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Mar 24, 2015 - 10:58 AM - by dgstorm
And the wheel of time circles back around again... Google I/O 2015 invites have already started rolling out to email inboxes across the globe, at least for folks who signed up for Google’s big IO raffle. The first wave of invites need to be accepted and paid for by Thursday, March 26th.
The entry fee is a stout $900, but students can get in for $300. If you haven't been accepted, then you probably won't receive an email at all, although it's possible the emails will be sent out in batches, so it could come a bit later. Sound off and let us know if you scored an invite and will be attending this year.
Mar 20, 2015 - 11:31 AM - by dgstorm
Google's latest video ad for their Android Wear products is making the rounds across the interwebs. This latest one ups the ante on the fancy dance moves, but it actually makes sense in a strange and abstract way. It actually becomes apparent from watching it that Google wants the ad to focus on customers getting more choices out of Android Wear.
They basically want to play up the personalization and individual expression angle. Sound off and let us know what you think of Google's latest Android Wear ad.
Mar 20, 2015 - 10:58 AM - by dgstorm
What an interesting industry shakeup to find in my inbox this morning. Apparently, the very top of HTC has been rearranged. Peter Chou stepped down as CEO of HTC, and Cher Wang has taken over the position. If you remember the HTC One M9 event, Cher Wang shared some of the demo time with Peter Chou. Maybe this was meant as a "soft-intro."
Before today, Cher Wang was simply known as the Chairperson for HTC’s board of directors and the co-founder of the company. Reports from within the industry indicate this transition was actually about two years in the making. Apparently, Wang was already heavily involved in everyday management behind the scenes.
Ironically, HTC's stock didn't even register a blip (positive or negative) after the news. It seems that investors were neither unhappy, nor enthusiastic about the change. Either way, Chou isn't being fired. He instead will transition to a new product-oriented position as Head of HTC Future Development Lab.
Reading between the lines, it sounds like they have been happy with Chou's design decisions for the HTC One line, but not too happy with his organizational and leadership skills. Here's a quote from the new CEO of HTC, Cher Wang,
What do you think of HTC's new leadership?
“I know the company, I know the people, and I have the vision,” Wang, 56, told Bloomberg News
in an interview. “I think I am the best candidate. I suggested it.”
Mar 19, 2015 - 12:49 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like LG is making rounds in the rumor-mill regarding another Nexus product. According to insider industry reports, Google execs and engineers were touring through LG offices recently. This lead to speculation that LG is likely to be making another Nexus device. Whether this will be another smartphone or some form of Tablet is unclear at this time.
If it turns out to be true, it will mark the first time Google has awarded the Nexus program to the same OEM more than twice. So far, LG produced the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones for Google, while Samsung created the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus devices. Here's a quote with a few more details,
According to the Korean media, earlier this week on the 16th of March, Google’s engineers visited LG’s headquarters and took a tour of its facilities. Reportedly, for as long as these engineers will be in Korea, they will also visit LG’s various affiliates – including LG Innotek and LG Display.
With all the commotion going on, industry insiders quoted by the source believe that Google and LG are now discussing the possibility of a renewed collaboration whose end result will be a new LG-made Nexus smartphone.
Mar 19, 2015 - 11:47 AM - by dgstorm
After watching these new ads, it almost makes you wonder if HTC wanted to hire Robert Downey Jr. just so they could pay to mock him. We can't believe RDJ would be willing to subject himself to this torturous poppycock.
Here's a funny theory: RDJ was obviously still under contract with them, but since they spent so much money to hire him, HTC didn't have anything left in their budget to actually hire a decent advertising company.
They were stuck, so they ended up hiring so-and-so's sister's, friend's, husband's cousin who was in film school. He quickly threw together some weird crap based upon a drug-induced paranoid dream he had while attending a lecture on fuzzy woodland creatures at a local petting zoo.
One of the bizarre videos is above, and you can see the other two in the thread below. Feel free to skip them if you value your sanity.
Mar 19, 2015 - 11:21 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like the launch of the Apple Watch made several different industries stand up and take notice. While Samsung, Motorola, LG and others have been busily making smartwatches, none of the big named Swiss watch makers have really paid much attention. That is, until now.
TAG Heuer, one of the most well-known watch companies out of Switzerland, just announced a new partnership with Intel and Google to make the industry's first "luxury" Android Wear-based smartwatch. Jean-Claude Biver, head of watches for the luxury group LVMH, which is TAG Heuer's parent company, revealed that they wanted to team up with Google because Google doesn't produce its own watch, but instead just makes Android Wear available.
Here's a quote from Biver,
"There are two operating systems: one is Apple's iOS, the other is Android Wear - who are we to invent another language at that level? It would be absurd, it would be arrogant to believe that we could develop our own [operating system]. It would be a catastrophe to believe such a stupid thing.
There is no doubt that we could eventually go to Apple, but why should we do a partnership with Apple, who is producing watches? On the one side they would be partners, on the other a competitor.
"Google is not producing watches, so the relationship is perfect."
The above image is the TAG Heuer Formula and is simply an example of one of their designs. It is not necessarily indicative of any Android Wear watch design.
Sadly, they didn't share any technical details, nor pricing, nor a timeframe for launch. Here's another quote from the Intel press release with a few more details regarding the partnership,
... [Read More]
Guy Sémon, General Manager of TAG Heuer added: "The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry, of which I am proud to be a pioneer today with TAG Heuer."
David Singleton [Director of Engineering for Android Wear] noted, "By fusing beauty with technology, the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers alike -- including us at Google. So we're thrilled to be working with TAG Heuer and Intel to bring a unique blend of emotion and innovation to the luxury market. Together, and using the Android Wear platform, we can imagine a better, beautiful, smarter watch."
"As we work to enable technology experiences that provide greater utility and value to people, Intel is confident that a collective approach will inspire new innovation in wearable technology. The collaboration with TAG Heuer and Google brings us closer to realizing the vision of wearable technology with a distinctive smartwatch that elevates the category," remarked Michael Bell [Corporate Vice
Mar 17, 2015 - 3:53 PM - by dgstorm
The folks at Amazon's game studio just released the above trailer for their new horror survival game called Lost Within. The game looks creepy as it is set in a haunted asylum. While this particular terror troupe has been done before, Amazon's game plans to distinguish itself by allowing you to actually fight with and kill your ghoulish enemies by piecing together makeshift weapons from stuff you find.
That feature has also been done before, but is not something you typically see in the survival horror genre. According to the description, you progress through the game by uncovering the deep dark secrets of the broken abode as you run and fight to survive its hellish denizens. The game is expected this summer and will be available for all of the various Amazon devices (Kindle Fire tablets, Fire TV, Fire Phone, etc) as well as iPad and iPhone.
Mar 17, 2015 - 1:04 PM - by dgstorm
This isn't exactly Android news, but it is still interesting and relevant to many of you.
Internet Explorer (IE) is the most used web browser on the planet, but that isn't because it is popular. It's only because it comes pre-installed on any Windows based machine sold. Most savvy users will quickly switch to an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome. There is a reason for this: IE has grown to become bloated, slow and lacks many of the features and functions of the other options in the market.
It looks like even Microsoft has realized this as they just announced their plans to dump IE in favor of their new Project Spartan browser which they are building into Windows 10. To be clear, Internet Explorer will still come included in Windows 10, but that will simply be for legacy users. Microsoft will no longer support it and plans to move forward to replace it completely with Project Spartan.
This shows that Microsoft has a tremendous amount of faith in their new Project Spartan browser, and bodes well for the future. The only detail left out is what the final retail name of the browser will be. Here's a quote with more of the details from Microsoft marketing boss Chris Capossela while speaking at Microsoft Convergence yesterday,
Might we suggest keeping it simple? How about sticking with "Spartan"?
“We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10. We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”
Mar 16, 2015 - 2:26 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like a bug slipped past the engineers at Google when they released the Android 5.1. The bug is ironic because it is one of the main reasons's the Android 5.1 update was created to begin with. It's a new memory leak. According to the report, Google is not only aware of the issue, they have supposedly already fixed it internally, but have yet to send out the fix. Google listed it as a “Future Release”, which likely means it will show up as an Android 5.1.1 or something similar.
We will keep you posted if we find out more. In the mean-time, feel free to let us know if you have experienced the memory leak issues that other folks have reported.
Source: Issue 159738 - android - Memory leak still present on android 5.1 - Android Open Source Project - Issue Tracker - Google Project Hosting
Mar 13, 2015 - 11:32 AM - by dgstorm
Here's some very slick news in the field of digital assistants (aka budding AI overlords). Microsoft announced they are planning to offer a stand alone Cortana app and will make it available for both Android and iOS. On top of that, Microsoft is working toward taking Cortana to the next level by improving her functions with their artificial intelligence research project called "Einstein."
The reason they call the project "Einstein" is because of the way Cortana is meant to work more proactively using your relative position and what time it is. Here's a quote with a few more details,
Here at HQ we have to applaud Microsoft for this move. By becoming platform agnostic, they are making themselves useful and available everywhere, which will build brand recognition and loyalty. It's actually quite brilliant.
The key to Cortana's success will be knowing where a user is, what time it is, and what they are trying to do. Albert Einstein's work on the relationship between space and time gave rise to Microsoft's secret project name, said Horvitz.
"Einstein was brilliant about space and time," he said. "It’s using brilliance about space and time generally in our agents."
According to the report, the Cortana app for Android and iOS should be available in the fall of this year when Microsoft launches Windows 10 officially.
Mar 12, 2015 - 12:13 PM - by dgstorm
RIP Nexus 5. You shall be missed. Google announced that they are no longer selling the LG-made Google Nexus 5 on the Google Play Store. It's a shame they decided to focus only on the Nexus 6. While that is an outstanding device, its size is a bit unwieldy for some users.
For many of us, the 5-inch display on the Nexus 5 is absolutely perfect. The fact that LG did a magnificent job of nearly eliminating the bezels on the phone is an under-appreciated engineering feat. Furthermore, it's always important to remember that the Nexus 5 is a pure Android experience, which is basically icing on the cake for a device with specs that are still powerful today.
The Nexus 5 also happens to be a beautiful device, even by today's standards. From the front, it looks like it was carved out of a block of glossy obsidian, and from the back, its soft rubberized backing is elegant and easy to hold. It's a shame Google couldn't find a way to offer both devices to round out the Nexus line with multiple sized offerings.
Source: Google Play Store
Mar 12, 2015 - 11:38 AM - by dgstorm
Look at this! There's a new Motorola Droid Turbo at Big Red. This one comes in a Sapphire Blue Ballistic Nylon shell. The new aesthetics are the only thing different about this edition of the popular Droid. The rest of the specs are the usual: top-notch battery life, 32GB storage, powerful Snapdragon 805 processor and solid 20MP camera. You can get it for $199 on-contract, $599 without a contract or $24.99 per month on Edge.
Don't forget to check out our dedicated section on the Droid Turbo here: Motorola Droid Turbo | Android Forum at DroidForums.net
Here's the link to check out this offer: Verizon Wireless
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