We're slap bang in the middle of CES at the moment, but if you're full up on wearables and Android-powered ovens, take a break and check out the best apps of 2013's final month. Below in no particular order you'll find our favorite new apps that debuted during the holiday season. There were a ton of significant app updates, of course, but these are the best new entries from December, along with a few honorable mentions.
The Play Store is brimming with alternative home screens, but Aviate was far and away one of the most impressive we saw last year. This beautifully designed launcher takes a completely different approach to organizing your apps and data. Apparently Yahoo was just as impressed as we were because the company just announced at CES that it has acquired Aviate.
In case you missed it, Aviate tracks your usage patterns and groups apps into categories that are presented to you based on the time of day and your location.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
DigiCal Calendar & Widgets
Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites.
Smartwatch fans now have a new Pebble to drool over: the Pebble Steel. This is functionally identical to the original pebble, but it's smaller, thinner, and of course comes in a steel wrapper. This new model of the Pebble comes in black or silver colors and demands a $100 premium over the standard plastic model, retailing for an impressive $249.
Pebble Steel comes with a matching metal band and a bonus leather band, custom made for the unique head (which may not work with interchangeable watch bands).
Here's a fun way to pass the time while you're catching up on CES news at home: take a drink of your favorite spirit every time you see the word "wearable." Now say goodbye to your liver. Korean manufacturer LG has decided to enter both the smartwatch and fitness tracker markets at once with the Lifeband Touch, a watch-style Bluetooth device with an OLED screen.
Both fitness tracking and remote notification bases are covered here.
If you've been following our CES coverage, you know that NVIDIA is quite proud of its next-generation mobile chips. To make sure you get the message of "unearthly technology," they paid a bunch of artists to create a crop circle outside of Salinas, California with a design inspired by the Tegra K1 and its Kepler GPU. I bet Dell's Alienware division is asking, "why didn't we think of that?"
The design of the crop circle roughly mirrors the actual layout of the Tegra K1 chip: you can see the five square CPU cores on the bottom of the central square.
Cramming mobile technology and other goodies into automobiles is a recurring theme at CES 2014, and even Google is getting in on the action. The web giant is normally pretty quiet at the industry's biggest hardware trade show, but today it officially launches the Open Automotive Alliance, a collaborative association aimed at bringing Android to your car. Google and NVIDIA have already partnered with some of the biggest car companies in the world, encompassing the American, European, and Asian markets: General Motors, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai.
To get an early start to CES 2014, electronics giant Lenovo announced a new 28" Android-powered all-in-one 4K display to add to its substantial line of display products. According to Lenovo's press release and spec sheet, we can expect Android 4.3, a Tegra 4 processor, and a plethora of other features. Here's the official list according to Lenovo's spec sheet:
- Cutting edge 28-inch ultra-high resolution 3840x2160 monitor
- High performance SOC with Android 4.3 and powered by NVIDIA® Tegra® for a new entertainment experience
- Full 10-point touch display for PCs
- “Tap to Connect” technology allows for seamless syncing of secondary devices to the monitor
- Miracast with back control for smart device connectivity
- Extra USB ports for phone charging and peripherals, as well as additional HDMI ports for extreme connectivity
- FHD 2.0 megapixel camera for high definition video
- Powerful 5W stereo speakers
- Noise-cancelling dual array microphones for clear voice recognition
- Ergonomic design for users with slim/sexy ID (dual side diamond-cutting)
As its release date draws closer, Lenovo will most-likely release more details in the hopes of exciting the "tech savvies", like a full list of inputs and what services it will be compatible with at launch.
Another year has passed, dear readers, and with that year comes another CES conference in Las Vegas. This year's pilgrimage is being made by me and my esteemed colleague Cameron Summerson. We're not exactly sure what to expect this go around, but CES always brings something of interest and, given our very packed schedule, we're bound to see at least a few neat things.
As always, Monday is the big crunch day for members of the press, with press conference after unrelenting press conference unleashing barrages of product announcements ranging from smartphones to refrigerators.
On-screen and accelerometer controls work great for some mobile games, but other times you just want a real controller. Wikipad, the company behind the gaming-centric Wikipad tablet is introducing a new product called the Gamevice at CES. This is a split controller that expands and contracts to fit on your mobile device.
The Gamevice has what Wikipad calls a "flex bridge" design. Presumably the middle portion of the controller can be adjusted to snugly fit around your mobile device.