Handhelds Stories June 30, 2014

BlackBerry responds to reports of 0 percent market share with ‘fact check’ portal

Following a CIRP report claiming that BlackBerry’s smartphone market share was now zero (that is, too small to measure), the company has hit back with a ‘fact check’ portal intended to present its side of the story to what it sees as “sensationalized reports.”

To be fair to the company, the CIRP report in question measured consumer share, while BlackBerry’s strength has always been in the enterprise market, where BlackBerry says it still leads.

[In the Enterprise space] BlackBerry has the largest install base, an unparalleled global infrastructure, and the deepest understanding of how to provide secure, productive mobile collaboration and communications in the enterprise space.

Which may well be true for the moment, but the very fact that the company feels it has to work so hard to present its case is testament itself to its precarious prospects.

BlackBerry announced earlier this month that apps on the Amazon Appstore will be available to BlackBerry 10 owners from the fall.

Handhelds Stories June 19, 2014

lg-g-watch-2

Android Wear is expected to be a major part of Google’s showing next week during its I/O conference and to give a hint of what’s on deck, the company has released a new video overlooking what its new platform has to offer. This introduction demo highlights Mountain View’s intentions for its new software, discussing what separates it from the Android experience on a smartphone, detailing its focus on convenience.

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Handhelds Stories February 18, 2014

Image: ggpht.com

Image: ggpht.com

For those who may be waiting to choose between the Samsung S5 and the new HTC flagship handset code-named the M8, HTC has a little sweetener for you: a free, one-time replacement of the screen if you break it within the first six months of ownership. The company is also promising to offer Android updates for two years.

Now when customers buy any HTC One they can rest assured their device will be future proofed, with major Android updates for 2 years from launch. And it’s nearly accident proof too, because we will replace a broken screen for free once within the first 6 months you own it—let’s face it accidents do happen and we want to keep your device in great condition …  expand full story

Handhelds Stories November 7, 2013

[protected-iframe id=”492e2c57048e6da0fc41819addecc350-22427743-13611283″ info=”http://assets-polarb-com.a.ssl.fastly.net/api/v4/publishers/9to5mac/embedded_polls/iframe?pollset_id=200-nexus5iphone5s” width=”100%” height=”425″ style=”border: none;”]

The results from our Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s photo quality survey are in.  The winner is probably not a surprise (the iPhone 5s) but the margin may have been a bit of a surprise after so many people rated the Nexus 5 camera so poorly (and Google subsequently offered promises of fixes).

At the time we turned on the answers, the iPhone won about 55% of the votes overall from over 200,000 votes placed.

Nexus 5 − 89724  (45%)

iPhone 5S – 110828 (55%)

After testing the Nexus 5 camera for a few days, it is pretty clear that it isn’t the best shooter out there, and even the best Android shooter.  But it also isn’t that bad. In fact, I think it might be a bit better than other high profile phones like the MotoX.  The weaknesses in the survey and in my own testing is in speed (it is slow, especially in low light), Low light images in general weren’t great and paradoxically over-exposure outside in well lit situations (though people in the survey seemed to appreciate that bias) seemed to happen frequently with the Nexus 5.

The bottom line however is that the Nexus 5 camera isn’t the best but it really isn’t that bad – especially for a $350 phone.   Full results before we turned on the labels below: expand full story

Handhelds Stories September 26, 2013

nexus5

The Nexus 5 appears set to match or beat the iPhone 5s in graphics performance, according to benchmark data posted on the the GFXBench website, achieving 23.1 frames per second in a key test.

The GFXBench T-Rex tests are one of the most demanding tests of the graphics performance of a phone, and provide a particularly good guide to how well a handset is likely to fare when paying graphics-intensive games. The just-released iPhone currently tops the T-Rex scores, but one of the four tests appears to show that the Adreno 330 expected to be used in the Nexus 5 will at least equal that performance …  expand full story

Handhelds Stories January 3, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 5.20.40 PM

The latest numbers from Android’s Current Distribution page reveal somewhat exciting results for the folks in Mountain View. Android 4.1 – 4.2 Jelly Bean has now crossed the 10 percent threshold for all Android devices on the market. It now sits at 10.2-percent. Additionally, Gingerbread has dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in over a year, as Ice Cream Sandwich made gains to get close to 29.1-percent total share. Maybe this is how things should have always been. But, at any rate, sales from the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and more seem to be paying off.

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Handhelds Stories August 24, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8pdaEgXENE&feature=youtu.be

Oh, and Virgin is having a sale on its selection of Androids: $35 a month is probably less than you are paying now. (and it offers the iPhone for an industry low $30/month unlimited data plan) expand full story

Handhelds Stories August 16, 2012

‘Smart updates’ now live in Google Play Store

The folks at AndroidPolice are on a roll today, as they just discovered, after examining the new Google Play Store APK, that the revamped Android marketplace now takes advantage of “smart updates.”

The 300 KB APK code previously revealed a wishlist and gift cards coming down the pipeline, and now it shows incremental downloads are live in version 3.8.15 of the Play Store. Those who need to keep an eye on their data consumption will revel in the update, because it means they no longer have to re-download an entire APK to get the latest version. Hereafter—Android devices will only download the changes between versions.

That is not all, according to AndroidPolice:

Here’s the good news: it should also work with earlier Play Store releases, like 3.7.15, as the change seems to be retroactive and server-side.

Handhelds Stories August 15, 2012

Pinterest refreshes mobile experience, launches first Android app

Pinterest updated its entire mobile app lineup today with a completely refreshed design, and it released all-new tablet and Android apps. Previously only available on the iPhone (and now iPad), the developer released Android versions today that work on both phones and tablets. Pinterest walked through some of the new features in a blog post announcing the updated apps. The app is available as a free download on Google Play now.

Android owners have been very vocal with their requests for an app – every product announcement we’ve recently made has resulted in the question “What about an Android app?” We were listening, and our custom-designed Android app makes it simple and fast to pin, so that the time you spend on Pinterest is as productive as possible. We also made sure the app works well on Android phones and tablets, regardless of your device’s cost, speed or screen size.

Handhelds Stories July 9, 2012

Samsung shows off sharing features in new Galaxy S III ads

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eQXi_qmovI&feature=player_embedded]

Instead of going for an obvious attack on the iPhone, like in the past, Samsung is opting for ads that actually focus on the features of the its latest flagship Galaxy device. In Sammy’s latest three Galaxy S III ads (above and below), the company focuses on content-sharing capabilities made possible through the device’s AllShare features.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJKmSV-qRJg&feature=player_embedded]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bhD-BvPkn8&feature=player_embedded]

Handhelds Stories March 22, 2012

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Not a bad deal on one of the better Android tablets out there. Woot expand full story

Handhelds Stories December 28, 2011

Title says it all.  Andy Rubin just tweeted some more Android numbers and they are pretty impressive.  In the two day Christmas period, 3.7 million Android phones were activated.  Compare that to 1.4 million on an average two day period.

Another comparison: After 16 months without releasing a phone, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S’s in the first week of release.

The Android Freight Train continues to roar. expand full story

Handhelds Stories October 27, 2011

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As is usually the case, the next Droid leaks have started months before any product is released. Droid Life got their hands on a whole gallery of images of the new Droid 4 and it looks incredibly impressive. So impressive that those Droid 3s now selling in stores are looking like a waste of time and money. The Specs:

  • (smaller than RAZR )4″ screen (assuming Super AMOLED Advanced)
  • Full 5-row “illuminated” keyboard
  • RAZR styling
  • 4G LTE
  • Non-removable battery
  • Android 2.3.5
  • 1080p video recording (assuming 8MP)
  • Front camera
  • HDMI out
  • MotoACTV syncing

If you like your physical Keyboards, your Verizon and Motorola bloatware (already loaded so coming soon) then you may want to keep your ear to the ground.  Head over to Droid Life for a full gallery expand full story

Handhelds Stories September 23, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwrf5GMAZWw

This upcoming device on Sprint is a slightly-modified Droid Pro with what looks like a much nicer keyboard and Sprint features such as a push to talk button.  Other notables on this Blackberry to Android transition device are 3.1-inch display, 5 megapixel camera and a light touching of Motorola Blur mixed Santorum-style with Sprint’s own ID overlay.

For those Crackberry addicts that are looking for some Android methadone on Sprint, here you go! expand full story

Handhelds Stories August 16, 2011

From 9to5toys.com:

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MacMall has a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for $429 with free shipping. That’s a few hundred off of retail and a pretty solid price for the king of the Android tablets. This wireless-only Android tablet (no 3G connectivity) features a 10.1″ 1280×800 touchscreen LCD, 16GB memory, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, built-in GPS, 2-megapixel front camera, 3-megapixel rear camera, Android 3.1 OS (Honeycomb), and more. expand full story

Handhelds Stories July 17, 2011

Rooted OS Cyanogenmod has hit 506,046 users according to its stats page. The half-million number comes from 378,4440 official installs and 127,606 unofficial installs. With the amount of Android phones out there, we’re pretty surprised at how low this number is. The top devices include:

via Android Central expand full story

Handhelds Stories July 1, 2011

Android Central has gotten their hands on a table showing the Droid 3, Droid 2, and Droid X2 side-by-side. The Droid 2 and Droid X2 are already out on Verizon, but the image above sheds light on what the Droid 3 will be. There isn’t a release date quite yet; we know it’s coming to Verizon at the very least.

The Droid 3 will be sporting Honeycomb, a 4-inch touchscreen, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8MP rear-facing camera, and front facing-camera. The image above also reveals this will be a world phone. We’ll keep you updated about when this phone will drop. expand full story

Handhelds Stories June 21, 2011

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It seems like a no brainer. Samsung is building 8-inch screens into its refrigerator line.  Of course it is going to use Android so you can have 200,00 apps on your Honeycomb fridge, right?  Even HP picked Android to run its printers (at least until it picked up Palm) -Clearly Android is what everyone wants.

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Nope, it looks like Samsung is using its own proprietary, non-Bada embedded OS.  Likely due to stability concerns, Samsung went to something that Google doesn’t control.  We’ve combed through the 4000 page user manual (PDF) and nary a mention of Android, though some screenshots seem to be reminiscent of its UI (below).  Perhaps Samsung (or some hackers) will get Android on there in a future update. expand full story

Handhelds Stories June 16, 2011

 

Fortune has a great Android article up from the magazine today called 100 million Android fans can’t be wrong.  It is good to see the Android news going mainstream.

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