It has been almost a month since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out to users, and as of yesterday, it is in wide release to everybody. A previous blog post by Google discussed the big new feature for developers would be the Nearby Messages API, but it turns out there are a couple of other additions worth checking out. In a new post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced a new Mobile Vision API with the ability to detect the presence, orientation, and some details of faces when they are in frame on an active camera. Read More
Google's Camera app isn't exactly feature-rich, at least not when it is compared to alternatives offered by OEMs and many independent developers. Of course, that may be one of the reasons it is fairly popular – the interface remains simple and the features that did make it in, like Photospheres, are pretty cool. After looking through the latest update, it looks like Google is working toward another major feature addition called Smart Burst, and it might just become the best way to take photos of your friends.
Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Despite having some serious (and apparently isolated) issues with his unit's battery, our fearless leader Artem is thoroughly enjoying his Moto 360 smartwatch. He described the Stealth360 watch face from developer Flying Rhino as, and I quote, "sweet as hell."
Stealth360 shies away from some of the more conventional Braun-style designs included with the Moto 360 itself, in favor of something closer to a Razer or Alienware look. (Think Tron, but with a little more restraint.) Despite hands and markers that are designed to look sleek, it's pretty functional as a standard watch, thanks to easy-to-read layout. The gradient on the background really helps the hands pop, despite the all-dark color scheme. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, we were very excited to find a new, revised version of the Roboto family hiding in a leaked Android 4.3 build. Since then, I've been keeping an eye out for any more Roboto goings on.
With the new Play Store web portal having launched today, I thought I'd check in and see if it was using the new version of Roboto we reported on before. As it turns out, it isn't. It's using another version of Roboto, pared down to just over 200 glyphs (compared to over 1000).
That's not it though.
(Another) New Roboto
What first tipped me off to the difference was Roboto Thin's lowercase "m". Read More
Lambda Labs, a small start-up out of San Francisco, is set to drag us kicking and screaming into the dystopian sci-fi future we all knew was coming. Okay, that might be overstating the point, but the company has announced its intention to release a facial recognition API for Google Glass this week. Should this pan out, you'll always have to wonder if that fellow wearing Google Glass remembered your name, kid's age, and occupation because he has a good memory, or because the cloud told him.
The Lambda Labs facial recognition API has been in operation since last year, and is currently used by about 1,000 developers. Read More
Today it was learned, through a US Patent and Trademark Office filing, that Google has been granted a patent concerning the logging in of multiple users by facial recognition.
Typically, the granting of yet another tech patent wouldn't be extraordinarily interesting news. But given the fact that Google's latest patent relates to multiple user support, and the fact that code meant for multiple user support has been sitting right under our noses in AOSP for some time now, patent number 8,261,090 is definitely worth discussing.
Without quoting the entire 17,000 word filing, patent '090 essentially covers methods that allow a "computing device" to recognize one or more users' identities based on facial recognition, and then give them access to resources specifically assigned to them. Read More
We've been hearing things about Google Glass, the Google-powered eyeball accessory, for a while now. While the device isn't quite ready for consumers (and won't be for a while), we got an extensive look at what these devices can do... right after Google-hired stuntmen jumped out of an airplane while on a Glass-based Hangout, then proceeded to bike across rooftops, rappel down the side of the Moscone Conference Center, and finally bike into the I/O keynote to deliver the device on stage to Sergey Brin. This is the first product announcement in recent memory where someone could have feasibly died during a demo. Read More
Smartphones are rapidly taking over some daily functions previously dominated by our laptops and personal computers, so securing these mobile devices is becoming an increasingly important issue. Information thieves are after your data via malicious software from which you can reasonably protect yourself by being careful; but what about physical device thieves?
There have been a few solutions, such as the native lock screen options (particularly in Froyo) and various remote lock/wipe/track apps, such as WaveSecure, but a new solution is about to become available – BioLock, a biometric security app from Blue Planet Apps.
BioLock provides three levels of security, and you can use as many or as few as you’d like at once. Read More