AnTuTu is one of the premiere full system benchmarks available on Android devices. The developers claim to have over 100 million users, and they're all getting a big update to version 4.0. Not only does the new AnTuTu look better, but the way it determines scores has been tweaked to better support faster devices.
Samsung just unveiled the much-rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but that's far from the only new smartwatch about to hit wrists around the world. Qualcomm, the company best known for building the ARM chips powering most modern Android devices, has just announced the Toq smartwatch. The Toq (pronounced 'talk') will be compatible with Android 4.0.3 and higher, but does not appear to run Android itself. Unlike the Gear, Qualcomm is promising the Toq will get multiple days of battery life from a single charge thanks to its Mirasol screen.
If you're a dedicated follower of tech news, you've probably heard the big story from late last night: Microsoft is buying Nokia. Holy cow, Redmond has an end-to-end distribution model! This could finally make Windows Phone a competitor! The phone and tablet market is getting its first major shakeup since the rise of Android!
Well, yes, and then again no. While it's true that the upcoming acquisition is a huge deal for Microsoft, and an even bigger deal for Nokia and anyone who's invested in the company (either in a monetary sense or as a customer), I can't see it having a huge impact on Android.
Update: According to GigaOm, today's Galaxy Gear images are definitely of a prototype, as VentureBeat speculated could be the case earlier. Additionally, GigaOm's sources indicate that the watch will be running Android 4.3 with Bluetooth LE connectivity, a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor (with Mali-400 MP4 GPU), and the ability to make phone calls. Our original post follows below.
We're looking forward to getting a glimpse of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's rumored smart watch, expected for an IFA reveal.
Piper is a nifty little gadget that combines a number of recently deployed technologies to create a connected and hyper-aware home automation hub. The project has been getting a lot of press since it appeared on Indiegogo a couple of weeks ago, and it passed its $100,000 funding goal today. There's another twenty days before the project ends, so the creators won't be wanting for funds.
Piper is essentially is a little box that's stuffed with a ton of sensors and WiFi connectivity, making it the hub of a connected house.
If you're a SHIELD early adopter, you may want to head into the settings menu and grab the latest update – it's a good one. Update 59 brings improved PC streaming stability, along with support for more PC Games, like FIFA 13, Call of Jaurez: Gunslinger, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, and several other. There are now 31 officially supported PC titles. Not bad.
Aside from that, it also adds support for Tegra developer tools and possibly the most anticipated feature: the ability to move apps to the SD Card.
Do you remember when Google and Yahoo! were similar brands? Both had search, mail, news, and instant messaging services. Sure, there were technical reasons to prefer one platform over the other, but it was all predominantly a matter of preference. Now, that difference could hardly be starker. One now manages not one but two operating systems, challenging the dominance of the likes of Microsoft and Apple, and has even planted the seeds for a gaming ecosystem that could someday challenge both handheld and tabletop consoles.
Samsung really crossed the streams when it announced the Galaxy NX Android camera back in June – mashing up a high-end mirrorless camera with Android. It's a rather bizarre idea, but actually looks like an interesting device. Samsung neglected to announce a price, though. Well, now it has, and you're not going to like it. The Galaxy NX will cost $1,599 for the body with no lens, or $1,699 for the body and a standard 18-55mm zoom lens.
Today, Autodesk announced Maya LT, a streamlined 3D modeling tool targeted at independent and mobile game developers. The maker of AutoCAD and 3ds Max is looking to make a splash with developers by introducing a lower-cost version of its Maya software, but still keeping it equipped with powerful animation tools, including a skeleton generator with the capability to calculate inverse kinematics (using Autodesk HumanIK), and a viewport preview system to visualize models as they would appear in game with full lighting and texture effects.
Gameloft has released eight games in the Asphalt series in just under nine years. If practice makes perfect, then Asphalt 8 should be nothing less than the greatest racing game ever made. It doesn't quite live up to that lofty goal, but as a top-tier Android game and an impressive arcade-style racer in its own right, it's worth your attention even if you're only casually interested in racing games.
Between the Hot Wheels physics, licensed cars, online play, and gorgeous presentation, Asphalt 8 is worth a lot more than its $1 asking price.