HARMAN has announced new speakers featuring Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

At IFA 2017, HARMAN has announced new speakers for its own brand and for the JBL sub brand. The speakers are part of the growing list of gadgets to feature Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. First is the Harmon Allure, an intelligent speaker powered by Alexa. Harman says the speaker includes 4 microphones for far-field voice recognition, 360-degree sound and lighting to complement any decor, and Bluetooth streaming for your favorite music service.

From Harman:

We’re excited, to integrate with Amazon Alexa to deliver a beautiful speaker with astounding audio coupled with all the intelligent features of Alexa,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio Division at HARMAN. “Research shows the number one use of digital voice services is music streaming and Allure with its premium sound quality, iconic design, and exceptional voice-enabled technology, will produce a spectacular sound experience while delivering on our promise of elevating a connected life through smart technology.”

The Allure smart speaker will bring Harman Kardon’s premium audio and the 20,000+ skills available for Amazon Alexa to even more customers,” said Steve Rabuchin, VP Amazon Alexa. “This is a great benefit for customers who love quality music and want a voice service in their home. Customers can just ask Alexa to play great sounding music, control their smart home, get news or weather, play games, order food, and more.

The Harman Allure will be available for $249.95 starting winter 2017.

For those that prefer Google Assistant, JBL has announced three LINK speakers with the voice assistant built-in. The LINK 10, LINK 20 and LINK 300 vary in terms of size, speaker array and battery life — the LINK 300 is a stationary speaker — but all will feature voice activated Google Assistant. While other speakers have had button-activated Google Now and Google Assistant before, these are the first portable speakers with hotword activation. The LINK 10 will feature 5 hours of battery life, while the LINK 20 will have 10 hours. The LINK 10 will be available for $149, the LINK 20 for $199 and the LINK 300 for $249, beginning in fall 2017.

Are you looking forward to these new smart speakers? Let us know down below!

Learn more about Google Assistant!




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Arguably the safest place to buy and sell phones will now take care of your games.

The folks at Swappa do one thing very well — maintain a healthy environment for buying and selling used gear. What started as a phone swapping site has grown considerably over the years, and is now the best place to get top dollar for your used phone as well as get a sweet deal on a used phone when you need one.

This service has expanded several times in recent years, but the latest push into gaming is an area where the used phone skills are really going to come in handy. Welcome to Swappa Gaming.

It’s exactly as simple as it sounds. If you have a game to sell, or you’re looking for a game to buy, search the site by game or platform and choose the price you’d like to pay. Sellers can offer games at whatever price they think will sell, and provide proof right on the listing that the disc is either in pristine condition or has a few flaws you should know about.

Transactions on Swappa aren’t listed as complete until the buyer gets the game and confirms its quality, ensuring both sides of the deal are happy. It’s a solid, positive experience made all the better by Swappa’s knowledgeable staff and forums crew.

You can check out Swappa Gaming right now, and see if there are any solid PlayStation 4 deals to your liking. The other platforms are there for you to check out too, just in case you’re not a one platform household!

See at Swappa




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Solve those controller issues with these tips!

Nobody ever wants to run into issues that make it difficult, or impossible, to enjoy some time in VR. This is especially true for Samsung Galaxy S8 users who are just getting used to everything that Daydream can deliver on. While controller issues with the Samsung Galaxy S8 can be frustrating, they can be dealt with.

We’ve got the details on what to do when your controller starts to act up right here!

Read more at VRHeads




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Bell has launched its version of the RCS standard for Galaxy S8 users.

Slowly but surely, more carriers are starting to move to RCS to hopefully begin replacing SMS over the long run. All the pieces are in place in Android phones for RCS, since Google has built the standard into the Android Messages app. But users won’t be able to actually use the new standard until their carriers update their piece of the puzzle.

Bell Canada has annouced that it will begin offering the RCS experience to customers, starting with Galaxy S8 and Note 8 owners. Users will not need to install another application to get the new advanced features.

RCS is intended to replace SMS and MMS in the long run, and bring features found in instant messages such as Allo or Facebook Messenger to “regular” text messages. This includes better read receipts, better media sharing, and video calling all through a user’s phone number, without the user needing a second account.

Are you excited about Advanced Messaging? Let us know down below!




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Brother makes some awesome printers, and this is one of the fastest models going for one of its lowest prices!

The Brother MFC-L2740DW monochrome all-in-one printer is down to $129.99 refurbished. This is the lowest price ever on this printer, refurb or not. It normally sells for $170, and it has dropped as low as $150.

New versions of this same model of printer sell as high as $200 or more at Amazon and Newegg.

This printer can do it all with duplex printing, scanning, copying, and even faxing for you fans of the 1980s. This particular model is one of Brother’s fastest, and it can print up to 32 pieces of paper a minute. That’s great for heavy loads for school, work, or even something like tax forms. It has a 2.7-inch touchscreen with easy-to-navigate menus.

My favorite feature of the Brother printer I own is how easy it is to print from mobile devices, which requires minimum setup to accomplish.

Brother offers a one-year warranty.

Being a monochrome printer already means it will go through less ink than a color printer, but even so this printer is compatible with Amazon’s Dash replenishment program that will automatically order toner when it runs low (if you want it to). You can add one of these Hammermill Dash buttons to the side of it so you can easily re-order paper, too.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!




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Samsung’s Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro, and Icon X are all variations of designs we’ve seen before. The Gear Sport is an evolution of the Gear S3 Frontier, Samsung’s outdoor smartwatch I reviewed last year. I didn’t get as close a look at the Gear Fit2 or the Icon X earbuds – but maybe that’s just as well, given how much the newer models improve upon their forebears. With MIL-STD 810G durability and 5ATM water resistance the Gear Sport and Fit2 Pro bring a strong outdoor game, while the 2018 revision of the Icon X earbuds improves battery life many times over. All that’s pretty exciting stuff even for a non-athlete such as myself – and to hear Samsung tell it, that’s kind of the whole idea.

Click on through to the video above to catch MrMobile going hands-on with the Samsung Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro, and Icon X 2018! Then be sure to check out Android Central’s own in-depth coverage, and stay tuned for much more mobile tech coming out of Berlin as IFA 2017 rolls on!

Stay social, my friends




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Verizon has started rolling out Oreo to Pixel owners.

Android 8.0 Oreo became officially official last week, with a stable version of the software rolling out to users of the developer preview build. It seems the time has now come for users that were on Nougat to begin receiving the update aws well.

Verizon has begun rolling out Oreo to Pixel owners. As usual, Big Red recommends having the device connected to WiFi and making sure the battery is charged before downloading the update. The update pages highlight Oreo features such as Picture-in-Picture, notification improvements, better password manager integration and always-on display support. This is in addition to background changes such as improved security and (maybe, someday) better Bluetooth support.

There was a good bit of concern last year when Verizon was announced as a launch partner that they would delay updates for no good reason, like back in the Galaxy Nexus days. After a year of delivering security updates and a major OS update without delay, I think it’s safe to put those fears to rest.

Have you received the Oreo update yet? Let us know down below!




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OnePlus is offering a great discount on its latest flagship — if you’re a student.

A few weeks back, OnePlus teamed up with DJI to offer some nice bundles to students. While there were some savings to be had, it was still more expensive for those that only needed a phone. Good news: OnePlus is back with more deals.

Right now, OnePlus is offering a 10% discount on the OnePlus 5. This involves joining OnePlus’s student program to verify active attendance. Ten percent may not sound like a lot, but it comes to $47.90 off the price of the OnePlus 5, a decent discount.

For those that need a snazzy new backpack for school, OnePlus is offering 10% off any order, with the limit of one OnePlus 5 per order. If you already have a phone but need to save some money during the back to school season, check out our back to school guide!

Are you interested in picking up the discounted OnePlus 5? Let us know down below!

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YouTube is almost constantly evolving.

One of the world’s most popular video sites is growing, diversifying in content and platform, and its design is evolving, too. We’ve told you over the previous months how a new desktop design (with a dark mode, no less) was introduced earlier this year for users to test, and the YouTube app has already been redesigned once this year.

And it’s not done yet.

Outlined in a blog post, YouTube’s mobile apps are losing the red banners, letting the content be the only color on screen. YouTube is also going beyond the double-tap to fast-forward, and will soon experiment with swiping left and right to switch between videos. That will be a very interesting experiment, indeed, given how many of us are used to swiping back in forth in Google Play Movies and often forget the different interface when we switch back to YouTube.

YouTube’s look and feel is evolving as fast as the content it’s hosting.

Speed controls are also coming to the mobile app, so you can slow down and speed up videos as needed, and YouTube’s mobile app will adapt to different aspect ratios of videos, including the dreaded vertical video. No more black bars!

The new desktop design YouTube’s been testing for months is rolling out to everyone, at last, including our beloved dark theme, which now needs to make the jump to mobile. YouTube is also updating its logo, putting the app icon on the left while making the YouTube text a little bolder and all the same color.

There’s a lot here to unpack, and a lot that’ll be rolling out in the days and weeks ahead, so what are you most excited about? What are you hoping to see coming soon?

YouTube: The ultimate guide




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The next step for Google feels like it should be obvious, but for some reason it’s not going to happen.

I was a Day One Google Glass user. In fact, my thoughts on Google Glass were the first thing I ever published here at Android Central. I complain every now and again about how the tech got a bad rap and Google shouldn’t have backed down on a consumer model, but today there’s a lot more to talk about. Today we have faster, more efficient tech and a growing eagerness to do more with things like Augmented Reality.

Basically, what I’m saying is, I want Google Glass back.

Admit it, there was nothing wrong with Glass

Google Glass isn’t on shelves at Best Buy today because it’s ridiculously easy to scare people. The narrative painting Glass as this master creepshot spy gadget for the 1% was crafted by the same tech bloggers who willingly stood in line for hours to get their hands on Snapchat Spectacles that never get used anymore because the tech basically never worked right. It’s embarrassing to look back at how many people were able to paint Glass as this evil, ugly thing that you could only buy if you were special. Nevermind that Glass was never an actual consumer product and was clearly labeled as such, or that actual spy cameras cost a fraction of what Glass cost at the time; it was evil because people said so.

Imagine Google Glass 3.0 with the sensor from a Google Pixel.

Take a look at the other head-mounted displays that are available now, and none of them come close to how functional Glass is in its unfinished form. Glass was the first real Augmented Reality gadget for me, in that it actually augmented my reality. I didn’t have to look away from the road to see the next set of instructions on my GPS. I wasn’t pulling my phone out every 20 seconds to check my notifications. I never worried about grabbing the perfect shot when my kids were doing something cool.

Glass was clearly the start of something amazing, and instead of more advancements with processors and cameras to streamline the design and make the headset more capable, we got Android Wear watches and third-party head-mounted displays and hideous sunglasses that only take photos and videos you can enjoy on Snapchat. Yay.

I imagine Google Glass 3.0 with the sensor from a Google Pixel, a new, smaller, and more efficient processor, and wireless charging. Maybe a more advanced display with some additional information, but not much. Honestly, having spent lots of time with Hololens and other “full” glasses, I find myself preferring the single-eye display. Human beings don’t always react well to asymmetrical designs, but from a functional perspective it worked well.

ARCore would be next-level on Glass

You know what I have absolutely no desire to do when immersing myself in AR? Hold my phone up for 20 minutes and feel like I’m staring through a window into another world. Immerse me! Make me feel like I’m actually standing among the virtual creations playing out in this other world. Google’s ARCore is all about giving Tango-like Augmented Reality to everyone, and that seems so perfect for a Glass-like headset. No holding a phone up; just walk around the world and tap the touch-pad on the side of your headset to place a virtual object. Leave my hands free for something like motion controllers, so I can continue to interact with the AR world.

The display on Glass as we know it wouldn’t have been super great for ARCore because the resolution was fairly low, but if that could be improved it would create a wildly unique experience. I could get turn-by-turn directions to the can of soup I’m looking for while walking around in a grocery store. Pokémon Go could be running in the background so an Onyx could spawn and tower over me as I walk down the street. It’s so easy to imagine the possibilities by combining what I can already do with Glass with what I can already do with ARCore. How is this not a perfect match of awesome tech?

It’s probably not going to happen

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem focused on Glass for consumers right now. ARCore was designed to make AR accessible and to compete with the buzz Apple created earlier this year. The Virtual Positioning System Google is currently working on seems limited to the standalone Daydream headset for now and not something more AR focused.

It’ll probably be another two years before the things we’re seeing on phones are moved back to head-mounted displays, and in some ways that’s probably for the best. It’s easy for someone like me to get overly hyped about something like Glass, but making a headset that lasts someone a full day of constant AR use isn’t currently possible. That’s the next big step, making it so AR is just sort of everywhere all the time so you can always interact with it. The limits in battery tech alone would make that impossible right now.

But if Google were to re-release Glass with ARCore onboard, I’d be first in line without a moment’s hesitation.




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