Features

Wearables and Fitness – Is it a permanent union?

Wearables and Fitness – Is it a permanent union?

We see wearables on the rise. But when we says "wearables", we mostly mean smartwatches and, more often and more ubiquitous, fitness bands. While the term "wearable" itself seems to cover a whole swathe of products, why is it that most, if not all, wearables in the market are those that we can only wear on our wrists? And why are almost all of them, even those that we don't wear on our wrists, seem to be focused, if not totally dedicated to fitness and health? Are wearables fated to be tethered to this particular use case?

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Facebook Lite Review: stripped for the next billion users

Facebook Lite Review: stripped for the next billion users

This week Facebook launches Facebook Lite, a version of their social networking app made for low-speed data networks around the world. This app is aimed at nations with little or severely limited data on smartphone, pushing the line between functionality and operability. This app isn't made for everyone - it's made for those that want to connect in remote areas, and don't mind giving up a few flourishes in an app to do so. Facebook Lite functions very similar to the standard Facebook app - can it keep up?

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Five things we’re expecting from WWDC 2015

Five things we’re expecting from WWDC 2015

Just days before Apple's WWDC 2015 - their yearly developer conference - we're having another close-as-possible look at what'll be shown by the company. Here we're highlighting the most important bits, running down the software that'll be shown off in San Francisco. While there's a possibility that Apple COULD reveal some new hardware, we'd suggest you didn't bet on it. This year's developer conference will be all about developers, as it was always meant to be. This list includes iOS 9, OS X 10.11, HomeKit, Beats Streaming Music, and the Apple Watch Native SDK.

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SteamOS 2-years later: why you don’t want it

SteamOS 2-years later: why you don’t want it

Back in September of 2013, Valve revealed SteamOS - now it's time for action. Here in June of 2015, just a bit under two years later, Valve's revealed the final iteration of the Steam Controller, the key to the system - the one component you can't buy anywhere else. Every other piece of this gaming environment can be had elsewhere, or run on a PC you've got at home. After months and months of preparation, Valve's presented a system they hope will take over your living room. Is it too late? Has the company lost all momentum? Is SteamOS dead in the water before it launches in ernest?

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Review

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Review

When we saw the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X, we knew it was only a matter of time before the company brought heat to the slightly more pocket-friendly segment. For gamers that want top-of-the-line performance without dropping a thousand bucks on a GPU, there's the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti. This card takes the $650 spot in NVIDIA's lineup, carving out a place for itself with 6GB of GDDR5 RAM, 2816 CUDA cores, and and the same clock speeds as the king Titan X. With just 8% less CUDA goodness than the $1k X, you're getting this card for a whole lot cheaper.

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Huawei’s $250 P8 lite wants to kill subsidies: Hands-on

Huawei’s $250 P8 lite wants to kill subsidies: Hands-on

Huawei isn't first to think it can coax America off its smartphone subsidy addiction, but the new P8 lite is more than an also-ran in unlocked devices. Launching today as the pared-back - and thus more affordable - sibling to the Huawei P8, the P8 lite carries a $249.99 price tag but hits that with no need for carrier financing or any sort of minimum contract: just slot in the AT&T or T-Mobile USA SIM card of your choice. With a tag like that, though, you know Huawei had to trim some of the tech.

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Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mouse Review

Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mouse Review

Logitech has been on a roll with wireless mice lately, resurrecting the MX Master name for its excellent flagship peripheral, and now following that with the MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse for travelers. Buffing the rough edges from the original Wireless Anywhere Mouse, and throwing in support for the gestures common in today’s software, it’s a smaller, cheaper version of the high-end model intended to slip neatly into a bag. Question is, has the shrinking process also reduced the Logitech’s charm?

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Review: A real Mid-range Smartphone Kick in the Pants

ASUS ZenFone 2 Review: A real Mid-range Smartphone Kick in the Pants

It's time to get a handle on ASUS' best effort in the affordable smartphone space yet. This is the ASUS ZenFone 2, and it's more than ready to take on the rest of the unlocked, low-cost, high value smartphone space. This device isn't mean to take on the $600 phone market. It's not meant to be pitted up against your Galaxies and your HTC ones. Instead, this is a warrior taking on the often forgotten "I just bought a new phone and didn't need to tie myself down to a 2-year contract or sell a kidney" crowd.

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Google I/O 2015 Wrap-Up: Bangs and Whimpers

Google I/O 2015 Wrap-Up: Bangs and Whimpers

It's tough to stand out when you're still in the shadow of a skydiving co-founder, and Google I/O 2015 ended with many still holding their breath for the big bang. Even with Android M on the agenda, what we got instead was a more rounded view of how Google sees computing evolving, not only in near-saturated markets like the US and Europe, but for the "next billion" whose first taste of the internet will most likely come through an affordable smartphone. It was a lot to fit into even an extended keynote, at times feeling like Google was rushing to name-check projects without giving them the context they perhaps needed. In fact, most of the really cool stuff didn't even get a spot on the big stage.

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Google and Levi’s team on Jacquard touch-sensitive clothes

Google and Levi’s team on Jacquard touch-sensitive clothes

Google's ATAP team promised to blow our socks off at I/O 2015, and Project Jacquard is how it plans to do that, a new conductive fabric that can track touch. Intended to bring new types of sensing and control to clothes, furnishings, and other areas which might not normally be electronically connected. And, while we've seen conductive threads woven through materials before, Project Jacquard goes further than most, including a partnership with one of the biggest names in fashion.

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Android Pay hands-on: Google wants your money

Android Pay hands-on: Google wants your money

Android Pay is coming, and it's impressively streamlined compared to the overly-complicated and feature-bulging Google Wallet. Officially revealed alongside Android M at Google I/O today, the mobile payments system supports both NFC for dropping virtual cash out in the wild, and in-app integration for retailers wanting to enable easy payments. I grabbed a Nexus 6 and a Nexus 5, both equipped with pre-release versions of Android Pay, to go shopping on Google's dime.

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Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Google Photos isn’t the first cloud photo storage service, or the first media management platform, but first impressions suggest Google has raised the stakes with its smart new system. Announced at Google I/O today, and further detailed in a later session by Bradley Horowitz along with the rest of the Google Photos team, much of the near-magic is what’s going on behind the scenes, such as how it uses landmark recognition to fill in missing geotags, intelligently deals with diminishing storage on smartphones, and even differentiates dogs.

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