Gary Busey has carefully crafted a reputation as a lunatic. True, a good part of that might just be his Hollywood persona, but you've got to admit it's entertaining. Someone at Amazon agrees, because they enlisted Mr. Busey's services for one of the first promotions of the new Android-powered FireTV set-top box. In this one-minute spot, Gary Busey talks to a lamp.
Amazon takes the initiative here, using a crazy shouting man to illustrate the fact that the competing Roku set-top boxes don't have voice control.
It's hard not to be excited about the future of Google Now. It's already an incredibly powerful tool, on its way to being a do-anything personal assistant, and we've heard tell of even more functionality from bill pay reminders to inferred events entries to contact-based reminders.
Today, though, we've heard about something that many have asked for from Google Now for a long time now - actual timer functionality. Search may not be getting its own built-in timer, but it won't be side-stepping your request to set an alarm, either.
Amazon has made it easy to access its streaming content on a number of living room devices, but now it's finally making a play for your TV with its own box – the FireTV. This $99 black box contains a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor (1.7GHz), 2GB of RAM, optical out, MIMO WiFi, and 8GB of storage. It runs a heavily modified version of Android as the base of Amazon's new content delivery platform.
There are a ton of Samsung tablets out there, and while each model isn't always a winner, customers typically can't go too wrong with picking one up. Woot's currently got a deal that should save anyone looking to buy one quite a few bucks. Customers can get a 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1 with 32GB of storage for $384.99 (compared to $549 on Amazon and cheaper than the last deal we came across).
Pressy tore it up on Kickstarter last year, eventually raising $695,138 of its original $40,000 goal. While backers have been eagerly awaiting delivery of the almighty Android button, Chinese OEM Xiaomi is trying to sneak its own version onto the market first. Xiaomi's Hugo Barra (formerly of Google) posted an image of the gadget on Google+, and the Pressy folks are not pleased.
There's a new version of Gmail making the rounds at Google, if a couple of leaked screenshots from Geek.com can be believed. Those shots describe a radical user interface change and a handful of new features. Whether they're real and/or final or not is up for debate - even the report notes that the organizational features are mostly experimental at this point.
Aside from the new flat look to the user interface and Google+-style rounded profile pics, the biggest change comes in the form of a new inbox view, with a focus on organizing messages by content.
They call me Pete Ingalls. They should - it's my name, and it's the one tastefully set on the frosted glass on my office door, right over the words "Privte Investgatr." (I keep meaning to get those letters replaced.) What I lack in funds and polygons I make up for in grit. I'm the one you come to when the cops aren't interested. When people walk through that door, it's because they've knocked on every other one in town.
Sprint started rolling out Wi-Fi calling earlier this year, but so far the carrier has only introduced the feature to a couple of eclectic devices. Now another device is making the list. Starting today, Sprint Galaxy Note 3 owners should receive an update enabling the feature. According to the change log, it doesn't look like this OTA will bring about anything else. The version number is N900PVPUCNC5.
Once the update lands, users will be able to make voice calls and send SMS messages over Wi-Fi without using up their plan (for those who don't have unlimited minutes/text).
Microsoft and Google are ostensibly competitors, but Redmond seems to be setting aside its mobile aspirations in the name of supporting its new game console... and considering all the money in gaming, it's easy to understand why. So in addition to both Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of the official SmartGlass app, there's now a separate beta build of the Xbox One app.
Google has made its monthly update to the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers, and KitKat is on a roll (finally). After making up only 2.5% of active Android devices last month, it's now at 5.3%. Yes, it more than doubled. Those continued Samsung updates probably have a lot to do with the jump.