4 years ago

First look at Hisense's Android-powered Vidaa smart TV


TVs are always a big deal at CES, with manufacturers pushing ever crazier combinations of visual technology into eye-catching prototypes and future production devices. But aside from the dizzying visual tech on show from the likes of Sony and Samsung, Chinese manufacturer Hisense has been showing off its new Vidaa smart TV platform, based on Android, with full Google Play support.

Vidaa runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with all the accompanying apps you'd expect, only framed around a more TV-friendly interface, controlled through a standard remote. A series of panels for your own content, apps and streaming services allow you to easily navigate through the UI, and there's a traditional app grid view too, along with a slide-out bar for controlling your inputs.  There's also built-in support for video on-demand from YouTube, Google Play Movies + TV, Crackle, Netflix, Amazon and Vudu.

Check out our video walkthrough after the break for an in-depth look.

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4 years ago

Up close and personal with Trine 2 running on NVIDIA Tegra K1


During theCES 2014 announcement of the new Tegra K1 processor, NVIDIA showed a full console title, Trine 2, running perfectly fine in a mobile form factor. We wanted to check this out for ourselves, and sure enough it didn’t disappoint. Though our demo guy has some trouble with platformers, the graphics quality speaks for itself.

The biggest point NVIDIA made to us here was pointing to previous efforts to port console games to Android. In short, they take forever because the rendering engines are so different between platforms; just look at how long it took for the GTA games to find their way over to Android compared to when the original games first released.  

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4 years ago

ReveelSound makes your music sound alive with any headphones #CESlive


Inline analog device brings back audio detail for any recording

Standard electronics lose audio detail during the calculation to turn electricity into music. These canceled sounds are still there, but we don't get to hear them. This little analog device from ReveelSound can fix that.

This small gadget simply plugs inline with your headphones, and those "lost" sounds are restored. It sounds like Voodoo, but the priceless look on Derek's face around the eight minute mark tells me that it works.

Take a few minutes and see John P and Derek talk with Larry from ReveelSound about this revolutionary new product.

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4 years ago

LG wants you to be fit #CESlive


Let's get fit!

Georgia and John got to take a few moments with Jim Clayton and Ashley Kim of LG to talk about their big announcements from CES 2014. Previously LG has been known in the smartphone and appliance space, but this year they have introduced the Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones. Much of the focus from CES has been wearables, and it seems as though just about everyone is getting in on the fitness tracking.

LG hopes to make a big impact in your fitness journey with their new devices. Be sure to check out the whole interview for some great information, and be sure to check out the rest of our coverage as well.

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4 years ago

Snapchat finally gets around to apologizing with an update — sorta


Ability to unlink phone number comes after 4.6 million users info was leaked

Snapchat has just announced an update to the way that they will be handling the "Find my Friends" portion of the application, but is this too little too late? Over a week ago someone leaked the phone numbers and screen names of 4.6 million Snapchat users. Finally, today they have announced a functional 'solution' to the issue, but that is only going forward. Still showing very little sorrow for the event that happened the company has announced that users will now be able to unlink their mobile numbers from their account.

In a post on their blog Snapchat has outlined their new policies, and unlinking your phone number is easy. If you are an existing user you will want to head into the settings then mobile number and you can delete it. For new users you will be promoted to verify your phone number before you are able to actually use the Find my Friends feature within the application. 

They claim to be continuing to work on their API to prevent any sort of event like this from taking place, but the latest snafu has plenty of folks hesitant and some trust will need to be earned again . If you have not already deleted your account, be sure to unlink your mobile number from your account so that you don't risk it being leaked, again.

Source: Snapchat

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4 years ago

Moto G available from Verizon today for $99


Big red cuts $80 off the price of the best prepaid phone on the market

If you're looking for an cheap Android that doesn't act like a cheap Android, and need to stay on Verizon, today is where everything comes together. The Moto G is available today from Verizon prepaid, and it will only set you back $99.

The G isn't the most powerful Android phone. It doesn't have the best screen available on any device. It's 3G only, so you'll not get Speedtests results to spam Google+ with. But none of that matters, because the Moto G was never supposed to fit any of that criteria.

You've got a cheap, prepaid Android that doesn't make you want to kick a puppy because it runs poorly. That's what the team at Motorola was aiming for, and they did a fine job at it. Getting a full Android experience at a great price is what makes the Moto G the best budget phone you can buy anywhere, from anyone.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Both hands-on with the 6.8-inch Hisense X1


Think your 5-inch phone is big? Here's a handset from China carrying a tablet-class display

The 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3? Tiny. The 5.9-inch HTC One Max? Petite. Sony's 6.4-inch Z Ultra? Dwarfed. Meet the Hisense X1 handset, on show at the Chinese manufacturer's CES booth in Las Vegas today. With a gargantuan 6.8-inch 1080p display, the X1 is almost as large as some of the smaller Android tablets out there — and while we weren't able to pocket-test the devices on show here today, we did have difficulty using it with any less than two hands. And externally it looks more than a little like the HTC One, with metallic sections at the top and bottom, and a subtly curved back panel. A variety of colors are available, including matte black, a glossier white and metallic blue and grey.

On the inside the device runs a quad-core Snapdragon CPU at 2.3GHz — likely a Snapdragon 800 — with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, so we're looking at typical high-end Android internals. There's a 13-megapixel camera around the back, a 5-megapixel front-facer and a whopping 3,900mAh battery to power the gigantic display. The model on show at the Hisense CES booth is for China Mobile, with 4G LTE support for that carrier.  The X1 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Hisense's own custom UI, which focuses on flat icons and pastel colors, and performance is just as speedy as we'd expect from the hardware.

It's unclear whether the X1 in its current configuration will ever see a U.S. release, but buyers on China Mobile should be able to pick it up later this year, along with a range of accessories. We've got both of our hands on the Hisense X1 in our video after the break, along with some more photos.

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4 years ago

Sony's PlayStation Now wants to be the Netflix of gaming


Sony has brought a lot of cool stuff to CES 2014, including a look at its forthcoming PlayStation Now gaming service. The simplest way to describe what Sony's trying here; it wants to be the Netflix of gaming. 

The Gaikai guys have been on the show floor demonstrating how things will go. Initially Sony will be supporting PlayStation 3 games, which can be streamed to your PS4, PS Vita, PS3 and selected new Sony Bravia TVs. Beyond this, PS2 and PS One classic titles are also in consideration for future inclusion. But why are we so interested? Because one day, maybe in the distant future times, but one day for sure; Sony wants this on our smartphones and tablets. 

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4 years ago

AT&T's Optimus G Pro gets a small software update


It's still Android 4.1.2, but OTA brings small fixes and enhancements

Software version E98010n is ready for AT&T's LG Optimus Pro. The 65 or so megabyte file is still Android 4.1.2, but bumps the software version up from E98010k ("n" is more than "k" so it has to be better) and contains these few changes, per AT&T:

  • Closed Captioning: Closed captioning option will appear in full screen mode for video files that are closed captioning supported.
  • Battery and Data icons in AT&T apps folder: You now have quick and easy access from your device home screen in the AT&T folder to manage data usage or optimize battery life.
  • Dual camera: You can take still photos using the front and rear camera at the same time.
  • Video pause and resume: You can pause and resume while recording a video.
  • Smart video: With eye detection, if you stop watching a video, the video will pause.
  • Home button LED: You can set the home button LED for "Favorite" contacts. Go to "Favorite" contact > Edit > Home Button LED.
  • Unused apps: You can set notifications for unused apps at: Settings > Apps > Menu key > Unused apps.

The usual rules apply — you'll need to be on Wifi, you can only "officially" check once per day, and your battery should be nice and charged.

There's a thread in the Optimus G Pro forums where folks are discussing the update, jump in!

Thanks, Mike!

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4 years ago

Amazon offers up Veronica Mars entire series exclusively on Prime Instant Video


Catch up on the full series ahead of the movie debut in March

If you're looking to catch up on the Veronica Mars series before the official movie debut on March 14th, Amazon is the place to go as they are now the exclusive online-only subscription home for streaming the TV series. The offering comes thanks to an agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution for access to all three seasons of the series starring the lovely Kristen Bell.

“The Veronica Mars series has been popular on DVD and Amazon Instant Video for years, so we know how much Amazon customers love this iconic television show,” said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition. 

Amazon knows how to pick out the stuff folks want. The Veronica Mars movie was a Kickstarter project started by Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell and ended up collecting $5.7 million from fans with $2 million of that having been contributed within the first 10 hours. 

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

Swiftkey heads to automobiles as they partner with Clarion for smarter in-car technology


Swiftkey looks to improve the overall experience of in-car technology

While many folks are used to using Swiftkey of their smartphones, the software maker's latest announcement could see you using their keyboard in your car as well. Swiftkey has announced they've teamed up with  in-car entertainment manufacturer Clarion on their AX1 Android car stereo system and are the default keyboard offerings on the head unit.

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4 years ago

#CESLive morning brief: Thursday, January 9


While the team in Las Vegas is taking a few extra hours to recover from a late night of mixing and mingling at last night's Mobile Nations/GeekBeat.TV meetup, the east is already gearing up for the penultimate day of #CESLive. If you joined us last night at PBR Bar inside the Planet Hollywood, thanks for coming out, and be sure to Tweet, Instagram and send smoke signals of your photos and video using hashtag #CESLive.

We'll be back on the show floor beginning at 12 noon PST for another busy day of live interviews and features with Blackberry, ZTE, Brookstone, NewTek and more. You can check out the full lineup here. Don't miss it.

While you wait for the sun to rise in Vegas, head on over to our #CESLive hub to catch up on all things CES related, including yesterday's scene stealing news from T-Mobile, and be sure to keep it here all day for news as it happens. 

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4 years ago

CES Day 2 round-up: T-Mobile, WWE, and iPhone tasers


It's only the second day of CES, but things didn't slow down in the slightest. Between everything happening on the #CESlive stage and the ongoing insanity of the show floor, day 2 of CES 2014 was, for lack of a better term, insane. Kevin checked out the BlackBerry-aping Typo keyboard for iPhone, John Legere insulted the competition, WWE dumped everything they've got on the web, and Georgia tasered herself — along with much much more.

4 years ago

Relive all of T-Mobile's CES 2014 announcements


Paying off your ETF, dropping all phones to $0 down and launching wideband LTE

T-Mobile let us in on its plans for Uncarrier 4.0, the latest in its initiatives to shake up the U.S. wireless industry, at CES. Along with the requisite swearing and competition bashing that come with T-Mobile CEO John Legere being on stage, the magenta network unveiled a few new carrier initiatives and gave us some insight into how its business has grown throughout 2013.

All of the news, in chronological order:

If you happened to miss the event altogether, you can watch it directly from T-Mobile (requires a sign-up) or follow along with our commentary on the liveblog.

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4 years ago

Google Play gift cards on sale at select retailers


Digital coupon brings discounts to select retailers

Whether you are looking for a gift for someone else, or you just like a good deal yourself, you will want to check this out. Select retailers are offering a discount on Google Play gift cards to the user of a digital coupon. The current offer gets you $2.50 off of a $25 gift card and $5 off of a $50 gift card. While the discounts may not be huge, it is the equivalent of a few free songs or a free app for yourself.

The promotion is available the retailers listed in the image above and ends on 1/11/14 or when supplies have run out. If you are interested be sure to act quickly on this deal.

Thanks, Ali!

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