If you’re a developer, you’re certainly interested in some of the changes being made in the latest version of Android OS, 4.4 KitKat— this includes new guidelines, orientations, and workflows for user interaction and experience. For development, this includes access to new tools or APIs. Check out some of the videos below!
Google constantly updates Google Now, tweaking small things under the hood, normally without us even knowing it. But with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5, we’ll see some major changes brought to how the app works, which Android and Chrome OS chief Sundar Pichai explained at a press conference this afternoon.
The plan is the seamlessly blend search results with the apps already installed on your device. For example, when searching for a restaurant, instead of Google Now bringing you to the clunky OpenTable mobile site, you’ll have the app opened with exactly what you’re looking for, right then and there. Same goes for the AllRecipes app when looking for recipes, and a select number of apps. The new features should roll out by mid-November, and an API will also be released which will allow all developers to enable their apps for this functionality.
Hey, who doesn’t love a good discount nowadays? Well, you’re in luck. The MotoMaker Moto X has now dropped to a mere $479.99 for a no-contract version of the handset. If you want to own your device right out, we think this is a pretty fair price to go the hassle-free route of not being locked into a carrier. The original drop to $99 for the on-contract device is still available should you want to go the subsidized route. However, at this time the offer for the non-contract device only extends to the AT&T version through the MotoMaker site. The off-contract price is good for the 16GB model while the 32GB will run you $529.99. Stay tuned as we’ll keep an eye out should the offer extend to T-Mobile customers which would be ideal since the device is currently a whopping $599.99 for a 16GB (Dev Edition $649.99/32GB). It would probably be in Magenta’s best interest to get the ball rolling on a price drop to take advantage of the upcoming holidays. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.
Ouya, the popular game console manufacturer is at it again with what appears to be a follow through on promised new Android powered gaming devices. Announcements of Ouya 2.0 are already in the works and is geared up for a release to the masses some time next year. In addition, the company is in favor of updating the look of their consoles with a whole new design leaving previous models behind. CEO Julie Urman made the following statement to further corroborate:
Our plan is to have Ouya 2.0 sometime next year, we haven’t finalized the date of that. We’re still determining what exactly we want that to be. For the hardware, we are looking at different chips. We are looking at what type of performance we want.
It looks as though Samsung’s got their version of “rec specs 2.0″ coming down the pike, as recent patent filings by the company reveal designs for new sports smart-glasses, which connect to your device via micro-USB.
This new device, if it comes to fruition, will of course join the Galaxy Gear smart-watch as part of Samsung’s new line of “wearables.” It isn’t exactly a Google Glass “copy,” especially because it’s got micro-USB connectivity attached, and it is also meant for a separate demographic, athletes.
The patent also describes the device as having integrated earphones for listening to music and taking calls hands-free. It will also be able to display notification alerts while you’re exercising. Hopefully they’ll be compatible with more than one smartphone, unlike the Galaxy Gear at launch…
If Samsung plans to continue with the ‘Galaxy’ brand name, expect the device to be called “Galaxy Glasses.”
Hit the break for more pictures.
Polaroid announced their iM1836 Android-powered camera back at CES 2013 in January, and starting now it’s available at Walmart or on Amazon.com. The device features an interchangeable lens, which is a nice addition that keeps it ahead of the Galaxy Camera. Pricing isn’t bad either at $299.99.
You can hit the break for the full press release.
As we wait for battery technology to improve, many turn to battery accessories to give their devices that extra ‘push’ that they need to get them through the day.
Xtorm has a new solution that most will probably find extremely useful. The company has launched a solar battery pack accessory for the Galaxy S4, which promises to add an extra 3000mAh of battery capacity to your handset.
The design is a bit bulky, but you don’t have to keep it attached at all times. When your phone needs a boost, simply plug it in and let it do its thing— of course keeping it plugged in will ensure that you’ll have a near-full battery at most times, but for aesthetic reasons, it’s understandable that you’d want it to be disconnected at some times.
The Xtorm GS4 Solar Power Pack will hit store in Europe for about €50, or just under $70 USD.
If you’ve really got your heart set on a Red HTC One Mini you’re in luck. The folks over at Phones 4U in the UK, who already have a red HTC One, have just announced they’ll be offering the flashy mini variant starting in November. The offer, for now, is exclusive for Phones 4U customers only so you’ll just have to be patient if they’re not your carrier. However, if flashy colors aren’t your thing, you can pick up the One Mini in silver and black over at EE, T-Mobile, Orange and Vodafone for free on contract at just £26/mo ($41.94/mo).
If you’d like to pick up a SIM free device you’ll be looking in the price range of around £389.95 ($629.07). If you’re feeling froggy and want to jump on the Red One Mini, check out the link below to Phones 4U and don’t forget to check out the press release for the more granular details.
As usual, the boys over at CyanogenMod are keeping busy working on making your Android experience the best it can be. Recall at the Big Android BBQ 2013 event, the team announced that they’ll be offering their popular custom ROM’s in a couple of different flavors. The team was pretty bent on arguing the fact that it’s not the carriers who should be dictating software based decisions to OEM’s but that it should be left to the user to do so. As a result, the team revealed that their new versions will cater respectively to both the beginner and the advanced user who’s looking to liven their devices up a bit.
The team tossed out some pretty hefty stats claiming that there are 8.2 million active CyanogenMod users out there and there are 38 million downloads for over 100 different devices. In addition, the popular custom ROM maker says there are over 3,000 different contributors assisting with development. So, what’s the difference between the two versions? Hit the break to compare the “Community” and the “Pro” versions and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.
More and more information has been getting out about Amazon’s upcoming smartphone— we now have details suggesting the device will feature real-word 3D object recognition, much like Google’s “Goggles” application.
Amazon’s version, however, would link images of 3D objects to product pages on Amazon, obviously prodding users to purchase the item they’re looking at.
In Amazon’s patent application for the service, it is called “user guided object identification.”
This will obviously all depend on actual user implementation— it could just be a cool little gadget, or something that people actually use to shop. My guess is the former…