Around Android circles Asus is famous for its Transformer series of tablets. But within the laptop world, one of their most notable accomplishments of contemporary years is the Eee PC line, which in general invented the netbook segment and (formerly) lent its name to the entirety from all-in-one computers to tablets. Appropriately, the PC machines are now capable of running Android 4.
0, or as a minimum the Eee PC X101 is. The potential comes from the Android x86 project , which allows the open-source OS to run on hardware designed for laptop operating systems. The X101 is designed to run Intel and Nokia’s Meego operating system, but is capable of running pretty much any x86-based OS. This build is a long way from reputable – it’s no longer endorsed by Google or Asus, although the latter has extensive journey in making Android behave for a laptop kind factor. elegant on the video posted by Asus Campus Life , it’s also a little sluggish. Touching and dragging are emulated by the traditional mouse buttons and touchpad on the laptop, with a couple of user interface tweaks additional to the house reveal for simpler manipulation. The 10-inch screen is, interestingly, far less dense than most drugs (including both current Transformers) at 1024
Straight to the hoop with Basket Ball 3D for BlackBerry 10 . What we’re getting here today is the newest version of one of our favorite news apps, that being News360, one we called the App of the Week a number of weeks ago , now in its second full version, version 2. 0, one that introduces the social networking world into the tablet in a very vast way for the iOS version and a soon to be big way for Android. the largest change in the Android version of this application at the moment is the instant access to news videos. right alongside tabs on your everyday news feed at the superb 360 view of images linking to news stories is a video clips tab that’ll allow you to check out the news in purely video form. The interface for this application is fiddled with a bit, definitely no taking whatever away from the amount of control you have over what News360 is calling their “reverse search” method of bringing content to the user. Much in the similar way Google is attempting to connect individuals with the news in it’s “Sparks” interface in Google+, their new social networking site, News360 has you create your very own classes where they’ll supply you with news. subject material is all you really need to enter in if you like, and if you don’t wish to do such a thing, you could follow the categories News360 already has organized for you.
MWC might be our main point of interest these days, but that doesn’t mean we’re not retaining a watchful eye on what’s going on outdoors Barcelona as well. particularly when two of the hottest smartphones – HTC’s One and Sony’s Xperia Z – are MIA in Catalonia, having larger fish to fry. And if Z cravers got a huge serving of perfect news yesterday , when Sony announced the speeding of the phone’s slow worldwide rollout, it’s now time to put a smile on the faces of folks looking to scratch the HTC One itch. Rogers Canada has opened up reservations for the 4. 7-incher, being in a good position to leap the gun and make the super-phone available before the competition – Bell, Telus and Virgin Mobile.
There’s still no official release date up north or explicit pricing details, so you’ll probably want to turn that smile upside down by now. And yet we know rather well that no news is dangerous news, so today’s story, as unsubstantial as it might look, should be filed under good news.
You’ll need to cough up 40 bucks to reserve an HTC One via Rogers, but obviously you’ll be able to take advantage of that for the purchasing of the phone once it’s available. Which is now more and more most probably to take place by March 15 and not at the end of the month. You might keep in mind the only was spotted at the FCC a couple of days in the past en route to Sprint, so everything appears to come together for a joint North American launch before the Galaxy S4 unveiling. As for the rest of the world, you can take a look at all the details we have here .
We’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on with the iMore for iPhone app, but it looks like there’s a bug that prevents the news feed – and strangely, only the news feed – from loading for some users, some of the time. It’s a nasty bug, and we’re still trying to figure it out, but in the meantime, here’s how to get around it:
Apple has began preparing San Francisco’s Moscone middle West for their 2012 all over the world Developer conference (WWDC) and in so doing have revealed the motto for this year’s event: right here great ideas go on to do great things. The banners themselves are the same old collage for popular and laudable app icons, the two outside and inside. The Keynote kicks off at 9am PDT on Monday, June 11th, with the predicted introduction of iOS 6, updates to iCloud, greater on OS X Mountain Lion and perhaps new Macs. We’ve heard there won’t be any new iOS devices this summer, however, so don’t go getting your iPhone 5 or iPad mini hopes up simply yet.
It’s time again for a roundup of all the Android-related news including new smartphone releases (the Nexus 5 is here!), OS updates, app news, and network carrier news in India during October 2013. As always, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started!
Sony Xperia C officially launched
In an effort to to compete better in the surging and highly-competitive Indian smartphone market, Sony has released its first smartphone, the Xperia C featuring a quad-core MediaTek processor, which is favored by most Indian manufacturers for their budget-friendly smartphones. After being up for pre-order from a few online stores, the device was officially launched by Sony for Rs 21,490. First, let’s take a quick look at the specifications of the device -
5-inch display with 960×540 resolution
1.2 Ghz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 processor
1 GB RAM
4 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
8 MP rear camera, 0.3 MP front camera
2,390 mAh battery
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Even though the Xperia C is more expensive than similar devices from Indian manufacturers, Sony’s brand recognition may be enough for this smartphone to be popular in the Indian market. Officially priced at Rs 21,490, the Sony Xperia C is available from online retailers Flipkart for Rs 20,429.
Spice Mobile announces Pinnacle Stylus Mi-550
Spice Mobile launched the Pinnacle Stylus Mi-550 earlier this month, which, as the name suggests, is bundled with a stylus, in a effort to provide a low-cost alternative to the very popular Samsung Galaxy Note series of smartphones. The specifications of the Pinnacle Stylus Mi-550 include -
5.5-inch display with 1280×720 resolution
1.2 Ghz quad-core processor
1 GB RAM
4 GB internal storage expandable via microSD
8 MP rear camera with dual LED flash, 2 MP front camera
2,500 mAh battery
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Also included with a smartphone is a free one year subscription to Evernote Premium and a free flip cover, and is available for just Rs 15,499 from online stores Saholic and Flipkart, as well has from various Spice AndroidLand stores around the country.
Xolo Q700i and Xolo Q900 now available in India
Xolo has been busy this month, with a new tablet release (see below) as well as two smartphone launches, the Q700i and the Q900.
While the Q700i, a refresh of the Xolo Q700 released earlier this year, features a 4.5-inch IPS display with 960×540 resolution, the more expensive Q900 boasts a 4.7-inch IPS display with 1280×720 resolution. All other specifications are similar, with both devices powerred by a 1.2 Ghz quad-core MediaTek 6589 processor with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU and 1GB RAM. Both also feature an 8 MP rear camera and 2 MP front camera. Surprisingly, the Q700i includes a bigger 2,400 mAh battery, compared to the 1,800 mAh one in the Q900. Both smartphones run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The Xolo Q900 is priced at Rs 12,999, while the Xolo Q700i is available Rs 11,699 from Flipkart.
Micromax ropes in Hugh Jackman as brand ambassador, launches Canvas Turbo and Canvas Magnus
The biggest news this month was Micromax bringing in Hugh Jackman to be the brand ambassador for the rising Indian manufacturer, with the first smartphone to be advertised by him being the Micromax Canvas Turbo A250.
The Micromax Canvas Turbo has a lot to boast about, with specifications that include a 5-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution (another first for Micromax), a 1.5 Ghz quad-core MediaTek MT6589T processor, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera, 2,000 mAh battery, and running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Canvas Turbo also features multi-window view, pop-up video view, smart gestures, blow to unlock, and iFloat, a new feature which is as assistive touch button that remains on-screen all the time and lets you access key features of smartphone, allowing you to handle calls and messages, email, and more while using any application. Apart from great features and specifications, the Micromax Canvas Turbo also boasts a full aluminium body design and great design aesthetics.
Amid the hype surrounding the Canvas Turbo, the company also quietly launched the Canvas Magnus A117, another 5-inch display smartphone which borrows a lot of its design cues from the Canvas Turbo, but doesn’t feature specifications that are as good. The Micromax Canvas Magnus has a 5-inch IPS display with a 1280×720 resolution. It is powered by the same 1.5 Ghz quad-core processor, but with 1 GB of RAM. Internal storage available is just 4 GB, but is expandable via microSD. The device also sports a 12 MP rear camera and 2 MP front camera, and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
With obvious difference in specifications, the Micromax Canvas Magnus A117 is also cheaper, priced at Rs 14,999 (Flipkart), while the Canvas Turbo A250 will set you a back Rs 19,999.
Zen Ultrafone Amaze 701 FHD launched
Micromax wasn’t the only company to launch a smartphone with a 1080p display in October, with Zen also jumping on the Full HD train with the Ultrafone Amaze 701 FHD. Other specifications of the Ultrafone Amaze include -
5-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution
1.5 Ghz quad-core MediaTek processor
1 GB RAM
16 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
2,050 mAh battery
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Apart from the RAM, the specifications of the Zen Ultrafone Amaze 701 FHD are quite similar to the Canvas Turbo, but is available at a cheaper Rs 17,999 from Snapdeal.
Nexus 5 listed on Indian Google Play Store
After what felt like months of waiting, the Google Nexus 5 has finally been launched and unlike what happened with the Nexus 4, the latest Google flagship will be available in India quite soon after the official announcement. In fact, the Nexus 5 is already listed, albeit with a Coming Soon tag, on the Indian Google Play Store. First, here is a recap of the specifications of the Nexus 5 -
8 MP rear camera with OIS (optical image stabilization), 1.3 MP front camera
2,300 mAh battery
Android 4.4 Kitkat
Apart from boasting amazing specifications at a great price point, the Nexus 5 will also be the first device to feature the latest flavor of the OS, Android 4.4 Kitkat.
The Nexus 5 will be available soon from the Indian Google Play Store for Rs 28,999 for the 16 GB version, and Rs 32,999 for the 32 GB version.
Xolo Play Tab 7.0 launched
While we are eagerly awaiting the launch of the Xolo Tegra Note tablet, which will boast the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and OS updates directly from Nvidia, Xolo has launched another 7-inch tablet, the Xolo Play Tab 7.0, which is powered by the older, but quite powerful, quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.
The Xolo Play Tab 7.0 features specifications that are very similar to the Nexus 7 (2012), with The Xolo Play Tab 7.0 a 7-inch 1,280×800 resolution IPS display, a 1.2 Ghz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB RAM, 8GB of internal memory with a microSD card, expansion, 2 MP front camera, and a 4,000 mAh battery, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The Xolo Play Tab 7.0 is available for Rs 12,999 from online retailers Flipkart.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) officially available in India
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First showcased at IFA 2013 in Berlin, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) is now officially available in India. First, let’s take a look at the specifications of the latest high-end tablet offering from Samsung -
10.1-inch Super clear LCD display with 2560×1600 resolution
1.9GHz octa-core processor (3G/ Wi-Fi version) and a 2.3GHz quad-core processor (LTE version)
3GB of RAM
8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
2-megapixel front-facing camera
16GB/ 32GB/ 64GB internal storage
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
S Pen stylus
Like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy Note 10.1 features a plastic back with a leather-like feel, and the signature stylus of the Note series. To find out more about the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), don’t forget to check out our hands-on review of the tablet here -
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) is priced at a steep Rs 49,990 on the Samsung India eStore, which also includes Rs 1,200 worth of movie tickets from Book My Show.
Android OS updates
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update available for HTC One X, One X+, and Butterfly
HTC is rolled out the official Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update to the One X, One X+, and Butterfly in India. While the One X and One X+ were launched in India last year, the Butterfly was released only earlier this year. Along with the not-so-new version of Android, the significant update comes in the form of the UI overlay, HTC Sense 5.
One of the key highlights of the Sense 5 UI is the addition of BlinkFeed, a home-screen news aggregator, a feature that was first seen with the launch of the HTC One. Other features include Video Highlights and a new quick settings menu, similar to what can be found on stock Android 4.2. Lock-screen widgets and Android Daydream is also now available with this update.
If you haven’t received the OTA update notification yet, you can also try going to Settings, About Phone, and Software Updates to try it out.
Samsung Galaxy S4 receives update to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean in India
During the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear in India a couple of months back, it was mentioned that other high-end Samsung smartphones would be receiving an official update to Android 4.3 soon. This update is now rolling out in India for the Samsung Galaxy S4, which along with the updated OS version, brings compatibility for the smartphone with the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Along with Gear support, the 685 MB update brings an improved UI, multimedia functions, and Knox security services, along with performance improvements in RAM management, display color reproduction and graphics, and overall stability improvements.
The update will be available over the air, but can also be download via the Samsung Kies desktop application.
Network Carrier News
Airtel and Idea increase international calling rates, others expected to follow
Network carriers like Airtel and Idea have increased their international calling rates by as much as 25%, and in some cases even higher. Depending on the area code, calling rates to the US has increased to Rs 8 per minute, from Rs 6.4 per minute, with similar increases to all countries.
Some increases are quite steep as well. For example, calls on the Airtel network to Australia on ISD codes like 6113 and 6114 feature an 80% hike, up from Rs 100 to Rs 180. Luckily, most of the revised rates don’t see such a significant increase.
While Airtel and Idea were the first to make the change, other network operators are expected to follow suit.
Airtel postpaid customers can now create their own tariff plans
Bharti Airtel is giving its postpaid customers the option to customize their plans as per their usage and requirements. Called MyPlan, a customer can tailor-make their plan in three simple steps.
For example, a subscriber can choose from five rental pack options, starting from Rs 199, and up to Rs 999. Each rental option will include the ability to pick a fixed number of MyPack units. MyPacks include different choices such as 40 national roaming minutes, 100 local minutes, 135 MB of 3G data, 200 SMS, international calling minutes, and more. So, if you go for the Rs 299 rental option, you will get 8 units of MyPack. If you want more national roaming minutes, you can use six of those units for the national roaming MyPack, giving you 240 minutes of national roaming talk time.
You can check out the table below for an easier understanding of how to create your own Airtel tariff plan. You’ll need to visit your nearest Airtel store to activate or subscribe to MyPlan.
This week we got news on the new Samsung Galaxy Note and some release information on the Moto X. The LG G2 has been made official and the Nexus 10 peeks out of the shadows. Unfortunately, we also got some sad news for the AOSP community. It’s Android Authority Weekly!
ADM rolling out: “find my phone”, the Google way
Android Device Manager is a smart little tool that you can use in case you misplace your phone (or someone “misplaces” it for you). The app began rolling out to users last weekend, and by midweek, the web interface that lets users manage their devices went live.
We gave ADM a try, and we found it easy to use and intuitive, although the app doesn’t offer so many features as, say, Cerberus. Still, should “find my phone” app developers be worried? Probably.
“Note” the date: Unpacked 2 on September 4
Samsung likes to plant little hints to upcoming devices in the invitations it sends out to media, and the one from Monday made no exception. The Koreans asked us to note the September 4 date of the Unpacked Episode 2 event it plans to hold in Berlin.
So, what do you think they will release?
Key Lime Pie, yum yum!
You hear that noise? It’s the distant rumble of a new Android release coming, one that is possibly key lime flavored. This week, an Android build bearing the KRS36B code was spotted on the Chromium project page, giving us hope that our days of eating jelly beans may finally be over. Not that we don’t like jelly beans, but Key Lime Pie certainly sounds more mouthwatering.
We have little concrete info on the next version of Android at this point, but some pretty solid rumors point to a late fall release.
Moto X to launch on August 23? Moto boss slams Samsung and HTC
Now that the Moto X hype train came to a screeching halt, we all look forward to actually getting the device. Probably to torment us with more rumors, Motorola wasn’t very forthcoming about the actual release of the device, but a pretty reliable report suggests we’ll see the Moto X on all major US carriers on August 23.
How about the customization options? Sadly, AT&T seems to have the dibs on Moto Maker until early November. Color us disappointed (pun intended).
But it’s no joy ride for Motorola – critics have slammed the Moto X for being a mid-ranger disguised as a flagship device. Motorola’s Iqbal Arshad felt obliged to answer the criticism, but also to trash talk the competition. Check it out, Arshad took no prisoners.
LG G2 is official
The LG G2 is here! It has buttons on the back, a great spec sheet, and a couple of really smart features. Our Kris Wouk attended the G2 launch event and got some quality time with LG’s aspiring Android powerhouse. His conclusions? It’s pretty awesome.
The guy that thoroughly leaked the Moto X casually dropped this bomb on August 8: “Motorola will release a Nexus smartphone in Q4 (that is not the Moto X)”
Whoa, where did that come from? We don’t know for now, and to make things more complicated, rumors suggested that LG was all lined up to make the new Nexus this year. Interesting times ahead!
The maintainer of AOSP and all things holy quits
Jean Baptiste Queru, whom you might know as maintainer of AOSP and all things holy (and #holo) called it quits this week. We don’t know exactly what happened, but we think it has something to do with Qualcomm’s lawyers. Lawyers – standing in the way of technology since 1860.
JBQ laughed off a petition that people started to get Qualcomm to allow the release of factory images for the new Nexus 7. Related or not, that happened just a couple of days later.
New Nexus 10 (2013): Samsung is out, Asus is in
For the grand finale, on Friday we heard that Asus would be making the new Nexus 10, which may or may not be great news, depending on how you feel about the new Nexus 7. All (we think) we know so far is that the Asus Nexus 10 will be in stores by holidays.
There was some confusion about the issue, because just two weeks ago, a WSJ journalist tweeted that Sundar Pichai himself told him that Samsung would be making the new Nexus 10. As it turned out, the Android boss did not actually say that. The perils of Twitter reporting…
What’s your take?
What do you think were the most important news this week, and why?
This week, we almost overdosed on Moto X leaks, a solid rumor about the Nexus 5 made the rounds, two core Google apps were updated, the latest Android security scare fizzled out, the LG G2 was in the spotlight, and T-Mo launched its update club.
Then, a variety of leaked images emerged, culminating in a veritable photo shoot of Eric Schmidt just casually using his white Moto X like he was in a secret Google lab and not at a public event with photographers all around.
Our Nate Swanner reported on info he got from people who actually used the Moto X; his conclusion: the user experience is great, and that matters more than having the latest specifications.
The G2 looks sexy with buttons on the back
We’ve heard that the successor to the Optimus G would be sporting a unique design, but this week we finally got a clear peek at the G2. The most striking feature of the LG G2 is the absence of buttons on the front and sides of the device. LG opted to place the volume rocker and the power button on the back of the phone, under the camera module. On the front, the G2 is almost all-screen, with a very thin bezel and just LG’s logo to break the monotony.
The G2 is just as attractive in the hardware department – one of the first devices powered by the crazy fast Snapdragon 800 processor, LG’s new smartphone could also be the first to come with 3GB of RAM. A relatively large battery and an OIS camera complete the portrait of a very exciting device.
Nexus 5 rumored to be the sibling of the G2
It’s still early in the game, but it looks that the next Nexus smartphone will be an LG job, just like the Nexus 4. At least that’s what a recent report from the Korean media claims. LG is allegedly developing the G2 and the Nexus 5 in parallel, and the two smartphones will share most of the specifications.
The rumor says we should expect the next Nexus in October, with Android 5 pegged to make its entrance at the same point. Note that this is just speculation for now, but a number of other rumors seem to support it.
Google Maps update rolls out. Hangouts gets a voice
Two important Google apps were updated in the last week. The Google Maps app received the big update that was first teased at Google I/O, which brings a completely redesigned user interface and a bunch of new features. There was a bit of a rumpus over the conspicuous absence of offline maps functionality, but, as it turned out, the feature was only an “OK maps” away.
Voice calling is back in Hangouts, after a few weeks of absence. When Google updated Talk to Hangouts many were shocked to discover that phone calling was removed from Gmail and the Chrome app. Well, put down your pitchforks, it’s back.
Nevertheless, Google promptly released a patch for the vulnerability, which was then incorporated in the latest CyanogenMod. Now, if only manufacturers would move that fast.
Jump from device to device with T-Mobile
T-Mo continues its quest to shake up the American wireless market, and its latest offering is the most exciting yet. Announced on Thursday, Jump! is basically an upgrade club – pay a monthly fee and you get to update your device every six months instead of having to wait two years like you would on other carriers. For that price, you also get an insurance plan, so, depending on how obsessed you are with new devices, Jump! may well be your dream come true.
This week, we’ve learned more details about the upcoming LG G2, Motorola teased the Moto X, the Galaxy S4 reached a sales milestone, HTC broke the hearts of One S users, and we got some interesting news about the Android 4.3.
LG G2: tantalizing rumors
LG is expected to stage a soft launch of its new flagship in mid-July, followed three weeks later by a grand international event in New York. With weeks to go till the official debut, leaks paint an almost complete picture of the G2.
On Monday, we learned that the Snapdragon 800 processor that will power the G2 will not be a power-hungry beast, as some have feared. The processor did as good as or better than competitors when it comes to stamina, giving us hope for a new generation of long lasting super devices.
We’re entering hypebeast territory with the Moto X. And we can’t blame Motorola, happy to be in the spotlight after so many months of deafening silence – we just hope the device will live up to the hype. With that said, we’re really excited about the Moto X.
On July 3, Moto ran a full page ad in major US newspapers, announcing the world that “the first phone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA” is coming. The ad and a signup page that went live this week claim that customers will be able to design the Moto X themselves.
However, don’t get too excited about it – if a leak from Wednesday is to be believed, Motorola idea of “designing” means picking the colors of the case, choosing a custom text for engraving, and uploading a custom wallpaper. Cool, but we hoped for more.
Samsung sold 20 million Galaxy S4s, but that’s not enough for analysts
Talk about high expectations – despite ruling the mobile industry, selling one of every two smartphones in Europe and raking in enough money to fund a small country, Samsung isn’t doing too well in the stock market.
This week, CEO JK Shin told Korean media that Samsung sold 20 million Galaxy S4 units in about sixty days, an impressive achievement that casts doubt on various negative reports that emerged over the last month.
Last week, an Android 4.3 build leaked online, giving Android pundits a chance to look at what’s new, before Google makes it official. A teardown revealed that Google has been working to make Android notifications smarter, with a focus on making wearable devices such as Glass more easily controllable from a smartphone.
Speaking of which, Chainfire, the noted Android developer, has already rooted the Android 4.3 build that leaked last week.
HTC breaks the hearts of One S users
The One S was one of the flagships that HTC launched in early 2012. It didn’t feature the best specifications, but it was, and still is, an excellent device. So you can imagine the disappointment and frustration of One S users, when HTC announced that the phone won’t be joining the One in the Sense 5/Android 4.2 club. The news is especially vexing because the company promised a timely update to Sense 5 for the One S, just a few months back.
Petitions rarely help accomplish their goals, but that hasn’t stopped One S users from starting one asking HTC to keep its promise and update the phone to the latest version of Android. As of this writing, the petition still needs more than 900 signatures, so if you’re a One S user itching to do something about HTC’s cruel rejection, head over here and sign away.
What’s your take?
In your opinion, what were the most important news this week, and why?
This week, we got a bunch of contradicting rumors about the Note 3, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and SmartWatch 2 landed, the Google Play Edition phones stirred some controversy, WSJ spilled the beans on Google’s plans for the rest of the year, and Android 4.3 leaked in all its glory.
Galaxy Note 3 rumors – color us confused
Samsung’s next big thing is the Note 3, due to launch at the end of the summer. That’s what we know.
Sony outs the Xperia Z Ultra and SmartWatch 2. Honami? Maybe next week
Just when leakers were out of info to leak about it, Sony made the magnificent Xperia Z Ultra official. It’s a 6.4-inch smartphone that looks like a small Xperia Tablet Z, features a mighty Snapdragon 800 processor, and can be used with makeshift styluses such as pencils. It’s just 6.5 millimeters thin, but it lacks a camera flash and the battery is just 2000 mAh. What will make or break this device are the price and availability, and sadly, Sony was vague about it.
WSJ: K release Android coming in fall, with Google Android console, smartwatch, and new Nexus Q
When the Wall Street Journal reports on a rumor, you can almost be sure it’s accurate. You can imagine our excitement over WSJ’s report that the next version of Android, known internally as “K release” will come in autumn, and that Google is working on an Android powered gaming console, a smartwatch (something we’ve heard from our own sources), and even on a successor to the ill-fated Nexus Q.
But there’s more – HP is apparently working on the first Android laptops, and Google is said to be developing ultra-low-cost phones for emergent markets, independently from Motorola.
Android 4.3 leaks online, new camera can be downloaded
The week brought as a premiere – the first time a version of Android leaked ahead of the official announcement. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean brings minor changes over Android 4.2.2 and most are under the hood. Still, the fact that you can download and install Android 4.3 before it even reached the Nexus is amazing.
Facebook asks for a Samsung phone, unlikely to get it
The week opened with news from South Korea. Like Larry Page before him, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg visited the home of Samsung and LG. The goal of the visit, sources said, was to coax Samsung into making a “Facebook phone”, similar to the unsuccessful HTC First. Facebook apparently realized that, for the Home project to stand any chance of success, it needs a major partner behind it.
Will Samsung give Facebook a helping hand? Probably not – the same well-informed sources claimed that the Korean mammoth has no interest whatsoever in putting out a Facebook Home device. Well, tough luck, Mark.
The newest slimmest phone
The constant rat race that is the quest to make the slimmest smartphone in the world has a new leader. Huawei unveiled on Tuesday the thoroughly teased Ascend P6, which at, 6.18 millimeters, is officially the world’s new thinnest phone.
We have to say it, Huawei did a heck of a job designing the P6, although those inclined to nitpicking will point out the design cues that the phones takes from Apple’s iPhone.
With a 720p display and a Huawei-made quad-core processor, the Ascend P6 looks intriguing. And, unlike other devices in the past, Huawei seems decided this time to make the gorgeous Ascend P6 available in a timely manner.
Butterfly s lands with beefy battery
On Wednesday, HTC did something it rarely does – announce a phone that puts battery life ahead of a thin profile. The HTC Butterfly s is the successor to the 2012 Butterfly (and to its American cousin, the Droid DNA), and is, in several ways, better even than the HTC One.
The phone comes with a 5-inch full HD display, a processor that is slightly faster than the One’s, a microSD card, and lo and behold, a 3200 mAh battery. That’s 900 mAh more than the One’s and in line with the Galaxy Note 2 and other leaders in battery life. On top of that, the Butterfly s also brings the goodies that HTC introduced on the One, such as Sense 5 with BlinkFeed, the BoomSound speakers, and the UltraPixel camera. Sweet!
Snapdragon 800 crushes benchmarks
We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know how hard it would beat its competitors. The Snapdragon 800 was put through its paces by various tech sites this week, and the results paint the picture of a winner. The new Qualcomm chip handily beats most competing SoCs, with only the Tegra 4 processor (which isn’t likely to equip many devices) holding its ground in some tests.
Especially in the graphics benchmarks, the Snapdragon 800 leaves competitors in the dust, and even comes close to matching the performance of some PC processors. The SoC is pegged to power a variety of devices in the second half of the year, from the LG Optimus G2 and the Sony Xperia ZU, to the HTC One Max tablet, and the LTE Advanced variant of the Galaxy S4. Prepare for a new level of performance, Android fans!
Ativ Q marries Android and Windows into one sleek device
Our jaws dropped when we saw what Samsung did with the Ativ Q, a convertible tablet that runs Windows 8 and Android, all while maintaining a sexy silhouette. Unveiled at Samsung’s Premiere event in London, the Ativ Q runs primarily Windows 8, but it virtualizes Android 4.2 and makes it possible to instantly switch between the two operating systems with a tap of a button. It even lets users pin Android apps on the Windows 8 start screen, for easy access.
The device can be used as a tablet, but underneath the 3200 x 1800 display there’s a QWERTY keyboard for all of you, productive types. There’s an S Pen thrown in for good measure, and the magnesium alloy device is powered by a Haswell chip from Intel, for extra-long battery life. We just hope the price of the Ativ Q won’t be prohibitive… Right, Samsung? Right?
On a related note, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy NX, a mirrorless camera powered by Android.
HTC CEO vows to fight for former glory, Iron Man to help
It was widely reported at the beginning of the year that CEO Peter Chou would resign if the One would fail to bring a much awaited turnaround for HTC. Those reports were apparently inaccurate, and moreover, Mr. Chou is resolved to turn the ship around, whatever it takes.
Peter Chou told shareholders that the ultimate goal of HTC is to get back to the 10 percent market share it used to have in 2011, and even go as high as 15 percent. The beleaguered manufacturer dropped to four percent in 2012, and many analysts maintain grim predictions for their performance in 2013. One thing’s for sure, HTC is a valuable part of the Android ecosystem, and we root for their comeback. Perhaps Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. will help.