- CyanogenMod teases new customizable browser called Gello
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus images, dummies, measurements and case leaked
- (Update: More Leaked Cases) Galaxy Note 5 leak shows some 6-appeal, sure to attract h8rs
- Samsung cuts $30 off the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 and 9.7 in the USA
- Xiaomi sells 34.7 million smartphones during first half of 2015
- Xiaomi Mi 4i kernel source code release
- Deal: AT&T HTC One M9 available for $449.99 on eBay
- Google and Yubico offering Security Key USB drives for 50% off!
- California kill switch bill goes into effect today – all phones to come with theft protection
- Samsung’s new Level U earbuds appear for $69.99
CyanogenMod has begun teasing a new Chromium based web browser named Gello. In a market already full to the brim with third party browsers, Gello’s unique selling point will be tons of customization options. Not a whole lot is known about the browser at the moment, but a few teaser images and a five minute silent demonstration video from CM team member Joey Rizzoli have given us a glimpse at a few of the features so far. Some of the most notable options include: * the option to save pages for offline reading * the ability to rename and alter the save location of downloads * night mode * immersive mode * power saver mode * moving between sites with an “edge swipe” * site-by-site privacy settings, including pop-up, microphone, and ad controls In his post, Rizzoli notes that Gello won’t be compatible with less powerful handsets with small system partitions. So it appears that all these extra features come at the expense of extra resources. He also responded to some of the more cynical responses to Cyanogen’s recent announcements.
_“CyanogenMod Team does not hate Google, this is not a way to steal Google's work (chromium is opensource), nor me (or any other CM team member) wants you remove Chrome from your device. You'll always be free to choose to install your GApps package alongside with CyanogenMod”_There’s no ETA for Gello at the moment as development is still on going. Upon release Gello will be completely open source and others will be able to contribute their own ideas and features to the project. Let us know if you spot any other features in the video below.
A rumored Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus has been all the hype since yesterday, when a trademark filing for the device. Leaks and rumors have started trickling in since then. Now we have a bevy of images and details that provide ample evidence for the device's existence. Let's take a look! SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE PLUS CASE The first evidence showed up in the form of a leaked Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus case. It doesn't really tell us much, but it gives us some form of proof the device is indeed in the works. It really looks just like a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge case, except bigger.
#Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus (approx. 154.45×75.80×6.85mm (suggesting 5.5″ screen)) pic.twitter.com/aflFCe6W1i — OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) June 19, 2015SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE PLUS DUMMIES AND DESIGN @OnLeaks is not staying quiet about this phone, and the source seems to have a pretty good ins. The leakster went on to show us some images showcasing a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus dummy being compared to a regular sized Galaxy S6 Edge. Here you can get an idea about how large the rumored handset really is. He also provided another design-focused image with nothing but the overall shape of the phone. At this point this one doesn't really tell us much either, but it sure is a welcomed addition.
#Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus dummy (used by chinese case maker during quality test) VS regular Galaxy S6 Edge… ;) pic.twitter.com/O3pR3ZStc9 — OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) June 20, 2015
And here is something more, in addition to my previous #Samsung #GalaxyS6Plus leaks… ;) pic.twitter.com/hyc5tE3G2T — OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) July 1, 2015WRAPPING UP Remember these are still nothing but leaks and rumors. It should be a while before (and if) this phone makes it to market. Nothing is for sure until Sammy takes the stage, so take all this information with a respectable dose of salt. In the meantime, go ahead and hit the comments to give us your thoughts. How many of you actually want a larger Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge? I am a big fan of huge form factors, so I am all for it.
UPDATE (7/2) : Case supplier Mobile Direct has obtained pictures of new cases, allegedly for the Galaxy Note 5. While the case is a transparent TPU product, the design itself meshes with the images leaked last week. While this is hardly confirmation of anything, it begins to look more apparent that the Note 5 will follow in the footsteps of the S6 and make use of a side-by-side camera/biometric sensor set-up, as opposed to the above-and-below arrangement seen on last year's flagships.
Samsung's Note series may be in for the biggest shake up of its existence.(ORIGINAL POST VIA 6/28) In the second half of 2014, Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Alpha, the first device in the company's stable with true metal, albeit just a frame. Shortly thereafter, the Galaxy Note 4 (and Galaxy Note Edge) launched and saw repeated use of the premium material. All these devices, however, shipped with a plastic rear that allowed for battery swapping and microSD card support. _This_ year however, Samsung has gone the full nine yards and produced a pair of products that have won over the media yet angered some longtime supporters. Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge feature a unibody design with two slabs of glass sandwiching an aluminum alloy frame, but _sans_ the expandable memory and replaceable power cell. Rumors had initially pointed to a Galaxy S6 Active that would see the return of both, yet such would not come to pass. Now, it seems, the same might hold true of the much-vaulted Galaxy Note series… Courtesy of the folks over at nowhereelse.fr, the same site that brought us early leaks of the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 among various other devices, we have what are -allegedly- the first pictures of the Galaxy Note 5. Suffice to say, some people aren’t going to be happy: the render above looks oddly reminiscent to those we saw in the days leading up to the launch of the Galaxy S6. Forbes has extrapolated this is indicative of a glass back, thus a unibody design. (In truth, it could theoretically be metal a la the Galaxy A5). Attention must be paid however, to the cut-out for the S-Pen and the headphone jack, both of which looks slightly peculiar. This could be a very early render, it could be based on expectations, or it could be totally false. In truth, this development isn't exactly a surprise given Samsung's clear focus on refining the design and recreating the very idea of what its flagship products are to consumers in 2015. The stiff competition in key markets like China and India, coupled with the fact that Apple has enjoyed fantastic sales with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus means that the Korean giant's A-game needs to be brought to the table this year. What's more however, numerous OEMs around the world have taken to the phablet size and thus what was once a novel idea has gradually become a status-quo. This is all the more true for consumers who don't actively make use of the S-Pen and who could just as well buy a Nexus 6 or even the rumored metal-clad "Note rival" LG is said to be releasing later this year.
This case render, published several days ago (originating from a source at nowhereelse.fr) would seemingly mesh well with the new, leaked press render.Somewhat concerning however, is what this potential development might mean for Samsung's bottom line. Chances are high that many customers will be outraged by the unibody design as the Note series has always been about business productivity, with heavy usage being off-set by a removable battery and on-the-go "plug-and play" type file access being facilitated by the presence of microSD. Whereas the Galaxy S-mainstay could more easily get away with the loss of such features, those actively seeking to buy the Note are looking for vastly different purchase points. Granted, there are some potential caveats to be had. For one thing, there is technically nothing stopping Samsung from including microSD support on the Note 5, as it would require little more than a separate tray (like the HTC One M9) or even a double-sized single tray a la the Dual-SIM variants of the S6. Indeed an alleged conversation with a Samsung representative made reference to a specific decision to remove said feature to make its product more comparable to those of of its competitors in terms of design, storage options, and “core functionality.” As for the battery issue however, while Forbes has imagined a scenario wherein the product could theoretically contain a removable _glass_ rear, the chances of such an inclusion would seem to be extremely low. Also becoming increasingly unlikely: any hope of the device making use of USB Type-C, something that has been rumored for some time now along with a 4K screen and other lofty desires.
Waiting for the fall? Could the Galaxy Note 4 actually see a resurgence of sales pending the announcement of a "fractured feature" Galaxy Note 5?The real question here is perhaps truly one of self-reflection: when Samsung takes a long, hard look in the mirror, does it see a collage of diverse users who all seek to use the Note series for work and play, or does it instead see a collection of individuals who really just want a big phone with a nice screen. In the event that the latter describes the majority of Note users, then perhaps there is nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if the former is true then there might be a great migration (or at the very least, a resurgence of Galaxy Note 4 sales). Before closing, it's essential to mention that this _is_ a leak, and thus until the device is formally and officially announced, we need to keep our aggression, outrage, or even excitement in-check. With that said, what do you make of this possible development?
The Galaxy Tab A series is a curious product line to say the least: it's the first non-Note to include the S-Pen (on some models), it makes use of the "A" series lettering yet is neither made or metal nor mid-range, and it's apparently not exactly flying off the shelves. In a move that comes a _bit_ of a surprise given the fact the product pair released less than 3 months ago, Samsung has decided to drop $30 off both the Tab A 8.0 and the Tab A 9.7, bringing the new totals to $199.99 and $269.99 respectively. It is unclear as to just how long this sale will last. The Tab A series are the first Samsung tablets to make use of a 4:3 aspect ratio, something that we expect to see carry over onto Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2. As nice as that might sound for those looking for an "Android iPad", consider the remainder of the specs: a 1024X768 resolution display, a quad-core Snapdragon 410, 16GB of on-board storage, 1.5GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front camera. Rounding out the specs, the Tab A 8.0 includes a 4,200 mAh battery and the Tab A 9.7 comes with a larger 6,000 mAh power cell. Android Lollipop is pre-installed, though when the OS build will be upgraded to 5.1.x is a mystery. This sale pertains ONLY to the models with_out_ the S-Pen: those interested in some Note-like functionality will still need to cough up the (extra) cash. While Best Buy's inventory reflects the current discounted prices (check the source link below), Samsung's official website also deals with the discount.
Other manufacturers may be talking Xiaomi down, but the Chinese phone maker keeps proving it is here to stay and is not slowing down. The company just announced it sold about 34.7 million smartphones during the first half of 2015, a number that beats last year's numbers by 33%. This goes right in line with Xiaomi's anticipated smartphone sales growth for 2015, which estimated about a 30% increase over last year. They seem to be right on track to meet (and probably surpass) their goal as they continue beating everyone's expectations. They have recently beaten a Guinness World record, partnered with Microsoft and opened a Xiaomi online store for western markets.
“Even with the China smartphone market slowing down, we did a stellar job of posting a 33% growth on last year’s numbers. It can be said that we outperformed the market and produced an excellent report card.” -Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi.Recent reports also place Xiaomi as the #1 smartphone vendor in China for 5 consecutive quarters, aside from taking the majority of the country's market share in 2014, with 12.5% in its pockets. Xiaomi couldn't have accomplished all these feats without a good strategy, though. They know how to prevent losses and offer some of the best bang for your buck in terms of technology, so it's no wonder they sell out in a matter of minutes wherever and whenever they release a device. If you were to ask me, I'd say Xiaomi is going nowhere. On the contrary, they are only growing in this struggling industry where even key players continue losing against the big guys. Their latest smartphones are awesome, including the Xiaomi Mi 4i, Xiaomi Mi Note and Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. Furthermore, they continue to pierce other markets with smart TVs, wearables and other accessories. All of this without even fully reaching the USA yet. Watch out, Apple and Samsung. Something big is coming. Slowly, but strongly.
Show Press Release
BEIJING, 2 JULY 2015 -- Leading smartphone company Xiaomi revealed today that it sold 34.7 million smartphones in the first half of 2015, an increase of 33% year-on-year. This figure refers to the actual number that was sold through to consumers. “Even with the China smartphone market slowing down, we did a stellar job of posting a 33% growth on last year’s numbers. It can be said that we outperformed the market and produced an excellent report card,” said Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi. Xiaomi has successfully maintained its ranking as China’s top smartphone vendor in terms of market share for five consecutive quarters. In February this year, analyst firm IDC revealed that Xiaomi ranked first in China for the year of 2014, with a market share of 12.5%. Bin Lin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi, said that this is an affirmation of the company’s innovative business model, which includes selling directly to consumers via e-commerce. Sales on Mi.com <http://Mi.com> make up 70% of Xiaomi’s total smartphone sales, helping the company become China’s third-largest e-commerce player. During Mi Fan Festival in April this year, Xiaomi sold 2.12 million phones in just 12 hours. As Xiaomi continues to lead in terms of smartphone volumes, it has also seen tremendous growth in production capacity, supply chain management, and technology and design capabilities. Currently, the majority of Xiaomi’s smartphones are already on open sale without the need for pre-registration, making it more convenient for users to make purchases. Among the smartphones released by Xiaomi, six models—Mi 2, Mi 3, Redmi, Redmi Note, Mi 4 and Redmi 2—have so far shipped over 10 million units each. Xiaomi's robust growth has also attracted top talent globally, resulting in a more diverse executive team. On 1 July, former partner of international investment fund DST Shou Zi Chew joined Xiaomi as its new CFO. Earlier on 10 June, former president of Qualcomm Greater China, Wang Xiang, became senior vice president of strategic cooperation at Xiaomi. ABOUT XIAOMI Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, who believes that high-quality technology doesn't need to cost a fortune. We create remarkable hardware, software, and internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range, which currently includes the Mi 4, Redmi 2, Mi TV, Mi Band and other accessories. With more than 61 million handsets sold in 2014, and products launched in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India and Indonesia, Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.
The Xiaomi Mi 4i is one of the best smartphones you can get for around $200. Developers and tinkerers look for something more than just the best bang for the buck, though. They want to be able to create, flash and modify their phones' software in order to truly customize their experience. The sad news is Xiaomi (like most other Chinese manufacturers) tends to be bad at supporting the developer community. Today Android developers turns their heads toward the East as Xiaomi releases the kernel source code for the Mi 4i. For those who may not know, the kernel is pretty much the messenger between the software and hardware. If the software wants to initiate a call, raise the volume, power off the device or anything else, it sends a request to the kernel, which then communicates to the actual hardware. Having access to this kernel source code will enable developers to truly play around with a device and speed up ROM development. We know the Xiaomi Mi 4i will be pretty popular, as are all Xiaomi smartphones. It is amazingly affordable and comes with a Snapdragon 615 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 5-inch 1080p display and a 3120 mAh battery. Honestly, that is much better than the Moto G, and it costs about the same. Read our full Xiaomi Mi 4i review to see what it's all about. We are sure this phone will be a hit in some markets. And the fact the kernel source code is now available will make it a much more appealing smartphone to some of you. Developers and consumers have had to wait about 2 months to get this kernel source code, but at the very least it came, which is already a victory. A lot of us weren't expecting to see this release at all. Want to tinker with this code? All you have to do is grab the files from GitHub. Go get them!
Looking for a good deal on a high-end smartphone? We have a pretty sweet one for you. Popular retailer eBay is currently discounting the AT&T HTC One M9 down to a much more comfortable $449.99 price point. It also includes free economy shipping, which makes for an offer you won't really find elsewhere else so soon after the phone was released. Is there a catch? Somewhat. The only caveat is this happens to be a refurbished device. The HTC One M9 unit you would get was either returned or defective, but it was fixed and tested it before going back to the store shelves. Some of you may be a bit bothered by the idea that someone else had your phone for some time, but it's really a good way to get devices on a discount. Aside from making sure the device is in good working condition, the seller assures you this product comes with an HTC warranty. It's also worth noting this is an unlocked device, even if it is optimized for AT&T's network. It should work pretty well with other carriers. It's odd to see such a new device going for a low price like this one. The HTC One M9 was released only some months ago, so this may be testament to how little excitement there is over the HTC One M9. We know the manufacturer could have done much better, and their inability to impress the audience is now resulting in abysmal selling numbers. I mean, this flagship phone's shipments are 43% lower than they were with its predecessor, the HTC One M8. Their big mistake may have only been that the HTC One M9 is nearly identical to the M8, though. As a phone, the HTC One M9 continues to be a pretty good device, especially if you are a fan of the manufacturer's superior build quality and design. It's specs are also up there with the best of the best. You can go ahead and read our full review of the HTC One M9 to learn all the details. If it convinces you, just head over to eBay's HTC One M9 page to sign up for this deal. You may want to hurry, as we are not sure how long this deal will last. * Buy a refurbished HTC One M9 from eBay Who is signing up?!
Google and Yubico are partnering up to offer eligible customers a 50% discount on Yubico's U2F Security Keys. This would bring the price down to $9, which is a significant discount over the original $18 price point. It sure is a good deal, especially when considering some companies buy these for many of their employees. The offer is only applicable to Google for Work users, who happen to be the main target for Google's Security Key USB thumb drives. Not sure what Security Keys are? These USB drives offer a stronger 2-step verification process that doesn't sacrifice your precious time. No longer do Google for Work users need to enter a password and a code sent to their smartphones every time they want to log into a secure document or account. With Security Keys, Google allows users to replace the smartphone code with hardware verification. Simply plug in a USB thumb drive into the computer and press a button when prompted. The system then recognizes your credentials and grants you access. It's a simple concept that also manages to keep your account secure. We all know password security is flawed in most cases, as intruders can sometimes steal your credentials with amazing ease. Not to mention, IT departments have complete control of these Security Keys. Managers can track when and where members used their Security Keys; they can also revoke the key if needed. It's truly a great product for those who care about security and use Google for Work. Interested customers can go to Yubico's website and see if their Google account is supported. If it is, simply order as many Yubico U2F Security Keys as you want and go through the purchasing process as one normally would. The discount will be applied during checkout - no codes or coupons needed. We are also not sure how long this deal will be around, so you may want to act quickly. By the way, this special edition Security Key only supports FIDO U2F. Those who need additional protocol support will have to dig deeper into the Yubico store, and this discount won't apply then. How many of you guys have used one of these Security Keys? Are they really as awesome as they seem? Let us know in the comments! I also have to wonder if we will ever see consumer versions of these coming to the market. I wouldn't mind trying one of these out!
RWCW Smartphone theft is a huge problem - one that costs mobile consumers about $2.5 billion a year. California is one of the first to take action by introducing a law that requests every phone sold in the state to include what has been commonly referred as a "kill switch". California bill SB-962 was finalized last August, when we were also informed the new regulation would go into effect starting July 1st 2015. Fast-forward nearly a year later and we are seeing things come to fruition. The day has come and the law goes into effect immediately. For those who may be out of the loop, a kill switch is a system (hardware or software) that deems a smartphone unusable if reported stolen. Apple has been implementing its own technology for some time, but they are no longer alone. In fact, a long list of manufacturers, carriers and tech companies are backing this movement, including Google, Microsoft, Samsung and HTC. Our beloved Google kept its promise to provide an effective kill switch with the introduction of Android Lollipop. It comes in the form of Factory Reset Protection, which allows smartphone owners to set a password the user would need to input before a factory data reset is performed. This, in combination with Android Device Manager (which can lock phones remotely), makes for a full kill switch method without any loopholes. How many of us have gotten our smartphones stolen? It has happened to most of us, which means something definitely had to be done. Not everyone was for this kill switch idea. In fact, it was voted down by the senate at first, and those who make a profit out of phone insurances (carriers, insurance companies and the CTIA) were not too happy about the possibility of losing part of its $7.8 billion yearly profits. The issue here is that this is a proven method and it's already reducing smartphone theft! Kill switch systems have been put into effect by some companies before the law required phone makers to do so, and it's doing wonders. Though about 2.1 million Americans had their smartphones stolen in 2014, this is a huge improvement over 2013. Theft went down by 32%. More specifically, New York saw a 16% drop in handset robberies, and Apple phones had a 25% decrease in losses. Another report published this February also indicates San Francisco's theft numbers went down by 40% in the last 12 months, while London was the star with a whopping 50% reduction. And it makes total sense! If every phone out there will be unusable when stolen, thieves will have very little incentive to steal them. That is, unless they want an amazing paper weight. Even with all these advancements, though, 2.1 million thefts in 2014 is a big number. We certainly need to do better than that. For starters, people need to make sure they know how to protect themselves and actually use these kill switches. The implementation of this law keeps you protected only if you know how to operate the tools handed to you. We all still need to educate ourselves; only then can we make kill switches ubiquitous, and hence, effective. How many of you guys have used these kill switches? Did it ever actually help you recover your device? Do you think kill switches are even the answer? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with all of us.
Samsung has released a new addition to their Level line of audio products, dubbed the Level U. For $69.99 the Level U is a U-shaped set of Bluetooth earbuds that is designed to wrap around your neck. In addition to playing audio from your smartphone, the two microphones that are built-in provide access to voice commands and even allows phone conversations. If you were wondering why the Level U has two microphones; one of them collects your voice and the other collects environmental noise and blocks it, making for clearer calls and voice commands. You can enable and disable voice commands through the Samsung Level app. No piece of wearable technology is useful without some solid battery life and the Level U (according to Samsung) will give you up to 10 hours of audio, 11 hours of talk time, and 500 hours of standby. This should be enough battery for a couple of days with moderate usage. The Level U is not charged via micro USB but rather a 5-pin connector. For now, the Level U can be purchased from Samsung’s website and will likely hit other retailers later. For $69.99 the Level U is a solid deal if you are looking for some affordable earbuds with extra functions.