Communications posts on CNET - Page 4


QNX updates its CAR platform, wants your next ride to support Android apps

At the Telematics Detroit Conference today, QNX pulled the wraps off of a new version 2.1 of its QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment.

The new QNX platform builds on the provider's telematics and infotainment architecture to enable developers to adapt Android apps for use in the car and to create apps and interfaces based on the Qt 5 application framework. This builds on the CAR Platform's previous support for HTML5 and OpenGL ES standards, giving mobile developers an assortment of widely supported tools to build software for your next car.

The new version of the QNX CAR … Read more

Audi tells you where to park it

Looking for parking in city often leads to endless driving in circles, wasting gasoline, and polluting the air, and can lead many to reconsider their evening plans. But this is exactly the problem being targeted by new technology on both the automaker and infrastructure side.

Audi just announced the first parking assistance system, linking its built-in navigation system to the growing amount of information available from parking garages.

According to Pom Malhotra, director of connected vehicles for Audi, the new parking service will work seamlessly with the navigation system of Audi models equipped with Audi Connect. When an Audi owner … Read more

Skype your way to a new couch

Skype (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)--the free VoIP app that lets you voice- or video-chat with other Skype users across the world--has become an ubiquitous tool for everyone from grandmas and grandkids to multinational corporations.

Now, the VoIP software ventures into the realm of interior design, with a "Cool My Couch" photo contest that promises the winner a free couch and Skype-enabled TV. To enter, simply submit a photo of your couch along with a caption explaining why you deserve to win. That's it.

The photo contest is open to all U.S. residents who are members … Read more

New Gmail look blings up your inbox with tabs

Google continues to revamp the appearance of many of its services, this time turning its redecorating eye on Gmail.

The company unveiled on Wednesday the new look and automatic labels for Gmail on the Web, as well as in Gmail's Android and iOS apps.

The new default categories, based on Gmail's existing Label system, are Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. They appear as large tabs on the Gmail site, easy to use for touch screens and fully customizable. You can also drag-and-drop messages between them, and Google will automatically "learn" how you want them filtered. … Read more

Star Apps: GigaOM's Om Malik

Award-winning journalist Om Malik leveraged years of tech and business media experience -- senior editor at, senior writer at "Red Herring" and later "Business 2.0," and contributor to "The Wall Street Journal," "The Economist," and "MIT Technology Review" -- to found leading indie tech blog GigaOM, back in 2006.

Offering news and opinion on startups, social media, cloud computing, mobile gadgets, and of course, software, Malik's CNET Blog 100-recognized Web magazine has since spawned numerous conferences such as GigaOM Structure (cloud computing and Internet infrastructure), GigaOM … Read more

Mercedes-Benz integrates Google Maps features

Mercedes-Benz announced it would demonstrate Google local search, Street View, and traffic integrated into the dashboard of one of its vehicles during Google I/O. These features will be introduced soon as part of Mercedes-Benz's DriveStyle app.

Local search will let drivers enter any term to begin a search, resulting in a list of nearby place names. Each entry can be selected as a destination for navigation. The Street View feature will let the driver see a 360-degree view of any destination, as long as Google has covered it.

Traffic data is similar to what can be found on … Read more

Tesla's path to the upgradable car

At Tesla's sunny headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., I asked CTO JB Straubel when to expect the next model upgrade for the Model S. He quickly dismissed the automaker cliche of updates based on model years, saying that Tesla would release new features for the Model S as his team finished creating them.

One of the Model S' great strengths, beyond its zero emissions, minimal running costs, excellent driving character, and luxury appointments, is that Tesla can deliver over-the-air updates to its cabin electronics.

And those updates can be very extensive, as the Model S features few hard controls. … Read more

Smartphone mounts for your car

Many drivers rely on smartphones for navigation, music, and calls in the car, but holding the phone while performing any of these tasks impairs driving ability and is illegal in some states. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that manually operating a phone greatly increases distraction while driving, where engaging in a hands-free call showed no increased crash risk.

To more safely use your phone in the car, get a mount that will keep its voice command button in easy reach and its screen viewable at a glance.

Mounts can stick to windshields and dashboards, clip to … Read more

Gmail updates for iOS

If the next Gmail message you receive on your iPhone launches YouTube or Google Maps, don't be alarmed. The Internet giant enhanced its official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad today, adding two small but appreciated features for heavy users of the Web-based mail service.

First, the default behavior for opening YouTube, Google Maps, or Web links has changed. Now, when you click on any of those kinds of links, Gmail will spawn the respective native YouTube, Google Maps, or Google Chrome app for iOS to handle it. Formerly, such links were instead handled by the relatively inelegant built-in … Read more

Text- and app-blocker keeps eyes on the road

When your teen driver can't keep his eyes on the road, who ya gonna call? TextBuster! Gave your kid the keys, but wanna keep Facebook on hold? Who can you call? TextBuster!

Sorry, I simply had to get the obvious jokes out of my system.

TextBuster is a product that promises to eliminate driver distraction by blocking text messages and inappropriate apps when a phone is used while in the car. It's got a clever name and makes lofty promises, but I've seen both before, so I installed the TextBuster in my car to see if the … Read more