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

A very low-priced Nexus phone might be in the works

by Robert Nazarian on
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Flagship phones always get the center of attention, but lower-tier phones are growing in popularity, especially in developing countries. Over the last year there has been a trend in better quality low-tier phones, such as the Moto G.  Now it looks like Google might have something in the works as well.

A report out of China has Google partnering with MediaTek for a very low-priced smartphone. Those of you that generally buy flagship phones are probably not familiar with MediaTek. Like Qualcomm, they are makers of mobile processors, but they are generally found on budget phones. This rumored phone is expected to sell for only $100.

» Read the rest

Google holding internet scavenger hunt for a chance to attend I/O in June

by Justin Herrick on
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An internet scavenger hunt is right up Google’s alley. And that is what the company is doing to give people a chance to attend Google I/O in June. The company has deployed links through its developer site and finding one will either reward you with a spot in the Google I/O lottery or a pleasant rejection message. The spot in the Google I/O lottery will provide an opportunity at purchasing a $900 ticket for Google’s showcase.

For an example, click here to see a link that is taken.

Source: Android Police

‘Easy Unlock’ feature for Chrome OS leaks, could unlock a Chromebook with a nearby smartphone

by Justin Herrick on
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Chromebooks keep getting better and better. They are a great alternative to a full laptop if you are already connected to all of Google’s offerings. And now it looks like Chrome OS, the backbone for a Chromebook, is getting an expanded layer of security. The people over at Android Police found a feature titled Easy Unlock in the Chrome OS development channel. Easy Unlock would unlock a user’s Chromebook and smartphone are within a reasonable range from one another.

The feature is not yet ready to be fully used; however, the reason for that could be since an official application is going to be released.

Would you use Easy Unlock as a way to easily access a Chromebook?

Source: Android Police

Google is sending Glass try-on kits to select users

by Robert Nazarian on
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Following Google’s big one day Glass sale event, it looks like they are contacting individuals who showed an interest in Glass to try it out. These individuals appear to be people who expressed an interest, but not until prescription frames became available. Those potential customers are receiving an email from Google stating that the Titanium collection is now available and they would like to send out a home try-on kit for free.

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Toshiba plans on bringing Project Ara to wearables

by Robert Nazarian on
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So far we have only heard of Project Ara smartphones, but couldn’t the concept also apply to wearables? According to Toshiba Senior VP and Technology Executive, Shardul Kazi, the answer is yes.

While at the Ara Developer Conference, Kazi showed the above slide that represents a module being removed from the phone and inserted into a smartwatch. At this point in the game, this is just a concept and not in development. Assuming consumers adopt this “module” way of thinking, you can clearly see that it’s inevitable that Project Ara could be used for so many other things, including wearables.

source: Engadget

Google talks design in “Google Design Minutes” video series

by Jack Holt on
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google-logo-640-80Google is certainly on a visual kick as of late. As we’ve seen with the leak involving new icons for Android, with Google Calendar, and with every other Google app that’s been updated recently, Google is working hard at making its products as visually appealing as they are functional. According to Google however, design isn’t just a once time thing but rather an ongoing process that’s learned over time. That’s why search giant took to its developer blog to announce that at Google I/O this year it will be hosting sessions and workshops that focus on design.

On top of that, starting today Google is launching a series of YouTube videos that discuss visual aspects of key services and products. We have the first three videos for you after the break. They focus on Search, Maps, and Glass. The series will continue over the coming months. Google’s even set up a moderator page so that people can ask visually related questions. If you have about 10 minutes to spare then hit the break and get started on the first part in the series. Enjoy!

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Google’s new Camera app introduces Lens Blur via software optimization

by Jeff Causey on
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When Google released their Camera app on Google Play earlier today for users who have Android 4.4, one of the new features noted was something called Lens Blur. This is a new mode Google has introduced that enables a software based shallow depth of field. One of the main uses of a shallow depth of field is to create a bokeh effect where the primary subject of a photo is in focus while the background is blurred. HTC recently enabled this in their new HTC One (M8) through hardware consisting of a dual camera system. Google’s new Camera app achieves this entirely with software. » Read the rest

Google’s Project Ara phones will be available to purchase in January 2015

by Jared Peters on
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If you’re waiting to get your hands on a Project Ara device, you’ll only have to wait until January of next year. Google has announced that the customizable devices will be available to purchase in January 2015 through a configuration tool similar to Moto Maker for the Moto X. Project Ara plans to go beyond the simple color tweaking that you could get through Moto Maker, though, and it will allow you to change the components and design of the phone, in addition to different colors and materials. » Read the rest