Articles about Smartphones

The faces behind the biggest apps in the world [infographic]

The faces behind the biggest apps in the world

Whatever your mobile platform of choice, there are some apps which are all but impossible to avoid. Some -- like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube -- have reasonably dull histories; we all know the corporations behind their creation. But there are plenty of other big names with less well known histories. A new infographic from IrishApps.org reveals the stories behind some famous titles, and reveal the fortunes they have generated.

For example, did you know that Flappy Bird was originally going to be called Flap Flap, and was put together in just two days? Or that the founder of Summly was just 17 years old when he sold his app to Yahoo? How about the fact that the Ukrainian developer of WhatsApp is estimated to be worth $7 billion?

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OnePlus One smartphone available for pre-order 27 October

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The OnePlus One is about to become a lot more accessible, after it was confirmed that a new pre-order system will open at 15:00 on 27 October.

Users interested in pre-ordering the handset can visit the OnePlus store from today to prepare and save their shopping cart, before completing the purchase in a week's time.

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Kazam's Tornado 348 is the world's thinnest smartphone

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British phone manufacturer Kazam is launching its new flagship Android 4.4 KitKat smartphone, which will also become the world's thinnest handset.

At just 5.15mm thin, the Kazam Tornado 348 technically already holds the title, but will have to wait to receive the Guinness World Record, currently held by the Gionee Elife S5.5.

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Snapchat talks API, warns about a hacked third-party app

Breakup Smartphones

Snapchat has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity. But for software and apps popularity also means becoming a bigger target. There's been no shortage of news recently regarding systems being breached, with Kmart being the most recent victim.

In this case the victim isn't Snapchat, at least not directly, but a third-party app that uses the chat service's API. While the company is happy that so many want to use its API, it felt forced to issue a warning to the folks who decide to use these apps.

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Apple launches iPhone 6, 6 Plus in China, Samsung brings Galaxy Note 4 to US, UK

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910 Black

Today is a big day for both Apple and Samsung, as the two are launching their latest flagships in three of the largest smartphone markets: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially hit China, and Galaxy Note 4 arrives in US and UK. It's a "finally" moment in both cases, as the handsets were announced more than a month ago.

For Apple, having its new iPhones officially available for sale in China, the largest smartphone market, is a huge opportunity to boost sales in what could very well be its best quarter of the year. The pair had to launch later in China this year, due to regulatory hurdles. Among other things, the local government has forced Apple to beef up the security of iOS 8 to give the new iPhones its nod of approval.

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How can consumers stay secure as payment systems evolve? [Q&A]

Chip and pin card reader

Data breaches continue to make the news on a regular basis and payment details are high on the hacker’s shopping list when it comes to protecting information. We reported yesterday on Intel introducing a new secure solution for protecting payments and card providers are engaged in a continuing arms race to stay secure. The latest part of this is the introduction of more secure EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) compliant payment terminals around the world. Banks are issuing the new chip cards as current cards expire or need replacement. Retailers are installing new chip-enabled terminals.

As the holiday shopping season approaches keeping your details safe as you hit the shops is at the top of many people's thoughts. We spoke to Carolyn Balfany, SVP, Product Delivery and EMV of payment card specialists MasterCard to find out about what consumers can do to help protect themselves as they shop.

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When disaster strikes, Safety Check lets people know you're OK... via Facebook

When disaster strikes, Safety Check lets people know you're OK... via Facebook

In times of natural disaster and chaos, people are increasingly turning to social media for news and updates. But while Facebook is a handy way to keep up to date with the latest news about Ebola, earthquakes, and other problems, it's also a valuable means of checking up on loved ones to make sure they're OK. Now the social network has a new tool that makes it easier than ever to let your friends and family know that you’re safe if you happen to be in or near a problem area.

It’s a simple idea. Facebook uses your statuses and check in details to determine where you are. If you happen to be in a disaster area, a message will pop up in your account or mobile app asking if you're OK. You can then indicate that all is well and your friends and family will be able to see that there is no cause for concern.

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Thieves beware: Android 5.0 Lollipop packs kill switch

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We have known for quite some time that the next incarnation of Android will pack a kill switch. This feature has long been requested, as it would prevent unauthorized reuse and, therefore, make a serious dent in smartphone and tablet theft. It is even imposed under Californian law, going into effect next year. But even though Google has not mentioned it yet, the kill switch is indeed baked into Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The kill switch in Android 5.0 Lollipop is officially known as "Factory reset protection", and is offered as an opt-in feature which only works in conjunction with a passcode. After it is enabled, the user's credentials (Google account and password) are required in order to reset the device, to allow a person other than the original user to use the device as intended.

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Phablet showdown: Google Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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Google has just launched a shiny new addition to its signature Nexus range, the Nexus 6. At a whopping 5.96-inch, this is a beast of a phone that is bang on the phablet trend sweeping the global smartphone market. But how does it square up to the other large-screened powerhouses scrapping for your attention?

We pit its specs against those of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to see who (on paper) comes out on top.

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Google takes the wraps off Nexus 6, Nexus 9 [Update]

Google Nexus 6

It is estimated that one in three smartphones shipped in 2018 will be a phablet, which is more than double their projected share for 2014. For Google -- with Android still likely to run on the majority of phablets -- helping developers to properly optimize their apps for larger screens has become a top priority. Ensuring that Android phablets provide a great user experience is paramount; otherwise, users may jump ship to Apple's iPhones or Microsoft's Windows Phones.

So, today, Google takes the wraps off its first phablet, Nexus 6. It is the embodiment of all the great features we have come to expect out of a phablet from late-2014: super high-resolution screen, super fast processor, solid cameras, very thin bezels and a huge battery. As expected, Google also announced a new tablet, the first one to come since July 2013, called Nexus 9. It does not disappoint either. Of course, both run the new Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is shipping in the next few weeks.

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Vertu unveils new smartphone for Bentley owners and enthusiasts

Vertu for Bentley lifestyle

Most people who own expensive smartphones have the latest Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S or Galaxy Note device, which, at launch, costs at least $650 off-contract. Even though they are unattainable to the average buyer, tens of millions of consumers can still afford to get them. And that creates a problem for the elitist one percenters of the world, who are faced with an unusual dilemma: own a smartphone that even their chauffeurs may afford or turn to a proper luxury device.

For those who can pay €12,500 for a smartphone and just so happen to be Bentley owners or enthusiasts, renowned luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has unveiled Vertu for Bentley. It is the first device to come out of the new five-year partnership with the high-end British car maker. Luckily, for that much money, it certainly is special.

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British criminals are remotely wiping mobile devices while in police custody

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Offenders are using software to remotely wipe tablets and smartphones confiscated by the police so they cannot be used as evidence in criminal cases.

Police forces in Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Durham all admitted to the BBC that seized devices have been remotely "wiped" of all data to prevent it being used as evidence in court.

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Sony Xperia Z3v launches at Verizon

Sony Mobile Communications Xperia Z3v

For a well-known and longstanding smartphone manufacturer, Sony has an unusual strategy in the US. Its presence is limited, and few of its devices make it in the country officially. And when they do, they are about to be superseded. Proof is Xperia Z2. Unveiled at CES 2014 in January, it went on sale shortly after, but only made it to the US in late-July. Its successor, Xperia Z3, was announced at IFA 2014, early last month, and went on sale just weeks later.

However, Xperia Z3 must be the smartphone that breaks the pattern for Sony, and finally show us that the Japanese maker can get its US strategy right, as it will soon be available at two of the largest mobile operators in the country. Yes, while it is still a hot device! After T-Mobile, Verizon was just revealed to also carry Xperia Z3, albeit in a slightly tweaked version called Xperia Z3v. Here are the details.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Small and perfectly formed [Review]

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There's a trend these days for handset makers to stick everything but the kitchen sink in their flagship phones and make those phones large, then make their smaller phones a bit less feature rich. This can backfire. We've previously reported about 'mini' versions of handsets not selling as well as the full-fat ones.

Sony doesn't do that. The Xperia Z1 Compact was a small version of a full-fat handset, and the Xperia Z3 Compact is the 4.6in companion to the full-blown 5.2in Xperia Z3. In case you are wondering, there wasn't a Z2 Compact.

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How many times a day does the average person check their phone? 221, apparently

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A new piece of research has looked into the amount of times that British smartphone users check their handset and carry out a task on it every day -- and the answer is 221 times, on average. Which begs the question: how many times a does a true smartphone addict check their device?

At any rate, the survey of 2,000 UK smartphone users, courtesy of Tecmark, found that most folks first look at their phone at 7:30 in the morning, to check emails and then the Facebook app (no surprise there). Early morning tasks which are still carried out in bed by many are reading recent news updates, and looking at the weather forecast -- as well as sending a couple of texts.

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