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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
The final piece of the Xbox One launch puzzle was solved yesterday when Microsoft confirmed that the console will launch on November 22nd. For those who don't have amazing an amazing memory, this is the same day that the Xbox 360 launched eight years ago. As previously announced, the Xbox One will cost $499, and will include the console, a controller, wired mono headset, and the new Kinect sensor.
Samsung is the first major company to release a smartwatch, revealing the Galaxy Gear during today's Unpacked event. The rumor mill was quite a ways off from what was presented today. The Gear sports a 1.63-inch 320 x 320 Super AMOLED display, with a 1.9-megapixel BSI auto-focus camera on the outside wrist strap (used to capture low-resolution images and 10-second video clips at 720p,) and a speaker on the inner wrist strap.
Galaxy Gear is also a platform unto itself, and it will have 70 apps on deck for launch, including familiar names like RunKeeper, Path, Evernote, TripIt, MyFitnessPal, eBay, and many others. That sounds great, but the device will ship with limited smartphone and tablet compatibility, working with only the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 at launch, although Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S III integration will be coming in October. With a compatible device, the Galaxy Gear will be your companion, allowing you access to Find My Device, S Voice, pedometer, call answering, and more.
At today's Unpacked event, Samsung announced its new S Pen-powered Galaxy Note 3, a bigger version of the large smartphone, with much improved internals. Aiming to end the talk of people complaining about the cheap plastic feel of Samsung devices, the company has given the Note 3 a faux-leather backing. You get a 5.7-inch 1080p display (up from 5.5 on the Note 2,) and the device will support the new LTE Category 4 as well as the new Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. You get a 13 megapixel camera on back, with a 2 megapixel version up front, and the rear camera can record in up to 4K resolution at 30fps, a first for a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will start shipping on September 25th rocking Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, available in black, white, and pink.
If you're rocking a Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy S 4 and are wondering when you'll be able to get in on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, today's Unpacked event made it clear that the software is coming to your handheld sometime during the month of October, around the same time as the update that will enable Galaxy Gear functionality. No word on when Android 4.4 KitKat will be made available.
Walking around in the rain under an umbrella may seem pretty romantic, but getting hit by a motor vehicle while placing your sport coat over a puddle for your lady isn't. How can you avoid such an unfortunate mishap? You can start with the Hi-Reflective Umbrella. In bright hours, it serves as a dark gray mild-mannered umbrella, but when darkness falls, you get what is essentially a blinding spotlight-esque circle that shouts out "Don't hit me!" to the motorists of the world.
Read More | Hi-Reflective Umbrella Product Page
Microsoft just revealed an interesting tidbit about its upcoming Xbox One console: it can support up to either controllers at once. The Xbox One controller has a 30-foot range, and the console can recognize up to eight players at a time. Of course, developers will need to code the functionality into their games for up to eight players, but hey--at least now we aren't relegated to the typical four-player games anymore with the new Xbox. Interestingly, today Sony confirmed that the Playstation 4 will support up to 4 controllers at once.
Google Android (and Chrome) head Sundar Pichai has announced the next version of Android: KitKat. Yep - Android 4.4 will be known as KitKat, a name Google got the rights to use in partnership with Nestle, and continues the tradition of Android versions being named after sweet confections. While Google had been using the name "Key Lime Pie" internally for Android 4.4, "very few people actually know the taste of key lime pie," according to Android director of partnerships John Lagerling. Not sure why that matters, but obviously KitKat is a bigger marketing play.
No new features of KitKat have been announced just yet, but at least we know the name, and have a new Android icon with integrated chocolatey KitKat goodness integrated in.
Google is currently running a promotion that lets buyers of specially-marked KitKat packs to have a chance to win a free Nexus 7 or some Google Play credit.
Read More | Google Android KitKat 4.4
Amazon has released an all-new Kindle Paperwhite today, bringing a few improvements and optimizations to the front-lit e-reader. For starters, it packs in a processor that is 25% faster than its predecessor, a display with higher contrast and better reflectivity (brighter whites and darker blacks,) smoother touch technology, and a battery that is rated to last for over 2 hours. Goodreads integration will also be coming to the new device, along with Kindle FreeTime for Paperwhite, bringing subscription books for the little ones. The new Kindle Paperwhite will go nicely with the new Amazon Kindle MatchBook service, and will start shipping on September 30th, and you can order it now for $119.
Read More | Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon has announced an awesome new program called Kindle MatchBook that it's set to launch in October, bringing free and cheap eBooks to buyers of paper books. Basically, if you purchase a paper book from Amazon, you can buy the digital Kindle version for $.99, $1.99, $2.99, or download it for free, depending on the book. Most interesting? It's completely retroactive, going all the way back to 1995 when Amazon launched. Any participating purchase you've ever made on Amazon is eligible, as long as it is a part of the MatchBook selection, which will launch at about 10,000 titles next month. Amazon says that there will be some big-name authors taking part:
Kindle MatchBook will launch with books from Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, Marcus Sakey, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo, Neal Stephenson, and J.A. Jance, among others. In addition, Amazon Publishing will include all its titles in Kindle MatchBook.
Definitely a cool service, and one that makes Amazon an even more attractive purchasing destination when compared to Barnes & Noble and the Nook store, and Apple's iBookstore (which doesn't even sell paper books.)
Read More | Kindle MatchBook
As anticipated, Apple has sent out press invites to its next iPhone event, scheduled for September 10th. As Apple typically does, hints of what's to come are foreshadowed in the invite graphic. This time around, it appears that Apple is focusing on the multi-hued iPhone 5C, which we've seen will be available in multiple plastic colors as the entry-level iPhone option. We recently gave you a look at what you can expect both new iPhone models to look like. Of course, we'll have all the details for you live as it happens a week from today.
It's rumored that the iPhone 5S and 5C will go on sale on September 20th, ten days after Apple introduces them.
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