Articles about Smartphones

Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 lockscreen app close to launch

Windows Phone 8.1 Lockscreen

The option to change the Windows Phone 8.1 lockscreen is a new feature Microsoft showcased in early-April, at the unveiling of its new operating system, but that is not yet ready for prime time. As you may recall, Windows Phone head Joe Belfiore has said that it will be available later down the road through a dedicated app.

But, how close are we to its release? Well, Belfiore says that the development of the lockscreen app is in its final stages, with the software giant and prolific Windows Phone developer Rudy Huyn (who also works on the lockscreen app, as announced at Build 2014) now focusing on "loose ends".

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Meet Nokia Lumia 530 -- Microsoft's new entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 device

Lumia-530-With-Coloud-Bang-Treasure-Tag

Nokia Lumia 520 has proved to be an extremely important entry-level handset for Windows Phone, allowing the platform to reach more consumers and become more relevant in emerging markets. Its successor has to live up to high expectations, as it has to exceed the 12 million activations mark quicker than Lumia 520 has managed to, in order to be considered a success. That is no easy task, when the competition in the entry-level smartphone market is heating up.

So does the new Lumia 530 have what it takes to become a worthy Lumia 520 successor? Well, it at least gets off on the right foot, as Microsoft says its new Windows Phone 8.1 entry-level offering is expected to cost €85 before any local taxes and subsidies, and under €100 "on the highstreet". And that goes for the Dual SIM version as well; it will play a key role in increasing Windows Phone's popularity among price-conscious buyers.

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Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone goes to San Diego Comic-Con

Super Girl

Eighth in a series. What goes around comes around. It's cliché but describes my return to Nokia after abandoning the brand five years ago. I never expected to come back, and the app experience, while a backwater compared to Android or iOS, is little different than when I left. Cameras are great and app selection limited, but it's hugely improved because of Microsoft.

Nokia was in 2009 still the world's mobile handset leader, except for one major market: The United States. As such, Symbian dominated mobile app development, even as iOS rose in prominence. (Remember: Apple opened its app store in July 2008, and the first Android phone shipped a few months later.) But the majority of apps and supporting services, developed by Nokia and third-parties, best suited the rest of the world. Americans had limited choices on the company's handsets.

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Why C++ is the perfect choice for modern app development

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It feels a bit ironic to be discussing, in 2014, if C++ is a viable, or more importantly, a great choice for multi-device, multi-platform app development. It’s ironic in the sense that despite the attention Objective-C, Java, and C# get for app development, most of the software we use on a daily basis is written in C/C++ and after all these years represents the largest community of developers.

There are many reasons to use C++ for your current and future app development and I will discuss five key reasons after a brief history.

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LG introduces faster G3

LG G3 Cat. 6

Following in the footsteps of fellow maker Samsung, LG just unveiled a beefed-up version of its current flagship smartphone, G3. Called G3 Cat. 6, the new Android handset comes with a faster processor and support for speedier cellular networks as its main highlights.

G3 Cat. 6, like Galaxy S5 LTE-A, is compatible with LTE-Advanced cellular networks, that enable top download speeds of up to 225 Mbps (theoretically speaking) courtesy of the Qualcomm Gobi 9 x 35 modem. In the power department, LG's device employs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to do the heavy lifting.

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Xiaomi announces Mi 4 flagship smartphone

Xiaomi Mi 4

Chinese maker Xiaomi has unveiled its new flagship Android smartphone. Dubbed Mi 4, it is described by the company's Global VP Hugo Barra as the "fastest & most gorgeous Mi Phone ever".

Mi 4 comes with hardware specifications that are typical of an Android flagship announced in 2014. It packs a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920, and is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. Pretty standard stuff, except for the price.

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Mozilla takes Firefox OS to new markets and devices, including India

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Not to be outdone by Google's Android operating system, Mozilla wishes to push its own mobile platform out to customers. The organization is aiming mostly at the low-end market, but that will be expanding in the future.

The mobile platform initially debuted on just two devices, but Mozilla has managed to scare up a few more partners to produce its product.

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Got Windows Phone 8.1 through Preview for Developers? Lumia Cyan upgrades may fail

Lumia-Cyan-update-Start-screen

Microsoft has introduced Preview for Developers to give Windows Phone users early access to new releases, specifically betas, of the tiled operating mobile system. The program is also supposed to ensure a seamless upgrade path to the official firmware, once it is available.

While I have had no issues upgrading to an official firmware ever since I started using Preview for Developers in late-2013, it looks like there might be a problem in upgrading to Lumia Cyan for those of us who have relied on the program to install Windows Phone 8.1.

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LG announces G3 Beat

LG G3 Beat s

Top Android manufacturers have made a habit of releasing smaller versions of their flagship smartphones. Samsung is doing it. HTC is doing it as well. And LG is no exception. But, unlike its fellow vendors, it is not calling it a "mini". Meet G3 Beat.

Also unlike Samsung and HTC, which give their mini-flagships small displays, LG opts for a 5-inch panel; it is as large as what One (M8) offers and not that much smaller than what Galaxy S5 comes with. Let us take a look at what G3 Beat has to offer.

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Nokia Lumia 635 coming to AT&T

Nokia Lumia 635 AT&T

Lumia 635 is one of the three Nokia-branded Windows Phone 8.1 devices announced so far. It is designed to compete in the low-end smartphone market, where it goes up against similarly-priced handsets from rival Android manufacturers. It is also the only device in its lineup to officially reach US shores, with T-Mobile being the first local mobile operator to announce its availability.

But Lumia 635 will also be available at another US mobile operator. Starting July 25, AT&T will offer the Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone through its GoPhone prepaid service and, starting August 8, the device will also be available through the mobile operator's online and brick and mortar stores.

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Nokia Lumia Cyan firmware upgrade finally rolls out

Lumia-Cyan-update-Start-screen

Today, Microsoft announces that the highly-anticipated Nokia Lumia Cyan firmware upgrade, that comes with Windows Phone 8.1 in tow, is now finally rolling out across the globe for the existing Nokia-branded Windows Phone 8 lineup.

Windows Phone 8.1 will officially arrive on all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices "in the coming weeks", according to Microsoft. Previously, Lumia users had to join the Preview for Developers program -- which offers early access to new Windows Phone releases, including betas -- in order to get the latest version of the tiled operating system on their Windows Phone 8 devices. Here is what Nokia Lumia Cyan offers.

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How to unlock the bootloader on your Sony Xperia

Sony Bootloader Unlock Xperia

Unlocking the bootloader is not a task most Android users may want or need to undertake, as it comes with its fair share of risks, but it is paramount for those who want to install a different distribution, load a faster kernel, use a third-party recovery and so on. I personally prefer to turn off all the nannies on every Android device I own, as it makes way for quick modifications.

While not all manufacturers allow users to unlock the bootloader on their devices, there are a couple of vendors which believe this should be possible, and straightforward. Among them is Sony, known for its modder-friendly attitude, which has just improved its dedicated online tool for Xperia smartphones and tablets. And here is how easy it is to use.

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Microsoft sells unlocked Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020 Color Range

One year after it went on sale, Nokia Lumia 1020 is still the smartphone to beat when it comes to delivering the best Windows Phone imaging experience. That can be attributed to its mighty 41 MP camera, which continues to be in a league of its own, unmatched in resolution by any of its modern rivals.

In the US, Lumia 1020 has been an AT&T-exclusive since its launch, in July 2013, much like other Windows Phone flagships which have been released in the second-largest smartphone market. But, now, you can buy it unlocked, right from Microsoft Store, without any AT&T branding in tow.

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Nokia Lumia 520 activations exceed 12 million, Windows Phone ecosystem grows

Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520 is the handset that has helped Windows Phone become a serious competitor in the low-end smartphone market. It is also the first Windows Phone I would wholeheartedly recommend to folks looking for an affordable, yet capable smartphone. (I like it so much that I have actually bought one for my other half, to replace an aging iPhone.)

Consumers have taken notice of Lumia 520, proof being that the best low-end Windows Phone has topped 12 million activations, according to Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner. That may not rival iPhone's figures anytime soon, but it still makes it a huge hit among Windows Phone users.

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1 million users affected by CNET.com hack

cnet

News and review website CNET has been targeted by a team of Russian hackers called W0rm. CNET's servers were hit over the weekend, but details have only just been released.

Although CNET has not given a concrete confirmation of exactly what happened, the site explains that a representative of W0rm claims to have stolen a database containing the usernames and passwords of over a million users. It seems a security hole in the Symfony PHP framework was exploited, and it is not yet clear what the fallout could be.

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