A few days ago we shared a rumor with you regarding the Motorola-made Nexus device. According to the rumor, that device, codenamed “Shamu”, is supposed to be launched later this year and sport a 5.9″ screen. That sounded really hard to believe, however, additional info points in the same direction. The Information reports that Motorola… Read more »
A recent leaked photograph on Google+ sparked excitement in the community when it was thought the image prematurely revealed the upcoming Nexus 9, which up until this point has been only known as codenamed Flounder. Whilst the image follows the profile of what we are all expecting from the Nexus 9, the image unfortunately shows nothing… Read more »
The post Alleged Nexus 9 (Flounder) image turns out to be a dud appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Don’t get too excited, but rumors are starting to break regarding Google’s sixth Nexus phone: an oversized handset codenamed “Shamu.” According to Android Police, the device is rumored to be a 5.9-inch handset made by Motorola — leveraging Google’s tradition of naming Nexus devices after sea creatures as a clever way to hint at the phone’s size. Supposedly, this device will surface in November with a fingerprint scanner. Sadly, there isn’t a lot of evidence floating around for this one: just an Google error report and a bit of good faith.
While Android Police says it’s not comfortable with showing its source information in its original form, the rumor get some credit for appearing in Google’s issue tracker: “Shamu” is listed in the build number for a Android L HTTPS bug. It’s probable that this really is the code name for a new Nexus, but the specifics are still unclear. That said, The Information is also reporting a phablet-sized device between Google and Motorola — one that may even include always-on voice control. Neat rumors to mull over — just keep it salty until we hear something official.
[Image credit: Aleksey Butov]
Via: Ars Technica
More information about a possible Motorola Nexus 6 has been slowly trickling out today. After hearing the first suggestion that such a device might exist, The Information apparently has it on good authority that Motorola is indeed working with Google for a new 5.9-inch Nexus device, and has been ever since Motorola’s sale to Lenovo. But why is this collaboration only happening after the sale?
Separately, Motorola is also getting a boost from working on an undisclosed phone-tablet project with Google—the type of initiative which, ironically, it could not pursue as a Google subsidiary due to concerns about favoring the house-owned Android vendor over others
After Lenovo agreed to buy Motorola, Google’s Android unit began working with Motorola to develop a co-branded “Nexus” phone that’s considered to be a “phablet,” or phone-tablet, because of its large screen size, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
The more we hear about the secretive world of Android manufacturers, the more it sounds like the Bold and the Beautiful. But what about Android Silver, the program that was famously rumoured to be ending the Nexus line of devices, including the aforementioned Nexus 6?
According to the report, Google Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora, was to head up the Android Silver initiative, however he is said to be leaving Google soon:
Some in [Arora's] camp wanted Silver to supersede the Nexus phone program. But with Mr. Arora’s absence, there are questions about how much firepower Google will give to the Silver program.
This isn’t to say that the Android Silver program won’t still go ahead and somehow coexist with the Nexus line, or even still replace it, but it does leave open the door for a few more Nexus devices to escape should it go ahead at some point. There’s definitely more going on behind Google’s closed doors than is being reported, so we’ll see how this pans out at the end of the year when Google traditionally releases a new Nexus device.
What do you think about the possibility of a Motorola Nexus 6 and Android Silver devices? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.
The post Shamu, the mysterious Motorola Nexus 6, is definitely a thing. Android Silver, not so Much appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
A new report has come about that is suggesting Motorola will be the manufacturer of the Nexus 6. Speculation from the community pointed to LG giving another go at the the Nexus phone, but according to Android Police, Motorola and Google have a phone in the works with the codename Shamu. Why Shamu? This phone is going to be HUGE is my guess.
The Moto Nexus 6 from this report says that it will rock a 5.9-inch display, and will be due out this November. That is usually the time when Google announces their new Nexus devices, and the report also mentioned it will be available on all major carriers. The evidence is there, and we know that Google hasn’t given up on their Nexus line, so let us know what you think about a 5.9-inch Moto Nexus 6.
The title got you intrigued? You’re not the only one, same goes for me as well. Many people would like for something like this to come to fruition. Motorola is allegedly working on yet another device we didn’t know about, as you know Moto X+1 is expected to launch soon, this summer in fact. According… Read more »
Take a Tesla Model S for a spin in the US or Europe, and you’ll have the help of a integrated navigation system to help you find your way. In China, you’ll have to unfold a traditional, paper map. Local drivers are learning that the country’s aversion to Google services keeps Tesla from employing its usual map solution, leaving the sedan unequipped to guide its users through the streets of Shanghai. It’s an unfortunate situation, but it won’t last forever — Tesla says that it’s working on a solution that supports Chinese voice and text recognition, and expects to update cars in the Chinese market with navigation features later this year. Check out Asysha Webb’s ChinaEV blog at the source link below for Tesla’s full statement.
Filed under: Transportation
Today, we explore the world of VR, watch Bose sue Beats, learn about a few tools to help you get the most out of Netflix and look at our favorite 11 laptops you can buy right now. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.
The history of VR is riddled with missteps like the Nintendo Virtual Boy, but that hasn’t stopped today’s major players from investing in the medium. Even despite the limits of current tech, Google says the best time for VR is right now.
Just inches away from officially being part of Apple, Beats is now being sued by Bose. According to the latter, Dr. Dre’s Studio line of wireless headphones infringe on one of plaintiff’s noise-cancelling patents. What a bummer.
The Engadget Buyer’s Guide strikes again! This time, we’ve rounded up 11 of our favorite laptops that you can buy right now. You’re welcome.
It’s a fact. Netflix’s library is difficult to navigate sometimes. But lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of tools that will help you find plenty of fresh, new content to watch. Hurry though, they won’t last forever.
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But the concept is more than a low-tech solution to mobile VR. It’s emblematic of Google’s approach to virtual reality: use the phone that’s already in your pocket. Samsung’s taking the same approach later this year with Gear VR, only it’s also partnering with Oculus VR on the software side.
This stands in stark contrast to the PC-dependent, ultra-high-res experience Oculus VR and Facebook are aiming to achieve. The Oculus Rift headset both literally and figuratively kickstarted the re-birth of virtual reality in modern technology. It remains the peak of technological achievement in virtual reality. And now, the medium is splintering into two distinct futures: one of entertainment, the other of immersion.
That word — “presence” — is at the heart of virtual reality. Game industry veteran Michael Abrash — formerly of Valve, where he worked on research and development; currently of Oculus VR, where he serves as “Chief Scientist” — described this ideal for VR during a talk in January 2014:
“It’s the sense of being someplace else while in virtual reality; many people feel as if they’ve been teleported. Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium.”
The medium’s history is littered with failed attempts, even from gaming’s biggest players (Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, anyone?).
Indeed, that’s the “magic” of virtual reality: being whisked away, instantly, to another world. You’re not looking at another world on a screen — you’re there. At least, that’s when VR works. The medium’s history is littered with failed attempts, even from gaming’s biggest players (Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, anyone?). But with Oculus Rift, even the first demos shown on a duct-taped, slapdash prototype were incredibly impressive. It just worked, even if it was clearly rough around the edges. And even with those early demos, a PC was required to power them. The same can be said for Sony’s Project Morpheus, powered by a $400 game console.
One early demo, dubbed “Tuscany” for its visual nods to the Italian region, wasn’t much to look at. The art was low-resolution; the in-world lighting was barely there; the level of detail in general was pretty low. But even with bare bones demos like Tuscany, the world was believable because the demo’s framerate was high enough and the headset was capable of refreshing video fast enough for it to seem real. Those demos seem rough now by contrast, but they’re still far ahead of what we’ve seen running on VR headsets powered by mobile phone processors.
MOBILE VR AS IT STANDS TODAY
We’ve heard very positive things from folks who’ve tried Samsung’s VR headset. The so-called “Gear VR” is still a development kit, and it’s powered by a Galaxy S4; we’re told that the consumer version will use a newer phone (maybe the Note 4?) with more horsepower. Though our sources only experienced a few demos, they repeatedly described them as “impressive,” specifically with the caveat “for a phone.”
Samsung still hasn’t officially acknowledged that its VR headset exists (that’s a real render of it above). Gear VR is said to be be unveiled in Germany at IFA, just a few weeks from now.
Google’s Cardboard has received similarly positive, though guarded, responses. TechCrunch‘s Greg Kumparak wrote back in June, “It’s actually kind of freaking wonderful. Is it an Oculus Rift killer? Hah – of course not. It’s made of cardboard. But it’s still awesome.” As he demonstrated in a video (above), a handful of apps — including major known quantities like YouTube and Google Earth — can be used in Cardboard right now, employing phones that already exist (there’s a Nexus 5 in the demonstration).
It’s certainly a different take. Rather than aim to provide “presence,” Google’s approach to VR seeks to provide an alternate viewing experience for existing content. YouTube, for instance, is simply an interactive VR app for viewing non-VR content. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily — it could act as an intro to VR for the mass market — but it’s not the same as providing “presence.”
Another VR device powered by mobile tech, GameFace Labs’ “GameFace” prototype, further highlights this difference. The same Tuscany demo running on the GameFace headset, scaled down for a mobile processor, provided a markedly different experience than what we’ve tried on the Oculus Rift. Are you still “in” Tuscany? Sure! But it looks an awful lot like Virtual Tuscany, rather than “Oh man, I’m in Tuscany!”
Though GameFace is impressive, the second Oculus Rift dev kit is an order of magnitude more adept. Beyond a much higher resolution screen, the second Rift dev kit comes with an additional camera for depth-tracking (just to barely scratch the surface of technical differences). That’s not meant as a slight at GFL, but to highlight how different these two approaches are to virtual reality. Simply put, they’re intended to deliver different experiences.
WHERE CASUAL AND BLEEDING EDGE VR DIVERGE
Unlike film or video games, where technical prowess can be trumped by other factors, major VR leaders argue that it’s a worthless medium without “presence.” To create presence, Oculus VR founder and Rift creator Palmer Luckey says that the tech has to be of a certain quality — specs that exceed the most advanced smartphones. Even the Rift’s second dev kit, which is far more technologically capable than the competition, is far from what he thinks is required for “good consumer virtual reality.” That means super high-res screens, high refresh rates (“90 Hz or higher”), and fast processors (read: actual computers, with dedicated graphics processing) to make all that happen. Luckey’s told me in interview after interview that standalone, untethered VR is the future of the medium (see above). But 10 years from now “future,” not 2014.
Google argues that the best time to get VR going — regardless of technological capability — is right now.
“We could theoretically plunk down a Titan in there. There’s nothing stopping us. But people will say, ‘This is hot! It only lasts for five minutes!’,” NVIDIA product manager Mithun Chandrasekhar told us in a recent interview. We asked about the limitations around mobile VR, and he joked that NVIDIA could — theoretically — put an expensive, high-powered GPU in a VR headset.
Of course, it’d be incredibly hot, heavy, and would require immense battery power.
Even if NVIDIA could shrink the GPU down in size and weight, power issues would overcome horsepower limitations. Battery technology simply isn’t keeping up with processor technology. “Battery is probably the biggest limitation,” Chandrasekhar said.
Google argues that the best time to get VR going — regardless of technological capability — is right now. “We want everyone to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and inexpensive way. That’s the goal of the Cardboard project,” the Cardboard website reads. Beyond expanding the reach of virtual reality, Google specifically calls out developers that it hopes will, “build the next generation of immersive digital experiences.” Silly as it might look, Google Cardboard and other mobile VR solutions look to offer a foundational experience for both the development community — you know, the folks who make this stuff really amazing — and for mainstream, non-technophiles.
TWO PATHS, ONE RESULT
Chances are, you don’t have a 4K screen on your smartphone. You might soon, but you probably don’t just yet. When you do — when we all do — the concept of mobile VR will seem a bit less gimmicky and a bit more like a real product. When processors are more capable, when batteries last longer, and the line between PC and mobile phone blurs just a bit more, mobile VR won’t feel like such a foundational step on the way to the promise of “presence.”
For now, mobile VR can serve as a taste of the medium. An amuse-bouche to the medium. A gateway drug to the presence you’ll find on devices like the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. And that’s not a bad thing! Before long, devices like Rift and Morpheus will be rudimentary, their abilities easily accomplished on mobile, and the two virtual reality paths will (at least in part) rejoin.
Whether the goal is growing the medium, getting to market early, providing “presence,” or something else entirely, the result is the same: we all get to play with a bunch of rad VR headsets. Oh, and hopefully witness the birth of a major new medium. No big.
[Image credit: Valve (Steam Dev Days 2014 slide), SamMobile (Gear VR)]