“Tomorrow is expected to see the announcement of Apple’s latest phone, the iPhone 6, and it’s sure to be as lovely as ever. However, with many of the details of its design now leaked I can fairly safely say I won’t be interested in getting one almost regardless of exactly what the device turns out to look like.”
Google has just released a new Android Camera app that’s free to download from the Play Store for any phone running Android 4.4 KitKat or later. I’ve taken it for a spin to see how it performs compared to the previous standard Android camera app and several others that are available, including the standard Samsung Galaxy S4 camera app.
The first thing you notice with this new app is that Google has stuck largely with the clean design ethic of the previous Android camera app. After briefly appearing for a moment to hint at where they can be found, the main menu controls disappear off screen leaving just the shutter button (which will either be black if the camera aspect ratio is 4:3 or semi-transparent if 16:9) and the ‘…’ that signifies the settings menu.
Tapping the settings menu brings up options for turning on a guidance grid, toggling the flash and switching to the front camera. Just tap on the image to choose your focus point or let the autofocus do its thing.
Further options can be brought up by swiping in from the left edge. Here you can access the photo sphere mode, panorama and lens blur modes, as well as select the normal camera and video modes.
Google has revealed its latest attempt to takeover the TV, following the flop of Google TV, with Android TV.
The new interface, as the name suggests, leverages all the content deals and interface know-how of Android and simply ports them to the big screen. Movies, TV, Music and of course apps will all be available at the touch of a remote button.
As Google puts it “Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform […] It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.”
The interface will also support voice recognition and notifications, though Google is encouraging developers to keep things simple to ensure users actually use the products.
All told Android TV is very similar to Amazon’s just released Fire TV, once again marking how the TV is being seen as the next big battle ground.
A key part of the experience will also be that content from different apps is pushed to the homescreen, allowing for the user to skip having to open specific apps to get to their content.
The interface will also support resuming of content, allowing for seamless switching of screens, from an Android tablet or phone to a TV.
Internal Apple documents from last April reveal the company was scrambling to identify ways to compete with Android phones as well as keep sales of iPhones from declining.
The documents were revealed in a court session during a trial which is seeing Apple sue Samsung for patent infringement. They were referenced as Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller was being cross examined.
Schiller downplayed the presentation, saying it was for an off-site meeting with “a few sales people” and not something that he attended.
Google’s modular phone concept, Project Ara, has been shown off in a new video. The project is one being worked on by the Motorola Advanced Technology and Projects group that Google retained when it sold the rest of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.9billion earlier this year.
The project aims to create a phone that has removable parts that can be replaced and upgraded. So as battery, camera or processor technology improves so your phone can move with the times, without the need to replace the whole thing.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the latest flagship Android phone from Samsung. It replaces and upgrade the Samsung Galaxy S4, with a new 16mp camera with phase detection autofocus, a slightly larger 5.1in 1080p screen, faster processor and a heart rate sensor. Chief competitors are the HTC One M8, iPhone 5S, Sony Z2 and LG G2.
The HTC One M8 is the HTC’s latest flagship Android phone. It’s an upgrade and replacement for 2013’s HTC One with upgrades including a slightly larger screen (5in compared to 4.7in), a dual camera for clever depth of focus effects, the inclusion of a microSD slot, a larger battery and a faster processor. It retains its luxurious metal build, though unlike most of its competitors it isn’t water resistant.