Splay is a new user interface that either replaces or complements the existing home menu of a device, and it has been successfully ported to Android OS.
It’s a free level menu system and a launcher that offers a wide variety of options to a user with the use of a single thumb. There are four categories under the interface’s main menu: Apps, Diary, Media, and Phone, and laying a thumb on any expands a sub-menu where a user can choose a sub-category and then an app to play or tinker with.
A previous menu is recalled by sliding the thumb to the right or the main menu by dragging it to a blank portion. This used to be part of the First Else phone made by Emblaze but the phone’s release remains uncertain for now, thus the decision to integrate Splay on Android devices. There’s a lot of refining needed though and apps integration is being sought.
The Splay Launcher has a minimal interface and provides intuitive navigation as well as smooth transitions. For the downside, a force-close occasionally occurs, no tweaks have been provided and the launcher may curtail certain lists (songs, call logs, etc.). However, its integration with the Android elements such as calendar and photo albums is exceptional. Download it now for free on Google Play.
If you’ve ever seen Tomorrow Never Dies, you’ll know this is cool. Remember the scene where Bond gets out his phone, controls his BMW remotely to get away from the bad guys before sending it flying off a building into the Avis rent-a-car below?
That’s what some Russians can potentially do with a much less glamourous Opel Vectra, and a third gen iPad. Announced on their blog (via MacRumors), they modded the Vectra to control all the key aspects of it via the iPad, allowing complete remote control.
From their blog:
Control through internet will be added a little bit later, when it becomes warmer, since the weather turned out to be the main problem. While doing tests outside, I froze like a dog. Besides, the tablet screen quickly becomes wet and fingers numb and lose sensitivity, making tapping on the screen more difficult. Also, in the street it’s difficult to see clearly the picture from the rear view mirror – the screen brightness is not sufficient. Plus the windshield is quickly covered with snow.
Internet control would be completely awesomely unbelievable, and extremely dangerous. In fact, considering the reputation Russians have for driving, it’s dangerous enough without internet, and in the middle of nowhere.
I find it quite funny that the name of the region where they are from could be the same as their reaction when they crash it: Oblast!
China’s technology ministry has published a document in which it says Google’s Android operating system has too much control over the Chinese market. Could this be an indication the government plans to impose extra regulations on the OS?
The white paper, which was publicized by local media on Tuesday, said that China’s “core technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.” As noted by Reuters, it accuses the industry of being “too dependent on Android.”
The document goes on to suggest that Google has discriminated against some Chinese handset makers by being slow to share open-source code for the Android platform. Google has been accused of using commercial agreements to block the business development of mobile devices from Chinese manufacturers.
The Chinese government is never reluctant to regulate where it can to help domestic firms. The white paper could be an indication the government will step in to assist the local companies it feels Google has discriminated against.
The paper had nothing but praise for local companies including Huawei, Baidu, and Alibaba, which have released their own mobile operating systems.
iPhone battery case maker Mophie has shared with the New York Times some of the actions Apple takes to ensure that it locks down its Lightning connector.
In order to only allow authorized connectors to connect to new iPhone and iPad models, Apple includes a serialized authentication chip in the connectors it sells to companies in its “Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad” or MFi program. If a company sells those Lightning connectors to another company, Apple can determine that it came from a particular MFi member.
“If you took this apart and put it in another product and Apple got a hold of it, they’d be able to see it’s from Mophie’s batch of Lightning connectors,” said Ross Howe, vice president of marketing for Mophie.
Mr. Howe said that while the chip in the Lightning connector can be reverse-engineered, it probably wouldn’t work as well as an original. And also there’s a possibility that Apple could issue software updates that would disable Lightning products that didn’t use official Apple chips.
Apple wants to ensure that users have the best experience possible when purchasing accessories, and tries to do so by only allowing approved 3rd-party accessories to be used with Apple products. The strategy does have a side-effect of higher prices, as Apple requires manufacturers to pay licensing fees to be part of the MFi program. However, there are companies, such as Amazon, that have introduced Lightning connector accessories that are lower in price.
Pixel Film Studios, the production company and creator of popular Final Cut Pro X plug-ins, transitions, and effects has released ProCutX, a new iPad app that allows you to control Final Cut Pro X with your iPad.
From the app website, via MacRumors:
PROCUTX breaks free from the menus and tabs to streamline editor tasks. This application gives users control over all the FCPX editing tools in one clean interface, eliminating the need for clicking and searching through the Final Cut Pro X menus. From import to export, PROCUTX can control every step of the FCPX editing process.
The app represents a virtual representation of high-end film editing consoles used by professional editors to edit big budget Hollywood blockbusters. It allows the user to quickly and easily edit footage without the use of a mouse and keyboard. The app is streamlined and optimized for both Final Cut Pro X and the iPad.
- Precision Timeline Scrubbing
- Quick Retiming
- Auto-Correct Color
- Color Grading
- Compound Clip Editing
- Import, Export, and Rendering shortcuts
- Quick Keywording
- Fast access to Tools
- System Volume Control
- Timeline Zooming
- Audio Enhancements
- Record Voiceovers
ProCutX is now available for the iPad in the App Store – $ 24.99. [Direct Link]