5 years ago

Survey says Android claims 48% of U.S. tablet market share


A recent study by Pew examined how folks are using tablets and other mobile tech in the U.S., and revealed that 22% of American adults have a tablet, and of the tablets out there, Android powers 48% of them. Not bad considering Apple dominated the space last year with 81%. Other sources estimated that around this time last year, Android had 27% of the tablet space.The whole tablet space is set to continue growing, with 23% of those without a tablet responding that they were planning on getting one in the next six months.

About half of the Android tablets being used were Kindle Fires, which have earned a ton of popularity thanks primarily to their affordability. The survey further goes into detail about how tablet and smartphone adoption are increasing the consumption of news content, and that browser content (versus apps) is on the rise. 

There's a lot of interesting data in this survey, so definitely check it out at the link below. How do you guys consume news on your Android tablet? Do you even have one? What's holding you back from picking up a tablet? 

Source: Journalism.org

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5 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Colors


Photo taken with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, watermelon and beer consumed by a neckbeard.

We're back with another Android Central weekly photo contest, and this time we're all about the colors. Look around while you're doing the normal things you do in a day (like grocery shopping for example) and notice how color plays an important role in what catches our eye. Whether they are bright and gaudy, or sublime and relaxing, colors are everywhere.

Think of this one as a free-form contest, one where we're not looking for any particular subject. Just one that captures color in a way you like. Get creative with the color settings, or just shoot what the lens sees -- it's your call. We just wanna enjoy looking at them while you do all the thinking.

There will be prizes! This week we'll pick the best five, and each winner will get a blind-box Android series 3 mini-collectible! These puppies are already sold out, so this is a great way to get your hands on one.

Entering is easy, just get your picture and head into the Android contest forums and post it for the world to see. We'll have a look next Monday and pick the winners. Good luck!

Enter this weeks photo contest

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5 years ago

Motorola drops ITC complaint against Apple


In August, Motorola was seeking an import ban of the iPad and iPhone from the International Trade Commission due to patent infringement, but today Motorola has dropped the case. Since the seven non-standard-essential patents in question were never undisclosed, it's hard to say why exactly Motorola backed off. Motorola's statement clearly laid out that no out-of-court settlement was made, either. 

It's entirely possible that Motorola found they didn't have a strong case, or they needed to prepare more documents in order to properly sue Apple, or there were some other outside forces at play that we just plum don't know about. Conversely, Samsung has started its legal counterattack on Apple today, so the tension between Android and iOS isn't likely to let up, even if for whatever reason Google wanted to lay off legally antagonizing Apple. 

So, let's open up the floor to wild speculation as to why Motorola launched the complaint in the first place, and what could have made them retract from proceedings so close to an official investigation. 

Via: FOSS Patents

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5 years ago

The OS on the Nikon Coolpix S800c - it's Android, and that's both good and bad


Nikon's new camera is proof that the standard Android experience shouldn't be on everything

This is where things could have been different. This is where Nikon could have taken a traditional point-and-shoot camera and made it something special with the Coolpix S800c.

Instead, we have exactly what I feared -- a traditional point-and-shoot camera with Android slapped on top of it.

The vast majority of folks out there will lament the fact that it's running Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread -- a version of Android that's closing in on two years old.

But even that's not what bothers us. 

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5 years ago

MetroPCS confirms they're talking to T-Mobile about merging


Following a flurry of rumors, MetroPCS has come right out and confirmed that yes, they're talking with Deutsche Telekom about merging with T-Mobile USA, but nothing definitive has been reached. Here's their brief statement. 

"MetroPCS today confirmed that it is in discussions with Deutsche Telekom regarding an agreement to combine T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.  There can be no assurances that any transaction will result from these discussions, and the Company does not intend to comment further unless and until an agreement is reached."

So, a small regional carrier stands to get snatched up by the smallest of the major carriers. Annexing MetroPCS coverage and getting their customers would certainly help T-Mobile duke it out with Sprint for third place. It strikes me that it would be a bit of a pain switching over the MetroPCS network and device roster to be AWS-compatible, but on the other hand, it would give T-Mobile a much-needed dosage of LTE. 

In any case, it's still too early to take any of the ramifications too seriously, but there are still lots of entertaining hypothetical questions worth asking. Who would benefit most from this kind of acquisition, T-Mo customers, or MetroPCS?  MetroPCS customers would have to deal with more traffic than they're used to on their network, but there would be a much wider network available to them. Is this acquisition a good investment for T-Mobile? 

Source: PR Newswire

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5 years ago

Samsung claims 25.7 percent U.S. mobile market share, Android 52.6 percent of smartphone OS share


comScore published the survey results of their study of the American mobile landscape in the three months leading up to August, and found that Samsung is still the king of the heap with 25.7% share, while Android was also on top of all smartphone operating systems with 52.6%. By comparison, LG has 18.2%, Apple 17.1%, Motorola 11.2%, and HTC 6.3%. iOS has 34.3% of smartphone platform share, followed by 8.3% BlackBerry, 3.6% Windows Phone/Windows Mobile, and 0.7% Symbian. The survey spanned a respectable sample size of 30,000 consumers, so these numbers should give at least a reasonable ballpark of the current state of affairs.

So, yay, Android on top, as ever. Even LG is beating out Apple's market share, but I'd be curious to see if iOS makes up a bit of ground following the iPhone 5 launch. Also, it would be interesting to see how these numbers stack up against major international markets, such as Europe and China.  

Do you guys find the manufacturer and platform split shown by comScore here lines up with what you see around you? Among your friends, what's the most popular mobile platform? 

Source: comScore

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5 years ago

TELUS confirms HTC One X+ is coming to Canada


TELUS has just confirmed with us that they'll be offering the HTC One X+, though they remained skittish on pricing or timing details. They acknowledged the launch would be happening in the fall, though it's unclear if they were simply referring to when the device would be making its inaugural debut in Europe. 

In any case, have you seen this thing? Sure, it's not a major leap from the original One X, but that predecessor was already really great, and it's looking like it will raise the bar even further. The One X Plus will  boast a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, keep the same 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display, and has an 8 megapixel camera on the back. Best of all, the One X+ is packing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. 

I'm still waiting to hear back from Rogers or Bell to see if either one will be offering the One X+ as well or if they'll pick up the One VX. Update: Two big fat "no comment" replies from Bell and Rogers. 

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5 years ago

Kid-friendly MEEP! Android tablet goes on sale


Oregon Scientific has just launched a a kid-friendly Android tablet, now on sale for a scant $149.99. Though it might have modest specs, the MEEP! tablet includes a whole range of parental controls through a web-based interface and kid-friendly apps, e-books, and games suitable for anyone 6 years old and up. It also comes with a silicone sleeve to help soak up the inevitable punishment your kids will lay into this thing. There's also a whole range of tailor-made accessories to go along with it, like a game pad, headphones, case, and a bunch of instruments for music games. Here are the specs, but don't expect too much.

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1 GHz processor 512 MB of RAM
  • 7-inch 800 x 480 display
  • 4 GB of internal storage plus microSD card slot
  • 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • HDMI-out

The affordability and relatively low-end specs make this tablet at least somewhat disposable, which strikes me as important for something that kids are likely to break or forget somewhere. 

Parents, if you're interested in giving your kids their own device so they don't keep reaching for yours, you can pick up a MEEP! tablet from over here. How connected are your kids? When would you say is a good age to get a kid their own Android device? How about smartphone?

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5 years ago

HTC shares some One X+ design sketches


Now that the One X+ is good and official, HTC has posted a short walk-through of some of their thinking behind the design of their latest smartphone. There's not much said that isn't told through the sketches they've posted, other than obvious stuff like they were aiming to "create a smartphone you wanted to hold and use everyday". HTC does hint, however,that they're going to produce a longer series about the design process, which would be pretty nice. They did up an excellent video for the launch of their latest Windows Phone, and some similar content for Android devices would be great.

For those of you just tuning in, the HTC One X+ is a shaping up to be a great new Android handset hitting Europe this month. 

  • 1.7 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2100mAh battery
  • 64GB of internal storage in the UK, other markets may vary
  • 4.7-inch laminated SuperLCD2 display at 720p (1280x720) resolution with Gorllla Glass 2
  • Internal speaker with built-in amplifier
  • 8.0MP rear camera with BSI sensor, f/2.0 lens and HTC ImageSense
  • 1.6MP front-facing camera with HTC ImageSense
  • HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity in Europe, LTE connectivity in the U.S.
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC support
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS with HTC Sense 4+
  • Size: 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 135 grams with battery

What would you guys like to see in future HTC behind-the-scenes content? Personally, I think it would be really interesting to see some scrapped prototypes and hear from the designers and product managers why the kept certain aspects but ditched others. 

Source: HTC Blog

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5 years ago

FBI investigating secondary Android apps stores, Google warns developers


Google's legal team has recently blasted out e-mails to registered developers regarding a subpeona issued by the FBI. Apparently this has something to do with an investigation regarding apps showing up in places where developers haven't provided consent. Here's the full e-mail from Google. 


Google has received a subpoena seeking information related to Android applications that may have been made available on alternative markets without the consent of the developer. The subpoena seeks information about those Android applications, including contact information for the developers of the applications. Our records show that your Android developer account will be included in the information Google will provide in response to this subpoena.

Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice or discuss the substance of the process in our possession. For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation — Atlanta Field Office at (404) 679-9000, reference #2011R00320/FBI/ORKIN.


Google Legal Investigations Support

Apparently a representative at the Atlanta Field Office said Google jumped the gun on shooting out this e-mail, and that developers will only be contacted if they're the victim of app piracy. It's entirely likely that this whole thing has more to do with the Aliyun/Acer mess, though the specifics of the investigation haven't been made available. 

I suppose it's good that Google's giving developers a heads-up that the FBI might be contacting them, but I can't help but think that this e-mail is just going to freak most of them out. Any developers here seriously concerned about their apps showing up in the Aliyun app marketplace without their consent? What about app piracy in general?

Via Android-Discuss group

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5 years ago

Skype, on the Nikon Coolpix S800c


Look, the Nikon Coolpix S800c runs Android, so it's not all that strange for us to put the Skype app on the ... camera ... and give it a go. The speaker leaves a lot to be desired, and don't even think about doing a video call. But still. How cool is this?

But be warned: You will look a little funny walking down the street with a camera to your ear.

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5 years ago

AT&T announces the HTC One X+; Nvidia quad-core meets LTE


AT&T and HTC have finally brought quad-core processors and LTE together in the U.S., with the unveiling of the HTC One X+. Take everything you know about the current AT&T One X (and we know quite a lot), and beef it up a notch for a refresh that's just about nice enough to make most people with the current One X a little green, but not quite enough for a new model name -- hence the One X+.

The specs are the same as the international version coming to Europe, namely a 1.7GHz Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, 64GB of internal storage, and a larger 2100mAh battery. You'll still have the great HTC camera and best-in-class LCD2 display, making the One X+ one for the best-of short list.

On the software side the One X+ will roll out of the gates with Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4+, which brings new functionality to the camera, a new and improved gallery, and a unique Tap and Go function when paired with Beats speakers.

There's no word on pricing and availability just yet, only the ever-present "soon."  All in all it looks like a device that's bound to please quite a few, and one we're excited to get to know a little better. 

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5 years ago

Quick screen comparison: Galaxy Note 2 versus Galaxy S3


Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 ushers in the post-PenTile era

In the past, most SuperAMOLED smartphone screens have used a "PenTile" matrix pattern for the subpixels that make up each dot on the display. This pattern of tiny LEDs in an RGBG (red, green, blue, green) layout can improve battery life compared to regular RGB, but may also be prone to discolored whites and jagged edges in text and other UI elements. The difference isn't always pronounced -- the Galaxy S3, for example, has one of the better-looking PenTile displays we've tested. However, in the past it's been a compromise you've had to deal with if you want a Samsung phone with a bright, high-contrast SuperAMOLED screen.

The Galaxy Note 2 is a bit different. Samsung's latest 5.5-inch monster phone makes a clean break from the PenTile past, introducing in an HD SuperAMOLED display with a more traditional RGB subpixel arrangement (the kind used in most LCD displays). That results in more subpixels making up each individual pixel, and in a more regular pattern. And that means there's less discoloration and sharper lines on-screen.

Interestingly, the Note 2's RGB subpixel arrangement isn't quite a standard RGB stripe -- it's got a red and green subpixel stacked on top of each other, with a larger (but darker) blue subpixel to the left. There's been some speculation that this setup allows for extra longevity, as blue AMOLEDs tend to burn out more quickly than other colors -- and so a larger, darker blue subpixel would last longer. We've yet to see any official confirmation of this theory, but at the very least, the larger blue subpixel doesn't seem to adversely affect color balance on the Note 2.

We've included an example of two icons above to show some of the differences. On the Galaxy S3 there are noticeably fewer subpixels making up the image, and some noticeable greenish-blue discoloration. The RGB-toting Note 2 produces a much sharper, more natural image. For a more detailed view, click the image above for an expanded view.

Needless to say our time with the Galaxy Note 2 has us excited for the future of AMOLED displays. If you find yourself anywhere near a Note 2 in-store demo unit anytime soon, you'll definitely want to check it out for yourself.

More: SLCD, SAMOLED, PenTile, RGB - Does it matter?

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5 years ago

Best of both worlds? The AT&T HTC One VX


Is it an improved One V in the One S body? Or a toned-down One S? Don't overthink it - AT&T's added a few tricks you'll want to check out either way

Hot on the heels of the global announcement (and AT&T's as well) of the HTC One X+ comes the HTC One VX, also for AT&T. This one's going to take a little explaining, so settle in.

First off, it looks a great deal like the HTC One S we've been enjoying for the past seven months or so. (For you Europeans out there, it'll probably be more akin to the Desire X we saw in late August.) It's been tweaked a little out front, mainly with an earpiece akin to what's on the One V. The rear's also moved to more of a unibody design, though like the One S, you won't be taking the battery out of this thing. The display has changed somewhat as well, moving up to a 4.5-inch (from 4.3 inches) Super LCD 2 at qHD resolution, or 540x960.

Under the hood is where things start to get really interesting. The One VX has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8390) processor, so that's a slightly lower clock speed than the HTC One S, but faster (and a better platform) than the One V. It's got 8 gigabytes of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM. 

And here's the kicker: HTC's managed to squeeze in a microSD card. And NFC. And a bigger battery -- 1810 mAh, up from the 1650 mAh on the One S. Plus, it's got AT&T's 4G LTE, HSPA+ and other cell bands you might need, along with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wifi. Want FM radio? It's there, too.

See also: HTC One VX specs

And we haven't even mentioned the camera yet. The One VX has a 5-megapixel rear shooter. That's a lower resolution than the 8MP camera on the One S. But it's still go the f/2.0, 28mm lens. It's also got backside illumination (BSI) and does video in 1080p. The phone's also got a VGA front-facing camera, and the whole thing is controlled by HTC's ImageSense processor.

The whole package is a tad bigger (in all dimensions) than the One S, but not by more than a couple millimeters.

Let's talk software: The One VX is launching with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, same as for the One X and One S. Along with that, it'll get the update to Sense 4+, which brings a tightened user interface along with new camera modes, including Auto Portrait and Sightseeing, which speeds the shooting process by bypassing the lockscreen. There also will be new ways to view pictures and videos in the gallery.

What we don't have -- and unfortunately this is par for the course these days -- is a launch date or pricing. Stay tuned for that.

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5 years ago

AT&T HTC One VX image gallery


Here's a slightly ridiculously large gallery of images of the HTC One VX, announced for AT&T:

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