Published on July 28th, 2014 | by Jason Ephraim1
A Week in Tech – Episode 1!
Hey guys I’m back! This week marks the first of hopefully many of ‘A Week in Tech’. After this week, Tim and I will try to stick to a weekly Sunday episode. I should have published this over the weekend, but I was very busy – o-well. Let’s get to some news!
Some big cell phone news this past week! Amazon’s first cellphone, dubbed Amazon Fire Phone, is finally up for sale. To see the specs on this device follow this link: http://goo.gl/KtjUCM. Let’s be honest though, the specs are relatively mediocre which is why the Amazon Fire is trying to stand out with three unique features: Dynamic Perspective- a 3D, Google Maps style of viewing certain content when you tilt the display, Firefly – a specific button on the side of the device that identifies what you are looking at (through the camera) and displays more info on it, and Mayday- Amazon’s free, 24/7 customer support.
Another device that was announced this past week is that of the Mi Band – a fitness band that was announced alongside Xiaomi’s new Mi4 handset. This fitness band obviously monitors your fitness but it also tracks your sleep, acts as a smart sleep alarm, can be used to unlock your phone, lasts for about 30 days and is rated IP67. What’s even more amazing about this device is it’s only about $13. $13! Unfortunately a release date hasn’t been announced.
Moving on, Samsung announced this past week that their annual Developers Conference will be held in San Francisco from November 11-13th. As would make sense, Samsung said that they would like to get closer to the developer community with this meeting. But honestly, I just want to see them announce the Galaxy Note 4 – and this would be the perfect time to do it. Registration is not open yet but you can sign up at this link: http://bit.ly/1b88Z5c to be notified when it does.
This past week we also saw a small but beautiful (in my opinion) update to the Google Play Store. Update 4.9.13, dubbed Material Design, focuses much more on pictures and animations over text and is apparently. Download the update here: Update 4.9.13 to take a look for yourself!
Facebook for Mobile (and PC) also updated this past week adding ‘Facebook Save’ – which allows you to save just about any item within your Facebook Timeline to check out later when you have more time. Mhmm, where have I seen this idea before…
If you are interested in Comics, well then today is your lucky day! Marvel announced that, in celebration of Comic-Con, they will be allowing access to over 13,000 comics for just 99 cents – for the first month at least… Head over to this link: http://bit.ly/1pH6H4Z to sign up today!
– Amazon released it’s own contender in the digital wallet arena: Amazon Wallet – which only really allows you to store gift cards and loyalty cards digitally
– Amazon added ‘hundreds of thousands” of new songs to its Prime Music service (which apparently came out last month and I had no idea about)
– Google announced a partnership with Uber to provide free Wifi on some on their cars (Philadelphia only right now)
– Amazon actually filed AND received trademark for the word “Fire” ….
– Lenovo showed off their own smart glasses prototype this week (looks a lot like glass)
-Google celebrated one year of Chromecast with 90 days of Music All access – Follow this link to redeem this offer: http://bit.ly/1t0NTTj
– Google also released an update to their Chrome Beta app for android with the same Material Design interface as the new play store – Looks like it’s automatically being released to Chrome beta users
Deals and Gadgets
– Amazon has the Google Chromecast for $30 instead of $35: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DR0PDNE/?tag=qbki-20
– Amazon has the Anker 10000mAh Astro E3 external battery pack for just $26! http://bit.ly/1kfnxdQ
– You can actually unlock your phone (just Moto X for now) via a tattoo placed on your body
– Big discounts on the Contract-free Moto X for students! Deal expires July 31st. http://bit.ly/1hvrCaO
– Google kicks off the Google Play Summer Sale with some good deals! http://bit.ly/UwfyfO
Let me know what you guys think about the format and length of my news article. Also, let me know what you think about the news in the comments section below!
Amazon Fire Phone
Xiaomi Mi Band
Samsung Developer Conference
Google Play Store 4.9.13
Facebook Save Feature
Amazon Prime Music
Google – Uber Wifi
Lenovo Smart Glasses