Brian Heater

Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

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  • Amazon brings voice control to its Alexa app for Android, with iOS coming soon

    Amazon brings voice control to its Alexa app for Android, with iOS coming soon

    Amazon’s slow push into mobile is getting a lot more real this morning with the addition of voice integration into its Android app for Alexa. Up to now, the app has been little more than a way to manage settings for the Echo and other smart home devices built around its smart assistant. The addition of voice commands means users can speak directly to their handset the way they would an… Read More

  • OnePlus confirms up to 40,000 customers were impacted by credit card hack

    OnePlus confirms up to 40,000 customers were impacted by credit card hack

    If you gave your credit card number to OnePlus sometime between mid-November and last week, your card may have been compromised. The smartphone maker confirmed this morning through its online forum that upwards of 40,000 customers may have had their numbers exposed to hackers. “Only a small subset of our customers is affected,” a spokesperson for the company told… Read More

  • Your monthly Amazon Prime membership fees are about to increase

    Your monthly Amazon Prime membership fees are about to increase

    If you’re on-board for Amazon’s monthly Prime membership, I’ve got a bit of bad news for you on this cold January morning. The company’s bumping up pricing from $10.99 to $12.99. Not the end of the world, of course, but that comes out to about $156 a year — a $24 increase over the old price. Amazon has confirmed the price increase with TechCrunch and laid all of… Read More

  • CES sucked this year

    CES sucked this year

    I’ve heard tell of people predicting the weather through achy joints. CES isn’t all that different. You get a sixth sense about the show once you’ve been to a few. A few weeks before the show starts you get a slight throb in your bones, telling you whether this CES will be a memorable one. All signs ahead of this year’s show pointed to a lackluster offering. Read More

  • Adidas joins Carbon’s board as its 3D printed shoes finally drop

    Adidas joins Carbon’s board as its 3D printed shoes finally drop

    In its three and a half years of existence, Carbon has become a leading light in the industry-wide push to bring 3D printing to manufacturing. The company’s proprietary CLIP tech has sped up the process of additive manufacturing by leaps and bounds. It’s also found the perfect partner in Adidas, whose Futurecraft 4D shoes are about as good a poster child for the tech as one… Read More

  • YouTube partners with Kevin Durant to expand original sports programming

    YouTube partners with Kevin Durant to expand original sports programming

    YouTube announced today that it’s enlisted the help of basketball star Kevin Durant in a bid to expand original sports content. The Golden State Warriors small forward and business partner Rich Kleiman have signed on to develop programming centered around Durant and fellow professional athletes under the umbrella of their Thirty Five Media video business. Read More

  • Google is rolling out a fix for those Home-related Wi-Fi issues

    Google is rolling out a fix for those Home-related Wi-Fi issues

    In the latest of a recent spate of bugs plaguing Google’s most recent hardware offerings, a number of Home and Chromecast users have been reporting issues around their devices’ Wi-Fi connectivity this week. Google has since acknowledged the issue on its support page, noting that “In certain situations, a bug in the Cast software on Android phones may incorrectly send a… Read More

  • Amazon’s Echo, Alexa and Music Unlimited are hitting Australia and New Zealand next month

    Amazon’s Echo, Alexa and Music Unlimited are hitting Australia and New Zealand next month

    Amazon announced its intentions to launch the Echo down under during its big AWS Re:Invent show back in November. Details were pretty light on the offering at the time, but now the company’s back with specifics a few weeks ahead of availability. Read More

  • Siri’s podcast-promoting ‘Give me the News’ feature is now out of beta

    Siri’s podcast-promoting ‘Give me the News’ feature is now out of beta

    A few weeks back, Apple added “Give me the news” to Siri’s repertoire of tricks in the latest beta version of iOS. The feature comes as the company is readying its smart assistant for the imminent arrival of the HomePod, the company’s first smart assistant-driven device. The feature is now out of beta here in the States and the U.K. Asking Siri for the news will default… Read More

  • DJI teases its latest device ahead of next week’s reveal

    DJI teases its latest device ahead of next week’s reveal

    Seems DJI was keeping its powder dry last week at CES. The drone giant announced a pair of camera gimbals at the show, but the big news was still a couple of weeks away. The company has sent out invites for its next big announcement, set for January 23 in New York City. The location could be a hint as far as what to expect here. In recent years, the company has preferred Los Angeles as… Read More

  • Lawsuit filed by 22 state attorneys general seeks to block net neutrality repeal

    Lawsuit filed by 22 state attorneys general seeks to block net neutrality repeal

    A lawsuit filed today by the attorneys general of 22 states seeks to block the Federal Communications Commission’s recent controversial vote to repeal Obama era Net Neutrality regulations. The filing is led by New York State Attorney General Schneiderman, who called rollback a potential “disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and… Read More

  • Lawmakers said to be behind Huawei’s continued U.S. carrier woes

    Lawmakers said to be behind Huawei’s continued U.S. carrier woes

    The latest entry in Huawei’s ongoing struggles to come to the U.S. proved to be one of the more unexpected and engaging CES storylines last week. But there are still plenty of layers of this onion left to peel back. This morning, Reuters is confirming speculation that AT&T’s last-minute decision to pull out of a deal with the Chinese phone maker comes as U.S. lawmakers… Read More

  • Apple’s MacBook Air turns 10

    Apple’s MacBook Air turns 10

    Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs triumphantly held up a manilla interoffice mail envelope to a round of applause at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. It was a silly gimmick, but it got the point across. A year after introducing the Macworld crowd to the iPhone, the company was about to add another cornerstone product to its repertoire. Ten years and seven generations later… Read More

  • The best gadgets we saw at CES 2018

    Another CES is in the books. The country’s biggest consumer electronics show featured some 3,900 exhibitors spread out over 2.75 million square feet, making it the largest floor in the show’s history, according to the CTA. Our bodies and brains are exhausted from all the new gadgets, but before we cast off the show for good, let’s take a look at some of the best things we saw… Read More

  • Google Assistant had a good CES

    Google Assistant had a good CES

    Celine Dion at Caesar’s, David Copperfield at the MGM Grand, Google at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company wallpapered the Vegas monorail and plastered the words “Hey Google” on every rentable screen in town. Take that, Donny and Marie.  That crazy booth in the Convention Center parking lot seemed like a terrible idea on Tuesday when the rains opened up and… Read More

  • Cortana had a crappy CES

    Cortana had a crappy CES

    Cortana gets no respect. Microsoft’s smart assistant is actually pretty solid, all things told, but it rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. Maybe it’s a problem of marketing —the company was quick to point at Build in May that its smart assistant now has 141 million monthly users. More likely though, it’s a problem with… Read More

  • Nuheara’s voice amplifying earbuds offer customizable hearing profiles

    Nuheara’s voice amplifying earbuds offer customizable hearing profiles

    Nuheara’s new IQBuds Boost headphones exist in a a strange sort of in-between spot. Like the rest of the company’s line, they’re clearly one of countless devices looking to compete in the crowded world of bluetooth earbuds. Like the standard IQBuds before them, however, they’re also designed to boost hearing. But the Boosts are an attempt to be even more, offering… Read More

  • Blocks hopes to court enterprise customers with its modular smartwatch

    Blocks hopes to court enterprise customers with its modular smartwatch

    As we noted earlier this week, the mere fact that Blocks was able to bring its modular smartwatch system to market feels like a minor miracle. The company appears to have not taken the easy route in any respect. It could have launched an Android Wear device, but instead opted to skin a scaled down version of stock Android. And then there’s the modules — the company compares… Read More

  • Sensel is shopping around its Morph trackpad tech for use in other devices

    Sensel is shopping around its Morph trackpad tech for use in other devices

    It took two years, but Sensel finally managed to start shipping the Morph to backers. The company apparently ran into every potential pitfall for a brand new hardware manufacturer, including a microscopic design flaw that forced it to scrap an entire run, resulting in around $60,000 in costs. That’s not an insignificant number for a startup — even one that’s managed to raise… Read More

  • XPRIZE finalist Cloud DX’s Vitaliti is a serious health wearable

    XPRIZE finalist Cloud DX’s Vitaliti is a serious health wearable

    Plenty of wearables companies make health claims that are dubious at best. It’s true that companies like Fitbit and Apple are getting a bit more serious about the whole thing, participating in university studies and working with insurance companies, but on a whole, I certainly wouldn’t trust my own well-being to any of them. Read More

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