Google held a session today hosted by Timothy Jordan, developer advocate on Project Glass on how to develop for the gadget, and while most of it focused on what developers can do right now with the available documentation and Mirror API which makes use of a tethered phone’s capabilities, Jordan also spoke briefly about Google’s upcoming GDK or Glass Developer Kit, which will be a native development framework for Glass hardware itself.
The GDK will be available at a later date, Jordan said, and didn’t get more specific, but it will allow developers to access a “handful of things” that they can’t currently do with the Mirror API. While the mirror handles 80 to 90 percent of what Google has found users want in a good Glass experience, there are things like offline tasks and access to hardware features like location that require a native API. Hence the GDK.
This will enable “immediate access to hardware” and Glass’s built-in capabilities, so that Glass developers will be able to build things like navigation apps on Glass itself, so you can find your way even if you’re not necessarily connected to the web.
The GDK is in development, and we’ll likely see it before Glass gets its big consumer debut, since it seems like this is a piece of the puzzle that could contribute significantly to the final user experience.
Here is the original post: Google Announces Native Glass Developer Kit, Will Be Able To Do More Than The Mirror API
Today Microsoft announced the next set of features that it will introduce to the Windows Phone platform. The update will ship on the Lumia 925, announced today, and will “start rolling out” to other Windows Phone 8 handsets this summer.
Its feature set, though Microsoft calls it “small,” has a number of key upgrades that should keep fans of the platform content. Up first: FM radio. Microsoft claims that it heard customer complaint, and thus has brought back the feature. A bit later than some might have liked, but it’s welcome all the same.
Also in the update will be the expansion of Data Sense to more carriers, and updates to Xbox Music to make music selection simpler, along with improved metadata accuracy.
Finally, and this is the feature that matters, the small update will contain support for Google’s sync protocols CalDAV and CarddDAV. This means that if you use a Windows Phone handset, you can keep using your full suite of Google mail, calendar, and contact services.
That’s big news for Windows Phone users, as Google had previously threatened to cut Windows Phone off as it dropped support for Exchange Active Sync, before Microsoft had built CalDAV and CarddDAV support for the platform. After a high-noon situation, Google relented, extending support a bit, granting Microsoft time to code.
To put the above update in context, we turn to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet. She calls the update GRD2, which is Microsoft-speak for the second ‘General Distribution Release.’ The first came last year, bringing messaging improvements.
However, what is interesting is that Microsoft’s ‘Blue’ update, according to Foley, isn’t even next in the docket:
The GDR2 update — which Microsoft officials never actually call GDR2 in today’s blog post — is coming “this summer.” GDR3 sounds like it may be timed to arrive this fall. And Windows Phone Blue is sounding from tipsters more and more like a 2014 release.
This is both good, and perhaps less good. Great that Microsoft has more updates in the pipelines. Less good as I frankly can’t wait to get my hands on Blue.
For now, Windows Phone 8 continues to better itself with improved code, and new handsets. Nokia’s second quarter Lumia sales will be the report card, of course.
While Defense Distributed, the Thingiverse for gun parts, has been working on a 3D-printed lower receiver for the AR-15 for some time now, they’ve finally announced that they’ve completed a real 3D-printed handgun called the Liberator. Made entirely out of 3D-printed ABS with the exclusion of a single nail used as the firing pin, it looks to be the fruition of DefDist’s mission to open source the gun-making process.
Forbes has an actual hands-on and has said that the founder, Cody Wilson, will release the open source plans on his site. It fires handgun rounds and can be modified to shoot different calibers.
They have also added a piece of steel so that the gun will be detectable by metal detectors, ensuring it complies with the Undetectable Firearms Act.
It’s hard to say how usable or how reliable this firearm will be, especially when ABS quality is iffy when it comes to various types of printers. However, with a good printer, good plastic, and a little luck this thing may not explode in your hand.
We’ll have more information as it emerges, but until then, get ready for some interesting discussions about gun rights this weekend.
View original post here: Defense Distributed Claims To Have Produced The First Fully 3D-Printable Pistol
Today at Disrupt NY 2013, Benchmark partner Bill Gurley shared an interesting fact about Uber. “Uber is growing faster than eBay did,” Gurley said. In 1997, Benchmark invested $6.7 million in eBay. It was worth more than $5 billion less than two years later. Benchmark is also an investor in Uber.
“Uber is probably the fastest growing company that we’ve ever had,” Gurley said. He insisted a lot on the quality of the product. If a company builds a good product, it will grow organically.
Benchmark took part in Uber’s Series A and Series B rounds of respectively $11 million and $37 million. Gurley seemed very satisfied with this investment and only had good things to say about the car company.
“The product is so good, there is no one spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing,” Gurley said. eBay and Uber are both consumer companies that have reached a lot of customers in a very short time.
It contrasts a lot with his comments about the past failures of the tech industry. “On the consumer side, the risk is what there was in the late 1990s, with too much money spent on marketing,” Gurley said.
A few days ago, New York finally decided that e-hail services would be able to operate in the city. Last year Uber launched UberX in New York, its e-hailing service on top of regular taxis. But the company had to kill its service because of legislation issues. Uber will now be able to enter the market again, with competition from Hailo, TaxiMagic and others.
View original post here: Benchmark’s Bill Gurley: “Uber Is Growing Faster Than eBay Did”
If you’re one who prefers not to be shoehorned into using Apple’s stock iOS applications, chances are you’ve dabbled a little in a number of third-party address book apps. Smartr is a particularly good one, while Cobook recently received an update to let users swap business cards.
Another one has hit our radar, going by the name of ReachFast, and it’s a worth your time. Oh, and it’s also free for its initial launch period, but will eventually switch to ‘paid’.
The app reels in your existing contacts from within the default iOS address book, so you’re good to go from the start.
ReachFast is all about taps, pulls and swipes – pull down on the main contacts menu, and you’re served with a search box to find a contact in your address book. And the more you use the app, the more you’ll have access to ‘tailored’ contact items – it learns who you call the most and gives you the first result as a top hit, and should also reduce the number of letters you type before finding your contact.
You can also ‘star’ particular contacts from within the app, and see a list of contacts at the top who you most recently, well, contacted.
It’s worth pointing out here that your favorites and ‘recents’ appear inline with your contacts, so there’s no need to switch tabs.
The app is a joy to use – swipe to the left on a particular contact gives you options to delete it, edit it or favorite it. Conversely, swipe right to send a message, or tap once to call.
To create a new contact, hit the big ‘+’ button at the top right, and you’re taken to a simple entry form.
To proceed to the next line in a new entry, swipe right on the keyboard, which will also automatically change the numberpad to a keyboard when moving from the Phone Number field to the First Name box.
If you need to go back to a previous line, you just swipe left on the keyboard instead.
The more details you have in for each contact, the easier it is to contact them via a specific means. So, below their name you’ll see a list which may include home number, work number, email address (home and/or work) and so on. You simply tap each option and you’re taken to the appropriate app to complete the action.
And ReachFast will also change the default contact field directly under the name to what you last used. So, if you send them an email, that will become the top option until you contact them via another means.
There’s also a settings menu which lets you customize the way information is presented. You can opt to show your contacts pictures, emails, sort by last name and more.
ReachFast is a pretty slick contacts app from a usability perspective, and while the look is certainly clean, some design aficionados may note that it could have a little more ‘shine’.
It’s also difficult not to compare this with Cobook, which we’ve previously covered. Cobook actually has more features, such as Twitter integration, but the fact that ReachFast lets you view contacts in chronological order in the same tab as your main contacts list, is enough of a differentiator.
ReachFast is available to download for free now for a limited time.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock
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Read the original here: ReachFast is a slick contacts app for iPhone