Posts with «author_name|matt brian» label

Amazon sale discounts Kindle e-readers by up to 21 percent

If you've had your eye on one of Amazon's premium e-readers but haven't yet pulled the trigger, today might be the day to do so. As part of a wide-ranging sale across various own-brand Amazon devices, the Kindle Oasis, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and standard Kindle Paperwhite are all enjoying deep discounts.

The Kindle Oasis is currently down to $200, which is $50 off its usual list price. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, which is probably the best e-reader on the market right now, has fallen to $150 (down from $190), while the standard Kindle Paperwhite is $110 (usually $140). 

Buy Kindle Oasis at Amazon - $200Buy Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition at Amazon - $150Buy Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon - $110

The Kindle Oasis isn't discounted as often as its counterparts, making this a good time to consider the premium e-reader. With its bigger 300 ppi display, physical page turn buttons, 25 front LEDs, auto-rotating pages, the Oasis offers features that you won't find on other Kindle devices.

As for the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, it's the first and only Kindle with support for wireless charging and is 10 percent brighter than previous Paperwhite models. An in-built sensor can automatically adjust the screen brightness depending on the ambient light around you, making night-time reading more comfortable on your eyes. Like the Kindle Oasis, it also has an IPX8 water resistant rating that makes it perfect for reading in the bath or by the pool.

Amazon updated the Kindle Paperwhite last September, adding a larger 6.8-inch 300ppi glare-free display. It's also faster, allowing for quicker page turns, and comes with 8GB of storage, USB-C fast charging and an IPX8 water-resistant rating.

While Prime Day saw many Amazon devices — including Kindles — fall back to all-time lows, today's sale comes within touching distance of those prices. 

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The latest Apple TV 4K is $150 right now

With so many streaming services now available, finding the right box or dongle to view them on can be a challenge. Apple's own streamer, the uniquely-named Apple TV, is one of the best on the market, but its price can often put people off. With Prime Day just days away, Amazon has dropped the price of both the 32GB and 64GB models, dropping them by $29 to $150 and $170, respectively. That's not quite the low of $130 we saw last month for the 32GB version, but it's a great price nonetheless.

Buy 2021 Apple TV 4K (32GB) at Amazon - $150Buy 2021 Apple TV 4K (64GB) at Amazon - $170

Devindra Hardawar gave the 2021 Apple TV 4K a score of 90 in our review. The new model irons out some of the kinks from what was already a powerful media box. The updated remote is a lot more intuitive in the hand and the beefier A12 Bionic chip delivers both HDR video at 60 frames per second (if the content you're playing supports it) and better game performance. 

If it's just basic streaming you're after, the Apple TV is expensive compared to Google's Chromecast, Amazon's Fire TV and Roku's range of media players. However, if you're already invested in Apple's ecosystem and want one of the best streamers available at its second-lowest price ever, now might be time to pull the trigger.

The best gifts for dad under $50

Us kids know how hard it is to buy gifts for parents. It’s either a case of they don’t want anything or they’ve already gone out and bought the product you had your eye on without telling you. Especially tech-savvy dads. But there are some oft-forgotten, cheaper gifts that can do the job without breaking the $50 barrier. From console controllers to tracking tags, smart lights to charging accessories, our ideas will tick the list of even the most hard-to-buy-for father figure in your life.

8BitDo Pro 2 controller

8BitDo

It might look a bit retro, but make no mistake, 8BitDo’s Pro 2 controller is crammed full of tech. The Bluetooth handheld connects to your Switch, PC and mobile device, offering a familiar thumbstick and D-Pad layout, as well as back paddles and a profile switcher. That means dads will be able to use the controller in Switch or Android mode or pair it as an X-input or D-input device. Perfect for gaming while on the move.

Buy 8BitDo Pro 2 at Amazon - $50

Roku Express 4K+

Engadget

Now that we’re truly in the streaming age, finding a TV with Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max etc built in is a lot easier. But we both know that at least one of your dad’s televisions probably doesn’t (and could use a little help with modernization). That’s where Roku’s Express 4K+ streamer comes in. With support for all modern streaming services, the Express 4K is easy to set up and with its simple remote just does the job.

Buy Roku Express 4K+ at Amazon - $40

LastPass subscription

LastPass

Does your dad have at least one password with “123456” in it? Instead of shaming him, consider getting him a password manager instead. While most browsers come with their own built-in password tools, a LastPass Premium subscription operates across a wide variety of devices, browsers and operating systems. It’ll save all of his passwords and suggest stronger ones all day long, but it isn’t limited to just that: Feed it addresses, card details and other important information and it’ll reduce the time and effort it takes to fill in those pesky online forms.

Buy LastPass Premium starting at $3/month

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

ThermoWorks

We’re big fans of ThermoWorks’ Thermapen Mk4, but spending $100 on an instant-read thermometer may not be in your budget. Luckily, you can still upgrade your dad’s cooking toolkit with the $35 ThermoPop, a compact, lollipop-like thermometer that is accurate and easy to use. It has a single button that turns it on and rotates its backlit digital display so you can always read it properly, regardless of how you’re holding it. Temperature readings pop up in about 3-4 seconds, so it won’t take long for dad to figure out if his brisket is cooked to perfection. With a temperature range of -58 to 572°F and a splash-proof design, the ThermoPop could end up being dad’s new favorite kitchen tool.

Buy ThermoPop at ThermoWorks - $35

Anker Nano II GAN Charger

Engadget

In this day and age, gadgets are getting better at holding their charge for most – if not all – of the day, but there are often times when dad’s smartphone (complete with folding case and belt clip) needs a quick top-up. The good thing about Anker’s Nano II GAN Charger is that it isn’t just a phone charger; you can hook this thing up to a MacBook (Air or Pro) and have it charged in no time. Anker says it’ll charge an iPhone 13 up to three times faster than an original 5W charger and juice Samsung phones at full speed via Super Fast Charging. It’s also compact, saving space on his outlets, but also making it a perfect accessory to throw in a backpack or store in a coat pocket for those on-the-move recharges.

Buy Anker Nano II (65W) at Amazon - $50

Rocketbook Eco-Friendly reusable notebook

Rocketbook

If dad isn’t one for to-do lists or electronic note-taking and instead prefers to write things down for later, the Rocketbook line of reusable notebooks are a solid choice. It works in two ways: the 32-page notebook features special pages that allow the Pilot Frixion pen to write like any normal pen. However, after fifteen seconds, you can use the microfiber cloth to erase any mistakes or wipe it completely, leaving a perfectly blank page. Before dad does that, however, Rocketbook’s AI app can digitize any of the writing or drawings, saving them to a phone or tablet for later reading.

Buy Rocketbook notebooks at Amazon - $34

Nintendo $50 eShop Gift Card

Engadget

If dad has a Nintendo Switch (or one of the company’s handhelds), then he’s probably already pretty up-to-speed on the Nintendo eShop. Every so often, the company will reduce a wide range of first-party and indie games, allowing you and dad to build out your collection for a lot less. The good news is that throughout the year, retailers will often offer discounts on eShop credit, which when combined with an existing sale, can lighten dad’s overall spend on games. Deals are often around 10 percent off, meaning you’ll be able to secure a $50 card for just $45.

Buy Nintendo eShop gift card at Amazon - $50

Blink Mini Camera

Blink

From unwanted intruders to porch pirates, security cams are a very useful tool not only as a deterrent, but also to capture irrefutable proof of wrongdoing. Blink (from Amazon), has a wide range of indoor and outdoor home security products, but its basic 1080p indoor plug-in camera is a solid choice for keeping an eye on pets, but also unwelcome guests in the dead of night. It comes with two-way audio, allowing dad to covertly startle a friend or family member, and motion detection, letting him focus on the specific areas of the home. The Blink Mini also ties in perfectly with Alexa, so it’s a solid choice for families who already own an Echo device.

Buy Blink Mini at Amazon - $35

iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit

iFixit

Not every dad is handy with tools, but if yours likes to take things apart just to be able to put them back together again or prefers to fix things rather than buying a new one, iFixit’s Essential Electronics Toolkit could come in handy. With a bunch of precision bits, tweezers, suction handle, SIM eject tool and sorting tray, this kit is perfect for DIY screen replacements or opening up a tablet or laptop to fix a worn-out component. It’s also perfect for eyeglasses, should dad need to repair them too.

Buy Essentials Toolkit at Amazon - $25

JLab Go Air Pop earbuds

JLab

Listening to music on-the-go doesn’t need to be expensive. JLab’s Go Air Pop wireless earbuds are a perfect example of that. For just $20 (sometimes less), these small but colorful Bluetooth buds offer on-board touch controls, the ability to use either earbud independently, EQ presets and IPX4 moisture resistance (meaning they’ll survive a low-pressure spray of water). They’re also really solid in the battery life department, too: the Go Air Pops will provide dad up to eight hours on a charge but the case will give you three additional charges before you need to plug the entire set in.

Buy JLab Go Air Pop at Amazon - $20

Fitbit Aria Air smart scale

Engadget

Nobody is saying that dad needs to lose or gain weight, but he’s looking for a better way to track his body measurements then a smart scale could help. Make no mistake: the Aria Air isn’t as fancy as some of the smart scales on the market – complete with body composition metrics – but it’s very accurate and nice-looking scale that tracks body weight and BMI. If dad already has a Fitbit smartwatch or tracker, it’ll put it alongside his existing exercise data, giving him a nice snapshot of his overall fitness and body health.

Buy Fitbit Aria Air at Amazon - $50

Amazon Smart Thermostat

Engadget

No smart home is complete without a smart thermostat handling all of the family’s heating and hot water needs. Everyone can argue all they like about the temperature inside the house, but dad can control the thermostat remotely with Amazon’s cheap Smart Thermostat. Sure, its usual retail price is normally a tiny bit higher than the $50 limit we’ve set here but we have seen it regularly come down to a low of $48, which is when you should probably jump on it. The Smart Thermostat itself is backed by Honeywell and ties nicely in with Alexa, which can do dad’s bidding for him (whether it be via an Echo smart speaker, display or app).

Buy smart thermostat at Amazon - $60

How to see everything you've watched on Netflix and other streaming services

Streaming is a curious beast. One minute you'll be enjoying the '80s vibe of Stranger Things and the next you'll be struggling to pick something from that overwhelming catalog. Sometimes, though, you'll stumble on something that you'd normally never choose — a Netflix suggestion from a friend or a recent addition that had escaped your glance as you navigated Amazon Prime Video's curated menus.

However, once you've watched that movie or TV show and moved on, it may drop back into relative obscurity, reducing your chances of remembering and paying that recommendation forward many months later. You may also have watched something, hated it and want to make sure it doesn't impact future recommendations. Luckily, many streaming services keep a running list of the things you've watched (if they haven't been removed from the catalog due to licensing agreements). Here's how to find them.

Netflix

Engadget

Finding your viewing history on Netflix is a simple affair. Visit Netflix.com, ensure you're logged in and then hover over your profile name. Select Your Account from the menu. Now, scroll down to the bottom and select Viewing Activity. You should now be presented with a list of everything you've streamed on your account.

Alternatively, you can click here.

While you're there, you can decide how your history impacts Netflix recommendations. Clicking the X next to a title will ensure it's deleted from your Recently Watched or Continue Watching row, but it will also ensure that Netflix doesn't use a moment of streaming weakness against you. Once it has been removed, it won't appear in your list until you watch it again.

Apple TV+

Engadget

Apple's catalog of streaming originals might not be as broad as, say, Netflix or Disney+, but the iPhone-maker has a very comprehensive movie and TV store that can help fill the gaps. 

If you're looking to see what you've recently watched on either Apple TV+ or inside Apple's TV app generally, the company does provide a way to see your viewing history, but it's hidden away right at the bottom of the TV app itself.

Simply open the TV app on a Mac or iOS device and keep scrolling to the very bottom of the Watch Now tab. There, you'll see a small selection of your most recently viewed content. Select the 'See All' link to view everything you've ever watched on Apple TV (this may also include movies and TV shows from third-party apps you have installed on your Apple TV streamer.)

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't offer a dedicated 'Recently Watched' section in the TV+ web UI, opting instead for an 'Up Next' section. You can, however, clear what you have watched by heading to Settings and selecting Clear Play History. Alternatively, click here.

You can also remove individual movies and TV episodes from your Recently Watched list by long-pressing on the thumbnail of the content you wish to remove and selecting 'Remove from Recently Watched.' Perfect, if you've viewed something you told your significant other you'd wait for them to watch together.

Disney+

Engadget

Disney+ may now be over two years old, but it's not quite yet caught up with the likes of Netflix and Amazon when it comes to features. Sadly, that means you can't currently see your viewing history on Disney+.

Like many of its rivals, Disney does offer a Continue Watching section, which may help surface movies or TV shows that you may have stopped viewing just as the credits began to roll. 

If it's something you feel very strongly about, you can head to the Disney+ website and hit the Give Feedback button at the bottom to, very politely, request that they add the feature.

Hulu

Engadget

If you're a Disney+ subscriber in the US, there's a chance that you may have signed up for the Disney Bundle to get subscriptions to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for a discounted price. Unlike Disney+, however, Hulu does allow you to properly maintain your watch history both inside its apps and on the web. 

It may not be immediately obvious, but Hulu keeps your viewing history inside the Keep Watching section, from which you can browse the movies and TV shows you've already streamed. To make things confusing, you cannot see the individual episodes of a show you've already watched in the Keep Watching section, so you'll need to select the Details page of a particular series and add it to My Stuff. This will also let you see how many unwatched episodes you've got left to stream.

To remove content, navigate to the Keep Watching page and click on the X to purge it from your watch history. On mobile, tap the three dots on the thumbnail of the selected show or movie and hit Remove from Watch History.

HBO Max

Engadget

As it stands, HBO Max doesn't offer a way to see everything you've watched. It does, however, automatically add movies and TV series that you haven't finished watching to its Continue Watching row on the home screen of the service. 

To remove a movie or show from your Continue Watching listing in your app or on the web, tap on your profile icon, then Continue Watching, and then Edit. Then, simply tap the X next to an individual item or Clear All to remove everything. When you're finished, hit Done.

Amazon Prime Video

Engadget

Unlike Netflix, Amazon doesn't make it easy to see what you've previously watched. In fact, it buries its listing inside a number of links that you wouldn't otherwise check.

If you want to go the manual route, ensure you're logged in on the Amazon website and click the Your Account link on the top bar. On the resulting page, scroll down to Personalization and click Improve Your Recommendations. Now, on the left menu, click Videos You've Watched.

The quicker method is to click here if you live in the US or here if you live in the UK.

Here, you can rate a TV show or movie so that Amazon can better understand your likes and dislikes or exclude that listing entirely. If you've found that both Netflix and Amazon have done a poor job of matching content to your interests, this is a good way to provide it with more insight.

Peacock

Engadget

Peacock doesn't currently provide a way to see everything you've streamed on its service. It does, however, offer a Continue Watching section that will list all of the movies and TV shows that you have started but may not have completely finished. 

Paramount+

Engadget

Paramount+ also doesn't currently provide a way to see everything you've watched. There is a Keep Watching section, though, that lists all of the movies and TV shows that you have started but may not have completely finished.

EU charges Apple over NFC payment restrictions on iOS devices

As the European Commission continues to look into whether Apple has abused its market dominance by restricting mobile payments on iOS devices, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager today confirmed that it has formally charged the iPhone maker, which could result in a hefty fine if it is upheld.

In a statement, Vestager said that the Commission had "indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple's devices," adding that the company "may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution."

Developers, the Commission argues in its Statement of Objections, have been barred from "accessing the necessary hardware and software" to create their own NFC payment services on Apple devices. Contactless payments are popular across Europe, but Apple Pay remains the only contactless option for in-store payments on iPhone and iPad.

With this in mind, the Commission opened a dual review into both Apple's in-app and NFC payment systems in June 2020, noting that the company's choice could stifle competition and therefore reduce consumer choice. The Commission says that today's announcement relates only to the "NFC input by third-party developers of mobile wallets for payments in stores" and not online restrictions against or "refusals of access to Apple Pay" for competing services.

Apple has previously said that it limits third-party access to contactless payments in order to boost security. It claims that its own technology prevents fraudulent payments by using a secure chip inside the iPhone antenna. 

A Statement of Objections provides Apple with a list of exceptions that it argues go against EU antitrust rules. The company will now be invited to reply to the issues raised and request a meeting with officials, which means it could be some time before an official decision is reached.

Engadget has contacted Apple for comment and will update the article should we receive a reply.

Amazon's Kindle e-readers are up to 41 percent off right now

Over the past few days, Amazon has begun slashing the price of its own gadgets as part of a wider Mother's Day sale. Yesterday, we saw the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 15 fall back to all-time lows, and today it's the turn of the retailer's popular Kindle e-readers, which are now offering savings of up to 41 percent.

Leading the way is the Kindle Paperwhite, which is typically priced at $140, but has fallen back to an all-time low of $105 in this particular sale. The standard Kindle is also down to $55, just $5 off its lowest ever price.

Buy Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon - $105Buy Kindle at Amazon - $55

The fifth-gen Paperwhite, which was refreshed for the first time in three years this past September, has a larger screen than the previous model at 6.8 inches (compared to the six-inch display on its predecessor). Amazon says the 300 ppi screen looks like real paper and its glare-free screen enables "easy reading" in all conditions, even direct sunlight. Not only is it compact, but it has a waterproof design that will ensure it remains operational when splashed. There's also support for USB-C fast charging.

If you're looking for something a bit more premium, the Kindle Oasis is on sale too. The 8GB model, which typically costs $250, is currently available for $200. The e-reader has previously been as low as $175, so it's not currently near its all-time low, but still offers $50 off its usual price. The Oasis features a 300 ppi display, though the screen is slightly larger than the Paperwhite at seven inches. It has physical page turn buttons, an IPX8 waterproof rating and a color-adjustable front light.

Buy Kindle Oasis at Amazon - $200

It may also be a good time to encourage your child's love of reading. Amazon is selling the Kindle Paperwhite Kids for $120, or a full $40 below the usual price. The standard Kindle Kids is also on sale for today at $65 with a decent $45 (or 41 percent) discount. They both come with a two-year "worry-free guarantee," a protective cover and a 12-month Kids+ subscription with access to thousands of books.

Apple's 2021 iPad mini falls to a new all-time low of $400

Apple's latest iPad mini has been on sale for a little under a year, but we've seen numerous price reductions on the (almost) pocketable slate. Having hovered around the $459 price point in recent times, Amazon has now discounted the 64GB iPad Mini further, bringing it down to a new all-time low of $400. That's $99 off the original price or a savings of 20 percent.

Buy 2021 Apple iPad Mini (64GB) at Amazon - $400Buy 2021 Apple iPad Mini (256GB) at Amazon - $540

If you're looking for a bit more storage, Amazon has also reduced the 256GB model, which now costs $540. That means you'll save $109 or 17 percent compared to the retailer's list price.

The 2021 iPad mini received a score of 89 in our review, gaining marks for its "all-screen" design without the home button its predecessors have. It has a Liquid Retina 326ppi panel with a 2,266 x 1,488 resolution. The tablet's edges are flat, and also sports a TouchID-capable power button, dropping the Lightning port for USB-C charging.

The slate features a new 12-megapixel ultra-wide front camera with Center Stage support, which like Facebook's Portal devices will automatically pan and zoom to keep you at the center of the screen during video calls. 

Thanks to the A15 Bionic chip powering the tablet, it was also able to handle we threw at it. It typically lasts up to 12 hours between charges and it also supports the second-gen Apple Pencil so you can use it for doodling or note-taking while on the go.

Amazon's one-day sale offers up to $400 off Samsung foldables

Although the launch of Samsung's S22 lineup is still fresh in everyone's minds, the Korean smartphone maker still has a number of unique and powerful handsets available to buy. That includes foldables like the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and mid-range devices like the Galaxy S21 FE, all of which happen to be discounted as part of a one-day Amazon sale. Our pick of the bunch is the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which has fallen to $850 and represents a 15 percent savings on its usual price. It's also the second best price we've seen. 

Buy Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 at Amazon - $850Amazon's one-day Galaxy smartphone sale

The Z Flip 3 is, in our mind, the best Samsung foldable yet. It scored an 82 in our review, which was helped by its improved durability (with better scratch and water resistance), its main 6.7-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rates and Flex Mode, which quickly splits apps like YouTube in half to separate content and controls. When closed, the 1.9-inch external screen will display small snippets of information like the weather and calendar reminders but also provide easy access to features like Samsung Pay.

If you've had your eye on Samsung's other foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, then Amazon has you covered there, too. For today only, the 2-in-1 handset is $1,400, which is $400 (or 22 percent) off its normal price. The Z Fold 3 improves on its predecessor in nearly every way, including better durability and displays that are 29 percent brighter while consuming less energy. It also includes the S Pen, letting you scribble down notes while on the go.

Buy Samsung Galaxy ZFold 3 at Amazon - $1,400

Rounding out the sale is the Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition), which at $525 has fallen to a new all-time low at the retailer. The Galaxy S21 FE is essentially last year's flagship without the frills, with the same 5-nanometer processors, 120Hz refresh rate in a slightly bigger display and a familiar triple camera system. It actually has a larger battery and comes with Android 12. With it now on sale for 25 percent less than its normal retail price, it might be easier to ignore those minor drawbacks and bag yourself Samsung's affordable no-nonsense handset.

Sony's WF-1000XM3 wireless ANC earbuds drop to an all-time low of $118

Ever since their launch in mid-July 2019, Sony's WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds have remained as one of the best in-ear wireless buds you can buy. With impressive sound quality and excellent noise cancellation, the XM3s were great value at their regular $200 price, but right now you can pick up a pair at Amazon for just $118. That's a whopping 40-percent discount and the lowest price we've seen yet.

Buy Sony WF-1000XM3 ANC Earbuds at Amazon - $118

The WF-1000XM3s scored an 89 in our Engadget review and placed number one in our 2019 wireless earbuds buyer's guide. That's down, in part, to the excellent sound quality with bass that's powerful yet clear, bright highs and solid performance for all genres of music. The active noise cancellation is also seriously good, blocking out most background noise, while lasting around six hours on a charge with the feature enabled. The case, however, will provide you with roughly another 18 hours of juice for when you're on the go.

There are some minor downsides, including the blocky design of the buds and case, which Sony did improve with the launch of the $248 WF-1000XM4 model — which have also topped our wireless earphone buyer's guide. Those six hours of battery life are also two less than the eight hours offered by its successor.

If it's over-ears you want, we should remind you that our current favorite pair of ANC headphones, Sony's WH-1000XM4, are still discounted to $278 right now. That's $72 off their usual price and close to an all-time low. They earned a score of 94 from us for their powerful ANC, immersive sound quality and multi-device connectivity.

Google's second-gen Nest Hub falls to just $55

If you've been looking to add to your Assistant-powered smart home without having to pay full price, a discount has just appeared via multiple retailers that will let you do exactly that. Right now, Best Buy, Walmart and Adorama have the second-generation Nest Hub smart display for $55, which is $45 off the usual price and one of the best deals we've seen since for the device since it launched last year.

Buy Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) at Best Buy - $55Buy Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) at Walmart - $55Buy Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) at Adorama - $55

There's a reason that the Nest Hub is one of our favorite smart home devices. After all, it earned a score of 89 in our review. It has a minimalist design, a bright 7-inch display, clearer and louder audio than its predecessor and faster performance as well. It's just the right size to fit into any room and can act as a second screen for your video doorbell or even track your sleep from your bedside table. While it may not be as accurate as a slumber-focused wearable, the Nest Hub will show you sleep duration, quality, schedules and snoring data (if that's something you're after).

These features make it a great smart display that’s worthy of a spot in your kitchen, bedroom or living room — and with this deal, you won't have to spend much in order to put one there.