Author Archives: Nate Swanner


Moshi Urbana review; a modern take on the classic briefcase

Moshi Urbana review; a modern take on the classic briefcase

Urbana. The name alone screams Moshi’s ‘briefcase’ is for the city-dwelling folks. The design suggests lawyers with ten-gallon hats won’t be buying this one, but the rest of us should take note. Not your typical briefcase, the Urbana brings refined sophistication to the busy urban professional; the ones who catch trains, hail cabs, and take day flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lightweight, feature-rich, and downright cool, Urbana has a little something for everyone who needs to bring it all with them.

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Google Plus is now on Twitter (don’t panic)

Google Plus is now on Twitter (don’t panic)

So, uh, this is awkward. That social service you don’t really use is on the one you probably do. Today, Google Plus opened a Twitter account. You might assume (as many did) it's a troll account, but it’s not. The official Google account has retweeted their first tweet, and the Google Plus Google Plus account posted a link to their new Twitter account. It’s got people wondering what’s going on, but it’s pretty simple: they’re recruiting. In an attempt to get more traction in the social space, Plus is taking to Twitter to spread the word.

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Slack says they’ve had no government requests for data

Slack says they’ve had no government requests for data

News of government requests for data is oftentimes troubling to read. Companies who transmit data typically fall under the watchful gaze of officials who may want to know what some citizens are up to, where those companies get legal requests for all kinds of data, including who we may have spoken with. Slack, the enterprise-focussed chat service, says they’ve not had a single government request for data of any kind. For such a widely used conversation platform, that’s hard to believe.

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Alleged iPad ‘Pro’ cases shown off in video (it’s so thin!)

Alleged iPad ‘Pro’ cases shown off in video (it’s so thin!)

With tablet sales slumping, rumors of an ‘iPad Pro’ still circulate. The 12-inch tablet is widely speculated on, but we’ve still not seen anything close to a finished product. There have been ‘dummy’ models photographed, and cases surreptitiously snapped, but nothing suggesting anyone has a working iPad Pro anywhere on Earth (except maybe Cupertino). In the latest turn of events, we’re getting another look at cases for this iPad Pro. The difference? this time it’s a video, not sketchy pics from who-knows-where.

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Apple Watch repair guides published by iFixit

Apple Watch repair guides published by iFixit

The Apple Watch is going to break. Either by accident or some dude trying to blend it, the little guy is just gonna get banged up now and then. When it does (and hopefully it’s not you who ends up with the busted watch), some will try to repair it rather than try to buy a new one. The best resource for that, iFixit, has just published a few repair guides for Apple Watch. Guess what? It’s really had to fix.

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Microsoft has acquired N-Trig, brings Surface stylus tech in-house

Microsoft has acquired N-Trig, brings Surface stylus tech in-house

Microsoft has announced their acquisition of long-time partner N-Trig, who they’ve leaned on for technology in their Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 styli. We first heard Microsoft had acquired the Israeli company in February, but nothing official materialized on the acquisition front. Now we have it straight from Microsoft, though that’s really all we do know. There’s been no word of a purchase price or terms, but Microsoft already owned 6% of N-Trig through a 2009 investment.

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Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Microsoft’s Project Astoria, their system for taking existing Android app code and running it inside windows, is both exciting and troubling. On one hand, it satisfies the ‘write once deploy everywhere’ strategy that makes a Developer’s life easier. On the other hand, these apps aren’t really native for the platform, which has us wondering about things like performance. Also, how easy is it for Developers to move an app over? Now we know; Microsoft has created a simple video outlining Project Astoria’s strengths, and I have to say — I’m intrigued.

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Apple talks Apple Watch heart rate monitoring and tattoos

Apple talks Apple Watch heart rate monitoring and tattoos

Apple Watch is as good a smartwatch as we’ve seen enter the market, but like all gadgetry — it’s not without its quirks. The latest head-scratcher has been reports that Apple Watch won’t give an accurate reading of your heart rate when over a tattoo. To clarify just how their heart rate monitor works, Apple has created a page dedicated to walking us through the Apple Watch sensor hardware, and best practises for getting an accurate reading. They’ve also clarified that some tattoos may interfere with Apple Watch when it comes to reading your heart rate.

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Meerkat (beta) now available on Google Play

Meerkat (beta) now available on Google Play

That was quick. It’s only been two weeks that Meerkat, the popular live-streaming app, has been available for Android. When the Meerkat team announced their Android intentions, they granted access to the app via an open beta program. Now, the app is available to all users on the Google Play Store. It’s worth noting Meerkat’s main rival in the space, Twitter-owner Periscope, has not yet landed on Android, though they promise to be on the platform someday; they just haven’t announced when.

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Apple’s (beta) App Analytics tool is now rolling out

Apple’s (beta) App Analytics tool is now rolling out

Developers looking to get insight on why their apps may or may not be making it onto iPhones and iPads now have a new diagnostics tool. Simply called “App Analytics”, the tool is Apple’s way for Developers to discover all kinds of info about their apps, even how many page visit their app received in the App Store. The service is still in beta, and is being seeded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re a Developer not on the list, it’s not too late to sign up.

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