Tag Archive for tech

Plantronics BackBeat Pro: Wireless headphones you’ll actually want to use



Anyone who’s ever been to a tech expo such as IFA, where Plantronics first showed its BackBeat Pros, knows that the headphone market is an extremely crowded space. Choices abound: Prosumer and high-end headphones from companies such as Sennheiser, all-around, stylish cans like the ones from Beats Audio, and in-ear headphones which come in a zillion flavors

But there’s one space in the world of headphones that’s not quite overpopulated yet — the Bluetooth, wireless, noise-canceling,…

Google reveals first functional Project Ara prototype (for real this time)



Google’s Project Ara has reached an important milestone

A new video shows off the most advanced prototype of the modular smartphone yet— one that actually boots and is able to launch an app.

Project Ara is Google’s ambitious plan for modular smartphones that have interchangeable pieces. The idea is to create phones whose individual components, like the processor, display, or camera, can be swapped out…

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The creators of Google Inbox explain why it’s the future of Gmail



Google’s on a mission to reinvent email. Its weapon: Inbox, a standalone app that launched last week.

Inbox aims to make email more useful with several new tools. It surfaces relevant content (photos, for example) and information from within individual messages so you don’t have to open anything to get at what you really want. Bundles sort your messages for you, letting you find important messages faster. Plus you can add your own reminders that work with Google Now.

See also: Google Inbox…

Nextdoor’s treat map shows you where to find candy on Halloween



Trick-or-treating may be the best part of Halloween — but not all neighborhoods are equal when it comes to candy distribution

That’s why Nextdoor, a social network aimed at connecting neighborhoods, rolled out new mapping features to help users plan the best trick-or-treating routes.

The goal of Treat Map is to help parents identify the best areas for visiting Halloween night. Users indicate whether they plan to give out candy or set up…

Amazon in 2014: A look back



It’s been quite the year for Amazon — and it was either good or bad, depending on who you ask.

From an optimistic perspective, Amazon finally dipped its toes in the smartphone market with the Amazon Fire Phone, rolled out new Kindle Fire tablets and launched its own entertainment streaming device, called the Amazon Fire TV. From a pessimistic perspective, however, the company took a $170 million hit on its Fire Phone, and was embroiled in an ugly, public fight with book publisher…

LG develops smartphone display with super-thin bezel



Does your phone lack screen real estate?

That might seem like a strange question, given that smartphones seem to grow in size with each generation. But if you don’t have the palms to hold a phablet, LG has developed an LCD panel for smartphones that obliterates the frame — called the bezel — that surrounds phone displays. That way you get maximum screenage. In fact, judging by LG’s promo photos, the device looks a bit jarring, as if the screen doesn’t have much of a frame at all

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About.me revamps the business card with Intro app



Business cards haven’t changed much in the last few decades. Sure, sites such as LinkedIn make it easy to look up basic information, while card-scanning apps have eliminated the need for a physical filing system, but the cards themselves have remained more or less unchanged.

About.me wants to change that. The startup, which enables users to create simple one-page websites about themselves, rolled out Intro, a new iPhone app that functions as a digital business card

See also: Best Practices…

The latest version of Flipboard is all about the smartphone



The third version of Flipboard rolled out on Thursday, and it’s the most personal and magazine-like experience the platform has offered yet, particularly for phones.

Flipboard is a media-aggregating app that started on tablets around the time the first iPad was introduced, though it later expanded to iPhones, then Android and finally web browsers. Flipboard provides a personalized platform (based on what interests you) to its users, aggregating news articles, social media content and more…

Apple reverses course: calculator widgets now allowed in App Store



Good news, iOS users: you can still access a calculator widget from Notification Center.

The company on Thursday reversed a decision that would require PCalc — a calculator app featured by Apple in its “Great Apps for iOS 8″ section of the App Store — to remove its Notification Center widget.

News of the reversal was first reported by TechCrunch and later confirmed by developer James Thomson:

Just had a phone call from Apple – decision has…

Game on! Nintendo jumps into health tracking with a sleep sensor



When Nintendo games don’t keep you up all night, the company wants to help you sleep as soundly as possible

The video-game giant on Thursday revealed a product called the QOL Sensor, a fatigue- and sleep-monitoring device that goes on your nightstand.

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced it was working on non-wearable technology as part of its new “Quality of Life” (QOL) platform to improve the way we live, and now we know a…