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  • Samsung Galaxy S8 fires first salvo against Apple's 'iPhone 8' with 'Infinity' display, AR...

    "In addition to ditching a physical home button, the S8 also appears to be preempting the "iPhone 8" through its facial scanning and augmented reality support."

    Please guys, tell the truth. The Galaxy Note 7 had iris scanning. Further, Android phones have had iris scanning as far back as 2015 when Qualcomm first began building the capability into their chips.

    Second, augmented reality support was built into Android thanks to Google and Qualcomm in Android 7. So thank Google's Project Tango for AR support, and Google announced Project Tango in 2014. The first device to fully support Project Tango was the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro released in 2016. And as Project Tango is supported at the hardware layer with the Qualcomm SOC, every Android phone that has the Snapdragon 835 and Android 7 will fully support AR, and also will fully support VR because Android 7 and the Snapdragon 835 support the Daydream VR platform too (although you will not hear Samsung mention that, as Samsung's Gear VR is on the competing Oculus platform). In fact, as the Snapdragon 821 also supports both Tango and Daydream, the LG G6 and the $499 Asus ZenFone AR - the best Android device for the money as the thing even has 8 GB of RAM! - also have AR and VR support.

    So please folks, stop claiming that ideas that Samsung - and a host of other Android OEMs - implemented first, and in some cases YEARS FIRST - are attempts to copy Apple. Even the physical home button ... less an attempt to copy Apple than an attempt to maximize the screen to bezel ratio. Physical home button support was never in base Android but was added by Samsung into TouchWiz. Samsung - and LG - are adopting a design similar to 2014's Sharp Aquos Crystal. So, unless Apple emulates Samsung with a curved OLED screen, the iPhone 8 will be a derivative of this guy ... which also does not have a physical home button.

    KawhiUCONNmazda 3scalialbegarcdoozydozenroundaboutnowsphericgatorguy
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 fires first salvo against Apple's 'iPhone 8' with 'Infinity' display, AR...

    tzeshan said:
    This is not a full screen touch smartphone.  Many pixels around the edges are insensitive to touch.  With more than 2 to 1 ration the screen area of the 5.8 inches S8 is not much bigger than iPhone 7 Plus.  This is a trick TV makers have been used to fool consumers for years.  
    I have used the 5.7' Galaxy Note, the 5.7' Galaxy Edge+ and the "Plus" iPhones. The 5.7' Samsung phones are indeed noticeably bigger. And the S8 is bigger than the 5.7 inch phones. And the S8+ is bigger still. But the fact that we are having this argument in the first place is sufficient enough. As recently as summer 2015, iPhone advocates - such as those on this blog - insisted that 4' screens were the perfect size, and that the larger screened Android phones were gimmicks, bad design, bad UI/UX and proof that Android was incapable of matching Apple's sophistication and expertise. Similar to above, you can include the mocking - a good bit of it from Apple's upper echelon designers and executives themselves - of OLED screens, multi-window apps, stylus support, having more than 1 GB of RAM ... you name it. The iPhone 7 is a lot more similar to the Galaxy S line than it is the iPhone 5, and with the iPhone 8, Apple will have entirely abandoned their own design language - the one that they spent years suing Samsung for infringing - in favor of designs and features that were used as iOS differentiators by Samsung, HTC and other Android OEMs for years.

    Feel free to retort that the Google Pixel is an iPhone 7 clone (physical home button excluded of course) as many do. But even there ... the Pixel didn't emulate the iPhone 4 or iPhone 5, merely the iPhones that were changed to look and function more like Android phones in the first place.

    Fair is fair, guys. There is no more real competition - as Windows Mobile and Blackberry are dead - and the failed lawsuit/patent strategy has been abandoned so smartphones are now converging in look, feel and function. This has been going on since at least 2015, so continuing to claim that Android is copying Apple is silly. Especially since Force Touch (or was it 3D Touch) - the last major "new" feature introduced by Apple that wasn't on a Samsung or LG device first - has been ignored by Samsung, LG, HTC and Google to this point and is neither in stock Android or in TouchWiz, Sense or the other major skins, and it isn't in any of the community Android ROMs like Paranoid Android or LineageOS either.
  • Android becomes world's most used OS online, Apple's iOS & macOS trail

    jkichline said:
    When you're giving away devices and an OS for negative profit whilst stealing personal information and giving it to the government, you're sure to dominate marketshare. Sadly, you're not going to dominate profits not have any cash to do anything else.
    And who does this exactly? Google makes billions per year on Android and so does Samsung. Google most certainly dominates their category - web search, services and advertising - in profits to the point where numerous entities have sued them for being a monopoly. Samsung meanwhile is #2 in mobile profits. Google came up with a successful strategy to defeat Microsoft in mobile and search, and did so against some pretty tall odds. Samsung also emerged from the pack against a bunch of companies that were better known and had much bigger market share and credibility as high tech companies and mobile companies (think HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Sony) to get where they are and stay there. This endless grumbling over the fact that Apple is not the only company on the planet succeeding and making money makes no sense and quite frankly does not project a good image for Apple fandom.

    Instead of bedgrudging Samsung and Google for having their piece of the pie, you should be more concerned about this: "while macOS/OS X took just 5.17" and "while Mac numbers have fallen slightly." As Google and Samsung do not compete with Mac OS X - Chrome OS and Samsung being a very minor maker of Windows laptops far behind Lenovo, Dell, HP and even Toshiba notwithstanding - Apple has other problems to worry about. Apple failed to translate and leverage the massive success of their mobile devices, iPod and iPhone as well as the somewhat lesser success of the iPad, into an increased marketshare for other devices or to increase their footholds in other businesses. All the talk 5 or even 3 years ago about how Apple was going to kill off Microsoft and Windows for consumers and even in the enterprise turned out to be precisely that, and Apple is even pulling back, focusing less emphasis on enterprise efforts and selling fewer devices blatantly aimed at tempting Windows users to switch. Add to to that the fact that the Windows PC free fall seems to have stabilized ... things are never going back to the Wintel heyday of the 00s on one hand, but on the other hand it is clear that when people and enterprises need a main or work computing device they are going to get a laptop - as opposed to a smartphone or tablet - and 9 times out of 10 that laptop is going to run Windows as opposed to Mac OS X , just as things were before the iPad boom.

    Apple won the mobile wars, but Google and Samsung did a good job for themselves in carving out a very lucrative second place. What needs to be mentioned now is A) Apple failed to parlay their victory in mobile into increased market share anywhere else and B) it is now time to let the mobile wars go and transition to the next battle with new products. Wearables failed to take off, so has VR, so what is next? (Although it is curious that no one has really tried to add smart functionality to an existing product that already sells well ... smart headphones with VR/AR goggles attached anyone? Beats could release those at any time.)

  • Canonical kills its Ubuntu smartphone, tablet, convergence plans

    crowley said:
    A shame. Seemed like good tech.
    It wasn't. Canonical is the Ubuntu/Debian version of Red Hat I suppose. The problem is that as most enterprise Linux users prefer Red Hat, Canonical chose to focus on consumer users ... while still using Red Hat's open source business model. So while enterprise users are perfectly willing to pay huge amounts of money for what is essentially a free and community supported OS for support reasons, consumers had no reason to do the same. Ubuntu's first strategy was to try to get consumers, small businesses, schools etc. to switch from Windows to Ubuntu for PCs. There was a little avenue there, because Ubuntu still runs great on older hardware that performed poorly on Windows 7, and Ubuntu lacked the virus problems that Windows had before they started putting security tools in the base software. 

    But after Apple created the iPhone and iPad, they shifted from trying to get PC users to switch - again  where they were making slow but steady progress - to trying to take on Apple and Android in mobile. Like Ballmer, they had the great idea to try to use the same UI for their mobile, desktop and server versions of the software. Well the mobile version had no chance of succeeding. They lacked the money that Apple, Microsoft and even Google had to get their products out to people. They also had no apps. Like Microsoft is currently pushing with Windows 10 and Continuum (Ubuntu had this idea first) they felt that they could close the app gap with Android because their desktop applications could also run on phones and tablets because Ubuntu really only needs 1 GB of RAM. Had no chance of working because Ubuntu applications were not designed or optimized for small touch screens, and there was absolutely no developer interest in adapting them because there was no money in it. Ubuntu also tried to come up with a new, innovative UX/UI to differentiate themselves from iOS (and Android), and also to provide people with a practical way to use desktop application on a mobile interface, but it was unusable.

    The worst part was that where the previous Ubuntu interface - a ripoff of Windows XP - was outstanding, and in fact better than Windows XP in many ways, Unity - a lesser ripoff of iOS I suppose - made everything more difficult on a non-touchscreen desktop. As a result, the slow momentum that Ubuntu had in getting Windows users to switch came to a standstill and was reversed. Ubuntu couldn't even take advantage of the mess that was Windows 8 because their desktop was actually even worse. So scores of former Ubuntu users ultimately switched to Fedora, which is Red Hat's desktop competitor to Ubuntu. This despite Ubuntu having much more software available for desktop users due to being the Linux desktop of choice for ages. 

    It is not an exaggeration to say that Canonical ruined Ubuntu when they took control of the formerly open source community led effort and tried to make money off it. Thanks to their failed meddling, lots of even the Ubuntu diehards switched to Debian (on which Ubuntu is based). Even if Ubuntu had come out with good tech and a good product - and they did neither - they didn't have the billions of capital that it took to compete in this space anyway. Had they stuck with getting schools, techies and small businesses to switch from Windows PCs as well as doing a better job of competing with Red Hat and the other enterprise-focused distros in the server market, they would have done a lot better for themselves.
  • Apple competitor Alphabet earnings up on Google, YouTube & hardware, supplier Intel sees p...

    Calling Apple and Google competitors is a bit much. Scratch that ... it is a whole much.

    Apple: hardware company. Yes, they offer services, but with the exception of iTunes and iCloud for Windows and Apple Music for Android, the services are proprietary to their hardware. Google: software and services company. Yes, they offer hardware, but only as necessary for the sake of the viability of their software and services.

    Apple has no true competitor in hardware. They also have none in software and services since their software and services are mostly limited to their hardware, and they are also essential for the hardware to operate. And no, Apple's software and services do not truly compete with Google's, even on Apple hardware. Apple has no equivalent to Google Search, while only a fraction if iOS and Mac OS X users heavily utilize the likes of Google Play Music and/or Google Play Movies and TV as opposed to iTunes. So that leaves minor skirmishes such as Google Maps versus Apple Maps.

    Google is really not even trying to compete with Apple in hardware either. They publicly, loudly claim that the Pixel phone is aimed at iPhone users, but that is mainly for the purposes of keeping good relations with Android manufacturers, especially those other than Samsung that try to have a large presence in the west but exist on tight margins i.e. LG, HTC, Motorola and increasingly Huawei. Their Chromebook is not a competitor with either the iPad or any MacBook, and their other hardware products are in categories that Apple has not entered (VR/AR, smart home) or they entered before Apple (smartwatches).

    Google's actual competitors are Microsoft, Amazon and some say Facebook. All 3 compete with Google in search to a degree. All 3 compete directly with them in Internet advertising. The former 2 compete with them directly in cloud, and the last one is Google's biggest threat in search and their biggest competitor in providing Internet services in developing countries. (SpaceX accidentally helped Google in that regards by blowing up Facebook's satellite, and the Indian government did so also by rejecting Facebook's free Internet access initiative ... that would have funneled users directly to Facebook.) 10-12 years ago, Google was terrified that Microsoft was going to use Bing to crush them in mobile search, and then use that to get mobile users to use Bing in desktop search as well. Remember: at the time Microsoft was indeed a leader of sorts in the very fragmented mobile landscape, and they had also beaten out Google for the Yahoo back-end search contract. THAT was why Google developed Android. Had they not done so, Google would probably be out of business by now, Microsoft Mobile would have succeeded and have huge global marketshare, Microsoft would be a crushing goliath in desktop, enterprise and mobile, plus Yahoo and Nokia would be vital and powerful too. Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Motorola and the rest would be fighting each other for whatever remaining scraps of the Windows Phone market that Nokia left over.

    As it is, Google and Apple are enjoying their respective slices of the mobile market that have basically settled into a 50/50 share domestic and 80/20 share global, with Microsoft and the rest of the competitors having given up. And Google's mobile success also allows them to keep the advantage over Microsoft on desktop search to the point where more Windows users rely on the Chrome browser than IE or Edge. Mission accomplished and Microsoft threat neutralized, as Microsoft is focusing less and less on their consumer business and more and more on their enterprise business. Microsoft's biggest consumer strategy right now: getting 32 bit Windows apps to run on ARM CPUs so they can compete with Android on the low end of the tablet market. Seriously. Google has been trying for years to come up with an alternative to Facebook and losing. Right now, their plan to counteract Facebook is to add more social features to YouTube. That has a better chance of succeeding than Hangouts and Google+ ever did. Still, Facebook never really turned into the direct threat to Google that a lot of analysts spent years predicting that it would. There is plenty of ad revenue to go around for both, plus only 42% of the U.S. population is even on Facebook to begin with.

    That leaves Amazon. Google right now is a little bit concerned that Alexa can threaten them by shifting people from mobile search to voice search. Still, even there you have at most 20 million Alexa units in the wild versus 2 billion Android devices, and that does not count the regular Google searchers on Windows (billions), iOS (again billions) and Mac OS X. Also, Google now has a competitor to Alexa - though it is now inferior - that they can release to their Android devices whenever they have to. So Alexa is a much smaller threat to Google than the analysts choose to believe: much tinier than Facebook and miniscule to the real existential threat posed by by the Microsoft/Yahoo partnership.

    So while Google and Apple have (small) areas of overlap, they are not competitors by any means. Instead, they almost certainly make far more money due to the other's existence than they take away from each other. Especially considering that the existence of both iOS and Android crushed Microsoft in mobile.
  • Test finds Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro only laptops to match or beat advertised batter...

    dbeats said:
    Where's the outrage now? Also, doesn't this just prove the Consumer Reports cannot be trusted with any claims anymore?
    No, absolutely not. Despite Apple's PR spin and the same by Apple promoters and apologists, THE CONSUMER REPORTS TEST FOUND A BUG IN THE OPERATING SYSTEM. Let me repeat. There was a bug in the operating system that Apple did not know about. This bug in the operating system was found only because of Consumer Reports' test. As a result of Consumer Reports' test - and not anything in Apple's software or QA efforts - Apple identified the bug and released a fix.

    Blaming Consumer Reports for having what the writer claims is an obscure setting is totally wrong. First off, it is not obscure AT ALL. It is the equivalent of setting "private browsing", and also QA testers, programmers and others NEED and REGULARLY USE that setting. Second, it is a feature that Apple chooses to provide. Consumer Reports did not create their own hack or load their own codes or scripts. It is a setting that APPLE PROVIDES in the browser, is listed BY APPLE as a setting/menu option, and IT IS APPLE'S JOB TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WORKS, even if it is obscure (which it isn't). Finally, CONSUMER REPORTS HAD USED THAT SAME SETTING IN THE PAST. Let me restate. CONSUMER REPORTS USED THAT SAME "DEVELOPER SETTING" FOR THEIR PAST TESTS FOR MACS IN YEARS PAST AND THEY PERFORMED FINE. Why? Because the bug in Apple's OS didn't exist in the past. It was only when the bug was present that it was a problem. When Apple's bug in Apple's operating system caused a problem in Apple's browser, they fixed it. Consumer Reports didn't change squat. Apple did, and the good results were reached as a result.

    Oh yes, another thing: those "developer settings" are used when Consumer Reports tests other computers too. When they test computers by Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus etc. in those charts up there, they use those same "developer settings" because running the sort of tests that they do without those settings is ridiculous. They ran those same tests using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, IE etc. browsers with the same "obscure settings" and had no problems. Why? Because the bug was not in Windows, only macOS. Had it been in Windows, Microsoft would have released a fix just like Apple did.

    Bottom line: quit blaming Consumer Reports for Apple's bug. Unless you are one of those people who claims that Consumer Reports shouldn't have released the review in the first place without giving Apple time to fix their product flaws first. Sorry, but Consumer Reports is not Apple's PR department. Apple's PR department did their job when they (falsely) claimed that Consumer Reports' test was wrong. Even though Consumer Reports RAN THE EXACT SAME TEST AGAINST THE EXACT SAME HARDWARE AFTER APPLE FIXED THE BUG AND GOT THE DESIRED RESULTS.
    cyberzombiebrucemcnetroxking editor the gratelorin schultz
  • Google Photos now streams photos, video to Apple TV via AirPlay

    @Herbivore and @Macxpress:

    Sigh. Why is Google doing this? Because unlike the Apple-only zealots - which are very few in number - the vast majority of tech users are multi-platform. So while Android phone sales are great, Android tablet and especially Chromebook sales are (comparably) horrible. So lots of people who take pictures and sync them to Google Photos using their Samsung, LG or Moto phones use their iPads and Macs to view them later. Just as most iPhone and iPad users actually own Windows PCs instead of Macs and use iTunes on that platform as well. The difference is that where Apple actually did try to use iTunes - as well as some of their hardware offerings such as the Mac Mini, MacBook Air and iPad - would cause Windows users to switch to their platform, Google doesn't care what platform you are on so long as you are using their software and services.. Please remember: Google created Android as a defensive measure against Microsoft, not as some grand scheme to compete against and bankrupt Apple. At the time, the iPhone did not even exist and even if Google knew that Apple was working on it, Google had no way of knowing that it would be anywhere near as massive. Apple had launched their various MSN-branded portals, was (at the time) huge in gaming with XBox and Direct X PC gaming, and gotten Yahoo to switch from Google to them on the backend. Microsoft also had a smartphone and feature phone platform, was using it to funnel search to what later became Bing, and was even using Microsoft Office applications to launch IE and perform searches. Had Google not come out with the Chrome+Android combination, Microsoft - at the time a much bigger and more powerful company that both Google AND Apple COMBINED - would have dominated search, eventually gotten much of Android's market share in mobile (though it is conceivable that Nokia and Symbian might have fared better at least for awhile) and Google would no longer exist. But apart from using Android to save itself from Microsoft, Google doesn't care what you use (so long as it isn't Windows Mobile). Even some Google executives use iPhones and a lot more of them use iPads. 

    Cloud storage is not necessary because flash storage is so cheap? Sure ... except those local storage flash media options can't travel with you all the time. And since flash media is clearly preferable, I suppose you don't use iCloud either? Or watch HD movies rented through iTunes without downloading them? 

    As far as Google not committing to anything without dropping the service in 12-18 months ... Google Photos has already been out 2 years. And considering that it's predecessor was a feature in Google+, that means going on 6 years. And Google Photos' true antecedent was Picasa, which has been in existence since 2004. Yes, Google does discontinue unsuccessful products. As does Apple ... remember iTunes Ping? But as Google Photos has over 200 million monthly active users, rest assured it isn't going anywhere. The Samsung Galaxy loyalists who also own iPads will be enough to keep Google Photos on iOS by themselves. If they had to buy the app on Android and then buy it again on iOS it  would at least make them think about it, but since it is free on both, why not?
  • Apple maintains worldwide tablet marketshare lead in Q1, but cedes ground to Samsung

    Grimzahn said:
    IDC has a history. I am recognizing their numbers as untrustworthy and a waste of time. I am surprised seeing AI taking the time to report about them.
    So when IDC reported declining sales of Windows and Android (especially Samsung) devices and increasing sales of Apple devices (as they did when the iPhone 6 came out for example), are they equally trustworthy? Or did you like their numbers just fine back then? It seems like lots of Apple adherents love numbers from IDC, Kantar and Gartner when they show good numbers for Apple and bad numbers for everyone else but challenge them otherwise. Even though IDC, Kantar and Gartner have no business reason whatsoever to make Apple look bad and the other companies look good. Or that if the numbers from IDC, Kantar and Gartner do not match numbers from consumer surveys, retailers and supply chain data then companies will stop buying their data and they will go out of business. See, that is the thing. IDC, Kantar and Gartner don't produce their reports to fuel fanboy wars. Their reports are PRODUCTS that they SELL to investment firms, the media and companies themselves. If they were wrong year in and year out, the many companies that buy their reports would lose money, IDC/Gartner/Kantar would be discredited as a result and they would go out of business. Since that hasn't happened yet, obviously their data is pretty good. Not to mention that it clearly reflects anecdotal data and advertising trends. 5-6 years ago iPads were huge news. Everyone was talking about buying them, developing apps for them, rolling them out to their businesses etc. and carriers - especially AT&T - were running promotions based around data plans for LTE iPads and retailers - physical and online - prominently featured them in their advertising campaigns ... when you walked into a store iPads would often be the first thing that you saw. You even saw characters flaunting iPads - or devices designed to look like them - in movies and TV shows that were trying to appear cutting edge (or hip and cool). That isn't happening anymore, hasn't in awhile. But hey, you can believe that Kantar, IDC and Gartner are conspiring against Apple if it makes you feel better. But in the process, just know that retailers AND Apple have long confirmed the sales declines in iPads too. Where Apple used to have them front and center and almost as much attention as the iPhone, they are now barely mentioned in quarterly earnings calls and Apple doesn't even hold launch events for the media when new models are introduced anymore. So basically, all IDC is doing is providing numbers that confirm and provide context to Apple's own behavior.
  • Apple saw twice as many mobile device activations this holiday as Samsung, data shows

    Context: Apple had 44% of activations for the Christmas period in 2016, but 49% of activations for the same period in 2015. A 5% drop, while not huge, is not insubstantial. 
  • Analyst floats idea of Apple buying Disney to make 'tech/media juggernaut'

    daven said:
    Naw... Apple should buy Google so they have a monopoly on the smartphone market again. /s
    I know you are being sarcastic but never at any time did Apple have a monopoly on the smartphone market. As recently as 2010, Blackberry sold more smartphones annually than Apple. So while Apple certainly deserves credit for inventing the smartphone, the consolidation of the smartphone market into iOS and Android, driving established players like Blackberry, Nokia and Microsoft off the scene entirely, was primarily due to the success of Android. Had it not been for Android, either Symbian or Microsoft Mobile would have succeeded. (Ironically, the same company, Nokia, represented the failure of both.)