Mobile trends for 2017

Here is some aggregating of the data and then throwing out some predictions:

Mobile is eating the world also in 2017. As we pass 2.5bn smartphones on earth and head towards 5bn, and mobile moves from creation to deployment.

IHS research institute of the market next year will be 139 million a flexible screens, most of which are in smartphones. Vivo and Xiaomi have already released smart phones with flexible AMOLED screens. Progress has been slowed by the capacity of the display manufacturers, but Samsung Display and LG Display are already building new factories. It is expected that in 2020 the number of flexible screens will be 417 million.

Today’s smartphones utilize a wide array of sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes and various other). New sensors will be added in 2017. Barometric pressure sensor, which measures air pressure, is currently being integrated into premium-grade smartphones and IoT applications. Air pressure sensors in smartphones are useful in navigation and fitness tracking applications but also in weather forecasting.

Rumors surrounding the next iPhone 8 keep coming in 2017. Analysts and market researchers have also predicted a big iPhone update from Apple. Let’s wait to see if this is evolution or revolution. A brief report in The Korea Economic Daily claims that Apple is working with LG on a new dual camera module “which enables 3D photographing. I would be surprised if Apple could come up with something that really revolutionary in 2017.

Virtual Reality Will Stay Hot in 2017. VR is the heaviest heterogeneous workload we encounter in mobile—there’s a lot going on. VR requires high refresh rates with new content every frame. It also needs to calculate data from multiple sensors and respond to it with updated visuals in less than 18 ms to keep up with the viewer’s head motions. To achieve these goals, the phone needs a fast-switching AMOLED display at nearly full brightness running constantly. The skyrocketing popularity of augmented reality (Pokemon Go) and virtual reality (Google VR) may be the boost microelecromechanical systems (MEMS) projectors into the mass market. Integrating micro-lidar (3-D imaging system using invisible infrared beams) to smart phone can become feasible.

Smart phone markets will be still almost completely be in the hands of Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) also in 2017. Microsoft’s Windows phone OS is practically dead in. But that does not stop other player trying to get their spot. For example Samsung wants developers to build apps for its homegrown Tizen mobile operating system, and it is offering cash prizes to do so. Samsung will launch further Tizen-powered smartphones in 2017, but the company is unlikely to swap Android for its home-grown software on high-end devices.

Mobile Video to Grow 50% a Year also n 2017. According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report, mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. Ericsson forecasts mobile video traffic to grow by around 50% annually through 2022.

Even though smart watch market has done much worse than expected in 2016, is not forgotter in 2017. Companies need to put effort to convince consumers that wearables — smartwatches specifically — are still in demand. For this Google says it will launch two flagship OEM-branded smartwatches and Android Wear 2.0 in early 2017.  The new platform brings a number of new features.

Smartphone is already widely used mobile payment, a person identifying itself and a wide range of services in place, so it is only a matter of time until the driver’s license is transferred to smart phone. In fact, the trend is already on the move, as piloted by Gemalto digital driver’s license in Colorado, Idaho, Maryland and Washington. In the early stages of the digital card functions as a conventional physical card partner.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wearables are dead. Long live wearables!

    When crowdsourcing darling, Pebble, came to an abrupt end and rumors flared that Jawbone was exiting the consumer market altogether, these fair-weather fans quickly leapt to the hasty conclusion that wearables hadn’t “lived up to their promise.” But what, exactly, was this promise?

    Depending on who you ask, the answer could be different.

    Wearable Tech: A Developer’s Security Nightmare

    One of the newest data security threats posed to the IoT, in particular, is the rise of the wearable technology industry.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google introduces Family Link, its own parental control software for Android

    Google has just one-upped Apple on mobile in a significant way: today the company today announced the launch of Family Link, an application for parents that lets them establish a child’s first Google account, as well as utilize a series of parental controls to manage and track screen time, daily limits, device “bedtimes,” and which apps kids can use.

    While all the major mobile device providers – Apple, Google, and Amazon included – offer parental controls on their devices – Family Link is different because it’s a two-party system.

    For the system to work, Family Link requires that both parent and child use Android. The parent will first download the Family Link mobile app to their own device, running Android KitKat (4.4) or higher. An iOS version is not yet available, says Google.

    From this app, parents will set up the child’s Google account. It’s designed to be used for those children under the age of 13, Google notes.

    Then, on the kid’s device, the child signs in using these new credentials. The child’s phone or tablet must be running either Android Nougat (7.0), or a supported device running Marshmallow (6.1).

    Once signed in, the child’s phone usage is tracked and logged, so parents can see how much time kids spend in various apps, via weekly and monthly activity reports. From the parent’s app, moms and dads can set a number of rules for their kids, including how long kids are allowed to be on their mobile devices every day, at what time the devices can no longer be used that day (through a remote locking feature), and which apps can be installed.

    Parents can approve or block apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store, much like how Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing’s “Ask” feature works today.

    “[Family Link] can’t make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it’s up to parents to choose what’s right for their kid.”

    Family Link

    With the Family Link app from Google, you can stay in the loop as your kid explores on their Android* device. Family Link lets you create a Google Account for your kid that’s like your account, while also helping you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family — like managing the apps your kid can use, keeping an eye on screen time, and setting a bedtime on your kid’s device.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Old audio plug is still trying to compete with the USB-C interface

    Embedded World, Nuremberg – Austrian mixed-signal circuits and sensors that develops ams has introduced the first of its own connection to the ACI (Accessory Communications Interface) utilizing the product. For the first time can be a standard 3.5 mm audio plug connect the noise canceling headphones that do not require their own separate battery.

    ACI-connection of four wire one audio cable is used to transfer power and bi-directional data at up to 16 megabits per second, in addition to the digital audio signal.

    When the noise canceling headphones implemented ACI connection, will the headset mode, for example, recognize gestures for sensors, proximity sensor, heart rate monitors, temperature sensors and the like.

    Ams: According to the new audioplugi consumes about 60 percent less power than the USBC-type audio connection. This may be one reason to keep the old headphone jack on the bottom of the smartphone.


    Accessory Communication Interface

    The Accessory Communications Interface (ACI) invented by ams uses a single wire to carry power and bidirectional data as well as digital audio signals. The ACI solution reduces the size and the weight of accessories by eliminating the battery. Due to ams’ ultra-low latency, ANC is enabled. Additionally, it is possible to use headset-mounted sensors to add various features such as gesture sensing, temperature sensing or HRM. ACI supplies up to 100mA to accessories and enables the use of LEDs for features like illuminated wires or LED displays.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qualcomm doesn’t want you to call its Snapdragon processors ‘processors’ anymore

    Take note, tech writers: as of this morning, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are no longer processors. Henceforth, the company would like you to refer to Snapdragon as a “platform.” In a post this morning, the San Diego-based chip – sorry processor – maker has detailed why it’s replaced one p-word with another. And why it thinks you ought to, too.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Now, the application can be run directly from a memory card

    SD memory cards are the new A1 assay, in which the performance guarantees that the memory card can be run directly on mobile applications for smartphones. A1 assay is part of a new 5.1 SD Association standard.

    A1 determines that the microSD card can be read data from at least 1500 IOPS at a speed (Input-Output Access Per Second). Writing speed is at least 500 IOPS Cl and continuous chapter serial data should reach 10 megabytes per second.

    Toshiba has now introduced a new series of microSD cards, which supports the new A1 specifications.


  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Maps v9.49 beta adds a manual parking location tracker, weather indicator for mass transit navigation, and more

    There’s a new capability to manually save your parking location so it’s easier to get back to your car, weather predictions for your destinations while setting up navigation, and more. There’s even a quick teardown that shows search results will soon support sorting.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google releases Android O to developers, promising better battery life and notifications
    Developers can start work on it today

    For the second year in a row, Google is making a developer preview for the next version of Android available in March, well ahead of its presumed consumer release in the fall. This one is codenamed “O,” and your guess is as good as mine as to what dessert the final version will be named after. It isn’t yet available for regular users to try out. Although developers can begin testing it right away

    Google isn’t yet telling us everything that’s coming in O, but the marquee feature is meant to address a perennial smartphone problem that has seen equally perennial attempts at fixing it: battery life.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android O, Google’s Next OS, Is Coming to Save Your Phone’s Battery

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wells Fargo: All ATMs Will Take Phone Codes, Not Just Cards

    Given the prevalence of smartphones nowadays, Wells Fargo has announced plans to upgrade all 13,000 of its ATMs next week to allow customers to access their money using their cellphones instead of traditional bank cards. Wells Fargo would be the first to upgrade all of its ATMs with the feature across the United States.

    Wells Fargo: All ATMs will take phone codes, not just cards

    Wells Fargo plans to upgrade all 13,000 of its ATMs next week to allow customers to access their funds using their cellphones instead of traditional bank cards.

    While banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have announced similar upgrades to their ATMs, those are still being rolled out. Wells would be the first to upgrade all of its ATMs with the feature across the United States.

    To access their money, customers would get unique eight-digit codes from their Wells Fargo smartphone app, and enter the code into the ATM along with their PIN number. The machines will still accept debit cards as well.

    “Whether a customer happens to have a card on them or not, (the upgrade) provides another simple and secure way to withdraw cash at any of our ATMs,” said Adam Vancini, head of virtual channel operations at Wells Fargo.

    One limitation of the one-time code, though, is that it won’t work on the secure doors that many branches have for non-business hours that require a customer to swipe an ATM or debit card to gain entry

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Satellite Navigation ‘Switches Off’ Parts of Brain Used For Navigation, Study Finds

    A new study published today in the journal Nature Communications reveals some of the drawbacks of using satellite navigation (SatNav) technology. After scanning the brains of 24 volunteers as they explored a simulation through the streets of London’s Soho district, researchers from the University of London found that listening to a satellite navigation’s instructions “switches off” activity in parts of the brain used for navigation.

    The Brain Takes a Guided Tour of London
    Two distinct brain regions cooperate to simulate possible routes and plan a path through them

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
    Universe, a mobile-only website builder, launches an iOS app and announces $3.2M in funding led by Box Group

    Universe, a mobile-only website builder, lets you create pages in ‘under a minute’

    The business of platforms for developing websites and publishing online is a crowded one, with established players like WordPress, Wix, Zoho, Weebly, Duda Mobile and Squarespace competing against newer entrants like Medium and the likes of LinkedIn. Now make way for another one: Universe, a startup that hopes its mobile-first approach for building “light” websites on mobile — the pitch is that these can be built in “under a minute” — can give it a unique foothold in the market.

    Universe, which is based out of Brooklyn, New York, is today launching its first app, for iOS, with $3.2 million in funding from General Catalyst, Greylock Partners (from its development and seed fund), Eniac Ventures and led by Box Group.

    Sites tacked to Universe’s own domain are free, while those registered with custom domains start at a competitive $2.99/month.

    Universe tackles the balance between creativity and templates to speed things up with a slick interface that presents the real estate of the phone as a 3×5 area, where you can select a background and then start to add text, photos, videos and link modules through a drag and drop interface.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    USB stick can now kill SMARTPHONE

    Killer is a USB device that feeds more than 200 volts for 8-12 seconds. In practice, this kills integrated circuits device very effectively. (UN)Fortunately, the device is now also available adapters, with the destruction of a variety of smart phones to be successful. . The range covers both the new C-types of USB connectors, as Apple’s iPhone Lightning connector.

    When a USB device is connected Killer stick into the USB port, it will charge a USB bus power lines to about 200 volts. Thereafter, this voltage is discharged along the bus back to the electronics of the device.

    The discharge can be done several times per second, until the stick is removed, or “tested” machine breaks down. Supply current is 180 amps.

    Just to be sure: do not order sticks, never put the memory stick into any unknown device!


  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartwatches at a Crossroads, and Some Analysts are Optimistic

    Some battery-powered watches at Fossil’s flagship store here have traditional minute and second hands, but their displays sync with a user’s smartphone

    This “hybrid smartwatch” line, introduced last summer, appeals to technologically savvy buyers who also appreciate the look and feel of a traditional timepiece

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung’s pocket watch is a weird concept that raises interesting questions about wearables

    Samsung’s hybrid pocket watch concept raises a lot more questions than it answers. That’s due, in part, to the fact that the company isn’t offering all that much information about what appears to be an analogue pocket watch with smart functionality announced in a press release

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Maps will now let you share your location, creating a whole new set of privacy concerns
    Every step you take …

    Google has announced new features for Google Maps, including some that make it easier to share your location with contacts, which could spur privacy concerns.

    Altogether, the updates don’t mark a sweeping change as the company has been careful about how it tweaks the service. That’s because Maps is Google’s most-used app after YouTube and the fourth-most-used app overall with over 95 million people accessing it every month, according to comScore. Maps has become crucial to Google’s mobile strategy.

    Given that, it’s noteworthy that the changes don’t include any new ways for Google to make money from Maps.

    Location sharing is the most significant update. People can let anyone else know where they are by sending a text message with a link. The link can be opened by anyone, even if they don’t have the Maps app. People can also share their location within the app to others who use Maps.

    That could raise all kinds of privacy concerns. The links, for example, can be shared to anyone else through a simple copy and paste, whether or not the original user intended their information to be known to a wider circle. The links will expire after three days, or earlier if the user sets the date.

    Share your trips and real-time location from Google Maps

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android Candy: That App Is for the Birds!

    Hundreds of books are available to help you figure out what sort of bird you’re looking at, but Merlin uses several metrics to narrow down the feathery mystery.

    Once it narrows down the options to a handful of birds, it provides photos of the male, female and juvenile varieties. It even includes a button that lets you listen to their particular birdsong.

    If you’re a bird-lover, or just like to sound smart in front of your friends, the Merlin Bird ID app is a must-have. It’s completely free and remarkably accurate.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia 6 global launch will span 120 markets through spring (along with Nokia 3, 5, 3310)

    HMD Global has announced that it is launching all of the Nokia-branded devices it launched at MWC 2017 in 120 countries over the course of the second quarter, Nokiapoweruser reports.

    That means that the entry-level Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and the mid-range Nokia 6 along with the uber-popular Nokia 3310 revival will be rolling out in different SKUs to sixty percent of all recognized territories.

    Nokia 6 hands-on at MWC, featuring Nokia 3 and Nokia 5

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ST’s SPAD Imager Likely Linked to iPhone 8
    Apple in Grenoble, ST’s IEDM paper, $1B CapEx

    LYON, France — Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 — allegedly featuring a “3D camera” — has been the subject of intense speculation among the media and the financial community for months.

    The dots in this puzzle that have yet to be connected are the explicit relationships among the iPhone 8, single photon avalanche diodes (SPAD) and a company in Europe — STMicroelectronics.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart phone viruses to five times more

    Nokia prepares twice a year mobile data security report and the latest version is chilling to read. the number of smart phone malware increased by 400 per cent from beginning of 2016.

    Nokia -document Threat Intelligence Report shows that in October to 1.35 per cent of all mobile devices were infected. Quantity is the largest fair in the report on the five-year history.

    Last year’s second half of the number of smartphone infections increased by 83 per cent compared to the beginning of the year. Four out of five of infection strikes for Android, but also iOS devices have risen to the ranks of objects. Windows PCs have fallen to four per cent.


    Nokia Threat Intelligence Report – 2H 2016
    The latest report reveals a 400% increase in the smart phone infection rate in the past 12 months.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    lexible AMOLED displays, sales will continue to grow very rapidly. IHS research institute according to their sales bypass the traditional “rigid” AMOLED panel readings already this year.

    In practice, the sale of the flexible panel started at the beginning of last year. In the first quarter of the flexible displays was sold in dollars less than billion, and the share of the AMOLED market was 20 per cent.

    Flexible already sold over three billion dollars, and their market share will rise to 52 per cent.

    In practice, a so-called rigid. rigid-type AMOLED screens is selling right now catching up with the peak. After that sales are going to decline slightly.


  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android creator Andy Rubin teases his new smartphone
    How much information can one corner reveal?

    The creator of Android, Andy Rubin, is building a new smartphone — and today, he shared the first image of his mysterious hardware. It’s just a tease, revealing only the corner of the phone, where battery, time and network information is displayed in tiny white text.

    The new device comes from Rubin’s company, Essential Products Inc., which is focused on creating tablets, smartphones and mobile software. Essential’s flagship phone will serve as the foundation for a lineup of connected products, according to early reports about the company’s movements.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
    Samsung debuts 5.8″ S8 and 6.2″ S8 Plus with thin bezels, Snapdragon 835, USB-C, 3.5mm jack, 12MP/8MP cameras, Bixby, face and iris unlock, shipping April 21 — Preorders begin March 30th, three weeks before the release date — The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the nicest phone I’ve ever held.

    Mark Spoonauer / Tom’s Guide:
    Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on: great screen, impressive design and good build, but how the Bixby assistant will stack up against rivals remains an unknown — The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the sexiest phone ever made, and it also looks to be one of the smartest. — With an all-new design …,review-4287.html

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dan Seifert / The Verge:
    Samsung aims to eclipse iPhone with bevy of features and Infinity Edge design on its Galaxy S8 and to redeem trust after the Note7 by improving safety processes — The Galaxy S8 is Samsung’s most ambitious project yet

    Chris Welch / The Verge:
    Samsung Galaxy S8 to cost $720 on Verizon, $750 on AT&T and T-Mobile; S8 Plus costs $840 on Verizon, $850 on AT&T and T-Mobile; available on April 21 — Samsung just unveiled its brand new smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, and US carriers along with big retailers …

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cherlynn Low / Engadget:
    Hands-on with Samsung’s Dex, a dock for Galaxy S8 that lets users work on a desktop display, running a tweaked version of Android 7.0 with multi-window support — The road to the perfect phone-desktop hybrid is littered with the carcasses of ambitious failures — just look at Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and Motorola’s Atrix.

    Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
    Samsung’s new virtual assistant Bixby aims to let users control apps directly through voice, but currently only works with about 10 Samsung apps

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    App Annie: iOS App Store revenue to be surpassed by Android this year, if third party app store revenues are included

    App Annie: Android to top iOS in app store revenue this year

    Apple will lose its lead over Android in terms of revenue generated by mobile apps this year, according to a new report from App Annie, out today. However, the firm’s estimate is based on including third-party Android app stores in its forecast, not just Google Play. When the Apple App Store is pitted against Google Play alone, Apple is expected to maintain its lead through 2021, the report says.

    App Annie is predicting worldwide mobile app downloads to surpass 352 billion in 2021, with gross consumer spend across all the app stores to surpass $139 billion.

    The iOS App Store will account for a large chunk of that spend, as it’s expected to generate over $60 billion in 2021. Google Play will generate $42 billion, and third-party stores, $36 billion.

    The market for Android apps is growing thanks in large part to mobile adoption in China as well as other emerging markets, particularly Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia.

    This will impact app downloads, too. Android downloads from both Google Play and elsewhere will at an annualized rate of 23 percent to 299.9 billion by 2012.

    According to its data, the top five countries by downloads – China, India, U.S., Brazil, and Indonesia – accounted for 54 percent of the downloads last year, and this won’t change much through 2021.

    However, the top countries by revenue – China, U.S., Japan, South Korea, and U.K. – accounted for 75 percent of app store revenue in 2016. This is expected to grow to 85 percent by 2021.

    China, because of its vast population and growing middle class, still plays a key role when it comes to app store revenues, but its market is maturing, the report notes.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartphones May Be To Blame For Unprecedented Spike In Pedestrian Deaths, Says Report

    According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the United States saw its largest annual increase in pedestrian fatalities since such record keeping began 40 years ago. “The [association] estimated there were 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, the highest number in more than 20 years,” reports CNN. “Since 2010, pedestrian fatalities have grown at four times the rate of overall traffic deaths.”

    Smartphones may be to blame for unprecedented spike in pedestrian deaths

    A new report estimates that in 2016, the United States saw its largest annual increase in pedestrian fatalities since such record keeping began 40 years ago.

    “This is unprecedented and, quite honestly, shocking,” Richard Retting, the report’s author, told CNNTech. “I’ve been in the highway safety field 35 years, we just don’t see record increases, let alone consecutive years of record increases.”

    The Governors Highway Safety Association estimated there were 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, the highest number in more than 20 years. Since 2010, pedestrian fatalities have grown at four times the rate of overall traffic deaths.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Drops Imagination
    Can Imagination survive without Apple?

    Apple has notified Imagination Technologies Group, a key GPU core licenser to Apple for years, that it will no longer use Imagination’s intellectual property in new products.

    For the U.K.-based graphics IP firm, whose GPU core technologies have been intrinsic to Apple’s phones, tablets, iPods, TVs and watches, this is undoubtedly a devastating blow.

    However, members of the GPU community, who’ve been aware of Apple’s hiring binge on GPU talent, tend to regard this as an inevitable development.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartwatch First to be Powered by Body Heat Alone

    A crowdfunded startup is taking the smart watch to a new level with the invention and imminent commercial launch of the first such device to be powered entirely by a person’s body heat.

    A crowdfunded startup is taking the smartwatch to a new level with the invention and imminent commercial launch of the first such device to be powered entirely by a person’s body heat.

    Most smartwatches on the market need to be recharged every day or two, but the PowerWatch from Matrix Industries never needs to be removed for charging thanks to thermoelectric technology that harvests energy from a person’s body to constantly power the device.

    “Thermoelectrics are materials that convert temperature differences to electricity,” explained Matrix Industries’ CEO Akram Boukai. “The larger the temperature difference, the more electric power can be generated. Matrix’s thermoelectric technology is 1/20th the cost and more efficient than other thermoelectrics on the market.”

    The company has patented a proprietary energy-harvesting platform that includes new nanomaterials and thermal-engineering technology to create energy.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Swedish operator Com Hem has studied the topic, which always bring to the surface the emotions and opinions. Is mobile gaming harmful to children? According to the results 10 hours a week playing phone makes the children happy.


  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
    Canonical will discontinue its Unity desktop interface, focusing on GNOME instead, and will shutter its mobile projects — Ubuntu phones and tablets are dead, but the desktop, server, and cloud live on. — Six years after making Unity the default user interface on Ubuntu desktops …

    Ubuntu Unity is dead: Desktop will switch back to GNOME next year
    Ubuntu phones and tablets also dead, but the desktop, server, and cloud live on.

    Six years after making Unity the default user interface on Ubuntu desktops, Canonical is giving up on the project and will switch the default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME next year. Canonical is also ending development of Ubuntu software for phones and tablets, spelling doom for the goal of creating a converged experience with phones acting as desktops when docked with the right equipment.

    Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth explained the move in a blog post Wednesday. “I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell,” he wrote. “We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS,” which will ship in April 2018.

    Growing Ubuntu for cloud and IoT, rather than phone and convergence

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Research Blog:
    Google’s testing Federated Learning, a new approach to machine learning that keeps user data as well as model training on users’ devices, with Gboard on Android

    Federated Learning: Collaborative Machine Learning without Centralized Training Data

    Standard machine learning approaches require centralizing the training data on one machine or in a datacenter. And Google has built one of the most secure and robust cloud infrastructures for processing this data to make our services better. Now for models trained from user interaction with mobile devices, we’re introducing an additional approach: Federated Learning.

    Federated Learning enables mobile phones to collaboratively learn a shared prediction model while keeping all the training data on device, decoupling the ability to do machine learning from the need to store the data in the cloud. This goes beyond the use of local models that make predictions on mobile devices (like the Mobile Vision API and On-Device Smart Reply) by bringing model training to the device as well.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Shara Tibken / CNET:
    Samsung forecasts $8.8B Q1 profit, an almost 50% jump YoY, expects sales of $44.2B, which won’t include Galaxy S8 sales which hit market April 21

    Samsung sees bounce in Q1 ahead of Galaxy S8

    The South Korean giant’s latest quarterly likely benefited from its business supplying chips, displays and other components.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FCC Kills Plan To Allow Mobile Phone Conversations On Flights

    On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights. Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

    US FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights
    The FCC’s chairman reverses course on a 2013 plan to allow you to place phone calls during flights.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung Rushed Galaxy S8 Despite Design Flaw, Says Analyst

    It’s been quite an impressive past few months in the smartphone world.

    Most of the top Google Android smartphone makers have now unveiled – at CES 2017 in January and Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February – their mass-market flagship device for the year including Huawei (P10), LG (G6), Samsung (Galaxy S8) and Sony (Xperia XZ Premium).

    And so far the superphone that impressed us the most is Samsung’s S8.

    A nearly perfect Android device…

    The only let down in Samsung’s overall design was the misplacement of the fingerprint scanner that was moved to the back of the device, adjacent to the camera lens.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Old liquid crystal disappears from mobile devices

    Even in 2014, three out of four smartphone based on the LCD monitor. However, the OLED panel is growing rapidly and this year is already 40 per cent. Next year OLEDista will become the dominant technology. LG Display company’s chief technology officer Kang In-Byeong estimates that in 2018 OLED panels share of smart phones will increase to 58 per cent.

    Why move to smartphones OLED display technology? The reason is simple: they are brighter, more energy-efficient (because the backlight is not needed), thinner and allow for faster refresh rates. In addition, the organic medium may be bent, which allows the implementation of, for example, curved displays.

    Largest OLED display manufacturers are LG Display and Samsung.


  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Data-rich 3.5mm jack vies with USB-C for headsets

    AG invented a new interface standard to be used with the 3.5mm audio jack, offering full backward compatibility to existing legacy headsets and mobile phones. The new interface technology, called Accessory Communication Interface (ACI), is implemented in the ams AS344B and utilizes the microphone signal line out of the four audio jack contacts to enhance the functionality of this well-established connector, and turn it into a digital bidirectional interface.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dual SIM Hack For Single SIM Slot Phones.

    [RoyTecTips] shows us an ingenious hack which turns a single-SIM-slot phone into a fully functioning dual-SIM phone. All that’s needed for this hack is a heat-gun, solvent, micro SD card, nano SIM and some glue. The trick is that the phone has a SIM reader on the backside of an SD-card slot. Through some detailed dissection and reconstruction work, you can piggy-back the SIM on the SD card and have them both work at the same time.

    Making the SD/SIM Franken-card is no picnic.

    This hack is reported to work on many Samsung phones that end in “7” and some that end in “5”, along with some 8-series phones from Huawei and Oppo clones of the Samsungs. Since you’re only modifying the SIM card, it’s a fairly low-risk hack for a phone.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dan Seifert / The Verge:
    Samsung S8/S8+ review: gorgeous design, build quality, great camera, but fingerprint scanner is in awkward spot, Bixby’s useless, preinstalled apps are annoying — The new S8 and S8 Plus aren’t perfect, but they are damn close — People “aren’t excited by new phones anymore.”

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Upgrading RAM on a Nexus 5X

    A denizen of the venerable XDA forums reports that it is possible to upgrade the RAM of the Nexus 5X from 2GB to 4GB. Having suffered the dreaded bootloop, [Cathair2906] decided to send their phone off to China for repair. The technician advised that since reflow of the CPU was necessary anyway, it makes sense to upgrade the RAM as well.

    This is due to the RAM actually being fitted directly on top of the CPU, a method amusingly known as Package on Package (SFW).

    Unless, of course, you had access to the Shenzhen markets where it’s possible to buy sample quantities of almost anything. Given access to the right parts, and the ability to solder BGA packages, it’s a simple enough job to swap a bigger RAM chip on top of the CPU during the repair.

    It’s the sort of thing that’s trivial in Shenzhen, and almost mind-bogglingly impossible in the West. The price of the repair? About $60 USD.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Component shortage threatens smartphone manufacturers

    Gartner has raised its estimates of the semiconductor market growth this year. Growth is primarily based on the rise in memory prices, but the research institute warns that a shortage of components threatens smartphone and PC manufacturers.

    According to Gartner, semiconductors are sold this year by $ 386 billion, which is 12.3 percent more than last year. Growth is based on the rise in DRAM and flash memory prices. This, however, makes market developments more uncertain and correction is expected in 2019.

    According to Gartner, the rise in memory prices puts big bangs on smartphone, PC and server manufacturers. Silicon manufacturers increase their capacity, but short-term components may become shortage. It also raises prices in end products.


  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple lost heavily in China

    The research firm Kantar has released fresh statistics on the evolution of the market shares of smartphone platforms. Globally, the biggest change will be Apple’s iOS’s market share in the collapse of China.

    Kantar statistics on the US, China, Japan, Australia and Europe’s five largest the country’s development. Android’s market share in China increased to 86.4 per cent a year to the highest level. A year earlier, Android’s market share in China was 77.1 per cent.

    In China, iOS’s market share fell to 13.2 per cent in February while a year earlier it was 22.1 per cent.

    Europe, the market is far stalled. Android’s share increased over the previous year, but only 0.9 percentage points. Europe, Apple managed to increase its market share to 21.8 per cent.

    Android’s position is the weakest in the US where it was in February “only” 55.9 per cent.
    iPhone is found in 42 per cent of smartphone users in USA.


  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Defeat the Markup: Iphone Built by Cruising Shenzhen

    [Scotty Allen] from Strange Parts, has just concluded a three month journey of what clearly is one of the most interesting Shenzhen market projects we have seen in a while. We have all heard amazing tales, pertaining the versatility of these Chinese markets and the multitude of parts, tools and expertise available at your disposal. But how far can you really go and what’s the most outrageous project can you complete if you so wished? To answer this question, [Scotty] decided to source and assemble his own Iphone 6S, right down to the component level!

    How I Made My Own iPhone – in China!

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Data-rich 3.5mm jack vies with USB-C for headsets

    The 3.5mm phone jack is a well-established standard in the audio industry and continues to get strong support from users in the market. Originally invented in the 19th century for telephone switch boards, it made its way into mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers to connect audio and communication headsets for phone calls or simply for listening to music. While the phone jack has a rather long evolutionary history, the functionality that the 3.5mm four-pole accessory device provides to its end customers is rather limited.

    One particular application requested by many vendors is the support of active noise cancellation (ANC) without the need of a battery inside the accessory.

    The driving factors for bundling an ANC headset, for example, are low cost and small form factor. Since there is a lot of redundancy inside the mobile phone and the accessory (audio codec, DSP extension, amplifier, PMU), this is not beneficial for the overall aim to achieve low system cost and enable more functionality.

    How ACI allows for lowest system cost and smaller form factor

    In order to address this issue and listen to the needs of customers, ams AG invented a new interface standard to be used with the 3.5mm audio jack, offering full backward compatibility to existing legacy headsets and mobile phones. The new interface technology, called Accessory Communication Interface (ACI), is implemented in the ams AS344B and utilizes the microphone signal line out of the four audio jack contacts to enhance the functionality of this well-established connector, and turn it into a digital bidirectional interface.

    In order to get rid of the battery inside an accessory, the system supports power extraction on the slave side with output currents up to 100mA. This supply voltage (1.4–1.9V) can be used to power microphones or additional sensors that are connected to the I2C master of AS3445B. An I2C tunneling function allows you to access and read/write these sensors that are connected to the I2C master of AS3445B, directly with the application processor.

    Since the new USB-C standard supports analog audio output, by just adding a simple analog switch inside the mobile phone it is also possible to make use of the ACI technology over the USB-C connector and its microphone wire to enable low-cost ANC headsets.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TSMC Expects First-Half Smartphone Slump

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the largest foundry for customers in the smartphone business including Apple and MediaTek, says it is expecting an inventory correction in smartphones to continue through the first half of this year.

    “Fabless days of inventory (DOI) are still high. Our second-quarter guidance reflects a severe inventory adjustment in the smartphone and PC markets,” TSMC Co-CEO Mark Liu said at an event in Taipei to announce the company’s first-quarter results. “Fabless DOI should return to normal around the end of the second quarter this year.”

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wearables Market Pivoting Fashionably

    The market for wearable electronics is evolving, with new products that blend conventional fashion and high-tech functionality.

    Contrary to reports, the market for wearable electronics is far from dead.

    Unit shipments of wearable electronics posted a 17% year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter, according to International Data Corp. (IDC). At least one IDC analyst believes wearables are poised for big things in 2017 and beyond.

    The wearables market was largely expected to take off after the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015. But that hasn’t exactly happened… yet. Other than successful fitness trackers like Fitbit and a smattering of smartwatches, wearables have not exactly become a fashion statement.

    The market research firm Strategy Analytics reported last month that the smartwatch market returned to modest growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 after two consecutive quarters of declines. But the growth was only 1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, and the category is dominated by one product: (you guessed it) the Apple Watch, which holds 63 percent of the market.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Modular Smart Phones Fail?

    Remember all the talk about modular smart phones? They sounded amazing! instead of upgrading your phone you would just upgrade the parts a bit like a computer but more simplistic. Well it seems modular phones are dead

    Even Google got on-board with Google Ara which was subsequently cancelled. LG released the G5 but it didn’t fare too well. The Moto Z from Motorola seemed to suffer from the same lack of interest. The buzz was there when the concept of these modular phones was announced, and people were genuinely exited about the possibilities. What went wrong?

    For a start people expect their phones to have everything on board already

    Consumers expect these things to come as standard. Why would they go out and buy a module when other phones on the market already have these things?

    Sure you could get some weird and wonderful modules like extra loud speakers or perhaps a projector, but the demand for these items was small. And because these extras are already available as separate accessories not locked down to one device, it was a non starter from the beginning.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The augmented reality gold rush is afoot

    This week’s launch of Facebook’s Camera Effects platform means there are suddenly 1.8 billion people waiting to be entertained by digital overlays on the real world.

    Who will be the Pixar of AR? Someone oughta be rounding up Hollywood special effects engineers and animated character designers to build an augmented reality content.

    Facebook launches augmented reality Camera Effects developer platform

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Richard Lai / Engadget:
    Huawei admits it uses slower flash memory chips in some P10 smartphones due to supply constraints

    Huawei blames slower P10s on memory shortage
    No wonder the spec sheets never specified the memory specs.

    Memory speed isn’t always something that one would pay attention to when buying a smartphone, or at least you’d expect the latest flagships to come with the fastest options available at the time, but it turns out that this isn’t necessarily true. Recently, some Huawei P10 and P10 Plus users in China noticed that they were only getting eMMC 5.1 memory speeds on their devices. For instance, the sequential read speeds were in the ballpark of 250MB/s on AndroBench, whereas the luckier folks who got UFS 2.0 or 2.1 chips on their phones managed to hit around 550MB/s or even 750MB/s (our very own international unit got 786.67MB/s). Indeed, Huawei never specified the type of flash memory on its P10 spec sheets

    The mixture of eMMC and UFS memory chips inside the P10 units was apparently to do with a “serious shortage” of flash memory in the supply chain, so basically, Huawei had to make do with whatever it could get. Yu added that while his company is still struggling to source enough flash memory these days, he promises that “a good real-life performance and experience” are maintained by way of hardware and software optimization.

  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Court rules cellphone caused brain tumor

    It’s been debated for years. Does holding up a cellphone next to your head cause medical issues, namely, brain tumors? There have been several studies. Some studies demonstrate that there is a direct correlation. Other studies point that there is inconclusive evidence.

    Roberto Romero is a 57-year-old man who used a cellphone for three to four hours a day for his job. He did this for 15 years. Roberto developed a brain tumor and was convinced the phone caused it.

    His tumor was diagnosed in 2010. He went to the doctor complaining that his right ear was feeling blocked all the time.

    Thankfully, the tumor was benign. Removing it, however, made him deaf in his right ear.

    The reason why this is a huge deal is that Romero’s case is the first in the world that acknowledged a direct link between cellphone use and brain tumors. There was evidence presented for both sides. Although this happened in Italy, it will have far-reaching effects.

    Brain Tumour Charity cautious about Italy mobile phone ruling

    The Brain Tumour Charity has said there is insufficient scientific evidence linking mobile phone use with brain tumours, following a court ruling.

    The Italian court, in Ivrea, agreed that a man’s brain tumour was linked to his mobile phone use.

    It awarded Robert Romero 500 euros (£418/$535) a month in compensation.

    He had claimed that using his business mobile phone for three or four hours a day, over a period of 15 years, led to the growth of the benign tumour.

    The money will be paid by a body established to compensate people for work-based injuries.

    There could yet be an appeal against the ruling, and the legal reasoning behind the judge’s decision is not due to be released for at least a few days.

  50. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Indoor positioning requires a collaborative technique

    Many smart apps use location information, but it’s not always accurate enough.

    Different location applications have increased and facilitated the lives of smartphone users in many ways over the last few years. However, the ever-increasing number of applications also means an increase in the requirement level. Although positioning based on satellite navigation systems is, as a rule, very accurate, in cities and in particular in indoor, positioning remains challenging.

    - Alternative methods are required to support satellite based location computing. One quite cost-effective way is to use existing wireless radio networks, such as cellular networks and wireless WLANs, says Elina Laitinen, who is debating tomorrow with TUT.

    “No technology alone is enough for global positioning both inside and outside, but the solution can be found by combining different methods and signals, Laitinen says.

    In her dissertation, Laitinen investigated both satellite-based and signal-based positioning methods. He was particularly focused on indoor parking, which still has many challenges.



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