Samsung Says All of Its Products Will Be Connected by 2020

Samsung wants to be everywhere. The company’s CES 2018 media briefing led by Tim Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung North America, demonstrated Samsung’s strategic focus on connecting almost every aspect of its customer’s life. When they lifted the black curtains that protected Samsung’s entire Central Hall exhibit before the floor opened, visitors could see the evolution of the tech giant’s product line from the living rooms to living spaces. An R&D investment of $14 billion has accelerated an IoT strategy and the promise that all Samsung products will also be “Smart” by 2020. Continue reading Samsung Says All of Its Products Will Be Connected by 2020

Microsoft Targets Education Market with New Surface Laptop

Microsoft debuted its new $999 Surface Laptop, targeted to compete with Apple’s MacBook Air in the classroom. The new Surface, available in four colors, is 2.76-pounds, a bit lighter and thinner than Air and offers a 14.5-hour battery life, slightly longer than the Air’s. On the less expensive end, Microsoft partners Acer, Lenovo and HP unveiled laptops, also running Windows 10 S, for the education market starting at $189. Windows 10 S, touted as more secure, can run apps from Microsoft’s Windows Store. Continue reading Microsoft Targets Education Market with New Surface Laptop

Google Competes with Customers for Prime Online Ad Space

Google is among the biggest buyers of its own ads and the Silicon Valley titan is increasingly pushing its own hardware products — from Nest smart-home thermostats to the new Pixel phones — on its own site. Now a recent study shows that Google gives its own ads and those of its affiliate companies the most prominent placement nearly all the time. Google isn’t the only company competing with its customers for online ad space; Facebook and Microsoft fall into that same category. The digital advertising industry is valued at $187 billion. Continue reading Google Competes with Customers for Prime Online Ad Space

Google Shutters its Project Ara Plans to Build Modular Phones

Google has reportedly suspended its Project Ara initiative to build a modular smartphone with interchangeable components. The goal was to develop a phone that consumers could customize with cameras, speakers, batteries and other parts in an effort to prolong lifespan and reduce electronic waste. “The move marks an about-face for the tech company, which announced a host of partners for Project Ara at its developer conference in May and said it would ship a developer edition of the product this autumn,” according to Reuters. “Axing Project Ara is one of the first steps in a campaign to unify Google’s various hardware efforts, which range from Chromebook laptops to Nexus phones.” Continue reading Google Shutters its Project Ara Plans to Build Modular Phones

PC Accessory Turns Your Laptop into a Touchscreen Device

Sweden-based Neonode recently unveiled AirBar, a $49 laptop accessory that attaches its magnetic sensor bar to a Chromebook or Windows laptop PC and connects via an available USB port. It then beams a light over the display to create a sort of touchscreen. AirBar’s use of light rather than a traditional, physical touchscreen allows users to interact with their displays in a variety of new ways, such as while wearing gloves or using small objects like a stylus or even chopsticks. Neonode is expected to debut its new accessory at CES in Las Vegas this week. Continue reading PC Accessory Turns Your Laptop into a Touchscreen Device

Microsoft Strategy Sees Chaotic Future of Countless Devices

Everyone agrees that the mobile phone is the dominant digital computing device, and likely to remain so for some time to come. But consensus breaks down when it comes to a vision of the device that will take second place in the future. Apple and Google have both created that secondary device — Apple with its iPad and Mac, Google with its Android tablets and Chromebook laptops. Now Microsoft has unveiled its vision of the future… and it’s chaos. The company is planning for a future in which no single device dominates. Continue reading Microsoft Strategy Sees Chaotic Future of Countless Devices

Thunderbolt Adopts USB-C, Universal Port of the Near Future

From desktops, laptops and tablets to game consoles and other CE devices, the Universal Serial Bus has been the industry standard for cable and connection interfaces for about 20 years. It has been speculated that USB-C, developed by the USB Implementers Forum, would soon become the successor to the USB standard. Intel announced during Computex in Taiwan last week that Thunderbolt 3 will embrace USB-C functionality, and initially offer data transfer rates twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2 and four times that of USB 3.1. Teaming the two could be a game-changer. Continue reading Thunderbolt Adopts USB-C, Universal Port of the Near Future

Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Google has opened its first branded physical store, with plans to sell the company’s Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops and Chromecast TV services. The Google shop is located on Tottenham Court Road in London. While not its first foray into physical locations — Google opened “Chromezones” in U.K. stores in 2011 and “Androidland” in Australian stores — it marks the first time the company is opening a shop under its own name and illustrates how some major online players are exploring new ways to reach consumers. Continue reading Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Google Launches Virtual Customer Service, Plans Help Desks

Google Device Experts is a new service that aims to educate prospective customers about different Google devices including smartphones, tablets and the Chromebook. The service videoconferences a customer with a Google representative who is trained to answer customer questions about products they are looking to purchase. The videoconferencing technology is the same used for Google Hangouts. The company also has plans to install virtual help desks at various retail locations.  Continue reading Google Launches Virtual Customer Service, Plans Help Desks

Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

During yesterday’s keynote event at Google I/O, the company unleashed its Android Everywhere strategy and a slew of related announcements. Google envisions us taking the more contextually aware Android mobile OS from place to place through every part of our lives, including our televisions, laptops, vehicles, bodies and workplaces. Major announcements unveiled details regarding Android L (5.0), Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and integrating Android applications into Chromebooks. Continue reading Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

Wonderlabs: Google Promotes Devices in Pop-Up Showrooms

Google is opening temporary showrooms in six U.S. cities to display and promote its latest gadgets. Consumers can visit the holiday-themed pop-up stores, dubbed “Winter Wonderlabs,” to check out devices such as the Nexus 7 tablet, Google’s Chromebook laptops and the digital TV receiver Chromecast. The Winter Wonderlab in Canoga Park opened over the weekend. Additional locations include Chicago, New York City, Sacramento, Washington DC, and Paramus, NJ. Continue reading Wonderlabs: Google Promotes Devices in Pop-Up Showrooms

Google Products Reflect a Renewed Spirit of Superior Design

Since Larry Page became CEO of Google, the company has been more focused on the elements of design and cohesiveness. Google has been pursuing aesthetic appeal in a way that may allow it to rival Apple, and although the process is gradual, Google products are beginning to show that the company has raised its standards. The change is obvious when examining Google’s mobile apps, its Chromebook Pixel laptop and Google Glass. Continue reading Google Products Reflect a Renewed Spirit of Superior Design

Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

The combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.35 billion worldwide this year. The new Gartner numbers mark a 5.9 percent increase from 2012. Sales of tablets, smartphones and ultramobiles are on the rise, while traditional desktop and notebook PCs are expected to decline by 10.6 percent. Anytime-anywhere computing is driving consumer behavior. Additionally, the growing acceptance of bring your own device will lead to an emphasis on designing for consumers inside the enterprise. Continue reading Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

Disruption: Will Google Take Over the Desktop with Chrome?

Google Chrome has the potential to follow mobile as a second significant disruption to computing. With Chrome, Google is making a move to dominate computing as an entry to a new app economy. Kevin C. Tofel, writing for GigaOM, suggests that within a year, many of us will be using a Chromebook — but not necessarily “Google-designed hardware; instead it will be on the Mac, Windows or Linux machine you have at that time.” Continue reading Disruption: Will Google Take Over the Desktop with Chrome?

New Google Chromebook Pixel: High Price Tag But Impressive

Google’s latest hardware development hit stores last week as the company unveiled its first touchscreen laptop powered by the Google Chrome operating system. Called the Chromebook Pixel, it costs $1,299 for the Wi-Fi only version and $1,449 for the upcoming version with built-in LTE wireless technology for use on-the-go. The LTE version goes on sale in April with Verizon offering special wireless plans for new owners. Continue reading New Google Chromebook Pixel: High Price Tag But Impressive

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