It's day 2 at CTIA 2013 and over a thousand exhibitors continue to show off the latest in mobile gear and gadgets. LAPTOP spent the entire day on the show floor at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, sampling new software from anti-virus companies, going hands on with an innovative mid-range smartphone, and playing with an entertainment-focused streaming device. And if that's not enough, we also sat in on the latest project from super-celebrity Jennifer Lopez. Hint: it's not an album.
SuperTooth Freedom Headphones
SuperTooth believes that wireless headphones should be easier to pair and they've designed the Freedom headphones to show you how. These over-ear cans are built with the same Bluetooth technology found in other wire-free headphones, but they also include NFC. With that technology, you don't need to put these headphones into pairing mode. Just tap them to your NFC-enabled smartphone and you're ready to listen.
Less is better. Just ask Chinese phone maker, Coolpad, which at CTIA 2013, unveiled the Quattro II smartphone for the almost-nothing price of $79 without a contract. The device packs a few mid-level specs such as a 4.5-inch screen, 960 x 540-pixel resolution and a 1.2 dual-core processor, but its stand-out feature is the clean Android user interface. It's almost as pure a version of the Android OS as a Galaxy Nexus.
Jennifer Lopez Launches Viva Movil Smartphone Retailer
Jennifer Lopez is heading back to the block, but this time she's bringing a new cell phone retailer called Viva Movil with her. The famed Latina actress and entertainer teamed up with Verizon Wireless to announce a new chain of retail centers that will help connect the nation's most successful carrier to the nation's fastest-growing population. Lopez said the stores will employ bi-lingual employees who will create a customized in-store experience for patrons. The first of the franchises will open June 15 in New York with others to follow shortly in Miami and Los Angeles.
Not only can Tech21's Impact Shield protective covers save your smartphone or device from dreaded display scratches, those adhesive free films can actually regenerate material when they are scratched. (Don't believe us? Check the video for a demo). What's more, the devices are designed with bullet-proof technology from chemical company BASF, so these thin, plastic protectors can absorb bumps from drops, bangs, and maybe even some fast-moving projectiles.
Thieves will be remiss to target the Samsung Galaxy S4 this summer. That's when Absolute Software -- the company that embeds LoJack tracking software into autos, laptops, and other tech -- will launch a recovery service for S4 phones. The feature will cost $29.99 a year and includes access to LoJack's crackerjack squad of investigators, its Recovery Team specialists, and special features such as remote lock and sensitive file wiping. What's more, LoJack explained how they offer the tools mentioned above without installing an app on the device.
We saw plenty of water-proof cases in January during the Consumer Electronics Show, but most were designed for the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3. At CTIA 2013, we met the makers of the Frě, a water-tight case for the iPad mini that not only seals the mini-slate in a liquid-proof sheath but also lets you stream music over Bluetooth or play video, even as the entire package is submerged in water. For those who use the little tablet on a boat or in the pool, the Frě also connects with an orange life-preserver style cozy called the LifeJacket.
AVG is thinking beyond security and anti-virus software with two free utility apps for Android smartphones. The first app resizes large image files to make them smaller for sharing via email or in social networks, and the other cleans up digital junk like cached files, ancient browser history, or dated text messages to help improve the phone's performance. Keep reading to learn whether or not these apps can be of use to you.
BitDefender Clueful App Protects Against Mobile Malware
Bitdefender's found a new way to protect your smartphone from third-party malware. The Clueful app, free for Android devices, searches the app library on your smartphone or tablet for suspicious permissions and flags egregious downloads as high, moderate, or low risk threats. On first download, Clueful searches the apps already running on the phone or tablet, and automatically scans any new downloads when you install them from the Google Play Store, essentially performing an important--and necessary--task that most mobile device users never even think about.
Tablets can make shopping easier for retailers and their customers, but an expensive slate can break if an employee drops it or can become an inconvenience if its loses a charge during business hours. Mobelisk is on the case, literally, with the MoGo Chimera. This cover-all for tablets supports 7-to 8-inch slates like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 or iPad mini, adds rugged protection, and can support functionality that's perfect for retailers like credit card payments and barcode scanners.
It may look like a storage drive but the Kingston MobileLite is not a storage drive. It's a $70 mobile streaming gadget that doubles as a portable power source. The slate=grey box has a USB port and an SD card slot that lets you connect a drive or enter a storage card filled with content you'd like to stream to a nearby iOS or Android device equipped with an app designed by Kingston . In a pinch, you can use the MobileLite's built-in 1800 mAh battery to charge your mobile TV set.