Here in the United States, we've all been witness to an historic "second" this week (as opposed to a first) in the unified launch of the Galaxy S III, untainted by carrier modification, on all four of the major US wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
Now, you'll probably say "but David, the Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to launch as the same model on allfour major carriers!" and you'd be right.
Google announced today that it will be holding a special event on Wednesday, June 6th, regarding the future of Google Maps. Anyone who knows Google knows that these products are huge for the company, ranking right up there with Gmail and Android. More importantly, however, Google Maps is very important to Google's largest competitor: Apple. Which is why, when Google announces an event for one of its last major strongholds on iOS mere days before Apple's WWDC, we take notice.
If we told you that Android was the number one mobile OS worldwide, you shouldn't really be surprised by this point. By most metrics, the little green guy has overtaken the competition in just about every area, including sales, actual userbase, and ad impressions, as demonstrated here by Millenial Media's report. There are a couple surprises in the report, though.
For starters, while the iPad being the top ranked tablet is no surprise, the Galaxy Tab beating out the Kindle Fire is.
The Galaxy S III is... well... it's ugly. There's really no other way to put it. But why? Why is it ugly? I don't mean aesthetically, why is it ugly, I mean, "How did something like this ever make it out of Samsung's design studio?" I'll tell you how, it was never in the design studio. This phone design was born down the hall, in a room where the door sign reads "Samsung Legal."
Clarification: Yes, it is 5 million sold to end consumers, officially confirmed by Samsung to Phone Scoop.
The Galaxy Note - it's a device that stirs up passions among many technology enthusiasts. It's big - so big that is just looks silly held up to your face. But its gorgeous, 5.3" HD display (1280x800) has owners absolutely loving the phablet (alright, I won't use it again - promise).
Apple iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy Note
It was panned by critics, and online magazine Slate even called it a "disturbing trend," saying Samsung should "take a lesson from [Apple's] success and realize that bigger isn’t necessarily better and that a phone’s utility decreases as its screen inflates." The Galaxy Note debuted with an MSRP of $800, and while carrier subsidies have seen many consumers avoid that price, it's worth mentioning that still means the Note is pricier for carriers than the iPhone 4S.
There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.
As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects.
Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.
Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points.
A recent Newsweek article has been making the rounds claiming, through an unnamed Apple "insider," that Apple has spent north of $100 million litigating its various grievances against HTC since late 2010. Verifying the accuracy of this number is pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter. It may just as well be $80 million, $150 million, or $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.
When I read the comments of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in an interview with The Daily Beast, my first thought was "this sounds like an eminently reasonable man making some well-reasoned points." Of course, being an Android site, we took interest in Wozniak's comments on Android's superior (in some respects) voice commands, as well as his praise of its workable built-in navigation solution (something iOS currently lacks outright).
Adding to the ever-growing list of knockoff devices found overseas, Nexian (an Indonesian mobile phone manufacturer) brings us the Android Magic A893 – a device that looks awfully similar to the iPhone, but which packs Android 2.2 Froyo and rings in at IDR 1,599,000 (about $175 USD). To get a better idea of the device's eerily familiar form factor, check out this unboxing video:
And here are the device's (less than magical) specs:
Android 2.2 Froyo
WCDMA 2100MHz and GSM 900/1800 MHz compatibility
3.5" HVGA multitouch display
VGA front shooter and 2MP rear camera
8GB Internal memory
To the Magic's credit, the inclusion of interchangeable back plates is a nice touch, and the fact that the device (allegedly) has a capacitive display may put this device slightly above other knockoffs you may have seen.