The amount of storage that is advertised in a product's specifications sheet never matches the user-available capacity when software is preinstalled on the device. That is to be expected, but there comes a point when customers may be getting too little space to store some content and install a few apps. With just a couple of games, that are growing in size nowadays, there might be nothing left available.
That is what upcoming Galaxy S5 buyers will have to deal with, as the preinstalled software on Samsung's new flagship takes up more than half of the advertised storage on the 16 GB model. Yes, that is roughly 8 GB occupied out-of-the-box.
In keeping up with tradition, there will be two processors available in the Samsung Galaxy S5. The international version gets Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 801, while another model -- that will most likely be available in non-LTE markets -- ships with the company's own octa-core Exynos chip, that Samsung just unveiled at MWC 2014.
Samsung is increasingly reliant on Qualcomm processors for its flagship Android devices, like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3 and, most recently, Galaxy S5, as the Exynos chips that arrived in 2013 have failed to live up to expectations. Even though those were octa-core designs, the Qualcomm-made, quad-core, solutions performed similarly and came with a very competent LTE modem as well. Samsung is not giving up (yet), as the new Exynos 5422 still aims to turn the tables in the company's favor.
BYOD is in full swing, but most businesses are not prepared for it. In order to maintain a high level of security, companies that embrace the movement, or want to, have to change, or adapt, their existing policies to accommodate the wave of devices their employees are bringing in, which is not what 55 percent of them are doing, according to a study issued last week.
Samsung is among the few mobile devices manufacturers to take an active role in ensuring its products are BYOD-ready and enabled straight off the bat. Its response to the movement is Knox, a solution the company released one year ago, to augment the Samsung for Enterprise program. And, now, the successor arrives to beef up Knox even further.
Due to its low market share, Windows Phone is not a popular target for malware writers, which gives users a sense of security. Whether that is genuine or false it remains to be seen, but, for the time being, the platform can be considered devoid of any malware.
Like iOS, Windows Phone limits what users, and apps, can do to increase security, which is also one of the reasons why malware is not running rampant. This is achieved through a number of dedicated features, like sandboxing. However, the operating system cannot keep users from visiting the darker corners of the InterWebs, or keep them safe from potential risks while doing so. Russian security company Kaspersky has decided to take matters into its own hands, and help those who navigate to suspicious or unsafe websites, by launching Safe Browser.
BlackBerry has carefully chosen the second day of the MWC conference to announce two new smartphones that run BB 10 OS, namely the full-touch Z3 and QWERTY-equipped Q20. Smart choice. After all, the big players have already showcased their latest products, which gives the Canadian company the chance to be put center-stage today.
Neither the Z3 nor the Q20 are meant as replacements for the currently-available Z10, Z30, Q5 or Q10, which BlackBerry introduced last year. The new devices are instead aimed at emerging markets and the core BlackBerry audience, respectively.
Tech companies are taking advantage of the MWC conference, held in Barcelona, to showcase their latest products. So far, we covered the announcements of Nokia's X Android smartphone series, Sony's Xperia Z2 smartphone and slate, and a couple of 64-bit mobile processors, that are aimed at Android devices, from Intel and Qualcomm.
ASUS is also among the many companies present at MWC 2014. Today, the Taiwanese maker announces two new Fonepad 7 tablets, adding to the number of Android devices that were just unveiled at the conference.
If it is not obvious enough by now, 64-bit is the new black in mobile processors. Apple has the A7 that powers the iPhone 5s and latest iPads, and Qualcomm has the Snapdragon 410 and, as of today, the Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615. Intel now also joins the party with its own 64-bit offering and contender, the Z3480, codenamed "Merrifield".
The Z3480 was unveiled today at the MWC conference, in Barcelona, as a 2.3 GHz quad-core solution aimed at Android smartphones and tablets. Intel says its new processor delivers "the ideal combination of fast, smart performance and long battery life", for the devices that it will power. The Z3480 competes with Qualcomm's similar Snapdragons which also target the open-source mobile OS.
Nokia's underwhelming Lumia sales from Q4 2013 had a negative impact on Windows Phone's momentum in the most important part of last year. The disappointing performance continues as, sadly, the growth of the platform's market share stalled in the three months ending January 2014, according to a new report issued by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, compared to Q4 2013.
Compared to the three months ending January 2013, Windows Phone actually posted higher year-over-year market shares in most major markets. But, its performance is more or less flat when we take into account the Q4 2013 results. The exception to the rule is US, where the tiled smartphone operating system managed to increase its share, albeit slightly, in the three months ending January 2014, when compared to the same period of last year and Q4 2013.
Windows Phone is off to a good start in 2014. Microsoft just announced that more smartphone vendors will embrace its tiled operating system, and extended the hardware support to include more Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. A new iteration is reported to arrive shortly, to bring its feature set on par with those of its main rivals, Android and iOS.
And, today, BlackBerry announces that it will bring its BBM service to Windows Phone. "BBM continues to grow in popularity as millions of people use our mobile platform for chatting and connecting with friends or colleagues, and we are very excited that we will soon welcome Windows Phone and Nokia X users to the BBM community", says BlackBerry Global Enterprise Solutions president John Sims. Also, Adobe's Photoshop Express will soon be offered on the platform as well, after reaching Android and iOS first.
Today, at MWC 2014, Nokia was expected to break away from its Windows Phone exclusivity and introduce an Android smartphone called X. But, the Finnish company just took the wraps off three handsets under the same umbrella, called X, X+ and XL.
According to Nokia, the X smartphones slot between its low-end Ashas and high-end Windows Phones, with prices to kick off at €89 for the entry-level model. The beefier X+ and XL will cost €99 and €109, respectively. Is there something you should get excited about?
The mobile processor market is slowly moving away from 32-bit architectures, as more 64-bit solutions are set to hit the shelves. At MWC 2014, Qualcomm leads the pack with two new 64-bit offerings, the Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615, that combine quad-core and octa-core power, respectively, with ARM's latest ARMv8 instruction set.
The ARMv8 instruction set, that is also at the heart of the Apple A7 processor in the iPhone 5s, ushers mobile devices into the 64-bit era, while, at the same time, maintaining compatibility with 32-bit software. Of the two new Snapdragons, the 615 is the most buzzworthy one to use it, so let us kick off with that.
Research firm Gartner places BlackBerry's smartphone market share for all of 2013 at just 1.9 percent, as only 18.6 million units of the company's branded handsets got in the buyer's hands in the past year. Meanwhile, the most popular mobile OS, Android, raked in a whopping 758.7 million unit sales, giving it a market share of 78.4 percent. Why not make the best out of a bad situation by launching BlackBerry 10 OS firmwares for Android smartphones, to slow down the fast-decreasing market share and, maybe, recoup a small part of the one the OS has lost so far?
BlackBerry is basically in a hole it cannot crawl out of right now, as people just do not buy its smartphones as much as they used to. Giving them an option to try its latest mobile OS, BlackBerry 10, will theoretically increase the company's chances of getting back into the game, without allocating lots of resources to the development of new devices, which may or may not (the latter is more likely) be better received compared to the current lineup. And here is how BlackBerry could do it.
New players in the smartphone market are finding it increasingly difficult to get the mobile operator support they need to expand their reach into new territories as Android and iOS form a duopoly responsible for more than 90 percent share of the market. Even Windows Phone, an established competitor, is struggling as it goes against the tide.
Jolla, being a new player, is no exception. The Finnish company says it is now ready to ship its smartphones across the globe, as it officially announced Sailfish OS 1.0, but the mobile operator support and international availability are not what you may call stellar at this point.
Taking advantage of the availability of 5 TB Seagate HDDs, LaCie has introduced the new drives in three of its NAS devices, that now tout a maximum capacity ranging from 5 TB to 25 TB. The biggest of the bunch has a five-bay layout, which makes it the largest solution in its class that is available on the market today, according to the company.
The smallest of the three is the d2, which can now be had with 5 TB of storage. There are also 3 TB and 4 TB configurations, but those are older. The 2big can offer twice as much at 10 TB. Like its smaller brother, it too can be had with less storage (4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB), but again those configurations are older. The one that is the most interesting is called 5big, and is the one LaCie calls the largest five-bay solution available now.
Like Google+, YouTube had a love affair with white space. This quirkiness was only noticeable to those who have large displays. On my 23-inch screen this meant the video-sharing site had only taken roughly half of it to show me relevant content. To get around this behavior, I had to resort to Google Chrome extensions which could center the page.
I said "had" because, thankfully, YouTube is now smart enough to figure out that when we are using large screens it should adapt its look accordingly. It now centers, yes. And, to my eyes, YouTube now looks more like Google+. That is not a bad thing, really, as, from my point of view, there is nothing wrong with the latter's layout.