Vizio's pulled the curtains off two new Portable Smart Audio speakers that are powered by Android 4.4. What makes them special are the touchscreens embedded into the front of each device. Instead of having to pair them with a phone using Bluetooth, users will be free to stream music directly from the likes of Spotify and Pandora or enjoy video from Netflix or YouTube. Think of each version as a bulky tablet that doesn't need to rest in your lap, one with speakers that you won't leave you reaching for earbuds.
Update: It looks like some signals got crossed. This is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - the "Z1s" is a T-Mobile branded variant of the original 5-inch phone.
It's been said that those who want a powerful modern smartphone with a non-gigantic screen don't have a lot of options. If a new post from the tireless Evleaks is to be believed, they'll have at least one more on T-Mobile very soon.
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.
Remember when Pebble blew its $100,000 Kickstarter funding goal out of the water by raising over 50 times that much? Well it's not the only watch born from that crowdfunding platform to bring in a ton of cash. The Omate Truesmart watch, despite being even bulkier than most of the already chunky competition, finished its Kickstarter campaign with over $1,000,000. Much of this money came from enthusiasts eager to have an even smaller build of Android on their wrist at all times - so for those people who are already unconcerned with thoughts of practicality or fashion, TeamWin has recently added support for the TrueSmart to TWRP.
Just about a year ago we reported that the popular multi-platform retro gaming emulator RetroArch had been published to the Play Store. Apparently Google took exception to this, as they've done with a seemingly random assortment of game emulators - some have been viciously torn out of the Play Store, some have been left alone, and Google isn't talking about why it picks one over the other. In any case, RetroArch is back, at least for the moment.
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.
There will probably be untold heaps of smart watches announced at CES, but Qualcomm isn't just sitting on the sidelines. It has dropped the price of its limited-run Toq smart watch by $50, but it's a limited time offer. The new $299 price tag puts it right in line with the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
The Toq plugs into your Android device over Bluetooth to deliver notifications and control a handful of functions.
One has to wonder: what's the point of a sale on a proverbially cheap item? And the obvious answer is, it's five bucks you wouldn't have otherwise had. So it is with Google's Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle, which has once again gone on sale at both Amazon and Best Buy. You can pick one up for $29.99 at either retailer, with free shipping for Prime members at the former and free shipping for everyone at the latter.
After explaining why the GPU in the just announced Tegra K1 was awesome from an architectural standpoint, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on to reveal that Epic Games would be bringing Unreal Engine 4 to mobile devices via the Tegra K1. Nvidia is keen on getting game developers to include improved graphics for Tegra devices, but Unreal Engine 4 support could take Tegra gaming to a whole new level.