Sources are suggesting that the next generation of Samsung Galaxy S Tab range could launch as soon as Monday, July 20th, in the UK. Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 (SM-T810) and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 (SM-T710) could be only days away from launch if the latest information is anything to go by.
The 2nd generation Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 devices will have a new 4:3 aspect ratio and the screen sizes have been reduced to 9.7-inches and 8.0-inches running at 2048 x 1536, as well as a more powerful 64-bit Exynos 7420 processor and 3GB of RAM.
The devices will be just 5.4mm thick and weigh 407 grams for the Tab S2 9.7 and 260 grams for the Tab S2 8.0.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 is expected to be $399 and $499 for the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7, with an additional $99 for the 4G LTE version. Standby for Monday when we’ll hopefully see these devices unveiled by Samsung.
With the Note 5 right around the corner it leaves many wondering exactly what some of the new features will be. One of them seems to be a brand new S-Pen. Although similar to the old S-Pen on previous Note’s this one is a lot more shiny. The gold color of it looks very similar to my gold S6 Edge as well.
The images were originally shared on Chinese social media site, Weibo and have been spreading all over the internet. What is more interesting is the picture above clearly shows the end of the pen can be pressed down. It looks like it’s similar to how a clickable pen would work to reveal the tip. However on the S-Pen the tip is always out so it can’t be for that. Also it maintains the side button just as before so it won’t be replacing that.
Reports from case makers have been going around saying the Note 5 will have a very flush design for the S-Pen. So flush that you will not be able to pick it out with your nail like before. We can only imagine that the clickable back is to pop it out making it easier to grab.
Come comment on this article: Shiny new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 S-Pen pictures leak
Don’t look now, but Samsung’s widescreen Android tablets might be going the way of the Dodo. Tabletmonkeys claims to have leaked images of the Galaxy Tab S2, and the high-end slate appears to be adopting the same wide, iPad-like aspect ratio as the Galaxy Tab A. In fact, it might lose size and resolution compared to the original Tab S lineup — instead of 8.4- and 10.5-inch 2,560 x 1,600 displays, you’d be looking at 8- and 9.7-inch 2,048 x 1,536 panels. That wouldn’t be so hot for your widescreen videos, but it’d be better for web browsing and anything else that benefits from portrait mode viewing.
Not that they’d be taking steps backwards in any other respect. Both S2 models are reportedly wafer-thin at just over 0.2 inches thick, and they’d be the lightest in their respective classes at just under 0.6 pounds (for the 8-inch version) and 0.9 pounds (for the 9.7-inch device). Not surprisingly, you could also expect Galaxy S6-class guts that include an eight-core Exynos 7420 processor and 3GB of higher-performance memory. Curious? You might not have to wait much longer to give these tablets a shot, since they could be announced as soon as July 20th.
It’s about that time of year for the quarterly report by App Annie that tell us how Google Play and the Apple App Store did over the last few months. 2015 was projected to be a big year for both iOS and Android as Android moves into emerging markets and iOS continues to dominate in China. If you want to see some prior stats, you can find those here.
1. Google still leads in downloads, but iOS still leads in revenue
The stats: According to App Annie, Google Play continues to outpace the App Store in app downloads. In fact, they’re doing it so well that they’ve actually increased that gap. Google Play had about 85% more downloads than the App Store. On the other hand, the App Store continues to outpace Google Play in revenue by about 70% and this is about what it was back in Q1.
The takeaway: Both companies have been making some big moves this year. With Android One and cheaper Android smartphones, Google has owned the emerging markets and this has led to far more app downloads. However, any impact this (and growth in general) has made on revenue was totally cancelled out by Apple’s continued growth in China.
2. Taiwan finds out Google Play has games and leaves Germany in the dust
The stats: Google Play’s strength in Germany has been stellar and it’s one of the few places where Google Play outpaces the App Store in revenue. However, over the last quarter, Taiwan apparently figured out that Google Play had games and they have flown passed Germany in revenue generated.
The takeaway: This is a very strong example of what can happen when an emerging market starts taking care of business. It wasn’t long ago we were talking about Taiwan from the perspective that they were new in the Google Play stats world. Now, thanks to some core games such as Fun Plus Game and Shoryuken, the country is now among those that generate the most revenue. It’s also worth mentioning (based on the graphic above), that this growth happened within the last four months which is extremely fast.
3. Cord cutting is making a serious impact in the US and China
The stats: Video streaming apps have made a large impact on revenue in the mobile space, but predominately on iOS thanks again to China. The Entertainment category is also in the top five categories for revenue for the first time on Google Play.
The takeaway: It’s been the long time assumption that when cord cutting became a big thing that we’d see it on mobile. Thanks to its ever present nature, mobile devices and tablets seem like the natural fit for things like Netflix, Hulu, and the Chinese streaming services. Expect this to continue to trend upward as services like HBO NOW, Sling TV, Showtime, CBS All Access, and major sports streaming services (NHL Gamecenter, etc) become more popular.
4. The top categories by total time usage and by session duration
The stats: These are graphs that show two things. The first is “total time used” which shows what categories people spend the overall most time on. The other chart is by session which shows what categories people spend the most time doing at once. Here’s the difference. You may check Facebook 15 times a day for five minutes each totally 45 minutes (total time spent). However, you might watch an episode of a TV show on Netflix which is 30 minutes in a single session.
The takeaway: Once you take a good, hard look at the data, nothing here should surprise anyone. Entertainment includes things like Netflix which people will sit and watch for hours at a time so it makes sense that it tops the charts with the longest sessions. Similarly, Social and Communication make sense because people send texts and check their social media profiles copiously. The interesting part is that Books & Reference make an appearance on Google Play session duration which means people read for longer on Android than iOS. The iOS folks seem to be sticking to Music and Entertainment as per the norm.
5. Top countries for revenue and downloads barely change at all
The stats: Part of these stats show which countries were responsible for the most downloads and the most revenue. For the App Store, it’s been China, the United States, and Japan while on Google, it’s been Japan, the United States, and South Korea. The only notable change was that Taiwan surpassed Germany for Google Play revenue to be fourth overall.
The takeaway: There really isn’t any takeaway here. Steady as she goes because the same names that made a splash in Q1 of 2015 were the ones who continue to dominate Q2 of 2015.
6. …and the same goes for app categories
The stats: These stats show which categories saw the most downloads and obtained the most revenue in Q2 of 2015. There haven’t been many changes with the only notable change being that Entertainment is on the rise in revenue for both iOS and Android.
The takeaway: We discussed the rise of Entertainment earlier as cord cutters become more common and services like Sling TV making the idea more appealing. Other than that, much like the revenue and downloads by country, everything here is pretty much the same as it was in Q1 of 2015. Steady as she goes.
Overall, there weren’t a lot of big changes for the App Store and Google Play in Q2 of 2015. Google got some extra downloads while iOS got a little extra revenue. The Entertainment category saw some excitement as did Taiwan. Really, though, everything is pretty much the same and we expect it to remain that way for a while. Change is in the air but it’s slow getting here. If you have any thoughts, let us know in the comments!
After using a mobile browser for some time, you may notice a slight drop in speed and performance, particularly due due to cache, cookies, and history. It can get even worse if you don’t have the luxury of HSPA+ or even LTE speeds, as 3G and 4G networks can be subject to a lot of hang ups and sometimes even disconnects.
No one wants to deal with slow Internet speeds, though. When trying to access information quickly, it can get severely frustrating, especially when you’re trying to share a video with a friend, only to be met with the annoying loading indicator. Fortunately, there are a couple of handy ways to speed up your mobile browsing, regardless of what type of network you’re on.
This process only works for your native browser and a select few other browsers on the Play Store. Chrome doesn’t seem to support it.
Cache and Site Data
Your cache is your friend: it’s actually out to help you speed up your web browsing by remembering certain elements and pieces of pages you’ve visited in the past. Cache really does not need to remember these websites but eventually you’ll see a hit to your performance.
That said, it’s always good to clear your cache once in a great while, especially if you find yourself having issues with your mobile browser. To clear the cache in your browser, hit the three-bar menu in the top right corner, and select Settings > Privacy > Clear Cache.
Your cache is now cleared, and you should notice a drop in performance while you’re hitting all of your regular websites, but eventually it’ll smooth out. Additionally, in that same Privacy menu, you can clear your cookies, site data, and browsing history all at the same time, which should increase overall performance.
The process works similarly for various browsers.
Clearing your cookies doesn’t stop your web browser from collecting them. Cookies are useful, but they aren’t totally necessary to browsing the web. You can disable them by opening up Chrome, selecting the three-bar menu in the top right corner, going to Settings, and under “Advanced” select Content Settings. From there, you can turn cookies off by simply tapping it.
If you’re interesting, you can read a little more about cookies here.
Pop-ups are one of the biggest contributors to slowing down your web browsing. They’re annoying, get in the way, and take up unnecessary data, RAM, processing speed, and most of the time they don’t offer anything even remotely helpful.
To disable pop-ups in your Chrome browser, hit the three-bar menu button on the top right corner, and go to Settings > Advanced > Content Settings. Select Pop-ups, and turn them off. Again, this process should work similarly with most browsers.
A major way to speed up your browsing experience is to make sure you’re using a quality web browser. The browser that comes with your smartphone or tablet isn’t always the best solution when there are better options like Google Chrome, Firefox, and even Opera in recent years.
Another way third-party browsers speed up your web experience is by managing tabs better, allowing you to quickly switch to or save the information you need.
In our fast-paced world, slow browsing speeds can get infuriating due to being used to getting information instantaneously. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing (after all, it’s 2015, what gives?), performing these steps combined with a little patience should speed up your browsing astronomically.
What are some things you do to speed up your browsing or access to information?
Come comment on this article: Best ways to speed up mobile browsing 
Earlier this week, we passed along a rumor about the upcoming Huawei-made Nexus phone. The upcoming flagship, according to Evan Blass, is allegedly going to come with a 5.7-inch display with Quad HD resolution, a fingerprint scanner and be powered by Qualcomm’s upcoming quad-core Snapdragon 820.
Could the proven source of leaks be wrong? There is one analyst that disagrees with Blass’ note regarding the processor.
According to Pan Jiutang, the upcoming Huawei Nexus flagship will likely come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. This is not the first time a claim was made about the Huawei-made Nexus phone adorning a Snapdragon 810. Jiutang believes it’s way to early for the Snapdragon 820, and we shouldn’t expect to see devices with the new chipset until early 2016.
We’ll see if the remaining rumored specs hold up. Unfortunately, there is no word on when Google and Huawei will take its wraps of the new device but it should be this fall alongside Android M’s launch.
Come comment on this article: Huawei’s Nexus phone to be powered by Snadragon 810, not Snapdragon 820
A rumor passed along late last night that Samsung is preparing to announce two new high-end Android tablets next week, on July 20. Samsung has not sent out press invites yet so we are not sure as to if it will be a silent announcement.
The new slates will come in two different sizes, and most likely both a WiFi and LTE model(s). The Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 appear to be the successors to the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and Galaxy Tab S 10.5 from last year. Both will bring high-end features, and ultra-thin bodies (under 6mm). We passed along some rumored specifications for the upcoming slates back in two months ago.
Prices for the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 could start at $399, while the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 should be slightly more expensive, possibly starting at $499. We assume that Samsung will sell the new slates in the United States, as well as in many other parts of the world.
Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and 9.7 could be announced on Monday
Amazon are adding some new features to their smart speaker the Amazon Echo. Users can now ask it sports scores and team schedules for the WNBA women’s basketball league. Another cool feature is the ability to ask to listen to live concerts and events using TuneIn.
Amazon already offers scores and schedules from the MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL, NCAA, and NBA. The addition of the WNBA is welcomed. To access scores simply ask questions like “Alexa, who won the world series?” or “Alexa, when is the next Toronto Maple Leafs game?”. The Echo will then quickly look it up and respond back an answer similar to how Google Now or Siri would. To listen to TuneIn live events you can just say “Alexa, play BBC Live Event on TuneIn.”
Come comment on this article: Update brings the ability to listen to live concerts on the Amazon Echo
Last week’s announcement that Microsoft would scale back its smartphone efforts was a clarifying moment. The resulting smartphone segments that the company will play in-which it calls business, value, and flagship-mirror those of its Surface tablets. In an email to employees explaining the change, Satya Nadella noted: “We are moving from a strategy to grow a stand-alone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.”
The word “ecosystem” is tossed about a lot in the tech industry, but it does not simply mean having a bunch of stuff out in the market. As in nature, having a tech ecosystem implies that one part of a business feeds another part. Unlike in nature, though, ecosystems are expected to not only continue in their cycle but keep growing. And growth is where Microsoft’s prospects still look iffy.
The company was once the grand master of ecosystem strategy. Beginning in the 1980s, it leveraged its position in DOS to create Windows, which let it move from client operating systems into server operating systems, applications, and development tools. Its strength in development tools helped it move into video games.
Even in retreat, Microsoft’s position is less dire than the fates of BlackBerry, Palm, and Symbian.
Before the iPhone, it even appeared as if Microsoft could extend its close relationships with developers and Windows’ familiar user interface elements into a dominant position in smartphones. Indeed, while Microsoft is often criticized for being late to the smartphones market, it actually entered it a half-decade before Apple did. Even in retreat, the company’s position is less dire than the fates of its once-powerful competitors BlackBerry, Palm, and Symbian.
As Microsoft’s smartphone journey became an uphill battle, Apple’s ecosystem started gaining steam. Unlike Microsoft’s efforts, the iPhone was driven principally by the Apple brand and the user experience the phone offered. Technical ties didn’t matter so much: The Mac had little direct influence on the iPod, which had little direct influence on the iPhone and iPad. Today, the Apple Watch leverages the installed base and developer support of the iPhone, but there are signs that the company’s nearly two decades of hit products may be finally slowing down.
Google, too, has seen its ecosystem limits. Despite Android’s dominance of smartphone market share, the company hasn’t been all that successful in bringing Android variants to new categories of devices even though vendor support for its Android Auto car software has picked up significantly since launch. Undaunted, Google is charging ahead with its own platform and language for linking together the Internet of Things.
Back to the PC
Apple and Google may face uncertainty, but their strength in smartphones still provide a prime position from which to attack whatever may be next. Microsoft, on the other hand, is receding into the shrinking PC market as the core of its ecosystem. If it could not extend that to mobile devices over the long haul, how can it make a bid for wearables or the Internet of Things that have close ties to smartphones? Indeed, its scaling back of Windows phones already throws a damper on developer outreach efforts to bring Android and iOS apps to the Lumia Windows smartphones that need them.
Microsoft’s Surface Hub is heading to the conference room, not the living room.
In a recent interview with ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the case for the company’s position as a viable third ecosystem both for businesses and consumers. He discussed the portfolio of products that the company is building. That includes buying its way to success by acquiring popular apps such as Sunrise, Wunderlist, and Minecraft, all of which must deal with the home-field advantage that Apple and Google have on their own devices. He also mentioned the HoloLens (whose price remains unannounced) and the Surface Hub conference-room computer, both of which are unabashedly corporate-focused.
In some areas, of course, Windows remains a formidable force. Neither Apple nor Google can touch it in terms of enterprise productivity, even as more tasks migrate to the Internet and mobile. Nadella is betting that Windows can power an ecosystem for those people who most focused on getting things done in an efficient and secure fashion. That’s an approach that has been successful for Lenovo, which continues to buck the PC sales shrinkage trend, but one that’s proven tough to exploit for Blackberry, which is struggling to protect what’s left of its core business. Stuck between the rock of a failed phone business and the hard place of having no easy way to extend into emerging product categories such as the Internet of Things, Microsoft cannot hope to win as a third broad consumer ecosystem.
[Photo: Flickr user Khánh Hmoong]
As we noted earlier this week, Apple has yet to launch its annual “Back to School” promotion that in recent years has launched in early July and offered educational customers free $50-$100 Apple Store or iTunes/App Store gift cards with the purchase of a Mac or iOS device, in addition to the usual educational discount available on some products.
With the usual timeframe having come and gone and no signs of an imminent launch for the promotion, many have speculated Apple has decided to end the long-running program.
According to Consomac.fr [Google Translation], however, Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts in her latest video message to store employees this week revealed that she will “share a little bit more insight” on the Back to School situation with them in next week’s video.
I’m sure many of you are thinking also ‘but is there anything else for Back to School’? Well, I need you to wait until next week’s video and I’ll share a little bit more insight with you then.
Ahrendts’ comment does not confirm that the usual Back to School promotion will be launching in the near future, but the report notes her “enthusiastic tone” suggests the company will be offering something for customers.
Ahrendts is in Tokyo this week and recorded her weekly message from there, but the reason for her trip is unknown.