TAG | windows-
The dogfight between BlackBerry and Windows Phone in the U.S. has a new leader. Microsoft’s smartphone platform now controls more market share than that of the Canadian firm. But there is more to the story. New Comscore data indicates that even while besting BlackBerry at last, Windows Phone’s market share in the U.S. isn’t budging. Read More
Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant is coming to its mobile devices in Windows Phone 8.1, and a new set of leaked screens from The Verge shows a bit of what you can expect from the Siri clone. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft decided against using a holographic female avatar (i.e., the Cortana from Halo) as the visual representation of the software, and instead stuck with a small animated circle.… Read More
Nokia unveiled a few new Android-powered Nokia X smartphones at MWC this year, and they look like an interesting combination of Nokia’s existing design choices with Windows Phone, Microsoft’s services and Google’s mobile OS. As interesting as they appear, however, and regardless of their ultimate merits, don’t expect them to usher in a new continuing lineup of Nokia Android… Read More
More proof, if proof were needed, that Android won the smartphone OS wars: Nokia, the former world No.1 smartphone maker and, nowadays, the primary OEM for Microsoft’s third-placed Windows Phone platform has just announced a new family of smartphones built upon the Android Open Source Project — confirming a slew of earlier rumours that Nokia was cooking up an Android device strategy.… Read More
Meet Sony’s Xperia Z2 line. With the Z2 Tablet and Z2 smartphone, Sony clearly hopes impressive specs and waterproof technology will help the company gain marketshare in 2014. The tablet and phone are refreshingly similar. Qualcomm’s 2.3GHz 801 Snapdragon powers both devices. They both have class-leading cameras and displays. And following in Sony’s recent tradition, they’re both waterproof. Read More
Sony introduced the SmartBand SWR10 at CES 2014. The diminutive wearable is part of Sony’s push into an ever-connected experience centered around its Xperia products. Sony was mum about the release schedule back at CES, but today, at Mobile World Congress, the company announced that the device will be available in 60 markets next month. The SmartBand sports the standard affair of fitness… Read More
The mobile market may still essentially be a two horse race, with Android and iOS enjoying a significant lead, but there are lots of upstarts trying to make inroads, too. One of those is Firefox OS, Mozilla’s attempt to bring a web-first focus to smartphones. Geeksphone has been an early Firefox OS hardware supporter, and now it has put the Revolution up for sale, a higher-end device than its earlier efforts, complete with the ability to dual-boot to both Android and Firefox OS out of the box.
If you’re used to working in a corporate environment but also being cool during evenings and weekends, then you might be familiar with dual-booting: I’ve been known to have my Macs run Windows on a Boot Camp partition for when I need to pierce the veil and travel to the Microsoft realm. It’s actually a pretty common scenario in desktop computing, and there are a number of products including virtualization software designed to facilitate it. But is there the same kind of utility in the mobile world?
Firefox OS is definitely still an outlier when it comes to the mobile platform landscape, and as such, there’s very little in terms of pressing reasons to have it as an option. That said, the eternally curious and those who sympathize with Mozilla’s approach to software, open source and the web will probably find plenty to love about Firefox OS on a device with decent mid-range specs (it appears mostly on lower-end hardware, in keeping with Mozilla’s target market for the OS).
Specs for the phone include a dual-core Intel Atom processor at 1.6GHz, as well as HSDPA cellular support, and an 8 megapixel rear camera with a 1.3 megapixel front shooter. The Revolution retails for €222, and is sold direct from the Geeksphone website. Shipments start going out March 4, so eager shoppers won’t have to wait long before they start acting like mobile chameleons.
Samsung has a new teaser out for its “Next Galaxy,” which will be unveiled February 24 at an event during MWC in Barcelona. The short video, which clocks in at just over 35 seconds, features a series of vignettes and snapshots with overlaid text offering up one-word summaries of what the new hardware is all about.
Of course, whenever a company rattles off a string of buzzwords it’s probably best not to read too much into it, but there are some specific moments during this video that call to mind previously rumored features of the upcoming Galaxy S5, and some terms are given more focus and time than others during the montage.
There’s “Wet,” for instance, which calls back claims that the new S5 will be a rugged phone with water and dust resistance. Samsung previously released an iteration of its S4 called the “Active” that offered these benefits, but it would make sense to see the company turn this into a standard feature for its main flagship device, especially given that competitors like Sony already do this with their own top-tier devices.
Other focal terms include an “Alive” segment and “Outdoor” bit, both of which would seem to reinforce the idea of a smartphone ready for rugged use. There are also a number of suggestions that Samsung could bring improved camera features to the device, including some powerful selfie tricks.
The ultimate reveal is just three days away at this point, but for the impatient, that just means there’s still around 72 hours breaking down this clip frame by frame and evaluating all the editing decisions at a granular level for clues about what’s in store for Samsung’s next-generation flagship.
In a Reddit AMA session today, HTC employees confirmed that the company’s 8X Windows Phone handset will receive future firmware updates. This indicates that the company is working with Microsoft to bring Windows Phone 8.1 to the device. Windows Phone 8.1, also known as Windows Phone Blue, is a upcoming set of updates to the Windows Phone platform expected to land in April.
The as-yet unannounced Windows Phone 8.1 has been bouncing around the news lately. Not that Microsoft likely minds too much. Having the media pick over what is coming next for Windows Phone helps keep the enthusiasts enthused, and earns the platform coverage that it can repeat when the features are ‘officially’ released. Less of a bang at the end, but if you need to stay relevant, well, it’s an option.
Here’s HTC confirming that Blue is coming, and that they are working with Microsoft to deliver it to 8X customers:
So, that’s happening. Microsoft declined to comment.
Before I let you go for the weekend, keep the lower branches of that statement in mind. We know that a number of OEMs are either considering, or perhaps even now working on, getting into the Windows Phone game. Could HTC jump back in? I had an 8X for a while and can say that it was a fine piece of hardware. Windows Phone as a platform could use more like it. And HTC left the door plenty open in its statement on Reddit.
Something to think about.
Clickdrive wants to be the first open platform device that connects all driving apps and aftermarket monitors. The small black box, which plugs into an adapter under your steering wheel, lets you run several apps simultaneously from your smartphone, directly on the device itself, or on Clickdrive’s cloud platform.
“There are a bunch of driving apps coming out of various natures, but what we don’t have is the ability to use more than one at a time,” says Mark Sutheran, co-founder of Clickdrive, which is based in Singapore, but works with international car models.
He compares on-board devices currently on the market to computers where you had to load tape software one program at a time.
“You can have an iPhone app and connect it with a specific OBD. Then when you want to switch to another app, you have to pull out the adapter and plug another one in. It’s not scalable.”
Clickdrive is now raising funds on Indiegogo to start production and has hit about $10,000 of its $100,000 campaign goal, which has a March 15 end date. The device will ship in November, but to give people a chance to test out Clickdrive’s SDK before the final hardware is available, the startup is sending crowdfunding supporters a free lite version in April. (Since there’s been some confusion, Sutheran emphasizes that the Clickdrive lite, which works only with Android and is made with an off-the-shelf adapter, is definitely not the final device).
In addition to offering the convenience of letting drivers run several iOS, Android, or Windows apps at once, Clickdrive’s creators also claim that it is faster and more secure than most existing OBDs.
The device will come with a bundle of apps that other developers can add to using Clickdrive’s SDK or open API. (Check out demonstrations of its analytics for cars in Europe, the Americas, or Asia here).
Driving apps already on the market include Automatic, a Y Combinator alum and Techstars-backed Dash, both of which offer their own hardware to connect with smartphones. Apps like Dash also work with other Bluetooth-enabled OBD, including some that cost as little as $10 on Amazon.
But Sutheran says Clickdrive will appeal to car enthusiasts who are eager to run more than one app at a time, as well as people who don’t want to pick and chose between apps that monitor their fuel usage, carbon emissions, engine performance, or driving performance.
Clickdrive can download and run third-party apps on the device itself, which means it will continue to analyze and store data even if your smartphone is out of power. The Clickdrive is also upgradable, so you can add more storage or new connectivity options, like GSM, 4G or Zigbee.
Sutheran, a self-described “petrol head,” first became interested in car computers when the engine of his Fiat Coupe blew up after he bolted on a turbo. This was back in 2004 and connected diagnostic tools for vehicles were too expensive for Sutheran to afford after shelling out for repairs. So he built a device to connect his car engine with his laptop.
At that time, Sutheran was working as a software developer and consultant, creating trading systems for investment banks such as Lehman Brothers. Then in 2012, Sutheran decided to leave the financial industry and see what he could do with the advancements in mobile tech and cloud computing in the eight years since his Fiat Coupe’s engine met its fiery demise.
Sutheran and co-founder Rishi Saraswat say they built Clickdrive with the same engineering principles they applied to low-latency, high-performance trading systems. They expect the device’s first adopters to be other petrol heads, as well as tech enthusiasts and people who want to reduce carbon emissions.
But Sutheran expects the apps and devices that connect to Clickdrive to quickly become ubiquitous.
“In a few years, there may be many thousands of driving apps out there,” Sutheran says. “Insurance companies will offer premiums if you install their apps, and there will be ones for ridesharing, tracking your family members’ driving, parking. There are many, many different ways you can go with this.”