Seeing what it clearly believes is an untapped market, Netgear announced NeoMediacast, which gives pay TV providers an alternative to the traditional set-top box. This is an Android-powered system in a Chromecast-sized package that simply plugs into the back of your TV via an HDMI port. The idea here is that service providers can offer apps and premium content stores to give their subscribers access to everything they currently get through their cable boxes.
One of the worst things about managing music playlists is adding new songs when we hear them. Sure, once we've identified them, we can always track the song down by name, but that can turn into a lot of manual labor. If we've learned anything from the popularity of music subscription services, it's that we want things to be quick, simple, and convenient. Rdio and Shazam agree, and they are doing something about it.
The DROID Incredible 4G LTE came out in 2012, and it hasn't received an OTA since that year. The phone was less-than-stellar at the time, and since its hardware was worse than its software, an update can't do much to turn it into a better device. That said, if you already own this quirky handset, be on the lookout for a notification bringing with it a handful of enhancements, such as ISIS Wallet support, reduced power cycling, and some security patches.
Asus likes to explore unusual designs for its Android devices, as one look at the Padfone X will tell you. Another fresh take on mobile devices announced at CES comes in the form of the Asus Transformer Book Duet. This is a convertible laptop/tablet hybrid that dual-boots Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.2. It also packs some serious laptop-grade hardware.
Making Android-powered cameras isn't something new for Polaroid, but that doesn't mean it's the first company to come to mind when thinking of capturing digital photos (and for good reason). On the other hand, the company's old instant printing cameras call upon an altogether different set of memories. So now the company is shaking things up by re-introducing the premise it's known for. Not only can the Socialmatic instantly share pictures to social networks like any other Android-toting camera out there, it can instantly print them out to a 2"x3" sheet of paper.
T-Mobile has quietly updated its LTE network, adding official support in 14 new cities. The new markets range from mid-sized metro areas to smaller cities as T-Mobile continues expanding its LTE footprint.
Huawei has been trying to break into the US market for years, but the current trend towards inexpensive, off-contract smartphones may be in their favor. That would explain why the company stated that it plans to bring the Ascend Mate II to American shores in its CES press conference. This big-screen, mid-range phone has a trick up its sleeve thanks to an oversized battery.
SanDisk's wireless flash drives offer a solution to a growing problem: the increasing absence of expandable memory options in the latest high-end phones. Users who are about to max out the space on their HTC Ones or Nexus 5s can't just pop in a new microSD card and be on their way. There's the option to offload extra data onto a cloud storage provider, but for people who rather hold their files in between their fingers, SanDisk's wireless flash drives can connect to any Android device, no cables of any kind required.
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).
Asus has been making new versions of the Padfone every few months, but none of them have ever officially come to American shores. Well, that changes with the new Padfone X. This device will be available on AT&T in the not too distant future.
The Padfone X will have a 5-inch 1080p screen when in phone mode, but like past devices in its lineage, can be docked into a larger tablet shell.