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European Parliament votes in favor of Google break-up

Posted by wicked November - 27 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Europe flag

A rumor regarding the proposed breakup of Google Inc. by the EU Parliament appeared at the end of last week and seems to have been right on the money. Today, the EU Parliament took a vote Strasbourg, where 384 legislators voted in favor of the controversial initiative, with 174 against and 56 abstentions, despite last-minute objections from the US Congress.

There are two important points to note about this vote however. Firstly, the EU Parliament vote does not do anything to put such a motion into effect. This power remains firmly in the hands of the European Commission, which is the executive body responsible for proposing legislation. Although the vote has no practical effect yet, it is likely to apply additional pressure on the Commission to take a tougher stance against Google.

Secondly, the vote did not specifically mention Google by name and technically could apply to any search engine. Although, as Google has over a 90 percent market share in Europe, any legislation would pretty much be targeted exclusively at the search giant. Here’s the gist of what the vote was all about:

According to the EU Parliament, “the online search market is of particular importance in ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market” and there is a “need to prevent online companies from abusing dominant positions”.

Therefore, the European Commission should act “to prevent any abuse in the marketing of interlinked services by operators of search engines” and the Parliament recommends “unbundling search engines from other commercial services.”

Many European politicians believe that Google’s dominant market position is a threat to the continent’s digital economy. The argument is that that information and online products cannot be fairly accessed without influence from the US tech giant.

“Many suppliers and providers don’t really have genuine access to consumers because there is market dominance by certain search engines.” Evelyne Gebhardt, Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

However, this sentiment is not shared by all politicians, some from within the EU have warned about increasingly protectionist policies being put through the parliament. Several US senators and congressmen also attempted to intervene by sending out letters which expressed their “great concern” about the proposal.

“We shouldn’t look for a scapegoat to explain our weaknesses,” Michal Boni, EPP lawmaker from Poland

Alongside the search engine vote, the same text also covered the hot topic of net neutrality and another call to remove remaining carrier roaming charges applied throughout the EU.

The EU’s recent digital legislation, including the controversial “right to be forgotten”, is already having an impact on Google’s services, but the pressure towards a breakup is likely to spell new trouble for the search giant in Europe.

Nexus 6 set to cost €649 when it goes on sale in Europe next week

Posted by wicked November - 11 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Nexus 6 press

According to a report published earlier today by Techtastic.nl, the 32GB variant of Google’s latest flagship smartphone, the Nexus 6, will have a whopping €649 ($809) price tag when it hits the pre-order list in Europe on Monday, November 17, with deliveries scheduled for early December.

If you’re in need of a refresher, the Nexus 6 is a powerhouse, packing a 5.9-inch 2K AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 CPU, 3GB of RAM, an Adreno 420 GPU and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Out of the box, the handset will run the latest build of Lollipop (5.0) and, as this is a Nexus device, it will be one of if not the first on the market to receive all future updates — so if you’re hungry for the latest build of Android, this is the perfect phone for you.

If you’re in Europe, we’d love to know… Will you be picking up a Nexus 6 this holiday season? If so be sure to let drop us a line in the comments section down below.

Source: Techtastic.nl

 

Come comment on this article: Nexus 6 set to cost €649 when it goes on sale in Europe next week

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active coming to more countries in Europe

Posted by wicked October - 27 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Earlier this October, we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active will no longer be exclusive to the US. The smartphone is reported coming to Europe as well and that time has come. Firmware servers of Samsung have revealed that the Galaxy S5 Active will soon be available in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK among others.

The smartphone will be exclusive to some carriers in the European countries although we’re not sure exactly which mobile network yet. According to Samsung, these are the countries that will get the Galaxy S5 Active:

• ATO, Austria
• AUT, Switzerland
• BGL, Bulgaria
• BTU, United Kingdom
• DBT, Germany
• FTM France (Orange)
• ITV, Italy
• LUX, Luxemborg
• MOT, Slovenia
• NEE, Nordic countries
• PHN, The Netherlands
• SEB, Baltick
• SIO, Slovenia
• TEN, Norway (Telenor)
• XEF, France
• XEO, Polen

We never doubted the Galaxy S5 Active will arrive in the region. Earlier in May we learned it’s coming to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. It was only a matter of time before the special edition Galaxy S5 is made available to rest of the world.

Here’s a review of the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 1920×1080 pixel resolution, 2.5GHz Quad-core Krait 400 CPU processor, 2GB 32-bit dual-channel 933 MHz LPDDR3e RAM, Snapdragon 801 SoC, 578MHz Adreno 330 GPU, 16GB built-in storage, microSD card slot, a 16MP ISOCELL camera sensor, 2800mAh battery, and heart-rate sensor.

SOURCE: Sammobile

Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus to arrive in Europe this month

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

samsung galaxy s5 aa (36 of 36)

Samsung has announced a new version of its Galaxy S5 smartphone, the Galaxy S5 4G+. As the name suggests, the handset is designed to offer faster 4G/LTE data speeds than the standard model.

Hardware wise, the Galaxy S5 4G+ shares the same display, RAM, memory, and aesthetics as the regular flagship. The only difference is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 has been swapped out for the Snapdragon 805. The main reason for this is that the Snapdragon 805 allows for faster peak data speeds of 225Mbps, compared with 150Mbps for the standard S5. The chip also has the added benefit of packing a more powerful Adreno 420 GPU.

Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 are also capable of these faster data speeds. Samsung appears to be bringing its S5 model in-line with the rest of its high-end products. The Galaxy S5 4G+ is not to be confused with the Galaxy S5 LTE-A that was launched in South Korea, which features a higher 2560×1440 resolution display.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ has already been launched in Singapore and will now be heading to Europe be the end of October. The smartphone will retail for €599, making it a fair bit more expensive than the standard Galaxy S5. The company hasn’t announced if the 4G+ variant will arrive in other markets or not.

HTC rolls out Eye Experience update to One M8′s in Europe

Posted by wicked October - 9 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

HTC_One_Mini_2_Official_01A

HTC is in the midst of pushing out a major update to all unlocked and carrier-branded variants of its current flagship smartphone, the One (M8), situated in Europe. Weighing in at 252MB, the upgrade transports the Taiwanese company’s Eye Experience camera user interface, together with a bunch of stability improvements.

Hit the break to see the full changelog.

System Improvements:

  • Radio stability improvement
  • Transition improvements

Eye Experience Implementation:

  • Split Capture
  • Crop-Me-In
  • Photo Booth
  • Auto Selfie
  • Voice Selfie
  • Swipe-To-Switch
  • Video Face Tracking
  • Live Makeup
  • Video Screen Sharing

Application Improvements:

  • Camera stability
  • Video highlight stability
  • Zoe 1.0

To initiate the upgrade manually, make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. Then, from the home screen, press the Menu key, followed by Settings. Scroll to the bottom and tap ‘About Device’, then ‘Software Update and ‘Update Now’.

Come comment on this article: HTC rolls out Eye Experience update to One M8′s in Europe

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active finally comes to Europe

Posted by wicked October - 3 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active has been exclusive to the US market since May but it’s only now the smartphone is coming to Europe. It was an AT&T exclusive at first but it reached other network carriers and Canada as well. The rugged version of the Galaxy S5 comes to Europe with the same specs and design.

No big change on the European variant except the model number and carrier branding. This version for Europe doesn’t show any carrier branding. It only has a Samsung logo instead of a Galaxy S5 Active logo previously found on the North American variant. As for the model number, this version is known as model SM-G870F.

Specs of the Android smartphone include a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 1920×1080 resolution, Snapdragon 801 SoC, 2.5GHz Quad-core Krait 400 CPU processor, 2GB 32-bit dual-channel 933 MHz LPDDR3e RAM, 578MHz Adreno 330 GPU, microSD card slot, 16GB built-in storage, heart-rate sensor, a 2800mAh battery, and a 16MP ISOCELL camera sensor.

Oh, there’s just one thing the Galaxy S5 Active doesn’t have compared to the original Galaxy S5: this doesn’t come with a fingerprint scanner. However, it has is a special key to access the Activity Zone where commonly used features like stopwatch, flashlight, and camera shutter button are located.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active for Europe will come in either Camo Green or Titanium Grey. The latter may look rugged alright but the Camo Green looks more kick-ass. It’s one tough phone. It’s IP67-certified which means it can resist dust and water. The military-grade phone also complies with MIL-STD 810G standards—so yeah, it’s ready for rough and tough use.

No information on release date but phone is initially priced at €629 which is about $796 in the US. The European Galaxy S5 Active seems to be a bit expensive because in the US, AT&T is offering a no-contract Galaxy S5 Active for $714.99. Still, the Active version is higher priced than the Galaxy S5.

VIA: SamMobile

UK consumers have spent $8 billion to repair their mobile phones

Posted by wicked September - 24 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

smartphone repair

Over the last two years, consumers in the UK have spent more than $8 billion on repairs to their mobile phones.

Fierce Wireless Europe alerts us to a study by SquareTrade (who offers global protection plans for phones) which states that a person in the UK spends on average $127 on mobile phone repairs per year. The study also estimates that over the last seven years in Europe, consumers have paid what amounts to $43 billion in mobile phone repairs.

Other findings include:

  • 37 percent of British smartphone users have damaged their smartphone in the last two years
  • 27 percent of British smartphone users do not use a protective case
  • 7 percent of iPhone screens in the UK are cracked or damaged
  • 33 percent of owners of damaged phones find they can’t use some or all applications

Just last week, SquareTrade released a study showing that the total amount Americans have spent on repair and replacement of their smartphones in the last seven years was over $23.5 billion.


Source: Fierce Wireless Europe;

Sony’s Xperia Z2 receives European tablet of the year award

Posted by wicked August - 16 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Z2-Tablet-344cd2b19a87003235131408fe4a1196

Yesterday the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) awarded Sony’s Xperia Z2 tablet >8″ tablet of the year. The judges commended the slim, lightweight device for its sleek design (6.4 mm thick and 426 g) and its waterproofed security. 

Sony went on to win five more awards for Professional Compact System Camera, Compact Camera, Camcorder, 4K Ultra HD TV, and Digital Source of the year.

Have any of you used the Z2 tablet? Does it deserve its mighty award? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Sony Blog

Come comment on this article: Sony’s Xperia Z2 receives European tablet of the year award

Android is becoming a monopoly and that could be a problem

Posted by wicked July - 31 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

android feature JD Hancock

Android has truly become an authority in the mobile market. A powerful operating system that costs nothing to the manufacturer and brings unlimited options to the consumer is hard to beat, a fact that is confirmed by last quarter’s marketshare reports. Google’s mobile OS has reached another milestone during Q2 2014, during which the Mountain View giant shipped 85% of all smartphones!

This comes as great news to us Android aficionados, but the rest of the market is not very happy. Google’s victory can, in part, be thanked to iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry losing marketshare. As with anything else, such a substantial success is bound to turn some heads, and some of those may be holding eyes you don’t want looking at you.

European authorities are said to be looking into investigating the Search Giant for its overwhelming advantage over other mobile platforms. This investigation would carry through if Android was to ship over 80% of devices within the European nations, which currently isn’t the case. Android devices account for 73% of shipped devices within said continent.

Android Army securitycoverage

Google is walking on thin ice here. A full-blown investigation on Google’s possible monopoly could bring some serious consequences for the operating system we all love and treasure. How would this case conclude, though? We could argue Android’s monopoly is a natural succession of how great and convenient the OS is. Most of us would say Google does compete fairly.

In fact, the European market may not be so worried about how many Android smartphones are out there. Sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters European regulators are more worried about Google’s practices, inquiring they are abusing their obvious dominance in the market.

google apps nexus 5

A clear example is that Google does require that manufacturers pre-install certain applications, like Maps and Search. That is, unless they want to steer clear of Google services, much like Amazon has done with its Fire smartphones and tablets.

It’s hard for other manufacturers to offer a good experience with no official support, though, especially because Google Play Store accessibility requires that manufacturers follow certain standards (including the addition of said apps). Certain software updates also demand these pre-requisites.

Is Google taking advantage of its position? Some may believe they are, but we must also remember this is why Google created Android as a free, open ecosystem. They wanted to bring their services to as many users as possible, and offering Android as a free alternative proved to be a successful way to do so.


Source: Reuters;

Acer announces Liquid Jade Plus smartphone to launch in August

Posted by wicked July - 26 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

You might not have remembered – due to the nondescript nature of these products – that Acer announced the Liquid Jade smartphone and the Liquid Leap wearable at this year’s Computex trade show. You can be forgiven for that, but it has not slipped our attentions that Acer has already made improvements to the smartphone, announcing an Acer Liquid Jade Plus device.

The Acer Liquid Jade Plus sports a number of upgrades from the earlier device, notably that the Liquid Jade Plus will have 2GB of RAM from the earlier 1GB RAM configuration of the Liquid Jade. The improved version also has more internal storage, with 16GB rather than the 8GB of the earlier version.

Other than that, both smartphones offer identical specs. There is a 5-inch 1280×720 HD resolution display, and this is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor. The phones retain dual SIM capabilities, 13MP/2MP rear/front camera combo, and a 2100mAh battery. All of this will run on Android 4.4 KitKat.

This new device is now expected to partner with the Liquid Leap wearable, whereas it was the earlier version that was touted to launch in August in tandem with the wearable device. Nothing is clear as to whether the earlier version will even continue to be marketed, but the target release of the devices will be in August, with particular attention to the European market. The retail price is expected to be at €279 euros (around USD$375).

VIA: Blog of Mobile