A patent filing from Apple has sparked rumors of a new, low-profile keyboard. Designed with perforated keys, the input device would provide its end-user with tactile feedback by forcing air through the perforations in the key-tops. According to a report by Patently Apple, the “Advanced Keyboard Feedback System” will pair the punctured keys with a pressure and proximity sensor. When a user’s finger is detected to be just above the key in question, a light stream of air will be emitted to provide pre-press feedback. “As a twist to this patent, Apple goes on to describe that flowing of air could also be implemented in a virtual keyboard, wherein each key location is merely a defined region on a solid surface, where contact with that surface region will generate a defined input signal,” reads the report. The implication there being that Apple could include this technology on touchscreen devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The problem Apple is trying to solve is delivering adequate input-feedback on low-profile keyboards while continuing to make thinner and lighter keyboards usually, feedback is provided by the downward travel of a depressed key. Apple is known for patenting dozens of technologies that never make it on to mainstream products; it is unclear if this filing falls into that category as well.
We’ve just scored some hands-on time with Samsung’s latest Android tablet, the new and improved Galaxy Tab 10.1. Officially unveiled at Mobile World Congress, the device was re-announced with new and improved specifications at CTIA in March. The tablet that we fondled is a “Limited Edition” Tab, complete with a white alien-engraved backing made just
Google’s top-brass got up on stage following this morning’s keynote for a quick Q&A session that we definitely had to check out. Want to know what Andy Rubin and company had to say about today’s announcements? Hit the jump to read find out!
During the company’s I/O keynote today, Google announced a new and powerful accessory design kit (ADK) that aims to merge the physical and digital worlds. Using the ADK and a hardware interface, developers can allow digital devices to manipulate physical objects. To illustrate this point, Google constructed a two-ton labyrinth right on the show floor. Using the gyroscope on a Motorola XOOM tablet, conference goers were able to try their hand at manipulating a bowling ball through the over-sized maze. Other potential uses for the technology ranges from turning lights and appliances on and off to providing physical alerts for digital events why have your phone make an audible alert when it could move or manipulate a physical object in your home or office? The possibilities are endless, but this giant board was just too cool to not share. Hit the jump to watch a video of the big boy in action.
Blog SemiAccurate has published an interesting article stating that Apple intends to move its desktop and laptop computer systems from the Intel x86 architecture to ARM-based architecture in the semi-near future. “The short story is that Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible,” reads the posting. “With A15/Eagle allowing more than 32-bit memory access, things look up, but it seems silly to do so before the full 64 bit cores come in the following generation. [...] Think mid-2013. At that point, Apple can move to ARM without worrying about obsoleting code with an ISA [instruction set architecture] that is on the verge of changing, and no memory overhead worries either.” Apple’s iOS line of products are powered by ARM silicon. The publication cites “moles” as the source of the information moles that have provided accurate intel (pun intended) about Apple’s manufacturing component choices in the past. Will Apple shift desktop architectures yet again? Will we get to see more commercials featuring barbecued moon men? Time will tell.
CyanogenMod is one of the most popular custom Android ROMs currently available. With a wide rang of supported devices, and active developer community, the Android enhancement gets a fair number of installs. Just how many installs, you ask? CyanogenMod has published statistics for its most recent build CyanogenMod 7 and the numbers are quite impressive. Version 7 has been installed 217,894 times at time of article writing. Nearly 45% of those installs occurred in the U.S. and Sweden, with Norway, Finland, and the U.K. rounding out the top five installers. A pretty impressive feat. Congrats to the CyanogenMod development community!
Microsoft is aiming to assuage the pains of mobile application developers looking to migrate their iOS applications from Apple’s mobile operating system to Windows Phone. “Launched today, the iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool helps developers find their way around when they discover the Windows Phone platform,” writes Microsoft in a blog post. “Think of the API mapping tool as being like a translation dictionary.” The tool will allow iOS developers to easily find the equivalent API calls, classes, methods, and notification events in C#, as well as download working bits of sample code. “Don t expect a mapping for all of the APIs, simply because the platforms are built upon different architectures and user interfaces,” the post continues. “For this first round we focused on identifying the one-to-one mapping when it exists. In the following versions we ll expand the scope and anytime the concepts are similar enough, we ll do our best to provide the appropriate guidance.” Microsoft’s tool can be found here.
It looks as though Google may be testing a voice search feature for its desktop search homepage. According to blog Search Engine Roundtable, several users have begun seeing the oh-so-familiar microphone icon in the search box on google.com we can confirm that we have seen it on our Google home page as well. The icon will look extremely familiar to those Android users out there, as voice search has been an operating system staple for nearly a year now. No word on when/if this feature will roll out to the masses.
It looks like Nexus One owners have started to receive Google’s latest Android update, version 2.3.4. The software bump brings Gtalk voice and video-chat capabilities to the Nexus One’s younger cousin, the Nexus S, but will not unfortunately be bringing any of those features to the original Nexus. It looks like owners of the search giant’s original “pure Google” handset will have to be content with smaller bug fixes and tweaks. The manual download link for the latest iteration of Gingerbread is after the break.
Earlier today, Research In Motion announced its intentions to bring its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) its mobile device security and administration services to both Android and iOS. Through its acquisition of ubitexx, the Canadian company is looking to expand the portfolio of mobile devices its BES solution supports. “The single web-based console is being designed to provide IT administrators with a simple and efficient way to distribute software and manage policies, inventory, security and services for BlackBerry devices, as well as other mobile devices,” reads the press release. “IT administrators will be able to manage devices over-the-air, including activating devices, distributing software and applications, locking or wiping devices, enforcing and resetting device passwords, setting IT policies, and managing optional mobile applications for end users. Certain features are expected to remain exclusive to BlackBerry devices because such capabilities are built into the design of a device s operating system.” The new solution should be available “later this year.” Hit the jump for the full release.