We have already posted a pretty thorough preview of the features coming with the new Google Photos app, but that doesn't mean Google didn't save a couple of surprises for IO. The big bombshell is that, starting later today, users will be able to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos for free.
While we've been following this rumor for months now, Google made Android Pay official during today's keynote. We first heard the name back in February, and knew something was coming ever since they acquired the intellectual property of mobile payment competitor Isis, an agreement that would also make Wallet a pre-installed app on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon phones. Though it was announced as part of Android M, it will work on KitKat and newer versions.
Functions new to Android Pay include the ability to tap to pay within apps. For apps that use the Pay API, you will only have to click "Buy with Android Pay" and leave the arduous typing of numbers and addresses to the automated system.
Chaos Rings is Square Enix's only RPG series that started on mobile, namely on iOS and then ported to Android. The series is actually developed by Media Vision and only published by Square, but it's hard not to see the latter's influence on thirty years of Japanese RPGs in the games. The latest release is Chaos Rings III (actually the fourth game to hit Android), now available in the Play Store for a hefty $19.99, thankfully without in-app purchases.
Chaos Rings III starts things off with a new story that seems only loosely connected to the older games, and a new protagonist who has an uncanny resemblance to Kingdom Hearts' Sora.
This one's been waiting in the wings for quite a while. NVIDIA teased The Talos Principle, a puzzle game played out primarily in full first-person 3D, way back at the reveal of the SHIELD Tablet in July of 2014. After nearly a year of waiting (and the game's full release on the PC), it's now available exclusively for newer high-end Tegra-powered devices. According to the game's Play Store description, it's intended for the SHIELD Tablet, the Nexus 9 (equipped with a Tegra K1), and the upcoming SHIELD Android TV set-top box only. It uses either touchscreen controls or external controllers.
The Talos Principle is an introspective and somewhat philosophical puzzler created by Croteam, of all people - that's the developer of the over-the-top Serious Sam shooters.
If today has taught us anything, it's that Lenovo doesn't like keeping its feet on the ground. The company's crazy concepts and ideas department, which is obviously not getting along on a shoestring, hasn't been dragging its feet in the last year. It has just unveiled a new Smart Cast phone concept, a Magic View smartwatch prototype, and now it's time for the other shoe to drop — literally.
See, usually humans use their face to convey their mood and expressions to the world, but if most people are goody two-shoes who walk with their head tilted down to avoid looking at others in the eyes, you have to find another way to get their attention.
Lenovo's Tech World conference seems to be a never-ending parade of real products and crazy concepts, and this Magic View smartwatch joins the ranks of the latter while still having some grounds in reality. "But Rita, what is Magic View?" I hear you ask. It's a smartwatch with two screens. Yesssss. Let that sink in for a moment.
The second screen, dubbed a "Virtual Interactive Display," is physically smaller than the main round display (which is reminiscent of the Moto 360, flat-tire and all), but can project an image up to 20 times its size. That is when you hold it close to your eye.
A couple of years ago, I couldn't talk to anyone about smartphones for two minutes without them shouting in ecstatic delirium, "Have you seen the new iPhone 5?" Of course, they were talking about this concept video, which everyone in their right mind knew was a "concept" for no less obvious reason than the fact that it was titled as such and created by an animation studio. Except hundreds of people around me still believed it was the real deal. Before I digress any further into the naiveté of common mortals when it comes to technology, I'll remind you of the one feature in that video everyone thought was super cool and that has made it onto countless other concept videos for various companies and products: the projected keyboard.
Lenovo has taken the opportunity at its Tech World 2015 conference to announce the Lenovo Cast, a new accessory that aims to mirror your Android device's screen to the TV. The device is puck-shaped and connects through a cable to the HDMI port on your television.
Unlike the Chromecast, which uses Google's proprietary casting technology, Lenovo Cast is built on Miracast and DLNA, the standards that are available in most modern Android devices (sometimes under the Miracast option and other times under Wireless Display).
Office Lens, which was released in a semi-private beta in April, is now widely available through the Play Store. The app had been on Windows Phone for quite a while and, continuing their pattern, Microsoft decided they wanted it on Android as well. Office Lens uses your phone or tablet's built-in camera to scan documents or whiteboards and convert them to PDF or office document formats. Here's an example of how it's supposed to work from the app info:
Of course, lots of things will affect how well it works in your experience. The lighting, the quality of the camera, steadiness of your hands, and untold other factors may result in far less success than Microsoft's example images.