As we all settle into the comfortable seats of our resting places and enjoy a sip of coffee for the weekend, what better company than catching up on what were the biggest stories in the world of personal tech in the week gone by. Just like our previous series, ‘Tech Recap of the Day’ we promise to keep the stories as concise as possible giving you a peek. So without delaying it any further here are the stories that caught our attention over the span of this week:
Next Android version to make a permanent switch from Dalvik to ART run time
According to several reports coming in including the one on XDA Forums, Google is planning to go full time with ART runtime starting with the next major Android update. Google had introduced ART side by side Dalvik runtime in Android 4.4 KitKat as an experiment. Dalvik is a JIT compiler while ART is an AOT compiler which results in faster and better performances of the device. Those who have used ART are also reporting better battery backup using ART than Dalvik runtime.
One of the biggest news this week was that Amazon announced its foray in to the mobile market. The company announced its device called the Fire Phone. The phone essentially is tightly integrated with all the Amazon services such as Amazon Prime, Mayday etc and provides unlimited storage in Amazon Cloud for your pictures. The device has 4 low energy sensors on the front that track your movements and gestures to enable a glass free 3D experience in the UI. Underlying the custom skin, very much like what we have seen on Amazon Fire tablets, is standard Android OS, though you would be hard pressed to know that. The phone also has a Firefly feature whereby you can use the camera of the device to recognise products and directly buy them off Amazon’s website. The Fire Phone is an AT&T and US exclusive for now and goes on sale on July 25th.
If you have been holding out buying a new iMac due to the high price point, this week brought some good new. Apple announced new iMac this week which is $200 lower than the previous base model. The new $1,099 iMac will come with the same 21.5 inch screen as the $1,299 iMac though the rest of the internal specs are heavily compromised. The AIO desktop is powered by a Dual Core 1.4 GHz i5 processor and has 8 GB of memory with 500 GB HDD. This new iMac is already on sale in the US. There have been reports in the press recently though, that this may not be the only iMac update this year with Apple bringing newer Retina iMacs towards the end of the year.
Micromax became the first of many major Indian OEMs to pledge their support to Microsoft and bring a Windows Phone device to the market. Micromax announced two devices in India called the Canvas Win W092 and Win W121 this week. The Win W092 is priced at Rs 6,500 making it the most affordable Windows Phone device out there. Interestingly, both the devices run the latest WP 8.1 out of the box and will be available in retail starting July. Both the devices are powered by Snapdragon 200 Quad Core chips with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB internal storage. While the W092 has a 4 inch IPS display with WVGA resolution, the W121 boasts of a 5 inch IPS display with 720 P resolution.
Google released the stock E-Mail app on Play Store
Google released its official E-mail application on Google Play this week. This move comes as no surprise as Google earlier had decided to release its default camera application, Google Now Launcher as well as its official keyboard to the Play Store. The application is compatible with Nexus and select GPE devices only for now. It certainly did not work with our older Samsung Galaxy S4. The app supports IMAP, POP3 and Exchange accounts and so far comes pre-installed on all the Nexus devices only.
Twitter officially adds support for GIFS
Twitter conversations are set to get a little bit more interesting now as Google has decided to officially add support for GIFS, both on the web client as well as the official Twitter applications on iOS and Android. Twitter had been testing the rollout for almost a month now, and it is good news that finally it has gone live. Since the official rollout though, there have been a few stutters and we have had experiences where GIF hasn’t loaded at all. Anyway, we are sure these minor issues will be ironed out now that the feature has been added. GIFS have become an elementary part of the conversations on the internet today and so far people were forced to used sites such as imgur to share their GIFS.
Facebook announced SlingShot, a Snapchat competitor this week. We went ahead and reviewed the application and in short liked it. We were impressed with the whole active communication that the application is trying to push. To explain this simply, to view a picture shared by your friend on SlingShot, you must share a picture or video too. This way the app pushes you to communicate with your friends. The animation, UI as well as the whole experience of using the application was slick and the app has a few interesting features going for it making it a slightly more mature communication platform than the likes of Snapchat.
With that we come to an end of the roundup of the big stories in the world of consumer tech, we hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead. Stay tuned for latest in the tech space, right here.