Mihaita Bamburic

Windows 10 Mobile will not support 4GB smartphones -- are you affected?

Coffee Beans Sad Face

Microsoft has updated a landing page for Windows 10 Mobile to reveal that Windows Phone 8.x devices with less than 8 GB of internal storage will not be upgraded to the upcoming operating system. This will come as bad news to some folks who have invested in the platform.

Windows 10 Mobile can very well run on devices that were designed with Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1 in mind, as long as there is enough storage space to accommodate the new OS. It, for instance, runs well on both my Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 520. Manufacturers which have cut corners are, obviously, to blame for this.

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LG announces G Pad II 10.1 tablet

LG G Pad II 10.1

LG is slowly refreshing its Android tablet line, announcing today the successor to last year's G Pad 10.1. The new G Pad II 10.1, as it is called, is generally better across the board, featuring a higher-quality screen, faster internals and a price tag that is just as attractive.

There are a couple of standout features on G Pad II 10.1. It comes with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box, which is the latest version of the operating system available at this time. LG has teamed up with Microsoft, pre-loading the latter's Office suite on the tablet. Also part of the partnership is 100 GB of OneDrive storage offered for free to users of G Pad II 10.1 for two years. And, for those who want to use a G Pad II 10.1 hooked up to a mobile network, there is a 4G LTE model.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ goes on sale today

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

We usually have to wait until the IFA trade show for Samsung to announce the next Galaxy Note flagship phablet, but this year the company moved up the second Unpacked event to mid-August. And not only has it unveiled Galaxy Note 5, but also Galaxy S6 edge+, the latter of which goes on sale today.

For those who are not familiar with it, Galaxy S6 edge+ is basically a Galaxy Note 5 with a curved display that forgoes the traditional S Pen. Or, put differently, it is the successor to last year's Galaxy Note Edge, but, again, without the stylus in tow. International availability also differs between the two models.

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Microsoft improves Surface Pro 3 and Pro 2 performance in Windows 10

Surface Windows 10

Microsoft frequently releases new firmware updates for its Surface tablets, improving performance and stability, fixing bugs, and adding new features in the process. And, in August 2015, the devices to get the software giant's attention are Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2.

Given that Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 at the end of the last month, the firmware updates that it has now released, including last month's batch, feature enhancements for the new operating system, which is offered as a free upgrade to those who are using Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2.

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WhatsApp Web now finally supports iPhones

WhatsApp Windows Phone logo

WhatsApp introduced a web interface for its messaging service early this year, giving Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone users the option to chat with their contacts straight from a browser -- that is, as long as that browser is Google Chrome. Those toting iPhones, however, have been left out.

The reason why WhatsApp Web has not supported iPhones from the start is, according to an official blog post that did not go into specifics, "Apple platform limitations". Luckily, WhatsApp has figured out a way around them, opening its web interface to iPhones.

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Opera Max can now compress Netflix and YouTube videos, lowering data consumption

Opera Max Android

Video streaming is one of the quickest ways to max out a data plan. This is especially true for high-definition videos, which are the commonplace on websites like Netflix and YouTube and, understandably, the obvious quality choice for many mobile viewers. Since not everyone can afford or have the option to use an unlimited data plan, we often have to sacrifice how much content we watch to not pass the traffic limit.

However, an update to Opera Max for Android promises to let us watch more videos without sacrificing much in terms of quality. The app can achieve such results through compression, and the feature is now enabled for Netflix and YouTube.

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Google expands Android One into Africa

Infinix HOT 2

Android One is slowly but surely making its way to major emerging markets across the globe. The latest expansion sees the program being introduced today in Africa. For the moment there is only one Android One smartphone available to local consumers, which retails for roughly $87.

There is huge growth potential for Google and Android One in Africa, as Internet use remains relatively low on the continent. A study by Internet Society estimates that, by the end of 2015, 23 percent of mobile phones will be able to have Internet access, a figure which is extremely low when compared to Asia, Europe or North America. So it is very important for Google to get Android One right in Africa.

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How about an Android flip phone with high-end specs?

Samsung G9198 flip phone Android high-end

Flip phones are nowhere near as popular nowadays as they used to be a few years ago, but they are much more interesting as manufacturers introduce new models that try to keep up with the times. A great example is Samsung's new G9198, which comes with high-end internals and runs Android.

Basically, it is the flip phone for people who love the form factor but not its typical shortcomings. And, yes, in case you are wondering, there are still lots of consumers interested in buying a flip phone in 2015. Understandably, they are just not your typical smartphone buyers.

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ASUS' new ZenFone Max packs a 5,000mAh battery

ZenFone Max

Smartphones have evolved a great deal over the years. We now get insanely-fast processors, lots of RAM, high-quality cameras, and amazing displays, not to mention high Internet speeds. But one thing has mostly remained the same, and that is battery life.

With its new ZenFone Max, however, ASUS might have removed this concern for prospective owners by designing the smartphone with a huge, 5,000 mAh battery. Coupled with energy-efficient hardware, it should deliver amazing battery life.

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Dump Google Chrome to extend your MacBook's battery life

MacBook Pro 2015

One of the main benefits to owning a MacBook is the superb battery life. Apple's laptops can work for a great deal of time on battery power alone, thanks in no small part to the numerous improvements made to OS X in recent years. Take my 2013 13-inch MacBook Air for example: it gets well over six hours of battery life on Yosemite, despite being nearly two years old at this stage. I rarely have to worry about plugging it in.

In fact, it could last even longer. The trick is not to use Chrome, which, despite Google's recent efforts to lower its power consumption, continues to be the most power-hungry major browser on OS X, more so than Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox.

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Microsoft's Outlook gains Apple Watch support

Outlook on Apple Watch official support

Apple Watch has been quickly gaining the support of major iOS developers, as more and more top titles have been updated to work well with the best-selling smartwatch on the market. So it should come as no surprise that Microsoft, with its increasing focus on mobile, has introduced Apple Watch support in the latest version of its Outlook mobile email client.

Apple Watch users have been able to take advantage of Outlook features prior to this update, which bumps up the app's version number to 1.3.5, but in a more restrictive manner. The official support, however, brings some new features that make Outlook much more useful on the smartwatch.

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Apple Music has 11 million trial users


Apple Music's success will be determined by its number of subscribers, and, by that measure, the streaming service is heading in the right direction. Just over a month after the big launch, Apple Music has reached 11 million trial users.

Of the 11 million users who are trialling Apple Music, two million went with the family membership. It allows up to six users to share a subscription to the service, for $14.99 per month. A plain subscription costs $9.99 per month per user, which is not as attractive, cost-wise, in comparison.

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T-Mobile has the fastest mobile network in US

speed road fast

T-Mobile has received some great news this week. The magenta carrier has finally overtaken Sprint, becoming the third-largest carrier in US. And its mobile network is said to be the fastest in the country, a title which will undoubtedly find its place in many comparisons against more popular rivals AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint's latest earnings report is what has actually confirmed T-Mobile as the third-largest mobile carrier in US, revealing 57.7 million subscribers to the latter's 58.9 million subscribers. The speed title comes from Ookla, the company behind renowned Internet speed testing app, and website, Speedtest.net, which has posted results for the four-largest carriers in US.

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Apple's iPhones gaining ground in Europe

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

The move to bigger iPhones is arguably the best decision that Apple has made in recent years. Consumer demand has been extremely strong from launch, proof being that Apple was able to match Samsung's shipments in Q4 2014 and post record sales quarter after quarter. The result? Record earnings.

The strong iPhone sales also translate into a strong market share. In Europe, Apple's handsets are gaining ground across all five-largest local markets, at the expense of either market leader Android or third-place rival Windows Phone, according to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

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Which Lumia smartphones will get Windows 10 Mobile first?


Microsoft can focus on Windows 10 Mobile now that Windows 10 is officially available to PC and tablet users. While we do not yet know exactly when the software giant plans to introduce the new version of its smartphone operating system, we do have an idea about which Lumia handsets will be the first to receive the coveted software upgrade.

Windows 10 Mobile will be available to virtually all smartphones that run Windows Phone 8.1, partly because the system requirements are pretty much the same. The Lumia devices that will get the software upgrade first are newer handsets that either sell well at the moment or are positioned at the top of the lineup.

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