We just reported that HTC will be updating its Sense UI to version 5.0 with the release of its next batch of flagship phones; namely, the yet to be confirmed M7. Sense 5.0 is rumored to have a cleaner and simpler UI, and we may be getting the first glimpse of it in these images from a Chinese website. There’s not much to see here, but it does look like HTC is working toward a more minimalistic design scheme, and we’re liking it a lot! Jump past the break to see the updated Keyboard. What do you guys think? Are you liking HTC’s new design direction?
HTC has had an incredibly successful year bringing in some hits here and there, but it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to take things to another level in 2013. While we’ve heard whispers about a mysterious M7 smartphone in the works before, we are now starting to get an idea of what the device is capable of and its awesome features. According to the folks at HTC Source, the M7 is designed to be loosely based off the existing DROID DNA smartphone, having items like a black shell casing and a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. In addition, the smartphone will feature a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display capable of 468ppi and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to to have a “simple and clean” UI.
As it stands, there are no additional hardware features to share for now— though it appears the smartphone is currently in testing on Sprint’s LTE network, giving NOW Network customers yet another device to possibly look forward to. Is it possible we may be looking at the latest addition to the HTC EVO series for Sprint? Perhaps we’ll see it at CES in just a few days…
source: HTC Source
Well, well. What do we have here? It appears as though an invitation from Pebble has made its way to our inbox, notifying us of an event taking place at CES next week. Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, will show off the final version of the long-awaited smartwatch in all of its Kickstarter-backed glory.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Pebble smartwatch managed to set a Kickstarter record last year. While it originally aimed to reach a $100,000 funding goal, the wrist-worn device attracted $10 million from eager backers around the world, leaving the company to deal with massive production demands. The watch connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to offer notifications for calls and texts, with built-in support for third-party apps like Facebook.
The event kicks off at 9AM PST, and we’ll be there live to bring you the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to our CES 2013 hub as well, where we’ll be serving you up-to-the-second coverage straight from the show floor.
On January 9th, T-Mobile will begin offering a $70 unlimited data plan for its Monthly4G users. Monthly4G is T-Mobile’s no-contract plan, meaning you are free to jump on and off ship at any time you please. $70 will get you unlimited talk, text, and data…with no little asterisk anywhere informing you that you’ll be throttled after 5GB. Nope, this time it’s truly unlimited so you can stream songs, video chat and watch YouTube to your data-hungry heart’s content! If you are one of the lucky few who were able to snag the elusive Nexus 4, you might want to try pairing that bad boy up with T-Mobile’s 42Mbps HSPA+ network for a truly speedy experience.
After rumors sprouted suggesting Sprint could be gearing up to launch its own prepaid network, the nation’s third largest wireless carrier has confirmed the news, noting the new service would launch January 25th. Users will be able to pick from two different plans with the top tier offering unlimited talk, text and data for $70 per month. Unlike it’s Boost and Virgin counterparts, Sprint As You Go will not throttle users’ data speeds.
Initially, four phones will be available: Two smartphones and two feature phones. The LG Optimus Elite and Samsung Victory will be sold off-contract for $150 and $250, respectively.
To explain where exactly the new service slots into Sprint’s current offerings, a spokesperson provided the following statement.
“This is essentially a retail initiative for Sprint-branded stores only, created for customers who have an affinity for the Sprint brand and have indicated they want a no-contract option. As for our prepaid brands, this actually allows us to strengthen the focus on our primary prepaid sales channels.”
Sony’s Xperia Z, code named as “Yuga,” for quite sometime now has been rumored to be Sony’s next flagship device for 2013. The Z will be a 5 inch 1080p device and thanks to this leaked screen shot of a promo video for the device, we should expect it to have a full HD display.
The device is also expected to have a 13MP Exmor RS camera with fast capture and HDR. To top it all off, the Z will also be water-resistant.
I’m really interested in seeing what Sony has to offer in mobile phones this year. With specs like these, it’s hard to look past them and go straight for Samsung these days. Let’s just hope their devices are developer friendly and free up the bootloaders.
source: Xpera Blog
To further improve its Prime Instant Video service, Amazon has landed several new TV content. Signing deals with several major networks, Amazon has pulled in several popular shows from A&E, Bio, History and Lifetime. Amazon claims that these new additions should bring their content to within 33,000 available for their subscribers.
While there’s still no dedicated app for in the Google Play Store for Android users, you can enjoy the content if you own Amazon’s Kindle tablet. Are you a subscriber?
Google have recently confirmed that ASUS will venture into the Google TV area for the first time with their first product to be debuted during next weeks CES in Vegas. While Google and ASUS have yet to announce the name, there’s a good chance it could be the “Qube,” the Google TV dongle that recently passed the FCC. Also, Google also announced that they are expecting new Google TV products from Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL, as well as LG, Vizio, Sony and many others.
This years CES will certainly bring forth many new devices and surprises. Stay tuned got Talk Android’s covered on CES as our very own Robert Nazarian will provide up-to-date news coverage from CES Vegas!
source: Google TV Blog
It’s always fun to look back at a previous year and see what kinds of smartphones were the most popular. comScore has released their data about popular smartphone platforms from a three-month period ending in November of 2012, studying about 30,000 phones. There’s plenty of interesting information, but it’s mostly what we’ve expected. Samsung and Apple continue to dominate smartphone sales, with LG, Motorola, and HTC rounding out the top 5. (Sony is apparently not faring as well in the States.) Both Samsung and Apple are still growing over this three-month period, with Samsung starting with 25.7% and ending with 26.9%, and Apple starting and ending with 17.1% and 18.5%. LG actually started off this period with 18.2% but slipped to 17.5%, giving Apple the number 2 spot. Motorola fell about 0.8% to 10.4% and HTC fell 0.4% to 5.9%, but neither moved up or down the charts. None of the percentages are drastic, but it just backs up what we already know and expect from the smartphone market.
Android still powers over half of the 123.3 million phones in the US, and grew from 52.6% to 53.7%, and Apple’s iOS claims about 30%. Neither Android or iOS fell in market share; their positive growth came from eating up what’s left of RIM, Microsoft, and Symbian software. It’s not good news for Microsoft’s new Windows 8, but I don’t think any of us were too worried about those tiles messing up our little green friend, were we?
There’s also a third chart that shows what people do with their phones, which surprised me a bit to learn that only 28% of people use their phone to listen to music. Hit the source below if you want to get into more of the nitty-gritty statistics.
SwiftKey’s take on the swipe keyboard, SwiftKey Flow, has been in public beta for about a month now. An updated beta was all but guaranteed as the version it replaces, 126.96.36.199, had a limited license for use set to expire January 7, 2013. Today’s release, 188.8.131.52, has a relatively short limited license, expiring on January 30, 2013, and comes with a host of improvements. The short beta window could be an indication SwiftKey is nearing the end of beta testing or is at least prepared to quickly launch another updated version.
The update brings performance and battery improvements and addresses a few bugs causing force closing and memory leaks. It will also allow for “flow” in landscape on tablets. Hit the source to see the full change log and download the update. I’ve been using it for weeks and have been very happy. Go get it!