Google Chromecast has unleashed the biggest shopping stampede since the iPad, selling out within a day of its release and triggering false rumors of shipping delays until October. Homeowners who haven’t placed an order may be wondering whether their family is missing out on the latest entertainment revolution or whether the frenzy is just sales hype. Is Google’s latest technological toy really worth getting? To answer this, it helps to know what Chromecast does, what it doesn’t do, how it stacks up to competitors, and whether it’s a better buy.
Last week, just two days before Amazon announced the release of their new Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo opened the curtain on their new eReaders for this upcoming year. Before I get to naming the devices and their features I’d like to note one thing, I recently jumped on the Kobo bandwagon earlier this year because a dear friend of mine (@NadaFaris) kept on insisting that Kobos kicked every Kindle to the curb and I thought what better way to judge than to try the two platforms out. Personally, I fell in love with the easy and fun operating system which the Kobo uses, you see it’s more interactive and stuff. There are Reading Awards to be achieved with everything you do on the Kobo device. When you turn off the unit, the book cover of the current book you’re reading is right there on the display taunting you and wanting you to come back and finish the remaining percentage of the book. Ordering books is easier than the Kindle in that it doesn’t want you to be a US user or UK user, you can pretty much be anywhere in the world and use it. It’s just that easier.
Back to the point, the press event which took place at the end of August revealed a ‘Pocket’ integration on all its eReader products. ‘Pocket’ is basically an app which allows you to save articles from around the web to read later on a multitude of different devices, now Kobo’s eReaders can do that. A reading-centric mode has been added to the tablets in order to give users a distraction free environment to reading a book, with this there will be no notifications, easier colors to read and simply a ‘Do Not Disturb’ experience.
Once that announcement was out of the way Kobo unveiled their three new eReaders:
A short while ago, just a few minutes ago the Apple Event of September wrapped up and we saw the unveiling of a few new products (well only the major one the #iPhone). Tim Cook took the stage to run through some numbers earlier today before the main event took place. The most important announcements that were revealed were:
- iOS 7 will be available as a free download on Wednesday Sept. 18 and is compatible with iPhone 4 onwards, iPad 2 onwards, iPad mini, and 5th generation iPod touch.
- iWork & iLife apps are now available free with every iOS device purchase (those include Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, iPhoto)
- Infinity Blade III will be available to purchase in the App Store on Sept. 20.
- iPhone 5C – Pre-Order starts Friday September 13, Ships September 20.
- iPhone 5S – Order starting September 20
Let’s talk a bit more about the bits and pieces announced, shall we?
Amazon announced last weekend the next generation of the Kindle Paperwhite in which they upgraded minor things that could mean a smoother device for its end-users. Although it is mostly a hardware upgrade the important announcement which I found interesting came in the form of the newly announced “Kindle Matchbook“. Simply put, if you ever purchased actual physical books from Amazon you will soon be able to purchase the same items for your Kindle at virtually no cost. Similar to their previous “Auto-Rip” program launched a while back you would receive an AmazonMP3 version of an album you previously purchased. In this case the Kindle version of some Paperback books or Hardcovers will either be free or range between 0.99$ – 2.99$.
Over 10,000 books will be available via Kindle Matchbook when it launches in October, and your entire order history will qualify for discounted Kindle Books. Only books that were purchased new will count towards MatchBook however (which means will be offered completely free). I can’t wait because this means I will actually have two copies of my books and my Kindle will actually be my moving library!
- Higher Contrast e-Ink display
- Faster processor for improved page turning and book opening
- Redesigned built-in light
- Touch-screen has been improved as well
- Integration with Goodreads
- Kid-friendly mode called Free Time
- Expansion of the X-Ray feature which now uses a full dictionary and Wikipedia in the “Smart Lookup” tool
What’s the same?
- Form factor is just like the previous generations except it is a bit lighter
The device is available for Pre-Order on Amazon and ships September 30th for 119$ with Special Offers or 139$ without Special offers. Personally, I won’t be grabbing this model as I have the previous generation and its fine with me.
Features of Kindle MatchBook?
- Kindle Editions at a great price: Amazon customers who purchase or have purchased qualifying print books can get the Kindle edition for prices that are typically $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free.
- For book purchases dating back to 1995: Print purchases from 1995 will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook
- Easy Discovery: Readers can easily look up their entire print book order history to discover which of their past purchases are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook.
The integration of technology in fashion brings form, function and visual impact to the industry. Laptop bags have hidden chargers, kinetic energy powers watches and MP3 players can be color coordinated to your outfit. As the world progresses, fashion houses want to be a part of it.
(Twitter Dress worn by Nicole Scherzinger)
Now, I own a bunch of mobile phones (some were gifts, and some were purchases) that range from Androids to iPhones with the older generation Nokia’s and Sony Ericsson’s but I have yet to own a Windows Phone and I’m tempted. I’m tempted more so now especially since Nokia has released the new Lumia 625, but I’m on the rocks to try that or the Lumia 1020 but we’ll see about that. The Nokia Lumia 625 is a 4G smartphone that is priced at 78.000 KWD, it delivers a large 4.7-inch LCD screen, 4G internet access, along with some newer features that are seen in the Lumia 1020. Below is the press release which delivers more information.
Now that the Apple World Wide Developer’s Convention is over we can recap all the new good stuff that was announced by Tim Cook and his team of brilliant designers. Since I’m on vacation this post will be entirely condensed post with bullet points and more so I guess you will thank me for it in the end.