In 1994, Amazon started as an online bookstore. Since then, the company has grown into one of the most important sites on the internet, and the largest online retailer in the world. In 2007, it released the Kindle, its first ebook reader. From there the Kindle line grew to include the Fire and Fire HDX, full blown tablets running Amazon's Android-based Fire OS.
Over the past 20 years, Amazon has broadened its horizons more than most other companies can even dream of. From small bookstore to retail giant, hardware manufacturer, and streaming content provider, this company continues to grow and expand in meaningful, useful ways.
I loved the HTC One M7. Last year, it really did feel like a new breed of Android phone - bringing premium materials, a modernized interface, an innovative (if controversial) camera, and those trademark Boomsound speakers. The One M7 felt fresh in almost every way - it felt vital, it felt relevant.
The One M8 seeks to tame some of the raw newness - to build on it, soften up the edges, and modernize it. The chassis is sleek, smooth, and comfortable - gone is that sharp, angular look. Capacitive buttons have been eschewed for a set of correctly arranged (are you listening, LG?) software navigation keys.
Recently, NVIDIA announced SHIELD's biggest update yet – a slew of new features and the bump to KitKat are currently rolling out to the handheld gaming system. For those who may not have seen the news, here's a quick recap of what's present in the roughly-465MB download:
Improved GamePad Mapper
Improved Tegra Zone
GameStream support for certain gaming laptops
The ability to manually add any PC game to your GameStream library
Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support for GameStream/Console Mode
As you can see, the bulk of the new stuff has to do with GameStream, and it seems that NVIDIA is delivering exactly what SHIELD owners have been asking for, namely with remote GameStream and keyboard/mouse support.
We've reviewed many Bluetooth speakers here at AP (I myself have penned many of them), but I'm not sure we've ever taken on anything like the Sound Rise from Soundfreaq. It's an inherently different sort of speaker, as it's really more than just a Bluetooth speaker – it's a Bluetooth alarm clock.
I'd like to think there are two kinds of people in this world: those who use their phone as an alarm clock, and those who have a more traditional buzz buzz buzz alarm clock. The Sound Rise, in my opinion, is the perfect combination of the two options. I personally can't stand being woken up by a jarring beepor eeenngghhhsound, but my phone oftentimes isn't loud enough to wake me.
While many budget smartphones have come a long way in proving that "affordable" no longer necessarily means "bad" over the past few years (Moto G, anyone?), the budget tablet is still oftentimes a gamble. On one hand, devices like the Nexus 7 provide a fantastic user experience for not a lot of moneydollars; on the other, there are devices like the Snakebyte Vyper that basically verify the saying "you get what you pay for." Of course, some manufacturers – like ASUS, for example – seem to have a better handle on the art of building usable, affordable tablets. Acer has also made somewhat of a name for itself in the budget tablet game, but they haven't all been zingers – the Acer Iconia A100 and A110 both had very lackluster displays, for example.
The Gmail app doesn't provide the option to mark notifications as read, and it drives many users up the wall. MarkAsRead entered the Play Store less than a week ago and, as the name suggests, tackled this issue head on. Now an update is available that adds the ability to mark a message as read and archive it at the same time, just as the developer promised.
Every once in a while, a product comes along that changes our perception of what a particular category of device can be. A device that breaks the mold and becomes something more. Something better. Something that revolutionizes work, play, or both. A thoughtful, well-designed product for the masses.
This is not one of those times.
This is one of those times when a company talks up a product, only to leave its users completely unsatisfied – not that many of you have heard of Snakebyte Vyper in the first place. If you have, however, you may know of it by uNu, the name it was announced with at CES 2013.
It's been more than a year since the Vyper was announced, so Snakebyte has had plenty of time to work out the kinks – or at least that's what we'd like to think they've been doing.
If you're interested in Samsung's new oversized Note PRO or Tab PRO 12.2 devices, it's more than likely because you want to get more done on that beautiful and massive 12.2-inch display. In order to make that happen, you'll need a little bit more than just the tablet, and Logitech has already released a keyboard for the job: the Logitech PRO keyboard/case.
At $130 (plus the $750-850 for the tablet), however, you have to ask yourself at what point you stop wanting a tablet and start wanting a laptop or some sort of hybrid/convertible device.
As time goes on, Bluetooth speakers are becoming more useful and less fragile. That makes sense, because who wants to worry about breaking something that's meant to be taken basically everywhere? I'll tell you who: no one. No one wants to worry about that.
The most recent feature to hit many Bluetooth speakers (aside from increased durability) is a splash-proof coating. The UE BOOM has it. The Braven 855s has it. Some others have it, including Outdoor Tech's newest entry to the market, the Turtle Shell 2.0 ($130). In fact, it's IPX-6 dust-proof and water resistant, so it can go to the beach and survive all the elements.
Samsung Milk is probably the most straightforward music streaming app I've ever used - and that's exactly the kind of response Samsung is looking to get from it.
Wacky name aside, Milk is an interesting, well-designed app that is set up to get you listening to music as fast as possible. No ads, the absolute minimum amount of loading time, and a music selection interface that you'll never struggle to locate. It's not easy to write a lot about Milk, because there's not a lot to say, and I'd argue that's probably a good thing.