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Barnes and Noble has just launched a brand new tablet in conjunction with Samsung. It costs $179 with a $20 mail in rebate, but the bookseller is hyping the fact you get an extra $200 worth of free content. What free stuff are they actually giving out?

When you pick up a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook you get three free eBooks. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech and I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

Customers can also pick 4 digital magazines from a pool of 12 for a free two week trial. There is a ton of great content, including Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and US Weekly. Back issues are also available for your selected magazines at no extra cost.

Nook Video is giving free content to the hit HBO Series Veep, Hannibal, and Orphan Black.

New Barnes and Noble customers are also automatically given $5.00 in free credit when they buy the new tablet, giving them the ability to either get an eBook for free or use the money to subsidize a new mainstream bestseller.

Barnes and Noble is really hyping the free content as a way to lure existing customers to upgrade and offer a big incentive to new people looking for a tablet billed as an e-reader.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble is holding a press event at Union Square in New York City August the 20th. They will be formally unveiling the two new tablets they are working on, in conjunction with Samsung.

In the past, Barnes and Noble always did their own hardware design and outsourced the manufacturing. They also developed their own skinned version of Android and ecosystem with apps, movies and games. This was too much for them to handle and gravitated their customer base into using Google Play for everything but books, magazines and newspapers.

Working with Samsung was a tremendous benefit to Barnes and Noble because they only have to be responsible for the software side of things. They will be using existing Samsung hardware, which should allow them to focus on a great user experience.

I am fairly excited to see what the new braintrust at Barnes and Noble has in store for us. Most of the old executives that oversaw the entire Nook product line have all left the company. With all of the new blood working to make Nook a success, it will be very interesting to see what the final product looks like.


Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Samsung should take note that Microsoft doesn’t fool around when patent license payments arrive late. Microsoft asserts that they have hundreds of patents that are required for any manufacturer making Android phones: Samsung included.

Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, David Howard, spoke toward the lawsuit, stating that: “Today’s legal action is simply to enforce our contract with Samsung. We don’t take lightly filing a legal action, especially against a company with which we’ve enjoyed a long and productive partnership.” He also noted that: “After spending months trying to resolve our disagreement, Samsung has made clear in a series of letters and discussions that we have a fundamental disagreement as to the meaning of our contract.”

With Microsoft earning between $1B and $2B in patent license revenue made from royalties, this business is one of their most profitable. This is especially true when you consider Howard’s comments on the dominance and success of Samsung’s current phone business:

“So what changed? Since Samsung entered into the agreement, its smartphone sales have quadrupled and it is now the leading worldwide player in the smartphone market. Consider this: when Samsung entered into the agreement in 2011, it shipped 82 million Android smartphones. Just three years later, it shipped 314 million Android smartphones. [Source: IDC, WW Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker – 2014 Q1, Published: May 2014] Samsung predicted it would be successful, but no one imagined their Android smartphone sales would increase this much.”

Of course, this is just Microsoft’s side of the story; things should get more interesting once Samsung weighs in.

Categories : Android News
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Jul
12

Tinder Updated For Wearables

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The great news is that you can now cross ‘finding a date’ off the list of tasks you wished you could complete from the comfort and convenience of your wrist. Tinder has released an update that optimizes their addictive dating app for use on wearable devices –so you can now find the next love of your life (anonymously) from nearly any device you choose.

With Tinder loaded up on your wearable device, picture after picture will be displayed as you green-light or red-light each one –tapping to read brief bios for each potential choice. Initial feedback indicates that the app works well, if not a little slow.

Wearable apps are the new pink these days, with development houses big and small rushing to be the first-to-market with their ideas. This effort was stifled by Google up until this week (when a workaround was released) for paid wearable apps –users could see them in Google Play, but they couldn’t actually install them. No matter for Tinder as it comes with a $0 price-tag, so if you haven’t yet swiped left and right in an effort to find your next perfect match, download Tinder now!

Categories : Android News
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Samsung-GALAXY-Apps

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).

Categories : Android News
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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.

Categories : Android News
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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.


Categories : Android News
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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.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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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?

 


Samsung-ZIt 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.

Categories : Android News
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Samsung PatentIn 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.

Categories : Android News
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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.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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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.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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