The veil of secrecy surrounding Google's mysterious X lab may be getting pulled back later on today, as evident from new developments around the web in the last couple of days. The X lab, revealed by the New York Times a few months ago, could reportedly have engineers working on projects spanning from plates that post what you're eating on your social networks to driverless cars, robots, and things most of us have never even dreamt of.
We can't wait for the Droid 4. In the world of smartphones, the QWERTY sliders are a rare and exotic breed these days. Catching a glimpse of a machine with powerful specs and a keyboard-shaped secret gets our mouths watering. So a thirteen minute video will naturally trigger some flood warnings. Wirefly goes hands-on with the Droid 4 in the first video review overview of the latest in the Droid series.
Here's a rundown of Wirefly lays out in the video:
4" 540x960 LCD display
5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
1.2Ghz dual-core processor
8GB internal storage (expandable with microSD card)
8MP rear camera w/ 1080p HD video recording
1.3MP front camera
Micro HDMI port
Ships with Android 2.3.5
The phone also gets put through some benchmark tests.
We've been hearing about the HTC Ville, which should be set for an announcement at Mobile World Congress next month, since November of last year. The guys at HTC Hub recently spent some hands-on time with this upcoming mid-ranger and shot some video showing what it's all about. Prepare to be underwhelmed.
The original video (found at HTC Hub) has been made private, so we found an alternative.
Considering the low video quality, it's hard to say exactly what has been changed in Sense 4 compared to previous versions, aside from the pretty animations. There is one thing certain though - it still looks the same.
We don't tend to associate words like "scanning," "PDFs" and "documents" with fun. After playing with Handy Scanner, though... well, we still don't. Sorry. That headline was a lie. Scanning documents is, however, a breeze with this freemium app. Breezy enough that you won't want to go Office Space on your scanner, and that's fun.
Handy Scanner is very straightforward. Take a picture of a document that you want scanned. The app will pinpoint the corners of the document, perform a little perspective correction, and then you'll be presented with a few filter options. The most notable filter is "Print Ready" which will render the photo in black-and-white and ready for printing.
Some unofficial builds have been floating around for a while, but tonight, it looks like Nexus S 4G owners are about to get some allegedly official ICS update action. Over on the XDA forums, user mrxkills has uploaded all the files necessary to get your Sprint Google Experience device updated to 4.0.4.
You read that right: 4.0.4. Compared to 4.0.3, the build we've seen passed around for a while on other devices like the Xoom and the Galaxy Nexus. This is also build number IMM26, compared to IML74K. Unfortunately, we don't know what of all changed yet, outside of the presence of WiMax drivers in this build.
Touchscreen recoveries are all the rage these days. From TeamWin's TWRP, to unofficial variants of everyone's favorite, ClockworkMod Recovery. This morning, though, Koush himself took to Google+ to tease his very own blend of touchscreen controls for the recovery running on millions of devices.
While there's no release available for download yet, the work already looks promising. All the swiping, tapping, and touching we've all grown so used to is there. Koush also promises "there will be better graphics and whatnot later," so expect a UI revamp before this actually hits your devices.
Samsung is chugging right along with their "Next Big Thing" campaign, and has released yet another spot. For those of you who don't know about Sammy's latest ad campaign, it's centered around the Samsung Galaxy S II, and pokes fun at iPhone fanatics standing in line to get their hands on the newest model. Basically, they're letting the consumer know that the next big thing is already here.
The Galaxy S II is one of the best phones on the market right now, and is the winner of our very first Android Police Andy Award for the Best Non-Nexus Phone Of 2011.
If you were part of the PC gaming scene in the late 1990's and early 2000's, you almost certainly played Counter-Strike at some point. It was the online first-person shooter (of course, Doom III was around as well), and was essentially a modified runtime of Valve's popular sci-fi FPS Half-Life. Later iterations of the game like Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source lacked the magic which made the first game so addictive, and so the series has essentially been undergoing a slow death over the last few years.
But if there's one platform that has shown it can revive a seemingly dead game, it's the smartphone.
Late yesterday, we got a chance to spend some time with the Motorola DROID 4 over at the Verizon booth here at CES, and we have to say - It sure seems like Motorola has done it again. The DROID 4 will likely once again set the bar for QWERTY slider phones, and thanks to the addition of 4G LTE and a snappy TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor (the same one found in the DROID RAZR), it's also going to be the fastest DROID yet.
Of course, the biggest feature on any DROID is the keyboard, and you can rest assured, the DROID 4's does not disappoint.
Google is finally showing developers what an Android app should look like. Android Design is Google's freshly launched style guide for Ice Cream Sandwich. It outlines everything developers should do to make a high quality app that "fits in" with the rest of ICS.
Most of the big stuff is covered: Icons, color swatches, grid layouts, writing style, touch feedback - it's beautiful. Apps are normally all over the place, it will be really nice to see some consistency.
These are just guidelines, they won't be made mandatory in any way. So developers, I know this guide is insanely late, but please follow this.