Posts Tagged ‘Expands’
Lego (or, if you’re pedantic, LEGO) is lot’s of fun. Lego Mindstorms is more fun. But what if you want to go to maximum fun? That’s where the Brick comes in. This $ 70 brick works with regular Lego and allows you to add unique features to your models including motor controls and light handling. The device is very similar to the actual Mindstorms brain but won’t take up… Read More
Silent Circle’s mobile apps have helped make calls, messages and storing contacts more secure, but to enjoy its encryption benefits other people would need to use the same service. That could no longer be a problem for some, after the company…
If your local Blockbuster just shut down or you can’t get Netflix in your nation, there’s always Google Play’s Movies. It’s now available in nearly double the countries it was yesterday and 27 total, having added a dozen more nations to its rota. …
When Google introduced the in-depth article search results section, the company gave voracious readers a great way to look for weekend reading spree fodder. Today, Mountain View is making it even easier to scour the internet by adding a “More …
You no longer need to be a star athlete or a pop diva to get a vanity URL on Google+. Even if you’re but an Average Joe, you can now get a custom link that’s possible to memorize, so long as you meet a handful of (easy) requirements. If you have a profile photo, have 10 or more followers and an …
Samsung has first mover advantage in the smartwatch space, launching its Galaxy Gear wearable last month. However the mobile companion device only worked if you also picked up Samsung’s just released Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Note 10.1. Which means the vast majority of Samsung’s existing user-base are currently denied the chance to indulge their smartwatch-owning fantasies unless they also upgraded their main phone or bought a new tablet. But not for much longer.
Samsung has announced the Gear will become compatible with a swathe of its existing handsets via two updates: the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, and a separate update due to start rolling out globally at the end of this month.
The list of devices that will add Gear compatibility is the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 (via the 4.3 update). Samsung said it will also extend Galaxy Gear compatibility to “other Galaxy devices” — specifically saying this will include the Galaxy S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and Galaxy S4 Zoom — via a separate update (which suggests those devices aren’t getting Android 4.3. Or not yet, anyway).
One caveat: Android updates are a notoriously fragmented affair, with carriers acting as gatekeepers to hold back the rollout progress of each update. So it may take a considerable time for the Gear update to be successfully pushed out to all carrier combinations across all markets. “Software update schedules for each device will vary by country and carrier,” is how Samsung couches that caveat in its press release.
As well as enabling S4, S3 and Note 2 owners to buy and hook up a Gear, the v4.3 update will add easier text input, updated graphics and multimedia on the Android side, plus Samsung’s Knox security offering, Smart Switch, HomeSync and Group Play 2.5.
Once these existing device owners have successfully updated, and if they then choose to shell out $ 299 for the Gear add-on, they can expect to be able to make and answer calls on the smartwatch, and view incoming messages and notifications.
The Gear also has a 1.9MP camera attached to the wristband for taking grainy spy shots without reaching for your main cameraphone. It also has a handful of its own apps, such as a pedometer app.
Reviews of the Galaxy Gear have not been too kind, however — so if you’re buying this smartwatch, you are effectively using your own money to volunteer to be a beta tester for an alpha product.
Today, Facebook is giving Graph Search something of a power-up by adding status updates and posts to the list of content it can access. Previously, the revamped search engine could only scan four types of information — people, photos, places and interests — when presented with queries like “who are my friends in New York City?” Now, if someone types in “posts about bacon from the last month,” your recent public complaint about the wilted lettuce in your B.L.T. will pop up. Also included in the expansion are check-ins, comments and photo captions. As it has at every step of the Graph Search rollout, Facebook is quick to assure its users that the feature respects your privacy settings, so only content that’s been shared with you or is otherwise publicly accessible will show up in search results. For more information, head on over to the source link below.
Google had some news to reveal at this year’s big Intel Developer Forum conference today, including new Chromebook hardware from brand new OEM partners, as well as a few existing ones. The new devices will include notebooks powered by Chrome OS from Asus and Toshiba, as well as newly designed models from existing partners Acer and HP, and will roll out “over the coming months,” according to Google.
The new line of Chromebooks are based on Intel’s latest Haswell processor architecture, which offers big benefits in terms of power draw and performance. Google says that leads to battery life that lasts “all day,” though it isn’t being very specific about hardware specs or details yet. The Acer Chromebook is described as “light and portable,” while the HP Chromebook14 will offer a variety of color options as well as 4G connectivity on some models, and Asus is offering a Chromebox for portable desktop computing.
So with new hardware partners included, Google now has six top laptop OEMs working on the Chromebook line, including Samsung and Lenovo, in addition to its own hardware in the high-end Chromebook Pixel. The thin, browser-like Chrome OS is increasingly a popular option for hardware makers looking for a way to defray losses from the shrinking PC market, alongside Android, so it’s not surprising to see more manufacturers come on board. Pricing and other details around the new machines will follow later on.
Here’s one for the logophiles and the voracious readers: searching for words on Google now returns more than their definitions. So, next time you look up a fancy term, the definition box will also contain its synonyms, sample sentences and a drop-down menu that can translate the word into another language. The new results even give you a glimpse of a word’s origins and show a graph of how commonly it’s used over time. While a relatively minor update, it’s boosted by the addition of a new voice function: when you tap on the Search microphone and ask questions such as “What is the definition of / What are the synonyms of [a word],” a voice will read the first result out loud. All these features are now active on both desktops and Google’s mobile Search apps in the US, ready to lend a hand during weekend Scrabble parties.
The Chromebook world is a weird one where apps trickle out slowly and in a manageable stream, with the most interesting ones costly coming from Google itself. The latest is software that was originally demoed at the Chromebook Pixel launch, then released for that computer exclusively, and now has arrived for all Chromebooks as of today.
The Google+ Photos app, for those who haven’t been following its long and winding saga, is a standalone app that takes the best of Google+’s photos features and adds things like automatic backup from SD cards, offline viewing of recent uploads, and auto-sorting of the best shots as well as simple sharing.
Maybe the best part of Google+’s Photos app is that it uses the company’s new Auto Enhance magic to subtly improve the quality of any uploaded photos without any action required on their part, so long as it’s enabled, and the Auto Awesome feature that generates GIFs and collages.
At Google’s I/O keynote, the features around images were probably the best part of, at least from a truly useful consumer development standpoint. Photos in the age of digital photography are just sort of a bulk nuisance item that we plan to, but never actually get around to organizing, sifting and editing. Google+ now does a really good job of handling a lot of that heavy lifting.
Chromebooks are still niche devices, but software like this makes them ideal travel companions or even better tools for users with light demands and little know-how of programs like Lightroom or Photoshop. Keeping the Photos app exclusive to the pricey, even-more-niche-than-niche Pixel wasn’t doing anyone any favors, so it’s nice to see it become more widely available.