The 3D hype may have died down from its peak a few years ago, but Sir David Attenborough is continuing to make use of the technology (check after the break for a video explaining some of the infatuation with it) for his critically acclaimed nature documentaries. The latest one is Conquest of the Skies 3D, and Sky has announced that the three 60-minute episodes will air around Christmas in the UK. In order to “tell the evolutionary story of flight” Attenborough and crew are using new 3D macroscopic and high-speed filming techniques, as well as 3D octocopters. What it won’t have is the Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus-compatible virtual reality version that was bandied about earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean the tech is on the shelf. Newly-expanding Sky has teamed up with Atlantic Productions, and Atlantic’s new division Alchemy is planning to have VR experiences (that combine live action 3D footage, 360 degree video and CGI) available this fall.
If the Motorola Moto X’s August release last year is anything to go by, its successor, rumoured to be called the Motorola Moto X+1, should be released within the next month or so. Accordingly, the number of leaked sightings of the device has increased, and today we get a really nice look at it from all sides courtesy of Android Police (for even more pictures, hit the source link below). As expected, it’s looking a lot like the original Moto X, and looks like the Moto X+1 will also be available with wood back covers as shown in today’s pictures.
Notable differences on the Moto X+1 include the addition of a speaker on the bottom edge of the front face, giving the Moto X+1 a dual speaker arrangement. This additional speaker on the front appears to have replaced the speaker which resided on the back of the Moto X as there is no speaker grille on the wooden back cover. The leak also reports that the edge around the sides of the device are actually going to be alumnium, for those who like the metallic feeling. Previous rumours about the Moto X+1 say that the device is likely going to be 5.1-inches with a 1080p display and a Snapdragon 800 processor, and based on its predecessor’s performance, should be a very zippy device.
What do you think about the changes to the Motorola Moto X+1? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.
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Movie tie-in games are more often not a shameless cash grab, offering very little that can’t be had in other games, and perhaps worse yet, not doing its movie theme justice. I had a dreaded feeling when I read that a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles official movie game had been released, but I’m happy to say this was unwarranted. Created by the Game Bakers, the developers behind Combo Crew (read our full review of it here), the TMNT game adopts that same screen bashing goodness that I praised when Combo Crew was released.
Naturally, you get access to all four of the Ninja Turtles, Leo, Mikey, Donnie and Raph, and fight through waves and waves of enemies, not unlike the side-scrolling classics of old. You can upgrade your favoured Ninja Turtle with more powerful attacks, weapons, power boosts and training. There is a Story Mode, which presumably will loosely follow the movie, as well as a Survival Mode. Unfortunately, since the game is published by Nickelodeon, the game does still seem like a bit of a cash-grab; despite the fact the game costs $3.99 USD, there are still in-app purchases. Still, it does look like the game does capture the frantic nature of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world, so it’s hard not to like it. If you want to pick it up, be sure to hit the Play Store links below.
What do you think about this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles official movie game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The post The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles official movie game actually does the franchise Justice appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Happy Friday Android friends. Time to talk a little bit of Android with you. Conan O’Brien had a nice little joke about the iPhone 6 that us Androidians will love, and Apple fanboys will show up to his house with torches and pitch forks. Anyone with a Chromecast can get 90 days of free Google All Access music, so hopefully you guys have that lovely little dongle we love so you can get some free music. Enjoy the show!
The post iPhone 6 Shots Fired by Conan! Free Google All Access Music! – The ManDroid Show appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
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
If you followed what was going on at Google I/O 2014 last month, you would have heard about a really nifty contraption that Google announced called Google Cardboard. The easily assembled, cardboard accessory would essentially turn anyone’s phone into a virtual reality device and initially use Google’s own apps to virtually explore the internet and the world. The beauty of such a design is that it’s quite cheap and really doesn’t need any expertise to get going: just assemble the cardboard frame, launch the Google Cardboard app, profit (???).
With that in mind, I very excitedly got my hands on a Google Cardboard kit from www.googlecardboard.com. The kit I purchased cost $24.99 and included an NFC tag for easy linking. As it ships from Hong Kong, I eagerly waited for about two weeks before it arrived, and today I assembled the virtual reality glasses today.
For anyone who’s hoping to purchase a kit, they are extremely easy to assemble, though it took me a few minutes of stressing to realize that some bits of cardboard need to be torn off. It was a bit unusual that instructions weren’t included with this kit, but if you ever get lost, just boot up the Google Cardboard app which has a launch animation which should give you a good idea of how it’s supposed to go together. Once assembled, though, is when it all went downhill for me.
The first big issue I encountered had a lot to do with the size of my device. I had assumed that because there were gaps at the ends of the frame that my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 would fit inside perfectly. Turns out, when lying in landscape position, the Note 2 is actually too tall as well, meaning I couldn’t close the flap that holds the phone in place. No matter, as this was just a trial run, I just held the phone in place and left the flap open. Easy, right?
Wrong. I actually wear glasses, and had again assumed there would be enough space for my glasses to jam into the virtual reality headset. Again, my hypothesis was wildly wrong and I had to take my glasses off to even fit my head in. Naturally, this meant that I could barely see what was going on after I launched the Google Cardboard app, making the experience moot.
While I’m a bit frustrated, I’m not particularly surprised as it would have been difficult to cater for devices of all sizes and heads of all sizes too. That said, I did want to caution anybody out there that if you are looking at getting a Google Cardboard kit to carefully think about it first, particularly if you have a phablet or glasses. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though, as Google did provide us with the design files for Google Cardboard meaning it would be theoretically possible to scale up the design and make the whole thing a little bigger.
Are you planning to get Google Cardboard? Let us know your thoughts on it.
Gallery of Construction Photos
The post Learning the hard way: The downsides of Google Cardboard appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Apple has acquired BookLamp, a “Pandora for books” startup that aimed to provide personalized book recommendations to readers via specialized algorithms, reports TechCrunch. BookLamp first shut down in April.
BookLamp was known for its Book Genome project, a book discovery engine that analyzed the text of books to break them down by various themes and variables to let readers search for books similar to books they liked.
For example, analyzing The Da Vinci Code, the search engine would break it down to elements of 18.6% Religion and Religions Institutions, 9.4% Police & Murder Investigation, 8.2% Art and Art Galleries, and 6.7% Secret Societies and Communities, and then it would be able to recommend a book similar to The Da Vinci Code based on that data.
BookLamp screenshot via Mashable
This type of analytics service could be directly used to improve recommendations and search in iBooks, and as noted by TechCrunch, BookLamp’s technology could be used to create a competitor to Amazon X-Ray, which lets readers see where in the book certain terms or characters appear.
BookLamp also provided content analysis services to a number of e-book distributors like Amazon, Apple, and other publishers, screening books for categorization and providing a platform for publishers to screen manuscripts. The acquisition will see Apple ramping up its focus on books, according to one source with knowledge of the acquisition.
Part of the reason that Apple made the move to acquire BookLamp was because of this long list of clients. “At first Apple and BookLamp talked about growing their contract, but then they talked more from a strategic standpoint,” a source says. “What Apple wanted to do was, instead of contract, they wanted to make sure whatever work was done was done just for them.”
And what is that work? The details are not clear yet, but the source says, “in broad strokes, the goal that [founder Aaron] Stanton and three of the folks he was working with from the original BookLamp crew is to beat Amazon at their own game.”
BookLamp was purchased for a sum between $10 million and $15 million and while Apple has yet to confirm the purchase, a large amount evidence gathered by TechCrunch suggests several former BookLamp employees have relocated to Cupertino and are now working for Apple.
Baidu is often referred to as “China’s Google,” but it’s not quite the same. It’s true, the company is working on it’s own self-driving car, but it thinks Google’s no-wheel design is all wrong. According to Kai Yu, Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning’s deputy director, autonomous vehicles need to be more like horses than robots. “A car should not totally replace the driver but should really give the driver freedom,” Yu told TheNextWeb. “Freedom means the car is intelligent enough to operate by itself, like horse, and make decisions under different road situations.”
The horse analogy sounds a little more like an advanced form of cruise control than a fully autonomous vehicle, but it’s an interesting idea — a horse will typically make a cautious, self preserving decision. There’s something appealing about a car designed to keep itself (and by extension, the passengers) from harm. Yu says that safety is a big part of the initiative, explaining to TNW that careless pedestrians are a major problem in Chinese cities. Unfortunately, we won’t see these equestrian-inspired vehicles too soon; Baidu won’t have any prototype available until some time next year.
[Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Some drowning incidents can be easily prevented, and a wearable device wants to keep tabs on submersion time while your kids are at the pool. The iSwimband is a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that syncs up with an iOS device to alert you when that little one has been under water for too long. The gadget clips to goggles, swim caps, or can be worn with the included headband for a highly fashionable look. There’s a wristworn option too, so you can get pinged when the smallest of tikes (or a non-swimmer) accidentally enters the water. You know, if you have to step away while little Bobby is hanging out poolside, or you lose sight of Susie at the lake. For $99, the sensor, headband, bracelet and mobile app capable of tracking up to eight of the things can be yours via the source link just down below.
Filed under: Wearables
Sure, you’ve seen us stream various versions of former Halo-house Bungie’s latest shooter recently, but those previous Playdates were always on Sony-branded consoles. Don’t let the PlayStation marketing department fool you, because Destiny is totally coming to the Xbox One this September as well. It’s almost a bit of a homecoming considering Bungie’s history with the Xbox platform, actually. How does the sci-fi-RPG-MMO-FPS-BBQ look in its fancy green-tinted dress? Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific and find out! I’ll be streaming for two hours and dropping wicked Warlock melee attacks and supremely awesome Hunter headshots all for you.