If there's one downside to the proliferation of touchscreen technology, it's the lack of tactile feedback. Tactus is one of many companies that aims to alleviate this problem. This week, at SID 2012, the company demoed a product that offers disappearing physical touch keys. As seen in the demo video here, these buttons can raise on command and disappear when they're not needed. Which sounds like something out of science fiction.
Today's Google Earth announcement brought a couple of nice new features to the Google Maps suite. In addition to moving offline maps out of Labs, the company also pre-empted rumors of Apple-branded 3D map software with a demo of some stellar 3D maps that Google has been creating with high-tech camera planes. Yes, Google now has camera planes.
The company is using some sophisticated mapping software and planes outfitted with a bevy of camera sensors to create photo-realistic 3D maps of the entire terrain of a metropolitan area.
Google has just announced at today's Maps events that Google Maps offline download feature, previously a "labs" option inside the Google Maps for Android app, is going official. According to the Google, the feature is "coming soon." Unfortunately, there was no word on support for offline navigation.
Here's are some (less than great) shots of the interface in action on a tablet:
From what we can tell, the interface has been improved and it is now much easier to make an offline area selection than it was in the Labs version of the feature.
Google TV is one of those products that Google tends to forget about most of the year. Today, though, the platform is getting some love as Sony Google TV devices are getting a firmware update to version 2.1.1. Included in the update will be the ability play movies rented via Google Play (about time) as well as watching movies via youtube.com/movies.
Logitech's update, on the other hand, is less straightforward.
Oh, Intel. First, you have a partner release a Gingerbread Intel-powered phone a solid 8 months after Android 4.0 has been out. Now, you demo a brand-new wireless charging system using an Intel Ultrabook and a Samsung Fascinate (for our foreign readers, this is a US-only Galaxy S variant). Check out the video from TheVerge, below:
Not only are they using a truly ancient Android phone to demo this new technology, they've actually made it uglier, too, with an odd "hump" of sorts maligning the left-hand-side of the device.
Samsung's hotly-anticipated successor to the ultra-popular Galaxy series is coming to our shores, and as expected, preorders for the GSIII are now live on Verizon. For those needing a quick refresh of the specs:
4.8" 720p SUMER AMOLED display
1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU
2GB RAM (!)
16/32GB storage + microSD Slot
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
8MP rear shooter, 1.9MP front
Gorilla Glass 2
Samsung also includes a number of proprietary apps, the most anticipated of which is probably the Siri-esque S Voice app.
Acer surprised viewers today with a pair of tablets that were not ushered in even by a humble press release. Engadget reports that the tablets received no formal announcement at Computex either, but that they were only discovered thanks to a wandering eye.
At any rate, the tablets in question are the Iconia Tab A210 and A110 – presumably upgraded versions of the A200 and A100. Each of the tablets has a new design, a Tegra 3 processor, and Ice Cream Sandwich goodness on board.
As promised, AT&T has gone live with pre-orders for the hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy SIII, which was just confirmed for the carrier three days ago. Customers are now free to stake claim to the phone that may indeed change the way Android phones are sold in the US. AT&T is the second carrier to officially launch pre-orders, following Sprint. Verizon's pre-orders are also expected to begin today.
In case you've forgotten what makes the Galaxy SIII an awesome device, here's a quick look at its specs:
4.8" Super AMOLED 720p display
Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor at 1.5GHz
16GB onboard storage, expandable to 64GB via microSD
Ample 2100mAh battery
Android Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz overlay
To earmark your own unit (in either Pebble Blue or Marble White), just head over to AT&T's preorder page here.
Android users who are fans of Sid Meier's classic games Pirates! and Civilization now have something to look forward to – it appears hat GREE and 2K Games have teamed up to bring the beloved sim/strategy games to the mobile world.
The companies' statement indicated that the games would be available as "social titles on select global markets," evidently starting with Japan.
“Creating social mobile games based on the Sid Meier’s Pirates!