Andrew Orlowski

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The Great Bulgarian Streaming Scam may well have been scummy, but Spotify got paid

An unknown Bulgarian has become the talk of the music industry after a sophisticated and apparently successful attempt to game Spotify. Thanks to a fascinating exposé by Tim Ingham at Music Business Worldwide we learn that the perpetrator may actually have been playing by the rules, bringing to light a little-noticed …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2018
nerd looking surprised at phone

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

Google has opened up a major new communications channel for businesses – sending multimedia messages to mobiles using interoperable standards. Any business can now join Google's Jibe programme following a closed beta last year. As well as blast out simple text confirmations, organisations will be able to use Rich Communication …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2018

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

Analysis Oh dear. If all this new technology is so amazing, why isn’t it translating into productivity gains? The question has been bothering economists and policy-makers for almost a decade. Since the 2008 financial crisis, productivity in many major Western economies has been flat. A hefty new examination by McKinsey’s eponymous …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2018
decline

Worldwide smartphone shipments DOWN for first time ever

The global smartphone market is shrinking for the first time as choosey buyers in emerging markets hang on to their mobiles for longer. In Gartner’s Q4 sales stats, Samsung maintained a narrow lead in global volume shipments of smartphones – but every major (top five) vendor outside of those based in China saw unit shipments …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2018

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting

One of the best-loved mobile apps of the past decade, Swype, has been given the bullet. Parent company Nuance confirmed it will no longer develop the letter-tracing keyboard, which will disappear from the Apple and Google app stores. Swype was developed by one of the inventors of T9 predictive text, Cliff Kushner, and was …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2018
shutterstock_263560157-nfc

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

“Android Pay” is no more, as Google attempts to unify its disparate transaction options under one brand. The redesigned, rebranded Google Pay app – which supersedes Android Pay – is already in the Google Play Store. Google has folded some of the functionality from its wallet app (creatively named, er, Google Wallet) into its …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2018

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Exclusive They've really gone and done it. They've made a modern Psion: a brand new computer that fits in your pocket – one you can touch-type on and everything. Planet Computing's Gemini is not just a PDA: it has been called "the only interesting phone in the market," which shouldn't sound so weird – the Gemini model with a SIM card …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2018

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Comment Perhaps more by accident or design, Microsoft managed to lower expectations for Windows on Arm last week – but not set them so low it kills off interest in the platform. In fact, the "redacted" advisory about limitations of Windows confirms what we already know – hairy hacks won't work, nor will various plugins that hook into …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2018

iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Samsung has provided confirmation that iPhone X sales are way below Apple's estimates for the much-hyped, tenth anniversary special. The miscalculation could end up benefitting Android owners. News that public demand for the £999 phone was falling short of expectations came over the Christmas holidays, with Bloomberg reporting …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2018
Man on old phone, image via Shutterstock

Sorry, I can't hear you, the line's VoLTE

EE has improved the reliability of its voice calls after a bumpy transition to an all-IP mobile network, according to network sleuth RootMetrics. The introduction of VoLTE saw EE fall from the top spot in RootMetrics' network ratings for call reliability. Three and Vodafone beat EE in the first half of last year for the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2018

When Samsung reveals the S9 at MWC, at least try to act surprised

There's rarely such a thing as a "genuine" phone leak in our experience – glimpses of unreleased models are carefully choreographed by professionals months in advance. Apple is the obvious exception. A stupendous data dump on the eve of the iPhone launch left presenters with nothing new at all to announce. Samsung's big night …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2018

*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

You read it here first: the much-feared Chrome adblockalypse is likely be a soaking wet squib – with many kinds of digital irritant permitted. As we noted back in December, you need to read the fine print of the industry trade group's standards to know this, though. The Coalition for Better Ads, which includes ad duopoly …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2018
Possibly zombie woman holds laptop as blood runs down face in post apocalyptic future...

Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'

Analysis Google's own ad-blocking initiative was introduced yesterday via its Chrome browser. Ad folk mag The Drum calls it a "hatchet" for publishers. Online media trade site Digiday agrees, finding publishers glumly resigned to the move. We found broad agreement that it's going to be web content producers, not the ad industry, that …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2018
suits clapping

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

Readers with good memories may recall that when Windows NT was launched, it came in Workstation and Advanced Server editions, with the former fulfilling most duties of a server. There were no limits on TCP/IP connections, for example. Just as its developer Dave Cutler intended. When, a little later, Linux vendors packaged …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2018

So... Nokia's taking a long, hard look at its health unit

Nokia appears to be revising its ambition to be the data kingpin of the digital health industry. The Finnish telecomms giant has put its Digital Health business up for “strategic review”. This “may or may not result in any transaction or other changes”, it says coyly. Over the past two years, Nokia has quietly assembled a …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2018
Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop and the fall of Nokia revisited

The first English translation of Operation Elop, an examination by Finnish journalists into the final years of Nokia phones, has reignited debate about the fate of what was Europe's largest and most admired technology company. The translation comes three years after the book was published in Finland, but it gives English- …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2018
chialin chang

HTC phone supremo leaves months after Google guts firm for best and brightest

Chialin Chang, president of smartphones at HTC, has resigned. No successor has been announced. Taiwanese press spotted the announcement in the regulatory paperwork, subsequently confirmed officially. After Google acquired some 2,000 HTC engineers, senior HTC staff told The Register the company still had a team of around 2,000 …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2018

You won't believe this: Nokia soars back into phone-flinger top 3

HMD's Nokia-branded Androids haven't exactly got reviewers raving – but they are shifting in decent numbers. Counterpoint reckons HMD sold 4.4 million Nokias in the final three months of 2017, with total sales to date topping around 10 million. That's enough to put it in the UK Top 3 again, analyst Neil Shah reckons. Globally …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2018

Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Real world test Last year Apple transformed the fortunes of its iPad. In the spring the iconic fondleslab looked so neglected, it was declared "done". Sales were half of what they had been at the iPad's peak. Then in June, the biggest software update in years, iOS 11, transformed the iPad from a glorified picture frame into something …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2018
The Essential Phone

World+dog ignores Rubin's Wonderdroid

Essential's much-hyped debut phone failed to reach six-figure sales last year, despite heavy discounts. Analyst IDC's research director, Francisco Jeronimo, reckons Essential sold 88,000 units in 2017. Android godfather Andy Rubin's debut was much anticipated and snagged Sprint as the exclusive carrier. But it appeared late …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2018
Apple Homepod - sawing through it.

Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions

A teardown of Apple's HomePod, the company's answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google's Home devices, confirms suggestions that Cupertino was working on advanced audio technology before semi-sentient speakers took off. The HomePod is considerably more expensive than its rivals, but buyers can console themselves that the money has …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2018
man gathers money in an umbrella

Samsung needs to eat itself, not copy Apple's X-rated margins

Analysis Rarely has a phone been as widely trailed as Samsung's 2018 Galaxy flagship. When the S9 is formally unveiled in Barcelona in a fortnight there will be few surprises – not only are the design and specs widely leaked but so are the carrier variants. But what does Samsung want from its phone range – and what does the world …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Feb 2018
bubble

Xiaomi the money: China's latest IPO star tastes of bubble tea

Analysis Xiaomi's rush to go public is as much a sign of a speculative bubble as Bitcoin mania. Will it have a happy ending? Somebody seems to be in a hurry. Xiaomi is only just making a comeback from a crash last year. But for the few years prior to that, though, Xiaomi enjoyed astonishingly unctuous coverage. "Is Xiaomi the next …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jan 2018

Microsoft wants to patent mind control

Microsoft has applied to patent a brain control interface, so you'll be able to "think" your way around a computer device, hands free. Last year, Facebook claimed to have 60 engineers engaged in BCI [brain computer interface] but Microsoft isn't going to take this sitting down. It's erm, sitting down and thinking really hard …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2018

Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

Facebook has settled a case with a 14-year-old girl after the social network hosted revealing pictures of her on a Facebook "shame" page. In perhaps the first case of its kind in the world, Facebook was taken to the High Court by lawyers for a Northern Irish girl, whose nude picture was repeatedly posted to the page between …

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