Microsoft, it is time to reconsider your Windows Phone plans. The tiled smartphone operating system's market share came in at a tiny 2.7 percent in Q2 2014, dropping from the 3.8 percent it claimed in the same period of last year. As a result, Windows Phone saw a 28.94 percent decrease year-over-year in market share, caused by low shipments of only 8.0 million units in the second quarter of the year, 0.9 million units less than in Q2 2013 when its shipments were at the 8.9 million units mark.
The data is from a new report issued by research firm Strategy Analytics, which adds "Windows Phone continued to struggle in the United States and China", the first two largest smartphone markets worldwide. There, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech places the platform at 3.8 percent and 0.9 percent market share, respectively. That is lower than in other markets such as Australia, where Windows Phone was able to reach 5.3 percent market in Q2 2014, as well as some parts of Europe.
The competition is heating up in the smartphone space, as, in Q3 2014, a dozen vendors have what it takes to shake up the top five smartphone makers list, according to a new report from research firm IDC. Judging by the standing from Q2 2014, the likely players in danger of losing their spots are Huawei, Lenovo and LG.
Samsung and Apple continue to be in a position of strength, with the two being responsible for 25.2 percent (74.3 million) and 11.9 percent (35.1 million), respectively, of the 295.3 million smartphones shipped in the quarter that ended June 30. That said, both lost market share compared to Q2 2013, when they claimed 32.3 percent and 13 percent, respectively, thanks to shipments of 77.3 million and 31.2 million units, respectively.
A newly uncovered flaw in Google's Android OS could leave large numbers of mobile devices at risk from malicious apps that appear to be from trusted developers.
Named 'Fake ID' by Bluebox Security who uncovered it and notified Google of its presence, the vulnerability lets malicious applications impersonate specially recognized trusted applications without any user notification. Although a patch was issued in April it's likely that many devices are still at risk.
Even though Microsoft is planning to downsize its Nokia X efforts (to the point where there will likely be no new device announced), the software giant is still supporting its Android lineup by rolling out a new software update.
The update introduces the multitasking functionality from the Nokia X2 lineup, giving users the ability to easily switch and close running apps. It can be triggered by tapping on the App Switcher icon, after swiping down from the top of the display.
When you send a file to someone else there’s always a risk that it could be copied or forwarded, even if it's intended to remain private -- as many a snapper of naked selfies has found to their cost.
There have been attempts to solve this problem in the past of course with services like Snapchat and Yahoo's Blink, that allow content to be viewed for only a short time, but none of these are aimed at business users.
While I consider myself to be a relatively forward-thinking and open-minded guy, I do not blindly accept everything the media and corporate America shovels in my direction. For instance, I am very hesitant to support Google Glass and self-driving cars. I am hardly a conspiracy theorist -- just a realist in light of Snowden leaks.
Today, Motorola announces a new feature for the Moto X -- unlock with a tattoo. Yes, the company expects users to embrace a skin-worn unlocking method. While I am sure Motorola's intentions are good (I hope), this is not something I plan on utilizing.
Eighth in a series. What goes around comes around. It's cliché but describes my return to Nokia after abandoning the brand five years ago. I never expected to come back, and the app experience, while a backwater compared to Android or iOS, is little different than when I left. Cameras are great and app selection limited, but it's hugely improved because of Microsoft.
Nokia was in 2009 still the world's mobile handset leader, except for one major market: The United States. As such, Symbian dominated mobile app development, even as iOS rose in prominence. (Remember: Apple opened its app store in July 2008, and the first Android phone shipped a few months later.) But the majority of apps and supporting services, developed by Nokia and third-parties, best suited the rest of the world. Americans had limited choices on the company's handsets.
All mobile apps can be hacked. A group of hackers with enough time and dedication can gain access to, and reverse engineer, even the most secure app environment.
Android represents 80 percent of the smartphone OS market, according to ABI research, and its open development environment exposes the platform to certain unique threats from hackers and malware.
While two-factor authentication acts as an effective security barrier against malicious attacks, it also makes the login process more cumbersome for legitimate users by requiring them to type in security codes, on top of usernames and passwords. Luckily, there are dedicated apps that can make things easy.
One such app is Microsoft account (the choice of name is not particularly inspired), which was just released by the software giant to allow its Android users to manage -- validate or deny -- log in requests, when two-factor authentication is turned on for their Microsoft accounts.
Following in the footsteps of fellow maker Samsung, LG just unveiled a beefed-up version of its current flagship smartphone, G3. Called G3 Cat. 6, the new Android handset comes with a faster processor and support for speedier cellular networks as its main highlights.
G3 Cat. 6, like Galaxy S5 LTE-A, is compatible with LTE-Advanced cellular networks, that enable top download speeds of up to 225 Mbps (theoretically speaking) courtesy of the Qualcomm Gobi 9 x 35 modem. In the power department, LG's device employs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to do the heavy lifting.
Chinese maker Xiaomi has unveiled its new flagship Android smartphone. Dubbed Mi 4, it is described by the company's Global VP Hugo Barra as the "fastest & most gorgeous Mi Phone ever".
Mi 4 comes with hardware specifications that are typical of an Android flagship announced in 2014. It packs a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920, and is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. Pretty standard stuff, except for the price.
The use of mobile devices for work purposes is on the up, creating all sorts of new opportunities for the modern worker. In fact, according to a recent report from Juniper Research, the number of employee-owned smartphones and tablets in the work place could exceed one billion by 2018. It is now possible to access your company resources whenever you need to, whether working from your living room, sat in a restaurant or chilling in the park.
When you do need to work from the office, smartphones and tablets are often a lot more convenient to use than a bulky laptop. The benefits of having a computer that fits in your pocket or bag are hard to ignore, especially for people who are always going from meeting to meeting.
Google has started to roll out Google Maps for Android 8.2, focusing its attention of cyclists with the addition of some handy new features.
The app also introduces voice control for vehicle navigation, effectively turning the user’s Android mobile or tablet into a GPS navigation system.
The large number of devices out there means that Android is becoming an increasingly popular target for malware writers. Ransomware which has previously been a mainly Windows problem is becoming an issue too.
The latest piece of malware discovered by mobile security specialist Lookout attempts to extort money with a scary message claiming to be from the FBI. It claims the user has broken the law by visiting pornography and child abuse websites.
Today, as part of an expected restructuring plan, Microsoft announces that it will cut 18,000 jobs within a year. The company claims this move will "simplify its organization and align the recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services business with the company's overall strategy". Yes, basically, Microsoft wants to get rid of excess employees, and the software giant is doing so following Satya Nadella's last memo to employees.
Of the 18,000 jobs to be cut, 12,500 positions are to be eliminated as a direct result of its deal with Nokia. The job cuts are not expected to be carried out completely until the end of June, 2015, and will cost Microsoft between $1.1 and $1.6 billion, which includes between $750 and $800 million in severance packages. The writing has been on the wall since the Devices and Services purchase was finalized earlier this year.