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Nov 04, 2013 - 11:06 AM - by dgstorm
Most Apple (and/or technology) fans know the name Steve Wozniak and his famous nickname, "The Woz." Back when Apple was first founded, he and Steve Jobs were best friends and Wozniak was the brilliant engineer who implemented many of Jobs' brilliant ideas. For the most part he is well-liked despite having left Apple long ago. Whether you like him or not, "The Woz" is an indelible part of Apple's history, and to this date whenever he makes a statement about technology people take notice. He recently sat down for an interview with BBC News Click and shared an intriguing fantasy about the future of technology, including new tech he believes we will see pretty soon.
We will include much of what he said in quotes below, but the most intriguing idea yet is his suggesting that Apple and Google should be partners. Read on to find out more,
In reference to the evolution of voice technology Wozniak said,
"Sometimes I say 'Go to Joe's Diner' and [Siri] doesn't know where Joe's Diner is. And very often usually I find out that Android does."
When asked about this fantasy partnership he added,
"That is actually the future of intelligence probably for computers getting smarter and getting artificial intelligence. I wish to God that Apple and Google were partners in the future."
He continued pushing the ideas of openness and sharing information to help benefit everyone and push technology forward faster. He said,
"I don't know. If I were there, it would be pretty likely. I'm probably wrong, there's probably an awful lot I don't know about the business concerns and one thing you've got to remember is a company has always got to make money."
Earlier in the interview, Wozniak also discussed some of his tech ideas for the future,
"I believe you should have a world where you've got to license something at a fair price. There are good things I see on Samsung phones that I wish were in my iPhone. I wish Apple would use them and could use them, and I don't know if Samsung would stop us.
I wish everybody just did a lot of cross-licensing and sharing the good technology, all our products would be better, we'd go further. I do wish they were more compatible."
... [Read More]
"I want a full smartphone-like capability on my wrist. The trouble is the more I think about it, I don't want the small size. We're just at the verge of having products that have foldability and flexibility.
For about three or four years I've been talking about organic LED displays that could be theoretically printed on plastic, wrapped and folded. But think
Nov 04, 2013 - 10:31 AM - by dgstorm
Samsung started officially rolling out the Android 4.3 update to the Galaxy S III (GT-I9300 version). This is only for the unlocked non-carrier versions of the device for now, and the rollout is starting in Ireland first. Here's a changelog:
- GALAXY GEAR Support
- TRIM Support (Makes the device much faster)
- ANT+ Support
- Core UI elements updated to the ones on the Galaxy S4 (Galaxy S4′s theme all over)
- New Samsung Keyboard
- GPU drivers have been updated (Higher GPU benchmark scores)
- New Lockscreen: Multiple Widgets, improved ripple effect than Android 4.1.2, ability to change clock size and set a personal message
- New Screen modes (From S4): Adapt Display and Professional Photo
- Driving mode
- Actionable notifications
- Move-to-SD-card feature
- New Camera mode : Sound and Shot
- New Additions in Notification Centre
- Completely revamped Settings UI (Tabbed interface – Exactly like the Galaxy S4)
- Implementation of Voice controls (Let’s you control various parts of the phone using voice commands – Galaxy S4 feature)
- New Samsung Apps: Calculator, Clock, Contacts, Gallery, Music
- Full screen Samsung apps
- New S-Voice (from Galaxy S4)
More than likely a version of this update will start rolling out to carrier branded versions of the SGS3 within the next couple of months.
Nov 04, 2013 - 10:20 AM - by dgstorm
Despite the fact that the Galaxy S4 has been highly successful for Samsung, it still wasn't as much of a blockbuster as Samsung had hoped. Because of this, we have reports that Samsung is now being more conservative with their estimates on the Galaxy S5 next year and will instead focus on building more mid-range phones and tablets. In fact, Samsung's newest estimates do not show the SGS5 sales increasing over the SGS4 as much as the SGS4 did over the SGS3.
Even though Samsung is being more conservative about their estimates, it's interesting to note they still have large numbers on the brain. Samsung expects to ship around 360 Million phones next year, which is still a 20% increase year over year. During that time they only believe that their premium phones will be 35% of their total sales.
Nov 04, 2013 - 10:02 AM - by dgstorm
Motorola has confirmed that the Moto G will be officially unveiled on November 13th. As we previously reported, the internal codename for the Moto G is the Moto DVX. It will be a low to mid-range device at a very cheap price-point. It's basically designed to be the budget-friendly version of the Moto X, and should retail between $200-250.
This means that if it shows up in the United States, it will likely be free on contract. Here's a refresher of the rumored specs,
- Display likely 4.5 or 4.7 inches
- 8MP or 5MP rear camera with LED flash
- Quad-core Qualcomm processor (possibly an older generation, or a Snapdragon 200)
- 8GB or 16GB
- 1,950 mAh battery
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Although these are obviously lower-end specs compared to the current "cream of the crop," if it does show up as free on contract or $200 off contract, that's still a pretty remarkable deal if you compare it to last year's high end models (or even early this year). We'll bring you details on the launch later on next week.
Here's a Motorola sign-up page for more info on the device: https://www.moto-g.com/
Nov 01, 2013 - 4:19 PM - by dgstorm
We thought it would be useful to cull some of the info on the web regarding which devices would be getting Android 4.4 KitKat and when. This list might be a bit premature as it only contains a small smattering of devices. Also, some of the dates are vague at best. Still, it's worth taking a glance at. Also, feel free to update this thread with even more info as it becomes available. Here's what we know so far:
Motorola confirmed that it is coming but didn't share any timeframe details
- DROID Ultra
- DROID Maxx
- DROID Mini
- Moto X
- HTC One – sometime in 90 days
- HTC One mini - sometime in 90 days
- HTC One max - sometime in 90 days
- HTC One Google Play Edition – sometime in 15 days
- Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition – “the coming weeks”
- Nexus 4 – “the coming weeks”
- Nexus 7 – “the coming weeks”
- Nexus 10 – “the coming weeks”
Nov 01, 2013 - 11:57 AM - by dgstorm
Taiwan's nonprofit Industrial Technology Research Institute is developing a product called i-Air Touch (iAT) Technology. It's basically a floating augmented-reality touch-screen system like something straight out of the movie "Minority Report" or the more recent "Iron Man" movies. If this new technology becomes a reality, it might just make Google Glass (and other products like it) the next big disruptive consumer tech gadget. As you can see in the pic above and the video below, this new technology is nothing sort of amazing. The technology basically projects a virtual touch-based interface outward and within the user's field of vision. It seems to to float in the air, yet the software can accurately measure the placement of your hands and finger so it can respond to being "touched."
This AR tech isn't just for Google Glass-style devices either. It can be used for a number of different purposes beyond just a commercial application. Here's a quote with more details,
The reason why this technology works is centered on how the software interacts with the custom camera. Here's another quote with a brief explanation,
"In addition to consumer applications, i-Air Touch is suitable for medical applications such as endoscopic surgery and any industrial applications that benefit from hands-free input," said Golden Tiao, deputy general director of ITRI's Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories in an e-mail."
What's even more amazing about this technology is that it isn't decades or even years out from realization. It was officially revealed last week and is set to receive a 2013 R&D 100 Award in November. It is already available to be licensed by mobile companies or anyone else!
According to ITRI, the secret sauce in iAT is the camera, which only activates when it detects a user's fingertip within a predetermined input distance range (roughly a foot away). In other words, it conserves battery power by only turning on when it detects that someone is trying to "air touch" the virtual input. Air touches are then sent to a host device like a laptop or smartphone that the headset is tethered to.
Nov 01, 2013 - 11:27 AM - by dgstorm
That metaphorical "thermonuclear war" the late Steve Jobs threatened over Android might have just kicked up to DEFCON 1 status. It seemed as if the patent wars had mostly died out a bit as they faded from the forefront of the news. Sadly it may have simply been the calm before the storm. A new weapon of mass destruction was fired against Google and several Android OEMs including Samsung, HTC and more. What makes this new patent lawsuit so insidious is that the Android team has very little way to defend themselves against it.
A consortium of companies banded together in 2011 to create a proxy patent troll company called Rockstar Bidco. Rockstar's first order of business was to purchase a treasure trove of 6,000 technology patents from the bankrupt Canadian company Nortel. The sneaky thing is that this consortium is primarily owned by Apple and Microsoft, although BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson are also members. This proxy war company just filed a patent lawsuit against Google, Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Pantech, Samsung, and ZTE, alleging several different patent infringements. The attack against Google was separate and includes six patents related to serving ads in a search engine, described as “an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network”. The second attack against the Android OEMs includes a group of seven patents. These pertain to navigation through electronic interfaces or to an integrated message center.
What makes this attack so difficult to deal with is that Microsoft, Apple and the other companies can simply claim that Rockstar acts independently of their operations. Furthermore, since Rockstar is only a patent holding firm and doesn't actually produce any products, Google and the Android team has no way to counter-sue. In fact, several ongoing deals are still in place between some of these companies which are at war with each other because of this. For example, Apple and HTC have a patent-licensing deal. Also, in case you didn't notice, Sony is part of the Rockstar group, despite the fact that it also builds Android products.
Despite these odd alliances, the patent wars have just stepped up to a whole new level of nastiness. In the long run, these types of patent troll companies do nothing but hurt the industry and stifle innovation. At some point something needs to be changed as the system has become hideously broken.
Nov 01, 2013 - 10:57 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like our previous rumors suggesting Google would sell an LTE version of the Nexus 4 alongside the new Nexus 5 turned out to be false. If you check out the Google Play Store, the Nexus 4 (of any kind) is no-where to be found. Of course, it is possible Google could relaunch a separate LTE version of the Nexus 4 later, but it hardly seems worth doing since the Nexus 5 includes LTE. Even if the point was to offer a cheaper Google Nexus device with LTE to emerging markets, it still hardly makes sense, and doesn't really follow Google's "always moving forward" habits.
What do you guys think? If there were a $200 (off contract) LTE Nexus 4, would it be worth considering next to the $350 Nexus 5?
Source: Google Play Store
Nov 01, 2013 - 10:24 AM - by dgstorm
Although no specific timeframe was detailed, Motorola's Punit Soni late yesterday shared that Android 4.4 KitKat will definitely be coming to the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and the Moto X. He noted this on his Google+ page. Here's a quote,
We will keep you guys updated when a more concrete timetable is revealed. For now you can hit up the Motorola link below (or the link in the quote above) to get more info directly to your inbox.
Source: Google+ - Punit Soni & Motorola
What do hooded men and Occult Circles have to do with Android? We don't want to spoil this one for you, so pull up a seat and watch the weirdness unfold. It's very weird and mysterious...we promise :big smile: Leave us your best speculation in the comments section below. Enjoy................
Oct 31, 2013 - 3:57 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like the new 4.4 KitKat version is the most significant upgrade for Android in a quite some time. It includes a massive array of new features. The above video is a DevBytes teaser for a small few of the new features. Here's a quick breakdown of many more:
- Now supports lower-end devices and can run on just 512MB of RAM.
- It will now have a new launcher.
- Translucent system UI styling.
- Enhanced notification access.
- Includes faster multi-tasking.
- More advanced caller ID.
- new white/gray color scheme and fonts.
- There is a new sensor batching technology. This is meant to cut down on sensor power consumption by grouping and prioritizing requests. Google claims it is now 25% more accurate, and can ask back for clarification.
- It will now have wireless printing functionality.
- Includes support for IR Blasters natively. It is limited to sending functions only for now. It can't learn or receive yet. This is probably just a feature that is in progress since it is mostly not very useful yet.
- Native screen recording and can output in MP4 format.
- Now supports Moto X-style "OK Google" voice commands. For now this only will work with the Nexus 5. Supposedly this feature is hardware dependent, although Google hasn't shared what is required.
- Bluetooth devices will now be able to control the system volume directly instead of having to adjust two different volumes.
- There is a new lock screen which includes a camera shortcut. You can also rearrange your homescreen.
- Built-in Chromecast support.
- Chrome web view.
- Full-screen wallpapers with preview.
- HDR+ photography.
- Location in Quick Settings.
- Low-power audio playback.
- Music and movie-seeking from lock screen.
- The NFC payment system doesn't require using the secure element anymore. It uses a software based emulation work around. Because of this, carriers can no longer use this as an excuse to not support Google's NFC payment functions.
There's still quite a bit more we didn't include, because the list would have been monstrous, but you can check out more at the source links below. It's amazing that Google just soft-launched this absolutely incredible and massive update without any kind of press show.
Source: Android Developers - Android 4.4 KitKat and Android.com
Oct 31, 2013 - 3:18 PM - by dgstorm
You knew it would be coming. The onslaught of commercials for the new Nexus 5 has just started. This first one doesn't really show much... just people using the Nexus 5's camera to capture moments in their lives. There's nothing really inspiring about the ad, as it simply follows a familiar formula. It's not as great as those first few Nexus 7 ads were, but it gets the job done.
Oh well, it is just a commercial after-all, not a remake of some classic movie.
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