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Posts tagged smartphones

How to save loads of memory on a MediaTek device
June 25, 2015 | 9:11 am

MTK logger settingsReaders may recall I rooted my Navon Mizu M500 phone a short while ago, partly in order to stop the machine running short of phone memory and refusing to update apps. Sure enough, the problem started to manifest again, with hidden files apparently filling up the machine's onboard capacity. In most cases on Android phones, the culprit appears to be log files, which are implemented by differing manufacturers in various ways and progressively fill up the system with activity logs. With a rooted device, you can get down and actually clean these out. But how? The following fix appears to apply...

Smart phones : The dating and reading angles
June 22, 2015 | 11:14 am

cellphonesAtlantic2 This  Atlantic video delves into the pros and cons of smart phones for daters and others. But what about phones for reading? Have smart phones in the end done more harm than good, through distractions such as Facebook and other social media? Is your iPhone really “saving literature”? Few are keener on smart phones as reading platforms than I am---complete with my advocacy of cell phone book clubs. But for me the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. It isn’t enough just to own a smart phone. You also...

How to tool up a rooted Android phone
June 10, 2015 | 5:25 pm

framarootAfter successfully rooting my Navon Mizu M500 with Framaroot, I settled down to working out what to do with it to tune it up as a better ereader and all-round Android powerhouse. Only, what to do? Many Android rooters do their phones in order to install custom mods and ROMs like CyanogenMod - but phones running on the MediaTek MT6589 CPU and other MediaTek chips are not exactly overserved that way. So, rather than risk bricking my phone by pushing the wrong ROM onto it, I decided to keep the existing Android 4.2.1 system intact - but tune it up...

A dedicated smartphone for e-reading?
June 6, 2015 | 9:34 am

dedicatedsmartphoneThe launch of the ASUS ZenPhone Selfie, a smartphone - well, obviously - optimized for taking selfies, put me in mind of other dedicated, specialized phones out in the market right now. Smartphones, remember, are increasingly commoditized, and differentiation is ever more important, especially for the East Asian manufacturers who pursue market share as their prime goal. You have the Sony Xperia C4, desperately jockeying for the title of "world's best selfie smartphone." You have the Samsung Galaxy Note, purposed for taking notes, receiving input, and generally making standalone tablets obsolete. You have the LG G Flex and the Samsung...

My Android phone successfully rooted: The glories of Framaroot
June 3, 2015 | 9:16 am

framarootI concluded my previous post on the travails with my Navon Mizu M500 generic Android smartphone with a gripe about still looking for a way to root my phone. Well, now I found it. Courtesy of the Framaroot application, I was able to root the phone with just one download, without using a PC, and with just one click ... well, okay, two or three on the way there ... The Framaroot thread at the ever-reliable (meaning: not infected by trolls, malware, etc.) XDA Developers site, warns that "success with this application void warranty on your device," but it's...

How to rescue an Android phone from the insufficient storage curse of death – almost
May 30, 2015 | 12:21 pm

Screenshot_2015-05-24-12-59-22 I'm an unapologetic Android diehard, but I do find some of its foibles infuriating. One is the notorious message "insufficient storage available" or "there is insufficient space on the device" when attempting to install or update an app on the phone. This only seems to apply to Android OS iterations 4.2/3 Jelly Bean or earlier, but it's a pain nonetheless. And my Navon Mizu M500 still runs on Android 4.2.1. Needless to say, I wouldn't be writing a post like this if the problem bore actual relation to the storage available on the device. When this problem strikes, I've tried deleting...

Phablets Are Too Big?
May 19, 2015 | 3:10 pm

phabletAh, first world problems. Phablets are too big to comfortably use one-handed. The post on ReadWrite goes into some detail about how inconvenient large screen phones can be. (Check it out for the image of the phone ring on the iPhone 6+. I didn't know they were a thing.) Basically, the point comes down to if you can't use it one-handed, it's not worth getting. I admit the post had me rolling my eyes. (If you read the comments, others had the same reaction.) It's not like this should actually be a surprise to anyone. I used to be in the camp...

Samsung may reposition its big handsets
May 13, 2015 | 4:25 pm

samsung-galaxy-s6-1 Chances are that if you read ebooks at all on an Android smartphone, you're very likely doing it on a Samsung. And yet, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the Korean giant may be rethinking its game plan and cutting back on that market dominance after its founding father, Lee Kun-hee, was incapacitated by a heart attack. The issue is that, even though Samsung still stays ahead of Apple in the sheer number of smartphones sold, its mobile division's operating-profit margins fell to 7 percent in 3Q2014, from 18 percent in the same quarter a year ago,...

LG G Stylo offers new Samsung Note competition for a song
April 23, 2015 | 6:25 pm

LG Electronics in Korea has announced a new budget smartphone/phablet, the LG G Stylo, with size, specs, and pen input implementation to challenge the Samsung Galaxy Note, at a considerably lower price point. For some readers - me included - this could be the portable writing and productivity platform of their bargain-basement dreams. The new device offers a 5.7 inch HD IPS display, with Android 5.0 Lollipop as the OS, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU. Spokesperson Cho Jun-Ho, president of LG Electronics, stressed that "for consumers who prefer a large screen smartphone the G Stylo is focused on providing affordability...

OnePlus One phone available to all, OnePlus Two to follow
April 22, 2015 | 1:25 pm

The OnePlus initiative, previously covered in Teleread, was a bid to create a smarter, better Android-based smartphone that has achieved some success and quite a few fans, with some commentators claiming that its debut OnePlus One model put Google's own Nexus phones completely in the shade. Now, the company has upped the price of the OnePlus One in Europe, in response to the sliding value of the Euro, to a basic EUR299 ($320) for the smaller 16GB model. However, it's also thrown this open for general purchase - previously the OnePlus One could only be bought by invitation. Furthermore, the company...

Cyanogen looks to diversify mobile experience with Microsoft apps
April 20, 2015 | 4:25 pm

Cyanogen Inc., the commercial operation behind the highly popular Cyanogen range of Android OS variants, has announced a partnership with Microsoft that offers prospects of a more diverse Android platform in future - if it still counts as Android OS at all. "Cyanogen Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership to integrate popular Microsoft services across the Cyanogen Operating System," states the Cyanogen release. "Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft's consumer apps and services across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling...

App Annie Index suggests Google has an app problem?
April 16, 2015 | 6:25 pm

The latest quarterly mobile app market index from analytics firm App Annie, the App Annie Index: Market Q1 2015, suggests that the Google Play store and the iOS App Store are following "different paths" as the mobile app market evolves. According to App Annie, "Google Play extended its lead over the iOS App Store in downloads, and iOS extended its lead in monetizing apps." App Annie found that "Google Play's worldwide downloads in Q1 2015 were approximately 70 percent higher than the iOS App Store, up from 60 percent in Q3 2014 ... On the other hand, the iOS App Store's worldwide...

comScore report shows Android still in US OS smartphone platform lead
April 14, 2015 | 12:25 pm

comScore-IncU.S. analytics firm comScore has just released its report on smartphone subscriber market share in the U.S. covering February 2015. And the figures show that "Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.7 percent OEM market share, while Google Android led as the #1 smartphone platform with 52.8 percent platform market share. Facebook ranked as the top individual smartphone app." According to comScore, the U.S. smartphone snowball just keeps on rolling downhill, gathering momentum: "186.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (76.6 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in February, up 5 percent since November." Manufacturers bringing...

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 – an Ubuntu option for your mobile reading pleasure
April 14, 2015 | 10:25 am

I already reported more than once on the advent of Ubuntu Phones, which seek to bring the open-source popularity and ubiquity of Linux-based computing to mobile platforms. Now devices based on the platform are finally coming to market. And one of the first out of the gate is the bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, offered by BQ, a Spanish company hitherto mostly associated with 3D printers and portable devices. BQ emphasizes heavily the Ubuntu Phone's new features, such as Scopes, "individual quick start screens that give you access to everything you need: music, videos, social networks, etc. without having to go from...

Cyanogen announces $80 million funding round
March 24, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Cyanogen, creators of (almost) everybody's favorite alternative iteration of the basic Android mobile OS, has announced "the completion of an $80 million round of Series C financing," led by Premji Invest and including existing investors Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. More interesting, perhaps, is the list of "new strategic investors" now participating in the round, including " Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries (the US-based industrial group headed by Len Blavatnik), Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo, and several yet to be announced partners." A Series C financing round for a venture capital-backed company...

Elliptic Labs announces the mother of all screen swipes
March 23, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Elliptic Labs, who I covered last year about their Touchless Gesture Recognition Engine, has just announced the latest step forward in its technology: "‘Ultra-fast Ultra-far Interaction’; split-second speed and a remarkably large field of response for touchless gesturing." According to the announcement, Elliptic Labs' "ultrasonic gesture technology has been made exponentially faster, allowing devices to precisely respond a fraction of a second after gesture commands are given." Elliptic now claims to offer technology that works up to 2 meters (7 ft) away from and 180 degrees around a device screen. According to Elliptic Labs CEO Laila Danielsen, "This technology first is an excellent...

The curious case of the developing world’s smartphone gender gap
March 2, 2015 | 10:25 am

Névtelen Waiting for new smartphone programs like Android One to bring the four billion global citizens who still don't have internet access, and put ebooks in the hands of the developing world? Well, for the female half of that four billion, you may have to wait more than a little while longer. That's according to the GSMA Connected Women Global Development Alliance program, which has just released a report on "Bridging the gender gap: Mobile access and usage in low- and middle-income countries." According to the report, "based on primary and secondary research conducted by Altai Consulting," with primary field research "conducted in...

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