Smartphone cases, in all their various forms, are meant to do one thing: guard our increasingly expensive pocket-sized supercomputers in case we lose our grip as we absentmindedly jab at them with one finger while also walking and drinking coffee. There are many that do a pretty good job of this, but a German engineering student was evidently dissatisfied with the level of protection afforded by what's currently on the market. So, naturally, he created ADcase, a silly and wonderful contraption that detects when your phone is falling and ejects springy spider legs to dampen its impact.
When your smartphone gets old, you may pass it along to a relative, sell it to someone else, or chuck it in a drawer and forget about it. Not this guy though. He goes all iFixit on them, grabs his Philips screwdrivers and priers, and dismantles them down to their smallest components, then he hangs them on a wall like the nerdiest of all art collections.
We can all yell at our Google Home to start playing something, but what if it was possible to choose our songs in some other super cool, super throwback way? hoveeman thought this through and built an awesome jukebox-style system for his Google Home and Chromecast speakers. Before I bore you with the technical stuff, check out the video below to see how things work.
Google is working on its own in-car Android experience that's only just now starting to trickle into vehicles. The downside is that it's going to cost you either the price of a new car or something in the vicinity of $1,000. Some folks would prefer something cheaper, more hands-on, if you will. This one guy has taken to Reddit to show off the experience he's managed to throw together in his Toyota Prius using a 2013 Nexus 7.
Let's point out the obvious first. No, the hardware isn't as smooth as Android Auto. The Nexus 7 covers up some of the vehicle's buttons, and the charging cable is clearly visible.
Update: The developer contacted us to let us know that the update he showed off hasn't been applied yet, but will be released very soon.
At Android Police, we're Android evangelists. It's pretty rare that you'll get us to admit that Apple does something better than Google. But in terms of almost obsessive attention to visual design, Apple has the upper hand. Case in point: the iCal app icon on the iPhone and iPad updates every day, putting the correct day of the month on the icon. Why doesn't Google Calendar on Android do that, years after its inception?
Whatever the reason, you've now got at least one option for that functionality: the previously-covered Today Calendar.
Artist Janet Echelman builds giant, living sculptures that respond to the elements around them. These massive works of art typically sway in the wind, flow with the water, or respond to light. This time, Echelman's work is interacting with Chrome. Her piece, built in collaboration with Google Creative Director Aaron Koblin, now descends over water and walkways from a Vancouver skyscraper, changing color in response to the input it receives from visitors on the ground.
Echelman's sculpture is a 300-foot long web browser made of ultralight fibers stretched out against the sky. With the help of five high definition projectors mounted below, it displays the colors provided by a website running in Chrome on a smartphone or tablet.
Droiders is an app-developing startup, and today it's launching MedicAR, a piece of Glassware that uses augmented reality to assist students studying to become surgeons. It guides them through certain procedures, showing them where to cut, what tools to use, what to do next, and how to close things back up afterwards. The video below shows it in action, and don't worry, it's not graphic.
The Photospheres feature has been a photographic novelty thus far, but today Google Maps has added some notable functionality. The Views section of Google Maps already lets you place your own 360-degree panorama on specific points in the world, but now you can connect them via virtual paths, creating an instant, locale-specific Street View. Other users can then view it and move between multiple Photospheres for a more complete experience.
This is a great way for users to add Street View capabilities to locations where Google's shutterbug vehicles can't normally go, like hiking trails or inside buildings. (Not that this has stopped Google before.) Once multiple Photospheres are connected via virtual paths, or "constellations," users can "walk" between them in the same way that they already use Street View.
I know what you're thinking: "Oh, no... not another social image sharing app!" And if this were anything like that, I'd share you sentiments. But it's not – it's actually quite refreshing, because this app focuses solely on sharing and not at all on social.
Here's the gist: you take a pic – called a Rando in this case – and send it anonymously to someone in a completely random place elsewhere in the world. In return, you also get a Rando. And you must send one to get one. All transfers are completely anonymous – you won't know who got your Rando, and likewise won't know who sent the one you got.