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AfterDawn: News

Amazon to allow offline viewing of streaming Prime Video content

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 23:43

Amazon to allow offline viewing of streaming Prime Video content In a pretty shocking move, Amazon has announced that all Prime subscribers will now have access to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing.

The feature had previously been available to Amazon Fire tablet owners but that has now been extended to Android and iOS tablets and smartphones (which encompass nearly 90 percent of all devices out there). Not all video is available but a significant portion is.

Amazon says the ability to download is as easy as just "tapping Download."

Prime membership costs $99 per year and gives subscribers free 2-day shipping on millions of items, free streaming through Amazon Prime Video with over 10,000 TV episodes and movies available and also free music streaming.

Check out the full selection here: Amazon Wherever You Go

AfterDawn: News

Sony PS4 update to add YouTube streaming support and boost storage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 23:29

Sony PS4 update to add YouTube streaming support and boost storage Sony has given some insight into the upcoming PS4 firmware update version 3.00, codenamed Kenshin.

The update is currently in beta and Sony warned that some features will not make it to the final version.

A preview of the updates (via Sony):

Online storage capacity increase -- PS4 online storage capacity has increased from 1GB to 10GB for all PS Plus members. In 3.00 system software, you'll see that we added a handy usage meter to monitor your available storage capacity, and a new Auto-Upload menu has been added to Application Saved Data Management.

YouTube live -- PS4 owners will be able to live stream gameplay to YouTube. Live streams will be viewable across YouTube, including on the new YouTube Gaming mobile app and website.

Events -- A new hub for events has been added, giving an overview of activities taking place in the games you play most, as well as official broadcasts. For instance, you may see an update for a Double XP weekend, a special enemy appearing at a scheduled time, or seasonal events like in-game towns being decorated for the winter. You'll also receive notifications when the event starts, or if the timing changes.

Favorite Groups -- Favorite Groups has been added to the Friends app, letting you quickly access groups of people you like to play games with frequently. This will make the process of getting a game session up and running even easier.


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games now available for download via Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 23:07

Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games now available for download via Amazon Nintendo has begun selling digital downloads of their Wii U and 3DS games through Amazon, starting with 61 popular titles.

In addition, the company is also selling classic games that were previously available through the Nintendo Virtual Console.

To complete the order, you must go to Nintendo's storefront on Amazon, purchase a download code and then login to your Nintendo Network Account to redeem. The game is then downloaded directly to your connected device.

Nintendo fans will likely enjoy having other options to purchase their games, and rivals Sony and Microsoft have had similar offerings for years.


AfterDawn: News

Sony is crowdfunding their next smartwatch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 22:39

Sony is crowdfunding their next smartwatch Sony has unveiled the new "Wena Wrist" on their own crowdfunding platform - First Flight, showing off a premium smartwatch with gorgeous looks.

Wena stands for "wear electronics naturally," and it is much different in appearance than Sony's other smartwatches.

Sony says the device is NFC wallet compatible (with Japan's Felica standard), has activity tracking, and provides notifications through vibration and customizable LED lights.

There will be two models available, "Chronograph" and "Three Hands." Chronograph will have separate dials for hours, minutes, and seconds (just like real chronos) and Three Hands will be a standard watch face. Both are 42mm displays. The watches are rated at one week per charge.

If the watches are funded, they are expected to ship in April 2016 with prices ranging from $275 to $575.


AfterDawn: News

LG unveils Watch Urbane Luxe smartwatch with 23-karat gold at $1200

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 22:20

LG unveils Watch Urbane Luxe smartwatch with 23-karat gold at $1200 LG has announced a new limited edition premium smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane Luxe, in partnership with U.S. jewelry retailers REEDS.

The smartwatch is based on the Watch Urbane but has an alligator leather strap and is plated in 23-karat gold. The watch will also sell in a piano-gloss lacquer case.

Says LG: "The LG Watch Urbane Luxe will sport a deployment clasp for a fitted, elegant look that isn't bulky. Invented by Louis Cartier in 1910, the use of a deployment clasp makes this timepiece even more exclusive and unique. The alligator band itself is handcrafted at the highest level of craftsmanship, undergoing 50 separate steps in its creation, handled lovingly by 30 experienced leatherworkers. The 23-karat gold used in the LG Watch Urbane Luxe is stronger and harder than the 24-karat gold used in jewelry and heavier than the 18-karat gold used in traditional luxury watches."

There will only be 500 of the watch made, engraved with their own serial numbers. Launching in late October, the Watch Urbane Luxe will sell for $1199.99.

"Wearable devices shouldn't be thought of as an extension of one's smartphone but an extension of oneself," added Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications for LG Mobile Communications Company. "This blending of craftsmanship and technology is a natural evolution of the smartwatch, which is becoming more of a lifestyle accessory than a piece of hardware. We think this is a good direction for wearables and we want to encourage this transformation."


AfterDawn: News

Here are the leaked specs for the new LG 'Nexus 5'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 21:43

Here are the leaked specs for the new LG 'Nexus 5' According to a new report, one of Google's upcoming Nexus phones will be built by LG, and we now have a spec sheet to go with it.

The device is rumored to have a 5.2-inch display at 1080p resolution, be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 and 3GB RAM, and will most likely be the "sub-flagship" Nexus phone built this year. Other rumors have pointed to Chinese OEM Huawei as the maker of the true Nexus flagship.

Qualcomm's 808 has two powerful A57 processing cores and four lower powered A53 cores and includes an Adreno 418 GPU, which is almost identical to the well-known Adreno 420 seen in last year's flagship devices.

Furthermore, the device is rumored to have a USB Type-C port, a 2700mAh battery and dual cameras 12.3MP/5MP.

Despite not including the crazy high-end specs we've come to expect from Nexus reference devices, the new LG Nexus will likely be priced to win.


AfterDawn: News

Google has updated their logo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2015 14:30

Google has updated their logo Less than a month after the company shook up their corporate structure, Google has announced a new logo, the first real change to the look in over a decade.

Says Google: "So why are we doing this now? Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices--sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it's on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!

Today we're introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you'll see, we've taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).

It doesn't simply tell you that you're using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you're talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we're bidding adieu to the little blue "g" icon and replacing it with a four-color "G" that matches the logo."


AfterDawn: News

Huawei unveils $800 Android Wear-based watch that also works with iOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2015 23:37

Huawei unveils $800 Android Wear-based watch that also works with iOS Huawei has unofficially revealed an $800 gold-plated Android Wear watch that will work with iOS, as well.

The company tweeted that the the device will be officially unveiled on September 2nd at IFA 2015, but Amazon already had listings for the smartwatch.

According to the listing, there will be four models of the watch, starting at $349.99 but going as high as $799.99. The basic model is stainless steel with a leather strap and the high-end model is gold-plated with a metal band. In the middle is a stainless steel black model for $449.99 and the gold plated model with a leather strap at $699.99.

Most interestingly, the listing says the watches are compatible with iOS 8.2 or later devices, potentially confirming Google's rumored move to let Android Wear work on iOS devices.

The listing has been pulled (obviously), but we will know more on September 2nd.


AfterDawn: News

Hulu takes Epix movie deal from Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2015 22:28

Hulu takes Epix movie deal from Netflix Hulu has announced today that it has inked a deal with Epix, just hours after Epix's distribution deal expired with rival streaming service Netflix.

Epix offers popular (and new) films from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount so Netflix users will soon see titles like "Transformers" and "The Hunger Games" leaving the service.

Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos confirmed the switch will take effect on September 30. "If you want to see them on Netflix US, now is the time," he noted.

Hulu, on the other hand, is making an expensive bet that the films will get people to sign up for their service, which is also $7.99 per month. Hulu currently has about 10 million paying subscribers compared to Netflix at 65 million but Hulu does offer content that Netflix does not - new episodes of current TV shows.

"This is a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming," Hulu's head of content Craig Erwich said in a statement. Hulu also boasted the films that will eventually be available thanks to the deal including "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1," "Interstellar," "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation," and "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water."


AfterDawn: News

Six teens released on bail after using cyber attack software

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2015 22:04

Six teens released on bail after using cyber attack software Six teenagers in the UK have been released on bail after being accused of using the Lizard Squad's cyberattack tool to take down multiple sites and services.

The teens are accused of attacking a national newspaper, a couple of gaming companies, online retailers and a school.

Lizard Stresser, the tool that helps would-be attackers to DDoS targets, was made available by the Lizard Squad, the group that made a name for itself last year by temporarily taking down Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network using the same tool.

The teens, aged 15 to 18, paid to use Lizard Stresser on specific targets, paying for its services with Bitcoin as they tried to remain anonymous.

Tony Adams, senior operations manager at the National Crime Agency (NCA) national cybercrime unit, added: "By paying a comparatively small fee, tools like Lizard Stresser can cripple businesses financially and deprive people of access to important information and public services."


AfterDawn: News

Apple is now in second place in global wearables market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2015 17:31

Apple is now in second place in global wearables market Apple has quickly taken second place in the fledgling wearables industry, just a couple of months after launching their first device, the Apple Watch.

Market analyst firm IDC says Apple shipped 3.6 million watches in the Q2 2015, placing behind Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million of its much cheaper health and fitness wearables.

Total shipment volume in the industry exploded 223 percent thanks to Apple, and was up to 18.1 million units for the quarter.

Xiaomi was a close third, shipping 3.1 million devices although their Mi Band sells for just $15, making it easily the cheapest such device on the market. The average Apple Watch sells for $450, while the average Fitbit device sells for $120.


AfterDawn: News

New York City taxis fight back with Uber-esque app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2015 17:17

New York City taxis fight back with Uber-esque app Having started developing an app in early 2014, the New York City taxi industry is finally ready to fight back against Uber.

The new app, called Arro, will let New Yorkers hail a traditional yellow or green taxi except without the controversial surge pricing of Uber. The industry also claims that Arro is faster and more reliable than Uber.

Arro is currently being beta tested in just 7000 cabs but will launch publicly in a couple of weeks. Over the coming months all 20,000 NYC taxis will be compatible.

"We thought that there was a void in the taxi industry, certainly in New York and in other big cities," said Mike Epley, director of product management at Arro while completely forgetting that Uber exists. "We see the demand, both on the driver side and on the passenger side. And we want to fill that."

Arro has also partnered with Creative Mobile Technologies, the company that controls the video screens and payments systems that are available in most yellow and green cabs. This sends messages directly to the cabbies when a ride is being hailed. Just like Uber, when you hail a cab, the driver is given your address and name and in return you are given the driver's name and their medallion number (rather than car description, obviously). Your credit card info is stored so you can pay from your phone including tip.


AfterDawn: News

HTC/Valve Vive VR headset delayed until next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2015 17:01

HTC/Valve Vive VR headset delayed until next year Fans looking forward to the Vive VR headset will have to wait a little longer as the companies behind it say only a very "limited quantity" will be made available in 2015.

The headset was announced in February by joint partners HTC and Valve and will be a gaming-focused device.

HTC says on a very limited quantity will ship this year, with "larger quantities shipping in calendar Q1 2016." Unfortunately for HTC, that puts the Vive squarely in the same release time frame as the Oculus Rift which has infinitely more brand name power and is backed by Facebook.

The Vive developer headset began shipping two months ago, so it is also unclear what kind of support it will have out of the gate. Oculus, on the other hand, has been evolving since its launch in 2013, including sending out two developer kits since then.

AfterDawn: News

Instagram adds landscape and portrait photo and video support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2015 16:34

Instagram adds landscape and portrait photo and video support Instagram has announced this week that you can now share posts in both portrait and landscape orientation, in addition to the classic "square."

Says the company: "Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you're trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren't in the square format, and we know that it hasn't been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can't capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end. Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way."

While it will be exciting for photos to have more natural orientation, video posters are likely to see the biggest change as you can choose to post in widescreen now.

Furthermore, filters will now work across photos and video. Version 7.5 is available for iOS and Android.


AfterDawn: News

Nielsen finally tracking streaming shows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2015 23:22

Nielsen finally tracking streaming shows Analytics firm Nielsen has confirmed that it has finally begun tracking streaming viewership, tracking nearly 1000 shows that are available via services like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

The overall goal is to help studios negotiate proper licensing rates for its shows that stream extremely well on subscription services.

Streaming has taken a decent chunk of traffic away from traditional TV viewership and studios are always looking for ways to make up for the lost revenue.

Reports note that Nielsen's tracking is still very limited, as it is limited to the U.S. and does not include mobile devices. Hulu is most popular on mobile devices.


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