With every new iPhone, most of the discussion centers around its look and not what comes inside. But, according to reports, Apple has designed a new dual-core A7 system on a chip for the iPhone 5S. If rumors are true, the A7 could supposedly be 31 percent faster, representing a serious slowdown in spec improvement. It could indicate that the smartphone market may have matured and that existing smartphone owners won’t feel the urge to upgrade to a new model anymore.
When it comes to smartphone chips, Apple is a lone ranger. It has been designing its own ARM-based chips for a couple of years. It outsources production to Samsung and other manufacturers. But the important part is that only Apple devices use Apple chips. So far, this strategy has proven to be successful.
The iPhone 4S was twice as powerful as the iPhone 4, and had nine times the graphics processing capabilities. The iPhone 5 was once again twice as fast as the iPhone 4S, with twice the graphics performance. That’s why this year’s 31 percent performance boost is lackluster, it it turns out to be true. If the new iPhone is indeed called the iPhone 5S, the ‘S’ will probably not stand for ‘speed’.
A 31% CPU speed increase sounds like a huge failure to me, specially considering previous generations showed ~100% improvements.— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) August 26, 2013
The main advantage is that Apple can optimize the A7 for its own set of APIs, making it feel faster than it actually is. Even though Snapdragons have more GHz, iPhone apps are still fast because Apple takes advantage of its chip architecture like no one else. That’s why the gap isn’t as wide as expected. Moreover, Apple’s custom design strategy improves battery performance.Apple needs to reduce both component costs and R&D costs
Yet, why were the A6 and the A5 much faster than their predecessors? Because smartphones were not as fast as Apple wanted them to be. If you want to use Siri or play nice games, you need the iPhone 4S. If you want to use the upcoming AirDrop feature, you need the iPhone 5. Today’s rumors could tell another story. Apple could think that the iPhone 5 can run everything perfectly fine, and there is no need to put more raw power. In other words, smartphones could have matured.
As smartphones get more widespread, Apple needs to reduce both component costs and R&D costs. The company can’t invest as much money in developing its new chips if smartphones become more and more commoditized products. The company wants to avoid hurting its margin more than it needs.
The A7 needs to be future-proof. While the iPhone 5C will not receive the A7 at first, entry-level iPhones will eventually get those rumored chips. It needs to be powerful enough and cheap enough so that Apple doesn’t have to develop yet another chip next year for its cheap iPhones.
If Apple judges that current chips are becoming fast enough to power iOS for years, iPhone users shouldn’t expect speed increases. Instead, the company will bet on new features and software updates. With market maturation coming soon, Apple faces a difficult challenge as well. How do you convince your customers to upgrade their phones?
The same thing happened for the iPod — they got lighter and lighter. In 2001, the original 5GB iPod was 6.5 ounces (184 grams). In 2004, the iPod mini was 3.6 ounces (102 grams). In 2005, the iPod nano was only 1.5 oz (42 grams). At this point, if you already had an iPod and used it as a portable music player, there was no real incentive to upgrade to a new one, except more gigabytes. The same thing is true for your microwave — you only buy a new one if your old one breaks.
Yet, there is one last thing that can be improved again and again on the iPhone — the camera. Everybody uses their phone as their primary camera. It’s the camera that you always have in your pocket. While it has greatly improved over the years, there’s still room for improvement — especially now that HiDPI displays are getting more popular. This single spec upgrade will make people upgrade.
That’s why the most interesting news of the day isn’t the A7 rumors, but the new dedicated chip for video capturing rumors. In addition to helping for image stabilization, it could allow you to take 120 fps videos.
If the iPhone 5S can shoot smooth slow-motion videos, it could be the feature that stands out and steals the show at Apple’s event. In fact, the ‘S’ could stand for ‘slow motion’.
The article was slightly edited to reflect the fact that the A7 specs are still unconfirmed.
Question by Dima: Could ipods and android phones play same movie formats? I downloaded a bunch of movies for my ipod touch, but then it broke. I’m planning to buy an Android 2.2 phone and was just wandering if they have the same video formats so I can play the movies I already downloaded.
Answer by karlWell, if you bought the vids on iTunes, then no they are most likely protected and would not work on an android phone. However, with any other, non-protected file, the android device should be able to play anything the iPod was able to play, plus much, much more.
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Microsoft introduced its first gaming console in late 2001 with the Xbox naming, but it could have been branded something entirely different by the company’s marketing teams. In an interview with Edge Online, original launch team member Seamus Blackley reveals some of the names that Microsoft considered internally. Windows Entertainment Project (WEP) was one of the first, a name that would “make Microsoft executives comfortable,” according to Blackley.
“Midway” was also considered, designed to be a bridge between PC and console. “DirectX Box,” a nod to the company’s gaming APIs, was another code name that ended up being “shortened to xbox in email very early on.” Microsoft went through a number of naming phrases, including one based on…
So Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy S4 Active have officially made the leap from unimaginative rumors to unimaginative reality, which leaves only one oft-rumored version of the popular smartphone left unaccounted for — the curious S4 Zoom.
As the name sort of implies, this Galaxy variant is said to blur the line between smartphone and camera, and we may now be getting our first look at the thing. A set of images from both SamMobile and TechTastic purportedly show off the photo-centric S4 Zoom ahead of a big Samsung press event in London later this month.
It’s hard to judge from the unflattering angles, but these images depict a device seems to be more camera than phone. The thickish frame, protruding lens obscuring a 16-megapixel sensor, and rounded butt are all design choices that are more reminiscent of point-and-shoots than they are of any standard smartphone. Too bad then that the supposed spec sheet that’s been attached to the S4 Zoom seems wimpy in comparison — that hefty sensor will supposedly be accompanied by a 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED display and a 1.6GHz dual-core processor.
If the S4 Zoom is indeed the real deal — and at this point it just about seems like a lock — Samsung may find that it’s not alone in using smartphones as a platform to show off their camera prowess. Persistent rumors of a Nokia Windows Phone sporting one of the company’s mind-boggling PureView sensors have been floating around for over a year now, and a handful of spurious “leaked” images of one such device (codenamed “EOS “)have been circulating these past days. Hell, just earlier this morning we were treated to what may be the smoking gun — a purported recording of the EOS’ gigantic rear camera pod blinking at us.
In case you missed the PureView hullabaloo from last year, Nokia’s EOS isn’t expected to feature the comparatively puny sensors seen in the company’s recent Windows Phones. No no, rumor has it that it will instead sport the same 41-megapixel camera sensor that first graced the chubby 808 PureView back in 2012.
But I think there’s a bigger question here that hasn’t been adequately answered yet — who do these companies think we’ll buy these things? I suspect I may be in the minority on this one, but I’ve always though that the camera-first approach that some OEMs fiddle around with is just sort of silly. Yes, there’s definite value in being able to capture compelling shots on the run, but really: do people really care how good their photos look once quality inches past a certain threshold?
After all, the way we visually memorialize things has changed since the dawn of smartphone epoch — most images don’t wind up printed and tucked away in photo albums any more. They get hastily MMSed to friends. They get marred by fugly filters and splayed up on Instagram. And in some cases (I’m looking at you Snapchat), the real value of these photos is knowing that they’ll quickly be lost to the ages, a pointed rejection of the archaic permanence of images chemically etched on dead tree material. Camera quality ranks pretty low on my list of criteria when it comes time to buy a new phone, and leaning too heavily on one aspect of a device could be… problematic to say the least.
The closest thing Samsung has had to the S4 Zoom to date is the Galaxy Camera, and the company has never broken out Galaxy Camera sales for we hardware business dorks to dig into. Still, the device was hamstrung by carriers requiring customers to buy a data plan along with the thing (a Wi-Fi version was announced just two months ago). And while Nokia has kept its PureView numbers a closely guarded secret, enthusiasts have estimated that the Finnish phone company managed to sell over half a million as of Fall 2012.
That’s a very solid number considering all the 808′s potential sticking points, and Nokia’s moving a solid number of Lumia phones these days so Nokia must be hoping that PureView and Lumia are two great tastes that really do taste great together. Thankfully, we probably won’t have to wait much longer to see these two duke it out — while the S4 Zoom is expected to be outed this month, the EOS could see the light of day as early as July 9.
Because it’s the Friday before a holiday weekend and I’ve already started drinking (technically last night) this is a shot of some dude dressed up as all the Avengers at once. Can you name the corresponding costume pieces to each Avenger? In case you’re a dirty cheater, they are:
Captain America’s shirt and shield
Iron Man’s helmet and chest light Thor’s hammer and hair The Hulk’s shorts and legs Hawkeye’s bow Black Widow’s sleeves and gloves Nick Fury’s eye patch
Fun fact: did you know the original Avengers consisted of Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, and the Hulk? Ant-Man and Wasp just don’t get a lot of credit because they’re kind of goofy characters and nobody likes them. But has that stopped Marvel Studios from green-lighting an Ant-Man movie? It has not. Fingers crossed it plays out like a sequel to A Bug’s Life.
Hit the jump for a shot of Iron Thulkeyewidfury strutting his stuff.Related Posts:
Mini sold some 66,000 vehicles in the United States last year, and despite being on American soil (in its current incarnation, anyway) for just 13 years, this market has quickly become its biggest. Those drawn to the brand are likely intrigued by, if not outright enamored of, its quirkiness. Mini likes to say that the company is “Not Normal,” and it only takes a glance inside its cartoonish Countryman to see what that means.
During a recent kickoff event to celebrate the impending launch of its Paceman model, we sought to get beneath the sheet metal and gear ratios, instead looking at the kinds of decisions that impact the marriage of automobiles and technology. Turns out, Johnly Velasquez and Chris Potgieter — two gentlemen in charge of determining what technology ends up in Mini products — were more than happy to discuss those nuances. In particular, we discussed how those details relate to the future of its Connected platform, the role that infotainment plays in its entire range of motorcars and the opportunities that lie ahead for Mini to embrace alternative power.
Could Mini’s prioritization of technology as a pillar of automotive manufacturing influence the entire industry? That’s exactly what we’ll explore just beyond the break.
Filed under: Transportation
Source: MiniRelated Posts:
With Mobile World Congress already on the horizon, it’s hardly a shock to see a new batch of smartphone leaks and rumors starting to make the rounds. HTC never fares well when it comes to keeping their new devices a secret, and today may be no different — the ever-listening Evleaks seems to have come through with new details on HTC’s forthcoming flagship, the Jelly Bean-powered M7.
Contrary to an earlier report from HTC Source, the M7 could sport a smaller 4.7-inch “SoLux” display instead of the 5-inch Super LCD2 panel that debuted on the J Butterfly and its U.S. cousin the Droid DNA. HTC doesn’t seem to be shying away from full HD though — the M7’s screen is still said to run at 1080p, which makes for an astonishing pixel density of 468ppi (the iPhone 5’s display comes in at 326ppi, while the Droid DNA’s 440ppi screen slips to second place).
Of course, pixel density isn’t all that goes into making a truly great display — the DNA had a mostly wonderful screen, but it sadly fell short when it came to overall brightness. Thankfully, Evleaks also notes that the so-called M7’s SoLux display also bolsters “viewing angles, outdoor visibility, and color accuracy,” which could go a long way in making the M7 the Android phone to own (for a while, at least). Meanwhile, a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm chipset is said to be running the show, along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage — there’s no word on expandable memory yet, though I’ve got my fingers crossed that carriers won’t step in and make any questionable decisions.
Speaking of carriers, the juiciest new tidbit is also the most curious. Evleaks notes that the M7 will eventually find its way onto Verizon and Sprint’s store shelves after its international release (said to take place in Q1, remember?), and alludes to the possibility that the handset will be the first HTC device to be offered by each of the Big 4 U.S. wireless carriers in a long time. That may well be the case (I certainly hope it is), but some of these carriers tend to impose more dramatic changes of design than others, and the end result could be a device that falls short of the standard set by the international model and its all its inevitable variants.
Question by : What is a Zune? And is it like an i pod touch where you could call people? Idk saw it and am wondering!
Answer by TomWell, you cannot call people with neither an iPod touch nor a Zune, they are both mp3 players, (the ipod touch is different from the iPhone). A Zune is basically Microsoft’s version of an iPod. They are mp3 players designed by Microsoft. Again, you cannot call people on a Zune or an iPod touch, that is the IPHONE ONLY.
Hope I helped
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Finding clothes that fit just right is surprisingly tough for a sizable amount of the population, especially when shopping online. E-tailers have used everything from 3D scanners to mailable mannequins to ensure that customers find the best sizes for them, and the truly picky have probably had a friend break out a tape measure to get some exact numbers. A whole team of researchers is looking the simplify this process however, and put the power to easily get the right size at your fingertips. A group, including developers from the London College of Fashion, and experts from the University of Surrey and Guided, have come together to turn practically any camera into a virtual tape measure, including your smartphone or webcam. Since the image you capture has to be taken in your underwear, we wouldn’t suggest doing this in public, though. All you have to do is fire up the software, take the pic and punch in your height — the computer does the rest. With funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council the coalition is working to bring the system to market, with hopes of launching within the next two years. For a bit more check out the PR after the break.
[Shopping button via Shutterstock]
Filed under: Cameras
Source: EPSRCRelated Posts:
The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii are nearing their end. As powerful as they have been in the living room, gamers want more. They want better graphics, new user experiences, and more mobility, as much as those things can be at odds with one another. A new wave of game consoles is rising to meet some of those challenges, but perhaps not all: the Nintendo Wii U doesn’t seem to be that much more powerful than an Xbox 360, and the next Xbox and PlayStation are rumored to use what amounts to mid-range PC hardware in order to save costs.
Meanwhile, PCs haven’t stood still. There’s never been a better time to build a gaming PC, thanks to cheaper components and the amazing catalog of inexpensive games you can find on digital…