Android M : Marshmallow

Google has started rolling out Android 6.0, aka Marshmallow, to a handful of Nexus devices. But, as great as that is, there are still millions of people who have to wait for third-party manufacturers or carriers to get the update. Thankfully, companies like HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony and T-Mobile are already outlining their plans to distribute the latest, tastiest version of Android. Not everyone will be happy, of course, but the list of smartphones set to receive Marshmallow isn't bad -- and chances are more will be added over the next few weeks. "So, am I getting it," you ask? If so, when? Let's find out.

Microsoft Windows 10

Microsoft may be tight-lipped about what will be revealed at its October 6th device event, but that doesn't mean that everything is a mystery. In some cases, a slew of leaks have telegraphed Redmond's plans in advance. More Lumia phones, anyone? However, there are still a few questions left. What about the fabled Surface Pro 4? When does Windows 10 reach your existing phone? And will there be any wearable tech? We'll answer as many of those questions as we can so that you have a good idea of what to expect when Microsoft's execs take the stage.

"Drums are hard."

That was the verdict from my boyfriend after a raucous night playing Rock Band 4 with a group of friends. He's a guitarist, in both the physical and digital realms, and to him, Rock Band 4's drums are an anomaly. The rhythms are somehow tricky and repetitive at the same time; landing the bass pedal takes nearly perfect timing; it's a big rig that requires big motions; and the entire instrument takes a ridiculous amount of coordination. This is why my boyfriend doesn't enjoy playing the drums in Rock Band 4 -- and it's precisely why I love it.

First it was toggle switches. And then keyboards, the mouse and other standard interface devices gave us control of computers and the digital world. From the tangible, to hands-free and beyond, the ways in which we control digital systems are expanding. We've collected just a few of the interesting products and concepts that are breaching the two-dimensional world of computing and merging it with our physical reality.

[Image: Jinha Lee / MIT Media Lab]

When it comes to connected speakers and multi-room audio, Sonos is the clear leader in the clubhouse. Its devices are also typically more expensive than the competition. Sony, a name with a lot of home theater experience, is offering its own Sonos-like system with a collection of three speakers. The company's "SRS" line was announced earlier this year, and while the trio also features the larger SRS-X88 and SRS-X99, I've spent the past few weeks with the entry-level model, the $300 SRS-X77. With Sonos being the go-to name for gear like this, Sony has quite the uphill climb. That said, it at least makes a valiant effort.

Picture an art school. Visualize the hallways of a university dedicated to the arts, the classrooms lined with paint tubes, charcoal sticks and nude models. Imagine the galleries where outgoing seniors present their final projects. Consider the thick-framed glasses that sit atop students' noses as they sketch, sculpt, write and design the things that lurk in their wildest daydreams. Now picture a creation so strange that the school's professors aren't sure how to critique it from an artistic angle, let alone how to assign it a grade.

In Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design graduate Ashley Pinnick faced this problem in her last semester, with her final project: a video game.

Not long ago, whenever a teacher would assign a book report, most students would sprint to Barnes & Noble to grab the CliffsNotes version that could save their weekend. These days, however, they're more likely to head to YouTube to listen to the wise words of Dr. Sparky Sweets, PhD. He's the star of Thug Notes, a show that explores classical literature in a language you won't find coming out of your teacher's mouth. It's become such a success that the channel behind it, Wisecrack, has more than half a million subscribers and has its sights set on becoming an internet behemoth. Thug Notes' cultural impact is growing too, since it's now being used in public schools and an accompanying book was recently published. We went to find out how this weird mix of comedy and education became so successful.

Yesterday in San Francisco, Google launched a pair of new smartphones, some AV devices and a Surface-like tablet. But future events could just as easily devote a large portion of their running time to the Internet of Things and smart home devices. Tilt your head by 90 degrees and you can almost spot Google's subtle strategy to become the dominant name in your home -- after all, as the phone market begins to play itself out, it's only natural that the firm would move onto the next big thing. After years of lingering on the periphery of the industry, perhaps souped-up lightbulbs and thermostats are ready for their day in the sun.

Google may have started its life as a search engine, but 17 years has seen the company steadily evolve into one that produces as many goods as it does services. It may not be running the factories itself in a lot of cases, but you can pick up more than a handful of products with the Google logo slapped on the chassis. Then there are the more outlandish devices, like self-driving cars and face-worn computers, that could alter the way we live our lives. Consider this a reminder of all the weird and wonderful things that the engineers in Mountain View spend their days working on.

Get all the news from today's Google event right here.


Whether it's a technology giant like Google or a small startup, nowadays everyone wants a piece of the VR pie. Shot, for instance, was created by a group of friends from Spain who wanted to bring a social aspect to virtual reality. Through a Kickstarter campaign launching today, Shot promises to make it easy for people to create VR content on an iPhone -- which can then be shared with friends via an app. In order to do so, the firm designed a camera adapter for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, one that will allow users to capture 235-degree videos and 360-degree pictures. Shot says it's able to accomplish this effect by having two fisheye lenses in its adapter, giving it the ultra-wide field of view necessary for VR.

Sonos faces a unique challenge on the eve of launching the most important products it has developed in years. The company's mission statement is simple to sum up: It wants to make it easy to listen to high-quality music anywhere in your home. And it believes its new products, the flagship Play:5 speaker and new software called Trueplay, move that goal forward. But there's one part of that mission -- "in the home" -- that speaks to perhaps the toughest problem facing the company: How do you convince people who've grown up listening to music with their iconic iPod headphones to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive home audio setup?


What better way to close out the busy month of September than with a Google event? Nearly three weeks after Apple announced its latest smartphones, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the search giant is preparing to do the same, with a keynote of its own tomorrow in San Francisco. But while the event will likely focus on a refreshed set of Nexus handsets and the upcoming public release of Android Marshmallow, there are signs that Google is also planning to deliver a couple new Chromecast products -- including one that's all about audio. We also wouldn't be surprised to hear more about Android Wear, especially since we've seen a number of new devices introduced over the past month, like Motorola's second-generation 360 and the Huawei Watch. All will be revealed tomorrow, but for now, let's break down the leaks and rumors.