Dec 18, 2013 - 11:51 AM - by dgstorm
Hot on the heels of our Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor round-up, we have a brand new bit of intel for the flagship. Supposedly, a new Samsung device with the model name SM-G900A is being tested right now by AT&T. Additionally, this new Sammy handset is a QHD resolution device, which would line-up with previous rumors suggesting the SGS5 would be launched with a 2K display. Finally, this model name also seems to correspond closely with some of the previously rumored model names for the SGS5: SM-G900F and SM-G900S.
You can see from the screencap of the @evleaks Tweet above that he suspects this device to be the SGS5. What do you guys think?
Dec 18, 2013 - 11:29 AM - by dgstorm
For folks who have a huge Kindle collection, but prefer a fully fleshed out Android device, the Kindle App is very handy. Amazon has taken things a step further with a new update which makes it even handier than before. The new update includes several fixes and enhancements, but the best thing they did was add a cool new feature called "Collections." This new feature allows users to better organize their Kindle book collections. You can can organize your books into groups and even name your Collection. Additionally, you can add any book you want to the Collection and add any book to as many Collections as you desire. This new Collections feature is even synced across all of the devices you login through.
The update also happens to include a few other handy little features. You can now rate a book after you finish it and there are some accessibility improvements for Talkback and Explore by Touch. If you haven't seen the Kindle App before, here's a description taken from the Google Play Store:
... [Read More]
The Kindle app puts over a million books at your fingertips. It’s the app for every reader, whether you’re a book reader, magazine reader, or newspaper reader—and you don’t need to own a Kindle to use it. Choose from over a million Kindle books from the Kindle Store or enjoy popular magazines like The Economist and Reader’s Digest with high-resolution color images.*
• Read Free Books—Choose from thousands of free ebooks such as Pride & Prejudice or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
• Shop for Books—Easily shop for ebooks, including new releases and New York Times Best Sellers.
• Use the Built-In Dictionary, Google, and Wikipedia—The Kindle app has a built-in dictionary that allows you to look up words instantly while you’re reading your ebooks. Simply tap and hold a word to view its definition or use the Google and Wikipedia links to get more information.
• Sync Your eBooks—The Kindle app lets you read the same book across devices and automatically syncs where you left off so you can start reading on one device and pick up where you left off on another device. The app syncs your furthest page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights between Android, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 8, and any of our Kindle devices using our Whispersync technology.
• Sample Books Before You Buy—Read the first chapter of a book for free before you decide to buy.
• Customize Your Reading—Choose your preferred font size, screen brightness, background color, and orientation (portrait or landscape) to read your books.
• Borrow eBooks from the Library—Check out ebooks from
Dec 18, 2013 - 10:56 AM - by dgstorm
Folks in Great Britain have a shiny new Christmas toy to put under the tree. The gold version of the HTC One is now available in the UK. To be clear, this isn't the actual 24-carat gold version from the Boutique dealer. This is simply the gold-colored version straight from HTC, but for HTC fans looking for a little bling in their smartphone, it fits the bill at a reasonable price.
The gold version of the HTC One can be found at the UK retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. It is available on contract and not SIM-free, so you will need to sign a new contract with a carrier to get it. Sound off if this is something you've been hoping for.
Dec 18, 2013 - 10:44 AM - by dgstorm
Although the merits of having a 2K resolution on a smartphone could easily be argued, that isn't going to stop manufacturers from making them. There's nowhere else that display tech can go but to higher resolution and increased PPI. It may not really enhance the user experience on such small displays, but it definitely will enhance the marketing chops for the OEMs. The first manufacturer to grab a feather in their had by introducing a consumer level smartphone with a 2K (2560 x 1440) resolution smartphone is the Chinese manufacturer Vivo.
Just this morning the company announced the Vivo Xplay 3S, which will be launching in Chinese markets in early 2014. The hi-res display isn't the only thing that makes this superphone standout though. Here's a breakdown of its high-end specs:
- 6-inch 2K (2560 x 1440) resolution 490 PPI display
- Snapdragon 800 (8974AB) 2.3 GHz processor
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB of internal storage
- 13MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 3,200mAh battery
- DTS sound
- Fingerprint sensor on the back of the device
It is highly unlikely this device will ever come to the United States or even Europe, but we will be one of the first to let you know if that changes. Is this a phone which would intrigue you if it came to your part of the world?
Dec 18, 2013 - 10:19 AM - by dgstorm
The above is simply a Samsung Galaxy S5 fan concept render.
We have already shared quite a few rumors regarding Samsung's next generation Galaxy S5 flagship. We thought it would be useful to do a quick rumor round-up of everything we know so far. Plus, we have a couple more new rumors to share with you, so check those out after the bullet-point list: (Remember, these are all just rumors at this point. Some of them seem very likely, while other seem like wishful thinking. Also, these rumors listed below are in their entirety. Some of them definitely contradict each other.)
- The SGS5 will have a metal case.
- The SGS5 will only have a plastic case.
- The SGS5 will have at least two versions. One will be a more premium device with a metal case, and the other will have a plastic case.
- The SGS5 will have a quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) 2K display.
- The SGS5 will have a new 64-bit eight-core Exynos processor or a quad-core Snapdragon processor depending on the model.
- The SGS5 will have a 16-megapixel camera with improved low-light photo quality technology.
- The SGS5 will have 3GB of RAM (maybe even 4GB for the 64-bit Exynos version).
- The SGS5 will have a 4,000 mAh battery.
- The SGS5 will come stock with Android 4.4 KitKat.
So, the newest two rumors we have heard coming down the pike are the following:
- The SGS5 will include an integrated iris scanner to "trump" the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone.
- The SGS5 will not come in simply a plastic or metal case, but instead Samsung is looking to develop the phone with a diamond-like patterned coating that would be applied to either a metal or a plastic surface. Supposedly, the process exposes carbon to high pressure and temperature which converts it to a liquid or powder. This material is then used as a coating which can go on either a metal or a plastic surface.
To be honest, the iris scanner seems unlikely. It's hard to believe this technology has progressed far enough to be mass produceable in a consumer market. A smartphone with an iris scanner would likely be more expensive than the average customer could afford. The diamond-patterned coating is feasible however. We have seen these types of exotic materials before. As always, we will keep an eye on things and let you know when something more concrete is announced. We suspect sometime in the first quarter of next year Samsung will hold a press event for the Galaxy S5.
Source of new rumors: ... [Read More]
Dec 17, 2013 - 4:08 PM - by dgstorm
For a couple of weeks now we have heard several pieces of intel regarding the wood themed backing which is supposedly coming to the Moto X. We can now report that the first of these has arrived. The Bamboo optional backplate for the Moto X is now available on the MotoMaker website. There is one negative to this new feature from Motorola. The Bamboo backside will cost users an extra Benjamin. The new option is quite appealing, but we will leave it up to you guys to decide if it is worth $100 bucks more. There is one other intriguing thing to report which might factor in on how you judge this. According to Motorola themselves, this is not a faux wood plastic or laminate product. It is actually real wood, so no two will ever be 100% alike.
Apparently it is also a very limited edition and is in very limited quantities because it is already delayed shipping until January. There's no word yet on when/if any of the other wooden themed backs will start showing up, nor what price premium they might sport. We will keep an eye on this and let you know more details when they arrive. Below is a link to the MotoMaker website in case you have been waiting to get this. What do you think of this radical new look for a smartphone?
Dec 17, 2013 - 12:12 PM - by dgstorm
We know that headline is what drew your attention, so we are going to jump straight to the number you want to read: $4.6 Billion dollars (4.89 trillion won). That's the astounding sum that Samsung spent on advertising and promotions throughout the globe last year for all of their products. Compare this to last year when they spent $2.2 billion, (2.37 trillion won), which was already a titanic sum, and you can see the massive marketing power Samsung is leveraging across our little planet.
There are some interesting figures hidden within these numbers. First, much of these numbers have been shifted around a bit. Samsung actually spent more money on sales promotions like rebates, coupons and other incentives, this time than it did on straight advertising. This shifts the savings directly to the consumer, which is something to be appreciative about. Here's a quote with more of the details,
These figures also offer up a stark vision of just how tough it is for any of Samsung's competition to get ahead against them. Just like the person with the most chips at the Poker table, Samsung can afford to drive the direction of the entire game. Even if you are a fan of Samsung, it's not hard to see that this isn't necessarily a good thing. Competition is ultimately important for the market to thrive. What do you think it will take for anyone else to gain market traction against this behemoth?
For just the two first quarters of 2013, Samsung Electronics spent a whopping 934 billion won ($888 million) on sales promotions, up 38.7% from a year earlier, and another 1.71 trillion won ($661 million, down 60%) on advertising in its home country of South Korea alone.
Dec 17, 2013 - 11:53 AM - by dgstorm
If the latest rumor for Samsung is accurate, then it looks like the Korean OEM is planning on doubling down on Android tablets next year. According to the latest intel, Samsung plans to release four new Android tablets in the first quarter of 2014. No specific details have been shared regarding most of these tablets, but we are pretty sure that one of the first devices out of the gates will be the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite.
There is also solid intel that Samsung might launch a 12.2-inch version of its Galaxy Note tablet. The wildest speculation even suggests a 13.3-inch Samsung tablet that will dual-boot between both Android and Windows. Hmmm... would that make it a "Wandroid" or an "Andows" tablet? Regardless, Android tablets have still had an uphill battle unseating the iPad line from its throne, despite solid growth. It would appear that Samsung is attempting to change that and wants to duplicate their success with smartphones. What do you think their chances are?
Dec 17, 2013 - 11:11 AM - by dgstorm
The latest Nielsen ratings has an interesting list regarding smartphone apps this year. According to their findings between January 2013 to October 2013, five of the top ten smartphone apps where all Google products/services. Facebook, unsurprisingly had the number one app with over 100+ Million users, but numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 were all Google apps including Google Search, Google Play, Youtube, Google Maps and Gmail, in that order.
There were some other perhaps more surprising details from this study. Both Instagram and Apple Maps have risen dramatically and are now included in spots 7 and 8 of this list. Some additional facts gleaned from this study indicate that smartphone penetration rose to 65% of mobile subscribers in America by October 2013. This was only at 56% at the beginning of the year. Additionally, Android now accounts for 52% of the smartphone market in the U.S. while iOS accounts for 41%.
Also, on a separate list from Nielsen, Google is the top web brand, edging out Facebook by 30 Million users. Yahoo is in third, and MSN/WindowsLive/Bing is a close fourth.
For more data, check out the source link below. In the mean-time share which of these apps you use the most?
Dec 17, 2013 - 10:40 AM - by dgstorm
For folks on AT&T who were hoping to use their Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, your wish has been granted. An Android 4.3 OTA update has started rolling out that not only offers the newer features of Jelly Bean, it also includes support for the Galaxy Gear. Here's a quick changelog with the details,
Sound off when you start getting your rollout.
Samsung Galaxy Gear compatibility
Additional Premium Suite Features:
- Group Play 2.5
- Multi-Window (Note 3 Version)
- Camera – Shot & Sound
- Group Messaging
- Samsung Link (Preload)
- New Easy Mode
- Samsung Apps
There are plenty of custom launchers on the Play Store. These are great because they can take away the OEM skin overlay and can really clean up your device. Mobo Live is a launcher for Android that you may know as the 91 launcher. It has recently seen a major overhaul including its name change. You will find a distinctive new layout, stunning wallpapers, and themes, handy widgets, an overall smoother experience, and more practical functions. You can download and manage themes with Mobo Robo from your PC.
Mobo Live has a large features list. Some features include Infinite scroll between screens, customizable icons and labels for shortcuts and folders, hide apps from drawer, plenty of fancy transition effects, lots of stunning wallpapers and themes, a large range of useful widgets, quick access to the most frequently and recently used apps, lock desktop from accidental changes, backup and restore personal apps and data, import icons from other launchers, unread count badges for missed calls and sms. Check it out for free from the link below.
Via Play Store
Drawing Tube is the app for Android that brings drawing tutorials and guides right to your fingertips for all sorts of drawing styles. The artist that I know spend hours trying to perfect their skills. This app allows you to quickly access every video on youtube about drawing. The interface is clean making this app super easy to navigate. The app allows you to view the videos you need to view quickly with minimal buffering. You can watch videos with or without an internet connection. You can use this app to watch Anime or drawing guides on your TV using Airplay or HDMI out. Anime videos update daily and can be viewed over 3g or 4g. Videos are in HD and supports landscape or portrait modes. Full screen is automatically enabled as soon as you rotate your device. Head to the Play link below for the download.
Via Play Store
If you are ready for a taste of Kit Kat on your Verizon LG G2 today is your lucky day! Developer "rhcp011235" has put together a fully working build of Cyanogen Mod 11 for the LG G2 on Verizon. While this build is a work in progress there have been no bugs found as of yet. This is based on 4.4.1 Kit Kat AOSP vanilla Stock Android. Of course this does include new features of CM11 like the new boot animation, screencast app, whisperpush and all of the other customizations that you have come to know and love from Cyanogen Mod. CM11 also includes plenty of speed and performance enhancing tweaks. You will notice that all of the VZW and LG bloatware have been removed and the LG launcher has been replaced with the new Kit Kat Launcher. It should be noted that you must be running CWM recovery 188.8.131.52 or the new TWRP from Techerrata Downloads or newer. If you are flashing from an LG based rom including the stock rom you will need to first wipe data and cache. Head to the link below for more info.
Download and discuss
ZDBox is the all in one toolbox that will help you optimize your Android device for ultimate performance. It gets a 5 star rating on xda developers and has 20,000,000 users if that tells you anything. The app contains many useful tools and includes a an easy to use user interface. Some features of this app include "Anyshare" (no flow consumption between devices that is 60 times faster than bluetooth and needs no outside network, "QuickSwitches" Toggles like cache cleaner, task killer, screen sleep, powersave and 14 other toggles, "widgets" many useful widgets like screen always on, kill all task, wifi on/off and more, "battery info" monitors and shows information about your phone's battery, "traffic coutner" monthly and daily mobile data usage, "Do Not Disturb" set days and hours you need privacy and you won't be disturbed, "App lock" protect apps with a password pattern, "task killer" kill all apps at once, define protected apps that won't be killed, with Root you can choose which startup apps to kill on phone boot, "history eraser" clean browser history, market search history, map search history, clipboard history, email search history, "Uninstaller" shows you available memory and allows you to uninstall apps one by one or in a batch, and more. As if this weren't enough more features are coming soon.
Coming features include "find your phone", "remains file cleaner", "file encryption", and "ad blocker". All of this for the low price of FREE!
Grab the app here
Dec 16, 2013 - 11:45 AM - by dgstorm
For the DIYers out there who own the Nexus 5 from LG, you might be intrigued by the above video. The video shows a tear-down of the popular Google flagship smartphone. This video comes courtesy of eTradeSupply. These folks are possibly not quite as famous as the iFixit team, but they are still one of the top sites to offer this type of disassembly-style coverage of our favorite mobile tech.
Not only does this video showcase the full tear-down of the device, it also reveals how to replace the screen yourself should it become damaged, and details a few other repairs as well. The video even covers the differences between the D820 and D821 versions of the superphone. How many of you guys would attempt a repair like this?
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