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1 year ago

Fitbit announces the Flex, Bluetooth syncing to the Android app coming soon

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Fitbit is one of the more popular choices in the personal fitness tracking space, and today at CES the latest device in the range has been introduced. The Fitbit Flex takes the form of a waterproof wristband. Like the existing devices in the range, it records information such as steps and total distance covered and sends this information to your personal website. The Flex will also keep track of your sleep, but with no buttons to enter sleep mode as on the other devices, you'll have to use either the mobile apps or the website. 

Speaking of the mobile apps, one massive drawback to the current iteration of the Fitbit Android application, is the lack of syncing. All that is set to change beginning from the end of January or early February. It will start to offer Bluetooth 4.0 syncing -- initially, only to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2, with more devices "coming soon." 

Source: Fitbit

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1 year ago

Hands on with Google Glass competitor Vuzix Glasses

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We had an opportunity today to take a look at the first Google Glass competitor, Vuzix Glasses. At first glance they look like no more than a large glorified bluetooth headset, but once you look closer you notice that there's a bit more involved with these. The basic idea behind Vuzix is to have a complete device with its own processor and memory -- running Android, of course -- that will interface with your smartphone via bluetooth to display information. It also has a speaker for your year as well as a front-facing camera for stills and video.

The display is not see-through (like Google Glass plans to be,) but rather meant to be out of the normal field of view and glanced at occasionally. The units we looked at today were non-working prototypes, but the expectation is to have the display show a complete mirror of whatever app is running on the tethered phone. We're not so sure how the navigation will work, with only a few buttons on the top of the glasses used for all operations.

There wasn't much information as far as a release date or working prototypes were concerned (welcome to CES,) but the planned retail price is supposed to end up under $500. We've also got several more pictures and a video for you to take a look at after the break.

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1 year ago

Belkin introduces WeMo light switch, control your household lighting from your Android device

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Home automation is the stuff nerdy dreams are made of, and Belkin is today introducing a new device to bring a little part of that to life. The WeMo Light Switch, being displayed at CES in Las Vegas, is a replacement for your standard household light switches with WiFi connectivity. The cool part -- it'll be controllable from your Android device. 

The WeMo connectivity means you can turn lights on or off from anywhere, schedule an on/off time, and doesn't require your Android device to be connected to the same WiFi network in order to work. So, you leave the office late, it's dark, and as you pull up on the driveway you can turn on the lights so you don't trip over the dog. OK, not the best example perhaps, but you get the idea. 

Android connectivity has been a much asked for feature of WeMo's existing, iOS compatible only, range of home automation devices. With the arrival of the WeMo Light Switch and the app into the Google Play Store, connectivity with their other devices will be opened up to Android users. An open beta will begin in February for users of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and "other leading devices." The Light Switch will become available this Summer, and the Android app is expected to exit beta by the device's launch. 

Source: Belkin

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1 year ago

Samsung announces new Bluetooth speaker with NFC and apt-X codec support

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Samsung has just announced a new set of digital audio equipment, most importantly to us smartphone nerds being a new Bluetooth speaker for pairing with phones and tablets. This newest speaker, model DA-F60, supports both NFC pairing and the apt-X audio codec. This is a not-so-common yet interesting use of NFC, which lets users tap a tablet or phone to the speaker to initiate the bluetooth pairing connection meaning there's no messing around with a manual Bluetooth setup -- pretty neat.

Apt-X, if you're not familiar, is a relatively new audio codec available in some devices that improves the dynamic range and quality of streaming bluetooth audio. The list of supported devices is small but growing -- including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, the HTC One (X, S, V) line and Motorola RAZR (original, HD, Maxx, i, M) line.

We should see a bit more of the new speaker (and Samsung's other offerings) at CES this week, and hopefully have some time to play around with these new ones. No pricing or availability is out just yet, but we should expect those shortly as well.

Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)

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1 year ago

Pebble smartwatch to be officially unveiled at CES, ready to be shown off to the world

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Kickstarter has spawned some pretty interesting products over the past 12 months, one of which is the Pebble smartwatch. It's some time now since Pebble first hit Kickstarter with a $100,000 goal that eventually became $10million. Having originally been slated to ship in September, this was missed, with seemingly no end to the wait in sight. 

Press invites have started to roll out to a Pebble event on Jan. 9 at CES in Las Vegas, where we're promised that the company CEO, Eric Migicovsky, will not only unveil the much anticipated product, but will also offer a full walkthrough of the finished article. 

The Pebble smartwatch is an intriguing device. Featuring an electronic paper display allowing for great viewing outdoors, the watch will pair to your Android device via a downloadable application. The app will allow you to choose a watch face to match your tastes, and will also push notifications to the watch for email, phone calls, Facebook notifications, calendar events, Twitter, weather and alarms. Additionally Pebble will have the ability to receive text messages from your phone. The watch itself will also be able to run specially designed applications, opening up a whole world of possibilities. 

The event goes down at 09:00 PST on Jan. 9, and Android Central will be on the ground to bring you all the news. The event will also be live-streamed over on the Pebble website.

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1 year ago

Nexus 7 dock to become available in U.S. and Europe this month

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After an eternity of waiting and speculation, it seems the elusive ASUS Nexus 7 dock may be about to hit the United States and Europe this month.

In the Netherlands, AndroidWorld.nl has word from ASUS Benelux that the dock will arrive in mid-January. Prices are speculated to be around €29.99. On the U.S. side B&H Photo, which opened preorders of the Nexus 7 dock back in December, is now showing an expected availability date of Jan. 10.

Originally rumored shortly after the tablet's Google I/O debut, the ASUS-made dock connects through the Nexus 7's pogo pins and allows it to connect to other devices through microUSB and headphone jack.

Source: AndroidWorld.nl (Dutch)

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1 year ago

Samsung's Galaxy S3 extended battery to become available Jan. 5, in Germany at least

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Before the holidays, an OEM extended battery kit surfaced for the Samsung Galaxy S3, initially going on pre-order at a British retailer. While that same retailer is still taking pre-orders for the item without an expected shipping date, Amazon Germany has gone one better. 

According to the item's listing on Amazon.de, the Samsung Extended Battery Kit will become available on January 5. Pricing is relatively consistent with earlier reports, coming in at €39.90, slightly cheaper even than the expected RRP of £40 (€48) in the UK. There is no word yet on if/when we can expect to see wider availability of this. 

Additionally, click on past the break for a quick video -- in Slovenian, and you'll want to spin on to about 1:05 -- which demonstrates the extended battery and replacement battery door. The best news? It doesn't seem to add much additional thickness to the phone. 

Source: Amazon via All About Samsung

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1 year ago

Get a free flip cover and tectiles from Samsung for registering your device

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Samsung is running a promotion on its official Facebook page that lets Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy SIII (S3) users get their hands on a free flip cover and set of 6 TecTiles for registering their device. All you have to do is head to the Samsung Facebook page, click the "Holiday Offers" button and then follow through to register your device. While quantities last, you can get some free swag for giving Samsung a little information about yourself. You'll need an active Facebook account and authorize the Samsung "app" for your page, but that's about it.

Registering your phone with the manufacturer may already be something you want to do, so might as well get something free for it, right? Head to the source links below to get your own.

Source: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Forums; Samsung (Facebook)

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1 year ago

Google sells Motorola set-top division to Arris Group for $2.35 billion

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A deal between Google and the Arris Group (a cable and broadband equipment supplier) has been reached, making the Motorola Home division now an Arris property. The deal checks in a $2.35 billion in cash and stock for Google, and the boards of both companies have approved.

The Home division of Motorola generated 3.4 billion dollars in the last four quarters, and its acquisition should be pretty lucrative for Arris. The $2.05 billion and $300 million in stock also makes Google a 15.7-percent owner of the Arris Group. This sounds like a good business move for all involved, but with the market closed we're unsure how this move will affect the stock prices.

Business is business, but many of us were looking forward to seeing what the purchase of Motorola could do for projects like Google at Home or Google TV. Hopefully, we'll still see those projects improved even without Google owning a consumer set-top box division. The full Press release is after the break.

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1 year ago

Android Central 2012 Gift Guide: Andrew's holiday wish-list

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The holidays are the one time a year where you have a chance to bring your family and friends the best in the gadget world, things that you just know they'd never get for themselves. Let's be honest though, it's also a good excuse to get a few things for yourself while the deals are good in December.

So what things do I have on my list to give (and keep) this holiday season? Read on past the break and see.

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