Tuesday 30 April 2013

GameStick's UI and some extra games show up in a new promo video!

   A few weeks back you might remember that we reported that the Gamestick's creators PlayJam had decided to delay the launch of their product, firstly to make sure they had enough, which added about four weeks to the process and then they had to make sure everything was in good working order!

   Well their latest promo has turned up on YouTube and it would seem to us that the delay is definitely going to be beneficial to customers! It seems that the UI is now much more streamlined and smooth, although it still looks similar to the Xbox's interface, just like OUYA does too. There are also a few new titles supported now too! As you can see in the video below there's now games from Madfinger on board and that means Shadowgun! There's a few other things which will make you happier too; there's Hungry Shark Evolution, Blue Toad Murder Files, Grabatron and he hugely popular Smash Cops and the ever present Riptide!

   Does everything in the video look like it's going to be worth the extra wait? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and if you've ordered one are you excited?

Are HP working on an Android convertible tablet powered by a Tegra 4?

Will the Slate 7 get a big brother?
   HP have had a bit of an up and down few years when it comes to the tablet market. Not too long ago they were busy splashing out on WebOS, shortly before they totally disassembled the operation which they spent so much money on. More recently they've announced the really good look Envy X2, which is a great convertible and there's also the Android-powered Slate 7

   Today's rumour is a merger of the Envy and the Slate 7. If the rumours are true then HP are working to make the Slatebook 10X 2. It's a device which is set to be a high-end Android tablet with a 10" full HD display and the whole thing is rumoured to be powered by a Tegra 4 processor from Nvidia!

   The name itself is quite interesting because the “book” part of the Slatebook is supposedly referring to a keyboard dock which could arrive with the tablet, which will peg this as opposition to Asus' Transformer range! We don't really know too much about this device and we don't even know if it really exists, but all of what we have to go on is from an AnTuTu benchmark. The results of which showed up the aforementioned Tegra 4 processor which was clocked at 1.8Ghz and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean running the device!

   Seeing as HP have recently put the Slate 7 up for pre-order it would make sense that the guys offer a higher-end Android device, just so they have all bases covered! That was something which HP promised when they announced the Slate 7, they said:
"On the tablet side, it's entirely our intent to have a broad set of products on the market... to cover more segments of the market we'll need more products, and you'll see us aggressively pursue that over the year."
 So it looks like we will have something coming our way at some point in the next few months! HP Nexus anyone? What do you think? Is this something which you'd like to see? Let us know in the comments below!
Via UnwiredView.

EE flicks the switch on more UK towns: Smaller towns getting coverage now!

   If you live in the UK then EE are still your only option for 4G LTE data services. The rest of the mobile networks will be on their tails soon enough, with everyone except Three confirming that they'll be rolling out the services this year and O2 have just signed a deal which will see BT manage their 4G service!

   With that in mind EE have announced another round of places which now have access to their 'Superfast' network. You can now use their services if you live in:
 "Aylesbury, Berkhamsted, Billericay, Blackpool, Brentwood, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Lytham St Annes, Marlow, Pontefract, Thame and Windsor."
   Two of those places Billericay and Brentwood are in Essex and we would say they're medium size towns. Which means that EE feel that they're at the point where they can start pushing their network outside of the main towns and cities!

   As for coverage EE proclaim that they've now showered half of the UK's population with 4G radio waves and by the end of June the company plans to have another 18 towns up and connected, with the ultimate target of 70% coverage by the end of this year!

   It'll be interesting to see how far EE's head start got them when other people start turning on their own networks through the coming months! Are you covered by EE or are you still in a frustrating wait? Let us know in the comments below!
Via AndroidCentral.

Rumours suggest iOS 7 is set to get a redesign and as part of that will all be made flatter!

This is supposedly Apple's next iPhone design.
   The rumour mill for the next version of Apple's iOS is starting up with the first real rumours coming from sources speaking with 9to5Mac!

   According to the reports iOS 7 is set to be "very, very flat,” and the interface is shaping up to lose, "all signs of gloss, shine, and skeuomorphism seen across current and past versions of iOS." The multitude of 'sources' seemingly reiterate the 'flatness' of the new operating system with one apparently suggesting how iOS will be similar to the flatness of Microsoft's Metro UI used in Windows Phone and Windows 8!

   The problem here for Apple is that their OS hasn't had a major overhaul since it was released way back with the original iPhone. That was six phones ago and assuming you've owned an iPhone for that long then the look will probably be getting a bit stale. Microsoft and Google have radically reinvented their interfaces lately with Windows Phone 7 ushering in the Metro design, while Honeycomb and subsequent versions have brought the Holo theme to Android. 

   The one thing we can be sure of, no matter what this update looks like, is that Apple will strive to make it as easy to use and as intuitive as possible! That was why they borrowed Android's notification centre and that's why aesthetically things may look different, but under the surface it'll probably all act exactly the same!
Via 9to5Mac.

In Other News: 30/04/2013.

  • Those of you out there with a Windows Phone might want to try the new Facebook for Windows Phone beta which is currently being developed by Microsoft! The new app will contain a whole ream of fixes and new features and notable ones include support for high-resolution photos, improved post sharing and there's finally Timeline support! You can check out the app here, but remember it may well crash!
    Via Slashgear.
  • Acer's Iconia A1 tablet had shown up with a full spec list which includes a quad-core Mediatek processor, Android 4.2, 1GB of RAM, 8 or 16GB of internal storage and a 3250mAh battery. The whole thing is set to cost 169 Euros, which is amazing value for money for an 8" tablet with a screen comparable to the iPad Mini's! There's nothing official yet, but you can check out the full spec list at the sourcelink below!
    Via PhoneArena.
  • Hulu has gone on the record saying that they've doubled their subscriber base in the last year and there is now 4 million customers on their books!
    Via Engadget.
  • Barnes and Noble are running a promoting in the UK which has meant that there's been widespread price drops for all of their products in the UK! Their basic Nook Simple Touch eReader is now £29, while the Simply Touch GlowLight is £69 and their tablets, their Nook HD and HD+ have been cut to £129 and £159 respectively. We're not sure if this is a firesale or whether they're just trying to get people's attention! Either way it worked!
    Via Modaco.
  • Microsoft has today released a preview of Video Messaging for Skype on Windows! An update to Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions of the programme will arrive in time and they'll have the feature which mobile apps have had for some time! Don't forget there's a subscription after you've used your 20 free messages!
    Via TheVerge
  • Microsoft have also started the retirement of Windows Live Messenger today with the latest versions of the programme being removed from download centres today! Obviously Microsoft wants to push users over to Skype!
    Via Softpedia.
  • Twitter has today opened up their ads to any company in the US to advertise! You can buy your ad spot here!
    Via TechCrunch.
  • OUYA have announced that Soul Fjord will be coming to the console as an exclusive! The game is made by the creator of Portal and mixes Norse mythology and Funk! It sounds cool, check it out in the video below and we hope this will be a great addition to the platform.
    Via TheVerge.

  • Best Buy has confirmed that they are delayed pre-orders of Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4's by two weeks!
    Via AndroidGuys.
  • That's whilst AT&T's version of the phone, which is available, has been found to have a locked bootloader!
    Via Phandroid.
  • Lenovo has announced a new Windows 8-based ThinkPad called the S431! You can check out full details on Lenovo's site here!
    Via Twitter.
  • One of HTC's employees has apologised for the HTC Thunderbolt! Check out the source link below for the full details on what he said!
    Via AndroidCommunity.
And finally, it seems as though Twitter is going to be landing on Google Glass pretty soon! Check out this tweet below!
Via Engadget.

Angry Birds Friends coming to Android and iOS on May the 2nd.

   If you haven't heard of those Angry birds by now, firstly where have you been and secondly what are you waiting for, there's always room for a mobile game addiction! Anyway obsession aside, Rovio is releasing another game into their Angry Birds franchise and the latest one will see you compete against your friends!

   Some of you might have actually experienced the game already, as Angry Birds Friends is available on Facebook, but soon you'll be able to test you pig popping skills when you're out and about! The game will offer high score rankings with the best scores being recorded in weekly tournaments and you'll be award virtual medals if you're a winner!

   If you're interested in the game then you can get it on Android or iOS from May the 2nd and if you can't wait until then the teaser below will have to suffice!
Via Angry Birds Twitter.

Blackberry's Thorsten Heins talks Tablets and the Q10! [Update: Blackberry aren't ruling out tablets!]

   Blackberry once upon a time were a behemoth. They were huge in business, popular with consumers and everyone loved BBM. If we fast forward to the present then it's not quite as rosy over at their HQ in Canada. It seems that the boys almost missed the boat when things changed to touch screen, leaving them with tonnes of qwerty devices which seemed a little outdated.

   If we fast forward to now, things are looking a little better. The company has released the Z10, which is not a bad smartphone at all, but it does have a lot of last years specifications at the price of this year's smartphones, which isn't a smart move. There's also the Playbook and the Q10 on sale now!

   The Playbook though is a few years old now and there were rumours that Blackberry were going to release a successor to the device, on the condition that it was profitable. After what we've heard today though it doesn't seem too likely that we will see a new tablet from Blackberry though. In an interview with Bloomberg Heins went on the record as saying:

 “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore... Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

   Instead, Heins wants to “see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing -- that’s what we’re aiming for,” with the plan being, “to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat.”

   With regard to the qwerty Blackberry Q10 Heins said that, "We have very, very good first signs already after the launch in the UK.” He then said that sales of the Q10 were building on an “installed base of more than 70 million BlackBerry users... We expect several tens of million of units.” That last statement is a little strange because that quantity of sales seems a little excessive given that the population of the UK is just below 70 million, but we suppose there are a lot of business users!

   If you're interested in the full interview then check it out on Bloomberg here. Take it with a pinch of salt though, it's quite likely that he's been misquoted!
Via Twitter.


It seems that the guys over at Slashgear received a statement from Blackberry which read:
“The comments that Thorsten made yesterday are in line with previous comments he has made about the future of mobile computing overall, and the possibilities that come with a platform like BlackBerry 10. We continue to evaluate our tablet strategy, but we are not making any shifts in that strategy in the short term. When we do have information about our PlayBook strategy, we will share it.”
So there's still the potential that we will see a tablet in the future, just Heins doesn't think one will arrive?

Google's Matias Duarte doesn't hate Facebook Home: Instead thinks it is incredibly polished!

   A couple of weeks back when Facebook Home was introduced to the world, some people speculated how Google would take someone skinning their beloved Android. Some people thought they'd be annoyed, ourselves included, but when you think about it there's not really any reason for them to mind because Google's services drive everything except the Facebook messaging and networking which would've been done inside an app anyway!

   As TheVerge notes Eric Schmidt said Facebook's work was "a tremendous endorsement" of the Google's ecosystem. It seems Google's love is spreading now and Matias Duarte, the guy behind Android's looks and recent 'holo' design has had a few nice things to say about Home too!

   Duarte, who's official title is director of Android Operating System User Experience, said in a recent interview with ABC News:
"The new Facebook Home shows an incredible amount of polish and attention to design detail, and that didn’t come from a hardware manufacturer... With the Home experience, they did a nice job expressing the Facebook experience, but so much of the Google design experience with Ice Cream Sandwich [Android 4.0] was in there as well.”
   So it seems that Google don't mind people skinning their OS as long as they do a good job! Does that mean that we'll see more launchers from people like Twitter in the future? Who knows. One thing we do know is that Facebook's ChatHeads are one of our favourite changes to our phones in a very long time, although that's strictly not Facebook Home! Let us know your thoughts on the launcher and what, if anything, you'd like to see changed or done to it in the future!
ABC Via TheVerge.

Rockstar release the new ads for GTA V!

   There's already four in the Grand Theft Auto series and the guys from Rockstar are back with the fifth instalment which is again set bring horror and despair to the mind of parents with teenage children throughout the world!

   The ad, which is embedded below, shows off three of the main characters. You've got Michael, Franklin and Trevor, each of them with their own unique stories which you can hear about from the video below! If you pick up the game on September the 17th then you'll get to see how their stories intertwine through the game and obviously everything will fit together a lot better when things are up and running.

   All you really need to know for the moment is that Michael is 'having a mid-life crisis', but he's got a family and he wants to be a good father, he's not exactly your typical criminal. Franklin on the other hand wants to 'get out of the hood' and he really seems to dislike the situation he's found himself in and finally Trevor is a 'major drug dealer', 'hill-billy type' and all round nutter!

   Check out their videos and let us know who you're most looking forward to playing as in the comments below!

Monday 29 April 2013

In Other News: 29/04/2013.

  • Google have updated their search app for iOS to include Google Now! The update offers most of the functionality it does on the Android with some exceptions, but for the most part this is the same in appearance and usage! Google have reiterated that the integration will be much better on a Google phone than on the iPhone though because of the restrictions which they're faced with. Either way this is a great addition to Apple's ecosystem and you can download the update here!
    Via TheVerge.
  • According to reports Facebook seem to be losing users in countries in Europe and North America at the moment! The full report of the findings is available over at the Guardian, but it'd be interesting to find out if people are choosing other services instead of Facebook or whether Facebook is being supplemented by other social networks! It seems that this has prompted Mark to take a bit of a pay cut, right down to $1 in fact!
    Via Guardian and CNet.
  • A new study which was commissioned by the Financial Times has found that chat apps such as WhatsApp, ChatON, iMessage and BBM actually had more messages sent across them than SMS' were sent right at the end of 2012! It seems like carriers will need to invest in that data infrastructure a fair bit more!
    Via TheVerge.
  • According to rumours over on SamMobile Samsung are poised to bring a new set of devices to the market which include an amoled equipped Galaxy Tab 8.0, Galaxy Tab 11 and the successor to the Nexus 10, which is set to be the Google Nexus 11, which is still waiting for approval from Google before Sammy push ahead with that!
  • Gameloft is reportedly busy optimising 13 titles for Samsung's Galaxy S4! The list includes Asphalt 7, Modern Combat 4 and Dungeon Hunter 4 and ultimately Samsung are hoping this will give an 'unrivalled gaming experience' on their new flagship!
    Via AndroidCommunity.
  • O2 has signed a deal with BT in the UK for the latter to manage the new 4G network which the former is planning to build out. At the moment there's no suggestion that O2 will be using BT's spectrum.
    Via V3.
  • HTC are rolling out a new update to their HTC One flagship, which is live in the UK! The update is 229MB in size and is said to bring numerous fixes and improvements, with a special focus on the camera quality this time!
    Via AndroidBeat.
  • There's a new personal assistant out for Android and this one is called Sherpa! The idea is that you can say things like 'Should I take an umbrella to work tomorrow' and you'll get a sensible answer instead of the Google Search which Google Now would typically return! This is also a great solution if you don't have a version of Android which supports Google Now because this app is compatible with everything back to Android 2.2! If you're interested in giving it a test run then remember it's a beta, but you can get it here!
    Via PocketLint.
  • Calling all WebOS fans! Some of you might remember that OpenMobile were working on an App Compatibility Layer for the platform which would allow Android apps to run! Well it seems as though OpenMobile have teamed up with Pheonix to get the layer working and the pair have launched a KickStarter campaign to get the job done. Their initial target, assuming their funded, is to get everything done by July this year! You can check out the Kickstarter here!
    Via Engadget.
Huawei are said to be working at taking back the world's thinnest title from Alcatel! The Huawei P6 has supposedly been leaked by the Chinese certification body and the device is said to be a tiny 6.18mm thick! We don't understand this race to be super thin, but it's pretty sweet to look at nonetheless!

Samsung offer the Galaxy S4 design story, as NFC incompatibility and a lack of storage issues start popping up!

   It's quite hard to miss it at the moment, because the Galaxy S4 from Samsung is getting everywhere. It's been Gangnam-ed already today and now Samsung has told the story of how the S4 came to look the way it did.

   As you would expect you'll hear the normal hyperbole about how the Galaxy S4 is like 'Nothing you've ever seen before', whilst the ad contradicts the claim from the line before in which we're told that 'there's not a radical difference, just more of an evolution'. Other than that Samsung explain how they've considered every detail and they've ended up with perfect lines amongst other things.

   Perhaps that's a little harsh on the promotional video, but it seems that all the effort put into the Nature UX on the Galaxy S4 has had a bit of a detrimental effect on the internal storage of the device. The operating system and all of the add-ons mean that people who pick up the 16GB model of the new flagship will only have 9GB of their internal storage available for them too use. Which while that's not too shabby, it makes a MicroSD card a must if you plan on putting much of your music or video collection onto your shiny new smartphone.

   The other thing which is a bit of a pain for people who're upgrading from the Samsung Galaxy S3, especially if you've been using the Samsung Tectiles which were available for that deve! Basically Samsung has decided to update the NFC tech in their new smartphone and that means that the Galaxy S4 won't be able to read 'older' NFC tags. In a statement issued to PhoneScoop Samsung said that:
"TecTile 2 will use the current NFC technology on the market, allowing Samsung customers to further incorporate NFC into their daily lives... As industry standards continue to evolve, Samsung remains committed to meeting those standards and adapting its technologies if necessary." 

   Does any of this bother you or can you just not wait to get your hands on the Galaxy S4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Via Engadget, PhoneScoop and AndroidGuys.

Blackberry's Q10 sells out in two hours at UK store! But this is a little bit misleading!

   Blackberry's new BB10 operating system has only graced one phone so far and that was the all touch Z10, which was received well for the most part. The thing is Blackberry are the keyboard maestros so it's high time that consumers had their chance to get hold of a device with one of those iconic physical keyboards.

   That was exactly what Selfridge customers in the UK had to opportunity to do today and it seems that the phones proved very popular indeed, with the Guardian reporting that Selfridge's stock of the phones sold out in two hours! That is slightly misleading because it implies that there was a huge fanfare for the phone, when that's not exactly how it happened. Julian Slim, Selfridges head of Home and Leisure, did report that the:
"BlackBerry Q10 has been, without a doubt, the most highly anticipated smartphone we have ever sold and is already our most successful. Our partnership [with BlackBerry] has proven to be a powerful combination of great technology and commercial success."
   But, and it's a big but, people who were present at the launch were reporting that people went with the intention to bulk buy phones for export and some corporate customers went in purely to get their latest keyboard device which they swore by. One person who was present was Oli Farago, one of the technology partners at M7 Real Estate LLP, who offered his take on the proceedings and he explained how this wasn't really the big story which the headlines are commanding. 

   With people being able to buy as many phones as they wanted for resale, with a lack of Blackberry employees offering demos and with a lack of press and genuine customers in attendance this wasn't really the success which it appears to have been because very few people actually knew about the launch in the first place. The good news for Blackberry is that they got the headlines they wanted and in some cases people won't bother to read any further, but at this point we don't really know how much demand their is for the Q10 or whether Blackberry had that many phones for sale in the stores in the first place, we do know that Selfridge's have said extra stock will be arriving to help meet demand over the coming days.

   What do you think? Is this Blackberry aiming for headlines or is there genuine excitement in some sectors for this new smartphone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Via Guardian and uSwitch.

Is the next version of Android going to be Jelly Bean again? Server logs would suggest so!

   The next version of Android is widely tipped to be landing at Google I/O in a few weeks time, but at the moment we know very little about what features it will have and most people expected to see Android 5 which was speculated to be called Key Lime Pie. 

   The arrival of Android 5 is looking a little less likely now because we've recently seen in server logs at Google! This post over on Reddit has most of the details which point to Android 4.3 being the most likely candidate to take over from Android 4.2.2 at the moment, something which IntoMobile has speculated could be to 'give some breathing space to developers and not push major platform updates so quickly'. There's also the suggestion that the feature upgrades in what Google has ready at this moment don't necessarily warrant a bump to Android 5.

   All of that sounds quite likely to us and we can expect the update to come to the current range of Nexus devices right away, but we'll have to wait until Google I/O to find out if there's anything else which will be running the software too!
Via IntoMobile and AndroidPolice.

Image Credit: Android Police.

Samsung remix Gangnam Style for their Galaxy S4 launch in India!

   Samsung seem to have interesting ways of showing off their new devices lately. You might remember the way the Galaxy S4 was announced through Broadway in America a couple of months back, well it seems that that wasn't enough for Sammy. 

   In a nod to their South Korean origin the guys chose to remix Gangnam Style to declare the features of the Galaxy S4 during the devices launch in India. This will have undoubtedly got a few people's attention and because it's so unique it's managed to get the launch into the news. 

   They say any publicity is good publicity and well that's what Samsung's managed with their latest effort! Check out the video below to see the remixed Gangnam Style sounds!
Via TheNextWeb.

Microsoft's new ad pokes fun at Samsung and Apple fans. Their solution is switching to Lumia!

   Microsoft have been doing their level best to get their Windows Phone platform out there lately. Windows Phone 7 was a good start and Windows Phone 8 carried on the good work, but the one thing they really need to make their platform a success is to convince a lot more people to 'switch'. 

   With that in mind the two obvious places to target are those people who are thinking about either picking up an iPhone or one of Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones. Both of those groups have a big set of fans and if you read the comments sections on posts then you'll quite often see their fans squabbling. That's something which Microsoft have picked up on and their latest advert, set at a wedding, captures the mood rather well.

   As the ceremony gets under way both sides pull out their phones to capture the special moment, one Samsung owner is asked rather impolitely to get his 'enormous' phone out of the way, before a war of words kicks off. The retort 'enormously awesome' is thrown out, before S-Beam, Siri and the stereotypical age of iPhone users are all brought into the fray, just like the normal 'iSheep' and 'CopyBot' remarks too!

   One of our personal favourites in this ad is where a Galaxy user says, 'Autocorrect this', before proceeding to start a brawl, during which an iPhone user is thrown into the cake and asked 'is there an app for that?' which also made us chuckle.

   When all is said and done a pair of brightly coloured Nokia Lumia 920's are held out by the catering staff with the ultimate suggestion being 'Don't fight. Switch'. Will this ad be enough to stop the slide in Lumia sales in the US lately? Possibly not, but it's a good fun advert which certainly hits the mark!
Via TheVerge.

Samsung announce the Galaxy Tab 3!

   Samsung's back at it again with an update to their insanely popular Galaxy Tab range! This time the South Koreans have announced the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3! This time again the Tab is a budget device, so there's modest specs this time and lets have a look at them!

    This time you'll have a solid 7 inch WSVGA screen, that's 1024 x 600p which gives you a PPI of 169, and it's a TFT LCD panel, which isn't the best in this day and age, but it should get the job done in this sort of device. What you'll be using on that screen is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which as you would expect will have the Touchwiz overlay, but things should be relatively snappy on the unspecified dual-core processor which is clocked at 1.2Ghz and is backed up by 8 or 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded by SD cards up to 64GB and there's a solid 1GB of RAM on board too. Your money also gets you a couple of cameras; the rear one is a 3MP sensor and round front there's a 1.2 mega-pixel shooter which will definitely be good enough for video chatting.

   Other than that there's a great 4,000 mAh battery which should keep the screen on this thing going for most of the day if you're a heavy user and it'll let you make full use of the range of sensors here too. On the Tab there's everything you'd expect really; there's Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS and Glonass, USB 2.0 connectivity

   The only things which concern us here are the older version of Jelly Bean because we're not sure how forthcoming updates will be, perhaps there will be one at some point in the future, but we do expect this to be a cheap tablet and that should help us gage where our expectations should be. If you're interested in the device then you can pick it up in either a Wifi-only configuration, or you can get one with 3G connectivity, that latter is 4 grams heavier than the former at 306g. Unfortunately there's no word on pricing or availability, but we'll be sure to let you know if we hear anything! Perhaps the Asus FonePad will be a good competitor to this if this device comes in at anything more than £200! The full press release is available here!

Friday 26 April 2013

Google Glass specs discovered by enterprising owner as Google update their Play Store Terms to stop updates outside of their control!

   Google have been in the news a fair bit today! It seems as though they might have something being organised with Samsung in the OLED arena, but the guys have also revealed the processor and internals of their Google Glass headset as well as updating their terms and conditions on the Play Store to make sure that people can't update their apps without going through their marketplace!

   We'll start with the internals of Google's Glass, which haven't really been confirmed as much as they've been discovered by an enterprising owner who managed to get them to boot up on ADB! His investigations led him to find that Android 4.0.4 ICS is powering the device, with a dual-core OMAP 4430 processor being back up, by what we assume is 1GB of RAM because 682MB was available while the Glasses were running! We already know that there's 16GB of internal storage and a 5MP camera, which when all is said and done, makes this a solid mid-range Android device, but there's nothing too spectacular here except for the form factor of course.

   Secondly, it seems as though Google is none too happy that Facebook has been going behind their back and updating their apps without using Google Play to provide the updates. As a result Google have updated their terms and conditions to try to make sure that this doesn't happen any more!

   When Facebook used the tactic it wasn't against Google's Terms of Service, but they've now been updated to read:
“An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism” Google Play Developer Content Policy
   This change has been made to Google's 'Dangerous Product' section of their policy, which is totally understandable because it'd be easy for people to 'spike' an app on Google Play that way. Google for their part reiterated that, "Google Play is a trusted source for Android application downloads, and we are committed to providing a secure and consistent experience" and that's what they had to do in this situation really. There's been no word from Facebook on the changes, but then again there's not much which they can say any more!
Via TheVerge and Slashgear.

In Other News: 26/04/2013.

  •  Intel CEO Paul Otellini has reiterated that he sees laptop prices heading down below $200 in the next few months! Apparently these devices will be running Android instead of Windows, which is why the price can get so low. The laptops are set to be powered by Intel’s Atom processors and apparently their Windows counterparts price points will be controlled by how much Microsoft chargers for their software! Does this mean that Google is working on something to make Android more suitable for non-touch devices? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
  • Via Slashgear.
  • Qualcomm have confirmed that mass production for the Snapdragon 800 processor will begin in May! The processor can run each of its four cores at different clock speeds or turned off entirely, so hopefully that will be much better at power management!
    Via AndroidCommunity.
  • BetaWorks, the company behind Digg, has today announced that they have acquired Instapaper. Instapaper is a popular little app which saves articles from the internet so you can read them later. Apparently BetaWorks will expand operations, staff and they will seek to take the app further than its creator could have managed on his own!
    Via PocketLint.
  • Microsoft has launched Bing Offers; it's a localised version of their Bing Deals program from before! If you want to check it out then click here!
    Via Engadget.
  • Google has acquired the news summary app Wavii and the first move has been to shut down to service to bring the ideas inside Google for the time being! Is this Google's reaction to Yahoo buying Summly? Probably!
    Via TheVerge.
  • If you follow The White House on Twitter you would have seen this tweet pop up on your timeline! This is good news, we think?
  •  LG have announced that they will be rolling out their cloud service in 40 more countries, unfortunately they didn't specify which ones they were just yet!
    Via Engadget.
  • Forbes has published a list of the most reputable American companies! Intel came in as a surprise number 2 to the winners Disney! It's a pretty interesting list so head here to have a good read of it all!
    Via Hothardware.
  • An Android app for Vine has been promised and is apparently on its way!
    Via Phandroid.
  • A 17MB update is rolling out to Asus Transformer Pad 300's at the moment. The update brings fixes and improvements, but nothing too major!
    Via AndroidPolice.
And finally, we thought we'd bring you a bit of a different end to 'In Other News' today and we're going to show you just how slow things in the tech world are. We all think that things come to market quickly and well to some extent they do, but take the camera in the Galaxy S4. That was announced last August and it's just shipping in a device now! That's right around 9 months, which isn't quite so impressive and bear in mind that that's only the camera module!

Apple's WWDC sells out in two minutes, while their latest iPhone ad reminds you how important your phone is for capturing special moments!

   Apple seem to have had a meteoric rise to fame since the release of the first iPhone. They were always lurking in the background up until that famous day a few years back where their products got pulled into the limelight and into the friend groups of most!

   It seems as though the brand is still as popular as ever if their developer conference is anything to go by! This year's WWDC, which is being held in San Francisco, managed to sell out during a frantic two minute period earlier today! The reason why this event, more than most others, attracts so much attention is because WWDC is usually where Apple announce their new iOS operating systems and where they update OS X. We're not sure how much of an impact Tim Cook's promise of, "some really great stuff coming" soon made to the sales, but it would only have increased the hype. 

   Talking of 'really great stuff', Apple's latest advert for the iPhone is one of the finest adverts we've seen in a really long time! As we watched we were struck, by how many times we were in the same situations which they showed and it really must be said that Apple's marketing team are doing a great job lately! Oh and there's the cheeky reminder that the iPhone is the most used camera in the world too! Check out the video below and let us know if you tried to get tickets for WWDC and whether you were successful and of course leave your thoughts on the video too!

Is there some sort of Google and Samsung OLED team-up in the wings?

    Samsung and Google have a habit of getting together to make great products. That Nexus 10 pictured above is the best example of their recent collaborations, but the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus, weren't too shabby either and the two companies are close in relation to a lot of big businesses out there. The pair rely on each other for the success of their mobile devices and their smartphone OS respectively, but that doesn't necessarily mean that their cooperation should end there. 

   In an interesting report from the Korean Times it seems as though Samsung are giving their best to try to get Google to partner in their OLED business! According to the report a recent meeting between Samsung Electronic's Vice Chairman, Lee Jay-yong, and Google's Larry Page resulted in the latter 'showing much interest' in the former's OLED operations and there's the suggestion that the two companies could team up. 

   Page supposedly met with Samsung execs and shared a spot of lunch after taking a tour of one of Samsung's OLED factories, supposedly Page was interested in some sort of deal in the future. Which led to Samsung saying that, ''We don't rule out the possibility to enter a new business partnership with Google in OLEDs. But more time will be needed for further details.'

   There could be any number of reasons for Google being interested in OLED displays, AndroidBeat suggested that this could be Samsung asking for a gesture of goodwill and as a way to keep them interested in Android, as they acknowledged though this could be for any number of reasons and then again we could be completely wrong! What do you think this is all about? Have you got any theories? Let us know in the comments below!
Via AndroidBeat.

Samsung rebrand all Windows devices ATIV, while the Galaxy S4 screen gets reviewed by the experts!

   Samsung have been pretty busy lately; they've been churning out phones left, right and centre, they're supposedly working on a water and dust proof version of the Galaxy S4, some tablets and an S4 Mini, but somewhere in that busy schedule the guys from South Korea have also crammed in a little rebrand for their devices which run Windows software.

   Basically, it seems as though someone at Samsung turned round and said that their naming convention for laptops, tablets and Windows powered smartphones was all a little to complicated and arguably that was true. So the way Samsung has decided to overcome that problem is to rebrand the lot! The way they've chosen to do this has been laid out below and it's relatively straight forward, although the numbers could get really quite confusing in future, but then they are quite a challenge at the moment!

   While we're on the topic of changes, it seems that Samsung and their AMOLED displays are getting a lot better these days! According the guys over at DisplayMate the Galaxy S4 now matches the quality of Apple's LCD display on the iPhone 5 in the scoring stakes, with both screens given A ratings. to the last-generation Galaxy S3 and Apple's flagship iPhone 5 handset, and states that Samsung's latest screen matches the quality of Apple's retina LCD.

   The guys said that: 
"The first notable OLED Smartphone, the Google Nexus One, came in decidedly last place in our 2010 Smartphone Display Shoot-Out. In a span of just three years OLED display technology is now challenging the performance of the best LCDs."
  That's really quite impressive progress over such a short period of time and, while the screen was said to be a tad over saturated in its default mode, as well as having some troubles with green colours, but DisplayMate feel that, "If this keeps up then OLEDs may pull ahead of LCDs in brightness and power efficiency in the near future." You can read the full report over at DisplayMate here!

   It looks like the LCD vs. AMOLED war is here to stay for a bit longer yet! Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!
Via BusinessWire, Slashgear and ExpertReviews.

More rugged Galaxy S4 details are discussed as Samsung extend warranties in Africa and they announce their Q1 earnings!

   This is a bit of a mish-mash this post because there's been a fair bit of news about Samsung and their devices today, but it's all about various different things and there's not really an obvious way to clump it all together!

   The best place to start is with a little update to the news we brought you yesterday that Samsung are rumoured to be working on a 'rugged' Galaxy S4. Well the Wall Street Journal have waded in with their opinion of the phone today and they have said that the rugged version of the phone is being tentatively labelled as the Glaxy S4 Active at the moment. According to their sources the device is looking good for a July release, but the WSJ didn't offer any details about possible carriers or countries of availability. 

   The WSJ also mention that there are a few more devices coming to the Galaxy line-up soon too! The paper explicitly mentioned a new 8" tablet is on the horizon, something which will be an intermediate device to the 7 and 10.1" tablets which will also be on offer. They also said that there is a Galaxy S4 Mini in the works and that will land in July with a 4.3" display! 

   The second part of today's news is that Samsung have announced some extended warranties for some African countries which we would love to see offered in our neck of the woods! Samsung have announced a new accidental damage warranty which gives you two free accidental repairs on anything! The offer is available in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zambia, Mauritius, Uganda, Cote d’Ivorie, Angola, Botswana, and Mozambique. The deal is easy to take advantage of, all you need to do is make sure you register your Samsung device as soon as you buy it! Obviously after your two free accidental repairs you'll have to cough up the money to fix the phones yourself and there's a chance this warranty will be offered on a larger amount of Samsung's portfolio in the future!

   And finally, Samsung have announced their Q1 earnings results and it's looking pretty rosy overall for the Korean giants, but there's a little bit of a slow down. For example Sammy reported an nice big net profit increase of $6.4 billion, but that came with more of a slow down in growth, which is in part because of their competition on the mid and low-end phone markets. Let's not be under any illusions though, this is still a 42% growth year on year, if we compare it to the sales from Q1 2012.

    As you would probably have expected Samsung is building this growth from sales of their smartphones, with the only real competition coming from Apple at the moment. Samsung weren't prepared to offer up any exact numbers today, but people guess that Samsung shipped somewhere near 70 million devices in Q1 something which helped the company to a new high in earnings. They earnt 7.15 trillion won, which was up from 7.04 trillion Q4 2012! 
   Again the key area for Samsung was phones where they generated nearly three quarters of their profit from! The only bit of bad news for the company is possibly that they're struggling to get Galaxy S4's out of the factories at the moment, well at a rate which meets demand anyway, with . We expect Samsung to meet demand soon enough, but their fortunates are pinned heavily on the success of their mobile phones!
various carriers having delays on shipping times

Thursday 25 April 2013

Nokia make as much profit from super-cheap phones as Lumia flagships!

   Today it's come to light that Nokia make just as much profit their insanely cheap handsets as they do from their high-end Lumia devices!

   That's actually really interesting because it means that they are selling so many of their super cheap handsets, like the Nokia 105, pictured above, that their R&D costs on devices like this are not important because of the sheet volumes of these phones which they can sell.

   Nokia China's platform and technology R&D director, Jun Wang, said that the money which the company makes from shifting a tonne of these devices actually adds up to the profit which the company makes from their high-end Lumia smartphones. Wang was speaking at the launch of the 105 in China, a market which is important to Nokia because of the vast amount of people and the huge growth of the mobile phone market in the area lately.

   Nokia will have a relatively tough time in the region though; they have to compete with huge swathes of Android devices which sell at tiny prices for a slice of the 60 per cent of mobile phone sales in China which are less than 2000 Yuan (£250 or $385).

   Nokia is hoping that because they create feature phones with some of the goodies of smartphones that they can tempt people with the tiny £15 price tag that comes with this phone, instead of the slightly higher price which people have to pay for smartphones with touchscreens and faster processors which Android requires.

   What do you think? Have Nokia got a chance? Should they try to focus more on their Windows Phone business? Or would you like to see more in-between phones like the Asha 210? Let us know in the comments below!
Via Pocketlint.

Samsung say it doesn't matter which processor you have in your Galaxy S4, whilst their Knox software is delayed until June!

   Samsung's J K Shin has gone on the record saying that it shouldn't matter too much which version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 you end up in your pocket, because the likelihood is that you'll struggle to tell the difference in real world performance.

   In an interview with CNet Shin said that members of the general public and average consumers won't be able to notice nor will they be too bothered about the difference between the home-made Octa-core processor and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 processor, despite the benchmarks floating around which show how supremely powerful Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa is.

   Essentially Shin said that because of supply issues with Samsung's own chipset he had to, "use multiple different sources. It's a sourcing issue." That was why people in the USA and Europe will have the Snardragon processor which Samsung are confident will deliver comparable performance.

   It seems that Samsung still hasn't quite been able to meet demand with T-Mobile and Sprint saying that they will have to delay some orders and availability.

   Samsung also missed the mark with their Knox project, which is designed to beef up security on their handsets which was originally meant to have launched tomorrow with the Galaxy S4. However, it now seems as though the project has needed some extra testing from within the company and that's meant that carriers wouldn't have had enough time with it to launch it with the Galaxy S4. According to the New York Times' sources the feature will now launch in July as Samsung look to offer business users a compelling alternative to iPhones and Blackberry's in particular.
Via CNet and Slashgear.

One of HP's unreleased all-touch WebOS devices finally gets its moment on camera.

   Ohhh WebOS... If you're a long time reader of our site you'll know that we were and still are huge fans of the little operating system which Palm built. It was cute, fun and an all round solid performer. The problem was that it never really got the hardware which it deserved; partly because of Palm's small budget and partly because HP wanted it to have instant success, which it didn't. That leaves us in the position where the image of that phone above leaves us rather sad and the chips on the screen seem to somehow capture our mood perfectly.

   That slightly dented and chipped phone is what was codenamed the HP WinsorNot; it's an all-touch smartphone running WebOS, so it seems the Pre 3 and the Veer weren't necessarily going to be on their own forever!

   The WinsorNot was initially designed for a late 2011 release, so it was set to run alongside the Pre 3, which incidentally this phone has a fair bit in common with. This device was set to have a similar processor, the same camera arrangement and the same 800 x 480p WVGA screen resolution, but this time those pixels were going to be spread over 4 inches! According to WebOSNation the device was scrapped because HP simply didn't have the resources to maintain development for the Pre 3, the Veer, the Touchpad and the Touchpad Go which was also scrapped in the end. 

   Apparently the final nail in the devices coffin was LTE. AT&T were moving toward that as the connection standard towards the end of 2011 and essentially HP didn't have to time to add support and AT&T simply didn't see it as a viable flagship for that very reason! 

   If you want a more detailed version of events then head over to WebOSNation where you can see a tonne more pictures and let us know your thoughts in the comments below, after you've check out the insanely cool wireless charger on your way down! Do you miss WebOS or was it always destined to fail?


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