If we were to go off of the patent pictured below, it looks as though Apple haver finally found the perfect way to solve the issue with touchscreen keyboards discarding the physical keyboard in favor of this new technology.
Haptic technology would allow touchscreen manufacturers to deliver physical feedback when a user touches a button, tries to type on the devices on-screen keyboard, or just interacts in general with the screen. No physical keyboard plus haptic technology could be the perfect middle ground.
The current haptics on most smartphones are nothing but a quick vibration, and not a full solution. Apple's way seems to use a combination of flexible OLED display technology and piezoelectric actuators that would, wait for it, actually alter the contour of your screen. This technology would take into account sensor data to determine usage context, providing situationally-appropriate feedback.
Samsung caused quite the stir over the past week or so with their GALAXY S III announcement, but not wanting to fade into the darkness, LG have announced their new LG Optimus LTE2 which definitely looks like it could butt heads with Samsung.
Design and build-wise, it looks spiffy: sporting a glass and metal casing instead of the glossy plastic exterior that the GALAXY series features. The second note you should take away from this announcement is that it sports 2GB of RAM, a first for any smartphone, as well as a very sexy TrueHD IPS display rather than the standard RGBG subpixel layout that's expected to outclass the PenTile RGBG layout that Samsung has opted for in the GALAXY S III.
We are also looking at wireless charging with a separate dock, 4G LTE connectivity, a decent 2,150 mAh battery and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. At hte moment, processor and screen size/resolution are all unknowns, but if the other specs are anything to go by, they should impress too.
Later on this month, all local UK carriers will have the latest flagship smartphone from Samsung, the GALAXY S III. Similar to the HTC One X launch, it will catapult itself onto all major carriers.
We should see it arrive on Vodafone, Three, Orange, T-Mobile and O2. Most of these carriers hope to have the handset by May 30. Vodafone UK will have an exclusive though, where they'll have the 32GB version for a limited time where the rest of the carriers will have the 16GB for starters.
This isn't too big of a deal, as the GALAXY S III is upgradeable with a MicroSD slot, unlike the iPhone or even the HTC One X. We should be looking at the GALAXY S III having a price of around £500. This could change in the next few weeks, but we'll see.
Apple loves to do minor, and sometimes major, tweaks under the hood and not give a consumer any way to tell which product they are buying until they have opened the box. In this case, Apple has shrunk the 45nm SoC in the original iPad 2 down to 32nm and are still calling it the iPad 2. Unfortunately, there is no marking on the box and you won't know until you open the box and turn it on.
This is a bit unfair to customers as the new iPad revision brings with it lower operating temperatures and better battery life due to the updated SoC. But from a manufacturing standpoint, it's quite understandable. It allows Apple to get used to Samsung's 32nm process and prepare to use it for the next iPhone.
At the same time it also allows stock to be cleared of the old iPad 2 and will allow Apple to keep up with demand should something go wrong with the new process. AnandTech ran some web browsing tests on the new iPad and found an increase of 1.6 hours of battery life, or almost 15.8% better. In gaming, it nears 30% more battery life. Do yourself a favor, return the iPad 2 you buy if you don't get the 32nm SoC.
Amazon were once able to stand proud bragging that their Kindle Fire was "the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product", but never gave out any real sales numbers. This should've been a flashing red light in our faces, really.
Kindle Fire sales have been impressive, initially, but have reportedly started to die down. According to IDC's review of worldwide tablet shipments for Q1 2012, Kindle Fire shipments dropped from 4.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, to less than 750,000 units last quarter. Quite the drop, isn't it?
This represents a drop from 16.8-percent to "just over 4-percent" global market share, and is enough to cost Amazon its second-place in IDC's ranking of tablet vendors. Samsung have now replaced Amazon as #2, with Amazon taking the #3 position. Who's #1? Wow, surprisingly, Apple. But so they should be: the company shipped 11.8 million iPads in the first quarter, but this is down from the 15.4 million units in Q4 2011.
Apple now stake claim to 55-percent of the market, down from 68-percent in Q4 2011.
iLounge are reporting they've received information for the next-generation iPhone, that it would sport a 4-inch display by increasing height of the device. In order to accomodate the tallet screen, the body of the next iPhone will also become slightly taller. We should also see a 20-percent (or so) reduction in thickness. They go on, adding:
What we've learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm-a 10mm jump in height, nearly 2mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width. According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone. This panel will be flat, not curved, and metal, not ceramic. Our artist's rendition provides a rough idea of what this change will look like; it echoes the current-generation iMac design, to be sure.
Samsung have proudly announced that their tablet/smartphone mash-up, the GALAXY Note, has sold two million units since its launch five months ago. The GALAXY Note smashed past the two million mark in the shortest period of time for any Korean LTE phone to date.
Samsung's GALAXY Note is set to receive an Ice Cream Sandwich update shortly, where it'll bring a slew of new features to the 5.3-inch tablet/smartphone mash-up device. Before it was released, most people thought it was a gamble pushing a device of this size onto the market. It was met with mixed reactions when it was announced, as it walks a fine line between smartphone and tablet. But, the huge reception it was received not only in South Korea, but the world, has shown that Samsung were right to gamble on a device like this.
Worldwide numbers are also quite impressive, where back in March, Samsung had announced it sold two million GALAXY Note's, as well as shipping over five million units across the world. These numbers would've grown by now, and should continue to do so when the ICS update hits.
Samsung released their flagship GALAXY S III smartphone today, and while we can perve at the pics, drool over the specs, and shout "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" at the screen, it's still nice to see how the smartphone compares to its predecessor, the GALAXY S II.
Our friends over at Netbook News have done this in the form of a video comparison of the two GALAXY-branded smartphones. Netbook News throw a GALAXY S II up against the GALAXY S III and give their quick impressions, showing us the screen, how thick it is, and heavy it is versus each other.
We should see more of these videos over the coming weeks, and I've already reached out to SamsungMobileUS via Twitter to see if I can one for myself personally before I fly off to Computex this time next month. I wouldn't mind using the camera on the phone while I'm there, and I would feel like a hipster having the latest gear in my pocket and hands.
The Samsung Galaxy S III comes with a load of new features, with many of them as suspected prior to launch. Several new things have also been added to the phone are extremely cool. For one, the front-facing camera tracks the user's gaze so that the screen will not lock while the user is looking at the screen.
The device features the new Exynos 4 Quad-Core 1.4GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16, 32, or 64GB of storage, and radios for Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, and NFC connectivity. The front side features a 1.9MP camera which is used in the above described feature. The backside features an 8MP camera which can take HD video along with burst photos.
The screen is a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display. The device seems capable of accepting voice commands and also senses when you pick it up to make a call. It can also wake on a voice command. It is available in two colors: "Pebble Blue" and "Marble White."
Wireless charging is also available without an additional case. This phone has more features than you can shake a stick at or than I can list. The Galaxy S III will be available in Europe by the end of May and is looking at a summer launch for the United States. This phone very well could beat the iPhone. More as it comes.
Earlier on today we were invited to the ASUS headquarters here in Taipei where we got a look at a couple of exclusive features that part of is range of new Intel Z77 Express based motherboards. We got a look at Fan Xpert 2 as well as Wi-Fi GO! We're going to look at the latter first.
Wi-Fi GO! is a combination of hardware and software that is included in most new ASUS Z77 motherboards. It includes a hardware Wi-Fi chip on the board and lovely and easy to use software on your PC and finally an Android or iPad app called Wi-Fi GO! Remote. We tested in the video above using the currently unreleased app version of V1.1.01 - it should be released to the public in a week or two. It includes the following functions: DLNA Media Hub, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard and Mouse, Smart Motion Control, File Transfer and Capture and Send.
Let's start off with DLNA Media Hub. This part of the app allows you use your Android tablet or iPad as a big remote control to stream content from your host (your ASUS Z77 PC) to any DLNA-compatible media player or device on your local network. The only requirement is that all of the devices (the tablet, your PC and your media streaming device) are all connected to the same network...
ASUS' Padfone came smashing onto the scene during February's Mobile World Congress, and was meant to be launching in Taiwan in late-April, with an Italian launch rumored for the month after. But, it seems that a tweet from ASUS Indonesia is showing that it seems that Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 shortages are delaying the Padfone's launch in some markets.
Translation is always messy, but the tweet says that Qualcomm is still experiencing Snapdragon S4 shortages and that "unfortunately" that's the processor baked into the Padfone. The Verge sent ASUS an e-mail to get a clearer answer, with a company spokesperson reiterating the shortage saying "I believe [the shortage is] affecting all of Qualcomm's customers".
While ASUS aren't directly confirming the delayed Padfone launch, they're putting themselves into the basket of Qualcomm customers who are affected by the shortage. We should have more information as it happens.
In what can only be described as a bid for leakiest company, Samsung has apparently managed to allow more photos of the yet unannounced device. Rumors say that Samsung is at least disguising it inside a case. The photo below looks strikingly similar to the older Galaxy S2, however if you look closer, you can see that a more curvy device appears to be nestled in some sort of case.
An anonymous tipster provided this picture to Sam Mobile. Sam Mobile contends that the Galaxy S3 will come with the model name of the GT-i9300 - however the more likely number of GT-i9800 was also thrown out. The tipster also provided that the new Galaxy S3 will come with a 12MP camera, which, in reality, could be a bit excessive.
The launch of this upcoming phone should occur May 5 at a press event in London. Many people are waiting with baited breathe to see just how amazing Samsung has made this phone. If they don't release it at the May 5 press event, they will have a lot of unhappy customers who may decide to buy a different phone, so it would appear to be vital to release it on May 5.
Almost in tandem with my post about the poor Android ICS adoption rate yesterday, Huawei has announced the availability to download and update the MediaPad to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This aging tablet, which was first launched in October of last year, will gain a redesigned user interface, power management, and other benefits from the upgrade.
The 330MB download isn't available as an OTA upgrade, so users will have to download the software on their PCs to upgrade the device. Other features included with the new update include new app icons and resizeable widgets along with an improved web browser and much more. The update is encouraged for all users. If you buy a new MediaPad, you will find that Huawei has already pre-installed Android 4.0 ICS, so there is nothing you need to do.
Most Android phones, it would seem, are not running the latest and greatest Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. Google recently released some very detailed data about the Android landscape, which included percents of phone OSs that checked into Google Play over a 14 day period. Some of the numbers are surprising.
63.7% of the phones that checked into (used) Google Play over the 14 day period were based on the outdated, yet still functional Gingerbread (Android 2.3). Only 2.9% were running the latest and greatest Ice Cream Sandwich. The adoption rate of the latest upgrade has been slow, to say the least. But why? After all, 850,000 devices were activated per day in February.
Each time a new version of Android was released (historically), the adoption rate slowed. It took 2.1 a month to reach 25% of Android devices. It took 2.2 three times as long (three months) to reach the same point. It took a whopping 6 months for Gingerbread (2.3) to reach the same point. Part of this is due to the Android market being bigger. More people have to upgrade the software than just have new people buy phones.
Another issue is people are locked into contracts which prevent them, without extra cost, from buying a new phone. With it being almost 2 years since the release of many of these 2.1 and 2.2 phones, I would venture to guess that people will go shopping and the adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich to increase. But that's just a guess.
We know that smartphones are the hot device to have right now, but to have a market grow by 40% when the technology has been around for a while is nothing short of incredible. But, that's just what the smartphone market did this past year ending with Q1 2012. It grew a whopping 42.5%, yet the entire phone market shrunk by 1.5%.
Inside those market changes, companies exchanged blows for market share. Apple and Samsung snatched up over a combined 50%, leaving the remaining to be split among the 4 other major players. Samsung just about tripled its market share over the year, with a huge boost coming from 4Q11 to 1Q12 range.
Apple grew quite a bit across the 3Q11 to 4Q11 where Samsung's growth was flat. You can see how the interplay of the companies has affects on the others. Nokia, RIM, and HTC all experienced general declines to under 10% market share a piece. HTC and Nokia, I would expect, will get a bump on the heels of the successful One and Lumia series.
The latest teaser for Samsung's GALAXY S III is here, which seems to have taken on a NEXUS-style look. There's not much to go on here, but this shot is posing next to a ruler, so we can get a look at how tall the phone is, and we can guesstimate on the screen size.
Taking into consideration this isn't exact, it looks like the GALAXY S III sports a 4.8-inch display. But, we will have concrete information just days from now, because Samsung has an unveiling event of the GALAXY S III in London. But, that's not all, there's also another photo of the S III, below.
This photo looks very much like Samsung's GALAXY Nexus with its sexy curved design. Whatever is released, you can be sure people are going to go crazy over it. Samsung is beginning to be the new Apple with excitement building, that's for sure.
Thanks to a leaked slide from HP, we now know the company is working on a Windows 8-based tablet that is destined to be thinner than the benchmark: Apple's iPad. HP Slate 8 will sport a 10.1-inch display and have battery life hovering in the 8-10 hour range according to a "trusted" source of Neowin.
The slide pushes the Slate 8 as a business device, where its specifications point to it being capable of multi-touch or digital pen input, as well as enterprise level docking. Another bit teased is "outdoor viewing option", which has me scratching my head. HP lists its features of "Portable" as the 8-10 hour battery life, 9.2mm thin and weighs in at only 0.68kg.
HP CEO, Meg Whitman said earlier this year that HP would release x86-based PCs by the end of this year, with the Slate 8 being a possible candidate. No more information is available, but it's great that these Windows 8 tablet leaks are happening, it's only going to amp the competition up, significantly. I expect more and more leaks leading up to, and after Computex.
Research in Motion plan on giving away a BlackBerry 10 developer device during their BlackBerry World event next week, but the device itself has been caught on camera ahead of the event.
A CrackBerry forum poster snapped a quick, power-off look at the experimental smartphone, which looks quite simple in its design with a brick-like design which looks similar to RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook.
RIM has stated, in advance, that these were just test devices to help developers write apps early and is not representative of what customers would lay their hands on when BB10 devices hit the market. The first all-touch device, nicknamed 'London', is probably going to be considerably thinner and much more polished than this dev unit.
According to ex-Apple executive and now Nest founder, Tony Fadell, Apple had considered one of three core ideas for the iPhone, one of those? A hardware keyboard. He spoke in an evening session with The Verge, where he talked that the all-touch design that eventually materialised into the first iPhone had come after he wanted to try a virtual keyboard before resorting to the hardware option.
Being a key iPod architect, he understood the potential of an on-screen keyboard, which has its benefits such as disappearing when not needed, but didn't rule out physical keys at first. Whilst the iPhone was in development, there had been three different versions.
The all-touch iPhone that eventually became the number-one seller was joined by another model of an unknown layout as well as a third "iPod + Phone", implying that a design that more closely followed the iPod concept was once a consideration. At the time of the iPhone launch, the only experience with on-screen keyboards was with PalmOS and Windows Mobile-based devices. They used inprecise resistive touchscreens and their interfaces just weren't built to really make use of them the way that the iPhone and iOS ultimately did.
There are a few sources where Windows 8 news comes from: Microsoft and the companies who make devices that run Windows. This time the news comes from a "trusted source" who told Neowin about an upcoming x86 Windows 8 tablet that HP is building. It will be thinner than the iPad and have 8-10 hours of battery life.
The new slate will have a 10.1-inch screen and be called the Slate 8. As far as the name, I think that it could catch due to it having a catchy rhyme. Since the device is targeted for businesses, it will not be ARM-based. This leaves one option: x86. The slide seen above is a bit rough around the edges, but the source is sure that this is a working spec list and the picture is an early mock-up.
With Windows 8 coming, many tablets are expected to hit the market around the launch, or shortly after. HP, after the TouchPad fiasco, will sure to be a front-runner in the market. If HP holds to the spec list above, then they should have a strong competitor to the iPad as long as they price it competitively.
In an exclusive interview with Simon Stanford, Samsung's VP of telecommunications and networks for UK and Ireland, TechRadar picked up some interesting pieces of information. The most interesting one, as far as I'm concerned, is that Samsung doesn't like the way the tech world works in cycles around tech shows.
Samsung, apparently, is much more interested in announcing a product and then launching it shortly after that announcement. Due to this new revelation, the Samsung Galaxy SIII could be on shelves before the end of May. The interview did not outright name the successor to the Galaxy SII, but it seemed pretty clear that it was coming.
"Traditionally the industry works in cycles around an event, meaning there's usually quite a period of time between announcement and period of launch. Commercially, you have to question that; plus it presents a challenge by putting you in a position where everyone knows what you're up to," he said.
And in terms to the Galaxy SIII, he had this to say: "In terms of any successor to the S2, that will be hosted at separate event in due course. Whatever it is, and whatever it's going to be. As it stands, nothing exists. This is all should any successor be announced." So nothing exists right now, eh?