The holidays are a time to forget about your fitness goals and indulge. And what better to stuff your face with than, well, your face? Candy Mechanics is in the business of personalised chocolate, but the company’s latest service takes that idea one step further: chocolate people. Or rather, chocolate heads, known as Lolpops. All you need is a smartphone or tablet to film a 30-second, close-up video of someone’s mug from all angles (Candy Mechanics’ website talks you through the process). Upload that video, and fancy Autodesk software builds a 3D model from the footage that’s then used to create chocolate heads on sticks.
Candy Mechanics offered a similar service for a limited time last year, setting up shop in London’s Selfridges store for six weeks. Back then, though, the process involved a 3D scanner, and a 3D printer that would make chocolate molds customers could take away to craft their own Lolpops. It was much more time-consuming than the new process, whereby a machine carves the heads out of chocolate “blanks.” (Confectionary-specific 3D printers aren’t quite up to scratch yet, it would seem.)
While the new Lolpops are available to anyone in the UK with a phone, they are still a “limited edition” product. Candy Mechanics is only accepting 500 orders before Christmas, and with a pack of three setting you back £20 (edible gold finish included), they aren’t the cheapest novelty item. Still, there’s nothing quite like a personalised gift — though if you fancy picking up a set for the chocolate lover in your life, best start coming up with excuses for needing a 30-second close-up video of them if you don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Source: Candy Mechanics
Google really wants the apps you use to take the context of where you are into account. Thus Nearby, a feature that uses Bluetooth and your device’s GPS to deliver you apps based on where you are. The post on Google’s official Android blog gives a few examples of how this might work: printing photos directly from your phone when you’re in a CVS Pharmacy or using the Mobile Passport app to duck the customs line at certain airports.
The feature is baked into an update to Google Play Services that’s rolling out now and works on devices running KitKat and up; all you really need to do here to use Nearby is have Bluetooth and GPS activated. Much like physical web beacons, you’ll receive a notification when you’re in proximity to one of the Nearby apps and if you’d rather not check it out, you don’t have to.
Source: Official Android Blog
Now that Google has officially released Chrome 51 on Android, it’s reversed a change that came with Lollipop in 2014. That release of Android brought in the option to “Merge tabs and apps” which put open tabs in the app switcher instead of all in one process and was on by default. The only problem was that we disliked it from the start, and so did many others, who quickly disabled it. Now the option is gone altogether, and the old tab selecting option is back by default. As we noted in our Lollipop review, it’s just an easier way to keep track of tabs, and also makes it easier to scroll through any recently opened apps. If you don’t have the new version already, check Google Play for an update.
Source: Google Chrome Releases, Google Play
The latest version of Android just hit a big, big milestone. Google’s early June developer stats have revealed that Marshmallow is now on just over 10 percent of Android devices, representing a huge jump from just 2.3 percent in March. Notably, only some of that surge can be credited to people upgrading from Lollipop. While the not-quite-current version’s adoption did go down (to 35.4 percent), the biggest declines in usage were for Jelly Bean and KitKat. In essence: many of those moving to Marshmallow may well have been replacing devices that were 3 or more years old.
The timing isn’t coincidental, as you might have gathered. In the three months since we last looked back, numerous smartphone makers have delivered Marshmallow phones in force. The Galaxy S7 is the big kahuna, but you can also point to phones like the HTC 10, LG G5 and Sony’s newer Xperias as factors. If you bought a brand new device this spring, especially if it was reasonably high-end, it might have been hard to avoid Marshmallow.
To us, the big unknown is how well Marshmallow will fare by the time its successor rolls around in a few months, around Marshmallow’s first anniversary. Lollipop took a year and a half to become the dominant Android flavor. Although Marshmallow isn’t necessarily going to repeat history, its year-one figures should give you a good idea as to whether or not it’s doing as well as its predecessor.
Source: Android Developers