Samsung brings in new design chief from Apple designer Jony Ive’s former firm

Glam_Galaxy-S5_Group

Samsung announced last year that, after negative reviews of the design of its Galaxy S5, its head of mobile design Change Dong-hoon was being replaced by then VP of mobile design Lee Min-hyouck. Today, however, it was revealed that the company is bringing in an outside designer to help refresh its product lineup. A report from the Korea Herald states that Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae to be its new head of design. Don-tae would lead design of all Samsung gadgets, including smartphones.

Read more

Xiaomi aims to take on the iPhone 6 Plus with new 5.7″ Note phablet

Image via @DarthMowl

Image via Darth Mowl

After teasing a super-thin new smartphone earlier this week, smartphone maker (or, maybe more accurately, “smartclone maker”) Xiaomi revealed its 2015 flagship model, the Note. Just to be clear, this is an entirely new device, and doesn’t seem to be related to the company’s existing “Redmi Note” smartphone.

It’s also not related to Samsung’s similarly named devices, though it hardly seems unreasonable to think that Samsung’s execs aren’t exactly pleased with the name. iPhone users may detect quite a bit of irony (karma, perhaps?) watching the Korean company squirm as it gets ripped off by a competitor, though.

The 5.7-inch phone is positioned as an iPhone 6 Plus competitor. It features a 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization—a far cry from Apple’s 8 MP shooter—and a 4 MP front-facing camera.

Read more

EFF takes issue with Apple’s developer agreement, refuses to launch mobile app for iOS

EFF app for Android

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released an app for Android devices, but announced today that it has no plans to bring the software to Apple’s iOS platform. The reason, the organization said, is that it simply cannot agree to Apple’s developer agreement.

The EFF specifically called out six points in the document that it took issue with, although it noted that there were even more problems it didn’t have the space to mention. The complaints aren’t new—many of them date back to 2010—but it seems the foundation is determined once again to make its points heard.

Read more

Gartner: iPhone sees growth while Samsung continues to slow, Apple to have record Q4

iPhone 6

Gartner today published its third quarter numbers, showing overall growth in the smartphone market and a strong quarter for Apple. Mobile devices overall saw as many as 456 million sold with smartphones taking a 301 million slice of that pie, which comes out to a solid 66% (up 20% from last year). This shift in the market seems to be hurting Samsung and Nokia the most, because while the Korean giant is still leading the pack, this year smaller companies with slimmer margins seem to be taking some of its foothold.

Read more

Apple CarPlay vs Google Android Auto — full comparison (Video)

autovs

Apple and Google are back at it again and attempting to bring a safe and friendly mobile experience to your car. Android Auto and CarPlay are the two company’s re-imagining of mobile user interfaces for the car and both are gearing up for a major rollout over the next year.

Each system is designed to work with its respective native mobile platform, but there are differences between the two that may appeal to different people. Today we’re comparing Apple’s CarPlay to Google’s Android Auto using the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. This car comes packed with both systems, so you won’t have to compromise either way, but there are some important differences between the two…

Read more

Xiaomi thinks it can top Apple and Samsung as world’s largest smartphone maker within a decade

Xiaomi Mi2

Just weeks after Xiaomi overtook Huawei and LG to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, The Guardian reports that the Chinese handset maker’s chief executive and founder Lei Jun is out with a bold prediction that his company could move past Apple and Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker within the next five to ten years. Read more

Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

google

Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

Read more

Samsung’s not done with its ‘me too’ act yet: announces Continuity clone, Flow

flow

Not content with being a ‘fast follower’ of HealthKit and HomeKit with its Digital Health and Smart Home platforms, and iBeacon with its Proximity Service, Samsung has just announced a Continuity clone, Flow.

People today use multiple devices in their daily activities: phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, TVs, and more. But the way we work is still device-centric. We still use one application, within one device, with data that is tied to that application and device.

Samsung Flow is a platform that enables developers to create seamless transitions across devices, so that people can change devices in the midst of an activity and continue right from where they left off.

Flow is compatible with anything that works with Android’s Share feature: if content can be shared with other apps, Flow can be used to to hand it off to other devices …  Read more

Apple introduces tool for deregistering iMessage, even if you no longer have an iPhone

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 5.57.39 PM

Apple has added a page to its website for deregistering and turning off iMessage for users that have switched from an iPhone to an Android device or other non-Apple smartphone. The new web-based tool arrives after Apple faced a lawsuit over Android users having undelivered text messages from other iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users still using iMessage. Read more

WhatsApp update shows read receipts, leaked image suggests future VOIP feature

B1tBWf4IgAAUOkF

Although this isn’t an actual update to the app, WhatsApp is now sporting a nifty new feature that—although small—might make a big difference in how users of the messaging app stay in touch with their friends. The Facebook-owned app, which would previously show double check marks if a sent message had been received, now goes one step further and turns those check marks blue if the message has been read.

Read more

Disney’s ‘Movies Anywhere’ app comes to Android, brings cross-platform purchases to iTunes, Google Play, and web

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.12.22 AM

Back in February, Apple and Disney teamed up on a new app called Movies Anywhere that allowed iOS users to access their library of purchased movies—whether bought on the iTunes Store, DVD, or other media (with the appropriate redemption code in the box).

Today, Disney has launched the same service for Android users. Movies Anywhere owners will now be able to access their movie library featuring titles from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel from any of their devices. Because this is a cross-platform solution, movies previously purchased on the iTunes Store will now be available to users on Android devices, and iOS users will be able to watch Disney movies they’ve purchased from the Google Play Store.

Read more