Google has reportedly been hard at work developing glasses with a built-in heads-up display (HUD) on one lens. The glasses reportedly look very similar to Oakley’s Thump sunglasses, which allowed users to load songs onto a small flash drive and listen to tunes through integrated ear buds. According to 9to5Google, the glasses will be equipped with “hardware near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone,” which means we’ll likely see a 1GHz processor and internal storage in the 8GB to 16GB range. The glasses will also be capable of voice input and output according to the report, and they will be able to capture photos using a front-facing camera. A user may even be able to navigate through menu items by tilting his or her head, 9to5Google said. The pilot program for Google’s HUD glasses is expected to launch soon but the devices are reportedly still far from ready for a mass roll out. More →
Following widespread complaints of excessive battery drain thought to be related to a time zone bug, iPhone 4S owners are now beginning to draw attention to a new iPhone bug. According to multiple threads on Apple’s support forum, hundreds of iPhone 4S users are experiencing an audio echo during voice calls when using a wired headset. Users across multiple wireless carriers with various iPhone 4S models report that audio quality on voice calls often depletes after a period of time, and the voice of the caller on the other end of the line begins to echo. BGR was able to independently confirm the echo bug on one of our iPhone 4S handsets. Read on for more. More →
Earlier this month, HTC purchased a controlling stake in Beats Audio and a new phone called the Runnymede 2 could join the HTC Vigor as one of the first devices to offer Beats technology. According to a leaked spec sheet, the Runnymede 2 is equipped with a huge 4.7-inch WVGA Super LCD screen, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, 16GB or 32GB of storage and “SRS surround sound with acoustic performance tuned by Beats.” It is also equipped with an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, a 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and support for 14.4Mbps HSDPA networks. According to the leaked specs, the Runnymede 2 will also come with a Beats Solo headset. Those headphones currently retail for about $179, so this certainly won’t be a cheap smartphone package. More →
Apple’s iTunes Match service, which lets you store your entire music collection, including music you have ripped from a CD, or purchased or downloaded elsewhere, is now available for developers for testing. Apple’s iTunes Match service automatically scans your music library and checks your digital music files against Apple’s 18 million plus music library. If Apple has the song, you’re able to play it back at full quality, effectively transforming your library into an iTunes-approved one for only $25/year. Apple is giving developers a three-month extension on the normal 12-month subscription package for their troubles.
Sonos released a new sibling in their audio lineup recently, and it’s called the PLAY:3. You can think of it as a smaller PLAY:5 (what used to be called the S5), and it is definitely up to par with the level of quality that Sonos is known for. There isn’t an actual subwoofer, rather a tweeter and a couple mid-range speakers, though the unit does offer decent bass and low-end performance. You can also create a stereo pair with two PLAY:3 units if you’d like, using one for a left channel and one for the right channel to fill your entire room with audio. The fact you can add all kinds of music services like Spotify, Pandora, Napster, Rhapsody, Rdio, Last.fm, iheartradio and many more, including your local iTunes library, is straight up mind blowing — all your music in true Sonos fashion is at your fingertips, and it just works. At $299, the PLAY:3 makes jumping into a Sonos setup relatively inexpensive, and a setup consisting of a few PLAY:3 units and PLAY:5 units can really create the perfect music listening experience in your home.
After facing criticisms from the professional community over several changes in Final Cut Pro X, Apple has updated its website with a new frequently asked questions page that explains the changes and, in some cases, why they were made. In response to the question, “Can I import projects from Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X?” Apple explains that “Final Cut Pro X includes an all-new project architecture structured around a trackless timeline and connected clips.” Due to these changes, there’s no way to bring old files into the new software without losing or changing some of your data. That said, Apple did note that Final Cut Pro 7 will work with OS X Lion and that users can continue to use it after installing Final Cut Pro X. Similarly, Apple noted that Final Cut Pro X will support “great” multicam editing in the next major release. It will also add the ability to export XML files. An update allowing the ability to add metadata tags to audio clips will also be issued this summer, too. More →
Dolby announced on Wednesday that it has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Waterloo, Canada-based Research In Motion in the U.S. and in Germany. The suit seeks the recovery of financial damages resulting from RIM’s infringing products, and it also looks to halt sales of multiple BlackBerry devices. The patents in question cover “highly efficient digital audio compression technologies” that minimize storage space occupied by high quality audio files. Dolby claims that RIM uses these technologies in its BlackBerry smartphones and its PlayBook tablet, but it does not pay Dolby licensing fees as all other major manufacturers do. “Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology,” Dolby EVP and general counsel Andy Sherman said in a statement. “We have a duty to protect our intellectual property.” Dolby’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple is giving its Apple Stores a “Apple Store 2.0” makeover, according to a rumor from 9to5 Mac. Reportedly, the stores — with design input from Steve Jobs himself — will feature new designated “startup session” areas where, presumably, new customers will be taught how to use and setup their new products. Similarly, Apple will replace signs in its stores with interactive iPad units, and will offer more interactive product bars. Cupertino isn’t skimping on multimedia, either, and is said to be outfitting its Apple Store 2.0 destinations with new audio systems and much larger displays. Rumor has it that Apple may also deploy a new Apple Store application for iOS devices that will allow users to schedule appointments as they walk into the store. Sounds like it could be a nice way to celebrate Apple’s 10th retail anniversary. More →
A friend of the site recently brought our attention to an interesting service called Murfie, which allows users to trade in old CDs for digital music downloads. After taking a trip down memory lane to a time when lining up outside Tower Records for a new album release at midnight was a regular occurrence, we decided to dedicate this week’s installment of Throwback Thursday to the Compact Disc. We typically reserve this segment for products that are dead and buried, but we thought we could make an exception since CDs definitely have one foot in the grave right now. CDs took music album revenue to the highest point it may ever reach back in 1999 when sales totalled a whopping $14.6 billion. Fast forward to 2010, however, and revenue from CD sales fell to just $3.36 billion — compare that to $2.2 billion in digital music sales in the same year. Of course the music industry as a whole is in the midst of a steep downward spiral that not even the advent of digital music has been able to impede. Only 13 albums went platinum in 2010, and only four albums sold 2 million copies or more last year. According to Nielsen SoundScan, 326.2 million albums were sold in 2010 — the lowest total the company has ever recorded in the 20 years it has been tracking album sales.
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Motorola has announced that there is a new software update available for the Verizon Wireless DROID Pro. Unfortunately the patch will not update your DROID Pro to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), but it should reduce the frequency of UI lockups, offer improved audio during calls, and the following fixes:
- Improved audio on voice calls.
- Improved stability and performance.
- User interface display now refreshes when user switches from GSM/UMTS communication to Global Mode.
- Device now prepends 011 to Country Code to send SMS messages.
- Global Mode no longer resets when connecting to a USB charger.
- Visual Voice Mail now detects airplane mode while Wi-Fi is active.
- Prompt return to full screen brightness after wake-up.
- Upgraded Bluetooth firmware.
- Improved interoperability with Microsoft Internet Application Gateway (IAG) configurations.
- Device string format for Exchange changed to include device name and version number.
- Upgrade to Google applications Release 7
We reviewed SRS’s iWOW 3D accessory for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch three weeks ago and at that time, we were pretty much blown away by the device. Since then, nothing has changed — in a nutshell, we can no longer listen to music on our iDevices without the iWOW 3D plugged in and pumping. But hearing is believing, and SRS Labs was nice enough to send through a few units so we can share the love with our readers. That’s right, we’re giving away five SRS iWOW 3D Deluxe packages along with five SRS t-shirts. Here’s how to enter:
- Leave a comment below explaining why you should win an SRS iWOW 3D Deluxe pack and a t-shirt
- Follow @BGR on Twitter and also check out our Facebook page!
It’s that simple. This giveaway will run for one week until 11:59 p.m. on April 26th, and it is open to legal U.S. residents 18 and older. Winners will be notified directly via email, so please make sure you use a real email address when posting your entry in the comments section. SRS iWOW 3D Deluxe packages include one iWOW 3D accessory, five different colored face plates and a pair of in-ear headphones. T-shirts are available in large only. Good luck!
P.S. If you want to follow individual BGR staffers on Twitter, you can follow @boygenius, @andrewmunchbach, @robotodd and @zacharye
HTC has reportedly confirmed a pesky bug impacting the audio on video recordings captured with Verizon Wireless’ new HTC ThunderBolt smartphone. The bug, according to several ThunderBolt owners who have taken to forums to discuss the issue, causes the audio to be muffled on video files captured using the device’s camcorder function. The bug is intermittent, so only some video recordings are affected. According to enthusiast blog Android Central, HTC has acknowledged the issue and has stated that a fix is currently in the works. In the meantime, third-party video recorders are seemingly unaffected by the bug, so there are several alternatives that can be used until HTC releases its fix. More →
If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have insisted that no ear buds in the sub-$1,000 price range sound better than my trusty Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10vi headset. I would have been wrong. I still insist that no buds I’ve tried sound better than my 10vi buds — and I have tried many, many pairs — but now I add the caveat, “when coupled with the iWOW 3D.” More →