For months a small subset of Android users have been seeing a new dual-tabbed interface in the official Google search app's UI. The second tab, initially labelled "Dashboard" and then changed to an icon-only "Upcoming," is now official. Google announced the big change on its Keyword search blog, revealing that the feature should roll out to all Android users starting now, with the iOS version of the Search app following suit later.
Fitbit's new dashboard design has been live on iOS for months now but our beloved Android platform was left in the cold waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and waiting for the update to come. Well, the wait is over — almost. The Fitbit app has been updated on the Play Store and it includes a preview of the new Dashboard design. You will see a pink banner on top of the home screen offering you the option to try the new Dashboard. Once you tap it, you get a tutorial of all that will be changed with the new design.
Over the past couple of weeks though, Google has been undergoing more tests with this tab and it seems that the team has now settled on a name and look and idea behind it. It's called "Upcoming" and the icon looks a little better than the previous one with the antenna.
There's a new blue overlay in the app to catch your attention toward the upcoming tab and once you open it, you'll see a few cards detailing what content will show up there.
Mankind loves to obsess over numbers, statistics, and data. Ok, maybe not everybody is stuck on tracking every last thing that happens; but if you're reading this site, there's a good chance you're already checking your monthly activity reports each time Google fires off an email reminder. That addiction to numbers is about to get much more interesting. Google is merging the monthly activity report with Dashboard to produce a super-sized page full of facts and stats about how you're using Google's services.
Very little has changed about the activity report since it launched 2 years ago. There has only ever been a handful of sections, and since updates were on a monthly schedule, the information wasn't exactly up-to-date.
With the number of options that are out there, our smartphones have gradually become more useful for in-car navigation than dedicated GPS units. Unfortunately, holding a phone in your hand isn't the safest (or most legal) driving habit, and mounting your device to the dashboard doesn't work as gracefully as many accessories out there claim. Yet Scosche might be on to something with its latest products, the magicMOUNT magnetic mounts.
Scosche is offering magicMOUNT in multiple formats, so users can mount devices to dashboards, windshields, tabletops, or walls. Each variation works the same. Users install a "MagicPlate" on the back of their phone or tablet, inside the battery cover, or within a case.
I drive a 2003 Ford Ranger. It's reliable, sturdy, and I'll keep it till the wheels fall off, but it is not what you'd call "advanced." The digital displays and integrated electronics of today's cars and trucks put mine to shame, even with a decent aftermarket stereo. Dash, the first app from the eponymous developer and startup, aims to change that. This free app connects to an onboard diagnostics tool (OBD, compatible with most cars from the 90s onward) via Bluetooth to report statistics and other information in real time.
Dash is a fancy dashboard that happens to sit on your phone instead of behind your steering wheel.
Amid all the gadgets and gizmos at CES, Sony has quietly announced a new in-car entertainment system, the XSP-N1BT. It was announced so quietly, in fact, that everyone seemed to miss it until @evleaks pointed it out. It seems like Sony should have made a bigger deal, because it looks neat.
As usual Google has updated monthly platform distribution numbers for Android in its developer dashboard. The numbers, based on devices accessing the Play Store over the last 14 days (ending May 1st), tell developers which versions of Android are most prevalent, and which are on the decline.
This month, as last month, we're seeing a decline in Gingerbread and a rise in Jelly Bean. Gingerbread has dropped from 39.8% to 38.5%, a 1.3% drop for those keeping tally at home. Jelly Bean, meanwhile, has seen a slightly more substantial shift, rising 3.4% from 25% to 28.4%.
Elsewhere, the ebb and flow of version numbers is more or less expected.
Yesterday, Android Police was in San Jose checking out some nifty things at NVIDIA's 2013 GPU Technology Conference. At one of the events, the Tegra team showed off a few prototypes of automotive dashboards they're hoping to put into cars of the future.
The HMI (Human Machine Interaction)toolkit NVIDIA is developing, called UI Composer, is universal in the sense that it can run on top of Android, Linux, Windows RT, and probably other operating systems. User interfaces made using UI Composer can then be controlled remotely using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A Google Nexus 7 running Android Jelly Bean is used in one of the examples - it's basically an Android controller talking to a system running Android.
Google has once again updated the Android platform distribution numbers. The numbers, released right on schedule today, show Gingerbread still leading the pack at 56% of devices (down from 57.5% last month), with Jelly Bean crawling up the ladder to 1.8%, up from 1.2% last time.
The two most important stat changes from last month, Gingerbread and Jelly Bean, are somewhat disappointing – both shifting at a lower rate than last cycle, but promised updates and leaked devices we may or may not see in the near future will likely help those numbers along.
Other versions, meanwhile, are moving as expected.