Nearly 2 out of 3 U.S. smartphone owners don’t download a single app in a given month. Isn’t this the age of the mobile app economy? It is, but most of the growth is long over at this point in the cycle. Read more »
Vodafone’s share price rose Friday on rumors of a takeover bid by AT&T. We’ve so been here before — AT&T promised back in January that it wouldn’t launch a bid for the subsequent 6 months. China Mobile is also reportedly interested in buying a stake in Vodafone. On top of that, AT&T is also reportedly considering buying Ireland’s Eircom as a way into Europe, and Vodafone itself was rumored to be considering a bid for T-Mobile US, so y’know, it’s probably worth seeing what actually happens before getting too excited. One thing that has happened, though, is that Vodafone just stumped up $96 million to take over Greek fixed-line provider Hellas Online.
As a farewell gift on his trip to retirement, noted tipster @evleaks has one more leak left to share: The Moto X+1 for Verizon. The images match up with earlier rumors and whispers of a larger Motorola handset, very likely with a higher resolution screen than the 720p display found on last year’s Moto X. Aside from the overall size bump, the speaker grilles are larger and there appear to be two of them, suggesting the possibility of stereo front-facing speakers. In keeping with what helped make the Moto X a popular phone, the successor model looks to be running a mainly stock, skin-less version of Android.
With so many little moving parts to the machine that makes iPhones, a supply issue can easily affect production schedules. Reuters says a display challenge could impact early availability of the iPhone 6. Read more »
iOS users with Brazilian accounts can no longer download the anonymous messaging app, but Google and Microsoft are reportedly not yet complying with the interim injunction. Read more »
Need a portable phone battery that isn’t bigger than your phone? Check out Charge Ninja, a low-cost credit-card sized battery with keychain cable that’s enough to get you through the rest of the day when your handset battery dies. Read more »
Two-thirds of the employees at Chapters Health System opted to pick an HP Chromebook 14 over a Windows laptop or iPad, which has made the IT department happy. There are cheaper Windows laptops coming to compete but they don’t address reasons people pick a Chromebook. Read more »
Beacon provider Estimote is getting deeper into the context business with Bluetooth-enabled stickers called Nearables that will let your smartphone know more about it’s environment and enable developers to build powerful new experiences. Read more »
According to a new report from OpenSignal, 21 percent of Android devices are running 4.4 KitKat, but those users are mostly clustered in the United States and Western Europe. Read more »
The iPhone 6 is expected to debut next month and we already know that it will support Wi-Fi calling. Voice over LTE might not be far behind as Apple is seeking experience engineers to help add VoLTE support. It could be a software update away. Read more »
Watch for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to debut next month. While waiting, take a peek at these reported benchmarks for Samsung’s new 64-bit Exynos chip expected to power the large-screened phone. Read more »
The Norwegian firm’s browser will be the default on Microsoft’s low-end Asha, Series 30+ and Series 40 phones, almost all of which will be phased out by the end of 2015. Read more »
Thanks to the HTC One M8, available in both a Windows Phone and Android edition, we can see which mobile platform is better optimized for longer battery life. Microsoft wins round one but Project Volta could change round two. Read more »
Details are sketchy but it appears Verizon is looking to band carriers together for a new global mobile app store. We’ve been down this road before with alternative app stores and it always ends the same: At a dead end. Read more »
The Android Security Modules (ASM) framework, proposed by U.S. and German researchers, would make it easier to install security modules on Android devices without the need for rooting or firmware updates. Read more »
This is not your dad’s walkie-talkie. OnBeep wants to produce beautiful wearable devices that will let consumers communicate with select colleagues without staring down at their phones Read more »
The largest retail bookseller in the United States is now in the business of selling Samsung tablets. As was announced earlier this summer, Barnes & Noble will discontinue its own line of skinned Android tablets and instead will partner with Samsung to sell a Nook-branded version of the Galaxy Tab 4, which will be called, rather uncreatively, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. This version of the seven-inch tablet will have several Nook book and music marketplaces preinstalled and it will be sold for $180 at Barnes & Noble as well as online. Barnes & Noble locations will also offer customer support for customers struggling with the jump from paper books to a fully-fledged Android tablet.
China’s massive population is an attractive target for smartphone makers but that doesn’t mean the U.S. should be ignored. ZTE’s latest effort is an unlocked $279 Android phone with beefy cameras and support for LTE networks. Read more »
Fitting in with early pics of reported dummy cases for the iPhone 6, a schematic drawing suggests the iPhone 6 camera ring could slightly protrude outward: It’s not easy to make a thin camera sensor with improved quality and lenses. Read more »
Windows laptops can surely run more apps than a Chromebook so if the devices are priced the same, people will simply choose the Microsoft option, right? Not necessarily because the experience of the two devices is surely going to be different. Read more »
The injunction orders Apple, Google and Microsoft to not only remove Secret (or a Secret client, in Microsoft’s case) from their app stores, but also to remotely wipe it from citizens’ handsets. Read more »
Michael Halbherr has stepped down as CEO of Nokia Here, the Finnish firm’s mapping and location-based services division, after just a few months in the role. He had been with Nokia for eight years and on its leadership team for three, but he only took the Here CEO spot on 1 May this year. The team is now looking for a new chief, under the temporary leadership of Core Map Group SVP Cliff Fox. The division is currently unprofitable, but is betting on success in the connected car market in particular. According to a Wednesday statement, Halbherr quit in order to “focus once again on entrepreneurial activities.”
Many media outlets have figured out that they need to focus on mobile, but for the most part their apps fail to take advantage of the smartphone’s potential, and if they aren’t careful Google will get there before they do Read more »
The Sharp Aquos smartphone with those oh-so-skinny bezels announced earlier this week in Japan is officially coming to the United States, and no surprise, it’s headed exclusively to Sprint and its prepaid subsidiaries, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. But what is a bit of a surprise is how attractively priced it is: At $240 without a contract, it represents a strong challenge to the Moto G LTE for the mid-range Android crown. It’s even cheaper on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, checking in at $150 when purchased locked from Sprint’s prepaid MVNOs. There isn’t an official release date yet, but it should be available later this fall.
Google Maps have become the default, “go to” mapping solution for mobile and web developers. But there are alternatives to Google Maps that can often deliver a mapping experience tailored to the application to provide a more engaging user experience. Read more »
An effective resolution of 414 x 736 was discovered in a file describing the home screen in the latest iOS 8 SDK beta. This implies that the iPhone 6 could be packing a screen with a 828 x 1472 or even a 1242 x 2208 resolution. Read more »
Photo spheres aren’t a type of picture you’d use on a regular basis but thanks to their immersive 360-degree imagery, they’re handy for sharing a detailed view of nearly any location on the planet. And now you can snap them on an iPhone or iPad. Read more »
ADT is expanding the way it views security. That has led it to sign a partnership with IFTTT to expand the ecosystem of devices that work with its Pulse home automation service. Read more »
All of a sudden the Android Wear market is getting a bit crowded as Asus looks to be joining LG, Samsung and Motorola in this space. How can companies differentiate their smartwatch when Google controls the software? Price is the likely suspect. Read more »
PayPal is taking up Braintree’s Venmo Touch technology, which lets developers put a one-touch purchase button directly into their apps. Read more »
The force has been lobbying handset manufacturers to include passcodes out of the box, according to a report in The Register. The Met told me it would prefer it if users set their passcodes at the point of sale. Read more »
Carrier exclusivity may have helped Apple’s iPhone back in the day but it’s not helping Amazon’s Fire Phone: The handset only accounts for 0.02 percent of web traffic on Chitika’s ad network and it appears to have stalled. Read more »
HTC is repurposing its high-quality One M8 hardware design to produce a high-end Windows Phone for Verizon’s network in the U.S. The phone is HTC’s first new Windows Phone device since 2012. Read more »
Among 48 granted Apple patents published on Tuesday is one that could easily pertain to a wearable device, such as the rumored iWatch. Patently Apple notes that U.S. patent 8,808,483, originally filed in 2010, covers a method to create a curved touch panel. No current Apple products use a curved touch display but the obvious application for one would be on a wearable device, regardless of whether it’s a smartwatch, a health-tracking fitness band or some combination of the two: Curved displays allow for a better, less clunky fit on the wrist compared to traditional, flat screens.
Knowing it has work to do yet on its network infrastructure, Sprint announced new Family Share Plans to attract customers from other carriers. New CEO, Marcelo Claure, says they’re the “best value to data-hungry consumers. Period.” Read more »
The industrial internet will use cellular. For real! That’s the take from this week’s podcast guest, who joins us after Kevin Tofel and I digest the SmartThings buy, Best Buy’s hub offering and more. Read more »
I love lighting, and thanks to the new Philips Hue tap, I finally have the ultimate in a connected lighting experience. I think the tap could be prettier and flatter though. Read more »
A 3D printer can easily set you back hundreds, if not a few thousand dollars, so wouldn’t it be nice to print things that can recoup that investment? AirEnergy 3D is one example: It’s a printable and mobile wind turbine to create electricity. Read more »
Pebble is getting some help from a few key members of the original webOS team. Read more »
LG is said to be preparing a new version of its G Watch, a short three months after the first version debuted at Google’s I/O developer conference. Read more »