Nvidia's 64-bit Tegra K1 processor may take Android to new heights

Image credit: Android Authority

In today's Android roundup: Nvidia's new 64-bit processor may take Android devices to a new level. Plus: The Skully AR-1 smart motorcycle helmet is powered by Android, and is the merger of Google Voice into Hangouts a good thing?

The Android world was shocked when Apple released its iPhone 5s with a new 64-bit A7 chip. In order for Android to stay competitive with the iPhone, it was clear that it would need to move to 64-bit as soon as possible. Nvidia's new 64-bit Tegra K1 "Denver" chip bodes well for Android, according to Android Authority.

According to Android Authority:

“Denver” is built to provide the highest single-core CPU throughput available, which results also in industry leading dual-core performance. The new 64-bit Tegra K1 is set with 128K + 64K L1 cache, a good update from the 32K + 32K of the 32-bit Tegra K1.

In Nvidia’s words, the 64-bit Tegra K1 chip will offer PC-class performance; equipped mobile devices will experience much better performance for standard apps, extended battery life and the best web browsing experience all while opening up new possibilities for gaming, enterprise apps and more.

More at Android Authority

It sounds like a very impressive processor. Be sure to read Nvidia's official announcement about the Tegra K1 for more details. It's good to see Android making such large strides in catching up to the iPhone's 64-bit processor, but I think this is really the tip of the 64-bit iceberg in Android. We'll see much more to come.

You may also want to check out an early analysis of the 64-bit Tegra K1 from AnandTech back in January. Also, see the Reddit reaction thread to see what some Android users are saying about this new chip.

Skully AR-1 smart motorcycle helmet is powered by Android

Android Authority also has a neat article about a smart motorcycle helmet powered by Android.

According to Android Authority:

This smart helmet brings you a heads-up display on your face shield that can not only show you useful notifications, but it can also provide GPS data and it can show you what’s going on behind you via an integrated rear-facing camera. There’s also a way to connect to your smartphone for getting online and for linking up your music.

...early bird buyers will have to give up $1,400 for a Skully AR-1, and it is expected to cost $1500 when it becomes fully available through retailers. The team behind Skully estimates that the smart helmet will start shipping in May of 2015.

More at Android Authority

I don't own a motorcycle but, after viewing the video, I wish I did! Watch the video to see what I mean. That helmet is one seriously cool piece of technology, and it's great that it's powered by Android. It makes other motorcycle helmets look like fossils from the age of dinosaurs.

You can get more information about this smart helmet at the Skully site. Be sure to check out the Skully FAQ and drop by the Skully forum. And you can also preorder the Skully AR-1 smart helmet right now.

Is the merger of Google Voice into Hangouts good or bad?

The Android subreddit has an interesting discussion about the pros and cons of merging Google Voice into Hangouts. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

According to Reddit:

As someone who joined Google Voice back when it was called Grand Central and the rumor emerged that they would soon be acquired by the big G, I have been frustrated, to put it lightly, with the service's development over the past seven years. That being said, I wanted to offer not only some pessimism, but also some optimism on the merging of Google Voice into Hangouts. You can decide which is more realistic.

More at Reddit

I'm not sure how I feel about this change. On one hand I can see the value of merging services into one app interface. But on the other hand, if it's not broken then why fix it? I guess it's one of those things that people will either be able to accept or they'll just stop using Google Voice and move on to other services.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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