Walmart has launched its own HDMI media streaming dongle for televisions. Called the VUDU Spark, the device connects you to VUDU network and lets you stream movies to your television.
The major draw here is the price, which at $25 is about $10 cheaper than the Chromecast. Unfortunately, that’s also the only advantage, as the VUDU Spark can only be used to stream content from VUDU, unlike the Chromecast, which can be used for a lot of things. Read more »
Popular OS X and iOS app iA Writer is coming to Android. The developers have announced a beta version, which will be available for the first 999 people to sign up on their Google+ page, with the final version arriving later.
iA Writer beta will be available through the Play Store for $0.99. The reason behind this is that Google doesn’t allow developers to release a free app and then make it paid later. On the upside, if you are one of the 999 people to get the beta for $0.99, then you won’t have to pay anything extra when it gets updated to the final version later, which will cost $4.99. Read more »
There have been recent concerns over the security issues in the rather outdated WebView mode in Android Jelly Bean. Due to its outdated nature, it is facing security issues, which would otherwise be a non-issue on newer versions of Android.
Google has responded to these concerns by basically saying they won’t be updating the WebView in Jelly Bean. But while that may not be what people have been expecting, Google does have a reasonable explanation for it. Read more »
It’s no secret that developers prefer iOS and Android when it comes to making applications and services for the mobile platform. While this is great for users on these platforms (which, let’s face it, are the majority of the smartphone users out there) it leaves people on BlackBerry or Windows Phone devices out in the cold.
To be honest, there’s not much you can do about that. I mean, it’s not as if you can just force developers to create apps for BlackBerry and Windows. But that’s exactly what BlackBerry CEO John Chen thinks should happen. Read more »
Kim Dotcom, controversial founder of the online file sharing service Mega, has announced a new service called MegaChat. MegaChat is a video calling service that competes with Skype and integrates within the Mega service within your web browser.
The main draw of MegaChat is that it is end-to-end encrypted. This is unlike Skype, which has in the past revealed to have allowed the NSA to monitor communications. MegaChat also does not require installing an application and can be accessed from within your web browser. It also uses Mega’s file sharing feature to securely share encrypted files over the video chat. Read more »
Apple announced its first smartwatch last year, expected to go on sale some time this year. But while most people would think that’s Apple’s first watch, that’s not really true. Say hello to the original Apple Watch.
What you see above is a rare analog watch that was never actually sold. The original Apple Watch (or rather the Apple Logo watch, as Apple called it) was actually a free gift that was given away to buyers of the Macintosh System 7.5 operating system. In fact, it was one of the two gifts, with the other being Conflict Catcher 3 software, and the customers had to choose between them. Read more »
Media streaming service Plex has released their popular app for the PlayStation platform (PS4 and PS3) in North and South America. The app was previously launched on the platform in December but only available in Europe until now.
Plex is a local streaming service that streams local content from the Plex media server on your computer to the Plex app running on your mobile device, game console, smart tv, or something like the Chromecast or Apple TV. Read more »
Bangladesh has blocked instant messaging and VoIP apps in the country, according to officials in the country. This includes the top five services in the country, namely, WhatsApp, Viber, Tango, LINE, and mypeople.
Out of these, Viber and Tango had been previously banned until January 21 midnight but that list has now been expanded to include WhatsApp, LINE, and mypeople as well. The ban is enforced by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) over security concerns by the government. Read more »
Google will soon be shutting down two useful Chrome features In February. The first is the highly useful Chrome to Mobile extension for Chrome, which allowed you to push any open page in Chrome directly to the Chrome mobile browser. Print to My Phone is part of Google Cloud Print and worked similarly to Chrome to Mobile.
Google mentions on its support page that both the services will be shut down early February 2015 and that users should instead switch over to Chrome Tab Sync. While tab sync works, it’s not instant the way Chrome to Mobile was, where you have to open the mobile browser and wait for it to finish the background sync before your open tabs appear in the browser. Read more »
Micromax Mobile, one of India’s leading mobile phone manufacturers, recently launched a new sub-brand called YU in partnership with Cyanogen Inc. The first phone from this brand is the Yureka, which was recently announced and launched exclusively on Amazon India.
Yureka is a budget Android smartphone. It is essentially a Coolpad F2 4G with the YU branding and running Cyanogen OS 11. It is one of the cheapest dual-SIM 4G Android smartphones available in India right now but at the same time has some pretty impressive specifications. So with a low price tag, good specifications, and Cyanogen taking care of the software, the whole thing seems too good to be true. But is it really? Let’s find out. Read more »
Three men tunned into a warehouse in Beijing and stole 240 iPhone 6 units worth $300,000. The men have since then been arrested.
The men, one of whom worked as a driver for the warehouse owned by a Chinese logistic firm, dug a 20-inch hole through the building’s wall. The thieves then went about spending the money from selling the phones on gambling, cars, and gold. The police tracked down the serial numbers of the stolen phones, which led to their capture. Read more »
American mobile wallet company Softcard, previously known as Isis, will allegedly be acquired by Google, according to sources at Techcrunch. The deal could be completed for as little as $100 million.
Softcard started life as Isis and was created as a collaboration between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. It is an NFC based mobile payment system that never really took off despite the might of three major carriers behind it. Last year, the company changed its name from Isis to Softcard to prevent confusion with the similarly named terrorist organization. Read more »
Now that the controversy surrounding The Interview is slowly fading away, Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced that it will be releasing a Freedom Edition DVD and Blu-ray of the movie.
Both the DVD and the Blu-ray version of the movie have bonus content. The DVD has just one bonus content and audio commentary while the Blu-ray has all of that plus gag reel, deleted, extended, and alternate scenes, eight featurettes, and a collection of alternate jokes and shots from the set, accounting to over 90 minutes of additional content. Read more »
Google has announced that it will be shutting down the Google Glass Explorer Program. Under this program, users could purchase the Glass from Google’s website and provide feedback on the product. The last day to purchase Google Glass under the Explorer Program is January 19.
But even though the Explorer Program is ending, Google Glass itself isn’t going anywhere. Google said in its Google+ post that the team working on the Glass program is graduating from the experimental Google[x] labs division to having their proper division at Google. Read more »
Along with the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, Xiaomi also announced two new peripherals at its keynote today. The Mi Box Mini is a smaller version of its Mi Box set-top box, which is essentially an Apple TV-esque device meant for streaming content from your smartphone.
The Mi Box Mini is extremely small and can just plug in straight into a power point. Read more »