Really cheap. Why, it's a slightly larger version of that very same tablet, but at a significantly higher cost.
It's the Kindle Fire 8.9, a tick under two inches larger at the diagonal but with a starting price of $299 for 16GB, $100 more than the cheapest 7-inch Fire HD. Unboxing the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 was a familiar experience, as it looks and feels identical to its 7-inch predecessor. The tablet measures 9.45 x 6.5 inches (240 x 165mm) across but it's actually slightly thinner than the 7-inch model: 0.35 inch vs. 0.4 (8.9 vs. 10.3mm). Branding on the tablet is delightfully minimal, the Amazon logo subtly printed on the bottom and "kindle" embossed on the shiny band.
Mind you, this is still a huge improvement over the original Kindle Fire, which lacked physical volume controls altogether.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is chock full of very similar stuff to its 7-inch predecessor, including a dual-core OMAP processor. Amazon doesn't advertise RAM but a system check shows 770MB. An LTE model is available, starting at $499 for the 32GB model. Here you can pay another $100 and go up to the full-fat Fire HD, a 64GB edition with LTE. The WiFi-only model includes the same MIMO wireless getup that we found to be quite impressive on the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, offering better range, reception and performance than other tablets and smartphones we tried. (For those curious about bands, it is as follows: LTE 17, 4; WCDMA 1, 2, 5, 8; GSM 850Mhz, 900Mhz, 1800Mhz and 1900MHz.)
$499 is a bit dear for a Kindle device, but you do at least get an off-contract LTE tablet that has access to one of the most attractive prepaid data plans out there.
Pay for that and Amazon will throw you another 20GB of Cloud Drive storage and even give you $10 to blow in the Amazon Appstore. Content downloads greater than 50MB in size must happen over WiFi, and for the moment Amazon Instant Videos cannot be streamed unless you're on WiFi. With tablets like the 2,048 x 1,536 fourth-gen iPad and 2,560 x 1,600 Nexus 10 on the market, it's a little hard to get too excited about the 8.9-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS LCD found in the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. The Kindle Fire HD doesn't offer quite the "Gosh I can't see the pixels" experience of the Nexus 10, but text is rendered very cleanly and of course 1080p videos look fantastic
Book covers and movie posters look fine in the carousel, as do Kindle-optimized apps, but many third-party Android icons look atrocious. While the display is a definite step forward over the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, the speakers are a half-step back. Again, 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has a dual-core TI OMAP4470 processor running at 1.5GHz, a 300MHz upgrade from its predecessor. This makes the heavy-handed Fire OS that's sitting on top of Android a bit more responsive, but things can still be sluggish from time to time. For comparison's sake, our top-scoring tablet, the fourth-gen iPad, burns through the test in 865ms.
Amazon advertises 10 hours of battery life for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, one hour less than the 7-inch version. (We tested with LTE disabled to better compare with the 7-inch model.) SOFTWARE
The 8.9 is running the same user interface that the 7-inch model ushered in back in September. If you're looking for books, music or movies the breadth of selection is impressive. In the original Kindle Fire we found such claims of acceleration to be woefully overstated and even the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD rendered pages more slowly than the Nexus 7. At $299 and (way) up, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 finds itself starting $100 less than the cheapest comparable tablet, the Nexus 10. Then there's the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+, similarly 9-inch, similarly 1080p and similarly burdened with a heavily customized version of Android -- but starting for just $269 for the 16GB version and $299 for 32GB. At $199, the Kindle Fire HD 7 stacked up squarely against the Nexus 7 and, for power users, that's something of a tough sell. But, with a size and price that slots in well below much of the larger, 10-inch tablet competition, the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is more of a difficult proposition to directly compare. In general we're quite fond of 7-inch tablets and so, of these two, we'd still take the more portable 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.
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After the absurd and complicated roller coaster ride of the Xbox 180 pre-launch debacle, the Xbox One is finally finding its way into the living rooms of consumers. While many users are happily channel surfing and playing with their Xbox Ones, some users are hitting major issues. From faulty Blu-ray drives to unexplained buzzing to iPhone-like scuffs, the Xbox One launch is far from perfect. Hopefully, these failures don’t turn out to be an issue on par with the Xbox 360′s now-infamous red ring of death.
By far, the Xbox One’s most obnoxious day-one issue is the broken Blu-ray drives shipped to a number of consumers.
It's now, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners will be dealing with iOS 7.0.4, an update that rolled out last week. We’ve already offered our initial thoughts on the performance of iOS 7.0.4 on the iPad 3 and now, after spending quality time with the software, it’s time to take a close look at Apple’s new iOS 7 update.
In late October, Apple rolled out a much needed iOS 7.0.3 update to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners. Those two issues prompted Apple to promise an iOS 7.0.3 update.
So many owners were hopeful that iOS 7.0.3 would fix their issues. Apple’s update came with a ton of fixes and represented the biggest update to iOS 7 to date. However, as we pointed out, it left lingering issues and soon after, users were campaigning for an iOS 7.0.4 or iOS 7.1 update.
We’ve already taken a look at the iOS 7.0.4 for iPhone 5 in particular and now, it’s time to take another close look at the performance of iOS 7.0.4 on Apple’s third-generation iPad, the iPad 3.
Netflix and Chrome have both been giving me issues in iOS 7. Overall though, I haven’t run into any other stability issues with apps in iOS 7.0.4. iOS updates have, in the past, delivered battery life issues to all sorts of devices and from what we’re hearing, iOS 7.0.4 is no different. While the complaints haven’t been as loud as they were when iOS 7 was first released, there are still those claiming that iOS 7.0.4 and iOS 7.0.3 hurt their overall battery life.
We heard a ton of complaining after iOS 7.0.2 and iOS 7.0.3 arrived but the complaints about iOS 7.0.4 are far softer. To me, that points to this iOS 7 update being the most stable one yet.
Without a solid connection, a media device like the iPad is useless so iPad users are always curious about how connectivity holds up from iOS update to iOS update. After installing iOS 7, the operating system was no longer smooth. To me, the lag represents the worst part of iOS 7 and I’m hopeful that iOS 7.1 solves the issue.
Whatever the case, you can use a PS4 controller on the PS3, and we’re going to show you how. Once you’ve unboxed the PS4 controller you’re next step is...
Get a micro USB cable attached to your PS3
Yes, for all its new tech, the DualShock 4 doesn’t come with the USB cable needed for charging it, so you’ll need a separate USB to Micro B USB cable to attach it to your PS3. If you’re not a USB expert, that’s different from the USB Mini B connection that DualShock 3’s use. Plug in the DualShock 4 and watch the pretty colors
Now that you’ve used the USB cable to connect the PS3 and DualShock 4, switch on the PS3 and watch the magic begin. Keep a PS3 controller nearby
Because the DualShock 4’s PS button doesn’t work on PS3, you’ll need a DualShock 3 (or SixAxis if you’re trapped in 2007) to interact with the XMB. Want to check Trophies, friends list, or switch games? Jump into one of the many compatible games
If you’re looking for any more info on the system, check out our list of PS4 news and PS4 games.
PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 controller may seem like the logical evolution of Sony's gamepad design, but we now know that it wasn't always destined to be that way. Product manager Toshimasa Aoki tells VentureBeat that the company threw out all the rules during the early design phase, and had tested both all-touchscreen gamepads as well as one where a touchpad could move to different locations. The PlayStation team had also considered abandoning its signature bottom-mounted analog sticks in favor of moving them up top, much like Nintendo's Wii U Pro Controller. However, feedback pushed Sony to a more conservative layout -- many early PS4 game developers were worried that a new control scheme would break their software design. While it's unfortunate that Sony had to restrain its creative impulses, we suspect that many gamers are happy with the end result.
Jawbone of taking shortcuts with its fitness wearables. The Jawbone UP24 is the culmination of those efforts, now toting Bluetooth LE for real-time exercise and sleep updates on your iOS device. Meanwhile, Jawbone also has UP 3.0 ready for release, the latest version of its iPhone app, and which will also work with the existing UP (which stays on sale, too),
Jawbone hasn’t strayed too far from the original UP with the UP24′s design, resisting the urge to add a display. The company tells us that’s because users are already carrying a far better screen in their pocket or purse, in the shape of their smartphones, to warrant the hit on battery life and weight including it on the rubberized band itself would involve.
Jawbone says the change in size was to make clear to users that Bluetooth LE is used for transferring data; unlike the original UP, the UP24 won’t push across the exercise tracking by plugging it into the headphone socket of your phone or tablet. The flexible rubber band snaps around your wrist and is comfortable for extended periods – useful, since Jawbone suggests wearing it at night, too, to track your sleep – and pressing and holding the button switches it between active and sleep modes. Jawbone calls this “Today I Will” and initially it’ll cover sleep, steps, and drinking eight glasses of water a day. For example, if you’re getting close to your daily steps goal, it can ping you with a reminder to “nudge” you toward completing that goal; if you’ve accepted a “Today I Will” challenge, the app will use a push notification to remind you when your bedtime approaches. It meant we periodically lost a few days of sleep data every few months.
Now, though, UP 3.0 offers sleep recovery. Each can be manually adjusted, and then the app will automatically figure out light and deep sleep phases for that period.
UP24 gets not only real-time transfer of data from band to app, but it also allows the app to set Smart Alarms – which promise to wake you up with a discrete vibration at the optimal point in your light/deep sleep phases – without having to plug the band into the phone.
That live data also opens the door to more timely integration with other services. Jawbone has had IFTTT (“If This Then That”) support for a while now, allowing UP events to trigger other services ranging from Google Docs or Evernote logging, through to sharing goals on Facebook and more, but with real-time communication there’s more that can be done with your data. There, Jawbone’s more qualitative analysis and habit-changing challenges give it an edge over rivals, encouraging you to stick with UP24 for the long term.
Microsoft didn't do the heavy lifting in developing the Hotmail client for Android; rather, it turned to its partner Seven Networks to build the app, which delivers push-enabled access to the user inbox, contact list, and calendars, and it's available free of charge in the Android Market. Until now, Android users have had to access their Hotmail accounts via their mobile Web browsers.
Seven, by the way, is a Microsoft partner with a long track of building carrier-email clients that hook into Hotmail and leverage Microsoft's MSP protocol. What's more, Seven serves as an intermediary between Microsoft and carriers, delivering Hotmail access to operator service portals..
You haven't accessed the Google Play Store app (the white shopping bag icon) on your device with this email account.
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PlayStation App has potential, but, as with most products released in a new console's launch window, its current state is ho-hum. Developer supports and software updates will no doubt do wonders, and we'll be sure to revisit this review. For now, however, PlayStation App is a decent, if unspectacular, messaging and navigation tool.
This companion app is actually a replacement for the previous, relatively useless PlayStation app, and it offers a handful of cool features such as messaging, shopping, and second-screen functionality. PlayStation App (Android)
Sony PlayStation 4
PlayStation App's interface has been redesigned to match the PlayStation 4's aesthetic. Gamers can use PlayStation App to tap the PlayStation Store for game and movie purchases. Additionally, PlayStation app users can input text into dialog boxes such as username and password areas. PlayStation App may prove a trolling device in the wrong hands; unfortunately, we couldn't find an option in PlayStation 4 that would prevent a PlayStation App user from taking over.
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