Text search and voice search are so yesterday. Today Google unveiled Google Goggles, turns your camera into a search tool. Check out the video above. In a nutshell, it takes a picture of something, analyzes it, and returns search results. How it works, according to the Big G:
We first send the user's image to Google's datacenters
We then create signatures of objects in the image using computer vision algorithms
We then compare signatures against all other known items in our image recognition databases; and
We then figure out how many matches exist; and
We then return one or more search results, based on available meta data and ranking signals; and
We do all of this in just a few seconds
Google Goggles is in its infancy, and we're going to spend the rest of the day trying to use it on every random object in our basement (save for the bodies, naturally). This should be fun. You can download Goggles now in the Android Market for phones with Android 1.6 and above. [Google Mobile blog]
Looks like the Android 2.0.1 update is starting to roll out for the Verizon Droid, with word coming fast and furious from our fourms, BGR and Twitter. This one's mandatory, and you're going to want it. Here are the bullet points of what's coming in the ESD56 update:
Improved OS stability.
Improved battery life.
Camera's autofocus is improved, time between shots is reduced.
Three-way calling enhancements.
Incoming call quality is improved.
Speakerphone remains on when call waiting kicks in.
Better Bluetooth, background echo eliminated, improved phone book transfer of contacts to in-vehicle systems.
GPS icon will disappear after a GPS app is closed.
SMS and MMS messages can be received after an EMS message is received.
SMS and MMS can now go to seven-digit addresses.
Google contact merging supports seven-digit numbers.
You patient types should be able to sit back and let the update come to you. As for the rest of us, go to Settings>About Phone>System Updates and see if it's available. And sound off in in the comments once you get it.
Things are all cyclical, aren't they? First, T-Mobile was the early adopter and only supporter of Android, then Sprint stole the shine by releasing the HTC Hero, then Verizon took them all to town with the release and ad onslaught of the Motorola DROID. Now there's rumors flying around that point both the HTC Passion and Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10, two highly anticipated Android phones, to T-Mobile. If all true, once again, T-Mobile will be the carrier for Android devices.
Tmonews is hearing that the HTC Passion, the device with a 1GHz Snapdragon Processor and immense touchscreen, will be available on T-Mobile. The launch is targeted for January but we're not sure how the recent delay affects the release. There's little detail on anything else. Even though rumors are pointing to T-Mobile, we still wouldn't rule out a Verizon release just yet.
For the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10, we had originally pegged it as a future AT&T device but it looks like that has changed. AndroidGuys has a document floating around that lists the 1700 MHz band (the T-Mobile 3G specific band) on the XPERIA X10. Since, no other carrier uses 1700 MHz like T-Mobile does, it's rather safe to say that it's heading to Magenta.
If T-Mobile does pull this off and carry two flagship Android devices at once, it's going to be huge for the carrier's brand, growth, and future success. We're definitely excited to see T-Mobile get back in the mix at the high-end for Android, they definitely deserve it after investing and believing in Android before anyone else.
Hey, hey! Looks like the DROID Eris will be joining the cool kids soon enough. The DROID Eris is set to receive the Android 2.0 software update in early 2010 that'll bring the already compelling device to the forefront of the discussion. HTC Sense UI + Android 2.0? How do you top that? From Verizon:
"The Droid Eris currently using Android 1.5, can and will be upgraded to newer a Android operating system software in first quarter 2010. The enhancement will allow customers to continue to enjoy the powerful HTC Sense experience while also gaining the additional benefits of Google Maps Navigation."
We're unsure if the update will be Android 2.0 or 2.1. Either way, we know HTC is hard at work in delivering an update to their HTC Sense handsets and we're going to take this in thinking that the Sprint HTC Hero will be eventually updated to Android 2.0 around the same time.
Been on the fence about picking up an HTC Eris on Verizon? Here's something to sweeten the deal. Cellstores is offering the Android 1.5 phone on Verizon for free, whether you're opening a new line or upgrading a current one. There's also free shipping and free shipping. That's a whole lotta free. Head here to pick one up.
The wait for the infamous HTC Passion – the Taiwanese manufacturer's first Android 2.0 phone sporting a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen with multitouch (squee!) – may take a little longer than first believed.
"Market sources" apparently have said that the Passion (and that's likely just going to end up as the code name, btw) has been pushed back to "early 2010" so HTC can keep "working to further advance the software." When last we checked, the talk was that the Passion would be out by about now. Of course, what "early 2010" means is anybody's guess and really isn't that far-fetched a prediction, given that we only have three weeks or so left in 2009.
Also stated by this source is that HTC will announce the Espresso, the likely successor to the HTC Hero, at Mobile World Congress in February. That already has been stated by an HTC official, as well.
Say hello to your HTC Android devices for 2010. The Legend, Salsa, Tide, Buzz, and Bravo would like to meet you. After the recent leak of HTC's device codenames, we now have pictures and early specs to associate to those names. There's definitely a lot of exciting stuff coming from HTC and all these devices are currently targeted for release in the first half of 2010.
HTC has more or less split up their 2010 Android product lineup into three categories: social, design/lifestyle and performance (or as we call it, low, mid, and high). It looks like for 2010, HTC will introduce different form factors (front facing QWERTY candybar!) and new experiences. We're ridiculously excited.
Read on to see HTC's 2010 Android Smartphone Lineup!
OK, all you folks on iDEN (go ahead, raise your hands) who have patiently been waiting for an Android phone to come your way. Meet the (codename) Motorola Opus One. Certainly reminiscent of the Sprint Hero and MyTouch 3G in terms of design, though the quaint trackball his given way to mother of a home button. (Any takers whether that's some sort of optical trackball or click wheel?) No real specs to go on, so start the speculation. [via Boy Genius Report]
So we've seen the HTC Espresso codename leak. We've had an HTC exec say a follow-up to the Hero will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress. And now a leaked profile from the Espresso has emerged, showing a QWERTY keyboard device with 320x480 screen and the same processor found in the Hero and Magic.
Place your bets, folks. Something's coming down the pike. [Tweakers.net via BGR]
Google just announced that they've updated the Android SDK to 2.0.1 and will update all Android 2.0 devices (just the DROID for now) to Android 2.0.1 by the end of the year. It's a minor update in both name and form and has been expected for quite some time now. The 2.0.1 update will supposedly fix bugs and other glorious things, which is always a good thing. Supposedly, the OTA update that will hit the DROID will also include DROID-specific issues such as improving the camera's autofocus (much needed) and voice reception (was it even an issue?). We'll definitely let you guys know when the update is rolling out.
Now, uh, when can we officially get Android 2.0 (or 2.0.1 or 2.1) on other Android devices?
The Motorola Sholes Tablet that popped up a few days ago has reared its (rather ugly) head again. The Sholes Tablet is actually looking less like a tablet and more like just a smartphone but any way you spin it, that odd bump on the lower right corner is unshapely and just plain weird. Considering the hard angles and clean lines of the DROID, it's rather odd that Motorola would build such an awkwardly designed phone. And why is the order of the Android Buttons on the Sholes Tablet not consistent with the DROID? For reference, the DROID buttons go Back, Menu, Home, Search.
In any case, the Sholes Tablet might just hit China as the XT701 with Android 2.1, a 3.7-inch screen, FM Radio, HDMI port, and 5 megapixel camera. Unless the design gets cleaned up, we're thinking it's best to not release in the States to protect the good DROID name.
What do you guys think? Do you prefer the kinder, gentler DROID to this Sholes Tablet? Or is it just regular old DROID all the way?
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