Articles about Smartphones

Microsoft kills yet another standout Windows Phone feature

Microsoft's decision to ditch Surface is a long-overdue mercy killing for Windows RT

Some of the features that have made Windows Phone special, differentiating it from its rivals, are slowly being stripped away. The latest victim is Rooms, which Microsoft has announced it will no longer be supporting starting next month. What a shame.

The software giant says that, as a result, users of Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 will be unable to chat with their Room contacts, create new rooms, add or remove members, or change permissions. And, if they upgrade to Windows 10 Technical Preview, their beloved rooms will be gone forever.

Continue reading

How do US carriers fare at unlocking your smartphone?

thumbs up and down

The four-largest carriers in US have come up with a list of measures designed to make phone unlocking easier for their customers, following pressure from FCC and activist groups, among others. The deadline for enforcing these measures passed last week, so how do AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon fare today?

According to consumer rights activist Sina Khanifar, surprisingly to some, Verizon, which is the leading carrier in US, is the only player that implements all the measures. At the other end of the spectrum are T-Mobile and Sprint, which appear to be doing a shoddy job, only managing to implement half.

Continue reading

Google brings Android One to the Philippines, two smartphones coming soon

Android One the Philippines Official Photo

Google today announces the arrival of Android One in the Philippines, bringing the number of countries where the program is offered to six. The first Android One smartphones to launch in the Philippines are called Cherry One and MyPhone Uno, and they'll both come with Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box.

Google says that both smartphones will be available to local consumers in the coming weeks, featuring hardware specifications that are on par with those of other Android One devices. Let's take a look at what One and Uno have to offer.

Continue reading

Sony announces SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, goes up for pre-order today

Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-1

Smartglasses are tricky. You have people who don't like to wear glasses. Those who do may not like their design. They can also be tiring to wear for extended periods of time, as Google Glass Explorers have confessed. Not to mention that smartglasses are also very expensive. And, at least for the time being, consumers are not taking the plunge, as they appear to be perfectly happy with using just their smartphones.

The lack of consumer interest, and Google recently killing its beloved Glass project, hasn't stopped Japanese maker Sony from coming out with its own pair of smartglasses. They're called SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, and they're available for pre-order starting today.

Continue reading

HERE for Android gets slew of improvements as it graduates from beta

Nokia HERE Android Samsung Galaxy

In less than a week, HERE has seen two major updates. The first brought more accurate maps to Android and Windows Phone users, making way for turn-by-turn navigation in more countries. And the second brings a slew of improvements to HERE for Android as the app finally drops the beta label.

Having used HERE on Android right from the start, I have to say that there is little that I miss compared to what the app suite has to offer on Windows Phone. Still, this hasn't stopped Nokia from making some tweaks here and there. Here's what the latest update brings to the table.

Continue reading

Business security and dating apps don't match

iPhone smartphone hand finger

People using the same smartphones privately and for work are putting their company’s security at risk, a new study shows.

According to a study by IBM, millions of people are using company smartphones for dating sites and apps, and are exposing themselves -- and their companies to theft, hacking and spying.

Continue reading

The kill switch works! Smartphone theft drops in major US, UK cities

lock key smartphone iPhone

Smartphone theft in some of the major cities in the US and the UK has declined dramatically, so say the authorities.

But it's not because of improved law enforcement, it's actually down to manufacturers implementing a kill switch option, allowing smartphones to be deactivated remotely.

Continue reading

Here are 10 awesome apps for Valentine's Day

Holding hands couple

The most romantic day of the year is almost upon us, but there's no reason for any man or woman to tackle Valentine's Day alone, as there are a whole host of apps to help you safely navigate the swathes of balloons, chocolates and rose petals.

So, without further ado, here are 10 of the best apps for Valentine's Day.

Continue reading

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 finally comes to Verizon Nokia Lumia Icon [Update]

Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone 8.1 Denim

Nokia Lumia Icon is among the last Windows Phones to receive a software update to Windows Phone 8.1, despite its flagship credentials. But this shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, Lumia Icon features Verizon's logo. And we all know that big red is not exactly quick with updates.

In fact, despite being a Verizon exclusive, Lumia Icon is long gone from the carrier's portfolio. Talk about support there! The only Windows Phones Verizon sells now are HTC One (M8) for Windows and Samsung ATIV SE. Still, Lumia Icon will at least get Lumia Denim, which is based on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, quite possibly before any other high-end Windows Phone in US.

Continue reading

Here are the specs for Sony's upcoming Xperia Z4

Z3 & Z3 Compact

It looks like the Xperia Z4 will be coming to stores earlier than expected, following a new leak from Geekbench showing a Sony device running Android 5.0.2 and Snapdragon 810 processor.

Not many devices come running the latest Android Lollipop update, and only two devices currently feature the Snapdragon 810 processor, the LG G Flex 2 and Xiaomi Mi Note Pro.

Continue reading

2015 Motorola Moto E offers Android 5.0 Lollipop and 4G at just $99

2015 Moto E Best Buy Motorola

Consumers looking to purchase their first smartphone have so many options to choose from that the only way manufacturers can differentiate is by giving their devices more upscale, standout features. In a time when 4G LTE is on the rise, faster data speeds would certainly qualify. And with the 2015 Moto E, Motorola is finally giving its future customers just that.

Yes, folks, the 2015 Moto E will arrive packing 4G LTE cellular connectivity, at a price that is similar to its predecessor's. And it will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box.

Continue reading

Windows 10 may offer limited features on existing low-end devices

Windows 10 Phone

There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft really wants to make Windows 10 available for as many Windows Phone 8.1 devices as possible. The software giant envisions a future when "the idea of asking 'What version are you on?' will cease to make sense" -- that can only be achieved by getting existing users on board through software updates.

However, it would seem that hardware limitations are getting in the way. The vast majority of smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 are low-spec devices, packing just 512 MB of RAM. Their meager hardware may not be able to handle all of Windows 10's features, according to Microsoft's Joe Belfiore.

Continue reading

Android platform partners should think differently, or fail

kid smart lightbulb brain

Outside Apple Store, people excitedly line up to buy iPhone 6. The crowd is remarkably eclectic. Tattoos here. Mohawk there. Someone wearing a prim business suit chats with a burly biker wearing sleeveless T-Shirt. Everyone's clothes beam bright, vibrant colors. Loud laughter and uproarious chatter is everywhere. This is one happy group of buyers.

The store's doors exit onto a green pasture of sheep. Each wears a chain around its neck, with iPhone 6 attached. Cow bells appear on the screens, and clanging sounds against the chirping of birds. One animal looks up: "Baaaaaaa!" Then another, and another. An announcer asks: "Do you really want to be an iSheep?" Then the Android logo and robot flash across the screen.

Continue reading

BQ Aquaris E4.5 is the first official Ubuntu Phone -- will anyone actually want it?

HERO_Straight Single_07.01.15_72

When it comes to smartphones, it is important to remember that they are not religions. All smartphones have data connections, a display, a web browser and for the most part, a camera. The underlying operating system is the big difference, but even that does not matter much, other than to be secure. In reality, for many consumers, it is simply a means to run apps.

Windows Phone has a great user interface, but it lacks apps; this is why the platform is unsuccessful. Today, the world's-first Ubuntu Phone device is announced and it will be coming soon. The BQ Aquaris E4.5 is a dual-sim affair with a fairly low price tag. The question is, who wants it? From an app perspective, it will be behind even Microsoft's mobile OS. Other than the absolutely biggest Ubuntu followers, I cannot see an educated consumer making the purchase.

Continue reading

Lepow Poki 5000 and U-Stone 12000 external battery chargers [Review]

Lepow Poki 5000 battery indicator

Working from home has its perks. I don't waste any time commuting. I get to eat home-made food at lunch. And, among other things, I never have to worry about battery life. If the battery of my smartphone is nearly done, I can always find a charger to top it up again. Life is easy in this regard, until I walk out the door.

I don't usually plan my trips so that I go out with a fully-charged smartphone. This is the least of my concerns, to be honest. There's always a charger in the car. And, for the times when that is not an option, I carry either a Lepow Poki 5000 or U-Stone 12000 external battery charger. I'll be reviewing both in this piece.

Continue reading

© 1998-2015 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.