Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge due early next year will feature a pressure-sensitive display that functions similarly to 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The next-generation Android-based smartphones will reportedly also feature high-speed USB-C ports that provide up to a full day’s charge in under 30 minutes, and improved cameras that are optimized for low-light photography.

The report claims the Galaxy S7 will look similar to the Galaxy S6, but the rear-facing camera is said to be flush with the back of the device. The handset may also feature a retina scanner for new biometric features involving a user’s eyes.

The Wall Street Journal says the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will launch in the U.S. in March, possibly around the time Apple introduces the so-called „iPhone 6c“ and next-generation Apple Watch. Samsung is expected to announce the new devices around the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in late February.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge would compete with the rumored „iPhone 7,“ which could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector alongside a faster A10 chip, new Intel LTE modem and possibly thinner design. Apple’s next flagship smartphones will likely be released next September.

Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge
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Nintendo’s next console could run… Android?

Details about Nintendo’s next-gen NX console won’t officially be shared by the company until 2016, but according to a new report coming out of Japan one thing we might be able to expect is for the NX hardware to run…Read more ›



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iOS 8 Adoption Rate Hits 72% As Android Lollipop Distribution Reaches 1.6%

Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 8, is installed on 72 percent of iOS devices almost five months after it first launched in September of 2014, according to new numbers Apple shared on its App Store support page for developers.

Installation numbers are up 9 percent since mid-December and have jumped 3 percent since January 20, following the launch of iOS 8.1.3 at the end of the month. As iOS 8 adoption grows, the number of users running iOS 7 has dropped to 25 percent. 3 percent of users continue to use an earlier operating system.

iOS 8 adoption has been somewhat slower than iOS 7 adoption, as iOS 7 was running on 80 percent of devices in January of 2014, compared to iOS 8’s 69 percent adoption rate at that same time. Possible explanations for the slower adoption rate include the large amount of storage space required to update to iOS 8 and the major bugs the operating system has experienced. Excitement over iOS 7’s complete visual redesign may have also driven a larger number of upgrades.

Apple has resolved many of the initial bugs that were found in iOS 8 with several operating system updates, including iOS 8.1, iOS 8.1.1, iOS 8.1.2, and iOS 8.1.3, which has led to an uptick in adoption, and the company has also made an effort to inform customers that it’s possible to install iOS 8 via iTunes to alleviate storage space issues.

Though adoption of iOS 8 has been slower than iOS 7 adoption rates, Apple is still way ahead of Android. The latest version of Android (5.0, aka Lollipop), released in November, is currently only installed on 1.6 percent of Android devices. The vast majority of Android users are still running KitKat, which was released in October 2013, or even Jelly Bean, which first debuted in June 2012.

Android updates often take a long time to propagate to customers because of the large number of different Android-based devices on the market. Android updates must go through carriers and cell phone manufacturers, who like to build their own apps and interfaces into the operating system.




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Google Launches ‘Google Cast’ for Audio Streaming as AirPlay Alternative With a Twist [iOS Blog]

Google today announced Google Cast for audio, a new music streaming technology in the vein of Chromecast that lets users stream sound from their smartphone, tablet, or Chrome-based web browser to Google Cast-ready speakers.

The service uses pre-existing apps like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Google Play Music, amongst a sizable list of others, to play a user’s songs on a selection of speakers from companies like Sony and LG. With the long list of supported apps and sites, Google Cast supports a wide variety of input devices from iPhone, iPad, Android Phones and tablets, to any Mac or PC with a Chrome browser.

While Google Cast at first glance appears similar to Apple’s AirPlay in that it is a standard available to speaker manufacturers to ensure support for wireless audio streaming, Google Cast speakers stream content from the cloud rather than directly from the control device. As a result, Google promises users will receive the best sound quality and can multitask on their devices without disturbing the streams.

The company promises the first Google Cast-ready speakers from Sony, LG, and HEOS by Denon will be made available this spring. Alongside the promise of a wider array of brands supporting the service with their own speakers throughout 2015, Google states that these devices will accompany „a growing Google Cast ecosystem,“ which plans to include Android-based TVs, gaming consoles, and even set-top boxes.




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Apple Responds to CVS/Rite Aid Controversy: ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ Response, Working to Add Merchants

Last week, news surfaced that popular drugstore Rite Aid was disabling support for NFC and Apple Pay in its retail stores and over the weekend, CVS followed in its footsteps. Apple has now commented on the situation, telling Business Insider that it’s working to get as many merchants on board with Apple Pay as it can.

The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.

Both CVS and Rite Aid are members of Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, a team of retailers that are designing their own payments system to compete with Apple Pay.

Headed up by Walmart, which has also publicly stated that it won’t be supporting Apple Pay, MCX is composed of several different retail outlets and restaurants, including Best Buy, Lowe’s, Old Navy, Southwest, Target, 7 Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Hobby Lobby, and more.

MCX’s payment solution, CurrentC, is currently in testing in Minnesota and takes a decidedly different approach to mobile payments. CurrentC does not use NFC, instead basing payments around the scanning of QR codes with a smartphone camera. CurrentC is highly beneficial to merchants, but appears to be of questionable value to customers given that it requires both a social security number and a driver’s license number, along with access to a bank account.

Despite only being available in Minnesota at the time being, MCX’s CurrentC app has received hundreds of negative reviews from Apple Pay supporters. Android and iOS users on reddit have also teamed up to call for a boycott on all MCX partners, as disabling NFC support to prevent Apple Pay purchases also disables Android-based payment solutions like Google Wallet.

Though quite a few big name retailers have opted out of Apple Pay, Apple has signed on with several major partners including Macy’s, Chevron, Disney, McDonald’s, Nike, Petco, Whole Foods, and more. Apple Pay is accepted at the retail stores of any of its partners, and at any store that accepts NFC payments.




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iPhone 6 Clone Passed Off as Real Product to Street-Goers in Prank Video [iOS Blog]

While Apple next-generation iPhone is still over a month away from being announced, a number of clones from various companies have hit the market to try and capitalize on customer anticipation. In a video posted to his channel, YouTuber Jonathan Morrison took Goophone’s „i6“ clone to Hollywood Boulevard to see if people would see the Android-based device as a real iPhone 6.

Individuals were told that the clone was the iPhone 6 and came with a number of new features, including an eight-day battery life, an „A10“ processor, and a high-resolution 8K sapphire display with 3D capabilities. Most people in fact believed those features, with one man proclaiming the phone felt „super fast“ and another saying that the display „looked much clearer“ than the display on his iPhone 5s.

At one point, a young individual in a crowd asks „How many milliamps does it have?“ Morrison replies with „7,000“, causing the person to respond „How does that fit in there?!“ Others were also told about additional features, with one woman believing that the phone’s photos were too high of a resolution for its screen, and a man in awe over the claimed „26-core“ processor.

After being asked about Apple’s efforts in comparison to Samsung’s, one man even claims that the device is „really great“ and that Apple has „caught up with this one.“ Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel pulled a similar prank on Hollywood Boulevard last month, with his team showing pedestrians a $20 Casio watch and claiming it to be Apple’s long-awaited iWatch.




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