Friday, September 19, 2014

Move Over iPhone 6, Android One Is A More Serious Threat (In The Low-Cost Market)

When it comes to smartphone operating systems there are really only two big names, Android and iOS (but there is a company that rents them all). I mean, there are others, but they have yet to hit the popularity and esteem of these two. One such operating system is that of Windows Phone. While Windows Phones aren't necessarily bad devices, they simply have had a rough time surpassing Android and iOS devices. Unfortunately for Windows Phone things don't look to be getting any easier. Even though Apple has released the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus its Android that Windows Phone should really be fearing.

Google's Android One project could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Windows Phone, making sure that these devices never become a serious threat to the smartphone market. Apple's newest devices are high-end phones with high-end prices, as usual. The iPhone 6 comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB varieties that run $199, $299 and $399, respectively. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with the same three versions with $299, $399 and $499 price tags. 

These numbers make Microsoft extremely happy as the company as all but given up on high-end smartphones. As a result, Microsoft is starting to target consumers that are a little more careful with their money and ones who aren't necessarily willing to for over that kind of cash for a smartphone. The flagship of this new business model is the company's Lumia 830 Windows Phone which comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 5" screen. 

Corporate Vice President of Mobile Device Sales at Microsoft Chris Weber was quoted recently at the IFA Electronics Show in Berlin stating that the new marketing strategy for Windows Phone would be pricing. "We're going to challenge Apple and Samsung and expose the premium they are charging for a phone," Weber stated. 

That's the precise reason Microsoft should be worried about Android One. Android One is a project from Google that is designed to reduce the cost of Android phones. The company's target is the developing world, where Nokia used to have a very large presence and where Microsoft is hoping to use the Nokia name to grab a market share with low-cost Windows Phones. 

Google, on the other hand, is making it very easy for phone manufacturers to produce low-cost phones that will run stock Android without any modifications. To make matters worse for Microsoft, Google has already lined up Acer, Alcatel OneTouch, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo along with chipmaker Qualcomm. Android One will launch first in India and then make its way to Indonesia, the Philippines and other South Asian countries by the end of this year. 

Google currently owns nearly 80% of the world's smartphone market. The biggest of these new markets are in developing countries, which is where Windows Phone needs to increase its profits. However, with Android One on the prowl it's unlikely that Microsoft will be able to make a dent in the market. While everyone is gawking at the new iPhones from Apple, Microsoft will be sweating bullets over Google's low-cost Android One phones.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Motorola Goes Crazy, Possibly Launching 8 New Smartphones Within Next 4 Months

Motorola has been popping up in the news left and right lately, but none of that news has been as exciting as the newest announcement from the mobile phone company. According to a recent report from TKTechNews, Motorola is planning on making up for its relatively quiet first half of the year by prepping as many as eight different smartphones all set to launch in the second half of this year. Yeah, you read that right, EIGHT different smartphones.

Phones like the Moto S and Moto X Play are poised to join the familiar Moto X+1 and Moto G but the real big news is that the company could be reviving the formerly popular Droid line with a potential three new Droid phones. If you are an avid follower of the mobile industry then you have probably already heard that Motorola should be releasing new versions of the Moto X and Moto G sometime around September 4. Outside of these two confirmations, everything else is rumor and hearsay, which is where things get tricky.

One model that recently started circling the rumor mill is code named "Shamu" and was tied to some talk regarding Nexus. However, this device could ultimately come out under the Moto S name when, or if, it ever surfaces for real. This shouldn't deter you from hoping for a Motorola Nexus, as that is always a possibility. In addition to that, the Moto X Play could also come out as a mini version of the Moto S.

Even more interesting is the fact that the Droid series of smartphones may no longer be exclusive to Verizon. An anonymous source has indicated that AT&T could be launching their very own branded versions of the handsets. Regardless of carrier, it is advisable for mobile users be on the lookout for a refreshed Droid and Droid Maxx in addition to a Droid Turbo, all set to come out this year. Side note: If you are a Star Wars fan then you will be pleased to know that one of these devices may be offered in conjunction with an upcoming Star Wars promotion, which is pretty exciting news if you ask me.

This is definitely an interesting report, amplified by the fact that we are already well into the second half of the year, meaning there isn't much time left for these eight new Motorola devices to start coming out for real. The specific eight devices that are rumored to be coming out are the Droid, Droid Maxx, Droid Turbo, Moto X+1, a successor to the Moto G, Moto S, Moto X Play and Motorola Nexus. While all these choices may seem like a good idea and a good way to boost sales for Motorola, this could have the opposite effect. Let me explain with an analogy I got from learning improvisational comedy: If I ask you to pick your favorite ice cream, it may take you a while to choose just one, but if I tell you to pick your favorite out of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla, your choice becomes easier and your response faster. Basically what I'm saying is sometimes less is more.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One Phone, Two OS choices Android or Windows

HTC and Microsoft are debuting the HTC One (M8) for Windows, making it the first time a device is offered on multiple operating systems – Android and Windows.

The phone comes with HTC BlinkFeed, HTC BoomSound, Duo Camera with UltraPixel technology, a 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera and support for the HTC Dot View case. 
Other specs include Windows Phone 8.1 Update, which incorporates a host of meaningful innovations including Cortana, Action Center, Apps Corner, and Live Tiles.



Cortana is Windows’ personal digital assistant, makes her HTC debut in this phone. Cortana is adept at search and setting calendar appointments. Cortana also offers the ability to warn you when it’s time to leave for your next appointment or remind you to pick up toilet paper and bread on the way home.

The HTC One (M8) for Windows is also covered by HTC Advantage, which provides the industry’s only free cracked screen replacement.



The HTC One (M8) for Windows is available only through Verizon Wireless.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

All Windows Devices Will Be Running On The Same Software Soon

There are so many different versions of the Windows operating system for all the different devices out there, and it is really confusing and sometimes even frustrating. Microsoft realizes that they may have made a 'booboo', so they are planning on fixing it. Pretty soon you won't have to worry about all of the different versions of Windows on all of your devices because they will all be running on the exact same one.

CEO Satya Nadella told analysts this big news during the company's quarterly earnings call this past Tuesday. It seems like a way better idea considering that all of the different versions of Windows out there all use the exact same code. One of the executives even came right out and said that there were too many different versions of Windows out there. All signs have been pointing in this direction for a while, but this is the first time that there was an official statement about it. They are finally going to turn the next version of Windows into a single converged operating system that will work on all platforms and screen sizes.

The CEO also said that all the work will be done in the next year. This puts the big change on schedule with the introduction of Windows 9 which is supposed to come out in sometime in 2015. This means that by the end of next year all of the Windows phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and even the Xbox will all be running on the same system. All of the huge differences between the regular Windows OS and the ones on Windows phones won't exist anymore. The only difference between each device's operating system is going to be the size of the screen it's running on.

There will, however, still be different ways that the software will be packaged and marketed. There will still be the basic and Pro versions of Windows and there will still be special modifications for company owners and things like that. But either way, all of the software will be able to run the same apps, which is a big deal to Microsoft because they have already tried to do the whole Universal Windows App thing.

There are still a few questions that remain unanswered. We don't know how it will work on the Xbox, and we don't know if Windows Phones will have a desktop. The truth is that they don't even know yet, but there is a huge team of engineers working on figuring all of that out right now.

This will be the first time that a major platform creator has unified its operating system across all of their devices. Exciting stuff!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

How To Maximize Your Battery Life

So you are in a hurry, rush out the door, and forgot to grab your phone charger, laptop charger or car charger on the way out to a meeting; sadly there is no way to stop battery life from draining, but there is a lot of things you can do to slow it down so you can continue your day stress free.

So what drains your battery the most? In order to maximize your battery life, it's important to first understand what is the source of the major life-sucker of your laptop and/or phone. A lot of the times it is coming straight from your graphics, brightness settings and programs that are still running. Keep in mind that add-on devices on laptops; like flash drives, USB mice and PC cards are known to drain your battery life very quickly.

One tip is to change your power plan settings on your device. Whether it's your cellphone or laptop, turning down the brightness on your screen and closing out of apps and programs that are not in use can save you a ton of battery time. Adjust your devices LCD screen brightness. You already know that the brightness of your screen takes up a lot of power on your battery percentage, so the quickest way to save your battery for a while is to set your screen to the lowest possible setting. Next you want to take it a step further and try to find a section where Advanced Power Plan settings are available to change. Make sure to change anything that may lower battery life. For laptops, use the low power mode, the system cooling policy setting allows you to change whether the laptop will rely on fans for cooling down, or slow the processor down when the temperature gets too hot. Your computers performance might have a slight change in how fast it responds, but your battery will stay with you for a little longer.

For laptops, using hibernate mode instead of sleep mode allows your laptop to completely use zero power. So if you are taking a break, make sure to set your laptop in hibernate mode instead of sleep to reduce the risk of a dead battery when you return. Laptop batteries are always going to slowly lose their ability to charge as the years pass by, but when your laptop is constantly overheating your battery life is decreasing twice as fast. Make sure to never run your laptop in a hot environment for an extended period of time.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apple's iWatch Rumored To Have Round Face, But Should You Even Care About Wearables Anymore?

I'm a firm believer in "Don't knock it until you try it". The way that technology continues to grow and progress is so alarming that it's almost scary. I feel there is a shift happening right now. Some of us are oblivious to it. Others may know exactly what I'm talking about. New technologies are popping up left and right it seems. The biggest "trend", as some may call it right now, has got to be the wearables. There are so many of them popping up that I'm sure many of us have seen them somewhere. Google Glass was one of the main wearables that caught the attention of many people. After the "smart glass", we saw a lot of the smartwatches coming into the spotlight. Just about every large consumer tech company is creating their own wearable. Samsung has advertised their Galaxy Gear well enough that everyone should know about. Then there is Apple.

Apple is, essentially, the top dog in terms of overall consumer popularity and usage. They know this as well. They're far from oblivious. I can't tell if they've made the conscious effort to hold off on releasing their own version of the smartwatch. I suppose it wouldn't be too farfetched to say that Apple's iWatch is just fashionably late, but then again, it may be a business strategy.

Apple has had time to look at the competition. They've been planning and observing. Because of this they've been able to see the crowd response. They've looked at how the customers are reacting to the design of these smartwatches. Most of the smartwatches out there (including the Galaxy Gear) have a square face. This is where Apple's tardiness may have benefited them. Again, their absence in the smartwatch field is up to interpretation from anyone and everyone, so I could be wrong with my assumptions. Having said that, I personally think that this was their plan. The newest rumor spreading over the internet isn't regarding the release date or price. The rumor is actually talking about the design. Instead of the ever-popular square face, Apple's new iWatch is rumored to have a round face design. This could be the entire reasoning behind the whole "year late to the party" thing. Design does play a big role in this type of technology, especially since it can be viewed as a fashion statement.

Even though Apple may be the company to pull the wearable out of the grave, I still feel that the wearable is on its way out. It's not become popular enough to warrant any real purchase. There are usually certain stipulations involving these gadgets. They normally have to be coupled with some other type of mobile device, i.e. your cell phone. The smartwatches out now aren't designed to stand alone. If Apple's design team is able to make something that can stand alone and doesn't need to be tethered to a phone, they may just cause the wearable market to thrive.

If Apple isn't able to keep the wearable market alive with their iWatch, then I feel it's safe to say that the wearable market is a dead end. They've had the time to analyze the reception of the new devices and are able to develop theirs with that reception in mind. Here's hoping that the iWatch can make the change, but if Apple can't do it, then it would be my suggestion to the rest of the consumer tech companies to throw in the towel.

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Source.

This Security App Will Email You Pictures Of Who Stole Your Phone

This past Wednesday, Lookout added some new features to their mobile security app. These are features that you won't find on most other mobile security apps. With Lookout, you can now protect yourself from malware and spyware, and with the newest version of the app you can even protect yourself against theft. Now, the app will send theft alerts just minutes after it detects suspicious activities.

That moment when you realize you haven't checked your phone in a bit and you decide to grab it from your pocket just to find out that it isn't there is one of the most terrifying experiences anyone can have. Especially if your phone is a really expensive one that would cost a lot to replace or if you have a lot of personal information on it. The goal for Lookout with their new features is to help put your mind a little more at ease in those dark times of fear and desperation.

The way it works is pretty awesome. You can set up a custom list of actions that will trigger alerts. For example, you could make it so that your phone triggers an alert when someone removes the SIM card, enables airplane mode, turns the phone off, or if someone enters the wrong passcode.

When one of these things happens, it triggers an alert. When an alert is triggered, your phone will immediately snap a picture with its front facing camera and will record the exact location of the device. Once the picture has been taken and the location has been recorded, it will send you an email with a picture of whoever has your phone and give you its location so that you can go track down your stuff and beat someone up for stealing your phone. Or, you know... just ask nicely to have it back or call the cops. The email it sends will also give you the resources you need to file a police report on the spot if you want.

The app itself is free for either Android or iOS. To get the theft alert feature you'll need a subscription that costs $3 a month or $30 a year. It seems like a very small price to pay for any business travelers out there who find themselves in different places and situations more often than most people. If you already have the app, you can use the theft alert feature for free until September.

Theft and violence have been growing problems that surround smartphones and smartphone users recently. It has become such an issue that some states are even passing new laws to combat those issues. In California manufacturers are even requiredto give customers a way to remotely disable their phones and wipe them clean in order to prevent as much damage as possible.

This isn't the 1950's, and crime seems to be affecting everyone these days. You might as well protect yourself with one of the coolest security apps out right now.

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