The flood of Linux-based home automation hubs that has arrived over the last two years is now being joined by a wave of intermediary solutions that integrate multiple ecosystems. One of the most promising is Wink, a spinoff from crowd-investment firm Quirky. A week after announcing its Linux-based Wink home automation hub and mobile app, the well-heeled startup demonstrated the technology in a model smart home launch event in New York City, and announced 15 partners and 60 compatible devices.
With the latest I/O conference, Google has finally publicly announced its plans for its new runtime on Android. The Android RunTime, ART, is the successor and replacement for Dalvik, the virtual machine on which Android Java code is executed on. We’ve had traces and previews of it available with KitKat devices since last fall, but there wasn’t much information in terms of technical details and the direction Google was heading with it.
Contrary to other mobile platforms such as iOS, Windows or Tizen, which run software compiled natively to their specific hardware architecture, the majority of Android software is based around a generic code language which is transformed from “byte-code” into native instructions for the hardware on the device itself.
Over the last week all the news has revolved around L with early leaks of its features and images. This morning we also reported of L’s source code released as a developer preview. This immediately led to many news articles incorrectly reporting that third party ROM builders will be able to soon offer L based ROM builds.
Well, according to CM (CyanogenMod) who is probably the most well-known third party ROM builder this will not be happening anytime soon. Instead CM is not so keen to jump on the L bandwagon and are holding a much more reserved and held-back position by releasing a statement very clearly indicating “L is for Later”.
VLC is the most popular Open Source video player which can play virtually any video and audio formats on the desktop PCs. It beats every video player out there whether it be QuickTime or Windows Media Player. When we talk about Android, the situation is not much different as due to ARM’s mess, its really tricky to get all videos to play. There are some apps but they are either paid, proprietary or they just don’t work that well. In a nutshell, we need VLC for Android.
Google hasn't yet released details on what specific handsets will work with Android Auto — but it seems like a safe bet that LG's future smartphones will work with the new system. And if the company keeps putting out phones as good as the G3 we reviewed last month, Android Auto support will be another point in favor of LG.
I used to believe that in the next stage of evolution we'd grow a third arm. That would be a sign that our bodies have adapted to one of the greatest physical impediments in human history: constantly having to pull out our smartphones to see if we have important messages.
But there's a less genetically drastic solution. A smartwatch can now deliver the most important and timely information straight to one of your existing wrists. And where Samsung 005930.SE +1.53% and some smartwatch startups have failed to gain momentum, Google's new Android Wear may be the first viable wrist-top platform.
The Blackphone is something that had debuted back in February as an anti-surveillance device in the wake of the severe NSA threats which had emerged around that time. This device has been priced at $629 and it comes equipped with an Android-based operating system which kicks in an array of security traits.
It's not just email either, though it tends to take the brunt of everybody's anger. There are dozens of apps sending us hundreds of notifications; managing all that incoming information is a genuine hassle. Looking at the notification center on our phones, it's hard not to imagine some harried, 1930s office worker. His tie is loosened, sleeves rolled up, sweat beading on his forehead underneath a green visor as he looks at the metal tray marked "INBOX" on his desk. It's piled high with a stack of paper, sent to him from people he doesn't know and doesn't love.
Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone developed by Silent Circle, SGP Technologies and Geeksphone, is now shipping. The phone became a sensation during Mobile World Congress as it offered extreme privacy of communication. After the NSA revelations made by Edward Snowden, there is a huge demand for services or devices which offer privacy from NSA and other surveillance agencies. However even the Blackphone doesn’t offer any protection from NSA. Phil Zimmermann, one of the creators of the phone, said that Blackphone doesn’t make you NSA proof.
Most of the HTC handsets listed in the roadmap have already received the Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 6.0. The only device which is yet to get the software taste is HTC One Mini M4. As LlabTooFeR claims, the update has been in the testing phase for One Mini and is expected to roll out next week, sometime between 30 June and 6 July.
Based on some recent experience, I'm of the opinion that smartphones are about as private as a gas station bathroom. They're full of leaks, prone to surveillance, and what security they do have comes from using really awkward keys. While there are tools available to help improve the security and privacy of smartphones, they're generally intended for enterprise customers. No one has had a real one-stop solution: a smartphone pre-configured for privacy that anyone can use without being a cypherpunk.
But Android Wear watches are the first smartwatches to cross the line from awkward to awesome, because they're the first to completely abandon the smartphone's icons, menus and widgets paradigm and massively leverage subtle contextual cues, images, icons and colors to present tiny nuggets of information in their most essential and quickly graspable form.
KDE Connect is a very interesting project which got some serious improvement and better integration with Android as Google Summer of Code project. I don’t really know what came first but we did see both Apple and Google were implementing features like KDE Connect to build better integrating between then mobile and desktop platform. KDE Connect allows Android users to ‘connect’ their devices to their Plasma desktop (KDE Desktop is now called Plasma desktop) over wifi.