Android Circuit: New Galaxy S6 Plus Leaks, Google Spoils Apple Music, Hello … – Forbes

Taking a look back at seven days of news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit includes leaked details on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Plus, Google’s counter-attack against Apple Music, Microsoft Office’s arrival on Android smartphones, Hello Kitty’s official Android Wear watch face, BlackBerry’s desire for secure Android, Medium’s updated Android app, research on why developers update apps, and details on Google’s ‘undo send email’ option.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can read the weekly Apple news digest here).

Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Leaked Galaxy S6 Plus Details Not Good For Samsung

More information about Samsung’s next iteration of the Galaxy S6 has leaked, including the external dimensions, screen size, and processor. The Galaxy S6 Plus pretty much fits into Samsung’s idea of creating very narrow and specific market segments, and then building a phone for that segment and relying on the Galaxy brand to drive sales.

It’s a strategy that has proven less effective as each year passes, and goes against JK Shin’s stated plan of rationalizing the product line. In short, the S6 Plus is an illustration of poor long-term strategy from Samsung. Here’s why:

How many units of a Galaxy S6 Plus is Samsung realistically expecting to sell? How large is the audience for a phone that is ever so slightly bigger than the S6, ever so slightly smaller than the Note, and likely slower than both?

…If Samsung really has an S6 Plus ready to ship, then my advice would be simple. Don’t bother. Focus on the Galaxy Note 5, make it the best phablet you can stop, and stop clouding the issue with a misguided attempt to segment every tiny slice of the market.

Google Offers Free Curated Playlists To Counter Apple Music.

Ahead of the launch of the Apple Music service on June 30th, Google has updated its human-curated playlists and allowed them to be listened to for free. With this move, Mountain View is going after both the free music portion and the curated portion of Apple Music, as explained by Chris Welch at The Verge:

Today the company is launching a free, ad-supported tier that offers curated playlists (a la Songza) designed to accompany every moment of your day. The handpicked stations themselves aren’t new; Google brought them to Play Music’s paying subscribers last year after its acquisition of Songza. But now everyone in the US can listen; the curated playlists are available today on the web and Android, with an update for iOS also due very soon.

Unlike Apple Music, Google Play’s free playlists are only available in the US market. If you’re in the region, they  are available on the web and through the iOS and Android clients.

Microsoft Office Arrives On Android Smartphones

Following a public preview earlier this year, Microsoft has released Office for Android smartphones. The apps are available to download for free from the Google Play store (WordExcel, and PowerPoint), although you will need a subscription to Office365 to gain access to all the features.

The release continues Satya Nadella’s vision to give Microsoft a focus on software and cloud services as the primary product, a point I raised earlier this week:

Perhaps it [releases for Android and iOS] would have been a step too far for Ballmer,  but not for current CEO Satya Nadella. These steps are the exact steps he wants Microsoft to talk, moving the focus of the company from a hardware-led solution to one that focuses on cloud services and being in every location where a consumer could find them.

Given the smartphone market share that Microsoft has, that means heading out to Android and iOS. It also means being on the web and open to significant interaction on other platforms such as OSX on the desktop and Box in the cloud storage sphere.

More thoughts here.

Hello Kitty Hits Android Wear

While Apple continues to limit the customisation on the Apple Watch to small widgets of information called customizations (a strategy that mimics the control over on-screen widgets on the iPhone), Google continues to open up the watch face market to developers and brands around the world. And this week saw a truck-load of big names coming to Android Wear, including Rubiks, Bang & Olufsen, Moomins, Gundam, and the biggie…

…Hello Kitty is here:

Grab the new watch faces direct from the Google Play Store.

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