I arrived in Palm Springs, California, with the best of intentions. I was to document -- painstakingly document -- the entire Coachella experience with all of the available mobile social tools at my disposal. I would Meerkat and Periscope and Instagram and Snapchat and tweet from Engadget's official accounts and the folks peering through from the other side of the digital window would watch, fave, like, retweet and comment live.
When the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, the internet lost its collective mind. Not only were people up in arms over the fact that a stormtrooper could be gasp black, but also nobody could believe that this incredible rolling droid, dubbed the BB-8, was actually real. It must be CGI, right? Well, during today's Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, California, the BB-8 made its first real-life debut by rolling onstage to riotous applause from the crowd.
Cyanogen has revealed that it will pre-install Microsoft apps on its modded Android OS later this year, including Bing, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and Microsoft Office. The news doesn't come as a huge surprise, since it was rumored that Redmond had purchased a minority stake in Cyanogen with the express intention of bundling its software. As part of the deal, Microsoft will also create "native integrations" on Cyanogen OS, presumably to make all its apps play well together. Microsoft has avoided porting its productivity software over to Android and iOS for quite awhile, but finally made the jump earlier this year.
Can an Android launch save Meerkat? SXSW must seem like a long time ago for the folks behind the livestreaming app that took Austin by storm back in March. It was just a few weeks later that Twitter launched Periscope, which, thanks to the social network's clout and a better user experience, has quickly become the streaming app of choice. Right now both services are iOS only, though, and Meerkat is hoping to hook the hundreds of millions of Android users on its app with a public beta launch.
Long before Google had ever uttered the word glass, Recon Instruments was rising to prominence with a head-worn display designed for snow sports. You'd be forgiven for not knowing the name, since the technology was buried inside expensive sets of ski goggles like Oakley's Airwave. Then, the company announced that a new product for cyclists and runners would arrive, this time branded under its own name. Few outside the running/cycling community paid attention to the Recon Jet, since they were all distracted by Google's rival.
We're still waiting for Jawbone's long-delayed Up3 to start shipping next week, but that's not stopping it from debuting two new health bands today. The $99 Up2 (pictured above) sits between its $50 entry-level Up Move and the $179 Up3, and it includes pretty much all of the features from last year's Up24, just in a more stylish frame. The $199 Up4, on the other hand, is basically the same device as the Up3 with one big difference: NFC payments, courtesy of a partnership with American Express.
Google's making it even easier to track down your misplaced mobile device. While Android Device Manager already exists to help find lost phones and tablets, just getting to your account's ADM menu often requires a search of its own. But Find My Phone is as simple as a web query. In fact, that's literally what you're doing. Simply open a Google omnibox and type "find my phone" to display a map that reveals the phone's current resting place.