There have been rumors swirling for weeks that a mini version of Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, was going to be released. Everyone expected the Galaxy S4 Mini to be debuted at the June 20th launch event, but Samsung surprised us by releasing the specs early in a press event today.
The phone is designed to be a mid range phone that incorporates many of the same features that it’s big brother, the GS4, has. The major difference is the screen size. The mini has a 4.3″ screen that is much smaller compared to the 5″ screen of the S4. The mini also has a smaller 540 x 960-pixel display with a pixel density of 240 ppi. Inside the S4 mini is powered by a 1.7 GHz dual-core chip and 1.5 GB of RAM. The phone comes standard with 8 GB of internal memory, however, for those balking at the limited amount of storage, the phone also comes equipped with a microSD slot, which supports cards up to 64GB in size. The cameras on the GS4 Mini also weigh in a little less than the GS4, with an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.9 MP front-facing lens.
Despite the differences in size and hardware though, Samsung claims that “many” of the same software features will be the same. These include Group Play, S Translator, WatchON, ChatON, Sound&Shot, Panorama Shot ,and Story Album.
The Galaxy s4 Mini will be available on 3G or 4G depending on the market within the next coming months. No launch date or price has been specified yet though. It will be interesting to see how the Galaxy S4 Mini does compared to its bigger brother, and especially compared to other mid range or mini phones that Apple and HTC are rumored to be developing.
Google Chrome for Android just released their latest update today. Along with improved speed the new Google Chrome app comes with some additional features. These include a fullscreen mode, where the toolbar disappears when you scroll down, and tab history support for tablets, where holding the back button will bring up your previous tab history. Additionally, the search experience has been modified to make it easier to see, edit, and show more results when you search.
For all of you on iOS though, don’t feel left out yet, Google will be releasing an update with voice search for the iPhone and iPad shortly.
Download the latest update for Google Chrome on your PC or smartphone here
Facebook has recently released a new app for Android called ‘Facebook Home.’ Facebook describes it as “The family of apps that puts your friends at the heart of your phone.” But what exactly is this app though, and what makes it different from the existing Facebook mobile app and messaging app? Facebook Home is a launcher app, meaning that it replaces the default user interface on phones. This means that instead of the usual home screen on Android’s that you’re used to, Facebook Home, well, creates a home screen that is centered around Facebook. Whenever the home button is pressed or the phone comes out of sleep, the Cover feed becomes active, showing you a stream of full screen photos and updates that your friends are sharing.
This isn’t all that Facebook Home has though. It also has created its own messenger and apps launcher that is just a swipe away from the home screen. Pressing on your round profile picture at the bottom of the Cover feed brings up your navigation panel. Dragging your picture up opens the app launcher, while dragging to the left opens Facebook Messenger and dragging right opens the last app you were using.
The apps launcher is designed to allow quick access to the apps you use the most and is completely customizable. You can also access a complete list of your other apps from this page as well. The Facebook Messenger in Home looks strikingly similar to the old Facebook Messenger app. However, in Home it combines both your Facebook messages and your text messages into one stream.
Zuckerberg shared that “after noting we spend more than 20% of our mobile time on social apps, we asked ourselves- if we’re already spending this much time on our phones, how can we make it easier? What if they were designed around people first, and you could also just happen to interact with apps?” One answer to this comes in the form of Chat Heads, a unique feature that allows you to have conversations with your friends without losing what you were doing by switching apps. When a friend messages you a Chat Head pops up allowing you to chat and get right back to what you were doing without missing a beat or changing apps.
All of these features combine to provide the user a very Facebook-centric experience on their phone that is more about people than apps. Facebook Home is now available for download on certain devices (the new HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Galaxy Note II) in the Google Play store. And every month Facebook is hoping to add more features and make it accessible on more devices, including tablets.
Happy 40th Birthday to the Cell Phone!
On this day in history 40 years ago, the first call from a cell phone was made. Martin Cooper, the Division Manager of the Motorola Cellular Program, made the call on a busy street corner in New York, on the 6th Avenue by the New York Hilton. Who was the lucky person to receive this history making call? None other than Joel Engel from Bell Systems, one of his chief competitors in the cellular technology race. Unfortunately, his phone call was not recorded like Samuel Morse’s first telegraph or Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call, “Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Although the words Cooper reportedly said were, “I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end.”
The device used to make this historic call was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x. The phone had 30 circuit boards and weighed a massive 2.5 lbs and was 9″ tall! And even with a big battery the phone only had 20-30 minutes of talk time and took a whopping 10 hours to recharge. The price also seemed to match the huge size of the phone. When it was released to consumers 10 years later it cost almost $4,000!
Cell phones sure have come a long way since then! And we can’t wait to see what changes will come in the next months, years, and decades, regarding mobile technology. And as your mobile electronics experts, we’ll be sure to keep you informed and up to date on all of the latest and greatest gadgets!
April Fools – the nationally recognized day to play pranks and practical jokes on oneanother. It’s the one day a year where the 10 year old kid inside of us is allowed to go out and cause mischief. We are all very familiar with the well known tricks of switching the sugar for the salt or unscrewing the top of a the pepper shaker, but the digital age has opened up a whole new way to prank, and it turns out there are lots of apps for that! Here are some of our favorites:
1. Hearing Test – Prank Box
Test your friends or family members hearing with this app…and then wait for it…wait for it…
If you want a sneak peek, here’s a video
2. Dude! Your car!
Trick your friends and family into thinking their car has been damaged or totaled. All you have to do is snap a pic of their car and use the app to add damage to the car and voila! You now have a prank that will be sure to get their attention!
3. Broken Screen
There’s nothing worse than breaking your phone’s screen…except maybe breaking your friend’s phone screen. Download this app, fake wanting to show your friend something on your screen, and then fumble the hand off. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.
4. Ghost App
Scare and prank your friends at the same time with this fun app! Snap Ghost in the Apple store lets you add tons of frightful effects to the photos on your phone. Simply take a picture, insert a scary ghost, and watch your friends face!