It can't be easy to be a BlackBerry user these days. Despite the hardware and software maker's (arguably) best efforts, the company has fallen from its height as the undisputed king of the boardroom to shipping just one out every two hundred smartphones worldwide in the last quarter. The reasons for BlackBerry's decline are legion: a failure to innovate quickly as Android and iPhone adoption soared, an ineffective ecosystem and infrastructure, and hardware missteps like the Storm at critical junctures.
It's been almost a year since gaming accessory maker Mad Catz tried its hand at Android hardware with the MOJO (or M.O.J.O., despite the lack of any actual acronym). The tiny set-top box with mobile hardware and a relatively stock build of Android hasn't exactly set the world on fire, even after a $50 price drop from its $250 MSRP shortly after release. Maybe that's why Mad Catz has decided to do it again: the MOJO can now be had for $149.99.
The original Moto X was a breath of fresh air when it debuted in 2013, but Verizon didn't want any part of Motorola's relatively open stance when it came to unlockable bootloaders and customization (as usual). To alleviate this for users who wanted an easy path to root, software backups, and custom ROMs, Motorola offered the Moto X Developer Edition, a full-priced 32GB phone that users could unlock by requesting a code.
The HTC Butterfly 2 is a phone forever trapped in a nightmarish puberty of HTC industrial design. It uses high-end specifications like a 1080p screen and a Snapdragon 801 processor, but its plastic body is a step below HTC's flagships. It's packing a 13 megapixel rear camera, not unlike the newer Desire Eye, but it's saddled with the secondary Duo camera from the HTC One M8 (which is probably gone for the M9).
Samsung and Qualcomm have been reliable partners since the rise of Android, to the mutual benefit of both the phone maker and the OEM chip supplier. But according to this report from Bloomberg, that relationship has hit a rocky patch as Samsung prepares its next flagship phone, presumably the Galaxy S6. An anonymous tipster told Bloomberg that Samsung will decline to use a Qualcomm chipset for the phone after poor testing of the Snapdragon 810, the OEM's top-of-the-line processor.
Verizon isn't making many friends when it comes to keeping private information private. Just two days after news broke that Verizon Wireless is collecting and in some cases selling web browsing info, its parent company has been given a black eye for insecure practices associated with the FiOS Internet service. Security researcher Randy Westergren discovered a way to access any FiOS user's Verizon email account by using the mobile API.
A new HTC flagship phone is coming. You probably already knew that. But the first possible (and frankly, quite probable) look at the device came today from the folks at NowhereElse.fr, a French leak site. Two photos show the front and back of the device, which follows the general design of the One family with a couple of important differences. The photos at the original website were taken down at the request of the anonymous source...
Field Trip is one of Google's less-known official apps (from the same people who work on Ingress), and appropriately, one of the most unique. The urban exploration app gets its 2.0 update today, bringing the user interface in line with Material Design standards introduced with Android 5.0. As nice as it is to see Google keeping its apps fresh, I have to say that the redesign takes something away in this case.
With all the limited promotions, holiday sales, and convoluted pre-order schemes, you'd think that OnePlus would get it freakin' over with and just sell the flagship One phone directly to consumers already. And they will... for just one day. Considerably less than one day, in fact, since the promotion will actually only be available for two hours, 7-9PM Eastern Standard Time. That's in North America - in Europe it will go on sale at 7-9PM Greenwich Mean Time, and in Hong Kong and Taiwan it goes on sale from 7-9PM Hong Kong Time (presumably tomorrow, since it's already passed for the 20th).