Dec 27, 2016
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As we move further into the age of wireless audio with the iPhone 7 abandoning the ever-so-present headphone jack, a new category of "truly wireless" earbuds has been popping up. So you may be asking, what does "truly wireless" even mean? Well, as you may have seen, many earbuds that have claimed to be "wireless" actually have a wire in between the buds that generally goes around your neck. So, a few companies, such as Bragi, decided to do away with any and all wires, leaving us with Bragi's first product, the Dash. The Dash started as a Kickstarter project back in February of 2014, with an enormous amount of support, raising just under $3.4 million with the promise of earbuds completely free of wires and with loads of other features. These features included activity tracking, touch controls, on-board storage, water-resistance, and more. The campaign had initially intended to ship out the Dash units in October of 2014, but due to many setbacks, they started shipping out units in early- to mid-2016. With initial reports of problems with the microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, it seemed, at first, like the Dash could be just another Kickstarter flop. Instead, however, the company dedicated a lot of time into creating new updates to the firmware that drastically improved, if not completely solved these issues. The Sound DSC01138An earbud can't be good without sounding good, of course. So, how does the Dash stack up to the competition? After all, the price for these is not cheap, coming in at around $300. Well, they're actually pretty good! I wasn't expecting amazing sound from a device so small, yet packed full of components. What I found was that the Dash produces a good, clear sound, though certainly preferring the mids over the lows and highs. That said, I am quite a bass-lover myself and I'm coming from using a V-Moda Crossfade M-100, so I've been spoiled, and for earbuds, the Dash does a good job producing the bass it does. If I had to compare it to some other earbuds, I'd compare the sound to something like the "wireless" (but not completely wireless) Jaybird Bluebuds, which are quite good themselves. Bluetooth Connectivity Now, a common issue with truly wireless earbuds is their often lacking performance in their ability to hold a strong Bluetooth connection. In the beginning, there were lots of complaints from users experiencing poor connection even if the phone was placed only as far as the user's pockets. Obviously, that's a huge issue, but also one Bragi appears to have fixed through their updates. I can confidently say that I have had virtually no issues whatsoever with the connectivity of these earbuds, other than maybe one or two micro drops in connection. I tested the Dash by walking around a room and was able to go as far as 10 to 15 feet away from the source without experiencing any connectivity issues. Additionally, just the process of using and connecting the earbuds is really simple. All you do is take them out of the case and put them in your ears. The buds sense when they're in and automatically turn on, connect to each other, and connect to your phone or other device. Comfort and Design DSC01125Another historically common problem with this category of audio products is the ridiculous look of the product or their inability to stay in ears due to the sheer weight they carry. Luckily, this is not an issue with the Dash. While you may get some head turns while using this product, people often just don't care, and the Dash really doesn't look bad at all. Additionally, these earbuds were surprisingly comfortable to wear. They come with multiple sleeves to fit your ears (XS, S, M, and L), and once you find the right fit, the earbuds fit snuggly and quite comfortably. I haven't had too many issues with the buds falling out, which has always been a problem for me, whether or not the earbuds I was using were wireless. Yet another check mark for the Dash. Gestures/Controls A neat feature of the Dash is the way you control them. There are multiple ways that you control the Dash, including through the app, touch sensors on the outside of each bud, and head gestures. For instance, if you receive a call while using the earbuds, just nod or shake your head to answer or deny the call. Playing and pausing is easy, with just a tap on the right earbud, or start tracking activities with a tap on the left. One of the issues I noticed is that the touch sensors aren't only sensitive to your fingers, so putting on a winter hat caused the earbuds to do some unwanted actions. After looking around a bit, though, it looks like Bragi addressed this issue by including a touch lock that can be implemented by holding down on both the right and left touch sensors, which worked well and solved my problem. Other Features DSC01143The other features included with the Dash are a microphone, onboard storage, a heart-rate sensor, and a case that charges the buds 5 times on-the-go. To start off, the microphone had quite a few complaints in the early days, with users claiming it was unusable and that the person speaking sounded robotic over the phone. This is yet another area where Bragi has used its firmware updates to address an issue. When I was using the microphone for phone calls, some people said there were no problems at all, while others said it sounded a bit muddled, but they could still hear me and know what I was saying. As for the onboard storage, there's not much to be said about it. Songs can be added through a computer and using it works as described. Next up is the heart-rate sensor, which seemed to be relatively accurate, though I didn't have another device to compare it to at the time. This is a really nice feature for athletes looking to listen to music without an annoying wire and no need for a smartwatch. And lastly, the charging case. The case is built quite well, with an aluminum sleeve and a strong metal or plastic where the earbuds actually rest. The earbuds flash when they've been connected properly, and a magnet holds them in place. My only complaint is that I feel like I will drop the earbuds when trying to get them out of the case because you have to take the sleeve off, hold that, hold the battery part, and then fiddle with getting the buds out. That said, overall, the battery case is a nice feature, as the battery life on the buds isn't spectacular at about 3 hours. Conclusion So, what are my overall thoughts of the Dash? Well, I like them. I don't know if I, personally, would quite want to spend the $300 for them, but I could understand why some would. The features work well and the sound quality is pretty good, considering everything that's built into them. I think Bragi's next product, the Headphone, could also allow a lot more people to purchase their products, with reportedly better sound quality and a much lower price of $149. However, that new product does strip the Dash of many of its capabilities, including the water-resistance, touch controls, onboard storage, and heart rate sensor. So it really comes down to what you want. If you want the smart capabilities, there really is no other product out there that offers all of the Dash's capabilities, but if that does interest you, the Headphone is probably the way to go.

Twelve Minimal Wallpapers for iPhone 7 iOS 10, Android Nougat, & macOS Sierra!

With the new Google Pixel announcement today and recent releases of iOS & macOS Sierra, I though it was time for a new batch of wallpapers. All of the wallpaper designs below are designed by puscifer91 on DevianArt so if you are looking for specific sizes then head over to his profile page. The wallpapers below are 3840 × 2160 so they are perfect for QHD, 4k, and 5k monitors as well as smartphones and tablets!

Download Instructions

Desktop: Click on the thumbnail of the wallpaper you want. When the image loads, right click and choose “Save Image As”. When you click “Save Image As”, you will be able to name the image and save it to a location of choice on your computer. Stay up to date with our latest posts by following us on Twitter (@DarGadgetZ)!

Mobile: Tap on the thumbnail of the wallpaper you want. When the image loads click “view full size”. Now tap and hold on the image until the “Save Image” option appears. When you click “Save Image” the wallpaper will appear in your Camera Roll.

Minimal Wallpapers Best Landscape Night HD Retina for iPhone 7, iPad Pro, Google Pixel, macOS Sun Eclipse Minimal Wallpapers DarGadgetZ

Mountains Ice Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ

Mountains Ice Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ

Purple Dusk Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Nighfall Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Colored Mountains Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Woods Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Dessert Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Sunrise Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Colors Paper Android Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Purple Paper Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Lake Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ Sunset Minimal Wallpaper DarGadgetZ

 

New Experiences for Xbox One and Windows 10 Gamers Unveiled

Today, Phil Spencer unveiled that the Xbox experience is coming to Windows 10. Microsoft is adding lots of features to the Xbox App on Windows 10. PC and Xbox One gamers will be able to game and chat together seamlessly as long as the game developer supports it. Gamers will also be able to stream their Xbox One games to computers and tablets running Windows 10, there will also be a Game DVR feature that will let gamers record, edit, and share their gameplay.

Xbox One on Windows

The Windows 10 Tech Preview will be available in the coming weeks and will include an early version of the Xbox App for people to test out. Later this year Microsoft will be updating the Xbox One to Windows 10 to enable seamless interaction with PC gamers and to give developers and easier way to extend their apps to the television. 

 
xbox games on pc
  • The Xbox App. Whether you only game on the PC, the console or both, the Xbox app brings together the most important aspects of your gaming life: Games, Friends, Messages, Activity Feed, your gaming legacy with Achievements, and much more.
  • Xbox Live and multiplayer across devices. Xbox Live is social, interactive, and seamlessly integrated directly into Windows 10, bringing gamers the experiences they love across devices, like multiplayer gaming on Windows 10 against players on an Xbox One, and messaging and chat with friends. And developers will get full access to the Xbox Live API, making it easier to create more powerful gaming scenarios across devices.
  • Game Streaming. Thanks to the deep integration of Xbox on Windows 10, games on Xbox One can be streamed through your home network to your Windows 10 PC or tablet, anywhere in your house. Xbox One gamers will now be able to play many of their favorite console games on their PC. And many Xbox One accessories will work interchangeably on the console and PC (with more on the way), so you can customize your experience in whatever way you see fit.
  • DirectX 12. We’ve enhanced our graphics technology to squeeze every ounce of performance out of your supported hardware and open up a new wave of innovation for high-end graphics. Delivering greater complexity and detail on your current PC, games authored or updated for DirectX 12 are able to run faster and have richer visuals. And this technology is already in the hands of developers today. The engines used to power hundreds of games are implementing DirectX 12, including Unreal Engine 4 from Epic and, as we announced today, Unity.
  • Game DVR. On Xbox One, one of the most popular features used by gamers is Game DVR, which gives simple access to recording, editing, and sharing out your most epic gaming moments. It’s not easy or consistent to do that for PC games today. We’re bringing this beloved feature to Windows 10, now accessible by simply pressing Windows+G. With the games you love playing – whether on Xbox Live, Steam, or other services – you can record, edit, and share game clips with all your social networks.
  • Fable Legends. Today we announced that we are bringing Fable Legends to Windows 10 PCs, day-and-date with the Xbox One version in 2015.  This means Fablefans running Windows 10 will be able to play against their fellow gamers on Xbox One. It’s the same game, in the same world, on the same map. Fable Legends is just the first of the major game franchises from Microsoft Studios coming to Windows 10 and we will have more to share in the coming months.

Source: Xbox Wire

Microsoft in China May Be in Trouble

microsoft-china

Recently, China has been seen visiting many international companies, with investigations into possibly monopolies. About a week ago, Microsoft was visited by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which is China’s “anti-monopoly” group. This was the start of an investigation into “monopolistic behaviors” from the company. Yesterday, four for Microsoft’s offices were raided with government officials leaving with computers and documents. This is quite a step up from the small visit a few days earlier.

USChamberMany think the idea here is to target non-Chinese companies to get money from them and boost the local companies. In fact, the United States Chamber of Commerce wrote that:

“the Chinese government has seized on using the [antimonopoly law] to promote Chinese producer welfare and to advance industrial policies that nurture domestic enterprises”

Of course, this is certainly a possibility. However, I think it’s important to remember not to start pointing fingers too soon, as that can overcomplicate issues. Microsoft has been known to receive anti-trust probes in the past from the EU, Japan, and even the United States. In fact, the European Union fined them 561 million euros for the same type of thing. On top of that, Microsoft’s Windows operating system is widely used in China, and completely dominates the market there, so there is a good reason for at least investigating the issue.

Microsoft has said they plan to completely cooperate with the Chinese government throughout the investigation. If they’re found guilty, up to 10% of their revenue could be collected by the government, so I can see why they’d want to not cause any more problems.

Microsoft reveals its own Windows 8 tablet: Surface

At Microsoft’s last minute press event they  revealed it will sell its own Microsoft-branded Windows 8 RT tablet. Surface is just 9.3mm thick and it’s built around angled, all-magnesium VaporMg case that weighs just under 1.3 pounds. The tablet has an NVIDIA-made ARM chip as well as a built-in stand, twin 2×2 MIMO antennas for WiFi, and a 10.6-inch Gorilla Glass 2-covered HD display.

Like Apple’s Smart Cover for iPad, Microsoft also announced a magnetically attached covered which includes a full multi-touch keyboard and trackpad. The tablet has ports for HDMI, microSD and USB 2.0 and will come with 32GB or 64GB of storage. The tablet will come with Windows 8 and a special version of Netflix. Microsoft decided not to announce a price but instead mention that it will be “competitive” with similar ARM tablets. They also didn’t mention a release date but it should land right around the same time as Windows 8.

Microsoft also announced another version of Surface with Windows 8 Pro. The Pro version packs an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, a larger 42 W-h battery, USB 3.0 ports instead of 2.0, and your choice of 64GB or 128GB of storage . The display will have 1080p resolution packaged in a 13.5mm thin and weighs 903 grams which make it thicker and heavier than the regular Surface. The pricing on this device is said to be on par with Ultrabook-class PC’s and will be available three months after the Windows 8 Launch.

Source: Surface

 

Experience Windows Phone 7 on your iOS or Android device straight thru your browser

If you’re like me and have an iPhone then you have probably looked at Windows Phone 7 and either loved it or hated it. Well, Microsoft has put out a special website that works on iOS and Android which allows you to experience Window Phone 7 strait from your device. The best thing is that you don’t need to run any special programs or Jailbreak your phone. You can head over to http://aka.ms/wpdemo from your smartphone and give WP7 a try, this might even change your thoughts on wether you actually like WP7 or not, or maybe even sway you to consider a Windows Phone as your next device.


Source: Microsoft

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