Amazon releases its Chromecast rival, Fire Stick for $39

Following the debacle of its Fire phone, Amazon continues releasing products under the Fire brand of consumer electronics. The latest addition, Fire Stick, is a competitor for famous Google Chromecast at just $4 more.

The Fire Stick performs most of the tasks performed by the Fire TV media streaming box released earlier this year by Amazon.com. It comes with a remote control (without the Fire TV’s voice controls) and access to Amazon’s Prime Video, along with the standard lineup of services like Netflix, Hulu and WatchESPN. The Fire Stick also resembles Google’s  Chromecast, which went on sale last summer.

 

The Fire Stick costs $39, slightly more than the $35 Google version. For the next two days, Prime members can buy it for $19. Continue reading Amazon releases its Chromecast rival, Fire Stick for $39

Apple announces the much rumoured 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, starting at $2499

Apple has finally introduced its much-awaited new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display at its October 16th event.

According to Apple, it is spreading the Retina display technology across all of its devices and the iMac was next in line. The new iMac features what Apple is calling the world’s highest resolution display with 14.7 million pixels. The iMac features a 5K display with more than seven times the number of pixels in a HDTV. Despite the massive increase in the number of pixels, Apple has kept the iMac just 5mm thin, just like the previous generation.

The new iMac features a resolution of 5120x2880
The new iMac features a resolution of 5120×2880

Alongside resolution, the display also has a greater contrast ratio to maximize detail. Meanwhile, Apple uses power-saving LEDs which decreases power use by 30%.

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It also includes the fastest CPU chips, starting at 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5 and upgradeable to a 4 GHZ Intel Core i7.

In terms of graphics, the iMac is 45% faster than the previous version and also includes a Thunderbolt 2 port for faster IO.

This iMac with Retina 5K display will start at just $2499.

 

Apple unveils the new, thinner, more powerful iPad Air 2 with Touch ID and a gold option

Yesterday, Apple revealed the next generation of it full-sized iPad Air, the iPad Air 2 along with its smaller sibling the iPad Mini 3 (with Retina), at its event at Town Hall.

Apple CEO Tim Cook described the tablet as the perfect combination of simplicity and capability. “Beautifully simple on the outside, but packed with tech inside,” he said.

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He also touted figures showing that iPad sales were more than sales of computers from any of the top four PC manufacturers over the last 12 months. Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Apple, also brought on stage third party developers to help show off new photo and video-editing apps (Pixelmator and Replay respectively) running on the iPad Air 2 that previously would have required a high-end desktop computer to run.

To deliver the aforementioned performance, Apple has upgraded the processor inside the iPad to the new A8X chip, which is a more powerful version of the A8 cup found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. According to Apple, it’s 40% faster and that some apps will run twice as quick. It also claims a 2.5x increase in graphics performance. What wasn’t revealed is whether there’s more RAM in it than the 1GB available on the iPhoandne. Some examination of the parts suggests the RAM has, in fact, been doubled to 2GB.

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According to Schiller, the new iPad Air 2 is 56% less reflective than the previous generation. This feat was accomplished by removing the “air gap” between the glass, the touchscreen layer and the panel itself and by adding an anti-reflective coating on top of it. “This is better than any tablet on the market,” says Schiller.

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Schiller also showed off the new thickness of the iPad Air 2, a mere 6.1mm. This is 18% thinner than the previous generation and less than half of the thickness of the first generation iPad, launched in 2010 (on left in the above comparison picture). Apple has also managed to trim .04 pounds off the weight of the iPad Air.

Apple has also upgraded the shooter of the new iPad with larger 1.5 micron pixels, slo-mo, time-lapse, burst mode and other software features already available for the iPhone. The front-facing camera has also been upgraded to allow better FaceTime-ing and better selfies.

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Another much awaited and much rumoured feature added to the iPad is the Touch ID feature allowing you to unlock your iPad just by touching the home button and giving your fingerprint. This feature can be used to make purchases on the iTunes Store as well as the new Apple Pay, though only via apps. Since the iPad Air 2 lacks the NFC chip needed to use Apple Pay at physical retailers, Apple Pay on the iPad won’t work there (unless the retailer allows you to pay with an app, not by swiping your device over a credit-card terminal).

Apple’s iPad Air 2 will be available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver starting at just $499 for the 16GB model. Though, like the iPhone 6/Plus storage configurations the next tier jumps up to 64GB for $599 and 128GB for $699.

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Where the iPad Air 2 seems to have grown by leaps and bounds over its predecessor, the iPad Mini 3 seems to be just like the Mini 2 repackaged with a new Touch ID sensor and a gold colour option.  It was the most disappointing product to be unveiled at the event. All of the internal specifications match its predecessor, but it’ll also be available in Gold. That being said, you can pickup an iPad mini 2 for only $299 now. If you need to have Touch ID or fancy the color gold, you’ll have to shell out $399 for the iPad mini 3.

How to watch Apple’s iPad and Mac Event on Mac and Windows

Just under a month after it’s last event, Apple is here with yet another event which is set to reveal updates to the iPad and Mac product lines.

Mac

The live stream will require Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Mac and iOS users can stream the event through Apple’s website here when it kicks off at 10 a.m. PDT tomorrow.

Apple TV

Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 6.2 or later.

Windows

Like the iPhone 6/ Apple Watch event, Apple’s iPad/Mac Oct. 16 press event won’t be streaming on Windows and will requires Safari on a Mac, iOS device or an Apple TV. That means that Windows users will have to figure how to get the stream going using the workaround (via 9to5Mac).

You’ll need to download VLC player and check back here tomorrow for the final streaming link to complete the instructions:

  1. Download VLC Player from here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html
  2. Install it.
  3. Open VLC. Click Media (top left) > Open Network Stream.
  4. You will see this screen:
    ss+(2014-09-08+at+06.53.18)
  5. Paste this link into that field: http://p.events-delivery.apple.com.edgesuite.net/14pounqefvoiubefvpiub10/m3u8/atv_mvp.m3u8
  6. An “Unable to open the MRU file …”  will appear until the stream has started.

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Air, iPad mini, and Retina iMac alongside a possible Retina MacBook Air and a release date for OS X Yosemite. 

Apple sends out invites for its iPad and Mac event on October 16th

Apple has recently announced that it will be hosting a keynote address on Thursday, October 16th at the Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, CA. Invitations to select members of the media and special guests indicate that the event will, as always, begin at 10 AM Pacific time/1 PM Eastern Time.

As the second Apple event this fall, the Cupertino-giant will likely use its smaller, home court stage to debut updates to its iPad and Mac lines…

Continue reading Apple sends out invites for its iPad and Mac event on October 16th

Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to launch in India on October 17; Pre-order it Today!

Apple has recently announced that its latest smartphones, the 4.7″ iPhone 6 and the 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus will be launched in the country on Friday, 17th October 2014, via various Apple authorised resellers. Preorders for the smartphones have already begun today on infibeam.com and is due to start on flipkart.com & Amazon.in at noon.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available via Apple Authorized Resellers including Ingram Micro, Redington, Rashi Peripherals and Reliance.

Although Apple did not announce the prices of their smartphones, many of the online retailers have revealed the pricing as follows:

iPhone 6

  • 16 GB – Rs. 53,500 ($868)
  • 64 GB – Rs. 62,500 ($1014)
  • 128 GB – Rs. 71,500 ($1160)

iPhone 6 Plus

  • 16 GB – Rs. 62,500 ($1014)
  • 64 GB – Rs. 71,500 ($1160)
  • 128 GB – Rs. 80,500 ($1305)

Since this just the launch, pre-order pricing for all the colours of a similar storage-sized phone are the same.

Check out Apple’s press release and various offers after the break:

Continue reading Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to launch in India on October 17; Pre-order it Today!

Xiaomi to gives a Diwali surprise by bringing the Mi3 back to India

Seems like Xiaomi was looking for a way to one up its Chinese rival Huawei when it decided to bring the leftover stock of its super popular and much in-demand smartphone the Mi3 to the Indian market on the same day of launch of the Huawei Honor 6.

Xiaomi is bringing the Mi3 back but this time, after it’s gone, the smartphone won’t return back. This is the final sale of this amazing product.

The company is offering 25,000 consumers who tried to purchase the device in the previous flash sales, but were unsuccessful, one last chance to do the same, again. These customers will be picked by Xiaomi and Flipkart, and they were intimated of their selection on October 5. However, unlike last times, there will be no flash sale, and the chosen customers won’t have to hit the ‘buy now’ button or wait for hours for the sale to begin.

The smartphone will be added in the cart of the aforementioned customers today. However, unlike earlier, there will be no flash sale, and the chosen customers won’t have to hit the ‘buy now’ button or wait for hours for the sale to begin.

This initiative is a part of Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale today where the e-commerce site has conducted various sales to mark its inception by the two founders from Room number 610.

Xiaomi has sold about 300,000 Mi phone till date, including the Mi3 and its recently released little brother the RedMi 1S. Both the phones were sold on Flipkart through the flash sale model, and were sold out in seconds.

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!

Huawei to kick off sales of its latest Honor 6 smartphone in India on October 6

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is set to kick off the sales of its latest smartphone in the Honor series, the Huawei Honor 6, in India on October 6. The smartphone will be sold exclusively on Flipkart.com. Announced all the way back in June, the smartphone was recently launched in China and is now set to be released in the Indian market. It will be available in black and white flavours and is priced at ₹19,999 (US$325).

Huawei-Honor-61The Honor 6 runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat) with the company’s Emotion UI 2.3 on top. It has aluminium alloy frame and a diamond-style texture on the back. It also packs a 3100mAh battery with Huawei’s Patented Power Saving Technology that promises 30% more battery life compared to other smartphones.

While the phone doesn’t have TDD-LTE on 2300 MHz (Band 40) for India, but has FDD-LTE on 1800 MHz that is expected to launch in India in future.

The smartphone also features the company’s Kirin 920 chipset with an octa-core processor. In case you need a refresh, check out rest of the phone’s specifications after the break…

Continue reading Huawei to kick off sales of its latest Honor 6 smartphone in India on October 6

Flipkart taunting Amazon chief on India visit with “Welcome” ads today

The e-commerce war is playing out hot and heavy between Amazon and Flipkart ahead of the famed US e-tailer’s founder Jeff Bezos’ visit to Bangalore today.

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Times of India reports that Flipkart is executing what it has termed as the ‘Welcome Mr. Bezos‘ campaign. The company has put up huge billboards at the airport, highways and close to Amazon’s headquarters – places where these posters are sure to hit Bezos’ eyes – for its festive season sale campaign called ‘Big Billion Day.’ The same will also follow Bezos to Delhi where he is scheduled to go next, according to sources.

It seems like Flipkart wants to send message to it arch-rival telling them who’s at the top. TOI has also reported that Flipkart is running a ‘Project Victory’ campaign within the organization, a celebration of what it calls a win in the first round of war with Amazon.

Continue reading Flipkart taunting Amazon chief on India visit with “Welcome” ads today