With a growing market for smart home accessories - and that whole internet of things (shudder) - the lack of a single, widely-adopted communication standard is undoubtedly a bit troubling. Most smart products today use existing 801.15.4 Wi-Fi platforms like ZigBee, Ant, or increasingly commonly, the proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy standard (aka BT Smart).
ARM, Nest, Samsung, and Google (operating under an advisory role, not as a member) though, are now fielding an open platform competitor known as the Thread protocol.
Let's face it, as the world becomes more dependent on computers and the Internet for the functions of day-to-day life, security will become ever more important. Clearly encouraged by employee Neel Mehta's discovery of Heartbleed, Google has decided to do more in the area of Internet security. To help combat this ever increasing problem, they're offering up Project Zero. Essentially, Google will begin hiring "the best practically-minded security researchers and contributing 100% of their time toward improving security across the Internet." Their work will not be limited to just Google products, but will instead be focused on "any software depended upon by large numbers of people." The idea is that researchers will find the threats, then inform only the software developer.
Lockitron is a crowd-funded "smart" door lock that aims to let you control your home or office door lock with your smartphone. And now that Android Wear is available, some developers won't rest until every facet of their phone is tied into their watch. Thus, Wear-a-tron, which allows users to activate the unlocking function of the official Lockitron app via a Wear extension. It's available for free on the Play Store.
Look, we get it - MediaTek isn't the first name you want to hear when it comes to innovative new SoCs. The company doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to releasing source code, which is a huge no-no in the Android world. But still, this is probably worth talking about, because it's pretty neat.
This morning, MediaTek announced the first 64-bit octa-core processor for smartphones. The chip, model number MT6795, can run at speeds up to 2.2GHz, and supports native 2K displays (2560x1600).
The world was a whole lot simpler back in 1999 – the economy was doing fine, MTV played music, and the Matrix was much less ridiculous without all that weird pseudo-philosophy from the sequels. There's a new watch face that can take you back to those relaxing days each time you look at your Android Wear watch. Yes, a Matrix watch face.
Starting today, AT&T will offer the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 online for $269.99 with a two-year contract. Alternatively, customers can skip the annual contract and pay $369.99 upfront or add $18.50 to their bill for twenty months instead. Either contract-free price matches what T-Mobile is selling the device for, but both still cost $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model.
The LTE version of the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is powered by a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 4450mAh battery.
Perhaps you've tried the Minuum keyboard on your phone or tablet. It's designed to take up as little space as possible on the screen with just a single line of keys, which is great for smaller screens. How small, though? The developers think smart watch size sounds good, so they are working on Minuum for Android Wear. There's a beta you can try to get into as well.
Captain's log, stardate 45638.2. A scan of a long-lost pleasure cruise that exited Earth in the late twenty-first century has yielded some fascinating archaeological findings. In addition to a pair of primitive foot coverings that Commander Data identified as "Converse All-Stars," a complete and mint-condition collection of the classic mythological saga known as Animorphs, and a small, vibrating "Furby" that Mister Worf immediately eviscerated, we have discovered a piece of anachronistic human technology.
ESPN's Fantasy Football app isn't new to these parts. It's been up and down the gridiron more than once over the years, and it has no problem handling pigskin. But it did need to sit out a few games while its developers cracked out a much needed redesign. The latest app, which has been knocked from version 3.x back down to 1.0, looks like something better fit to play in the KitKat era.
Dedicated Android fans will probably be a little disappointed that the latest update to HTC's One M8 flagship on Sprint doesn't include the bleeding edge 4.4.4. But it's pretty close, 4.4.3, and Sprint has thrown in a couple of notable expansions specifically for its network. In addition to the small back-end improvements in 4.4.3, the 2.16.651.4 release adds the Wi-Fi Calling feature that Sprint has been slowly rolling out for the last few months.