If you've been on a bus or subway lately, you probably observed many people consuming the news on a mobile device. However, this is not a new phenomenon. After all, 20 years ago, you would see people consuming the news on-the-go too -- just in paper form.
While the medium and method of consumption has evolved, on-the-go news can still improve. Today, Google announces that it is improving its news service in mobile browsers. Sadly, Windows Phone users are getting the shaft again -- it is an Android and iOS-only affair.
Like PCs, Android phones and tablets are susceptible to all kinds of security threats. Thankfully there’s a rich choice of free protection out there, and Avira hopes to woo Android users across to its offering with the release of Avira Free Android Security 3.0.
The app, which offers protection from malicious apps, theft and unwanted calls, boasts a complete redesign with the release of version 3, which includes optimizations for those using the app on 7-inch tablets.
The permissions screen that pops up during the installation of an Android app has become the new EULA. Very few people bother to read through what is on screen before clicking through and going ahead with the installation -- you could be signing your life away for all you know!
Apps will let you know if they make use of your location, have access to your contacts, could send messages on your behalf and numerous other things. But in the case of Brightest Flashlight Free it turned out that the app was not only sharing users' location and device ID information with third party advertisers, but it was doing so secretly.
Barely three weeks have passed since KitKat started to roll out, but now Google is updating its compatible Nexus devices to Android 4.4.1. The new version is being pushed over the air for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and 4G LTE Nexus 7, and will also be baked in factory images next week.
The biggest change that Android 4.4.1 introduces is focused on improving the Nexus 5 camera quality and performance, which have been pointed out as major downsides when compared to top smartphones available today. As some have noticed already in ads, Google is marketing the new handset as a capable device for photography and with Android 4.4.1 on board it finally seems to deliver in this regard.
HTC could be banned from selling its One mini phone in the UK if an appeal against a court ruling fails. Judge Richard Arnold has ruled that several HTC handsets could be removed from sale after a court battle with Nokia over patent infringement claims. HTC has already lodged an appeal against the ruling which has the potential to block the sale of other HTC phones -- although the HTC One managed to escape the ruling.
Nokia had claimed that some of HTC's phones included chips for which the Finnish company owns the patent and back in October the High Court in London found this to be the case. This latest ruling is the next step in Nokia's legal battle, but it is not yet clear whether a ban will definitely be put in place -- this depends on the success, or otherwise, of the appeal.
It is very easy to become reliant on Google -- it is the first port of call for many people looking to check everything from currency exchange rates, cinema listings, restaurant reviews and news. This is certainly the case on desktop computers, but it also rings true for Android devices. You’ve probably built up a little memory muscle yourself. When you want to know more about a movie, do you fire up the IMDB app you installed, or do you instead launch Chrome and perform a regular web search?
Google is only too aware that you probably do the latter, but the search giant is keen to push users into making use of apps. This means not only the apps that they have installed, but also those they are yet to discover. Starting now, Google is rolling out an update to searching that means that in addition to regular search results, you'll also be provided with links to related apps when appropriate.
Misleading advertising accusations have been leveled at retailers for ages, but mostly before the internet and 24/7 customer service became part of the game. Google, despite being an internet giant, isn't immune to falling victim to it. Though, to be fair, the search giant wasn't so much misleading as it was hapless. You would think a company built on the web, would be more aware of the technology age.
What happened you ask? This week the Play store is holding an Amazon-like, week-long version of Cyber Monday, the manufactured shopping day for the technology age.
Even though just a little over a month has passed since Google released the Nexus 5, and even less since Android 4.4 started rolling out to compatible devices, KitKat has already made its way into the Android distribution charts. It is a very impressive achievement considering that it took the third Jelly Bean iteration more than twice as long to enter the charts.
Based on the number of devices accessing Google Play in the seven days ending December 2, the three Jelly Bean iterations continue to dominate the Android landscape with a whopping 54.5 percent share, up from 52.1 percent a month before. Android 4.1 is the most popular distribution, running on 37.4 percent of all registered devices. Its growth is barely noticeable, up from 37.3 percent in early-November.
It is not out of the ordinary for a website to experience technical issues when a good deal is available for a very appealing product. It is a strong possibility on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in fact. Based on my personal experience, those who do not manage to get their hands on what they wanted are treated as collateral victims or just unlucky, and will not get a second chance at pressing that buy button.
A similar issue occurred during Motorola's Cyber Monday deal for the Moto X -- the site was barely usable, because the company did not conduct proper testing prior to launching the deal and due to "overwhelming demand". On Motorola's blog, CEO Dennis Woodside issued a public apology and announced a resolution, right before Cyber Monday ended.
It being the week of Thanksgiving, anyone looking for a bargain will have been eagerly anticipating Black Friday. The big names did not disappoint including Microsoft who had special prices on Surfaces. If you were undecided between buying a Surface or an iPad, Microsoft compared the two devices so you don’t have to -- and there are no prizes for guessing which comes out on top! If you give or receive giftcards as presents this year, they can now be used to pay for things through PayPal checkout.
Microsoft's Scroogled campaign may not be in the spirit of the season, but it continues apace. In one advert, the services of Pawn Stars were called upon to take a pop at Google's Chromebook -- Alan was less than impressed. Brian, however was pleased to be the recipient of a surprise, unadvertised mug having placed an order via the Scroogled store, and Joe is a big fan of the campaign. Speaking of Chromebooks, Acer announced an ultra-cheap touchscreen device in the form of the C720P.
Windows Phone 8 has been available on the market since late-October, 2012. That makes it more than a year old in human time and quite a bit older in tech years. So far, I've been through two smartphones running the tiled operating system -- the HTC Windows Phone 8X (in an insanely gorgeous purple) and Nokia Lumia 920 (the boring "businessman-black" version as I like to call it). There is also a Lumia 520 nearby (in a nice shade of red), that I use from time to time to gauge how it gets along with Windows Phone 8 and various new apps.
I have been playing with three important handsets that are available under the Windows Phone 8 umbrella, in order to discover the benefits and the downsides of the platform as well as get an idea of the direction Microsoft wanted to impose for its latest attempt to make great strides in the smartphone OS market. On paper, the software giant only wants the best for Windows Phone, but in practice there are still a couple of bad points about its strategy that indicate, to a certain degree, smartphones are not really a priority for the Redmond, Wash.-based company.
It's Thanksgiving day here in the states and, with the turkey not yet in the oven and football having not kicked off, I thought it appropriate to take a moment to give thanks. No, not for my family or for the chance to live my life the way I do, though all of those are on my list, but for tech products -- this is a technology news site, after all.
I've given careful consideration to this and looked at what I used most over the past year -- the products that got the most hands-on, that provided the best experience. I've whittled that list down to just five, and now its time to share, to give each a hearty thank-you. I'd offer them a bit of pumpkin pie if I could.
U.S. Thanksgiving Day comes late this year for retailers, but makes more time for Google to count its blessings and to offer gratitude for them. Oh, they are bountiful, and there is still another month of them to come. The year 2013 will be remembered as one of the finest in Google history. The company has so much to be thankful for, I could have trebled the list.
But for succinctness, I whittle down to those things that mean more than others or that otherwise would be overlooked in the typical yearly review. The list goes from that for which Google should be least thankful to most. Gobble. Gobble.
When it comes to the Android custom ROM community, CyanogenMod is considered by many to be the holy grail. If your smartphone or tablet receives official support for the ROM, you can be assured of regular updates. However, for many, the stock Android experience has now matured to a point where custom ROMs are no longer needed.
Despite this (or maybe because of this), CyanogenMod decided to monetize its ROM and form a company. To easier facilitate the process of installing it, the company released a helper app on the Play Store. Yesterday, the app was pulled from the store -- and that's a good thing.
We're all used to getting touchy-feely with our phones and tablets, but it's only in the past few months that touchscreen laptops have really gained any ground. A report by NPD DisplaySearch states that by the end of 2013, touchscreen devices will account for 11 percent of all notebook shipments -- that's around 19.8 million notebooks with touchscreens -- and there has been a steady increase in market share since the beginning of the year.
Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch explains that "Premium pricing and a lack of compelling uses for touch screens on notebooks continue to hinder adoption", but goes on to say that "as touch interfaces become increasingly common across all mobile devices, it is just a matter of time before the technology also becomes more prevalent in notebooks".