Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Brian Heater


New York, United States

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Recent articles by Brian:

Up close with Google’s budget Chromebook, the Pixelbook Go –

The Chromebook has been a marked hit for Google — well, for Google’s hardware partners, at least. Low cost devices have flooded the market, with a stranglehold on the educational category in particular. Google’s own first party offerings, on the other hand, have been a bit more curious. Devices like the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate […] → Read More

Up close with Google’s new Pixel 4 –

This is the Pixel 4, the handset that literally everyone saw coming. Even by Google’s standards, the handset leaked like crazy. Some was almost certainly by design as the company looked to hype up its new flagship amid slowing smartphone sales. That said, showing up for preorder on two different sites in the past few […] → Read More

Google’s Pixel 4 is official –

The rumors and leaks have been pretty relentless. In fact, over the past three days, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have gone up for preorder on at least two different sites. While it’s true that Google’s never been particularly great at keeping this stuff under wraps, this was pretty silly. Anyway, the Pixel […] → Read More

Google Home Mini is now Nest Mini –

Google this morning unveiled the long awaited follow up to the Home Mini. The latest version of the company’s wildly popular entry-level smart speaker has been rebranded the Nest Home Mini, in keeping with the branding refresh of its smart home offerings. The new version of the device looks a lot like its predecessor, but […] → Read More

Google teases fully wireless Pixel Buds, arriving Spring 2020 –

As rumored, Google just dropped a little hint about its next generation Pixel Buds. The company unveiled a pair of fully wireless earbuds following the release of its promising, but fairly disappointing tethered earbuds. The new headphones are certainly nice looking, maintaining the same pastel color scheme it offers on its Pixel handsets. The headphones […] → Read More

Beats brings noise-canceling to its on-ear Solo headphones –

Beats this morning announced that it will be bringing its excellent noise-cancellation technology to its Solo line of on-ear headphones. The Solo Pro are the official followup to the Solo 3, a branding shift that’s in line with its other technologies. The noise canceling is the same introduced with the Studio over-ear line, way back […] → Read More

Brooklyn-based construction robotics startup Toggle gets $3M seed fund –

Toggle, a Brooklyn-based robotics startup, announced today that it scored $3 million in seed funding. The early-stage round was led by Point72 Ventures’ AI Group, with participation from Mark Cuban and VC Twenty Seven Ventures. The series follows a 2018 pre-seed round of $570,000 from its Urban-X accelerator, Urban Us, Accelerate NY / Empire State […] → Read More

Facebook’s new Portal increases privacy, but is still searching for a reason to exist –

The timing of the original Portal’s launch was less than ideal. The company reportedly pushed things back as the Cambridge Analytica scandal hit full broil, only to be hit with another data breach disclosure. If there’s a lesson to be learned with this year’s sequel, it’s that there may just not be a good time […] → Read More

Samsung opens Android 10 One UI beta ahead of final launch –

After pushing back a planned early-October launch, Samsung has introduced the Android 10 beta of its One UI. The 2.0 version of the Android skin follows a little under a year after the first version’s beta (released in November 2018). The concept goes counter to the earliest Android overlays, instead intending to create a simpler […] → Read More

Kik says it’s ‘here to stay,’ following shutdown reports –

It’s been a rough run for Kik of late. The once mighty messaging service announced in late September that it would be shutting down its app. CEO Ted Livingston noted in a blog post that the startup would be trimming its headcount from over 100 people to “an elite 19 person team,” following a protracted […] → Read More

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold concierge service is live in the US for those who need it –

Part of Samsung’s reboot of the Galaxy Fold was the announcement of a Premiere Service. Along with a reinforced version of the phone and a lot more warning labels, the company announced that it would also be a 24/7 care service…just in case something happened with the device. I had some issues with my in […] → Read More

AI-based firefighter safety startup Prometeo wins IBM Call for Code Challenge –

During an event at the United Nations Delegates Dining Room in New York City, IBM unveiled the winners to its annual Call for Code Global Challenge. The competition, which is targeted at computing solutions for global problems, crowned five winners, ranging from first responders to health care info. Prometeo took the top price for its […] → Read More

Google’s Pixel 4 briefly went up for preorder on Best Buy Canada –

The Pixel 4 is set to be unveiled at an event on Tuesday. This much we know for sure. We know a bunch more, too, (as outlined in this rumor roundup from yesterday), thanks to both official reveals and unofficial leaks. How much of this was planned is hard to say, but Google seemingly doesn’t […] → Read More

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a solid smartwatch for Android users –

Samsung makes good, underrated smartwatches. It’s just been difficult to get much attention in a category so utterly dominated by a single player. Even still, the company has managed to hold onto the number two spot in global market share, according to recentish numbers. At 11.1 percent, it’s a little less than a third of […] → Read More

The Yeti X brings real-time level monitoring to the popular USB mic –

It’s clear why Logitech bought Blue back in July 2018. The Southern Californian audio company (an acronym for “Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics,” incidentally) has become synonymous with USB microphones since releasing the first Snowball back in 2005. What seemed like a niche at the time has since become a cultural touchstone, positioning the company well […] → Read More

Life with the Samsung Galaxy Fold –

Avoid pressing hard on the screen. Tap lightly to keep it safe. Your Galaxy Fold isn’t water or dust resistant. Don’t allow any liquids or foreign objects to enter it. Don’t attach anything to the main screen, such as a screen protector. So begins your journey. It’s the story of one of the most fascinating […] → Read More

Google’s Pixel 4 launches next week, here’s what we expect –

Here in New York, the air is crisp and the leaves have begun to turn crimson and brown. That can only mean one thing: hardware season is upon us. Backdropped by cloudy, gray Manhattan skies, Google is set to take to the stage on Tuesday, October 15, to show off its just-in-time-for-the-holidays hardware line. As […] → Read More

Russia’s Yandex introduces an Echo Dot-style smart speaker –

In May of last year, Yandex launched the Yandex.Station. The $160 smart speaker was a clear logical step for the so-called “Google of Russia.” This week, the company is back with the next-next logical step. The Yandex.Station Mini is essentially its take on the Echo Dot/Google Home Mini. At 3,990 rubles (around $61), it’s clearly […] → Read More

Calm and Room made a $4,000 branded ‘meditation booth’ –

Call it clever branded. Call it peak Silicon Valley. Either way, the Calm Booth by Room will run you $4,915. Perhaps it’s worth it for the peace of mind — and the dozen annual Calm subscriptions the companies throw in. I’m not going to tell you how to spend your hard earned venture capital. And […] → Read More

Eureka Robotics’ new robotic arm is designed for optical lenses and mirrors –

Last year, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore had a small viral sensation on its hands with the release of Ikea Bot. The robot did laps around its inept human counterparts by autonomously assembling an Ikea in under nine minutes. That same team is behind NTU spinoff, Eureka Robotics, which this morning debuted Archimedes, a six-axis robotic […] → Read More