The day has finally come that Microsoft released an Android handset. Of course, we knew this day was coming, the wheels of which were set in motion when Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile division. Still, it's a bit surreal. That said, Microsoft's launch of the Nokia X2 isn't about dominating the Android space with a high-end handset, but about introducing the "next billion" people to the mobile Internet and cloud services.
iPhone thefts are down as a result of kill switch technology in iOS 7
One of the debates in the mobile phone industry is whether or not so-called kill switches can actually reduce smartphone theft. Well, early indications suggest that they do. Authorities in New York and San Francisco -- two locations where smartphone theft is a growing epidemic -- say they've seen a drop in iPhone robberies since Apple implemented its Activation Lock feature in iOS 7.
Well, it's official -- Amazon today introduced Fire, its first smartphone. Fire also happens to be the only smartphone with "Dynamic Perspective" and "Firefly," a couple of new technologies Amazon is excited about. Before we get to those, let's get some essentials out of the way, starting with price ($199 with a two service agreement, or $27 per month with AT&T Next) and availability (like it did with the original iPhone, AT&T inked a deal to be the exclusive carrier).
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for BlackBerry, that means opening up your ecosystem to run Android apps -- some of them, anyway. BlackBerry announced today that Amazon Appstore will be available with the launch of the BlackBerrry 10.3 operating system this fall. The deal will give BlackBerry users access to more than 240,000 Android apps, including popular titles like Netflix, Pinterest, and Minecraft.
Move over, LG G3, and make way for Samsung's Galaxy Note 4
Fans of the phablet form factor -- smartphone/tablet combination -- might have a tough choice to make in the near future. For one, there's the LG G3 with its 5.5-inch quad high-definition (QHD) display, 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, and removable 3000mAh battery. And then there's Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 4, which may end up with a 5.7-inch QHD display, according to leaked documents.
Microsoft is giving away a limited number of Windows Phones this weekend
Statistically speaking, if you own a smartphone, there's a high probability that it's running Android or iOS. Microsoft is taking steps to change that, and if you're intrigued by what the company is doing with its Windows Phone platform, you may want to stop by a Microsoft Store this weekend, provided it's not too far out of your way. Those who do will have a chance to win a free Windows Phone.
A potential solution to rising smartphone theft is still a year away
It's easy to take for granted how much your smartphone is worth. You may have picked one up for free or not much more than that by agreeing to lock yourself into a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier, but despite the subsidized price you paid, smartphones are worth several hundred dollars. It's no wonder that thieves stole around 3.1 million smartphones in U.S. last year.
Amazon hasn't yet announced plans to launch a smartphone, so what you're looking at could in fact be a fake. However, if you're a believer that where there's smoke there's fire, the leaked photos purporting to show a prototype version of Amazon's smartphone might actually be the real thing. Certainly the rumors and speculation have kicked up a notch in recent weeks, some of which suggest Amazon's handset will sport 3D functionality.
Windows Phone 8.1 Preview is available for developers
Wondering if Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant software will live up to the hype? You can find out by downloading the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview, which is now available for third-party developers. This isn't intended for the general public, though if you just can't shake that curiosity and want to be one of the first to try out the new software, you can apply the update without writing apps. Here's what you need to know.
Self-proclaimed "Un-carrier" pats self on the back, dares other carriers to stop charging overages
T-Mobile, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., is hoping that an impassioned blog post by its Chief Executive Officer will convince other wireless carriers to put an end to the tyranny of overage charges. Company CEO John Legere said that any big change that's ever led to lasting good started with a single person standing up to point out a wrong, and that he's more than willing to be that person.