If you've been watching the tablet space lately, you've probably noticed Qualcomm isn't exactly winning the processor wars: Intel, Samsung, and NVIDIA have been slowly clawing back market share in a segment where cellular radios just aren't as important. The biggest gains have undoubtedly come for Intel, who have been extremely aggressive in pricing their mobile chipsets low and, allegedly, providing superior sell-through and promotional services for retailers and OEMs, something Qualcomm and NVIDIA simply don't have much experience with, and budget chipmakers like MediaTek and RockChip can't afford.
I can't believe it's already been a year since the last What We Use, but alas, it has. Basically everything has changed in my device collection since last year, so there's a lot to talk about this go around. Before we get into the stuff you're actually here to see, however, l want to point out that we're going to take a slightly different approach to the What We Use series this time.
TeamViewer is a go-to tool for users who, well, remote access into things enough to have a go-to tool. The software lets someone in location A beam into a smartphone or tablet running the app in location B. It's the kind of thing enterprise support teams can use to keep their coworkers or clients happy. Likewise, it's what that techy person up the street uses to help out all of their confused family members.
I wrote a review of the G3 just about two months ago, and at the time, I really enjoyed it. While the model I was provided was designed for Korea, it worked on AT&T's LTE network and generally provided a steady wireless experience. I found Wi-Fi connectivity was a bit spotty, though, and there were occasional network hiccups that are to be expected of a piece of hardware not specifically certified for a particular carrier.
The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.
Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market.
We provided some details a few days ago about a device that may very well be a Motorola Nexus phone, with the telling codename "Shamu" (because it's really big). Today The Information says it has independent confirmation from three sources that the device exists and that it is indeed a Nexus phablet. As for Android Silver? Well, that's looking a bit less certain.
We've been hearing rumors and seeing at least some evidence of a new Motorola flagship for the past few months. The Moto X was released in August of last year, which makes it just about time for a refresh in the current yearly phone cycle. Recently a tipster sent us a series of photos, claiming that the device is a "near-final prototype" from Motorola. The source claims that what you're looking at is the Moto X+1, and based on the evidence, it seems reasonably legitimate.
Motorola's sale to Lenovo doesn't seem to have dampened its resolve for speedy Android updates. After upgrading the 2013 DROID line to the latest version of KitKat earlier this week, it looks like the Moto X and the Verizon-only version of the Moto G are getting ready for the same treatment. We've been sent alerts that some users are being invited to a "soak test" for Android 4.4.4, which means that a full rollout is probably a few weeks away at most.
Well, this isn't great news - the guy responsible for designing Project Ara as part of Google's ATAP team (and previously, at Motorola), which Google picked up as part of the Motorola-Lenovo acquisition, is leaving! Dan Makoski is headed to another company to work on more amazing, innovative, interesting, game-changing products. Just kidding: he's going to work for a bank. Capital One, to be precise. He has this to say about it:
- there are few spaces as ripe for technology and human-inspired re-imagination as how people relate to their money,
- Capital One has been steadily building a quiet but extraordinary design thinking, strategy and execution culture on top of its already legendary data analytics capability,
- and when you stir the above and throw in the spark of vision & leadership: