Archos announces new line of stock Android (and Google-certified) smartphones
Manufacturer Archos has just announced a trio of new Android smartphones — each with stock Android and including the full suite of Google Play services.
The three phones run the gamut in size, as well. The Archos?35 Carbon is the budget phone of the group, starting things out with a 3.5-inch IPS?display and a 320×480?resolution, powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm 7225a?processor and 1GB of RAM. It’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Archos 50 Platinum bumps things up to a 5-inch display and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a Qualcomm 8225Q quad-core processor and 1GB?of RAM.
And the Archos 53 Platinum takes the 50 Platinum and bumps things up to a 5.3-inch IPS display.
All three phones are 3G only — no LTE here — and are expected to be available in Europe by June.
Apple App Store surpasses 1 million apps, 60 billion downloads
At today’s iPad-centric Apple event, company’s CEO Tim Cook took the time to share exciting news regarding the App Store. Back in June at the WWDC, the apps in the App Store were more than 900,000 and now they’ve already passed the 1,000,000 mark.
Moreover, total number of downloaded apps is now more than 60 billion. The main rival of the App Store – the Google Play Store passed the 1 million apps mark in July, but at that point it only had 50 billion downloads accumulated.
Apple has also calculated how much it has paid developers. Apple iOS developers have received north of $13 billion since the inception of the App Store.
Tim Cook also shared some insights regarding iTunes Radio. Over 20 million users have given it a go playing over 1 billion songs. Impressive stats considering the service requires a US account, but Apple didn’t disclose any information regarding how much money it actually makes out of its music streaming service.
Android 4.4 KitKat to bring ability to set your default SMS app
Android has always allowed the ability to replace any of the built-in apps with something else. But while it is possible to do this for certain functions using public APIs, for others, developers have to rely on private APIs, a practice Google condemns.
This is true for all the SMS applications currently on the store. But that is about to change with Android 4.4 KitKat. Google has announced that they will be making the APIs required for this public. Moreover, they are also introducing the concept of setting your default SMS app.
Once implemented correctly, you will get the option to set your new SMS app as the default messaging app on KitKat and all the sent and received messages will be directed to the new app. Google has provided all the required information for developers to update their existing SMS apps so that they work properly in KitKat in their blog post. If you’d like to read more about that, click on the source link below.
Amazon UK already raised the price of its Prime service, but that was done with a big Kindle Fire price cut to soften the blow. Users in the US will have to take it on the chin – Prime will cost $100, up from $80, in a week.
Amazon announced this with a banner on its home page that looks like Prime is being discounted $20 for the next seven days.
That’s just wishful thinking though, $80 was the price until now. Amazon was considering raising the price by as much as $40, but it seems the etailer has settled on a more gentle bump. And if you think about it another way – $20 more per year is a $1.67 per month – the blow doesn’t seem so big.
Also, keep in mind that students with .edu email accounts can get Prime for $50. If you don’t have Prime or an .edu account, you can start a 30-day trial and lock in the $80 price for the next year, even though the price hike is taking place in a week.
Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping for many products and streaming access to Amazon’s collection of TV shows and movies. This collection is much bigger in the US than what other countries are getting.
Apple Begins Preparing First 27-Inch iMac Orders for Shipment [Update: Shipping]
As noted by a number of MacRumors forum members, customers who placed early orders for the new 27-inch iMac are beginning to see their credit cards charged and order statuses changing to “Preparing for Shipment”. The new status indicates that the orders can no longer be changed or canceled and is the final stage before the machines are passed off to delivery companies.
Customers who have received updated order statuses are reporting that they are still seeing their originally quoted delivery times, which are typically in the range of December 21-31, but it seems that their orders may arrive slightly ahead of that window if they ship out in a timely fashion.
So far it appears that only U.S. customers have reported seeing their orders being prepared for shipment, but there are still only a few data points available. A number of those seeing their orders being readied for delivery have also included built-to-order configurations, indicating that custom orders will be arriving essentially alongside stock models.
Update: Apple has now begun shipping these early orders, with many customers seeing delivery dates of December 18 while a few are seeing dates as early as December 13. We’re also hearing from customers outside of the United States that their orders are similarly progressing toward shipment.
Alicia Keys is BlackBerry's new Global Creative Director. Wait, what?
Today, at the BlackBerry 10 launch event, the BlackBerry’s CEO announced Alicia Keys will be company’s Global Creative Director. Now I will try to shed some light on what the singer’s new job actually means.
According to the press release, she will be working closely with developers, content creators, carriers and retailers to promote, innovate and expand the capabilities of the new BlackBerry 10 OS and devices.
The lovely Miss Alicia Keys will be in charge of the Keep Moving project and will be working along with the director Robert Rodriguez and the author Neil Gaiman. Here is the promo video.
As far as I understand, she’ll be in charge of the promotional campaign of the new platform and will be responsible for some fresh ideas that will hopefully make it into the next versions of the BlackBerry OS.
This all sounds great, but is it really going to help the BlackBerry’s future? I like Alicia Keys as a musician and I like the new BlackBerry Z10, but this just seems like bag of money thrown away. Only time will tell if this was actually a smart move by BlackBerry, I guess.
Maybe a white Galaxy S3?isn’t your thing. Perhaps Blue gives you the blues. Perpetual leaker?evleaks is back again with an oddly purple Galaxy S3, which he says is destined for Sprint in April. It does sort of look like a washed-out blue GS3, but they are decidedly different colors. The timing also would be a little weird, given that Sprint expects to be selling the Galaxy S4?by the end of the second quarter.?
Last night the Google Play Store gave us a pretty good look at the Nexus 5 in black, and today a leak from Korean site UNDERkg?(since pulled) purports to show us the device’s retail packaging?— along with a tantalizing hint at a possible white version. The couple of images showing the outside of the box reveal Google and LG branding, along with the Nexus 5 name. What’s more, the device is pictured with a white back panel, as you can clearly see in the second image.
The box certainly fits with earlier Nexus branding, and though the leaked images are small, it looks legit to us. That said, there’s no guarantee of any white model being available at launch, and we’ll wait on the official word from Google before reaching for our wallets.
Moto G reportedly boosts Motorola to six percent UK market share
￡135 handset takes ‘significant numbers of low-mid end customers from Samsung and Nokia,’ according to report
The affordable Moto G, already Motorola’s most successful smartphone ever, has powered the manufacturer to a six percent share of the British smartphone market, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Kantar’s stats are significant given that Motorola was a relative non-player in the UK market prior to the Moto X’s November 2013 launch.
“With virtually no existing customers to sell to in Britain, the Moto G has stolen significant numbers of low-mid end customers from Samsung and Nokia Lumia,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar’s strategic insight director.
The firm says Moto G owners are predominantly young and earning lower incomes ― “almost half” are between 16 and 24, 83 percent are male, and 40 percent earn less than ￡20,000. It also points to the the increasing tech-savviness of the buying public, noting an increased reliance on online reviews.
The Moto G’s ￡135 price tag, competitive specs and a solid user experience compared to similarly-priced phones resulted in its widespread critical praise late last year, including in our own review. By comparison the high-end Moto X, launched in the UK in February, appears to have played second fiddle to its lower-priced sibling.
New Facebook Messenger stickers give you the dislike button you always wanted
Facebook has introduced a new set of stickers for the Facebook Messenger service. These are all variations of the famous Facebook Like icon showing a thumbs up gesture, with the hand showing other gestures, including a much requested thumbs down or Dislike gesture that Facebook would probably never implement on their site. So you can’t yet Dislike a post but now you can at least send them a sticker on Messenger.
For those not aware of Facebook stickers (or are possibly embarrassed to admit), these are small static or animated images that you can insert in your chat. They come in packs with a particular theme, such as the Pusheen pack or the Cut the Rope pack and you have to download them from within the Messenger app to use them in your chat. This feature isn’t particularly new and several IM apps have been using it for a while now but Facebook only introduced it earlier this year.
You will find the new Likes pack in the store section of Facebook Messenger sticker drawer.