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30 Dec 12 Best accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S3


Now you have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S3, you’re probably going to want to accessorise a little bit.

Why not check out our best accessories for the Galaxy S3 and make the most of the Android beast’s capabilities?

Samsung Galaxy S3 flip case, £25

With such a stunning screen, you don’t want the display all scratched up. The official Samsung Galaxy S3 flip case comes in a range of colours and attaches to your phone by replacing the battery cover.

It may be a little more expensive than cheap imitations, but it does the job perfectly, keeping the profile of the Galaxy S3 nice and slim, just as it should be.

HDMI adaptor, £30

Want to watch your video content on the big screen? Samsung’s HDMI adaptor allows you to watch all the content from your phone on your TV, whether you want to view YouTube content, a video you made with the camera, photos, documents, games or anything else.

You will need to buy an HDMI cable too, but you can pick one up for a little over £1 on Amazon.

Globalgig international Wi-Fi hotspot, £79 upfront plus £15 per month

The Globalgig Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to data roam in the US, UK and Australia for just £15 a month. The device will cost £79 upfront, but can save you hundreds, or even thousands of pounds if you’re a frequent traveller.

Although the device will only work in the US and Australia at the moment, it should be heading to Europe and other territories by the end of 2013. Just like a regular mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, it has its own data connection and connects to your phone as a Wi-Fi network.

Powerbank case, £29.95

Keep your Samsung Galaxy S3 juiced up at all times with this cover for it. Although it makes the S3 looks a little chunkier, it will give you an extra 2200mAh of battery power while on the move.

The case charges via your standard microUSB charger and when the battery on your phone gets low, just turn the case on and it’ll start transferring power from the case to your phone.

A bonus addition is a hidden kickstand, putting your Galaxy S3 at the perfect angle for watching TV or a film on your journey to and from work.

Etymotic HF2 earphones, £120

We’ve been big fans of Etymotic earphones for a while and the HF2s double up as a handsfree kit too.

The in-ear ‘phones come with a range of different sized flanges to fit in any ear canal size, but if you really want to splash the cash, go for the custom fit solution, which costs an extra £100, but is well worth it for the most amazing sound experience you’ve ever felt. Etymotic EF2s come in a range of colours too. We prefer the red.

 

Article source: http://www.knowyourmobile.com/features/1744798/best_accessories_for_the_samsung_galaxy_s3.html

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19 Dec 12 Polaroid’s Android-Based Mirrorless Camera Supposedly Leaked


Is this a new Polaroid camera? That’s what Photorumors is reporting, backed up by a leak from Russian social networking site VK. The camera is a mirrorless interchangeable lens system, which marks a considerable departure from the company’s flagship instant film-based models, which were finally discontinued a few years back.

Polaroid has actually run into a couple different bankruptcy situations, but in 2009 signed an agreement with Summit Global Group to produce Polaroid-branded digital still cameras. It’s possible this is the product of that ongoing partnership, but the origin of these rumors suggest exercising caution before putting too much stock in them.

Polaroid-mirrrorless-cameraThe original leak detailed an Android 4-powered device with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, an 18.1 MP sensor, pop-up flash, Wi-Fi and HDMI/headphone out. It features a rounded edge design that looks strikingly similar to the Nikon 1 J2 mirrorless camera. Later, a “press release” from VK provided more detail to Photorumors, including the additional information that it would use MicroSD for storage.

We’ve already seen an Android-based camera from Samsung, so it isn’t a completely crazy idea. But Polaroid would be joining a crowded field in the mirrorless compact space, with strong offerings from companies with a lot more experience. Still, in terms of relevance, it’s hard to match the mirrorless space, which offers consumers cameras that aren’t as large as DSLRs without sacrificing too much in terms of image quality.

Even still, I wouldn’t put too much faith in this being legit just yet.

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/18/polaroids-android-based-mirrorless-camera-supposedly-leaked/

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17 Dec 12 Nexus 7 Updates: New Dock Set for Global Release, UK’s EE Pick Up the …


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Possible price tag for the dock is about, $US40, which reports said should be reasonable enough despite the absence of HDMI connectivity.

The Google tablet has been gaining considerable attention as more telcos around the world started picking up the slate, further pushing down its already affordable price, which the internet giant paired with top-notch hardware specs and a stock version of JellyBean.

Last week, UK’s first 4G network EE added the 7-inch tablet to its growing stable of gadgets. Thanks to this Orange and T-Mobile consortium, the powerful device can be had for a one-off payment of between £30 and £50 plus monthly charges that will be determined by monthly data allowance.

Note that the Nexus 7, along with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, are not LTE-capable but thanks to EE’s LTE dongle, the device will be able to access super fast internet connection via Wi-Fi connectivity.

As proof to global consumers’ growing interest with the tablet, BGR News reported last week that Nexus 7′s shipment is expected to exceed three million units by the end of December 2012, citing data from DigiTimes.

By the end of the current month alone, Asus would have shifted over one million of the tablet, easily surpassing its November total shipment of around 900,000.

Judging from tech experts’ generally positive assessment so far and the sales numbers it has been generating since it was launched by Google, the Nexus 7 continues to reinforce its reputation as the most popular Android tablet, at least in the 7x-inch class.

To contact the editor, e-mail:

Article source: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/415673/20121217/nexus-7-updates-new-dock-set-global.htm

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12 Jun 12 Samsung Chromebox: Chrome OS meets the desktop


When we think of Chrome OS, most of us think of the Chromebook — the custom laptop built to run Google’s cloud-centric platform. Now, though, the Chromebook has a new friend: the Chromebox, Google’s first attempt at bringing cloud computing into the world of desktop PCs.

The Chromebox, manufactured by Samsung and available for $329, is exactly what you’d expect: Chrome OS in a box. A small box, too: The Chromebox is a square 7.6 inches that sits just 1.3 inches tall. But inside that box sits a large amount of power.

Chromebox and Chrome OS: The need for speed

In case you haven’t been following along, I’ve been using Chrome OS for the bulk of my computing needs these past several days. It’s part of my two-week Chrome OS experiment; I wanted to immerse myself in Google’s latest hardware and software advances in order to get the full experience of what it’s like to use Chrome OS in the real world.

The Chromebox is an important part of that experience. While most users veer toward the portable Chrome OS configuration, the Chromebox is a natural step forward from there — for business and education users, for sure, but also for more casual Chrome OS converts who are ready to ditch their old operating systems and move completely into Google’s cloud-centric universe.

Like with the Chromebook, the first thing you notice about the Chromebox is how fast and simple it is to use. The Chromebox powers up in about four to five seconds; once you type in your Google credentials, it’s literally another second or two until you’re sitting in a browser window, online and ready to go — no cumbersome setup required. If you use Chrome (the browser) anywhere else, all of your bookmarks, settings, and extensions will automatically be synced and waiting for you. You’ll even see your most recent open tabs from other Chrome-connected devices — both PCs and Android phones/tablets.

The Chromebox runs on a dual-core 1.9GHz Intel Celeron processor along with 4GB of RAM, giving it more than enough horsepower to keep up with your tasks. The lag and sluggishness we saw with the first generation of Chrome OS devices is gone; the Chromebox is as snappy and speedy as the latest Chromebook, and even with dozens of tabs open, I didn’t encounter a single stutter or slowdown.

Chromebox connectivity

Samsung’s Chromebox has six (!) USB 2.0 ports — four on the back and two on the front — along with two DisplayPort++ connectors and a DVI output. It’s lacking a regular VGA monitor port, however, which could give you trouble if you’re using that type of cable — even with an adaptor. Chrome OS automatically detects and adjusts your screen resolution, and at this point, there’s no way to manually tweak that setting. When I tried connecting a monitor using a VGA cable with a VGA-to-DVI adaptor, the system failed to get the resolution right and gave me a blown-up, low-res display. When I switched to a straight DVI cable, everything worked correctly.

The Chromebox can connect to your TV via HDMI; you’ll just need the right cable to make it work. The device has no standard HDMI outport, so you’ll have to use either the DVI or DisplayPort connector to set things up.

One beef I have with the current Chrome OS display situation is the lack of support for a dual-monitor, extended-desktop configuration. Particularly on the desktop PC front, I like working with two monitors. The Chromebox can support multiple monitors, but right now, it only allows you to duplicate your display on the second monitor — which isn’t terribly useful. A Google rep tells me extended-desktop functionality is on the way, but there’s no definite time frame for its arrival just yet.

The Chromebox doesn’t come with any special accessories, so you’ll supply your own keyboard and mouse. (The system is Bluetooth 3.0 compatible, so you can go wireless if you want.) Google has confirmed to me that a Chrome OS-specific keyboard — known for its unique layout and stylewill be sold as a separate accessory, but there’s no word yet when it’ll become available.

With the desktop setup, though, having a Chrome OS-specific keyboard isn’t really necessary. Any regular keyboard works fine, and most of the Chrome OS-specific functions map over to the standard layout seamlessly: The F1 key acts as a “back” button, for example, while F4 toggles windows from full-screen to partial-screen mode.

The Chromebox experience

In general, I’ve found it quite pleasant to use Google’s Chromebox computer. Chrome OS translates nicely into the desktop environment, and for the most part, it’s been a novel and refreshing change from my typical Windows 7 desktop environment.

In the morning, for example, the Chromebox has me online in about 10 seconds flat; three or four minutes later, my Windows system is almost booted up and done loading its numerous drivers and background processes. Chrome OS does away with all the hassles of the traditional operating system, from drivers and complicated compatibility issues to cumbersome software updates and virus infection worries. And thanks to the nature of the system, it doesn’t get progressively slower and more bogged down over time. I don’t know about you, but that’s all very welcome news to me.

(For much more on the software side of the experience, see my in-depth look at the latest incarnation of Chrome OS.)

Android Power TwitterStill, the setup isn’t perfect — and it certainly isn’t for everyone. In the final chapter of my Chrome OS experiment, I’ll wrap up my two weeks living with Chrome OS and attempt to reach some final conclusions. I’ll bring together the good and the bad of both Google’s new hardware and evolved software and weigh it all out with the prices of the devices.

The Chrome OS experiment ends in two days. Until then, you can catch up on the rest of my journey in the box below:

Article source: http://blogs.computerworld.com/cloud-computing/20498/samsung-chromebox-chrome-os-desktop

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12 Jun 12 Google polishes Chrome OS


A year ago, I wrote that the first Chromebooks felt more like a science project than a strategic product. They were interesting but of little practical value. A lot has changed since then, and while I wouldn’t say that Google has developed a truly compelling device, it has shown that the Chromebook and its underlying Chrome OS are evolving.

Chrome OS is Google’s attempt to create a new class of Web-based operating system, designed to work on special devices, the first of which were last year’s Chromebooks. Since then, Google has refreshed Chrome OS (the actual version number is 19) and with partner Samsung has introduced both a new Chromebook and a desktop device called Chromebox. After using both for the last few weeks, my impression is that Google did a nice job of polishing Chrome in ways that help it shine much better than it did a year ago.

The new Chromebook, called the Series 5, has a 12.1-inch display and 16GB of built-in flash storage. You can add a Verizon Wireless 3G radio, with 100MB free per month for two years. There’s a much-improved trackpad (the trackpad on the first Chromebooks was all but unusable), and the device is now powered by an Intel Celeron processor, which dramatically improves performance, especially for things like streaming high-definition video. Pricing is $449 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $549 for the 3G models.

The Chromebox Series 3 is a small, sleek box that takes some design cues from the Mac Mini. It has the same CPU and memory as the Chromebook. It doesn’t include a monitor, keyboard or mouse, but it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for keyboards and mice, along with DVI and HDMI output. It costs $329.99.

Both devices are good-looking and solid pieces of hardware, though I’d argue that 3.3 pounds is too much weight for a laptop that isn’t really a laptop at all. I could give you more specs, but specs don’t have that much to do with what you’re buying here. What really matters is the updated Chrome OS experience, and the newest version shows just what a difference a year makes.

One of the biggest drawbacks of Chrome OS was that an offline Chromebook was pretty much a brick with a monitor. Google has worked to address that, adding offline access for Google Docs and Gmail. Both are a little rough around the edges, but they do work. Originally, Google eschewed the idea of a file system in its operating system, but it has now abandoned that stance. The current version of Chrome OS is integrated with Google Drive, giving users a convenient way to access, store and sync content across devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones and, of course, Chrome.

Chrome OS can’t do everything a PC or Mac can do, and I doubt that Google wants it to. But in the past year, the company seems to have recognized that users who invest in a Chromebook (or now a Chromebox) are going to expect to be able to do the same things they do on PCs and Macs. Google’s response to that problem has been to integrate remote PC access directly into Chrome OS. This feature is still in beta, but I was able to test the latest version and had no problem connecting to my office Mac and working with it remotely. This feature amounts to a big deal, since it removes a major impediment to adoption.

Because the Chromebox supports HDMI output, I thought it might be fun to connect it to my TV set. It worked rather well. Unlike Google TV, none of my browser content was blocked, and I had full access to sites like Hulu, Netflix and all the major networks. As far as those sites were concerned, there was nothing to block. I’m a skeptic when it comes to Web browsing on a TV set, but the Chromebox does make it easy if that’s what you want to do.

As they stand now, the Chromebook and Chromebox are transitional. They point toward potential that could eventually make them good choices for a lot of people who have embraced the concept of the personal cloud and for whom a PC is but one device among many. It’s a lot easier now than it was a year ago to see how a Chromebook or Chromebox could become a user’s additional screen.

But the price of these machines is going to have to come down for that to happen, and the hardware probably has to move even beyond the slimmed-down aesthetics of ultrabooks. The current versions of both hardware and software do suggest, though, that Google is going to keep trying to get there.

Michael Gartenberg is a research director at Gartner. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Twitter @Gartenberg.

Article source: http://www.cio.com.au/article/427230/google_polishes_chrome_os/?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=sectionfeed

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11 Jun 12 Another Look at Chrome


A year ago, I wrote that the first Chromebooks felt more like a science project than a strategic product. They were interesting but of little practical value. A lot has changed since then, and while I wouldn’t say that Google has developed a truly compelling device, it has shown that the Chromebook and its underlying Chrome OS are evolving.

Chrome OS is Google’s attempt to create a new class of Web-based operating system, designed to work on special devices, the first of which were last year’s Chromebooks. Since then, Google has refreshed Chrome OS (the actual version number is 19) and with partner Samsung has introduced both a new Chromebook and a desktop device called Chromebox. After using both for the last few weeks, my impression is that Google did a nice job of polishing Chrome in ways that help it shine much better than it did a year ago.

The new Chromebook, called the Series 5, has a 12.1-inch display and 16GB of built-in flash storage. You can add a Verizon Wireless 3G radio, with 100MB free per month for two years. There’s a much-improved trackpad (the trackpad on the first Chromebooks was all but unusable), and the device is now powered by an Intel Celeron processor, which dramatically improves performance, especially for things like streaming high-definition video. Pricing is $449 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $549 for the 3G models.

The Chromebox Series 3 is a small, sleek box that takes some design cues from the Mac Mini. It has the same CPU and memory as the Chromebook. It doesn’t include a monitor, keyboard or mouse, but it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for keyboards and mice, along with DVI and HDMI output. It costs $329.99.

Both devices are good-looking and solid pieces of hardware, though I’d argue that 3.3 pounds is too much weight for a laptop that isn’t really a laptop at all. I could give you more specs, but specs don’t have that much to do with what you’re buying here. What really matters is the updated Chrome OS experience, and the newest version shows just what a difference a year makes.

Addressing Drawbacks, Looking Forward

One of the biggest drawbacks of Chrome OS was that an offline Chromebook was pretty much a brick with a monitor. Google has worked to address that, adding offline access for Google Docs and Gmail. Both are a little rough around the edges, but they do work. Originally, Google eschewed the idea of a file system in its operating system, but it has now abandoned that stance. The current version of Chrome OS is integrated with Google Drive, giving users a convenient way to access, store and sync content across devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones and, of course, Chrome.

Chrome OS can’t do everything a PC or Mac can do, and I doubt that Google wants it to. But in the past year, the company seems to have recognized that users who invest in a Chromebook (or now a Chromebox) are going to expect to be able to do the same things they do on PCs and Macs. Google’s response to that problem has been to integrate remote PC access directly into Chrome OS. This feature is still in beta, but I was able to test the latest version and had no problem connecting to my office Mac and working with it remotely. This feature amounts to a big deal, since it removes a major impediment to adoption.

Because the Chromebox supports HDMI output, I thought it might be fun to connect it to my TV set. It worked rather well. Unlike Google TV, none of my browser content was blocked, and I had full access to sites like Hulu, Netflix and all the major networks. As far as those sites were concerned, there was nothing to block. I’m a skeptic when it comes to Web browsing on a TV set, but the Chromebox does make it easy if that’s what you want to do.

As they stand now, the Chromebook and Chromebox are transitional. They point toward potential that could eventually make them good choices for a lot of people who have embraced the concept of the personal cloud and for whom a PC is but one device among many. It’s a lot easier now than it was a year ago to see how a Chromebook or Chromebox could become a user’s additional screen.

But the price of these machines is going to have to come down for that to happen, and the hardware probably has to move even beyond the slimmed-down aesthetics of ultrabooks. The current versions of both hardware and software do suggest, though, that Google is going to keep trying to get there.

Michael Gartenberg is a research director at Gartner. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Twitter @Gartenberg.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/257304/another_look_at_chrome.html

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08 Jun 12 HDMI Dongle Converts Any TV into Android Smart TV


This USB stick-sized micro-computer will turn an HDMI-capable TV into an Android 4.0-based TV that can download apps, play movies off a microSD card and more.

Startup company Infinitec has introduced the Pocket TV, an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) based HDMI dongle that converts any HDTV into a Smart TV. It’s essentially a thumb-sized micro-computer packed with a 1 GHz Cortex A9 SoC, a Mali-400MP GPU, 512 MB of RAM, a USB 2.0 port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot (for up to 32 GB of storage) that’s capable of transforming a TV into a mega-sized tablet — only without the touchscreen capabilities, of course.

“You can download apps from the Google Play Store to stream videos, play games, connect with your friends on Facebook, catch up on news, do some work or simply surf the web,” the company said on Thursday. “You can even attach a video camera to do Skype video-calls on your TV. “

One of Infinitec’s big selling points with its new gadget is portability. Not only can end-users stream video, listen to music, get the latest news or check the latest Facebook feeds at home on their big screen TV, but they can take all of that content on the go by simply stuffing the dongle into their pocket, and then plug it into the HDMI port of a hotel TV. Executives won’t even need to take their laptop, as they could plug the Pocket TV into the projector and stream a presentation from the cloud (like a Dropbox account) or locally from the SD Card.

To control Pocket TV, Infinitec has thrown a standard IR Remote into the package. It uses an infrared signal and gives consumers the ability to control the Pocket TV interface using the up, down, side arrows and several buttons. There’s also an optional Air Remote which features a gyroscope sensor that allows the user to control Pocket TV simply by moving it around like a Wii controller. Move a hand up, down or sideways, and the cursor on the screen will follow.

“If you want you can also use your iPhone or Android smartphone to control the Pocket TV,” the company said. “Just download the Google Remote TV app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and your phone will become your remote. We’re also working on our own app for your phone with some very cool features.”

The USB 2.0 port allows consumers to add an external hard drive, a wireless keyboard and mouse or a video camera for video calls. Pocket TV can even be connected to any standard TV as long as it has an HDMI port (or an attached HDMI converter box), and is capable of displaying up to 1080p. The only drawback to this gadget is that it needs to be plugged into a power outlet via a miniUSB port, and that the IR camera for the remote needs to be draped across the top of the TV.

Recently surpassing over $100,000 in pledges, the Pocket TV can be pre-ordered for a limited pre-order price of $99 (regular price $160) right here. As seen in the video below, the company actually used a 4-port USB hub so that they could use multiple USB devices. How users will be able to play Angry Birds with the IR Remote is unknown, if possible at all.

Article source: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Infinitec-Dongle-Pocket-TV-Android-Kickstarter,news-15480.html

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28 May 12 Motorola Videos Show Android 4.0 on Droid RAZR


Mobile phone maker Motorola’s update of the Droid RAZR to the Android 4.0 operating system appears to be on the way.

New official videos posted on the company’s Japanese website show the OS running on the handset. Spotted by Droid Life, several videos — some in Japanese –show off new features in Motorola’s custom version of Ice Cream Sandwich.

For instance, shortcuts for text messaging and the phone dialer have been added to the lock screen, so instead of unlocking the phone and then looking around for one of those functions, they’re right there; on stock ICS only the camera and unlock are available in this way.

You’ll also appreciate the way ICS lets you access your music controls directly from the lock screen when music is playing.

And if you’ve ever wanted to capture what you’re looking at on your phone’s screen, ICS makes it simple. Taking a screen shot is only a matter of pressing the down volume and power buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. The phone shows you a quick version of the image it snapped, then saves it to your gallery where you can store it or share with others.

The video lineup also includes one that shows off how Webtop 3.0 works. It’s an application that allows you to hook the phone up to an HDTV or monitor with an HDMI cable. Once the phone detects it’s connected to an external display it launches the Webtop app which lets you see all your apps on the bigger screen and access a full version of the Firefox browser.

Webtop came onto the scene back at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show when Motorola announced the Atrix smartphone and the “Lapdock” that made it act like a laptop computer. This was huge news because Motorola had somehow beat Microsoft and Apple in creating a converged smartphone-PC device. As CNET’s Jason Hiner aptly points out, now that Google owns Motorola the two companies are in a great spot.

“The success of Android has established Google as a key player in mobile computing devices, and once consumers and business users start looking to consolidate their many devices, Webtop could make Google the company that’s best positioned to make that consolidation possible,” he writes.

For the record, Motorola has said it will roll out ICS to Droid RAZR users in the second quarter, so that means anytime now.

Although it’s in Japanese, if you can’t wait to see how Android 4.0 looks on your RAZR, here’s video that will give you a glimpse.

Follow Christina on Twitter and Google+ for even more tech news and commentary and follow Today@PCWorld on Twitter, too.

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Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256346/motorola_videos_show_android_40_on_droid_razr.html

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18 May 12 $74 MK802 Android micro-PC beats Cotton Candy to the punch


A pair of inexpensive micro-PCs have generated quite a bit of buzz this year. The dirt-cheap Raspberry Pi started shipping in mid-April, but the FXI Cotton Candy has yet to make it out the door. The $200 Android PC-on-a-stick will also have some competition once it finally arrives: a very similar $74 AllWinner A10-based system has already popped up on online shopping sites.

Meet the MK802, which (like the Cotton Candy) features an ARM processor, Android 4.0, and WiFi connectivity. It’s not quite as powerful, with a single-core 1.5GHz AllWinner A10 processor and 512MB memory compared to a dual-core 1.2GHz Exynos chip and 1GB. The MK802 does offer two USB ports — one full-sized and one micro — and it utilizes the same Mali 400 GPU as the Cotton Candy.

One other difference is that the MK802 sports an HDMI port, not an HDMI plug. That means, of course, that you’ll still need a cable or a male-to-male plug to hook up to your HDTV or monitor. Really, though, that’s a reasonable trade-off when you consider that you can buy almost three MK802s for the same price as a single Cotton Candy.

If you do decide to pick up the MK802, remember that you’ll have to rely on your own stash of APKs or a third-party marketplace like the Amazon Appstore, at least initially. With the ridiculously low price tag on this device, it’s a good bet that the Android developer community will jump on this solid little stick computer and hack in support for Google Play in the very near future.

CNX Software, via Liliputing


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/74-mk802-android-micro-pc-beats-cotton-candy-to-the-punch-20120517/

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10 Jan 12 Visio, Google Unveil “Chrome’-Plated Stream Player


January 10, 2012

Partners Vizio and Google today unveiled the Vizio VAP430 Stream Player, a device they say can “turn any HDTV into an enhanced Vizio Internet Apps Plus (V.I.A. Plus) smart TV that incorporates the latest Google TV.”

With the VAP430 connected to a HDTV over an HDMI cable, users can access content and services from their favorite apps and Websites using the included Bluetooth premium universal remote control with integrated touchpad. In addition to movies, TV shows and music on demand, the VAP430 lets users search the Web for even more entertainment options using the Flash-capable Chrome browser.

Users can also can download apps from the Android Market or access personal media like videos, photos and music that are stored on devices connected to the same home network as the stream player. Images are displayed on a connected TV set, and sound plays through the TV or a connected audio system.

Here’s how it works: Installing the VAP430 and connecting it to the Internet reportedly is a quick operation because of the built-in setup experience and 802.11n Wi-Fi connection. The VAP430 also has a HDMI pass-through that lets the user connect a cable or satellite box to the stream player and then pass the signal over to the TV. The smart TV interface overlays the live TV signal, allowing multi-taskers to search for the next thing to watch without completely stepping away from what they’re currently watching.

Bluetooth capability also allows smartphones to be connected  to the TV wirelessly. With the USB input, connecting any USB drive directly to the VAP430 takes only a plug in.

“We’re excited about what Google TV brings to our new VAP430 Stream Player,” says Matthew McRae, Vizio’s CTO. “This isn’t just an ordinary streaming box that accesses a few predetermined video services. It’s a true entertainment portal that opens up everything the Web has to offer as well as all the content consumers already have stored on computers and hard drives.”

In related news, Comcast’s blog today notes the rollout of the MSO’s AnyPlay device that reportedly enables live TV on a variety of Internet-enabled displays in the home.

“With AnyPlay, you can watch the channels that are included in your linear channel subscription through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad, and very soon the Motorola Xoom tablet,” it writes. “This means that while someone else watches a program in the living room, for example, you can watch another show on your iPad from the backyard deck, kitchen or other places around the home.

According to Comcast, the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set-top box in the home but, instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a TV, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network.

Right now, only Xfinity HD Triple Play customers in some areas of Denver and Nashville are getting AnyPlay at no additional charge.  Other markets are in the works.

Article source: http://www.cable360.net/ct/news/thewire/Visio-Google-Unveil-Chrome-Plated-Stream-Player_50143.html

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