Google Document Hints at Upcoming OS for Cars

In the latest Android Compatibility Definition Document, or CDD, Google included details of the requirements for usage of a previously unseen implementation of Android, Android Automotive.

Interestingly, Google already has an app in place to use Android on compatible cars, Android Auto. However, Android Auto is just an app that can be installed on another Android device, allowing it to screencast to the car’s screen via USB, like connecting a laptop to an external monitor. As this runs on an existing Android platform, it would have no place in the CDD, as it would have all the same compatibilities and requirements as the Android OS hosting it.

This draws the conclusion that Android Automotive is a version of the Android OS that would run directly on the cars hardware and be installed from the factory by the manufacturer. Additionally, its presence in the CDD hints that there would also be a version of the Google Play store and other apps designed specifically to run on car hardware. If this is true, it would make Android Automotive the fourth version of Android, after Android for phone and tablet, Android TV and Android Wear.

This raises the question of whether Android Automotive will simply be an extension of the Android Auto app, adapted to run natively on the car, which certain sections of the CDD seem to support, requiring on a software home button, much like Android Auto. It’s not like Android running on a car is anything new, but most cars running Android on their dashboard systems use far from up-to-date versions of the OS, raising security concerns. In order for Android to offer a truly viable car offering, certain issues that have continually plagued the popular mobile OS such as start up times would have to be tackled, and maybe Google have taken so long to offer an official car OS to address them.

So, are you ready for your car to become as smart as your phone?

Image via

Rockstar Banning Users of FOV Mod in GTA V!

Grant Theft Auto V has been with us for a couple of weeks now and while many of us are quite happy tearing around the gameworld, both online and offline, some users have been working hard to mod the game within an inch of its life. However, there is one mod that is causing quite a stir and Rockstar seem more upset than anyone, even going as far as to ban users who have been using it!

The issue surround the games FOV mod, while this is OK for the single-player campaign, it’s not something Rockstar wants people using in the cames online component, as it could give you an unfair advantage over your enemies.

Enhancing your peripheral vision is great, but if it comes at the cost of a two-week ban, possibly even more if you repeat the offence, it may not be worth it and it’s certainly something to take into consideration before you apply the mod, or any other mod, while playing the game online.

Rockstar is sending the following email to suspect players:

Have you been enjoying GTA V on PC? Here are some mods that you can enjoy in the games single player component; Play as Los Santos Police and Animal Appocalypse

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

Musk: New Tesla Product Line to Be Unveiled on April 30th

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla took to Twitter today to say that the car company will be unveiling its new product line. The new product line will not be a car and will unveil the new line at its Hawthorne Design Studio on Thursday April 30th, at 8pm.

That is all that was offered as a teaser, and it has many wondering if this means that it will be showing the new stationary battery pack that is designed to power an entire home. Last month Musk said that Tesla was nearing the launch of that product so this is very likely what it will end up being. Though as The Verge stated “But this is Tesla and Elon Musk we’re talking about, so the chance of a different, unforeseen surprise is always there”, something that is very true.

Source: The Verge

Android Auto is Ready, Here’s an Expensive Radio to Prove it

So Android Auto, Google’s answer to Apple’s Carplay is finally ready for consumers to buy. It’s been around 9 months since the announcement back in 2014, so all the non-Apple-Fan-People can have a responsive OS in their car. It has all the typical support that you would expect from Android, Maps, calls, music and even text, but into a larger, car-friendly interface. The technology behind this is sort of similar to Samsung’s “S-Beam” where you can ‘beam’ the information from your phone to another applicable screen and then use that new screen to control it.

Car manufacturers aren’t known for their amazing technological implementation speeds, it may take many months before cars start appearing with this as a standard feature. However, some manufacturers promise some existing 2015 models may accept Android Auto through a firmware upgrade. Now just because you have that 2014 Ford Fiesta doesn’t mean you can’t have Android Auto, Pioneer has announced 3 new head units, starting at $700, that will support Android Auto; I’ll just stick to my carputer thanks.

Thank you ArsTechnica for this information.

GTA V for PC Delayed Again!

Rockstar Games has announced that the release of Grand Theft Auto V for the PC will be delayed again, this time until April 14th. The developer also announced today that Online Heists will now be coming to the console versions on March 10th.

This news marks the third delay to the PC port of the game, sparking anger amongst many PC gamers who have been holding out for it. It’s especially annoying considering the fact that the game was released for consoles back in September 2013 – 17 months ago.

GTAV for PC will be arriving on April 14th at retail and as a digital download. Our apologies to PC gamers worldwide who have been counting down the days until the launch of the game, but a bit more time is needed to ensure that the game is as polished as possible, and to make certain that both Heists and the GTA Online experience are ready to roll out on day one for PC. As a gesture of thanks for your understanding, we will grant anyone who has pre-ordered the game an additional $200,000 in-game cash for use in GTA Online. Rockstar Games

The question now of course, will this be the last delay?

Source: Polygon

The Bolt, Chevrolet’s Claim to Green Fame

Electric vehicles (EVs) are slowly becoming the norm in today’s society. It all started off with the hybrid Toyota Prius back in the late 2000’s, but now it seems every manufacturer and their brother makes EVs or at least a hybrid. The newest kid on the block is Chevrolet with the “Bolt”. This particular model is to directly compete against Tesla and their future commercially affordable “Model 3”.

Chevrolet first presented this at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was brought as a concept, but Alan Batey, president of GM North America, states that the interest from the public has convinced them to bring the car into production with estimated launch of 2017.

Details are still a little thin on the ground, but released figures show the car will sell for around $30,000 and have a plentiful range of around 200 miles on a single charge; much better than the BMW i3 which would also be in the running for the EV town car title.

Chevrolet is not only looking at producing possibly one of the greenest cars to date, but production will also take place at on of the most economical production plants; based at GM’s Orion Assembly near Detroit, powered by gas from nearby landfills and boosted by a 350 kW solar array.

Full details on the Bolt can be found here.

Thanks to Chevrolet for providing this information

Watch: GTA Bird Stunt Montage

We’re all used to stunt montages from GTA, but not bird stunt montages. It was with the ‘enhanced’ version of GTA V on the PS4 and Xbox One that Rockstar included the ability to play as a bird and it seems that one YouTuber has really taken that under his wing.

In this video, 8-bit Bastard on YouTube shows us through a number of hair-raising (for birds) stunts. Plus, there’s some of the more everyday bird activities, such as riding the roof of a train.

Source: Kotaku

GTA V Without Textures is Art

A lot of things get pushed off as art these days. Splattered paint, piles of rubbish, famous paintings in raw data, just to name a few. But what about GTA V without any textures? Is that really ‘art’?

Maybe more so than the others in that list. These images consist of screenshots of Los Santos from GTA V without any textures. Artist Kim Laughton had the idea and her shots are now part of the Monadigital exhibition Flanetrie in China.

The images offer a unique view of the city formed of abstract shapes.

See more of the piece, titled los_santos.obj here.

Source: Gizmodo 

Watch Some Old People ‘Play’ GTA V

There’s a lot of these videos nowadays. Kids, teens and old people get sat in front of a game, piece of old or new technology, an outrageous YouTube video, or pretty much anything else that’ll get an interesting reaction, and they’re just asked to say what they think about it.

Well this time, the latest ‘REACT’ video features a bunch of elderly people attempting to get Michael De Santa to walk. There’s more to it obviously, but a lot of it is just about getting him to walk.

See it and their hilarious reactions for yourself in the video bellow.

Source: REACT on YouTube

Watch: Star Wars Trailer in GTA V – Without Mods

Someone attempted to recreate the Star Wars trailer in GTA V. Now of course, without making any modifications to the game, you’d think that would be a pretty difficult task.

Well Powerlight-13 on YouTube didn’t think so and rather creatively reproduced the entire trailer using only in-game characters and vehicles. It all comes together quite well, but we’ll leave you to decide whether the plane at the end bears any resemblance to the Millennium Falcon.

Source: Kotaku

New Tesla to be Released With Gull Wing Doors – Model X

Tesla Model X reservation holders have just been informed that their brand new SUV’s will begin production in early 2015.

In the email, Tesla also confirmed the futuristic-looking gull wing door design:

“We’re pleased to confirm that the falcon wing doors will be a defining feature of this exceptional car. Not only do these doors look amazing, but they also make getting in and out of the Model X so much easier than would a conventional front-hinged door. You can even do it standing up.”

While some other car manufacturers are quite often guilty of creating outlandish designs with extra features in their concept models, then under-delivering on production models – Tesla has the history of delivering the goods on their released product. This has been shown previously with their Tesla Model S and now with their Model X’s featured gull wing doors.

Tesla went on to explain:

“We can confirm that all-wheel drive will come standard for Model X, and you’ll have the option to add a third row of seats to carry more passengers. You’ll also be able to fold down the second and third rows to create a flat platform for storage. When it comes to charging and long distance drives, Model X will be able to take full advantage of our rapidly growing Supercharger network.”

These features all make for quite an exceptional fully electric automobile.

Unfortunately there is no confirmed shipment date for the final product but Tesla confirming there will be more information released in the coming months.

For more information on Tesla and their new Model X, check out their website.

Photo courtesy of Tech Crunch

 

Steam Weekend Deal – 29/3/13

Steam has gained quite a reputation for amazing gaming deals, and that trend seems set to continue with this latest batch of titles that are set to empty your wallet. Interestingly it seems they are feeding off the recent(ish) news about GTA V and are offering Grand Theft Auto IV & Episodes From Liberty City at a very low price of only £7.49.

If you are stuck for something to do this weekend, your ideal solution could be right there, what is more fun than out running the police or just getting your arrest rating up while driving around in a tank? Personally that is my kind of Sunday night.

What if you don’t feel like blowing up stuff in such a “Well, this is silly” kind of way? It seems that they’re offering you a chance to get into the cloak and daggers way of killing people with the most recent Hitman: Absolution. With a huge 75% off, it is at the small time price of £4.99. Now when you get a game for less than a fiver you must question it, but I feel that there is little to regret in buying a game that has been only on the shelves for less than six months and is now offered at a pretty decent price for what you are getting.

Believe me, you are getting enough for your money if not double! That game offers a lot of re-play ability and can be perfect for that weekend of boredom with the family around for Easter. Also, if you are a Planetside 2 player, you will notice that the fast expanding First Person MMO is now doing a Double Station Cash Weekend and that will last until Sunday 11:30PM  PDT, which is 7:30am for those in the UK on Monday Morning. All in all, it seems that Easter is looking up!