Motion Stills app from Google now available for Android

Although it is getting rarer for these situations to exist, Google announced today that an app they had developed exclusively for the iOS platform is now available for Android devices running Android v5.1 or later. The app is called Motion Stills and it accomplishes a couple different goals. First, it can be used to create short form video clips by compressing longer videos using a feature called Fast Forward. Second, Motion Stills incorporates some advanced algorithms and code to significantly stabilize video clips. The new Motion Stills app is now available in the Play Store.

New Zeiss patent shows the way to new optical zoom with rotating lenses

As smartphone camera sensors get better and camera apps keep adding new features to process images, expect new and unique approaches to surface to set cameras apart from the current market. One area that could definitely be improved upon is optical zoom capabilities. To understand how limited things are now, just think of the market for clip on zoom lenses that exist right now. A new patent filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office reveals a new method Zeiss is working on to get around current limitations through use of a rotating lens system.

Google adds the International Space Station to Street View

The International Space Station (ISS) has orbited the earth for 16 years now, but a scant few of the world’s population ever get the chance to experience it for themselves, instead, that privilege was limited to scientists and other highly educated folk conducting experiments and collecting data, until now. Thanks to Google, the ISS has become the first ‘off planet’ location to be added to Google Maps’ Street View app that recently achieved the 1 billion install status. 

Samsung may not release a Bixby ‘smart speaker” after all

Earlier this month word got out that Samsung was working on a project to jump into the market for artificial assistant home speaker devices similar to Amazon Echo hardware or Google Home. This seemed a bit odd considering the trouble Samsung has been having getting the voice activated portion of Bixby to work properly for the U.S., English speaking market. Now sources are saying Samsung may not release such a device after all, although the addition of Bixby technology to other devices is not out of the question.

Coral Blue Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ coming to the U.S. on July 21

If you were looking for something a bit different in the color of your next phone, Samsung is adding the Coral Blue version of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ to their lineup in the U.S. market. We are used to seeing carrier exclusive phones, but in the case of the Coral Blue Galaxy S8 devices, the exclusivity is extended to a retailer – Best Buy – as well as Samsung themselves. The new color will be available for purchase starting this Friday, July 21.

OnePlus 5 units may reboot instead of calling 911

In an all-too-common situation, owners of the just launched OnePlus 5 are discovering a rather disturbing flaw with the device. Although not a universal problem, enough instances are popping up to indicate OnePlus has an issue that needs to be addressed. The problem occurs when users dial their local emergency number, which triggers a phone reboot instead of the call going through to the emergency dispatch center.