In case you thought your smartphone might be a last bastion of safety for your private information, it appears that the NSA has complete and total access to data on devices from each of the leading manufacturers. Spiegel reports “that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.” That information includes contact lists, SMS messages, notes and any location data stored on the phone. More →
In an unfortunate case of déjà vu, an iPhone production facility in China has been caught committing multiple legal and ethical violations ahead of the upcoming iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch. Jabil Circuit is the U.S.-owned manufacturer that is said to be producing some iPhone 5C inventory in a factory located in Wuxi, China, and China Labor Watch has uncovered dozens of infringements during its investigation of the facility. More →
The quality of images captured with smartphone cameras improves dramatically with each new generation of devices. In fact, we’re getting to the point where photos taken with top of the line smartphone cameras like the Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5, and pictures captured by basic dedicated point-and-shoot cameras are nearly indistinguishable. But right now there’s only so much that camera sensor and optics makers can do in the small amount of space available in today’s razor-thin smartphones. What if that limitation was somehow eliminated entirely, however, and almost any iPhone or Android smartphone currently on the market could be instantly transformed into a top-notch Cyber-shot camera? With Sony’s new QX10 and QX100 smartphone accessories, the company has achieved just that. More →
It appears that Apple’s growth in the American smartphone market cannot be stopped. Even amid the rise of Android and Windows Phone in emerging markets, Apple has still found a way to keep growing its market share in the United States. According to the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel, Apple has managed to increase its market share to 43.4% of sales in the U.S. despite having not released a new phone for an entire year. More →
Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are easily two of the most highly anticipated launches of the year. Details continue to trickle out ahead of their launches in November, and we most recently got a look at the full lists of PS4 and Xbox One launch titles. Now, Sony’s President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida has quietly revealed a very cool PlayStation 4 feature that Sony hadn’t previously announced. The PS4 and Xbox One each will have smartphone companion apps and various mobile integration features, and here’s one of the new PlayStation’s coolest: When a user purchases a PlayStation 4 game on his or her smartphone from anywhere in the world, the PS4 console at home will automatically wake, download the game, and then go back to sleep. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is set to launch on November 15th starting at $399.99. More →
On Friday, Apple officially launched the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program, giving iPhone owners the option to trade in their old handsets for a discount of up to $280 on the upcoming iPhone 5S or other new iPhone models. The announcement first came in the form of a tweet from CNBC, which confirmed with Apple that trade-in program will roll out in nationwide on Friday and will require customers to leave the Apple Store with a new contract in order to take advantage of the offer. Any model of the iPhone can be traded in for store credit, but it is worth keeping in mind that the potential savings will likely be only a fraction of what other third-party companies can offer. Apple has partnered with Brightstar for the trade-in program in the U.S., and the initiative is expected to expand next month.
It wasn’t a matter of if, but instead when BlackBerry would finally decide to decouple its BBM service from its own devices. Samsung has already started advertising the fact that its Galaxy line of phones will feature BlackBerry Messenger, but BlackBerry stayed relatively quiet until a redesigned BBM landing page appeared on Thursday confirming the impending release for Android and iPhone. CrackBerry noticed the page, which only mentions the iPhone as opposed to a more inclusive “iOS devices” phrasing, which might indicate that Apple’s tablet will be left out of the initial release. This expansion might also be a sign that BBM breaking off from BlackBerry is even more probable than before.
With Apple getting ready to debut two new iPhones on September 10th, the question of how many upgrades it can coax out of its current user base is one of many quandaries that will take center stage in the coming weeks. As it turns out, new findings released as part of a recent study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners have provide good news for Apple. According to CIRP, iPhone users are still the most loyal smartphone owners out there despite Android’s rapid rise. The firm’s study found that 81% of iPhone owners who upgraded to new phones between July 2012 and June 2013 bought another iPhone. That compares to 68% of Android users who stayed in Google’s camp when upgrading, AllThingsD reported. Apple will undoubtedly do its best to keep that loyalty figure high when it launches the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on September 20th. More →
For those who aren’t interested in getting top dollar for their used gadgets, carrier and retailer device trade-in programs are a good and relatively painless option — simply hand in your working handset when purchasing a new handset and you’ll receive an instant discount on your purchase. According to a report from Bloomberg back in June, Apple was prepping a similar program in partnership with Brightstar that would allow customers to trade in their old Apple devices for a credit toward a new iPhone. With the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C seemingly set to launch on September 20th, 9to5Mac reports that Apple is indeed getting ready to launch the new trade-in program as soon as next month. The report claims Apple will begin training retail staff this week in preparation for the new program’s debut, and logic dictates that it will become available around the same time that Apple’s next-generation iPhones are released.
The latest Onavo engagement data is a bit of a stunner. It shows that more than 20% of American iPhone owners used the “Candy Crush Saga” app in July. This stat absolutely crushes typical top game engagement levels. The second highest engagement for a mobile game is 10%, which was reached by “Words With Friends.” Summer blockbusters “Temple Run 2″ and “Minion Rush” are each at 5%.
Email was destroying my life, so I destroyed email. I crushed everything about it that I hated, leaving only what I absolutely needed. I tore apart my entire workflow and upended the way I deal with digital communications. On my computers, on my phones, everywhere. What remains shouldn’t even be called email; it’s something entirely new and significantly less painful. I used to do things the old way — flags, folders, leaving things marked as unread, reminders, alarms and worst of all, hundreds of thousands of emails sitting in my inboxes, never to be looked at again. It had to stop, so I stopped it. More →
China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua on Thursday confirmed to reporters that his carrier, the largest in the world, wants to begin selling Apple’s iPhone. “We are actively negotiating and both sides are keen,” Xi told reporters, according to Reuters. “There are still some commercial and technology issues that need time to resolve.” A deal that would bring the iPhone to China Mobile is seen as being hugely important for Apple, which continues to lose ground without the support of the country’s top wireless service provider. Xi also noted that China Mobile is making progress on its 4G LTE network that would support Apple’s newer iPhone models.
For the few years following Apple’s first-generation iPhone debut in 2007, it seemed almost impossible to avoid a chorus of “Tri-tone” iPhone text alerts at every turn. The tone still seems to pop up all the time in public, and while it’s easy to take something as simple as a ringtone for granted, it’s also quite interesting to get the back story on one of the iPhone’s two most famous tones. Former Apple engineer Kelly Jacklin recently published a piece on his site that gives the public its first ever look at exactly how the famous Tri-tone alert came to be. The tone’s development dates all the way back to before Apple’s 2000 acquisition of SoundJam MP (which would later become iTunes) when Jacklin was approached by one of SoundJam MP’s co-founders to create an audio alert that would let users know when a CD had finished burning. The rest, as they say, is history. Jacklin’s account, which is linked below, is a great read — and as an added bonus, he includes a sampling of several other tones he created that didn’t make the cut.