HTC has, in a manner of speaking, opened a store in Hamburg, Germany. It’s not a stand alone store like a Microsoft or Apple store. It’s more of a store within a store with specially trained staff and displays. The layout is similar to the Apple section inside most Best Buy locations in the US. Although there is currently only one store, in Germany, HTC has said it will take this mini-store model to other parts of the world. The stores would give the Taiwanese manufacturer’s handsets a bit of a spotlight as it plays catch-up with Samsung, who reported record profits last month.
Via: Unwired View
It’s like Christmas morning a little early for fans of benchmarks. AnTuTu Benchmark 3 is now available on the Play Store. As we all know, smartphones have come a long way in the last 18 months. When single core phones were pretty much the norm 18 months ago, quad-core beasts now roam the wild. It’s only fitting that the benchmarks keep up.
I think we can all agree that four cores are better than one, but that only tells part of the story. Today’s phones have seen significant upgrades in graphics chips, and the latest AnTuTu benchmark app will give you those results while still comparing with other devices. The memory test has also gone through some changes to better test data flow. Additionally, better and more thorough tests of the 2D and 3D graphic capabilities are found in this latest version. When all of these updated tests come together, it’ll give you better test results that are more catered towards the latest devices. You can grab the app from the link below.
Google Play Store
We have heard numerous times that Android users don’t invest in apps like iOS users, and now a new study is showing that Android users aren’t spending as much time purchasing goods through mobile. According to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark, U.S. Black Friday online sales grew by 17.4% over last year, and mobile online sales made up 24% of the traffic. Of this traffic, 13% came from phones and 11% from tablets. In looking at the phone traffic, iOS devices represented about 67% of the traffic, while Android made up roughly 33%. It gets worse with tablets as the iPad represented about 88% of the traffic. What’s even more interesting is that iOS is actually growing at a pretty good rate. Back in 2010, Android represented 1.43% of the Black Friday shopping traffic, and now it’s 4.92%. In looking at iOS, it was 3.85% back in 2010, but now it’s 18.46%.
How is this possible when you consider the growth that Android has enjoyed over the last 2 years? This is what Horace Dediu is calling the “Android Engagement Paradox”. Other than it sounding like the name of a “Big Bang Theory” episode, it appears to be seriously real. Take a look at the images below. The left image shows the growth of Android phones as opposed to the iPhone. The right one shows the percentage of traffic per device.
Well this is certainly a surprise. It’s no surprise Android is easily the fastest growing mobile platform in the world, but the largest social network in the world is encouraging its employees to jump on the Android bandwagon, if they haven’t already. Hot off the heels of its native app currently en route to devices everywhere, Facebook is enacting the process of “Droidfooding”: having its employees test out beta software before the masses do– an act that’s similar to the Dogfooding that Google does with its own employees. The hope is that the various Facebook employees will be able to use early builds of the newer generation software and identify any bugs or issues that may come up– a process called “Rage Shake”. Many of you may be wondering what Facebook’s reasoning is for encouraging its employees to use Android devices when testing out new software instead of iPhones, right? It’s quite simple actually: Androids offer the same straightforward user experience an iPhone does, while also offering much more flexibility in customizing the software.
Looking at the bigger picture, the various issues that may arise during the development of the Facebook apps should be fixed much more efficiently and quickly— meaning we should be seeing an improved Facebook experience on our Android devices much sooner than later.
source: Tech Crunch
The LG Optimus G has only been out for a little over a month, but that doesn’t mean LG can’t think about the future already and have its sights set on what could be one hell of a successor. The successor looks to bring some topnotch features including a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at a whopping 2.0GHz or 2.5GHz, 2 gigs of RAM, a possible 13MP (or higher) camera, a new display featuring full 1080p resolution and the latest Android OS running the show (presumably Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie). The specs sound mighty attractive, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait a while to see the device in person as LG is expected to unveil the successor by Q3 2013.
Of course it’s a little too early for this kind of speculation, but we’ll be sure to give up all the details to you all as we get them.
source: MK (via)
via: GSM Arena
In what seems like a monthly theme, Sprint announced that they’ve turned on their LTE data in 11 new cities in IN, WV, PA, VA, MA, and KS. Sprint hopes to have most of its LTE planned markets rolled out by the end of 2013. Sprint’s LTE network, originally launched back in July, now has 43 cities that are enjoying blazing fast mobile speeds with the addition of these 11 cities:
- Anderson, Ind.
- Clarke County, Va./Jefferson County, W.Va.
- Harrisburg/Carlisle/Hershey, Pa.
- Hagerstown, Md./Martinsburg, W.Va.
- Harrisonburg, Va.
- Muncie, Ind.
- Peabody, Mass.
- Salina, Kan.
- Shenandoah County, Va.
- South Bend/Mishawaka, Ind.
- Winchester, Va.
Hit the break for the full press release.
The pace at which Samsung’s Galaxy Note II has moved off the shelves has been dizzying. Just 24 days ago, Samsung announced that it had sold over 3 million units of the massive device. Well folks, that was before the official shopping season apparently began, because they’ve now announced that over 5 million units are now in customers’ hands. At this rate, it looks like Samsung’s initial sales estimate back in September of the Note II selling three times faster than the original Note will most likely come to fruition. While it remains to be seen how sales are per capita vs. the original Note (or if we’ll ever know), the move to make the device available on more carriers seems to have definitely paid off.
If you’re looking for something different this holiday season for the kids, then you might want to take a look at Talking Friends Superstars by Out Fit 7. These guys are the makers of Talking Tom and Friends, but these new Talking Friends Superstars can be controlled by an Android (or iOS) device. As you can see in the videos below, your child’s new friend will respond to the app with catchy tunes, witty riddles, amusing jokes, and a number of whimsical sounds. I can also imagine that they will annoy the pants off the parents, but it it puts a smile on your child’s face it’s worth it right? They have three friends available for $49.99 each: Angela, Tom, and Ginger. The app itself is free. Hit the break for a couple of videos, and hit the source link for more information.
The Nexus 4 16 GB version is available on Daily Steals today for $499, but it sure doesn’t feel like a “steal.” It’s literally $150 more than what you can buy it for in the Play Store. One problem though, you can’t actually get one, and who knows when it will be available again. If you’re someone who just can’t wait any longer, then head over to Daily Steals and grab one before midnight tonight (or when inventory runs dry). Already this sale has lasted way longer than Google’s opening day fiasco. What I would like to know is how these guys have stock, but Google doesn’t?
source: Daily Steals
If you know anything about User Experience (UX) Design, you’ve read Steve Krug’s popular book “Don’t Make Me Think”, now an industry manual on how best to approach Web usability. The basic premise of good UX, according to Krug, is to reduce the amount of thinking a user is required to do to successfully use a Web site. This is also known as the K.I.S.S. method (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”), and is today being applied not only to Web sites, but to all software, including mobile operating systems.
Hit the break to find out why this may not be the most elegant approach to mobile OS design.
Earlier this month we reported on the pending release of the HTC DLX to global markets. The HTC DLX is virtually a mirror image of the HTC DROID DNA recently released in the U.S. market. The device is almost certainly heading to Asian markets. When we reported on a possible name change to market the device as an HTC Deluxe, we wondered whether the device would hit European markets. Unfortunately, the answer to that question appears to be “no.”
According to a Facebook posting by HTC’s German account, the device is not coming to European markets. The post was made in response to another Facebook user who was inquiring about some images that had surfaced. This turn of events is some bad news for European buyers as we have found the DROID DNA to be an extremely capable device and would expect the HTC DLX to match its performance.
source: HTC Dach Facebook
Considering the HTC DROID DNA is currently the hottest smartphone of the season, it’s only natural that prospective and new owners will want to fiddle and tinker with the device right? Well the ability to fiddle and tinker with the device is now available thanks to the newfound ability to unlock the device’s bootloader. Thanks to the gang at Android Police, there is a softmod method available which allows for the device to be unlocked using HTC’s developer tool at HTCDev.com. It’s a fairly simple and straightforward process as all that’s needed is a couple of .zip files, an .apk and the execution of some commands and voila!!— the path to customization glory is cleared up for all.
If you’re interested in taking it to The Man and its oppression, you’ll find complete instructions at the source link below.
source: Android Police
A couple weeks ago we had the pleasure of wishing Android a happy fifth birthday. This past week, many in the U.S. paused to celebrate a day of thanksgiving, and I’d like to take time to express some thanks for Android. Granted, some of these could apply to any smartphone operating system with the right app, but my Android phone is what makes it possible for me. Without further ado:
Users are reporting severe performance issues after updating their Nexus 7 to Android 4.2. General lag, choppiness, and stuttering performance seem to be plaguing nearly every aspect of the device, from swiping across the home screens, opening the app drawer, typing on the keyboard, scrolling in the browser or even simply unlocking the device. Even getting the screen to turn on takes several seconds after pressing the power button! Needless to say, this is causing quite a frustrating experience for many users, especially since we’ve grown accustomed to the buttery smoothness of Android 4.1.
I personally experienced all of these issues and more, so I decided to do some research on how to fix it. Turns out the fix is a very simple one. Read on after the break to get the scoop.
Gameloft has a new game out for folks who love cute, cuddly, adorable virtual pets with the release of Littlest Pet Shop. The Littlest Pet Shop toys are a popular item with the younger set where buyers try to collect a whole menagerie of animals. The actual toys do not have any “combat” or “game” system associated with them. They are only collectibles that kids can then play with using their imagination to guide them. Gameloft’s new title brings a little more structure as users can complete challenges, including simple things like caring for their pets, to unlock variations of the different animals. With 150 pets in the game and good attention to detail from Gameloft, the Littlest Pet Shop should keep little ones busy for some time.
Hit the break for some screenshots and a video as well as links to grab this free game.