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Showing posts from July 2, 2017

What Happens When The Surface Phone Arrives?

Sometime in the near future Microsoft is planning a new smartphone-type device. That statement is intriguing for a number of reasons. 
Firstly, how could Microsoft. a company which has managed to blow its mobile credibility over the last ten years, going to deliver something substantially different than what has gone before? The message coming from Microsoft - Satya Nadella and down - is that the next Microsoft smartphone will be unlike anything currently available.
So when I say smartphone-type device it's because my expectation is that this will be both more and less than a smartphone.
Secondly, how will this release impact on mobile partners? Actually that's a declining number which might make damage limitation rather easier than it might have been. The only partner of note still building Windows phones is HP and Elite x3 is clearly filling a stopgap role until Microsoft is ready with its new design. Why would HP take on this no-win role? Probably in return for some early …

F1: Robert Kubica On Brink Of Amazing Return To Renault

Following his successful return to the cockpit of an F1 car a month ago in Valencia and last weekend's demonstration run at Goodwood; Robert Kubica will take the next step in what is looking more and more like the most astonishing comeback story since Nika Lauda's incredible 1976 return.
Kubica will drive at Le Castellet Circuit Paul Ricard, the home of the French Grand Prix from 2018; in a serious review of his ability to return to the team at some unspecified date in the future.
That date may not be too far away either. With Jolyon Palmer enduring a nightmare of a season and Renault openly calling for him to raise his game, it would seem an opportune moment the relieve the struggling Englishman of his duties right after the British Grand Prix.
Having Kubica return to the sport for the second half of the season would be the sort of story which wins column inches for the team - something that isn't happening on the basis of the car's current performance.
Can Kubica cu…

No Touch ID On iPhone 8? Seems Like A Long Shot

A couple of iPhone analysts are reporting that the iPhone 8 (or whatever it gets to be called) will forego a fingerprint scanner in favour of 3D face recognition technology. Whilst I might be convinced that Apple would add both, the absence of a Touch ID sensor just seems very far-fetched.
Touch ID is a requirement for Apple Pay, one that can't easily be replaced by any kind of face recognition. Can you imagine the chaos caused by users trying to scan their faces whilst also triggering NFC on a card reader?
Never going to happen.
So either Touch ID gets added under the OLED screen of the new iPhone or it goes onto the back. Either way its going to be present, 3D face recognition may or may not join it, but can't as yet replace it.

Galaxy Note FE Now Available - But Would You Buy One?

Samsung has rereleased the Galaxy Note 7 under a new name, the Note Fandom Edition (FE), and is selling it in South Korea one - for the time being anyway.
These are apparently refurbished devices - as I understand it units that had completed the manufacturing process but never made it to customers as a result of one or other of the recalls issued by Samsung.
Now packing a smaller, less stressed battery pack the FE is on sale at a hefty discount compared to the original Note 7 launch price.
Would you buy one? Should you buy one?
It's probably fair to say that, other than phones with removable battery packs which tend to be less stressed in the manufacturing and recharging processes, it would be reasonable to expect the Note FE to be less likely to combust than any other smartphone on the market today.
So the risk of fire from the 'new' Note is probably lower than the phone you're currently using.
If the Note Fe were to arrive in New Zealand sporting a sub-$1000 price t…

Surface Pro As A Tablet - Windows 10 Wins All Ends Up

Following the recent launches of the 2017 Surface Pro and iPad Pro I've been confidently able to say two things: the iPad Pro has improved its game as a computer and the Surface Pro remains the better choice for most users.
That has been predicated on the usage of the iPad Pro as a computer being compromised by some rather large gaps in capability. It cannot easily transform into a desktop machine, it lacks some of the tools which laptop users take for granted and many of its touch friendly apps are less powerful than full size Windows (or Mac) versions.
The other side of this argument is about how the Surface Pro performs as a tablet. If the Surface Pro is really to be considered the number one hybrid two-in-one device it needs to put up a convincing tablet argument as well as a damn fine 'computer' argument.
Turns out the Surface Pro handles tablet use cases with aplomb. Windows 10 makes for as good a touch interface as it does a keyboard and mouse one. Even with the pr…

What I'm MIssing From Windows Mobile

It has been six months since I finally gave up on Windows phones and switched to a better supported platform. In that time I have enjoyed full and extensive app support, never having to worry that an app I want to use is either unavailable or no longer supported on my platform of choice.
However, after six months of switching between Android and iOS I can confidently say that neither of these platforms matches what Microsoft / Nokia offered on high end Lumias and across the wider Windows phone ecosystem.
For example Live Tiles. These remain by far the greatest method of conveying information and providing app shortcuts for users. They outperform both iOS's icon only homescreen and Android mashup of widgets from multiple sources.
Then there is the Windows Mobile Glance screen - now replicated on some Android phones, but not to the same effect. The Glance background and icon notifications work well without draining your phones battery. Add this to the tap to wake function / Nav Bar…