#SGGQA 15: Let’s Chat Lumia 950, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Band 2, and the LG V10 is HERE!

This week’s episode is HUGE! I spent the week out in NYC to check out the Microsoft keynote, and we got to see a ton of new hardware! Lumia 950 and 950XL, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and the Band 2!

As soon as I got home though, my pals at LG had a shiny new V10 smartphone waiting for me to try out!

Last but not least, I went hands on with the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium’s new submersible ROV! Makre sure you’re charged and ready! It’s PODCAST TIME!

Microsoft Keynote Blog: http://goo.gl/iXEV65

Hands on with the Santa Monica Pier’s ROV: https://youtu.be/ufRAlVCIi7I

I GOT TO PET A SHARK!!!

More info on Jaclyn Friedlander and Friends with Fins:
https://www.youtube.com/JaclynFriedlander
http://www.friendswithfins.com

More info on Heal the Bay’s education and conservation efforts:
http://www.healthebay.org/

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Continue reading “#SGGQA 15: Let’s Chat Lumia 950, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Band 2, and the LG V10 is HERE!”

Are Tablets Ready for Productivity? The Promise of What’s to Come…

Yesterday Google unveiled their new Nexus line up, new Chromecasts, and showed off a slew of services. One curious tease towards the end of their keynote revealed their strategy for offering up a new tier of productivity device.

The Pixel C.

Previous “Pixel” products utilized Google’s Chrome OS, but this next entry to the line will run stock Android, the operating system reserved for phones and tablets. Clearly Google is looking to compete with the recently announced iPad Pro, and the focus on productivity is clear. The Pixel’s signature accessory is a magnetic keyboard cover which includes and adjustable hinge.

There’s been a bit of a scramble lately in the tablet market. Sales are generally down. After being the hot item, destined to replace those boring old laptops, even Apple is struggling to grow sales year over year.

Continue reading “Are Tablets Ready for Productivity? The Promise of What’s to Come…”

Amazon Brings Prime Video to Android Tablets – Still Finicky to Setup

Amazon has been notoriously slow in bringing their Prime Video service to Android. Cross platform compatibility was a key factor in making the Kindle service the most widely used way to consume e-books, but Amazon seemed happy to let Netflix, Hulu, and Google Play run away with the Android streaming video market.

Recently they caved on allowing Android phones to stream video, and now, the most recent update for the Prime Video app includes support for Android tablets.

It’s not all roses however. Getting the service up and running still requires a multi-app strategy. The fastest way we got it running?

  1. amazon prime instant video on android tablet browser chrome somegadgetguyInstall the old Amazon App Store APK manually.
  2. Sign in to your Amazon account through the Amazon App Store App.
  3. Use the Amazon App Store to Install the “Prime Instant Video” app.
  4. Open your tablet’s browser (I use Chrome), and log into your Amazon account through that browser.
  5. Navigate to a video you’d like to play, and press “Watch Now”. You should get an option to “Open with Instant Video”. Use that.

Congratulations, you’ve set up Prime Instant Video on your Android tablet! From here on out, you should be able to continue using the service by using your browser to search for videos to watch.

I don’t see Amazon Prime Video unseating Netflix, Google Play, and Hulu on Android devices any time soon…

Google Play to Use ESRB Ratings for Smartphone and Tablet Games

ESRB_EMobile gaming is often derided as “casual” gaming by console and PC gamers, but we’ve witnessed a turn in smartphone and tablet gaming, introducing sophisticated game mechanics and console quality graphics. In this age, it’s also far more likely that a kid’s first gaming experience likely won’t be on a dedicated gaming machine, but on a parent’s multipurpose phone or tablet.

In a move which further legitimizes this market, Google has announced they will be using ESRB ratings for the titles available on Google Play, to better help inform parents about what content they and their children are consuming. It’s not particularly difficult to find very mature content, and while there are age restrictions built into Google’s app store, it can sometimes take a bit of digging to find information on age appropriate material and game content. A zombie game, for instance, might feature cute cartoon walkers or rotting-flesh nightmare-inducing gore.

Using the same tags that console and PC games require is excellent for consistency, and should aid consumers in making purchasing decisions. You can read the ESRB’s full press announcement below.

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SanDisk Reveals 200GB MicroSD Card, But Can Any Phone Use It?

We continue to see a battle between hardware and cloud solutions for how our data should be consumed. It’s great if you’ve got all your data backed up online, but if you don’t have an internet connection, having locally stored files is tremendously helpful.

As multimedia and gaming gets more storage intensive, popping in a larger memory card is becoming an attractive solution for those phone owners that have the capability to upgrade their storage. Now SanDisk is showing off the largest memory card on the market with their 200GB Ultra MicroSD.

Of course having HUGE storage isn’t particularly helpful if you have slow transfer speeds. SanDisk claims their card will be good for up to 90MB per second data transfer, which means you should be able to fill the whole card up in under 40 minutes on a solid USB 3 card reader. That speed is really helpful for app and camera performance, and is one of the reasons why Google does not provide memory card slots on the Nexus, to guarantee system performance. Sorry prospective Samsung Galaxy S6 shoppers… No memory card slot for you either…

While this is exciting, we’re still not entirely sure how well this card might work with phones that only outright support card capacities up to 64GB or 128GB. Also, having the biggest storage on such a tiny card means stepping up to a really big price tag. This Ultra Card will sell for $399, or four times the price of Sandisk’s $128GB Ultra card.

Being on the bleeding edge doesn’t come cheap. You can read SanDisk’s full press release below.

Continue reading “SanDisk Reveals 200GB MicroSD Card, But Can Any Phone Use It?”

Microsoft FINALLY brings Tablet Optimized Office Apps to Android!

After we saw a demo of an iPad running Office apps, Android fans wondered, rather vocally, when we would also get to take part in the business grade festivities.

Oh sure we had an Office Phone app for basic viewing, editing, and formatting, but it lacked proper tablet support.

Microsoft office word document for android tablet app somegadgetguyAll that changed yesterday when Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and Powerpoint tablet apps were finally approved on Google Play. Each service is an individual app, and downloading the apps is totally free. When not linked with an Office 365 subscription, the apps function as viewers, and wont allow you to edit docs or spreadsheet. Though with unlimited cloud storage coming to OneDrive with an Office 365 subscription, it’s not a bad value when compared to other cloud storage solution.

Linking to Office 365 opens up a full world of document and presentation creation and editing, very similar to what we saw on the iPad version. The full toolsets of Office are included, with advanced formating and formula support, and are well optimized for touch screen use. Tied directly into Office Online, OneDrive, and can be linked to DropBox, it’s a fairly robust ecosystem for sharing and collaborating.

Microsoft office excel for android tablet app somegadgetguy

As they’re beefy services, the download sizes are pretty large. Expect all three apps together to clock in at around 370MB. There’s also an issue with compatibility. Most of the tablets I ave lying around are not yet approved to install the apps. No Asus Transformer, no NVIDIA Shield, even the newer Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 was a no go, so my first impressions were performed on a Nexus 7.

Still it’s a great collection for Android, and now Windows Tablet and Phone fans can start the waiting game as we should see touch optimized Office apps arrive with Windows 10.

Microsoft Word on Google Play
Microsoft Excel on Google Play
Microsoft Powerpoint on Google Play

Nokia Licenses Brand Name to FoxConn for N1 Android Tablet

After teasing fans for a couple days, the mystery has been unveiled. The Nokia name will return to hardware much sooner than many of us might have expected, however maybe not in the way we might have wanted.

nokia n1 tablet front z launcherThe N1 is a 7.9″ tablet running Android, and featuring Nokia’s Z Launcher skin. The 4:3 aspect ratio display will have a resolution of 2048 x 1536 for the IPS LCD, which will be protected by Gorilla Glass. The slate is powered by a 64-bit Intel Atom Quad-Core, 2GB of RAM, and will have 32GB of storage. The rear camera is an 8MP shooter, and the FFC will have 5 million pixels to play with for selfies. The one piece Aluminum frame will feature bottom firing stereo speakers, and maybe one of the more interesting specs is the reversible USB 2 Type C connector.

If the design of this tablet, and some of those specs like the 4:3 screen and the reversible cable port sound familiar, they should. Continue reading “Nokia Licenses Brand Name to FoxConn for N1 Android Tablet”

App Review: Movie Creator Video Editor for Windows Phone – Full Feature Walk Through & Tutorial

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see a full fledged video editor on Windows Phone. Now with some of the best cameras ever bolted onto our smartphones, we now have the ability to cut up high resolution video directly from the phones that shot it. Best of all this app is cross platform for any Windows device with a touch screen.

Here’s our full review, feature walk through, and tutorial of Movie Creator on Windows Phone 8.1! Enjoy!

Movie Creator (BETA) on the Windows App Store.