It feels like Lollipop just released. For many devices it has just released, and then there is still the 90% of Android devices that have still yet to receive the Lollipop update. With Google I/O right around the corner Android M rumors are already starting to spill out. Buzzfeed and Ars Technica are both reporting that fingerprint scanners could become supported hardware in stock Android. Motorola has said that the Nexus 6 was supposed to have a fingerprint scanner. It would be nice to see the next Nexus devices sporting fingerprint scanners. This is a feature that I have really become fond of in the Galaxy S6. There will probably be a preview build of Android M at Google I/O so I suppose we will see if it includes support for fingerprint scanners soon enough.
Not everyone is in to electronica music, but everyone can appreciate the latest Google and Skrillex collaboration. They have teamed up to make a limited edition "live case". The case will work with the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy Note 4. The cases feature a few custom designs based on Skrillex Album artwork. The live cases sync up to the Live Sync app which will showcase exclusive Skrillex content. The case is designed with a companion Live Wallpaper which gives you a live feed from Skrillex's satellite. During the day you get images of earth while at night you will get constellations which can be viewed from your current location. There is a shortcut button which gives you access to your favorite stuff. The button can be set to launch the camera app or whatever app you think you may need instant access to. These cases will be available in June, but pricing has yet to be specified.
Your phone is an incredibly personal device. More than likely it has some very personal and private info saved on it. You wouldn't want a friend, coworker or kid happening up on Emails, Text messages, videos, and photos that are for your eyes only. Lockscreens protect your device while it is laying around from those who would be nosey enough to snoop around and take a look while you are away.
There are those times when someone ask to use your phone to place a call, or maybe you hand them your phone to read an article you have pulled up. Your intention is for them to only do the task that you have agreed for them to do, but you can't stop them from opening up other apps and getting all up in your business. CyanogenMod has a nice little privacy feature built in called Folder locking. You can place all your private apps in a folder. When you open that folder you will see a padlock, clicking on the padlock will prompt you to make a swipe pattern, after setting up the pattern the folder will appear as a lock icon rather than a folder full of apps. You can have many app folders, and as long as your apps are in a locked folder you won't be able to find them in the app drawer. This is just one more reason to use a Rom like Cyanogen!
If you were looking for a new experience on your Home Screen then "Hexy Launcher" may be for you. Hexy Launcher makes your home screen a canvas of hexagonal tiles which adapt to how you use your apps. If you are a heavy app user you know how frustrating it can be to chose only a few of your favorite apps for your home screen. Folders help with that by allowing you to group apps in categories, but require an extra click to open the folder prior to launching the app.
Even if you have chosen what you consider to be your top used apps for your home screen you may still find yourself opening up your app drawer to find and open the one or two apps you forgot you use all the time. Hexy Launcher adapts and adjusts to the way you use your phone. Hexy learns from how you use your device and predicts which apps you will likely need and places those on the home screen for you. All the apps are arranged in a hexagonal grid. There is a central hexagon that contains the apps Hexy learns are most relevant to you. You can filter apps in your grid with a serach, and you can add widgets and resize them as needed.
This app was developed during one of Swiftkey's innovation weeks and is being released in Swiftkey greenhouse. This is not officially supported, but seems to be stable enough to use as a daily driver. Head to the link below to give this innovative launcher a try!
If you have purchased a device like the HTC One M9 or if you are planning to purchase the LG G4 you may be disappointed to learn that your device will not come with a fast charger which makes use of the Qualcomm's built in fast charging. The included fast charger that comes with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is a pretty great value. You can buy the official HTC fast charger from HTC, but it will set you back $35. There are several 3rd party chargers that you can purchase that will give you the same result.
Right now you can get the Aukey Quick Charger for only $11! I have used this charger and I can get a 45% charge in about 30 minutes. The stock HTC charger that comes with the HTC One m9 charges much slower. I was able to get about a 15% charge in the same 30 minutes with it. This deal is almost too good to pass up. The charger works with all devices that utilize the Qualcomm fast charging capabilities.
Lenovo had a good year. The Chinese manufacturer shipped 18.7 million devices in the 4th quarter of 2014 netting $2.8 billion in revenue. That figure includes Android tablets and TV's.
The Chinese company beat a lot of expectations, boasting a record setting revenue of $46.3 million, an increase in profit by 20% from the same period last year. They boasted a gross profit of $6.7 billion and an operating profit of $1.1 billion.
Lenovo shipped 76 million smartphones for the fiscal year allowing it to remain the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
It can frequently be a gold-mine to navigate the benchmark websites in search of future tech treasure. Today's example is a brand new Samsung tablet with some fascinating high-end specs. The device with the internal codename, CHOPIN-LTE, hit the Geekbench website with the following remarkable internals:
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Intel Atom x5-Z8500 (a a new chip based on the 14nm Cherry Trail platform - includes four cores clocked at 2.24GHz and 8th generation Intel graphics)
Not much else is revealed about the new platform from Sammy, but its Geekbench score is solid with 1005 points in the single-core test and 3425 points in the multi-core test. These scores are not really any better than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but since we don't know the resolution of the display it is a bit misleading.
We will keep an eye out to see if we find out anything more concrete on this device.
The Sony Xperia Z4 has already been announced for Japan and the rest of the world is waiting for Sony's next flagship. According to local media in Hong Kong, the company will host an event on May 28 and will be unveiling a few devices including the Xperia C4, Xperia Z4 tablet and a new flagship. Could it be the Xperia Z3+ or perhaps the Z4?
We really hope it's the Xperia Z4. It’s possible Sony is simply expanding its current lineup into China, and the company apparently has a similar event set for earlier next week in India. Hopefully it’s not too long before the U.S. market gets some attention as well.
Here's an off topic story to brighten up your slow news Thursday!
Michael Bay's Transformer movies are nothing if not a vehicle to show off copious amounts of mass destruction in a safety sandbox environment. The clever comedians at Funny or Die decided to take that fact to the extreme by mashing up the Transformer movies with scenes from some fan favorite classic movies and the result is hilarious! Enjoy!
Several times throughout the years, we have written numerous articles describing HTC's situation as "grim," yet every time before, the company has found its footing and had a resurgence which seemed to put them back in the fight. The latest news puts HTC back in a dark place again.
This time, it turns out that sales of the HTC One M9 have hit a slump which is so heavy, the company will likely have to reduce its component orders by as much as 30%. From a business perspective, this is terrible news because it starts a downward spiral that will be tough for the company to pull out of.
Once your sales have dropped enough that you have to renegotiate your supply chain parts orders, that can hurt your relationship with your vendors. Once they lose confidence in you, they will be more apt to take their business to your competitors, which also hurts your future product line. It could potentially lead to a "death spiral" for HTC.
When you couple that with even more competition in the lucrative Chinese markets, it will require something really big from HTC to get them back into a competitive position.