Earlier in the week, LG trademarked a number of Edge-related names, prompting rumors that the company could be preparing to launch a curved display smartphone that could rival the stylish looking Galaxy S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ from Samsung. There aren’t any remotely official looking details about such a device floating around right now, but with a second, even more premium smartphone on the way from LG later this year, anticipation is high that LG may have something planned.
What we do know is that LG has the right technology for such a device. The company has already released a handful of smartphones based on flexible display technology, which make use of both LCD and OLED panels types. OLED being the technological basis for Samsung’s curved active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) display in its Edge products.
However, the subtly curved display of the G4 and LG’s other mid-range products this year is based on its LCD technology, which is not particularly bendable. The G Flex range is based on LG’s P-OLED technology which is far more flexible, as can been seen by the slight flexibility lent to these phones. LG’s OLED technology is going to be the key if the company wants to produce more flexible phones in the future. However, the Flex phones have been much smaller releases for the company. We are yet to see a truly mainstream mobile product based on flexible OLED technology from LG.
Part of this is down to LG’s production setup. LCD has long been the backbone of LG Display’s mobile products, but the company has been transitioning to accommodate additional OLED production. This week, LG Display confirmed that it is to invest an additional $8.5 billion into development of next-generation OLED displays, for use in products ranging from TVs to flexible mobile electronics. The company is also bolstering flexible OLED production with a $0.91 billion investment into its 6th generation production technique, but these investments are going to take years to mature.
The other half of the battle is display quality, resolution and cost of production. Samsung has long been in the mobile AMOLED game, which has given the company plenty of time to improve its technology. LG’s latest P-OLED display in the G Flex 2 comes in at a lower 1080p resolution than the QHD panel found in Samsung’s latest phones. A QHD smartphone OLED panel is probably on the way from LG, but the company hasn’t announced anything yet.
The company can already produce these panels in a variety of sizes, but there isn’t a clear use case for this technology in a mobile product. Other flexible components, such as circuits and batteries, are not as advanced and are overly expensive at the moment, leaving us some years short from a truly bendable portable computer. LG’s curved mobile products are pretty much the most that can be done right now, although an Edge-type design is another possibility.
Plastic-OLED also offers a cost advantage over more complex LCD circuitry and pixel designs. The use of plastic, which enables a wide variety of flexibility, is also cheaper than the typical glass alternative for OLED displays. Although LG may not have been first with the technology, the company may be able to compete with a new slimmer design and a lower price point.
The mysterious dual-Edge LG prototype (below) is arguably our best look at what a future G Edge smartphone may look like, which would go directly up against Samsung’s design. However, the prototype apparently only had a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a peak brightness of just 300 nits, well behind Samsung’s equivalent design. Although, LG has no doubt improved its technology since then.
The BlackBerry Venice also sports a similar look and is rumored to have a QHD resolution, but we don’t know who is manufacturing the display, it could be either LG or Samsung.
Perhaps, the G Edge, if or whenever it appears, will be LG’s first major flagship to make use of the company’s advanced OLED panels, but it’s not quite clear how close the company will be able to get to Samsung’s industry leading display technology with a first generation “Edge” product. A major global launch could also be some distance away, depending on how LG prioritises its OLED production capabilities. However, LG is betting big on a future in OLED and I’m sure we will see some exciting mobile products in the not too distant future.
Apple recently hired a senior engineer from Tesla Motors, presumably to work on its secret car project. As highlighted by Reuters, former Tesla Motors Autopilot Firmware Manager Jamie Carlson‘s LinkedIn page says he now works at Apple on “Special Projects.”
His profile doesn’t go into detail on what he did for Tesla, but he was working on the company’s autonomous vehicle firmware project and could be taking on a similar automotive firmware role at Apple.
Reuters also points out several other previously unknown hires with similar expertise in autonomous driving, including Megan McClain, a former Volkswagen engineer, Vinay Palakkode, a graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, and Xianqiao Tong, who developed driver assistance systems for NVIDIA.
On their respecitve LinkedIn pages, McClain is listed as a Mechanical Design Engineer, Palakkode is listed as an engineer working within Apple’s Special Projects Group, and Tong is listed as an R&D engineer. Last fall, Apple also hired Sanjai Massey, a Ford engineer who worked on connected and autonomous vehicles, Stefan Weber, a Bosch engineer who worked on driver assistance systems, and Lech Szumilas, a Delphi research scientist with former expertise in autonomous vehicles.
Rumors have thus far disagreed over whether Apple’s secret car project includes self-driving technology, but it’s possible the company is exploring multiple avenues of development as the project is still in its early stages. A previous report from Reuters citing a source within the automotive industry suggested Apple was working on a self-driving electric car, but a report from The Wall Street Journal stated a self-driving car was not part of Apple’s electric car efforts.
Apple is said to have more than 200 employees working on the electric car, under the code name “Project Titan.” Apple has been heavily recruiting automotive experts over the past several months, with many members on its team coming from companies like Tesla, Ford, GM, MIT Motorsports, Ogin, Autoliv, A123 Systems, General Dynamics, and more.
High profile hires have included Tesla mechanical engineering manager David Nelson, Tesla senior powertrain test engineer John Ireland, Chrysler Group Senior Vice President Doug Betts, A123 Systems Chief Technology Officer Mujeeb Ijaz, and Paul Furgale, a researcher with a specialization in autonomous vehicles.
For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with Imvio to offer five MacRumors readers a chance to win a Imvio Camera Lens Kit for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
The Camera Lens Kit includes a shock absorbent case for the iPhone, a 170 degree fisheye lens, a 90 degree wide-angle lens, and a storage case to hold the lenses when they’re not in use. With the Imvio case on an iPhone, lenses are quickly interchangeable thanks to a simple screw-on fit.
With a wide-angle lens, it’s possible to get improved landscape photos that capture more of your surroundings, while the fisheye lens is ideal for fun, stylized photos. Each lens is crafted from aircraft grade aluminum with an anti-reflective and durability coating to prevent lens glare and scratches.
Imvio’s Camera Lens Kit is available from the Imvio website for $89.99 and comes in four different colors. MacRumors readers can get a 40 percent discount using the code MACRUMORS.
Five readers will also get the chance to win an Imvio Lens Kit for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus through our giveaway. 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 winners.
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 giveawayhttp://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.jsThe contest will run from today (August 21) at 1:00 pm Pacific time through 1:00 pm Pacific time on August 28. The winners will be chosen randomly on August 28 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prizes will be shipped to the winners for free.
With spider robots and BMX bike stunts taking the stage at the opening keynote for this year’s Intel Developer Forum (and hardly any details about actual chips) it’s clear Intel wants to be known for more than just computer CPUs. It’s a wise move, especially if you consider the dwindling PC market. Indeed, the company has been on this trajectory for a while now, with a push into the Internet of Things (remember the smart mug and connected baby onesie from CES 2014?). More recently, too, the company has made a big investment in wearables with its button-sized Curie module and the purchase of several wearable companies, including Basis and Recon. Intel has also branched out into other arenas, like RealSense, its depth-sensing, 3D-scanning tech. As Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO, said during an interview at IDF: “We want to be everywhere.”Slideshow-313605
That is certainly the case with wearables, which Krzanich pointed out to me during a brief tour of the IDF show floor. “I believe we can bring a lot of capability to wearables, probably more than what you see now,” he said. “We can make them much more connected.” As mentioned earlier, there was a BMX stunt bike at the show equipped with Intel’s tiny Curie module to record data like bike spin, airtime and maximum height. But imagine if the cyclist was also sporting a wearable that measured heartrate, or a pair of smart goggles that told him how fast he was going. You could potentially combine all of that information, said Krzanich, and get some really interesting data on your performance. “It’s not just for athletes; you and I could use it too,” he said. “There’s no reason [for example] we can’t transfer this same technology to your wristband or your golf club. And suddenly you’re an intelligent golfer.”
“Here’s one of our newest employees,” he said suddenly. We were standing on the ground floor of Moscone West in San Francisco when he smiled and gestured toward a yellow Labrador, who was wearing a guide dog bib. “We’re going to start working to build dog collars to help people understand how to better train guide dogs,” he explained. It was a brief insight into how Intel is looking into integrating its tech beyond just the usual wearable, although Krzanich was also quick to show off already-announced items like the Recon Jet and Mica bracelet.
Krzanich was also keen to show off the capabilities of Intel’s RealSense, another passion project within the company. More than just a camera, RealSense aims to mimic the human eye, especially in terms of its depth perception. This, Krzanich said, makes interacting with technology much more natural and immersive. “Most cameras see in two dimensions. Ours see in three. It’s multilayered and much, much richer,” he said. Imagine waving your hand over a vending machine to select what you want or a video game racing rig that knows where your gaze lands so the view of the cockpit moves with you.
Indeed, the most futuristic part of the IDF show floor was an area dedicated to RealSense. There were robot butlers that were smart enough to navigate rooms, 3D scanners that could scan your body and then send it to a 3D printer, depth-sensing drones that knew not to fly into trees and magical mirrors that let you virtually try on clothes. And, as was announced earlier this week, a smartphone integrated with Google’s Project Tango that puts the power of 3D scanning in your pocket.
While Intel’s interest in wearables is much more immediate, its investment in RealSense is a bet on the future — a sign that the company plans to cover as many bases as it can. When asked to sum up Intel’s overall direction, Krzanich was ambitious: “You’ll see Intel in every kind of device. From mirrors, to drones, to PCs and datacenters.” And, yes, even spider robots.
Photos by Roberto Baldwin
Tags: briankrzanich, idf2015, intel
In general, gaming hardware has a bit of staying power, at least until you get seduced by a next-gen console. The latest update to our buyer’s guide included many carryovers from last time, although we saw fit to spin off both Sony’s and Microsoft’s respective cameras as their own entries. For the PC gaming set, we swapped in MSI’s latest laptop powerhouse, the GT80 Titan, which offers top-of-the-range options and the satisfying clack of a mechanical keyboard. Also, we had to include Nintendo’s latest 3DS XL; with face-tracking 3D, new buttons and Amiibo support, it’s better than ever. You can find the whole lineup in the gallery below, but if you want to see some picks in other categories, our complete buyer’s guide is always ready and waiting for you.Slideshow-314027
Tags: buyersguide, engadgetbuyersguide, gaming, gifts, microsoft, nintendo, sony
Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines for this week.
- Heartstone’s next huge expansion, dubbed The Grand Tournament, will be getting released in the next few days on August 24th. This is a huge update that will help freshen things up quite a bit and will include all kinds of new features. Hearthstone players rejoice!
- As promised, Square Enix has released Final Fantasy 7 for mobile. Unfortunately, it’s only available on iOS for right now but if history repeats itself, that means it is coming to Android sometime in the next couple of months and we can’t wait for that!
- Fallout Shelter continues to turn heads as it quickly becomes one of the most popular Android games of the year. Bethesda released an infographic to show the game’s success with some very surprising stats, including over one billion sessions played to date.
- The latest PC and Android Humble Bundle is out now and includes several awesome games, including three that are brand new to Android. You can pick up all six games plus whatever is coming soon as long as you beat the average which is just under $3 right now.
- Earlier this week, Android 6.0 got its official name and with that, the final developer preview. Along with that, Google announced that the Play Store will begin accepting apps that are Marshmallow ready which is very exciting because we’re about to see a ton of Android 6.0 oriented app updates.
For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and new releases, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter to see all the stuff we didn’t have time for here. If you’re so inclined, you can also sign up using your email address and we’ll send this newsletter straight to your virtual door every Friday so you don’t have to miss anything.
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Don’t forget to also check us out on Twitch. We’ll be streaming live Android games on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday starting at 4PM Eastern Standard Time each day. I don’t know what we’ll be playing yet but I do know that we always have a blast and we’d love to have you there. Click the button below to check it out!
Viddsee is a new video streaming application that showcases a bunch of independently made short films out of Asia. It’s a little niche but it is free to use and some of the films are actually really good. Every video has English subtitles so you can read along if you don’t understand the language and the app will promote videos for you to check out each week. There is also a queue system and downloading for offline use. It’s actually fairly decent if you like Asian films.
Get it now on Google Play!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Pac-Man 256 is a new spin on the classic arcade game. In this one, instead of navigating mazes until you eat all of the pellets, you’re instead doomed to follow one endless maze forever which technically makes this one an infinite runner game. However, most of the game mechanics remain intact and it’s essentially a standard game of Pac-Man that never ends. It’s free to play and comes from the developers who also did Crossy Road.
Get it now on Google Play!
Move Loot is a new application that’s kind of like the Craigslist of furniture. Using it, you can buy and sell furniture of all shapes and sizes for whatever price you want. It’s well designed and easy to use but there are a few issues. It’s only available in a select number of cities and there are some release day bugs that still need ironed out. Keep an eye on this one though, it’s not amazing yet but it has a lot of potential.
Get it now on Google Play!
Mozilla has been busy lately and they released a new application called Webmaker. As the name implies, you can use this along with a cursory knowledge of CSS and HTML to create web pages right on your phone. There are some release day bugs but otherwise the app seems to be pretty decent and fun. It’s not an advanced tool or anything but it can be fun for beginners or those looking to have some fun. It’s also totally free and open source.
Get it now on Google Play!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Square Enix released Final Fantasy 7 but they also released the Final Fantasy Portal App. This app is kind of a news application that gives you news about all things Final Fantasy, including game releases, announcements, and information about books, music, games, and merchandise. What makes it interesting is that the application also has the Triple Triad card game from Final Fantasy VIII which you can actually play and collect cards for. It’s a must have for Final Fantasy fans.
Get it now on Google Play!
If we missed any great Android apps or games news, let us know about it in the comments below! Thanks for reading and watching and we’ll be back next week!
Samsung releases more devices than any other Android Manufacturer we know. With that said, the company has an extremely hard time keeping up with system updates. A new report states that Samsung’s recent flagships will get Android Marshmallow beginning early 2016.
Android Marshmallow will bring many needed improvements to Android devices. Some of the major ones include improvements in battery consumption, memory usage tracking, power saving, auto backup and app permissions. If you recently bought a Samsung smartphone or tablet, you might be wondering when you’ll be getting Google’s new Android 6.0 update. Samsung says it will be updating its higher end smartphones and tablets first and focus on its mid-range devices a little bit later. Remember that when Samsung pushes out the update, it still must pass through the carriers which can take some additional time pending your carrier. YouMobile states these will be the company’s first devices to receive the Android 6.0 update:
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Duos
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos
- Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
- Samsung Galaxy ALPHA
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A
If you’re not on the list, that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting Android 6.0. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.
Come comment on this article: Samsung’s newest devices to get Android Marshmallow in early 2016
As mentioned in Samsung’s unpacked event, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ are officially up for sale on all major U.S. carriers today! In addition you can also find the company’s new flagships at your local BestBuy store, just check availability before you head out.
Samsung’s newest flagships are some of the best money can buy right now. Each features a crisp 5.7-inch QHD display, best in class camera, fast performance and a slimmed down version of touchwiz. And don’t forget about the Galaxy Note 5’s revamped S Pen. Pre-orders have begun shipping out. Stay tuned at our website for our full review coming soon.
According to Droid-life, here is where you can buy Samsung’s new flagships:
Galaxy Note 5
Galaxy S6 Edge+
Pricing and color availability will vary per carrier.
Come comment on this article: Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ officially hit the shelves on all major U.S. carriers
NASA has apparently been stripping and reusing parts from old spacecraft, because when you have lofty goals and a limited budget, you gotta do what you gotta do. For instance, it’s salvaging the four water tanks installed on the space shuttle Endeavour this week, so the agency can use them to build a new storage system for the International Space Station. Those tanks can store 300 liters in all that can last for 25 to 27 days: they’re expected to help free more time for the crew to spend on their experiments. Also, according to NASA spokesperson Daniel Huot, they “could greatly reduce the overall cost to build the new system.” Refilling the space station’s water reservoir can be time-consuming, since the astronauts recycle every ounce of liquid they can, including urine and sweat.
The space shuttle Endeavour has been a museum piece at the California Science Center for the past few years, but NASA believes its tanks are still in good condition. The water storage system project doesn’t have a clear timeline yet, though, so the agency still doesn’t know if and when the tanks will make it to space. As we mentioned, this isn’t the first time NASA salvaged parts from old spacecraft: It removed the tanks from space shuttle Atlantis back in May and even took out Endeavour’s three main engines years ago before handing it over to the museum. It’s now testing those engines for use with the Space Launch System, which is being touted as the agency’s most powerful rocket yet.
[Image credit: NASA]
Tags: iss, nasa, space, spaceshuttle
A couple of new, useful features are coming to Yahoo’s web email client. For starters, the company has announced that Mail will now send notifications when packages are due to be delivered — you can also track them from there. The same goes for event reminders, which is going to make it easier for you to access information like an address, or get directions to a place. Yahoo says it’ll be rolling this out to users in the US over the next few days, adding that it plans to bring more of these type of notifications to Mail later on. And yes, while Gmail’s had similar features for years, it’s still great news for people who use Yahoo Mail on the regular.
[Image credits: Associated Press]
The Next Web
Tags: Email, EmailClient, Mail, Yahoo, YahooMail