Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Engadget’

Amazon’s Next Echo Will Be More Like Apple’s HomePod ➝

Devindra Hardawar, reporting for Engadget:

Amazon is working on a new Echo that will improve on the first speaker in practically every way, a source tells Engadget. And, not surprisingly, it’s aiming to take some of the hype away from Apple’s HomePod.

The new Echo will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other, our source claims. Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, rather than the current Echo’s plastic shell and flat ends. And yes, it should sound better, too. The company is packing in several tweeters this time around, instead of just relying on one large tweeter and a woofer (for low end).

Perhaps this is the Amazon Echo that Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the HomePod was aiming to compete with. Instead of the Echo Show, which I assumed he was referring to.

IFTTT’s Free ‘maker’ Tier Lets Anyone Create and Share Applets ➝

Mat Smith, writing for Engadget:

IFTTT is opening up its recipe/ applet creating platform to everyone, with a free ‘maker’ tier that offers deeper (read: harder) programming options beyond the simple “if this then that” UI most IFTTT aficionados use. You could already do this, making private applets for your own use, but this announcement means part-time developers can share any awesome applets with the greater IFTTT community, including lazy ingrates like myself.

If I’m not mistaken, this was a feature available to all IFTTT users until the service took it away sometime last year. I’m glad to see it’s back.

And just to see what the process was like for creating these shareable applets, I went ahead and built a couple. One that automatically saves new Initial Charge feature articles to Instapaper and another that does the same for Pocket. The process was quite simple — I was able to put these two together in less than five minutes.

Sonic Mania ➝

Timothy Seppala, writing for Engadget:

From the trailer below, Mania looks unapologetically old school, replete with chiptune music and the series’ trademark hyper-colorful pixel-art style. Three playable characters are on tap (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles) and in addition to a new move like the drop dash and new levels, Mania will apparently put a couple of twists on old stages as well.

This sounds like the kind of game I can get excited about. I was a huge fan of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic & Knuckles growing up and I wouldn’t mind reliving those memories with this.

Amazon Reverses Course on Encryption for Its Fire Tablets ➝

Call me crazy, but I’d rather give my money to a company that would fight tooth and nail to keep their devices encrypted. I’m glad Amazon is bringing the option back, but they never should have removed it in the first place.

Live Periscope Feeds Will Show up on Twitter for iOS ➝

I hope this feature will eventually come to third-party clients as well. I regularly see Periscope broadcasts in my Twitter timeline that I’d like to watch, but not often enough that I’m willing to install an app specifically to view them.

Apple Music Reportedly Hits 10 Million Subscribers ➝

Jon Fingas, writing for Engadget:

Financial Times sources understand that Apple Music recently racked up its 10 millionth paying subscriber — not bad for a service that’s barely half a year old. Spotify took 6 years to reach the same milestone, although its free tier likely gives it many more listeners overall (40 million in 2014).

Microsoft: We Need a Phone as Good as the Surface Line ➝

Aaron Souppouris, writing for Engadget:

Speaking to Twit’s Windows Weekly show, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Chris Capossela has admitted that the company’s latest Windows Phones are not enough to reverse the ailing platform’s fortunes. Describing the flagship Lumia 950 as simply “solid,” he told host Leo Laporte and Microsoft journalists Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott that the company has a lot more work to do before it can persuade people to “move from an iPhone to one of [Microsoft’s] phones.”

I would love to see more serious competition in the mobile OS market, but it just feels like it’s too late for Microsoft to catch up.

NBC’s SeeSo Starts Free Beta Preview on December 3 ➝

I’m not sure if I need another streaming service in my life, but I’ll at least give SeeSo a shot during the free beta period.