Samsung is taking the wraps off of yet another new smartwatch, but the Gear S (not Solo) has a twist: there's a 3G modem inside. While it may not be especially fast, that means that even when outside the range of a Bluetooth-connected phone or WiFi, it can still send and receive messages or make calls. It has a 2-inch AMOLED screen plus a dual-core 1GHz CPU inside along with GPS, heart rate and motion sensors, all powered by a 300mAh battery Samsung says can last up to two days. It runs Tizen instead of Android Wear, with pedestrian navigation available from from Nokia's HERE and support for Facebook. In the run up to IFA next week Samsung is also bringing the Gear Circle headset (yes, we also figured they'd save that name for a round watch) that pairs with a phone over Bluetooth, letting users hear notifications, use voice commands or listen to music through the earbuds.
Not one to wait around for trade shows to officially begin before flaunting its new products to the world, LG is no longer teasing the G Watch R, its upcoming circular Android Wear smartwatch -- it's showing it off in all its glory. And just as the company hinted at on Sunday, it comes with a 1.3-inch Plastic OLED (P-OLED) full 360-degree display. LG says that it isn't trying to replace the original G Watch, but rather offer another choice: The R is an elegant device that looks and feels more like a classic watch than its squarish predecessor. Good timing, too, since it's going to be competing head-to-head (wrist-to-wrist?) against the Moto 360, a similarly shaped watch that will likely be available next week.
Instagram has already revealed a bit about how Hyperlapse turns your shaky handheld footage into smooth time-lapses, but what if you really want to know what makes it tick? Don't worry -- the company will happily satisfy your curiosity with a deep dive into the app's inner workings. Ultimately, you're looking at a significant extension of the Cinema tech used in Instagram itself. It's still using your phone's gyroscope to determine the orientation of the camera and crop frames to counteract any shakiness. The biggest change is in how Hyperlapse adjusts to different time-lapse speeds. It only checks the positioning for the video frames you'll actually see, and that crop-based smoothing effect will change as you step up the pace.
In a serious medical emergency, action in the first few minutes can be key to a positive outcome. An ambulance might be only a few miles away, but what if someone with medical training, who could provide immediate care while the cavalry's on route, was sitting just next door? It's this kind of scenario a doctor with London's Air Ambulance service had in mind when he created GoodSAM, an Android and iOS app that sends out a request for any nearby professionals to lend a hand in an emergency.
Speed-reading apps seem like the new weather apps. There are tons of different examples to choose from and they tout benefits that range from better memory retention to more free time and even healthier, shinier hair (one of those may not be totally true). So, have you used one to take your reading skills from average speed to ludicrous speed? Head over to the Engadget forums and share your experiences.
If you regularly go out wearing Google Glass, you've probably lamented the lack of major music app choices. There's Play Music and... well, that's about it. Never fear, though, as Pandora has just released a Glass app for its internet radio service. The wearable-ready software lets you control streaming without ever having to reach for your phone; you can create or choose stations solely using your voice, and the touchpad lets you both skip annoying tunes and give the thumbs-up to songs you like. It won't cost you anything to download the app, although you can't really call this free. Besides the $1,500 Glass itself, you'll likely want to buy Glass-specific stereo headphones -- that's a lot of money just to get internet radio on an eyepiece.
T-Mobile's Music Freedom initiative raised a few eyebrows when the Uncarrier revealed it a few months ago - it granted most-favored nation status to a handful of music streaming services so whatever data they used wouldn't count against your monthly data cap. With Pandora, Spotify, iTunes Radio in the mix, the move seemed like a win for consumers... unless you happened to pay someone else to get your streaming fix. Thankfully, T-Mobile is finally expanding the list of supported services to include beloved also-rans like Rdio, Google-owned Songza, and more. Support for the six new streaming services has gone into effect today, but T-Mobile admitted in a statement that one fan-favorite service would take a little more time to set up. You see, the carrier kicked off a poll shortly after Music Freedom's launch to see what unsupported service people wanted to use the most. The winner? None other than Google Play Music -- hardly a surprise, but T-Mobile admitted in a statement that it won't be added to the fold until later this year.
Time spent with friends is supposed to be cherished. Nowadays, however, the existence of things like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter make those moments a little less special for some people, namely because they keep their eyes hooked to whatever device they have near them. To that end, according to Deadline, Fox has green-lit a TV sitcom called All Together Now, which features a plot based on six friends in their late 20's who are keen to unplug from their mobile devices and interact with one another "for as long as they can stand it." All Together Now is set to be produced by Alec Sulkin and Julius Sharpe, who most recently worked with Fox on Dads, a show canceled last May, after only one 19-episode season, due to very bad reviews. The new sitcom still hasn't begun production, so it'll likely be a while before it premieres -- hopefully it's enough time for you to gather your thoughts and realize that this is really happening.
[Image credit: Associated Press]
You may have good reason to safeguard your privacy these days, but would you hand over the goods if someone paid you? For some people, the answer is "yes." Companies like Luth Research have been paying willing subjects a modest amount (in Luth's case, $100 per month) to track their devices' locations, web histories and app usage to improve advertising and shopping. Ford, for example, used the technology this year to see how prospective buyers research a car; it could tell if participants bought a vehicle after visiting its site, or if they were using their phone to research alternatives in the showroom. These monitoring schemes are hardly low-profile, either. Verizon recently launched a voluntary program that promises rewards if you share your positioning and web info.
If you ask many pundits when Apple will unveil its often-rumored wearable device, many of them will say October. However, we may have to revise those expectations a bit. Recode's sources now claim that Apple will unveil the gadget on September 9th -- you know, the same day that many expect to see at least one new iPhone. There's little to back the claim at this point beyond the site's reputation for accurate leaks, but the timing makes sense given that the iPhone and the mystery wristwear are expected to work virtually hand-in-hand. As for actual technical details? Besides the expected fitness and home automation support, there isn't much more to say -- most likely, you'll have to wait a couple more weeks to get the full scoop.
[Image credit: Ruben Schade, Flickr]
The generous group over at Good Old Games is prepping to bring another medium into its trademark DRM-free digital distribution platform: movies. Starting today, you can head over to GOG.com and download or stream a handful of gaming-and-geek focused documentaries. What's on tap? Art of Playing, TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard and Indie Game: The Movie (seen above) among others, and you can check out the first two flicks in this list absolutely free of charge. If none of those strike your fancy the company promises more titles will be added on a weekly basis. Don't expect to see Guardians of the Galaxy pop up on the site's digital shelves in the coming months, though.
Since Windows Phone's humble beginnings, Microsoft has been the underdog in the wireless industry. Four years later, nothing's changed -- except, perhaps, a few more percentage points of market share. Even then, it's got a long way to go before catching up to Android and iOS. Let's give the company credit for pushing forward, improving its platform and not giving up, though: When I reviewed the last major OS update, I said I could finally use Windows Phone as my daily driver. The one element that Microsoft continued to lack, however, was buy-in from large phone makers. They put more focus on Android products, which meant anyone interested in Windows Phone had a small selection of devices to choose from.
For Microsoft, it's time to experiment with a new, simpler approach. The software giant has buddied up with HTC to convert the One M8, its Android flagship, into a Windows Phone. That's all there is to it. There's absolutely no change to the hardware -- and it's a fantastic idea. If it fails, neither company loses much from the deal; since they're using an existing phone, the cost of design and engineering is far lower than it would be on a standalone device. If it's successful, it may inspire other manufacturers to follow suit, resulting in a market with a wide variety of Windows Phones to choose from. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?
Now that LG's flagship G3 is a big success, it's pulling a Samsung by throwing esoteric spin-offs like the G3 Stylus against a wall to see if they stick. The latest is the not-so-brilliantly named Gx2 (the company already has a G2x) that packs a huge, 5.7-inch screen and laser camera focus borrowed from the G3. Other specs are run-of-the-mill: a quad-core 1.2GHz CPU, 1.3-megapixel front camera, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB memory, 720p screen resolution and a 3,200mAh battery that should run forever. Oddly the meek 8-megapixel camera doesn't seem to deserve the laser system, but maybe there's a "focus buff" market we're unaware of. Pricing and availability have yet to be revealed, but it's likely to stay in Asia.
Next time you're playing a favorite game on your iPhone and iPad, a huge ad -- or worse, a minute-long video roll -- might take over the screen. iAd platform's full-screen interstitial banner and pre-roll video ads, which were first announced earlier this year, are now available to developers. The full-screen ads appear as transitional screens, say, whenever you reach the end of a game level, while the video ads come in 15, 30 and 60-second variants. These are already available on other ad platforms, of course, but iAds were typically more unobtrusive, just banners that you can click on to launch advertisers' websites. As you'd expect, these new options will cost devs a lot more money. But if Apple does unleash an iPhone with a much larger screen (possibly this September), then these ads might just be worth their cash.