The increasing trend towards using mobile devices has opened up users to a whole range of new threats. On mobiles insecure apps present a greater risk than traditional malware and viruses.
Announced at the RSA Conference, viaProtect allows consumers to take control of and protect the personal data on their devices.
As the cameras on smartphones get better, more and more people are shunning the dedicated variants. You see, it is not practical to carry a camcorder or point-and-shoot camera everywhere you go. After all, you never know when you may want to take a picture or shoot a video -- life doesn't follow a schedule. This is why a smartphone makes a great camera.
The problem is, as megapixels increase and 1080p video becomes standard, storage space fills up very quickly. Many phones still come with a paltry 16 or 32GB of storage, which is not much at all. While some phones offer microSD expansion, the cards have been limited to 64GB for quite some time. Today however, Sandisk announces it has gotten over the hump and delivers the world's first 128GB microSDXC card.
While Microsoft may not be thrilled with Nokia's new foray into the Android field, the company's exploration of the Google mobile platform proves an interesting test of the market. However, the software giant stoically continues to offer its services to rival operating systems, and Nokia X will not be any different.
On the heels of today's event at Mobile World Congress, in which the Finnish handset maker unveiled new Android phones, Microsoft was quick to announce it would support the offering with Skype.
Tech companies are taking advantage of the MWC conference, held in Barcelona, to showcase their latest products. So far, we covered the announcements of Nokia's X Android smartphone series, Sony's Xperia Z2 smartphone and slate, and a couple of 64-bit mobile processors, that are aimed at Android devices, from Intel and Qualcomm.
ASUS is also among the many companies present at MWC 2014. Today, the Taiwanese maker announces two new Fonepad 7 tablets, adding to the number of Android devices that were just unveiled at the conference.
If it is not obvious enough by now, 64-bit is the new black in mobile processors. Apple has the A7 that powers the iPhone 5s and latest iPads, and Qualcomm has the Snapdragon 410 and, as of today, the Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615. Intel now also joins the party with its own 64-bit offering and contender, the Z3480, codenamed "Merrifield".
The Z3480 was unveiled today at the MWC conference, in Barcelona, as a 2.3 GHz quad-core solution aimed at Android smartphones and tablets. Intel says its new processor delivers "the ideal combination of fast, smart performance and long battery life", for the devices that it will power. The Z3480 competes with Qualcomm's similar Snapdragons which also target the open-source mobile OS.
Nokia's underwhelming Lumia sales from Q4 2013 had a negative impact on Windows Phone's momentum in the most important part of last year. The disappointing performance continues as, sadly, the growth of the platform's market share stalled in the three months ending January 2014, according to a new report issued by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, compared to Q4 2013.
Compared to the three months ending January 2013, Windows Phone actually posted higher year-over-year market shares in most major markets. But, its performance is more or less flat when we take into account the Q4 2013 results. The exception to the rule is US, where the tiled smartphone operating system managed to increase its share, albeit slightly, in the three months ending January 2014, when compared to the same period of last year and Q4 2013.
There's already a lot of news coming out of the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, and Sony is using the 2014 event to launch the latest additions to the Xperia range. The Xperia Z2 is a waterproof handset that is being billed as "the world’s best camera and camcorder". This is a claim backed by the inclusion of a 20.7 MP sensor, a 5.2 inch HD screen and the ability to capture video in 4K. Sound is recorded with digital noise canceling, and image stabilization is borrowed from Sony's existing range of camcorders and can reduce ambient noise by up to 98 percent.
The phone is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPU as well as the Adreno 330 GPU. To ensure maximum shooting time, Sony saw fit to include a 3200 mAh battery, and power-saving technology is used to automatically switch off any phone features that are not being used.
Today, at MWC 2014, Nokia was expected to break away from its Windows Phone exclusivity and introduce an Android smartphone called X. But, the Finnish company just took the wraps off three handsets under the same umbrella, called X, X+ and XL.
According to Nokia, the X smartphones slot between its low-end Ashas and high-end Windows Phones, with prices to kick off at €89 for the entry-level model. The beefier X+ and XL will cost €99 and €109, respectively. Is there something you should get excited about?
Whether you're looking for a phone whose battery will last all day, a handset that can push pixels around the screen faster than others, or looks are more important to you, Lenovo is hoping to sway your custom its way with the latest additions to the S-series range of smartphones. Starting at the cheaper end of the scale, the S660 is set to cost $229 and is aimed at "value seekers". Packing a 4.7 inch screen, the handset's key selling point is the battery life, but the brushed metal finish is sure to turn some heads as well.
Moving up market slightly, we come to the S850 which has been built for "fashion-conscious users". The 5 inch screen is found on the front of a thin and light body which is available -- interestingly -- in a choice of pink or white, and will set buyers back $269. The phone is driven by a MTK quad-core processor and with 13 MP rear and 5 MP front cameras, this is a device that looks set to impress with its all-glass exterior.
While Android is utilized by a cornucopia of handset manufacturers, Windows Phone is primarily a Nokia-only affair. Sure, there are other manufacturers that use Microsoft's mobile OS, such as HTC and Samsung, but let's be honest -- if you buy a Windows Phone, you want a Nokia. For a company like Apple, being the sole manufacturer of iOS is by design. However, Microsoft's business has always been about working with as many hardware partners as possible.
Today, Microsoft announces a return to form with nine new hardware partners. However, that is not all -- additional internal hardware is getting support too. Does this signal the possibility of a dual-boot Windows Phone/Android device?
For years, many consumers have wanted a futuristic watch like Dick Tracy -- a computer on their wrist. Sadly, the watch we all desire has yet to come to fruition. Sure, the Pebble series are cool and affordable, but arguably, very basic too. Last year, Samsung released the Android-based Galaxy Gear, which on paper looked great, but failed to light the world on fire.
Even though Samsung's first stab at a smartwatch was lackluster, it was assumed by many that a sequel would still be delivered. Today, Samsung announces that sequel, named the Gear 2, which has shocked the technology world. You see, the manufacturer has ditched both Android and the Galaxy moniker, its bread and butter, for this device. Instead, Samsung has opted for the newer and less-known, Linux-based, Tizen operating system. Will this finally be the smartwatch of which consumers have dreamed?
Another week, another spate of security related news. In the latest of a recent run of high-profile hacks, Kickstarter announced that it had been hacked, and it was discovered that ASUS routers could be sharing files with more people than users intended. Google is looking to bolster online security with its latest acquisition -- audio-based authentication outfit SlickLogin, while Microsoft's latest partnership with DocuSign looks set to make digital signatures in Office simpler and more secure. If you were under the impression that app security was generally increasing, think again; a new study shows that an almost unbelievable 96 percent of applications have security issues.
Brian got his hands on the Lenovo Miix 2 and was reasonably impressed by what he saw. He also unboxed the much touted Nokia Lumia Icon and found it to be not dissimilar to the 928 -- no bad thing. Anyone looking for an entry-level 4G smartphone now has the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Core LTE to look forward to, complete with "Jelly Bean Plus".
Research firm Gartner places BlackBerry's smartphone market share for all of 2013 at just 1.9 percent, as only 18.6 million units of the company's branded handsets got in the buyer's hands in the past year. Meanwhile, the most popular mobile OS, Android, raked in a whopping 758.7 million unit sales, giving it a market share of 78.4 percent. Why not make the best out of a bad situation by launching BlackBerry 10 OS firmwares for Android smartphones, to slow down the fast-decreasing market share and, maybe, recoup a small part of the one the OS has lost so far?
BlackBerry is basically in a hole it cannot crawl out of right now, as people just do not buy its smartphones as much as they used to. Giving them an option to try its latest mobile OS, BlackBerry 10, will theoretically increase the company's chances of getting back into the game, without allocating lots of resources to the development of new devices, which may or may not (the latter is more likely) be better received compared to the current lineup. And here is how BlackBerry could do it.
New players in the smartphone market are finding it increasingly difficult to get the mobile operator support they need to expand their reach into new territories as Android and iOS form a duopoly responsible for more than 90 percent share of the market. Even Windows Phone, an established competitor, is struggling as it goes against the tide.
Jolla, being a new player, is no exception. The Finnish company says it is now ready to ship its smartphones across the globe, as it officially announced Sailfish OS 1.0, but the mobile operator support and international availability are not what you may call stellar at this point.
Android handsets are getting a bit stale. Year after year, we get faster specs and bigger screens, but what about innovation? Sure, Samsung has attempted to add features, but those have proven to be more of a gimmick than true innovation. A video pauses when the user looks away? In theory it is cool, but in practice very annoying -- sometimes you look away and want to keep listening to the audio. As an Android fan, I hate to say it, but the fingerprint reader on Apple's iPhone 5s is true quality innovation.
Sadly, even Google's Nexus line has been rather ho-hum. From the Galaxy Nexus to the Nexus 5, its all the same stuff, just minor bumps -- yawn. Today however, Google announces a prototype handset that is so revolutionary, your chest hair may stand on end -- Project Tango.