Tag Archive | Android

Samsung Accounted for a Third of Smartphone Sales Last Quarter, While Apple’s Share Fell

Samsung’s second-quarter smartphone shipments hit 76 million last quarter – up 56 percent from the prior year, and giving the company a 33 percent share of the global market.


iStockphoto | aluxum

Apple, meanwhile, shipped 31.2 million iPhones, a 20 percent year-over-year rise, and good for second place worldwide. However, that trailed the overall smartphone industry, and meant that Apple’s market share fell to 14 percent – its lowest level since the second quarter of 2010, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

“The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end,” Strategy Analytics’ Neil Mawston said in a statement.

Overall, smartphone shipments hit 230 million for the second quarter, up 47 percent from a year earlier, and representing 59 percent of all mobile phones sold.

“The smartphone industry’s shipment growth rate, which is higher today than a year ago, is being driven by surging demand for 4G models in developed regions like the US and 3G models in emerging markets such as India,” Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.

Korea’s LG doubled shipments from a year earlier to 12.1 million units, enough to give it five percent global market share and the No. 3 spot, just ahead of China’s ZTE and Huawei, each of which shipped more than 11 million smartphones.

Innotrends Ca-Fi gives your car Android

We’ve previously covered the Parrot ASTEROID Android car receiver when it was introduced at CES this year, and now it looks like there’s a new kid on the block. Innotrends, a Hong Kong-based company, has collaborated with some hardware and software developers to come up with its own entry in the relatively new Android car receiver market.

The company has just announced the Ca-Fi: a 2-DIN Car infotainment system that runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is powered by a 1.2GHz processor. It packs a 3G modem for web surfing, memory for storage of apps (i.e. fuel consumption monitoring, navigation, etc), Bluetooth support for hands-free calling, music streaming and compatibility with steering wheel controls. It also packs a 6.2 touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480, which should double up as a decent screen for watching movies or GPS navigation. The Ca-Fi also packs USB ports, a DVD player, two slots for MicroSD cards and audio output connections.

No word on pricing, but it is expected to hit Europe in Spring 2012. Find out more.

Steve Wozniak opines on the ‘worthless’ Galaxy Gear, comments on wearables in general

Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, isn’t worried about letting people know what he thinks, as he’s done multiple times over the years — even when it’s not necessarily the best news for Apple’s devices. He’s also not afraid to try out other platforms and devices, but, as usual, it always comes along with his opinion.

In an interview with Xconomy, Wozniak opined on Samsung’s original Galaxy Gear, the manufacturer’s first real effort in the wearables space that was launched not too long ago (but was quickly replaced). Woz tried out the device for himself, but apparently it didn’t go so well.

From the interview, Wozniak had this to say:

That was the only technology I bought to experiment with that I threw out after half a day, sold it on eBay because it was so worthless and did so little that was convenient. You had to hold it up to your ear and stuff.

Harsh, for sure, but it’s probably not something that many people would argue. There’s a reason Samsung replaced the original Gear with the Gear 2 (Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, too) so quickly. But, Wozniak also had some words on wearables in general, saying that he wants to see them feature larger displays, and stop being so dependent on our smartphones. Interesting additions, and something else many people would probably agree with.

Have you tried a wearable yet? What did you think?

[via BGR; Xconomy]

How to Remove Android Bloatware Without Rooting Your Phone


It’s an all too frequent dilemma. You get one of the best high-end Android phones out there-maybe it’s a Galaxy S5, or maybe it’s an HTC One-and the hardware is impeccable. But the software experience is all mucked up from carrier add-ons and skinning. While you can root your phone to get the true stock Android phone experience you’d get from a Nexus device, you can actually get a similar stock experience without rooting. To remove apps, the easiest way is by downloading a few Google-made apps and making them your defaults. Google Calendar, Google Keyboard, and Google Hangouts are the calendar, typing, and chatting experiences you’d get on stock Android, and they’re available for download right from Google Play. Alternatively, you can download the APK for these and other stock KitKat features here.

Read the full story at Wired.

Google prepping devs for impending Ice Cream Sandwich update

With the Ice Cream Sandwich likely just weeks away, Google is getting Android developers ready for the impending update with some tips on how to optimize applications for phones and tablets alike for the next version of the mobile operating system.

Google introduced the Fragment API in Honeycomb and we’ve been expecting them to be implemented into handsets at some point in the future. The latest post on the Android Developers blog shows how a developer can optimize a Honeycomb application to run on a phone and how fragments are treated differently between the two. The post also shows how one can keep their application for tablets only.

While Honeycomb is strictly for tablets only, Ice Cream Sandwich will support just about everything, with a reassuring, “This is the way Android will stay from now on: the same version runs on all screen sizes.”

While Android has grown up a lot in its short life, the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich will prove to be the update the operating system truly needs to provide users an experience that’s seamless across phone and tablet devices. Of course, custom Android skins may prove to be a problem but if the rumor (speculation, really, but this would solve many issues) that Google is working on a built-in theme engine, updates could come so much easier to devices.

With more and more Nexus Prime/Galaxy Nexus and Droid Prime news trickling down, the October announcement sounds more than right and we could see the introduction of the first Ice Cream Sandwich devices in early November, which would be a great birthday present for yours truly.

HTC Explorer (Pico): First Press Shots

HTC seems intent on building a phone for just about everyone, and the upcoming HTC Explorer – nee HTC Pico – appears to be targeted to either the casual or budget-minded user. With a rumored 600MHz processor, 3.2-inch HVGA display, 384MB/512MB RAM/ROM, and five-megapixel camera, the Sense 3.5-skinned Explorer looks destined to fill the role currently occupied by the Wildfire line.

Explorer, powered by Gingerbread, should arrive in both black and blue, probably at nearly free on contract when purchased through a carrier. While there’s a chance it will be introduced at HTC’s NYC event tomorrow, we still anticipate that to focus on US-specific devices like the upcoming Rhyme (Bliss) and Vigor on Verizon. Either way, a fall release seems likely.

When is it Time to Upgrade Your Mobile Tech?

iPad 2 vs iPad Air

I have an iPad 2. I don’t use it very much, but it’s there for me whenever a new game comes out … or whenever my Macbook is just out of reach.

The iPad 2 came out on March 11, 2011. In the grand scheme of things (and I’m not talking about the “cosmic calendar” from “Cosmos”), three years is nothing. But when it comes to consumer tech, my iPad is ANCIENT. If you count the two iPad mini models, five new iPads have launched since my iPad 2 first hit store shelves. Five! In three years!

Every time I look at my iPad, I think about how I want a new one. The new models are lighter, thinner and faster, and all have better screens. I haven’t upgraded from iOS 6 to 7 because I’ve heard it doesn’t play well on the iPad 2. But I’m not going to upgrade my iPad, because I don’t use it enough and it still works fine.

But that got me wondering: When is the right time to upgrade your mobile tech?

I like to buy a really good (but not usually top-tier) piece of tech, then run it into the ground before I upgrade. If you’re the type of person who needs to have the latest-and-greatest everything, this advice doesn’t really apply to you. But if you’re like the rest of us, and you just want to know when to pony up for a new gadget, read on.



Let’s start with tablets, since that’s what got me into this whole mess.

iPad: For new iPads, Apple usually tosses in a slightly more powerful processor and makes the device a little thinner. Sure, there are bigger changes from time to time – like adding a Retina display – but those are more uncommon than you might think. Plus, iPads are incredibly expensive (relative to most other tablets), so upgrading is more of a financial commitment here than in other instances.

  • Liberal Verdict: Every other generation. Got an iPad 2? Get a 4th-gen, then, too.
  • Conservative Verdict: Every three or four generations, or when a bunch of apps no longer support your device.

Android Tablets: To be honest, I’m not too familiar with the Android tablet landscape. I know it’s dominated by the Nexus 7, but that’s a relative newcomer to the field, and it’s hard to gauge just how much innovation Google’s going to throw at that line each upgrade. Android tablets are relatively inexpensive (especially when compared to an iPad), so upgrading is less of an investment, but there aren’t too many massive upgrades from one generation to the next, so upgrading isn’t a necessity.

  • Liberal Verdict: Every generation.
  • Conservative Verdict: When your device isn’t eligible for the newest major Android OS.

Kindle Fire Tablets: Like the Nexus line, the Kindle Fires are also relative newcomers to the tech scene. But Amazon has impressed me with how much it has added to each release. When you compare it to the latest Kindle Fire, the first-gen Fire I bought in the fall of 2011 is like a weird second-cousin that you avoid at family gatherings. Amazon’s added a ton of new software features – like FreeTime and Mayday – and has also launched tablets with bigger screens, which is an (obvious) big difference. At some point, though, Amazon will slow down its massive updates; until then, new Fire tablets seem like a reasonable investment.

  • Liberal Verdict: Every generation.
  • Conservative Verdict: When your toddler drops it one-too-many times and it doesn’t work anymore.



I think it’s a big lie that you need to upgrade your phone every two years. Just because your carrier gives you a big time discount to get a new device doesn’t mean you need to take them up on their offer. They’re only giving you that discount to lock you into another two-year deal; if you don’t upgrade (or buy your phone outright), you can opt out at any point with no penalty.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all recently introduced plans that let you upgrade your phone whenever the wind changes. But that program isn’t for us – that’s for the tech elite.

iPhones are like iPads – rarely does one generation to the next do much to wow me. The iPhone 6 will have a bigger screen, which is (arguably) the best improvement since Siri was added back with the 4S. But is it enough for me to upgrade just a year after I got my iPhone 5? Probably not.

Android devices can become obsolete much more quickly, especially if the manufacturer doesn’t get the latest version of Android to your device. Buying a Nexus will negate this problem, as will buying the top-tier devices, like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One M8. But if you’re buying mid-range, you might run into issues – and you’ll want to upgrade more quickly.

  • Liberal Verdict: As soon as you’re eligible for an upgrade.
  • Conservative Verdict: When your device won’t get the latest OS update, or when you drop it so many times that you can no longer read the screen.

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