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Microsoft’s smartwatch design might have just been revealed

%name Microsoft’s smartwatch design might have just been revealed by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Microsoft may be working on a smartwatch or smart band of its own, a new design patent titled “Electronic Band” and awarded on March 25, 2014, seems to indicate. Of course, the company has yet to make any announcements so obviously nothing is set in stone. WPCentral reports that Microsoft has been granted at least two patents describing wearable devices, including the “Electronic Band” one, which offers a few drawings that depict the potential Microsoft smartwatch or smart band’s design.

Interestingly, Xbox designer Carl Ledbetter is listed as one of the inventors of this patent. However, no other details are offered about the product aside from the various images provided by the company.

Microsoft’s interest in the wearable ecosystem can only be seen as normal, considering that its main rivals including Apple and Google are also interested in such products.

Apple is rumored to launch an advanced iWatch model later this year, which will include a variety of sensor for health and fitness purposes, while Google has already launched its Android Wear platform for smartwatches, which will power at least two such devices this year, including the LG G Watch and the Motorola Moto 360.

More images from Microsoft’s Electronic Band design patent follow below.

%name Microsoft’s smartwatch design might have just been revealed by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley%name Microsoft’s smartwatch design might have just been revealed by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

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Category: Wearables, microsoft

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Despite countless lawsuits, Apple depends on Samsung more than ever

%name Despite countless lawsuits, Apple depends on Samsung more than ever by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Apple and Samsung clearly don’t like one another all that much, but outside the courtroom their relationship isn’t personal — it’s just business. CNET directs our attention to a new report from market researcher DisplaySearch claiming that Samsung has reclaimed its spot as the top display supplier for the iPad despite the fact that Apple made a concerted effort to lessen its dependence on the Korean smartphone titan last year. According to DisplaySearch, Samsung shipped approximately 63% of all 9.7-inch iPad panels in the first quarter this year, which made it by far the No. 1 iPad display supplier.

The reasons that Apple has come back to Samsung aren’t hard to figure out: Devices such as the iPad mini faced shortages at launch because some of the newer component suppliers Apple had hired weren’t up to the job. No matter what Apple thinks of Samsung, it knows the company has tremendous manufacturing capabilities to produce components at a massive scale.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: Business, Apple, Samsung

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Apple’s iPhone 6 will finally give everyone what they want

%name Apple’s iPhone 6 will finally give everyone what they want by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone phablet are shaping up to be the most important devices Apple has launched since the first iPad debuted in 2010. For years, Apple has known that consumers wanted smartphones with significantly larger displays, but the practically useless bump from 3.5 inches to 4 inches on the iPhone 5 was all it was willing to offer. Until now, it would seem.

Numerous reports have suggested that the iPhone 6 will feature a larger 4.7-inch display that might finally bring a more useful screen size increase to Apple’s flagship smartphone. On top of that, Apple is widely expected to launch a second new iPhone in 2014 with an even bigger screen.

Between those two devices and the iPhone 5s and 5c combo, which will reportedly occupy the lower-end price points in Apple’s iPhone lineup, Apple may finally be giving everyone what they want in terms of iPhone sizes.

But it’s not just consumers who will seemingly be sated by Apple’s iPhone lineup in 2014.

According to a note sent to clients on Monday by well-respected Apple analyst Katy Huberty at Morgan Stanley, sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 will likely jump 20% compared to sales of the iPhone 5s when it launched in 2013. As AppleInsider noted, that would mark huge growth compared to iPhone sales last year in the iPhone 5s’s launch quarter, which were up just 6.7% on-year.

Huge fiscal first-quarter iPhone sales growth combined with the surprisingly solid iPhone sales growth Apple saw last quarter could give investors exactly what they have been looking for as well: signs that Apple’s iPhone sales can buck the trend of slowing growth we’re seeing elsewhere in the smartphone market.

The latest example of significantly slowing high-end smartphone sales growth came from Samsung, which apparently took about the same amount of time to ship 10 million Galaxy S5 handsets as it took to ship 10 million Galaxy S4 units last year.

If Apple can somehow manage to give consumers what they want with bigger iPhones and give investors what they want with stronger than expected sales growth, 2014 could end up being a huge year for Apple, its fans and its investors.

Want to know what Apple’s next iPhone will look like compared to the current model? Check out iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5s: New leak gives us a better look at huge redesign.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: Business, Apple, iPhone 6

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Here’s when you’ll finally be able to use Cortana on your Windows Phone

%name Here’s when you’ll finally be able to use Cortana on your Windows Phone by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Microsoft has finally announced when Windows Phone 8.1 will be available to Windows Phone users. The major operating system update will bring, among other things, the Cortana voice-based, Bing-powered virtual assistant. On its support pages, Microsoft lists June 24 as the release date for the Windows Phone 8.1 update, revealing that it will be supported for three years, until July 11, 2017.

“Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System, including security updates, for a minimum of 36 months after the lifecycle start date,” Microsoft noted. “These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. Customers need to install each update in order to remain supported. The distribution of these incremental updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone, and installation will require that your phone have any prior updates. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.”

Windows Phone 8.1 was officially announced in early April at Microsoft’s Build conference, alongside new Nokia Lumia handsets that will launch with Windows Phone 8.1 on board. These videos highlight all the new features in Windows Phone 8.1, including the Cortana virtual assistant.

A screenshot from Microsoft’s support pages, showing the Windows Phone 8.1 update release date mention follows below.

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Category: mobile, Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1

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This is either the smartest or stupidest theory yet on Apple’s Beats buy

%name This is either the smartest or stupidest theory yet on Apple’s Beats buy by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

As analysts, pundits, bloggers, journalists and just about everyone else on the planet continues to struggle to make sense of Apple’s rumored Beats acquisition, there’s really only one piece that has been published on the matter that you should bother reading. If you absolutely have to read more than one note, however, a good second option is probably a recent note from ABI Research — which is likely either the most brilliant or stupidest thing that has been written about the deal to date.

For those who might somehow still be unaware, Apple is reportedly planning to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. The deal will be Apple’s largest ever acquisition, and it will also be the first non-Apple brand that the company will manage.

Recurring theories from people trying to make sense of the deal typically involve expanding Apple’s hardware business and/or adding a sold streaming music service to its portfolio. But in a recent brief note from ABI Research, analyst Sam Rosen says that Apple’s motives for the deal can be summed up in two words: “Celebrity endorsement.”

“Headphone companies are ahead of other electronics manufacturers in moving to celebrity based branding,” Rosen wrote in a recent note. “Looking beyond Beats, Monster Products features a variety of brands including UFC, Rapper Meek Mill’s 24K lifestyle, S.K.A.M DJ line and others. Dr. Dre turned around the Beats brand with the right celebrity endorsements, and has built a company that has the connections and DNA to create branded products and gaining the celebrity endorsements to stand above the brand clutter.”

He continued, “Apple stands to benefit from celebrity endorsements more than it does from a subscription music service or a headphone line, however popular or profitable they may be. Beats brings not only a specific set of endorsements, but also the organizational and cultural know how around endorsements. Anything that helps Apple to better market its products – and improve gross margins – may be worth a premium.”

It’s an interesting perspective that either hits the nail on the head and finds Apple’s real motive for the deal where most people missed it, or is absolutely ridiculous.

Apple constantly pays for great product placements in TV shows and movies, and there are plenty of celebrities who have appeared in Apple commercials or endorsed various Apple devices. In fact, some might argue that getting a celebrity to endorse your product is about as difficult as writing a check.

Beats has been particularly smart with its celebrity endorsements, however, and its marketing strategy has been largely responsible for creating the No. 1 headphone brand in the world. It’s certainly possible that Apple sees Beats as an avenue into new markets in addition to being a company that brings with it a nice sized hardware business and a good streaming music service.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: Business, Apple, beats

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iPhone 6′s final design may have been revealed in new 3D schematics

%name iPhone 6′s final design may have been revealed in new 3D schematics by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

On top of all the photos of iPhone 6 dummy units floating around, 3D schematics purportedly showing the final design of the phone have also hit the web, with a new series of images having apparently been leaked from Foxconn. Published on Chinese site Wei Feng, the iPhone 6 renders include all the design elements spotted in dummy units so far – including round corners, slimmer profile, iPod touch-like volume buttons, relocated power button and antenna cut outs on the rear of the handset, which will effectively divide the aluminum back panel into three components – but also dimensions for the handset.

According to the renders, the 4.7-inch iPhone will measure 138 x 67 mm, which is consistent with previously leaked schematics, and also with recent measurements of a mockup that leaked and compared the size of the new iPhone 6 with the iPhone 5s.

Apple is largely expected to launch at least two new iPhone 6 models this year, including a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch version. A recent report claimed that Apple will release the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in August, followed by the 5.5-inch model a month or two later.

The leaked iPhone 6 3D schematics follow below.

%name iPhone 6′s final design may have been revealed in new 3D schematics by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley%name iPhone 6′s final design may have been revealed in new 3D schematics by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley%name iPhone 6′s final design may have been revealed in new 3D schematics by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley%name iPhone 6′s final design may have been revealed in new 3D schematics by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

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Category: mobile, Apple, iPhone 6

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Unannounced Galaxy S5 Prime appears once again in new leak

%name Unannounced Galaxy S5 Prime appears once again in new leak by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

As speculation surrounding the specifications of upcoming smartphones heats up, Samsung is trying to find ways to keep up the pace with its patented multiple releases throughout the year. Although there hasn’t been any word from Samsung quite yet, it seems to be only a matter of time until the smartphone maker announces the upgraded Galaxy S5 Prime. The latest indication of the higher-specced device comes from Olleh TV, a South Korean TV service which lists the Galaxy S5 Prime as one of the devices compatible with its mobile app.

Any mention of the S5 Prime has since been removed, but a screenshot of the listing seems to reveal the device’s code name: SM-G906. The rumored S5 Prime is purported to feature a QHD (2560 x 1440) display and a metallic body, but the image used on the Olleh TV website is the same image of the phone with a Spigen cover that appeared in the initial leak three months ago.

That leak also noted that the S5 Prime would feature a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, a 16-megapixel camera, 3GB of RAM, a 3,000 mAh battery, support for 4G LTE data speeds of up to 150Mbps, and Android 4.4 KitKat.

The Galaxy S5 Prime does not have a release date, but industry sources have indicated that the phone could launch as early as June.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: mobile, Galaxy S5 Prime, Samsung

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FINALLY! Here comes the Galaxy S5 update you’ve been waiting for

%name FINALLY! Here comes the Galaxy S5 update youve been waiting for by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

We have spent a fair amount of time with Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone so far, and in all that time we have not had a single problem with the phone’s fingerprint scanner. Each and every time we swipe in an attempt to unlock the handset, our print is read perfectly. A quick Google search reveals that other users have not always had the same experience with Samsung’s print reader, however — many people have been left frustrated as the Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner repeatedly fails to read their prints.

For those people, Samsung just started rolling out a big software update that might be exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

Samsung fan blog SamMobile reports that Samsung has begun rolling out a software update for Galaxy S5 handsets. According to the site, the update is currently rolling out to UK model Galaxy S5 handsets, and it features two big improvements that users should be excited about.

First, the camera and gallery apps have been improved and are much faster to open. Also, and far more importantly, fingerprint reading accuracy has reportedly been improved.

While this big update has already begun rolling out abroad, Galaxy S5 owners in the United States shouldn’t get too excited just yet. As is always the case, updates for U.S. handsets must first go through extensive carrier testing before they are released, so it could be some time before Samsung’s new software hits your handset.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: mobile, Galaxy S5, Samsung

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Leaked screenshots show Google is toying with a radical Gmail redesign

%name Leaked screenshots show Google is toying with a radical Gmail redesign by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Does Gmail need a radical design overhaul? Some at Google seem to think it does if leaked screenshots showing a major Gmail redesign are any indication. Geek.com has posted some new screenshots of an experimental new Gmail build that represents “an entirely different user interface, one that is clearly designed to function across a variety of screen sizes without losing functionality.” In other words, it looks like Google is trying to do something with Gmail similar to what Microsoft tried to do with Windows 8 — give it one consistent look across multiple different form factors.

As you can see in the picture posted below, the Gmail redesign takes away a lot of the clutter that we now see in Gmail inboxes and replaces it with a cleaner look that lets you organize your email by several different category icons, including emails related to finance, travel, updates, promotions and social media. It also seems to remove the Gmail chat option as a default display setting and thus open up more space along the side bar. It also looks like Google has decided to remove the tabs at the top of your inbox that divided your emails into primary, promos and social sections.

Geek.com says that there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see any of these features make it onto Gmail but it looks like Google is pretty far along in redesigning its hugely popular email service because Geek.com also says that “with any luck most of these features will make the cut and we’ll see an all new Gmail any day now.”

To check out more leaked screenshots of the new Gmail, check out Geek.com’s gallery in the source link below.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: Internet, gmail, google

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The only thoughts on Apple’s Beats acquisition that you need to read

%name The only thoughts on Apple’s Beats acquisition that you need to read by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Apple is widely expected to announce its largest acquisition in the history of the company latest this week. The target of that acquisition, Beats Electronics, has baffled industry watchers since being revealed in a series of reports last week. Beats has a successful hardware business and an emerging streaming music product, but the brand and its products really don’t seem like a good fit for Apple to most people. In fact, Apple doesn’t manage any other brands, so the entire deal seems rather curious.

Analysts and pundits continue to toss around various ideas surrounding the deal. Some are interesting, some are incredibly stupid, and some seem to just be wild shots in the dark offered up in an effort to get some face time with the press. One well-respected music industry analyst has offered his thoughts on the deal though, and they’re likely the only thoughts so far that are actually worth reading.

We have covered various notes from Bob Lefsetz several times before here on BGR, and he’s now getting some play on other tech blogs because this past April, he published an April Fools newsletter jokingly stating that Apple had acquired Beats Electronics.

As it turned out, of course, his April Fools joke wasn’t a joke at all.

As talking heads continue to offer various odd analyses of Apple’s Beats acquisition, Lefsefts on Monday published a new newsletter offering 30 thoughts on the deal. Topics covered in the note range from the inability of Wall Street and the press to make any sense of the acquisition, to the future of Beats, to the amount Apple is reportedly paying, to Apple’s likely logic behind making the deal.

Lefsetz’s note is a good read and it can be found on his Lefsetz Letter website, which is linked below in our source section.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report

Category: Business, Apple, beats