As part of Google's big 2015 reorganization, many of the divisions tucked away inside Google became their own companies under the Alphabet umbrella. For example, the Google X's self-driving car project became Waymo. Now, two more wacky former Google projects are getting the same opportunity. Project Wing and Loon are both becoming Alphabet businesses.
What's that strange feeling? Almost like I've seen a ghost. Oh, Google Glass isn't dead after all? That'll be it. There have been recent signs that the seemingly abandoned experimental wearable might be making a return in one form or another, more than 2 years after the Glass Explorer Program officially ended. The first was an update to the MyGlass app last month, after lying dormant for nearly 3 years. This was followed the next day by a mysterious firmware update making its way to any Glass Explorer Edition units still in use. Google has confirmed that was regular maintenance to the consumer device, and not related to this fresh news about the Glass Enterprise Edition that Alphabet's experimental X subsidiary (formerly Google[x]) has been busy working on for the last two years.
Sony, for a couple of years, was my very favorite smartphone manufacturer. The Z3 was, in my opinion, the best smartphone of its generation. I have since moved on to a Nexus 6P, but my wife still uses my old Z3 and I still miss its epic battery life and water resistance.
The Japanese manufacturer has hit a bit of a rough patch the last couple of years, but they are still cranking out phones, and I'd wager some of you readers are still on team Sony, lusting after their hardware.
If that's the case, then you really should check out the sale going on over at Amazon today.
We've been hearing mumbles and whatnot about a new, smaller OnePlus handset called the X for the last few months. Well, it's a real thing, and it's finally official.
The company took wraps off of the X just a little while ago, and being as completely objective as possible, it actually looks like a pretty nice phone for the money. Here's a quick look at what this 5-inch phone is packing under its hood:
Display: 5-inch 1920x1080 Active Matrix OLED
Processor: 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801
Camera: 13 MP f/2.2 rear; 8 MP f/2.4 front
Storage: 16 GB with microSD card slot
Dimensions: 140 x 69 x 6.9 mm; 138g/160g (depending on configuration)
Battery: 2,520 mAh
OS: OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1
Available Colors: Onyx, Ceramic
Buy: Available in the US via invite-only starting on November 19th for $250
Right now, if you're watching a YouTube video through the official YouTube app, you can tap the video player to bring up the scrubber and lots of other controls - minimize, add to playlist, share (again), full screen, and an overflow menu which offers quality and closed captioning options.
The Google Glass team announced today, in a post to its Google+ page, that Glass is "graduating from Google[x] labs," presumably still marching toward a "real" consumer launch.
According to the post, January 19th will mark the official end of the Explorer program, a program that has spanned years and seen plenty of awesome, annoying, and controversial moments as Glass has looked for a place in the hearts and minds of tech consumers and its own place in the broader wearable ecosystem, finding homes in operating rooms, fashion runways, fire houses, magazines, music videos, and showers.
As Google iterates on Glass (whether the iterations contain Intel chips or not), the Glass team is becoming its own team at Google outside Google[x].
Relative to last year's downpourofNexus 5leaks, there's been a bit of a drought in Nexus phone rumors this season. So far, we know that Motorola is expected to have made a large Nexus device codenamed Shamu, which multiple sources have affirmed and which is supposed to share an impressive spec sheet with another device codenamed Quark. This device is supposed to be set for a November release.
What it looks like (or how it even came to be) are still up in the air, however. Until we know more concrete info (or hear an official announcement), there's no way to reliably nail down the details.
We've been hearing a lot about Volantis lately, but what about the other supposed Nexus device - Shamu? Since we originally broke the story back in July (with the Information affirming Shamu's existence soon after) things have been relatively quiet, with only a benchmark test here or there popping up with alleged specs that seemed to point to a smaller device.
Today, however, 9to5Google has divulged specs and details about the device in which the outlet seems fairly confident. 9to5 says it can corroborate the 5.9" screen size, and notes that "the device we've learned about" actually carries the following specs, some of which clash with earlier reports:
5.92" QHD display (498PPI)
13MP camera and 2MP front shooter
Snapdragon 805 processor
Worth noting is that 9to5's information aligns almost perfectly with information we received earlier this year, but they also sound very close to a device we've seen under the name Quark, which may in fact be the basis for Shamu.
A few days ago, it was confirmed that Google had started asking manufacturers to brand boot animations with a specific "Powered by Android" lockup as part of Google's Mobile Services license. Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's new One M8 both carry the branding, and today Motorola's Moto X and Moto G have joined the party, but Motorola has something else in store as well - a new boot animation just in time for April Fools Day. The animation features a UFO, bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster, all exposed by Motorola's spotlight. Check out the full sequence below.
The updated animation sequence comes in an update to Moto's Boot Services app on the Play Store.
This afternoon, Motorola's Punit Soni shared a post on Google+ to follow up on the company's earlier "more to share soon..." post. Soni's post pointed users toward Motorola Mobility's online upgrade checking interface, which tells users whether or not their Motorola device will be receiving any planned updates.
The tool now confirms that Android 4.4 KitKat will be coming to the Moto X along with the DROID Mini, Ultra, and Maxx.
Of course, the site mentions nothing about a timeline, but does have the option to sign up for email alerts for when the updates do become available.