Articles about Smartphones

iPhone is iconic

iPhone Marketing Banner 2007

Happy Birthday! iPhone is 8 years-old today. Oh my, it seems so much longer ago because so much has changed. Think back. Eight years ago, there was no Android. YouTube was but 18 months available to the public, and Facebook or Twitter only about a year. There was no market for tablets, or smartwatches.

The iPhone marks everything right about the Steve Jobs era of risk-taking design. More changes: He is gone from this world and some of that other-worldly innovation with him. In 2007, the smartphone was a decade-old slow seller that few people owned. Now it's everywhere! Apple deserves credit for the transformation, whether or not anyone wants to give it.

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Google will eliminate accidental mobile ad clicks

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Ads are part and parcel of being online, but they can be particularly annoying for mobile users. When playing games on a phone or tablet, it's all too easy to accidentally tap an ad you have absolutely no interest in, pulling you out of the game you were playing or the site you were reading. If you've cursed when this happened to you, Google hears you.

The company is taking steps to make the "user experience" of ads a little better. It recognizes that advertisements that get clicked accidentally don't benefit anybody. They end up irritating the clicker, and are unlikely to be of value to the company that placed the ad. With around half of ad clicks being made by mistake, Google is now taking steps to stop this from happening -- great news for users and advertisers alike.

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OnePlus Two featuring Snapdragon 810 and USB Type-C launching on July 27

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Chinese firm OnePlus made a splash last year with its One flagship smartphone. At $299 (now available for $249) off-contract price point, the OnePlus One smartphone offers top-of-the-line hardware specs, which helped it earn the title of "flagship killer of 2014" from critics and users alike. The company announces today that it will be launching a new flagship smartphone called the OnePlus Two next month.

The company says that it will be hosting an unusual VR event on July 27 at 10PM ET to launch the OnePlus Two. "In our industry, product launches tend to be the same. An auditorium, a keynote, and a seated audience. For the OnePlus 2 launch, we didn’t want that barrier between us and you," OnePlus wrote in a blog post today.

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Google asks Android developers to show sensitivity to disasters and atrocity

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Today Google revealed an updated version of its Google Play Developer Program Policies. There aren't actually all that many changes or additions, but those that are present are quite interesting. Google is clamping down on the problem of impersonation, making it clearer that it is not permissible to mislead users by imitating other apps, making false claims, or suggesting endorsements that do not exist.

One of the more intriguing changes to the document sees Google calling on developers to show sensitivity to evens such as natural disasters, war, and death. Any apps or other content that attempt to benefit by exploiting such events are explicitly banned.

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Microsoft brings Office to Android smartphones for free

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After a few weeks in preview, Microsoft Office is now available for Android smartphones. Despite Microsoft's mobile-first, cloud-first philosophy, it has actually taken some time to bring the world's most popular office suite to Android phones -- it joins the tablet version of the suite that was released last year.

Just like the tablet editions, the phone versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint won't cost you a penny, allowing for the viewing and editing of a range of files when on the move. There is a cloud focus with support for not only OneDrive, but also Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, and Microsoft says it has made changes based on the feedback received during the preview period.

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Smart Ultra 6: Which is best for you?

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Vodafone recently decided to get involved with the phablet hype by launching its own 4G device: the Smart Ultra 6.

Despite being positioned at the budget end of the scale with a cheerful £125 price tag when purchased on a pay-as-you-go plan, it still boasts an impressive set of specifications. But, how does it compare to Apple’s most recent flagship smartphone, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus? We took a closer look to find out.

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Windows 10 Mobile is a second-class citizen for Microsoft -- but it will change soon

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Even though Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile are part of the same "One" product strategy, the two feel like two separate projects at Microsoft. There are many commonalities and a similar core, but while Windows 10 has evolved tremendously since the technical preview build that arrived in January, the development of its mobile counterpart has progressed at a glacial pace. Windows 10 almost looks ready for its July 29 launch, but Windows 10 Mobile is far, far from being ready for prime time.

That is because the teams working on the upcoming operating system have devoted more of their attention to the PC version, leaving Windows 10 Mobile in the background. Microsoft is wise to play the PC card, as that is a market which it singlehandedly dominates, but not treating smartphones equally could be another mistake it is making on the mobile front. This is about to change.

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Lawsuit fights Uber's user location tracking plans

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Uber has faced numerous complaints since its inception in 2010, including suggestions that drivers are not properly vetted. Now the taxi service is facing legal action over plans to track the location of its customers whether the app is running in the foreground or background on their phones.

The new policy is due to come into force on July 15, but the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the FTC saying that the policy change is unfair and should be investigated by the commission. It will be possible to opt out of this location tracking, but EPIC feels this is unreasonable.

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Nokia will re-enter the smartphone market in 2016

Nokia buys Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion, considers selling HERE

Finnish navigation and mapping giant Nokia is planning a return to the mobile industry in 2016, but it will not manufacture any smartphones.

Instead, CEO Rajeev Suri plans to find partners capable of working on the manufacturing and distribution parts, while it designs and licenses its brand name.

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Samsung announces fix for Galaxy keyboard vulnerability

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We reported on Wednesday that a flaw in the pre-installed SwiftKey keyboard software could put millions of Galaxy devices at risk.

Samsung has moved fast to reassure users and has announced that it's preparing a fix which will be pushed out to devices in the next few days. In addition to the update the company says it will continue to work with third-parties like SwiftKey to address risks in future.

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Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10136 to Fast Ring

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There has been plenty of news about Windows 10 rolling out of Microsoft central in recent months, however the focus has been very much on the desktop version of the operating system. But, of course, Windows 10 is destined for a wide range of devices and today Microsoft starts the roll out of Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10136 to testers who have joined the Fast Ring.

Unlike upgrading from preview builds on the desktop, there's a bit of a quirk with this mobile release. Microsoft is only making the upgrade available to handsets that are running Windows Phone 8.1 -- so if you have installed build 10080, you'll need to use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to roll it back first. As well as new features and tweaks, there's also an important note to keep in mind.

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Motorola Moto X now available for $299.99 off-contract

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Even though it is over nine months old at this point, the second-generation Motorola Moto X is still among the most interesting Android smartphones that you can get your hands on today. Part of its appeal are its more affordable price, lovely design, close-to-stock Android distribution and timely updates, things which few competitors can boast.

If you are considering buying a 2014 Moto X, now is the time to pull the trigger. For a limited time, Motorola is running a very attractive deal, selling the smartphone for as little as $299.99 off-contract.

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Emoji could be used for your next PIN

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The humble PIN is a common way to secure access to accounts, but it has one major problem -- it is, usually, limited to using the digits 0-9. A UK firm thinks it may have come up with a better solution: emoji-based PINs.

Intelligent Environments' Emoji Passcode system can be used to secure accounts with ideograms. The company argues that Emoji passcodes are not only easier to remember than number-based alternatives, but also more secure. This is thanks to the fact that there is a pool of 44 Emoji to choose from, and research also suggests people find it easier to remember images.

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Uber puts passengers at risk with a flawed driver-approval process

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Uber, the San Francisco-based private taxi firm, is putting its passengers in grave danger. The company uses a computerized driver sign-up system that can be easily fooled into authorizing drives with fake insurance papers.  The transport network exploded onto the scene a few years ago, and a whistleblower claims that it is all too easy to cheat the system making it possible for virtually anyone to sign up to be an Uber driver.

The vulnerability was found to have been exploited in London where there are around 15,000 Uber drivers in operation. The scam has been demonstrated by The Guardian who worked with a whistleblower to fraudulently sign up as a driver. It was achieved using fabricated insurance papers from a made up company with a fake letterhead.

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Microsoft rolling out software update to end random reboots on Lumia Windows Phones

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If you have experienced random reboots with your Lumia Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone, you should know that Microsoft is now rolling out a software update specifically to fix this annoying problem.

The software update, so far, seems to target only Lumia 730, Lumia 830, Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 smartphones. Even though Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 has long been available, the software update for the aforementioned handsets does not include the latest official version of the tiled smartphone operating system.

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