Microsoft’s gaming console is taking another step towards fulfilling its promise as a centralized entertainment system: After the next software update, the device will be capable of streaming live television to phones, tablets and computers around the home. Read more »
Current Windows Phone devices gained many new preview features last week but the more significant news could be aimed at future devices. In addition to new screen resolutions, Windows Phone can run on Wi-Fi-only devices up to 7-inches. Surface Mini redux? Read more »
Since Microsoft bought Nokia’s hardware division, the company is in the non-smartphone market whether it likes it or not. To that end, Microsoft announced the Nokia 130 on Monday: A basic €19 ($25.43 US) handset aimed at music listeners and video watchers. The candybar styled handset runs Nokia OS and can pump out tunes for a whopping 46 hours on a single charge; there’s definitely a battery life benefit to not running a complex mobile OS or having to power a multitude of sensors. As you’d expect at this price, hardware is minimal: You’ll be watching videos on a 1.8” color screen, for example.
Acer’s strategy of a Chromebook leader by offering many different models is continuing and this time, it’s enlisted Nvidia’s help. The Tegra K1 powers the new Acer Chromebook 13 with 1080p display option and 13 hour battery life. Read more »
It’s looking more likely that Samsung’s next phone uses a metal case in lieu of plastic. Google is previewing its Fit SDK for health-tracking apps while HP takes another swing at the notebook market by using Android to power a full-HD laptop. Read more »
Unlike last year’s Moto X flagship which opted for an older processor, this year’s handset is expected to have a chip that let it compete favorably with other top-performing phones. Read more »
In a few weeks, Samsung will reportedly debut a new variant of its smartwatch line: The Gear Solo. This is expected to have a SIM card for data and possibly voice. Hopefully, it’s just the former and not the latter. Read more »
App makers can begin to use a trio of new APIs for Google Fit thanks to a preview SDK made available today. The APIs are part of Google Play Services so even older Android phones could use the company’s health platform. Read more »
Rumors of the unannounced Samsung Galaxy Alpha with metal casing are on the rise but the FCC has shared many concrete details of a purported phone which could launch in early September. The battery size alludes to what we thought: a mid-range device. Read more »
Safari is typically the browser of choice on Mac OS X but there are some that use Google’s Chrome. Now, a new 64-bit version is available, bringing a speed boost and stability to Google’s browser. Read more »
How much more power will the battery have in Apple’s iPhone 6? About 45 percent more capacity than the power pack in the iPhone 5s suggests analyst Sung Chang Xu, who expects a 2100 mAh battery in Apple’s next phone notes GforGames. This rumor contradicts earlier reports of an 1810 mAh battery in the phone that’s expected to debut at a reported September 9 Apple press event. Considering I’m not familiar with this particular analyst — nor her supply chain sources — I’m not betting money on the 2100 mAh figure just yet. I’m also wondering if the battery capacity is actually for a larger, 5.5-inch edition of the iPhone 6. Either way, don’t equate 45 percent capacity with 45 percent more run-time on a charge: It’s going to take more power to light those pixels on a bigger screen.
Although Motorola has played coy on how the Moto 360 smartwatch battery will get its regular charge, wireless was the suspected method. Now we know for sure: Here’s the elegant dock that will charge the Moto 360 battery. Read more »
Microsoft’s revenues from the Surface line are up, which is good news. But the actual cost to produce those revenues shows the company still has a way to go before considering Surface a success. Will it stay the course like it did Xbox? Read more »
Android Wear might provide the weather but it doesn’t yet offer the Weather Channel. That’s available on Pebble smartwatches, which now come in three new colors. Read more »
The ol’ Moto X will be learning some new tricks as a Motorola executive has confirmed last year’s flagship phone will get the Android L software update. Read more »
In some Apple Stores you can now have that cracked iPhone 5s display replaced in under an hour; expect to pay $149 if you don’t have AppleCare. Read more »
While you can stay online on many U.S. flights, making cell phone voice calls is still a no-no. Although the DOT hasn’t ruled yet, it appears to be considering a ban on such calls due to general disruption for passengers. Read more »
Can the market support a notebook computer that runs a mobile operating system? That’s the question HP is attempting to answer with its SlateBook, a 14-inch laptop powered by Google Android software. The SlateBook 14 was announced in June with a July 20 launch but the computer is only shipping just now notes Android Headlines. The $430 cost gets you hardware similar to a less pricey Chromebook. There is an advantage to running Android instead of Google’s ChromeOS though: Hundreds of thousands of available apps. Is that enough to bring mass appeal? I don’t think so, but HP will surely find a niche audience with this product.
Microsoft is delivering on last week’s promise by pushing the first software update to Windows Phone 8.1 devices. You’ll need the developer preview to see the latest features, which include Live Folders, Apps Corner and more. Read more »
Add a metal, chamfered edge to a Samsung Galaxy phone and what do you get? The purported Galaxy Alpha, which has a very familiar-looking casing if you’ve ever seen a recent iPhone; or an iPad, for that matter. Read more »
Need a combination tripod and timed or remote shutter for your iPhone? Consider the CaseCam, which uses a mirror that doubles as a stand, along with special software that can snap a pic from another iPhone or after a certain amount of time. Read more »
Apple’s slowing iPad sales met Apple’s own expectations but nobody else’s apparently. Sure, slowing growth rates aren’t necessarily a good thing but there are several reasons to explain why iPad sales have slowed. Read more »
Long the king of Chromebook sales, Samsung is facing a challenge from Acer, which offers many more choices to consumers. The company accounted for nearly 1 in every 3 Chromebook purchases in the second quarter of this year according to one report. Read more »
Amazon’s first smartphone is essentially a smaller version of its Kindle Fire HDX tablet but makes phone calls and fits in a pocket. It hides the complexity of Android with Amazon’s simple software and rich ecosystem while boosting Amazon’s potential sales. Read more »
After launching last year with Google’s Android software, Samsung’s first smartwatch is switching to Tizen. An official software update makes the change which brings new funcations and doubles the amount of apps available to Galaxy Gear owners. Read more »
My $1,449 Chromebook Pixel just got a little more useful and so did the $299 Acer Chromebook C720P. The latest Stable channel software update adds support for pinch-to-zoom in Chrome OS. That means any touchscreen Chromebook now has the feature. Previously, pinch-to-zoom was available on developer and beta channels, but the user had to enable the feature in a hidden setting. Now, it’s on by default and makes the overall browsing experience a little better. This function, along with the recent addition of handwriting recognition could make for a nice Chrome OS tablet, particularly if it came with a docking keyboard, no?
Apple is asking suppliers for a record first production of its new iPhone, says the WSJ. While last year’s initial production run of iPhone 5s and 5c phones was in the 50 to 60 million range, Apple wants nearly 80 million bigger iPhones. Read more »
During a conference session, a security research called attention to what he says are several backdoor services put in iOS by Apple that may make it easier for your data to be accessed. Read more »
Not that we needed yet another data-point explaining why China is such an important mobile market or anything but Reuters is happy to provide one. On Monday, it reported that for the first time ever, more people in China access the web on a mobile device as opposed to a PC. The data comes from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and says that of the 632 million internet users in China, 83 percent (527 million) used a phone or tablet to do so. That compares with 81 percent of the connected population accessing the web through a PC, with some overlap between the two of course.
Neil Young isn’t the only one pushing high-resolution audio files: Sony’s newest $700 Walkman also plays such music and it’s reportedly selling well in Japan. There’s no timeframe for a U.S. launch although there are ways to buy this Walkman or other similar portable players. Read more »
Without much carrier backing, Huawei isn’t a household name in the U.S., at least not yet. That’s OK, the company has already surpassed all smartphone makers in terms of sales, save for Samsung and Apple. Plus it’s continuing to grow. Read more »
Relatively unchanged since late 2010, the MacBook Air will finally get its Retina Display later this year according to news from Taiwan: Parts for the updated laptop are reportedly shipping now with production set to start in August. Read more »
It is time for a Chrome OS tablet? Google’s software isn’t quite ready for that but it’s getting closer: Handwriting recognition has appeared in an early Chrome OS software build. Read more »
So long, Nokia X: We hardly knew you. Microsoft won’t be developing any Android-powered phones but LG still does; it launched the LG G3 Beat this week. And after a few weeks of using Android Wear, my thoughts are “nice but not (yet) necessary.” Read more »
Chromebooks in the education market are clearly picking up steam. Earlier this week, Dell said it was temporarily discontinuing direct Chromebook 11 sales to individuals because it can’t keep up with demand from commercial channels for the education-focused laptop. On Friday, Google reported one million Chromebook sales to schools in the second quarter of 2014. Along with the stat, Google published a blog post from David Andrade, the CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools district explaining why he chose Chromebooks for the 23,000 student district in Connecticut. Among the reasons: “affordability and easy maintenance”; something we’ve suggested on the Chrome Show podcast time and time again.
After finding code references to Project Athena last month, we know know what it looks like. Say hello to a new — but early effort — experimental interface for Chrome OS that’s heavily card-based. Read more »
Demand in the U.S. for small slates are causing Lenovo to stop shipping them. Actually, check that. Demand for small Windows slates is the issue, which doesn’t bode well for Microsoft or a Surface Mini if it actually does launch one. Read more »
While there are a few third-party Android Wear watch faces in the Google Play Store, they’re not using the official API. That’s because Google is still working on it and suggests developers hold off on publishing new watch faces until it launches. Read more »
iOS developers have no lack of ad network partners to use but there’s always room for more. At least that’s what Amazon thinks as it now has a mobile ad API for iPhone and iPad apps. Read more »
Amid 18,000 job cuts and the elimination of Android-powered handsets, Microsoft is also putting two other Nokia product-lines out to pasture. The Verge received an internal memo written by Microsoft’s Jo Harlow, who leads the new Smart Devices and Mobile Phones group, with the news: Nokia’s Series 40 and Asha handsets will be no more, with both products joining the Nokia X Android phone in an 18-month maintenance mode. That means the low-cost handset market will become more important for Windows Phone as that’s where these products are aimed: $50 or less. The company isn’t out of top-drawer handset ideas though: The memo says to watch for “other high-end products that we will be announcing very soon.”