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Feb 16, 2015 - 11:38 AM - by dgstorm
It seems like almost everyday we have a new report of the Android 5.0.X Lollipop rollout heading to a new smartphone. Today we have word that the Sprint version of the LG G3 is getting a taste of Lollipop's sugary goodness. Here's what Sprint had to say about everything which is included with this update:
- Material Design for fluid animation, multicolored themes and 3D views
- More efficient battery use
- Android™ TV support
- Notifications on the lock screen and customizable options with prioritized notifications for events, reminders, messages and calls
- Updated Lock Screen features allow users to quickly access notifications and active apps
- Enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities for added Accessibility
- Integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities
- Enhanced Messaging with Google Hangouts™ support for SMS and MMS and a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons
- Upgraded Google Mobile Service™ apps automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files
Here's our dedicated LG G3 section in the forums: LG G3 Android Forum at DroidForums.net
Source: LG G3 from Sprint gets Android Lollipop update Sprint Newsroom
Feb 13, 2015 - 10:06 AM - by dgstorm
Samsung has begun teasing their Galaxy S6 with "The Next Galaxy" promo. They tweeted a video which seems to focus on the camera capabilities of the new flagship smartphone. The clip is actually rather vague, owing to Samsung's PR team wanting to keep it mysterious to draw our attention to the event in March.
Still, it's obvious from previous leaks and from this teaser that Sammy wants to make the camera an even more important focus to enhance the user experience with the Galaxy S6. Samsung has been promising that the new snapper in the Galaxy S6 will be "an intelligent camera. We will have to wait and see if the reality lives up to the hype.
We couldn't include the video because of its custom embedding, but you can view it at the source link below. Also, be sure to hit up our dedicated Samsung Galaxy S6 for more discussions: http://www.droidforums.net/forums/sa...scussions.748/
Feb 11, 2015 - 11:22 AM - by dgstorm
NVIDIA is teasing something big for a March 3rd Press Event in San Francisco. They just sent out press invites to an event they claim will "redefine the future of gaming." While those are obviously bold claims, they are also teasing a product that has been "5 years in the making."
It remains to be seen whether their statement is legitimate or just marketing hyperbole. We suspect the press event will unveil the new Tegra X1 chipset on some sort of mobile platform, probably a tablet and/or more. From all that we have heard about the Tegra X1, we are actually very excited to see what NVIDIA has to share with us.
We will share all the details as soon as we get them so stay tuned!
Feb 09, 2015 - 2:45 PM - by dgstorm
Obviously we knew that NVIDIA would eventually release another Shield Android tablet which will showcase their newest Tegra X1 chipset. The current NVIDIA Shield includes the previous-gen Tegra K1 chipset and easily has the highest level of performance for any tablet on the market.
Of course, NVIDIA continues to evolve their technology and the new Tegra X1 chipset will be based on a newer architecture which aims to improve that performance even further. The latest intel suggests this new super-powered Tegra X1 Shield tablet is already in the works and should hit retail sometime in the middle of this year (probably around July). We should find out something more official during the GPU Technology Conference on March 17th.
Fore reference, here's a breakdown of the major advances found in the Tegra X1:
- Based on NVIDIA's PC GPU Maxwell architecture
- Uses a 20nm chip with a Maxwell 256-core GPU
- Supports DX-12, OpenGL 4.5, NVIDIA CUDA, OpenGL ES 3.1, and AEP
- Octa-core 64-bit ARM CPU, with four Cortex-A57 2MB L2 cores and another four Cortex-A53 512KB L2 cores
- Supports H.265, VP9 4K 60 fps Video 4k H.265, 4k VP9, 4k H.264
- Display support for up to 4K x 2K @60 Hz or 1080p @120 Hz HDMI 2.0 60 fps
It's amazing how much NVIDIA really pushes the performance envelope of mobile tech. We can't wait to check out the next iteration of NVIDIA Shield with that juicy Tegra X1! Additional rumors suggest it will be an 8-inch device. What do you guys think of NVIDIA's tablets and chipset technology?
Source: Shield Tablet with Tegra X1 coming soon
Feb 04, 2015 - 10:39 AM - by dgstorm
For the whole two people on the planet who love bloatware on their AT&T devices, then the latest update to Samsung's Galaxy S5 will make you happy. For the rest of us, this update to the Galaxy S5 is a strange one. It's NOT Lollipop, but is instead just another version of KitKat, Android 4.4.4.
We have to give it credit, the update does add AT&T's voice over LTE, which they call HD Voice, but that's hardly the upgrade owners of the device were expecting. The update should be pushing out to the Galaxy S5, SM-G900A, version shortly.
Feb 03, 2015 - 10:26 AM - by dgstorm
The folks at SamMobile are reporting that the Exynos versions of the Samsung Galaxy S5 are finally starting to receive the Android 5.0 Lollipop update rollout. It started out in Poland, then hit Russia and Malaysia, but now the full international version is rolling out to all Galaxy S5 devices which have the Exynos chip.
You should start receiving the update starting today, but the OTA push will roll out in waves so it could be a few days before you are queued up. Of course, if you don't want to wait, you can head to Kies to get it now. The video above gives you a glimpse of what Lollipop will look like on your Samsung Galaxy S5.
Feb 03, 2015 - 10:18 AM - by dgstorm
Motorola's business picked up steam directly after Lenovo took over. Of course, part of that is simply attributed to the Droid Turbo, which was already in development before Lenovo took the reigns. Despite this, the changeover to Lenovo ownership must have had some effect on their reputation. After-all, Lenovo is the sole PC manufacturer that is doing fine during a world-wide reduction in PC sales.
At any rate, Lenovo announced their earnings and although Motorola wasn't back to being profitable yet, they aren't far from it either. The great news is that their sales more than doubled over the year... up 118% to be exact. In fact, Lenovo's united mobile division market share rose 78 percent in a year, putting them third overall behind Samsung and Apple. Not too shabby!
For even more details on how Lenovo is doing hit up the source link here: Lenovo
Jan 30, 2015 - 9:59 AM - by dgstorm
Here's some strange news from late last night. Both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was planning to invest in Cyanogen. Here's a quote from the WSJ on the issue,
Apparently, this is Microsoft's play to get their fingers deeper into the Android pie. This way, Microsoft can create a version of Android that is more friendly to their app ecosystem than Google has been.
People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google’s auspices.
Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions, one of the people said. The person said the financing round could grow with other strategic investors that have expressed interest in Cyanogen because they’re also eager to diminish Google’s control over Android. The identity of the other potential investors couldn’t be learned.
Spokespeople for Microsoft and Cyanogen declined to comment.
As for Cyanogen, this is their way of dominating the Android landscape. In fact, the Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster, boldly claimed, “We’re going to take Android away from Google.”
It sounds like this team-up is designed to specifically diminish Google's control of Android. If this turns out to be true, what do you think of this behind the scenes strategic maneuver from Microsoft?
Jan 29, 2015 - 2:42 PM - by dgstorm
The FTC recently ruled in a case against prepaid mobile carrier TracFone. This case will likely have wide-sweeping ramifications throughout the entire mobile landscape in the US. It will impact consumers positively, while likely frustrating big carrier's like AT&T and others.
TracFone was ordered to pay $40 million in damages for throttling customers’ data connections. The reason for this ruling was because the customers signed up for “unlimited” data plans, yet TracFone chose to "throttle" customers who were heavy users. The FTC's director of Consumer Protection, Jessica Rich, had this to say,
Rich elaborated that the FTC doesn't have a problem with carriers using throttling if customers exceed certain limits or when the company needs to manage traffic during peak hours. The issue at hand was in how TracFone presented and marketed their plans. Basically, the FTC wants to enforce greater truth in advertising in this instance. If a customer believed they were signing up for "unlimited" service, then there shouldn't be any "limitations."
“The issue here is simple: When you promise consumers ‘unlimited,’ that means unlimited."
The reason why this could affect companies like AT&T is the way in which the FTC is phrasing their ruling in the case. Recently, AT&T thumbed their noses at the FTC, arguing they have no authority or jurisdiction over AT&T's network management practices. AT&T contends that the FCC handles that jurisdiction.
While that is true, the FTC does handle consumer protection as it relates to deceptive advertising, and their argument is that the TracFone case falls under that classification. Very soon, we are likely to see the FTC use this incident as precedent to rule the same way against AT&T and any other carrier that markets "unlimited data plans" who then limit them with throttling or other methods.
Here's a quote with a final addendum on this topic,
What do you guys think of this issue? Does the FTC make a valid argument, or do you believe AT&T has it right.
In a conference call with reporters, Rich said that the FTC’s concerns relate specifically to how carriers are advertising their services.
“This case is about false advertising,” Rich said in response to a question from Re/code
. “It’s not about throttling. We’re not challenging throttling in and of itself.”
Rich said that so long as it is made clear to customers, carriers can employ the practice: “If it’s clearly disclosed, if a company advertises unlimited, but very clearly discloses their practices with regard to throttling we would not challenge that action.”
Source: FTC Says Unlimited Data With Throttling Doesn 8217 t Count as Unlimited Re code
Jan 28, 2015 - 4:20 PM - by dgstorm
Not too long ago Samsung claimed they were going to slow down the production of a large variety of smartphones and refocus their efforts on fewer models. Apparently, that was just lip-service to the media, because they just announced a completely new Galaxy series of smartphones to add to the plethora of options already coming.
The "pinnacle" of their new J Series Galaxy model is the Galaxy J1, and here are the humdrum specs:
1.2 GHz dual-core processor of unknown origin
4.3-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display
Dual SIM capabilities
Android 4.4 KitKat on board
5 MP camera with LED flash on the back
2 MP snapper on the front (includes a Palm Selfie function which can detect movement so you can take selfies using hand gestures)
512 MB of RAM
4 GB of internal memory
A microSD card slot
1850 mAh removable battery
Ultra Power Saving mode
Weighs 122 grams
Measures 129 x 68.2 x 8.9 mm
Three color versions: blue, black, and white
The phone will be launching in Malaysia and Russia soon. We have no further details than that. Apparently, Samsung feels they can just slap a "Galaxy" name on any device to make it a great product. Feel free to "groan" now...
Source: GALAXY J1 | SAMSUNG Malaysia
Jan 22, 2015 - 3:25 PM - by dgstorm
There is something we missed in our reporting yesterday of Microsoft's Windows 10 briefing. The product wasn't actually directly related to Windows 10, so please forgive us for our oversight. Once you see this tech, (if you haven't already) you may have reason to be irritated with us for missing it.
After discussing Windows 10, Microsoft also announced an experimental new product which they have been working on for over 5 years. It's called HoloLens, and it's basically everything Google Glass wants to be and much, much more. In fact, HoloLens may just be the next "disruptive" tech device that shakes up the entire electronics industry. While those are obviously bold claims, if Microsoft can pull off what they have demonstrated in the videos we included with this story, then they could potentially change the way we use computers forever.
HoloLens basically merges several different computing interface concepts into one. It mixes elements from Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Gesture-Based Controls, and Voice Based Commands into one cohesive computing device that will let us create, share, work, play and collaborate in ways never possible before.
The gist of it is that the HoloLens goggles overlays holograms into our field of vision, floating amidst our everyday world, and able to be interacted with and manipulated with our voice and gestures. The goggles create the holograms in our field of vision, and the built-in Kinect-like sensors allow us to manipulate them in real-time. It's basically like what we see in the Iron Man movies when Tony Stark is building or tweaking his Iron Man suits. The only difference is that the real thing will require these cool looking goggles.
What's really amazing is how far along they are with this technology. While we are unlikely to see a consumer retail version of HoloLens available by Christmas time this year, Microsoft is planning on sharing the tech with NASA as early as this summer. The HoloLens will allow scientists who are separated by distance to collaborate with projects in new and exciting ways based upon images and data sent from the Mars Rover. This is due to the built-in Skype functionality.
The video above may be your typical PR "pie-in-the-sky" representation of the HoloLens concept, but according to folks who have demoed it, the device is not too far from this is exact functionality. In fact, a writer from Wired magazine was given a personal demo of the HoloLens, and she came away very impressed.
Here's her writeup: Project HoloLens Our Exclusive Hands-On With Microsoft s Holographic Goggles WIRED
Here's Microsoft's landing page for more info: Microsoft HoloLens Official Site
It's awesome to see the Sci-Fi concept of holograms finally coming to fruition. Perhaps the folks in the office at Microsoft are walking around singing, "The future's so bright, I gotta wear HoloLens!" What do you think of Microsoft's vision of the future?
Jan 16, 2015 - 10:43 AM - by dgstorm
It's that time of the year again... rumors regarding the specs and features of high-end devices are flying across the web. This latest intel seeks to shed light on LG's upcoming flagship, the LG G4. Its specs were supposedly leaked, and they are exactly as you would expect them to be.
Here's the breakdown from the leak:
- 5.3-inch display with Quad HD (2K) resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 16-megapixel rear camera
- Android 5.0
While this internal hardware is undoubtedly very powerful, we can't help but make a frustrating observation. A pattern has emerged in the flagship Android smartphone market that is even more pronounced this year than ever before. All of the top new phones of this year will be virtually identical to each other on the inside. There will basically be almost nothing that distinguishes them from each other besides their outer aesthetics and a few software gimmicks here and there.
Obviously, this has been occurring for the last couple of years, but this year in particular we see the hardware reach a parity across the board that is completely flat. Basically all of the top flagship phones will have the same CPU, GPU, RAM, Display and Camera. Very little will be left to distinguish them from one another. Have we already hit that saturation point for Android devices? What will it take for these OEMs to create something truly different and innovative? Sound off with your ideas!
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