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.
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.
Unless you have the HTC One with BoomSound , you probably don't want to listen to music through your phone's wimpy little speakers. A Bluetooth speaker is a popular solution to the problem, but they can get pricey. The Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker for Android is priced pretty reasonably, and it's on sale through Amazon today.
There’s no denying that the switch to Broadcom’s Bluetooth stack in Android 4.2 has created some stressful situations for frequent users of the short range networking technology. The added attention also raised awareness for some features that are woefully lacking in the OS, something that other OEMs have been working to resolve independently. To a round of applause during the Best Practices for Bluetooth Development session, Sara Sinclair Brody announced Google will finally address two of the most popular requests.
We first heard about the Jambox's larger sibling, the BIG Jambox, just over a year ago. At the time, it promised to be bigger (of course) and better than the original, offering a bigger battery, a wall power adapter, and "unbelievable sound". If reviews are to be believed, the Jambox managed to deliver good sound and power, while maintaining the unique design language of its smaller counterpart.
If you're in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, the BIG Jambox is a decent choice, and Amazon's sweetened the prospect by putting the device on sale for $249.99, down $50 from its usual $299.99 price.
It's not Jelly Bean yet. Well, I mean it is. It's the older Jelly Bean. Not the newer Jelly Bean. I'm sure this isn't confusing. However, Verizon is getting ready to roll out an update to the Galaxy S III that will bump the phone from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2. Unfortunately this isn't the 4.2 upgrade most users were likely hoping for. Among the listed improvements are a better keyboard and the ability to take pictures while on a call.
There was one black spot on our mostly favorable review of the Pebble smartwatch: the music control app just didn't work on some phones. As stated in the review, that's probably got more to do with the phone in question than Pebble's software, since it worked just fine on two separate Nexus devices. Even so, the people at Pebble have been listening, and the latest update to the official app includes a music player selection feature.
Last week we told you about Pebble Notifier, an app that allows Tasker to send updates to the Pebble smartwatch over Bluetooth. Developer Dattas Moonchaser has updated the plugin to a full, independent app: you no longer need Tasker to send updates to your watch. (You'll still need the official Pebble app.) As you probably know, while Tasker is an incredibly powerful piece of software, it's also very difficult to learn and master, so the update should make it useful for a larger percentage of Pebble owners.