In its five years of existence, Windows Phone (formerly known as Windows Mobile) has managed to garner only 3 percent mobile market share. Microsoft's tiled operating system is still struggling to give Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS a serious challenge. But if you thought the Redmond-based company should be looking for an exit strategy by now, you will be surprised with what Microsoft has in mind.
Over the last few months, we learned that Microsoft is increasingly concerned about closing the Windows Phone’s infamous "app gap" problem. Referred to as the Plan A, as per a report by Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft intends to do this by introducing support for universal apps which will allow developers to quickly turn their Windows applications into Windows Phone apps with minimal effort.
Android Device Manger is Google's approach to helping people track down lost smartphones and tablets. Now the feature is rolling out to Android Wear so if you should lose your phone, you can find it with your watch.
At the moment the Android Wear version of the feature is pretty basic; you can use your watch to call your phone. This is great if you have mislaid it nearby, dropped it down the back of the sofa or buried it under some books, but not so helpful if you've left it on the train -- don’t expect to be able to home in on your phone using GPS at this stage.
Despite the recent announcement by Google that it has introduced a vetting process on the Play store it seems that there are still rogue apps to be found.
Mobile security company Lookout has uncovered 13 apps with adware. Worse still these display malware-like characteristics that make them hard to remove. The company has alerted Google to the apps and they've already been removed from the store.
Most consumers are pretty happy with the Android experience that they receive, but for some the opportunity to customize and tweak their smartphone is too good to pass up. However, to experience a truly customizable device, Android users will need to root their phone -- which does come with some potential risks.
In order to decide whether or not it’s really worth rooting your phone, you’ll need to know the advantages and possible drawbacks.
For a long time now Google Play has been home to just about any sort of app imaginable. Apps covering every subject under the sun are available, with quality ranging from atrocious to incredible. To help sort the wheat from the chaff, Google has announced two important changes to the way apps appear in the store.
Apps that are submitted to Goole Play are now subject to a review process, and an age rating system is being introduced to help indicate the target audience for apps. Google says this will help to weed out "violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle".
I'm not going to open the 'which mobile operating system is best' can of worms -- let's get that clear from the offset. This is not me trying to push my preferred operating system on you, or trying to convince you that you're wrong about the OS you've opted for. This time it's over to you. What you do want?
Do you want things handed to you on a plate, or would you prefer to be granted more control over the operating system on your phone and tablet? Is there mobile platform that meets your needs at the moment, or would you like to combine elements from Android, iOS, Windows Phone and even BlackBerry OS? Just what is it that makes the perfect operating system for your phone or tablet?
Rooting is still a controversial topic among Android enthusiasts. Bring it up and be prepared to hear countless arguments for and against it. I don't fully support either side; I admit to having conflicting thoughts about it. On one hand, root opens up a world of possibilities, but, on the other hand, it's not often that one needs to take advantage of the cool things it enables.
However, we can all agree that what's most important is having the option to choose. And if you plan on getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge on launch day, then you should know that rooting its Android distribution will be possible right from the start.
Apple may be about to launch a new phone trade-in program in a bid to encourage more people to invest in iPhones. Hand over your old Windows Phone, Android handset -- or even a BlackBerry or aged iPhone -- and you could receive a gift card that can be used as part payment for an iPhone. The news comes from the usually-reliable 9to5Mac where it is suggested that Apple Store employees will place a value on handsets before handing over a gift card in exchange for it.
It's not a completely new venture for Apple; the company has previously run programs to encourage iPhone users to upgrade to the latest version of the handset, but this will be the first time the scheme has been opened up to rival smartphones. While previously this was an incentive to upgrade, this time around it's little more than a bribe.
While other Android makers have long begun to roll out Android 5.0 software updates, Sony is only now starting to make the first Lollipop incarnation available to its customers. The priority is the Xperia Z3 family, which includes Sony's current flagship smartphone.
Sony has decided that Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact should be its first smartphones to get Android 5.0 Lollipop. The roll-out starts today, in Baltic and Nordic Europe. Here's what's new.
A little while back rumors surfaced suggesting that Microsoft was on the verge of investing in Android. Not directly, you understand, but via Cyanogen Inc. In August, Cyanogen Inc met with Satya Nadella but it seems that the talks amounted to nothing.
The company is on the verge of raising $110 million of financing, but Microsoft will not be involved. According to a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft will not be contributing to the funding, but could still be interested in perusing commercial ventures with Cyanogen Inc to help push Microsoft apps onto more Android devices.
Microsoft regularly pits its personal assistant Cortana against Apple’s Siri in a series of adverts, with predictable results. Cortana is always much smarter, funnier and more helpful. She’s certainly one of the high points of Windows Phone, and is set to make her debut on the desktop when she arrives as part of Windows 10 later this year.
However, it seems Cortana isn’t just going to be confined to working on Windows devices. According to Reuters, Microsoft is also working on bringing the personal assistant to iOS and Android in the form of a standalone app.
A year after announcing its plan to add a voice calling feature to its instant messaging client, WhatsApp began to test the feature in late January. The feature -- as we noted last week -- was rolling out to users on an invite basis. But the company is finally easing up on that as now it is allowing anyone to get the call feature provided they have an Android phone with the v2.11.561 installed on it, and a friend with the feature willing for you to call them. BetaNews is able to report and confirm that the aforementioned trick is working worldwide.
WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging client to get the internet voice calling feature. Rival apps such as Viber, Hangouts (it charges for international calls), Skype, and even Facebook’s Messenger offer a similar feature. But what makes WhatsApp triumph over competing apps is the voluminous amount of users it has attracted since its launch in 2009. WhatsApp -- which Facebook acquired last year for a whopping sum of $19 billion -- has more than 700 million users as of earlier this year, and just this week, the messaging app become the second non-Google app (after Facebook) to be downloaded 1 billion times on the Google Play Store.
When looking for an affordable high-end smartphone the other day Google's Nexus 5 was an obvious option. Even one and a half years after its launch, its hardware is still more than capable of running all the latest apps and games, while the camera can still be considered a decent shooter. The downside of going with Nexus 5 -- as with previous Nexus smartphones -- is battery life, which falls short of the competition. So I ended up getting something else.
It turned out to be a smart move, as Google just pulled Nexus 5 from its online store, after five months of coexisting with its latest flagship smartphone, Nexus 6. If you still want to get one then you will have to look at retailers and some carriers, which are likely to carry Nexus 5 for at least a few more months (until LG stops production and/or existing stock is depleted.)
Not to be outdone by Microsoft and Apple, Google has opened its first ever store. Located within Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London, this is not a standalone store but a "shop in shop". Going under the predictable moniker of the Google shop, shoppers can expect to find a range of hardware from the search giant.
The stores will give people the opportunity to browse and try out numerous Android smartphones and tablets. Other hardware such as Chromecasts and Chromebooks will also be available. But the Google shop is about more than just hardware, it also gives people the chance to get hands-on with Google software, and attend events and classes -- forget Google Glass, this is Google Class.
A flaw in the Dropbox SDK for Android could potentially put large numbers of MS Office files stored in the cloud at risk.
IBM's X-Force Application Security Research team has discovered a severe vulnerability in Dropbox's software development kit (SDK) used by Android app developers to connect to Dropbox so users can tap into their files via an app.