If you've heard of Leica, then you probably know your way around a nice camera... or at least a very expensive one. The German manufacturer, a private company that's over 150 years old, specializes in extremely well-crafted point-and-shoot and swappable lens cameras, plus lenses for a few other camera makers. With prices that start at around $1000 for the cheapest models and go up to over 20 grand for specialty and professional cameras, they're generally restricted to the most extravagant of luxury buyers or career photographers.
It's interesting, then, that Leica has announced a "strategic partnership" with Huawei, China's biggest smartphone manufacturer and a rising player on the world stage.
Microsoft is slowly reinventing itself, acquiring interesting companies like SwiftKey and Sunrise Calendar, changing the way people perceive it and its services, and improving its apps across multiple platforms. We've sure seen the effects here on Android Police — there's hardly any week that passes by without us mentioning the company at least once, and that's Android which isn't even its main platform.
With its new and improved services and apps, Microsoft has been trying to find a permanent home on your devices, and what better way to do that than come preinstalled on your phone or tablet? That means it'd be the de-facto office viewer for many users when they come across a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document.
Partnerships between keyboard makers and smartphone manufacturers aren't new — we all remember when Samsung started using Swype's technology on its keyboard a few years ago. So it isn't a surprise to see Fleksy striking a deal with an OEM of its own, as a way to extend its reach and installation base and as a benefit to the manufacturer who won't have to waste time and resources trying to develop a fast and reliable input method.
The deal in question is with Chinese manufacturer ZTE who will start bundling Fleksy with its smartphones. This includes Fleksy's fast keyboard and correction engine as well as its recently added rich content (GIFs, stickers, and emojis) and customization features (keyboard photos, colors, and effects).
Combining metallic alloys with natural or synthetic threads, Google's ATAP and its industrial partners have created Jacquard yarn. Named for Joseph Marie Jacquard's inventions, the yarn is the basis for ATAP's Project Jacquard, an effort to make it easy for textile makers to weave interactive surfaces into everyday textiles like clothes and furniture. These surfaces would ultimately control things like mobile devices, and perhaps evolve into experiences and functions of their own. Jacquard yarn allows these new surfaces to either be plainly visible or completely hidden from the user so, just like regular yarn, designers can decide exactly how a surface will appear - or not appear, as the case may be.
In the future, your car is going to be connected to the internet. This is a matter of when, not if. Volvo and BMW are already working on auto connectivity, and Verizon has partnered with just about everyone. Today, AT&T and GM announced that they're joining the fray by combining their strengths. Starting in 2014, cars from General Motors will have LTE radios .
More specifically, most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models will support wireless connectivity in the U.S. and Canada. AT&T notes that it expects its LTE network to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014.
Android users who are fans of Sid Meier's classic games Pirates! and Civilization now have something to look forward to – it appears hat GREE and 2K Games have teamed up to bring the beloved sim/strategy games to the mobile world.
The companies' statement indicated that the games would be available as "social titles on select global markets," evidently starting with Japan.
“Creating social mobile games based on the Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Sid Meier’s Civilization franchises are our way to connect with Japanese fans in a fun and innovative way,” said Fabien Siouffi, Vice President Online and Social at Take-Two Asia.
Nuance, the company behind Dragon Dictation, bought out Swype almost three months ago, but the results of the deal haven't really been exposed since. No longer -- Swype has just been updated with a "Dragon Flame" key that, when pressed, initiates a voice-to-text system provided by none other than Dragon Dictation. In its current form, it features support for French, Italian, German, and English, with Swype representatives claiming more languages are on the way in 2012.
Additionally, Swype's language modeling algorithm has been improved. What's that mean? In the company's words, this will "increase the accuracy of the suggestions we offer (such as knowing that you mean 'mosh pit' instead of 'mosh pot')."
After many weeks of speculations, Nokia and Microsoft finally announced minutes ago that the 2 companies are entering a strategic partnership "to build a new global mobile ecosystem."
Nokia has been struggling to keep up with the exploding smartphone market in the past years, and it was clear that something needed to be done.
MeeGo, Nokia's latest bet at replacing its aging Symbian system with a new, open sourced, Linux-based OS, has been in development since 2010, but no phones running this OS have been released by the company yet.
In an effort to regain market share, Nokia had to pick - either join forces with Android, a giant growing at incredible speeds, or side with the newcomer - Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft, a company Nokia can trust (their current CEO, Stephen Elop, spent almost 3 years as a Microsoft VP of BizDev).