Keen to capitalize on the ever-growing segment of landline cutters, US Cellular appears to be launching a home phone service similar to the Home Connect offerings by Verizon and Sprint. According to information we've received, all you have to do is plug in a regular cordless or corded phone into the provided base station and voilà -- you'll be able to make calls via US Cellular's wireless network instead. You'll get unlimited voice calls for only $19.99 a month, which also includes voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, three-way calling and that all-important E911 service. Of course, as it's voice-only, you won't get data or text messaging as part of the plan.
The PCD-made base station seen above has a model name of FT2260 and boasts dual-band support (800/1900 MHz CDMA), a QSC6055 chipset, two phone jacks and a USB port for diagnostics purposes. Also included in the package are a charger, an antenna and a 1500 mAh NiMH battery that promises up to two hours of talk or 36 hours of standby time. We're not sure when exactly this'll roll out, but from the looks of it, we won't have to wait long for yet another alternative to ye olde POTS.
Internationally savvy Chrome desktop users are well acquainted with the translation bar's ability to quickly make sense of sites using foreign languages. Courtesy of the new Chrome 28 beta for Android, they can take that linguistic power on the road: the translation bar now shows up on mobile when visiting pages in non-native text. The test release also gives tablets the same fullscreen mode that phones have in the stable build, and everyone can see graphs illustrating the data usage savings they get from compression. Those who want to better understand their mobile world just have to swing by the source links to get the latest beta.
Via: Android Police
AT&T's official GoPhone prepaid policy has always officially prevented network data access for iPhones (and other 4G devices except for BlackBerry), but a tipster reports that will change tomorrow. The new policy adds 4G HSPA+ and LTE support as well as Visual Voicemail access to the GoPhone package, with customers able to bring their own device or buy a new one at off-contract unsubsidized prices. According to the details, existing customers with iPhones will be automatically updated with network access on June 21st, however they'll be able to call in and make the switch manually before that. The new features work on the $65, $50 and $25 monthly plans, however the two lower priced options will require data packages to work. You can get a peek at the leaked terms after the break, although we'd wait for an official announcement before picking up your 4G-capable handset and requesting service.
Microsoft's new Xbox comes with a console, controller and Kinect, but even if you pre-order One for yourself, you may choose to go elsewhere to pick up a matching headset. And, Turtle Beach will be one of the first next-gen headset providers, as it's just signed a license with Microsoft to build them for the One. Turtle Beach isn't sharing any more info on the forthcoming headsets, but we'll be telling you all about them when they're revealed at E3 in a few weeks. Oh, and before you go thinking that you can save yourself some cash by using your trusty Xbox 360 cans, remember that the One's controllers have a new proprietary port on them that's incompatible with your old gear. You were looking for an excuse to upgrade your over-ear gaming audio anyway, right?
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cheap affordable Android tablets are a dime a dozen at most trade shows these days, but here at CTIA 2013 we stumbled upon something that caught our eye -- a 7-inch dual-core tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich that costs just $65. The Maxwest TAB-7155DC aka. Ippo Y88 measures 182 x 122 x 10mm (7.16 x 4.8 x 0.39inch), weighs 187g (6.6oz) and comes in several hues (black, white, silver, red, blue and pink).
It features a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel capacitive multitouch LCD, an Infotmic IMAPx820 SoC (1GHz dual-core Cortex A5 CPU with Mali 400 GPU), 512MB of RAM, 4GB of built-in storage, dual VGA cameras (front and back), WiFi b/g/n and 2800mAh battery. The screen isn't covered in glass and there's no sign of any Bluetooth or GPS radios, but then again, what do you expect for $65? You''ll find a power / lock key, DC socket, micro-USB port (with on-the-go support) and mini-HDMI output on the top edge, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack, volume rocker and microSD card slot on the right side. A microphone and speaker round things up in back.
The tablet runs a mostly stock version of ICS (Android 4.1.1, to be specific) and includes the usual assortment of Google apps along with access to the Play Store. Performance is adequate -- not buttery smooth but perfectly usable. Build quality and materials are surprisingly decent for the price (the plastic is color-though), but the display leaves a lot to be desired (viewing angle are poor and the acrylic covering the screen is scratch-prone). Then again, it's only $65, right? Check out the gallery below for our rose-colored hands-on with the expensive tablet.
Box just recently snapped up Crocodoc to improve the web component of its cloud storage, but what about tuning the native apps? It's addressing that side of the equation by acquiring the technology behind Folders, a third-party cloud storage app for iOS. Box loves Folders' code and design enough to want both of them inside the next generation of its iOS client. Folders creator Martin Destagnol (pictured here at center) has already been working on this for weeks, Box says. While there's no word on a similar treatment for Android, we should see the iOS partnership bear fruit in updates spread throughout the year.
Is Russell Holly a seer of the future, or did he just manage to get lucky? That's the question we're currently kicking around at Engadget. You see, when he first revealed that a Galaxy S 4 would be introduced at Google I/O with stock Android, we quickly dismissed it as something that'd never happen in a million years. Then it came true the very next day. Now, Holly is back with another mighty tall claim: "HTC is considering a stock Android variant of the One for release in the US." In fairness, rumors of such a phone began to circulate last week, but were quenched just as quickly by HTC. Contrary to the denial, however, Holly claims that multiple sources have informed him of an HTC One that's in the works with stock Android 4.2.2. It's tough to make heads or tails of Holly's report, especially since he follows the assertion that HTC is "considering" such a phone with a claim that it'll be announced within the next two weeks. Naturally, we're taking this with more than the usual dose of skepticism, but like Fox Mulder, we want to believe.
Voxx Accessories (formerly Audiovox) launched its newest Soundflow wireless audio product at CTIA this week: the Soundboard. The idea is quite simple; place just about any handset on the 3-AA battery powered Soundboard while it plays your favorite music and the device instantly amplifies and rebroadcasts it through its own built in speakers. No pairing, no wires and no hassle is the name of the game.
The concept and its ease of use is really slick, though sadly, the execution is sub-par because even if the tech works perfectly the sound is pretty terrible. The housing is so small that there is simply no bass at all so the resultant audio quality is high pitched and tinny. Voxx's rep did mention that the speaker still needs tuning, so we'll definitely wait 'til we run into it again for final judgment on the Soundboard's sonic abilities. So until that time we'll save its $29.99 list price for a decent NFC-enabled speaker that delivers almost exactly the same no muss no fuss wireless experience. Pics of the Soundboard are in the gallery below.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and nowhere was it more necessary than in the case of Kaiba Gionfriddo's life. The infant was born with a condition called tracheobronchomalacia that results in weakened support for the trachea, and his fate seemed all but decided until researchers at the University of Michigan proffered an unlikely solution: a 3D-printed tracheal splint. The splint was custom-made just for the child and designed to hold the trachea in place as the bronchus builds around it, giving it strength. In two to three years, the trachea will be able to stand on its own, and the polycaprolactone biomaterial used to create the splint will be absorbed into the body. After a successful operation, Kaiba was taken off ventilator support -- and he hasn't needed it since. From 3D-printed skull prosthetics to this recent innovation, it's clear 3D printing has a far more noble future than just making pizza.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine
There are a lot of 7-inch tablets on the market, but few can be had at a US-based retailer for less than 100 bucks. Chinese manufacturer Hisense is set to undercut that saturated market with a pair of budget Jelly Bean tablets: the Sero 7 LT, priced at $99, and the Sero 7 Pro with a $149 MSRP. While both devices include similar housings, the internals differ significantly, as you might expect.
The cheaper model includes a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 4 gigs of internal storage (plus a microSD slot with support for 32GB cards), a 1,024 x 600-pixel 7-inch display, 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a four-hour battery and Android 4.1. The Pro model boasts a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB RAM, 8 gigs of storage, an upgraded 1,280 x 800 display, a 2MP camera up front with a 5MP cam on the rear, up to 10 hours of battery life and Android 4.2. You should be able to snag both tablets at your local Walmart store or through the retailer's website beginning tomorrow.
Filed under: Tablets
In with a bang, out with a whimper. After making us fear for the Xbox 360's (shelf) life by delivering an adverse ruling in Motorola's ITC patent infringement case against Microsoft last year, the presiding Administrative Law Judge reversed his stance a couple months ago after prodding by the full Commission. While the finding of non-infringement was good news for Microsoft, the decision still needed to be OK'd by the Commission before the investigation could be officially closed. We thought we weren't going to get a final ruling until later in the summer, but the ITC apparently agreed with the ALJ's initial ruling ahead of schedule, and has decided not to review the decision today. As a result, the investigation is now closed, and this particular battle in the patent wars is finally over.
Update: Naturally Microsoft Corporate VP and deputy General Counsel David Howard is excited to see this case be closed, and issued the following statement:
This is a win for Xbox customers and confirms our view that Google had no grounds to block our products.
Source: USITC [PDF]
Samsung committed to launching Tizen devices almost as soon as 2013 began, but there has been little to show for its promise outside of a developer phone. To our relief, there are signs of sustained interest in the project: Techtastic has spotted a Samsung user agent profile for the Tizen-toting GT-i8805. The web code suggests that the company is playing it safe with its first wave of hardware for the OS, however. While the i8805 appears to support LTE, mentions of a 720p display and an older ARM Cortex-A9 chip probably won't have technofreaks regretting their Galaxy S 4 purchase. Even so, the sighting should give hope to those who've been waiting months on end for Bada's spiritual successor.
If you hoard gadgets like us, then your living room is probably covered with a plethora of remote controls. Flyover Innovations' Indiegogo campaign aims to streamline your home audio experience and minimize your mess with Blumoo, a small hardware platform that turns your mobile device into an RF remote. The IR-equipped Blumoo pod connects to your stereo via standard 3.5 mm jack or RCA connections, and allows you to control your home theater system with your mobile device through the magic of Bluetooth. The Blumoo app -- coming soon for both iOS and Android -- pulls from a database that Flyover claims is comprehensive enough to ensure your home theater equipment is covered. Flyover plans on retailing the device for $79 but is offering an early bird special for supporters starting at $45. To check out their rewards and watch their cartoon mascot, Blumoo Bob, shake it a like a polaroid picture, head over to their Indiegogo page. For a more informative -- if slightly less entertaining -- video, watch the preview after the break.
Filed under: Portable Audio/Video
Everyone's found themselves in this situation at one time or another: you're in a picture-perfect setting, but a selfie at arm's length won't cut it. You want to be in the picture, so you wait for a friendly looking passerby and ask them to take it. But, now it's out of your control, and chances are the resulting snap won't turn out exactly as you'd imagined. Samsung knows you're too polite to hold the stranger up while you convey your vision, so it has come up with a camera feature that does the explaining for you. It's described in a recent patent filing, and the gist is that you select the backdrop and take an initial snap that acts as a guide for the next, similar to how some panorama modes work. With a silhouette of the desired scene now showing atop the live view, the designated stranger just needs to let you get in the shot, line the overlay up with the live scene, and hit the shutter release.
The patent application also talks of editing the overlay, such as adding a circle to show the photographer where you'd like your face to be in relation to the backdrop. If you want the passerby to know how well they're doing, the claims explain an on-screen "composition score" that would rate their lining-up skills. And, if you'd rather trust the final decision to the camera, a ball-in-the-hole scenario is described that'll automatically engage the shutter release when the live view matches your ideal layout. This is just words and a few diagrams at this stage, mind, but if the patent gets granted, we could eventually see such a feature added to Samsung's smartphones or Galaxy cameras. Until then, you'll just have to put your trust in strangers and hope they have at least a basic understanding of the rule of thirds.
Looking to save some coin on your tech purchases? Of course you are! In this roundup, we'll run down a list of the freshest frugal buys, hand-picked with the help of the folks at Slickdeals. You'll want to act fast, though, as many of these offerings won't stick around long.
A busy week has nudged us off of our regular roundup schedule, but don't fret because we've still got a smattering of links to consider -- regardless of the day. A duo of Dell wares hit the list with a 24-inch UltraSharp display and Inspiron 15R SE laptop. Details on that pair and the remaining items rests on the other side of the break.
Tags are so 2008. Google doesn't want you to waste time tagging your photos, except for the people in them. The web giant wants to be able to recognize more abstract concepts like "sunset" or "beach" automatically and attach that metadata without further input. In yet another post-I/O update, Google+ photos now uses computer vision and machine learning to identify objects and settings in your uploaded snapshots. You can simply search for "my photos of trees" or "Tim's photos of bikes" and get surprisingly accurate results, with nary a manually added tag in sight. You can perform the searches in Google+, obviously, but you can also execute your query from the standard Google search page. It's pretty neat, but sadly Mountain View seems to have forgotten what cats look like.
Source: Inside Search
Samsung will be releasing developer editions of the Galaxy S 4 for AT&T and Verizon, according to the company's site. At least for now, the phone will only be offered in Black Mist, and internal storage is listed as 16GB. It's not clear exactly when the devices will come to their respective carriers, but they likely won't be offered with a subsidy when they do. For those considering purchasing Sammy's latest flagship handset, this offers an alternative to the several variants across service providers, not to mention the stock Jelly Bean version announced at Google I/O. Hit up the source link for more info.
Huawei's upcoming Ascend P6 must be as slim as we've heard, because it just keeps slipping out -- this time, in an official rendering obtained by @evleaks. The imagery appears to validate what we've previously seen in photos, including the wafer-like 6.2mm thick body, a metal chassis and an iteration of the Emotion UI layer that we just saw on the Ascend Mate. And in case there's any lingering doubts, we've even received a possible launch window from the company itself. In a quickly deleted Sina Weibo post, Huawei Device Chairman Richard Yu told his followers that the leaked device is indeed part of the P series, and should be revealed at the company's June 18th event in London. At this rate, all that's left for the company is to walk on stage and make its skinniest Ascend official.
Source: @Evleaks (Twitter)
Xbox, Xbox, Xbox. There can be only one. The Xbox One, of course. Not the first Xbox, but the oneist, certainly. Join us remotely, won't you, as we discuss the one Xbox One to rule them all (and some other stuff, probably). All one of them.
Leica seldom updates its camera lineup, so we're especially intrigued to discover that it's teasing a completely new model, the Mini M. On the camera maker's website, this TBA model is represented by only a black box, tucked in between the full-frame M and the APS-C-loaded X2 (Micro M). There's no other official info aside from its June 11th unveiling date, but Leica Rumors is poised to bet that this is the company's first mirrorless entry. The site's sources claim this model will thankfully not be a re-badged Panasonic Lumix -- Hasselblad and Sony's Lunar (a leather-adorned NEX-7) already did enough damage on that front.
Filed under: Cameras
Via: Leica Rumors
Google's Street View Trekker has already captured some dramatic scenery in its young life, but we haven't seen it venture far beyond US borders. The company is making up for that in style through its recently completed image-gathering expedition to the Galapagos Islands. The visit will produce 360-degree shots of 10 representative areas chosen by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Parks Directorate. There's more involved than just stunning Google Maps imagery, however: the panoramas will help document any threats to the local climate and wildlife. While we'll only see the results of the Galapagos trip later this year, it's good to know that they should help both humans and slow-moving reptiles in equal measure.
Source: Google Official Blog
When Huawei revealed the Ascend Mate at CES this year, it felt like smartphones had reached an end point -- they surely couldn't get any larger. We've since been proven wrong by Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3, but the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate has gone on sale first, and it's every bit as intimidating as it was in January. The question is whether or not Huawei has more than just size on its side. Is this nearly tablet-sized device worth putting in our pockets, and can it fend off the suddenly tiny-looking Galaxy Note II and Optimus G Pro? Read on past the break, and you'll find out.
Gallery: Huawei Ascend Mate review
It's not quite ready for the stable release of the browser, but Chrome beta users can now get a taste of a new notification system that should be rolling out to everyone sooner or later. Currently limited to the Windows and Chrome OS versions of the browser (Mac and Linux support is promised "soon"), the new notifications offer richer options than before, including formatted text and images, as well as the ability to incorporate actions directly inside the pop-up -- Google offers the example of responding to an email right away. A new notification center will now also let you view a list of all notifications you might have missed, and you can thankfully disable notifications from as many sources as you like.
Acer's C7 Chromebook is the cheapest way to get in on Google's cloud-OS party. But, it still ships a 320GB 5,400RPM drive. Truth be told, such a large amount of local storage is counter to the whole idea of Chrome OS -- not to mention that the slow spin introduces a certain amount of unwelcome lag. Thankfully the bargain-basement $199 laptop is about to get an SSD makeover, according to a listing at Best Buy. The official specs at the Google Play store still list the standard hard drive, but the big box shop has a model featuring 16GB of solid state storage. The updated C7 keeps the same affordable price point, though we have no idea when it might start shipping. Best Buy lists the Chromebook simply as "coming soon," with no estimated delivery date. From what we can see there are no other changes to the machine, so if you weren't a fan of the cheap construction before, don't expect that to change.
Source: Best Buy