As florists, chocolate makers, and greeting card companies alike gear up for one of the biggest sales days of the year — Valentine's Day — tech companies are preparing their own festive offerings for the sentimental celebration. This year, Google Duo is offering a Valentine's Day video effect for long-distance loves, and it's already showing up for many users.
YouTube has always been one of Google's less conventional properties, but the sudden leap from version 6.0 to 10.0 gave everybody a surprise. Even stranger is that with such a substantial jump in versions, there are virtually zero meaningful changes to the user-facing features. While there's relatively little for us to enjoy right now, a full teardown reveals that there are at least a few additions that might be worthy of a major version bump.
One of the many photography-oriented announcements made during today's Google+ event was Snapseed's new HDR Scape filter, one which promised to produce awesome photos with a dynamic range that's deliciously high.
Unlike stock camera HDR modes, Vic Gundotra was sure to point out on stage today that Snapseed's HDR Scape filter doesn't approximate tonal mapping effects by measuring pixel brightness, but instead detects pixel edge contrast, which according to Gundotra should produce more realistic effects, close to what you might achieve with a set of bracketed exposures from a "real" camera.
Pixel edge contrast, for those wondering, is basically the difference in tone between (as you may expect) the edges of two pixels.
Those who know me or follow me on Google+ know that I love Mass Effect. Actually, that may be a bit of an understatement; I've had 4 characters that played every single mission and side-mission in both the first and second game, and I just finished the trilogy a few days ago. And now, I have a new way to show my love: with a new Mass Effect 3 live wallpaper (LWP) from NVIDIA and BioWare.
What makes this particular wallpaper "live"? Two things: the reapers falling down from the sky (those meteor-looking things you see in the shots above), and the scrolling - no matter your system scroll speed, it moves a little slower and more rubber-bandy.
A few days ago we told you about Dolphin Browser's foray into the tablet world, Dolphin for Pad. We've had a bit of time to play with it since then, as have most of you, and we recently received a tip from a loyal reader named Nathan Patton that highlights a rather nifty feature of the new browser. When in fullscreen mode, a simple two-finger swipe activates an awesome 3D cube of all open web pages, very reminiscent of the Compiz Fusion 3D cube on Linux that was highly popular among the uber-geeks of yesteryear.
With a little help from our founder, Artem Russakovskii, Nathan even took the time to make a short video showing us how to accomplish this little trick.
Launcher Pro, my favorite launcher replacement, got updated today with a much requested feature - homescreen transition animations, available to all LP users, not just Plus. In addition to the usual and very smooth slide effect, we now have 4 more: Scale, Rotate, Flip, and Cube. All are smooth, except for the Cube transition, so I would advise against using it until Fede makes it a bit more snappy. Out of 5 transitions (including the regular slide), my favorite is definitely Flip. What's yours?
Excuse the poor frame rate in the screencast - unfortunately, that's ShootMe's max for the time being
As you may have seen, Google took the covers off Gingerbread today and released the new SDK, which allowed me to immediately jump into an emulated Gingerbread instance. After playing with the new UI for a while, I've taken a bunch of screenshots, which you can find below, along with some of my notes.
Before I dive into the Gingerbread screenshots, here is a side-by-side comparison of the same Settings screen in Donut (1.6), Froyo (2.2), and Gingerbread (2.3):
From left to right: Donut, Froyo, Gingerbread
As you can see, not much has changed since Froyo, except for most of the elements getting darker and/or greener.