Google surprised us with the long, long, long-awaited Hangouts 4.0 release earlier today, but that wasn't the only update worth paying attention to – Android Wear v1.3 turned up in the later hours, as well. At first glance, the only new option appears to be a selector in settings for choosing between watches for hacking or programming purposes, but a teardown reveals some great new features we can expect to see in the next major firmware release to Android Wear.
If you load Wear v1.3 to your phone right now, the only change you're likely to see is a new option in the Settings screen titled Device to Debug, which pops open a selector with a list of your currently paired watches. Read More
Last month we told you about the Immersion MOTIV platform, which would allow developers to have much more control over the way phones use haptic feedback (the way your phone vibrates). Up to this point, Android haptic feedback has been a very cut and dry affair: it turns on, it turns off, sometimes it's on a little longer, and sometimes it isn't. Immersion, the SDK of which is now available, gives devs the tools to make this a much more varied experience.
Say you are playing a console video game like Uncharted 2 on the PS3. Your controller will vibrate in response to what is going on around you. Read More
When it comes to haptic feedback, which is a fancy term for the way your smartphone vibrates or physically responds to your actions, smartphone users are not used to much variety. Unlike the complicated haptic motors in console gaming controllers, my EVO has a pretty standard and very basic vibrating motor inside, and the only aspect apps can control is the length of the vibration. Boooring.
The Future Of Haptic Feedback
Earlier this week, I met with marketing execs from Immersion, which makes software for those haptic motors that let your handset vibrate. When asked for an example of a device that has Immersion-powered chips in them, I was given the whole Galaxy S line, which shows the company means business. Read More