If there's one major technological limitation that's slowing progress in a number of areas, including smartphones, it's probably batteries. More efficient power delivery in smaller cells would no doubt lead to some interesting advancements, and there are plenty of academics and companies around the world working towards better battery tech. You hear about potential new breakthroughs all the time (taking most with a pinch of salt), but Samsung believes it may have come up with a promising new battery material.
Socratic was launched for Android on May 2nd, but it has been on iOS under the name Homework Genius since last year. It has a pretty interesting premise: you take pictures of your homework, and it tells you about the topic and provides answers. How well does it actually work, though?
Dead Zebra is the online distributor of those wonderful Android mini collectibles designed by Andrew Bell, but that's not all it sells. There are rugs, pins, and more. Some of it isn't even Android-related. Dead Zebra is rolling out a new series of Android minis today, and there are discounts to be had on everything.
I love science. That has to be pretty obvious from both of my work fields, but there's also more to my passion for science than medicine and technology. My physics professor used to call me "The Brain" because, well, I had a knack for solving the most complicated physics problems he could come up with. I want my kids to have this same love for science and this same curiosity, and I'm glad that the world we're in right now not only encourages this kind of enthusiasm, it also celebrates it and has developed more communities and tools and environments where kids can indulge in their scientific pursuits.
Cosmic Watch is not a watch face, or even a conventional clock app. It's an app that models the Earth, the solar system, and most of the familiar constellations in 3D specifically as they relate to both real time and any point in the past. It's also stunningly beautiful - you don't often see educational apps with such a focus on aesthetic beauty. The screenshots really don't do it justice; check out the video below:
The app is equally concerned with current astronomy and time-keeping and the more classical astrology, at least as it relates to the real model of the universe - there aren't any horoscopes telling you that you'll meet tall, dark strangers.
Dead Zebra's long-running line of themed Android figures is expanding by three next week. The latest figures use the now-iconic shape of the Android mascot, but bear cartoon likenesses of three of the biggest names in scientific history: Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Nikola Tesla. They'll go on sale in the Dead Zebra shop starting on Monday, April 20th at 11AM Eastern time (8AM Pacific). Each one will cost $10.
The rumors of Google buying a stake in SpaceX started percolating a few days ago, and now it's official. Google and Fidelity have invested a total of $1 billion in the private space firm, which gives them about 10% share. SpaceX says the new funding will go toward the development of reusable rocket technology and satellite manufacturing.
HTC's Power to Give app, the philanthropic software created by HTC to devote idle processing power to scientific research, has been updated with a refreshed interface and a single sign-on feature to help streamline the process of signing into various projects.
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.
Here's a quick refresher for those of us who are a long time past middle school. Your standard rechargeable battery uses three primary components, an anode that stores lithium ions while charging, a cathode that receives the ions while discharging, and an electrolyte that allows the ions to move from one to the other.
Kyocera isn't exactly a big name in modern Android smartphones, but it does make a lot of rugged devices that don't get much press. It's also big in materials science, which is where sapphire comes in. See, it seems like a safe bet that the next iPhone will have a sapphire glass display, and Kyocera happens to know a lot about manufacturing synthetic sapphire for watches and electrical components. So, they're making sapphire screens for smartphones. This is the thing now.