Smartphones expected to grow by 32.7% in 2013

smartphone-comparison-2013a

In 2013, smartphones are poised to make  a big leap in growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphones are expected to rise about 32.7% during this year which should reach in a total number of 958.8 million units, up from 722.5 million from the previous year. Now days smartphones aren’t considered a luxury item as it once was just a couple years back. With feature phones slowly going out of style and smartphones becoming more and more affordable (thanks to Android), many customers are making the switch. Starting this year, smartphones are expected to account for 52.2% of the total mobile phones in the world, an astonishing number if you ask me.

Cost effective and affordable smartphones is a huge reason for such a big leap in smartphone popularity. According to the IDC, smartphone vendors being able to provide cheaper and cost-effective 3G handsets alongside the more expensive 4G ones has really helped get these smartphones into peoples hands.

With smartphones becoming such a huge market in not only this year, but for the foreseeable future, I don’t see this trend ending any time soon. The smartphone market will only grow and continue to dominate the tech world.

source: IDC

Sony schedules event for mobile phones in Germany

Sony invite

Sony has sent out a press invitation for June 25th specifically for its mobile division. The invitation doesn’t explicitly say what will be covered at the event, but the slogan reads “So you want more?” This could be anything from a new lineup of Xperia devices, a new T-Mobile device, or possibly an announcement for that rumored Google edition Xperia Z. 

The event will take place in Germany, so it could also be specific to that part of the world. Hopefully we’ll see something exciting that will affect the entire globe, but anything’s a possibility. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as the 25th rolls around.

source: Pocketnow

GetGlue app for Android gets UI overhall, but loses important features

getglue_android_update

The guys at GetGlue have redone their social networking app for Android from scratch, giving it a completely new interface and a set of different features. The user interface has been refreshed and cleaned up, giving a Google Now card-style look to the app. Aside from the nice new aesthetics, there are added tabs to monitor TV shows, movies, and sports, as well as a search tab. Curiously, and disappointingly, books, movies, topics and games have been removed in this update.

In addition, a personalized “smart guide” feature that syncs with your cable provider’s guide which suggests the best movies, TV shows, and sports to watch has been added to the app. Also, you can now check in and chat with friends while you watch, as well as watch clips of your favorite programs through the app. However, Foursquare integration has been removed.

The new UI is nice, but the axed features make it a bittersweet update. You can check out the full change log and download the free update after the break.

Source: GetGlue Blog

U.S. Cellular announces the latest edition to its mid-range family, the LG Optimus F7 smartphone

LG-OptimusF7-Vert-front_large

 

U.S. Cellular customers looking for a sweet mid-range device are in luck as the wireless carrier has officially announced its latest offering— the LG Optimus F7 smartphone. In case you’ve forgotten about the basics of the phone since its original launch a while back, let’s give you a little refresher: the Optimus F7 comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage, microSD slot and a spiffy 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720 display. And yes— the device’s software is up-to-date for the most part as it not only features Jelly Bean loaded up, but some of LG’s awesome software too such as the implementation of the QSlide multi-window feature. The device will also come jam-packed with with the usual 3G and LTE radios built-in, giving users of the device quality network speeds when available.

The device is available now on the U.S. Cellular website and at U.S. Cellular retailers for a smooth $99 on-contract or customers who don’t want to feel tied down will have the option of purchasing the device for $399 outright. You’ll find more deets once you hit the source link below.

source: US Cellular

Blackberry Messenger arriving on Android on June 27 [update – probably not]

blackberry_messenger_android

 

According to T-Mobile UK, Blackberry Messenger is slated to arrive on Android and iOS on June 27. When Blackberry first announced that they would be making their popular messaging client available on other devices, the only time frame they gave for a release was “this summer.” Once released, the app will be free, and contain features like group messaging, voice chat, and screen share. The only problem for Blackberry is that there are dozens of other very popular, feature-filled messaging apps out there right now that they will have to compete with.

Through the tweet we also got our first look at the UI of the app, and I’m quite disappointed. Compare the screenshot above to Google Hangouts, which is supposed to be a competitor to BBM.  This doesn’t even look like Android. The font is archaic, the text is sized oddly, and all in all it is extremely bland, though we’ll have to see what the official release looks like before completely making a decision. Let us know, do you have plans to use BBM once it’s launched for Android?

Update:

The Tweet has been pulled. Apparently the rep was tweeting about a rumored date, not an official date.

Source: @TMobileUK

Featured Android Game Review: Zombie Derby [Racing]

Zombie_Derby_Spash_Banner

Our friends at HeroCraft launched another game, and if you are a zombie fan, you’re going to want to check this one out. It’s called Zombie Derby and it’s all about driving a truck or car as far as you can go while killing zombies along the way. You don’t want to run over the zombies, you want to shoot them with the gun on top of your truck. Running them over will kill them, but unfortunately you won’t get any points. You will have to conserve your gas and your firepower to make it to the end of each stage.

If you like games in which there are constant upgrades, you will like Zombie Derby. I am generally not too big of a fan of constant upgrades, and I have to say that this one really emphasizes it. This game only has four stages, which doesn’t sound like much, but you won’t be able to complete them that quickly either. You will need to constantly re-race each stage in order to gain coins to buy enough upgrades to get you through. For example, there is a tutorial stage, but it’s impossible to get through it without upgrades. You will need to upgrade your fuel at least two times. On top of all this, you will need to remember certain obstacles along the track like mini-cliffs that you need to make sure you are going fast enough to jump over.

Samsung lowers estimates for Q2 and Q3 Galaxy S 4 sales

Samsung_Galaxy_S_4_Main_TA

Despite being the hottest selling smartphone on the planet right now, Samsung is apparently talking with investors to reduce expectations for the amount of Galaxy S 4s that will be sold this quarter and next quarter. This all stems from a neutral rating for stocks from companies like Broadcom, with analysts saying some component makes may not meet estimates this quarter because of slowed down sales of Samsung’s latest flagship.

Now, this doesn’t mean to say that Samsung expects their latest Life Companion to drop off the sales entirely, they’re just being more realistic about what we should expect the S 4 to do in the coming months. Samsung expects 20 million devices this quarter, and 20 million next quarter, as opposed to early estimates of 25 million and 30 million in those respective quarters. While reducing expectations by 15 million phones sounds like a lot, selling 40 million phones over two quarters will still be an impressive feat that most companies only dream of doing. Besides that, Samsung likely has some other devices in the pipeline, such as budget models and more niche devices that may steal a little thunder from the S 4.

Either way, Samsung is poised for an extremely successful 2013.

source: Tech Trader Daily

Galaxy S 4 gets update bringing enhancements and stabililty fixes, addresses usable storage

Samsung_Galaxy_S_4_GT-I9505_GT-I9500_Update_Smart_Pause_Toggle

If you own an international version of the Galaxy S 4 (GT-I9505 or GT-I9500), you will be happy to know that an update is rolling out now. There are a number of enhancements, but one of the biggest additions is the ability to move apps to the SD card since the usable storage is quite low. If you remember, the usable storage is only 9.15GB on a device that is supposed to feature 16GB. This update also increases it, but not that much. You will now have 9.23GB.

Another cool addition is a Smart Pause Toggle and they fixed the purple effect while scrolling in certain situations. You can get the update (365.67MB) via KIES or OTA, but so far it’s only available in Germany. Hit the break for the full changelog and firmware details.

Gameloft releases its first Modern Combat 5 teaser video ahead of E3

Modern_Combat_5

 

As easily one of the most popular franchises in the Android gaming world, Gameloft’s Modern Combat series is one that we hold dear to our hearts. So it’s only fitting that developer comes out and teases us with its first trailer of the latest installment of the series: Modern Combat 5. Much like the previous games, this Modern Combat 5 teaser showcases fast gameplay, an awesome assortment of weapons, some pretty crafty AI and maybe even a mission or two from the not-so-friendly skies. The key difference here: an improved graphics engine.

Of course the teaser is exactly just yet— a tease. So unfortunately, we can only have a small taste of the latest action for now. Fortunately, the latest installment seems to be destined for a release date sometime this month— so we won’t have to wait too long. Hit the flip to check out the teaser vid for yourself.

Samsung releases ‘Quick Snooze’ commercial as a followup to ‘Swaddle Master’

Samsung_Quick_Snooze_Commercial

A couple of days ago we got a chance to see “Swaddle Master”, Samsung’s latest commercial about a Dad changing his baby. It showed off Air Gesture, Smart Pause, and S Voice. Samsung just released a followup called “Quick Snooze”. This one is a little shorter and only showcases Smart Pause. The Dad is resting comfortably with the baby and watching basketball highlights on his Galaxy S 4. He suddenly falls asleep and what do you think happens to the video playing on his GS4? You guess it. Check out the video after the break, and click here to see “Swaddle Master”.

U.S. Government secretly orders Verizon to provide call logs of all customers [updated with statement]

NSA_Verizon

 

Generally speaking, whatever the U.S. government wants, the U.S. government will get— and obtaining information from U.S. wireless carriers is no exception. In a classified court order obtained by the folks at The Guardian, the National Security Administration (NSA) requested call detail on all Verizon Wireless customers. The court order specifically highlights the NSA wants all call data within the U.S. and abroad— so the requested call log data isn’t just limited to phone calls made to numbers within the mainland U.S— while also looking for specific identifiers such as a device’s IMEI number, trunk identifier and of course, the time and duration of any given call. So in essence, the government will pretty much have an open book full of sensitive information that could allow it to more easily keep an eye on select customers.

What’s surprising is that the NSA clearly intended that this court order should not be disclosed to the general public, with no apparent reason. Perhaps the NSA is trying to use the court order to get a leg up on any potential threats to the general public, but this is a potentially troubling decision that has been made. Here’s hoping that not too much will come out of this recent news.

HTC T6 to launch in Q3 of 2013 as the HTC One Max

HTC_One_Back_Slanted_Camera_Lens_HTC_Logo_TA

At the end of last month, we heard some rumored specs for an upcoming HTC phablet, dubbed the T6. The specs were absolute top-end, including a 1080p 5.9-inch screen, Snapdragon 800 processor, and that famous UltraPixel camera. A new report is backing up the claims of that phablet, and even giving it a name; the HTC One Max. The specs in the report are similar to what the leak mentioned, and even mention that the device would launch with Android Key Lime Pie. A new HTC phablet launching a brand new version of Android, especially when we’re still waiting on 4.3 (which is rumored to still be an iterative jump within the Jelly Bean name) seems unlikely, but anything is possible, especially when OEMs like HTC and Samsung are getting friendlier with vanilla Android.

The report also states that many carriers are interested in the One Max, as it will be the only device to launch with a unibody design in the second half of this year. Can’t wait to see this holiday season heat up even more than last year.

source: Ausdroid

Android could hit 1 billion phones shipped annually by 2017, Windows Phone expected to have 400% growth

Android_One_Billion_2017

Android’s got a pretty steady grip on the market right now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. Canalys, a marketing research firm, has recent reports backing up that statement, and the statistics may even be a little bit scary.

By 2017, Android is expected to hit 1 billion phone shipments— annually. And this is all with Android expected to lose 0.6% of its market share, standing tall at a total of 67.1%. Right now, Android ships 470 million phones annually, so that figure is expected to more than double. Oh, and one more thing— this is only counting phones, and not tablets, or any other type of device Google launches four years from now running Android.

Windows Phone is expected to take a pretty solid chunk of the market too, as it is expected to see 400% growth between now and 2017. Check out the full presser after the break.

Samsung outsells Apple for the first time since iPhone 5 launch

Apple vs Samsung

We already knew Samsung was selling the Galaxy S 4 by the truckload, but more numbers have come in that solidify Samsung’s place in the smartphone market. According to Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, Samsung outsold Apple in the month of May, thanks largely to the Galaxy S 4. On three of the four major carriers, (Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile) The S 4 was the top selling smartphone for the month. On AT&T, it was still outsold by the iPhone 5, but three out of four isn’t bad, right? Those numbers are also fairly impressive because Verizon didn’t even offer the S 4 until late May.

According to Walkley, strong marketing, as well as support from the SIII and Note II, helped bump Samsung up to the number one spot. This marks the first time Samsung has taken that spot since Apple debuted their iPhone 5 at the end of last year.

source: Business Insider

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for June 5, 2013

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Editorials

The reason behind Google’s purchase of Motorola is finally coming to fruition

Reviews

TypeSmart Keyboard [Productivity]

Apps

Ticket To Ride loaded up in Google Play Store

NVIDIA Shows off Tegra 4 gaming processor in Dead Trigger 2 video— game set to launch this summer

Google makes stock keyboard available in Play Store