You have probably heard references to the fact that today’s smartphones contain way more computing power and capability than what was available to the world’s space programs back during the heyday of the space race. That saying is close to getting a test when the Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) launch the British-built Strand-1 satellite into space later this month. At the heart of Strand-1 lies a Google Nexus One smartphone which the project team hopes will be able to take over full control of the satellite at some point during the six-month mission.
What do you get when an avid LEGO and Android lover wants an Android figure? Make a LEGO BugDroid of course. A great man by the name of GLHTurbo over at LEGO’s CUUSOO site had a great idea for combining his two passions into one and created the first of its kind LEGO BugDroid. When we first announced the story of this campaign all that was needed was 10,000 willing individuals that would buy it. Notice I said “would” because no money was needed to start this project, just the pure support of the community would be enough. Well we are glad to report that GLHTurbo has hit that mark. As of yesterday, ( February 7th) the 10,000 supporter mark was hit and LEGO is now going to look over the project. If all goes well, they will start creating these BugDroid kits for sale. Not bad for a completely free start up program right?.
As if that was not enough, LEGO will also pay 1% royalties on every BugDroid sold to GLHTurbo. While I am sure that was not his motivation behind LEGO BugDroid, it is well deserved and I hope he makes even more Android-related products that I can throw my money at. So best of luck to GLHTurbo and check back here soon as we will keep you up to date with the results of LEGO’s inspection and let you know if it becomes a reality.
Motorola took a pretty heavy hit yesterday when a judge in Seattle, WA ruled that 13 patent violation claims made by Motorola were invalidated on the grounds that the claims were too vague and too weak. The patents in question this time around involved several H.264 video encoding patents and were claimed in an attempt by Google and Motorola to seek $4 billion dollars in damages from Microsoft. Microsoft disputed these claims by counter-claiming that Google and Motorola refused to present an answer under FRAND licensing.
Reports on market share have been steadily coming in from all the major players and they all seem to agree that Android is kicking butt. Now it’s time for Canalys to report their findings, and it appears they are in agreement. For the 4th quarter 2012, Android handsets accounted for 69% of the 216.5 million smartphones that were shipped worldwide. In the other not so shocking news, Samsung grew roughly 78% from the previous quarter to a market share of 29%. When it comes to comparisons, everybody always wants to know how Apple’s doing. In terms of iOS, the market share was 22.1% and in terms of smartphone share, it was 22.1%.
It should be noted that although Android’s numbers are good, they are actually down from 74% in the previous quarter. At the same time Apple grew from 15% to 22.1%. Apple’s growth is expected since they released the iPhone 5 in the later part of the year.
Remember that borderline-insane shooter Gameloft teased a few weeks ago, Blitz Brigade? We’ve finally got some gameplay footage to look at it, and it definitely looks like it’s going to make a splash. It’s cartoony and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there’s still enough blood and explosions to keep even the most hardcore FPS fans entertained. It definitely still has the Team Fortress feel, but that’s definitely not a bad thing to be compared to.
The folks at Gameloft still weren’t kind enough to give us a release date, so we’ll have to wait just a little longer for the actual release. Judging from the polish on this gameplay footage, though, I can’t imagine it’ll be too much longer. Hit the break below to get a glimpse at possibly the craziest shooter that’s going to hit the Play Store this year.
ASUS has had no problems hitting cheap price points on their tablets without sacrificing specs. They recently launched the MeMO Pad, and at $149, it’s an extremely high quality tablet. The latest reports that are coming in say that they may try to get just a little cheaper by offering a 7 inch tablet powered by Intel’s Atom Z2420 dual-core CPU. The tablet is also rumored to pack 1 GB of RAM, a 1280 x 800 screen, and a 4720 mAh battery. If they can stuff all that into a package that costs around $100, there’s no doubt they’ll move a ton of them. It would also be a great boost for Intel, who hasn’t had too much luck getting any serious market penetration yet. Hopefully we’ll see this one (or at least some more details) within the next few months.
I imagine it’s safe to say we’re all pretty excited for whatever Google plans on doing with its second generation of Nexus 7 tablets. Full HD screen? Brand new version of Android? How about swapping out the NVIDIA manufactured processors for a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip?
Even though NVIDIA’s latest Tegra 4 chip is shaping up to be undoubtedly one of the best processors available for phones and tablets, rumors are that Google will be opting for a Snapdragon chip instead due to “competitive pricing” and easier 3G/4G integration. Basically, Google wants something cheap and simple, and that’s exactly what the Nexus 7 delivers. And with some analysts predicting Google to move 10 million Nexus 7 tablets this year, that’s quite a chunk of change coming out of NVIDIA’s pocket. If their Tegra processors average between $20 to $25 each, that would turn into over $200 million in lost revenue. Ouch.
It’s not set in stone, like all rumors, but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see what changes Google decides to make to their incredibly successful tablet.
We already know the Galaxy S IV will have some pretty awesome specs— but we are hearing whispers that the smartphone will feature a revolutionary feature that aims to separate itself from most of the competition. According to Korean website DDaily, the Samsung Galaxy S IV is utilizing Atmel’s newest maXTouch S controllers for mixed signal inputs which would allow gesture-based navigation on the Galaxy S IV’s UI without needing to make actual contact with the screen. So essentially, Samsung is potentially pushing the envelope and is thinking big by enabling us to do general actions like answer phone calls or scroll through screens and windows all by making a gesture as opposed to touching the actual screen. Very cool indeed.
Of course this is all speculation for now— but if this is true (and we are certainly inclined to believe it is true)— then Samsung is all but certain to have yet another hit on its hands once the new smartphone is released to the masses.
Fans of the color pink rejoice! Samsung has unveiled a new color variant of their popular Galaxy Note II and this time it’s pretty in pink. The specs of this phone are exactly the same as the other colors: a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720, an S-Pen stylus, LTE, NFC capability, an 8-megapixel camera, a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, a quad-core Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 3,100 mAh battery, and ships with Jelly Bean.
Currently the pink Galaxy Note II can only be seen on the official Samsung Taiwan website and there is no mention of availability for any of the markets. However since Valentines day is around the corner, Samsung might release it during that time. Samsung has sold over 5 million of it’s Galaxy Note II units and with the implementation of a pink version, there’s sure to be even more buyers ready to snatch one up. Hit the break for one more pic.
Sprint reported fourth quarter and annual financial results today driven by record wireless service revenues. Fourth quarter net operating revenue totaled $9 billion, including $7 billion from Sprint platform wireless service. On an annual basis, the numbers were $35.3 billion and $27.1 billion respectively. This represented growth of 12 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter and 15 percent growth for the full year.