Articles about Smartphones

Apple iPhone 6 and 6s

Touchy iPhone 6, 6S chips prone to breaking down and giving up

Apple's latest iPhones can suffer chip failures that can render the touchscreen unusable. This according to a report from DIY repair site iFixit, which says two controller chips on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus logic board can lose their electrical contacts, and when they go, the handset's touchscreen no longer works. The issue …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Aug 2016
Handsome man has fuchsia-painted skin. Photo by Shutterstock

Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

Google’s latest operating system project, Fuchsia, may be largely a mystery, but it reinforces a truth that platform vendors are having, grudgingly, to acknowledge: one operating system does not fit all. For a company which has put so much effort into making Android an OS for all purposes, Google has a remarkable number of …
Wireless Watch, 24 Aug 2016

'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

Hot Chips Samsung has revealed the blueprints to its mystery M1 processor cores at the heart of its S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. International versions of the top-end Android mobiles, which went on sale in March, sport a 14nm FinFET Exynos 8890 system-on-chip that has four standard 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A53 cores and four M1 cores running at …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016
Millennials snap pics of their food with smartphones for Facebook/Twitter/instagram. Photo by shutterstock

Honor 8: Huawei targets millennials with high-spec cheapie. 3 words – Food pic mode

Hands on Huawei might be the third biggest smartphone seller on the planet but it has very little traction outside Asia. The Chinese firm is hoping the Honor 8 will change that. The handset, which was launched in the US last week and will be formally launched in Europe at an event in Paris on Wednesday, is being aimed firmly at the …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016

Little ARMs pump 2,048-bit muscles in training for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale mega-brain

Hot Chips ARM is bolting an extra data-crunching engine onto its 64-bit processor architecture to get it ready for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale supercomputer. Specifically, ARM is adding a Scalable Vector Extension (SVE) to its ARMv8-A core architecture. SVE can handle vectors from 128 to 2,048 bits in length. This technology is not an …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016

Boffins tout The Li-ion King

A research operation spun out from MIT says it has found a way to effectively double the power output of lithium ion batteries. The team said that by using an "anode free" design, they are able to double the power density of the lithium-ion packs. This will allow the batteries to run for twice as long on a single charge …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2016
Diver, image via Shutterstock

Windows Phone dives into irrelevant-like-BlackBerry territory

BlackBerry and Microsoft have continued their tumble down the mobile operating system market share charts, clocking in at just 0.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively. Microsoft's fallen especially hard: analyst firm Gartner had it selling 8.2 million phones for 2015's second quarter, for 2.5 per cent market share. The …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2016
Robots with Cursors from Shutterstock

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

Analysis Oracle says one of the foundations of Google's legal victory in the Java API copyright trial has exploded – and that means a retrial is needed. Oracle was trying its luck in court yesterday, demanding a retrial – although regardless of its success in forcing a third trial, the outcome of the second trial is on course to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2016

Oracle campaigns for third Android Java infringement trial

Oracle appears to have opened its campaign for a third trial over its claims its copyrighted Java core library code was ripped off in Google's Android. In May this year, a jury ruled in favor of Google, saying that Google's infringement of Oracle's copyright was fair use. Now the database software giant's lawyers are trying to …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Aug 2016
A stomach feeling bloated

Verizon fingered in Android bloatware-for-cash cram scandal

Verizon has reportedly approached app developers about pre-installing their software on customer handsets in exchange for cash. A report from Ad Age cites marketing industry execs who say that, since late last year, they have been approached by the nation's largest carrier with offers to install their mobile apps on millions …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2016

Intel fabs to churn out 10nm ARM chips for LG smartphones next year

IDF16 Intel's chip fabs will roll out 10nm ARM-compatible processors starting next year. The state-of-the-art factories will produce the mobile system-on-chips for LG Electronics using a 10nm process, with the door left wide open for other ARM licensees to jump in and use the assembly lines. At the heart of the collaboration deal …
Chris Williams, 16 Aug 2016

Microsoft to overhaul Windows 10 UI – with a 3D Holographic Shell

IDF16 First, it scrapped the classic Start Menu and gave us Tiles. Now Microsoft has confirmed it really is working on yet another radical user interface update – one that will allow you to use your desktop Windows 10 PC with virtual reality headsets. The feature, due to arrive next year, is dubbed the Windows Holographic Shell. It …
Chris Williams, 16 Aug 2016

WD: Resistance is not futile

Analysis WD, with its acquired SanDisk operation, is squaring up to Intel and Micron’s XPoint with ReRAM - Resistive RAM technology. Back in October last year, the then independent SanDisk joined forces with HPE to fight XPoint. The two signed an agreement to develop Storage-Class Memory (SCM*), a non-volatile storage medium with DRAM- …
Chris Mellor, 16 Aug 2016
angry bird

Nokia taps former Rovio man Rantala to market relaunch

The relaunch of the Nokia mobile brand will include the man who once ran mobile games maker Rovio. HMD global Oy, owner of the Nokia brand rights, said that longtime executive Pekka Rantala will become chief marketing officer of the company, effective immediately. Most recently the chairman of Jot Automation, Rantala is best …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2016

Google AdSense abused to distribute Android spyware

A banking trojan targeting Android users is spreading through malicious ads as part of an ongoing campaign. The scenario by which the malware spreads is all too familiar to long-suffering Windows fans, but may well come as an unpleasant shock to smartphone users. Worse yet, Android users can get infected by the Svpeng Trojan …
John Leyden, 15 Aug 2016
Tim Cook, photo2 by JStone via Shutterstock

Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Apple’s plan to tackle the great iPhone sales slump is for it to produce, yes, more iPhones. CEO Tim Cook, in a scripted Q&A with the Washington Post, dismissed the six-month drop-off in sales of iPhones – and slowing smartphone sales in general. Apple is now expected to release the iPhone 7 in September. Cook reckons …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Aug 2016
disk head crash

Air gap breached by disk drive noise

Video Researchers from Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Cyber Security Research Center have found a way to exfiltrate information from a PC using the noise created by hard disk drives. In work detailed here (PDF) at ArXiv, the researchers explain how they've created malware that “can generate acoustic emissions at …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2016

Forensics tool nabs data from Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp

USENIX VID University researchers have developed a new method to help forensic investigators extract data information from memory. The tool, dubbed Retroscope, recovered data from up to the previous 11 screens displayed from up to 15 apps, with an average of five screens pulled from each. Apps included Signal, Skype, WeChat, Gmail, …
Darren Pauli, 15 Aug 2016

Acer: 'We made a profit!' Yeah, but your sales figures are shrinking

Over-the-hill PC maker Acer is still under-performing, its latest set of shrinking product sales figures have confirmed. The Taiwanese biz, among the two biggest shifters of notebooks in Europe a decade ago, is still searching to regain the formula that propelled it – but people just aren’t buying cheap lappies in the volumes …
Paul Kunert, 11 Aug 2016
Linux hacking team

Linux security backfires: Flaw lets hackers inject malware into downloads, disrupt Tor users, etc

Analysis A flaw in the Linux kernel lets hackers inject malware into downloads and webpages, smash Tor connections, launch denial-of-service attacks, and more. This is a troubling security headache because Linux is used widely across the internet, from web servers to Android smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. The TCP/IP networking …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2016
A view from Babbage's eye-mounted Picam

Micron smartphone flashery

Micron has got itself 32GB, 32-layer, 3D NAND smartphone flash chips. The chips support the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.1 standard and are for high-end and mid-range smartphones. The UFS 2.1 support should mean good sequential read performance. Hopefully smartphones using these chips get more storage and can keep more …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2016

Latest Androids have 'god mode' hack hole, thanks to Qualcomm

Four Qualcomm vulnerabilities grant malware writers total access to modern Android smartphones. Yes, yes, nine hundred meellion "potential" users, if you're counting. Attackers can write malicious apps that, when installed, exploit the software flaws to gain extra privileges on Android Marshmallow and earlier versions of …
Darren Pauli, 08 Aug 2016

AdBlock Plus blocked in China: 159m forbidden from stripping adverts

The makers of the AdBlock Plus (ABP) say their ad-blocking browser plugin has been effectively outlawed in China by the Chinese government. ABP communications boss Ben Williams said in a blog post that the ban was part of a larger effort by the state to crack down on technology tampering with ads. In the process, Williams …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2016
Lock on a board. Photo by shutterstock

Chinese Android smartphone firm: It packs a dedicated crypto chip

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Gionee has released a device with a dedicated encryption chip it calls "equivalent to a black box" that offers the "most advanced" mobile data protection to date. Experts we asked were sceptical about the claims, which at minimum show that improved security is becoming a differentiator in the …
John Leyden, 02 Aug 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update, showing the new three-column Start menu

Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

The Big Review One year after the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, bringing new features as well as usability tweaks to the operating system. Windows 10 was always more than just another release. Notable innovations include the concept of Windows-as-a-service, with regular updates (free for consumer …
Tim Anderson, 02 Aug 2016
Ten fingers with windows flag

Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops in its first year, according to the web-watchers on which The Register relies for regular assessments of operating system market share. Those watchers are Netmarketshare and StatCounter, which now have data covering the entire year since Redmond shoved …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2016
 People photographing bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi with smartphones

Smartphone sales stall at ~3.5 million per day

Smartphone sales have just about stalled at the disappointing figure of about 3.5 million a day, each and every day of the year. Analyst firms Canalys and IDC last week both released the results of spreadsheetery covering the year's second quarter, both finding sales ticked up a million or so compared to 2015's second quarter …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Aug 2016

What's on a road to nowhere? Ingram's Q2 numbers

Ingram Micro outlined progress, or rather lack of it, when it reported calendar Q2 numbers last night and did little to convince financial markets - including Shanghai’s Stock Exchange - that it is a business going places fast. The world’s largest tech distributor said revenue for the three months ended 30 June were down four …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016
No entry

Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies

The security folks at Google have been detailing how they intend to harden up Android against attack. In a blog post, Jeff Vander Stoep of the mobile operating system's security team said that in the next build of the OS, named Nougat, Google is going to be addressing two key areas of the Linux kernel that reside at the heart …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
Macbook 2015. Pic: Apple

Ditch your Macs, Dell tells EMC staff

Exclusive Staff at EMC who go out into the world to meet customers have been told their Apple Macs aren't allowed to come with them. Amid Dell's looming takeover of EMC, an edict has been issued insisting that Dell customers must only ever see Dell laptops during meetings and consulting engagements, EMC insiders have told The Register …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
shutterstock_mobile_theft_648

Anti-theft kill switches in smartphones just got a little less creepy

Some of the largest smartphone vendors and mobile carriers in the US say they have hit a milestone in the use of privacy-friendly anti-theft tools. The 16 members of the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Committee said Tuesday that as of the end of the month, all smartphones they ship and activate in the US will not only be pre- …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016

European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Europe's privacy body has reiterated its pro-privacy, anti-backdoor stance. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has long expressed the view that “privacy versus security” is a false dichotomy. In 2015, he told a conference in Brussels that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to …
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

AT&T: Money? Oh, sure, no I'm fine – I'm doing great (if you ignore my phone business)

AT&T says wireless revenues are down in what was an otherwise solid quarter for the US telecom giant. Its second quarter of 2016 [PDF] period was, overall, a success thanks to solid returns from the newly-acquired DirecTV. They were, however, tempered by falling revenues in other areas. Quarterly revenues were $40.5bn, up 22 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

Snowden's anti-snoop tool

NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden and hardware guru Andrew “Bunnie” Huang have designed a gizmo that wraps around your iPhone 6 and alerts you when the mobe unexpectedly leaks your location. Basically, if you put your smartphone into airplane mode – ie: maintain radio silence – to avoid being tracked, the gadget will kick off if …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales

Analysis Intel's stock price fell on Wednesday after it became clear the processor maker is not selling quite as many server processor chips as investors had hoped. The Silicon Valley giant reckons its CPU sales into data centers will hit double-digit growth by the end of the year. So far, with half the year gone, we're staring at mid- …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016
Eyes of a gorila

Selfie-proof smartmobes will hit stores for Christmas

Corning has revealed version 5.0 of its Gorilla Glass, the ubiquitous covering for smartphones. And this time around it says the substance has been toughened up again and will now remain intact “up to 80 percent of the time when dropped face-down from 1.6 meters onto rough surfaces”. The 1.6m figure is an improvement on …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2016
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

What do you call a spreadsheet with decent numbers for a change? qualcomm_q3_2016.xlsx

Qualcomm is crediting strong sales in China and an infusion of back royalty payments for a better-than-expected quarterly return. The California-based mobile chip designer said that it was able to turn around a lacking performance last quarter thanks to improved licensing revenues from smartphone sales. Additionally, Qualcomm …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Pokemon toys

Trump? Terror? Turkey? Whoa, there's a Tentacool in that Bush...

If terror attacks, coups and the prospect of a Trump presidency aren’t enough to convince the end of days might just be at hand, a brief review of the weekend’s Pokemon Go related news should tip the balance. As the augmented reality monster hunting smartphone game rolled out across the real world, players were shot at and …
Joe Fay, 18 Jul 2016
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jul 2016

Hackers steal millions from ATMs using 'just their smartphones'

Authorities in Taiwan are trying to work out how hackers managed to trick a network of bank ATMs into spitting out millions. Police suspect that two Russian nationals wearing masks cashed out dozens of ATMs operated by Taiwan's First Bank on Sunday and left the country the following day. The crooks stole an estimated T$70m ($2 …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2016
shutterstock_238128856_phone_theft

Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Back in the 1970s, cockney actor Mike Reid’s catchphrase on children’s TV was “Runaround – GO!!!” For the benefit of American readers... oh look, it’s too difficult to explain. However I would love to hear him shout “Pokémon – GO!!!” if only to alleviate the relentless publicity over what counts as children’s entertainment …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Jul 2016
A woman texting

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

On a recent trip to Shanghai, I saw a person in front of me in a supermarket queue present their mobile phone when asked for payment. The clerk quickly pointed the laser scanner at the phone - blip!- the sale completed. But not thanks to NFC. I’d just seen AliPay, a mobile payments system backed by Alibaba (the world’s largest …
Mark Pesce, 13 Jul 2016
Pokemon toys

Windows Phone users beg Pokémon Go creators for attention

Frustrated Windows fans are lobbying the creators of Pokémon Go to bring the augmented reality game to their smartphones and devices. Forty thousand individuals so far have signed a petition at Change.org for Pokémon Go to be ported to Windows 10 and Windows mobile. According to the petition on Change.org: With the above …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jul 2016
Stranded_ships

Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?

Comment Seagate has announced its latest quarterly results will be unexpectedly good but there will be employee bloodshed. Another 6,500 layoffs on top of the 1,600 announced in June will take place. WDC did say it was cutting 507 US staff in June but these are the tip of an expected iceberg, which will see thousands of positions …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jul 2016
 People photographing bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi with smartphones

Google aims to train two million Indian Android devs by 2018

Google will train two million Android developers across India over the next three years. Mountain View will provide complete training in its Android operating system under a new program that is paired with the Modi Government's "Skill India" program. The course kicks off with Android Developer Fundamentals available in …
Darren Pauli, 12 Jul 2016
Samsung's Gear 360 camera

Samsung deals out microSD-crushing faster fingernail flash cards

Samsung has released a new format fingernail-sized removable flash card that can handle more data faster than microSD cards. The Samsung UFS (Universal Flash Storage) card has 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacity points. This compares to Samsung’s microSD cards which come in 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128GB sizes. The fastest of them, …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
Philando Castile

Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid: It was the police – sources

The deadly shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile by a cop during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota on Wednesday just got murkier. Multiple sources have told The Register that police removed video footage of Castile's death from Facebook, potentially tampering with evidence. Castile, his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, and …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2016
IMage by Vadim Ivanov http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-771946p1.html

Loose wrists shake chips: Your wrist-job could be a PIN-snitch

Chinese scientists have brewed a way to steal -- with 80 percent accuracy -- automatic teller machine PINs by infecting wearable devices. Five university boffins demonstrated the trick in a laboratory, finding even the slight hand movements a person makes while entering PINs can be captured through infected smart watches. The …
Darren Pauli, 07 Jul 2016
Book learning, image via Shutterstock

Google eats French AI upstart

Google has bought a biz that builds image-recognition software for smartphones for an undisclosed sum. Moodstocks is based in Paris and said in an announcement that its dream is to "give eyes to machines by turning cameras into smart sensors able to make sense of their surroundings." The company has been working on its …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Jul 2016