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Microsoft Surface Smart Watch

Yes, it’s true—Microsoft is about to get into the smartwatch game, and I got the opportunity to play with it. As we'd previously reported, Microsoft has filed a patent that details a smartwatch. However, often these patent filings aren’t exactly what we see companies end up releasing. So, let’s separate the cruft and get to the meat of the matter. A number of months ago I took a trip to New York where I came across someone who was testing the upcoming Microsoft wearable device. I saw it on their wrist and asked about it. They tried to explain that it was a random fitness wristband ordered from China at first, but eventually (with some prodding) gave me the scoop. Here is your exclusive first look at what Microsoft is planning for its first wearable smart device, what we are referring to as the Surface Watch:

  • As far as looks, the image above is a parody, but not far off. It has an elongated form factor, but isn't as comically large as what's in the image. It is much more akin to something like the Fitbit One or Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit in shape rather than taking on the shape of a traditional watch, like Pebble did, or like what Google showed off with Android Wear. What we saw had a flat display, while the inner portion that would rest against your skin was curved.
  • The icons are the flat style that Microsoft has been using on its other devices like Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. That's what tipped me off in the first place.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is how it interacts with the rest of the world
  • The flat glass display, and was definitely not high resolution. We hope that both of these change in the final product--a high-resolution curved display already exists on the Samsung Gear Fit, and the Microsoft device just didn't look as good.
  • The watch is packed with sensors. It has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The galvanic skin response sensor is built into the watch band, while everything else is built into the unit itself.

Click to continue reading Exclusive: I used Microsoft’s Surface watch


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Yosemite ios 8 handoff setup

With plenty of people now running both iOS 8 beta and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview in order to kick the tires on Apple's upcoming operating systems, we're hearing that a lot of people are confused as to how to get the cool Handoff feature working. Handoff, announced during the WWDC 2014 keynote, is what allows the two operating systems talk to each other and pass app information back and forth seamlessly. Here's how you do it:

Click to continue reading How to set up Handoff in OS X Yosemite & iOS 8


Final Cut Pro X Yosemite fix

Yesterday, Apple released the first OS X Yosemite Developer Preview following its WWDC 2014 keynote, allowing beta testers early access to its next big desktop operating system update. While many appreciate the new, overhauled appearance of the OS, many forgot that this was beta software they were installing, and that all bets were off as far as bugs and other issues went. One of the big ones if you edit videos is that both Final Cut Pro X and iMovie won't launch by default in the initial Yosemite Developer Preview. We were able to find a way around this:

  1. Head to your Applications folder in Finder
  2. Right-click the Final Cut Pro or iMovie app icon
  3. Select "Show Package Contents"
  4. Go into the Contents folder
  5. Go into the  MacOS folder
  6. Double-click on the app icon (either Final Cur Pro or iMovie)

This will launch the Terminal app first, and then should launch the video editor after a few Terminal commands go through. It's not a perfect solution, but it's one that we've found will work for now, at least until Yosemite Developer Preview 2 is released in what we guess will be a couple of weeks.


HTC One M8 review

Last year, HTC impressed us with the release of the original HTC One, a phone that featured what we believed to be the best build quality of any Android smartphone. This year, the HTC One (M8) takes its place as the flagship handset from HTC.

On the surface, the HTC One (M8) improves upon the original in a multitude of ways. Faster internals. Dual-lens UltraPixel camera. Larger display. Improved industrial design. The question is, though, does the final product add up to being another that can stand above the crowded Android line-up? We've put the device through its paces, and we are here to answer all of those questions here in our full HTC One (M8) review.

Click to continue reading HTC One (M8) review: The best Android phone gets even better


WrestleMania Reading Challenge WWE Stephanie McMahon, AJ, Cody rhodes

Last week, WWE Superstars and Divas visited Langston Hughes Academy Elementary school in New Orleans, LA for the annual WrestleMania Reading Challenge event in conjunction with The Pearson Foundation and the Young Adult Library Services Association. Children in the school gathered in the gymnasium, where they were able to meet AJ Lee, Cody Rhodes, and Stephanie McMahon after learning about the We Give Books ReadMobile and how it travels the country promoting literacy. The Superstars took turns reading a book called Otis by Loren Long, about a little tractor who could.

Click to continue reading 2014 WWE WrestleMania Reading Challenge wrap-up


LEGO Simpsons minifigs

Hot on the heels of the release of LEGO The Simpsons House 71006, the first 16 LEGO Simpsons Minifigs have been revealed. They all look great, and we're sure Chief Wiggum appreciates the slimming down that LEGO happened to give him. Each Minifig will cost $4, and they'll hit stores in time for the LEGO-themed episode of The Simpsons that's set for May 4th on FOX. Check out each Minifig over in our LEGO Simpsons Minifig gallery.

Gallery: The first 16 LEGO Simpsons Minifigs are awesome [Gallery]


Loot Crate launch giveaway

If you love tech and geeky goodness and haven't heard of Loot Crate, where have you been?! We are big fans of the subscription box, which delivers a bunch of cool, geeky gear and nerdy swag that happens to fit our lifestyle perfectly. Each box contains 6-8 new items, all within a common theme, kept secret until they're delivered. The theme we are giving away this time is LAUNCH. What's in the box? Take a look:

  • Superman POP! Vinyl - Funko
  • Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book - Randomhouse
  • Minecraft 2014 Calendar - Trends International
  • Star Wars Pocketmodel TCG - Wizkids
  • Melting Rubik's Cube - Walls360
  • Star Trek Communicator Badge - Walls360
  • NASA "Meatball" Emblem Patch - A-B Emblem

Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and if you wanna get in on all this awesomeness, use this link to get $3 off a Loot Crate subscription!

Click to continue reading Giveaway: Loot Crate Launch box!


Remember our Jawbone Mini Jambox Valentine's Day giveaway package? Well, we have a winner! Check out the video above, where we announce who walked away with the Red Jawbone Mini Jambox, Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5 & 5s, and the iPhone 5c Inlay Case from Sonix. We have more giveaways coming later this week, and as always, our supporters get 25 bonus entries in all Gear Live contests (as well as a bunch of other cool perks!)


Loot Crate console wars giveaway

If you love tech and geeky goodness and haven't heard of Loot Crate, where have you been?! We are big fans of the subscription box, which delivers a bunch of cool, geeky gear and nerdy swag that happens to fit our lifestyle perfectly. Each box contains 6-8 new items, all within a common theme, kept secret until they're delivered. The theme we are giving away this time is CONSOLE WARS. What's in the box? Take a look:

  • Console Wars II - Shirt Woot
  • Grip-It Control Protectors - Grip-It
  • Tintastic Creative Activity Set - Funko
  • Energems - NRG Innovations
  • Bravest Wars Sticker - Mike Vasquez
  • Split Personality Wristband - Loot Crate Labs
  • Legends Never Die Magnet - Loot Crate Labs
  • Shirt Woot coupon
  • Energems coupon
  • A candy cane

Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and if you wanna get in on all this awesomeness, use this link to get $3 off a Loot Crate subscription!

Click to continue reading Giveaway: Loot Crate Console Wars box!


iPhone 5s Touch ID

We're back for another installment of Ask Andru, where I take your burning tech questions and give you practical answers! This time, we have a two-parter as it pertains to securing your iPhone 5s (see our iPhone 5s review) and iPad, as well as making Touch ID work as well as expected. Here we go, these questions were sent in by Mike:

I have two questions,

  1. I have a two part question, what is the best security app for the iPad mini with Retina display & the iPhone 5s?

  2. Since I picked up my new iPhone 5s from the AT&T Store-Lynwood this past October and two exchanges for two new replacement phones from the Apple Store @ Alderwood Mall, the Touch ID still has not worked for me. Have other users had problems with the Touch ID? In regards to exchanging my 5s for a 5c or a Droid phone, I have been informed that it is past their respective fourteen day warranty period to facilitate an exchange because their operating systems will not allow this transaction to take place. So thus, AT&T and Apple have left me with a defective product.

Regards,
Mike

Let's start with that first one. When most people talk about security apps, I think they're asking about something that will protect them from viruses and malware getting installed on their mobile devices. For Android, for example, you might want to have something installed due to the rampant malware that can be found in the Google Play store. However, Apple sandboxes each app, and as such, none get full access to take over your device, no matter how hard they try. Apple also has a vetting process for each app as well, so there are no antivirus or anti-malware apps that you'll need. Yet, one app that I do love for security and protection is called 1Password. Let me explain.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: How to improve Touch ID and secure your iPhone


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