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Futuremark recently opened up its PCMark for Android software to members of the press, and found that the NVIDIA Shield, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Note III lead Android smartphones and tablets based on performance. PCMark for Android tests everyday activities on Android-based devices, including Web browsing, watching videos, working with texts, and photo editing.
Based on battery life, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG (8 hours, 09 minutes), Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet (7 hours, 48 minutes), and OnePlus One (7 hours, 40 minutes) lead the way, based on PCMark for Android.
PCMark for Android is a realistic approach to benchmarking Android smartphones and tablets, using native APIs instead of abstract algorithms. A free version should be released on Google Play before the end of the month.
Consumers are extending the lives of their tablets - and many others are turning their attention to phablets - which negatively hit tablet sales in 2014, according to the Gartner research firm. Global tablet sales will reach 229 million units in 2014, an 11 percent surge year-over-year, but manufacturers will need to create appealing offers to win over potential customers.
Phablets, 2-in-1 convertible laptops and other devices have become cheaper, and have become more appealing to consumers. Gartner believes there will be 155 million fewer tablet replacements through 2018, along with 90 million fewer new tablet purchases in the consumer market.
"The market is clearly favoring those vendors offering value in lower-priced smartphones," said Roberta Cozza, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "This trend has become more apparent, especially in the second quarter of 2014 when most of the top Chinese smartphone vendors grew volume and market share. As smartphones reach lower prices, Gartner expects nine out of 10 phones to be smartphones by 2018."
Ubisoft is nowhere to be found when it comes to the new iPad Air 2 from Apple, especially with crazy, insane numbers like 120FPS. But, the full specs on the new iPad Air 2 show that there are some big upgrades in Apple's thinner iPad Air, especially when you consider there was nothing but a Touch ID addition to the 'new' iPad mini 3.
We have an iPad Air 2 that is 18% thinner than the iPad Air, at just 6.1mm, Apple's new A8X processor backed up by the M8 co-processor, 120FPS video recording abilities with its 8-megapixel iSight camera, Touch ID, and more. We have it at 9.4 inches high (or 240mm), and 6.6 inches wide (or 169.5mm), up to 10 hours of battery life, and AirPlay Mirroring (photos, audio and video out) to Apple TV (second-generation or later).
Apple's new iPad Air 2 will be available for pre-order on Apple's website starting tomorrow, October 17, starting at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 64GB model, and $699 for the 128GB model.
Apple unveiled its new iPad mini 3 earlier today, but one of the things missed that most don't seem to be reporting on, is that it doesn't have much in the way of changes from its predecessor, the iPad mini 2.
Sure, it has Touch ID, but other than that, the only other difference is a $100 increase in price. It has the same A7 and M7 chips inside of it, just like the iPad mini 2, the same display size and resolution, the same camera, and is even the same weight and dimensions as last year's model. This means that Apple didn't touch anything on the inside, or outside of the new iPad mini 3, apart from providing fingerprint security - something it is charging $100 more for.
For a company that is always about thinner, lighter, better, this is a very odd step for them. Why even bother with the iPad mini 3? Why not wait until the resolution could've been increased, or slap in the A8 processor inside? What do you think about this? $100 more and Touch ID? Good enough? A misstep by Apple?
It looks like the new Nexus 9 tablet could be quite the beast, with the HTC-made tablet creating some serious numbers in Geekbench. These benchmarks are showing single-core results of 1903, which is what a 2012 Mac Pro is capable of.
Considering the Nexus 9 is just $399, this is quite the show for the NVIDIA-powered slate. Talking about NVIDIA, the company provided HTC and Google with its impressive Tegra K1 processor, clocked at 2.3GHz, with its Kepler DX1 GPU. Pre-orders open up later on today for the Nexus 9, and at $399, it should be a hot new device for people to snap up.
Google unveiled Android 5.0 Lollipop yesterday, with NVIDIA already stepping forward promising the new delicious-sounding mobile OS for its gaming tablet, the Shield Tablet. Now, it's Sony's turn.
Sony has promised that it is in the beginning stages of its Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade plans, promising that the "entire Xperia Z series" will be upgraded to Android 5.0. This includes the following devices: Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
The first Sony device to receive Android 5.0 will be the Xperia Z Ultra Google Play edition, with most of the devices receiving their Lollipop updates early next year, starting with "the core Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series".
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler apparently isn't a big fan of the Microsoft Surface tablet, and would rather choose an Apple iPad. Cutler referred to the Surface Pro 2 as "knockoff iPads," and then quickly clarified by saying they work great, but he just didn't know what they were called.
Unfortunately, the NFL and Microsoft have a brand partnership arrangement in which the Surface Pro 2 tablets are used on the sidelines and in the commentary booth - all for a reported $400 million. However, game announcers and players have gotten the name of the device wrong, and the headaches for the NFL must be continuing to pile up.
This is just another branding issue for the NFL, which has also warned players against wearing Beats headphones. Bose is the official audio sponsor of the league, so all non-Bose headphones are not supposed to be worn.
Apple today unveiled two new tablets, the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2, hoping to jump back into an increasingly competitive tablet market. The iPad Air 2 is 6.1 millimeters thin and is being promoted as the "world's thinnest tablet," featuring a better screen and camera, and includes the Touch ID fingerprint technology.
iPad Air 2 pricing starts at $499, while the iPad Mini 3 will start at $399. The new iPad models will begin shipping next week, with pre-orders opening up on Friday.
The tablet market has faced pressure while consumers choose to purchase smartphones and phablets - and with each new generation of tablets, consumers seem ready to hang on to older models - and manufacturers are struggling to promote newer technologies.
NVIDIA has taken to its Facebook page to announce that its Shield Tablet is "Ready for Android 5.0 Lollipop" and that "Android 5.0 Lollipop and more is coming to NVIDIA SHIELD tablet". I'm sure we'll hear more about it soon, but it's great to see NVIDIA jumping out right away pledging support for Google's latest mobile OS.
Fifty five percent of teenagers conduct at least one voice search per day on their smartphones, according to the Northstar market research firm. A surprisingly high 41 percent of adults use voice commands, but 56 percent of adult survey respondents said using voice search made them feel like a "geek." The survey included 1,400 people using a mix of Google Search, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana.
"Voice search is a key feature of the Google app that's becoming even more important as people spend more time on their mobile phones," said Scott Huffman, Google VP for Conversational Search, in a press statement. "We wanted to learn more about how people of all ages use Google hands-free on their phones."
As a random voice-related tidbit, 22 percent of teenagers and 15 percent of adults admit to using voice search while in the bathroom.