What a show, #CESlive. The 2014 edition of the International CES was just as wild and crazy as we'd expected, and our coverage was more wild and crazy than we'd ever done before. From curved UHD TVs and OLED displays to smartwatches and smartphones, the millions of square feet that comprised the show floor of CES 2014 was full of the insane, the amazing, and the just plain cool. Up here you'll find our CES wrap-up video, and down below you'll find the very best of all our coverage from #CESlive!
It's been an odd development over the past few years, but car manufacturers are now among the biggest exhibitors at CES. With giant and massively expensive booths you'll find Sony and Samsung along with Ford and Audi. BMW, too, has a huge presence at CES 2014, taking up the entirety of the parking lot outside the south hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. They built an exhibition center to show off the technology that's gone into their electric "i" sub-brand.
Right now there are just two vehicles in that i sub-brand, the i3 and the i8. Both are impressive vehicles, but the i3 was the one that BMW really wanted to show off at CES. The car is a tiny one, seating four in a relatively small space. It's something that's been made possible thanks to the electric drive, which places the battery pack and the small electric motor below the floor.
With a range that tops out at 100 miles when you take it easy on the accelerator, the i3 isn't meant for long-haul trips. There is an optional "range extender" gas-powered generator that can be added to the i3, adding another 80 miles of range. Though unlike a traditional hybrid, the gas engine is purely used to power an electric generator to top off the battery. Or you can plug the i3 into a 240-volt charger and be up to 90% in 30 minutes.
There are two things that have been a huge deal at this year's CES: curved UHD TVs and gadgets that you can wear on your person. While we might blog about television sets on occasion here at Mobile Nations, we just so happen to have an entire site dedicate to the latter: Smartwatch Fans. Editor-in-Chief of Smartwatch Fans Adam Zeis was joined by Kevin Michaluk, Rene Ritchie and Phil Nickinson for a podcast on all of the smartwatches announced at this year's CES. This is #CESlive!
This year's keynotes at CES came to an epic conclusion tonight with the announcement of the WWE Network.
Yes, World Wrestling Entertainment, which has long existed as a mainstay of pay-per-view, is coming to the web. The service will consist of a 24/7 live streaming service of original content along with a massive on-demand library of past content. Also included is access to all pay-per-view shows past, present and future. Streaming will be available on WWE.com, apps for iOS, Android and Kindle, as well as on PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox, Roku — and at least one platform that Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, was not allowed to mention.
The price tag comes to $9.99 a month, which if you ask any WWE fan is well worth it. Especially when it would cost well over $600 a year to buy all 12 of the pay-per-view events that WWE produces.
It's only the second day of CES, but things didn't slow down in the slightest. Between everything happening on the #CESlive stage and the ongoing insanity of the show floor, day 2 of CES 2014 was, for lack of a better term, insane. Kevin checked out the BlackBerry-aping Typo keyboard for iPhone, John Legere insulted the competition, WWE dumped everything they've got on the web, and Georgia tasered herself — along with much much more.
It's CES 2014, and that means every tech company under the sun has made their pilgrimage to Las Vegas. Audio company Bang & Olufsen is one of those companies, bringing their line-up of premium speakers to show off. Back in October they rolled out their Immaculate Wireless Sound line of speakers, utilizing the WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio Association) standard to communicate between TVs, receivers, and speakers.
WiSA allows B&O to do something similar to what Sonos does, allowing the user to control which speakers are used to broadcast audio. They can control individual speakers or create groups of speakers with assigned roles. B&O worked with other WiSA members (which include recognizable audio names like Onkyo, Pioneer, and Klipsh) to help build the standard.
CEO Tue Mantoni told us that B&O had for the past decade been exploring building their own proprietary wireless systems, but never had the expertise to make it happen. They are a small company, Mantoni said, serving a niche market. Their strengths are in sound quality and acoustic design, not wireless communications. By partnering with some of their competitors in developing WiSA, B&O got a high-bandwidth 24-bit wireless standard that will work with WiSA receivers, speakers, and televisions developed by any manufacturer. In theory, at least, as B&O is the first to release WiSA gear.
One of the fun things about CES is that we get to bring a good portion of the Mobile Nations team together. Being that we're out around the world, it's rare to have two of us in the same room, let alone 20. So we take that as an opportunity to do fun things, like in-person podcasts. Our first podcast came by way of Phil, Alex, Richard, and Andrew of Android Central. You can expect that at the close of each day we'll have another site's podcast up and running, giving WPCentral, iMore, and Smartwatch Fans a chance to jump onto the big fancy stage. Watch the podcast, and then let's get to the news.
CES officially kicks off on Tuesday, January 7th, but when it comes to the big press announcements, Monday's the day. Today saw press events from Sony, Audi, Samsung, Huawei, LG, and more. The day wasn't short on drama or hilarity, nor new product announcements. Lots of TVs, lots of phones, lots of tablets, and an impending avalanche of smartwatches and fitness trackers. CES hasn't even officially begun yet, but let's dive in! (Tomorrow we'll have a podcast to go here as well — CES be crazy!)
Tonight saw Audi's pre-first-day CES keynote presentation, and this year's theme was iteration. Audi wouldn't tell you that was what the theme was — with them it's all "Vorsprung Durch Technik" (that's Advancement Through Technology) — but what Audi introduced was evolutions of announcements from preceding years.
Last year Audi rolled out an A8 sedan onto the stage, or more accurately the A7 rolled itself out. It was an early demo of driverless technology that didn't depend on an array of sensors and scanners mounted to the roof. What wasn't shown off at CES 2013 was the trunk of that car, which was packed with computer boxes to manage all of the millions of inputs per second that it was receiving from the sensors distributed around the car. This year, Audi drove out, err, had drive itself out, an A7, sans driver or passengers. But what made this year's demo different from last years was the consolidation and miniaturization of the computing platform that made the self-driving possible. Or, as Audi likes to call it, piloted driving.
As somebody who got into this business by covering Palm and webOS, it's safe to say I was at least mildly interested in where LG was going to take webOS. (LG bought webOS)[http://www.webosnation.com/lg-purchasing-hps-webos-division-licensing-webos-smart-tvs] from HP nearly a year ago, but the two had been (working together for months before)[http://www.webosnation.com/gram-working-lg-open-webos-tv] to bring webOS to LG's TV line-up.
Leading up to today it was a little vague on what webOS on TVs would look like, work like, and how far LG was willing to go with their little project. There weren't any indications of what exactly their plans were or how big they planned to go — if you'd asked any pundit leading up to this week what to expect, they likely would have told you to expect webOS to be on maybe a single series (same innards, different screen sizes) of LG TVs. How it would work was a big unknown.
2013 marked a time of great change for Apple. The introduction of iOS 7 changed the way Apple's mobile products looked and worked. New iPhones and iPads used the first 64-bit processor ready for mobile devices. Touch ID changed the way we secure our iPhones. OS X 10.9 Mavericks provided new features and new efficiencies. New laptop Macs may have looked the same as last year's models but consume far less battery power for longer time on the road. And Apple exited the year with a stunning new design for its powerful Mac Pro. We're not sure what 2014 has in store but we can count on being delighted and amazed, because it's Apple bringing it to us.
2013 also gave us some great new apps and accessories, along with brand new versions of past delights. You nominated your favorites. We sorted through the finalists. In the end, nearly 40,000 votes were cast. Without further ado, here they are, the winners of iMore's Best of 2013!
It’s not often the rules change, especially when it comes to aviation. Since the Wright brothers first propelled their wood-and-fabric plane into the sky in 1903 we’ve been banned from using electronic devices below 10,000 feet. (They had iPods back then, right?) Of course, there was reasoning behind the ban, or at least reasonable fear. Electronics by their very nature emit electromagnetic radiation, which has the potential to interfere with the ostensibly sensitive instruments of an aircraft. Takeoff and landing are the most dangerous phases of any flight, the points where those instruments need to be their most accurate. So in the early days of portable electronics, when they were more electromagnetically leaky and the instruments in the cockpit weren’t as protected as they are today, an abundance of caution led to portable electronics being banned during takeoff and landing.
But in the years since that ban was instituted, our gadgets have become less leaky. Copious research has been applied to determining just how much interference these devices might actually cause (the answer is minimal to none). And the electronics that control these planes have been hardened, but to protect against much more nefarious interferences such as electromagnetic pulse bombs or terrorist hacking intended to knock planes out of the sky.
Our gadgets and our planes today are safe together. And so the government aviation authorities have decided that it’s time to lift the ban. You’re not yet free to move about the cabin during that initial ascent and final approach, but you can keep tapping away at your tablet and smartphone. So beyond having your possible usage time extended from the time you sit down to the time you get up, what else do these new rules mean for airborne travelers?
Black Friday may be over, but the holiday sales season is just getting started - there's Cyber Monday coming up! So we're gathering the very best deals in tablets, smartphones, and other cool electronic stuff for what's come to be known as Cyber Monday. It's the day that online retailers decided to get in on the stupid good savings game, and unlike Black Friday you don't have to line up or deal with crowds of insane people. So click on through and check out all the greatest deals that online retailers have to offer on their big holiday sale day.
We're rounding up the very best deals for Black Friday 2013 in tablets, smartphones, speakers and headphones, mobile accessories, and other cool electronic stuff! Check it all out here for the greatest deals that America's retailers have to offer on the day after Thanksgiving. Prices will, of course, mostly only be applicable on Black Friday (that's November 29), and in some instances on Thanksgiving Day (November 28), and may only be available in limited quantities and only in stores.
We'll be updating this page frequently leading up to Black Friday, so check back later for even more deals!
Going in to yesterday’s Apple Mac and iPad event, the expectation was that we would get new iPads. The good money was also that these new iPads would get new processors. The previous two generations of iPads had followed the introduction of new iPhones and had incorporated an upgraded version of that processor. But the new iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini? They both sport the A7 processor as the month-old iPhone 5s.
The A7 is a 64-bit 1.3GHz dual-core CPU coupled with what’s believed to be a PowerVR G6430 GPU. The A7 has an advanced image signal processor, a “secure enclave” for storing and processing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor data, and offloads accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass motion-tracking to a dedicated low-power M7 coprocessor. The A7 is a powerful beast, but is it enough to handle an iPad?
Apple today showed off several apps that are getting their makeup redone for iOS 7, including the entire iWork and iLife suites. But they’re not alone, glittering in the spotlight, for following them down the red carpet today is iTunes Movie Trailers.
The update just pushed out into the App Store for both iPad and iPhone, sporting a black-on-black theme with the flat motif and blurring toolbars that iOS 7 is known for. The darkness of Trailers (and the buttered popcorn color of the highlights are a stark contrast to the otherwise almost universally bright and white iOS 7. But given that theaters are typically dark places where the space around you is supposed to get out of the way in deference to the film, perhaps it’s all too fitting.
With Mobile You, the final week of Talk Mobile 2013 done, it's time for another survey, because we just love quantifiable data here. These surveys have helped us learn more about you and how you use your devices, as well as giving us the data to build awesome infographics for gaming and keyboards. Bringing together everything we from across all of Talk Mobile, Mobile You week was just full of awesome - from how to pick your device, what's best for you, what they can do for you, and how we truly make these devices our own.
So here is the Mobile You week survey - it's only a few dozen questions so it shouldn't take too long. Plus they're all multiple choice questions, and being a survey there's no "right" answer (so we better not catch you cheating off your neighbor). And because we love you, completing the survey will enter you for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card. Bribery, incentive, cash-for-data, call it what you want, it's potentially gadget money you didn't have before, so that's cool, right?
We've closed out mobile creativity week of Talk Mobile, so it's survey time! Yep, another Talk Mobile week, another Talk Mobile survey, and another chance to win some money in exchange for giving us some quantifiable data! Mobile creativity week touched on photography, videography, mobile business, and more, and it was just great.
With carrier week of Talk Mobile done, it's time for another survey, because darnit, we love numbers here. The survey will let us pull together the numbers to put together more awesomeinfographicslike the ones we've done forgamingandkeyboards. Carriers week was full of awesome, including lots of sage and common sense advice on how to make the carriers into organizations that don't come across as so consumer-hostile.
So here is the carriers week survey - it's a few dozen questions so it shouldn't take too long. They're all multiple choice, and there's no right answer to any of them, so we don't want you to feel like you should be stressing out on whether or not you're going to pass. To sweeten the pot a bit, we're also throwing in a $100 Best Buy gift card to one lucky survey-taker. We've got your attention now, eh?