Mobile trends for 2014

Mobile infrastructure must catch up with user needs and demands. Ubiquitous mobile computing is all around us, not only when we use smartphones to connect with friends and family across states and countries, but also when we use ticketing systems on buses and trains, purchase food from mobile vendors, watch videos, and listen to music on our phones. As a result, mobile computing systems must rise to the demand. The number of smart phones will exceed the number of PCs in 2014.

Some time in the next six months, the number of smartphones on earth will pass the number of PCs. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone: the mobile business is much bigger than the computer industry. There are now perhaps 3.5-4 billion mobile phones, replaced every two years (versus 1.7-1.8 billion PCs replaced every 5 years).It means that mobile industry can sell more phones in a quarter than the PC industry sells in a year. After some years we will end up with somewhere over 3bn smartphones in use on earth, almost double the number of PCs. The smartphone revolution is changing how consumers use the Internet: Mobile browsing is set to overtake traditional desktop browsing in 2015.

It seems that 4G has really become the new high speed mobile standard widely wanted during 2013. 3G will become the low-cost option for those who think 4G option is too expensive, not everyone that has 4G capable device has 4G subscription. How the situation changes depends on how operators improve their 3G coverage, what will be the price difference from 3G to 4G and how well the service is marketed.

Mobile data increased very much last year. I expect the growth to continue pretty much as projected in Mobile Data Traffic To Grow 300% Globally By 2017 Led By Video, Web Use, Says Strategy Analytics and Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017 articles.

When 4G becomes mainstream, planning for next 5G communications starts. I will expect to see more and more writing on 5G as the vision what it will be destined to be clears more. Europe’s newly-minted 5GPPP Association plans to launch as many as 20 research projects in 2014, open to all comers, with a total budget of about 250 million euros. The groundwork for 5G, an ambitious vision for a next-generation network of networks that’s still being defined, and the definition will go on many years to come. No one really knows today what 5G will be because there are still several views. Europe’s new 5GPPP group published a draft proposal for 5G. 5GPPP is not the only group expected to work on standards for next-generation cellular networks, but it could become one of the most influential.

The shifting from “dumb” phones to smart phones continue. In USA and Europe smart phone penetration is already so high levels that there will not be very huge gains on the market expected. Very many consumers already have their smart phone, and the market will be more and more on updating to new model after two years or so use. At the end of 2013 Corporate-Owned Smartphones Back in Vogue, and I expect that companies continue to shop smart phones well in 2014.


The existing biggest smart phone players will continue to rule the markets. Google’s Android will continue to rule the markets. Samsung made most money in 2013 on Android phones (in 2013 in West only Samsung makes money from selling Android), and I expect that to continue. In 2013 Apple slurped down enormous profits but lost some of its bleeding-edge-tech street credit, and I expect that to continue in 2014.

The biggest stories of the year 2013 outside the Samsung/Apple duopoly were the sale of Nokia’s mobile phone business to Microsoft and the woes of BlackBerry. BlackBerry had an agonising year and suffered one of the most spectacular consumer collapses in history, and I can’t see how it would get to it’s feet during 2014. Nokia made good gains for Windows Phones during 2013, and I expect that Microsoft will put marketing effort to gain even more market share. Windows Phone became the third mobile ecosystem, and will most probably keep that position in 2014.

New players try to enter smart phone markets and some existing players that once tried that try to re-enter. There are rumors that for example HP tries to re-enter mobile market, and is probable that some other computer makers try to sell smart phones with their brands. In the Android front there will be new companies trying to push marker (for example OPPO and many smaller Chinese makers you have never heard earlier). Nokia had a number of Android projects going on in 2013, and some former Nokia people have put up company Newkia to follow on that road. To make a difference in the market there will be also push on some smaller mobile platforms as alternative to the big three (Google, Apple, Microsoft). Jolla is pushing Sailfish OS phones that can run Android applications and also pushing possibility to install that OS to Android phone. Mozilla will push on with it’s own Firefox OS phone. Canonical will try to get their Ubuntu phone released. Samsung is starting to make Tizen powered smart phones and NTT DoCoMo could be the first carrier to offer a Tizen powered device. None of those will be huge mainstream hits within one year, but could maybe could have their own working niche markets. The other OS brands combined do not amount to 1% of all smartphones sold in 2013, so even if they could have huge growth they would still be very small players on the end of 2014.

As smartphone and tablet makers desperately search for points of differentiation they will try to push the limits of performance on several fronts to extremes. Extreme inter-connectivity is one of the more useful features that is appearing in new products. More context-aware automatic wireless linking is coming: Phones will wirelessly link and sync with screens and sensors in the user’s vicinity.

You can also expect extreme sensor support to offer differentiation. Biomedical sensors have lots of potential (Apple already has fingerprint sensors). Indoor navigation will evolve. Intelligent systems and assistive devices will advance smart healthcare.

Several smartphone makers have clear strategies to take photography to extremes. 40 megapixel camera is already on the market and several manufacturers are playing with re-focus after shooting options.

In high-end models we may be moving into the overkill zone with extreme resolution that is higher than you can see on small screen: some makers have already demonstrated displays with twice the performance of 1080-progressive. Samsung is planned to release devices with 4k or UHD resolutions. As we have seen in many high tech gadget markets earlier it is a very short journey to copycat behavior.

It seems that amount of memory on high-end mobile devices is increasing this year. To be able to handle higher resolutions smart phones will also need more memory than earlier (for example Samsung lpddr 4 allows up to 4 GB or RAM on smart phone as now high-end devices now have typically 2GB). As the memory size starts to hit the limits of 32 bit processors (4GB), I will expect that there will be some push for chip makers to start to introduce more 64 bit processors for mobile devices. Apple already has 64-bit A7 microprocessor in iPhone 5s, all the other phone-makers want one too for their high-end models (which is a bit of panic to mobile chip makers).

As consumers become ever-more attached to their gadgets – variously glued to PCs and tablets, and, after-hours, laptops, game consoles and mobiles – the gigantic digital businesses are competing with each other to capture and monopolise users’ screen time on internet-connected devices. And all of the contenders are using many monumentally large data centres and data vaults.

You will be able to keep your mobile phone during some flights all the time and browser web on the plane more widely. At some planes you might also be able to make phone calls with your mobile phone during the flight. Calls on flights have been theoretically possible, and United States has recently looked at mobile phone calls allow the flights.

In year 2013 there were many releases on wearable technologies. Wearable is a trend with many big companies already in the space, and more are developing new products. It seems that on this field year 2013 was just putting on the initial flame, and I expect that the wearable market will start to heat up more during 2014. The advent of wearable technology brings new demands for components that can accommodate its small form factor, wireless requirements, and need for longer battery life.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will evolve into the Web of Things, increasing the coordination between things in the real world and their counterparts on the Web. The Internet is expanding into enterprise assets and consumer items such as cars and televisions. Gartner suggests that now through 2018, a variety of devices, user contexts, and interaction paradigms will make “everything everywhere” strategies unachievable.

Technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are about to expand their battle for digital supremacy to a new front: the automobile. The Android vs. iOS apps battle is coming to the automotive industry in 2014: car OEMs aren’t exactly known for their skills in developing apps and app developers don’t want to develop so many different versions of an app separately (for Ford, General Motors, BMW, and Toyota). I am waiting for Google’s response to Apple’s iOS in the Car. Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and German auto maker Audi AG plan to announce that they are working together to develop in-car entertainment and information systems that are based on Google’s Android software. The push toward smarter cars is heating up: Right now, we are just scratching the surface.

For app development HTML5 will be on rise. Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. It will also work on many mobile applications as well.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Silke Koltrowitz / Reuters:
    TAG Heuer enlists partners in smartwatch plan and may make acquisitions — (Reuters) – TAG Heuer is pushing ahead with plans for a smartwatch to more directly compete with the likes of the Apple Watch and may make acquisitions to help drive the strategy, its head said on Tuesday.

    TAG Heuer enlists partners in smartwatch plan and may make acquisitions

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Messaging App Line’s Payment Service Begins Rolling Out To Users Worldwide

    Line prematurely announced the introduction of its chat app payment feature earlier this month, but now it has begun rolling out to its 500 million-plus registered users.

    The Japanese company announced a new update that brings Line Pay to all users (bar those in China and South Korea)

    The principal goal of Line Pay is to enable users to make payments via the chat app, in the same way that users of Kakao Talk in Korea and WeChat in China already can

    Payments are not just about Asia — Snapchat has jumped on the wagon, while Facebook appears to have tested its own solution and Kik is also keen.

    Line said it works with cards from American Express, Diner’s Club, JCB, Master Card, and Visa. It will initially support payments in the Line Store — which sells stickers and themes — only, but the company plans to allow global users to make online/in-app purchases, send money to Line friends, and pay for goods offline in the future.

    Security is understandably a major concern. Line said it will require a unique 7-digital password for transactions, while users will be required to authenticate via their mobile (using a password or Touch ID on iOS) if they make payment via the desktop version of the service.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It Looks Like Snapchat Paid $15 Million To Buy A Google Glass-Like Startup

    Read more:

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Glass-like smart glass aroused buzz has calmed down a lot a few years ago, but now Sony has introduced its own view of smart glasses.

    Sony’s prototype device that can be attached to any kind of prescription glasses. 40-gram inside the device has a processor, a WLAN module, bluetooth module. Spectacle right lens settling onto the projection has a 0.23-inch 640×400 pixel display.

    The prototype “to the point” is the name of the SmartEyeglass Attach !.

    According to Sony Attach the device is not intended to be used throughout the day, but only if necessary.

    The Japanese company plans to introduce the device next month in the CES trade show.


  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NSA-Approved Samsung Knox Stores PIN in Cleartext

    A security researcher has tossed a giant bucket of ice water on Samsung’s thumbs up from the NSA approving use of certain Galaxy devices within in the agency.

    The NSA’s blessing, given under the agency’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Program, meant that the Samsung Galaxy 4, 5 and Galaxy Note 3 and note 10.1 2014 Edition cleared a number of security stipulations and could be used to protect classified data.

    The agency’s approval was also seen as a solid endorsement for Samsung’s Knox technology, which provides for separate partitions, or containers, on the Android devices in order to keep personal and business data from co-mingling. The containers have their own encrypted file systems as well, keeping secured apps separate from applications outside the container.

    An unnamed researcher, however, on Thursday published a lengthy report that claims a PIN chosen by the user during setup of the Knox App is stored in clear text on the device. Specifically, a pin.xml file stored in the ContainerApp stored on the device during setup contains the unencrypted PIN number.
    - See more at:

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Privileged Account Access
    Most Targeted Attacks Exploit Privileged Accounts

    We all like to write and talk about flashy zero-day vulnerabilities. However, a new threat report cautions enterprises not to flatter themselves, because the majority of criminals are not using valuable zero-days exploits to penetrate corporate networks: they’re phishing privileged account credentials from executives and IT staffs, or simply guessing passwords for automated service accounts and, in turn, exploiting that access to gather valuable information.

    “Everyone thinks about the zero-day vulnerability, but they’re rarely exploited in a widespread pattern in the wild. They’re so valuable that attackers apply them in very limited way,” said Craig Williams, senior technical leader and security outreach manager for Cisco Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group. “For every zero day you hear about, there are millions of known vulnerabilities that are far more likely to be used against you.”
    - See more at:

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tile’s tiny Bluetooth stuff-tracker now works with Android

    Tile’s promise to track your stuff with small Bluetooth squares last year made it one of the biggest crowd-funded successes ever, raising nearly $2.7 million worth of orders in just a month. What’s taken the company a lot longer is making enough Tiles for all the people who bought it, as well as getting them to connect to something other than Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Today the company says both those problems have been solved, with it fully catching up on preorders, and with a new app for Android users that lets them connect with their Tiles.

    The Android app, which hits Google’s Play Store today, will work with every Tile the company has shipped so far. It’s a different story in terms of what phones it works with, with the app requiring Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, as well as Bluetooth 4.0.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is the Kairos smartwatch too good to be true?
    A mechanical wristwatch and a full-color digital display in a single device

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Meyer / Gigaom:
    Sony previews smart glasses module that attaches to existing glasses, targets sports and work use cases

    Sony has announced its own take on the smart glass concept. To be formally unveiled at CES next month, the Single-Lens Display Module can be attached to existing glasses, to add a heads-up display and general smartness.

    The unit clips round the back of the user’s head, attaching to each of the glasses’ temples. Sony is working on a software development kit (SDK) so people can make hands-free information apps for the thing

    The camera was left out for size and weight reasons, he said. That is probably a bonus from a privacy point of view, though it also makes the unit useless for life-logging (a pointless battery-killer in my opinion) or augmented reality (the display is too small for that anyway.)

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Envelope tracking makes CMOS PAs possible in 4G smartphones

    In recent years, CMOS power amplifiers (PAs) have made significant inroads into the cost-sensitive GSM GPRS and 3G markets. While this has taken some market share away from traditional GaAs PAs, the fact remains that when it comes to high-end 3G and LTE applications, CMOS PAs continue to be limited in their performance and GaAs continues to dominate in these applications. In particular, the “soggy” compression characteristic of CMOS results in poor linearity, which is a key requirement for 4G waveforms with high peak-to-average power ratios (PAPR).

    However, there is growing momentum behind CMOS PAs. CMOS has several attractive features when compared to GaAs, notably the wide availability of CMOS foundries, improved supply chain control, and the ability to monolithically integrate control and bias circuits onto the PA die. This year at least two smartphones have been released with CMOS PAs from Qualcomm – the Amazon Fire and the ZTE Grand Memo S2.

    These launches demonstrate the growing desire amongst OEMs to take advantage of the benefits of RF CMOS. But how are they overcoming the inherent performance limitations of CMOS PAs? The answer is envelope tracking (ET), a power-supply technique that has already achieved significant traction as an efficiency enhancing technique for traditional GaAs PAs.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    United Going Paperless

    All United Airlines Flight attendants will soon be given the iPhone 6 Plus in the airline’s effort to become paperless, according to a recent statement. Delivery of a phone for each of the more than 23,000 attendants will begin the second quarter of 2015. They will initially be used for all retail transactions on flights, and provide access to company email, and employee areas of the website.

    Coming soon will be the attendant’s safety manual in electronic form, plus in an effort to keep them well-informed, real-time data regarding cabin issues and repairs. Tools for customers on their own iPhones will be coming soon as well. Pilots aren’t getting left out, receiving iPad Air 2s, taking the place of iPads issued to them in 2011.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LED-based sensors for wearable fitness tracking products

    More and more people are tracking their physical fitness with the aid of wearable gadgets and appropriate apps. Optical sensors are suitable for measuring pulse rates and oxygen saturation in blood. The technology has long been established in the medical sector and can now be transferred to consumer applications thanks to modern LED technologies.

    Whereas pace counters use acceleration sensors, optical methods traditionally used in the medical sector for pulse and blood oxygen measurements are now finding their way into the consumer market. In the hospital environment, the sensors are mostly installed in ear or finger clips. In 2013, the Mio Alpha smartwatch was the first armband that could measure the pulse rate at the wrist using an optical sensor – a significant advance compared with the chest belt worn by athletes, which no one would enjoy wearing all day. Smartphones are also able to measure pulse rates on a finger. The first fitness armbands are now coming onto the market that enable you to measure the oxygen saturation in your blood simply by placing your finger on a screen. This feature is useful, for example, for people engaged in activities at high altitudes, such as mountain climbers, hang-gliders and glider pilots, and also for people with heart or lung problems.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft’s Xim app now shares photos to Apple TV, Chromecast, and Xbox One

    Microsoft’s Xim photo sharing app debuted in October from the company’s research labs, and today it’s getting a big update. Available across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, the latest version of Xim lets you share photos to an Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, or Xbox One simultaneously, alongside existing mobile devices. Microsoft is making use of the various wireless sharing protocols that each device uses to get content into the living room and on TVs. It’s one of the first times that Microsoft has provided support for Apple TV or Chromecast in its iOS apps.

    Xim is Microsoft’s take on photo sharing and slideshows

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung’s ChatOn service will shut down next year — but not in the US

    After denying reports that its ChatOn service was close to being disbanded on a region-by-region basis, Samsung has announced in Korea that it’s going away.

    despite a claimed 100 million strong user base, people weren’t really using the software preloaded on so many smartphones.

    On February 1, 2015, ChatON will be discontinued in all markets except the United States

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    Windows App Studio gets TouchDevelop programming language and web app templates, drops Windows Phone 8.0

    Microsoft today updated Windows App Studio, its free web-based tool designed to let anyone create an app, with support for TouchDevelop, a touch-friendly programming language that includes a physics engine and a user-interface framework for composing forms. The company also added universal Web App Template (WAT) creation — but dropped support for Windows Phone 8.0.

    TouchDevelop allows developers to write code directly on any device while using sensors and media via high-level APIs.

    Next up, universal WAT creation means you can build apps that will run on phones, PCs, and tablets. Microsoft hopes website owners will package mobile-optimized versions of their sites into a universal app and publish it on its app stores.

    As for Windows Phone support, creating, editing, and updating apps with Windows App Studio is now limited to universal Windows apps for devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1.

    Windows App Studio is still in beta, and Microsoft didn’t say when it expects to release the first stable version. By the company’s count, the tool now has over 2.3 million users, with a potential 250,000 registered TouchDevelop users that may join following today’s release.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge
    More facts needed before class-action suit can proceed

    A US District Court judge has cast doubt on an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google, describing the damages sought as “speculative.”

    The class-action suit filed earlier this year alleges that Google engages in illegal anti-competitive behavior by requiring makers of Android smartphones to bundle its search app on their devices.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How much for a wrist job? A tenner normally, but for this one, over $30k
    Tosser alert: Diamond-encrusted Apple gold watch out next summer

    The wait is almost over for footballers, Arab oil magnates, the fanbois elite, Croydon-based lottery winners, or anyone else with a money to burn: a diamond-encrusted Apple Watch will hit the shops next year with an eye-popping price tag.

    The gaunche-wear, a ‘pimped up’ version of the Watch, comes plastered with eight rounds of shiny stones totalling 15.14 carats, set in an 18K rose gold ‘tennis bracelet’, according to customiser Mervis Diamond Importers.

    Billed as the “ultimate in luxury wearable technology”, the wrist job has a price to match, set at a cool $30,150, or over 86 times more costly than the standard model Apple, set for release early next year ($349).

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Microsoft Band, introduced last month, hosts a slew of amazing sensors, but like so many wearable computing devices, users are unable to access their own data

    Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market With ‘Band’

    Extracting My Data from the Microsoft Band

    When the Microsoft Band was announced, I was thrilled to discover the first wrist-worn device to have both a heart-rate sensor and GPS, plus a slew of other sensors. My research group has been investigating how to make recommendations for people to improve their sleep from smartphone and smartwatch tracking data. My Ph.D. student Alexandra managed to snag a Band when they were hard to find, but I was disappointed when I learned that it suffered from the same problem that plagued so many promising wearable devices: the inability to export my own minute-by-minute data.

    I took this as a challenge, and asked Alexandra to dump out the data from the phone app to find out how the data was stored.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EyeEm Launches Open Edit, Letting You See How Pros Edit Their Photos

    Photosharing startup EyeEm has launched version 5.0 of its mobile app on iOS and Android, bringing a slew of changes to its editing system that make it easier to get your photos looking like the shots curated from professionals.

    The centerpiece of the new system is a new feature called Open Edit. While looking at a photo in the app, you can now tap a button that lets you see a list of how various parameters (contrast, sharpness, etc.) were modified to achieve the final look. On iOS (and shortly Android), you can then see how those edits would look on one of your own photos.

    Open Edit takes only a bit more work than trying out different filters yet manages to teach photography fundamentals to those willing to fiddle with it for a few moments now and then. It’s a very clever user experience

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Technology Lab / Information Technology
    Skype Translator is the most futuristic thing I’ve ever used
    It’s like something straight out of science fiction.

    I spoke English. A moment later, an English language transcription would appear, along with a Spanish translation. Then a Spanish voice would read that translation.

    It took a moment to get used to the pacing of the conversation—the brief delay for the translation means that if you understand the language of the other person, there’s a temptation to respond immediately, without waiting for the voice to read the translation—but once this rhythm was learned, the conversation was fluent and continuous.

    In this preview, Spanish and English are the only spoken languages on offer. It also handles text conversations, and there are some 40 different languages on offer for text.

    Intellectually, I understand that all the different parts have been done before—Microsoft has shipped speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology for the better part of 20 years now, and robotranslation of Web content is relatively commonplace, if a little haphazard. But tying these pieces together has turned them into something magical and awe-inspiring.

    Truly, this is transformational technology. It’s not often that I use something that leaves me excited, something that makes me say “wow” not out of cynical sarcasm but because I’m genuinely impressed. But Skype Translator did it. Whether you call it a Star Trek Universal Translator or Babel fish, Microsoft is building it, and it’s incredible.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Soon EVERYONE will be doing it with a strap-on: The Reg’s 20 festive wearables
    From wristbands to smart watches

    Under the tree this Christmas, wearables beyond woolly socks, gloves and tasteless jumpers will be in abundance. Wristbands and smartwatches that track our activity now cover a diverse range of prices and functions. Most offer ‘lifelogging’, the latest buzzword used to describe monitoring everything you do from exercise to sleep.

    You’ll be hard pressed to find a strap on that doesn’t have an accompanying app that shows the bigger picture of activity. This information can even be used to trade off your exercise burn against the calories consumed from your daily diet and keep track of any activity goals.

    To make your slob shopping easier, in this round-up of 20 wearables, we’ve grouped similar types of devices together. You’ll find designs offering different advantages from simple to sophisticated; long battery life down to daily charges and basic activity tracking to devices specialising in cardio workouts.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CardFi – world’s first iBeacon Business Card

    CardFi is going to revolutionize the way business associates network with each other, and so much more. You are looking at the world’s first iBeacon Integrated Business Card.

    CardFi is an iBeacon integrated DEVICE and MOBILE APPLICATION, you can use either one or both, they carry the same CardFi ID and its on demand, you can activate when you want to exchange business card. Or for networking purposes, in an exhibition or seminar you can leave it on all time.

    All the people in your proximity will receive a notification with your details, they add, you confirm, you have now exchanged business cards.

    CardFi will even save in your “Cloud”, the location, time and with whom you met. It’s easy to follow and manage, and you can also immediately add notes and reminders on each contact you add. CardFi can be synced with all other contact services as Google, Linkedin, Outlook and many more.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hold the beacon: McDonald’s tests wireless offers near stores

    Using Piper’s beacon implementation over a four-week trial, sales of McChicken sandwiches jumped 8 percent over the prior month while McNuggets saw a 7.5 percent boost.

    For the trial McDonald’s chose an app created by Piper that works with both Apple Passbook on iOS and withGoogle Android devices.

    Beacon technology is seen as a potential boon for retailers since it provides passive access to customers in-store as well as potential customers that could be walking by. As the beacons “see” nearby smartphones, they can push promotional coupons or other deals, which in turn could influence purchase decisions. Beacons work over low-energy Bluetooth, so they do require mobile devices to have their Bluetooth radios enabled.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chemical Sensor for Smartphones Wirelessly Detects Hazardous Gases;RF-Microwave-Electronics

    MIT chemists have devised a new way to wirelessly detect hazardous gases and environmental pollutants, using a simple sensor that can be read by a smartphone. The inexpensive sensors could be widely deployed, making it easier to monitor public spaces or detect food spoilage in warehouses. The researchers have demonstrated that they can detect gaseous ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and cyclohexanone, among other gases.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stephen Shankland / CNET:
    FV-5 camera app takes advantage of Android Lollipop to allow Nexus 5 and 6 to shoot RAW photos — How Android 5.0 lets you get raw for better photos — Programmers have begun unlocking a new feature in Google’s new Lollipop mobile OS: the ability to shoot photos in raw format, which adds new flexibility in image quality.

    How Android 5.0 lets you get raw for better photos

    Programmers have begun unlocking a new feature in Google’s new Lollipop mobile OS: the ability to shoot photos in raw format, which adds new flexibility in image quality.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A smartphone as a holiday gift? Not such a brilliant idea

    In this week’s Ask Maggie, CNET consumer advice columnist Marguerite Reardon cautions readers to think twice about giving a smartphone as a gift. Why’s that? It’s the gift that keeps on costing.

    Here are four reasons why giving a smartphone for the holidays may also be a bad idea.

    1. The gift that keeps on costing: The price of the device is just a fraction of the overall cost of owning a smartphone. Monthly service charges can add up to more than $2,000 over two years, the typical length for a wireless service contract.

    2. With this phone, I thee wed: Ever wonder why arranged marriages aren’t popular in western culture? I’ll tell you: No one wants someone else choosing their spouse. While a phone contract doesn’t last as long as most marriages, it’s still a commitment. When you buy a smartphone, you’re buying an “ecosystem.”

    3. Breaking up is hard to do: Most mobile phones in the US don’t work on other wireless services. And even if they can, the services may be limited.

    4. That’ll be $35, please, to return your gift: You may love the new Samsung Galaxy Note you bought your dad, but he may hate it. Unlike other items, which are relatively easy to return after the holidays, smartphone returns can be tricky. Almost every major US carrier charges a restocking fee of about $35. What’s more, carriers also require returns within 14 days of purchase

    Bottom Line: Don’t be tempted by low prices. Buying a smartphone is best left to the person using it. My advice: only give a smartphone as a gift if you’re prepared to pay the service and other fees

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Project Ara Gains Support For Nvidia Tegra K1 And 64-Bit Marvell Chip Modules,28255.html

    The Project Ara modular phone platform is close to being launched, and Google seems to already have a few modules ready to go. Two of the latest modules supported by the Ara platform include a module that contains the Tegra K1 processor, and another that contains a Marvell PXA1928 processor (quad-core 64-bit Cortex A53).

    It seems Google is creating two reference designs that will sell at different price points and will also have different form factors. It’s likely the Tegra K1-based reference platform will be the most expensive and also have the largest size, while the Marvell-based one will have the smaller size and lower-priced module.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dave Smith / Business Insider:
    Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi closing funding round topping $1B led by All-Stars Investment, valuing the company at $45B

    The ‘Apple Of China’ Raises Over $1 Billion, Valuation Skyrockets To More Than $45 Billion
    Read more:

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For those who want to use their smart phone as TV replacement??

    Phone Screen 3X Magnifier Stand for Phone Size Below 7″ – Black

    - HD optical technology makes cell phone 3 times magnification, clear image and stronger dynamic feels
    - Creative technology, simple and compact. Suitable for various cell phones

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung Releases Look At Me, An App For Kids With Autism

    Over the past few years, technology has given educators and the parents of autistic children tools they could never have imagined before. Mobile apps and games help kids learn communication skills, while virtual reality can potentially teach them how to cope in different social situations. Many of these tools are created by independent developers, but as autism diagnoses increase, large companies have also begun focusing on the neurodevelopmental disorder.

    The latest tech company to come out with an autism tool is Samsung, which just released Look At Me, an Android app that it claims can help kids learn how to better maintain eye contact, something that many people with autism have difficulty doing.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amazon says 10M people tried Prime, 60% of customers shopped from a mobile device this holiday season

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kodak-branded Android smartphone to launch in January at CES; tablet, camera, 4G handset will come later in year — Kodak is launching a line of Android smartphones in 2015 — Kodak has announced that it’s licensing its name to a range of mobile devices that make it easier to print and share images.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:

    IBM: mobile made up 34.8% of total Christmas Day online sales, an increase of 20.4% YoY; iOS accounted for 27%, nearly 4x Android — IBM: Christmas online sales up 8.3%, iOS numbers nearly quadruple Android’s — Christmas is a religious and cultural celebration for billions of people …

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IBM: mobile made up 34.8% of total Christmas Day online sales, an increase of 20.4% YoY; iOS accounted for 27%, nearly 4x Android

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kevin C. Tofel / Gigaom:
    Windows Phone apps downloaded most on low-cost, low-memory phones — Mobile app developers considering Windows Phone support for their apps, take note: Based on data released by Microsoft on Tuesday, you may want to target low-end devices.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
    Developers just want their ideas to generate money

    HTML5 has offered salvation from the tyranny of apps for years, yet most mobile developers resolutely refuse to embrace the web. Despite HTML’s familiarity and promise of cross-device compatibility, native’s superior tooling and performance have convinced a generation of developers to go all in on native.

    If only this were true.

    The reality of “native” app development today is that virtually all apps include at least some HTML, if only for web views. There’s just no such thing as a pure native app.

    We are all mudbloods, in other words. Much more of this mongrel app experience is needed, however, if we want the web to survive.

    Yet, developers don’t fret over the future of the open web, they just want their apps to make money.

    Today that money appears to derive from a native app experience. Take this VisionMobile survey, for example, which polled 10,000-plus developers to discover that HTML5 is popular, but it’s nobody’s first choice

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Common Frustrations of the HTML5 Developer

    The two biggest drivers of change in business computing today are multi-device computing and cloud. Multidevice and cloud are driving a rapid evolution in application architecture toward more powerful front ends and more flexible back-ends.

    Mobile devices are becoming important gateways to business data and applications. Cloud back-ends – often implemented as rich API service points – are fast becoming the back-end complement to this new wave of applications.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Apple of China’ Xiaomi: Yep, we HAVE just bagged $1.1 BEELLION
    Chinese firm going for Samsung’s market share

    Top Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi has confirmed reports that it has raised $1.1bn to fund its plans for world domination.

    That new phase includes the opening of a Xiaomi office in Brazil, the first non-Asian market for the manufacturer and one where it will need to modify the sales model as most devices there are sold on a hire purchase model.

    Xiaomi has had a stellar year growing global market share to six per cent and overtaking Samsung in China.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft: How to run Internet Explorer 11 on ANDROID, iOS, OS X
    Test your site on Redmond’s browser without using Windows

    Microsoft has unveiled a new tool to allow web developers to test their apps against the very latest version of Internet Explorer – even if they don’t have any Windows clients running in-house.

    Enter RemoteIE. With this new tool built on Redmond’s Azure RemoteApp technology, developers can stream a copy of the most up-to-date version of IE11, complete with its F12 developer tools, to their Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android devices via Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client.

    For “most up-to-date,” however, read “bleeding edge”

    This version of IE isn’t available for any OS but Windows 10 yet, so RemoteIE is one way for Windows 7 and 8 users to try it out early, without the hassle of maintaining an unfinished OS installation themselves.

    There are some limitations to running a browser this way, though. For one, because it’s running on Windows Azure, RemoteIE lacks GPU support, so you won’t see some of the graphics effects that you’d see if you were running it on local hardware.

    For another, because the actual browser is running not on your local machine but on a server in Microsoft’s cloud, it can’t access any websites that are hosted behind your firewall.

    Finally, Redmond is placing some restrictions on RemoteIE while it’s still in preview. Sessions that are idle for 10 minutes will be logged out, as will sessions that have lasted for longer than 60 minutes.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jarah Euston / Flurry Insights:
    51% of new devices activated during Christmas week were Apple, 18% were Samsung, 6% Nokia — Apple and Apps Dominated Christmas 2014 — Millions of people woke up and unwrapped a shiny new device under the Christmas tree

    Apple and Apps Dominated Christmas 2014

    Looking Ahead to 2015, and Back at the Year that Was

    If Christmas is a bellwether for the year ahead, we should expect strong performance from iOS devices and a continued shift to the once-derided phablet form factor. This was the year that time spent on mobile finally eclipsed TV, and the data shows that we are spending this time in more apps than ever. It was another record year for app developers, and we don’t see any signs of the momentum stopping.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New King of Tech Startups: Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Raises $1.1 Billion at $45 Billion Valuation

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brandon Chester / AnandTech:
    Samsung announces Galaxy Note 4 with Snapdragon 810 processor to enable 300 Mbps LTE download speeds in South Korea

    Samsung Launches A Snapdragon 810 Powered Galaxy Note 4
    by Brandon Chester on December 28, 2014 11:15 PM EST

    Today Samsung has announced a new version of the Galaxy Note 4 which will be launching in the South Korean market in January 2015. There are currently two major models of the Note 4, with the main point of differentiation being the processor inside. Most markets received a model with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 APQ8084 which is a 2.7GHz quad core Krait 450 part. In certain markets, it ships with Samsung’s Exynos 5433 which has four Cortex-A53 cores and four Cortex-A57 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration.

    The new Galaxy Note 4 adds a third model to this mix. It comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, which is similar to Exynos 5433 in that it sports four Cortex-A53 and four Cortex-A57 cores in a big.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 Best Smartphones of 2014

    There’s never been a better time to buy a smartphone. These five stood out from the pack.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Module transforms eyewear into smart augmented reality devices

    Sony Corporation has announced an attachable smartglass module featuring OLED technology that enables ordinary glasses to be turned into augmented reality smart devices.

    The two-part module features a single lens which comprises a 0.23 inch, 640 x 400 pixel, color OLED micro-display; an attached micro-optical unit projects an image equivalent to the field of view of a 16 inch display two meters away. The 40 gram module includes an ARM Cortex-A7 core and a 400 mAh battery and supports Bluetooth Low Energy along with 802.11b/g/n.

    The compact nature and lightweight of the solution has enabled Sony to attach the module to a piece of eyewear. The device is equipped with a high-resolution color OLED microdisplay that claims to bring out the full potential of the display’s high image quality, and a miniaturized control board

    Attaching the display module to a pair of fashionable glasses, goggles, sunglasses, or other type of eyewear, allows users to gain access to visual information that adds a level of convenience to their everyday lives. The module also has potential applications in sports or for work, among other areas, displaying helpful information that supports a user in their activity. The module, which uses a small sub-window that does not obstruct the user’s field of vision, is attachable/detachable, and can be used only when required. Users have the option to store the module away if it not needed

    The module is also equipped with a control board loaded with a processor with capabilities on par with smartphones, Wi-Fi functionality, and a variety of sensors.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China will revolutionize the smartphone market – manufacturers downward pressure on prices

    After Samsung and Apple most smart phones sold Chinese manufacturers.

    At present, China spurt number of phone manufacturers, which are relatively unknown to the Western markets. The reason is simply often that the manufacturers of the equipment is sold only in China or in the nearby area.

    China as well as in developing countries, popular manufacturers such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Coolpad, Lenovo, ZTE and Alcatel. Most of these manufacturers favor Android based phones.

    Last year’s third quarter, the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer in the business in terms of sales, Huawei.

    “The Chinese smartphone manufacturers affect many brands – which have to compete with these cheap devices”

    The smartphone market is not anywhere near the longer of two giant, Samsung and Apple the playground – there is huge selection of phone brands.

    According to analysts, cheap Chinese equipment are not a threat to Apple. In contrast, cheap equipment manufacturing to Samsung they produce gray hair. Also owned by Microsoft, Nokia suffers from the Chinese invasion of developing countries.

    License fees ignoring is not a problem in China – but can prevent those manufacturers to enter western markets. So far, analysts do not be afraid that the Chinese phone manufacturers is greatly affected by the global market. They create other phone manufacturers downward pressure on prices – Chinese manufacturers profit may remain for two to four percent of the selling price of the phone.


  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    OnePlus vs Micromax: Dream of Google-less Android now further away
    Case highlights strange behaviour from Google-friendly VC-backed firm

    An obscure court case in India appears to have dented hopes of the mobile industry weaning itself off Google dependency – and has raised questions about the goals of Cyanogen and its backer, a Silicon Valley VC firm with close ties to Google.

    In the cosy world of Menlo Park VC firms, Andreessen Horowitz (or “A16Z”) is as close to Google as anyone.

    Last year a number of investors poured money into Cyanogen, a company which hoped to do for Android what Red Hat had done for Linux. CyanogenMod is one of a dozen popular community-developed variants of the open source Android code base (AOSP).

    It works like this.

    Anyone can take the AOSP source code and use it to make an Android phone – Amazon and Nokia did just that – but it takes significant in-house investment to maintain the code base. Cyanogen promised to rmove some of the risk from the proposition by creating a service business around AOSP, stimulating the market for devices that wouldn’t be strictly defined by Google.

    Higher up the software stack, Google imposes strict secret conditions to ensure that phone makers who desire Google-flavoured Android compatibility must pass a series of tests. This effectively means phone makers then market phones with Google’s “binary blob” of services – and they must take them all. These secret contracts are currently being probed by the European Commission.

    So far, not one phone maker has tried to hedge their bets and make both Google-certified Androids, and experiment with marketing less-Googley mod-based phones.

    Google, which each year increases its control over Android, was therefore faced with a problem. It had reportedly tried to buy Cyanogen, but had been rebuffed.

    One of the first to sign up to Cyanogen was Oppo Electronics, part of the large Chinese BBK Electronics group. And Oppo did something very interesting.

    Rather than market Cyanogen phones alongside Oppo’s Google-approved phones, it spawned a wholly owned “startup” it called OnePlus. OnePlus is headed by an Oppo VP and used an Oppo design as its first device, the OnePlus One

    The unusual corporate architecture could conceivably have allowed Oppo to continue to sell phones that meet Google’s strict compatibility conditions – but also test the market via OnePlus, with CyanogenMod flavoured devices. In the end, when the OnePlus One appeared, it was Google-compatible.

    Rather than licensing CyanogenMod to all comers, which is the tried and tested way of getting your platform adopted, Cyanogen insisted on exclusive territoriality agreements.

    The Judge ruled that Cyanogen had behaved badly: as the Times of India notes:

    “During the proceedings, the bench observed Cyanogen has not been fair to both Shenzhen as well as Micromax as the US-based firm entered into an exclusive use agreement with the Indian company when it already had an arrangement with the Chinese phone-maker.”

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    UK banks prepare for Apple Pay ‘invasion’, look to slap on bonking protection
    Financial bodies air concerns over ‘privacy’, ‘data security’

    Apple’s attempt to launch its NFC payment solution in the UK could be thwarted by some financial institutions’ concerns over privacy and security issues surrounding Cupertino’s “invasion” of the banking industry.

    The system, which has been developed with the credit card companies, has been tried by two million iPhone 6 users in the US.

    However, The Telegraph reports that UK adoption has been slowed by banks concerns over privacy, saying “some executives fear Apple Pay and the data it delivers to Apple could serve as a beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry”.

    Maybe they have looked at what Apple has done to the music and mobile phone industries and drawn conclusions from that. A battle between banks and Apple would certainly be interesting to watch.

    Airing concerns about security, money laundering and financing of terrorism is a standard tactic employed by the banks when they want to slow the adoption of a new technology.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One of the largest single threat vectors, it turns out, is the spread of third-party app stores. For all its flaws, Apple’s own App Store has guidelines that have largely kept such problems to a minimum. Google Play suffers a relatively small number of problems, and according to the Dutch, Windows Phone actually has fewer intrinsic flaws than either of the other two platforms. Yes, that means Windows Phone may actually be the most secure platform you can buy today.


  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    T-Mobile US CEO on wearables: ‘Apple Watch is the tipping point’
    …and contracts are history, says crystal-ball-gazing bigwig

    In a rash of annual predictions, T- Mobile big cheese John Legere claims that “Wearables and phablets will be the big device stories of 2015”.

    He goes on to look at exercise and fashion products as being in the same space: “I love what Jawbone, Fitbit, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and others are doing in the wearables space. But we haven’t begun to see the potential of this category. It’s going to go from $1 to $20 billion in the next few years.”


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