Those who already own Google Glass are more likely than most to embrace new technologies like Nest’s thermostat, so it only makes sense that an especially eager adopter would find a way to combine the two. That would be James Rundquist and his new Glass Nest app: Glass owners now just have to announce that they’re coming home (or heading out) to make their Nest units change the climate. More exacting homeowners can fine-tune the temperature, too. While the utility is both unofficial and quite limited at this stage, Rundquist has posted source code that lets anyone expand on the project. If you’re in the rare position of owning both gadgets, we’d suggest giving Glass Nest and its code at least a cursory look.
Microsoft has released an app in the Google Play store designed to get people to stop using said store and the Android phones that connect to it. Simply called “Switch to Windows Phone,” it scans your Android phone for all of your installed apps and then saves the results with your Microsoft ID. Then, using a companion app on Windows Phone itself, you can sign in and see all of the equivalent apps in Microsoft’s own store, tapping through to install them each one-by-one. It doesn’t show current Android users what those matched apps are, but it could be helpful to recent switchers.
It’s a clever idea, getting people over the concerns that apps won’t be available on Windows Phone, but the execution isn’t quite there yet. Scanning was…
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- 2013April|Tech Meets Blog
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Spotting a BlackBerry among the sea of iPhones and Android phones out there is now a rare occurrence. Those who remain faithful to these once-iconic gadgets do so for good reason: A love of physical keyboards. But the BlackBerry’s lagging browser, antiquated operating system and lack of apps made users envy other devices.
Next month, people will finally get the BlackBerry they wish they had: A device that combines the features of a modern smartphone with a physical keyboard. I’ve been testing the BlackBerry Q10 for the past seven days, comparing it to its predecessor, the BlackBerry Bold 9900.
This device is expected to cost $ 249 with a two-year contract, which is more than many smartphones. It will be available from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint by the end of May. It had a couple of app quirks, though updates before release are expected to fix these. BlackBerry still lags behind competitors with just over 100,000 apps available last month. I especially missed some of my favorites like Flipboard, Pinterest and the NPR app. And the Q10’s 3.1-inch screen is limiting compared with the 4.7-inch and 5-inch screens on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, respectively. But this new BlackBerry’s browser races along and its camera features will impress.
Physically, the Q10 bests the Bold with a slightly bigger touchscreen that measures 3.1 inches, diagonally. To make room for this screen, the Q10 sacrifices two features. First, its keyboard runs straight across rather than in the more comfortable, broad U-shaped curve like on the Bold. Second, the Q10 lacks a track pad, the below-the-screen square that functioned as a precise cursor. In about three days, though, I got used to working without these features.
The Q10 comes in white and black.
The Q10’s keyboard is smartly used for more than just typing emails. From the home screen, typing the first few letters for commands like “text message Katie” or “Facebook” pulls up related functions. This feature is called Instant Action. And some 200 keyboard shortcuts let users navigate around the Q10 more quickly. Onscreen menus subtly display what keys to press for shortcuts.
As you type, common misspellings will be auto-corrected. You can even turn on keyboard predictions, saving you a few keystrokes by showing words on the screen that you might be typing next. A tap on a word adds the word to your sentence. I found I could type faster without using onscreen keyboard predictions, though in some cases I could select predictions for nearly an entire sentence.
The Q10 runs on the latest iteration of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which made its debut last month on the full touchscreen Z10. This latest version of the BlackBerry 10 OS is souped up with features even the Z10 doesn’t yet have, like new notification options for contacts and fine cursor control and navigation.
The BlackBerry 10 operating system is responsive and fun to use. A list called the Hub organizes all notifications related to emails, social networks and apps in one place. The Hub can be quickly checked with a left-to-right swipe from the home screen, or by swiping up and right from within an app. Contacts are integrated with social networks, adding images of your friends to the system.
Just type the first few letters of a command and Instant Action, above, pulls up the function, such as BlackBerry Messenger.
Apps can be minimized into smaller squares by swiping up from the bottom of the Q10 screen. I grew so comfortable with this gesture that I accidentally tried to use it on my Android smartphone.
In several instances, Facebook’s in-app notifications were delayed and only appeared when I opened the Facebook app. BlackBerry said an update to the Facebook app due out this week would enhance this app. I also had trouble with the Skype app: In two tests, I could see video from the caller but he couldn’t see me though my video was on.
Battery life on the Q10 was impressive. I used it repeatedly for entire days without running out of juice. This included a weekend in a remote area of North Carolina when my cell signal was roaming and several car rides when I used BlackBerry Maps for navigation.
I wasn’t able to formally test the speeds of the device I used, which ran on AT&T’s network, because AT&T is still testing the Q10 on its network. But voice calls that I made around Washington, D.C., and Kirkland, Wash., sounded clear, and Web browsing worked without a problem.
The Q10’s 8-megapixel rear-facing camera is loaded with high-end features, including Time Shift, which captures multiple shots of people and lets you piece together a photo where everyone looks good. Other features include burst mode, enhancements that edit photos and filters that can be added after capture.
BlackBerry World, the marketplace from which apps can be downloaded, looks slicker and runs faster than previous iterations. I downloaded and used a bunch of apps for the Q10, including Skype, The Wall Street Journal, YouTube, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Weather Channel, Kayak and Angry Birds Star Wars.
Along with the Facebook and Skype issues, I found that a health-tracking app and a Sudoku app didn’t work well. BlackBerry attributed this to pre-release app issues.
The browser on the Q10 was super fast, and I found myself selecting links in emails, tweets and Facebook updates that I would have avoided selecting on a Bold — and even on newer smartphones’ browsers — because of slow load times. The Q10 browser has features like an adjustable default font size and a Reader view. Websites that run Adobe Flash can be viewed by clicking a button that enables Flash.
For plenty of users who gave up on BlackBerry years ago, the Q10 probably won’t change their minds. But for those of us who love physical keyboards and want a keyboard paired with the full functionality of a serious smartphone, the Q10 delivers.
Write to Katie at email@example.com.Related Posts:
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You no longer need a Nokia-branded Windows Phone to run the company’s various mapping and navigation apps. Today Nokia has opened up availability of Here Maps, Here Drive Beta, and Here Transit to all Windows Phone 8 devices in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. The three applications offer users more detailed location data (particularly in the case of turn-by-turn navigation) compared to Bing Maps, the default mapping software that ships on Windows Phone hardware. A Nokia Drive+ Beta first opened up to users late last month, and the app remains in non-final form here. Even so, it (like Here Maps) provides niceties like offline map caching and customizable layers that show only the points of interest you’re…
The Jawbone UP has been back for a little while now, after engineers took it back to the drawing board to correct mass failures in the original version. It came back better than ever, Jawbone said, and for the most part that seems to be true. Flaky syncing used to mar my original, even though I never experienced the same cataclysmic failure as others. This time around, I noticed a problem initially that others in the office have also seen, and a few other users are already reporting: a matte finish on the end cap that’s prone to peeling. It looks cheap.
Two of our staff units are exhibiting this already, both after just a few days’ use. And we’ve also found a report on Twitter, and someone else complaining of the same thing on Jawbone’s official forums. Two suggested fixes from that thread: don’t ever remove your Jawbone UP (lol), and buy the three-pack replacement caps that Jawbone offers in its official store. Both are obviously less than ideal. An ideal solution would be this not happening to begin with.
The cap complaints are echoed by a number of people in the Jawbone forums on other threads, and also include users complaining of caps that come loose during vigorous activity. This was an issue with the original version, and one reportedly made better with version two. Jawbone says your first replacement cap is free, but after that, you have to go through the store and purchase new ones. Presumably, that won’t make them any more resistant to this flaking issue, too.
These Jawbone UP’s may not be dying permanently at random, and sure, the issue is mostly cosmetic, but the Up is $ 130: at that price, you’re not expecting it to start showing wear from normal use 48 hours after you crack the packaging. We’ve reached out to Jawbone looking for an explanation, but in the meantime let us know if you’re seeing this issue, or any other problems with your UP wristband.
Starting next week, Microsoft is going to begin actively marketing Outlook.com as an optional upgrade to Hotmail users. Microsoft will start sending out emails to existing users and use display ads to market Outlook.com in an effort to win back Gmail users. “About a third of our users are actually coming from Gmail,” admits Microsoft’s David Law, director of product management at Outlook.com. Microsoft is trying different ways to ensure Gmail users are interested in Outlook, recently adding a one-click archive button.
In an interview with The Verge, Law says the company has been holding back from pushing Hotmail users to the new Outlook.com interface to ensure the service was ready. “We just wanted to make sure the service was working…
Question by Brianna: Can you contact xbox live users without having an xbox or an xbox live account? How can i contact my boyfriend on his xbox live account without me having an xbox or an xbox live account…is it possible?
Answer by DannyboyI dont think its possible
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The PhoneScope 3D from Spatial Vision and Design offers high-resolution magnified 3D scanning that can have applications for users ranging from forensics specialists to CGI animators. But its developers mostly just want people to have fun with the iPhone add-ons. After years in development, PhoneScope 3D is now raising funds on Kickstarter.
The PhoneScope 3D differentiates itself from other iPhone 3D scanning apps and attachments with a macro lens that magnifies the iPhone’s camera view by up to five times. A light lens attachment clips onto the lens and uses ultra-bright LEDs diffused through glass developed by Spatial Vision and Design to distribute light evenly and reduce coning.
The lens clip, designed to have a low profile and fit over an iPhone bumper, is made from plasma-polished stainless steel, while the light lens attachment is built from aircraft-grade anodized aluminum. The light lens is placed directly over the object being scanned, which means that although there are size limitations, the subject can be rendered in greater detail. The PhoneScope 3D is meant to be used with specially designed desktop software and scans can be turned into 3D prints.
Developer B.J. Rao says his aim with the PhoneScope 3D is to build awareness of 3D scanning. Potential users include “a dermatologist or forensics specialist who now has greater means to examine, review and store visual information,” said Rao. With its affordability and ease of use, the set is also a fun introduction to high-resolution 3D scanning.
Spatial Vision & Design, a startup with locations in St. Louis, Amsterdam, and Seoul, develops mobile software and hardware focusing on vision technologies. B.J. Rao said that he and partners Vijay Rao and Lazlo Kleczewski have wanted to create an app and hardware combination for the iPhone since it was first released by Apple, but the project was put on hold several times over the years because of lack of funding. The trio’s prior hardware experience includes developing and calibrating photolithography machines. B.J. Rao has worked with institutions such as the Museum Gouda in Amsterdam, where he helped develop a 3D scanning technology for an exhibit that allowed visitors to interact with fragile artifacts without handling them.
PhoneScope 3D software is currently available for Windows only, but Rao says their target for OSX support is April or May 2013.
Pre-orders begin at $ 39 for the early bird special, which comes with a lens clip. The team’s goal is to raise $ 50,000 on Kickstarter before January 8, with a target delivery date of March 2013 for the lens clips and April 2013 for the sets with the lens clip and light lens attachment.
Windows Phone 8 devices have been available since the beginning of the month and users are starting to report early issues across HTC and Nokia handsets. In a thread over at WPCentral with 143 replies, a variety of HTC 8X users report that handsets randomly reboot while in use. A thread on Microsoft’s own support forums has also gained 50 replies complaining about the issues. The Verge can confirm that an 8X we are testing has rebooted on more than one occasion.
Nokia Lumia 920 users are also reporting random reboots and freezes, with some complaining of poor battery life too. In a thread on Nokia’s support forums, a number of users appear to be complaining of lock ups and resets with the Lumia 920. Battery life issues have led to some…