A couple of days ago, a few pictures of what was allegedly the Chinese variant of the Galaxy S4 made its way on the Internet. Today, a video of the same Chinese variant of the SGS4 has surfaced online on a Chinese forum giving us a sneak peek of what the Galaxy S4 might look like and its TouchWIZ UI.
While it is not confirmed whether this is the final variant of the Galaxy S4, the device in question does sport a design language similar to the Galaxy S3. The video also confirms that the Galaxy S4 will be having a microSD card slot along with a beefy 2600mAh removable battery.
The latest version of TouchWIZ UI does not seem to look that different from the current nature inspired version found on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, but does have a new white color scheme. The white color of the UI may suggest that Samsung is using a different form of OLED technology or maybe even an SLCD, since AMOLED displays are not that battery efficient while displaying white elements on screen.
It might very well be possible that the above device in question is one of the prototypes of the Galaxy S4, and the final device may look completely different.
The Wall Street Journal today reported that Samsung’s success with Android has created an anxiety over at Google. While Google is pleasantly happy with Samsung’s success, they are afraid that Samsung may use its position to demand ad-revenue from Google for all the money they are making for Internet giant. While Google does not directly sell Android, it makes revenue through all the ad impressions and Play services.
It might be even possible that if Samsung does not have its way, they will fork Android and ship it on their devices, something like what Amazon does.
To avoid this, Google is working closely with some of the top-level Motorola engineers to launch a true Galaxy competitor rumored the X Phone.
If Google/Motorola are able to release an Android device that has DROID RAZR MAXX class battery life with Nexus 4/HTC One like specs, and a decent camera quality, they may very well be able to put challenge Samsung’s Galaxy series. While the Nexus 4 is a huge upgrade compared to the Galaxy Nexus, it is still lacking in some departments, which the Motorola X Phone can definitely fill in.
Samsung has been on a roll lately! The company recently started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S3 that brought with it tons of new features including Multi-View multitasking, Smart Rotation, a new low-light mode for Camera and more.
Today, the Korean company has also started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 update for the Galaxy Note II. The update does not bring many new major features, but does bring some minor changes and enhancements that would be appreciated by Note 2 owners.
Below is the list of changes in Android 4.1.2 on Galaxy Note 2 via SamMobile -:
Android 4.1.2 – JZO54K
New Additions in Notifcation Toggles
Notification Panel can now be customized
Brightness Slider in Notification Panel Can Now Be Disabled
Multi-View Can now be disabled
Browser Is Smoother Then Before
Status Bar has been changed from Grey to Black
Continues Input in Samsung Keyboard (Like Swipe or Android 4.2 Keyboard)
New Ink Effect On Lockscreen
New Group Cast Application
The firmware update is only available in Poland as of now, and will be rolled out to other regions by Samsung slowly over the next few weeks. The update is being rolled out only for the international Galaxy Note II (N7100), along with the LTE variant (N7105). Note 2 owners in the United States need to wait until the update is approved by their carriers.
Astronomers led by Remco van den Bosch, from the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany have discovered a massive black hole at the center of a galaxy 250 million light-years away. The black hole has a mass equivalent to 17 billion of our sun. It is quite possibly the largest black hole ever discovered and is turning galaxy evolution models on their side.
Picture above, you can see the disk shape galaxy NGC 1277 that was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. At the center of this galaxy is the black hole that scientists are saying accounts for 14% of the galaxy’s weight. To put the size of this black hole in perspective, our own milky way galaxy has a black hole equivalent to the mass of 4 million suns. NGC 1277 has the mass of 17 billion suns!
It has typically been thought that the mass of a galaxies black hole correlates to the mass of the stars in a galaxy. After this discovery however, it seems that theory may not be true. The ratio of this black hole to the mass of the stars in its galaxy are way off the typical charts. Small disk shaped galaxies typically have much smaller black holes that usually account for less than 1% of their mass. Finding one that accounts for 14% of its mass is truly rare. Black holes of this size are usually found elliptical galaxies.
It appears after further examination that this phenomenon isn’t as rare as once thought. Other black holes with similar characteristics have been found since NGC 1277 was discovered to contain a super massive black hole. According to a Space.com article, Remco van den Bosch is quoted as saying, “You always expect to find one sort [of a phenomenon], but now we have six of them,” van den Bosch said. “We didn’t expect them, because we do expect the black holes and the galaxies to influence each other.” It appears now scientists will have to determine if this phenomenon only exists in the early universe and how this information affects our theories of galaxy evolution.
After rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for all its top-tier devices, Samsung has turned its attention to its mid-range and forgotten devices. Starting from last week, Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R.
Yes, Samsung did launch a handset named Galaxy R in certain markets of the world. The R looked similar to the Galaxy S2, but packed in a slightly smaller 4.2-inch SLCD screen, a Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM. As of now, the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R is being rolled out in Korea, but should soon be available in other regions including India.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R will bring with it performance and stability improvements, updated UI, Face Unlock, better speech recognition, inbuilt data monitoring tool, usability improvements, updated Google apps and much more.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R is not available via OTA. Instead, users will need to make use of Samsung’s KIES software to install the ICS update on their handset.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is probably the only phone in memory that was launched without a black color variant. The handset was released by Samsung in ‘Marble White’ and a very dark, almost black shade of blue, ‘Pebble Blue’ colors.
However, a few days ago, a Black colored variant of the Galaxy S III popped up on the Internet, pleasing all the black gadget lovers. It was, however, uncertain whether Samsung will officially launch a black variant of the handset or was it just a blooper from the company.
While Samsung has not confirmed anything, a popular online retailer — Mobile Fun — just did. The retailer has put up a pre-order page for the black variant of the Galaxy S III, along with a blog post claiming that they are the first one to announce the new color of the handset.
The Black variant of the Galaxy S3 won’t be available immediately though. If the pre-order page of MobileFun is anything to go by, the black S3 will only arrive in stocks around 4-6 weeks from now on.
It looks like Samsung is not content with the Galaxy S III setting the sales chart on fire. The Korean giant managed to sell more than 6 million Galaxy S3’s in the previous quarter, and is on track to sell more than 10 million units in the on-going quarter. With HTC and LG not able to compete with the Galaxy S3, Samsung definitely is ruling the Android ecosystem, sales wise.
The company now aims to take things to the next level by unveiling the “newest Galaxy device” on August 15th. As of now, it is anyone’s guess as to what Samsung will be unveiling, but there is a strong possibility of the company announcing the Galaxy Note 2.
Rumors indicate that the Galaxy Note 2 will sport a 5.5-inch 720p Super-AMOLED HD+ display and will be powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos SoC along with an ARM-Mali400MP4 GPU.
Bad news for future Verizon’s Galaxy S3 owners. The carrier has shipped some SGS3 units to the folks who had pre-ordered the handset, and to their horror, it looks like the handset comes with a locked down bootloader. While the bootloaders of the Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy S III are fully open, Verizon has somehow managed to convince Samsung to lock-down the bootloader on its variant of the Galaxy S III.
The whole community over at XDA is seemingly angry over this, and ace developer supercurio has suggested everyone on the forums to return their Verizon locked SGS3 and get a full-refund.
A locked down bootloader means that gaining root access on the handset is going to be tough, custom ROMs will be limited, and there will be absolutely no way of flashing a custom kernel. While sometime in the future, a developer might find a way of unofficially unlocking the bootloader on the Verizon’s Galaxy S III, it won’t solve the problem altogether. Future firmware updates from Verizon will definitely try to patch any security hole via which developers managed to unlock the bootloader.
Samsung has been known to support the Android modding community by providing them with devices, and always releasing their devices with unlocked bootloader. Looks like Samsung ultimately did had to pay a price for releasing a non-modified variant of the Galaxy S III under Verizon’s network.
If you want Verizon or Samsung to unlock the bootloader on the Galaxy S III, head over to this thread and sign the petition. Don’t get your hopes up though! Verizon is known to have a tough stance on not unlocking the bootloader on its devices.
Samsung has been THE Android device maker to beat. The company’s Galaxy series of handsets have been selling like hot cakes all over the world, and helped the company in surpassing Nokia as the biggest smartphone maker in Q1 of 2012.
Today, Samsung has confirmed that three of its most popular Android handsets, the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note have managed to break another sales figure. The Korean company has managed to sell more than 50 million units of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II combined, since it launched the former in June 2010. The Galaxy S has sold more than 24 million units since it was first launched, while the Galaxy S II has been brought by more than 28 million people in just 13 months.
Apart from this, Sammy also announced that its hybrid smartphone-tablet mix, the Galaxy Note, has managed to surpass the 7 million sales figure within 7 months of its launch. The sales figure of the Galaxy Note definitely prove that there is a “niche” market for phones with huge screens, that are barely pocketable.
With the Galaxy S III hitting the retail stores in certain regions of the world, it will be interesting to see whether the handset manages to make a dent in the sales of other handsets from Samsung itself.
Stunning is the word, if you can at all describe it! Vista Data Flow System has just mapped the Milky Way Galaxy and has produced a spectacular image of the galactic disk, showing nearly a billion stars. Such is the detail of each region of the mapped galaxy that it is impossible to grasp even when zoomed in. The entire image has been built up from thousands of individual images taken over a decade. The detailing is amazing and it’s not only for the pleasure of the visual organ – the scientific data is also enormous!
Says Dr. Nick Cross from the University of Edinburgh, one of the people involved in the study
There are about one billion stars in there – this is more than has been in any other image produced by surveys. When it was first produced, I played with it for hours; it’s just stunning.
Even hard-nosed scientists, bombarded year-after-year with raw numerical data, have a little child lurking in their somewhere.
The data used in building this image has been taken from UKIDSS/GPS sky survey acquired by the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii and from the Vista telescope in Chile.
Just to help everyone out, there is an online tool, created by Dr Cross and collaborators, which can be used to zoom into smaller and smaller regions of the image. The image itself is a long extended disc of the galaxy and too big to comprehend it at one go!
Do play around with the software. Zoom in and at each level, wait a bit – it takes a few seconds to load fully. It’s well worth the wait! I recommend that you watch it full-screen. Oh, and you might need to bump up the brightness of your monitor a bit.
Scientists are hoping to use this technique for future studies, for mapping starburst galaxies and regions around compact objects. But no matter what, imagination and amazement shall never be lost!