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The Nexus 9 and Nexus Player both are on sale in Google’s Play store today. Android Police reports the Nexus 9 ships in the US in couple of days unless you want the ‘sand’ color or an LTE model which are still listed as coming soon. Its also available for in store pickup at some Best Buys. The Nexus Player takes a couple of weeks to ship. The Nexus 9 is available in many countries worldwide. The Nexus Player is only available in the US and Canada.
9to5 Mac got hold of a transcript of an internal Apple Retail video in which VP of Retail and Online Stores, Angele Ahrendts says “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.” Chinese new year takes place on February 19th. Officially Apple has said early 2015 as the watch’s launch so I guess that means late FEb. or March are likely launch times.
Cult of Mac reports that USAA, PNC Bank, US Bank, Barclaycard and the Navy Federal Credit Union have added support for Apple Pay today.That’s four days ahead of schedule for USAA and PNC, although Cult of Mac reports some PNC customers are having issues verifying credit cards. Regarding the launch, Randy Hopper, vice president of credit cards at Navy Federal said, “our members live fast-paced and mobile lives.” In other words, they feel the NEED, the NEED FOR SPEED!
The Guardian reports All of musician Taylor Swift’s back catalog has been removed from Spotify and some other streaming services like Deezer. Swift’s latest album has not been made available on any streaming service, likely to help boost album and download sales. The album, 1989, may break Britney Spears record for highest selling first week by a female solo artist in the US. The New York Post recently reported that Swift’s label ‘Big Machine’ is up for sale.
The Verge reports both Verizon and AT&T announced they expect to reach voice over LTE interoperability sometime in 2015. VoLTE routes calls over the company’s data networks meaning Skype-like voice quality for cell phone calls. Among the phones that currently support VoLTE are the iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 and LG G2.
Gizmodo has a look at the the new Google Calendar App that was part of the Android 5.0 Lollipop rollout. The app combs your inbox and finds event-based data you might want and allows you to add events in sentence form, letting the app fill in the blanks with addessess from Google maps and attendees from Google Contacts. It also features something called ‘Assists’ which will suggest people and places as you type and learn over time. It’s Android Lollipop only for now, but coming to Google Play in the coming weeks and eventually to iOS.
News From You:
KAPT_Kipper submitted the Verge report that you will never be getting anything done at work ever again. The Internet Arcade, a web-based library of coin-operated arcade games, has just released NINE HUNDRED classic arcade games for you to play in your browser. Scrolling through the list is like getting whacked in the head with a nostalgia brick: It’s got everything from Astro Invader to Zzyzzyxx, including Millipede, many members of the Pac-Man family, Sega’s Champion Baseball and Outrun, and Atari’s Temple of Doom and Return of the Jedi games. Report all bugs and tearful thanks to Jason Scott, Internet Arcade Operator.
OMGCluck pointed out the Mozilla Blog post about a browser coming for developers. Mozilla promises the new browser development tool will “debug the whole Web, allowing you to more easily build awesome Web experiences. It also integrates some powerful new tools like WebIDE and the Firefox Tools Adapter.” The tool should arrive November 10. Names suggested in the DTNS Subreddit include earthbadger, windferret, revolverocelot and SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!
And finally MikePKennedy passed along the Engadget report that the Xbox One could get more affordable, even after the holiday discount ends. Apparently an AMD chip designer updated his LinkedIn resume with the information that he worked on a more efficient “cost-reduced” version of the Xbox One processor. Then the guy made his LinkedIn page private, because oops! Leaked AMD product roadmaps suggest the technology could be coming in 2015.
Discussion Section: T-Swift v. Spotify
Pick of the Day: Bluetooth Multipoint via Komei in Fremont
Hi Tom, Jennie,
I wanted to mention Bluetooth Multipoint as my pick today since it’s a good feature with such a generic and un-google-able name that nobody cares to notice
Multipoint Bluetooth headphones can pair with more than one device at the same time.
I love listening to audio podcasts on my phone and watching video podcasts on the laptop on my bus commute. Before getting Multipoint headphones, it used to take sometimes up to a few minutes to unpair and re-pair every time I switch devices. Now my Multipoint Bluetooth headphones will play the audio from whichever device I’m using.
The model I’m using is LG HBS730 but I believe other ones work the same way, too.
One more thing. One of the most useful features of smart watches is the playback control and most people don’t seem to talk about it. I have a Pebble and I can play, pause, and skip backward/forward without touching my phone (just like with a Bluetooth headset). Have you noticed, on the most rough section of the freeway, every “tap” on the phone screen becomes a “swipe” and you can never press the pause and skip buttons? I don’t have that problem with my Pebble.
Cheers, Komei from “nothing really goes on but a chill place to live” Fremont
Thoughts on Amazon Fire phone from Christian Cantrell:
Hi, Tom and Jennie. I have a slightly different perspective on Friday’s story about David Limp and his comments regarding the pricing of the Amazon Fire Phone.
As a quick refresher, Limp said: “We didn’t get the price right. I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we’re also willing to say, ‘we missed.’ And so we corrected.”
Fair enough, but value is not just a function of price. It’s also a function of benefit. In other words, just as you could say the phone was priced too high, you could also say that phone was not good enough. $199 is not a remotely unreasonable price for a good smartphone, but it’s far too much to ask for a mediocre mobile experience.
The reality is that Amazon significantly overestimated the Fire Phone’s appeal (as opposed to pricing it incorrectly). They were relying on Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, and Mayday to capture customers’ imaginations, but Dynamic Perspective feels like a gimmick, Firefly feels like it should just be an app (and is somewhat insulting to build into a phone since its entire purpose is to get you to spend more money with Amazon), and Mayday–while actually a very innovative feature–requires consumers to anticipate having a bad experience in order to give the perception of value, which nobody really wants to do when they’re trying to get excited about a new phone.
I certainly don’t fault Amazon for trying to innovate around mobile platforms, nor do I blame them for spinning the phones’ poor sales. But the reality is that as long as the sole reason for the Fire Phone’s existence is to reduce the friction between Amazon and your money, I just don’t think it can compete with incredibly compelling alternatives from Apple, Google (and partners), and even from Microsoft.
If Amazon wants to sell a phone, they should put “pure” Android on it, ditch their app store, pre-install Amazon apps (to the extent Google’s terms will allow), and sell it for as cheap as possible. Otherwise, I think they’re wasting their time and possibly dwindling R&D budget.
Tomorrow’s guest: Patrick Beja, independent podcaster and DTNS contributor.
Oh, and check out the pilot of Patrick’s new video game podcast, featuring Tom Merritt: