Category: Reviews (page 1 of 9)

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.

Google is introducing a new device OnHub

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Since its inception, Google seeks to simplify the complicated technology end-users, actually since it was started and has made a real revolution with its Google Internet Search. The last thing that it introduced is a new OnHub device that Asus produces. OnHub device is essentially an enhanced wireless router, easy to use for everyone. Wireless routers are generally kept to the side, out of sight, as they are mostly nondescript, and not particularly user-friendly.

Asus OnHub is there to change these disadvantages.

Thanks to a simple and very beautiful and elegant design, the Asus OnHub could fit into any interior. Depending on your internet package, it brings faster internet connection with wireless devices in its network, and using Google On application for android mobile phones, you will have more options to control the flow of the Internet in your home than ever before. Asus OnHub introduces new technology, Wace Control, which allows users to speed up the Wi-Fi connection to a device by simply waving your hands above your Asus OnHub device.

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Google will also update the software, adding new smart antenna algorithms, which should significantly improve the performance of the device.

Pre-order Asus OnHub device began last week and expected price is around $220.

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.

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.

 

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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