Many people were concerned when we first announced that the Galaxy Nexus will not include Gorilla Glass. Samsung’s previous phones have all used this highly toughened glass, while competing phones suffer from weak screens & cracking issues. Several high profile bloggers and smartphone experts even questioned the resilience of the screen on Samsung’s upcoming Nexus device, since it lacks Gorilla Glass.
However, if this video is to be believed, there’s nothing to worry about with the Galaxy Nexus. Some crazy guys have actually take a key, and tried their hardest to scratch the screen. But apparently, all such efforts were futile. Continue reading “An Update About Gorilla Glass” »
Well that’s a little surprising. Just when it seemed like the Samsung Galaxy S II packed every available sensor into a mobile package, the Nexus has outdone everyone again. According to the official specs, the Galaxy Nexus packs a barometer, along with the standard GPS, WiFi, Compass & Accelerometer sensors.
So what’s a barometer useful for? The common household usage is to forecast the weather. Variations in atmospheric pressure can predict short-term trends in the weather, and indicate an approaching storm. But Android already has plenty of ways to access the weather forecast, from online services. This doesn’t seem a sufficient justification to install a completely new sensor in the device.
But there’s another reason, which isn’t so obvious. GPS receivers sometimes integrate a barometer, in order to get more accurate altitude readings. The error margin for the Z-axis with GPS is quite high, but combined with atmospheric pressure readings from a barometer, the accuracy can be increased dramatically. With the inclusion of an accelerometer, barometer, compass and GPS sensors, the Galaxy Nexus suddenly has an incredibly accurate way to pinpoint your exact position, velocity and orientation.
It’ll be really interesting to see what tools developers can write to take advantage of this new technology. I can see potential benefits for mountain climbers, or cross-country trekkers, who want to log their whole trip. But there’s also potential ramifications in the research field. Wouldn’t the Galaxy Nexus make a great candidate for sub-space weather research?