• Commentary and Analysis

    by Published on 12-07-2017 08:45 AM
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    3. Commentary and Analysis,
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    If you were planning a visit to your local Verizon outlet today, there's something you should know: "Team Internet", a coalition of the activist groups Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press, is planning a national day of action at Verizon stores around the country. Participants will be protesting the FCC's planned repeal of net neutrality protections in the United States.

    On November 21st FCC Chief Ajit Pai formally revealed plans to reverse the commission's 2015 net neutrality order, more specifically the Title II protections for broadband and mobile Internet traffic. The worry is that without Title II there will be nothing to stop Internet service providers from prioritizing, for example, their own video streaming services over Netflix or YouTube. Pai, on the other hand, claims that Title II has stifled innovation and investment in network infrastructure.

    The FCC will vote on Pai's plan on December 14th; the repeal is expected to go through with commissioners voting 3 for and 2 against, along party lines. What today's protests are expected to accomplish beyond raising awareness is unclear. Depending on where you stand on this issue it could be either a minor annoyance or something you'll very much want to be a part of.

    Link: VerizonProtests.com

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    by Published on 11-27-2017 07:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Apps



    What we're looking at here is the logo for the εxodus privacy auditing program, a French nonprofit which, with help from the Yale Privacy Lab, has published a database of trackers found in popular Android apps. And there are a lot more of them than you'd expect.

    Most people would understand that an app like Uber would need to track you in order to ascertain your location when you request a car. And since the Uber app is downloaded from the Google Play Store it's not much of a reach to imagine that Google too is tracking downloads of that app, and likely taking stock of the other apps installed on your Android device as well. But what you might not expect is that Uber is also very much in the business of reselling your location history and other data via third party trackers.

    Some of the offenders mentioned by name in The Intercept's coverage of this project include AccuWeather, Lyft, Microsoft Outlook, Skype, Spotify, Tinder, Uber and The Weather Channel.

    Any iPhone users reading this should resist any urge to feel smug; as Cory Doctorow reports, these same trackers almost certainly exist in the iOS versions of the same apps, but it's illegal to break Apple's DRM to prove it.

    Links: εxodus, Cory Doctorow, The Intercept

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    by Published on 11-23-2017 08:15 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Carriers



    This is what it's been like to be a Canadian on the Internet this week...

    In the United States Ajit Pai's FCC is moving forward on plans to remove Title II protections for home and mobile Internet users; meanwhile, in Canada, such protections have arguably never been stronger. When it comes to wireless, net neutrality inevitably ends up focusing on zero-rated data. Fellow Canadian forum readers may remember your very own Ben Klass who, in a 26-page complaint to our CRTC, convinced our regulator that Bell's zero-rated mobile television offering was in violation of this country's Telecommunications Act.

    Earlier this week Ars Technica posted a deep dive into exactly how the CRTC deals with zero-rated data offerings. Ben Klass already knows that the regulator has a complaints-based rather than blanket policy in such matters; there are, in fact, four criteria considered with every complaint:

    1. The degree to which the treatment of data is agnostic (i.e., data is treated equally regardless of its source or nature);
    2. Whether the offering is exclusive to certain customers or certain content providers;
    3. The impact on Internet openness and innovation;
    4. Whether there is financial compensation involved.

    For more insights into net neutrality in Canada vs. the USA, plus zero-rated data as treated by the CRTC vs. FCC, see the link immediately below.

    Link: Ars Technica

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    by Published on 11-15-2017 08:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Apps



    More bad news for OnePlus... on the eve of a new product announcement they've been accused of backdooring their devices, allowing an attacker with physical access to gain root access without having to unlock any bootloaders— which we all know would wipe any and all sensitive data from your phone, right? Anyone? Bueller...?

    Anyway, as privacy scares go, this one has been blown out of proportion just a bit. It's still bad, but nowhere near as bad as the data that OnePlus was caught harvesting last month.

    The "backdoor" here is actually a Qualcomm testing app called EngineerMode. With the correct password (which has already been reverse-engineered) it will indeed grant root access via the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). What it won't do is allow malicious software with root privileges to be installed on your device. In fact, XDA has put their own spin on this vulnerability, citing it as a great new way for modders to root their OnePlus device.

    OnePlus absolutely should have removed this app before shipping out hardware to their customers. As to why they didn't, signs point to laziness rather than something more nefarious. Oh, and by the way, some ASUS and Xiaomi phones were also sold with the same Qualcomm testing app on board.

    Sources: Android Police, OnePlus Forums, XDA

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    by Published on 11-08-2017 08:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis



    So apparently Android celebrated its 10th birthday this past Sunday. TechRadar did up a little slideshow detailing ten (actually eleven) notable events in the history of what is now the world's most popular computer operating system, mobile or otherwise. This Android fanboy didn't agree with all of their choices so I replaced them with some of my own:

    November 5th, 2007 - Android is born

    October 22nd, 2008 - The first Android phone (HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1)

    July 1st, 2009 - First public release of CyanogenMod (for HTC Dream, Magic)

    January 5th, 2010 - The first Nexus phone

    June 4th, 2010 - The first Samsung Galaxy S

    December 6th, 2010 - Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" released

    October 29th, 2011 - The first Samsung Galaxy Note

    January 7th, 2015 - Nokia switches to Android (N1 Tablet)

    May 27th, 2015 - First citation of Android as world's dominant OS

    November 6th, 2015 - BlackBerry switches to Android (Priv)

    Ten years ago BlackBerry was the dominant smartphone OS in North America, while Nokia's Symbian ruled Europe and Asia. I wonder where we'll be another ten years from now...

    Links: New York Times, TechRadar, Wikipedia (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

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    by Published on 11-07-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. News,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    Kudos to Sascha Segan at PCMag for his enlightening editorial explaining why Broadcom, Ltd.'s unsolicited $130 billion bid for Qualcomm, Inc. is bad news for all mobile users.

    On the surface it doesn't seem like a bad idea at all. Broadcom makes Bluetooth and WiFi chips; Qualcomm makes chips for mobile phones. Having all this manufacturing expertise under one roof should be a win-win for both parties. I think marketing types call it "synergy"?

    The problem, as Sascha points out, is that Broadcom isn't really Broadcom:

    "Broadcom" is actually a company called Avago, a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard that, in recent years, has spent as much time and energy buying, dismembering, cutting costs on, and selling off parts of other companies as it has inventing things. This has resulted in great financial performance, but not so much in the way of innovation.
    In stark contrast, Qualcomm, Inc. is described by Segan as a thin layer of marketeers keeping a hoard of geeks focused on running a successful business. And there's no denying the success of Qualcomm; the company has a target on its back only now, and only because ongoing legal battles with Apple have put them in a financially vulnerable position.

    For the whole story check out Sascha's excellent screed at the second link directly below.

    Links: MarketWatch, PCMag

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    by Published on 11-06-2017 08:00 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Apps



    Canada's public broadcaster has used the 10th anniversary of the iPhone as an impetus to take a deep dive into the distraction—even addiction—of the modern smartphone app. It's published an entire half-hour episode of its popular Marketplace series on YouTube, and a feature piece on CBC News as well.

    The TL;DR is that the modern smartphone app is addictive by design. One example provided is a popular technique called variable reinforcement. It involves three steps: (1) a trigger, like a notification on your phone, (2) an action, as in tapping on the notification to open the app and (3) the reward—a "like" or share of something you've previously posted. Because the reward itself isn't predictable, the action of seeking the reward becomes compulsive.

    For the purpose of this CBC investigation it does seem that "app" is rather narrowly defined as a smartphone portal to a messaging service or social media network. It also seems that teens are especially vulnerable to this addictive behaviour.

    As a Generation Xer (Nirvana rules!) I myself am not a digital native, and therefore have no trouble putting my smartphone down and immersing myself in some other leisurely pursuit for extended periods of time. And though I'm also a childless monster I can't help but wonder if using messaging apps is fundamentally any different for teenagers than tying up a landline phone for hours on end in those dark ages before smartphones, or even the Internet, existed.

    Any parents care to weigh in on this...?

    Link: CBC News

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    by Published on 11-01-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    On the left, an iPhone 8 Plus. On the right, an iPhone X. The fastest to unlock? Not what you might think!

    The GIF above was generated from an AppleInsider review on YouTube, which came to my attention via r/apple on reddit. It clearly demonstrates that getting to your home screen on an iPhone with Touch ID is faster than with the retina-scanning Face ID on the newer model.

    To be clear, there's nothing wrong with the Face ID here; it's just how the technology has been implemented. Unlocking the iPhone X will take you to your home screen notifications, requiring an additional swipe up to get you home. The iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, has a raise-to-wake feature that activates your lock screen—and notifications—just by lifting it, and a slight tap of the Touch ID sensor instantly takes you to your home screen.

    You could argue that Face ID is more secure, as by default it protects your notifications from prying eyes. You could also argue that Touch ID is much more convenient, as it quite obviously gets you to your home screen faster.

    If nothing else, let this serve as a simple visual reminder that "newer" doesn't necessarily mean "better"...

    Source: reddit

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    by Published on 10-27-2017 07:45 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Off-Topic



    This post isn't really about mobile tech, but Google's "AI" Assistant is also available on Android phones. So there's that.

    Last night, on a post-dinner stroll past The Eaton Centre, the girlfriend and I happened upon this pop-up Google Home Mini Donut Shop. It was closed for the night but will be open again today if you're planning a visit to downtown Toronto. If you are then there's two things you should know: (1) the foodie verdict is that the donut supplier, Jelly Modern Doughnuts, is terrible, with baked goods better suited to Instagram than your actual mouth; (2) what's ultimately being peddled here is of dubious value to you and I.

    The upside for Google is obvious. Their cheap and cheerful Home Mini plants a permanent microphone where you live that's always listening—at least for the trigger phrase that activates its software assistant. Massive implications for your privacy aside, I just don't get the point of Google Assistant at all, if there even is one. Like I said, I've got it on my phone, and to me so far it seems like a more cumbersome version of voice search. I don't really need my phone talking back at me when there's already a beautiful HD screen in front of my face that can show me the same information in a better way.

    It took the better part of a decade to sway people from talking on their phones to typing on them. In that way Google Assistant—and Siri, too, for that matter—feels like a regression.

    Back to Google Home, I've an old high school friend who swears by his. He's constantly telling it to set reminders, read him the news, change the volume on his Google Home... Hearing him gush over it honestly perplexes me, and certainly keeps me from wanting to drop by his place for a visit. I suppose I could see some value in it for people with mobility issues, but here's a thought: the more people rely on these things the more they risk ending up with mobility issues of their own making, if you get what I'm saying.

    So someone, anyone, please enlighten me as to what I'm not getting about Google Home. Or Google Assistant. Or HomePod, Alexa or whatever else. And in the meantime enjoy your free donuts in Austin, Brooklyn, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Madison, Manhattan, Oklahoma City, San Francisco, St. Louis and Toronto. Check the Android Police link below for dates and times.

    Links: Android Police, blogTO

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    by Published on 10-26-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    One of the many benefits of open source software is that the code is freely available for anyone to pore through to their heart's content. And that's just what XDA has done, uncovering some more details about muskie, the forgotten HTC-made device that was once pegged to be this year's Pixel 2 XL.

    Of particular interest in the muskie-related AOSP commits for Android 8.0 is this line:

    Code:
    <item name="battery.capacity">3830</item>
    Yup, that's right, HTC's pitch for the Pixel 2 XL was to have a massive 3,830 mAh battery, putting the LG version's paltry-by-comparison 3,520 mAh to shame. Unfortunately that big battery would quickly prove to be the device's downfall—last June someone told 9to5Google that the cell wasn't performing as expected, and that muskie's development had been halted.

    Had the device made it into production users would likely have had to content with a large forehead and chin, similar to the HTC-made Pixel 2. However, the disaster with LG's POLED screen would have been averted. Something tells me that if Google had a do-over they might have put a bit more effort into bringing muskie to market.

    Source: XDA

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    by Published on 10-18-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis



    Last December I decided that smartphones had become boring, with both Apple and Google guilty of chasing profits over pursuing innovation. This week Android Authority published some evidence in support of that claim.

    Using Google Trends as a source, Tristan Rayner compared the interest (Google searches) in Apple and Samsung devices over the past five years. It's hardly a complete data set, but if you're going to compare only two smartphone OEMs then Samsung and Apple are probably the way to go. And his findings do seem to suggest that interest in new hardware from either of these manufacturers is indeed on the wane.

    Spoiler alert: we reached peak smartphone with 2014's iPhone 6 Plus—which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. After years of living in the shadow of the massive Galaxy Note (literally) Apple, with the 6 Plus, finally gave their customers a phablet to call their own.

    Source: Android Authority

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    by Published on 10-12-2017 08:00 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Carriers



    This week Koodo finally joined the ranks of other Canadian carriers in offering its own "roam like home" service; for a daily charge of either $7 or $10 CAD you can access your data bucket in the USA or the rest of the world. And while its uninspired moniker, Easy Roam, isn't so impressive, the list of supported countries definitely is. Plus you can sign up for the service via SMS, like I did above.

    I know what you're thinking: I must really feel like an loser owning this dog of a dual SIM phone, right? I mean, what a waste of money that thing turned out to be! Yeah, not so much...

    Let's do some math on my upcoming winter vacation, to (big surprise) Hong Kong and Japan. We'll be going to Osaka first and spending 9 nights there. Using Easy Roam for those 9 nights would cost my girlfriend and I $90 each, or $180 for the both of us. With local taxes that comes to a total of $203.40 CAD. But if we rent a WiFi hotspot like we've done in the past, we would instead pay only $134 USD, or about $167 CAD, with no additional taxes (see option 3 here). More importantly, that hotspot rental comes with an extra 9 GB of LTE data to share between us.

    Granted, there is the hassle of carrying an extra gadget around and keeping it charged, and also staying within range of it—if we split up on separate shopping trips then only the person with the hotspot will be connected. However, the numbers don't lie: for two people in this scenario, renting a hotspot is definitely cheaper.

    When it comes to Hong Kong there's no contest. For $118 HKD—the equivalent of just $19 CAD—what I believe to be the world's best tourist SIM gives each of us 5 GB of LTE data over 8 days. Using Easy Roam for those same 8 days would cost more than 4 times as much!

    So why did I even bother activating Easy Roam at all? Convenience, mostly. I can think of at least two additional scenarios where it would come in very handy. The first is transiting through an airport or a layover where there's no free WiFi. It happens, sometimes. And Easy Roam would come in very handy at a destination where there's no good local SIM solution—like if we don't feel like buying a pair of BlackBerries just to use in Bermuda, for example.

    It's great that all six brands of Canada's Big Three carriers now offer a more affordable way of roaming internationally. Just know that they're not necessarily the best value when travelling abroad.

    Source: Mobile Syrup

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    by Published on 10-05-2017 08:15 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    Interested in one of the new Pixel phones? Make sure you know what you're getting into; in eliminating the 3.5mm audio jack Google has chosen to ape one of the iPhone's worst features, while providing only minimal protection from water damage. And, like Apple, they've once again taken the high road on pricing, asking $1,289 CAD for their most expensive model. But this is the same story as last year, and in late 2017 appears to be the cost of entry to join the fight in the war on smartphone bezels.

    The big differentiator in hardware for Google is again, like last year, going forward with a single rear-facing camera vs. Apple's dual-lens setup. The Pixel 2's camera tech does look promising, and I wouldn't fault anyone making a purchase for that feature alone. As for the fabled "pure Android experience" I'm pretty sure Google gave up on that when they introduced their Now Launcher back in 2013. The exclusive-to-Pixel Google Lens visual search only continues that trend—though it may be available more widely at a later date.

    Here's what I found weird about yesterday's event... Granted, I was unable to watch it live and had to settle instead for The Verge's 19-minute supercut after the fact. I was nonetheless surprised at how little overall time was spent on the phones. Your home, it seems, is the new frontier that Amazon, Apple and Google are all simultaneously trying to conquer. I'm personally not so thrilled at the prospect of having an always-listening device in the place where I sleep and sh**, but that's just me.

    As for the other gear, I think the Clips camera is an intriguing alternative to GoPro. But I don't have particularly high hopes for the automatic translation feature of the Pixel Buds. Raw technology is no match for the subtle nuance of language.

    What are your thoughts on yesterday's event?

    Links: The Verge (1) (2) (3)

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    by Published on 09-22-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    Way back in December of 2013 I bought a Google-branded inductive charger for my Nexus 4. The technology immediately won me over; there was no fast-charging technology to speak of at the time, and thus no drawbacks to dropping my phone on a charging mat beside my desktop computer. Having my phone always juiced up and ready to go was pretty great.

    Around this time IKEA started selling a floor lamp with an inductive charging pad built-in, and at least one coffee shop near me had wireless charging embedded in its counters. As even the mighty Samsung got behind the nascent Qi charging standard, a future with less wires looked increasingly possible. People were even talking about inductive bowls that you could dump all of your electronics in to charge as you walked through the threshold of your home.

    And then fast charging happened. Wireless charging never really went away, of course, but for me it became harder and harder to justify a slow wireless charge over a wired one that could get my phone battery to 100% in about an hour.

    Cut to the present day, where the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X all support the Qi inductive charging standard. Again, inductive charging never went away, but with Apple supporting it I'd expect to see a lot more inductive chargers in coffee shops across North America. And soon.

    The new iPhones also support fast charging, but only through additional accessories—namely, a USB-C to Lightning cable and separate 29 watt brick. I honestly think that wireless charging is going to end up being the bigger deal, whether you're an iPhone user or not. I'd even go so far as to predict that next year will see a renewed interest in Qi-compatible Android phones.

    In the meantime, here's a question for iOS enthusiasts: which are you more excited about, wireless charging or fast wired charging?

    Links: IKEA, The Verge, Wikipedia

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    by Published on 08-28-2017 08:15 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    Last October I wrote about the egregious outright price of the Pixel XL in Canada—over $1,100 CAD for the 128 GB model. Midway through 2017 it seems that $1,000 USD is fast becoming the norm for a stretched display over a flagship phone. And if you happen to live in Australia and are a fan of the Galaxy Note series Samsung is expecting you to pony up $1,500 AUD for the latest version of that device.

    It's not just an Android problem, either... Apple is expected to début its 10th anniversary iPhone with a price tag in excess of $1,000 USD and, according to at least one survey, prospective buyers seem fine with that.

    I suppose an argument can be made that smartphone OEMs are merely passing on the R&D costs that make this product cycle's record-breaking screen-to-body ratios possible. But consider also that these same phones are in some ways downgrades from what came before. The Galaxy Note 8 has a smaller battery than the Note 7 (presumably so that it won't explode), Andy Rubin's high-priced Essential Phone has no waterproofing and neither it, the iPhone 8 or this year's Pixel series from Google will have a headphone jack.

    With these compromises in mind I have to ask: Are we actually getting a reasonable value from this year's near-bezel-less flagships?

    Links: 9to5Mac, reddit

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    by Published on 08-25-2017 08:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    Irony is, the bezels on this image are YUGE!

    Nevertheless, we should be grateful for a thoughtful redditor's recent contribution to r/Android, comparing the differences between 2017's "bezel-less" smartphones so far. There are some notable omissions... Xiaomi's Mi Mix kicked off this craze last year but was never intended for the North American market, so that's fine. But the Essential Phone should definitely be here. It's also odd that the as-yet unreleased iPhone 8 is present, but the similarly-leaked Pixel 2 XL is not.

    I think that the general idea here was to compare the bezels on specific phones and their forebears, specifically the Galaxy Note 8 vs. Note 7 and iPhone 8 vs. the 7 Plus. It also seems like the author is trying to decide between an LG V30 and G6. And for some reason the OnePlus 3 has been added to the comparison of bottom bezels and phone widths.

    To find out what other redditors are saying see the link directly below.

    Source: reddit

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    by Published on 08-15-2017 08:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    A story published in yesterday's news round-up is worthy of a little more scrutiny... according to TechCrunch, sales of Snap, Inc.'s camera-equipped Spectacles are falling hard, and fast.

    In their first full sales quarter fewer than 64,000 Spectacles were sold. If that doesn't sound like much here's the really bad news: Q2 was even worse, with sales of only 41,500 units—a drop of roughly 35%. Snap recently started selling Spectacles through Amazon.com and Harrod's in the UK, but I don't foresee either of these entities reversing the company's fortunes anytime soon. Amazon, if anything, will just enable easier returns.

    One reason for the failure of this product has to be the obvious privacy issue; I just don't think our society is ready for people wearing cameras on their faces. It's reminiscent of my feelings about Google Glass—I was really excited about it's AR potential until I encountered someone wearing it in New York City; with the realization that I was probably being recorded I suddenly wasn't so interested anymore.

    There's also the fashion angle, or in the case of Spectacles the lack thereof. Imagine if, like Android Wear, Snap put aside their single, in-house design and instead partnered with established eyewear brands like Ray-Ban or Oakley. This way, Snap users could use the technology with their own sunglass style. As an added bonus, there would be a sales channel for Snap already in place.

    Or maybe Spectacles are just a bad idea altogether. What do you think?

    Source: TechCrunch

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    by Published on 08-10-2017 07:45 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Carriers



    OpenSignal has been very, er... "open" about sharing their data on network speeds around the world; they even have their own speed-testing app, called Meteor. But what about the app that people actually use?

    I've been using Ookla's Speedtest.net for years to test my broadband connection through my desktop browser; ditto for for the Android app. Perhaps because of OpenSignal, Ookla has just published a Global Speed Index of their own.

    The results have been gathered from more than 6,000 servers in 190 countries. The good news? Canada ranked highest in North America, with an average download speed of 35.19 Mbps. The bad news? We're 13th worldwide. The really bad news? High prices, no unlimited data plans, lack of compelling MVNOs... Shall I go on?

    The United States ranked 43rd overall, with an average download speed of 23.05 Mbps. Here are the countries in the top ten worldwide:

    1. Norway - 52.59 Mbps
    2. Netherlands - 46.94 Mbps
    3. Hungary - 46.24 Mbps
    4. Singapore - 45.99 Mbps
    5. Malta - 44.84 Mbps
    6. Australia - 44.64 Mbps
    7. United Arab Emirates - 43.98 Mbps
    8. South Korea - 42.09 Mbps
    9. Belgium - 37.81 Mbps
    10. Iceland - 36.84 Mbps

    Source: Speedtest via Mobile Syrup

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    by Published on 08-02-2017 09:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview



    Three years ago this month I road-tested my first smartwatch, the first Android Wear wearable from LG. I bought it on a whim, sight unseen, immediately after watching the webcast of the live keynote for the launch of Android Wear. On a similar whim some six months later I bought an original Pebble on clearance at my local Best Buy. I stuck with that through the launch of the Pebble Time in mid-2015, gave up for a while, came back to the superior Pebble Time Steel and remained a loyal Pebbler until the sale of assets to Fitbit last December. Then I returned to Android Wear, but only devices made by traditional watchmakers. And now, thanks to Gadgetbridge, I find myself reunited with my collection of Pebbles.

    I've never owned an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, but thanks to Howard I did get to spend a weekend with an original Galaxy Gear way back in the winter of 2013. All this is only to say that I know a thing or two about the device category. So here's what I think of it, three years on. ...
    by Published on 07-24-2017 07:45 AM
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    2. Commentary and Analysis



    This chart says it all, really. And according to Forrester Research (shared by Recode), the world's already-meager market share of tablets has actually started to decline. Why? Phablets, probably...

    There was a time when, for me, a 7 inch tablet was a great companion to a 5 inch phone with a small-ish battery—indeed, a pair of Nexus 5s and 7s were essential travel gear for the girlfriend and I in 2013 and 2014. But in the years since bigger phone batteries and screens have seen our tablets stay at home. I still use one around the house but it's definitely a luxury, and not something I plan on upgrading anytime soon.

    Forrester's research asserts that the (relative) popularity of tablets in developed markets is only because phone screens, in aggregate, are still on the small side here. That's expected to change, though, as larger screens become the norm.

    Unfortunately it looks like Steve Jobs' vision of the iPad as the world's dominant post-PC computer hasn't really come to pass.

    Source: Recode

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