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Cell Phones In the News (Worldwide)

 

CTIA and Participating Wireless Companies Announce the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment"

April 16, 2014 8:44 PM | Interesting | Comments (0)

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CTIA and participating wireless companies today announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment,” which is the most recent effort by the industry to deter smartphone thefts in the U.S. The safety and security of wireless users remain the wireless industry’s top priority, and is why this commitment will continue to protect consumers while recognizing the companies’ need to retain flexibility so they may constantly innovate, which is key to stopping smartphone theft.

The “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” states:

Part I

Each device manufacturer and operating system signatory of Part I of this “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” agrees that new models of smartphones first manufactured after July 2015 for retail sale in the United States will offer, at no cost to consumers, a baseline anti-theft tool that is preloaded or downloadable on wireless smartphones that provides the connected capability to:
  1. Remote wipe the authorized user’s data (i.e., erase personal info that is added after purchase such as contacts, photos, emails, etc.) that is on the smartphone in the event it is lost or stolen.
  2. Render the smartphone inoperable to an unauthorized user (e.g., locking the smartphone so it cannot be used without a password or PIN), except in accordance with FCC rules for 911 emergency communications, and if available, emergency numbers programmed by the authorized user (e.g., “phone home”).
  3. Prevent reactivation without authorized user’s permission (including unauthorized factory reset attempts) to the extent technologically feasible (e.g., locking the smartphone as in 2 above).
  4. Reverse the inoperability if the smartphone is recovered by the authorized user and restore user data on the smartphone to the extent feasible (e.g., restored from the cloud).
In addition to this baseline anti-theft tool, consumers may use other technological solutions, if available for their smartphones.

Part II

Each network operator signatory of Part II to the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” commits to permit the availability and full usability of a baseline anti-theft tool to be preloaded or downloadable on smartphones as specified in this commitment.
 

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Android 4.4 KitKat Now Available for Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active Customers

April 16, 2014 8:40 PM | AT&T | Comments (0)

Customers who have an AT&T Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active began to receive the latest version of Android 4.4 KitKat today. In addition, this update includes key enhancements to the user interface, phone dialer app, focus and exposure, and gallery apps:

  • Improved user interface with Android 4.4 KitKat: The latest version of Android includes enhancements such as re-styled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen-immersive mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security and smarter power use.
  • Enhanced music access: Full screen album art and media controls are available from the lock screen when listening to music.
  • Camera access: The camera can also be accessed directly from the lock screen.
  • Location menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS and share location details.
  • Wireless printing: Integrated support for wireless printing available in enhanced settings.
  • New sound controls: Set sound for specific Samsung applications in enhanced settings.
 

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BlackBerry 10.2.1 Software Update Now Available for Q10 and Z10 Customers

April 16, 2014 8:37 PM | AT&T | Comments (0)

AT&T customers who have a Blackberry Q10 or Z10 began to receive the 10.2.1 software update today. This update includes enhancements and new features for both individual and enterprise customers.. BlackBerry 10.2.1 enhancements include:

  • Easier to switch to Blackberry 10: the new device switch app allows users to easily migrate their data to a new BlackBerry device.
  • Customize pinch gesture to filter BlackBerry Hub: This new feature allows users to instantly filter the message list in the Hub. Users can also customize the Hub to show only unread messages, flagged messages, draft messages, meeting invites, sent messages, or level one alerts. Once preferences are set, users can activate it with a pinch gestures on the Hub’s message list.
  • BBM inside any app and preview messages anywhere: Users can now preview any message as it arrives in any app they’re using and immediately read it and respond – without leaving the app.
  • BlackBerry Natural Sound enhancements: New sound improvements make BBM Voice and BBM Video chats sound like users are in the same room.
  • Actionable lock screen notifications: “Tap to open” messages will now appear on the lock screen, allowing users to respond to an important message quicker.
  • Picture password for fast unlocking: Unlock the phone with a combination of a picture and a number (0-9), which is placed at a particular point on the image.
  • Battery usage monitoring: A new and improved device monitor provides users with essential details on battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life and memory usage and storage, as well as CPU statistics.
 

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HTC Dual Lens System Overview

April 16, 2014 8:33 PM | HTC | Comments (0)

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The HTC One (M8) Duo Camera brings high-quality DSLR effects to a smartphone and is the next evolution in smartphone cameras. Duo Camera utilizes a dual lens and sensor configuration coupled to a ‘next-gen’ ISP and CPU. Duo Camera technology mimics the stereoscopic vision capabilities of the human eye. Two independent lenses allow it to detect and calculate the relative distance of subjects in the image. The imaging system then assigns properties to each individual pixel, which allows them to be re-purposed and reprocessed to maximize image quality.

Duo Camera technology produces images previously beyond the reach of smartphone camera systems. For instance, the camera can now accurately emulate the look of high-end lenses and dedicated professional camera systems. It enables “pro look” images with finite shallow depth-of-field control and captivating ‘bokeh’ and focus fall-off, which is particularly effective in portraits.

HTC ONE (M8) DUO CAMERA SPEC:

Secondary camera: captures depth information

  • Pixel size 2.0 um
  • Sensor size 1/3”
  • f/2.0
  • 28mm lens
The depth sensor is demonstrated in Gallery features such as UFocus, Foregrounder, and Dimension Plus.

With UFocus, the camera automatically captures depth information with every snapped picture. This allows the user to select the object or area of focus after the photo is taken. Additionally, UFocus uses the depth data collected by the dual lens system to allow for professional-looking portraits. With just a tap, a user can easily add an artistic blur effect known as “bokeh” around a subject. One can also refocus on any person or object in a photo.

 

 

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Chrome Remote Desktop Goes Mobile

April 16, 2014 8:29 PM | Google | Comments (0)

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Have you ever been out and about, and urgently needed to access a file that’s sitting on your home computer? Since 2011, Chrome Remote Desktop has let you remotely access your machine from another laptop or computer in a free, easy and secure way. And now, with the release of the Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android, we’re making it possible for you to do the same thing from your Android device.

If you haven’t used Chrome Remote Desktop in the past, you can get started by enabling your Windows or Mac machine for remote access through the Chrome Web Store app. Next, simply launch the Android app on your phone or tablet, tap on the computer’s name and start using your remote machine as if you were sitting right in front of it.

 

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NFC Forum Publishes Comprehensive Set of Technical Specifications

April 16, 2014 8:24 PM | Interesting | Comments (0)

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The NFC Forum today announced the public availability of new versions of nine technical specifications, following approval by the Board of Directors. The new versions deliver greater interoperability, faster read and write performance, mediated handover, and lower power consumption, as well as additional functionality for products incorporating NFC technology. The revised specifications comprise an integrated and streamlined set designed to be used together, bringing greater efficiency to the process of developing standards-based NFC products.

To date, the NFC Forum has completed 21 technical specifications, as the momentum for Near Field Communication devices and services continues to grow. ABI Research estimates that over 500 million NFC-enabled devices will reach the market this year.

The new set of specifications supports compatibility among NFC devices implemented with previously released versions. The revisions deliver on the Forum's commitment to developing and maintaining technical specifications of the highest possible accuracy and usefulness. The specifications are available at no charge from the NFC Forum website after completion of the Specification License Agreement.

The updated specifications are:
 

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PayPal with Fingerprint Authentication and PayPal App Now Available

April 14, 2014 7:42 PM | Gadgets | Comments (0)

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WHAT: PayPal has announced the availability of the PayPal app with fingerprint authentication on the new Samsung Galaxy S5 device. When shopping with PayPal on their Samsung Galaxy S5, users can login with their fingerprint to shop at millions of merchants that accept PayPal on mobile web sites, mobile apps and in stores. Additionally, Samsung Galaxy S5 users who use the PayPal app will receive $50 USD or more in offers at several merchants that accept PayPal. To watch a video of how logging in to shop with your fingerprint works, click here. For additional information, check out our blog post and press release.

The PayPal app is also available today on the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit. Using the PayPal app, Samsung Gear 2 owners can check-in to pay at local stores, save and redeem offers, check their balance and receive payment notifications while on the go.

WHEN: Friday, April 11, 2014

WHERE: The ability to login with a fingerprint to shop with PayPal is now available on the Samsung Galaxy S5 across 25 markets globally, including: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.

For the Samsung Gear 2 watch, the PayPal app will be available in eight global markets, including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, United States and United Kingdom. 
 

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T-Mobile Abolishes Consumer Overages, Challenges Other Wireless Providers to Follow Suit

April 14, 2014 7:36 PM | T-Mobile | Comments (0)

T-Mobile US, Inc. today shifted the national conversation on wireless to a new level, unveiling its latest Un-carrier move – a campaign to eliminate overage penalties, one of the most reviled wireless industry practices. While abolishing overages for all customers on T-Mobile consumer plans, its CEO has also laid down a challenge to the nation’s largest carriers, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, to do the same.

More than 20 million Americans were hit with punitive overage charges in 2013. And these penalties from the three largest U.S. carriers take more than an incredible $1 billion out of consumers’ pockets every year.

“Today I’m laying down a challenge to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to join T-Mobile in ending these outrageous overage penalties for all consumers – because it’s the right thing to do,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Overage fees are flat out wrong. Agree with me? Join me in putting this challenge to all the major national carriers by signing my petition on Change.org. Right here. Take one minute to be a part of this consumer movement.”

Last year, T-Mobile banished annual service contracts and began phasing out overage charges with the launch of Simple Choice. T-Mobile’s stance against annual service contracts is now well known by consumers, and today it's taking on the even more unpopular and unjustified practice of slamming consumers with surprise bills in the form of overages charges.

“Charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go,” continued Legere. “Starting in May for bills arriving in June – regardless of whether you’re on Simple Choice, Simple Starter or an older plan, we’re abolishing overages for good. Period.”
 

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Windows Phone 8.1 update: everything you need to know

April 2, 2014 9:07 PM | Nokia | Smartphone | Comments (0)

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Starting this summer, any Lumia device currently running Windows Phone 8 will receive an over-the-air update, receiving these great new features:

Action stations for Action Center

If you’ve missed a phone call, been mentioned in a Tweet, or received an SMS, you’ll now find all of these things in one place – the new Action Center.

Alongside your notifications, Action Center contains four quick settings (which are customisable) to enable you quicker access to switch on Flight Mode, and Wi-Fi, for example, even when your phone is locked.

Word Flow brings faster typing

Introducing the most intuitive smartphone keyboard yet, Word Flow.

Instead of typing out each letter when your type, now glide your finger over the screen and let your Nokia Lumia accurately predict what you’re going to type.

The more you use Word Flow, the more it learns from you, predicting your most frequent expressions. Word Flow supports 16 languages.

Greater Start screen personalization

The Start screen has been refreshed to include an extra column of Live Tiles.

Now, there’s much more room to pin your favourite apps, games, bookmarks and people, all within easy reach.

Additionally, the Start screen background now has the ability to display pictures, rather than just black or white. These photos can also be seen through system tiles.

 

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Nokia Lumia 930: simply the best of Microsoft and Lumia

April 2, 2014 9:00 PM | Microsoft | Nokia | Comments (0)

The Nokia Lumia 930 beautifully blends the best of Microsoft and Lumia with a collection of features readymade for the needs of today’s forward-thinking smartphone owner.

Leading the way once again in smartphone photographic technology, the Nokia Lumia 930 sports a 20-megapixel PureView camera, optical image stabilization (OIS) and ZEISS optics to achieve pin-sharp shots and the flexibility to zoom into any shot after you’ve taken it. A HD 1.2 MP wide-angle camera adorns the front.

The Nokia Lumia 930 also possesses unrivaled HD video skills with four high-performance microphones. This crafty quad allows directional recording, which enhances the clarity of your subjects by rejecting the sounds outside the direction of capture. Thanks to the surround sound capture, you can also hear the world around you like never before.

Counteract shaky hand with the in-built OIS and use the single-finger zoom feature to get even closer to the action without compromising resolution.

Add to this Nokia Rich Recording, surround sound and ZEISS optics and you’ve got a truly potent hardware and software partnership.
Bright idea

When you’re done capturing your life moments, play it all back on the 5-inch, 1080p Full HD display (1920×1080; 441ppi), with Gorilla Glass 3, Super Sensitive Touch and a near 180-degree viewing angle for watching your content anywhere from bright sunny beaches to dimly lit hotel foyers.

Integrated Dolby Surround Sound also makes for a similarly rich audio experience when watching movies or listening to music with your headphones or home theatre system.

 

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Glowing performance: Nokia Lumia 630 & Lumia 635

April 2, 2014 8:57 PM | Nokia | Smartphone | Comments (0)

Delivering a fast quad-core processor, 4.5-inch ClearBlack screen and a unique colourful design with changeable shells, the Nokia Lumia 630 and Nokia Lumia 635 provide a super smooth Lumia experience at an affordable price.

The Nokia Lumia 630 packs a wealth of innovation and comes in two 3G variants, including the most affordable Lumia, and the first Lumia with dual-SIM, giving people more choice and on their own terms.

The Nokia Lumia 635 is Nokia’s best-value 4G smartphone ever and makes browsing, streaming and downloading content on the go lightning fast.

The Lumia 635 is distinguished by a high-gloss finish and a unique dual-layered, luminous tonal surround that glimmers and glows, offering the first taste of the Lumia colours for 2014, with swappable covers available in bright orange, bright green, bright yellow, and white and black.

Both the single and dual-SIM Lumia 630 ship with a new matt finish and the same vibrant colours, you could however treat yourself to a glossy cover if that’s your preference.

 

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