Since BlackBerry got out of the hardware game, and TCL started building phones for the company previously known for its physical keyboard-toting business phones, we've seen a couple of new BlackBerry-branded devices. There was the modest Aurora (sans keyboard), specifically for the Indonesian market, and then there was the flagship KEYone, which was supposed to invoke memories of BlackBerry roots with its physical keyboard. It did so, to some extent, even if it was underwhelming in certain areas.
The next phone to be released under the BlackBerry name can now be seen in full, thanks to serial leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks). Read More
The latest update to Google Photos is starting to roll out to users, bringing the version up to 3.6. A run through the app hasn't turned up any brand new features, but there are some interesting things in the teardown. We can look forward to maximum cuteness as facial detection may be expanding to encompass our pets, even mixing them in with the faces of other people. There's also a new feature called Motion that promises to bring life to our images. And finally, there's a firm clue that Google Lens may actually turn out to be a temporary Pixel exclusive. Read More
Google, following through on its promise that the material design spec is a "living document," has updated its design guidelines and suggestions again, this time adding more guidance on motion design, along with new sections for growth & communications and expanding panels.
First up, let's look at what's new in motion - Google has given motion design a more comprehensive section, outlining the principles of motion in material design. The section explains that material motion is responsive, natural, aware, and intentional. Transitions should be quick, clear, and cohesive.
After that brief primer, the motion section goes on to detail - at length - everything from duration and easing to transforming pieces of material and thinking about custom motion patterns that fit in with the material world. Read More
One of the greatest problems in stock Android since the debut of Lollipop last year has been the volume slider - putting aside Lollipop's initially confusing volume modes, the slider unceremoniously pops into place when the user hits the volume keys on their device. Of course I'm kidding, but nevertheless it looks like Google has enhanced the volume controls in the latest Marshmallow dev preview with some motion design love.
Now, when users hit a volume key, the panel slides into place from off canvas. The slider's current position is highlighted with its own translucent halo (which may or may not really be necessary). Read More
One complaint many Glass users have voiced since the Explorer Program began is that Glass has very limited contact management capabilities. Users could add contacts in the MyGlass interface, but those manually added contacts were the only ones a user could correspond with using Google's eye-mounted computer.
The Glass team is fixing that - and a number of other things - in an update to XE20.1, announced today. The update will allow Glass to see all a user's contacts, with starred contacts showing up for quick voice access. Other contacts will be just a quick swipe away.
The update also adds a "head nudge" card to the settings bundle. Read More
Google didn't spend enough time on Material Design during the keynote. We saw a beautiful video and learned a little bit about the intent and thought behind Google's new cross-platform look (which we actually saw a bit earlier than anticipated), but there's so much more to be said. Having attended as many design sessions as possible during I/O, I think it's worth taking a somewhat closer look at Material Design. In this post we'll attempt to scratch a little bit deeper into what Material means, why it's awesome, and why it's a forward-looking move for Google.
We'll give a quick look at some of the fundamental principles of material design, while avoiding restating the extremely detailed and thoughtfully crafted design guidelines. Read More
When Jawbone's UP wristband was released in late 2011, I was excited. Then I was disappointed. The motion-tracking band seemed like a perfect step into wearable tech at the time, but its companion app wasn't available for Android. Whether and why Jawbone didn't see fit to invest resources in developing for Android was a mystery, but now – thankfully – it's immaterial. Just over a week ago, Jawbone released an official UP app to the Google Play Store, and I wanted to be first in line to try it out with Jawbone's updated 2012 wristband. Having used the band (which, by the way, is available from Jawbone for around $130) and app for about a week now, I've learned several things that will hopefully help those on the fence in making a decision about the device. Read More
Apple is at it again, bringing a motion for preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus in the United States Thursday. The motion is based on a handful of powerful patents, which FOSS Patents has labeled "the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Here's FOSS' breakdown:
the "data tapping" patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business
a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried
a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry
Three of the above patents were apparently granted only recently (after September 2011), while the "data tapping" patent may sound familiar to those who followed Apple's case to the ITC against HTC. Read More