Posts tagged with: News

Find out what's going on in the world of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other cool gadgets

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    It's been just about a month now since Microsoft gave us our latest look at where Windows 10 is headed, sharing news of the forthcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update during its Build 2016 keynote. The feature-packed release, formally know by codename Redstone, is set to deliver things we've already spotted in testing through Insider previews, like support for the Bash shell, Continuum beaming, an easy dark mode toggle, and the introduction of the stylus-focused Windows Ink Workspace. In making that announcement, Microsoft confirmed plans to distribute the Anniversary Update this summer, ...

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    For as different as smartphones can be, we all expect them to provide certain basics: you start with a touchscreen, add a couple cameras, and toss in a bunch of standard wireless connectivity options. For the better part of forever, that list has also included an analog 3.5mm headphone jack, making connecting headphones or external speakers a snap. But lately it's felt like the tide is turning away from the classic port, buoyed by rumors that Apple could drop the headphone jack entirely for its next iPhone, pushing wired audio output over to the digital Lightning connector. While Apple may ...

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    More than most phones, the Nextbit Robin is a handset really defined by its software, deriving from that code its ability to intelligently offload apps and media the cloud. So we were understandably excited late last month when word arrived about some forthcoming Robin software updates, especially one due to land sometime in April that would bring the phone enhancements like a significantly faster camera and optimized speaker tuning. We're fast running out of days before May, but Nextbit has finally come through as promised, announcing the start of OTA distribution today. Nextbit's release ...

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    Though official Mario, Zelda or Donkey Kong support on iOS and Android remains a pipe dream Nintendo doesn’t appear willing to turn into reality anytime soon, we’ve known for a while now the famed Japanese video game developer has big mobile expansion plans. Much bigger than just helping socially awkward individuals ask their e-friends questions they’d never dare to ask in real life with Miitomo. But as simplistic and childish that social networking app might have seemed at first for hardcore Nintendo-gaming fans in the West, it quickly became hugely popular in the company’s ...

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    It’s no secret that the US currently trails way behind countries like Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Canada, the UK and even Romania, Oman or Latvia in real-life LTE performance, also failing to beat Korea, Japan, Hong Kong or Kuwait as far as high-speed mobile network coverage goes. But now mobile app intelligence platform Apteligent and industry analyst firm STL Partners have devised a simple tool called a mobile network experience index to provide further insight into just how much America’s big four carriers suck. Based on “a huge amount of real world information”, the ...

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    For a major iOS release that was relatively light on important new features off the bat, iOS 9 received a pretty big point update in the form of 9.3, with Night Shift Mode, more 3D Touch shortcuts for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and a host of noteworthy improvements for News, Health, and CarPlay apps. But the surprisingly momentous add-ons also hauled a fair share of bugs, including a few very problematic ones that prompted an expeditious sub-point iOS 9.3.1 rollout. Certain system glitches are unfortunately still standing, which is why Apple immediately started work on iOS 9.3.2. This ...

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    HTC, in partnership with Valve, and Oculus, which is owned by Facebook and can also call Samsung a reliable ally, seem to be in a stalemate as they each try to take the lion’s share of early VR headset sales and profits. Until not long ago, the Rift was at an advantage over the Vive, thanks to a stronger pre-existing fanbase and lower price, but the score has been evened by the former’s deeper manufacturing troubles and longer shipping delays. The HTC Vive appears to be edging out the smartphone-pairing battle too, and according to the DIY experts from iFixit, it’s easier to repair ...

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    Although the global smartphone market has been under an innovation-hindering OS duopoly for several years now, which Windows Mobile no longer seems capable of pressuring, a host of smaller platforms continue to walk the fine line between complete oblivion and relative relevance. One of these is Ubuntu, developed by UK-based Canonical Ltd. on the same Linux roots as Android, and while its mainstream popularity remains paltry, high-profile hardware partners like Meizu refuse to throw in the towel. Unfortunately, the Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition is a little late to the actual availability ...

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    It’s not unusual to see major Android device manufacturers “soak test” key software updates for a few weeks before concluding all’s well and polished, and a wide-scale OTA rollout can begin. But there are also cases when these pre-release beta experiments expose critical bugs and/or a general sense of system instability requiring extra OS refinement work. That’s probably what happened with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow makeover of the Droid Turbo 2 on Verizon, which was kicked off on a small scale way back in early March, and is only now spreading to the masses. No explanation ...

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    If there’s one US-based smartphone manufacturer that can resist the global invasion of ultra-low-cost China-made Androids, it’s definitely BLU Products, the company behind such recent hits as the Energy X LTE, Vivo 5, Vivo XL, and Life One X. Well, there’s also Motorola, but technically, that’s a China-based Lenovo-owned outfit now, and its next Moto G franchise entry looks a little too high-end to be very affordable anyway. Meanwhile, before the third-gen Moto E sees daylight, the BLU Dash X2 and M2 have gone on sale on Amazon with minimal fanfare, the former likely snatching the ...

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    Microsoft has declared time and time again of late its commitment to the mobile iteration of Windows 10, but the very fact such assertions are needed while the current focus is clearly directed elsewhere suggests the platform may simply not be relevant enough to all of a sudden switch to growth next year. Yes, it’s only next year that Redmond intends to invest precious new resources in both W10M hardware and software, with the oft-rumored, practically mythical Surface Phone likely to finally break cover in April 2017, alongside a major Redstone 2 OS update centered around mobile ...

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    The entire mobile market is in a state of transition. Owning a smartphone is no longer the status symbol it once was. Smartphones are now largely commodities for folks. A phone might be a mission critical communication device, but consumers are starting to get burnt out on yearly upgrades. This puts Apple in a precarious position as a significant portion of Cupertino’s profit comes from iOS devices, 65% of the company’s sales coming directly from the iPhone. We’ve already delved into the earnings report in-depth, but the bullet points are as follows: iPhone sales down 16% iPad ...

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    Microsoft’s (timid) push to consolidate Windows as the world’s third largest mobile platform continues, with a decent amount of contemporary choices available both stateside and on the old continent for power users and extremely cash-strapped smartphone buyers. The Acer Liquid M330, first unveiled way back at IFA last fall, has just become the cheapest unlocked model sold through Redmond’s US e-store with Windows 10 Mobile pre-loaded. The Lumia 550 torch is therefore passed on, and the M330 cuts two big corners to slash $40 off the 550’s list price. The display is slightly smaller, ...

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    Instagram is definitely thinking about moving away from the color of social media sites — blue — and going light and bright. The platform has confirmed via spokesperson that a small number of its iOS users are seeing a new monochrome look to the UI. It's only a design change with no new or removed features — 60-second videos and an algorithmized feed still remain the same. But it's a stark edit that takes away the graphical blues and grays and replaces them with blacks and whites, more in line with iOS stock apps. The Activity icon, formerly a heart in a speech bubble, becomes just ...

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    April 20 was a working day for someone who had a "Motorola XT1650." And the only smoke that came up was the cooking that the Snapdragon 820 did. Yep, some Motorola phone may have been tested on Geekbench and it's put up some decent scores for the chipset running the test (single-core score around 2,300 and multi-core around 5,300). This is the first such major benchmark reading we've reported on for the device that's expected to become the 2016 Moto X. More important is the 4GB of RAM we're seeing — that's in lockstep with the spring flagships, but with a rumored June launch and ...

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    Sony's revised smartphone strategy has brought us an upper mid-ranger and a lower mid-ranger this year. We've been teased for a while about what the end of the Xperia Z line will mean for the prospective buyer. The teasing continues, but if you live in the United Kingdom, you can act upon it. Amazon.co.uk has both the Xperia X and the Xperia XA up for pre-order with delivery beginning May 20. The Xperia X, as a reminder, runs on a Snapdragon 650 and has both a five-inch full HD display and a 23-megapixel main camera. As such, it gets a pretty devastating price tag of £499.99 ($720). The ...

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    Table flipper T-Mobile's earnings are out today and, not to compete with Apple, it had better numbers to report. In fact, it gets downright boastful. Total revenues were up 10.6 percent from this quarter last year to $8.6 billion with 1 million postpaid subscribers gained — good enough for Big Magenta's seventh consecutive quarter with gains better than a million — and 807,000 prepaid adds. Those adds bring T-Mobile's base up to 65.5 million subscribers total. The company turned positive on net income with a $479 million gain. Average revenue per user for T-Mobile's postpaid division ...

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    Microsoft's interaction with mobile tech has been nothing short of uneven over the years. It found some early success with PDAs, but the rise of smartphones left the company behind. Windows Phone felt to many like a catch-up effort, but one that never quite managed to compete on the same level of Android or iOS. With Windows 10 Mobile, there was the hope that Microsoft might finally be ready to play with the big boys, but the months since the platform's launch have been anything but cause for optimism: flagship phones that failed to catch on with the public, updates that left beloved ...

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    On its face, the earnings conference call was a cordial one for Apple. But it was sure interesting listening to investors from major institutions simultaneously kowtow to CEO Tim Cook while hounding him for specific reasons as to why quarterly earnings fell for the first time since 2003. And yet, there was more behind the 13 percent drop than you know. While iPhone unit sales have dropped 16 percent to 51.2 million, iPad sales declined 19 percent to 10.25 million. Mac sales fell by 9 percent to 4 million units. We should note that the figures don't reflect products introduced this ...

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    Last time we checked in with Apple's quarterly finances, we discovered a mixed bag of fortunes: yes, Apple was bringing in more money than ever before, but its once-unstoppable growth looked like it may have finally succumbed to a changing market, as iPhone growth ground to a halt. Ever since, we've been bracing for more mixed-to-not-great news, especially as predictions looked to declining iPhone shipments. Today the company share its latest figures, and revenues, profits, and iPhone sales are all down. Quarterly revenue hit $50.6 billion, generating income of $10.5 billion. That's ...

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    Some phones languish around in the rumor-space for what feels like forever, dropping hints of their existence here and there, but failing to generate a lot of buzz and proceed to launch on a timeline where we still care about them. Then there are those phones that waste no time at all in going from early rumors, to tons of evidence, to a formal launch. Huawei's upcoming Honor V8 feels a lot more like one of those latter handsets, and we've gone from a teaser just one week back, to news about possible pricing, to spotting the phone (with pics) in a regulatory database. Now we're fleshing ...

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    It used to be that Samsung was king of the wearables market, cranking out new models faster than most of us could keep up. But lately we've really seen the company start slowing things down: last year's Gear S2 is still coasting along steadily, and sometimes it feels like Samsung's let VR's rise distract it a little from other wearable pursuits. But we've still heard whispers about where Samsung's efforts could be headed next, and today we score a major breakthrough as a leak outs a pair of upcoming wearables from the manufacturer: the second-gen Gear Fit tracker and the all-new wireless ...

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    With the era of consumer VR now upon us, as products like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive welcome users into high-quality virtual worlds the likes of which they'd previously only dreamt about, exciting new opportunities are unfolding before companies and content creators looking to tap into the burgeoning VR market. Encouraging their efforts isn't just good for users, giving them more to do with their VR hardware, but also the companies behind such devices, helping them to move more headset. That's why HTC is helping lead a team interested in funding some of these next-gen VR experiences, as ...

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    Smartwatches do so many things differently from your standard “dumb” timekeepers that it's difficult to know where to start, but there's undeniably one big thread that runs through the whole experience: personalization. From the watch style you choose, to the apps you load on it, to the watchface you turn to dozens of times throughout the day, smartwatch users have plenty of opportunities to really make their wearables their own. That customization extends to straps, but as anyone who's struggled to swap one out for another can tell you, they're not always so easy to work with. ...

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    Have you made the plunge with YouTube Red? For users willing to pay ten bucks a month, Google will turn on features like background playback, enable access to Red-exclusive content, and maybe most importantly, finally stop running all those ads that had been interrupting your viewing experience. If you're a Red convert, whether you just signed up or have been using the service since its inception, move along – this news isn't for you. But if you're still wading through the ad-sponsored YouTube of yesteryear, we've got some new content to let you know about, as Google brings a new ad ...

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