The ASUS-made Nexus 7 has been a runaway success — arguably the most successful Android tablet yet, and certainly the most popular Nexus device to date. So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to hear that a successor might be in the works, and due for launch later this year.
That's exactly what's being reported by Taiwanese outlet DigiTimes, which cites its sometimes right, sometimes wrong supply chain sources with access to "engineering samples" of the tablet. The site claims the ASUS-built Nexus 7 successor (Nexus 8, perhaps?) will feature a "full HD" 1080p display, thinner bezels and the same attractive $199-249 price point. "Several specifications" will also be upgraded, DigiTimes says, though no specifics are given.
The site's sources also estimate total Nexus 7 shipments at six million as of the end of January, with the $249 32GB Wifi-only version being the most popular at present.
This is the first we've heard of a possible Nexus 7 follow-up, but there's nothing terribly shocking in there as far as we're concerned. The Nexus 7's low price has been instrumental in its success, and so any successor was likely to be priced around the same level. In addition, with mobile device screen resolutions reaching dizzying heights this year, the Nexus tablet's screen is an obvious point for improvement.
Then again, given the patchy nature of supply chain rumblings, a large pinch of salt should be taken when dealing with this kind of rumor. Either way, we'll be on the ground in San Francisco in May to see what new hardware Google brings to this year's I/O conference.
It’s hard to exactly pinpoint what is going on with production of the LG Nexus 4. Google tells us one story that LG is to blame for erratic supply, but LG turns around and claims production is going smoothly and that it is not completely to blame. Today, however, LG France director, Cathy Robin, provided some much needed information on the situation.
Basically, she premises her talk by explaining how Google provided LG with sales forecasts based on previous Nexus launches. At time of announcement, it was no surprise that the Nexus 4 would command exceptional demand, so it is a bit surprising Google didn’t forecast much higher sales for the attractively priced Nexus 4.
Now, here is some good news regarding the Nexus 4. Robin believes that by mid-February, there will be enough in stock that the market will not experience any more pressure. Mid-February is still roughly a month away, so I hope Google brings back at least another batch of Nexus 4 devices before then.
Lastly, Robin also mentions that the sales figure of 375,000 for the Nexus is “much lower” than the real sales figure. However, in typical mobile fashion, LG did not divulge any specific numbers.
In terms of the current smartphone industry, the Samsung Galaxy S III is already considered an “older” device and is not given as much attention as it once was. With this in mind, it is no surprise to see Galaxy S IV rumors begin to crop up, since Samsung is most likely almost done with the GS3 successor.
According to SamMobile, they have received an image of the Galaxy S IV, which shows off its large display and the possibility of on-screen touch buttons. The design of the smartphone does fall in line with previous Samsung Galaxy designs, making it a familiar face for an expanding series.
Current rumored specs for the high-end GS4 include a 5 inch 1080p display, 2GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear facing camera, 2MP front facing camera, Android 4.2, and presumable LTE support. Based on these specs, the Galaxy S IV sounds like a winner, but of course it is important to see how well Samsung managed to integrate software with hardware.
Over the top (OTT) VOIP users will top 1 billion by 2017, according to some new research. It's no surprise that traditional voice call usage is going down, but that doesn't mean that people are stopping voice calls all together. The transition to VOIP (Voice Over IP) calling services is on the rise, according to a report out today by Juniper Research, and could reach a massive 1 billion users in just 4 short years. Today, current VOIP solutions like Skype and Talkatone don't integrate natively with phones but rather run as standalone apps, and don't always work as well as users would expect over regular 3G data technologies.
Fortunately as LTE becomes the standard for mobile data, the higher speeds and lower latency will help this move. Apps will start to take advantage with better audio codecs and other software innovations as well. The unknown in all of this is how carriers will react to the move towards VOIP solutions as primary calling options for users.
It seems that users taking advantage of Google Music's new scan and match feature aren't always getting exactly what they expected added to their music libraries. The new feature, which launched in the U.S. just a week ago, lets users bypass uploading of new music by instead "matching" the music on the user's computer with the same file in Google Music automatically. That's all fine and dandy if it works, but users are reporting that songs with explicit lyrics are having the clean versions of songs added instead. This doesn't come as a complete surprise considering the same reports came out when iTunes started its own matching service, but this still shouldn't be happening.
Whether its because of a licensing shortcoming or technical issue with identifying music, we hope that Google can get this one figured out. Users with explicit music usually have it for a reason, and don't really want it replaced erroneously because a service isn't operating properly.
Source: Droid Life
In 2012, genomics tiptoed into the doctor
According to new figures from IDC, as reported by AppleInsider today, Apple is expected to maintain its 50% share of the tablet market through until 2016, although it is expected to take a small hit from increased competition from Android and Windows tablets. IDC thinks that there will be 122.3 million tablets shipped in 2012 overall, with Apple’s iPad making up 53.8% of that total, representing a slight drop from 56.3% in 2011. The main reason for this would be the growth in Android tablet sales, up from 39.8% in 2011 to 42.7% in 2012. Good news for Apple and Android then, but less favourable news for Microsoft, with Windows-based tablets only expected to account for 2.9% of tablet shipments in 2012. However, things can only get better for Microsoft, and IDC believes that indeed they will, projecting that by 2016, Windows tablets will have 10.2% of the market, which would be quite an improvement.
"Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower prices points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond," Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC, told AppleInsider. "Android tablets are gaining traction in the market thanks to solid products from Google, Amazon, Samsung, and others. And Apple’s November iPad mini launch, along with its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well for a strong holiday season."
Source: Apple’s iPad projected to control 50% of tablet shipments through 2016
It's a Nexus. It's got an unlockable bootloader. So it was only a matter of time before someone worked out how to plug root access and superuser into Google and LG's new baby. We've been here before, folks.
There's also now a working version of ClockworkMod custom recovery for the device, which expands upon stock recovery with a bunch of new features for advanced users.
Nexus phones are Google's developer devices, so they're supposed to be easy to crack open and fiddle with. So if you're looking to run rooted apps, or even tinker with the phone's system software, this Nexus is as good as any other. AOSP support for the Nexus 4 has yet to arrive, unfortunately, but we imagine Google will be publishing the code sooner rather than later.
AppleInsider reports today that Amazon has withdrawn a prominently placed advert on the site which unfavourably compared the iPad mini with the Kindle Fire HD. The advert, which was in the form of a comparison chart, said that the iPad mini had a ?mono speaker,? whereas the Kindle Fire HD has ?dual stereo speakers.? However, iPad mini reviews have started appearing today, ahead of tomorrow?s release date, and it would seem that Amazon got it wrong and the iPad mini does indeed have dual stereo speakers! As AppleInsider notes, this is in fact a big upgrade from all previous iPad models, including the newly announced fourth-gen iPad, all of which have had a single speaker. The Verge review even says that the iPad mini speakers are ?good-sounding?. This all comes as a bit of a surprise, not just to Amazon, but to all of us, because Apple didn?t really mention the iPad mini?s speakers at launch, unlike Amazon when it launched the Kindle Fire HD and made a point of mentioning its stereo speakers. The official Apple website even only referred to the iPad mini?s ?built-in speaker,? singular. But now we know there are two, and they sound good, apparently!
Source: Amazon pulls anti-iPad mini ad with incorrect claim about stereo speakers
The folks over at TmoNews have just confirmed that when the LG Nexus 4 goes on sale at T-Mobile stores in just a couple of weeks that it won't be coming with Wifi Calling (UMA) on board. Now this will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed previous Nexus phones in the past. The Nexus One, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus all worked on T-Mobile's network just fine, but none of them were given official Wifi Calling support. Just because T-Mo is selling this one directly doesn't mean that changes now.
This may sound bad on the surface because many users would like the ability to have the battery life and call quality improvements that come with Wifi Calling, but this is actually a good thing. Not having the Wifi Calling app pre-installed on the Nexus 4 means that there's a really good chance it has the exact same firmware as the unlocked version coming from Google via the Play Store.
When it comes to updates and variants of Nexus devices, the fewer models that need to be supported, the better.
More: Google Nexus 4 Forums