The main reason why 64-bit processors are needed is to utilize hardware configurations with more than 4 GB of RAM. To make this possible, the operating system also has to support the architecture, and apps have to be properly designed as well. This is the case with PCs which top the mentioned memory capacity and have the right software for it, but when it comes to mobile devices the advantages are mostly limited to bragging rights at the moment, with a few exceptions (like Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 -- it runs the 64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro and can be had with 8 GB of RAM).
Apple's iPhone 5s is the best example of why having a 64-bit processor offers no real benefits (other than allowing developers to adjust to the change): iOS 7 and the apps may support the architecture, but the smartphone ships with just 1 GB of RAM. This means that at no point is 64-bit needed, because the memory capacity does not warrant it. Former Qualcomm chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher was among the first to point this out, but here we are today with the US company also revealing its own 64-bit processor, dubbed Snapdragon 410.
Mere days after Android 4.4.1 was released, Google is rolling out Android 4.4.2 for compatible Nexus devices. The latest version is more of a modest upgrade, compared to its predecessor which delivered noteworthy improvements to the Nexus 5 camera, as it mostly squashes a few bugs.
Android 4.4.2 fixes issues with clearing and delivery of the VM Indicator, according to US mobile operator Sprint, and other bits of the mobile operating system. There are also security enhancements introduced in the latest version of KitKat.
Barely three weeks have passed since KitKat started to roll out, but now Google is updating its compatible Nexus devices to Android 4.4.1. The new version is being pushed over the air for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and 4G LTE Nexus 7, and will also be baked in factory images next week.
The biggest change that Android 4.4.1 introduces is focused on improving the Nexus 5 camera quality and performance, which have been pointed out as major downsides when compared to top smartphones available today. As some have noticed already in ads, Google is marketing the new handset as a capable device for photography and with Android 4.4.1 on board it finally seems to deliver in this regard.
Google has revealed a "one-time optional swap out" program for the first-generation Google Glass, giving owners the option to upgrade, free of charge, to the new model, by sending their older one back. The program was introduced following the release of the new Glass Explorer Edition.
The new Google Glass is, according to the company, basically the same as the old model with the exception of "some subtle improvements". "It's a bit faster and more durable. It's compatible with upcoming prescription frames. All new accessories were designed for the new hardware, including the new Shades and a mono earbud included with your new Glass. It's the future", says Google.
After getting the new 2013 Apple MacBook Air I looked into how I could get it to run Windows 8.1 seamlessly, as my aging HP laptop does. While my needs for using Windows software have decreased dramatically, I do still need a couple of applications every now and then, that either are not available for OS X or do not work as well as I would like them to on Apple's operating system. My first thought was to use Boot Camp, which allows to run Windows 8.1 natively on the MacBook Air, and other Macs.
My experience with Boot Camp has been far from ideal, as some features that I have grown to love in OS X, like the touchpad and the efficient power management, do not work as well under Windows 8.1. This is to be expected because Microsoft did not design its new operating system to run on Macs, but rather PCs, and the drivers provided by Apple are, also, far from perfect. No matter what is to blame, users wanting to run Windows 8.1 will find a way to do it, despite the shortcomings. After my Boot Camp experiment, I decided to try Parallels, one of the best known virtualization software for Macs, to test how well Windows 8.1 can run next to OS X, in a virtual machine.
Even though just a little over a month has passed since Google released the Nexus 5, and even less since Android 4.4 started rolling out to compatible devices, KitKat has already made its way into the Android distribution charts. It is a very impressive achievement considering that it took the third Jelly Bean iteration more than twice as long to enter the charts.
Based on the number of devices accessing Google Play in the seven days ending December 2, the three Jelly Bean iterations continue to dominate the Android landscape with a whopping 54.5 percent share, up from 52.1 percent a month before. Android 4.1 is the most popular distribution, running on 37.4 percent of all registered devices. Its growth is barely noticeable, up from 37.3 percent in early-November.
It is not out of the ordinary for a website to experience technical issues when a good deal is available for a very appealing product. It is a strong possibility on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in fact. Based on my personal experience, those who do not manage to get their hands on what they wanted are treated as collateral victims or just unlucky, and will not get a second chance at pressing that buy button.
A similar issue occurred during Motorola's Cyber Monday deal for the Moto X -- the site was barely usable, because the company did not conduct proper testing prior to launching the deal and due to "overwhelming demand". On Motorola's blog, CEO Dennis Woodside issued a public apology and announced a resolution, right before Cyber Monday ended.
The release of low-end devices, like the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 620, has helped Windows Phone to establish itself as the third most-popular smartphone operating system worldwide. In major European markets, its success stems primarily from inexpensive smartphones. The two aforementioned handsets account for three quarters of all Nokia Lumia sales in Great Britain and similar shares in other local markets, according to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report.
Windows Phone's success comes at a time when the smartphone average selling price (known as ASP) dropped by 12.5 percent to $317 in 2013, according to research firm IDC. "Momentum for Windows Phone is continuing, although its growth remains reliant on low-end handsets", says Kantar Worldpanel ComTech strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo. In case you are wondering, Nokia's Lumia lineup accounts for more than 90 percent of all Windows Phone sales.
Windows Phone 8 has been available on the market since late-October, 2012. That makes it more than a year old in human time and quite a bit older in tech years. So far, I've been through two smartphones running the tiled operating system -- the HTC Windows Phone 8X (in an insanely gorgeous purple) and Nokia Lumia 920 (the boring "businessman-black" version as I like to call it). There is also a Lumia 520 nearby (in a nice shade of red), that I use from time to time to gauge how it gets along with Windows Phone 8 and various new apps.
I have been playing with three important handsets that are available under the Windows Phone 8 umbrella, in order to discover the benefits and the downsides of the platform as well as get an idea of the direction Microsoft wanted to impose for its latest attempt to make great strides in the smartphone OS market. On paper, the software giant only wants the best for Windows Phone, but in practice there are still a couple of bad points about its strategy that indicate, to a certain degree, smartphones are not really a priority for the Redmond, Wash.-based company.
After pitting its Surface 2 against Apple's iPad Air (unsurprisingly, the former wins that round), Microsoft is now going after Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 in a new Surface RT ad that focuses on the connectivity options offered by the two devices.
It is a no-brainer as to which one wins the battle in this new ad -- yes, it is the Surface RT. The slate comes out on top as the superior device because it allows users to connect an external display, connect a drive to the full-size USB port and charge it, at the same time. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is portrayed as the sore loser due to its significantly limited hardware design.
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a very good entry-level Windows Phone which is only held back by its measly 512 MB of RAM. This prevents the handset from being able to run all the latest games and apps and hinders its multitasking ability. Considering that it is among the best cheap smartphones on the market today, the low amount of RAM gets a pass. After all, something has got to give.
Today, Nokia announces the successor of the Lumia 520, called Lumia 525. The new Windows Phone solves the memory problem that affects its predecessor, as it ships with 1 GB of RAM. This will allow users to enjoy more resource-intensive apps and games, improve multitasking and make the device more future-proof than the older model.
YouTube has never been the site that sparked the most intelligent or constructive conversations. The comments section has always been a place of great frustration for those seeking to engage in meaningful interactions about the topic presented by content creators, due to spam, trolling and other wasteful nonsense which has dominated the space for as long as I can remember. Part of the blame lies on commenters but seeing as we are talking about the InterWebs here it is YouTube which should take charge and pave the way towards improving what shows up on its site.
The move to Google+ comments is the most recent answer to a perennial issue. This did not come without a heavy dose of criticism, and for good reason. Forcing people to interact through Google's social network could deter folks from engaging with their peers and give Plussers the power over what is popular on the site; not to mention that Plussers control the narrative, which, if my experience and of others is of any indication, means that topics discussing rival companies and their products could generate little to no interest or a negative flow of input for content creators.
As some of you may know, Taiwanese maker HTC is among the first Android vendors to reveal its KitKat upgrade plans, shortly after Google launched the new mobile operating system. The company's US arm announced, in mid-November, that the code for the Google Play edition of the One is finished and sent to the search giant to commence the roll-out.
A little over a week after, the HTC One Google Play edition is now finally receiving Android 4.4 KitKat via an over-the-air update (hit the link to download the file). The OTA file comes in at a hefty 305 MB and will upgrade your device to build KRT16S, which is the latest one available as of today (the same build version was just rolled-out to some Nexus devices in the first post-KitKat update).
Samsung has reshaped the smartphone market with the Galaxy Note series by giving large-screened handsets mass-market appeal. The South Korean maker has sold tens of millions of its stylus-equipped phablets and other similar devices, with the recipe also being applied by rival companies, such as HTC, LG, Nokia or Sony, seeking to make great strides of their own. After all, consumers love phablets as this segment accounted for 21 percent of all smartphone shipments in Q3 2013, according to research firm IDC.
And, today, Samsung introduces a new phablet in its lineup, called Galaxy Grand 2. The device is the successor of the Galaxy Grand, which was introduced in mid-December 2012 albeit with a smaller, 5-inch display. So how big is the new model?
Cloud storage locker MediaFire has announced the availability of its desktop sync clients for Windows PCs and Macs. The new apps, currently in beta, arrive alongside a revamped web interface that is designed to make editing, sharing and viewing files much easier. The service is currently offering both free (10 GB of storage) and paid plans (Pro and Business), which can take advantage of the new round of changes.
The base MediaFire Pro account includes 100 GB of cloud storage, and currently costs $24.99 per year (50 percent off from the usual $49.99). The company has given us 15 MediaFire Pro account redemption codes to give away to BetaNews readers, providing each winner with 100 GB of cloud storage for a year.