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6
Dec

Bits of a New England Patriots practice get filmed in virtual reality


nfl_football_tunein

If you have a Google Cardboard VR headset, you can watch selected clips from of a recent New England Patriots scrimmage in 360-degrees.

Courtesy of Visa and Bank of America, owners of Google Cardboard can live the experience of a New England Patriots player for a few minutes. Film was taken in 360-degrees scattered throughout a typical day of practice. If you don’t have a compatible virtual reality device, you can still watch the scrimmage in 360-degrees on YouTube, however you’ll have to scroll using the mouse to see the full view. This is the first of its kind, so maybe, just maybe, it’s glimpse of what could be big plans for the future.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: Bits of a New England Patriots practice get filmed in virtual reality

6
Dec

Needle-less system to draw blood patented by Google


google_needle_free_blood_draw_patent

Google has an active branch within the organization that works on a variety of life science issues, like the contact lenses that are being developed that may include a means to monitor glucose levels. Although not “sexy” the work could be some of the most important the company pursues. A new patent application for a needle-free system to draw blood shows yet another project Google has been working on.

The patent application describes a device that fires a microparticle into the skin using a gas-powered mechanism. Negative pressure would then enable the collection of a small amount of blood from the point where the microparticle enters the skin layer.

The description provided by Google indicates the microparticle could penetrate to a distance of .25 mm to 2 mm. This is sufficient to induce a “micro-emergence” of blood released by the impacted tissue, an amount described by Google as what you might get from a mosquito bite. Although this is a small amount, it would be sufficient for medical testing purposes in a variety of situations.

Google’s application explains part of the success of the system is the fact that the size of the microparticle is below the threshold that would trigger a pain sensation for a patient. Google notes that the use of lancets of increasing smaller sizes is that they become too weak to pierce the skin, which was part of the reason for working on a different solution.

Google describes devices using this new technology that are designed for single use as well as multi-use devices that may be worn similar to a smartwatch. However, it is not clear whether Google would be able to produce and get the necessary approvals to make this device an actual product. Anyone who does not enjoy having to give up a small amount of blood via a pin prick certainly hopes so.

source: USPTO
via: Waltonian

Come comment on this article: Needle-less system to draw blood patented by Google

6
Dec

Holiday survival guide: how to make the most out of your Android device this season


christmas-smartphone Shutterstock

The holiday season is full of joy and sharing, but it’s also one of the most stressful times of the year. We turn into frantic shoppers and run around all day, every day, taking care of all the preparations. Despite this being one of the longest vacation times of the year, it is also a main source of frustration. Good news – that nifty little computer you carry in your pocket could make everything so much better!

Our devices can really make the holidays jollier. In this post, our main goal is to help you figure out how you can harness the power of Android and make Santa seem like a snail. We have curated a comprehensive list of apps, services, products and other tools to give you the boost you need, so let’s get started.

Finding the best deals

Groupon

Groupon is one of the most popular Android apps for finding good deals on the daily. With support for over 500 cities, it is almost guaranteed many of you will be covered. And these deals range from tech to food, clothes, entertainment and more. They do have themed collections for holidays and special occasions, so you can be sure you will find a Christmas gift or two.

See Groupon in the Google Play Store

Groupon-Hero

DailySteals

DailySteals is actually a very popular website for finding deals, but they have joined the mobile realms and now cater to everyone on-the-go. These are mostly tech-related offers, and as the name entails, they usually last only one day. Maybe you could just download the app and check for cool deals once a day – you might find something you like!

See DailySteals in the Google Play Store

dailysteals

Woot

Woot.com is another very popular website that switches its deals around once a day. It’s always a hit or miss with these sites, so you best be prepared for when those cool offers do show up. You can download the app and keep track of everything that goes up on the site.

See Woot in the Google Play Store

woot

Slickdeals

If you are a fan of finding deals online, you have probably heard of Slickdeals. This site is huge, and for very good reasons. I really can’t think of another site where you can find as many deals as in here. This is because Slickdeals happens to be a community-driven site. Its users share, rate and find deals any time of the day, every day of the year.

See Slickdeals in the Google Play Store

slickdeals

Amazon Shopping

Amazon has always been a good source for low prices, something their app clearly showcases. Not only because it allows users to find a sea of products available for purchasing, but Amazon also has its Gold Box Deals, which you can easily navigate through, using the app.

To make matters even more interesting, the Amazon Shopping application makes it easy for you to see what online prices for other products are. Just grab any product at a store, scan it (or the bar code) and see how much it would cost to get it straight from Amazon. It’s also very helpful if you go to stores that happen to price match Amazon (like Best Buy).

See Amazon Shopping in the Google Play Store

Amazon logo Shutterstock

Best Buy

Talking about Best Buy, you can also grab the popular retailer’s app and keep track of all the tech you need. They also happen to have their daily deals, and you can even see if products you need are available at your local stores. I use this app at least once a week and it always works like a charm!

See Best Buy in the Google Play Store

Best Buy

Walmart

Are you a frequent Walmart buyer? You can find these stores pretty much anywhere in the country (and many parts of the world). They tend to have some of the best prices around, which makes it a good download already, but the reason why I really like this app is the Savings Catcher feature.

Savings Catcher allows the customer to scan his/her receipt after a purchase. The service will then search for local competitors’ prices and price match them by giving you the difference in the form of a gift card. This is pretty awesome, if you ask me, and it takes little to no work from your part.

See Walmart in the Google Play Store

Walmart-Logo-slogan

Use Android Pay for your purchases

During the holidays, time is not only money, it is also precious moments you could spend enjoying with your loved ones. Forget about the cash and searching through all your pockets for cards. Your phone is always conveniently available, so take advantage of it by using mobile payments.

Of course, our favorite contact-less payment service is Android Pay. Pretty much any NFC-clad smartphone can use it, and merchants continue signing up to support the service. It will save you time and awe plenty of people. It’s actually still one of the best conversation starters, in my experience.

By the way, you could also use Samsung Pay if you have a Sammy smartphone. Sometimes they’ll even give you freebies if you sign up! Definitely check them out too.

See Android Pay in the Google Play Store

android-pay-main

Finding your way home for the holidays (or visiting somewhere new)

December is one of the busiest times for airports and other transportation services. Not all of us can jump in a car and drive days to go visit family across the country, so you will definitely need some help getting home for the holidays.

Google Keep

Want to make sure you don’t forget anything before jumping on that plane? I love using Google Keep for keeping track of all my to-dos. It’s Google’s official app, so it works great with all Android devices, and it happens to be super simple. Just create a list of all the things you need to take and check them off as you pack them. Then make another list of errands you have to take care of before leaving!

See Google Keep in the Google Play Store

Google Keep AA

Google Maps

Many of you are probably going to places you are not familiar with. Some say the best tool is the one you always have with you, and for Android users the pre-installed location & navigation app is Google Maps. By the way, this is also arguably the best option around, so it’s a win-win situation. I mean, people from other platforms go out of their way to download Google Maps!

See Google Maps in the Google Play Store

Google maps new icon AA

HERE Maps

Yes, I just went there… a mapping app that is not from Google! But why would an Android-focused website recommend that? Because we know other manufacturers and developers can do great products, as well.

I happen to like HERE Maps for a couple of reasons. The first is that they offer offline maps for over 100 cities. Google has a way o save mapping information too, but it’s not nearly as convenient and straight forward. I also love that HERE Maps knows the speed limits for all streets. I’ve never actually encountered a situation in which the app doesn’t know how fast I should be going.

See HERE Maps in the Google Play Store

here-maps

Google Translate

Tired of all them Google apps yet? We are not, and it’s because the Search Giant truly has some of the best services around!

We know some of you will be traveling to foreign countries this holiday season, which can be a challenge if you don’t know the local language. Google Translate is totally awesome. Aside from supporting over 90 languages, it can serve all your needs. Easily type into a word box or speak to the phone and have it translate your words.

Not cool enough? How about live text translation by using the camera? Yes, that is possible too. Just point your camera at any writing and see it convert to your language of choice.

See Google Translate in the Google Play Store

Kayak Flights, Hotels & Cars

Kayak is one of the most popular apps for finding flights, booking hotels and renting vehicles. The application has a 4.5-star rating in the Google Play Store, and for good reason. Kayak makes it easy to find all your accommodations while traveling. The app is simple and very clean, and it will do the job with no issues. If you are not staying with the parents this holiday, you could always go with this one!

See Kayak in the Google Play Store

kayak

Airbnb

Surely, hotels are not for everyone. Maybe you want something a bit more homey and less crowded for your holiday stay, and Airbnb is great at finding just that. Airbnb is a platform people can use to rent their homes to interested members. It’s safe, comfortable, easy and sometimes even more affordable than traditional hotels.

See Airbnb in the Google Play Store

Uber

You probably won’t have a car during your travels either (unless you rent one), so Uber will definitely be a great tool to keep around. Yes, we know there are plenty of other awesome ride-sharing apps out there, but Uber happens to be the one most available; not only in the USA, but also in may other countries. This is the main reason why we decided to pick this one for the list.

Uber is a service in which people can call upon a private driver to take them anywhere. It’s cheaper than a cab and service tends to be awesome. I use it all the time for my weekend adventures!

See Uber in the Google Play Store

uber

GasBuddy

Did you end up taking your car (or renting one)? You will need to gas up at some point, and we all know how pricey that can get! Using GasBuddy you can find the cheapest gas prices within your vicinity. It’s crazy how quickly those cents of difference can add up! The app sure needs some work when compared to the sweet 2015 designs we see nowadays, but it works.

See GasBuddy in the Google Play Store

Google Search & Google Now

This one is going to sound a little obvious to many of you, but many others have no idea how helpful Google Search and Google Now can really be. Google Search’s knowledge graph is immense, so you could ask a bunch of information about key locations and buildings. In addition, Google can compute tips, work as a calculator, make money conversions, translate between languages and more. Google Now will even give you information on your flights, which it pulls from Gmail. It’s a total life-saver; the only downside is that it does need an internet connection.

See Google in the Google Play Store

Google Search 3.6.14


Google Now on Tap reviewSee also: Google Now on Tap quick look8

Finding the best gifts for Christmas

Need help finding the best gifts for your friends and family? If the apps listed earlier in this article are not good enough for you, we have a plethora of comprehensive best gifts lists for every type of person. Here are some of the most popular ones!

Conclusion

So there you have it. These are all the tools you can have in your smartphone to become the holiday hero your family needs you to be. We hope they make your days at least a bit easier, and please do hit the comments to share your own tips for saving the day with Android during the season! Are there any apps, services or products you would recommend your fellow Android smartphone bearers?

6
Dec

Holiday survival guide: how to make the most out of your Android device this season


christmas-smartphone Shutterstock

The holiday season is full of joy and sharing, but it’s also one of the most stressful times of the year. We turn into frantic shoppers and run around all day, every day, taking care of all the preparations. Despite this being one of the longest vacation times of the year, it is also a main source of frustration. Good news – that nifty little computer you carry in your pocket could make everything so much better!

Our devices can really make the holidays jollier. In this post, our main goal is to help you figure out how you can harness the power of Android and make Santa seem like a snail. We have curated a comprehensive list of apps, services, products and other tools to give you the boost you need, so let’s get started.

Finding the best deals

Groupon

Groupon is one of the most popular Android apps for finding good deals on the daily. With support for over 500 cities, it is almost guaranteed many of you will be covered. And these deals range from tech to food, clothes, entertainment and more. They do have themed collections for holidays and special occasions, so you can be sure you will find a Christmas gift or two.

See Groupon in the Google Play Store

Groupon-Hero

DailySteals

DailySteals is actually a very popular website for finding deals, but they have joined the mobile realms and now cater to everyone on-the-go. These are mostly tech-related offers, and as the name entails, they usually last only one day. Maybe you could just download the app and check for cool deals once a day – you might find something you like!

See DailySteals in the Google Play Store

dailysteals

Woot

Woot.com is another very popular website that switches its deals around once a day. It’s always a hit or miss with these sites, so you best be prepared for when those cool offers do show up. You can download the app and keep track of everything that goes up on the site.

See Woot in the Google Play Store

woot

Slickdeals

If you are a fan of finding deals online, you have probably heard of Slickdeals. This site is huge, and for very good reasons. I really can’t think of another site where you can find as many deals as in here. This is because Slickdeals happens to be a community-driven site. Its users share, rate and find deals any time of the day, every day of the year.

See Slickdeals in the Google Play Store

slickdeals

Amazon Shopping

Amazon has always been a good source for low prices, something their app clearly showcases. Not only because it allows users to find a sea of products available for purchasing, but Amazon also has its Gold Box Deals, which you can easily navigate through, using the app.

To make matters even more interesting, the Amazon Shopping application makes it easy for you to see what online prices for other products are. Just grab any product at a store, scan it (or the bar code) and see how much it would cost to get it straight from Amazon. It’s also very helpful if you go to stores that happen to price match Amazon (like Best Buy).

See Amazon Shopping in the Google Play Store

Amazon logo Shutterstock

Best Buy

Talking about Best Buy, you can also grab the popular retailer’s app and keep track of all the tech you need. They also happen to have their daily deals, and you can even see if products you need are available at your local stores. I use this app at least once a week and it always works like a charm!

See Best Buy in the Google Play Store

Best Buy

Walmart

Are you a frequent Walmart buyer? You can find these stores pretty much anywhere in the country (and many parts of the world). They tend to have some of the best prices around, which makes it a good download already, but the reason why I really like this app is the Savings Catcher feature.

Savings Catcher allows the customer to scan his/her receipt after a purchase. The service will then search for local competitors’ prices and price match them by giving you the difference in the form of a gift card. This is pretty awesome, if you ask me, and it takes little to no work from your part.

See Walmart in the Google Play Store

Walmart-Logo-slogan

Use Android Pay for your purchases

During the holidays, time is not only money, it is also precious moments you could spend enjoying with your loved ones. Forget about the cash and searching through all your pockets for cards. Your phone is always conveniently available, so take advantage of it by using mobile payments.

Of course, our favorite contact-less payment service is Android Pay. Pretty much any NFC-clad smartphone can use it, and merchants continue signing up to support the service. It will save you time and awe plenty of people. It’s actually still one of the best conversation starters, in my experience.

By the way, you could also use Samsung Pay if you have a Sammy smartphone. Sometimes they’ll even give you freebies if you sign up! Definitely check them out too.

See Android Pay in the Google Play Store

android-pay-main

Finding your way home for the holidays (or visiting somewhere new)

December is one of the busiest times for airports and other transportation services. Not all of us can jump in a car and drive days to go visit family across the country, so you will definitely need some help getting home for the holidays.

Google Keep

Want to make sure you don’t forget anything before jumping on that plane? I love using Google Keep for keeping track of all my to-dos. It’s Google’s official app, so it works great with all Android devices, and it happens to be super simple. Just create a list of all the things you need to take and check them off as you pack them. Then make another list of errands you have to take care of before leaving!

See Google Keep in the Google Play Store

Google Keep AA

Google Maps

Many of you are probably going to places you are not familiar with. Some say the best tool is the one you always have with you, and for Android users the pre-installed location & navigation app is Google Maps. By the way, this is also arguably the best option around, so it’s a win-win situation. I mean, people from other platforms go out of their way to download Google Maps!

See Google Maps in the Google Play Store

Google maps new icon AA

HERE Maps

Yes, I just went there… a mapping app that is not from Google! But why would an Android-focused website recommend that? Because we know other manufacturers and developers can do great products, as well.

I happen to like HERE Maps for a couple of reasons. The first is that they offer offline maps for over 100 cities. Google has a way o save mapping information too, but it’s not nearly as convenient and straight forward. I also love that HERE Maps knows the speed limits for all streets. I’ve never actually encountered a situation in which the app doesn’t know how fast I should be going.

See HERE Maps in the Google Play Store

here-maps

Google Translate

Tired of all them Google apps yet? We are not, and it’s because the Search Giant truly has some of the best services around!

We know some of you will be traveling to foreign countries this holiday season, which can be a challenge if you don’t know the local language. Google Translate is totally awesome. Aside from supporting over 90 languages, it can serve all your needs. Easily type into a word box or speak to the phone and have it translate your words.

Not cool enough? How about live text translation by using the camera? Yes, that is possible too. Just point your camera at any writing and see it convert to your language of choice.

See Google Translate in the Google Play Store

Kayak Flights, Hotels & Cars

Kayak is one of the most popular apps for finding flights, booking hotels and renting vehicles. The application has a 4.5-star rating in the Google Play Store, and for good reason. Kayak makes it easy to find all your accommodations while traveling. The app is simple and very clean, and it will do the job with no issues. If you are not staying with the parents this holiday, you could always go with this one!

See Kayak in the Google Play Store

kayak

Airbnb

Surely, hotels are not for everyone. Maybe you want something a bit more homey and less crowded for your holiday stay, and Airbnb is great at finding just that. Airbnb is a platform people can use to rent their homes to interested members. It’s safe, comfortable, easy and sometimes even more affordable than traditional hotels.

See Airbnb in the Google Play Store

Uber

You probably won’t have a car during your travels either (unless you rent one), so Uber will definitely be a great tool to keep around. Yes, we know there are plenty of other awesome ride-sharing apps out there, but Uber happens to be the one most available; not only in the USA, but also in may other countries. This is the main reason why we decided to pick this one for the list.

Uber is a service in which people can call upon a private driver to take them anywhere. It’s cheaper than a cab and service tends to be awesome. I use it all the time for my weekend adventures!

See Uber in the Google Play Store

uber

GasBuddy

Did you end up taking your car (or renting one)? You will need to gas up at some point, and we all know how pricey that can get! Using GasBuddy you can find the cheapest gas prices within your vicinity. It’s crazy how quickly those cents of difference can add up! The app sure needs some work when compared to the sweet 2015 designs we see nowadays, but it works.

See GasBuddy in the Google Play Store

Google Search & Google Now

This one is going to sound a little obvious to many of you, but many others have no idea how helpful Google Search and Google Now can really be. Google Search’s knowledge graph is immense, so you could ask a bunch of information about key locations and buildings. In addition, Google can compute tips, work as a calculator, make money conversions, translate between languages and more. Google Now will even give you information on your flights, which it pulls from Gmail. It’s a total life-saver; the only downside is that it does need an internet connection.

See Google in the Google Play Store

Google Search 3.6.14


Google Now on Tap reviewSee also: Google Now on Tap quick look8

Finding the best gifts for Christmas

Need help finding the best gifts for your friends and family? If the apps listed earlier in this article are not good enough for you, we have a plethora of comprehensive best gifts lists for every type of person. Here are some of the most popular ones!

Conclusion

So there you have it. These are all the tools you can have in your smartphone to become the holiday hero your family needs you to be. We hope they make your days at least a bit easier, and please do hit the comments to share your own tips for saving the day with Android during the season! Are there any apps, services or products you would recommend your fellow Android smartphone bearers?

6
Dec

EA’s new jobs hint at plans for VR gaming


EA hasn’t done much of anything with virtual reality so far, but that may well change soon. DICE has started hiring creatives and engineers to bring VR support to Frostbite, EA’s seemingly ubiquitous game engine. Don’t expect the developer to go all-in on immersive displays just yet. This is a “small and collaborative” team, technical director Johan Andersson says. Still, the hires could represent a big step toward bringing VR gaming into the mainstream. While you can already find VR in a few important game engines, such as Unreal Engine and Unity, EA has some of the gaming world’s biggest franchises under its belt — a VR Battlefield or sports title could give the technology broader recognition.

Via: Road To VR

Source: Frostbite, Johan Andersson (Twitter)

6
Dec

PlayStation VR is a few games away from being ready for prime time


The PlayStation Experience event in San Francisco this weekend is one of the biggest opportunities to date for the public to check out PlayStation VR — more than a dozen titles are on display here, including titles from Sony, Harmonix, Capcom and more. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been easy for those at the show to actually try those games out. Attendees were able to sign up ahead of time and reserve a slot to try the PlayStation VR experience, but a glitch in Sony’s database erased all those reservations, leaving a bunch of excited fans figuratively out in the cold.

6
Dec

The After Math: With great power


Well, this week as been rather terrible. With all the death and mayhem both at home and abroad, it’s enough to make anyone feel rather helpless. It’s times like these that we have to force ourselves to remember there is still a great deal of good left in the world. From life-saving medical advancements and clean energy promises to superior image scanners and kick-assier video games, this week’s selection shows that humanity isn’t all bad (just mostly).

Slideshow-345794

6
Dec

Watch the Patriots practice in VR through Google Cardboard


You can’t currently get a first-hand experience of an NFL game short of becoming a football star and strapping on a helmet, but Bank of America and Visa are promising the next best thing. They’ve launched a virtual reality experience that lets you see the New England Patriots’ training sessions using Google Cardboard. If you’ve ever wanted to see Gillette Stadium from the field or watch Tom Brady lead a practice play, you now have an easy way to do it. Only Android users can get the full-on VR experience, unfortunately, but any Patriots fan who can watch 360-degree YouTube clips can check it out.

[Image credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images]

Source: Visa

6
Dec

Google Cast posts new advertisements for both the new Chromecast model and Chromecast Audio


chromecast_wallpapers_app_icon

Just yesterday, Google Cast uploaded two new advertisements, one for the new Chromecast model and the other for the Chromecast Audio adapter.

Google is beginning to give its new Chromecast model and Chromecast Audio dongle more attention. The tech giant’s latest ads show off how useful the dongles can be.

In the first ad, Google shows two people casting back and forth to the TV set in their home. Each person conveys the words they want to say through means of the TV. The video ends with one girl apologizing for doing the wrong thing and hugging the other. Google closes with the words, “don’t love it a little, love it a lot.” The idea is that the Chromecast can bring people together.

The second ad starts off with a girl humming a song. Someone observing then uses Spotify to recognize the song title and casts it to nearby speakers wirelessly using his/her Chromecast Audio. Google displays the words “play your music apps out loud.”

Both the new Chromecast model and Chromecast Audio dongle are available in stores today for only $35. You can watch the ads in their entirety down below.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: Google Cast posts new advertisements for both the new Chromecast model and Chromecast Audio

6
Dec

BlackBerry to announce its total Priv sales on December 18


blackberry_priv_front_closeup_logo

December 18 may be the day we figure out whether BlackBerry hit a home-run with its Priv handset or had a major flop.

From our perspective, many see the BlackBerry Priv as a game changer. It has a unique design, useful features, a great display and is one of the most secure Android handsets out there. Over the course of its selling period, the Priv was able to sell in seven different countries including Canada, the United States, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Up until this point, there has been no indication on how many units have actually been sold. This could be a make or break for BlackBerry, and will be a major turning point for the company’s mobile division whichever way it goes. The company is also said to announce its total third quarter financial results.

So, how many units do you think BlackBerry managed to sell? Feel free to leave your prediction down in the comments.

Via: Mobilesyrup

Come comment on this article: BlackBerry to announce its total Priv sales on December 18

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