Before long, you won’t have to choose between charging your phone quickly and plunking it on a convenient wireless charger. The Wireless Power Consortium has rolled out a new version of the Qi standard that supports 15W fast wireless charging, much like the sort we saw late last year. The organization isn’t making any performance claims at the moment, and it’ll be a while before phone makers have compatible devices on store shelves. However, it’s safe to say that this will save you some agonizing wait times — you could return home from work, drop your phone on a pad and expect to have a meaningful amount of energy when you head out for the evening. [Image credit: Aaron Yoo, Flickr] Filed under: Cellphones, Peripherals, Tablets, Mobile Via: Pocketnow Source: Wireless Power Consortium (PDF)

After releasing its first Android 5.1.1 factory image for the Nexus 7 back in May, Google has now quietly made a new build available of its latest Lollipop version via its Developers site. Read more…

Microsoft has a new app that will ship with Windows 10, called Phone Companion, this app makes it easy to sync your desktop PC with your mobile phone regardless of the OS it uses. Read more…

A sizzling hot breaking rumour suggests that Microsoft could drop its Windows Phone platform and instead adopt the Android OS with its own applications and services preloaded. The rumor goes on to state that both Microsoft and Google would form a partnership that would see the former offer Android devices preloaded with Microsoft apps while the latter would develop versions of Google Maps, YouTube and Search designed for Microsoft’s desktop OS. Preloaded apps are likely to include Office, Skype and OneNote, which were all preloaded on the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge as part of Microsoft’s deal with Samsung. The rumor comes as Microsoft has agreed to sell part of Bing Maps to private taxi service Uber. As part of a restructuring led by CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has also agreed to close its Web display ads business and turn this over to AppNexus and AOL, the latter who was just acquired by US carrier Verizon Wireless. Potentially referencing the big changes afoot in Redmond, a letter from Nadella to Microsoft employees said the company needs to be prepared to make tough choices in areas where things are not working. The potential decision to switch to Android follows news that Microsoft is reportedly considering a multi-billion dollar write-off of its hardware business. The company bought Nokia’s Devices and Services division in 2013 for $7.2 billion, which turned into a $9.4 billion deal once it closed but lower than forecast handset sales are forcing Microsoft’s top brass into a decision. Read: Android could ignite the Nokia of old When Microsoft bought Nokia, the company predicted that it would ship 1.8 billion handsets per year and own 15% of the smartphone market by 2018, which would deliver an operating margin of 5% to 10% and operating income of $2.3 billion to $4.5 billion. Speaking in […]

It turns out that I’m not alone in thinking that partnering beer with technology is a winning combination. Google and Thinking Box have joined forces to build Molson’s Global Beer Fridge, which will serve cool refreshments to those with the right language skills. The fridge is powered by Google’s real-time voice translation technology. To open it, you will need to find enough people with a mix of language skills to say “I am Canadian” in six of the forty different languages that the fridge can detect, which ranges from French to Hindi or Korean. The fridge aims to celebrate Canada’s cultural diversity and has been commissioned just in time for the country’s birthday on July 1st. Sounds like a good way to celebrate to me. Not to mention there’s some extra publicity in it for Molson too. Of course you will have to be able to find the fridge if you want to grab a free drink. Its next appearance is scheduled for July 10th in Toronto, just in time for the start of the Pan Am Games. Given there’s a heatwave in the UK this week, I wish we had one of those over here! For a closer look at how the fridge was designed and built, check out the video below.      

Google’s motto “don’t be evil” can only do so much, due to the fact evilness is such a subjective matter. Google is a company of great power; it’s quite possibly the strongest presence on the internet, allowing it to shape and mold the web in many ways. Would they ever do so with bad intentions or selfish motives? A new study from Yelp and legal personality Tim Wu suggest so. Without a doubt, Yelp is a competitor to Google, so we would keep a careful ear while listening to what they have to say. Tim Wu is a legal scholar and former FTC adviser, though, and he is known for supporting Google back in 2013, after an FTC investigation on the Search Giant’s possibly biased results. We have good reasons to believe he may be commenting objectively. The problem with Google Search The study at hand suggest Google is using its insanely popular search engine to control the market and hamper competitors. It’s said Google’s practices harm the consumer instead of offering them the best results possible. For starters, Google has been offering answers to many questions without ever having to click through any links (search “2+2″ to see an example), hence harming many websites across the internet. Furthermore, the study goes on to mention the inclusion of internally-focused factors in their algorithms. For example, the fact that Google+ content and reviews are much more likely to show up on a search query. “The main surprising and shocking realization is that Google is not presenting its best product. In fact, it’s presenting a version of the product that’s degraded and intentionally worse for consumers.” – Tim Wu Yelp’s study involved using a plug-in that stripped Google Search of its OneBox (listings and map pairing). This plugin is said to offer choices that actually […]

Let’s give you a bit of background details before we move onto this new product, shall we? The word “professional” gets thrown around way too much in the mobile industry. A plethora of manufacturers keep saying their smartphone cameras and accessories are meant for professionals, but I have always said that’s pure madness and bad marketing. Not only because they are abusing the word’s vague definition, but because features like an f/1.8 aperture, a high amount of megapixels or a “blurry background” don’t make a mobile camera a pro tool. Yes, mobile devices can be pretty damn awesome at taking photos and video, and a good artist can make amazing content with it, but the truth is that at the end of the day size does matter. More specifically, hardware matters; and hardware quality is often at the mercy of size. For example, a larger good quality sensor will always perform much better than a good quality sensor on a smartphne (which would obviously be small). Glass and stability also matter a lot in a camera, factors which are also impacted by size. Will there ever be a product that really allows for a mobile phone to become a professional camera? I can’t promise that just yet, but the closest I have ever seen a smartphone becoming a “professional” camera is with the IndieVice. The IndieVice team has taken it to Kickstarter to try and fund their project. What is this IndieVice thing, though? Well, it’s pretty much a case and set of tools that give your smartphone the hardware it needs to become a more suitable professional tool. It has a dark viewfinder that allows you to look at the feed with no light pollution. There’s also a handle on top for adapting to complicated shooting positions. Not pro enough? Throw in […]

Buy Now on Amazon Over the last year or so, budget-friendly device manufacturers have been focusing on a particular key aspect, in order to help their device stand out in the over-crowded and highly competitive market. Some offer fantastic battery life, some attempt to provide a great camera, and some, like in the case of Lenovo’s latest budget-friendly tablet, are focused on the audio experience. Does Lenovo deliver with regards to audio quality, and what else does the Lenovo Tab 2 A8 bring to the table? We find out, in this Lenovo Tab 2 A8 review! Design The design of the Lenovo Tab 2 A8 can best be described as simple, but elegant. The rear plastic panel with a matte finish wraps around the sides of the tablet to meet the display frame, and this device is available with navy blue as the color option, which is a pleasant change from the default black that is sported by many devices in this class. Going around the device, the power button and volume rocker are on the right side, and while neither is exactly within easy reach, it doesn’t take a lot of hand gymnastics to get to them. The disappointing thing about the buttons is the fact that they do sit quite flush with the body of the tablet, and don’t offer much tactile feedback when pressed. At the back is a flap that houses the microSD card slot, and has an additional space, presumably for a SIM card for those that opt for the LTE version of the device. The front-facing stereo speakers are above and below the display, and both the headphone jack and the microUSB port are at the top. The tablet has a thickness of 8.9 mm and weighs 360 grams, and while it is a little too wide for comfortable […]

Meizu is apparently preparing to launch its next flagship smartphone tomorrow, June 30th, but the hardware specifications and even a few press pictures have already leaked, leaving few surprises for the big unveiling. The leaked images show a design that differs very little from the last generation handset. Although we can see that the small circle home button has now been replaced by a larger oval with the Meizu MX5. According to the leak, the handset’s fingerprint scanner will be housed in the new home button, and probably accounts for its larger size. As far as specifications are concerned, the MX5 again aims to bridge the gap between the mid and high ends of the market. The handset is said to feature a large 5.5-inch 1080p display and is powered by MediaTek’s MT6795T Helio X10 processor, which features eight Cortex-A53 CPU cores and a PowerVR G6200 GPU. The Meizu MX5 also sports 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 20.7MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera, a 3,150mAh battery, and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop on board. The Helio X10 is also Category 4 4G compatible for data download speeds of up to 150Mbps. A microSD card slot has not been confirmed yet, so we’re hoping that there’s a way to bump up the moderately sized internal memory. In other Meizu news, the company’s last-gen MX4 flagship recently became the latest Ubuntu powered smartphone to launch, although the company is running an invite system to help keep control of stock. We can’t imagine that this will be the case for the MX5. As with previous Meizu products, pricing will be a key factor in the handset’s launch, but we don’t have those details just yet. We’ll likely find this out and more at the launch in China.

LG’s G4 flagship may be the topic on everyone’s mind at the moment but the company’s other devices are also quite popular. Announced back at MWC 2015, alongside the Magna, Spirit and Joy, the LG Leon is an entry-level device that launched on T-Mobile last month for $149 but for two days, it’s available for just under $80. As part of a special deal, the Leon LTE will cost you $79.92 between June 28 and June 30, which is almost half its normal price tag. The operator is also extending its data plan promotions until June 14; the 4 for $100 plan lets you connect four family members to LTE (with data limited to 2.5GB per line) for $100 per month while the 2 for $100 plan offers unlimited LTE data for two subscribers. As a refresher, the LG Leon is an entry-level handset featuring a 4.5-inch IPS display with a paltry 480 x 854 pixels resolution and a low density of 218 pixels per inch. The Leon is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor with 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and a microSD card expansion slot. Other notable specs include Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 4.1, a 1900 mAh battery and a 5MP/8MP rear camera. LTE Cat 4 support lets you download data at up to 150Mbps on the go – when connected to a compatible network – and upload data at up to 50Mbps. With T-Mobile’s Uncarrier constantly revealing new efforts to shake up the market, it’ll be interesting to see what the company do next. The Leon itself is an inexpensive smartphone that runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and despite its entry-level price tag, the handset is still a capable smartphone. Best of LG: LG G4 vs LG G3 LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 /… LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 […]

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