NEWS ABOUT: smartphones

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Next Frontier in Smartphones: the Rear

A phone's backside can provide a whole second screen

(Newser) - Your smartphone's 1080p screen may no longer turn heads if a new tech trend takes hold—to maximize the backside of smartphones, TechCrunch reports. Innovations are occurring mostly on the industry's margins, where quirky products are cropping up and nudging powerhouses like Samsung and Apple into using all... More »

Disasters: There Needs to Be an App for That

The world needs top-notch science apps: Daniel Miller

(Newser) - Enough with the online shopping and Angry Birds: We need apps just as handy to serve a more noble purpose. Daniel Miller warned of the Washington state mudslide ahead of time, but the information he provided wasn't readily accessible to those who would be affected, he writes in the... More »

iPhone 6 Due in September, in 2 Sizes

Get ready for 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens: report

(Newser) - The iPhone 6 is coming in September, and it'll be available in two screen sizes—both bigger than the current four inches. At least, that's what a report from Nikkei Asian Review is suggesting, via Business Insider . The story is based on insider accounts regarding the production of... More »

Stop Constantly Upgrading, Hang on to Your Smartphone

We're at 'innovation plateau,' and latest isn't that much better: Farhad Manjoo

(Newser) - With the cost of our smartphones often built into carriers' contracts, it's easy to forget how valuable the gadgets are. And these days, new generations of iPhones and Samsungs aren't necessarily vast improvements over their predecessors. So why not make our phones last longer—if not for ourselves,... More »

Court: Calif. Drivers Can Use Phones to Check Maps

Law doesn't apply to smartphone apps

(Newser) - Using a smartphone to look a map while driving is allowed under the California law that bans motorists from talking or texting on a handheld phone, an appeals court has decided. The court sided with Steven Spriggs, who was fined $165 after a highway patrol officer spotted him looking at... More »

Boeing's New Smartphone Self-Destructs

The 'Boeing Black' intended for government use

(Newser) - Maybe President Obama can stop complaining about his BlackBerry . Boeing, a company normally associated with planes, is creating a new smartphone designed specifically with security in mind, the BBC reports. The "Boeing Black" features a special hardware design that causes it to effectively self-destruct if tampered with; all data... More »

House Passes Bill Allowing Cell Phone Unlocking

But only after controversy over last-minute provision

(Newser) - The House yesterday passed a bill that would make it legal to unlock your phone, despite pushback from Democrats over a last-minute addition to the bill banning "bulk unlocking." You'd be forgiven for not realizing that unlocking a phone—meaning making it work on other carriers—was... More »

Scam Alert: Beware of a Call That Only Rings Once

New trick involves getting you to call back

(Newser) - The Better Business Bureau calls it the "One-Ring Phone Scam": Scammers call your phone, let it ring once, and hang up. That prompts you—the scammers hope—to call back, allowing them to pile on charges while you're connected. The calls usually come from outside the US, but... More »

The NSA's Secret Source: Angry Birds?

Spy agency exploits flaws in popular apps

(Newser) - When you fire up Angry Birds, Google Maps, or a host of other popular smartphone apps, you're opening yourself up to government spies. The NSA and its UK counterpart, the GCHQ, have been actively intercepting the data that "leaky" apps collect from users, according to a new leak... More »

Apple Cuts Deal to Offer iPhone on China Mobile

World's biggest carrier could revive iPhone sales in China

(Newser) - Apple says it has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier. The deal could boost sales of the iPhone in China. Demand for iPhones, once hugely popular in China, have slumped there as lower-priced rival smartphones from Samsung and Chinese companies... More »

Dog Dating and Other Terrible App Ideas

They center on self-punishment, urine

(Newser) - Dating for dogs? An app to time pee breaks? Among the multitudes of clever mobile apps come plenty that are duds from the start. Developer Fueled shares some of the most ridiculous pitches it has received, via Business Insider :
  • Shock treatment: Linked to an electric bracelet, this app is all
... More »

Google Working on Real-Life Tracking: Report

It'll keep tabs on you, and sell data to advertisers

(Newser) - What if tracking cookies didn't just track your web activity—they tracked your every movement and reported it back to advertisers? A program Google is beta-testing does just that, ad industry sources tell Digiday . The program would track consumers' smartphone GPS data even if they didn't have any... More »

Hey Tech Guys: Women Don't Want Massive Phones

Zeynep Tufekci describes her frustrations dealing with her too-big Nexus

(Newser) - Zeynep Tufekci was covering a protest in Istanbul when Turkish soldiers began firing tear gas into the peaceful crowd. She whipped out her phone—a Google Nexus 4—hoping to document the outrage, and clutching her bag with one hand, tried to snap a picture with the other. It was... More »

Nokia Introduces New Windows Tablet, Phablet

Phone offers 6-inch, 1080p display

(Newser) - With Apple preparing for its (possibly iPad-themed) event in San Francisco today, Nokia is making some noise of its own over in Abu Dhabi. The device maker has added several new gadgets to its lineup, including a Windows tablet and a big-screen phone, or phablet. The new Lumia 1520 phone... More »

Stop the Hate: Windows Phone Keeps Getting Better

Ashlee Vance explains why he doesn't have an iPhone or Android

(Newser) - Ashlee Vance is a rarity in Silicon Valley: Rather than toting an iPhone or Android device, he has ... a Windows phone, which means he gets "ridicule and pity" wherever he goes, he writes in BusinessWeek . Windows phones aren't hip. Some of the coolest apps (hello, Instagram) are missing... More »

Phone-Obsessed Train Passengers Didn't Spot Gunman

People need to be aware of surroundings, police warn

(Newser) - When a killer in search of a victim pulled out his handgun on a crowded commuter train in San Francisco last month, the dozens of passengers nearby were so engrossed in their smartphones and tablet computers that they didn't notice a thing, police say. Security video shows the gunman... More »

Cellphone Tracking Just Got Even Scarier

New software can identify all of your devices—even if they're not connected

(Newser) - It isn't just the NSA we have to worry about snooping on our cellphones now: several new start-ups are sneaking software into apps that builds individualized profiles of users' spending, browsing, and travel habits, then sells the info to advertisers. The new tech is way more advanced than old-fashioned... More »

Louis CK Rant Is Church 2.0

Meghan Daum on today's hunger for meaning

(Newser) - Why did the world go nuts over last week's clip of Louis CK bemoaning the evils of smartphones ? It's not because we all secretly loathe our smartphones, writes Meghan Daum in the Los Angeles Times , although obviously many of us can relate to the "existential torpor"... More »

Why Louis CK Is Wrong About Smartphones

They can be bad, but they can also be good: Daniel Engber

(Newser) - Chances are you saw—quite possibly while perusing Facebook on your smartphone—a bunch of your friends sharing a clip of Louis CK talking about how terrible smartphones are . But the comedian's rant is missing an important point, writes Daniel Engber on Slate . Sure, we all agree "that... More »

BlackBerry Sells Itself for $4.7B

Fairfax Financial, the smartphone pioneer's largest shareholder, buys it

(Newser) - It looks like the days of BlackBerry being an independent company are over. Trading on shares of the company was halted today when the company made it known that it had a major announcement coming. The announcement: It had signed a letter of intent to be purchased by Fairfax Financial... More »

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