comScore has released their numbers for smartphone market share in the US for January 2014, and the numbers are fairly predictable. Android commanded a majority of the market, accounting for 51.7% of all US smartphones, dipping half a percent from October last year. BlackBerry also fell half a percent point, while Apple pulled up 1% due to Android and BB’s small decline. Android still sat a full 10% ahead of Apple as of January, while Microsoft’s Windows Phone claimed a small 3.2% in third place.
A new company called BLOCKS is looking to jump into the increasingly competitive smartwatch market to compete with offerings from Sony, Samsung, and eventually Google and Apple. Taking a cue from Google’s own Project Ara, BLOCKS wants to differentiate their smartwatch by making it completely modular and customizable.
The smartwatch is still in the prototype phase, but if everything goes well you’ll be able to change nearly everything about the device, from screen size to color to what apps come preinstalled. There’s also a plan for third parties to design modules specific to whatever needs they may have, which sounds like a fantastic selling point.
Unfortunately, we won’t see the BLOCKS smartwatch anytime soon, as the earliest they plan to have it released is mid-2015. Modular mobile devices are still pretty new, so there’s a ton of R&D that still needs to go into it, but we’re excited to see where this goes either way.
source: Techno Buffalo
According to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Google is “pretty sure” that your data is safe. Schmidt said this today at a panel discussion at South by Southwest Initiative.
Google upgraded the encryption process that they use to keep users information secure, and Google was apparently in the process of upgrading their system and encryption when the Edward Snowden revelations were first released. When that news broke, Google says that they expedited the process of upgrading.
The HTC Desire 816 and Desire 610 have both gone up for pre-order in Germany, and in the process the pricing of the devices has also been revealed. This should give us a pretty accurate representation of how much the device will cost in most of Europe. We already knew how much the HTC Desire 816 would cost in China, but that doesn’t really tell us too much about the rest of the world.
Smartphones are normally more expensive in Europe than in China, but the difference here is quite a lot. The Desire 816 is estimated to cost around €213 in China, but in Germany it will set you back around €379. Amazon Germany lower that price a little after the pre-order period is over. The HTC Desire 610 will cost you €299, and we don’t have shipping dates for either devices just yet.
The game company behind the Angry Birds franchise, Rovio, has posted a teaser video for the upcoming game in the series. While it doesn’t say too much about the game, it does confirm that those birds are definitely still angry.
The teaser also features a few shots of medieval suits of armor, after which one angry bird is launched through the helmet. One thing the video does confirm is that the game will launch in Australia and Canada, and then go on to the rest of the world. Hit the break to see the video for yourself!
According to Chitika statistics, while Samsung devices generate the most mobile traffic in the US at 55%, Amazon generates the second most. This isn’t really that surprising, but it does mean that Kindle tablets outdo Motorola, HTC and LG devices when it comes to web traffic. Because of that, it is only a matter of time before we see an Amazon mobile device.
Amazon’s plan was to take over a large enough portion of the mobile content market to be able to release a smartphone of their own. Well that plan is well on track.
To go against the many music-centric applications available, MTV has finally entered the arena. With MTV Artists, users can truly immerse themselves with their favorite artists in different ways. MTV has a massive catalog of performance photos, music videos (yes, they still have those), and songs to be explored. A comprehensive list of tour dates is available for artists and buying tickets can even be done from within MTV Artists, too.
Like Google Sound Search or Shazam, users can use Sound ID with their smartphones to listen to a song and identify it. With MTV Artists, you can also do a lyrical search. A standout feature from this app is Top 10 Songs in 90 Seconds. As the name suggests, it will give you a sampling of the best songs around in less than two minutes.
To start jamming, hit the break for the gallery and download links. » Read the rest
Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 805 processor may not be the biggest and baddest one on the market in the future. According to a new AnTuTu benchmark, Huawei’s own octa-core Kirin 920 processor performs just as good. The processor is arranged with four Cortex-A7 and four Cortex-A15 CPU with ARM big.LITTLE architecture and Mali-T624; however, it is unknown if all eight cores can actually run at the same time. While the Snapdragon 805 earned 37,780 points, Huawei’s Kirin 920 came scored 37,363. Not too bad right?
It is becoming increasingly clear that Qualcomm is gaining some competition, even beyond Huawei. Samsung continues to release new Exynos processors (for part of the world) and even LG is working on Odin for future devices. Then there is NVIDIA, who is still working on gaining some of the attention Qualcomm stole from them in the mobile market. If not 2014, 2015 will be a year for secondary processors to become more prevalent.
The hype leading up to the announcement of the Galaxy S 5 had the device pegged as the next innovative step in an industry where innovation is slowing down. Rumors had the device sporting a metal frame and fingerprint scanner with a 64-bit processor pushing a 2k display. However when the announcement came and went, the only thing that graduated from rumor to reality was a fingerprint scanner.
According to industry rumors, the reason that the Galaxy S 5 was announced sooner than normal is that a lack of innovative features coupled with the success of the iPhone 5s in Europe. For the first time in three generations Samsung didn’t have a dedicated event for the launch of the new flagship, but rather, piggybacked off MWC this year. It’s suggested that the reason behind this is because Samsung felt that the GS5 didn’t have enough new features to warrant an event of its own.
Moto Maker has added some pretty sweet options since its unveiling last summer, including bamboo backings for devices.
Today, Motorola announced that in the spirit of March Madness, the company would be adding nine new back colors and three new accents after studying the colors that many colleges use in their logos. Starting today, you’ll be able to fully customize your device with up to 40 college names and logos— Motorola will add more as time goes on.
Here’s the info on pricing from Motorola:
A custom Moto X from the College Collection is now available starting at the everyday price of $399 off-contract or $49 with a new two year contract. Currently in college? We’d like to sweeten the deal with a student discount. Register at motorola.com/college with a valid .edu address and you can get an off-contract Moto X for the discounted price of $339.
Seems like a pretty good deal to me— jump in if you’re feeling some school pride.