BARCELONA, Spain -- At MWC 2014 I managed to sit down with former Summly founder and recent A-level Yahoo hire Nick D'Aloisio. He spoke to me hot on the heels of Yahoo bringing its News Digest app to iOS device users in the UK. Edited automatically by brainy software but curated by real, live people, Yahoo's graphically flashy mobile application apparently still needs a human touch. I just hope things stay that way. … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain -- Want cinema-like audio when you play video games or watch a movie on your smartphone or tablet? You may be able to get it soon.
Here at Mobile World Congress, audio company Dolby gave me a demo of its Atmos technology running on a tablet. I listened to four different video clips via an ordinary passive headset (Sennheiser, if you must know), and came away impressed. I was particularly amazed at how audio came from below my chin and above my brow, enveloping me in a cocoon of sound.
Atmos is basically a surround-sound system with the … Read more
The Korean electronics giant loaded its new fitness band, the Gear Fit, with a real-time operating system instead of the Android software used in its phones or the Tizen software used in its new Gear smartwatches.
"It's a much simpler OS, and it helps us keep the battery life three to four days whereas Gear 2 is [about] two days," Seshu Madhavapeddy, senior vice president of product and technology at Samsung Telecommunications America, told … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Established just two years back, Lenovo's smartphone business is going places, according to numbers provided by the company. In Q1 this year, the company's combined tablet and smartphone volume (17.3 million) has exceeded its PC's (15.3 million), and this is thanks to the strong combined growth of 47 percent in the Asia Pacific region as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
JD Howard, the company's vice president for mobile internet and digital home division, said at a media briefing that the company will soon be entering mature markets around the … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain -- At MWC this year, ZTE introduced two ultra-budget Firefox handsets: the 4-inch Open C and the more compact ZTE Open II (the sequel to the original Open). Though no pricing or availability information has been released, the Open II is aimed at emerging 3G markets outside the US.
Design The Open II is a compact device that has a smooth, almost pebble-like construction. Its wide bezels give it a notably deep chin, which is accented by a single, circular home button.
BARCELONA, Spain -- "Mapping 1.0 is done," says the head of Nokia Here. He envisions a world of constantly-updating, infinitesimally precise maps guiding us on through the world on our smartwatches and smartphones, as self-driving cars zoom past and delivery drones soar overhead.
"First we had paper maps with lots of colourful lines," says Christof Hellmis, head of map platforms at Nokia Here, "but now the world is moving to the next generation of maps, which will be 3D, and will include Augmented Reality, like our CityLens app."
I met with Hellmis at … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain -- Exercise aficionados who want to log their heart-rate after a workout and even in between have a new tool in the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Using it is as simple as selecting the heart-rate monitor icon from within Samsung's newly-updated S Health 3.0 app, which comes preloaded in the Galaxy S5. Then, you place your index finger on the center of the flash module, just to the right of the flash.
The app wants you to hold your finger in place for several seconds, while holding still and shutting your yap as the monitor calculates. Your … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain -- Samsung didn't shed many details about the fingerprint scanner on its new Galaxy S5 smartphone, but I had a chance to set up and use the security feature here at the show.
First, the basics. Samsung's sensor is on the bottom portion of the screen, not integrated into the home button as I originally thought. To unlock the phone with your finger, you swipe along the glowing path about half an inch from the bottom of the phone, going down and over the home button.
Setup took just a few minutes, after swiping my finger … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--The last thing you would expect someone to do would be to jump ship from Apple to HTC, but that's what Jack Yang, the former head of the Apple's iPhone business in Southeast Asia, did. And when he did, he leapt straight into the action.
The new boss of the South Asia market, which includes Southeast Asia, India and Australia, was part of the high-level team who convinced CEO Peter Chou to make the switch back into the mid-tier and, in the near future, the low-end market segment as well.
"Peter asked me to show him … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain -- Quixey thinks it can do mobile search better.
The Mountain View, Calif., startup on Tuesday showed off the capability to run mobile searches and bring up results straight from apps -- including apps that aren't even on the phone. The company believes these kinds of deeper searches will make it a go-to tool on smartphones.
For example, run a search for an Italian restaurant, and Quixey will not only bring up listings, but also utilize apps to bring up information such as ratings or even table and reservation availability. You wouldn't just get links, but … Read more