Google is finally pulling the plug on the Meebo Bar, a tool for web publishers that allowed website visitors to interact with the site and share content, on June 6 … Read more
Robert Scoble isn’t mincing words on Google Glass. He thinks it will be big, big, big. His review after having Google Glass for two weeks reads like he’s had an epiphany and the only thing preventing these from ruling the universe is Larry Page’s inability to price these things as low as $200. His 6 points:
1. I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It’s that significant.
2. The success of this totally depends on price. Each audience I asked at the end of my presentations “who would buy this?” As the price got down to $200 literally every hand went up. At $500 a few hands went up. This was consistent, whether talking with students, or more mainstream, older audiences.
3. Nearly everyone had an emotional outburst of “wow” or “amazing” or “that’s crazy” or “stunning.”
4. At NextWeb 50 people surrounded me and wouldn’t let me leave until they had a chance at trying them. I haven’t seen that kind of product angst at a conference for a while. This happened to me all week long, it is just crazy.
5. Most of the privacy concerns I had before coming to Germany just didn’t show up. I was shocked by how few negative reactions I got (only one, where an audience member said he wouldn’t talk to me with them on). Funny, someone asked me to try them in a bathroom (I had them aimed up at that time and refused).
6. There is a total generational gap that I found. The older people said they would use them, probably, but were far more skeptical, or, at minimum, less passionate about the fact that these are the future, than the 13-21-year-olds I met.
It is important to keep in mind the context of his perspective. He’s a uber-geek who spends his life immersed in technology. Some people will find the idea of wearing a computer on your face unsettling and there undoubtedly will be backlash. The wow factor will wear off and they will have to produce some value. Right now image and video taking are the key apps. As Scoble mentioned, other apps are coming fast and furious.
And, no, I don’t believe they won’t be $200 (unless there is a subsidy like phones). If Google is charging developers $1500/pop, there is no way Google can make them for $200, at least in the near future.
All of those disclaimers aside, I really do see a lot of opportunity for Google here. They’ve thought forward and this bet on the future of technology is going to change things. Read more
As we discussed in February, HP is re-entering the Android tablet game after a little 4-year WebOS hiatus. Their first effort, the HP Slate 7 goes on sale today for a very reasonable $169. On the plus side, HP offers SD Card espansion, built-in printing and Beats Audio to the package when compared to the $199 Nexus 7. Like the Nexus 7, the Slate is almost entirely Stock Android (Here Here!). Unlike the Nexus 7, however, the screen is the same 1024×600 resolution as the two year old base model Kindle which currently sells for $159.
The real news here for Android is that HP’s expansive network of international customers now have easy access to an inexpensive tablet. I expect this to be a big deal. Read more
The guys and gals over at iFixit are once again performing their usual teardown ritual and this time they have gotten their hands on the just released Samsung Galaxy S4. It probably won’t be the most exciting teardown you’ve ever read, as the internal design of the device, like the outer design, hasn’t changed much since the Galaxy S3. The good news is that the S4 gets a higher 8 out of 10 score for repairability.
• Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T 1.9 GHz Quad-Core CPU
• Qualcomm MDM9215M 4G GSM/UMTS/LTE modem
• Qualcomm PM8917 power management
• Samsung K3QF2F200E 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
• Qualcomm WCD9310 audio codec
• Skyworks 77619 Power Amplifier Module for Quad-Band GSM / EDGE
• Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip (same part found in the Nexus 4)
• Broadcom 20794S1A standalone NFC chip
• Maxim MAX77803 microcontroller
• Silicon Image 8240BO MHL 2.0 transmitter
• Qualcomm PM8821 Power Management
Check out a full list of highlights from the teardown below and head over to iFixit to see the full teardown step by step: Read more
We already knew that Google Glass would be running Android 4.0.4 and got a look at the official tech specs straight from Google, but until now we didn’t know some of the specifics such as how much RAM and what processor the device is using. Today we details via developer +JayLee (via Selfscreens) that Google Glass reports running a OMAP 4430 CPU similar to that used in the original Kindle (although not other details are available on the processor) and 682mb of RAM. Lee speculates Glass might actually pack in 1GB of RAM: Read more
Update: A post from Google employee Dan Morrill clarifies that, although the original developer claimed a “root is easy”, the process developers are using is actually a ‘fastboot oem unlock’. Rather than exposing a security exploit, Google has actually intentionally left Glass open for devs to tinker with, as further explained by Googler Stephen Lau:
Not to bring anybody down… but seriously… we intentionally left the device unlocked so you guys could hack it and do crazy fun shit with it. I mean, FFS, you paid $1500 for it… go to town on it. Show me something cool.
Updated 2: Founder of the Cydia jailbreak store @saurik provided some clarification on his earlier tweets, informing us that he did not use fastboot oem unlock:
Actually, my device’s bootloader is still locked: I did not use fastboot oem unlock, and in fact that would not have been useful without the source code to the Glass kernel, which was not made available until this morning. I relied on a race condition in the adb restore process, a bug that existed in Android 4.0 (and even Android 4.1). As the Glass ships with Android 4.0.4, the bug was easy to exploit. This exploit was not one that I found, to be clear (unless you count “using Google” ;P): I pulled apart an implementation by@Bin4ryDigit, and adapted it for use on Glass (which required very small modifications to the backup; the entire process of learning the exploit and fixing it took 2 hours).
Saurik later published an article explaining some of the ins and outs of the potential for writing apps for Glass and the exploit he originally took advantage of.
Have you been wondering how long until developers crack into Google Glass to provide full root access and start creating some interesting mods? It appears we might not be too far off with Google intern on the Chrome OS team and hacker Liam McLoughlin confirming on Twitter that a root might be easier than many people think (via selfscreens).
McLoughlin first tweeted that, “There’s a “debug mode” option on Glass that appears to enable ADB access. I got a shell on my Glass :D (no root yet!).” Shortly after it appears he also figured out a root method, tweeting, “looks like root is easy too: reboot-bootloader gives you fastboot oem unlock. There is fun to be had here…”
He isn’t the only one working on a root for Google Glass, hacker @chpwn tweeted today that founder of the Cydia jailbreak store @saurik is in the process of unlocking his Google Glass and Saurik later confirmed: Read more
Twitter’s quirky video-sharing app Vine, which allows users to record and tweet ultra-short video loops, is coming to Android ‘soon’ according to a comment by Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann to The Verge.
The app, which is currently iOS-only, allows users to record a short video loop of up to six seconds to share on Twitter and Facebook. Vine was acquired by Twitter last October, and the app topped the iOS app charts earlier this month. It briefly caused embarrassment when a porn clip made it to the top of Vine’s Editor’s Pick.
Samsung’s share of the global mobile phone market grew by 22.9 percent in the past year, from 93.6m to 115m units, according to new data from the IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.
By the end of the first quarter this year, Samsung shipped more phones than the next four vendors combined. Samsung’s domination is largely a result of making handsets for all market segments: smartphones for all market segments, from budget to premium, as well as featurephones, which until recently held the majority of the market share. It was only in the first quarter of this year that smartphones overtook featurephones for the very first time, grabbing 51.6% of the market.
We already knew that future generations of Google’s Glass headset would include prescription frames and lenses in addition to rumors of the company working with trendy designers to make the frames more fashionable. Today we get a hint at some of the ideas Google is floating around for future iterations of the hardware via a patent application published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office and first spotted by UnwiredView.
As highlighted by the patent drawing above, Google’s idea is to use see-through displays in order to make Glass look more like an ordinary, traditional pair of sunglasses. Google describes the invention as “A near-to-eye optical system includes an optically transmissive substrate having a see-through display region and a repeating pattern of diffraction elements: Read more
Google announced some new handy features for Drive on its official Google Drive Blog today. To make it even easier to quickly see who you are collaborating with inside a file in Drive, Google has added profile pictures in addition to names at the top of the web app. Hovering over the new profile pics will let you see details and add users to circles on Google+:
Now when you open a file in Drive, you’ll see the profile pictures of other viewers at the top instead of just their names, making it easy for you to do a quick scan of who else is in the file. You can hover over a photo to see details about the viewer and add them to your circles on Google+ — all without ever leaving Drive.
Google is also providing easy, one click access to starting group chats with both new features rolling out to users in the next couple of days. Google also confirmed it will be adding support for new files types soon, such as Google Sheets.