Despite some impressive tablet, laptop, and combination devices, ASUS has left its smartphones mostly in the budget and mid-range end of the pool. That changes with the Zenfone 2 announcement at CES: while the new device probably won't set the world on fire, it's a definite competitor to offerings from the likes of HTC, Samsung, and LG at an amazing price. The ZenFone 2 is the first phone anywhere to be equipped with 4GB of dual-channel RAM (on the high-end model), and the rest of the specs are no slouch either.
The mobile hardware arms race is about to get a new super-weapon. According to a blog post on Samsung Tomorrow, the company's electronics division has begun production of the world's first run of 8Gb (that's gigabit, not gigabyte) memory modules designed for mobile devices. The 8Gb LPDDR4 chips are roughly twice as dense as the previous generation of mobile memory. The first OEM product offered using the new design will be a 4 gigabyte RAM module.
Yesterday's video for the allegedly "new" Nexus 7, widely speculated to be revealed at Google's July 24th event, was a bit low-fi to get the details. Today CNET has a new image, purportedly from the same source, that gives us a clearer image of that specification sticker on the back of the tablet. There's just one new piece of information that we couldn't make out before, under the "Memory" entry: DDR3LM 1600 256M*16.
In the past, Android apps have been limited to a 50MB file size. App developers who needed to add extra data, as is the case with most big games, would have to have a secondary, self-hosted download after the user first launched the game. Today, that changes with Google introducing support for up to 4GB of "expansion files". While APKs must still be under 50MB, Google will host two 2GB files that include extra data for developers' apps.
One problem that Android app developers (specifically game developers) have had to face is the size limit for apps in the Android Market, because up until now it's been a measly 50MB. For most apps that is more than enough, but for others - like graphically intense games, for example - it's not even close, so developers had to jump through hoops and implement downloading of additional resources manually. Remember Spectral Souls with its 1GB of data?