Published on January 18 2017

Google confirms two Android Wear smartwatches will launch in early 2017

While it was known a major revamp to Android Wear — version 2.0 — will debut early 2017, it was unclear whether Google would release its own hardware alongside it like it did with the Google Pixel. The official answer is not cut and dry, but the search giant confirmed it will launch two new smartwatches.

Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google, confirmed to The Verge that two new smartwatches will debut in the first quarter of 2017 and they will be the first to launch with Android Wear 2.0. And in the fall of 2016, noted leaker Evan Blass and Android Police revealed the devices’ product names: Watch Sport and Watch Style.

A launch in February

Reporter Evan Blass wrote in January that the watches will be unveiled at an event on February 9. They will reportedly go on sale in the U.S. the next day on February 10 and roll out to other regions throughout the month and into March.

The watches are expected to receive prominent placement at LG’s booth at Mobile World Congress, which starts on February 27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Here is a re-creation of what the watches may look like:

Google confirms two Android Wear smartwatches will launch in early 2017

Again, the image is an artist’s rendering based on the primary source material. There is always a strong chance the devices will look different when they are finally released. We cannot verify this information but with Chang’s confirmation, it seems more plausible. But take it with a grain of salt.

Watch Sport

Angelfish resembles the Moto 360 and LG’s Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, and will be the larger of the two smartwatches. It contains a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and LTE radio — features that pair well with the upcoming Android Wear 2.0 update. It’s capable of placing and receiving phone calls with the same phone number as the user’s primary handset.

In terms of hardware, the Watch Sport is said to be the superior of the two. It features a 1.38-inch plastic OLED display that measures 480 x 480 pixels in resolution, 768MB of RAM, and a 430mAh battery. It also packs an NFC radio that will allow it to take advantage of Android Wear 2.0’s support for Android Pay contactless payments.

The Watch Sport features lugs with a “smooth housing shape that curves where the watch band meets the body,” which gives the device an appropriately sporty aesthetic. A touch-sensitive digital crown will serve as a navigation button and the watch’s capacitive display will boast handwriting recognition.

Angelfish is more than 14.2mm in cross-section, which Android Police guesses is due to a larger battery to accommodate LTE features. The diameter is 43.5mm, and it will come in titanium and dark blue.

Watch Style

Watch Style is smaller than the Watch Sport, won’t have the extra features of its big brother such as LTE or GPS, and likely doesn’t have a heart-rate monitor. Its design is reportedly more in tune with the Pebble Time Round, though without the large screen bezels — the part surrounding the watch face is still large but the shape is more “gentle and rounded” than the Pebble. The crown’s bezel is ridged, moreover, and the Watch Sport is noticeably thinner at 10.8mm. It will come in silver, titanium, and rose gold.

 

Generally speaking, the Watch Style is the less capable of the two watches. It sports a 1.2-inch screen lower in resolution (360 x 360 pixels), less RAM (512MB), and a smaller battery (240mAh) than the Watch Sport. Its exterior shielding is less effective at keeping out water and dust (IP67).

But the Watch Style shares the touch-sensitive dial and 4GB storage size common with the Watch Sport. One key point about both smartwatches is that they will tout Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts.

Google Assistant is the company’s artificially intelligent assistant, which is debuted first in Allo, a messaging app. It’s now available in the Pixel and in Google Home.

The Watch Sport will not support Google’s interchangeable Mode watch bands due to its design and lugs, but the Watch Style will be compatible. The Mountain View, California, company is also reportedly working on a “brand-new style of watch faces” for both of these smartwatches that will allow them to gain quicker access to notifications, media controls, and other functions for commonly used apps.

Android Wear 2.0

The major update is expected to roll out early in 2017  after the new smartwatches launch and will be available for the following Android Wear smartwatches: Asus ZenwWatch 2, Asus ZenWatch 3, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Moto 360 Gen. 2, Moto 360 Sport, Tag Heuer Connected, LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, Polar M600, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Founder, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch, Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch, Nixon Mission, Huawei Watch, and Huawei Watch Ladies.

The highlights of the update, other than a redesign of the interface, include stand-alone apps that do not require a phone, the Google Assistant, and support for Android Pay. Some existing watches do not have NFC support, so Android Pay will not work on those devices. New devices in 2017 will likely feature NFC, but it’s still not a requirement for Android Wear partners.

Android Wear 2.0 is currently in beta and users can expect the fifth and final Developer Preview to drop in January — this final preview before the official release will include Android Pay and the Assistant. Interestingly, the update will also bring support for iOS devices, meaning Android Pay will work on both Android and iOS.

More watches will be announced at the Baselworld 2017 trade show in Swizerland in March.

Article Source: Google confirms two Android Wear smartwatches will launch in early 2017

 

 

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Published on January 18 2017

Samsung says it knows why the Galaxy Note 7 exploded — and it's no surprise

A months-long probe into the cause of the spontaneously combusting Galaxy Note 7 devices has revealed … well, what we already suspected. On Sunday, Reuters reported that Samsung had concluded its investigation of its ill-fated flagship phone, and determined that the battery was the main culprit. Seeing as the battery was the part of the handset known to explode, this comes as little surprise.

The official results of Samsung’s inquiry into the matter are likely to be announced on January 23, Reuters reports, which is the day before the South Korean phone manufacturer is slated to announce its fourth-quarter earnings results. According to the publication’s anonymous source, Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung’s mobile business, is slated to provide details about both the company’s performance in the last part of 2016, as well as what the company will do to ensure that the exploding handset problem doesn’t happen again.

The Galaxy Note 7 was first recalled back in September, whereupon 2.5 million devices were ordered to be returned. At that point, the cause of the fire was said to be a manufacturing process issue at Samsung SDI Co. Ltd, one of the phone maker’s suppliers. But when a new batch of smartphones with allegedly safe batteries provided by a different supplier continued to prove problematic, Samsung shut down sales of its highly anticipated phone. This ultimately resulted in a $5.2 billion loss.

Samsung’s official statement on the cause of the Note 7 debacle will be closely monitored as it makes way for the launch of the next flagship handset — the Galaxy S8. That phone is slated to be released sometime in the first half of 2017, and customers will be none too pleased if it meets with the same fate as its predecessor.

“They’ve got to make sure they come clean and they’ve got to reassure buyers as to why this won’t happen again,” said Bryan Ma, Singapore-based analyst for researcher IDC.

We’ll just have to wait one more week to hear what Samsung’s final explanation is for the fiery death of the old Galaxy Note 7.

Article Source: Samsung says it knows why the Galaxy Note 7 exploded — and it's no surprise

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Published on January 18 2017

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are great upgrades, especially if you opt for the dual-camera-equipped Plus, but they don't really look any different from Apple's previous iPhones. That's why so many people are sitting out this generation and are waiting for the iPhone 8.

If the new device looks anything like this, Apple will probably have a winner on its hands in time to celebrate the iPhone's tenth anniversary.

If the iPhone 8 Looks Like This, the Galaxy S8 Is in Trouble

A fitting tribute to all of the iPhone 8 rumors so far, the highly detailed concepts come from German website Handy Abovergleich. The front of the phone has no physical home button. Instead, you'll see an all-glass front that goes pretty much edge to edge, so there are no real bezels. However, there's a virtual bezel of sorts beneath the screen that shows the Touch ID button and two other virtual buttons that flank it.

Like the current iPhone, the iPhone 8 models on display here have curved edges, but both the front and back are made of glass, while the frame is stainless steel. You'll also find six finishes, the most fetching of which is polished gold.

Other features on this iPhone 8 include an AMOLED display, which has been rumored and would offer improved colors and better contrast than today's LCD iPhone screens. There's also a retina scanner on board for additional security and wireless charging capability.

According to this designer, the iPhone 8 will come in three flavors — regular, Plus and Pro — but that seems unlikely. We've been hearing about three new iPhones, but mostly within the context of an upgraded iPhone 7s and 7s Plus alongside the iPhone 8. Only the iPhone 8 would be the truly different.

However, we do agree that Apple will add support for the Apple Pencil on at least one 2017 iPhone 8 model, which the concept shows as an accessory.

Article Source: If the iPhone 8 Looks Like This, the Galaxy S8 Is in Trouble

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Published on January 17 2017

Galaxy S8 release date reportedly set for April 15th

We started the week with a bunch of fresh Galaxy S8 rumors, including an extensive preview of Samsung’s upcoming phone and new renders that may have offered measurements of the handset. That, however, isn’t the whole story. A new report out of Asia claims that the Galaxy S8 is going to be released in mid-April, complete with some big camera improvements.

According to Korean-language site ETNews, Samsung is looking to improve the selfie this year. Therefore, its mobile devices will have better front-facing shooters, Galaxy S8 included.

The report says that on Samsung will launch new smartphones that have significantly improved front cameras on April 15th. It’s likely that the Galaxy S8, already expected to arrive in the second half of April, will lead this mini-selfie revolution. The report indicates that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy A will have 8-megapixel cameras. The Galaxy S8 should have an improved 8-megapixel shooter, complete with auto-focus features.

It’s worth noting that April 15th is a Saturday, and Samsung typically launches flagship smartphones on Fridays.

The report also says that the Galaxy S8 might not copy the iPhone 7 when it comes to one critical feature. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 7s Plus are both tipped to feature dual rear cameras this year. The Galaxy S8 might not have a dual camera on the back as initially planned, as the idea has supposedly been killed during development.

Samsung insider Eldar Murtazin did not mention anything about a dual rear camera on the Galaxy S8 in his extensive preview. Existing Galaxy S8 case leaks do not show a dual camera on the phone’s back either.

ETNews also says that the Galaxy S8 will have an iris recognition camera on the front side, just like the Galaxy Note 7.

Article Source: Galaxy S8 release date reportedly set for April 15th

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Published on January 17 2017

Samsung says it knows why the Galaxy Note 7 exploded — and it's no surprise

A months-long probe into the cause of the spontaneously combusting Galaxy Note 7 devices has revealed … well, what we already suspected. On Sunday, Reuters reported that Samsung had concluded its investigation of its ill-fated flagship phone, and determined that the battery was the main culprit. Seeing as the battery was the part of the handset known to explode, this comes as little surprise.

The official results of Samsung’s inquiry into the matter are likely to be announced on January 23, Reuters reports, which is the day before the South Korean phone manufacturer is slated to announce its fourth-quarter earnings results. According to the publication’s anonymous source, Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung’s mobile business, is slated to provide details about both the company’s performance in the last part of 2016, as well as what the company will do to ensure that the exploding handset problem doesn’t happen again.

The Galaxy Note 7 was first recalled back in September, whereupon 2.5 million devices were ordered to be returned. At that point, the cause of the fire was said to be a manufacturing process issue at Samsung SDI Co. Ltd, one of the phone maker’s suppliers. But when a new batch of smartphones with allegedly safe batteries provided by a different supplier continued to prove problematic, Samsung shut down sales of its highly anticipated phone. This ultimately resulted in a $5.2 billion loss.

Samsung’s official statement on the cause of the Note 7 debacle will be closely monitored as it makes way for the launch of the next flagship handset — the Galaxy S8. That phone is slated to be released sometime in the first half of 2017, and customers will be none too pleased if it meets with the same fate as its predecessor.

“They’ve got to make sure they come clean and they’ve got to reassure buyers as to why this won’t happen again,” said Bryan Ma, Singapore-based analyst for researcher IDC.

We’ll just have to wait one more week to hear what Samsung’s final explanation is for the fiery death of the old Galaxy Note 7.

Article Source: Samsung says it knows why the Galaxy Note 7 exploded — and it's no surprise

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Published on January 12 2017

The iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s were the "three most popular smartphones" in the United States in the three month period ending November 2016, when users were purchasing early holiday gifts for friends and family members. According to new data collected by Kantar Worldpanel, the three Apple iPhones captured a total 31.3 percent of smartphone sales in the U.S., while Samsung accounted for 28.9 percent of smartphone sales during the three month period. 

In the U.S., iOS grew 6.4 percent in the same three month period, rising to a 43.5 percent share of the market. Android dropped 5.1 percent, but still sits atop Apple with a 55.3 percent share of the market. As Kantar noted, the data marks the sixth consecutive decline for Android in the U.S. 

iPhone Captured 31% of Smartphone Sales in the U.S. Ahead of Holiday Season

Kantar's data shows that iOS made gains across most regions around the world in the same September to November period, despite a few losses in Germany and China. Apple's mobile operating system saw the biggest year-over-year increase in Great Britain, where it jumped 9.1 percent to account for 48.3 percent of the smartphone market in the country. Both Android and iOS increased their presence across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Great Britain, "largely due to the decline of Windows," according to Kantar. 

“In the EU5 countries, Android accounted for 72.4% of smartphone sales during this period, with iOS at 24.6%, a strong year-on-year uptick for both ecosystems as Windows’ share declined to 2.8%. 

For Android, this represented a 2.8 percentage point decline from the October period, while strong sales of iPhone 7 boosted iOS,” explained Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. “The holiday period is always strong for Apple, but it remains to be seen if demand for the latest devices will level out in the first quarter of 2017.”

Despite dropping 5.4 percent in China from the year-ago quarter, Kantar pointed out that iOS market share did in fact increase slightly (by 2.8 percent) from the previous three-month period thanks to the launch of the iPhone 7, which became the best-selling device in Urban China. "Local brands continued to dominate the market," according to Kantar analyst Tamsin Timpson, and Android accounts for a massive 79.9 percent of the smartphone market in the country in comparison to Apple's 19.9 percent presence. 

Despite Apple's iOS growth in places like Australia, Japan, and even the U.S., recent reports surrounding the company's manufacturing partner Foxconn have pointed towards "lukewarm" demand for the iPhone 7 as a major cause for the assembler's first-ever profit decline. Apple reportedly shipped 207 million iPhones in 2016, down from 236 million in 2015, but many hope the company can turn around from its own revenue downturn with a profitable 2017 and a major redesign for the "iPhone 8.

Article Source: iPhone Captured 31% of Smartphone Sales in the U.S. Ahead of Holiday Season

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Published on January 12 2017

Amid an ongoing decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac sales are holding steady, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner

During the fourth quarter of 2016, Apple shipped an estimated 5.4 million Macs worldwide, up from 5.3 million in the year-ago quarter for an estimated growth of 2.4 percent. During the quarter, Apple held 7.5 percent of the market, up from 7 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015, making it the number five PC vendor in the world. 

Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the top three vendors, all saw growth during the quarter as well. Dell, which holds 14.8 percent of the market, saw 5.4 percent growth, while HP, responsible for 20.4 percent of the market, saw 4.3 percent growth. Lenovo, the number one PC vendor with 21.7 percent of the market, saw 1.6 percent growth and shipped 15.9 million PCs, up from 15.5 in the year-ago quarter. 

Worldwide Mac Sales Remain Steady in 4Q 2016 Amid Continuing PC Market Decline

Asus (number 4 vendor) and Acer Group (number 6 vendor) both saw declines in growth, with Asus shipping 5.4 million PCs (down from 6 million in 4Q 2015) and Acer shipping 5 million PCs (down from 5.2 million in 4Q 2015). 

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 72.6 million units during the fourth quarter of 2016, a 3.7 percent decline compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full year, PC shipments totaled 269.7 million, a 6.2 drop from 2015. Apple is estimated to have shipped a total of 18.6 million Macs in 2016, down from 20.3 million in 2015.

"Stagnation in the PC market continued into the fourth quarter of 2016 as holiday sales were generally weak due to the fundamental change in PC buying behavior," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "The broad PC market has been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth. 

There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks, as well as technology improvements, such as longer battery life. This end of the market has grown fast, led by engaged PC users who put high priority on PCs. However, the market driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market growth."

Apple's worldwide numbers held steady, but saw better growth in the United States. According to Gartner's data, Apple shipped an estimated 2.1 million PCs in the United States for 12.8 percent of the market. That's up from 2 million shipments (and 11.8 percent market share) in the year-ago quarter. 

Worldwide Mac Sales Remain Steady in 4Q 2016 Amid Continuing PC Market Decline

HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer all saw growth in the United States, but Asus saw a sharp dip, shipping only 621,000 PCs, down from 1.2 million in 4Q 2015. Overall PC shipments in the U.S. totaled 16.5 million units, a 1.3 percent decline compared to last year.

Worldwide Mac Sales Remain Steady in 4Q 2016 Amid Continuing PC Market Decline

IDC also released its shipment estimates today, and as expected, its numbers tell a different story, in part because of the difference in the way Windows-based tablets are counted by each firm. 

According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments totaled 70.2 million units during 4Q 2016, with Apple shipping an estimated 5.26 million Macs, down from 5.3 million in 4Q 2015 for -0.9 percent growth and 7.4 percent market share (up from 7.3 percent last year). Similar to Gartner, IDC believes Apple shipped a total of 18.5 million Macs in 2016, down from 20.5 million in 2015, for an overall decline in growth of 9.8 percent. 

It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, IDC and Gartner predicted worldwide 4Q 2015 shipments of 5.7 million Macs, while the actual number was 5.3 million. 

We'll know more about Apple's 2016 performance and how well its new MacBook Pros have been selling following the company's next earnings release on January 31.

Article Source: Worldwide Mac Sales Remain Steady in 4Q 2016 Amid Continuing PC Market Decline

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Published on January 12 2017

Apple's iOS ecosystem is on course to generate over $1 trillion in revenues for the company by the middle of this year, according to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu. 

Dediu's prediction is based on several factors, starting with an expectation that Apple will have sold at least 1.2 billion iPhones in its first 10 years, earning it the rank of "most successful product of all time" and laying the foundations for the company's iPad, Apple TViPod touch, and Apple Watch categories.

Apple Set to Earn $1 Trillion in Revenue From iOS Ecosystem By Middle of 2017
In its first 10 years, the iPhone will have sold at least 1.2 billion units, making it the most successful product of all time. The iPhone also enabled the iOS empire which includes the iPod touch, the iPad, the Apple Watch and Apple TV whose combined total unit sales will reach 1.75 billion units over 10 years. This total is likely to top 2 billion units by the end of 2018.

Dediu claims revenue from iOS device sales will total about $980 billion by the middle of this year, and adds to that estimate more than $100 billon in revenues from supporting services (including app content sales), putting the ecosystem's total worth above the $1 trillion mark. 

The analyst notes this excludes payouts to iOS app developers of around $60 billion, with the rate of payments now reaching $20 billion per year. Those numbers would appear to tally with comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook last August that the company has paid out more than $50 billion to developers over the lifetime of the App Store, which first launched for the iPhone in 2008. 

Dediu points to the locked-in nature of Apple's ecosystem ensuring the iPhone's resilience and longevity, despite strong competition from so-called "iPhone killers" that come and go, while its robust feature set and attached services continue to earn it the market reputation as the premium smartphone to beat. 

In addition, the analyst claims that Android users are now more likely to switch to iOS rather than the other way around – a trend supported by previous reports from both market analysts and Apple, including, notably, comments made in the company's Q4 2016 earnings call

Dediu ends by predicting not another "Big Bang" for the iPhone, but a "process of continual improvement" as the smartphone enters its second decade. Indeed, the analyst expresses more excitement for its network of "ancilliary smart accessories" like the Apple Watch, the AirPods, Apple Pencil, and other possible new wearables that point toward a future where the iPhone is a hub to a mesh of personal devices. "The seamless integration of such devices is what has always set Apple apart," Dediu concludes.

Article Source: Apple Set to Earn $1 Trillion in Revenue From iOS Ecosystem By Middle of 2017

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Published on January 3 2017

Do you remember the joy and amazement you felt the first time you looked into a kaleidoscope? It was magical! Now imagine being able not only to experience that feeling again, but also having the power to create these images, and you’ve just realized the power of ArtScope!

100% Off to Get ArtScope to Create Stunning Kaleidoscope Images and Animations

ArtScope lets you build amazing kaleidoscope images and animations right on your computer, without requiring any programming expertise. With ArtScope, you’ll be able to work with amazing bright and saturated colors, while creating an environment of relaxation anchored by a slowly rotating and mesmerizing dance of light. Want to soothe your ears, as well? ArtScope offers the ability to add background music to your works of art.

Technical features of ArtScope include scaling image tiles, opacity tiles, and rotation of image and layer tiles. You can choose to create either symmetric or non-symmetric patterns, and can also turn on and turn off odd sectors. You can even output your images and animations to an HDTV for large-screen viewing.

Free download ArtScope to Create Stunning Kaleidoscope Images and Animations

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Published on December 29 2016

Most of the information that we see today is delivered via the Internet. So when it comes time to capture that information, what do you do? Copy and paste a website and hope that the formatting isn't too badly mangled? Or copy the raw text into a word processor and spend the afternoon cleaning it up? Well, today brings a better solution! It's today's discount software promotion,W3capture!

50% Off to Get W3capture to Capture Entire Web Pages as PDF and Image Files

W3capture lets you convert webpages to PDF and image files, retaining all original formatting and images, and with support for batch processing. With W3capture, you'll be able to easily create thumbnail images or take full size screen captures of all content coded as HTML or TXT. Once you've captured them, you can convert them to a variety of file formats that include PNG, JPG, BMP, SVG, and PDF. No matter how long the web page runs, there's no need to worry -W3capture will get it all, and you don't even have to scroll!

50% Off to Get W3capture to Capture Entire Web Pages as PDF and Image Files

If you're doing research, you'll be pleased to know that W3capture can consolidate multiple webpages, all from different sites, into a single PDF file. Or, if you so choose, you can elect to store each webpage as its own separate file. The choice is yours!

50% Off to Get W3capture to Capture Entire Web Pages as PDF and Image Files

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