Archive for samsung
Samsung has had their own app store for quite some time, but now instead of carrying the “Samsung Apps” label, it is called “Galaxy Apps.” It may seem like a trivial change, but with the company diversifying their product line to include both Tizen and Android devices, a single Samsung app store couldn’t accommodate both.
Rebranding isn’t the only change Samsung has in store (if you will allow the pun), there are also hundreds of new apps that are exclusive to Galaxy mobile devices (arranged into a few categories, including: Best Picks, Top and For Galaxy). Of particular interest is that last ‘For Galaxy’ section that gives easy access to Galaxy Gifts, Galaxy Essentials, Apps for Professionals, and Galaxy Specials (those created by using Samsung SDKs).
Samsung claims they are trying to aid consumers in customizing their mobile devices, but most expectations are that the company is trying to make a play for Google Play market-share.
If you want to take Galaxy Apps for a spin on your Samsung Android device, open up the app store and the interface will ask you to update it (which means you will lose the home button).
Wearables are among the hottest topics at this year’s Google I/O conference, with apps designed to work with them being some of the most exciting developments. One of the first to emerge is the availability of PayPal on your wrist, letting us check in to pay at participating stores, redeem offers, and receive payment notifications.
PayPal has long been a friend to Android with apps already available for the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit devices (not to mention taking advantage of the fingerprint sensor built in to the company’s Galaxy S5to build secure payments into the regular Android app).
Being able to have your wallet handy on your wrist is one of the many benefits of wearable technology. With the phrase: “Ok Google,” you can expect to respond to texts, instant messages, emails (all by voice), and ask questions (like locating the nearest Starbucks). Beyond that, you can reach your fitness goals with step counters and heart-rate monitors, and communicate with your smartphone and all that it can offer.
By being one of the first, PayPal is pioneering the idea of a wearable portal to all of the things you use to manage your daily life.
It is generally not such a bad idea to try to be like Google (at least when it comes to the visual look and easy-to-use interface of Google Now). This appears to be a theory supported by Samsung and their new launcher: Terrain Home (though technically it is their Accelerator start-up incubator that handled the release). Battling for success among the homescreen options already available, Terrain Home has been described as: “Aviate without the brains. Fasthlane without the tiles. Everything.me without the recommendations. GEL without Google Now.” While it may seem at first that every other option has a specialty, while Terrain Home has none –it may actually be that Samsung has combined the best bits and pieces from all of the competition, succeeding in creating a launcher that truly simplifies your device.
Key features of Terrain Home include: a smart sidebar (called A Bird’s Eye View, letting you bring together all of your favourite apps, tools, contacts, news and social media), a powerful local phone search, app drawers (allowing you to find the app you are looking for quickly and easily), swipe gestures (right for the sidebar, up for search, and to the left for your apps), customize your homescreen icon size, and do it all without a negative impact to your battery life!
Initial reviews indicate that Terrain Home looks very plain and simple, but using it for a few minutes demonstrates that is part of the charm –the customization options mean that ‘what you see is what you use’.
The best way to judge would be to give it a try for yourself, download Terrain Home for Android.
Samsung has been releasing so many tablets this year, its hard to keep track of the good, bad and the ugly. The Galaxy PRO, the Galaxy Tab and now the Galaxy Tab S are all vying for your attention. Is there anything compelling about this new one worth writing home about?
Bad puns aside, the Galaxy Tab S comes in a 8.4 and 10.5 inch edition. These models have ultra high-resolutions (2560 x 1600) with a Super AMOLED display. This certainly puts the iPad Air on notice, as they only have 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. According to Samsung, the Tab S’s display has a more accurate color range, better contrast, and higher outdoor visibility than an LCD display. Maybe with resolution like this, we may finally start seeing some of the Retina enabled magazines and comics finally make the jump to Android.
The Tab S models weigh slightly less than their iPad counterparts, with the Tab S 8.4 coming in at 10 ounces or 294 grams, compared to the Mini Retina’s 331 grams. Meanwhile the Tab 10.5 is a solid 465 grams, or 4 grams less than what the iPad Air weighs. Samsung is touting the fact that these are the lightest and slimmest tablets they have ever made.
Underneath the hood is a Exynos 5 Octa, an octa-core mobile CPU that splits duties between a 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. It has a 64 bit architecture, so it should solidly multitask and play any game you can throw at it. It also has 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and SD Card support for up to 128GB. It is obviously running Android, and the latest version with 4.4 Kitkat.
You can shoot some video with the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera (with flash) and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video chats. It also has a neat fingerprint sensor, that will allow it to take advantage of all the companies now offering fingerprint unlock functionality. The big rumor right now is that PAYPAL is spearheading a new system to take advantage of this.
Samsung has been going into overdrive with making arrangements with content providers. These tablets will be bundled with Kindle for Samsung, Marvel Unlimited, Milk and Paperfold. Other apps such as Group Play, S-Note, S Translator, Samsung Link, Scrapbook, Story Album and Video Editor are pre installed, while Gear Manager, Gear Fit Manager, Samsung Smart Switch, Samsung Level, E-meeting, Kids Mode, Kids Piano, S-Console, Hanshow, Hancell and Hanwrite are available to download.
Are these new tablets worth it? Well it is the lightest and thinnest they have ever made, it also has the highest resolution. 3GB of RAM and a super quadcore chip is actually fairly solid. If you have something a few years old and like Android, this may float your boat. The downside is not much content takes advantage of this high resolution on the Android ecosystem. Likely, you will not have a ton of developers porting their content exclusively for this, like they do the iPad Mini with Retina or the iPad Air.
A few weeks ago Barnes and Noble announced that they were initiating a collaboration with Samsung for the next generation Nook tablets. Samsung will be selling one million Samsung Galaxy Tab 4th generation 7 and 10 inch tablets to Barnes and Noble and will also be helping in promotion. Today, Michael and Peter give you the full specs on the new tablets and if its a step in the right direction from the Nook HD and Nook HD+
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 is currently being sold for $199 for the 7 inch and $349 for the 10 inch versions. This is the model that Barnes and Noble has agreed to purchase, because Samsung is giving the Nations largest bookseller a large discount. The tablets have lower resolution than the Nook HD and HD+, which may make magazines, kids books and graphic novels quite lackluster. The processors have been upgraded to a quadcore 1.2 GHZ processor from the dual core found on the prior models.
One thing we are really excited about is the front facing and rear facing cameras. Nook has never included a camera in any of their tablets, and this has prevented popular apps such as Vine, Snapchat and Camera360 from running. Now, Nook owners will be able to shoot videos, take selfies and snap a pic for their profiles.
Lets take a look at the final hardware for the Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook. The seven inch model will have a resolution of 1280 x 800, 1.2 GHz Quad-Core processor and 1.5 GB of RAM. It has 8GB of memory and can be expanded further via the SD Card. The front facing camera will have 1.3 MP and the rear facing one will be 3.0 MP. The prior Nook tablets had Android 4.0 and these models will ship with 4.4 Kitkat. Google Play will also be available on launch day, so customer scan download a ton of content. The 10 inch model has similar specs to the 7 inch, except it has 16GB of internal storage
In the Good e-Reader Roundtable Discussion, Michael and Peter talk about the full specs and how Barnes and Noble can get the most value from this collaboration. Also, can Barnes and Noble possibly market these devices to other markets?
It may have taken Samsung over 2 years to bring Tizen to market, but the manufacturer wasted no time in following up the launch with a smartphone powered by version 2.2.1 of their own operating system. Similar in specs to the S5 with features like download booster, ultra power-saving mode, heart-rate monitor, and fingerprint sensor, the Samsung Z is only marginally behind that flagship phone, boasting “a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, 2.3GHZ quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage expandable via microSD, 8-megapixel camera, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and LTE”.
Tizen’s release last week prompted Samsung to make comments about their operating system having “optimal performance” and “improved memory management,” which was poking at Android –an interesting move given their past relationship.
The success of this phone will be closely watched. Because it is not Android, the device will not have access to the Google Play store –so users will have to take advantage of Samsung’s own app marketplace.
In this brave new world filled with patent disputes and court cases, it’s hard to care about news that Samsung has a few new ideas that they want to retain credit for and control over –but with wearable technology being the latest exciting thing, new applications give us hints as to what we might expect to see in the next generation of products. If this is true, Samsung may have something great in store for us.
In the latest round of patent filings, Samsung suggests you could “move your wrist to call up different features, or tap on the screen to interact with remote controls for devices around your house” or that the device may ” display the time when at rest inactive on your wrist, and it would be laden with sensors, including an optical one for monitoring pulse.” Even more amazing is the idea that a smartwatch could “recognize barcodes, images, objects and do optical character recognition (plus translation) for printed text.”
Of course, Samsung ups the ridiculous ante when they also suggest the circular face is their invention –but it is hard to blame them when you consider the lawsuits Apple has filed against them for ideas based on shapes. Nonetheless, all of these patent applications mean the wearable Android market is alive, evolving and still very exciting for those of us staying tuned.
New research by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has revealed Apple, Amazon, and Samsung are the key players in the US tablet market, controlling 43, 24,and 11 percent of the user base respectively. However, the market itself seems to be losing steam, with the slowdown being attributed to market saturation. The findings reveal tablet growth reached 37 percent, a 54 percent growth over 2012. A sizeable 53 percent of consumers stated they won’t buy a new tablet in 2014, while another 34 percent said they are yet to make up their minds. Nearly 67 percent of those who said they are unsure about buying a tablet claim to know very little about tablet devices. Thankfully for the manufacturers, tablet awareness as a whole is considerably higher in the US, with just 4 percent stating they’ve never heard of the devices.
Of the 53 percent who ruled out buying a tablet in the next 12 months, the majority (72 percent) said they are pleased with their current laptop or PC, while 42 percent said they aren’t attracted to tablet devices; another 31 percent said they don’t think owning a tablet makes much of a difference.
A common reason for many (47 percent of those who are unsure and 25 percent of those who said they won’t buy a tablet ) to not invest in a tablet was the high price, despite the fact that the average cost has dropped to $300.
As for particular brands, the iPad is on top with 32 percent claiming to use it daily. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note devices come in second with 24 percent claiming to use it every day. Kindle Fire makes up the third slot with 10 percent claiming to use it regularly.
Android tablets are out on top, beating Apple for the first time ever and by a comprehensive margin. Figures revealed by analysts Gartner show that Apple has had a 36 percent share of the tablet market in 2013, almost half that of the 62 percent share that Android has had for the same period. Android accounted for 121 million tablet sales in 2013, compared to 70 million iPads sold. In all, 195 million tablet devices were sold in 2013.
For Apple, the results were in spite of registering a growth over its 2012 sales where 61 million iPads were sold. That number translated to a 53 percent share of the tablet market. For the same period, Android accounted for 46 percent share of the tablet market, or 53 million tablets.
Apple can still take consolation from the fact that the iPad continues to be the single largest tablet brand, outselling others by a comfortable margin. Samsung came in second, having sold 37 million tablets to equal a 19 percent market share, a huge improvement over the 7 percent market it had in 2012. Asus made up the third slot, having sold more than 11 million tablets, which comes to 5.6 percent share. Surprisingly, Amazon, who started the affordable tablet race, managed to sell just about 9 million tablets in 2013. Its market share dropped to 4.8 percent from 6.6 percent in 2012, making it the only manufacturer among the top 5 to record negative growth rate.
As for reasons behind the rise of the Android tablet, it is the emergence of low cost entry level tablet options that appears to have done the trick. For the first time, consumers had a lot of affordable tablet devices to choose from. Fortunately for them, these tablets offered decent specs in spite of the relatively cheap price tag. In contrast, the iPad caters to the premium segment that makes it within the reach of a distinct class of consumers. However, the challenge before Android is to ensure the huge user base who has invested in an Android tablet gets to have an endearing user experience so that they remain within the Android fold.
Further, both Apple and Google will have to watch out for a resurgent Windows platform that has registered growth in 2013. Though still quite insignificant with 2.1 percent market share and 4 million tablet sales, it could make for a much better performance in 2014 on the back of rumors of a thoroughly improved Windows 9. Also, the emergence of improved low power chips have led to better acceptance of Windows tablet which is poised for a take off if Microsoft gets its act together in providing for an enhanced software experience over Windows 8.1.
Samsung has launched two new smartwatch devices – Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo that succeed the original Galaxy Gear, which was launched just five months ago. Also, as can be expected, both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature several enhancements over their predecessor though the biggest surprise here is the switchover from Android to Tizen to power the two devices. That apart, none of the devices break any new ground so far as the design is concerned though there sure are a lot of new features added to the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo devices.
Both are thinner and lighter than the original and continue to be compatible with only Samsung smartphone devices as of now. Coming to the tech bits, both come with a 1.63 inch super AMOLED display lit up by 320 x 320 pixels. Both are powered by a 1 Ghz dual core chip and come with 512 MB of Ram and 4 GB of storage. Another common aspect for the two Gear 2 versions is that they are compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect to a smartphone.
Among a host of other features that both the Gear 2 version offer include infrared blaster which means the device can also be used as a remote control as well as a heart rate sensor which no doubt will appeal to the health conscious among us. The latter is designed to keep track of the heart rate during walking, running and so on with there being apps accompanying it to track cycling and hiking performance. Both the Gear versions also feature a distinctive home button as well.
However, the one aspect that sets the Gear 2 devices apart is the inclusion of a 2 megapixel camera for Gear 2 which also will be the pricier of the two. Further, the camera has been included within the main body and not on the strap as was the case on the original Gear. The camera is capable of shooting 1920 x 1080 pixel still shots or 720p video.
Among the apps that come pre-loaded on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 include notification, calendar, S Voice, stopwatch, a timer, weather forecasts, and media control. There are also add-ons for calculator, Samsung’s ChatON messaging service, voice memo, quick settings control, as well as an app that can make the smartwatch function as a flashlight as well. Among the third party apps available for the two Gear 2 versions include Banjo, CNN, Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, GARMIN, Glympse, iControl, LINE, Path, Paypal, RUNTASTIC, Weather Channel, and Under Armour’s Map my Fitness. In addition, several carmakers such as BMW, GM, and Volkwagen too have developed apps for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Water/Dust Proof, Battery:
Another likeable aspect of the Gear 2 variants – and which was missing with the original Gear – is that both are now water and dust proof. Further, with a 300mAh non-removeable battery under the hood (a downgrade over the 315mAh battery for Gear 1), Samsung is claiming run times extending up to 3 days under normal usage. This could extend to even 6 days under low usage though Samsung hasn’t specified what it meant by normal or low usage. The first gen Gear lacked on both counts as it was susceptible to damage from water seepage while the device required recharging at-lest once every day.
Meanwhile, pricing remains undeclared right now though Samsung has stated both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will go on sale from April.
Samsung has announced several of its smartphone and tablet devices will be joining the KitKat party beginning today. Unfortunately, there is still some question about when the update will happen for which particular devices, and it’s expected to be a few months before the update goes into effect for all devices. The tablet devices that will be getting the latest Android version include the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, Galaxy Note 10.1, all three size versions (7, 8, and 10.1 inch) of Galaxy Tab 3, and Galaxy Note 8.0.
The smartphones that will be getting Android KitKat include Note 3 and Note 2 devices, the entire Galaxy S4 line, Galaxy S3 (both the standard and mini versions), the Galaxy Mega 6.3, and Galaxy Light.
As for the benefit of the update, users can look forward to an enhanced messaging experience brought about by the new Hangout app, an enhanced UI with the introduction of new icons, and the usual performance upgrade. Google Mobile Service (GSM) apps get an upgrade in KitKat, which lets users automatically back up photos and videos. Users will also be able to open, view, rename, and share Google Docs and files after the upgrade.
Amazon purchased Liquavista from Samsung in 2013 and the intention behind the deal was to offer a new breed of color e-readers.There is active development at Amazon right now that will give us a six inch screen, with the same resolution as the existing Kindles, but with a full color screen. One of the big benefits of this screen technology is that it doesn’t draw much power. We might see a new Kindle by the end of the year with a Liquavista screen, according to recent job postings by Amazon.
Currently, Amazon is hiring for; Operations Program Manager (Asia based), Process Quality Engineer, Product Test Engineer, Process Development Engineer, Product Development Manager. These are obviously all senior level positions and the job descriptions mention working on multiple products at once. This leads me to believe that we will not likely see just one new Kindle this year adopting this technology, but a few. One interesting note is some of the positions entail working directly with the boys over at Lab126. This is the research and development arm of the company, who basically designed every single Kindle ever made.
It will be interesting to see what Amazon does with the e-reader space with this screen technology. Obviously, color e-ink did not live up to the hype, because it could only display about a thousand colors, which made everything look washed out. If you look at the prototype Kindle screen below, you can get a sense of how content would look on a six inch e-reader.