Android this week: Galaxy S5 box leaks specs, Android apps on Windows; is Android open?

android-this-week

With less than two weeks before Samsung shows off the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress (MWC), more leaks than ever are flowing about the handset. This week saw leaked renders of the device and a reported pic of the Galaxy S5 packaging also surfaced, clearly showing all the specifications of Samsung’s next flagship.

Rear-box-Samsung-Galaxy-S5

If accurate, at least one variant of the Galaxy S5 will have a pixel dense display with 2560 x 1440 resolution. Spread out over a 5.2-inch screen, that works out to 560 pixels per inch. The image also shows 3 GB of memory, support for up to 150 Mbps LTE networks and a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor — very likely a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 since Samsung typically uses its own chips in non-LTE devices.┬áThe Galaxy S5 box picture also says to expect a 20 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and 2 megapixel front sensor.

So is this the real deal? I suspect it is as many of the listed specifications are reasonable and expected upgrades. Is this going to be the only Galaxy S5 configuration? I doubt it. Instead, I anticipate at least one slightly different model with Samsung’s own processor inside and a lower-resolution, 1080p display. Such a configuration was suggested by sources to the New York Times earlier this month. We’ll be on hand later this month at MWC to see what Samsung debuts.

We’ll have to wait longer to see if Microsoft plans to support Android apps on Windows and Windows Phone, however. The company is reportedly considering just that although it wouldn’t happen until Windows 9 is available next year.

Bluestacks brings Android to Windows

Technically, you can already run Android apps on Windows — or a Mac, for that matter — by using Bluestacks. So it’s not clear what users would gain from this on desktops and laptops. My thought is that Microsoft can help diminish its perceived “app gap” on touch-friendly or Metro applications by supporting Android apps on its platform. On the other hand, it could provide less incentive for developers to create Windows and Windows Phone apps.

We could get a glimpse of what Microsoft is thinking if the Nokia X, also known as the Normandy, launches as expected soon. The device is reportedly an Android-powered phone that would run apps from Nokia and Microsoft. You can be sure it won’t run Google’s own Android apps because Microsoft is unlikely to ever license them and gains no benefit by doing so.

Nokia Android

The topic of Google’s own apps and Android being open or not was center stage this week. Alleged documents showing details of Google’s app licensing terms led some to suggest Android isn’t open. As I detailed this week, it most certainly is.

However, as Google moves more and more of its own apps and services out of Android, the open version becomes less powerful. It requires device makers to rely more on third-party apps or to create their own. Regardless, Android is no less open by definition than it was in 2008.

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