An app update hit the Play Store yesterday that listed out Android TV compatibility, so it wasn’t much of a secret that Android TV was going to be announced at Google I/O. During the keynote today they went over the key aspects of what Android TV was all about. First off, you won’t have to […]
Android TV was a big thing today. The UI looks beautiful, the multiple control methods are fantastic and gaming looks outstanding. What about the Google Chromecast? Google isn’t dropping it off the face of the planet, not just yet anyways. Later in the event Google talked about what is coming to the Chromecast. They […]
Wikipedia already has an app, but get ready to meet its replacement. Available on Android starting today, the app’s not just an aesthetic refresh; it adds the ability to edit entries directly from your mobile device. For those of us who use Wikipedia solely for browsing, that feature won’t matter, but for active community members it’s an important improvement.
Unlike the previous version, the new app is built on native Android, which should make for a more fluid experience navigating through pages. The interface is still streamlined and simple, with a menu bar which you can swipe up from the left. From there, you can log in, view your history, manage your saved pages or be taken to a random article. The random article feature is one of the best aspects of Wikipedia on the desktop — how else would I have learned about the WEC 11 martial arts event? — so users will definitely appreciate the Wikimedia Foundation listening to their feedback. Alas, the new Wikipedia app still doesn’t allow for tabbed browsing, but at least the aforementioned history feature lets you keep track of your activity.
If you currently have the Android Wikipedia app, an update will get you the new and improved version. Users on iOS, meanwhile, will have to wait till July to get the additional functionality.
Source: Google Play
Even Google is getting in on the virtual reality game. At the end of the search giant’s I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai announced that everyone in attendance would get a nondescript cardboard package but was coy about its contents. Turns out, it’s the firm’s attempt at a do-it-yourself VR headset. You can use household materials to build one, and a rubber-band to hold your smartphone in place on the front of the device. Assembly instructions, plans and links for where to source the needed parts (like lenses) — as well as an SDK — are available on the project’s website. Have a few pizza boxes laying around? So long as they’re from an extra-large pie, Google says they’ll work, too. Mountain View hopes that by making the tech inexpensive (unlike offerings from, say, Oculus), developers will be able to make VR apps that hit a wider audience. For now, the list of fully supported phones includes the Google Nexus 4 and 5, the Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 and, oddly enough, the original Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Cardboard pairs with your handset via NFC, and there’s already a handful of demos for the app. How the project works with Google Earth, YouTube and Photo Sphere seems pretty self explanatory (the standard experiences for those, but on your face), but Exhibit, Street Vue and Windy Day are a little more intriguing. Exhibit allows you to gawk at cultural artifacts form every angle, according to its description, while Street Vue consists of a drive through Paris and Windy Day is an interactive animated short.
Sure, this seems like little more than a novelty compared to the likes of the Oculus Rift, but even with that influx of cash from Facebook, Oculus still needs to charge for each headset. With Cardboard, Google has probably undercut everyone in the field on one of the most important aspects: price.
Hot on the heels of all the Google I/O announcements today, the good people at Plex have let us know that a new version of is on the way for the newly launched Android TV. Plex for Android TV isn’t a rehash of the Google TV app, but a whole new creature built for the new system. Coupled with Android TV’s lovely new UI and features like voice control Plex says users will have access to all-new ways to enjoy their media. We have to admit we’re seriously excited to get our hands on yet another way to get Plex into our lives. None of this is available just yet of course, so while we wait have a peek at some screen of what the new system will look like.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Source: Plex Blog
Here at Google’s yearly developer conference we just learned a whole lot more about Android Wear, the company’s OS tailored to wearables. With that info came word that Samsung’s rolling out the newest member of the Gear family, the Live, and I just laid my hands and eyes on one firsthand. Problem is, the smartwatch was only running Android Wear in “retail mode.” That means that I couldn’t actually explore the ins and outs of Android Wear, but I did get to strap the newest member of Samsung’s wrist-worn family on my arm.
The Live fits right into the design aesthetic we’ve seen on the Gear, Gear 2 and the Gear Neo, and shares their solid build quality. It’s got a seamless silver housing tightly fitted around its screen and a rubber wristband that clasps together with a pair of prongs studding the back of a brushed silver buckle. Unlike its brethren, however, the Live has a slimmer profile and has no buttons or screws adorning its housing — an omission meant to keep with Android Wear’s professed love for voice controls, no doubt.
Unfortunately, you still need to navigate through swipes, and it turns out that the shiny screen and the silver surrounding it were both great at acquiring fingerprints. So, while the watch is handsome to behold at first, it was soon decorated with evidence of my use. The watch is relatively unobtrusive to wear, light on the wrist, and comfy for the five minutes or so that I wore it. Swiping through the demo screens went off without a hitch, and the Live even picked up my “OK, Google” voice command in a noisy environment from a couple feet away without issue.
Attendees of the conference will be taking one of these home with them tomorrow, at which point we’ll be better able to put the Gear Live through its paces. Until then, our hands-on video will have to suffice.
Samsung has such a fondness for tablets it’s sometimes hard to keep up. The recently announced Galaxy Tab S, 8.4- and 10.5-inch Android slates stand out from the crowd as Samsung’s newest flagship line, and the company said today they’ll arrive in the UK on July 4th (aka next Friday). Both models, which marry high-end internals with WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) displays, will be available online and through several retails stores (including Samsung’s own) from £319 for the WiFi-only, 8.4-inch version and £399 for the full-sized slate.
Did you nod off a few times during the last half hour of Google’s opening keynote of I/O 2014 earlier today? No worries! The full video has been archived for your post-event viewing pleasure on YouTube. Hop down past the break to take a good long look at the nearly three-hour event spanning Android “L,” Auto, Wear and more.
Source: Google I/O
As expected, Google today showed off some of the upcoming features that will make their way into the next build of Android. Known, for now as the “L” release, we should look for it later this fall.
It’s going to be a long summer of anticipation as the set list is quite deep. As Google puts it, this is the biggest release of Android to date. And, based on what we saw today at Google I/O, we can’t argue the point.
There is no official name or release version just yet, but there’s tons of new features coming. Due “in the fall”, the “L” version of Android brings about a much more intuitive layout and interaction. Using real-time light sourcing, developers can add depth to their menus instead of making things two dimension. Slight shadows and rich animations ensure users are able to pick it up more quickly and play with device. The Roboto font has been given a punch-up and everything just feels consistent across the platform.
There are more than 5,000 new API’s for developers to play with, many of which will work beyond simple mobile form factors. This is the stuff that will power your phones and tablets as well as watches, wearables, and even your car.
The lock screen experience will be upgraded to include features from the notification shade and will get a brand new look. Android will serve up the most relevant stuff to users and allow them to act, dismiss, reply, etc. all from the lock. Speaking of which, you’ll also be able to bypass any lock security protocols when using certified Bluetooth devices or when in trusted environments. In other words, you can skip your PIN if you happen to be wearing an Android Wear device that’s trusted by your phone.
Improvements are also being made to battery life, garbage collection, graphics, and overall performance. The “L” release will be fully 64-bit compatible and will include enhanced security. Toss in some platform integration of Samsung Knox, separate enterprise environments, and ART runtime support and you’ve got the making of one hell of a release.
If you’re like us then you’d probably prefer to see this in action. To do so, simply watch the YouTube video embedded below! Skip to the 39-minute mark to see the “L” developer preview stuff.
Google announced LG G Watch’s availability at Google I/O today and now we have official specs of said smartwatch.
It turns out LG G Watch is rather powerful considering we’re talking about a smartwatch here. It is powered by a Snapdragon 400 chip and has 512MB of RAM, which we could categorize as a low to mid-range Android smartphone. It has 4GB of internal storage is powered by a 400mAh battery. On the front you’ll find a 1.65″ 280×280 LCD IPS panel. As far as sensors go, the watch carries 3 of them, Gyro, Accelerometer and a Compass and supports Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The watch itself weights 63 grams is available in White Gold and Black Titan colors. LG G Watch is water and dust resistant and is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above.
The watch will be available from Google Play later today.
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