Tag Archives: year

HTC One or bust – no other One-branded smartphones coming this year

The recently launched HTC One could be the only and only One phone this year. In other words, you shouldn’t expect a supersized One+ to arrive at some factor in the coming months nor ought to you seem forward to a cheaper mid-ranged One-insert-letter-here to hit sure carriers. The news comes straight from Phil Roberson, head of HTC’s UK and Ireland who went on record to ascertain that “this is the One:”
HTC One is the flagship device. final year we had the X and the S, where people had different personal preferences between the two. We just said, let’s just create one flagship device for this year. That’s surely an interesting move for HTC, one that are meant to further improve the one brand this year.
The Taiwanese corporation should have done this a few years ago instead of oscillating between a number of product names that nobody remembers after a while. Last year, HTC tried to create its own Galaxy-like family, the One handsets, by launching a garden variety of One Android units that would meet, but that didn’t quite work for the company. after all it does take a few years to build a robust Android brand like Samsung did . Now it looks like HTC is taking another cue from Apple’s playbook by launching just one flagship gadget under the One brand. Ironically though, various rumors out there seem to suggest that this might be the year when Apple finally launches more than one new iPhone, therefore slightly modifying its own mobile strategy for the year. Are you purchasing the One this year, or are you waiting for some thing more interesting ?
Android Authority
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  • Snapdragon 808 and 810 unveiled: 20-nm, 64-bit beasts coming early next year

    qualcomm snapdragon 810

    Qualcomm just lifted the veil on the systems-on-a-chip that will power the wave of Android flagships coming in 2015.

    The new Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 will be leaps and bounds ahead of the current crop of high-end Snapdragon SoCs, in almost all areas, including architecture, core number, GPU, and features. Qualcomm uncharacteristically released details of the new 808 and 810 very early, which is probably an answer to the moves of competitors like MediaTek and Nvidia, as well as to Apple’s surprise jump to 64-bit on the iPhone 5S.

    Snapdragon 810

    The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994) is the higher-end of the pair, a successor of sorts to the Snapdragon 805, which will only become available starting this summer. Main features of the 810 include:

    • CPU: 4 Cortex A57 cores + 4 Cortex A53 cores (octo-core, big.LITTLE arrangement)
    • ISA: 32-bit/64-bit ARM v8-A, 20nm
    • GPU: Adreno 430
    • Memory bandwidth: 64-bit LPDDR4-1600
    • LTE: Cat 6/7 LTE, built-in
    • eMMC interface: 5.0
    • Wi-Fi: no (requires separate Wi-Fi module)
    • Camera ISP: 14-bit dual-ISP
    • H.256 encode/decode: yes/yes

    Snapdragon 808

    The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 differs from the 810 through several features, mainly a different core arrangement and slightly slower GPU and memory interface. Here’s the breakdown:

    • CPU: 2 Cortex A57 cores + 4 Cortex A53 cores (hexa-core, big.LITTLE arrangement)
    • ISA: 32-bit/64-bit ARM v8-A, 20nm
    • GPU: Adreno 418
    • Memory bandwidth: 64-bit LPDDR4-933
    • LTE: Cat 6/7 LTE, built-in
    • eMMC interface: 5.0
    • Wi-Fi: no (requires separate Wi-Fi module)
    • Camera ISP: 12-bit dual-ISP
    • H.256 encode/decode: no/yes

    What kind of performance and features can we expect?

    The bulk of the processing tasks in both the 808 and the 810 will be handled by the two, and respectively four, Cortex A57 CPU cores, combined in a big.LITTLE setup with four Cortex A53 cores. In a big.LITTLE arrangement, the two clusters of cores can operate together for maximum performance, or only one of them can run, depending on the task. On the 810 and 808, all cores in a cluster run at the same frequency.

    qualcomm snapdragon 810 2

    The Cortex A57 provides a 25 – 55 percent performance boost over the Cortex A15, along with a 20 percent increase in power draw. However, because the 810 and 808 will be built on a 20nm process, instead of 28nm on current SoCs, power consumption should be offset overall.

    With the Snapdragon 808 and 810, Qualcomm adopted a standard ARM architecture, instead of its Krait cores; the company will probably unveil Krait chips later in the year.

    The Adreno 418 GPU on the Snapdragon 808 should provide a 20 percent performance boost over the Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 801 (currently used on the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, etc.). The Adreno 430 GPU on the 810 is even faster, with an estimated 80 percent increase over Snapdragon 801.

    Updating with more details…

    Android Authority

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    Timehop time capsule launches for Android – what were you doing a year ago today?


    Timehop, your personal social media time capsule, has launched on Android. The service helps you re-live “this day in history” by displaying the previous years’ photos that you had posted on Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and Twitter.

    Timehop started as an email service, graduated to iPhone and is now available for Android users to enjoy. You will be greeted every day with your photos from that same day in years previous. The service offers a unique way of remembering, and re-living, all of the many photos that most of us have taken and shared across various mediums over the last few years.

    Timehop founder Jonathan Wegener believes that content gains value with time, that photographs become more meaningful the older they get. As many of us have digital photos and social media history going back many years, Timehop offers a great way to remenisce about past vacations, re-experience events and marvel at the growth of our children and friendships.


    Timehop claims over one million downloads for iOS and sees 40% of its users log in daily. The iOS app also sits within the Top 200 in the U.S. App Store. The initiative to get to the users of Android, the worlds largest mobile OS market share leader, began last year with a million funding campaign led by Spark Capitol.

    Timehop for Android went live today for users of Android 4.0 and up. Grab your copy from the Google Play Store. Fair warning, the app currently does not support your Google+ account and requires a Facebook login to get started.

    Let’s have at it, what were you posting about on this day last year?


    Android Authority

    BBM Money poised to expand later this year

     BBM Money poised to expand later this year

    Unless you live in Indonesia, you’ve likely never actually used BBM Money but the service itself has not been forgotten about by BlackBerry. Now that BBM has grown a bit by going cross-platform on iOS, Android and soon Windows Phone as well as the launch of BBM Channels, there’s more potential then ever for BBM Money to reach and audience and according to David Proulx, Senior Director of BBM Business Development in a recent interview with ReCode, we should be hearing more soon.

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    Project Ara could arrive next year for just $50

    motorola <a rel=project ara modular smartphone (1)” src=”http://cdn04.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/motorola-project-ara-modular-smartphone-1.jpg” width=”710″ />

    Yesterday we learned that Google will hold its first Project Ara developers conference on April 15-16 in Mountain View. The idea of a smartphone that can be continually upgraded as new parts arrive might sound like nothing more than a geek’s dream, but it’s about way more than that.

    According to Google’s official Ara page, their goal with Ara is to ultimately make modern smartphone technology more accessible for the masses. In order to reach this lofty goal, Google’s Ara project head Paul Eremenko says that the device could go on sale sometime next year for as little as .

    Consumers could save up and slowly start add expanded functionality to Ara

    Obviously a start-price comes with a few caveats. First, the ‘phone’ would be extremely basic with only Wi-Fi and extremely minimal storage and processing options, just to get it into the hands of consumers that can’t afford a high price tag. The idea is that the buyer could then save up and slowly start adding expanded functionality to the device such as cellular connectivity, an improved camera, more storage and a faster CPU/GPU.

    Aside from revealing Google’s plans to make the barrier of entry as low as possible, Eremenko also reveals that Ara will hopefully be no more than 10mm thick (with modules attached) and will come in at least three different sizes: mini, medium and jumbo.

    For those wondering how exactly the modules will stay in place so they don’t fall off in your pocket or right while your using the device, Google plans to lock front modules through latches and back ones through electropermanent magnets. Unlocking a module requires you to use a special app within the phone, however.

    There’s no denying that the idea of Project Ara still sounds a little impractical and out of reach, even if it is also really cool at the same time. Of course, with Google behind it, we suppose just about anything is possible. We are certainly intrigued by the project and will continue to keep an eye out on this one. What do you think, impressed by Ara? Or do you feel its nothing more than a pipedream that won’t work out as well as we hope?


    Android Authority

    HTC says it will launch a wearable device by the end of the year


    For 2014, HTC is betting on more devices and a renewed focus on marketing. After “years of development,” the company will launch its first wearable device by the end of the year.

    Company executives talked to Bloomberg about the challenges and opportunities awaiting HTC, after a year of falling sales and financial losses. To fix the problems that beset it in 2013, HTC promised to diversify its product range and focus more on marketing. CFO and head of global sales Chang Chialin declared himself “positive and optimistic”, while Chairwoman Wang said the company would finally release a wearable by Christmas.

    After “years of development and technical challenges” HTC is positive it solved some of the core problems that affect the wearable user experience, including battery life:

    Many years ago, we started looking at smartwatches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems.

    This isn’t the first time HTC talks about wearables. Back in October 2013, the company said it would release an Android-powered smartwatch with a built-in camera by the second half of 2014. At the time, CEO Peter Chou called existing smartwatches “gimmicks”, openly alluding to Samsung’s Galaxy Gear.

    Wang admitted that, despite bold statements from last year, marketing is still not a major preoccupation for HTC: “To tell the truth, we never think marketing is that important — this is really not very good.” The company plans to use its marketing budget smarter, though it won’t necessarily increase spending. Last year, HTC contracted Robert Downey Jr for a billion marketing campaign, with great fanfare and little palpable results.

    Finally, CFO Chialin stated HTC is currently fixing its portfolio in the mid- and low-end, segments he says HTC neglected in the past.

    If you’ve been following HTC throughout 2013, these statements might sound very familiar – the company was vocal about doubling down on marketing and strengthening its mid-range portfolio. Will 2014 be any different? We hope so, but HTC has its work cut out, with fierce competition from every side.


    Android Authority

    Mobile data consumption numbers show an 80% increase over last year

    Data consumption is increasing all over, especially as emerging markets start to realize connectivity. As demand grows, so has supply. The world’s data speed has increased to see an average of 3.6Mbps, with South Korea having the fastest — by far. Mobile data consumption has also grown remarkably, rising 80% in the last year alone.

    This information comes to us via Akamai, a US based Internet content delivery network. Their data for this study comes in large part from Ericsson, who provide network solutions for carriers all over the world. Ericsson has a presence in over 180 countries, and represent over 1,000 networks. There was no sampling of users, only raw data taken from hard numbers.

    When it comes to mobile data usage, the world is making a poignant shift. The first quarter of 2010 was the first time data overtook voice as the main means of consumption, and it hasn’t stopped since. The consistent trajectory seems almost storybook, with the largest leap coming from Q3 2012 to Q4 2012. Consumption has risen 80% since last year, and 10% between the second and third quarters in 2013.

    As for connection speeds, South Korea is taking the lead. They enjoy the fastest data speeds, with a 51% increase over last year, and an average data speed of 22.1Mbps. That doesn’t solely represent mobile data connection speed, but with South Korea’s dedication to having a lightning quick mobile network, they may end up putting more distance between themselves and the rest of the field next year.
    VIA: The Next Web

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    HD voice coming to AT&T this year with Padfone X

    asus padfone x at&t

    At its press conference at CES 2014, AT&T announced that it will start to rollout HD voice on its network later this year. The first phone on AT&T that will support HD voice is the new Asus Padfone X, which happens to be the first of the smartphone/tablet hybrid line to make it to the U.S.

    While the phone will be the first to take advantage of higher-quality voice calls on the network, it’s likely that both people on the call have to be using a PadFone for HD voice to work. The phone will also support Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which should further enhance the quality of voice calls, but it’s not clear when AT&T will actually rollout VoLTE.

    AT&T originally promised it would launch HD voice on its network last year, but it obviously missed that mark. Luckily they’ll finally be getting support off the ground in 2014, though they’ve yet to set a firm date.

    Both Sprint and T-Mobile currently support HD voice, though support isn’t’t exactly universal, as not every device on the networks support the feature. In Sprint’s case, support for HD voice varies by region thanks to the different standards it applied across its network.

    Hopefully AT&T’s rollout of HD voice will be a smooth one, but we wouldn’t wait to buy a new device just for the feature. Over time HD voice will be something you’ll want in every phone, but for now it’s just a promise of better sounding voice calls in the future. Assuming you still make a lot of voice calls.

    Are you eager to try AT&T’s HD voice?

    Android Authority

    A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013

    In 2013, we saw a wider variety of devices than in recent years. Not only did we see the continued spec race heat up as we got our first taste of Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm, but we saw some OEMs wisely pare their efforts back a bit. HTC went with one One, and Motorola took their time bringing new devices to market. Whether it was flagship spec-heavy offerings or a shockingly slimmed-down device, we had a lot of great stuff in 2013.

    c0d26d52d4back3.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013

    With 2013 closed out, and credit card bills from the holidays staring us in the face, we thought it was a good time to take a look back at what we saw in 2013 as it relates to hardware. These devices can be considered the best on offer today as well, and should serve as a precursor to CES 2014, which starts next week.

    Samsung Galaxy S4

    The natural upgrade from the insanely popular Galaxy S3, the S4 brought some subtle upgrades and needed fixes, but kept the runaway sales numbers of the S3. Though their TouchWiz skin is getting far too bulky (and ugly), the S4 sold at a frantic pace, keeping Samsung atop the Android heap. Helped by a nearly simultaneous worldwide launch and a reported billion marketing blitz, the S4 once again cemented Samsung as an industry leader.

    7a3cee71ceds on1.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013

    LG G2

    With the Nexus 4, LG showed us they could make a popular, well built handset. Though at the direction of Google, the Nexus 4 served to put LG on the map in a big way. Their G2 was the follow-up for the Optimus G, this time dropping the ostentatious ‘Optimus’ branding. Rather than take the S4 road and bring a slightly bigger screen and feature set, the G2 re-thought the handset altogether.

    With the power button and volume rocker on the rear of the device, LG was able to accomplish one thing the tech-obsessed have been wanting: almost invisible bezels. In regard to specs, it brought all it could to the table with an impressive 5.2-inch 1080p display and Snapdragon 800. Their skin is a bit heavy for our liking, but the feature set is really nice. There’s not a lot we didn’t like about this one.

    HTC One

    This was the first savior devie of 2013 — or at least it was supposed to be. Like Motorola, HTC had been trending downward, effectively losing our interest as their hubris set in and they made ill-advised moves like getting involved with Beats. Upon release, the One was like nothing we’d seen before. Aluminum, sleek, and gorgeous, it still somehow felt dated and heavy. Sense was updated, which helped, but the One just missed something we still can’t put our finger on. Perhaps it was just confusion from all the Zoe and Ultrapixel talk, we’re still not sure. Where HTC failed, Motorola would succeed.

    f63e6a6d9f111211.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013


    Perhaps understanding that we’re not going to buy a new TV anyway, Google released the Chromecast. The dongle (perhaps our favorite word for 2013) served as a streaming media device, though it had intrinsic ties to Google rather than content providers. It works with apps rather than an on-screen menu, and is little more than a broadcast device for your mobile media content. Be it locally stored content or via an app like Netflix, Chromecast makes it possible to view your stuff on just about any TV.

    Like any successful product, the Chromecast invited a host of also-ran apps and hardware to mimic its functionality. At only , it was hard to not pick one up. Between the price and ease of use, Chromecast really lit up the mobile tech scene in an unexpected way. As more content providers bring the functionality to their apps natively, the want for one will only increase.

    be1b719cfft keys.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013


    Android gaming, like smartwatches (which we’ll get to in a minute), exploded in 2013. NVIDIA set the stage with their absolutely shocking Project Shield at CES, and was followed by the launch of Ouya and Gamestick later in the year. We’re just now getting the MadCatz offering, which could annihilate the rest. So much hardware, there is one crucial aspect that some just aren’t getting.

    The successful gaming devices have Play Store support. Those withouth, most notably Ouya, are left to beg the support of developers who are already stretched too thin. In that, their game offerings are not nearly as good as the Shield. The Shield, however, costs three times as much. With Google rumored to bring gaming to the living room in 2014, there will be a lot of activity in Android gaming this year — and a lot of hardware that falls off the map.

    7ae39edcf1ld 540.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013

    Moto X

    Prior to launch, the Moto X was rumored to be made of everything from Unicorn horn to being a working hologram of a phone. We’re clearly joking, but the fervor leading to the launch of the X was palpable. We were curious how the now Google-owned Motorola would stage a comeback, and the Moto X was the device we all thought they’d use to mount that re-entry to prominence.

    On launch, the initial reaction was mixed. Some loved its simplicity, others lamented the device being limited to AT&T. The 720p screen confused us, as did the step-back processor. Highly customizable before assembly, the Moto X had no removable battery or microSD card slot. Left wondering what just happened, review units started working their way to us, and we finally understood.

    fef6ee87b8ont211.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013

    If anything, the Moto X showed us that software is much more important than hardware at this juncture. The hardware choices for the Moto X were meant to compliment the software, not vice versa. In doing so, Motorola was able to give a significantly better experience with the Moto X, bringing the world of contextual data front and center. Their almost-absent skin on Android was refreshing, and let Android purists have their day. The tweaks and changes were all meant to help you in a day-to-day sense, not bring some oddball camera filter you’ll never use. For our money, the Moto X was the quintessential Android device in 2013.

    Moto G

    As much as the Moto X taught us about user experience and perceived compromise, the Moto G is set to do the same for the mid-range segment. It packs all the normal punch you’d expect from a true mid-range device, but checks in at about half the price of the competition. If nothing else, the Moto G is set to hit other OEMs where it hurts, and keep our wallets happy. Though light on specs, it brings the same customization feel as the Moto X, but can be manipulated on the fly with removable back plates.

    6897b36fccg 0012.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013

    Honorable mention

    LG G Flex

    Though Samsung was technically first to the curved device market in 2013, the G Flex was the better offering. With amazing battery life and interesting tweaks, we found it to be both interesting and compelling as a choice for this list. Though LG claims the device wen through several hundred design changes prior to launch, we still think of curved display smartphones more as proofs of concepts that signify those flexible displays we see so much of at trade shows are coming. They’re also keen to bring it to market on a wider scale, which proves they’re serious about this direction.

    Note 3 and Galaxy Gear

    Sadly, neither impressed, but both made a splash. The Note 3 was a slight bump from the Note 2, but brought with it the Galaxy Gear. Samsung’s first smartwatch was far, far less than desirable, especially considering other contenders like the Sony Smartwatch 2 or next device on our list, the Pebble. While making headlines, neither of these would have been notable as standalone devices, and the Gear only works with a few devices. The Gear has a camera, a first for a smartwatch, but continues to be hobbled with poor support and limited functionality. The creepy marketing efforts only turn us off more.

    6a0d96489240x406.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013


    An eInk screen, slightly clunky design, and limited style options make the Pebble one that can easily be dismissed too quickly. When you look a little harder at the functionality, the Pebble just might be the best smartwatch around. Easily configurable (if you have a little tech know-how) and simple to use, the Pebble perfectly accomplishes what smartwatches currently set out to do: it notifies you. Others have come along with more flash or style (see above), and promise of more to come, but the Pebble remains great at being simple — and works with just about any device. It also trumps the competition in the battery life department, which is good, because plugging a watch in is still weird.

    Nexus devices

    The Nexus 7 slimmed down and sped up, but we consider it a natural bump from the Nexus 7 2012. Sadly, we lost the Steve McQueen leather-esque backing of the original, and the screen got slimmer and taller, but nothing left us wanting. The slim profile and zippy processor handled everything Android with precision, and the screen is bright and gorgeous. The new Nexus 7 kept the Nexus brand at the top of the 7-inch tablet offerings.

    The Nexus 5 was another upgrade we saw coming, even if it was one of the most anticipated devices this year. A screen size bump was welcome, as was the jettisoning of the glass back from the Nexus 4. We wish Google had kept the sloped front glass from the Nexus 4 for this one, but it’s easily the flagship Google needed — and we wanted. It also naturally encourages users to go prepaid and ditch their draconian contracts, which we’re always fans of.

    b3984919e0loseup.jpg A year in review: Android Hardware in 2013


    What 2013 brought us was diversity, with Motorola disrupting the status quo and LG thinking outside of the box in new ways. We saw the birth of wearable tech in a big way, too. We still don’t quite have what we want from smartwatches, but we may never get there, either. If you’re wondering where Google Glass is on this list, don’t. As a product not ready for retail, we purposefully omitted it from the list. We like the concept, but until it sees the light of day for everyone — allegedly in 2014 sometime — we’ll be keen to watch the program from afar. When we can get it somewhere other than eBay, we’ll call it a consumer device.

    As we look ahead to 2014, one thing is certain: we’re getting wearables. Google Glass promises to come out at some point in 2014, and there are so many smartwatches we can’t keep them straight. With an explosion in one segment, we can also expect to see some contraction as lesser-than offerings fall off the map. Much like the early days of Android tablets, wearables are coming fast and furious. Like those days of Android tablets, it’s also a good idea to be cautiously optimistic about your potential purchase. After all, you don’t want that device you’re excited about now to end up in one of those “worst products ever” article a few years from now.

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    New Year iOS and Mac app sales – start 2014 right!


     New Year iOS and Mac app sales   start 2014 right!

    Should old acquaintance be forgot, yadda yadda yadda… Which apps are on sale? It’s New Year’s and the iOS and Mac App Stores are seeing price cuts all over the place. Why, we haven’t seen savings like this since a whole week ago. If you missed the Christmas sales boat, now’s your chance to make amends.

    Happy New Year’s everyone, and if you spot any good deals, leave a comment!

    iOS apps

    iOS games

    Mac apps

    Mac Games

    More great app and game sales?

    c8de9930f3mf.gif New Year iOS and Mac app sales   start 2014 right!

    ccbc2ef66awitter.png New Year iOS and Mac app sales   start 2014 right!

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