Google to launch $100K developers’ challenge for Project Ara

by Jeff Causey on
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As Google continues their march toward release of the modular Project Ara smartphone, one of the things they will need to make the device successful are apps, especially those that are unique to the modular platform. At the second day of their Project Ara developers’ conference, they have announced a developers’ challenge that will launch in May and run through September with a $100,000 prize. » Read the rest

Google, NASA test Project Tango equipped SPHERES in Zero G

by Jeff Causey on
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Although just recently surfacing publicly, Google has been working on their Project Tango smartphones for a while now. Not all of that research and development on the 3D world sensing phone was confined to the Google campus though. Turns out Google has been working with the NASA Ames Research Center to integrate the Project Tango technology onto a robotic platform called SPHERES. The SPHERES platform is intended to be a zero-gravity autonomous unit. » Read the rest

Microsoft releases Xbox One Smartglass app into Google Play Store

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Xbox Smartglass hit mobile phones just a few years ago to provide a second-screen experience while users played their Xboxes, and Microsoft recognized it was time to move along in its natural progression.

The Xbox One Smartglass Beta app has hit the Play Store, and it allows users to send feedback to the developers and preview new features.

Hit the break for screenshots of the app as well as a link to the app in the Play Store.

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YouTube for Google TV reappears in Play Store, features improved stability

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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The Play Store from Google TV had eliminated the YouTube app from its offerings last month, which seemed like a complete head-scratcher at the time.

As it turns out, Google wanted to spend some time working on fixing bugs in the app— the process was finally completed today.

Along with the return of the YouTube app comes improved stability and customizable closed captions.

Source: Android Police

Samsung Tizen SDK now available for all, more apps incoming

by Justin Herrick on
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The Tizen Software Developer Kit (SDK) is now available for developers to get their hands on. This allows developers to design applications specifically for the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

In addition to making the Tizen SDK available, Samsung provided a list of apps currently available. They include: Atooma, Banjo, Dacadoo, EasilyDo, Feedly, Focus Trainer, Glympse, iHeartRadio, iwunta (Cloudwear), Life360, Runtastic, Sleep Genius, Spritz, Strava, Vivino, CNN, Conde Nast, eBay, Expedia, Flick Dat, MapMyFitness (Under Armour), MyMusicCloud, and News Republic (Mobiles Republic).

Hit the break for the official press release. » Read the rest

Big update for Google Play Services rolling out

by Jeff Causey on
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With support for Google Play Games being extended to the iOS platform, developers will need tools to enable this throughout their games. That will be coming forthwith as Google prepares to rollout a new SDK for developers in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Laying the groundwork for that, Google has started rolling out an update to Google Play Services that includes new APIs. » Read the rest

MedicAR for Google Glass uses augmented reality to teach future surgeons

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Applications for Google Glass, otherwise known as “Glassware,” are becoming more and more innovative each day.

MedicAR, developed by Droiders, is only one of the latest apps for Google Glass that will surely make a difference in the lives of many.

Although not the most realistic simulation application, MedicAR uses augmented reality to assist students studying to become surgeons. The app will guide users through specific procedures and show them where to cut, which tools to use, different steps to take, and how to clean it all up after the “operation.”

Hit the break to see the app in action in a video.

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Pebble App Challenge launches, will provide $5,000 to top developer

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Pebble’s standalone app store has officially launched, and the company is doing a lot to help developers begin producing useful apps for the up and coming smartwatch platform.

In fact, Pebble is starting its own “Pebble App Challenge,” which will award $5,000 to the first place app developer, and a Pebble Steel for each of the top 16 finalists.

The contest will accept submissions from today, March 10, until 5 p.m. PST on March 23. The public, developers and Pebble owners will be able to vote for their favorite apps between March 24 and March 27, with the top 16 moving onto the final rounds.

In April, Pebble users only will be able to vote for a different “app matchup” each day until one app, the winner, is left.

If you think you could do well in the competition, think about signing up at the link below.

Source: Pebble

Chromecast to expand to new markets within the month

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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At Sundar Pichai’s keynote at the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference, he mentioned that Chromecast would be hitting “many more countries” in the coming weeks.

These countries include the UK and Australia, which had been rumored since last month. Because the device’s SDK was released in February, you can expect the capabilities of the dongle to expand in the next few months as well.

He didn’t talk about sales figures, but mentioned that the numbers are in the millions, and is continuing to grow rapidly.

During the keynote Pichai also mentioned that an Android SDK for wearables would be coming in the next two weeks as well.

Source: The Next Web

Nexus 5 has low-core functionality for “always-on listening” voice recognition

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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If you didn’t know already, the Nexus 5 actually has a low-power audio processor for “always-on” listening (OK, Google) functionality. However, due to the limited functionality of the feature and its closed-source nature, it only works on the home screen and not when the device is asleep.

However, developer Guillaume Lesniak from the OmniROM team has managed to access the dedicated low-power audio core on the Snapdragon 800 chip to make use of this feature. The functionality is only a proof of concept for now, and although we could see it in later ROMs, it is unlikely because of Qualcomm’s re-distribution licensing issues. Hit the break for a video of the feature.

» Read the rest