Well, it looks as though Android 4.1 is destined to be the deliciously-named Jelly Bean OS from Google, thanks to a Google Play listing for the GALAXY Nexus that has since been removed. Droid Life took a screenshot before it was removed, thankfully.
The next thing we need to know is will Jelly Bean be shown off at Google I/O next week? I really hope so. Droid Life have noticed that during the checkout, the new thumbnail shows a picture of teh device with the new glassy Google Search bar, which teases us that little bit more.
We should have more details of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean next week during Google I/O, hopefully.
DigiTimes' sources have had their ears close to the ground and heard the rumblings that Microsoft's newly-announced Surface tablet production will be outsourced to Pegatron Technology, but there's not a firm estimate for order numbers, yet.
These same sources have also made an estimation on end-market pricing of the Windows 8 Pro-based Surface tablet, specced with Intel's Ivy Bridge-based processor to be at least, or above, US$799. The Windows RT-based model that sports NVIDIA's 4-PLUS-1 Tegra 3 SoC will be priced above US$599.
The sources continued, saying that the industrial design of Surface will attract customers in the enterprise market, which is great for Microsoft's sales, but the high prices will push them against a wall when it comes to the bigger consumer market.
It would appear that Sprint is getting a white HTC Evo 4G LTE phone, if a picture on the site is to be believed. While it could just be a marketer's wishful thinking, Sprint does have somewhat of a history in carrying white Evo phones. It's fairly unlikely that a marketer would change the color of the HTC for this image.
After all, the image is trying to tempt people away from other networks, so why would they show something they don't offer? Sprint hasn't confirmed that the new color does exist, but going from the marketing image, it's a fair bet to say it does. The picture, while it lasts, is available here on Sprint's website.
We will keep you updated with any information regarding this possibly new phone color coming to Sprint. I wonder if HTC's Ice Cream Sandwich phone comes in vanilla ice cream color?
DISCLAIMER: Even though the source of this story is claiming they independently verified it with three different manufacturers, it still has to do with Apple and therefore will be presented as a rumor until an official announcement by Apple is made. With that out of the way, let's move onto the details.
TechCrunch is reporting that the iPhone 5 will ditch the old 30-pin connector that has been the standard since its introduction on the third-gen iPod. Instead, the iPhone 5 is reportedly going to feature a smaller, 19-pin connector that looks similar to a Thunderbolt port. It will, however, have a different pin-out.
It's pretty obvious that Apple is more concerned now with saving space inside their mobile devices. Take a look at MagSafe 2 and this new rumored dock connector and you can see that. This new dock connector could force redesigns of accessories as it will no longer provide as much structural stability as the previous one.
Additionally, users may be forced to replace their current iPod/iPhone accessories due to the switch which would be good for manufacturers, but not so great for consumers. The manufacturers TechCrunch spoke with are in an uneasy few months while they wait for the standard to be officially announced so they can create devices for it.
It appears that Samsung could have a problem on its hands with the new Samsung Galaxy S III phone. One user, dillo2k10, had his brand new Samsung Galaxy S III phone burst into flames which driving, after which he heard an audible bang. He escaped just fine, but is car wasn't so lucky and now has molten plastic in the cup holder.
It's not the first phone to ever explode in transit, but the damage to the casing looks to be pretty bad. That said, the screen apparently continued working and the only problem was that there was no longer any working reception. It's not clear what caused the phone to spontaneously explode, but you can be sure Samsung will be looking into it closely.
Samsung has updated its blog with a message to that effect:
Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question. Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously.
Microsoft held their "secret" press event this week, where they announced their Surface tablet running the upcoming Windows 8 OS, but did PC makers know what Microsoft was going to show off? Well, yes, yes they did.
During an interview with The Verge, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer noted that PC makers knew about the Surface tablet ahead of the announcement. The question is, how long before the announcement did PC makers know about Microsoft's Surface tablet? The other question is why didn't Microsoft unveil the Surface tablet at Computex just two weeks ago? Did they hold off so PC makers could show off their various Windows 8-based tablets and Ultrabooks?
Was this why the Microsoft booth at Computex was so quiet? It would appear (to me at least) that this is the case. Ballmer did note that one of the reasons behind Microsoft building the Surface table was to "prime the pump" for Windows 8's release later in the year, noting that a tablet was an important piece of the overall story of Windows 8. PC makers have been quiet about the Surface tablet, and for good reason.
Will Microsoft hurt PC makers releasing the software, and hardware, as one company, ala Apple? Or will it eventually grow into a stronger relationship between Microsoft and the various PC makers? It's all exciting, from any way you look at it.
Rumors coming from Korea are that Samsung will release a successor to the 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone, you know, the tablet that wants to be a phone, and the phone that wants to be a tablet. We should expect Samsung to release it as the GALAXY Note II.
Some interesting news is that it would have the guts of the GALAXY S III, so we should expect Samsung's quad-core Exynos 4 Quad processor to be working its magic in the Note II. On top of this, it might sway from the 5.3-inch screen size of the already-big GALAXY Note, and increase its size, I'm guessing 5.5- to 5.6-inch. The Note II is also said to feature an unbreakable plane (UBP) display, which is a precursor to the flexible display.
One of the best bits of the GALAXY Note II is that it would arrive with Jelly Bean out of the box, yes! Rumored release date is October, and it should fall right around the time of Apple's iPhone 5 launch. Things are heating up once again in the smart device world and we hope to have a Note II on release for a review!
It's a tablet kind of week it would seem. First, we had Microsoft's announcement of ARM- and Intel-based tablets at yesterday's mystery event, and now sources are reporting that Google's tablet will be announced next week. I've put this as a rumor because the sources reporting this sometimes get it wrong.
The tablet is expected to launch at Google I/O and will be a bargin tablet, unlike Microsoft's release yesterday. The tablet is expected to come with a $199 price tag and be based on lower-end components. Quoting "sources from upstream component makers," DigiTimes is saying that the budget tablet won;t have cellular or a rear camera.
It will, however, feature a front-facing camera that will be used for video conferencing. It's expected by DigiTimes that the device will be ready to ship in July as it is already in production. The tablet is produced in partnership with ASUS. It may not be able to do what Microsoft's tablet can do, but it certainly would help to have a $199 ICS tablet. I would even probably pick one up.
HTC is suffering a bit of a problem that is similar to Apple's notorious 'Antennagate' scandal. That is, the design of the phone is physically not perfect and users are finding poor performance and are having to squeeze the phone to restore proper functioning. let's just hope HTC doesn't tell users to just hold the phone differently.
It sounds as thought it is a loose hardware connection, so this means no quick fix for HTC through software. HTC as done the proper thing, as opposed to Apple, and come out an dadmitted that there is a problem on some One X international versions. The problem does not affect the US One X or One XL. HTC:
After investigating isolated reports of WiFi connectivity issues in the HTC One X, we have identified a fix that strengthens the area of the phone around the WiFi antennae connection points. While many customers have not experienced any problems with signal strength, we have taken immediate steps to implement a solution in our production process to prevent this issue from happening in the future
Thankfully HTC has handled this much differently than Apple did. Had they done what Apple had done, there would be a lot more fallout than there will be by them admitting responsibility. Users who experience the issues described above are encouraged to contact HTC's customer support or return the device to the place of purchase.
After the teases we had last week regarding Microsoft's secret event, the curtain has been raised on their new self-branded tablets. The new Microsoft-branded tablets have been referred to as "Surface", and sports an ARM-based processor running Windows RT and wants some of that iPad marketshare.
Powered by a 10.6-inch display, and 9.3mm-thick magnesium chassis, the weight is kept down to a slender 1.5 pounds. Microsoft also plan to offer a Windows 8 Pro edition, but the Intel internals are making it thicker than 13mm. The 10.6-inch display gives users a wider aspect ratio when compared to Apple's iPad, while optical bonding between the display panel and outer layer of Gorilla Glass claims improvements to readability.
Microsoft have crammed a 1920x1080 Full HD resolution for the Intel-based model, instead of trying to compete with the Retina display-powered third-gen iPad. The ARM-based Microsoft-branded tablet has a resolution of 1280x720. I'm very excited about these new tablets, I must say!
If BlackBerry makers Research in Motion weren't already in enough trouble, it seems that the U.S. military could switch over most of their mobile devices from BlackBerry's to those running Apple's iOS or Google's Android mobile operating systems.
BlackBerry's are, as it stands right now, the device of choice for Pentagon among other U.S. military branches. It's also worth noting that RIM's biggest customer is... the U.S. military, but officials within the military have already voiced their opinion on RIM's BlackBerry platform not being able to keep up with the iOS and Android technology.
In recent weeks, rumors have been circulating that the Amazon Kindle Fire would be getting a price drop. This is because, the rumor says, the Kindle Fire will be receiving a refresh and could come in new 8.9″ and 10.1″ models. It's likely the price drop would come ahead of the refresh in order to clear inventory.
Reports are claiming the the Kindle Fire is not doing very well in recent weeks. It has even been losing out to Barnes & Noble's competitor, the Nook. Combine that with a Google tablet that is rumored to be coming out this July for somewhere between $149-199, and Amazon has a real problem on its hands.
The Google tablet will run a more stock version of Android than the highly customized one on the Kindle Fire. This would make it more appealing to many users and would force Amazon to drop the price regardless of whether or not it is getting a refresh. Remember, this price drop and refresh are just a rumor, so take them with a grain of salt.
The rumored ASUS Nexus 7 has shown up online in the form of two pictures uploaded to Picasa. The two photos, which measure 1280 x 960, were uploaded on June 7 and June 13. The photos could have been scaled down, so don't take that as indicative of the camera's performance. The two pictures are linked to Google+ user Somit Bh.
Furthermore, the geo-location data place the pictures as having been taken in Google Building 44. Of course, this information is fairly easy to fake, but a look as Google+ user Somit Bh's profile offers reason to believe otherwise. His circles contain many people who are affiliated with Google which means this could be legit.
Just two years ago, the Nexus S was revealed in the exact same way. The "Nexus Tablet" has been rumored for a while now, including the portion that ASUS is going to be the one making it. The rumor also said that the tablet would cost between $149-199 and would go on sale this July. It's likely that an announcement is just around the corner.
Toshiba has launched a 13" version of its Excite tablets and a few reviews have popped up online showing off a few issues. Thankfully, Toshiba didn't disgrace this tablet with a paltry 1366x768 screen and instead opted for a 1600x900 panel. It appears to be a TN panel as there is no mention of IPS, something usually added for marketing.
Some of the reviews we mentioned above have called out the screen as being rather dim, but that's the least of the panels problems. The Gorilla glass that covers the screen can stick to the LCD panel and create visible "puddles." Have no fear, though, as that can be alleviated by twisting the tablet like an ice cube tray.
The battery life is around 11 hours, at least according to one review. The device features a Tegra 3 SoC, a full-sized SD card reader, and Android 4.0. The tablet weighs in at a heavy 2.2lbs and isn't exactly cheap. The 32GB model runs about $650 and the 64GB model will run about $750. Both of those are more expensive than an iPad.
According to The Wrap, who cites sources close to Microsoft, Microsoft will be unveiling a Windows 8 tablet this Monday in LA at an invite-only press event. The tablet is said to be a Microsoft-branded device and will be manufactured by Microsoft itself. The event is set for Monday, June 18 at 3:30 PST.
Rumors are saying that the tablet to be released will run Windows RT, the version of Windows destined for machines with ARM processors. Other specifications of the machine have not been rumored or guessed at, so it's a little hard to say what they will be. They most likely will take aim at the Apple iPad and have a similar size and processor.
After the event we will be able to tell you much more about the device, but until then, you'll have to take this rumor with a grain of salt. Nothing official from the company has confirmed that it is a tablet they are releasing. It could be something else entirely. More after it happens 3:30PST Monday.
The poor laptop has only been out for a few days and someone has already stripped it down to its most basic components. That's right, iFixIt has pulled the $2000+ laptop apart and found some interesting things, along with taking lots of pictures. The short summary is that they say it is the least repairable laptop they have ever taken apart.
Kyle Wiens says:
The Retina MacBook is the least repairable laptop we've ever taken apart: Unlike the previous model, the display is fused to the glass, which means replacing the LCD requires buying an expensive display assembly. The RAM is now soldered to the logic board - making future memory upgrades impossible. And the battery is glued to the case, requiring customers to mail their laptop to Apple every so often for a $200 replacement. The design may well be comprised of "highly recyclable aluminum and glass" - but my friends in the electronics recycling industry tell me they have no way of recycling aluminum that has glass glued to it like Apple did with both this machine and the recent iPad.
The design pattern has serious consequences not only for consumers and the environment, but also for the tech industry as a whole.
If you're a Verizon customer looking to purchase a Samsung Galaxy SIII, it appears that you are going to have to wait a bit longer. The ship-by date has been pushed back early this morning without any sort of explanation from Big Red. It won't be too bad, though, as the date has only been pushed back by one day.
It doesn't appear to be a major delay by any means, but without explanation, it could end up being longer. Droid Life is predicting that the official launch of the phone will be July 12 as July 10, the ship date, is a Tuesday. This means Sprint and AT&T will probably get the phone a bit before Verizon. We will keep you updated on any further delays or revisions to the ship date.
Vodafone UK have thought outside the square and released the Booster Brolly. What exactly is the Booster Brolly, well it's a multi-purpose umbrella. The prototype umbrella was created in partnership with University College London (UCL) to make sure that festival goers stay connected with their friends during the events over the coming months.
Booster Brolly has been designed to work as an eco-friendly mobile phone charger that gets charged through a bunch of flexible solar panels. The electrical current generated from these solar panels also powers a micro antenna which will boost a handsets 3G signal wirelessly. Booster Brolly is going to get trialled at the Isle of Wight Festival next weekend, the umbrella also sports an LED torch for night time navigation, as well as a 'hands free' smart phone cradle.
Booster Brolly works with a bunch of mobile devices, charging a smartphone battery in less than three hours. Booster Brolly features a durable carbon fibre skeleton, housing the electrical circuitry and a double layer wind and waterproof canopy that protects users from the worst of the British weather that is thrown on top of them, as well as doubling as a sunshade when the sun is out and bright.
Android user? iPhone user? Well, right now you are the two major competing phone operating systems. However, analysts are expecting that to change by 2016. Windows Phone is predicted to eclipse iPhone's market share by the year 2016 due to the recent release of the Nokia Lumia 900 to emerging markets.
The IDC predicts that iPhone's market share will drop by about 1.5%, ending at 19% by 2016. Windows Phone, on the other hand, will gain 14% and end near 19.2%, if predictions prove accurate. Android will give up the majority of the market share that Windows Phone will gain. Android is looking towards loosing about 8% market share.
Blackberry isn't going to lose much, about 0.1%. Android is going to remain the top mobile operating system, partly thanks to some of Samsung's new phone releases. "The smartphone parade won't be as lively this year as it has been in past," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The mobile phone user transition from feature phones to smartphones will continue in a gradual but unabated fashion. Smartphone growth, however, will increasingly be driven by a triumvirate of smartphone operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7."
iOS brings with it a new version of Siri. She has been studying for the past 8 months and can now do so much more like understand sports. There are also new features for finding restaurants and making reservations.
Siri also understands movies better as she has integrated with Rotten Tomatoes. Siri can search for movies featuring specific actors or directors.
Intel recently released their Medfield Atom chip in smartphones and have had limited success. At first blush, it appears tests are proving the single core chip is the same as multicore ARM chips in both performance and power draw measurements. Usually, to increase performance, more cores are thrown at the problem.
However, this time Intel believes that won't help as they are saying that Android isn't properly prepared to utilize multiple cores efficiently. Moreover, Intel thinks that these optimizations for multiple cores could and should come from the System-on-a-chip providers such as Texas Instruments or Qualcomm.
Intel's Mobile and Communications Group General Manager, Mike Bell, had this to say:
If you are in a non-power constrained case, I think multiple cores make a lot of sense because you can run the cores full out, you can actually heavily load them and/or if the operating system has a good thread scheduler. [...] So as we move to multiple cores, we're actually putting a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it. [...] The way it's implemented right now, Android does not make as effective use of multiple cores as it could, and I think - frankly - some of this work could be done by the vendors who create the SoCs, but they just haven't bothered to do it.