Developer packages created within Google Project Soli will be available already this year.

 

Google Project Soli is a technology that using a miniature radar to detect touchless gesture interactions. The application of such technology is extremely wide. A few examples of how it can be used are smartwatches, gaming consoles, laptops, and smart home appliances.

 

The main part of Soli is a tiny radar that detects 1mm shift in the object’s position. That resolution is more than enough to detect hand and finger gestures in a precise manner. Additionally, it does not require much power.

 

In its current state, a silicon chip that encloses Soli radar is only 8 x 10mm. There are no moving parts. Soli works equally well regardless of lighting conditions. Moreover, the product can detect motion through various materials. So in comparison to camera-based motion sensors, Soli does not have to “see” the gestures – potentially you can control a device with such technology without getting your device out of the pocket.

 

The appearance of the development packages will allow developers outside Google start implementation of this technology into various commercial products.  It is expected that Soli will be extremely popular among VR technologies, smart devices, automobile production, and gaming segment.

Microsoft announced that distribution of updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 running on the latest processors, Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen, is now terminated. It also concerns systems based on ARM architecture, Qualcomm 8996 and later.

 

The decision does not come as a surprise, as Microsoft announced the move repetitively. Already in January 2016, Microsoft stated in the official blog that new processors would be fully supported only in Windows 10, while support for previous versions of OS would be limited. Microsoft honestly tried to deliver the statement to the public and reposted the article in August 2016.

 

From words to actions, and rather harsh ones. Systems with new processors simply do not run the scan in the update centre in Windows 7 and 8.1 and receive the error message when the update is attempted manually. Naturally, no updates or even drivers are downloaded. From Microsoft’s point of view, the decision is justified. Windows 7 was released in 2009, Windows 8.1 – 2013. Obviously, none of those systems was developed taking technologies of 2017 into account.

 

However, through our London laptop repair service, we have been warning the users that Windows 7 is already running on the extended support (mainstream was ceased in 2015), which will end in three years.

 

Almost every parent who visited Bits and PCs, London Mac and laptop repair service, asked us how can they have more control over their child’s use of laptops and smartphones. Well, Google is about to present a solution for smartphone users.

In order to ease parents’ life, Google is developing a new feature to control children’s use of their Android devices, phones and tablets. The feature is called Family Link. To enable it, a parent has to create a new Google account for his child through their own account and then enter corresponding details into a device that parent wants to control.

 

After this simple configuration, parent gains a limited control over child’s device. They can choose to block and prevent from downloading certain applications on the smartphone. Additionally, they can see statistics of usage of all apps on the phone on the weekly or monthly basis. Parents can set up a schedule to lock device during the night, so the child goes to bed in time, or, alternatively, set up an amount of hours the child can use the device for during the day.

 

At the moment the app only available in the US, only through invitations, and only for those parents whose children are under 13. The feature is still under development but will be publicly available soon.

 

Google Photos is one of the most useful, though not very popular apps of the technological giant. It allows you to keep photos in the cloud (that occupies your Google Drive space unless you are a fortunate Pixel owner with infinite cloud storage) and use intelligent search engines to find the one you need. Additionally, it has a decent photo editor built in, and quite recently it got a new feature.

Google Photos has a few features in its toolbox. You can crop and rotate the images, adjust exposure and colours. The app keeps the original copy intact, so after hours of experimenting, you know that you can always change your mind.

Lately, a new feature was added, white balance control. The pictures that are too yellow or blue can be corrected with a single click, but for those who requires more precise adjustments manual settings are available.

Currently, the new feature is available only in web- and Android versions of the app. The Android version is in the process of distribution at the moment, so don’t panic if it is not available on your device yet. However, Apple users won’t be overlooked, and these features will arrive on their devices in the near future.

For those who would like to know more about the functionality of Google Photos, a simple 6-step guide was provided.