Like a band with too few hit singles, the European Union is resorting to playing the classics over and over again. The bloc has, like clockwork, tabled a proposal for legislators to think about maybe possibly having a debate about if it's worth creating a common charging standard. This has happened more than a few times before, as it pushed micro-USB as a voluntary standard in 2009 and tried to pass it into law in 2014. And it started this process again in January 2020, although some world-shattering event got in the way of that process. The new proposal would require that "all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles" would use USB-C for charging.
Using a raised eyebrow or smile, people with speech or physical disabilities can now operate their Android-powered smartphones hands-free, Google said Thursday. Two new tools put machine learning and front-facing cameras on smartphones to work detecting face and eye movements. Users can scan their phone screen and select a task by smiling, raising eyebrows, opening their mouth or looking to the left, right or up. "To make Android more accessible for everyone, we're launching new tools that make it easier to control your phone and communicate using facial gestures," Google said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 61 million adults in the United States live with disabilities, which has pushed Google and rivals Apple and Microsoft to make products and services more accessible to them.
The imperative to improve smartphone use for people with limited motor capabilities has resulted in some truly cool -- and hopefully helpful -- new features. Thursday, Google announced an expansion of its accessibility settings as well as a new app that will let people navigate their phones with facial gestures. The feature within the Android Accessibility Suite is called Camera Switches. Previously, Google let users who could not navigate phones with the touchscreens connect a manual switch device that let them scroll and select. Now, the new "switch" is an Android phone's camera and a person's face.
Google on Thursday began rolling out new Android capabilities designed to help users with speech and motor impairments navigate their devices and communicate with others. The new features were among about a dozen updates to the mobile operating system just announced. The new tools, called Camera Switches and Project Activate, use an Android phone's front-facing camera and machine learning to detect face and eye gestures. They effectively turn a front-facing camera into a switch -- an adaptive tool that replaces a keyboard, mouse or touchscreen functions. Camera Switches is a feature within the Android Accessibility suite that lets users navigate their phone with eye movements and facial gestures.
If your pics aren't quite as sharp or clear as you'd like them to be, you probably wish something existed that could fix that via artificial intelligence (AI). After all, not everybody is a top-tier photo editor with access to top-tier photo editing software. Thankfully, it's the 2020s, and you have access to plenty of easy photo editing applications not named Adobe Photoshop, if you know where to look. And even better: you don't even have to look, because we did that for you. Here are five apps that can enhance your photos with AI.
Google is updating critical features for the millions of drivers who depend on its technology to help them get around. The tech giant announced the upcoming changes Thursday to Google Assistant and Android Auto driving modes and a new automaker, Honda, will have Google technology installed in its vehicles. Google said that drivers using Google Assistant on Android phones will soon see a new dashboard they say will reduce "the need to fiddle with your phone while also making sure you stay focused on the road." Instead of scrolling while driving, Google said drivers could tap to see who just called or sent a text and have access to several apps to listen to music with the new dashboard. The dashboard will also include a new messaging update where drivers can say, "Hey Google, turn on auto-read," to hear their new messages read aloud when they come in and respond by voice.
Google has introduced quite a lengthy list of Android features, including new accessibility tools for the mobile OS that rely on eye and facial gestures. Starting this week, users will see a new addition to the Android Accessibility Suite that can turn a phone's front-facing camera into a switch. Aptly called Camera Switch, the tool replaces keyboards, mice and touchscreen displays as a device's input method. With the feature, users will be able to navigate their phones with eye movements or with facial features, such as smiling or opening and closing their mouths. The tech giant started beta testing it in August, but it's now giving the feature a wider rollout. The tech giant has also launched a new application called Project Activate specifically for those don't speak or have neurological conditions.
One of the most widely used terms around technology in recent years is Artificial Intelligence or AI. The word AI gets thrown around every now and then especially at smartphone launches and other tech events. This is mainly because AI has made its way into our lives in more than just one way. Right from clicking a good picture on your phone to suppressing background noise while you're in an online meeting, AI plays a major role in improving the end-user experience. To understand more about AI and its influence on mobile technology, XDA's sister site Pocketnow had a detailed conversation with Qualcomm.
There are more features and tricks hiding in your Mac or PC than most people will ever know. You can do even more if you know the right software to download. If you're relying on your computer's built-in spell check to catch all your grammar mistakes, for example, it's time to upgrade. Here are five stellar options to make you sound smarter. I have used one for 223 weeks straight.