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1 year ago

Samsung launches Muse 'music companion' device

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Remember when Samsung awkwardly (and unexpectedly) came out with the "S-Pebble" music player at a press conference earlier this year with the Galaxy SIII (S3)? It has chosen to finally release the device, and probably for the better, they've also decided to rename it "Muse". The basic idea is that the Muse pairs with your Galaxy S3 (or any other major recent Samsung device), and syncs music between the two so that you don't always have to use your phone for listening.

Syncing is managed with the Muse Sync app, which is now available in the Google Play Store, and the device can be purchased for a cool $49.99 -- in either blue or white -- at the source link below.

Source: Samsung (2)

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1 year ago

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

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Insert your favorite holiday cliche here. Go ahead. Do it. I won't judge. 'Tis the season. Deck the halls with something something. It's that time of year again.

We're starting our annual holiday gift guides. And this year, we're personalizing them. Perhaps you've already seen Jerry's glazed ham? (OK, who hasn't seen Jerry's glazed ham.) Now it's my turn. 

Read on for my must-have Android-related gifts for 2012.

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1 year ago

Polk Audio announcing 3 new headphones made specifically for Android

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Polk Audio, makers of quality headphones and speaker systems, is announcing today that it will be offering three different headphones made specifically to work with Android devices. The headphones offer full call, volume and music controls with microphones as well. The models are part of the "UltraFit" line and are appended with "a" in the model name to indicate their functionality. You'll find the UltraFit 1000a, 2000a and 3000a are available now in the $70 to $100 price range.

Although there is a spec for headphones that work with Android devices, we've yet to see quite the set of offerings that users of Apple devices have had for years. Hopefully with Polk kicking things off, other manufacturers can follow suit.

Source: Polk Audio

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1 year ago

Nexus 7 docking station coming in 'early December'

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We asked on episode 117 of the Android Central Podcast about when we would see a docking station for the Nexus 7.  An astute listener who is also one of those "people close to the matter" decided to toss us a bone and directed us to the Japanese ASUS site which has what appears to be a landscape audio dock for the 7-inch wonder coming at the beginning of December.

There's not a lot of info, but it says we can use the USB port, and it has a 3.5mm audio output -- which can only mean it's using the pogo pins for power and audio transmission. It will sell for 3,480 Japanese Yen (about $41 USD) sometime in early December.

A quick look at my calendar tells me it's almost early December now, so I'm sharpening my credit card. You can bet we'll be trying to get at least one of these when they are available. Hit the link below to see for yourself, and follow the break for the translated version of the website entry.

Source: ASUS Japan; Thanks, Anon!

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1 year ago

Pioneer updates AV receivers with HTC Connect support

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Pioneer has announced that it's updating firmware on its range of 2012 networked AV receivers with support for HTC Connect streaming capabilities. Announced back in June, Pioneer's HTC Connect support lets users with HTC smartphones stream multimedia content to supporting Pioneer devices, similar to the way HTC's own Media Link HD works.

Pioneer is the first manufacturer to roll out HTC Connect support. Currently-supported AV receiver models include VSX-822-K, VSX-1022-K, VSX-1122-K, VSX-42, VSX-60, SC-1222-K, SX-1522-K, SC-61, SC-63, SC-65, SC-67 and SC-68.

On the HTC side, phones supporting HTC Connect include the One X, One S, EVO 4G LTE, Droid Incredible 4G LTE, One X+, One VX and Droid DNA. On early 2012 phones like the original One X and One S, you'll want to make sure you're running the latest firmware update before attempting to use HTC Connect.

Pioneer says supported devices can be updated through a network update or via a manual update method using a USB drive.

More details in today's presser after the break.

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1 year ago

Verizon Droid DNA on the Nokia Qi charging stand

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We've taken a look at the Energizer Qi charging pad back with the HTC ThunderBolt, and it's working great with the new Droid DNA, as well as the Nexus 4. But it's not exactly a looker.

Another option out there is Nokia's DT910 wireless charging stand. It's also fairly expensive at $69, but it looks and acts more like a traditional dock, leaving your phone standing up, so you can still see what's going on while it charges. 

Here's a quick video from HankSC in our Droid DNA forums showing how Verizon's latest looks on it. 

You might also have to search around a little bit to find out. It's currently sold out on Amazon, and AT&T's showing a week to ship it.

More: Droid DNA forums

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1 year ago

Amazon kicks off Black Friday week with smartphone accessory deals

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Black Friday's tendrils have crawled upwards to Monday, which means Amazon already has some excellent deals posted. For those of us into all things smartphoney, there are quite a few great accessories and devices that have been significantly marked down. There are also a lot of crazy flash sales going every couple of hours and offer lots of opportunity for those of us that want to get our holiday shopping done early. I just missed out on a 64 GB microSD memory card for $38; they were all sold out in a matter of minutes, so you're going to have to be fast. Let's see what else Amazon is offering...

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1 year ago

Ordered a Nexus 4 bumper? You may have to wait a while...

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So, some of us have our shiny new Nexus 4's in hand now. And, we're enjoying them very much. But, what about the accessories? Well -- in the UK Play Store at least -- the Nexus 4 Bumper is the only new Nexus product currently showing as in stock. You can still order one, and we're promised delivery in 3-5 business days. Great stuff. Or, so you might think. 

See, I ordered a Nexus 4 Bumper on launch day last Tuesday. In one of my better judgment calls, I ordered the Bumper separately to the phone. After all, it's no secret that Nexus accessories have lagged way behind device launch dates before, is it? The phones sold out pretty quickly, but the order was processed and delivered within 3 business days as promised. So, where's the Bumper ordered on the same day? Still a pending transaction according to Google Wallet.

A quick call to Google Play customer support came up with nothing, but to their credit, they have been looking into the issue. This morning an email dropped suggesting I may be in for a wait. 

We are working to ship all items in your order as quickly as possible within the 3 week timeframe. You will receive an email confirmation as soon as your order is processed and on it's way.

Looks like the same 3 week timeframe in which Nexus 4 orders will be processed. The difference being that you can still order these right this very second from the Play Store. Not the best turnaround time for an official accessory. (That's to say nothing of the official Nexus 4 charging pod that's still MIA.)

So, the question to ask is -- has anyone actually had a Nexus 4 Bumper delivered? If so, jump into the comments below, or into the Nexus 4 forums and let us know what it's like. 

More: Nexus 4 Forums

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1 year ago

Vizio Co-Star review

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Will anyone ever get Google TV right?

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1 year ago

Spark socket to turn your phone into a light switch and make bulbs app-friendly

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A fresh Kickstarter project is aiming to provide smartphone-friendly home lighting through a socket accessory.  The Wi-Fi-enabled Spark goes right into normal light sockets, then your light bulb goes into the Spark. Once that's done, users will be able to set flashing rules for notifications, fade-in for alarms, and otherwise remotely control your home lighting. 

Spark isn't alone in trying to bring home lighting to Android, though. Lifx recently wrapped up funding for their smart light bulb, which includes a wide range of color options and the same degree of programmability. Of course, when a Lifx Bulb burns out, you're out $70, while Spark seems like it will weather the test of time a little bit better, plus there are APIs available for developers to plug their apps into Spark. My only worry is that the added bulk in the socket might not be practical for all lamps. 

Spark is only a few days into its Kickstarter campaign and still has a ways to go to meet its $250,000 goal, though they've already sold out of the early bird special. You can still back them and preorder on for $59, though. Any takers? Would you rather Spark or Lifx? Are there other solid smart home lighting solutions out there?

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