Offerings available at first for 2015 A3, will be added to other vehicles
Audi of America and AT&T have announced 4G LTE data plans for the 2015 A3 sedan, which debuts this month, and will enable the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE data connection in North America. Additionally, Audi has revealed that an accompanying mobile app will allow advanced functionality between the in-car system and smartphones, reducing the need for Audi motorists to handle devices when accessing some smartphone-based features.
High-speed network technology research announced by UK Prime Minister
United Kingdom will work with Germany to create the next generation of wireless communications technology, revealed UK Prime Minister David Cameron at CeBit in Germany. The two countries will collaborate together on the 5G connections, which Cameron hopes could cut the time it takes to download an 800MB file down from 4G's 40-second transfer time to just one second.
LG could follow Samsung, Sony in adding water resistance to G3
LG's follow-up to the flagship G2 could be a waterproof and dust-proof mobile device, according to a report from South Korea. If the rumor is true, this would bring the LG G3 in line with devices from other manufacturers, such as the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, in providing a device that can survive being splashed with water or an accident outdoors.
Front cover of next HTC One could show time, weather
More details about HTC's flagship smartphone update have surfaced over the course of the weekend, according to a number of leaks. The next HTC One will come with a unique dot matrix-style cover in one rumor, while newly-surfaced images appear to give a complete, overall view of the smartphone itself, rather than marketing renders.
Lower Simple Choice plans gain more data, new higher tier offered
T-Mobile in the United States has updated its Simple Choice price plans with a few changes. The amount of data available to customers on the carrier has both risen and fallen, depending on the tier of service, with all plans also gaining enhanced global data and text services in more countries, and the extra introduction of unlimited stateside international text messaging.
Case shrinks dramatically as Apple, Samsung agree to avoid SEP disputes
The second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, scheduled to start on March 31, took a dramatic turn late on Friday as the two companies filed a stipulation with the court dropping some of the claims and counter-claims to be debated in the second trial. Samsung, perhaps fearing further investigations over its improper use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as legal weapons and bargaining tools, has agreed to drop all SEP claims from the case, leaving it with only two claims on two patents, down from its original five.
Remote access tool Dendroid injects malware code into APK files
A HTTP new remote access toolkit (RAT) that is cause for concern has surfaced, according to anti-virus/anti-malware program maker Symantec, which makes turning legitimate Android apps into malware easier than before. The program, Dendroid (tagged as Android.Dendoroid by the security company), offers an easy-to-use commercial solution to inject malicious code for trojan access into APK files for placement on Android marketplaces, bypassing security checks.
Milk Music offers 200 genre stations, personalization options, 13M songs
Samsung is offering owners of its Galaxy mobile devices in the United States a free streaming music service. Milk Music will let users listen to more than 200 genre-based and ad-free music stations, using a catalog of more than 13 million tracks to generate playlists, with the additional option of generating personal stations based on favorite songs and albums.
Assassin's Creed Pirates for iOS and Android adds new map area
Ubisoft has announced that its game Assassin's Creed Pirates has been updated for iOS and Android devices. The update includes a new map area and campaign missions, with three new secondary missions and new treasures and diaries available for collecting. Each map features its own "survival mission," where players can fish and hunt whales for food. The update to Assassin's Creed Pirates is free for existing users.
iPhone still most popular device
Apple grew its share among US smartphone owners during the last quarter to 41.6 percent, according to new comScore data. Data polled between October and January shows that Apple advanced 1 percentage point. The company's main rival, Samsung, grew ownership by 1.3 points, but remained firmly in second place at 26.7 percent. LG's share rose just 0.3 points to 6.9 percent, presumably on the back of the G2 and the Google-branded Nexus 5.
Over 40 college color combinations added to Moto Maker
Motorola has made two changes to Moto Maker in an attempt to attract students to the Moto X smartphone. The online designer has been updated to include preconfigured customizations based on a number of colleges, complete with a case showing the college emblem, while students will be able to pick up a Moto X from the company at a discount.
App has utility in retail; Autism and healthcare utilities possible
Facial expression recognition company Emotient has announced the availability of its Sentiment Analysis prototype application for Google Glass, which is currently being released as a private beta with select partners and customers. The company claims that among other uses, the software could be used by retailers to improve the understanding of customer sentiment, as well as customer satisfaction.
First L Series III device to ship with Knock Code security
LG is rolling out its previously-announced L90 smartphone this week, with the first devices heading to Russia and other nearby countries. Revealed before Mobile World Congress, the LG L90 will be the first L Series III device to be sold with the manufacturer's new Knock Code security system, one which requires the owner to unlock the device by tapping the display using one of over 86,000 combinations.
HTC Desire 310 has 4.5-inch 480x854 display, quad-core 1.3GHz processor
HTC has unveiled a new member of its Desire range of smartphones, following its Mobile World Congress launch of the mid-range Desire 610. The Desire 310 is the entry-level equivalent of the recent launch, offering a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 480x854, a quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4Gb of microSD-expandable storage.
Wal-Mart offering 5c for $29, 5s for $119 with two-year contract
Walmart has reduced prices significantly on the Samsung Galaxy S4 for users signing two-year contracts with AT&T or Verizon. The Galaxy S4 has been reduced to $49, down from $99. A 16GB iPhone 5s has also been reduced to $119, with the iPhone 5c seeing a cut to $29. Additionally, consumers purchasing a Samsung phone with a two-year contract will be given a $50 Walmart gift card.
Code allowed for benchmark manipulation by removing CPU throttling limitation
Samsung may have learned its lesson from the benchmark inflation affair, with a report suggesting the latest software updates from the company gives a more accurate result of a device's capabilities. Code relating to optimizing the processor of the company's smartphones in earlier releases of Android customized for the devices appears to be missing in Android 4.4 updates, which could be a sign it has been removed completely.
Brings CNN content into Flipboard
iOS- and Android-based news reader service Flipboard has bought its main rival Zite from CNN, the company and reports have confirmed. The deal is worth about $60 million, and beginning today has allowed Flipboard to integrate tailored CNN content into its news feeds, including not just general news but feeds from shows like Anderson Cooper 360, Crossfire, and Inside Politics. Some celebrities from the network, like Jake Tapper and Fareed Zakaria, are launching their own Flipboard magazines.
Privacy-oriented offering from FreedomPop adds protection to
FreedomPop is entering the secure smartphone market, with the launch of the Privacy Phone. Just like the Boeing Black and the Blackphone from Silent Circle and Geeksphone, the Privacy Phone boasts a number of security features not typically offered in normal smartphones, such as 128-bit encryption of voice calls and text messages, as well filtering data traffic via a virtual private network (VPN) before reaching the Internet itself.
Increase in BlackBerry trade-ins countered by mass exodus from platform
A recent promotion from T-Mobile offering credit towards another device when trading in a BlackBerry smartphone has apparently caused an exodus of users to other platforms. A report claims that the two-week promotion has led to 15 times the normal amount of BlackBerry devices being traded in, and that 94 percent of these users are using the credit to switch to a non-Blackberry device.
Earlier reports misquoted, Kutcher work on tablets continues
Lenovo is not working with Ashton Kutcher on new smartphones, the company has revealed. Following reports that the actor was expanding his design remit at the manufacturer from tablets to smartphones, a Lenovo executive has clarified that Kutcher's work is still concerns just tablets, indicating earlier comments from another executive were potentially misquoted.
Virtual assistant from Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1 demonstrated
Video of what is claimed to be a virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 has surfaced, showing the initial setup process. Cortana, named after the Halo character but could change before release, is shown to introduce itself to the user, asking for the user to set up their Microsoft account, naming the user, and asking a number of questions to set up initial notification preferences.
Bridge Data bundles added to Verizon Allset plans, carries over to following month
Verizon has updated its prepaid mobile phone offerings, by launching a set of new plans with upgradeable data options. The Allset plans provide basic set services depending on the device, with customers able to pay for an extra allocation of data called "Bridge Data" that adds to the existing amount and can carry over from month to month.
Feature shown in LG G Pro 2 could head to curved smartphone
Owners of the LG G Flex could soon receive the ability to record 4K-resolution video, according to a rumor. An alleged User Agent profile for the G Flex running Android 4.4 apparently backs up rumors of the video feature, though it is said the new addition will not have some video-recording aspects shown in the >LG G Pro 2 last week at Mobile World Congress.
D-Link announces 11AC portable router and charger
Announced today, D-Link is now shipping its 802.11ac router, entitled the Wi-Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger (DIR-510L). Allowing users to quickly create a Wi-Fi hotspot from an existing Internet connection, the DIR-510L incorporates Wireless AC750 technology as to produce and maintain fast connection speeds.
Sprint alleged to have overcharged for illegal equipment install
Wireless carrier Sprint is being sued by the US government for overcharging for its services in cellphone surveillance. Allegedly, the carrier submitted $21 million above and beyond its actual expenses (which it is entitled to). The government, however, is seeking triple damages -- $63 million -- as the violation by the carrier is charged to have been a willing and blatant violation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), the law that allows Sprint to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses associated with data collection.
Carmaker to also offer Android, existing in-car options
Following in the same steps as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz has published a series of photos (below) showing how CarPlay integration will look in future vehicles. The company is due to show off a new C-Class with CarPlay support at this week's Geneva Motor Show. Significantly, though, Mercedes says it will continue to offer non-Apple alternatives.
Virtual assistant settings menu shows Notebook, name options
Images of what could be the final form of Microsoft's Siri and Google Now competitor have surfaced. Cortana, named after the AI character from the Halo video game series but could still be rebranded for launch, has been previously said to have a similar personality to Siri, though in a nod to Google Now, the basic interface for the virtual assistant appears to offer a text-based entry option to go alongside the voice recognition system.
Karbonn Mobiles could be first to market with Windows Phone, Android smartphone
The first smartphones running both Android and Windows Phone will be launching this year, according to one manufacturer. Karbonn Mobiles of India plans to release a smartphone supporting both mobile operating systems in the next six months, with the company revealing it has recently signed a license agreement with Microsoft for producing Windows Phone devices.
Software bundle supplied with Samsung Galaxy S5 estimated to be worth $575
Samsung has detailed the free and discounted software and services offered with its new flagship Galaxy S5. The collection, estimated to be worth more than $575 according to Android Central, will include subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek +, LinkedIn Premium, Map My Fitness, Run Keeper, Skimble, Lark, Box, Evernote, and Bitcasa, as well as coupons for Blurb and Cut the Rope 2, among other additions.
Dual camera, microSD card slot confirmed in removed video
A video said to show the upcoming All New HTC One may actually have shown the device, if the reaction from a HTC manager is anything to go by. The 12-minute video, which has since been taken down by the original uploader but has since been re-added to YouTube by others, appears to show a device that is extremely similar to the original in terms of appearance and size, and seemingly confirms earlier rumors concerning its appearance.
First rumored details of next Lumia device surface
Details of Nokia's next smartphone may have started leaking, just one week after the company launched its long-rumored Nokia X Android device range. A device claimed to be codenamed "Martini" may be the next major Lumia release from the company, though there is currently little in the way of information for what the device will be capable of, aside from the name and operating system.
Ad gives information on Android integration in future head-units
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has posted a job ad that gives hints to Google's plans for in-car integration of Android products alongside its previously-announced support for Apple's "iOS in the Car" initiative. The advertisement says that the company is looking for someone to work with Google "projected mode" for Android, the first time such support has been mentioned by the carmaker.
Google services like Gmail and Google Now added to phone in five steps
A member of the XDA-developers forum who won a Nokia X at the Mobile World Congress has managed to hack and gain root access to the phone in order to bring Google applications and services to the device. The Nokia X, known for using the bare-bones free version of Android at its core, had opted to pull in Microsoft services to intentionally avoid Google's integration.
Whistle Activity Monitor now available at PetSmart, new apps updated
Dog monitor Whistle has announced its availability throughout the US through pet retailers PetSmart. A device that attaches to a dog's existing collar, Whistle collects data on activities throughout the day and night, then wirelessly sends the information to a connected smartphone. The retail announcement is also joined by an app update for iOS devices, including new graphing, and the ability to share data with friends. The company also unveiled its official app for Android. Whistle is priced at $130, and is available online as well as at PetSmart locations.
Product development follows earlier collaboration on tablets
A line of smartphones designed in part by actor Ashton Kutcher is being worked on by Lenovo, the company reveals. Building on top of an existing partnership between Kutcher and the company in the co-design, release, and promotion of Android tablets last October, the special-edition smartphone range will apparently be launching later this year.
Mobile phones search by law enforcement after jailing questioned by court
Law enforcement officials cannot search a prisoner's mobile phone once they have been jailed, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled. The 7-1 decision from the judges means that mobile devices seized at the time of arrest cannot be searched after the owner has gone to jail, as they still have some expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.
Bans on non-hands-free talking, texting stand; other uses not expressly forbidden
A case where a California driver was ticketed for "distracted driving" because he was consulting a map app for an alternate route while stuck in traffic has resulted in a victory for the driver. The Fifth District Court of Appeals found that a strict interpretation of the law, which bans talking or "listening" on a cell phone without a hands-free device for drivers, and also bars sending or receiving texts, did not cover other app use.
Introductory modular device will have Wi-Fi, display, no cellular radios
Google's modular smartphone could end up being an extremely cheap device at launch, according to Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko. The basic entry-level model of the device may be priced as low as $50 if Google gets its way, providing customers a touchscreen and basic components it requires to function, though it will just have Wi-Fi instead of radios for a cellular connection.
HTC may reuse One name in smartphone successor
HTC has started to tease its upcoming successor to the HTC One, launching on March 25th, by publishing the first of a series of videos. While the clip focuses on the BoomSound audio system used in the original, it also seemingly confirms an earlier rumor that the company will be opting to call it the "All New HTC One" instead of alternative names such as the HTC One 2, or its codename, the HTC M8.
Boeing Black wipes stored data if casing is opened
A smartphone designed to offer highly-secure communications and data storage for governments and enterprise users has been unveiled by Boeing. Initially revealed to be in development in April 2012, the Boeing Black is an Android smartphone that is claimed to be tamperproof, with any attempt to open the casing automatically resulting in the deletion of data stored on the device, ultimately making the entire smartphone unusable.
Ruling claims Apple's non-SEP lawsuits amount to 'first shot fired'
In a judgement that has bewildered international patent and legal analysts, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has rejected Apple's complaint against Samsung that the latter was using FRAND-pledged standards-essential patents (SEPs) for bargaining leverage and as threat of litigation in order to strike unjust licensing deals. The Korean FTC has essentially said that suing or seeking product injunctions over SEPs is perfectly okay -- if your company is based in South Korea.
First of three conferences will help teach Ara module creation
Google will be providing more details of its Project Ara modular smartphone scheme to developers in a trio of conferences, the company has revealed. The first Ara Developers Conference will be held on April 15th and 16th, with the primarily-online conference using streaming video and accepting questions, while a "limited number of participants" will be able to take part in person at Mountain View's Computer History Museum.
Mini name applied to marginally-smaller version of LG G2
LG initially revealed the G2 Mini last week, at the same time as a number of other devices including the G Pro 2, ahead of Mobile World Congress. The slightly-smaller handset has received the same "Mini" treatment as other similar models, and attempts to put the styling and features of its full-sized counterpart into a marginally lower-specification smartphone. Electronista took time to try out the device in Barcelona, with the initial impression being that LG has mostly succeeded with the device.
Last minute revision adds prohibition to bulk unlocking
The US House of Representatives has approved a bill legalizing cellphone unlocking, against the will of the groups who originally sponsored the bill in the first place. The bill is now headed for the Senate, with what opposition has called a "poison pill" attached, preventing companies from bulk-unlocking devices for resale. If approved, the proposed bill extends an exemption currently in place for two years that legally allows cellphone unlocking, instead of the originally-proposed permanent solution.
Will allow people to preorder from digital menus
Mobile payment service Square is testing out a new app called Pickup, reports say. Priceonomics notes the app is currently in beta with some San Francisco restaurants, and lets people order takeout food in advance of showing up. This is possible because the app has access to participating restaurants' menus, and lets people pay through Square.
Move follows six months of severe austerity programs
Beleaguered Korean electronics manufacturer Pantech is seeking help to restructure and modify its debt. The company contacted its creditors earlier this week, hoping that it can either stop or slow its payments and keep the company alive, even after a year that saw Qualcomm and Samsung each buy 10 percent of the company.
No plan currently agreed upon, shutdown still possible
As directed by the Obama administration, a cadre of federal lawyers have developed a quartet of plans to restructure the National Security Agency (NSA) phone monitoring program. The proposals run the range from officially running operations through the telephone companies with full approval and support, all the way to completely shutting the program down, according to people familiar with the matter.
Effort would also push contextual offers from retailers to participants
MasterCard and connectivity provider Syniverse today joined forces to deliver a number of mobile and payment services designed to enhance peace of mind for mobile users when traveling abroad. The two companies are currently testing a technology for an opt-in service that will enable card transactions for users only when they have their mobile device switched on in a specific geolocation, adjacent to the transaction location.
ZTE Firefox OS device is massive improvement from last year
At last year's Mobile World Congress, ZTE launched its first attempt at a smartphone running Firefox OS. This year, the company is following up on the ZTE Open with the ZTE Open C, a similarly-styled device that is also aimed at emerging markets. This time, the smartphone arrives with a fair number of improvements over its debut. Electronista took the budget Firefox OS device for a spin to see what's new.
Large 8-inch display, LTE in mid-range Huawei tablet
Huawei is using Mobile World Congress to demonstrate more than just smartphones, such as the Ascend G6 4G, by also announcing the launch of the MediaPad M1. The eight-inch tablet, which can be used to make phone calls like others in the MediaPad range, is a mid-ranged device that the company hopes will sell thanks to its LTE connectivity. Electronista spent some time with the tablet, and found it to be a little underwhelming.