Back in April, some Project Tango invitees reported that the tablet development kit's price had dropped from $1024 down to the "special price" of $512. In an email notification to invited buyers, Google advised, "We're opening up sales more broadly, so now is the last chance to buy the device we've reserved for you."
Evidently Google wasn't joking, as today Project Tango can be bought for the same $512 price invite-free from the Google Store.
Dropping the invitation requirement just one day before the 2015 I/O keynote is certainly an interesting move, and may suggest that Google will have more to tell us about its 3D sensing and tracking efforts during the conference.
Here's the gist: Google is experimenting with virtual reality displays at I/O 2014, including a new VR toolkit for developers to try out. They've also created an Android app that will let you simulate an Oculus Rift-style, dual-screen VR headset using only your phone, kind of like that Samsung rumor from last month. Here's the problem: you don't have a headset. Google I/O attendees are getting free headsets that they can build out of cardboard, which then holds their phone at optimal VR-viewing distance. Because nothing says "international developer conference run by one of the world's biggest technology companies" like a bunch of coders strapping cardboard boxes to their faces.
Google may have just sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, but it seems the giant may have kept one of the manufacturer's juiciest pieces (besides patents) to itself.
According to Pocket-lint, Lenovo has confirmed that Google will be keeping Moto's Advanced Technology and Projects group, notably responsible for Project Ara, the modular phone project announced in October in collaboration with Phonebloks, and other experimental ventures.
The team, led by former DARPA Director Regina Dugan is said by the Verge to be heading to Google's Android team, reporting to Sundar Pichai. Readers may remember seeing other Motorola experiments during an interview with Dugan at last May's D11 conference, including electronic authentication tattoos and microchip-toting pills.
"Many people don't realize … the majority of the world is not connected to the internet. How do we get cost-effective, inexpensive, and reliable connectivity to the remaining 5 or 6 billion people who don't have it?"
Chief Technical Architect Rich DeVaul poses this question in introducing the technology behind Project Loon – the newly (officially) announced project from Google X that aims to bring internet connectivity to "rural, remote, and underserviced areas," as well as those affected by natural disasters. The project doesn't seek to do this with a hulking wired infrastructure, however. No, Google plans to do this using the "effortless elegance" of balloons, combined with the power of stratospheric wind.
If you're like us, you have an obsession with new apps. When you try every new app you come across though, you're bound for disappointment. After all, not every app can be a paragon of functionality, style, and convenience. With that in mind, we go through the long list of new apps submitted to the Play Store every couple of weeks and bring you the best. Even that, though, can be a little too much to digest for some users. For that reason, we've got monthly roundups featuring just a handful of the very very best apps and games from the previous month.
If you've ever been one to tinker, build, or indulge in DIY projects, you've probably visited Instructables at one point or another. It's a great resource for those looking for specific how-tos, or just wanting something to do on a rainy day. Illustrated instructions are provided by the site's users, and can be discussed, favorited, or even downloaded.
Today, Autodesk (purveyors of other excellent apps like Pixlr Express) brought the crowd-sourced do-it-yourself spirit of Instructables to Android in an official app. The app allows for just about all the functionality of the website, in a nice holo-inspired package (the #EEBA26 looks stellar, doesn't it?).
The hype surrounding the concept of Google's much-talked-about Project Glass may have hit its first peak during last year's Google I/O conference when stuntmen jumped out of a plane wearing the device, but the demonstration left many people wanting an explanation of what else Glass can do besides first-person photo/video recording.
Since then, we've seen a few admittedly awesome videos, including a DVF fashion show through glass, and more recently the brilliantly-executed "How It Feels" which went a bit further toward showing real-world use, but at SXSW today, attendees were given what might be the most informative (and exciting) demo we've seen yet.
Last summer, we saw the launch of Tweet Lanes – a beautiful, functional Twitter app that – due to Twitter's reformed API – ceased active development just a few months ago. Today, Chris Lacy has issued a "further update" on the status of development, writing in a post to Google+ "just because I am no longer actively developing Tweet Lanes doesn't mean that development of the app has to stop."
Yes, after "countless requests" to do so (and an offer to sell), Lacy has taken the project open source – opening up the TL client itself, its SocialNetLib library, and its associated AppEngine project.
After about 45 minutes of casual sexism and awkward pauses, NVIDIA's Jen-Hsun Huang dropped the bomb. Project Shield is a handheld gaming console running pure, unmodified Android (Jelly Bean). At its core is the newly-announced Tegra 4 ARM chip, but that's not all.
Update: Official video of Project Shield:
The device looks like a standard wireless controller with a flip-up screen. Around the back are I/O ports, and there's no proprietary nonsense here. HDMI, USB, microSD, and an audio jack. This isn't just a render, either – the device was shown off on stage. Jen-Hsun Huang used Project Shield to push a 4K video over HDMI to a 4K TV as well.