Google released the Module Developers Kit (MDK) for its Project Ara smartphone last week, and now more news has surfaced about the modular device. In December, the company will release an Android update for Ara devices, followed by the release of the first Ara phone in January of 2015.
Project Ara allows you to configure your purchase in a wide array of directions, including custom colors, images, and, of course, which components you need in your device. 3D printed textures will also be available, which should result in one or more modules that are pleasant to the touch.
Google experimented with phone customization in its Moto Maker tool for the Moto X, so you can expect a much more elaborate version of that around Christmastime for Project Ara.
Google hopes that Ara will take on the role of your primary smartphone for as long as 5-6 years, during which time you could pop in a new CPU or camera if yours gets a bit long on the tooth, rather than having to buy an all-new device once the latest tech rolls around.
The Ara has the potential to drastically change the way smartphones are approached – including a plethora of third-party applications – and we can’t wait to see if the market will bite.
Starbucks says it will start letting customers across the country place orders ahead of time on their smartphones by next year.
The Seattle-based chain says it will introduce the option in Portland later this year before the national rollout in 2015.
Starbucks has been making a big push to convince people to sign up for its mobile payment app, which helps the company build customer loyalty. That’s in part because customers earn reward stars for each purchase, which can be cashed in for free drinks or food.
To encourage holiday sales, Starbucks also says 10 people who pay with its mobile app or a Starbucks card will be selected to win “Starbucks for Life,” which is a food or drink item every day for 30 years.
The Piano Guys are probably having more fun than anyone else in the classical music business. The group — composed of a pianist, cellist, a videographer, and a music producer — has just released a music video that celebrates nearly 50 years of Batman. The video perfectly matches the group’s new “Batman Evolution” composition, which travels through the classic ‘60s TV show, Tim Burton’s 1989 take on the Dark Knight, and Christopher Nolan’s most recent trilogy.
The result is not just some impressive piano and cello work (the two instruments alone were used to make every sound in the composition), but a music video that displays some incredible attention to detail. Each of the three eras gets its own location, Batmobile, and visual style to go along with the shifts in music. (Pay close attention to the aspect ratio: even it is tailored to each era.) The Piano Guys have made a name for themselves doing these kinds of over-the-top classical music videos, and while this might be some of their best work, be sure to check out their Mission Impossible, Bourne Identity, and Star Wars music videos as well. And for more on the making of “Batman Evolution,” take a look at the group’s website.
There are ordinary looking power cables, and then there is something that Samsung has recently unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses – something that they have dubbed as the new Samsung Power Sharing Cable. In fact, taking into consideration our fairly hectic lifestyles that we lead these days, not to mention a rather busy time at home even after we have finished our work, it is not too difficult to actually run out of juice on our mobile devices simply because we forgot to charge them up earlier. With the Samsung Power Sharing Cable, it is a new manner of letting one charge between devices while they are on the go.
The Samsung Power Sharing Cable works this way – you will now have the ability to easily transfer power directly from your Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy Tab S or any other kind of compatible Galaxy device to any micro USB-compatible device. This is a brand new Power Sharing cable which offers multi-device users a versatile manner to power p their devices, letting you share the load with your Galaxy device’s battery with another device – be it that of your own, or of someone else’s.
In order to have it work, all you need to do is to download the “Power Sharing” app straight from Samsung Apps or the Google Play store, before you choose the right amount of power that you would want to transfer. Once that is done, all that is required would be to plug in one end of the cable into the device that the power is being drawn from while plugging in the other end of the cable into the device to be charged. Since the Samsung Power Sharing Cable is portable and tiny enough to fit in a pocket and purse while you are on the move, this is truly a worthy travel companion not to be forgotten while you are away on a business trip or on a holiday. It however does come only in a shade of white.
The world population may balloon to anywhere between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion by 2100, according to a new report that used statistics from the U.N. The new estimates far outstrip previous calculations of 7.2 billion.
The root of the booming population is high birth rates in Africa, according to the report, published in the journal Science. The number of people in Africa is expected to rise from 1 billion to 4 billion in the next 86 years. Researchers found that there is a 70% probability that the world’s population will not stabilize in this century.
“Earlier projections were strictly based on scenarios, so there was no uncertainty,” U.N. demographer Patrick Gerland told the Associated Press. “This work provides a more statistically driven assessment that allows us to quantify the predictions, and offer a confidence interval that could be useful in planning.”
Capcom has showcased a brand new gameplay trailer for ‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2,’ the newest entry in the survival horror franchise.
More of a thematic sequel to spin off entry ‘Resident Evil: Revelations,’ a game originally on the 3DS but ported to consoles sometime after, ‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2’ takes place in-between ‘Resident Evil 5′ and ’6.’ The game puts players in the shoes of none other than series veteran Claire Redfield. While attending a fancy party with Moira Burton, daughter of classic character Barry Burton, a team of Special Forces soldiers attack the two and knock them unconscious. Clearly kidnapped, Redfield awakens only to find herself in a derelict prison on a mysterious island where terror obviously awaits for her and Burton.
While tailoring itself more to the traditional tone and gameplay of classic ‘Resident Evil’ games, ‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2’ will also feature the recent series staple of co-op gameplay. But this time, it’s not in the way that most fans will think. As opposed to having a full on partner who is capable of the same offensive abilities as Redfield, supporting character Moira Burton will instead serve her own function to the co-op duo by being the designated light source. On top of being vital to gameplay in that capacity, Buton also has the ability to use her flashlight to blind enemies, find hidden items and use a trusty crowbar to sneak up on enemies or to open up doors that Claire cannot. However, other than that, her role is strictly that of support and not pure offense. This is a change of pace compared to previous ‘Resident Evil’ games where co-op partners served to dampen the experience by giving the players too much redundant offensive power.
Looking to be similar to its predecessor, ‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2’ is definitely embracing its survival horror roots with its cramped and dimly lit hallways as well as shuffling zombie-like creatures. Once again, the series seems to be looking to the past with this entry as opposed to following similar formulas to the franchises’ more recent action filled entries.
‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2′ will be released as a downloadable weekly episodic series for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC sometime in 2015. Weekly episodes will be priced at $5.99 while a full-preorder package of all the episodes will be priced at $24.99. Capcom will also be releasing a full retail version of the game with potential added bonus content for $39.99 once the series concludes.
My Maps isn’t exactly a new app. It was a much-loved web app (named Maps Engine Lite) that didn’t get enough TLC, but Google has given it an overhaul. Now users can add custom icons and more descriptions and images and with the new Android App and can access all these creations on the go. [Free]
Horizon finally comes to Android and aims to abolish one thing—those terrible moments when you find that perfect video online, only to have in playback in….portrait. Of course, the reason this is such a popular vice is because holding a phone in portrait is much more natural than landscape. With only a little sacrifice in quality (more image shake depending on the camera), you can shoot whichever way without worry. [ Free]
Stream takes the entire photographic world of Getty Images and makes it easily (and legally) shareable on any of your iDevices. Using Getty Images’ API, the app lets you stream and search images, play slideshows, and set up custom alerts when new images are added. Also, the app is built with iOS 8 and Yosemite in mind so it looks pretty snazzy. [Free]
If you don’t have OneNote for iOS yet—now’s the time. This week Microsoft updated its stellar note-taking app for Apple devices by adding share extension, hassle-free photo saving, and a bevy other other features. However, you only get all these software goodies if you’re completely up to date with iOS 8. [ Free]
Storage options seem to multiple everyday. Whether in the cloud or on your local device, Media Explorer tries to being a little order to the chaos by pulling all your file data into one location as well as allowing you to move content among different services. [ Free]
Unfortunately this app isn’t available—yet. This is just a reminder to make sure it’s on your radar. As we all probably expected, Xbox’s Phil Spencer promised that it would be bringing its newest acquisition, Minecraft, to Windows Phone. During the original announcement, there’s was no mention of Windows Phone being considered as a possible platform, but Spencer’s words say otherwise. With no firm release date yet, all we can say is it’s on its way.
The newÂ iPad AirÂ with 9.7-inch display is thinner and lighter than the previous generationÂ iPad, and packs in the latest hardware including the 64-bit Apple A7 processor.Â iPad mini with Retina displayÂ comes with a 7.9-inch display that packs in four-times as many pixels as its predecessors.
Coming to the pricing, the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are available starting Rs. 35,900 and Rs. 28,900 respectively for the 16GB Wi-Fi models.
The 32GB, 64GB and 128GB iPad Air Wi-Fi only models are priced at Rs. 42,900, Rs. 49,900 and Rs. 56,900 respectively. The 16GB iPad Air with cellular connectivity is priced at Rs. 44,900. The 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models are priced at Rs. 51,900, Rs. 58,900 and Rs. 65,900 respectively.
Similarly, the 32GB, 64GB and 128GB iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi only models are priced at Rs. 35,900, Rs. 42,900 and Rs. 49,900 respectively. The 16GB iPad mini with Retina display and cellular connectivity are priced at Rs. 37,900. The 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models are priced at Rs. 44,900, Rs. 51,900 and Rs. 58,900 respectively.
Apple continues to sell the 16GB iPad mini without Retina display for Rs. 21,900 for the Wi-Fi only version. However, the cellular model gets a price bump from Rs. 29,900 to Rs. 30,900. The iPad 16GB iPad 2 will continue to sell for the same price of Rs. 28,900 and Rs. 37,900 for the Wi-Fi and cellular models respectively.