The company (Xiaomi), founded only four years ago, hopes to sell 60 million handsets this year, up from 18 million last year. Next year’s target, according to Bloomberg News, is 100 million phones. In the first quarter of this year, Xiaomi was the third-largest smartphone vendor in China and sixth-largest globally, according to research firm Canalys.
A 24-inch tablet sounds like an oxymoron. "That's basically an iMac," several people have told me in unrelated instances. Except that it runs Android, and has a 1080p high-def capacitive touch screen capable of registering 15 simultaneous finger taps, and a built-in battery. Not that the battery will last more than a half-hour, but it's enough to get this 13-pound monster from room to room without having to reboot everything.
A huge tablet changes the playing dynamic entirely. The kids play well together when it comes to Lego or puzzles, but they have never been known to share a tablet, except maybe to stare dumbly at it while a movie was playing.
A few years ago, a DC-based band called Bluebrain set out to reinvent the entire idea of an album, reorganizing it entirely around location. Visitors who downloaded the group's National Mall app and walked the paths of that Washington landmark would receive a suite of different looping sounds, each cued to one of 264 separate zones and triggered by GPS locations. If you left the mall, all the sounds faded to silence; Bluebrain created an experience that was available only to a listener willing to make the trip, to step inside the space the band had consecrated. As a way of organizing music, it was unprecedented, a flash of insight on par with the magical moment when albums first came into their own as coherent works of art. (As The Washington Post's pop-music critic, Chris Richards, put it: “Somewhere, Sgt. Pepper is smiling.”) The band also made apps for Central Park and Austin's downtown, and announced plans to create a fourth for California's Pacific Coast Highway.
Expensify already provides live flight updates for any reservation forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org, and creates your expense report along the way. We call this feature “Trips”, and we’re taking it one step further: starting today the Expensify app will detect when you land and have an Uber driver waiting outside baggage claim to escort you straight to your hotel — all prearranged from your itinerary without you even needing to look up the address. We call it “SmartRides”; the VIP travel experience for everyone, brought to you by Uber and Expensify.
As one whose first two smartphones were from HTC, it is good to see the company attempt a turnaround with the return of co-founder Cher Wang – via Fortune
“For a time HTC was on a roll. Emboldened by its success, management began to focus on high-end devices that would compete with Apple’s AAPL iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line. Revenue in 2010 climbed to $9.6 billion. But by Christmas 2011 the company had started to make execution errors. Management missed sales projections, and a critically admired new smartphone, the HTC One X, failed to reverse the decline. Supply issues plagued the company, as did a lack of marketing focus. Even a phone launched with Facebook FB in 2013, which featured the social networking giant’s “Facebook Home” interface, flopped and was quickly discounted by its exclusive carrier, AT&T T . As HTC fumbled, Apple and Samsung solidified their positions at the top of the mobile food chain. HTC, once the top seller of Android-powered phones, eventually slipped from the list of the world’s top 10 smartphone makers.”
Remind isn’t a game or social network—it’s a texting tool used in many parts of the U.S. to establish stronger lines of communication among teachers, students, and their parents.
About 1 million teachers and 17 million parents and students have downloaded Remind, a free app developed by a San Francisco startup of the same name. In such states as Texas, Alabama, and Georgia, 40 percent to 50 percent of teachers use the software, the company says. Educators can update homework assignments, solicit volunteers for field trips, and send photos from the classroom without having to count on paper handouts making their way into and out of backpacks or on parents regularly checking their e-mail.
This is the age of invisible apps “that just notify us when something is going on,” as trend spotter and venture capitalist Mary Meeker said recently. Cyriac Roeding, 41, started reaching out to shoppers in 2010. Shopkick’s cofounder and CEO, and a German expat, he did so via ultrasound, a high-frequency signal that communicates with the app, verifies shoppers are inside the store and offers them kicks. “I’d done some soul-searching,” says Roeding, who wondered, “What’s the intersection of mobile and the physical world? The answer was easy: It’s called shopping.”
The Arccos ($399, arccos.com), which goes on sale this month, is like having your very own caddie, except it doesn't carry clubs or polish balls. This set of 14 gumdrop-shape sensors, which stick into the top of your golf clubs like thumbtacks, keeps track of your game and suggests appropriate clubs to use. It's similar to a competing product called Game Golf, but that model requires you to clip a vibrating beeper-like device to your pants; when I used it, I was never sure if my shots were registering or my table was ready at the Olive Garden.
Leveraging my smartphone's GPS via Bluetooth, the Arccos app not only figured out what course I was on, it knew I was at the 18th hole, 393 yards from the green. (The app has access to maps of 17,225 golf courses in the U.S.—which the company says is all of them.)