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4
May

Google Drive to lose document editing, prompt downloads of Docs and Sheets apps


Looks like the new Docs and Sheets apps were harbingers of changes for Google Drive. The good folks at Android Police parsed Drive’s new, currently unreleased version and discovered that it no longer has document or sheet editing capabilities. Should you try to make changes, the app prompts you to download the appropriate app to do so. Choose not to download and attempt to open a file, and you’ll be greeted by a view-only mode. While users may be a bit miffed at being force-fed a pair of new apps, it may prove beneficial. Separating the doc editing and cloud storage components will (presumably) let Google streamline the experience for each and give you option to download only the apps you need.

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Source: Android Police

4
May

Windows 8 users can now pilot their AR.Drone 2.0 with official AR.FreeFlight app


Drones. If they’re going to become the true public nuisance that we’re lead to believe they will, then we’re gonna need more ways to get ‘em airborne, right? If you’re UAV of choice is Parrot‘s AR.Drone 2.0, and you’re also a Windows 8 user, then you need to be all over AR.FreeFlight — an official app for the aforementioned drone. Dig out your Surface tablet, and you can pilot your quadcopter, and record video/take pictures just as owners of Android and iOS devices have been enjoying already. Think a phone makes more sense for this? Don’t worry, Parrot’s reportedly got an app for the smaller devices in the works too (and developers can sneak a look here). Get your wings down at the source link.

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Via: WPCentral

Source: Microsoft

4
May

Huawei makes an investment in its international image


Huawei Technologies Co.

Outside of its home grounds, Huawei hasn’t had the easiest of times making a dent in markets such as the US and Europe. But that’s not to say the company hasn’t been been trying. Just last year, the Chinese communications giant outlined a plan to regain its share of the European smartphone market, with the focus being to build premium handsets and spend more money on research and development. Now, based on that foundation, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei intends to expand his company’s presence in Europe by investing even more and boosting hires in the region.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Zhengfei said that the company will further increase investment in European R&D, in an effort to change people’s perception of Huawei being a “mysterious” corporation. As part of this strategy, Huawei is set to “extend an employee incentive plan to all key non-Chinese employees this year in order to attract and keep top talent,” according to the WSJ report.

Across the pond, meanwhile, in the all-important United States market, Zhengfei believes that Huawei’s image has been temporarily tainted, after having to deal with accusations of holding corrupted ties to the Chinese government by US Congress. “I believe at the end of the day that it might take 10 or 20 years for the US to know that Huawei is a company with integrity and a good face,” Ren told the Wall Street Journal.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Huawei Technologies Co.]

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Source: Wall Street Journal

4
May

LAPD has a new tool for crowdsourcing photo and video evidence


Citizen-provided evidence is clearly on the up. With the amount of cameras knocking about, this is hardly surprising. However, when something goes down at a large public event, the mass of well-meaning user-submitted evidence can cause data bottlenecks, or a stretch of resources making sense of it. This ends up potentially doing more harm than good. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has sought to resolve such issues by working with Amazon’s Web Service to create an app for submitting photo and video evidence that takes advantage of AWS’s deep bandwidth pockets. Called the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository (LEEDIR), the web, Android and iOS apps serve as a direct line, and central repository for user-generated evidence. Unsurprisingly, some privacy advocates are twitchy about the idea of bystanders caught on video being implicated, but its creators claim that this is something that professional law enforcement is equipped to deal with such issues as a matter of routine. Currently the app is being used as part of investigations for a recent riot in Isla Vista, but it’s hoped it could become a routine tool for similar events in the future.

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Via: ArsTechnica

Source: Associated Press

4
May

Feedback Loop: Running with watches, dissing on games and unpacking net neutrality


Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There’s so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.

The weekend is finally here! More importantly, it’s time for the latest edition of Feedback Loop. This week, we ask some questions about net neutrality, look for recommendations on running watches, talk about the worst video games we’ve ever played and share some of our favorite characters we’ve encountered. You can read all this and more past the break.

What’s net neutrality all about?

Net neutrality is a complicated and confusing subject. And the FCC waffling between being for it and against it further complicates matters. With so many differing views, how are we as consumers supposed to make sense of it all? We’re doing our best in this discussion. Is there something you want to know? Head over here and ask away.

Running watch recommendations

Wearables are all the rage right now, encompassing everything from oxygen monitors for aspiring climbers, to bracelets that let you pay with Bitcoin and everything in between. However, Dana wants to keep it simple and is looking for running watch recommendations. What sort of device will help power her through her next marathon? If you have some recommendations, help her out.

What is the worst game you’ve ever played?

A Microsoft-backed documentary team uncovered thousands of copies of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in the New Mexico desert. It was allegedly one of the worst video games in history. Over in the Engadget forums, Frank thought this was a perfect time to recall some of the worst video games he’s ever played. Some of you chimed in with your own nominations for worst video game ever. Take a look and share your thoughts.

Favorite video game characters

Speaking of games: We’ve all played a lot of games. Some have been pretty great and some have been really horrible. In light of Frank’s discussion above, I wanted to reflect on some of our fonder memories. What are some of the most memorable encounters you’ve had with NPCs, or non-playable characters, in a game world?

That’s all this week! Do you want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!

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4
May

Test-driving Acompli: Could an email app be reason enough to go back to the iPhone?


Is a particular email experience reason enough to switch smartphones, or even platforms? For me, the answer was yes. I recently retired my iPhone 4s and began using the native Android Gmail app on an HTC One. Why? Here are just two reasons: I can archive or respond to emails from the lock screen (thanks, Jelly Bean), and the One’s 4.7-inch display allows for a more encompassing view of my 70-some-odd labels. Needless to say, email is super important to me. So when Acompli launched last week with the tagline “iPhone Email Just Got a Promotion,” I decided to wipe the dust off my 4s and take it for a spin.

The fundamental difference between Acompli and Mailbox or Gmail is that it has three integrated hubs: “Calendar,” “Files” and “People,” each with its own tab at the bottom of the screen. Pull up the calendar and you’re greeted with a quasi-agenda view, similar to what you’ll find in iOS 7. There, you can add dates to any imported calendar without leaving the app. Switching between tabs isn’t much faster than bouncing between different applications, but I’ve noticed the pure convenience causes me to glance through my schedule much more than before, which is a wonderful thing. From the People and File hubs I can sort through — you guessed it — contacts and files included in recent email conversations. Essentially, they both provide a clean approach to filtering through the content of your emails. For example, earlier this morning I shared several sheet music PDFs (originally sent from my wife) with other band members without having to dig through the email itself. Nifty.

And what email app would be complete without the swipe? Yes, Mailbox users can already delete and archive emails by swiping from left to right, but for some reason that direction rubs me the wrong way. It just feels better to swipe from right to left, as is the case with Acompli. Additionally, you only have to swipe your thumb halfway across the screen to incur the delete option, compared to three-quarters of the screen with Mailbox. If you have shorter fingers like me, you’ll understand why that’s awesome. I will say thumbing emails around in Acompli is actually quite speedy, though I often opt for the mass-edit option and kill ‘em off by the multitudes.

It’s also worth mentioning that Acompli has true Gmail label support, meaning it doesn’t arbitrarily add labels the way Mail Pilot does. I can choose between my unified inbox and connected accounts in a straightforward, floating menu, with each of my labels listed chronologically below. Acompli also doesn’t attempt to indent nested labels when viewing them. For most that may not be a problem, but when you have a bajillion labels to deal with, it makes a difference.

So, was my experience with Acompli powerful enough to uproot my allegiance to Gmail on an Android phone? Again, the answer is yes — at least for the time being. It works well enough to make me forgot I’m using a 3.5-inch display and, admittedly, I’m a sucker for its minimalistic, two-tone UI. Has Acompli revolutionized mobile email, though? No, but it can be a speedy and powerful tool if you’re willing to take the time to learn its nuances.

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