viv samsung acquisition
/ By Jonathan Hawkins / Samsung / 0 Comments

Do you suffer from Siri envy? If you’re a Samsung user, you might. The Apple or Android question is a polarizing one and most users stick with their preference. Most apps are available on both operating systems and the UE is largely the same … except for Siri. Android’s acquisition of AI Startup VIV could turn that around.


The exciting thing about this news is really twofold. For starters, Google’s voice assistant feature has never been quite as beloved as Siri and Samsung doesn’t own it. It hasn’t caught on in the same way. It’s about to get an upgrade that Samsung can control. Additionally, the buzz on Viv is that it’s next gen Siri.


I don’t want to get too ahead of myself though. Let’s go back to basics and learn what’s up for the future of Android AI.


What We Know About Viv


Viv Labs was co-founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. They’re part of the team behind Siri. After creating the famous Apple personality, they left in 2010 and started Viv.


Android acquired Viv, but is allowing them to operate independently and provide support to Android devices.


Viv is focused on interconnectedness. Siri’s ability to engage with multiple silos of information across several applications and, thereby, connect them is a good example of this concept.


Here’s where things get really interesting, or creepy, depending on your opinion of AI. According to Viv, the AI can write its own code as needed to fill gaps and accomplish tasks. This is the first instance of this kind of tech in AI. Viv calls this ‘dynamic program generation.’


In short, a Viv AI assistant has a brain.


To learn a little more about the vision behind Viv, check out  Siri Is Only The Beginning, and later wrote that there would be a Cambrian Explosion In AI, written by Kittlaus for Tech Crunch.


Samsung Is Making Moves To Differentiate From Google


Anyone with a Samsung phone is probably using a lot of Google services. Though two separate entities, the two cooperate seamlessly enough that one hand washes the other. Samsung may be looking to see other people, or more accurately, spend some time with itself.


As time goes on, the two tech giants are becoming competitive. Samsung will have much more control over its future if it can run its own software independently from Google.


“Our focus is really more device-centric,” said Samsung mobile CTO Injong Rhee explained to Recode. “How do we revolutionize how users interact with our devices and our appliances?”


Samsung will be free to use this tech in all of its products including smart TVs.


Are you ready to have a conversation with your television? The days of searching for the remote could be over soon.


Hear It From The Source


Dag Kittlaus made an announcement on Medium regarding the move. The tone is exciting and energized for the future, which is good news for both Samsung and their users. This guy is truly excited about AI.


Kittlaus’ vision is of AI as a gateway to the rest of the internet.


“Soon, we’ll all have a trusted assistant that is a regular part of our everyday lives. We deeply believe this to be true. This assistant will be as ubiquitous and important as the web browser or the mobile app,” Kittlaus wrote on Medium.


This could attract the cutting edge crowd who thirsts for the latest tech to line up for Samsung. It could have huge crossover appeal to causal smartphone users who would prefer to interact with their phones in a user friendly way. It’s certainly a concrete way to solve the problem of texting while driving and really increases the functionality of a smart device.


I’m personally excited to see the results of this acquisition. Samsung seems to have harnessed a ball of tech fire and will hopefully ride it like a comet.

ipad mini pro 5
/ By Jonathan Hawkins / iPad Mini / 0 Comments

It seems like everyone is always chasing the newest mobile device on the market. We’re compelled to endlessly upgrade, but is it always worth it? The iPad Mini 5 is one of the latest gadgets that has people asking, should I upgrade?

Here’s the bottom line on the device to dispel the rumors. Is this device even really coming? What will it look like when it gets here?

The truth is that everyone is speculating and nothing is confirmed from the source itself: Apple. Until Apple speaks up, we’re left to daydream and search for clues to flesh out the actual reality of the iPad Mini 5.

That being said, let’s rundown what we do know and how we know it.


Breaking News On The iPad Mini 5


Rumors of a new iPad Mini Pro recently broke out of the Japanese Apple blog Macotakara. This source is generally reliable although no official statement has been release by Apple at this time.

There is a bit of speculation about exactly how this roll out will occur and how it will affect other iPad sizes and features. Analysts believe that the iPad Pro 2 release in March of 2017 will include release of the iPad Pro Mini.

KGI analyst Ming Chi-Kuo speculates that three new iPad versions will launch in the beginning of 2017. According to Chi-Kuo, the world will see three sizes: 12.9-inch, 10.5-inch and 9.7-inch.

Chi-Kuo was silent on the subject of the iPad Mini 5 specifically, leading some to believe that the 9.7 size will replace the 7.9 inch iPad version. Assuming that is the case, the 12.9 inch and 10.5 inch versions could actually be the iPad Pro 2 and the Mini.

An A10 X processor is expected to be used in both.



What Features Will The iPad Mini Pro Have?


Expectations are that the iPad Mini Pro will have all of the features that usually debut on Apple’s ‘Pro’ devices.

  • True Tone display
  • Smart Connector on the side for connecting accessories magnetically
  • Quad stereo speakers
  • 12-megapixel camera with True Tone flash
  • New four-array microphone setup.


Sadly, this is all an educated guess at this point, given the lack of comment from Apple. Those watching the trends for the long game view indicate the sources suggesting details of the iPad Mini Pro tech are reliable, however.

So, on the one hand, we really don’t know anything. On the other, the information circulating in the tech world is generally informed. Don’t get your hopes up too much just yet, but a little excitement is probably warranted.

Sometimes the answers just aren’t as clear as we’d like, especially in the constantly changing world of mobile devices!

Is There A Release Date?

The limited evidence available at this time points to a March release. There just isn’t enough confirmation to say without a doubt that this is what the iPad Mini Pro will look like.

After all, some reports earlier in the year expected to see the iPad Mini Pro in September 2016 along with the iPhone 7. To date, we’re still waiting.

Apple has presumable done adequate market research and hopefully their finger is back on the pulse of what tablet buyers want. Hopefully this will translate into distinct, upgraded differences from the 7.9-inch iPad mini 4 and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.


The Rumor Mill Breeds Excitement


If this device is on its way, Apple is going to benefit from quite a lot of excitement thanks to the rumor mill. Could this ‘leak’ be a brilliant marketing strategy by the company? No evidence points to this directly, but a quick internet search is enough to realize this rumor has a stronghold.

People’s interest is piqued and that might get them riled up enough to camp out in Spring 2017 for the iPad Mini 5.

/ By Jonathan Hawkins / Samsung / 0 Comments

In ‘things that make you go hmm’ news, Samsung stock is as high as it’s ever been even though Note 7s are still exploding. I don’t mean in sales, I mean actually exploding.

This is one of the most interesting financial based posts you may ever read. The majority of them involve zero fires, after all.

What’s the deal with the persistent surge in Samsung’s market value? Is it in spite of the Note 7s? Are they literally so hot they’re blowing up?

Let’s take a closer look at what we know about the Note 7 and Samsung’s success in the market.

It Isn’t All About The Note 7

Basically, the reason for the stock success comes down to diversification. Phone sales are important, but Samsung has other irons in the tech fire. Two that are helping them out significantly right now are display and semiconductors.

Samsung leads the market in OLED display screens. This tech is more advanced than LCD screens and appears to be the wave of the future. In the first quarter of 2016, Samsung controlled 95% of the OLED screen market. Demand is expected to increase, and that’s something investors like to hear.

Additionally, Samsung leads the pack in the flash memory department as well. Flash memory comes into play when the power to the device is cut. It conserves data.

This is a pretty attractive feature to mobile device users. Battery life and data conservation are two of the most crucial components of a top selling smartphone.

Samsung released the first 3D NAND chip in 2013 and established themselves in the area ahead of Intel and Micron.

The future looks so bright for Samsung based on these components that investors believe Samsung’s market cap is lower than it ought to be. Figures speculated are a 30 to 70 percent undervaluing.

The Tale of the Exploding Phones- Note 7s Blow Up

The Note 7 was supposed to be a big hit for Samsung. Instead, reports of battery issues that cause the units to catch fire are rampant. There are also safety issues with some of the replacement phones.

The company has confirmed that they’ve made production changes. They are actively trying to reassure consumers that the Note 7 is safe. Samsung did not comment, however, on reports of replacement phones catching fire.

There is a lot of bad PR associated with these defective devices. Videos and news reports of Note 7s blowing up or catching fire have gone viral. Samsung has issued assurances along the way but they’re far less sensational than images of combusting phones.

Market Shares Dropped Before Recovering

It isn’t true that exploding phones had no impact on Samsung’s market performance, however. Initially, there was a dip. The company was able to recover because of their hands in other technological pies.

Those who are involved in the stock market will obviously find all of this news interesting, but regular consumes have a dog in the fight as well. Not only is Samsung’s success driving new competitive innovations, but their strength is evidence that the company is here to stay in the mobile market.

Lovers of Samsung phones can rejoice, but may want to wait until the Note 7s are officially declared safe before running out to get one. That should be fairly easy to do, since all of the major news sources are keeping up to date on the story.

Samsung’s Future And What It Means For Consumers

There appears to be a lot to look forward to for fans of the Samsung product line. This is especially encouraging since there is a new iPad Pro and maybe even an iPad Mini Pro coming in Spring of 2017.

Samsung is ready to compete.

Additionally, Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs opens new doors in AI functionality for their product line. The company is innovating and looking to stand alone in the mobile device market

completed ipad mini charging port repair
/ By Jonathan Hawkins / iPad Mini / 0 Comments

Is your iPad mini charging port not working? We are here to help solve your problem! As a repair shop that replaces over 1,000 ipad mini screens and other various replacement parts a year, we have seen first hand our fair share of charging port issues with the ipad mini. Most ipad charging port problems are due to using cheap non apple certified charging cables that put out the wrong voltage and end up frying your port. Although it seems like a great deal when you get yourself a $5 lightning cable from Five Below, it’s really not in your best interest long term.

The charging port on an iPad mini is actually soldered to the board and requires the proper soldering and rework equipment to remove and replace the part. Utilizing a microscope is a necessity when replacing the charging port as the pads/traces that hold the flex cable to the logic board are extremely hard to see with the naked eye. We do not recommend attempting this repair unless you are comfortable with micro soldering.

ipad mini charging port repair closeup
closeup of the ipad mini charging port traces and solder pads after the charging port flex has been removed

At RockIT Repairs we do offer a ipad mini charging port replacement service and turnaround is generally 24-48 hours for mail in customers and same day for walk-ins at our locations.

iPad Mini Models We Fix: (Charging Port Replacement Service)

(Model numbers are located on the back of the device near the bottom) 
  • IPAD MINI (Original Version)
    • A1432
    • A1454
    • A1455
    • A1489
    • A1490
    • A1491  (LTE Model)
    • A1599
    • A1600
    • A1538
    • A1550

The cost to replace the charging port on the above models is $99 and that includes return shipping via USPS priority at no extra cost to you. If you have any questions about our ipad mini charging port repair services, please call us at 540-412-8824. We are open Mon-Sat (10-7pm) and Sun (12-5pm).


Yuneec Typhoon ActionCam
/ By Jonathan Hawkins / Yuneec / 0 Comments

Review: Yuneec Typhoon Action Cam with 4K Video Recording

Today we received and reviewed the Typhoon Action Cam with 4K video recording by a company named Yuneec. I have to say this 4k video camera is amazing! The action cam has handheld integrated 3-axis gimbal powered by the CGO3 camera built by Yuneec that they also use with their Q500 4K Drone.  The camera can shoot in 4k ultra high definition resolution at 30 frames per second or up to 120 frames per second in 1080p HD. The video recording is controlled through your smartphone using the CGO3 smartphone app for (Android) or (iPhone) and can handle up to a 6.4″ phone. The action cam will also shoot still images at 12 megapixels using their no distortion lens and gives you a 115 degree field of viewing. Read more “Review: Yuneec Typhoon Action Cam with 4K Video Recording”