In our review of the Pebble SmartWatch, we only had two complaints about the software: a lack of apps, and a lack of utility. The second point stems from the fact that the Pebble can only receive alerts from your phone, and it can't send information back. Both issues have now been addressed by the Pebble SDK. Developers have been cranking away on watch apps for some time, but the latest SDK update adds AppMessage, a method of implementing bi-directional communication for Pebble.
Heads up, Google, Glass is about to get some serious competition. Recon Instruments, a Canadian technology company known for athlete-focused heads-up display products, is looking to expand into general-purpose HUD technology. The company's prototype device - dubbed Jet - was officially unveiled today, and Recon Instruments hopes to release a retail product by the end of this year.
At first glance, the Jet looks like little more than a pair of sunglasses with an attached LCD screen; you won't be mistaking Recon Instrument's HUD for Google's anytime soon.
Few things attract new users to an app more than the ability to interact with other people; gamers demand multi-player and socialites want instant photo sharing. To ease the burden of exchanging data fluidly, Samsung has released its new Chord SDK to make local peer-to-peer and group communication much easier for developers with little or no networking knowledge. It exposes features similar to Samsung's AllShare SDK, but makes it possible to broadcast data and share files with several devices at once.
For quite some time, we've been hearing about the potential advantages of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) spec, and a seemingly endless list of gadgets that could benefit from it. Unfortunately, while many modern flagship devices are equipped with the necessary hardware, Google has allowed the Android OS to languish without official support for the standard. Most of the top OEMs have built their own proprietary versions for the energy efficient protocol, but until now, only Motorola has freely shared access to its API.
Google recently updated its SDK license terms for the first time in a long while. While most changes are minor, one change has been grabbing quite a few headlines – Google's proclamation that those using the SDK are disallowed from taking "any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android". Here's the full clause in question:
Today, with the official release of the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 HSPA+, Google has released the Android 4.2 SDK, "a new and improved Jelly Bean."
Along with the SDK release, Google has made available SDK Tools r21, the Android NDK, and of course some helpful API documents. Highlighting some of the benefits of the new SDK (and, by extension, Android 4.2), Google touts "Renderscript computation directly in the GPU" for the Nexus 10, "a first for any mobile computation platform," lock screen widgets, Daydream, incredibly enhanced support for external displays, and optimizations for international users.
Before we get started, let's clarify something: this information is probably not relevant to you, unless you work for a major game publisher. Today, Ouya announced that they have some more Dev Kits available for pre-order if you want to get early access to the Android-based gaming console. The price tag (and this is why it's not relevant for you) is sitting way up there at $800.
For the cash, those purchasing the Dev Kit will receive one console, two controllers, and the OUYA Developer Kit.
We've been covering the OUYA since its original debut as an ambitious idea on Kickstarter in July. Within a month, the campaign had raised an astounding $8.6 million. We've also heard that OUYA is partnering with Square Enix, will include OnLive support, and a whole lot more (thanks to Founder Julie Uhrman's AMA on Reddit).
After a brief pause in OUYA news, Uhrman recently published a post to the official OUYA blog, giving readers a "full update" on the project.
Previously, most of these titles were restricted to Sony's own Android phones, but the company has struck a deal that will bring 30 new titles from a variety of genres to selected Fujitsu and Sharp smartphones as well. This may not be big news for stateside customers, but it's particularly significant in the Japanese market.
One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities.