Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

Like taxes, iPhones and, well, Madden, you can count on a new Skylanders game every year. If you're unfamiliar with the franchise, that may just be a symptom of not being around kids -- the toy / video game series is a dominant force in the kids gaming market, sharing responsibility with biggies like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for bringing in 80 percent of Activision's earnings in 2013. Each new entry in the game series comes with a new physical device for reading toy figurines; when said figurines are placed on the device (called a "portal"), they're transported into the game world and playable in-game.

Between the figures ($5 - $7 apiece, on average) and the games (anywhere from $7 to $60), it's easy to understand why the franchise is so profitable. Thankfully, the franchise is also lauded by most critics as a pretty decent game, too. The next entry, Skylanders: Trap Team, arrives this October -- the first time the series is on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One -- and it's the largest game in the franchise to date.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Amazon's dead-set killing off the grocery store, with a same-day delivery service and even a Dash gadget for restocking items around the house. Now the retailer's going one step further, taking on Costco and Walmart with a new program called Prime Pantry. If you're a Prime member, you can ship 45 pounds' worth of household essentials -- in "everyday sizes," not in bulk -- for a flat fee of $6. (Yes, that's on top of your Prime membership payment.) Rumors about an Amazon Pantry service began circling late last year, and while the service now appears to be live, the company hasn't formally announced it.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Bing in the Classroom

Your kid's in-school web searches may soon be much safer and smarter: Microsoft has just expanded availability of its Bing school program (now Bing in the Classroom) to all K-12 institutions in the US. The move lets any school fill out a form to remove ads, get daily lesson plans and keep adult content filters switched on. As part of the launch, Microsoft is also making it easier for parents to both check if a school is using Bing and see how close it is toward earning free Surface tablets through search credits.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Gadgets are probably the last thing you'd look for on Etsy's DIY-heavy marketplace, but that could soon change. Today the NY-based company announced that it's acquiring Grand St., an online retailer focused on electronics with a creative, maker bent (think app-enabled piggy banks and Wifi-enabled kids' toys). In the short term, at least, Grand St. will continue to operate as its own marketplace, but it's possible that such hardware could someday have a home on Etsy.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

It's that time again: Apple has just posted its Q2 2014 financials, and there are some interesting device sales numbers to peep at. Apple saw a big year-over-year jump in the number of iPhones sold (43.7 million this time vs. 37.4 million in the same quarter last year), thanks at least in part to a deal that brought the 5s and 5c to China Mobile -- a carrier that has over 750 million subscribers. Alas, Apple never breaks down its sales figures between models, so how many people opted for the colorful (and cheaper) 5c instead of the 5s is still a mystery. It didn't warrant a mention in the earnings release, but the company's moved 20 million Apple TVs (the hobby days are well behind it) and Mac sales surged slightly, too. The iPod did about as well as we thought... which is to say not well at all. The company sold fewer than half this quarter than it did during the same time last year, but it's no secret the venerable music players were slowly falling by the wayside.

But then there's the iPad.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Let's just cut to the chase: Aereo's battle with broadcast TV hit the Supreme Court this week and it's one of the biggest entertainment-related court confrontations since the Betamax case in 1984. Confusion levels have been high, but Ben and Richard are your legal eagles and they break the situation down into its simplest terms. Time Warner Cable recently announced a potential money-saving alternative to cable box leasing, with its $99 set-top box that will stream cable TV and internet video. Netflix, on the other hand, has stated that it will raise its prices for new customers, although it's giving existing users a two-year grace period. There's a heap of HD news to run though this week, so you'll have to tune in to catch it all. Just head down to the streaming links below for this week's episode of the Engadget HD Podcast.

Hosts: Richard Lawler, Ben Drawbaugh

Producer: Jon Turi

Hear the podcast:

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Comcast FCC Court Battle

After existing Open Internet, or net neutrality, regulations were struck down in court earlier this year, it appears the FCC is ready to come back with new ones. Re/code reports Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed they will be on the table at an agency meeting May 15th. While that report indicates the rules will be the same, but justified under a different part of the law, the Wall Street Journal's sources say that new rules will be proposed tomorrow, with at least one notable change. According to the rumor, the new net neutrality rules will still bar ISPs from blocking certain sources over the last mile, but will allow them to sell special access to others. It sounds like the type of "managed connection" that Comcast, for example, is using to distribute video on-demand to its Xbox 360 app.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Soon you might be able to simply ask your Apple TV to start playing 'House of Cards' rather than fumbling through a series menus. Code found in iOS 7.1's software development kit indicates that Siri is one its way to a new device, likely Apple's set-top box. In the operating system's documentation, the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are represented by "1" and "2." The most recent files also include a new device indicated by a "3." For our non-developer friends following along at home, that means the digital assistant is headed to a different product. While the 3 could potentially represent something entirely new (like the fabled iWatch), Apple has previously used the number to represent its TV product in code. It's also currently being used in several iOS-based Apple TV apps.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Video games now have more online spectators than traditional sports. Crazy, right? It's crazy. According to Qwilt, a company that provides video caching services to content creators, Twitch is now the most popular live streaming site in the US. The outfit's analytics group says the streaming site is more popular than UStream, the WWE, ESPN and MLB.com combined, owning a massive 43-percent share of all live streaming traffic. It's slightly shocking from a cultural standpoint, but we can't say we're entirely surprised: with the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and even mobile platforms offering average gamers the chance to put on a show, Twitch is hosting more than a million streams per month. There's simply more content: Twitch streams gameplay 24 hours a day. ESPN has to wait for a sporting even to actually happen.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

If you've missed a few episodes of the Cosmos revival or maybe just want to fill the universe-sized hole in your media rack, the series hits Blu-ray and DVD this summer. Come June 10th (two days after the final episode airs), you'll be able to watch the doc's 13 installments plus a smattering of bonus features whenever you want. And speaking of supplements, the release will sport a five-part documentary chronicling the... documentary's making, with the Blu-ray getting an interactive history of the universe dubbed "The Cosmic Calendar." The price-tag on that 662-minute space-time odyssey? Sixty bucks for the Blu-ray and $50 for the DVD, but Amazon has each listed for a few ducats less.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

Read the Full Story 0 Comments