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Jul 14, 2015 - 10:24 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft's AI ladies will soon have a new BFF to compete with. Supposedly, Facebook is also working on their own digital assistant. This new feminine AI will supposedly be called, Moneypenny, after the secretary/assistant in the James Bond novels and movies.
Facebook claims the new service will have an engine driven by actual human responses, whatever that means, and it will reside inside Facebook Messenger. It will be interesting to see if Facebook can create a decent competitor to Google Now, Siri, Alexa and Cortana (Google needs to get a chic name too).
Who wants to take bets on which feminine AI will gain sentience and start baking human cookies first? :D
Jul 14, 2015 - 9:52 AM - by dgstorm
Jul 10, 2015 - 9:51 AM - by dgstorm
The above image is a fan render found randomly on the web.
Back in the early part of this summer there was a rumor that Samsung would be launching the Galaxy Note 5 ahead of schedule in July to pre-empt the launch of the Apple iPhone 6S Plus. That rumor was later refuted by Samsung's CEO JK Shin. It turns out that the rumor was partially true though. Samsung will indeed be launching the Galaxy Note 5 early, but it will be in mid-August instead of July.
Normally, Samsung usually launches the Galaxy Note series during IFA in September. This year Apple shared they would be holding their iPhone 6S and 6S Plus launch 6 days after IFA. It looks like Samsung's strategy is to get out ahead of the next iteration of the iPhone Plus model with their Galaxy Note 5.
This way they can potentially scalp sales from the Cupertino company and keep some users away from the next larger iPhone. This accelerated launch schedule also allows Samsung to ramp up their hype machine to market their phablet-sized device longer.
Jul 09, 2015 - 2:11 PM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday we shared a story that Blackberry had purchased some Android specific domain names. This lead to speculation that it was proof of the rumored Android Venice device from Blackberry. In my report, I suggested that maybe Blackberry was simply teaming up with Google to make Android more secure. Sometimes a journalist's predictions/speculations do pan out...
The image above and link below serve as Blackberry's announcement that they are officially working with Google to make a secure, enterprise-level version of Android. In fact, Android Lollipop and the BES12 security architecture are specifically being merged to create this amazing "be together. not the same," hybrid solution.
Of course, this news doesn't necessarily invalidate the possibility that there will be a Blackberry Android device called the Venice. In fact, it seems very likely now that this device will be Blackberry's prime paragon device to herald in the new collaboration. All we can say here at HQ is... "it's about damn time!"
Jul 08, 2015 - 4:17 PM - by dgstorm
It seems the rumors of a Blackberry Android phone might turn out to be true after all. A new report indicates they just purchased a couple of web domains which all but confirm the suspicion. These new domains are AndroidSecured.com and AndroidSecured.net.
It's possible this could be something else. Maybe Blackberry teamed up with Google to make Android more secure, or maybe they are simply creating some third party software that helps make Android more secure for enterprise customers. Neither of these scenarios seems likely though.
Blackberry has fallen so far, this might be the only way to stay relevant in the new mobile landscape. Of course, the real question is, "will it be too little too late?"
Jul 08, 2015 - 10:32 AM - by dgstorm
The latest moves from Microsoft almost look like the company is throwing in the towel in the battle against the iPhone and Android smartphones. It turns out that Ballmer and Elop's last move for Microsoft to buy Nokia will have cost the company billions of dollars. In 2013, Microsoft purchased Nokia's hardware division for $7.2 Billion USD, but now the company will soon account for this purchase as a massive write-down on their financials. On top of that, Microsoft is also planning another round of layoffs to the tune of 7,800 people across the globe. A majority of these layoffs will be in Microsoft's mobile phone division.
Despite this seemingly desperate news, Microsoft isn't actually giving up on smartphones. Instead they are refocusing on the Windows ecosystem, and will be using future mobile devices to push their services and products. Basically, instead of trying to compete in the regular consumer mass market, Microsoft will narrow their attention to three distinct markets: enterprise and security, value phones, and a flagship phone for Windows fans.
Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella released the info in an email this morning. One of the things he specifically mentioned is that the company is "committed to our first-party devices including phones". He also said, "...we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family." At the end of his email he added, "I know many of you have questions about these changes. I will host an employee Q&A tomorrow to share more, and I hope you can join me."
We are curious to see the details of Microsoft's new strategy. Regardless, it looks like it is still tough for Microsoft to live-down Ballmer and Elop's "legacy" of mistakes. You can read the full email at the source link below.
Jul 01, 2015 - 2:56 PM - by dgstorm
The above video is so clever and hilarious, we can't help but share with you guys. Some crafty folks may have come up with the best reason to buy an Apple Watch yet! If you don't mind a little harmless ribbing at the expense of Apple, and in the name of making your own cool toys, then give this video a few moments of your time... we won't spoil it for you.
Jun 24, 2015 - 10:33 AM - by dgstorm
For folks in the market for one of the best Android tablets on the planet, this Expansys USA offer might draw your attention. The online retailer is selling the Google Nexus 9 LTE 32GB version for only $379.99. It's regular price is $499.99 (although Amazon has it for $449.99).
That's a pretty stellar price for a device with the following powerful specs:
8.9-inch display QHD 2K (2048 x 1536) Display
NVIDIA Tegra K1 with custom dual-core Denver cores clocked at 2.3GHz
8MP rear camera
1.6MP front camera
Here's the link for those who want to jump on this offer before they run out: Google Nexus 9 Tablet (Unlocked, LTE, 32GB, Indigo Black) #AP_NEXUS9LTE_BLK - Expansys USA
Jun 23, 2015 - 10:57 AM - by dgstorm
The above video is a new commercial from the creative minds at T-Mobile. Their newest #DefeatDuopoly ad campaign takes direct aim Verizon & AT&T. The ad campaign paints John Legere as a superhero in a faux comic book destined to take down the corruption of their villainous enemy.
The specific story of this "comic book" draws attention to T-Mobile's struggle to get enough spectrum to compete in the market. Legere wants the FCC to alter the rules of their auction this year to give other carriers besides AT&T and Verizon a fighting chance to get enough 600MHz spectrum.
The rules the FCC have used basically lets the highest bidder buy up as much spectrum as they want. Verizon and AT&T already have quite a bit of spectrum that they don't even use, and are basically hoarding it so that their competitors like T-Mobile and Sprint don't have a chance to compete on a fair scale.
The commercial is all quite dramatic and a bit silly, but is actually a clever way to draw folks' attention to the issue.
Jun 22, 2015 - 11:29 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Sony is jumping on the Android M development bandwagon forthwith. They just announced that the Android M Developer Preview will be available on nearly all of their Xperia devices soon. They also shared plans to release a test build of Android M for Xperia products in the Sony Open Device program.
If you plan to try these out, keep in mind that these developer previews are not meant to be your permanent (daily driver) OS. The modem and camera are non-functional. Still, for any of our devs out there, this gives you the opportunity to test out your apps on Sony Xperia devices.
Jun 22, 2015 - 11:12 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like the folks at Elephone are wanting to be the first Android smartphone OEM to spam extra cores into their products. According to the latest intel, the company will be releasing their Elephone P9000 smartphone in October, and it will be the first device to utilize the Helio X20 MT6797 deca-core CPU.
For those who need to brush up on their Greek alphabet (or metric system), deca is the prefix for ten. Yep... that means they are creating a 10-core chip for a smartphone. While we will gladly let you guys debate the usefulness of this approach, we still wanted to share the intel. Here's the scoop on this device:
- 5.5-inch 1080p resolution display
- Helio X20 MT6797 deca-core CPU - a 20nm chip which uses pair of ARM Cortex-A72 cores for primary processing, four ARM Cortex-A53 cores are for medium load scenarios, and four optimized Cortex-A53s handle low-power states.
- ARM Mali-T880 series GPU clocked at 850MHz
- 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM (not the newer and faster LPDDR4)
- 20.7MP rear camera
- 8MP front cam
- 32GB of expandable storage
- 3100mAh battery
It's interesting that they would pair this ridiculous processor with a (relatively old fashioned) 1080P HD Display. The current fancy display trend is pushing toward the QHD 2K displays. The device will likely retail for $500, so perhaps this is their way of saving some on the manufacturing costs.
Still, it seems like if you are going to go hog-wild with the craziest processor you can push out, then you should do something similar with the display too. Either way, for smartphones these features don't seem like anything more than marketing fluff. What do you think?
Jun 18, 2015 - 10:30 AM - by dgstorm
Earlier in the week OnePlus revealed that their next-gen OnePlus Two would be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. Because of the infamous overheating problems associated with this chipset, this understandably created trepidation amongst fans of the OnePlus line. According to OnePlus themselves, we have nothing to be worried about.
OnePlus shared that the variant of the Snapdragon 810 in their Two phone will be version v2.1. The important distinction is the ".1," and OnePlus elaborated that they worked hand-in-hand with Qualcomm to create an "improved" version of the CPU which supposedly doesn't have the overheating problems reported by other versions of the chip.
OnePlus didn't explain in detail what changes where made to the chip, but word on the street suggests one of the changes was simply a generous application of thermal gel and graphite to the chipset itself. On top of this, OnePlus optimized their OxygenOS to work dynamically with the chip to maximize heat dissipation without sacrificing on performance.
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