Friday, November 22, 2013

Android Device News

This month's most unusual or important Android Devices.

First some really annoying news:
Samsung rumored to put chips in accessories to curb sales of unofficial products

Details on Samsung’s purported plan to kill unofficial accessories

Samsung gets more like Apple every day.


Smart Watches


Smart watches, not glasses, I think are the next big thing. One of the primary reasons is fitness tracking.

The Time Has Come For Smartwatches – ReadWrite

AIRO wristband tracks not just sleep, exercise and stress, but also what you eat

I was interested until I saw the price. Does this thing use Intel/Windows or something? :-)
Qualcomm Toq release date set for December 2, will cost $349

Review: Withings Pulse with built-in heart rate monitor

Neptune Pine smartwatch gets reinvented, reaches Kickstarter target in less than a day - Android Authority


Tablets


Inexpensive Unu Tablet Also Acts as Media Center | Sci-Tech Today

This $279 tablet is considerably nicer than an iPad 2:
Archos 101 XS 2 tablet coming in December for $279 - Liliputing

You'll be able to buy a 20 inch, 4K tablet in January (for $6000) - Liliputing

Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2 visits the FCC - Liliputing


Kid's Tablets


MEEP! X2 tablet for kids is faster, slimmer, still costs $150 - Liliputing

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids priced at $230, arrives to the U.S. in Nov.


Phones


Samsung changed their minds, it is clear that a small phone has its place in the US market:
Samsung brings smaller version of S4 to US - KansasCity.com

Motorola's make your own smartphone out of modules is so different and interesting, I'm including three articles about it!
Motorola's 'Project Ara' modular smartphone setup switches out hardware like apps

Motorola's Project Ara aims to build modular, upgradeable phones - Liliputing

Motorola Taps 3D Systems To Produce Parts For Its Crazy Modular Smartphones | TechCrunch

The Moto G is very interesting. This is a real Apple killer in the long run:
Motorola Announces The Moto G: What The iPhone 5C Should Have Been – ReadWrite

Moto G unboxing and first impressions


Miscellaneous Devices


Acer's new 2560 x 1440 pixel smart display has Tegra 4, Android - Liliputing

Devon's Ceptor thin client-on-a-stick now available for $99 - Liliputing

Here's how Dell's Wyse Cloud Client works (pocket-sized thin client) - Liliputing


ARM and Intel News

I've been watching the new hardware coming out for the holidays, and there is very little Bay Trail.
What little Bay Trail is there is in tablets or hybrids and tends to be the slower version and has small screens.
Bay Trail technology Celeron and Pentium are making some appearances in laptops, but there is a serious problem. At least with Windows, they are only in touch screen laptops. Worse most, possibly all, have only 2 gb of memory and they all have standard hard drives. As it is the same specs from several OEMs, one wonders if Intel is not putting these restrictions on the OEMs to keep these systems from undercutting the still expensive ultrabooks. To me it looks like the intentionally crippled netbooks all over again.

Notes from Chrome Dev Summit 2013

I watched all of the first day of the Chrome Dev Summit live stream and part of the second day.

I won't summarize the sessions as they were highly technical and fast paced.
You can find the sessions and schedule at: http://developer.chrome.com/devsummit
Day one and day two live streams are recorded on YouTube.

Here are some interesting tidbits that were revealed:


  1. Google is taking the offline web very seriously. A few years ago, they talked about being continually connected. This has stopped. They fully realize that there are just too many situations where you have no or poor connectivity. Going forward one can expect to see many tools and APIs to help handle the issue.
  2. Dart 1.0 was released a few days before this conference and was a major topic. Google made it completely clear that they believe that Dart is now ready for the production of commercial grade apps. This includes those pieces of Polymer that are present in the Dart library. Google is using Dart internally in a big way.
  3. They did a really good demonstration of Web Media APIs. At least in Chrome, most of these are ready to use. They gave some very impressive demos. Firefox and Opera are busy catching up.
  4. Chrome Packaged Apps are a complex topic, but the summary they gave managed to touch many areas. This is a ripe area for developers, with Windows and ChromeOS already having full support and MacOS and Linux nearing completion. One sad piece of news though, the parallel track for mobile versions of Chrome Packaged Apps delivered via PhoneGap is a bit behind schedule. At this point they are not expecting the Android version to enter "betaish" until January. They made a great case for being able to leverage one JavaScript (or better yet Dart) code base to deliver an application across different platforms and devices.
  5. Portable Native Client is now ready for prime time. (This is a way to put C/C++ code safely into a web app, preserving near native performance. PNaCl automatically translates your code for the underlying client architecture (Intel/ARM)).
  6. Their performance sessions were extremely in depth. It is amazing what you can do with Chrome Developer Tools to improve performance.

Chromecast News

It looks like we may be getting close to the average app developer being able to release something for Chromecast:
Chromecast May Be Breaking Out Soon – ReadWrite

Here are some of the latest things to become available for Chromecast:

Google Chromecast app released outside the US - SlashGear

Hulu Plus for Chromecast live on iPhone « Hulu Blog

Pandora’s iOS and Android apps now support Google’s Chromecast streaming stick — Tech News and Analysis

HBO Go Chromecast added to Android and iOS apps