Echo Show-Yep, It’s the Ugly Version; Preorders Live for Unlocked Galaxy S8 & Plus; T-Mobile to Carry T-Mobile Branded Phones

Amazon has unveiled the Echo Show. It has a 7 inch touch screen, a 5 MP camera, and dual 2 inch Dolby stereo speakers and 8 microphones. Techcrunch.com reports that it will sell for $230, and is available for preorder. The actual device will be released June 28th. Besides having Alexa tell you things or do things, the Show will allow her to ‘show you things.’ The Show can be used for video calling. The nicest description so far was from engadget.com: “Unusual, boxy retro style.” It’s available in black or white, so if either is your kitchen color scheme, you’re in luck!

How about preorders for a device that IS gorgeous? Samsung answers, as preorders are open for unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus models in the US. They should be available May 31st. Theverge.com says you can either order through Best Buy or samsung.com, and they start at $724.99 for 64 gigs on an unlocked S8 and $824.99 for the 64GB unlocked S8 Plus. Both can be ordered in Midnight Black.

T-Mobile is getting ready to launch its own line of Android phones. According to 9to5google.com, there will be 3 versions, with the first out the door to be the REVVL T1. Say that fast 3 times! All will be built for T-Mobile by TCL, the firm that makes BlackBerry and Alcatel phones. The T-Mobile handsets will be midrange smartphones, with the T1 sporting a 5.5 inch screen, 3000mAh battery, and running Android Nougat. It will have a 13MP rear camera with 5MP for the selfie cam. No release date or pricing has been announced.


Amazon Angling to Take UPS & FedEx Business; Rumor- Apple May Jump Right to iPhone 8 Next Year; Blackberry-End of an Era

We reported earlier about how Amazon has been quietly building out its logistics network…leasing planes and a facility formerly used by DHL. Although Amazon publicly says it’s meant to complement existing delivery partners, like FedEx and UPS, the Wall St. Journal reports that Amazon has is looking to do much more. Eventually, Amazon plans to build a full-scale shipping and logistics network that will not only ship products ordered from Amazon, but will also ship products for other retailers and consumers. Businessinsder.com (which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has an interest in) says Amazon is looking to complete against FedEx and UPS. Internally, some Amazon execs call the plan “Consume the City.”

According to bgr.com, Apple may skip the 7S designation next year, and go right to 8 for what’s widely expected to be a radically redesigned iPhone handset. An Israeli Apple employee let the moniker slip in an interview with a reporter. He also said the 8 will have a better camera than the 7…no shock there…but also said cryptically that the phone will be ‘different.’

In what is unquestionably the end of an era, Blackberry will no longer make its own phones. Thenextweb.com says they will focus on software. Future ‘Crackberrys’ will be rebadged Android phones. On the plus side, by ditching the capital sucking hardware division, they can focus on software, where Blackberry more than doubled revenue last year. A moment of silence please ____________.


Too Many iPhones at Facebook; Hillary’s Emoji Problems

We’ve already heard about Facebook instituting ‘2G Tuesdays’, where employees have to suffer along with a slow 2G network for an hour, to help them better tailor the app to run in developing countries where this is reality. Now, 9to5mac.com says the social network is making some staffers switch to Android smartphones for the same reason…making the app work better for Android users. Let the whining commence…

There have been some stories about Hillary Clinton and emoji…intimating that she was confused by them, and needed help. Now, with an email dump, thenextweb.com reports there’s more to the story. Actually, the presidential candidate used emojis all the time. She switched to an older model Blackberry, and found that the emoticon chart with the little faces she loved and used was gone. She had to type them out manually. Nothing like visiting 3rd world countries as Secretary of State, and having such a 1st world problem! No word on why ANYONE would switch to an older smart device, but we hope it was for security reasons!


Apple Watch Average Price Ranges Predicted

According to appleinsider.com, the average selling price of the low end Apple watch called Apple Sport, will be close to $450, despite Apple’s quoted starting price of $349. The midrange Apple watch will set you back around $650, and the high end Apple Edition that starts at just under 5 grand will end up soaking up about $7500!

The ultra secure Blackphone is getting a refresh. Bgr.com says Silent Circle will release the Blackphone 2 it just previewed at Mobile World Congress in the second half of the year, and also showed a prototype of the Blackphone+ tablet.

Theverge.com reports that BlackBerry will roll out a curved display phone later this year. It and another model designed by Porsche will be touchscreen only. BlackBerry will also release a new keyboard-based phone.


A Clip On Rival to GoogleGlass

Sony has unveiled a clip on unit that turns any eyewear into smart glasses like GoogleGlass. Thenextweb.com says the concept will go into production later next year, and be out in 2016…hopefully with a better name than “SmartEyeglass Attach!”

For Crackberry addicts pining for old school, Blackberry has rolled out the Classic. According to cnet.com, it’s based on the Bold, but with straighter rows on its physical keyboard.

Fujitsu has launched a pair of business oriented Windows 8.1 tablets. Zdnet.com says the Stylistic Q555 combines a tablet and a laptop…the Q335 is a straight tablet. They’re being positioned as semi-rugged under military specs, and both will be out early next year.


Will Apple Replace Google for Search On iPhones Next Year?

A big fight behind the scenes over your iPhone. Theinformation.com says Apple’s deal with Google is up next year, and Yahoo and Microsoft are scrapping to become the default search engine. Siri already relies on Bing for its (or her) search results!

Would you like to get $550 trade-in for your iPhone? Blackberry is offering up to that amount to switch to a Blackberry Passport. Thenextweb.com reports it varies by model, and $150 of it is on a Visa prepaid card, from December through next February.

The Gear VR virtual reality visor is just a start, and more joint Oculus and Samsung products are coming. Cnet.com says that’s according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.He declined to be specific, except to hint about ‘storytelling.’


Sapphire Glass on All iPhone 6 Models

Earlier rumors have said Apple would only be able to use sapphire glass on its larger iPhone 6, but macrumors.com now says there’s enough for the 4.7 inch iPhone 6, the 5.5 inch model, AND the iWatch, with room to spare. The nearly unbreakable screen will be welcomed by klutzy or unlucky iPhone users.

Still looking for an angle to claw back market share, Blackberry has launched BlackBerry Messenger Protected. Techcrunch.com reports its a confidential instant messaging system. It’s primarily aimed at government, government contractors, corporations, and law firms that have extra concern about secure messaging.

No Steam gaming machines from Valve or any of its suppliers this year, but geek.com says a team is working on a handheld dubbed the Steamboy to be out early next year. It’s not expected to be robust enough to play the most robust games, but hey…it’s portable.