Posts Tagged ‘Hits’
When few (if any) web browsers do everything well, many of us have more than one client just to cover all the bases. The GO Launcher Dev Team’s just-launched Next Browser for Android tries to solve this in the simplest way possible: it cherry picks features from established rivals. Sharing extensions from Dolphin? Check. Chrome’s frequently visited pages? Check. Speed Dial from Opera? Check. There’s even a Flipboard-style RSS reader. As there’s also bookmark syncing and voice search, Next Browser is theoretically the only client that Android users could want. How well that pastiche works is another matter, but those who’ve been pining for an all-encompassing browser can give the new app a try at the source link.
Via: Android Police
More signs today the HTC First might also be the last smartphone to ship with Facebook Home pre-installed: UK carrier EE confirmed today that the first Facebook Home phone won’t be launching in the UK soon as planned, as Facebook has decided to concentrate its efforts on making improvements to the Home software before looking to add international markets. EE says it will soon be contacting customers who already used its pre-order system to express interest in the First to let them know about the delay, which is indefinite in length.
Here’s the full statement direct from EE:
Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customisation features to Facebook Home over the coming months. While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision.
Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future.
We’ve also received a near-identical statement from Orange in France, where customers were also able to register their interest, so this isn’t limited to just the UK.
This is not great news for either Facebook or HTC. We’ve seen reports that Facebook Home has been performing poorly as a download, and that the First isn’t selling well in the U.S. Home currently has a 2.5 cumulative average rating in the Google Play store, and AT&T is reportedly in the process of discontinuing the HTC First, though we’ve not heard definitely either way if that’s the final word as of yet.
A so-called “Facebook Phone” under-performing is nothing new; the HTC Status did almost just as poorly, lasting only 36 days before AT&T started considering a swing of the axe.
As of press time, there’s still a button on the Facebook Home splash page that directs you to a page where you can express interest in a pre-order, but presumably that will come down as the carriers move to reflect this change in their own pages and alert customers of the change in the First’s status.
Update: Facebook has povided the following official statement regarding its decision, which mirrors those issued by EE and Orange France:
We’ve listened to feedback from users on their experience using Home. While many people love it, we’ve heard a lot of great feedback about how to make Home substantially better. As a result we’re focusing the next few months on adding customization features that address the feedback we received. While we focus on making Home better, we are going to limit supporting new devices and think it makes a lot of sense for EE and Orange to hold off deploying the HTC First in Europe.
A meteoroid has hit the moon’s surface triggering a bright flash. . Report by Katie Lamborn.
With much of its information obscured it’s hard to say what Google has planned for this new device revealed by its FCC filing, but the model number at least indicates someone has a sense of humor. Called an “H840 device” and rocking the model number H2G2-42 (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 42, the ultimate answer to the question of life, the universe and everything) it has WiFi of the 802.11 b/g/n varieties, but that’s all we know for sure. The natural question is whether this is a proper revamp of / follow up to the failed Nexus Q project, particularly with its appearance coming so closely after the unveiling of its Google Play Music All Access subscription. Of course, Google has no shortage of mysterious device projects in store, we’re hopeful this one will reveal all of its secrets soon.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Active Rugged Smartphone Hits Bluetooth SIG As All-Terrain Phone Battle Heats Up
Samsung is moving quickly to diversify its phone line, with variants of the S4 popping out of the woodwork left and right, including the Galaxy S4 Zoom, which features a rumored 10x optical zoom on its rear camera. Today the Galaxy S4 Active, a ruggedized, smaller version of the flagship S4 has hit the Bluetooth Special Interest Group for certification, which means it could be coming along shortly, too.
The S4 Active is supposedly a water- and dust-resistant phone designed for use with an active lifestyle, or in outdoor conditions where generally phones don’t fare very well. The S4 Active would compete head-to-head with Sony’s latest lineup of phones, including the Xperia ZR announced today, which is a smaller version of the Xperia Z with slightly less impressive specs. It’s submersible in water for up to 1.5 meters, however, which pits it against the Active’s rumored feature set.
Both the Active and the Zoom S4 variants remind me of how companies are diversifying in another crowded, near saturated market: point-and-shoot cameras. Manufacturers regularly highlight the long zoom and rugged versions of their devices, as these are areas where consumers feel they need more than what’s available to them on the smartphone devices they carry around every day.
Manufacturers like Sony and Samsung moving in this direction with their devices marks an attempt to broaden their lineup’s appeal vs. other similar competitors, but also encroaches on the territory of single-purpose devices like the camera. And the market is likely to get more crowded, not less, as Google has been teasing devices that can withstand harsh environmental forces coming from its Motorola acquisition, through executive statements.
I said previously that Samsung is essentially preparing a phone for every feature to compete with any unique advantage its rivals may try, and the S4 Active is definitely that. But these variant devices also have the potential to act as advance market research for tech that can be adopted back into a flagship device: if any is particularly successful, it provides a roadmap for Samsung about what will draw customers to the S5 or beyond.
The S4 Active getting its Bluetooth certification means it’s likely to get a consumer reveal before too long, so we should see exactly how far Samsung has taken the rugged phone concept soon.
Microsoft’s efforts to build out the app ecosystem for Windows Phone 8 appear to be reaching a plateau. Buried in today’s announcement of the Nokia Lumia 928 for Verizon was the fact that the Windows Phone Store now has 145,000 apps, up only slightly from the 120,000 apps announced in October. The figures suggest momentum has slowed after the Windows Phone catalog doubled in size over the first half of last year. And it raises the question of whether developers are shying away from a platform that is still struggling to catch on in North America.
We’ve been waiting to see Motorola would produce now that it’s a part of Google, and one of its first phones to bring the stock Android 4.2 experience may have just been revealed in an FCC filing. The XT1058 sports AT&T compatible LTE bands and NFC, and its model number matches some of the rumors mentioned for phones codenamed Yeti, Ghost or Sasquatch. More concrete ties to the original X Phone rumors are pictures of an AT&T-bound “XFON” posted by @evleaks last week, and the XT912 Vietnamese site Vinhe.tn got its hands on in March. When will we find out what’s hiding behind door number 1? Google I/O is next week and seems (to us) like the perfect time for a big reveal, while we wait you can hit the source link to dig through the documents for any more information.
If you’re a fan of CyanogenMod, there’s a good chance that flashing nightly builds of the 10.1 release is now damn near second nature. Fortunately, a more stable future is in store for you and your phone, as CyanogenMod has revealed that a final release is close at hand. As a buildup to that point, you’ll find that Release Candidate builds are now available for installation. For the uninitiated, CyanogenMod 10.1 is based on Android 4.2.2, and along with many additional features, it serves as a great way to upgrade your device in the case that its manufacturer has given up. Hit the break for the complete list of devices to receive the Release Candidate treatment.
LG’s F-series handsets may not be in the same class an HTC One or GS4, but we can’t help to appreciate the solid specs and LTE-goodness baked into these mid-range devices. Following a debut alongside its F7 sibling at MWC, the F5 will begin trickling out to retail April 29th in France. While there’s no mention of US availability — despite a recent leak pegging it for Verizon — LG will also be soon be pushing it out to parts of Asia and Central / South America as well. Aimed at markets new to LTE, the smartphone packs a beefy 2,150mAh battery, five-megapixel camera, 1.2GHz Dual-Core processor and a 4.3-inch screen to display LG’s skinned version of Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2. If you’re curious to give LTE a go with LG, you’ll find the full press release after the break.
Better start working on those powerball exercises. At least if Samsung’s Galaxy Mega was the thing you thought your life was missing, as it’s just landed at the FCC. Yeah, we know this isn’t the first time, but on second time around it’s the LTE-sporting AT&T-friendly GT-i9205 model. The usual lab tests show little that we didn’t know already — unless you didn’t know it had LTE Band 5, dual band WiFi, NFC or GSM 850 / 1900. As the 5.8-inch isn’t 4G-enabled, this means we’re looking at the bigger 6.3-inch version, but still no word on if, when or how this might land on US shores. Still no harm in limbering up though, is there?