It’s Saturday, so I shouldn’t be in front of a computer, but after watching Samsung’s new 90 second commercial for the Galaxy S4, I felt compelled to share it with you guys. The ad takes place at a young man’s graduation party. It starts out pretty boring, just a guy taking a photo of his father grilling some meat, but then all of a sudden the pace picks up and most, if not all, of the GS4’s new features get demoed.
Back in February of this year, at Mobile World Congress in Spain, Samsung announced a new suite of software called “Knox”. It’s made for people who want to protect the data on their smartphone, and it does some pretty cool things like let you have two separate setups on your device.
If you’re really hardcore about Android, then chances are you own a Nexus device. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a brand that signifies the hardware in your hand runs pure unadulterated Google software, and that it’ll be supported by Google for the foreseeable future.
How did Samsung get to where they are today? By going “vertical”. It’s an industry term that means instead of partnering with lots of companies to produce a product, Samsung decided to do practically everything by themselves. They design and manufacture their own smartphone chips, their own DRAM, their own screens, and the list goes on and on.
Samsung isn’t the only company that makes OLED displays, LG is also in the game. But unlike Samsung, LG hasn’t really focused on making OLED screens for devices like smartphones and tablets. That’s soon going to change according to The Korea Times. LG spokesperson Frank Lee says:
“LG Display will produce an ‘unbreakable OLED display’, the first phase of flexible displays, at our AP2 line of the 4.5th-generation plant in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. The move is aimed at taking a lead over rivals in the race for next-generation displays.”
Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the 16 GB model, has less than 8.5 GB of free storage after a factory reset according to C|Net UK. They asked Samsung why that’s the case. Here’s their answer:
“For the Galaxy S4 16 GB model, approximately 6.85 GB occupies the system part of internal memory, which is 1 GB bigger than that of the Galaxy S3, in order to provide a high resolution display and more powerful features to our consumers. To offer the ultimate mobile experience to our users, Samsung provides a microSD slot on Galaxy S4 for extension of memory.”
What is Android? It’s a pile of code that anyone with a little bit of knowledge can slap on a device. That’s the technical answer. For consumers though, Android is a mobile operating system that comes bundled with a whole bunch of Google applications that make their lives easier. There’s Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, and of course the Google Play Store, where one can find applications from third party developers.
According to TechCrunch, Noah Falstein is now the “Chief Game Designer” at Google. Never heard of Noah? It’s OK, neither have I. His Wikipedia page contains an impressive bio that shows the guy has a ton of experience, but I worry because it looks like he hasn’t made a game since the late 90s. He’s been a consultant since the early 00s, but it’s unclear what exactly he did as a consultant.
Everyone knows that Motorola is going to launch a phone later this year that’s going to run stock Android. What we don’t know is what it’s going to look like, how much it’s going to cost, and what’s going to make it special compared to devices from Samsung and HTC.
When Google showed off Android 3.0 Honeycomb in February 2011, to me it signaled the beginning of the end for hardware buttons. Practically every mobile device that’s been sold before that demo has included at least one button on the face of the device. Apple has the iconic home key, most Android phones used to have four dedicated capacitive keys, and if you look back far enough, you could see Palm OS and Windows Mobile both had similar controls.