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Evil Android

Columbia U boffins HACK GOOGLE PLAY to check apps

It's the app developer's equivalent of hiding the door keys under the mat: researchers from Columbia University have found Android apps containing the developers' secret keys. That's a more serious issue than the old “don't re-use passwords”: the thousands of credentials embedded by developers, blithely assuming they're not …
Photo of the Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

If you like smartphones and you like shopping, then you just might like the Fire Phone, the first handset to be released by Jeff Bezos' etail juggernaut Amazon - and as you'd expect, it's all about shopping. The announcement that Bezos' e-tail titan plans to release an own-branded mobe came as no surprise, but what was actually …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014
Evil Android

Researchers warn of preloaded spyware in Android handsets

Security firm G-Data is warning users about their discovery of malware shipping preinstalled on some Chinese mobile phones. The German researchers said that they followed up on customer tips to study the Star N9500 mobile phone. The handsets, sold on eBay and many other online retail sites, are said to primarily be shipped out …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2014
Apple iOS 7

Bloke squeezes Apple's boules, predicts millions of iPhone 6s, iWatches

Apple has enough sapphire glass within its grasp for two models of the iPhone 6, if one was to appear, as well as the semi-mythical iWatch, an independent analyst has claimed. Matt Margolis, of Wall Street Forensics, has scoped out GT Advanced Technologies, the firm tasked with operating Apple's sapphire factory in Mesa, Arizona …
Jasper Hamill, 16 Jun 2014
Amazon Android App Store

AT&T has Amazon 3D smartphone on lockdown – report

Updated Pictures and specs of a new "3D" smartphone expected to be unveiled by Amazon on 18 June have already leaked online. And just this morning we see reports that giant US carrier AT&T has inked a deal to lock the phone to its network.* But what can we really expect? Judging by the unofficial snaps, the rumoured mobe looks like …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2014
Circuit board underwear by emiko-o

IBM says it's made your mobe more chatty

One of Big Blue 's out-of-sight, out-of-mind divisions says it has developed chippery to extend the range, speed and battery life of mobile phones. IBM last week announced the 7SW SOI, a Radio Frequency Silicon on Insulator it says is the latest in a product line it says has already clocked up over seven billion sales around the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jun 2014
NEMA 5 plug socket

Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

Apple has recalled an iPhone charger over fears it could burn down fanbois' houses. Although the fruity firm stopped short of warning of imminent conflagrations, it euphemistically said that certain models of the Apple 5W European USB power adapters "may overheat and pose a safety risk" Anyone concerned about their charger …
Jasper Hamill, 13 Jun 2014

LEAKED: Redmond not allowed to sell 'Nokia' smartphones after 2015

Microsoft has 18 months left to use the Nokia brand name on its smartphones and mutant Androids, according to leaked notes prepared for internal marketing guidance. Microsoft bought Nokia's phones business in April. Ironically, Redmond can continue using the Nokia brand longest for the part of Nokia it bought but didn't really …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2014

Huawei Ascend P7: We review the PANORAMIC SELFIE smartphone

Review Last year Huawei crept into the No 3 spot for smartphone sales worldwide without anyone really noticing. At least not here, where Chinese giant is known (if it’s known for anything) for its networking equipment. But with the Ascend P7, it raises its game in two ways. It’s Huawei’s first 4G phone, and it's by far the most …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2014
Geeksphone Revolution Android/Firefox OS Smartphone

Doubletalk: Geeksphone Revolution dual-OS smartphone

Review Open-source enthusiasts have hailed Mozilla’s Firefox smartphone operating system as a liberation from the power and intrusiveness of Google, Apple and Microsoft, who each demand your soul in return for getting the most out of their mobile OSes. The open-source crowd may have a point, though a larger number of commentators are …
Alun Taylor, 5 Jun 2014
Just what the world needs - another phone platform and ecosystem

Samsung in a TIZZY: OH PLEASE make apps for our Tizen Z mobe

Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Z, a quad-core Tizen OS smartphone that's fuelled the rumour mill for months. The mobe is powered by an operating system championed by the Linux Foundation. It will appeal to network operators that want to tout apps, and object to Google and Apple taking revenue from software sold through Google …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jun 2014
Sorry we're closed

USA! USA! ... Aw, screw it. Motorola to close Texas smartphone plant

Motorola Mobility's adventure in stateside manufacturing is coming to an end, with the Google subsidiary announcing that it plans to close its Fort Worth, Texas factory less than a year after launching its vaunted Moto X smartphone. The plant opened in May 2013 specifically to assemble the Moto X for US customers, but The Wall …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014
Simband concept drawing

Samsung wants to 'thingify' your BODY with Simband

Samsung has taken the wraps off a reference design with the idea of “sensorising” the human body, and it's neither a wrist-phone nor a smartwatch. Imagine, if you like, replacing “machines that go ping*” with wires or sensors communicating with a wristband, and you've got a start on its Simband concept. As Samsung says, it's a …

A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

Review My bit of London is phablet city... or phondleslab city, if you prefer. But it isn't the media luvvies* or the bankers or the barristers who live here who carry the phablets, it's the people who work for them. The 4G-LTE-supported smartphone-cum-tablets are wielded by the nannies and cleaners, for whom it might be their only …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2014
LG G3 Android smartphone

LG G3 fights off screen-res war rival Samsung with quad-HD cutie: In pictures

Hands on In London on Tuesday, LG took the wraps off its new G3 Android smartphone. Just like waiting for buses, LG put all its bullet points in threes, kicking off with the display, camera and design as a trio of core features. LG G3 Android smartphone James Marshall, Head of Product Marketing LG Europe highlights that size matters on …
Bob Dormon, 28 May 2014
Micro SIM Card

Hey, we'll do 4G for £15, says O2 (just mind how you go on the 1GB limit)

O2 is touting a new low-cost, low-limit route to 4G mobile broadband, and slipped in a few price rises for good measure. It's still not quite as low as Three UK. Calls on O2 Pay & Go are now billed by the minute, rounding up to the nearest minute; so a call lasting 1min 21sec will now count as 2min. And O2 has dropped its …
Simon Rockman, 28 May 2014

Come with me if you want a lid: Apple bags Terminator-esque LiquidMetal mobe patent

Apple has patented a method of embedding sapphire glass within a bezel made of the new, exciting-sounding (but rather dull) material LiquidMetal. US Patent number 8,738,104 is titled "methods and systems for integrally trapping a glass insert in a metal bezel", and the design is at least six years old. Since then, Apple has …
Jasper Hamill, 28 May 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Mozilla launches Flame reference handset for Firefox OS

Mozilla has begun taking preorders for the Firefox OS Flame, a new developer handset that's a reference design for what the not-for-profit browser maker calls "mid-tier hardware" for its open source mobile OS. "Until now, there has been no 'reference device' and the options for getting something through retail were limited," …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2014
Nokia Lumia 630

Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

Review Nokia’s cheap-as-chips Windows Phone the Lumia 520 finally gave it a hit after years of decline, and the new 630 is itching to take the baton. The timing and the price of the Lumia 520 were spot on. BlackBerry had failed to update its BB7 phones for almost two years, and had nothing new to offer the budget segment of the market …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
iMessage

Apple vows to squash iMessage SMS-KILLER

Apple has 'fessed up to an iMessage problem that occasionally clobbers iPhone-toting fanbois if they use non-iOS mobes and vowed to fix it. The long-standing iMessage issue means that people who change to using another device which doesn't have iMessage – such as one running OS Android – may not receive all of their text …
Jasper Hamill, 22 May 2014
EE Eagle - more fun that  "I spy"

EE unleashes birds of prey onto unsuspecting customers

EE have released an Eagle, a Buzzard, a Kite and an Osprey. Sadly a Vulture is missing from the avian ensemble, but we can let that pass. These are devices rather than birds – the Eagle is a tablet and the other items are portable Wi-Fi hotspots. The 8-inch Eagle tablet runs Android on a 1.6GHz Balong V9R1 quad-core processor. …
Simon Rockman, 22 May 2014

Microsoft’s 'FIRST NOKIA' arrives at £89

Microsoft’s first phone as the formal owner of the old Nokia phones business is released today. The Lumia 630 will hit UK stores next week priced at £89, hitting the channels on 29 May. Special deals might take it even lower. There’s a lot riding on the luridly coloured cheapie. The 630’s predecessor, the 520, kept Windows …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 May 2014

Samsung mobes to get an eyeful of your EYE in biometric security bid

Samsung is looking to kick its competition with Apple up a notch by swapping fingerprint scanners in its smartphones for more advanced biometric devices like iris scanners, a company exec has said. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Samsung senior VP Rhee In-jong, who heads the company's Knox security platform, …
Neil McAllister, 19 May 2014
No flash and a fixed battery

Motorola Moto E: Brill budget blower with one bothersome blunder

Review Motorola couldn't have asked for more from the affordable Moto G. It bumped the company’s UK smartphone market share from next to nothing to 6 per cent all by itself. For the first time in more than a decade, it gave European stores a Motorola device people actually wanted. Motorola Moto E budget Android smartphone Motorola's …
Alun Taylor, 19 May 2014
Texting by TarahDawdy

Fast-fingered Filho flicks aside WinPhone-furtling fumbler after 4 months

A young Brazilian has smashed a world-texting record after accurately finger-blasting a nonsensical message at speeds hitherto unachieved by humanity. Marcel Fernandes Filho from Brazil, managed to type out a test sentence in 18.19 seconds, using a Samsung Galaxy S4 with the Fleksy keyboard application installed. To snaffle the …
Jasper Hamill, 19 May 2014

So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

Analysis Microsoft isn't used to being the underdog, but the company which owns the desktop is losing its grip on customers' wallets. While buying Nokia is an audacious move to redress that, to make it work Microsoft needs to understand some of Nokia's history. Of course, Microsoft has been the challenger before, with varying degrees of …
Simon Rockman, 17 May 2014

GCHQ grants security clearance to Samsung's Knox mobe security

The official containerisation solution for security on Samsung phones and tablets has passed muster with GCHQ. It’s now deemed safe enough for UK government employees to get a Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3 S4 or Galaxy S5 all of which run the Korean firm's KNOX software. This is only to the OFFICIAL (PDF) level of security. This is …
Simon Rockman, 16 May 2014
Pfeiffer Consulting 'Smartphone OS User Experience Shootout' – Cognitive Load Comparison: iOS 7 vs. Android (Samsung)

Boffins run iOS apps on Android hardware

Boffins from Columbia University have shown off a tool called “Cider” that runs iOS apps inside Android. Detailed in this paper (PDF), Cider is complex enough that your correspondent probably can't do much better than to quote the authors' explanation of how it works. So let's get into that: "Cider enhances the domestic …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2014
Vodafone advert

Video review: Our sysadmins drink in the latest SIP phones

As I've mentioned before, it's hard to make phones sexy, especially SIP phones. The local vultures and I all had a good chuckle at that when I turned in that article, but eventually we stopped and thought: wait, how much fun can we have reviewing SIP phones? It's tough to match setting an IOsafe NAS on fire, but we have this …
Remember when all phones were like this?

Feature-phones aren't dead, Moto – oldsters still need them

Swedish phones-for-seniors company Doro has taken issue with the assertion that the days of the feature-phone are done, and has launched a new budget handset – with a keypad and no camera. This is in stark contrast to Motorola’s claim yesterday that the whole world wanted smartphones. The difference, however, is cognition. …
Simon Rockman, 14 May 2014
BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry opens devices to third-party management – including its new, sub-$200 Z3

Ailing BlackBerry has launched its first new mobe since John Chen took over as CEO in November, and to help drum up interest in its flagging handset business, it says it will for the first time let customers use other companies' software to manage BlackBerry devices. Chen has repeatedly insisted that he won't dump BlackBerry's …
Neil McAllister, 13 May 2014

Moto E pops up with £89 price tag – alongside new LTE Moto G cuz

Hands on Motorola has followed up its hit Moto G comeback smartphone with a 4G version, and an even cheaper variant, the 3G Moto E, both revealed today. The Moto E The new Moto E We got a chance to have a brief play with the new pair. Last year, Nokia became king of the budget smartphones with its Lumia 520 Windows Phone – but …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2014

What's Android Silver? Samsung preps Tizen mobes 'for Russia, India'

Samsung will reportedly launch a Tizen-powered smartphone in Russia and India. The Wall Street Journal has chatted to its usual “people familiar with the matter” and reports that an all-singing, all-dancing launch event can be expected in early June in the two target nations. Lots of noise can also be expected at the Tizen …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2014
iPhone 4

Apple pulls iPhone 4 from sale in India after just four months

Back in February, Apple made the odd-looking decision to resurrect the iPhone 4 in India alone, in order to bring a cheaper offering to the country. Now the Times of India reports that Cupertino has decided enough is enough and pulled the handset from sale on the sub-continent after four months. More confounding still, the …
ZTE Open C

ZTE Open C, the Firefox OS mobe you'll almost want, now on eBay

Chinese mobe-maker ZTE has announced that the ZTE Open C, its latest phone running Mozilla's open source Firefox OS, is now available for sale worldwide via eBay. The new device, which was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in February, is an upgraded version of the earlier ZTE Open, but while that device …

Want a twenty-buck smartphone? Go to China, says ARM exec

According to ARM, smartphone price differentials are spreading rapidly, with the low-end approaching a floor of around twenty bucks thanks to downward pressure coming from – where else? – China. "What you're seeing is this tremendous spread of the actual price of smartphones now, fundamentally from $700 – and actually above, in …
Rik Myslewski, 8 May 2014

Yeah, suck it, Foxconn. 'Pegatron' 'nabs' '15%' of 'iPhone 6' 'production'

Whispers among the iChattering classes today claim Taiwanese factory giant Pegatron has received orders from Apple to crank out a share of iPhone 6 handsets. According to a report in Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times, it's rumoured Pegatron will build 15 per cent of all 4.7-inch iPhone 6 devices, which are likely to be …
Jasper Hamill, 8 May 2014

A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

Pic Huawei took the number-three spot in smartphones last year – pushing aside Sony, HTC and Nokia – but it’s still practically unheard of as a smartphone brand in the UK. But that may change quite rapidly with the launch of its latest flagship model, the Ascend P7, unveiled today in Paris. Photograph of the P7 Yup, it's a phone …
PayPal inStore app in action

Tesco to tout its own smartphone – now THAT'S an unexpected item in the bagging area

Tesco is preparing to launch its own high-end smartphone later this year, chief executive Philip Clarke revealed today. The Android mobe will follow on the heels of the successful Hudl tablet; has UK's biggest retailer was able to shift 550,000 units of its own-brand cut-price 7-inch slab. A new version of the Android tablet, …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

Thanks for nothing, Apple, say forensic security chaps

Felons wanting to best forensic investigators need only perform a factory reset of all current model iPhones, say forensic security experts. Apple's decision to encrypt data on the iPhone is responsible for this state of affairs because a factory reset erases the decryption key required to reveal the handset's contents, …
Darren Pauli, 1 May 2014

Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

The rumours are true: Google is working on a new brand called Silver to seize back control of the Android platform. Details of the thing have been corroborated by multiple sources – and it looks like a declaration of war on Samsung and wannabe top-tier gadget manufacturers. Along the same lines as its Nexus range, Google will …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Apr 2014
management regulation1

EU antitrust bods: Motorola, Samsung too dominant to take on poor little Apple

Motorola and Samsung have escaped with a stern finger-wagging from the EU after using standards-essential patents (SEP) to stop the sale of Apple devices in Europe. The European Commission’s antitrust division said that Moto’s attempt to enforce an injunction on Apple gear based on a smartphone SEP was “an abuse of a dominant …