Google Announces Developer Conference on Modular Phones

Posted in Google by Darrin Olson on February 27th, 2014

Project Ara Modular Phones Google announced on Wednesday that it will host a series of three developer conferences, focusing on the alpha release of the Project Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK). Project Ara is an initiative to move the idea of modular smartphones into a reality.

Instead of purchasing a whole, new pre-configured smartphone every time your device (or part of your device) is outdated you would have the option of purchasing just a single component of the device, and mix and matching it as you would like.

The first of the series of conferences will be based on a slower prototype implementation of the Ara on-device network, and will be held on April 15-16 in Mountain View, CA. There is a $100 ($25 for students) attendance fee with developers having a priority at the show, or you can watch a live stream …

Google Glass Prompts Fight in San Fran Bar

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on February 26th, 2014

Woman claims attack for wearing Google GlassA woman posted on her Facebook page that she was attacked by fellow patrons as a result of wearing her Google Glass in a local San Francisco bar on Friday. Sarah Slocum posted that while wearing the device she was confronted by two women and then had the wearable device ripped from her face by a man.

“OMG so you’ll never believe this but… I got verbally and physically assaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some *** Google Glass haters …”

wrote Slocum.

From witness reports, it appears many people were interested and excited to see the new technology in action however others nearing the “last call” expressed concern about being video recorded in public which prompted a fight outside the bar between another man and Slocum’s male companion. …

Samsung Announces Galaxy S5 Launching April 11

Posted in Samsung by Darrin Olson on February 25th, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung announced the release of the Galaxy S5 on Monday at the Unpacked 5 conference in Barcelona. According to the announcement, the much anticipated S5 will be available to the public in the US beginning April 11, but the initial release of pricing or what colors will be available, were not specified.

In this release, Samsung appears to have focused on improving more of the practical, day-to-day functionality’s of the device instead of adding any new bleeding edge features. Some of those include improvements to the phone’s camera, processing speed and most importantly batter life. The S5 will support up to 24 hours of standby time, 10 hours of web browsing or 12 hours of video playback (both on LTE, of course). The company did add a finger print scanner and a heart rate monitor which puts the device in line …

WhatsApp Services Plans to Add Voice

Posted in Mobile Apps,News by Darrin Olson on February 24th, 2014

WhatsApp to Add VoiceNot even a week has gone buy since Facebook announced the acquisition of WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion and they have already announced plans to add voice calls to the already popular WhatsApp service. Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, however has assured the media that no additional changes such as Facebook advertising is planned for the application, which was an immediate concern for many already using the WhatsApp service.

WhatsApp has been much more popular in Europe and other emerging economies and only just recently has been catching on more in the U.S. To put in perspective for those in the U.S., WhatsApp already has about twice is many users as Twitter at 465 million over a month, and costs users $1 after a free year trial.

The Telegraph

AT&T Announces Unite Pro LTE Touchscreen Hotspot

Posted in HotSpot by Darrin Olson on November 23rd, 2013

AT&T Unite Pro LTE mobile hotspotAT&T announced on Tuesday the release of the Unite Pro LTE hotspot from Netgear. This mobile WiFi device, scheduled to be released on November 22nd, features a 2.4 inch touchscreen display and has some upgrades from its Unite predecessor. The Pro will manage up to 15 simultaneous wireless connections with a 16 hour batter life, upping it from 10 devices and 10 hours in the previous model.

The price is increasing a little as well, however. While the Unite when for 99 cents with a 2-year contract, the Unite Pro is $49.99 with a 2-year contract. More details are available in this video below from AT&T.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhGgtETUGBw

AT&T

Google Chromecast Review

Posted in Chromecast by Darrin Olson on November 7th, 2013

Google ChromecastGoogle rolled out its Chromecast media device earlier this past summer and after using it this fall I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner. This small device was easy to setup and provided a great solution for viewing my Google Play purchased media on my TV.

The device was very easy to install, simply by installing Chromecast on my Android device and then plugging it into an HDMI port on the TV. the device does need some external power however and comes with a USB cord that can be run from a power outlet or a USB port on the TV (if there is one available). From there the Chromecast software found the device and walked me through a few simple steps to connect it to the internet and get going.

Once setup, users can cast media from their Android phone …

HGST Launches Helium-Filled 6TB Hard Drive

Posted in Hard Drives by Darrin Olson on November 4th, 2013

HGST Helium filled hard drive He6HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital, announced on Monday the launch of its first helium-filled hard drive. The new Ultrastar He6 drive comes with a 6TB capacity in a 3.5-inch drive enclosure.

According to HGST, having helium in the enclosure has significantly less friction than air, allowing for less energy needed to physically move platters around inside the drive resulting in more platters with an acceptable performance. More platters mean more drive space with a general increase by three quarters over a standard air-filled hard drive.

The challenge has been to create a chamber in the drive that was tight enough to avoid leaking the helium, and HGST assures us that it is a safe volume with “less helium than a balloon”. Pricing was not initially available, however the company stated that it will “…cost-effectively extend the capacity and …

Apple Roles out Fifth Generation iPad Air

Posted in Apple by Darrin Olson on October 23rd, 2013

Apple iPad Air MiniOn Tuesday Apple announced the release of its fifth generation iPad mini, named the iPad Air as an offshoot naming of the Macboook line of products, confirming rumors of the anticipated release earlier in the month. The new iPad Air primarily features a new lighter, thinner design weighing in at just one pound and 7.5 mm thick (that’s less than a third of an inch to you metrically challenged folks).

Apple has also added in a faster A7, 64-bit chipset, where Apple states it doubles the processor speed with the same battery drain as its predecessor. They’ve also added dual WiFi antenna’s with MIMO, the high resolution (2048×1536) Retina display on a 9.7-inch screen and kept up to 10 hours of battery life.

Apple is releasing the iPad Air November 1st with prices starting at $499 for a 16GB …

Facebook Having Issues with Status Updates

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on October 21st, 2013

Facebook LikeMonday morning it appears Facebook is having a relatively widespread issue with status updates. If you ran into it this morning, apparently you are not the only one. Reports across the country have been posted online stating the issue. We encountered a message this morning when trying to update a status and received the message: “There was a problem updating your status. Please try again in a few minutes.” Others have reported the updates with no error message, but the updates ultimately do not happen.

No message from Facebook officials as of yet as to when it will be resolved or how widespread the problem is.

Nexus 5 leaked on Google Play Store

Posted in Google by Darrin Olson on October 18th, 2013

Google Nexus 5On Thursday Engadget has reported seeing the anticipated Nexus 5 appearing on the Google Play Store website, if only briefly. For a time the advertisement for the existing Nexus 4 was gone and replaced with one for the Nexus 5, listing at $349 for a 16GB model.

The display was short-lived and not appearing any longer today, but enough information has been leaked this month to give a good overview of what is expected to come. The Nexus 5 is anticipated to sport a 1080p, 4.95 inch display, storage up to 32GB and the 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU.

We had been anticipating the release of the Nexus 5 by now, but there is no official word of the release date. Engadget is speculating the release to coincide with a the possible release of the Android 4.4 KitKat OS later in …

Adidas Announces Smart Watch for Runners

Posted in Adidas,Exercise Gadgets by Darrin Olson on October 16th, 2013

Adidas Smart WatchAdidas announced on Wednesday the release of a new smartwatch targeting runners, putting some additional competition in the wearable exercise devices with Nike’s Fuelband and the Fitbit Force.

According to Paul Gaudio, the vice president in charge of Adidas’ interactive division, the Adidas smartwatch is focusing on making the best running watch as apposed to competing in the smartwatch space with Google and Apple. The Adidas smartwatch includes the ability to connect through Bluetooth with a smartphone but will require less dependency by incorporating flash storage for music right on the wrist-worn device. It also has features to give real-time feedback to the user while exercising by tracking heart rate and motion, and then producing vibrations or audible feedback through headphones.

The watch isn’t coming cheap however with an expected price tag of $399. Compared to the Nike Fuelband it comes …

Garmin HUD Projects Navigation on your Windshield

Posted in Garmin by Darrin Olson on October 15th, 2013

Garmin Head Up Display NavigationGarmin has a slick device that pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth and will project a heads-up display of driving directions on your windshield. Along with standard directions it can also show speed, traffic info, speed camera alerts and suggest lanes.

The dasbhoard mountable HUD from Garmin is wireless and will project the display onto a transparent film that sticks to your windshield or onto a reflector lens attached to the device. It works with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8 and will require Garmin’s StreetPilot or NAVIGON software.

Garmin Head-Up Display (HUD) Dashboard Mounted Windshield Projector

Rumors of Google Smartwatch Leaked

Posted in Google,Smart Devices by Darrin Olson on October 15th, 2013

[caption id="attachment_72037" align="alignnone" width="500"]Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Samsung Galaxy Gear launched the smartwatch revolution[/caption]Google could have a smartwatch just around the corner according to reports from 9to5Google, with an official announcement as soon as the end of October. The device is codenamed Gem and would be announced as a Nexus watch from Google.

The watch would benefit from the features of Google Now, could integrate nicely with Google Glasses and show information such as emails, texts and calendar alerts on the display. This news comes hot on the heals of the announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch utilizing the Android OS, along with talk of Apple releasing their own smartwatch sometime in 2014.

Google’s recent purchase of smartwatch maker WIMM Labs also adds some validity to this talk. According to the rumor Google is just finishing up on final touches with improving the battery …

Third Windows Phone 8 Update Announced

Posted in Mobile Phones by Darrin Olson on October 14th, 2013

Windows Phone 8 UpdateMicrosoft announced on Monday the third update to its Windows Phone 8 mobile platform featuring updates including support for a larger Start screen at a higher resolution. Microsoft also included support for a faster processor, a driving mode, accessibility features and a few more.

The update creates the ability for Windows Phone 8 to support larger 5 and 6 inch mobile devices which some are calling “phablets”. Microsoft did not use the word phablet or refer to any larger devices being released however the main image on the release post from Microsoft had “phablet” in the file name. This would handle 1080p HD resolution and allows for as many as six Live Tiles across the screen. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Nokia come out with a larger device with the updated OS from Microsoft after Microsoft’s recent purchase …

Fitbit Launching Force Wristband in Coming Weeks

Posted in Exercise Gadgets,Fitbit by Darrin Olson on October 10th, 2013

Fitbit WristbandFitbit, makers of the fitness tracking Flex wristband, announced Thursday that it will be releasing the Fitbit Force this fall. The Force is an updated version of the Flex with some additional features, most notably an OLED display right on the device.

The added display is a big advancement in the device. Not only will this allow the user to see their distance progress and calories burned as you might expect, but it can also see the names of incoming callers. The Fitbit Force will pair with your iPhone via Bluetooth and is the first of the wrist-worn devices to take advantage of the new Apple iOS 7 notification center. This way users on a run can track the calls that come in without having to pull out their phone and gives Fitbit a jump on the competition from Nike’s Fuelband and …