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Month: August 2014

LG Announces G Watch R Specs, Post Photos

LG Announces G Watch R Specs, Post Photos

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Just two days after teasing the akwardly named G Watch R LG have spilled the beans on basically all aspects of their watch, offering up official renders and promotional images as well as most specs ahead of the official launch next week at IFA.

Similarly to the G Watch it seems to be replacing, the G Watch R features:

  • a Snapdragon 400 CPU with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage
  • a 1.3″ P-OLED screen (same technology as in their G Flex)
  • a heart rate monitor
  • a stainless steel body
  • and a “perfectly round” watchface

LG is really out to get Motorola with this one.  They’ve even pointed out that the G Watch R (what kind of name is that?) has a perfectly round watch face.  The Moto 360 has a black bar along the bottom since it has basically no bezels behind which to hide the display drivers.  The G Watch R, on the other hand, hides all the technology in its kinda useless bezel.  Click through a gallery of pics below!

Source: Android Police

LG Announce The G Watch R, A Moto 360 Rival

LG Announce The G Watch R, A Moto 360 Rival

G Watch RAfter leaking last week, LG confirmed that they do have another smartwatch on the way.  The G Watch R is supposedly a G Watch successor with a round watch face and fresh design.  Besides aesthetics and circular display, there is little word on a change of internals.

The design appears to be a little more conventional than the 360, going for a more casual look.  I love the Moto 360, but I’m curious.  LG may be onto a winner here, and Motorola’s edge might already be blunt.

More at IFA in September, folks!

Om/One Speaker Plays Your Tunes, Floats

Om/One Speaker Plays Your Tunes, Floats

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When it comes to hardware design I want electronics to be one of two things:  either bland and that blend well into the background, or beautiful and striking that stand out.  The OM/One, obviously, falls in the latter category.  Because it floats.

OM designers say that they made it float so that all of the power can be directed to the speaker drivers instead of losses into the hard surface the device is on.  I personally think they made it cool first, then justified it later, but what the heck?  It’s still really, really cool.

The device can output a pretty loud 110db with only a 3W amplifier and OM claims that at 70% volume can play for up to 15 hours.  The speaker is also bluetooth enabled, so you can just snatch it out of the air and take with you wherever you’re going.

Interested?  OM’s running a crowdfunding campaign at the moment on their site, and for $179 and up you can get one in black, white, or disco ball.  Check it out at the source link below!

Source: OM/One via Android Police

M3? What M3?

M3? What M3?

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BMW M3

2014 was the year the latest generation M3 came, saw and conquered the compact sports saloon market.  If there is one thing that BMW has always done, is assess the current situation of what an ideal sports saloon should be and react accordingly. The latest generation is no exception. For 2014, BMW has laid their glorious 414 bhp V8 engine to rest, arguing that eight cylinders has no place in today’s polar bear friendly, tree-hugging society. So instead its back to the straight-six engine, a tried and tested formula.

This twin-turbo six-cylinder now produces 425 bhp, and hits 62 mph in 4.3 seconds if you opt for the manual gearbox and 4.1 seconds if you go for the dual-clutch gearbox. Great, who doesn’t love a new BMW M3?

Me, actually. Its nothing personal to BMW, they apparently make some great cars, but I find them a tad dull nowadays. Everybody who has a little cash goes out and buys a BMW because that is what everyone buys. OK, fair enough, they are built like tanks, they are fast and economical and do everything you could ever want. I accept all your arguments as valid and true, but it is not very exciting, is it?

Let us take their design. Today all BMWs look like pigs with their huge kidney grilles. What happened to the days of the cool understated designs of BMW, like the E39 5-Series?Those were lovely. Even the interior was quite lovely despite that car being designed in the plastic-centric, 90s. Nowadays, if you step into a modern BMW, you might as well be sitting in a 1980s office block. Its so uninspiring, so lacking in any sort of flair. Audi is miles ahead in the interior design department, as is Mercedes, with both offering a sense of class in their interiors that the BMW cannot even begin to match.

Thankfully, there are car manufacturers who have seen that there are those who yearn for a sports saloon that is not a BMW. Within the next couple of years, they will grace us with their alternative to the cold-hearted M3.

First up, is Jaguar with their new XE compact saloon. This is there first proper jab at the 3-Series since the woeful X-Type that really isn’t worth mentioning. While the details are rather sparse at the moment, what is being hinted does sound quite interesting. As is the norm with current Jaguars, it will be built from aluminium, keeping weight to the minimum and a range of  newly designed four-pot engines ensures adequate performance and excellent economy. However what is of particular interest is the range-topping XE-R. Rumours seem to suggest that this latest “R” will get the V6 engine straight out of the F-Type. Imagine that awe-inspiring engine in a four-door! Taking the kids to school has never been noisier.

Jaguar XE Render
Jaguar XE Render

Secondly is the long-awaited Alfa Romeo Giulia QV.  Last May, Fiat held a press conference to highlight where the company would be heading over the next five years. Among those plans is the replacement for the 159. Yes, that is still happening. No, I do not know what it is going to look like. However, here is what I do know. Like the XE, it will have a set of new 4 cylinder engines for the economy minded buyers. For those with feet of lead and a yearning for tyre-smoke, there shall be a new V6. Yes you read correctly, the Alfa V6 lifes on, and Alfa’s answer to the M3 will make use of this new V6 engine producing nearly 500 bhp. From a six cylinder motor! My kind of car, really.

Volvo has also been pretty busy on the sports saloon front too. Yes, those crazy Swedes have made a car that doesn’t cushion your ear if you hit an amoeba. A car to take them into the exclusive club of the fast saloon category. A car to take on the might of the M3. Well, sort of.  The S60/V60 (depending on whether you want a station wagon or a saloon) is about 85 bhp down from the M3, but at 345 bhp, it is still a worthy member of this highly exclusive club. All that power also comes from a revised six-cylinder motor.  The downside? It is not exactly a full production car, it was built in limited numbers.

polestar-volvo-s60
The Polestar also comes in other colours in case blue isn’t really your thing.

What else have we got to look forward to in this segment? Well since Mercedes recently revealed an all new C-Class, its pretty safe to assume there will be an AMG on the way too. Audi also has a brand new A4 in the pipeline and I am pretty sure that an RS4 will be a given too.  The future of the fast saloon lives on, in incredible style.

 

Designer Re-imagines Instagram with Material Design

Designer Re-imagines Instagram with Material Design

We’re living in the middle of a design renaissance.  Skeumorphism, trying to emulate real objects in a virtual world, wasn’t cutting it.  But neither is purely minimal design like Google’s Holo or Microsoft’s Modern UI.  It’s too cold, barren, unemotional. The next step seems to be Google’s Material Design, their one stop design philosophy for all of their applications and services.  Instead of abstracting itself from reality Material Design behaves like you’d expect a real object made of paper to work – items drop in and drop out, everything’s nicely animated, and everything feels warm, welcoming, and intuitive.  Everyone and their mother’s is looking forward to Material Design applications and the few teases we’ve had so far are so, so good.  But, what would our favourite apps look like with Material Design? Designer Emmanuel Pacamalan’s completely rethought Instagram using Material Design principles, and it works!  Sure everything’s a little too bouncy and overdone, but it is a concept video first and foremost, and the average user doesn’t click through so many screens that quickly. Will we see something like this after Material Design’s official launch alongside Android L?  Perhaps.  Instagram did, after alll, redesign their iOS app for iOS 7, so a Material Design makeover does seem in order. Are you a fan?  Are you not?  Let us know in the comments below!

Google Now Launcher available for nearly any Android device

Google Now Launcher available for nearly any Android device

Ok Google Everywhere

Earlier today Google officially updated the Google Now Launcher to be used on any device running Android 4.1 and up (ie. nearly 75% of all Android phones currently in use).   This, Android fans, is huge.

For the uninitiated, Google Now Launcher brings Google Now front and centre and makes it your homescreen.  While the traditional app/widget paradigm persists, Google Now is just one swipe away to the right and can be triggered with the “OK Google” voice command from the homescreen (and anywhere else).

If you want more Googly goodness on your phones hit up this Play Store link!

Source: Google via The Verge | DroidLife