Nokia’s CEO Says Google Moving Toward Closed Ecosystem

Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, said Google is closing its once open ecosystem as Android faces increased fragmentation. Elop was discussing the company’s 4th quarter earnings at a press conference when the topic turned to Google. Elop said, “The situation that Android is facing, where the amount of fragmentation that you’re seeing is increasing as people take it in different directions, is of course offset by Google’s efforts to turn an open ecosystem into something that’s quite a bit more closed as you’ve seen quite recently.

Elop is not alone in his critique of Google’s recent “openness” decisions. Earlier this month Google blocked Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps via the browser but later restored access. Google has also announced it will drop support for Exchange ActiveSync which Microsoft uses to offer push email for Gmail users on Windows Phone. iOS devices also use ActiveSync but they’ll still be able to get push email via Google’s Gmail app for iOS. Google released Maps for iOS but has said it will not develop apps for Windows 8. It’s unclear whether Google is actually moving toward a closed ecosystem but there is little doubt they are playing hardball when it comes to Microsoft and, by extension, Nokia.

Source: The Verge

Insider Reports HTC M7 Will Be Released Sooner Than Expected

 

Italian mobile Insider Flavio (@flapic) tweeted what he is calling an exclusive regarding the upcoming release of the HTC M7 . He predicts it will be released in London on February 19th and not at Mobile World Congress as many of us have expected. He did not disclose a source but later said he has established connections from “many years in the field” and his sources are “reliable and credible.” So he’s legit, if you don’t believe him just ask him and he’ll tell you. All kidding aside, this guy has been around for a while and might be on to something.

Excitement for HTC’s next flagship definitely feels like it’s growing. The M7 will feature a 4.7-inch 1080p display, new Sense 5.0, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 32GB of internal storage, 2300mAh (likely internal) battery and LTE connectivity. Whether it launches at its own event in London or at MWC in Barcelona at the end of February, we won’t have long to wait.

Via: Unwired View
Source: Twitter

 

 

Galaxy S IV Screen To Surpass Retina Display Quality

DigiTImes is citing unnamed industry sources as saying Samsung will incorporate new pixel layouts with increased resolution for AMOLED panels. The new design layout uses a hexagon and diamond-shaped pixel layout allowing for resolutions above 440 pixels per inch. The iPhone 5’s Retina Display is 326PPI. The same sources said the new panels would be used in Samsung’s Galaxy S IV.  Although we’re excited to see Sammi’s new flagship sport a top of the line display, we should point out the HTC Droid DNA already has a 440PPI display so it’s not exactly an industry first.

Quick recap of recent Galaxy S IV rumors: It could be unveiled in March,  with an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 5-inch 1080p display and an S Pen! I’d like to say to take these rumors with a grain of salt but I’m too damn excited and not-so-secretly wishing for them to all be true!

Source: DigiTimes

ASUS 10-Inch MeMo Pad Spotted

ASUS just introduced a low priced ($149) Jelly Bean tablet, the MeMo Pad 7.  And now a German tech site, TechHive, has uncovered a YouTube video showing a pretty snappy 10-inch version. The video refers to the tablet as the ASUS MeMo Pad 10 Smart. It doesn’t show much in terms of specs but it seems to be running a skinned version of Jelly Bean. If this video is legit, we’ll more than likely see ASUS present it next month at Mobile World Congress.

Check out the video after the break

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini Adds NFC, Going On Sale This Month

 

Samsung announced it will release a Galaxy S III Mini with NFC in the UK. And it will do so soon. Samsung said it will be available this month so our Brit buds will get their chance at the S III Mini within the next ten days. I guess Sammi figured the Mini should probably have S Beam capabilities after it had featured the easy-sharing capability in so many of its ads.

The S III Mini is a sort-of shrunk down version of the Galaxy S III, however, the specs were reduced along with the screen size. The Mini has a 4-inch SuperAMOLED display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1 single GB of RAM and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This can’t really be considered an update since the specs are identical to the Mini without NFC. The device is a decent option for those looking for a smaller mid-tier phone but the “S III” name is a bit misleading.

Press Release after the break

Sony Xperia Z Gets FCC Tear Down En Route To Likely Approval

 

The Sony Xperia Z looks to be one step closer to going on sale stateside. The posted FCC documents appear to indicate Sony’s sleek and water resistant Android handset has passed inspection and deemed safe for the American market. The inspection process also gave us a chance to take a peek inside this guy. A few European sites have begun pre-sales, in the UK and Slovakia, but US consumers still have a couple months to go. Hit the source for the full gallery of Xperia Z dissection photos.

Via: Engadget
Source: FCC

Google May Have Misjudged Nexus 4 Demand By As Much As 10 Times

The Nexus 4 has been pretty hard to come by and, if LG is to be believed, Google’s terribly inaccurate sales predictions are the biggest reason. According to Cathy Robin, head of mobile communications for LG France, demand has been 10 times higher than what Google expected. LG and Google have played a blame game of sorts but it’s hard to fault LG too much if Google did, in fact, give drastically lower sales estimates. Robin said the estimate was based on sales numbers for previous Nexus phones.

It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback and point to things like price and an enhanced consumer awareness of Android as factors that differentiate the Nexus 4 from its predecessors, but to miss the mark by so much is almost unGoogle. This phone came off the heels of Samsung’s Galaxy S III‘s great success. In the minds of many consumers, this was the next big Android phone. It launched at about half the price of other top tier phones. Yeah, I think there’s going to be a bit of a demand. If the Nexus 4 doesn’t make it back to the Play Store, at least we have Qualcomm’s X phone to look forward to.

Source: CNET

Qualcomm CEO Pours Hater-Aid All Over Samsung’s Eight-Core Processor

Speaking at Born Mobile in China, Qualcomm CEO, Paul Jacobs, presented an argument against the escalating core wars mobile manufacturers are engaged in. He called the eight cores in Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa a meaningless number intended as a publicity stunt. Jacobs argued the increased number of cores could lead to diminished returns due to a more complex management of the cores from an energy and thermal standpoint. He said he did not believe the numbers game would continue for long as the focus would inevitably shift toward the end user experience. He cited things like speedy downloads, smooth interface, performance and precise positioning as areas of focus that would yield  better results.

Can I argue with him? No, not really. Would I choose eight-core over quad? Without a doubt.

Via: Phone Arena
Source: Tech.Sina

 

Specs Leaked On Samsung GT-N5100, Dubbed Galaxy Note 8.0

SamMobile is saying they’ve confirmed specs for Samsung’s next Note device, the GT-N5100. The un-cited report offers very specific information, including a name change to the Galaxy Note 8.0. As the name implies, it’s an 8-inch tablet to compete with the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire and iPad Mini. It would fill the stylus gap between the Note II and Note 10.1 for those hooked on the S-Pen.

The Note 8.0 will run Android 4.2,  feature a 1280×800 TFT (Super Clear LCD) display, front and rear-facing cameras (5 MP rear, 1.3 MP front), 4600 mAh battery, 2 GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 16 & 32 GB of internal storage and a lovely MicroSD slot.  The tablet, measuring 211.3×136.3×7.95 mm, will be offered in a WiFi only (GT-N5110) and GSM version (GT-N5100). Samsung’s official announcement is expected in just over a month at Mobile World Congress.

Source: SamMobile

Nexus 7 Beats Out iPad In Japan

A report from Japan’s largest business daily newspaper shows the Nexus 7 has surpassed the iPad in market share. The Nexus 7 had 44.4 percent of the market compared to 40.1 percent for the iPad. The survey for Nikkei was conducted by market research firm BCN who collected information from 2,400 consumer electronics stores in December 2012.

The report cited price as one of the biggest factors for why it was chosen over an iPad. The Nexus 7 is $100 less than the cheapest Apple alternative, the iPad Mini. Keep in mind, Nikkei also reported a huge iPad Mini shortage at the time of the survey. While this report does not represent a resounding market victory for Android, it does verify that more and more people are looking at Android as viable alternative.

Via: CNET
Source: Nikkei

 

 

Sony Xperia Z To Get Android 4.2 Update Shortly After Launch

The Xperia Z, set for a March launch, will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box but Sony announced it will be updated to Android 4.2 “shortly after.” Unfortunately, that’s about as specific as we’ve come to expect from manufacturers regarding update ETAs. Looking back on the Android 4.2 announcement, it doesn’t look like the Xperia Z’s update will be too extreme. It’s doubtful Sony will scrap its camera and keyboard for their stock Android equivalent and the only other major 4.2 enhancement I can think of was to Android Beam. We’ll let you know if we learn of any specifics related to the update. In the meantime, feel free to go back and check out our hands on with the Xperia Z from CES.

Source: Sony

Google Applies For Laser Projector Patent For Project Glass

Google’s patent request will make their DIY cyborg kit even crazier better. Need to dial a number? Just type it on the palm of your hand. That’s at least one expected functionality of  a tiny laser projector for Project Glass. The system would project the dial pad or QWERTY keyboard on to your hand, arm, desk or whatever. A tiny Kinect-like camera would then interpret your movement. Google, you had me at laser!

Source: Engadget

Root Achieved For Jelly Bean OTA For Droid RAZR And RAZR MAXX

The original Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX received an over-the-air Jelly Bean update (Android 4.1.2) a few weeks ago. It took that long for an exploit to be found in the OTA allowing for root access for both devices. At this point, it looks like all you’ll need is a PC and a USB cable. Hit the source for the walk-through.  Have fun and don’t forget to backup! Once you’re rooted you can even give Carbon Backup a try.

Source: DroidRZR.com

LG Optimus G2 Appears Primed For Fall Release

CES 2013 came and went without a peep from LG regarding the Optimus G2.  Now we’re hearing the launch of LG’s next flagship phone will be delayed until fall 2013 after Google releases the next version of Android, presumably Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Then there’s the rumor LG will release a quad-core device, being called the GK, at Mobile World Congress in February. The GK, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and equipped with a 5.5-inch HD screen, would compete with Samsung when Sammi brings the next Galaxy phone to market, hopefully the Galaxy S IV.

We’re happy to see LG making moves to be a player in the mobile device market but I think the Korean manufacturer could do more for its image by correcting Nexus 4 production issues rather than release a stop-gap phone before the G2. A new LG phone would be a hard sell over a Samsung device after all the off and on again reports regarding LG’s first Nexus.

Source: CNET

Study Shows 35 Percent Of Us Still Using Smartphones While Driving

 

35 percent of the nearly 4,000 people polled by McKinsey & Company said they used their smartphone while driving. Most of those who admitted to the violation, 89 percent, said they used their phone to make calls. The next highest cause was navigation, 68 percent. 39 percent of the self-admitted guilty drivers said they used some form of instant messaging and 31 percent admitted to checking email or just plain browsing the web. The report, called Mobility of the Future, also showed younger drivers were far more likely to use their handsets on the road. When asked about the importance of in-car access to data, 55 percent of 18 to 39 year-olds see it as important. Only 27 percent of geezers 40 to 69 year-olds gave it the same level of importance.

We know it’s hard to keep the phone down while on the road, like REALLY hard, but it’s the law in most states not to mention not the safest thing you could be doing. We’d like you guys to stick around to make fun of our little Android blog. Until Google’s self-driving cars are here, we’ll all need to be a bit safer behind the wheel.

Source: CNET