Earlier today Google released a new software update for all Android wear smart watches. It includes many new features that can make even old wear devices seem new again. Many of the new features are designed to match and in some aspects surpass the Apple watch. One example is the ability to add emoji by simply drawing them instead of selecting them from a menu like on the Apple watch. The new update also includes an extremely useful feature, WiFi support, something that the Apple watch doesn’t even have. Now, with select devices you will be able to receive notifications from your phone even when your watch isn’t connect to it via Bluetooth. In other words you will be able to receive notifications anywhere within a WiFi network. It only works on Android wear watches with WiFi radios. But, there are already many of them on the market. The first watch to receive the update will the LG urban, probably one of the nieces looking android wear watches on the market.
We think that Google will release Android 5.1.1 to the Nexus 7 (2013) and the Nexus 9 in the coming days. We assume this because Google has recently referred to it in an “Audio Latency Measurement” page on the official Android source portal. In the image below you can see the chart from the page. As you can see it says that the Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 9 are running Android 5.1.1. We don’t have any idea as of now what new features the update may bring but we assume it will be quite minor, maybe just a few bug fixes.
The release of the highly anticipated LG G4 is almost upon us. The past week there have been tons of leaks that pretty much revealed the phone’s new design, but we still have quite a few questions when it comes to the hardware. We assumed that it would be powered by the Snapdragon 810 which is what most 2015 flagships have been using. But, a recent leaked photo suggests otherwise… The leaked picture below seems to suggest that the phone is rocking the Snapdragon 808 instead. Don’t take this leak too seriously though… This image has been surrounded in controversy ever since it leaked. Many dismiss the image as fake because the Snapdragon 808 uses a 20nm chip while the photo says it is using the nm28, but others argue that the app may have simply got confused since not many devices use the 808.
When Google Play services 7.0 was released to the public, people noticed that in the code there was partial support for a feature called “Trusted Voice”. We reasoned that this must be some new smart lock feature that would allow the user to unlock their devices by merely uttering a phrase, but the feature was not yet visible in the settings app. But now, users are reporting that the fully functioning feature is starting to roll out. To activate the feature, you simply have to tap the options button under smart unlock and you will be brought to the Google app’s settings. You will then see a warning saying that your phone will be less secure with this feature enabled. After you tap ok, you will be able to access your phone by saying “Ok Google”. The feature works by matching your voice model only when it hears the phrase “Ok Google”. If you still don’t see the option be patient the new feature is rolling out slowly.
In 2012 Pebble launched a kickstarter campaign to release the world’s first true smartwatch. You would be able to receive notifications, download apps and even answer calls all from your watch. Since then, many of the biggest tech companies in the world have joined the smart watch movement and have released smart watches with very premium designs and less premium software. Even 3 years later, the original Pebble still somewhat holds up to the competition because of its simplicity and long lasting battery. Earlier this week Pebble released the first true successor to the Pebble, the Pebble Time. The Pebble Time is much slimmer and lighter than the original Pebble. It now has a colored e-ink display and a much more modern looking UI. The UI may actually be the thing that makes this smart watch so great, the OS organises your data in the form of a time line. By going back in time you can see everything you missed, going to the future it will show you what is coming and, by default, the watch shows you the present, which shows you the current time along with any incoming notifications. Personally I believe this is what the UI of a smart watch should look like. Iit doesn’t need to be a smart phone strapped to your wrist– it simply needs to be a device that tells you relevant information quickly and easily without having to talk out to your phone. Unlike other manufacturers which are pretty much making smart watches that are similar to low-end smart phones designed to strap to your wrist, Pebble is keeping things simple therefore insuring that the OS will be stable and won’t lag or crash like other smart watches do. Pebble’s main focus is just to get information to you as quickly as possible without adding other complex features and I believe that is exactly what a smart watch should do. Also an important point to note is its battery life of 7 days which is far superior to any other smartwatch on the market, which on average last only 2 days. Of course, there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to the new Pebble. Its design isn’t that great in my opinion, and it looks more like a toy compared to some other smart watches such as the Moto 360, Pebble Steel or even the original Pebble. Also, I think they could have made it a bit more affordable, currently it is $200 or $170 if you pledge that amount of money on kickstarter. That puts it into about the same price range as the Moto 360 and although it does just about the same things as the Moto 360, it doesn’t look nearly as premium. Overall I believe that the Pebble Time is a step in the right direction for Pebble and the smart watch market in general.
Mmmmm plastic, sounds delicious. A study was done on the affects of plastics on corals in the Great Barrier Reef and concluded that certain plastics are consumed and may be harmful. “Corals are non-selective feeders and our results show that they can consume microplastics when the plastics are present in seawater,” Dr Mia Hoogenboom, a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, is quoted saying. “If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic,” The study was done by placing small particles of micro plastics in the water with species of corals and letting them sit overnight. By the morning the corals had consumed all of the plastic in the water.
Over the past few weeks you all may have noticed the supposed leaked renders of the M9. In these leaked images we see a phone that looks extremely similar to the M8 with almost no noticeable difference besides the camera which we assume is 20 Mega pixels… Personally I think that all of these leaked renders and prototypes are fake and have been intentionally leaked out by HTC to distract the press from the real leaked renders… There is only one render that we have seen in the past few weeks that I believe to be real. The render was leaked by none other then Evleaks. One of the most trusted leakers on the internet. His render shows two completely redesigned phones. Both with a beautiful aluminum body, a larger front facing camera and almost bezel less screen. Personally I think this is the real M9 mostly for two reasons. One, this seems to be a more realistic design for HTC to go with in my opinion, if you look at the M7 vs the M8 you can see that the design of those two phones are quite different, so if HTC significantly changed the design with the M8 why wouldn’t they not do another major redesign with the M9. The second reason I think this render is real is because it was posted by Evleaks. As I said before Evleaks is one of the most trusted leakers out there and his leaked renders of the M7 and M8 were completely right. So, that is what I think… I obviously could be completely wrong and this might all just be wishful thinking, but it is still fun to think about :)
For the past few years many companies have been trying to provide wireless Internet access to areas in the developing world. Some companies already have satellites orbiting high above the Earth that provide Internet access to certain areas in the developing world. But this Internet access is extremely slow because the satellites are so high above the Earth (22,000 miles up). It takes data transmitted by these satellites more then half a second to reach the receiver on Earth and this creates serious lag making the connection almost unusable for things such as streaming, cloud computing and gaming.
Two companies, Space X and One Web are trying to change this. Space X is a privately funded company partnered with Google and One Web it is a start up which has patterned with Virgin Galactic. They both want to send satellites into low Earth orbit, around 750 miles up. This would significantly reduce the time it takes for the data to reach Earth making the connection much faster. (it would reduce the overall time by about 20 milliseconds). Both these companies are planning to send this network of satellites in the next 5 years. What do you think? Do you think these plans will actually go though? Please tell us you opinion in the comment section below and don’t forget to like and share.
Image Source: Official Android One site
All though Google hasn’t made an official announcement they indirectly confirmed the existence of Android 5.1 on their Android One website. Earlier today the official Android One website was updated saying that every Android One phone will be running android 5.1! Originally many people though it was a typo but since then Android Police has confirmed its existence with a picture of an Android One device running 5.1. No official change log has been released but this new development does seem to fit a leak from Android Pit which said that the update would be released some time in February with the following changes:
Silent mode added after missing on Android 5.0,General improvements in system stability,Improved RAM management,Fixes for sudden app closures,Improved battery management,Excessive consumption of network devices when used Wi-Fi fixed,Issues with wireless connections fixed,Problems with Okay Google function solved,Notifications problems solved,Some sound problems experience [sic] by certain devices fixed,Other improvements and changes,Changes in the Material Design color palette. Source Android Pit
Image Source: Android Police
As many of you know every month Google releases a graph representing the current distribution of android versions across all devices. Android 5.0 has been out for a few months now, but it hadn’t managed to be installed on a enough devices to show up on the distribution graph. But now it finally has. As you can see Android 5.0 is now installed on 1.6 percent of all android devices. Android Kit Kat is still around 39% it has increased 0.6% since last month and Jelly Bean devices are slowly becoming less and less as they are updated to Kit Kat. Android Froyo is still hanging on at 0.4%…