Posts Tagged smartphone

Duet Bluetooth Tracker Keeps Track Of Your Android Device

Losing a smartphone can oftentimes be a disrupting experience. Aside from the monetary value of the device there’s also the concern that the data stored in the device might end up in the wrong hands. There are several ways to track down a lost smartphone such as Google’s Android Device Manager which lets you locate, ring, or wipe the data on the device. The problem with this however is that your device must have a data connection to work.

duet

Innova Technology might just have the best solution for the lost smartphone problem with its Duet bluetooth tracker. What it does is that it automatically alerts you whenever your smartphone is outside of its ten meter radius. Of course you will have to make sure that the Bluetooth feature of your device is activated.

According to the company Duet is different from other bluetooth trackers in the market since it is much stronger, offers a more comprehensive loss prevention and recovery system and comes with various other features.

Duet is a tag that has a small profile measuring only 2.8cm x 2.8cm. It can be attached to a keychain, bag, your wallet, or even your pocket. It works with any Android or iOS device. Users simply have to pair their smartphone with Duet for it to work. This Bluetooth tracker can be used to find your smartphone and vice versa. Once your smartphone gets outside the 10 meter zone you will immediately be notified by the built-in alarm of Duet. If you have difficulty in finding your smartphone just simply press a button on Duet to make your phone ring.

According to Rick Tan, managing director for Innova Technology, “We use our phones to connect, build relationships, store memories, keep track of our schedules, and so much more. In talking with our customers, it became clear that people’s emotions upon discovering they have lost their smartphone are panic, followed by worry and frustration when it can’t be found. We created the Duet to address this — the best way to minimize panic and worry is to take preventive steps to not lose your phone in the first place.”

Right now the Duet is selling at an introductory price of $19 ($17 for the first 200 buyers) over at the company website. After the introductory period the device will have a price of $59.

via theduet

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Sony Smartwatch 2 Can Now Be Customized With Latest Update

Sony has just released a software update to the Smartwatch 2 that fixes some of the bugs present and introduces new features. One of the things lacking in most smartwatch models is that users have limited options in customizing the device. Sure there may be apps that you can download but then when you look at the display it still looks the same. The latest update changes this.

sony smartwatch 2

What’s probably the most visible feature of the update is that users will now have the ability to customize the watch face. This can be done through the smartwatch or through the smartphone and can be done through a drag and drop feature.   Users can choose among the various watch face templates and simply drag the widgets that they want to display. There are various widgets to choose from which includes date, weather, calendar, Bluetooth, notifications, battery indicator and alarm among others. Since the device is open to third party developers we’re sure that more widget choices will be arriving soon.

Users will also have the ability to assign a wallpaper on the device. There are six wallpapers to choose from and they work independently from the smartphone.

The update also includes a calculator for when you want to make quick calculations. This native app functions independently from your smartphone. This means that you can compute how much grocery is in your cart without taking our smartphone out of your pocket.

The Gmail app has also been improved making synchronization between the Smartwatch 2 and a paired Android smartphone quick and easy. The Facebook app has also been improved to make it more scrollable.

The notification drawer has also been improved which now allows users to scroll through all calendar appointments and mark them from the smartwatch.

Users will also now be able to set the vibration setting for Bluetooth connections. It can now be turned on or off whenever the Bluetooth connection connects or disconnects.

The key features of this update include

  • Watchface Editor – Customize your watchface with clock styles and widgets
  • Widgets available for some native apps by Sony
  • Support for widgets and clocks from Sony and 3rd party developers
  • Support for Active Low Power Mode – app specific
  • Customized offline watchfaces and clock functionality
  • Calculator – Built-in
  • Low light – In watch mode, double tap for 30% light increase
  • Settings – Manage SmartWatch apps in SW2
  • Wallpapers – Pick one to suit your style

The Sony Smartwatch 2 was released last year and is the successor to the company’s original Smartwatch. It sports a 1.6-inch, sunlight-readable display (220 x 176-pixel TFT) and uses an ARM Cortex-M4 processor clocked at 180MHz. The device is water, dust, and scratch-resistant making it ideal for everyday use.

via sonymobile

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New details about Amazon’s smartphone customizations revealed

Amazon_Smartphone_Leak_01

With so many smartphones on the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a company to distinguish their device from others just based on a leap forward with hardware specs. More companies are turning to customizations of the operating system to enhance how users interact with a device. We already saw Motorola do this with some of the unique features they incorporated into the Moto X last year. Amazon appears to have figured out this same strategy as their forthcoming entry into the smartphone market uses a combination of sensors and customizations to Android to produce some unique interface improvements.

As we know, Amazon is planning to include several cameras in their new smartphone that will be used to track the position of a user’s head. This information will be used to generate some 3D effects. New information suggests Amazon plans to also use this information, along with other sensor data, to change the way users interact with their device. Several of these effects involve the display of information based on the tilt of the phone. For instance, in the email and calendar apps, when a user is presented with an icon with no label, the phone can be tilted to display information about what the icon does. Similarly, when viewing a location like a restaurant in the maps app, ratings information will pop up when the phone is tilted.

A couple other examples include some of Amazon’s own apps like the video store. When a user is scanning movie listings, a tilt of the device can display IMDb ratings. In the Amazon.com app, when viewing an item users can just tilt the device to scroll through images of an item.

Amazon’s technology will also be used for things like navigation and access to menus in applications. For example, instead of having to tap on buttons to expose the slide out menu for an app, users can just tilt the smartphone. Another example is in the messaging app where a tilt of the phone can be used to open the gallery of images to insert a photo. Sources say users will also be able to tilt the smartphone on an up/down axis to scroll through long pages like a web page in a browser or pages in a Kindle book.

Supposedly Amazon is also including some optical character recognition capabilities baked into the operating system that can be used for things like road signs or business cards.

Overall, it appears Amazon is working to reduce the level of tapping and sliding that users have to engage in when using their smartphones, relying more on motion. If you could just tilt your smartphone to navigate menus and access app features, would you consider that an improvement? Do you think other manufacturers will jump on board and follow Amazon’s lead in this area?

source: BGR

Come comment on this article: New details about Amazon’s smartphone customizations revealed

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Upcoming Amazon smartphone might rely heavily on tilt based controls

Amazon Smartphone

According to a new report, the upcoming Amazon smartphone could sport tilt based controls in addition to the 3D features that have been rumored for a while now. We saw the handset leaking out in pictures a few days ago which revealed quite a bit about its looks, although the body was covered by an external shell.

Speaking more of the tilt based controls, BGR claims that this could be more of a substitute to the menu button with a tilt allowing users to see more options within an app such as a movie listing or a search result. If this is all the tilting feature can do, we’re afraid it will simply be a novelty addition on the handset. It is expected of Amazon to shed more light on these aspects when the smartphone is expected to break cover in June.

This new revelation also claims that the camera on the smartphone could feature OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to quickly save and search for images of signatures or other essential data. We expect to learn more about these features and more in the coming weeks.

Via: BGR

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Transport for London looking to introduce smartphone based fare payments

With NFC on your smartphone, using it to pay for your morning commute across London may be getting closer to reality. According to a report in the Financial Times, carriers EE and Vodafone have already begun talks with Transport for London over extending their mobile wallet solutions to pay for your travel.

The initial trial is expected to be a “pay as you go” scheme using apps owned by the mobile operators that can be preloaded with money. Operators could also consider payment for tickets on a weekly or monthly basis, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The barriers at London Underground stations will work with smartphones for NFC payments, though that facility would need to be activated first. With the successful Oyster card scheme costly for TfL to run, they’re opening up to other methods of contactless payments for travellers.

Source: Financial Times



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Amazon’s smartphone reportedly full of tilt features

Because swiping is too simple and gestures have already come and gone, Amazon’s upcoming (but still unannounced) smartphone will rely heavily on tilt features to interact with its user interface, according to BGR. No new images of the UI were shown, but BGR references a number of use cases — and that traditional menu buttons aren’t even a part of apps. This … should be interesting.

Source: BGR



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BLU Studio 6.0 HD is a wallet-friendly giant

BLU Products might not be there at the very top of the smartphone makers list, but it has made a name for itself by outing affordable alternatives for your mobile needs. And here it is again with yet another entry, the BLU Studio 6.0 HD, this time for the giant phablet category.

The BLU Studio 6.0 HD might be big in size and name, but don’t expect big features that you’d find in similar-sized models from other brands. But first, let’s try to look at its good sides. The 6-inch screen might be a bit debatable but it is large enough to hit things with even the biggest finger. And at least is has a resolution of 1280×720, just enough for those HD videos. You have a rather decent amount of RAM at 1 GB, which is the usual size you’d find in mid-tier smartphones. On the back you have an 8 megapixel shooter, with a 2 megapixel camera on the front. The 3000 mAh battery will most likely keep the device running for a good while before rushing for a power outlet.

There are definitely areas where BLU cut some corners. The 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor was probably chosen to keep costs down, which might not sit well with Qualcomm believers. Internal data storage is capped at a very low 4 GB, something you probably don’t expect in a huge smartphone like this. It also runs an older Android 4.2.2 which adds to Android fragmentation. And finally, it has no support for 4G LTE, but can at least work on the fastest 3G network technologies.

Balancing out all these pros and cons, however, is the price tag, which comes at only $250. It will definitely be a bargain if you’re in the market for a large, cheap, unlocked device and wouldn’t mind putting a large slab near your ear when making or taking a phone call. The BLU Studio 6.0 HD is slated too arrive on Amazon’s catalog next month.

VIA: Android Headlines

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Super low-priced Moto E launching in the coming weeks [RUMOR]

moto-g-2

While $200 for an off-contract smartphone like the Moto G sounds reasonable to many of us, there’s been talk around the blogosphere that Motorola could be planning on taking it another tier lower with an even lower-priced handset. On Friday, we took a look at some leaked specs of such a device in Brazil, showing what appeared to be a variant of the Moto G, only with slightly less internal storage and a dual-core processor.

This same smartphone — dubbed the Motorola Moto E — has now reportedly been confirmed by the Mexican tech site Xataka. According to their sources, the phone is expected to launch in Mexico in the coming weeks at around 2,999 pesos ($230) and although global availability wasn’t mentioned, we’re expecting to see this outside of Latin American countries as well.

Moto E logo Xataka

It’s important to note how much more expensive smartphone are in countries like Mexico and Brazil (more expensive than the US), so an even lighter version of the Moto G could be another strategic move by the OEM to capture that extremely low-end market. And even though it’s “low-end,” the Moto E could offer quite a lotta bang for the buck. Internal memory, while limited,  is so said to feature a micro SD expansion slot for storage of media and (some) apps.

Don’t forget there’s also been talk of a LTE equipped Moto G launching later this year, along with a Moto X refresh this summer. Motorola’s new smartphone portfolio could exactly what they need to gain valuable market share and with new help from Lenovo, they just might get there.

[Xataka | via phoneArena]

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The battle for exclusive games has come to smartphones

It’s like Sega and Sony all over again. We don’t mean the hardware arms race (although that’s certainly happening), but how the smartphone world’s two top players are now fighting over the most popular games… and their sequels. Gaming is one of the top money-spinning app categories on smartphones and tablets and according to a WSJ report, both Apple and Google are trying to get popular games and their developers on their side. The companies promise headline placement in their respective online stores and prominent ads around the app portal, in exchange for exclusivity, or at least a lead. This was apparently the case for Plants Vs. Zombies 2 last year, where Apple got a two-month lead over the Android version — and it’s not the only one.

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Source: WSJ

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Motorola Moto E specifications leaked, to be priced similar to the Moto G

After being acquired by Google, Motorola feels like a completely different smartphone brand. Its past few releases such as the Moto X and the Moto G have been very well received. The Moto X was a high-end smartphone with a twist, while the Moto G was solidly performing a mid-range smartphone with focus on the basics. Motorola is now reportedly working on the Moto E which will be priced at $230 (unlocked off-contract).

Motorola Moto E Specifications

Motorola Moto E Leaked Specifications

According to the leaked image, the Moto E will be equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of ROM. A screen measuring 4.3 inches diagonally might feature an HD (1280 x 720 pixels) resolution, similarly to the Moto G. It will come with a 5MP primary rear-facing camera and a front-facing secondary camera as well. The battery is tipped to be a 1900 mAh one. Software wise, it will come with Android 4.4 KitKat, similar to all the Motorola smartphones that are on sale right now. Along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, connectivity also includes dual SIM card slots, a feature which has huge demand in countries like India and China.

Similar to the Moto G, this device could be heading to developing countries like China and other Indian sub-continent countries. The Motorola Moto G which was priced at ~$200 (INR 12, 499) in India turned out to be a huge hit due to its affordable price tag, inclusion of dual SIM card slots and getting the basics right. The device appears to be very slim at just 6.2mm which might also mean that it could be a more stylish version of the not-so-attractive Moto G. Not only Motorola, even Google is working on a cheaper variant of its Nexus smartphone powered by a MediaTek processor.


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IRL: Kogan’s Agora HD, a $189 smartphone made obsolete by the Moto G

Welcome to IRL, an ongoing feature where we talk about the gadgets, apps and toys we’re using in real life and take a second look at products that already got the formal review treatment.

IRL: Kogan's Agora HD, a $189 smartphone made obsolete by the Moto G

When I first came across Kogan at last year’s CES, it was for the launch of the Aussie company’s very first Agora smartphone. It was a modestly specced handset with some performance issues, but that was understandable: the going price was just $149, a sign that affordability was considered above all else. Then just nine months later, a follow-up smartphone, the Agora HD, was announced. A new 720p, 5-inch display and quad-core 1.2GHz processor were the headline features, but really there were improvements across the board. It was inevitable the price had to go up, too, but even then $189 felt like a small hop compared with the leap in hardware.

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HTC Predicts Optical Zoom Coming To Smartphones As Early As 2015

The gap between smartphones and digital cameras is soon about to get thinner as HTC predicts smartphones will be getting an optical zoom feature. An optical zoom is a true zoom feature that uses lenses to zoom in or out of a subject. It is much better than the digital zoom feature that current smartphones use which uses software to enlarge a photo and will often result in pixelatation. With optical zoom present in smartphones it will now be able to compete against digital SLRs.

optical zoom

HTC’s Symon Whitehorn says that it is possible that optical zoom will be coming to their Android smartphones within two years. In an interview with Vodafone he said that “I think we’re looking at about 18 months to two years until that lens barrier begins breaking down and it becomes much harder to justify buying a dedicated camera outside of specialist or nostalgia reasons.”

Right now smartphones are the device of choice for people who want to take photos. When someone takes a selfie it’s usually done with a smartphone since the photo can instantly be shared to any social network. When there is a party and photos need to be taken chances are a smartphone is going to be used.

One drawback to using a smartphone is that it doesn’t perform well when compared to regular cameras. Sure it is better than the point and shoot cameras but compared to digital SLR there is a huge gap in the quality of shots taken.

Symon further says that “There’s a boundary that everyone wants us to crack. As smartphones have become people’s primary camera, we expect more of them. That’s why we’ve put so much investment into the camera – because smartphone cameras take the majority of our images now. We already outperform a lot of compact point and shoot cameras, but we want to approach the performance of regular cameras. Every generation of our cameras seems to close that gap.”

For smartphones to reach the level of quality shots that can be done by a digital SLR it must work on its optical zooming feature. No amount of digital zooming will be able to match the quality of shots provided by optical zooming.

Several manufacturers have already toyed with the idea of optical zooming in smartphones however this has to be refined further. Symon believes that HTC is in a position to be an innovator in this area. He says that the company is trying to match the performance of dedicated cameras that have lenses that cost thousands of dollars. While this won’t happen in the short term period it is the direction that the company wants to pursue.

via vodafone

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AT&T GoPhone adding more data to smartphone plans

AT&T’s pre-paid GoPhone customers are in for a nice little treat: their monthly data allotments are going up, but their monthly cost is staying the same. Starting April 25th, GoPhone’s 2GB $60-a-month plan will be bumped up to 2.5GB, while the $40-for-250MB plan will double to 500MB. Additionally, those on the larger and more expensive plan will gain mobile Wi-Fi hotspot support at no additional charge. And if you happen to be wanting to buy your smartphone from Wal-Mart, GoPhone shoppers there will have the option of a $45 monthly 1GB plan.



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Motorola could soon announce an ultra thin smartphone

Motorola Leak

Motorola is heavily focused on midrange devices, with the Moto G being one of its most successful Android smartphones. It seems like the company could follow that trend if a report coming out of Brazil is anything to go by. This device will apparently feature a very slim form factor and is said to be only 6.2mm in thickness. The handset will reportedly break cover next month in Brazil with global markets expected to follow suit subsequently.

The smartphone will arrive in three different models XT1021, XT1022 which comes with support for dual SIM and XT1025 which supports dual SIM standby and digital TV on-the-go. All three variants will feature a 4.3 inch display of unknown resolution, a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, a 5-megapixel camera on the back, 4GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 1,900 mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat.

This could very likely be a midrange device with the hardware specs sheet not looking very flattering. However, devices like this have a huge market around the world, so Motorola will hope to replicate the success of the Moto G with this new offering.

Source: Tecnoblog

Via: Talk Android

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‘Easy Unlock’ feature for Chrome OS leaks, could unlock a Chromebook with a nearby smartphone

easy_unlock_chrome_os_dev_leak

Chromebooks keep getting better and better. They are a great alternative to a full laptop if you are already connected to all of Google’s offerings. And now it looks like Chrome OS, the backbone for a Chromebook, is getting an expanded layer of security. The people over at Android Police found a feature titled Easy Unlock in the Chrome OS development channel. Easy Unlock would unlock a user’s Chromebook and smartphone are within a reasonable range from one another.

The feature is not yet ready to be fully used; however, the reason for that could be since an official application is going to be released.

Would you use Easy Unlock as a way to easily access a Chromebook?

Source: Android Police

Come comment on this article: ‘Easy Unlock’ feature for Chrome OS leaks, could unlock a Chromebook with a nearby smartphone

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Philips W6618 Android Smartphone Packs A 5300mAh Battery

How long does it take before the battery of your smartphone runs out of power? Does it last the whole day or does it give out that low battery notification in the later part of the day? As well all know a smartphone is only useful if its battery is charged, once it gets drained it’s pretty much useless.

Philips W6618

Philips may have a solution to the battery problem of smartphones by coming up with the Philips W6618 Android smartphone that uses a 5300mAh battery pack.  On paper this will give consumers 1604 hours or 60 days of standby time and more than a day and a half of continuous talk time. That’s two months of standby time before you will need to recharge your device again. While the battery life will depend on how the device is being used I’m sure that with heavy usage this model can still make it through the day without needing a recharge.

Technical Specifications

  • 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display (540 x 960 pixels)
  • Dual SIM
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB ROM
  • expandable via microSD support
  • 11.6mm thick
  • 5,300 mAh battery (non-removable) Android Smartphone Packs A 5300mAh Battery

In terms of specifications the device can be considered a mid-range model with its quad core processor and one GB of RAM. Its 5-inch display has a rather low resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. This won’t be a problem though for consumers looking for a device with endurance.

Despite using a 5300mAh battery the Philips W6618 is still a compact device having a thickness of only 11.4 millimeters. It doesn’t look bulky at all.

As far as we know there isn’t any other smartphone in the market with this battery capacity. The recently announced China made Eton Thor smartphone only packs a 5000mAh battery. Even the Droid Maxx falls short using only a 3500mAh battery. The W6618 has even a larger battery than several of the popular tablet brands such as the Nexus 7 (3950mAh) or the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 (4800mAh).

The Philips W6618 has recently been released in China and costs 1,699 CNY or roughly $273. The company usually sells its devices in Asia with some select models reaching the European market. As of this writing it is still uncertain if this model will be sold outside of China.

via cnmo

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ASUS ZenFone series debuts in Southeast Asia

ASUS is finally bringing its new ZenFone smartphone series to the market, but it isn’t doing it first in primary regions. These Intel-powered devices are first landing on the shelves of stores and retailers in Southeast Asia, specifically in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

It isn’t uncommon for ASUS to launch budget devices with sometimes unremarkable hardware. And in that vein, the three members of the brand new ZenFone family, unveiled at CES early this year, are also quite nondescript. What makes them notable and interesting, however, is that they are all powered by a processor you usually don’t find inside a smartphone: an Intel Atom CPU. Intel has long been coveting a piece of the smartphone market but success has continually evaded its grasp. Though its Atom mobile processor has indeed been seen in both Android and Windows 8 tablets of late, the promise of an Intel-toting commercial smartphone has rarely been fulfilled.

That said, the ASUS ZenFone smartphones, as expected, occupy the lower ranges of the smartphone ladder. The 4-inch ZenFone 4, for example, only runs on a 1.2 GHz Z2520 Atom chip with 1 GB of RAM and resolution of 800×480. Both the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 have a faster 2 GHz Z2580 and actually both sport the same 1280×8720 screen resolution, despite having different screen sizes. All three will be running ASUS’ brand new ZenUI custom Android interface. But really, the highlight of these devices is the Intel processor, at least for those in the mobile tech world who will be eagerly awaiting reports of its performance, power consumption, and heat dissipation, in terms of a smartphone.

Of course, there is no denying that the price tags are quite tempting. In Singapore, the ZenFone 5 will debut next month with a price tag of 249 SGD, roughly $198, though no pricing or date for the ZenFone 4 and 6 have been given yet. While availability in Indonesia is still unclear, the prices already run thus: the ZenFone 4 will sell for 1,0990,000 IDR ($96), the ZenFone 5 for 2,099,000 IDR ($184), and even the most expensive ZenFone 6 only has a price tag of 3,099,000 IDR ($270). Unfortunately, ASUS has not yet disclosed market plans in either the US or Europe, which would definitely give these Intel smarpthone a very thorough testing.

VIA: CNET

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Smartphone “Kill Switch” Gains Ground As Major Companies Support It

A new program called the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” is gaining ground as Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, as well as the five major US carriers have pledged their support to it. What this program does is it basically allows a “kill switch” feature to be included in a smartphone allowing the owner to activate it if the device gets stolen or lost. This protects the sensitive data that may be stored in the device and makes it useless to sell in the black market.

smartphnoe theft

As early as July 2015 all smartphone models sold in the United States by the signatories will have a pre-loaded or downloadable anti-theft tool that will be offered at no cost to the consumer.

The anti-theft tool will have the following capabilities

  • Ability to remotely wipe a user’s data which include photos, contacts, emails, personal info, etc. once the device gets lost or stolen
  • Make the smartphone inoperable to unauthorized users. This means that the device will be locked and its features cannot be used except those that are authorized by the FCC such as calls to 911, or emergency numbers programmed by the authorized user.
  • Prevent reactivation of the device without the authorized user’s consent.
  • Make the smartphone operable again once recovered by the authorized user and restore the data that was previously wiped.

Steve Largent, President and CEO, CTIA, said that “We appreciate the commitment made by these companies to protect wireless users in the event their smartphones are lost or stolen. This flexibility provides consumers with access to the best features and apps that fit their unique needs while protecting their smartphones and the valuable information they contain. At the same time, it’s important different technologies are available so that a ‘trap door’ isn’t created that could be exploited by hackers and criminals. By working together with policymakers, law enforcement and consumers, we will deter theft and protect users’ personal information on smartphones.”

This latest development is a reversal to the previous stance of the wireless carriers. The carriers at first resisted this idea saying that hackers may find a way to exploit the “kill switch” feature and may use it against the owner of the device.

The mounting pressure from several politicians who have already formulated laws on a state level requiring a remote shutdown feature may have swayed the decision of the wireless carriers.

Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson said that “We got the kill switch technology solution we wanted to protect Illinois consumers. The wireless industry has agreed to provide a free preloaded or downloadable anti-theft application for smartphones to help protect owners if their phones are stolen. This tool would allow smartphone owners to remotely wipe their personal data and remotely shut down a stolen phone so it is not valuable to thieves. Today’s announcement is a significant step to provide additional protections to Illinois consumers.”

Rhode Island State Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio said that “I am grateful to the participating carriers, device manufacturers and operating system companies for voluntarily coming to this decision to improve public safety. This is a move which is good for consumers and good for business, in my opinion. It gives consumers peace of mind and protects them from the threat of having their personal information exposed. The ability to make the system inoperable also eliminates much of the incentive for theft in the first place.”

The “kill switch” feature is seen as a solution to the growing smartphone theft problem in the U.S. today. According to the FCC one in every three robberies in the U.S. involves phones. Lost mobile devices amounted to a $30 billion loss to consumers in 2012 alone.

via ctia

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The Amazon smartphone lives, leaked photos show multiple cameras on the front Face

amazon smartphoneRumours surrounding a possible Amazon smartphone have until recently just been a pipe dream. Fortunately though, Amazon looks like its almost ready to take on the smartphone market with rumours starting to hot up again, this week culminating in a set of leaked photos of a device that is said to be Amazon’s new smartphone. You’ll notice that there are multiple cameras around the edge of the camera, which are said to be used to track eye and head movement to create a dynamic, 3D user interface on the device.

Amazon smartphoneThis is definitely a big gamble for Amazon seeing as nobody else on the market currently has a 3D display, though that may also work in its favour as a niche product. Other rumoured specifications for the device include a 4.7-inch 720p display, a unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB RAM and a 13MP rear camera. The device pictured here is said to be announced in June and released in July, which will then be followed by a smartphone with lower hardware specifications and like Amazon’s other devices, both these smartphones will likely run a heavily skinned and forked version of Android.

amazon smartphoneWith all the heavy casing around the device, it’s hard to make out exactly what the Amazon smartphone might actually look like, but it does remind me of a Nokia Lumia. What do you think about the leaked pictures of the Amazon smartphone? Would you considering getting one if, or when, it is released? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source: BGR via Phandroid


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Apple, Samsung and others to adopt anti-theft smartphone kill switch

Apple and Samsung are duking it out in court yet again, but there’s at least one thing they (and a host of their smartphone making rivals) agree on: users shouldn’t be helpless when their phones are stolen. That’s why, starting in July 2015, all of the smartphones those companies sell in the United States will come with an anti-theft tool meant to help keep your data out of the wrong hands. The full list of backers includes the usual heavyweights: besides Apple and Samsung, there’s Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, along with the country’s biggest wireless carriers. Those parties in total represent a tremendous chunk of the American wireless industry, so your next (or next next) smartphone will almost certainly let you stick it to the sticky-fingered.

And what, pray tell, would such tools do? According to the CTIA, users will be able to remotely wipe and restore their devices (say, from a cloud backup), and prevent them from being reactivated or used by unsavory types. That seemingly simple move wouldn’t just save us all anguish, it could save us a collective total of $2.5 billion a year in replacement costs and insurance fees. It sure sounds like a win for consumers, but some — like Senator Mark Leno, who sponsored a bill to create a kill-switch for connected gadgets in the Golden State — think such tools should be on by default rather than requiring users to opt-in. He’s probably on to something, but at least all these companies have a few months to iron out the details.

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Source: CTIA

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Apple, Samsung and more to adopt anti-theft smartphone kill switch

Apple and Samsung are duking it out in court yet again, but there’s at least one thing they (and a host of their smartphone making rivals) agree on: users shouldn’t be helpless when their phones are stolen. That’s why, starting in July 2015, all of the smartphones those companies sell in the United States will come with an anti-theft tool meant to help keep your data out of the wrong hands. The full list of backers includes the usual heavyweights: besides Apple and Samsung, there’s Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, along with the country’s biggest wireless carriers. Those parties in total represent a tremendous chunk of the American wireless industry, so your next (or next next) smartphone will almost certainly let you stick it to the sticky-fingered.

And what, pray tell, would such tools do? According to the CTIA, users will be able to remotely wipe and restore their devices (say, from a cloud backup), and prevent them from being reactivated or used by unsavory types. That seemingly simple move wouldn’t just save us all anguish, it could save us a collective total of $2.5 billion a year in replacement costs and insurance fees. It sure sounds like a win for consumers, but some — like Senator Mark Leno, who sponsored a bill to create a kill-switch for connected gadgets in the Golden State — think such tools should be on by default rather than requiring users to opt-in. He’s probably on to something, but at least all these companies have a few months to iron out the details.

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Source: CTIA

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Google’s Gmail makes access to your smartphone’s photos much easier

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Google has announced that they are rolling out support in the Gmail web client for users to access all of the photos from their smartphone when composing new messages. To take advantage of the new features, users do have to have the Auto Backup feature for photos enabled on their Android powered phones. When composing a new email message, users can click on the Insert Photo button to be taken to a new dialog. In the past users were given the option of uploading an image from their computer or pasting the URL for a photo. The new dialog box adds tabs for Photos and Albums stored on a user’s account via the Auto Backup.

In addition to easily inserting an image backed up from their smartphone, users can insert an entire album, useful if one has gone through the effort to organize images into albums. Google also says images can be resized in the compose window using dragging handles.

The update will start rolling out today.

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source: Official Gmail Blog

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Amazon Smartphone Photos Leaks Out

There’s a lot of talk lately that Amazon will soon be releasing its own smartphone. This has been going on for several months now and in fact it was previously believed that the online retail giant will team up with HTC to come up with a smartphone however this hasn’t materialized.

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The latest news coming from several media outlets is that Amazon is about to officially reveal its own smartphone. The company’s first ever flagship model was even spotted in a few leaked photos. The device has a protective shell covering it so its exact design is yet unknown however we are able to see some of its features already.

What’s probably the most interesting feature of this device is that it has 5 front facing cameras. Previously we learned that this smartphone will have a 3D functionality without the user needing to wear glasses. One front facing camera will be used for video calls or snapping selfie photos while the remaining four cameras (which is said to be low-power infrared cameras) located on the four corners of the device will take charge of the glasses-free, head-tracking 3D effect.

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He extra cameras will be able to track the face and eyes of the user in relation to the screen of the device thus allowing it to make automatic adjustment in on-screen elements. This allows the device to provide a 3D experience without the need for special glasses. This is a similar solution implemented in the Nintendo 3DS as well as that of the 2011 HTC Evo 3D.

Since the 3D feature of this device will be the main feature that differentiates it from the other smartphone models in the market, Amazon is making sure to use this technology in most of the areas of the device. In the lock screen for example, users will be greeted with wallpaper that changes its perspective as the user shifts viewing angles.

Another use of the 3D feature is that the company is said to incorporate it across several Amazon stores. This means that customers will be able to see a three dimensional image of a product instead of just a 2D image.

As far as specifications of the Amazon smartphone goes it is reportedly going to sport a 4.7-inch 720p display, use a Qualcomm Snapdragon  of unknown build,  come with 2GB RAM, and use a forked verison of Android called Fire OS.

The company is also developing a  second smartphone with slightly lower specifications

via bgr

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First Photos of Amazon 3D Smartphone Emerge, May Launch Alongside Low-End Model

First Photos of Amazon 3D Smartphone Emerge, May Launch Alongside Low-End Model

Speculation of an Amazon smartphone is nearly as old as time itself. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it seems nearly every year that rumblings suggesting the online retailer is planning to launch a phone are widely reported but never pan out. This time may be different, however; if information and snapshots obtained by BGR proves accurate, Amazon may finally look to grab a slice of the smartphone market this summer.

According to the article, Amazon has a low-end and premium handset in development. The premium model is pictured, but its design is concealed by a security cover.

The high-end device is more interesting by far. BGR sources were able to corroborate rumors of a 3D interface, confirming the presence of four front-facing infrared sensors that track the retinas of users’s eye and software that works to change the perspective of on-screen elements. The effect is like a 3D hologram without the need for glasses or parallax.

The report said every aspect of the phone’s UI will leverage the unique hardware. Backgrounds on the lock screen will shift perspective, for instance, and applications icons will move in all directions. A customized version of the Amazon Store will include 3D images, allowing users to view products at different angles.

Several preloaded apps will support 3D, including a maps application, but Amazon is apparently working with select developers to have third-party support at launch.

In terms of hardware, the premium smartphone is no slouch. It reportedly sports a 4.7-inch, 720p display and packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear camera.

The entry-level handset will launch after the high-end model and potentially lack 3D support.

No word on pricing or availability, but the report said the low-end model would be aggressively priced. As far as a launch windows, Amazon may intend to unveil the smartphone within  3-6 months. 

Are you bullish on Amazon’s 3D, readers, or is it just another gimmick?

Via: BGR

First Photos of Amazon 3D Smartphone Emerge, May Launch Alongside Low-End Model is a post from: Droid Life

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Report says Amazon will reveal its smartphone in June

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Everyone is waiting for Amazon to finally release its smartphone, Project Aria. As recent as last month, there were reports that the device is coming this year. And now a report out of The Wall Street Journal says that Amazon’s smartphone will be revealed in June. And shortly after in September, it will be ready for consumers. It has been reported that Amazon has let developers in San Francisco and its hometown Seattle test prototypes over the course of the last few weeks.

The long-rumored 3D content feature for the Amazon smartphone has also made an appearance in this report. This would allow for users to view 3D content without the need for special glasses, similar to what Nintendo does with its 3DS handheld gaming system. This feature would be a huge difference maker from any competition.

For Amazon to be successful with its smartphone, having one of the world’s most coveted online storefronts doesn’t hurt. After announcing Fire TV last week, Amazon’s set-top box has already become the current best-selling media streamer on the site.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Report: Amazon phone to launch in September

CNBC is reporting that Amazon does indeed have a smartphone lined up for launch, and will be announcing it this Summer. Via Twitter, they note the device will be announced in June, well ahead of a September release. Further details suggest 3D aspirations, which is something we’ve heard before from Amazon.


According to CNBC, the screen will support 3D images without the need for special glasses or other trickery. They do not note the size of the screen, nor do they mention resolution. A link to CNBC’s page only gives a placeholder for an article, and no content in tow.

News of an amazon smartphone doesn’t surprise us, as we’ve heard it before in one way or another. First it was three seperate devices, then a phone that could alter screen orientation or scan objects for purchase. Wild rumors abound, but we’re still left without an Amazon smartphone.

We’re not told if it’s Kindle branded, what the price will/could be, or if it’s only being sold to Prime members. If so, it would likely have to be unlocked, which could cut out the likes of Verizon and Sprint. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has been showing the device off in San Francisco and Seattle of late. They also back up earlier claims of four cameras to track your eye movement, and that the 3D screen will make images appear as holograms.

It sounds far too ambitious to be Amazon, so we’ll temper our enthusiasm for an official launch. We’re also concerned about pricing for such a robust device, with 3D screens and retina tracking. Amazon s keen on offering low-cost devices, and what’s being described is likely nothing close to that.

Source: CNBC, The Wall Street Journal

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Amazon will reportedly ship a 3D-based smartphone in September

The success of Amazon’s Kindle line and the Fire TV may just have them finaly building a smartphone — and if rumors are true, it will have a 3D-style screen. According to the Wall Street Journal, folks have been briefed by Amazon about the upcoming smartphone. They’re calling it part of a larger move to get into the hardware side of the business.

Supposedly developers in Seattle — where Amazon is based — and San Francisco have had demos of versions of this new Amazon phone, which is reportedly to be announced by the end of June. One of the things to set this apart from the field of other phones is the screen. Sources tell the WSJ that the phone will display a sort of 3D imagery without the need of special eyewear.

Of course, Amazon has declined to comment.

We know you guys and gals won’t, so let us know if you would be interested in something like this.

Source: WSJ



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Amazon to launch its smartphone in June?

Amazon Phone

We’ve heard about Amazon’s plans to launch a smartphone from several months now. One rumor even suggested that it would team up with HTC to bring this smartphone to the market, but that didn’t materialize. A new report has now claimed that the online retailer plans to launch its new smartphone in June this year, with units starting to ship out by September. The rumored 3D content feature is said to be available with this handset.

It is believed that Amazon has provided test prototype units to developers in Seattle and San Francisco, which confirms the existence of this product. However, we don’t have access to live images or pictures at the moment, so take this with a grain of salt until then.

Considering the massive popularity of Amazon’s recently launched Fire TV console, we can already predict the kind of demand its smartphone would see, assuming that the pricing remains minimal. We will hope to stumble across more leaks of this mystery smartphone in the coming days.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Via: The Verge

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Alleged camera shots of the OnePlus One surface

OnePlus One

The OnePlus One smartphone is set for an unveiling on the 23rd of April. And while there’s still some time left for the launch, we now have a glimpse of what the camera sensor would be like thanks to a few sample shots being posted online. The makers of the smartphone recently handed out three units of the smartphone to winners of its photo contest.

However, there was a caveat. The smartphone given to them could only run the camera app and nothing else, so as to keep the aura of secrecy intact. And one of the contest winners decided to capture some images from this sensor and post them online on a Chinese forum.

And from the results, it’s clear that the smartphone will surely have no problems in the camera department. Of course, it won’t replace your DSLRs or other professional equipment, but the images look pretty crisp and detailed for a 13-megapixel sensor. Other aspects of the camera are not known yet, but we only have to wait less than two weeks to get all the info we need on this device.

The OnePlus One is also expected to feature a 5.5 inch 1080p display, a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3GB of RAM and an Android 4.4 based CyanogenMod 11 ROM.

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Source: myDrivers

Via: Phone Arena

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Oppo R1 visits the FCC with support for American network bands

Oppo R1

The Oppo R1 was officially launched in December last year as a China only midrange offering. The smartphone has now made its way to the FCC for certification. This new listing reveals support for LTE and also comes with support for American network bands, hinting strongly at an American launch.

While GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile are unlikely to offer this new smartphone on contract, the R1 will most likely be available unlocked, thus giving users the liberty to pick their favorite carrier.

Even though the smartphone features midrange hardware, its pricing could be crucial in convincing potential buyers of its worth. The handset features a 5 inch 720p IPS display, a 1.3 GHz quad core MediaTek chipset, an 8-megapixel camera on the back, 16GB of storage, 2GB of RAM and the Android 4.2.2 based Color OS ROM.

Since this is merely an FCC listing at this point, there’s no word on availability or pricing. But considering Oppo’s history with midrange devices, we expect the smartphone to cost below $300 at launch.

Source: Engadget

Via: Phone Arena

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