Virgin Mobile USA is bringing the iPhone 5 to its lineup of prepaid phones next week, offering it through its Beyond Talk plans, which start at $35 a month. Of course, the phone itself will range from $550 to $750, depending on storage size.
Apple has a new selling point for iOS: Android’s fragmentation. The company this week published a chart breaking down iTunes App Store usage by operating system, demonstrating that most of the iOS user base is running the latest version of the OS. According to Apple’s metrics, 93 percent of its customers use iOS 6, six percent are on iOS 5, and the remaining one percent are on a prior iteration. That’s a vastly different usage pattern than Android’s, which, according to Google’s own statistics, show Android users scattershot across the OS’s various releases.
BlackBerry is extending one of the tentpole features of its new BlackBerry 10 platform to Android and iOS, a key strategy of its quest to remain relevant in an enterprise market that’s now comfortably supporting multiple mobile operating systems.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One can now be purchased without their respective manufacturer customizations for $649 and $599, respectively. Offered unsubsidized, unbranded, and unbesmirched by carrier software directly from Google, together they represent something we haven’t seen in a very, very long time: the best available hardware paired with Google’s vision of Android.
BlackBerry reported quarterly results that fell way short of what analysts had expected, and worse, it forecast another operating loss for the current quarter. Its shares fell by more than 20 percent in premarket trading.
Facebook reported on Friday a bug in its system “that may have allowed some of a person’s contact information (email or phone number) to be accessed by people who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them.”
Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging service that has grown extremely popular over the past year, has closed its $60 million dollar Series B round of venture funding, the company announced on Monday morning.
A number of Twitter users were complaining today about a serious overload of spammy Twitter messages, a problem Twitter has regularly dealt with in its seven-year history but over the past year had seemed to curb. Apropos of nothing, users complained of receiving @mentions with links to diet-program websites. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
We may not be as thrilled to use Facebook as we once were. But apparently that isn’t stopping us from logging on to the world’s preeminent social network. Time spent on Facebook among U.S. desktop and mobile users continues to climb.
Apps that “display advertising outside of the normal app experience, harvest unusual personally identifiable information, or perform unexpected actions as a response to ad clicks” without user consent are annoying. Approximately 6.5 percent of free apps on Google Play today contain adware, according to Lookout’s in-house research that sampled hundreds of thousands of available apps.
Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is about to get some big name apps: Facebook and Flipboard. Flipboard has also published a blog post with a bit more information on its upcoming Windows 8 app, saying that it "will be custom-made for this new platform." A new nine-second teaser video gives us our first look at Flipboard for Windows 8, which is far more than a port of the iPad version: it appears to embrace the Windows 8 experience quite well. The company promises more information closer to launch, which will be later this year.
Samsung introduced the ATIV Q, a hybrid device that can run Windows 8 and Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. The laptop also features a hinge design that lets you use the machine in four different modes. You can use it as a regular laptop; you can lay the display flat over the keyboard to use as a tablet, or flip it over to watch videos. Finally, you can pull the display away from the hinge and position it at different angles — sort of like an all-in-one PC.
Microsoft has taken the right approach with Windows 8.1. It has recognized its operating system's weakest points and addressed the issues. No, it's not an update with many stand-out features, but it represents a real refinement of what was already a strong OS. All of Microsoft's tweaks have made big improvement in usability, especially for users waiting to switch from Windows 7 or Vista.
The 10th version of OS X, Mavericks, felt like an afterthought in the midst of Apple's radical overhaul of its mobile operating system. In this case, rather than completely overhaul the look and feel of the entire platform, Apple has instead picked its spots, removing and adding features in particular places while all the while tuning for performance and efficiency throughout.
The Surface Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad Helix, Toshiba Kirabook, Dell XPS 12, and many other high-end Windows 8 machines suffer from the same nasty flaw: even as their high-resolution touchscreens are crisp and beautiful, the user interface is often too small. Text can be hard to read and touchscreen buttons extremely difficult to touch. That could all change soon, though. Windows 8.1 will add support for high-density displays, finally scaling the user interface to these increasingly high-quality devices.
There’s much to like about the Vaio Pro 13. It boasts an extremely sleek design with a vibrant touchscreen, and delivers good performance. Like the new MacBook Air, which was announced earlier this month, it also features Intel’s latest processor, which brings longer battery life and improved graphics performance.
The battery life on Apple’s newest MacBook Air is great. The Wi-Fi connectivity? For some users, not so much. Over the past week, some complaints have popped up on Apple message boards about the newly launched MacBook Air’s ability to maintain a consistent connection to local Wi-Fi networks.
Thanks to new technology, little needs to be left to the imagination when it comes to home building, renovations and purchases these days. Remodeling companies are using 3-D home-design software to present computer images of what a renovated home could end up looking like. "At the end of the day, very few people have the imagination to be able to look at a set of plans and have any idea of what that's actually going to look like," Howard Kandel (design builder) says. "We can throw in furniture and wall coverings, paint colors and different materials and literally build it probably to 90 to 95 percent of what it's really gonna look like."
It’s hip to be a square digital camera. That’s the case with the new Canon PowerShot N, which blends some features of a smartphone with a digital camera, and breathes some new life into almost-forgotten point-and-shoots. For starters, this digital camera is square — not oblong, like most point-and-shoots. It also has a unique shutter and zoom function, and a simple, one-touch video-recording option. It connects to Wi-Fi quickly and easily. Last, but not least, the PS N has an extendable, touch-friendly viewscreen that can be adjusted to a 90-degree angle. This is so you can shoot images low to the ground, or do what I did: Prop it up like a mini-tent on the table while you view your photos.
Microsoft is teasing a version of Office designed specifically for Windows 8.1 this week at Build. In a private session ahead of the conference, the software maker briefly showed a copy of PowerPoint running in the "Metro" mode of Windows 8.
An industry group last week began certifying products capable of running on a faster and more reliable wireless network technology. It marked the unofficial beginning of the next generation of Wi-Fi. Contrary to popular belief, many of the connection problems that home users encounter are often not related to their broadband service but rather to the Wi-Fi routers. The new technology -- 802.11ac -- has the potential to be up to four times as fast as the current standard 802.11n technology. Smartphones, computers and routers with the new technology are already hitting store shelves, though industry experts don't expect average consumers to start picking up the devices until the holiday shopping season or early next year.
Apple appears to be testing out motion control features that will let people control their iPhones by moving their heads. The feature, first reported by 9to5 Mac, was discovered in the developer version of Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 7, and is not yet publicly available. It is an option in the Accessibility menu that overrides the usual touchscreen controls.