HP has spent the last year or so, as the new owner of the WebOS mobile operating system, alternately making arbitrary decisions about the platform's future and making sure to not release any nice hardware for it. After the company ignominiously shut down WebOS for good this summer, we thought that was it for the best smartphone platform nobody used--but today, HP surprised us with an announcement that WebOS will be going open-source.
Here's the thing about the Galaxy Nexus: It is the best Android phone available now by such a huge margin that I am prepared to say that shoppers should either buy it or steer clear of Android entirely. And that has nothing to do with its hardware.
I am putting forth a call to arms: Let us not care so much about hardware, Android friends. Let us not pay mind to mobile processor clock speed, to millimeters of body thickness, to HDMI-out ports and docking stations and removable batteries. The Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone because its software was designed for humans. More than any other 'Droid previous, using the Galaxy Nexus just makes sense. And for that we can thank its stock install of something called Ice Cream Sandwich.
News regarding Carrier IQ, a third-party service loaded on certain smartphones that's capable of tracking users and even recording keystrokes, has been spreading rapidly in the past few days, though the original discovery happened back in March. The world is still learning more about what the service specifically does, but the latest news is that references to Carrier IQ were found in Apple's iOS, the operating system used by the iPhone and iPad. Here's what you need to know.
The lab-on-a-chip model has been praised as the future of simplified diagnostic medicine--place a sample of saliva, blood, or urine on a small chip-like device that traps disease biomarkers, and send it off to a lab for analysis and diagnosis. But a couple of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology think we could simplify that process even further by doing the lab work on the touchscreens of our smartphones.
The Lumia 800 is supposed to be kismet: Nokia makes great hardware, but terrible software. Windows Phone is great software, but the only phones that use it are yawn-worthy plastic rectangles. The Lumia, Nokia's first Windows Phone, is finally here, and if it's not as, well, new as some might have hoped, it's still a very, very fine smartphone--probably the best Windows Phone out there, which should make it high on your list if you're looking to buy a new phone this fall (and you live in Europe and/or are rich).
By Sean KanePosted 11.07.2011 at 10:07 am 5 Comments
A new tool called Euclid Analytics is the physical version of Google Analytics, recording and analyzing physical traffic instead of website visitors. The startup's cofounder, Scott Crosby, helped to build the technology of its internet counterpart. But instead of reading IP addresses, Euclid observes physical visitors by listening to smartphone Wi-Fi signals.
The system uses a sensor box, installed in a closet, that picks up signals from the phones.
Trevor Prideaux was having trouble texting. Prideaux, who was born without his left forearm, used to have to balance his smartphone on his prosthetic arm or lay it on a flat surface to text, dial, or otherwise take advantage of the technology. So with some help form the Exeter Mobility Center in Devon, UK, the 50-year-old Prideaux has become the first person to have a smartphone dock embedded in his prosthetic limb.
People wanted an iPhone 5. A top-secret new phone to deliver previously unknown pleasures, and to cast the 16-month-old iPhone 4 into the rubbish heap of planned obsolescence.
But the news on October 4, coming just a day before Steve Jobs's death, was a reminder that not every Apple announcement blows off the roof. So here's the 4S--faster, Sprint-ier, with a better camera to see the world, and Siri, the voice-recognition assistant to better listen to it. And the proverbial question: is it worth an upgrade?
Buried in the avalanche of features in the newest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, was the addition of a new sensor to accompany the standard GPS, proximity, and accelerometer: a barometer. It's one we'd never have thought to add to a smartphone, and we sat for a little while, scratching our heads at the possible use for a sensor that tests atmospheric pressure.
Last night, Google introduced the newest version of Android, to be called Ice Cream Sandwich. It's easily the biggest update to Android in years, combining elements of the tablet-only Honeycomb with a whole bunch of new ideas, and a firm focus on cohesion--a major complaint about Android. Google also showed off the new Samsung-made Nexus flagship phone, and it is a monster: a 4.65-inch screen in full 720p resolution, and no buttons at all.