Having just put together a list of some of the best Android security apps currently available, want to know if there are any more app lists you, the readers, want to see? I plan to put together several more lists in the next few weeks, including the very best holiday planning apps, the best apps for grabbing a bargain and the best apps for students. If there is something you would like to add to that selection, perhaps you have been trying to choose between several camera apps and need a bit of advice, let me know. The most interesting requests or suggestions will definitely make it onto the site.
Rooting is the process of gaining privileged root access to the Android operating system on your phone. If you are careful and follow rooting instructions, there is little danger to your phone hardware or contents. However, it is always a good idea to back up as much of your data as possible to your Google account and make sure that there is nothing on your phone that you couldn't live without if it was lost. Ideally, you should restore your phone to factory default before rooting, as this will help to ensure that things go smoothly and none of the apps or data you already have installed conflict with the root process.Read More...
Amazingly, there are now five different Samsung Galaxy S4's to choose from. These range from the Google version of the S4, which features a vanilla version of the Android operating system, to the Galaxy S4 Zoom. The S4 Zoom looks something like your phone would look if you super-glued a digital camera to the back of it. Although you lose out in screen sizem you gain a 16MP camera with optical zoom. Read More...
LG Electronics and Sprint recently announced the upcoming availability of the LG Optimus F3 smartphone, which features several innovations designed to make the device more accessible for people with vision loss or other disabilities. The LG Optimus F3 offers access to the Sprint 4G LTE1 network, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a long-lasting 2,460mAh battery, a vivid IPS display, and premium features that allow users to connect and share with ease. Perhaps more importantly for visually impaired users, the LG Optimus F3 is the first phone to come preloaded with TalkBack, which is accessible when users take the phone out of the box and power it on. Talkback is a text-to-speech accessibility feature from Google that helps blind and vision-impaired users interact with their devices more easily.Read More...
Following a slightly frustrating conversation with a friend about the merits of locking my phone, I am wondering how many smartphone users out there actually use the many security options their handsets provide. The conversation started when my friend asked to use my phone and then got annoyed because it was locked.
Have you ever been caught out by roaming charges for using mobile data when travelling abroad? With summer vacations being planned all across the country, carriers are looking forward to another year of bumper pay days as unwary travellers rack up huge bills checking their emails and posting pictures to Facebook whilst abroad.
Shazam, the incredibly popular music identification and discovery app has finally made its way on to Windows Phone 8. Available for free from the Windows App Store, Shazam lets users identify songs from just a few seconds of playback. Once the song is identified from a database of millions of songs, using a Wi-Fi or 3G connection, information about the song is displayed. This information also includes links to listen to or buy the song that has been identified.Read More...
After weeks of speculation by tech bloggers and journalists, Samsung has finally confirmed that the Galaxy S4 is going to have a Mini version, just like the S3. And just like the S3 Mini, the S4 Mini seems like it will be significantly less impressive all round.
Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, is the first phone to be certified as sustainable as part of an international smartphone certification scheme launched in April 2013. The TCO certification aims to make it easier for consumers, to whom sustainability is import, to make an informed choice when choosing a phone.
To earn this sustainable certification, the Galaxy S4 had to meet certain criteria, including avoiding the use of nickel in any surfaces that come into contact with users, making it free from beryllium (a known carcinogen) and minimising the phthalate content. Less technical criteria also apply, such as ensuring the battery can be removed to prolong handset life.Read More...
If you are a gamer, or even if you only take a passing interest in video games, the launch event for the new Microsoft Xbox console will probably be something on your radar. As a smartphone fanatic, the thing that interests me the most is how the new console will build on the Xbox SmartGlass technology. If you don't know already, SmartGlass is an app available for almost all of the main smartphone platforms which allows you to connect to your Xbox Live account, use your phone or tablet to control some of the console menus and even see added content in games.
The recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the excitement surrounding it, has got me thinking about the way that people choose a new phone. I have bought dozens of handsets over the years, ranging from very simple feature phones to the latest smartphones, and I have to wonder how many of them were bought just because of a flashy commercial. Though it pains me to admit it, the answer is probably too many.Read More...
According to the research firm Informa, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp have now overtaken traditional SMS services as a way of sending messages on smartphones. In 2012, an average of 19 billion messages were sent per day using chat apps, whilst SMS messages averaged at 17.6 billion per day. If predictions prove correct, that gap could grow even further in 2014, with an estimated 50 billion messages a day being sent via non-traditional message services.
So does this mean that SMS messages, along with their 160 character limits, are soon to become a thing of the past? Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 already come with different messaging options pre-installed, as do BlackBerry and newer Windows Phone 8 handsets. Will we now have to unlearn text-speak and the SMS abbreviations used so much today? Or do you think traditional SMS messages will remain useful as long as there are still cell phones around which can't use instant messaging apps?
Having recently added some new beginners guides for Android cell phones, including guides on dialing phone extensions automatically, Understanding 3G and connecting to Wi-Fi on your phone, I have spent some time thinking about what sort of guides and tips would be most useful to cell phone newbies visiting the site for the first time.
As someone who buys a new phone three or even four times a year, I am often asked by friends and family whether they can have my old or unwanted handsets. A couple of weeks after giving my father my unwanted iPhone 4s (following days of him pestering me for it) I asked him how he was getting on with it. I asked if he thought the Safari browser was good and if he had used Siri much. His response that "it's a phone, I use it to make calls" made me wonder a) why he had wanted it when he already had a cell phone that could make calls perfectly well, and b) how many of the so called "killer features" the average smartphone user uses.
Both BlackBerry and Windows Mobile have received a small shot in the arm recently, after years struggling to compete with anything iOS and Android have done. For Microsoft, this is mainly due to the favorable reaction to handsets such as the Nokia Lumia 920 which use the Windows Phone 8 OS. For BlackBerry owner Research in Motion, a company which has seen its market share drop from around 8% to as little as 3% in a year, the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the Z10 phone also seems to have roused some interest from users. But is this all too little, too late?
When Pantech unveiled the original Pursuit messaging phone a few years back, I was hooked. I liked its unusual shape and colorful design. And I liked its unique shake feature, which let you control some of the phone's functions just by shaking it.
So I had high hopes for the next generation of this phone, the Pantech Pursuit II. This messaging phone for AT&T shares some of the same features as the original Pantech. But overall, it simply lacks the pizzazz and punch of its predecessor. Find out more in my full review of the Pantech Pursuit II.
Photo © AT&T
It's official: Pantech truly has crossed over into the smartphone arena. The company, best known for its excellent line of feature phones, is preparing for the launch of the Pantech Pocket. This Android smartphone (pictured here) will be released by AT&T on November 6.
The Pantech Pocket will feature a 4-inch SVGA touch screen and an unusual square shape. Additional features include Android version 2.3, 4G support, and a 5-megapixel camera. Pricing for the Pantech Pocket has not yet been revealed.
With those specs, the Pocket is a step up from the Pantech Crossover, which was the company's first Android phone for the U.S. market. The Crossover's specs are decidedly less flashy, as it runs an older version of Android, features a smaller touch screen, and sports a 3-megapixel camera. But the Crossover is available for free when you sign a two-year service contract with AT&T. For more information, read my full review of the Pantech Crossover.
Photo © Pantech
It's easy to overlook BlackBerry phones. After all, they're usually not as flashy as the newer, speedier Android devices. And they don't get all the hype reserved for Apple's iPhone.
But BlackBerry phones are some of today's best smartphones. Find out which models have earned a spot on my newly-updated list of Today's Best BlackBerry Phones.
And if you're interested in the BlackBerry Torch, find out more about it by reading my complete review of the BlackBerry Torch 9810.
Photo © RIM
Apple has released the next version of its iOS software, version 5. iOS 5 will ship on the upcoming iPhone 4S, and is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners.
To get the software on your device, you'll need to connect it to iTunes. For complete instructions, see How to Update Your iPhone's Software.
Photo © Apple
Well, that was fast: Pre-orders for the new iPhone 4S surpassed the 1 million mark in just 24 hours, Apple says. According to Apple, that's a new record, topping the 600,000 pre-orders received for the company's iPhone 4 in one day last year.
"We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement issued Monday. "The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do."
The iPhone 4S will be available on Friday, October 14 in Apple stores and at carrier locations. For more information about ordering the new phone, see How to Pre-Order the iPhone 4S.
Photo © Apple
Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56, Apple said in a statement on Wednesday. Jobs, who was the tech visionary behind devices such as the iPhone and the iPad, resigned from Apple in August, citing health issues.
To read more about the life, career, and death of Jobs, see:
- NYTimes.com: Steve Jobs of Apple Dies at 56
- NYTimes.com: Apple's Years With and Without Steve Jobs
- Apple.com: Remembering Steve Jobs
- PCWorld.com: Steve Jobs at Apple, in Pictures
Photo © Apple
If you were expecting the iPhone 5 -- as many people were -- then you might be disappointed by the phone that Apple announced today. Instead of a radically redesigned iPhone 5, Apple instead unveiled the iPhone 4S.
It's not the drastic overhaul that some folks expected. But the iPhone 4S is a thoughtful update to Apple's impressive iPhone 4. It keeps the same excellent design and the same pricing, but adds a more powerful processor, an improved camera, and a new carrier option.
For more information about Apple's new phone, see my complete overview of the iPhone 4S.
Photo © Apple
At long last, it's iPhone day: Apple reportedly will unveil its next-generation iPhone, rumored to be called the iPhone 5, at a press event to be held this morning in San Francisco.
We don't know for sure what the phone will look like, what kind of features it will offer, what it will be called, or when it will be available. So, now is your last chance to get your guesses in. And if you're looking for a little inspiration, check out iPhone 5: Rounding Up the Rumors.
And, after Apple's event, check back for all the details about the new iPhone.
If you're itching to get your hands on a smartphone that supports today's high-speed 4G networks, you should be prepared to shell out big bucks, right? Not necessarily: the Samsung Conquer 4G is now available from Sprint for less than $100 when you sign a two-year contract.
You will make some trade-offs to get this phone at a bargain price. It lacks the big screen and the top quality camera that other 4G phones, like the HTC EVO 3D and Motorola Photon 4G, offer. But the Samsung Conquer 4G does pack in plenty of cool features, including the latest version of Android, plenty of multimedia options, and an attractive design.
For more information, see my full review of the Samsung Conquer 4G.
Photo © Sprint
Apple plans to unveil its long-awaited iPhone 5 in early October, multiple reports suggest, including one published on the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog.
Citing sources "close to the situation," AllThingsD reports that Apple's new CEO Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs after his high-profile departure from the company, will unveil the new iPhone. The report also says that the new phone will be available "within a few weeks" of the announcement.
While we await the official confirmation of that news from Apple, rumors are again swirling that Apple may unveil more than one new iPhone model next month. These rumors, which have surfaced in the past, gained momentum last week when former Vice President and Apple board member Al Gore said that the company would be unveiling the "new iPhones" next month. Gore did not elaborate on why he used the plural form, but news reports were quick to jump on his choice of words.
For more information about what to expect from the next-generation iPhone, see iPhone 5: Rounding Up the Rumors.