Archives For Mobile


In trying to determine if the new Apple Watch 2 it might meet my aquatic needs, I’ve found Apple’s marketing and support pages largely devoid of detailed information. Fortunately, I’ve been able to turn up Apple Watch 2 details by querying a number of reviewers and via Apple Insider’s swim-centric overview. And, although Apple Watch looks to be a solid solution for those for swim continuously, my enthusiasm has been tempered:

Where the Apple Watch’s swim tracking starts to fall short is for people looking to do more varied swim workouts based around swim sets and focused exercises like stroke drills and kicking […] The Apple Watch’s pace calculation also becomes less useful if you’re doing interval-based sets, as it’s simply going to tell you the interval you were going on instead of your actual swimming pace unless you manually pause the workout as you finish each repeat and resume before starting the next one.

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It seems Echostar failed to dot the i’s and cross the t’s as the AirTV over-the-air network tuner, designed to pipe live OTA television into Sling TV, has been delayed… while they seek FCC approval to waive an archaic analog tuner requirement.

Pursuant to Section 1.3 of the Commission’s rules,1 EchoStar Technologies L.L.C. (“EchoStar”) respectfully requests the Media Bureau (“Bureau”) to waive the “all channels” requirement in Section 15.117(b) of the Commission’s rules to permit the importation, marketing, and sale of an Internet-enabled, set-top box (the “AirTV”) that does not include an analog over-the-air tuner.

Designed and manufactured by EchoStar for use with applications running on smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices such as Android TV, Roku, and Apple TV, the AirTV will offer consumers access to digital HD television content broadcast over-the-air from almost any broadband-enabled multimedia platform using groundbreaking place-shifting technology from Sling Media. The ability to combine over-the-air television content on devices with over-the-top functionality makes the devices a perfect, economical choice for households that have “cut the cord” but still wish to enjoy the combination of over-the-air content and pay-per-view or subscription over-the-top services without the confusion of swapping TV inputs and using multiple remote controls. All of this functionality is packaged in an attractive energy efficient form factor that can be used with a TV, monitor, or mobile device.


Earlier this week the eagerly anticipated, yet somewhat overdue, GoPro Hero 5 made its first prelaunch appearance… packing a new touchscreen. And today, via the FCC, multiple “Hero5 Black” filings have surfaced indicating the presence of WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS capabilities for video location tagging – a first for the line. While you’d think these hardware updates might increase the action cam’s bulk, the GoPro Hero5 is somewhat slimmer the the GoPro Hero 4 Black and about 30 grams lighter. Of course, the downside to the redesign is you’ll be on the hook for new accessories should you upgrade to the incoming flagship GoPro camera later this year.

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After the debacle that was the Fire Phone, Amazon is back in the smartphone business with what appears to be a winning strategy. Instead of developing their own devices, at significant expense, Amazon is partnering with manufacturers to replicate their Kindle and Fire tablet ad-serving, subsidized-hardware approach in addition to pre-loading the companies commerce and consumption apps. So they end up with a similar sort of footprint in this space from a far smaller investment. And, on the flip side, their smartphone partners (initially Blu and Motorola) secure a new and potentially meaningful distribution channel. The only potential fly in the ointment is they’ve started with low- to mid-end devices and it’s unclear (to the casual observer) what the “Prime” demographic might prefer. Amazon’s intent is, likely, also to expand Prime’s reach by making these phones exclusive to the $99/yr program.


As with TiVo’s last software update, version 20.6.1 will primarily resolve additional open issues as the bulk of development and testing cycles are likely reserved for the upcoming OTA-only Bolt variant. So this isn’t exactly the most dramatic or blog-worthy topic and I didn’t really dig deep into what, specifically, this revision provides for Premiere, Roamio, and Mini owners. However, we’d previously been informed this particular update would finally enable TiVo Bolt out-of-home streaming, like Roamio Pro/Plus, to iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones or tablets – a feature notably absent from Bolt at launch, given new under-the-hood transcoding hardware. And this incoming functionality is seemingly confirmed by new TiVo marketing materials (above), indicating owners can “watch shows anywhere on your mobile device.” Assuming, of course, the content isn’t flagged and locked down by your hostile and punitive cable company (i.e. TWC).

20.6.1 begins deployment within the next couple weeks and, if you’d like to be amongst the first in line, register your TiVo units via the just-launched Priority Update Request.

T-Mobile’s innovative and contentious video streaming compromise took additional heat this week … when it was disclosed that YouTube, a non-Binge On partner, is being served to customers at 480p by default – irrespective of LTE speed and coverage. As to how many customers noticed the reduced quality on their own or are aware they can opt out of Binge On, we just don’t know.

Google’s YouTube complaint:

Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent

And T-Mobile’s response:

Using the term “throttle” is misleading. A better phrase is “mobile optimized” or a less flattering “downgraded” is also accurate.

I assume most consumers are satisfied with T-Mobile’s favorable rates over lesser quality cellularly-served video given the relatively small screens and abundance of WiFi. But it’ll be interesting to see if this runs afoul of FCC net neutrality guidance, should the situation escalate and despite their initial blessing.


With the rollout of FiOS TV IMG software 3.0, Verizon is bringing new capabilities to us television customers. However, to pull this off you’ll seemingly need both FiOS TV set-box and router hardware in the mix… as the Quantum DVR becomes a video gateway.


Within the home, our entire channel lineups will be available for mobile app streaming – versus the subset of channels Verizon has historically offered. And, as you can see from the pics above, we’ve tested it on an iPhone and iPad. However, Android is also supported – including Amazon Fire variants. Beyond live television, we’ll also have access a certain amount of shows recorded on our Quantum DVRs both in the home or on the go, similar to what Xfinity and TiVo offer. As to the various relationships and remote limitations, we’re just going to have to wait and see. Continue Reading…

As wireless data usage increases, T-Mobile has seemingly come up with a clever solution to satiate customers without saturating their network. “Binge On” will enable unlimited video streaming, from select providers like Netflix and WatchESPN, that doesn’t count against one’s cap. T-Mobile marketing states they’ve “optimized” the video … which some are reporting as 480p. On the go, on a small screen, that may be sufficient for most. I’d probably make that trade at the gym for treadmill Netflix, given the facility’s WiFi struggles and the potential to burn through my Verizon bucket.

From Fierce Wireless:

The reality is that Binge On will be imposed on all of T-Mobile’s customers starting Sunday, including the ones who have signed up for its unlimited data plans. Customers who don’t want the service will have to opt out of it. Yes, Binge On gives T-Mobile’s customers free streaming video, but it also reduces the resources T-Mobile needs to employ to deliver that video. It’s a smart move, but it’s not as altruistic as Legere might imply.


Of course, there are two sides to every coin. And some will object to reduced video quality. Assuming they even know T-Mobile took the liberty of making that change on their behalf. Further, “zero rating” is something of a net neutrality issue. Continue Reading…