Topic mobile

Leaders and their phones

Anonymous Coward
in mobile on (#3JR)
story imageGone are the days of presidents with a rotary dial " Big Red Phone " on their desk over which they can quickly negotiate to avoid nuclear Armageddon ( that phone was a myth , by the way). These days, phones are mobile, and though some world leaders carry a cellphone, not every world leader has the same appreciation for tech .

Barack Obama's love for his Blackberry is well documented, and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even found herself the subject of a meme, " Texts from Hillary ." But Benjamin Netanyahu has no love for the culture of cellphones and picture sharing , exclaiming, "I’m the only one here without all these electronic devices, I’m a free man, and you all are slaves!"

Lastly, although the hermetically-sealed North Korea has until recently been mostly devoid of Internet and cellphone tech, Kim Jong Un is preparing a state-sponsored cellphone for the North Korean people , that runs a severely locked down version of Android.

Do world leaders - or any kind of leaders - need a cellphone in their pocket? Is it a liability or a way to stay connected? Is it time for the politically powerful to get with the modern age? Or should they have assistants at their side who do that for them? And of course, the most important question: Android, Blackberry, iOS, or something else ? :)

Introducing: the Raspberry Pi-Phone

Anonymous Coward
in mobile on (#3JG)
story imageThe Raspberry Pi has turned out to be a fun and interesting platform for tinkerers, inventors, and gadgeteers. As intended! But you'd be hard-pressed to out-geek David Hunt, an Irish Linux developer who has been having fun finding new and interesting projects for his Raspberry Pi kit. Not content with previous projects, including a DSLR attachment and a mini ( really mini) RAID server, he has this time built a cellphone . The project runs about $150 in parts including a small antenna and a touchscreen produced by Adafruit, but it works!

“It’s a bit of a mess, but you wouldn’t actually use it in the real world,” Hunt says. “You can feel it getting a little bit warm. It doesn’t crash or anything, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be good to put it in an enclosure without some sort of heat sink.”

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Lumia Icon, best Windows Phone ever, receives tepid reviews

in mobile on (#3GC)
story imageNokia's latest offering for Windows Phone 8, the Lumia Icon is out for review, and though early reviewers approve of the hardware's build quality, battery life and high-resoution screen and camera, many cite concerns about the OS and its app ecosystem and conclude the phone fails to compel.

Sporting a 2.22Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage (but no SD slot), a 20 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 5" 440ppi, HD-capable 1920x1080 resolution screen, the phone is no slouch. But reviews by Wired , Digital Trends , Gizmodo , The Verge , and IGN all use conflicting language like "best Windows phone ever made" and "pretty but flawed," "fantastic," and "bland," or "beautiful" and "unrefined." What's going on here? Is this a winner for the struggling Windows Phone brand, or does it fall short of the mark?

Lastly, rumours are circulating that Microsoft is considering Android compatibility. Is this going to be the secret sauce, or will it undermine WinPhones the way Windows compatability led to poor sales of IBM's OS/2?

Mozilla pulls the plug on Win8 version of Firefox, citing lack of demand

in mobile on (#3G6)
story imageWindows 8's unique "metro" interface has required developers to spend a lot of time updating their software to fit into the new environment. And the folks at Mozilla have decided it's not worth their time. They've dropped support for the project that aimed to bang Firefox into shape for Windows 8, citing lack of demand for the product as the reason. That frees up developers to spend time doing other things, but leaves users with good old Internet Explorer as their primary browser option on the tiled interface.

Mozilla says millions of users have downloaded pre-release builds of the desktop version of Firefox, while fewer than 1000 seem to be actively using the pre-release of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro. If you were holding out for the release version, time to look for other options!

Google's Modular Cellphone

in mobile on (#3F1)
Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group has announced a series of three developer events for Project Ara, which hopes to create a modular smartphone. Google hopes to have a working prototype ready within weeks, with a commercial release in the first quarter of 2015.
Motorola first unveiled the Project Ara initiative in October 2013 and Google is keen to push ahead with the project, despite selling off Motorola to Lenovo last month.
This is possible because Google decided to keep the ATAP group under its Android umbrella when it sold Motorola.
The design for Project Ara is based on the concept of Phonebloks, created by Dutch designer Dave Hakkens. It consists of a structural frame called an "endoskeleton" that holds various modules in place. The modules can be anything ranging from a new display, keyboard, an extra battery or something not yet thought of.
Endoskeletons will come in three sizes and cost approximately $50.

Time Magazine thinks iOS won the app war

in mobile on (#3EW)
Over at Time Magazine, Harry McCracken has taken a closer look at the differences between iOS and Android and concluded that for the most part, they're equivalent in form and function. But not in one remaining area: app availability. Here, McCracken complains, Android is constantly playing catch up and iOS apps too frequently arrive sooner and in better form.

Nokia to release Android Devices

in mobile on (#3ES)
story imageAt the Mobile World Congress, soon-to-be-Microsoft Nokia announced three devices running Android. It seems these are Nokia's gateway drugs for Windows Phone, using a similar look and feel as Windows Phone while having the underpinnings of the Android Open Source Project.

From ZDNet: According to Nokia head (Steve Elop), while it may not involve a Microsoft OS, the Android-based X family will serve to bring more users to the company in emerging markets. The X family will be "a feeder system for Lumia," he said, and "gives people a gateway" to Microsoft's Windows Phone products.

Will this help MS-Nokia with emerging markets? Or will this be orphaned after Microsoft fully takes control?