Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

Google didn't design Android Wear to emulate a smartphone's interface for a reason: the company believes it makes no sense doing so on such a tiny screen. Sadly, many early adopters find it cumbersome to launch third-party apps on the current design, prompting a developer to come up with the Wear Mini launcher to solve the problem. On vanilla Android Wear, you'd need to issue a voice command (which doesn't always conjure up the right app) or scroll through a list if you want to launch Evernote, Lyft, Duolingo, or any other app you have. If you install the Wear Mini Launcher, though, you'll get an app drawer (showing all your apps' icons like your phone does) that you can access by swiping from the top left edge of the screen. You can download it right now from Google Play, but note that its performance might vary depending on your device.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

sky

Microsoft's new Climatology app makes it simple to check weather conditions anywhere on Earth. Funny thing is, the company just released it for Android devices, with no Windows Phone app in sight. If you do use Android, the Microsoft Research-developed app can show you a location's temperature, humidity and the average amount of rain and sunshine it'll get during a particular month. Say, you're going to Thailand on a vacation in November -- just look up the place and choose a month to know if it's sunny enough to hit the country's beaches. It could be pretty useful if you travel a lot and need a quick way to check the weather. A single look at the app's Play page shows that most people find its feature set quite limited, though, so you may want to hold off on deleting your other weather apps.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Sony's still searching high and low for the kind of folks that need a replacement for regular paper and aren't too worried about the cost ($1,100). The latest potential buyers (after lawyers and HR departments) of its 13.3-inch E Ink Digital Paper? Legal researchers. Sony's teamed up with William S. Hein & Co. (which runs the LexisNexis-like HeinOnline database that gives access to documents from legal libraries) so anyone who uses the device can pull from its more than 100 million pages and see them just as they were originally laid out, without zooming or scrolling. It's still a pretty pricey upgrade from tech that's worked effectively for around 2,000 years, but legal librarians and law students can probably do without the reams of paper they've been printing out until now.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

For awhile, Applebee's wanted its customers to be using more tech at the dinner table -- embedding tablets throughout its restaurants. Then third-parties caught on and created Applebee's specific social networks. Now the restaurant seems to be backing away from the future of devices-assisted eating, and has filed a trademark application for "No tech Tuesday." In all seriousness, Applebee's wouldn't be the first restaurant to try and keep its customers focused on each other instead of their phones, but a "No tech Tuesday" promotion could make it the first to implement such a policy on a large scale. Still, the gimmick will be a hard sell at restaurants that have already installed the aforementioned table tablets.

0 Comments

Wireless smartphone chargers have been around for quite sometime, but they usually forgo attractive aesthetics and any added functionality. Those who prefer a much more attractive option now have one with Swich: an accessory that lifts that handset off of your desk without a tether, keeping all of its buttons accessible while lending a better viewing angle. The units are constructed with sustainable American walnut and ceramics, adding a mirco-suction grip to keep gadgets from slipping while they recharge. The panel on which that daily driver rests also rotates to accommodate both landscape and portrait orientations. Of course, you'll need a Qi-compatible device or a case that adds the functionality, but those unable to pass up dapper design can snag a unit for $170 via Kickstarter.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

What do rocket scientists do in their spare time? Design cookware, apparently. A Oxford University professor has created a new kind of saucepan that heats up 30-percent faster than traditional cookware. He calls it "Flare," and it borrows from the same principals used to efficiently transfer and distribute heat in jet engines. The pan gets its name from a series of ridges that run around the circumference of its base -- these fins draw flames up the side of the pan and distribute heat evenly over its aluminum body. This design not only cooks food faster, but it uses significantly less energy to do it. It just goes to show: you don't have to be a rocket scientist to make cookware, but it helps. The £49.99 saucepan will go on sale in the UK next month.

0 Comments

A group of Oxford University scientists have accidentally created a new display technology -- one that could enable a new era of smart glasses, bendable displays and even artificial retinas. The team refers to its discovery as 'nano-pixels;' it's a tiny sandwich of phase change material and transparent electrodes that change color when given a tiny jolt of current. These stacks can be used to draw tiny images, like the examples above, each one smaller than the width of a human hair. "We didn't set out to invent a new kind of display," explained research lead Harish Bhaskaran, his team was just exploring the relationship between the electrical and optical properties of phase change materials. Creating nano-pixels just sort of happened along the way.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Cloud storage service Dropbox has announced a feature called Streaming Sync, which promises to improve the way its platform handles the syncing of large files. Thanks to Streaming Sync, which is part of a revamped desktop client, users will get a major speed boost when syncing any file over 16MB -- up to twice as fast as any regular sync, according to the company. Dropbox notes that it was able to accomplish this by overlapping the upload and download phase of the file synchronization, meaning it can use its servers to push the data to your device, rather than letting your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop do all the work. Along with Streaming Sync, Dropbox also brought support for four additional languages to the app, as well as the ability to view your most recent account activity via a new notifications menu.

0 Comments

US-IT-INTERNET-FCC

The FCC's controversial plans for a new version of net neutrality are still open for public comment for a few more days, and Chairman Tom Wheeler -- continuing to fight charges that he may be a dingo -- says it's already received over 647,000 comments so far. The 60 day period for public comment runs out on the 15th though, so if you want your voice to be heard then about fast lanes, Title II or anything else, then now is the time. The internet may not have crashed the FCC's website -- hackers did that -- but it can still have an effect on the way we connect in the future. Read the FCC's proposal here, and send your comments in via openinternet@fcc.gov.

[Image credit: Karen Bleier via Getty Images]

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Latest Product ReviewsMore reviews →

Must Reads