08/03/2014 - We're live from SXSW Interactive 2014!
We're live on the ground at South By Southwest (#SXSW for short), the annual event that brings together everyone and anyone who's invested in the interactive arts. Those artists include the minds behind emerging startups (like Twitter was here in 2007), as well as established innovators like Mark Cuban and even Grumpy Cat.
We're already off to a great start: we've seen a man get stunned by the Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone and had a chance to punch virtual sharks with the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion. But, there's more to come over the next few days, including riding MarioKart in real life, separate virtual conversations with Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, Shaq and much more.
Here's how to keep up with us at SXSW, after the break.
07/03/2014 - The Engadget Podcast is live at 12PM ET!
The last five days were, in a word, bedlam. Newsweek may or may not have found the man who created Bitcoin (which subsequently led to a car chase -- yes, seriously); the head of PlayStation US, Jack Tretton, stepped down after just shy of 20 years; and Apple's finally got an official service for bridging iOS to cars: you'll never guess what it's called (okay, you probably will).
With co-hosts Terrence O'Brien and Joseph Volpe scattered across Austin for SXSW 2014, we're playing "who are these new people?" with two new staffers -- Chris Velazco and John Colucci. All that and more, live at noon ET, just below!
02/03/2014 - HTC shutting down its Watch movie service in the UK
When HTC pulled the plug on its Watch service in a number of European countries last year, it told us that it was merely streamlining its efforts, and that movie rentals and purchases would continue to be offered in places with the "highest engagement." But now it looks like the closures are spreading to those areas too, with UK users receiving an email warning them that the Watch store will close on March 31st, by which point any purchased movies must be downloaded to a device in order to remain accessible. We've asked HTC for a fuller explanation, but in the meantime we're left with the feeling that the company's in-house streaming platform may actually have been dying a slow death this whole time, due to a lack of popularity. Either that, or the name "HTC Watch" has suddenly become very inconvenient.
28/02/2014 - The Engadget Podcast is live at 12PM ET!
On this week's episode of the Engadget Podcast, Terrence sits alone in a
closet studio piled high with ancient gadgets that no one will ever use again. Palm Pres, Kins and Zunes appear to be his only friends -- Joseph and Ben have "more important things to do." But, when all hope seemed lost, two valiant riders came rushing to his rescue. Brad Molen decided to fight through his MWC hangover to join our intrepid host, and the always soothing Richard Lawler will be rounding out this week's trio as they tackle the big news of the week (and probably talk some smack about those other hosts).
It all happens at 12PM ET, right after the break.
Is there a tablet-shaped hole in your life? Or maybe you're something of a collector? Either way, we have three Advent Tegra Note 7's sitting here looking for a good home. You can thank the kind folks at NVIDIA, who supplied the goods, which you may also remember from our review of another Tegra Note 7 family member. Want in on the action? Head past the break where out trusty competition-o-matic 3000 (ok, it's just a widget) awaits you. And, as always, please read the terms and conditions. Good luck!
Sony said it was "addressing various options" as recently as yesterday when it came to its VAIO PC and laptop arm, and while announcing its financial results for Q3 2013, it's apparently come to a decision. Amid reforming its TV arm (and splitting it into a standalone entity by June 2014), it's going to sell its PC business and VAIO brand to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), with the final deal set to be done by the end of March 2014. The company has reported a drop in demand for its PCs in prior financial statements, and (barring the VAIO Flip 11A), Sony didn't really have much to show from its VAIO range at this year's CES.
The company says it's no longer designing and developing PC products, while manufacturing and sales will wrap up after the company's final VAIO range goes on sale globally. It has decided to focus on those post-PC products (yep, smartphones and tablets), meaning that it had to make some big decisions with less successful parts of the business. During Q3 2013, it saw "significant profit improvements" compared to the same period last year. Sony saw year-on-year sales increases from its mobile arm, but still forecasts an annual loss of around $1.1 billion (110 billion yen) for the full year: it had previously projected a 30 billion yen profit. The blame is leveled at the businesses its now looking to change. Other highlights include the PS4, which sold 4.2 million units and 9.7 million games in its first six weeks. The games arm also saw a "dramatic increase" in PlayStation Plus subscriptions -- something that's mandatory for multiplayer on the company's new console.
Sony will cut a total of 5,000 jobs worldwide (1,500 in Japan) by the end of the 2014 fiscal year, while the new PC company has stated that it will hire around 250 to 300 Sony employees, encompassing design, development manufacturing and sales, and will be based in Nagano -- where Sony's current VAIO HQ resides. The company is promising to fulfill all its aftercare warranties. Sony is signed up to invest 5 percent of the new company's capital to support its launch and smooth over the transition. Restructuring costs across both the TV and PC segments are now set to cost an extra 20 billion yen. Sony is now set to focus on its high-end sets and 4K screens, and hopes that changes will ensure the TV business returns to profitability within the next financial year.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai left the theatrics at home during his opening day keynote this morning, instead choosing to focus on the company's vision of the future and his push to unify its disparate divisions. Since he took the reins earlier this year, he's been preaching a unified approach, something he calls "One Sony." That approach manifested itself in a collaborative effort to push 4K content, distribution and devices, and, as of today, a new service called PlayStation Now. That service will allow users to stream PlayStation content to gaming devices, tablets, smartphones and Bravia TVs. We met up with Hirai at Sony's CES booth where he told us to expect more collaboration in the future and, eventually, PlayStation Now on iOS, Android and beyond. For more of Hirai's plans for the future of Sony, check out our interview after the break.
The future of motion and gesture control is quickly approaching, and a few companies are already working hard to make this kind of a tech not just a reality, but also practical for general consumers. One such company, Tel Aviv-based PointGrab, has maintained radio silence for nearly three and a half years while working on its next-generation product, and it looks like we're finally going to see it at CES next month. Back in 2010, the company began integrating some of its tech into a few specific laptop models, and involved holding the palm of your hand straight up in front of a 2D webcam. PointGrab's next effort, however, takes that concept and refines it so that all you have to do is point your finger at an electronic device or home appliance and mimic touchscreen gestures in order to get it to do your bidding.
The tech, PointGrab tells us, works by "using depth information to create a 'transparent space' in front of the user, enabling a 'touch-like' operation of devices, but from a distance." Below the break you'll find two YouTube videos detailing the ideas. The first one shows off PointSwitch, which focuses on various appliances around your home: for instance, you can do things like dim the lights, pull down your shades, adjust your air conditioning and lock/unlock your door. The second video is for AirTouch, which lets you interact with your computer monitors, HDTV and other consumer electronics. We're still waiting to try it out for ourselves and get more details at CES next month. PointGrab tells us that we can expect to see the new tech integrated with manufactured products sometime in early 2014.
17/12/2013 - Plex Media Server arrives on Windows Phone 8, free for Nokia devices for the first month
While Plex has been busy updating its media server software for iOS and Android, it's sadly neglected Microsoft's mobile OS since its debut on Windows Phone 7 nearly two years ago. That changes today however, with the introduction of Plex for Windows Phone 8. Based on Plex for Windows 8, the program has many of the features as its other iterations -- you can remotely control your media from the device, view metadata about shows and tunes, and even share selected files with friends. Plex also now supports HTTP Live Streaming, which should result in higher quality video and support for more subtitle formats. And here's a special bonus for those of you with a Nokia WP8 device: you'll be able to download it for free for the next 30 days. Do note that the app is still under heavy development, but the company promises there are plenty more updates (like a new second screen remote feature) coming down the road.
As the ancient proverb goes: a next-gen console ain't no next-gen console without next-gen mobile apps. We can't remember who said that exactly, but it's impossible to forget what's built into the new Xbox One SmartGlass app. After all, Microsoft's been hyping everything you'll be able to do with that second screen for months now. In preparation for the One's launch later this week, the companion app has (unsurprisingly) landed first in the Windows Phone store. As you'd imagine, it's basically useless, but you can still download it, sign in and poke around the limited UI should you wish. We expect the new version to show up in the App and Play stores in due course, but perhaps this debut appearance will remind Sony that Windows Phone users like apps, too.
Source: Windows Phone store
Samsung Display and LG Display have let the lawsuits fly in a patent battle over LCD- and OLED-related technology, but today that is apparently all over. In separate statements to the press, Samsung said "we two should focus more on cementing our leadership in the global market by cooperation, instead of engaging in all-consuming patent disputes." For its part, LG claimed that "what's most important for both of us is upgrading our competitiveness globally." All's well that ends well we guess, and a faster rollout of new display technology is nothing we'll argue against. The only possible issue? If they work together too well to achieve global market domination.
Source: Samsung Display (Korea)
Armed with a fresh new logo, Yahoo's getting down to business. Today, the company unveiled its first major mobile product: a video-discovery app for iOS called Screen. The service lets users browse trending videos and swipe through channels to watch clips from The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live, in addition to Yahoo Originals programming. The company says it currently has "over 1,000 hours of comedy" on offer -- and thanks to a deal with Viacom, that includes plenty of clips from Comedy Central shows. Those using Apple's mobile OS can download the free app via the second source link below.
Via: The Next Web
We've had early previews thanks to leaks, but Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi -- aka the new home of former Google exec Hugo Barra -- just took the wraps off of a new flagship Android phone and smart TV. The MiPhone 3 is available with either a 1.8GHz Tegra 4 processor (on China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network) or Snapdragon 800 CPU (China Unicom and China Telecom, which are WCDMA and CDMA2000, respectively) that provide a 40 percent performance boost over the MI2S. It also sports a 5-inch 1080p IPS LCD built by Sharp or LG with "ultra sensitive touch" that works even when the user is wearing gloves, 2GB of RAM, 16GB for storage, a 3,050mAh battery, 13MP / 2MP camera setup and NFC. The 47-inch 3D-capable Xiaomi TV also runs the company's MIUI flavor of Android, supported by a quad-core Snapdragon 600 with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage behind an LG-built display. It also claims an "easy to use" remote with 11 buttons, and Bluetooth 4.0. There's no word yet on TV pricing, but the phone will be available for $327 for the 16GB version and $408 for the 32GB. We'll have more news from the launch event shortly, check below for a peek at the new TV.
02/09/2013 - IFA 2013 preview: what to expect
CES 2013 was a decidedly sleepy show by most accounts, but this year's IFA is shaping up to be anything but. Devices set for a reveal are still under proverbial lock and key, but chatter, teases and leaks have painted a fairly full picture of what we can expect to see in Germany: smartwatches and wearables, Haswell hardware and phones with 4K shooters. Join us past the break to get up to speed on what Berlin might dish out this week.
07/08/2013 - NVIDIA Shield now has open source software support
We loved NVIDIA Shield's bone stock Jelly Bean OS in our review, but if you're not a huge fan, NVIDIA's now offering a way to dig in and customize your Shield's software even more. NVIDIA's making the Shield's software open source as of today, making the OS all the easier to customize. You'll of course have to root your device and, ya know, have an idea of what you're doing in the guts of a computer. NVIDIA warns new owners as much, saying, "To be sure, this is double-diamond stuff. If you're not a coder or already set up with an Android development environment you should skip downloading these tools."
The company's blog post also notes that rooting your Shield or adding a bootloader will potentially void your device's warranty, so hacker beware! Should the associated tasks and NVIDIA's warnings not scare you off, the software is available right here. Our review video of the Shield is just below, in case you missed it last week.
Just as promised, Time Warner Cable has delivered a new version of its TWC TV app for Android users that includes access to live TV streams of certain channels while away from home. That new feature is accompanied by several other tweaks, including TV mini guide filtering and expanded device support for devices running Android 2.2 and higher. Out of home streaming is still more limited than that provided by solutions like Slingbox or Cablevision's Optimum, and streaming over cellular connections are restricted to Verizon only (for now.) Despite the restrictions, the app is out now and will hopefully see them loosened in the future, subscribers can grab it now at the link below.
Source: Google Play
We've wondered what HTC would do after a Dutch court banned it from using HDR Microphones in its oft-delayed One handset, and now we know. It looks like the company has now nixed references to the Nokia-developed component on its website, raising the possibility that the handsets currently being manufactured have HTC's "improved" microphones rather than the original STMicroelectronics unit on board. None of this should affect phones that are already on the market, but we've reached out to HTC to find out what this means for future One owners and will let you know more when we do.
Update: HTC has reiterated its position (after the break) saying that the company is entitled to use its remaining supplies of STM's HDR Microphones until they run out.
14/04/2013 - How would you change LG's Optimus 4X HD?
Last year, LG went on a campaign to rebuild its reputation as a smartphone maker that could play with the big boys. When we reviewed the Optimus 4X HD, we found that it deserved to be spoken in the same breath as the One X and Galaxy S III, and probably caught the attention of some folks over at Google. Many of you bought this handset, so the age-old question we'd like to ask is simple. What did you like, what did you loathe and if you were LG, what would you have changed?
10/04/2013 - The Engadget Show is nominated for a Webby Award!
The past year and a half has been a period of big changes for the Engadget Show, eschewing our longstanding studio format for a new kind of program that's given us the freedom to travel the world, in search of bigger, deeper stories. We spent the year speaking to some of tech's top minds -- abstract thinkers like Douglas Rushkoff and DJ Spooky, representatives from leading companies like Google and Sony, modders like Ben Heck and researchers at top universities including MIT and Carnegie Mellon. We hung with Wayne Coyne and LeVar Burton, got animated with John Hodgman, flew drones with Chris Anderson, went behind the scenes at Improv Everywhere, rode some crazy hacked bikes in Boston, played classic pinball, spoke to a disembodied robotic head, went ghost hunting, solved a few mysteries and even discovered the true meaning of the holidays (it's presents, by the way).
All in all, we thought we had a good year -- and it's nice to know the folks at the Webby Awards felt the same. We're hoping you enjoyed it too (after all, as fun as the past year's been, we're not just doing this for ourselves). If so, now's the time to let us know. The voting for the People's Voice Award opens today, so we're asking you, dear viewer, to show us some love with a quick vote over at the Webby site (where you can also catch a quick reel to relive some of 2012's highlights). Thanks everyone for helping us make the Engadget Show better than ever (and thanks in advance for voting). We'll see you again soon on the small screen.
Source: Webby Awards
Avid Skype video users on Windows Phone 8, now is the time to get your hair did -- HD video is now possible employing "higher-end" WP8 devices, such as the Lumia 920, HTC 8X, and Samsung Ativ S. "Lower end handsets" will have to settle for VGA video, though Microsoft says call quality across the board was improved in update 2.4. All WP8 handsets will enjoy People Hub integration, meaning you can jump right into Skype calls from your contacts list, rather than having to independently open the app. And should a friend need to use your phone to Skype a buddy in Belgrade, account switching is now integrated into the main menu. The update is of course free, and available right now in the Windows Phone store. Head past the break for the full list of updates.
14/03/2013 - The Engadget Podcast is live at 12:00PM ET!
Vevo, long known as a source of music videos on YouTube, has just launched its own, standalone music video service called Vevo TV. The streaming music channel is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it'll feed your craving for the latest Adele, Rhianna and/or Bieber videos on your TV, PC, or mobile device. At launch, apps are available for Android, iOS and Windows Phones, in addition to Xbox and Roku. Naturally, PC owners can go to vevo.com to watch it on the web as well. Programming comes in hour-long musical genre-themed chunks that are curated by Vevo staff, and the service is currently available in the US and Canada. Want to check out this next-gen MTV for yourself? Head on down to the source below.
Via: The Next Web
12/02/2013 - Samsung Display drops injunction request against LG Display, moves closer to OLED peace
While actual peace is suddenly in some doubt in the region, Korean display makers LG Display and Samsung Display have moved a step closer to resolving their legal issues. Yonhap News reports that Samsung has dropped a request to block LG's products based on the use of its confidential OLED tech. LG responded by trying to ban several Galaxy phones and tablets, however just a few days ago it was reported that the two are meeting behind closed doors to work out the disagreements. If they can come to an agreement, let's hope that spirit of goodwill can extend to nuke wielding world leaders and tech giants alike.
Source: Yonhap News
As it turns out, the general public -- even us heathens who've cut the cord -- like watching video content on televisions rather than monitors. A stat chart culled from The NPD Group's, "Connected Intelligence Report, Application & Convergence" revealed the latest US-centric news on Netflix Instant usage; it puts HDTV use far above that of more traditional platforms like PCs and laptops. Averaged across age groups, 40 percent of people using Netflix Instant in the US are doing so on HDTVs, while just 14 percent are going through computers (both desktops and laptops). That's not just Smart TVs, but also, "another device connected to the TV" -- so that's game consoles, streaming boxes, and software level built-in streaming.
A mere 13 percent are using the service on tablets, and a paltry 8 percent are streaming on smartphones (a stat David Lynch would assuredly relish). Unsurprisingly, users are primarily of the younger variety: over 50 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds make up the HDTV statistic, and that group makes up nearly a full quarter of PC folks. Of course, none of this is a huge surprise to anyone that's ever tried comfortably watching anything longer than a few minutes on a 13-inch laptop screen. Check out the full chart just below.
Source: The NPD Group
What better time to announce a smartphone than in the lull between CES and MWC? Micromax is using the occasion to reveal another five-inch handset, the Canvas HD. The display packs a 1,280 x 720 resolution, and inside you'll find a MediaTek MT6589 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and a 2100mAh battery. The phone's also got an 8-megapixel rear camera and expandable storage up to 32GB. All of that's powered by Android 4.1. The Canvas HD is coming to India the first week of February, carrying a Rs. 15,000 ($279) price tag. Assorted additional information can be found in the press release after the break.
Micromax launches Canvas HD to strengthen phablet leadership
Micromax, India's leading handset manufacture today announced its partnership with MediaTek, the leading chipset manufacturers for the launch of their first quad core processor phone -A116 Canvas HD.
Designed for comfort and convenience, the Canvas HD is powered by MediaTek's MT6589 1.2 GHz quad core processor and run on Android Jelly Bean. With an HD IPS screen with a HD resolution of 1280x720 and a color depth of 16.7 million, the phone comes with superb graphics and HD viewing experience. Supported by a 2100mAh battery, it is the ideal phone for the young generation who is always on the lookout for better, faster and savvier smart phones on the go!
Commenting on the launch and association with MediaTek, Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Micromax said, "At Micromax, we constantly strive to innovate and develop great technological experiences for our consumers. Today's launch marks our association with MediaTek to bring forth our first quad core phone in this segment, offering consumers a great user experience with latest features and added functionality." He further added, "We are excited with the success of Canvas 2, which has clearly established Micromax as number one player in the new 5" phablet category in India. We are looking forward to similar success with the new phone being unveiled today."
The A116 Canvas HD promises superior quality graphics, multi-tasking and improved application performance. The phone sports an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and multiple camera settings such as night mode, 4X zoom - to further enhance the superiority of the memorable moments. 3G enabled A116 will help users in faster browsing, downloading attachments and watching streaming videos with excellent quality. The users can download HD quality videos and watch them on their phone without compromising with the quality. Users now can get to keep all their downloaded music by storing them in the phone's external memory which is expandable up to 32GB.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager - Business Development at MediaTek, said, "In less than 2 years of launching our first smartphone chipset, MediaTek's shipments in this category have grown more than ten times, with 110 million units in 2012. As the world's first commercialized quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, the MT6589 is an innovative solution that accelerates product development, simplifies differentiation, and offers the best possible experience that mid to high-end smart device owners desire. Micromax shares our core philosophy of pushing the bar on innovation and bringing it within the reach of the masses. We are delighted that India's leading youth mobile brand has chosen MediaTek to power its top-end mobile smartphones."