Monday, May 9, 2016

After reporting more than satisfactory sales with the J series in India, South Korean multinational conglomerate company, Samsung, decided to launch the Galaxy J5 and J7 2016 edition.

Indian Express website reported that Manu Sharma, vice president, Mobile Business, Samsung India Electronics said at the launch event that the “Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J5 2016 will elevate consumer experience to the next level.”

The two smartphones differ in display size, but the design is the same, with a metal finish plastic back. The Galaxy J5 2016 edition comes with a 5.2-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixels and Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset clocked at 1.2 GHz.

Total storage capacity reaches 16GB, with the option to expand to 128GB using a microSD card. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and 3100 mAh battery. 13MP with f/1.9 aperture is a satisfactory rear camera performance for a mid-range phone, considering that it also has autofocus and LED flash. Both Galaxy S5 and S7 come with a 5MP front camera.

The Galaxy J7 has a larger display size of 5.5 inches and the same resolution of 720p. It’s a bit more powerful than the J5, with an octa-core processor of 1.6 GHz. Storage capacity is the same, as a microSD card can be used on the J7 to expand to 128GB of space. Camera capacity doesn’t differ, but the J7 has a more lasting battery of 3300 mAh.

The S-Bike feature is available
Both phones come in four different colors, white, black, gold and rose gold. The newly launched smartphones in the Galaxy J series, support Dual SIM, as well as 4G network connectivity. Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 will be available and they come with some India specific features like the S-Bike mode and Ultra Data Saving mode.

Specs and prices place these phones in the mid-range series of smartphones, the Galaxy J5 is sold for the equivalent of $210, while the price for J7 is a bit higher, of $240. They’re available exclusively through Flipkart and while one of India’s leading telecom companies, Airtel offers its subscribers double data for up to six months.

galaxy j7

galaxy j5

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A new research reveals that smartphone customers are eager to purchase the iPhone 7 when it launches later this year even though very little is known about this model.

The slow demand for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is one of the reasons for Apple’s declining overall iPhone sales, so many see the upcoming iPhone 7 as a critical product for Cupertino in its attempt to go back to an ascending trend in terms of iPhone revenue.

And the research conducted by UBS Evidence Lab shows that the iPhone 7 is already generating more excitement than its predecessor, which could be a sign that sales can only go up once it hits the shelves in the fall.

The survey involved 6,336 smartphone users in some of Apple’s biggest markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Japan, in an attempt to help predict whether the iPhone 7 can be more successful than the 6 and the 6s.

And it appears that more smartphone owners are willing to the iPhone 7 than in the case of the iPhone 6s, though the survey shows that interest in the upcoming model is smaller than it was in the case of the standard 6 launched in 2014.

Early iPhone 7 specs
It’s clearly way too early to tell whether the iPhone 7 will be successful or not, but at this point, the existing leaks and specifications coming from sources with knowledge of the matter point to a product that might not generate as much excitement as this survey suggests.

The iPhone 7 is very likely to be similar in design with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, coming with only small appearance tweaks, including antenna lines placed at the top and the bottom and camera moved closer to the edge of the device.

As far as hardware is concerned, the iPhone 7 will undoubtedly feature Apple’s next-generation A10 and M10 processors, at least 2 GB of RAM, and improved camera – speculation in this regard points to a dual-camera configuration, but there are sources who claim that Apple might either hold it back until the 2017 model or launch it exclusively on the Plus model.

Apple is also planning to remove the traditional audio jack and replace it with an all-purpose Lightning connector in an attempt to make the iPhone thinner, so while the device will look similar to the 6s front and back, it’ll actually be thinner.

These are obviously just rumors at this point, so take them with a healthy pinch of salt until September when the official unveiling is supposed to take place.

Apple’s iPhone 7 Already Generating More Excitement than the 6s
Apple is working on setting up its next-generation store design and new patents granted in China provide us with a glimpse into how the new locations could look like.

As spotted by PatentlyApple, the iPhone maker has been granted no less than 8 design patents in China, confirming that the company is indeed planning an overhaul of its retail network in the country. Recently, CEO Tim Cook revealed that opening five new stores in China this year is a priority for the firm, so this new design could be used for at least some of them, if not for all.

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that these patents do not come with a description, so all we got were these drawings indicating how the new stores could look like.

All-glass design
But as you can see, Apple’s aiming for a modern look with large pane swing doors, a large display placed on the back wall right in the center, plus the newest products placed right in front, so they’ll be the first things every visitor sees when stepping inside.

While this sounds a lot like the current approach that Apple is using for its stores, it’s worth noting that the back gigantic display will play a key role in the new design, as it’ll be used for promoting the company’s latest products, but also to show ads and videos that could help entice visitors to buy devices.

For the moment, it’s not yet clear whether this design is exclusive to China or Apple wants to use it in other locations across the world as well, but more information should be provided in the coming months as the company is likely to open the first one very soon.

Also, Apple could share more on this approach at the WWDC conference in June, although the focus is likely to be on new products, such as the next versions of iOS and Mac OS X.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Everything is getting smarter these days and Apple just wants to keep the pace with the evolving tech world, so it’s preparing changes that will allow iOS 10 users to better control their smart worlds.

An Amazon reviewer who claims to work for Apple revealed that the Cupertino-based company is working to add iOS HomeKit integration in the next version of iOS. Although it’s very difficult to verify the identity of the poster, MacRumors claims that the name of the reviewer is the same as the one of an Apple marketing employee, which could be a sign that there is indeed some truth behind his message.

“As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration,” he said in his post.

“Some advice, there are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customization(s) with many Smart Home devices. ‘Yonomi’ is a free app that I often use, ‘Home’ is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon ‘Echo’). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone ‘HomeKit’ app as well.”

Apple aiming for the smart home
But even if his claims are false, Apple is anyway expected to go for its own HomeKit app, as the company has already trademarked an app icon that could be used for such a project.

HomeKit was first announced by Apple in September 2014 and it launched as a development framework specifically aimed at app creators and hardware companies that wanted to add support for smart devices in iOS. But with iOS 10, Apple is trying to offer its own app in this regard, thus making smart home control an essential feature of the operating system.

It’s believed that Apple is also working with some device manufacturers for this new feature and some compatible devices with various partners might also be in the works.

Certainly, more information in this regard will be provided by Apple itself at the WWDC conference in June when the company is also expected to offer us a preview of iOS 10.

Apple Will Let iPhone Users Control Their Smart Homes with iOS 10

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Things are going from bad to worse for Apple, and after the company revealed dropping sales for the iPhone lineup, Cupertino is now losing the leading position in the United States in a ranking of top phone manufacturers in the country.

Research conducted by Korea-based firm Counterpoint Research shows that Samsung devices accounted for a total of 28.8 percent of all phones sold in the United Sates in March, enough to make the company the leader in the country.

Apple has been the top company in these charts since April 2015, but the declining sales of the iPhone, coupled with a boom in sales experienced by the new Samsung Galaxy S7, allowed the South Korean firm to take over the leading spot.

Apple is currently on the second position with 23 percent market share while LG takes the third place with 17.1 percent. Given the fact that sales of the iPhone aren’t yet showing any signs of recovery, Apple could continue losing ground in the coming months, thus allowing LG to get even close and fight for the second place.

Could the iPhone 7 save Apple?
What’s worse for Apple is that the company isn’t planning to introduce any new device until September this year, so the drop could deepen in the coming months.

The iPhone 7 is indeed projected to launch in the fall, but until now, leaks and information that have reached the web via unofficial channels have pointed to rather minor changes and a design similar to the iPhone 6s. If this is the case, the iPhone 7 might fail in its mission to boost iPhone sales, thus pushing the company into an unprecedented crisis that it has never experienced.

If there’s a good thing for Apple in these statistics, it is the rather disappointing performance of Chinese companies, which would otherwise become strong competitors to the iPhone maker. Huawei reached only a 1 percent market share in the United States while ZTE actually performed a little bit better and gained 6.6 percent.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The FBI did manage to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone with help from a group of hackers, but it appears that the bureau doesn’t actually know how they managed to break into the device and access the information stored on it.

Apple requested the FBI to share information on the hack in order to help the company patch the flaw exploited by the hackers, but according to a new report by Reuters, the agency actually has no idea about the unlocking method that was developed by the hackers it hired to do the job.

Citing Obama administration sources, Reuters reveals that so-called Vulnerabilities Equities Process might not be triggered in this case because the FBI has nothing to share. VEP is an internal process that reviews every single found technology flaw to try to determine whether it should be shared with companies whose products might be impacted or keep it secret for the US government in order to be used at a later date.

But since the FBI can’t specifically tell how the iPhone was hacked, there’s no need for such a review, sources explained, which in turn raises more concerns.

Apple expected the flaw to leak
According to recent reports, the FBI actually paid a group of hackers to break into the iPhone, and not Israeli firm Cellebrite. These hackers used an undisclosed vulnerability in iOS along with specially built hardware to unlock the phone.

Apple previously said that, despite the fact that FBI didn’t want to disclose the way it hacked the phone, the method was expected to leak and allow the company to develop a patch, especially because the bureau wanted to use it on other phones too.

But since the FBI has no idea how the hackers broke into the device, such information might never leak, as the group behind the unlock method clearly wants to keep everything secret for its own advantage.

This means that Apple not only can’t develop a patch, but its users also remain vulnerable to such exploits, although it’s very unlikely for the hack to ever become public and target a bigger number of devices.

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