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Jul 09, 2013 - 5:14 PM - by dgstorm
Up until now details on Amazon's next generation Kindle Fire tablets have been sketchy. Luckily, a new report from BGR shares the skinny on three new Kindle Fire variants scheduled to arrive sometime this year. Here's the breakdown of what they were able to find out,
- The first is a replacement for the 7-inch Kindle Fire Base Model and will come with a 7-inch screen, but will include higher resolution 1,280 x 800 display - this will basically come with the same display that is in the current Kindle Fire HD and replace the (1,024 x 600-pixel) IPS display in the first gen Kindle Fire.
- The second is a new Kindle Fire HD which will also feature an improved 7-inch display. This one will be a 1,920 x 1,200-pixel resolution screen.
- The third is an upgraded version of Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch. The updated version will bump up the pixel count to 2,560 x 1,600 (from its current 1,920 X 1,200). This will actually put its display ahead of the newest iPad in total pixel count.
That's not all. Although no details were given about the internals, several tidbits were shared about the new design of the tabs and more. Here's a quote with the details,
When Amazon first launched the Kindle Fire, they shook things up in the tablet world. Could they be poised to do it again with the next generation of Kindle Fire products?
Regarding the design of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD tablets, we have been told that Amazon will introduce some big changes in the new models that launch later this year. Whereas the current Kindle Fire HD series features a back that slopes smoothly out toward the edges, as seen in the image above, our sources say the new models feature a more angular design with a flat slope out to the edges instead of a curved slope, and corners that aren’t as rounded. One source described the new look as “chiseled.”
Also of note, the power and volume buttons are no longer located on the side of the tablets. Instead, they have been situated on the sloping area on the case-back and they are positioned to avoid accidental button presses when a tablet is placed on its back. We’re told that the new button design is a big improvement; the button placement on current models is something of a pain point for many Kindle Fire HD users.
Lastly, the new tablets are said to be noticeably lighter than the models they will be replacing, though it is unclear if the launch versions of Amazon’s new tablets will be identical to the pre-production models currently being tested.
Source: Kindle-FireForum.com via BGR
With the Samsung Galaxy SIII being one of Sammy's most popular and highest selling smartphones last year, you'd think that naturally the bigger and "better" S4 would be doing just as well, if not better, right?. Well, not so fast. After already 20 million units shipped - not sold - analysts have already predicted a slowdown, and now an anonymous Samsung employee has said that the Galaxy S4 has made the company experience a “crisis”. Sales were expected to hit 100 million units, and while 20 million units shipped is nothing to sneeze at, it appears the S4 is well off pace in hitting those numbers. This can be attributed to the market saturation here in the West with Samsung's other high end products (Galaxy Note 2 and SIII) keeping predicted sales of the S4 at bay. The Galaxy Note 2 and SIII are still top notch handsets despite being "old tech", and customers aren't ditching them in favor of the "latest and greatest" from Samsung.
Keep in mind the company is not going to be crippled and take a huge hit on their bottom line, but they are more than likely going to have to rework their product cycle and tidy up their device portfolio. One thing we can probably count on is that the Galaxy S5 will probably be the company's most innovative and hard hitting device yet. We shall see.....
Jul 09, 2013 - 4:53 PM - by dgstorm
There are some new rumblings about the Moto X device. We have already heard plenty about the medium level specs, the customization options, and the advanced AI software of the new phone, but one thing we haven't caught wind of was pricing. The latest intel suggests the phone could be priced very aggressively and might even be available at around the same price point as the Google Nexus 4 smartphone.
In fact, this latest rumor suggests it could sell off-contract for as little as $250 USD. This seems like wishful thinking so make sure to chew an Army Ranger's worth of salt to go with this story. We will keep an eye on this to figure out just how true it is. If it does turn out to be accurate, would this alter your perception of the device?
Jul 09, 2013 - 4:27 PM - by dgstorm
For Sprint users with the Samsung Galaxy S4, you might be happy to learn that a new update for our device is coming OTA. This new update is version JDQ39.L720VPUAMF9, and it brings a host of new features and fixes. The best new feature is included support for "apps-to-SD." Here's a list of the rest of the improvements,
If you just can't wait for the OTA, we included a manual download below for here, although rooted users should stay away from this and wait for developers to form it into a flashable ROM.
- From 7/8/13 – 7/21/13, software update JDQ39.L720VPUAMF9 pushes to all existing Galaxy S 4 customers.
- Customers must wait for the Google Over The Air (GOTA) servers push the software update to their phone for installation.
- Voice – HD Voice enhancements.
- Audio – Audio clipping when using headphones at higher levels has been addressed.
- Application Storage – Enables market application installation onto the SD card.
- Wallpaper modifications – One wallpaper was removed and 2 new wallpapers were added..
- Messaging Known Issue – Unfortunately Messaging has Stopped error has been resolved.
What you need to do:
- To help customer update their software, refer to: From CST Search tab > Select Maker drop-down menu – Samsung > Select Device drop-down menu -Samsung Galaxy S 4 (SPH-L720)
- Under Device Specific Software Update to JDQ39.L720VPUAMF9 – Samsung Galaxy S 4
Jul 09, 2013 - 12:45 PM - by dgstorm
Although Samsung has yet to officially announce a third generation Galaxy Note product, that doesn't mean it isn't obvious they will be bringing one to market. In fact, the latest bit of intel confirming the existence of the device comes from WAP provisioning files on Samsung Mobile’s own website. These WAP files share details on products with the SM-N900T and SM-N900A model numbers which have been previously clued to be the Galaxy Note 3. The WAP data confirms the device will have a full HD 1,080 x 1,920-pixel display and an ARM11 processor.
Previous intel points to some other intriguing specs including 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and improved S Pen support. As always we will keep you informed with more details as they emerge.
Source: Samsung - (1) & (2)
Jul 09, 2013 - 11:46 AM - by dgstorm
Since last week, a known "master key" security hole plagued 99% of all Android devices. Many folks were justifiably wondering how Google would respond to the security leak. It turns out rather than wasting time with a response, they just fixed it and then let everyone know. That's an impressive way to take care of things. No monkeying around with PR nonsense, just fix it and move on. Now the ball is in the court of the hardware OEM to push the patch out as quickly as possible. Here's a quote with a few more details,
Gina Scigliano, Google's Android Communications Manager, said that while Google didn't have a statement, she could "confirm that a patch has been provided to our partners - some OEMs, like Samsung, are already shipping the fix to the Android devices."
Thus, Android users will, as they always have, need to reply upon their hardware vendors for this update.
They may not need to worry too much. Scigliano added, "We have not seen any evidence of exploitation in Google Play or other app stores via our security scanning tools. Google Play scans for this issue - and Verify Apps provides protection for Android users who download apps to their devices outside of Play."
Jul 09, 2013 - 11:12 AM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday morning we shared a leaked pic of the Motorola Droid Ultra, but late last night a couple more hit the interwebs. This time we have full frontal and rear "glamour shot" for the next-generation Motorola device. We even have a few supposed specs of the device. Here's the latest intel,
- Droid Ultra (XT1080)
- Super slim frame
- Trademark carbon fiber looking backplate
- Verizon branding only on the back of the device
- 10MP RBGC sensor ("the extra “C” is said to help the Ultra handle white balance and exposure more efficiently, for more dynamic and quicker shots.")
The latest rumors suggest this device would be revealed on July 11th, but Motorola themselves have come forward denying it. Stay tune for more details!
Jul 08, 2013 - 5:54 PM - by dgstorm
Last week we shared intel that the FCC was likely to approve the Sprint-Softbank-Clearwire merger. That news was accurate as the FCC passed the merger this morning. This means that Sprint will be allowed to finish purchasing the remaining shares of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. This also paves the way for the Japanese company, Softbank, to purchase an 80% stake in Sprint. Both of these moves will bring tremendous power to bear against Sprint's biggest competitors, AT&T and Verizon.
This has great potential to create competitive pressure, which could result in better carrier plans and prices in the United States eventually. The only thing left is for all shareholders to sign the final paperwork , which is expected to happen by the end of this month. Here's the full press release below,
... [Read More]
Federal Communications Commission Approves SoftBank’s Investment in Sprint and Sprint’s Acquisition of Clearwire
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., BELLEVUE, Wash. & TOKYO (BUSINESS WIRE), July 05, 2013 – The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it has voted unanimously to approve the applications filed by SoftBank (TSE: 9984), Sprint (NYSE: S) and Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) related to their transactions announced last year.
This decision completes all Federal government reviews of both SoftBank’s investment in Sprint and Sprint’s acquisition of Clearwire. Sprint’s shareholders approved the SoftBank transaction with Sprint on June 25th. Clearwire’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Sprint transaction with Clearwire, which has been recommended by Clearwire’s Board of Directors, on July 8th.
“We would like to thank Acting Chairwoman Clyburn, Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai, as well as the staff of the FCC for their thorough review of these transactions,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Just two years ago, the wireless industry was at the doorstep of duopoly, but with these transformative transactions, we are one step closer to a stronger Sprint which will better serve consumers, challenge the market share leaders and drive innovation in the American economy.”
“We appreciate the forward thinking, consumer focused stance the FCC has taken by approving the proposed transaction. As the company that built America’s first nationwide 4G network, Clearwire looks forward to joining Sprint and deploying an even faster and richer 4G experience for consumers across the country,” said Clearwire CEO and President Erik Prusch. “This is the right transaction at the right time to best deploy Clearwire’s spectrum to create a broadband network that will bring additional services and alternatives to wireless consumers.”
“The FCC’s thoughtful review and approval of these transactions represents an important step toward creating a more competitive U.S. wireless marketplace,” said SoftBank Chairman & CEO Masayoshi Son. “SoftBank’s investment in Sprint will bring innovation and increased customer focus, which will enable us to begin creating a true competitor in a market dominated by two companies. We look forward to leveraging the significant talent and resources of the New Sprint
Jul 08, 2013 - 3:31 PM - by dgstorm
News is quickly spreading across the Internet of another potential security threat to Android devices.
The BBC covered it by saying:
The Huffington Post, went on to report that...
"A "master key" that could give cyber-thieves unfettered access to almost any Android phone has been discovered by security research firm BlueBox.
The bug could be exploited to let an attacker do what they want to a phone including stealing data, eavesdropping or using it to send junk messages.
The loophole has been present in every version of the Android operating system released since 2009.
Google said it currently had no comment to make on BlueBox's discovery."
Meanwhile, Ars Technica have also covered the story...
"The method demonstrated by Bluebox would let app developers modify an update to a legitimate app to look like a system file, which can then be used to take control of a phone. With the right signature disguising its real motives, the update could log passwords, credit card information, photos, emails - essentially anything on your mobile device.
"The implications are huge," Bluebox explains on its website.
"Depending on the type of application, a hacker can exploit the vulnerability for anything from data theft to creation of a mobile botnet."
So, while this would appear to have the potential to be a problem, there is a lot of difference between "potential" and "actual".
While it would be devastating if an attacker was able to get such a modified APK into the Google Play Store, or somehow use the technique to hijack the update mechanism of legitimate apps, there are probably safeguards already in place to prevent such attacks.
"I imagine that Google would move quickly to add some logic to look for such attacks," Dan Wallach, a professor specializing in Android security in the computer science department of Rice University, told Ars. "Without that available to an attacker, this is likely to only be relevant for Android users who use third-party app stores (which have lots of other problems). This bug could also be valuable for users trying to 'root' their phones."
Blue box researchers privately reported the vulnerability to Google in February.
What is your take on this latest security story?
As originally posted by janner43 @TransformerForums.com.
Jul 08, 2013 - 3:24 PM - by dgstorm
One of our members on FocusST.org, shared an intriguing video that we thought worth passing on to you guys. In the above video, shared by U S Marine, you get to see some still shots and a video clip of a gauge pod cluster for a Ford Focus ST, and what is unique and relevant about it is that it is touch-based and uses the Android OS for its interface. It's an called the Android ST Boost Gauge Pod and it is used with Torque Pro.
To be honest, he doesn't share very many details on the device, so we aren't sure if this was custom created or something you can find on a retail shelf somewhere. We would love to know more. Sound off if any of you guys have seen this before and where you can get one.
Also, if you are into cars as well as Android, be sure to check out our sister-site @FocusST.org.
Source: Cool gauge pod
Jul 08, 2013 - 3:07 PM - by dgstorm
We found an intriguing infographic that will offer some "bragging rights" to Samsung Galaxy S4 owners. It also shows that owning the device affords them the opportunity to do more with their device. The infographic above comes from a series of battery life tests in which the Samsung Galaxy S4 beat out all the other devices which were tested. This included the iPhone 5, the HTC One, the Sony Xperia Z, the Google Nexus 4 and a few others.
As you can see from the pic, the SGS4 offers better call time battery life and better internet battery use than any of the other devices tested. The folks at "Which! Tech Daily" used their own testing process detailed below,
This seems like a decent "real world" way to test these devices, but of course as they point out, your results may vary. Sound off if you have been impressed with the battery life on your SGS4.
We test battery life using our own phone network simulator so that we can be certain that the signal strength is the same every time. Signal strength affects battery life as phones have to work harder when there’s poor reception.
We also set the screen brightness on every phone to the same level; this is a readable level rather than the maximum so that we don’t penalise phones with brighter displays. Finally, we condition each phone’s battery before testing by fully charging it and then discharging it.
We then make a continuous call (for the call time test) and access a regularly updating special web page over 3G (to test web browsing).
Battery life in everyday usage will vary from person to person as everyone uses their phone differently. That said, these tests are an extremely useful representation of battery performance and are comparable from one device to another.
Thanks for the tip, wicked!
Source: Samsung's Galaxy S4 scoops the iPhone 5 on battery life
Jul 08, 2013 - 2:54 PM - by dgstorm
Unless you are fluent in German, then the person speaking in the video above probably won't make a great deal of sense to you. Luckily, it doesn't take specific language skills to appreciate a beautiful device when you see one. In the video above the German tech site BestBoyz did a brief video comparison between the traditional silver HTC One and the new Glamour Red HTC One that is coming to Europe later this month.
Sadly, there is no word on when/if this version of the device will come to the United States or any other international markets at this time. We will keep you in the loop if that changes.
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