Google’s first AR-capable Tango phone, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, now available

lenovo phab2 pro google tango 002
Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, the first smartphone to be injected with Google’s augmented reality service, Tango, is now available for purchase for $500.

Tango, you may or may not recall, is what Google calls a “computer vision technology platform built for mobile devices.” In practical terms, it is a depth-sensing lens that allows smartphones, tablets, and VR headsets to measure their surroundings. In tandem with a supported processor, Tango modules can map a room in multiple dimensions simultaneously. The result is a more advanced form of augmented reality than what you see in Pokémon Go.

That is a boon for VR: Tango applications are spatially aware, meaning a handset user or headset wearer can interact with, for example, the walls of a room in ways that are impossible with stationary hardware like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and Daydream.

Tango has been under development within Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects lab since 2014, and the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is the first phone with the tech to hit the consumer market. At 6.4 inches, it is quantifiably a phablet, but we were impressed by its thinness and lightness when Lenovo demoed the device at the company’s Tech World expo. Lenovo said its Tango sensors are capable of sub-inch accuracy, a degree of accuracy demonstrated with digital dominos mapped to real-life surroundings.

Google established an incubator to accelerate the advancement of Tango applications, and has purportedly experimented with various means of “sharing” content among other Tango-enabled smartphones and tablets.

“Over the last few months, we have worked closely with app developers to create a wide variety of smartphone-based augmented reality apps,” writes Justin Quimby, senior product manager for Tango. “Our app incubator program supported a wide range of developers — from Crayola Color Blaster to Ghostly Mansions — to create new ways to do more, play more and explore more with your phone.”

Google says there are more than 35 Tango-enabled apps and games, and the search giant believes soon consumers will insist on buying a Tango-equipped phone in the same manner that they now insist on buying GPS-equipped smartphones. More Tango-enabled devices will be available in the coming year.

Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Mobile

Google rolls out Night Sight to Pixel 3 and 3 XL camera app

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Android Army

Android battery life too short? Try using dark mode, Google says

Google confirmed at the 2018 Android Dev Summit that using dark mode will help extend an Android smartphone's battery life. Google also admitted its mistake of pushing for the usage of white in previous Material Design initiatives.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…