Not to be completely left out of the spotlight during Mobile World Congress, Cyanogen Inc. has a few announcements to make. Firstly, the logo and website you knew are now gone, replaced by something with a bit of a sci-fi vibe. More importantly, the company has partnered with Qualcomm to make it easier for Cyanogen OS to find its way onto more devices.
File this under more is better – Qualcomm has just announced new ARM chips with more bits and more cores than ever before. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are the chip maker's new 64-bit mobile processors, and the 615 packs eight CPU cores. Despite the big headlining features, these aren't intended to be flagship chips.
Qualcomm is in the habit of making custom CPUs for its ARM chips – those are the Krait cores you hear so much about.
The Battery Guru app from Qualcomm promises to learn how you use your phone and make small tweaks to improve battery life. Glance, a new app from Qualcomm, uses that same usage data to build an intelligent lock screen. Battery Guru is required, so that means this is a Snapdragon-only experience.
Glance integrates a lot of supposedly intelligent features that tailor themselves to your usage. It lists upcoming appointments, apps you might want to use, frequent contacts, and the weather (because everything has to show the weather).
Qualcomm wants you to imagine a world where your mobile device is always connected. No, not that phone in your pocket. Nope, not that tablet either. Bigger. That 3,000 lb. mobile device sitting the driveway. Imagine a vehicle with a screen embedded both in your dashboard and behind every headrest, all syncing up with the screens that sit in every lap except for, ideally, the driver's.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon Automotive Solutions offering combines a Snapdragon 602A processor with QTI's 3G/LTE wireless modems and WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity to provide this connected in-car experience.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all outdated hardware away. Qualcomm is pretty eager to top itself when it comes to ARM architectures, and to that end has announced its latest high-end CPU and GPU chips set to fill future smartphones and tablets. The Snapdragon 805 CPU and the new Adreno 420 GPU will be ready for mass-produced devices in the early half of 2014.
So what has Qualcomm done to make this new system-on-a-chip shine?
The ruggedized Galaxy S4 Active is real. It's been spotted on camera before, not to mention in various less dramatic leaks. The folks at MobileTechReview got their hands on one, and it looks pretty close to finished, assuming that they don't already have a production model. In the video below, you can see the tougher red chassis (probably water and dust-resistant to some degree) and physical navigation buttons, as previously featured on Samsung's Rugby models.
If Samsung makes a UI overlay for Android, LG will make a UI overlay for Android. If Samsung starts making bigger phones, LG will start making bigger phones. And if Samsung announces its new flagship device at a big New York City event, you can bet LG is going to announce its new flagship device at a big New York City event. Yes, the time has come for LG to (almost certainly) reveal the Optimus G Pro for US carriers.
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.