From the earliest days of Android Wear, there have been those waiting for a traditional watchmaker to get in on the fun. Today appears to be the day. Google, TAG Heuer, and Intel have announced a partnership to design an Android Wear watch powered by an Intel chip.
This week at MWC, Intel revealed its 2015 and 2016 mobile chipset lineup, as well as the fact that the company is adopting a similar naming scheme to its Core line of processors with these new chips. They've been dubbed x3, x5, and x7, and as with the Core processors, bigger is generally better.
Intel has long been something of a dark horse in the mobile industry. The company has seen negligible penetration in smartphones to date (though not none) and competes almost exclusively in the low to mid-range segment in Android tablets. Of course, as the ultraportable market changes and small, super-thin laptops and convertibles become more common, Intel is swooping in with design wins left and right, keeping the likes of Qualcomm, NVIDIA, MediaTek, and Samsung out of a lucrative market.
PasswordBox is a password manager that automatically enters your credentials into various websites and apps, not unlike LastPass. Last month the company was acquired by Intel Security, which is both absorbing the service and leaving it available in its current form for the time being. The PasswordBox team has been hard at work for its new boss, and at this year's CES, Intel Security announced True Key, built on top of the technology made available by the partnership.
True Key is a replacement for master passwords that secures your information by checking a combination of traits unique to you. This includes relying on aspects of facial recognition—think the distance between your eyes and nose—along with information such as the number of devices that you own.
Lenovo might own Motorola now, but the company is still doing its own thing when it comes to mobile devices. There are a pair of new Android phones today, as well as a wearable and a completely self-indulgent accessory—a selfie flash. Your life is complete now, right?
Dell has been making Android tablets for a while, but none of them have been terribly interesting. The new Venue 8, on the other hand, stands out in a sea of freakishly similar slates. This is the thinnest tablet in the world at only 6mm (a whole one-tenth of a millimeter thinner than the iPad Air 2) and it showcases some neat camera tricks thanks to its Intel hardware. It's been vaporware so far, but now you can get one at Best Buy for $399.99.
PasswordBox is a system that allows users to keep long and secure passwords to major services, auto-inputting the fields on desktops and mobile platforms and syncing them to a cloud-based system with a single login. It's a popular alternative to the similar LastPass system. Yesterday Intel announced that it had acquired the 44-person company for an undisclosed sum, and intends to integrate it into its Intel Security team (which includes support from McAfee) going forward.
According to a post on PasswordBox's company blog, user accounts and paid subscriptions will remain active and unaffected "for now." The synced password service costs $12 a year for unlimited stored passwords; it's unclear if the service and pricing model will continue indefinitely, or what those who have purchased a lifetime subscription through promotional portals like StackSocial will recieve.
Most of you have probably heard of theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking, one of the most high-profile scientists in the world. Hawking suffers from a rare condition related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that leaves him with extremely limited movement; for the last few decades he has used a customized mobile computer and a voice synthesizer to speak and write with tiny muscular actions. The latest version of his personal setup was created with the help of Intel and SwiftKey, and the keyboard software developer detailed the process on its company blog.
According to SwiftKey, the prediction and correction software running on Professor Hawking's mobile computer has been completely tailored both to his non-standard method of text entry and his vocabulary and writing style.
Though the hardware was mildly refreshed back in June, Google Glass has been running on much the same internals for the better part of two years. With the rise of Android Wear, at least some of us were wondering whether Google still intended to bring its head-mounted wearable system to retail at all. According to the latest report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is indeed planning at least one more version of Glass, this time running on an Intel chipset. The new hardware will reportedly be released next year.
The original and current Glass models use Texas Instruments processors.
Back in June, Google announced Android was destined to gain 64-bit support in the coming L release. A few weeks later, Revision 10 of the Native Development Kit (NDK) was posted with support for the three 64-bit architectures that would be able to run the new version of Android: arm64-v8a, x86_64, and mips64. As we close in on the official release of Android L, Google has updated the NDK to revision 10b and added an emulator image developers can use to prepare their apps to run on devices built with Intel's 64-bit chips.
Free stuff is good, and if you're an Android developer looking to get into the Intel dev scene, then there's a free book on Amazon that should be just what you need. It's called "Android Application Development for the Intel Platform" (man I really love catchy book titles), and it's normally $40. The paperback version is still going for $35, but if you can handle reading on your device, the Kindle Edition costs approximately zero monies right now.
What you’ll learn
Comprehensive introduction to the Intel ® Embedded and mobile hardware platform
Android app GUI design principles and guidelines
Covers the latest Intel Android development tools, including Intel Beacon Mountain version 0.6 and the Intel Compiler
NDK and C/C++ optimization
Designing and optimizing for low-power consumption
Who this book is for
The book is primarily for app developers, software engineers and open-source programming enthusiasts, but can also be used by for training programs and Codeacademy-style programs.