While I keep the list short this year, it wouldn't be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company's executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray "Thanks".
Let's start off with Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page's return as CEO in April 2011. If he's not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity's sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind.
The tablet market could be slowing down after years of growth, according to industry estimates, with Apple's iPad set to be hardest hit.
Research firm IDC projects that total tablet shipments globally are set to increase by only 7.2 percent this year, compared with 52.5 percent growth in 2013.
The FCC label on radio-equipped devices sold in US has been mandatory since 1973. By now, we have gotten used to seeing it, no doubt because there is usually nothing that we can do to hide it. But, as technology evolves, its physical presence is bound to cause some serious problems (not to mention that it spoils the look of some gorgeous devices).
However, in mid-July, a new bill, called the E-Label Act, was introduced to give companies that operate in US the option to feature an electronic FCC label on their radio-equipped products. And, after passing through Senate and Congress, President Obama just signed it. Here is what you should know about it.
Encrypting your device may make it more secure, but it also makes it slower due to the added overhead. This is not much of a problem on a fast PC or laptop, as its hardware is able to cope with the extra load. It, however, is a major reason for concern on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, such as Google's new Nexus 6. Android 5.0 Lollipop is at fault here.
Anandtech has discovered that the difference in performance can be as high as 80.7 percent, and as low as 50.5 percent, between Nexus 6 with encryption turned on and with the feature disabled. Meanwhile, those who update to Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 5 will also notice a notable difference in performance, albeit not as big, even with encryption disabled.
Corning's Gorilla Glass is used to protect billions of mobile device displays. In fact, some of the most popular handsets -- like HTC One (M8), Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy S5 -- feature Gorilla Glass 3 or Gorilla Glass 2. Some companies, like ASUS, are also using it on touchscreen ultrabooks. That's because it fares well under normal usage, offering good protection against scratching.
However, things are different when it comes to drops -- as tough as Gorilla Glass may be, it can shatter quite easily when handsets are dropped, potentially leading to damaged displays. Its maker, Corning, says that this is the biggest issue that consumers are reporting. With Gorilla Glass 4, it finally addresses this shortcoming.
It may have taken a few tries, but Microsoft is gaining momentum with its tablet/laptop, the Surface Pro 3. The device, which includes an optional keyboard, was released a couple of months ago, and sales seem to be lively from what we've heard.
It's not a major surprise, as businesses love Windows, and now more are adopting this platform. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are moving to Surface Pro 3. Microsoft claims it is adopting "certain commercial requirements" in an effort to make the device more appealing to the enterprise.
The iPad is a wonderful tablet that people love the world over. Sure, Apple has its detractors, and people tend to focus on the deficiencies of the iPad, but its continued popularity is no fluke; it is enjoyable and useful with a ton of great apps. Unfortunately, the tablet's power is limited by its form factor. In other words, other than Microsoft's Surface line, the average tablet cannot stand on its own or be positioned for comfortable desk typing.
Case manufacturers have enabled some brilliant solutions for making the iPad more versatile, and Logitech has been on the forefront in that regard. In fact, Logitech has garnered quite the praise and respect from the iPad community for its cases and keyboards. Today, Logitech continues this tradition, with the attractive Logitech AnyAngle case. It is compatible with the iPad Air 2 and all models of the iPad mini.
Crowdfunding a mobile device is a tricky thing to get right. Just ask Ubuntu maker Canonical. To make its Edge smartphone happen, it turned to Indiegogo to get $32 million, of which it only managed to raise (a record) $12.8 million. Its failure can be linked to the sky-high goal, a mistake from which Finnish mobile device vendor Jolla appears to have learned from.
Jolla is also turning to crowdfunding, for its first tablet called Tablet, but the goal it set, of just $380,000, is much, much, much more easier to reach. In fact, at the time of writing this article, Jolla has raised more than $490,000 (a figure that is quickly rising), with 21 days left until the crowdfunding campaign ends, on December 9.
Do you like free stuff? Of course you do -- everyone likes something for nothing. Hell, I go to Costco with no plans to buy anything; I just walk around eating all the free samples. Is it low class? Yeah, totally, but it's essentially a free buffet with a cornucopia of flavors -- Swedish meatballs, salad, granola bars and more.
Today, T-Mobile announces that it too is going the free route, offering a tablet at no cost! It is an Android tablet -- the Alcatel ONETOUCH Pop 7. Never heard of it? Me neither, but it actually looks pretty nice. It runs Android 4.2.2, has a dual-core processor and best of all, supports 4G data. Even though it is a "Black Friday" deal, the carrier will be offering it a week early. Will you be successful in scoring one?
As a child, I was obsessed with the railroad tracks. We lived very close to them, so it was a great place to hang around with friends and pass the time. One of our favorite things was to put pennies on the tracks so they would get flattened. Sure, it was a silly thing, but to a kid, it is the coolest thing ever.
Now that I am an adult, hanging out on the tracks would be weird, as that is mostly reserved for grown-ups that are up to no good. Luckily, thanks to Griffin, I can now relive my youth with the all-new Rail Yard Studios tablet stands. You see, these are made from actual decommissioned railroad steel!
Since launching Surface Pro 3 in June, Microsoft has released frequent firmware updates -- mostly twice a month -- to fix bugs, update drivers, increase performance, improve stability, and enable support for new features. The entire changelog is rather long, and it will get even longer once the new firmware update, that should likely come this month, is released.
The new Surface Pro 3 firmware update addresses the Bluetooth, home button, stylus and Wi-Fi drivers, as well as UEFI. Through new home button and Surface Pen drivers, Surface Pro 3 should no longer accidentally wake up from sleep while it is being carried or stored.
After Nokia sold its Devices and Services division to Microsoft, you might not have expected to see any great new mobile products coming from the Finnish firm, but you’d be wrong.
Today at the Slush conference in Helsinki, Nokia took the wraps off a new Android tablet -- the N1.
After launching alongside Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Android 5.0 Lollipop is now making its way to the rest of Google's family of smartphones and tablets. So, naturally, you want to get it up and running as soon as possible on your older Nexus devices, now that it is finally ready for prime time. And why wouldn't you? The latest version of Android packs lots of sweet changes, chief among them the new design language dubbed Material Design, the new, faster default runtime called ART, battery life improvements, 64-bit support, beefed-up security, new APIs and much, much more.
There are two ways you get Android 5.0 Lollipop on your Nexus device. You can use the OTA update file to update or the factory image to make a clean install. This article will explain how can leverage both to run the latest version of Android on your Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
Amazon has been producing its Fire tablets for the past few years, and the devices have remained among the retailer's top selling items. For one reason, they are always good solid products, but for another, Amazon sells them at a good price and frequently discounts the devices. Now the company has released its latest iteration of the tablet, but what new features does it bring along?
In all honesty, there are not a lot of big changes, but many minor updates to both the operating system and the hardware have been made. The new tablet comes in both six and seven inch models, though there is also a new 8.9, which retains the HDX name used for last year's models of both 7 and 8.9 devices.
For a whole weekend, I thought the new smartphone I had just bought was defective. Because why else could it not send any SMS messages to any of my contacts nor connect to the Internet via 4G? It was the only logical explanation at the time, as everything else -- my monthly plan, the 4G coverage in my area, the settings -- was in order. While that was happening, I could receive SMS messages, calls were working fine. Getting a defective device is not impossible, after all. I am also not the luckiest person in the world. These things happen.
The problem, however, was not with the device, or even the SIM as some may think. As it turns out, whenever this happens, you just happen to be in the wrong place. Literally. Some may be lead to believe that their setup is to blame, when it is actually the carrier's 4G network in the area that is at fault. You may find that it works great in some places, and only have problems at work, for instance.