- Oppo teases another handset to launch alongside the N3
- Report: Note 4 sales reach 4.5 million in first month
- 5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Google Play Weekly
- 87% off Adobe’s Photography Bundle for Beginners
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop update could arrive in December
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus to arrive in Europe this month
- G3 Screen is LG’s first phone powered by in-house Nuclun processor
- Amazon writes-off $170 million because of Fire phone
- New Google Calendar app seasonal backgrounds ready for download
- Ingress celebrating second anniversary with First Saturdays event
The launch of the much teased Oppo N3 is just a few days away but that hasn’t stopped the company teasing something new. Another post on the company’s official Weibo account suggests that Oppo will be releasing two handsets on the 29th of October. Oppo hasn’t given anything away about the second handset, and the small corner we can see isn’t all that informative. Although that little glimpse bears some resemblance to one of the early renders of the N3, see below. Speculation about the second new Oppo handset is already starting to spread. Sources from China are suggesting that Oppo is preparing to release the world’s thinnest smartphone, which will have a thickness of just 4.0mm. Other hardware is also rumored to include a 64-bit MediaTek processor with LTE and a screen size somewhere between 5 and 5.5 inches. We can’t tell if this handset will also feature a rotating camera, but it is a possibility if the smartphone is launched in the same range as the N3. It’s also possible that this will be a mid-range offering, void of some of the high-end features expected to come with the Oppo N3, such as the lithium-aluminium chassis. Oppo will be unveiling all at its launch event next week, which is scheduled for the 29th of October.
Samsung sold 4.5 million units of the Galaxy Note 4 since the device went on sale on September 26, according to a Korean language report citing industry sources. Samsung has not announced any figures yet, so take this report with a grain of salt until further confirmation. In its first 28 days of availability last year, the Note 3 hit 5 million units, so at first glance, Samsung doesn’t seem to have any reasons to celebrate. But the 4.5 million units is actually a good sign when you consider that the Note 4 only went on sale around the world starting in mid-October. Samsung first released the Note 4 in South Korea at the end of September (reportedly on an accelerated schedule, due to concerns over the iPhone 6 Plus), followed by China in early October. In the US, UK and the rest of Europe the Note 4 only became available from carriers and retailers from October 17. It looks like the Note 4 is selling relatively well (though we’ll wait for the official announcement), which is exactly what Samsung needs right now. Faced with a slowdown in sales at the high and low ends of the market, Samsung recently issued a dim forecast for Q3, with revenue predicted to fall 60 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Under these conditions, the Note 4, and to lesser extent, the Galaxy Alpha are Samsung’s big sales drivers this holiday season.
Welcome back to Google Play Weekly! Here are the headlines from this last week: * The Google Play Store now allows you to filter searches to apps with 4 star ratings or higher. * Plex has been making a lot of waves lately. Most recently, it's been announced that it'll be a default app on the Nexus Player. * Gmail got a pretty significant update that brings Material Design and the ability to sign in with other email service providers. * A ported ROM was released for the Nexus 4 that shows off a bunch of future Google Apps. * Nokia has made its Here Maps app available to almost every Android device. And now, here are five Android apps you shouldn't miss this week! ------------------------- GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC [Price: Free / $9.99 subscription] Google Play Music got an update this last week that brings with it a Material Design overhaul. Also, All Access members living in the United States will have access to playlists curated by Songza. Remember when Google bought Songza? It does suck that the Songza feature is only available in the US but I guess a good way of looking at it is that now that it’s finally out somewhere, it’s just a matter of time before it gets to you. ------------------------- MATERIAL WALLPAPERS (ANDROID L) [Price: Free] Material Wallpapers is an application is essentially what the name says it is. It’s a collection of Material Design inspired wallpapers as well as a few official ones. It’s totally free to use with no in app purchases so that’s always good news. Aside from a hiccup on the OnePlus One, the app otherwise seems to work really well. ------------------------- TALON FOR TWITTER PLUS [Price: $3.99] Klinker Apps has released another Talon for Twitter. Unlike the one that’s widely available, this version is only for devices rocking Android 5.0. It is Material Design and has some features specifically tailored to the Android 5.0 experience. We know it’s not very useful to everyone just yet but when your device gets 5.0, you should definitely check this app out. ------------------------- STUFFMERGE CLIPBOARD COMPOSER [Price: Free / $1.17] StuffMerge Clipboard Composer is an app we reviewed this last week and it is pretty useful. The premise is pretty simple. It’s essentially like your standard copy/paste clipboard on steroids. The use cases are a little niche but pretty much everyone eventually finds themselves in a situation where an app like this can be useful. It’s free to use if you’re interested with a premium version available if you like it. ------------------------- ANDROIDIFY [Price: Free] Last up this week is Androidify. This fun little app lets you make cartoons of yourself that look Andy the Android robot. Version 2.0 just came out a little bit ago with new animations, the ability to share creations as gifs, and your Androidify creation may one day make into an Android TV commercial. It's free with no in app purchases and it's fun. ------------------------- WRAP UP If there were any awesome bits of news about Android apps or games that we missed this week, leave us a comment and let us know!
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Reports regarding an Android Lollipop update for the Samsung Galaxy S5 were disappointingly absent when we compiled a list of all the latest Android 5.0 news. We’ve seen an early preview build leaked on video, but Samsung has remained silent regarding Lollipop updates for any of its handsets. However, unspecified sources are hinting that the Samsung Galaxy S5 could receive a Lollipop update sometime in December this year. Unfortunately, a full rollout timetable remains elusive so we can't be sure if this will be region specific or not. Unlocked handsets are bound to receive an update first, but it could be a month, or perhaps even longer, before carrier branded S5s see Lollipop. Although we’re still waiting on an official word from Samsung, it seems likely that an update is coming, especially given the preview build video. If you would like to learn more about what Android Lollipop has in store for you when it finally arrives you should check out Joe Hindy’s quick look video and our need to know article.
Samsung has announced a new version of its Galaxy S5 smartphone, the Galaxy S5 4G+. As the name suggests, the handset is designed to offer faster 4G/LTE data speeds than the standard model. Hardware wise, the Galaxy S5 4G+ shares the same display, RAM, memory, and aesthetics as the regular flagship. The only difference is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 has been swapped out for the Snapdragon 805. The main reason for this is that the Snapdragon 805 allows for faster peak data speeds of 225Mbps, compared with 150Mbps for the standard S5. The chip also has the added benefit of packing a more powerful Adreno 420 GPU. Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 are also capable of these faster data speeds. Samsung appears to be bringing its S5 model in-line with the rest of its high-end products. The Galaxy S5 4G+ is not to be confused with the Galaxy S5 LTE-A that was launched in South Korea, which features a higher 2560×1440 resolution display. The Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ has already been launched in Singapore and will now be heading to Europe be the end of October. The smartphone will retail for €599, making it a fair bit more expensive than the standard Galaxy S5. The company hasn't announced if the 4G+ variant will arrive in other markets or not.
Remember Odin? LG’s long running in-house mobile SoC project is finally coming to fruition in a brand new G3 variant for the Korean market. LG announced today the release of the G3 Screen, a 5.9-inch variant of the G3 powered by a Nuclun processor, designed by LG in-house and built by chip foundry TSMC. The LG G3 Screen will be exclusive to the Korean market, and the device (previously known under its Liger codename) is notable mainly for its unique processing package. Here are the main specs of the LG G3 Screen: * Chipset: NUCLUN Octa-Core (1.5GHz Quad-Core +1.2GHz Quad-Core) * Display: 5.9-inch Full HD IPS * Memory: 32GB eMMC / 2GB RAM / MicroSD slot * Camera: Rear 13MP OIS+ / Front 2.1MP * Battery: 3,000mAh * Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat * Size: 157.8x 81.8x 9.5mm * Weight: 182g * Network: LTE-ACat.6 * Colors: Black / White The G3 Screen is designed to take advantage of the LTE-A connectivity available in South Korea, with supported download speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The feature set and software experience is largely the same as in the G3 flagship. Getting back to Nuclun (pronounced NOO-klun), the processor is a big.LITTLE octa-core design featuring four 1.5GHz Cortex-A15 cores for high-performance tasks and four 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 cores for less intensive processing. The processor is able to fire cores individually in order to obtain top performance, battery saving, or a mix, depending on the needs of the device. As a big.LITTLE device with ARM Cortex A7 and A15 cores, Nuclun seems similar to the HiSilicon Kirin 925 processor used by Huawei in the Ascend Mate 7. “Nuclun opens up a new chapter in LG's history of innovation in the mobile industry,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, head of LG Mobile. “With this in-house solution, we will be able to achieve better vertical integration and further diversity our product strategy against stronger competition. NUCLUN will give us greater flexibility in our mobile strategy going forward.” LG used to have a chip manufacturing business, but it sold it to Hyundai back in 1999. The Korean company has used only Qualcomm chips for its high-end smartphones so far, and the G3 Screen appears to be a field test designed to determine the viability of Nuclun in real world. The mobile SoC market is clearly dominated by Qualcomm, and even Samsung, one of the world’s top chipmakers (including memory) has been having trouble getting its Exynos chips into devices. It remains to be seen whether LG will be successful with the Nuclun initiative. The company is enjoying a period of growth, fueled by good sales in its mobile division and especially at the high-end of the market. If the Korean market welcomes Nuclun warmly, it’s possible that at least some of next year’s G devices will feature LG-designed Nuclun processors as well.
We even took the bold step to publish a piece called why the Amazon Fire phone will fail.Rumors that Amazon was working on a smartphone were rampant for several years and in June of this year the company finally revealed the device. However the handset failed to impress. It had solid specs, with a 2.2GHz Snapdragon CPU, 2GB RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU and an impressive sounding f/2.0 13MP rear shooter with OIS. It also had some interesting features with its Dynamic Perspective 3D system, Firefly technology, and the Mayday help service. However, you could only download apps from Amazon's Appstore. Amazon does the same thing with its Kindle Fire tablets, but for a tablet such a restriction is less of an annoyance, as long as the major apps are there, it isn't a problem. But your phone is your "go to" device and Amazon was really asking you to invest in yet another eco-system, and consumers didn't respond favorably. Here at Android Authority we even took the bold step to publish a piece called "why the Amazon Fire phone will fail." We don't really like to blow our own trumpet around here, but we told you so.
The company has lots of cash and because of its diversity, Amazon is doing a lot of interesting (and hopefully profitable) things.But it isn't all bad news for Amazon. The company has lots of cash and because of its diversity, Amazon is doing a lot of interesting (and hopefully profitable) things. It just recently announced the new Kindle Voyage, Amazon's thinnest e-book reader with the highest screen resolution in a Kindle reader to date. Amazon Fire TV is now the best-selling streaming box on Amazon for the U.S., U.K., and Germany. Away from hardware, Amazon Studios is commissioning new TV series which will be shown exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Then there is Amazon Web Services (AWS), AmazonFresh, Amazon Game Studios, and so on. In other words, Amazon took a bet on the Fire phone, it failed, it cost a lot of money, but Amazon will keep on rolling forward.
It used to be that some of the worst looking backgrounds you could put on your device were the default images provided by app developers, your phone manufacturer or the operating system itself. When turning to third party sources for great looking imagery, Google Calendar may not have been high on your list, but that might change right now. Not only has Google managed some great looking seasonal backdrops in Calendar, a dozen to be precise, but the folks at AmongTech have stripped them from the new Material Design enhanced Google Calendar app, and made them available for all of us to enjoy at any time. As you might imagine, the twelve images each represent a month of the year, meaning that you would otherwise only have the pleasure of viewing them for a short while before they tuck away again for next year. To be honest, they are very attractive images, in the same style as recent Google Now imagery, it would be a shame to hide them for eleven months out of the year. If you like what you are seeing, head on over to the AmongTech website to grab them all. If these Calendar backgrounds represent what we can come to expect from Google and others as the transition to Android 5.0 Lollipop and Material Design progresses, I think we are in for some great experiences and some beautiful app environments. Do you like the new style of imagery coming out of Google these days? Do you have a cool source for backgrounds that you are willing to share?
Google's Niantic Labs launched their popular real-world adventure game Ingress two years ago in November. In celebration, players will be rewarded with special in-game perks through and around a new monthly event series called "First Saturdays." As is normal for an Ingress event, it will be split into smaller local events, 120 in total this time, in locations all around the globe. Ingress is an awesomely unique and somewhat unusual approach to gaming. Instead of users getting comfy on their couch at home, the game is held entirely out in the real world. The mural at your local library, that statue over by city hall and those history plaques in the local park are your playing field. As you might imagine, this requires a GPS enabled device to play and relies heavily on Google Maps, or more specifically, Field Trip, which was Niantic Labs' first major release for Android. First Saturdays begins November 1st, and is designed to see players level up to at least level 3, but preferably level 9 by November 15th to earn an in-game badge. Grab more details about this event and others on the Ingress Google+ page. To help pave the way, players can enjoy a little Ingress surge starting right now. Running for the next two weeks you will receive double AP for your actions and triple the gear for all your Portal hacks. Join the fun, meet new people in your community and get out to enjoy a new experience by downloading Ingress in the Google Play Store. You will then have to head back here for info on an external power packs and a good case for your phone, just in case. Do you have a good Ingress story to share?