Yesterday, French consumer electronics company Archos unveiled a new 8-inch Android tablet called Xenon 80. The fondleslab runs the first Jelly Bean iteration and will cost $199.99 -- which is in line with Google's Nexus 7 pricing -- once it arrives in stores next month.
The Xenon 80 features support for 3G cellular connectivity and is SIM-unlocked, meaning that it can be used with any mobile operator in the world (as long as the network runs on the 2100 MHz band). The hardware specifications reflect the budget-oriented approach of the tablet.
Change the rules of the game and you change the hierarchy. Two days ago research company Gartner released its latest report on the state of smartphone market which, based on sales, places Windows Phone in fourth place, just behind BlackBerry in terms of share. Today, IDC also released its latest report for Q1 2013, that measures shipments, and the two smartphone operating systems trade places -- Windows Phone now surpasses BlackBerry for the third spot in the charts.
That switch means Microsoft and Nokia have a reason to celebrate, in spite of numerous barbs coming from pundits. "Windows Phone claiming the third spot is a first and helps validate the direction taken by Microsoft and key partner Nokia", says IDC's Kevin Restivo. But the research company suggests that the operating system still has a long way to go: "Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alternative to Android or iOS".
Music Piracy is now dead. Apple iTunes is now obsolete. Spotify, Pandora, Slacker -- yesterday’s news. This is all because of Google Play Music All Access. It will change the way you listen to music. It will change your life. You will subscribe. Resistance is futile. This is the future of music.
The idea of a music streaming service is not new. However, a music streaming service by the most important and influential tech company is. On May 15, 2013, Google unveiled its new music streaming service, named Google Play Music All Access. Other than the ridiculously long name (I will just call it All Access for the rest of the article), the service is near-perfect.
One thing that surrounds Google I/O is rumors -- almost as much as an Apple event. We have heard of an X phone from Motorola, we have seen a possible Nexus 5 from LG, and the latest is a Google branded version of the new Samsung Galaxy S4. So which one is the winner in this strange sweepstakes?
The latest rumor turns out to be the most accurate, as Google unveils its own flavor of the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Android maker is taking the new darling of the smartphone market and making it a Nexus phone, just not in name.
Google has just announced a new on-demand subscription music service called Google Play Music All Access. The service, which is available on Android and the web, gives users access to a massive library of millions of tracks. Google’s Chris Yerga calls it "radio without rules".
It allows you to explore songs from all of the major record labels, listen to it like a radio station, provides Google-powered recommendations, charts and playlists, and blends your personal library with Google's. Everything from your Google Music locker is pulled into the new service.
F-Secure has released its latest mobile threat report for January to March 2013. Highlights include an increase in threat families and variants of almost 50 percent over the previous quarter, and that Android is still the most targeted mobile OS.
Android threats accounted for 136 of the 149 detected during the period, the other 13 being aimed at Symbian. No threats were reported for iOS, Blackberry or Windows Mobile. The report notes a particularly worrying trend towards the commoditization of malware, either by making premium rate calls or stealing bank details. 114 out of 149 threats found were profit motivated. The authors state:
Today, alongside the Windows 8-based Split x2 which I detailed earlier, HP also announced the Slatebook x2 hybrid. The US maker touts it as "the first Android detachable device with the Nvidia Tegra 4 mobile processor". The SlateBook x2 shares some hardware and design traits with the ASUS Transformer tablet lineup.
The SlateBook x2 ships with the latest version of the green droid operating system available today, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and sports a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920 by 1200. The device comes with 64 GB of internal storage. But the biggest highlight is the keyboard dock.
Security products that work across all of your digital devices from PCs to smartphones are nothing new -- Norton One has been around for over a year -- but now McAfee has joined the fray. LiveSafe includes virus protection, a password manager and encrypted cloud storage in a single package.
The most interesting feature is the secure online Personal Locker that gives users 1GB of storage to hold their sensitive documents, financial records, IDs and so on. This is secured using biometric authentication with voice, face and device recognition. It works using Intel Identity Protection Technology. This is a hardware authentication mechanism that’s built into the latest Intel processors. To access a file you need to enter a PIN, take a photo for facial recognition and read two messages to confirm your voice.
Ouch! The latest report from market research company Gartner crushes Microsoft's dreams of Windows Phone breaking away from the smartphone operating system bottom pack. In Q1 2013, with a low market share of just 2.9 percent, Windows Phone battled with BlackBerry for the consolation spot of third most popular platform (and lost), far away from either Android or iOS. The green droid is still the dominant leader, followed from afar by Apple's OS.
"There are two clear leaders in the OS market and Android’s dominance in the OS market is unshakable", says Gartner's Anshul Gupta. "With new OSs coming to market such as Tizen, Firefox and Jolla we expect some market share to be eroded but not enough to question Android’s volume leadership". What he doesn't says is that the future is bleak for both Windows Phone and BlackBerry, which have to showcase their strength to survive the future string of contenders. Let's take a look at the numbers.
On Monday, Sony unveiled a new smartphone called the Xperia ZR. The handset shares some of its underpinnings with the company's current flagship, the Xperia Z, but according to the Japanese electronics giant it features "the highest level of water-resistance for capturing photos and Full HD videos underwater".
The Xperia ZR can be used to record 1080p videos and shoot stills in up to 1.5 meters of "fresh water" for up to half an hour. The smartphone is also dust-resistant and meets the IP55 and IP58 protection standards. This means that the Xperia ZR can survive the usual water encounters, including a drop in the toilet (as long as it doesn't crack at impact) and a coffee spill, as well as keep dust away from its insides.
After many nightlies and a couple of stable monthly builds, the team of developers behind CyanogenMod, one of the most popular custom green droid distributions, announced the first release candidate for CyanogenMod 10.1. The latest stable build is based on Android 4.2 and arrives just under six months after Google rolled out the second Jelly Bean iteration.
"The 10.1 branch is quickly approaching the point where a 'final' build is due", says the team of developers responsible for the project. "This will be one of (if not the last) milestone releases before a 10.1.0 is pushed out. These builds will appear as they complete the build process".
How are you feeling? If you don't have time to lie on the couch and work through your issues you can now turn to your Android phone to measure your emotional state. Cambridge University researchers have developed an app that combines smartphone data with user perceptions in order to track happiness.
The EmotionSense app collects sensor information from the phone about where you are, how noisy the environment is, and who you’re communicating with. It then combines this data with your answers to questions about how you’re feeling in order to work out your emotional state.
Little over a month ago, AT&T announced that on a two-year contract the Samsung Galaxy S4 in 32GB storage trim will be available for $249.99. In the meantime the 16GB version hit the mobile operator's stores for $50 less, but even today the 32GB Galaxy S4 is still nowhere to be seen.
On its Twitter account, AT&T sheds some light on the matter and reveals that the 32GB Galaxy S4 is available starting this Friday, May 10. In just a couple of days prospective customers will be able to purchase the smartphone for $249.99 alongside a two-year contract and qualifying plans.
Instagram boasts 100 million users and it gets media attention, but the photo sharing service is far from being the only camera app available for mobile customers. In fact, while I use the service, I cannot say it is my favorite. That title belongs to Camera360, a photo app that brings all sorts of functionality to your smartphone.
Camera360 recently upgraded to version 4.0, bringing along new shooting modes, scenes, cloud integration and more. The upgrade is a hit and today the company announces that, like Instagram, it now has 100 million customers.
Apple's supremacy as tablet market leader may be even shorter lived than previous analyst forecasts suggest. Already, Android topples iOS share, and there is simple catalyst: White-box slates accounted for one-third of shipments last year -- a level NPD DisplaySearch predicts will continue in 2013 and beyond.
Android is the big beneficiary of the trend. In third quarter 2012, shipments exceeded iOS models, according to IDC. During first quarter this year, green-robot slates took 56.5 percent market share. At this pace, contrary to analyst predictions just a year ago, Android does to iOS in tablets what it did in smartphones -- take early leadership away from Apple.