BBM App Launches On The Apple Watch

Apple Watch

BlackBerry has released a new version of the BBM app for the iPhone and iPad and the new app now also brings BBM to the Apple Watch.

With the BBM Companion app on the Apple Watch you will be able to share photos and voice notes, see replies to your message and more.

Here is what is included in the update:

iOS 9 support with quick reply
Users can now send videos in chats
Apple Watch support
Official BBM Sticker Club subscription in the BBM Shop
PayPal integration for sending money to BBM contacts as an attachment
Enhancements to BBM Voice connectivity
View, like, and comment on group pictures and other events from within BBM feeds.
Bug fixes and performance improvements

New Apple Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, And Magic Mouse 2 Taken Apart By iFixit

Apple Magic Keyboard

Following on from the announcement earlier this week that Apple has created and launched a new range of Mac peripherals in the form of the Apple Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, And Magic Mouse 2.

iFixit has wasted no time taking their tools to the new Apple products to reveal to all what lies inside, as you might have already guessed in a few of the products not much at all.

Apple Magic Mouse 2

But what is revealed in the Apple Magic Keyboard is the new rechargeable battery that Apple has a quick input device with saving you from purchasing batteries every six months or so. As always iFixit marks each device with a repair ability score and here are the scores on the doors with 10 being the easiest to repair:

– The Magic Keyboard Repairability Score: 3 out of 10
– The Magic Trackpad 2 Repairability Score: 3 out of 10
– The Magic Mouse 2 Repairability Score: 2 out of 10

Apple Magic Trackpad 2

For the full teardowns and images of every stage of the process for each of the devices follow the links below over to the iFixit website.

Chameleon Pen Can Blend Multiple Colour Tones

Chameleon Pen

Artists and illustrators looking to cut down on the number of pens and drawing implements they need to carry or have on their desktop, might be interested in a very unique pen called the Chameleon.

Unlike other pens the Chameleon is capable of producing multiple colour tones from a single tip allowing designers, artists and illustrators to create gradations, highlights, seamless blends and shading all with one pen.

The Chameleon is currently over on Kickstarter and has tripled its pledge goal of $25,000 raising over $75,000 thanks to 700 backers. Watch the video below to learn more about how this pen functions and can help you with your illustrations.

Spotify, Others Downplay Chip Card Woes Cited by Netflix

Spotify and some other online companies on Thursday played down the impact of a transition to chip-based bank cards a day after Netflix blamed the shift for slow quarterly US subscriber growth.

US lenders have been sending out new debit and credit cards with security chips ahead of an industry-imposed October 1 deadline. Netflix, which relies on monthly payments from customers, said many did not update credit card data, leaving on file old cards which didn’t work.

Chief Executive Reed Hastings on Wednesday said the transition to new cards led to “involuntary churn” in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Netflix said it added 0.88 million US subscribers compared with its forecast of 1.15 million.

If the transition affects a broad swatch of companies, it could depress earnings for many.

But several firms and a retail industry association contacted by Reuters on Thursday, including Spotify, a music service with over 20 million subscribers, said they had not experienced issues with the new cards.

“We’re not seeing anything significant but we’re putting plans in place to reach out to users to make sure we have their updated information,” said the company in a statement.

Care.com, a web-based marketplace for family care and Chegg, which offers online tutoring for students and textbook rental, both also played down the impact of the shift. Other companies, including Amazon Inc and Apple Inc, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The National Retail Federation, an industry group, has “heard nothing at all” from its retail members about issues with the new cards, according to J. Craig Shearman, vice president of government affairs public relations.

Some analysts suggested the credit card issues were only part of the problem that Netflix faced, pointing to growing competition from other streaming services as well as the impact of a slowing economy.

James Cordwell, an analyst with Atlantic Equities, said that Netflix’s reasoning could suggest that some customers are not using the service regularly enough to notice that they have been cut off.

“It kind of raises question around whether there are a number of dormant subscribers in the space,” Cordwell said. “I suppose the credibility of Netflix’s excuse will be dependent on whether we hear more about this issue across earnings.”

Netflix said the sheer size of its own subscription service could account for a difference with other companies that have not had problems with new cards.

“It’s an issue of scale,” said Netflix spokeswoman Anne Marie Squeo. “When you’re processing recurring payments for some 42 million people, the influx of new credit cards can have a discernible impact even though it’s quite small relative to the size of our U.S. membership.”

First Netflix Film ‘Beasts of No Nation’ Set for Big (and Small) Screen

Netflix makes another play for entertainment domination Friday when its first feature film is released simultaneously in both theatres and on its online streaming platform.

“Beasts of No Nation” is the first movie produced by Netflix after the company – best known for its streaming movie and TV platform – produced several hit TV series over the past few years.

The film stars Idris Elba and tells the story of a young West African forced to become a child soldier after his father is killed.

“Beasts of No Nation” was screened at film festivals in Colorado, Toronto and Venice, bringing home two prizes and now finds itself in the Oscar discussion.

On Friday, it will be released in 29 US theatres as well as online for Netflix subscribers wishing to view the film from home.

The company, which continues to expand to new countries, said Wednesday it has 69 million users in more than 50 countries.

But the simultaneous release has drawn criticism from some theatres, traditionally the exclusive domain of new films.

“Theater owners get frustrated when, for (public relations) purposes, Netflix makes these grand pronouncements about changing the industry,” Patrick Corcoran of the National Association of Theater Owners told The Washington Post.

Pebble Time Smartwatches Get Voice Recognition Support

Pebble, on Thursday released Dictation APIs, which would let third-party developers add voice recognition support to their apps for the company’s Time smartwatches, paired with Android or iOSsmartphones. The feature is set to arrive on Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round. While the support for Pebble Time and Time Steel has already arrived, it would reach Time Round on November 8 in the US.

Using voice dictation on the smartwatch, the company said Android users would also be able to reply to text messages and emails without using their smartphones. Pebble, to make this possible, has collaborated with Nuance for its voice technology. Pebble smartwatches for now support voice dictations but the feature is very limited.

“The value of a smartwatch is directly connected to its overall aesthetics, fit, and intuitive functionality.Pebble is committed to offering not only a variety of smartwatches that blend into individual lifestyles, but also to expanding the usability of Pebble smartwatches world-wide through frequent software upgrades,” said Kean Wong, Vice President of Software Engineering at Pebble. “Making voice capabilities accessible to developers will help grow the Pebble app ecosystem exponentially, providing Pebble users access to more apps that are fun, intuitive, and easy to use.”

“Voice opens up a world of possibility for wearable devices – in seconds, messages dictated by voice are sent right from the wrist with just a touch of a button. By opening the Dictation API to Pebble developers, more experiences will be delivered and consumers will be able to connect without having to look down at their device,” said Scott Taylor, senior vice president of devices, Nuance Mobile.

Pebble last month launched its first circular smartwatch, the Pebble Time Round. The smartwatch maker claims that the Pebble Time Round at 7.5mm thin and 28 grams weight is the “thinnest and lightest smartwatch in the world”. The band options include 20mm and 14mm while consumers can also pick a finish including Black, Silver, or a special-edition Rose Gold which will be exclusive to the 14mm band size.

Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit Lands In The US

samsung smartkit

Samsung has announced that it is launching its new SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit in the US, the device will be available in the US for $249.

The kit comes with a SmartThings Hub, two multipurpose sensors which can be used to monitor doors, windows and more, plus a motion sensor and a power outlet that lets you control lights and more.

The Home Monitoring Kit has everything you need to start monitoring, controlling, and securing your home from anywhere. It allows you to protect your home more affordable than a traditional home security system, get immediate alerts if there’s unexpected entry or motion in your home, and control your home from the palm of your hand. The Home Monitoring Kit retails for $249.

You can find out more details about the SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit from Samsung over at their website at the link below. The kit will be available from Best Buy, Amazon, Sears and also Samsung.com.

Samsung Gear S2 Up For Pre-order At Verizon

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung’s latest smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S2 is now available to pre-order from Verizon, the device is available for $299.99 on a 2 year contract or for $349.99 without a contract.

Verizon are showing a launch date for the Gear S2 on their network of the 5th of November, the device is compatible with Android smartphones running Android 4.4 and above.

The Samsung Gear S2 comes with Samsung’s Tizen OS and the device features a round 1.2 inch display that has a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. This new smartwatch comes with a dual core 1GHz processor and has 512MB of RAM, there is also a 250 mAh battery and 4GB of built in storage.

Connectivity on Samsung’s latest smartwatch comes in the form of Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, NFC and it will come with Samsung’s new mobile payment system, Samsung Pay. This model of the device is $50 more expensive that the standard version as it has 3G built in.

You can find out more details about the new Gear S2 smartwatch from Samsung over at Verizon at the link below, the device is now available to pre-order and it will launch on the 5th of November.

Tag Heuer ‘Connected’ Android Wear Smartwatch to Launch on November 9

Tag Heuer, a premium Swiss-based watchmaker, has finally announced the launch date of its firstAndroid Wear smartwatch. Named Tag Heuer Connected, the smartwatch would be launched at the LVMH Tower in New York City on November 9 as per company invites.

While details are scarce for the device as of now, Tag Heuer Connected is said to be based on the company’s popular Tag Carrera watch. The company also published a teaser image showing the crown of the watch on its social media handles, but the overall design still remains a mystery.

Tag Heuer Connected also has a dedicated website for the watch that says, “Tag Heuer is pushing the Swiss avant-garde limits even further with the Tag Heuer Connected. Tradition meets innovation, craftsmanship meets savoir-faire, and bold style meets breakthrough technology. The clock is ticking to the major breakthrough.”

tag_heuer_connected_teaser_crown.jpgBy launching its first Android Wear smartwatch, Tag Heuer aims to compete head-to-head against the Apple Watch, which also has luxury variants. The company CEO Jean-Claude Biver last month said in aCNBC interview that the smartwatch would cost around $1,800 (roughly Rs. 1.17 lakhs). While the exact cost is yet to be revealed, the proposed price by the CEO is close to that of the most expensive of the 20 models available in the Apple Watch lineup, priced at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 69,900).

In April, speaking to Bloomberg, Biver added that the upcoming smartwatch will offer up to 40 hours of life in a single charge, as compared to Apple Watch’s 18 hours. Talking about the competitor Apple Watch, he said “I hope they sell millions and millions and millions of them… The more they sell the more a few people will want something different and come to Tag Heuer.”

Tag Heuer announced its collaboration with Google and Intel for its Android Wear smartwatch earlier this year.

Portable BWA U+ Wireless Multimedia Hub, Backup And Storage Unveiled

wireless multimedia hub

Android and iOS smartphone and tablet users that sometimes find themselves lacking in storage space may be interested in a new portable wireless multimedia hub that also provides backup and file storage features.

The BWA U+ pocket backup solution weighs just 130g and on a full charge is capable of providing up to 20 hours of standby. U+ is powered by a Qualcomm processor supported by Samsung RAM combined with high speed flash memory, say its creators.

Watch the video below to learn more about this portable storage device that can accept connections from five devices simultaneously.

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