Tech Updates: Samsung Smart Watch, Minuum Keyboard, Jackery Giveaway & Grumpy Toad

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Here’s what I talked about this morning:

Maybe it’s time for Google to think about re-naming it’s Street View product. It started out as a way to see real 360 degree imagery of streets, but has expanded into much more. Now the company had added major mountaintops to the list. You can explore Kilimanjaro, Everest and more.

Grumpy Toad

Grumpy Toad (imgur)

Move over Grumpy Cat! The newest meme is all about Grumpy Toad.

Samsung is apparently developing a smart watch of it’s own. An executive told Bloomberg that “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long.” No word on features, available or cost just yet. Of course the other big rumor is that Apple is working on a watch as well. The key here is that Android and the iOS operating systems work very differently. An Android smart watch can integrate very nicely with Android phones right out of the box, and work with a wide variety of apps. Apple’s operating system is much more locked down, so it would be up to Apple to allow developers the tools they need to help integrate their apps to properly work with a smart watch – e.g., allow the play, pause and forward functionality on Pandora. I’ve played with a Sony smart watch that integrates with Android phones and while it’s a neat concept, to me it just seems easier to look at my phone screen, something I’m doing a bazillion times each day anyway.

This video of a minimalism keyboard for Android devices is heating up the web. It comes from the crowd-funded Minuum Project, which is an effort to re-design keyboards on smart devices. I think it looks like an early April Fool’s day joke…but you can watch for yourself and be the judge. It’s not out of the ordinary that someone is trying to reinvent the mobile keyboard – after all, what we are using is just a cramped version of what’s been on typewriters for many years now.

The Jackery Mini really helped me out while covering SXSW in Austin, Texas. You are out and about all day long, with no time to stop and charge your phone. Jackery makes re-chargeable portable power packs that give you the extra juice you need to keep your phone going. I used the Mini, which is a great pocket-able size, but they also make a larger model called the Bar with more juice to keep your phone charged longer  – it also works with tablets as well.

Congrats to our Jackery winners:

Alicia Diaz of Sylmar

Linda Hoogestraat of Hemet

Dianne Juarez of St. Arleta

Kathleen Blakley of Bakersfield

Tasha Davis of Twentynine Palms

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