Daily Archives: December 1, 2014

Top Android News Of The Week: Galaxy S5 No Sale, Themes, Nexus 9 Keyboard

Summary: Android news this week: Samsung isn’t moving enough Galaxy S5 phones, a new theme store for modders, and the keyboard folio for the Nexus 9 appears.

The Korean company must be scrambling to figure out why it has sold 40 percent fewer Galaxy S5 smartphones than expected. The S5 is a high-end phone in Samsung’s Android phone line, and given the splash made at launch the company was expecting to sell a lot of them.

Samsung has not been doing as well financially as in the past and this may be one reason why.

Source: The Verge

Android device owners who like to bypass official releases are very familiar with CyanogenMod. This custom ROM modification has become the de facto standard for such modifications. While not sanctioned by Google, the company tends to look the other way when it comes to CyanogenMod.

This week the modders teased a new store it’s building to make custom themes more readily available for its version of Android. This is intended to go hand-in-hand with a theme engine coming for CyanogenMod that will allow every aspect of the interface to be customized.

Source: Android and Me

When Google announced the Nexus 9 tablet it showed a portfolio for it that had a physical keyboard. This folio appeared to be similar to many available for the iPad. When the Nexus 9 started shipping, buyers were not able to pick up the folio as it wasn’t available for purchase.

That has changed with the appearance on the Play Store of the Google Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio case. The black case is $129 and is shipping in one to two days of placing an order.

Source: Android Community

Microsoft recently added support for Dropbox in its apps and the cloud service has reciprocated with the addition of Office support within the Android and iOS Dropbox apps. Users can open and edit Office documents within the Dropbox apps.

Tapping the Edit button in Dropbox will open the appropriate Office app for working with the selected document. When done with editing the user is dropped back into the Dropbox app.

Source: WinSuperSite

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Smartphones, Tablets

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long.

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Android Phones Finally Get Skype Picture-In-Picture Feature

WASHINGTON: A new update to the Skype app will now allow Android users to do away with the video chat window and move on to something more intriguing.

The picture-in-picture feature was already available on Android tablets but was long overdue on phones. Microsoft is now introducing the feature on Android via the latest update to its Skype app, reported PC World.

The update will also enable users to format text in instant messages and receive photos sent from iPhone Skype users. It also includes the obligatory bug fixes that typically come with a version upgrade.


New circuit could double speed of smartphones

Washington: Your smartphone and other compact wireless devices could soon receive data twice as faster, thanks to a tiny new inexpensive circuit developed by researchers.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin created the radically smaller, more efficient radio wave circulator that could be used in cellphones and other wireless devices.

The circulator has the potential to double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications by enabling full-duplex functionality, meaning devices can transmit and receive signals on the same frequency band at the same time.

The key innovation is the creation of a magnetic-free radio wave circulator.

Since the advent of wireless technology 60 years ago, magnetic-based circulators have been in principle able to provide two-way communications on the same frequency channel, but they are not widely adopted because of the large size, weight and cost associated with using magnets and magnetic materials.

Freed from a reliance on magnetic effects, the new circulator has a much smaller footprint while also using less expensive and more common materials.

These cost and size efficiencies could lead to the integration of circulators within cellphones and other microelectronic systems, resulting in substantially faster downloads, fewer dropped calls and significantly clearer communications.

The team of researchers, led by Associate Professor Andrea Alu, has developed a prototype circulator that is 2 centimetres in size – more than 75 times smaller than the wavelength of operation.

The circulator may be further scaled down to as small as a few microns, according to the researchers. The design is based on materials widely used in integrated circuits such as gold, copper and silicon, making it easier to integrate in the circuit boards of modern communication devices.

“We are changing the paradigm with which isolation and two-way transmission on the same frequency channel can be achieved. We have built a circulator that does not need magnets or magnetic materials,” Alu said.

The device works by mimicking the way magnetic materials break the symmetry in wave transmission between two points in space, a critical function that allows magnetic circulators to selectively route radio waves.

With the new circulator, the researchers accomplish the same effect, but they replaced the magnetic bias with a travelling wave spinning around the device.

Another unique feature is that the new circulator can be tuned in real time over a broad range of frequencies, a major advantage over conventional circulators.

The research was published in the journal Nature Physics.


Posted by Rohan Kar for Android

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