When Lari Numminen and Jukka Kekäläinen set out to improve the user experience on Android, they did not expect to create an entire new phone. Instead, they initially built an Android app that would offer a simple interface for launching your most-used apps. The app eventually was installed 10,000 times, but the developers realized that people still had to use Android’s complex pre-installed apps in addition to their own. To solve this, they decided to create their own phone, which is called the Zilta and will be available in December for €139 (about $189) in Europe. More →
Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple was going to enter new product categories in 2014. No one knows exactly what these categories will be, but the two most widely rumored ones are wearables and TV. So it caught our attention when we saw a new device called Nod that creatively combines both categories by using a wearable computer to interact with TVs in new ways. More →
If you wanted a Leap Motion controller, you either need to buy the stand-alone sensor for $79, buy the HP Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition, or buy one of 11 other HP devices that came with a keyboard that have an embedded Leap Motion sensor. Now you can buy that keyboard as a stand-alone device for any computer for $99, Engadget was told at the Computex trade show. Of course, you’ll need to have the Leap Motion software installed, which can run on Windows 7 or 8 and Mac OS X 10.7 or higher. When Leap Motion was announced in 2012, we called it “one of the coolest pieces of technology we’ve seen in a while” and its gesture controls look like a vision of the future. Despite the initial excitement, though, it has struggled to attract strong developer attention.
Apple announced many exciting new features for iOS and OS X last week at its annual World Wide Developers Conference, but the feature that will do the most to change how we use iOS is called Extensions. As the name suggests, extensions allow apps to extend their functionality to other apps. But Apple being Apple, these extensions still face many restrictions in order to maintain long battery life and to keep apps secure. To understand Extensions, Ars Technica dug deep into the developer docs and the WWDC session videos and has provided the most detailed look into how Extensions will work. More →
One of the most sought-after features for iOS 8 was transit directions in the Maps app, a feature Apple removed when it switched from Google Maps to its own home-grown mapping solution. But last Monday, Apple did not announce transit directions during its annual World Wide Developers Conference. However, it turns out that Apple may have accidentally leaked screenshots of the upcoming new Maps feature during a WWDC session video. More →
At Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference this week, CEO Tim Cook bashed Android for its fragmentation by showing a slide with Android’s latest version, KitKat, on only 9% of all Android phones. While it’s true that KitKat’s market share is still very low throughout the entire world, analytics firm Chitika released new Android numbers on Friday that show KitKat has jumped to 37% in North America. Chitika attributes this increase mostly to the three most recent Samsung Galaxy S phones being updated to KitKat, which obviously makes sense since Samsung is the most popular Android smartphone maker. More →
At Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference this week, Apple overwhelmed developers with over 4,000 new APIs, a new programming lanuguage, and updated versions of OS X and iOS to play with. But it also showed a new commitement to cloud services, an area Apple has traditionally lagged in. According to analyst Benedict Evans, this shift helps reveal the true character of Apple and how it differs from Google. More →
SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son has become something of a maverick. He said he bought Sprint because “I am a man, and every man wants to be number one, not number two or number three.” He also convinced Steve Jobs to give him exclusivity for the iPhone in Japan before Apple had even announced the device, and before Son had bought the mobile carrier SoftBank.
Now, he wants to sell you a $2,000 robot. More →
Earlier this year, we revealed that Amazon is working on a phone that uses multiple cameras to make its screen look 3D. While this may sound like something that will bring us one step closer to Star Wars–esque holograms, it will be much different because the 3D image would clearly be under the phone’s display. However, one company from California is working to go a step further, and according to a profile by the Wall Street Journal, we may see its 3D projector that can fit into smartphones and living rooms as soon as the end of next year. More →
Apple has long been rumored to be working on its own payment service to turn your iPhone into a wallet, and 9to5Mac’s latest report backs up these rumors. According to its sources, Apple has been in talks about a mobile payments service with “high-profile retail brands” that sell “luxury clothing and premium goods.” More →
Apple finally announced yesterday that it is buying Beats for $3 billion. This is by far the largest acquisition Apple has made, but is representative of a recent uptick in purchases by Apple, and this can largely be attributed to a man by the name of Adrian Perica, the head of mergers and acquisitions at Apple. More →
Back in February, Facebook announced it was buying WhatsApp for $19 billion. This was a surprising move, given WhatsApp’s reputation for ensuring privacy and Facebook’s not-so-great reputation for privacy, but the two companies insisted that WhatsApp would remain independent, ad-free, and committed to privacy. More →
The past year has not been a great one for computer security. Last summer, Edward Snowden revealed how the NSA has been exploiting vulnerabilities to spy on people, Target suffered a massive security breach that exposed the credit card information for as much as a third of the American population, the Heartbleed bug was a major vulnerability found in the Internet’s most common encryption standard, and eBay just asked all 145 million of its customers to change their passwords after a security breach. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. More →