Posts Tagged smartphones

Apple in talks for free online radio service: Report

US technology giant Apple is in talks to license music for broadcast on a custom online radio service modeled after Pandora, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said Apple’s service would work on the company’s hardware, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, as well as potentially on PCs using Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

But it would not work on smartphones and tablets that use Google’s Android operating system, as the two technology giants are at loggerheads to dominate the lucrative mobile market.

The licensing negotiations are still at an early stage, the newspaper stressed, adding that it could take months for such a service to launch.

Just as with Pandora, ads would be placed between the music on the would-be service, which would use Apple’s iAd platform.

The Journal noted that Apple had previously weighed launching a Pandora competitor, but dropped the bid due to licensing costs.

Pandora reported last week that its revenue climbed in the recently-ended quarter but that it still lost money due in large part to royalties paid out for songs.

The Oakland, California-based firm, which creates personalized radio stations for users, reported a net loss of $5.4 million on revenue that rose 51 per cent to $101.3 million compared with the same period last year.

Pandora went public last year at $16 a share, one of several Internet companies to make their debut on Wall Street in 2011.

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Basic Android Troubleshooting Tips

It is a well-known fact that all phones face problems regardless of their operating system. Unlike the popular iPhone, there are a number of phones that run on the free Android operating system and each one of them have their own hardware quirks. In other words, any phone that runs on an Android OS might not have the same solution if the problem is a hardware related issue. This post basically highlights the common problems that you might face on your Android phone.

Your first step is to identify, diagnose and fix common problems. Obviously, the solution depends on the nature of your problem. Unless you diagnose the symptom, you will not be in a position to troubleshoot your Android device right way. While there are certain issues that can be resolved rather easily, there are ones that can be quite tough. For instance, you might not be too impressed with the default Android keyboard but you can easily tweak or replace this.

The next step is to be prepared for any quirks while installing Apps. This is one of the most common problems that many Android users face. Although installing and removing of apps are rather simple and straightforward, you should also be aware on how to safely use the market.

Another common problems faced by most Android devices is with its battery. The best way to manage better battery consumption is to disable unused internet connections and other unwanted elements in the user interface. This will help you prevent battery drainage and also considerably save power usage.

Most Droid device problem can be resolved with a simple troubleshooting tip and that is by simply turning the phone off and then turning it back on after a minute. This is very easy and this should be the first step you ought to try when faced with a problem. My guess is that a lot of Droid problems can be resolved this way.

If your Android device is still not responding to the switch off and on method, then try the crash recovery process. This is also a simple and uncomplicated process. All you have to do is to switch off your Android device, slide the back cover, and remove the battery. Reinstall it after a minute. Most common problems can be resolved using this method. Instructions for removing the battery cover and battery can be found in the user manual.

Your last ditch effort should be to reset your Droid’s settings. You must remember that resetting the phone will remove and erase all your personal data that has been stored on the phone. You can use the factory data reset button thereby restoring your phone settings to the default factory mode. However, this should be used only as a last option. This is similar to a system restore that is done on your PC, when your PC runs into unexpected trouble.

Finally, if none of these options seem to work, contact customer support.

This is a guest post by Jem Larson of buyVerizon.com, a site that offers savings and current information on Verizon FiOS, as well as Verizon.com.

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Top WordPress and Blogger apps for Smartphones

Writing and publishing skills are no more restricted to writers alone. With many content publishing platforms available over the internet, writing has become more sort of public hobby. There are many free websites on the internet that allow us to open blog spots of our own. This has paved the way for many amateur writers and publishers who have an inclination towards writing to post their works online.

Also, the advent of mobile devices has allowed people to connect, communicate and update instantly from anywhere. And sometimes, we may be subjected to certain situations where we feel like making an instant post from wherever we are. As you know (us) bloggers usually share instantly any new information or incident that we come across. So, for those on-the-go Bloggers, here are some apps that can prove helpful.

Blogger App:

A Google product!  This app is designed for Android and allows you to type, modify, publish articles and upload photos directly to your blog spots. It also allows multiple users to use the app at once with some simple toggle options.

WordPress App:

One of the largest websites on the internet that offers free blog spots to its users is also one of the leading blogging websites. WordPress apps are available for any Smartphone operating systems. But, the WordPress app for Apple allows you to edit, create and upload post to the WordPress website. It even allows you to upload the pictures you have taken from your iOS phone to your blog directly.

DroidEdit Pro App:

It is a text editing App that allows you to type in your posts first and then paste it on your blog page. Many bloggers find this App convenient due to its color coded features, easy shortcuts and a real -time Blog preview. It also offers connectivity to Dropbox, so that you can store your works and retrieve them whenever you want. The app is priced and you have to pay to utilize its features.

iBlogger:

This is probably one of the dedicated blogging apps for an iOS device. It is often considered as a versatile App as you can upload your works to a number of spots like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Drupal and much more. Its incorporation with Picasa online allows you to upload and add pictures from Picasa.

 

Tumblr:

The website’s legitimate App allows you to create, edit and even re-blog your posts. The App offers a more stylized way of uploading your works and gives an overall experience of working on a desktop.

BlogPress:

It is yet another cross-platform, versatile app that supports any operating systems like Android, iOS, and much more. You can create a post and publish them immediately on websites like Joomla, Blogger, Drupal, WordPress etc.

TypePad:

This Blogging App is designed to work on Android and iOS platforms. An account with TypePad is necessary to create and upload posts to your blog spots. Once, signed up, you can make instant posts and even crop the pictures and images that you are about to upload.

There are several other Apps available on the internet for bloggers on the move. Just find the right one for you and start blogging.

This article has been brought to you by MyTechHelp – a leader in providing support across various products brands and tech devices for individuals and small businesses in need of instant tech help. go to this link

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Apple asks for verdict after Samsung ‘misconduct’

SAN FRANCISCO: With a major patent trial barely underway, Apple has asked a judge to rule against Samsung, saying lawyers for the South Korean firm improperly disclosed information excluded in court in a bid to sway jurors.

An Apple court document released Thursday said Samsung issued a statement to the press with data excluded from the trial, which began in San Jose Monday on patent infringement over smartphones and tablet computers.

“Apple seeks a finding that Samsung and its counsel have engaged in bad faith litigation misconduct by attempting to prejudice the jury,” the motion to Judge Lucy Koh said.

“Samsung apparently believes that it is above the law, and that it — not this court — should decide what evidence the jury should see.”

According to court documents, Samsung provided media with a statement Tuesday expressing displeasure with the judge’s exclusion of evidence.

“Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design… in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone,” said the statement from the South Korean firm.

“The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental Fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.”

Apple said in its motion that releasing the statement represented “misconduct” because it could influence the jury.

“Samsung already has been sanctioned four times in this case for discovery abuses,” Apple’s motion said.

“Most recently, Samsung was sanctioned for destroying evidence. Litigation misconduct is apparently a part of Samsung’s litigation strategy — and limited sanctions have not deterred Samsung from such misconduct.”

Apple said it would not request a mistrial but instead ask the judge to rule in the case.

“It is fully within the court’s authority to order judgment in Apple’s favor as a sanction for this misconduct,” it said, adding the judge may also “instruct the jury that Samsung engaged in serious misconduct.”

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, was to be on the stand when the trial resumes Friday.

Jurors on Tuesday began hearing the biggest US patent trial in decades, with billions at stake for the tech giants.

Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in a case accusing the South Korean firm of infringing on designs and other patents from the iPhone and iPad maker.

This is one of several cases in courts around the world involving the two electronics giants in the hottest part of the tech sector — tablet computers and smartphones.

While the results so far have been mixed in courts in Europe and Australia, Samsung is clearly on the defensive in the US case.

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RIM to launch new PlayBook line next week

TORONTO: Canada’s Research In Motion has chosen its home country to launch a PlayBook tablet with built-in support for cellular networks, a crucial feature missing from its poor-selling initial models.

The BlackBerry maker said on Thursday it would launch the new tablets in Canada next week and roll them out in coming months in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The PlayBook tablet, introduced more than a year ago, is strategically important for RIM as it is the first product to use the QNX operating system that RIM is adapting for a new generation of BlackBerry phones designed to compete with sexier devices already on the market.

But the PlayBook was widely criticized at launch for lacking basic features such as email, and it has failed to wow consumers despite sharp discounts and a major software upgrade.

RIM has so far only sold Wi-Fi capable PlayBook devices and this has played a role in making the device less attractive to potential buyers, as users would need access to a Wi-Fi network or to tether the device to the BlackBerry to use the Internet.

The new device will run on the latest 4G LTE networks that offer high-speed data downloads capabilities. Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is being widely deployed by carriers both in North America and overseas, as smartphone adoption has increased and boosted demand for wireless data downloads.

The 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will come with 32 gigabytes of memory and will be available from major Canadian carriers like BCE Inc’s Bell, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp in Canada on Aug. 9.

Variants of the tablet supporting various cellular networks are expected to be available in the coming months from carriers in other countries, RIM said.

The company did not release pricing details on the new PlayBook.

HEAVY DISCOUNTS Over the last year RIM has been forced to offer heavy discounts to boost flagging sales, as the PlayBook runs on the QNX operating system that will power RIM’s next generation of smartphones, due early next year.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company needs to have more applications available before the new phones, powered by QNX software called BlackBerry 10, hit the market. It hopes greater PlayBook adoption will encourage developers to create apps for the new devices.

RIM has struggled to compete against Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, and a host of devices smartphone and tablet devices powered by Google’s Android. The one-time technology giant’s fate now rests almost completely on the success or failure of its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Shares of RIM were down 2 percent at $6.97 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Apple, Samsung chiefs disagree on patent values: Source

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook and top Samsung Electronic Co Ltd executives disagreed last week on the value of each other’s patents at a settlement conference ahead of a high profile U.S. trial, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Apple and Samsung, the world’s largest consumer electronics corporations, are waging legal war in several countries, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in the fast-growing market for mobile devices.

The trial is scheduled to begin July 30 in a San Jose, Calif. federal court. Cook participated in mediation with Samsung’s Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun last Monday in the San Francisco area to see if the two sides could resolve the dispute, several separate sources said.

All sources could not be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The executives from Apple and Samsung participated as part of the court directed mediation process, these sources said. While a settlement is always possible, it is unlikely to come ahead of the California trial, they said.

Apple on Monday declined to comment on the case. A Samsung spokesman declined to provide details on any discussions, saying “this is an ongoing legal matter.”

The U.S. case, taking place a few miles away from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, is being closely-watched given the lucrative American smartphone and tablet market.

Among the major issues in dispute between Apple and Samsung is how to value so-called standard essential patents. These are patents which Samsung agreed to license to competitors on fair and reasonable terms, in exchange for having the technology be adopted as an industry standard.

Some judges are reluctant to issue injunctions over such patents.

Apple believes those patents should be valued lower due to those dynamics, one of the sources said. Additionally, Samsung believes it has a stronger patent portfolio than Apple when it comes to next-generation technology like 4G, the source said.

The mediation last week was at least the second between top executives. A previous session in May did not produce any settlements.

While both the companies are arch-rivals in the smartphone and tablet marketplace, the case is complicated by the fact that Apple is one of Samsung’s largest component customers.

The trial will feature both utility and design patents. Apple utility patents in the case include those that cover how touch-screen devices discriminate between one finger on the screen, or more, and respond accordingly. Apple design patents include those that relate to the black front surface of a phone.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

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Smartphones expected to boost Samsung Electronics 2Q result

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s top maker of mobile phones, memory chips, flat-screen panels and televisions, will release guidance for its second-quarter results Friday, giving insight into its performance before the disclosure of full results at the end of this month.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Even though Samsung is expected to report a record-high operating profit for another quarter on the back of strong demand for Galaxy smartphones, its share price has lost steam since closing at a record high on May 2.

Investors have reined in their optimism after the Galaxy S III smartphone experienced a delay in shipments due to component shortages since its May 29 launch. More than 60 per cent of Samsung’s second-quarter operating profit, which may be nearly 7 trillion won ($6.15 billion), is expected to come from its mobile communications division.

Analysts, including Lee Sun-tae at NH Investment & Securities, lowered estimates of Samsung’s flagship smartphone sales in the second quarter from 7 million to 6 million phones, after some mobile carriers delayed offering it. Analysts’ estimates of Samsung’s total smartphone sales in the period range between 48 million and 52 million phones.

On Friday, Samsung will give an estimate of consolidated revenue and operating profit without giving net profit or a breakdown for each business division. For the second quarter, investors are expecting to get updates on S III phone sales. They will be also looking for clues about Samsung’s smartphone strategies for the rest of the year as Apple Inc. will probably unveil a new iPhone in the third quarter, heating up competition with the Android-based Galaxy devices.

WHY IT MATTERS: With annual revenue of 165 trillion won ($145 billion) in 2011, Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest technology company by revenue. Its results will be an indicator of demand for consumer electronics from personal computers to televisions in China, Europe and North America and other key markets at a time when the global economy feels the heat of Europe’s debt crisis.

Samsung is one of the few handset makers that has expanded its market share and has seen a big jump in mobile profit in the last two years as the South Korean firm lures customers from Research In Motion and Nokia Corp. The company ended Nokia’s decade-long dominance in the mobile phone market in 2011. Samsung is forecast to sell 220 million smartphones this year, more than double the amount it shipped in 2011, according to Song Jong-ho, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.

WHAT’S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by Yonhap Infomax, a financial information unit of Yonhap News Agency, expect an operating profit of 6.72 trillion won ($5.91 billion) and revenue of 50.13 trillion won ($44.06 billion) for the April-June period.

LAST YEAR’S QUARTER: Samsung Electronics reported 3.75 trillion won in operating profit on revenue of 39.44 trillion won. Its net profit was 3.51 trillion won.

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Android, Apple extend gains in smartphone market

WASHINGTON: The Google Android platform extended its lead in the US smartphone market while Apple increased its market share to nearly a third in March through May, a survey showed Monday.

Android accounted for 50.9 percent of all smartphones used in the US during the three-month average period, according to the comScore survey.

Apple’s iPhone scored 31.9 percent of the market, up from 30.2 percent in the prior three-month period.

The survey comes amid intense competition and legal fights over patents in the smartphone market.

A judge in California last week granted Apple’s request for an injunction blocking US sales of Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones made in collaboration with Google to challenge the iPhone. Additional patent cases are pending in other courts.

ComScore said nearly 110 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in May, up five percent from February.

The survey showed continued bad news for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, which saw its platform share fall to 11.4 percent from 13.4 percent.

Microsoft’s share edged up slightly to 4.0 percent from 3.9 percent.

Among all mobile phones, Korean-based Samsung remained the top maker with 25.7 percent of the US market. Second was fellow Korean LG with 19.1 percent, while Apple was third with 15 percent.

Android and iPhone smartphones accounted for slightly more than 90 percent of US smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2011, industry-tracker NPD Group reported earlier this year.

A recent survey by ABI Research found that Samsung and Apple have captured more than half the global market for smartphones and over 90 percent of its profits.

ABI said Samsung delivered 43 million units in the quarter, to 35 million for Apple.

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Smartphone shoots: The local call

The day is not far off when Indian film-makers would be able to shoot films with simple smartphones. A couple of Indian researchers at MIT are working on a light-field camera technology which can revolutionise the way films are shot.

Kshitij Marwah and Professor Ramesh Raskar and their team at MIT are working on light field cameras which help you adjust the focus of photos after they have been taken. “If you take a shot where there are two actors in a frame, the focus invariably will be on one of the actors. If the director/photographer feels at a later date that the second actor in the frame needs to be focused, he can do that even after the cast and crew have packed up and left,” explains Kshitij Marwah.

“This can be done by fitting a coded mask between the lens and the sensor of the camera. When you capture the image, the camera also takes in a sample of all light rays in that scene. Later on, you can use simple computations or editing techniques to refocus anywhere in the scene,” explains Marwah.

“Such a camera can help directors shoot directly in 3D in a single shot,” says Mr Marwah. These light field cameras can also help you eliminate glare and even introduce one, as and when needed. It can also help you get better dynamic range, bringing the colours and contrast similar to that of film cameras,” he says.

The team has built such a light field camera in their lab and is also working on how these light field cameras can be mounted on normal smartphones.

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Making calls least popular smartphone function

LONDON: Mobile phones began life as machines built for talking – but now, actually making calls is one of their least popular functions.

Smartphone owners now spend just 12 minutes talking on their phones a day – but spend two hours using the gizmos, Daily Mail reported Friday.

Texting – formerly one of the reasons people became addicted to phones – is now less popular, with users spending just 10 minutes sending messages.

In terms of time spent, British users spend more time surfing the internet, checking social networking sites, playing games and listening to music.

The study of 2,000 smartphone users marking the launch of the Samsung found we spend almost 25 minutes a day surfing the internet.

Mobile phone users also spend a further 17 minutes checking and updating social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the Mail said.

In comparison, just 12 minutes is spent actually talking to someone on a phone call, while sending text messages accounts for only 10 minutes of use a day.

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