All posts tagged google

Though the hardware was mildly refreshed back in June, Google Glass has been running on much the same internals for the better part of two years. With the rise of Android Wear, at least some of us were wondering whether Google still intended to bring its head-mounted wearable system to retail at all. According to the latest report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is indeed planning at least one more version of Glass, this time running on an Intel chipset. The new hardware will reportedly be released next year.


The original and current Glass models use Texas Instruments processors. Inside the slim electronic housing is an OMAP 4430, which was popular among smartphone manufacturers way back in 2011, finding its way into devices like the original Motorola DROID RAZR. Texas Instruments has since all but exited the mobile chip market, and new offerings from Qualcomm and many others have vastly exceeded even the best TI designs in both power and efficiency. The latter is pretty important for wearables (see the Moto 360 TI controversy for a good example), and even the newer versions of Google Glass running the latest Android-based software builds struggle to get through a full day of use.

Intel has been pushing hard into the mobile space to make up for lost time. A few major manufacturers have started using Intel chips for mobile hardware, most notably Samsung and Asus, but usually only for mid-range or low-end devices. That said, Intel’s x86 chipsets seem to be much faster and more stable than you might expect from a company still working on a beachhead.

Since a full consumer rollout for the next Glass hardware update seems unlikely, Google could just as well be using it as an experimental platform for its own x86-based software. This also might be a good way of keeping relations with Intel rosy (which Google certainly wants to do for the long-term health of its Chromebook platform) without giving them a major smartphone or tablet release.

The WSJ rarely publishes stories like this without being fairly certain of their accuracy. Nevertheless, they do quote the usual “people familiar with the matter,” so consider it a strong rumor at this point.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact launched with what looks a near-identical camera spec to its predecessors. However, a couple of differences included a wider-angle camera lens (25mm G Lens) and a maximum ISO of 12,800 for low-light photography. The latter is what Sony is highlighting in this latest infographic.

The infographic shares some fun facts around low-light photography and what makes the Xperia Z3 series so capable. This includes explaining what the ISO number actually means, some tips from professionals and social stats. Check it out below.


Via Sony Mobile Blog.

Not happy with the Spider-man AR effect app that Sony has already released, it has now published another one. This one ties in with the latest movie, hence is called “The Amazing Spider-Man 2 AR effect” app. This one works slightly differently and is also only available in selected regions worldwide.

Once you download the app from the Google Play Store, you are allowed one pose of Spider-Man to play with. However, there are 12 altogether. The catch is that to unlock all 12 poses you need to visit a Sony Brand Shops where you will receive a free voucher code (Sony trying its best to get people into stores).

Within the AR effect you can move Spider-Man left and right, rotate him up/down/left/right to help strike that perfect pose. You can also resize Spider-Man to best fit into the picture.

The promotion is live in the following countries: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, Tanzania, Bahrain, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong and Russia.





SoftBank launches Xperia Z3 (401SO) in Japan

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One of Sony’s big strategic objectives for its mobile division is wider carrier support. The company is making small inroads on this path, we have seen both T-Mobile and Verizon carry Xperia devices in the United States and now Japanese carrier SoftBank is offering a Sony Xperia handset for the first time.

The Xperia Z3 (401SO) for SoftBank has today launched in Japan in all four colours (black, white, copper and silver green). NTT DoCoMo and au by KDDI are already offering the Xperia Z3, but the SoftBank version is closest to the global model in terms of branding (you won’t notice any SoftBank logos on this Xperia Z3). Like the other Japanese models, it does carry 32GB of internal storage though (versus 16GB for global models). The list price is 69,120 Yen (£374, €468, $587) and is available via SoftBank right now.

Google Play Services version 6.5 began rolling out to users a few days ago, and as we work on an APK teardown to see what’s under the hood, it looks like there’s at least one more user-facing change in the update. Specifically, Android’s system update screen is prettier.

The screen which, until now, consisted of the same drab title, horizontal break, “last checked” text, and “check now” button, has been granted a better design treatment. There’s a new header image, new colors, and refined typography, along with a flat text button, per Google’s design spec.

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before and after

The functionality of the system updates screen may still resemble the button on a crosswalk signal, but it at least looks better. Maybe the new cloud imagery will help abate the stress of mashing the “check for update” button.

Update: As it turns out, this offer applies to recently-purchased Chromebook purchases too. If you have not yet claimed your free Google Drive storage, you might want to head over to the goodiespage to redeem your 1TB right away.


If you’re like me, you keep quite a bit of the files you interact with on your mobile devices saved on Google Drive. The service has gotten spiffier over the years, and Google has done its best to make interacting with the storage feel as though you’re tinkering with something saved locally.

When I bought a Chromebook Pixel, it came with 1TB of Google Drive storage for three years. With the price of the service at the time, that was a savings of more than the cost of the laptop, which was and remains an expensive piece of tech. Google Drive’s price has since dropped, and now the company is willing to give away 1TB of storage space with the purchase of any new Chromebook this holiday season, no matter how inexpensive or where you buy it from.

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Like the previous 100GB offer, users get to have the free storage for two years. When it’s all said and done, you’re looking at a savings of $240.

If you want to complement your Android usage with some extra cloud storage, picking up a cheap laptop running Google’s operating system may now be the most affordable way to do so. Just be sure to redeem the offer before January 1st, 2015.

Source: Google Drive blog

If a smart sounding person has stepped onto a dimly lit stage and started to wax poetic about some seemingly lofty accomplishment or idea, you’re probably in the midst of a TED talk. Don’t panic. Stay calm, sit still, and listen. What you hear might just change the way you think.

Some people already thrive on a diet of regularly delivered mental floss, preferring to watch content that actually leaves them feeling better after binge watching a few clips. The latest version of the Android app will make this exercise easier to perform. Viewers can now cast talks to their TVs without having to search through YouTube thanks to new Chromecast support.

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That’s all the changelog contains, so if you don’t have a Chromecast, well, keep using the app as usual. As you’ve already discovered, the short format of these videos makes them well-suited for mobile devices.

Google added screen casting support to a select few devices earlier this year, but the wide rollout has been very, very slow. Today there are two new devices listed on Google’s screen cast support page—The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE.

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You don’t need to do anything to get your tablet ready for screen casting. This is a server-side change of some sort. Both these devices should have a tile in the quick settings for screen casting, but you can also use the Chromecast app to accomplish the same thing.

I tested this on the SHIELD, and everything went as planned. It spotted the Chromecast immediately, whereas previously that button only plugged into Miracast devices.

[Chromecast Support]

It’s going to take time for all the apps we know and love to transition to material design, but Koush is off and running with a pair of updates today. His Helium and AllCast apps have been tweaked with more material elements and a few bug fixes.

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On the off chance you don’t know who this Koush guy is, or why he wants to cast all your things, here’s the deal. AllCast is an app that streams content from your phone to devices like the Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, and many more. It has a new action bar UI and more material animations. Helium is a backup and restore app that can be used with or without root access. This app also has more animations and a new action bar, but the colors have also been changed a bit.

There were a few bugs in the initial updates this morning, but everything should be ironed out now. Both apps offer limited functionality free versions if you want to try them out. The pro upgrades are $4.99.

The Nexus 6 is a confounding beast. This big phone doesn’t have tap to wake functionality, but itdoes have ambient screen mode. This way of displaying notifications as they come in might be the reason there’s no LED notification functionality built in. There is, however, a physical LED.

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The LED is positioned behind the top speaker/earpiece and can produce red, blue, and green light. It’s a lot like the green charging LED on the Moto X, but it appears apps like Lightflow can use it for notifications as long as you’re willing to root. It doesn’t even have to be plugged in, which is what kept the Moto X LED from being very useful.

I wouldn’t expect Google to ever open up access to this LED, so if you absolutely must have LED notifications, it’s time to root.

[XDA via +Vinoth Ragunathan – Thanks, +Paweł Goliński]