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Google ATAP’s Project Soli will make interacting with wearables a breeze

Wearable devices and smaller screens are popping up everywhere nowadays. Smartwatches and the crazy new Project Jacquard initiative are great examples of how far wearables have come over the years, though different companies seem to take a different approach on how exactly we navigate around these tiny screens. Google wants you to interact with your Android Wear device by voice dictation, and Apple wants you to control your Apple Watch by touching it. But thanks to a new project out of Google ATAP, wearables (as well as other forms of tech) may soon be controlled in a much different way.

Project Soli

Project Soli, which was just announced at Google I/O, aims to create a new way of controlling the technology around us, especially smaller screens. Instead of physically touching our devices, Soli wants us to use our “hand motion vocabulary”. The technology Soli is working on would be able to detect incredibly small motions, allowing you to use natural hand motions to perform specific tasks. So, if you think of your hand as an interface, performing a hand motion over a small sensor would be able to complete a task on a smartwatch, alarm clock or anything else, even if the piece of technology isn’t around you at that exact moment.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 1.39.00 PM

ATAP is using a radar sensor to complete this task, which the group has supposedly shrunk down from the size of a gaming console to the size of a quarter. ATAP will release an API which will give developers access to the translated signal info, which will let them do basically whatever they want with the tech. These APIs will be available sometime later this year, targeted at smaller form factors, such as smartwatches.

Just think – the next generation of smartwatches (or the generation after that) might include some really advanced gesture support. For more information on Soli, be sure to check out the video attached above.


Project Ara put together on stage, shown off as fully working


Google’s ATAP session at this year’s Google I/O brought a few fantastic new technologies such as capacitive textile, a micro radar, the Project Vault SD card, and much more. But it wasn’t all new projects being shown off, as Google’s ATAP team also demoed Project Ara, the world’s first modular smartphone.

Project Ara has been shown off before, but the big difference here is this is the first time it has been shown off fully working. Googe engineer Rafa Camargo not only built the phone on stage by adding modules into the frame, he also turned it on, let it boot, and took a picture of everyone in the audience.

For those not familiar with Ara, it is a smartphone built by you, for you. It’s like Motorola’s Moto X times a hundred. You don’t only get to customize the finish, but also the processor, camera, RAM, battery, and many other components. It truly is a phone that is made for you, because it allows you to purchase the components that matter the most to you. Someone who plays a lot of games on their smartphone will most likely want a better processor and better RAM, whereas a photographer will opt for a high-quality camera.

The best part about Project Ara, is that there won’t be a need to buy a completely new phone. When you feel that a component is getting a bit slow or if one component breaks, then you can simply purchase a new component.

Ara is heading to Puerto Rico later this year for Google to advance their knowledge of the product and further polish it. When Ara leaves Puerto Rico and goes mainstream, will you be inclined to make the switch? What would be your ideal configuration? Let us know in the comments.


Apple-Leased Vans Gathering Maps Info for Shift to In-House Mapping Database

For the past several months, Apple-leased Dodge Caravans with equipment-laden roofs have been spotted driving around the United States. While early speculation suggested the vans could be Apple’s first attempt at developing a self-driving vehicle, it quickly became clear that the vans were being used for mapping purposes.

The Dodge Caravans are all outfitted with an array of LIDAR cameras, much like the vehicles that Google uses to capture images for its Street View mapping feature, so it is no surprise that a report shared today by 9to5Mac suggests the images and data from the vans is going to be used for future improvements to Apple’s Maps feature. Here at MacRumors, we have been aggregating Apple van sightings to give a clear picture of the areas where Apple is currently focusing its attention.

applevanscreenshotClick on the map to go to a full interactive view complete with pictures from each sighting
Apple has worked tirelessly to improve the Maps app since its 2012 launch, fulfilling Tim Cook’s promise that Apple would work “non-stop” until Maps met its “incredibly high standard.” The next step in Maps’ evolution is the gathering of in-house data to reduce reliance on third-party companies like TomTom, which has provided data for Apple Maps since it launched. Just this month, TomTom and Apple renewed their mapping contract, so Apple’s shift towards its own data system may still be several years off.

Using in-house data has the potential to significantly improve the Maps experience. Apple will not have to rely on third-party information that’s potentially riddled with errors and inaccuracies, and the company will also be able to implement changes and fixes more quickly.

Apple Van New Jersey
In the future, the imagery captured by the vans may be used by Apple to create its own 3D street level viewing experience to complement its existing Flyover feature. Flyover is designed to let Maps users explore landmarks and major cities around the world through an aerial view. A street level addition to Flyover could perhaps be useful in day-to-day life to get a look at nearby locations, but it’s possible Apple has its eye on something grander, perhaps giving Maps users a way to explore exotic locations on a more granular level.

Apple is also reportedly using its fleet of Dodge Caravans to capture images of storefronts and businesses, and this data may be of more immediate use to the company. Imagery of stores, businesses, and restaurants may be incorporated into an upcoming iOS 9 revamp to Apple’s Points of Interest system, replacing photographs pulled in from third-party sources like Yelp.

We may see the first fruits of Apple’s new mapping project as soon as June 8, when Apple unveils iOS 9 at WWDC and provides it to developers for testing purposes. iOS 9 is rumored to have a few other upgrades in addition to a new Points of Interest system, including transit routing information in a limited number of cities.


MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Ztylus Limited Edition Camera Kit for iPhone 6/6 Plus [iOS Blog]

For our next giveaway, we've partnered with Ztylus, a maker of smartphone cases with interchangeable accessory attachments. Ztylus is graciously offering one limited edition Rose Gold Camera Kit for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus that retails for $149.95.


The Ztylus Rose Gold Camera Kit consists of a full-coverage case and a 4-in-1 lens attachment. The case itself has a textured leather finish that features an integrated kickstand and a unique disc mount system for the lens attachment. The lens attachment contains a circular polarizer lens and fish eye, macro, and wide angle lenses that flip out into position over the iPhone’s camera lens. Ztylus makes its attachments compatible with all of its other cases so that when you switch to a new phone, you only need a new case and can keep using the same attachments.

To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter your email address. Your email address will not be given to any third party and will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run from today (May 29) at 12:00 pm Pacific time through 12:00 pm Pacific time on June 5. The winner will be chosen randomly on June 5 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prize will be shipped to the winner for free.

Ztylus is also offering a coupon code to MacRumors readers that will take 25% off all purchases from the company's online store. Use code RUMORS25 at checkout at Ztylus to take advantage of this generous offer.


Who needs a smartwatch to make payments when you can use your voice?

Google announced a new app called hands Free that will allow you to make in-store payments with just your voice.  Never reach for your wallet, smartwatch, or phone again with Hands Free.  All you will need to do is tell the cashier you want to pay with Google, and you can then pay using your voice.  The Hands Free app does not share your full credit card details with the store, just the necessary information to transfer money for your payment.  Hopefully this helps improve our security by minimizing shared data, so we don’t have more data breaches like we had last year with Target.

The app is expected to released later this year, but limited to the San Francisco area only until the bugs are worked out.  As of right now, the project is still in its infancy state and only Papa John’s and McDonald’s are signed up for this program.  If you live in San Francisco and are interested in signing up, hit the link below.

Source – Google

The post Who needs a smartwatch to make payments when you can use your voice? appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Download the default Android M wallpaper

Yesterday, Google announced the latest iteration of Android, dubbed Android M at Google I/O 2015. With Android M, a slew of new features were announced, and the developer preview was released. However, the Developer Preview is only available for the Nexus 5, 6, 9 and the Nexus Player. If you want to try and get the look of Android M, mainly the wallpapers, we have them here for you today. Now, there’s another catch. There was only one addition to the wallpapers that were available with the release of Android Lollipop. But if you want it, here it is for your wallpaper collection.

Android M Wallpaper

The post Download the default Android M wallpaper appeared first on AndroidGuys.


HTC confirms Android M support for One M9 models

HTC representative Jeff Gordon took to twitter to confirm the One M9 and the One M9+ would receive Android M support. It should not come as much of a surprise given the devices are only a few months old and already run the most current versions of Android available.

Android M, announced at Google I/O yesterday, is now available in a developer preview release. The official build will likely debut some time in the third quarter of the year.

HTC was quick to pledge support for Android L last year, even going to far as to promise an expected timetable. Although HTC would miss its self-imposed mark by a short window it was able to deliver Android 5.0 updates to a number of models within the first few months of general availability.

We might look for HTC to make a more formal blanket statement regarding Android M down the road. It stands to reason that the One M8 and other models will be in line to receive the release once it’s available.


The post HTC confirms Android M support for One M9 models appeared first on AndroidGuys.


YouTube bringing 360 videos to Google Cardboard

google cardboard vr headset

The Google Cardboard is now getting support for YouTube’s recently announced 360 degree videos (2D). Only yesterday, we heard about Google Cardboard getting some interesting additions at I/O 2015.

The company has announced that it will be bringing 3D 360 degree videos to YouTube as well, which will be something to look forward to.

360 degree videos are now supported by iOS devices as well, so iPhone users will certainly welcome its addition. There’s a wide range of content that’s available in 360 degrees, although something like this would be ideal for concerts and other events like that.

There’s a video from EDM producer Avicii which was shot entirely using the new setup of 360 degree cameras that are available in various YouTube Space locations across the world. You can check it out from the source link below.

In the meanwhile, make sure you check out our complete Google I/O 2015 coverage here.

Source: YouTube Creator Blog

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HTC releases kernel sources for One M7 and M8 Google Play Editions


HTC has released the kernel sources for Android 5.1 on both the One M7 and One M8 Google Play Edition. This comes just a month after releasing the update for the two devices.

The HTC One M7 release sits at version 6.04.1700.6 while its bigger brother, the One M8 shows a 4.04.1700.6 version. What does this mean for you? Well, if your just an average user, it means absolutely nothing.

On the other hand, developers will be excited to get the kernel sources for these devices, as it’ll help developers bring better custom software to the device. For example, if for some reason HTC refused to put Android M on their two Google Play Edition phones, the kernel sources would help developers get that on there for those who are comfortable flashing ROMs.

You can get the two kernel source codes by hitting the source link below.

source: HTC Dev

Come comment on this article: HTC releases kernel sources for One M7 and M8 Google Play Editions


Could this be the Samsung Galaxy S6 Mini?


Today mystery Samsung device SM-G9198 passed through GFXBench, touting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset, a less beefier chipset than the Snapdragon 810, but certainly more efficient.

It’s also featuring a 4.6-inch 1280 x 768 display, the hexa-core processor at 1.8GHz, an Adreno 418 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB of internal storage, though only 11GB for the user, as the OS takes a little over five of it. Finally, it has a 16-megapixel shooter on the rear, a 5-megapixel solution on the front, and the latest version of Android, 5.1.1.

While there’s no official confirmation, to me it looks like we’re going to be seeing a Samsung Galaxy S6 Mini down the line soon. Of course, it could be another mid-range Samsung device, but the timing is certainly something to question. Not to mention that all of Samsung’s past Mini’s show a pretty hefty spec drop like GFXBench is showing us.

What do you think this mystery device could be?

source: @tjb007_hun
via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Could this be the Samsung Galaxy S6 Mini?

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