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Jun 19, 2014

Full Specs of Sony Xperia Z2a Now Available

One of the devices that Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Mobile made official earlier this year is the Xperia Z2a, which was announced for the market in Taiwan, but which hasn’t been fully detailed as of now.

When unveiling plans to release the mobile phone in Taiwan, Sony confirmed only some of the hardware specs that it would feature when made available for purchase, such as its 5-inch full HD screen, but left other specs shrouded in mystery. However, a recent article on GSM Arena claims that all of the capabilities and features of the device have been fully unveiled today, and that they are accompanied by a press photo of it. Apparently, the new phone was launched in Taiwan with all of the hardware specs that Sony Xperia ZL2 will sport when released on the market in Japan later this year. This would include the aforementioned 5-inch IPS touchscreen display that can deliver a 1080p resolution, as well as a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 (Krait 400) processor inside.

Moreover, the mobile phone will become available for purchase with Adreno 330 graphics and 3GB of RAM, as well as with 16GB of internal memory, and support for up to 128GB of external storage via a microSD memory card slot. On the back, the mobile phone sports a 20.7-megapixel camera with LED flash, auto-focus and support for recording videos in 4K resolution. A VGA front camera for making video calls was also included in the package. Connectivity-wise, the smartphone features support for 4G LTE networks, as well as the usual Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi hotspot, and DLNA capabilities. A built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS for navigation purposes is also available inside the device. The Sony Xperia Z2a will arrive on the market with a non-removable Li-Ion 3000mAh battery inside, capable of delivering up to 19 hours of talk time, or up to 740 hours of standby time.

Announced in Black, White, and Turquoise color versions, the Sony Xperia Z2a runs under the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system version right from the start. However, it also features Sony’s own customizations and exclusive applications loaded on top. The same as the Zperia Z2 before it, the new mobile phone will arrive on the market with a dust- and water-resistant body, with IP55/IP58 certification, despite the fact that it sports a plastic back cover, and not a glass one, the same as its predecessor. According to Sony, users in Taiwan will be able to purchase the new mobile phone starting next month, yet specific info on its availability date and pricing has yet to be offered.

Sony Xperia Z2a
Image credits to NDTV Gadget

Samsung SM-G510F with 64-Bit CPU Benchmarked

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics has been long rumored to plan on bringing to the market a handset powered by a 64-bit processor, and the device appears to have made an appearance in benchmarks today.

According to a recent post on oudetelefooninleveren.eu, a certain Samsung SM-G510F smartphone made an appearance in a series of benchmarking databases with a Snapdragon 410 chipset inside, and is expected to be launched as the first 64-bit phone from the handset vendor. Moreover, the mobile phone was spotted there with a 4.8-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a qHD resolution, as well as with Adreno 306 graphics. According to the available info on the smartphone, Samsung will release it with 1GB of RAM inside, as well as with 8GB of internal memory.

Moreover, the yet unannounced smartphone appears to sport an 8-megapixel camera on the back, with full HD video recording capabilities, along with a 5MP front camera for making video calls while on the go. The usual set of connectivity options and sensors should also be included inside the phone, along with the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. No official confirmation on the matter has been provided as of now, and we’ll take the info above with a grain of salt for the time being. Stay tuned for more on the matter.

Samsung SM-G510F with 64-bit processor
Image credits to oudetelefooninleveren.eu

Make Your Ubuntu and Debian Look-like Windows 8 with a Single Click

There is no love between Linux and Windows users, but that doesn't stop Linux users to transform their operating system until it looks like the latest Windows 8. In fact, the WinAte theme is actually perfect for this task.

Getting a Linux OS to look like Windows is not a novelty. It's something done for many years, probably before the launch of Windows XP. Themes and tools that can do this very simple transformation have been round for a long time, although they seem to have diminished in number in the past few years. The WinAte - Windows 7/8 Theme pack is actually one of the few left that still provide an adequate solution, although it's not quite as easy to install as it used to. The developer does provide a script to install it, but it also come with some interesting requirements. “My goal is to provide an easy way to migrate from Windows 7/8 to GNU/Linux, without having a high end pc. Everything is done using the less resource-intensive software available, always trying to keep as much functionality as possible. It is meant to be used in LXDE/Openbox, so don't expect to have neither rounded corners nor exactly the same look and feel as in Windows. That's not even a secondary goal.”

“With this brand-new WinAte - Windows 7/8 Transformation Pack for LXDE - you will be able to get all the icons and overall appearance of Windows to your GNU/Linux box, without spending lots of resources nor having to adapt old Gnome 2 themes,” said the designer, Nicol├ís Hermosilla. It's very important to know that this pack has been optimized for Debian 8 (Jessie) and it could work with older versions. It's also compatible with Ubuntu, but only if the users get LXDE and the Compton PPA. In order to get the all the pieces in place you will need to have the following dependencies met: LXPanel, LXSession (>= 0.4.9, icons, gtk theme and cursor), PCManFM (wallpaper), Compton, Openbox, and SLiM (for login screen).

Installing the theme shouldn't pose any problems, not even to regular users that haven’t done this before. As a caveat though, users have to know that it this pack will not work with Lubuntu and the developer has no intention to make it work. More details about this release can be found on the gnome.org website and you can download the archive from the same place.

WinAte-master-Win7-Win8 Theme
Image credits to gnome.org

BlackBerry Confirms BBM for Windows Phone to be Launched in July

Finally, some good news for Windows Phone fans, as BlackBerry has just confirmed that it will bring its BBM service to Microsoft’s mobile platform in July.

Although we have known that BBM will arrive on Windows Phone this summer, BlackBerry did no share any details on when exactly it would be available, so now at least we have a timeframe to look for the application. The information has been confirmed by BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen during the company’s earning calls, CrackBerry reports. Along with this short statement, Chen also shared some info on the number of users that BBM now has and what BlackBerry’s future plans regarding the instant messaging service are. Well, it appears that BlackBerry Messenger now has 160 million registered users. However, he has also confirmed that BBM has only 85 million active monthly users. While the number may seem high at first glance, let’s not forget that WhatsApp has recently announced that it has reached the 450 million active users milestone, while WeChat and Facebook Messenger have a few hundred million active users as well.

Competition is tough on the instant messaging market, but BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen is optimistic and says that he expects the number of active users for BBM to rise once the application launches on Windows Phone platform. This does make sense, but the increase will not really threaten its rivals’ market shares. According to Chen, once BBM for Windows Phone gets released, the instant messaging service should reach 100 million active monthly users. BlackBerry Messenger was received with tremendous excitement by both Android and iOS users last year when it got released on Google Play and App Store. However, the applications are still not on par with BBM for BlackBerry, which is one of the reasons that the Canadian company lost quite a few users who turned to other alternatives like WhatsApp, Snapchat or even Facebook Messenger.

The good news is that BlackBerry is working hard to bring the missing features on both Android and iOS platforms in the next couple of months. Here is hoping that that will happen sooner rather than later. On a side note, John Chen also stated during the earning calls that if BlackBerry managed to ship 10 million smartphones in a year, the company’s mobile phones division would be profitable. He also confirmed that this was the model that BlackBerry would try to follow in the coming months and years. This should put an end to BlackBerry fans’ worries about the company’s survival, at least for a while.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

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