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11
Jul

Google Maps makes it possible to send directions from PC to Android


google-maps-update

It happens to me all the time. I am sitting in my desk minding my business and suddenly I need to find directions to a location. I use Google Maps to find them on my computer and then decide to head out the door. I can’t do much with my Google Maps desktop search, so I have to search the location all over again, using my Android device.

We have been begging for a real solution to this for years! There are some half-baked ways to do alleviate the situation by using Search or the Google Maps search suggestions, but there have to be better ways to do this. Google has figured it out and you can now easily send location details to your Android device, straight from the browser.

maps-send-to-phone

This improvement is part of the latest Android update to Google Maps, which happens to be version 9.11.0. If you have the update, all you need to do is go to Google Maps on your browser and search for your destination as you normally would.

Screenshot_2015-07-11-12-53-06Once Google Maps locates your destination, the information window will include a “Send to device” option right below the address and hours. Click on it and a list of your devices will show up. Select your device of choice and you will get a notification with the option to navigate or get directions.

Easy as pie, guys! I love that Google has been trying very hard to merge its services and make all platforms work together to create a unified experience. I know I will be using this feature quite often. Will you? Go get the update and test this feature if you haven’t!

Get the Google Maps update!

11
Jul

Samsung gets granted patent on foldable tablet displays, invisible buttons


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Another day, another patent. Last year, Samsung filed a patent on a flexible screen technology. Nearly a year later, on July 7, Samsung was granted this patent. This patent not only supports OLED flexible displays but also LCD ones. The size is near the same as Samsung’s Galaxy tablets. This is remarkable as it seems like just yesterday when the first smartphones where taking off. It will be interesting to see how Samsung brings these displays to the market and when and if they ever integrate them into its their future lineups. However, don’t take this to seriously, the technology of a fully fold-able and bendable tablet could still be a ways off.

Samsung was also granted a patent by the USPTO that involves near invisible virtual buttons. Samsung thinks this could be used in a variety of ways. For example, the sensor pad could activate say the camera app to open. It could also carry out some independent functions like taking a picture, and this could all be done without taking up physical space below the screen or on the side of the device.

Samsung definitely has some ideas that haven’t been tossed around very much in the market yet and that is not a bad thing. It’s great to see the company still looking for new enhancements to improve its devices and innovate. It would be great if we could see these advancements make it to upcoming devices, but don’t get your hopes up.

Source: Patently Apple (1) (2)

Come comment on this article: Samsung gets granted patent on foldable tablet displays, invisible buttons

11
Jul

Watch a TV documentary about YouTube at 10PM Eastern


National Geographic's 'Generation YouTube' documentary

YouTube may be one of the big reasons to ditch conventional TV, but that isn’t stopping the National Geographic Channel from putting YouTube on TV. The network is airing Generation YouTube, a documentary on the origins and cultural impact of the streaming video site, on July 11th (tonight, if you’re reading this soon enough) at 10PM Eastern. As you can see in the teaser clip, the show underscores YouTube’s very humble beginnings — it was going to be an online dating site at one point, and it didn’t take off until it embraced that upload-what-you-want philosophy. If you’ve wondered how YouTube got to the point where it’s creating internet memes and supporting whole careers, you’ll probably want to tune in.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/videos/youtubes-origin-story/embed/

Filed under: Internet, Google

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Via: Tubefilter

Source: National Geographic Channel

11
Jul

Target attempts to unravel the connected home with new showroom


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Target wants you to have a connected home. It even created a showroom called Open House in the middle of San Francisco to help its shoppers figure out how such a home is supposed to work. But a side effect of this new mini store is that it could show device makers how the Internet of Things should work. With a combination of vignettes meant to show off situations that can be solved with the help of a connected home and so-called Deep Dive tables that showcase a product’s features, the retailer aims to educate its shoppers. But while a controlled room carefully decorated with gadgets is cool, it’s those tables that will give shoppers a sense of how something works both on its own and with other products. It’s an interactive window into which devices are truly connected and are trapped in a manufacturer’s ecosystem.

Each product on the Deep Dive table is accompanied by a large touchscreen. Tap the display and a presentation about the gadget appears. You can learn all about Tile or the Quirky hub by tapping on subject heads. But it’s the bubble icons around the product presentation that could force some device makers to rethink their strategy. These satellites are the other wares available at Target that work with the current item. Tap on one of those products and the display shows customers how they work together. Whether it’s a native connection or via third-party scripting services like IFTTT or Yonomi, the tables give potential customers a peek into how a particular device will work with other IoT items.

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While some devices were shown to work with other items, some only worked with just one other thing, and in some cases nothing at all. When competing products are placed next to one another, it gets interesting. Two fitness trackers sat side by side: the Fitbit Surge and the Jawbone Up2. According to the Deep Dive tables, the Jawbone tracker works with nine other devices, while the Fitbit only works with three. Sure the Surge is the more robust device, but when you compare its $250 price tag with the Jawbone’s $100 and the fact that it works with fewer devices, it’s a tough sell.

Target is surfacing this information quickly and easily and that’s great for products that embrace working with other devices or with IFTTT or Yonomi. For manufacturers that have decided to tightly control how their gear works with others, this could be the moment that reminds them that a connected home means connecting outside the four walls of their test lab.

The company will be sharing data and feedback with the manufacturers of the 35 devices available for purchase in the store within a store. It even plans to showcase prototypes in the Open House. Unfortunately, Target has no expansion plans for the project. So its enormous potential influence on what gets purchased by consumers in this country won’t be truly felt by device makers. But if the data that comes out of the Open House shows that creating devices in a vacuum is a surefire way to be ignored by shoppers and manufacturers start working on ways to make their wares work together, it will have still helped shoppers in towns without fancy interactive rooms and giant tablets at their disposal.

Filed under: Misc, Household, Internet

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11
Jul

ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 reaches the USA with a $200 price and Intel Inside


asus zenpad s 8

ASUS sure got our attention at Computex 2015, where they announced a couple tablets with a great price and fair specs. The only sad part is that, knowing ASUS, we thought it would probably take a while for these devices to reach the USA. Thankfully, we were wrong! The ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 has launched in the stateside! Well… at least one of them has.

Lucky for us, the USA happened to get the better version of the two (albeit a less powerful version of the better version… if that makes sense). The ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 packs a great 8-inch 2048x1536p IPS display, a 64-bit Intel Atom ZZ3580 processor, 2 GB of RAM 32 GB of internal storage, 5/2 MP cameras and a 15.2 Wh battery. It also sports a 0.27-inch thin body, which is outstanding for a tablet.

asus zenpad s 8.0

No one can deny these specs look good on paper, but they will appear even better once you learn the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0’s pricing range. This tablet is now available from Best Buy for only $200!

You could certainly do much worse with that amount of money, but there is a better option for those who need more power. ASUS is planning to release a more specced out version with 4 GB of RAM, a faster processor, better cameras and even a resourceful USB-C connector. We will likely also see the ZenPad 8.0 (Z380) soon, which is a more affordable tablet with 1-2 GB of RAM, an Intel Atom X3 processor, a disappointing 1280x800p display and 8-16 GB of internal storage.

Those who see potential in the currently available ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 can simply head to BestBuy.com and purchase away. Are any of you signing up for this one? Are you waiting for one of the other versions instead? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

11
Jul

The MicFlip is a fully reversible MicroUSB cable


MicFlip USB

Have you ever tried connecting your Android phone or tablet to the charger cable in the middle of the night without switching the bedside lamp on? It’s a pain, right? You almost always end up turning the light on so you can turn the cable the right way to fit the slot. There is a solution though, in the form of the fully reversible MicFlip MicroUSB cable that is currently the subject of a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.

MicFlipWhile we wait for the reversible USB Type-C to hit the mainstream, most of us are saddled with devices that only have MicroUSB slots with only one way to insert the standard MicroUSB cable. The MicFlip reversible MicroUSB cable means that we can enjoy some of the benefits of USB Type-C in the meantime though. The super-strong, nylon braided cable has corrosion resistant, gold-coated plugs and is 1m (3 feet) long. Did I mention that both ends are reversible, not just the MicroUSB plug but also the USB A plug as well? This means that whichever end of the cable you are trying to insert, it will never be the wrong way round. No more fumbling in the dark when trying to connect your phone or tablet to your wall charger, computer, etc.

MicFlip_

The MicFlip reversible MicroUSB cable is developed by WinnerGear and will work with any device that has a MicroUSB socket such as smartphones, tablets, speakers, power banks etc.

WinnerGear started the MicFlip campaign on Indiegogo with a $6,000 goal which it then met within 24 hours. After just three days, it has managed to raise 347% of its funding target, which is currently standing on over $20,087. There’s still 28 days to go, and the cheaper options of funding are being snapped up fast. While the $10 Super Early Bird option is long gone, the following perks are still available:

  • $15 Early Bird – 1 MicFlip cable
  • $20 First Edition – 1 MicFlip in retail packaging
  • $30 Double Flip – 2 MicFlip cables
  • $100 StockFlip – 10 MicFlip cables in retail packaging
  • $225 Friends & Family – 25 MicFlip cables in retail packaging
  • $425 Fifty Shades of MicFlip – 50 MicFlip cables in retail packaging
  • $1,500 Wholesalers – 200 MicFlip cables in retail packaging

Regardless of which option you choose, free worldwide shipping is included, and if you live in Europe, WinnerGear will ship the MicFlip to you from London (UK), thus avoiding any customs  fees.

MicFlip _

Production of the MicFlip reversible MicroUSB cable was scheduled to begin as soon as the goal was met, with WinnerGear saying it planned to start shipping August, with an absolute deadline of September 1st. I can confirm though that production has already begun, and WinnerGear are now planning to begin shipping the MicFlip by the end of July. They definitely aren’t waiting around. You can navigate to MicFlip’s Indiegogo campaign by clicking here.

What do you think of the MicFlip fully reversible MicroUSB cable?

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: MicFlip (Indiegogo)

Come comment on this article: The MicFlip is a fully reversible MicroUSB cable

11
Jul

PIXELS Defense makes its debut on Google Play


July 24, 2015, is the day that we will all be treated to another Adam Sandler movie. The movie is called Pixels.

IMDB summarizes the plot:

When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.

To celebrate the release of the film later this month, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. has released a tower defense game based off the Pixels movie, called PIXELS Defense. Read the Google Play description.

Play alongside the heroic Arcaders from Pixels the movie in this all ages completely FREE companion app! For the first time, play with PAC-MAN, Centipede, Q*bert, Frogger and more of your favorite game characters in a game that takes an innovative twist on traditional tower defense mechanics.

  • Move your Arcaders into any strategic position you want to

  • Setup Arcaders to target enemies by, nearest, weakest, toughest, first enemy, or completely random

  • Call upon the mighty Lady Lisa of Dojo Quest for help in times of need!

  • Three difficulty levels per stage to put your defender skills to the ultimate test

Hopefully, this turns out to be a good game, but with a 3.3-star rating on Google Play, I have my doubts. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

The post PIXELS Defense makes its debut on Google Play appeared first on AndroidGuys.

11
Jul

Hacking Team’s clients are a who’s who of despotic regimes


We now know that Hacking Team, a company responsible for building some of the more notorious surveillance software in the world, was also doing business with some of the most notorious regimes in the world. How do we know this? Well a treasure trove of leaked documents found their way online. Thanks internet! Wondering just what actors the company was working with and how bad they were? Well check we’ve got a handy breakdown for you below.

Filed under: Internet

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11
Jul

Send directions to device from desktop Google Maps


Google now has made it so a user of Google Maps on the desktop can send directions to his or her mobile device.

To do so:

  1. Go to Google Maps on your computer.
  2. Sign in to Google Maps with the same account on your computer and your mobile device.
  3. Search for a place.
  4. Click Send to device on the place card that pops up.
  5. Choose the device you want to send the information to.

Google Maps' Send to device function

 

 

 

 

 

There are two more things. Firstly, you can’t send a place to your mobile device if you’re using Maps in Lite Mode. In order to turn it off should you have it on, go to the desktop version of Maps and click the main menu in the top left. You will see an option to disable it. Lastly, make sure you have version 9.11.0 (the latest as of this post) or higher of the app.

Source: Google Maps Help via Android and Me

The post Send directions to device from desktop Google Maps appeared first on AndroidGuys.

11
Jul

3 amazing technologies that could be part of your new smartphone


That little computer you carry around in your pocket is already your camera, navigation device, instant messaging machine, ride-hailing tool and phone. But it’s very possible that, in the not-so-distant future, what we now refer to as “smartphones” will actually seem pretty dumb and paper-weighty.

As technology evolves, that mini-computer you are already way too obsessed with is bound to get even more useful. Here are three features that could be in the cell phones of tomorrow.

1. A spectrometer.

Shutterstock.com

What it is: A spectrometer is a tool typically used in physical, chemical and biological research that measures properties of light to analyze an object’s chemical makeup. Until recently, spectrometers were too large to carry around, but that has changed. A company called Consumer Physics introduced a handheld spectrometer named Scio last year, and more recently, MIT announced that scientists at the university have developed a spectrometer small enough to fit inside a smartphone camera.

What it could mean for your smartphone: In a smartphone, a spectrometer could give users an easy and accurate way to detect skin conditions, track a person’s vital signs or identify environmental pollutants. It could also give users a way to find out what’s in their food or medication.

2. Crazy accurate GPS.

Shutterstock.com

What it is: Geolocation technology is already widely used in smartphones. That’s how and why you can follow driving directions with Google maps, get picked up by an Uber, or ask your smartphone to locate the closest Starbucks. But geolocation software developed by engineers at the University of Texas at Austin makes it possible to identify a position accurately to within a centimeter using the inexpensive antenna sensors that are in smartphones. Centimeter-accuracy GPS systems already in existence depend on large and expensive hardware.

What it could mean for your smartphone: Synced with the camera in your smartphone, this down-to-the-centimeter GPS would make it possible to instantly map your surroundings in 3-D, increasing the subtle sophistication of virtual reality technology. Also, centimeter-specific geolocation would allow cars to sense and avoid each other in more nuanced situations.

3. Gas sensors.

Melanie Gonick

What it is: New inexpensive wireless sensors developed by chemists at MIT detect gaseous ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, cyclohexanone and other dangerous gases, and can be read by a smartphone. The sensors are also noteworthy because they don’t need to be plugged in. The technology necessary to read these tags already exists in most smartphones.

What it could mean for your smartphone: The gas-sensor-tag and smartphone reading combo would make it super easy to measure explosive chemicals or hazardous environmental pollutants. The chemical readings from smartphones could be combined with geolocation data to track and map hazardous regions.

Also, a sensor could be fixed to food so that anyone with a smartphone could assess the freshness of food. The sensors could measure chemicals released by rotten or spoiled food.

Related: Why You Should Never Take Your Smartphone to Bed

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Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile

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