Tizen OS 2.3 screenshots reaveal a fresh new look

New screenshots of Samsung’s Tizen 2.3 have surfaced, courtesy of Tizen Indonesia. The latest version of Tizen OS looks a lot more colorful than before with updated icons. Samsung has also used bold color choices throughout the user interface.

Unsurprisingly, blue is still the main color of choice, but in addition there’s also a lot of extra throughout the UI. Take a look at the screenshots below and judge for yourself.

gsmarena 001 Tizen OS 2.3 screenshots reaveal a fresh new look
gsmarena 002 Tizen OS 2.3 screenshots reaveal a fresh new look

Samsung has optimized the user experience for screen resolutions starting at 800 x 480 pixels (WVGA). The low-end device that the company has been hinting to launch by the end of the year will probably sport this resolution.

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Apple drops the “FREE” button of App Store apps and games

Apple dropped the “free” moniker from the apps and games in the App Store. Effective immediately, the “FREE” button on the apps and games that don’t require payment will make way to a “GET” replacement.

gsmarena 001 Apple drops the FREE button of App Store apps and games

The move acknowledges the in-app purchases that many of the free apps and games often contain. Of course, the button applies to the content that is completely free as well.

Apple is the latest industry heavyweight to react to criticism to the free-to-play business model with in-app purchases, especially by regulators in the European Union. Critics have pointed that the aforementioned content delivery method often forces players into spending money in order to enjoy proper app or game experience.

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Android One phones will run Lollipop by end of January

This year Google launched the Android One initiative, which has so far been comprised of three smartphones: the Micromax Canvas A1, the Karbonn Sparkle V, and the Spice Dream Uno. These all have the exact same innards, which were specified by Google, and their unique selling point is supposed to be the fact that Google itself will handle OS updates.

That said, the search giant has been extremely quiet and hasn’t said when it would issue the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Android One devices. However, Spice says it will deliver the Lollipop update for the Dream Uno by the end of January.

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Motorola Nexus 6 hits Germany with a base price of €599

The Motorola Nexus 6 retail expansion continues in Europe and the latest country where the phone starts selling is Germany. There, pre-orders of the device are now available at Media Markt and Amazon Germany.

gsmarena 001 Motorola Nexus 6 hits Germany with a base price of €599 gsmarena 002 Motorola Nexus 6 hits Germany with a base price of €599 gsmarena 003 Motorola Nexus 6 hits Germany with a base price of €599

The 32GB version of the phone sales for €599 and is available only in Midnight Blue at Media Markt, while Amazon offers both color versions of the phone. The 64GB variant is available in both Midnight Blue and Cloud White for €649 at both retailers. The Nexus 6 will start shipping a month from now on December 19.

In the UK, pre-orders of the Nexus 6 have already started. The 32GB version of the phone retails for £499 at Amazon and Carphone Warehouse.

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More than 50 million Lumia devices have been activated to date

Microsoft revealed that there are more than 50 million Lumia devices activated to date. The Redmond-based tech giant revealed the stat during a press event in Germany.

gsmarena 001 More than 50 million Lumia devices have been activated to date

The number includes all Windows Phone products since the inception of the Lumia product range as part of Nokia’s portfolio of devices in 2011. There is no word on how many Lumia devices of those 50 million are still being used.

While 50 million activated devices surely looks and sounds impressive, it sits far behind those achieved by its competitors. Apple for example moved almost 40 million smartphones in the last fiscal quarter alone.

Furthermore, Microsoft revealed that there are more than 320,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Store. The number is up from 300,000 back in August, though significantly below the one million+ apps available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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Micromax unveils Yu brand powered by CyanogenMod

gsmarena 001 Micromax unveils Yu brand powered by CyanogenMod

Today in India, Micromax has launched a new smartphone brand: Yu. The devices that will be sold under this name will be offered online only, emulating Xiaomi’s business model.

The Yu phones will run Android, but their software will come from Cyanogen, Inc., the company behind the preinstalled ROM for the OnePlus One (and the Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition before that). This might be used by Micromax as a unique selling point for the new brand.

Cyanogen (the company) has been clear that it wants to partner with more phone makers, and this deal is in line with its strategy. As for Micromax, it must have felt the heat from Xiaomi’s arrival in India, and Yu is its response.

The first Yu handset is apparently going to be made official sometime next month. Micromax boasts that it will honor the warranty for Yu phones even if they’re rooted. And in the future, we should also see Yu-branded smartwatches and smart bands.

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Samsung plans to cut phone portfolio by 30% in 2015

Samsung head of investor relations, Robert Yi, has revealed during a presentation in New York that the company plans to cut the number of smartphone models it produces by 25% to 30% in 2015. With this step, Samsung hopes to fight the falling profits that were recorded in the last financial quarter.

gsmarena 001 Samsung plans to cut phone portfolio by 30% in 2015

Naturally, Samsung investors aren’t happy with the latest developments and require changes that will head the company back to growth. As a result, the company plans to get back to double-digit percentage margin in 2015. The largest smartphone manufacturer maintained above 15% operating profit margins for 10 consecutive quarters, but in Q3 2014 that number fell to 7%.

There’s no further information on which phone models will be discontinued in 2015. Reportedly, Samsung’s focus will fall on the entry-level and mid-range phone segments. To streamline the process, Samsung will increase the number of components shared across the different models.

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