Archives For Mobile

amazon-prime-music

After months of rumor and speculation, Amazon Prime Music has arrived. And, as with other Prime benefits, the streaming service is effectively free for existing Prime members ($99/yr). At launch, Amazon’s collection pales in comparison to other streaming music services, such as Spotify. Yet, as The Verge notes, it doesn’t have to compete head-on. Prime Music is a just-nice-enough perk that it’ll surely replace my $4/mo Pandora and provides another reason to stick with Prime (despite LaserShip’s ongoing delivery challenges). Continue Reading…

2014-06-09 20.29.20

Intro
Ever misplaced your keys? Or wanted to know when your luggage has arrived at the baggage claim?  Maybe marked the spot where you parked the car in the mall lot?

The Elgato Smart Key aims to address all of these situations as a sensor that you either attach or place on different items for tracking. Depending on what you are looking to track, the Smart Key can notify you of certain situations that might need attention.  Walk too far away from your keys, it will start to beep. Attach to your luggage and when it comes near to you at baggage claim, your phone will notify you. Continue Reading…

google-movies-chromeos

By way of Twitter, we’ve learned that the Google Play Movies & TV Chrome browser extension has been updated to allow Chromebooks to cache rented or purchased video content for offline viewing. And, given my travels, this may breathe new life into my largely abandoned $250 Samsung Chromebook. It’s been interesting to observe the platform evolve additional local capabilities, given Google’s original positioning as a web-based OS. And, starting at a mere $200, Chromebooks do offer a compelling experience that rivals tablets – especially for those who require and/or are more comfortable with an integrated keyboard.

Aereo Chromecast

Still waiting on a potentially fateful ruling from the Supreme Court, Aereo today announced Chromecast support for its Android app. That means that users with the service can cast Aereo video from an Android mobile device direct to an HD television via Google’s popular HDMI streaming stick. Aereo already works with Roku and Apple TV, but Chromecast is a super-cheap option for making your dumb TV smart enough to handle Internet video.

Direct from Aereo:

Aereo is now live on the Google Chromecast™ platform. The Aereo app for Android™ is available for download in the Google Play™ store. Subscribers can access Aereo’s antenna and DVR technology to record and watch live broadcast television using Google’s Chromecast™.

The Aereo news comes on the heels of another recent announcement of Chromecast support for WatchESPN. That earlier update has me considering whether or not to invest in upgrading my Roku. I had planned on it, but now with Chromecast compatibility, I don’t see a compelling reason to spend the money.

tmobile-hotspot-cap

My T-Mobile honeymoon has long since passed, with the day-to-day reality of life on a second-rate carrier having set in. Of course, your mileage may vary as cell coverage is highly dependent upon locale (or building composition). For me, T-Mobile has provided an extremely frustrating experience with perhaps, ironically, superior coverage roaming overseas partners versus native networks here at home — with the majority of my calls dropping. On the occasions I have coverage to initiate one. Continue Reading…

amazon-fire-bundle

Well here’s an interesting promo should you lack for both a TV streamer and tablet. Amazon has paired their new Fire TV with the 7″ Kindle Fire HDX tablet for $249, which clocks in $79 cheaper than purchasing each separately. While the Fire TV remains somewhat app poor, the platform has grown on me and we’ve enjoyed dozens of hours of Amazon Instant video at this point (and unloaded our Apple TV). Had the offer been available at launch, I’d have gone this route given my deep ties into Amazon’s ecosystem and synergies between the products (that may or may not ultimately extend to other tablets):

  • Second Screen—Fling movies, TV shows and photos from your Kindle Fire HDX to your HDTV so you can use your tablet to control media playback or browse the web
  • Mirror your Kindle Fire HDX on your HDTV—Share everything you enjoy on your Kindle Fire HDX from apps to music and photos with everyone in your living room

(via Swanni)

Monarch-iPad-holders

As a former frequent flier, I can’t tell you how many battles between passengers and/or flight crew I’ve witnessed in relation to wireless devices and reclining seats (including very dramatic testimony from a breast-feeding woman who asserted the man in front of her had starved her infant). Fortunately, we appear to have moved to a better place with the advent of gate-to-gate wireless gadgetry and what looks to be an end of reclining seats… on at least a few airlines. And next up is Monarch Air. The carrier is outfitting their fleet with thinner, non-reclining seats… that conveniently provide a tablet holder where one might expect an entertainment console — which sure beats attempting to prop up your device via water bottle (as shown below), providing more stability and a better viewing angle. Not to mention if US carriers like Southwest or United follow suit, our iPads would truly replace the seat-back TV given onboard streaming options. Continue Reading…