Tag Archives: Computerworld Mobile

20 Android tips and tricks you shouldn’t miss from 2017

‘Tis the season for kicking back, crankin’ up the fireplace, and finding some time-saving new tricks for that pretty slab o’ glass in your pocket.

Enhanced efficiency is one heck of a holiday treat, after all — and one that keeps paying off for months to come. Hey, productivity matters, and there’s never a shortage of fresh Android shortcuts and enhancements just waiting to be embraced.

In case you missed any of ’em the first go-round or maybe just didn’t have time to try everything out, here are some of my favorite Android tips and tricks from 2017. Pour yourself some cocoa, polish up the ol’ Festivus pole, and give yourself the gift of finely tuned technology.

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How iPhone X changes things

It should be clear by now that Apple’s big bet on the iPhone X is working out just fine. Millions of people appear to be picking them up, but what does the new device tell us about the next decade of smartphones?

Face, the obvious

Biometric ID has come of age.

From Touch ID fingerprint sensors to face recognition systems and whatever comes beyond. It’s not impossible to speculate that one day our solutions will even be able to recognise us through a combination of biometric signals: fingerprint, face, pulse, even by blood type as mobile sensor development accelerates.

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Powermat to upgrade to 15W wireless charging, support Apple’s new iPhones

Powermat plans to release an upgrade to its wireless charging technology in January  that will enable 15-watt power transfers through a 1.5-in. thick solid surface and provide support for new Apple iPhones and other Qi-enabled devices.

The wireless charging company also plans to release an under-tabletop product that allows users to simply place enabled mobile devices atop a desk, for example, to begin receiving a charge.

By moving from 5 watts to 15 watts with the upcoming software upgrade, Powermat chargers will transfer power to a mobile device at the same rate as a traditional charging cable, according to Powermat CTO Itay Sherman.

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New Amazon Echo Discounted $20 Right Now – Deal Alert

Amazon has a discount of $20 active right now on their all new Echo smart speaker, which features a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers. Echo connects to Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, control smart home devices, and more —
instantly. Echo averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 2,200 reviewers, and with the current discount you can grab it for yourself (or someone else) now for just $79.99. See the discounted Echo deal now on Amazon.

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Dear Amazon and Google: Enough.

Gang, we need to talk. Here in the land o’ tech (no relation to the Land o’ Lakes, aside from a shared love of butter), things are starting to get silly.

Google and Amazon, if you haven’t heard, are in the midst of a very public schoolyard spat. And their little game of corporate one-upmanship shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.

Here’s the 30-second version, in case you haven’t been following along: For years, Amazon has refused to offer Google products like Chromecast and Google Home in its online store. It also neglected to offer a readily available Prime Video app for Android up until just a few months ago (previously, you had to go out of your way to sideload the entire notification-spam-spewing Amazon storefront app just to play a lousy movie). Oh, and it still doesn’t provide a way to cast videos from Prime to Google-Cast-compatible devices, which is a real thorn in the side for its many Cast-using subscribers.

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Those @#$%! spoilsports!

This pilot fish and his family vacation at a resort condominium for two weeks every year — and getting an internet connection has been a longstanding challenge.

“Until a few years ago, a connection was only available in public buildings,” says fish.

“But about five years ago, I discovered some unprotected Wi-Fi routers accessible near certain windows.

“Two years ago I came loaded for bear with a three-foot Yagi antenna and a super-sensitive Wi-Fi adapter. I turned on my laptop and found a signal — a very strong signal…

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10 reasons why Apple should acquire Shazam

TechCrunch claims Apple will purchase leading music recognition service, Shazam. This hasn’t been confirmed but here are just ten reasons such a deal makes sense:

Shazam’s Apple story

Founded in 1999, Shazam first came to prominence on Apple’s platforms as a great tool for iPod users. Years later it became one of the first apps to appear on the App Store, and was one of the first available iPad apps too.

“Shazam was one of the inaugural apps available when the App Store launched nearly two years ago and we are delighted to be available for iPad at launch as well,” said Andrew Fisher, then CEO of Shazam at the time.

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How killing Net Neutrality will affect enterprise mobility

Efforts to dismantle net neutrality will likely effect enterprises and the way they do business, from how mobile apps are designed to where companies choose to store data commonly accessed on mobile devices.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intends to vote this Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules the Obama administration implemented to ensure internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data the same.

In the past, ISPs such a Comcast secretly slowed throughput, also known as “throttling,” for certain peer-to-peer file sharing applications; others were accused of slowing video-streaming services.

The concern among Democrats, industry advocacy groups and some business executives who oppose the changes, is that once net neutrality rules are dismantled, ISPs will begin showing preferential treatment to some streaming services or charge extra for “fast lane” Internet access.

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With smartphones like these, why do we need laptops?

Smartphones are supercomputers.

Or, at least, they’re significantly more powerful than supercomputers were ten years ago. And way more powerful than desktops were five years ago.

Smartphones also offer killer benefits that laptops don’t — namely, longer battery life and biometric security.

So why are we still using laptops?

Microsoft’s smartphone-based laptops

Microsoft and Qualcomm this week announced a new kind of laptop.

In a nutshell, it’s a laptop powered by a smartphone processor running a desktop operating system.

Specifically, the new Windows 10 laptops that will be built initially by HP, Lenovo and Asus are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. This is the same chip that powers high-end smartphones such as the Galaxy S8 and Note8.

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Apple’s HomeKit security blunder exposes the risk of smart homes

The expression “safe as houses” will become a thing of the past if tech firms don’t get connected home security right, and the need to be incredibly watchful was visible in Apple’s latest security blunder this week.

Not so ideal home

The latest iOS 11.2 update held a zero-day vulnerability attackers could exploit to control smart home devices, including connected locks, 9to5Mac explains. While the vulnerability was difficult to exploit, and Apple has acted very swiftly to close this security gap, its existence exposes the risk of smart homes.

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