Smartphones

Why Amazon’s Fire Phone Is Dead on Arrival

Posted In Living in Tech
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ascended a Seattle stage yesterday to unveil the Fire Phone, his company’s first smartphone. The 4.7-inch device includes a variety of next-generation features, from streamlined integration with Amazon’s various cloud services to live tech support via the “Mayday” button. It runs Fire OS 3.5.0, Amazon’s mobile operating system based on Google Android, and can access the thousands of apps available via Amazon’s App Store. But make no mistake: Amazon didn’t set out to make a vanilla… continue…

How Amazon’s Smartphone Could Profit Mobile Developers

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If rumors prove correct, Amazon will unveil a smartphone at a high-profile June 18 event in Seattle. The big question is, why? As pointed out by many a publication over the past few days, numerous companies have plunged into the smartphone space and failed. For every Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S that achieves blockbuster sales and critical acclaim, another dozen fade from the market after leaving barely a ripple in the popular consciousness. If Amazon launches a smartphone, pouring… continue…

Google, Apple Want to Take Healthcare IT Mainstream

Posted In Living in Tech
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At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook and other executives unveiled HealthKit, an app designed to consolidate health and fitness data within an iOS dashboard. HealthKit can list everything from cholesterol levels to calories burned, with an “emergency card” of contacts and pertinent data (blood type, etc.) accessible via the iOS lock screen. In theory, HealthKit will also have the ability to interact with apps from third-party developers, such as Nike’s FuelBand platform. Click here… continue…

Amazon Could Unveil 3-D Smartphone This Month

Posted In Living in Tech
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Amazon’s latest promo video shows people (presumably beta testers) gushing about a device in their hands. “It moved with me,” one says. “It’s very real life,” another enthuses. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that,” suggests a third, while tilting her head back and forth. The shot is always framed so that the object of their awe is just out of sight, but they’re clearly impressed with its capabilities: Amazon accompanied that video with an announcement that it… continue…

Get Ready for a Supersized iPhone 6

Posted In Living in Tech
Rumored iPhone6
Will Apple unveil the next iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week? Tech punditry seems to think the answer to that question is a big, fat “No,” and it’s probably right—Apple generally uses the show to announce new versions of its iOS and Mac OS X platforms, not hardware. But no doubt about it: The next iPhone is coming this year. The galaxy of websites and blogs that routinely feed the Apple rumor-mill seem to agree on one… continue…

Is 2014 the Year of the Phablet?

Phablet
If research firm IDC is correct, 2014 could become the year of the “phablet.” IDC defines phablets as smartphones with screens exceeding 5.5 inches, a category that encompasses a growing number of devices. Samsung in particular has led the phablet charge, seeing it as a competitive differentiator from Apple, which has (so far) resolved to keep the iPhone’s screen at no more than four inches diagonal. Click here to find app developer jobs. IDC believes phablets’ share of the smartphone… continue…

Yep, Android Still Leading Worldwide

Android Phones
Google Android continues to dominate the smartphone space, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. For the first three months of 2014, the research firm found that Android held a comfortable lead in nearly all of its survey countries, including the EU, Australia, China, the United States, and Great Britain. Despite that advantage, however, Apple still managed to make inroads in a number of countries, particularly Japan. Click here to find mobile developer jobs. In the U.S., for example,… continue…

Are Modular Smartphones the Next Big Thing?

Project Ara
Google’s Project Ara wants to take the smartphone back to basics—literally. With Project Ara, the smartphone is modular: The owner can swap out everything from the battery and screen to the speakers and cameras. The device’s endoskeleton holds those modules in place with magnets, meaning those swaps can take place without the need for a mini-screwdriver or other tools. In theory, you could duck into a store, purchase a replacement module for a camera or battery, and pop it into… continue…

Amazon’s Fire OS: Worth Your Development Time?

Kindle Fire
If rumors (and The Wall Street Journal) prove correct, Amazon will release a smartphone near the end of 2014. Those rumors have percolated for quite some time; in early 2013, for example, Amazon hired a former manager of Microsoft’s Windows Phone developer experience to work on “something secret,” which sparked a flurry of publications proclaiming that such a device was in the works. Click here to find mobile development jobs. Amazon already has a handful of branded devices on the… continue…

Snoopy Drone Shows Lax Smartphone Security

Snoopy Drone Data
A remote-controlled quadcopter named “Snoopy” prowled the streets of London in late March, collecting confidential data from the smartphones of passersby at the rate of about 150 victims per hour. Included in the haul were usernames and passwords to PayPal, Amazon, Yahoo and other sites that represent concentration points for the financial and identity-management data of millions of users. Click here to find mobile security jobs. Snoopy is the cutting edge of mobile-security technology, but not in the way most… continue…