Articles about Smartphones

iPhone 6: Lovely, but not groundbreaking [Review]

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The new iPhone, as every smartphone fan knows by now, is not in fact one phone, but two. And unlike last time Apple launched two handsets at once, this time you don't have to choose between a cut down version (the iPhone 5c) or a full-fat version (the iPhone 5s).

This time, while there are some differences between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, apart from screen size they are subtle ones, and your choice is primarily about size -- do you want a 4.7-inch screen or a 5.5-inch one? This review is of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, kindly provided by Three -- our review of the iPhone 6 Plus will follow.

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European airlines to allow the use of phones during flights

European airlines to allow the use of phones during flights

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has decided that mobile phones are completely safe to use in-flight, including during take-off and landing. Previous rules required passengers to either switch off phones, or flip them into airplane mode. The EASA's latest decision does not mean that there is an automatic right of mobile use afforded to fliers, but airlines now have the option to permit handset use on their flights. So if you've splashed out on an iPhone 6, bendy or otherwise, you can show it off to your fellow fliers.

While airplane mode blocks the ability to send and receive calls and messages, many passengers have found that they are asked to switch off entirely and refrain from using their handset in any way. The new ruling will arm passengers with more ammunition if they want to argue their case, but it's likely that many European flights will quickly bow to popular demand and permit the use of phones.

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What a shocker! FBI head complains about Apple and Google's encryption practices

cry baby

Apple and Google do not want the US Government to be able to access your private data, even when search warrants are involved. It's a bold stand they're taking, which has been applauded by privacy advocates and, quite probably, criminals as well. But, guess what? That does not sit well with the authorities. FBI Director James Comey is troubled by the idea that the all-mighty agency that he runs can be stopped dead in its tracks when trying to see your intimate photos, videos and whatnot. Imagine that.

Here's what the fuss is all about. If encryption is turned on, the encryption key, that is needed in order to access the data that is stored on an Android or iOS 8 device, is in the user's control, instead of Google's or Apple's. As such, this allows the companies to be unable to comply with search warrants. It's clever: you can't give what you don't have.

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8 reasons why Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'bendgate' is a good thing

iPhone 6 Plus bends

The newest Apple "gate" is upon us. Many users complain that their new iPhones bend in the pants. Flexible display is a compelling technology, when designed that way. Surely, Apple doesn't want customers, ah, adapting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus designs in their pockets. Someone call the lawyers! But wait, who sues whom? Apple for buyers violating its design patents, or users complaining the handsets are flawed? Oh, these legal quagmires are treacherous!

Personally, I'd like to do a gallery showing of bent iPhones as art. Maybe I can open a museum of pop culture here in San Diego. My point: There are some unseen benefits to Apple's apparent iPhone fiasco. Here, I present eight -- and surely there are many more. Please decorate our comment gallery with your additions.

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Apple to iPhone 6 users: Downgrade from iOS 8.0.1 because of nasty bugs

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Apple is now advising its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus-toting customers to downgrade from iOS 8.0.1, which was only introduced yesterday, because the latest version of its mobile operating system contains some pretty nasty bugs that ruin the user experience.

Apple publicly admits that installing iOS 8.0.1 on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus may lead to a loss of cellular service and the inability to make use of Touch ID, neither of which plagues iOS 8. The older iteration, which was rolled out on September 17, is not without bugs, however Apple would rather you run into them again over not being able to make calls and use the fingerprint scanner.

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If iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it's YOUR fault

finger point pointing accuse accusation

Aluminum is a soft metal. Anyone who has used tinfoil to wrap up food should know this. As such, there are ways you really shouldn't handle a personal device made of the metal. Front or back pocket is a no-no without a case, at least. Better: Not at all -- or use a plastic phone made by Motorola, Nokia, or Samsung.

That's my short response to colleague Mihaita Bamburic's analysis: "If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it's Apple's fault" He is "inclined to believe that Apple did not thoroughly test its new devices, based on my engineering background". You read that right. Mihaita may be a prolific writer, but his real profession is engineering. I trust his judgment but nevertheless disagree. If iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it's your fault.

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Immersion software adds rumbles and shakes to phone videos

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Immersion, a company that specializes in adding an extra dimension to touch screen displays, has created new software to add a layer of feeling to smartphone videos.

With mobile devices becoming the primary video platform for many users, the company hopes to solve the problem of providing excitement on a small screen.

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BlackBerry Passport aims for longevity with 30 hour battery life

BlackBerry Passport aims for longevity with 30 hour battery life

Whenever news comes from BlackBerry it feels like a voice from the past calling. Today is no different as the company announces the launch of the BlackBerry Passport, a square-screened phone designed with the corporate market in mind. This might be a phone aimed at business users, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little joking around: CEO John Chen quipped that the Passport is harder to bend than the iPhone 6 Plus.

The most striking feature of the handset is the 4.5 inch display with its 1400 x 1400 resolution with 453PPI, but nestling beneath this is the Passport's second most interesting feature: the three-line, touch-enabled physical keyboard.

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If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it's Apple's fault

iPhone 6 BendGate BentGate Flex

Apple could have a huge problem on its hands if iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are susceptible to bending. According to some early adopters, the new iPhones can show visible signs of damage after only a few days of normal use.

That's because the build quality does not appear to stand up to the challenges posed by pants' front pockets, which are causing the metal shells to bend near the cutouts for the physical side buttons. Light metal shell, meet thin profile.

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Phablet fans, get ready -- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 goes on sale this week

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is among the most important new mobile devices to go on sale in the second half of 2014, alongside Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (which launched last week); the latter is a direct competitor. The Android phablet was slated to go on sale next month, but, in no small part thanks to the strong sales performance of the new iPhones, Samsung wants to get it in consumers' hands much sooner.

Samsung has announced that Galaxy Note 4 officially goes on sale this Friday, September 2014, in its home country of South Korea. There pre-orders started earlier this month, with consumers reportedly showing a strong interest in the device. But what if you live outside of South Korea?

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Charge your phone like Marty McFly with the Flux Capacitor USB car charger

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Growing up, one of my favorite films was Back to the Future. Marty McFly was probably the coolest guy ever; he could skateboard, play guitar and oh yeah... travel through time! Sure, him making-out with his mom in the car was a little weird, but the protagonist was undoubtedly awesome.

While there are many memorable moments from the movie, one thing tends to resonate with movie-goers the most -- the Flux Capacitor. This cheesy-looking box was the technology behind time-travel, but most importantly, it looked super-cool (nerds and geeks love flashing lights). Today, ThinkGeek announces a USB smartphone and tablet charger for the car, which is modeled after the popular Flux Capacitor.

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The global supply chain behind the iPhone 6

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We all know that the majority of our technology gadgets are produced in China, but the supply and manufacturing process isn't quite as simple as it might appear.

Apple more than most is a master at using the supply chain to its advantage, sourcing suppliers that can turn out parts in the most cost effective way whilst still adhering to the company's quality requirements.

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Adobe snaps up cloud image editor Aviary to fast-track SDK development

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Seven years after its inception, online image editing service Aviary has been acquired by Adobe. The Photoshop stalwart is no stranger to the cloud, but this latest purchase seems to indicate that the company is looking to expand further in this arena. Pay a visit to the Aviary website and the Adobe branding is already in place -- there's also a new entry on the Aviary company timeline that has been updated to reflect the acquisition. The Adobe-branded Aviary website makes clear the thinking behind the move: "accelerating delivery of mobile apps that integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud".

It seems that the main reason for Adobe's interest in Aviary is the fact that the ornithologically-named firm has developed a number of mobile SDKs. Aviary is already a popular tool, and Adobe is understandably keen to monetize the popularity of cloud apps and mobile services: Aviary is a ready-made package that encompasses both of these ideas perfectly. An announcement by Adobe explains that "the acquisition accelerates Adobe's strategy to make Creative Cloud a vibrant platform for third-party apps, through a new Creative SDK".

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus has the best smartphone LCD display, but Samsung Galaxy Note 4 still reigns supreme

winner victory

The good news keeps on coming for Apple. After it announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales exceeded the 10 million units mark, therefore breaking the previous record established last year, DisplayMate, a company dedicated to testing the quality of displays, has proclaimed iPhone 6 Plus as having the best LCD screen that has ever crossed its labs.

Apple's other new flagship, the smaller iPhone 6, has also registered impressive results, but its 4.7-inch panel is let down by the low resolution of just 750 by 1,334, which is inferior to that of its bigger brother -- which boasts a 1,080 by 1,920 resolution with its 5.5-inch panel -- as well as competing flagships from other manufacturers.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 rolls out for Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930

Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is now rolling out for Nokia Lumia 930, just shy of two months after it introduced the latest version of the tiled operating system. The flagship is the first Nokia-branded handset to be officially updated to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, and among the few that officially run this installment.

Even though, on Nokia's support forums, the software update is described as being "minor", it actually offers quite a few notable improvements over the previous firmware release. Contrary to expectations, it does not bring the Lumia Denim enhancements along with it.

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