Google and Samsung have agreed to a 10 year patent licensing deal for Android. But that might only be the tip of the iceberg. According to a report from Re/code the two are working together on a broader initiative that will bring the Samsung version of Android more inline with Google’s vision.
Earlier today at CES, Samsung demoed a 85-inch prototype Ultra HDTV that the company’s simply calling the “Bendable TV.” The demo unit switched between a flat panel and a curved screen at a touch of a button, with a mechanical system pushing out the edges of the screen to achieve the transformation.
Two big shifts happened in the American cellphone industry over the past year: Cellular networks got faster, and smartphone screens got bigger. In the United States, consumers used an average of 1.2 gigabytes a month over cellular networks this year, up from 690 megabytes a month in 2012, according to Chetan Sharma, a consultant for wireless carriers, who published a new report on industry trends on Monday. Worldwide, the average consumption was 240 megabytes a month this year, up from 140 megabytes last year, he said.
SamMobile has obtained exclusive confirmation of a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 inch tablet. The tablet will feature a 12.2-inch display with 2560×1600 pixel resolution, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera and Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
While we’ve been laser-focused on Samsung’s split from Android, another major electronics company has purportedly been exploring other options as well. The Information reports that Sony is currently in talks with Microsoft to release a Windows Phone of its own as early as next year, breaking a four-year streak of Android exclusivity and pairing up two long-time rivals in the gaming console market.
The sources say that Sony has already shared designs for a Windows Phone prototype with Microsoft, and also that any products released under the partnership would be branded as Sony Viao devices. The two companies have yet to finalize any plans, so roadblocks could undoubtedly arise, but if Microsoft can expand its mobile OS as far as Sony’s lineup, the platform might finally stand a fighting chance against Android and iOS.
When Windows Phone launched, it did so with OEM partners as diverse as Dell. There has been a winnowing. If Microsoft can flip that trend, it will have gone a ways to proving that the progress it made in 2013 was no fluke.
Ever wish you could turn on the air conditioning without leaving the couch? Samsung’s new Smart TV SDK 5.0 will give you the luxury of being that lazy. The programming kit gives the TV control over home appliances, including network-savvy lighting and refrigerators. Developers should also have an easier time building apps thanks to a new web framework that both supports HTML5 and uses Native Client to run software across a wide range of TVs. Apps can run on mobile devices, too. Samsung has already posted a beta SDK, but aspiring big-screen app builders will have to wait until January 6th to get the finished tool.
Worried that none of their recent commercials would take home that coveted “Worst Ad Of The Year” trophy, Samsung has swooped in with a last minute entry.
Microsoft’s Skype application has undergone another big change, and version 4.5 is headed to Google Play. Like the last major update, this focuses on tablet design. Included are the bug and crash fixes and support for devices you would expect, but there are also two new features for tablet users.
The first is a picture-in-picture window for video and voice calls. You can now move out of the Skype app but still interact with a floating window of the active call. This is a tablet-only feature, though you will need to allow permission for it on phone installs as well.