Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear smartwatch available for pre-booking

Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Samsung has made the devices available for pre-booking. Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch are available in a combo range for an advance payment of Rs 2000. However, Galaxy Note 3 is available without Galaxy Gear smartwatch for the same advance payment. Note 3 has comes with a 5.7 inch screen and is thinner and lighter than its previous version. Samsung has incorporated a 13 megapixel rear camera in its new Note series product. The Galaxy Note 3 fosters a feature that will allow users to disable the phone when it is stolen or lost as well as remotely track or erase the data from the lost phones. The Samsung Galaxy Gear Specs comes with a 1.63 inch display with 320 X 320 pixel resolution. It sports a stainless steel body and is available in multiple strap colour options. The watch comes with a proprietary USB 3.0 charger and supported by 800MHz Exynos single-core processor. It also features Bluetooth 4.0 LE along with 1.9 megapixel camera, 720p video recording and speaker + 2 mics.

Samsung Reveals The Galaxy Note 3, The Slimmer And Lighter Evolution Of The Phablet

Galxy Note3_031_set2

Samsung’s big Unpacked Episode 2 event is underway, and as expected, the company has used the venue to announce the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. The Note is the original phablet, and the new version continues the tradition of big screen gadgets best-suited for big-handed people.

The new Galaxy Note 3 features a design with extremely slimmer bezels and sharper angles on its rounded edges, marking a slight departure from Galaxy device design language thus far. It’s thinner than its predecessor and lighter (168g), despite offering a larger screen at 5.7-inches. It also offers more battery life than the Galaxy Note 2, and there’s a new and improved S Pen, too. Plus it supports faster, and more “seamless LTE” with multi-band support.

The camera has 4K video recording capabilities with a new CRI LED flash that should improve low-light photography. Samsung claims nearly four more hours of battery life when playing back video, and performance in general during normal use should also extend battery by up to 40 percent over the previous generation.

Samsung was emphasizing craftsmanship with the Galaxy Note, which features a stitched leather rear cover (available in black, white and pink). It also has a metallic rim running around the edge, and there’s a flip wallet accessory available in 10 different colors that also features a larger S View window cover for checking messages, making calls and accessing more info at a glance without having to activate the whole display.

s-pen

The new S Pen is designed to work with the larger screen. Samsung called it the “key” to unlocking Note features and power. This works via a number of new interface controls. There’s a dot on-screen that appears when you can activate “Air Command,” which is a tool wheel that provides quick access to memo, scrapbooking, screenwriting, and a finder search function. There’s also something Samsung calls “circle,” which uses a circle drawing gesture to capture content you want to save to your scrapbook, as called up via Air Command. Box is a way to multitask, that lets you do two things at once via essentially a picture-in-picture interface.

note-scrapbook

Samsung’s Knox mobile security feature, which is designed to help increase enterprise and consumer security via partitioned software for consumer and business use for BYOD device users. The Note 3 will ship September 25 in 149 countries around the world.

Samsung’s smartphone fortunes are the subject of major scrutiny at the moment, since the company is perceived as possibly having hit a ceiling in terms of growing its overall share of the market. The company is hosting a meeting with investors and analysts to discuss its long-term plans in the face of these fears, and the Note line drives quite a few sales, though not as many as the flagship Galaxy S4. Estimates for break-out sales of the Note 2 on its own are hard to place, but Samsung has in the past said it anticipated the device would pass 20 million units shipped.

Galaxy Note 3 specs:

  • 151.2mmx79.2mmx8.3mm
  • 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED 1080p display with 368 ppi pixel density
  • 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, or 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos Octacore depending on market
  • Android 4.3
  • 13 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32 or 64GB storage
  • MicroSDXC card storage expansion
  • Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11ac, LTE Category 4
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • LED/IR combo

No information on Galaxy Note 3 availability just yet beyond the September 25 date, and the official Samsung press materials around the launch says only that it’ll make it out to all major U.S. carriers “later this year.”

Google unveils latest ‘Android Kitkat’ after Nestle tie-up

reportedly named the latest version of its mobile operating system ‘Android KitKat’ in a tie-up with chocolate manufacturer Nestle.

Director of Android marketing Marc Vanlerberghe, said that they couldn’t imagine a better name for Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favourite among the team since the early days of Android.

While Nestle’s head of marketing, Patrice Bula, said that they were excited to announce this partnership with Android, the world’s most popular mobile platform, which will help them to enable even more KitKat fans to enjoy their break, Mirror reports.

Bula added that KitKat is one of the world’s top 10 fast-moving consumer goods brands in social media in terms of fan numbers and engagement and they continue to build on its strong digital presence with interactive, creative branding campaigns.

According to the report, the release of the new OS will be marked with a competition to win prizes including 1,000 Google Nexus 7 tablets through more than 50 million specially-branded KitKat bars.

A South Korean news website has reported that the upcoming Galaxy S5 will have a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization

 

NEW DELHI: As the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Note III flagship phablet nears, the tech grapevine seems to have turned their attention to the company’s other flagship smartphone Galaxy S4. Speculations have already started about the next-generation of Galaxy S4, most likely to be called Galaxy S5. A South Korean news website has reported that the upcoming Galaxy S5 will have a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization. This will be an upgrade from the 13MP camera module used in the Galaxy S4 and widely expected to also feature in the upcoming Galaxy Note III.

However, the report also says that the Galaxy Note III will not have optical image stabilization feature, contrary to popular rumours. The only Samsung phone to have this feature currently is the Galaxy S4 zoom, which is a cross between an Androidphone and a 16MP camera.

Samsung has also applied for patent of a metal-bodied design, which is rumoured to debut with the Galaxy S5. This handset is also said to have a flexible and shatterproof screen; a prototype of this screen was also showcased by the manufacturer earlier this year.

Currently, Nokia Lumia 1020, Lumia 925, Lumia 920, HTC One and LG G2 are the only phones that have optical image stabilization feature, which helps produce blur-free photos. The upcoming Sony Xperia Z1 (codenamed Honami) is also said to come with this feature.

A report by The Korea Economic Daily has said that the Galaxy Note III will be capable of recording movie-hall-quality 4K videos. Sony Xperia Z1 is also said to debut with this functionality. Both handsets are expected to be unveiled on September 4, the first day of IFA 2013 in Berlin.

India’s Net population is 73.9 million, 3rd largest in world

India with 73.9 million Net users is the world’s third largest Internet population, overtaking Japan but behind China and the US, according to research firm ComScore.

Rising number of mobile audience, devices and consumption habits reveal that consumers are becoming more platform agnostic in their digital media consumption and switch devices to stay up to date on email, news, social media, said ComScore’s India Digital Future in Focus 2013.

“Riding on a 31 per cent year-on-year increase, India’s online population grew to 73.9 million. With an extended online universe in excess of 145 million the market is at a tipping point for online businesses. India is the world’s third largest Internet population,” the report said.

The country overtook Japan by adding 17.6 million users in 2012, the ComScore report said.
Of the total 644 million home and work Internet users in Asia-Pacific as of March 2013, China accounted for a lion’s share of 54 per cent followed by India (11.5 per cent), Japan (11.4 per cent), Southeast Asia (9.6 per cent) and rest of APAC (13.5 per cent).

On consumption, ComScore said that media fragmentation is occurring at light speed in today’s multi-platform environment, which features not only computers, but smartphones, tablets, gaming platforms and a ever-increasing number of emerging devices.

Instagram bans the words ‘Insta’ and ‘Gram’ from third-party apps

Instagram is now banning third-party photo-related apps from using the words “insta” or “gram” in their name. What’s more, developers are now prohibited from using the Instagram name or logo in their app icons as well as the Instagram stylized font in their product or marketing materials.

It’s a change of course for the photo sharing service as previous revisions of the brand guidelines noted that while it was not ok to use the word “Instagram” or “IG” in an app name, it was alright to use one (but not both) of the words “insta” or “gram.”

So what does that mean for apps that are already on the market that now fall into this banned category? It’s quite simple – either change your name or lose access to the Instagram API, effectively rendering your app useless.

In an e-mail to the developer of one such app, Luxogram – a web-based Instagram client, Instagram said they cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or are endorsed or sponsored by the company. The message goes on to note that it is important for apps to develop their own distinctive branding and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specified under the revised policies.

One could argue that the changes came down from Instagram’s parent company Facebook. The social network has similar restrictions in place that prevent app makers from using the words “face” and “book” in their names. It’s all part of their plan to protect their trademark I suppose.

Facebook wants 4 billion more users: bringing data to the developing world

"No one company can really do this by itself:" Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.“No one company can really do this by itself:” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: New York Times

About one of every seven people in the world uses Facebook. Now, Mark Zuckerberg, its co-founder and chief executive, wants to make a play for the rest – including the four billion or so who lack internet access.

Facebook is set to announce an effort aimed at drastically cutting the cost of delivering basic internet services on mobile phones, particularly in developing countries, where Facebook and other tech companies need to find new users. Half a dozen of the world’s tech giants, including Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson, have agreed to work with the company on the initiative, which they call Internet.org.

We think it’s something good for the world rather than something that is going to be really amazing for our profits.

Mark Zuckerberg

The companies intend to accomplish their goal in part by simplifying phone applications so they run more efficiently and by improving the components of phones and networks so that they transmit more data while using less battery power.

From left: Facebook executives Jay Parikh, Javier Olivan and Aaron Bernstein at the company's offices in Menlo Park, California.From left: Facebook executives Jay Parikh, Javier Olivan and Aaron Bernstein at the company’s offices in Menlo Park, California. Photo: New York Times

For Zuckerberg, the formation of the coalition is yet another way in which he is trying to position himself as an industry leader. He has been speaking out more forcefully than other tech executives on topics such as immigration overhaul, which the industry sees as critical to its hiring needs. With Internet.org, he is laying out a philosophy that tries to pair humanitarian goals with the profit motive.

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“The internet is such an important thing for driving humanity forward, but it’s not going to build itself,” he said in a recent interview. “Ultimately, this has to make business sense on some time frame that people can get behind.”

But the effort is also a reflection of how tech companies are trying to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth by attracting customers beyond saturated markets in the US and Europe, even if they have to help build services and some of the infrastructure in poorer, less digitally sophisticated parts of the world.

Google, for example, began a program with phone carriers last year that offers wireless users in some developing countries free access to Gmail, search and the first page clicked through from a search’s results. Google is also reaching for the sky with Project Loon, an attempt to beam internet access from plastic balloons floating more than 19 kilometres in the air.

Twitter, which is preparing to offer shares to the public in an initial stock offering, has struck its own deals with about 250 mobile phone companies in more than 100 countries to offer some free Twitter access and worked to make sure its service is easy to use on even the cheapest handsets.

These companies have little choice but to look overseas for growth. Almost 40 per cent of Australians check Facebook every day, while more than half of Americans use the social network at least once a month, and usage in the rest of the developed world is similarly heavy. There is nearly one active mobile phone for every person on earth, making expansion a challenge for mobile carriers and phone makers.

Poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America present the biggest opportunity to reach new customers – if companies can figure out how to get people there online at low cost.

The immediate goals of the new coalition are to cut the cost of providing mobile internet services to 1 per cent of its current level within five to 10 years by improving the efficiency of internet networks and mobile phone software. The group also hopes to develop business models that would allow phone companies to provide simple services such as email, search and social networks for little or no charge.

While that sounds far less exciting than, say, Google’s idea of delivering the internet by balloon, Zuckerberg says small efforts can add up to big changes.

“No one company can really do this by itself,” he said.

Facebook is already working on techniques to reduce the average amount of data used by its Android mobile app from the current 12 megabytes a day to 1 megabyte without users’ noticing.

Qualcomm, whose chip technology is prevalent in advanced smartphones, has created new designs to stretch a phone’s battery life, slice the amount of data needed to transmit a video and extend the reach of mobile networks through tiny devices similar to Wi-Fi routers.

The coalition partners have also begun trying new ways of reducing the data charges paid by mobile customers while still enabling phone makers and carriers to make money.

For example, Nokia, the Finnish phone maker, ran a recent experiment with Facebook and the Mexican phone carrier Telcel, in which it bundled free Facebook access with some of its Asha feature phones. Sales rose significantly, and the company decided to run similar promotions for customers of Bharti Airtel, a mobile carrier in India and Africa.

However, the Internet.org team does not plan to tackle some thorny infrastructure issues that are huge barriers in the developing world, particularly the long-distance transmission of data to far-flung places.

Michuki Mwangi, regional development manager for Africa at the Internet Society, a non-profit group that has long worked to expand global internet access, said the continent sorely lacked local interconnection points, forcing most requests for content such as YouTube videos to be routed through Europe at high cost.

Creating more connection points would require navigating a thicket of government interests and powerful incumbents. But at the very least, the group would like Facebook and Google to put copies of their content on a greater number of African servers to deliver it more quickly and cheaply, something that both companies say they are considering.

As with the Open Compute coalition started by Facebook in 2011 to improve the efficiency of data centres, Facebook will seek to add partners to Internet.org, including national governments, mobile phone carriers and Microsoft, a longtime Facebook ally that has its own projects to expand access.

But Google – whose search and YouTube video products are as fundamental as Facebook’s social network to many internet users – is likely to remain outside the group.

For one, its own efforts to expand internet access are aggressive. In addition, the company is constantly refining its Android software, which runs the majority of new smartphones sold, to improve efficiency and battery life.

“We’re always making investments in technology and programs to help people get online,” said Courtney Hohne, a Google spokeswoman. “We have teams around the world working on products tailored to local needs.”

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, recently suggested that Project Loon and similar projects were not the best use of resources to help people in the poorest nations.

“When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there’s no website that relieves that,” he said in a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that basic health care is essential but said that “if you can afford a phone, I think it would be really good for you to have access to the internet.”

The potential is already obvious in places such as the Philippines, where the second-largest mobile phone company, Globe Telecom, has used free Twitter, Facebook or Google access as promotions to increase the number of its 37 million users who also subscribe to a mobile data plan to 20 per cent from virtually zero in two years.

“Once you’re connected, you’re connected, and you don’t want to look back,” said Peter Bithos, Globe’s senior adviser for consumer business.

For Facebook, which generates most of its revenue from selling advertising that it shows to its users, the immediate profits from expanding internet access will be minimal, Zuckerberg said, although he acknowledged that the long-term potential was there.

“We’re focused on it more because we think it’s something good for the world,” he said, “rather than something that is going to be really amazing for our profits.”

New York Times