Redsquid’s Monthly Round-up: May 2016

Welcome to our monthly round-up of May’s most important news and announcements from the world of unified communications.


Motorola Announces New G-Range

Motorola have announced the next generation of their budget smartphone range. Set to release in early June, the Moto G4, G4 Plus and G Play appear to be Motorola’s latest attempt to try and corner the lower-end of the smartphone market. Implementing a similar design to last year’s G3, the new G4s boast curved plastic backs and screens of varying sizes. Whereas the G4 and G4 Plus both have 5.5 inch displays, the G Play echoes its predecessor with a 5inch screen. The processing power of the G4 and G4 Plus have both been boosted up to a Snapdragon 617 Octa-core, with either a 2GB or 4 GB of Ram, whilst the G Play sits at a decidedly less impressive Snapdragon 410.  The primary difference between these three models seems to be that of price and features; with the G Play looking to provide the basic experience, and the G4 and Plus aiming to provide something a little more advanced. Still, for what these phones are offering, for the price their asking, is pretty impressive; all three models run on Android Marshmallow, all of them are waterproof, and all of them are under £180.


Apple’s iOS 10 Rumoured to Launch Next Month

With Apple’s yearly WWDC taking place on the 13th of June, it’s highly likely that we’re going to see the announcement of their next iOS update. An iOS announcement in June has become such a sure thing, that people are readying themselves for the release of the iOS 10 beta. Members of Apple’s development programme will likely be the first to receive the update, with ordinary folks expected to receive it sometime in July. Despite the iOS 9 update having not cut any devices out, it’s safe to assume that they’re going to be at least some causalities this time. Possible improvements being thrown around are the advanced use of Siri with voicemail, more accurate volume controls, and more multi-user support. This also means that it’s very likely that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be announced in the next couple of months, with a release window of late September.


Oneplus to Announce Next Phone Via VR

As company PR tries to one-up itself once again, OnePlus have confirmed that they will be revealing their next flagship phone via a VR conference sometime in mid-June. Sure to be the successor to the well-received OnePlus 3, this new phone will be announced live over 30,000 VR headsets OnePlus will be giving away for free. CEO Carl Pei also confirmed that those watching the conference will be the first to get their hands on pre-orders of the device.


Sony Unveils the New Xperia

Sony has revealed their next Xperia phone; the Xperia XA Ultra. The new phablet sports a massive 6inch screen with full HD resolution, making it one of the largest phones on the market. The XA Ultra uses Helio p10 with 3GB of Ram, along with 16GB of storage and an optional 200 MB of extra memory. The XA also boasts an impressive two days of battery life, as well as supporting quick charging, so all this processing power can be enjoyed for far longer. What Sony really seem to be pushing with the XA however, is its 16-megapixel front camera, along with a 21.5-megapixel camera on the back, making it one of the most advanced camera phones out there. It’ll run on the latest version of Android Marshmallow, and looks to be priced around £298 upfront, with various sites accepting pre-orders for late July.


Nokia to Make a Comeback?

Microsoft have sold mobile designers Nokia for $350 million. The sale was conducted in two parts; with the brand selling to HMD, a company made up of former Nokia employees, and the manufacturing, distribution and sales departments sold to Taiwanese company Foxconn. This sale marks the end of an ailing partnership between Microsoft and the Finish mobile company, after Nokia were bought by them in 2013. Since that time, Nokia had been made the sole manufacturers of Microsoft’s Lumia range, and disappointing numbers appear to have bought the sale on. The possibility of Nokia making a return to the mobile market has since been teased, with many suggesting that a return to past employees could be a return to form.


Google Releases Android Pay in the UK

Google have finally joined Apple among the ranks of contactless mobile pay apps with Android Pay.  Despite having released the app in the US late last year, the UK have been kept on tenterhooks waiting for the chance to use our android phones to pay. Even though Google have already ventured into the contactless pay market with Google Wallet, Android pay claims to be a far more advanced and reliable version of the app. So far, Google have confirmed the involvement of eight banks, including Halifax and Lloyds TSB, with others supposedly in negotiation. The app is available to download now, and works pretty much anywhere that also supports Apple Pay.