Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

BlackBerry Shares Sink on Lazaridis Letdown

December 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Evidently some folks really did believe BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis was going to swoop in like a deus ex machina and return the dilapidated smartphone pioneer to its former glory. Shares in the sadly diminished company closed down nearly nine percent at $7.05 on the revelation that Lazaridis has abandoned his, let’s face it, largely fantastical bid for the company , and reduced his combined stake with co-founder Doug Fregin to below five percent from eight percent.

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Vivoom Shoots Mobile Video With Movie and TV-Like Effects

December 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

So you think you haven’t seen enough social video apps for your iPhone or iPad? Well then, today is your lucky day. There’s a new app out today called Vivoom. While you can think of it as similar in concept to other apps like Instagram video and Twitter’s Vine, this one is a little different in that it gives you access to visual effects that have been used on lots of movies and TV shows over the last 15 years or so. The company behind it is GenArts, a big supplier of visual effects software to TV and motion picture studios, including Disney, HBO and ESPN. Shoot your video, and then you can add visual effects that you’ve seen in use on big and small screen. All the rendering is done in the cloud. New effects are being added all the time without any need to download an update to the app. Today for example, a new one called “Beauty” makes it easy to remove blemishes and wrinkles from your subject’s skin. Another called “Skinny” helps them appear a little thinner. The “Sketch” and “Zap” effects are shown in the picture above. The app, available for iOS devices, was created with help from KerrisMedia, the app development and marketing firm created by Richard Kerris, a former CTO at Lucasfilm and the longtime head of developer relations at Nokia and Palm before that . The firm’s first client was the Rolling Stones. While the effects are a nice touch, to say that Vivoom is entering a crowded field is putting it charitably.

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Samsung Phone Studied for Possible Security Gap

December 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The security platform for Samsung Electronics Co.’s best-selling Galaxy S4 smartphone suffers from a vulnerability that could allow malicious software to track emails and record data communications, according to cybersecurity researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The alleged security gap, which the researchers say they discovered earlier this month, comes as Samsung pitches the new security platform called Knox to potential clients at the U.S. Department of Defense and other government and corporate entities, in a bid to compete with BlackBerry Ltd., whose devices have been considered the gold standard among security-conscious clients for years. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Verizon’s LTE Map Is Nearly Complete, but All Four Major Carriers Are Starting to Fill in the Dots

December 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

At the beginning of 2013, Verizon Wireless had the clear lead when it came to LTE coverage, so much so that it launched an ad campaign comparing rivals’ coverage maps to modern art. But over the course of 2013, the picture has started to change. Verizon still has the most areas covered, with the high-speed service in 500 U.S. markets, covering 303 million people. But the others are catching up. AT&T is Verizon’s nearest competitor, with LTE service currently in 488 markets, covering more than 250 million people. AT&T expects to end the year with its LTE rollout 90 percent completed, covering 270 million people, with the remaining work to be done by next summer. Sprint launched LTE service in 70 cities last week, bringing its total to 300 markets, while T-Mobile’s most recent public number was that it has LTE in 254 metro areas, covering 203 million people. In all, it’s a much different picture than the one painted by Verizon’s ad, which depicts coverage maps as they stood much earlier this year. As we’ve noted, with so much of the nation now covered by LTE on all four major networks, much of the attention is starting to shift to the ways in which carriers are improving LTE speeds and capacity . On that front, T-Mobile recently launched improved service in North Dallas, where the company is taking advantage of increased spectrum acquired via MetroPCS. Sprint is using its Clearwire spectrum to build out its next-generation service, dubbed Spark, while Verizon Wireless is using its spectrum holdings in the AWS range to boost its coverage in major cities. Verizon started that effort this quarter, and aims to end the year with 5,000 cell sites using the technology by year’s end, primarily in high-demand areas in cities including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.

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Apple Strikes Long-Awaited Deal With China Mobile, With iPhone 5s and 5c to Hit Stores on January 17

December 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After years of talks, Apple confirmed on Sunday that it has at long last reached a deal with China Mobile to officially carry the iPhone. China Mobile will start selling the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c starting on Jan. 17, with pre-registrations starting this Wednesday. Pricing details will come later, Apple said. “Apple’s iPhone is very much loved by millions of customers around the world,” China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said in a statement. “We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of iPhone on China Mobile’s leading network.

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Music Discovery Service ExFM Pulls the Plug

December 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After a four-year-run, music startup ExFM is throwing in the towel. The company, which operates a music discovery Web site, as well as iPhone and Android apps, says it will shut down its apps, as well as the guts of its site, on January 15. Hardcore users will still be able to access a bit of the service, via a Chrome browser extension; ExFm raised a reported $2.75 million from investors including Spark Capital. Startups are hard, and music startups are much harder . And while there was a short window when digitally savvy music fans were quite interested in ExFM, the service was facing an uphill battle from the get-go: It started out as a Chrome extension, which limited its market to the relatively small group of people who knew what a Chrome extension was and how to use one. Here’s ExFM’s summation of its problems: After an amazing four years of sweat and tears, we’re ever-so-reluctantly accepting the reality of sustaining the Exfm platform as it exists today

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T-Mobile Plans to Talk "Un-Carrier" 4.0 at CES

December 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

T-Mobile is ready to make another big move, announcing plans for a media event at January’s CES to discuss the next step in its “un-carrier” strategy. “This one you aren’t going to believe,” T-Mobile says in an invitation to journalists. T-Mobile is planning a media event for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the Las Vegas event. The first wave of the strategy was doing away with contracts and device subsidies. Since then, T-Mobile has also announced its Jump early upgrade program, as well as a free data offer for tablets and the ability to cheaply roam globally , albeit at slower data speeds.

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BlackBerry Reports Massive $4.4 Billion Quarterly Loss, Inks a Deal With Foxconn

December 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

BlackBerry, the troubled Canadian smartphone company, just reported its quarterly results and, well, let’s just say its troubles aren’t getting any smaller. Its loss, on a GAAP basis, came out to $4.4 billion on revenue of $1.2 billion. That works out to a per-share loss of $8.37. The loss was the result of a huge $2.7 billion charge against assets, and another $266 million restructuring charge. After backing out those charges, the company lost $354 million, or 67 cents a share. It exited the quarter with $3.2 billion in combined cash and short-term investments. Sales fell by 56 percent compared to the year-ago quarter

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Bulk-SMS App Maker Bazuc Responds to Lookout’s Claims, Says Consumers Should Pay Attention to Risks

December 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The maker of an app that Lookout has branded as a security threat contends that it is offering a potentially lucrative, if risky, business opportunity to consumers. Bazuc distributes an Android app that when installed sends SMS messages through a user’s phone, with Bazuc promising to pay users a tenth of a penny for each message sent. After spending a month researching Bazuc.net and its apps, Lookout on Thursday warned that the app poses a significant threat to users, including the potential for angry phone calls and seeing their phone service disconnected for violating the terms of their contracts. Lookout said it would warn users of its security software who have the app installed, and also said it was reaching out to carriers and other companies that it believes may have a problem with what Bazuc is doing. In an email, Bazuc creator Richard Loomis confirmed some things that Lookout said, but took issue with others, and insists that it details many of the potential risks on its website. “Yes, there are risks involved for the app users, which are very clearly posted in a very large font on both the website and inside the app itself,” Loomis said in an email to AllThingsD

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Sony Updates Lens-Style Camera to Include Photo Gallery, Better Connectivity

December 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sony’s better-in-concept-than-in-execution camera is getting a much needed update. The mobile photo app for the Sony QX10 and QX100 lens-style cameras, which I reviewed in full a few months ago , will now have a built-in photo browser. The previous version of the app, called PlayMemories mobile, didn’t have a photo gallery, which meant users had to leave the Sony camera app and navigate to the smartphone’s native camera roll to see the photos they just snapped. And Sony is promising that the updated app, which for now only applies to iOS, will result in a twice-as-fast connection speed when it comes to wirelessly linking the Sony cameras with the smartphone app. An Android app update is in the works, Sony said in a press release. Finally, a firmware update next month will allow for HD video recording and higher ISO settings with the cameras. The Sony lens-style camera hit the market this past fall, costing $250 for the 18.2-megapixel QX10 lens and $500 for its higher-end sibling, and offered a unique way to take pro-level photos with your smartphone. The lenses are technically digital cameras, as I wrote then, packed with image sensors and a shutter button, but they look like cylindrical lenses, without a viewfinder. You smack them onto the back of your smartphone to transform that five-megapixel pocket computer into what’s supposed to be a cool camera. But as I experienced, having to frequently reconnect the lens-camera with the smartphone felt like a hassle when trying to capture a series of photos throughout an event or outing, and the lack of photo gallery in the app just seemed silly. Sony promised updates were on the way, and here they are, at least the first batch of them.

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