Google I/O 2014 - During the Google I/O conference that is currently on, Google announced it has a massive 62% of the global tablet market share.
If we look back over the last couple of years, this number has grown considerably - last year, Google had just 46% of the global tablet market share. In 2012, it was just 29%. So we can see that Google is doing some truly big business in tablets. The company has also said that it sees 42% of all YouTube usage coming from its mobile OS, Android, and that app installs are up 236% year-over-year.
Google I/O 2014 - Google has kicked off its Google I/O conference, with the company announcing that it has over 1 billion monthly active users on Android, a staggering number.
This time last year, that number was 538 million, so that is quite the explosion of users onto Google's mobile OS. The company had some fun numbers to share, where it sees 93 million selfies taken by Android users daily, 20 billion text messages per day, and people check their phones over 100 billion times a day. Shocking when it gets laid out in front of you like that, isn't it?
Apple rumors float around the web constantly and a new one has turned up this week. This rumor claims that one of the differentiating features between the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and the smaller version of the phone will be optical image stabilization (OIS) for the camera. The rumor comes from analysts at Pacific Crest Securities.
The cost premium for the OIS chip is said to be very small, in the area of $4 to $5, compared to a traditional autofocus solution. The smaller iPhone 6 is believed to have a 4.7-inch screen. OIS is able to reduce shake when an image is taken making the image clearer.
A number of smartphones on the market have OIS integrated into their cameras today. The analysts said: "We believe the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 smartphone camera will support optical image stabilization (OIS) and anticipate that it will represent one of several opportunities at Apple that will benefit InvenSense. In our analysis, we believe Apple chose to only include OIS camera technology in the larger iPhone 6 given that there is still a significant cost premium ($4 to $5) over standard auto focus solutions and that it provides a point of differentiation between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the step-up model (5.5-inch)."
Students from MIT and other universities are preparing to make a time capsule mission that will go much further than putting something in the ground on Earth to be dug up years later. These students will be sending three satellites to mars that will be packed with stuff having to do with life on Earth.
The contents taken to the red planet by the satellites will include video, messages, voice recordings, and pictures. Students will encapsulate the content in CubeSats and the project will have the assistance of NASA and Explore Mars. Currently, the launch date for the project is set for 2017.
Executive director of Explore Mars Chris Carberry wants this project to spark curiosity of the public. He said: "Every member of this team wants to send humans to Mars one day, and this is one way to inspire the public. A group of students having the motivation to put together a viable mission like this and raise the funds themselves, that in itself is inspiring."
George Lucas is the mastermind behind the Star Wars franchise along with Indiana Jones. Lucas sold off his movie empire to Disney not long ago, and happily for fans, that sell off means lots more movies are in the works. Lucas has been looking for a place to build a museum for movie memorabilia and art for a while now.
He was considering San Francisco and LA, but has chosen a different location. After "aggressive lobbying" from Chicago, Lucas has decided to build the museum there. Once completed, the museum will show off items collected during his 40-year career as a moviemaker and a large art collection he has put together.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will open in 2018 and will be located next to Soldier Field. Lucas will give at least $700 million to finance the construction of the museum. San Francisco fell out of the running when no location on the waterfront was available.
Twitter users have had the ability to quote another tweet for a while that gives you the option to add some of your own comment to a tweet. When you only have 140 characters to work with, having to quote a tweet in your tweet leaves little room for your thoughts. Twitter is now testing a new feature called retweet with comment.
The new feature allows the user to retweet the original tweet and add their own comments without using any of their 140 characters for the quote. Random twitter users are now seeing the retweet with comment feature right now after the feature was tested with some twitter workers internally.
While this new feature sounds like a really good idea, there is no guarantee that it will be permanently implemented into the twitter app and website.
One of the big selling points for the Google Chromebook Pixel notebook was the fact that the machine had free data from Verizon Wireless. The free data pool was small from the get go with only 100MB of free data each month for two years.
I'm sure that Verizon had hoped some of the Chromebook users would see the need for more data and buy upgrades. Verizon made many owners of that Pixel notebook very angry when it cut the free data off early. Verizon began to turn off the free data only a year into the two-year agreement. Some users began threatening Google with a lawsuit over the cut off.
Google has now stepped in and is looking to sooth some of the ruffled feathers of users with a gift card with $150 of free money to spend. The money can be used to pay for additional data to cover the second year of ownership or other items. Verizon sells 3GB of data that can be used over 90 days for $20 meaning that $150 will more than pay for an extra year.
The fortunes of Foxconn, the maker of most of the Apple gadgets on the market, are directly tied to the fortunes of the companies it manufactures goods for. That means as sales slow for the companies it builds products for, its sales slow as well. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is urging shareholders to be patient and allow the company time to invest in new businesses as sales slow.
The new businesses that Gou and Foxconn are hoping to invest in include car electronics and cloud computing among others. Gou said during an annual meeting, "Please be patient, don't be in a hurry. I'm also the biggest shareholder, so if it's bad for Hon Hai it's also bad for me."
Foxconn also plans to increase its investments in robotics and add additional skilled jobs as the company seeks to meet its 10% growth projections. Gou has met with other companies seeking expansion and those companies include Tesla and SoftBank Corp among others.
It looks like AMD is preparing itself a new GPU, the Hawaii XTX. Right now we have the Hawaii PRO, which is the Radeon R9 290, and the Hawaii XT, which arrives to us in the form of the high-end Radeon R9 290X.
The new Hawaii XTX will arrive in retail form as the Radeon R9 295X, and will feature the full 48 Compute Units - compared to the 40 on the R9 290 and 44 on the R9 290X. Better yet, there will be 3072 cores, this is an increase from the 2816 cores found on the already fast R9 290X. When it comes to TMUs, this will be increased from the 176 on the 290X to 192 on the 295X. The ROP count will stay at 64.
The question now sits with pricing - will AMD be competitive, because these specs will allow the company to compete directly with the GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK Edition, as well as the GTX 780 Ti. Because of the increased specs, we should expect the Radeon R9 295X to arrive with custom cooling from AMD's various partners in SAPPHIRE, MSI, and more.
Micron is planning for the near-future by preparing a 'Hybrid Memory Cube' that will provide 15 times more bandwidth compared to traditional DDR3 memory sticks that you get today. Even with the newer DDR4 implementation, like the one in Japan retail shelves, the HMC is still going to provide fives times more bandwidth.
Along with the bandwidth boost, the new memory type will also draw 70 percent lesser energy. Micron plans to achieve this by stacking memory as stacked chips using a connection type called 'Through Silicon Via'. That said, the memory will be required to be soldered on the motherboard near the CPU.
HMC will also have other features that are not present in DIMM-type DDR implementations. These include debug, more error correction features and also have logic layers.