Powering mobile accessories is tricky business, with companies forced to balance concerns of capacity, charging speed, and ease of use. That challenge is doubly hard for something like a stylus, where space is at an absolute premium. Samsung's S Pen has long offered a graceful solution to these issues, leveraging Wacom digitizer technology to power the stylus by way of an electromagnetic field, without requiring any power supply on the S Pen itself. But now with the new Galaxy Note9, Samsung is giving its stylus Bluetooth connectivity, seriously complicating this arrangement. Luckily, Samsung has come up with another elegant solution, though one with some important limitations. Read More
Google is in full-on enterprise announcement mode, today being the second of three days dedicated to its business-centric Cloud Next conference. One interesting tidbit that's been making the rounds (independently of an announcement at the event itself, so far) is some new security hardware Google plans on selling in its store. This isn't anything so glamorous as a new phone, tablet, or Chromebook, though: They're a pair of hardware 2FA security keys. Read More
Last year, Google released v2.0 of its "Nearby Connections" API, which allows for your gadgets to communicate with other devices in close proximity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It was a part of the overall "Nearby" package, which also includes a few other systems for more specific applications, including messaging and notifications. According to a pair of commits recently spotted by the folks at XDA Developers, these Nearby APIs may be coming to Chromebooks. Read More
Love or hate them, Bluetooth devices are here to stay for a little while. Whether they be smartwatches, computers, or headsets, we rely on the wireless connection standard for convenience. But one issue that we Android users have is that our favorite mobile operating system does not display the battery levels of connected devices (except for some ROMs like MIUI), unlike its fruity competitor's. Along comes BatON, an app that tries to solve this issue. Read More
Today, the Bluetooth SIG announced a series of improvements on the Bluetooth standard's "technology roadmap" in 2016 would offer enhanced range, speed, and mesh networking capability for the wireless communication protocol.
It's not clear if these changes will be part of a new standard (like Bluetooth 4.2 and beyond) or if there will be improvements applicable to older specs as well. In addition, we don't know if any of these improvements would require changes to the Bluetooth hardware itself, or whether both host and device must support the spec to see any kind of benefit. It's not even clear when we'll be able to expect devices with the improvements. Read More