We are migrating to TechnoTrekk.com !

Hey guys
Today, we are announcing our migration to our own domain, TechnoTrekk.com. We have been working hard on getting the all of our previous posts and comments to this new domain! So, we urge all of you to visit us there and follow us once again so that you can get updated on all the latest news about the happenings in the world of technology!

Please visit TechnoTrekk.com and follow us there from 8PM on 7th April 2015!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like on Facebook!

 

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Pebble smartwatch gets price cut and new fitness features!

Pebble, the smartwatch startup which started the wearable wrist revolution a couple of years back with its KickStarter campaign, has recently revised the prices of all of its models, bringing the price of the entry-level Pebble down to $99 and the premium Pebble Steel to $199. Along with the decrease in price, the startup has also improved upon the fleet of fitness-related features introduced to the watches in an update earlier this year.

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The Pebble smartwatch and Pebble Steel had aspirations to track fitness, but were never able to do background tracking — an essential feature for counting steps. That’s changed now: Pebble’s latest software release adds true background fitness tracking capabilities, while partnerships with Jawbone and Misfit have resulted in new apps that work on the Pebble to run continuously and track steps and sleep, just like an everyday fitness tracker.

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Fitness bands have been selling alongside the likes of the Pebble for a while now, but as Apple and Google have demonstrated, smartwatches can comfortably include most of the exercise-related features as standard. The new Pebble update sees both regular and Steel versions of the Pebble track steps and sleep-related data in the background, eliminating that tedious rigmarole of having to leave the Misfit app open for step-counting.

Different fitness apps are free to use their own algorithms to interpret the data: or, as Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Pebble, explained during a phone call to CNET, some are even working to develop non-fitness apps, like one to track epileptic seizures while sleeping. The Pebble will be able to track fitness (or use its compass) while offline and unpaired with a phone, holding up to 140 days of data without syncing. But the initial apps won’t sync with phone apps yet: that feature will be coming soon.

Along with the new features and price drop, Pebble is also expanding the reach of its smartwatch, with Fry’s, Sam’s Club, and Sprint in the U.S. joining Dixons, O2, and Amazon in the UK to begin retailing the device today onwards.

All these moves by the startup seem to point to the fact that they feel threatened by the entry of the big names like Apple, Motorola and LG with their state of the art looking smartwatches like the round Moto 360 or the svelte Apple Watch…

What do you think of these changes made by Pebble? Let us know by sounding off in the comments!

Microsoft to launch Xbox One in India tomorrow!

Microsoft seems to be ready to launch their iconic update to the Xbox console series – the Xbox One, in India tomorrow, exclusively on Amazon India. The company already has a lot of pre-order offers going on which mostly consist of a bundle of the console with a game such as FIFA 15 or Dance Central Spotlight DLC.

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The console is set to launch at a price of ₹39,999 without the Kinect camera, same as the Sony PS4, and for ₹45,999 with a Kinect camera.

Competitor Sony launched their flagship PS4 about nine months ago getting themselves a massive head-start, though many from the gaming community have already got one thanks to their NRI relatives.

The console is at par with the competition, featuring an 8-core CPU at 1.75GHz using AMD’s Jaguar architecture. It also has 8GB of DDR3 RAM, like the one you have in your PC, clocked at 2133MHz. The Xbox One has 768 shader cores and at 852MHz (which Microsoft revised from 800MHz).

The Xbox has a massive monolithic brick-like form factor without even factoring in the massive charging adaptor and the Kinect camera kit.

The Xbox One controller is sadly just an updated version of the Xbox 360 controller, which was excellent in its own right, but for a new generation, there should be more. The new controller does look good, and packs an IR sensor for Kinect.

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If you do plan on going in for an Xbox One, make sure you pick up the one with Kinect for a little bit more.

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I’m Back and ready as ever — but with a few changes

Hey guys

As you all might have (or not 😛 ) noticed I did not post anything new for the last couple of weeks or more. This is because I have now joined college (Woohoo!) and I don’t have access to a computer I can call my own, yet.

(I am using my roommate’s laptop to write this post)

Now, there are going to be some changes in the way the site will be updated. The changes are as follows:

1. The frequency of the news updates is going to decrease due to (you guessed it) college.

2. Next, I won’t be able to put much time into my blog posts so the quality might decrease, though I hope it doesn’t (fingers crossed!)

3. Since I won’t have much time at hand , I might pass on the authorship of the blog to one of my colleagues/friends.

And that’s about it for all the changes…

For those who are curious about my further education, I have joined Mukesh Patel School of Technology, Management and Engineering, NMIMS, Mumbai campus and am pursuing a degree in MBA (Tech.) which is a 5-year integrated course, hence saving me a year.

Also, the above changes might be undone when I get my own personal computer. I’m really waiting for the Intel Broadwell series of processors, so don’t be holding your breath for it!

That’s all for today and I will start posting the latest tech news further today!

Oh, and one last thing, Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Indians!

Meet the Blackberry Passport: a square phablet with a hardware keyboard!

BlackBerry previously gave us a sneak peek at a device that’s as category-busting as the revolutionary ASUS Padfone, called the Passport.

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CEO John Chen with the Passport in his left hand

The company, it seems, wants to change the shape of the smartphones/ phablets/ tablets from rectangle to square, according to a blog on their website by BlackBerry blogger Matt Young. In the post, he has avoided calling it either a phone or a tablet by using the term “device.”

The blog post itself asks “Why?” (Yes, in Italics), so this shows that BlackBerry knows a lot of people, like me, are thinking what is this … thing and what is its purpose? A square 4.5-inch screen on a device which is as wide as two iPhones placed side-by-side.

The answer to the above question(s) begins with something academic typology, the number of “optimum” characters that should appear in a line on a screen, which isn’t exactly a great feature to design a device around, in my opinion at least. But this means that the display size is optimum for all the tasks that Business people perform like reading e-books, going through documents or reading text-heavy pages on the web.

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BlackBerry blogger Matt Young goes on to mention a few other different scenarios where the Passport’s unique display might come into use as the ideal handheld display like architects and real estate professionals switching between blueprints and contract docs; doctors checking X-rays and patient info forms; financiers watching the stock market bob up and down; and writers looking for the joys only a real physical keyboard can bring.

The fact that BlackBerry is trying to be different and still trying to bring out a game changer does lower my skepticism of the fact that this seems like a very narrow user base which they have targeted. The average customer though, in my opinion, will not leave his/her current mobile device be it a phone or a tablet for this thing (phablet?). But that’s what they said about the iPad, right? Though, at this moment, the only innovation coming is in the form of curved display, which didn’t quite be hit, maybe a Square is all we need in our lives ?

iMac lineup to get a spec bump; no Retina model in sight

According to a new MacG report, Apple is planning to bump the specs of its iMac lineup of desktop all-in-one computers next week.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear these will be the Retina iMacs that have appeared in recent OS X beta builds. Instead, it seems they’re only due for a slight processor speed increase, with each model gaining only a 100 MHz.

The report also speculates that the new models could include a new and rather improved Thunderbolt 2 connection, but this isn’t confirmed at this time. MacG accurately predicted the most recent MacBook Air refresh, so it’s a safe bet that these iMacs are coming next week.

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A slight spec bump is probably not what users are looking for most in an updated iMac, and while we know Apple is working on Retina models, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be hitting the market any time soon.

On the upside, MacG also notes that there’s a possibility of a price decrease with this refresh.

Big in-store iPhone Upgrade event launched by Apple

Apple has just kicked off a big iPhone trade-in event at its U.S. retail stores that will see employees pushing upgrade offers for the iPhone 5s and 5c. 9to5Mac reported first on details of the event earlier this week. Specifically, Apple has sent out a memo to Apple Store staff instructing them to push upgrades to iPhone 4 and 4s users with increased trade-in values. The company has also started contacting customers by email and promoting the event with new signage in its retail stores.

“It’s a beautiful time for an upgrade. You may be eligible for upgrade pricing on a new iPhone. And if you bring in your old iPhone to be recycled, you could get credit toward a new one. Ask us for details.”

It is indeed a great time to push upgrades and sell off as many iPhone 5s and 5c units before Apple’s big iPhone 6 upgrade later this year.

Here’s a copy of the email that Apple started sending out yesterday, May 8th:

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Apple is making employees check customers’ eligibility for an upgrade, inform them about the iPhone Reuse and Recycling program and push recently increased trade-in values for iPhone 4s and iPhone 4. Apple is now offering up to $99 for an iPhone 4 and $199 for an iPhone 4s. With that value put toward the purchase of a new iPhone 5s, Apple is promoting the deal as being able to upgrade to an iPhone 5s for as little as $0iLounge posted images of the memo first, regarding the new prices to Apple Store employees.

In addition to getting employees to promote the trade-in event in stores, Apple is also sending out emails to eligible iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 customers we’ve learned (picture above).

Apple is launching the initiative ahead of its next-gen iPhone launch expected this fall that’s rumored to be a notable update with redesigned hardware sporting a larger screen size and updated internals. The latest rumors claim Apple could launch two new iPhone sizes and release at least one of them as early as August.

 

Samsung tries to get an upper hand in Health sector

In a blatant attempt to steal Apple’s thunder, Samsung has announced a conference to take place on May 28 — promising to kick-start “a new conversation around health,” just days before Apple is set to unveil its next-generation mobile and desktop operating systems at WWDC, including the expected announcement of the company’s Healthbook software.

Because the very next week is Apple’s eagerly-anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — where Apple is expected to introduce the first stages of its new health-tracking family of innovations, beginning with the Healthbook feature for iOS 8, and likely to later expand to include the iWatch.

While it is not clear what Samsung plans to unveil as part of its “new conversation,” Engadget (who received the above invite) notes that it came from Samsung’s Semiconductor arm, so could be about forthcoming sensors and components, rather than, for example, Galaxy GearFit 2.0.

Continue reading Samsung tries to get an upper hand in Health sector

iWatch reportedly entering production for fall 2014 release

According to a report by The China Times, Apple has begun production of the iWatch. This is in preparation for a launch later in the year, widely rumoured to be somewhere in the third quarter.

GforGames translated the report, noting that the iWatch will use a different kind of chip layout for miniaturization purposes.

According to supply chain sources cited by the Chinese media, Apple has already started producing the iWatch in small quantities. The smartwatch will allegedly be ready for launch in the second half of 2014, but more importantly, these fresh reports also claim that the iWatch will be built using SiPs (or system-in-package modules) as opposed to traditional PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards. Sources also hint that Apple has developed technologies to be able to pack several different sensors into a single chipset for miniaturization purposes.

This should enable Apple to make the footprint of the device as small as possible, a key advantage over other wearables but like everything in the universe, it has a drawback, that if one part goes faulty the entire system has to be replaced.

Production of SiPs usually yield fewer units, so Apple is already beginning a small sample of production on the iWatch, according to China Times’ sources, with 2.5 – 3 million units expected by Fall 2014, a small initial supply to launch with but the production should ramp up to 14 – 15 million units by the end of the year. Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corp, NanyaPCB and Advanced Semiconductor are said to be the alleged producers of Apple’s SiP modules with a launch slated for sometime in September.

The wearable market has heated up significantly recently, with the unveiling of the Moto 360, a smartwatch that has caught many people in the tech industry off guard for its use of a novel circular display.