Google took the wraps off of its subscription music streaming service last week at its I/O Developers Conference. To the dismay of many, Google Play Music All Access was only available for Android smartphones and tablets. This isn’t the first time Google has initially ignored iPhone and iPad users — the company’s music upload service, known as Google Listen Now, was also never officially made available on iOS. Luckily enough, third-party developers are creating applications to access the services on Apple devices. More →
Google appears to be working on a sequel to its ill-fated Nexus Q streaming device. The Nexus Q debuted at last year’s I/O Developers Conference with limited capabilities and a premium price tag that eventually led to Google postponing the project. But a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission has revealed a mysterious Google-built device that “functions as a media player” and could be a revamped Q. Little is known about the device, although it is equipped with support for 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and was connected to a Dell 24-inch monitor for testing, giving further evidence that it is a potential Nexus Q sucessor. The device is known as the “H840 device” and features the model number H2G2-42, a reference to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Samsung is rumored to be preparing a new Galaxy Tab tablet to debut in the coming months. Earlier reports claimed the device would be equipped with a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 3-megapixel camera, a 7,000 mAh battery and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Recently discovered benchmark results, however, suggest Samsung may turn to Intel to power the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Results from the GLBenchmark database reveal that the upcoming tablet is equipped with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor with a PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU. Samsung has traditionally relied on ARM-based processors such as its in-house Exynos line or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips to power its devices. A deal with Samsung, the world’s largest mobile vendor, would greatly benefit Intel as it attempts to increase its share in the mobile market. The most recent rumors claim the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will launch in late June or early July.
Flexible displays are set to become the next big thing in mobile technology. LG previously confirmed that it will release a smartphone with a flexible display later this year, while unbreakable handsets from Samsung and Motorola are also said to be in the pipeline. LG on Monday announced that it plans to demo a 5-inch flexible and unbreakable OLED display for the first time this week at the Society for Information Display’s (SID) annual trade show. The company will also showcase a new 5-inch HD display with a 1mm wide bezel, which will allow for the “production of borderless smartphones that are lightweight and emit significantly less heat.” LG plans to release a smartphone with a flexible OLED display in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company’s press release follows below. More →
Google announced a special edition Galaxy S4 smartphone running stock Android at its I/O Developers Conference last week. The device will be sold directly through Google Play for $649 in June and won’t run Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. There was some speculation that other manufacturers may also release a “Google Edition” variant of their flagship devices. Although HTC confirmed that it has no plans for a stock HTC One, a well-connected developer and HTC insider reports otherwise. Twitter user “LlabTooFeR,” who has gotten accurate scoops on HTC in the past, said this week that he knows “for a fact” that a “Senseless” HTC One will be released at the end of the summer. HTC’s flagship smartphone has been praised for its metal design and front facing speakers, however some critics have argued that the company’s Sense user interface is holding the device back. The HTC One is equipped with a 4.7-inch 1080p full HD display, a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 4.3-ultrapixel rear camera.
AT&T has always been hesitant to allow customers to use video chat applications on its cellular network. The company previously blocked Apple’s FaceTime service from iPhone devices, only recently allowing customers on a tiered data plan to use the feature. AT&T further angered customers when it blocked Android users from using the video chatting feature in Google’s new Hangouts application unless connected to a Wi-Fi network. In a statement given to The Verge, the carrier confirmed that it will update its controversial policy later this year and will enable preloaded video chat applications over its cellular networks for all customers, regardless of their data plan or device. AT&T’s statement follows below. More →
Apple’s retail stores continue to outsell, on a sales per square foot basis, all other retailers by a large margin. Horace Dediu of Asymco found that the number of Apple Store visitors grew 7% last quarter and helped Apple’s in-store retail revenue reach a record $57.60 per visitor. Each store is now averaging sales of $13 million per quarter, the highest level for any non-holiday quarter. The average number of visitors per store was said to have reached 250,000 per quarter in the past 12 months, up from 170,000 per store per quarter between 2009 and 2010. Dediu speculates that the jump in visitors could be from more space in new stores and renovations in older stores. Apple’s retail stores now outsell No.2 Tiffany & Co two-to-one and No.3 Lululemon Athletica three-to-one.
Samsung on Monday announced a new super-high resolution display for laptop computers. The company revealed a 13.3-inch QHD display with a resolution of 3200 x 1800 and a pixel density of 276 ppi. The display’s pixels are packed even tighter on Samsung’s new panels than on Google’s Chromebook Pixel and Apple’s MacBook Pro with a Retina display. The Chromebook Pixel previously featured the highest laptop resolution display with a 2560 × 1700 pixel resolution and 239 ppi, while the Retina MacBook Pro features a 2560 x 1600 pixel display and 227 ppi. Samsung claims its displays are 30% more power efficiency than existing LCD displays. The company gave no details about when we may see these displays arrive in future products. Samsung’s full press release follows below. More →
The rumored X Phone being developed by Google and Motorola unit is headed to AT&T later this year. A recent filing with the Federal Communication Commission revealed that the device, which carried the codename Motorola XT1058, will support AT&T’s LTE and HSPA+ networks. The smartphone didn’t include CDMA radios for Verizon and Sprint’s networks, however a new leak suggests a CDMA model is also in the works. A configuration file reportedly from a leaked Motorola USB driver that was obtained by Droid-Life revealed a device with the codename XT1060, similar to the recently leaked AT&T model. The file also confirmed that the smartphone will be equipped with a dual-core Snapdragon 4 Pro processor and support for CDMA networks, although it isn’t clear if it will be compatible with Verizon, Sprint or perhaps both carriers.
Consumers have begun to move away from two-year contracts and embrace the prepaid smartphone market. In response to this growing user base, Verizon Wireless this week announced that it is increasing its data allowance for prepaid customers. The carrier’s new plans offer unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, up from 500MB, for $60 a month. There is also a plan with 4GB of data, up from 2GB, for $70 per month. The increased data allowance is available now to current customers, and will be available to new customers beginning June 6th. AT&T also recently announced a new prepaid service in select markets, known as Aio Wireless, which offers unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data for $55 per month, or 7GB of data for $70 per month.
Nokia is rumored to be preparing a 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone, codenamed EOS, that will be released later this year. According to WMPowerUser, the handset will look similar to Nokia’s Lumia 920 smartphone and will feature a polycarbonate case with a 4.5-inch 720p display. The device will reportedly come with a new application called “Nokia Pro Camera” to compliment the 41-megapixel PureView camera, which is also said to include a protective lens cover that automatically opens when the camera application is launched. Unlike the handful of Lumias that came before it, however, the EOS will reportedly not come in different colors and will not natively support wireless charging. Earlier reports suggested that Nokia would launch its EOS smartphone in the United States this summer.
The Xbox 360 topped the charts again in April, marking the 28th consecutive month Microsoft’s gaming console has outsold Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii consoles. According to research from NPD Group, the Xbox 360 accounted for 42% of current-generation sales with 130,000 units sold last month. It wasn’t all good news, however, as sales plummeted 50% from 261,000 units in March. As a whole, the industry continued to struggle in April with total gaming sales down 25% year-over-year from $657.5 million to $495.2 million. Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation consoles are expected to help sales pick up when they launch ahead of the holidays this year.
It has been widely reported that Apple will debut a new streaming radio service at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month. The company was said to be close to striking a deal with Warner Music and Sony Music to launch its iRadio service, however recent reports suggest negotiations may have hit a roadblock that could prevent Apple from debuting the service at next month’s event. More →