Even in a world with Chromecasts and other streaming devices, it's often just easier to plug your phone directly into your TV with an HDMI cable and an adapter. Some people depend on this functionality quite a bit, and for those of you that do, it might not please you to hear that Google's Pixel smartphones will not support the company's own USB Type-C to HDMI adapter.
I love to drive. No, seriously. I'm someone who actually enjoyed commuting to work, back before I landed my first gig putting words on the web. I'll gladly run to the grocery store to knock a few items off our shopping list, then sometimes head back on the same day to pick up something we forgot. If a friend lives less than two hours away, then they're local. Let's hang out this weekend.
The thing is, all this driving burns through gas, which in turn burns through funds. As fun as it is to gun it when the traffic light turns green, coast in the left lane on the interstate, or brake as briefly and as rarely as possible, these actions all impact how much drivers have to spend down the line, both in fuel and maintenance.
Google's Chromecast is cheap and awesome, but it only performs a very specific set of functions, and even venturing out as far as tab casting gives murky results. Dell's Wyse Cloud Connect, formerly known as Project Ophelia, is a little dongle that can toss up a full Android desktop on any HDMI or MHL-enabled display, and it's now available for purchase. It comes with complete access to the Play Store, so you can use it to keep up with episodes of The Daily Show, listen to Lady Gaga, defend towers, or, you know, be productive.
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect comes with PocketCloud pre-installed, which gives users remote access to physical or virtual desktops.
Voice control? That's so 2010. The future of mobile computing is... well, I have no idea what it is, but Danish startup company The Eye Tribe would like you to think that it's eye tracking. And not the simple, on-off tracking demonstrated in the latest versions of Samsung's TouchWiz - their hardware can track eye movements with enough precision to replicate a finger tap or mouse cursor. Check out the video below:
Want the money shot? Skip to 3:00.
That guy is slicing fruit in Fruit Ninja with his eyes. He's like some incredible wizard who really hates oranges. The applications for browsing the web and other standard apps seems a little forced, but the idea of unlocking your screen without touching it makes at least as much sense as Google's own facial recognition solution.
We've become pretty wary of featuring Kickstarter projects here on Android Police - too many have overpromised, under-delivered, or just delayed themselves into oblivion. (I'm looking at you, Star Command.) But this one has too much potential to ignore. A pair of San Mateo engineers have created a MicroSD card reader that plugs right into a MicroUSB port, making it a perfect travel companion for phones or tablets with no expandable storage. The project has been successfully funded after just three days.
There's a lot to like about this Kickstarter. One, the hardware is incredibly simple, but well thought-out: the housing is a tiny dongle that hangs off of a device's USB port, just far enough to enclose the SD card itself.
The Transformer Prime (or TF201 if you're nasty) had its share of GPS problems when it first came out. So much so that the company began sending out dongles to fix the issue. Well, that didn't prevent a class action lawsuit from being filed and, as a result, ASUS has settled the case. What does that mean for you? Well, if you purchased a TF201 between December 1, 2011 and February 19, 2013 and you didn't get a refund, then you qualify to receive $17 and a free GPS dongle.
The ASUS Transformer Prime is the hottest Android tablet on store shelves right now, and for good reason; it's thin, fast, powerful, and well-featured. But there's one shortcoming that ruffled a lot of feathers: very poor GPS performance. The company acknowledged the issue and rolled out numerous OTA updates to the device in hopes that a software patch would fix the issue, but to no avail.
The Transformer Prime is a nice tablet. The GPS problems it suffers due to its all-aluminum case, however, are not. We've heard that ASUS is planning on alleviating these problems with a GPS dongle, and now we're finally getting a look at it. It's uh...well, it sure is a dongle
According to Land of Droid, this giant, we'll say, wand-looking thing, is the GPS dongle that's going to "fix" the Transformer Prime's GPS issues. Of course, from the looks of it, this dongle creates some problems of its own. For starters, subtle it is not. It's a huge, ugly block on the top of an otherwise gorgeous tablet.
Always Innovating, a company which "leverages the latest developments in open source technologies worldwide to create innovative products that solve real problems for consumers," will be debuting a new device at CES this year – the HDMI Dongle. The Dongle looks to replace the set-top box for those who aren't interested in buying a hefty (or more expensive) GoogleTV device.
AI's HDMI Dongle is essentially a complete system on a chip, and has some incredible specs for such a tiny device. Supposedly starting at just $79, the device comes with a Cortex-A9 processor (capable of 1GHz to 1.8GHz speeds, depending on configuration), between 256MB and 1GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC Connectivity, an accelerometer, and a bundled remote.
Folks, I wish I could have the pleasure of telling you that what you're about to see is available now or even that it will be available in the next couple of years. Unfortunately, at this stage, this Seabird mobile phone concept, designed by Billy May for Mozilla, is just a dream. A dream, so beautifully projected in this video that it made me feel both sadness and happiness, inspiration and despair, awe and... well, you'll know what I mean after you watch it.
Without further ado, allow me to introduce Seabird:
If you happen to have 3D glasses, Billy May put together a 3D version of this video, available here.