TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
A new battery recharging solution from Israel promises to recharge smartphones in just 30 seconds, with nanotechnology synthesizing artificial molecules. The new battery stores a higher charge, and while it is still far too large to use while on the go, StoreDot hopes a slim model will be available by 2016.
As the number of smartphone owners is expected to reach almost 1.75 billion by the end of the year, finding new mobile charging solutions will be critical.
"These are new materials, they have never been developed before," said Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot founder and CEO.
T-Mobile expanded its Music Freedom plan yet again, adding support for Google Play Music, Xbox Music, Soundcloud, and 12 other music services. Full list of added carriers: Google Play Music, Xbox Music, SoundCloud, RadioTunes, Digitally Imported, Fit Radio, Fresca Radio, JAZZRADIO, Live365, Mad Genius Radio, radioPup, Radio.com, ROCKRADIO, and Saavn.
Pandora, Rdio, Spotify and others are available for subscribers on eligible phone plans, with streaming music not counting against monthly data caps.
T-Mobile has been extremely aggressive with its pricing and subscription plans to entice users away from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint. Although T-Mobile's network isn't as large - or reliable - as Verizon or AT&T, the wireless carrier continues to grow its subscriber base.
Smartwatches are becoming more popular, and many analysts expect retailers to experience brisk sales during the holiday shopping season. Android Wear smartwatches are very popular and six of the top models use Android. This has naturally led to an increase in apps for the popular gear, but some aren't that excited. Swiss watchmakers are particularly incensed that their designs are being replicated and distributed for free. Smartwatch users can easily download custom watch faces that feature the same look as $20,000 watches from Rolex, Cartier, Omega, and Patek Philippe, among others.
Swiss watchmakers are up in arms, so to speak, and sending 24 hour take-down notices to several sites hosting 'pirated' watch faces. Watch face patents are valuable IP for watchmakers, and in the past they have pursued vigorous legal action to protect their property. Apple famously paid $21 million dollars in 2012 to licence the Swiss clock face design used in iOS6, and several other Swiss firms are threatening legal action against sites that host pirated watch faces.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone has underwhelmed consumers, reportedly selling 40 percent lower than some predictions, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. The Korean electronics giant has sold 12 million units during the first three months of availability - a whopping 4 million less than the S4 through the same time period.
It's worth noting that Samsung's biggest market is the United States, and S5 sales have gone up - but have dropped more than 50 percent in China - as Samsung must prepare to fend off Apple, Xiaomi, and Lenovo in 2015.
To help counter this trend, Samsung is going to shake up its management team, and co-CEO Yoon Boo-Keun, current head of Samsung's TV business, will be shifted to focus more on mobile.
The Apple iPad led the tech industry as the go-to choice for use in US schools and universities, but is now fighting to keep up with Google Chromebook-powered devices. The iPad may have all of the marketing hype, but cash-strapped school districts and universities are finding Chromebooks to be a great bargain.
"We are seeing great demand of Chromebooks in education primarily because of its low price point," said Rajani Singh, IDC senior research analyst. "The education market is very, very price sensitive."
Tech companies want to compete in school districts, community colleges and universities, which they believe will give them lucrative long-term contracts. Companies are willing to sacrifice higher profit margins in their attempt to appeal to school administrators.
Phone manufacturer Sonim now has its XP6 smartphone, a Google Android-powered device, available for AT&T, so subscribers have another choice when choosing ruggedized devices. The device has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and push-to-talk support.
"When people talk about working smarter not harder, they think of the person working behind a desk, not the ones delivering a load of concrete or loading cargo on a flight," said Tom Burton, Sonim GM, in a statement. "Together with AT&T, we will change that paradigm so that employees in the field don't have to sacrifice the productivity enhancing services and feature benefits of smartphones due to their geographic location or work function."
The phone is available for $149.99 with a two-year contract, or $524.99 without a phone contract.
Google Android smartphone and tablet owners flying on United Airlines will be able to stream TV shows and movies using the airline's free on-demand video entertainment solution. The streaming entertainment offering was available only for Apple iOS devices, but support for Android seemed inevitable. Check on United.com to see if your upcoming United flight supports the new service.
The service is designed for 200 United aircraft, but will be expanded to United Express regional jets in the near future. The following aircraft are currently supported: Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 aircraft, with most flights travelling between mainland US and Hawaii.
"Travelers increasingly want to watch entertainment on their own devices, as shown by the measurable improvement in satisfaction among travelers who fly on aircraft with personal device programming," said Tom O'Toole, United SVP of marketing and loyalty.
TKTechNews has just informed us of a new Sony Xperia Z Ultra flat mobile phone to be released in 2015.
Set to contain a 5.9-inch touchscreen, ensuring that it's the 'perfect fit' for most consumers - not to big, nor too small. Sony's new smartphone offering is rumored for release in black or white color options.
However, we've also received information of a possible Xperia Z4 Ultra. This is rumored to contain a 6.4-inch display supporting a 2K resolution (2560 x 1440), with 4K also a realistic possibility. As far as hardware specifications are concerned, nothing is confirmed but it is rumored to contain similar architecture to the original Xperia models, with a focus on updating the inbuilt camera.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has been on a tear, after being founded in 2010 and releasing its first smartphone in 2011. The company is now the No. 3 smartphone maker in the world, trailing behind only Samsung and Apple, with company officials already having their sights set on further growth.
"I believe that no one thought the Xiaomi from three years ago, which just made its first phone, would later rank as the third largest player," said Lei Jun, Xiaomi founder and CEO, recently said. "India is becoming our largest overseas market. Within five or 10 years, we have the opportunity to become the number one smartphone company in the world."
The smartphone market is fiercely competitive, and Xiaomi will likely need to expand its consumer smartphones to the United States and Western Europe to fully move forward.
Gorilla Glass is something that isn't really talked of often, it has blended right into the backgrounds of our lives, living on millions of smartphones across the world. Corning has just announced the latest version; Gorilla Glass 4.
The new cover material is meant to survive large drops onto very rough surfaces, like concrete. Most soda-lime glass will shatter if its dropped from a decent height, but Corning says that Gorilla Glass 4 should remain unshattered up to 80% of the time. Corning has said that it is already sending out test samples and shipments of Gorilla Glass 4, but didn't reveal which companies its working with just yet.
You can be assured this will be something we'll hear more about, and which devices will have it, at CES 2015 in just six weeks time.