powered TVs this year ranging from 43 to 65 inch screen models. An integrated mic will double as a direct line to Amazon’s Alexa assistant.

Intel has announced the ‘Go’ brand, and will build chips aimed at the self-driving car market. Cnet.com says Intel’s driving group has a $250 million R&D budget, and they will go head to head with Nvidia and Qualcomm in trying to get car makers to integrate their processors in upcoming self-drivers.


New 4K 21.5 Inch iMac is Out Now

As expected, Apple has rolled out a new 21.5 inch iMac, featuring a 4K video display. Theverge.com reports it will sell for $1499, and in addition to the eye-popping new screen that can show 25% more colors, it has faster RAM and processor, and bigger storage options. It ships today with a new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and optional $129 Force Touch trackpad. The 1080p model stays in the lineup starting at $1099.

Meanwhile, over at Samsung, a completely un-shocking rumor is floating around. According to 9to5google.com, they’re working to add pressure sensitive touch screen to the next Galaxy smartphone, the S7. It will be the ClearForce hardware from Synaptic, which we reported was being shopped around to Android makers and which is already in the Huawei Mate S. The Galaxy S7 will also come with a new Snapdragon processor.

We had previously reported on the Skarp, that laser razor on Kickstarter, which has now raised $4 million. Well, Kickstarter has kicked them off the platform, claiming they are quote “in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards.” Kickstarter says the ‘semi-functional prototype’ in Skarp’s video isn’t enough. We expect the gadget to pop up on another crowdfunding site anyway, considering they got 4 million worth of interest on Kickstarter. [Update: It’s already on Indiegogo!]


The iPhone 7 (It’s Never Too Early For Apple Rumors!)

With the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus due out in just days, are you ready for a rumor about the iPhone 7…probably a year away? Appleinsider.com picked this up from usually reliable KGI Securities. the iPhone 7 will be between 6 and 6.5 millimeters thick. This would put it in the range of the iPod Touch and iPad Air 2, both of which are 6.1 mm thick. The present iPhone is just over 7 millimeters thick. In order to allow for Force Touch 3D, which needs a wafer thin circuit board under the touch pad, this probably means no 4K super high def iPhone 7…this is probably ok, since you eyes can’t tell the difference on that size screen anyway!

Samsung first exploded into the smartphone world back in 2010 by shamelessly copying Apple for it’s Galaxy S. Now, according to theverge.com, there’s a new, better copycat in town. Chinese manufacturer Huawei is not only pushing the limits of Apple intellectual property, it is lifting features, look and feel from a number of device makers. The 5.5 Mate S smartphone’s banner feature? Force Touch! Although already out on Apple Watch, Huawei has jumped ahead of Apple getting the feature to a smartphone. As for look and feel, when you first see the Mate S, a lot of what you see will make you think you’re looking at the HTC One M9! The motion gestures are borrowed from Samsung and HTC, and swiping down on the home screen brings up a dead ringer for Apple’s Spotlight.


Hulu Thinking About Ad-Free Tier

On the heels of the word that Netflix is considering a price increase, it’s come out that Hulu is looking into rolling out an ad-free tier. Thenextweb.com reports that Hulu’s Project NOAH (which stands for No Ads on Hulu) would cost $12-$14 a month…not quite double their present $7.99 service with commercial breaks. There has been some speculation that they would add 4K streaming to the ad-free service to sweeten the pot, since Netflix is already launching 4K for some of its original content. No word on when this might happen…as they say….stay tuned.

A Korean company may have come up with a solution to one of life’s great aggravations…flat tires. Hankook Tire already makes traditional vehicle tires, but according to bgr.com, they are testing a new type of airless tire called iFlex…no air, never a flat tire! The tests are now in the 5th generation, and are allegedly made of eco-friendly material. They aren’t ready for high performance, but Hankook says that up to 80 mph, they perform just like a regular tire. No word on when they might be ready to hit the market…and roadways.