NVIDIA has been the first few pebbles of the landslide that is CES for the last few years, and 2015 is no different. To kick off the world's biggest consumer tech show, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang started with mobile. The company announced its successor to the Tegra K1 mobile processor, the Tegra X1. This chip includes an octa-core 64-bit CPU married to a 256-core GPU. And that second chip is the killer: it's based on the same architecture as the latest full-sized NVIDIA desktop graphics cards, Maxwell.
The user experience on Android is never standing still, which is no more evident than in the Play Store itself. It seems Google may be trying out a new behavior for search queries that match the names of the Play Store's predefined categories. Instead of presenting a list of apps, searching for a term like 'action' or 'puzzle' can bring up structured lists like those that would appear in the category itself.
When you find yourself needing to use your phone as a flashlight, you usually need it quickly. Those who do not have one of the few devices/ROMs that have support for quick access to the built-in LED for use as a light end up fumbling through their app drawer looking for the appropriate app to do so. Power Button Flashlight/Torch is an app that lets you use your power button as a trigger for this purpose, even when your screen is off.
Last week, we saw Hyundai announce that it would be the first auto manufacturer to provide Android Wear support for its cars, in the form of remote actions that can be initiated on your smartwatch. Pretty cool stuff. But Android Auto is probably even cooler - navigation, music controls, voice dictation, and other functions will soon be made possible in vehicles by your smartphone, instead of some ancient infotainment system from hell.
The venerable animated GIF remains a staple of the internet even after all these years because of its unparalleled versatility. If it has a screen, it can probably play a GIF. Such is the case with Android Wear, and Little TV turns those GIFs into watch faces. This is either fun or really ridiculous. I haven't decided which yet, but it's definitely one or the other.
Most of the news about CyanogenMod over the last month or so has been about Cyanogen Inc.'s very public spat with enthusiast manufacturer OnePlus. But believe it or don't, work continues on CyanogenMod 12, the custom ROM team's version of Android Lollipop. One of the more interesting changes to the new version was spotted over on the Android subreddit: starting with CM12, CyanogenMod will no longer require a separate app to manage root permissions.
It's been about a year since the original Air Dock wireless car charger smashed its Indiegogo funding goal, and now v2.0 is doing the same. The fixed funding campaign had a goal of $85,000, and it's already over that with a few more weeks to go. You've still got time to secure your Air Dock 2.0, and you should probably consider it—this car dock is one of the coolest, most convenient ways to charge your phone.
Take a look at the photo below and try to figure out exactly what it is. A head-mounted carbon fiber sunshade? The latest Milan fashion inspired by Catholic nun habits? A solar-powered personal telepathy machine for the eco-friendly supervillain? The answer is none of the above: it's a giant plastic dome that, according to creator Silentium, cancels out surrounding ambient noise.
That's right, it's a real version of the Cone of Silence, favored by agents of a certain fictional spy agency.
To be fair, Silentium isn't just some fly-by-night company hoping to make headlines at the yearly parade of weird tech in the less-traveled halls of CES.
If you're one of those users who continually laments the lack of expandable storage options from high-end smartphones or tablets, Seagate would like a word. The well-known hard drive manufacturer is releasing a somewhat unconventional model aimed squarely at mobile devices. The Seagate Wireless (that's the full name of the drive) is a 500GB hard drive with a built-in power supply and a Wi-Fi radio for accessing files on the go.