features

New hints of possible iOS 6 feature tweaks

With the release of iOS 6 highly likely in September (concurrent with the expected iPhone 5 announcement), the rumors around unannounced feature changes at tech sites are reaching an all-time high, so I decided to round up some of the big ones here. We already know about the main features in iOS 6 Apple announced at WWDC in June, but this list is more about leaked info that other sites are talking about. Obviously, we can't know for sure if any of these will be true at launch, but it's always fun to talk about what might be … Read more

Nokia quietly kills Linux-based Meltemi, report says

Nokia has decided to nix plans to launch a new software platform for feature phones, according to a new report.

The mobile company was working on a new software platform called Meltemi to replace Series 40, Reuters is reporting today, citing sources. However, the platform, which was Linux-based, has been quietly discontinued by the company. Reuters' sources did not say why Nokia made the decision.

Series 40 was first introduced in 1999. The platform, which runs on some of the top feature phones in the world, proved wildly popular. Earlier this year, in fact, Nokia celebrated the sale of the 1.5 billionth Series 40 device. … Read more

ComScore: Smartphones now more desirable, attainable in U.S.

The number of U.S. mobile phone subscribers switching from feature phones to smartphones is almost at the halfway mark, according to a new report from ComScore.

Roughly 110 million Americans owned a smartphone device as of April 2012, an increase of 44 percent from the previous year. Specifically, 47.5 percent of feature phone owners switched to a smartphone when buying a new device in April -- up from 38 percent at the same time in 2011.

At the same time, the number of American consumers who upgraded from an old feature phone to a feature phone decreased from … Read more

Imperfect 10s: Best TVs for design, features, picture quality, and value

Maybe you don't care how many features a TV has. Maybe you just want to see the coolest design going. Maybe all you want is the best bang for your buck, or the best picture regardless of cost.

Lucky for you, CNET's reviews have subratings. All of our TV reviews are rated according to four criteria -- Design, Features, Picture quality, and Value -- that are weighted, sifted, and centrifuged into the overall star rating.

Unfortunately you can't sort CNET's TV reviews by subrating on the Web site yet, so in the meantime I present the four TVs that would be perched at the top of those sorted lists. Each scored the only "10" we've awarded so far this year in the subratings mentioned above; they're not perfect, but a "10" is as good as it gets. I also list runners-up and potential challengers in each subcategory.

Disagree? Sound off in comments! TL;DR? Click here!Read more

Smartphones knock feature phones out of the ballpark

Recently ditched your feature phone for a smartphone? You're not alone. Two out of three people in the U.S. who bought a new phone in the last three months opted for a smartphone, according to new data from research firm Nielsen.

During the second quarter of this year, "smartphone penetration continued to grow, with 54.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owning smartphones as of June 2012," Nielsen wrote in a blog post today.

According to Nielsen, the smartphones of choice in the U.S. are Android, which has 51.8 percent of the country'… Read more

Twitter reveals the anatomy of its major mobile overhaul

What did it take to revamp Twitter for mobile Web? Lots and lots of man-hours.

Twitter completed the overhaul of its mobile site today, which aims to make Twitter available to anyone who owns a cell phone -- smartphone or feature. Now people in far away or rural places, and even those on low-bandwidth networks, can use the newest version of Twitter for mobile Web on their cell phone.

This is significant because it means that news on events like the Arab Spring, where Twitter played a major role in spreading information, will now be even easier to get.

Here'… Read more

Siri headed to iPad with iOS 6, report claims

Apple's Siri voice assistant is headed to iPad users with iOS 6, according to a new report.

Citing "trusted sources," Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac says the voice assistant will land on the tablet this fall with nearly all the features currently found on the iPhone 4S, short of making phone calls.

"Music playback, iMessaging, Calendar managing, Reminders, Weather, Maps integration, E-mailing, Notes, Contacts searching, Safari integration, Wolfram-Alpha searching, and more are all present," the report claims.

As for the timing on all this, the report offers nothing concrete, saying that Apple could either take the wraps … Read more

Google Docs facilitates finding facts and doing research

While making a travel itinerary, writing a term paper, or creating a budget in Google Docs, users no longer have to leave the confines of the word processing program to find specific facts or do research.

Google announced today the launch of a new feature called the "research pane" that lets users find information in Google search directly from within the documents program.

In a blog post, this is how Google software engineer Sarveshwar Duddu explained how to use the feature:

You can access the research pane from the Tools menu by right clicking on a selected word … Read more

Google+ comments to appear in Gmail

Google announced today that it's bringing "a better Google+ notification experience in e-mail" -- one that, among other things, will drop various commenting features directly into your in-box.

The "notification experience" entails a bunch of changes that makes Gmail "completely interactive" with the social network. The updates include being able to view, comment on, and +1 posts from inside Gmail's in-box, seeing comments appear in the Google+ stream in real time in a sidebar, and seeing responses from others "instantly appear" in Gmail as part of the notification message.

"… Read more

Smartphones now account for half of all mobile phones

Market research firm Nielsen today announced that half of all mobile phone subscribers in the United States now own a smartphone.

According to data compiled through February 2012, smartphones have grown to account for 49.7 percent of all mobile phones, up considerably from 36 percent just one year ago. What's more, in the last three months alone, two-thirds all handsets purchased were smartphones.

Neilsen also tracked which mobile platforms are popular. Of the handsets sold in the last three months, Android remains the top draw for new buyers with 48 percent of the market, but it's followed … Read more