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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Just how big is the Nexus 6?

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The Nexus 6 isn’t for everyone because of it’s enormous 6-inch (5.96) display, but how does it stack up against its predecessors? Thanks to Phone Arena, we have images of the Nexus 6 next to each Nexus phone ever released.  Some of these images my scare you, but what was a large phone in 2010 is not a large phone today. Hit the break for all the images and let us know what you think of the Nexus 6. Too big? Just right? Or dare I say, too small?


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Google could launch two Nexus smartphones this year

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It just might be the last year of the Nexus, and if it is, it could go out with a bang. We already know about the Nexus X, but is it going to be a 5.2-inch model or a 5.9-inch model?

It’s expected that the Nexus X will in fact be 5.9-inches, but we also know that Motorola is testing two Moto S devices, a 5.2-incher and a 5.9-incher. It’s unclear whether Motorola will release both devices, but a source close to the supply chain is saying that Google is readying the unused device. So If Motorola releases the 5.9-inch version under the Moto S name, Google would then take the 5.2-incher and make it a second Nexus device.


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Nexus One and Nexus S get unofficial KitKat ROMs

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One of Google’s selling points on KitKat was that it could run on low-power devices and phones with as low as 512 MB of RAM, but no one realistically expected extremely old devices to get official KitKat support. Of course, that’s never stopped Android’s developer community, and as of today both the Nexus One and Nexus S (yeah, remember those?) have unofficial KitKat ROMs. Best of all? They actually run pretty well.
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Motorola Xoom and Nexus S will not officially receive Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update

Now that Android 4.2 is officially out, next comes the requisite statements from manufacturers stating which of their devices will and will not receive Google’s latest offering. In other words, the ones that will not receive the update are officially dead – at least officially in the manufacturers eyes and physically based on the devices’ hardware specs. Google’s lead engineer, Jean-Baptiste Queru , had this to say about the two devices regarding Android 4.2 and their compatibility:

“There is no support for 4.2 on Nexus S and Xoom. Those devices should 
continue using 4.1.2. I can’t comment about the future of Nexus S and Xoom, sorry.”

 

Both devices were recently given the upgrade to 4.1 but apparently that extra jump to 4.2 was just too much for the legacy devices to crunch. The devices certainly had a fantastic run and I’m sure users will continue to enjoy and use them in the coming year even though they won’t be rocking the shiny new OS.

 

source:  Google Forums

Android 4.1.2 update now rolling out to GSM Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S handsets

While the update to Android 4.1.2 may have arrived for Nexus 7 owners last week, the new software is now making its way to specific Nexus handsets. The latest iteration in Jelly Bean is currently rolling out to select GSM Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S smartphones. Users are reporting that only “yakju” variants of the Galaxy Nexus are currently seeing the update, though it’s expected that the “takju” model (the one officially sold through the Google Play Store) will be getting in on the action over the next couple of days.

As expected, version 4.1.2 is a minor update for phones. Other than a slight performance increase, no incredibly significant changes are noticeable. Despite the Nexus 7′s update having unleashed landscape mode, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S users will continue to be limited to portrait, sans any custom launcher.

If you simply can’t wait for the update to hit your device, you can always head to the source link below to flash the OTA manually.

Source: XDA

MIUI Jelly Bean ROMs now available for Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus

MIUI has proven to be a highly desirable aftermarket firmware among the developer community, and today marks the initial release of Jelly Bean builds for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus S. Currently, the ROMs contain no major bugs, which is good news considering previous Ice Cream Sandwich builds offered less than ideal functionality. The massive changelog offers an in-depth look at the the backend changes that had to be made to support the bump to Android 4.1. Fresh features include a revamped video player UI, a new contact manager and hundreds of optimizations. You can read the official instructions and download your ROM after the break.


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Vodafone Australia Nexus S Finally Getting Jelly Bean

Last month, Vodafone Australia was forced to delay the Jelly Bean update for the Nexus S indefinitely, citing concerns over “Australian regulatory requirements related to emergency calls.”

Now it seems that they have worked out all the issues and are pushing out an over-the-air update to happy Nexus S users. Customers on Vodafone’s sub-carrier Crazy Johns (really) are also reporting Jelly Bean updates coming in.

Aussies, time to check your phones for updates!

source: ausdroid

Jelly Bean Factory Images Now Available for a Few Nexus Devices Including the Nexus 7

Have you been messing around a bit to much with the system files on your Jelly Bean powered Nexus device and want to return it back to its factory state? You in luck my friends as Google just released the factory 4.1.1 images for a few of the Nexus units, including the brand new Nexus 7. The devices with available factory images are as follows:

  • Galaxy Nexus (yakju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03C)
  • Galaxy Nexus (takju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03C)
  • Nexus S (soju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03E)
  • Nexus S (sojua): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03E)
  • Nexus 7 (nakasi): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03D)

As you can see, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus has been left of the list, and the Korean and Sprint Nexus S isn’t available either. This just goes to show that if you want to stay up to date with the latest Android OS it pays to go with a GSM kit. If you see your device listed above and want to grab its factory image, hit up the source link below.

source: Google Developers