All posts by John

Onyx BOOX Afterglow 2 Review

A True Android E-Reader

The e-reader market seems to be dwindling. In June, Barnes & Noble said its Nook division would be spun off into a separate company by the end of first quarter 2015. Sony tapped out and inked a deal with Kobo. It looked like only two companies here in the US seemed content to stay in the space: Amazon and Kobo. However, B&N announced in February that its Nook business would become a part of its retail business. All three companies have several devices of varying sizes, specifications and prices. Up until now, people interested in an true e-reader, one with an e-paper display, have been forced into proprietary ebook ecosystems from Amazon, B&N and Kobo.

Polish company Onyx International Inc. is looking to give users more flexibility and options when it comes to reading on e-paper. While the company’s website and online store look a little sketchy, I decided to take the plunge. Onyx’s Afterglow 2 comes preloaded with the Google Play store, giving it access to the the digital book stores from Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Google. The device’s specs match up nicely with the competition on paper, but does this relatively unknown Polish company have what it takes to take on the top dogs? Find out after the break. Continue reading Onyx BOOX Afterglow 2 Review

The Impusle: Google Wallet Reborn, Pebble Time Already Funded & My Nexus 7 Blacks Out

This past week has been a combination of joy and despair for me.

To start off, the grandaddy of contactless mobile payments is coming back and in a big way. Google Commerce announced this past week that they have basically acquired competitor Softcard, the product of a late 2010 joint venture from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Continue reading The Impusle: Google Wallet Reborn, Pebble Time Already Funded & My Nexus 7 Blacks Out

Asus Transformer Book T100TA Review

The Best Chromebook runs Windows 8.1?

Chromebooks have taken off in the past few years because their general affordability (minus the company’s own Chromebook Pixel). Running Google’s browser-based operating system Chrome OS, these computers can do basically everything consumers want in a computer, whether that be browsing the web, checking emails, editing pictures or streaming their favorite show. Continue reading Asus Transformer Book T100TA Review

What’s Coming? All the Things.

I’ve got some exciting posts coming over the next few days. I’ll tell you the best Chromebook you can buy, and it’s not what you think (hint: it runs Windows 8). I’ve spent some quality time with an e-reader (yes, the kind with an E Ink display) that runs Android and comes with Google Play. I’ve replaced my favorite, perfect-sized and bamboo-clad 1st gen moto x with the geometric, glass giant that is the Sony Xperia Z3V. Later next month, I’ll put out my thoughts of my past 4 months with the moto 360 and why I’m wearing it instead of my much loved Pebble Steel.

Don’t want to wait? I don’t blame you. Check out my newest post about the new Narrative Clip and the updated mobile app. You can even check out the newest episode of my podcast.

P.S. – The Boston snow still ain’t bothering me 😀

moar snow

Narrative Clip Announces New Model, Updated App with Public Feed

Narrative unveiled the updated version of their tiny lifelogging camera dubbed Narrative Clip 2. With a higher resolution camera, bigger battery, wireless photo transfer, built-in GPS and swappable attachment mounts, the second generation device seems to fix all of the shortcomings of its predecessor. Continue reading Narrative Clip Announces New Model, Updated App with Public Feed

Pebble Gets UP, Wet & Cheaper

Pebble watches are now bonafide activity trackers. Jawbone’s UP and UP24 activity tracker bands were just the start of the company’s fitness tracking ambitions, as the company announced at the beginning of this month a move towards integrating all types of devices with its software. Along with Apple’s Health Kit in iOS 8 and Google’s Android Wear (integration announced but not yet available), Pebble has now been added to the list of devices that connect with Jawbone’s UP service.   Continue reading Pebble Gets UP, Wet & Cheaper

The Album Will Never Die

I keep hearing that the album is dead. Most recently, people having been pointing to the Nielsen Soundscan report, which states how album sales are down 15 percent from 2013. Nilay Patel writes in his most recent article on Vox:

Cranking out singles while on the road makes perfect economic sense right now: touring is one of the few music industry activities that still makes money, and recording songs quickly reduces the upfront investment needed in a product that no longer generates a ton of revenue at retail.

Continue reading The Album Will Never Die

Motorola’s Lasting Impact Shows at I/O

Google shocked the tech world in January when it announced it was selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, only a year after purchasing the company for $12.5 billion. The phone maker seemed to have a new focus and drive after being unshackled from its set-top branch. This new drive was initially seen with the release of the Moto X last year. However, despite the praise the device received from the tech community for its design, unique customization options and useful software additions, the phone failed to help to company become profitable. By December of 2013, Motorola CEO and Google veteran Dennis Woodside told CNET about how his company would be releasing affordable yet high quality phones. And then came the Moto G, which truly was a well-made midrange phone at an affordable price. In January, Google announced it was selling Motorola to Lenovo. Motorola always said that it operated independently from Google. However, Google announced a few new Android features and strategies that seem to be taken straight out of Motorola’s playbook.
Continue reading Motorola’s Lasting Impact Shows at I/O

Check out “Cardboard”

So it seems like Google is getting into the VR space. I just came across the Cardboard app in the Play Store, which looks like it is meant to bring Android content into VR. The description states that “Cardboard puts virtual reality on your smartphone. Try a variety of immersive demos on Android, and get inspired to build your own using the VR Toolkit at” That link doesn’t appear to be live, but it should be soon. I certainly didn’t see this coming! The link for the app is below.

New Chrome Web App Looks Like Android

Google has quietly updated the Google Play Movies Chrome app to look like its Android counterpart. This update makes Play Movies look and operate like an separate app rather than just a service on a webpage. Compare the Chrome apps for Play Books and Play Movies. Play Movies now opens in its own separate window and the content displayed adapts to the size of the window. Play Books, on the other hand, opens as a tab and look and operates like any other webpage. Continue reading New Chrome Web App Looks Like Android