Engadget Stories September 8, 2014

Spotify app to offer 30 mins of ad-free listening if you watch a 15-30 second video ad first

Spotify currently offers you a choice: pay ten bucks a month to listen without ads, or listen for free but have your music interrupted by audio ads. Those using the iOS or Android app will be offered a third option later this year: watch a 15-30 second video ad in return for 30 minutes of ad-free listening.

Known as Sponsored Sessions, the idea is that advertisers get the ability to run video ads for the first time, while the experience is made relatively painless for consumers by guaranteeing 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening afterwards.

Spotify began pitching the option to advertisers back in June, and Ad Age reports that a number of major advertisers have now signed-up.

Spotify will start testing the video ads in the fourth quarter with a limited number of brands and plans to extend them to all advertisers in the first quarter of 2015.

Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s and Universal Pictures have signed on as the ads’ first global buyers. Kraft Foods, Target and Wells Fargo will be the U.S.-only launch advertisers.

The Spotify app is a free download from the App Store.

Via Engadget

Engadget Stories August 4, 2014

Original BioShock game coming to iPhone and iPad soon

2K games has announced that it is bringing the original 2007 BioShock game to iPhone and iPad later this summer, via Engadget. Graphics have been toned down significantly from the original Xbox title, but the game will no doubt offer plenty of nostalgia for fans of the series.

“BioShock delivers a true triple-A first-person shooter game experience on the iOS platform, by sending players on an underwater adventure to explore the submerged Art Deco city of Rapture, fighting deranged survivors of a failed objectivist utopia and genetically modifying their own DNA to gain superhuman powers.”

Although pricing and other specifics is not yet known, Engadget says that the developer 2K games wants a ‘premium game’ to carry a ‘premium price’, seemingly in the $10 to $30 range. Although visuals are substantially behind-the-curve of modern iOS games, the game will at least support MFI Game Controllers for more tactile interaction. BioShock will launch in the coming months, for iPad 4 and later, iPhone 5 and later.

Engadget Stories March 6, 2014

wello

A prototype iPhone case tested by Engadget aims to provide a comprehensive array of vital signs, encompassing heart-rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation & lung function.

Readings are done with your hands in a comfortable position, and the health tracker was able to return our vital signs as well as a fancy ECG graph of our heart in just a few seconds. Out of the box, you’ll be able to pair it with your Wi-Fi scale and fitness tracker, so you can keep an overall picture of your health in the same place …  expand full story

Engadget Stories February 12, 2014

nielsen-smartphone-usage-2013

According to new data from Nielsen, Americans now spend more time using mobile web and apps on their smartphones than they do online on their PCs, reports Engadget.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours …  expand full story

Engadget Stories December 13, 2013

Stephen Hawking iPad app provides a fun way to teach kids about physics

Ssshh, don’t tell the kids they’re learning physics, just tell them it’s an iPad space gameStephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe is an iPad app containing a mix of mini-games, videos and text that allows children to discover some of the fundamental principles of physics and space.

Based on the work and writings of Stephen Hawking, this app teaches both adults and students the basic theories that govern our lives on Earth as well as the movement of the stars and planets. You can play and learn at the same time in each of the eight experiments included in Snapshots of the Universe: – Spin planets in orbit with your own solar system – Drop objects with Galileo to learn about gravity – Let Einstein feel some G-force in outer space – Search for black holes in the constellation of Leo – Discover Einstein’s warped worldview – Plus more…

Each section has an app allowing children to carry out virtual experiments, see further visual explanations in video clips and then read up on the topic in more detail. The app is described as suitable for children aged 9+.

Published by Random House, the app is available on iTunes for $4.99.

Via Engadget

Engadget Stories October 15, 2013

T-Mobile sunsets grandfathered plans with new rates due to ‘complexity’

Blame it on ‘unnecessary complexity’, but T-Mobile revealed today plans to move customers still using paying old rates to updated plans in an effort to reduce the number of plans it services (via TmoNews).

The Uncarrier is set make these changes starting next month and will give customers until February 2014 to choose new plans before imposing fees for users on grandfathered plans.

For T-Mobile’s part, the carrier offered the following statement:

Maintaining thousands of rate plans is the norm in the industry, but we think it creates unnecessary complexity. Simple is better, which is why we’re reducing the number of older plans in our systems. We’re giving customers on these plans the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs. For the vast majority, their plan will provide similar or better features at a comparable price.

News of T-Mobile’s plans originally surfaced when one customer posted the letter seen below to an online forum:

Engadget Stories February 13, 2013

Apple TV 5.2 jailbroken, FireCore releases updates to Seas0nPass & aTV Flash (black)

Apple rolled out Apple TV update 5.2 in January, bringing Bluetooth keyboard support, Up Next, and an enhanced iTunes in the Cloud service alongside iOS 6.1 for iOS devices. Today, FireCore announced it has released updates to aTV Flash (black) and Seas0nPass that support the new 5.2 update. FireCore’s aTV Flash software enables jailbroken second-generation Apple TVs to support additional file formats, access a web browser, and much more.

To the delight of many loyal users, Apple officially added support for Bluetooth keyboards in Apple TV 5.2, and we’ve been working non-stop to provide a seamless experience in aTV Flash (black) 2.2. Now features such as web browsing, media playback, library browsing and more can all be controlled using a wireless keyboard. Don’t worry, the normal remote will still work as well.

The team provided instructions for updating:

What’s the best way to update? aTV Flash (black) 2.2 is compatible with any ATV2 running 4.4 and later, so updating to 5.2 is not required. However, should you so desire, the best way to update can be found below.

  • Backup your settings through the Maintenance > Manage Backups menu.
  • Run the latest version of Seas0nPass to update the Apple TV to 5.2.
  • Download and install the new 2.2 version of aTV Flash (black).
  • Install any desired items through the Maintenance > Manage Extras menu.
  • Restore the previously saved settings through the Maintenance > Manage Backups menu.
  • That’s it!

(via Engadget)

Engadget Stories January 29, 2013

New Apple TV 3,2 to be half centimeter smaller, A5X processor, updated wireless (Updated)

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As we discovered yesterday, Apple is updating its Apple TV ever so slightly…soon. Today, the Federal Communications Commission released the dimensions of this new Apple TV product (via Engadget) in its labeling documentation. The 3,2 is 93.78mm square compared to the 98mm of the current model, but we’re not quite sure why Apple would go through the trouble of making it just a little smaller.

However, Apple likely accomplished the shrinkage with new hardware including the Broadcom BCM4334 Wireless chip (code, right) that can also incidentally pick up FM radio (just like the dormant FM radio receiver in the same chip inside iOS devices).

AnandTech says the new device might also sport an A5X processor. This would be similar to the chip found in the discontinued third-generation iPad. Rebooting production of this chip could help for that rumored Retina iPad mini.

We also picked up some new labeling (thanks Sonny!) from the firmware yesterday and compared it:

Hackers have also discovered there is an upgraded CPU that might save a little space.

UPDATE: 

Despite the information found in the FCC documents, an Apple spokesperson gave the following statement to TNW: “We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval. The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.”

The Verge also “learned” that there’s no redesign in the works, and the new Apple TV will look identical in size and appearance to the current one.

Engadget Stories January 3, 2013

Corning and Sumitomo unveil 100-ft optical Thunderbolt cables ahead of CES

Corning Thunderbolt Cable

Ahead of CES 2013 taking place in Las Vegas next week, Corning has unveiled a new optical Thunderbolt cable for folks who need extra long-reaching Thunderbolt access (perhaps to storage closets or for dummy terminals). Corning’s new cable, perfect for plugging peripherals into supported Macs and moving away from copper core cables, will ship in lengths of 10, 20, and 30 meters and boast the same data transfer speeds of up to 10GBbps. Corning plans to unveil a USB 3 cable as well. No launch date or pricing has been provided for the cables—only that they will be available sometime during the first quarter of this year. At any rate, you bet we’ll stop by Corning’s booth for a closer look next week’s CES.

Just last week, Sumitomo Electric got the “world’s first” Thunderbolt optical cable certification and announced it would mass-produce the cables immediately. The cables are as thick as current copper cables (4.2 mm), can be bent 180 degrees or tangled in knots, and they still perform just like shorter copper cables.

A 100-foot Thunderbolt cable could let Mac users put their whole rig in a closet, run just a Thunderbolt cable to the desktop, and connect to peripherals via the Thunderbolt display. If only there were a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac Pro…

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Engadget Stories December 12, 2012

haswell-2013-roadmap

A report from VR-Zone (via Engadget) claimed to show Intel’s plans for its fourth-generation Haswell processors. These are expected to be released in the second quarter of next year and are the likely follow-up to Ivy Bridge for Apple’s next round of Mac refreshes (unless Apple switches to AMD, ARM, or something). Previous leaks showed Intel plans to release the Haswell processors between March and June 2013, and today’s leak, if accurate, gives us a look at all 14 new desktop CPUs expected in the Haswell launch.

The top of the lineup CPU in the Haswell lineup is a 3.5GHz Core i7, 3.9 with Turbo Boost, with a 8MB cache and a TDP of 84W. The low-voltage 35W end of the lineup goes down to a 2.9GHz Core i5. The roadmap also makes a reference to integrated graphics, listing Intel HD 4600 with built-in visuals for all CPU variations. Here is the full first wave of 14 standard and low-voltage CPUs, according to the leaked image:

Standard voltage 84W:Core i7-4770K, Core i7-4770, Core i5-4670K, Core i5-4670, Core i5-4570, and Core i5-4430.

Low-voltage: 35W Core i7-4765T, Core i5-4570T; 45W Core i7-4770T, Core i5-4670T; 65W Core i7-4770S, Core i5-4670S, Core i5-4570S, Core i5-4430S.

Engadget Stories June 18, 2012

iPod and Square card reader playing back audio from an analog tape deck

Engineer Evan Long posted the video above (via Engadget) showing what is apparently an iPod touch equipped with a slightly modified Square credit card reader capable of playing back audio from an old reel-to-reel tape player:

The magnetic stripe reader on the Square basically works exactly like the magnetic read and write heads on an old school cassette player or reel-to-reel machine… Since the headphone jack on most iPods and the iPhone doubles as a microphone input (that’s how the Square reader transfers data) all you then need to do is fire up your favorite audio recording app, and find an easy way to thread the audio tape through.

Engadget Stories March 20, 2012

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I mentioned in my review that the new iPad runs a little hotter than the iPad 2. While it is not a game-changer on its own, it is certainly something to note when choosing between an iPad 2 and a new iPad. Those extra graphics cores powering all of those beautiful little pixels likely cause the extra heat. For me, the heat was strongest on the left side of the device where the motherboard strip is.

Dutch website Tweakers.net (via Engadget) did 5 minutes of GL benchmark on both an iPad 2 (right) and the new iPad (left). According to the website’s measurements, Cupertino’s new flagship slab reached 33.6C (92.5 Fahrenheit) versus 28.3C (82.9 Fahrenheit) with the iPad 2.

As you can see from the image above, the gradient of heat gets strongest where the motherboard is positioned toward the bottom.

Update: Apple responded today with a canned:

“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”

expand full story

Engadget Stories July 20, 2011

The New York Times reports that Apple is close to approval on the Grand Central Station Apple Store that has been rumored over the past year:

When Apple proposed opening a store on the balcony overlooking the main hall, it submitted its bid in linen-lined boxes, as if it were a wedding present to transit officials, a source familiar with the application process said. The board is expected to approve the deal as early as next week, at its monthly board meeting.

Class.

(view from proposed store below – thanks Ken!) expand full story

Engadget Stories January 10, 2011

More news from Apple’s AirPlay partner, BridgeCo, the company which manufactures the silicon used in AirPlay devices.

AirPlay devices weren’t so apparent at CES this year, though iHome, B&W and Klipsch all showed solutions implementing the standard, which enables users to stream audio from an iOS 4 device to an enabled speaker system. expand full story

Engadget Stories January 5, 2011

COMPUTERWORLD: This is not the year the iPad meets its match. Analyst Michael Gartenberg doesn’t see anything to threaten Apple, even as AAPL moves beyond dominance of the tablet market — as its mind-share grows, iPad is making like the iPod and defining the tablet market.

Read more

Engadget Stories December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas iPhone 4 lovers with Radio Shack’s impressive $149 price tag on the 16GB model now undercut by Sam’s Club, which plans to offer the device on AT&T for just $147 (plus 2-year contract). expand full story

Engadget Stories December 17, 2010

Research In Motion’s in the news today: not only is its iPad-killing PlayBook delayed until around the time iPad 2.0 is expected to ship, but Mac users with a BlackBerry can now download the latest desktop connection kit. Meanwhile the company’s financial results were alright but nothing supercalifragilistic.

By the numbers then: expand full story

Engadget Stories December 15, 2010

It would appear that NFL Sunday ticket is coming to AppleTV, Boxee and Roku players if a survey dug up by Engadget has any merit.  Not surprising as it is a natural extension of the AppleTV experience.  But will it be delivered as an app or as a built in module in the way Netflix is currently delivered.  Notice there is no mention of GoogleTV? expand full story

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