In what’s probably one of the least secretive product launches in recent history, Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone at an event Wednesday. Leading up to the launch, the e-retail giant is boasting that the number of apps in its app store has tripled over the past year. That puts it at roughly a quarter million apps, which should satisfy most users. Amazon also hopes to lure people in with a few gimmicks. A glasses free 3D screen, 6 cameras, and gesture controls are some of the unique smartphone features leaked in past months. How useful any of those are remains to be seen. Check back with Digital Trends on Wednesday at 10am Pacific for full coverage of the Amazon launch event.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already has the authority to set guidelines for in dash navigation systems. And now they want to regulate smartphone apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps. If the legislation goes through, the agency would have the authority to restrict the use of the apps or order changes to navigation services. According to the New York Times, the proposal is meant to crack down on distracted driving. Automakers support the bill, However, technology companies argue that regulating navigation apps would be impractical. Google and Apple maps are on nearly every smartphone in the United States. So of course the questions of when and how the regulations are applied need to be answered.
Until now, wireless Bluetooth earbuds were bulky, and connected together with, well a wire. But a group of ex-nokia engineers are taking to kickstarter with a set of truly wireless earbuds. The Ear-in is a bare bones pair of earbuds that connect via Bluetooth, and play music. That’s it. No microphones, no 4 gigs of storage or companion apps. It’s supposed to be a no frills high-end listening experience. The use of balanced armature drivers should provide high quality sound in a small package, but we’ll need to try them out before making any judgments there. The earbuds have a battery life of 3 hours, and recharge when stored in the keychain case. The Ear-in is already past its funding goal. They should ship in early 2015.