This time last year, the death knell was sounding loudly for Research in Motion. Its market share was in steep decline, its product lineup was stale, and all it had to show for its future was a prototype and the promise of an often-delayed new operating system. Just 12 months later, the company has changed its name to BlackBerry, debuted a new OS in BlackBerry 10 and launched two new smartphones, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. A third device, the BlackBerry Q5, is set to hit emerging markets later this year.
During his keynote speech at BlackBerry Live in Orlando, CEO Thorsten Heins said the company was well on its way to its most successful year yet. While he didn’t say that BlackBerry is back in the driver seat for the mobile market, Heins believes his company is well on its way. BlackBerry has also said its latest smartphones have resulted in the most successful launches in company history. But is that really the case? Read the rest of this entry »
Android and Apple’s iOS continued their dominance of the smartphone market in the first quarter of 2013, accounting for a combined 92.3 percent of all smartphone shipments. But of the two, it was Google’s Android that captured the most market share, with Apple seeing its grip loosening ever so slightly.
According to market analyst group IDC, 162 million Android handsets were shipped in Q1 compared to 90.3 million units shipped in the same quarter last year. The increase resulted in a rise in Android’s market share from 59.1 percent in Q1 2012 to an impressive 75 percent in Q1 2013. Of the innumerable smartphone makers that use Google’s operating system, it was Samsung that saw the most benefit. According to IDC’s numbers, the South Korean electronics giant took home 41.1 percent of the total Android market share. Read the rest of this entry »
ORLANDO — BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins gave a glimpse into where he sees the company’s BlackBerry 10 operating system going, how the company is performing and if he still thinks tablets are a fad. During a Q&A session at the company’s BlackBerry Live event, Heins said the company is on the starting grid in terms of its position in the smartphone market.
“Twelve months ago, I was told we would be out of business in two quarters. It didn’t happen,” Heins said. “We managed the company through a very, very difficult time. And what we did in parallel is we innovated. We are confident in the future of BlackBerry 10. We think we have something that is different and better and it has a future. We built BlackBerry 10 because we believe in this vision of mobile computing.” Read the rest of this entry »
ORLANDO — BlackBerry is kicking off its BlackBerry Live event with the debut of its newest handset, the BlackBerry Q5. The third of the company’s BlackBerry 10-powered devices and the second to sport a QWERTY keyboard, the Q5 is a budget-friendly answer to the similarly equipped Q10. The device will be available in black, pink, red and white.
The Q5 is meant for release in emerging markets and will be made available through international carrier partners later this year. BlackBerry hasn’t released exact specs for the Q5, but it has said that the phone will launch with BB10. That means users will be able to access such features as Active Frames multitasking, the Time Shift camera mode and instant search capabilities. Read the rest of this entry »
ORLANDO — Despite BlackBerry showing off its QWERTY keyboard-equipped Q10 more than 5 months ago, no U.S. carriers have announced pricing for the handset, let alone when they’ll make it available. But that may change as soon as tomorrow during the smartphone maker’s BlackBerry Live event. As proof of that, all four of the major U.S. carriers are on hand for the show, and at least one of them (T-Mobile) is showing off its version of the handset.
It’s unclear if the Q10 on hand at BlackBerry Live was representative of a final version of the device that will go on sale to consumers, as there was no proprietary software loaded on the phone or carrier branding. Presumably, that will change, as T-Mobile’s version of the Z10 came loaded with T-Mobile’s My Account app, as well as a T-Mobile logo on its back panel. Read the rest of this entry »
May 10th, 2013 by John Brandon, LAPTOP Contributor
Hotels have not always been known as beacons of the latest and greatest technological amenities. Business travelers everywhere have groaned in despair as they encounter superslow in-room Wi-Fi, antiquated desktop computers sitting in lonely business centers, and indecipherable TV controls that never seem to have that channel you’re looking for. But hotel guests are getting pickier about where they will stay based on the technology a location offers. In fact, according to the 2012 Hotels.com Amenities Survey, free Wi-Fi is the No. 1 factor in choosing a hotel for 34 percent of travelers, even those on vacation. For business travelers, that number goes up to 56 percent.
However, when it comes to tech amenities, wireless access is just the tip of the high-tech iceberg. Travel budgets are shrinking, causing some hotels to stretch themselves further by offering fancy extras such as room automation through RFID, free smartphone loans and Apple devices everywhere from rooms to front desk check-ins. Here are LAPTOP’s top picks for the most high-tech hotels in North America.
Perk: iPad connected to Savant Systems room automation
Sometimes, smaller is best for business travel hotspots and rock stars alike. This boutique property has only 16 rooms, but also offers two fully functional recording studios complete with a MacBook Pro. Each room offers a 60-inch HDTV concealed behind a mirror when not in use and powered by an Apple TV. Guests use an iPad that controls the lighting, shades, TV, audio and the temperature. In fact, you're handed an iPad to use during the stay as soon as you check in, and that iPad is customized prior to your arrival with your favorite movies, music and games. The hotel promises 10 MBps wireless Internet access, and each round is outfitted with a Tannoy Surround system and subwoofer.
BlackBerry fans on a budget may soon have the new BlackBerry 10-powered phone they’ve been waiting for. According to the site DGtle, which reportedly has leaked photos of the new phone, BlackBerry’s first budget-friendly BB10 handset will be the keyboard-enabled R10.
The R10, according to Engadget, will sport a 3.1-inch display similar to the BlackBerry Q10, but will feature a slightly nerfed camera, 5-megapixels versus the Q10′s 8-megapixel shooter, a smaller amount of RAM and less onboard storage. A smaller battery is also rumored for the handset.
From the looks of the allegedly leaked photos, the R10 will also sport a more stripped down chassis than the Q10. Gone are the end-to-end keyboard frets found on the Q10, The R10 also seems to have a slightly smaller chassis than the Q10, making its edges rounder than its top-of-the-line brand mate. Read the rest of this entry »
Security. Durability. Reliability. These are the hallmarks of a good business notebook. Generally speaking, these machines tend to sport sturdy, metal cases and feature comfortable, backlit keyboards (most of which are spill-resistant) along with a pointing stick for more precision. Business notebooks also tend to come with security software to help protect your data and the ability to dock your system for the best desktop computing experience.
But selecting the right system has a lot to do with your business and personal style. With all of the above in mind, we present the top 10 business notebooks.
Aimed at small businesses, the highly affordable Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E430 starts at less than $500, yet has a brushed aluminum lid and comfortable keyboard and pointing stick. We also like Lenovo's Solutions for Small Business suite, helpful for companies that don't have a large IT department.
Two of the biggest complaint users (us included) have about Windows 8 are the loss of the Start button and the inability to boot to the traditional Desktop screen, both of which Microsoft has steadfastly denied are problems. But it looks like the folks at Redmond may have finally gotten the hint. New reports are indicating that Microsoft will bring both features back to the OS with its upcoming Windows Blue update for Windows 8.
According to Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet, Microsoft is considering an option to skip Windows 8′s Modern UI interface upon startup, instead allowing users to boot the the Desktop screen. Foley says the company is also considering bringing back the Start button. As Foley indicates, both reports are just rumors. But the chatter across the tech landscape points to at least the boot to Desktop option as the more likely of the two to come true. Read the rest of this entry »
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Few things are worse than when you’re in “the zone” at the office only to have your concentration shattered by a phone call. Good Times, however, is looking to change that by giving your smartphone the ability to block incoming calls when you are in deep though.
An experimental app we saw at AT&T’s recent Innovation Showcase, Good Times uses NeuroSky’s Mindwave Mobile brainwave monitor to determine your brain activity. That information is then relayed to a smartphone app that allows users to set their desired threshold for when Good Times can intervene and block phone calls using a simple slider at the top of the screen. Calls made to a phone running Good Times are sent to AT&T’s Call Management servers to determine if they should go through. Read the rest of this entry »
"The s4 obliterates the iPhone in every way, the screen won't break as the iPhone will in one drop and the design for the iPhone doesn't matter everyone has to put it in a otter box to try to keep it from breaking the s4 ..." -- morgan mcinnes on Apple iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4: And the Winner Is…