Pocketnow Week in Review: week 3, 2014
The technology world is a fast moving one, and hence, there are more than 100 stories we publish on a weekly basis here on Pocketnow. Those include reviews, videos, editorials, news, and more. With this new, weekly series, we’re making it easier for you to look back at the most interesting, exciting, and popular topics of the week, in case you missed anything.
Look for the Pocketnow Week in Review every Sunday morning. It contains the most popular ten stories of the week printed on the portal, as well as top videos from our YouTube channel. Additionally, you can also find our Pocketnow Daily Recap video here (if any), for your convenience, and viewing pleasure.
Week 3, 2014
All we’ve been hearing ever since Nokia started to gain traction with its Windows Phones — thanks to solid hardware and continuous innovation — was how great would it be for the Finns to make an Android-powered phone (and then the ones on the other side of the barricade saying how awful such a thing might be). That explains why two of the most popular stories in week 3 of 2014 are related to Nokia’s rumored upcoming Normandy phone, the one that is expected to run some sort of modified, “forked” version of Android.
We’ve seen the Normandy pictured in real life, and for probably the first time ever, powered on. And, while those stills weren’t necessarily telling, we’ve managed to take a peek at the alleged upcoming interface. The leak implied that there are two ways to interact with the Normandy, whenever it lands (on February 25, or March 25, 2014). A home screen filled with tiles and icons and folders, and another user interface element which is yet unidentified (and which could be a special mode, a notification shade, or a list of apps sorted by the most recent notification).
Android is without a doubt the dominating mobile platform in the current landscape, today, and chances of it falling, or declining, in the near future, are relatively thin. Joe Levi tells us about the importance of Android, and just how much does Google make from every internet user, in one of his signature editorials. Of course, we’re curious to hear your take on the topic, so make sure to drop a comment in the post.
…and what would Android be without its leading phone (and tablet)-maker that relies on the OS, Samsung (or vice versa)? It’s no surprise that as we’re getting closer and closer to that yearly release cycle of the S-flagship, the rumors are starting to pile up. The most recent ones, while trying to anticipate the phone’s specs, also try to anticipate the special “Unpacked” event’s location. London is one such rumored location, but quickly after the London rumors came debunks and reports of a 2013-like New York event. Of course, this is all speculation for now, until Samsung starts sending out those mystery invites. All that, for a phone, but let’s not forget the insanely attractive tablet line-up from this year’s CES wearing Samsung’s logo, through which the South Koreans managed to seriously raise the bar, and our own Stephen Schenck loves it.
What better way of transitioning from Android to Windows than a dual-booting phone? No, not from Samsung or HTC, but from Korean manufacturer Bluebird; its BM180 runs runs Android in addition to Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, and if this is something which highly appeals to you, we urge you to check out the details.
Now that we’re in Windows Phone-land, we can’t help but applaud the roll-out of Nokia’s Black update, with Windows Phone 8 GDR3, to non-American Lumia 1020 devices, as well as the 920, 800, and other phones in the line-up. But just what exactly does the Black update bring? Exciting, useful features, but, according to our own Windows Phone resident, Adam Doud, these are unfortunately all 2011-features.
You know who’s considering a comeback? Not that it would stand a real chance against Nokia (errr, Microsoft) in the Windows Phone landscape: Panasonic. The company retired from several regions, and the smartphone segment, gradually, just to (apparently) announce its comeback, this time, with Windows Embedded 8 Handheld at its core. How many of you out there have ever owned a Panasonic-made smartphone?
There’s always the perennial question: “what phone should I buy?”. “What phone do you recommend?”. “What phone(s) do you use?”. I’ve yet to meet a Pocketnow staff member that does phone recommendations, and that’s mostly because whatever suits “our” needs will most likely not suit yours. We’re in a delicate position where we have to have multiple (at least, double) personalities. Ourselves, in day-to-day life, and ourselves as reviewers and tech journalists, where we need to get anything and everything subjective out of the way, take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. Michael Fisher explains, once again, why you shouldn’t buy a phone that he’s currently using, or Adam, Jaime, Joe, Stephen, Taylor, or myself. …and the argument of having access to multiple devices, and hence choosing the best for ourselves, isn’t really valid. The keyword here is “ourselves”, our needs, which most likely are not even close to “your” needs. Some of you probably love “hovering” while some of us, like the undersigned, couldn’t care less.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not excited about all the rumors talking about improved touch solutions, better UX, and features. Synaptics is expected to bring improved support for features which some OEMs, like Samsung, will likely implement, heavily, in future software and hardware implementations. What does this mean? What features (gimmicks, for some) could it bring? Check it out for yourselves!
Last, but not least, wrapping up this week’s popular stories, are some leaked pictures of what could be the Sony Xperia Z1 follow-up, tentatively called the Xperia Z2 (or Z1-Two). Expected to make an appearance at this year’s MWC in Barcelona, the new flagship looks a lot like last year’s Z1, possibly with a larger screen, smaller bezels, and some improved internals. If only the Z1 had a better camera…
The video side of 2014’s week 3 was, unsurprisingly, dominated by post-CES coverage, from wrap-ups to bloopers and outtakes, to Podcast episodes and the Live show, centered around the year’s first trade show, with all of its goods and bars, exciting bits and disappointments. That’s not to say CES is all we shot. We also have a Samsung Galaxy Note III After the Buzz, and Pebble fans can also find something interesting. Check out the most popular videos of this week below!
…and those were the most popular stories of the week, which you shouldn’t have missed. Let us know of your thoughts in the comments down below, or in the comments of individual stories mentioned above. The Pocketnow Week in Review will be back next Sunday, with the most popular content of next week.