Articles about Tablets

Android 5.1.1 now available for Nexus 4, 5, cellular 7 and 9 -- here's how you can install it

Android 5.1 Lollipop announcement image

You might think that Google will quickly update its supported Nexus devices to the latest version of Android, after releasing it. After all, the search giant controls the development of the mobile operating system and Nexus software updates. But that is not exactly the case.

Some Nexus devices -- like the second-generation Nexus 7 -- got Android 5.1.1 Lollipop last month, while other handsets -- like the 4G LTE version of Nexus 9 -- are only now receiving the software upgrade. Not a level playing field it would seem.

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Mid-range Microsoft Surface 3 available in Europe

Surface 3

When Microsoft announced Surface 3, the software giant revealed that its latest Windows 8.1 slate would be offered with two main hardware configurations: 64 GB of internal storage with 2 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal storage with 4 GB of RAM. Either can be had with or without 4G LTE cellular connectivity.

However, what most people do not know is that Surface 3 is actually available in a third hardware configuration, which slots between the two aforementioned models. It gives users 64 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM to play with. And now, this model is surfacing in Europe.

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My four months with Nexus 9 [Review]

Nexus 9 and Friend

I want to love Google-branded, HTC-manufactured Nexus 9. But ours is a contentious relationship. N9 is not a bad tablet; others offer better value and performance for the price (or less), with Apple iPad mini being high among them. That said, if pure (aka stock) Android is your thing, there is no worthy alternative. Just prepare for a few compromises, particularly if moving up from Nexus 7.

In his November 2014 review, my colleague Brian Fagioli calls Nexus 9 "magical". I can't agree. During my four months using the tablet, response occasionally hesitates and WiFi too often disconnects. Last week, my N9 received the newest Android update, which somewhat resolves both problems. I purposely delayed this review, waiting for v5.1.1.

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Microsoft releases May 2015 firmware upgrades for Surface Pro 3, Pro 2

Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover keyboard

After a brief hiatus, Microsoft has released new firmware upgrades for its Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 Windows 8.1 tablets. The May 2015 releases feature updated drivers and UEFI, which, as expected, are meant to refine the user experience.

There are no new firmware upgrades available for the original Surface Pro, however, nor for Surface RT, Surface 2 and Surface 3, the last of which Microsoft unveiled in late-March. Now, let us take a close look at what the latest Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 firmware updates bring to the table.

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The best Microsoft Surface Pro 3 version gets a $150 discount

Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover keyboard

If you are in the market for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 then you should definitely get the 256 GB version with 8 GB of RAM. It is the best of the bunch, offering the right balance between price and performance. It is also the model that I would leave my 13-inch Apple MacBook Air for.

Luckily, if you are considering the aforementioned Surface Pro 3 version, Microsoft is now sweetening the deal with a $150 discount, which brings the price down to a more affordable $1,149. Normally, the slate costs $1,299.

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Our attention span is shorter than that of goldfish

Businessman looking at goldfish in a bowl

The results of a recently conducted study have shown that our attention span is... oh wait, I lost you.

That’s right. Our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds back in 2000, to an alarming eight seconds today. To put things into perspective, a goldfish’s attention span is nine seconds. So yes, a goldfish can read this article longer than you do without getting bored to death and opening Facebook.

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European telecom firms may block all mobile ads, spelling trouble for Google

European telecom firms may block all mobile ads, spelling trouble for Google

Google is facing something of a European revolution as mobile companies consider blocking ads on a massive scale. Israeli company Shine has developed software that blocks mobile ads, and it has gained the attention and support of a number of telecom companies in Europe.

Talking to the Financial Times, one wireless carrier said that the software had been installed at its data centers and could be enabled by the end of the year. With the potential to automatically block most ads on web pages and within apps, the repercussion of the ad boycott could be huge as mobile providers try to wrestle control from the likes of Google.

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Bing follows Google's lead in favoring mobile-friendly sites in search results

bing_logo

Last month Google announced a series of changes to the way it handled search results on mobile devices, and now Microsoft is following suit. Now there is a focus on promoting those sites that are optimized for viewing on a smaller screen. Microsoft said six months ago that it would start to push mobile-friendly sites, and today this plan is being put into action.

The project started off by simply highlighting mobile-friendly sites to aid identification, but now they will be promoted further up search rankings. If there are two sites rated equally highly for their content, the one which is considered most suitable for viewing on a mobile device will appear higher in results when a search is conducted from a mobile device.

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iPhones and iPads rule the enterprise market, Windows is slowly gaining ground

Apple pushes iOS 8.1.1 update to speed up older iPhones and iPads

While Android is the clear leader in the mobile market, in the enterprise space arch-rival iOS is the platform that actually comes out on top. Apple's iPhones and iPads make up 72 percent of all mobile device activations, while handsets running the green droid operating system have to make do with just 26 percent.

Unsurprisingly, it is iPhone 6 which sustains Apple's enterprise dominance, coming out as the most-popular handset in the enterprise thanks to it making up 26 percent of all activations between January and March. Apple's flagship is followed by Samsung's Galaxy S5. Together, the two leading vendors offer 28 out of the 30 most-popular devices in the enterprise.

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Microsoft opens up Surface 3 mass deployments

Surface 3

You don't have to be a fan of the Surface lineup to like what Microsoft has done with Surface 3. It runs the full-fledged version of Windows, packs a free Office 365 subscription, gets decent battery life, is light, has a large display for a tablet, offers lots of internal storage, has a full-size USB port, and can take a Type Cover keyboard. As far as its laptop-replacement credentials go, Surface 3 most definitely bests any iPad that is on the market today. And, to top it all off, Microsoft's latest slate can be had for as little as $499.

Given the core feature set it packs, Surface 3 is well positioned to take on the iPad in the enterprise market. But, to become a truly attractive option, it needs to be easily deployable. And now Microsoft has addressed this too.

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At $145, Cube i6 Air sports Retina display and dual boots Android and Windows

Cube_i6_Air

Every once in a while we come across a few exciting gadgets that stand out from the crowd. We’ve seen a dirt-cheap phone, a dirt-cheap TV, a dual-OS capable smartphone, and today we’re learning of another similar gadget. Called the Cube i6 Air, the $145 tablet runs both Android and Windows while sporting an impressive set of hardware.

This is a modified version of the Cube i6 Air 3G which was launched earlier this year in China. As the name gives away, the tablet supports 3G connectivity, but only supports Chinese bands. The Cube i6 Air fixes that problem introducing universal supported Wi-Fi. It’s also cheaper.

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Terminator Genisys: Revolution is the first Android app you can pre-register for

Terminator Genisys: Revolution is the first Android app you can pre-register for

To be first in line to download a new app, you need to be quick off the mark. You might hear about a game or app weeks ahead of launch, and it's all too easy to miss the launch date. You might be wondering why it has taken Google so long to do something about it.

For Android users this is now a thing of the past thanks to the introduction of pre-registration. The first title in Google Play to offer this is Terminator Genisys: Revolution. You can now register your interest in the game and you'll be notified when it is released and is ready for download.

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Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Countless Android users are still waiting for Lollipop to roll out to their handsets, but already there is talk of the successor -- Android M. Coming up at the end of this month, Google I/O is a developer conference hosted by the search giant in San Francisco and today the full schedule for the event appeared online.

An event on May 28 with the title Android for Work update is of particular interest as there is a strong hint that details of Android M will be revealed. Although it seems that Google may have let something slip a little early -- the session that refers to the next version of Android has since vanished from the schedule, but the description is interesting nonetheless.

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IOGEAR GearPower Mobile Power Station USB battery pack [Review]

iogear1

Removable batteries in smartphones are becoming quite the rarity. While Apple never offered such a thing on the iPhone, it was once very common on Android devices. While some smartphones running Google's mobile operating system still have this feature, it is far less prevalent (the upcoming LG G4 is a surprising exception). Unfortunately, the battery life of these devices can be very short; making it through a full work day can be challenging. Since you cannot swap the battery, what are you supposed to do?

You need a USB battery pack. These battery boosters are all the rage nowadays; Amazon and other manufacturers are littered with them. Deciding on a model can be tough, but luckily, I discovered a winner -- the IOGEAR GearPower Mobile Power Station. It has made my Nexus 6 more usable when on the go. Battery anxiety, be gone!

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Did you pull a boner and buy a Windows RT Surface? Microsoft offers redemption

bonerman

Believe it or not, I loved Windows RT; hell, I still do. My Surface 2 still gets a good amount of use for gaming and web surfing. Unfortunately, the limited nature of the operating system (a positive from a security standpoint) was a turn-off to consumers, and rightfully so; Windows that can't run legacy programs? Doomed from the start.

While Microsoft has promised to deliver some Windows 10 functionality to Windows RT, the full OS will not be delivered. In other words, for the most part, RT-based machines are obsolete. If you pulled a boner and bought one, I feel your pain; however, Microsoft will pay you cash for that mistake as long as you put it towards the all-new Surface 3 (running real Windows).

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