Google's Android operating system for mobile devices has over a billion users. But the first company in Google's alphabet isn't stopping there. The search company that recently surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable wants to add even more users to Android. Mainly by taking back control of the operating system by making its own smartphones.
Fumbling for a cell phone that rang during a meeting can be pretty embarrassing, and tapping out an email on a smartwatch is always a frustrating experience. To make mobile devices even simpler to control, a team of German and American computer scientists has created a patch called the iSkin that turns your epidermis into a digital interface. Just place the patch on your preferred body part, and with a few simple taps, you can answer calls, raise or lower music volume, or type on a bigger smartwatch keyboard without having to grope for the phone in your pocket or bag.
Fans of classic video games have long been able to mimic old game systems on their computers using apps called emulators. Now, smartphones and tablets can also run them. With the right emulator and game files (downloaded separately), virtual versions of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis and other consoles - as well as dozens of vintage arcade titles that can't be found as standalone downloads - will be available anywhere.
Thieves make off with millions of dollars' worth of laptops and mobile devices every year. Most stolen gadgets go unrecovered, but tracking software can help. The software runs in the background of the operating system or, with some services, the boot-level layer, which makes detecting the tracker much more difficult. Services like Prey provide free software for up to three laptops or Android devices. BlackBerry, iPhone or iPad owners can use GadgetTrak (from $4).