Articles about Smartphones

A short history of text messaging

SMS texting

The text message has become such a key part of our modern lives that it's hard to believe that the concept behind it dates back 31 years. Email to SMS gateway service Neon SMS has produced an infographic tracking how SMS has evolved.

The first text message was sent in 1992, although it had to be from a PC because it was the following year before Nokia introduced the first SMS-enabled phone. In 1997 the Finnish company produced the 9000i Communicator, the first mobile phone to feature a full keyboard.

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Jolla finds first licensee for its Sailfish 2.0 in Indian smartphone maker Intex Technologies

Jolla Sailfish 2.0 Intex

Jolla, the Finnish developer of Android-based Sailfish OS, has roped in Indian smartphone vendor Intex Technologies as the first licensee for its mobile operating system, it announces today at the ongoing Mobile World Congress event in Shanghai.

As part of the collaboration, the two companies plan to build an ecosystem for Sailfish OS in India. Intex, the second largest Indian smartphone vendor, announces that it will be launching the phone later this year at a price point near Rs 10,000 ($150).

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US consumers losing interest in smartphones, but Microsoft 'delights'

Bored

Despite the introduction of some impressive smartphones in the past year it appears that the market is showing signs of contracting in the US.

According to a new report from Argus Insights, following a strong holiday season, US smartphone demand in Q2 (ending June 30 2015) dropped steadily and is down 8 percent compared to June 2014. While Samsung and Apple remain the top smartphone brands, Samsung appears to have failed to woo consumers with its two new flagship devices, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

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HTC One M9+ flagship coming to Europe

HTC_One_M9+_Poster_Silver

Originally announced in April, One M9+ is HTC's most-impressive Android smartphone of the year so far, besting the One M9 global flagship. However, for some reason, HTC decided that it would only sell the device in a couple of Asian markets, forcing interested buyers in other parts of the globe to, basically, import the device.

Fortunately for those looking to get One M9+, HTC just announced that it is also making the Android device available in European markets. It looks like those in US will have to wait a bit longer for its official debut -- if it ever happens.

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Microsoft: Not giving up on phones; aims to build profitable portfolio by releasing 'killer' handsets

Cortana shown on Microsoft Lumia 535 Windows Phone

Has Microsoft given up on Windows Phone? Will there be no new Lumia devices? Microsoft realizes the amount of debate and confusion it wittingly created earlier this month when it announced restructuring of its phone division, in which it showed the door to more than 7,000 employees. At the ongoing WPC event, the company went in-depth to convince people that it is still committed to doing great things with its mobile operating system.

At the event, Microsoft's Chief Operations Officer Kevin Turner made some new announcements. He boldly claimed that Microsoft will continue to make new Lumia smartphones -- and "killer" ones at that. He further noted that the recent restructuring at the company was done to make its phone platform grow profitability and become sustainable.

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Wi-Fi Aware could be what the Internet of Things has been waiting for

wi-fi_aware

The Internet of Things -- or IoT if you will -- is much more than just a buzzword. It's also much more than 'the next big thing'; it could be fundamental to the future of technology and how we interact with it. When we talk about the Internet of Things, we tend to do so in reference to the home and business -- but there is more to it than that.

There's a lot to consider when it comes to working with data gathered by various sensors built into smart devices, and the most recent game-changer has been unveiled by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi Aware certification has just been opened up with a view to enabling the creation of smart devices that can wirelessly exchange data directly, react to location, and discover other devices. This, rather than a connected fridge or oven, is what is exciting about the Internet of Things.

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Montar Universal Car Mount long-term review

Montar Universal Car Mount with Apple iPhone 6 Plus mounted

There is no place where I can safely store my iPhone 6 Plus while driving, without leaving it in a bag. It does not comfortably fit in any of my pockets, and the car does not even have a single cup holder between the seats. It pretty much stays in a bag, and I have to take it out every time the need calls for it. And then hold it. That's not very safe nor very convenient.

In my case, the best option is a smartphone car mount. I could easily place it on the middle of the dash. My iPhone 6 Plus would work great for navigation, and I would not have to hold it to see who is calling or what notifications I have received the rest of the time. A long-term test of Montar Universal Car Mount, over the course of a couple of months, reveals it to be just want I need.

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HTC brings new affordable Desire Android smartphones to US

HTC Desire 626

To get more consumer attention, a smartphone vendor has to cover all major segments well. It has to have solid low-end handsets, balanced mid-rangers, and, of course, cutting-edge flagships in its lineup. HTC does the last part well in US, with One M9, but, outside of this segment, its presence is not as strong.

HTC wants to change this, announcing four new Desire Android smartphones for the US market, which it hopes will get the attention of consumers on increasingly popular prepaid plans. Desire 520, Desire 526, Desire 626s and Desire 626 borrow design elements from the One M9 flagship, but at much lower price levels.

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Indian smartphone vendor Lava Mobiles confirms it will be launching an Android One smartphone

Lava Android One India

Google has partnered with Indian smartphone vendor Lava Mobiles to work on a new Android One handset. The companies will be launching the phone in a few days, a spokesperson for Lava Mobiles confirms to BetaNews. The mobile maker hasn’t finalized the launch date yet, but notes that it will be sending out the press invites in a couple of days.

The companies have been working on version 2.0 of the Android One program, as per an earlier report on The Economic Times. The report noted that the two companies will be launching the phone at a media invite on July 14. A spokesperson of Lava Mobiles tells us that they had to postpone the event.

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Nokia returning to smartphone business -- could be in 2016

Nokia-HQ-800x450

Nokia is no stranger to the smartphone market. Once an iconic player in the game, the Finnish-based company sold its devices and services business to Microsoft last year. The company, however, plans to get back in the smartphone business, it confirms today.

Weeks after its CEO Rajeev Suri revealed company's plan to return to the smartphone business, in a blog post, it notes today that it will be establishing brand licensing model with partners that can be "responsible for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product."

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Leaked tool lets you download Windows Phone apps on a PC

Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone 8.1 Denim

Something that many Windows Phone users have been asking for is a little flexibility with how apps are downloaded and installed. One particular request is the ability to download apps using a PC rather than with a handset. A new tool leaked by a Microsoft employee makes this possible.

The appropriately-named Windows Phone Assistant is an official Microsoft tool that has been used internally. Nawzil released the software in response to a series of requests from people, granting greater control over apps. The leaked tool is available for anyone to download -- you just need to be running Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 2.

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Xolo Black with 5.5-inch FHD, Snapdragon 615 chipset, launches at Rs 12,999 ($200)

xolo_black_left_side

The smartphone market is becoming increasingly competitive in India. Over the past few months, we have seen a number of Indian and international companies launch some of the most exciting phones in the country. Today, Indian smartphone vendor Xolo is taking the opportunity to launch its latest flagship, the Xolo Black.

Competing with the likes of Xiaomi’s Mi 4i, Meizu’s M1 Note, and Lenovo’s K3 Note, the Xolo Black is not only putting up a fight on paper (specs sheet), but also trying to beat rival phones in the looks department. With a waistline of 7.3mm, both sides of the phone come protected by Gorilla Glass 3, a feature Xolo has seemingly picked from Samsung’s Galaxy S6. In addition, the back of the phone also has an oleophobic coating, which the company says, makes the handset resilient against smudges and stains.

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BlackBerry partners with Google to make Android more secure for enterprise users

Google Android BlackBerry Partnership Phone

Hot on the heels of rumors of an Android-powered phone by BlackBerry, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer announces its partnership with Google to do something cool together. As part of the collaboration, BlackBerry -- known for its highly sophisticated and secure enterprise security suites -- will be working with Google to create a more enterprise-ready version of Android operating system.

The deal makes perfect sense for both of the companies. Google’s Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet. However, the infamous Edward Snowden revelations have affected Google's as well as other companies’ reputations. Moreover, Google has a long way to go to entice enterprise users to pick its operating system over others'. For BlackBerry, which once held a large market share but has lost most of it since, this partnership could help the company find a reliable revenue channel. But most importantly, enterprise users are the biggest winners here.

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LG announces G4 Beat Android mid-ranger

LG G4 Beat color options

LG has been busy expanding the G4 smartphone lineup, catering to a much wider range of consumers. After unveiling the G4 Android flagship, the South Korean maker has announced G4 Stylus and G4c. And, today, the lineup gets its fourth member, called G4 Beat.

G4 Beat is positioned as a mid-range Android smartphone, sitting above G4 Stylus and G4c in LG's portfolio. It features better specs than the aforementioned two devices, making it a more appealing option for more demanding consumers. As expected, it retains the design characteristics from its upmarket sibling, G4, but not its higher price-tag nor high-end hardware.

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Is this the beginning of the end for Windows Phone?

End of the road

Microsoft announced yesterday that it is slashing 7,800 jobs, mostly from the phone-hardware business it picked up from Nokia. As a result, the software giant is writing off $7.6 billion, which is actually more than the $7.2 billion it paid Nokia in the first place. But, more importantly, the move signifies that Windows Phone, its smartphone operating system, is now being put on the slower release cycle.

Microsoft is scaling back. The software giant is losing money instead of making anything big off its phone division. In the five years of its existence, Windows Phone is yet to get past three percent market share. And that’s finally a reality check to its ambitions.

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