Santa may very well be preparing for next year’s, but late Christmas gifts are always welcomed, especially if they can be purchased at a sweeter price than usual. Best Buy is definitely interested in clearing some 16GB Nexus 7 (2013) stock these days, as the company is not only offering buyers a $30 deal discount on the device – that means it costs $199.99 instead of the regular $229.99 – but it’s also throwing in a free $25 Google Play Store gift card that can be used for digital content purchases. According to the company, the free $25 gift code will be sent via email as soon as half an hour after purchase – although it some instances it can take up to eight hours to ship. Unfortunately, the deal only applies to the entry-level Nexus 7 (2013) model, meaning that the 32GB version and the LTE aren’t eligible for the offer – they cost $269.99 and $349.99, respectively. In case you want a cheaper Nexus tablet offer, Best Buy sort-of has you covered, as it still sells refurbished Nexus 7 (2012) models for $149.99 a pop. Nexus 7, Android 4.3, Chromecast Media Event – The Rundown [4:43] Google Nexus 7 (2013) Review [9:30] Google Nexus 7 (2013) Drop Test! [6:51] Nexus 7 (2013) – Best Cases! [6:10] Nexus 7 (2013) Official Case / Flip Cover [2:51] Nexus 7 (2013) vs Nexus 7 (2012) [8:13] That said, if you’ve just received your Nexus 7 this Christmas, or plan to buy it in the following days, make sure you check out our extensive hands-on coverage of the tablet in the playlist above!

Microsoft has released a new update to its OneNote app for Android users that includes a way to add anything onto the note taking software from any other Android application. Read more…

Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Google and automaker Audi will announce their plans to collaboratively develop software for in-car entertainment and information based on Android systems. Read more…

Chrome OS is at last gaining some momentum — among US businesses and schools, anyway. The NPD Group reports that Chromebooks represented 9.6 percent of all computing devices sold through American commercial channels in 2013, or enough to surpass the market share of Android tablets, Windows tablets and MacBooks. Google’s rise put the squeeze on traditional computers, which dropped from 77.8 percent of the commercial space in 2012 to 63.7 percent this year. NPD researchers don’t believe that the PC is going away, but they note that the most successful companies diversified their gadget lineups. Samsung’s combo of Android and Chromebooks helped it jump to 10 percent share of commercial sales in 2013, while PC-focused builders like HP took a bruising; it’s clear that one-trick ponies won’t thrive in the workplace for much longer. Filed under: Laptops, Tablets, Mobile, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google Via: Electronista Source: NPD Group

Think the 3GB of RAM in the Galaxy Note 3 was a lot? Samsung was only getting started. The company has just unveiled the first 8-gigabit (1GB) low-power DDR4 memory chip, which could lead to 4GB of RAM in a multi-layered, mobile-sized package. Moving to the higher-bandwidth (3.1Gbps) DDR standard should also provide a hefty 50 percent speed boost over existing DDR3-based chips, even though the new silicon uses 40 percent less power than its ancestors. Samsung is only promising mass production of the new RAM sometime in 2014, but it’s already clear about the target audience. The technology will go into laptops, smartphones and tablets with Ultra HD displays, where additional memory will be crucial for powering all those extra pixels. Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Storage, Mobile, Samsung Source: Samsung Tomorrow Global

After Samsung has teased some Exynos news for CES 2014 on its Exynos Twitter account (image above,) a new report from China suggests the company may have two new chip versions in the works, which will be unveiled at the Las Vegas trade show in a few days. These are the Exynos 6 (Exynos 6 Octa) that’s based on ARM chip architecture and the Exynos S, that’s reportedly based on Samsung’s own technology. According to MyDrivers, both chips will pack eight cores and both will be 64-bit processors. The Exynos 6 is expected to be based on ARM Cortex-A50 architecture – it’s said to have a quad-core Cortex-A57 cluster and a quad-core Cortex-A53 cluster – and to be 1.53x faster than Qualcomm’s current Snapdragon 800 chip that’s used in various Android devices, including Samsung models. Many details about the Exynos S aren’t known at the time, but the publication says that the Exynos S will also be faster than the Snapdragon 800, but slower than the Exynos 6 chips – Samsung’s custom chips are said to offer a performance that’s 1.43x faster than Qualcomm’s top 2013 mobile chip. While this is just an unconfirmed rumor at this point – so don’t get too excited about the prospect of having faster chips in your 2014 mobile devices just yet – GforGames reminds us of a Samsung presentation that took place in early November during Analyst Day, which showed the following slide. In the presentation, Samsung reportedly talks about two 64-bit chips for the future, one based on ARM’s architecture, and one based on Samsung’s. So far, in addition to Apple, only Qualcomm has announced a 64-bit chip for mobile devices – however, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 processor will equip entry-level to mid-range 2014 mobile devices. Luckily, CES 2014 kicks off in a […]

A new report from South Korea says that Samsung has managed to sell over 40 million tablets this year, an impressive number for the company. Samsung apparently saw increased growth in the last quarter of the year, thanks to the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 (2014 Edition) that hit stores in many markets during the period, but also thanks to the many holiday promotions that included a cheaper or free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 tablet. According to FNN News, the company sold 9.1 million tablets in Q1 2013, 8.4 million units in Q2, 10.5 million in Q3 and over 12 million this quarter, a record for the company. Comparatively, the company sold around 1.5 million tablets in 2010, almost 6 million tablets in 2011 and 16.6 million units in 2012 (see the graph below). Samsung tablet sales for 2010, 2011, 2012, Q12013, Q22013, Q32013, Q42014 | Image credit: FNN News Considering the impressive growth, it makes sense to hear all those rumors that claim Samsung is working on a plethora of new tablets to launch early next year, including a large 12.2-inch Galaxy Pro model. Samsung, which doesn’t mention device sales numbers in its quarterly reports, appears to be second only to Apple when it comes to 2013 tablet sales. The iPad maker has reported 19.5 million tablet sales for Q1 2013, 14.6 million units in Q2 and 14.1 million iPads in Q3. Apple has launched new iPad models this quarter, and it’s expected to report good iPad sales for the Christmas shopping period – last year it sold almost 23 million iPads during the holiday quarter. Have you purchased a Samsung tablet this year?

Xperia Tablet Z owners should be happy to hear that Sony has released the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for the Wi-Fi version of the tablet, after having rolled out a similar update for the LTE model not too long ago. The new update is live for the SGP311 and SGP312 Wi-Fi models, according to Xperia Blog, and will bring your firmware up to version 10.4.B.0.577. In addition to Android 4.3 features, the update also includes various software additions for the tablet such as a new home launcher, the Sony Smart Social camera, “Xperia Theme” support, support for launching multiple Small Apps, and a new battery Stamina mode. Unfortunately, the update, which measures a hefty 793MB according to the publication, is available only through PC Companion or the Sony Update Service, so don’t expect to download it over-the-air (OTA). Naturally, Android 4.4 KitKat is what you’d probably want to have on your Xperia Tablet Z, but that’s not available just yet, at least not officially. Have you updated your Xperia Tablet Z?

Many companies have tried to make a large, note-friendly smartphone, but none have succeeded quite as well as Samsung. The new Galaxy Note 3 further refines the line and for the first time… Read more…

Android has been often criticized for the time it takes for OEMs to release the latest versions of the mobile OS to customers, but HTC has put up an useful infographic in which it shows us how updates are released for carrier devices, unlocked edition and developer devices and Google Play edition (GPe) devices. According to HTC, there are several steps involved in releasing an Android update, as follows: Stage Zero: Evaluation Stage One: Development Stage Two: Integration Stage Three: Test/Certification Stage Four: Push to Customer Stage Zero: Evaluation As you’ll notice in the detailed image (link at the end of the post,) it all starts with Google releasing the PDK to OEMs (HTC included) ahead of the actual announcement of an upcoming version of Android, so the new framework can be evaluated. After the new version of Android is released, OEMs further evaluates requirements, while waiting for the chipset manufacturer to determine whether the new Android OS version will be compatible with its current chips. Stage One: Development Then, drivers and optimizations are released by the chipset maker for the chips that will support the new Android OS version, with a “modified board support package (BSP)” being delivered to HTC for the devices that use the chipset. Stage Two: Integration Up until now, no matter what HTC device we’d be talking about, HTC proceeds in a similar fashion. However, after the BSP is provided, HTC takes different steps depending on the device it has to update. On GPe devices, HTC moves directly to testing, while on carrier and unlocked models, HTC comes up with a new software version for those devices to asses whether it can support them – in case the devices are supported then the source code is infused with HTC’s Sense for each device. For carrier versions, […]

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