Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Brian Heater

TechCrunch

New York, United States

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Recent:
  • TechCrunch
Past:
  • PCMag
  • Engadget

Recent articles by Brian:

Apple Watch Series 6 review –

When it comes to smartwatches, it’s Apple against the world. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of other products to choose from — it’s more that the company has just utterly dominated the space to such a point that any other device is relegated to the realm of “Apple Watch alternatives.” The company has been […] → Read More

You can now return Apple’s Solo Loop for a new size, without sending back the Watch –

Call it Apple Bandgate, if you must. It’s the latest online dustup, following Apple’s recent Watch Series 6 release. The announcement of the Solo Loop was more or less glossed over during last week’s big event, because, well, watch bands don’t often take center stage at hardware events. As is often the case, retail availability […] → Read More

Fitbit Sense review –

The Versa helped Fitbit reverse its fortunes after a long, gradual slide. The company was slow to embrace the smartwatch, and stumbled somewhat out of the gate with the Ionic. But the Versa found a perfect sweet spot that build atop generations of wearable health knowhow, key acquisitions like Pebble and a pricing sweet spot […] → Read More

Amazon’s new Echo Show 10 follows you as you move –

So this is crazy. Amazon’s new Echo Show 10 swivels on its base to follow you around the room. The on-board camera is capable of recognizing a person and spins around to follow them — essentially taking the person tracking feature found on Facebook’s Portal and Google’s Nest Hub Max to the next, creepier lever. […] → Read More

This is the newer, rounder $100 Amazon Echo –

Amazon kicked things off at today’s big (virtual) hardware event in Seattle by introducing a very new and very round take on the Echo. The biggest change appears to be aesthetic, turning the smart speaker into a big, fabric covered call. That’s a nice improvement from a sound perspective, doing a better job of offering […] → Read More

Roli’s light-up learning keyboard goes up for pre-order at $299 –

Roli is cool startup that makes fascinating music products. The Seaboard led the way, with a clever take on the keyboard that allowed players to bend notes like guitar strings. Blocks were even more fascinating — the modular light pads offered innovative control for electronic music makers. As a music fan with no discernible skills […] → Read More

The eighth-generation iPad is a fine choice for casual users –

It happens to the best of us. Some newer, flashier model comes along and we’re no longer the latest and greatest new thing. The iPad’s had a plenty good run, of course. Ten years ago, the device redefined what a tablet is and has maintained a dominant spot atop the category, as countless competitors have […] → Read More

The Galaxy S20 FE is Samsung’s new $699 budget flagship –

One thing Samsung knows for certain: it’s interested in budget flagships. The category makes sense these days, as users are increasingly unwilling to spend north of $1,000 on new phones. That’s doubly the case during the COVID-19 pandemic, with people leaving the house far less often and simply not possessing the same sort of disposable […] → Read More

MWC plans to go forward in person in 2021, but pushes show back to late-June –

Over the past several months, it’s become painfully clear that COVID-19 isn’t a problem that we’re going to leave behind in 2021. After hemming and hawing a bit, the CTA ultimately pulled the trigger for an online-only version of the show in January. Other tech shows are similarly — at best — still up in […] → Read More

HMD is bringing a 5G smartphone and wireless earbuds to the US –

Over the past four years or so, HMD has carved out a nice little niche for itself with its Nokia-branded handsets. The instant name recognition of a legacy brand was a nice little perch on which to gain some footing in an overcrowded market. Pricing has long been a key to its appeal, as well, […] → Read More

Bose introduces a new pair of sleep-focused earbuds –

Sleep is tough to come by even when there isn’t a pandemic raging. Even when it doesn’t feel like the world is coming apart at the seams every damn day. Bose’s original Sleepbuds pre-date the current desperate moment of “coronasomnia” (not my turn of phrase, mind) by a couple of years, but the timing of […] → Read More

Royole returns with another foldable –

I first spent time with the Royole Flexpai at a TechCrunch event in China back in 2018. The devices was exciting. It was the first commercially released foldable, after all, before Samsung and Huawei offered their respective takes on the form factor. But ultimately it felt like, at best, a proof of concept. It was […] → Read More

Despite slowdowns, pandemic accelerates shifts in hardware manufacturing –

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hit every factory in China at once. The initial impact to China’s electronics industry arrived around the time the nation was celebrating its new year. Two weeks after announcing 59 known cases of a new form of coronavirus, the national government put Wuhan — a city of 11 million — under […] → Read More

Microsoft set to acquire Bethesda parent ZeniMax for $7.5B –

Microsoft this morning announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media Inc. for $7.5 billion. The gaming holding company is the parent to a number of high profile publishers, including Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios. Once approved, the deal would bring some of the industry’s […] → Read More

Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape –

“Like most of the best things in my life,” Conan O’Brien explains, with a wry smile, “the success of the podcast was a complete surprise.” The answer is a typically self-effacing one from the comedian. Since launching “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” nearly two years ago, the show has quickly risen up the podcasting charts […] → Read More

Steven Yang and Sonny Vu discuss COVID-19’s impact on tech manufacturing –

Like most of the rest of the world, COVID-19 hit the manufacturing sector by surprise. That China — which continues to comprise the vast majority of electronics manufacturing — was the first global epicenter of the virus certainly didn’t help the industry sufficiently brace for the impact of a pandemic on a scale the world […] → Read More

Crover’s robot swims in grain silos to monitor environmental conditions –

Crover’s robotic platform isn’t the sexiest or most exciting — particularly for a startup that began life with space travel in its sights. But the real future of robotics and automation lies in the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks employers have difficult finding human workers to fill. Monitoring grain silos, at very least, qualifies for […] → Read More

A closer look at the new Apple Watches –

I’m very much still working on a full review of the new Apple Watches — specifically the Series 6. As of this posting, I’ve had the wearables in my possession (and on my person) for a little under 24 hours. It’s a special circumstance attributable to the virtual nature of this week’s event. Simply put, […] → Read More

Connected fitness startup Tonal raises another $110 million –

Connected home fitness startup Tonal announced today that it has raised an additional $110 million. The latest round of funding includes existing investor L Catterton and new names, including Delta-v Capital, Amazon’s Alexa Fund and Mousse Partners, along with athletes Stephen Curry, Paul George, Michelle Wie and Bobby Wagner. The round brings the Bay Area-based […] → Read More

Sony’s PlayStation 5 arrives November 12, priced at $500 –

If in-person events were still a thing in 2020, there’s a pretty good chance we’d know a lot more about the PlayStation 5 by now. With tech companies setting their own event schedules, however, Sony and Microsoft have offered themselves a more leisurely schedule with which to portion out news. Microsoft struck first, with aggressive […] → Read More