TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Adduplex, a company that services Windows Phone, has a new report out that states that Microsoft is now making some 94.5% of all Windows Phone devices. The data comes from its July report on the Windows Phone ecosystem, that in July, devices that the company marks as Nokia units had close to a 95% market share. That market share, now belongs to Microsoft.
The assets that Microsoft now owns are also gobbling up market share, securing another 0.7% this month according to adduplex. This means that Microsoft has become the biggest Windows Phone OEM, which should come at no surprise. The company is working with OEMs across the world to open up its hardware base, but to no avail just yet. We should see a bigger effort over the next year or so from Microsoft.
Right now Microsoft has a majority hold on its market share with Windows Phone, but this isn't great news - it means that other companies aren't investing in the platform like they do with Google's Android OS.
The Hilton chain of hotels is set to adopt smartphones as room keys as of next year in over 4,000 of its properties.
Digital check-in and room selection will be available across 11 brands, and work for Hilton Hhonors in over 80 countries. According to Hilton, its members are looking for alternative ways to control their experiences during their stays, and this approach could be the one of them. Although Hilton has run a trial of digital check-ins for some time, this is by far the biggest rollout it has attempted. Hilton is aiming for all of its hotels to offer the digital room key service by the end of 2016.
"Travelers can use their smartphones as boarding passes to get to their seats on an airplane, so it is only natural that they will want to use them as a way to enter their hotel rooms," Hilton's chief exec Christopher Nassetta said in a statement. "We have spent the past few years testing a number of different options to make this vision a reality, and we are developing proprietary technology that is safe and reliable for our guests to use, and cost-effective for our hotels to install."
Two fresh Windows Phone 8.1 devices are soon to appear in the wild, one of which will apparently be designed specifically to take selfies.
The two were reportedly shown off to Microsoft employees at an annual company meeting by Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia and current devices head. Elop described the device as a "selfie phone," according to the Verge, which is likely to be the codename Superman handset with a 5-megapixel front facing camera. The second is apparently codename Tesla, which was designed as a high-end smartphone at an affordable price.
Just how well the phones will fare is anyone's guess, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella did recently allude to a unified experience across all Microsoft devices. It could well be possible that the company is lining up some big hitters - provided it finally manages to iron out the ecosystem problems that have plagued it since the start.
A dual-core Android smartphone costing just 44 US dollars, the Karbonn A50S, has launched in India which could disrupt the market against more established players like Samsung and Apple.
Although the A50S is firmly in the lower-end of the market, that's also its strength: the touchscreen, 1.2 GHz dual-core device sports 256MB of RAM and packs 515MB of internal storage. It features both a front and back facing camera, too, and ships with Google staples like Maps and Gmail.
Not only does the device promise decent connectivity in its native market of India, but it can be purchased unlocked and ready for pay as you go packages abroad - for example, it should run on most UK networks, and as the Karbonn is so cheap, there's no tax to pay to get it shipped over. While it's been up to the biggest players so far to get much of the world using smartphones, it could well prove to be cheaper options such as this that really end up making the devices completely pervasive.
Smartphones, tablets, and computers are always getting more speed, storage, and memory to help them perform better with each new generation. A group of researchers has made a breakthrough with computer memory chips that could mean terabytes of memory inside future smartphones. The breakthrough could mean tens to hundreds of times more storage in mobile devices.
The memory is called resistive random access memory or RRAM and the chips are being developed by several companies. Making this sort of memory typically requires high-temperature or high-voltage making the chips hard to produce. Researchers at Rice University have made a breakthrough that allows the fabrication of these chips at room temperature and with much less voltage required.
RRAM is like flash memory in that it can store data without constant power supplied. RRAM stores data using resistance rather than charge in a transistor. Using resistance means each bit uses less space significantly increasing the amount of data that can be stored. These chips are also easier to stack leafing to more capacity.
Windows Phone users have a new update that is in the works that will be landing in the coming months. The update is currently known as Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 and it brings with it some nice features. We already know that this update will bring folder support.
In addition to that feature, the update will also add in support for smart cases along the lines of the HTC Dot View case and the LG QuickCircle case. The update will allow the makers of phones running the OS to specify what app runs when the case is closed and what happens when the case is opened.
Another feature that will come with the next update is support for larger screens. Screens as large as 7-inches with resolution of 1280 x 768 and support for 1280 x 800 for devices that have software navigation buttons will land in the update. Other things included in the update are improvements for voice over LTE, better Bluetooth music, and more. Exactly when the update will land is unknown at this time.
Battery life in our smartphones and tablets is something that needs drastic improvement, but it looks like we see the light at the end of the tunnel with some new technology thanks to researchers out of Stanford.
These researchers have developed a new lithium battery that could double smartphone and tablet battery life, something that enables denser, more efficient lithium within the battery's anode. This is done by using a nanoscopic carbon shield that keeps the unstable chemical stable, but when uncontrolled, drains the battery life much faster.
The result of this is that we have a battery that lasts much longer, but will not degrade as quickly, and on top of that - it will be much safer. Stanford's Steven Chu, who was previously the US Secretary of Energy, says that smartphones powered by these advanced lithium cells could have two to three times the battery life that smarpthones do now. He also said that automakers could build cheap electric cars, that still have a decent range on them.
Sony has been doing good things with its Xperia smartphones, but it isn't competing with the numbers that Samsung, Apple and now even LG are pumping out. Its latest venture, the Xperia Z3, hasn't been officially announced, but this hasn't stopped the teases of the smartphone coming out.
@evleaks is at it yet again with some images that he is saying is the purported Xperia Z3, something that looks similar to the Z2. The Z3 drops the silver trim, and is slightly thinner than the already thin Z2. We can see that the button placement remains the same, with the power button and dedicated camera shutter on the right hand side of the phone.
The latest rumors have the Xperia Z3 packing some serious heat: a 5.15-inch 1080p display, 2.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash storage, the impressive 20.7-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 2.1-megapixel selfie shooter. All of this swims around with Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and Sony's usual sprinkle of UI on top.
We don't really know what is going on with the new Nexus, with LG saying that it will not be making the new Nexus, and with all of the news of the Android Silver program, we truly don't know what to expect. That was however, until the latest rumor popped up that Motorola - which Google sold to Lenovo - would be constructing the new Nexus for the search giant.
Android Police has the hot rumor in its hands, giving it a "confidence level" of 6.5 out of 10. The rumor is that Motorola is working on a new smartphone with Google that goes by the codename of Shamu. Shamu will reportedly be aimed at major US carriers, as well as other large carriers throughout the world, carriers that most likely already handle the Nexus 5.
Shamu will reportedly feature a large 5.9-inch screen with an unknown resolution, and something that makes this rumor stand out: a fingerprint sensor. We are meant to be expecting this new smartphone in November, which should be an interesting time for a smartphone release. We'll have more information on the new Nexus as it materializes.
Just when you thought the 5.7-inch screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was big enough, Samsung goes and increases the biggest offering on its devices to 7 inches with the new Galaxy Tab Q.
The Galaxy Tab Q is still considered a 'phablet' but most phablets don't feature a microphone and ear speaker, something that is reserved for smartphones. So this makes the Galaxy Tab Q a smartphone, and it is one massive behemoth of a smartphone at that. The 7-inch display features a 1280x720 pixel resolution, and inside we have a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 2-megapixel selfie shooter.
Samsung has provided microSDXC support up to 64GB, and a 3200mAh battery. Right now the Galaxy Tab Q is exclusive to China, but Samsung has teased that it will drag it (probably with the help of Superman) over to the US in the near future.