Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Amazon adds X-Ray to Fire TV: No more “who’s that guy?”

Amazon adds X-Ray to Fire TV: No more “who’s that guy?”

Based on the principle that there's nothing so frustrating as watching a show and thinking "who is that guy?" Amazon is adding X-Ray to Fire TV. The system, which has been flagging up actors and songs on Amazon Fire tablets for the past few years, will now be pulling up those details on Fire TV's streaming movies and shows, accessed with a stab at the "up" button on the remote, as well as offering easy navigation to the relevant point in the show.

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3D Robotics Solo drone adds autopilot for smart GoPro filming

3D Robotics Solo drone adds autopilot for smart GoPro filming

3D Robotics promised a smarter drone and today we get to meet Solo, a quadcopter with the promise of easily-programmed autonomous flight and camera control, live HD streaming, and a sub-$1k price tag. While it might look like other drones, slinging a GoPro camera in an independently-maneuverable gimbal underneath, Solo's cleverness is in 3D Robotics' twin computers: one in the drone and another in the controller with its smartphone mount. Rather than having to twiddle joysticks to get your shot, however, the drone uses a combination of GPS and preprogrammed Smart Shots that should see it navigate through the air around your route of choice, filming as it goes.

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Turns out, the gold MacBook is what people really want

Turns out, the gold MacBook is what people really want

It might no longer be unusual to find a gold Apple gadget, but it turns out the color is still in high demand, with the new MacBook Retina seeing very specific shipping delays depending on your taste in case. The 12-inch ultraportable - with its contentious single USB-C port - went on sale overnight alongside the Apple Watch, though where just about every variation of Apple's new smartwatch is showing long delays, the same isn't true for the MacBook. Turns out, people really, really wanted a gold notebook.

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Amazon outs HDR Prime Instant Video plans for 2015

Amazon outs HDR Prime Instant Video plans for 2015

Amazon has quietly announced plans to add HDR video support to its Prime Instant Video service, with improved picture quality on the cards for later this year. The boost will come with Amazon's own Originals content initially, though the company says that it's working with Hollywood to deliver third-party shows and movies in HDR too. However, while the rollout may be fairly ambitious, not everyone will be able to enjoy it.

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The Galaxy S6 is here, and Samsung has big, big hopes for it

The Galaxy S6 is here, and Samsung has big, big hopes for it

It's an expensive day if you're a tech addict, with Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge joining other gadget luminaries like the Apple Watch and new MacBook Retina on store shelves. Sales of the Android smartphone and its curved screen sibling kicked off online in the early hours of this morning across four markets - the US, UK, France, and Germany - with many more on the roadmap, while in-store availability with carriers starts today, too. However, not everyone is going to go home happy.

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Beyond batteries: How Mophie plans to tame storage

Beyond batteries: How Mophie plans to tame storage

Mophie may have its roots in providing snug-fitting extra power for the iPhone, but the future is all about the next big headache in mobile: storage space. Sure, running out of juice by mid-afternoon is an annoyance on your smartphone, but, Mophie points out, running out of memory is even more stressful. It might not happen so often, but with memory card slots getting rarer, having to face deleting your photos, music, and videos is a lot worse than needing to squat by an outlet. Enter the new Mophie Space Pack line and the companion Space app; I caught up with the Mophie team to find out more.

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No, the new MacBook (and its single USB-C) isn’t for everyone

No, the new MacBook (and its single USB-C) isn’t for everyone

More controversial than the keyboard, more divisive than the battery life: the thing that's causing the greatest number of arguments about the new Retina MacBook is its paucity of ports. A single USB-C on the left side of the notebook isn't, as Vincent observed in our own review of the 2015 MacBook, a deal breaker, but not everyone is quite so ready to be convinced. It's a legitimate concern, even if in the grand history of tech it's not a new one.

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Don’t worry Facebook, you’re still down with the kids

Don’t worry Facebook, you’re still down with the kids

Facebook may be regularly plagued with ominous predictions that teens with short attention spans have moved on to brighter social networks, but according to new research there's still life in Zuckerberg's site yet. The Pew Research Center prized teenagers away from their smartphones to ask them which social sites and apps they frequent, and while Facebook may have been branded passé by some, it's still the most-used among the 13-17 demographic. That's no small audience, either, with 24-percent of teenagers telling the research firm that they are "almost constantly" online.

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Android Wear for iPhone tipped near (but will Apple allow it?)

Android Wear for iPhone tipped near (but will Apple allow it?)

Google is reportedly putting the final touches to an Android Wear app for iPhone, which would - if it ever sees the light of day - allow smartwatches running the OS to hook up to Apple's hardware. Currently, the two major smartwatch platforms, Android Wear and the upcoming Apple Watch, are platform-specific, forcing potential users to switch their phone OS of choice if they want a device intended for the other ecosystem. Google's strategy, ongoing leaks indicate, is to bypass that decision, though that's assuming Apple plays ball.

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A distant sea of proto-life molecules could mean we’re not alone

A distant sea of proto-life molecules could mean we’re not alone

The building blocks of life have been observed for the first time in a fledgling planetary system light-years away from Earth, a thriving sea of complex organic molecules equal to our own oceans. The discovery, which lends further weight to the idea that our solar system is not the only place where life could have arisen in the universe, was made by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Perhaps even more impressive than their very existence is the fact that the proportions of molecules are similar to those discovered in comets in our own region of space.

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