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

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

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

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:

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