If you've had your eye on a Nest thermostat, but couldn't pull the trigger because of the price, then this Bloomberg report might be of interest to you. Supposedly, a cheaper, sub-$200 thermostat is in the works and it could launch next year. Bloomberg's source also indicates some other new products, like a home alarm system, a digital doorbell, and an update to the Nest Cam, are in development, too. Read More
Have you ever looked at your low-tech car audio system and wished your head unit could just be as smart as the phone in your pocket? Or maybe you have one of those fancy infotainment systems whose software tends to make the HTC G1 look futuristic by comparison. Well, an automaker finally decided to acknowledge that it's easier to use the hardware that the customer already has than build something newer and more expensive that won't do any better. Which manufacturer decided to do it? It's the same people who brought you this:
Yep, smart, of smart car fame and subsidiary of Daimler AG, the group behind Mercedes-Benz. Read More
There have been rumors recently that LG's G Watch might be the focus of Google I/O's Android Wear discussion, with the nascent device possibly being handed out to attendees. Whether Moto's watch, the Moto 360, would make an appearance has remained unclear. Until today though, those were the only two Android Wear devices even rumored for I/O cameos.
Cnet has reported, however, that Samsung will (according to sources) be throwing its hat into the Android Wear ring at I/O as well, debuting an Android Wear smartwatch of its own. Cnet's sources only divulged that the manufacturer may show off a watch at I/O, one of two models apparently being developed (one with Samsung's own chips and one with Qualcomm processors). Read More
A few days ago, we posted a rumor we felt pretty confident in that would see "who" added to Google's "when" and "where" options for reminders. We now have another rumor, from a source familiar with the matter, which is also related to Google Now's ever-expanding functionality.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.
We do not have possession of any APKs or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.
This rumor, based on available information, gets a 9 out of 10. Read More
Readers may remember Archos' suite of connected home "objects" announced last December and officially detailed at CES. The suite includes a motion-sensitive camera, lights, a weather station, and a Smart Tracker.
The objects aren't actually available for sale just yet, but the manufacturer has added a couple of new apps to the Play Store to eventually assist in managing the network of smart objects - one that will allow you to connect to the devices from any Android device, and one specifically meant for the 7" Smart Home Tablet.
The app's functionality generally seems to reflect what you'd expect from the assemblage of smart objects. Read More
As part of its Mobile World Congress presentation, Huawei officially unveiled its own entry into the wearable market with the TalkBand B1. There's no denying the device looks odd, but there's functionality hidden in its slightly weird-looking body. The display portion of the device actually pops out and can be used as a Bluetooth headset, while the band itself can be uncapped to reveal a USB connector for charging.
According to CNet's hands-on, Huawei claims 7 hours talk time and 2 weeks standby battery life for the device. The device's readout is an OLED display at 1.4", and users will need to manage the "smartband" via their phone running Android 2.3 or higher. Read More
Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.
First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet. Read More
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.
The device sounds kind of like a Chromecast and, in so far as it's a dongle, looks sort of like a Chromecast, and indeed the device could end up packing the Chromecast protocol allowing users to stream content from compatible apps, but Sony makes a point to clarify that it's more like a Google TV device with BRAVIA apps pre-installed, excluding any potential Chromecast-related functionality. Read More
Update: According to GigaOm, today's Galaxy Gear images are definitely of a prototype, as VentureBeat speculated could be the case earlier. Additionally, GigaOm's sources indicate that the watch will be running Android 4.3 with Bluetooth LE connectivity, a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor (with Mali-400 MP4 GPU), and the ability to make phone calls. Our original post follows below.
We're looking forward to getting a glimpse of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's rumored smart watch, expected for an IFA reveal. As is often the case though, we've got a bit of a pre-release treat. VentureBeat's Christina Farr got an introduction to the watch (or at least a prototype unit), and describes its less-than-svelte physique and a few of its capabilities. Read More
If you're intrigued by the idea of wearable technology, but don't see the Pebble's appeal, or don't have the patience to wait for Google Glass or any of the other rumored wearable goodies coming from Apple, Samsung, or Google (depending on who you ask), Motorola's MOTOACTV, the fitness-tracking smartwatch, may be a good starting point.
The MOTOACTV, which debuted in 2011, is a smartwatch that positions itself as mainly a fitness tool, tracking your runs and slapping some maps and music on top of it for a nice experience. The device also syncs to your smartphone to notify you of calls, SMS messages, and calendar events. Read More