The Big Three arrive in the UAE
They’re here. Three big smartphones will make their UAE debut this week – for those who pre-book. The much-awaited Samsung S4 is coming on April 27 through retailer Jacky’s Electronics and operator du. Jacky’s says customers can pay Dh200 to pre-book and then pay the balance of Dh2,399 for the basic version of the device when they collect it upon its release. The retailer is also among many vendors including Carrefour to offer pre-book options for the QWERTY BlackBerry Q10, again with payment of Dh200. The device, exclusively available with an etisalat connection for now, is also available for pre-order on the operator’s website for Dh2,699. Delivery is May 10.
Then there’s the HTC One, also priced Dh2,699, available for pre-book through operator du with a payment of Dh200. Delivery is April 25th.
Just.me free messaging is now available
Here’s one for all you free messaging fans. Just.me is now available for iOS users , which looks very similar to Facebook’s messaging service, chatheads and all. But what’s different about Just.me is you can message just about everyone in your contact list, even if they don’t have the app, and they will receive it via email or SMS. You can also save all your chat history to the your own private cloud for future reference. There are so many messaging apps already but the guys behind this free app surely thing there’s space for more.
Travel back in time with YouTube
And for those prone to nostalgia, YouTube is letting you relive the past by turning some of its videos into VHS quality. To celebrate the 57th birthday of the commercial video cassette recorder, select videos will now feature a VHS button in the bottom of the video player. Just click on the icon and turn the video into a fuzzy, analog-quality video and travel back in time. HD fans, look away now.
Bang & Olufsen is known for their beautifully designed products. The Danish company has just reiterated that with the Beoplay A9, a gong-style wireless speaker that’s sure to be a great conversation starter. No buttons on this one, except for a very discreet power button at the back - just swipe the top of the curve right or left for volume controls. Music is served through your smartphone or tablet, wirelessly, or through mini jacks for those who preferred to be wired. Designed by the Copenhaen-based Øivind Alexander Slaatto, the A9 is a complete speaker, meaning you won’t need extra amplifiers, speakers, cables or other accessories. It’s priced Dh9,000-plus in the UK. Call the Dubai store to find out when it’s available 04 339 9314.
For the chic geek: Philips hue Wireless lighting
What is it?
Dutch company Philips calls it a light bulb moment – and what a way to take home lighting into the 21st Century. Philips hue is a set of intelligent LED lightbulbs that can basically recreate any colour you want, all controlled from the comfort of your tablet or smartphone.
How does it work?
The starter pack comes with three lightbulbs and something called a ‘bridge’, which basically gets your device to talk to the lightbulbs via your home WiFi. You just plug in the bridge to your router, download the free app and you’re set to go. What’s clever about the hue is that you can duplicate any colour you want by using pictures from your device and touching which part or hue of the picture you want to replicate. You can also set alarms – no more clock shocks – so lights can come on softly and wake you up gradually. The wireless controls also let you switch on the lights in your home from wherever you are so it looks like you’re home even when you’re not.
The bridge can control up to 50 lightbulbs.
When is it available and for how much?
The Philips hue is exclusively available from the Apple store for Dh739. For the UAE store, go to store.apple.com/ae