Mihaita Bamburic

HTC unveils its first 64-bit Android smartphone

HTC_Desire_510_white

Apple started the 64-bit smartphone craze in September 2013 with iPhone 5s. It was the first 64-bit device of its kind to reach store shelves and, even now, it continues to be unrivaled in this regard by competing flagships. That's because other vendors could only use 32-bit high-end processors from major chip makers like Qualcomm and Nvidia.

While that has yet to change, other 64-bit smartphones, targeting a less demanding crowd, are on their way as, today, Taiwanese maker HTC announces its first 64-bit smartphone, touted to bring "super-fast LTE connectivity at an affordable price point". It's called Desire 510.

Continue reading

How many apps are smartphone users taking advantage of?

Breakup Smartphones

It's a simple question, with no apparent simple answer. A Nielsen report has shed some light on the matter, revealing that Android smartphone and iPhone users, on average, use 26.8 apps per month. But, without knowing the context, it is impossible to accurately determine what it actually translates into.

If that's 26.8 apps out of 30, the usage rate is close to 100 percent, but if it's 26.8 apps out of 100, the usage rate is close to 30 percent. A new infographic, courtesy of Yahoo Aviate and Yahoo Labs, adds some much-needed context into the picture, but does it offer an accurate answer to that question?

Continue reading

How to fix disabled audio in OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta

Apple Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Apple launched, almost a week ago, the second public beta build of OX 10.10 Yosemite, which, among other improvements, includes a healthy dose of bug fixes. But, for some reason, the company has not yet addressed a glaring sound problem, where the audio stops working until a restart is performed. It is likely this occurs in the developer-only builds too.

I am not alone in experiencing this problem, as I have seen other OS X 10.10 Yosemite testers reporting the same issue with the built-in audio. In my case, after some testing, it appears that this issue occurs after my 2013 MacBook Air wakes up the built-in and external displays from sleep.

Continue reading

LG officially announces G3 Stylus

LG G3 Stylus 1

Early this month, LG revealed the existence of a stylus-toting G3 version, called G3 Stylus, in a marketing video for its newly-introduced G3 Beat. Given that Samsung will shortly announce the Galaxy Note 3 successor, it has been expected that LG's new handset will be positioned as a direct rival. As it turns out, that is not the case.

Today, LG officially takes the wraps off G3 Stylus, revealing hardware specifications worthy of a budget-friendly Android smartphone. There is no high-resolution display or high-end processor. Instead, it has a modest 5.5-inch IPS panel with a low resolution of 540 by 960, and a 1.3 GHz quad-core chip. And, because of it, LG says it sits in a class of its own.

Continue reading

India gets its first Firefox OS smartphone

Intex Cloud FX

For Firefox OS to become mainstream, the open-source smartphone operating system has to reach as many important markets as possible, through devices that are more than capable of meeting the needs of local buyers. When it comes to India, Mozilla is confident that the new Intex Cloud FX has what it takes to woo local consumers.

The launch of Cloud FX marks the first contact Indian buyers will have with Firefox OS, as it is the first device of its kind to be available in this Asian market (and, the whole of Asia). That places it in the difficult position of having to set the right tone for Firefox OS, and upcoming handset launches, in one of the largest smartphone markets worldwide. Fail now, and all hope may be gone forever.

Continue reading

Microsoft makes Surface 2 more attractive

Microsoft Surface 2

With Microsoft focusing its attention on the bigger, newer and more expensive Surface Pro 3, it is easy to lose sight of its second flagship tablet on sale, Surface 2. It may not run Windows 8.1 Pro or tote a PC-grade processor, like Surface Pro 3, but it is nonetheless an interesting option for folks who wish to join the Windows RT 8.1 camp.

Unlike most other tablets out there, its build quality is solid, it is designed with multitasking in mind, ships with a version of Microsoft Office, and was designed to work well with a keyboard and mouse. Plus, after a $100 discount, the Surface 2 experience is now more affordable than ever.

Continue reading

Apple launches OS X 10.10 Yosemite Beta 2

Apple Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite

In late-July, Apple launched the public beta testing program for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which it previewed at WWDC 2014. It was the first time the fruit logo company gave its non-developer Mac-toting users the ability to install a pre-release version of its long-lasting operating system. As an early adopter, I was eager to try it out as soon as possible. Sadly, the first public beta, as it was likely to happen, had its kinks.

But Apple has launched the second public beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite (dubbed Beta 2), which brings with it a number of important changes over its predecessor, including some necessary bug fixes. Maybe the second time's the charm for those of us who ran into trouble with the first public beta.

Continue reading

PayPal for Windows Phone receives a much-needed update

PayPal for Windows Phone

Official Windows Phone apps are steadily growing in numbers and quality, as more and more developers support the platform and improve their existing offerings. PayPal is the latest top title to get a much-needed revamp.

Based on my experience, PayPal for Windows Phone was in dire need of a major upgrade, as it failed to provide the same features that Android and iOS users get. Fortunately, according to PayPal, much has changed with the latest version, suggesting that the subpar experience is a thing of the past now.

Continue reading

LG targets 3G markets with two new affordable Android smartphones

LG L Bello Fino

Even though 4G is undoubtedly the better technology for data consumption, in most markets across the globe 3G is still prevalent. The lower cost as well as the broader device selection certainly helps the latter remain attractive to consumers, at least until 4G is as readily available.

South Korean maker LG is keen to supply 3G-toting handsets going forward, as it announces the new Android-based L Bello and L Fino smartphones. The two, which are aimed at price-conscious consumers in "growing 3G markets", are said to pack solid specs, so let us take a look at what they have to offer.

Continue reading

LG introduces G Pad 8.0 with built-in 4G LTE

LG G Pad 8.0 2

Even though they are more expensive, tablets with built-in cellular connectivity have one major advantage over their Wi-Fi only counterparts that can make up for the price difference -- there is Internet access outside of the Wi-Fi range, and it is paramount for today's mobile warriors.

LG understands that there are people who require tablets with built-in cellular connectivity, so the South Korean maker has introduced a 4G LTE version of its G Pad 8.0 Android slate, which will go on sale starting this week. Let's take a look at what it offers.

Continue reading

Get ready to enjoy that reversible USB Type-C connector

USB Type C Render

USB 3.0 Promoter Group announces that the much-awaited USB Type-C connector, which can be plugged in both ways, is now finally ready to enter mass production. It makes way for faster transfer speeds, courtesy of the USB 3.1 standard, increased power delivery, more compact device designs and, arguably, fewer moments of frustration thanks to its reversible orientation, which is similar to that of Apple's Lightning connector which launched in 2012.

"Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well", says USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders. "Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution". Here is what else you should know.

Continue reading

Meet Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Silver

It is well known that Samsung has often been criticized for giving its premium smartphones a not-so-premium look and feel. But, in spite of all this, in the land of upscale Galaxy handsets, an all-plastic body, with a bland design, has always prevailed. Until now.

Today, Samsung finally shows us that a premium Galaxy smartphone can break away from the norm, as it reveals the new Galaxy Alpha boasting a metal frame and an attractive design. The device's main rival is likely to be Apple's upcoming iPhone 6, which is expected to ship with a similarly-sized display.

Continue reading

Why Facebook Messenger for Android needs those permissions

Why Confused Question Mark Woman Wall

Seeing Android apps requesting various permissions in order to install can be disconcerting for inexperienced users. How can one know if there is a valid reason to trigger them, or if an offering will maliciously use those permissions? Those are valid concerns, after all, as a third-party, that we have little control over, is entrusted with access to critical features, like the microphone or contacts list. In this day and age, you can never be too cautious.

Facebook has decided to drop the chat functionality from its Android app, asking users to turn to Facebook Messenger to message their friends. And, naturally, quite a few of its users, who are likely new to the offering and find themselves forced to use it, are voicing their concerns over its permissions, as they allow it to do some potentially dangerous things.

Continue reading

Microsoft pitches Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd

indifferent not listening ignoring wife woman husband man

Microsoft will have a hard time convincing consumers who wish to buy Apple's MacBook Air to get Surface Pro 3 instead. That is not because the former is the better purchase, but because these devices aim to please two different crowds. You're either a Mac or a PC, as the old Apple commercials would say today.

I believe that Microsoft does not realize that it is pitching Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd. Swaying would-be MacBook Air owners in the hybrid's direction is not a simple matter of touting feature benefits, as in Surface Pro 3 can be more and do more than MacBook Air. People have to be convinced that those features are things they want; just because they are offered does not automatically mean that they will immediately gravitate towards the device that has them. Yes, some do not want more just because they can get more. And, would-be MacBook Air users do not want more. It's more likely that would-be Surface Pro 3 users do.

Continue reading

Microsoft bets on dumb phone to help Windows Phone

Nokia-130-Single-SIM

Microsoft is right to ditch Nokia brands that may interfere with its Windows Phone plans. X devices of questionable value and out of fashion Asha feature phones do not represent the future. But, the company's homebrew smartphone platform might, and it needs all the attention it can get to become an immediate rival to Android and iOS. Right now, consumers are not seeing Windows Phone as a top pick, so changing this perception should be the one and only task Microsoft should undertake as far as phone-making is concerned.

Yet, today, Microsoft announces a new dumb phone, known as Nokia 130, which it calls "the most affordable mobile phone with video and music player". It costs €19, which is much, much less than what a prospective buyer can expect to shell out for an entry-level Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, like, for instance, Lumia 520. So why is Nokia 130 here?

Continue reading

Mihaita's Latest Tweets

© 1998-2014 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.