Android Circuit: New Moto G Leak, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Revealed, Google Battles Microsoft

Taking a look back at seven days of news across the Android world, today’s Android Circuit consists of the fight between Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the leaked details of the Galaxy Note 5, information on the third-generation Moto G for 2015, ComScore’s United States market share data, a release date for Fallout Shelter on Android, Sony’s unusual naming policy on the Xperia Z4, Google’s branding battle with Microsoft, and the new emoji avalanche hitting Gmail.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the numerous things that have actually occurred around Android in the recently (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Galaxy S6 And Galaxy S6 Edge Fight Between Themselves

As you’ll read later on in this week’s ‘Android Circuit’, Samsung’s flagship pairing of the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge has shown to be a strong consider Android’s US market share numbers for the last quarter. However with 2 handsets so closely matched on specifications and ability, is there a clear response as to which of the 2 South Oriental handsets you should choose?

Gordon Kelly and I took a seat with both gadgets to exercise the answer– and we’ve managed to respectfully disagree. I said that the Galaxy S6 provides everything you anticipate a modern smartphone to provide, and is the complete skilled bundle:

There’s no doubt that the Galaxy S6 Edge looks to be the more advanced of the 2 handsets. The rounded edges on both sides of the screen are unique in the smartphone world (with just the Galaxy Note Edge’s single curved edge in late 2014 coming close). The concept of a 2nd display screen on the edge of the device is an attractive one.

But the phone as an entire have to be useful, and it needs to be useable in the real world. This is where the Galaxy S6 Edge drops for me.

However it’s the strength and guarantee of the screen that Kelly chooses:

Both are strikingly intense, vibrant and with jaw dropping colours that aren’t excessively exaggerated as has actually been Samsung’s want in the past. Which triumphes? This divides viewpoint, however I discovered myself preferring the Galaxy S6 Edge.

While perfectionists argue the curved edges slightly misshape video and alerts in the corner bar (and they do), I like the ‘infinity pool‘ bezel-less impact they give images and video makings them seem drifting in air. The curve likewise fits perfectly in with the side swipe in gesture of Google’s Product Design apps which feels great.

And let’s be blunt: physically the Edge display looks amazing, everybody asks you about it and there’s absolutely nothing else which looks like it. These factors seal it for me.

Which would you choose? Which did you select? Your remarks rate.

Galaxy Note 5 Leaks And Disappoints The Fan Base

Samsung is expected to announce the next Galaxy Note in September, and French website Nowhereelse.frhas some early photos of the hardware. It’s clear that Samsung is going for a consistent look across the profile, as the Note 5 looks just like a larger Galaxy S6 than an iteration on the Note 4. Many of the features that made the Note variety stick out have been sacrificed to bring the styling of the next Note more detailed to the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge:

The images show a handset which mimics practically all the significant design changes introduced with the Galaxy S6: aluminium frame, glass back, upgraded fingerprint sensor, bottom edge speakers and the more angular lines of the S6’s superb video camera.

In theory this needs to be great news (the Note variety has needed more exceptional build materials while the other added functions rate) however this overlooks one big fact: Galaxy Notes are mainly performance devices

The stylus stays, however will Samsung offer enough handsets to brand-new consumers trying to find fashion to offset the fans who prized the functionality of the gadget over looks?

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Moto G Leak Reveals No Modifications Made By Motorola

Motorola’s Moto G was a discovery when it was first launched in 2013. It combined the design and power of the Moto X flagship but on a low- to mid- variety spending plan. The following year saw the handset’s second generation and while it kept the exact same broad specifications the software tweaks saw the Moto Go (2014) surpass the very first generation handset.

Information on the third generation handset have leaked, and the Moto G (2015) looks … incredibly like the 2013 and 2014 handsets. While it jumps to a 64-bit architecture, everything else is remarkably similar.

Like any follow up to a sequel to an excellent movie, there is a law of decreasing returns at play. The third edition of the Moto G mimics the hardware profile of the very first model in 2013, which is great for keeping the cost down, however not great at offering a comparable experience in software application. The Moto G was within touching range of the competitors’s flagshipswhen it arrived. While in 2014’s second generation model raised eyebrows by running with the same specifications, enhancements in software application glossed over the modifications and stopped the Moto G in contention as one of the very best handsets of the year.

Consumers anticipate a new model to have more power and flexibility, not the very same specs as two years earlier. The Moto G (2015) now feels more like the Moto E (2013) did … underpowered and not able to support cutting edge Android apps for the two-year life of a common mobile contract.

ComScore US Data Reveals Android Falling Back Versus Apple

ComScore’s newest data on smartphone marketshare produces fascinating reading,. While the rush of Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge sales has actually enabled Samsung to keep its presence in the United States market, Android numbers are down 0.7 %, while iOS has actually jumped up 1.8 %. Android Headlines puts the numbers into contest:

Apple remains dominant in the U.S. market and in line with the platform share, saw their market profession enhanced from 41.7 percent approximately the currently noted 43.5 percent. Interestingly though, the small decrease for Android general did not seem to impact 2nd place Samsung who saw a 0.1 percent boost moving from 28.6 percent as much as 28.7 percent. LG saw a decrease from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent while Motorola saw a somewhat larger 0.2 percent reduction from 5.1 percent to 4.9 percent. HTC were the most significant losers (comparably speaking) and saw a 0.3 percent drop from 3.8 percent to 3.5 percent.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Apple iPad mini 3 (photo: Ewan Spence)

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Apple iPad mini 3 (photo: Ewan Spence)

Exactly what’s In A Name, Sony?

When the online world can share views, testimonials, and viewpoints on the most recent smartphones around the world, who would choose that the best marketing project would be to offer its flagship smartphone a various name in various areas? That would be Sony, getting ready to sell the Xperia Z4v, The Xperia Z4, and the Xperia Z3 Plus … and all of those names represent the very same handset!

It gets even more complicated when you understand that the strong European markets get the older design number for the most recent handset, while the secondary handsets, such as the Xperia Z4 Compact, will certainly carry the prime classification.

Why Sony didn’t stick to ‘Xperia Z4 ′ for this generation is beyond me. I know that the mobile department in the Japanese company is going through a bumpy ride at the mount, with some significant cuts to the workforce. There were indications that the division was up for sale, so it’s maybe easy to understand that a few of the management team might be sidetracked from the long-lasting method. But it’s not excusable.

Sony’s flagship Xperia handsets have actually been some of the smartest Android handsets that I’ve reviewed over the last couple of years. The hardware needs to be tough Samsung’s Galaxy handsets every step of the way, and it had the prospective to challenge and overcome the iPhone. Instead strategic decisions over marketing, cost, and distribution have actually damaged the Xperia providing.

However the current choices from Sony are debilitating the changes of the current flagship to obtain any market traction.

Well played, Sony, well played.

LOS ANGELES, CA– JUNE 14: A ‘Fallout’ cosplay fan holds a mask as he attends the Bethesda E3 2015 interview and the statement of Fallout Shelter for iOS (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Fallout Shelter Ready For Android ‘Next Month’

Following its effective release on iOS, Bethesda’s Pete Hines has given hope to Android fans of Fallout seeking to play the nuclear shelter time-management video game in the near future. Tech Radar reports:

So far, Android owners have been neglected in the cold (nuclear winters can be difficult), however it now seems that Fallout Shelter is likelying to show up on the platform in August, according to a response Bethesda’s Pete Hines gave to a fan concern on Twitter.

Hines informed the fan that the game is coming along nicely, and that while there is no main release date, Fallout Shelter for Android “should be out next month.”

Whether there will still be a hunger for ‘the very best waste of time this year‘ will certainly be one that numerous marketeers will be seeing with eager interest.

Google splash screen branding in Sheets (image: Ewan Spence)

Google splash screen branding in Sheets (image: Ewan Spence)

Google’s Branding Battle With Microsoft

Should Google be afraid of Microsoft’s moves to establish its now Cloud based services? Possibly not, however the inclusion of branded splash screens on Google’s own cloud-based Android apps does seem like a step to enhance the branding of Mountain View’s online services. With the reintroduction of splash screens as a ‘cool thing to do’ in the Product Design design guide, Google has actually lost no time to take its own suggestions on utilizing the screens to strengthen a brand and product:

For me this has to do with the fight to be the cloud service provider that is uppermost in the consumer’s mind. Cloud storage business such as DropBox are on the rise, and with additional services including picture and information backup can be viewed as an office hazard to Google.

Microsoft’s restored focus on the cloud has actually led to it releasing software on Android and iOS that utilizes its own cloud services. Recently’s release of Office for Android smartphones enhanced the pressure from Microsoft on the competitors. A reminder that Google lags numerous of the popular act upon an Android smartphone develops affinity and association between the user and Mountain View. That the apps involved remain in direct competitors with Microsoft’s Office and Outlook based applications is not a mishap.

OnePlus Goes Virtual For Potential 4 GB Introduce

Shenzhen-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus looks set to debut one of the first Android smartphones to sport 4 GB of RAM. Online benchmarking tests have actually noted the increased memory size, along with 3 design numbers– which likely represent three various storage capacities. Possibility Miller looks at the exposed specifications on 9to5google.

Further more concerning the OnePlus 2, the A2003 variant has actually appeared in the GeekBenchbenchmark database. The benchmark results of the device show that it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor clocked at 1.55 GHz and includes a remarkable 4GB of RAM. The device got a single-core rating of 1189 and a multi-core score of 4731. Some have hypothesized that the A2003 design of the gadget might be a more cost effective variation with more affordable products and a lower processor clock speed, however that’s unofficial at this point.

All the information will certainly be exposed in a ‘virtual reality’ press launch happening on July 27th. You’ll have to get a VR headset, but OnePlus is making use of Google Cardboard, so you can request a totally free headset (plus shipping) direct from its website.

This is the very first time this has actually ever been done, and, it’s not likelying to be just a regular ol’ product launch. You’re going to want to experience it, and to aid you out, we are launching our very own Cardboard. It’s based upon Cardboard 2.0, but with some significant improvements. However, do not consider this as an item; we’re losing money to bring you our brand-new, improved cardboard. In truth, we’ll be providing them away free of cost (+ shipping). This is an initiative to press VR innovation forward and make it more accessible.

Sketch of OnePlus 2 (picture: @kjuma)

Sketch of OnePlus 2 (picture: @kjuma)

And Lastly …

Google has actually brought out a considerable number of new themes for web-based users of Gmail. Writing on the Gmail blog sitesoftware application engineer Gaurav Vijay notes not simply the addition of the new themes, however likewise support for a variety of emoji:

Your inbox is home to a few of your most significant and amusing messages– from that acceptance letter, to those throwback images– so we believe it is necessary for Gmail to feel simply as individual (and fun!). That’s why we offer great deals of methods to customize your experience– from inbox classifications, to email format, to shareable selfies— and why today we’re broadening your options with additional styles, and emoji.

Android Circuit’ will certainly round-up the news from the Android world every weekend right here on Forbes. Do not forget to follow me so you do not miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sis column in Apple Loop! .?. !! Last week’s Android Circuit can be discovered here, and if you have any news and links you want to see included in Android Circuit, get in touch!

You can discover more of my work at ewanspence.co.uk. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In. You should sign up for my weekly newsletter of ‘Minor Posts’.

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Sony Hack Timeline

Gets inside Sony expose that the company’s business systems were hacked. The hackers left the following message: Hacked by #GOP. Caution: We ve currently alerted you, and this is simply the start. We have actually obtained all your internal information consisting of secrets and supersecrets. Image: AP

Photo/Nick Ut, FIle

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Android Circuit: New Moto G Leaks, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Revealed, Google Battles Microsoft

Taking a look back at seven days of news throughout the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit consists of the fight in between Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the leaked details of the Galaxy Note 5, details on the third generation Moto G for 2015, ComScore’s US market share information, a release date for Fallout Shelter on Android, Sony’s unusual calling policy on the Xperia Z4, Google’s branding fight with Microsoft, and the emoji avalanche hitting Gmail.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the lots of things that have taken place around Android in the last week (and you can discover the weekly Apple news absorb here).

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Galaxy S6 And Galaxy S6 Edge Fight In between Themselves

As you’ll check out later in this week’s ‘Android Circuit’, Samsung’s flagship pairing of the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge has proven to be a strong factor in Android’s US market share numbers for the last quarter. However with 2 handsets so closely matched on requirements and ability, is there a clear answer as to which of the two South Oriental handsets you should select?

Gordon Kelly and I sat down with both gadgets to work out the answer– and we’ve managed to respectfully disagree. I suggested that the Galaxy S6 provides everything you expect a contemporary smartphone to provide, and is the full qualified bundle:

There’s no doubt that the Galaxy S6 Edge seems the more advanced of the 2 handsets. The rounded edges on both sides of the screen are distinct in the smartphone world (with only the Galaxy Note Edge’s single curved edge in late 2014 coming close). The idea of a second display screen on the edge of the device is an appealing one.

But the phone as a whole needs to be practical, and it needs to be useable in the real life. This is where the Galaxy S6 Edge drops for me.

But it’s the strength and pledge of the screen that Kelly chooses:

Both are strikingly intense, brilliant and with jaw dropping colours that aren’t extremely exaggerated as has actually been Samsung’s desire in the past. Which wins out? This divides viewpoint, but I found myself choosing the Galaxy S6 Edge.

While perfectionists suggest the rounded edges somewhat distort video and notices in the corner bar (and they do), I enjoy the ‘infinity swimming pool‘ bezel-less effect they bring to images and video which makes them appear to be floating in air. The curve likewise fits perfectly in with the side swipe in gesture of Google’s Material Design apps which feels excellent.

And let’s be candid: physically the Edge display looks remarkable, everyone asks you about it and there’s absolutely nothing else which resembles it. These factors seal it for me.

Which would you select? Which did you pick? Your remarks rate.

Galaxy Note 5 Leaks And Dissatisfies The Fan Base

Samsung is anticipated to announce the next Galaxy Note in September, and French website Nowhereelse.frhas some early pictures of the hardware. It’s clear that Samsung is opting for an uniform appearance across the portfolio, as the Note 5 looks much like a bigger Galaxy S6 than an iteration on the Note 4. Numerous of the functions that made the Note range stick out have been sacrificed to bring the styling of the next Note better to the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge:

The images show a handset which resembles almost all the major design modifications introduced with the Galaxy S6: aluminium frame, glass back, upgraded finger print sensor, bottom edge speakers and the more angular lines of the S6’s exceptional electronic camera.

In theory this must be excellent news (the Note range has needed more exceptional construct materials while the other included functions rate) but this ignores one huge reality: Galaxy Notes are mostly efficiency gadgets

The stylus remains, however will Samsung sell enough handsets to brand-new clients looking for fashion to make up for the fans who prized the functionality of the device over appearances?

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Moto G Leak Shows No Modifications Made By Motorola

Motorola’s Moto G was a discovery when it wased initially introduced in 2013. It combined the style and power of the Moto X flagship however on a low- to mid- range budget plan. The following year saw the handset’s 2nd generation and while it retained the same broad specs the software application tweaks saw the Moto Go (2014) outshine the very first generation handset.

Information on the 3rd generation handset have actually leaked, and the Moto G (2015) looks … remarkably like the 2013 and 2014 handsets. While it jumps to a 64-bit architecture, everything else is remarkably similar.

Like any follow up to a sequel to a good movie, there is a law of decreasing returns at play. The third edition of the Moto G imitates the hardware profile of the very first model in 2013, which is excellent for keeping the cost down, but not terrific at supplying a comparable experience in software. The Moto G was within touching distance of the competition’s flagshipswhen it arrived. While in 2013’s 2nd generation model raised eyebrows by keeping up the same requirements, improvements in software glossed over the changes and kept the Moto G in contention as one of the very best handsets of the year.

Consumers anticipate a new model to have more power and versatility, not the exact same specs as two years earlier. The Moto G (2015) now feels more like the Moto E (2013) did … underpowered and not able to support cutting edge Android apps for the two-year life of a common mobile written agreement.

ComScore United States Data Reveals Android Falling Back Against Apple

ComScore’s newest data on smartphone marketshare produces intriguing reading,. While the rush of Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge sales has permitted Samsung to preserve its presence in the US market, Android numbers are down 0.7 %, while iOS has actually jumped up 1.8 %. Android Headlines puts the numbers into contest:

Apple remains dominant in the U.S. market and in line with the platform share, saw their market profession increased from 41.7 percent as much as the already noted 43.5 percent. Surprisingly however, the slight decrease for Android total did not appear to influence second location Samsung who saw a 0.1 percent boost moving from 28.6 percent as much as 28.7 percent. LG saw a reduction from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent while Motorola saw a slightly bigger 0.2 percent decrease from 5.1 percent to 4.9 percent. HTC were the most significant losers (comparably speaking) and saw a 0.3 percent drop from 3.8 percent down to 3.5 percent.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Apple iPad mini 3 (photo: Ewan Spence)

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Apple iPad mini 3 (image: Ewan Spence)

Exactly what’s In A Name, Sony?

When the online world can share views, reviews, and opinions on the latest smartphones around the world, who would decide that the very best marketing project would be to offer its flagship smartphone a different name in different areas? That would be Sony, gearing up to offer the Xperia Z4v, The Xperia Z4, and the Xperia Z3 Plus … and all of those names represent the very same handset!

It gets even more confusing when you understand that the strong European markets get the older design number for the latest handset, while the secondary handsets, such as the Xperia Z4 Compact, will certainly carry the prime designation.

Why Sony didn’t stick with ‘Xperia Z4 ′ for this generation is beyond me. I understand that the mobile department in the Japanese business is going through a tough time at the install, with some serious cuts to the labor force. There were indicators that the department was up for sale, so it’s perhaps easy to understand that some of the management team might be sidetracked from the long-term approach. But it’s not excusable.

Sony’s flagship Xperia handsets have been a few of the smartest Android handsets that I’ve evaluated over the last few years. The hardware needs to be tough Samsung’s Galaxy handsets every step of the method, and it had the prospective to challenge and overcome the iPhone. Instead strategic choices over marketing, rate, and distribution have actually deteriorated the Xperia offering.

But the recent choices from Sony are debilitating the modifications of the most recent flagship to obtain any market traction.

Well played, Sony, well played.

LOS ANGELES, CA– JUNE 14: A ‘Fallout’ cosplay fan holds a mask as he goes to the Bethesda E3 2015 press conference and the announcement of Fallout Shelter for iOS (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Fallout Shelter Ready For Android ‘Next Month’

Following its successful release on iOS, Bethesda’s Pete Hines has given hope to Android fans of Fallout aiming to play the nuclear shelter time-management video game in the near future. Tech Radar reports:

So far, Android owners have actually been left out in the cold (nuclear winter seasons can be challenging), but it now appears that Fallout Shelter is going to arrive on the platform in August, according to a response Bethesda’s Pete Hines gave to a fan question on Twitter.

Hines informed the fan that the video game is coming perfectly, which while there is no official release date, Fallout Shelter for Android “need to be out next month.”

Whether there will still be a cravings for ‘the very best waste of time this year‘ will be one that many marketeers will certainly be enjoying with eager interest.

Google splash screen branding in Sheets (image: Ewan Spence)

Google splash screen branding in Sheets (image: Ewan Spence)

Google’s Branding Fight With Microsoft

Should Google be afraid of Microsoft’s moves to establish its now Cloud based services? Possibly not, but the addition of branded splash screens on Google’s own cloud-based Android apps does feel like a step to strengthen the branding of Mountain View’s online services. With the reintroduction of splash screens as a ‘cool thing to do’ in the Product Design style guide, Google has actually lost no time to take its own advice on making use of the screens to strengthen a brand and item:

For me this is about the battle to be the cloud service provider that is uppermost in the customer’s mind. Cloud storage companies such as DropBox are on the increase, and with additional services including photo and information backup can be seen as an office danger to Google.

Microsoft’s restored concentrate on the cloud has actually led to it releasing software application on Android and iOS that makes use of its own cloud services. Last week’s release of Office for Android smartphones enhanced the pressure from Microsoft on the competition. A reminder that Google lags numerous of the popular act upon an Android smartphone constructs affinity and association between the user and Mountain View. That the apps involved are in direct competitors with Microsoft’s Workplace and Outlook based applications is not a mishap.

OnePlus Goes Virtual For Possible 4 GB Introduce

Shenzhen-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus looks set to debut one of the first Android smartphones to sport 4 GB of RAM. Online benchmarking tests have noted the increased memory size, together with three design numbers– which likely represent three various storage abilities. Chance Miller takes a look at the revealed specs on 9to5google.

Further more relating to the OnePlus 2, the A2003 variation has appeared in the GeekBenchstandard database. The benchmark results of the gadget program that it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor clocked at 1.55 GHz and showcases an outstanding 4GB of RAM. The device got a single-core score of 1189 and a multi-core score of 4731. Some have guessed that the A2003 design of the gadget may be a more affordable variation with less costly materials and a lower processor clock speed, however that’s unofficial at this point.

All the details will certainly be revealed in a ‘virtual fact’ press launch occurring on July 27th. You’ll need to receive a VR headset, however OnePlus is using Google Cardboard, so you can ask for a free headset (plus shipping) direct from its website.

This is the very first time this has actually ever been done, and, it’s not going to be just a regular ol’ item launch. You’re going to want to experience it, and to aid you out, we are launching our own Cardboard. It’s based upon Cardboard 2.0, but with some significant improvements. But, don’t think of this as a product; we’re losing money to bring you our brand-new, enhanced cardboard. In fact, we’ll be providing them away free of cost (+ shipping). This is an effort to press VR innovation forward and make it more easily accessible.

Sketch of OnePlus 2 (picture: @kjuma)

Sketch of OnePlus 2 (picture: @kjuma)

And Finally …

Google has actually highlighted a considerable number of brand-new themes for web-based users of Gmail. Writing on the Gmail blogsoftware engineer Gaurav Vijay notes not simply the addition of the brand-new styles, however likewise support for a variety of emoji:

Your inbox is home to some of your most meaningful and amusing messages– from that approval letter, to those throwback pictures– so we believe it’s important for Gmail to feel just as individual (and fun!). That’s why we offer great deals of ways to customize your experience– from inbox categories, to email format, to shareable selfies— and why today we’re broadening your choices with added styles, and emoji.

Android Circuit’ will certainly round-up the news from the Android world every weekend right here on Forbes. Do not forget to follow me so you don’t miss out on any protection in the future, and naturally read the sibling column in Apple Loop! .?. !! Recently’s Android Circuit can be discovered right here, and if you have any news and links you want to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!

You can discover more of my work at ewanspence.co.uk. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In. You should register for my weekly newsletter of ‘Trivial Posts’.

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Snapchat Debuts Tap To View And Close-by Pals Device, Improves Security Functions

Snaptchat CEO Evan Spiegel. Associated Press

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. Associated Press

A couple of months ago, Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel hinted that the app’s hold-to-watch function was on its way out. As of Wednesday, users not have to keep a finger on their screens to view a snap or story. Users can now tap to view content instead.

The new function is among a number of product updates Snapchat announced on Wednesday in a post. ‘Tap to view’ might dismay some marketers who suched as that users needed to actively touch their screens to view an ad on the service. Nevertheless, the feature needs to kindly devoted users with agitated fingers and might encourage them to enjoy even longer videos, including ads.

“This means no more tired thumbs while watching a several-hundred-second Story … and a little getting utilized to for anybody who has been Snapchatting for a while,” the business said. “We believe you’re going to love it!”

To make it easier to discover and add buddies, the messaging app also introduced a brand-new “Include Nearby” tool that lets you add numerous friends at the same time if you are in close distance.

“It’s a fast method to add a group of friends when you’re all hanging out together,” the business said. “If everyone opens Include Neighboring, a list of your good friends will appear on the screen. Just tap to add.”

Snapchat’s QR codes, unique user-IDs that you can snap to include buddies, also got a makeover. Users can now put a selfie or image at the center of their codes to be more identifiable to pals adding them for the first time.

SecurityRevamp

As it fixes up its product, Snapchat is likewise working to restore the trust of users, whose faith in the service was shaken following a slow of security accidents.

On Wednesday, Snapchat openly announced that it had actually presented two-factor authentication in mid-June.

“When you allow it, bad people will certainly have a much harder time if they aim to hack into your account,” Snapchat stated.

The move is among numerous security updates the Venice, Calif.-based company has actually taken this year. A couple of months earlier, the four-year-old app validated it has a bug bounty program that rewards coders in money for finding weaknesses in the service’s code. The company has actually likewise taken enhancing measures to turn off third-party access to its platform. And in a push to be more transparent, Snapchat joined companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo in reporting the frequency of requests for user information it receives from government firms.

Getting ready For an IPO

Given that its beginning, Snapchat has raised more than $1 billion in outdoors financing, and has been said to be raising at a valuation of more than $15 billion. In May, Snapchat raised $537.6 million in brand-new venture capital funding, the company divulged in a regulatory filing. The messaging service could raise as much as $650 million.

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegelsaid in May that the business has strategiesfor an initial public offering and does not anticipate to consider any acquisition offers. Spiegel also stated the app is approaching 100 million everyday active users in developed markets which about 65 % of those users develop content on the app daily. More than 60 percent of 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users in the united state are active on the service and together see more than 2 billion videos a day, the business said.

The popular service has been broadening as a media business because it introduced the Discover part of the app in January. Discover includes a range of media brands such as ESPN, National Geographic, Yahooand People, delivering a new set of posts and videos to users every day. Snapchat started making profits from advertisements this year, for instance, through full-screen video ads that have to do with 10 seconds long.

Follow me on Twitter @kchaykowskiand e-mail me at kchaykowski@forbes.com!.?.!.

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Facebook Primps Its Logo With Mobile In Mind

[unable to obtain full-text content] Courtesy Facebook Facebook, on Tuesday, changed its major logo for the very first time in a years. But you might have difficulty seeing the distinction. Facebook updated the typeface of its wordmark to make it sleeker and thinner, with more white area between each letter. The brand-new logo design likewise makes use of a singe-story “a,” while the old logo design utilizes […]

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Can Xiaomi Reach Its Vibrant 2015 Sales Target?

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun holding the $16, Mi Smart Scale. (Photo via Xiaomi)

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun holding the $16, Mi Smart Scale. (Picture via Xiaomi)

The narrative for Xiaomi till now has been everything about amazing growth and enviable popularity. Yet China’s upstart smartphone supplier may struggle to reach some of the loftier goals its founder Lei Jun has actually set, thanks to a downturn in Chinese smartphone sales and possibly, the challenges that included going into a new market beyond Asia.

Xiaomi offered 34.7 million smartphones between January and June 2015, an excellent 33 % boost from in 2014, and 2014 was currently an explosive year in sales for Xiaomi. Yet smartphone deliveries in the last couple of months seem to be slowing for the company, and deliveries so far are a methods off from Lei’s objective to offer between 80 and 100 million smartphones in 2015.

Chief Executive Lei had actually originally gunned for 100 million in 2014, but opted for a more conservative range previously this year. A huge reason for that is the current stagnation in smartphone sales in China, where Xiaomi is the second greatest smartphone supplier after Apple, according to research study group IDC.

China’s smartphone sales contracted for the very first time in 6 years in the very first quarter of 2015, according to IDC, due to the fact that the marketplace was reaching saturation point.

Lei optimistically pointed to the regional environment as a reason to commemorate Xiaomi’s newest numbers. “Even with the China smartphone market slowing down, we did an outstanding job of posting a 33 % growth on in 2013’s numbers. It can be said that we outmatched the marketplace and produced an outstanding report card,” he stated in an official statement.

Yet Xiaomi’s smartphone sales need to gain ground if the company is likelying to reach Lei’s target.

That could take place, for a few reasons: China’s greatest nationwide holiday Golden Week is turning up on Oct. 1 and will see a rise in regional shopping, comparable to the Christmas holiday season in the West.

While the Chinese market is filled with smartphones, Xiaomi will be hoping that this will be a chance for its recognized customer base to upgrade to more recent designs like the Mi 4 smartphone, or accessories like the inexpensive and popular physical fitness Mi Band, a $15 wearable tracker.

Another factor is Xiaomi’s launch in Brazil today, its first brand-new area beyond Asia, where it will certainly begin offering its $160 Redmi 2 phone. Smartphone penetration in Brazil is still low; of the 137 million individuals in the nation who possess a mobile phone, only a third own a smartphone.

Brazil is also the second biggest nation for downloads on the Google Play Shop, according to Jana, which tracks how smartphones are used in emerging markets.

Samsung currently dominates the Brazilian market, representing half the country’s smartphone sales. Luckily for Xiaomi, Samsung is a familiar opponent that it has currently leapfrogged in China. That

suggests Xiaomi might have better leads in Brazil than in India, another fast-growing smartphone market however one that is dominated by a local player, Micromax. Having introduced in India in 2014 Xiaomi still had simply 4 % of the marketplace in Q4 of 2014, according to IDC.(Xiaomi’s ability to rapidly take over a market have actually been impressive in other areas like wearables, having just recently ended up beingNo. 2 globally behind Fitbit with its Mi band, after just one year in the market.) If

Xiaomi can increase more quickly in Brazil than it has in India, and make the most of Golden Week later this year, it may just make Lei’s 80– 100 million sales target. But it’ll probably be close.

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