Nokia on Monday confirmed months of speculation with the unveiling of its X family of smartphones running Android. The X, X+ and XL are priced at $123, $136 and $150, respectively. Like Nokia’s low-end Asha line, the X devices come in bright colors. They borrow some of Asha’s other well-received features as well. Unlike Asha, however, the X series will not be available in the U.S.
The Android operating system, which Google touts as open, isn’t. Google imposes strict restrictions on smartphone manufacturers and app developers in its Android mobile application distribution agreement, according to excerpts of documents revealed by Ben Edelman, an associate professor at the Harvard Business School. The information was obtained from two MADAs admitted in open court.
Smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous — and so convenient that we often download apps and approve permissions without giving them much thought. Such behavior exposes the data we store on our prized devices to increasing risk. That blind trust is just what app makers count on. Android users, especially, are complacent about synchronizing apps on multiple devices.
It’s a good idea to prune an Android device periodically, for a few reasons. A mishmash of apps, some aging, have all kinds of on-device routines running that can negatively affect performance. Worse, some are continually accessing the Internet and eating into your data cap — unlimited wireless Internet on mobile devices is practically nonexistent these days.
Consumers might soon have access to cheaper, more talented smartphones that could challenge the market dominance of Android and iOS. At least that is the promise from the Tizen Association. The growing group of phone makers and application developers recently launched a partner program with 36 companies from all segments of the mobile and connected device ecosystems.
In case you hadn’t noticed while wandering the aisles of your local consumer electronics big-box retailer, there is an explosion of mobile virtual network operators hitting the marketplace. MVNOs are telcos that buy capacity from major operators like T-Mobile or AT&T, for example, and sell it on to you. Walmart and América Móvil’s Straight Talk calling product is an example.
Setting up a brand-new phone can involve numerous aggravations, but if you don’t rely on one of the majors like Yahoo and Gmail for email, one of the worst is surely the manual email server configuration. If you use a customized domain name, your Android device’s email client is likely to need this extra step. This could become an even more prevalent problem with the January U.S. launch of the Moto G smartphone.
If you’re in the majority of Android users, your smartphone or tablet isn’t protected from malware attacks. In fact, Jupiter Research reckons that a full 80 percent of smartphones are unprotected. Why is that a problem? The answer is that even if your smartphone hasn’t been affected so far, it likely will be, and that’s because of the vast sums of money motivating criminals.
We all back up our PCs, right? Okay, well, we should back up our PCs, right? Well, smartphones and tablets have become so ubiquitous that we need to back them up now too. It’s time. Important photos, videos, contacts and music are now strewn across small, easy-to-lose, easy-to-break, highly pilferable devices. Fail to back up this stuff at your peril.
Recently I wrote about some of the best ways to take, keep and share photographs with an Android smartphone. We looked at some physical aspects, like how to hold the phone, and how to zoom. This week, we’re looking at some of the tweaks you can make to squeeze out the best shots. First, build an arsenal of apps. For an investment of a few dollars, you can up your game.
It’s not all photo apps and more apps when it comes to taking photographs with an Android smartphone — there are some basics that you need to know, unique to smartphones, that have nothing to do with imaging apps. If you’re finding that you’re migrating from a dedicated digital camera and taking more photographs with your phone but are disappointed with the results, here are some pointers.
The first reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch have hit the Internet and they are generally tepid. However, "I’m not sure how anyone can give it a rating of anything until it is put through its paces over time by consumers actually using it in real-life situations," said Larry Chiagouris, a professor at Pace University. Many reviewers expressed concern over the Gear’s $300 price tag.
Google on Tuesday rolled out a feature for its recently launched Android Device Manager that lets users lock down a stolen Android device from anywhere, via the Web.
The Cyanogen free and open source Android firmware project on Wednesday announced that it had received $7 million in a Series A round of funding in April. The investment came from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. "What will change is our capabilities, our speed, and our size," wrote Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik. "I am not going to let anyone stagnate."
Aiming to capture a piece of the market that has given the Raspberry Pi such a warm reception, SolidRun on Wednesday announced a new tiny computer of its own dubbed the "CuBox-i." Available in four models with prices starting at $45, the tiny computer includes an OpenGL|ES 2.0 GPU with OpenCL 1.1 embedded profile support; and up to four i.MX6 Cortex A9 ARM processors with as much as 1.2GHz each.
Viber is an application that sits somewhere between Skype and WhatsApp, which can be used to make free calls, send text messages, photos and video messages without having to register (all phone contacts that have installed Viber are listed as Viber contacts).Initially, Viber was a mobile-only application but a few months ago, a desktop client […]
Canonical raised more than $12 million over 30 frantic days of crowdfunding its ambitious Ubuntu Edge superphone project, but it was still short some $20 million by the time the effort closed on Wednesday. The company’s target was $32 million. "We raised $12,809,906, making the Edge the world’s biggest ever fixed crowdfunding campaign," wrote Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.
There’s no question that Android is fragmented. OpenSignal has counted nearly 11,900 distinct Android devices so far this year, compared with fewer than 4,000 last year.
Spanish wireless network Telefónica recently started selling a super-cheap Linux-driven phone called the "ZTE Open" for the equivalent of around $90, which includes about $40 worth of prepay. Essentially, it’s a $50 smartphone. Aside from the bottom-end retail price, what’s unique about this smartphone is that it’s the first to use Firefox OS.
Canonical on Monday announced a $32 million campaign to crowdfund the creation of Ubuntu Edge, a brand-new smartphone that dual-boots Ubuntu phone OS and Android. Launched on Indiegogo, the month-long campaign focuses on funding a limited production run of 40,000 devices. Backers committing $600 by Tuesday morning or $830 thereafter will receive one an Ubuntu Edge device in May 2014.