Google TV wasn’t as great as we all expected when it debuted a few years ago, but Google is back with another television platform.
Officially announced at the Google I/O 2014 keynote today, Android TV will bring an entirely new home entertainment experience to your living room. The service will launch in the fall, but for now, check out our information on the platform here.
And be sure to check out the rest of our Google I/O 2014 coverage as well. Hit the break for our hands-on video with Android TV at Google I/O.
Is today the day that we finally see Samsung’s first Android Wear device? It’s expected that the beans will be spilled (officially) at Google I/O today, possibly at or right after the keynote.
In just a few hours, we might know the full details on the device, including specs and release date… Or maybe we’ll know right now.
If the waiting game isn’t your thing, here’s what we know about the device. (Rumors only, of course.)
Nest has announced a new stage in the development of their home automation platform, a new Nest API that can be used by third-party developers to connect not only apps with Nest hardware and products, but other hardware as well. As an example, Nest indicates LIFX bulbs can be connected to Nest Protect so that they will turn red when smoke or CO is detected. This gives users an additional visual cue to potential problems. The new Nest API is being rolled out as part of a “Works with Nest” certification for partner companies to help develop the ecosystem and in the words of Nest, “anticipate people’s needs and make their lives easier.”
You can certainly expect Android Wear to be seen everywhere at Google I/O next week in San Francisco— we’ll be there, naturally, and up-to-the-minute coverage can be found right on TalkAndroid.
To prepare for the event, Google has released a video on YouTube previewing the features of Android Wear, and provides a general idea how it all “works.”
In the video, you’ll hear about how Android Wear seeks to minimize the time/effort it takes to interact with mobile applications on your smartwatch, as well as the ease developers will have while creating apps for the new platform. We’ll get a good look at the first Android Wear device, the LG G Watch, next week as well. Hit the break for the video.
Samsung was reported to be working on a new virtual reality headset with the help of Oculus VR and while we know they want to get the device to market as quickly as possibly, there has been no information about a possible timeframe. A new application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests Samsung is moving quickly as they have filed for trademark protection on the term “SAMSUNG GEAR VR”. Considered in light of their Gear 2 and Gear Fit devices, it seems Samsung is ready to slap the “Gear” moniker on any wearable device they produce.
Some sources have speculated Samsung may have the device ready to launch in conjunction with the Galaxy Note 4 later this year. Thanks to the partnership between Samsung and Oculus VR, with Samsung handling hardware while Oculus VR takes care of the software, such a timeline may be feasible.
If you’re planning on plunking down a few hundred on either the newly announced Tab S 8.4 or Tab S 10.5 then you may want to consider looking for some accessories for the new tablets. Samsung has you covered too. Simply named Bluetooth Keyboard, Book Cover and Simple Cover you know exactly what you’ll be getting. Availability and pricing are unknown though.
Now that the Galaxy Tab S is officially outed, we’ll start to see an outpouring of accessories for the device.
First up is an offering from Logitech — it’s called the Logitech Type-S, specifically made for the Tab S. It’s Bluetooth enabled, has well-spaced keys, has Android shortcuts and versatile viewing positions. The battery is pretty impressive, as it can last up to 3 months on a single charge. It’s also water-repellant.
The keyboard will go on sale later this month in the U.S., Europe and select countries in Asia for a suggested retail price of $99.99. Hit the break for the presser.
Starbucks already offers WiFi access points for customers, but it looks like they’re going a step further and adding another technological convenience to their stores in the US: wireless charging mats. Duracell and Starbucks have made a joint announcement that they’ll be rolling out Duracell Powermat Spots that will be designated areas or tables where you can simply drop your (wireless charging-capable) device to juice up the battery while you wait for your coffee.
The rollout for the Powermats will start in Seattle and New York, and will gradually start hitting other stores over the year. Every store should have wireless charging stations implemented by 2015.
Pebble’s latest smartwatch, the Pebble Steel, will be going on sale in all Best Buys on June 15th. The watch features a waterproof design, a week-long battery life, and rich notifications, as well as continued updates and access to Pebble’s app store, so it’s definitely a worthy upgrade to the original Pebble Smartwatch.
The watch will be launching in two colors: Brushed Stainless and Matte Black. Both versions come with a leather watch strap, and Best Buy is going to offer matching Brushed Stainless and Matte Black straps later in the year. The Pebble Steel will run $229 when it releases.
Samsung is ready to unveil their new line of tablet devices tomorrow at an event in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The Galaxy Tab S tablets will come equipped with 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED displays which should really raise the bar for a tablet device. To help protect the fancy new screens, buyers may be interested in Samsung’s official flip covers for the new tablets. The new covers utilize some proprietary connectors embedded in the back panels of the new tablets. It appears that at least initially the covers will come in a choice of two colors, a shade of white and another dark gray in color. The design appears to carry over the dimpled, band-aid look of Samsung’s recent device covers although it is more subtle.
Hit the break and check out a gallery of some images of the new flip covers obtained by SamMobile.