If there's one feature that people have consistently been clamoring for from Android, it's dark mode. As it turns out, people don't always like staring at masses of bright white, especially when they're in dark environments. Well, we have good news; per the Google Issue Tracker, dark mode (or night mode, whatever you want to call it) has been added, and will be available in a future Android release.
Google Lens is one of the more incredible examples of machine learning in action. It's one thing to take a picture, but it's entirely another when you can use it as a means of learning more about the world around you. If you haven't used it, you'll just have to trust us - or read some of our previouscoverage - when we say that it's highly nifty. And Google plans on making it even more useful in the future, with improvements for shopping, nature, new AR experiences, and a new OCR (optical character recognition) model.
In a document posted to their corporate website, Netflix sought to describe their long-term plans. The piece reads like a fascinating mixture of investor relations propaganda and fantasy or media theory. While it touches on all kinds of different aspects of their business and the changing environment it exists in, perhaps the most intriguing part has to do with how they are describing their ideal content catalog.
We don’t and can’t compete on breadth of entertainment with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google. For us to be hugely successful we have to be a focused passion brand. Starbucks, not 7-Eleven. Southwest, not United. HBO, not Dish.
Yesterday, Android Police was in San Jose checking out some nifty things at NVIDIA's 2013 GPU Technology Conference. At one of the events, the Tegra team showed off a few prototypes of automotive dashboards they're hoping to put into cars of the future.
The HMI (Human Machine Interaction)toolkit NVIDIA is developing, called UI Composer, is universal in the sense that it can run on top of Android, Linux, Windows RT, and probably other operating systems. User interfaces made using UI Composer can then be controlled remotely using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A Google Nexus 7 running Android Jelly Bean is used in one of the examples - it's basically an Android controller talking to a system running Android.
If there's one downside to the proliferation of touchscreen technology, it's the lack of tactile feedback. Tactus is one of many companies that aims to alleviate this problem. This week, at SID 2012, the company demoed a product that offers disappearing physical touch keys. As seen in the demo video here, these buttons can raise on command and disappear when they're not needed. Which sounds like something out of science fiction.
At the moment, the display can only be configured for preset layouts. Meaning, you configure it for a landscape QWERTY layout, that's all you'll get. No gaming controls, no dialer configurations.
Way back in January 2011, we were all gobsmacked at the recent announcement of 300,000 Android activations per day. That looks cute now, doesn't it? A year later and it's more than doubled, now we're up to 700,000 per day. That's just incredible. Android could hit a million activations per day by the end of the year.
Last Year's Predictions
Tablets: The New Netbook - Netbooks definitely died.
Looking Back: Andy Conquers The World (And Then Some)
What a whirlwind year for Android. Although the T-Mobile G1 - the first Android handset - dropped way back in October of 2008, it arguably took until 2010 for Android to become feasible for the mainstream. In fact, when the Nexus One was released in early January, it was widely hailed as being the first true Android competitor to the iPhone, in no small part due to the advancements made with Éclair.
From there, Android took off: Eric Schmidt announced in May that over 100,000 Android handsets were being activated daily. By June, the number was up to 160,000.
About a week ago, Aurora Feint, the team behind OpenFeint, publicly unveiled their Android SDK, allowing Android developers to easily incorporate things like leaderboards and achievements into their games. With that announcement came the promise of twenty new games, and we have already seen significant successes like MiniSquadron and Fruit Ninja jumping to the top of the Android charts. But now what? I flew down to the OpenFeint offices in San Francisco to find out first-hand.
Jet Car Stunts
Jason Citron, CEO and founder of Aurora Feint, showed off Jet Car Stunts (see video below) on iPhone to explain what OpenFeint could currently do and open the conversation about its future.