Sony has been criticised in the past for updating its flagship line of devices twice a year. Last year, we saw both, the Xperia Z2 and the Z3 being launched. This year, we are most likely to see the Xperia Z4 and the next iteration of that in the form of the Xperia Z5 by the time the year ends. The Xperia Z4 has been leaked out by a leakster called @OnLeaks which shows the device from several angles. The device brings the same omnibalance design of metal and glass as we have seen on the previous Xperia Z devices, though this one has a fair few changes at least in terms of the ports.
The USB power and connectivity port for example, has been shifted downstairs from the side and it no more is covered with the flimsy flap. The noise cancellation microphone too has been moved to the top right of the phone while the front facing camera is now on the left side of the Sony branding. The bottom of the phone has the lanyard port and the SIM card slot has been moved to the left side of the phone as compared to the right where it was located.
The Xperia Z4 is expected to bear the dimensions of 146.3x 71.9×7.2mm with a 5.2 inch display with 1080 P resolution. There is no Sony branding on the back of the device in the renders, though we do think that is only a rendering issue.
Xiaomi announced the RedMi 2 yesterday in Delhi. You can already register as we speak on Flipkart to pick up the device, which will go on sale starting from 24th of March in the much-hyped flash sales from Xiaomi. However, the variant announced in India yesterday had specifications of 1 GB RAM and 8 GB Internal memory which are very much reminiscent of the same that we had on the RedMi 1s. Priced very competitively at Rs 6,999, the RedMi 2 is without a shadow of doubt a brilliant device, but it does leave you wanting for that little bit more.
The little bit more is coming your way in the form of a special and limited edition of the RedMi 2 which will sell with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB ROM, which basically translates to twice the space as compared to the device which would initially be made available. We are not super sure if the price points will vary given the extra storage nor about the date when exactly would it land in India. Rest of the specifications, such as the 720 P 4.7 inch display with Snapdragon 410 SoC and 2,200 mAh battery will remain as it is.
The question of this updated device came through as Xiaomi has already updated its China line of RedMi 2 devices to include this version and they would want to bring the same to India as early as possible to avoid any sort of backlash.
Like all things, good or bad must come to an end, the life cycle of the Nexus 5 too has been done away with. In a report published on The Verge it is clear to read that a Google spokesperson told their publication that while some stocks of the Nexus 5 still exists, the main focus of Google and their retail partners would be on the Nexus 6 and that the Nexus 5 will officially be retired. The US Play Store no longer has the Nexus 5 listing either, so the only Nexus device you can pick up as of today in the States is the newly announced Nexus 6.
The story is same for the Indian Play Store too, and the only devices you can pick with the Nexus moniker are the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. You can pick up Android Wear as well as the Chromecast from the Play Store. Surprisingly, there is no more listing of the Nexus 7 either, which means that they too have been taken off the market by Google and the focus will only be on this year’s high end models. With the life of about 16 months, you would not say that the Nexus 5 lived as long as it should have.
Take an example of an Apple for that matter where a few generations older iPhone 4s still continues to sell at a reasonable price, you would be hard pressed to argue that Google could well have kept the Nexus 5 but at a lower price point, just to give the customers enough options. Oh well, to each their own we guess.
Gionee Smartphone has been on a rampage when it comes to launching new products. We were barely done with the likes of Gionee Elife S5.1 and the Marathon M3, that the next in series from them is already here. The good thing about all these devices is that they have absolutely clear USP and none of them overlap or confuse the buyers. The devices are clearly targeted at a set of audience. For example, the Elife S5.1 was launched for the stylish ones, for those, who believe in style and having that X factor in their phones from a lifestyle perspective. The M3 was clearly targeted at those who like extended battery life and for whom battery backup is of prime importance.
The Gionee Pionee P6 has a front facing flash and that is the USP of the device. The phone, although not officially available on Gionee’s store is available on E-Com sites like Ebay for a price of about Rs 8,890. The device was introduced around November last year at CeBit event, but the final availability was not announced. However, looks like you can get your hands on the device now.
In terms of specifications, the device has a 5 inch screen with an FWVGA display and a 1.3 GHz Quad Core MT6582 SoC as well as 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory. It is a Dual SIM phone and runs on Android Kitkat 4.4.4. The rear camera is a 5 MP unit while the front camera is a 2 MP unit, both with LED flash. The battery on board here is 1950 mAh and you have the usual set of connectivity options such as WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS etc available.
It was a major news when LG announced that the LG G3 will receive the update to Android 5.0 Kitkat even before the likes of Nexus 5 had received it. Albeit the update was rolled out to a very small portion of customers, those in Poland, but it was a significant move by LG to establish belief among its customers that it is committed towards providing timely updates. Updates have been a major pain for the Android users and thanks to the use of a custom UI atop the Vanilla Android skin, they have always been delayed when compared to the devices that run Vanilla Android.
After initial rollout, it looks like LG is now rolling out updates across Europe for those who wish to taste the Lollipop as the G3 in various corners and parts of the continent are now receiving the OTA update. And given that there is not a whole lot of difference between the European and the Asian variants, it would not be a bad guess to think that the users of the LG G3 in India will have Android 5.0 on their devices soon too.
The update is currently rolling out to the D855 model of the LG G3, so in case you do have that unit, you should be checking for the update. You can do the same by going into settings and finding the option to update under ‘About’ the device. For those who are finicky about the build numbers and things like that, the update will take your device build number to LRX21R.
Right since owning my first Android device, which was the HTC Tattoo running Android 1.6 Eclair, I have had a soft spot for the ecosystem. Be it for the green robots or just generally the ability to reflect your personality through it, Android has given it’s users something different in a good way with every update. It is pretty much impossible to visualise how far we have come in the journey that started from Android 1.6 Eclair to the tasty and meaty Android 4.4 KitKat.
However, here is an interesting infographic that will take you for a walk down the memory lane of the Android journey. The infographic also details some of the most important features that were added with pretty much every update that came out with Android making the entire ecosystem that little bit better and visually appealing every time. While iOS was always considered the superior mobile ecosystem, even the most die hard iOS fan would now agree that Android has finally caught up or is very very close to catching up. So, here is the infographic which visualises the evolution of Android.
If there is one thing Android OEMs have been accused for far more than they would like to, is leaving the hands of the customers mid way when it comes to the update cycle. There have been several devices that were launched barely an year ago and have not received any Android update. Although, this problem is being gradually resolved by the major players, it still remains an achilles heel.
As a result, to get around it, most of the major OEMs have started making and listing out the devices that would be receiving update to the latest Android version. Samsung has joined the party which included the likes of Sony and HTC and has now listed the devices that are going to be updated to Android KitKat 4.4. The following devices will be getting the sweet taste of KitKat:
- Galaxy Note 3
- Galaxy Note 2
- Galaxy S4
- Galaxy S4 Mini
- Galaxy S4 Active
- Galaxy S4 Zoom
- Galaxy S3
- Galaxy S3 Mini
- Galaxy Mega (all versions)
- Galaxy Light
- Galaxy Note 8.0
- Galaxy Tab 3
- Galaxy Note 10.1 (original and 2014 edition both)
The list is definitely interesting and has even the likes of S3 which are now practically two generations older. It is great to see an OEM sticking by the devices and supporting them through the updates irrespective of how old they have been.
When Android Kitkat 4.4 was released, one of the major things it brought with it was the Google Experience Launcher. It was an exclusive for just Android 4.4 on Nexus 5, however, once the apk file was revealed, you could install the launcher on any device running KitKat 4.4. We saw the people using the Moto X or even the Google Play Edition devices use the Experience launcher. It looks like as though, in the very near future, the launcher would be available for all the devices and no longer remain an exclusive.
In a report published by Droid Now it has been observed that after the most recent update to Google Search the launcher has been renamed as the Google Now Launcher instead of the Google Experience Launcher. The name actually is a pretty good indication of what the launcher is all about as it brings the experience of using Google Now right to your desktop.
The only reason behind the renaming could be that Google plans to brings the launcher to all the dveices and that definitely makes sense given that Google Now is one of the services that Google is betting rather heavily on. With the service very close to being available on Chrome too, it makes sense that just about every device running Android gets it. Till that happens though, there is always the option of downloading the apk of Google Home Launcher and installing the latest search apk to get the experience on any Kitkat Device.
Via: Droid Life
Samsung events are always worthy of a news covergae. This is for two reasons, not only are the products on display usually the benchmark of comparisons for the rest of the year in the world of Android, but there is a massive value of entertainment that comes with these events. Take the unpacked event in New York as an example last year. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S IV was more in the news for the acts and the performances than the device on show. And looks like, the party could begin later this month for an year that may prove to be very crucial for Samsung.
According to the leading tech site, The Verge an invitation has arrived for the first part of the Samsung Unpacked at MWC in Barcelona for 24th of February. The invite has a big reference to the number 5 which definitely is no coincidence. When asked from the reps of Samsung by the Verge team they refused to give out further details about the significance of the number which makes sense.
Samsung last year held a full exclusive launch in New York, but looks like there may have been a change of strategy this year. Last month the mobile executive VP Lee Young-hee of Samsung told Bloomberg in an interview that:
When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big, for the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.
It is pretty clear from the statement that there would be more aesthetic changes in the Samsung Galaxy S5 that we saw in the S4 as compared to it’s predecessors. The device is expected to come with KitKat 4.4.2, the latest and greatest from the world of Android. Also, it has been speculated that the device may come with a 2K res display and accompanying the device could be an all new Galaxy Gear.
Via: The Verge
We love doing these number posts. Really. It is always fascinating playing the percentages game and how much percentage which version of the OS is being used. Android has been notoriously slow when it has come to pushing updates to all the devices given the lack of vertical integration and compatibility issues with OEM Skins. However, the latest from Android or the KitKat update is barely a month or so old and already forms around 1.4% of all the activated Android devices out there.
This figure is all the more surprising because apart from the Nexus devices and Moto X and Moto G, none of the devices have officially received the update to Kitkat. Plenty of devices have received the support from CM 11 taking their devices to KitKat and it just goes to show how many people are keen to get on the boat of the latest and greatest from Android.
The numbers as released by Android developers community show Kitkat rise from 1.1 to about 1.4 percent in just a month while the most popular Android version remains Android JellyBean 4.1 at 35.9%. It is worth noting that Android Gingerbread still makes up a massive 21.2% of the devices running on Android. However, things are definitely looking a lot better than they were say an year or so ago. May the progress continue.
Via: Android Developers Dashboard