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Showing posts from May, 2015

External Storage Returning To Nexus Devices

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Google has been down on expandable memory for more than a little while now. Nexus devices abandoned micro SD cards several generations ago. It's been the biggest downside to buying one of Google's own brand Android devices.
Things will be changing for the better when Android M arrives. The latest revision of Android will now automatically encrypt an inserted memory card and format it as a logical extension of the internal storage.
It's better than nothing I suppose, but it does present some future issues. Like being unable to swap memory cards between devices, data loss if your device faiIs and reliance on the cloud for all your future  device backups.
Fortunately other OEMs have retained micro SD card shots on their Android devices so it's possible to retain some of the benefits of expandable storage without having to wait for Android M.

F1: Lotus Disproves Verstappen Brake Test Claim

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After a pretty impressive Monaco Grand Prix weekend Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen ended his race buried in the tyre wall at Ste. Devote. It was an unfortunate way to end the race, doubly so when the race stewards dinged him for a five place grid penalty for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix. lt was an inexplicable decision for what appeared to be little more than an unfortunate misjudgement and a racing accident.
Perhaps we now have some better insight into the thinking behind the penalty.
Yesterday Verstappen made several claims that Lotus driver Romain Grosjean had brake-tested him and that was the cause of his race ending crash.
Given these claims were made after the stewards had handed out the penalty, these claims smelled decidedly fantastical. The stewards have access to all of the telemetry data from the cars so if Grosjean had braked early to cause Verstappen's accident they would surely have been made aware of it and tempered their decision accordingly.
Lotus weighed i…

FIFA Corruption On Epic Scale

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Today will go down in history as the day that changed football forever. The FBI undertook a number of dawn raids to arrest officials whose duty had been to ensure the integrity of the sport, but who appear to have colluded in one of the longest running and most lucrative examples of corruption that sport has ever seen.For details of the arrests and allegations you won't go far wrong with the BBC's report here.The question no-one seems prepared to answer is what happens to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, due to be held in Qatar and Russia and now almost certainly tainted by the knowledge that they were secured as a result of the bribery of corrupt officials.It is unthinkable that these tournaments should proceed as planned. FIFA should immediately call a halt to the proceedings, particularly in Qatar where the death toll of migrant workers rises on a daily basis.The 2022 tournament bidding process can be re-done, however it is too late to do that for 2018. Either the tournament s…

New iPhone Dock Uncharacteristically Shoddy

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Docks used to be the norm, plonking your phone on the desk and plugging it in? Too much effort when you can drop it into a dock and have it at a usable angle as well as fully connected. Apple has always offered a dock as an accessory for its iPhones, except for the iPhone 6 and 6+, which have had to do without since launch.
Apple have filled this gap with a new dock which promises to be the last iPhone dock you ever buy. However once you see it you'll probably decide that it's actually the last iPhone dock you should consider buying, because its design is flawed.
Unlike previous docks where the connector sat in a channel which helped to support the device and made for a good solid platform for tapping and dragging, the new Lightning dock's connector is raised above a flat surface, and when you place your iPhone on it the only thing holding it upright is the Lightning connector itself.
I dread to think of the forces being applied to the connector, especially if you happen …

F1: Hamilton Contributed To Monaco Screw Up

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Lewis Hamilton dominated the Monaco Grand Prix almost from start to finish, yet ended the weekend with only a third place to show for his troubles. The result of a miscalculation by the team in the safety car period which followed the accident between Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean.
Completely blameless then. Apparently not.
Looks like the team initially intended to keep Hamilton out, but concerned he would face Rosberg and Vettel on newer, supersoft tyres which would be much faster than the aging softs on his Mercedes, Hamilton himself asked to come in for a tyre change.
Mercedes made two errors. Firstly, it failed to calculate the delay Hamilton's pitstop would entail, dropping him behind both Rosberg and Vettel; and, secondly, they failed to tell Hamilton that Rosberg had not stopped and nor had Vettel.
For Hamilton's part he lost the race by failing to back himself. He didn't believe that he could hold Rosberg and Vettel back if they were on newer tyres than his o…

Microsoft To Buy Blackberry At $7bn? Sounds Steep

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Blackberry has done a half decent job of slowing its decline into irrelevance, diversifying its product lines and spreading its software further. Its the services division which offers the biggest glimmer of hope for the business though, with mobile device management, messaging security and its embedded software offering some marketable assets to tempt buyers.
Tempting in those buyers seems to be the only prospect that Blackberry has for the future. Although rumoured interest from Samsung hasn't materialised, it hasn't stopped the whispering. Now Microsoft is the apparent suitor, with the services division being a big enough drawer to coax $7bn out of the Microsoft war chest.
That's more than Microsoft paid for Nokia. And it seems awfully high. Especially when you look for value from that purchase.
Personally I'd be happier to hear that Microsoft was considering an acquisition of Nokia's Here Maps division. That hasn't even begun to be conjecture yet. Either w…

F1: Verstappen Monaco Penalty A Nonsense

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Max Verstappen had quite a weekend in Monaco, fast and fluid through free practice, sensible in qualifying and tactically astute during the race, where he pulled off some tidy passes. 
He also directly influenced the result of the race, when he caused the sport's first Virtual Safety Car period and then the Safety Car which flummoxed Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to the extent that they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Perhaps driver steward Tom Kristensen is a big Lewis Hamilton fan and wanted to punish Max for Lewis losing the race, because the penalty for the accident - a five place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time - has no other explanation.
It's a complete nonsense.
Verstappen's accident with Roman Grosjean was just that - a racing accident, an attempt to overtake that didn't go as planned. Verstappen tried to dummy the Lotus driver into Ste. Devote, the tight first corner at the bottom of the hill. As he switched from le…

Kiwis Can Get A Great Deal On The HP Stream 7 Right Now

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I previously had a look at the HP Stream 7 tablet, a budget device running Windows 8.1 with Bing. I was quite impressed with it at the time, given its low price it was a convincingly good piece of kit. Anybody in New Zealand who might have been holding off buying one because it was still too expensive should rush out to The Warehouse, where the diminutive Windows tablet can currently be picked up for just $149. That's an absolute steal.

Indycar Safety Team Saved Hinchliffe's Life After Practice Crash

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James Hinchcliffe's practice accident at Indianapolis looked pretty nasty, but not particularly life threatening. However Racer is reporting that the Canadian's life hung in the balance after the impact.

The right front suspension was punched through the carbon fibre tub of Hinchcliffe's Dallara, passing through his right thigh, left thigh and then spearing up into his pelvis.

When the Indycar team arrived at the scene Hinchcliffe was in the process of bleeding out, presumably because one or both of his femoral arteries had been severed by the suspension.

The work done by the safety team should be highly praised. When they arrived at the scene Hinchcliffe was impaled in the car and losing blood at a life threatening rate.

Extracting and stabilising the driver in these circumstances was a magnificent effort.

The dangers of sending drivers around a concrete-lined bowl at speeds in excess of 230 mph have never been more apparent.

Apple UK Apparently Outs iPhone 6C

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Steve Jobs is probably spinning in his grave right now, as super secretive Apple has apparently let slip the existence of an upgraded 4" iPhone based in the style of the iPhone 5C. The mistake occurred on an Apple UK page for the new Lightning dock for iPhone.
The image above, shows a 5C-like device supporting a Touch ID sensor, clear evidence of this being based on a later iPhone than the current 5C, which channels the spirit of the dead iPhone 5.
As the Forbes article  suggests, this probably means that the new device will also have support for Apple Pay, making it the most advanced 4" iPhone Apple has ever shipped.

A Smartphone For £30!

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Thirty quid. It won't buy you a tank of petrol, nor would it cover the cost of a half decent night out. It will get you a half decent smartphone on pay as you go though.
O2 is currently offering the Lumia 435 for exactly that amount, and whilst nobody would claim it's anything other than a budget device at this price I'm sure it has no comparable peers.
Yes the screen is far from the best, or biggest but it is usable and all Windows Phone software will run on its dual-core processor. It copes with gaming pretty well too, as the video above demonstrates. It's packing 1GB of RAM, which means that it should have no problems running Windows 10 Mobile when it arrives.
At £30 the low-spec cameras (2.Omp at the back, VGA at the front) are hard to complain about, similarly the absence of 4G connectivity. A micro SD card slot is included to expand the generous (at this price point anyway) 8GB of on-board storage.
This is definitely a phone for a niche in the market. A fi…

Your Old Android Phone Might Be Giving Your Data Away

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Arstechnica has a report that should worry you if you've sold an old Android phone. In 80% of devices tested data was left accessible on internal storage after a hard reset.

That includes both the Master Android and Google tokens, either of which would allow an attacker to access data from the associated Gmail account.

Given the level of information being stored on phones and the level to which email accounts are used to recover lost logins, that's a disturbing piece of news.

The issue affects Android phones dating back as far as the Gingerbread release of the OS and could potentially amount to half a billion devices.

Enough to put you off buying (and selling) an Android phone?

Is Apple Readying A More Capable iPad?

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Rumours of a larger iPad have been circulating for a while now, with most analysts of the opinion that the new iPad 12" will arrive later this year when Apple completes its annual refresh of the tablet line-up.
Given the problems with falling sales numbers it isn't surprising that Apple is looking to shake things up, and 9to5 Mac is reporting that the changes will extend beyond new hardware to add new functionality which brings the tablet closer to a PC in capability.
The first of these changes is the implementation of a very Windows 8 like multi-tasking capability, with users able to snap apps into one-third or two-third screen portions. This seems like very likely to happen given that code to support it has been found in current iOS releases. This feature is expected to arrive on the iPad Air as well as the iPad Pro when it gets released.
The other update expected will make the iPad more useful for families and some businesses: multi user. The iPad is late to the party har…

Living With Lumia: Harnessing The Power of IFTTT

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What Does The Windows Phone App Gap really mean to users of the platform? In general it means finding creative ways of doing what other platform users can take for granted, thanks to the presence of native apps in the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

One of the services which I use regularly is IFTTT. The action/reaction automation system is useful in all sorts of ways, however the absence of a Windows Phone client does introduce a few difficulties with the service. Not as many as you might think though, as you can create and manage IFTTT recipes from the mobile website just as well as the mobile apps.

However the ability to tie into notifications and reminders on those competing platforms is something that can cause you problems.

Fortunately it's possible to work around these shortcomings without too much trouble.

First of all notifications. By using the Pushalot service you can gain the exact same functionality Android and iOS users enjoy. You can use any IFTTT channel t…

Leaked Spotify Contract Shows Artists Ire Should Be Aimed At Labels

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Micah Singleton, writing for The Verge has managed to obtain a copy of the contract between Spotify and Sony Music from 2011, the time at which the streaming service arrived in the US. It makes for illuminating reading.
The article goes into much detail on the contract and the flow of cash from subscription and ad income and makes it clear where artists against streaming should be directing their anger. Short answer it isn't Spotify.
Music publishers certainly get their slice of the pie. How much of that they then pass on to the artists remains in question.

Why On Earth Would Apple Build A Television Set?

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A number of sites are reporting that last year Apple killed plans to add a line of 4K TVs to its product range. Which beggars the question, who at Apple thought that this might be a good idea? It also tells us that Apple is clearly not scared of investing in the development of ideas that it is prepared to kill if they don't fit the company's business requirements.
Apple is mostly an iPhone business. It brings in such a large percentage of the company's revenue and profits that it is the most important thing they do. When the iPad came to market the feeling was that this was going to be as big and successful.
Five years on we know that isn't the case.

Trevor Bayliss And The Story Of The Radio That Saved Millions

The story of the Bayliss wind-up radio and how it was invented in response to the need for a method of spreading communication about AIDS across Africa, told through the words of the inventor himself. Fascinating man, fascinating story.


Appeals Court Wipes $400m From Apple-Samsung Judgement

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Three years after Apple's historic copyright victory against Samsung the US appeals court has wiped another $400m from the damages won by Apple. This time the figure relates to the trade dress - the UI and UX; look and feel of the devices; the packaging and presentation - which the appeals court found unprotect-able in law, based on them being functional elements of the device.
US law doesn't allow a trademark for functional elements and the appeals court found all of the disputed trade dress elements to be functional. As a result the original award to Apple jeopardised Samsung's "fundamental right to compete through imitation of a competitor’s product" and has been completely invalidated, to the tune of around $400m.
Given that part of Apple's trademark claimed ownership of a "rectangular product with four evenly rounded corners" it's a clear victory for common sense and I'm pleased  the award has been thrown out.
So after a couple of rounds…

You Might Think It's A Smartphone, To Me It's A Paperweight

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I have a smartphone secret. My iPhone 6 sits in a drawer in my office, unused and barely loved. In my home office my Xperia Z3 Compact sits on a pile of papers to stop them blowing away. That's some serious mobile computing power there, doing nothing but weathering the passing of time.
So what gives?
Both the iPhone and Xperia were the result of a rationalisation of the devices that I owned, out went my iPhone 5, Xperia Z1, Galaxy S5 and Lumia 1020. They were aging hardware and I wanted the more recent user experiences that up-to-date devices offer. I used and liked both, with the iPhone edging ahead for me when I went through a comparison exercise earlier in the year.
However events beyond my control were about to turn both these devices into ornaments.

IndyCar Implements Rule Changes To Prevent Blowovers

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This week Indianapolis Motor Speedway has had something of the look of a small airport, with several cars getting airborne after very similar single car accidents. As a result the rule makers have implemented a set of emergency regulation changes to slow the cars and reduce incidence of rear end breakaway that seems to be causing the accidents.
The problem for Indycar is that running at these sorts of speeds on ovals with ground effect underbodies a car that ends up going backwards ends up going up too. F1 killed ground effect cars for exactly this reason. In 1982 the fatal accident of Gilles Villeneuve, the career ending accident of Didier Pironi, and the miraculous escape of Jochen Mass and hundreds of spectators at Paul Ricard persuaded the FIA that underbody aerodynamics introduced to much risk.
Indycar has retained these ground effect floors, which allows the cars to run with less wing and produce higher headline lap speeds. However when tied to the rear end instability that the…

Apple Watch Application Lock Under Scrutiny

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So we're seeing some concerns about the absence of activation lock on the Apple Watch. It's a criticism that doesn't really consider the difficulties that such a feature could introduce for users.
First off, the data on the Watch is relatively secure, if your Watch is stolen a passcode is required when it's put back onto a wrist. What it doesn't prevent is the Watch being reset and used with another iPhone. That's different to the iPhone which requires your Apple ID and password to complete a reset.
This can't work on the Watch as it has no keyboard to enter that information. However your iPhone does and there doesn't seem to be a good reason why entering this information on your connected iPhone shouldn't be possible.
However, let's be realistic about this, no other watch on the market prevents its use after theft. There are an awful lot of watches out there that cost a lot more than even the most expensive Apple Watch.
Yes, I expect Apple to updat…

Man Threw 4-year Old Off Cliff To Avoid Paying Child Support

Fifteen years ago Cameron Brown threw his daughter to her death from a cliff top in California. Today The Independent reports that he was finally convicted of her murder. Why did he do it? To avoid paying child support. Whilst generally being against the death penalty, in this case I'd make an exception. In fact should the death penalty be called I hope the State takes him to the very same cliff top and throws him off.

Microsoft Adds Value To Low-end Lumias

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Last year's Lumia 635 was a reasonable seller for Microsoft. Not quite as successful globally as the 53x, but Microsoft's biggest seller stateside.
Now the company has replaced it with two handsets- the 640 and 640 XL (although the latter is more of a replacement for the giant 1320) and promised that these two phones will be amongst the bistro get Windows 10 Mobile when it arrives.
The 640 has a better (IPS and 720p) screen than its predecessor as well as gaining a front-facing 1MP camera on the front and bumping the rear camera to 8MP and adding a flash.
For a phone that's  going to sell for well under £100 once the box-shifters get hold of it, that's a pretty impressive set of specs.

Your Next Smartphone Will Be Less Flexible

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Android smartphones have always had one major hardware advantage over the iPhone: flexibility. Flexibility to add move storage, swap out a depleted battery, even the ability to add functionality by changing the rear cover for a different one.
The poster child for this flexibility has always been Samsung, who have always pushed creative solutions to market. Up until the launch of the Galaxy S6 that is. With its new flagship phone Samsung has killed all of this functionality and done away with removable rear covers, micro SD card slots and replaceable batteries.
Why? Because it allows them to stuff their bottom line profit.
The micro SD card allowed customers to buy the cheapest phone in a range and upgrade it with memory cards as required. The natural motion of memory card prices being down, it meant that a customer could upgrade their phone at little expense.
Apple clearly saw this as a risk to its bottom line before it gut the iPhone anywhere near market. It did away with card slot…

As AOL Dies Facebook Plans New Walled Garden

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Once upon a time services like AOL and CompuServe were the Internet for most people. Locking customers into their own heavily curated networks they held sway over the online world. There was no access to websites, just 'rooms' within the service and you couldn't send email to just anyone, only those who were on the same service as you.
The arrival of services like Internet Service Providers (primarily Demon in the UK) eroded the power of these giants and led to the internet as we know it. The last vestige of those bad old days died yesterday when Verizon announced that it would be acquiring AOL. The company which once bought Time-Warner for $180 billion is being sold for $4.4 billion.
The ideas behind AOL and its walled gardens aren't dead though. In a neat bit of symmetry Facebook chose the same day to launch is Instant Articles service, serving news from selected content providers directly from within its Facebook News Feed. Its a further attempt to keep users in the…

This Case Tells You All That Is Wrong With The iPhone

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This is the LifeProof Fre Power case for the iPhone 6, a two in one case which offers protection and additional run-time thanks to a built-in battery.
Take a moment to look at it, drink in its hideous looks.
This is everything Apple got wrong with the iPhone 6 in one easy accessory. Too thin to house a big enough battery and too 'premium' to survive the rigours of real-world life without a case.
I've said before that all of those reviews that praised the build of the iPhone were wrong and sales of cases prove that Apple's own customers agree. I've attempted to use mine without a case and it's just not possible without taking on an unacceptable amount of risk to the device itself.
The battery in the iPhone is a big improvement on those that have gone before, I know of no owners who are failing to get through a day of normal use. However other phones are starting to make two day butteries the norm. Which means that on those days when you're working your phon…

Welcome Back Windows Mobile, Now Drop The 10

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Microsoft has confirmed its new product names for Windows 10 and for phone users its a step back into the past, as Windows Phone disappears and Windows Mobile returns. Specifically Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft has gained some press for saying that Windows 10 will be the last version release for Windows which is fine given that it will be switching to a more agile, continually updated Windows As A Service delivery method. The name should really change to reflect that though.
It would make far move sense for this release to be renamed Windows rather than Windows 10, which would make the portable device version Windows Mobile.
A more sensible pair of names given the move away from version releases I think.

Uber's Practices Uncovered

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In an article in Philadelphia's City Paper Emily Guendelsberger lifts the lid on Uber's service in the city, demonstrating the power it holds over drivers, the actual earnings of drivers and discussing the company's plans for the future.
It's a fascinating read which clearly demonstrates the different earning profiles of the company and its contractors. The lack of screening in the sign up process being a big concern.
It is the vision of the future which most interests me though. The future where car ownership has become a thing of the past and services like Uber's control the market for personal transportation.
Does the end of car ownership and reduction in transportation costs justify the loss of independence, the effects on jobs and potential damage to the economy that could follow?
Uber and services like it have their place, but only as a part of an integrated transport solution that is inclusive for all members of society. However the failure of most cities a…

F1: Alonso Delusional About Ferrari Exit

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Fernando Alonso had told Sky Sports News that the result at the Spanish Grand Prix vindicated his decision to leave Ferrari at the end of last season.
Claiming the team had made no progress since last year he was less than charitable about their performance in the five years he was there, despite having a reasonable shot at the title in three of those years and being given clear number one status.
The truth is that the gap between Mercedes and Ferrari shrunk considerably between this year and last year. In fact it halved.
Maybe not enough to challenge for the championship but certainly a better place than McLaren are in. Post race both Button and Alonso described their car as undrivable suggesting if anything that Alonso would  crawl over broken glass to get last year's Ferrari, never mind this year's.
Photo: Jake Archibald/Flickr

The Apple Watch Shines A New Light On Android Wear

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Android Wear didn't get the greatest of receptions when it arrived. There were reservations about battery life, unlit screens and whether anyone actually needed a smartwatch at all.
Like many people I expected Apple to introduce a game changer of a device when the Watch was announced. After all it's track record is excellent in this respect. However the more users start talking about their early experiences with the Watch the less compelling it looks. Battery life, unlit screens and the need for a smartwatch have all be queried. The impact on the host phones battery life is a new, Apple Watch specific concern.
It certainly paints those earlier Android smartwatches in a new light. They may not have been perfect, but the difference between the Android / Wear experience and that of the iPhone / Watch isn't significantly different.
The truth is there hasn't been a killer reason for having any smartwatch yet.
If even the most rapacious of technology early adopters are stru…

In-car With Cortana

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Do you have a car which implements its own voice command feature? Chances are if its reasonably new you do. Which also means you're probably frustrated if you want to use your phone's voice assistant hands-free and wire-free over the built-in Bluetooth setup.

Personally, I like to leave my phone in my pocket when I'm driving. If I want to use Siri or Google Now that's impossible. The iPhone needs to be plugged in to allow 'Hey Siri' activation, which means wires trailing across my car. Ok Google works without being plugged in, but Google Now doesn't listen over Bluetooth, so its not even close to usable.

Windows Phone users however, have a completely hands-free, wire-free way of using Cortana in car, which appears to have been added to the last build pushed out by Microsoft. Click the voice command button on your steering wheel and say 'Call Cortana', which will then hand control of your phone to the voice assistant, using the microphone and speak…

Living With Lumia: Can You Beat The Google App Gap?

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Windows Phone is both the best and the worst mobile platform available right now. I believe its user interface is by far the best looking and most useful of the three main platforms out there. It is available on hardware ranging from the sublime (the Lumia 1020's class-defining camera) to the ridiculous (the Lumia 435, the smartphone for the price of a t-shirt) and it works very well on the full spectrum of hardware.
The app gap remains though, despite all of Microsoft's efforts. It's amazing how many third-party developers have stepped up to fill the gap left by the original developers, but there are still too many gaps. The biggest absence is Google. Google doesn't make its apps available for Windows Phone, a gap which often cited by reviewers as an insurmountable barrier to adoption.
We'll see.
First of all Gmail/Calendar, Maps, Translate, Google Now, Docs and Snapseed all have direct Microsoft equivalents which are as good or better than the Google clients. U…

The Smartwatch And Body Language

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Smartwatches are starting to be a thing, out in the wild and being used by customers. Here in New Zealand the Apple Watch hasn't launched yet, so most of these are one form or another of Samsung's Gear, although the Pebble, Sony Smartwatch and Moto 360 are becoming more common.
Its interesting to watch how the new technology is changing the interaction between people.
First of all, an observation. all those dark screens on people's wrists look a bit strange. The sooner Google gets its latest Android Wear update out and turns them all permanently on the better. Apart from anything else, having the screen turn on as the person you're talking too waves their arms about is incredibly distracting. In Italy I'd imagine that the lighting and dousing of screens as natives talk with their hands will be enough to trigger epileptic seizures in those who are susceptable.
If you're in the middle of a conversation and a notification comes in on your phone it's pretty ea…

Microsoft, Do A Better Job Of Advertising Windows Phone

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Building more market share by selling more and more cheaper smartphones is a strategy that can only work for Microsoft for so long. At some stage Windows Phone is going to have to start making money for the company and to do that Microsoft will need to start producing higher end and flagship phones that generate a buzz for themselves.
So how does the average customer view Microsoft's phones? Right now, in many markets I'd suggest that few even know they exist. Many of they sales that Microsoft are making still rely on the strength of the Nokia brand. Phones carrying that branding are disappearing though and making Microsoft a brand of phone which customers are interested in is going to take marketing spend and, more importantly, intelligence.
The company doesn't have a great track record with advertising its products - whether its the woeful Scroogled campaign, or the dancing Surface commercials, Microsoft just hasn't been able to judge the mood correctly.
This commer…

Flickr Completes Move To Front Of The Pack

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Flickr under Yahoo's stewardship has been a story of boom and bust, neglected and then cherished, and now, with a new update - Flickr 4.0 - the service has struck out in a new direction and with new vigour.
Flickr's offer of 1TB of free storage a couple of years ago certainly boosted Flickr's user numbers, but did it actually improve the problems the users were complaining about?
Now Flickr has new life and if you haven't used it before there are very good reasons to make it your photo service of choice. The new focus of Flickr is on photo storage not sharing and to that end mobile, desktop and web apps have seen some upgrades.
As before the Android and iOS clients will suck in all the pictures you take and upload them to the service. There's also a desktop client for Mac and Windows that does the same.
Once your photos are uploaded however, you'll see the changes in how you work with your online photos. A beta Camera Roll page stores all of your images privat…

Spotify Losses Growing

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Spotify posted losses of nearly $200m for the year 2014, up threefold on the previous year's results. Despite growing both paid subscribers and its free tier the company doesn't seem to be able to make the numbers add up.
Unsurprisingly, the services detractors are busy crowing.
A closer look at the the numbers gives something of a lie to that wholly negative picture.
Firstly, in terms of revenue generated, the company saw 45% growth year on year, hitting $1.3bn. At the same time the service paid out $1bn to artists and publishers. (In December 2013 Daniel Ek, CEO, noted that $1bn had been paid out since the service had started, a number that had risen to $2bn when when he reported in 2014). That leaves around $300m in the pot for development costs, advertising and the other costs of doing business.
For a $1bn business that is growing its revenues at a good rate, these losses aren't a warning flag. The company characterised them as caused by product development, internati…

Adonit Jot Pro 2.0

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You'll recall the poor experience of Adonit Stylii I've been reporting on recently. The most recent review reported on the very poor performance of the Jot Pro stylus. A few days after I completed the review the stylus went from skipping to barely producing a mark to not working at all. I returned it to the retailer whom I bought it from and he offered to replace it, which I was initially going to decline, until I noticed a different version of the Jot Pro.
Figuring I has nothing to lose I decided to give it a try and I'm happy to report that I have a product from Adonit which actually works as it's supposed to.
This being the case - and the total failure of the original Jot Pro - suggests to me that the older stylus I reviewed may have been faulty all along. I have updated the review to reflect that feeling.
I'm not going to go through the process of reviewing the Jot Pro 2.0 - just to tell you that if you want the capacitive Adonit stylus, get the later, non-mag…

New Ad For Microsoft Surface 3 Aims At Younger Audience

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The new Surface 3 is Microsoft's reboot of the Windows consumer tablet. Gaining features previously reserved for the Surface Pro it looks a very complete device. Now its officially available in-store Microsoft has released its first ad for the device, and it looks like the target is a much younger audience. Check the location, music and choice of apps.

Nice demonstration of how the Surface differs from the iPad, but will it be enough to swing buyers?

Analyst Slams Windows Phone, Demonstrates Bias

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I've touched on Kantar's sales numbers a couple of times this week and I'm going to go back to them again to show how companies can spin data to give an inaccurate picture of reality.
The headline from the Kantar report reads "Android Switchers Drive iOS Growth in Europe's Big Five Countries" and the copy details, in very positive language, the successful quarter that Apple enjoyed within the territory. Rightfully so, the new iPhone 6 and 6+ boosted Apple to a 20% market share and apparently stole some customers from Android.
So how about Windows Phone?
Kantar reports "it is notable that Windows' market share has grown little during the past year in the U.S. and the EU big five". Pretty damning wouldn't you say? No wonder  Microsoft is rumoured to be packing its bags and heading out of phone hardware.
But hang on a minute, and let's take a look at Kantar's own figures. 
In the EU5 Microsoft enjoyed exactly the same market percentage growt…

Great iPad Ad Seeks To Revive Sales, Not Entirely Accurate

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This advert for the iPad is another example of what a good job Apple does of selling its products by focusing on how they impact your life, rather than on features or pointless dance routines.

The iPad really changes everything, but I doubt very much whether most of the use cases outlined in this video, or indeed other iPad ads, are relevant to many users.

If Apple were targeting the major use cases for the iPad this ad would have centred on three things. A device to give to your kids in a restaurant to shut them up whilst you try to enjoy your meal (last time I was in the UK it was impossible to visit a restaurant without coming across this particular use case). A second screen used for aimlessly searching the web whilst half-watching something on TV and finally, a ridiculously inappropriate camera for those moments when your phone just isn't intrusive enough.

Given how powerful the iPad is, how much care has been lavished on making it as thin and light as possible; and what bea…

More Pebble Apps Facing App Store Disruption

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Apple has categorically denied it has any issue with apps for the Pebble smartwatch being made available in the App Store, yet continued reports of developers having problems suggest Apple's policy and intentions might not be aligned.
When the first reports of Pebble compatible apps being turfed out of the App Store appeared, just before the Apple Watch went on sale, many people concluded this was a deliberate attempt by Apple to damage its biggest competitor. Apple wheeled out a spokeperson to deny this was the case and the apps started to roll back into the store.
The problems haven't gone away though, with ReadWrite reporting on the problems experienced by the developers of the Swim app for Pebble. Reading between the lines it appears Apple has doubled down on restrictions which prevent details of competitive products appearing in the app description. If you're launching an app for the Pebble, best not mention it anywhere in the description when submitting it to the St…

Hololens At Build

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If you haven't already seen this its five minutes well spent. Microsoft is doing a magnificent job of building technology that still seems straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. Yes, until the hardware can be made sleeker and less intrusive it won't have a place in anybody's home.

But it seems entirely likely that by the time the hardware is good enough, the software will be a whole magnitude of more jaw-dropping.

More Information On Windows Phone Continuum Released

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The leak of the forthcoming Windows 10 flagship phones, codenamed Cityman and Talkman, earlier this week raised some questions as more information was extracted from sources. Unleashthephones.com was the original source of the leak, with The Verge following up with confirmation that the phones existed, if not the specs, shortly after. 
One particular part of the original leak caught the eye of Windows Phone site WMPoweruser, who extrapolated the larger Cityman's hardware support for Continuum as being an indication that the Talkman would not support Continuum - and therefore it wouldn't be a Windows 10 wide solution. 
As a result they extracted a statement from Microsoft which gives more clarity on how Continuum will work. The ability to support a second screen through a micro hdmi or a docking station will require new hardware. Ability to support a second physical screen is something the latest processors enable. Connection to a keyboard and mouse would be by Bluetooth.
The Co…