Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 to grace the seas this month

Finally, we have definite word from Samsung that the new Galaxy Note will hit waves soon! No, it’s not the Galaxy Note 2, but rather, the Galaxy Note 10.1, which we last heard about in the Barcelona Mobile World Congress.

It has been confirmed that August is the magic month when the full blown tablet will finally get shipped internationally. Yes, that is this month!

Samsung released a 5-inch Galaxy Note which got acclaim all over. It was a device that mingled between the realms of the smartphone and the realms of the Tablet. Now that Samsung has data that people really buy into touch screen phones that uses the stylus, or Samsung’s S-pen, they are ready to break the barrier and hit the largest screen size they can muster for the Note series. Hence, the Galaxy Note 10.1.

Looking at the new Galaxy Note 10.1, you can see that it resembles the design of the current Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. This is a good thing, as the new design is Apple patent proof, which will lead to fewer headaches for Samsung. The device sports a 5-megapixel back shooter with a 1.9-megapixel front camera. Sound’s familiar? Yes, that is the same front camera for the Samsung Galaxy S3.

There are other things that the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the popular Samsung Galaxy S3 have in common, such as both sporting a quad core processor, as well as the smart stay function that uses the front camera to track your face and see if you are looking at the device. It keeps the screen on, as long as it detects a pair of open eyes.

One more function that The Samsung Galaxy S3 has in common with the Galaxy Note 10.1, is the focus on multitasking. Although with the Galaxy Note 10.1, they went a few dozen steps beyond. Never before seen on an OS designed for mobile phones or any other Android device is the ability to run apps side by side. Yes, the new Note allows apps like the S-note as well as the browser to run side by side and work on the same screen. Samsung intends to make full use of the quad core capabilities of their device with features like these. While it does not support all apps yet, it is a step in a great direction. Take note that the video pop-up display seen on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is also present on this tablet.

Improving over the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is supposed to have 2GB of ram, which is very much welcome to maintain smooth operation.

Now many would say that is already present as a feature in the Windows 8 operating system. Note that I mentioned “OS designed for mobile phones”. The Windows 8 was originally a PC operating system and it had multitasking long before Windows 8, so it is no surprise they should have it. I would argue that it even is a step back for Microsoft, while a step forward for Samsung.

Let’s not forget the feature that defines the Galaxy Note series: the S-pen stylus. Samsung reports that they are able to support 256 levels of pressure with their new device. There is also a sensor on the holster of the device that can be mapped to run an app of your choice once the stylus is removed. This is placed on the S-note by default.

The only point of concern is that this device is expected to hit above the $700 price point without tax. Still, it is a great device again from Samsung, despite ongoing legal spats across the globe. Are you excited to get the next generation in Note taking hardware?

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iPad still king of tablet market, but Samsung and ASUS see huge growth

Apple opened the doors for tablet developers when they unveiled their very first iteration of the iPad. Since then, the tablet market has grown leaps and bounds much to the pleasure of big named manufacturers and as well as small startup companies.

The iPad has been the benchmark of the tablet market and sales continue to thrive during the last quarter of 2012. The shipments of Apple’s iPad grew to 17 million during the period, erasing the previous data during the second quarter of 2011, which is pegged at 9.2 million units shipped.

The 17 million shipped units also broke Apple’s record of number of unit shipments during a quarter. Their previous record was 15 million during the latter stages of 2011.

Apple rivals, Samsung and ASUS on the other hand are smiling from ear-to-ear, as the two have seen better year-to-year growth compared to Apple.

Though shipping only 2.4 million tablets during the second quarter of 2011, that increased by 117% from the previous year.

ASUS though shipping only 855,000 units grew by 115% during the same fiscal period.

Total number of tablet shipments during the second quarter of the year was estimated at 25 million units.

The iPad still firmly holds the market with a 68.2% market share.

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Is RIM planning to bet on a larger Playbook?

Research in Motion, or simply RIM, is still struggling to get back up after being thrown away by the era. The company that created the BlackBerry, previously known as the smartest phone out there, was outsmarted by Apple’s iPhone. It later on suffered damages from Android’s rise to fame, and now, RIM is down to 7% market share in the 2nd quarter of this year. This number has dwindled even further since 2011.

It almost expected that RIM’s BlackBerry line will disappear into obscurity. Even the loyal fans have given up, as they are moving on to the more feature packed smartphones of today. In fact, the only reason RIM and their BlackBerry line is even included in any analysis is just so that it can be compared to what was previously great. In the end, it makes the BlackBerry seem even less attractive as people encounter the numbers.

The main problem of the BlackBerry was its entire OS. While it is still the most secure around, it is completely outdated. The Blackberry OS has been stagnant for so many years, that they did not know what to do when Apple launched the iOS.

In an effort to get into the growing tablet space that was introduced by the iPad, Blackberry launched the Playbook. It was a cheaper tablet that runs on a Playbook OS. It was a play at making an OS, then using a different OS’s ecosystem to sustain itself. The Playbook ability to run Android Apps was just too obvious a hint that they really have no idea what to do to make an OS worthy of the era.

Now, it is reported that they will try yet again to hit the tablet market, and this time, with a larger Playbook. While the 7-inch version remains stagnant, RIM decides to enter the tablet market again with 10-inches and a completely different screen aspect ratio. It can be speculated that it will sport a different OS, possibly the long delayed BBX, or BlackBerry OS 10.

According to the reports of the leak, the internals of the new Playbook look strikingly similar to the first one. One can’t help but wonder if the large screen size was all that was updated in terms of hardware. I certainly hope not if this ever sees the light of day. Just think about all the unsatisfied customers.

At the very least, something to look forward to is that it RIM may be planning to add 4G support to the new 10-inch as well as for the refresh of the 7-inch Playbook. Hopefully, RIM will be able to get back on their feet.

So RIM is launching a new Playbook that no one is excited about and an OS that keeps getting delays. Seems like a struggle to me. RIM is certainly refusing to hang up their gloves. They still want to try making their own OS, while still maintaining Android connectivity. Why don’t they just downright us Android, right?

If the mass lay-off was not an indication of dark times, then I don’t know what is. Maybe it is time RIM left the smartphone scene for good. At their current state, it is highly unlikely that they will be missed.

Will you consider getting the new Playbook or do you think it’s time to hang up the gloves?

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Nexus 7 tablet by Google gets sold-out on pre-sale!

Google seems to be satisfied until now with the pre-sales of the Nexus 7 tablet, which makes them create its first commercial.

In the video “Nexus 7: camping” we see a father and son moment in the woods, being accompanied of course by a Nexus 7 tablet. One might say that the commercial is not anything special. Other might notice that it manages to show our addiction to technology. Others even take this addiction for granted , since the anticipation for the Nexus 7 tablet is already high.

According to a recent post by Google, shipments of the 16GB Nexus 7 tablet will be delayed, due to its high demand. Many eshops that were accepting pre-sale orders are already out of stock for the 16GB version, which is sold for 249$, although you can still pre-order the 8GB version, for only 199$.

Even though we are not yet sure of the impressions on the Nexus 7 tablet and whether it will be a successful tablet, in terms of performance, Google seems to have achieved the first goal, making the customers pre-ordering it like crazy.

What about you? Are you considering buying it? Should we trust Google and order it?

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HTC to re-enter tablet market

Taiwanese tech firm HTC is gambling that their next venture to the tablet market could lead to success, unlike their previous gamble where they lost.

Known for their smartphones rather than tablets, the company previously released their own version with the Flyer. Unfortunately for the company, the fanfare for the Flyer didn’t resonate well with consumers.

Sprint Nextel supported the HTC Flyer when they rebranded the product and called it Eco View. Still, the turn out wasn’t that great.

The technology of HTC which made it popular to individuals, the HTC Sense, wasn’t working well with tablets.

PC Advisor, who first reported this development, said that HTC told them that they wouldn’t sell a tablet until their tablet will have a unique selling point.

With numerous tablets out there in the market and in pipelines of tablet developers, this foray of HTC to return to the tablet scene should come with an extraordinary feature that would let it stand out against other tablets made by other companies.

HTC has faced weak sales since last year and have been banned temporarily in the US.

Earlier this year, HTC released their One line devices. Unfortunately for them, Samsung Galaxy S III overshadowed their latest entry to the smartphone market.

Will HTC be successful in their new venture?

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Google Nexus 7 packs a mean battery punch!

Google’s upcoming Google Nexus 7 tablet has to be seen not from the outside, but from the inside then out.

Taking a look at the Google Nexus 7 tablet, it is not as impressive as it is. But when you take a look at its impressive battery, you’d surely stop and rethink about buying other tablets.

The Google Nexus 7 tablet has a 4,236 mAh, 16 Wh battery, which can let you tinker with your tablet for over 9 hours and 50 minutes. This data comes from iFixIt which presumably has done a test for the product.

Although the Nexus 7 tablet’s battery is smaller, compared to Amazon Kindle Fire’s 4,400 mAh, the latter can only last up to seven hours.

Some even say that the Google Nexus 7 can last up to ten hours which can be compared to Apple’s latest iPad.

What’s great about the Nexus 7 is that you can easily reach the battery of the latter without using a screwdriver. This is something new with the Nexus 7 and something that the iPad can’t do.

The Google Nexus 7 tablet has a quad core processor and is being run by the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.

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Google set to release Nexus 7 this July

Google Inc. is set to sell their first ever tablet this July hoping to barge into the tablet market, which is currently being dominated by Apple’s iPad.

Google’s entry to the market could help boost the development of tablet specific apps for their own Android software. Microsoft is set to follow in Google’s steps with their impending “Surface” tablet launch.

The Nexus 7, which is a collaboration between Asus and Google, was unveiled during the company’s annual developers conference.

The unveiling of the Nexus 7 tablet comes barely a month after Google acquired Motorola Mobility.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin was present during the event and demoed the Google Glass. The latter can livestream events and perform computing tasks. Google Glass is set to be priced at $1,500.

But what was on the spotlight during the conference was the Nexus tablet. It will be sold initially at Google Play online store, priced at $199. It is a 7 inch tablet that has a front facing camera.

Google director of engineering for Android Chris Yerga said, “Nexus 7 is an ideal device for reading books. The form factor and weight are just right.”

Google is offering the Nexus 7 to buyers, with a $25 credit that they can use to purchase app at the Google Play store.

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Microsoft denies allegations of developing own smartphone

Though Microsoft hasn’t denied the existence of a developmental tablet to be pitted against the iPad, the company is completely denying the existence of a Microsoft branded smartphone or any developmental stages of the device.

Senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan, vehemently said, “No. we do not,” when asked in an interview whether Microsoft plans to create their own smartphone.

The rumors spread when Rick Sherlund, an analyst from Nomura said, “It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to-market Microsoft branded handset.

He added, “We would not be surprised if Microsoft were to decide to bring their own handset to market next year given that Microsoft has decided to bring to market their own Windows 8 Surface tablet/PC products.”

This came about after Microsoft revealed that they are developing the “Surface” tablet. The latter is a Microsoft branded tablet that runs on their own Windows 8 platform. Analysts believe that this could be a start of Microsoft developing their new devices in the future.

The Surface tablet is going against Android and iOS tablets that have been in the market for quite some time.

What’s your position on Microsoft and their company developing their own smartphone?

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Microsoft to battle Apple head on with own tablet?

Reports have been circulating that Microsoft is going to dive in to a business that they are not known for. And if these reports are true, then Microsoft is going to take on Apple head to head to find out who really is the premiere company between the two.

It is reported that Microsoft will announce their own tablet next week at an event in Los Angeles, California.

Though Microsoft has already partnered with Asus and Acer to carry their Windows 8 in their devices, this reported tablet of theirs is one that could make or break the company for years to come.

The Wrap and AllThingsD have strongly suggested that Microsoft is developing their own hardware. If these reports are true, then this Microsoft “tablet” will go battle Apple and their iPad.

One good thing about Microsoft’s plan to develop their own tablet, is that they could control the quality of their product.

A lot of companies are into tablet nowadays. And these companies have partnered with Microsoft to use their much anticipated Windows 8 operating system.

If Microsoft releases their own tablet, could this become a reason for other companies to shy away with their partnership with the company?

Only time can tell.

What are your thoughts about Microsoft developing their own tablet?

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Google Chrome and the others are not invited to the Windows 8 RT party

Google Chrome is getting ready for the future of Windows, but Microsoft wants to cut them short. What am I talking about? I am talking about the lack of browser freedom in the upcoming Windows 8. Google assures its users that it will have Google Chrome functional in the upcoming Windows 8, but not on Windows 8 RT operating systems.

Why is this a big issue? Isn’t Google Chrome already working on a Windows environment?

People know that Microsoft has promised that they will provide a “desktop mode” or a way for legacy applications to work on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Still, Google Chrome will not want to be termed lazy by not creating a Google Chrome that follows the new Metro style.

The issue is because Microsoft has implemented a code on Windows 8 that treats browsers differently from any other application that may run on the operating system. They said that they are restricting the use of 3rd party browsers, requiring that the browser must be set as a system app for it to work normally. This will require a lot of tweaking and new coding to adapt to the new APIs of Windows 8.

Microsoft is being very aggressive in creating an environment that is focused mainly on Microsoft’s offerings. They are creating a sort of locked system environment; the same accusation that Apple is getting on its Mac and iOS devices. Despite this controlled environment, Google has a way out. It’s entirely up to the user to choose Google Chrome as a system application, and it is not impossible to do so. For the Windows 8 RT though, it’s a whole different story.

Wait, what is Windows RT?

I am sure this has grazed the thoughts of some readers by now. Remember when I talked about Windows 8? They were planning to implement the use of Windows 8 on a slew of different devices. One of these devices is the tablet. Most tablets are set up to run on ARM architectures. It uses less power, and is completely built for a low processing environment. What this means is that ARM devices last longer ,but are not quite as powerful as your Intel or AMD processors.  This makes them perfect for the mobile environment, since you would prefer to use your mobile devices, such as tablets and phones, without frequently gunning for a wall socket.

As you would have figured out, ARM processes things differently than Intel or AMD devices. They require a different way of programming. Programmers who aim to produce apps for both the PC and ARM devices would need to maintain different sets of codes. This makes Windows 8 RT different internally, but aesthetically the same as Windows 8.

So, where is the problem again?

The problem here is that Microsoft is becoming even stricter with regards to Windows 8 RT. They placed restriction on its own developers and made sure that only Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer will be the only browser that will work effectively in this environment. Other browsers may try, but they won’t be able to implement several functions, such as the implementation of plugins.

So, what now?

Google and Mozilla have been very vocal regarding this matter. They seek to ensure that the user has a choice to run other browsers on the Windows 8 RT, as well as allow fair play, by removing the restrictions on 3rd party browsers. They are also banking on a legally binding agreement of Microsoft with the EU pertaining to browser choice. Microsoft argues that this is only for a Windows PC. Well, are they saying Windows RT is not Windows anymore?

We already have a closed system provider for people who like to have other people choose for them. That is what Apple represents. Microsoft’s Windows used to run in the principles of user choice and the availability of choices. No matter how you look at it, Windows RT is still a Windows operating system. It makes no sense to market that they want the “same” Windows experience for both the tablet and the PC. By restricting possibilities and innovation in the tablet environment, they are simply sound like they are lying through their teeth.

As a user of Windows for many years, do you want to have them decide for you which browser you will use? Are you satisfied to stick to Internet Explorer and allow them the monopoly on Windows RT? It really is up to the pressure of the users to decide whether Microsoft can get away with this new model or not.

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