Both iOS and Android are lovely operating systems. They have both matured into great choices for consumers. While the iPhone may arguably be the better all-around device, it is also quite expensive. For those on a budget, Android smartphones are the way to go.
Today, ASUS releases an unlocked and affordable smartphone -- the ZenFone 2 Laser. The phone is quite gorgeous and has great specs. The most impressive aspect, however, is the insane $199 starting price. You won't believe what you are getting here, folks.
Microsoft is promoting Skype more than ever before. Not content with desktop and mobile apps, now the company is bringing the voice and video messaging tool to its office suite. Starting with Office Online integration Skype messaging is now available in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Online, as well as Outlook.com.
This is a continuation of Microsoft's increased focus on the cloud, and a recognition of the importance of communication for collaborative projects. There are times when simply being able to work on the same document with colleagues is not going to be enough, and this is where Skype integration comes into play.
Google is rumored to be planning a merger of Android and Chrome OS. An early build of the combined operating system is expected to see the light of day as early as next year, with an official release making its way in 2017. That's what a so-called "report" claims anyway.
Such a plan would certainly make sense, considering that Chrome OS has limited appeal while Android has matured nicely, becoming the most-popular mobile operating system. So, how does Google comment? Well, the search giant continues to stand by its less-popular operating system. What else do you expect?
Mobile threat defense specialist Skycure has released its Mobile Threat Intelligence Report, which finds a frightening increase in threats to both enterprise and personal mobile devices.
Using analysis of worldwide mobile data from Skycure and outside sources, the report found 41 percent of mobile devices are at medium to high risk on the Skycure risk scale. Nearly two in every hundred are high risk devices that were already compromised or were under attack.
Just as Microsoft is trying to streamline its various operating systems with the approach it has taken with Windows 10, so Google appear to have similar plans. The Wall Street Journal reports that plans are well under way to merge Android and Chrome OS.
Work has been going on for two years, and an early build of the hybrid operating system is expected to see the light of day next year. A full release is planned for 2017. While described as a merger of OSes, the report suggests that Google is really looking to expand Android so that it can run on laptops. Chrome OS may well live on, but the same cannot be said of Chromebooks.
A few days ago, Motorola announced the Droid Turbo 2 and Droid Maxx 2 phones, with the Turbo 2 boasting a shatterproof display. This phone was destined for the North American market, but Android fans in the UK are not going to miss out. Motorola is launching the same phone in the UK under the name Moto X Force.
Specs remain the same in the journey across the Atlantic, so you'll find that the Moto X Force features an octo-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 5.4" Quad HD AMOLED display, 3GB RAM, and a 21MP camera. Motorola is also keen to shout about the handset's battery life -- a claimed 48 hours, no less, and 13 hours of battery life from 15 minutes of charging. But this is a phone that's also about choice.
OnePlus is taking a break from challenging flagships, as today the company announces its first mid-range smartphone. Called OnePlus X, it sports a premium design, competitive hardware specifications and a price tag of just $249. In keeping up with tradition, it too will require an invite come purchase time, but this is said to only last for the first month after going on sale.
The lower price tag -- compared to the OnePlus 2 flagship -- might lead you to believe that OnePlus X is lacking in the hardware department, but the new smartphone is actually quite impressive in terms of specs. You get quite a lot more than the price tag might suggest.
The haughty headline from yesterday's Apple fiscal fourth quarter 2015 earnings report isn't big revenue or profit performance ($51.5 billion and $11.1 billion, respectively), but a figure given by CEO Tim Cook during the analyst call: "We recorded the highest rate on record for Android switches last quarter at 30 percent".
Blogs, and some news sites, set the statement off like an atomic blast of free marketing for Apple. The fallout spreads across the InterWebs this fine Wednesday, largely undisputed or corroborated. Just because Cook claims something doesn't make it true. To get some perspective, and to either correct or confirm the public record, today I asked a half-dozen analysts: "Does your analysis of the smartphone market support that assertion?"
Samsung does not shy away from releasing tablets that consumers might find too big, proof being that, last year, it introduced the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro. Today, the South Korean maker is taking things a step further by announcing an even larger slate, which, this time around, even the most-avid fans of big tablets might struggle to appreciate.
With an 18.4-inch display, the new Galaxy View is heavily optimized for content consumption, dwarfing in size even most large laptops, begging the question if the struggling tablet market actually needs another niche device.
As expected, Apple has broken its Q4 iPhone sales record, moving 48.04 million smartphones last quarter. That is an improvement of 22.33 percent year-over-year, from the 39.27 million units sold in Q4 FY2014. The boost in revenue is even higher at 36.03 percent, rising to $32.2 billion from $23.67 billion a year prior.
Android users seem to have contributed a great deal to Apple's record quarter, as 30 percent of iPhone buyers last quarter were Android switchers, according to the company's CEO, Tim Cook.
Bigger is usually regarded as better, but with PCs there has been a recent trend towards miniaturization. We've seen all manner of stick PCs in the last year or so, and MagicStick is the latest contender to throw its hat into the ring. Rather than just being a run-of-the-mill clone of the competition, the MagicStick proudly proclaims itself to be the "fastest pocket computer based on Intel's latest 14nm Cherry Trail processor".
The HDMI stick can be plugged directly into a television, monitor, or projector, and managed to smash its Indiegogo target in just four days. The specs are certainly impressive, rivalling many laptop and desktop systems and -- unlike other similar portables -- there are numerous configurations available. Oh, and it's IoT-ready.
The Android smartphone market has been extremely stagnant lately. With the exception of the brilliant Samsung Galaxy Note5 and 6 Edge Plus, none of the designs have been particularly impressive. This is the unfortunate result of a now-mature segment.
Today, however, Motorola injects some much-needed excitement into the world of Android with the Droid Turbo 2 and Droid Maxx 2. While both phones should be fast and have long battery life, the real wow-factor is the shatterproof design of the Turbo 2. Are you a klutz when it comes to dropping or breaking your phone? Then you should definitely take notice.
Android and iOS users are about to find that Facebook is much more useful. A new update that is rolling out across the US brings personalized notifications to the app that extend far beyond details of status updates and birthdays.
To help you keep on top of your schedule, Facebook now also displays information about friends' life events, reminders about TV shows, details about events you've joined, and sports scores. There are also a number of optional components that are tailored to where you are.
Material Design -- the new(ish) design language introduced by Google in Android Lollipop, and inspired by 'paper and ink' -- aims to provide a unified experience irrespective of device fragmentation.
This was very much needed for a mobile first world, where the market for small screen devices (read wearables) is growing at a rapid pace.
BlackBerry’s Priv handset is arriving sooner than we thought, and in fact pre-orders are now live with Carphone Warehouse.
And as expected, the company’s new smartphone, which runs Android rather than BlackBerry OS, is priced at the premium end of the spectrum. The SIM-free version will set you back £580, and is available in just the one color -- black.