We got a brief glimpse of the HP SlateBook back in April. We were a bit confused as to why the consumer PC giant would cram Android into a form factor almost exclusively dominated by Windows and OS X machines. Now the 14-inch, Android-powered laptop is official, and we're no less puzzled. HP made the announcement today, though the laptop won't go on sale until July 20th in the US.
Look into the eyes of Ira. He can see into your very being. His hypnotic gaze is scouring your soul, peeling away layers of intellect until only chaos and madness remains. He's like the most terrifying of Lovecraftian horrors, except he's bald and has a five o'clock shadow.
If you've watched any of NVIDIA's trade show keynotes in the last few years, you probably recognize Ira from the company's FaceWorks technical demo.
The Moto E is Motorola's bid to dominate the low-end and developing markets, but that doesn't mean it's not worthy of attention from developers. As always with new Android phones, Motorola has posted the kernel source code for developers (and anyone else who wants to mess with it) at their official GitHub page.
The company also posted the updated source code for the RAZR M and RAZR HD (the international GSM variants of the Verizon-exclusive DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR HD).
Let's face it: at this point, Google TV is a certified flop. For all its good points, its adoption was hampered by expensive hardware, limited apps, and a clunky interface. Google is hoping to revive their set-top plans with "Android TV," an as-yet unverified platform revealed by The Verge last month. Others found more details of Android code powering a Google set-top box in the Android 4.4.3 changelog. Now anonymous sources tell GigaOM that the device will get a formal introduction, if not a full rollout, at Google I/O in June.
Rumors are flying about Samsung's plans for the virtual reality headset market. Just a week after Engadget's last unconfirmed report on Samsung's VR device, there's a new post that sheds quite a lot more light on the subject. First of all, Samsung and Oculus VR (makers of the Oculus Rift and recently acquired by Facebook) are sharing technology to improve each other's products. And secondly, Samsung's device uses a dock for your phone, which then becomes the primary display for the device.
You've got a lot of options for high-end Android devices just at the moment, with the HTC One M8 out and the LG G3 coming soon. But if you want something for Verizon right now and your funds are limited, you could do a lot worse than the Samsung Galaxy S5. Amazon's wireless portal has the phone on Big Red for just fifty bones, assuming you're a new customer or you're adding a new phone line.
Rdio's Android app got a teensy, tiny update today, adding gapless playback to all devices running Android 4.1. According to the "What's New" section of the Play Store page, the feature was added in by popular demand. For the uninitiated, gapless playback is exactly what it sounds like: a seamless transition from one track to the next. It's a big deal for some users, and much harder to do on a streaming music service than on local playback.
In addition to substantial updates to the Android Device Manager and Chrome Beta yesterday, Google Maps is getting an adjustment as well. The new version (8.1) revives the Terrain Mode view, which lets you easily see the various elevation changes in surrounding hills, mountains, and valleys. (Terrain Mode was removed in Maps 7, for some reason.) There are also a few user interface changes to the various navigation screens. It's a small update compared with the the full 8.0 bump from earlier this month, but there are still some useful additions.
When an iOS app comes to Android, all too often it's merely a half-hearted copy, taking no notice of the user interface standards or the expanded capability of the platform. I'm happy to report that this is not the case with Sunrise Calendar, which has managed to gain quite a following across the way for its impressive layout and sunny visual design. It's available now for all Android devices running 4.0 or higher, though there's no tablet interface at the moment.