OnePlus hints at announcement due on June 1
OnePlus has revealed it will be making an announcement on June 1, with a cryptic tweet hinting the company is "looking for ways to change the tech industry," that it is "time for change," and posting an image of a smartphone on a sheet of paper being erased. The current candidate for the announcement is a possible successor to the OnePlus One smartphone which OnePlus has previously confirmed it was working on.
Multifunction smartphone camera stand -- yeah, it's a fancy selfie stick
While IK Multimedia is perhaps better known for the audio software it creates, the past few years has seen the company growing more and more into the mobile accessory space. Products like the iRig, iRig Mic HD, and iLoud have given the company a reputation for creating products that are not only well built, but also easy to use. Most recently, the company has announced the launch of the iKlip Grip, a new multifunction product aimed towards mobile photographers.
Upgraded version of Xperia Z3 will go on sale in June
Sony is bringing the Xperia Z4 smartphone it launched in Japan to the rest of the world, but with a change of name. Rebranded by Sony as the Xperia Z3+, the smartphone is seemingly being marketed as a slightly upgraded version of the Xperia Z3 rather than a new generation of mobile device, and considering its specifications and physical similarity to earlier models, that may be an appropriate move to make.
MacNN and Electronista deals for the Memorial Day weekend
Hello and welcome to an unusual edition of Daily Deals. Typically, the staff of MacNN and Electronista do not provide a deals post on a Saturday or Sunday, but since retailers are offering sales over this three-day weekend, we're making an exception. As well as a recap of the still-active deals from earlier this week, we've been adding new deals to the list throughout the weekend, with the most recent deals added this morning at 12:50APM EDT, so you can make the most of your money.
High number of Project Fi invite registrations causes delay in SIM deliveries
People registering for an invite into the recently-launched Project Fi, the Google-created wireless carrier, may have a bit of a wait before they will receive their SIM cards and be able to use the service. An email sent out to users suggests that it won't be able to get everyone currently signed up for the carrier until 'mid-summer' at the latest, due to the virtual network's overwhelming demand from potential subscribers.
Default outside carrier's stores now becomes Next installment program
AT&T, one of the US' largest carriers, has opted to make a significant change to its arrangements with third-party resellers of its services, including franchises and agents such as Apple, Walmart, and others. All non-company stores will be restricted from offering any two-year contracts in the traditional format with an up-front down payment, though AT&T company stores and its own online site will continue to offer contracts. Instead, retailers will have to offer the AT&T Next option, where buyers pay the cost of the phone alongside the monthly service plan fees.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 22, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Our last recap of the week follows after the new batch of deals, including a 1080p home theater projector, a $130 Chromebook, and the Logitech UE Mini Boom speaker.
Google, Skrillex release Live Cases for Android smartphones
Google has unveiled a set of limited-edition cases for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy Note 4 smartphones, designed in partnership with Skrillex. The Editions cases include early access to an album, a short-cut button that takes users to Skrillex's YouTube music feed, and a companion live wallpaper that updates throughout the course of the day with images shot from a specially-launched balloon satellite named after Skrillex's dog, reports Phone Arena. The cases are being sold through the Google Store for now, but the official Android blog suggests it may be available elsewhere in the future.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 21, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search the Internet to find bundles, discounts, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The last few days of still-active deals are accompanied by a new set, including a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, the Nintendo 2DS, and an Asus Transformer notebook.
Samsung delivers its best smartphone, but is it enough?
The Samsung Galaxy S6 range is a critical component in Samsung's flagging smartphone strategy. With sales of its high-end smartphones being sapped by intense competition from Apple's larger iPhone 6 models, and sales of its mid-range and low-end smartphones being attacked from all sides by the cheaper Chinese competition, the success of the Galaxy S6 is vital to the company reversing its fortunes. The Galaxy S6 Edge is potentially the more interesting of its two Galaxy S6 models -- both of which share identical specs on paper -- as the Edge features a more adventurous design with a curved version of its Super AMOLED display. So can Samsung claw back market share with its new smartphone, and return high profitability to its mobile division? Read on in our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
MacNN and Electronista deals for May 20, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for sales, bundles, discounts, and offers on hardware, software, and gadgetry for you, the discerning reader. A recap of still-active deals follows the new batch, which includes $300 off a Lenovo notebook, the Logitech UE Boom speaker, and the Sony AS30 HD Action Camera
R7, R7 Plus have similar core internals, slim construction
Oppo has unveiled two smartphones joining its R-series of mobile devices. The R7 and the R7 Plus are similar-specification smartphones equipped with five-inch and six-inch 1080p AMOLED displays respectively, with each offering narrow bezels to the sides of the screen and Oppo's continued efforts to design a thin smartphone, with the R7 measuring 6.3mm while the Plus is 7.75mm thick.
Asus Zenfone 2 is a great value Android smartphone
The Asus Zenfone 2 has just landed in the U.S. and after getting our hands on it, we think it is yet another mid-range competitor that is likely to give Samsung a real headache. While we are definitely fans of high-end smartphones, we are much less keen about the inflated price-tags that come with them. For the subset of users who don't necessarily want or need all the cutting-edge features, or who don't want to enter into long-term plans, there is a growing array of Android-powered options that have both genuine appeal and capability. The Asus Zenfone 2 is one of these devices and warrants a closer look. Read on to see why we are excited to see this handset get a surprise local launch.
Agency joining with Apple, AT&T in opposing sale of cell phone customer data
Following a similar move by Apple last Thursday filed with the Delaware bankruptcy court handling the sale of some RadioShack assets, the US Federal Trade Commission has sent the court a list of conditions for the sale of the electronics retailer's assets that would be needed to protect personal privacy of cellular service customers who bought their equipment and/or service from RadioShack. Neither Apple, nor fellow filer AT&T, are seeking to block the overall sale.
Security focus, device design key to BlackBerry revival, claims CEO Chen
BlackBerry will start to make money on smartphone sales again in the future, the manufacturer's chief executive has insisted. In an interview, CEO John Chen revealed he continues to believe Blackberry's devices business will become profitable, with the company's refocusing on enterprise and government customers forming a central part to the rejuvenation plans, instead of the consumer market.
Two more smartphones launched using LG G4 branding
LG has introduced two more smartphones bearing the G4 name, with both new devices offering more restrained specifications than the flagship model. The G4 Stylus is a cheaper, lower specification phablet that is effectively a rebranding of the G Stylo, while the G4c is a more compact, budget-conscious smartphone that shares the design and many of the features of the full-size version.
Carriers will be unable to delay Windows 10 for Mobile update releases
Microsoft will be attempting to make Windows 10 for mobile devices more secure than Windows Phone has been previously, by excluding device manufacturers and carriers from the process entirely. The software giant will be directly applying patches to smartphones running Windows 10 Mobile, potentially eliminating some of the operating system fragmentation that occurs when carriers delay the release of upgrades produced by manufacturers.
Sprint increases list of countries included in International Value Roaming plan to 22
Sprint is adding more countries to its International Value Roaming plan, providing free data at 2G speeds and unlimited text messaging in a total of 22 countries. The carrier has added service in Colombia, Denmark, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay, and Sweden, with travelers in these countries able to upgrade their data to 3G speeds by acquiring roaming data passes.
LG Lancet runs Windows Phone 8.1, includes HD Voice Calling compatibility
Verizon has unveiled LG's latest smartphone, the first running Windows Phone in a long time. An exclusive for Verizon Wireless, the budget-ranged LG Lancet is LG's first Windows Phone 8.1 device, and will have the honor of being the first Windows Phone smartphone on Verizon to be compatible with HD Voice Calling, thanks to its inclusion of Advanced Calling 1.0.
Users can choose to be updated on artist activity, comment on posts
Sources familiar with plans for Apple's new streaming music service, supposedly now to be called "Apple Music," have revealed that the service will have a deep social networking aspect for artists, but will not be the same as Apple's previous attempt at fusing social and music together, dubbed "Ping." Artists will have their own page that can be used for posting samples, concert and tour information, photos, and other messages that fans can comment on and "like."
Battery bank takes 9 hours to charge with compatible solar panels
Portable solar power vendor Goal Zero today announced availability of the Venture 30 Recharger. The Venture 30 Recharger is intended to charge smartphones, tablets, and other USB-powered devices in unpredictable environments, and is the only portable power product on the market that is IPX6 weatherproof-certified without any port-covering plugs.
Free calls, texts, data offered to potential FreedomPop UK users
FreedomPop, the carrier that provides free calls to its customers, has revealed plans for its launch in Europe, after its trial in Belgium last year. The United Kingdom will be the first country to receive the service when it formally launches this July, which will provide 200 voice minutes, 200 text messages, and 200MB of data per month completely free to users, as well as unlimited free calls and texts to other FreedomPop users.
New edition of YotaPhone 2 has reversed e-ink display to match white exterior shell
Yota Devices has made some changes to its YotaPhone 2 dual-screen smartphone. An alternative version is being made available, replacing the original black outer casing with a white version, while a new over-the-air Android Lollipop update for both versions introduces an updated user interface that is said to improve the smartphone's overall performance.
Unauthorized third-party charges cost Verizon, Sprint dearly
Sprint and Verizon have agreed to pay a fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for adding unwanted third-party charges to phone bills, a practice also known as "Cramming." The two carriers have agreed to pay $158 million to settle the charges, with Verizon paying the higher amount of $90 million, while Sprint will be charged $68 million.
Majority of MetroPCS customers have already migrated away from CDMA
MetroPCS is finally pulling the plug on its CDMA network, as it shuts down the service in its last remaining markets. The carrier is still trying to get customers who have yet to upgrade to devices capable of connecting to T-Mobile's GSM, HSPA+, and LTE network, with the last of the shrinking group needing to do so before its scheduled June 21st network closure date.
Google Play adds option to pre-register for Android apps
Android users are now able to pre-register for apps due for release in the near future on Google Play. According to Android Central, Glu Media's Terminator Genisys: Revolution game currently gives the option to sign up for an alert when the app is released, allowing them to buy it as soon as it becomes available. The same system also allows users who have registered their interest to unregister, if they no longer want a release alert for the app.
Company has more cash than most US industry sectors combine, Moody's finds
Apple, which is closing in on holding some $200 billion in cash, is well known for being one of the richest companies on the planet. A new report from Moody's Investors Service release on Thursday notes that the iPhone maker actually held more cash on hand at the end of 2014 -- when it had $178 billion -- than most US industrial sectors put together, surpassed only by the whole of the tech sector, the financial sector and the medical industry.
Throttling only kicks in in congested areas, not universally
Seemingly overnight, and in response to a lawsuit, AT&T has modified its terms of service language on a website about LTE speed throttling for its heaviest users. The company now claims that users who have exceeded 5GB on LTE "may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion." Previously, LTE users who had used more than 5GB were throttled at all times.
Swiping bezels of ZTE Nubia N9 can switch between apps, open camera
ZTE has launched a new smartphone in its Nubia range, which has a "bezel-less" display. The Nubia Z9 has a 5.2-inch 2.5D curved glass display capable of displaying a Full HD picture, with side bezels measuring 0.8mm thick, though despite their slim size, ZTE is also making them more functional, by adding frame swiping gestures to trigger apps and events on the phone.
Verizon subscribers offered free 14-day trial of T-Mobile service with loaned smartphone
Following the success of the iPhone 5s Test Drive promotion from last year, T-Mobile will be offering something similar to potential customers currently subscribed to Verizon. The "Never Settle" campaign will provide Verizon customers the ability to try out the carrier's network and service, by borrowing a smartphone from T-Mobile for two weeks at no charge.
Combined smartphone-desktop computer concept by Canonical getting closer to launch
Aspects of the Ubuntu Edge, a smartphone project that failed in its crowdfunding effort two years ago, may be making a comeback in a new device. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced the company has been working with an unnamed manufacturer to produce a device that can work as both a smartphone and as a desktop computer, a core concept to the failed Edge handset, one which will be launching soon.
Devices codenamed Cityman, Talkman said to have QHD displays, run Windows 10
Microsoft may be working on a pair of high-specification Lumia smartphones meant to showcase the upcoming Windows 10 operating system. Details relating to two upcoming smartphones have apparently leaked, with a report claiming one device codenamed "Cityman" has a 5.7-inch QHD display, while the "Talkman" will have the same resolution but use a smaller 5.2-inch screen.
Future Windows 10 smartphones can offer larger work area with monitor connection via Continuum
Future smartphones running Windows 10 will be capable of performing some of the same tasks as desktop PCs when they are connected to a television, Microsoft has revealed. Demonstrated at Build, Continuum will allow mobile users to run some of the universal apps installed on their device on the larger display, giving them more space and freedom to work.
Latest LG flagship has 16MP F1.8 camera with OIS 2.0
LG has formally launched its previously-teased flagship smartphone. The LG G4 follows on from its predecessor, the LG G3, upgrading the screen to a 5.5-inch 2560x1440-resolution IPS "Quantum Display" panel, which is claimed to offer 20 percent greater color reproduction, a 25 percent improvement to brightness, and a 50-percent greater contrast.
China set to receive Lenovo K80 from end of April
Lenovo has introduced a new smartphone destined for the Chinese market, with two impressive hardware points among the mid to high-end specifications list. Measuring 8.5mm thick, The phablet-sized Lenovo K80 houses 4GB of RAM, equalling the competing Asus ZenFone 2, while the non-removable battery holds a long-lasting 4,000mAh of charge.
Sony Xperia P2 will allegedly borrow screen, processor, RAM from Xperia Z4
Sony is said to be preparing a sequel to the Xperia P, unveiled three years ago, according to a rumor. The Xperia P2 will allegedly borrow a large number of core components from the Japan-only Xperia Z4, including the 5.2-inch Triluminos 1080p display, but it will switch the body design to one where there is a larger section of bezel at the bottom of the case rather than the top, just like its predecessor.
Statement refutes claims new Nokia smartphones are in development
Nokia has refuted suggestions it will be returning to the smartphone market. A brief statement on the company's website denies that it has plans to "manufacture or sell consumer handsets," something that recent reports claim the telecommunications company will be doing in the future, after a two-year period away from the industry as part of the terms of its Devices and Services arm sale to Microsoft last year.
Cricket Wireless adds Canada calls, texts to Smart, Pro plans
Cricket Wireless is upgrading some of its plans to include unlimited international calls and texts to Canada. The $50 Smart Plan and the $60 Pro Plan will gain the extra calling option, joining its existing Mexico calling option, with both new and existing customers receiving the benefit. Customers on the $25 Talk & Text and $40 Basic plans will not receive the upgrade.
Iconia Tab 10, Iconia One 8 tablets launched at Acer event
Acer has revealed two new Iconia tablets as part of its device launches today, as well as bringing one smartphone to the United States for the first time. The Iconia Tab 10 is a tablet aimed at education, the Iconia One 8 offers advanced touch capabilities, and the Liquid M220 smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 will be arriving in Microsoft Stores in the coming months.
Amazon deliveries to Audi trunks tested in Munich
Amazon is working with Audi to test home deliveries using the customer's car as storage. According to Ars Technica, Audi owners provide Amazon with an approximate location for where their car will be during a specific delivery window. A DHL delivery person will receive a one-time code to access the trunk of the car, allowing them to leave the parcel and close it, preventing access from anyone but the vehicle's owner. The trial will start next month in Munich, and is open to Amazon Prime members owning a compatible car.
Claims attackers can acquire fingerprint data before it is secured
The fingerprints of owners of some Android smartphones could be acquired by hackers, researchers claim. A flaw, said to affect the Samsung Galaxy S5 and other unnamed Android devices, allegedly allows an attacker to copy the biometric data on the device itself, suggesting that fingerprint-based security on Android is not as secure as first thought.
Project Fi switches between two carriers, provides credits for unused data
Google has confirmed earlier rumors that it was planning to launch its own wireless service. Project Fi is a virtual network that provides calls, texts, and data like other carriers, but the main feature of the service is that it will drastically simplify and potentially cheapen the user's bill, by asking customers to pay for the basic service and only for the amount of data they use in the month.
Apple's default browser remains tops in mobile, captures 10 percent of US desktop
A new study by analytics firm StatCounter has shown that Chrome and Safari are virtually neck-and-neck as the top mobile browsers, but that Safari was the clear winner in both North America and Europe. In particular, in the US Safari holds a 55 percent share of mobile browser use, with Chrome at 30 percent and generic Android browsers with 9.5 percent. In addition to just edging out Safari worldwide to be the top mobile browser, Chrome is also the dominant desktop browser worldwide, with a 52.6 percent share.
LG phablet capable of using higher capacity microSD cards than currently available
LG is continuing in its attempts to compete against Samsung's Note range, by launching a new stylus-equipped phablet with a relatively unusual storage specification. The LG G Stylo is a mid-ranged phablet with a 5.7-inch 720p display and average specifications, but it is notable in being able to support microSD cards up to 2TB in size, supplementing its 8GB of built-in storage.
OnePlus makes One smartphone available to buy without invitations
The OnePlus One is now available to buy without an invitation, the manufacturer has revealed. Plagued by restricted invitation-only sales since its launch one year ago, and only recently selling freely in weekly 24-hour sales, OnePlus has lifted the restriction entirely, allowing users to order the smartphone whenever they want. The company won't be shutting out invitations completely, as the upcoming OnePlus 2 will also initially sell via invitations.
Renewed mobile phone efforts could be produced by third-party manufacturers
Nokia may re-enter the mobile phone industry next year by creating new smartphones, a report claims. While the company has previously put its name to an Android tablet called the Nokia N1 allowing it to remain visible in the mobile device industry, the manufacturer is said to be bringing in staff to work on new phones, which could head to market as early as next year.
Quiet Xperia Z4 launch avoids details of release for rest of the world
Sony has quietly launched the latest in its flagship Xperia smartphone line, in Japan. Just like the Xperia Z3 in comparison to the Xperia Z2, the new Xperia Z4 is very similar to its predecessors in terms of design and functionality, with slight improvements to some of its internals while others remain the same, such as the 5.2-inch 1080p Triluminos display.
Android gains 70 percent of downloads, iOS gains 70 percent of revenue
A new report by analytics firm App Annie has revealed that Apple and Google, as the progenitors of iOS and Android respectively, are locked in a roughly stalemated battle when it comes to revenues from apps versus app downloads. Google's Android enjoys the majority of app downloads, as it has for some time -- but continues to be unable to catch Apple in terms of being able to reward developers for their work. In a set of charts from the analytics firm, Apple's revenue from app sales is about 70 percent higher than Google Play, while Google's downloads outpaced Apple's by 70 percent.
Google adds option to find Android smartphone to search results
Owners of Android devices have a simple way of finding their misplaced smartphone, by performing a Google search. Similar to Android Device Manager's tool for finding a lost device, a search for the phrase "Find My Phone" with the owner logged in to their Google account will load up a card showing the device's location on a map, with the added option of setting the phone to ring at its loudest setting to help with finding it nearby.
Lumia 540 Dual SIM has 5-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2GHz processor
Microsoft has unveiled a Windows-based smartphone that seems to be a slightly improved version of the recent Lumia 640 for emerging markets. The new Lumia 540 Dual SIM shares much of its specifications with last month's smartphone launch, but it does include a few useful changes, such as a higher-resolution front-facing camera and, as the name suggests, the ability to use two SIM cards.