Folks, in less than 24 hours, the busiest, craziest, and most exciting (for gadget geeks anyway) event of the year will begin in Las Vegas and continue non-stop through all of next week. Of course, I'm talking about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where almost 130 thousand people are going to be touching, drooling, ogling, and playing with countless products put on display by companies from all over the world, big and small.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a new wireless brand Republic Wireless, a division of Bandwidth.com, announced earlier this month that it would revolutionize and shake up the mobile industry by introducing a Hybrid Calling plan that costs only $19 a month. This plan has indeed gone live today over at RepublicWireless.com, together with the first and only mobile device the company is offering (for now) - the LG Optimus.
The low-cost offering is made possible thanks to heavy reliance on Wi-Fi data - Republic Wireless devices are designed to prioritize Wi-Fi networks, and certain measures have been put in place to make sure you don't hog an unfair share of the mobile network (powered by Sprint).
While I was tapping away on my laptop trying to keep up with the Ice Cream Sandwich event earlier today, the desktop machine was happily recording it for future reference. This should hold us over until Google posts the official HD version - the video is about 1 hours long, but almost every minute of it is totally worth it (at least once you get to the juicy ICS bits):
Update: The official HD video has now been posted:
Welcome to the home of the Ice Cream Sandwich launch live coverage. Come back to this page about 30 minutes before Google and Samsung start the event in Hong Kong and join us in the chat. The official start times in various time zones are below:
Oct 18 4PM HAST
Oct 18 7PM PDT
Oct 18 8PM MDT
Oct 18 9PM CDT
Oct 18 10PM EDT
Oct 19 2AM GMT
Oct 19 3AM BST
Oct 19 4AM CEST/IST
Oct 19 5AM EEST
Oct 19 6AM MSK
Oct 19 10AM HKT
Oct 19 11AM JST
Remember, the whole event will be broadcast live at youtube.com/android - don't forget to tune in.
The "Walkman" brand name, originally created by Sony over 30 years ago, lives on in Sony Ericsson's newest Android device, the "Live with Walkman". This diminutive smartphone, announced in a press release earlier today, will be a music playing device first and foremost with a dedicated music discovery button and "deep Facebook integration," which means it will most likely carry something similar to (or exactly like) Sony's "Facebook inside Xperia" interface.
There are plenty of network-attached storage ("NAS") solutions available, however if you are a fan of Western Digital, you may be the owner of their My Book Live line of devices (available much cheaper on Amazon). Although reviews indicate that it is a solid product, it lacks a convenient method of remotely accessing the data, especially considering its MioNet solution is "nearly useless." Owners of this NAS will be pleased to hear that WD has launched the WD 2go Android app that helps bridge the remote access gap by providing an alternative method of viewing the content on your NAS.
Google Maps continues the march of progress, officially adding traffic support for 13 European countries today. Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to see traffic in Maps, Navigation will now re-route you based on traffic conditions.
The new functionality is live on Android, iOS, and in the mobile browser.
If you haven't been to the web version of the Android Market today, I suggest you go take a look. Google has thrown in a few new features, like trending apps and top grossing apps from the past 30 days. Not only that, but the navigation is much more intuitive, as the top paid and top free apps have been revamped, along with the addition of top games in the sidebar.