Smartphone Dependence on the Rise: Pew

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
A small but significant portion of Americans can only access the Web via a smartphone, according to new data from the Pew Research Center. Roughly 7 percent of Americans own a smartphone “but have neither traditional broadband service at home, nor easily available alternatives for going online other than their cell phone,” reads Pew’s report. (Pew drew its data from a survey of 2,002 adults in late 2014.) Check out the latest mobile-related jobs. In a totally unsurprising twist, Pew’s data also suggested that, while… continue…

Microsoft’s Cortana Coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft Cortana
Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant is headed to iOS and Google Android devices, according to a new report by Reuters. The launch of Cortana as a standalone app is yet another example of how Microsoft’s strategic priorities have shifted since Satya Nadella took the CEO reins in early 2014. Under the reign of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft always seemed reluctant to port its key software products onto platforms beyond the Windows and Xbox ecosystem. (Perhaps the biggest exception: Office for… continue…

Will Anyone Care About Android for Work?

Posted In Working in Tech
Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.46.03 AM
Android remains the most popular mobile platform in the world, despite a recent market-share surge by Apple’s iOS. But that’s evidently not enough for Google, which wants more businesses to adopt Android as a vital tool. As part of that broader aim, Google has launched Android for Work, an initiative to push the OS into the hands of more hardcore enterprise users. It’s not just about interoperability with Exchange and other, rival platforms; the latest version of Android can partition… continue…

Marvel at a 1980s Touchscreen

Posted In Fun
Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 9.05.32 AM
Think touchscreens are a relatively recent invention? Think again: As far back as 40 years ago, scientists were exploring the possibilities of using fingers to interact with a screen. As demonstrated by the above video from 1982 (hat tip to Gizmodo for the link), their thinking wasn’t limited to capacitive or resistive touchscreens, which detect the pressure of a finger or stylus against glass; researchers also experimented with lining a PC screen with photodiodes that transmitted infrared. When someone touched… continue…

Want to Test-Drive Windows 10 for Phones?

Posted In Mobile
Microsoft Windows Phone
Windows Phone has never threatened Google Android or Apple’s iPhone for smartphone supremacy, but Microsoft doesn’t seem ready to give up on the platform quite yet. Anyone who’s registered as a Windows Insider tester can check out the first build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. According to Microsoft’s corporate blog posting, the preview “is still very much under development and you’re going to see some rough edges.” Microsoft is releasing the software at this early stage in… continue…

Google Android, iOS, and… Ubuntu?

Canonical Ubuntu Smartphones
In January 2013, Canonical (a company that works with the open source community on Ubuntu, a free operating system) announced that it would build a version of Ubuntu for smartphones. A few months later, it unveiled a crowdfunding campaign to build an Ubuntu-powered smartphone, which attracted $12 million in donations—a solid number, but far short of what the project needed to achieve liftoff. In the wake of that failure, it seemed the quest for an Ubuntu smartphone was all but… continue…

Chicago: Strong in Healthcare and Big Data

Posted In Looking in Tech
shutterstock_Songquan Deng
  What’s New This Quarter Over the past couple of years, the evolution of Chicago’s Motorola Mobility division has made headlines time and again. Now things may be settling down: In October, Lenovo Group completed its purchase of the Libertyville-based company from Google, a $2.91 billion deal that guarantees the unit will stay in Chicagoland. As part of the deal, Google will keep many patents and license them to Lenovo, while about 2,000 patents will go to the latter. Lenovo… continue…

Did Apple Just Murder the Tablet Market?

Apple iPads
Did Apple just murder the tablet market? That’s the conclusion reached by Boy Genius Report, based on data assembled by analytics firm Flurry. That data suggests that, among the top five mobile-device manufacturers, Apple “won” the holiday season, with the company’s hardware accounting for 51.3 percent of device activations worldwide (followed by Samsung with 17.7 percent, Nokia with 5.8 percent, and Sony with 1.6 percent). Click here to find mobile-developer jobs. Much of those activations came from oversized phones. “As… continue…

Does Anyone Want a BlackBerry ‘Classic’?

Posted In Living in Tech
For a long time, BlackBerry tried to compete with Apple’s iPhone on the latter’s terms, building a progression of touch-screen devices that never really seemed to hit with either businesses or consumers. Click here to find BlackBerry-related jobs. So now BlackBerry’s decided to retreat to the past: The new BlackBerry Classic is an unapologetic return to the form-factor that transformed the company into a mobile-device juggernaut for a few years. It features a physical QWERTY keyboard, a 3.5-inch screen, dual… continue…

Apple’s Market-Share Is Good News for iOS Devs

Apple iphone
Apple has managed to seize a bit more of the worldwide market for smartphones, according to the latest data from research firm Gartner. The firm estimates Apple’s current share of the market at 12.7 percent, an incremental increase from the 12.1 percent it held in the third quarter of last year. That places it second behind Samsung, whose market-share declined from 32.1 percent to 24.4 percent over the past 12 months. Other ranked manufacturers included Huawei (5.3 percent), Xiaomi (5.2… continue…