Amazon announces new Kindle Paperwhite with high resolution screen

Amazon Kindle PaperwhiteToday Amazon announced an updated version of its best selling e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite that will boast a much sharper display, improved layouts and a new font.

The 2015 iteration of the Kindle Paperwhite will have the same 300 pixel-per-inch density as the premium Kindle Voyager, making it twice as sharp as its predecessor.

The new model will also be the first Kindle to support Amazon’s new typesetting engine and Bookerly font, which the company claims will make it easier to read.

Other than these upgrades, the overall design and dimensions will remain the same as the previous two generations.

Despite an impressive upgrade in specs, the new Kindle Paperwhite will retain the same affordable price of £109.99 (plus an extra £10 to eliminate ads on the lock screen), which makes it much better value for money than the Voyager, and most other e-readers on the market.

The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is available for pre-order now and is expected to begin shipping at the end of the month.

What do you think of the new improved Kindle Paperwhite? 

Apple Music goes head-to-head with Spotify

Apple MusicApple Music was finally launched as a “one more thing” at the end of the company’s keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

Apple’s eagerly awaited music streaming service will launch on 30 June, and although initially only available on Mac, iOS and Apple TV, it will also be coming to PC and Android later in the year.

Users will be given a three month free trial of the service, after which it will cost $9.99 per month or $14.99 per month for a family of up to six people. UK prices are yet to be released but it’s expected to be less than rival services.

The platform consists of three separate elements, which Apple hopes will encapsulate “All the ways you love music. All in one place”.

Apple Music favouritesFirst and foremost there’s iTunes, which you can use to search for, and listen to music you’ve downloaded, or stream from a huge library of other tracks and albums. You can also use Siri to search for or suggest music, if you want.

The app will also have it’s own radio station, Beats 1 that will be fronted by Zane Lowe and broadcast to over 100 countries around the world.

Its final dimension is a social network, known as Connect, where artists can share exclusive content with users.

It remains to be seen whether Apple’s multi-faceted music platform will be able to rival its biggest competitor, Spotify, particularly as the music streaming giant has just announced that it has doubled its paid subscribers from 10 million to 20 million in the past year. Judging by his reaction to the launch of Apple Music – an “Oh ok” via Twitter – Founder Daniel Ek doesn’t seem to think so.

Do you think Apple Music will be able to rival Spotify?

Lily: the flying camera that follows your every move

Lily CamOver the past year several camera-carrying drones have emerged on the scene, including Nixie wearable drone, Hexo+ and the Go Pro drone, to name a few. However, the most exciting sounding yet is Lily Camera, which has just been launched, quite literally, by a small start-up in the US.

Rather than being a drone that carries an action cam, Lily Camera is being marketed as a flying camera that will follow and film you autonomously. All you have to do is throw it into the air and it will begin filming, tracking your every movement via a small GPS device worn either on the wrist on in a pocket. For more accurate framing, it will also have computer vision technology that will recognise your face.

The HD camera shoots 1080p at 60 frames per second or 720p at 120 fps, and stills at 12 megapixels. It can even sense the nature of your activity and trigger burst mode or slow mode accordingly.

Lily Camera is also extremely durable, with a polycarbonate hull to withstand crashes and a waterproof rating of IP67. For extra protection, the camera is also internal rather than being mounted externally. The tracking device is water resistant and comes with a waterproof case that can be used if it’s likely to be fully submerged.

It has a 2 hour charge time, which provides 20 minutes of flight, and comes with a 4GB micro SD and external memory card slot.

The device is still a work in progress and there are several issues that need to be ironed out before it goes on general sale, however it’s just been made available for pre-order at $499 (£322), which is significantly cheaper than the projected $899 (£580) retail price.

What do you think of Lily Camera? Share your thoughts below…

 

BT to return to mobile phone market with low cost SIM only 4G plans

It’s been ten years since BT sold off its shares in Cellnet (now O2) and pulled out of the mobile phone market, but today the communications giant has confirmed that it will be returning with a range of SIM only 4G plans for UK customers. BT 4G sim

The company has already announced its intentions to acquire EE, for which it’s currently awaiting regulatory approval, but in the meantime it has been able to tap into EE’s network thanks to an agreement drawn up in 2013.

Initially BT is to release three SIM only 4G plans from as little as £5 per month for existing BT customers. The entry tariff, which will cost £10 per month for non-BT customers, will include 500MB of 4G data, 200 minutes of calls and unlimited texts.

£17 per month (£12 per month for existing BT customers) will get you 2GB of 4G data, 500 minutes of calls and unlimited texts, while £25 per month (£20 for existing BT customers) will get you a massive 20GB of 4G data plus unlimited calls and texts.

In addition, all of the plans include free access to BT Sport and the company’s five million Wi-Fi hotspots.

The £5 per month plan easily undercuts the lowest plans by its competitors, which should help to bring prices down across the board, making 4G more accessible to all.

You can see all BT’s 4G SIM Only plans here.

Apple Watch price and release date revealed at launch

After months of waiting, the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch was finally launched yesterday at an event in San Francisco. While most details on the Apple Watch had already been unveiled at an event back in September, it was the price and release date that interested parties were waiting to hear.

apple_watch_iwatch_2Unsurprisingly it ain’t going to be cheap, with prices starting at £299 for the entry level Apple Watch Sport model, and ranging up to a whopping £13,500 for the top of the range Apple Watch Edition version.

This massive variation in price has no bearing on the specs of the smartwatch, but rather the materials that it’s made from. The cheapest model, the Apple Watch Sport has an aluminium casing, while the regular Apple Watch is stainless steel and Apple Watch Edition 18 carat gold.

With 38 different models, Apple claims “there’s an Apple Watch for everyone”, assuming, of course that everyone has at least £300 to shell out on a device to complement their already heftily priced iPhone 5 or 6. However, those with plenty of disposable income will be able to choose between two different sizes (38mm and 42mm), the three different casings, and a range of different straps and watch faces, to suit their individual style and budget.

The Apple Watch will go on sale on 24 April, with pre-orders opening on 10 April.

Will the Apple Watch finally kickstart interest in smartwatches and bring them into common usage? If anyone can do it, it’ll probably be Apple.