Andrew Orlowski

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Google Pixel 2 Product

Google says Pixel 2's narcoleptic display is being fixed in June update

Some Pixel 2 owners are still waiting for a fix for dead screens six months after the issue was first reported. The display turns off during a phone call and – like Rip Van Winkle – can't be woken up. The bug began to manifest itself with the 8.1 Oreo update last last year – see here and here. Google support advised some …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2018
Smartphone user photo via Shutterstock

Brit mobile phone users want the Moon on a stick but then stay on same networks for aeons

Chinese brands have been eyeing Western markets for some time, but in the UK customer inertia means many punters stick with what they know. RootMetrics' consumer survey of UK mobile shows just how much. More than half of the UK's big four mobile network customers have been with their carrier for two years or more. O2 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2018
William Shatner plays Captain James Tiberius Kirk on Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-69)

Shatner's solar-powered Bitcoin gambit wouldn't power a deflector shield

Here's a surprise. William Shatner wants cryptocurrency miners to use a solar energy company he represents. Solar Alliance is offering a 3MW solar array* in Murphysboro, Illinois to would-be miners. The retired Canadian actor, 87, has graciously put aside his well-documented disdain of cryptocurrencies to try and attract new …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jun 2018
eelo bliss launcher

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Interview Open source had a moral purpose when it was fighting "The Borg", Microsoft, in the 1990s, but then it fell from view. You could say it has found its mojo again, only this time it is about loosening the grip of companies built on ever more intrusive personal data processing: Google and Facebook. One of the biggest but most …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jun 2018
Apple's Lightening cable

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Apple isn't backing down from a move to lock down the iPhone’s data port to increase security for users, even though it means thwarting some of the password-cracking tools used by forensics experts. In the latest beta versions of iOS, Apple includes a feature called USB Restricted Mode, which disables the data connection of …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jun 2018
Diplodocus-looking dinosaurs in a lake (illustration)

Dinosaurs permitted to mate: But what does AT&T Time merger mean for antitrust – and you?

Analysis Across political divides in the United States there's a common appetite for reining in the country's plutocratic corporate overlords. The country that reveres Mom 'n' Pop businesses is wary when giant businesses combine. But the landmark decision in a US District Court permitting two legacy businesses to merge indicates how hard …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jun 2018
Waiting

This HTC U12+ review page is left intentionally blank

Review This space is left intentionally blank. It's where our HTC U12+ flagship review would go. So why is it missing? Last year HTC won back mindshare with its flagship U11 phone, the elegance and appealing imaging and video of which made it an attractive alternative to big-spending rivals. An even stronger U11+ a few months later …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2018
MS patent paperback

Budget Surface 'spotted' in Microsoft's crystal ball

Further evidence that Microsoft wants to broaden the appeal of its boutique Surface hardware has emerged. Almost a month ago, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicted budget Surface hardware was being planned, priced at "about $400... 20 per cent lighter than the high-end models, but [with] around four hours fewer of battery life". …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2018

Low AI rollout caused by dumb, fashion-victim management – Gartner

Pointy-Haired Bosses* are splashing AI about their organisations without a clue about why they're doing it, says a senior Gartner analyst. "As head of customer experience, the logic is: we have to deploy AI because everyone else is doing it. In fact, there's not a huge number of companies that are actually deploying AI," …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2018

Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

"Do not think your house is a hide-out, it is a telephone," complained Ted Hughes in his poem Do Not Pick Up The Telephone, and EE is helping bring that dystopian vision to life. The mobile giant today launched a virtualised number service called Smartnumber, which can transfer calls intended for your primary mobile number to …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2018
Man feels someone else's pain

Xiaomi the money? OK, here's a one beeeeellion dollar loss ahead of IPO

Chinese tech darling Xiaomi made a loss of $1.2bn (¥7.7bn) on turnover of $5.4bn (¥34.4bn) in the first quarter of 2018. The firm disclosed the figures in a regulatory filing (Chinese, PDF) ahead of a share flotation. The IPO could raise $10bn and Xiaomi wants to use it to expand into the West. The bulk of Xiaomi's income is …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2018
google earth day google: You're a giant squid! You can achieve anything to which you put your mind and/or your massive tentacles

Android users: Are you ready for the great unbundling?

It's June, so it must be the season to fine Alphabet billions of euros. According to Reuters' sources, a second big fine will be imposed on Google's parent company next week by the European Commission, this time for abusing its dominance of smartphone platforms. In addition to the fine, the newswire reported, the Commission …
Motorola Z3 Play

Motorola extends modular phone adventure for another year

Motorola has extended its modular phone adventure for another year, with new devices compatible with its Mods expansion spec. Reports of cutbacks raised fears the ambitious initiative would be snuffed out. The new Mod-compatible Z3 Play was launched in Brazil this week - Motorola is growing rapidly in Latin America - although …
Google salad emoji with and without egg

British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

British egg producers have expressed disappointment at the removal of the oval-shaped favourite from Google's salad emoji. The UX manager for Google emoji Jennifer Daniel confirmed the change in a Tweet. The now egg-free salad is more vegan-friendly, and therefore more inclusive, Daniel explained. There's big talk about …
BlackBerry Key2 (official) photo - silver

BlackBerry Key2: Clickier, nippier, but how many people still want a QWERTY?

Hands On Warm reviews and good wishes didn't help the newly formed BlackBerry Mobile sell bucket loads of phones in its first year, but a strong second attempt might. The new Key2 lends weight to the idea that the TCL-owned brand – a wholly separate entity to the old Canadian BlackBerry – is in it for the long run. Although strongly …
Android robot sitting under an umbrella on its laptop in the dark

Google freezes Android P: Get your shoes on, tire-kicking devs

With Google freezing the Android P APIs yesterday, both major mobile platforms have shown their hand for 2018. The freeze comes as Google released "Beta 2", which is really the third Developer Preview release of Android P issued so far. The API freeze means developers can now compile and submit apps compatible with Android P …
Apple Watch Series 3

watchOS 5 hints at new Apple wearables and life beyond the Watch

Analysis Features introduced in the latest version of Apple's wearable OS suggest Apple wants to produce more sophisticated small computing devices and avoid getting embroiled a straight fight with fitness trackers. That's a reasonable strategy, for the killer features of the Apple Watch so far have turned out to be not apps, not …

EE seeks guinea pig millennial hipsters for 5G experiments

Millennials are notoriously fearful of handling raw meat – but EE hopes they'll be less wary fondling experimental radio equipment. Bragging rights for 5G have begun, and EE is targeting the Nathan Barleys, Steve Bongs and hipster millennials around Shoreditch. A trial will permit "five small businesses and five homes in the …

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

Analysis Are you excited about Apple's new AR emoji as we are? Or the push-to-talk feature for the Apple Watch? Just kidding, folks. Once a year, the world's biggest computer company gives us its annual dump of new platform stuff for developers. And while Apple likes to add a bit of froth, the signal-to-noise ratio at its Worldwide …
Dictionary definition of the word schadenfreude

Schadenfreude for UK mobile networks over the tumult at Carphone

Analysis UK mobile networks will be eyeing Carphone Warehouse's current woes with some glee. Carphone issued a profits warning last week and warned of a year of difficulty ahead. It will promptly close 92 stores. Why the glee? It's because Charles Dunstone's retail operation is an exception in mobile retail, rather than the norm. …

You know what your problem is, Apple? Complacency

Comment When several "leaked" reports appear to show that Apple is focusing on quality, not features, it's reasonable to conclude that Apple is concerned the world perceives a quality problem. We heard the message via Axios in January that Apple was focusing on reliability rather than new features. And again at the weekend. But wait …
Photo by James Duncan Davidson

Those internet trends? It's bad news if you're not Amazon, basically

American venture capitalist Mary Meeker's annual "bible" of internet and macroeconomic trends has been a fixture since the dotcom heyday, and as you would expect from a tech VC, it emphasises the good news. But it's not such good news if you're a high street retailer, rely on desktop users, or make smartphones. Out of 294 …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 May 2018
OnePlus 6 official in Midnight Black

OnePlus 6: Perfect porridge? One has to make a smartphone that's juuuust right

Review Like a broken record, with every phone review we publish, some Reg readers insist that their ancient <insert brand here> is perfectly good and there's no need to buy a new one. But take a bow, dear curmudgeons, for you have been proved wise. A lot of people now think so too. The broken record is the hit of 2018. Take the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 May 2018
Screengrab of motorola modular phones

Leaked pics: Motorola to add 'unpatriotic' 5G to 4G phones with magnets

Lenovo's Motorola may soon offer 5G through its Mod phone expansion system, which allows peripherals to clip to the back of Mod-compatible phones using a magnet, according to leaked imagery. The images, published at XDA developers, include a bulky 5G Mod. The Moto Mod bus supports USB 3.1 speeds: sufficient for the gigabit …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 May 2018
Garmin Vivoactive3

The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

Analysis Whoever predicted that fitness bling-flingers would struggle to survive should take note of the latest numbers on the wearable market from Canalys. Garmin eased itself into the No.2 spot as a smartwatch vendor in Q1 worldwide, successfully making the move upmarket into higher margin products. This wasn't supposed to happen, …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 May 2018

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