Switch Online Launches in September; Owl Auto Security Cam; Google Issues Router Fix; Amazon Hand Tracker PatentPosted: February 1, 2018
Nintendo’s Switch online service, which had been delayed from last year, is now scheduled to be activated in September. Theverge.com says it will cost $3.99 a month, or $19.99 a year. Besides online play, the subscription will give players access to classic games, and features like leaderboards and multiplayer. The hot Switch has already outsold its predecessor Wii U…more than 14 million have been bought since it was launched.
An ex-Apple manager who helped develop the iPod has a startup that is making what they call the 1st security cam for your car. According to 9to5mac.com, the Owl security cam is always connected over AT&T’s LTE system, and it’s powered by the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port every modern car has. Owners can access 24 hours of video footage with a companion app. It has LED lights on either side for theft deterrence, and a 2.4 inch display. Since its always on, it is able to send alerts if activity is detected. The cam is $299, with cellular service for $10 a month, but at launch, a special bundle price of $349 includes the cam and 1st year of cellular service. Preorders are open today at owlcam.com, with delivery expected by the end of the month.
We reported earlier about a bug from Google Play Services that was causing routers to crash when Google Home or Chromecast devices were awakened. 9to5google.com reports that Google has rolled out a fix to all users. It’s version 11.9.75, and should be downloadable from the Play Store if it hasn’t updated your devices already on its own.
In what may be a useful tech that can’t outrun its creepy factor, Amazon has patented wristbands that track where warehouse workers’ hands are. The idea is to make sure they are reaching the right shelf or cubby to grab an item to be boxed and shipped out. Geekwire.com notes that not every patent actually makes it into use, and this one that has the wristbands which emit ultrasonic sounds or radio pulses to help guide the employees’ hands to the right bins may never see actual use. They seem extremely intrusive and super creepy!
Galaxy Note 8 To One Up iPhone 7 Plus Cams; Flash will (Finally) Go Bye-Bye; Roku Bests Chromecast in UsersPosted: July 26, 2017
The Galaxy Note 8 may be about to better the flagship feature on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus…the dual lens camera. Bgr.com reports that Samsung wanted to put the feature on the Galaxy S8, but instead opted for the Note. Like with Apple, the Note will have a regular and telephoto lens. Samsung will have a 3x optical zoom on the Note, where Apple only has 2x, and will include optical image stabilization on the telephoto as well as main lens, which Apple doesn’t. They also are making the wide angle lens 13 megapixel, while Apple shoots with 12 megapixels on both lenses…a negligible difference, but enough to tout as a feature.
It’s been a long, slow death, but Adobe is finally pulling the plug on Flash, probably the most frequently compromised software on anyone’s computer. Mashable.com says it won’t happen until 2020, but at least there is an end date to the problematic software that Steve Jobs panned back in 2009! Most all major browsers support HTML5, and many disable Flash Player by default already. Bye, Flash…we won’t miss you.
According to info from eMarketer picked up by recode.net, Roku pulls in around 40 million people in the US per month. This gives them 23% of connected TV users, easing past Google’s Chromecast with 22% and Amazon Fire TV with 21. Apple TV is an anemic 7%. The big number is 37%….that’s how many just watch via smart TVs. Mine isn’t even all that new, but has dedicated Netflix and Amazon buttons on the remote, and was dead simple to set up.
New GoPros Including Drone; Waze Gets Parking Help; Google’s Pixel Event; GM Sets Bolt Price & Pledges 100% Renewable PowerPosted: September 20, 2016
GoPro has revealed 3 new cams- the Hero 5, Hero 5 Session, and Hero Session. Businessinsider.com says they start at $399 for the 5. They also showed a foldable drone called Karma. The Drone is $799, but can be bundled with the cams…with the Hero 5 Session the combo is $999, and it’s $1099 for the Hero 5 Black and the Karma. It has a gimbal to stabilize footage you shoot.
Parking in cities can be infuriating. Now, Google’s Waze throws you a lifeline, as they’ve partnered with Inrix to bring additional parking lot data to the Waze app. According to 9to5google.com, the beefed up parking adding parking lot data to the already available street parking data is available on both the Android and iOS Waze apps.
We reported a rumor last week about Google’s Pixel smartphone event in early October. Now it’s official. Engadget.com reports that the invites are out and the event is October 4th. Google may show 2 new Pixel branded phones, a 4K Chromecast, and a new Daydream VR headset.
GM has announced pricing for it’s all electric Bolt, due out the end of the year. Reuters.com says it will start at $37,495. This should bring it under the ‘magic’ $30,000 level with the Federal tax break of $7500. It’s supposed to go 238 miles fully charged. Also, the General has just pledged that it would move all its facilities to 100% renewable energy by 2050…that’s over 350 facilities in 59 countries! Walmart, Unilever, and Apple are also moving to all-renewable facilities.
Google will hold a media event in October that will include new phone branding— Pixel and Pixel XL, and will also debut 4K Chromecast. Cnet.com says Android Police tout October 4th as the date. We had just reported this week that Google would drop the Nexus brand, and this is another confirmation of that. We may also see the design for its Daydream VR, a hardware and software platform to help any Android smartphone manufacturer create a VR headset themselves.
There have been several reports the last few weeks of Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s exploding while charging. Now, according to 9to5google.com, the company says that.1 of 1% of the batteries may be bad, and they may go ahead and do a full global recall. Samsung says simply replacing the battery will fix the problem, but they want to err on the side of caution. Until more details on the problem and recall come out…probably next week…don’t use off-brand chargers or accessories with a Galaxy Note 7.
If there was a ‘one more thing’ at Apple’s event yesterday, it didn’t come from Apple. The FBI put on hold it’s demand for Cupertino to crack the San Bernardino terrorist iPhone, claiming it had outside help to do so. Since two former CIA directors have said the NSA could do it, that’s a pretty good guess. Meanwhile, back in Cupertino, Apple showed the 4 inch iPhone SE, the new 9.7 inch iPad Pro model, and new Apple Watch bands. the iPhone SE is pretty much an iPhone 6S squeezed into an iPhone 5S case. It starts at $399 for the nearly useless 16 gigs of memory, and is $499 for the more useable 64 gigs. Preorders start Thursday, and it’s available March 31st.
Apple has shoehorned its iPad Pro into a smaller 9.7 inch version. You get the same 4 speakers and Apple Pencil stylus support. It weighs less than a pound, and has it’s own version of the keyboard case. The smaller Pro…Pro-ette? comes in silver, gold, space grey, and rose gold, and starts at $599 for 32 gigs. A loaded up one with the Pencil will pretty well murder a grand. It is also available for preorders starting Thursday and out on the 31st.
As expected, Apple Watch gets a so-called ‘Spring lineup’ of bands, but the big news is the price cut from $349 to $299. It’s a good guess that an Apple Watch v. 2.0 will be out in the fall with this price reduction.
Over at Google, or if you insist…Alphabet…Chromecast has morphed into Googlecast. 9to5google.com says some Vizio TVs will come with Googlecast built in, and there are some new Googlecast enabled speakers. The app is also renamed Googlecast, and the updated version will be out on Android and iOS this week.
Google rolled out two top line smartphones at its big Nexus event in San Francisco Tuesday…first, the brand new Nexus 6P. It’s made by Huawei and sports a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor. The 6P has a unibody aluminum design. For comparison it weighs 178 grams… Apple’s new iPhone 6s Plus has a smaller 5.5-inch display and it weighs 199 grams.
It comes with 3GB of RAM, a 12.3-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, a massive 3,450 battery and either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage. So how much? it starts at $499 off contract, and you can preorder at the Google Play store, with shipping sometime in October.
Google also showed a smaller handset…the Nexus 5X. This year, Google is taking a page out of Samsung and Apple’s playbook and offering two distinct flagship phones, one with a smaller screen and one that’s phablet sized. The Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch LCD display with full HD resolution. A 2GHz 6-core Snapdragon 808, and 2GB of RAM. The phone will be available with either 16GB or 32GB of storage. It sports a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front facing camera, and fingerprint scanner. The Nexus 5X will start at $379 with no contract, and like the 6P, it’s available for preorder now in the Google Play Store, and ships in October.
Google rolled out an actual tablet, too… the Pixel C. This tablet, unlike the Pixel devices that preceded it, will launch not with Chrome OS, but with Android — 6.0 Marshmallow to be exact. There’s an optional detachable keyboard you will probably want. This tablet is amazingly made by Google, and not just built for them.
The Pixel C features a 10.2-inch screen. It will ship sometime in November, starting at $499 for the tablet itself at 32 GB (and $599 for the 64 GB), and $149 for the attachable keyboard.
As you heard or read here last week, the 2nd generation Chromecast is out. Besides the lollypop shaped dongle, the device offers improved WiFi and connectivity features, a new home screen that features new “feeds” for displaying content on-screen while your device is in standby, and “Fast Play,” which allows your devices to connect to Chromecast faster and easier than ever before…the Chromecast Audio, including Spotify support is also out now. Chromecast 2.0 is $35. You’ll be able to grab one from the Google Store, Best Buy, and Walmart.
A 2nd generation Chromecast will drop before the end of the month. Expect it to feature improved WiFi, new feeds for the main screen and a feature dubbed ‘Fast Play.’ 9to5google.com says it will sport a new shape and various colors, too. The new feeds likely include social media feeds, and a new feature called ‘Fast Play,’ which helps Chromecast establish a connection faster and play content more seamlessly when touching the Cast button on a connected device. Google is also looking to launch ‘Chromecast Audio,’ which would allow the dongle to plug into any speaker via an auxiliary chord…Chromecast Audio will apparently have multi-room support, and the ability to mirror your Chrome or Android audio. In addition to Google Play Music, Netflix, Pandora, etc…Chromecast will add support for Spotify now. Expect the Chromecast rollout at Google’s September 29th event, when they plan to show two new Nexus gadgets as well.
You’ve probably heard stories of people in China being willing to give up a kidney for gadgets or cash. Here’s a new wrinkle…or lack of one…reported by geek.com. A sperm bank is offering an iPhone 6S in exchange for 17 milliliters of a guy’s ‘product. Since the average man’s ejaculation produces about 10 ml, a Chinese fellow jonesing for a shiny new iPhone may have to make a couple of deposits to the Renji Hospital sperm bank. The cash equivalent is about $940, by the way.
Why wear a camera for active videos when you can fly one overhead? Theverge.com says GoPro announced at the Code Conference that they plan to launch their own quadcopter drone the first half of next year. Although they declined to put a price point on the drone, CEO Nick Woodman noted that they’re a consumer focused company, so expect it to be competitively priced. GoPro also said there will be a number of related products available when the quadcopter launches.
Lenovo has dropped a competitor to Chromecast. According to slashgear.com, the hockey puck shaped gadget is due to sell for $49, and should be out in August. Like Chromecast and Roku and the rest, it’s plug and play. It has HDMI and micro USB ports, dual band WiFi, supports up to 1080p resolutions, and comes with a bracket, so you can mount it on the back of the TV instead of laying it on your TV stand.
We reported earlier about some innovative batteries that double the life of Lithium Ion batteries. Now, geek.com reports that Dyson has vacuumed up Skati3, the company that makes them. Look for the solid state batteries in Dyson’s portable vacuums, and later in smartphones and other gadgets.
Google’s Chromecast has made your smartphone into a really great TV remote…but what if you left it in the other room? According to techcrunch.com, you can use your infrared TV remote to pause and un-pause streaming videos.It works on MOST streams and MOST TVs.
Nintendo is finally poised for something of a comeback. Bgr.com says they’re going really big into mobile games, joining Sega and Square. Even with free apps, mobile games make a mint from in-app purchases…as Sega and Square have discovered.