It appears that Sprint has yet again beat its competition to being the first to bring Android 4.4 to its high-end smartphones. Earlier this week, Sprint became the first US carrier to release the Android KitKat update for the Galaxy S4 Today it announced that Galaxy Note 3 devices on its service have began receiving the KitKat treatment as well.
Similar to the update for the Galaxy S4, and HTC One, the download is just over 500MB and is available as an OTA download. Android 4.4 brings several new features to the Galaxy Note 3 as well, including music album art on the lock screen, launcher selection setting, a camera shortcut on the lock screen and an overall improved user interface. Notifications of the update should pop up automatically, but users can also check for the update within the settings menu. Galaxy Note 3 devices on the Sprint network should show firmware version N900PVPUCNAB after the update completes.
The LED light bulb is slowly starting to replace the normal incandescent all around the world thanks to its longer life and green design. Philips is one of many companies that already offer LED light bulbs that can be controlled via a smartphone app. Philips first announced its iOS controlled LED lights in 2012.
The company has been tweaking those lights and has announced a new lighting system for retail stores that will not only light the way for shoppers; it will also help them find what they are looking for. The lighting system is intelligent and works with an app running on the user's smartphone.
The smartphone app knows where the user is in the store at all times thanks to connectivity from the lights in the ceiling. The app can help the user find exactly what they are looking for in the store isles without having to hunt someone who works there. That is a big benefit to the shopper and the lighting system helps the store too by offering the shopper timely discounts and coupons as they shop.
For the better half of a year now we have been hearing rumors about a mysterious Android-based phone that Nokia will be releasing soon. Today we got our first glance at the device and much to everyone's surprise, it actually resembles previous devices from Nokia's Asha line.
The phone appears follow recent rumors and features a 4-inch EVGA display along with a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Many industry insiders believe that the mysterious Nokia X phone will be launched next week during the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain, which could release in emerging markets at a pricing point of less than $100.
The first time Microsoft stepped into the tablet market with the original Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, the hardware didn't do so well. The Surface tablets were priced too high for many buyers and the Windows RT OS proved to be unpopular with consumers and hardware partners. Microsoft came back more recently with new versions of the Surface tablet including the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.
Those new tablets were received with mostly positive reviews and have proven more successful than the first versions. One thing that has been common since Microsoft launched the first Surface tablets is that the devices don't offer mobile broadband connectivity. The surface line has always been Wi-Fi only.
A new FCC filing has turned up that suggests Microsoft is getting ready to put 4G LTE connectivity under the hood of the Surface tablets. Microsoft's Panos Panay, VP of Surface at Microsoft had said in the past that a future Surface product would have LTE connectivity.
A couple days ago, we mentioned that rumors were circulating that Tesla and Apple had met up. The rumors were thought to indicate Apple wanted to buy the electric car marker. Another possibility was that Apple and Tesla were meeting about a battery factory. Both firms want to drive down the cost of lithium batteries.
Apple isn't the sort of company that will ever comment on rumors, other than to say that it won't comment on rumors. Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the other hand has never been afraid to tell people what he thinks or what is going on. Musk recently confirmed that Tesla had in fact talked with Apple.
Musk wouldn't say what exactly the meeting was about. He noted that he though Apple buying a car company was a good idea, but also said that the chances of Tesla selling were "very unlikely." Musk also noted that he would be willing to talk about selling if that meant his goal of making an affordable mass market EV would be closer to reality.
Volvo is a name that usually brings to mind safe, if rather boring cars and SUVs. Volvo has announced that it will be on hand at Mobile World Congress in Spain to show off its new delivery service. That new delivery service is called Roam Delivery.
The idea is that the Roam Delivery service will allow owners of Volvo cars to accept deliveries and drop packages off for pickup directly from their car. The service will use Volvo digital keys and allows the owner of the car to choose their vehicle as the drop off or pick up location. When the order is ready to be delivered, the owner of the car will get a message via text.
The digital key will allow the delivery person access to the vehicle where they can leave what you ordered or pick things up to ship them off. The owner of the car is notified when the car is opened and when it is closed again. The digital key is a onetime use item and ceases to function after the car is closed.
In a report commissioned by Emulex Corporation, the research team at Forrester recently surveyed 158 IT professionals regarding managing business-critical applications and the infrastructure surrounding them. Of the respondents, nearly 90% are in a management role or above and consider themselves infrastructure professionals.
Of these respondents, 56% said that over 25% of their critical performance issues cannot be solved within 24 hours. Further, that the most difficult problems can take well over a month to fix, with the majority of the time being wasted on just figuring out what is going on.
In the report, Forrester extracts 3 key findings from their research:
- Improving workforce productivity and managing costs are key business objectives.
- Network and security issues are two of the main factors affecting end-user productivity.
- Network visibility is a foundational tool to remediation.
Over the last few years Sceptre has gone from a little known brand that pretty much only sold online to a brand that you can find in many large retail stores around the country. The company was first known for computer monitors and TVs, but it has now branched out into other product categories.
One of those other product categories is the portable speaker realm. Sceptre has unveiled its latest Bluetooth speaker called the SoundPal. The speaker uses Bluetooth 2.1 for connectivity with your portable device. It also has NFC tech inside for easy paring with NFC equipped devices.
The SoundPal has a microSD card slot so you can play your digital tunes directly over the speaker without needing to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth. The speaker also has a 3.5mm audio input jack for connecting devices that lack Bluetooth.
The tech world is still shocked this morning at yesterday's news that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion, and now new details have emerged that suggest that Facebook was not the only one looking to buy the worlds largest instant messaging service. A new report from Fortune says that WhatsApp turned down an offer of $10 billion from Google when the offer did not include a seat on Google's board of directors.
The report also says that Facebook's CEO, Mark Zukerberg, made the $16 billion offer to WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum on the 9th of February and the pair finalized the deal just five days later. The deal was reportedly sealed on Valentines day, when Koum arrived at the Zuckerberg home and interrupted a dinner between Mark and his wife. After finalizing things over chocolate covered strawberries, Koum walked away with a seat on Facebook's board and a few billion dollars richer.
If you spend lots of time during the day stuck in front of a computer, you are probably out for anything that can make all that computer use more comfortable. There are few things that are more of a literal pain in the neck than having to look down at a computer screen all day because it won't go high enough for your comfort.
There are bunches of monitor stands out there that will lift the screen up to a more comfortable level. Satechi has a new monitor stand that will lift up your screen or notebook and has some features that make it more like a docking station as well.
The monitor stand is called the Satechi F1 Smart Monitor Stand. The device will lift the screen of your computer or notebook up several inches. It also has a quartet of USB 2.0 ports on the front and jacks for your headphones and mic.