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Cram my freebies into Android phones and get a royalty discount, says Microsoft (allegedly)

A new report claims Microsoft hasn't been offering Android device vendors any money to bundle its mobile apps on their phones and slabs; rather, it has offered to reduce the tolls it collects from the mobe-makers. Citing sources among supply chain players in China and Taiwan, DigiTimes Research says Redmond has offered to cut …
Neil McAllister, 16 Apr 2015
Microsoft on Android

Microsoft cramming free stuff into Galaxy S6es? Not so fast – US telcos

Microsoft has been working with smartphone makers to get its mobile apps onto more customers' phones, but as long as carriers have a say in it, Redmond might not be able to obtain the broad reach it's hoping for. Samsung announced in March that its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagship phones would ship with Microsoft's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

Review Is the Nokia Microsoft Lumia 640 an Office subscription with a free phone, or a phone with a free Office subscription? Either way, it's likely to be the biggest mobile device for Microsoft since the days of Zune and Kin – and the company is getting more aggressive with its marketing. Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone Office …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Apr 2015
Kids on wall. Pic: US Army/Capt Emily Skolozynski

Nokia: Yes, we're chatting up Alcatel-Lucent

Nokia has confirmed it is in talks to snap up Alcatel-Lucent. In a statement the former phone maker said it is in "advanced discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent." Nokia said there can be no certainty at this stage that these …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
Motorola Moto G 4G

Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

Review Back in December 2013, I hailed the first generation Motorola Moto G as the best affordable smartphone on the market. If you want a reasonably compact 4.5-inch device, then, arguably, it still is the best, thanks to a midlife facelift that added a microSD slot and 4G reception. Motorola Moto G 4G Motorola Moto G 4G A larger, …
Alun Taylor, 13 Apr 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

Wanna run Windows 10 Preview on your Lumia? Of course you do. Now 33 mobes supported

Microsoft has issued another build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, around two months since the last build was released. The new version, Build 10051, is only being made available to members of the Fast release ring of the Windows Insider program for now, so you can bet it has a few rough edges. The most striking …
Neil McAllister, 10 Apr 2015
lumia 640

Microsoft Lumia 640, 640XL: They're NOT the same, mmmkay?

Microsoft’s latest mass market Lumia goes on sale today, Friday, for under £100, and its big brother — the 640XL — appears at the end of the month. The 640 is this year’s successor to the popular 630/635 models launched last May, while the impressive 640XL is a solid successor to the phablet-sized Lumia 1320, but with much …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Apr 2015
Xiaomi World Record

Who is the fastest-selling phone maker of ALL TIME? Samsung? Apple? No, it's Xiaomi

The bods behind the Guinness World Records has awarded Xiaomi a certificate for the "most mobile phones sold on a single online platform in 24 hours." The Chinese electronics giant holds an annual Mi Fan Festival on the anniversary of its founding, and flings discounts at its fans to chivvy them along. This year, on April 8, the …
Iain Thomson, 9 Apr 2015

Intel and LG: Our new mobe cams COULDN'T CARE LESS about pixels

LG and Intel have announced new mobe camera tech which - for once - concentrates on something other than how many little dots you can squeeze into a photo. Intel showed a mobe-friendly version of its Realsense technology at the Intel Developers Forum in Shenzhen. This uses a combination of three cameras to give depth sensing. …
Simon Rockman, 9 Apr 2015

Apple Watch: We ROUNDUP the ROUNDUPS. Yes, Roundup-squared

FOUR THINGS ye must know about the Apple Watch: First, it is from APPLE. Second, it is a bit like a WATCH. For instance, it goes on your wrist. Third, without an iPhone 5 or 6 it is USELESS. Actually maybe that should have been first. Sorry. Fourth, the world's media are now publishing many, many reviews and commentaries on …
Lewis Page, 9 Apr 2015

Fsck those new emojis! Install iOS 8.3, OS X 10.10.3 NOW to squash all these security bugs

Apple has released software updates to add features to and fix many bugs in its OS X and iOS operating systems. The iOS 8.3 overhaul will correct dozens of programming blunders, including glitches and dropouts with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Users reported problems with establishing and maintaining connections to wireless networks and …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Apr 2015
The Netflix smartwatch: fun in the urinal, or wherever you want a house of cards

Screw YOU, Apple – Netflix teases world+dog with its own 'coming soon' SMARTWATCH

Video Netflix says it has a smartwatch “coming soon.” Kind of. The streaming vid titan today released the video below to illustrate its concept for a smartwatch. Spoiler alert: the company may not be entirely serious, as the video features a wrist-mounted smartphone with what looks to be about a five-inch screen. The “watch” is used …
Samsung Galaxy S6

Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Review I’ve found life is so much easier if one sticks to three simple rules. Never drive a Volvo car, never buy a Samsung phone, and always grind your own coffee. However, I might have to rethink one of those – and it isn’t the coffee. Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung's Galaxy S6 flagship handset Samsung can’t do anything without a …
14nm Samsung Exynos 7 Octa

Samsung grows 'custom ARM' brains to outsmart arch-nemesis Apple

Samsung will join Apple and other mobile semiconductor rivals in producing chips powered by homegrown, proprietary application cores in 2016, according to a new report. The South Korean goliath has been shipping mobes featuring its own Exynos system-on-chips (SoCs) for a good while now, but the application processor cores in …
OnePlus

Android alt-wars: OnePlus looses Cyanogen-slaying OxygenOS firmware

Smartphone startup OnePlus has released the first version of OxygenOS, its homebrewed alt-Android smartphone operating system. "By creating our own operating system, we can quickly respond to user feedback and make it easier for you to continue playing a fundamental role in the future of OnePlus," CEO Carl Pei said in a Monday …
Bender the robot from Futurama bends an unbendable girder

Samsung's bend blame blast: We DEMAND a Galaxy S6 Edge do-over

Vid Samsung is disputing claims that its Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone is just as bendy as Apple's iPhone 6 Plus – and has put together a video to make its point. Galaxy S6 and S6 edge 80lbf Three-Point Bend Test Last week consumer electronics insurer SquareTrade put the two handsets, and the HTC One M9, through some bending tests, and …
Iain Thomson, 6 Apr 2015
Bender the robot from Futurama bends an unbendable girder

Tests show HTC, Sammy phablets BEND just like iPhone 6 Plus

Vid The bending epidemic that beset Apple's latest iPhone models is not isolated to Cupertinian kit, according to testers. A video posted on YouTube suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S6 could be even more prone to bending and breaking than the iPhone 6 Plus. A stress test found that not only would Sammy's phone bend, it could even …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Apr 2015
Percentage of mobile malware on Android

Got an Android mobe with a virus? Congrats, you're The One Per Cent

Android has been known to be the mobile malware industry's operating system of choice. Now Google has published a report claiming infection rates on Android devices are much lower than you might expect. While the overwhelming majority of mobile malware is written for Google-powered gadgets, the report claims that in 2014 less …
Iain Thomson, 3 Apr 2015
Huawei HQ

Huawei bellows big revenue jump thanks to brisk 2014 phone sales

Huawei – which was backed by Britain last week despite repeated claims that the Chinese company's network kit could endanger national security – saw a 33 per cent leap in net profit for 2014. The privately held, employee-owned telecoms giant reported its full-year results this morning, when the firm's rotating CEO Ken Hu …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Mar 2015

Motorola Mobility loses another patent suit to über-troll Intellectual Ventures

Motorola Mobility has suffered another defeat at the hands of patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures, with a Delaware jury finding that Moto infringed a patent describing a way for handheld devices to connect to docking stations. Law360 reports that the jury only deliberated for about an hour before deciding in Intellectual …
Neil McAllister, 30 Mar 2015
Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Manager

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

FIRST LOOK Samsung's gone for beauty and brains with its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but hasn't fallen into the trap of style over substance. Last year's S5 packed all sorts of features into a tired-looking package and while the phone was a technological marvel, it wasn't easy on the eye and didn't set the pulse racing. Both S6 models take …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
Hitler as Fanboi

Apple is like HITLER says Chinese billionaire

One of the ways Chinese kids like to pass their time is watching video on a site called Leshi TV that's sufficiently popular the company's CEO Jia Yueting is ranked among the planet's billionaires. Jia is also an enthusiastic user of Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent. And late last week he used it to post the image above …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015

ZTE's stealthy Nubia: China-made Google-free Android mobe

Hands On A stealth project being shown discreetly at Mobile World Congress this month shows how far Chinese phone manufacturers have come – and how far they have to go. It’s under the umbrella of ZTE, the state-owned telecoms giant, and was officially unveiled this week. The Chinese are coming, but we’ve barely had a taster of it yet …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

HTC One M9 Android smartphone: Like a M8 with a squinty eye

Review In a world of generic smartphones where even Apple and Samsung seem to be converging on the same design, HTC has designed phones that are pretty distinctive – the HTC One is one of the very few brands you can recognise from across a room. HTC One M9 Android smartphone Standing out from the crowd, HTC's One M9 HTC has also …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2015

Win some, lose some: Motorola 1, patent troll 1

Motorola Mobility got some bad news and good news on Wednesday when a US jury found it ripped off an Intellectual Ventures-owned technology patent although denied a second infringement claim. The panel of peers, sitting in a federal court in Delaware, ruled that a range of Moto smartphones in 2011 infringed US patent 7,810,144 …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2015
android tongue

Pass the Lollipop: Google creepily warms to body contact with Android lock function

Google, it would seem, has quietly released a new smart lock mode feature for Android-powered devices. The function, which appears to have been dubbed "on-body detection", apparently allows a mobe to remain unlocked while it is carried in a customer's hand or pocket. According to the Android Police blog, the feature uses a …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Mar 2015

BlackBerry joins the FREAK show

BlackBerry has joined the lengthening list of FREAKed-out vendors, publishing a list of currently-vulnerable software and promising fixes as soon as possible. The famous FREAK is the vulnerability that OpenSSL inherited from the 1990s, because America's rules at the time meant “export-grade” encryption was limited to a maximum …
Brute Force

Brute force box lets researchers, Cops, pop iDevice locks

Apple fans have more reason to update to iOS 8.2 with the discovery of a device used in the computer repair industry that automates password exploitation. The IP-Box tool exploits CVE-2014-4451 to conduct unlimited password guesses against iOS devices on 8.1 and below for iPhones and iPads. A barrage of PINs are entered by …
Darren Pauli, 16 Mar 2015
Fujitsu loop heat pipe

Fujitsu SPARCs up liquid cooling for smartphones

One of the tricks Fujitsu uses to increase density in its M10 family of SPARC servers is liquid cooling. The company's Liquid Loop Cooling offers a closed system to pump coolant around a motherboard, the better to draw away heat. Fujitsu thinks Liquid Loop Cooling is very cunning but acknowledges that its use of pumps to move …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2015
BlackBerry and Android, together at last

Droidberry dangles: Why the BlackBerry-Samsung alliance is big potatoes

Analysis There’s something about BlackBerry that even its biggest fans can forget. BlackBerry has never been a phone company – it has always been a network company. For over thirty years, BlackBerry has done clever things to and with networks. It brought efficient data management, security and intelligence to mobile packet networks – …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2015
iOS 8

Want to check out iOS 8.3? Apple just might let you (but make a backup)

Just days after releasing iOS 8.2 to the masses, Apple is allowing some users to check out the early builds of iOS 8.3. The Cupertino idiot-tax operation has begun a limited public beta rollout for iOS 8.3 beta 3. Availability appears to be happening in phases, as some users report being able to access the beta and others ( …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Mar 2015
GreenPeak senior lifestyle app

Consumers beware! Ofcom's seen a scary new mobe nasty: APPS

Telecoms industry regulator Ofcom has just noticed that there are things called “apps” and has decided that people might like to know about them. “Apps are becoming an increasingly important way to communicate and access the internet through our phones, tablets and TVs”, explains the “Using apps safely and securely on your …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Tastier Lollipops for chosen few as Google releases Android 5.1

Android 5.1 is upon us! Google has announced the updated operating system's release in the usual bloggy way. There's not an awful lot to get excited about in this release, which adds multiple SIM support, high-definition voice and less-labyrinthine menus for accessing functions like connecting to WiFi networks. The headline …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Mar 2015
Ubisoft Driver San Francisco

United Nations: For pity's sake don't use your iPhone in your car

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the telecoms agency of the United Nations) has published a very short whitelist of mobile phones that are properly compatible with car kits. The phones have been tested to an exacting specification which defines the mechanical mouth used, the mechanical ear and brings scientific …
Simon Rockman, 6 Mar 2015
Sagus_V2 Top Spec phone

Saygus aims buffed up V2 Android mobe at Samsung

MWC 2015 At a pre-MWC preview, Utah-based Saygus showed off its V2 Android phone, which turns up a notch all the specs. Samsung customers who have been turned off in the past by the S6's lack of a MicrosSD slot will appreciate the two slots of the V2. This, along with the 64GB on board, would give the well-heeled customer nearly half a …
Simon Rockman, 4 Mar 2015
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Google Chrome suffers brain freeze on Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Google says Chrome 42 will be the last version for phones, tabs and other things running Android 4.0 to 4.0.4, aka Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). People using ICS will just get security updates for Chrome after version 42 is released. Users running Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, and later will continue to get major new versions of the …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Mar 2015
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: A side swipe at smartphone design

Review Edge. Get used to the word. From here on in, if the scuttlebut is to be believed, several flagship Samsung devices will be available with an Edge variant.  An Edgy version of the Galaxy S6 has already been confirmed.  A what? In simple terms with a bit of extra screen that curves around the right hand edge of the device. …
Alun Taylor, 3 Mar 2015
Exploded iPhone

'Fry-OS 8' iPhone BLEW UP MY PANTS wails roasted Johnson

A bloke on Long Island, New York, claims an iPhone 5C exploded in his pants, putting him in hospital for 10 days with second and third-degree burns. Incredible, isn't it? Someone bought an iPhone 5C. Apple has told The Register it is investigating the pocket bomb allegation. Erik Johnson, 29, who works as an escalator and …
Iain Thomson, 3 Mar 2015
BlackBerry Leap smartphone

BlackBerry gets flirty with QWERTY IP, launches $275 Leap

MWC 2015 BlackBerry's CEO told The Register today that everything in the company’s IP portfolio is up for grabs, including hardware IP for BlackBerry’s hallmark QWERTY keyboards. “I’m not a big believer in holding on to all your secret sauces,” John Chen told us. “We have 53 per cent of staff employed in IP creation and engineering and …
xperia m4

Chasing pennies, Sony, Microsoft and smartphone biz rivals retreat to mid-range

MWC 2015 Before you read this, or any phone news at all this week, keep in mind one statistic. According to Strategy Analytics, for every Great British pound of profit made in the entire smartphone industry, Apple pocketed 89 pence. Everyone else is left with 11.7 pence. Everyone. In an industry that generates $300bn in wholesale revenue …
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Updated Last year, Google said Android 5, codenamed Lollipop, will encrypt the contents of smartphones and tablets by default. Now it's had to do some backtracking. In short, despite Google's boasts that Lollipop will encrypt handhelds' data by default "out of the box," that simply isn't being enforced on all devices running Android 5. …
Iain Thomson, 2 Mar 2015

3 spectastic Lumias for price of 1 rival flagship: Microsoft sells biz on cheapie experience

MWC 2015 Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop emerged from cryogenic storage at Microsoft to announce two new phones and give a glimpse of mobile Office for Windows 10. But not a lot – more will be revealed at Microsoft’s developer event, Build, in April. Elop, who hasn’t been seen much since Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s …