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All posts by Andy Walker

  • ASUS is readying the Robin, its sub-$150 Android Wear smartwatch

    If a Techcrunch report is to be believed, we could see ASUS joining Samsung, LG and Motorola in the ever-growing smartwatch sector. The selling point for their device? It could very well be the most affordable smartwatch of the year. The wrist wear (codenamed "Robin" according to @evleaks) will undercut the competiton, retailing for between US$99 and US$149 post release. This would make it nearly US$100 cheaper than both the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch. Slated for a September release, the Robin's launch may spoil the Moto360's party, which will set consumers back a now steep-looking US$249. While...

  • Android L cometh: everything you need to know about Google’s latest OS

    It's here. The most anticipated release of Android for quite sometime, codenamed "L" was showcased earlier at Google's I/O conference in San Francisco. One-billion devices worldwide run a version of Android, and L may further increase that number. Launched to much fanfare, and an unwanted protestor, Android L hasn't been given a name or version number yet, but Google's Sandar Pichai notes that this is "one of the most comprehensive releases" of Android ever made. The iOS- and Windows Phone-beating platform comes with a host of improvements and game changers, but one of them will not be a software addition. Material Design Matais Duarte,...

  • 7 things you really ought to know about Apple’s iPhone 6

    In 2007, a Steve Jobs-led Apple announced "Project Purple," the codenamed operation that would eventually spawn the original iPhone. After its official launch a year later, the device became a mixed bag of sweet sales success and salty near-sighted design flaws. The world has since seen four additional iPhone models, with the sixth and most important version since coming later this year. Thanks to the usual barrage of Apple stories both fictitious and fact, we have a pretty fair idea of what to expect from Cupertino. Here's what consumers could, should and ought to expect from the firm's next super...

  • Upgraded Google Glass ships 2GB RAM, longer battery life

    Google Glass is today getting a much-needed hardware upgrade, thanks to the Explorer Program's findings. Ironically though, Google will not be letting those Explorers trade up anytime soon. The original edition of the Glass packed a lowly 682MB RAM for the developers exclusive use and a battery that died after just 6 hours without the camera. New adopters can bask in the joy of 2GB RAM, "improved battery life by over 20%" and over a dozen software improvements, according to Google. Voice search is now 10% faster and the official Google+ page is sure to remind users of the "frames,...

  • Google’s smart home is now open as Nest API seeds to eager devs

    Nest Labs, the smart thermostat manufacturer, today opened its hardware platform for developers, making Nest the centre of Google's smart home ecosystem. Purchased by Google for a hefty US$3.2-billion earlier this year, Nest has chiefly produced smoke detectors and smart thermostats connected to the internet. But thanks to the rapidly growing home automation market that includes Apple's HomeKit and Quirky's Wink among others, Nest will be the de facto Google command hub in the home. Google, curiously enough, is labeled by WSJ as a "partner," allowing the Nest name to forego the company's smart home efforts. Google Now will act as a...

  • Nvidia-powered HTC Volantis is the new and possibly last Nexus tablet

    After an epic weekend leak, multiple sources are now reporting that HTC will manufacture Google's latest Nexus tablet. In fact, the device dubbed the HTC "Volantis" already exists, according to Android Police. The Android-centric blog claims the tablets will start at US$399, pitting it directly against the 8.4" Samsung Galaxy Tab S. HTC's Volantis (codenamed "Flounder") -- which will likely be called the Nexus 9 prior to release -- will pack some sterling hardware too. Nvidia's Logan SoC will be at the heart of the device, with 2GB RAM and up to 32GB storage. The Logan architecture makes use of the...

  • Valve’s Steam Summer Sale comes early, has added Adventure mode

    Gamers upset that Valve hasn't actually officially launched its Steam Machine platform yet, can today take comfort in the company's massive annual Steam Summer Sale. Valve, through its Steam store, is offering discounts on "thousands" of gaming titles for the next ten days. Although the sale is earlier than last year's, the company will still be offering its customary daily deals, community choice sales and a sales-orientated meta-game, allowing members to win additional titles. This year, eight-hour flash sales also join the fold, because waiting sucks. Current daily deals on offer include the dark DayZ, cut by a measly 15% to US$25.49....

  • AirDog action sports drone will let us view life in the third-person

    The one feature dearly lacking on GoPro action cameras is a set of wings. But the developers behind the AirDog have likely solved that problem with the creation of the "world's first auto-follow action sports drone" designed to film the user from high above. The US$995 AirDog is a waterproof, foldable, quad-copter drone that has a quirkily attractive LEGO-like appearance, but features a gyro-stabilised gimbal that reduces camera shake while automatically adjusting pitch and yaw. It's serious machinery, developed by Helico Aerospace Industries, a group of extreme sports enthusiasts themselves. Other electronic wizardry ensures that the drone doesn't crash into anything,...

  • This ingenious device lets you send scents and odours from your iPhone

    If the world thought constant uploads of meals to the internet was a thing of the past, they may soon have to deal with more than just pictures. Cambridge-based start up Vapor Communications, has developed the oPhone, a device that literally allows its users to receive photographs with odours. The unique project this week launched on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, with inventors David Edwards and Rachel Field yesterday sending the first scent message across the Atlantic. The device is available to early backers for US$149. The oPhone reproduces scents tagged in an image sent from the device's iPhone app - oSnap. Eight...

  • Glance turns any classic timepiece into a TV-controlling smartwatch

    Smartwatches have saturated the wearables market this year, but many consumers won't part with their expensive and stylish timepieces just to receive a few notifications. Enter Glance, the wrist-mounted accessory that turns any old strap or watch into a wrist-mounted smart device. The US$70 Glance, developed by Toronto-based Kiwi Wearables Technology, has garnered only a third of its Kickstarter funding goal, but it's more promising than these statistics would suggest. The company's previous endeavour birthed the Kiwi Move, an app-centric wearable relying on sensors and motion technology, which was praised at this year's CES. The Glance however, features a tiny OLED...