More Google Pixel 2 Rumors; Lensless Camera Could Allow Truly Flat Phones; Amazon Working on Website Translation Service

Rumors are now flying about Google’s Pixel 2 phones. 9to5google.com reports that they will be made by LG, ad previously thought, and will lose the headphone jack. There will be 2 models, and the smaller one will be nearly identical to the present model. The bigger one will have smaller bezels around the screen than the current one, and will have a 5.99 inch OLED display. It will also feature a two tone metal and glass back. Apparently, no dual camera on the Pixels, just a single lens with dual flash.

One of the major items that hasn’t enabled really flat smartphones is the lens assembly for the cameras. According to engadget.com, that may be changing. Researchers at Caltech have figured out an ‘optical phased array’ chip that uses math as a substitute for a lens. Using minute time delays to light from different locations, it can change focus without a lens! They claim it can switch from a fisheye to a telephoto lens instantly. The tech is in the initial stages, but they have already demoed a proof of concept, so in a few years, you may have a much thinner smartphone.

This is a little back end and geeky, but Amazon is working on tech that would let developers making apps and websites translate content to multiple languages. Techcrunch.com says it is technology based on what Amazon uses on its own products. Amazon acquired machine translation startup Safaba around two years ago, and they are building on their machine learning model.

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Plenty of Apps For Apple Watch

In a vote of confidence about the imminent Apple Watch, geekwire.com reports that developers submitted over 1000 apps to run on the smart watch in the first 4 days they could be. The watch becomes available April 24th.

Just 4 days after that, on the 28th, LG will roll out it’s G4 smartphone at an event. According to theverge.com, it will feature a new camera with an f 1.8 lens, that shoots much better in low light.

Daimler Trucks, a division of the company that makes Mercedes-Benz cars, has a prototype Freightliner big rig that doubles the 6 mpg of normal rigs. Engadget.com says it uses a hybrid diesel/electric power plant, and has solar panels on the roof of the trailer. No word on when it might hit the market.


New Features for Microsoft Outlook on Android & iOS

Microsoft has updated Outlook for both iOS and Android, according to thenextweb.com. It now shows the full blown address book, there’s a 3 day landscape view of Calendar, and you can now enter zero length meetings & cancel appointments.

Google has expanded App Runtime for Chrome, allowing all developers to make Android apps that will run on any PC or Mac with a Chrome browser. Engadget.com warns that even so, not all mobile apps will play well, but expect many to join Evernote and Vine on your desktop.

The Navy is developing a duck-like drone. Dubbed the Flimmer, engadget.com says it will fly around looking for subs, and then can poke its nose into the water for a better look. They’re trying to improve it’s ability to dive into choppy seas at this point.


Privacy Based App Store Coming

The ultra-secure Blackphone is getting its own privacy-focused app marketplace. Bgr.com says it’s called Spaces, and will roll out with a major system update to the PrivatOS early next year.

People who love their Netflix and especially binge watching series will be cheered about this…the verge.com reports that over the next 5 years, the streaming content provider plans to have 20 original series running!

Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick can now run web apps. Techcrunch.com says as an incentive to lure app developers, Amazon is allowing them to make money from their apps on Amazon.