Electronics and cars are a tricky combination. While the advantages of systems like in-dash navigation and text-to-speech SMS reading are obvious, every extra gadget that travels with you while you're driving has the potential to be a dangerous distraction. Google may be looking to solve that problem, at least as it applies to wearable devices like Android Wear watches. A recent patent published by the USPTO indicates that Google has developed (or at least conceptualized) a system for detecting whether a wearable user is actively driving the vehicle or merely a passenger.
US patent number 9,037,125 was filed on April 7th of last year, credited to Mohammed Waleed Kadous and assigned to Google. Read More
Luxe is a service that allows you to summon a valet to park your car when time or energy is low, something that many people probably won't consider using due to either reluctance to paying for this sort of thing or because they don't live in an area where it just isn't very hard to park for yourself. The name itself screams, "This is a want, not a need" (also, luxury). The service is launching something new called Drive Home in which their valets will drive you up to 50 miles to your own home and in your own car, which is targeted to keeping drunk or otherwise compromised drivers off the road. Read More
Cheap USB car chargers are a dime a dozen, even ones with enough ports to charge two devices at once. But this dual-USB (2.1A + 1A) charger from Elivebuy stands out, and it's not because this is the fastest charger of the bunch. It caught our attention because it just might save your life, and it will do it for six bucks if you go to Amazon and enter the coupon code Q626JPAD at checkout.
The charger in question comes with a glass hammer that can be used to shatter windows during an emergency. It also comes with LED lights that can provide illumination in the darkness or serve as hazard warnings. Read More
Most of the apps from the American Red Cross are intended for use during emergencies, but the organization's latest one, titled simply "Emergency," still manages to bring something new to the table. It consolidates all of your alerts in one place. So when some sort of weather event is going down and Google hasn't yet buzzed your phone, you know where to look. Read More
We all know the perils of using a cell phone while driving. At best it's difficult and at worst it is incredibly dangerous. Still, sometimes we need to perform simple actions on our devices when behind the wheel. This basic problem has driven the development of Android Auto and various company-specific software and hardware to smooth things out. AutoMate is an Android app, now in beta, that is quite a bit easier than buying a new head unit. Rather, it delivers a cleaner, Android Auto-inspired interface designed to make on-the-road use easier.
You will probably notice that it looks a lot like Android Auto. Read More
Google stands to make the most money if you're online using its search engine and viewing its ads, preferably in Chrome or on an Android device. But sometimes the internet can be a tricky place to navigate safely, and that's just not good for business. So the company is continuing its push to make the web a safer place to browse on PCs and mobile devices alike.
Before you visit a webpage that tries to trick you into downloading unwanted, potentially harmful software, Chrome will now stop you and dish out an intimidating, red warning.
The site ahead contains harmful programs. Attackers ... might attempt to trick you into installing programs that harm your browsing experience (for example, by changing your homepage or showing extra ads on sites you visit).
As you already know, Nest's alarms are smarter than regular alarms. They pair with an Android app and can provide more specific feedback than BEEP BEEP BEEP. One of their other perks is that, like many gadgets these days, they get better with time. The company is now rolling out version 2 of its mobile apps. The update is available right away, so here's what to expect once it's done installing.
This release introduces a 10-day history of all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to go off during that period. The app will display where they happened and provide feedback on how to avoid setting them off in the future. Read More
Earlier this month, when we recapped all the rumor and leak posts we had published leading up to Google I/O, hands-free functionality called Android Eyes-Free (codenamed KITT) was marked as "partially live." For those in need of a refresher, our post outlined in-car functionality that would carry a stripped-down interface, notifications read aloud by Google, and a new hand-waving gesture used to wake the device.
While the hands-free hotword functionality has already debuted, the dedicated in-car interface, void of any visual chrome, has yet to be revealed (or even really hinted at) by Google.
But a small tidbit spotted in one of Google's promotional gifs today might give us just a little more hope that the functionality is still in progress. Read More
Texting and driving is a big no-no. We get that. People still do it, but it isn't from the misguided belief that they aren't being risky or, in some places, breaking the law. Yet what about texting and walking? It may not result in unintentional manslaughter (okay, it's much less likely to result in accidental death), but that doesn't mean it's harmless.
In Japan, wireless carrier NTT Docomo has been trying to educate the public on the dangers of walking while having their eyes glued on a mobile device. In typical Japanese fashion, the company's doing so in an adorable, somewhat humorous fashion. Read More