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It is not meant to function with the same kind of autonomy that smartphones do.

Le 3 July 2014, 09:40 dans Humeurs 0

smartwatch for me yesterday tried to disabuse me of the notion that smartwatches can do things on their own.

When I asked him to wake up the watch and make it do some tricks, he said, "Try not to think of it that way."

I understand the concept a bit better today, after watching one of several breakout sessions at Google I/O 2014 dedicated to helping developers create apps using OPPO N1T 32G phone Wear, the Android OS extension for wearable devices.

Listening to Google's developers talking about Android Wear it soon becomes obvious that Android-powered wearables are not meant to act like the Dick Tracy watch.

Android Wear development team member Justin Koh told developers that the smartwatch is meant only as a "remote control" for Android phones. It is not meant to function with the same kind of autonomy that smartphones do.

Android Wear, in fact, relies on the phone it's paired with to send and receive information. Wear is simply a bolted-on part of Android that developers can use to extend certain functions of the phone to a wearable.

"You can think about the your phone as the brain that connects with other devices like smartwatches and Android Auto," said Austin Robison of Google's Android Wear team.

Robison also said that the Wear team has been working closely with the Google Glass team, and that Android Wear notifications can already be sent to Google Glass units.

Google has said that Android Wear is meant to liberate users from their phones — to allow users to get information in a more human way. The problem is, a Wear-powered device is almost useless when it's outside the short range of its Bluetooth connection to the phone.

So, for example, if you wanted to go for a run and leave your phone at home, you would not be able to send or receive notifications — or anything else — from your smartwatch.

Android Wear doesn't support wearables with cellular or Wi-Fi functionality built in. Nor does it support wearables with GPS (allowing you to map the route of your run, for example), and Google isn't saying anything about when that feature might be added.

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those judgments were obviously wrong

Le 30 June 2014, 09:23 dans Humeurs 0

Taking a photo with your smartphone has become so commonplace that it's hard to remember how weird the idea seemed when camera phones first came out. Fortunately, we have old videos to remind us. Here's the Daily Show's Ed Helms ridiculing the idea in 2004:

To be fair to Helms, skepticism about camera phones wasn't as ridiculous in 2004 as it seems today. That's because camera phones circa 2004 were terrible.

Imaging chips weren't very sophisticated, and phone manufacturers tended to use the cheapest hardware they could find. So camera phone images were vastly inferior to the photos you could take with dedicated cameras.

Also, phone camera software — both the software on the phone and software to get images off your phone and onto your PC or the internet — left a lot to be desired. So it's not surprising that the camera feature on these early phones didn't get much use.

But most people didn't anticipate how quickly this technology would improve, and how useful it could be once it did. People also didn't appreciate how the ubiquity, portability, and connectedness of camera phones would allow people to use their camera phones in ways that wouldn't have been practical with traditional cameras.

A lack of imagination about new technologies — especially disruptive technologies that start out worse than what's already on the market — is surprisingly common. Many people who had experience with beefy mainframe computers dismissed the personal computer as a toy in the 1970s. Heck, I dismissed the iPad as an under-powered PC when it came out. In retrospect, those judgments were obviously wrong. Cheap, portable technologies often tend out to be a lot more useful than people anticipate.

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BlackBerry teases new android phones

Le 21 June 2014, 09:53 dans Humeurs 0

After upbeat earnings, BlackBerry teases new android phones
After BlackBerry surprised the world by posting better than expected earnings the company decided to further show that it's not out of the phone game yet with CEO John Chen teasing two new upcoming smartphones, the BlackBerry Classic and BlackBerry Passport at the company's annual meeting.

Both devices run on the company's BlackBerry 10 operating system and feature touchscreens and physical keyboards. The Classic, which was previously announced as the Q20, is similar in design to the once-popular Bold series and features a 3.5-inch display. It is said to be launching in November.

The Passport is the more interesting of the two new devices, with a unique box-like design that bares little resemblance to any prior BlackBerry smartphone. The phone will come in black or white and is said to feature a wide 4.5 inch display with a 1440x1440 resolution, significantly larger than any prior BlackBerry phone with a keyboard and may be the company's answer to "phablets" like the Samsung Galaxy Note line. Chen said the new device would be formally announced this September at an event in London.

The news of new devices caps a strong few days for the struggling Canadian phone maker. Earlier this week BlackBerry announced a deal with Amazon to bring the Amazon App Store's 200,000 apps to BlackBerry 10 phones later this year while Citron Research on Friday raised its price target for the stock to $20 while declaring it the firm's "best idea in years."

BlackBerry stock soared on the news, closing Friday up 7.81% to $9.80.
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