smaxp writes: Demand for iPhones may be reaching the saturation point. How many people in the world want to pay the minimum U.S. purchase price of $650 for an entry-level iPhone, let alone as much as a 30% premium in international markets? There are limits to the luxury smartphone market, and Apple may be reaching them.
smaxp writes: In a short period of time Twitter has increased engagement in its main product line, appointed a motivational founder as CEO, recruited a top talent to return to Twitter from a dream job at Google Ventures, and has two fast-growing video properties. These resonate as the right steps forward to meet public investors' demands for growth. With nearly $3.5 billion in cash, Twitter isn't about to fail.
smaxp writes: Droid Turbo 2: Verizon-branded flagship with a microSD slot
The Turbo 2 looks and feels like it was derived from the acclaimed Moto X Pure Edition, and it resembles it with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The Turbo 2 is powered by the faster octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor. A microSD card slots supports up to 200GB of storage.
Turbo Maxx 2: Verizon joins the mid-priced frenzyalso with a microSD slot
The Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB storage squarely bracket the Maxx 2 in the midrange. The processor won't win benchmarks against flagship phones, but in tests it proved to be responsive, with quick app load times and smooth gestures and scrolling. A microSD slot expands storage up to 128GB, relieving the 16GB storage limit from the bulge of videos and music collections. The 5.5-inch display is clear and easy to read at a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels at 403 ppi. Given its strong drop test performance, including two teeth-rattling drops down concrete stairs, it is hard to believe that the phone is protected by just Gorilla Glass 3.
Two sturdy co-branded Verizon-Motorola phones
No one will complain about either phone's design or capability, and certainly not their shatterproof sturdiness. Verizon has priced them at the top end of each phones' category: the Droid Turbo 2 costs $649, the Maxx 2 $389. Built into the price may be a durability premium. Apple charges a $120 repair/replacement premium for a two-year Apple Care plan, plus $99 per incident to repair a broken screen, putting a real value on the durability of the Turbo 2 and Maxx 2.
smaxp writes: Deep learning, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are all some of Google's core competencies, where the company leads Apple and Microsoft. If successful, Google's strategy is to maintain this lead by putting its technology out in the open to improve it based on large-scale adoption and code contributions from the community at large.
smaxp writes: When we drop tested Motorola's shatterproof Droid Turbo 2 we needed another phone to demo how devastating a four foot drop onto granite is. We chose the non-shatterproof Droid Maxx 2 believing that on the first drop it would shatter and the screen would explode a spider web of cracks
Try as we did, the Maxx 2 screen didn't shatter. See the video of the Maxx 2 bouncing down concrete stairs.
smaxp writes: Google has updated Google Play Services. Users will notice changes from these updates in their apps quickly. For most Android users, Play Services remains out of sight and under the hood, serving apps with application programming interfaces (API), OAuth 2.0 identity services, security, malware scanning, and other mobile services.
smaxp writes: The ZenWatch 2 is accessible to everyone, at half the cost of the most popular round watches. It resembles the Apple Watch in design, especially the smaller version. Wearables aren't done evolving yet. Apps, OSes, and hardware have made much progress since Android Wear was introduced about 18 months ago, but many devices still reach early retirement in a drawer after just a few months, creating buyer resistance. This remarkable price and Asus's solid reputation as a hardware manufacturer make the ZenWatch 2 a good choice.
smaxp writes: The transition from cellphones to smartphones has been a rude awakening for everyone. That Nokia cellphone that lived in a back pocket and sustained regular drops was replaced by a fragile device that relies on a piece of glass. Everyone has shared the pain because everyone has dropped and shattered at least one smartphone since the first iPhone was introduced eight years ago.
smaxp writes: At $399 for an unlocked, all-metal device, the One A9 extends the iconic HTC One product line. It's a platform to demonstrate the newest features of Android 6.0, such as a fingerprint reader screen unlock, at an affordable price.
smaxp writes: Microsoft seeks the same acclaim from the 950 XL that it won with the Surface Pro, delivering one device that serves two purposes. The 950 XL will fall short, though. Mixing the ecosystem of a smartphone with the productivity of a desktop PC is very different than mixing a tablet with a keyboard for personal productivity.
smaxp writes: With the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple's new annual year upgrade plan serves as an "iPhone as a Service" plan that locks in customers for two years and keeps them from defecting to Android.
smaxp writes: Google will celebrate independent software developers that build software with its products and services with two days of tech talks from the company's top technologists at the upcoming Google I/O conference. It's the one conference where developers get better seats at the keynote talks than the press. Google will surprise, delight, and throw a couple of haymakers at its competition.