Sony's new Xperia NXT series of Android smartphones are distinctively styled but haven't exactly bowled me over with cutting-edge components or software. The latest handset to join the company's offerings also lacks quad-core processing and Android Ice Cream Sandwich but does promise a few wild mobile skills not found on other devices. … Read more
Apple today was awarded a patent for "parental controls," a system that lets adults manage purchases made on and made with a phone.
The patent, which was discovered by Patently Apple, outlines a system that lets adults control access to particular linked credit cards, as well as limit the stores at which goods are purchased. Apple originally filed for it on January 9, 2009.
In its filing, Apple makes the case that society is becoming "more mobile" and "fast-paced," with parents giving their children payment cards instead of cash--a solution that can result in … Read more
It's becoming increasingly clear that in order for Isis's mobile-payments system to achieve critical mass, the big wireless companies backing it will need to ink some deals.
That's why the joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless announced today that it has signed agreements with VeriFone, Ingenico, ViVOtech, and Equinox Payments. Those companies will integrate the near-field communication-enabled Isis Mobile Commerce Application into their existing and future products. VeriFone, for example, will integrate Isis into its payment systems. Ingenico said today that Isis' NFC-enabled payments have been integrated into its Telium payment terminals.… Read more
Mobile World Congress isn't just about introducing new cell phones. No, the world's largest wireless show in Barcelona, Spain, also is about showing off the latest mobile technologies that may or may not change your life.
Take, for example, NFC or near field communications. Not only did many of the new devices unveiled at the show come NFC-capable, but also the NFC Cafe displayed a gallery of solutions for mobile payments technology.
Making a purchase is a prime example, of course, but NFC also can be used to secure your motorcycle, navigate your way through an unfamiliar subway … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--We're always intrigued by NTT Docomo's booth at trade shows, and this year's MWC is no different.
The company demonstrated a smartphone case with an embedded sensor for hygiene purposes. Similar to the ultra high-speed charging jacket, the device snaps onto the smartphone's chassis, much like a backup battery. However, there's a sensor, microchip, and NFC module embedded in this "jacket."
The most interesting capability of this sensor jacket has to be ranking your alcohol inebriation on a scale of one to five, one being the lowest.… Read more
Apparently, new phones, tablets, and other hardware aren't making the only news coming out of Barcelona, Spain, this week, as popular social discovery engine StumbleUpon has just released its newest Android app.
A featured developer at the Google Android booth, StumbleUpon got to show off its updated Android app as well as its new logo and color scheme at Mobile World Congress.
If you're not familiar with StumbleUpon, it's basically a Web site that helps you discover new Web sites. It gets to know you through your profile and your Web browsing activity, then uses the data … Read more
When should you buy a laptop? That's always a very difficult question--buy too soon after new technology hits, and you miss out on refinements and price drops. On the other hand, you certainly don't want to spend upwards of $1,000 on a device that feels outdated just months later. It's an even more difficult decision in the wake of Microsoft's look at Windows 8 in Barcelona, Spain.
For Mac users, the decision's generally simple: wait for the new version, and buy, buy, buy. MacBooks, like iPhones and iPads, only come in so many versions, and they rarely drop in price anywhere.
Windows PCs? Well, that's another story. … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Wireless operators need to stop locking devices and offering overly complicated data plans. That's the message from Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn and eBay CEO John Donahoe here at Mobile World Congress.
Dunn and Donahoe took the stage today as part of a panel discussion about mobile payments. While the CEOs talked a lot about how shopping and payments are changing thanks to mobile devices, they also took a few jabs at wireless operators, challenging them to become more open to help spur greater adoption of their services across a broad range of devices.
While the mobile phone … Read more
Over the last month, CNET has written a lot about an upcoming trade show called Mobile World Congress. And over the next week, we'll be writing even more about it.
If you've never heard of the event before, I don't blame you. Indeed, Mobile World Congress doesn't have the same name recognition that CES commands in the United States, but for the wireless world, it's almost as big and just as significant. Each February, folks from all corners of the industry and around the world meet in Barcelona, Spain, to make deals, demonstrate the latest technologies, and show off the latest and greatest phones and tablets.
This will be my fifth year at the show, which begins Monday in Catalonia's Gaudi-obsessed capital city. Though a possible transit strike threatens to make getting around a little difficult, there's guaranteed to be a (metric) ton of new devices, from the very fancy to the strictly functional. It will be a massive amount to cover, but CNET will have a large team on the ground, including editors Jessica Dolcourt, Roger Cheng, Maggie Reardon, and Stephen Shankland. And thanks to CNET TV producers Jamie Yee and Mark Licea, the new handsets will get their star turns on video.
Android avalanche So what exactly will we see?… Read more
Creating an NFC tag that allows customers, friends, or even yourself to quickly check in to a venue on Foursquare is easy.
To begin, you will need an NFC-capable device, some blank NFC tags, and an app to write to the tags. In a previous post, I went over where to find the tags and what app to use if you are on Android.
Today, I will be using the same app, NFC Task Launcher, on the Galaxy Nexus to program the tag for a Foursquare check-in.
Before we can program the tag to initiate a check-in, we will need … Read more