Several days ago, I started a series of rumor posts on my personal Google+ account discussing some Android rumors I felt were interesting enough to share, but didn't feel confident enough yet to do so here on the site. The posts were heavily prefixed with disclaimers that none of them may turn out to be true but that I had a certain level of confidence to talk about them in public unofficially.
A batch of images purporting to be from Android 4.4 running on a Nexus 5 have shown up online, and they confirm a lot of things we've been hearing. This isn't a complete rethinking of Android, but it looks like many parts of the UI will be tweaked this time around.
Starting with the lock screen, we can see a transparent status bar up top with white icons, now a staple of KitKat leaks.
If you've always dreamed of having a way to monitor your kids, pets, house, or all of the above from your mobile device or PC and haven't looked into Dropcam, you're missing out. And today, the company announced the newest member to the Dropcam family: the Dropcam Pro. Sounds fancy.
This Pro edition camera features quite a few upgrades from its predecessor (which isn't going away, by the way - it'll just be called "Dropcam" instead of Dropcam HD henceforth), including sharper image quality, 8x zoom, 130 degree field of view, and enhanced two-way talk.
If you've always wanted a phone with a big, curved screen, LG wants to grant your wish. To that end the company is now mass-producing flexible OLED screen panels, presumably for an upcoming device or class of devices. The screen itself (not the phone or tablet that it's going into) will be 6 inches diagonally, .44mm thin, and just 7.2 grams.
LG didn't include a photo with their PR, so here's the same Samsung demo that's been floating around for years.
In the movie Demolition Man, Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes) reprograms the lights (which are controlled by voice) to turn on with the hotword "illuminate" and turn off with "deluminate." When I saw that movie as a kid, I wanted this in my future. Not necessarily exactly like that, but that sort of automation in general. Now, we're finally edging slowly towards that kind of life.
Enter the new Indiegogo campaign for the bRight Switch, an Android-powered light switch and base switching/outlet system that is basically everything one could possibly hope for in home lighting automation and convenience.
Watches. A lot people used to wear them, because a watch had two great functional purposes: giving you the current time instantly, and providing a quick, easy, and almost universally recognized way to socially cue that you're becoming impatient / need to go / it's getting late. A lot of people actually still wear watches, but by and large, the reason has changed - it's mostly about fashion. For some people, maybe it was always about looks, but now more than ever the watch is, in any functional sense, obsolete.
We all know Android 4.4 is coming. There's a chance we could see it this month, perhaps with a new Nexus phone, but there's really nothing concrete to back that right now – it's just the rumor mill whirring as it so often does. Of course, as new versions of Android get closer to being finalized and released, the leaks become more common, and oftentimes larger in terms of the information provided.
You've been warned: the Galaxy Note II was probably my favorite smartphone of 2012, and it looks like its successor, the Note 3, is stealing my heart all over again. With big hardware improvements across the board, as well as substantial additions to software, the Note 3 feels like a true next-generation sort of phone. Samsung has rather effectively ruined every other large-screen device for me, and frankly, probably every other phone released this year.
A note from the editors: This is a guest post by Ryan Oldenburg, the original creator of PushBullet.
I've left my job to work full time on PushBullet. Two of my friends are joining me. Now the question is: how much can we build, and how fast?
PushBullet’s going to be the easiest and fastest way to get things on and off your phone and tablet. So far this means pushing yourself files, links, notes, to-do lists, and addresses that instantly show up in your notification tray.
Let me just start by saying that I like the DROID Maxx and DROID Mini. Why conclude a review before I begin it? Because so many people have already concluded that they cannot like these phones. Motorola's new devices have proven incredibly polarizing among enthusiasts, especially to Google and Android diehards who held on till the bitter end to a fantasy (and that is what it was) that the company would come to the rescue of marginalized power users.