Archives For Mobile

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 24, 2014

A periodic roundup of relevant news… that we may have missed due to database issues

bww-tablet

By way of Engadget, we learn that Buffalo Wild Wings has begun swapping out their existing NTN gaming stations for far more interactive (and less bulky) Android tablets. Beyond gaming, these new devices also provide a conduit to the serving staff:

Buzztime’s BEOND tablet lets Buffalo Wild Wings Guests order food, request songs and television programming, play games (both multi-player and arcade-style), and pay the bill. The seven-inch Samsung Galaxy touchscreen tablets are pre-loaded with games and music options. With a mix of complimentary and paid content, the BEOND tablets enable multi-player, multi-location gaming; guests may play popular trivia and poker games against other individuals, another table or even other restaurant locations.

Fortunately, BWW tables are already stocked with hand wipes… as we imagine this could get messy fast. (Might it make more sense to use our own devices?) And, having flown Virgin America, I do like the idea of summoning drink refills via touchscreen. However, we suspect the primary reason for visiting a Buffalo Wild Wings outpost is still for the food… yet, sadly, both Sriracha wings and Coke Zero were recently dropped from the menu.

bestbuy-mobile-giftcard

Best Buy has launched an interesting promo to proactively reach potential customers, no matter one’s smartphone predilection. Register your intent now to pick up any new phone by the end of the year, and receive a $50 gift card upon completion of that purchase. Of course, with two huge 2014 launches expected in the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, Best Buy’s fuzzy calendar and agnostic OS approach is quite clever. Not to mention, there’s really no catch — register your intent, maybe you buy from them, maybe you don’t. But should you transact, you’ll be rewarded with that gift card (plus any potential trade in valuation, if you choose the easy but less lucrative way out). As you’d expect, this dealio is limited to subsidized phones on a 2-year contract (and T-Mobile customers, such as myself, need not apply).

(Thanks Donnie!)

logmein

It’s not clear if we collectively misunderstood LogMeIn’s original outreach or if the company has backpedaled amidst negative feedback from those of us who’d purchased their $30 Ignition app. As the story goes, LogMeIn abruptly dispensed with a Freemium remote access model, However, Ignition app owners were granted a complimentary 6 months of “Pro” access for their troubles. And I’d reasonably assumed after those six months, both computer-based and mobile access would be terminated (without purchasing an annual subscription). As it turns out, LogMeIn’s most recent communique (pasted above) states,

You can continue to remotely access your computers, as you have, from your mobile device with full access to the premium functionality in your LogMeIn Ignition app, whether or not you ultimately upgrade to LogMeIn Pro.

So that’s a little bit of good news. Assuming one possesses a tablet, since pulling up a full-on desktop computer via a 4-5″ screen is reserved for emergency access only. And there’s really no telling how long our good fortune will last, given this bit of clear language from LogMeIn’s original outreach:

While your existing Ignition app will continue work as it always has, it will no longer receive updates and bug fixes.

Verizon LTE TV

Verizon has remained steadfast in its claim that it will not use the acquisition of Intel’s OnCue assets to launch a nationwide over-the-top video service. However, the fact that Verizon is now apparently talking to CE manufacturers about embedding LTE multicast technology in TV sets does have me wondering how long the company will stick to that plan.

As quick background, Verizon spent time demoing LTE multicast at an event in NYC this week. Unlike how most video is delivered in individual streams to consumer devices, multicast technology allows multiple devices to access the same stream of video at the same time. This is useful for live events, when theoretically many people want to watch the exact same content.

Verizon has been futzing with LTE multicast for some time, but the fact that the company is now talking to manufacturers about adding it to TVs is what interests me. Continue Reading…

wiiu-tivo-scheduling

As Wii U sales plummet, despite price cuts, it appears the Japanese gaming pioneer may finally be ready to embrace third-party hardware. From Nintendo President Satoru Iwata:

If we stay in one place, we will become outdated. We are thinking about a new business structure. Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business.

While Nintendo has produced all sorts of compelling hardware (Virtualboy!) over the years, they haven’t always found sales success and aren’t nearly as relevant as Microsoft and Sony in the console space… which I attribute to their slow embrace of HD. Continue Reading…

Anker Saves The Day (Again)

Dave Zatz —  January 18, 2014

anker-drawer

As I’ve yet to find that perfect gadget caddy, we’ve gone ahead and implemented Plan B. When picking out a new bedroom set about 18 months ago, we went with a collection that we otherwise may have passed over due to tricked out nightstands housing a power squid in the top drawer (and undercarriage lighting). Turns out, the AC adapters were way too bulky to be practical. But what else could I do with the pre-drilled holes and drawer organizer? Enter Anker’s $20 5-port USB charger. I still need to tidy things up and would prefer most of these gadgets live on/in my dresser or the kitchen, but this seems to be a good solution for the time being.