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.

Jabra’s Halo Smart refuses to play favorites with music or calls

Jabra’s Halo Smart refuses to play favorites with music or calls

Not all Bluetooth headsets are created equal, and nowhere is that more readily apparent when it comes to the divide between stereo headphones and mono earpieces. For the former, music is the primary goal and voice calls generally an afterthought; for the latter, a focus on speech generally leaves your music as a second-class citizen, and certainly in mono. Jabra, though, claims to have erased that divide.

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The best Amazon Alexa Skills to try (and why they’re a big deal)

The best Amazon Alexa Skills to try (and why they’re a big deal)

With more than 1,000 Skills under its belt, Amazon's Alexa leads the pack in voice-controlled smart home assistants, but which should you try first and why? Read on for our pick of some of the best third-party integrations with Alexa, including why they're important, and how you can try them out without splashing out any cash in the first place.

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Switchmate Review – The easiest IoT light upgrade ever

Switchmate Review – The easiest IoT light upgrade ever

If embracing the smart home has a common first step, it's often remotely-controlled lights, but that can be an expensive, time-consuming, or technical upgrade. Wireless bulbs switch out for their dumb cousins, but equipping every lamp can get expensive; swapping dumb wall switches for wireless versions looks clean but requires screwdrivers and dealing with mains electricity, not to mention potentially incurring landlord wrath. Step forward Switchmate, then, with an alternative that's up and running in mere minutes.

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Mophie’s new Juice Packs embrace iPhone wireless charging

Mophie’s new Juice Packs embrace iPhone wireless charging

Stepping out without a battery case on our iPhone is for many as unlikely as leaving the smartphone at home altogether, but with Apple slow to embrace wireless charging, Mophie is picking up the slack. The company has launched Charge Force today, both a range of new Juice Pack battery cases which support the main wireless charging standards, and a commitment to recharging without cords moving forward.

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2016 Volvo V60 Polestar T6 Review – Swedish mettle

2016 Volvo V60 Polestar T6 Review – Swedish mettle

Volvo should not make this car. That the Swedish automaker, beloved for its traditionally boxy style and obsessive approach toward safety, is responsible for the V60 Polestar, a wagon not so much of the "light the blue touch paper and stand back" variety but more "douse the place with gasoline and torch it, while cackling like an unhinged Batman villain", is equal parts oddity and triumph.

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The 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO is a track monster

The 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO is a track monster

First came the 2017 Nissan GT-R, stepping up both power and luxury, and now comes the version we've all been waiting for, the 2017 GT-R NISMO. Making its debut today - and, fittingly, at the famed Nürburgring - the tuned-up coupe still musters the 600 horsepower of its sibling, courtesy of a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6, but adds greater stiffness, more downforce, and other tweaks that, Nissan claims, add up to "better overall balance" than its predecessor.

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Amazon builds virtual Echo in the browser to spread Alexa

Amazon builds virtual Echo in the browser to spread Alexa

A browser-based version of Amazon's Echo speaker should make Alexa even easier to try, with Amazon hoping the hardware-free experience encourages more developers to code for the platform. Echosim.io basically recreates the Echo hardware in virtual form, powered by the very same cloud-based processing that those with the physical device get to engage with.

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Acer H277HU USB-C Monitor Review: Your MacBook’s best friend

Acer H277HU USB-C Monitor Review: Your MacBook’s best friend

USB-C is our salvation from cable madness, at least that's what they tell us, but as early adopters of Apple's MacBook or other cutting-edge hardware have realized, reality hasn't caught up to the promise. The theory, and indeed the core technology, is sound, but it's illustrative of the dearth of peripherals that the Acer H277HU display is causing as much interest as it is. Yes, you can plug it into your old-school PC, but this is really all about USB-C.

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Google wins “fair use” ruling in Oracle’s $9bn Android trial

Google wins “fair use” ruling in Oracle’s $9bn Android trial

Bad news for Oracle and Larry Ellison today, as a San Francisco jury ruled in favor of Google and dismissed a $9bn attempt to take a bite out of Android. The lengthy legal saga had seen Oracle contend that, in developing Android, Google should've paid for a license to the Java programming language; not so, Google countered, insisting that it was all done under fair use given copyright law.

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A new Apple TV could be supercharged Siri’s attack on Alexa

A new Apple TV could be supercharged Siri’s attack on Alexa

Apple's answer to Amazon's Echo and Google Home may come in the form of an updated Apple TV, insiders claim, packaging a supercharged Siri in the set-top box. The project to upgrade Siri and turn the virtual assistant into a helper for the whole home had previously been tipped to come in an all-new piece of hardware, but new rumors say Apple has discounted that idea.

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As Kickstarter soars, Pebble answers questions (but early-adopters won’t be happy)

As Kickstarter soars, Pebble answers questions (but early-adopters won’t be happy)

To call Pebble's latest Kickstarter a success is a wild understatement, but that didn't stop would-be smartwatch buyers having questions about the company's 2016 line-up. Crowdfunding for Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, and Pebble Core hit the company's $1m goal in just over an hour, and with 34 days still to run on the campaign there's already around $8m in the pot.

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Apple doubles-down on electric car tech say insiders

Apple doubles-down on electric car tech say insiders

Apple is quietly vacuuming up electric car charging expertise, in what insiders speculate could lead to an EV network for the much-rumored Apple Car. The Cupertino firm has made a number of new hires in the field, while simultaneously extending feelers to existing firms with experience of running the sort of charger infrastructure electric cars require in order to tip into the mainstream.

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