August 13, 2014, 2:25 PM — The rivalry between Apple and Samsung in the mobile phone arena has been bitter and hard fought, with each side battling the other in court as well as in the smartphone market itself. Now Samsung has released the Galaxy Alpha phone and some think it bears a suspicious resemblance to Apple's iPhone.
According to TechCrunch:
The most notable tweak here is Samsung’s shift away from plastic — with a metal-edged silhouette that closely resembles the iPhone, although the back of the device has a soft texture — rather than the iPhone’s glass/metal — and the same dot pattern Samsung used on its Galaxy S5 flagship earlier this year.
The Korean mobile maker may seem to be waving a red rag to a bull by sailing so close to Apple’s designs here, but its problem is it needs to up its game to reverse falling sales and revenue, especially given that rivals like Xiaomi aren’t holding back when it comes to Apple inspired designs.
Image credit: Pocket-lint
As you might imagine, the Galaxy Alpha has fired up some of the Apple partisans on Reddit who believe that Samsung has once again copied Apple's designs. But many Android users on Reddit seem excited about the phone and that bodes well for potential sales. You can read the official announcement from Samsung for additional details on the hardware specs of the Galaxy Alpha, and Pocket-lint has a comparison of the Galaxy Alpha and the iPhone 5S.
Frankly, I think the Galaxy Alpha is a bit of a desperation move on Samsung's part. They are getting their lunch eaten at the lower end by Xiaomi and other Android manufacturers, and Apple sits at the very top of the premium market. The Galaxy Alpha strikes me as an attempt to somehow carve out a spot in the premium market for Samsung, but I doubt it will work.
I suspect that Samsung's time at the top of the Android heap is coming to an end. There's just too much competition now from other manufacturers who can produce quality Android phones at lower prices. And I doubt very much that many of Apple's customers will leave the mothership and buy the Galaxy Alpha instead of the upcoming iPhone 6.
However, none of this means that the Galaxy Alpha is a bad phone or that it won't do well in terms of sales. But, in the end, it may not be enough to help Samsung recover from its recent problems.
Android 4.4 KitKat attains 20.9 percent market share
CNet reports that the adoption rate of Android 4.4 KitKat continues to climb.
According to CNet:
In Google's latest Android Developer Dashboard released on Wednesday, version 4.4 of Google's Android mobile operating system, called KitKat, scooped up a market share of 20.9 percent. Using data collected via visits to the Google Play store over a seven-day period ending August 12, the latest figures showed a rise for KitKat from 17.9 percent in July and 13 percent in June.
Image credit: CNet
Fragmentation has always been a problem for Android, but these numbers are certainly an improvement. I'm sure Google probably wants them to be much higher, but I think that will come over time with efforts like Android Silver.
Eleven tips to extend the battery life of your Android phone
PCMag had a useful roundup from back in May about how to extend the battery life of your Android phone. It's definitely worth looking at if you are having battery problems.
According to PCMag:
Top-notch Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) are powerful, but unfortunately, they don't have endless battery life. In fact, many Android phone users would be happy to make it through a single day, hoping that a nightly recharge is sufficient.
Fortunately, there's plenty you can do to stem the flow of juice from your Android device. To write this article, I used a Google Nexus 5, as it's running the latest version of Android 4.4 KitKat with no extra interface enhancements, but these tips should apply across just about any Android phone.
Image credit: PCMag
You may also want to check the list of battery saving apps for Android in the Google Play store. There are quite a few of them, and most of them seem to be free. ZDNet also had a useful roundup a while back that includes eight battery saving Android apps, and CNet has its own list of five apps that help extend battery life.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.