Samsung just unveiled the much-rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but that's far from the only new smartwatch about to hit wrists around the world. Qualcomm, the company best known for building the ARM chips powering most modern Android devices, has just announced the Toq smartwatch. The Toq (pronounced 'talk') will be compatible with Android 4.0.3 and higher, but does not appear to run Android itself. Unlike the Gear, Qualcomm is promising the Toq will get multiple days of battery life from a single charge thanks to its Mirasol screen.
It was just the other day when it came out that complications with Qualcomm licensing was keeping Google from posting the binaries and full factory image for the new Nexus 7 tablet. The issue was so irksome that Jean-Baptiste Quéru (JBQ), Google's Android open source manager, decided to leave that post. Well, that must have lit a fire under someone, because Google just posted the image and drivers for the Razor hardware.
It seems that no company can keep a secret for very long. With I/O fast approaching, Google and ASUS are in the spotlight again as details creep out about a pending refresh to the Nexus 7. According to Reuters, two undisclosed sources have leaked plans for a likely release date around July with pricing as low as $149. The tipsters also let slip that the revised tablet will be packing an unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and that Google hopes to ship 6-8 million units before the start of 2014.
When Snapdragon processors with Adreno 320 GPUs were the hottest thing coming out of Qualcomm's factories, the company released Reign of Amira to show off the power of its then-flagship hardware. Now, the company is using a similar method with the game's sequel, Reign of Amira: The Lost Kingdom, which is available now exclusively for devices packing the Snapdragon 600 CPU (or supposed to be, rather – I was given the option to install it on my Nexus 4).
Sometimes Long-Term Evolution wireless is presented as the future of mobile, and the answer to network incompatibility. That's half true. While LTE and GSM tend to play nice (or at least nicer than the entirely disparate GSM and CDMA standards) the bands and frequencies used for high-speed wireless access vary pretty widely in different countries, or here in the US, across different networks. Chip OEM Qualcomm is hoping to banish network anxiety with a new family of LTE radios, christened RF360.
If there's one common issue with smartphones across the board, it's battery life. Rightfully so, we all want more of it without having to sacrifice usage. Thankfully, Qualcomm is looking to help owners of Snapdragon-powered smartphones get just a bit more out of their device's battery with the new Snapdragon BatteryGuru beta.
In a nutshell, it monitors your usage, "learning" what you do with your device.
If you thought the Snapdragon S4 Pro in the Droid DNA was snappy, get ready to redefine snappy. Not to be outdone by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 announcement yesterday, Qualcomm has detailed its own 2013 ARM chips. The S4, S3, etc. naming scheme is no more – the new chips are the Snapdragon 800, Snapdragon 600, Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 200. The 600 and 800 are the new high-performance processors in Qualcomm's lineup, and that's where the company is focusing most of its attention.
Back in January of this year, Qualcomm released its "Snapdragon GameCommand" app in order to highlight games specifically designed with enhancements for Snapdragon processors. Basically, it was Qualcomm's answer to NVIDIA's TegraZone. The only thing is... we didn't really hear much about it past the initial release. And now, Qualcomm has pulled the app from the Store altogether. You can go look - we'll wait.
Once we realized the app was missing, we reached out to Qualcomm for comment.
It was a little surprising to see Google announce a new Nexus device this year without LTE support. While LTE deployment is still lagging behind in many regions, the good old USA is fast becoming blanketed with speedy 4G. Now that the Nexus 4 is in the wild, iFixit has taken it apart, and you'll never guess what they found. Yes, a 7-band 4G LTE radio chip. The plot thickens...
The chip in question, the Qualcomm WTR1605L (highlighted in green above), supports all currently operating LTE networks around the world.