Posts tagged with: News

Find out what's going on in the world of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other cool gadgets

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    Google didn’t really go into as much detail about Android N as we’d have liked during its big I/O 2016 keynote, leaving the dessert name decision (partially) up to us, only hinting at the version number, and vaguely bringing up performance, productivity and security improvements developers can sample and help shape up in the latest OS preview. But one of the arguably coolest new features is unavailable for beta tests just yet, as it concerns the often lengthy and burdensome update process. In short, the goal is to make applying patches, especially small maintenance ones, easier and ...

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    Back in the golden age of candybar phones and clamshells, it was so much easier than today to choose a “daily driver.” Nobody talked about different mobile operating systems and platforms (because there weren’t any), you didn’t have quad or octa-core processors to concern yourself with, and lag was an issue limited to PC mIRC chats. It was an arguably simpler time, when essentially the entire mobile device-owning world either used a stylish Motorola Razr or robust and long-lasting Nokia 1000-series handheld. Androids and iPhones of course shortly entered the equation and began ...

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    We've known that PCs have been flagging down in sales for a long time, but what's also been a growing thought among market analysts is that they are due for a resurgence. Convertibles (or "detachables") were thought to be the largest engine for it, but now we're hearing from IDC that it Chromebooks are up on their way, too. The research firm reported that the market saw 13.6 million shipments in the US PC market in Q1, down 5.8 percent annually. The global market saw a 11.5 percent dip to 60.6 million units. Consumer demand continued to dwindle while enterprise were still putting Windows ...

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    Catcher Technology — the metal casing manufacturer that designs and produces (and leaks) Apple's chassis for its iPhones — does not believe it will be losing business with its biggest customer based on what that client will release next year. The Taiwan-based company's chairman and CEO, Allen Horng, said that he knows of only one all-glass iPhone that will be released in 2017. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo fom KGI previously predicted an all-glass iPhone to come next year. Biel Crystal Manufactory and Lens Technology out of China is said to be in charge of handling the glass casings for ...

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    And with that, Android has suddenly lost its touch. There's been plenty of experimentation with a string of code that makes use of Force Touch at the homescreen level. What was dubbed as "Launcher Shortcuts" took a bit of engineering from app developers to suss out, but we hoped that enough progress would be made for it to be a mentioned feature at Google I/O. Well, it didn't get mentioned among several other multitasking features and now we know that it will not be meant for Android N. The Android Developers site has release notes out for N's third preview which includes the new VR Mode ...

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    Kantar released its report on the state of the smartphone market last week, now it's Gartner's turn. More smartphones entered the market in this quarter than the same time last year. Fittingly in time for Google I/O, it's a victory this time around for Android at the expense of all the other major platforms. Research firm Gartner reported first quarter sales for smartphones worldwide totaled 349 million units, up 3.9 percent annually. Android sold approximately 293.8 million units representing 84 percent of the market, up more than 5 points. Apple itself reported iPhone sales, but Gartner ...

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    Windowed Android apps are officially coming to Chrome OS with Google announcing that Chromebooks can soon start accessing the million-plus apps on available on the Play Store. The Android apps will supplement Web apps to provide a variety of games and productivity solutions previously unavailable. And, unlike web apps, these apps work without an internet connection. A product manager for Chrome OS said that apps with sensor requirements (think GPS and gyrometers) will be culled from Chromebook Play Store listings. Touchscreen-equipped Chromebooks — beginning with the Pixel 2, the ASUS ...

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    Weibo, like any other social media site, has its swarms of hornets occasionally. When it comes to mobile hardware leaks, disbelief can especially be prone to manifesting in awful ways. Take all of the rumors we've been compiling about a certain version of the Meizu PRO 6. It now seems that these photo leaks, previously connected to that device, have been implicated in a different Meizu device entirely — one possibly with an Exynos processor. The leaker of the Exynos rumor has since decried critics denying rumors of a double-edged PRO 6-like with the Exynos 8890 inside and a fairly ...

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    Google expanded its Cardboard VR efforts with the announcement of its Daydream project at I/O yesterday. But while manufacturers are working off of the reference designs for the requisite headset and controller right now, Google itself has gone on to confirm that it's making its own headset and controller. Clay Bavor, chief of VR at the company, made the announcement at an I/O presentation called "VR at Google". It's the second original manufacturing push for Mountain View in recent history, at least when it comes to mobile — it had designed and built the Pixel C tablet last year. ...

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    Sprint is officially the last stalwart of two-year contract in the US. It had initially dropped them for new customers early this year the same day that AT&T did, but brought the contract option back a month later. We think that the carrier wanted a little help during the major flagship season, but that's something up for debate. Also up for debate is this leak sent to Android Central, telling of another farewell to two-year contracts come May 24. This will apply to new and existing customers for upgrades or line additions. Installment plans or leasing will be the way forward. ...

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    Google is taking a new view of what its keyboard can be. But you have to get the latest software to take a look at it. If you can get the latest Android N Developer Preview onto your applicable device and also have Google Keyboard version 5.0, there's a whole menu in the settings dedicated to changing the color of the keyboard. Not only can you choose from a few hues, but you can upload your own pictures — taking away one of the biggest tricks up the sleeve for third-party keyboards. Yep, owners of phones with AMOLED displays can enjoy pitch black power savings when they're typing up ...

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    Every company that can afford to build a neural network that can learn deeper than deep is seemingly doing so right now. Microsoft is hiring a software engineer that will work on something called the "Bing Concierge Bot," an AI-based assistant more similar to Facebook M or Google Assistant than Amazon Alexa. The bot would be based over messaging apps like "Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc." and, through human-like conversation, can help users do tasks such as booking dining reservations. Microsoft has been making testing out a whole set of bots for music search, captioning, ...

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    It should come as no surprise that, of all the countries in the world, the US remains the absolute cheapest place to buy a relatively new and swanky iPhone. After all, we’re still talking about the most competitive and crowded smartphone market here (though China and India are rapidly closing in), and various hefty taxes like VAT don’t apply to “the land of the free.” As such, Deutsche Bank found the average American consumer is asked to cough up $598 for an iPhone 6, which may feel expensive given that’s a 2014-released model, but it’s actually way lower than what iFans have ...

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    To the surprise of many, disappointment of some, but understanding of others, Google skipped the introduction of an oft-rumored sensor-laden Cardboard sequel and/or a standalone Android VR headset. As such, the Samsung Gear VR remains the immersive low-cost device to beat, and its shrewd manufacturer knows it full well, plugging it alongside the pricey but popular Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones at massive discounts. Sometimes, even completely free of charge. Not right now on the old continent, although German-based folks interested in both a flagship handheld and entry-level virtual reality ...

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    It’s like a life-sized game of chess. Apple makes a move, then Google follows suit, and so does Samsung. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. Every once a while, Android Pay or Samsung Pay advance a couple of steps in one go as they play catch up to road-opener Apple Pay. Today, Samsung Pay gets a massive update essentially equating to taking a rook back from its Cupertino-designed arch-rival. The queen is still in play, as the two digital wallet services contend for China’s spotlight, but we’re nonetheless talking a valuable piece that’s now in the Korean tech giant’s ...

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    The little startup that essentially laid the foundation for your Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S timepieces, Android Wear gizmos and so on appears to be going through an identity crisis of sorts, as many rivals undercut its prices and build quality, with substantial layoffs prompted by flagging sales and profits. Ironically, the healthy future of Pebble might be in the hands of not just its own engineers and developers, but software and especially hardware partners working on ways to squeeze the last possible drop of functionality and productivity out of the Time and Time Steel. Partners like ...

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    If you can’t get enough of unauthorized Galaxy C5 and C7 photoshoots, revealing hardware exposes or still have lingering questions about the two’s unusually low prices and remarkably high-end features, today’s discovery of a Tenaa approval for the SM-C5000 should make the next week easier to pass. Obviously, SM-C5000 is the Chinese designation of the 5.2-inch Samsung Galaxy C5, which continues to look a lot like the Galaxy A5 (2016) from the front while greatly resembling the HTC One M9 (or previous One-series flagships) from behind. It doesn’t seem like anyone manipulated recently ...

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    Whether you believe HTC’s newest flagship phone can be its financial savior or a nice swan song that simply came too late to matter, essentially everyone agrees the 10 would benefit greatly from a discount. A permanent one, we mean, not short-lasting coupon codes, and the traditional kind of deal where you save or receive hard cash back instead of bundle arrangements with free accessories in store. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the price of the unlocked HTC 10 will be dropping anytime soon on the manufacturer’s website, especially with the device currently backordered. ...

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    What comes after Android 6.0? Logic seems to dictate 7.0, but before 5.0, Google released three major OS iterations with 4.x designations (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat), so you never know. That said, it sure looks like build N will bring enough enhancements to the table to warrant a full-number update. At the very worst, this is set to roll out to the mobile (and VR) loving masses as version 6.5 in the fall, once developers wrap up system optimization and iron out all current kinks. 6.1 is almost certainly out of contention, while 7.0 remains our safest Android N bet, based on ...

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    Samsung has been on a bona fide software updating spree of late, sending sweet Marshmallow treats over-the-air not only to 2015 flagship phones, but older and lower-end models too, as well as various jumbo-sized Galaxy Tabs. Of course, we’d have all wished to see even more devices produced by the world’s largest mobile OEM treated to Android 6.0 makeovers before build N was detailed at Google I/O yesterday, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about… 7.0 (?), including its dessert alias and commercial rollout date. At the end of the day, it’s sure nice to hear reports of the ...

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    While I/O’s main goal has always been to inform software developers of Google innovations in various operating systems, apps and platforms, the search giant diversified the scope of San Francisco announcements in recent years, also focusing on hardware. But yesterday’s conference was different, not only by taking place in Mountain View. At the same time, there was nothing new to show off on the Nexus front, and Android Wear’s biggest update yet came without a single revamped smartwatch. The Amazon Echo-rivaling Google Home thus flew solo to the Shoreline Amphitheatre in terms of ...

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    You might think that we wouldn't need Hangouts or Messenger with Allo and Duo coming around, right? Well, Google has confirmed that it will have four messaging applications in its roster. Remember that both Hangouts and Messenger can handle SMS texts while both Allo and Duo, said to use your phone number for identification, may also integrate texting as well. Duo, a dedicated calls app, competes with Hangouts in that aspect. Sure, feature completeness varies across the line with Messenger being a barebones app while Allo and Duo representing the deep end of WhatsApp and WeChat with ...

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    Android Pay may be making news as part of Google I/O, but elsewhere in the mobile payments sector, it's wearables that have been making the waves. Fitbit announced its acquisition of assets held by Coin, the mobile payment startup that crowdfunded its debut eponymous product. The maker of fitness trackers said that it will gain personnel, intellectual property and options to implement NFC-based mobile payments into future fitness bands. As the company itself and its products have not been acquired, Coin will continue selling its Coin 2.0 product. Competitor Jawbone has a deal with ...

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    As Transport for London begins taking Android Pay, we ponder where else the mobile payments platform can go, now that it covers many storefronts, in-app purchases and now, public transit. Google announced that it's now working with Bank of America to get Android Pay working with some of its ATMs while Stripe, Braintree and other point-of-sales partners are also getting integrated. Other developers for retailers and banks can now grab a self-service API to put Android Pay to work for them. We may see other banks take Android Pay at ATMs if they work with Google. Samsung Pay currently has ...

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    Google I/O is in full swing after engineers announced several major features to be added to a yet-to-be-officially named Android N. HTC is taking advantage of the headwinds with its own social media assurances. It announced that Android N will be coming to the HTC One M9. HTC One A9 and HTC 10 soon after the official images get delivered. That typically happens after a Nexus hardware announcement, around early October. Life is about to get a little sweeter. Android N will be coming to the HTC 10, HTC One A9 and the HTC One M9. pic.twitter.com/XzOEwTCVlU — HTC (@htc) May 18, 2016 We ...

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