Apple fanboy reviews the Nexus 5
...and explains why he couldn't stomach using the latest pure Google phone for more than 24 hours
Intelligent connected machines and services that surround us – effectively known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – will become a $309 billion business by 2020, new research from Gartner shows (via ZDNet). To use Samsung’s famous tag line for promoting mobile devices, IoT will become “the next big thing” in the years to come, as more and more devices will get Internet connectivity, smart features and some sort of awareness. The firm says that IoT devices in use will grow from 900 million units today to 26 billion units by 2020, at a significantly higher rate than smartphones, tablets and PCs, which will reach about 7.3 billion combined units by the same year. More →
For those who travel internationally, there are few things more agonizing than the wait to see how badly your wireless carrier will hose you for calls, messages and data while you were abroad. Roaming charges can’t die soon enough. T-Mobile’s latest “Uncarrier” move looks to take some of the sting out of international roaming for its subscribers by offering free international low-speed data and unlimited messaging in more than 100 countries, but an Israeli startup is looking to tackle the issue from a different angle. More →
Apple on Friday pushed out iOS 7.1 beta 2, the latest pre-release version of its popular mobile operating system. The new iOS 7.1 software is available only to developers and it follows the release of Apple’s initial iOS 7.1 beta, which was first offered to developers on November 18th. The latest available public version of iOS is still iOS 7.0.4. iOS 7.1 beta 2 is available for download beginning immediately as an over the air (OTA) update and it will be released on Apple’s developer portal shortly. The software is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2, iPad (third and fourth generations), iPad Air, iPad mini and iPhone mini with Retina display. More →
As passwords have become more annoying and less secure over the years, several of tech’s brightest minds have looked at one another and said, “Surely there must be a better way?” And although Google has typically been the most visible face in the crusade to kill the password, it looks like Microsoft will put more of its own resources into the effort as well. IDG News, via Network World, reports that Microsoft has joined the board of directors of the FIDO Alliance, an industry consortium founded in 2012 to reduce Internet services’ reliance on passwords. The alliance, which includes heavyweights such as Google, Lenovo and LG, is working on “standardizing authentication technologies will lead to better interoperability and innovations in biometrics, PINs (personal identification numbers) and secondary authentication technologies,” IDG News says.
Telephones have changed dramatically since Alexander Graham Bell spoke the first words into a telephone on March 10, 1876. Overall, they’ve improved since then, but the road wasn’t always smooth. Here’s a look back at the most important advances in telephone technology and some of the worst. More →
Fragmentation. Few words have such an immediate and severe impact on Android enthusiasts. Meanwhile, iOS fans are completely unfazed by the word. Fragmentation has been something of an issue for Android since shortly after the platform first debut. The fact of the matter is the issue is inherent to Android’s distribution model. Google releases software to the world and then it’s up to vendors and carriers to push it out to users. And since vendors tweak Android with their own enhancements and carriers have unique needs as well, releasing software updates takes time. Apple, meanwhile, releases its software updates directly to end users, cutting out the middleman and ensuring that every user out there with a compatible device has access to new software builds from day one. But is iOS impacted by fragmentation as well? More →
“There’s massive power in unifying a series of separate services.”
Right around this time three years ago, a five-letter service was born. Like most startups, it took some time to simmer… to cultivate enough respect to make its way around the wild, wild tubes that us folk refer to as the internet. In the time since, IFTTT has rapidly evolved, supporting all sorts of new services, popping out an iOS app, and creating something of a budding ecosystem with shared recipes. For those unfamiliar with IFTTT, fret not — it’s a pretty nerdy service. But here’s the thing: it exists to simplify the life of the layperson, too. More →
Slowly but surely, Google is fixing each and every minor problem with the otherwise stellar Nexus 5. According to a user on the XDA Developers forum, the Nexus 5 units that Google is currently shipping are notably revised from the initial rollout. Some of the issues that plagued the original units included noisy buttons, a protruding SIM tray and poor sound quality. Google and LG appear to have resolved a majority of these issues as customers have started to receive phones with larger microphone and speaker holes as well as sturdier buttons. Don’t take our word for it though — one Nexus 5 owner has stacked the two units on top of one another in order to exhibit the fixes. The photos can be seen below. More →
The iWatch rumor mill has grown suspiciously quiet over the past month, but the latest report might be the most exciting and substantial yet. According to C Technology, inside sources say that Apple’s smartwatch will be revealed alongside the next iPhone in October 2014. The report also states that Apple is making solid progress with its wearable prototypes, which currently feature 100 mAh batteries and the ability to charge wirelessly from up to one meter away from the charging station. As C Technology points out, the battery seems oddly small in its current state, especially considering the 315 mAh battery in the Galaxy Gear. Of course, this is only a prototype, and the battery will likely see an increase in size in the final model. That said, despite the larger battery of the Galaxy Gear, plugging the Gear into its charging cradle is a nightmare, so the wireless charging capabilities of the iWatch will be a welcome change.
An email management company revealed that 3 out of every 4 mobile devices activated by the small and medium business it tracks were iPhones or iPads, AppleInsider reports. In its 2013 edition of its mobile trends report, Intermedia said that 190,000 iOS devices were activated from January to October, or 76% of the total of almost a quarter million activations it counted. Samsung came in second place with 12% of total activations, which amounted to nearly 30,000 mobile devices, while Motorola took third place with 13,800 mobile device activations. Both Microsoft and BlackBerry activations were unimpressive, getting a cumulative 2% share. More →
If you think there have been a lot of reported “frontrunners” in the search for a new Microsoft CEO, you aren’t mistaken. First we had former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, then we had Ford CEO Alan Mulally, followed by whispers that the company might go with its own enterprise boss Satya Nadella if Mulally turned down the job. Now that Mulally is seemingly out of the running, we’ve started hearing reports that Microsoft is not quite sold on Nadella after all and might look harder for an outside candidate. More →
As Nokia prepares to pass the torch to Microsoft and exit the handset business, the struggling smartphone maker is finally gaining some momentum. Lumia smartphone shipments grew 19% on-year in Nokia’s most recent quarter, thanks largely to volume growth among Nokia’s low-end smartphones geared toward emerging markets. But things are also getting interesting elsewhere for Nokia. The company’s latest marketing push focused once again on high-quality cameras but this time around, it finally seems to be resonating with some consumers. The Lumia 1020, after all, is easily the best camera phone on the planet. Considering cameras are key to Nokia’s (and soon Microsoft’s) ability to differeniate in the crowded smartphone market, some potentially terrible news emerged for the companies on Friday: Samsung is about to set its sights on Lumia phones’ bread and butter. More →
Despite both Sony and Microsoft reporting similar new consoles sales numbers so far, AllThingsD says citing a new NPD Group report that the PlayStation 4 outsold the Xbox One in the U.S. in November – or at least it sort of did. The PS4 registered “the highest first month sales of a hardware platform on record,” according to the report, although the console was available in stores for a week longer than the Xbox One. Citing the same report, Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb tweeted that the “Xbox One was the fastest selling console in North America [in November] averaging 101,000 units sold per day,” sportively adding that “both next generation platforms are off to a great start” in a following tweet. More →