Starting in April, IKEA will start to sell furniture with integrated Qi wireless charging points. The Scandinavian flat-pack furniture store, famous for the likes of the BILLY bookcase, plans to launch a range of home furnishing in North America and Europe, before extending the rollout worldwide.
You might expect that sofas would be a natural home for wireless charging -- just pop your smartphone on the arm so it can power up while you watch your favorite shows -- but in fact it is tables, desk and, surprisingly, lamps which will boast the feature. It's not just phones like the Galaxy Note 3 and Nexus 5 that can take advantage of wireless power, but also tablets like the Nexus 7.
Although smartphones are commonplace in the developed world, there are still plenty of people who don’t yet own one, and they are still far rarer in developing nations.
However, smartphone growth is on the up, and according to the latest findings from Strategy Analytics’ WSS (Smartphones) research service, the number of global smartphone users reached 2 billion in 2014.
The average smartwatch relies on a smartphone to show relevant information. Those notifications, emails, messages, directions and the like are not pulled from thin air, after all. Making such devices pretty much useless when, for instance, the smartphone runs out of juice or is not within pairing distance. This is where having a cellular radio inside can make a huge difference.
LG is among the few vendors that sees just how useful cellular radios can be for smartwatches, as today it announces a 4G LTE version of its recently-unveiled Watch Urbane Android Wear smartwatch. Unlike the original, the new Watch Urbane LTE -- which rivals Samsung's Gear S -- runs LG's own Wearable Platform. The South Korean company is touting it as "the world’s first LTE-enabled smartwatch".
Samsung has announced that it has started mass-production of 128 GB ultra-fast embedded memory. Described as an industry first, the memory is based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard and is 2.7 times faster than the commonly used eMMC 5.0.
With performance of 19,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second), the memory offers sequential read and write speeds comparable to SSDs. Despite this, the memory draws half the level of power of existing mobile memory.
If you curse the speed of your mobile data connection, prepare to shake with fury, turn green with envy, and yearn for a time machine. Forget 3G, forget 4G; at the University of Surrey in the UK, researchers have harnessed the power of 5G to establish a data transfer rate of one terabit per second.
At this speed it would be possible to download a Blu-ray quality video in under a second, but it's likely to be some time before we have the chance to experience these sorts of speeds via our handsets.
The vast majority of consumers who embrace Windows Phone buy low-end smartphones, so it should not come as a surprise to see manufacturers launching even more inexpensive devices running the tiled operating system. After all, as I said a few months back, Windows Phone is synonymous with the low-end.
The latest such offerings come from Kazam, TrekStor and Xolo, vendors which may not have established brands across the globe, but which are better known in their home markets, UK, Germany and India respectively, for their affordable solutions.
The use of mobile devices for business presents a new set of challenges both for IT departments and the broader enterprise. This is leading many companies to turn to enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions to secure their data and devices.
But how effective are enterprises at looking after mobile data and how will they need to adapt to the needs of new legislation? We spoke to Ryan Spence, Director of Enterprise Mobility Management for managed service company MOBI to find out.
Samsung has not yet officially announced the successor to Galaxy S5, but we all know that the wait is almost over. The unveiling is scheduled for March 1, during the first Unpacked event of 2015. What we do not yet know is what the new device looks like.
So far, teasers have only given us vague details about its appearance, as Samsung has tried to keep as much as possible for the main event. However, T-Mobile has decided to expose more of Galaxy S6, releasing a teaser which shows the side of the upcoming smartphone quite clearly. And it looks awesome.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off next week, but ahead of the big event LG announces a quartet of mid-range Android handsets. Each of the four phones runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and each is available in LTE and 3G variants -- the former has a metal rear cover, and the latter's is plastic.
The Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy all share something of a similar look and LG describes the range as combining the "perfect balance of style and usability". At the top of the current batch is the LG Magna, which boasts a 5-inch screen, 1.2GHz or 1.3GHz quad core CPU (exact specs are region-dependent), 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage.
With Microsoft’s recent unveiling of the Hololens, Windows 10, and the new Spartan browser, many commentators are suggesting that the software giant is finally getting back to a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to the market. Some would even go as far as to suggest Microsoft are now attempting to be 'cool' akin to their trendy rivals. Microsoft’s entrance into the Smartphone arena, however, was anything but proactive or cool.
Lagging behind the innovations of rivals, it’s fair to say Microsoft’s attempts to establish themselves have previously been somewhat overshadowed by the likes of Apple and Android’s continued dominance. The Lumia 535 certainly isn’t as revolutionary as the Hololens, but neither is it necessarily a reactive creation by Microsoft. Rather, Microsoft’s attempts to develop an affordable smartphone is a proactive approach and there’s much to be admired about the Lumia 535; given its $132 price tag. It’s certainly progress on its predecessor, the 530, and its sleek design is pretty cool. Granted, the phone has its flaws and it isn’t ground-breaking in any way, but it is refreshing for the other thing it won’t break, namely, your bank account.
A San Francisco judge has dismissed a class action against Google's alleged monopolizing of searches on Android devices. Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee brought a case against Google saying that the search giant was being anticompetitive by forging agreements with handset makers that made Google search the default search engine.
The company faces similar charges in Russia where the country's leading search engine, Yandex, has made a similar complaint to the Federal Antimonopoly Service. In Europe Google has just agreed to regular audits to ensure it complies with Data Protection Authority measures in Italy, and Friday's ruling in its favor in the Northern District of California will come as some welcome good news.
Who hasn't used their cell phone as a flashlight? Drop your key as you get out of the car at night and it makes sense to reach into your pocket, pull out your handset and search using the light from your screen. If you're really organized you'll have a flashlight app installed, but when you need a source of light quickly, fiddling with the menu can be a little too... er... fiddly.
Well fiddle no more. If your phone is kitted out with Android 5 Lollipop there's no need to navigate menus, or even have a dedicated flashlight app installed. Google has helpfully integrated a flashlight feature into the latest version of its mobile OS which can be activated with your voice.
We've known each other for a long time, you were called Orange when I first got to know you. A work colleague said we'd be good together and he was right. We've been through more than 12 years and five pay as you go mobile phones together. Then you decided to change your name to EE. What's in a name? I thought, a change to what was shown on the screen of course, but the service seemed the same as before so we carried on and I was still happy. Until I decided I needed a new phone.
Neptune Duo is an interesting smartwatch/smartphone concept that flips our traditional view of the wearable tech on its head. Ask yourself: What’s a smartphone, and what’s a smartwatch?
Most of us (I dare say almost everyone) thinks of a smartphone as a mobile computer, small enough to fit in your pocket, but large enough to watch videos, even movies on it, write emails, chat, talk to your friends, all that jazz.
China’s smartphone market is the largest in the world, but some of the country’s major players including Xiaomi and Lenovo have found that, with the domestic market reaching saturation point, they need to look internationally for further growth.
To celebrate the Chinese New Year we’ve taken a look at ten of the best handsets to emerge from the Asian country.