Dedicated technology newshounds have already heard that all of Sony's upcoming BRAVIA televisions will feature Android TV powering their integrated electronics. At CES, the biggest show around in terms of home theater (among other things), they've made good on that promise. Don't believe me? Watch these attractive people over-emote and demonstrate a BRAVIA television's Google Cast feature and ability to play games from the Play Store.
Android TV runs these TVs, including the various inputs and live television, in a manner similar to some Roku-branded HDTVs already on the market.
There comes a moment in the life of most pre-installed Google apps where they hit the big 1 billion installs mark. This is measure less of how many users have sought out the software on the Play Store and more the number of times people have set up devices in the years since the app became available. Though in the case of Google+, the latest app to reach this milestone, there are surely people out there who didn't get the software out of the box and decided they wanted in on the fun.
The ranks of Android Auto in-dash head units continue to grow at CES, but they aren't going to be cheap. While Parrot neglected to mention a price for its fancy new Android deck, Pioneer is coming right out with it. The new NEX series units will start at $700 with support for Android Auto and CarPlay.
The United States Patent and Trademark office publishes publicly-available copies of all accepted patents, a great boon to nerds, lawyers, and technology reporters everywhere. The latest batch of design patents includes hundreds of obtuse examples, everything from glasses frames to mops, and among them is this little gem awarded to Samsung, US Design Patent D720,747. It's an interesting look at a style of tablet and cover from Samsung before in exactly this configuration.
As time progresses, I find myself with more and more cloud storage to manage. Typically, I try to stick with Google Drive and Dropbox but increasingly - despite their fairly intuitive interfaces - managing the actual files that fill up my storage space seems like a hassle. Luckily, there's an app that makes my storage situation as clear as I could hope - Unclouded.
Christian Göllner's Unclouded, if you missed our coverage at launch, is an app that helps "explore, analyze and clean your cloud storage." It hit version 2.0 today, with a long list of new features and improvements.
Blue Maestro doesn't want you to make the mistake of believing that Bluetooth is only for connecting to cars, syncing with a smartwatch, or pushing information to a fitness band. No, think of the children. With the company's upcoming Bluetooth-enabled smart pacifier (yes, pacifier), you can check your baby's temperature and track their location as they learn to walk. You can even have an alarm go off if your child gets more than 20 meters away, and the buzzer will apparently also sound if the device gets hidden or misplaced.
Quick, imagine the typical Under Armour customer. Go ahead, I'll wait. Now imagine which phone he or she brings with them to the gym. Are you imagining an HTC One M8? No? Well both companies would probably like you to, at least after their joint announcement at CES. HTC has joined up with the well-known clothing brand for a cross-promotional program centered on Under Armour Connected Fitness, a health tracking service that's comparable to Nike Plus and other competitors.
Microsoft started a closed beta for Office on Android tablets back in November, but today it's opening things up. Just mosey over to the Play Store, and you can download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free, no beta invite required. These are still preview apps, but they seem ready for prime time.
Seeing which manufacturers will bake Android Auto into their latest models is cool and all, but I'm looking to see which third-party options start appearing on store shelves. After all, I bought my vehicle in 2013, and I'm not looking to replace it in the next couple of years. Fortunately Kenwood has come to CES with one that supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the DDX9902S.
Out of the box, Kenwood's unit has a tacky interface that perhaps only a car enthusiast could love.
Hey, look at this Mad Catz Android Bluetooth controller. It looks really compact, if a little odd. But then that's Mad Catz for you.
I wonder what happens if I pull this thing and - oh, a full-sized console controller. That's kinda neat, even if the extended handles do look a little too much like scissor blades. What happens if I put this little plastic bracket on...