Live like a robber baron for a night with Airbnb Luxe


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Airbnbs are a mixed bag. Pictures only tell half the story, and sometimes you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you get there. Say what you will about Airbnb’s new white glove Luxe service, but the company does seem to go out of its way to ensure that users get what the pay for.

That’s still subjective, of course. As The New York Times notes, Luxe’s price range is a broad one, starting at $600 bucks a night and going all the way up to $1 million for a week. To put that into perspective, that’s the difference between a night in a San Francisco hotel during Dreamforce or 18 years of the average American salary.

As for what that gets you, that too, varies. The company notes that it’s got castles in France and award winning homes in New Zealand and South Africa. Amenities include

Continue reading “Live like a robber baron for a night with Airbnb Luxe”

Live like a robber baron for a night with Airbnb Luxe


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Airbnbs are a mixed bag. Pictures only tell half the story, and sometimes you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you get there. Say what you will about Airbnb’s new white glove Luxe service, but the company does seem to go out of its way to ensure that users get what the pay for.

That’s still subjective, of course. As The New York Times notes, Luxe’s price range is a broad one, starting at $600 bucks a night and going all the way up to $1 million for a week. To put that into perspective, that’s the difference between a night in a San Francisco hotel during Dreamforce or 18 years of the average American salary.

As for what that gets you, that too, varies. The company notes that it’s got castles in France and award winning homes in New Zealand and South Africa. Amenities include

Continue reading “Live like a robber baron for a night with Airbnb Luxe”

iPadOS preview


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Microsoft drew a line in the sand with Windows 10, presenting an operating system designed for both PCs and tablets alike. The move fostered hardware designers to go all in on convertibles — devices that performed double duty as laptops or slates, with adjustable keyboards to match.

For most of its history, the iPad has taken the opposite approach. Even as Apple has blurred the line between iOS and macOS with offerings like Project Catalyst, the tablet that redefined the category has been mobile first, running a scaled up version of the iPhone operating system. It’s largely suited the company and the product well, offering a dead simple approach for consumers.

But as the iPad has matured, so too have customer expectations. In recent years, Apple’s happily positioned the product as a kind of laptop alternative for business and education. The

Continue reading “iPadOS preview”

iPadOS preview


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Microsoft drew a line in the sand with Windows 10, presenting an operating system designed for both PCs and tablets alike. The move fostered hardware designers to go all in on convertibles — devices that performed double duty as laptops or slates, with adjustable keyboards to match.

For most of its history, the iPad has taken the opposite approach. Even as Apple has blurred the line between iOS and macOS with offerings like Project Catalyst, the tablet that redefined the category has been mobile first, running a scaled up version of the iPhone operating system. It’s largely suited the company and the product well, offering a dead simple approach for consumers.

But as the iPad has matured, so too have customer expectations. In recent years, Apple’s happily positioned the product as a kind of laptop alternative for business and education. The

Continue reading “iPadOS preview”

macOS 10.15 Catalina preview


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




There might be no better microcosm of 2019 Apple than Catalina. The latest version of macOS arrives during a transitional time for the company. The desktop is a showcase for increased focus on content, a continued push toward cross-platform compatibility and a renewed push to court creative professionals.

For a few years now, the desktop operating system has played second fiddle to iOS, but the long mobile honeymoon has begun to wane, as smartphone sales have begun to flag for the first time since Apple revolutionized the category with iPhone. The company clearly sees a future in the billion-dollar play of Apple TV+, while the return of products like long-lamented Mac Pro find it attempting to reassert its core audience.

macOS 10.15 has a lot updates to comb through, but the new stuff largely focuses on two primary categories:

DJI looks to assemble drones in California as government concerns mount


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




With increased pressure on Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE, Shenzhen-based drone giant DJI has no doubt had cause for concern of late. In late-2017, the U.S. government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement office raised concern that the company’s camera-equipped flying machines could be sending data back to China.

A few weeks back, the Department of Homeland Security similarly raised warning over commercial drones from China. In a hearing entitled “Drone Security: Enhancing Innovation and Mitigating Supply Chain Risks” last week, meanwhile, the National Defense University’s Harry Wingo told the Senate Transportation Subcommittee, “American geospatial information is flown to Chinese data centers at an unprecedented level. This literally gives a Chinese company a view from above of our nation.”

DJI fired back in a letter provided to TechCrunch, noting,

Because the drone industry is becoming an increasingly critical engine for small American businesses as well

Continue reading “DJI looks to assemble drones in California as government concerns mount”

Samsung releases a trio of smart home products


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Samsung’s approach to the smart home has been — “uneven” seems like a nice way of putting it. None of this has really been helped along by the fact that Bixby and the company’s long-promised smart speaker, the Galaxy Home, are still lost in the woods.

SmartThings, the home automation startup the company acquired in 2014, has been relatively steady under its watch, on the other hand. The brand just released a trio of products maintaining its focus on low cost entry points for the starter smart home.

Two, the SmartThings Cam and WiFi Smart Plug have the helpful bonus of not requiring a separate hub. The Smart Bulb, on the other hand, does require one, but that’s not particularly surprising given the $10 price point. Samsung’s SmartThings Hub currently runs around $70, by the way.

None of the new entrants looks particularly exciting. The $90 Cam shoots in 1080p

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Echo Show 5 review


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Echo team must have started sweating when the Lenovo Smart Clock was announced during CES. Deep inside Seattle’s Day One building, Amazon was reading the release of the Echo Show 5, a pint-sized version of the company’s smart screen that bore more than a passing resemblance to Lenovo’s Google Assistant device.

Amazon, of course, beat Google to the category by years with the first Echo Show and innovated the bedside model with the Echo Spot. But Google and its cohort have a way of catching up to and eventually passing the competition.

The Echo Show 5 isn’t designed solely for the nightstand. In fact, the product packs in a few features that Lenovo’s device lacks, including video playback and an on-board camera — both elements that could ultimately make it something of a mixed bag for the bedroom. It’s hard to know precisely where the

Continue reading “Echo Show 5 review”

Echo Show 5 review


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Echo team must have started sweating when the Lenovo Smart Clock was announced during CES. Deep inside Seattle’s Day One building, Amazon was reading the release of the Echo Show 5, a pint-sized version of the company’s smart screen that bore more than a passing resemblance to Lenovo’s Google Assistant device.

Amazon, of course, beat Google to the category by years with the first Echo Show and innovated the bedside model with the Echo Spot. But Google and its cohort have a way of catching up to and eventually passing the competition.

The Echo Show 5 isn’t designed solely for the nightstand. In fact, the product packs in a few features that Lenovo’s device lacks, including video playback and an on-board camera — both elements that could ultimately make it something of a mixed bag for the bedroom. It’s hard to know precisely where the

Continue reading “Echo Show 5 review”

Echo Show 5 review


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Echo team must have started sweating when the Lenovo Smart Clock was announced during CES. Deep inside Seattle’s Day One building, Amazon was reading the release of the Echo Show 5, a pint-sized version of the company’s smart screen that bore more than a passing resemblance to Lenovo’s Google Assistant device.

Amazon, of course, beat Google to the category by years with the first Echo Show and innovated the bedside model with the Echo Spot. But Google and its cohort have a way of catching up to and eventually passing the competition.

The Echo Show 5 isn’t designed solely for the nightstand. In fact, the product packs in a few features that Lenovo’s device lacks, including video playback and an on-board camera — both elements that could ultimately make it something of a mixed bag for the bedroom. It’s hard to know precisely where the

Continue reading “Echo Show 5 review”

Google says it’s not making any more tablets


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The writing has been on the slate for some time now. Roughly this time last year, we reported that Google had wiped all tablet sales off its site. Turns out that was just a bug, but it seemed like an ominous portent of things to come.

Google still went ahead and launched the Pixel Slate late last year, hoping the device would give users a much welcome form factor alternative to its high-end Pixel Book. Ultimately, however, the device felt redundant, and now it seem it will be the last of its kind. The company this week admitted that its hardware team is giving up the tablet ghost.

“For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate,” the company said in statement sent to the press today, in response to earlier reports.

Apple issues voluntary recall of 2015 MacBook Pro batteries due to overheating concern


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Apple this morning announced a “voluntary” recall of MacBook Pro batteries due to potential overheating and safety risk. The recall only applies to mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pros with Retina displays. As the company notes in a press release, these models were primarily sold between September 2015 and February 2017.

Concerned users can see if their systems qualify for replacement by checking the Apple Menu in their system finder. The company is hosting a page where they can enter their serial number to see if it’s covered here. As the repair page notes, those systems impacted by the recall could take one to two weeks to process and send back. The recall program has no impact on the laptops’ warranties one way or the other.

Developing…

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G arrives on Sprint tomorrow


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




You surely know the whole deal about carts and horses by now. When Samsung’s first 5G handset, the Galaxy S10 5G, arrives on Sprint tomorrow, users will be able to get those blazing fast mobile speeds in all of four markets: Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City.

Those all launched last week, after the arrival of the carrier’s first 5G handset, LG’s V50 ThinQ. The good news is that a number of the biggest cities in the country will be getting coverage in “coming weeks,” including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington D.C.

The other good news, I guess, is that you can still use the phone in the rest of the country, albeit with 4G speeds. Of course, with an eye-popping unlocked starting price of $1,300, you’re probably not going to want to

Continue reading “Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G arrives on Sprint tomorrow”

Adobe Lightroom arrives in the Mac App Store


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The pro-focused photo editing tool Lightroom is now available on the Mac App Store, marking the first major Adobe app to be available through the revamped version of the platform. The title joins the more lightweight Photoshop Elements, but is the sole pro app currently available through the venue. 

Unlike Element’s flat $70 a month upfront charge, Lightroom adopts the company’s shift in recent years toward a subscription-based model, running users $10 a month for continued access. Apple’s clearly excited about the arrival, with Lightroom currently featured atop the App Store home page.

The company’s been making a push for developers to make their wares available through its channels at it pushed toward a more content-focused approach. Of course, the desktop store has been a harder push than its mobile version, given that macOS pre-dated its walled garden by decades in one form or other. Among other methods, Project

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iRobot acquires education startup, Root Robotics


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In a bid to expand its educational offerings, iRobot has acquired local Massachusetts-based startup, Root Robotics. The company is the creator of the eponymous coding robot, a two-wheeled device designed to draw on whiteboards and other surfaces, scanning colors, playing music and otherwise playing out coding instructions.

We had the company at our CES stage last year, and it managed to stand out among a sea of educational ‘bots at the event. iRobot clearly sees a lot of value in the Wyss Institute at Harvard University spin-off, and will integrate the startup’s offering into its portfolio immediately.

“The acquisition of Root Robotics allows iRobot to broaden the impact of its STEM efforts with a commercially available, educational robotic platform already being used by educators, students and parents,” iRobot CEO Colin Angle said in a press release. “Root also helps increase the reach of iRobot’s educational robot line by offering a

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Samsung exec says the Galaxy Fold is ‘ready to hit the market’


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




As we asked back in February, “We’re ready for foldable phones, but are they ready for us?” The answer, so far, has been an enthusiastic, “not really.” The Galaxy Fold was pushed back, after multiple review units crapped the proverbial bed. And just last week, Huawei noted that it was holding off on its own Mate X release, citing Samsung’s issues as a cautionary tale. 

Samsung, at least, may finally be ready to unleash its foldable on the world, two months after its planned release. “Most of the display problems have been ironed out,” Samsung Display Vice President Kim Seong-cheol told a crowd at an event in Seoul this week, “and the Galaxy Fold is ready to hit the market.”

The company’s no doubt wait for a more formal announcement to release specifics on timing. Samsung has been promising release

Continue reading “Samsung exec says the Galaxy Fold is ‘ready to hit the market’”

Apple expands authorized repairs to ~1,000 Best Buy stores


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Since 2001, Apple has staked its claim across the world with its own first-party brick and mortar locations. But the U.S. is a big country, and the 270 or so stores can only cover so much ground. In the past three years, the company says it has expanded repair coverage to three times as many locations in this massive country of ours, courtesy of third-party partnerships.

That list now includes almost 1,000 Best Buys, which now offer Apple certified repairs courtesy of 7,600 “newly Apple-certified technicians” capable of offering up same day repairs on iPhones and other products.

“At Apple, we’re dedicated to providing the best customer service in the world,” Apple Care VP Tara Bunch said in a release tied to this morning’s news. “If a customer ever needs to repair their products, we want them to feel confident those repairs are done safely and correctly. We’re always

Continue reading “Apple expands authorized repairs to ~1,000 Best Buy stores”

Amazon adds color adjustable lighting to its best Kindle


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




For e-reader devotees, it doesn’t get better than the Kindle Oasis. Amazon’s the last giant player standing in the category (unless you consider what Barnes & Noble is doing “standing”), and the Oasis is ounce for ounce the best Kindle device it has produced. I reviewed the last iteration of the device back in late 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed my time with it.

Amazon’s keeping the dream alive with an update to the device. Though be forewarned, like the recent standard Kindle upgrade, it’s pretty minor. From the looks of things, the new Oasis maintains all of the good bits with its predecessor, including the nice 7-inch, 300ppi display, coupled with physical page-turn buttons.

The big change here is the ability to adjust the color tone of the front light, to go easier on your eyes during the day — and to help you get to sleep better at night.

Continue reading “Amazon adds color adjustable lighting to its best Kindle”

This $99 AirPower knockoff is available for order now


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




There are a number of key differences between Apple’s AirPower and lookalike knockoff, AirUnleashed. The most pertinent one, however, is that one of the two is actually available for purchase.

Apple gave up the AirPower ghost back in March, after having gone silent on the product for some time, citing an inability to “achieve [its] high standards.” The company released little additional information, but most reports came down to engineering problems with densely packed charging coils that could ultimately have caused the product to overheat.

Plenty of companies were no doubt planning their own off-brand take on the product, but Apple’s decision to pull out of the category ahead of launch has opened an AirPower-sized hole in the wireless charging mat market. And there are plenty of products waiting in the wings to fill it.

AirUnleashed is pretty shameless in its approach, right down to a minimalist white box

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VidAngel ordered to pay $62.4M for copyright infringement


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The VidAngel story seemingly ended in late 2017 when it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But the bad news wasn’t over for streaming service, which promised to edit all of the dirty bits out of other people’s films.

This week a federal jury in California ordered the Provo, Utah-based startup to pay $62.4 million to studios over copyright infringement. That amounts to $75,000 per film, paid out to studios including Disney and Warner Bros.

“The jury today found that VidAngel acted willfully,” the studios said in a statement issued after the ruling, “and imposed a damages award that sends a clear message to others who would attempt to profit from unlawful infringing conduct at the expense of the creative community.”

VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon is naturally not thrilled with this latest bit of bad news for a site purporting to offer sanitized versions of popular films. The executive promised

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