On Gear Live: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 pricing comes with a $129 caveat

Apple Oct 22 event

Apple is set to go out with a bang this year with its big October 22 event. The obvious product announcement that everyone is expecting belongs to the iPad line, with the iPad 5 and iPad mini both seeing significant upgrades. What else can we expect from what will likely be the final Apple event of 2013? Join us after the break for our analysis and expectations.

Click to continue reading What we expect from tomorrow’s Apple iPad event


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Sol Republic master tracks review

The fashion headphone market has grown exponentially over the past five years, and SOL Republic has carved its niche into the game with headphones that are incredibly customizable and focused on great sound for your dollar. The company started with the Tracks on-ears and Amps in-ears, and over time, has added new models that offer better an increase in sound fidelity and features.

The SOL Republic Master Tracks are the first over-ear headphones from the company, matched up with the new "X3 Sound Engine" ear cups, all of which are backwards-compatible with the other SOL Republic headbands. Are the good enough to warrant your attention? Read on for our full SOL Republic Master Tracks review for the answer.

Click to continue reading SOL Republic Master Tracks review


SOL Republic Master Tracks headband logo

The SOL Republic Master Tracks headphones are in impressive pair of over-ears. While we're busy working on our full SOL Republic Master Tracks review, check out the collection of images we put together in our Master Tracks unboxing gallery.

You can pick up the SOL Republic Master Tracks on Amazon.

Gallery: SOL Republic Master Tracks unboxing gallery


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OS X Mavericks apps

Apple released OS X Mavericks Golden Master to developers earlier this month, and with the next Apple event scheduled for October 22, it would seem obvious that the public release of Apple's next major desktop operating system is imminent. More proof? Apple has sent an email to developers asking them to submit their OS X Mavericks apps starting today:

Make sure your app takes advantage of the great new features in OS X Mavericks when the world's most advanced desktop operating system becomes available to millions of customers later this fall. Download OS X Mavericks GM seed and Xcode 5.0.1 GM seed, available on the Mac Dev Center. Build your apps with these latest seeds, then test and submit them to the Mac App Store.

Apple will begin reviewing Mavericks apps right away in preparation for the expected launch later this month.


Gear Live

Okay, we get it. You read Gear Live daily, and constantly say to yourself “I could so have written that story better.” Okay hot shot, now’s your chance. Gear Live is looking to bring in a couple more writers who know their stuff as it pertains to gadgets, video games, and social networks (like Twitter and Facebook.) You need not be a professional journalist to apply, but you should be able to write like one. What do we mean? Well, for starters, you have to have a strong command of the written English language. You also need to be passionate about the subject matter at hand. If you think you fit the bill, we want to hear from you. We are looking for writers, as well as editors.

Drop us an email at gigs[at]gearlive.com, and provide three sample posts written in the Gear Live style. These need to be original and timely, not something you wrote for the school paper a few years back. Also let us know why we should pick you, and what you can commit to. This is a paid gig, so bring your A-game.


Xbox One Friends App

Today Microsoft gave us a look at the upcoming Xbox One friends list, which lets you add up to 1,000 friends (10 times more than the original Xbox and Xbox 360 limit of 100) and also lets you follow other users similar to what you'd do on Twitter. Microsoft is letting you decide what your Xbox Live friends and followers are able to see and how each can interact with you through privacy controls.

Microsoft's Larry Hryb (Xbox Live's Major Nelson) walks us through the interface--achievements, video uploads, followers and friends, recent activity, and the live feed--in the Friends App on Xbox One walkthrough, which we'd included for you after the jump.


Sonos Play:1

Sonos has formally announced the new Play:1 wireless speaker, bringing the price of entry into the Sonos world down to $199. This is a welcome addition to the lineup of what Gear Live considers to be the best speaker system on the planet, making it more affordable to get into. Even better, those who pick up the Play:1 between now and the end of 2013 will also get a free Sonos Bridge thrown in ($50 value) to get the system going.

A custom-designed mid-woofer and tweeter deliver deep, rich and surprisingly big sound. With a powerful low-end and crisp mids and highs, new smart processing technology pushes Sonos’ drivers further than ever before, minimizing distortion even at full volume. Plus, PLAY:1 projects a wide field of sound, delivering a great listening experience no matter where you are sitting in the room.

The new Sonos Play:1 is available in two colors (black and white,) and maintains the same feature set as the other Sonos standalone wireless speakers--it's just smaller, with two drivers (despite the name) powering the sound. There's a 3.5-inch extended-throw mid-woofer paired with an extended-throw tweeter. You can grab two of them and create a true stereo pair with audio separation for even better sound, or pair two of them with a Sonos SUB for even better bass. Heck, throw two Play:1 units, the SUB, and the Sonos Playbar together and you have a fantastic 5.1 wireless surround sound system that you can also use to play your music (see our Sonos Playbar review.) Or, just grab one Play:1 and put it in the kitchen or bathroom as an extra Sonos zone--they're wall-mountable and humidity-resistant.

The Sonos Play:1 is available now throughout the US, and will see its international release on October 29. Again, you can pick up the Play:1 now and get a free Sonos Bridge thrown in if you buy before the end of the year.

Read More | Sonos Play:1

Fitbit Force

The Fitbit Force is a new fitness tracking wristband from the company that started this whole quantified self fitness gadget craze. About half a year ago, Fitbit launched its first fitness tracking wristband, the Flex, which was a little feature-barren when compared to its other offerings. The Force changes that, as it does everything that any other Fitbit can do, plus more. That means that it will keep track of your steps, distance traveled, how many minutes you were active, how many floors you've climbed, how well (and how long) you are sleeping, and even call notifications from your iPhone, as long as yo are running iOS 7 on an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPhone 5s--that last feature will be introduced soon through a software update.

The Fitbit Force should last for about 7-10 days on a charge, thanks to its Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy profile and low-powered OLED display. You can order it now in one of two colors (black and slate blue) for $129.95.

Click to continue reading Fitbit Force fitness band features iPhone call notifications

Read More | Fitbit Force

iPad mini Retina

Apple is set to announce its brand new iPad 5 and iPad mini with Retina display on October 22, according to AllThingsD sources familiar with the matter. After announcing the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in September, Apple will be following a similar pattern to last year, with the October announcement focusing on its tablets.

So what can we expect from the event? For starters, the fifth-generation iPad will see a redesign, bringing in cues from the iPad mini, like the thinner side bezels and a more sleek rear design. The iPad mini will be picking up a Retina display, the one glaring omission from the original model that launched almost a year ago. No word yet on if the Touch ID fingerprint technology will make it to either tablet, but we have heard reports that we may see both a space gray color, and the champagne gold that's been popular on the iPhone 5s (see our iPhone 5s review.) IGZO display technology from Sharp may be featured here, and AllThingsD says that both models will sport the new 64-bit A7 processor as well.

Of course, there are other products we're waiting for Apple to update us on as well, so there's a good chance we will also get pricing and release information for the new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks (especially since the Mavericks Golden Master is available to developers,) and a spec bump for the MacBook Pro to include Haswell processors, and possibly an Apple TV update. Of course, we'll be here to bring you all the news as it unfolds.

Read More | AllThingsD

Nest Protect

Nest, makers of the massively popular learning thermostat, is getting into the smoke detector game with Protect. The Nest Protect is a sensor-packed smoke and carbon monoxide detector that aims to remove all the annoyances of the "modern" smoke detector, making it more helpful, more pleasing to use, and ultimately, safer. So, how does Nest aim to reach that goal?

Like the Nest Learning Thermostat, Protect is constantly connected to your Wi-Fi network. This allows you to set the device up with your iOS or Android device, and lets you use the Nest app to check things like battery life and other settings, while also receiving push notifications in the event of any emergencies. Even cooler, Nest devices can talk to each other. So, if the Protect senses a fire, it will let all the others know, and they will speak in a female voice alerting you to smoke detected in a particular room. If it senses a rise in carbon monoxide, it can let your Nest Thermostat know to switch off the heat.

Click to continue reading Nest Protect: A sensor-packed smoke / carbon monoxide detector for $129


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