Category: Electronics & Accessories Reviews (page 1 of 68)

Is Google Not Working on Constructing Smart Homes Anymore?

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At the Consumer Electronics Show last year, products were introduced that would integrate with Apple’s smart home platform. These smart products included light bulb adapters, power outlets, door locks and more. Google announced similar innovations in smart home technology last year as well. This got consumers excited and craving for updates on this technology at this year’s electronics show. Unfortunately, there weren’t many people talking about Google’s smart home system; nicknamed Brillo and Weave. At the 2016 CES, there were some smart products from this system shown like the security camera, printer, oven, scanner, speaker, door locks and light bulbs. These products were manufactured by big named tech company partners, like Philips, LG Asus and HP.

LG is actually the biggest partner of Google’s smart home system. They had a washer and dryer, air conditioner, security camera, wireless speakers and a refrigerator on display at the CES. So what’s the problem? Well there was no mention from Google or its tech partners about when these items will be released or what the progress is on their development. During LG’s press conference, Brillo and Weave were talked about for three minutes by Google’s Vice President. But there were no specifics on the new platform.

Just so you understand, Brillo is the software that gets programmed into these smart devices. It is basically like the operating system of them which is similar to how Android is an operating system to smartphones. As for Weave, this is the special programming language that allows the various smart devices to speak to one another. What is interesting is that devices don’t need to have Brillo installed in them in order to speak Weave to each other. This makes Weave the most important programming feature of these smart devices. In fact, it can even help these devices to communicate with apps for your smartphone, whether they are iOS apps or Android apps.

Perhaps, Google is focusing on other projects at the moment and hasn’t made any new advancement with Brillo and Weave. Either that or they may be looking to create something that will blow people away. You should check back at next year’s CES to see if Google introduces updates on this awesome smart home system. Since smart technology is growing to all types of products, it is safe to say that smart devices for homes will gain more attention sooner or later as they become more developed and tested.

Qualcomm Hexagon 680 promises improved location, better photos, and more battery life

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Qualcomm has developed a new digital signal processor chip called Hexagon 680. This is a mobile chip that is supposed to help prolong the battery life in your mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The chip will also give you better location data, even if you are in a location without a powerful navigational signal. Plus, if you take pictures with the mobile device then it will give you a nicer blend of bright and dark imagery. New smartphones that offer camera improvements are usually big sellers. We have already seen that plenty of times with Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy phones. Therefore, it is very likely that Qualcomm’s new Hexagon 680 chip will be in many mobile devices in the years to come.

The Hexagon Vector eXtensions is what gives the Hexagon 680 all of its power. This added hardware is what helps the chip produce advance imagery when used in conjunction with the Qualcomm Spectra camera image sensor. When it is used with the Snapdragon 820 processor, the CPU will be able to perform three times faster while using only 10% of its normal power. Many smartphone manufacturers have been looking for ways to cut down the power consumption of their smartphones. The one thing that consumers always complain about with their mobile devices is the fact the battery runs out too fast. We live in the age where people want the most convenience possible. In terms of batteries, this means consumers want the batteries to charge their mobile devices for longer periods of time. The smartphone that can do this the best will win over consumers. But the secret lies in the CPU of the mobile device, which is why Qualcomm is constantly working on a way to perfect this. That way they can gain more partnerships with smartphone companies that would be willing to put Qualcomm’s chips into their devices.

Qualcomm is looking to make a comeback in the chip technology market. Rumors suggest they have already lost their partnership with Samsung, which is a major mobile technology maker. Qualcomm simply cannot afford to lose any more major partnerships or else it could be the end of their operations. But for now, things are looking very good with the news about their Hexagon 680 chip. As long as another chip company doesn’t come along and create something similar. Qualcomm’s chips should be around for years to come.

Microsoft Surface 3 LTE Goes On Sale In The U.S.

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When most people think of Microsoft they don’t often think about Smartphones or tablets. Instead people think of the Windows operating system for the PC. With all the other mobile companies in the marketplace, this has left Microsoft on the lower end of the spectrum. But they are trying hard to make a comeback with their newest Surface 3 LTE tablet. Microsoft already revealed the Surface 3 LTE to a few European countries, but then they announced it would be available to U.S. consumers first. Their 4G Surface 3 is already available through AT&T and T-Mobile. However, you can purchase the unlocked version at any of Microsoft’s retail stores and through any of their third-party sellers and partner outlets.

Microsoft is selling two unlocked versions of their tablet; the 128GB version and the 64GB version. Of course, you will need SIM cards to actually use the 4G part of the tablet, but you can still take advantage of the Wi-Fi if you want to go on the internet. If you do decide to get data service through 4G, then you can purchase SIM cards from T-Mobile or AT&T. As for the actual network carrier service, AT&T has already been given exclusive access to sell the Surface 3 LTE 4G under contract to consumers. T-Mobile will later be able to sell the tablet to their business customers. There is also a rumor that Verizon will start selling it at some point in the future as well.

The big drawback to the Microsoft Surface 3 was its prices when it was announced back in March. The Surface 3 with 64 GB of storage and 2GB of RAM costs $500. And for $100 more, you can purchase the Surface 3 with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. These prices are about the same as Apple’s iPhones and tablets. So is it worth the price to purchase the Microsoft devices or should you stick with Apple? For one thing, the Surface 3 is a laptop and tablet hybrid. This could make consumers feel like they are getting double the hardware for the price of one. After all, consumers have stated plenty of times that they like having the choice to alternate between a keyboard and touch screen functionality. The Microsoft Surface 3 will give them this freedom to choose.

Microsoft has yet to announce the price they are setting for the Surface 3 LTE version, but some speculators predict it will be $100 more than the Surface 3 versions. This means the 64GB Surface 3 LTE will cost $599 and the 128GB Surface 3 LTE will cost $699. The Surface 3 LTE is currently available in Japan, Germany, France, U.K. and Spain. There is no telling when it will come to the United States.

Apple Music Can’t Be Deleted

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When you buy an Apple smartphone you will notice it comes with lots of preloaded apps and music. Apple Music is a preloaded app that comes with new smartphones, which some people like and some people don’t. But the annoying thing is that you cannot delete Apple Music off of your phone. Many consumers feel that Apple should let iPhone users delete any app they want, even the preloaded ones. A little while back there was another massive series of complaints similar to this one about the mandatory iOS update that put the Watch app onto people’s iPhones. The Watch app is specifically designed to work with the Apple Watch, which is a separate device that not everybody owns or wants to own. This didn’t matter though because all the iPhone users were forced to receive this app on their phone. Many felt it was Apple’s way of promoting their smartwatch to iPhone users, so they would go out and purchase it. Whether this is true or not, users feel they should have the right to choose which apps they have on their phone. Right now they are only able to place these apps in the “Junk Drawer,” but the problem is this junk drawer can fill up fast and it still takes up memory on your phone.

So what is Apple’s agenda with making people have Apple Music on their phone? Some critics claim it is Apple’s way of keeping mobile users loyal to everything that is Apple. For example, Apple Music and Apple Maps are the alternatives to Spotify and Google Maps. Even though iPhone users have the freedom to download Google Maps and Spotify apps, Apple may not want their consumers using major apps made by other companies. They want to keep everything Apple, so that consumers stay loyal to the company in every respect. In other words, Apple can dominate the app marketplace by forcing their iPhone users to keep Apple apps of all kinds on their phone. The problem here is that many users of these apps do not like them. Apple Maps is a perfect example because it got terrible reviews by Apple users when it was released back in 2012. So why should people be forced to keep it on their phone if they don’t like it? Hopefully, Apple will hear these complaints from consumers and do something about it in the future. Perhaps they will release another iOS update that allows people to delete these apps. Users shouldn’t have to wait for a new iPhone release to do this simple task.

Bose SoundDock XT Speaker

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Stop and put your mouse down because this is something that you will want to hear about.  Bose has upgraded themselves with this SoundDock XT speaker that not only goes with you everywhere, but also sounds like you are bringing the party.  This speaker allows you to connect your phone on the dock or by connecter to bring music to life.  There aren’t many flaws to this amazing product, but the only thing that dims the speaker is the fact that it takes about 12 hours to charge up.  You do have lasting sound for the night, but be sure to bring your charger for the morning.  If playing music at a party isn’t your forte, then turn down the music by pressing the ever so dainty volume button on the side.  White/Yellow and White/Dark Grey are the only color choices, so chose wisely.  I will continue to use this speaker for all of my outdoor events and so should you.

Apple iPad vs. Microsoft Surface 3

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The Apple iPad is one of the best selling tablets ever. Other computer companies have tried competing with Apple in this area, but Apple has still remained number one when it comes to manufacturing tablets. However, this may change very soon because Microsoft is getting in on the action. They have already developed their own Microsoft Windows tablet that is an alternative to the Apple iPad. The Microsoft Surface 3 was released in 2014 and has gotten a lot of positive feedback from tech enthusiasts. The retail price is going to be around $499, which is about the price of a new iPad. So there won’t be much diversity as far as the price is concerned. The diversity comes with the new tablet features found in the Microsoft Surface 3. One new feature is the magnetic clip on keyboard that attaches itself to the front of your tablet. It is said to be a step up from the swivel mechanism that operates the keyboard on the iPad. But more importantly, Microsoft’s Surface 3 is said to help you actually work without needing a laptop.

Microsoft Surface tablets have only been around for three years. In the beginning, they were merely created to compete with Apple. But these Surface tablets have quickly advanced into a successful product line that more people are starting to use. There are also a variety of accessories you can purchase for it, such as keyboards and styli. You can even install Microsoft Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. If you choose the Microsoft Office 365 subscription when you purchase your tablet then you can get the entire suite of programs bundled together with it. The screen quality of the new tablet is also much sharper than previous Surface models, but it still has the same full size USB port. This means you can plug in a regular PC mouse or keyboard if you want to use that with your tablet.

Right now the Surface 3 is being advertised heavily to schools and colleges around the country. Parents are also taking an interest in the tablet because it is a suitable device to give their children for school. But the big question is, should you buy this tablet if you already have an iPad? It all depends on how much money you have and how much you are willing to spend. If you already have office suite products on your iPad then you might not think it’s worth switching over to Surface 3 just yet. But if you just want to own the newest Microsoft tablet and experience the differences right away, then definitely consider purchasing this product.

After Delays, Valve and Partners Near Production on Steam Machines for Living-Room Gamers

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If you follow video gaming then you have probably heard of the video gaming company, Valve, and their video gaming software known as Steam. This software connects people together by allowing them to play multiplayer games with each other right over the internet. The only thing is that Steam is traditionally for the PC, Mac and Linux computer systems. This means people who want to play these games have to use their monitors, unless they have the right video cables to hook up their computer to a flat screen television set. Most people do not have these cables, or they simply don’t know how to hook it up properly.

After years of delays and setbacks, Valve has finally created a Steam gaming console that people can hookup to their television sets. That way people can now play video games through Steam right on their big television sets instead of their smaller monitors. The console will still connect to the user’s Steam account, so they won’t lose any of their games. All they have to do is login to their account through the Steam Machine and then they can just download all of their games right back onto it.

The Steam Machine will create competition for other living room gaming computers, like Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 4. Right now they are king of multiplayer gaming through consoles. But with the massive amount of people who already use Steam, the new Steam Machine could very well turn people off from those other consoles and cause them to lose money. Not only that, but the Steam Machine will have its own Steam operating system to run games on. This could very well jeopardize the $25 billion market for Windows PC gaming. The majority of the people who use Steam on their computers are using a Windows operating system, which the games require in order to play them. But with the Steam Machine, the games won’t need the Windows operating system anymore. This could cause Microsoft to lose even more business and set them back much further as a company.

The only complication is not all of the 5,000 games on Steam will work with Steam Machine. After all, the original designers of these games were creating them for popular operating systems like Windows and Linux. The Steam OS is brand new and a Linux-based operating system. This means it will only be able to run games that can be run on Linux operating systems. Right now there are over 1,000 games on Steam that could be run on the Steam Machine. But as time goes on and the popularity of the machine increases, the number of approved games is likely to go up.

We tried Microsoft HoloLens: This is going to be much bigger than Google Glass !

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Smart glasses have been talked about for a little while now. They are a device you wear like regular glasses that lets you see smart information linked to your phone, PC or tablet. Google Glass was the first brand of smart glasses to be revealed to the public. So naturally, all of the other major tech companies want to compete with Google by creating their own brand of smart glasses. Microsoft appears to be their first competitor.

Microsoft Holo Lens is what is called a hologram gadget, which is said to be different than Google Glass. Holo Lens allows the user to see holographic images that are delivered to the device by someone else on a PC that is controlling it. For example, if an architect wanted to create a blueprint for their next project, they could just create the 3d imagery and let their client use the Holo Lens to see the building in real time. This means they could actually walk into a virtual reality where they see the building before it is even built in real life. This will give them a much better idea of what the final outcome will be instead of having to depend on blueprints, which force clients to use their imaginations more than anything else.

Even though it might seem like virtual reality, Holo Lens is different than the gaming virtual reality devices that you might have seen advertised. Holo Lens will still let you see the real environment around you. The only difference is that it will add holographic images to your environment that nobody else sees. Only the person wearing the Holo Lens glasses can see it. Therefore, if an architect were going to show off their building plans, they could take their client to the real life location that is currently just flattened land and place holographic images of the building over the land. Then they can see how the building will look in that environment after it is built.

There were live performances given with the Holo Lens not too long ago. These performances showed the device and how it was able to merge with Skype, Sketch Up and Minecraft. In one performance, someone was using Skype on a Windows 10 laptop and another was using Skype on the Holo Lens. The person on the laptop was able to send holograms over to the Holo Lens device through Skype. Then the user of the device could manipulate the image, walk around with it and even edit it through the device. Holo Lens is predicted to be a revolutionary breakthrough for businesspeople in the corporate world.

 

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