Burgundy Red and Moon Violet LG G3’s coming in August


When LG launched the G3 flagship back last month, the company’s official press shots showed that the G3 would come adorned in five different hues. Fast forward a couple of months and the device is pretty much rolled out everywhere at the moment, but oddly it is only available in three different colors. Well, it is not that odd at all as LG is clearly saving two of the colorways for another day, and that day could be close.

The normal metallic black and white colors were available from launch, as was the love it or hate it Shine Gold hue. Moon Violet or Burgundy Red have yet to make their debut on the G3 anywhere in the world, but LG today released a statement confirming that the colors would arrive in August.

“Additional G3 colors such as Moon Violet and Burgundy Red will be rolled out in select markets starting in August and continuing over several weeks. Exact colors and dates will be decided locally in conjunction with carriers. Announcements will be made in each market at the time of availability.”

Not huge news granted, but if you have been holding off on getting the G3 because you simply have to have the Red or Violet versions, then the wait is nearly over.

Samsung responds (unhelpfully) to Galaxy Tab S problem


Galaxy Tab S overheat
Galaxy Tab S overheat

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S range of tablets is very good, the best the company has made in fact. Sure, we could argue that the Note line was already covering the company’s slate output just fine, but this is Samsung and having multiple products for each market is what the Korean juggernaut does. With that in mind the S Tab?s are a nice addition to the iPad baiting crowd.

However, the slates have been having some teething problems out in the wild, with a large number of Galaxy Tab S owners complaining that there is an issue with the tablets. The problem in question sees the Tab S overheat to such an extent that the rear plastic plate distorts and loses its shape. Of course, not every single owner of a Tab S is complaining about this, but it is a large enough issue for it to be a sizeable PR problem for Samsung.

The company has responded today by releasing the following statement.

“Contrary to certain media reports, the slight disfiguration that has formed on the rear surface of the Galaxy Tab S has been attributed to a limited number of defective back covers, which has no relation to the overheating of the application processor or the material used for the back cover. We would like to assure our customers that we have already resolved the issue. We ask affected customers to please contact their nearest Samsung Electronics customer service center.”

Firstly, it is nice to see Samsung has spoken out in this in a timely manner, but we cannot help but feel that the company is washing its hands of the problem. Sure, there are a “limited” number of slates affected, but it is enough to be more than just a passing coincidence; in other words there is a genuine problem. Secondly, if the materials (plastic made to look like leather) or the components are not to blame for the problem, what the hell is?

It is nice to know that Samsung has fixed the issue for future units of its Galaxy S Tab, but if the company has solved the problem that means it knows what caused it in the first place. So come on Samsung, what is causing this problem and what will you do to help those affected, aside from pointing them in the direction of customer services?

Blackberry Assistant arrives as Siri and Google Now competitor


Blackberry has launched its virtual voice assistant that has been built in the same vein as Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft’s newly launched Cortana.

Blackberry’s MO of recent years has to arrive fairly late to the party, whether that’s with software (BB10) or hardware (the Z10 and Q10). The result has been the company slipping from its pedestal to become an also run that now needs to focus on enterprise to stay alive.

The days of Blackberry making smartphones are increasingly numbered despite the continued output, but the company is still trying to keep up with the crowd regardless. Take Blackberry Assistant, a product that any other company would be giving the big reveal, but not Blackberry as the company has rolled it out with barely a murmur. Just a few months ago Microsoft released its own Siri and Google Now competitor Cortana with a huge launch, so why not Blackberry?

It is not that the software is not competent, Blackberry says Assistant will do most of the things that its competitors can, such as sending text messages, checking the weather, browsing and finding directions. In a way, the lack of general interest by Blackberry itself shows just how far down the ladder the company has fallen and its Assistant almost seems like an afterthought.

However, there is something to consider. The Canadian company formerly known as RIM has been more aggressive over the last year in terms of allowing other platforms to use its software. BBM has already found itself on Windows, iOS, and Android, so could Blackberry Assistant become a universal software too? We think that would be an idea worth exploring for the company as it continues to attempt to draw people back to its ecosystem.

Android 4.4 KitKat increases market share in June


Android’s monthly user ship details have been released for the month of June and it seems that KitKat’s ascension is continuing. The Android version 4.4 and its various updates have flown under the KitKat banner, and for the most part the version of Google’s platform has done what it set out to do. That was get itself onto as many new and legacy devices as possible and try to make the Android ecosystem more uniform.

KitKat has done well during its ten months on release and it now accounts for 17.9% of all Android devices and is up from 13.6% at the end of May. That is a huge leap in just a month and KitKat’s rise will likely continue over the next months and even beyond the end of its life cycle. Version 4.4 will make way for Android L in the fall and the L release will take the foundation laid by KitKat to the next step by unifying the platform further.

However, despite Android KitKat’s undoubted gains in the market space, the version still lags behind old favourite Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and its variants. That OS still accounts for a whopping 56.50% of the market, which highlights the work Google still has to do in its bid to make Android less fragmented. That said, Jelly Bean’s dominance has shrunk by nearly 2% in the last month.

The success of Gingerbread will cause concern for Google. Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread is several years old, but it still accounts for 13.5% of the Android user base. That is a statistic that enemies of Android will use to criticise the platform, and Google knows that it does not make for happy reading. That is why the company has made efforts to bring low end devices into the Android L fold with its Android One project.

Many of those low end non branded devices currently run Android Gingerbread and until Google can make newer versions accessible the older version will remain popular.