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

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.

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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

Location suggestions and autocomplete now a thing in latest Google Calendar update

by Jack Holt on
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Google_CalendarGoogle released an update for its Calendar app in the Play Store yesterday. It’s not the visual overhaul that was leaked last week, but it does add a pretty nifty little feature when creating an event. Like the web version of the app, the Android version of the app will now suggest locations when creating events. Extrapolated from your location — thanks to Google Maps — Google Calendar will now suggest and autocomplete locations based on businesses and locations near you.

This new feature does ask for an extra permission (coarse location) when you go to install the update. It appears to be rolling out in waves as I have yet to receive a notice for the update in the Play Store. If you can’t wait for the update to hit your phone I expect that there will be an APK somewhere out there in the Interweb sometime soon. Otherwise hit the break for your download link and QR code.

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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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Images of rumored redesigned Google+ app leak

by Jared Peters on
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We’ve heard rumors of an interface redesign for many of Google’s core apps, including Gmail and the calendar app, so it makes sense that a redesign would follow to the Google+ app. Some leaked screenshots from Yoel Kaseb on G+ show the app in action, and although he said the app is pretty unstable as is, I doubt Google would go through that much effort to redesign something unless they were serious about moving forward with it. » Read the rest

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