Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Google drops Instant Search to unify mobile and desktop queries

More than half of all Google searches happen on mobile, so it makes sense that Google would want to unify the way results are displayed across all devices. While you’ll still be able to see search suggestions, the results below won’t update until you click on Enter or a result, says SearchEngineLand.

“We launched Google Instant back in 2010 with the goal to provide users with the information they need as quickly as possible, even as they typed their searches on desktop devices,” a Google spokesperson told Engadget in an email. “Since then, many more of our searches happen on mobile, with very different input and interaction and screen constraints. With this in mind, we have decided to remove Google Instant, so we can focus on ways to make Search even faster and more fluid on all devices.”

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/26/google-drops-instant-search-unify-mobile-and-desktop/

UK to ban sales of fossil fuel cars by 2040

There have been hopes that officials would charge fees for driving in specific areas (such as London’s planned zero emission zone) or institute pollution-oriented taxes, but the government wants to avoid measures that could be interpreted as punishing drivers.

Not everyone is happy with the plans. Greenpeace tells the Guardian that this plan is “miles away” from achieving its goal of rapidly cutting pollution. There need to be clean air zones, and more funding to tackle local pollution. The sales cutoff certainly won’t address car-based pollution in the short term — you won’t have incentives to ditch your car before 2040, and you could keep driving your vehicle for a while longer than that.

Still, it’s a big step. The UK is one of the world’s most important car markets, and a fossil fuel car ban there will dictate what automakers around the world do with their lineups. This won’t be particularly difficult for British brands like Aston Martin and Jaguar, some of which are already moving toward electric cars, but they will have to say goodbye to a lot of their engine work within two decades. The automotive landscape was already going to change with the rise of EVs, to be clear — the UK is just giving it a big nudge in that direction.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/26/uk-to-ban-fossil-fuel-cars-by-2040/

Adobe accidentally released its cloud-based photo editor

Nimbus isn’t exactly Lightroom, though it apparently uses some of the same tools, including those for basic light and color adjustments, refraction, brush and gradient correction. Nimbus also standard options, like copy and paste, a way to see the original photo easily and a histogram display. What sets the cloud app apart, though, is that the photos and the modifications are both stored in the cloud, which obviates any need to sync photos and rely on your Lightroom installs having the same setups. The cloud-based editing app reportedly has an automatic image tagging system, too. Both of these features are similar to those in Apple’s iCloud Photo Library.

According to the screenshots, Adobe’s upcoming app, with a beta due this year, also seems to have a non-destructive workflow, letting you edit your images without worrying about losing the initial image. The interface is closer to the iPad version of Lightroom, reports MacGeneration, and seems to includs 1TB of cloud storage — quite a bit more than the standard 20GB that current Creative Cloud users have access to.

An Adobe spokesperson sent us the following statement. “We mistakenly shared Project Nimbus with a small group of Adobe Creative Cloud customers. As you will recall from MAX in October 2016, Project Nimbus is next-generation photo editing technology that we have been exploring as part of our Lightroom and Photoshop ecosystems. We cannot share any further details at this time but will keep you posted on future developments.”

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/25/adobe-accidentally-released-cloud-photo-editor/

TiVo’s voice-controlled Bluetooth remote has a Netflix button

The TiVo peanut-style remote has only changed slightly over the years, but ZatzNotFunny points out that a new revision is close to release. Labeled S6V, this Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connected remote popped up in FCC filings, while a clearer image appeared in an earlier leak along with a trademark for TiVo Bolt Vox and TiVo Mini Vox. TiVo will hardly be the first company to put a microphone inside its remote, as the Apple TV control is built around Siri and even Comcast has a version already available. The manual included in the filing describes a two-button pairing process with the TiVo and back buttons, for the company’s first Bluetooth unit since the TiVo Slide keyboard-equipped remote.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/25/tivo-voice-remote-bluetooth-fcc/

Roomba maker iRobot plans to sell digital maps of your home

The CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, tells Reuters that the “smart” home lighting, thermostats and security cameras currently on the market are all still pretty dumb when it comes to knowing what your home layout is. “There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” Angle told Reuters. He also said that his company is working to sell the data in the next few years. Amazon’s Alexa can already control some Wi-Fi enabled models of the floor-cleaning robots; it makes sense that the company is looking for new ways to stay connected. We can only guess what a company like Apple could do with the data; asking Siri where in the house you left your Macbook isn’t too far-fetched.

Still, sharing a detailed map of your home raises some privacy concerns. While iRobot’s Angle promises that users will need to give their consent for the data to be shared, he shares no details on how it would work and whether it will be opt-in or opt-out. In addition, it’s believable that some consumers won’t like the idea of iRobot selling their data to other companies who don’t have the same commitment to user data security. We’ve reached out to iRobot for comment on this matter and will update the post when we hear back.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/24/roomba-irobot-sell-digital-maps-home/

Nanomaterial charges everyday batteries in seconds

If you want a battery that charges in seconds rather than hours, you go for a supercapacitor. There are some catches to that, though: either you give up the long-lasting energy of a chemical battery (like the lithium pack in your phone) or have to resort to exotic storage tech to get a long lifespan. Drexel researchers think they have a better balance. They’ve developed electrodes based on a nanomaterial, MXene, that promise extremely quick charging times for chemical batteries. The near-2D design combines an oxide-metal ‘sandwich’ with hydrogel to create a structure that’s extremely conductive, but still lets ions move freely as the battery builds up a charge. In the lab’s design, you can charge MXene electrodes within “tens of milliseconds” — you could top up a phone in seconds or an electric car in minutes.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/24/nanomaterial-charges-everyday-batteries-in-seconds/