HP and Google combined to create two new Chromebooks which were launched early last month: The $299 Intel Haswell-powered Chromebook 14 and the smaller Samsung Exynos ARM-powered Chromebook 11. Both machines mark new territory for Google and HP. The Silicon Valley neighbors have been getting closer and closer since Meg Whitman took over as CEO, including an expanding array of Android tablets as well. The initial HP Chromebooks were clearly re-purposed Windows laptops. These clearly are something entirely different… Read more
Update: JD Power’s math seems a little off, when you delve into the scores …
Samsung got 18 stars, Apple 18, with Samsung only ahead on price, yet took the overall lead.
J.D. Power has released its 2013 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study–Volume 2 today with Samsung edging out Apple’s iPad for the top spot. Apple has in the past ranked number one in the company’s customer stratification surveys for tablets, but this time Samsung has jumped up from number 3 in April to take the first position from the iPad.
Samsung ranks highest with a score of 835 and is the only manufacturer to improve across all five factors since the previous reporting period in April 2013. Samsung showed particularly strong improvement in the cost factor (25-point increase). Apple ranks second scoring 833 and performs particularly well in performance and ease of operation.
While Samsung only slightly beat out Apple with 835 points vs 833 points on a 1000 point scale, the outcome is quite notable for Samsung who in April ranked even lower than Amazon. The study measures customer satisfaction based on five metrics for 3,375 tablet owners: performance (26%); ease of operation (22%); styling and design (19%); features (17%); and cost (16%). Read more
T-Mobile today announced that it is launching a new un-carrier initiative for tablets next month (November). The plan will offer tablets to T-Mobile customers (new and existing) for no money down. Like with smartphones, the customers will be able to pay for the device over the life of a 24-month plan. T-Mobile is yet to provide pricing specifics for tablets other than the iPad, but those details will arrive soon. What is known now: customers on T-Mobile with tablets will be able to get 200MB of data per month for free. T-Mobile recently announced the Simple Choice international unlimited data free roaming plan, and T-Mobile will likely support this for tablets.
Google announced today on its Google Maps blog that it’s finally tapping into the talent and technology it picked up with its acquisition of Waze back in June to integrate real time incident reports from Waze into Google Maps. The new integration means that when Waze users report incidents for everything from accidents to road closures, Google Maps users on both iOS and Android will now be able to benefit:
Users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users. This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS.
The features will initially be limited to users in certain locations, including: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US. In addition, as Google first hinted back in June, the company will also be integrating Google Search into the Waze apps on iOS and Android, while the Waze Map Editor now has access to Google Street View imagery: Read more
IDC is out today with its latest report tracking worldwide tablet shipments reporting that total shipments have experienced a sequential decline during Q2 at the expense of Apple and the iPad. Apple already announced that it had sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, a significant drop from the 17 million it sold in the year ago quarter, but today IDC gives us some insight into where that puts Apple in its lead over Samsung as the top tablet vendor.
Apple was able to pick up 32.4% of the market during Q2, continuing its lead as the top tablet manufacturer, but dropping from the 60.3% of the market it had in Q2 last year. While Apple’s tablet shipments are clearly suffering from lack of new product announcements this year, it’s also losing share to Samsung and others. IDC reports 277% year over year growth for Samsung, giving it 18% of the market with 8.1 million units shipped during Q2. All of the top 3 vendors– Apple, Samsung, and ASUS– experienced a drop compared to Q1 2013, but the Android tablet makers have experienced significant growth compared to Apple since last year. Read more
After launching a private beta of its new Google Reader replacement, Digg announced today that it is now rolling out the beta to all users signed up to test the new app. Digg just sent out the first batch of invites to the new web app, but promises it will be “adding users in increasingly larger batches.”
The app is still a work in progress and won’t get you every feature you might have had with Google Reader, but for now you can easily import your Google Reader content, use Google Reader-like shortcuts, and save and share to all the usual third-party services.
iOS versions of Digg Reader land for iPhone and iPad in the App Store sometime today, and Digg says an Android app will be available before the end of July.
Digg warns that the app is still very much in beta, but reminds us of a few features it plans to add in the coming months: Read more