Project Wing is Google X’s attempt at a drone-based delivery program

Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled its plans for using drones to deliver products to customers, and now Google has revealed that it is working on something similar. According to two separate reports from The Atlantic and BBC, the secretive Google X team has been hard at work on Project Wing, a drone-based delivery system, for more than two years.

The idea of Google using drones to deliver goods is something that 9to5Google has reported on for some time now, including as far back as October of 2012, and again a few months later. Google said the following in a statement regarding Project Wing:

Project Wing is a Google[x] project that is developing a delivery system that uses self-flying vehicles. As part of our research, we built a vehicle and traveled to Queensland, Australia for some test flights. There, we successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers.

We’re only just beginning to develop the technology to make a safe delivery system possible, but we think that there’s tremendous potential to transport goods more quickly, safely and efficiently.

Read more

Microsoft, Amazon, others reportedly eyeing Cyanogen for future smartphone software

06884218-photo-logo-cyanogenmod

CyanogenMod—which is probably the most well-known fork of Android—lets users customize their phone beyond what Google intends, and touts having as many as 12 million active installs across a variety of devices. But the company behind the famed alternative operating system is reportedly getting a lot of attention, notably from companies that would consider themselves some of Google’s biggest rivals.

Read more

Motorola’s Yo-based Moto 360 giveaway went exactly as planned

moto-yo-contest

Motorola recently concluded a giveaway for its upcoming Moto 360. The giveaway was a collaboration between Motorola and Yo app which was announced yesterday with a very simple rule. First, download and install Yo on your device, then send Motorola a Yo and wait until Aug. 28, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. CT. Easy enough, right?

Motorola would then send a Yo link to all entrants and the first 20 people to click the link would win a Moto 360. Well, that’s kind of how it seemed, but that wasn’t actually the case. Motorola successfully sent a Yo link to all who initially entered, but it was a bit more complicated than just clicking a link.

Read more

Google officially removes authorship from search results

Google Personal Search

Google has officially announced the end of authorship, a feature within search that gave users an idea of who exactly wrote the content behind the link before clicking it. Paired with a headshot, the name of the content creator was for a very long time shown alongside the number of Google+ circles he or she was in as well as a link to read more content by that author. But as of today—while headshots have been gone for a while—this feature is completely finished and links in search are back to being a bit more uniform.

Read more

Sprint rolling out free international WiFi calling to the US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

 

Sprint-Int-WiFi-Calling

Today, Sprint announced a new international WiFi calling option that lets its customers place calls to the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands from over 100 countries at no additional charge. The new feature is now available to Samsung Galaxy S4 owners via an over-the-air software update, however Sprint says that support will come to other devices throughout the year.

Read more

In-Depth profile of Motorola tracks its rise and fall (and future)

9to5-image 2014-08-28 at 11.45.58 AM

If you want to learn what happened behind the scenes in the tumultuous world of Motorola in the past decade, Chicago Mag does an excellent in-depth feature of the company that is awaiting approval of its sale from Google to Lenovo. Some excellent bits:

Meanwhile, in arguably one of the worst decisions ever made by a major corporate CEO, Zander struck a deal with his Silicon Valley friend Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. Together their companies created a Motorola iTunes phone, the first phone connected to Apple’s music store. “We can’t think of a more natural partnership than this one with Apple,” Zander said at the time. Named the Rokr, the phone launched in the fall of 2005. Jobs, who introduced it, called it “an iPod Shuffle right on your phone.”

Ouch, a Shuffle… Read more

Sprint announces visual voicemail w/ animated avatars for select Android phones

Sprint announced today that it’s rolling out an enhanced visual voicemail feature to select Android devices that introduces avatars for “personalized voice messages that feature talking characters (including animals, aliens, zombies and sock puppets), scenic backgrounds and voice effects.” The feature will also be available to Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA customers. Read more

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 spotted in the wild before its IFA reveal

huawei_ascend_mate_7

Huawei is set to unveil its new Ascend Mate 7 next week during IFA in Berlin, however the unreleased phone appears to have been spotted in the wild prior to its big showing. A device referred to as the Chinese phone maker’s next handset recently made a cameo appearance on the Asian microblogging site Weibo, revealing a phone that is somewhat reminiscent of the HTC One Max.

Read more

Samsung announces curved Gear S smartwatch, shipping in October

Samsung Gear S Blue-BlackFollowing in the footsteps of LG revealing its circular G Watch R, Samsung just moments ago announced its new Gear S smartwatch with a curved 2-inch Super AMOLED display, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth, enhanced multi-sensors, built-in GPS and more. The smartwatch will be available through retail stores and carriers in October.

Samsung’s Gear S should serve as competition for the all-new circular LG G Watch R and Moto 360. A big difference, however, is that the Gear S is not an Android Wear device. Instead, it runs a version of Samsung’s own open-source, standards-based operating system Tizen.  Read more