As you probably have noticed by now, last week Facebook finally added official support for hashtags (meaning they actually do something now if you click on them), but they’re not done with announcements for June. This Thursday, June 20th, Facebook is holding another mystery event and according to TechCrunch this event will not be about hashtags or Facebook Home, but about adding video to Instagram. According to Matthew Keys (a former deputy social media editor at Reuters), the videos you’ll be able to share on Instagram will be similar to what you can do on Vine. They’ll be super short videos between 5-10 seconds in length which is slightly bigger than Vine’s 6 second max. While not yet as popular as Instagram, Vine (owned by Facebook’s rival Twitter) has gotten pretty big over the past few months and adding video to Instagram would finally give Facebook an answer to it.
It’s unknown if you’ll be to edit the videos with filters in the same way you can use them to edit pictures, but if this is true we’re sure we’ll find out all that and more soon enough.
While there are a number of solid waterproof cases for phones like the iPhone and Galaxy S III, there is something to be said for not needing to have a case on your phone to protect it. With summer just about here the need for a phone that is dust or water-resistant is even greater. Well, if you’re on AT&T and have an upgrade coming up you may want to check this out. Meet the Galaxy S4 Active, a water and dust resistant version of the awesome Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4 Active takes everything you know and love about the Galaxy S4– the amazing 5 inch full HD screen, fast quad-core processor, cool features like Air Gesture and Dual Camera– and puts it in a design that is now water-resistant which means you can drop it in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The Galaxy S4 Active is also dust-resistant making it the perfect phone for you if you plan to spend a lot of time at the beach or pool this summer. The only real difference between the original S4 and the S4 Active is that the Active’s camera is 8 megapixels instead of 13, though don’t worry, it will still take great pictures for Instagram. And since it’s designed for use in the pool Samsung gave the S4 Active a special Aqua Mode in the camera app to let you take pictures and videos underwater.
The Galaxy S4 Active will come in two colors, grey and blue, and cost the same as the regular Galaxy S4– $200 on a new 2 year contract when it launches next Tuesday, June 18th. For more info on the S4 Active (or to pre-order it) head on over to AT&T’s site here.
More info: AT&T
As you’ve probably heard by now, if you have a recent iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad you’re device is about to look very different come this fall. Earlier this week at their annual WWDC event Apple didn’t just give the MacBook Air a nice update but announced the future of iOS, iOS 7. In addition to adding some new features, with iOS 7 Apple decided to completely change the look of iOS, updating the design to one that is more modern and “flat.”
Here’s a quick rundown on some of the things that are new and the things you should care about in iOS 7.
A few weeks ago we mentioned how there were some pretty big things about to happen in terms of new computers. Well today at Apple’s annual WWDC conference Apple gave the MacBook Air a pretty major update, one that was well worth waiting for.
In that earlier post we mentioned the importance of Intel’s new Core processors (also known as “Haswell”) when it came to buying a new computer because of the major promises it offered for performance and battery life improvements. How big is this update? Enough for Apple to say that their new MacBook Airs will get all-day battery life. That’s right, not 5 hours or 7 hours, but 9 hours on the 11 inch Air and 12 hours on the 13 inch Air. Basically, these new MacBook Airs should easily get you through the day without having to find an outlet. In addition to all that Apple gave the Air a few “future-proof” upgrades including support for the newest version of WiFi (called “ac.” It’s faster and has better range than older WiFi networks and will be great as more people upgrade their routers to support this new standard over the next few years).
The good news doesn’t end there, Apple also doubled the storage on the base MacBook Airs with 128GB of storage now the standard on both the 11 and 13 inch models (it used to be a very weak 64GB on the cheapest 11 inch Air). For $200 more you could double that storage to 256GB. And while the Air didn’t get upgraded to a “Retina display,” it still has all the things we loved about it like that awesome, thin design and FaceTime HD camera. It also keeps the same prices as before, and starts at $999 for the base 11 inch version (or $949 with a student discount).
The MacBook Air was already one of the best laptops available before this update. With more storage, faster speeds and insane battery life it pretty much seals it. If you’re looking for a new computer anytime soon you should definitely look at this.
The new MacBook Air is available now on Apple’s online store.
More info: Apple
In what seems like a very random update, Apple late last night updated the 16GB iPod Touch, finally bringing it more in line with the 32GB and 64GB Touches. This new iPod has the same 4 inch Retina Display, Siri, HD FaceTime front camera and faster dual-core A5 chip as those bigger storage Touches, though sadly the 16GB Touch does not have a 5 megapixel back camera, wrist strap or come in multiple colors (its only available in silver). The good news? This new 16GB iPod Touch is $229 as opposed to $299 for the 32GB Touch or $399 for the 64GB Touch.
Sure it’s $30 more than the older 4th generation 16GB Touch was (the one with the 3.5 inch screen and lower quality front and back cameras), but if you don’t need a lot of storage, don’t want to take pictures with your iPod, and mainly want something for using iOS apps without getting an iPhone this isn’t a bad deal. Personally, I just use my iPhone 5 to do everything and no longer carry a separate iPod around, but I also know a number of people who love using their iPod Touch as a sort of “iPad Nano” for taking notes, checking Instagram, watching videos, playing games etc. and this new iPod is great for that.
Of course why Apple did this at such an odd time with WWDC under two weeks away (it starts on June 10th) is another question entirely and one we don’t know any answer to. If you’re interested in the new 16GB iPod Touch you can order it now from the online Apple Store.
With the Wii U struggling and the Xbox One and PS4 slated to dominate the E3 news this year Nintendo has decided to try something new. Instead of holding their usual big E3 press conference and announcing a whole bunch of new games that will come out later this year, Nintendo has teamed up with Best Buy to allow you to try some of the new games right in your local Best Buy store. In the past demoing these new games were limited to only those who could make it out to California for E3, so its great to see Nintendo open this up for more people.
Now as with all good things there are a few caveats to point out. While Nintendo and Best Buy have teamed up to bring the demos to 89 Best Buy stores across the country, they will unfortunately not be available in every Best Buy store. The demo times will also be limited to 4-8 p.m. local time on Wednesday, June 12th, and 1-5 p.m. local time on Saturday, June 15th. Nintendo also hasn’t yet shared which new games will be available to try out though Best Buy says that list will be revealed on June 11th. For the full list of Best Buy locations participating in this event check out Best Buy’s site here.
All in all, if you’re near one of those Best Buy stores and are interested in checking out what Nintendo’s got planned this should be pretty great. And remember, E3 takes place in just under two weeks from June 10th through June 13th.
With the end of the spring semester, graduations and the school year in general coming to a close over the next couple of weeks you may think that now would be a good time to buy a new computer. Graduation gifts and early back-to-school deals make that idea seem even better. Well put simply, it’s just the opposite and buying a new computer now is something you should really try not to do regardless if the next computer you plan to get is a Mac or Windows. Here’s why.
Well, after being rumored for years BlackBerry today finally made it official. This summer BBM will be coming to Android and the iPhone. The apps will be available for free and run on iOS devices running iOS 6 or later and Android devices running Android 4.0 (aka “Ice Cream Sandwich”) or later. Both apps will offer the full BBM experience including BBM chats, multi-person chats, the ability to share photos and voice notes, and participate in BBM Groups with up to 30 people. Features like BBM Video Chat, screen share and voice chat are promised as updates for later this year.
Now while two years ago when BlackBerrys were still popular this would have been huge news, today we gotta ask if BBM coming to non-BlackBerrys still actually matters to you. Between iMessage, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Kik, Facebook Messenger and the dozens of other free messaging apps out there today, the appeal of BBM just isn’t as strong as it once was. Think about it, how many of your friends still even use BBM? I know most of mine don’t, or if they do they also use some other app like WhatsApp as well.
We’ll have more on BBM once it launches this summer, but in the meantime let us know your thoughts on the news– and if you even care about BBM anymore– in the comments.
It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s been almost five years since Apple launched the iTunes App Store, and it’s even crazier to think that in less than five years they are already rapidly approaching 50 Billion (yes that’s Billion with a “B”) app downloads. In the past Apple has celebrated major iTunes milestones with some pretty insane giveaways. For example, for the billionth app download in 2009 they gave away a 17-inch Macbook Pro, 32 GB iPod Touch, Time Capsule router AND a $10,000 Gift Card for the iTunes Store. So as you’d expect for this massive milestone, Apple’s giving away a few other big prizes.
This year the lucky downloader of that 50 Billionth app will receive a $10,000 iTunes gift card that can be used in the App Store, iTunes Store or iBookstore. Considering that most paid apps, movies and books in the iTunes store are between $0.99 and $15 that’s an insane amount of money to spend in one place (and unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can use the gift card in the regular Apple Store to buy a new Mac, iPad or iPhone).
Now in the past Apple only gave away one grand prize for their iTunes contest but this time they’ve changed it up a bit. If you aren’t that exact 50 Billionth app downloader don’t worry, you can still win something as Apple will also be giving out fifty $500 iTunes gift cards to the people who download the next 50 apps after that 50 billionth app is downloaded. So if you do the math that’s $35,000 in free iTunes money up for grabs!
As of this writing the download counter on Apple’s website says that they have passed 49.85 billion apps, with about 1,000 apps being downloaded every second. That rate is only going to pick up as we get closer to that magic 50 billionth app so if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch go charge it up and get to downloading apps.
For more info and the latest counter either open up the App Store on your iDevice or head on over to Apple’s site here. And as always, good luck!
More info: Apple
For most of 2013 Verizon has been pretty quiet on the new phones they’ve launched. But that all looks to change very soon. If you’re on Verizon and have an upgrade coming up sometime over the next couple of weeks or months these are some of the best phones either already at Verizon or rumored to be coming to Verizon very soon. The last thing you want is to go out and buy something only to really regret it a week later.
While not everything here is confirmed to be coming to Verizon (some are just our best guesses based on rumors we’ve been hearing), here are five phones you should be excited for if you have an upgrade coming up.