On Gear Live: Amazon Prime cost raised to $99 per year starting April 17

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Sonos software beta

We've been huge Sonos fans here at Gear Live for years, but if there's one niggle we've heard complaints about from users more than any other, it's that you have to plug in one Sonos component into your wired network. Normally, this would mean buying the Sonos Bridge in addition to whatever speaker components you'd want to place throughout your home, because it's rare that the place you want to put your Sonos device just happens to be where your networking equipment is. The result? You'd have to pay $50 for the Bridge, upping the price of entry.

Well, now Sonos is set to change how it handles creating its SonosNet wireless mesh network, which is the way that Sonos components communicate with each other. "We've found a way to deliver all the benefits of SonosNet without a product directly connected to your router," the company said in a blog post. The best part? All that will be required is a software update, so existing Sonos owners will be able to ditch the wired requirement as well, once the update goes public.

With the new method, you plug a Sonos component in and then fire up the Sonos app on your smartphone or tablet. Then you simply select your Wi-Fi network, put in your password, and Sonos jumps on and takes care of the rest. As long as you don't have a huge house with Sonos components spread so far apart that the wireless signal can't talk to each other (and that would have to be a pretty big house), you are golden. Sonos is launching a beta program to allow those interested to try it out and find any bugs before pushing it out to the masses.

You can check out the Sonos product line-up now.

Read More | Sonos Beta

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iPad Air 2

If today's leaked photos are to be believed, the next iPad Air will feature a front panel with an integrated display. This design change would allow for the iPad Air to be even thinner than it already is. Originally popping up on the One More Thing Web site, citing a "trusted Dutch source with connections in China." Interestingly enough, this photo come just a couple of days after the alleged leaked iPhone 6 front panel image appeared.

Of course, there's no way to confirm the validity of the photos or the parts featured in them. They could certainly be cloned parts, although One More Thing seems confident in their source, and has been correct on similar leaks in the past.


iPad mini with Retina display refurbished

For the first time, Apple is selling refurbished models of the iPad mini with Retina display. The benefit here, of course, is that buyers are now able to pay less for Apple's popular tablet, while maintaining a free 1-year of AppleCare warranty as well. For now, it's just the Wi-Fi models that are available refurbished--nothing yet for the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions.

The 16GB Retina iPad mini is $339, which is a 15% discount from the full $399 price. The 32GB version sells for $419, which is $80 less than the standard price, and the 64GB model is $509, which is a price drop of $90. For now, there are no 128GB versions of the iPad mini with Retina display available as a refurb.

These are gonna go fast, so head on over to Apple and grab a refurb iPad mini if you wanna take advantage of the deal.

Read More | Refurbished iPad mini with Retina display

WWE Network updates

WWE held its 2014 Business Partner Summit in New Orleans, and talked about improvements that will be made to the WWE Network this spring. Here are some of the highlights mentioned:

  • Users will gain greater control over their WWE Network viewing experience, with the ability to bookmark a place within a video, save your spot and pick up where you left off across platforms, and use chapter markers to skip to specific parts of a given show.
  • Personalized recommendations will suggest content to viewers on other shows they may want to watch, based on their viewing history.
  • The WWE Network will launch on the Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, and Smart TV and Blu-ray platforms this spring.

The WWE Network is currently available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Kindle Fire, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and web browsers.

Click to continue reading New features coming to WWE Network, launching on Xbox One & Fire TV this spring


Chevy Volt 2016

As a brand, the Chevy Volt is well-known in the electric vehicle market. That said, mind-share doesn't equal sales, and GM is set to step up its efforts to make the Volt the car that EV buyers end up choosing when it's time to buy. To fix this, GM is planning on bringing down the entry-level price of the 2016 Volt, and then offering tiered upgrades, similar to the way Tesla sells the Model S.

At the low end, the 2016 Chevy Volt should cost just over $30,000, which is about $5,000 less than it currently costs now, bringing it closer in line with competing vehicles like the Honda Accord plug-in and Ford C-Max Energi. Total range of the entry-level Volt should be under 300 miles, and won't be as heavy on the upgraded feel of the car--but if those options aren't your jam anyway, then you can save yourself some money.


Amazon 3D smartphone

Our friends at BGR is reporting that it has acquired an image of Amazon's upcoming smartphone with 3D display. Purportedly, this is a prototype, and if it's true, it has some interesting features that set it apart from the pack. The biggest feature is a 3D effect that is powered by a series of infrared cameras that are used to to track the eyes and face of the user, which then uses the data gathered to power the 3D effect without using the typical methods of deliverying glasses-free 3D (like found on the Nintendo 3DS.) The display is a 4.7-incher, along with a 13-megapixel rear camera.

Amazon has been rumored to be working on its own smartphone for years, ever since releasing the first Kindle Fire tablet. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon's 3D smartphone should ship to customers this September.


iPhone 6 display

A photo that purports to show a front panel from the upcoming iPhone 6 has appeared on China's Weibo site. In the photo, someone is holding the alleged iPhone 6 part up next to a current black iPhone 5s in order to show a size comparison between the two Apple smartphones. The display panel matches up with the rumored 4.7-inch size increase. Of course, that doesn't mean that this particular image is real, but iPhone leaks do start happening annually, like clockwork, around this time of year for the past three years.

Click to continue reading Photo purports to compare iPhone 6 display panel with iPhone 5s display


In this episode of Unboxing Live we open up the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows tablet.The Lumia 2520 runs the latest version of Windows RT 8.1 right out of the box, and has a large, 10.1-inch 1080p display.

You can pick up the Nokia Lumia 2520 here:

Here are the Nokia Lumia 2520 specs:

  • 6.7-megapixel rear camera
  • 10.1-inch 1080p display
  • Quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
  • 32 GB storage
  • USB 3.0
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • NFC
  • Battery capacity: 8120 mAh
  • 2GB RAM

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel, and don't forget--we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 
Here's how to get the show:
[Download] - iPod-formatted H.264
[Download] - 720p HD
[Download] - 1080p MP4

Nintendo Thwomp Pillow

We always knew that the Thwomps that try to crush our heroes in Super Mario Bros. were big softies, and now there's proof in the official Thwomp pillow. These are licensed by Nintendo, so they're the real deal. You can get one of your own right now for $25 on Amazon. Just be sure to time your jumps carefully, mmkay?

Read More | Thwomp Pillow

Mac Pro amazon

While Apple is still quoting 4-6 week delivery times for new Mac Pro orders, those who need one sooner should know that Amazon has both stock configurations ready to ship immediately. The quad-core 3.7GHz Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D300 cards and 12GB RAM is $2,994, while the six-core 3.5GHz Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D500 cards and 16GB RAM is $3,994. You can find them here:

If you want more RAM, it's cheaper to buy it yourself from a place like OWC anyway (video tutorial after the jump.) Additionally, Amazon doesn't charge sales tax in most places, so at those high prices, you're saving a pretty penny. Overnight shipping on the Mac Pros is available as well.

Click to continue reading Amazon now shipping Mac Pro (2013) immediately


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