Phones

Windows Phone to be fastest growing mobile OS, says IDC

Windows Phone could be the only major mobile OS to see a gain in market share in the next few years.

Released Wednesday, IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker forecasts a rise in Windows Phone's global market share from 3.9 percent this year to 7 percent in 2018. That may not seem like a huge leap, but such growth will outshine the market share declines predicted for the other major mobile platforms.

Although it will still dominate the smartphone landscape, Android will see its global market share drop from 78.9 percent this year to 76 percent … Read more

Microsoft sends out mixed messages about Nokia Lumia brand

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lumia lives! Microsoft will continue the Nokia and Lumia brands when it takes over Nokia's phone business, although the company is sending out mixed messages on the details of the transition.

I chatted about the future of Nokia today with Greg Sullivan, Director of Windows Phone, at industry shindig Mobile World Congress. He confirmed that Lumia as a brand would continue under Microsoft, but refused to confirm whether the Nokia name would survive on phones too. But a Microsoft spokesperson has since told me that the handset division of Nokia will continue to make phones … Read more

Cyclist heads down freeway, blames GPS

If we let cyclists wander down freeways, there would be a fresh outburst of self-righteousness.

It's bad enough with truck drivers and those in Priuses.

However, one perhaps misguided Englishman seemed oblivious to the perils of freeway cycling when he rode his bike on the highly populated freeway known as the M25.

This is a freeway that goes around the outside of London and is well-known for its excessive levels of traffic and road work.

As the local Surrey Police reported on YouTube, its cameras picked up the man as he merrily crossed the freeway with his bike.

Why … Read more

House passes bill that would allow cell phone unlocking

The US House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that would allow cell phone customers to unlock their devices for use on competitors' networks.

Passed by a 295-114 vote, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act would repeal a 2012 decision by the Library of Congress that made cell phone unlocking a violation of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA, which prohibits Americans from "circumventing" technologies that protect copyrighted works, gives the Library of Congress the authority to grant exemptions.

Unlocking cell phones allows handsets to be used on a wireless network other than that … Read more

Get a one-of-a kind iPhone case 3D-printed just for you

Companies like Shutterfly, VistaPrint, and Zazzle have been able to print your photos on a variety of mobile phone cases for a while now, making them distinctively yours. But a new company seeking Kickstarter funding will actually be able to 3D-print an entire iPhone case for you, making it a one-of-a-kind creation -- if you have the design chops to dream one up.

The company, called Fraemes, uses Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printers to create plastic panels in a variety of colors and pretty much any design imaginable. SLS is a technology originally developed by DARPA that uses high-powered lasers to fuse plastic powders together, building plastic objects literally from the ground up.… Read more

Unique smartphones boast encryption, e-ink

CNET Update explores the quirky side of smartphones:

These are not your typical smartphones. In this episode of Update, learn about new smartphones that stand out with unique features, including:

- The Blackphone, made by Geeksphone in Switzerland, which encrypts calls, texts and data. It's arriving in June for $630.

- Panasonic's rugged Toughpad, designed for tough jobs that may involve barcode scanning.

- BlackBerry's upcoming Q20, which goes back to basics with a trackpad. It's also selling the Z3, a sub-$200 all-touchscreen phone that will be sold in emerging markets.

- The dual-screen YotaPhoneRead more

Women prefer Apple, gentlemen prefer Samsung

When commenters lurch to these pages, their lightsabers raised even higher than their voices, they categorize phones in simple terms.

The Samsung Galaxy, is, in an Apple lover's eyes, a big, bad copy of an iPhone.

The iPhone, to everyone but an Apple lover, is merely a girlie gadget with all the technological sophistication of a 1980s Barbie.

How odd, then, that a piece of research has just appeared before my exclusive eyes to suggest that women prefer an iPhone.

The research, sponsored by cache-cleaning specialists KS Mobile, examined, among many aspects, whether there was a gender bias in … Read more

Kayaker's iPhone survives 82 days under the waves

Dave McGregor is attached to his iPhone 4, but it wasn't attached to his kayak well enough to prevent it from falling into the sea while he was out recording his paddling adventures in Australia. The smartphone spent 82 days under water before washing up on the beach.

A lot of phones won't survive a dunk in the toilet, much less a three-month soak in the sea. McGregor's phone, however, was covered by a waterproof Optrix case. He held out hope for weeks that he might be reunited with his phone, but eventually gave up and threw away the accessories.… Read more

'The map comes alive': Nokia Here boss dreams of drones, self-driving cars

BARCELONA, Spain -- "Mapping 1.0 is done," says the head of Nokia Here. He envisions a world of constantly-updating, infinitesimally precise maps guiding us on through the world on our smartwatches and smartphones, as self-driving cars zoom past and delivery drones soar overhead.

"First we had paper maps with lots of colourful lines," says Christof Hellmis, head of map platforms at Nokia Here, "but now the world is moving to the next generation of maps, which will be 3D, and will include Augmented Reality, like our CityLens app."

I met with Hellmis at … Read more

iOS security hole reportedly exposes your screen input

Every tap, touch, and press you make on your iPhone and iPad could be monitored and captured remotely due to an iOS security flaw. At least, that's the claim from security firm FireEye.

In a blog posted Monday, FireEye researchers said they conducted a test on non-jailbroken iOS 7.0.x devices in which they installed a "monitoring" app. This app was able to record all touch and press events in the background, including screen touches, home button presses, volume button presses, and TouchID presses. Based on its findings, the team concluded that an attacker could use … Read more