One of the great things about "smartphones" is that they are awfully hard to lose. In fact, there are countless apps that will help locate your phone from Timbuktu to Tippecanoe County. (And oh, how many times have I wished I could call my keys or wallet to find them?) However, if your ringer is on mute, finding it when it's wedged down in the couch cushions requires a keen ear for the buzz of vibrate mode.
Confirming an earlier rumor, Apple announced heavy integration between iOS and cars during its WWDC 2013 keynote.
Details were sketchy at the keynote, but Apple Vice President Eddy Cue said that Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Hyundai, Kia, and Infiniti, among others, were integrating more features from iOS into their cars, making maps and iMessages available on a car's LCD.
Currently, many cars include integration with iOS music functions, letting drivers plug their iOS devices into a car's USB, then see and select music from the car's LCD.
A presentation photo at the keynote showed a mock-up of … Read more
Almost every new BMW model will come with an integrated SIM card, enabling a dedicated data connection into the car. BMW also announced this week that it would release an Android version of its Connected app, currently only available on iOS, this summer.
This week's announcement comes as part of a larger reorganization of the connected components of BMW's iDrive cabin electronics.
As we saw in BMW 750Li, recently reviewed by CNET, the automaker currently includes music coming in through satellite radio, traffic data delivered as an FM radio signal, the BMW Online service, and the BMW Connected … Read more
At the Telematics Detroit Conference today, QNX pulled the wraps off of a new version 2.1 of its QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment.
The new QNX platform builds on the provider's telematics and infotainment architecture to enable developers to adapt Android apps for use in the car and to create apps and interfaces based on the Qt 5 application framework. This builds on the CAR Platform's previous support for HTML5 and OpenGL ES standards, giving mobile developers an assortment of widely supported tools to build software for your next car.
The new version of the QNX CAR … Read more
Looking for parking in city often leads to endless driving in circles, wasting gasoline, and polluting the air, and can lead many to reconsider their evening plans. But this is exactly the problem being targeted by new technology on both the automaker and infrastructure side.
Audi just announced the first parking assistance system, linking its built-in navigation system to the growing amount of information available from parking garages.
According to Pom Malhotra, director of connected vehicles for Audi, the new parking service will work seamlessly with the navigation system of Audi models equipped with Audi Connect. When an Audi owner … Read more
Skype (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)--the free VoIP app that lets you voice- or video-chat with other Skype users across the world--has become an ubiquitous tool for everyone from grandmas and grandkids to multinational corporations.
Now, the VoIP software ventures into the realm of interior design, with a "Cool My Couch" photo contest that promises the winner a free couch and Skype-enabled TV. To enter, simply submit a photo of your couch along with a caption explaining why you deserve to win. That's it.
The photo contest is open to all U.S. residents who are members … Read more
Google continues to revamp the appearance of many of its services, this time turning its redecorating eye on Gmail.
The company unveiled on Wednesday the new look and automatic labels for Gmail on the Web, as well as in Gmail's Android and iOS apps.
The new default categories, based on Gmail's existing Label system, are Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. They appear as large tabs on the Gmail site, easy to use for touch screens and fully customizable. You can also drag-and-drop messages between them, and Google will automatically "learn" how you want them filtered. … Read more
Award-winning journalist Om Malik leveraged years of tech and business media experience -- senior editor at Forbes.com, senior writer at "Red Herring" and later "Business 2.0," and contributor to "The Wall Street Journal," "The Economist," and "MIT Technology Review" -- to found leading indie tech blog GigaOM, back in 2006.
Offering news and opinion on startups, social media, cloud computing, mobile gadgets, and of course, software, Malik's CNET Blog 100-recognized Web magazine has since spawned numerous conferences such as GigaOM Structure (cloud computing and Internet infrastructure), GigaOM … Read more
Mercedes-Benz announced it would demonstrate Google local search, Street View, and traffic integrated into the dashboard of one of its vehicles during Google I/O. These features will be introduced soon as part of Mercedes-Benz's DriveStyle app.
Local search will let drivers enter any term to begin a search, resulting in a list of nearby place names. Each entry can be selected as a destination for navigation. The Street View feature will let the driver see a 360-degree view of any destination, as long as Google has covered it.
Traffic data is similar to what can be found on … Read more
At Tesla's sunny headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., I asked CTO JB Straubel when to expect the next model upgrade for the Model S. He quickly dismissed the automaker cliche of updates based on model years, saying that Tesla would release new features for the Model S as his team finished creating them.
One of the Model S' great strengths, beyond its zero emissions, minimal running costs, excellent driving character, and luxury appointments, is that Tesla can deliver over-the-air updates to its cabin electronics.
And those updates can be very extensive, as the Model S features few hard controls. … Read more