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Posts tagged smartphones

Jolla gets moolah with $1.2 million and counting for alternative tablet
November 24, 2014 | 2:22 pm

Finnish startup Jolla apparently tapped into a source of serious demand when it launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its Jolla Tablet, a 7.85" display device running the Linux-based Sailfish OS 2.0. The crowdfunding campaign blew past its $380,000 target within a couple of days of its November 19th launch, and as of the time of writing, has secured over $1.2 million in pledges, or 318 percent of the target, with 16 days still to go. What could be the secret of Jolla's success? It might be the Sailfish OS, "mobile-optimized with the flexibility, ubiquity and stability of the Linux core and...

YotaPhone 2 slated to debut soon
November 19, 2014 | 2:19 pm

YotaPhone 2YotaPhone recently tweeted news of a press event in London: "#YotaPhone2 will be presented December 3! We will celebrate with a by-invitation only event in London - stay tuned!" accompanying it with a beautiful picture of this now-almost-mythical device. Now almost mythical because of the sadly protracted release time. "So late!! announced in MWC 2014" complained one respondent, and you can see their point. The design, however elegant, doesn't appear to have moved on much from February this year, but an implementation of a competitive smartphone design with a solid state ereader back is stillcompelling. As Chris Meadows reported earlier, the...

Disney sees big growth from mobile as gaming monetization options multiply
November 16, 2014 | 12:26 pm

disneycomic_thumb.pngDisney has announced new mobile gaming products in news that highlights just how profitable mobile gaming spinoffs have become for creative and media franchises. Quoted in GigaOm and elsewhere, Disney Interactive president James Pitaro claimed that Disney is now the world's sixth largest mobile gaming company, and looking at an over 50 percent rise in users since the same period last year, with players spending 75 percent more time on the games. Pitaro also claimed that the Disney mobile-based Club Penguin platform was the most popular virtual world for children, and that total usage hours of the Frozen Free Fall...

Latest comScore rankings show Android has U.S. smartphone market in its pocket
November 7, 2014 | 2:30 pm

comScore_IncThe latest U.S. smartphone market rankings report from mobile comms metrics outfit comScore, Inc., covering September 2014, shows Android in the lead as the dominant smartphone platform "with 52.1 percent platform market share." Apple, meanwhile, remained "the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.7 percent OEM market share." This is off a base of 174 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones, or 72 percent total mobile market penetration, over the July-September 2014 period. Android's market share has if anything very slightly increased since comScore's last set of numbers, from June 2014, rising 0.2 percent from 51.9 percent. it. Apple's OEM market share meanwhile, is...

Samsung squares off against Microsoft in the smartphone wars
November 3, 2014 | 6:25 pm

SamsungGalaxyTab_thumb.jpgSamsung's attempts to dominate the global smartphone market have taken a new turn as a result of Microsoft's own efforts to promote its Windows Phone OS. The two giants' collaborations have now ended in an exchange of lawsuits, with Microsoft claiming that Samsung owes $6.9 million in interest on over $1 billion of delayed patent royalties in a case filed in the southern District of New York. Samsung is now counter-claiming that the original agreement is void, since Microsoft is now a hardware competitor since its purchase of Nokia. Samsung's original royalty agreements with Microsoft covers parts of the Android OS...

Mobile phones go wingardium leviosa
October 9, 2014 | 2:25 pm

For those wanting to take the Harry Potter approach to controlling and interacting with your mobile device, there are some welcome developments on the horizon. Already there is the Amazon Fire Phone, which, although it hasn't exactly set the ... ahem ... world on fire, does incorporate gesture control via its four forward-facing cameras. However, there is also Elliptic Labs, which seeks to make mobile devices gesture-capable via ultrasound. Elliptic's Touchless Gesture Recognition Engine is already implemented in a Windows 8 suite and an Android SDK. According to the company's materials, "ultrasound signals sent through the air from speakers integrated in smart...

xkcd explains why texting is good for writing skills
August 29, 2014 | 7:18 am

Origin 8292014 70958 AM.bmpRandall Munroe, Hugo-winning webcomic artist of xkcd, has hit the nail on the head with another keen observation about our mobile lifestyle. The xkcd character Cueball is not surprised when his friend observes that SMS texting is actually good for spelling and grammar. Practice, he explains in the rest of the strip, makes perfect. (The text does contain an F-bomb, but it’s an F-bomb that was dropped by James Joyce.) Be sure and pay attention to the alt-text that comes up when you mouse over the comic. In an odd juxtaposition, this came just a few minutes after I...

Mobile game Ingress has implications straight out of science-fiction
August 26, 2014 | 7:11 pm

braceletSo, this past weekend I took part in my first ever “Anomaly,” a big local event for players of the Ingress game (which I wrote about for Answers here) by Niantic Labs, a subsidiary of Google. In these events, players in certain towns gather together and fight over specific virtual bits of real territory, needing to hold as much of it as they can at specific time points when the score is counted. It was a great deal of fun, and very involved. The Resistance (the faction I play) is very well-organized around these parts. We met at 10:30...

Smartphone shipments hit 300 million says IDC
August 15, 2014 | 6:12 pm

IDC_logoThe latest figures in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show the global smartphone market hitting a new record high, with a sharp hike on last year's figures. According to the data, "vendors shipped a total of 301.3 million smartphones worldwide in 2Q14, up 25.3 percent from the 240.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013" - the first time shipments have risen over 300 million. This comes from the same research house that a short time ago noted a decline in tablet shipments amid an explosion in the popularity of phablets. Judging from these...

How I modded my aging smartphone into a proper ereading platform
August 1, 2014 | 10:20 am

IMG_20140731_150728Following Juli Monroe's illuminating article on how she installed Cyanogen Mod 11 on her Nook HD, I thought I'd share how I pulled off a similar trick on my aging ZTE Skate, an older model Chinese-manufactured phone which, although robust and built with an attractive 4.5" screen, was fast being left in the dust by the ever more bloated ereaders and other apps of the latest Android generation. And in the case of the Skate, the problem was made worse by the machine's niggardly internal memory of 512 MB - only some 200MB of which was available for apps. To squeeze...

Android One means more low-cost smartphones for e-reading
June 26, 2014 | 10:25 am

androidone5-600x400Fans of dirt-cheap e-reading devices - and who isn't? - will be gladdened by one of the many announcements to come out of the Google I/O 2014 development conference, still under way in San Francisco. There, Google Android supremo Sundar Pichai introduced Android One, a new reference platform designed to bring an almost-full Android experience to users in emerging markets, with a sub-$100 price tag. According to the official Google Blog: There are many people—billions of people, in fact—who still don’t have access to a smartphone. We want to change that; so today we announced an important initiative called Android One....

Aereo loses, cell phone privacy wins at Supreme Court today
June 25, 2014 | 11:22 am

A pair of important Supreme Court decisions came down today—one disappointing and one critically important to anyone who uses mobile devices. The disappointing one is a 6-3 decision killing Aereo. The service that used dedicated individual miniature antennas to stream broadcast TV service to people’s computers over the Internet has been ruled to appear too much like a cable company, even as it scrupulously followed the letter of existing case law (while nonetheless skirting its spirit). Aereo could try to license content from the networks going forward, but would have to pass the costs on to consumers—and as Gizmodo...