Google announces Tegra K1 processor will be among those available for Project Ara

Project_Ara_scattered_parts

Google today announced a few new details about the progress on its Project Ara smartphone, which will feature interchangeable internal components designed to allow consumers to build exactly the phone they want and upgrade individual parts as necessary.

The latest update on the project includes some information about what types of processors are expected to be available for the device. Previously Google had announced a partnership with Rockchip to create a custom system-on-a-chip that would power the Ara. The company revealed today that Marvell’s PXA1928 will also be available in the lineup.

However, the bigger news is that the NVIDIA Tegra K1…

Google adds always-listening ‘OK Google’ voice activation to Chromebooks

Screenshot 2014-12-19 at 3.24.31 PM - Display 1

While “OK Google” capability has been available in the form of a Chrome extension for quite some time now, those using it had to be on a specific page within Chrome for the browser to be listening for the appropriate hot words. Now, Google has pushed—in the dev build of Chrome OS—the option for users to turn on always-listening “OK Google,” which will allow you to use voice activation from anywhere as long as your device is on and unlocked.

Read more

Google goes on offense, takes Project Goliath main player Jim Hood to court

Project Goliath Mississippi Google lawsuit

The story of Goliath continues today, and this time it looks like Google is going on the offensive. The Verge is reporting that Google has today filed a lawsuit against one Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood, who has largely been at the center of the Goliath controversy. He has recently been facing scrutiny over his deep involvement with the MPAA’s efforts to take a stand against Google, and now Google is taking a stand of its own.

Read more

Minuum keyboard rolls out version 3.0 with Material Design, multilingual typing support

minuum

If you’ve ever tried any third party keyboards on your Android device, there’s a decent chance that Minuum was one of them. Today, version 3.0 of the space-saving keyboard has begun rolling out, packing a slew of new features including Material Design and experimental support for simultaneous use of multiple languages.

Read more

Google.org giving over $15 million in grants to groups including Feeding America, Nexleaf Analytics, & Malaria No More

Google.org

Google is highlighting some of its philanthropic efforts going into the holidays as it promotes the season of giving. Through Google.org, the charitable arm of the company, Google is donating more than $15 million in grants to three specific groups: Feeding America, Nexleaf Analytics, and Malaria No More. Read more

Videos preview upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, & S5 LTE-A

Samsung focused blog SamMobile today posted the videos above and below showing off an upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy S5 LTE-A.

The update is mostly bug fixes, according to the report, but it also has a few notable new features including slow and fast motion video recording functions. Read more

Leaked James Bond product placement pitches reveal unannounced Sony smartphone

Unknown

Emails found among the documents recently stolen from Sony by hackers have revealed what looks to be concept art for an unannounced smartphone. The “XPERIA Z Fourth Generation,” seen above, was pitched by Sony executives for product placements in the recently announced 24th James Bond flick “Spectre.”

The executives haggle over pricing for the placement of the phone, questioning whether they should pay the full $5 million for star Daniel Craig to use the phone, or settle for actor Ben Whishaw’s much cheaper “Q” to show it off.

Read more

Google ‘deeply concerned’ by reports of MPAA working with movie studios to ‘revive SOPA’

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 5.18.19 PM

Google has published a post on its Public Policy blog responding to recent revelations that the Motion Picture Association of America was working with a group of movie studios in order to find new ways to force the search giant to modify its results to omit sites that contained stolen copyrighted material:

We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood.

Read more

McDonald’s increases sales by beaming offers to smartphones in beacon pilot

Mcdonalds-android-app-01

McDonald’s is testing Bluetooth beacon-based offers in at least some of its locations as it pilots beacon platform Piper that works with both Android devices and iOS devices using Apple’s iBeacon framework.

Piper announced today that it’s testing its beacon platform in McDonald’s franchises in Columbus, Georgia and pushing deals out to users that download its mobile app that sends location-based offers when users come in contact with its beacons. Read more

Secret update basically copies Yik Yak, brings communities and cute new mascot

2014-12-18 14_06_18-Secret - Be curious - Android Apps on Google Play

Secret was one of the first to the anonymous social network category of apps, but Yik Yak recently took the spotlight and started really catching on with the college crowd. It appears that Secret felt a bit threatened by its university-based competitor. Today, the app has been updated with a completely new appearance, a new, cuter version of its fox mascot, and a re-imagined way of communicating with those around you anonymously.

Read more

How to update Android Wear devices manually using OTA downloads

samsung-gear-live-android-wear.jpg (3446×3001) 2014-12-18 10-56-29

Last week Google released the latest version of Android Wear, 5.0.1 Lollipop. The latest update entails many enhancements and refinements, but most notable is the long awaited official watch face API support and new notification, brightness, and alert settings. If you’re anxious to try out the new features of Android Wear’s latest (whether it be Lollipop or some future release), but haven’t received the OTA update yet, you can try to manually install it with ADB tools.

Read more