Articles about Smartphones

The secret life of lost smartphones

Lost smartphone

Have you ever lost a mobile phone and wondered where it went? Security company Avast had the same thought and deliberately 'lost' 20 phones to find out what happened to them.

Avast installed three security apps on all the phones, the free Avast Anti-Theft app, Lookout Mobile Security, and Clean Master. It then randomly placed 10 phones in San Francisco and 10 in New York. Each phone was marked with contact information on where to return the device if found.

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OnePlus X launches with premium design, mid-range specs and $249 price tag

OnePlus X

OnePlus is taking a break from challenging flagships, as today the company announces its first mid-range smartphone. Called OnePlus X, it sports a premium design, competitive hardware specifications and a price tag of just $249. In keeping up with tradition, it too will require an invite come purchase time, but this is said to only last for the first month after going on sale.

The lower price tag -- compared to the OnePlus 2 flagship -- might lead you to believe that OnePlus X is lacking in the hardware department, but the new smartphone is actually quite impressive in terms of specs. You get quite a lot more than the price tag might suggest.

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Just because Apple CEO Tim Cook claims something doesn't make it true

Apple CEO Tim Cook

The haughty headline from yesterday's Apple fiscal fourth quarter 2015 earnings report isn't big revenue or profit performance ($51.5 billion and $11.1 billion, respectively), but a figure given by CEO Tim Cook during the analyst call: "We recorded the highest rate on record for Android switches last quarter at 30 percent".

Blogs, and some news sites, set the statement off like an atomic blast of free marketing for Apple. The fallout spreads across the InterWebs this fine Wednesday, largely undisputed or corroborated. Just because Cook claims something doesn't make it true. To get some perspective, and to either correct or confirm the public record, today I asked a half-dozen analysts: "Does your analysis of the smartphone market support that assertion?"

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Chase Pay mobile payments service arriving in 2016

Chase Pay

JP Morgan Chase announced its own smartphone payment platform on Tuesday, called Chase Pay. The platform, due to make its debut mid-2016, will be a direct competitor to the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung.

Chase Pay is built upon the Current C, a retailer-led mobile payment system that has largely been written off by Silicon Valley techies for its reliance on barcodes rather than the more sophisticated NFC (near-field communications) technology adopted by its competitors.

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30 percent of iPhone buyers are Android switchers

iPhone 6s front

As expected, Apple has broken its Q4 iPhone sales record, moving 48.04 million smartphones last quarter. That is an improvement of 22.33 percent year-over-year, from the 39.27 million units sold in Q4 FY2014. The boost in revenue is even higher at 36.03 percent, rising to $32.2 billion from $23.67 billion a year prior.

Android users seem to have contributed a great deal to Apple's record quarter, as 30 percent of iPhone buyers last quarter were Android switchers, according to the company's CEO, Tim Cook.

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By raising the price, HTC is making sure One A9 will flop

Thumbs down

When HTC announced One A9, the Taiwanese maker said that its new smartphone would only cost $399 when it goes on sale in US. But, as it turns out, that is in fact, a "very limited-time promotional offer", as the price will be bumped up by $100 shortly after it starts shipping.

How limited is that offer? Well, the $399 asking price only applies to orders placed before 12:01 am on November 7. Afterwards, buyers will have to shell out $499 to get their hands on the smartphone. It is a very strange decision, as the lower cost is one of the few things that One A9 has got going for it.

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Facebook wants to become your calendar and life-planning app


Android and iOS users are about to find that Facebook is much more useful. A new update that is rolling out across the US brings personalized notifications to the app that extend far beyond details of status updates and birthdays.

To help you keep on top of your schedule, Facebook now also displays information about friends' life events, reminders about TV shows, details about events you've joined, and sports scores. There are also a number of optional components that are tailored to where you are.

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Apple might break its Q4 iPhone sales record

iPhone 6s front

Apple may have broken its Q4 iPhone sales record, according to analyst estimates.

Forbes has aggregated all the predicted sales figures for the last quarter (Q4 FY2015) and found that the average estimate was 48.72 million, a 24 percent increase when compared to twelve months ago.

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Apple hit with lawsuit over iOS 9's Wi-Fi Assist


The Wi-Fi Assist feature found in iOS 9 has caught some people unawares, and many have complained that they have been landed with large bills due to increased data usage. Two individuals have filed a class action lawsuit in California against Apple, alleging that the company failed to properly explain how Wi-Fi Assist works.

While Wi-Fi Assist can be disabled, the plaintiffs say that Apple should reimburse anyone who found they were pushed over their data usage limits. The company now needs to defend itself against charges of violating Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and negligent misrepresentation. Apple is also accused of downplaying the risk of exceeding data limits.

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BlackBerry Priv will cost £580 in UK

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry’s Priv handset is arriving sooner than we thought, and in fact pre-orders are now live with Carphone Warehouse.

And as expected, the company’s new smartphone, which runs Android rather than BlackBerry OS, is priced at the premium end of the spectrum. The SIM-free version will set you back £580, and is available in just the one color -- black.

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Apple releases iOS 9.1, OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan, watchOS 2.0.1 -- here's what's new


When Apple releases an update for iOS these days you can expect to find new versions of OS X and watchOS too. So, today, on top of making iOS 9.1 available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, Apple is also bringing OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan to Macs and watchOS 2.0.1 to Apple Watch. So, let's take a look at what's new.

The common denominator between the three operating system updates is a refreshed collection of emoji, which now includes over 150 new items -- and, yes, the middle finger emoji is among them as the controversial photo above would suggest. But, probably, the most-awaited changes are under-the-hood.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10572 to Fast ring


With the first Windows 10 Mobile devices set to arrive in November, there is not much time left for Microsoft to get its new mobile operating system ready for prime time. Development is in full swing, with a new Insider Preview build available now on the Fast ring.

Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build 10572, just like the one that arrived a week before it, requires users to go back to Windows Phone 8.1 to install it on their smartphones, but it more than makes up for the trouble thanks to all the changes that Microsoft has baked in.

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Nexus 5X first-impressions review

Nexus 5X Fingerprint Scanner Camera

The question everyone should ask about Google-branded, LG-manufactured Nexus 5X: Who is it for? My first-impressions review primarily focuses on the answer. My wife is one person, and I am surprised. Because conceptually she steps down from the Motorola Droid Turbo, which by raw specs is the superior mobile. Budget buyers also should consider the 5X or anyone living the Google lifestyle or wanting stock Android.

The new handset course corrects last year's release blunder, when Google sized up to 6-inch screen with the Nexus 6, leaving many satisfied N5 owners in stunned silence followed by loud complaint. While a N6 fan, I agree: It is a huge phone that is overly large for the majority of prospective buyers. This year's solution is smart. Google released two smartphones: Nexus 6P, which while phablet-class is markedly more manageable in the hands than its predecessor; Nexus 5X, for people wanting something smaller and for N5 owners looking to upgrade.

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6 tips on how to protect your mobile device

iPhone in Red leather case held in left hand, tapped on the screen

Because mobile use is becoming more popular, there are more and more security threats that are being designed specifically to target mobile platforms and operating systems.

As a result, many mobile users are starting to panic. Well don’t worry; here are the five best ways that you can protect the information stored on your mobile device.

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Consumer reports dismisses iPhone 6s 'chipgate' with battery life tests

iPhone 6s-Chipgate-TSMC-Samsung-CR-Electronics-II-iPhone-Battery-Meter-10-15

You may have read that some iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units have better battery life than others, and that, in order to get the "best" version, your new smartphone must come with the TSMC-made A9 processor. The A9 processor manufactured by Samsung has been said to be less energy efficient, leading to shorter battery life. But how much of that is true though?

Consumer Reports has tested two iPhone 6s units, one with a TSMC-supplied A9 processor and the other toting a Samsung-made A9 chip, and found that that the difference in battery life between the two units is entirely negligible. So, naysayers can now put an end to all the "chipgate" talk.

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