Exclusive: NASA recaps Project Tango-equipped Smart SPHERES, hints at next-generation of free-flying robots

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Back in July of last year, crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) received a very special payload of devices from Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects team. The prototype devices, codenamed Project Tango, were meant for NASA’s microsatellites, the SPHERES, that have been accompanying the astronauts on their voyage around the planet since 2006.

I recently had the incredible luxury of corresponding with Maria Alberty of the Ames Research Facility, the group inside of NASA in charge of overseeing the SPHERES and their experiments, with the goal of revisiting Project Tango’s involvement with the SPHERES and adding to the continuity of Talk Android’s reporting on this milestone.

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Was Google the best of CES 2015 without actually being there?

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When January rolls around, thousands of people flock to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Consumer Electronics Show. The trade show allows the press (and the world from afar) to observe what new technology will arrive throughout the year and launch in the future. Even though many companies host their own events for major announcements, CES provides good exposure. It can be a make-or-break time for some while being another platform with the spotlight for others.

There were phones, tablets, televisions, set-top boxes, speakers, and much more all showcased at CES. Something has to power these things, right? Enter Google and more importantly Android. The company did not have a formal presence at this year’s CES; however, devices powered by or connected to Android in some way were seen everywhere. Google might have been the best of CES 2015 and they didn’t have to show up.

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Is it now time to buy an Android Wear smartwatch?

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Although Android Wear appears to be a relatively new concept for us, it’s been around for a while. Since it was first shown off in late June and subsequently made available in July, it has been in the market for a little over five months now. Initial impressions of the platform in general was pretty lukewarm, as it is usually the case with new software. So has anything changed since then? Read more

Is there a compelling reason to buy an Android smartphone now that the iPhone 6 is upon us?

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In case you were living under a rock, you probably know by now that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were both introduced yesterday. Just like every other iPhone that preceded them, Apple added specs that have been enjoyed by most Android users for a while now. Android faithful love to make fun of Apple in that they seem to always play catch up with Android, which is one of the biggest reasons why Android smartphones have enjoyed so much success. Consumers who might have bought an iPhone in the past, didn’t because of certain things that Apple failed to provide. However, it appears the gap is just about closed with the introduction of the new iPhones, and I am wondering if there is a compelling reason to buy an Android smartphone now?

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Hands on with the all new Moto G

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Last year’s Moto G was the best selling smartphone for Motorola. Now 10 months later, they are already improving the device. With a bigger display, stereo sound, better camera, removable storage, and new software, the all new Moto G can still be had for the same price as before. $179 off contract is an absolute bargain, and you can buy it starting today at Motorola.com. Hit the break for our quick hands on video highlighting this great phone.

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Motorola unveils Moto Hint, a new discreet Bluetooth earbud [Hands on Video]

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Bluetooth headsets work well in general, but they are still clunky. Well here comes Moto Hint to solve that problem. It’s so small and discreet, you almost don’t know it’s there. It fits in your ear comfortably with no bulk.

What’s even cooler is that it will work in conjunction with Moto Voice on the Moto X. So you can easily respond to texts or even find out who won that big game without whipping out your phone. Of course, you can still use it with any other smartphone sans those capabilities.

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Why wasn’t the Motorola Moto X commercially successful?

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When Google gained control of Motorola in 2012, the expectation was that Google was ready to release a smartphone of its own. That never happened. The blame can perhaps be put on Google’s engineering team or even the CEO’s lack of wanting to work with Motorola. Instead, Motorola pushed on its own and produced its flagship that was announced and released in August 2013: the Moto X. It was the return of Motorola, eliminating its massive amount of devices to just focus on a single one. Google was now holding an umbrella over Motorola, making sure nothing could go wrong and nurse it back to health. Everyone thought that this device would bring together a superb, unchanged software experience along with cutting edge specifications. For some reason, hardly anyone bit. Read more