People who own Sonos speakers aren't having the best time dealing with the death of Google Play Music. YouTube Music, the app meant to replace it, has yet to adopt the seemingly basic ability to cast audio from mobile devices to robust thousand-dollar soundbars, much less achieve the promise of complete feature parity. As with many conflicts, there's no good reason for this chasm to exist and everyone to blame. But who should fix it? Read More
Sometimes you don't want to read up on how someone "feels" about a product. Everything's subjective, of course, and it's good to combine multiple viewpoints, but once in a while, it's nice to just sit down and examine the raw data, that way you can come to your own conclusions. And Dylan Raga over at XDA-Developers just assembled an intense and in-depth analysis of the Pixel 2 XL's display that's worth a read. At least, if you'd like to scratch that purely quantitative itch. Read More
As a keen and professional observer of the modern consumer electronics market, I can say without fear of contradiction that smartphone screens are getting bigger. So can columnist Alex Barredo, but he's done an impressive amount a statistical legwork and presentation to prove it. On the surface his analysis of smartphone size screen trends may seem obvious, but within you can find dramatic shifts in patterns of both the overall market and specific companies. It's worth a read if you're interested in trends and device design.
First of all, smartphones in general and phone screens in particular have been on an upward slope ever since the release of the original iPhone seven years ago. Read More
Google just updated the web Play Store with a completely new UI that was teased back at I/O 2013, and it immediately caused a whirlwind of mixed reactions. We have a separate post coming up on all the differences as well as the features that didn't make it into the redesign (there are, unfortunately, a lot - even more than went missing in Maps v7), but right now I want to commend Google and address one aspect that immediately stood out to me within the first few seconds - speed.
There are two massive improvements at play here simultaneously for users of supported browsers, though, unfortunately, one of them does not apply unless you use Chrome, Opera, or Maxthon. Read More
Yesterday, we reported on an alleged Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM originally posted by SamMobile. Since then, we have – in usual style – been digging away, looking for goodies. In the midst of that search, Ron noticed something – the Roboto files in the ROM were up to 30% bigger than the versions found in 4.2.2.
My first guess as to what would cause a file size difference was the presence of additional glyphs. When looking at the new files closely, there appeared to be 15 extra glyphs. But something even better became apparent.
Roboto got a facelift! What follows is my attempt to catalogue (in a coherent fashion) some of the changes in the new Roboto. Read More
One of the biggest problems Google faces with Android is avoiding a situation where one manufacturer controls so much of the market that everything else falls by the wayside. As study after study shows, though, this is becoming an increasing risk as Samsung gobbles up more customers. To wit, this survey from Localytics—a company that provides analytics for mobile apps— showed that of the top ten Android devices its customers used, eight were made by Samsung, and seven had the Galaxy brand attached.
The trend is staggering, but not surprising. After all, between Samsung and Apple, the two companies account for somewhere between most and more than all the smartphone profits. Read More
Let's start with a disclaimer, shall we? Analysts are generally full of it. When we hear a claim that says, with undeserving certainty, that come 2016 there will be 2.3 billion Android and 2.28 billion Windows devices, we're a little skeptical. The likelihood that anyone knows exactly how many units of a particular platform will sell to that level of accuracy is almost none.
However, as we approach what might just be the single biggest week for Microsoft in decades, it's worth asking the question: are Android and Windows gearing up for a battle over the next few years? The question of smartphone dominance between iOS and Android is settled (Android won). Read More
A couple of weeks ago, Xperia blog posted what appeared to be User-Agent Profile information revealing the existence of Sony's purported upcoming flagship, the C650X codenamed Odin.
The information seemed to point toward an Xperia device running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, with separate rumors suggesting a 5" display at 1080x1920 resolution (441ppi), a Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core processor, and 2GB of RAM.
Today, a photo has surfaced that, according to Concept-Phones, depicts the yet-unseen Odin. As with any other photo-based rumor, we had to take a closer look. Read More
In a maneuver that the New York Times describes as "an effort to give economists, policy makers, business owners and citizens greater access to real-time data on the health of the nation's economy," the US Census Bureau recently released its America's Economy app to Google's Play Store.
The app, which is available in separate downloads for tablets and phones, gives users a quick look at a wide range of economic indicators, from business inventories to construction spending, homeownership rate, monthly wholesale, and a heaping handful of others. As one reviewer laments, however, the app does not offer some important indicators like labor force participation rate. Read More