Mobile

Thu
18
Feb
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Video Calls Skyrocket; Trend Expected to Continue

A research group says the number of people using mobile video calling rose 50 percent last year. It forecasts that will continue to rise rapidly even when life returns to a post-pandemic normal. Juniper Research estimates 1.8 billion mobile service ... customers used a mobile video calling service in 2020 compared with 1.2 billion the previous year. That's almost certainly a direct result of more people working remotely and/or making social video calls, rather than meeting friends in person. (Source: techradar.com ) Handheld Video Calls Convenient For Some It might seem ironic that more people ... (view more)

Wed
13
Jan
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Samsung Program Repurposes Old Phones

Samsung wants to turn old phones into home gadgets. Its evolving its Galaxy Upcycling program to make it easier to convert handsets. The program launched in 2017 as a largely internal project where Samsung staff tried to find ways to use old phones ... for new purposes. This often involved taking advantage of the various sensors in a phone even if its specifications were now too low to run the latest operating systems and apps. Baby Monitor Among New Use Ideas At that point the project appeared to be more about creativity than solving significant problems. For example, one design used a motion ... (view more)

Thu
26
Nov
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Smartphone Addiction Not Habitual, Says Study

Phone "addiction" is caused more by boredom, rather than nagging notifications according to a newly-published study. It also found that the "endless scroll" feature on some apps was most likely to detain users. The study is the work of the London ... School of Economics and Political Science and published in a journal titled "Computers in Human Behavior." (Source: sciencedirect.com ) Researchers wanted to explore the theory that people are constantly looking at their phones in response to notifications and whether pausing, hiding or filtering such notifications might change user ... (view more)

Tue
10
Nov
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Late Payment? Google Releases App to Cripple Phone

Google has built an app that will stop smartphones working if a customer is behind on payments for the handset. It could also be a way to make more expensive phones available to people with poor credit histories. The app is already being used by a ... carrier in Kenya. There's no word yet on whether Google plans to offer it to carriers in other countries. (Source: 9to5google.com ) "Device Lock Controller" is an app that can be pre-installed by carriers on new phones. It appears that once the app is in place, the carrier is able to remotely reinstall the app even if the customer removes it. If and ... (view more)

Tue
15
Sep
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LG Releases T-Shaped, Twin-Screen Smartphone

LG has released a dual-screen Android cellphone with a difference. Rather than fold out like a book, one of the screens swivels round to create a T-shape. The big question now is whether the LG Wing really will prove genuinely useful and solve ... existing problems or if it's just a gimmick in search of a benefit. In its default position, the phone looks just like a normal modern smartphone with a full screen display on the front and a blank cover (except for the phone lenses) on the back, the main difference being it's much thicker than most handsets. Two Screens Can Work Together Or Alone That' ... (view more)

Thu
23
Jul
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T-Mobile Tackles Spam And Scam Calls

T-Mobile says it will give customers free scam-blocking tools to protect against misleading and fraudulent calls. The measures will also cover Metro and Sprint users. The program, dubbed Scam Shield, involves a range of tactics to combat bogus ... calls. The logic is to increase the chances of success against any particular attack. (Source: t-mobile.com ) Two of the features come via a dedicated smartphone app that analyzes incoming calls. The first, Scam ID, tries to identify calls that may be using a bogus identity or making unwanted marketing calls. Spam Calls Auto-Blocked Users can choose ... (view more)

Tue
23
Jun
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Chrome for Android Gets Improvements

If you use an Android phone, there's a good chance you use the mobile edition of Chrome to access web pages. If so, that experience is about to get a little safer and easier. Google has unveiled a range of changes to Chrome for Android including ... enhances security checks, a display tweak that could extend battery life, and an easier "autofill" tool for online forms. Safety Check Tools Added The first change is the addition of Safety Check, a feature that's currently only available on desktop versions of Chrome. It makes it easy to carry out three basic checks: Making sure ... (view more)

Mon
08
Jun
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Chinese App Detector Banned From Google

Google has removed an app designed to highlight any Chinese-made apps on an Android device. The straightforwardly-named "Remove China Apps" was particularly popular in India, where it was developed. Exactly why the app was removed isn't clear other ... than Google saying it violated unspecified app-store policies. Based on what the developers claim, it doesn't appear to pose any serious security or privacy risks. It didn't actually remove any apps but instead produced a list that the user could manually install. Border Dispute Sparks Boycott While security concerns about Chinese tech have become ... (view more)

Wed
20
May
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Google Bans Popular Podcast App Over COVID-19 Content

Google has banned a hugely popular podcast app from the Play Store, claiming it breaches a ban on COVID-19 content. It appears to be a spectacular screw-up by Google's filtering system. Podcast Addict is a leading app in its field with more than ... five million downloads, so it came as a surprise to developers to receive a message from Google saying it had been banned from the Play Store. While it's still possible to install Podcast Addict manually, it's a big blow to its distribution and makes the app inaccessible to potential Android users who follow common security advice to stick to the ... (view more)

Tue
17
Mar
John Lister's picture

Apple, Google Differ On COVID-19 Apps

Apple says it's banning any COVID-19 related apps unless it's certain they come from authoritative sources. It's also banning any game or entertainment apps related to the coronavirus pandemic. The move is particularly significant as it's almost ... impossible to install an app on an iPhone or iPad unless it's been approved by Apple. In contrast, Android users can install unapproved apps from sources other than the official Google Play store, albeit only after confirming they are willing to take the security risk. Apple says that when it comes to COVID-19 content it is "evaluating apps critically ... (view more)

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