One of the big features that rumors have been claiming Apple will have on the next iPhone is a screen covered with sapphire glass. The big benefit of sapphire glass is that it is nearly indestructible and said to only be able to be scratched using a diamond. However, one analyst is now saying that an iPhone with sapphire glass is unlikely to land this year.
The analyst that thinks sapphire glass is unlikely to land this year is Rod Hall. Hall noted that right now producing sapphire displays is about ten times more expensive than using Corning Gorilla Glass. Gorilla Glass is used to cover the LCD of many of the most popular smartphones on the market, including current iPhones.
Hall believes that Apple might produce a high-end line of iPhones in limited quantity with sapphire glass, but he doesn't believe those will come until next year. The home button for the iPhone 5S is covered with sapphire glass and the lens cover is made of the material as well.
HP is set to launch a new Windows notebook to compete against the lower cost Chromebooks already on the market. The machine was leaked by a site called Mobilegeeks who claims the machine will be called the HP Stream 14. The Stream 14 is expected to land running Windows 8.1 with Bing.
That operating system is a version of windows with fewer features than the normal version of Windows. Other features of the Stream 14 notebook will include a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. Under the hood of the machine will be an AMD processor and 2GB of RAM.
Storage options will be either a 32GB or 64GB SSD with a slot for a SD card for expansion. Microsoft will also offer 100GB of OneDrive space for two years with the purchase. Rounding out the features list is a HD resolution webcam, Beats Audio, a USB 3.0 port, and Radeon R3 graphics. The launch date for this notebook is unknown and the price is rumored to be under $200.
When PC enthusiasts think of AMD Radeon branding the thing that comes to mind is probably going to be video cards. The Radeon line has a new product category that has just gone official- SSDs. AMD has unveiled the Radeon R7 SSD series and the drives are made by OCZ.
There are three SSDs in the line including 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB drives. Performance is promised to be 545MB/s read and up to 530MB/s write. The drives are also tipped to have 100,000 read IOPS and 90,000 write IOPS.
Under the hood, the R7 SSD series uses the Barefoot 3 controller and Toshiba A19 NAND. Power consumption for the drives is 0.6W-2.7W. The smallest 120GB capacity drive will sell for $100 and includes a four-year warranty.
Anyone who has ever handed the keys to their car over to a valet at an event or restaurant has felt the fear at wondering what the valet will do to your car while you are gone. People with nice cars like the new Corvette Stingray may feel a bit more fear than others. Valets are known to be rather hard on some cars.
GM has announced that the 2015 Corvette fitted with the Performance Data Recorder option will have a slick Valet mode that will record the antics of the Valet while you are inside eating. GM says that the system is rather like a baby monitor for your car.
In addition to turning on the recorder, the valet mode will also lock the storage bin behind the center stack display, lock the glove box, and disable the radio and infotainment system. The Data recorder in the car records video for the front of the car overlaid with speed, engine RPM, gear, and g-force.
If you like to look at fish in the aquarium, but don't spend enough time at home to take care of a pet the Capsule might be for you. This round aquarium has a couple roundish fish inside that do something for you other than float around. The fish are called LumiPUFF are able to connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Once the robotic fish are connected to your smartphone, they will change colors to notify you of messages on your phone. Users can also choose the color combination of the lights inside the fish. The cool electronic fish use inductive wireless power transmission technology so you never have to charge them or change batteries.
The Capsule aquarium is a closed habitat that never needs maintenance. LumiPUFF fish measure 2.8" and have three light regions in the body. The fish swim around and users can interact with them via a game app on the smartphone that allows you to feed and play with them. The Sphere will ship in May 2015 at an undisclosed price.
According to a new report by The Information, Google is set to unveil a new child friendly version of some of its services. Even up until now, the youngest you can be to open up a Google account in the US is 13 years old.
The new child-safe services would allow a youngster to sign up to various Google services like YouTube, with a "child-safe" version of the video sharing website being in the works. Another rumor is that Google will soon begin requiring users to disclose their age when signing up for a Google account on their Android devices, where a dashboard application for parents will be made available, allowing parents to monitor their kids' activities across Google services.
As it stands, most underage children are accessing Google's account-only services through various means, either lying about their age or using their parents' accounts. This change would allow parents to monitors their kids' activities through Google services, but Google has chimed in about the rumor to Mashable, saying: "We don't comment on rumor or speculation".
Now that the Oculus Rift DK2 is here, Valve has announced that the SteamVR beta now supports Oculus' latest VR headset. Thanks to the increased resolution and added features in the DK2 headset, the latest SteamVR beta has been updated to better support the Oculus Rift DK2 unit.
Valve's official change log for the updated SteamVR beta sees that it is still a beta of course, but it has full support for the Oculus Rift DK2, with positional tracking also being supported on both Windows and OS X. The latest SteamVR beta also includes a fix for an issue that saw the middleware application itself, vrserver.exe, to run even if there is no HMD detected, slowly increasing its load on the CPU time until the entire system was under pressure.
Linux and SteamOS don't have positional tracking support just yet, something that should arrive in a future update. The current SteamVR beta also requires Oculus Rift DK2 owners to have their DK2s in 'Extend Desktop to the HMD' option enabled, and not the 'Direct HMD Access from Apps' option.
When was the last time you purchased a game for your PC from an actual retailer? If you're like me, every game you purchase is digital - either through Steam, Origin or even a service like GOG.com. Well, according to DFC Intelligence, 92% of PC game sales for last year were digital, leaving just 8% to physical copies.
Payday 2 publisher Starbreeze saw 80% of its first-month sales of 1.58 million copies being digital. But then titles like DotA 2 and DayZ were completely digital, adding to that huge 92%. Rewinding back to 2010, digital PC sales made up 48% of all PC sales, so we've seen a huge increase of 44% over the last three years.
But then powerhouse publisher EA has only seen 20% of its total sales being digital, but EA have titles on virtually every platform available to gamers, with games in both physical, and digital form.
Android Police is reporting that Google will soon unveil YouTube's music streaming service, something that will be called YouTube Music Key. YouTube Music Key will reportedly be offered with a free 30-day trial, after which it'll be $9.99 per month.
This $9.99 will give users access to both YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key. Better yet, YouTube Music Key will give music lovers ad-free music, and audio-only playback that can be played in the background, or screen-off listening, something YouTube currently doesn't offer. For those who are subscribed to Play Music All Access, you should have your subscription service to Music Key added automatically.
We should hopefully see Google unveil YouTube Music Key in the coming weeks.
Early next month IFA 2014 kicks off, where LG will unveil its new 34-inch curved ultrawide display. The LG 34UC97 has a 21:9 aspect ratio, with a QHD resolution of 3440x1440.
LG's new curved ultrawide monitor is compatible with both PC and Mac, with two Thunderbolt connections, a 7W speaker system, and should handle virtually anything you throw at it. LG will also be showing off other displays at the trade show, with a 31-inch 4K monitor to be unveiled. Another display will be a 144Hz-capable monitor that should be aimed at the gaming market.
A perfect use for these new 34-inch curved ultrawide monitors is in a multi-monitor setup, as you can see above, where it would provide a truly awesome experience. Now, where's my wallet?