Is It Time for Smart Watches?

Image from Pebble

Just a few days ago, TechCrunch reported that Samsung has filed trademarks indicating that it may be entering the burgeoning smart watch market. With this news, it joins the ranks of other companies rumored to be developing smart watches: Apple, Google, and Microsoft all allegedly have watches in the making.

Interestingly, this emerging wearable computing market has been driven by small players—perhaps most famously by Pebble, a smart watch that was crowd funded through Kickstarter. But with these bigger companies moving in, it’s worth reviewing the smart watches on offer and asking whether this newest tech trend has something to offer you.

The tagline about smart watches is “hands-free computing.” The general idea is that the watches will wirelessly connect to your smart phone and move some of its functionality out of your pocket and on to your wrist. If you ever get furious about having to take the phone out of your pocket to make a call, check your messages, or read a text (or, for that matter check the time), then these might be products for you.

If that seems silly, keep in mind how everyone thought that the iPod (and mp3 players in general) were useless and that they’d never take off. Almost every reviewer has recognized the advantages in terms of convenience and connectivity of having a device that’s more accessible on your wrist. Read More

#GivingTuesday and Your Last Chance to Win a Sony Xperia Tablet

Giving Tuesday and Sony XperiaIt’s been a long week of deals, deals, deals.  And that’s fine: we all need some level of tech in our lives, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with saving a few dollars. But traditionally the holidays are also a time to give back, which is why it’s great that someone has added one more day to the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday calendar: Giving Tuesday. The idea is that while we’re out spending money on gifts, we can also give a a gift to a worthwhile cause. There are a lot of great organizations behind it, like Donors Choose, the United Way and the United Nations Foundation. Plus lots of retail outlets are chipping in with matching donations and special offers. The best way to find out how to participate and what other organizations are doing is to visit their website, and check the #givingtuesday hashtag on Twitter. If there’s an organization you’d like others to consider donating to, definitely let us know in the comments!

Speaking of giving, we’re actually giving a little something away, ending today: a Sony Xperia Tablet.  Enter below by using the widget; we’ll be choosing a winner tonight at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giving Away a Sony Xperia S Tablet

Sony Xperia Tablet GiveawayThis time of the year can be tough. Stressful, even. Cooking, cleaning, families, gifts, work. The list goes on, and those turkeys don’t cook themselves. I get it. I may not be able to help to much, but I am giving away a Sony Xperia S tablet. It’s the least I can do, right? Entering is easy, just use the widget below. We’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, once this whole Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness is over!

In case you don’t already know, the Xperia S is a 9.4″ touch screen tablet from Sony running Android, with access to all the Android apps in the Google Play store and 16GB of storage to use for apps, music and video. It also gives you access to the Sony Entertainment Store, and separate user profiles so the kids can safely use it too. Normally it retails for $499, so I’d say this is a pretty awesome prize! You can read all about the Sony Xperia Tablet on the Sony website here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last Chance to Win a Free Sony Reader

enter to win a free sony readerHave you tweeted to enter our Sony Reader contest yet? Make sure you enter today, because tonight at midnight our contest will be over! It’s make a great gift a Reader would make this holiday season…though you may just want to keep it for yourself.

Reader is the brand new e-reader from Sony, with access to a huge book library. It has great web integration for “Read it Later” web content like Instapaper. Plus it works seamlessly with Facebook and Evernote, something competitors can’t claim.

To enter click here and follow the directions. You’ll be prompted to make sure you’re following @marioarmstrong on Twitter and tweet him about a book you’d like to have on your new Reader. Pretty simple and it might even help us build up our reading list for the future!

Enter to Win a Free Sony Reader

enter to win a free sony readerWe just talked recently about how much we like the new Sony Reader. It’s the best e-reader on the market for “Read it Later” web content, like Instapaper, and it’s got great integration with Facebook and Evernote, which sets it apart from competitors. We like it so much, in fact, that we are giving one away on Twitter!

Entering to win is simple: 1. Make sure you’re following @marioarmstrong on Twitter. 2. Tweet him about your favorite book! Pretty simple and it might even help us build up our reading list for the future!

Click here to enter to win a free Sony Reader.

The Reader is Sony’s latest e-reader device, with up to 2 months of battery life and 2GB of storage, plus access to free library books at over 15,000 libraries throughout the country. Click here for more information about the Sony Reader, including how to trade in your old device for credit toward a new reader!

Check out the Sony Xperia TL, aka the new James Bond Phone

While pricing and availability for the new James Bond phone, the Xperia TL (called just the Xperia T in the UK, as seen in the advert above) have now been announced, I’ll give you two hints.

– Skyfall, the latest James Bond thriller starring Daniel Craig, hits theaters in the US on October 23rd (and the 26th in the UK)

– This is a premium Android smartphone, boasting a best-in class 13-megapixel camera.

You do the math.

The Sony Xperia TL will be available exclusively from AT&T in the US and will be backed by AT&T’s lightning fast LTE network, so it should be able to achieve super fast speeds if you live in an area with LTE coverage.

Want to be the first to find out when the Xperia TL is made available for sale? Sign up for AT&T’s mailing list to find out when all of their newest 4G LTE devices launch this fall.

I got to play with the phone briefly last night, and can definitely say this is one to watch out for. It’s got a really cool curved design just like the old Xperia Arc, is fast and snappy—basically, it looks and feels like a James Bond phone.

I also had a chance to play with the new bundled apps from Sony, Walkman, Movies, and Album. Combined, these offer great ways to access your music, movies and pics. Album, the photo app, includes some cool features to help you make the best of that 13-megapixel shooter (seriously, how did they cram that thing into this phone?) with a ton of Instagram-like filters, red eye reduction, and more. It’ll also geotag your photos and put them on a map so you can quickly see which photos you took where.

Specs from the press release below.  Read More

Want Evernote Clearly and Facebook sharing on an e-Reader? Check out the new Sony PRS-T2

Evernote Clearly, Instapaper, and Pocket are all great ways to save the best stories and blog posts on the web and read them in a distraction-free (and often ad-free) environment later on your favorite mobile device. While these services all integrate fabulously on touchscreen phones and tablets, trying to set up Instapaper to deliver to your Kindle is a convoluted process that doesn’t work as seamlessly as you’d expect. Other “read it later” services don’t offer any kind of e-Reader support whatsoever. Thankfully, the latest from Sony, the Reader PRS-T2, is here to change that, with tight Evernote and Facebook integration that make it easier to read what you want, where you want it, and share what you’re reading and your favorite passages with friends, family and colleagues.

While every mobile business professional I know has a laundry list of books in their queue, more often than not we’re struggling even more to keep up with the latest information on the web. I personally struggle with this all the time, leaving tabs open with lengthy articles I want to get back to and read at a later date, or stuffing those articles in Clearly or Instapaper so I can check them out later when I’m on the go. But anyone who’s tried to read a long article or a phone or even a tablet knows how those devices are far from perfect. Notifications of new emails and news stories getting in the way, as well as the ease of multitasking over to a web browser or Angry Birds session means that you’re far from a distraction-free reading environment. The new Sony Reader, the PRS-T2, is here to help.

Articles saved with Evernote Clearly automatically sync with the device, and highlights and annotations you make can automatically be synced back into your Evernote account as well. As someone who depends on Evernote to keep track of everything I’m working on and thinking about, this is a killer feature and moves the new Sony reader to the top of my list.

For those looking to get more social with their readers, the Facebook integration is another way Sony stands out from the crowd with the PRS-T2. The Reader makes it easy to share passages from the books you’re reading to your wall, which for those of us who are both Facebook and reading enthusiasts could be yet another killer feature.

So, you want to know about the tech specs and other features of Sony’s new reader?  Read More

#SocamShow Live from the @Sony store in NYC – We check out phones, tabs, and cameras!

This week’s episode of the #SocamShow is coming at you live from the Sony story in NYC! Me and @WebGuyShy tear it up and play with a ton of cool Sony products, including:

The Sony Handycam NEX-VG20
The Sony Tablet S
The Sony Xperia Ion 4G smartphone

Many thanks to Sony for letting us take over their space, and of course, if you like the show be sure to follow me on Socialcam, the mobile video app for iPhone and Android that just sold for $60 million!

Ultimate SBGM Contest: Win a Sony eReader Pocket Edition PRS350, BlueAnt S4 headset, or an AT&T Smartphone

Getting free gadgets is what makes the web so much fun, right? That’s why we’ve got an endless treasure chest of things we’re putting in your stocking this holiday season.

This time around, we’ve got three killer items we’re giving away: the PRS350 Pocket Edition eReader from Sony, a BlueAnt S4 headset, and the AT&T Motorola Backflip Smartphone. Head over past the break to find out how to enter. Read More

The E-Reader Explosion: Choosing the Right E-Reader

Mario Armstrong appeared on the TODAY show this morning to help you decide which E-Reader is right for you. Mario takes a look at the Amazon Kindle, the Sony E-Reader, The Barnes and Noble Nook Color, and the Pandigital Novel Color Multimedia E-Reader. Take a look at the video below!

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