We’ve heard of satellite phones before, but never one quite like this: a UK firm plans to launch an Android-based smartphone into orbit later this year, using it to control a 30-centimenter long microsatellite and to snap images of the Earth with its built-in camera. The effort, led by a team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford, UK, wants to see just how well smartphones can function in the hostile environs of space.
The wrapper just came off Google’s newest version of Maps for Android (launching soon), and it looks pretty slick. Separating the refreshed Maps 5.0 for Android from its predecessor: faster map loading, an iPhone-like function that spins the map according to the phone’s compass, and an offline mode. And did we mention that maps are in 3-D?
It's not often that one phone can cram in as many buzzwords as the Sprint HTC Evo 4G. Next-gen 4G network speed? Check. One-gigahertz processor? Yup. Google Android 2.1? Of course. That phrase so oft-repeated--iPhone killer? Well, at least an exceedingly capably alternative... Yes, when Sprint and HTC unveiled their handset earlier today it was hard not to take notice.
When we saw the Motorola Cliq and the way it married all your contacts simply in one place (a la the Palm Pre), we finally saw the light at the end of the Android tunnel. This morning, that light got even brighter with Android 2.0--the next iteration of Google's mobile software.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.