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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Google announces Android 5.0 #Lollipop

After an extended testing and preview period, Google has announced the final release of Android L, its latest version of the world's most popular mobile platform. Android 5.0 Lollipop is debuting on three new Nexus devices — the Nexus 6 smartphone, Nexus 9 tablet, and Nexus Player streaming media device — and will be available on the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Google Play Edition devices in the coming weeks.

Lollipop's most obvious new features come in the form of visual enhancements and user interface changes, which Google has dubbed Material Design. The platform has new, more fluid animations, a cleaner design with a bolder color palette, a revamped multittasking menu, and offers new ways to interact with your voice. Many of the new Material Design features can be seen in the recent updates that Google has released for its own Android apps such as Google+. The Material Design initiative is meant to unify the software's look and feel across various form factors, whether that's a tablet, smartphone, home media streamer, or something else.

In addition to a visual overhaul, Lollipop brings over 5,000 new APIs for developers to tap into and lets multiple different Android devices with various form factors work better together. Google says that things such as songs, photos, apps, and recent searches can be seamlessly synced across various Android devices. Lollipop also includes new notification controls to limit alerts during meetings and other times, a new battery saver mode that can eke out 90 more minutes of life between charges, multiple user accounts, guest user modes, and new ways to secure your device via trusted Bluetooth connections. Lollipop will also include a protection against resetting the phone to factory defaults, which is designed to make it difficult for phone thieves to use a stolen device. Many of these features have been implemented by various Android device makers on their own smartphones and tablets for some time, but Google is now making sure they are part of the core Android experience.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is a big release for Google — it's the most significant visual update to Android since 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released in 2011, and it lays the foundation for Android to grow as a platform outside of smartphones and tablets. Google is very clearly pushing Android as the software for the future, and it wants Android to be on every connected device we interact with. Lollipop is the first step to getting there.

Source: Verge

Nexus 6: Google’s fantastic Trojan horse

For all the pomp and show that precedes a product launch these days, Apple's is perhaps the gold standard when it comes to marrying substance with hype.
No wonder then that Google's decision to announce the launch of its refreshed Nexus devices on Wednesday through a blog came off as a little odd, even timid by a big margin.
The complete absence of showmanship also led many to say that perhaps Google is not attaching much importance to the launch or that it simply lacks faith in the new line-up. But let’s get this straight: the Nexus 6 is Google boldest pitch to the high end smartphone market yet.
Google's new line of Nexus devices, (from left) Nexus 9, Nexus 6 and Nexus Player (Photo: Google)
The LG-made Nexus 5 was a solidly designed phone with near high-end specs, an impressive piece of hardware that was tremendous value for money.
The Nexus 6 made by Motorola though is a flagship device that can stand its ground in front of any high-end handset by Samsung, LG or Sony while offering a pure Android experience.
With the Nexus 6, Google has announced its arrival in the high-end smartphone battleground, but unlike Samsung, Sony or LG, regardless of who does well, its Google which is going to win eventually.
This is because Google’s star attraction is not the Nexus 6 but Android Lollipop, the biggest update to Android since ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’. Lollipop is driven by a completely overhauled user interface called ‘Material Design’ and offers a strong degree of scalability across multiple screens and devices.
So for Google it doesn’t really matter if you choose to buy a Nexus 6 over a Samsung, LG or Sony phone as long as you are buying a phone with Android Lollipop.
The Nexus 6 is simply the first (but a very impressive) step to push the newest version of Android into the hands of high-end smartphone users. And in a way it's Google’s first effort to breach into Apple’s territory.
The ultimate battle between the two tech giants will take place on every electronic device with a screen you will buy from now on. Everything from your watch, phone, tablet, TV and even your car’s entertainment system will run scaled versions of Android Lollipop or iOS 8.

The goal is to coax the consumer to adapt a particular ecosystem and stick with it. The iPhone 6 and Nexus 6 are simply Trojan horses that will push you towards that, the Google device being more so. On that count the Nexus 6 is a fantastic start for Google.
Source: HT

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been launched in the India at Rs 58,300

Just a month after its global unveiling, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been launched in the India at Rs 58,300. The phablet has hit the market just ahead of Diwali and will face fierce competition from Apple's first-ever phablet, iPhone 6 Plus.

As part of its introductory offer, Vodafone is offering up to 2GB of data per month for subscribers who are not active on data packs. Subscribers with active data packs will get up to 1GB per month for two months.

Commenting at the launch, Asim Warsi, VP, mobile and IT, Samsung India, said, "The new device exhibits people inspired innovation with its unique combination of an enhanced S Pen, large and vivid display and superior productivity features to provide the most refined Galaxy experience to our customers."

Galaxy Note 4, which is now the top-end phablet in Samsung's portfolio, has a 5.7-inch display. Samsung has upped the display resolution in Galaxy Note series, from Full HD (1080x1920p) in Note 3 to QHD (1440x2560p) in Note 4. Other smartphones in India with QHD screen resolution are Oppo Find 7 and LG G3.

Despite a higher-resolution display, Samsung says that Galaxy Note 4 will deliver 7.5% more battery life than its predecessor due to an optimized interface. The phablet has a 3,220mAh battery (just 20mAh more than that of Galaxy Note 3), and features fast-charging technology, so the battery can go from 0% to 50% in 30 minutes.

Under the hood, the Indian version of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has an octa-core processor (1.9GHz quad-core + 1.3GHz quad-core). The phablet comes with 3GB RAM and the only storage option now is 32GB, with support for 64GB microSD cards for more storage.

The rear camera has 16MP resolution and comes with Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that has become common among smartphones nowadays. Samsung has become a part of the selfie brigade with a 3.7MP front camera that allows users to take wide-angle selfies (120-degree).

Galaxy S5 features like fingerprint sensor embedded in the Home key and heart rate monitor on the back also find a place in Galaxy Note 4. Samsung has also included a barometer and hall sensor in its new phablet.

On the software side, Samsung has used an interface that is largely the same as that of Galaxy S5. The Galaxy Note 4 phablet will come pre-loaded with support for 14 regional Indian languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya and Assamese.

It also comes with additional software optimized to make use of the S Pen stylus. Compared to Note 3, users can multitask better in multi-window mode of Galaxy Note 4, which supports minimizing apps as floating widgets. It also has better text selection and crops selected areas on the screen for later viewing. The S Note app gets its own widget on the Galaxy Note 4, so that users can access the core functions of the stylus as soon as they unlock it.

Along with the phablet, Samsung has launched its latest smartwatch, named Gear S, in the country. Priced at Rs 28,900, it is the most expensive smartwatch in the country and is the only one in the market to have 3G and Wi-Fi capability, which enables it to work independent of a smartphone.

Gear S comes with multiple sensors, including heart rate monitor, gyroscope, barometer and UV sensor. It conforms to IP-67 standards, meaning that it can withstand being dropped in up to 1 metre of water for a period of 30 minutes and is also resistant to dust. It accepts voice commands as well as text input via the on-screen keyboard.

Apart from the standard strap, Samsung is offering buying diamond-studded Swarovski edition straps for Gear S.

About Gear S, Warsi said, "Samsung has significantly contributed to the wearable industry by taking the lead in offering unique smart wearables and the launch of Gear S will further set a new standard in the mobile communication space."

Samsung has not said when it will launch the Galaxy Note Edge, its first mass-market smartphone with a curved display, in India. The company has also not launched the Swaroski and Mont Blanc edition of covers for Galaxy Note 4 in the country as of now.

Source: TOI