Pebble Reveals Trio Of New Devices: No Longer Just A Smartwatch Company

Pebble Reveals Trio Of New Devices: No Longer Just A Smartwatch Company

Three years after Pebble started selling its innovative Kickstarter-funded smartwatch, the Redwood City, California-based startup is rolling out a successor. The new Pebble 2 has some artistic improvements, but the most notable new feature is the Pebble 2's capability to track heart rate. In fact, the Pebble Time 2, another new smartwatch, will also feature heart rate sensors, and Pebble declares they'll be included on all future Pebble watches.

Pebble says it decided to include heart rate tracking because the company considers fitness tracking has become the third support of smartwatch functionality, alongside basic communications and notifications. But it's also an acknowledgement on the part of Pebble that it will want to keep innovating on its relatively simplistic smartwatches if it plans to continue to compete with much bigger companies that are making wearables.

Pebble has released three new devices onto Kickstarter – going back to the crowdfunding platform that has delivered so much success for the Redwood City startup in the past.

The new range is made up of the Pebble 2, the Pebble Core and the Pebble Time 2.

The Core is a small cube-sized computer that's intended to work with a Pebble smartwatch and take the place of a smartphone.

The Core can take an SIM card to get 3G cellular service and it covers a microphone and a GPS tracker.

Battery life is nine hours with Spotify streaming up and running and GPS tracking, and there are the bunch of other useful features such as SOS alerts, voice memos and one tap Pebble app access for things such as ordering an Uber.

The Pebble Core won’t be delivered until January 2017, however – so there a chance more traditional tech giants could pip it to the post with something similar. It costs only $69 though, so it could be worth the wait.

The buttons on the Core can be planned to do a variety of tasks, such as opening a garage door or hailing an Uber. There's also an option to send someone an emergency message, and the ability to stream Spotify.

"We think it's an optimal device for a runner," CEO Eric Migicovsky said in an interview.

“Health and communications is at the heart of how people use wearables today. Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 combine the power of a fitness tracker with the awesome smartwatch features that we’ve developed over the last four years. With Pebble Core, we’re launching off the wrist and taking wearables to the next level.”

Starting with the latter, because it’s the top profile of the new Pebble smartwatches, The Time 2 is a direct sequel to the Pebble Time that introduced last year.

It packs a color e-paper display that is 50 percent better than the original's and claims 80 percent more pixels. The battery life remains at an impressive 10 days and there’s a built-in heart rate monitor for more in-depth fitness tracking.

The Pebble 2 is being payable as the company’s “most affordable” smartwatch, with a focus on fitness. The design is suggestive of the original Pebble — though the sides are a little more tapered and it feels thinner.

Like the original Pebble and the Pebble Time, the Pebble 2 has an e-paper display and long battery life. It’s also waterproof up to 30 meters and it has a built-in microphone for voice replies and notes. It will retail for $129 when it ships this September, but Kickstarter backers can purchase in for $99.
Why Virtual Reality Is The Future of Mobile Gaming

Why Virtual Reality Is The Future of Mobile Gaming

Virtual Reality is the 'new kid on the block' in the technological world of online gaming and we could be seeing these games on mobile devices much sooner than originally expected. 

If nothing else, virtual reality games are maturing into one of the top markets in the modern era and gaming fans are rapidly becoming obsessed with the latest editions of these particular games.

Various organisations, including Sony, are now jumping on the virtual reality hype-train and that can only mean positive things for the future of VR. Only time will tell but virtual reality games are about to hit mobile devices and it's difficult to imagine they will fail.

As with most technologies, mobile phone applications and games have flourished and developed over the years. There are now apps for everything from mobile casinos to discovering local Indian restaurants - advancements in technology have allowed users to create applications and functions that can help people complete day-to-day tasks.

However, apps and online games are about much more than just efficiency. They are also designed to entertain and excite and developments in VR will certainly help to appeal to new and existing mobile gamers.

"Virtual Reality Demonstrations" (CC BY 2.0) by  UTKnightCenter
One of the most popular mobile games is Angry Birds. Now, picture the scene, you can physically play Angry Birds via virtual reality technologies from the comfort of your own home but YOU are in control. These kind of developments have been coming for a while, for example the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect both tested the market and showed that these devices would certainly be welcomed.
In addition, mobile casinos and online virtual games are also designed to suit VR. Just imagine taking your seat at an online roulette table and enhancing your own game experience of feeling like you're in a genuine casino environment - it's mind-blowing. As is potentially playing FIFA or another football game against people from all over the world in what would be a true test of your own ability on a football field.

According to many recent forecasts, the world of virtual reality is only going to grow even further - and at a faster rate. Right now, VR is growing but there are set to be 171 million users of VR games by 2018. Furthermore, revenue from virtual reality headsets and head-mounted displays for gameplay will grow from $685 million (2015) to $3.89 BILLION in 2018.

That is a phenomenal increase considering the short time span and shows just how popular these new technologies is. After all, it gives a completely new and unique insight into the world of online gaming. And it's going to be available on mobile phones... wow.


 Mobile gaming is on the rise and virtual reality will only help to promote these functions. Applications are, and have been for quite some time, now almost regarded as an everyday part of life.
Eventually, VR games will dominate the market and even mobile devices - which were incredibly basic just a decade or so ago - will accommodate those who want to enjoy virtual reality on the move. After all, we all dream of controlling our own destiny on our mobile games, right? Give it five years and VR will be the market leader in online, console AND mobile gaming.

ZTE Grand X Max 2 With Dual-Cameras Launched

ZTE has announced a new smartphone in the USA. Called Lavish Xmax 2, these devices – which consist of a large 6- inch 1080p display and sports mid-range specs – and dual rear camera setup, built-in Hi-Fi Music plus Dolby Audio– is now available for purchase from AT&T is prepaid subsidiary Cricket.

ZTE Grand X Max 2 is the newest flagship smartphone from ZTE launched in the US and considered for exceptional entertainment, photography, and productivity.

The smartphone is priced at $199.99, approximately Rs 13,484 with activation and is available via Cricket Wireless website and physical stores across the USA.

The ZTE Grand X Max 2 features a big 6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor, which is paired with 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, and expandable up-to 64GB via MicroSD card. It runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system and becomes its strength from a good 3400mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 support which claims to charge user battery from 0% to 50% in 30 minutes. 

The telephone is 4G suitable, provides USB Type connection, characteristics Speedy Demand 2.0, and extends Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-container. Regarding value, the Awesome Xmax 2 takes the label of $200.

The Grand X Max 2 has a 13-megapixel autofocus dual camera with LED flash on the back and a 2-megapixel fixed focus selfie camera on the front. Besides, the smartphone offers 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, GPS, USB Type-C port and Dolby Audio. The handset measures 164.08 x 83.82 x 8.89 mm and weighs around 179 grams.

The Grand X Max 2 comes with some optional accessories such as an Invisible SHIELD screen protector which is priced at $14.99, a PC Shield case that cost a user $19.99 and a wallet folio for the smartphone cost $29.99.

ZTE Grand X Max 2 Specifications

  • 6-inch full HD display
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage, expandable up to 64 GB via microSD card slot
  • 1.5 Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 617 SoC processor
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 4G LTE, WI-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, microUSB, mobile hotspot, GPS
  • 3400 mAh battery
  • 13 megapixels rear camera and 2 megapixels secondary rear camera with flash and full HD video recording
  • 5-megapixels front camera with full HD video recording
  • Dimensions: 6.46 x 3.30 x 0.35 inches

New Lenovo ZUK Z2 Comes With Snapdragon Processor

Lenovo will reportedly be introducing its ZUK Z2 smartphone on May 31. To be shown in China, the ZUK Z2 will be a smaller version of ZUK Z2 Pro handset introduced last month, according to report .

Rumors have it that the company might disclose the ZUK Z2 in two options having different processors - Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and Samsung Exynos 8890. Exynos 8890 powers the Galaxy S7 while the ZUK Z2 Pro is backed by the Snapdragon 820.

The upcoming ZUK Z2 is likely to be similar to its pro variant. For those unaware, the ZUK Z2 Pro runs Android Marshmallow. It sports a 5.2-inch Full HD display with a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera. The device is 4G enabled and is backed by a 3,100 mAh battery. The user also gets a USB Type-C port as well as heart-rate sensors and fingerprint. The Pro is available in two memory options- 4GB RAM/64GB ROM and 6GB RAM/128GB ROM.

Given that the brand Lenovo has quite good visibility in India, it would be reasonable to assume that the company wants to cash in on it. Online-only brand ZUK, if user recalls, was any way aimed at countering the rise of other Chinese Internet brands like OnePlus and Xiaomi.

ZUK Z2 rumored specifications:

4.7/5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) Full HD IPS 2.5D curved glass display
4GB / 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage
Snapdragon processor / Octa-Core Exynos 8 Octa 8890 (2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad) processor
13MP rear camera with LED Flash
8MP front-facing camera
Fingerprint scanner
4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4/5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.1, GPS
Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) with ZUI
Dual (nano) SIM

The ZUK Z2 is rumored to start at 1799 yuan (US$ 274 / Rs. 18510 approx.)user should know all the details about the ZUK Z2 next Tuesday.

Intex Aqua Secure Smartphone With Fingerprint Sensor And VoLTE Support Launched At Rs 6,999

The second biggest Indian smartphone manufacturer, Intex has introduced the Aqua Secure smartphone. It is the most reasonably priced device to offer fingerprint sensor at a price of Rs. 6,499 and will be available in gold and grey color options. 

The Coolpad Note 3 Lite is the previous best which costs somewhat on a higher side at Rs. 6,999.  Apart from the fingerprint sensor, the Aqua Secure comes with verY simple specifications and making the Coolpad Note 3 Lite a better choice.

The device originates with a 4.5-inch FWVGA display with 480x854 pixels resolution and is powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek SoC with 1GB of RAM. The phone is equipped with 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front shooter for selfies and runs Android Lollipop v5.1. Further, the phone features a USB Type-C port and supports VoLTE. It deals 8GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 32GB using a microSD card.

The connectivity options of the device include 4G, LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and USB Type-C. The company says both SIM slots are 4G enabled.

The 1900 mAh battery filled into the device is said to give up to 6 hours of talk time along with a standby time of up to 8 days. For the charging, there is USB Type-C connectivity. The fingerprint sensor supports features like phone unlock, clicking selfies, access to the gallery.

Intex Aqua Secure smartphone comes with preloaded with Opera Max, Matrabhasha app although also comes with HotKnot, an NFC-like feature from MediaTek to share pictures and movies. 

“4G connectivity, big screens, high definition displays and powerful RAMs are the current trends. Intex brings this 4G enabled the device with advanced security features like fingerprint sensor and VOLTE. Aqua Secure will provide our consumers with an advanced technology experience at a very competitive price,” stated Mr. Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Mobile Business Head, Intex Technologies.

The fingerprint smartphone is presented at all leading retail stores, e-commerce sites, and hypermarkets across the country.
Xiaomi Will Launch Its Own Drone Soon

Xiaomi Will Launch Its Own Drone Soon

Xiaomi is on an introducing spree with new products being launched one after the other. Following the main declaration of MIUI 8 ROM and Mi Max smartphone and partnership with Google for its Mi Box in the U.S., 

Xiaomi is all set to enter a new product group this month. The Chinese electronics giant teased on its official MIUI forum an image of its first drone, which will be launching in China on May 25.

The Chinese language firm, familiar for making low cost but highly effective smartphones, makes a ton of different devices, together with a kid-oriented smartwatch, a 4K-ready media box, a fitness band,  a rice cooker  and a self-balancing scooter.  

"Something wonderful and cool is flying to us very soon," Xiaomi forum moderator Vincent Khoo wrote in an English-language tease on the company's public discussion forum.

The event is expected to be live streamed, and the latest teaser almost absolutely indicates to a drone, showing a camera connected to a gimbal. Xiaomi earlier had put up a picture of a wooden-copter, a toy famous among kids, further indicating to the rumors. The company has also put up a post on the MIUI forum, mentioning a new flying product coming soon. The news about Xiaomi working on drones began pouring in when it patented a technology that is used to control drones with gestures and Mi Bands. A few days earlier, a Xiaomi drone app was also leaked revealing that the upcoming drone will be able to shoot 4K videos at 30fps.

The ability to shoot 4K videos tips a high-end drone, rather than a basic one that was previously estimated. However, this is just pure speculation and there haven't been any leaks giving us tech specifications about the drone. With this, Xiaomi enters into another consumer tech segment. The company already has its footprints in smart ACs, smart TVs, set-top boxes, rice cookers, Wi-Fi routers, air purifiers and now drones.

This month, Xiaomi introduced the Mi Max with a huge 6.44-inch display and showcased the MIUI 8. It is now taking beta registrations, and the first developer ROM will be made available on June 17. The company even launched its first Android TV set top box - Mi Box-at Google I/O, which is now underway.

With all these specs, Xiaomi isn't going to price the Mi Drone like its other Mi products at a reasonable range. According to GSM Arena, the Mi Drone could cost as much as ¥3,999, which approximately translates to about $610 in the U.S. or Rs. 41,000 in India.

Details about tablets and Smartphone can be ventured to a large degree. However, the specification of drones is difficult since most manufacturers bring in their innovations. Rumors about the drone from Xiaomi have been floating for a long time but it is only now that it has been publically confirmed.

The device will have much application in the rescue tasks and surveillance. However Xiaomi will be concentrating on budget mid-segment markets, this one will target high-end consumers as well.
Google Announces Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches

Google Announces Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches With Improve Messaging And Standalone Support.

Today Google declared Android Wear 2.0, the greatest update to its wearable operating system since its release back in September 2014. The biggest change with the software, which discharges this fall, is apps can be run standalone without the requirement for a phone nearby. 

In fact, Google's David Singleton, the company's head of wearables, says the live demo shown today at its I/O developer conference was done with the associated Android smartphone turned off the entire time. Android Wear watches will now associate to Wi-Fi networks on their own, or rely completely on cellular when you're on the go.

The update to Android Wear comes as Google attempts to play catch-up with the Apple Watch, which leads the market for smartwatches, according to IDC. A majority of the watches sold by No. 2 Samsung run on Samsung's own operating system. Google is hoping that the grouping of a smarter interface and compatibility with rival Apple's iPhone will help it recover some momentum.

At the crux of that is Google's idea of "complications," or watch-speak for widgets that demonstrate our current step count, our stock prices, our next appointment, or any other data we choose. "You can have data from any app on any watch face," Android Wear team leader David Singleton said in an interview.

Difficulties are now going to be a standard part of Android Wear watch faces, and app developers barely need to be involved to make them work, Singleton said. As long as they contain data that might be useful at a glance, users will soon be able to make that data seem on the face of their watch, no matter which face it might be.

Speaking of the app launcher, the new one is a big enhancement. Rather than tapping through a list of the apps, the new launcher uses a scrolling interface that is made better and much simpler use of round watch faces.

Using the third-party watch apps themselves is also a much well experience and the most important change in Android Wear 2.0. With the update, Google is releasing watch apps from the smartphone with the addition of standalone apps.  

This means that watch apps can run individually of our smartphone, even if we don't have a watch with a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. This is mainly significant for iPhone users because it will actually allow them to use third-party apps on Android Wear watches — making Android Wear more of a feasible alternative to the Apple Watch.

"We’ll have a way for people to get apps from the cloud to their watches so the phone is basically no longer part of the picture," Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang, tellsMashable. "The great thing about that is if you’re an iPhone user you can still get those third-party apps running on your watch."

Messaging from the watch will also see some progress as people no longer need to rely on preserved replies or voice notation alone. A new QWERTY keyboard that uses swipe-based signs permits a user to input several words at once. While keyboards on tiny displays typically look like a bad idea, Chang says the keyboard can enable typing at "tens of words" a minute, when using gestures and autocomplete.
Google Is Bringing Android Apps To Chromebooks Finally

Google Is Bringing Android Apps To Chromebooks Finally

Finally, Google is bringing the Google Play store, together with its more than 1.5 million Android apps, to Chrome OS. Google Play will first work out with Chrome OS version 53 on the dev channel in early June, starting with three Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook R11, the Asus Chromebook Flip, and of course Google’s Pixel 2. Over the coming months, the feature will come to more devices on the beta channel and finally the stable channel.

As per the description for a developer event later today, Google is set to add support for Android apps and the Google Play Store to Chrome OS. Here’s a brief explanation of the developer session, as spotted by 9to5Google:

Today we announced that we’re adding the best mobile app experiences in the world, Android apps and the Google Play store, to the best browser in the world, Chrome! Come to this session and test your Android apps for Chrome OS. You will get hands-on help from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks. Oh, and we will also be giving the first 50 developers to show up a free Chromebook so they can get a head start bringing their apps to Chrome!

Kan Liu, product management director of Chrome OS, told that the Google Play store should start hitting the established channel in September. By the end of this year, he promised: “most Chrome OS devices” (full list) would support Google Play. That contains both x86 and ARM architectures. Google has also been working with its Chromebook partners to introduce new devices that will ship with Google Play out of the box.

Android apps on Chrome OS have been a long time coming. In June 2014 at Google I/O, the company promised Chromebooks would run Android apps. In September 2014, the Android apps Evernote, Duolingo, Sight Words, and Vine showed up on Chrome OS. Then Google went silent. Rumors started up again this year, leaks certainly followed, and now it’s all being made official two years later at I/O 2016.

Liu says that even on low-end Chromebooks, Android apps will run well — because most of them are considered with the wide array of Android phones in mind. Some Android phones have the particularly limited processor and RAM resources, and even the cheapest Chromebooks still have more horsepower than many of the Android phones currently in use.

“We’re always experimenting and figuring out where is the right place to discover it and use it,” Liu started by saying. “But this so far has been a good place for a lot of people to find it easily and access it easily. So, for now, this is definitely where we’re putting it, but we’re going to test everything.”

And however, while the functionality really is coming now, there is the main distinction to emphasize: This is more than just Android apps on Chrome OS. This is all of Google Play on Chrome OS. 
“We’re going to try to bring together the breadth and versatility of the millions of apps in the Play store on top of the speed, simplicity, and security of the world’s most powerful and popular browser,” Liu told VentureBeat. “What that means is, as a user now, you’re going to be able to get onto your Chromebook and have all your favorite Android apps, games, and media content.”
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