If you thought the Galaxy Gear was priced poorly, wait till you see Qualcomm's in-house alternative. In a press release issued Monday morning the monster chip supplier announced that its unique Toq smartwatch would be available starting December 2nd, AKA "Cyber Monday," from toq.qualcomm.com. The price? A wallet-straining $349.99, fifty bucks more than Samsung's watch and about twice the price of more budget-focused alternatives like Pebble. The Toq will only be sold in the US.
There are a lot of Bluetooth keyboards aimed at Android tablets, but ASUS' Transformer series of tablets and docks has long been a favorite of those who prefer a full laptop-style form factor. ASUS is trying to bring that same experience (or at least part of it) to a broader range of devices with the TransKeyboard, revealed on the company's YouTube channel late last night.
The TransKeyboard is pretty similar to other mobile keyboards - it's relatively compact and interoperable with Android smartphones/tablets and PCs.
You might have missed it in the tidal wave of news when the Nexus 5 was released, but Google also posted two new colors of the Nexus 7 zip case in the storefront. They were both listed as 'coming soon,' but now they're live.
The official zip case can now be had in gray, yellow, or black. Note that the gray case is listed as gray/white because the interior is white.
Anyone looking for a solid Android gaming controller need look no further than the MOGA series. The original controller launched a year ago, and while there were and remain some drawbacks to the bundled software, the hardware itself is top notch. The latest generation hopes to address a fundamental drawback to gaming on a smartphone, the inescapable battery draining forces at work whenever you fire up a graphically intensive game and attempt to play it using a Bluetooth controller.
Update: It looks like we might not be able to plug our phones into our controllers just yet. The Amazon link has already changed to say that the MOGA Hero Power is temporarily out of stock. Keep an eye out, as it will probably reappear before or around the launch of the MOGA Pro Power.
Android games are consistently getting better, but there's a drawback. As new titles task players with taking control of more detailed character models, paint surfaces with higher resolution textures, and follow up attacks with an increasing number of particles, phones with passable battery life soon find that they can hardly make it through morning.
When I was a kid, "robot" meant something that you had to wind up (or if you were rich, something you plugged into your Nintendo Entertainment System). Startup company Play-I wants to change that with Bo and Yana, a pair of toy robots that use a tablet or smartphone as both a controller and a programming tool. The company's crowdfunding campaign started yesterday and has already hit almost 80% of its quarter-million dollar goal.
Charging up phones, tablets, Bluetooth accessories, and external batteries can be a logistical nightmare. As someone who reviews phones (I had, no joke, 9 Android devices on my desk last week at one point), it's a problem that has driven me to the edge of sanity on multiple occasions. As such, I never travel far without a trusty USB wall charger and a portable power strip. The thing is, though, until recently, I wasn't exactly on top of charging my stuff, especially at home (aka work).
It's been just over a month since our review of the iMpulse Bluetooth Controller was posted. It was not flattering, mostly due to what I considered a fatal oversight in its software: the inability to function as a gamepad recognizable by the default profile in Android 4.0 and later. Black Powder Media, the creators of the Kickstarter hardware, have apparently seen fit to remedy that oversight with the latest firmware.
The beta firmware adds a new profile for the controller which should work with any game that supports external controllers natively; the Kickstarter page states that the developers have tested the firmware with Grand Theft Auto 3, Granny Smith, and Mongo Madness without incident.
Frequent Android gamers know that the newest AAA titles are insatiable power hogs, and more than a few are made infinitely better with the addition of hardware controls. Until someone comes out with an Xperia Play MAXX (seriously Sony, get on that), the MOGA Power series might just be the best way to address these issues. The controller/external battery combos have been a long time coming, but now they're finally available for pre-order on Amazon.
One of Kickstarter's greatest success stories is coming to AT&T in just a few days. AT&T has announced it will be the exclusive carrier partner for the Pebble smart watch, which should provide a nice budget-friendly alternative to the upcoming Galaxy Gear.
This won't be an exclusive version of the Pebble for AT&T. It's the same device you can get from Best Buy, but AT&T is offering you the opportunity to get one when you pick up a phone.