It was bound to happen eventually. Global smartphone sales have fallen year-over-year for the first time since 2004. Research firm Gartner reports that industry-wide, sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 dropped 5.6% from the same time period in 2016.
While Samsung and Apple maintained their leads in units sold, both showed declines in year-over-year sales. Samsung's sales decreased by 3.6% for Q4, and Apple dropped a somewhat surprising 5%.
Gartner attributes some of the slowdown in Q4 to the aging of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, with the S9 set to debut at the Mobile World Congress, as well as some confusion over Apple's release of three new models of iPhone and supply shortages for iPhone X. Read More
Google is constantly working on projects with interesting potential, but we rarely get to hear about them at such an early stage in development as this latest one. Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff have been developing software on a Pixel phone that uses the front-facing camera to spot someone looking over your shoulder at the screen. Read More
If there's one major technological limitation that's slowing progress in a number of areas, including smartphones, it's probably batteries. More efficient power delivery in smaller cells would no doubt lead to some interesting advancements, and there are plenty of academics and companies around the world working towards better battery tech. You hear about potential new breakthroughs all the time (taking most with a pinch of salt), but Samsung believes it may have come up with a promising new battery material. Read More
It may seem unthinkable that the much maligned 'selfie,' a photo of oneself taken by oneself, could be used in any meaningful, useful way. That's exactly what is being proposed by researchers from the University of Washington. They've developed an app called BiliScreen which could utilize selfies, as well as computer vision algorithms and machine learning tools, as a method of screening for pancreatic cancer. Read More
Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but can you ever take images that rival a "real" camera? According to Google software engineer Florian Kainz, the answer is yes. Using a custom camera app and some post-capture editing , Kainz shows what the camera sensors in the Pixel and Nexus 6P can do in low light situations. Read More
As a student, I have written a lot of papers. Considering that I still have a long way to go until my education is complete, research papers and essays are not going away any time soon. The best part about all of those is citing my sources, which can get tedious when some classes want MLA and others want APA (because who wants Chicago anymore?). Sure, there are citation machines that are immensely helpful, but what if you could just get what you need straight from the Google Docs web search? Well, El Goog has students covered. Read More
You probably know as well as I do that the internet is littered with low-resolution images, either a limitation of a device's camera or purposely-downgraded for faster loading on slow connections. Unfortunately, enlarging an image many times over while still preserving detail is something only possible in episodes of CSI. But thanks to the magic of machine learning, Google has been developing a solution - RAISR, short for Rapid and Accurate Image Super-Resolution. Read More
When you make a voice search or any other voice input on Android, there's a complex process that goes on behind the scenes. Your voice is recorded, transmitted to Google's servers, analyzed and converted into a text string, then either passed on to the relevant web service (like Google Search) or sent back to your device. It's usually almost instantaneous if you have a decent Internet connection, but therein lies its one weakness: you do have to have that connection in order for it to work. The rudimentary offline system (in Android since Jelly Bean) relies on a relatively unsophisticated vocabulary and detection system that's slow and less powerful than the connected version. Read More