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Google Issues Clarion Call for Project Ara Devs
February 27, 2014
Google is ramping up its plans to bring the Project Ara modular smartphone to market by scheduling its first developer conference. The company will hold the conference on April 15-16 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. A limited number of developers will be able to attend the conference in person, but anyone can participate online through a live stream and interactive Q&A.
BlackBerry Tries to Bring Back That Lovin' Feelin'
February 25, 2014
BlackBerry has announced new handsets and services aimed at moving the company forward. At the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, CEO John Chen debuted two new phones -- the Q20 and the low-cost Z3. The Q20 offers the classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard and experience on BlackBerry 10. It features BlackBerry's physical Menu, Back, Send, and End buttons along with a trackpad.
Windows XP to Live On in China
February 25, 2014
A handful of Chinese Web companies are banding together to provide user support -- system upgrades, security services and the like -- to domestic users after Microsoft turns out the lights on Windows XP. Microsoft announced that it's going to punt on Windows XP in early April. Alas, an estimated 25-plus percent of China's computers run on the operating system. But fear not!
Samsung's 'Meaningful Innovation' Crusade
February 25, 2014
Samsung hinted it wasn't about to rock the mobile world with the choice of the warmup band for its Unpacked 2014 event Monday -- the Barcelona Opera House Chamber Orchestra. At the event, held at the Mobile World Congress in Spain, it announced a new version of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, as well as an upgrade of its smartwatch, the Gear 2, and an advanced fitness band, the Gear Fit.
Nokia Mixes It Up With New Android X Family
February 24, 2014
Nokia on Monday confirmed months of speculation with the unveiling of its X family of smartphones running Android. The X, X+ and XL are priced at $123, $136 and $150, respectively. Like Nokia's low-end Asha line, the X devices come in bright colors. They borrow some of Asha's other well-received features as well. Unlike Asha, however, the X series will not be available in the U.S.
Spanish Woman's Twitter Musings Lead to Terror-Related Conviction
February 24, 2014
Twenty-one-year-old Spaniard Alba González Camacho was convicted of inciting terrorism thanks to some ill-conceived tweets about a far-left terrorist organization. She became the first person in Spain to be convicted of such charges for Twitter posts. González Camacho implored the terror group "Grapo" to murder politicians. Grapo was responsible for 80-some killings, mostly in the 1970s and 80s.
Samsung's New Galaxy S5 Might Ship Bathtub-Ready
February 21, 2014
Of all the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors to hit this week, the one that had me sit up straight and pay close attention is the rumor that the new Galaxy S5 may be both waterproof and dustproof. This is a big deal, because it would be the first major flagship smartphone with wide and popular distribution to be waterproof. Of course, Samsung last year offered the somewhat waterproof Galaxy S4 Active.
Google's Project Tango Struts Into the Spotlight
February 21, 2014
Google is making an increased push into the 3D imaging sphere with the announcement of its Project Tango technology. The project is aimed at helping mobile devices fully map a 3D space to give them the same type of understanding of space and motion that humans have, through a blend of robotics and computer vision tools. The prototype smartphone Google unveiled has myriad sensors.
WhatsApp Gives BlackBerry a Bounce
February 20, 2014
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of mobile-messaging service WhatsApp appears to have buoyed the value of BlackBerry Messenger -- and by extension, BlackBerry. BlackBerry shares went up nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading because, in the words of Reuters, Facebook's purchase "put a rough valuation metric around the smartphone maker's own BlackBerry Messaging service," also known as "BBM."
BlackBerry CEO Miffed With T-Mobile
February 19, 2014
John Chen, BlackBerry's new chief executive, lashed out at T-Mobile after it sent an email to BlackBerry users imploring them to ditch their current devices and switch to an iPhone. BlackBerry was not notified about T-Mobile's email blast beforehand, causing Chen to become "outraged" over what he dubbed a "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion."
If You Were Apple, You'd Ignore Low-End Smartphones, Too
February 18, 2014
Smartphone sales have been rising. The 968 million smartphones sold surpassed feature phone sales for the first time, Gartner reported. However, sales actually topped 1 billion, according to IDC. What's the difference of 32 million between friends? Not much. Here's a more important point: High-end smartphone sales have been slowing fast, while low-end smartphone sales have been rising fast.
Two's Company in Global Smartphone OS Market
February 13, 2014
Google's Android and Apple's iOS led the global smartphone operating system market in 2013, a year in which worldwide shipments surpassed 1 billion units for the first time, according to IDC. The two OSes accounted for 93.8 percent of global smartphone shipments for the year. Together, they made up 95.7 percent of the smartphone shipments in the final quarter of the year.
Content Providers: Consumers Have Gone Mobile, Ready or Not
February 13, 2014
Americans are living in an increasingly digital and mobile world, according to "The Digital Consumer," the latest study published by research firm Nielsen. The report determined that Americans now own an average of four digital devices, with average per-person content consumption of 60 hours per week across devices. Consumers have more options than ever for when and how they access content.
A Deep Dive Into New Scuba Tech
February 13, 2014
Scuba divers always have relied on gear that lets the essentially fragile, air-dependent human body descend into oceanic depths. While air tanks, regulators, buoyancy control devices and dive computers have been around for years, digital technologies are altering how they function, how they're used, and how well they work. One recent innovation is iGills.
FBI 'Red Tape' Keeps Oscar Pistorius' Mobile Phone Locked
February 11, 2014
FBI "red tape" is preventing detectives from accessing the mobile phone formerly belonging to South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee known as "Blade Runner," who faces murder charges over the 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. South African investigators reportedly have been trying to persuade the FBI to back a request for Apple to unlock Pistorius' iPhone.
Apple's Sapphire-Screen iPhone Less 'If' Than 'When'
February 11, 2014
If the latest sapphire tech rumor is true, Apple's exclusive manufacturing partner, GT Advanced Technologies, is gearing up its Mesa, Ariz., manufacturing facility with enough furnaces to forge up to 200 million iPhone displays. Previously, most super-hard sapphire crystal rumors were limited to small component usage in Apple products, like scratch-proof Touch ID sensors or camera lens covers.
California Kill Switch Bill Tackles Smartphone Theft
February 07, 2014
California Sen. Mark Leno on Friday introduced a bill in the legislature that would require all smartphones and devices sold in the state to have a kill switch starting Jan. 1, 2015. Senate Bill 962 comes against a backdrop of rising smartphone theft. It is now the leading property crime in the U.S., accounting for one third of all robberies nationwide.
Cycloramic Pro Swims With the Sharks
February 06, 2014
How does an iOS panoramic photo shooting app first introduced in 2012 rocket to the top of the Paid App list in Apple's App Store? Answer: The developer takes it to ABC's Shark Tank, where he demonstrates how his iPhone can spin around, taking photos all by itself. He then shakes off a $200,000 offer for 10 percent of his business and holds out for $500K of venture investment.
Google Maps for iOS Now Flags Faster Routes
February 05, 2014
A new version of Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad hit the App Store Tuesday. Added to the app's repertoire is the ability to notify a driver when a faster alternative route is available. When Google Maps' navigation feature is running, traffic conditions will be monitored by the app. When it determines that an alternative route can get you to your destination faster, it will notify you.
Mac Birthday Video Stars iPhone
February 04, 2014
Unlike in 1984, when the Macintosh was introduced, there weren't any Apple ads at the Super Bowl this year. Instead, on the day after the Massacre in the Meadowlands, the company raised the curtain on a 127-second video celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac -- on YouTube. Video for the project was shot entirely with iPhones over a 36-hour period on Jan. 24, the 30th birthday of the Mac.

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