April 30, 2012

Is this the first legit Samsung Galaxy S3 press shot?

So far Samsung has been keeping its next flagship under wraps quite successfully. We've only seen blurry shots of the externals and supposedly, those are not even the final designs.
Props to Samsung for their success so far, but could this be the first serious leak of the handset?
What we have on our hands today is an image that looks a lot like what the Samsung Galaxy S3 is supposed to look like, judging by some of the more substantial leaks from the past.
Now this photo didn't come with any extra info on the handset, but the leaked specifications for the device so far detail a 4.6 or 4.8-inch SuperAMOLED screen of 720p resolution, Samsung's latest quad-core Exynos chipset, and an 8 or 12 megapixel camera to go with those. There should also be an extra beefier battery to make the phone last a bit longer.
Now as usual, take this thing with a pinch of salt. But our guess is leaks won't get any better than this before the official announcement comes this. Even if it's some user-land render, we still appreciate the effort and it's a job nicely done.
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April 27, 2012

Leaked by PhoneArena: Galaxy SIII

Again some leaked prototype of the Galaxy SIII showed up this time by PhoneArena.
This prototype looks a lot of our sketches and the latest mockup.
But what do you think is this the final design of the Galaxy SIII the bezel looks extremely thin!

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Project Glass makes a TV appearance on Charlie Rose, flashes its rear for the cameras

Project Glass makes a TV appearance on Charlie Rose, flashes its rear for the cameras
Google fellow, founder of Project X and self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun became the latest to publicly rock a Project Glass prototype (after company co-founder Sergey Brin) on a recent episode of Charlie Rose, and managed to show off a whole new side of the project in the process. While the 19-minute interview was mostly unremarkable product-wise with a focus on higher education and his Udacity project, we did get to see him take a picture of the host (about a minute in) by tapping it, then posting it on Google+ by nodding twice. Also, as Electronista points out, in a brief reverse shot (17:20) of Thrun we see for the first time what appears to be a small battery pack / transmitter portion lodged behind his ear. Of course, we're still not any closer to rocking the latest in bionic man-chic ourselves, but at least we can start getting fitted for one now.
sourceCharlie Rose, Sebastian Thrun (Google+)
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Skype for Android updated with restyled IM view, faster app start and video rotation support for more devices

Click here to find out more!
Skype’s Android app got a new update and is now snappier than ever. The first thing you’ll notice (or not, depending on the phone you have) is just how faster Skype starts, which suggests engineers of the eBay-owned company changed a ton of things under the hood to make this happen.
Then there’s new instant messaging view that resembles Skype’s desktop app.
Finally, video rotation support is added for many more devices. Since Skype hasn’t shared the list, we can only guess they’re referring to some older models, or perhaps to phones that doesn’t rock WVGA screens.
Anyway, you should update as soon as you can. It’s a good practice to have all your software up-to-date. And if somehow you still don’t have Skype installed on your Android smartphone, get it now. Sure it’s not the cheapest way to make calls (other VoIP services cost less), but it’s by far the single most popular VoIP client out there…
Skype (FREE) [Google Play link]
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Twitter For Android App Updated To Version 3.2, Brings Push Notifications For RT's, Favorites, And New Followers (And More)

Twitter for Android has been updated to 3.2, and brings a bevy of changes, the most important being much-needed push notifications for retweets, favorites, and new followers.
Screenshot_2012-04-26-13-16-25  Screenshot_2012-04-26-13-18-45 Screenshot_2012-04-26-13-19-02
The look of the icons at the top of the app have also been changed up, and are slightly larger (the Home icon actually looks a bit different), along with other minor UI changes. The Discover tab has been completely revamped according to the changelog, as well, which you can see below:
What's in this version:
  1. Updated design and improved relevance of Discover stories
  2. Activity in Discover tab shows who your connections follow, updates to their lists, and which Tweets they retweet and favorite
  3. Spelling suggestions and related searches in search results
  4. Username autocomplete in search
  5. New push notifications for when your Tweets have been retweeted, favorited, or when you have new followers
  6. New languages: Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Hungarian, Thai
Get it on the Play Store now.
Download Twitter from Google Play
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Samsung hires protesters and tells Apple to ‘wake up’ [video]

A marketing agency called Tongue has reportedly begun a guerrilla marketing campaign against Apple in Australia. The agency recently hired protesters who were sent in a large black bus to an Apple Store, where they repeatedly chanted “Wake Up.” To accompany the protest, Tongue created a website called “Wake Up Australia” that includes a countdown to the launch of the Galaxy S III, leading many to believe that the agency was hired by Samsung. The South Korea-based vendor has previously targeted Apple on more than one occasion, and promises its latest flagship smartphone will help users “stand out from everyone else.” The incident was captured on film by an Australian blogger and the video follows below.

[Via AndroidAndMe]
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April 26, 2012

Samsung unveils Galaxy S3′s new quad-core processor

While the flagship smartphone itself will remain under wraps until next week’s press conference, Samsung on Thursday unveiled its next-generation mobile processor, the Exynos 4 Quad, which will power its upcoming Galaxy S3. The new 1.4GHz quad-core SoC is built on 32-nanometer architecture, and Samsung says the chipset will offer significant performance improvements over its previous-generation Exynos processor while consuming 20% less power. “The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual application processor,” Samsung’s VP of System LSI marketing Taehoon Kim said. “Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices. Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those high-performance needs while keeping power consumption very low.” Samsung’s full press release follows below.
Samsung’s New Quad-Core Application Processor Drives Advanced Feature Sets in Smartphones and Tablets
Designed on 32nm HKMG process, new energy-efficient chip exceeds 1.4GHz per core
SEOUL, Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced the industry’s first quad-core application processor built on the High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) low-power process technology. With unprecedented performance capabilities exceeding 1.4GHz based on the ARM® CORTEXTM A9 quad-core, the powerful, yet energy-efficient Exynos 4 Quad, allows system-level architects to integrate maximized power efficiencies into smartphones and tablets which enables double the processing power at a 20 percent lower power bill over its predecessor, the 45nm process-based Exynos 4 Dual.
“The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual application processor. Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices,” said Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. “Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those high-performance needs while keeping power consumption very low.”
Multi-core processing delivers enhanced performance, enabling users to accomplish more tasks in a shorter period of time. For example, a task such as streaming video can run on one core while the other cores update applications in the background, connecting to the web and scanning virus-check simultaneously.
Benefitting from a use case where the parallel processing and workload sharing among the four cores is necessary, the Exynos 4 Quad is particularly well-suited for heavy-load applications such as 3D games, video editing, and calculation-intensive simulation.
Due to its 32nm HKMG low-power process and power-saving design, the Exynos 4 Quad has two times the processing capability over the 45nm process based Exynos 4 Dual while consuming 20-percent less power. To improve power efficiency, Samsung adopted hot-plug functionality to support on-off switching for each core as well as the per-core dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), which offers a dramatic reduction in power consumption by adapting different levels of voltage and frequency when changing workloads.
Having identical form factor measurements (12mm X 12mm X 1.37 mm), the Exynos 4 Quad is pin-to-pin compatible with the 32nm process based Exynos 4 Dual, allowing mobile device designers to immediately adopt the new solution without additional cost, engineering or design efforts.
In addition, the new processor incorporates a full HD 30 frame per second video hardware codec engine for high resolution 1080p video recording and play-back, an embedded image signal processor interface for high-quality camera functionality and an HDMI 1.4 interface for sharp and crisp multimedia content transmission.
Samsung developed a power management IC (PMIC), the S5M8767, as a companion chip to power the Exynos 4 Quad processor. By integrating various circuitry such as nine highly efficient and programmable buck converters and 28 low-dropout regulators (LDOs) into the small package of 5.0 mm x 5.0mm x 0.4mm, the S5M8767 is designed to scale up or down the dynamic voltage depending on the clock speed in 6.25mV step for managing power delivery and maximizing battery life at the system level.
Already in production, the Exynos 4 Quad is scheduled to be adopted first into Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced in May. Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad is also sampling to other major handset makers.
“The application processor is a crucial element in providing our customers with a PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung’s next Galaxy device, which will be officially announced soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features, thanks to Exynos 4 Quad’s powerful performance and efficient energy management technology,” said Hankil Yoon, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy Team, Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.
Last year, Samsung introduced a new online hub dedicated to its Exynos processor. Designed to facilitate easy communication with industry partners and end users, the new micro-site takes you a step closer to the ultimate experience Exynos delivers; product information, user experience and information on promotion events. More information can be found at http://www.samsung.com/exynos.
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April 25, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 blushes, new magenta version revealed at Finnish e-tailer

Nokia Lumia 900 blushes, new magenta version revealed at Finnish e-tailer
Aside from a very desirable white edition, Nokia's Lumia 900 hasn't quite caught up with the color explosion that characterized the Lumia 800's launch. It looks like it's getting there, with a magenta variant spotted at Finnish retailer, Gigantti. At the moment, availability is posited for the vague area of May -- matching those mid-month dates we've been hearing -- but the site is still taking pre-orders ahead of any concrete launch day. You can volunteer your details at the source below.
e's Phoneblog
sourceGigantti (translated)
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PSA: HTC One S arrives today at T-Mobile, $199 on-contract after $50 rebate

HTC One S on sale today
If you haven't already smuggled a carrier-free version of HTC's One S into the US, you can now sign up two years of your wireless life for T-Mobile's flavor. Largely undiluted by the Big Magenta, the dual-core phone arrives today for a single dollar shy of 200 -- after a $50 mail-in rebate. The online store at the source below is waiting for your order, or you could hit up your local bricks-and-mortar for some instant retail gratification.
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Facebook for Android updated with new icons for Camera and Messenger

Facebook camera and messengerThe official Facebook app for Android has been updated with a couple of small changes to the "Camera" and "Messenger" applications that come bundled with it. The new app icons, which first appeared in Facebook's 1.9 update late last week, were criticized by some due to there being little to tell them apart from the camera and SMS apps pre-loaded on most Android phones. The fear was that users would be confused or worse, misled by the apps' presence.
It seems Facebook's taken this criticism to heart, and today it's acted to make things a little more clear for users. In the new version, both app icons now display the Facebook logo in the bottom left corner, further differentiating them from pre-loaded camera and messaging apps.
Hit that update button to grab the new version. Alternatively, we've got the usual Google Play Store linkage after the break.

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Asus Transformer Pad TF300T Tegra 3 tablet coming May 10th for $399

If you were wondering when the lower-cost the Asus Transformer Pad TF300T was coming to Canada, rest easy. It will be in stores on May 10th for a reasonable $399, according to a Staple’s pre-order page. And what will saving $100 over the Transformer Prime net you? A 10.1-inch 1280×800 IPS display, quad-core Tegra 3 clocked at 1.3Ghz, 1GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, 8MP back camera, and a 22Whr battery.
While the TF300T isn’t as sleek and light as the Prime, the specs match it almost identically, and but for the lack of a Super IPS+ display you’d be forgiven for not telling them apart. The beautiful part is that this Transformer Pad comes preloaded with Android 4.0.3, and likely due to the plastic materials used on the back plate, avoids the GPS and WiFi problems of its more expensive cousin.
If you’re interested in pre-ordering a Transformer Pad TF300T, head on over to Staples.
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Rumor: HTC to release “The Facebook Phone” later this year

Click here to find out more!
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Another picture of the Samsung I9300 prototype leaks

We have another picture of what is likely to be the next Galaxy phone. As usual, the phone is camouflaged by being placed within a case but we still get a glimpse of some of the important bits.

For starters, we see the arrangement of the buttons at the bottom of the display. For the first time, we are also seeing a Menu button there, along with the Back, Home and multitasking button. Samsung has changed the order of the keys again and placed it on the left unlike the Galaxy Nexus, which places it on the right. Also, unlike the Galaxy Nexus, the Menu button pushes the other three buttons on the right, so they are no longer in the center.
What's curious, though, is what we see below the display. There is a physical Home button, not unlike the ones we have seen on previous versions of the Galaxy smartphones. However, we did not see this when we first spotted this prototype device. If the phone is going to have on-screen controls then it makes no sense to have a physical Home button. Perhaps this is something that will eventually disappear by the time the phone reaches the production stage.
Another thing to note is the shape of the device. If you look closely, placed within the case, the corners of the base seem to be highly curved. If you remember the media invite image for the Mobile Unpacked 2012 image, you see two curved droplets of white and blue metallic substance.
If we put on our soothsayer hats for a minute, we can see the Galaxy S III being available in white and blue colored versions, with the blue model having a metallic finish, and both having highly curved corners. The curves will help the device fit your palm perfectly, which also goes with Samsung's tagline that says "For technology to be truly smart, shouldn't it fit into your life naturally?" with additional references to Galaxy fitting in your hands in the teaser video.
Anyway, we won't have to wait too long to find out how it really looks like, with the Samsung event being just a week away from today.
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Pixel Qi Reveals Next-Generation Display With Retina-Like Resolution, "Massive Power Savings"

You may remember Pixel Qi, an ambitious display maker looking to provide users with brilliant displays that not only save energy, but which are actually readable in sunlight. Since we covered their 7" and 10.1" displays way back in May, the company has continued working, announcing in a blog post yesterday a new display which "matches the resolution of the iPad3 screen, and its full image quality including matching or exceeding contrast, color saturation, the viewing angle, and so forth with massive power savings." In the post, Mary Lou Jepsen, founder of Pixel Qi, goes on to explain the display's special low power mode which "runs at a full 100x power reduction from the peak power consumed by the iPad3 screen."
Of course, the new display's ratings in the table above are "proposed" and not quite official just yet. Still, Pixel Qi's claims sound fairly impressive, and it will be interesting to see where the company's latest and greatest display ends up in the market.
Source: Pixel Qi
Via: The Verge
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Motorola wins initial Trade Commission ruling against Apple for violating patents

A U.S. judge has found Apple guilty of violating at least one of Motorola’s patents pertaining to Wi-Fi technology. If approved by a six-person International Trade Commission committee, this could lead to a temporary ban on imports of the iPhone and iPad into the United States.
This is the first big victory for Motorola, which is now wholly owned by Google, in what appears to be a never-ending stream of litigation back and forth between Apple and a number of Android vendors. Apple is currently suing Motorola and Samsung for a number of patent infringements, while Motorola has sued Apple for the same. This particular case was filed back in October 2010 and could continue into next year as Apple appeals the decision.
The judge’s findings will be reviewed in the coming months, so nothing is likely to happen in the short term. But down the road, with multiple vendors suing one another, a settlement is bound to be the logical step. If not, these litigations could carry on indefinitely, costing companies billions of dollars, and slowing innovation in a sector that desperately needs more of it.
Source: Bloomberg
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Google Storage Prices Go Up Significantly With Drive Launch, But Grandfathered Plans Will Be Honored Indefinitely [New VS Old VS Dropbox Comparison]

This morning, Google Drive finally launched, and for about 30 minutes the pricing structure inconsistencies had me scratching my head. The blog post mentioned a new pricing scheme, with "25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month" and yet the storage upgrade page continued to list old prices - +20GB for $5 a year, and so on, which was much cheaper than the new offerings.
I quickly jumped into the $5 plan to see if it works on Google Drive storage limits, and to my surprise it did (hat tip to @LiamJohnson_95):
Now I was completely confused. Is the blog post wrong? Is Google lagging with an update to the storage plan page? Thankfully, after another 30 minutes, I got everything cleared up. Here's what's going on.

Grandfathered Plans

Grandfathered upgrades, which were offered at substantially lower rates will remain in effect, and unless you decide to upgrade or cancel will be allowed to renew indefinitely. This is detailed here:
How to keep your old plan
Google storage plans have changed, but you can stay on your current plan as long as you:
  • Keep your account active
  • Keep payment information in Google Wallet accurate and up-to-date
  • Don’t cancel or upgrade your current plan
If your account lapses, your credit card is declined, or you choose to change your storage plan in any way (upgrade or downgrade), you’ll be switched to the new Google storage plan.
You’ll access your account information in a new place, even if you choose to keep your current plan. The new place to access and manage your account information is www.google.com/settings/storage.
What happens when you switch to a new plan
When you change your current storage plan or if your payment information lapses, you’ll move onto the new system for storage plans. Once you choose a new plan, you'll no longer be able to switch back to old one.
Indeed, my "old" plan, which I managed to snag after Drive launched, is no longer available and is now marked as such (note "Your current plan is no longer offered" on the bottom there):
It's worth pointing out that my old plan included a bump in Picasa (to 21GB) and Gmail storage. The new plan also includes Picasa and Gmail, though the fine details are very subtly different:
Sweet deal for anyone who upgraded in the past, though now it makes me wish I pulled the trigger on the 200GB plan instead. Oh hindsight...

New VS Old VS Dropbox

So, just how much did the prices go up? Let's take a look and compare them to Dropbox while we're at it.
Note: Not all plans have matching space allotments, but they're displayed as close as possible to their equivalents on all three services.
5GB - free1GB - free2GB - free (+ bonuses)
25GB - $2.49/mo20GB - $0.42/mo50GB - $9.99/mo
100GB - $4.99/mo80GB - $1.67/mo100GB - $19.99/mo
200GB - $9.99/mo200GB - $4.17/mo 
400GB - $19.99/mo400GB - $8.33/mo 
1TB - $49.99/mo1TB - $21.33/mo1TB for Teams - starting at $66.25/mo
2TB - $99.99/mo2TB - $42.67/mo 
4TB - $199.99/mo4TB - $85.33/mo 
8TB - $399.99/mo8TB - $170.67/mo 
16TB - $799.99/mo16TB - $341.33/mo 
As you can see, the old plans offered the best bang for the buck, so everyone who is grandfathered is going to want to hang on to those for a while.
It's also worth pointing out just how much more expensive Dropbox is now in comparison - roughly 4x. I sincerely hope they're going to update their pricing structure soon, as I love the company and the product, along with all the free space they've given out over the years.
image image
Which one should I use now? Hrm... Both!
I hope this clears up some of the questions you may have had. If not, feel free to ask away down below.
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April 23, 2012

Samsung starts the “Next Galaxy” teasing with “tgeltaayehxnx” anagram

tgeltaayehxnx. This is the latest serving of teasing Samsung is has presented the masses. They posted a note on Twitter that stated “Destination: tgeltaayehxnx”… which un-jumbled is “the next Galaxy”. There’s also an associated URL with a countdown clock – now just under 17 hours – that says our next step will be coming soon. Samsung seems to be making the most out of the anticipation of this Android. Wonder what the next step is, hopefully revealing real specs and design.
Update: I checked out the page source on the tgeltaayehxnx site, it stated that “Discover how Samsung is about to challenge the way you view the GALAXY once more.”
Source: tgeltaayehxnx
Via: Phandroid
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April 21, 2012

Google Leaks Share To Google Drive Functionality In YouTube Video, Then Removes The Evidence

There's really no point in denying it anymore for the folks up at Mountain View. Google's cloud storage solution, likely to be called Google Drive, is happening. In today's Android developer Hangout when the Googlers were talking about apps, the Drive icon and name can be clearly seen in the Android sharing menu.

The developer phone in the video could have a fully functional version of Drive running on it, which would lend some credence to the rumor that the service could be launched next week. Recent rumors also claim Google will be offering 5GB of cloud storage for free, and it will sync between Mac, Windows, iOS, and (of course) Android devices.
The moment anyone noticed the little slip up, Google set the video to private. Luckily, The Verge pulled the relevant section of video before it was shut down. The fact they moved so quickly to hide the evidence might indicate that the launch is close at hand. It's going to be a tough call between Drive and Dropbox.
[The Verge]
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Facebook For Android App Updated To v1.9, Brings Performance Improvements And New Features

Facebook for Android has been updated to version 1.9, bringing performance improvements (read: faster feed scrolling), a some new picture sharing and messaging features. You may not be able to get it quite yet on the device Play Store, but forcing the download from the web Play Store should do the trick, as usual. Here's the changelog:
-Improved performance and various bug fixes
-More messaging features like creating group messages and adding friends to existing group conversations
-Shortcuts to share photos and messages right from your home screen
Screenshot_2012-04-20-15-32-28 Screenshot_2012-04-20-15-32-45 Screenshot_2012-04-20-15-33-23
I've already noticed smoother operation in the main feed when scrolling, and the new photo share button on the main feed page is pretty handy, too. Going into messaging will now show a new option to start a group message, bringing more of Facebook's web UI features to mobile.
Play Store
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April 20, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III test unit shown on video, specs and all

Yet another alleged live photo of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III flagship leaked yesterday, but the guys from Tinhte.vn got their hands on just that device and shot an informative video that reveals a lot about the phone.
It's important to note that the device shown isn't the final design - it's just a sort of test mule, with all the hardware packed in a box to let the carriers test it. This was done to prevent any leaks of what the final device will look like.
Here's the video in question (it's in Vietnamese, but there are English subtitles):

The hardware should be identical though and the video shows Android System Info running on the phone, so it reveals several key specs. The first is a Samsung-made quad-core processor running at 1.4GHz, a Mali-400MP GPU (same as on the current Galaxy S II) and a screen with 320ppi pixel density.
The screen has 720p resolution, which works out to a 4.6" diagonal with the quoted density (seems about right judging by the part of the video where the Galaxy S III is put next to a Galaxy Nexus). Part of the screen is reserved for ICS-style on-screen controls. The screen should be a Super AMOLED unit, though we don't know if it's a Plus or not (if it uses PenTile matrix or a conventional RGB one).
A look at the back of the device reveals a microSD card slot to expand the 16GB of built-in memory. Next to it is a SIM slot of about the same size, so the Galaxy S III should be using the microSIM standard. The battery has an ample 2050mAh capacity and the phone will support NFC connectivity.

Photos of a Samsung Galaxy S III test unit
The camera interface on the Samsung Galaxy S III (if that's even its final name) reports a maximum resolution of 8MP and not 12MP as earlier rumors suggested. This could be just a software limitation, but there's no way to know for sure, at least until the official announcement comes.
That is expected to happen on May 3, when we should see the final design, name and specs of the Galaxy S II successor.
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Android was important, but not critical, to Google’s success: Larry Page

Google CEO Larry Page sat before a courtroom today defending his company as he was cross-examined in the copyright portion of a trial with Oracle over Java patents. While it’s not in dispute that Java is a royalty-free programming language, Oracle is suing Google over 37 closed APIs that were integrated into the Android operating system.
Page had some pretty blunt words to say about Android’s importance to Google, claiming it as an important but not critical part of their product line. “I believe Android was very important for Google. I wouldn’t say it was critical.” But it has turned into a critical product as the company activates over 800,000 new devices every day around the world. As mobile gets more integrated into everyday live, Google will continue to gain prominence in the mobile industry, even on non-Android devices: Apple uses Google search as the default engine on its iOS platform.
Upcoming testimonies from Andy Rubin and Eric Schmidt will likely shed more light on the Java copyright issues raised by Oracle.
Source: The Verge
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Qualcomm has another record breaking quarter, says they’re investing more into 28 nm

Click here to find out more!
Qualcomm just issued their Q2 2012 financial results; they use a fiscal calendar, hence the Q2 and not Q1. How did they do? Consider this: They had a record quarter in Q1 2012, a record that that they just broke today. We’re talking $4.94 billion in revenues, up 28% year over year; $1.51 billion in income, up 123% year over year; and 152 million shipments of their MSM chips, which people better recognize as Snapdragon. Here’s what Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Qualcomm’s CEO, had to say about the company’s performance:
“I am pleased to report another quarter of record revenues and earnings per share, driven by strong demand for 3G- and 4G-enabled devices across both developed and emerging regions. We are excited to see the continued growth of 3G and 4G smartphones, as well as new mobile computing devices. We are increasing our operating expenses to facilitate additional 28 nanometer supply and to continue to position our industry-leading chipset solutions for the opportunities ahead.”
So why is Qualcomm so darn successful? It’s simple really, they give handset makers a platform with everything already integrated. When HTC buys a Snapdragon S4 they get a package that includes a pair of Krait CPU cores, an Adreno GPU, built-in 3G and 4G, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and they even throw in the power management components! No other vendor does that, at least today. Texas Instruments got out of the baseband game, ST-Ericsson has a Snapdragon competitor that isn’t due to ship for at least a year, NVIDIA isn’t going give 4G LTE support to Tegra until late 2013, and the list goes on and on.
Who can compete with Qualcomm? In the short term, Samsung. It’s rumored that their next Exynos chips will have built-in 3G and 4G connectivity, which would be huge. And in the long term, there’s Intel. They bought Infineon’s wireless division a few years back and this year they’re going to enter the smartphone space with an Atom platform that has built-in cellular. Is it going to take off? No, but it’s good that they’re getting their toes wet.
[Via: Engadget]
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Intel's first smartphone coming soon: Xolo X900 gets 24 April release date

Intel's first smartphone release date
Intel's first Atom smartphone is now available, and it's Lava's Xolo X900. It has managed to outpace both Lenovo's K800 and Orange's Santa Clara and arrives on the Indian carrier next Monday. Packing a 1.6 GHz Atom Z2460 processor, we handled one in Barcelona a few months ago, and were pleasantly surprised with its responsiveness, if not its middling build quality. The four-inch 1024 x 600 display is accompanied by a one-megapixel camera on the front, plus a primary 8-megapixel shooter on the back capable of burst-shot photography. Despite its plastic build, Intel's new mobile offering won't all that cheap; the Xolo X900 by Lava is priced off-contract at around 22,000 INR ($420). At the moment, we're still waiting to hear how Orange and Lenovo will price up their own Medfield-powered offerings -- both are expected to emerge in the next few months.

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April 18, 2012

Chrome for Android beta updated, brings bookmark support and 31 new languages

Chrome for Android Beta was launched on February 7th and the app has just been updated, but still in beta. Now at version 0.18.4409.2396 it’s still only available to those who have a smartphone or tablet with OS 4.0 and brings the following updates:
- Now available in 31 new languages
- You can now request the desktop version of a website, not just a mobile version
- You can now add bookmarks as shortcuts on your home screen
- Choose your favorite apps to handle links opened in Chrome
- Have a proxy setup for Wi-Fi access? You can now use Chrome with the system proxy configured in Android settings
Chrome for Android is free and Google is still looking for feedback before shedding beta from its title. Download it here from Google Play
Via: Google
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ARM reveals its new quad-core Cortex-A15 variant

Chipset manufacturer ARM is famous for its Cortex A-series of processors, and today is decided to announce a new addition to the lineup – a quad-core Cortex-A15 chip. Basically, its purpose it to help system-on-a-chip manufacturers design their own products in a faster manner and with lower power use.
How will they do that? Well, by using the company’s new hard macrocell implementations of the Cortex A-series of processors. Anyway, it’s no use getting too technical here; the idea is that manufacturers will be able to get the same power usage as earlier Cortex-A9 chips and faster turnaround times for their SoCs. This implies a ”balance of performance and power”, which could easily be used even in notebooks or other fast network devices.
More details should turn up tomorrow, during the IEEE symposium in Yokohama. The chips in question are expected to start shipping in the end 2012.
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April 17, 2012

Android dominates iOS in China

A recent report by a Beijing analytics company rated Android device penetration in China to a whopping 68.4% by the end of 2011.

By comparison, iOS was only able to snag mere 5.7% of that same pie.
Such a drastic deviation may come as quite a surprise to some people, especially considering a recent report pointing to one in ten people in Beijing and Shanghai owning iOS devices. This same report also states that China has recently overtaken the US as the country where the most smartphone devices are activated, so one in ten people owning an Apple device is not exactly a drop in the bucket.
And we all remember that iPhone 4S launch fiasco at the beginning of the year, where Apple had to suspend sales of its latest iPhone in Beijing and Shanghai due to unruly crowds on opening day.
So why the huge disparity between the Android and iOS market share? Most sources point to price being the deciding factor, as Android is able to take advantage of lower-cost devices as vessels for the Google’s mobile OS. This is especially true for China, the backyard of price competitive smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE.
With the anticipated announcement of the latest iPhone somewhere in the near future, we’ll have to wait and see if Apple can make up some of their lost ground in 2012.
Source 1 | Source 2 | Via
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Nokia’s Asha series by the numbers: an infographic

Nokia’s Series 40 phones have a long history and have literaly sold billions – 1.5 billion as of earlier this year (to give you a frame of reference, the world’s population is currently at just over 7 billion people). Nokia Conversations have prepared an infographic with some interesting data on the Asha series of S40 phones.

Jump over the break to see the whole infographic.

So far, so good for the S40 and the Asha lineup. But what’s next? Well, a keyboard-less, touchscreen-only phone – the Nokia 306 – just might be in the cards.
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Nokia 808 PureView surfaces on pre-order in the UK

We've already seen Nokia 808 PureView pre-orders pop up elsewhere but now we're talking the UK.

Clove.co.uk now offers the ultra-high-megapixel cameraphone but the pricetag is a bit harder to swallow than the one we saw from Nokia Italy. With the VAT included, the UK price amounts to £538.80, which is roughly €655, while Nokia Italy's asking price is €599.
We hope other UK retailers chime in on that one and make a more palatable offer for the Nokia 808. A Dutch retailer, for instance, has a pre-order listed at €565.

Clove doesn't mention a release date but the Nokia Italy pre-order had May as a projected time frame for the launch of the highly anticipated cameraphone.
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April 16, 2012

Samsung holding an event for the next Galaxy phone on May 3

Samsung has finally started sending out the official invites for the event in London on May 3 for the next Galaxy handset.

The invite doesn't say much but it's highly likely that it will be about the Galaxy S III (or whatever Samsung decides to call it). It's clear from the invite that Samsung is talking about only one device here, which makes us all the more certain that it is just the Galaxy S III that Samsung will announce. As far as the puddles of liquid seen in the invite, it could be nothing more than something used to fill up the invite image or something as exciting as an indicator for the device having a Liquidmetal body.
Samsung has taken its own sweet time with this device, even choosing to play it low at the popular Mobile World Congress this year, which is when companies make major announcements. Hopefully, this phone will live up to everyone's expectations.
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