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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's new Spartan browser will support extensions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 22:54

Microsoft's new Spartan browser will support extensions Last week, Microsoft announced its Internet Explorer successor, codenamed Project Spartan, a browser experience focused on the "modern web."

Spartan will include a new rendering engine for better performance, will allow you to use your finger (for touch displays) to annotate webpages (or a keyboard and mouse), will include a reading list to save content and sync to other devices, has a reading mode that clears away ads and other noise for easier reading, and will also have the voice activated personal assistant Cortana tech built right in.

In addition, it appears that Spartan will finally bring extension support. Spartan will launch with Windows 10 across PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft also appears to be testing ways for Chrome extension developers to port their popular extensions over to Spartan.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube puts the final nail in the coffin for Flash, as videos now default to HTML5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 21:57

YouTube puts the final nail in the coffin for Flash, as videos now default to HTML5 In 2011, YouTube began supporting the HTML5

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AfterDawn: News

Sony to cut 1000 more jobs from struggling smartphone division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 21:36

Sony to cut 1000 more jobs from struggling smartphone division According to new reports, Sony is planning to layoff another 1000 employees from its struggling smartphone division.

Most of the jobs are in Europe and China and would be in addition to the 1000 already announced last year.

Employment at Sony's mobile division will drop by 30 percent, to around 5000 by the end of the fiscal year that ends March 2016.

Sony's smartphone struggles have been well televised as the company tries to find ways to sell its Xperia devices to the masses, with little success.

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AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm confirms it lost a major customer for the Snapdragon 810 chip and is forced to cut earnings outlook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 21:12

Qualcomm confirms it lost a major customer for the Snapdragon 810 chip and is forced to cut earnings outlook Qualcomm confirmed today that they lost a major customer for their flagship Snapdragon 810 chip, causing the company to revise its earnings outlook down.

Without actually saying it, the company seems to have suggested that Samsung was the major customer that moved away from the 810, which is in line with reports we have been hearing over the past week that Samsung was having overheating issues when using the chip in its upcoming Galaxy S6.

The Snapdragon 810 is still slated to be featured in about 60 devices this year, and that the chip does not have heating issues. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said the problems were limited to one customer and that "we just wish it had won one more design."

Unlike nearly all Qualcomm processors, the 810 used a licensed core rather than a Qualcomm customized one, in an attempt to get a 64-bit processor mass-produced quicker. The CEO promised the next premium chip will be 64-bit and use a Qualcomm-customized core.

Citing the Samsung fiasco, the company reduced their yearly outlook for profits and revenue, causing the stock to drop 8 percent, to yearly lows.

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AfterDawn: News

Evleaks leaks alleged HTC One M9 renders

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 20:46

Evleaks leaks alleged HTC One M9 renders Ahead of the company's March unveiling date for the device, Evan Blass aka @EVleaks has posted two renders of the upcoming HTC One M9, the successor to the popular M8 device released last year.

If the renders prove accurate, there will be two models of the M9, with one destined to be a phablet with a different look.

Although it is hard to tell from the pic, the designs do look sleek, and seem to be a step away from the design of the M8, which is a relief as there had been plenty of rumors that seemed to suggest HTC was just upgrading the inside and not the outside.

The phablet model also has a large home button, which is rumored to be housing a fingerprint scanner otherwise it makes no sense for the device to have a non-virtual button.

We will know more in March, but for now take a look at Evleak's post, which shows his history of leaking important HTC devices:

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AfterDawn: News

Apple shipped their 1 billionth iOS device last year, and they decided to keep it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 19:30

Apple shipped their 1 billionth iOS device last year, and they decided to keep it Apple has announced a major milestone for the iOS operating system: 1 billion devices shipped.

CEO Tim Cook says the company reached the milestone on November 22nd: "It was truly a momentous quarter for iOS. On November 22, we shipped our 1 billionth iOS device. It was a space-gray 64-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus, which we've saved here at Apple. One billion devices is an almost unfathomable milestone and we are all incredibly proud to be a part of it."

The executive added that the company sold about 34,000 iPhones "every hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the quarter" totaling a record 74.5 million when all was said and done. iOS is the operating system of choice for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Google's Android operating system reached the same milestone last year, as well.

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AfterDawn: News

Tim Cook confirms: Apple Watch shipping in April

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 19:14

Tim Cook confirms: Apple Watch shipping in April Apple CEO Tim Cook put all the rumors to rest today and announced that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in April.

Cook says development for the watch is "on track" but did not give a specific release date.

Despite an unveiling event in which the company showed off what the device looks like and does, there are still quite a few important details that consumers are in the dark about. Apple says the device starts at $349 for the base model, but we do not know what the more expensive variations will cost. It is also unclear how Apple will sell the device given the fact that there will be plenty of customization options for each of the models. Obviously, the watch will sell online with easy customization but how will that work in stores? Finally, there have been reports recently of disappointing battery life for the watch, which will not likely make it even a full 20 hours before needing a charge, even with little use.

Apple analyst Ming Kuo wrote today in a client note that the company is also seeing supply issues and will not have more than 3 million units available at launch.

It seems that Apple Watch fans will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the device, or even know how much it is going to cost.




AfterDawn: News

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones last quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 19:02

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones last quarter Apple sold a record amount of iPhones over the holiday quarter, easily beating out analyst expectations and crushing their previous sales records.

The company sold 74.5 million of the devices, up 45 percent year-over-year, and up large from the previous quarter. Perhaps even more importantly for Apple, the iPhone average selling price increased to $687, from under $670 previously. This means consumers were buying more expensive devices, like the iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple set their record quarter thanks to finally offering an iPhone with a reasonably large screen. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch display, both far and away the largest offered by the company. Millions of Apple fans waited patiently with their iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 to upgrade, and that time was now.

After such a huge quarter, isn't it prudent to think that Apple will sell less devices in the future? Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't think so. The executive says that only 12 percent of Apple's current installed base has upgraded to a new iPhone and that the iPhone 6 had the largest amount of "Android Switchers" since the iPhone 4S, which shows that Google's OS' dominance may be slightly waning. Finally, Cook says the iPhone 6 had millions of sales from consumers buying their first iPhone, or even their first smartphone. For awhile, especially abroad, there will be plenty more of those.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple just had one of the best quarters in corporate history

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 18:47

Apple just had one of the best quarters in corporate history Apple just had its best quarter of all-time, selling an incredible amount of iPhones and bringing in the highest quarterly profit in the history of the world.

For the quarter, the company had revenue of $74.6 billion, up 30 percent year-over-year and a net profit of $18 billion, up 37 percent year-over-year.

The company now has $178 billion in cash, meaning they can buy nearly any tech company in the world with the exception of Facebook, Alibaba, Google and Microsoft.

Gross margins came in at 39.9 percent compared to the 38.5 percent expected, thanks to stronger sales of higher margin items. Across the board, Apple revealed higher sales than expected with the exception of the iPad, which continues to be in "limbo" for the company.

We will break down some of the more important sales figures in upcoming articles.




AfterDawn: News

LG plans to sue Qualcomm over reported custom Snapdragon processor made for Samsung

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 18:17

LG plans to sue Qualcomm over reported custom Snapdragon processor made for Samsung Earlier this week we reported that Samsung was not happy with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 810 chip which was supposedly overheating.

There were then reports that Qualcomm, to appease a massive customer, would be creating a custom 810 chip for Samsung to make sure they could use it for the upcoming Galaxy S6.

LG, who is using a standard Snapdragon 810 chip for their upcoming devices, is not a fan of this move, and may be seeking legal action against Qualcomm if they do in fact create a custom chip. The anger is not misplaced. Qualcomm has publicly stated that the chip does not overheat, and LG agreed. By creating a custom version, Qualcomm would be admitting to the issue and that could take sales away from LG if consumers are scared their phone may overheat.

So far, LG has announced the chipset for its G Flex 2 curved device which will be officially unveiled at next month's Mobile World Congress event, giving very little time for a full redesign.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft reports record Lumia and Surface sales, strong Xbox sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 18:05

Microsoft reports record Lumia and Surface sales, strong Xbox sales Despite a generally disappointing earnings report, there were a few bright spots for Microsoft, who announced some record earnings in a few categories.

In the hardware categories that Microsoft has been focusing on, there were some hits.

The company sold 10.5 million Lumia phones, with revenues of $2.3 billion. Last quarter those figures were 9.3 million and $2.6 billion, showing that the average price for Lumia devices went way down. The company sold $1.1 billion worth of Surface tablets, higher than the $908 million in revenue it brought in for the devices last quarter.

Regardless, the actual amount of phones and tablets sold hit record highs for the quarter, which must make Microsoft happy even if they are not making any money.

Microsoft also sold 6.6. million Xbox consoles, although the company did not break down how many were Xbox 360 and how many were Xbox One. This was a drop year-over-year from 7.4 million but that quarter had the launch of the Xbox One, so the drop makes some sense. Over the holidays, Microsoft slashed the price of the Xbox One, which led to a boost in sales and likely the strongest quarter yet for the next-gen console.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's stock craters following earnings report

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 17:49

Microsoft's stock craters following earnings report Yesterday, Microsoft announced their quarterly earnings and the company's stock was destroyed today following the not-so-hot results.

The company had revenues of $26.47 billion for their fiscal 2015 Q2, and profits were $0.71 cents per share ($5.86 billion). Both of the headline numbers were in-line with what was expected, but profits were down nearly 9 percent year-over-year.

Despite the seemingly strong numbers, the company's stock fell nearly 10 percent as investors were scared by some of the other data. Commercial licensing of Windows and Office to business customers saw a hiccup overseas due to the conditions in China and Japan and a strong U.S. dollar (nearing 10 year highs) has reduced profits from overseas.

Additionally, now that Windows XP is officially dead, the upgrade cycle for newer Windows is seemingly over, as well and other sales fell across the board for Microsoft. Windows Pro edition revenue fell 13 percent as did non-Pro revenue. Windows volume licensing revenue only grew 3%.




AfterDawn: News

Here is the iPhone 6 clone that runs Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 12:20

Here is the iPhone 6 clone that runs Android Chinese OEM Dakele has unveiled their latest smartphone, the Dakele 3, a clone of the iPhone 6 that runs Android.

From a design standpoint, the devices are identical. The Dakele 3 has grey aluminum curved edges and a black face. The home button is circular just like the iPhone (although it is notably missing Touch ID). The back is identical, as well, minus the slight bump for the camera.

Under the hood, the device's specs are solid, as well. The Dakele 3 has a 5-inch display with 1080p resolution, 3GB RAM, a 64-bit Mt6752 octa-core processor clocked at 1.7Ghz, Mali-T760 GPU, and 16GB internal storage. Even the cameras are solid, with a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP camera up front for FaceTime, err, video chatting.

Most importantly, the device is priced at just 1500 yuan ($250 USD), a third of the price of an unlocked iPhone 6.

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AfterDawn: News

Google expanding Google Fiber to four new cities

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 11:49

Google expanding Google Fiber to four new cities Although still unconfirmed, it appears that Google is expanding its gigabit Internet Fiber service to four new cities, including its biggest metro yet.

According to multiple reports, Fiber is headed to Nashville, Tenn.; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta would be far and away the largest metro city to receive the fast Internet service which is over 15 times faster than most ISP's "high-speed" options.

Google had placed the four cities on their "Future of Fiber" list, but there is never a time frame for Fiber.

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AfterDawn: News

Twitter unveils group direct messages and new mobile video features

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 11:34

Twitter unveils group direct messages and new mobile video features Twitter has unveiled a few features that it previously announced in September, including group direct messages.

Explains Twitter: "The group function lets you start conversations with any of your followers and they don't all need to follow one another in order to chat. You can create a group in just a few taps. When you're added to a group, you'll get a notification. If you're brand new to Direct Messages, here's a good resource to learn more."

The experience will mirror what most mobile users are already doing via other apps, such as WhatsApp, GroupMe or good old texting.

In addition, Twitter will now allow you to capture and edit videos right from within the app.

Says the microblogging giant: "Tweets have been more than 140 characters for some time. The Twitter you experience today is rich and immersive, full of images, gifs, Vines, audio files and videos from some of the world's most recognizable figures and brands. And starting today, everyone will soon be able to seamlessly capture, edit and share videos right from the Twitter app, too.

We designed our camera to be simple to use so you can capture and share life's most interesting moments as they happen. In just a few taps you can add a video to unfolding conversations, share your perspective of a live event, and show your everyday moments instantly, without ever having to leave the app. Viewing and playing videos is just as simple: videos are previewed with a thumbnail and you can play them with just one tap."

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