Dyson is near-synonymous with household electronics like vacuums and fans these days, but we’re learning that it could have gone in a very different direction. The company tells The Next Web that it had been developing a Google Glass-like augmented reality headset, the Halo, between 2001 and 2004. The wearable projected visual cues, took voice commands and even sported a virtual keyboard that let you type on any flat surface. Dyson had a prototype, but ultimately canned the design to focus on both its core products and US expansion plans.
That wasn’t even the half of the company’s early efforts. Dyson spent three years researching the usefulness of its signature motors in fuel cells, and it considered implementing the cyclone technology of its vacuum cleaners in eco-friendly diesel engines. All these would-be products are now water under the bridge, of course, but Dyson notes that it’s “exploring other possibilities” for the use of its motor — that big R&D expansion may produce more than just better home appliances.
[Image credit: Rob Bennett/AP Images for Dyson]
Source: The Next Web
ASUS’ new Fonepad 7 and 8 are sleek, well-built Android tablets equipped with 3G connectivity and dual SIM slots, along with a speaker and mic. Whether making calls on a gigantic slate is something you’re into is another question, but if you’re at all interested in a tablet that can pull double duty as your handset, ASUS’ products are the best ones you could ask for. And they work quite well as tablets, too.
Announced at Computex in Taiwan earlier today, the Fonepad 7 and 8 are updates to last year’s Fonepad 7 — both sport 64-bit Intel processors for improved power efficiency and speed. It’s impossible to draw conclusions about a tablet’s performance based on a few minutes of use, but basic Android 4.4 (KitKat) navigation on both Fonepads felt a smooth as you’d expect. On the 1,280 x 800 IPS display, colors are extremely crisp and vivid as well.
The larger Fonepad 8 is definitely the more premium of the two, with a dimpled texture on the back as opposed to the Fonepad 7′s simple rubberized finish. The bezels are extremely narrow, which makes gripping the tabs with one hand relatively easy. At a show full of run-of-the-mill Android tablets, these two definitely stand out.
While both devices are quite thin and light, there’s no getting around it: holding a 7- or 8-inch slab up to your face to make calls will never feel natural. If you mostly communicate via text — or if you’re content to use the speakerphone — this won’t be a huge problem, but the Fonepads’ size is definitely not ideal for lengthy calls.
Fortunately, both tablets have much more going for them than just the phone functionality; they’re attractive, with premium specs to boot, and dual front speakers make them ideal for streaming music and watching movies. ASUS is the master of multifunctional devices — seriously, check out this phone-laptop hybrid also unveiled at the show — and the Fonepads are high-quality, if unexciting, Android tablets.
Apple today announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference that iOS 8 will support system wide third-party keyboards.
The company showed something that appeared to resemble the popular-gesture based keyboard Swype running on iOS 8, as software chief Craig Federighi noted that keyboards have the most restrictive sandbox to ensure user privacy and safety.
To this point, third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey Note and Flesky have launched for iOS, although their integration has been limited to note-taking in a separate app and allowing app developers to incorporate their keyboard, respectively. With this announcement, it is likely that both keyboards will launch for iOS with full integration at some point in the future.
Support for third-party keyboards will be included with iOS 8, with the new mobile operating system expected to launch this fall.
After showing off the main features for iOS 8 at its Worldwide Developers Conference today, Apple announced improvements for the App Store starting with iOS 8, including app bundles, integrated beta testing, improved search and more.
In order to improve discoverability, the App Store will soon add an “Explore” tab, allowing users to explore through categories and sub-categories easily. Search has also been improved, with the ability to see the top trending searches in the App Store and related searches.
Developers will also be able to bundle together apps, allowing users to buy multiple apps for a single discounted price. Also available to developers are previews, which allows developers to include short videos to tell users what their apps are all about.
Finally, developers can also invite users to beta test their apps in a new service called TestFlight, which allows developers to see information about their apps from right within the service. The service is free for developers, and stems from Apple’s acquisition of Burstly, which offered its own TestFlight beta management service, back in February.
Apple also announced that there are now 1.2 million apps in the App Store and nearly 300 million visitors to the App Store per week who are downloading apps. The App Store has also reached another significant milestone, passing 75 billion apps been downloaded since its 2008 debut.
Near the end of today’s keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference that included a first look at iOS 8 among other things, Apple revealed what iOS devices will be compatible with its new mobile operating system this fall. That list included the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad mini with Retina Display.
Notably missing from the list is the iPhone 4, which saw compatibility with iOS 7 last year and even saw improved performance with iOS 7.1. Apple restarted iPhone 4 production for countries including Brazil, India and Indonesia earlier this year, but the device will likely be now be discontinued again in the near future.
iOS 8 will launch this fall with revamped notification features, a new QuickType keyboard that adds predictive typing suggestions, an enhanced Messages app, a new Healthkit app that aggregates health-related metrics, improvements to Siri, and many more features.
Apple Announces Significant SDK Improvements with New ‘Swift’ Programming Language, CloudKit and More [iOS Blog]
Apple devoted the last third of its keynote address at the Worldwide Developer Conference today to improvements for its Software Development Kit (SDK), launching a new programming language called Swift, and development kits for health, home automation, iCloud and inter-app operability.
The announcement that got the biggest reaction from developers was Swift, a new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch that Apple calls modern, fast and powerful and designed for safety.
Swift is the result of the latest research on programming languages, combined with decades of experience building Apple platforms. Named parameters brought forward from Objective-C are expressed in a clean syntax that makes APIs in Swift even easier to read and maintain. Inferred types make code cleaner and less prone to mistakes, while modules eliminate headers and provide namespaces. Memory is managed automatically, and you don’t even need to type semi-colons.
Swift also includes “Playgrounds”, which allows developers to see the results of their code in a side panel in real time. The developer community appears extremely excited about Swift, with Realmac’s Nik Fletcher saying he had “no words”. Notable Apple pundit and developer John Gruber said that Swift is “huge, huge news” and the “future of all Apple development”.
iCloud has also been partly opened up for developers with a powerful new framework for developers called CloudKit. It allows developers to avoid costly and time-consuming coding the server-side of applications, with Apple providing huge amounts of cloud storage and computing power for free, albeit with extremely high limits to encourage tight coding.
Leverage the full power of iCloud and build apps with the new CloudKit framework. Now you can easily and securely store and efficiently retrieve your app data like structured data in a database or assets right from iCloud. CloudKit also enables your users to anonymously sign in to your apps with their iCloud Apple IDs without sharing their personal information.
Additionally, Apple announced lots of new APIs for developers to take further advantage of iOS. Extensibility allows apps from the App Store, which are usually isolated in sandboxes, to communicate with each other. For instance, the Pinterest app could be updated to provide a sharing option in Safari, or Bing could be updated to provide translations within Safari. Another example includes the Photos app, which can use filters from third-party apps like VSCO.
Apps from the App Store can send widgets to the Today pane in the Notification Center. For instance, ESPN’s SportsCenter could add a widget within the Today pane that allows users to easily check the latest sports scores without having to open the app. Widgets are also interactive, allowing users to, for example, bid for an item on eBay from within the Notification Center.
Other parts of iOS have been opened up to developers as well, including the ability for users to swap out the default iOS keyboard for third-party options like Swype. Touch ID has also been opened up to developers, allowing apps like Mint to use fingerprint scans instead of passwords.
Apple also announced its rumored home automation platform, called HomeKit. Previously, each home automation app used its own security protocols. Now, after working together with leaders in the home automation field, all apps can work together with a single protocol and secure pairings. This allows automated home devices, like Phillips’ Hue lights, to work with Siri. Users can now tell Siri something like “Siri, get ready for bed” to turn off the lights, close the garage and whatever other functions are automated in a users’ home.
Apple has also improved things for game developers, announcing Metal, which frees up resources for game developers to make better looking and more powerful games for iOS devices. For instance, EA would now be able to use its Frostbite engine for console games for games meant for iOS, like the upcoming Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare.
Xcode has been updated with live rendering, view debugging, performance testing, storyboards and more.
All of these SDK features are available for developers in the iOS 8 beta today, and will be available for consumers later this year in the fall. Much more information is available at Apple’s Developer website.
Less than an hour after the end of the event, Apple has already posted video of today’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote to its website. The video is also available on the “Apple Events” channel on the Apple TV.
Announcements at the event included:
– Apple Announces OS X Yosemite with Improved Cross-Device Connectivity and New User Interface
– Apple Announces iOS 8 with Interactive Notifications, QuickType, More
– Apple Announces Significant SDK Improvements with New ‘Swift’ Programming Language, CloudKit and More
Apple has also uploaded the “Apps We Can’t Live Without” video to YouTube, which played before the keynote and showcases how users view developers and the apps they build.
Dell has been mainly releasing Windows Phone devices along with their Chromebooks. They haven’t released an Android tablet since October last year, now they finally have something to show us in the Android department. Those devices mentioned above are Dell Venue 7 and 8 tablets. Well, today Dell released a refresh for said devices.
Dell Venue 7 is a tablet with a 7″ IPS WXGA screen 1280×800 in resolution. The device is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom (Z3460) “Merrifield” chip clocked at 1.6GHz which is paired with a 1GB of RAM. Dell Venue 8 on the other hand features a full HD 8″ screen, 1920×1200 in resolution. It has a same processor as its smaller counterpart but at a higher clock-rate, it is clocked at 2.1GHz and it also sports a 1GB of RAM.
Both tablets have 16GB of inbuilt storage (expandable via microSD card up to 64GB) and a 4550mAh battery along with a 5MP main camera. Dell Venue 7 sports a 1MP front shooter while the larger of the two has a 2MP front-facing camera. Dell Venue 7 weights 290 grams and the 8″ version is somewhat heavier at 338 grams. Both tablets will run Android 4.4 KItKat out of the box.
Both Dell Venue 7 and 8 look rather good and even though specifications aren’t exactly up to par with some of the higher end offerings we can’t complain much considering the price which is $159.99 and $199.99 respectively. The devices will be available in black and red colour options and will be available on Dell’s online store starting July 1st.
When LG unveiled their LG G3 they also showed off their Smart Keyboard which claims to improve contextual recognition and decrease the margin for input errors by 75%, as well as a ton of customisation, including the ability to adjust the keyboard height. Now, any rooted Android device can enjoy LG’s Smart Keyboard.
The guys over at XDA have managed to extract the LG Smart Keyboard from the ROM of the G3 and have made it available for all rooted Android devices running Android KitKat 4.4.
The post Tip: Get the LG G3 SmartK Keyboard for any Android device appeared first on AndroidGuys.
AT&T on Monday announced the upcoming availability of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. Both arrive on June 6 and offer 4G LTE connectivity.
The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 features a 10.1-inch display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, up to 16GB storage, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. Other details include a 6800mAh battery, microSD expansion, Android 4.4 KitKat, and a host of Samsung apps and services.
Pricing for the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 is $379.99 with a two-year service agreement. Those who prefer to purchase without a contract can do so for $24 per month over twenty months on a Next plan.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is much more powerful and features a 12.2-inch display, 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, and 9500mAh battery. Additionally, this one offers S Pen support, up to 32GB internal storage, and microSD expansion.
The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 costs $45 per month over two twenty months; alternately, customers can purchase for $799 with a two-year contract.
Both tablets will be sold as part of a limited time promotion. Pick up either of these two with a Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy S5 Active and you’ll save $50 in the process. You will, naturally, have service agreements or device installments for all of your products.
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