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Posts tagged ‘News’

27
Apr

Sony wants a piece of the entry-level Indian market


Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Hands On-10

Sony announced it will focus on the high-end segment in order to bring its smartphone business to profit, but it seems the company is willing to make exceptions for markets such as India, where low prices are essential.

Speaking to ET Tech, Sony India managing director Kenichiro Hibi said Sony is planning to compete in the cutthroat Indian entry-level market against opponents like Xiaomi, Asus, Motorola, and Google’s Android One, and dozens of local players. Because India is growing at a fast pace, Sony sees the country as “completely different” from the global market, so it’s going to release phones costing Rs 8,000-10,000 ($125 to $160), a range Sony doesn’t target in other countries.

In order to target the low-price segment, Sony considers releasing devices that are exclusive to India and manufacturing phones locally.

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Sony’s latest launch in India is the Xperia E4g, an LTE variant of the mid-range Xperia E4 listed in India Rs 13,290 ($213). While relatively inexpensive, the E4g (and other devices Sony may launch here) faces stiff competition. Just last week, for instance, Xiaomi introduced the arguably superior Xiaomi Mi 4i at a starting price of Rs. 12,999.

As for the global market, Sony raised some eyebrows with the Japan-only Xperia Z4, while the company is doubling down on marketing the Xperia Z3 in the rest of the world.

Do you think Sony stands a chance in India?



27
Apr

(Update: reminders too) You can also set alarms and send notes to your phone from Google Search


note to self

Update: Google’s support page “Link your phone to Google”  indicates that, in addition to the four commands mentioned below, you can also use the “set a reminder” command. We couldn’t get it to work on our devices, but it’s worth trying for yourself.

The page also clarifies the requirements for the feature to work:

“For now, you have to be in the United States with your browser language set to English.

The Android device you want to link needs to have:

Original post:

It’s not just “send directions” and “find my phone.” It looks like Google is adding a slew of commands that let you control your Android phone from Google Search.

As discovered by Google Operating System, you can now quickly set alarms and send notes to your Android phone by typing in some simple commands.

For now, the features are only available in the United States, though “find my phone” works worldwide so there’s a good chance the others will follow. If you want to try them out from elsewhere, you can try adding “&gl=us” at the end of the URL of your search query, like this: “https://www.google.com/search?q=set+an+alarm&gl=us

To set an alarm on your phone, just type “set an alarm” or “set alarm” and you will be shown an interface that lets you pick the hour and the device that you want to set the alarm on. You can also type “set and alarm for 12pm” to pre-select the hour.

set-alarm-card

It’s just as simple to send a note: type “send a note” or “note to self” and you will be shown a text field where you can type in a brief note. Click the send button and a notification with the note will appear almost instantly on your device. You can also include the note text in the main command, like “note to self visit Android Authority.” From there, you can either copy the text or share the note to Gmail or Google Keep.

note to self android

To recap, you can now use the following commands in Google Search:

  • “send directions”
  • “find my phone”
  • “set an alarm”
  • “send a note”

We’ll keep an eye for more functionality, so stay tuned and let us know if these work for you.

185
27
Apr

Google says Nexus 7 pulled from Google Store, buy the Nexus 9 instead


Nexus 7 2013 camera buttons tt

Now that Google has come official with this news, it is time to announce that Google is no longer going to be selling the Nexus 7. That’s right, for all intents, the 7-inch Android tablet that has been the benchmark of Google’s vision for Android in a tablet, is no more.

Over the weekend, Google rather silently pulled the Nexus 7 from the online store, leaving just the Nexus 9 when searching for a tablet in the Google Store. Official word, as reported by Engadget, is that there is still some inventory around the stores and carriers, but their emphasis is now on the Nexus 9, built by HTC.

If you are still considering this tablet, which we recently put side-by-side the iPad Mini 3 in a little shootout, you best not waste any time. Head to stores like Amazon, which still have stock starting at $165.00.

Nexus 7 2013 iPad Mini 3 back pocket tt

The Nexus 7, as mentioned, has been a fairly solid device for most users. Indeed, everyone we know that still has their original 2012 version of the tablet, are still huge fans of the ASUS built device. Even if, like my own 16GB model, it has a few issues. Sadly, in more recent developments, many Nexus 7 users of both the 2012 and 2013 models, have been experiencing near complete device failures, be sure to read up on that before you spend your cash.

As the Nexus 7 comes to its end, let’s pay homage to it by bringing you our initial device review and a few highlights from its time with us. (That sounded pretty morbid, we still use our Nexus 7 tablets, and love ‘em, but we have to admit that the specs are a little dated, obviously, and we just might consider buying something a little newer if we were buying now ourselves.)

Nexus 7

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It is not a sad day, folks, it is just the next step in the evolution of Nexus tablets as Google discontinues selling the Nexus 7 in the Google Store. Do you think there will be a 2015 version of the Nexus 7 launching later this year?

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27
Apr

Android Authority this week


xiaomi-mi-4i-16

Android fans, it’s been a lively week in the world of mobile technology. Sony took everyone by surprise by announcing the new Xperia Z4 in Japan, though truth be told there’s not much new about the device; Xiaomi introduced the latest in a series of affordable blockbusters on Wednesday, the $200 Mi 4i; LG continued to reveal details about the G4, due to launch on April 28; OnePlus restarted the Cyanogen OS 12 update and announced it’s finally dropping its invite system; and Google launched a new version of Android Wear and the Project Fi wireless service.

Inside AA HQ

This week, Rob and Gary visited ARM in London to check out the chip designer’s latest innovations. We’re already brought you a close look at the Cortex A72 chip, and a whole lot more is coming next week.

For next, we’re looking forward to going hands-on with LG’s latest and greatest, the leather-bound G4. While there may not be many surprises left in store, we still can’t wait to see how the G4 stands against the S6 and other hot Android devices that came out thsi season. Our Ash Tailor will be in London to take the G4 for a spin.

samsung galaxy s6 vs s6 edge aa (37 of 39)

Besides our regular weekly giveaway, this week we brought you a new sweepstakes, courtesy of Opera Software. To stand to win a Galaxy S6 Edge, just head over here and follow the instructions to get your sweepstakes tickets.

The Friday Debate Podcast

The stuff you shouldn’t miss

Top news of the week

And here are the top news in the Android world this week:

Xperia Z4 controversy

sony xperia z4

LG G4 teasers                                                                     

lg g4 leather

OnePlus One rollout and invites

cyanogen 12 lollipop

Android Wear new features

android wear update (4)

Project Fi is here                     

Project Fi data

Xiaomi Mi 4i: what do $200 buy you?

xiaomi mi 4i (1)

Sound off

We always want to hear your feedback. Whether it’s criticism or praise, feel free to tell us what you think about Android Authority’s content, design, and community. Comment here or get in touch with us on our social channels:

Happy Sunday!



26
Apr

ZTE Spro 2 giveaway!


Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we give away one of the best Android phones or tablets each and every Sunday.

A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the OPPO N3 is Maple A. (Vietnam). Congratulations, Maple, enjoy your new OPPO N3!

Autoplay

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This week we’re giving away a ZTE Spro 2! 

ZTE’s Spro 2 is a portable smart projector with WiFi hotspot capabilities. It beams a 720p image onto whatever you’re pointing at, features auto-keystoning, and is compatible with every Android device, or anything that outputs via HDMI. We gave it an 8.4 out of 10 and had a lot of fun in our review with it.

ZTE Spro 2 Giveaway!

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

Full terms & conditions and FAQ | Past giveaway winners [Gallery]

Good luck, everyone!

 

244
26
Apr

Samsung is opening a new production line to accomodate Galaxy S6 Edge demand






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By now, many of you will have heard that demand for Samsung‘s latest devices, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, has been considerably more than Samsung, or really anyone, anticipated. Keeping up with supply of the Galaxy S6 doesn’t appear to be an issue for the Korean manufacturer, however, the manufacture of the curved display for the S6 Edge isn’t something that Samsung is able to ramp up without additional help. To that end, Bloomberg has been made aware that Samsung has opened a third factory, referred to as the A3 production line, which will give Samsung 2.5 times the production capacity to make these curved displays and keep up with Galaxy S6 Edge demand.

In real numbers, Samsung’s previous output of curved displays was about 2 million per month, and this A3 line will allow them to get out 5 million screens every month. If that’s not enough of an indication of how much Samsung is under the pump to keep up with demand, the A3 line wasn’t supposed to be opened for another two months – the original plan was to open the plant in June. While we don’t expect the S6 Edge to sell quite as many devices as the vanilla Galaxy S6, we’re genuinely floored by its popularity so far – maybe Samsung really is on to something this time.


What do you think about Samsung’s ability to keep up with Galaxy S6 Edge demand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Bloomberg via SamMobile

The post Samsung is opening a new production line to accomodate Galaxy S6 Edge demand appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

26
Apr

HTC gets satirical: Choose a HTC One M9 to get rid of “Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder”






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HTC‘s Technical Description ads for the HTC One M8 were pretty hilarious, but their latest ad for the HTC One M9 is downright devious. Asking watchers if they have “Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder”, HTC suggests some alternative treatments such as taking Cellami, an imaginary drug which results in numerous side-effects, like “oily plastic dischargers”, or just to get a HTC One M9 to avoid all of this altogether. Check out the ad below:

It’s pretty obvious that the primary target of this ad are Samsung and Apple users, claiming that these consumers will suffer from SAD (“Samsung Affective Disorder”) and iOS (“Irritable Operating System”) due to their likely miserable smartphone experience. Whether this strategy will actually work with these users is questionable, but we sure appreciate HTC’s effort on the entertainment front and we can’t wait to see more of this in the future.


What do you think about HTC’s latest Cellami advertising effort? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: YouTube via TalkAndroid

The post HTC gets satirical: Choose a HTC One M9 to get rid of “Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder” appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

25
Apr

HTC One M9 Camera Shootout


HTC may have things figured out when it comes to design and build quality, but one aspect the company has had issues with when it comes to their flagships is the camera experience. HTC has been working hard to change that reputation, with a slew of devices aimed at showcasing their camera prowess, leading up to the current flagship.

The HTC One M9 packs a traditional 20 MP rear camera, while moving their Ultrapixel tech to its better-suited position up front. We’ve already seen an overview of the camera performance in the comprehensive review of the device, but now, we take an in-depth look at the camera in this HTC One M9 camera shootout!

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (44 of 98)

Like most other smartphones out there, most of the good shots this camera was able to take were in broad daylight. All of these photos are taken at the full 20 MP resolution, and as you can see, the color saturation is quite good, but may not be as saturated as what you get with some of the other players in the Android world.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (70 of 98)

As a daily driver, the HTC One M9 camera isn’t a hard one to use, with it very easy to access and switch between the various modes available. However, the camera app can be quite fidgety, especially when you’re trying to trigger things like HDR mode, which requires a few different presses to activate, as well as to turn off. Speaking of HDR mode, it does somewhat mitigate the exposure issues that happen in the camera app, but can be hit and miss. While taking scenery shots with the subject off in the distance, they do look good, but there is some grain present as seen with a closer look, because of the use of the digital zoom of the camera app.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (75 of 98)

Without the availability of optical image stabilization, you do need steady hands to take the photo properly. The lack of OIS is felt even more prominently while shooting video, which can turn out very shaky if shot without very steady hands.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (2 of 98)

Going back to the exposure issues that were mentioned earlier, this happens because the One M9 camera app focuses on spot metering, you have to find just the right spot in order to get the exposure that you want in the photo. If you go into a dark area, the entire photo gets pretty light, and vice versa. This is where using the HDR mode makes a world of difference, evening out the exposures, and adding some saturation to the photo, making it even more disappointing that it is a mode that takes some fidgeting to get to.

(Oppo N3 Comparison) HTC One M9 camera samples aa (9 of 30)

There are of course, a few other modes available, such as Panorama, which does allow for some really good shots, but do have some stitching issues, which can be chalked up to human error more than anything else. As mentioned, the front-facing camera is now of the Ultrapixel variety, which allows for some great shots and self-portraits, especially when indoors. There are also different effects available such as Face Fusion, adding particle effects to a photo, the ability to put two photos together with a number of different effects to get one nice shot. All of these effects are a lot of fun to use, especially Zoes, that makes a return with the latest flagship, which is a very nice way of recapping a particular day.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (36 of 98)

As we move into indoor shots and those in poor lighting conditions, the main gripe I have with the One M9 camera is that its performance is quite inconsistent, in terms of sheer quality. When taking shots indoors, or outside at night, there is a lot more grain in the images, and unfortunately, there is a noise reduction going on that makes all of the photos quite smudgy, with the degradation more and more evident as lighting conditions deteriorate.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (98 of 98)

From what I can tell, the main reason why the HTC One M9 has a problem with low light shots is because of the two things it typically does in these situations. The first being that it bumps the ISO to very high levels, which adds a lot of grain to photos, with the second being the lowering of the shutter speed, which comes with its own issues, requiring you to keep your hands as steady as possible because of the longer amount of time needed to bring in all of the light in order to get the proper exposure. You will likely end of taking multiple shots in those situations, and more often than not, the images will turn out blurry.

100% crops

Which brings us back to the issue of consistency. While able to take some great shots in prominent lighting, the grain comes out in even indoor shots, and the noise reduction that the camera app uses in post processing doesn’t do much to help the situation.

Ultimately, the camera of the HTC One M9 is not a bad performer by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately, the reason I may not be using it all the time is because I prefer to have a smartphone camera that can take a good shot in any situation, and that isn’t always the case with this device. Many users have confirmed though that you can go into the Settings to make some changes that do allow for better photos, but given the fact that you do spend a lot of money to get a phone like this, the out of the box experience should have been good right off the bat.



25
Apr

HTC One M9 Camera Shootout


HTC may have things figured out when it comes to design and build quality, but one aspect the company has had issues with when it comes to their flagships is the camera experience. HTC has been working hard to change that reputation, with a slew of devices aimed at showcasing their camera prowess, leading up to the current flagship.

The HTC One M9 packs a traditional 20 MP rear camera, while moving their Ultrapixel tech to its better-suited position up front. We’ve already seen an overview of the camera performance in the comprehensive review of the device, but now, we take an in-depth look at the camera in this HTC One M9 camera shootout!

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (44 of 98)

Like most other smartphones out there, most of the good shots this camera was able to take were in broad daylight. All of these photos are taken at the full 20 MP resolution, and as you can see, the color saturation is quite good, but may not be as saturated as what you get with some of the other players in the Android world.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (70 of 98)

As a daily driver, the HTC One M9 camera isn’t a hard one to use, with it very easy to access and switch between the various modes available. However, the camera app can be quite fidgety, especially when you’re trying to trigger things like HDR mode, which requires a few different presses to activate, as well as to turn off. Speaking of HDR mode, it does somewhat mitigate the exposure issues that happen in the camera app, but can be hit and miss. While taking scenery shots with the subject off in the distance, they do look good, but there is some grain present as seen with a closer look, because of the use of the digital zoom of the camera app.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (75 of 98)

Without the availability of optical image stabilization, you do need steady hands to take the photo properly. The lack of OIS is felt even more prominently while shooting video, which can turn out very shaky if shot without very steady hands.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (2 of 98)

Going back to the exposure issues that were mentioned earlier, this happens because the One M9 camera app focuses on spot metering, you have to find just the right spot in order to get the exposure that you want in the photo. If you go into a dark area, the entire photo gets pretty light, and vice versa. This is where using the HDR mode makes a world of difference, evening out the exposures, and adding some saturation to the photo, making it even more disappointing that it is a mode that takes some fidgeting to get to.

(Oppo N3 Comparison) HTC One M9 camera samples aa (9 of 30)

There are of course, a few other modes available, such as Panorama, which does allow for some really good shots, but do have some stitching issues, which can be chalked up to human error more than anything else. As mentioned, the front-facing camera is now of the Ultrapixel variety, which allows for some great shots and self-portraits, especially when indoors. There are also different effects available such as Face Fusion, adding particle effects to a photo, the ability to put two photos together with a number of different effects to get one nice shot. All of these effects are a lot of fun to use, especially Zoes, that makes a return with the latest flagship, which is a very nice way of recapping a particular day.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (36 of 98)

As we move into indoor shots and those in poor lighting conditions, the main gripe I have with the One M9 camera is that its performance is quite inconsistent, in terms of sheer quality. When taking shots indoors, or outside at night, there is a lot more grain in the images, and unfortunately, there is a noise reduction going on that makes all of the photos quite smudgy, with the degradation more and more evident as lighting conditions deteriorate.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (98 of 98)

From what I can tell, the main reason why the HTC One M9 has a problem with low light shots is because of the two things it typically does in these situations. The first being that it bumps the ISO to very high levels, which adds a lot of grain to photos, with the second being the lowering of the shutter speed, which comes with its own issues, requiring you to keep your hands as steady as possible because of the longer amount of time needed to bring in all of the light in order to get the proper exposure. You will likely end of taking multiple shots in those situations, and more often than not, the images will turn out blurry.

100% crops

Which brings us back to the issue of consistency. While able to take some great shots in prominent lighting, the grain comes out in even indoor shots, and the noise reduction that the camera app uses in post processing doesn’t do much to help the situation.

Ultimately, the camera of the HTC One M9 is not a bad performer by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately, the reason I may not be using it all the time is because I prefer to have a smartphone camera that can take a good shot in any situation, and that isn’t always the case with this device. Many users have confirmed though that you can go into the Settings to make some changes that do allow for better photos, but given the fact that you do spend a lot of money to get a phone like this, the out of the box experience should have been good right off the bat.



25
Apr

Nexus devices aren’t selling well, Nexus 6 mostly to blame






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Google has just announced their quarterly financial results for Q1 2015, and while the overall picture is good, there’s a bit of bad new for Nexus devices. Google refers to the money it earns from the Play Store and Google Store as “other revenues”, and while overall “other revenues” has increased to $1.8 billion, up 23% year-on-year, when compared with last quarter, this revenue stream has actually fallen by 3%. In the earnings call, Google CFO Patrick Pichette attributed this decline to the fact that Nexus devices aren’t selling well anymore, in particular the Nexus 6, which hasn’t been the financial success that the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 were.

You can kind of understand why this is the case – the Nexus 5 ($349) and Nexus 7 ($249) were significantly cheaper than their successors, the Nexus 6 ($649) and Nexus 9 ($399), and it’s obvious that the almost double-the-cost Nexus 6 is a bit of a tough ask for what is essentially an enthusiast’s device. Having said that, it’s unlikely that Google will bat an eyelid as the Nexus line, as we all know, is less about being a commercial success but getting quality devices into the hands of developers and enthusiasts – though I doubt they’d complain if it actually made money too. We’ll have to see if Google changes their strategy with the next Nexus smartphone and goes back to a cheaper device.


What do you think about Nexus devices not doing too well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: 9to5 Google via TalkAndroid

The post Nexus devices aren’t selling well, Nexus 6 mostly to blame appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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