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Samsung Milk Music on a Galaxy Note 3

Samsung has spent months promising a paid tier for Milk Music that takes the gloves off. Well, it's here at last -- an update to the Android app for its exclusive (if Slacker-based) streaming service offers a $4 per month Premium tier that brings offline listening, unlimited skips and the option of removing DJ banter. Both the free and paid tiers remain ad-free for now, so don't rush to upgrade unless you need constant access to your tunes. That parity isn't going to last forever, though, so be prepared to cough up some cash in the future if you want to dodge commercials.

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

Not happy that Verizon is going to throttle unlimited LTE data plans? You're not alone. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has just sent a letter to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead criticizing the carrier for the new policy. He's "deeply troubled" by the move, and suggests that the arbitrary slowdowns may be violating the open access rules that Verizon said it would obey back in 2008. The FCC defines "reasonable network management" in terms of technology-related issues (like congestion and security) rather than service plans, Wheeler says. To him, Big Red is abusing a "loophole" in order to boot customers off of unlimited data and wring out more profit -- Mead may have to do a good job defending the decision if he wants to avoid a regulatory fight.

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Sony's had limited tests of its cloud-based gaming service running for the last few months, but it's taking PlayStation Now to the next level tomorrow by letting anyone with a PS4 (that's in the continental US or southern Canada) join in. There's a new blog post and video up now telling gamers what to expect: PS3 games, cloud saves, trophies, and "a variety of rental periods" depending on the game. As far as an all-you-can-eat option following the lead of Netflix or EA's just-announced EA Access -- that Sony doesn't think you need -- Sony reaffirmed that it's working on a subscription option for PS Now, but didn't provide any more details. As for how much it costs now, there will be four-hour rentals for $2, as well as 7-, 30- and 90-day options for between $3 and $20, across a library of more than 100 titles. You can check out our hands-on impressions from CES after the break, or check out Sony's website for more information like which games are available (Metal Gear Solid V, Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus, Ultra Street Fighter IV and more.)

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NomadPlus external battery

If you're tired of lugging around both an external battery pack and a power adapter to keep your iPhone running, today's your lucky day. Nomad (the company behind the ChargeCard) has started taking pre-orders for the NomadPlus, a 1,500mAh external battery that takes advantage of the Apple's official power plug to save space. Slide the charger in and you can top up your iPhone (or other low-power USB devices) with one peripheral, whether or not you're anywhere near a wall outlet. Logically, it will also recharge its own battery when plugged in. The gadget doesn't provide much energy on its own -- it will only bring an iPhone up to 70 percent -- but it should be enough to get you through a typical day.

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Potato breeding programs at Michigan State University and Texas A&M have been churning out modified spuds for the better part of a decade, if not longer, but thanks to A&M's Creighton Miller, we now have a better idea of the 'designer' potato's target market. "What we're doing now is developing unique varieties that appeal to the younger set that is high-income that are willing to try something different," he explained in an interview with AgriLife Today, holding a variety of product, including a "gourmet" potato sporting "red flesh with splashes of yellow." Michigan State's program, meanwhile, has developed a variety called "Raspberry." According to a report in Txchnologist, that potato has vibrant red flesh and a skin that's flavored like the fruit. You might get a good feel for how it tastes by taking a bite while it's still garden-fresh, but that particular potato, along with another simply referred to as "MSQ558-2RR," are likely destined to end their lives as thin-cut chips. De-licious.

[Photo credit: Texas A&M AgriLife Communications]

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The popular log-in repository 1Password is about to get a lot more useful on iOS devices. AgileBits has revealed an extension for using the add-on in third-party iOS apps -- if the developer chooses to build in support. Thanks to the enhanced security measures taken by Apple's pending mobile OS update, the option can be included and doesn't require you to go elsewhere in order to sort your passwords in standalone apps. Of course, this is in addition to 1Password's own built-in browser that currently included and Touch ID is leveraged to access the secured vault of username credentials. 1Password for iOS is a $18 purchase, and we're not holding our breath for similar functionality to arrive on the Android version anytime soon (although on Android LastPass has a similar feature for logging into apps). While you wait for your favorite software to opt in, there's a handy demo in GIF after the break.

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There's a distinctive sound your computer makes when an online friend is trying to get your attention. Sometimes its high pitched, other times its a low, warm tone, but regardless of your chat software, the onomatopoeia probably reads something like "bleep" which -- by no coincidence, we're sure -- is what BitTorrent is calling its new messaging platform. Unlike Google Hangouts, AIM or Skype, however, Bleep is a decentralized communication platform, design specifically to protect user metadata and anonymity.

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Despite years of rumors about what Apple might, could or should do to revolutionize the TV experience, the company hasn't done much beyond releasing (and occasionally updating) its Apple TV set-top box. The Information reports that engineers working on the long-rumored project to go further, have been told not to expect a launch this year, and are targeting 2015. If true, the leaks today reflect mostly the same situation as they did about two years ago, with Apple trying to talk cable operators and studios into a sort of joint operation. That way, viewers could watch live TV or cloud-stored recordings / VOD (plus apps and gaming) all through Apple's box and UI. Of course, working out how everyone will get paid and trying to convince operators like Comcast to give up their hold on the (often troubling) relationship with customers hasn't been easy and the usual "people in the know" say those negotiations are to blame for the slow progress.

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Looking at Russia's Vkontakte social network on an iPhone 5 in Moscow

Russia has been extra-sensitive to technological threats to its government as of late, and that's clearer than ever in the wake of a new government proposal. Communication Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has suggested that Apple and SAP should hand over their source code to prove that it doesn't have "undeclared capabilities" for spying on Russian agencies. In other words, he doesn't want to give the NSA free rein just because an official brought an iPhone to work. While he isn't certain as to whether or not institutions will keep using products whose code remains a secret, there's an implication that Apple and SAP may be locked out of government contracts if Putin and crew believe there's too much of a risk. Much of that business could go to Microsoft, which has been cooperating with Russia since 2003.

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