We’ve got very few details at the moment, but Sundar Pichai is preparing to lead the Android charge into the wearable space. He announced that the company will launch a new wearable SDK for Android at SXSW Interactive. The tools will be available to download in roughly two weeks time and will expand the efforts to put Google’s mobile OS on smart watches or fitness bands. Pichai definitely didn’t limit Android to those two particular implementations, however. He focused heavily on expanding developers’ ability to harvest data from sensors of any kind… so long as they’re mounted on your body. He even suggested a future where your jacket is loaded with sensors and powered by Android.
He also promised when the SDK is available that the company will offer its “vision” of how it sees the market developing. Pichai said it will be quite sometime before Google announces any specific products, however. There will be an extensive period of collecting developer feedback from the SDK before moving forward with other plans
Obviously Google is trying to get Android into as many devices as possible. Moving into the wearable space only makes sense. It has made various efforts on TV front and at CES announced a partnership with a number of car manufacturers to get the little green bot inside your dashboard as well. Hopefully we’ll get see the rumored fruits of LG and Google’s efforts before the end of the year, and learn whether or not Mountain View got its money’s worth when it purchased WIMM Labs.
[LEAK] Flip cover case for the All New HTC One leaks out, as well as suggestion of a Google Play Edition
We’ve all seen the Samsung S-View cover and everybody’s attempts to recreate this flip cover case in one way or another. While this kind of case is tried and true, we’ve been waiting to see if someone can do something original and thankfully, it looks like HTC has. Evleaks leaked earlier today the above image which appears to show a flip cover case for the All New HTC One, but instead of having a window to show notifications, this particular flip cover case looks like it uses holes in the cover to give a dot matrix-like read out. It’s a very intriguing idea and there’s a lot that can be shown on such a read out; it’s obviously not as precise as having a window to your screen, but it can be very useful for just getting general notifications or the time.
A few hours later, evleaks also posted this picture, which appears to show the previously mentioned flip cover case but in different colours. The original tweet that these cases were leaked in also had the following comments: “look for M8 to arrive as a Google Play Edition“. That’s not so much a surprise as the HTC One was also made into a Google Play Edition, but for those of you who like your devices with stock Android, you’ll be happy to know you can go that route with the All New HTC One.
What are your thoughts on this type of flip cover case? And would you get the All New HTC One Google Play Edition? (that’s quite a mouthful) Let us know what you think in the comments below.
After launching Street View Trekker last year, Google is now starting to show us what we can expect from its loaner program. What you see above are some pictures from the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, which were taken by Google’s first Trekker partner, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and added to Street View as part of the company’s imagery project. The search giant says there’s a lot more where that came from too, including beaches, historical sites, hiking trails and parks. And with the summer right around the corner, this is a perfect opportunity to virtually explore The Islands of Aloha before booking your next vacation.
It’s not always easy to read someone’s emotions — and that’s a problem for retailers, which can’t easily tell if their products intrigue you or simply confuse you. They may not have to guess for much longer, though, as Emotient has launched the private beta for a Google Glass app that identifies feelings using the device’s camera. The software scans faces for emotional cues that reflect an overall sentiment, even if it’s subtle; the app can tell if you’re mildly pleased, for instance. Privacy shouldn’t be an issue, since the app is only saving anonymous data, not images.
Emotient is testing its app with just a handful of companies right now, but the finished app should help stores please customers in the future. There’s also a chance you’ll see the underlying technology in something you can try for yourself. The company tells The Next Web that its emotion detection will reach Intel’s RealSense platform, so don’t be surprised if your next webcam can tell that you’re in a good mood.
Via: The Next Web
Google Play Games just became much, much more useful for avid Android gamers. A newly released update to Google’s entertainment hub lets you see all your invitations; it’s now much clearer that someone wants to play. The upgrade also shows you a not-quite-live view of who’s playing, and a new Find Games area (shown here) suggests titles you can try. Play Games still won’t compare with advanced gaming frameworks like PlayStation Network or Xbox Live, but it’s likely worth a download if your smartphone regularly doubles as a handheld console.
Via: Android Central
Source: Google Play
Today, Google updated its Gmail app on Apple’s mobile platform, bringing with it some features bound to be very useful for users. The iOS application is finally capable of fetching mail in the background, so new stuff can hit your inbox at any given time — not just when you open the app. For the background app refresh to work as intended, however, the company points out that notifications will need to be turned on. Google’s also made its sign-in process more streamlined, meaning that once you log into the Gmail app, you’ll automatically be signed in to other iOS apps from the search giant. Because, c’mon, Google wants you to be doing Google things all the time.
Source: App Store
The Roku Streaming Stick, a concept announced back in 2012, is finally seeing the light of day. Wanting to make internet and content streaming even easier to use than ever before, Roku has unveiled its HMDI stick. As big as standard USB flash drive, it does everything a Roku box can. The Roku Streaming Stick is expected to hit shelves in April and will cost around $50. Indeed, this device provides access to more than 1,200 channels and services and now finds itself treading on the ground of Google’s Chromecast.
On one hand the Chromecast benefits by having a lower ($35) price tag and an SDK for development. On the other, Roku’s stick provides immediate access to a much wider library of media and comes with a handy remote. In the short term we expect the Roku to do quite well against the Chromecast; down the road, Google’s device could ultimately draw even.
If you’re a Nexus 5 owner then you’ll know about the bug which causes the phone’s CPU to be maxed out when using the camera, resulting in high battery drain. According to a post by Google on the company’s issues tracker, it seems Google have isolated the issue and will be issuing a fix shortly.
The bug is caused by something called “mm-qcamera-daemon” which causes high battery consumption, and since this process is related to handling camera data, it means that third-party apps can trigger it, so it’s not constrained to an operating system calling function.
According to Google, one particular offender is Skype, which seems to be accessing the camera regularly from the background and by doing so is triggering that bug. We’ll ignore why Skype is trying to access the camera without you knowing…
As mentioned, Google has found a fix for the bug and is bundling it in the next maintenance version of Android, most likely 4.4.3. Until then, the only fix is to reboot the device, and Google are recommending that removing Skype may relieve the issue.
The more significant point is that this bug may not be constrained to Nexus devices, since third-party apps are able to call the camera, so KitKat devices running a Qualcomm chip for camera processing, like the Galaxy Note 3, are also most likely affected. Unfortunately a fix will have to go via the manufacturer for these devices, so may delay the patch being delivered to your non-Nexus device.
If you think you’ve been hit by this bug, drop us a comment below.
[Via Google Issue Tracker]
Want to stream any web video from your smartphone to your Chromecast? Grab the beta release of Chrome 34 for Android. The browser includes experimental support for sending embedded clips to Google’s media stick, saving you from launching a native app just to watch something on a TV. As you’d expect, there are some compatibility hiccups at this early stage. YouTube works well (surprise!), but other sites are hit and miss — you’re best off sticking to videos from major, HTML5-friendly hosts like Vimeo. If you’re willing to live with some inconsistencies, though, you can try the streaming feature today.
[Image credit: WhyYouPaul, Reddit]
In an effort to get you to return to that Yahoo ID from back in the day, Yahoo says it’ll be phasing out the ability to login through Google and Facebook accounts. The company says this will allow it to offer “the best personalized experience to everyone.” Yahoo only started allowing these third-party logins in 2010 — not that long ago. While the change has already happened on its Fantasy Sports service, Google and Facebook login buttons will eventually (no timeline was given) disappear from all Yahoo web properties, which includes the likes of Flickr and tumblr. Now, to remember the password for lostfan_1985.
Filed under: Internet