Back in February, we detailed the specs of the the Neptune Pine, a strangely-named smartwatch that doubles as a smartphone. If you've been chomping at the bit in anticipation of wearing this monstrosity's 2.5" display on your wrist, the time has come. The Neptune Pine is now available for pre-order at NeptunePine.com, lightening your bank account to the tune of $335 for the 16GB version or $395 for the 32GB model.
I really try to understand that innovation is a process of refining. Of failure and success. You have your good ideas, and your have your not-so-good ones. But the smartwatch market seems to not be learning... anything from the not so good ones. Meet the Omate TrueSmart, the latest darling of Kickstarter's seemingly insatiable smartwatch fetish.
At nearly $50,000 of its $100,000 goal at the time of this writing, mere hours after going live, this is going to get funded.
Android manufacturers have been using the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard since 2011. While most Android device owners are blissfully unaware that their gadgets can output HDMI (among other things) via a nifty little adapter, power users treasure MHL as an easy way to expand functionality. Today the MHL LLC announced the 3.0 revision of the standard, including a ton of new goodies.
First of all, MHL 3.0 will support video output of up to 4K (or "Ultra HD," usually 3840 × 2160 pixels) resolution.
Portable speakers and premium phone cases are two great tastes that taste great together, at least if you've got enough disposable income to afford both on top of your expensive smartphone. In a consolidation of the high-end accessory world, California-based case maker Incipio has purchased Braven, the Utah-based maker of a line of portable Bluetooth speakers.
Both companies tend to skew towards the higher end of the accessory market. Incipio likes to go for the low-hanging fruit of the iPad and iPhone (though they do have plenty of accessories for the more popular Android phone and tablet models) while Braven's Bluetooth speakers are device-agnostic in nature.
It took an annoyingly long time for ASUS' official case for the original Nexus 7 to become available, and even when it did, it wasn't all that great. For the 2013 version ASUS has created two cases: a travel case, which is made of a soft plastic material like the older "official" case, and a premium case, with a hard plastic outer shell, foldable cover/stand, and microfiber interior. This more functional case is now shipping from at least two Amazon vendors.
Samsung took its time getting a Qi charger out the door, but they were finally available for purchase a few weeks ago. At $49.99 it was a reasonably good deal as far as wireless chargers go, but it didn't come with a wall charger to power the device. Now the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad includes the recommended 2A charger for $10 more, but that's not the best deal as it turns out.
Update: Okay, Google clearly goofed on this one. The shipping prices have been fixed so now there is a $3.99 saver option (5-10 days), $7.99 ground (3-5 days), and two day shipping for $11.99. This thing is still expensive, but at least shipping isn't bonkers.
The new Nexus 7 seems like a pretty great device in almost every way. Despite reports of a few bugs, we're quite fond of it around here.
Considering that Amazon owns Woot.com, the go-to place for single-day sales, it's amazing how often incredibly steep deals can be found on the Gold Box portal. Today it's another round of dramatic discounts on SanDisk's line of flash storage cards and drives. For Android users, the MicroSD cards are the most interesting: you can grab a Sandisk Ultra 32GB card for $19.99 (71% off the regular price of $69.99) or the 64GB version for $41.99 (58% off the regular price of $99.99).
Note from Artem: Mark Murphy, also known as CommonsWare and CommonsGuy, is one of the top 10 contributors to StackOverflow (he's currently #8). He's the Chuck Norris of Android development, with over 300,000 StackOverflow reputation points. I am honored by his decision to accept my offer to join the AndroidPolice team of contributors.
The User Defense series of posts will highlight relatively easy ways in which users can improve the privacy and security of their use of Android devices.