Smartphones

goog3

Smart watches, TVs and cars featured prominently on Wednesday as Google laid out its plans for pushing its Android smartphone software into new fields. At its annual I/O developer event in San Francisco, “wearables” had pride of place, with news that the first smartwatches based on Android Wear are now on sale – before Apple unveils its much-anticipated iWatch. With Android TV and Android Auto, on the other hand, Google was playing catch up with Apple. The event pointed to how the battle for the next big tech markets beyond the smartphone will be fought. Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw were at the Moscone Center for this round. 

Sarah Mishkin

What can a company that proposes using drones to deliver goods instantaneously do to impress?

Amazon tried hard with its Fire phone, the first smartphone ever from the e-commerce giant. It sort of succeeds, but the best thing about the phone is the vision of what it could become after a few rounds of refinements and tweaks. Read more

Samsung Galaxy S5 (Getty)

South Koreans consumers will be able to jump the global queue for Samsung Electronics’ new flagship smartphone, after mobile operators put it on sale two weeks ahead of the official launch date. Read more

Are phablets more phabtastic now that Apple appears to be showing an interest?

The signs are that a product of unwieldy phone size and ugly monicker is winning at least some admirers. Read more

It’s Tablet Tuesday, with Nokia announcing its entry into the market this morning, Microsoft releasing the Surface 2 and Apple expected to introduce new iPads at an event in San Francisco. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Environmentally conscious or just clumsy people buying a smartphone are better off with a new Samsung or Motorola than with one of the new iPhones.

A new ranking from iFixit, a group that specialises in tearing apart phones to figure out to repair them, looks how easy it is to fix the top smartphones on the market. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Trendy China tech group Xiaomi is branching out from smartphones into China’s increasingly competitive market for smart TVs.

The private company, which said its latest round of fundraising valued it at $10bn, launched the $489 TV at a jam-packed and much-hyped launch event in Beijing Thursday afternoon. Read more

In the mid-1990s, Nokia was well on its way to becoming the world’s leader in the adolescent mobile phone business, a dazzling rise that would see it peak with a 40 per cent global market share.

The reborn Finnish upstart, casting aside its heritage in pulp and paper, was brimming with confidence based on its market-leading technology, neat handset designs and a vision of the future that at times seemed to stretch credulity. Read more

Robert Cookson

As apps go, Ant Smasher sounds simple enough. The free game, which has been downloaded more than 50m times from the Google Play app store, allows mobile phone users to entertain themselves by squishing digital ants as they scurry down the screen. Splat, splat, splat.

But Ant Smasher has a dark side. It is one of a growing wave of apps that contains “adware” – aggressive advertising technology that displays ads in a phone’s notification bar and other places outside of the app itself, without consent. Read more

Paul Taylor

A new mobile service operator called ItsOn aims to shake up the US smartphone business by offering users the ability to tailor their voice, text and data plans precisely, and – perhaps most interestingly – buy data by the app.

The company’s Zact service – a play on the word ‘exact’ – operates as a cloud-based mobile virtual network operator, buying capacity on Sprint Nextel’s 4G/LTE network and reselling it to its own customers via a smartphone app or web page.

 Read more