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Tag Archives: samsung galaxy s2

Moshi for iPad
  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Google kicked off its annual Google I/O developer keynote in a big way Wednesday by announcing a new version of the Android operating system, a new tablet, a media streamer, and Google+ updates, along with news on the company's Project Glass. We don’t have much in the way of details right now, but here is what we know so far:


    The first news from the Google I/O 2012


    Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


    Jelly Bean is the next update to the Android OS (Given the revision number 4.1 versus the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich release of a couple of months ago.). Project Butter is the first phase of Google's attempt to improve Android's performance. With Project Butter, scrolling and swiping animations should be smoother than they are on older Android versions.


    Jelly Bean uses a new search interface its calling "cards" to make it easier to read and digest certain types of information. As an example, if you search for the weather forecast, search cards will provide an attractive display that shows the weather conditions, temperature, and forecast in a Siri-like display.


    Search cards can show things like answers to questions and image search results. It also works with Android's voice search feature.


    Other Jelly Bean 4.1 improvements include an upgraded camera app and the ability to send photos and videos from one phone to another via Google Beam.


    Google also announced that Jelly Bean will come to the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2 smartphones and to the Motorola Xoom tablet in mid-July.


    Android O/S Activations


    The first news from the Google I/O 2012


     


    Google began its keynote address with some figures on Android activations. So far, it’s hardware partners have sold in excess of 400 million Android-based devices, and that number is increasing with more than 1 million Android phone or tablet activations every day. At last year’s Google I/O, the company announced that 100 million Android devices had shipped so far.


    We have a lot more information to come, so stay tuned!




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    The owners of Samsung Galaxy S2 devices on the AT&T network have finally received Android 4.0, and Samsung promises not to take it away again.  Last week, a few AT&T customers reported that one minute they had access to the Ice Cream Sandwich update on their phone and the next they didn’t.


    Yes, the Ice Cream Sandwich update is yours to keep For AT&T Samsung Galaxy S2 owners


    Samsung apparently yanked the updates from the Kies app, saying they hadn’t finished their testing. Now it looks like Samsung has already put everything back in its place because users are reporting that the update is running smoothly again.


    If you’d like to see what the ICS looks like on the Samsung Galaxy S2, check out the pictures posted in the XDA Developers forum.


    T-Mobile Galaxy S2 users have been enjoying their ICS since June 12. We hope AT&T is done monkeying around with theirs.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Wolfson’s audio chip in Samsung Galaxy S3 devicesAudiophiles have hotly debated whether the Samsung Galaxy S3 would come equipped with a Wolfson digital-to-analog converter for high quality audio output. This week, the Scottish electronics manufacturer stepped up to confirm that its WM1811 Audio Hub is the audio chip hiding inside the Galaxy S3. But wait, the US version is different. The US GS3 uses Qualcomm's WCD9310 instead of the Wolfson chip - apparently the Snapdragon S4 is at work here.


    Wolfson provides a terrific product, Their Audio Hub promises "crystal clear voice call quality" and "enriched audio playback for music and video." It’s also packed with a 24-bit hi-fi DAC and active noise reduction circuits.


    Just to show that some of us are never happy, some audio experts are claiming that the Galaxy S2 equipment is better. The GS2’s Yamaha DAC converts digital data into an analog signal that can drive a speaker (like the one in your headphones.) Good thing most of us can’t tell the difference.


    Why not eliminate all the debate about sound quality with high-quality earbuds and headsets, XMI Speakers and Beats by Dr. Dre.   Let the experts keep searching for their audio holy grail, while we just enjoy the music.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Android texting application Swype has been in the design phase for awhile, but its beta shows it has evolved into a sophisticated next-generation app with four-in-one keyboard and voice capabilities.


    Swype’s four keyboard choices and 55 language downloads


    Chief among the app's redesign is the option of using one of four kinds of keyboards:  traditional letter-to-letter swiping, while adding the ability to type with predictive text input, use an integrated Dragon button to speak the text, or rely on the old peck-and-hunt one-finger motion. Users can swap between any of the modes limitlessly.


    Swype’s new features also include next-word prediction that allows the app to build on historical usage, compiling every word a user enters in emails, texts, or other posts. Swype's 55 language downloads allow users to communicate in any language they can speak.  Swype can be installed on all Android based cell phones including the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S2 as well as HTC One X and Motorola Droid Razr 


    According to Michael Thompson, EVP and general manager for Nuance Mobile (the speech-recognition software building company that acquired Swype last October), "People use their keyboards every day in every way — so input needs to be fast and simple. The new Swype living, learning keyboard users in a new era of input, where the keyboard adapts to the user's unique way of communicating every time they swype, speak, tap, or write."


    The Swype Beta for Android is available for download via beta.swype.com. There's also an SDK for other operating systems.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    The founder of one of Europe’s leading illegal movie-streaming sites confessed and apologized for his crimes and got his sentence cut in half by a German judge.  Deutsche Welle reported that 39-year-old Kino.to founder “Dirk B.” has been sentenced to 4.5 years in jail. He could have been ordered to spend 11 years in prison, but received a reduced sentence after confessing to his copyright infringement crimes.


    Jail time and fines for Kino.to founder


    Millions of eager viewers downloaded movies and watched them on the latest smartphones including the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy2, HTC EVO 


    Many viewers also used tablets like the New iPad/iPad 3, Samsung Tab, Motorola Xoom and the HTC Flyer 


    Dirk B. will have to pay a $4.7 million fine to cover 1.1 million instances of copyright infringement. While in operation, Kino.to is estimated to have brought in as much as $8 million in advertising revenue.


    Most recently, law enforcement officials in Sweden first raided The Pirate Bay in 2006, and the company’s founders were eventually sentenced to jail and forced to pay millions in fines. The service remained online, however, and it is still operational today.   “The Swedish district attorney Fredrik Ingblad initiated a new investigation into The Pirate Bay back in 2010. Information has been leaked to us every now and then by multiple sources, almost on a regular basis. It’s an interesting read,” The Pirate Bay said on its blog. “We can certainly understand why WikiLeaks wished to be hosted in Sweden, since so much data leaks there. The reason that we get the leaks is usually that the whistleblowers do not agree with what is going on. Something that the governments should have in mind – even your own people do not agree.”




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    What’s so special about Intel’s Orange San Diego?


    Intel’s first Android cell phone, the Orange San Diego (once known as the Santa Clara), performed quite well for a debut device from a first-time smartphone manufacturer.  Packed with a (1024 x 600) 4-inch LCD, 8-megapixel camera with flash, micro-HDMI port and 1GB of RAM, the San Diego appears to be a solid, mid-range Android device. During its pre-launch, Intel didn’t over-promise on the San Diego, but focused on a few priorities: good web browsing performance, a high-quality camera and maximum battery life.


     


    Watch the following insightful video on the Intel smartphone



    Hardware:


    The Orange San Diego’s look like a smartphone should.  The cell phone case is durable but is a pretty ordinary design. Its black body is ringed by a silver border. There’s nothing special about the finish or any of the other body parts. The soft-touch backing is a nice feature for such an inexpensive phone, but it will still need the protection of a skin or a case to keep it blemish-free.


    Along the right side of the 10mm edge are the volume rocker, micro-SIM slot and two-stage camera button. The micro-USB port is at the bottom. The mini-HMDI output is along the left side. All of the buttons are responsive. The camera button even quick launches the camera.


    The Orange San Diego resembles a Samsung Galaxy S2 or an iPhone 3GS, but the prominent bezel below the screen gets in the way of it being as user-friendly as those two devices.


    That the San Diego has a 4-inch screen is a nice surprise. While there’s no Super AMOLED Plus or Super LCD 2, the contrast is sharp and the colors are rich, although there is a little discoloration on the edges. The 1024 x 600 is screen is ample. When turned up to full brightness the screen was almost readable in full daylight.


    There’s almost 11GB of storage space, but no expansion slot. The whole phone is sealed, so the battery is not removable, so a quick reset by removing the battery is not a possibility.


    The camera can be controlled by the physical button or the touchscreen. The rear-facing camera can record 1080p video. The four capacitive buttons can be read in daylight. They also illuminate if lighting is too low.


    Camera:


    This is probably the biggest disappointment. While the camera is an 8-megapixel / 1.3-megapixel camera duo, you can’t judge this phone’s performance by its specs.  Those 8-megapixels don’t live up to their reputation with this phone. While it is capable of burst capture, images are blurry and colors are washed out. Overall, photos appear dull and images aren’t very detailed.  Color reproduction indoors was no better. Problems seem to improve a bit when operating in macro mode.


    You’ve got a lot of camera control options including capturing multiple photos at differing exposures. The camera doesn’t have an HDR mode, but you can download your images, and turn them into HDR on separate hardware. The camera does have several auto exposure modes (including aperture and shutter priority), shutter-speed adjustment, anti-banding options, RAW mode, ISO settings (800 maximum) and a burst-mode capable of 15 frames per second for up to 10 shots, but you might not have much use for them given the overall mediocre performance of the camera.


    Video produced the same ho-hum results. White balancing helped with fuzziness, but also washed-out whites.  Autofocus performed well but slowly. 


    Software:


    What’s so special about Intel’s Orange San Diego?


    The San Diego’s OS is Android Gingerbread. The phone should be Android 4.0-capable, and that will be available later this year. It's hard to tell what was customized in the Orange San Diego’s OS. There are gesture features that could be useful.  Drawing a symbol with your finger across the home screen or with any app acts as a shortcut that will take you to your pre-identified location. You can assign up to 27 shortcuts to apps, contacts, playlists and even Foursquare places.


    Popular apps like Orange Wednesday come pre-installed but so do less-useful apps like the Orange Assistant, a redundant user guide and an NFC tags app. The presence of the NFC app doesn’t make much sense. The phone is NFC-capable, but it doesn’t come with taggable cards, and it’s not connected to Orange's existing payment service.


    The display keyboard is one of the most responsive of any Android device, regardless of price. Swype is offered as an option as well. The web browser performs comparably to other dual-core Android devices. Even dense websites download easily and with little stutter.


    Most apps were compatible with the new chipset, and only two didn’t work out of many tested.


    Call quality was sharp and clear. Orange provides HD voice calling between the San Diego and other HD devices. The San Diego’s earSmart voice-cancellation processing is found in higher-end phones like the Galaxy S3. 


    Performance and Battery Life:


    These are the two most important indicators of a viable future for Intel in the smartphone market.


    The San Diego’s processor can’t come near a quad-core or Snapdragon S4s, but its single-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2460 performs like a dual-core processor.


    Overall, benchmark testing was good, and performance results have been consistent since the device was originally tested at its launch. In the case of JavaScript benchmark testing against other versions of the same browser, the San Diego’s performance is nothing short of amazing. Its SunSpider score was better than the Galaxy S III’s!  There is no doubt that Intel lives up to its promise of delivering an exceptional web browser.


    Battery life didn't hold up to Intel’s promise of 14 days' in standby mode. It’s primarily due to the juice drained by powering the screen. The San Diego was tested with a video loop with the screen at 50 percent brightness. The phone ran out of power around seven hours and 20 minutes. That’s a result pretty much on par with other Android devices, but not bad for a 4-inch smartphone.


    Day-to-day use was a lot better than many other of the latest smartphones. The battery lasted two to three days between charges. Not using the smartphone features at all gave the battery a two-week lifespan between charges.


    To sum it all up:


    Overall, Intel's first Android smartphone performed admirably.


    • The real stand-out was its Medfield processor that met and, in some cases, exceeded expectations.
    • The battery didn’t live up to Intel’s claims but still held its power very well.
    • The camera was a big disappointment. Back to the drawing board Intel.
    • When compared to Samsung and HTC devices the San Diego looks cheap and somewhat fragile.
    • It needs Ice Cream Sandwich sooner rather than later.

    Priced at $308 USD, the San Diego joins a nice variety of inexpensive entry-level smartphones in the Orange family.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Ask anyone what Near-field communication (NFC) technology does and they’ll tell you it processes mobile payments. Now Samsung is going to give NFC a whole new meaning with TecTiles.


    Samsung’s new TecTiles takes NFC beyond mobile payments


    TecTiles are little “stickers” with a simple NFC tag inside. Each sticker lets the user “program” the sticker to have a specific response whenever any device with an NFC chip passes nearby.  You designate a TecTile to perform a specific function like open a website, change a device setting, make a call, download a document, or whatever else you’ve told the sticker to do. When you tap the screen above the TecTile it will do what you programmed it to.


    Unlike QR codes, NFC doesn’t require launching an app or using your phone’s camera — just put your phone on top of it and hit “OK.”


    We hear the app is very easy to use, and within seconds we were able to program the TecTile with simple commands like phoning a specific number. As long as you don’t “lock” the TecTile, you can re-set it to other programs.


    Samsung’s TecTile app runs on any Samsung phone with an NFC chip, including the Samsung Galaxy S 3 and Samsung Galaxy S 2, the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, and the Galaxy S Blaze. The TecTile app will be available in Google Play.  You can purchase stickers in packs of five for $14.99 from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.




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  • By: Aldo Panessidi


    The latest results are in for NPD Group’s monthly Mobile Phone Track service. It looks like Apple retails it’s top seat as the #1 smartphone vendor in the U.S.


    Smartphone Market Share


    Apple’s market ownership continues to strengthen. It’s market share increased by 7% in the first quarter year-over-year. In the past year, Apple’s iPhones were responsible for 29% of all smartphone sales in the U.S. Samsung with Its Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tablets seems to be the only company breathing anywhere down Apple’s neck.


    I wrote another blog indicating that Samsung currently has the titles for the world’s largest smartphone vendor and largest overall mobile phone vendor. In the last year, Samsung recorded huge market share growth of 140%. That gives them ownership of 24% share of the market.


    Why the confusion? Many analyst interpret market data differently... in addition a giant like Apple would react fervently to any news saying that its market position has been upset


    Apple and Samsung together are responsible for 53% of all smartphones sold in the U.S. LG, HTC, Motorola and RIM sales continue to fall.


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    “Samsung is the only market leader from the feature phone era to transition to market leadership in the smartphone era in the U.S.,” said NPD analyst Ross Rubin. “Its broad carrier support and advertising – particularly in the ascendant pre-paid segment – have helped it achieve the highest market share among Android handset providers in the U.S.”


    Samsung vs Apple


    NPD also reported that Google’s Android operating system is the highest selling mobile platform. Android use is trending in the right direction, and it regained some of the ground it had previously lost to Apple.


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    Android smartphone sales grew 24% over the last quarter of 2011 to 61% of the market. Apple iPhone sales are down significantly. The high of 41% in the last quarter is now 29%, a decline of 29%.


    Apple is still the People’s Phone. Regardless of what the market share number shows, Apple’s iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS still hold the top three spots in NPD’s overall handset ranking for first quarter of 2012. Samsung’s Galaxy S2 and HTC’s EVO 3D round out the top five.


    Rubin tries to explain what the poll number show: “After some release of pent-up demand from customers adopting the iPhone 4S, coupled with the company’s strength in the holiday season, Apple’s share fell in the first quarter, as we’ve often see it do in the quarter following its introduction of a new handset. Now that the iPhone is available on Sprint, though, the increased carrier coverage has created a higher baseline for Apple’s share than we have seen in the past.”




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Recently released figures from Google about the relative number of devices running a given version of Android are showing an interesting increase in the number of active Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices. The numbers, which are based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within a two week period (ending on 1st May 2012), show that just under 5% of all Android devices now run Android 4.0, of these, the vast majority run 4.0.3 or 4.0.4 rather than 4.0, 4.0.1 or 4.0.2.


    Android version share


    Samsung has come through on its promise to release the upgrade to OS 4.0 for Samsung Galaxy S2 on May 3rd.


    See an actual Samsung Galaxy S2 On OS 4.0



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    OS 2.3 to 4.0 will be a terrific leap in usability... optimizing both the hardware and software for all you Galaxy S2 users. Watch for it on your devices today.


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  • What's The Big Deal with Samsung S3
    Posted on April 25, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By: Aldo Panessidi


    Despite all the rumors and marketing fanfare being build in anticipation of Samsung's much-awaited Galaxy S3... we are starting to see indications that this new smartphone may simply be a mirror image of its predecessor the Galaxy S3 with very minor updates. In fact, there is mounting murmurs that these inconsequential updates may not even warrant the title of the Samsung Galaxy S3.


    Samsung Galaxy S3


    CNET says that one of those infamous “anonymous” sources described the difference between the S3 and the S2 as the same level of improvement that the iPhone 4S brought to the iPhone 4. As such, will the consumer's enthusiasm for the Galaxy S3 turn to disappointment when they realize that the only updates may be a boost in processing power coupled with a new, borderline useful interaction feature, but not the big deal that Samsung marketing is gearing the market for.


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    Moreover, it would seem that Samsung' s Galaxy S3 specs are very similar to the HTC One X smartphone - this would probably mean that the feature wise, the Galaxy S3 would have a quad-core CPU (probably an Exynos rather than Tegra), 1GB of RAM and a 4.7" screen. Leaked images of the S3 do confirm a bigger screen than the current Galaxy S2 4.3" screen.


    One of the new features of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is apparently being dubbed the “ Human Interaction”... which uses the device’s front-facing camera to keep track of where the user’s eyes are pointed. it automatically locks the screen to the image when user's look away.


    We’ll have to wait until Samsung’s May 3rd event, during which time they should be announcing the details for the Galaxy S3. Until then, we can just keep speculating.



    This post was posted in New Releases, Samsung, Smartphones and was tagged with samsung galaxy s2, s3, samsung galaxy s3, galaxy s3, Galaxy S2, Android

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