Yes, Google hates lag on smartphones as much as you do -- enough so that the search giant has a robot dedicated to spotting that delay between your finger input and what happens on screen. Meet the Chrome TouchBot, an OptoFidelity-made machine that gauges the touchscreen latency on Android and Chrome OS devices. As you can see in the clip below, the bot's artificial digit pokes, prods and swipes the display in a series of web-based tests (which you can try yourself) that help pinpoint problems in both code and hardware. This isn't the only gadget monitoring device lag at Google, but it could be the most important given how much the company's software revolves around touch. Don't be surprised if this automaton boosts the responsiveness of Mountain View's future platforms.
Before long, you won't have to choose between charging your phone quickly and plunking it on a convenient wireless charger. The Wireless Power Consortium has rolled out a new version of the Qi standard that supports 15W fast wireless charging, much like the sort we saw late last year. The organization isn't making any performance claims at the moment, and it'll be a while before phone makers have compatible devices on store shelves. However, it's safe to say that this will save you some agonizing wait times -- you could return home from work, drop your phone on a pad and expect to have a meaningful amount of energy when you head out for the evening.
[Image credit: Aaron Yoo, Flickr]
Source: Wireless Power Consortium (PDF)
Not a fan of the iPhone 6's less-than-flattering antenna lines? Neither is Apple, apparently. The company has filed for a patent on a composite material that looks like anodized metal, but still allows wireless signals to get through. You'd get a cleaner-looking phone (or computer, or tablet) without watching your reception take a nosedive. It could be used to blend other surfaces into a device, too, such as the trackpad on a laptop.
Pour one out for the OG iPad Mini, as Apple has just removed it from its website and online store, 9to5Mac reports. It proved Apple could effectively build a smaller tablet, though its low-resolution (1024 by 768) display doesn't hold a candle to the sharp Retina screens we're used to today. And with the iPad Mini 2 at $299 (and no shortage of deals available), there simply wasn't any room for the older tablet on the market. Now Apple is only promoting the iPad Mini 2 and 3 online. And given the $100 price difference between those two tablets, as well as the fact that they sport the same hardware (aside from Touch ID on the iPad Mini 3), we recommend snapping up the iPad Mini 2 for now. By dumping the original iPad Mini, Apple now has a fully 64-bit lineup of iPads, which should make life easier for developers moving forward.
[Photo credit:Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Dig Transistor's blend of hack-and-slash action, role-playing elements, and sci-fi storytelling? You no longer have to sit down in front of your console or PC to give a shot. Supergiant Games has released Transistor as a universal app for both iPhones and iPads, so you can carry on the adventures of Red and her giant, intelligent sword when you're on the move. The mobile title has a new touch-oriented control scheme, although there's also an optional "Classic Controls" option if you'd prefer gamepad-like input. There's no mention of an Android version, but we wouldn't count on one when Bastion hasn't received an Android port so far.
Don't like having to wrestle with pop-up ads and similar intrusions when you're browsing the web on your iPhone? You might not have to when iOS 9 rolls around. Apple has quietly let slip that the operating system's version of Safari includes support for content blocking extensions, much like its Mac counterpart -- in other words, it can block ads. You only have to install an app with the right Safari extensions to make cookies, images, scripts and other unwanted material disappear. It's not certain how Apple will police apps with these add-ons, but it's feasible that at least some ad blockers will get approval.
Microsoft's Surface Hub will do for tablet computers what Crocodile Dundee once did for knives -- that is, it will show us how puny the ones we use every day really are. Microsoft's massive new tablet isn't meant to be a consumer device, of course, and it's being targeted straight at the enterprise market. The device has an 84-inch diagonal and it will cost $20,000, which should put it out of reach of the average PC user.
Apple began distributing fourth beta of iOS 8.4 to its developers on Wednesday that includes a permanent solution to the recently discovered "shutdown bug." This programming glitch causes an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to automatically reboot when a string of mixed alphanumeric and arabic characters are texted to the device. And since the issue revolves around how iOS' banner notifications handle unicode, the bug also affects third party messaging apps like Snapchat and Twitter. iOS 8.4 is expected to be out of beta and available to the general public by the end of the month, likely just before the release of Apple Music on June 30th. Until then, users can refer to this Apple Support document for a temporary workaround.
We've known that PlayStation Vue would hit iPad sooner or later and now Sony's TV streaming service finally has. PlayStation Vue Mobile's available in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia (the same cities the service launched in earlier this year) at the moment, and it's basically the same as what's on your PS4 in terms of functionality. So, video on demand, live TV and access to your favorite shows and channels as long as you're in one of the three aforementioned cities. You still need a PS4 to sign up, of course, and blackout restrictions can occasionally block streaming, just like we've seen with Sling TV. Usually, that means sporting events blacked out for various reasons, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
Apple's upcoming mobile platform apparently comes with a new app called "Move to iOS" that wirelessly transfers data from Android devices to iPhones and iPads. It was curiously skipped over during the company's WWDC keynote earlier, but Daring Fireball points it out buried underneath all the new features on the iOS 9 preview page. The page doesn't go into details, but "Move to iOS" will presumably be available on the Play Store, so you can download it on an Android device -- right next to Apple's other upcoming Android app -- to enable wireless transfer.
Via: Daring Fireball