Tag - Android
Google is seemingly taking a page from Apple in its new specification for Material Design, the guidelines app developers are asked to adhere to in order to fit in with the rest of the modern Android user interface. Recently published guidelines advise for developers to start using "bottom navigation bars," a design feature that app creators have employed with iOS-bound releases for a considerable amount of time already.
Bowing to pressure, Amazon has announced that after a brief period of disabling whole-device encryption in FireOS 5, that the feature will be restored later in the spring. Both the disabling of the feature and the subsequent announcement that it would be restored eventually were low-key, with the company not announcing the removal beyond text in an upgrade screen, and the news of restoration being promulgated to press venues in a one-line email, with no notification to end-users.
A new report from Blancco Technology Group (an analytics firm) says that a whopping 85 percent of mobile devices suffering "failures" of a mechanical or OS nature are running Android, with the remaining 15 percent being iOS devices (Windows Phone devices and other platforms were not considered in the study). Based on a study of "millions" of devices checked with the firm's SmartChk platform, the company determined that user error was the biggest issue leading to smartphone returns, with mechanical camera failures close behind.
Following the rollout of its own interest-free installment-payments iPhone purchase plan -- which uniquely rolls in the cost of AppleCare+ extended coverage into the monthly payment -- Apple is expanding the program to discount the monthly cost through trade-ins of either older iPhones or Android handsets. The move can effectively cut the cost of the monthly payment by as much as half, with Android switchers reducing the cost of the transition by up to $300.
Apple has rolled out an update to Apple Music for Android that takes advantage of one feature many Android devices possess: microSD card storage. Version 0.9.5 of the Android app now allows users to download songs to a memory card for offline listening, a new addition that means Android subscribers will not have to worry about music tracks taking up too much space from the smartphone's existing and limited internal storage.
A new report by app analytics firm App Annie as revealed that Apple's iOS store earns 75 percent more revenue than the Android App sales from Google Play, a gain of five percent from last year -- despite the fact that Play has double the app-downloading traffic of the iOS App Store. The gain mirrors the real-world performance of iOS users, who account for 78 percent of online shopping on mobile devices, despite the much greater combined total of Android devices.
[Updated with Apple denial] Apple may be creating a tool to allow its users to migrate their data from an iPhone to an Android device, according to a report. It is claimed major European carriers are applying pressure on Apple to make it easier to move away from iOS and onto a smartphone running Android, with the reasoning behind its development apparently a combination of the iPhone's dominance in the smartphone market and the difficulty of transferring data between devices.
BlackBerry is not going to be releasing a smartphone using its own operating system this year, according to comments made by CEO John Chen. In an interview at CES, Chen advised that the mobile phone manufacturer will be releasing at least one new product this year, with the potential for another smartphone, but instead of running BlackBerry 10, new launches will instead be using Android as the operating system, potentially indicating a major change of strategy at the troubled device producer.
QNAP Systems today announced the "world's first and only" 4K QTS-Android Combo NAS units, the TAS-168 and TAS-268. In addition to wide network protocol compatibility, both systems share the same storage database, allowing users to simultaneously access media files and documents from QNAP's QTS and Android.
We'd talked about a projector earlier this year, the ZTE Spro 2, a smart projector that doubles as a mobile hotspot and Android tablet. We've been putting it through the ringer in order to see it's viability as a TV replacement. How has it stacked up? Are we still in love with the ZTE Spro 2, or is the shine off the (non) apple yet?
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE