We've got very few details at the moment, but Sundar Pichai is preparing to lead the Android charge into the wearable space. He announced that the company will launch a new wearable SDK for Android at SXSW Interactive. The tools will be available to download in roughly two weeks time and will expand the efforts to put Google's mobile OS on smart watches or fitness bands. Pichai definitely didn't limit Android to those two particular implementations, however. He focused heavily on expanding developers' ability to harvest data from sensors of any kind... so long as they're mounted on your body. He even suggested a future where your jacket is loaded with sensors and powered by Android.
It's our 10th birthday, and to celebrate we'll be revisiting some of the key devices of the last decade. So please be kind, rewind.
Motorola had been slinging its "hellomoto" campaign for several years by the time the RAZR V3 hit the scene in 2004. It's likely that you'll remember the iconic design of this handset, either as your communicator of choice or with a faint twinge of envy at never having scored one yourself. This ultra-slim flip phone had a backlit keypad that screamed Tron and its magnesium and aluminum outer shell gave it a lightweight, yet solid build. Motorola made the right move by providing an array of colors to choose from -- not quite the rainbow of flavors that today's Moto X offers, but it was enough to satisfy those with funkier tastes. As its name implied, the RAZR V3 was the switchblade of cellphones and cut a strikingly sharp figure, especially when flipped open. A minor downside to the design was its width; at just over 2-inches it was an exception at the time, although still a few notches below what most of us are pocketing today.
Does anyone actually cable up to a printer anymore? Not if they're kitted out with Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, or Sammy's new alternative: Samsung Cloud Print. The service will launch with an Android app in June, followed by an iOS version in the second half of the year and possibly a Smart TV app at some point too, and all the apps will come with a number of promises about security. Users will have their data encrypted between their device and their inkjet, and those who also use Samsung's freshly updated Knox service are promised "enhanced security" through a level integration between Knox and Cloud Print. Finally, the Android app will also support NFC pairing, allowing a compatible mobile device to be connected to "as many as 20 printers with just a few simple taps" -- although that currently only applies to Samsung's small range of NFC-enabled Xpress-branded printers.
Following up on the news that its UnCarrier rival will soon raise the cost of its unlimited data plan, AT&T is making some pricing changes of its own -- in the completely opposite direction. The base rate for the company's 2GB Mobile Share Value plan is currently $55 (that's the base price, excluding per-smartphone costs), but it just announced that beginning tomorrow customers will be able to grab the same plan for $40 per month instead.
On its Web site, the company says that the "time consuming part of reading lies mainly in the actual eye movements from word to word and sentence to sentence," not to the mention the fact that traditional reading formats take up a lot of physical screen space on mobile devices like smartphones.
Spritz eliminates the clunky page, and shows only a window of 13 characters. Thirteen characters are used because the human eye can focus on about that number at one time. Longer words are broken up.
We show the Spritz app on a smartwatch here, and a quick visit to the Spritz website shows how little room the reading app occupies on a smartphone screen. Curious readers can try the app at www.spritzinc.com.
The Boston-based company said that research shows that when a person is reading, his eyes look for a certain point within each word, which Spritz calls the Optimal Recognition Point or ORP. The ORP is in the center of a short word, such as a three-letter word, but it shifts to the left of center as the length of the word increases.
The brain starts interpreting the word once the eyes have found the ORP. For every new word, the eyes move, seeking out the next ORP for the next word. When punctuation is encountered, the brain assembles the words into a coherent sentence.
Because of this moving around, the company said, only about 20 percent of one's time is spent processing content, while the rest deals with moving between words and finding the next ORP.