Professional portrait photographers swear by their expensive wireless shutter triggers - those little remote gadgets that let them take photos while waiving a stuffed bear at a toddler. Now someone is trying to bring the same functionality to smartphones with the oddly-named Muku Shuttr, a tiny Bluetooth remote that lets you snap photos without holding your smartphone. It's a novel idea, and the Kickstarter campaign has already passed its modest $10,000 goal with more than three weeks left.
Believe it or don't, there were smartwatches before the Pebble and its host of contemporaries. While it's debatable that Sony's second-gen watch was the best of them, it was certainly among the most high-profile watches, and the company has returned to its old stomping grounds now that the segment has exploded. The SmartWatch 2 (stylized "SW2") includes a bigger, denser display, a revised software suite that more naturally mimics Sony's Android phones, and embedded NFC.
Last week there was a bit of hubbub among the still-tiny population of Google Glass users, after Google sent out packages to the Explorer program. A few of them spotted UPS packages coming in through the My UPS service, and speculation ran wild. What could this 1-pound package be? A free Nexus 4? Keys to one of Google's self-driving cars? A golden ticket for admittance to the Google X Dream Factory?
Google has just rolled out some new shipping options on device orders from Google Play, and they could save you a little cash if you don't need your order right this second. The new shipping methods can be selected during checkout, but not all orders are eligible for the cheapest option.
The old two-day shipping is still alive and well, costing a whopping $13.99 for devices and $11.99 for accessories. The Ground tier is available on all orders and should reach you in 3-5 business days.
There are a lot of options out there if you're looking for a quality Bluetooth speaker. Most of them have flashy names, like Beats or JAMBOX. But Cambridge Audio, a UK company that doesn't get a lot of press across the pond, has just introduced the Minx Go speaker. It has specifications that should be music to the ears of audiophiles, and a $150 price tag that fits neatly between decidedly low-fi solutions from Logitech and the pricier territory occupied by Bose and Jawbone.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Mad Catz, purveyor of game controllers and Nintendo cases to rich and poor alike, is preparing yet another Android-powered game console in the vein of OUYA and GameStick. Information on Project M.O.J.O. is buried deep in the company's 2013 fiscal earnings report, with a reveal scheduled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week.
Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson was quoted in the earnings report:
Mobile-focused Bluetooth speakers have become all the rage these days, and London-based Cambridge Audio has thrown its hat into the ring with a compelling all-in-one speaker. They're calling it the Minx Go, and next to other high-fidelity, battery-powered Bluetooth models, it compares well for both features and price. The Minx Go includes no less than five integrated speakers (two tweeters, two woofers, and an auxiliary bass radiator) hiding behind its grill, and a claimed battery life of 18 hours.
If a speaker, vibration motor, and an on-device notification light aren't enough to grab your attention when a new message comes to your phone, you need a more extreme option. The developer of HueNotifier Beta has provided one: an impressive sync between any Android 4.0+ device and Philips' range of Hue connected LED lightbulbs. After installing the app and setting it up, new notifications from any app can be assigned to pulsate the light bulb or bulbs in any available color.
In many ways, the proliferation of the Call of Duty generation is just an extension of ye olde Cops and Robbers, traditionally played with cap guns, rubber bands, or NERF darts. The Tech 4 Kids company is trying to bring kids' games full circle with Tek Recon, a series of toy guns. What makes these toys unique is the video game-style smartphone HUD, enabled with a docked phone and an Android or iOS app.
I picked up Samsung's official first-party cover for the Galaxy Note 8.0 shortly after getting the tablet itself, because Samsung's plastic body doesn't inspire confidence, because all tablets scream out for an easy freestanding solution, and (not least) because it was the only option right after release. The case hits all the high points: good protection, a built-in stand, and a magnet to activate the screen's sleep feature. The only major downside, like the tablet itself, is the price.