Thursday, August 3, 2017

Where to buy Google Tango devices

All Tango Devices - To Date

I post a lot of topics related to Google Tango. If you are a developer, or an inspiring one, you should check out my Tango app ideas. Keeping up with the Google Plus community for Tango I have noticed a lot of people asking where they can buy Tango ready devices. So I decided to group together a listing of each of them below.

Newest Tango Augmented Reality Device

The ASUS ZenFone AR phone is currently available in the United States. It is also being sold in many other countries around the world at this time.

This one has 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage. It comes unlocked with a US warranty.

At $599 it is a bit cheaper than the version below with more RAM and storage.

The 5.7" screen comes in a bit smaller than the Phab mentioned below, so it will be a much more manageable size for an everyday phone.

This one has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage. It comes unlocked with a US warranty.

At $699 it is a bit more of an investment than the version above with less RAM and storage. However, if you can afford it I think the extra RAM would be a major help while running Tango apps.

Both of these versions have a smaller battery (3300 mAh) than the previous Tango device had, the Phab.

First Consumer Ready Device

Near the end of 2016 the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was released. A great device at the time and much more stable than the previous developer's tablet.

This one has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage. It comes unlocked with a US warranty.

At around $450 it is great deal compared to the new ZenFone, but I would advise against buying this device unless you really know what you are doing.

This is an older device stuck on Android version 6.0.1 with pretty much no hope of any system updates. The lifespan of Android devices is so small that buying one of these now means you may have a very limited period of time that Tango apps will be stable on it.

If you are going to buy a Phab 2 Pro, then I suggest you really look into it first so that you aren't throwing your money down the drain.

Developer's Tablet

The Tango Development Kit, sold originally for developers to get their hands on a device and a jump on the app market, is no longer supported by Tango SDK. As such, I will not even post Amazon links here because unless you have some specific use and really know your stuff, you are most likely going to be buying a brick.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bible Spelling Game - On The Back Burner

Project Status: On Hold
Original Idea: Bible Spelling Game - The Beginnings

On Hold

This project is currently on hold while I work on a couple of other Android apps. By doing this I can learn a little more about app development and design, essential skills I will need for completing the Bible Spelling Game idea.

Other Apps

The other apps I am working on in the meantime are much simpler conceptually and should be easier to put together. I say "should be" because so far 90% of my time over the last few weeks trying to work on different Android apps has been spent dealing with issues that have nothing to do with my code or app.

Problems like setting up Android Studio and dealing with all of its issues trying to run. Not having a brand new laptop is a big issue as well because Android Studio is a system hog. Currently it takes a long time to do anything with it. So I am learning more patience than programming.

Not Complaining

While it may sound like I am complaining, I'm not. Just making an update on the status of the project and the fact that things are slow going. I had expected that, especially with knowing how buggy Android has always been, but I'm not giving up yet.

I guess I'm really posting this to keep busy while waiting for the almost 2 gigabyte download to finish so that I can try reinstalling Android Studio since I poked around too much and completely broke it, lol. Hope this fixes it so I can get back going again, but I still have several hours for the download to complete. Did I mention I have slow internet? lol.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tango - Teaching Geometry with AR

Project Status: App Idea


This app would require a Google Tango device to run. Even though it is possible to develop an app with this idea now, it will become more fun and interactive as time goes on and Google Tango becomes more aware of not only the shape of the space around it but also begins to understand the objects found within that space.

If you are looking to buy a Tango device check out this post which links to the newest devices on the market.

The Idea

Make an app using Google Tango which helps people learn geometry by using the physical space of their environment and augmenting that space with visual aids to help understand the principles of geometry.

Classroom Use

Imagine being in geometry class and not only learning about points, lines, planes and angles on paper but also by seeing and playing with those ideas in physical space via augmented reality.

The Google Tango app could be used by teachers in classrooms to augment learning and understanding of concepts covered during the lecture.

Other Use

This app would also do well with adults and children that want to learn outside of the classroom. As in many of the educational apps already on the market, this app could provide content that covers many of the principles someone would cover in a classroom setting. The user could explore and learn in a self-paced manner.

Checkout the video

While this video from 2010 is not using Google Tango, it will give you an idea of how augmented reality can be used to teach geometry. Also it's not in English, but you'll soon see that doesn't matter.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Reversible USB

Related Project: Why isn't USB universal?

Original Idea

Originally I posted the idea that Universal Serial Bus (USB) should be universally insert-able, meaning it would go in the right way the first time every time. You can read more about the original idea here.

Dream came true

It didn't take much for this dream to come true because actually at the time of the original posting the product was already something people could buy.

The reason I end up posting ideas that people have already come through on is due to the fact that I like to find problems and try to solve them on my own first, then seek help. These days no one wants to do the hard thinking and try to figure things out for themselves. When something difficult comes along people automatically start searching for the answer online.

I love to try to solve the problem myself by thinking up any solutions I can and then narrowing down to the most viable one(s) to share here. Then it is a lot of fun to search around after that point and see if others came up with the same solutions or better ones.

Sometimes I say, "Man why didn't I think of that, that's clever." Other times I say, "Wow I wish they would have done what I came up with instead." Either way I end up growing and learning and in any case I love seeing these problems actually solved.

Reversible USB Products

Some products that solve the problem I posted about originally are called "Reversible USB". Here are a few of them you can see actually sold today:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Random Verse Spinner for YouVersion Bible App

Project Status: Feature Request

The App

If you are looking for a Bible app the one from YouVersion is a really nice one, I recommend checking out. It is free with no ads and is always being updated with new and cool stuff.

The Issue

There is a timeless way that so many people have used their paper Bibles in their hands that just isn't available yet in most Bible Apps such as the free one I use most often that is made by YouVersion.

The use case I am referring to is the one where people love to be able to open their Bibles and let the pages fall to a random location. That way they can read from a random starting point and not have to decide on a starting point for themselves.

I can't tell you how many people I have spoken to that have mentioned to me they also were hoping this app would have that feature.


It would be quick and easy for the development team to add a card in the main home feed when first opening the app that allows users to jump to a random point in scripture. Of course there is already the verse of the day, but that only changes daily and is the same for everyone.

The random verse generator could add a bit of gamification to the app, simply by making the card an interactive feature that allows users to tap it anytime they want to generate a new random location to begin reading the Bible from. Adding a bit of animation can make that really fun.

Keeping the user experience in mind, it would be smart to always hold the last location generated, allowing the users to flush that and jump to a new point as they wish. In that way if there was something they wanted to refer back to later it would still be there, and if it was gone they would know why it went away.

In Closing

I think if there was any way that the developers wanted to incorporate this idea it would be really fun and help bring users back to the app. Even if they don't though, I think they are doing a great job over there and hope they keep up the good work.