I have fond memories of Jordan. The hot temperatures and the desert environment didn't stop me from enjoying my 4-day tour of the country where I walked around the city of Petra and took a donkey ride back to the entrance because my feet hurt too much, went on a 4X4 drive around Wadi Rum and got sand everywhere in my clothes and shoes, floated in the Dead Sea and panicked when I figured that I couldn't swim back to shore but had to awkwardly paddle my body, got lost between the hookah café on the Aqaba beach, watched a Roman gladiator fight reenactment in Jerash, and visited what is believed to be the Baptismal Site of Jesus Christ.
In preparation for the release of Episode VII in just a few weeks' time, Google has partnered with Lucasfilm and Disney to bring the Star Wars experience into just about every Google app and service around. Fans can pick between the light side and the dark side on google.com/starwars and apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail will begin to transform to reflect their chosen path.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we have a Dig Dug-style tower defense game, a colorful puzzler, a physics puzzler with cars, an interesting word search game, a minimal RPG, and a licensed sequel to high-end boxing game Real Boxing.
Most of the electronic doodads in your house come with remote controls, but your computer probably doesn't. Unified Remote turns your phone or tablet into the PC remote you always wanted, and it's on sale for a few days. This app is usually $3.99, but this weekend it's a mere $0.99.
Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.
These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: the new Google+ web design, the LG V10 (again), the cancelled Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, and Android audio latency explained.
Android Studio v1.5 just rolled out to the stable channel today and it's absolutely packed with a feature. Truth is this release was mostly focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and other fine tuning. Of course, for a tool used in professional software development, those certainly aren't bad things. Take a look as Reto Meier explains the changes and trolls teases Android developers with a mystery box that surely must include new language support, or a fully functional theme editor, or... something more likely.
The one notable addition can be found in the Memory Profiler. It's now capable of detecting leaked activities while testing.
Virtual reality (or whatever term some picky people would like to apply to it) is the hot new thing. Conventional businesses are trying to incorporate it into their plans, and nothing shouts "conventional business" like a hardware store. To that end, US hardware chain Lowe's is working on some interesting ways to get customers involved in their renovation projects, even before they start putting down plastic sheets. At a few stores in Colorado and Ohio, Lowe's has created special VR stations that will let you recreate an entire room, then swap out 3D appliances, apply different paint colors, and do all kinds of home improvement things while seeing the results in real time with an Oculus Rift headset.
Editor's note: the first three paragraphs of this story are a brief primer on fair use in US copyright law and the complications created by the DMCA. Skip down if you're already familiar with this stuff.
The United States copyright system has a series of protections for citizens who want to use video, audio, text quotes, and other copyrighted material in legitimate ways. These are generally called fair use exemptions: they're why Saturday Night Live can make a parody of Jeopardy or The Big Bang Theory without the fear of CBS suing them for copyright infringement, or why a movie reviewer can use clips of the movie in his video critique.