Look, Chinese phone manufacturers, we need to have a talk. I know trademarks, copyrights, patents, and all manner of intellectual property are played kind of fast and loose over there. But when even your legitimate companies follow Apple like a bunch of multi-million-dollar ducklings, it's not poking any holes in the old "iPhone clone" argument. Case in point: OPPO's shiny new F1 Plus, a phone that has some fantastic design and hardware and could certainly stand on its own merits... that just happens to look like someone took an iPhone 6 Plus and put it through a photocopier a few dozen times. Read More
Apple copying somebody to make something successful then everybody else copying Apple's success is a well-worn narrative path (independent of that narrative's truth in reality). As such, with the unveiling of the surprisingly-powerful iPhone SE today at $399, it's very reasonable to wonder: has Apple started a small-phone renaissance? Are we going to see a flood of small (less than 4.5" display) but powerful and premium Android phones enter the market?
Let's start with some phone size history. The new Apple iPhone SE is the same size as the outgoing 5S - roughly 124mm tall, 59mm wide, and 7.6mm thick. That is a very, very small phone. Read More
Everyone knows someone who has made the switch from iPhone to Android. This latest convert will surprise you though. It’s GoogleBot – the all-important web crawler used by Google.
GoogleBot is a vital cog in the Google search engine. In its most simplified form, it works by going from website to website and sucking up as much information as it possibly can. The data is then passed to other Google algorithms, where it is processed, ranked, and transformed into search results.
In order for GoogleBot to get all perspectives of a website, it masquerades as different types of devices – a desktop browser, a feature-phone browser, and a smartphone browser. Read More
You might have heard that Amazon disabled the option for software encryption in the latest version of its Android-based Fire OS for the Kindle Fire series of tablets. (This isn't new - Fire OS 5 has been rolling out to various tablets since last year.) And if you read news that isn't Android Police, you probably also know that it's not the biggest story involving encryption right now. After consumer backlash following the Apple-FBI encryption case, Engadget reports that Amazon says it will return software encryption in the next major update.
Customers might have had something to say about the loss of encryption capabilities even without the highly public spat between Apple and the FBI over the San Bernardino iPhone case. Read More
I've used Android as my main mobile platform for almost six years now. My first smartphone was a Motorola CLIQ XT that I bought back in May, 2010. It ran Cupcake and though, in retrospect, the phone was a bargain basement toy, it paved my way into the Android world. As a fun experiment, I decided to ditch Google's OS entirely for two weeks and use Apple's products exclusively to see how crazy it would make me. I have owned iOS devices in the past, but I've never forced myself to convert. These days I generally flip between my Nexus 6P and my iPhone 6S Plus depending on my mood that day. Read More
HTC needs a hit. Desperately. According to ComScore they held less than 4% of smartphones in the US in the second quarter of this year, and IDC's worldwide statistics didn't even record the company, lumping it in with "others" and presumably rating it well below Lenovo's 4.7% marketshare. The leaks of the HTC (One?) A9, also known as the Aero, indicate that the company is hoping a slim, stylish, and undeniably derivative design are going to help it win new customers with its next major release.
The latest set of leaks come from Twitter, where OnLeaks posted a series of photos of what appear to be a near-finished version of the phone in black, though it's labeled as a dummy unit. Read More
Motorola's Migrate app has existed for a few years to make it less painful to switch to a Motorola device from something else. It's had support for Android, iOS, and dumb phones all this time, but the app was recently updated to remove a feature. As of September 27th, Motorola Migrate no longer supports iPhone contact/calendar transfer. Read More
Software updates are a big deal. They deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Sure, there might be that feature or two that gets discarded and breaks someone's workflow (relevant xkcd), but for the most part, newer means better. And if software updates are important for apps, that's especially true for operating systems.
Largely due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have come to take free and consistent OS updates for granted. Users assume that a new phone bought this year will still be running the latest OS in the next, and no one expects to have to pay for that software update. Read More
Apple is, you might say, ever so slightly hesitant to support competing platforms. It took the company years (and the promise of a greater market for the iPod) to support Windows for its massive iTunes program, and some of the more professional tools have never appeared on anything except Apple hardware. Today is a banner day, then, because Apple has released its first ever Android app. It's pretty much exactly what you were expecting.
Apple announced the Move to iOS app way back in June, but it's taken them this long to get it on the Play Store. (Maybe they had to wait for approval.) Read More
Full disclosure: I own an iPhone 6. It's not my daily driver (I use it for testing and design research), but when Android Wear for iOS was announced, I thought it might be fun to connect my Moto 360 to the iPhone and see what our friends using iOS might experience if they decide to pair up with an Android Wear watch.
First things first: the Android Wear app for iOS. In general the experience will seem familiar to Android users. Pair up your watch using its special name/code, then view a video going over the basics, etc. The iOS onboarding process feels a bit laborious, since - if you follow the app's guidance - you'll have to do things like venture into iOS settings to enable bluetooth, double click the home button, and go back to Wear, but it's not unbearable and in practice you can just swipe up the iOS quick settings from the bottom. Read More