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May 16, 2013

Oppo Find 5 Gets Enhancements in New Software Update

Owners of an Oppo Find 5 smartphone will be happy to learn that a nice range of enhancements is currently headed their way through a software update, one that arrives as version X909EN_13_130514.

The firmware refresh is being delivered to users both over the air and on the web, so that they could update their devices in the manner they consider best fitted for them. In fact, Oppo has already published specific info on the update and on the manner in which users can install it on their devices, all available on this page on its support website. Following the installation of this software, users will be able to take advantage of 1080p icons for common third-party apps, while also enjoying display optimizations on their devices, it seems. According to the available release notes, the display has been optimized in the Storage Download information section, and there are also a series of improvements related to the Weather Screen Locker.

Additionally, the update brings along a variety of fixes for various issues that were found to affect users’ experience with the smartphone, and which were included in the release based on feedback received from those who already purchased the device. As fonearena notes, some of the fixes available for Oppo Find 5 include:

  • Fixed an issue where Gmail and some other apps didn’t sync when screen was off. 
  • Fixed an issue that caused the incorrect carrier name to be displayed. 
  • Fixed an issue that changed the default APN settings. 
  • Fixed an issue that caused the screen to automatically turn off when using Weather Screen Locker. 
  • Fixed an issue where the weather application wouldn’t update when refreshing manually.
  • Fixed a rare issue where apps in folders would be unreachable. 
  • Fixed a time zone issue for Coeur D’Alene, Idaho in the Clock app. 
  • Fixed an issue where Calendar widget would indicate “upcoming events” for past dates. 
  • Fixed an issue that caused the SMS app to sometimes show random numbers instead of the contact names.

Other such enhancements were included in the new software as well, all of them detailed in the aforementioned post on the company's support website.

Oppo releases software update for Find 5
Image credits to FoneArena

Samsung Galaxy Note III to Have Plastic Body and No Flexible Display

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung is expected to stick to a plastic case for its upcoming Galaxy Note III smartphone, the same as it did with the Galaxy S4, the latest reports on the matter suggest.

Previously, the smartphone was rumored to arrive on shelves with a metallic body, but it seems that this won’t happen, a recent article on SamMobile claims. Furthermore, the news site claims that there will be no flexible display present on the device, although some of the previous rumors suggested that Samsung might pack such a panel on the upcoming smartphone.

Galaxy Note III hasn’t been officially confirmed as of now, but Samsung is expected to announce it in fall this year with an eight-core processor, 5.99” Full HD AMOLED display, 13-megapixel camera on the back, 2MP front camera, and the latest Android flavor on top.

Samsung logo
Image credits to Samsung

Windows Phone Now Third Mobile OS, BlackBerry Fourth

Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system has managed to climb to the third position in the smartphone operating systems segment, a recent report from IDC shows.

According to data coming from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the platform registered the largest year-over-year increase when compared to rival platforms, and managed to leave BlackBerry behind. Furthermore, said report unveils that Nokia’s Lumia smartphones were the main growth driver for Microsoft’s OS, accounting for over 79 percent of all Windows Phone shipments in the timeframe. “Since Nokia began shipping Windows Phone devices, the company has shipped a total of 20.3 million units and grown the footprint worldwide to include address multiple market segments,” IDC notes. “Meanwhile, other vendors continue to offer Windows Phone devices, but mainly as an alternative to their signature Android devices. Still, the gains made by Windows Phone demonstrate both end-user demand and OEM support.”

However, Google’s Android operating system is still leading the smartphone OS market, with a 75 percent market share. Samsung accounted for 41.1 percent of Android shipments in Q1, IDC reports. Apple’s iOS platform ended the first quarter of the year on the second position with 17.3 percent share and with 37.4 million devices sold, the research firm unveiled. Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry saw its market share shrink to only 2.9 percent in the aforementioned timeframe, with only 6.3 million devices shipped. Interestingly enough, shipments of Symbian devices are expected to continue not only this year but also in the next, although the platform has seen a drastic drop in market share when compared to the first quarter of the last year, IDC reports.

“Windows Phone claiming the third spot is a first and helps validate the direction taken by Microsoft and key partner Nokia,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alternative to Android or iOS.”

Lumia 925, the latest Windows Phone 8 device from Nokia
Image credits to Nokia

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Picture Surfaces

The GeForce GTX 780 has been more or less fully detailed at this point, even though official information continues to be held back on.

There were a few photos too, but none that NVIDIA made itself. Now we can finally check out one such photo, thanks to the folks at VideoCardz that nabbed it, somehow. It shows it from the side, and highlights the two-power connectors in particular. One of them is of 8 pins and one is a 6-pin input.

We've detailed the GeForce GTX 780 before, so we won't do it again. Go here to read the specifications and see a box photo, albeit not of the reference adapter. As before, all signs point towards a price of €500 / $500. It makes one wonder how many will buy it when the GTX 770 is also coming.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
Image credits to VideoCardz

ASUS Z87 ROG Motherboard Lineup

Having already become acquainted with the “Classic” series of Z87 chipset-based motherboards from ASUS, some might be tempted to think the company only has those five to promote, but that would be false.

As it turns out, those are definitely not the only motherboards, and not even the strongest, something that some may have surmised from the lack of ROG in the names. Republic of Gamers continues to be the brand that ASUS uses for its best pieces of hardware, be they mainboards, graphics cards or whatever else. The new Z87 models are called ROG Maximus VI Extreme, Maximus VI Hero, and Maximus VI GeneZ. All of them are bundled with the OC Panel (directly shows readings on the on-board display, also allows for hotwiring VGA, VGA SMB, 4 x 4 pins, etc.) and OC Hot Key. Maximus VI GeneZ is the small one in the group, with a micro-ATX form factor, a pair of PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, eight SATA 3 ports, a bunch of I/O options, THX audio, and an mPCIe Combo III slot near the I/O panel (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module ship with the board).

It is a full-ATX motherboard with three PCI Express x16 slots, just as many x1 slots, 8 SATA III ports, and a single 8-pin CPU power plug. ASUS also tossed in some overclocking assets like Voltage measurement points and On/Off and Clear CMOS switches. Finally, the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme uses an 8+4 pin CPU connector, an extra 6-pin plug for PCI Express GPUs, five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, a PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot, the mini PCI Express combo slot specified before, and 10 SATA III ports for storage. A large heatsink covers the Lynx Point PCH. Buyers will have to decide themselves which LGA 1150 Haswell CPU they want to pair with either of these potential purchases (prices unknown for now).

ASUS Z87 Maximus motherboards
Image credits to VR-Zone

Report: Windows 8.1 Stable to Be Launched in October

Even though it was initially believed that Windows 8.1 would be released sometime this summer, it appears that Microsoft has picked a different launch date.

A report by Digitimes claims that Windows 8.1 is very likely to see daylight in October. Citing unnamed “sources from related ODMs,” PC manufacturers will start the production of Windows 8.1 notebooks in mid-September, just to make sure their devices are ready when the new OS goes live the next month.  Previous speculation pointed to an August or September launch event, at approximately two months after the public beta is unveiled at the BUILD developer conference.

Microsoft has already confirmed that Windows 8 users would be provided with a preview version of the OS on June 26, with the public unveiling to take place at the BUILD developer conference. Windows 8.1 will be available via the Windows Store and will be offered with a freeware license.

Windows 8.1 will be free of charge for all Windows 8 users
Image credits to Microsoft

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