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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.
The Motorola Shuffle: Lenovo Gets Business, Google Keeps Patents
January 30, 2014
Less than two years after Google's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility was finalized, Google on Wednesday announced that Lenovo would be purchasing Motorola Mobility in a $2.91 billion deal. Google will be retaining the vast majority of Motorola's patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. Lenovo will get 2,000 patent assets as part of the deal.
Smartphone Could Hold the Key to Your Room
January 30, 2014
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is rolling out a program in two of its hotels -- one in New York City's Harlem and one in Cupertino, Calif. -- that will allow customers to try a new lock system. Guests can download a mobile app that will allow them to virtually check in once they've arrived at the hotel. Then they'll be able to open their room door with the tap or wave of their smartphone.
What Went Wrong With the iPhone 5c?
January 30, 2014
The iPhone 5c has been bugging me. As a product, it's so good -- and yet so wrong. By not saying much at all during the financial conference call with analysts this week, Apple has confirmed doubts while presenting new questions. Does the iPhone 5c represent a colossal misstep by Apple? Or is it just a mediocre product that remains profitable? Can it be both at the same time?
iPhone May See the World Through Different Lens
January 29, 2014
Smartphones have been steadily stealing shutterbugs from digital camera makers, but most of those converts are coming from the point-and-shoot snapper crowd. The next step is to target more sophisticated photographers who use cameras with interchangeable lenses. Apple appears to be getting ready for that battle. It just won two patents that would allow lenses to be attached to a mobile device.
Apple's Next iPhone: Big's In, Plastic's Out
January 28, 2014
iPhone rumors hit pretty much every week, but some rise to the top -- with or without great sources. The latest bigger-screen iPhone 6 rumor comes courtesy of three authors who span the globe, writing together from Hong Kong, Taipei and San Francisco. According to "people familiar with the situation," they reported that two new iPhone models would be released in the second half of this year.
Horizon Keeps iPhone Video Shooting on the Level
January 23, 2014
Even if you've never been guilty of sharing one of those annoying vertical videos, you may have run into a situation where you've been filming and moving around at the same time -- and because you were scrambling over a rock or playfully wrestling while recording, your fun little video perspective spun vertical on you. Once you start shooting vertically, you're stuck.
How to Slim Down a Bloated Android Device
January 22, 2014
It's a good idea to prune an Android device periodically, for a few reasons. A mishmash of apps, some aging, have all kinds of on-device routines running that can negatively affect performance. Worse, some are continually accessing the Internet and eating into your data cap -- unlimited wireless Internet on mobile devices is practically nonexistent these days.
LG's G Flex Muscles Into US, Europe
January 21, 2014
LG Electronics has revealed initial plans for the rollout of its curved screen LG G Flex handset in the U.S. and Europe. Until now, the LG G Flex has been available only to consumers in Asia -- namely in LG's home market of Korea, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore. Sprint will sell the device in the U.S. beginning Jan. 31 through its online store and Feb. 7 at retail locations.
Moment Goes Big on Smartphone Camera Magnification
January 21, 2014
We love the functionality that comes with smartphone cameras, including inherent portability, powerful processors, and imaginative post-processing app solutions. However, what we supremely dislike -- with a vengeance -- are the little software-driven lenses that phone makers see fit to slap on the devices. Those horrible cheap lenses can in no way replicate larger precision ground-glass optics.
The Blackphone vs. the NSA
January 20, 2014
Well Linux bloggers have made it plain from the get-go that privacy is among their top concerns for 2014, and recent events have done nothing to shift that focus. President Obama's momentous speech proposing NSA reforms wasn't the only clarion call last week. We also heard from Mozilla, which appealed to security researchers to help keep Firefox source code unadulterated and backdoor-free.
HP Seeks Indian Route to Mobile Market
January 16, 2014
HP unveiled two new mobile devices that are set to launch in India as it attempts to gain traction in the global mobile market. The 6-inch HP Slate6 VoiceTab and the 7-inch HP Slate7 Voice Tab are considered phablets -- that is, hybrids that combine smartphone and tablet features. Both will run on Android 4.2, and both have HD front and rear cameras, stereo speakers, and 16 GB of storage.
Blackphone Aims to Keep Spooks in the Dark
January 15, 2014
Silent Circle and Geeksphone have teamed up to create the Blackphone -- a smartphone designed to truly protect users' privacy. Carrier- and vendor-independent, the Blackphone allows users to make and receive phone calls securely, as well as transfer and store files, swap secure text messages, and conduct video chats without compromising their privacy, the companies claim.
Facebook to Share User Data With Russian Search Engine
January 15, 2014
Facebook will start peddling user data to Yandex, Russia's top search engine, as part of a deal between the two tech giants. Yandex will get full access to public data from users in Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Yandex will use the data in question -- which includes posts and comments that have not been classified as "private" -- to enhance its search results.
What's Up With Tizen?
January 15, 2014
Consumers might soon have access to cheaper, more talented smartphones that could challenge the market dominance of Android and iOS. At least that is the promise from the Tizen Association. The growing group of phone makers and application developers recently launched a partner program with 36 companies from all segments of the mobile and connected device ecosystems.
French Cabbies Attack Uber Vehicles
January 14, 2014
French taxi drivers reportedly attacked vehicles linked to Uber, a smartphone app that helps people find shared rides and drivers-for-hire -- or, from cabbies' perspective, erodes a time-honored business model. Protestors blocked traffic and went after the service's vehicles, reported one Uber-using witness, Kat Borlongan. The vehicle she was in suffered significant damage, including a flat tire.

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