Apple Maps has, as promised, come a long way since its disastrous beta days, but it's still not great, lacking public transit directions, bike directions, and offline maps, and still getting things wrong sometimes (or jeopardizing national security). We've been waiting for Google's replacement Google Maps app for iOS, but there might be a third competitor: Nokia.
Speck is a company that makes cases for smartphones and tablets and things like that. Their stuff is fine. But what's not fine is the company's new ad campaign, in which the noble Venn diagram is sullied. Sullied! Look at that ad! That is incorrect!
Half a dozen palm-sized, plastic gadgets lie scattered across the desk in Aydogan Ozcan’s UCLA office. Each device is a different type of low-cost medical diagnostic tool. Several of them contain a lens-free microscope of Ozcan’s own invention. And all of them rely on the powers of the cellphone. “If you add up all the architecture at the back of a cellphone—electronics, optics, software, connectivity—it holds phenomenal promise for use as a platform,” he says.
New flagship smartphones, if they're good, and the just-announced Nokia Lumia 920 looks very good, are 95 percent boring stuff and 5 percent actually interesting stuff. The Lumia 920 has a giant (sigh) screen, fast LTE 4G, a better camera, a screen with an elaborate name full of symbols (PureView ClearBlack+*+ technology!), faster processor, a new version of its OS (the excellent and under-appreciated Windows Phone), all that kinda stuff. But that's expected.
Lots of tech writers hated the Samsung Galaxy Note, a massive 5.3-inch-screened Android smartphone. So, this is probably definitive proof that absolutely nobody cares what we think, because the Note sold (sold! Not just shipped!) over 10 million units, and the new version is even bigger at 5.5 inches. It has the usual processor and OS version upgrades, and some UI tricks like hovering the stylus over icons to show options. No word on 4G LTE inclusion, or whether it will accept regulation-sized skateboard trucks. [All Things D]
“The smartphone in your pocket has more computing power than the spacecraft that took the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon,” says anyone trying to impress anyone else with the massive scaling of computing power over the last few decades. Perhaps taking a clue from this cocktail party trivia, NASA is now developing spacecraft powered by commercial smartphones.
Connected cameras aren't new--hell, there have been connected SD cards for like five years--but this is a bit of a departure for Nikon. The Coolpix S800c is a 16MP point-and-shoot with a big 3.5-inch touchscreen, which will be used to navigate a full copy of Android Gingerbread, with Wi-Fi and GPS and apps and all that. We've yet to actually use it, but it has some interesting possibilities, especially for mobile uploading to Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else. It'll cost $350 when it's released in November, which our friends at PopPhoto note is $50 cheaper than the 64GB iPod Touch. [Pop Photo]
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.