iPhone-equipped New Yorkers now have something to do outside this summer besides defend their devices from thieves and sweat to death in this heat. Ingress, an augmented reality game popular in urban areas and previously available only on Android, is now officially available on iOS devices.
Ingress uses geomapping to transform real urban landscapes into a playing field that gets players moving around their city, fighting over portals and collecting resources — a smartphone game that’s played entirely IRL. The game’s sci-fi backstory, which involves an invading alien force that opposing teams of players either welcome or resist, evolves and grows constantly depending how well the real-life teams are doing.
Did you think restoring your phone to factory setting meant deleting each and every torrid midnight sext you’ve ever sent or received? So did we, don’t feel bad. But a Czech Republic-based security firm has proven that dick pics and sundry nude photos are actually not that hard to recover from a wiped Android.
The Read More
Apples and Androids
Some great firsts live on in history forever. The images of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. The first words spoken after the first nuclear test: “Now we’re all sons of bitches.” And now, Google has made its great contribution to human triumph with the first game for your smartwatch.
And it’s a clone of Flappy Bird.
In the war between iOS and Android, there are a few things we know: iPhone users are big spenders, live in more affluent neighborhoods and are vastly outnumbered by their Android counterparts. But now, we also intimate knowledge of their reading habits, which shows us more about their personalities than anything we’ve seen so far.
Oyster, the Netflix for books, released a study of their readers this morning, comparing the reading habits of iOS users with the Android users that have signed up since their recent Android release and redesign. Oyster told Betabeat that they pulled from their entire user database for the study.
Rise of the Drones
We already know there’s an app for pretty much everything. Now, we’re also seeing an influx of smart devices that are not only assisting humans, but are also keeping them in check.
New gadgets such as smart kitchen scales and computer-assisted driving systems pick up our human slack and even override our capabilities.
An App for That
Do you ever feel frustrated that you can’t keep tabs on your significant other at all times? Nervous that everyone is hanging out without you? Curious about what the heck your neighbors are doing over there?
Thankfully, there’s a Pocket Drone currently being funded on Kickstarter that will solve these problems and more. It only takes 20 seconds to unpack and launch. Then, you can load it up with any video camera you own, as long as the payload is less than half a pound. Hit record and you’re off, creating surveillance footage of everyone you know.
Get ready to be wowed by the power of modern technology to solve very minor pain points: TechCrunch reports that a company called Cover has just raised a $1.7 million seed investment from First Round Capital. Designed explicitly for Android by former Googlers, it’s an app that customizes your lock screen with the apps you’re most likely to want at any given time and place.
The app is like a Google Now for your mobile OS, serving up Google Maps when you’re in the car but Netflix when you’re hungover in bed. TechCrunch breathlessly reports that, “Cover’s ‘Peek’ feature is the fastest way to open apps I’ve ever seen. Start pulling an app icon to the right and the lockscreen slides away to reveal the app’s innards as if it was open all along.”
Hat tricks The newly launched Hatmatic site does for hats what Converse did for me in ninth grade – it lets users meticulously design every part of their own hats. But it’s also a crowdfunding platform so people can “tip their hat” (a.k.a. vote) for their favorite designs to get a limited run. If a design manages to get 36 hat tips within 72 hours, it’ll go into production. And since they’re partnered with New Era, you know you’re getting some sweet headgear. But that also means that, right now, Hatmatic is limited to the MLB logos they’ve licensed. Hope you like baseball teams in technicolor.
With all that head nodding and inexplicable talking to an inanimate object, controlling Google Glass can conjure up some suspicious looks from people around you. Now there’s an app for Android-powered phones that covertly controls Glass for you so you don’t look like a total cyborg.
Brooklyn Tech Triangle welcomes new startups As New York gears up to overtake Silicon Valley in the quest for total tech domination, NYU-Poly and the New York City Economic Development Corporation have announced plans to develop a 10,000 square foot tech incubator for startups. Nestled within the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the Clean Technology Entrepreneur Center will support 20 innovative startups “focused on solving urban challenges of sustainability, energy and resilience,” according to a statement. It’s set to open this fall on the 19th floor of 15 MetroTech.