Monday, January 18, 2016

Makeblock Robot Kits


Makeblock robot kits are gaining popularity among robot enthusiasts wanting to share their passion for building and programming robots to their children. These are highly-recommended toys that improve children’s intellectual and logical abilities, as well as creativity. The robot kits also promote quality bonding time with their parents while finishing the projects. Adults can also enjoy these impressive devices.
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The mBot is an all-in-one educational robot designed to help kids learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) during assembly. Kids can enjoy hands-on experience about programming, electronics, and robotics.




The kit contains 38 assembly parts, color-coded RJ25 ports for wiring, tools, an instruction manual and a follower map. The kit is very easy to assemble. you can even do it in 10 minutes!
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Easily program your mBot using the drag-and-drop software mBlock. It is based on Scratch 2.0 that lets children learn programming, control the robot and discover different functions from the robot. This robot kit comes with different basic pre-assembled options like obstacle-avoidance car, line-following vehicle and remote control car. It can also be used in some games.


The mBot offers infinite extensibility as it is compatible with other Makeblock and most of Lego parts. Its electronic parts were designed and developed based on the Arduino open source ecosystem. This is definitely not just a toy!


Here are some downloadable tools for your mBot:
  1. mBot User Manual: although already included in the kit, you can still download the manual anytime.


  1. mBlock: a graphical programming environment based on Scratch 2 which is an open source code that makes it easy to program robot kits.


  1. mBlock Kids maker rocks with robots: a 12-chapter guide for programming mBot; it has game scenes for learning graphic programming, electronics, robotics.


  1. Scratch 2.0 The Adventures of Mike: a 9-chapter guide for Scratch 2.0 with interactive stories, games and animation.


  1. mBot App: free app specifically designed for the mBot robot; lets you pair your mBot with a cellphone via bluetooth. This app is available in Apple App store and Google Play; compatible with iOS 7.1 or above and with iPhones 5 or above, iPads, iPod touch, Android 2.2 and higher.


  1. mBlockly: free app that lets you control your mBlock using iOS system; available to download at Apple store; requires iOS 7.1 or above. Compatible with iPads except iPad 1 and iPad 2.

The Starter Robot Kit is an excellent choice for those that are starting the robot assembly hobby. It has beginner-friendly step-by-step easy to follow instructions. Easily learn electronics, graphic programming (Scratch) and Arduino programming. This kit can be assembled as a robot tank or a three-wheeled robot car. It is available in 3 versions: Bluetooth version, IR version, and No Electronic version.


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The kit comes complete with assembly parts such as mechanical parts, sensors and electronic modules, tools and an instruction manual. There's no need to solder as it features easy wiring.

The Starter Robot Kit is also compatible with mBlock and works on Scratch 2.0. You can program your robot by simply dragging and dropping function blocks.


Get these Makeblock Robot Kits at MetroSix at discounted prices.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

iPad Pro


The iPad Pro is the newest tablet from Apple, released in November 2015. Compared with the iPad Air 2, it is thicker by only a few millimeters, at 6.9mm thin. It is larger with its 12.9-inch diagonal display and weighs 1.57 pounds. The new iPad Pro comes in silver, gold, or space gray finish. The Wi-Fi models are available with 32GB or 128GB storage capacity, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular models are available with 128GB storage capacity.
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Here is a list of its features:

Larger and Better Retina Display
The iPad Pro has a 12.9” screen with a 2732x2048 screen resolution which is 78% larger than the iPad Air 2. View remarkably lifelike colors and deeper blacks with the highest-resolution display of any iOS device.

Multi-Touch Subsystem and Apple Pencil

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The iPad Pro has a Multi-Touch feature that makes the screen sensitive to bolt tilt and pressure and with that, the Apple Pencil (sold separately) can be used to make pixel-precision contact.

A9X Chip
This latest iPad model is powered by the new A9X chip, a third generation chip with 64-bit architecture, having similar performance to that of desktop computers. It delivers up to 1.8x the CPU performance and 2x the graphics performance of the iPad Air 2.

iOS9
iOS9, the latest, most intuitive, advanced and secure mobile operating system, delivers improved features with Siri, Multitasking and Spotlight Search. It also has new features such as Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture. Read the iOS9 article to know more about this operating system.

Slim and Light Design with Strong Enclosure
The iPad Pro has a strong and durable unibody enclosure despite its slim and light design.

Four Speaker Audio
This new iPad has four innovative speakers that have been machined directly into the unibody enclosure. The speakers provide 61% more back volume compared to previous iPad audio designs and a wider frequency range.

New Smart Keyboard

The new iPad Pro Smart Keyboard (sold separately) has a surface that is formed from a single sheet of custom-woven conductive fabric, laser ablated to precisely form each key. That conductive fabric is capable of allowing two-way flow of power and data that makes this keyboard free from batteries, cords, or on/off switches. It is fully portable and connects to the iPad Pro with a Smart Connector.
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Touch ID
The new iPad Pro also uses Touch ID technology wherein your fingerprint serves as your authentication. This advanced level of authentication makes your purchases via Apple Pay more secure.

iSight and FaceTime Cameras
Take selfies with the 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera and videos with its 720p HD video recording. The iPad Pro also has an 8MP iSight camera with Autofocus, Panorama capability of up to 43MP and 1080p HD video recording.

Wi-Fi + LTE
The iPad Pro connects to fast Wi-Fi and cellular networks and supports a wide range of LTE bands. Browse the web, download movies and share documents everywhere.

Long Battery Life
Enjoy using the iPad Pro up to 10 hours surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching videos or listening to music.

Shop for the new iPad Pro at MetroSix.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

iPad mini 4




The new iPad mini 4 is a welcome improvement on its previous model, the iPad mini 3. Like its predecessor, the iPad mini 4 is available in three colors: Gold, Silver and Space Gray, and with storage capacities of either 16GB, 64GB or 128GB.

Here are its features:
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Thinner and Lighter
The iPad mini 4 is only 6.1mm thin, which is 18% thinner than the iPad mini 3. The Wi-Fi only models weigh 0.65 pounds and the Wi-Fi + Cellular models weigh 0.67 pounds.


7.9-inch Retina Display
This new iPad features an anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by 56% compared with previous iPad displays. It offers 2048 ×1536 resolution and 3.1 million pixels, producing clear pictures.


A8 Chip and M8 motion coprocessor
The A8 chip with second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture powers the new iPad mini 4. It offers 30% faster CPU and 60% faster Graphics. With this advanced chip, you can work faster and play harder. The new M8 motion coprocessor also improves power efficiency.


10-Hour Battery Life
Work, play and do everything in between for 10 hours with the iPad mini 4.


iSight and FaceTime HD Cameras
The iPad mini 4 has an 8MP iSight with 3264×2448 native resolution and a 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera that offers 720P HD video. Shoot, edit, publish and share photos or even make a timelapse video with ease.


Dual Microphones
Its dual microphones offer noise-reduction and the microphones switch too when you switch the cameras.


Touch ID
Touch ID uses the fingerprint technology for authentication which makes purchases via Apple Pay more secured. It can also instantly sign you in to secure apps with just a touch of a finger.


Fast Wireless Connectivity
The iPad mini Wi-FI only models offer Wi-Fi with advanced 802.11ac Wi‑Fi technology and MIMO support that provide connectivity with speeds up to 866 Mbps. The Wi‑Fi + Cellular models offer speeds up to 150 Mbps via LTE and support 20 LTE bands. It offers up to 50% faster cellular connectivity. Wherever you go, as long as you have Wi-FI or Cellular data, you can stay connected or even share your data connection via a personal hotspot.


If you're in the USA, you have the option to purchase the device with an Apple SIM where you can get a cellular data plan for your iPad.


iOS 9
The iPad mini 4 runs the latest mobile operating system, the iOS 9. It is the most intuitive, advanced and secure OS. It offers new features such as Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture. For more details on this iOS, read the iOS 9 post.


Built-in Apps
iPad mini 4 comes with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and GarageBand. You can easily install apps from the App Store.


Environment Friendly
This is made from highly recyclable materials like aluminum which has a mercury-free LCD display, arsenic-free display glass and recyclable aluminum enclosure. It is also free of BFR, PVC and Beryllium.


Shop for the new iPad mini 4 and previous models of iPads at MetroSix.

Monday, September 7, 2015

iOS 9


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The iOS 9, as announced at Worldwide Developers Conference 2015 on June 8, 2015, is the ninth release of Apple's iOS mobile operating system.

iOS 9 has many enhancements to stock applications, integrated intelligence, improved stability, speed and battery life.

Here is a rundown of its new features:

News
iOS 9 has a news app on the home screen from reliable sources like CNN, Wired and ESPN. It boasts beautiful editorial layouts and typography. This news app will initially be available in the US, UK, Australia and Turkey and will replace the Newsstand app.

Notes
With Notes on the new iOS 9, you will be able to easily create checklists of to-dos. You can also add more detail to your notes by adding a photo, map or URL. It lets you draw a sketch with your finger and can be synched with your other devices using iCloud. It also has advanced formatting options such as checked, bulleted, dashed and numbered lists.

Maps
The new Maps app lets you view lines and stations in selected cities around the world on the map so you can use it as a guide when using public transportation. It offers a transit view where you can see routes and directions. You can easily plan a trip on your Mac and use your iPhone or Apple Watch to follow the route or simply ask Siri for transit directions. This app also provides search results of nearby places such as restaurants, grocery stores and more.

Wallet
You can quickly pay using Apple Pay via the Wallet app by simply double-clicking the home button while your iPhone is locked. This app replaces Passbook. This app also supports store loyalty or rewards cards, gift cards and debit cards.

CarPlay
Connect your iPhone wirelessly with CarPlay, listen to music, play audio messages, and control your car's features with this app.

QuickType

This feature lets you use a new Shortcut Bar, improved editing tools, more keyboard shortcuts and Multi-Touch gestures. You can easily use a wireless keyboard with your iPad.

Multitasking
Slide Over lets you open a second app without closing the first app by just swiping the edge of the display. The first app then takes 66% of the screen while the second app takes 33% of the screen. The Split View feature lets you run and view 2 apps at the same time, both occupying 50% of the screen. Picture in Picture allows you to simultaneously watch a video or use FaceTime while opening another app.

Siri and Search
iOS 9 now has a smarter Siri. It offers a wider range of topics for a wide range of answers and provides more accurate answers faster. Siri also has an improved suggestion feature like show you photos of certain events or categories you specify. It can also remind you of your scheduled tasks. The iOS 9 also has an improved Search feature integrated with Siri. Siri is also capable of proactively launching apps based on when you commonly use them -- you no longer need to ask.

Longer Battery Life
Get 1 hour additional battery life on your iPad when you use iOS 9 as it can efficiently control how your iPhone or iPad utilizes power. It also has a Low Power Mode.

Smaller and More Convenient Updates
iOS 9 only takes 1.3GB as compared to the iOS 8 that takes up 4.58GB.

Improved Security
This new iOS offers six-digit passcodes and two-factor authentication, making it more secure.

iOS 9 is compatible with the following devices:


It is said to be released in fall this year but no specific dates have been announced. Check MetroSix for updates on soon to be available devices with iOS 9.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Are you ready for Android 6.0 Marshmallow?

Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s (initially announced as Android “M” or Android 6.0) final preview was released by Google on August 17, 2015.

Watch this video of the Android Marshmallow Statue as revealed in Googleplex, Mountain View, CA, USA:
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Marshmallow has an updated permissions user interface and enhanced permissions behavior. Applications are no longer automatically granted all of their specified permissions during installation and users are now prompted to grant or deny permissions individually (such as access to the mic or camera) to an application when needed. Permission grants for applications are remembered by the program.

This new mobile operating system also features Doze, a new power management app that lowers the level of background application activity when the device determines that it is not being actively used and as a result, this doubles the device’s battery life.

Google can now match its OS competition in terms of security with Marshmallow’s fingerprint recognition feature. Users can use their fingerprints for unlocking their device and make Play Store and Android Pay purchases.

Since most newly-released devices support USB Type-C, Google made it a point to have this OS able to support it, including the ability to have devices charge another device over USB.

Watch out for upcoming mobile phones and tablets with Android 6.0 Marshmallow at MetroSix.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Note5



Samsung recently introduced the much awaited Samsung Galaxy Note5 with a slimmer design and better features than the previous model.

The Galaxy Note5 boasts a  new sleek design. It is slimmer than the Galaxy Note4 -- only 7.6mm thin. It has a metallic aluminum frame with sloped edges and a slimmer bezel. It ergonomically fits in one hand with its curved Gorilla Glass 4 back. It is available in four (4) colors: gold platinum, black sapphire, white pearl and silver titanium.

This phablet offers easy navigation with its all-powerful S-Pen. Features such as Air Command, Scroll Capture and Smart Select lets you access your favorites and apps instantly.
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The Samsung Galaxy Note5 is powered by a 64-bit Octa-core processor with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop.  Available models with storage capacities are 32GB and 64GB. This device lets you enjoy viewing images and videos with its 5.7" Quad HD Super AMOLED display. Take vivid and crisp photos with its 16MP F1.9 Real-time HDR rear camera with Smart OIS and 5MP F1.9 front camera with Real-time HDR. Creating a video collage is easy with its 4K (UHD) advanced voice recording capability.

Fully-charge your Galaxy Note5 in 120 minutes with its fast charging travel adaptor and type with ease with a detachable QWERTY keyboard, an added accessory, to go with this new gadget.

Watch the Samsung Galaxy Note5 Introduction Video:

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The Samsung Galaxy Note5 will be available at MetroSix on 21 August 2015.