Latest Technology News

Windows Phone's biggest problem isn't apps

Lumia-830_group1

My colleague Brian Fagioli was right to reject Microsoft’s laughable claim that Windows Phone is experiencing 'impressive growth', and to also brand the tiled mobile OS as a failure. Android and iOS completely dominate the mobile space, and Microsoft -- which owns the desktop -- is nothing but a bit player.

If you ask anyone why Microsoft has failed to succeed they will probably say "apps". The Windows Store has a fraction of the apps found in the Apple App Store and Google Play (aside from the main names, few of the many apps I used regularly on my iPhone are available on Windows Phone) and there are dodgy clones and fakes to be found throughout the store. But while that is definitely a factor I think the real blame for Windows Phone’s failure lies elsewhere.

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7 useful online tools for your business

businessman on tablet

As the manager of a small business or an entrepreneur just starting out, you should always be on the lookout for anything that can improve your productivity, time management, organization, and ultimately make day to day tasks easier to manage.

It can be hard enough trying to run things in the office without also having to worry about your online presence. But like it or not, today’s business needs an online presence in order to ultimately succeed, or at least remain competitive.

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Even propped up by Firefox, Yahoo search manages to lose market share

Yahoo_Sunnyvale_daytime

Three months ago Mozilla made the surprising decision to make Yahoo the default search provider in the US version of Firefox, replacing Google, its long standing search partner. The switch had immediate benefits for Yahoo which saw sizable usage gains in the US, going from 8.6 percent share in November 2014 to 10.4 percent in December.

However, anyone who thought this would be the start of a search renaissance for Yahoo is going to be disappointed to hear that in February Marissa Mayer’s firm went into reverse and lost share.

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Zip through the Amazon without any possible dangers to life and limb

trekker-on-zipline (1)

The rainforests of the Amazon can be an inherently dangerous place, with everything from poison dart frogs to flesh eating fish. The Earth itself can be a dangerous place, more so in some locations than others, though it can be argued that only the types of dangers change. With that said, who wouldn't want to explore this pristine, and disappearing, area of the world?

Google Maps Street View can take you on that dream vacation and it's doing so in style -- a zip line to be precise. But this time you don't have all those dangers to worry about.

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Google+ to split into Hangouts, Photos, and Streams

Google+ to split into Hangouts, Photos and Streams

It's fair to say that of all of the social networks there are to choose from, Google+ is one that has failed to set the world on fire. Facebook may annoy users from time to time but it dominates the social web, and Twitter has carved out a healthy niche for itself as well. But Google is, uncharacteristically, unwilling to give up on Google+ just yet.

In what seems to be an attempt to breathe new life into a flagging product line, Vice President of Google, Bradley Horowitz is taking control. Interestingly he is not looking after Google+ as a whole, just a couple of its branches. Announcing the news, he said that the recent rumors surrounding Google+ splitting up are true.

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Samsung devices overtake Apple in mobile ad impressions

Mobile tablet advertising

One of the advantages of advertising on digital platforms is that it reveals information about the devices and apps being used to view ads. This is useful for marketers but also echoes some general industry trends.

Digital advertising specialist Millennial Media has released its latest Mobile Mix report charting the use of its platform over the past year. The results throw up some interesting patterns. Among them are that Samsung saw the greatest number of impressions on the platform in the past year, unseating Apple who had previously been the leader.

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Malware detection in 2014 doubles from 2013 -- 2015 could be even worse

Malware detection in 2014 doubles from 2013 -- 2015 could be even worse

A report from PandaLabs suggests that there were twice as many malware infections in 2014 compared to 2013 -- and China was the hardest hit. Globally, Europe was found to be the area with the lowest rate of infection, and Sweden topped the chart as the safest country. The UK found itself in fourth place with an infection rate of 22.14 percent.

There were certainly plenty of big name security issues throughout 2014. CryptoLocker was just one high-profile example of ransomware, and Trojans continue to be the most common form of infection, accounting for 70 percent of new malware. Viruses tend to be the most commonly known and feared form of infection, but these make up just 12.33 percent of new infections, and a mere 2.7 percent overall.

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Split PDFs into separate pages with SepPDF

SepPDF200-175

It’s happened to us all. You need to carry out a simple PC task, find and download some freeware, but then discover it’s a huge file, requires installation, comes packed with adware, has loads of functions you don’t need, yet still leaves out some that you do.

SepPDF is much more like freeware ought to be: tiny, with a single function -- splitting PDFs into individual PDF pages -- and absolutely no unwanted extras at all.

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Sony unveils Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet 1

Two flagship smartphones a year is one too many. Consumers who buy those top-of-the-line handsets do not like seeing their new purchase being outclassed in the same year it launches. Thankfully, Sony has learned its lesson, as there is no Xperia Z4 at MWC 2015. However, it's a bit strange that we're seeing Xperia Z4 Tablet. It's like the tablet division didn't get the memo, naming it after a device that's not here yet.

For those of you not keeping track of Sony's flagship tablets, Xperia Z4 Tablet is the successor to Xperia Z2 Tablet, announced at last year's MWC. The more-recent Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact that made its debut at IFA 2014 features a much smaller display, targeting iPad mini -- instead of full-blown iPad -- buyers. Let's take a look at Xperia Z4 Tablet.

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Microsoft's Universal Foldable Keyboard loves iOS, Android and Windows equally

Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard loves iOS, Android and Windows equally

Every mobile operating system would have you believe that it has the best built in keyboard. It's clear that plenty of people disagree judging by the number of alternative keyboard apps that exist in the Windows Phone, Apple and Android stores. Sometimes even the best software keyboard isn't good enough, but few people are enamored with the idea of carrying around a full size Bluetooth keyboard.

There are numerous mobile keyboards that are particularly suitable for use with smartphones and tablets, and today at MWC in Barcelona, Microsoft threw its hat into the ring with the Universal Foldable Keyboard. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a large money wallet, this svelte device connects via Bluetooth to whatever mobile device you happen to be using -- including the newly announced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.

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Mobile users face risks on multiple fronts

virus malware infection mobile

A new report from security company FireEye, based on analysis of over seven million mobile apps during 2014, reveals that mobile users are being targeted from a number of directions.

Risks on the Android platform include malicious apps that steal information once installed, legitimate apps written insecurely by developers, legitimate apps using insecure but aggressive ad libraries, malware and aggressive adware that passes Google Play checks and is assumed to be safe, identity theft, and premium rate phone and SMS fraud.

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Apple Watch could replace your car keys

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch "official" launch event (as opposed to last autumn’s mere unveiling) is almost upon us -- in fact it’s a week from today -- and CEO Tim Cook has been busy stoking the hype fires one last time.

Cook talked to the Telegraph about the sort of innovations Apple is planning to bring forth with its smartwatch, one of which is that the device will be usable as your car keys -- replacing the chunky fobs that vehicles use these days.

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Xiaomi goes after GoPro with Mi Pro Action Camera

Xiaomi Mi Pro Action Camera

Xiaomi may be best known for its smartphones, but the company is exploring other markets as well. On top of its Android phones, its lineup also includes a tablet, activity tracker, TV, router, external batteries, headphones and much more. One might say that Xiaomi is looking to sell a lifestyle, not just gadgets.

Today, Xiaomi is entering another market with the announcement of Mi Pro Action Camera. The company's first action camera offers exactly what you might expect out of a Xiaomi device: decent hardware and great value. It's not up there with the best that GoPro has to offer, but it's also not as expensive.

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Twitter investigates alleged ISIS threat against its founder and employees

threat

Twitter is investigating an alleged threat by the terror group ISIS against both its founder Jack Dorsey and its employees. The author of the threat indicates anger by the recent banning of Twitter profiles belonging to either members of ISIS, or its sympathizers. A translated version of the threat says that Twitter employees could find themselves murdered due to the removal of the profiles.

BetaNews obtained a quote from Twitter stating, "our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials". Surely this is a difficult balancing act for the social network; are terrorists and their sympathizers worthy of free speech protection?

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The earphone's connected to the head bone - DIGICare bone conduction headphone [Review]

Digicare headphones

Bluetooth headphones are pretty common place but these from DIGICare are a bit different because they use bone conduction technology -- as does Google Glass and some hearing aids.

That means instead of sitting in or over your ears they rest on the sides of your head and feed the sound into your inner ear via your skull.

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