Google have unveiled their first Android One device, offering stock Android at budget prices for Indian users
Google have unveiled their first Android One device, offering stock Android at budget prices for Indian users. If it’s successful, the Android One line will be rolled out in Indonesia, the Phillipines, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before the end of 2014. We ask the experts if Google can really dominate the growing market in Asia and beyond and what challenges they will face.
While everyone expected an Android L announcement at this year’s Google I/O,o ne of the most crucial initiatives for Google’s mobile future was easily missed, as it wasn’t directly aimed at the US and European markets. Android One, a new hardware and software spec for low-end smartphones in developing nations, is intended to help Google expand the reach of its mobile OS in countries like India, China and beyond.
What exactly is it, then? Google is using the term “Android One” to refer to a set of hardware standards for smartphone manufacturers, standards which it hopes will speed up the process of developing budget handsets in emerging markets. Google is also providing the stock Android package – the same one used on the Nexus and Google Play Edition devices – then working with OEMs and carriers to give new customers the handsets and data packages they need. Essentially, Google gives manufacturers everything they need except the raw materials to build the product.
The LG G3 Stylus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will be ushering in a new era of phablets, but which one will come out on top?
Phablets still remain a fairly niche alternative to a smartphones or tablets and since the initial craze about them a couple of years ago, production of them seems to have dramatically slowed down. The Galaxy Note has long been considered the premier phablet device and the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 looks to keep that trend going. However, thanks to an early picture leak, it seems LG will be launching their very own phablet, the LG G3 Stylus. But based on what we know about each of them so far, which one will come out on top?LG G3 Stylus specifications, rumours and release date
Following on from the initial success of the LG G3, we expect to see the same styling and feature set included in the LG G3 Stylus. As you can tell by its name, it’ll ship with its own stylus and should arrive with some dedicated stylus apps as well. The laser autofocus of the original G3 will be missing from the G3 Stylus and instead will be replaced by a single LED flash, which is a pity. Expect to see a beefy 3GB of RAM present and that same beautiful display also used. In terms of a release date, it seems LG are looking to release the LG G3 Stylus before its competition hits the shelves. The end of August seems like a probable release date. There’s no details on pricing, but if it follows the same line as the LG G3, then the device certainly won’t be cheap.Samsung Galaxy Note 4 specifications, rumours and release date
For once, Samsung has been fairly tight lipped on what we can expect to see in the Galaxy Note 4. What we do know is that the probable release date of the Galaxy Note 4 is September 3rd. As with most Samsung devices, we expect to this be a near worldwide release. It’ll carry the same S Pen stylus and largely feature the same design as we’ve seen previously. We’re also led to believe that we could see a ‘Prime’ version of the Galaxy Note 4, which will use a metal build. There’s going to be a small jump in screen size, from the Note 3’s 5.7-inch display to the Note 4’s 5.9-inch offering. No news as of yet if any new technology will be used within the display. Pricing is the one area where we’ve seen conflicting reports. Although one or two sources believe we’ll see a vastly cheaper Note 4, we reckon that to keep in line with their premium pricing, the Note 4 will be an expensive investment.
We pit the four best flagship phones against one another. Which will win?
Boasting the highest specs, latest features and best builds, flagship phones offer the most polished Android experience, but come at a high price. Retailing around £550, you want to be certain you’re getting the best deal in terms of style, power and functionality from your smartphone before you buy. To help you make your decision, we’ve vigorously compared market leaders, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2, along with relative newcomer the HTC One M8 and Motorola’s low-cost, but high-spec Moto X, and then crowned one the best smartphone in the world.
—–Samsung Galaxy S5
Could the Nexus 6 be the ultimate Android phone?
We’re getting near the time where we expect Google to announce the next Nexus device, which many believe will be the Nexus 6. For the most part, Google has been tight lipped on what we can expect from the new Nexus, but that hasn’t stopped various rumours from ‘verified’ sources from hitting the web. We’ve put together some thoughts on what we expect to see from the Nexus 6.Nexus 6 specifications
If the trend continues, we expect to see LG manufacture the Nexus 6. They did a superb job at crafting the Nexus 5 and it would seem a bold move for Google to look elsewhere. If this turns out to be the case, then the chances are that the Nexus 6 will be closely based on the LG G3. This would mean 3GB of RAM and as its name suggest, a 6-inch display. Google has been famed for using the Nexus line to bring some great new concepts to Android, and this time around many believe we’ll see a fingerprint scanner now included. According to the Taiwan Daily Press, we could potentially see an octa-core processor included in the Nexus 6.Nexus 6 release date
This one we’re fairly certain one. Keeping with tradition, Google will almost certainly release the Nexus 6 in late October/early November. Expect the Nexus 6 to go on-sale on the Google Play store the same day it’s announced.
From using it to save the rainforest to mining bitcoin, here are our top 10 things to do with your old smartphone
From using it to save the rainforest to mining bitcoin, here are our top 10 things to do with your old smartphone.Recycle it
With 130 million devices discarded each year in the US alone, so-called ‘e-waste’ is filling landfill sites with toxic materials, such as lithium batteries. Services like Envirofone will recycle damaged phones, extracting valuable components so they can be reused. Sell it
If you own your phone outright, there is no reason why you can’t sell it on. Many networks will knock money off new contracts for your old phone, while online services will pay cold, hard cash for your unwanted device. Hack it
Being able to root your phone is one of Android’s biggest selling points, but for beginners this can be a daunting task. Rather than experimenting on your premium handset that is still under contract, practice hacking on an unwanted, last-gen device. Save the rainforest
Donate your phone to Rainforest Connection and they turn your old into a listening device in the Amazon. It will alert then be used to aert nearby rangers when it hears illegal tree clearing. Turn it into a universal remote
Even the oldest Android device can be turned into a remote for your entertainment system. If your device has an IR blaster, it likely has this feature built-in, or you can download Smart IR Remote. Donate it to science
Berkley University’s free BOINC app harnesses your phone’s processing power as part of a powerful network of computers studying diseases, predicting global warming and discovering pulsars. Best of all, BOINC only runs on a fully charged phone connected to Wi-Fi so won’t waste your battery or data. Make it kid friendly
Over 50 per cent of children under eight are now able to work their parent’s device, so why not turn your phone into a touchscreen toy? Add parental controls and a child-friendly interface with Kids Place or Zoodles’ Kids Mode from the Google Play store. Build a DIY smart car
To get your very own Android Auto on the cheap, fit your last-gen phone to your dash with a goo.ey skin, power it via the cigarette lighter with an adapter, and – voilà – you have a built-in satnav and MP3 player. Game on
Using Chromecast it’s easy to use an old phone as a remote control for playing Android games on your TV. However, you can also run emulators, like DraStic DS Emulator, on your old phone to play your favourite old-school console games. Mine bitcoin
Apps like Easy Miner make it easy to generate so-called ‘crypto-currencies’ on your device, but the amount of power required to run the necessary algorithms will drain your battery quickly, making this an ideal task for an old phone you can leave on charge.
Have you got any other creative uses for your old Android phone? Share them in the comments section below.
Well they do say mimicry is the best form of flattery.
Many of Apple’s leading pioneers scoffed at the idea that Android would ever be a serious threat in the smartphone industry. Android was very much treated as the dorky kid in the playground, shunned to the side and left twiddling their thumbs. But lets fast forward to 2014 and where does Android now stand? It now holds 70% of all smartphone sales around the world and is making strong in-roads in the likes of India and China, predominantly down to the initial success of the OnePlus One and similar devices.
Thanks to Google, Android is constantly evolving, adapting to user demands and pioneering exciting new projects. Glass, driverless cars and WiFi balloons are just a few things we are excited about. It’s without doubt more than just a simple smartphone operating system. Where some manufacturers have fallen by the wayside, sorry Blackberry, others have looked to Android for inspiration for a bit of a creative push. Case in point, Apple.
At their recent WWDC event, Apple CEO, Tim Cook took to the stage to rip Android to shreds. He pulled numerous slides highlighting the poor state of Android’s fragmentation, the increased vulnerabilities in Android devices and even got a few chuckles when discussing the people transferring over from Android to iPhone. “Many of our new customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone, by mistake, and then sought a better experience. And a better life.”
Source: Apple WWDC