Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Helio reborn, but probably should’ve stayed dead

Helio reborn, but probably should’ve stayed dead

Helio has been resurrected from the grave, with the short-lived network that helped usher in social on your phone being reborn as a budget option. Emerging as an MVNO - and using the Sprint network that actually absorbed the company back in 2010 - the promise is no minimum contracts and the ability to use your own device. At first glance, there's a lot to like: $29 for unlimited voice, text, and data, but in one important way the deal is a little too close to cell service ten years ago.

Continue Reading

For surprise hit Tangerine, iPhone the movie camera of choice

For surprise hit Tangerine, iPhone the movie camera of choice

Necessity is the mother of invention, but moviegoers were still astonished to hear that unexpected Sundance 2015 hit Tangerine was filmed entirely on iPhone. The high-energy, sharply comic, but also touching film wasn’t the first to rely on Apple’s smartphone, but with a theatrical release this week it’s perhaps the highest-profile. After an early screening in San Francisco, I sat down with Tangerine’s writer/director Sean Baker and co-screenwriter Chris Bergoch to find out how the iPhone helped shape a movie that at times can be as challenging to watch as it is rewarding.

Continue Reading

This HoloLens engineer ditched Microsoft to make AR apps

This HoloLens engineer ditched Microsoft to make AR apps

Microsoft's HoloLens has its first app studio, with an engineer formerly working on the augmented reality headset placing his bets on holographic computing. Object Theory was co-founded by Michael Hoffman, who left Microsoft this year after having been responsible for HoloLens' showcase experiences such as the NASA "OnSight" partnership, and Raven Zachary, who originally set up iPhoneDevCamp back in 2007. The vote of AR support comes on the heels of Microsoft itself offering universities a share of a $500,000 bounty if they begin developing for HoloLens.

Continue Reading

Apple co-designing 3rd party boxes to match its style

Apple co-designing 3rd party boxes to match its style

Apple's minimalistic approach to its packaging is legendary, but that light hand on styling may end up a requirement if accessories want to join Apple Store shelves. The Cupertino firm's spartan approach has already inspired many third-party accessory makers, but new leaks suggest Apple has gone so far as to work with those manufacturers over the past six months to bring their box art in line with official products, thus making the stores more harmonious.

Continue Reading

Facebook pop-out video panders to split-attention

Facebook pop-out video panders to split-attention

Facebook has quietly added a pop-out video player to the News Feed, allowing users of the social network to keep one eye on playback while still browsing through posts. The feature sees a new button appear in the Facebook video player which, when clicked, detaches it from the post and allows it instead to be dragged around the screen, much in the same way that Samsung and others have supported picture-in-picture playback on smartphones and tablets.

Continue Reading

Microsoft Tossup makes app out of lunch choice overload

Microsoft Tossup makes app out of lunch choice overload

Microsoft may be busy working on Windows 10, but that hasn't stopped it pushing out a new app, Tossup, intended to make organizing meet-ups with friends less painful. The app, out for Android and iOS today, allows a group to make suggestions for venue, activity, and more, and then collectively vote to figure out the most popular option. However, while Microsoft might be framing Tossup around social gatherings today, in reality is has far broader potential applications.

Continue Reading

Xbox Music renamed Groove for Windows 10

Xbox Music renamed Groove for Windows 10

Microsoft has rebranded Xbox Music for Windows 10, with its new app dubbed Groove, while Xbox Video has also shed its gaming connection. Windows 10's place for video will now be known as Movies & TV, something the company says will make it "more identifiable for our broad customer base." Initially, the changes will be applied to Microsoft's new OS when it hits PCs at the end of the month, but the company says eventually apps on all platforms will be brought in line.

Continue Reading

HoloLens courts academics to give AR a serious spin

HoloLens courts academics to give AR a serious spin

HoloLens might be fun as an augmented reality gimmick, but Microsoft clearly knows that without software the fancy headset will die in short order. The company has put a call out among academics to come up with potential applications for holographic computing, whether that be novel teaching methods, building art installations that bridge the real and the virtual, or new opportunities to get inside big data. To sweeten the proposal, meanwhile, Microsoft is looking to hand out ten HoloLens prototypes and a total of $500,000 among five universities.

Continue Reading

Self-driving cabs could slash emissions 90%

Self-driving cabs could slash emissions 90%

Autonomous taxis could have a huge impact on environmental emissions, with new research suggesting cuts of as much as 90-percent versus private ownership. Although self-driving projects have for the most part focused on the safety and convenience handing over the wheel to a computer would allow, the team at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory looked instead to per-mile greenhouse gas emissions. The potential for greener driving, they discovered, was far greater when a smarter taxi system could take into account just how many people they'd need to be transporting.

Continue Reading

Christian Facebook clone preaches love the social, hate the sin

Christian Facebook clone preaches love the social, hate the sin

A social network focused on serving the needs of evangelical Christians, complete with an "Amen" button instead of "Like", is promising to oust the sin from Facebook. FaceGlória, currently only available in Portuguese, was set up earlier this month, billed as a "clean virtual environment" in which Christian values will be observed. As a result, in addition to barring anything related to violence, sex, or LGBT issues, there's a long list of no-go words.

Continue Reading