Google Introduces VR System Daydream, VR-Capable Phones

During its I/O conference this week, Google announced it is releasing a new virtual reality system, dubbed Daydream, which includes a range of VR-capable Android smartphones, a headset design, a controller and applications, all of which will be released this fall. Daydream will be compatible with Google’s current and future Android mobile operating system, including the upcoming version, code-named Android N. Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi are among those already building Daydream-compatible phones. Continue reading Google Introduces VR System Daydream, VR-Capable Phones

Starry to Roll Out Fast, Affordable, Wireless Internet Service

Following the shutdown of Aereo, Chet Kanojia is back with a new venture that intends to revolutionize broadband delivery. New York- and Boston-based startup Starry is looking to introduce a test version of its super-fast, wireless Internet service this summer. With its planned July beta release, Starry will join companies such as AT&T, Ericsson, Facebook, Google, Huawei, Qualcomm and Verizon that are working on millimeter wave fixed wireless systems to approach gigabit-per-second service in homes and businesses. Continue reading Starry to Roll Out Fast, Affordable, Wireless Internet Service

As 5G Tests Begin, Providers Gear Up for Internet of Things

This summer, Verizon and AT&T will start testing 5G, the fifth-generation mobile network likely to speed up adoption of the Internet of Things, from autonomous vehicles to smart homes and more. Unleashing the Internet of Things — projected to double to 50 billion connected ‘things’ globally by 2020 and 500 billion by 2030 — will also enrich the companies that create these new IoT networks, potentially including Cisco Systems, Nokia, Oyj, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel. Bottom line: 5G is the most profound expansion of the Internet ever. Continue reading As 5G Tests Begin, Providers Gear Up for Internet of Things

AT&T, Verizon Lead Charge to Establish 5G Networks in U.S.

Even as standards bodies are at work to define the parameters of 5G, companies and countries are preparing to make the switch. 5G networks, which offer speeds at 10 to 100 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks, will first appear in home broadband, then data-only devices like tablets, and finally smartphones by 2019 or 2020. So far, Korea is at the forefront of the 5G transition, in order to be ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics. China and Europe, which took longer to adopt 4G, are also hoping to take a lead. Continue reading AT&T, Verizon Lead Charge to Establish 5G Networks in U.S.

Fossil’s New Smartwatches Mimic Design of Analog Watches

Some traditional watch companies are taking a different approach to the wearables market than the tech companies that have joined the competition in recent years. Instead of manufacturing smartwatches with all of the bells and whistles of today’s smartphones, traditional watchmakers like Fossil are making wearables that look more like traditional analog watches. These devices only have basic fitness tracking and notification features, but they may be the key to helping wearables go mainstream. Continue reading Fossil’s New Smartwatches Mimic Design of Analog Watches

Apple Claims Early Lead in the Emerging Smartwatch Market

The Apple Watch is leading the pack in smartwatch sales. Last year, it captured 52 percent of market share in the 8 months since its April debut. Android Wear, the smartwatch platform behind wearables from Huawei, Motorola, Fossil, Asus and Sony, followed with less than 10 percent of market share. Apple’s domination is making investors reluctant to believe that other companies like Fitbit can compete. While Juniper Research data places Apple on top, the market is still relatively new and a lot could change in the next couple of years. Continue reading Apple Claims Early Lead in the Emerging Smartwatch Market

Nokia Initiates Share-Exchange Offer in Alcatel-Lucent Merger

Initiating its planned merger with Alcatel-Lucent, first announced in April, Nokia began its share-exchange offer with that company’s shareholders in Paris and London. Nokia is paying €15.6 billion ($16.6 billion) for Alcatel-Lucent, with the idea that combining the two companies’ expertise in telecom and Internet gear will help it better compete in a global economy. Nokia not only faces competition from new players such as China’s Huawei Technologies but from Ericsson, which just struck an alliance with Cisco. Continue reading Nokia Initiates Share-Exchange Offer in Alcatel-Lucent Merger

New Ericsson, Cisco Alliance to Impact Internet of Things, 5G

Ericsson and Cisco Systems, leaders in mobile and Internet equipment respectively, are forming an alliance to beat back the competition, enjoy synergies in the mobile market and target the growing fields of Internet of Things and 5G. The alliance isn’t a merger, but in many ways acts like one: Ericsson and Cisco plan to integrate their existing equipment, combine some sales and consulting areas and perhaps develop new hardware and services. Competitors include Chinese company Huawei and Nokia, which just bought Alcatel-Lucent. Continue reading New Ericsson, Cisco Alliance to Impact Internet of Things, 5G

Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google unveiled two new Chromecast streaming devices yesterday, in addition to a new tablet and a pair of Nexus phones. Google has already sold more than 20 million Chromecasts, which now offers access to thousands of apps, including HBO Now and Netflix. The $35 Chromecast extends the mobile apps already on our phones to our TV, whereas a competitor such as the $149 Apple TV is more a device for storing apps to run on television. One of Google’s new silver dollar-sized Chromecasts is available to work with your TV, while Chromecast Audio plugs into speakers to play music sent from your phone. Continue reading Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

YouTube Readies New Ad-Free Service for Monthly Subscription

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly readying the launch of its much anticipated online subscription service. Sources indicate a launch is likely by the end of October. Two offerings are expected: an updated version of its Music Key service (previously launched in beta) and a new service that offers access to all YouTube content without ads. Earlier reports suggest the bundled offering would be available for $10 per month. While YouTube has hinted in the past about an upcoming subscription service, it has yet to unveil firm plans or a timeline. Continue reading YouTube Readies New Ad-Free Service for Monthly Subscription

Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

If rumors are true, on September 29, Google plans to release new Chromecast hardware and Spotify support as well as an updated app for the streaming device. The company will also introduce Chromecast Audio, a second Chromecast device — codenamed Hendrix — to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in the home. The new device is distinct from Google Cast for Audio, a platform for making speakers and other audio hardware Chromecast-compatible. The new Chromecast app offers “What’s On,” which allows users to browse content on Chromecast-supported apps. Continue reading Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

Nokia Sells Mapping Unit to German Carmakers for $3 Billion

Nokia has sold its Here digital mapping unit, a global competitor to Google Maps, to German automakers Audi, BMW Group and Daimler for $3 billion. Since the sale of its mobile phone unit to Microsoft for $7.6 billion last year, Nokia has been putting efforts into its telecom network infrastructure business, which supplies carriers like AT&T and China Mobile with communication equipment. The three German auto companies will use the mapping tech for autonomous driving plans, which they will license to other companies. Continue reading Nokia Sells Mapping Unit to German Carmakers for $3 Billion

Android Wear Watches Can Now Connect to Phones via Wi-Fi

Google has updated the Android Wear operating system to include wrist controls, Wi-Fi connectivity, and other functionality features. For the first time, smartwatch users won’t have to be tethered to their smartphone because the Wi-Fi connection will allow them to receive text messages and check email on their watches without needing their smartphones nearby. The first Android Wear smartwatches with this technology built-in are expected to begin shipping next month. Continue reading Android Wear Watches Can Now Connect to Phones via Wi-Fi

Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

According to recent figures released by Strategy Analytics, 2014 marked significant milestones for the mobile industry. Global annual shipments reached 1.28 billion devices from OEMs to retailers and carriers for sale, and Android-based smartphones captured 81 percent of the worldwide market, accounting for more than one billion handsets. Android has become the first platform to surpass the one billion mark for shipments. Apple captured 15 percent of the market last year, shipping 193 million units. Continue reading Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

Chinese Company Offers Unbreakable Sapphire-Screen Phone

Desay, a Chinese manufacturer that supplies companies like Ford and Apple, has released an “unbreakable” smartphone. The display is made with sapphire, the second hardest mineral after diamond. The 5-inch Magical Mirror X5 costs $160, which reportedly does not cover the production costs of the phone. Apple had previously planned to use sapphire screens in the iPhone 6, but the company they were working with failed to produce enough of the mineral. Continue reading Chinese Company Offers Unbreakable Sapphire-Screen Phone

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