Project Tango development kits get availability details

project tango development tabletIf you’ve been itching to buy a Project Tango development kit, Google has clarified some availability for the tablets. They’ll be available in South Korea and Canada starting today, with many other countries following on August 26th.

Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are on the list slated for availability by the end of the month, joining the US, Canada, and South Korea. That’s a pretty full list of places to pick up one of these if you’re interested in developing for it. Read more

Pebble Time review: Keeping a smartwatch simple and reliable

pebble time gray TAPebble’s original smartwatch took an out-of-the-way approach to the wearable category. Instead of offering tons of high-end features, it was a smartwatch that was only active when you needed it and actually had good battery life, something not many other smartwatches can say.

Now we have the follow-up to that successful smartwatch — the Pebble Time. It takes much of what made the original so great and refines it with a colorful e-ink display, a much better aesthetic design, and some other general improvements across the board. Read more

Portable battery bank market expected to be worth nearly $18 billion by 2020

Fuel+_3000_6000_Battery_Indicator_ON_TAPortable battery packs are extremely popular accessories, especially as smartphones have brighter, higher resolution screens with smaller batteries. Most phones don’t make it through a full days worth of usage, and not everyone is around a wall plug to keep their device charged up, so that’s where battery banks come in handy.

It’s a growing market, and a new research report thinks that the battery bank market will explode in value up to around $18 billion by 2020. That’s a pretty large leap, but as more and more content is consumed on tablets and smartphones, it makes sense. Unless, of course, manufacturers figure out how to cram giant batteries into credit card thin smartphones. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one, though. Read more

New OnePlus smartphone slated for a release around Christmas

oneplus_2_company_logo_closeup_partial_blurOnePlus is gearing up for the release of the OnePlus Two, but there’s still one more device on the horizon this year for the company. There have been plenty of rumors about a second device, so this isn’t a huge surprise, but we’re finally getting some details directly from OnePlus about it.

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei didn’t divulge anything specific about what’s up their sleeve, but he did say that the next handset they release will probably be out in time for Christmas this year. We’re already in August, so that’s just a few months off. I think a higher-end version of the OnePlus Two is pretty unlikely (unless they fill in some of the blanks on its feature list) but a mini model could happen. Read more

AT&T bundling wireless service with DirecTV and U-verse packages

AT&T_Logo_01_TANow that AT&T officially owns DirecTV they’re quickly integrating wireless service and television bundles into packages for their consumers. These plans combine TV service through either U-Verse or DirecTV on a single bill with AT&T wireless service and give the customer a $10 discount for keeping everything on one combined bill. A four line, 10 GB plan that normally runs $160 will be $200 when combined with a DirecTV Select package that’s typically $50 by itself, for example. $10 per month isn’t huge, but if you were planning on having DirecTV and AT&T, might as well take advantage of the discount. Read more

Mid-range HTC Desire 728 leaks in photos, shows off dual front facing speakers

htc desire 728 3

HTC’s upcoming budget-friendly Desire 728 has leaked in photos showing pretty much every look and angle of the device. It’s fairly in line with HTC’s mid-range lineup, including the plastic body and dual front facing speakers. The bezels on the device are a little smaller than what we’re used to seeing, though, even though it does have those signature BoomSound speakers, so maybe HTC is trying to figure out a way to include great sound without making a device too tall and unwieldy. Other than that, though, the Desire 728 looks like a solid phone, just without anything particularly exciting about the design. Read more

Cricket announces unlimited talk & text to Canada and Mexico on certain plans

cricket wirelessCricket has announced a new feature for their Smart and Pro monthly plans that will be extremely useful if you call out or text numbers internationally. These plans now include unlimited talk & text (although that’s limited to just SMS, no MMS) to Canada and Mexico. Mexico will be included in plans on August 2nd while Canada should be included later in the month. Read more

Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 will be the company’s first to use Android for Work

blackphoneSilent Circle has announced that their upcoming Blackphone 2 will be the first company’s first to use Google’s Android for Work platform that was announced earlier this year. Android for Work was built around giving businesses enhanced security without compromising features of the phone, which fits right in with Silent Circle’s phone philosophy.

Thanks to Android for Work, when the Blackphone 2 launches this fall it will ship with Google Play and Play Services, which was previously lacking from the company’s own security-focused Silent OS. On top of that, you’ll see all of the extra security layers that Android for Work brings to the table. Read more