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Mar 23, 2016 - 10:18 AM - by dgstorm
Those crazy Google engineers are up to their shenanigans again. This time, they kicked off the April Fools fun 8 days early, by trolling developers. They launched a new “Space Reviews” section in their developer console.
The premise is that this Space Reviews section will share reviews from outer space of futuristic Nexus devices. The example in the joke is called the Nexus Space (aka Nexus 16), and is a smart-device with 12GB of RAM, a 7.21-inch display, and uses an odd 3000 x 2000 resolution with 500DPI.
What's even more bizarre is that this Nexus Space from the future is still using Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The review was posted 13 years into the future, so the author hasn't upgraded to Android Z for some reason. Maybe that's why the April Fools Joke is 8 days early... the Google engineers from the future were not able to sync up their space-time coordinate sensors properly.
Mar 22, 2016 - 11:43 AM - by dgstorm
The hot Samsung rumor for today is that the Galaxy Note 6 will be coming early this year. Supposedly Sammy will release the Note 6 as soon as July. The rumor includes another juicy tidbit. Not only will the phone be coming early, but it will be the first Samsung device to include Android N from the factory.
What do you folks think? Is this a legitimate possibility, or just wishful thinking?
Here's our dedicated Samsung Galaxy Note 6 section for further discussion: Samsung Galaxy Note 6
Mar 21, 2016 - 4:10 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like the age old war between Apple and Samsung will finally be going the distance. You folks remember that "ancient history" right? Way back in 2011, Apple sued Samsung for a large number of patent infringements. Some of the accusations were probably legit, but quite a few were really silly (like suing for having rounded edges). The case dragged out over many years and dominated headlines for 2012 and 2013.
After a while it became just as exhausting to cover the story, as it was for our members to constantly read about it. It basically became the must-ignore story of the century, even after Apple "won" a landmark $1 Billion settlement. Samsung appealed several times, and eventually got the settlement reduced down to $548 million.
Apparently, that reduction still wasn't enough to satisfy Samsung's sense of justice. Samsung is appealing to the highest court in the United States, the Federal Supreme Court. They felt that the award of total profits from the sale of their products would basically be unjust. Samsung is seeking to pair back $399 Million of that final award agreement, claiming that the iPhone's bezel and colorful grid of icons, as well as the rounded-corner front face, only contributed marginally to a complex device.
Here's a quote with more of the specifics,
"Last May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington upheld the 2012 patent infringement verdict. The court, however, said the iPhone's appearance could not be protected through trademarks, forcing another trial later this month in federal court in San Jose, California, to recalculate some of the damages Apple is owed.
The Supreme Court has not reviewed a design patent case in more than 120 years, when the products involved included a spoon handle and a rug.
In court papers, Samsung said that for complex, modern products such as smartphones, design patents have led to "unjustified windfalls," far beyond the inventive value of the patents.
On Monday, the high court said it would answer whether courts should award in damages the total profits from a product that infringes on a design patent if the patent applies only to a component of the product." ~ Reuters
Technically, Samsung already paid the $548 Million settlement to Apple. Samsung's court filing specified that it expects to be reimbursed by Apple if it wins this final, final appeal. It looks like this farce might be finally coming to a close. At least some meaningful legal precedents might be set from the whole debacle. One way or another, sometime this year, we will finally get to breathe a sigh of relief as this ends. What do you folks think?
Mar 21, 2016 - 11:10 AM - by dgstorm
Mar 17, 2016 - 4:20 PM - by dgstorm
Here's an interesting industry shift to share today. Apparently, Apple wants to diversify their cloud data storage services, and move away from a reliance on Amazon. They have apparently cancelled their contract with Amazon for cloud data services, and signed a new one with the arch-rival Google.
This is a significant industry shift for Google (6% of the market) as their cloud services are consistently in third place behind Microsoft (with 17% of the market), and Amazon (with 57% of the market). Industry speculation suggests that Google probably gave Apple a deal that was too good to pass up in order to secure them as a customer. Despite the probable discount, analysts suspect that the deal will still be worth between $400 and $600 million for the year.
Despite Google being a third place player in the market, their Cloud-computing services will be a primary focus from now on. In fact, Google believes that by 2020, their cloud based services will actually generate more revenue than their advertising.
There's a bit more to the story though. It's probable that Google may quickly lose their new customer in the not-to-distant future. According to further industry intel, Apple could eventually move away from Google as a cloud-services partner as well. Apple has been actively working on developing their own cloud data network. Apple recently announced they are opening three data centers soon, in an effort to reduce their operating costs and to reduce their reliance on competitors' services. This will likely lead to a build-out of Apple's own cloud-computing and data platform.
Mar 16, 2016 - 3:15 PM - by dgstorm
If you are a developer or Android super-fan who has signed up for the Google I/O 2016 lottery, then you might want to start checking your email for an invite. Google started shipping out the results to inboxes. If you haven't received one immediately, there's still hope. Google usually sends out the invites in separate groups, so you may just need to keep looking for it later this week.
The registration window for folks who receive an invite is 24 hours. It's possible that unused or declined tickets might make you a lucky winner later. Be sure to sound off here if you are one of the lucky folks who won an invite!
Mar 15, 2016 - 10:27 AM - by dgstorm
The quest is on for the perfect dessert name that starts with the letter "N." Google's Android N is currently called New York Cheesecake internally (according to various reports), but history has shown that Google rarely uses the internal code-name as the final retail name. In fact, the last several Android versions in a row (since KitKat) all used a different lettered dessert name internally than what was seen in the final release.
In this instance, we fully expect Google to follow that pattern from the last few releases. The biggest reason for doing so is that New York Cheesecake is both too lengthy/unwieldy, and is also too regionally focused/not universal enough.
There's one other obvious clue that Google will not use New York Cheesecake as the final dessert name for Android N, and that is that they just started an Opinion Rewards Poll to come up with a name for it. The Google Opinion Rewards Poll is an app that polls users on various topics. The above image was taken from the most recent series of questions found there.
As you can see in the image, the questions are as follows:
- "What tasty food comes to mind that starts with the letter "N""
- "What is your favorite tasty treat from the list below?" Possible choices are - Napoleon, Nut brittle, Nachos, Nori, Noodles, Nougat, Neapolitan ice cream.
It seems obvious that several of these are "red herrings" designed to troll Android fans: Nachos and Neapolitan Ice Cream? One is not a dessert, and the other is a variation on a dessert name we have already seen... Ice Cream Sandwich.
Still, there are a few of these left which could end up as the final name (or something else entirely). What do you think Google will finally choose?
Mar 15, 2016 - 8:31 AM - by dgstorm
Mar 11, 2016 - 10:13 AM - by dgstorm
If you are one of those frugal consumers who doesn't mind grabbing an older model smartphone when it's cheaper because the new models are distracting everyone, then this deal alert might be good for you. The online retailer B&H Photo has a sale going for the latest Google Nexus smartphones.
You can grab the Nexus 5X for $50 instant off, and/or you can get the Nexus 6P for $50 instant off plus another $50 Gift Card for a total $100 savings. Here are the links below to take advantage of this limited time offer:
Nexus 5X deals -
Nexus 6P deals -
Mar 08, 2016 - 12:41 PM - by dgstorm
Google's Project Fi is now available without an invite. To celebrate the new open availability, Google is also offering a very tempting discount for folks who sign up for the service and opt for the Google Nexus 5X smartphone to go with it.
Customers who sign up for the Project Fi service and purchase the Nexus 5X will get $150 off the regular price of the phone, bringing it down to a super-affordable $200 price. When you consider Google's Project Fi service could save individual plan holders a ton of money, this is a deal that might be too good to pass up. The offer is valid for only one discounted Nexus 5X per account, and officially ends on April 7, 2016 while supplies last.
For those who haven't heard the details about Project Fi, it is Google's own wireless cellular and data smartphone service. Project Fi is an MVNO which uses both T-Mobile and Sprint's networks in tandem for users to get the best signal strength. Additionally, the Project Fi compatible phones (the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P) have special radios that allow them to seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and the cellular network for both data and phone calls. This means you are frequently using Wi-Fi for data instead of the usage of your data plan.
The pricing for Project Fi is very affordable when you compare it to individual data plans from the other big U.S. networks. It is only $25 per month for unlimited calling/texting and is just $10 per month for every 1GB of data. You only pay an additional $10 per 1GB of data beyond the first, and Google will actually pay you back for any unused data in your plan each month. The average user on Project Fi uses about 1.6GB of data, leading to a typical price of just $45 per month.
Here's a link for more info: Official Android Blog: From ?Hi? to Fi to ?Goodbye? to invites: 7 things we?ve learned about Project Fi
Mar 07, 2016 - 10:07 AM - by dgstorm
The software developers behind the AnTuTu benchmark decided to put all of the current (and newest) mobile CPUs to the test. Here's a quick breakdown of results.
Mobile Chipsets (early 2016) CPU scores:
- Qualcomm 820 — 136,383
- Apple A9 — 132,657
- Samsung Exynos 8890 — 129,865
- Kirin 950 — 92,746
- Samsung Exynos 7420 — 86,652
- Qualcomm 810 — 81,049
- Qualcomm 652 — 79,636
- Apple A8 — 79,100
- Qualcomm 650 — 78,979
- Qualcomm 808 — 68,508
The respective GPUs were also tested for these same chips. Here is that ranking.
Mobile Chipsets (early 2016) GPU scores:
- Qualcomm 820 — 55,098
- Apple A9 — 39,104
- Samsung Exynos 8890 — 37,545
- Qualcomm 810 — 29,189
- Samsung Exynos 7420 — 24,583
- Apple A8 — 22,466
- Qualcomm 805 — 20,777
- Kirin 950 — 18,082
- Qualcomm 808 — 17,487
- Qualcomm 652 — 17,365
At first glance it seems surprising that the Snapdragon 820 isn't that much faster than last year's Apple A9 chipset, but the biggest advancements in that chipset have come in energy and heat efficiency.
Feb 26, 2016 - 3:51 PM - by dgstorm
Media folks who made it out to Mobile World Congress this year have come back some hot intel gleaned from the showroom floor. We have several different rumors to report from various sources. We already reported on several of them, including stories like the OnePlus 3 release in June, no LG Nexus phones this year, Google's removal of the app drawer in Android N app, and more.
Here's the skinny on a couple more rumors from MWC:
- Windows 10 could be coming to several high-end Android smartphones like the Xiaomi Mi 5, the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus 3.
- Vivo is making a smartphone called the Xplay 5 which will have 6GB of RAM, and could be significantly faster than most current smartphones.
Hmmm... color us intrigued!
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