The Moto Z’s Alexa Smart Speaker is mostly useless

 The Moto Z is a phone built around a strong gimmick, but it’s a gimmick nonetheless. A little over a year after release, the company has added some interesting Mods to its selection, but none have offered an entirely compelling justification for the phone’s modular system. That certainly applies to the new Alexa Smart Speaker. Read More

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Apple acquired augmented reality headset startup Vrvana for $30M

 As Apple reportedly ramps up work to ship an augmented reality headset in 2020, it has acquired a startup from Montreal, Canada that could help it get there. TechCrunch has learned that Apple has acquired Vrvana, maker of the Totem headset — which had rave reviews but never shipped. The deal was for around $30 million, two sources tell TechCrunch. We contacted Apple, and the… Read More

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Raden is betting sticker mania will stick in the physical world

 While smart suitcase startup Raden is unarguably a hardware company, they’ve decided to test the social waters by diving headfirst into the world of stickers. The company is launching a sticker store in their mobile app, which lets customers orders physical stickers that once delivered can be can be affixed to their suitcases. The app lets you preview what the stickers will look like on… Read More

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YouTube returns to the Amazon Echo Show

 When the Amazon Echo Show first debuted, it included a YouTube feature, as is right and proper for a device with a screen capable of playing video and connecting to the internet. But Google quickly nixed the Echo Show YouTube player, since it was a non-standard presentation of the company’s stuff which did not comply with their terms of use. Now, YouTube is back on Echo Show (via… Read More

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You can now control the DJI Spark with Gamevice’s controller accessory

 Gamevice is a bit like way to turn your iPhone or iPad into a Switch, at least in terms of adding physical controls to your gaming experience. But now the add-on can go beyond gaming, offering a way to easily control the DJI Spark with added precision and improved ergonomics when compared to just using a touchscreen device on its own.
This is actually great news for Spark owners, since the… Read More

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Sonos One users can now ask Alexa to play Spotify music

 In October, Sonos launched the Sonos One, raising the bar on what is already the gold standard in wireless whole-home audio. The big new feature? An integrated microphone that added support for Amazon’s Alexa. However, there was one big caveat: While Alexa was integrated to control music services like Apple Music, Google Play Music, Soundcloud and others, it was missing a major player in… Read More

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Misfit’s new hybrid smartwatch offers a better notification system

 Hybrid smartwatches are a weird category right now. No one’s really mastered the perfect balance between the smart and dumb, though a handful of products have done a decent job, most notably Withings/Nokia’s Steel/Steel HR line. Fossil-owned wearables company Misfit has made some valiant efforts, as well, including the Phase — though the model was a bit of a mixed bag. Read More

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You can virtually inhabit Toyota’s new humanoid robot

 Toyota has a new, third-generation humanoid robot bears the charming name “T-HR3” and is designed to be a helpful and safe assistant to humans. It also features a so-called “master maneuvering systems,” which is essentially a VR-powered remote operating platform that a human can use to have the T-HR3 mirror its movements. Yes, kind of like a jaeger from kaiju movie… Read More

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How the Kindle was designed through 10 years and 15 generations

 Amazon’s Chris Green, VP of Design at its Lab126 hardware arm, talked with me for a retrospective of the design choices that have defined and redefined the device, and the reasoning behind them. Green has been at Lab126 for a long time, but not quite for the entire Kindle project, as he explained to me.
“My first day at Amazon was the day the Kindle launched – November 19, 2007. Read More

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Amazon’s all-new Echo goes (RED) for a limited time

 The new Echo is a better looking device than its predecessor, thanks in large part to its various fabric coverings. Now, there’s a new option for the outer shell: A PRODUCT(RED) special limited edition. The fabric outer comes in red, appropriately enough, and $10 of the purchase price (of $99.99, same as any other Echo) will go towards (RED)’s work fighting AIDS through the… Read More

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Google promises a software fix for the Pixel 2’s buzzing phone call problem in ‘the coming weeks’

 Google’s hardware team can’t catch a break this year. In spite of solid reviews (us included), the company’s new Pixel 2 handsets have been plagued by glitches, including a buzzing sound heard in the ear piece during phone calls. A company rep issued a short response to a lengthy thread about the problem on Google’s Pixel User Community board, noting that the company… Read More

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The new Kindle Oasis is my dream e-reader

 Amazon’s newest Kindle Oasis arrived like the answer to a timely question  – mostly because I happened to request an update to the device right before it actually arrived. I’m an unabashed fan of the Kindle, dating back to its earliest days, so take that into consideration, but believe me when I say: The new Kindle Oasis is the Kindle update I’d hoped for, and more.… Read More

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Tesla’s newest product is a mobile battery pack to charge your phone

 Apparently announcing a new all-electric Semi truck and the fastest production car ever made all in one week wasn’t enough for Tesla. They also quietly launched a third “product”, and you don’t have to wait two years to buy it! It’s a mobile battery pack to charge your phone and other devices. Aptly named the PowerBank, the external battery pack is shaped like… Read More

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Roomba gets IFTTT functionality

 iRobot’s been talking a lot about its plans to make the Roomba an essential part of the connected home. The process has been a bit slow going — the company added WiFi connectivity in 2015 and Alexa functionality this year — but it’s getting there, slowly but surely. Today, the world’s best selling robotic vacuum takes another important step with the addition of… Read More

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