T-Mobile introduces new Simply Prepaid plans starting at $40/month

Simply Prepaid T-Mobile

T-Mobile continues to shake up the wireless industry by introducing a number of affordable plans and options as part of its ongoing Un-carrier initiative. Today, the carrier announced that it is expanding choices for prepaid customers with new Simply Prepaid plans for as little as $40 per month. The new plans will be available for new and existing customers on January 25th. Read more

Xiaomi aims to take on the iPhone 6 Plus with new 5.7″ Note phablet

Image via @DarthMowl

Image via Darth Mowl

After teasing a super-thin new smartphone earlier this week, smartphone maker (or, maybe more accurately, “smartclone maker”) Xiaomi revealed its 2015 flagship model, the Note. Just to be clear, this is an entirely new device, and doesn’t seem to be related to the company’s existing “Redmi Note” smartphone.

It’s also not related to Samsung’s similarly named devices, though it hardly seems unreasonable to think that Samsung’s execs aren’t exactly pleased with the name. iPhone users may detect quite a bit of irony (karma, perhaps?) watching the Korean company squirm as it gets ripped off by a competitor, though.

The 5.7-inch phone is positioned as an iPhone 6 Plus competitor. It features a 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization—a far cry from Apple’s 8 MP shooter—and a 4 MP front-facing camera.

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Ericsson countersues Apple over wireless technology licensing royalties

Apple LTE Phil Schiller

In response to Apple taking Ericsson to court over wireless patent licensing, the Swedish telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit in Texas that seeks the court to determine whether its licensing offer to Apple is fair. Ericsson told the court that it has been attempting to reach a new licensing agreement with Apple for over two years, but negotiations have failed to result in a deal. The patents in question are related to wireless LTE technologies that Apple uses in products like the iPhone and iPad. Read more

Roundup: Find all of 9to5Mac’s CES 2015 coverage in one place

roundupmac

If you’ve somehow missed the overflow of coverage from CES 2015 last week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. During the show we took a look at the latest devices and accessories that are expected to be released throughout 2015. The show was packed with new smartphones, home automation tools, cases, and some unexpected surprises. If you didn’t catch all of the coverage from the show, check out the roundup below with links to everything that we found interesting…

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Spotify now reports 15 million paid subscribers

Spotify 15 million premium users

Streaming music subscription service Spotify shared its latest user numbers today, announcing that it now has 15 million paid subscribers to its premium service and 60 million active users. Spotify’s paid user count of 15 million accounts is up from the 10 million paid subscribers it previously reported just over six months ago.

Since then, Apple has officially closed on its $3 billion deal to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music, which gave it access to its own on-demand music streaming subscription service. Before Apple’s Beats acquisition last year, the Spotify competitor was believed to have just over 110,000 paid subscribers of its own. Read more

Hands-on with Qardio’s lineup of connected health devices (Video)

qardiolead

Technology is constantly improving the health management while providing ease and reliability. It’s no surprise that there are a lot of major players in this space, but Qardio has assembled a very unique lineup of connected devices that are sure to make an impact on technology-driven health sensors. Qardio was awesome enough to sponsor our CES 2015 coverage, which means we got the behind the scenes, insider look at the award-winning smartphone-connected accessory QardioArm and a couple of new products that will be launching this spring…

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Scanadu turns your iPhone into an electrocardiogram, urinalysis reader and future drug testing device


Scanadu cofounder Sam De Brouwer demonstrates the Scout and Scanaflo

At CES this week I met with a very interesting company called Scanadu which makes two interesting healthcare products that connect with the iPhone…

Scanadu-scoutThe Scanadu Scout (pictured, right) is a little electronic device designed by Yves Béhar that you touch to your forehead for a few seconds. Almost instantly, physiological parameters, including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure are sent to an app on your iPhone which logs these measurements and alerts users to anomalies and deviations which may be cause for heath concerns.

The Scout closed a $1.6M Indigogo funding round in 2013 and is still trying to push the product through the FDA as it tries to get deliveries to customers.

Perhaps more interesting however, Scnadu introduced its new “Scanaflo” device at CES 2015 which is a home urinalysis apparatus that uses your iPhone’s camera to image a set of colors strips. Read more

Hands-on with The House of Marley’s Legend ANC headphones and Chant Mini speaker (Video)

house-lead-image

Along our CES 2015 journey we stopped over at The House of Marley to take a look at some of the new gear they have launching this year. If you’re not familiar with the company, they create a wide range of audio accessories which are crafted from natural and recycled materials. In the video below, we took a closer look at the Legend ANC headphones and Chant Mini Bluetooth speaker…

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The fundamental flaw with EU 14-day refunds: you keep the app forever

App-store-itunes-refund-UK-01

A week ago, Apple introduced 14-day no-questions-asked refunds in the EU for iTunes Store and App Store content. This means that, without the need for a reason, any Apple customer in Europe can get their money back for (primarily) app purchases in 5-7 days time. That’s how it is described, at least.

This opens up some possibilities for abuse. For instance, if you complete a game within two weeks, then you can get your money back and end up paying nothing. As a developer, I tested this out myself. It turns out there is an even bigger problem. At least, right now, when the refund is processed, the app continues to work. You get the app for free, forever.

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Top smart home and HomeKit tech of CES 2015 (Video)

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.40.41 PM

There’s a very clear message delivered on the CES 2015 show floor: Smart home tech is definitely a thing. There is a ton of tech/accessories being showcased at CES that are designed to make your home life easier through connectivity. We’ve roamed the show floor searching high and low to bring you a roundup of some of the best smart home tech that was announced…

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Roost smart 9V battery turns your dumb smoke alarms into connected ones

roost-smart-battery

The plethora of smart home devices at CES makes it clear that home automation is an idea whose time has finally come. It seems there’s almost no household device now that can’t be controlled by, or at least communicate with, an iPhone.

The only downside is the expense of having to replace your perfectly good dumb devices with smart versions. This is the problem the Roost Smart Battery set out to solve, a WiFi-enabled 9v battery allowing your existing smoke alarm to send alerts to your iPhone when it’s triggered, so you get alerted even if the alarm is at the other end of the house or you’re away from home …  Read more

Harman and Philips announce noise-cancelling headphones, drawing power from Lightning without batteries

HARMAN JBL Aware

Harman JBL Reflect Aware left, Philips Fidelio NC1L right

Noise-cancelling headphones are great, but they do have one big drawback: noise-cancellation requires power, giving you yet another device to charge. Harman and Philips have each removed that pain-point, announcing noise-cancelling devices with a Lightning connector instead of a 3.5mm headphone jack, drawing their power from the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

The Harman JBL Reflect Aware are earphones aimed at sports use, allowing you to choose the level of noise-cancellation – handy for times when you are on the street and want to retain some awareness of things like traffic noise. They come in at a reasonably wallet-friendly $149. Harman has them at CES, but no word yet on availability …  Read more