The month of August has been rife with photo leaks and rumors, but now we have a clear picture of how the future of mobile devices looks, at least from the point of view of the two major contenders on the market. However, 2nd tier manufacturers are not to be ignored, as many mobile technology fairs and shows around the world indicate.
Mobile operating systems keep evolving, gaining the same complexity as computer based ones, and adding functionalities which truly turn smartphones into the most portable computing devices currently in existence.
So, let's get started with the roll call of August mobile technology news.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Is Unveiled, No Last Minute Surprises Involved
August 24 was the official launch date for Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the phablet which is supposed to make us forget about the Note 7 disaster. Design wise, Note 8 keeps in line with the current trend among Samsung devices. It features a curved screen – named Infinity Display by the producer – with a metal frame. However, the curved screen stretches further to the back of the display.
In terms of specifications, the new Samsung phablet has a 6.3’ diagonal QHD+ display with a resolution of 1,400 x 2,960 pixels. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset for the US market, while the international version will feature a proprietary Exynos 8890 chipset. Galaxy Note 8 has 6GB RAM memory and is available in 3 versions of storage space: 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung device which features a dual cameras set, each of 12 MP, while the frontal camera has 8 MP.
The announced prices for the device are $930 for AT&T customers and $960 for Verizon.
Android Oreo Launched, Selected Devices Offer Upgrade
Android has finally unveiled the launch name of its O upgrade, and it is Oreo. The new operating system will be initially equipped on Google Pixel, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P smartphones as well as the Pixel C and Nexus Player devices.
The top changes brought by Android Oreo are:
- Picture-in-picture mode – it allows users to watch a video in a resizable window atop an opened app;
- Notification channels – users can now create customizable channels for each type of notification
- Notification badges – users will see the number of notifications sent by an app (similar to the way in which social media notifications are displayed) right next to the app icon on the mobile screen
- Snoozing – users can choose to snooze a notification which will reappear at a more convenient moment.
Other key improvements are faster boot speed, easier login top various apps and an extension of the autofill option – previously available to websites only – to apps.
Android Oreo is expected to start rolling out on various devices later this year.
Apple Event Scheduled for September 12 – Launch Date for iPhone 8
The Cupertino based company scheduled a product announcement for September 12 and rumors state it will be held in the Steve Jobs Theater. Its purpose is to celebrate 10 years of iPhone existence and to launch the latest flagship of the company.
The announcement was made by The Wall Street Journal, which was officially briefed by the company, the only uncertain element of it being the location. As things stand, the Steve Jobs Theater is not fully completed, so its availability on September 12 is still under debate.
There is little doubt however, that Apple will be launching 3 devices on this occasion: the iPhone 7S, the iPhone 7S Plus and the Anniversary Edition, currently known under the name of iPhone 8.
The Anniversary Edition is undoubtedly the central element of this new product launch. It is expected to feature a faster A11 chipset edge-to-edge OLED display, 3D facial recognition and wireless charging support – the most significant hardware changes to date from model to model.
Berlin IFA 2017 – What We Can Expect
The annual Internationale Funkausstellung held in Berlin since 1924 is the essential public for anyone who is interested in the latest technological trends connected to anything from advanced computers to home appliances. This is the right place to be for spectacular prototype launches, whimsical mods and pure unbridled imagination in technology for the future. Mobile wise, we expect a few interesting launches from key players on the market:
- Samsung – it is unlikely that Samsung will launch another mobile device after the Galaxy Note 8 launch, but we expect the next generation of wearable devices (Samsung Gear 3) and a few models of tablets;
- Lenovo/Motorola – Moto Mod for Moto Z Play with optical lenses from Hasselblad was the queen of the Motorola stand last year, and everyone bets on a new version of this device, with beefed up hardware;
- LG – the top direct rival of Samsung is expected to launch its V30 flagship. Among key features rumored for this device are: edge-to-edge display, fingerprint scanned, USB type-C support and dual rear cameras.
The IFA 2017 will take place from September 1 to 6 at Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
Mobile Users Demand Excellent In-App Customer Support
A survey conducted by Radius Global Market Research this spring on over 2,000 subjects from the United States made its results public last week. The respondents were asked questions pertaining to mobile app use and the way they relate to the brands behind the apps.
The results point to a massive demand for a great customer support experience while using the app. Thus:
- 89% of the participants would recommend an app if the app owners are proactive in solving a technical issue they experience while using it;
- 46% of users prefer apps which offer live customer service via in-app chat;
- 16% of the participants would be willing to pay for such an app.
On the other hand, users take quick and harsh measures in penalizing apps which fail their expectations:
- 47% of the respondents would delete an app which does not provide good customer service;
- 24% of them would post a negative review for the app;
- 19% would express their negative opinion to friends; and
- 18% would post negative comments about the app on the social media.