Fun fact: Microsoft was working on "smart watches" a solid decade before the current craze. Microsoft partnered with Fossil and a few other watch makers to release SPOT Watches, which received information updates via FM radio broadcasts. I don't want to say that SPOT watches were terrible, and I don't have to, because this Cnet review does it for me. Maybe Microsoft is trying to capture the not-so-glorious days of early 2000s smartwatches, because the company's research division has just posted an experimental keyboard for Android Wear.
Technology in general and mobile tech in particular is on a rapid march forward, but there's a bottleneck that's holding it back: batteries. For years lithium-ion batteries have been the best option for storing energy pound-for-pound, but they've hit a wall - now we can only get bigger batteries or make our gadgets more efficient. A team of researchers at Stanford University have created what they call the "holy grail" of battery technology, a battery with a stable lithium anode.
At this point, we've got some really amazing technology in our smartphones, and not just on the inside. Corning's continued work on their Gorilla Glass has made phone screens amazingly resistant to scratches, and as soon as someone manages to figure out how to make synthetic sapphire faster and cheaper, they'll be even better. But no matter how tough your screen is, it's still glass, and dropping it on the pavement is an almost inevitable recipe for a broken screen.
Most mobile users these days are happy to get LTE service (and a few of us just wish we could get 3G reliably) but there is already a surprising push towards the next big thing in wireless speeds. Samsung thinks it has the solution, or at least what might become one: expanding existing LTE networks into the super-high 28GHz range, the lower part of what's known as the millimeter wave bands.
Smartphones have a staggering amount of data they can monitor, and not just in terms of the Internet. Position, orientation, speed, sound, light, g-force, the list goes on - that's why academics are using them as self-contained sensor stations for cool stuff like blasting into space. If you need to monitor data remotely for decidedly less cool reasons (like seeing if your CDL contractor got four tons of gravel to the worksite without stopping at Arby's first) Valarm might be the right service for you.
The rumor mill giveth and the rumor mill taketh away. Late Sunday night, a commenter on our site posted a surprising confession: he was the source of several rumors regarding Android 4.2. Initially, we confirmed that this commenter was the same who had sent us some different yet equally fantastic stories. Our batch hinted that Robert Downey Jr. might have been hired to introduce the new Nexii for the next couple years, for example.
Google's Android Developer's site got a massive overhaul today, with a brand new UI, tons of new features, and a unified guide for developers on how to design, develop, and distribute their apps all in one place. The new site is fantastic-looking. Clearly Google wants to engage developers more and give them more guidance on how to succeed on the Play Store. So, what say we take a tour?
For anyone who's been kept in the dark, or just doesn't know everything there is to know about Android yet, Google's provided newcomers with a section just to tout the advantages of developing for Android.
If there's one downside to the proliferation of touchscreen technology, it's the lack of tactile feedback. Tactus is one of many companies that aims to alleviate this problem. This week, at SID 2012, the company demoed a product that offers disappearing physical touch keys. As seen in the demo video here, these buttons can raise on command and disappear when they're not needed. Which sounds like something out of science fiction.
From the day I picked up the original Evo 4G, I realized that battery technology was, no doubt, lagging behind the devices it powered. Looking to push batteries a bit closer to the impressive power of today's mobile technology, researchers at Northwestern University have significantly boosted the power of lithium-ion batteries by making a few key changes.
To achieve such impressive performance enhancements, the researchers essentially poked millions of holes in the battery's graphene layers using a chemical oxidation process.
An independent test conducted by a research firm in New York City comparing the speeds of Verizon's and Sprint's respective 4G networks has made at least one thing clear: Big Red owns the Big Apple. After conducting over 1000 individual network speed tests in various locations throughout the city, BTIG Research tallied up the averages, and it's not a pretty picture for Sprint:
The connections were tethered through an HTC Thunderbolt and an HTC EVO 4G, respectively
You're seeing that right - Verizon's 4G LTE is averaging a whopping 10.3Mbps (down) when on a laptop tethered to an HTC Thunderbolt, while the EVO 4G barely eeks out 1.6.