Samsung is frequently the target of criticism for design choices related to their smartphones and tablets with many seeing manufacturers like Apple and HTC producing much nicer devices, especially in terms of material selections. Samsung has claimed in the past that they have very good reasons for the choices they make, mainly related to things like durability and cost savings. Now it appears they want to focus more on design choices they make for all of their products with a new web site, design.samsung.com, slated to be available on March 27th. » Read the rest
At MWC 2014 earlier this week, Sony unveiled their latest flagship devices, the Xperia Z2 smartphone and Z2 Tablet. For those not counting the days, this comes only about five and a half months after Sony unveiled the “flagship” Xperia Z1 at IFA 2013. According to Sony Mobile Creative Director Kurozumi Yoshiro, this quick turnaround is a reflection on how fast the industry is moving. According to Kurozumi, “In order to maintain a flagship, you must update at this frequency.” Thus, the Xperia Z2 is the flagship device for the first half of 2014 and buyers can expect a new flagship device to appear before the end of the year to serve in that role for the second half of 2014.
Google recognizes that more and more people are using their mobile devices as their primary news sources. To keep up with the changing times, Google has updated its mobile web app for Google News.
The page updates in real-time, which is a nice little addition— manually refreshing is no longer required.
Google laid out some of the main new features for us. Hit the break for details:
Users looking for something a little different when it comes to launchers on their Android devices may have installed Buzz Launcher. To help continue the growth of the product, the developers are sponsoring a contest for designers and users (known as Buzzers) to design, share and rate their favorite homescreens. The ability to share and install homescreens is one of the features that sets Buzz Launcher apart from your typical launcher apps. Unlike most launchers, if you find someone who has developed a homescreen you really like, instead of manually replicating it you can just grab it off the Homepack Buzz Service. » Read the rest
More unconfirmed reports recently revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will not feature any kind of flexible display or metal design. Instead, the phone will maintain a prototype similar to the Galaxy S 4, featuring a plastic body. It seems as though the main reason behind this is because the company cannot mass-produce flexible screens and metal materials in sufficient quantities for such a device.
It’s a little disappointing that we won’t get to see some new innovative features in Samsung’s next big phone, but we’re sure they’ll be coming down the pipeline very soon. This is still just a rumor, so we’ll keep on the lookout for more information on the topic and give you updates as they come out.
When Samsung announced their latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, one of the criticisms leveled was that it continued the design philosophy of using plastic for the body of the smartphone. The cacophony surrounding this choice grew so loud that Samsung’s executive vice president for the mobile division even took to offering a defense for Samsung’s choice to use plastic while other manufacturers were opting for materials like aluminum and glass. Sources are now indicating Samsung may respond to that criticism when the next Galaxy Note device, the Samsung Galaxy Note III, is released.
These sources claim an internally produced metal version of the Galaxy S 4 was very popular and well received by those who managed to spend some time with it. However, manufacturing dictates and deadlines precluded the use of metal for the Galaxy S 4. There is some time for Samsung to get everything tooled up for the Galaxy Note III and to produce it using something other than plastic. There are some hints that the shape may change as well to something more in line with the HTC One or other devices that are not so rounded as Samsung’s Galaxy line.
Do you think Samsung will make a move to change from plastic to metal for their top tier lines? Do you think they should?
While many smartphone manufacturers pursue a strategy of trying to create a sense of premium-ness in their devices by using materials like aluminum, glass, or polycarbonate, Samsung continues to take a different path by creating plastic body devices. Considering the success that Samsung is enjoying, it is hard to argue with their design decision which will result in the new Samsung Galaxy S IV using the same material. In Samsung’s defense, they have solid reasons for using the plastic material as revealed in an interview with Y.H. Lee, Samsung’s executive vice president of its mobile division. » Read the rest
Did you get a new Android device for the holidays? Congratulations! Here’s a list of some our favorite and best looking apps for your new device. Check them out and let us know how you like them!
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.
An appeals court in the U.K. has issued a ruling in one of the many Apple v. Samsung cases from around the world. This particular appeal involved a case where Apple had alleged Samsung copied the design of the iPad with their Samsung Galaxy Tab device. Apple had originally lost the lawsuit after a U.K. judge found the Samsung designs were not as simplistic as Apple’s. In a stinging turn of events for Apple, the London court had ordered Apple to post information on their web site and take out several advertisements in a variety of publications to admit that Samsung had not copied their products. Apple appealed the ruling and obtained a stay to prevent having to comply with the disclosure. The appellate court has upheld the lower court’s ruling that Samsung did not copy the iPad and they have affirmed the need for a very public statement from Apple regarding the matter. » Read the rest