Monday, 6 July 2015
There are certain tech rumors that make the rounds so regularly, you could almost write the stories in advance. Every year, someone is going to buy AMD, graphene is just around the corner thanks to one major breakthrough or another, OLED televisions are finally going to hit the mass market at near-LCD prices (I cry inside every time this one turns out to be untrue) and, inevitably, Microsoft is going to give up on Windows Phone10 Mobile and make Android devices.
This time, the rumor comes courtesy of Twitter user and known leaker MSNerd, who writes that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is discussing the option of dropping Windows Mobile altogether and instead licensing Android for use in smartphones and handsets. To be fair, this is not an entirely crazy idea. If the original Windows Mobile had a much higher market share than it deserved, Windows Phone has had the opposite problem — it deserves more users than it actually has, based on the overall quality of the OS.
“Nadella and the SLT debating continuing Windows on phones and small tablets vs bundling Microsoft services on Android as the way forward,” MSNerd said. “Microsoft would push Google Play devices with Microsoft apps in exchange for Google providing first-class Maps, YouTube, Search on Windows.”
With its signature mobile platform mired around 2.6% of the market, it’s not surprising that MS would evaluate its long-term plans for the platform. Satya Nadella made headlines recently for a memo in which he declared Microsoft would have to make hard choices around its product stack and the company announced the sale of some of its mapping platform to Uber not long after. The company’s mobile advertising business, meanwhile, will now be handled by AOL.
Strong sales for the Samsung Galaxy S6 resulted in a stellar three-month period ending in May for both Android and the top smartphone manufacturer. LG also performed well, while Motorola and HTC lagged.
A new report analyzing smartphone sales for a three-month period ending in May shows good news for Samsung, LG and the Android operating system in general, while the latest numbers for HTC and Motorola show both smartphone makers falling behind.
The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Phones indicates that phones running the Android operating system accounted for 64.9 percent of all smartphone sales during the period, a jump of nearly three percent. Samsung's U.S. market share rose by three percent to 55 percent for the three months ending in May as opposed to the 52 percent share for the company in the three months ending in April. May was the first full month that the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were available for purchase in the U.S.
LG also had a stellar three-month period. Smartphone sales for the manufacturer practically doubled compared with the figures from a year ago. The data does not account for sales of the company's latest flagship smartphone, the LG G4, which debuted after the period of measurement occurred.
The news was not so rosy for HTC and Motorola, each of which saw a significant sales decline. HTC is still reeling from the poor reception to its latest flagship device, the HTC One M9, which debuted during the three-month period measured. The company has seen the resignation of its chief designer and is promising another new flagship by the end of this year.
Carolina Milanesi, chief of research for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech stated: "Sales of Android-based smartphones were fueled not only by Samsung, but also by LG, which was able to nearly double its share of the U.S. smartphone market year-over-year. Other tier-one Android players, such as HTC and Motorola, had a more difficult period, with their share decreasing both year-over-year and period-over-period, raising hopes for competitors — such as Huawei and Sony, who have yet to wow U.S. consumers — that share could be up for grabs."
Android ROM developerCyanogenMod (“CM”) has announced that it is working on Gello, an open-source browser based on Google's Chromium browser, offering several customization options for Android.
Chromium is an open-source version of Google’s Chrome browser. CM plans to bring loads of customization to Chromium by introducing innovative features to the upcoming Gello browser.
Some of these features allow users to rename and relocate downloads, to swipe through open tabs, as well as offer privacy setting site wise.
Added features that CM plans to include are a power saver mode, a night mode, an immersive mode that removes advertisements and pictures that surround an article, and a feature like save for offline reading mode use.
Gello won’t be released on Cyanogen OS, which runs on OnePlus One phone. It will, however, be available in a future version of CyanogenMod’s Android ROM.
The Gello browser targets those who prefer Android Open Source Project (AOSP) instead of Android. Since details aren’t available, it’s not clear whether it can be installed directly on Android devices.
Gello is Surely Expensive
Gello is on the expensive side. Joey Rizzoli, a CM team member said that Gello will not be available on "low end devices or devices with small system partitions, they'll get the AOSP Browser instead ".
Going forward, Rizzoli stated that the team intends to introduce more interesting features.
The release date for Gello has not yet been fixed. However, it will have an open source license allowing anyone with sufficient imagination or programming skills to add to the project.
Google's Android One initiative has been launched in Pakistan on Monday. With the launch in a new Asian country, Pakistan has become the ninth country after India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Turkey (first country outside Asia) where Google's low-cost Android One smartphones will be sold.
Google has announced QMobile as its OEM partner for the Pakistan market. The newAndroid One phone - the QMobile A1 - will be available starting Monday via retail stores across Pakistan and is priced at PKR 11,500 (approximately Rs. 7,000).
Google has confirmed that the QMobile A1 smartphone will run Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. As for specifications, the smartphone will come with identical specifications as the Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1, and Spice Dream Uno. It will feature a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480x854 pixels) display; 1.3GHz quad-core processor; 1GB of RAM; 8GB of built-in storage; expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB); Dual SIM (Micro-SIM cards) support; 5-megapixel rear camera; 2-megapixel front camera, and 1700mAh battery. It measures 132x67.9x9.15mm.
Google last month expanded its Android One initiative to Myanmar launching theCherry Mobile One smartphone. The company tied up with Cherry Mobile as its OEM partner for the Myanmar market. Cherry Mobile was earlier also Google's Android One OEM partner for Philippines market.
In a blog post announcing the expansion of Android One to Pakistan, Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management at Google, said, "Like all Android One phones, the QMobile A1 combines high-quality hardware that's been tested by Google with the latest version of Android (Lollipop 5.1.1) and all of the features that come with it. Android One phones will also automatically receive updates to the latest version of Android soon after they are released."
Motorola has just announced that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the Moto X (2014) is currently rolling out on several U.S. carriers. Customers of Verizon, AT&T and U.S. Cellular can now access the update on their smartphones.
Last week, Motorola announced that the Moto X (2014) would be receiving an update to Android 5.1 Lollipop: "We are excited to announce a new software update for Moto X (2nd gen) by Motorola. This update brings Android 5.1 Lollipop to your phone along with other improvements. Android 5.1 Lollipop improves stability and provides better control over notifications."
Now, the company has confirmed that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update is currently rolling out in various stages on several top U.S. carriers. David Schuster, vice president of Product Sales and Operations at Motorola Mobile Devices Unit, has announced that the update is ready for customers of Verizon, AT&T and U.S. Cellular.
Schuster, who has acted as the defacto spokesperson for recent operating system updates on Motorola devices through his Google+ account, announced that the Android 5.1 Lollipop rollout for the Moto X (2014) on U.S. Cellular is now being fully deployed. The carrier published release notes for the update in May, and last week, Schuster confirmed the soak test for the device on the network, which was apparently successful enough to engage full deployment.
Schuster also announced that the previously announced soak test for the device on Verizon has been expanded, and Android 5.1 Lollipop is now available for open pull. "Open pull" means that users of the smartphone on the network can access the update manually via the settings menu.
A full soak test for the Moto X (2014) on AT&T was also announced to be deployed today, and then later, Schuster updated his notes to announce that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update on the network was also available for open pull.
The Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the Moto X (2014) will include fixes for various bugs and issues in addition to several performance improvements. The update will also include user device protection, which prevents anyone other than the owner signed in with their Google password, from using the device, even if the smartphone is factory reset.
PRINT A A A Just when you thought Game of Thrones didn’t need any more characters, pictures have emerged of more than 3,000 fans queuing in Spain for the chance of becoming an extra in the upcoming sixth series. According to reports, 3,500 fans turned up in Spanish cities Tudela and Girona to audition for a part as an extra. The cast of Game of Thrones is currently filming the sixth season in Spain, having previously filmed outside Seville where more than 550 extras took over the local bullring, which was used to represent a Daznak fighting pit in season five. The recent pictures of queues in north east Spain have prompted speculation that the large crowds may be needed for Daenerys Targaryen’s ongoing battles in the continent of Essos. According to the casting call, people who are thin with natural coloured hair were given priority. Only men with short or medium length hair were asked to apply, while women had to have long hair to stand a chance of success.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is all set to make a comeback into the whopping Smartphone Android market. According to specs, the BlackBerry Android phone buys a similar look of a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with its curved slides. BlackBerry was planning to build a phone in conjunction with Google’s Android software, earlier this year. But, this is considered to be company’s last move to make up for its catastrophic drop-in sales of BB10 touchscreen handsets.
Images of two BlackBerry smartphones running Android have leaked. One of the devices appears to be based off of the current Passport, and the "Venice" will feature a quad-HD display and slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
BlackBerry 10 was supposed to be the OS that would allow the former smartphone king to compete with Apple's iPhone and Google's Android handsets. The OS made its debut on the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, which were released in 2013, but the new smartphones and OS never took off with consumers and developers. In an effort to appeal to both groups, BlackBerry added support to run Android applications with the release of BB10.2.1. Now, the company is taking things one step further and is rumored to launch two new smartphones that will drop BB10 for Android.
We recently reported that BlackBerry is planning to release its first completely Android-based smartphone, and like previous devices, would include the company's iconic and much-loved physical QWERTY keyboard to the mix. The smartphone, which is codenamed Venice, is said to include a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and high-end specs that will allow it to compete with current flagship Android smartphones. It looks like we can expect two new BlackBerry smartphones that will run Android, thanks to a new report from a reliable tipster.
@evleaks has posted an image of what is reportedly the BlackBerry Venice, as seen above, and another image of what appears to be the BlackBerry Passport running Android. This is the first time we've heard about a second Android-based smartphone from BlackBerry, and you can clearly see the Passport's familiar keyboard and Android navigation buttons in his tweet.
The BlackBerry Venice image does not show its slide-out QWERTY keyboard but provides a look at the smartphone's home screen, Android navigation buttons and BlackBerry logo at the top of the device. He says that the Venice will be making its way to AT&T, and current reports suggest it will make its debut on the network in November.
The BlackBerry Venice is expected to feature a 5.4-inch 2560 by 1440 quad-HD display, 16 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front-facing camera and a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor.
As always, we'll keep you posted on any new information regarding the BlackBerry Venice and Android-based Passport.
HBO has announced that it is teaming up with McFarlane Toys for a series of character figurines and “construction” sets for the epic fantasy series , starting with the Iron Throne Room, which you can see here in all its glory…
'Game of Thrones' Cast: Could Season 6 Reveal Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister as Targaryens to Regain Iron Throne?
Weeks after the last episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ season five aired on HBO, the theory that Jon Snow could be a member of the Targaryen family continues to take the online fandom by storm.
Many fans have refused to believe that the Lord Commander has met a most brutal end, thereby emphasizing the possibility that he could “rise from the ashes” and follow in Daenerys’ Targaryen’s footsteps.
The theory explains that Snow might not be Ned Stark's illegitimate son, but rather the son of Ned's own sister Lyanna and Daenerys's older brother, Rhaega.
As made clear in the books, on her deathbed, Lyanna asks her brother Ned to promise her something, and fans have long since guessed that this could be a request to raise her son as his own.
Others also believe Tyrion Lannister could also come from the Targaryen family line.
Daenerys's father, widely known as the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen, particularly had a soft spot for Tyrion's mother, Joanna Lannister.
In the fifth book, ‘A Dance with Dragons,’ Daenerys learned that her father "took liberties" during the bedding ceremonies when Joanna exchanged wedding vows with Tyrion's father, Tywin.
Also, when Tyrion wields an arrow and shoots his father at the season four finale, Tywin says: "You are no son of mine."
Consequently, numerous fans believe that the former Hand of the King’s final retort could be suggestive of much more.
Jon and Tyrion might also be the other two dragon riders who are needed by Daenerys to regain the Iron Throne, as pointed out by a vision that the Mother of Dragons had in season three.
In the vision, she walks through three areas- a Dothraki tent that represents her, the Wall that could possibly represent Jon and the throne room at King's Landing that could possibly point towards Tyrion who became hand to King Joffrey.
Another probable connection that has been speculated is the Westerosi myth that "a dragon must be born of blood". Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion’s mothers are all known to have died upon giving birth to them.
Since Daenerys came out unharmed from her husband Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre, ‘Game of Thrones’ fans have been crossing their fingers that Kit Harington’s character might be given an opportunity to reappear during his own cremation if he really comes from the Targaryen family with a supernatural connection to fire.
For the sixth season of the HBO hit program, five directors will reportedly be working on the new series, three of whom– Jeremy Podeswa, Mark Mylod and Miguel Sapochnik- are ‘Game of Thrones’ veterans while the other two are newcomers.
These include Daniel Sackheim, who has previously worked on ‘The X-Files’, ‘Miami Vice’ and House,’ and Jack Bender, who is best known for his directorial duties for ‘Lost.’
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- With a wait of nearly a year before 'Game of Thrones' fans can satiate their addiction with new episodes (Season 6 premieres in April 2016), Westeros withdrawal is sure to set in at some point.
Thanks to USAopoly, Hasbro and HBO, 'Game of Thrones' fans can experience the battles and spoils of the Lanister, Stark, Targaryen and Baratheon families in a board game format. MONOPOLY: Game of Thrones Collector's Edition Game is now available at game and toy stores, and through store.hbo.com.
With the exception of the four corner panels (GO, Jail, Free Parking and Go to Jail), the entire board has been redesigned to reflect all things Westeros. The Chance and Community Chest cards are now 'Valar Morghulis' and 'The Iron Throne' cards. The money features the symbols of Essos and Westeros.
The classic Monopoly game tokens have been replaced with zinc-cast replicas of a White Walker, a Dragon Egg, a Three-Eyed Raven, The Iron Throne, a Crown and a Direwolf. Houses and hotels are Custom Villages and Keeps.
The Monopoly: Game of Thrones Collector's Edition Game is the latest in an ever-growing catalog of 'GoT' keepsakes.
NEWS ANALYSIS: The Windows 10 WiFi password sharing feature poses a potential risk, but it's manageable if you have implemented real wireless security.The expressions of alarm are all over the place. Suddenly people have discovered something called "WiFi Sense" that Microsoft is including in Windows 10 when it's released at the end of July.
Once the new version of Windows is released, this feature of Windows will have an impact on your wireless network security. So you will need to plan on how to handle it before it launches.
Microsoft's WiFi Sense is a means of sharing connection information between users. The original idea was to make connections between wireless hotspots quick and easy so that you don't have to fumble around with your wireless device every time you find yourself near a new source of WiFi.
To make this happen, Microsoft learns the log-in characteristics of WiFi access points, and it saves them. In addition, WiFi Sense can share those characteristics with your other Windows devices and, if you wish, your friends and contacts. The information it shares includes the WiFi password, which effectively opens up private WiFi to public use.
Before you hit the panic button, a little context and some background might be helpful. WiFi Sense isn't new. This feature was part of Windows Phone 8.1, but you likely never heard of it because almost nobody used that version of Windows Phone. The carriers that sold Windows phones mostly didn't upgrade them, so the proportion of phones with that feature was vanishingly small.
WiFi Sense also isn't unique in its capability to share wireless log-in information. Analyst Craig Mathias of Farpoint Group pointed out to me that Passpoint from the WiFi Alliance performs a similar task of sharing log-in information and automating the process of using access points. Passpoint is also not new.
What is new is that WiFi Sense will now be a standard part of the mainstream version of Windows, which unlike the previous edition is expected to be widely adopted. This means that there will be millions of users who have the ability to share their WiFi log-in information with all of their social media and address book contacts, likely without actually being aware that they're doing so. It's the lack of awareness that provides part of the risk.
The reason for the risk is that WiFi Sense also automatically accepts any terms and conditions presented by the WiFi access point. Normally this isn't a problem, since what you're agreeing to is that you won't do anything illegal. But suppose a WiFi site includes terms that say the site has the right to download your personal data? Sometimes it's a good idea to actually read all that legal boilerplate.
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