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HTC M7 Could be the Company’s New Flagship Slated for a Q1 2013 Release

HTC Logo (Thumb)

The HTC One X was the company’s flagship early this year when it was announced at the MWC in Barcelona. It was also one of the first smartphones in the market to feature a quad core CPU based on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset. What’s interesting about the device is that it featured a very unique body construction, one which is highly regarded even today and is considered one of the better looking smartphones out there.

However, much like last year, the One X had to go down fighting to the newly announced Samsung flagship. The Galaxy S III this time took most of HTC’s sales away when the device was announced in May. And it seems like HTC wants to take that trend into the coming year too with rumors suggesting that the Taiwanese maker is prepping the launch of a new flagship for Q1 next year. The alleged new flagship is currently known as the M7 and could well be what we’re expecting from the company (a global variant of the Verizon Droid DNA). HTC apparently wants to launch the device ahead of the purported Samsung Galaxy S IV launch, so this is no different from what we’re used to seeing since the last couple of years.

We have some specs to go with the yet to be announced M7. As expected, it is believed to sport a 5-inch display, perhaps the 1080p Super LCD 3 we saw on the J Butterfly and the Droid DNA. This rumored flagship is also believed to sport a 13MP camera sensor, which should set a new industry standard, although Sony is already there with the Xperia S (and HTC too with the Titan II). The chipset on board is said to be the quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro (the same as the one on the LG Nexus 4), so we can expect good performance on board. The Droid DNA is said to have a decent battery back-up with its meager 2,020 mAh battery pack, despite sporting a powerhouse 1080p display with 441ppi, so we believe the Sense UI and the Snapdragon S4 Pro has something to do with it.

Going by that, it wouldn’t be wrong to see HTC install a battery of similar capacity in the M7. The report suggests that this one here will have a LTE chip inside too, although it shouldn’t matter much outside the U.S. Expectedly, the M7 will apparently follow in the footsteps of the One X and the rest of the HTC flagships when it comes to build quality and materials used in its making, so expect no less this time around. As with any rumored device, it is advised to take this one too with a pinch of salt. However, in the current scenario, HTC would want to grab some of that marketshare back as quickly as possible, so a launch should certainly be on the cards.

Q1 2013 is the rumored launch date, which strongly points towards a MWC 2013 announcement. The MWC 2013 is scheduled to take place in Barcelona beginning from the 25th of February till the 28th. So there’s still a good two months left for the announcement. Let’s see if HTC takes the cake this time.

Source: Focus Taiwan and INPAI
Via: Phone Arena

HTC To Launch First Tegra 4 Device?

tegra-4

NVIDIA which is renowned for its GPUs, stepped into the mobile SoC arena with the Tegra series, most notably the Tegra 2 on the LG Optimus 2X. Then came the Tegra 3, which was a quad core chipset featuring improved graphics and better performance. HTC and LG launched smartphones running on the said chipset, although HTC saw more success all thanks to the features bundled with it. When it comes to Android, it’s the OEM customization that can make or break a smartphone and HTC was the winner, albeit not for long. And now, we have reports coming that the next generation NVIDIA Tegra 4 chipset could be first seen on an HTC device much like with the predecessor.

We already know about the rumored HTC M7, which is said to be the next big thing in the world of Android. But that is reported to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chip and not the Tegra 4. Could that rumor be false? There’s no way to know but it seems very likely that HTC would go with something like a Tegra 4 over a Snapdragon S4 Pro, as having new technology in a smartphone does have its perks. The Tegra 4 which is also known as the Wayne is scheduled for a Q1 2013 release, which is when HTC is believed to launch the new flagship. Let’s see if that’s what HTC has in mind.

The new Tegra 4 chip is believed to be twice as fast as the Tegra 3, which is obvious. It will apparently have the same 4+1 architecture as the Tegra 3, but it’s the end performance that is believed to be substantially better. The clockspeed apparently will be bumped to 1.8 GHz, so one can expect some good benchmark scores from the new chip. What doesn’t go in favor of the new HTC device with the Tegra 4 chipset is the fact that the chip is believed to be designed for tablets. We saw tablets like the ASUS Transformer Prime featuring the Tegra 3 chip, but haven’t seen a whole lot of Tegra 3 based tablets after that. So it should be seen if HTC eventually does launch a Tegra 4 based smartphone or stick with the reliable Snapdragon S4 Pro.

Another theory suggests that HTC would launch a tablet, which clearly hasn’t been the company’s strong point. Considering that the Android tablet market is well settled with the likes of the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7, it would be rather unwise to launch a new competing tablet. But these are all rumors and speculations as of now, as we have no substantial evidence to go with. Regardless, it wouldn’t be wrong to guess that 2013 does hold a lot of surprises for us. It will be interesting to see how HTC will combat the dominance of Samsung in the Android ecosystem.

Source: INPAI
Via: Phone Arena

Nexus 7 or the Nexus 10: Which Tablet Should You Get This Holiday Season?

nexus7-nexus10

With the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10 both being announced within a span of a few months, one would obviously be confused as to which one to get. The obvious first choice will be the Nexus 7 simply because it arrived first in the market. The Nexus 10 has just arrived in the market though, and is certainly one of the best Android tablets ever made. However, the price is in favor of the Nexus 7. So we can understand your confusion, and also realize that most of you are waiting to get the fancy new Nexus tablet this holiday season for yourself or your loved ones. So which one should you get? Read on to make your decision process easier. Bear in mind that some of the features I mention below are highly subjective.

The Nexus 7 is a very handy and portable device as you already know. It also features a more than decent Tegra 3 quad core chipset by NVIDIA, which promises great performance and incredible graphics performance.  However, if there was one gripe I had with the device, it was the lack of a working data connection other than Wi-Fi. Google has now fulfilled that wish too with the updated 3G version of the tablet. The tablet does have a few more shortcomings though. Firstly, it’s one of those devices which isn’t the best looking out there. This is clearly understandable as Google and ASUS had to cut production costs so as to make it available at such an attractive price. This is where the Nexus 10 will be more appealing to tablet lovers. While substantially bigger than the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 also has a neat body construction with its rubbery back covering (prone to tons of finger prints), and a rounded edge surrounding the bezel area. Hardware wise the Nexus 10 is miles apart from the Nexus 7 too as it features a bigger 10.055-inch display with a resounding resolution of 2560×1600 giving it a pixel density of 300ppi. And yes, this is a tablet we’re talking about here and not a smartphone. With that resolution, the display blows everything out of water.

Now let’s make sure you have your priorities set. If you’re looking for a tablet to just casually read through eBooks and do some web browsing, then the Nexus 7 should fit your needs perfectly. However, if you’re a power user willing to watch a lot of videos and like to play games and surf the web at most times, the Nexus 10 is what you should be looking at. But alas, the Nexus 10 isn’t without its flaws. Google is offering the device for $399 (16GB) and $499 (32GB). While the storage variants aren’t too bad for a tablet, it is the lack of data connectivity (3G or 4G) which comes as a huge disappointment. We see that Google was looking to target a particular price point, but with cellular connectivity on a tablet like the Nexus 10, we personally couldn’t look anywhere else. This is where the Nexus 7 scores over the bigger Nexus, as the 32GB Nexus 7 comes with a 3G variant.

Price too is a major factor to consider. The Nexus 7 starts from $199 for the entry level version, while the top end 32GB 3G variant costs $299. The Nexus 10 has only two variants as we mentioned above. But considering the price to features ratio, we have to go in favor of the Nexus 10. Simply because a bigger screen real estate means there’s so much more one can do with the device. A 7-inch tablet feels a bit crampy, especially if you’re used to iPads or other big sized tablets. On the other hand, you do have the luxury of carrying it around wherever you go due to its form factor, which is something you can’t do with the Nexus 10. So if you’re seeking an ultra portable media device, the Nexus 7 (with 3G) is the perfect gadget for you. And for this reason, we would recommend you go for the Nexus 7 first and then perhaps invest in a Nexus 10. Although both the devices don’t function completely different from each other, there are some tweaks made to Nexus 10 which sets it apart from the Nexus 7. Nexus 10 is as close a tablet can get to a PC, so it comes highly recommended if you plan on typing a lot of documents. The Nexus 7 is for your leisure time reading eBooks and other media with some moderate gaming or social networking on the side.

So let us know what you’ll be getting this holiday season. I’m sure existing Nexus 7 owners are already contemplating getting a Nexus 10. Are you one of them?

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New Images Taken With the Galaxy S 4 Leaked

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It seems like the Galaxy S IV just doesn’t like getting out of the news. As we’ve already covered two major stories on the smartphone today, a third one has appeared. This one however, brings only good news to the table as there’s no news of delay. This new report actually brings forth leaked images claimed to be captured from the smartphone’s 13MP camera sensor. These sample images are in the 16:9 aspect ratio (4128×2322) which means that the sensor size at the time of the capture would be about 9.6MP, but it goes without saying that the sensor is more than capable of capturing 13MP stills. These images don’t reveal anything extraordinary, but that’s mostly due to the fact that it’s not exactly a photo friendly atmosphere. The EXIF data of the image reveals that the images were taken with the GT-I9500 smartphone, so that pretty much rounds off the rumor. However, we have to take this with a pinch of salt as it isn’t exactly fool proof and this info can be easily edited. There’s way too much info available on these images, which you can check out in detail by hitting the source link.

However, the part which makes the most noise is the allegedly leaked AnTuTu scores of the GT-I9505 which sheds light on the display specifications as well as the CPU info. It seems like the CPU clock speed is set at 1.89 GHz which isn’t all that bad for a flagship device. It clearly doesn’t top the AnTuTu scores chart, but we’re still not sure if this device is real or if it will even see the light of the day. Even if it does, it could very likely be a very early version of the device to actually make justice to its benchmarking scores. Regardless, it’s good to have information like this leak out shortly before the alleged announcement date of the fancy new Samsung flagship. The CPU clock speed strongly hints that the device is not behind when it comes to new age devices, so it should be interesting to see how this smartphone pans out to be.

antutu-gs4

There have been several reports about the Galaxy S IV making rounds in the internet and we’ve been rather skeptical in believing them. The recent rumors suggest that Samsung is having trouble getting the device together and might seek the help of rival chip maker Qualcomm to provide chips in time for the all important launch of the smartphone. In this day and age where everybody seems to know awfully lot about smartphones and their chipsets, Samsung would want to give its fans the best of the best out there. It’s for this reason that we were hoping for the Exynos 5 Octa to launch with the smartphone. But there’s nothing Samsung can do if it feels that the chip has issues with power consumption, which is crucially important for any smartphone. So let’s hope Samsung gives us something to look forward to on March 14 and manages to impress us like it has been doing since the past couple of years.

Source: Androsym
Via: GSM Arena

Verizon HTC 8X Users Receiving WP8 Portico Update

HTC-8x

If you reside in the U.S, you’re fully aware of how carriers deal with their users. The country’s largest carrier, Verizon, is also the country’s slowest in a way when it comes to update roll outs. We’ve seen this recently with plenty of devices, which despite being capable smartphones, have had to wait for an eternity to get the update it deserved. But things aren’t the same with its Windows Phone lineup as the carrier seems to have begun rolling out the Windows Phone Portico update to its lineup of devices, including the HTC 8X. It’s commendable that a carrier which has been constantly blamed for being slow with update roll outs sends an update as soon as Microsoft began rolling out Portico update on a global scale, although the update has been around for a while now. Some users of the Verizon HTC 8X have apparently reported receiving the said update, which is good news for people on the carrier. However, it appears as if this is still a slow and partial rollout of the update, so not all devices will get the update at once. What’s strange though is that Verizon’s official page claims that the update is coming soon, so it’s possible that this happened by mistake.

Post this update, users will see the following version of the OS – 8.0.10211. Unfortunately for now, it appears as if this is a HTC only update from Verizon, as we’re hearing no reports of the Nokia Lumia 822 smartphones receiving the update, but the time is nigh we think. However, considering the kind of history the company has had, we won’t be surprised if the update is delayed without notice. I completely fail to understand as to why it could take so long for Verizon to update its devices when Microsoft has rolled it out to all its partners. In fact, the HTC 8S was the first to receive the Portico update back a couple of months ago. So I guess Verizon is still late when it comes to rolling out updates. It must be noted though that the new wave of the Portico update went live only a couple of days ago.

So if you’re wondering what’s new with the update, let me assure you, it’s everything you’ve wished for. First and foremost, the smartphones will now have continuous Wi-Fi connectivity even when the phone is locked, the ability to select MP3 files as ringtones, SMS call reject and a new Wi-Fi hotspot finder feature is on board too. So all in all, this is the most important update Windows Phone 8 has seen so far, and it would go a long way in making WP8 less of a pain for the users. Global versions of smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 920, 820 etc seem to be already running on Portico, so this news shouldn’t matter much to them. As for VZW Windows Phone 8 device owners, this will hopefully be the start of a much improved software support in the future.

Have you been lucky enough to receive the update on your Verizon branded Windows Phone 8 device? Sound off in the comments below. But if you’re one of those legacy Windows Phone 7 device owners, I suggest you try out this tutorial to get Windows Phone 7.8 running on your device.

Source: WP Central
Via: Phone Arena

Nokia Could Announce Low End Lumia WP8 Smartphone at MWC 2013

Nokia-Lumia-620-2

Nokia’s ambitions in the smartphone market do not come down one bit, which is how a company should be. But its recent offerings like the Lumia 920, 820, 822 (Verizon) and 620 are only marginally doing well in the market. The problem in my opinion is not the hardware from Nokia, but the software/operating system on board. But let’s not get into that debate again and spark of a mini riot here at The Droid Guy, because we have good news for Nokia enthusiasts. It appears as if the manufacturer has a new low-end cost effective smartphone under the wraps, waiting to be unveiled at the upcoming MWC 2013 event in Barcelona. Reuters cites its industry sources and mentions that the MWC event will be host to the announcement of the next WP8 running Lumia smartphone. It is widely believed that Nokia will unveil the ultra cheap Lumia 520 during the course of the event, which could be a WP8 successor to the Lumia 510. If everything we’ve heard so far is true, this could well be the cheapest Windows Phone in the market, beating even the Lumia 510.

Also said to be featured during the event are Nokia’s low end Asha series of handsets which have a huge market in developing nations. These S40 based smartphones shouldn’t bring anything revolutionary to the table, as they merely finish the company’s lineup for the first half of the year. Along with these rumored devices, it’s not known whether we’ll get to see the much anticipated Lumia 1000, which is claimed to pack a 41MP Pureview sensor, similar to the one seen on the Nokia 808. If Nokia actually manages to launch the device during the event, then we won’t be looking anywhere else, that’s a given.

However, if the recent trend has been any indication, Nokia doesn’t usually believe in announcing flagships at a joint event. The company, like Samsung, likes to hold its own events for major flagship announcements. Manufacturers like Sony, LG however don’t mind getting lost in the crowd of smartphones as they announce their devices mostly in joint events like the CES or MWC. So could Nokia treat us to a low end Nokia Lumia device along with a high end flagship? The possibility of seeing the two together is unlikely, but I’m certain the Finns have something big in store for us in the future. Especially after the sales of the Lumia 920, which hasn’t quite met expectations after the massive media coverage and widespread hype.  Nokia’s availability during the course of the event has been confirmed, but we haven’t quite been teased to a new flagship device launch, so we guess it will be a pretty low key event for the Finns. The Asha lineup of smartphones and the Lumia 520 or any other low end Lumia that the company announces, should do plenty for the company’s steadily dipping marketshare.

Source: Reuters
Via: Unwired View

T-Mobile Nexus 4 Available for Free On Contract Until Sunday

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We all love deals, especially the ones on our favorite devices (not if we’ve recently bought the device after paying more). But carriers often launch deals to lure in more customers towards them if the sales aren’t going all that well. And now, good old T-Mobile has a pretty tempting deal for us. The carrier is now offering the LG Nexus 4 for free with the standard two year contract until this Sunday i.e. the 24th Feb. So if you’ve been planning to get the brand new Nexus device, but haven’t quite found it in stock at the Google Play Store, this might be the best deal right now for you. However, LG has pretty much figured out the stock issues of the Nexus 4 as it is back in stock again at the Play Store, so not all will be attracted towards this offer. But if you want to save yourself from the trouble of finding a new carrier with decent HSPA+ speeds and voice caps, you can give the T-Mobile deal a check. This deal apparently is only available for online purchases and users will have to spend $50 up front, which will be returned to them through a mail-in rebate, so it’s not that you can get the device with an empty wallet.

The fact that you’re not spending a penny to get the Nexus 4 (leaving the mail in rebate part aside) is a rare opportunity really, so we don’t think you should miss it, unless you already own the device. We’re not sure if the stocks are going to last long with a promotion like this, so users are recommended to hurry up and place the order to receive the device at the earliest.

Getting the smartphone on contract has its own merits and demerits as we’re all fully aware. Firstly, you are saved from the endless searching of carriers and data plans which matches your needs. On the downside, you’re contractually obligated with the carrier for a period of 2 years, and the early termination fee will set you back by a few hundred bucks. So the wisest thing to do would be to get the device off contract directly from the Google Play Store, and if the odds are in your favor you will be able to get it. After this, users can breathe easy and keep the smartphone with them for as long as they wish without having to worry about the carrier holding them back with a leash. But I guess it’s a preferential thing and it can vary from person to person.

Most of us don’t need a refresher on what the Nexus 4 is capable of, but here’s a quick reminder. The smartphone packs a 4.7-inch HD IPS display, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core chipset with Adreno 320 graphics, an 8MP rear facing camera with features like Photo Sphere and the ability to snap pictures whilst taking a video (up to 1080p), it also has a 1.3MP front facing camera for those self portraits. There’s a full 2GB of RAM to multitask with relative ease. Along with that there’s no OEM customization or bloatware, and everything is pretty stock, the way Android was intended to be. The smartphone currently runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with a promise of most future updates if not all.

Source: T-Mobile
Via: Android Police

Analyst Reiterates Claims of a Qualcomm Made Chip for the Galaxy S 4

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We’ve already heard plenty about Samsung’s Galaxy S IV, ranging from launch dates to rumored specs, the Samsung flagship makes constant appearances in the rumor mill. However, we recently came across one report which suggested that the smartphone might pack a Qualcomm made chipset and not the Exynos 5 Octa as rumored. This was merely a rumor back then and it seems like this rumor is getting more traction now as an analyst has reiterated this claim, adding to Samsung’s alleged woes. The company’s Exynos 5 Octa chip was pretty much a certainty for the smartphone, but the analyst mentions that the chipset is facing some issues with power consumption. Which is why Samsung is believed to be looking towards Qualcomm as the chip supplier for the yet to be announced flagship. What gives weight to this rumor is the fact that we’ve seen plenty of leaked benchmarks of a mystery Samsung device sporting Qualcomm made SoCs, which pretty much appears to be the Galaxy S IV.

An analyst from Piper Jaffray named Gus Richard clearly mentions that Samsung is having trouble getting the Exynos 5 Octa chip onboard the new flagship. This is what he had to say – “We believe Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has slipped and the Galaxy S3 has been in production a quarter longer than expected. We believe the S4 is being delayed primarily due to power issues with the company’s eight-core Exynos Octa […] we believe the company is likely to shift more to external sources. We believe QCOM will pick up more of Samsung’s S4 business.” This is certainly something we didn’t expect, and I’m sure it has taken Samsung by surprise too. However, it’s the onboard customization by Samsung and other software tweaks which should make it stand out from the rest of the competition.

There hasn’t been enough clarity on the matter so far, so it won’t be right for us to jump to conclusions. But there’s not much time left for the rumored March 14 announcement date of the next Samsung flagship. And even if it doesn’t pack the Exynos 5 Octa chip and comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon variant instead, it’s not going to be the end of the world for Samsung. Qualcomm chips are very power efficient and the chip maker has been the go-to choice of several mobile manufacturers today. Google and LG decided to fill in the Snapdragon S4 Pro chip inside the Nexus 4 without making it too much of a battery drainer. Sure it doesn’t pack the best battery out there, but it’s certainly on par with most top tier smartphones.

If Samsung’s troubles are indeed real, it should come as very good news for Qualcomm, which didn’t have good things to say about Samsung’s “octa” core chipset. However, it wouldn’t mind mass producing chips for Samsung devices going into 2013. Another cause for concern is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S III is still in production despite this being the first quarter of 2013. This indicates that there could be a delay in the launch of the next Galaxy flagship, which should be heartbreaking for a few out there. Regardless, we hope Samsung figures out its problems beforehand so as to not wreck its projections for 2013.

Source: Barron’s
Via: Phone Arena

Will Google’s Steeply Priced Chromebook Pixel Gain Traction In the Market?

chromebook-pixel

Google has set its foot in a lot of fields with one of them being Chromebooks. These cloud based laptops/notebooks (if we can call it that) don’t brag of a lot of raw horsepower. The Samsung and Acer Chromebooks that are available in the market today come for a very good price and do its job convincingly. As long as the user performs most of his/her operations online, they will find nothing to complain about these units. However, Google has just upped the ante in a major way by launching a new Chromebook with a relatively bigger display and an industry topping resolution. This seems like a solid answer to people complaining about Google’s lack of presence in the notebook segment. This device which is known as the Chromebook Pixel also sports other decent hardware specs, so it’s not just the display where the new notebook excels. It’s rather surprising that we just heard about touchscreen Chromebooks yesterday and we have an announcement already.

The Chromebook Pixel will pack a 12.85-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 2560×1700 and a 3:2 aspect ratio. There’s an Intel i5 chipset as well as Intel HD Graphics 4000 on board along with 4GB of RAM. The Chromebook Pixel comes in a 32GB variant for now, but it is believed that Google will launch a Verizon exclusive 64GB LTE variant of the notebook soon. The storage shouldn’t matter much as it also packs an SD card slot for easy memory expansion. The tablet also packs an HD front facing camera along with two full sized USB 2.0 ports. I’m not sure if the Chromebook Pixel offers a different version of Chrome OS, but there’s no mention of it here, so we’re guessing it’s pretty much the same OS as we see on other Chromebooks. However, the Chromebook Pixel comes with bonus features like free 1TB of Google Drive storage for a period of 3 years and also 12 GoGo in flight internet passes. Now for the all important question, i.e. the price. Well, the Chromebook Pixel isn’t going to go easy on the wallets with its price tag of $1,200 on the Google Play Store. We guess this is a little too much for a notebook of its caliber, but there’s certainly something more to it than meets the eye.

Google clearly doesn’t expect to sell the Chromebook Pixel on a large scale, which is evident from the price tag. However, it’s the cloud services and the awesome display which are key aspects of the notebook and will be crucial for potential buyers. As days pass by, we’re seeing Chrome OS transform into a standalone operating system which can be a hint of what to expect from the future. For now, these Chromebooks haven’t seen widespread sales and we don’t expect the Chromebook Pixel to change that. The pricing puts it in the same segment as the Microsoft Surface Pro, so there will be comparisons made in the coming days. Let’s hope something good comes out of the Chromebook Pixel, but the price will pretty much put a damper on Google’s ambitions. We feel a price reduction is in order to make the Chromebook Pixel an attractive proposition.

Source: Chrome Blog
Via: Talk Android

Samsung Could Implement Its Own Version of Photo Sphere With the Galaxy S 4

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We’ve all heard of Photo Sphere plenty of times. The feature is one of the things which makes the Google Nexus 4 stand out from the rest of the competition, apart from the obvious Nexus moniker and the Google goodies that are bundled along with that name (read: timely updates). But as of now, it’s the only smartphone which packs the feature, and thankfully for Google, things have stayed that way for more than three months. However, it was only a matter of time, we thought, until this feature would make its way to other Android devices as well. And it appears as if Samsung is going to be one of the first in line to get the feature. However, like the manufacturer did with S-Beam (originally Android Beam) on the Galaxy S III, we might just see the Photo Sphere feature ported/rebranded/ripped off with the Galaxy S IV. So, if true, Samsung would officially be the first manufacturer to get the feature after stock Android devices. I guess with Samsung’s advanced optics, the feature could see more functionality than the stock Photo Sphere on the Nexus 4.

The best part however is the name for the feature. Rumors are suggesting that this new feature will be called the Samsung Orb. In recent memory, the Nexus 4 wireless charging dock was called the Orb. However, the term orb in itself means something which sports a spherical shape, kind of like a globe. And Photo Sphere pretty much works that way (its icon on Nexus devices even has a globe on it). But with Samsung, one can always expect more bells and whistles to be on board. Not only will the improved camera sensor utilize the Orb feature to its full potential, but it is believed that Samsung will discuss terms with Facebook for easy sharing of these images. If you didn’t know, Photo Sphere images are only visible on Google Plus profiles. So bringing Facebook integration will be a huge bonus and something which would catch up quickly with the crowd. This is something we wish Google did with the Photo Sphere, but I guess they just couldn’t resist the urge to maintain the feature’s exclusivity on the Google Plus social network.

This is still an emerging report and we expect you to treat it as a rumor. Nobody knows what’s onboard the new Galaxy flagship, but we’re all hoping to see something spectacular. It is being reported that Samsung is facing some issues with the Exynos 5 Octa chipset, so we might not exactly see the same flair as we did with the Galaxy S III, but these features should more than make up for it. Let’s hope Samsung makes the optimum use of this feature, if at all it’s actually planning to get it on board. So could this be a feature bundled with Android 4.2? We can’t say for sure, as there haven’t been a lot of manufacturers rolling out official updates of Android 4.2 yet, which is sad really. You can follow all the rumors and news about the Samsung Galaxy S IV in our detailed post here.

What are your thoughts on Samsung Orb? Let us know by dropping a line below.

Source: Android.gs
Via: Talk Android

Microsoft Surface RT Can Now Run a Few Basic x86 Applications Thanks to a Hack

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Each operating system/platform has a vast developer community, and the number only increases with each coming day. Be it Android, iOS or Windows Phone/Windows 8, they’ve all got a large number of developers trying to bring in hacks/tweaks to unsupported devices. For Android, there’s the CyanogenMod team and similarly for Windows too there’s a big group of devs trying to bring in unsupported features on devices. Windows has always been known to be the ultimate hacking/modding machine, but Microsoft didn’t live up to that promise with the Surface RT. Since the tablet was based on ARM’s CPU architecture, it didn’t pack support for standard Windows apps, which was kind of a letdown. But the folks at XDA have been hard at work to bring regular Windows apps (x86) onto the Surface RT since a long time and it’s finally possible. This will however require the Surface RT jailbreak as a prerequisite, so users have to make sure they’ve got themselves covered there.

As of now, it appears as if this new tool only runs light apps, but the developer has urged users to try out as many apps as possible and let him know how well they’re doing by writing to him at the forums. Sure, you won’t exactly be able to run heavy apps immediately, but this is certainly a start. This trick fools the system into emulating x86 tools to the default kernel. The process is a little too technical to understand, but it’s pretty simple in practical use. If you’re familiar with the term “jailbreaking”, you’ll find no trouble understanding this. Just like how one would modify a device after jailbreaking, this tool basically would work the same way. While not everything will work as smoothly as you would like, it’s a great start and one which would go a long way in making the tablet relevant again. Thanks to these devs, people can now run regular Windows software (albeit partially) on the Surface RT. There is still enough work to be done in this area though and we can expect to see the Surface RT running more heavy stuff in the coming days. The delay is painful, but better late than never, right?

These are the features which should have been enabled right from the start, but MS had no choice as it wanted to make the device a standalone tablet and not a Windows PC or notebook alternative. For users willing to get a replacement to the PC or their notebook, Microsoft has the Surface Pro which launched a few weeks ago. But if these ARM based tablets can run standard Windows apps without much fuss, then there won’t be much noise about the substantially pricier Surface Pro. Let’s hope the developers make more progress in this area as we would like to see the Surface RT bring some smiles on the owners’ faces. They’ve not had much to smile about really.

Source: XDA Forums
Via: Phone Arena

Motorola Offering $50 Google Play Store Credit With Smartphones

motorola-promotion

Are you about to purchase a new smartphone, but haven’t zeroed in on a device yet? Well, Motorola has you covered as it is now offering an attractive offer with a purchase of any of its 2012 smartphones here in the U.S. According to this new promotion, users will receive a $50 credit on the Google Play Store which they can lavishly spend on anything ranging from apps, movies, music etc. The idea basically is to attract confused customers who are at bay with which new smartphone to get. Smartphones like the AT&T Atrix HD has been voted as the smartphone with the most customer satisfaction rate, so it goes without saying that users will have it high up on their list of Moto smartphones to get, which is why it makes sense for potential buyers to give good ol’ Motorola a try. It’s not as simple as purchasing a Motorola branded smartphone and getting the $50 credit though. Users will have to fill up and send a mail-in rebate form to Motorola after receiving their device and the $50 will then be credit to their Google account. This isn’t a tough process really and buyers can easily reap the benefits of this killer new offer by Motorola.

This seems like a neat little way to get some buyers before the likes of the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One go on sale soon. Motorola doesn’t exactly have a lot of new age devices to brag of, and this seems like the only option for the company to attract more buyers. The company is believed to be working on the X Phone with Google if a recent posting for a new job at Motorola is to be believed. It appears as if the company has shifted all its focus on the X Phone as we’re not seeing anything special come from the company since the Droid Razr HD and the Droid Razr Maxx HD.  Until that all important X Phone arrives in May (rumored), we will have to manage with deals like these. In this day and age where people go crazy for a saving of $10, this sounds like an insanely good deal. And since Motorola is pretty much Google now, it can manage to give outrageous offers like these. However, not all Motorola phones come under this deal. So make sure you have a quick peek through the list before getting your favorite Moto device. However it appears as if most of the 2012 smartphones are included in the list. Just to make sure, this offer is valid only in the United States, so people in Europe, Asia and other continents, don’t get your hopes up. You can find the list of devices which offer this promotion in Motorola’s PDF link here.

Are you interested in this deal? If yes, make sure you let us know by dropping a line below. Promotions like these don’t come your way quite often, so it makes sense to grab it while you can. The offer is valid from the 18th of this month until 4th of March, so hurry up.

Source: Motorola
Via: Android Community

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Now Available for Download

ubuntu-for-phones

Ubuntu Touch or Ubuntu Mobile OS is one of the new mobile OSes under development in 2013. This year has been rightly touted as the year of new mobile OSes as we’re going to see many new platforms surface. To begin with, the Firefox OS is currently seeing widespread coverage, then there’s the Tizen OS jointly developed by Samsung and Intel, and also Jolla’s Sailfish OS which will mark the rebirth of the MeeGo OS. But Ubuntu Mobile is making the most noise as it’s that much closer to launch. The new smartphone OS is far from being perfect, and is a developer only project as you would imagine. Which is why the folks at Canonical (devs of Ubuntu) want to give the developers a taste of this new mobile OS by making it available for download. The OS is now officially available for download and install. Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the LG Nexus 4, the ASUS Nexus 7 and the Samsung Nexus 10 are compatible with the new OS. So if you have any of these devices as spare handsets, make sure you give the OS a try. But we must reiterate that this is merely a developer preview, which means that it’s far from being the final version of the real thing. In other words, it won’t be snappy or smooth like the modern mobile OS.

The Canonical team claims the new OS to be “very new and unfinished” which is developer talk for “don’t use it unless you know what you’re getting into”. Regardless, it’s a great new OS and we can expect fruitful things from Canonical’s new mobile OS. All of this will be free for all to try though, which is neat and as with the desktop version of Ubuntu, things are pretty simple here too. If at all you are interested in trying out the new OS despite knowing the risks, you must remember that all your data on the device will be wiped and you will have to make a complete backup of the same before flashing the ROM. Shortly in the future, we are going to see apps being developed for the smartphone along with new and improved versions of the OS making its way to the fore. I will reserve my temptation to try out this new ROM until then. Perhaps someday we’ll see Canonical launch standalone Ubuntu OS smartphones, without having to rely on Android’s mercy.

As of now, Ubuntu Touch features the Android Developer Bridge Tool connectivity as well as support for making calls, sending texts, Wi-Fi, some core applications, front and rear cameras along with some other developer tools. So while it might pack all the essential features, it cannot really be used as a daily driver, even though we’re trying to convince ourselves otherwise. But the day is nigh when the OS comes out of alpha and is usable for all. If you’ve got a device to spare, make sure you try the new Touch Ubuntu OS from the source link below by following the download and installation instructions. After you’re done, make sure you drop us a line and let us know about your experience.

Source: Ubuntu
Via: Engadget

Google Could Launch Touch Based Chromebooks in the Future

google-chrome

Tablets these days are a huge market. But we all know that tablets are an evolution of the standard notebook PC. Manufacturers wanted to interact with the display itself rather than offering a separate layout for keyboards, which is where the idea of the modern tablet was born. In the current era, we have tablets like the Google Nexus 7, the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Microsoft Surface RT and Pro as well as the Apple iPad Mini. But according to emerging reports, we could soon have the Chromebook joining that list as there is talk of a touch based Google Chromebook. Chromebooks as we all know are no hassle computers with no regular apps or games to play with. Instead, everything is based on the cloud so users can make the most of Google’s services that way. In many ways, it’s the ultimate cloud computing machine. And to make something like this a touch only device seems like a great idea.

The current lineup of Chromebooks are sold by Samsung and Acer with Google making sure that it gets enough attention by placing Chrome Stores in Best Buy locations across the country. This however, raises a few questions about the future of Android. While this might not be directly competing with an Android tablet, it goes without saying that the touch based Chromebook will be tagged a tablet and as a result, comparisons will be made. Chrome OS will certainly not have issues working with touch devices, it could possibly be integrated with Android (far, far ahead in the future). Of course, this is just a rough idea and not exactly confirmed details, but if the touch based Chromebook is real at all, then we might have something fruitful to see in the future. We’re already seeing Google hinting users to go for cloud storage services with the arrival of Google Drive and other services in 2012. However, it’s still to be seen when these touch only Chromebooks will break cover. Google will certainly figure out a way to not make it come in the way of its Android tablets, which is currently doing so well in the market.

I cannot quite process the thought of having Chrome OS shrunken into Android, maybe because I’m overthinking it. Either way, touch Chromebooks will be a great idea and something which I feel Google should have done from the start. But since Chrome OS is targeted towards niche markets, we understand why Google keeps a low profile. Chromebook currently runs heavily on Google’s native apps, so it should be fun to see how they are optimized for touch. Getting the developers on board is going to be crucial for Google though, and the company should have no trouble doing that. Perhaps we can see Chrome OS develop into somewhat of a full fledged desktop OS someday.

Source: WSJ
Via: Phone Arena