Apple, Google, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and the main US carriers have committed to implementing a cellphone "kill switch" on every new device made after July 2015, allowing owners to remotely wipe, lock, or brick their smartphone if lost or stolen. The agreement, dubbed the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment", will mean every participating vendor and carrier will offer an app for managing remote device security, and is intended to challenge the market for stolen phones.
As it has been for the past several years, Google has reported a quarter in which they’re growing substantially. One of the more interesting things to have happened to the company in the first quarter of 2014 - also Google’s financial first quarter - is the sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group Limited. As such, the company began their presentation this week with a note on how they’ll be handling Motorola’s profits and losses from here until the final sale of the group.
Over the past several days it’s become apparent that Google’s next big release - Project Ara - is one aimed for a $50 price point. The idea that you’d be able to buy a $50 smartphone is pretty exciting - but it’s not that simple. In fact, not only is the $50 price point not set for consumers, but the device that’ll come with a point anywhere near that amount of cash will be so extremely basic, you’ll consider it a Feature Phone.
While Microsoft isn’t quite ready to release Cortana to the desktop world, they’re letting it be known that they’re more than happy to spread the personalization love. With Cortana you get a collection of features aimed directly at you, grown from your recorded interests, contacts, and so forth. With Bing’s new homepage, you’re getting a series of cards with similar information being tapped.
While we’re not attempting to suggest that the Android version of Chrome Remote Desktop is perfect right off the bat, it is pretty excellent that we’re already able to launch Titanfall. This app is very similar to what we’ve seen with the Chrome version of the app, allowing you to connect your computers with an internet window. Here we’re allowed to control our computers from anywhere with a mobile device as well.
The LG G3 has been tipped and detailed by several anonymous sources. It’s time for the Tyrant King to return, this time to one of the last major manufacturers to adopt the royal color for smartphones - unless you count the golden LG G2, of course. With the LG G3, it’s suggested that the first "major" smartphone manufacturer will bring on a 2560 x 1440 display, this just after the Oppo 7.
In its continued quest to separate out each app from its operating system master, Google has released Google Camera for Android. Much like Motorola released the Motorola Camera app for Motorola devices last year, Google aims to separate this app in order to make updates easier.
Did you know that you have a camera on the front of your smartphone? The folks behind the app Frontback know you do, and they’re aiming to bring the app - already a hit on iOS (per usual) - to Android. This app takes a photo with your phone’s back-facing camera, another photo with your phone’s front-facing camera, then attaches the two for a single tall photo you can share.
HTC is allowing developers to tap into its depth data from the twin cameras on the HTC One M8 smartphone, releasing the Dual Lens SDK that Google has already relied upon to make the Google Play edition of the flagship. The SDK Preview allows access to the depth information the second lens on the back of the One M8 grabs with each shot, and will initially allow for bokeh-style refocusing and HTC's pseudo-3D DimensionPlus manipulation in third-party apps.