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.
We were originally told that Rigonauts would be out on Android last Spring, but it has just now dropped. If you were waiting on this title, there is yet another barrier to entry. Rigonauts is a Verizon exclusive for two weeks, after which it will be available on other carriers. The kind of ARM chip in your device will also figure into your enjoyment of this game. Aren't exclusivity deals grand?
"I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid nothing's going to change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you what's going to be announced. I came here to tell you how it's going to be teased. I'm going to send out this invite, and then I'm going to show these people what they want to see. I'm going to show them a world without Samsung, or HTC.
Qualcomm, the company behind the S4 processor that so many US devices are receiving as consolation prizes in exchange for LTE, has announced that it will be releasing its own SDK for Snapdragon processors. The SDK will initially support the S4, and continue to support future processors as they're released, supporting multiple tiers of hardware.
The company touts the SDK as enabling developers to more tightly integrate their apps with Qualcomm hardware, as well as enabling access to more powerful hardware features, like so:
- facial processing, such as blink and smile detection, which makes it easier to take better pictures of people in groups;
- burst capture, which leverages zero shutter lag to photograph a stream of images at once to select the best shot;
- surround sound recording for better audio capture;
- hardware echo cancellation for better real-time audio experiences;
- sensor gestures (tap-left/tap-right, push/pull, face-up/face-down, tilt) that enable developers and device makers to push the envelope on new, differentiated user interfaces;
- low power always on geofencing capabilities; and
- indoor location that enables apps to continue providing accurate location information even when the user is indoors.
Back at the announcement of the Galaxy S III, many people were quick to note that Samsung disclaimed the availability of the Exynos quad-core processor powering the beast as contingent on certain issues of geography. And then we learned that, for reals, the US versions of the Galaxy S III would be shipping with Snapdragon S4 dual-cores onboard - the MSM8960 chipset, to be precise.
And that included T-Mobile's version, which many speculated (myself included) might be the only Exynos-packing Galaxy S III to make its way to the US of A.
According to a recent FCC filing, Qualcomm is hard at work on a new radio chipset that would support seven spectrum bands, including three below 1GHz. The introduction of this chipset could offer an effective solution to LTE spectrum fragmentation, which is a thorn in the side of manufacturers looking to cleanly execute broad product releases.
LTE fragmentation has also stirred debate among carriers, though. Smaller carriers operate within the Lower A block of the 700MHz band, in Band Class 12 while larger carriers like AT&T operate on the Lower B and C blocks in Band Class 17.