Apple is, you might say, ever so slightly hesitant to support competing platforms. It took the company years (and the promise of a greater market for the iPod) to support Windows for its massive iTunes program, and some of the more professional tools have never appeared on anything except Apple hardware. Today is a banner day, then, because Apple has released its first ever Android app. It's pretty much exactly what you were expecting.
Full disclosure: I own an iPhone 6. It's not my daily driver (I use it for testing and design research), but when Android Wear for iOS was announced, I thought it might be fun to connect my Moto 360 to the iPhone and see what our friends using iOS might experience if they decide to pair up with an Android Wear watch.
First things first: the Android Wear app for iOS. In general the experience will seem familiar to Android users. Pair up your watch using its special name/code, then view a video going over the basics, etc. The iOS onboarding process feels a bit laborious, since - if you follow the app's guidance - you'll have to do things like venture into iOS settings to enable bluetooth, double click the home button, and go back to Wear, but it's not unbearable and in practice you can just swipe up the iOS quick settings from the bottom.
A developer has done the (almost) unthinkable: gotten an Android Wear watch to work with an Apple iPhone. More specifically, it's a Moto 360 and an iPhone 6. Maybe more surprising is that he did not need to jailbreak the iPhone to do it, even though his happens to be. It's not exactly clear how much he needed to modify the watch, but he's obviously loaded custom software onto it. Here's a proof-of-concept video:
If you don't like videos, it shows a text message rolling in on the iPhone and an alert subsequently popping up on the Moto 360. The notification on Android Wear has the appearance of a Hangouts-type alert, just with the Apple Messages icon instead.
Apple's proprietary iMessage system lets iPhone users send text messages to other iPhone users over a data network, avoiding SMS charges and making texting free, at least within Apple's ecosystem. It's an impressive run-around of the entrenched carrier system - the same basic idea, applied to an agnostic model, has made texting alternatives like WhatsApp fantastically popular. But users found that trying to leave Apple's walled garden was much harder after setting up iMessage with their personal phone numbers.
If you're moving from an iPhone to another smartphone platform, you must first de-associate your phone number with iMessage, not only on your iPhone, but on any other Apple device (iPad, OS X) that you've used it with.
The Sony Honami, or possibly the Xperia i1, still doesn't have an official existence. But it's been spotted in leaked renders and system dumps, so it's a pretty safe bet that it's coming to market at some point. The big phone with an even bigger camera sensor was recently spotted hanging out with an iPhone 5 on Chinese forum Digi-Wo, which also compared it to a less bombastic Xperia Z.
The Honami is probably the direct successor to the Xperia Z, sitting in the ultra-premium slot in Sony's lineup. (The Xperia Z Ultra is more of a niche device, as at least some of its specs are actually lower than its predecessor.) The system dump reported a Snapdragon 800 processor, a redesigned Sony Android skin, and a mind-blowing 20MP camera sensor capable of 4K video recording.
The HTC One is a beautiful device. At a time when most Android phones are made of plastic, HTC betted on aluminum for its flagship device. The handset just exudes style and class, but there is something it's missing. It screams premium, but it doesn't quite say ... elite. If only it were made of gold. Now that would be a quality device. While we can't expect HTC of all companies to have the visionary mindset necessary to deliver such a product, the fine folks over at Goldgenie understand class. They have produced an HTC One available in 24ct gold.
comScore just dropped some new U.S. market share numbers on us and if you like drama, you're going to love this one. According to the analytics company, for the three month period ending in February 2013, Android's share actually dropped 2%, while Apple's rose 3.9%. Before you panic, though, no, this isn't the end of the world.
Since comScore actually gives us the total number of smartphone subscribers in the country (by its count), we can use that percentage to get an idea of just how many total users a platform gained or lost. There were 133.7m total smartphone users in February, versus 123.3m in November.
International trademark, patent, and copyright law is a bit of a legal minefield, and Apple has proven itself to be among the best in navigating it these last few years. But there is one exception to their otherwise impressive track record: the lucrative South American market of Brazil. While Apple iPhones have been sold in the country for years, Apple has never owned the trademark for the name. A regional phone manufacturer, Gradiente Eletronica, registered the trademark for "iphone" way back in 2000.
That didn't stop Cupertino's legal bulldogs from suing Gradiente after they released the iPhone Neo One, a ~$300 mid-range Gingerbread phone, in December.
Last year, Samsung revolutionized parodies of revolutions. Now, they've revolutionized the revolutionizing of making fun of revolutionizing revolutions. The Korean manufacturer has released the newest iteration of its "Next Big Thing" series of ads. This model has 50% more runtime than last year's model. New features include "the iPhone is for your parents," "we've had 4G for a while," and the totally not subtext-laden "my screen is bigger than your screen."
The new 90-second spot will be available tonight on national TV. No word yet on whether the ad will be compatible with current consumer biases, or if users will have to upgrade their snark to take the commercial seriously.