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[August 17, 2014]
Android Circuit: Samsung Galaxy Alpha Challenges iPhone 6, Asus Challenges Android Wear, Xiamoi Challenges Everybody Else [FARS News Agency]
(FARS News Agency Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TEHRAN (FNA)- Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the very many things that have happened around Android over the last seven days. Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week's Android Circuit highlights a number of stories.
Stories including Samsung presenting their challenger to the iPhone 6, Motorola's potential champion waiting in the wings, IDC's market share numbers are good news for Android, HTC announcing their Creative Lab for creating software that will run on any Android device, Asus preparing to launch an Android Wear smartwatch, Facebook's Android permissions, and the success of Xiaomi's Mi3 handset in India Forbes reported. Samsung Pushes The Galaxy Alpha To The Front Lines Against Apple It's an easy decision on what to lead with this weekâ€¦ Samsung's announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. With a metal chassis, it brings a new material to the Galaxy range, although the handset continues to use a plastic back cover and Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 to cover the screen. Specification wise the Alpha is at the very top end, with the Exynos 5 Octa 5430 powering the handset, alongside 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB on on-board storage. It does feel like Samsung's counter to Apple's iPhone 6, launched just ahead of the competition so Samsung can say â€˜first' for many of the elements. Forbes' Gordon Kelly takes a look at the match up, but don't expect a declaration of a winner just yet. We need to see the iPhone 6 officially, and even then not everyone will tell you which phone to buy. Motorola Prepare Some New X-Phones, G-Phones, And Smartwatches Motorola has invited the world's tech press to Chicago for an event on September 4th. While the invites are coy about what will be on display, it is widely expected that the follow-up handset to the critically acclaimed Moto X will be announced. If you trust the rumors, the Moto X+1 will come with a quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and run Android 4.4.4. This is Motorola's handset that will compete with the iPhone 6, the Galaxy Alpha, and a few more similarly specced flagships from other manufacturers. It would not surprise me to see the Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch given a release date at the event, and the debut of a mid-tier smartphone to follow up on the successful Moto G handset from last year. Â Android Wear Is Good For Something, And Asus Is Joining The Party Speaking of smartwatches and Android Wear, two items to highlight in the ongoing discussions. The first is a combative piece from Brooks Barnard on AndroidAndMe talking about Android Wear and what it is good for. After a year with a Pebble, and a month with the LG G Android Wear device, Barnard sets out the reasons why you should get a smartwatch in the future. Secondly, Asus's CEO Jerry Shen has been speaking at an investor's conference and informed them that Asus is woking on an Android Wear device. It should be cheaper than the current watches on the market. That means we're looking at a sub $200 smartwatch, and a potential announcement at the Berlin IFA event in the first week of September. Where's The Retail Competition For Android? IDC's quarterly look at smartphone market share is good reading for Android fans. With 84.7% of the share from Q2 2014, Android is clearly the dominant partner in terms of volume (if you start looking at profits, usage, and other indicators, the story becomes less clear). With Apple's iOS on 11.7%, Android has just one (minor) competitor for volume. Microsoft (2.5%), BlackBerry (0.5%), and others (0.6%), are a long way back and it would be fair to say that Google's operating system has easily seen of Windows Phone and the other challengers. It's a two-horse race and if we're honest, the two horses are looking for different results â€“ Android for the maximum market share and Apple for the mid and high-end share of sales. Meanwhile Google's own data shows the latest version of Android (4.4) is now present on 20.9% of Android devices, although Android 4.x Jelly Bean remains the most popular, with 54.2% of the market. HTC Ready To Release Software For Other Android Devices Look deeper into the IDC figures, and it's clear that some manufacturers are struggling. HTC had early success with Android, but has struggled to maintain sales and critical acclaim until recently. It's interesting that the software differentiation that HTC has will now be available to other platforms, as the company announces the HTC Create Lab (reports Ina Fried for Re/Code). The first product that will be available to install across the full range of Android devices will be â€˜Zoe', a video editing and compilation-making tool for people to share videos and media from their handset to the rest of the world. Expect Zoe to be available in the near future, and we'll cover it here on the Android Circuit. Â Facebook Finally Asks For Permission The issue of app permissions in Android has decided to pop up again, mostly around the perceived land-grab of permissions that Facebook's new messenger app ask for when it is installed. This is partly down to the nature of Android, which ask for permission for every feature in advance (unlike iOS which will ask only when permission is required thanks to a user interaction). Facebook has moved to address these concerns through their support pages, talking about how Android irks, what they ask for, and why they ask for it. Â Â Â Almost all apps need certain permissions to run on Android, and we use these permissions to run features in the app. Keep in mind that Android controls the way the permissions are named, and the way they're named doesn't necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them. First We'll Take China, Then We'll Take Indiaâ€¦ Finally, Rahul Srinivas takes a look at Xiaomi's successful launch of the Mi3 in India. While many manufactures have had China pencilled in as the next growth market, the Chinese manufacturers have a solid grip on their home market. India was next on the list, but Xiaomi has created a huge buzz in the country already: Â Â Â "On the first day of the sale three weeks ago, Flipkart, the exclusive online retailer selling the Xiaomi MI3 crashed. The first sale lasted a tad under 40 minutes. The second? Two seconds â€“ the recent third and fourth sales ended in less than three seconds. And why not? For a very affordable price of Rs.13,999 ($230) people were being sold a phone with specifications that could only be seen on a device that would cost at least Rs.10,000 ($164) more." At some point Xiaomi is going to look towards the western markets. We hope everyone, from manufacturers and networks, to consumers and critics, are ready. Â Â Â Â (c) 2014 Fars News Agency. All rights reserved Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
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