For those unaware, CES is currently taking place all week long. CES being the Consumer Electronics Show. Everything you see there is something that'll eventually be available in stores online or offline near you.
Some items are very much hits in the making and others are so miss-worthy as to make you wonder who thought it up and why couldn't you get paid the millions they likely did to also think of crap that sucks. I know, I've had similar thoughts myself in the past few years with some of the items I've seen unveiled at CES.
That said, there may or may not be a usual Wednesday Android Update post this week cause of CES. So much stuff drops or is leaked early and it's just a mess to try and keep up with it all. Regardless, I'll try and do a post this week of Android related CES goodies. As well as one potentially at the end of the day (around 5 PM or so) collecting the highlights of any given day.
So yeah, just wanted to put you all on notice. One day I will go to CES, much like one day I will go to Google IO. I swear it by Grabthar's hammer!
While this list is by no means complete here are some of the goodies I've seen announced so far today.
Google Cast for Audio!
I don't need to explain this one in depth, by this point we all have at least a passing familiarity with Google's Chromecast. This is the same thing but for audio. You'll basically be able to purchase Google Cast ready speakers (from Sony, LG and Denon initially) and stream audio to it (Deezer, Google Play Music, i HeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn and others). Nothing more, nothing less.
I kind of wish I'd known this was coming, since I recently had to purchase new speakers for my desktop computer/TV setup I have in my room. I went with a Logitech setup, more specifically the Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z506 which I managed to snag from Best Buy while on sale. So I paid like $50 for a $100 setup. In my room it sounds phenomenal and the first thing I did was jam out to Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age.
Fucking kickass song!
You might recognize that song from the GTO unveiling scene in Triple X. "Yuri, you're alright." "Da. Everything is alright with enough vodka." Word, Yuri. Word. Also... Ravioli. (That's an in joke that'll be lost on all of you I guarantee it. Cracks me up though and one day I'll explain it. Today is not that day though.)
SanDisk Ultra USB Drive 3.0
SanDisk has updated their microUSB to USB tiny drives to USB 3.0! Score! If you want some quick additional storage for your Android devices and they don't have microSD card slots and they do support USB OTG (on-the-go) storage reading then this is the next best thing to a microSD card slot.
Load up your stuff on the tiny USB and then flip the cap or end and plug it into your Android device. Voila! More storage, although you're going to want to limit what you put on there to media for entertainment purposes. Tunes, shows, movies. Things like that.
Seagate announces new wireless hard drive (with Chromecast support!)
For $130 you can (soon) purchase a 500 gig hard drive that has a built in power supply and WiFi, which means you can throw your stuff on this bad boy instead (which has a lot more storage capacity over the SanDisk Ultra drive) and use it mostly the same way. The added benefit is that you'll have Chromecast support with this!
Using the Seagate Media app you'll be able to access all your stuff (and play it) and enable the Chromecast functionality. Not having this device or the app itself, just looking at the app in the Play Store screenshots I must say it looks very aesthetically pleasing to my very discerning eye.
This will be hitting shelves in February, so keep an eye out for it. It actually looks surprisingly slick too and you'll definitely want to pick one up when it comes out solely for that reason (have you seen the previous models, yuck).
LG G Flex 2
This is one of those let's see how people like this devices. I must say since it first debuted I've been beyond intrigued by this device and it seems so have many others, to the point that they offered feedback and LG in a very surprising and awesome turn of events listened to consumers.
If you're unfamiliar with the phone, this is the one with the self-healing back, which if scratched magically heals itself and has a slight curve to the design (so you can put it in your pocket). It has been updated so that the back now heals itself within 3 seconds (as opposed to 1-2 minutes over the previous iteration) in most temperatures. That is just so kickass! You no longer have to worry about the usual wear and tear to the back of your device.
They've updated the device in every way possible that matters (making it faster and better overall) and also sized it down a bit.
For those who know and care, this is the first phone to be announced by a major OEM which will have the new Snapdragon 810 processor (which is a beast).
Here are the specs for those who care about specifics.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 2.0GHz 64-bit Octa-Core CPU
- Display: 5.5-inch Full HD Curved P-OLED (1080 x 1920 pixels / 403 ppi)
- Memory: 16/32MB eMMC ROM / 2GB DDR4 RAM / microSD slot (up to 2TB)
- Camera: Rear 13.0MP with OIS+ with Laser Auto Focus / Front 2.1MP
- Battery: 3,000mAh (embedded)
- Operating System: Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Size: 149.1 x 75.3 x 7.1-9.4mm
- Weight: 152g
- Network: 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart Ready (Apt-X) 4.1, NFC, SlimPort, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0
- Color: Platinum Silver, Flamenco Red
- Other: Gesture Shot, Gesture View, Glance View etc.
Google's "Works with Nest" gets more support
Google bought Nest, the smart thermostat for your home, and recently introduced Google Now support for it. You could tell your phone to set the temperature and it'd do so. Right now I wish I had a Nest thermostat so I could do that. It's fucking cold down here! It was 37 degrees when I woke up! That's like freezing! [He says only exaggerating a little, because he's a South Texan and people aren't meant to live in such conditions.]
I'm just gonna add the screenshot from Nest's page on the matter so you can see for yourself what's coming and how it'll work.
Do I need this? No. Do I want it? Yes! I want Nest, that Kwikset Kevo and the Philips Hue setup! (Lights randomly die in my room and I'd love to be able to turn the lights on before I've even set foot in the house. Not having to manually unlock my door, since I recently adopted a stray who lives outside and loves trying to trip me as I struggle to make it inside the house, would be a godsend.)
Suffice it to say that Nest has come a long way since it first debuted and it's great to see more things connecting in the home. I don't care if Google's involved! I for one know what I'm getting myself into and if it means Google can make my life a little easier then they can harvest all my data and sell it to advertisers. (It's not like I don't have means of avoiding Google if I so choose. Hell, ProtonMail just recently notified me that my account was ready for activation. Encrypted Swiss email, baby! Besides, I'm not an idiot. I know the government is sneaky, but I'm sneakier and going off the grid is something I can and have done plenty of times in my life.)
Eso es todo!
That is all! Man, I hope I wrote that correctly. I so seldom get to practice writing in Spanish, speaking it I have down (even if I TexMex the shit out of it growing up the way I did in South Texas). Writing it though? I haven't done that since I graduated from high school a little over a decade ago. Fuck, I feel old now.