Yep, we know all about the NSA, thanks Edward. Yeah, it's possible (probable?) that a government agent somewhere is listening to or recording your conversations. And yes, even if you're not one of the tin-foil hat brigade, there's a danger that someone could tap into your phone. But you don’t have to be paranoid to want security; there are plenty of companies and enterprise customers for whom security is of the utmost importance.
While much of the news coming out of MWC 2015 has been dominated by Microsoft's Lumia 640, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and tablets from Sony, there's always room for something a little different. Following on from the security-focused Blackphone, Silent Circle used the Barcelona event to announce the follow-up -- the Blackphone 2.
Two flagship smartphones a year is one too many. Consumers who buy those top-of-the-line handsets do not like seeing their new purchase being outclassed in the same year it launches. Thankfully, Sony has learned its lesson, as there is no Xperia Z4 at MWC 2015. However, it's a bit strange that we're seeing Xperia Z4 Tablet. It's like the tablet division didn't get the memo, naming it after a device that's not here yet.
For those of you not keeping track of Sony's flagship tablets, Xperia Z4 Tablet is the successor to Xperia Z2 Tablet, announced at last year's MWC. The more-recent Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact that made its debut at IFA 2014 features a much smaller display, targeting iPad mini -- instead of full-blown iPad -- buyers. Let's take a look at Xperia Z4 Tablet.
Every mobile operating system would have you believe that it has the best built in keyboard. It's clear that plenty of people disagree judging by the number of alternative keyboard apps that exist in the Windows Phone, Apple and Android stores. Sometimes even the best software keyboard isn't good enough, but few people are enamored with the idea of carrying around a full size Bluetooth keyboard.
There are numerous mobile keyboards that are particularly suitable for use with smartphones and tablets, and today at MWC in Barcelona, Microsoft threw its hat into the ring with the Universal Foldable Keyboard. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a large money wallet, this svelte device connects via Bluetooth to whatever mobile device you happen to be using -- including the newly announced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.
The announcements are coming thick and fast from MWC 2015 in Barcelona. As well as the Huawei Watch, Huawei also announced the MediaPad X2. As you might guess from the name, this is a tablet, but dual SIM support means that it is essentially a gigantic smartphone with no less than 7 inches of screen to play with.
And it's more than just the dimensions that are supersized -- the 2.0 GHz Kirin930 64 bit octa-core packs quite a punch. Being a brand new device, it's little surprise that Android 5.0 Lollipop is found pre-installed, and this is supplemented by the third version of Huawei's own Emotion UI. But there is much more to this phone/tablet crossover -- perhaps the first device to genuinely justify the horrific portmanteau phablet.
Lenovo is a manufacturer under a lot of scrutiny right now. While the Superfish debacle may be fresh on your mind, the company is much more than that onetime mistake. The company's hardware is legendary; well built and respected by both home users and the enterprise alike. The company has since apologized and vowed to stop loading bloatware on machines. In other words, while Superfish was bad, the fallout is benefiting consumers, as the new PC experience will be improved. Kudos to the company for learning from its mistakes and actually improving as a result.
Moving beyond mistakes, Lenovo is at Mobile World Congress 2015, where it is announcing new products. Today, the company announces three new tablets; one is running Windows 8.1, while the other two are running Android. Which OS do you prefer on a tablet?
Starting in April, IKEA will start to sell furniture with integrated Qi wireless charging points. The Scandinavian flat-pack furniture store, famous for the likes of the BILLY bookcase, plans to launch a range of home furnishing in North America and Europe, before extending the rollout worldwide.
You might expect that sofas would be a natural home for wireless charging -- just pop your smartphone on the arm so it can power up while you watch your favorite shows -- but in fact it is tables, desk and, surprisingly, lamps which will boast the feature. It's not just phones like the Galaxy Note 3 and Nexus 5 that can take advantage of wireless power, but also tablets like the Nexus 7.
After losing the top spot in India's smartphone market, Samsung gets robbed in the tablet category too
It’s not only the smartphone market in which Samsung has lost the pole position, but tablets as well. The South Korean media conglomerate is no longer the largest tablet vendor in India, the emerging market for digital devices where the tablet share grew by 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter, reports IDC.
As per the stats provided by the marketing research firm IDC, Indian OEM iBall captured the maximum market share (15.6 percent) in the country last quarter. Samsung managed 12.9 percent share, and was followed by Datawind with 9.6 percent share, Lenovo with 9.4 percent share, and HP with 8.7 percent market share.
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.
The Surface Pro 3 is still one of the the best computers you can buy. Sure, there are more powerful and less expensive machines, but the overall Surface experience is unique and versatile. It can be a tablet, laptop, or desktop, while the included pen offers even more added value.
The problem for many, however, is the price. Yes, you can get a core i3 Surface Pro 3 for $799, but once you add in the keyboard attachment -- which is technically optional, but realistically necessary -- you are approaching the $1,000 mark. With that said, it is not overpriced; the price is quite reasonable for what you get, especially when the cost is averaged over the life of ownership. If you want to get one at a discount, today is your lucky day -- sort of. If you have a previous generation Surface -- both ARM and x86_64 -- you can trade it in towards a Surface Pro 3. Believe it or not, you can earn up to $650! However, there is a catch and you shouldn't do it.
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.
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.
Whether you are a home or business user, there is probably an Intel processor in your PC or workstation. Let's be honest, it has become a one-horse race; Intel is really the only player in the processor game nowadays. True, AMD is still producing chips, but the best value is Intel's "Core" line -- great performance paired with impressive battery life and temperatures. Sadly, AMD has nothing to compete with Intel's 14nm 5th generation Intel Core processors.
Today, Intel furthers its lead against competitors by announcing the immediate availability of the vPro-enabled 5th generation Intel Core processors. These chips are aimed at business users and workstations, but enthusiast home users will be interested in these chips too. The new features should allow workers to be more productive, while working smarter instead of just harder.
Bill Gates is more readily associated with philanthropy than technology these days, but that’s not to say he doesn’t still have more than a passing interest in the world of tech. In their annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates look 15 years into the future, envisioning a world in which the life in poor countries has improved dramatically.
Technological advancements are key to this vision, and the Gates refer to the importance of mobile banking, cheaper tablets and smartphones, as well as improvements to crops and vaccines. It's 15 years since the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was created, and the couple are making a bet that "the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history".
Microsoft revealed earlier this week that Windows 10 will ship with a new browser, known as Spartan. The venerable Internet Explorer will still be around for enterprise duty and certain sites, but the new kid on the block is the one Microsoft wants you to embrace. However, when it is Google's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox that you have to leave behind, convincing you to jump ship is not going to be easy.
Spartan is clearly no Internet Explorer. It is designed from the ground up as a modern browser, that works well across multiple form factors. It will be found on all PCs, smartphones and tablets that ship with or are upgraded to Windows 10, which means that it, at least, will be readily available to test. But does it have what it takes to pass the test, and become your new favorite browser?
Windows 10 is shaping up to be the best Windows yet. I am still wrapping my head around it, but after going through most of the changes I think there are a ton of things to like about it, which is an astonishing achievement. Microsoft really managed to surprise me, and I didn't expect that, to be perfectly honest.
However, what seals the deal for me is how all the changes tie together. I can now say that there are clear benefits to using the latest Windows across all devices that support it. It makes total sense, for the first time. In fact, without even trying the new Preview release, I am sold on Windows 10. Count me in as one of the first to make the switch on all of my devices!