All posts on August, 2016


Lenovo will ditch hard keyboards in planned Chromebook and 2-in-1s

Lenovo’s new Yoga Book will be a sleek folding laptop with stunning secrets inside.

Opening up the device reveals a big surprise: It has no hard keyboard. The keyboard area instead has a versatile touch panel that turns into a smartphone-like virtual keyboard, a draw pad, or a digital notepad.

The new touch input panel, which has a back-lit virtual keyboard, is a big deal for Lenovo. It will be featured in a new line of 2-and-1s and laptops and is Lenovo’s ambitious attempt to break a decades-old habit of using one-dimensional hard keyboards.

The Yoga Book will be the company’s first product with a touch panel replacing a hard keyboard to type, draw, or take notes. Its price will start at US$499, and come with Windows or Android. Lenovo hasn’t provided a shipment date for the device.

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Lenovo adds Google Daydream products to its roadmap

Lenovo is joining Google’s fledgling effort to bring virtual reality to the masses with new devices planned for the Daydream hardware and software platform.

Google’s Daydream brings virtual reality to users via mobile devices. Users can fit Daydream-compatible Android smartphones in VR headsets to roam 3D worlds, interact with friends and view streaming movies.

“We have some Daydream products on the roadmap,” Jeff Meredith, general manager and vice president of Lenovo’s Android and Chrome Computing Business Group, said in an interview.

Meredith didn’t elaborate on details, but the products will likely be a smartphone and a VR headset. Google has strict rules on which smartphones and headsets qualify for Daydream, which is based on Android 7.0.

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Google lets Android users search in their apps

Don’t you hate it when you can’t find that piece of info you know is buried in one of your apps?

If you’re an Android user, Google is going to help you with that.

The company announced Wednesday the launch of Apps, a new search mode designed to enable users to search for information in the apps on their Android phones.

“We use apps to call friends, send messages or listen to music. But sometimes, it’s hard to find exactly what you’re looking for,” Timo Mertens, a Google product manager, wrote in a blog post. “Now searching your personal results happens entirely on your phone, so you can search even when you’re not connected to WiFi or cellular data. Only you can see your personal results, and you can control what apps appear by going to Settings within the Google app.”

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Asus may be planning Microsoft HoloLens competitor in its VR push

Virtual reality headsets are considered the hot new PC devices, and Asus is planning to stake a claim of its own. 

Asus on Wednesday said it intends to release VR headsets. VR headsets can be versatile 3D PCs that make 2D laptops and desktops look pale in comparison, Asus said at the IFA trade show in Berlin.

“Asus has a few VR options coming up really soon. Once that happens, you will be free from devices and immersed in 360 degrees of pure entertainment that will blow you away,” said Jen Chuang, Asus’ design center director.

Asus didn’t provide further details, but the company seems to want to focus on untethered VR headsets, or perhaps even mixed-reality headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens. It could tap into a few technologies to do so.

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Dropbox changes passwords after 68M account records were compromised

Dropbox’s move last week to ask users who had signed up before mid-2012 to change their account passwords followed the discovery of a large dump of email addresses and passwords related to these accounts.

The online storage company confirmed late Tuesday reports that 68 million user email addresses and hashed and salted passwords from an incident in 2012 had been compromised.

Dropbox said that the password reset the company completed last week covered all of the affected users so that the Dropbox accounts are protected.

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