Category Archives: Smartphones

Cosy Is A Smart Heating & Home Control System Coming Out Of Cambridge, U.K.

Environmental control can be most helpful to people with disabilities and their caregivers.

TechCrunch

When Google shelled out $3.2 billion for Nest, it poured a fresh wave of attention and interest into smart home automation systems — even though it’s not entirely clear whether Google swooped on Nest more as an acqui-hire (of Tony Fadell and his team) than a desire to further feather its connected home credentials.

Whatever Google’s intentions for Nest, it’s unlikely to focus early effort pushing connected home hardware into markets far from Mountain View. And that’s giving a bit of breathing space to European Nest alternatives.

There’s German startup Tado, for instance, which last September raised $2.6 million. And soon there will likely also be Cosy: a smart home control system being developed in Cambridge, U.K. — aiming to ship product next month.

The initial Cosy system will include the inevitable mobile app to allow the users to control the connected hardware and access the Cosy cloud…

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Here’s What An iPhone 6 With A Curved Display Might Look Like

TechCrunch

It’s that time of year again, friends. It’s been a few months since the last iPhone was released, which means everyone is trying to figure out what the next iPhone will look like.

Once upon a time, this meant there was a constant stream of fakes being passed around forums and blogs as the real deal. Lately, though, it seems many of the folks with enough talent to make a real-enough looking fake are instead using their skills for good — or, at least, to pad their portfolio; instead of throwing away their work for a few laughs, they’re polishing the hell out of it and calling it a concept piece.

If one is to believe the rumor mill, the next iPhone could sport a curved display — potentially playing on Apple’s massive, half-billion dollar investment into sapphire glass.

What, exactly, would a curved glass iPhone look like? In…

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Android SDK For Wearables Coming In 2 Weeks, Says Google

These devices make good call for help systems, as well as, memory aids for people with disabilities. An individual’s complete medical history can also be uploaded and available when needed.

TechCrunch

Google is readying a version of its Android OS tailored for wearable devices. Google’s Sundar Pichaitold the SXSW conference Sunday that it would be releasing an SDK for makers of wearable devices such as smartwatches in two weeks’ time.

The SDK will be aimed at other makers of smartwatches and wearables, even though Google itself is thought to be working on building wearable hardware — with a Mountain View smartwatch project rumoured for months. (Last year Google confirmed it previously bought a smartwatch maker called WIMM Labs).

The release of Google’s smartwatch has been slated for either mid to late March, or pushed out to June (although the company has not confirmed its plans).

As with its mobile strategy, the spread of Android is Google’s primary concern here — with the wearable SDK allowing the services it offers packaged with Android to reach even further, via other makers’ hardware.

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Mophie Space Pack Review: Have Some Extra Storage With Your iPhone Backup Battery

TechCrunch

Apple offers the iPhone in a number of different storage capacities, ranging from 16GB to 64GB, but it doesn’t offer expansion storage options to let users add their own via micro SD or any other format. Mophie has spent years building backup battery packs for iPhone devices, and now it’s adding additional space to store your files, too, with the appropriately named Mophie Space Pack.

Basics

  • 16 or 32GB storage capacity
  • 1700 mAh battery for up to 2x iPhone power
  • 2.57″ x 5.66″ x 0.63″
  • 2.8 oz
  • iPhone 5/5s compatible
  • MSRP: $149.95 (16GB) or $179.95 (32GB)
  • Product info page

Pros

  • Spare storage and power in one
  • App UI is well designed

Cons

  • File types supported limited
  • Occasionally glitchy software

Design

The Mophie Space Pack has the advantage of being familiar – which is a good thing in this case. It’s essentially just a Mophie Juice Pack Air, the existing extended…

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Apple Patents Built-In Automated Emergency Detection And Assistance For iPhone

TechCrunch

A new patent application by Apple just published by the USPTO (via AppleInsider) adds a feature to an iPhone that may not be as cool as an optical heart rate sensor, but could be just as (or more) life-saving: the new tech would use data from onboard sensor to automatically detect when a user is subject to physical attack, including car crashes and violent personal altercations, as well as sudden medical emergencies.

Once the iPhone uses information from those sensors, which include contact detection to determine if someone is suddenly separated from their device in the middle of an interaction, or if a user doesn’t move for an extended period of time in unusual circumstances. It could also draw from cues including a device being dropped, headphones being detached, or even auditory cues like a loud noise being picked up by the mic. The patent also describes one version…

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Samsung Debuts Milk Music, A New Free (For Now) Streaming Radio Service For Galaxy Smartphones

TechCrunch

Samsung is doing something unusual for the company – focusing on mobile software design, with a new product out today called Milk Music. It’s a streaming radio app, with free (and ad-free) streaming of tracks in the U.S. that’s available via Google Play to owners of Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 mini exclusively. It’s essentially an iTunes Radio competitor for Samsung smartphone owners, really, and it’ll also make its way to the Galaxy S5 when that comes out in April, too.

Milk Music differentiates itself not only with free music and a total absence of ads, but also via a unique and refreshing user interface that uses a dial control for tuning what kind of music is playing, and that puts music playback front and center, with instant playback starting at launch and no signups…

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ETA For iPhone Offers A Simpler Way To Get Driving Times & Directions To Your Favorite Places

TechCrunch

Looking for a quicker way to find the drive time between two or more points, and optionally get directions? Google Maps may still be everyone’s go-to mapping application on mobile, but a new iPhone app called ETA is launching today to offer a simpler, faster and generally less cumbersome experience.

However, the app isn’t really competing directly with the mapping giants themselves. Instead, ETA is like an improved front end for finding drive times and kicking off the turn-by-turn navigation feature that the mapping companies provide.

The target audience for the ETA app are those in larger cities, where getting to various venues is often impeded by traffic congestion. ETA determines the travel time between your starting and end destinations, taking into account current traffic, and, with a tap, can provide you with quick access to directions, too.

ETATo get started with the app, you press the plus button…

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