Mihăiță Bamburic

Flickr just lost its appeal -- and the war against Google Photos

winner victory

Flickr has made a big comeback after giving users a whopping 1 TB of free storage, but now it is ruining everything by making a very important feature of the service available only to paying customers.

Flickr has announced that Auto-Uploadr, the software that enables users to upload photos from a desktop device, will only be offered to Pro and Pro+ subscribers, leaving users on the free tier out in the cold.

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Android Lollipop now reigns supreme, surpasses KitKat

Old men running racing competing competition

The adoption of new Android distributions rises at a glacial pace so you should not expect the latest -- and, arguably, the greatest -- of the bunch to gain traction quickly. In fact, up until this month, the landscape was dominated by KitKat, which is now two and a half years old, and not Marshmallow, which Google introduced last October.

However, going into March, things have changed. KitKat no longer reigns supreme, as Google reveals that Lollipop is now finally running on more devices than its older brother. The usage share difference is relatively small, however, suggesting that it may take a while before KitKat will be as irrelevant as, say, Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Xiaomi's new Mi Powerbank Pro is a 10,000 mAh external battery with USB Type-C

Xiaomi Mi Powerbank Pro

USB Type-C is slowly starting to gain traction in the smartphone market, as more handsets are being introduced with this wonderful new connector. Last month, we saw two new flagships -- LG's G5 and Xiaomi's Mi 5 -- unveiled with USB Type-C. But, for consumers, having it on a new smartphone may actually be an issue.

An external battery, for instance, is generally charged via microUSB, which means that, when it runs out of juice, you will not be able to use the USB Type-C cable, that is used to charge your device, to also charge the external battery. This can make having a smartphone with the new connector feel like a drag, but Xiaomi has decided to (also) offer a USB Type-C external battery so you can have a great experience.

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Dropbox now has half a billion users [Infographic]

Dropbox PDF Adobe

Dropbox is one of the leading players in the cloud storage market, attracting a large number of consumers and business clients since making its debut in mid-2007, on the merits of its namesake service alone: today, it boasts more than half a billion customers.

With over 500 million users under its belt, Dropbox is now one of the most popular -- if not the most popular -- cloud storage services. The company has added 100 million customers in the last nine months alone.

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Choetech Choe Qi is an affordable fast wireless charging pad [Review]

Chotech fast wireless charger Choe Qi pad

Wireless charging is one of the nicest and most convenient features added on smartphones in the past couple of years. Increasingly seen on mid-range and high-end offerings, it enables devices to charge simply by resting on a small pad. After experiencing the benefits, you will not want to go back to using a wall charger and cable again.

It is not enough to have a smartphone that offers this feature, as you also need a compatible pad to wirelessly charge it. A very interesting proposition is Choetech's Choe Qi, which offers fast wireless charging at an attractive price point. I have been using it for a few weeks to find out whether it's worth buying, and here are my impressions.

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Amazon values encryption so much that it drops support on Kindle Fire tablets

Businessman Suit Fingers Crossed Swear

Amazon has came out in support of encryption, following Apple's recent legal battles with the US government, saying that it "plays a very, very important role" in protecting customer data.

But you might be surprised to learn that Amazon has also decided to quietly drop support for full disk encryption on its Android-based Kindle Fire tablets. Since it is portraying itself as an encryption and consumer advocate, its decision to go in the opposite direction strikes me as sheer hypocrisy.

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Why does Oculus Rift not support Macs?

Oculus-Rift

To be on the cutting edge of technology you sometimes need to make some hard decisions. If you are a Mac user who is interested in Oculus Rift, you will have to choose between your love of Apple's computers and enjoying the virtual reality headset. That is because the two do not go hand in hand, as Oculus Rift only supports Windows PCs. Ouch!

Your Mac is not held back by Windows per se, because it can be easily installed via Boot Camp or Parallels -- and you get pretty much the same user experience as a PC user. The reason why Mac support is currently out of the question boils down to hardware limitations.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586.122 -- here's what's new

Microsoft Lumia 950 Windows 10 Mobile

While the Windows 10 Mobile roll out has yet to finally kick off, new preview builds are frequently released for users enrolled in the Windows Insider program. Microsoft is working on ironing out the kinks before unleashing its latest smartphone operating system, while trying to improve the user experience for those who have already purchased Windows 10 Mobile handsets.

And, now, early adopters are treated to Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586.122. This "cumulative update", which is offered in the Slow and Release Preview rings, adds support for new smartphones, a significant number of improvements to existing features and some bug fixes. Here's everything that you need to know about it.

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Resistance is futile -- Windows 10 will take over the PC market (eventually)

Disappointed gamer

Microsoft hopes that within the first two to three years of availability, Windows 10 will power one billion devices worldwide. And, so far, things are looking good, as the new operating system can be found on over 200 million devices. But whether the software giant reaches its goal on time or not is irrelevant, because the new operating system will take over the PC market eventually, one way or another.

When looking at monthly stats and even Microsoft's own status updates on adoption it is way too easy to focus your attention on the figures themselves and lose sight of the bigger picture: as long as Windows 10's user base is growing, there is no stopping it. And that is what Microsoft wants, to have its new operating system "infecting" as many PCs and tablets as possible, so that it can finally take control of this market.

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Google now sells its Cardboard VR headset for $15

google_cardboard

The cost of a standalone virtual reality headset is prohibitive at this point, with prices for devices like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Pre exceeding the $500 mark. However, if you want to experience this new technology, there are more affordable options to choose from, in the form of smartphone-powered headsets.

Such headsets are dirt cheap in comparison. Apple, for instance, sells one for just under $30 for iPhones through its online store -- it works with Android smartphones too. And now Google is also offering Cardboard, at an even lower price point.

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Developers earn more on Windows Phone than Android or iOS

mobile money

Windows Phone is nowhere near as popular as Android or iOS, having a market share of just over one percent, but it appears to be far more lucrative for developers than either of the two major platforms. In fact, developers who publish apps in Windows Store can expect to earn twice as much compared to those who create Android titles.

On average, a Windows Phone developer earns $11,400 per month, which equates to $136,800 per year. In contrast, an iOS developer has to make do with $8,100 per month, or $97,200 per year, while an Android developer makes $4,900 per month, or $58,800 per year.

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Apple, bring on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro!

excited nerd nerdy girl

Not too long ago, we were talking about tablets as PC replacements. Consumers were buying them in droves, losing interest in desktops and laptops. Apple's iPads ruled supreme, dominating this space from afar. Fast forward to today and we are talking about the slate as a has been, as it struggles to command the same levels of attention.

For Apple, which was used to posting record numbers every single quarter, it is an especially troublesome trend. The company started the tablet craze, after all, when it showcased the first iPad six years ago, and now sales figures are lower and lower as the quarters go by. However, the productivity-oriented iPad Pro appears to be bucking the trend -- could a smaller version do the same?

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OnePlus fans rejoice -- new flagship launches by June

Excited woman lady

There is no denying that flagships like Samsung's Galaxy S7, LG's G5 and Xiaomi's Mi 5 have just raised the bar for the high-end smartphone market. Rivals need to step things up a notch, as it is going to be extremely hard to compete against the latest-generation hardware and software, especially when it is offered at price points as low as $300.

For OnePlus and its current flagship, OnePlus 2, things are not looking good. Mi 5, which competes in the same price range, is a better device on paper and cheaper too. Other similar devices will soon follow, of course. What is OnePlus' answer? Well, it is OnePlus 3 and it is coming by June.

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Microsoft buys Xamarin to strengthen mobile side

business handshake

If a few years back we were laughing off Microsoft's efforts in the mobile market, today we are looking at the software giant in a different light. That "mobile first, cloud first" mantra that Satya Nadella introduced us to when he became CEO now defines Microsoft, which has quickly evolved into one of the most important players in the mobile space afterwards.

Under Nadella, Microsoft has tackled mobile in a more meaningful way, refocusing its strategy so that it could become a major developer for more than Windows and Windows Phone. Today, the software giant's best services and products are also found on Android and iOS, the most important mobile platforms, and more have been added following high-profile acquisitions like Acompli and SwiftKey. Now, Microsoft adds Xamarin to its mobile portfolio, proving once again that it is dead serious about conquering mobile.

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Xiaomi announces Mi 4s, an updated version of its former flagship

Xiaomi Mi 4s 2

On top of unveiling its new Mi 5 flagship, at MWC 2016 Xiaomi has also announced an updated version of its previous top-of-the-line smartphone, Mi 4. Called Mi 4s, the new handset comes with an improved design, up to date hardware and, best of all, a price tag of around $260.

Mi 4s utilizes the same processor as found in the more affordable Mi 4c, which I have reviewed here, namely a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808. That makes it significantly faster than Mi 4, but less impressive in this regard than the new Mi 5, which sports a top of the line Snapdragon 820 chip.

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