Accessories, News/Rumors

Logitech debutes ‘Logi Circle’ portable monitoring camera

Consumer electronics and accessories maker Logitech has announced its entry into the home security and monitoring market, debuting the Circle Portable Home Connection Camera, under its new Logi brand. 

It’s a small, ball-shaped camera that works as a standard home security device, but also provides a lot of advanced features, including 2-way audio and real-time streaming of high-definition video via its accompanying smartphone app on iOS or Android. In addition, it also acts like a two-way intercom, allowing users to listen or speak to whoever is in the room.

According to the company, the Circle brings “Scene Intuition” technology that sets it apart from other similar home camera systems. With Scene Intuition, the Logi Circle can learn home life patterns to send alerts only when interesting activity happens to protect users from having to sort through hours and hours of footage. The Circle’s software is capable to learn which movements are normal for a room, including a pet walking around or curtains in the breeze, and can recognize those among something significant.

Logitech-Logi-Circle-lifestyle

Another great feature of the camera is its ability to create a “Day Brief,” which algorithmically produces a sped up video of the day’s highlights. Logitech filters all of the video and surfaces the most interesting segments when browsing the Circle’s iOS or Android app.

The camera has a 135-degree wide angle view and 8x zoom. Its built-in battery provides up to three hours of non-stop streaming, or twelve hours in power saver mode. There is a magnetic charging ring to recharge the device.

It is Logitech’s second product to sport the company’s new Logi brand, following a triumvirate of iPad cases back in July. The Circle is available for pre-order in the United States and in select countries in Europe for a suggested retail price of $199.99, with shipments scheduled to arrive in October 2015.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple Watch to be available at Best Buy on Aug. 7

Best Buy announced it will become the first national retailer, aside from Apple, to sell the Apple Watch in some its U.S. retail stores and online on August 7.

The company stated that the device will be available in more than 100 stores next month.  Best Buy plans to expand to over 300 outlet before the lucrative holiday shopping season.

Best Buy will offer 16 models from the aluminum Apple Watch Sport and stainless steel Apple Watch collections, including 50 accessories such as bands, screen protectors, stands, and chargers.

Best Buy currently sells a number of competing wearables from the companies of Samsung and Pebble.

Jason Bonfig, a senior category office at Best Buy says:

“The Apple Watch is an important addition to an emerging product category, and we know our customers want it. We are excited to bring Apple Watch to more consumers, especially with the holidays coming up.”1

The Apple Watch is now sold in 19 countries with the company gradually expanding availability as supplies have allowed, and an additional three countries — New Zealand, Russia, and Turkey — will be added to the list this coming Friday.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Wood Charging Stand gives place of privilege for Apple Watch

Thanks to TRNDLabs’s new charging stand, you can provide your watch with a gawk-worthy place of privilege when it’s off your wrist.

The company introduced  its Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand, available for just  $29.

This stylistically crafted stand is tasked to charge your Apple Watch while keeping it proudly displayed. Simplicity and sophistication is mixed perfectly in this product.

Customers can select between walnut or oak grain finish, and can start using it once the box is opened. The charging stand is compatible with all Apple Watches and all bands.

Thanks to its ergonomic design, your Apple Watch charger is cradled in place, and lets receive the extra length of cord out of the way inside the device.

Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand

Key features:
-Luxury charging dock for home or office
-Carved hidden wire routing to keep cord organized
-Fits all strap designs and all watch models
-Travel mode allows you to easily wrap cable and charger in one package

The Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand will be shipped free of charge to countries across the world.

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Nest reveals security camera, 2nd generation Nest Protect, revamped mobile app and more

Google-owned Nest launched the Cam, its first self-branded security camera, along with a second-generation version of its Protect smoke detector, and an updated mobile app for iOS and Android. Unfortunately, the company’s flagship Nest Thermostat didn’t see any hardware upgrades this time.

Created for personal home security, the new Nest Cam is born out of Nest’s purchase of Wi-Fi video streaming camera maker Dropcam.

The camera costs $199 and features a magnetic stand. In addition, the device can capture and stream a 130-degree video in Full HD 1080p resolution so you can keep an eye on your home while out.

Finally, the camera offers advanced night vision, Nest Aware-powered activity alerts and boasts a number of other amazing features.

Thanks to the Nest mobile app, Cam users can check video feeds, send voice videos and get notifications whenever motion is detected.

The updated Nest app received improved design and a simpler interface, and monitors Cam, Dropcam, Protect, and Thermostat data. Thermostat users now has access to information about indoor humidity and outside temperature. The amount of supported Thermostats has been increased from 10 to 40 with a limit of 20 per building.

The updated version of the Protect brought a new sensor that monitors two various light wavelengths, which Nest reports is better for detecting different kinds of smoke and hence both fast- and slow-burning fires.

Among other product changes is a 10-year promised lifespan, thanks to a better carbon monoxide sensor, and the optional Nest Safety Rewards program, which can be used to have cheaper home insurance from Liberty Mutual and American Family at the expense of sharing Protect data.

A single Cam is available for $199, while a Protect can be purchased for $99. A Nest Aware subscription costs $100 a year for 10 days of video history, or $300 per year for 30 days.

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Native clone of Flappy Bird runs on Apple Watch

Once watchOS 2 was released last Monday, developers got a chance to create proper native apps for the Apple Watch, that run on the device itself instead of the iPhone.

Developer Hamza Sood, who is no stranger to hacks, managed to get games like Canabalt and a Flappy Bird clone to run natively on the Apple Watch using frameworks like UIKit and SpriteKit, which are not available to developers for Apple Watch apps.

Although the game looks even harder on the tiny screen, smartwatch Flappy Bird is still possible to be played. Using the touchscreen or digital crown developer can control flight.

Flappy Bird also supports speaker output so that you can hear sound effects directly from the Apple Watch.

Last week, developers Steven Troughton-Smith, Adam Bell, and Jay Freeman could get endless runner Canabalt using UIKit and SceneKit to run on the Apple Watch.

Apple hasn’t provided developers with permission to use these frameworks for Apple Watch apps, but the hacked titles give a look at what the device might be capable of in the future. WatchOS 2 is expected to be released in the fall and can help developers create native apps that are powered by the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone, but without the frameworks used in the above examples.

watchOS 2 also gives access to the Digital Crown, the microphone, and different sensors on the Apple Watch, as well as the accelerometer and heart rate monitor, which will lead to more full-featured apps later this year.

Accessories

Apple releases new PowerBeats2 Wireless headphone to match Apple Watch Sport

Apple has launched a new set of Beats Powerbeats2 wireless headphones to match Apple Watch Sport.

The company introduced a new set of colors for the Beats Powerbeats2 wireless in-ear headphones, with the new colors matching the Apple Watch sport band options of black, white, blue, green, and pink.

The Apple Watch can store and play 2GB of music without a tethered iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth 4 and with watchOS 2 will get access to many more audio apps.

As the updated product uses Bluetooth, the Powerbeats2 can connect wirelessly to a number of different devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and now the Apple Watch.

Key Features:
● Easily pairs within 30 feet of your Bluetooth-enabled iPhone, iPad, or iPod
● Premium sound performance
● Rechargeable six-hour battery
● Sweat and water resistant
● No-slip grip in-line microphone and remote for calls
● Lighter, smaller, and with a flexible ear hook

powerbeats2_sport_colors

Available at the same $200 price as the original Powerbeats2 announced last June after the company had revealed it was purchasing Beats but before the deal officially closed, the new versions are identical with the exception of the new colors. The new headphones can be found in Apple’s retail stores.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Griffin’s WatchStand-cheap solution for Apple Watch

Accessory maker Griffin introduced its new take on an Apple Watch charging dock, named WatchStand.

Unlike plenty of competing Apple Watch stands, Griffin’s new device thinks past the initial challenge of mounting your watch, and also offers a place for your samrtphone to keep on your nightstand.

WatchStand not only brings with an easy way to dock and charge the watch, but also helps protect it from scratches, drops, and other hazards. The stand is made mainly from plastic with a rubber core, it’s certain not to scratch a stainless steel or gold Apple Watch. WatchStand includes a set of five mostly plastic parts: a heavily weighted black glossy plastic base, a matching glossy pipe, a rubber cable-managing core for the pipe, a glossy cap for the core, and an optional semi-circular rubber insert. The product can work with either 1-meter or 2-meter cable lengths, as well as the all-plastic Sport and partially metal regular Magnetic Charging pucks.

griffin_watchstand

The base of the WatchStand measures only 5.5 inches by 3.15 inches, and the stand portion is nearly eight inches tall. WatchStand is tall — about 7” high, which makes it easy to dock or remove a device from its charger. The new stand weighs a bit more than a pound, which makes it feel sturdy, but with its height, you won’t worry you might knock it over suddenly. 

WatchStand is one of the most inexpensive solutions on the market and can be purchased for $29.99.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Kinkoo-6-port USB charger

Searching for a powerful charger?Check out the Kinkoo’s 6-port charger.

Kinkoo is a family-sized desktop USB charger with iPower Technology for iPhone, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus, HTC, Nokia and more.

The new charger has six USB ports so you can charge all your devices at the same time. Kinkoo delivers to your device its fastest possible charge speed up to 2.4 amps. In addition, the charger can charge your devices up to 85% faster compared with regular conventional charger.

Moreove, it can intelligently identify your gadget and offer the current accordingly for that device. When a device is plugged in, you will see a soft blue LED.

Kinkoo is made of industry grade materials and premium circuitry. This charger is CE, FCC and RoHS certified to guarantee complete safety and reliability. Kinkoo was made for the European, USA and Japanese markets. You will have access to 100-240 volt input, which is ideal for international travel. Kinkoo is 4.1 × 2.2 × 0.9 inches.

Kinkoo2

Finally,  Kinkoo comes packaged in a durable design that’s compact enough to stay out of the way.

The new charger is currently available for $39.90 via the company’s site.

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Google brings support for Apple Watch with ‘News & Weather’ update

Google has updated its News & Weather app to version 1.7. The update brings different performance and stability enhancements, and more important for us, support for the Apple Watch.

Google has introduced its first app for the Apple Watch in the form of an update to its iOS Google News & Weather app.

Launched last fall, Google News & Weather iOS offers aggregated news and local climate reports to iPhone and iPad, but for the new Apple’s device appears limited to the latest headlines.

Like plenty of other apps on the Apple Watch, this new Google program displays screenshots from iTunes. However, unlike other news apps, The Google’s app comes with deeper functionality like article summaries, snippets, full text access or allows to edit and change sources on-device.

The company describes the application as a “comprehensive and personalized view of headline stores and local news and weather.” It offers coverage from 65,000 publications and a customizable layout for more intimate content.

News & Weather

This is the first appearance on Apple’s smart watch for Google, who runs a competing wearable platform dubbed Android Wear.

While not yet announced, Google is reportedly planning to update such apps like Gmail, Hangouts and more, in attempts to build a presence on what has quickly become the world’s most sought after wearable.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple Watch withstands 1200m swim, 10m dive, and 40m water chamber tests

The Apple Watch has been involved into multiple waterproofing tests since its public launch in April, and appeared to be much more resilient against water damage than the company has announced.

Endurance sports and tech blogger Ray Maker posted a few Apple Watch-related waterproof videos that further prove the device’s ability to withstand exposure to water.

According to the official information, the Apple Watch is IPX7-rated to a depth of just one meter, and the company even recommends against swimming with the device or even showering with it. However, in the tests the Watch survived a 1,200-meter (3,937-foot) swim, dives off of a 32-foot platform, and even a waterproofing test chamber set to conduct two simulated dives down to 40 meters (131.2 feet).

After about 25 minutes in the water and a 1200 meter swim, blogger Ray Maker found results similar to most other waterproofing tests over the past few weeks – the Apple Watch remains seemingly resilient against any water damage. 

The chamber test demonstrated the product survive the same pressures as devices rated to 50 meters (164 feet), such as the Fitbit Surge or the Garmin Vivoactive. The only difference with the Watch is that it has no warranty coverage for any kind of intentional water exposure, much less intentional submersion.

I’m impressed, it’s still chugging along after that – with not a single sign of any issues at all. Clearly this is all more than adequate for any sort of casual sweat or showering. Though I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out over the next few weeks just in case,” said Maker.

Warranty concerns remain, however, for users who expose their Watch to intense conditions.