When a mobile network sells you a phone with a costly contract, it makes sure that switching providers won't be easy. Handsets have traditionally been locked to the carrier who sold it, and you have to jump through hoops to get it unlocked. From December next year, this practice will no longer be permitted in the UK as regulator Ofcom is banning the sale of locked phones by network operators. Read More
In a first for Google's fledgling game streaming service, Stadia Premiere Edition packs will be offered to UK consumers as part of BT's superfast fiber broadband plans. The strategic partnership will see Stadia promoted far more heavily in the UK across TV, print, and on the web. Read More
Harman Kardon, the high-end cousin of JBL and AKG (all owned by Samsung), is launching its first new personal audio products in six years with its Fly series. Since it's 2020 now, they're all wireless/Bluetooth models spanning the three most popular form factors. There's the Fly ANC, an over-ear headphone with active noise cancellation, Fly TWS true wireless earbuds, and lastly, Fly BT earbuds with the old neck-dangling connection wire. Read More
United Kingdom communications giant BT Group, also referred to by its primary subsidiary British Telecom or simply "BT," is buying its way back into the mobile carrier business. The company announced its intention to buy UK carrier EE for a combination of cash and stock worth 12.5 billion pounds. That would combine the country's largest mobile carrier at 24.5 million customers with its largest landline/ISP operator at 10 million customers, creating a force to be reckoned with in both wireless and wired connections.
EE is a jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and Orange, both of which will have significant stakes in BT once the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators, predicted to happen in March of next year. Read More
Several months ago, we discussed something called Nearby, a project that - at the time - seemed to be Google's effort to let "people, places, and things" know when a user is, well, nearby. It seems that Google is still hard at work on its effort to connect various devices to each other and their surroundings, but Copresence (an internal name for this functionality) may have a more specific scope in this effort than we first estimated, apparently including iOS devices in the fun.
Copresence, which we saw a glimpse of in a recent teardown, appears to be aimed at letting nearby Android and iOS devices communicate with one another in a variety of ways, exchanging files, photos, directions, messages, or other content, essentially making Copresence a sort of contactless, cross-platform version of Android Beam. Read More
Nexus season is in full swing, and as rumors and leaks continue to pile up around Motorola's Nexus 6 (Shamu), we've been wondering when more news might emerge about Volantis (or Flounder, or T1, take your pick) - HTC's 9" Nexus tablet that we first learned of back in spring.
As Blog of Mobile reports, it looks like the Nexus 9 has passed through the FCC for certification, with the relevant documents becoming available just yesterday. The relevant model number for the tablet that passed through the FCC is 0P82100, widely reported to belong to HTC's 9" Nexus.
Indeed, the confidential letter attached to the FCC documents in question is from HTC Corporation (dated June 23, 2014), and the product is classified as a tablet. Read More
Samsung's Galaxy Note III, the device hotly anticipated by existing Note fans and mobile watchers alike, is one step closer to its imminent reveal, recently passing Bluetooth SIG certification.
The certification listing from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group doesn't tell us much, except that the specific model certified is headed for NTT Docomo. From the reports existence, however, it's safe to assume (if you weren't already expecting an IFA reveal) that the device is coming relatively soon.
Users may recall that the Galaxy S4 Active was submitted in late April and debuted in June. This is certainly not a definitive yardstick for all product releases, but does provide some reference. Read More
It's 4 a.m., I just read the 6th mention of the same misleading story in the last 24 hours, and it's time for a rant.
Yesterday, several "independent" reports all claiming to arrive at the same conclusion at the same time (does anyone properly credit their sources anymore?) appeared on the web suggesting HTC had just (*gasp*) leaked two new Android 4.3 features: Bluetooth Low-Energy and OpenGL ES 3.0. And it's done so via a public meetup organized by the San Francisco Android User Group. HTC is so careless that they've just published not one but two unreleased features coming in the next version of Android and therefore protected by strict NDAs. Read More
Satechi is known for offering good products for a good price. Recent examples: an awesome $30 portable Bluetooth speaker, a high-quality headrest mount for tablets, and a whopping 10,000mAh portable charger for just $50. So when the company announced some new lightweight Bluetooth headphones (creatively named "BT Lite Headphones"), it caught my attention.
With the promise of light weight, good features, and quality sound at $45, I cracked open the package with high expectations. At first, the sound produced by the BT Lites is impressive. But run through a range of songs and you start to notice a fatal flaw - one severe enough to prevent a buy recommendation entirely. Read More