Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop Android app arrives in beta

chrome-remote-desktop-play

Google has long had its cross-platform Chrome Remote Desktop extension that allows users to remotely access desktops on the network through the Chrome browser. We also already knew that it’s been working on solutions to bring the feature to Android and even iOS devices, but today we get what appears to be our first look Chrome Remote Desktop running on an Android device.

Droid-Life posted the screenshots below showing that it says is an invite only beta of the app that was released in the last few days. The app is apparently being developed for both smartphones and tablets, allowing users to remotely access desktop computers with the Chrome Remote Desktop client installed from the Chrome web store.  Read more

Render gives first look at next-gen reversible USB Type-C cable coming in July

Back in December, the the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that a next-generation of USB connectors was under development. The new standard, dubbed “USB Type-C,” introduces a new design, a smaller overall footprint, and usability enhancements such as a symmetrical, reversible connector that doesn’t require users to worry about orientation when plugging in (much like with Apple’s Lightning connector.) It will also allow manufacturers to create thinner and sleeker product designs and scale for future USB performance standards with a transfer speed up to 10Gbps. Today we get our first look at what the cable and connectors will actually look like with a rendering courtesy of Foxconn (via TheVerge). Read more

Samsung Galaxy S5 teardown highlights 16MP camera sensor, biosensor and fingerprint scanner

Banner02

Chipworks managed to get its hands on a Galaxy S5 ahead of Samsung’s new flagship handset officially going on sale on 11th April, and has been taking a look inside. The model it obtained was a Korean one, thanks to several carriers releasing it early. We’ve also noted third-party suppliers on Amazon advertising it as available in 1-2 days.

While Chipworks has only just begun its analysis, it does provide a sneak peek of the innards, together with a steer on three of the elements it plans to examine in detail: the fingerprint sensor, heart-rate chip and camera sensor.

The company says that the fingerprint sensor is split into two parts, a touch sensor embedded in the home button, and a second part connected to the touchscreen. It isn’t yet clear whether the screen simply detects a touch and switches on the sensor, or whether data from the touchscreen forms part of the identification process.

fingerprint  Read more

Android distribution data updated for April, KitKat usage doubles to 5 percent

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 8.50.31 PM

As it does at the beginning of every month, Google has just updated the Android Distribution data to reflect data collected during a 7-day period ending on April 1, 2014. Notable this time around is that Android 4.4 KitKat usage more than doubled, rising from 2.5 percent last month to 5.3 percent. Of course, that’s still a very small percentage of the total user base, but growing by double in a month signals that KitKat updates are finally starting to make their way to the masses. 

With the rise in KitKat usage came a slight decline in Jelly Bean numbers from an even 62 percent to 61.4 percent . Ice Cream Sandwich declined to 14.3 percent from 15.2 percent last month, while Gingerbread continued to slow demise, going from 19 percent to 17.8 percent.

With this new data, 81 percent of all devices are now running a version of Android 4.0 or greater. This seems respectable, but it’s important to note that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was originally unveiled all the way back in 2011. So it’s apparent that Google can still do even more to improve the Android update progress. But things are improving and that’s what matters.

Read more

‘My Play Activity’ feed now rolling out to Google Play website, shows all your +1s and ratings

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 6.40.32 PM

Back in December, Google updated the Play Store app on Android with a new activity feed that was a stream of Play Store activity, connected via your Google+ profile. This afternoon, Android Police has discovered that the activity feed is now live on the web version of the Play Store, as well.

The My Play Activity page is accessible via the navigation sidebar on the online Play Store. The feature is still rolling out at the moment, so the page only loads sporadically. It could take a little while to hit your profile. Once you load it, you will be able to see a stream of all your recent Play Store activity, including +1’s, rates, and more. As the feature continues to rollout, you will be able to access other people’s Activity Page via Google+, which will be great for discovering new apps and content.

The My Play Activity page is rolling out slowly and is accessible at the link below. You should be able to refresh it a few times and get it to load. The link in the sidebar should propagate to everyone soon, as well.

Link: My Play Activity

Read more

BT Sport support coming soon to Chromecast in the UK

chromecast

Just weeks after the device became available in the UK (among others), Google has already started rolling out more UK-centric channels to the Chromecast. Joining the BBC iPlayer app, BT Sport has just announced that it too is planning to add Chromecast support for its channels in the coming weeks, as well.

As you would expect, you’ll have to be a BT customer in order to access the sports coverage. BT Sport is one of the largest sports providers in the UK. It has exclusive live TV rights to the English Premier League, in addition to owning the UK ESPN channels and broadcasting a plethora of other sports.

There’s no official release date for the BT Sport rollout on the Chromecast, but it is certainly great to see Google working so diligently to bring UK content to the Chromecast. This news comes just days after Google also added Vudu, Crackle, and Rdio support to the Chromecast. The open SDK is certainly paying off.

Read more