I tend to shy away from operator specific news, but I’ll let this one slide. Verizon, America’s largest operator, is going to start selling Samsung’s 2013 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, on May 23rd for $200 with a new two year contract.
The Korean IT publication ET News recently published an article saying that the GS4 Mini isn’t going to launch in South Korea. Buried in that article was this little nugget:
“The Galaxy S4 Mini, a mid-range version of the Galaxy S4, will be unveiled in overseas markets including Europe early next month. The 4.3-inch Galaxy S4 Mini is expected to be equipped with a quad core processor and an 8-megapixel camera.”
Qualcomm and Kaspersky sign a deal, device makers to get ‘special terms’ for bundling antivirus software
Kaspersky Lab, makers of antivirus software for the PC and Mac, has just announced that they’ved signed a deal with Qualcomm whereby any hardware maker building an Android device using a Qualcomm chip will receive “special terms” for bundling Kaspersky’s software.
If you own Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the one that uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, then there’s a small chance you may have heard some distortion coming out of your headphones. According to Android Police, this is a well known problem. They point to a 16 page thread on XDA and a 120+ comment thread on Reddit with people reporting clipping issues. Someone even ran some a comprehensive analysis on the GS4’s audio output, which you can see here.
It looks like no one wants the “Facebook Phone”, at least according to BGR, who says that sales of the HTC First at AT&T have been so bad that the company has decided to discontinue the device. How bad is bad? They say less than 15,000 units have been sold since the device launched in mid-April. That’s pretty horrible considering how big AT&T is.
According to Google+, Shahriar Hossain is a Samsung employee. And according to the Dutch website TechTastic, he posted a photo to Google+ using a device known as the SM-C101, which is better known as the Galaxy S4 Zoom. The photo has already been taken down, but don’t worry, you’re not missing much. It’s of a white building on a clear day.
Google’s annual I/O conference is due to kick off at 09:00 tomorrow in San Francisco. If you want to know when that is in your respective time zone, I’ve set this website up to make your life easier. Unlike previous I/O events, where there were multiple keynotes spread out over a couple of days, this year there will be just one keynote, and according to Google it’s supposed to be three hours long.
But enough about the logistics, let’s get to the actual announcements, which I’m going to split into three categories: Hardware, Software, and Services.
CyanogenMod is, without a doubt, the biggest and the most popular custom ROM available for majority of the Android devices out there. The custom ROM that initially started as a one-man project by Steve Kondik now includes hundreds, or perhaps, thousands of developers, and a user-base that is now 5 million users strong! Yes, CyanogenMod custom ROM now runs on 5 million Android devices across the world.
Gaming on a smartphone doesn’t compare to gaming on a dedicated console like the XBOX or PlayStation, for obvious reasons. Your phone can only be so big, whereas you can buy the largest high def television that’ll fit through your front door. Another thing that dedicated consoles do is provide gamers with a complete gaming ecosystem with features such as leaderboards, friends, in-game chat, and so on and so forth.
Sundar Pichai, the guy who replaced Andy Rubin as the head of Android, was recently interviewed by Wired. It’s not a long piece, but long enough that most of you probably aren’t going to make it to the bottom, which is a shame, because that’s where the meat of the interview is.