Category: Accessories (page 1 of 4)

Hands on with the Samsung S2 smartwatch

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At a recent IFA Conference that was held in Berlin, Samsung unveiled its new Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. As most people know, Samsung’s line of smartwatches has been a fierce competitor to the Apple Watch. The Gear S2 features a watch face with a round display, which is different than the original Gear watch that had a rectangular display. Consumers get to choose between two versions of the Gear S2; a classic leather banded watch or a sporty looking watch. The leather band of the classic version can be swapped out with the bands of other Samsung watches by using the quick release mechanism built in. You can choose between black, silver or dark gray colors for the Gear S2. But the cosmetic features of the Gear S2 aren’t even the best part about it. The watch will be able to connect to a 3G network, which means it doesn’t have to rely on mobile phones in order to function properly. This also means it can make phone calls and it can utilize the functions of Samsung Pay. The watch has a 1.2 inch display screen with a pixel resolution of 360 x360. The watch itself is 11.4 millimeters thick, which makes it big but not too bulky. Therefore it should be comfortable on your wrist. 

The Gear S2 runs on an open source operating system called Tizen. Samsung helped develop this operating system in order to separate itself from the Android operating system. After all, it would cut into their profits if they had to pay Google for the use of their operating system in each watch that they sold. By Samsung using their own operating system, it will save them more money in the long run. It will also give consumers a unique user experience when they operate the watch. Instead of being forced to scroll the screen with your finger, you can also rotate the bezel around to navigate through the watch. The bezel moves around the watch face very easily, but there is still a little resistance. However, if you still prefer to swipe the watch face to navigate then you little resistance. However, if you still prefer to swipe the watch face to navigate then you can always exercise that option as well. 

With so many options and over 1,000 apps to choose from, it is looking like the Gear S2 will be a big seller when it comes out next month. The preorders for the watch have already sold out. These were priced at €349 in the United Kingdom, so Samsung seems to be dominating the smartwatch market right now.

Fitbit Should Fear Cheap Fitness Trackers, Not the Apple Watch

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Fitbit is a fitness wearable company that focuses on smartwatches that cater to health and fitness. Naturally, they have created some competition for the Apple Watch. The only difference is the Apple Watch doesn’t only focus on health and fitness related applications. They also connect users to their iPhones and allow them to check their email and so on. So why would somebody want to purchase a wearable from Fitbit when it only focuses on health and fitness? Well for one thing, they are a well known brand when it comes to fitness tracking products. Their sales numbers have already proven their capabilities of having great success. In 2014, their number of sales doubled from the previous year of 2013. That is pretty impressive for any tech company. Research now indicates that FitBit controls about 62% of the market share for all fitness trackers sold in the United States. Between this piece of information and the record profits they are making, it looks like FitBit will become a fierce competitor to the Apple Watch.

Sources have already indicated that Fitbit’s wearable will be cheaper than the Apple Watch. However you have to consider that the Apple Watch has all the same fitness apps as the Fitbit wearable, plus a whole lot more. Therefore, it all depends on how important the fitness apps are to you. If you are the type of person that wants to get a smartwatch simply to track your heart rate and distance traveled, then the Fitbit wearable might be the best choice. But if you are someone that wants the full potential of what a smartwatch can do and you are not afraid to pay extra money for it, then go with the Apple Watch instead.

The sale of fitness trackers have turned into a branding game. The actual function and components of the trackers are basically all the same. They all use sensors, digital displays and accelerometers to let the wearer know information regarding their fitness performance. But what makes them different are the exterior look, the cost and the brand name. Companies in America generally like to use their brand name in order to drive up the cost of a particular product. But since American consumers are still hurting for cash, they may want to purchase their wearables from the Chinese wearable company called Huami. They are selling their own fitness tracker for just $13, which is supposed to have all the same functions as the more expensive ones in the United States. If these wearables ever get marketed to Americans over the internet, then they may very well just go with those. The only thing that could save American wearable companies is if their brand and quality prove to be more important to American consumers than cost.

 

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.

 

M-Audio M40

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The M-Audio M40 is a top quality studio headphone that is used by many recording artists in the music industry. The name M40 refers to the 40mm drivers that are in each ear cup. This size gives the user a quality listening experience for only $59.99. The M40 will give you the real sound without reinventing or reinterpreting it. So if you listen to a music mix that doesn’t have bass in it, the M40 isn’t going to invent it for you. This realistic music experience helps both engineers and musicians perform better in their respective industries.

What is truly unique about M40 headphones is that their ear cups don’t cover the ear, but rather go onto the ear. The thick pads of the ear cups will make the experience of wearing them more comfortable for the user. The pads also isolate all of the ambient room noise to provide a better quality hearing experience. As for the actual look of the headphones, the exterior of the ear cups resemble a black vinyl record. Even though the looks of an ear cup are probably not as important as their performance, you still have to keep your fashion sense when running a studio. The material of the headphones consists of rubber, leather and flat cables. There is also a detachable cable that you can use to connect to each ear. For any beginning musician or someone on a budget, the M40 headphones are definitely a good choice.

The M40 headphones perform great, but there are always better choices out there. The Sennheiser HD6 Mix is a recent favorite that sounds more dynamic than the M40, especially with the high-mid sounds. But the Sennheiser HD6 is priced at $179.95 on Amazon, which is probably more than the average person wants to spend on headphones. If you are just somebody at home who likes to listen to their music or watch YouTube videos with headphones, then the M40 should be more than sufficient. However if you are running a music studio and want the very best then you might not want to go with the M40. The high-mid sounds of the brass and strings will not overpower the mix. On the other hand, the M40 was made to accurately present the mix and not to enhance it. If this is acceptable for you then M40 should be your choice. Otherwise, try out the Sennheiser HD6 instead.

 

 

A Source Just Told Us Why Apple May Be Making a Stylus – and Why it Could Be Huge (AAPL)

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Apple seems to always be the first one to change the shape of mobile devices and how they are used. Rumors now suggest they are going to come out with their own stylus. This is surprising to a lot of people because even Steve Jobs hated the idea of incorporating them with Apple products. But as more businesspeople and working professionals depend on Apple devices for their work, the demand for a stylus to touch the screen with is increasing in large numbers. For example, if somebody working in the food industry has to use their iPad for their work, it doesn’t help if they are using their dirty gloves to touch the screen. A stylus would allow their dirty hands to stay off the screen. Another example is with graphic artists who want to create their own digital artwork on their iPad or even their iPhone. They can’t draw pictures with their fingers because the tip of their finger is too big. But the stylus can become a digital drawing tool for them, so they can be more precise in their work through hand drawing.

Now the big question is will layman people want to have a stylus? It is nice to create them for specific types of working people that can benefit from them, but if the majority of the public won’t purchase them then it could be a problem for Apple. However a survey indicates that a great number of people want a stylus because they don’t like texting with their fingers. This likely has to do with “fat finger” errors, which is when people with fat fingers end up pressing the digital keys around the one key they are trying to press. This causes errors in their text messages, which causes frustration and irritation to the user and the person trying to read the messages. A stylus will solve this problem by just allowing people to press the keys with the narrow tip of the object.

The bottom line is that the stylus will just be an optional accessory. Apple is not going to require people to use the stylus and they certainly won’t force you to purchase a new iPhone in order to use it. You can simply download the updates to your existing iPhone or iPad to support the stylus and its internal communication block. The only information that remains to be seen is the price of the stylus. If the price is reasonable enough then it will definitely attract existing Apple customers. But if it is a few hundred bucks then they will likely pass on it.

 

Google Keep for Android Wear Now Lets You Take Notes and Set Reminders From Your Wrist

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The Android Wear operating system for smartwatches is becoming popular amongst consumers. The cool thing is that Google is constantly releasing apps for the Android Wear which allows you to perform more tasks with your smartwatch. Google Keep is one of the most popular apps for your Android watch. It lets you organize your notes, photos and lists within the application. In fact the newest update to the device is said to allow users to become completely independent from having to use their smartphones for these kinds of tasks.

Those who are new to smartwatches might be wondering how you actually type words into your notepad. As you probably guessed, smartwatches do not have virtual keyboards that you can text or type in letters with. Instead they rely on the user speaking into it with their voice. So when you launch Google Keep on your Android Wear, you can just create a new note for yourself by speaking the words into the device. Those verbal words will then get translated into written speech and get saved automatically as a note in the program. You can also create written lists and attach pictures to them as well.

A new feature to Android Wear is its “always on” ability. Usually apps will shut down after you drop your arm in order to conserve the life of your battery. With the latest Android Wear update, apps will still turn off after you drop your arm but they will turn back on after you raise your arm to look at the watch. This comes in very handy with Google Keep if you have to constantly look at your watch to check the notes you have written down. For example, let’s say you made your shopping list and put the list into Google Keep. If you want to check off items from your list, you no longer after to restart the app to get to your list after you put your arm down. You can just go right back to the list and continue where you left off by simply raising your arm back up.

If you currently own an Android Wear smartwatch then you should be receiving these updates to its operating system automatically. This means you don’t have to run out and purchase a brand new smartwatch just to get this new feature. Google Keep is one of many exciting apps that are available for the Android Wear watch. Check out the Google Play store to discover more of them.

Everything We Know About the iPhone 7 So Far!!

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It seems like only yesterday that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus came out. When Apple announced its update to these phones, consumers realized it wasn’t just going to be another version of the iPhone 6. The next update will actually be the iPhone 7 upgrade to the iPhone 6. The only things we know about its features are from the rumors we see in blogs and from what we observe through leaked pictures of the device. The newest feature observed was the enhanced camera. But as far as the design of the phone and what it looks like, that will apparently stay the same. In September of 2015, consumers will know everything about the iPhone 7 because this is the date when Apple releases it. Until then, consumers have to just gather up the facts of what they know so far and judge for themselves if they want to upgrade their phone or not.

The Apple iPhone 7 will likely come in two sizes; one with a 4.7 inch screen and another with a 5.5 inch screen. However, a Taiwanese publication named “Digitimes” reported that Apple may be releasing three iPhone 7 versions. The third version will have a 4 inch screen, but critics still debate as to the authenticity of this rumor. Besides, who would want an iPhone that is small unless it was considerably cheaper? Therefore it will likely just be the choice of a 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch. Both versions have their perks, but the main reasons for purchasing the iPhone 7 will have to do with the internal components. We just don’t know too much about those right now.

There are some critics who believe Apple is just trying to release a new iPhone model in order to boost their profits. A new enhanced camera may be a neat feature, but is it good enough to make consumers want to replace their old iPhone 6? With an economy still in rough shape, it will be hard for many people to shell out another $600 for a phone they know very little about. It also doesn’t help that the iPhone 6s will be released within the same year as the iPhone 7. Of course these are only rumors, but if they are true then it might be too much for consumers to decide. The people who purchase the iPhone 6s are likely not going to purchase the iPhone if they are released within the same year, or vice versa. Apple might need to rethink this idea because with all the other competition in the marketplace, it might not work.

One of the coolest things about the Apple Watch may be a feature no one really talks about (AAPL)

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When Apple announces a new device they are working on, they tend to give the public a lot of information about it. When they announced the Apple Watch back in September, they were quick to get people excited about all the features that the watch is going to have. It will be able to detect your heartbeat and even remind you to stand up if you have been sitting all day. Then, of course, it displays the time in a bunch of fancy ways. But, are these the only fascinating things about the Apple Watch?

There is one cool feature of the Apple Watch that nobody is talking about. This feature is the dark blackness in the background of the display. People might be expecting their smart wearables to light up brightly like their Smartphone, but the Apple Watch doesn’t do that. Instead it uses dark backgrounds to emphasize the main images more. Some people think this is better because it makes the objects on the display look like they are floating in space by themselves rather than appearing on a screen. Those opposed to this feature have said the blackness of the background makes the screen look smaller. It’s almost like it doesn’t have any frames around it either. However, this feature has already drawn a lot of interest to it. Not only that, but it is an original feature and makes the Apple Watch more unique from its competition.

The real question comes down to whether or not consumers will spend hundreds of dollars just to purchase an Apple Watch with a dark background. Since the screen is smaller than other competing smartwatch brands, this could cause trouble for the Apple Watch when it finally becomes available to the public. On the other hand, the Apple brand already has a strong reputation and that reputation alone could be enough to draw in consumers towards their new smartwatch product.

Later this year, Apple is expected to reveal more information about the Apple Watch. It is unclear if Apple will address the issue of the screen size being small or if it serves any real purpose. From what insiders can gather, Apple is trying to think of smartwatch screens differently than they do with smartphone screens. Perhaps a smaller screen size on a watch will make it more comfortable for somebody to wear. Also if the background is dark and all the content is brightly colored, then it may be easier to see your watch in the dark. We shall see what new details Apple gives to the public in their next announcement about the product.

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