T-Mobile's allegedly revolutionary ONE Unlimited plan has been met with a lot of skepticism thanks to its oxymoronic limitations on streaming video and tethering, plus new tiers of service that undermine the idea of a "single" data plan for everyone. Even so, CEO John Legere said that the company is "doubling down" on the ONE plan. In his typical bombastic and profanity-laden style, Legere announced that starting January 22nd, T-Mobile will only offer the ONE Unlimited plan to new post-paid customers. That's $70 for talk, text, and "unlimited" data for the first line, $120 for two lines, and $20 for each line after. Read More
Sony is, of course, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. As you'd expect it has a great many new products, ranging from new TVs to new Blu-Ray players. However, in our opinion, what is most exciting in Sony's announcements are the Chromecast built-in (or is that Google Cast?) products and the newly-unveiled Android TVs, plus some new headphones.
Sound bars and speakers
First up is a new sound bar, the catchily named HT-ST5000. This is Sony's flagship sound bar for 2017, so it has all the top-of-the-line features, such as Dolby Atmos, hi-res audio, and twelve advanced speakers. Sony says the HT-ST5000 is for home theater setups, and proves that with the number or ports and connectivity options: three HDMI ports, one HDMI ARC port, a USB input, Bluetooth and NFC, and a number of digital and analog connections. Read More
For a while now, Google Calendar has let you add goals so you can keep track of your efforts at self-improvement. One of the most popular uses (especially this time of year) is exercise goals. In the latest version of Calendar, you can plug in Google Fit to automatically complete your goals. Read More
Google's shiny new Pixel phones and the slightly older Nexus 5X and 6P, and the Pixel C tablet have had access to the latest and most tasty flavor of Nougat for a month now, but the Nexus 6 (from 2014, if we're keeping score) has been puttering along on the more outdated 7.0 build. As promised, the 7.1.1 update is now available for Nexus 6 owners in both full system image and over-the-air update form - though of course, it may be a while before you see the actual OTA roll out to your phone. Read More
Believe it or not, Polaroid does still exist. The company is no longer the entity it once was, living on now as a shell to license the brand and forge hardware partnerships. Still, Polaroid has something new at CES you might find interesting; a new line of 4K TVs with Google Chromecast built-in. They start at just $499. Read More
It can be hard to keep up with all the major voice assistants - Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, the list goes on. SoundHound, perhaps best known for its music recognition app, has been working on its Hound voice assistant since 2015. At CES, SoundHound announced they have partnered up with Onkyo and Shenzhen to produce Hound-powered speakers and robots, respectively. Read More
Amazon has successfully turned Alexa into a capable home automation and assistant platform, but it's about to branch out from your home. Amazon and Ford are partnering to bring Alexa to the car. Not only can you control your car remotely, you can use Alexa commands while driving it. Read More
iHeartRadio, the online radio service, recently announced its paid on-demand All Access plans and it's now officially making them available (even though they have been accessible for almost a month). But that's not what we're here for. Another announcement coming from the company at CES is its upcoming integration with Google Home and a few other hardware and software partners.
Google Home support isn't live yet, but when it becomes available, you'll be able to play iHeartRadio stations or artists by asking the Assistant to do so. It looks like the integration will be direct, like Spotify works now, without requiring you first to speak to iHeartRadio and then ask for a station, but that's an assumption based on the vague PR description. Read More
Over the past few years that we've covered Misfit, the company has always been synonymous with simple activity trackers that look nice, have excellent water resistance, are versatile enough to be worn in different ways, work automatically and keep user involvement to a minimum, and are blessed with stellar battery life. Having reviewed both the Shine 2 and Flash, the 6 months battery life on a single CR2032 cell was more than impressive to me.
But that's about to change with the newest entrant to the Misfit line. The Vapor is the company's first colored touchscreen smartwatch/activity tracker. It follows in the steps of the Phase, the analog watch with fitness smarts, but it changes the Misfit formula a lot more. Read More
With CES, it's more a question of who's not there, rather than who is. Ring, creators of the Video Doorbell (previously known as the Doorbot) in 2014, has a new product: the Floodlight Cam. Rather than just a security camera for your home, it is integrated with a floodlight, making it that much more useful in the dark.
The camera is WiFi-connected (what isn't in 2017?), and records in 1080p. This video is uploaded to the cloud and accessible in the Ring app. It also has 100dB speaker, apparently the loudest of any outdoor security camera on the market (useful for a siren), and a 270° motion detector, smart LED lights, and IR night vision. Read More