Recently, Google's ambitious and public-spirited ventures are sounding less like the careful expansions of an international megacorp and more like the pet projects of Dr. Benton Quest. Self-driving cars, medical contact lenses, industrial robots - seriously, we're just waiting on a Walking Eye and Steve Ballmer in a villain costume at this point. The latest report from the Wall Street Journal (which tends to be spot-on when it comes to Google's plans) says the company is preparing a fleet of low-orbit satellites that will deliver Internet access.
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.
A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.
It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally.
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.
Hey, do you remember the time when we posted about that really awesome password manager that could automatically log into most of your apps and websites with just one tap? Just like that other password manager, you could pay the annual subscription fee of $12 for unlimited storage, that's a decent option... But what if I told you that StackSocial is offering lifetime memberships to PasswordBox for just $9.99? I think you might have a hard time passing that up!
Here's a good one for our friends across the pond: if you've been thinking about picking up a Nexus 5 but didn't want to shell out £339 in the Play Store, Clove has you covered. For a limited time (till stock runs out, I assume by the wording), you can score the 32GB N5 for £280 (including VAT), which is a pretty significant savings over Google's store.
Over the years, Google has been shoring up security on Android in a bid to make the operating system more attractive to governments and businesses, and to reduce the threat of malware for regular users. Unfortunately, these changes often come at the expense of flexibility in our beloved platform. As we close in on the next major release of Android, due to be announced next month, SuperSU developer Chainfire has discovered a set of commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) that may seriously impact some of the functionality currently enjoyed by many root users.
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.