Samsung’s smartphones sales drop 7% in market share

Via Engadget.com

Samsung warned that its smartphone sales weren’t that great this spring, and now we have the numbers to show just what the company meant. IDC estimates that Samsung’s smartphone shipments saw a rare year-over-year drop in the second quarter, taking it from a lofty 32.3 percent market share down to 25.2 percent. That’s still enough to give it a comfortable lead, but a shock for a company which is used to growth. The cause, analysts say, is the rapid rise of Chinese brands that cut directly into Samsung’s low-end business. Huawei claimed 6.9 percent of the smartphone space after doubling its shipments, thanks in part to heavy discounts on phones like the Ascend P7; Lenovo jumped to 5.4 percent on the back of both budget phones at home as well as rapid expansion abroad.

This is no surprise and backs up my other article from today about the Mi4 which is also eroding market share from the traditional players.

Manufacturers watch out – Xiaomi launches Mi4 and sells out in 37 seconds

GSMArena reports that Xiaomi released its first batch of Mi4 smartphones, selling through them in just 37 seconds in China.

The Mi4 is Xiaomi high end smartphone selling for a competitive price around £300. Xiaomi is a real threat to the likes of Samsung and even Apple. Last year Xiaomi acquired one of Google’s top brass with the aim of expanding their horizons outside of China.

If Xiaomi manage to master sales outside of China, the playing field could get quite interesting.

Flickr’s Licensing Program – Earn money from your photos

flickr-licensing

From Flickr -

One of the most inspiring parts of of our work as curators is the powerful images we discover on a daily basis. Flickr’s talented community is what makes our site such a great place for photography, and we believe there are tremendous opportunities to share your original moments with the world.

Today we are excited to introduce a new way for you to partner with photo agencies, editors, bloggers and other creative minds who are seeking original content like yours. Our curatorial team will provide assistance, outreach and connectivity to help you get your photos licensed. Flickr’s partners include the New York Times, Reuters, Gizmodo, Monocle, BBC and Getty Images as its program partners.

So if you use Flickr and want the chance to be selected hit the link below.

Source – http://blog.flickr.net/2014/07/29/curated-connections-a-new-flickr-licensing-experience

Three in Touch WiFi calling app – impressions on both iOS and Android

Yesterday, I posted about the new Three UK inTouch WiFi calling app. Details https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/three-uk-launches-intouch-app-wifi-calling-over-the-internet-links-for-ios-and-android/ with download links for both platforms.

To recap the app does the following -

- Call and text whenever you’re on Wi-Fi, even where there’s no signal.
– Free App, just download and activate.
– No extra charges. Calls and texts come from your monthly price plan or Pay As You Go credit.
– Make and receive calls using your normal Three number to anyone on any network.

So what is the user experience like. Well I installed the iOS version on my wife’s iPhone 5S and the android version on my LG G3. And it works as advertised. Except, the android version is so much easier to use than the iOS app. And here’s why. I called my wife and she could not work out how to answer the call. Her phone was ringing and there was a message on the lockscreen. So first attempt was a fail. It turns out you have to unlock phone using Touch ID, open the inTouch app and then tap to answer the call. So so cumbersome. So my wife called me on my G3. I just swiped the phone icon to answer. Now thats much simpler.

To make calls over wifi, you have to open the app and dial your contact. I have tried making several calls and every time the caller at the other end said the audio was fine. However, it did sound a bit metallic on my side. You can also send messages over wifi but the messages are confined to within the app and do not integrate in to the standard SMS app. A bit odd was I had a number of text messages showing in the app and I have no idea why or where the app obtained the information.

So now, I can use my phone in all the dead spots inside my home via this app and despite any flaws with the methodology it is definitely going to get a lot of use.

Update – the messages seem to have integrated just fine with the sms LG app.

What if Apple bought Pebble?

I couldn’t sleep last night as I was wondering what would happen if Apple bought Pebble.

Firstly, this move could upset a lot of Pebble owners. Would Apple want to use any of the technology used in the current Pebble watch. Maybe it would be a good move for Apple to obtain some of Pebble’s patents. Or perhaps Apple would buy Pebble and simply close it down to remove a competitor.

Which ever permutation you look at, this acquisition doesn’t look promising. And in all honestly I cannot see Apple ever wanting to make such a purchase.

The problem with all current smartwatches, apart from the LG G Watch in white/gold finish, is they all look butt ugly. Something tells me Apple will make the iWatch stunning and simple too, hence why I cannot see Apple buying Pebble other than to remove a competitor.

So do you think Apple would ever buy Pebble?

Window 8.1 Phone Owners seen running for the hills

Window 8.1 Phone Owners have something to be happy about. In fact, probably expect to see them running for the hills, across fields and along parks and pathways.

Why? FitBit app for Microsoft’s mobile operating system has arrived after being available on other platforms for years. I’m being a bit cruel here but its factually true nonetheless.

The app allows users to wirelessly sync data with the FitBit Flex and FitBit One.

The FitBit app, already available on iOS and Android, allows users to view real time and historical activity data, while also logging their food intake from a possible 350,000 items.

Windows Phone Smartphone owners will need Windows Phone 8.1 as well as the new Lumia Cyan update to make use of the FitBit app.

LG G Watch – review update – design disaster

20140730-170053-61253908.jpg

The above photo is a close up of the charging pins on my LG G Watch. This has occurred within a month of use. Not only that, but I don’t have the watch tightly strapped to my wrist.

According to stories on the internet once the pins corrode there is a high chance of getting a rash on your wrist.

I’ve spoke to Google customer support for their help and will report back in due course.

I hope there is a solution, as I really like the look and simple functionality.

Three UK launches inTouch app – wifi calling over the internet – links for iOS and android

Three UK launches wifi calling app over the internet for iOS and android users.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get a good signal when you’re indoors. So we’ve created Three inTouch, the smart new app that lets you call and text whenever you’re on Wi-Fi, even if there’s no mobile signal.

You can use your Three number as normal – there’s no messing about with logins or passwords – and all calls and texts come out of your existing monthly price plan or Pay As You Go credit

•Call and text whenever you’re on Wi-Fi, even where there’s no signal.
•Free App, just download and activate.
•No extra charges. Calls and texts come from your monthly price plan or Pay As You Go credit.
•Make and receive calls using your normal Three number to anyone on any network.

And with the recent introduction of Wi-Fi on the London Underground, you know what this means don’t you? Yep, you’ll be able to make a call whilst on an underground platform. Which is sure to draw attention from fellow commuters!

The simple-to-use Three inTouch app is offered free to all our Contract, SIM and Pay As You Go customers. It’s so easy to activate and use. Just download the Three inTouch app onto your iPhone and you’ll stay connected whenever you have Wi-Fi.

Apple App Store link – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/three-intouch/id895812887?mt=8

Google Play Store link – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hutchison3g.threeintouch

Google updates its Web Office apps with hints of Material L Design

Google has updated its Android Sheets, Docs and Slides apps with hints of Material Design. Now the web components of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides have had the same update. In addition Google Drive has had the same TLC.

To access the new pages head over to google.com/docs, google.com/sheets or google.com/slides.

Another blow for BlackBerry

Ford has announced that it is moving from Blackerry to the iPhone. Even worse for BlackBerry this process will be complete by the end of 2014.

3,300 Ford workers will be given iPhones by the end of 2014 with 6,000 more employees to receive iPhones over the next two years.

To be honest this is not a surprise, as many other companies have started offering the iPhone too.

Source – http://www.bloomberg.com

Updates on upcoming reviews

A few weeks ago I mentioned that there were several new reviews to land on Gavins Gadgets.

The LG G3 is well underway and further posts will appear shortly. In addition the LG G3 QuickCircle and Slim Guard case reviews will be up hopefully over the weekend or early next week. The Premium Hard case review is already live.

The AKG K845 Bluetooth headphone review should be live by the end of next week.

So folks, is there a handset you would like me to review next? If so, let me know in the comments.

TV and Film Streaming Services

Currently, I subscribe to Netflix. I also have Amazon Prime membership which provides access to Amazon Instant Video. Netflix is obtained via my Apple TV box and Amazon directly via my TV internet menu option.

After paying the annual fee for Amazon Prime my plan was to ditch Netflix, but this is proving impossible for several reasons.

Firstly, the user interface with Prime on my TV is awful. I have to enter the film or TV show using the simple TV remote. This takes ages. Also, I find operating around Amazon’s Instant Video cumbersome and difficult. Amazon seem to mix the free films with the paid options.

So what does Netflix do better. Well everything in my book. If you are watching a TV series, it automatically starts playing the next episode when you reach the end of the one you are viewing. Then after watching 3 in a row, before it continues automatically, a message pops up asking if you are still watching. This way, if you fall asleep in front of the TV you won’t be watching the entire season in any nightmares. Or dreams if you’re lucky.

On top of that I find there is more to watch on Netflix.

I have tried Blinkbox and do occasionally use my iTunes UK account. I also have an iTunes US account for content not available in the UK.

So what services do you use and why?

LG G3 – Review – Summary

To help find all the posts relating to the LG G3 review, I have collated them below -

Part 1 – Review Part 1 – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/lg-g3-review-part-1/

Part 2 – Camera Samples – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/lg-g3-sample-photos/

Part 3 – LG G3 Premium Hard Case – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/lg-g3-premium-hard-case-in-tan-review/

Part 4 – Review Part 2 – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/lg-g3-review-part-2/

Part 5 – LG G3 Firmware update – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/lg-g3-first-firmware-update-now-coming-ota-full-change-log/

Part 6 – Review Part 3 – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/lg-g3-review-part-3/

Part 7 – Review Part 4 – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/lg-g3-review-part-4/

Part 8 – Game for the LG G3 QuickCircle case – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/lg-announces-a-game-for-the-lg-g3-quickcircle-case/

Part 9 – Review Part 5 – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/lg-g3-review-part-5/

Part 10 – More Photo Samples – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/some-more-photos-from-the-lg-g3/

Part 11 – Action Shots – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/lg-g3-high-speed-camera-action-shots/

And more posts to follow over the course of the following weeks.

Super Camera Shootout – Updated – Now with 21 Smartphones

Sunset on Dartmoor #lgg3

Not sure about which phone or brand takes the best photos, then have a look at this super sized collection of photos from all the best smartphones and some budget phones as a comparison. Above shot taken last night at sunset with the LG G3.

LG G3 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157645618979801/

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644532639249/

HTC One M8 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157643265004874/

Samsung S5 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157643875623354/

Sony Xperia Z2 – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/sony-xperia-z2-second-impressions-part-2/

Samsung Note 3 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644034132513/

Samsung S4 Zoom – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644039495565/

LG G Flex – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644114354349/

Apple iPhone 5S – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644035336913/

LG Nexus 4 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644039660933/

Sony Z1 Compact Z1 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644028694521/

Sony Xperia Z1 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644039246935/

Sony Z Ultra – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644083052095/

Sony QX100 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644035811453/

Sony QX10 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644035335185/

HTC One M7 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644039700054/

Huawei Ascend P6 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644028833151/

Nokia Lumia 1520 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644035105534/

Nokia Lumia 1020 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644035516523/

Nokia Lumia 925 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157634991010769/

Nokia Lumia 620 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644083348093/

To see the sets in one indexed page click here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/ – note only the Sony Xperia Z2 is not shown on Flickr

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom – one last point

I have had the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom for over 6 weeks now as I mentioned in my final conclusion post last week.

However, I do have one beef with the K Zoom which I forgot to mention. Somehow, and on a regular basis, a film of dirt seems to appear on the lens. I did wonder why the user manual mentioned wiping the lens from time to time. Now I know why! The annoying part is that I didn’t realise this until I examined all my photos from a day out and realised most were ruined. So now, before I start a session, I check the lens.

Apart from that it is a unique piece of kit which I intend to keep for a very long time.