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Posts tagged smartphone

Photos of Amazon 3D, 6-camera smartphone prototype surface
April 15, 2014 | 2:44 pm

bgr-a-phone-1-500x231There goes Amazon, changing the game again. I’ve noticed that when Amazon introduces its own spin on an already-established device, it likes to add some new and different feature from right out of left field to distinguish itself from the competition. With e-readers, it was the free 3G service to let people buy e-books and check their mail from anywhere. With the Fire TV it was the extensive gaming focus and voice search. Now, with Amazon’s impending smartphone, it appears to be six cameras and a 3D display. The Boy Genius Report has exclusive photos and more information about...

Weekend Roundup: Using ePub Split on Boxed sets. Amazon to launch smartphone in June? and more
April 13, 2014 | 11:57 am

epub splitUsing ePub Split to Create Individual Books From Your Collection from Box Sets (Dear Author) The 99c price tag for these epic box sets of 8, 10, and 14 sets of novels is awesome. However, reading them on a digital device is suboptimal. You don’t get a very good idea of where you are in the novel based on page count or percentage or locations. Further, it’s hard to catalog these books since there are multiple authors for the box set. *** Why Features, Not Speed, Determine How People Select iOS Browsers (GigaOM) Apple may think they hold all the cards when it comes...

For Jeff Bezos, customer convenience is king
April 6, 2014 | 3:11 pm

Forbes has another profile of Jeff Bezos. Seems we’ve been seeing those a lot lately, what with that recent book on the man. This one looks particularly at Bezos’s intense focus on customer satisfaction. Actually, “satisfaction” doesn’t seem to go quite far enough, because “satisfaction” implies a middle-of-the-scale response. Bezos wants the customer wowed. He wants to make everything as convenient as possible, even to the point of shaving fractions of a second from page load times. That kind of obsession might be easy to make fun of, but give the man his due: he’s running a multi-billion dollar corporation that...

Google continues working on Ara modular smartphone project
February 27, 2014 | 11:42 am

arabackGoogle might have sold Motorola, but it turns out it hung onto the part of the company that’s been working on its Project Ara modular smartphone design. Time has an extensive feature about the project: turns out that Google is looking at creating a bare-bones design that would sell for as little as $50 for the base unit—possibly something that could be sold in convenience stores, much like pre-paid phones are now. The base unit would be little more than a screen, a frame, and a wi-fi radio; about like a low-end iPod Touch I suppose. You’d have to...

New Nielsen report shows smartphones changing lives
February 26, 2014 | 6:47 pm

A timely new analysis from Nielsen provides some context that justifies all the smartphone releases around Mobile World Congress 2014. Because, it seems, "smartphones are beginning to transform how we engage in our everyday lives." Based on data collected "from markets including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Japan, and around the globe," via Nielsen's opt-in phone monitoring meters, the report concludes that "not only is smartphone penetration growing, with over two-thirds (67%) of mobile subscribers in the U.S. owning smartphones in Q4 2013, but consumer usage of phones is rapidly shifting toward increased screen time with entertainment and social media." Also, critically, "time spent using...

MWC2014 announcements look likely to extend smartphone lead
February 24, 2014 | 10:58 am

The series of product announcements from smartphone manufacturers coming from and around Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona look likely to push smartphone penetration even further across all markets and price points, and to make smartphones more attractive and affordable than ever before as ereading platforms. Manufacturers seem to be queuing up to offer larger screens with higher resolutions at lower prices. Typical of these announcements, Lenovo, has announced a new series of smartphones, the S series, which "start at $349, $269 and $229, respectively." In this series, the S860 has "a large 5.3-inch HD screen," the S850 has "a large...

Smartphones replace entire Radio Shack advertisement worth of gadgets
February 15, 2014 | 1:10 pm

radioshackadJust to show how far we’ve come in the last twenty-three years, a blogger recently came across a full-page Radio Shack newspaper ad from 1991, and noticed that all except two items on the ad have now been superseded by his iPhone. While a few of his comparisons are a little iffy (for example, the iPhone could be said to replace a CB radio inasmuch as you can chat with people on the go, but it doesn’t let you chat on CB radio on the go; and not everyone uses their phone as their full-time computer) most of them...

Greetings from the future!
January 21, 2014 | 8:47 pm

Screenshot_2014-01-21-20-41-29 (1)I live in the future. (And here’s how it works. No, seriously.) I just deposited a couple of checks by taking photos of them with my smartphone. My new bank, Chase, supports deposit by smartphone app. Today was my first chance to try it out, and I was amazed at how easily it was accomplished. In the old days, back in Springfield, getting a check would have meant bicycling several blocks to the nearest ATM to deposit it. Here, I just pulled up the app, punched in an amount, snapped photos of the front and back of...

Wearing Google Glass to a movie theater leads to interrogation by federal agents
January 21, 2014 | 2:23 pm

google-glass-prescription-lenses-900-80Here’s an article that points out a problem that will only become more common as wearables do. A member of the Google Glass program had prescription lenses on his Glass, and wore them everywhere as his regular glasses. He didn’t have any other prescription glasses, so he wore them to a movie, with the Google Glass part turned off. He’d been to an AMC theater with the Glass three times, but this particular time (watching the new Jack Ryan movie, no less) a federal agent came in, plucked the glasses off his head, and proceeded to accuse him of...

Facial recognition for random strangers, coming soon to Google Glass and your smartphone
January 8, 2014 | 9:39 pm

nametag_1Smartphones might be good for e-reading, but soon they’ll be able to read your face, too. Remember the uproar when Facebook announced plans to add face recognition identity tagging to its photos? It turned out only to be meant to tag people who you’d friended already, but to hear most people you’d have thought they were going to have their identities revealed to total strangers. Well, CNET Australia now reports on a forthcoming app for Android, iOS, and Google Glass that could reveal your identity to total strangers. Called NameTag, the app will allow users to snap photos...

Blackberry files suit over Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo keyboard case
January 3, 2014 | 7:12 pm

Remember that “Typo” Bluetooth iPhone keyboard case backed by Hollywood’s Ryan Seacrest? It essentially grafts a BlackBerry style keyboard onto an iPhone. Well, it turns out that BlackBerry is not amused that the Typo is effectively a rip-off of the iconic keyboard design from their BlackBerry phones. The layout and styling of the keys is remarkably similar, after all…so BlackBerry is filing suit for infringement of their design. As Matthew Panzarino points out on TechCrunch, it seems unlikely that any money they get out of this even if they win will be enough to slow Blackberry’s slide into obscurity...

Smartphones are growing into small tablets
January 3, 2014 | 2:04 pm

galaxynoteHere’s a GigaOm article by Kevin C. Tofel looking at why smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, in seeming reversal of the trend of technology making things constantly smaller. It used to be that the iPhone’s 3.5” screen was considered the ideal size for smartphones. The iPhone was made that size because it was the largest the phone could be for most people to be able to reach all corners of the screen with their thumb when holding it in their hand. But screen size crept up to 4 inches, now 5-inch screens are considered normal for many...