Rene Ritchie on the “Facebook Phone”:
Just as they overwhelmed and walled the web to build their desktop platform, Facebook could have a way to face-hugger Android phones and remake them, Facebook-formed…
“Face-hugger” — that’s a good way to put it, I think.
Nice scoop by Josh Constine of TechCrunch:
Facebook just invited press to an event at its headquarters on April 4th to “Come See Our New Home On Android”. Sources tell us it will be a modified version of the Android operating system with deep native Facebook functionality on the homescreen that may live on an HTC handset. The evidence aligns to say this is the Facebook Phone announcement people have been speculating about for years.
Others have since backed this up as well.
I was a few months off, but this is basically what I had heard back in January as well.
There seems to be some disagreement over whether or not this would constitute a “fork” of Android. It would seem there is a way for Facebook to do this with Google’s blessing (just as they bless TouchWiz and other “skins”). But make no mistake, this is not stock Android. Facebook will deeply inject their own apps into the core of the OS. As long as they don’t replace Search, Maps, and a few others, Google should be okay with it — for now.
One wildcard is the Play Store. Facebook has their own App Center (which right now links to Play Store and the App Store), which they presumably could make work as a stand-alone Android app store as well. But it’s hard to see how that wouldn’t piss off Google. See: Amazon.
Another question: what will the carriers think of this? Presumably, they’ll have at least one on board with the HTC phone. Facebook has been making a lot of noise about “free calls” within their Messenger apps — this could all but destroy the notion of cellular “minutes”.
Of course, that writing has been on the wall for some time. Data phones are the way going forward. Still, the carriers must be a little scared of the post-minutes, post-SMS world that this Facebook Phone highlights. It’s a huge change. The carriers are finally becoming the dumb pipes they were meant to be.
Jeff Blagdon looks at the history of Emoji for The Verge:
But with the release of iOS 5 in late 2011, they made their real international debut. As people found out how to enable the characters on their phones, little pictures of guardsmen and faces with stuck-out tongues started sprouting up all over Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.
I never thought about emoji because someone insisted that I enable it on my iPhone. Now I can’t stop.
Stated a bit more clearly: Samsung makes more money off of Android than Google makes from all of their businesses combined.
This simply does not seem like a tenable situation.
By profit share, on the other hand, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, last year Apple took 69 percent of the handset industry’s profits; Samsung took 34. For just the last quarter, the numbers were 72 percent for Apple, 29 for Samsung. You will note that both the annual and quarterly numbers total more than 100 percent; that is because all other handset makers, combined, are losing money. This is rather astounding — Apple and Samsung have together destroyed the rest of the mobile handset industry.
Great piece on defining “winning” and “losing” in the smartphone space. You’d think the amount of money a company makes would be a good metric since it ensures long-term viability of said company. But most of the tech press seems to feel otherwise. Because they’re bored.
Amazing — though things start to get weird around 2020.
The iPhone is an amazing thing.
The U.S. carriers: the opposite of awesome.
Kevin C. Tofel’s headline:
Finally! More devices using Android 4 than older versions
Which reads like Android 4 is finally on the majority of Android devices (well, the ones Google tracks through the Play Store). But that’s not actually true. It’s actually still only 45.1 percent of those devices which are using Android 4.0 or later. The rest — the majority — are still using Android 3.2 or less.
Clearly, Tofel meant that Android 4.0 is finally bigger than the next largest single version of Android, 2.3 (Gingerbread), at 44.2 percent. But not only is the wording misleading, it’s a silly comparison to make since Android 4.0+ includes two different versions of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean — neither of which are actually larger than Gingerbread.
(Nevermind for a second that Android 4.0 is over 15 months old and it’s fucking ridiculous that it has taken this long to get on just 45.1 percent of Android devices.)
But I’m okay giving Tofel a pass here considering that Google’s math doesn’t actually add up either. According to their own numbers, 45.1 percent of Android devices are using 4.0+ while 55.1 percent are using Android 3.2 and below. Yes, that’s 100.2 percent.