It is officially that time of the year -- when grown men call in sick to sit home and watch younger men and women play basketball. In other words, it's March Madness time. While you are watching those games, and possibly cursing your bracket choices, Microsoft would like to have a bit of your attention.
While the company's first big Microsoft mobile viral campaign, known as Smoked by Windows Phone, seemed to pop up everywhere and get all sorts of attention, the latest campaign has kept a much lower profile.
I was wrong about the Galaxy S 4. Last week, I asserted that brand sentiments had changed enough here -- given Samsung's rising popularity, Apple's image problems and high-profile iPhone-to-Android switchers -- that the South Korean electronics giant could launch the S 4 in the United States. Nope. Reception among bloggers, journalists and the Technorati is largely ice cold. Most first-takes I see call the handset a S 3s and no better than iPhone 5. Idiots.
If Steve Jobs was still alive and introduced a Star Trek-like universal translator for iPhone, there would be cries: "Apple does it again". Tell me what's not innovative about translation from, say, English to Chinese or Japanese to French. In real time. On your phone. Or text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation capabilities? Imagine Jobs demonstrating the "Eraser" feature by taking a photo and jokingly removing marketing executive Phil Schiller from the photo. He could demonstrate dual-mode video by initiating a call with Schiller that includes members of the audience, which I promise would roar and clap.
Two days ago, at the Unpacked event held in New York, with much fanfare, South Korean manufacturer Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy S4. As we have come to expect, the company mostly focused on the added software benefits rather than showcasing the hardware underneath, leaving folks puzzled as to what powers the new Android flagship.
Samsung revealed two processor choices for the Galaxy S4 -- quad-core or octa-core solution depending on the market. Considering the scarcity of octa-core processors coming from high-end chip makers, the Exynos 5 Octa, which is scheduled for production in Q2 represents one-half of the equation. And, as Qualcomm has announced, the Snapdragon 600 represents the other half.
When I was expecting an exotic dish that would blow my mind just by looking at it, Samsung yesterday served up a plain, simple and frankly overdone spaghetti Bolognese. The new Galaxy S4 might just be the best Android smartphone that Samsung has ever made, but it's not as "awesome" or "innovative" nor filled with "innovation" as the company would lead us to believe. It's a wife with some nip and tuck instead of a hot supermodel.
Instead of being smitten by the Galaxy S4 I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth: Haven't I seen some of those features already in older smartphones? Admittedly, there are some impressive ones out there -- like Dual Camera and Dual Video Call -- but generally speaking Samsung appears to have focused more on delivering a huge number of features rather than focusing on fewer truly innovative ones.
Brace yourselves because tomorrow Samsung unveils the next Galaxy flagship at the Unpacked event held in New York. And, even if there are more than 24 hours until the announcement, UK mobile operator EE (previously known as Everything Everywhere) has joined the pre-show hype bandwagon with an announcement of its own.
In a Twitter post, featuring the same teaser photo that Samsung released yesterday on its own Twitter account, EE has announced that it will carry the next Galaxy (presumably called Galaxy S IV) but with the added bonus of "superfast" 4G LTE connectivity.
As if the hype surrounding the next Galaxy flagship was not enough, after a couple of teasers Samsung released yet another one on Tuesday with a picture showing what appears to be the new Galaxy S IV. Well, is it?
Samsung asked us "Who’s ready for the Global Unpacked Event on March 14?", but if that's what "the next big thing" looks like, count me out. All the blogs were raving today with big headlines suggesting that Samsung actually released a teaser showing the Galaxy S IV in a shadowy background, when in fact the device in question is the plain old Galaxy S III bar the headphone grill and likely surrounding sensors and front-facing camera.
This year is certainly going to be a big one for games consoles, with a new PlayStation and a new Xbox (rumored) to be arriving before Christmas. But it’s Android-based gaming systems that’s the big trend at the moment, with the likes of OUYA and GameStick grabbing their fair share of the headlines.
Green Throttle is another Android games system, but it’s one that doesn’t require you to make space for a dedicated console under the TV. Instead you just need to buy one or more Green Throttle Atlas controllers, download the free Green Throttle Arena app from the Amazon Appstore, and hook up your Android tablet to a TV using a micro HDMI cable.
We've had to wait a tad longer than expected, but it's finally here. The team behind the popular custom Android distribution CyanogenMod unveiled the second monthly release based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, more than a month after the last build.
Like it usually happens with monthly builds, with CyanogenMod 10.1 M2 the focus is on stability improvements rather than introducing numerous new features that have yet to pass rigorous testing. As a result some of the latest features found in nightly builds may be left behind for future monthly releases in order to provide a custom Android distribution suited for daily-driver use.
The main ceremony, hosted by actor, comedian and swimmer David Walliams, was held on Tuesday and saw the Galaxy S III named the best smartphone of 2012, beating out the likes of the Apple iPhone 5, Nokia’s Lumia 920, and HTC’s Droid DNA.
That wasn’t the only upset for Apple as the iPad missed out too, with Google’s Asus-built Nexus 7 scooping the award for Best Tablet of 2012.
No matter what you think about it, Microsoft sure knows how to make a splash with "Meet Your Match". Just as the campaign was slowly fading away in our memories, Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph brings it back to public attention by pitting the Nokia Lumia 920 against Android heavyweight Samsung Galaxy S III. Talk about being bold.
Unlike the previous challenges where Windows Phone 8 won against some older devices, this time around a handset running Microsoft's latest smartphone operating system -- the Lumia 920 -- finds itself in a pickle with the Galaxy S III. Trying to sway "real people" and "not actors" from their beloved green droids, Ben Rudolph proposes a challenge of finding "a good Mexican place". If he loses, he gives the folks $100.
Samsung might have received a $1.05 billion bloody nose in its battle against Apple last year, but the South Korean giant is coming back fighting, by launching the next version of its flagship smartphone on US soil next month. The first such launch in three years.
Confirmed today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and in a tweet, Samsung will be unveiling the Galaxy S IV in New York as part of the Samsung Unpacked event on March 14.
Bloggers the globe over report today -- and you can hear the snickering -- that Apple's flagship handset outsold Samsung's during fourth quarter. That's because Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston told them so and they didn't really look carefully at the data: "Apple’s iPhone 5 overtook Samsung’s Galaxy S3 to become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2012".
Tsk. Tsk. Strategy Analytics mixes "bestselling" with "shipments". They are not the same thing. Shipments refer to units going into the channel (carriers and dealers), while sales refer to product purchased by users (businesses and consumers). Only Gartner measures actual phone sales, so why does Mawston use bestselling in one sentence referring to shipments in another?
Little more than three weeks since the last build, Android Open Kang Project, the team behind the popular AOKP green droid custom distribution, has unveiled Jelly Bean MR1 Build 3. The newest stable build sports the latest bug fixes and improvements added before Google released Android 4.2.2.
The team behind the project warns that issues related to Bluetooth should not be reported, as "it can’t/won’t be fixed before the 4.2.2 merge". The timing is rather interesting seeing as Google reportedly took charge and finally improved Bluetooth connections in the latest update, which arrives less than a day after the release of Jelly Bean MR1 Build 3. The new build introduces support for a couple of new devices, including the Acer Iconia Tab A510 (codename "a510"), the T-Mobile variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II (codename "hercules") and the LTE variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note II (codename "t0lte").
Two days ago Vodafone UK teased subscribers and potential customers by announcing that, starting February 6, Windows Phone 8 smartphones would be available for purchase. There was no mention of price at the time, but today the missing piece of the puzzle is finally revealed.
The most expensive Windows Phone 8 device to be had with no upfront costs is the Nokia Lumia 920. For the Finnish manufacturer's flagship Vodafone UK customers have to shell out GBP42 per month during a two-year agreement, and in return they receive 2GB of cellular data as well as unlimited calls and texts.
In its home land the BlackBerry Z10 is priced rather boldly against popular smartphones from Apple and Samsung. On a three-year agreement at Bell, the device goes for CAD139.95, while the Samsung-made Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III run for CAD149.95 and CAD49.95, respectively. By comparison the Apple-made iPhone 5 is available from CAD179.95 for the 16GB variant, with the price increasing by CAD100 and CAD200 for the 32GB and 64GB variants, respectively.