Daily Tech Briefing: March 31, 2014

Japanese news organization Nikkei recently reported that Apple is developing two new iPhones that will have larger displays than previous models. The new phones will feature 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, and may be available as early as September.

This plan is likely in response to phones launched by Samsung, which have significantly larger displays than iPhones. Technology analysts have stated that sales of phablets—phones that have displays that are five inches or larger—will soon outshine sales of small tablets with displays between 7 and 8 inches.

Microsoft has released images on its website of the final hardware for Kinect for Windows v2. While this new sensor looks similar to the one that was shipped with the Xbox One, there are a few differences in how the sensors operate. For example, connecting Kinect for Windows v2 to a PC requires other components to work such as the hub and the power supply. Also, James Ashley, a presentation layer architect at Razorfish Emerging Experiences, pointed out that the new Kinect is better able to detect people and their movements than its predecessor.

Google released its latest transparency report, which shows that the number of requests the company receives from governments worldwide for information about its users has increased dramatically. Since 2009, the number of government requests for information about users in criminal investigations has increased by 120 percent. Richard Salgado, legal director of law enforcement and information security at Google, posted on the Google official blog that while the number of Google users has increased since 2009, more governments have also begun exercising their authority to make requests for information from the search provider.

Although mobile carriers have long been putting emphasis on high-speed data, HD Voice technology may be the new hot thing consumers look for in a mobile phone. This technology allows users to experience much richer, fuller sound. Currently, 100 mobile operators worldwide have launched HD Voice service and large carriers, such as Sprint, are planning on launching HD Voice nationwide soon.

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