iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Two of the biggest rumored devices of the year, the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, appear to be on a collision course. The devices remain firmly inside of the rumor mill but here, with prospective buyers in mind, we want to take a look at how the rumored iPhone 6 is stacking up with the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Every year, Apple releases a brand new iPhone. Last year though, Apple went with a two-pronged approach and announced an iPhone 5s, its flagship model, and a plastic iPhone 5c aimed at emerging markets and those that want to save $100 on-contract. With that in mind, it’s not surprising to learn that Apple has a new iPhone, or perhaps, new iPhones up its sleeve for 2014.

Rumors suggest that Apple will be coming to market with at least one iPhone 6 though if rumors are accurate, we could potentially see two new iPhones emerge before everything is said and done. iPhone 6 rumors suggest that the device could arrive with a much larger display than the iPhone 5s and if true, it would help to put the iPhone firmly  in the sights of those who want a ton of real estate for gaming, watching movies and surfing the web.

One of the preeminent devices for those types of activities is the Samsung Galaxy Note series. Every year, Samsung releases two flagship Galaxy smartphones. Last year, it was the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. Both are high-end models though the Galaxy Note 3 is marketed to those that want more screen and a stylus. The S Pen is one of device’s unique features.

With the iPhone supposedly encroaching on the screen sizes on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, consumers are keeping a close eye on the rumor mill. And there has been no shortage of leaks.

The iPhone 6 and the Galaxy Note 4 are two heavily rumored devices. They are also two devices that consumers are likely weighing as their next smartphone. While we can’t profess to know everything about these two smartphones, they’re still rumored, there is enough credible evidence to warrant an early comparison.

It’s our job to make sure that upgraders are as prepared as possible and today, we want to take a look at how the iPhone 6 rumors compare to the Galaxy Note 4′s.

This comparison aims to help set the expectations of current smartphone owners as we head deeper into the year and closer to both of these launches.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy Note display has always been much larger than the iPhone display and the Galaxy Note 3 and iPhone 5s have continued that trend. While the Galaxy Note 3 comes with a massive 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, the iPhone 5s’ Retina Display measures a mere 4-inches. The size difference can be seen in the photo below.

iPhone-6-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-4

Rumor has it, the iPhone 6 may close the gap a little bit with a sharp increase from the size of the iPhone 5s’ display. Rumors suggest that Apple could be coming out with two different display sizes.

One iPhone 6 model is rumored to have a display that’s between 4.5-inches and 4.8-inches in size. A majority of rumors point to a 4.7-inch display and the general consensus at this point is that this will be the size of one of Apple’s new iPhones. The 4.7-inch model is rumored to have full HD resolution display that’s on par with the top Android devices on the market including the Galaxy Note 3.

Rumors also point to a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 that would directly compete against Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung’s other Galaxy Note models. What’s frustrating is that it’s still not clear if both of these iPhones will launch this year. Rumors suggest that the 5.5-inch model could debut in late 2014 or, perhaps, 2015. More on that below.

Apple will also reportedly utilize sapphire for the iPhone 6 display. A Sapphire display would mean a more scratch-resistant display. If true, we could wind up seeing a iPhone 6 that not only comes with a bigger sized, higher-resolution screen but a display with improved battery efficiency and image quality.

So how might the Galaxy Note 4 contend with that? Well, rumors suggest that it could battle large iPhones in a few different ways.

Galaxy-Note-3-Beats-iPhone-5s

Reports state that Samsung is at least considering a QHD display for the Galaxy Note 4. QHD display resolution translates to 2560 x 1440 resolution and that means sharper looking on-screen content. QHD resolution is rumored to be on board the LG G3 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Prime but it’s not rumored to be coming with the iPhone 6.

Another other upgrade could be a “bent” three-sided display. Back in January, a Samsung executive told Bloomberg that the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a new display type that would allow for better viewing angles. Since then, a series of Galaxy Note 4 rumors have pointed to a “bent” three-sided display. A recent report suggested that this feature was still in play for the Galaxy Note 4.

Recent patent filings show new form factors that Samsung could be playing around with in the lab but they aren’t a definitive look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

While Samsung is known for putting cutting edge technology on board its smartphones, Apple is known for taking a much more methodical approach. For instance, it waited to put LTE on the iPhone. The company has also has waited to super size the iPhone’s screen. In other words, if the Galaxy Note 4 does come with a three-sided display, don’t expect Apple’s iPhone 6 to match it.

The Galaxy Note 4 display should match the iPhone 6′s in terms of quality, the size difference isn’t clear. Samsung’s Galaxy Note probably isn’t going to shrink so for the moment, consumers should expect there to be an inch difference between the iPhone 6 display and the display on the Galaxy Note 4.

Design

It’s clear that Samsung has begun to shift away from its glossy, polycarbonate plastic designs. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3 featured a faux leather plastic design and this year’s Samsung Galaxy S5 arrived with a perforated black plastic matte material that is much improved over the design found on the Galaxy S4. The moves were necessary because the metal designs on the HTC One and the iPhone 5s simply blow away Samsung’s plastic.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors suggest that we’re going to see more change later this year. Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team, recently told Reuters that the Galaxy Note 4 will be coming with a “new form factor” when it arrives later on this year. There was no elaboration but rumors suggest that Samsung is considering a few different changes.

One report claims that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with an IP67 certification, just like the Galaxy S5. What this means is that it will be dust and water resistant, something that the iPhone 5s does not have, and something that hasn’t been rumored for the iPhone 6.

Again, Galaxy Note 4 rumors, which have been fueled by a pair of patent filings, suggest that this new form factor could be dominated by a brand new three-sided display. The photo above gives consumers an idea about how the Galaxy Note 4 could look if it does incorporate a three-sided display.

The photo below, based on another filing, offers another take on the design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

If the iPhone 6 comes with a larger display than the iPhone 5s, it will almost certainly come with a larger overall footprint. And while it may be larger, it still may not come close to the size of the Galaxy Note 3.  The video below will give consumers an idea about how big a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 might look compared to the Galaxy Note 3.

The image below shows a supposed iPhone 6 mockup next to the Samsung Galaxy S5. While the Galaxy S5 is smaller than the Galaxy Note 3, the image will give consumers a good idea of the size. The Galaxy S5 utilizes a 5-1-inch display.

A recent Macotakara report shared two possible sets of iPhone 6 dimensions for both the 4.7-inch model and 5+inch model. Here is how those rumors stack up with the measurements of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3′s design. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 dimensions haven’t leaked.

  • iPhone 6 (4.7) -140 x 70 x 7mm
  • iPhone 6 (5.7) – 160 x 80 x 7mm
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm

Well known leakster Sonny Dickson claims that the iPhone 6 may be as thin as 5.5mm. This smaller size could come in part from new display technology that reduces the thickness needed for display backlighting, as shared in a report on LEDInside of TrendForce.

iPhone 6 design rumors also suggest Apple may be able to deliver a new iPhone that is up to 26% thinner than the iPhone 5s. A recent leak from Ukrainian website suggests Apple is aiming for a smartphone as thin as 6mm, but Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes a 6.5 – 7mm thickness is easier for Apple to achieve.

Alleged iPhone 6 photos and mockups claim to show the exact look of the upcoming iPhone but thus far, they are inconclusive given that they could be based on rumors rather than inside information.

As for the rest of the design, iPhone 6 rumors point to Apple including Touch ID fingerprint technology on the iPhone 6 and on an array of rumored upcoming Apple products. Early Galaxy Note 4 rumors pointed to the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor and the arrival of a fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S5 makes one likely.

Specs

iPhone 6

  • Apple A8 64-bit processor
  • iOS 8
  • 4.5-4.8-inch and 5 -5.5-inch Sapphire displays
  • 1GB/ 2GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB storage options
  • 3.2MP HD front-facing camera
  • 8-10MP rear-facing camera
  • 1,800 mAh battery
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
  • NFC

Reports indicate that the Galaxy Note 4 could come equipped with some powerful hardware as well. The device’s specs are said to possibly include LTE-Advanced for faster data speeds. LTE-A offers faster data speeds for compatible devices but it also requires networks to offer the capability. U.S. carriers have been slow to adopt the new technology though Verizon plans to deploy LTE-A by the middle of 2014.

To compete with the iPhone 5s and rumored iPhone 6, the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a 64-bit processor. 64-bit processors can handle more memory than 32-bit processors, something that is important for high-performance devices like the Galaxy Note.

Galaxy-Note-3-Beats-iPhone-6s

Galaxy Note 4 camera rumors haven’t been specific but iPhone 6 camera rumors have been. A new rumor indicates that the iPhone 6 could take dramatically better photos thanks to new image stabilization that takes multiple photos which software could combine to deliver a “super-resolution” photo.

Software

At this point, we’re not sure what the Galaxy Note 4 software will look like but we are pretty sure about a couple of things. First, it should feature applications that are related to the device’s S Pen. The S Pen is the stylus that comes bundled with the Galaxy Note. The Galaxy Note 3′s S Pen experience can be seen in the video below.

Second, it should feature some of the things that Samsung delivered with the Galaxy S5 software. The Galaxy S5′s software is focused on health, camera upgrades, and more. Those that aren’t familiar can check out the Samsung Galaxy S5′s software in action next to the Galaxy S3 in the video below.

As for the iPhone 6, it likely won’t come with a bundled stylus nor will it come with Android. Rumors suggest that it will come with Apple’s brand new iOS operating system, currently known as iOS 8.

The current version of iOS is iOS 7.1 but the iPhone 6 will more than likely run the next version of Apple’s software. iOS 8 is widely expected to debut on June 2nd at Apple’s WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco though that remains unconfirmed.

iOS 8 is expected to be an extensive upgrade to iOS 7 and those that haven’t been following the iOS 8 update on its journey to WWDC.

Price

In November, shortly after the iPhone 5s release, Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group said that he believed that the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100. Caso’s prediction was recently backed up by well known Jefferies analyst Peter Misek who says that he also believes that there is a potential for a $100 price jump. Others believe that the iPhone 6 might stay at $199.99.

In our opinion, if Apple releases two iPhone models, we’d expect the larger 5.5-inch model to the be the device that is priced at $299.99 on-contract. Why? Because that’s where the Galaxy Note series is priced and it’s a potential price point for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the device that it would compete with.

Release Date

These two devices appear to be on a collision course this fall. Galaxy Note 4 rumors point to an arrival in the second half of the year and iPhone 6 rumors all point to a debut after WWDC.

Samsung has all but confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 release for the second half of the year. The company historically has used the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany to launch its Galaxy Note and rumors suggest that it’s at least considering the event for the Galaxy Note 4 launch. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3 arrived at IFA, just a few days before the iPhone 5s launch.

IFA 2014 kicks off on September 5th and prospective buyers will want to circle that date in pencil. As for the release date, Samsung usually releases a device three to four weeks after the announcement date. What this means is that Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may not hit shelves until September or October.

Apple could be planning something similar. Several weeks ago, the CEO of a company that partnered with Apple to sell the iPhone in Russia claimed that the iPhone 6 release would land in September. The rumor was extremely interesting given that this is the second Apple partner to point to the fall iPhone 6 release date.

His comments follow a long line of iPhone 6 release date rumors that point to the fall. Here are a few of the more recent reports that point to an iPhone release this fall:

  • iPhone 6 release date as early as September – Nikkei
  • iPhone 6 release date in August or September – Steve Milunovich UBS via Barrons
  • iPhone 6 release in the fall – Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest via Business Insider
  • iPhone 6 scheduled for third quarter 2014 – ZDNet Korea
  • iPhone 6 scheduled for the fall in September – Industrial Commercial Times

Rumors suggest that Apple may have two iPhone release dates up its sleeve. A report from Reuters claims that while Apple is planning a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 release for this fall, the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be delayed. In fact, rumors are starting to point to two possible release dates.

EMSOne, Reuters, Ming-Chi Kuo, Steve Milunovich from UBS, and a new report from The Commercial Times all point to a delayed release for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6. The Commercial Times suggests that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could have been pushed into 2015.

A more recent report from The India Times suggests that we could see it arrive in September, just a month after the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 arrives on shelves.

So at this point, buyers should expect at least one iPhone 6 to be out to compete with the likes of the Galaxy Note 4 and it could be that we see them both arrive in and around the same time this fall.

Advice

After absorbing all of that, we recommend doing a couple of things. First, go and get hands-on with the Galaxy Note 3. The device may not look or feel exactly like the Galaxy Note 4 but we’re not expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to shrink down or ditch the S Pen. The S Pen is one of the things that sets the Galaxy Note apart from devices like the iPhone and consumers will want to make sure that it’s absolutely necessary.Finally, be patient. Keep an eye on iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 rumors but try not to let expectations get out of hand. Rumors will often start big and bold before ultimately settling in the latter months of the rumor cycle.

 


LG officially announced the phone G3 Beat or G3 S

LG officially announced the phone G3 Beat or G3 S … in response to the wishes and requirements of the owners of a large segment of the middle class financially LG has announced officially today for the mini version of her pioneering LG G3 in the continents of Asia and Europe.
For your information and prior to entering into the specifications of this phone, we draw your attention to that LG has launched her new on this two different names so that the Asian version launched by the name of LG G3 Beat, while named by LG G3 S in Europe.
And now we come to mention phone specifications LG G3 Beat or LG G3 S and start with the screen, which came in size 5 inches at a resolution of 720 × 1280 pixels.
LG-G3-Beat-G3-s-official-2014
This phone processor quad-core Snapdragon 400 class of frequency 1.2GHz, supported by random-sized memory and 1GB internal storage size of 8GB expandable external memory via MicroSD.
Camera phone background comes precisely 8 megapixels accompanied Blazer to focus accurately automatic Binmaalomamih 1.3 megapixels, and the phone’s battery removable 2540mAh capacity
Phone provider running Android 4.4 KitKat interface with Optimus herself a new phone used in G3.
Phone will be available from the beginning of South Korea and the phone will be LG G3 Beat in three different colors which include black, white and gold

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Featuring an enhanced 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, smart innovations, and a thin, lightweight design, the elegant new Galaxy Note 3 is capable of things you never thought possible.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3

The newly evolved S Pen delivers innovation to make life easier including enhanced handwriting recognition. Quickly jot notes, emails, and text messages that can be transformed into text. With Action Memo™, quickly turn your writing into actionable links like phones calls and new contacts. For quick access to the S Pen menu, simply hover the pen over the screen and click.

Advanced features make the Galaxy Note 3 an even more intuitive experience. With S Voice Wake Up, activate your phone with a simple “Hi, Galaxy.” Then use S Voice to control your device with easy voice commands. With S Finder , just one click of the S Pen lets you easily search your entire phone, from handwritten notes to emails and the web.

Pair a Samsung Galaxy Gear with your Galaxy Note 3 and stay more connected—but less distracted. Get important calls, emails, and texts right on your wrist, so you’re never out of touch. Your phone and watch seamlessly communicate. So, when you pick up your phone, it automatically opens the same notification, allowing you to respond right away.

specs-samsung-galaxy-note-3-black2014

Specifications

Size and Weight
  • 5.95 x 3.12 x 0.32 inches
  • 5.93 ounces

Operating System and Processor
  • Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
Battery Life
  • Up to 25 hours talk time
  • Up to 530 hours (3G); Up to 420 hours (4G) standby time
Memory
  • 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM and microSD slot (up to 64 GB)
Connectivity
  • Sync methods: USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, DLNA,NFC
  • 4G Capable
  • Wi-Fi and Mobile Calling
Audio and Multimedia
  • T-Mobile TV
GPS and Apps
  • GPS enabled
International
  • Quad Band GSM; UMTS: Band I (2100), Band II (1900), Band IV (1700/2100), Band V (850); LTE: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 17
Hearing Aid Compatibility
  • M3 & T3

Nokia Lumia 630 Review help us Cortana you’re our only hope

Windows Phone is primed for a serious update, but can it make headway into the mid-range market? With Android holding sway in the “lesser-than” category, Microsoft aims to move into their territory via the Nokia Lumia 630. A decidedly mid-tier phone, it’s got some bite, but enough to stand up to those like the Moto G? We go hands-on to find out.

Nokia-Lumia-630-review-budget-smartphone

Hardware

The Lumia 630 is familiar Nokia fare, and reminds us of the recently reviewed Noxia XL. Plastic, boxy, but with a hint of heft. The orange cover (it comes in other colors, too) is removable, giving you access to the battery and SIM card. We can’t say snapping the cover away often is a good idea, though — it isn’t as easy as some others.

A 4.5-inch screen sounds great, but the 854 x 480 pixel display is too grainy by any standard. The IPS LCD has Microsoft’s ClearBlack moniker, which is more a stamp of approval than hardcore tech. The badge is for those devices Microsoft wants us to believe has a design standard, as it has extra filters which aim to give truer color representation for pixelated devices such as the Lumia 630. With the 630, we’re failing to see what the standard is; blacks appear blue, and in 2014, pixels shouldn’t be noticeable.

Like the Nokia XL, the 630 has a Snapdragon 400 and 5MP camera. It’s got a sad 512MB RAM, and up to 8 GB Memory, expandable to 128 GB. Bluetooth 4.0 is a handy feature, but a lone accelerometer sensor lacks punch

Software

Windows Phone has come a long way since inception, but also begs for robust hardware. That’s where the 630 will test Microsoft’s mettle. Can a mid-range device offer enough in the way of Windows Phone to keep us interested? That depends on what you’re doing with it, of course.

For those who want to play intensive games, this isn’t your device. The hardware is just plain incapable of keeping up with rigorous activity, and Windows Phone usually doesn’t get cool new games. Windows Phone 8.1 is a decent iteration of Windows’ mobile efforts, but falls well short here. The device will get the job done, but not offer you any surprises along the way.

If you want to keep up with pals on Facebook and check your Twitter feed, this is just fine. We also like this one for Cortana, where Microsoft has made big strides. The latest incarnation of a smartphone assistant is robust and engaging. We’d strongly suggest this service for someone who wants the Lumia 630 as little more than a digital assistant. Where the device may fall short otherwise, Cortana picks it right up and has us coming back to it.

Performance

The 5MP camera on the 630 is fine for grabbing a shot of lunch to share on Instagram, but that’s about it. You won’t be getting gorgeous sunsets or shimmering images of ponds. Editing options are sparse, too. If you want a picture of the kids being kids, though, there’s no issue here.

In normal use-case scenarios, the 630 was a touch laggy. With diminished RAM, that was just bound to happen. If we’re comparing apples to apples, though, many devices in this category will perform similarly. If we were suggesting mid-tier devices to someone who wanted more than they were spending for, however, it would likely be the Moto G.

Battery life here was adequate, but an 1830mAh power pack pushing the hardware it does offered up no surprises. The screen is rough, and doesn’t beg much from the battery, which is usually where you’ll get knocked in battery life. We got a full day plus with normal use, stuff like checking messages and keeping up with light tasks. A small battery also means quicker charging, so you’re not tethered to a wall for long (if at all) in your day. If you need to go longer, a battery saver mode will help you out.

Conclusion

The price will move this device, no doubt. Microsoft has effectively re-branded a device from two years ago (the Snapdragon 400 was slightly behind when it debuted on the Nexus 4) and sold it anew. The hardware breaks no new ground, and our overall takeaway was one of mere acceptance; we didn’t love it, but it didn’t necessarily leave us shaking our heads at it, either.

Those in the market for a fairly solid mid-range device who have an aversion to Android, this one may suit you. As a Windows Phone, it left us wanting, but that’s just the mid-range game sometimes. Windows Phone begs for better hardware all around, and the Nokia 630 doesn’t deliver. For the market it’s aims at, though, it will likely be a good foot in the door for Microsoft.

LG G3 Review

This month we’ve had an extended look at the LG G3 in its international edition, preparing for the USA-bound version(s) which will be launching later this Summer. What we’re seeing here is a phone that out-does the competition while it remains (somehow) humble in the public. It’s not for a lack of trying, of course, but for a lack of successful fanfare that most people we show the LG G3 to have never seen the handset before – it or its predecessor

 LG-G3-concept

What phone is that?

This is the LG G3, and if you live in the USA, you’ve likely never seen one up close. Why are we reviewing one before it’s been announced for USA-bound carriers? Because LG sees the time period between their international release and their USA release as a make-or-break sort of period in the history of the device.

In order for you, the potential consumer, to remain excited about the LG G3 between when it was announced earlier this year and when it’ll be on store shelves in the United States, LG needs to keep your eyes on the prize. While it’s not our job to advertise for LG, it is our job to let you know what LG is presenting, and whether or not it’ll be worth your time and effort to buy one for yourself once you get the opportunity.

IMG-LG-G3-concept

Hardware

The LG G3 works with a 5.5-inch 2K display – that’s 1440 x 2560 pixels, or 3x the amount of pixels you’d get with a device like the Motorola Moto X, which has a 720p display. The LG G3’s display works with IPS LCD technology and is exceedingly bright and sharp.

In fact with a 534PPI (pixels per inch) screen density, the LG G3 beats out the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8), and the iPhone 5s as well.

Below you’ll see the LG G3 next to the HTC One (M8). The HTC One (M8) is available from several carriers at the time this review is published, while the LG G3 will arrive in the United States later this summer.

The processor on the LG G3 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with model number MSM8975AC. This is very, very similar to the HTC One (M8) and Galaxy S5, both of which work with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with model number MSM8974AC. The only real difference is the clock speed, 2.45GHz max compared to 2.5GHz.

The processors in combination with their displays make for very similar end results with this whole collection of devices. You’ll find benchmark scores with the LG G3 to be lower than the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 in many cases simply because the processor, while running with a higher clock speed, needs to push graphics to a more densely-packed display.

Apple solves battery issue for iPhone 6

The incoming iPhone 6 is reportedly larger, slimmer, and much more like an iPad or iPod in form factor. That slim profile, which is said to be around 6mm thin, has reportedly been causing issues for Apple in sourcing a battery. Samsung and LG both thought they had Apple’s problem handled, but it seems a new player has emerged victorious.


Taiwan’s Economic Daily News is reporting that Apple has turned to Simplo Technologies for the battery on their incoming flagship device(s). Their report suggests neither Samsung or LG — both of whom have slimmer, curved smartphones — could produce a battery thin or flexible enough. It’s worth noting that while Samsung and LG both put devices into production with curved batteries, only LG’s G Flex was sold on a wide scale.

iphone-6-battery-life

The report doesn’t note if the 4.7-inch model or 5.5-inch model saw issues, though. It was likely an issue dogging both handsets, but there’s no way to know based on this report.

If Apple has a major component issue solved, the iPhone 6 could be well on it’s way to that rumored September 19 launch date we keep hearing about. We’re still not clear if both handsets will come at the same time, or if Apple will have a staggered release.

Microsoft To Abandon The Bastard Child Of Windows Phone In Two Months

Remember Windows Phone 7.8? Microsoft built it as a stop-gap measure to lessen the ire of Windows Phone 7.5 users, a group technologically precluded from making the leap to Windows Phone 8. If you had forgotten about it don’t worry, Microsoft is about to do the same.

Mary Jo Foley today detailed the coming death-dates of a number of Microsoft products, including Windows Phone 7.8. As it turns out, 7.8′s moment of expiration has been known for some time: September 9th.

Today Microsoft published — and then retracted, it seems — a note to computing users concerning the end of support for a number of its products. The list included a note that Windows Phone 7.8 would lose “mainstream support” in September.

screen-shot-pm

It wasn’t clear what that meant. According to the company’s general life cyle page, consumer products generally receive a two year period of updates and support, after which they are no longer supported. There isn’t “extended support” for such products, as there is for versions of desktop Windows, for example.

Windows Phone 7.8 is being axed after a mere 18 months. The official verbiage: “Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date.” In short, if you are on Windows Phone 7.8 you have a few months left before your phone won’t update ever again.

How many Windows Phone 7.8 users are left? About 17% of the larger Windows Phone market, so it’s no small tally.

Windows Phone 7.8 was never more than a band-aid. Microsoft decided that Windows Phone needed to join the larger Windows family, and the original Windows Phone 7, 7.1 7.5, and 7.8 devices could never share in that future. Thus, to see Microsoft walk quickly away from the product is hardly surprising.

What does it gain from its support? Aside from honoring the implicit promise to not leave users behind when providing them with a platform to by into, little.

Strategically, that is, Windows Phone 7.8 is moot.

The App Store, Six Years Later

Happy birthday, iTunes App Store. Apple‘s App Store turns six today, and now offers consumers over 1.2 million apps, which have been downloaded 75 billion times, according to the most recent official data shared by the company.

But the business can sometimes be tough for app developers, and new numbers out this morning from two different analytics companies help prove this point. More than 21 percent of the apps that entered the App Store since its debut are now “dead,” notes one firm, while another is seeing a trend it calls “app burnout” now emerging. This latter trend indicates, perhaps, that many apps are seen as disposable by users – they’re things we play with until we get bored, finish a task, or until the next great new thing comes along.

appstore

Dead Apps & Burnout

Unlike the days of boxed software, app developers today don’t have to just make sales. They have to find and retain loyal users, keep engagement high, consider a variety of revenue models including also mobile advertising and in-app purchases, and work to maintain a highly ranked position in the App Store’s charts, which are managed by sometimes inscrutable and ever-changing algorithms.

According to analytics firm Adjust, to date, over 1,601,413 total apps have been uploaded to the App Store over the years, but currently only 1,252,777 apps are available.

Most of the “dead” apps that have exited the App Store since its debut are in the Books (27%), Entertainment (25%) and Utilities (25%) categories, it says.

Meanwhile, the App Store continues to grow, with as many as 60,000 new apps added monthly. Adjust sees no sign of that slowing down. The company predicts by App Store’s 7th birthday, another 578,000 apps will have been added to its ranks.

And by January 2016, it expects that another 952,977 will have gone live.

Those numbers seem about right. Based on figures Apple itself has previously shared, the App Store’s growth has not yet begun to taper off. The company added 250,000 iOS applications to the store from 2012 to 2013, in between its annual WWDC announcements. The year before, it had added 225,000 applications (between 2011 and 2012), and before that, some 200,000 new apps had arrived.

There are now some 9 million registered developers building for iOS, up 47 percent over last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said. Last year, the company did $10 billion in sales, and through its revenue-sharing agreements with developers, has paid out $15 billion to date. Consumers are downloading 800 apps per second, Apple says, with over 75 billion downloads to date.

But amid this growing crowd of mobile applications, many apps never see the light of day. Adjust refers to the longest of the long tail as “zombie apps” – apps that don’t attract enough attention to regularly receive rankings in the App Store’s top lists.

Specifically, the line between a living app and a zombie app was set conservatively, Adjust says – an app had to rank on any of the 39,171 App Store top list on two out of three days over the month.

Over the years, the number of “zombie apps” has grown, the firm found: by last month (June 2014), there were 79.6 percent zombies (953,387 out of 1,197,087), up from 77 percent in May 2014. And these figures are up from last year (June 2013), when 70.4 percent of all apps were zombies.

App Discovery Challenges

What that means for app developers is that the large majority cannot count on the App Store’s top lists for discovery.

Apple has been addressing this problem, in recent days, with changes arriving in iOS 8. The iOS 8 App Store introduces more subcategory lists, app bundling, search improvements including related search suggestions and search trends section, and more. And most notably, iOS 8 also brings the App Store directly into the mobile operating system itself. Now, when you pull down on the homescreen to search across your device via Spotlight Search, you may be shown app suggestions from the App Store in your results.

Loyal Users On The Decline

Meanwhile, a related report from Localytics also out today, points not to the problems with app discovery, but rather the issues around retaining users – or “app stickiness,” as the firm calls it. Overall app stickiness – an average of an app’s Power Users and Loyal Users which takes into account both engagement and loyalty – remains at 22 percent, it says.

Media and Entertainment apps have the highest stickiness while “technology apps” (e.g. a timer, a calculator) and games have the lowest, at 16 percent and 19 percent respectively as of Q2 2014.

Power users, who go into apps 10 or more times per month, are now 32 percent – which is the first time iOS has been even with Android on this metric. (Previously, Android had more Power Users). Loyalty, however, is better on iOS at 24 percent versus Android’s 21 percent.

But Localytics also points to an emerging trend referred to as “app burnout.” Since 2011, the percentage of Power Users has always been greater than Loyal Users, and now those figures are diverging even more, the firm says. From Q1 to Q2, Power Users increased by 1 percent while Loyal Users decreased by 2 percent.

In Q2, the 25,000 apps Localytics measured had an aggregate of 26 percent of Power Users and 17 percent of Loyal Users, which could be an issue for app developers because Power Users will often use an app heavily in a short period of time, then stop using the app entirely when they reach an “engagement ceiling” – like completing a game, a task or specific function.

Many apps are used like this from utilities to games, but even other apps – like photo-sharing, shopping or social apps – are seeing burnout trends that indicate some users don’t necessarily “finish” with the app, they just stop using it for some reason.

As the App Store continues to grow, the challenges developers face today will grow, as well. The top charts are already difficult to break into, and so far, Apple has not yet deeply embraced the power of social networking as a way to share apps among friends and other larger audiences. This leaves room for Facebook to swoop in with App Install ads and make a killing.

As the App Store expands, developers will need to figure out new ways of getting their apps found, not only via Facebook, but through other advertising and marketing initiatives. And once installed they need to work at keeping their current users engaged.

Samsung Steps Up Its App Game With ‘Galaxy Apps’ Rebrand

Watch out, Google. Samsung is pushing a new Android app store, and it’s not Google Play.

The Korean-based company announced Galaxy Apps, a new and rebranded version of its app store on Friday in an apparent attempt to challenge Google’s dominant Play Store.

See also: 25 Best Free Android Apps

The company says the new Galaxy Apps, previously known as Samsung Apps, will offer users customization options, discounts and other promotions not available in the Play Store.

The new storefront, which will be available to anyone with a Samsung smartphone or tablet, is divided into three main sections: Best Picks, Top and For Galaxy. Best and Top surface recommended and popular apps, which users can filter by date, popularity and price. The For Galaxy section includes premium and business-centric apps specifically for Galaxy devices and those created using Samsung’s software development kits.

This isn’t the first time Samsung has made efforts to push its own app deals outside of Google’s Play Store. The company’s most recent flagship, the Galaxy S5, ships with more than $500 in premium app subscriptions and Samsung offered similar deals with past phones and tablets.

Samsung_App

Samsung and Google have battled over apps in the past. The Korean manufacturer agreed earlier this year to tame its own apps, often labeled as bloatware, in favor of a cleaner and more unified Android experience.

Samsung currently leads its competitors with 39.5% of the global Android market share, according to IDC, so it’s not surprising the company would want to cut into Google’s app profits.

Galaxy Apps is rolling out now and will eventually be available to users around the world.

 

7 Business Apps Every Professional Should Download

Smartphones have given today’s mobile workers the ability to not have to worry about having everything they need before they get moving. Which is great, until they end up in a conference, airplane, or other no-reception zone without the crucial One Thing I Need. Good smartphone and tablet tools don’t just provide access – they think ahead and plan for contingencies, like a personal assistant. They’re the tools that can make your job a whole lot easier.

7-Business-Apps-Professional-Download

1. TripIt

TripIt is a personal assistant for travel, especially if you give it access to your email inbox and let it scan for tickets and itineraries. Afterward, you literally don’t have to do anything except open the app to see all the details: your confirmation number, your departure time, the address of your hotel, the distance to the conference center, and the website of the restaurant you’re supposed to eat at Friday night. Open it up at least once before you journey and TripIt will hold your travel details for offline viewing, in case you don’t want to spring for WiFi on the plane. (iPhone/iPadAndroid)

2. QuickOffice

There are all kinds of mobile business apps that claim to work well with Microsoft Office documents, but only so many offer only read-only access. Those that do offer editing tools often want to tie you into their own cloud storage schemes. Not QuickOffice. This app was recently acquired by Google, but it still works as a utilitarian open, edit, and save solution for quick views and adjustments. We’ve talked about the importance of information mobility, and this app provides a great way for mobile workers to access documents on the go. (iTunesAndroid)

3. Pocket (or Instapaper)

Which app looks and works better is a matter of taste, but both Pocket and Instapaper do their jobs remarkably well. That job: take blog posts, news articles, and other content on the web (including everything at WorkIntelligent.ly – shameless plug), strip it down to just the text and necessary images, and save them to your device for reading when you have time. Big offices used to have such “clipping services” way back when, but they didn’t let you choose your favorite font. (Pocket: iTunesAndroid; Instapaper: iTunesAndroid)

4. Agenda (or Fantastical)

It’s odd how unhelpful the default calendar on an iPhone or Android can be. With how much design has gone into the OS of each, how can something as simple as a calendar cause so many headaches? Why can’t you just get an agenda view of everything that’s happening today when you start it up? Why does entering the time and date of an event feel like unlocking a bank vault? My own fix is Agenda Calendar 4, which makes smart guesses about when you want to schedule things, shows your day in a well-designed glance view, and generally gives you more information and links from an event than Calendar. If you frequently use the iPhone’s Reminders function, you might instead try Fantastical 2, which ties directly into the iPhone’s alerts and reminders systems. (Agenda: iTunesAndroid; Fantastical: iTunes)

5. Chrome

Chrome is Google’s own browser. Your iPhone already has the Safari browser, and your Android phone likely has its own default browser. So why would you bother to install a browser that shows the same web pages as either of these? One big reason: if you use Chrome on a desktop computer and sign in on both your desktop and phone with your Google account, you can see and open any tab you had open on your desktop browser when you left it. Or just start typing in a few words from the page you already went to into Chrome’s search bar, and Chrome should come up with it. It feels magical (and maybe a bit creepy). (iTunesAndroid)

6. CloudCube (Android only)

Maybe you already feel backed up, cloud-connected, and ready to grab your files from anywhere. So cloud-connected, in fact, that you sometimes have a hard time remembering in which cloud you stored that certain file, and where you have room to put that next big one. CloudCube works with all the notable syncing services: Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box, SugarSync, and more. Move files between clouds, see what’s inside each account, and even sync folders between your Android device and your services of choice. (Android)

7. IFTTT (If This Then That) (iPhone only)

Wouldn’t it be neat if every time you took a screenshot of your iPhone, that screenshot was automatically saved to where you want it? Or if every time you completed a Reminder on your phone, it emailed the appropriate person to let them know, automatically? Or if you could see, on your phone, every photo you’ve been tagged in from Facebook? With IFTTT (short for If This Then That), that kind of two-step, non-thinking action is entirely possible. The hardest part is thinking up the “recipes” that you want for your phone, but after playing with the website a bit, you should get a real sense of just how many things can be done without your having to even think about it. Be sure to install this iPhone app so you can take full advantage of that set-and-forget productivity. (iTunes).