Articles about Smartphones

A Chinese laundry on the back streets of Shanghai

In the Pearl River Delta's electronics souks, AI lets the haggling happen

The electronics markets of Shenzhen are bewildering. These football-field-sized buildings seemingly sell almost anything, any bit of electronics – chip, component, connector – if you know where to look among the myriad stores in the ten-storey towers. To find find what you need in that riot of abundance you have to ask someone …
Mark Pesce, 25 Jul 2017

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Hands-on No wonder Silicon Valley is excited about the Amazon Echo. Let's be honest. These voice-controlled assistants have been the only hit the Valley's had in years: the only successful new consumer electronics category. 3D telly, smartwatches, they all came and went, but always-on assistants are a smash. Well, Amazon’s Alexa has …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2017
Waiting

Andy Rubin's overhyped and underdelivered Essential phone out 'in a few weeks'

After months of hype and missed deadlines, it seems as though Andy Rubin's new smartphone might actually make it onto the market. The Android creator's mobile phone startup Essential Products unveiled the phone at the end of May after talking about it for months, but so far there has been no sign of the actual handset. Now …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jul 2017

Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

The phone sleuths at XDA-Developers have unearthed a handy undocumented feature in the latest version of Android. Phones running Nougat 7.1.1 are able to invoke a "panic button" by pressing the back key four times. It's in the AOSP source code for the Android Window Manager. Panic mode returns the user to the home screen, …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2017
BlackBerry KeyONE Android smartphone

BlackBerry taking action to fix 'pop-out' screen – namely more glue

BlackBerry Mobile reps have confirmed the manufacturing process for its KEYone flagship will be tweaked so the display doesn't pop out so easily. In June, the torture-testing YouTube channel JerryRigEverything found that the display popped out when the phone was being bent, with relatively little pressure. "Most other screens …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2017

Nokia inks wide-ranging deal with Xiaomi: Not just IP and handsets

Nokia may be a spent force in smartphones since selling its devices business to Microsoft, but it still aims to be the power behind the throne of other vendors via its technology licensing programme. Its technology, and its venerable brand, are already enabling new smartphones from Finnish startup HCL, and tablets from Foxconn …
Wireless Watch, 12 Jul 2017

The great phone squeeze wheeze: Getting squidgy with HTC's U11

Review Thank goodness HTC is still with us, for I haven’t enjoyed using an Android more all year than its flagship U11. This was a surprise. But I used one for three weeks as a primary phone, and this is what I found. From the front the U11 boasts a fairly generic, staid design that doesn’t hint at its two gimmicks. If “this year’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2017

Android 'forensic' app pulled from Google Play after vulnerability report

If you use an app called eVestigator, billed as checking Android phones for security compromises, delete it. That's the word from someone signing their name as MaXe from InterN0T, who looked at what the Android app actually does. The application claimed to test Android handsets to see if they've been infected with malware. …
Annoyed holding cracked, shattered screen smartphone

How to pwn phones with shady replacement parts

A group of researchers has shown how, for instance, a repair shop could siphon data from Android handsets or infect them with malware with nothing more than a screen repair. Omer Shwartz, Amir Cohen, Asaf Shabtai and Yossi Oren, all from Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, this week warn that smartphone makers are not …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2017

Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

Out of 17 IT brands, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have taken the crown for devices that are the hardest to repair or upgrade – and their displays are the fiddliest bits of all. It's all about the complex designs, adhesives and proprietary parts such as screws, Greenpeace discovered in a repairability survey (PDF) of 40 popular …
Andrew Silver, 30 Jun 2017

Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

A new anti-glare film could help us see our phones a little bit better on a bright day. "Ambient light is everywhere," says Jiun-Haw Lee, an electrical engineer at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Natural light lowers the contrast of display screens, making them appear much darker. That's because when light from the sun …
Andrew Silver, 26 Jun 2017
closed

Expansys shutters online mobile gadget souk to consumers

Mobile gadget souk Expansys shuttered its digital doors to consumers – a natural conclusion for a business that lost direction under the ownership of lanky Dragons' Den badass Peter Jones in a commoditised space. "Expansys is now focused on its partner and B2B business hence the website is closed to consumers. If you are a …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2017
Man and dog eat dog food. pic by shutterstock

Google may follow Apple, design mobile chips in-house

Comment The smartphone chip market it dominates is nevertheless an increasingly challenging one for Qualcomm. Slowing growth, litigation and rising Chinese competition are among its problems, but also the trend for the largest, richest handset makers to design their own chips. Apple has its own processors, and given its current legal …
Wireless Watch, 20 Jun 2017
SMS hacking

Mexican government accused of illegal phone hacking of citizens

An investigation by Mexican NGOs and a Canadian tech lab has revealed how the Mexican government is illegally targeting the mobile phones of journalists, lawyers and activists to spy on them. R3D, SocialTic, Article 19 and CitizenLab report that the government has been sending malware links to specific individuals' phones, …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jun 2017

Brazilian whacks Intel over 'exploding' Atom smartphone chips

Intel is being sued by a Brazilian phone maker that claims Chipzilla's smartphone Atom processors caused handsets to explode. Specifically, Qbex says the Atom SoFIA system-on-chips used in its Android handhelds were defective and prone to overheating that, in some cases, would cause the devices to catch fire or explode. The …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2017

Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

It's a recurring pain experienced by all iPhone owners: the huge and very slow software updates that require you to plug your phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes. Many have also wondered why the phone feels the need to shut down, start up again, shut down again and start up again before finally letting you get at it. …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017
The Essential Phone

Essentially puzzling: Rubin's hype-phone ties up with… Sprint?

The much-anticipated Essential Phone has been inked into a deal with Sprint to be the sole endorsed carrier for the handset. The agreement means Sprint will be the only carrier to sell the Essential handset in its branded stores and offer discounted pricing. People using other carriers can still get an Essential phone, but …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jun 2017
Superhero on a mobile phone. pic by shutterstock

Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Scientists are working on a way of using the internal orientation sensors in smartphones to defend against efforts to trick voice recognition systems. As the use of smartphones, wearables and voice-based assistants is on the rise, so is the risk that criminals will try to use those systems to their advantage by impersonating …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2017

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