Tag Archives: smartphones

Google sells 1 million Pixel phones in eight months

By Ron Amadeo

Enlarge / The Google Pixel XL. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

The Google Pixel, Google’s first totally self-branded phone, launched about eight months ago. Google declared itself a smartphone OEM and jumped into the world of manufacturing, but while the company’s software and optimizations have made the phone a critical success, how have the sales numbers been?

Unlike just about every hardware manufacturer on Earth, Google doesn’t share official sales numbers for the Pixel phones, choosing to bundle the income under Alphabet’s “Other Revenues” during earnings reports. We do have one very solid signal for Pixel sales, though: the Play Store, which shows install numbers for apps. If there was an app that was exclusive and install-by-default on the Pixel phones, like say, the Pixel Launcher, the install number would basically be the number of sold activated phones.

This calculation is complicated by the fact that Google Play doesn’t show exact install numbers; it shows installs in “tiers” like “100,000-500,000.” So most of the time, we won’t have an exact Pixel sales number—except when the Pixel Launcher crosses from one download tier to another. So guess what just happened? The Pixel Launcher just crossed into the “1,000,000-5,000,000” install tier (you can see some third-party tracking sites, like AppBrain, still have it listed at 500,000). So for this one moment in history, eight months after launch, we can say Google finally sold a million Pixel phones.

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Source:: Ars Technica Gadgets


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Pixel 2 leaks show Google still moving between OEMs to make its phones

By Ron Amadeo

Enlarge / The original Pixel was made by HTC and looked a lot like an LG phone, so maybe the Pixel 2 will look like this LG G6?

Google’s official bug tracker seems to have spilled the beans on the manufacturer of the next Pixel phone (or at least, one of the next Pixel phones). A post—which was first spotted by 9to5Google—indicates that the lucky manufacturer is none other than LG.

When we last checked in with Google Pixel 2 rumors, there were going to be three devices, all with the usual fish-themed code names of “Walleye,” “Muskie,” and “Taimen.” Walleye was pegged as the smaller Pixel successor, Muskie was the Pixel XL 2, and Taimen was rumored to be something even bigger than the XL. A report just yesterday from Android Police claims the XL successor, “Muskie,” is cancelled, and that Taimen, previously pegged an “XXL” device, will be handling the big phone duties. The extra-large size is probably a reference to the screen size and not the body size, as slimmer bezels mean OEMs can squeeze ever-larger screens into the same size phone bodies.

It’s “Taimen” that was leaked in this bug report. An LG employee is discussing a device’s USB-PD compliance and is told by a Google employee to reopen the bug under “Android > Partner > External > LGE > Taimen > power.” There’s our “taimen” codename, right in the directory structure, and In addition to the filing employee being from LG, the directory structure shows “LGE,” which is short for “LG Electronics.” It’s not clear if this means both phones are being made by LG, or just Taimen.

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Source:: Ars Technica Gadgets


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OnePlus 5 launches on June 20

By Mark Walton

Enlarge (credit: Android Police)

The OnePlus 5, the follow-up to the excellent OnePlus 3T Android smartphone, launches on June 20. In classic OnePlus style, the OnePlus 5 will debut via an online livestream that starts at 5pm UK time (12pm EDT), as well as at several pop-up events in London, New York, and other cities in Europe.

Details on the OnePlus 5 other than its release date are thin on the ground, but the company has revealed that it’s skipping the OnePlus 4 (four being an unlucky number in China), as well as equipping the phone with the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC. That’s the same SoC found on flagship devices like the Galaxy S8 and HTC U11.

As with its previous phones, OnePlus is expected to charge far less for the OnePlus 5 than the likes of Samsung or HTC, whose devices typically retail for around £600+. The OnePlus 3, which came equipped with a then brand new Snapdragon 820, launched at a mere £330.

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Source:: Ars Tecnica


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Samsung’s “Bixby” assistant still can’t grasp English, is delayed again

By Ron Amadeo

Enlarge / The hardware Bixby button. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

When Samsung announced its new flagship, the Galaxy S8, one of the headline features was Samsung’s new “Bixby” assistant. This voice assistant is supposed to be Samsung’s answer to Siri, the Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, but when it came time to actually launch the Galaxy S8 in the US, Bixby’s voice functionality was nowhere to be found. The Wall Street Journal broke the news that the English-language version of Bixby was delayed to the end of May, but now that May is over, the WSJ is back to say the voice assistant is again delayed in the US until “at least late June.

The report says an English-language version of Bixby is “weeks away from being finished” due to the assistant “struggling to comprehend English syntax and grammar.” Samsung’s first language of Korean has apparently been easier for Bixby to master, as the assistant launched in South Korea alongside the Galaxy S8.

Bixby isn’t just a mere software feature on the Galaxy S8. The device was designed with Bixby in mind, and it sports a side hardware button specifically for launching the assistant. Samsung has also hurt the Galaxy S8’s functionality as a form of protectionism for the unfinished Bixby—it blocked users from remapping the Bixby button and turning it into a general-purpose “convenience key,” and it crippled the competing Google Assistant so it can’t work when the Galaxy S8’s screen is off.

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Source:: Ars Technica Gadgets


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“Android Go” will strip Android down for ultra-low-budget phones

By Andrew Cunningham

Google

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Starting with Android 4.4, Google began to support a “low RAM” flag for devices with 512MB of memory. The low-RAM configuration changes how the OS and supported apps work with the goal of reducing resource usage. That initiative was called “Project Svelte,” and it was aimed at low-end phones for emerging markets. Today at Google I/O, the company announced a new initiative to continue and extend these efforts. “Android Go” will be a part of Android O, and it will also include optimized versions of apps and the Google Play Store to reduce resource and data usage.

Think of Android Go as a modified version of Android O. Controls to keep an eye on and control data usage have been added to the quick settings, while the existing Data Saver feature in Chrome will be enabled by default. Some apps have also been rethought for connections with low bandwidth or low data caps. YouTube Go, for instance, will let you see a preview of a video before you download the whole thing. It will also allow you to save videos for offline use and peer-to-peer sharing so you can save your friends and family some data, too.

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Source:: Ars Tecnica


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