Tag Archives: Computerworld Mobile

IDG Contributor Network: The promise of the revolutionary rumored Microsoft Andromeda tablet

[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author]

Back in 2009, Microsoft showcased a skunk works project called the Courier tablet. What was kind of amazing to me at the time was that this tablet was generally positively received externally…but inside the company it was panned because it didn’t run Office. Of course, we eventually realized that was fixable, because Microsoft now has versions of Office running on iOS and Android. They even have ARM–based Windows machines in market again (under the Always Connected PC initiative). These were surprisingly good products and the Asus version sold out.

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Is mobile sensor-based authentication ready for the enterprise? Some big players think it might be.

An Arizona security company is working on an interesting approach to mobile authentication, one that leverages the exact angle a user holds the phone as a means of making replay attacks a lot more difficult. Aetna has been testing the method internally (according to the security company’s CEO) and the company — Trusona — has announced about $18 million in funding, from Microsoft Ventures ($10 million) and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers ($8 million).

The Microsoft Ventures funding is interesting because one of the more popular mobile authentication methods today is Microsoft’s Authenticator app. Is Redmond covering its bases, or does it see the Trusona effort as threatening to displace Authenticator, at least in the enterprise IT world?

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The EU’s Android antitrust ruling overlooks 3 critical points

Is Google abusing its power as the gatekeeper to Android? Antitrust regulators in Europe seem to think so — but reading over their ruling, I can’t help but be struck by some inconsistencies between their assessments and the realities of Google’s mobile platform.

In case you’ve been napping for the past couple days, the European Union slapped Google with a $5 billion dollar fine as part of an antitrust investigation. The EU says Google is stifling competition by forcing phone-makers to preinstall Chrome and Google Search on their Android devices as part of a broader package of Google services — and by preventing partners from developing devices based on unofficial “forks” of Android (spoons, thankfully, are still permitted). Google has already announced plans to appeal.

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Google faces $5B fine over Android browser and search engine ties

Google has been ordered to pay a $5.05 billion fine and stop forcing Android smartphone makers to install its search engine and browser on their phones. That decision was handed down by the European Union’s antitrust authority on Wednesday.

The ruling could open the way for smartphone makers to offer more choice, with devices running different versions of Android, or offering alternative browsers or search engines out of the box.

The European Commission found that Google has abused its dominant market position in three ways: tying access to the Play store to installation of Google Search and Google Chrome; paying phone makers and network operators to exclusively install Google Search, and preventing manufacturers from making devices running forks of Android.

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Get ready for the next silly smartphone superlative

Smartphone marketing tends to revolve around superlatives — you know, words or phrases that suggest being the most something in all of the land.

The specific quality in question shifts pretty regularly (hey, you’ve gotta keep it fresh, right?). For a while, way back when, the boasting was all about having the phone with the most processing power. Since then, in no particular order, we’ve seen phone-makers focus on having the biggest, the smallest, the thinnest, the brightest, the most pixel-packing, and the least-bezel-showing devices. Oh, and don’t forget megapixels. For the longest time, having the phone with the most megapixels was about as good as you could get in terms of ad-ready bragging rights.

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IDG Contributor Network: Lawmakers investigate how AI in Apple, Google invade privacy

We all carry smartphones. It’s become one of the most important things we grab along with our keys and wallet when we walk out of our home in the morning. However, companies are going under the microscope with how they intrude on our privacy with these devices. It started with Facebook and Marc Zuckerberg in front of Congress. Now it’s Apple and Google. What’s next?

After the recent eye opening and jaw dropping testimony from Marc Zuckerberg and Facebook lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are finally getting more interested in how companies take, use and abuse our privacy in order to grow.

Now this investigation is spreading to smartphone makers Apple and Google with their iPhone, Android smartphones and Gmail. Who’s next? AI like what we use in Amazon Alexa and Google Home are one of the hottest new technologies and areas of growth. They are always listening to every word we say.

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How to use Apple Maps more effectively

While we wait for Apple to implement its promised deep changes to Maps, here is how to use a few of the lesser-known features in the company’s navigation software.

Take control of Maps

I’m going to skip the basic stuff about using Maps. In this short guide you’ll learn how to:

  • Scroll Maps the easy way
  • How to find and add pit stops to an existing route
  • How to export a Map as a PDF
  • How to find the car
  • What Apple Watch is trying to tell you

There are lots of other Maps features. Take a look here and here for other ideas.

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6 efficiency-enhancing Android apps

Your phone is now essentially your personal assistant — and like any aide, it needs the right set of tools to do its job effectively.

The good news? As an Android user, you’ve got no shortage of efficiency-enhancing options. Unlike other mobile platforms, Android affords you the opportunity to customize and control the core user interface to make it better suited to your needs. And while the more advanced UI-adjusting tools tend to be targeted at the power-user crowd, you don’t have to be a card-carrying geek to take advantage of what they offer.

Behold: six innovative apps that’ll empower your favorite high-tech helper and allow it to reach its full productivity potential.

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Why your smartphone needs 5 cameras

Who knew that the camera in your phone would turn out to be the most popular, useful and important technology in your life?

The human race will take 1.3 trillion photos this year, according to Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends. Smartphones will be used for 87% of them.

Most of these pictures are useless and frivolous — not only selfies, but bad selfies that will never even be posted. Don’t even get me started about videos. Smartphone cameras are responsible for the biggest waste of storage space in history.

But a huge number of these photos are valuable for business or professional uses.

Businesspeople of all kinds are increasingly using smartphone cameras as all-purpose sensors for harvesting data from the environment, augmented reality, quick data entry and far more.

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Surface Pro 2 owners wonder: Will Microsoft ship TPM firmware that works?

If you have a Surface Pro 2, you’re in for yet another runaround. This time, the controversy surrounds the SP2’s TPM chip – the chip that controls access to BitLocker and some other disk encryption technology.

The SP2 shipped with an older, less-secure version of the TPM firmware. If your machine has an older version of the TPM firmware, you see a Win10 Defender warning like the one in this screenshot.

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