Sony can be considered a pioneer in the portable music player business, and if you lived through the cassette tape era, then there's a good chance you owned a Walkman. Believe it or not, Sony continued to manufacture cassette-based Walkmans in several different markets all the way up through near the end of 2010. While nowhere near as popular as they were in the 1980s an 1990s, Sony's Walkman brand is seeing a bit of a resurgence courtesy of its NWZ-ZX1, a high-resolution audio player for consumers with deep pockets.
Cortana, Siri, Google Now, meet BlackBerry Assistant
Starting soon, pretty much any smartphone you buy will come with a virtual helper. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has Cortana, Apple's iOS software has Siri, Google's Android OS has Google Now, and beginning with BlackBerry 10.3, BlackBerry users will have BlackBerry Assistant to boss around and ask for help. BlackBerry Assistant is the Canadian handset maker's equivalent to all the others, and it will act similarly.
VIA today unveiled its new Viega ruggedized Android tablet. Armed with a 10.1-inch display, the Viega features IP65 certification and rocks a durable design that protects it from spills, rain, dust, shock, vibration, drops from up to two meters, and more. It has tempered glass to prevent cracks in the panel from cutting your workday short when you're out in the field, and an "extra long-life polymer batter pack" that's good for up to 9 hours of runtime.
A dispute over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children
Amazon had a chance to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission out of court over allegations that it let children make millions of dollars worth of unauthorized in-app purchases, but apparently the offer wasn't too good to refuse. Having rejected the settlement, the FTC is now suing Amazon for an undisclosed sum of money, and also to force the e-commerce giant to make some changes to such purchases.
College students cherish laptops more than any other electronic device
Within the next year or so, there's a good chance that tablet shipments will outnumber traditional PC sales. Be that as it may, tablets are still relegated to being mostly content consumption devices, and if you want to get some real work done, you'll need a real PC. That sentiment is underscored by a new AMD survey that reveals the laptop as the most important electronic device among college students.
Business upgrades from Windows XP will help prop up the PC market
Sometimes down but never out, traditional PCs have been doing more than just hang around, they've been leading the market despite slumping sales. Looking into next year, Gartner predicts that tablets will outsell combined desktop and notebook systems for the first time, though if you look at the market as a whole, the worldwide PC market is on the verge of a revival after dipping 9.5 percent in 2013.
HTC One (M8) sales helped get the company back in black
It's been several years now since HTC was on top of the world as the most active player in the Android space. During that time, it seemed HTC had a license to print money as each quarter yielded a bigger profit than the last. But the good times came to an end when Samsung rose to prominence in the Android space, and more often than not, HTC posts a loss these day. Not last quarter though. HTC is once again profitable and it has its One (M8) handset to thank for that.
Now with a faster processor and more color options
In case you missed it, you can click back in time to see our review of the original Asus Transformer Book T100 2-in-1 laptop. Though it had some faults, it scored a respectable verdict for its Bay Trail Atom processor, full version of Windows 8.1, and relatively affordable price tag ($400 for the 64GB we reviewed). Looking to raise the bar, Asus's Transformer Book T100 now comes with a faster CPU and two new color options.
A small and somewhat spunky version of its bigger brother
Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy S5 mini, a downsized version of the Galaxy S5 with comparatively subdued specs. That said, it's not as much of a downgrade over the Galaxy S5 as the Galaxy S4 mini was from the Galaxy S4. Its core foundation consists of a 4.5-inch HD (1280x720) Super AMOLED display powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot).
If you're a fan of Google's Quickoffice apps, download them now while you still can. Google's planning to pull its Quickoffice apps from Google Play and iTunes over the course of the next few weeks, as the company feels they're no longer needed after recently overhauling its Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are now available as standalone apps rather than being lumped together.