Google Glass will have new frame options and you’ll likely recognize the brands behind them: Oakley and Ray-Ban. Both are part of Luxottica, which is Google’s newest partner to bring stylish pairs of Glass to mainstream consumers in retail outlets. Read more »
After months of appearing in experimental and beta versions of Chrome, Google is rolling out Google Now notifications in its mainstream edition of the Chrome browser for Windows and OS X. If you’re signed in with your Google account when using Chrome, you’ll begin to see contextual notifications from the Google Now service, such as when to leave for appointments due to real-time traffic data or reminders for favorite television programs. The Google Now service already supports mobile devices and Chromebooks and will also be the basis of smartwatches built using the Android Wear software platform.
Following some early benchmarks that didn’t impress, Samsung says its Exynos Octo chip should provide a big performance boost to the new Chromebook 2 laptops, including a doubling of multimedia performance; good for those who stream or watch local videos on a Chromebook. Read more »
Got an iPhone and a Chromecast? You can hold a photo viewing party with the new Photowall app from Google. The software lets multiple people share and doodle on big screen photos, creating a YouTube video of the entire session. Read more »
The anticipated first quarter closing date for Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s phone business is getting a small reboot: Nokia says the deal will close in April. What’s the holdup? Perhaps the biggest market for smartphones: China. Read more »
Some people who pre-ordered the Asus Chromebox saw their delivery date come and go while others were able to rustle up a unit in retail stores. Is there an issue of supply or demand? Tune in to our weekly podcast to hear our thoughts. Read more »
The wait for Google to enter the smartwatch race is over. This week, the company debuted Android Wear, a software platform built around Google Now’s card-based interface. LG and Motorola already have products in the pipeline. Read more »
Popular read-later service Pocket already has way to save information from an Android Wear smartwatch to your Pocket reading list. It’s just a prototype for now, but illustrates how glanceable information can be easily managed and sent to the large screen. Read more »
The old Galaxy Tab is due for a refresh and it could be a 7-inch model that recently surfaced on a benchmark site. Also tested were two high-resolution tablets in 8.4- and 10.5-inch sizes that will likely have an S-Pen. Read more »
Although Apple dismissed the idea of a tablet stylus, that doesn’t mean the company isn’t thinking about how one could enhance the iPad experience. A new patent publishing details what Apple may have in mind. Read more »
Is it possible to build a successful app build around data capture when the developer doesn’t own or control the data? Absolutely, and RunKeeper is a perfect example: The data is key for patterns at scale to motivate users beyond their limits. Read more »
Layar, one of the first companies to bring augmented reality to mobile browsers, is now on Google Glass. The beta app scans print content, geo-layer, QR codes and even movie posters to provide information, videos and websites. Read more »
Samsung announced costs for the Gear 2 and Gear Fit in Taiwan and it appears the company is trying to hold prices up at the same level as the original Galaxy Gear. That may work for a little while; Android Wear watches are coming. Read more »
Google added a new function to Google Search for Android on Wednesday that lets users speak to their phone and open the camera application in a specific mode. By saying “OK Google, take a photo,” the camera app will open for image capture while an “OK Google, record a video,” command sets the camera up for movie taking. The additional function is another example of Google using voice input on mobile devices, something that will come in very handy for the company’s Android Wear platform that will power smartwatches.
The Moto 360 with Android Wear may look like a mockup, but the product is real and does work based on a video interview with Motorola’s Jim Wicks. Here’s what we learned from from Wicks about the watch. Read more »
Years of data, user feedback and complicated simulations can help design both a million-dollar car and an auto that costs ten grand. McLaren Applied Technologies is doing just that, saving vast amounts of time to make smarter, higher performing products. Read more »
Even if you’re not a developer you might want to download and install the developer preview of Android Wear. Why? Because you can run an emulator to simulate an Android Wear smartwatch to see how it works. Read more »
Following in the footsteps of three other carriers, AT&T is ready to get Android 4.4.2 on the Moto X. A software change log is now live showing a few fixes and one new printing feature in the Android update. Read more »
The case of the pre-ordered Asus Chromebox takes a plot twist as nobody seems to be getting their device. We discuss the issue on this week’s podcast, and talk about how Google Now is unifying Android devices with Chrome while the Chromecast goes international. Read more »
All of a sudden the race to build an Android smartwatch is on thanks to Google’s Android Wear platform. LG appears to have a head-start as the G Watch will be the first using Android Wear. The Moto 360 won’t be far behind though. Read more »
I suggested a watch built around Google Now and other Google services last year. Here it comes. Or rather, here they come: On Tuesday, Google released Android Wear for its hardware partners to power smart watches. Read more »
Last year when HTC announced the One, it was two months before you could buy it. A new year could mean a new strategy even if the new phone has an old name: Carphone Warehouse says it will sell the HTC One next week. Read more »
The old iPad 2 has been replaced by a newer old iPad. Confused? Don’t be: For the same $399 as the iPad 2 you now can get a fourth-generation iPad with Retina Display. Read more »
Amid various reports of slow iPhone 5c sales, Apple released a lower-priced 8 GB version of the handset. Will it boost sales by attracting more customers who might otherwise find cheaper Android or Windows Phones? Read more »
The wearables race is on and Samsung is trying to pull ahead before Google releases tools for Android developers. Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo run on Tizen and now have an SDK of their own, along with 100 app partners. Read more »
Google is looking beyond Android to boost in-app gaming engagement: The company announced multi-player support for games on Android and iOS at the Game Developers Conference on Monday. Will developers take advantage of the new service? Read more »
Apple is expected to launch an 8GB model of its iPhone 5c handset as early as tomorrow, based on a Monday report from Engadget. The site has an alleged document from O2 Germany suggesting the entry-level edition will cost 60 Euros less than the current 16 GB iPhone 5c. Engadget also has an image depicting an 8GB version of the phone. If true, the move could support expectations that its iPhone 5c hasn’t been selling well and the company is looking to boost sales by making the phone more accessible to those with tighter budgets.
Microsoft’s Surface 2 get a bit more useful thanks to an integrated LTE radio for AT&T’s network. Expect to pay a $130 premium over the Wi-Fi edition when the device goes on sale tomorrow. Read more »
We knew a Samsung-made Windows Phone was coming and a new leaked image backs up the claim. As expected, the phone looks like a re-purposed Galaxy S4 for use on Verizon’s LTE network in the U.S. Read more »
Information about Apple’s new Healthbook app for iOS sheds light on what types of quantified self data you may be able to track on an iPhone. Some of that information, however, will have to come from external sensors and devices; perhaps an Apple smart watch? Read more »
A Google Android smartwatch or health-tracker might not need an Android device or traditional desktop to sync data: Google added Bluetooth 4.0 LE to Chrome OS a few weeks ago, opening up the possibility of web-based apps that talk with your wearable. Read more »
The HTC One made another appearance before its official launch; this time with a complete spec sheet and sales guide. Jawbone added Android support for its UP24 wearable while Google is planning to release an Android SDK for wearable devices. Read more »
If I told you a Nokia phone garnered one million pre-orders in just four days would you expect it to be a Lumia? You’d be wrong if so: It’s the Nokia X that runs on Android. Read more »
After debuting on Nokia Lumias with PureView cameras, the company is bringing its image refocus feature to all Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8. The software takes an image from the camera and produces an interactive picture where you can choose and change the focal point. This demonstration pic illustrates the refocusing function after the image was taken. The visual effect is similar to the standalone Lytro plenoptic camera that debuted in 2012.
Samsung announced some innovative accessories for its Galaxy Core Advance that can help the visually impaired. An ultrasonic case can detect objects two meters away while NFC tags associate with recorded notes and an stand helps read text aloud automatically. Read more »
Intel had high hopes for the Asus Transformer Duet laptop because its chip powered both Windows and Android on the hybrid device. Alas, the software titans aren’t too keen on it and the laptop won’t see the light of day. Read more »
Straight Talk’s service $45 a month plan works on more phones: The company has nano SIMs for the Moto X and Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c. Data is slowed after 2.5 GB but if you can live with that, it’s a solid deal. Read more »
Strava’s running and cycling apps are no more. Sorta. The company merged the two together for iOS and Android, bringing new features at the same time in a huge app update. Read more »
Bring your iOS device or laptop on an upcoming United Airlines flight and you may have free access to 150 movies and 200 television programs over Wi-Fi. The airline launches the new entertainment option next month. Read more »
After a long wait, I won’t have to use separate apps to control my Nest thermostat and my smart home; neither will you if you have an Insteon system as the heart of your house. Insteon announced compatibility with the Nest on Thursday saying that if you have an Insteon hub, you can add a Nest to the list of remote-controlled devices. You’ll also need the Insteon app for iOS or Android of course, but once you have it, you can control your Nest along with your lights, doors and other smart objects in a single app.