Two big players join over 200 other companies in supporting the leading wireless charging standard The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the group behind the Qi wireless charging standard , has added two more companies to its board today. Adding to a laundry list of the biggest names in technology, Samsung Electro-Mechanics (an internal tech subsidiary of Samsung) and Microsoft both join the efforts of dozens of other companies to be on the cutting edge of wireless charging with Qi. It also has the backing of the four largest U.S. carriers, along with non-tech companies such as IKEA, and has generally been accepted as the leading wireless charging standard. “Microsoft and Samsung Electro-Mechanics are important players in furthering Qi’s adoption in more devices, cars, products, and places.” Said John Perzow of WPC, noting that over 40 million devices now utilize the Qi standard for wireless charging. Seeing the lead it has over competing standards as Qi is implemented in all leading smartphones in the last couple of years and branching out into products such as cars and furniture on the charger side , it’s hard to see the WPC falling into second place at this point. These are just two more big players in a long line of companies that are pushing Qi as the defacto wireless charging standard.
Starting a hangout or sending an email now just one click away when typing someone’s name Quickly getting ahold of people just got a bit easier in the latest build of Chrome OS . Complete contact search is now integrated into the Chrome OS launcher, letting you quickly message or email people by hitting the search key and starting to type their name just as you would an app or web search. The list automatically populates with relevant contact entries, and with a single click you can start a new Hangouts message or email with that person. You’ll simply need to snag the latest update to Chrome OS on your Chromebook or Chromebox and reboot to apply it, and there’s no further setup beyond that. We’re seeing the changes on our Acer C720 right now, but as usual the update is taking a tad longer to show up on the Chromebook Pixel. The update should be available to all Chrome OS devices soon. Via: +Google Chrome
Six months trial on the new A3, after that it’s a $99 minimum per six months At CES we saw more than one example demonstrated of cars with integrated 4G LTE connectivity. Audi is about to make it a reality on an actual roadgoing model with the new 2015 A3, but it comes at a price. Audi has partnered with AT&T for the service that does at least offer a six-month free trial for all new A3s with the Audi Connect system. After this, you’ve got to pony up the dough to carry on using it. The cheapest plan is $99 for 5GB of LTE data spread out over a period of six months. If you want more than that, AT&T will sell you 30GB spread over 30-months, for $499. You read that right.
16 Pebble Steels and a $5000 grand prize are up for grabs in the next few weeks Pebble has finally released its new Android app and accompanying 2.0 firmware for the Pebble watch, which brings a new design and features but most notably an all-encompasing appstore for the device. To help kickstart development of Pebble apps submitted to the formal appstore, Pebble is kicking off an official App Challenge with $9000 in prizes available for a handful of apps that show off their quality. From now until March 23rd, developers can submit their new or existing apps to the challenge if they are built to interact with the latest SDK 2.0 features and are available in the appstore. From the 24th to the 27th, you can then vote on the official challenge website for your favorite apps, narrowing down the group to just 16 top-notch entries. Each of the 16 developers will be given a new Pebble Steel for their effort, and be entered into a head-to-head battle for the grand prize. A bracket will place the apps head-to-head for voting from the public, narrowing down the options until just one app remains. The developer who comes out on top of the entire challenge will walk away with $5000 for their effort. Not a bad deal for making a Pebble app, and all Pebble users will benefit from the increased engagement around the appstore. If you’re interested in participating as a developer or a voter, hit the source link for the full details
Vector 33: State of the Android (spring 2014) Phil Nickinson of Android Central joins Rene to talk Galaxy S5 malaise, HTC’s new One, Nokia X, Android as a platform, and how he handles 300+ phones on his desk. Seriously. Subscribe in iTunes Subscribe in RSS Download directly Follow on Twitter
If you haven’t used a previous trial, Google is giving 60 days of all-you-can-listen to Chromebook users Google Play Music All Access is pretty sweet. You can add any album to your library, listen to ad-free Internet Radio based on genre or based on a particular song, artist or album, or even try the “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature and see what you get. We all use it here around the office, and if it’s available in your country , it’s something you ought to at least take a look at. If you have a Chromebook , looking just got easier. Google is now givng away a 60-day trial of All Access when you sign up via your Chromebook. This offer doesn’t extend to people who have already tried the service via another offer, or existing customers. Spend your 60 days listening to classics, old favorites, or exploring new music. When the trial is up, you can extend and enroll in the service for $9.99 per month, charged via Google Wallet like any other app subscription. If you decide not to use it, just cancel and all is good. You won’t know until you try! Source: +Google Play . Thanks, Chad!
Nest today updated its Android application to allow you to add up to 18 Nest Protects — those are the $129 combination smoke and CO detectors — to a single home. Again, that’s up to $2,300 worth of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a single home. Just in case. Also in the update: Bug fixes and enhancements.