Phandroid » Industry News http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 25 Apr 2015 19:37:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 Go on, celebrate: the Comcast + Time Warner Cable merger is officially dead http://phandroid.com/2015/04/24/comcast-time-warner-merger-dead/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/24/comcast-time-warner-merger-dead/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:20:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=164038 Comcast_logo_5

Concerns about monopolies, net neutrality and competition be damned: Time Warner and Comcast will no longer attempt to close a deal that would merge the two cable giants under Comcast’s banner. The internal desire — according to the two companies, anyway — was to bring more of their “great” product to more people in more cities. Says Comcast CEO and Chairman Brian L. Roberts:

Today, we move on. Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.

Comcast NBCUniversal is a unique company with strong momentum. Throughout this entire process, our employees have kept their eye on the ball and we have had fantastic operating results. I want to thank them and the employees of Time Warner Cable for their tireless efforts.

But it didn’t take long for red flags to pop up all over the place. The department of justice was the biggest opponent from the get-go, and much like AT&T’s proposed buyout of T-Mobile it was hard for them to believe that this merger could do anything good for the state of the US cable and broadband market.

time-warner-cable

The landscape of competition in said market is already severely flawed, with many areas only able to choose between just one or two services. Yours truly literally had no choice other than Time Warner Cable up until a few years ago when AT&T finally rolled out DSL. You’ll find similar situations in many areas of the country where Time Warner, Cox and Comcast enjoy the fruits of being the only cable provider in town for miles on end.

Thankfully the powers that be which blocked this deal realized that this monopoly would hurt an already lopsided industry. If not for the likes of Google Fiber and Verizon FiOS, we might not have seen these companies scrambling to upgrade their customers to Gigabit speeds.

google-fiberTake Time Warner Cable, for instance. They kept their Charlotte, North Carolina customers on 50 megabit packages for years at what most of them would consider “fair” prices, but it only took them weeks to upgrade those customers to 300 megabit packages after they heard Google Fiber was on the way. Comcast did the same in Atlanta, Georgia when Google confirmed plans to expand to that particular market.

It’s clear these companies weren’t (and likely still aren’t) willing to do anything to improve service and value for their customers unless they had true competition. Allowing them to merge would have done nothing to change that (and would most likely have worsened the situation beyond repair). Good on everyone to see fit to block the deal and nip it in the bud in this instance just as they did to protect the spirit of competition in the wireless industry.

[via Comcast]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/24/comcast-time-warner-merger-dead/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/time-warner-cable-150x150.jpg
Google officially unveils Project Fi, a refreshing new wireless service [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/04/22/google-project-fi-official/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/22/google-project-fi-official/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:38:03 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163864 google-project-fi

Looks like the rumors were true, folks — this is Project Fi, Google’s wireless carrier. The Mountain View company laid all the details out on a brand new landing page today.

A lot of the details brought to surface by recent leaks seem to have been spot on. Here’s what to expect from each facet of Google’s new wireless service:

The Network

  • Automatically identify and connect to the fastest and most reliable network, whether that’s a public or private WiFi hotspot, or a network of a carrier partner (Sprint or T-Mobile)
  • All transmissions over WiFi networks are automatically and fully encrypted

The Plan

  • Start with a basic plan of $20 per month that includes unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, low-cost international calls and WiFi tethering.
  • Add data by the gigabyte at a rate of $10 per 1GB.
  • Don’t use all the data you added in a billing period? $1 per 100 unused megabytes is refunded to you.
  • International data costs the same at home as it does in 120 other international destinations (though you may be limited to 2G and 3G when abroad).

The Experience

  • Calls and texts can be made over WiFi in case you don’t have cellular coverage.
  • Calls can be routed from WiFi to cellular networks and vice versa without interruption if you happen to drift away from a signal
  • You can also make calls and send texts using your phone number with any device that has Hangouts, including your tablet, a different phone or your computer.

Sound like something you want to be part of? You can head right here to request an invite to check it out ahead of its full launch.

There are a couple of caveats to note before you jump in head first. The first is that you’ll need to buy a Nexus 6 as it’s the only smartphone that supports the new technology Google is using to make this possible. The Nexus 6 you may already own from Motorola, Google Play or your carrier counts, or you can buy one when signing up for Fi service (Google will have an installment plan available if you can’t chalk up the full retail price at once).

You’ll also need to make sure Google’s carriers partners have sufficient service in your area, though this is no tall order as they’ll ask for your zip code before whisking you through the setup process. Google says you’ll hear from them within 30 days and that invites will be sent out in waves every week, so if you want in on Project Fi then that shouldn’t be an issue.

Those who ultimately decide to take the plunge will be able to port their existing phone number over if they so choose, though do note that this may come with a hefty early termination fee that Google is unsurprisingly unwilling to help you pay for.

So there’s only one question remaining — are you in? It all sounds very interesting, and if done right this move by Google could do a while lot to change the wireless industry as we know it. Let us know how you feel about Project Fi and whether you plan to give it a go by dropping a comment below!

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/22/google-project-fi-official/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/google-project-fi-150x150.jpg
Is Google unveiling their wireless service today? http://phandroid.com/2015/04/22/google-wireless-launch/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/22/google-wireless-launch/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 13:00:25 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163847 google-project-fi

Google hasn’t been shy enough not to reveal that they’ve been working on launching a wireless service, but the company has understandably been a bit hush on the details. But if the Wall Street Journal’s information is accurate we could be seeing Google’s first unveiling as soon as today.

Previous rumors and information suggest Google will enlist T-Mobile and Sprint for the airwaves necessary for wireless service, though it won’t be your typical MVNO experience. We’re told to expect innovative cellular capabilities such as the ability to seamlessly hop from one network type to the next without any hiccups, and for the phone to automatically detect which network performs better in any given area. Leveraging WiFi calling will also be an area of focus for Google.

More details about the service leaked earlier this month thanks to the revelation of an app called “Project Fi.” It told of wireless service that could be switched between multiple different devices without switching SIM cards, data buckets where you only pay for the exact amount of data you use, the ability to opt-out of cellular data sharing and other cool features that most carriers have yet to explore.

It’s important to remember that Google’s not expecting to become king of wireless overnight with this move. Their desire is to help push cellular technology forward much in the same way that they’re doing for cars and broadband landline internet here in the United States. Good on them to think about the greater good, we’d say, and we can’t wait to see what exactly they have planned for its supposed launch later this year.

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/22/google-wireless-launch/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/google-project-fi-150x150.jpg
Google came dangerously close to buying Tesla Motors in 2013 http://phandroid.com/2015/04/20/google-almost-bought-tesla/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/20/google-almost-bought-tesla/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 14:58:38 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163703 Tesla Model S

While Google’s work on self-driving vehicles is already nothing short of impressive, think about how awesome Google’s presence in cars could be by now if their 2013 plans had come to fruition. According to Bloomberg, Google and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk came quite close to a deal for Google to acquire the electric car company.

The talks were in the late stages, says Bloomberg, with terms said to be a buyout of the company at its full value of (then) $6 billion, an extra $5 billion to pay withstanding warehousing and manufacturing expenses, and Google’s word that they’d let Elon Musk continue to run the company for at least 8 years or until they’d released a third generation vehicle, whichever came first.

That doesn’t sound like too tall an order for a company that makes the single best line of electric cars available, though its future looked quite bleak at the time with the company struggling to sell enough cars to turn a profit. After butting heads on details, the two sides had gotten as far as a handshake, hammering out a grip of paperwork and going through the typical back-and-forth motions between lawyers, suits and CEOs before these types of deals are closed.

And then Tesla suddenly started selling a crap-ton of cars. They sold so much, and so quickly, that they’d turned a modest profit that same quarter, and there hasn’t been any slowdown since. Tesla even paid off a hefty $465 million loan from the US Department of Energy since that time, and the talks with Google were pretty much dead in the water.
It’s interesting to think about what could have been if Google had gotten their hands on Tesla. The company was already in the early stages of getting their self-driving vehicle prototypes ready for road testing, and they’ve also introduced a software platform for smart vehicles named Android Auto. The biggest consumer technology company in the world having the reigns of the hottest new electric car company would have sent shivers down the spines of automakers like Ford, Chevrolet and General Motors, for sure.Failure to get a deal done doesn’t mean Google and Tesla’s relationship will never produce anything, though. Elon Musk and Google CEO Larry Page remain close friends, and it’s entirely possible that the two could collaborate on a smart electric vehicle for the future (note to Larry: that’s an informal plea to do something with Tesla ASAP). Either way, we’re sure Elon Musk sleeps well knowing he still has full control of a company that gracefully recovered from the brink of ruin.

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/20/google-almost-bought-tesla/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Tesla-Model-S-150x150.jpg
Your Google Wallet funds are now FDIC-insured http://phandroid.com/2015/04/20/google-wallet-fdic-insured/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/20/google-wallet-fdic-insured/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 14:05:11 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163700 Nexus 7 Google Wallet 2

It can sometimes be scary to entrust online companies with your money, but Google’s doing everything in their power to make sure you won’t ever be burned for doing business with them. The latest move for Google Wallet is to store funds in banks that are FDIC-insured, at least according to information reportedly received by Yahoo straight from an unnamed Google rep.

In case you aren’t aware, the FDIC is a government-spawned insurance agency that was put in place to protect citizens’ fortunes in the unfortunate event that a bank crashes.

So what does this mean? Should Google or the bank holding your funds ever cease to exist (the chances of that happening are very slim in the here and now, we’d say, especially since no FDIC-insured bank has gone under since its arrival in 1934) you can be sure your money won’t go down with them.

On the outside looking in, life with Google Wallet will go on as it always has, but now you get just a bit of added peace of mind knowing your money is just as safe with Google as it is with your favorite big bank.

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/20/google-wallet-fdic-insured/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Nexus-7-Google-Wallet-2-150x150.jpg
Cyanogen announces partnership with Microsoft that will bundle their apps on Cyanogen OS http://phandroid.com/2015/04/16/cyanogen-microsoft-partnership/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/16/cyanogen-microsoft-partnership/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:59:50 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163529 Microsoft logo cyanogenmod

OK, so Cyanogen was only half-joking about their operating system being “powered by Microsoft” on April Fools day. The company today announced that they’ve entered a strategic partnership with the Redmond-based company to have their apps pre-loaded on Cyanogen OS.

Bing services, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office will all find homes on devices that come with Cyanogen OS (and not necessarily CyanogenMod, the community-focused ROM). The apps will be “deeply integrated” with Cyanogen OS at its core, though we’re not expecting them to enable you to do anything that simply downloading the apps from the Google Play Store doesn’t already.

And that’s it folks — Cyanogen and Microsoft definitely are a thing, no matter how many rumor-busting reports wanted to deny it. Let us know how you feel about that in the comments ahead.

[via Digital Journal]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/16/cyanogen-microsoft-partnership/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Cyanogen-Inc-new-logo-150x150.jpg
Here is Google’s internal reaction to the European Commission’s case of antitrust against Android http://phandroid.com/2015/04/15/google-search-android-antitrust/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/15/google-search-android-antitrust/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:43:59 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163410 google-lego-logoDon’t look now, but the European Commission — a group that regulates commerce in the EU — has opened antitrust investigations into Google. The company is being charged with allegations of antitrust in areas of search and mobile operating systems.

To summarize, the European Commission feels Google unfairly promotes their online shopping comparison tool over that of the competition’s, noting that Google’s tool tends to have more prominence and regularity in showing up when consumers search for products to buy online. For mobile, their concern is with Google’s large stable of applications that are pre-installed on each Android device licensed to use the Google Play ecosystem.

Before you start chastising the European Commission, it’s important to remember that this is only the start of an investigation, and not necessarily a hard ruling process that would ultimately lead to some sort of action taken against Google. Call it the information gathering stage, if you will. Google and the European Commission will engage in discussions about the antitrust concerns and each side will be given a chance to provide their side of the story.

Speaking to that note, Google has already prepared their defense plan, and thanks to Re/Code we’ve gotten a look at the internal memo sent to their employees. In it, Google contends that they’re confident they’ll be able to convince the European Commission that they do not use their search engine to push their products above others, nor does it inadvertently stifle any sort of competition.

Google Search ingredients

They note that online storefronts and marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Expedia have just as much visibility as anything else, and that these merchants receive as much, if not far more, visitors than Google Shopping in many EU countries. Google also won’t be shy about noting that there are other search engines to use out there, such as Bing or Yahoo, and that people are just as free to use those as anything else.

For mobile, Google’s stance will be to note that they don’t stop anyone from making an app that replicates any of their services and letting it live in Google Play.

Indeed, users are free to download and use any app they may well please, which is in stark contrast to the way Apple used to do things in the iOS App Store. Google will also point to the fact that despite the terms of Google’s licenses to have Google apps and services installed on Google Play-enabled Android devices, manufacturers are free to pre-install apps and services from other companies (such as Samsung including Microsoft services on the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge).

Samsung Galaxy S6 customize home screen folders

That raises the question: has Google even done anything wrong? As much as I support busting anti-competitive behavior, it seems to me that the European Commission may be reaching a bit far to suggest Google is violating any antitrust regulations.

It’s not their fault that they’ve built products that are great enough for a majority of the world’s population to use, and it’s ridiculous to suggest they can’t use what they’ve built to promote the other great products and services they provide. It only becomes an issue when they effectively block others from thriving, but from our standpoint it doesn’t appear they’ve done that in any way, shape or form.

Google-HQ_logo

Google isn’t the first company to be hit by the large hammers of antitrust regulators, and they won’t be the last. Apple, Microsoft and many others have all had to deal with similar investigations and rulings.

Microsoft lost a bit over $3 billion to fines for their bundling of Windows Media Player in Windows over a decade ago (which is why many of you now have to download it separately on new installations). On the flip side, investigations into Apple’s iTunes store in 2007 (particularly, the music store in the UK) ultimately concluded with Apple receiving no charge.

Whichever side of that spectrum Google ultimately ends up on remains to be determined, but we at least know there’s a chance for this thing to go either way. The case is sure to be examined just as closely as any other major antitrust investigation, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it took a great deal of time (we’re talking more than just a couple of years) before any hard decision is made one way or the other.

In the meantime, let us know if you think the European Commission has any case at all by dropping a comment below.

[via European Commission]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/15/google-search-android-antitrust/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/dayton_lawyer_bar-150x150.jpg
Microsoft reportedly discounts smartphone licensing fees for OEMs who pre-install their apps http://phandroid.com/2015/04/14/microsoft-licensing-apps-deal/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/14/microsoft-licensing-apps-deal/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 18:50:03 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163321 microsoft logo building

We weren’t sure what Microsoft offered Samsung to convince them to pre-install their apps on Samsung’s latest phones and tablets, but new information reported by DigiTimes suggest a very valuable deal could have been made.

According to them, Microsoft has started offering OEMs discounts on smartphone licensing fees in exchange for getting Microsoft apps preloaded on their devices. If you’re not aware, Microsoft commands a great deal of essential mobile-related patents and force many Android manufacturers to pay for the privilege of using them.

They make a lot of money doing this, with estimates being anywhere between $7 to $15 per device. When you consider the hundreds of millions of Android devices sold by the top manufacturers, that’s a lot of dough (so much so that they actually make more money on Android’s success than they do their own mobile platform).

Lowering the price tag for companies who agree to install Microsoft apps is a very smart move. While it helps, Microsoft doesn’t really need the extra bit of revenue that they get from these deals.

In their quest to transition to a software and services company it’s increasingly important for customers to be exposed to these apps. It helps Microsoft capture mind share in the absence of market share. Some would say that is far more valuable than a few extra dollars being made for every Android device being sold, and they wouldn’t be wrong.

Whether this is the deal Samsung, Dell and the 9 other Android OEMs agreed to in order to accept Microsoft’s apps on their devices remains to be known, but we’re finding it hard to think of any other reason to get in bed with a company they don’t otherwise need to get in bed with to be successful.

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/14/microsoft-licensing-apps-deal/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/microsoft-logo-building-150x150.jpg
It costs more to build a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge than an iPhone 6 http://phandroid.com/2015/04/14/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-cost/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/14/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-cost/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:04:50 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163305 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08452

In your years as an Android user, have you ever heard the notion that Android phones are the poor man’s iPhone? That may be true for those on the low-mid range of the spectrum, though anyone with a brain would wretch at the statement as it pertains to top-shelf offerings. Android phones in today’s age are built with components just as high of a quality as those found inside the iPhone, and in some cases even more so.

It comes as no surprise the same holds true for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. According to a yet-to-be-released IHS report seen by Re/Code, the 64GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge on Verizon Wireless comes with a bill of materials clocking in at roughly $290. To compare, the 128GB iPhone 6 comes with a cost of $263. It may seem an insignificant difference, but when it comes to maximizing profit margins it adds up (even mere cents on the dollar can affect your bottom line in a big way).

It’s even more interesting to think about the fact that even with increased cost in materials, Samsung sells the Galaxy S6 Edge a bit cheaper than Apple does the iPhone 6. Of course, cost of materials doesn’t factor in the money that goes into paying for labor, research and development and marketing, but it’d be hard for anyone to maintain a straight face and make the argument that Samsung’s phones don’t use quality materials.

Much of Samsung’s increased costs come from the curved display, a component said to add $85 to the total. Samsung’s use of 3GB of DDR4 RAM and a UFS 2.0 storage unit (this is near-bleeding edge stuff for mobile phones) also add a pretty significant amount.

Couple that with a metal frame, reinforced glass on the front and rear, a quality camera and a pretty nice kit of silicon in the Exynos 7 chipset, and you have your recipe for a phone that’s filled to the brim with expensive components and the lofty bill of materials to show for it. If nothing else, you can put your mind at ease knowing Samsung didn’t cut a single corner with their latest smartphones, and that you can trump those iPhone-owning friends of yours the next time they try to dismiss your phone as a cheap ripoff.

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/14/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-cost/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Edge-DSC08468-150x150.jpg
Sharp reveals a ridiculous 5.5-inch 4K display, but will smartphones ever need that much? http://phandroid.com/2015/04/13/sharp-4k-display/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/13/sharp-4k-display/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:48:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163264 sharp office

The display arms race has been underway since companies decided Quad HD was the new high-end standard last year, but Sharp says that isn’t enough — displays need to be even more rich and dense than they currently are. The company today announced the development of a 5.5-inch display at a whopping 4K resolution. That’s 3,860 x 2,160 pixels if you aren’t aware, and stuffing all of that into a 5.5-inch form factor stands to bring you a pixel density of 806ppi.

That’s far higher than what the human eye is said to be able to notice, and it should make for a display quality that’s absolutely out of this world. Sharp touted the use of “IGZO” technology that is able to produce a richer picture while using significantly less power, something we imagine was important considering the batteries for the types of devices that these displays will be used for aren’t quite fit to handle such a thing.

A 4K display at this size is seen to be quite useless, though there are many benefits to be had for technologies such as virtual reality where a rich pixel density helps immerse you into whichever virtual world you’re whisked to. We imagine VR will be the initial and primary market for this sort of display, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see smartphone manufacturers wanting to use it just for the sake of saying no other smartphone’s resolution can beat theirs.

We’ll have to wait for its arrival in an actual device to see if there are any significant drawbacks to using the display (such as being more taxing on a mobile processor or sucking a battery dry before the sun sets), but it’ll have to wait as Sharp doesn’t expect to ship these displays until sometime next year.

[via Techblog.gr]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/13/sharp-4k-display/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/sharp-office-150x150.jpg
Sprint Direct 2 You sends company representatives to you to help setup new smartphones http://phandroid.com/2015/04/13/sprint-direct-2-you/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/13/sprint-direct-2-you/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:56:28 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163259 sprint direct 2 you

While Sprint is busy putting up new towers to help improve their network and trying to match T-Mobile in the value game, they’ve come up with another unique strategy to help retain your business: personal visits to help you set your new smartphones up.

It’s called Direct 2 You, and a fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles driven by Sprint representatives will be on-hand to meet up with you at your home, office or any other location you desire — at whichever time you desire (within reason, we imagine) — to help you get going on your phone. This includes transferring content and contacts from one phone to another, with great emphasis placed on the Android to iPhone conversion or vice versa.

This is a process typically done in-store, but Sprint feels time is too precious to have you waiting in long lines at the point of sale. The best part? It’s all absolutely free. Take it from someone whose most recent upgrade took more than 3 hours of waiting inside the stuffy corners of a Verizon store — this is awesome.

The service will begin in major areas of Miami and Chicago starting April 20th (testing has already started in Sprint’s backyard of Kansas City), and will spread to more major cities as 2015 rolls on.

[via Sprint]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/13/sprint-direct-2-you/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/sprint-direct-2-you-150x150.png
Google reportedly working on better battery technology http://phandroid.com/2015/04/10/google-battery-research/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/10/google-battery-research/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 00:37:14 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=163210  Lollipop battery saver

We see improvements in all areas of tech each and every day, but the trickiest problem to tackle by far is that of the battery. Battery technology of today just isn’t keeping up with these fast iterations in tech, and while companies have resorted to fast charging technologies to make up for it, Google seemingly isn’t satisfied with that.

The company is reportedly exploring improved battery technology in the comfy confines of their X Labs department, according to the Wall Street Journal. Details from the report are scarce, though we do know the team is comprised of four engineers, including a former Apple expert on battery technology.

While we all simply want better batteries in our smartphones, Google’s end-game is to develop the technology for life-enhancing industries which are still growing such as robotics, medical accessories and driver-less vehicles.

As it stands, any improvement to battery technology will be good for anything that has anything to do with portable electronics, so we’re sure everyone the world over will be rooting Google on to see if they can make significant progress in a much lacking area. Fingers crossed that the brilliant minds at the Googleplex can come up with anything of substance.

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/10/google-battery-research/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Motorola-Moto-X-charging-battery-DSC00734-150x150.jpg
Samsung expects to take a 30% dip in profit for Q1 2015, but the Galaxy S6 should make up for that http://phandroid.com/2015/04/07/samsung-q1-2015-results/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/07/samsung-q1-2015-results/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 14:17:06 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162881 Samsung Logo DSC08668

Samsung has posted an early outlook for their Q1 2015 results, and the numbers don’t look great. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, the company suffered a 30% drop in profit, from 8.5 trillion Korean won ($7.79 billion) down to 5.9 trillion ($5.44 billion). That hit was also reflected in overall revenue with 47 trillion Korean won ($43 billion) compared to 53.68 trillion ($49.18 billion) a year ago.

Samsung has been on this downward slope for more than a year now largely thanks to their mobile division, though they haven’t experienced much of a drop off quarter-over-quarter. The company posted 52.73 trillion Korean won in total revenue last quarter, but just 5.29 trillion in profit. Increased profit on decreased revenue doesn’t seem to be a bad deal to us.

Still, Samsung needs to bounce back in a big way, and the company is hopeful that the forthcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 in just three days will change that. They’ve already recorded their highest pre-sales ever for a Galaxy S6 smartphone, and it’s poised to become one of the best selling Android smartphones of all time.

All of that is sure to help them recover quite nicely in 2015, and a renewed focus on premium products will certainly make people want to help them achieve that goal. We’ll have to wait for the full numbers at the end of the month to see what, exactly, caused the drop-off, and we’ll have to wait until next quarter’s results to see what impact, if any, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will ultimately have.

[via Samsung]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/07/samsung-q1-2015-results/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Samsung-Logo-DSC08668-150x150.jpg
Andy Rubin launches Playground Global, joins up with Redpoint as a venture partner http://phandroid.com/2015/04/06/andy-rubin-launches-playground-global-joins-redpoint/ http://phandroid.com/2015/04/06/andy-rubin-launches-playground-global-joins-redpoint/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 00:35:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162851 Andy Rubin Redpoint

Google’s Andy Rubin — the Godfather of Android — made headlines nearly 2 years ago when he stepped down as head of Android to build, what else, but actual androids inside Google’s top secret X Labs. It wasn’t until nearly a full year later we learned he was leaving Google altogether, looking to spread his wings and create an “incubator” for hardware-based startups.

Today, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, after raising $48 million from investors that include Google, Hewlett-Packard Co., and others, Mr. Rubin has officially launched Playground Global LLC. As previously reported, his new company will provide support for tech startups and entrepreneurs, handling the business aspects (distribution, manufacturing, financing, etc.), so inventors can focus on building their new gadgets while Rubin and Playground Global handle the rest. Mr. Rubin describes Playground Global as a “studio,” saying in an interview:

“Our aim is to free the creators to create by bringing these partners to the table we can remove many of the roadblocks of bringing a great idea to market.”

But that’s not all, Rubin is also joining up with investment firm Redpoint, as a venture partner evaluating and backing companies with great ideas. Sounds like he’s got his bases covered. There’s a lengthy press release over on Redpoint’s site for those who are interested. It’s a great read and highlights Rubin’s history and achievements.

 

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/04/06/andy-rubin-launches-playground-global-joins-redpoint/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Andy-Rubin-Redpoint-150x150.jpg
T-Mobile’s next-gen coverage maps pull data from real-time customer usage http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/t-mobile-next-gen-coverage-maps/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/t-mobile-next-gen-coverage-maps/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:55:59 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162313 SEA_Map

T-Mobile’s strange-looking coverage maps used to be the inside joke of the wireless industry, but the company has made significant strides to improve their network in the past couple of years. With LTE, much-improved coverage, a forward-looking approach to network design and overall better network stability they’ve set themselves up for a nice future, and now they’re looking to flaunt it with their “next generation” coverage map.

The map uses crowd-sourced real-time data points to give users a clear — and, more importantly, accurate — idea of how strong T-Mobile’s network is in their area. They also use public speed test results to show you an average of the types of data speed users experience in any given area. Here’s the full breakdown of what their new coverage map brings:

  • Customer-verified coverage based on actual customer usage, resulting in a vastly more transparent and accurate map, showing, for example, exactly where you can expect 4G LTE, 4G, 3G or other levels of coverage.
  • A Verified Coverage icon indicating where the majority of data is provided by T-Mobile customers reporting their actual network experience, providing an added layer of confidence.
  • Data that’s updated twice monthly − compared to data presented on the carriers’ maps, which is already dated by the time it’s printed and published and may be months or even years old.
  • Speed test data from trusted third party apps showing average download speeds from customer speed tests over the last 90 days.

It’s nothing other apps haven’t been trying to do for years to help customers make informed decisions about finding the right carrier for them. Carrier Coverage is one app that looks to fill that need. But this is the first time a carrier has taken it upon themselves to create a coverage map based on crowd-sourced data and provide more than just pretty colors on a meaningless map. We’d love to see the other big 3 follow suit. You can check it out for your area right now by heading to T-Mobile’s coverage website here.

[via T-Mobile]

]]>
http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/t-mobile-next-gen-coverage-maps/feed/ 0 http://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SEA_Map-150x150.jpg