Razer will shut down cloud storage for the Robin on March 1st

By Corbin Davenport

The Nextbit Robin launched in 2016, and one of its unique features was ‘Smart Storage.’ Nextbit offered 100GB of cloud storage with every phone, where users could offload unused apps (along with the app data) to the cloud, and then easily restore them later. Support for the Robin has been winding down over the past few months, so it should come as no surprise that the cloud functionality will soon stop working.

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Razer will shut down cloud storage for the Robin on March 1st was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Fossil announces new Kate Spade and Skagen Android Wear watches

By Ryan Whitwam

Android Wear isn’t exactly taking the world by storm, but it’s still kicking with the help of traditional watchmakers like Fossil. There are a couple of new smartwatches on the way from Fossil under its Kate Spade andSkagen brands. Both new watches are launching in the coming weeks, too.

TheSkagen watch is called the “Falster,” and it has the usual assortment of Android Wear specs with a Wear 2100 SoC and a round OLED (resolution not stated).

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Fossil announces new Kate Spade and Skagen Android Wear watches was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Qualcomm's president says Spectre and Meltdown aren't big areas of concern

By Joe Maring

Qualcomm’s new president talks about the latest CPU threats.

Earlier this week, news broke about two processor vulnerabilities by the names of Spectre and Meltdown. These two vulnerabilities essentially reveal weaknesses for just about every gadget with a CPU, including the likes of computers, laptops, and even your phone.

Qualcomm’s President Cristiano Amon was asked about his thoughts on Spectre and Meltdown during a press conference at CES 2018, and according to Amon, neither vulnerability serves as a serious threat to mobile devices since Qualcomm has already worked with its many partners to get patches pushed out that have hardly any impact on device performance.

More specifically, Amon said:

There are a few things that are unique about the mobile ecosystem. Users download from an app store. On top of that, the impact you had on Android and ARM — we had patches that got released as early as December to some OEMs.

Following this, Amon ended his response by saying:

Specifically, when we look at the fixes that are available, especially when you look at memory mapping, the global ecosystem has adapted. This is not an area of concern for us and the mobile ecosystem.

Qualcomm appoints Cristiano R. Amon as its new president

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Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/v2ilqJ73O9E/qualcomms-president-says-spectre-and-meltdown-arent-big-areas-concern

    

Razer unveils 'Project Linda' laptop dock for Razer Phone

By Ryan Whitwam

Some years ago, in the dark ages of Android, Motorola released a phone called the Atrix 4G. Moto created an accessory for that phone called the Lapdock, which was a laptop-like device powered by the phone. It was not a smashing success. They say those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, and apparently, Razer was not paying attention. At CES, it has unveiled Project Linda, a prototype laptop dock for the Razer Phone.

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Razer unveils ‘Project Linda’ laptop dock for Razer Phone was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Lenovo Mirage Solo is the first Daydream headset that doesn't need a phone

By Russell Holly

The next phase in Google’s VR strategy starts today.

You can do a lot with Daydream today, but it has been clear since Google’s last developer conference that the company had greater ambitions for its nascent VR platform. Using a lot of the spatial logic the company gained from Project Tango, Google announced an expansion called Daydream Standalone. The goal was a headset that didn’t need a phone because it had its own hardware inside, and instead of standing still like you would with Daydream this headset would allow you to safely walk around.

We learned recently the first Daydream Standalone headset would be made by Lenovo instead of HTC, and now those plans have turned into something real. Meet the Lenovo Mirage Solo, the first Daydream Standalone headset.

Lenovo’s design for the Mirage Solo is wildly different from the all fabric all the time design Google has taken with Daydream up tot his point, and with good reason. This headset contains its own display, battery, cameras, and controls on the side of the headset. That means it needs to distribute weight a little differently in order to avoid feeling too front-heavy.

This is accomplished with a halo-style head strap, similar to what is used with a PlayStation VR and most Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Because the headset is a little larger and heavier than a Daydream headset, this more structured head strap makes the Mirage Solo much more comfortable. And best of all, the is design doesn’t apply any pressure around your eyes.

This particular Daydream Standalone headset is almost entirely white plastic, including the inside. The white plastic on the inside isn’t usually done with VR headsets, because the white can reflect light that sneaks in through the nose gap or through the sides. With black material that light is a lot less noticeable, which is why it is more commonly used. In our brief time with the headset it was clear the white amplified the light leak enough to be noticeable, but the seal against your face is enough that we didn’t experience it much even in a brightly lit room.

Like those other halo-style headsets, you can quickly put the Mirage Solo on and move around without worrying about the headset sliding around. That’s a big deal in this case, because you’re going to want to move around a lot more than you would with a normal Daydream headset. Google’s “WorldSense” capabilities in Daydream Standalone means you are going to be dodging, jumping, and ducking as you interact with new games design for this all-new experience.

The Mirage Solo promises PC-class tracking, but in the demos being offered right now, you’re not doing much in the way of walking around. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to; in fact, in our …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/-pHIqdvfE0g/lenovo-mirage-solo

    

Google is focusing on 180-degree video for VR headsets

By Russell Holly

Depth is more important than the sphere.

For several years now, 360-degree cameras have been seen as the best way for consumers to capture something for VR. It started with Photospheres, and slowly the cost of multi-sensor fisheye sphere cameras came down enough that it was reasonable for people to pick them up for fun. And it’s true, you can have a lot of fun capturing a 360-degree photo or video to share on Facebook.

Sharing on Facebook or streaming live to Twitter are very different experiences from recording something that is fully enjoyable in a VR headset. To do that well, you need depth. To capture depth, at least in video, you need a second camera to act as the other eye. This year Google is working with multiple manufacturers to make capturing for VR in the less common 180-degree format much, much easier.

Meet VR180

Lots of VR events are recorded professionally now with special 180-degree cameras, including NFL and NBA games through companies like NextVR. These cameras fully immerse the viewer in what is happening directly in front of them, but there’s typically nothing going on when you turn around with the VR headset on. The advantage here is you can sit still and become absorbed in what you are watching, instead on constantly being on the edge of your seat in case you need to turn around to follow the action.

Google has worked with several camera manufacturers to offer several options for VR180 capture later this year, offering a special app that works with many of these cameras out of the box. This new VR180 app will make it easy to connect to the cameras and share what you’ve captured quickly. These cameras are all designed to be held almost like a phone or rested on a tripod, and when you hit record everything on the sensor side of the camera is recorded. This allows the camera operator to hide a little, eliminating those awkward super up-close selfies and constant shots of the knuckles of whoever is holding the camera.

You can expect to see these cameras later this year:

Lenovo Mirage Camera

This camera is designed to be highly portable and very easy to use, with single-button activation for photo, video, and live broadvcasting. Wi-Fi Direct is built in so you don’t need to connect to your phone to upload or share your photos or videos, but you can and the connection will be faster and more stable than Bluetooth. If you do choose to connect to your phone, you’ll be able to use Google’s new VR180 app to act as the viewfinder.

Lenovo boasts this camera weighs in at just 139 grams, and small enough to fit in your pocket. Expect to see it on shelves in Q2 of this year for under $300.

YI Horizon VR180 Camera

<a target="_blank" href="https://www.androidcentral.com/google-focusing-180-degree-video-vr-headsets" title="Google is …read more

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Lenovo Mirage Solo vs Oculus Go

By Russell Holly

Google and Oculus are competing like never before.

As cool as it is to be able to put your phone in a simple headset and be transported to another world, sometimes you need your phone to be a phone. It’s inconvenient to get to the end of the day and be unable to enjoy VR because your phone is nearly dead, or to have to take the protective case off of your phone every time you want to enjoy VR.

The solution, according to Google and Oculus, is to make headsets which have the hardware baked in. Google’s platform, called Daydream Standalone, allows multiple manufacturers to build headsets free from using your phone as a brain. Lenovo’s Mirage Solo is a prime example. The same can be said of the upcoming Oculus Go, which was announced late last year during the Oculus Connect conference. With both of these headsets expected to land later this year, it’s a good idea to see exactly how they compare side-by-side before considering a purchase. Here’s what you need to know!

Hardware compared

At first glance, Oculus Go is immediately recognizable as an Oculus product. The straps designed to hold the computer-y bits to your face are distinctly Oculus, and that’s a good thing because we already know they work well. The back straps are designed to hug the back of your head from multiple angles, while the front sides of the straps sit on rails that make sliding the headset on and off your face nice and easy. Unlike the Oculus Rift headset, which has separate headphones you pull down over your ears, Go has a pair of small spatial audio speakers on these rails designed to give you sound wherever you are. You can still use headphones if you choose, but this other option is always there.

Lenovo’s Mirage Solo more closely resembles its Windows Mixed Reality headset than it does either of the original Google-made Daydream headsets. There’s no fabric anywhere — using plastic instead — and the single halo-style strap for the headset is designed to be tightened onto your head with the adjustment wheel in the back of the headset. The advantage of this design is a better distribution of weight and less pressure directly on your face, which is nice when you want to use the headset for a long time. Mirage Solo includes a pair of cameras on the front of the headset for Google’s WorldSense features, which allow you to move around in a room instead of the typical seated VR experiences expected from phone-based VR experiences.

Here’s a quick look at how the specs break down:

Feature Oculus Go Mirage Solo
Dimensions Unknown 8.03″ x 10.61″ x 7.08″
Field of View 90 degrees 110 degrees
Weight Unknown 1.42lbs (645g)
Processor Snapdragon 821 Snapdragon 835
Memory Unknown 4GB RAM
Audio Internal speakers, 3.5mm …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/L7VBxg40R3c/lenovo-mirage-solo-vs-oculus-go

    

Kinda Blue Pixel 2 now available for non-Verizon customers

By Joe Maring

Your choice of getting it unlocked or on Project Fi.

The Pixel 2 might not be the best-looking phone released in 2017, but it’s still a big improvement over its first-generation sibling. Google launched the phone in four main colors, with Kinda Blue (my personal favorite) being limited to the small Pixel 2 on Verizon Wireless. Thankfully, that Verizon exclusivity is finally changing.

On its official Twitter account, Project Fi announced that the Kinda Blue Pixel 2 is now available for purchase through the carrier. The phone costs the same $649, but you can always finance it and pay just $27.04/month for 24 months.

If you’re not on Verizon or Project Fi, you can also now purchase the Kinda Blue Pixel 2 from the Google Store in an unlocked flavor with the same pricing.

The only real difference with the Kinda Blue Pixel 2 compared to the other colors is that it’s only available with 64GB of storage. If you want to step up to 128GB, you’ll need to stick with Just Black or Clearly White.

See at Google Store

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Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/vqKH3WpEbk8/kinda-blue-pixel-2-now-available-non-verizon-customers

    

Sony announces new 4K HDR Android TVs with Google Assistant built-in

By Scott Scrivens

Sony’s been busy with announcements so far at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, debuting new headphones and speakers, an Android Auto audio system, and some new phones (trademark bezels still intact). There are surely many more new Sony things being launched at the show, but not all of them are relevant to us here. New Android TV sets with the Google Assistant built-in? Yep, that’s relevant enough.

Two new premium models have been unveiled by Sony, with display technology being the major difference between them.

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Keyboard and vital-tracking Moto Mods launching later in 2018

By Joe Maring

Motorola’s ‘Transform the Smartphone Challenge’ is also making a return.

Last year, Motorola launched its first “Transform the Smartphone Challenge” in which people from all around the world could submit ideas for their own Moto Mod and have the chance to get it manufactured and sold in stores across the globe. In 2018, consumers will be able to buy the first two Moto Mods created through the challenge – the Lenovo Vital Moto Mod and Livermorium Slider Keyboard Moto Mod.

Starting first with the Lenovo Vital Moto Mod, this will feature a variety of sensors to track your heart rate, respiratory rate, Pulse Ox, body temperature, and even diastolic blood pressure. All of this data is taken from a sensor that you place your finger on, and Motorola says this is “the smart way to measure your health.”

Tracking your body’s five key vital signs is cool and call, but most folks will likely be more interested in picking up the Livermorium Slider Keyboard. This was the grand prize winner of last year’s Transform the Smartphone Challenge, and it does exactly what you’d expect.

Lenovo Vital Moto Mod (left) and Livermorium Slider Keyboard Moto Mod (right)

The Livermorium Moto Mod gives you access to a full QWERTY keyboard and a hinge that’ll let you tilt your phone’s display up to 60-degrees. It’ll be available this winter for $99, and the Lenovo Vital Moto Mod will launch in April for a whopping $395.

Also new for 2018 is a revival of the Transform the Smartphone Challenge. Starting now, January 9, through February 9, you can submit your idea for a Moto Mod that you’d like to see created. Doing so gives you the chance to get a free Moto Z smartphone and Moto Mod Development Kit, and the grand prize winner will be flown out to Chicago to pitch their Moto Mod idea to Motorola’s executive development team.

Kinda Blue Pixel 2 now available for non-Verizon customers

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Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/ZekWhE7B67A/keyboard-and-vital-tracking-moto-mods-launching-later-2018-0