Vessel on an iMac and iPhone

Hulu's ex-CEO Jason Kilar has been extolling the virtues of Vessel, his would-be YouTube rival, for weeks. Today, though, you can finally find out whether or not it's all that it's cracked up to be -- Vessel has launched an invitation-only public beta. You'll have to watch on an iOS device or the web (Android is coming "soon"), but you'll otherwise have a month's worth of unfettered access to the service's early, professional-level content. There's no word on when Vessel will be available invitation-free. Even so, the beta is at least proof that the video hub exists as more than just a well-meaning concept.

0 Comments

BlackBerry Passport in gold

BlackBerry's Passport is already a fairly exclusive device by dint of the company's small market share, but the Canadian smartphone maker just kicked things up a notch. It's now selling a very limited edition (just 50 units) Black & Gold Passport that lets you flout convention with more gusto than usual. The gold-colored trim, while eye-catching, sadly isn't real like we've seen in some third-party mods -- c'mon, BlackBerry! However, you do get both a real soft leather back and an engraving that lets everyone know how rare your phone is. And despite the tiny production run, this is decidedly more affordable than the Porsche Design BlackBerrys aimed at celebrities and oil barons. It'll cost you a (relatively) modest $899 to score the Black & Gold Passport in the US, and $999 in Canada.

0 Comments

Lumia Camera will be the stock camera app on Windows 10 devices

In case you haven't noticed, team Engadget has spent a lot of time today covering Windows 10, Microsoft's next-gen operating system. Over the course of the company's three-hour keynote, we heard quite a bit more about its so-called universal apps, which will run on all manner of Windows devices, whether they be desktops, tablets, phones or even 84-inch pen displays. That said, there were a couple tidbits the company left out of its presentation. For one thing, we only just learned for sure that the Lumia Camera app -- the one included in the recent "Denim" update -- will actually be the default camera app on all Windows 10 devices. That means even if you're using a Windows device made by Samsung or HTC, you'll get the same photography experience as on a proper Lumia, at least as far as software and image editing go (actual image quality is a different story).

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Terry Myerson at the Windows 10 event

Microsoft hinted that its January Windows 10 event would have a lot to offer, and boy was it right. The Redmond crew unveiled not just a ton of software features for desktops and mobile devices, but also new hardware that pushes the limits of what you thought computers could do. Overwhelmed? Don't be -- we've rounded up the biggest news from the event in the gallery below, so you'll know just what to expect when the new Windows is ready for prime time.

0 Comments

The HTC Corp. G1 mobile phone is displayed during its unveil

Could your next cell service plan be with Google? According to a report by The Information, the answer is yes, as it's plotting out an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) service that could run on the networks of Sprint or T-Mobile. That's a similar approach to other companies like Straight Talk, MetroPCS or Virgin Mobile (owned by Walmart/Tracfone, T-Mobile and Sprint, respectively) but the rumors suggest the point of the "experiment" is to push down prices and improve the experiences customers have with their wireless networks.

It all sounds quite a bit like Google Fiber, but by rolling out on existing infrastructure, Google could launch in many places all at once. On the other hand, it would still rely on its competitors to make the whole thing work, which has dragged down many such ventures in the past. It's the kind of thing such rumors have suggested Google wanted ever since it launched Android with the G1 in 2008, but now with the platform's marketshare secure it may not have to worry about angering telcos who would go from partners to competitors overnight.

[Image credit: Jb Reed/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

0 Comments

Twitter offices

Ready to ditch old-fashioned passwords on the web? Twitter is, too. It just released a developer kit that lets mobile apps' companion websites use Digits phone number logins. While you still have to create an account on your phone to get things started, you'll have the option of using your number to sign in on the web from then on. About the only additional hassle is having to enter a confirmation code (sent to your handset) the first time you use the new method. It's going to take a while before developers add Digits to their sites and let you use it in the real world, but the framework is in place.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Well, those leaks were spot on. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum just announced (via Facebook, naturally) that the hugely popular messaging company has launched a web client that'll let users fire off messages from inside the desktop version of Google Chrome. As Koum points out, WhatsApp for the web is only an extension of the mobile apps you're already familiar with, meaning all of your lengthy conversations and exchanges still live primarily on your phone. Make no mistake: WhatsApp is still the epitome of a mobile-first company. Just to ram that point home, the (characteristically simple) setup process requires you to scan a QR code from the mobile app of your choosing. For now though, the client only plays nice with Android, BlackBerry, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone versions of the app -- Koum fingered "platform limitations" as the reason why iOS users can't join in on the fun.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Microsoft's "dreaming beyond virtual worlds." Meaning, it's looking into holograms for, well, Windows Holographic. It looks an awful lot like an extension of the RoomAlive tech we've seen previously, but it isn't limited to gaming. According to Redmond's Alex Kipman, Holographic applications are Windows 10 universal apps so developers will be able to release them across a wide range of devices. The platform works in concert with the newly unveiled HoloLens headset that allows interaction between the physical and digital worlds. The outfit showed this all off with a live demo of an app dubbed HoloStudio wherein an employee built a quadrocopter onstage by pointing her finger and issuing voice commands like "mirror" and "copy." It all seemed pretty natural, actually. Kipman likened it to "print preview for 3D printing" and then pulled a 3D-printed version of the UFO-like quadrocopter seemingly out of his back pocket to show that it's more than just a concept -- it's a reality.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Today might be all about the next chapter in Windows, but there's something for the hardware-heads, too. Specifically the Surface Hub -- which joins Surface tablets, and Lumia smartphones on Redmond's roster of gear offerings. This beast is basically a large all-in-one PC (slash smart display) that is fully loaded with sensors, speakers, WiFi, NFC, microphones, cameras and more. The funniest thing? This huge device has been hiding in plain sight for the duration of Microsoft's keynote today.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Windows 10 messaging

If you're tired of jumping between multiple messaging apps to stay in touch with others, you may want to get Windows 10 when it shows up. Microsoft has revealed that the new Windows messaging client can integrate multiple internet-based services, creating a single conversation for each person regardless of the apps they use. Think of it as a parallel to the unified chat feeds in Apple's Messages app or Google's Hangouts, except that you're not limited to a handful of online providers. Developers will no doubt need to add support (you shouldn't expect WhatsApp or Line to magically appear), but this is a big deal if you're a social butterfly.

0 Comments

Right, so, we already know that Microsoft is making sure just about everyone -- from desktop owners to Windows Phone 8.1 aficionados -- get a Windows 10 upgrade for free within the first year, and we've gotten a look at how Windows 10 has evolved since we last saw it. Now it's time for the mobile nitty-gritty we were hoping for, as Microsoft's Joe Belfiore demoed a version of Windows 10 for phones and tablets smaller than eight inches.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Microsoft-Windows Phone

Can't make it to Washington for Microsoft's big Windows 10 event today? No worries! Between our liveblog and the stream embedded below, it'll be like you're sitting front-row center when Satya Nadella dishes the details on Redmond's new desktop operating system. You aren't tied to any one specific browser to peep the broadcast, either, and you could even Chromecast the stream to your flatscreen in the living room if you so desired. When's it all start? We're glad you asked: 12 pm Eastern / 9 am Pacific. But, you know, you can get in on the positively chill pre-show music right this instant; it is Wednesday after all, and your ears deserve a treat.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

In Japan, people still use feature phones. But despite the smartphone revolution, dumb phone innovation is not dead. Not when a phone can magically, (Transformer-ly) convert from a heart shape into something approaching a chubby handset you can actually talk into. Imaginatively titled "Heart", it'll come to Nihon in both red and black options, and according to our Japan team, weighs a mere 54 grams. Curiously, it doesn't launch until after Valentines' Day (late March), but when it does arrive, the phone will also come with in a special Sailor Moon iteration, with magical wand dangly accessory and livery.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Chrome 40 on an iPhone 6

At long last, Google has overhauled its Chrome browser for iOS to fit into the company's Material Design language -- and thankfully, it's a lot more than a fresh coat of paint. The newly released Chrome 40 gives you the expected bright colors, flat surfaces and fancy animations of Google's latest interface philosophy, but its big deal is rich support for iOS 8. The app is now fully compatible with larger iPhones, and it'll hand off web links to the preferred browser on your Mac (if you're running OS X Yosemite, that is). If you're a fan of Chrome but wish that it fit better into Apple's world, you'll want to swing by the App Store for the update.

0 Comments

HP is refreshing a slew of its high end mobile devices with upgrades that make them even more compelling for businesses -- and that's good news for consumers, as well. We got our first look at the new Android-powered Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 tablets today, along with the revamped Elite X2 convertible. Naturally, they're all a step up from HP's current lineup when it comes to hardware, but this year the company also focused on a few small tweaks to differentiate them from other devices aimed just at consumers. That could make them enticing options for anyone looking for a tablet that's a bit tougher than your average Android slate.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments