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Android

Turn Your Android Phone Into a Laptop For $99 With the Superbook (techinsider.io) 117

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: A company called Andromium is attempting to harness the processing power of your Android smartphone and turn it into a full fledged computer. The 'Superbook' consists of a 11.6-inch laptop shell, which you connect to your phone via a USB Micro-B or Type-C cable, and run the Andromium OS application (currently in beta, but available in the Play Store)... The leader of the project and Company co-founder Gordon Zheng, previously worked at Google and pitched the idea to them... They refused so he quit his job and founded Andromium Inc.

In December 2014 the company had introduced their first product which was a dock which used the MHL standard to output to external monitor. That campaign failed, however their newest creation, the Superbook smashed their Kickstarter goal in just over 20 minutes.

And within their first 38 hours, they'd crowdfunded $500,000. In an intriguing side note, Andromium "says it'll open its SDK so developers can tailor their apps for Andromium, too, though how much support that gets remains to be seen," reports Tech Insider. But more importantly, "Andromium says its prototypes are finished, and that it hopes to ship the Superbook to backers by February 2017."
China

Eight Of the World's Top 12 Smartphone Vendors Are Based In China (digidip.net) 59

An anonymous reader writes: How serious and dangerous is China's offensive on Korean and Western mobile hardware brands? Extremely, according to research conducted between January and March by IC Insights, which predictably positioned Samsung and Apple atop the smartphone manufacturer hierarchy, only followed by a flurry of handheld vendors based in the Middle Kingdom. In fact, eight of the ten vendors that followed the two giants are Chinese. These OEMs are, in order of their market capture, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, and Meizu.
Handhelds

Ask Slashdot: Why Do Most Tablet Specs Suck? 231

Slashdot reader Qbertino describes himself as a "happy tablet user," moving from an old HTC Flyer to his Yoga 2. But he notes that most other tablets "have laughable battery times," and "I've yet to find a tablet that does not give me storage or memory problems in some way or other, lasts for a day or two in power and doesn't feel chintzy and like it won't stand a month of regular everyday use and carrying around..." He asks why none of the manufacturers seem willing to offer more than one gigabyte of RAM -- and why they're so stingy with storage. "Where is the rugged 16GB RAM / 1TB Storage / 20-hour battery tablet?"

So leave your educated opinions in the comments. What are your thoughts on the current tablet market? And are they the ultimate all-purpose "convergence" device that Apple and Ubuntu seem to think they are?
Games

The World Video Game Hall of Fame 2016 Inductess 54

Reader Dave Knott writes: The World Video Game Hall Of Fame has announced its inductees for the year 2016, the second group of games to be so honoured since the award's inception in 2015. The Hall Of Fame "recognizes individual electronic games of all types -- arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile -- that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general". This year's six inductees are: Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders.The Sydney Morning Herald has more details.
Cellphones

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Glare On Cellphones? 135

An anonymous reader writes: As far as I know, I am not particularly sensitive to glare; I've used CRTs in offices full of overhead fluorescent lights, and just ignored the terrible reflections, and I've worked in places where the natural sunlight cleverly funneled in by architects was bounced around by glass walls and mirrors in just the right way to irritate. Still, I never found it much of a problem. Now, though, I work in a field that has me both working outdoors a lot, and traveling by car a fair amount, too. Now that days are getting longer, especially up here in the Pacific Northwest, I know that I'll be squinting and cursing a lot at my phone. My question(s): Are there are any modern smart phones you can recommend with a truly or even passably day-light readable screen? I don't care if it's e-ink (that would be cool), transflective (long promised!) or maybe just a secondary screen with some daylight-readable technology. Barring that, how do you deal with glare on a phone, when you need to use it on a sunny day? Same answer could apply to laptop use, I suppose. Do you build a little glare shield, of the kind that camera operators use? Wear a giant hood of privacy and darkness? I know I'm not alone — I see lots of others squinting and cursing at their cell phones, cupping it with their hands at their eyes, or ducking into scant shade just to see whether the call that's coming is one they need to take, or to read a text. I've tried quite a few phones that have been praised by reviewers for their bright, crisp, daylight-friendly displays, but I think those reviewers probably lived in New York or San Francisco, and were reading in either shadow or fog, because even the brightest Samsungs, Motorolas, and LGs I've seen cannot hold a candle to the summer sun north of Seattle.
Handhelds

Ubuntu Tablet Now Available For Pre-Order 81

prisoninmate writes: During last month's MWC 2016 event, Canonical had the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet on display at their huge booth, along with the superb Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition smartphone, and the Sony Xperia Z1 and OnePlus One Ubuntu Phones. The company teased users last week with the availability for pre-order of the first ever Ubuntu tablet for March 28, and that day has arrived. Probably the most important aspect of the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, which interested many users, was the price, and we can tell you now that it costs €289.90 for the Full HD version, and €249.90 for the HD model. It can be pre-ordered now from BQ's online store.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony Is Bringing PlayStation Games To iOS and Android Devices (gizmodo.com) 48

An anonymous reader points us to Bryan Lufkin's report on Gizmodo: A year ago, Nintendo announced its long-overdue plans to bring its games to smartphones. Now, Sony's doing the same thing. You'll soon be able to play original Sony games on your iOS or Android device, the company announced today. Sony is setting up a new business division called ForwardWorks, which will focus on mobile services, bringing 'full-fledged game titles' and Sony's PlayStation characters and intellectual property to handheld smart devices. And it could be happening pretty soon -- the press release says ForwardWorks kicks off operations next month.
Iphone

FBI Hires Cellebrite To Crack San Bernadino iPhone (reuters.com) 237

tlhIngan writes: Earlier this week, the FBI asked the court for a continuance so it could do some research into a proposed method of cracking the [iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, California shooters]. It turns out the FBI has contracted Cellebrite for $15,000 to break into the phone. Cellebrite is an Israeli software provider specializing in mobile phone forensics software. If they succeed, it would mean Apple would no longer need to be involved.
Cellphones

Encryption Securing Mobile Money Transfers Can Be Broken 28

An anonymous reader writes: A group of researchers has proved that it is possible to break the encryption used by many mobile payment apps by simply measuring and analyzing the electromagnetic radiation emanating from smartphones. Modern cryptographic software on mobile phones, implementing the ECDSA digital signature algorithm, may inadvertently expose its secret keys through physical side channels: electromagnetic radiation and power consumption which fluctuate in a way that depends on secret information during the cryptographic computation.
Iphone

Apple Unveils Smaller iPhone SE, Starting At $399 (techcrunch.com) 158

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has officially unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone designed to make a splash in the budget-friendly smartphone market. The new device, called the iPhone SE, looks nearly identical to the iPhone 5S but with a new rose gold color configuration. It's the internal specifications that differ significantly. The new iPhone SE will feature a NFC chip for Apple Pay, A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor, 12-megapixel camera sensor with the ability to capture 4K video, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, it does not feature Apple's new 3D touch functionality. The iPhone SE will come in two models, 16GB and 64GB, priced at $399 and $499 respectively. You can buy the new iPhone starting March 31, and it will make its way to 100 countries by May.
Cellphones

Ask Slashdot: Are You Excited About Upcoming 4-inch iPhone or 9.7-inch iPad Pro? 310

If rumors are to be believed, at its 'Let Us Loop You In' event on Monday, Apple will launch a new smartphone dubbed "iPhone SE," and a new tablet dubbed "iPad Pro." According to 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, who has a reliable track record with Apple news, the iPhone SE will sport a 4-inch display and have the same processor, RAM and other innards as the iPhone 6s, which was launched last year. The new 9.7-inch iPad will reportedly have the same hardware specifications as the 12-inch iPad Pro, which was also unveiled last year. The Associated Press reports that the forthcoming event hasn't stirred "much passion." It adds, "So far, however, there have been no hints of any dramatic announcements, such as last year's highly anticipated Apple Watch debut, or major initiatives like the company's long-rumoured but yet-to-materialize streaming TV service." Are you looking forward to purchasing either of the devices?
Blackberry

Facebook and Whatsapp Discontinue Support For Blackberry (canadajournal.net) 138

Meshach writes with a link to news that as of yesterday, Facebook and WhatsApp have both discontinued support for Blackberry smartphones including BlackBerry 10 and BBOS platforms. Apparently Blackberry fought to have the support continue but in the end they were not successful. BlackBerry has had to replaced their official Facebook App with a native app that uses a simple web interface. If you're still using a Blackberry, it would be interesting to know why. (You like the interface? Business requirement? Just being contrarian?)
Android

Is $699 Too Much For a 13.3-inch Android E-ink Reader? 195

Robotech_Master writes: GoodEReader editor Michael Kozlowski is running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to sell a $699 13.3" Android e-ink tablet. The campaign seeks $42,000--enough to fund the 60-device minimum order set by the OEM. But is it really a good deal for that much money? As an early-adopter or business-class device, it very well might be.
Microsoft

Microsoft Finally Rolls Out Windows 10 Mobile To Older Phones (engadget.com) 44

An anonymous reader writes: One year after Windows 10 Mobile was announced, Microsoft is finally rolling out their new OS to older mobile devices, specifically devices running Windows Phone 8.1. Here's the complete list of supported phones: Lumia 1520, 930, 640, 640XL, 730, 735, 830, 532, 535, 540, 635 1GB, 636 1GB, 638 1GB, 430, 435, BLU Win HD w510u, BLU Win HD LTE x150q, and the MCJ Madosma Q501. Depending on where you live and which carrier you have, the update will be handled differently. Microsoft has said "many older devices are not able to successfully upgrade without an impact on the customer experience." For an OS that continues to lose market share [to] iOS and Android, it makes sense for Microsoft to be so concerned about the user experience as it is crucial for the success of Windows 10 Mobile.
Cellphones

LG Releases First Smartphone With DAB+ Chip (thestack.com) 53

An anonymous reader writes: LG have released the first smartphone with built-in DAB+ circuitry,allowing users to listen to digital radio without consuming mobile data bandwidth. The LG Stylus 2 will initially be released in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Norway, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands (perhaps not coincidentally these are among the highest-rate adopters of DAB/DAB+). Patchy coverage and often-poor bitrates have hindered the take-up of DAB/+, which has been in development since the early 1980s, and it's hoped that the shift from the motoring to the smartphone space will alleviate some of the coverage problems that users experienced with the push to DAB-based car radios. No benchmarks on power consumption of the integrated DAB+ circuitry is currently available.
Cellphones

Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: Samsung Has the Upper-Hand, For Now (hothardware.com) 131

MojoKid writes: To look at Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, on the surface, one might mistake them for only a modest uplift of bells and whistles, and perhaps a light rebuffing of the phone's design language. However, one of the primary new features of the US-targeted Samsung Galaxy S7 is its underlying power plant — Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 system-on-a-chip (SoC). The Snapdragon 820 is based on Qualcomm's new, custom ARM-based core architecture called Kyro. Kyro marks an evolution beyond Qualcomm's venerable Krait core architecture that the company claims offers 2X the performance and power efficiency of their previous-gen Snapdragon 810. In addition, the quad-core Snapdragon 820 has a beefed-up Adreno 530 graphics engine on board as well. In performance testing versus Apple's potent A9 platform in the iPhone 6S Plus, Samsung's Galaxy S7 with the Snapdragon 820 generally outpaces the iPhone in multithreaded performance as well as graphics. The Apple A9 still does a lot of work with just two cores, but overall it looks as though Qualcomm has a highly-competitive SoC and Samsung put it to good use.
Cellphones

Samsung Galaxy S7's Moisture Warning Prevents Charging When Wet (hothardware.com) 74

MojoKid writes: The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge don't officially launch for a few more days, but some carriers appear to have shipped pre-orders early and some phones are already in consumers' hands. One early Galaxy S7 Edge owner appears to have tested his phones' water-resistance already and uncovered another new feature in the process. The user submerged his Galaxy S7 Edge in water and snapped a photo, then about four hours later plugged the phone into its fast charger and a warning popped-up on screen that stated, "Moisture detected in charging port", and the phone wouldn't charge. The user dried the phone and let it sit for a while, and it eventually started to charge again, but it wouldn't quick charge any longer. Frustrated, the user RMA'd the phone and plans to send it back to T-Mobile. The Galaxy S7 is IP68 rated, which means it is sealed against dust and can handle continuous submersion in up to 1 meter of water. However, the water detection feature that's apparently built into the Galaxy S7 is a good idea. Though the devices are IP68 rated, a few drops of water in the charging port could easily cause a short when the phone is plugged in.
Android

Amazon Backpedals On Encryption, But Fire "Still Sucks" 66

Just a day after it made headlines for announcing that it would remove encryption from its line of FireOS devices, reports Ars Technica, the company has reverted the change, and says that encryption will again be a user-selectable option, with an update to come sometime this Spring. Judging from comments here on Slashdot, that ought to please a lot of people. However, encryption isn't the Fire's only problem; Ricki Jennings at ComputerWorld has collected some of the user reaction to the change, and says that anemic hardware means that even with this small course correction, the Fire tablets themselves "still suck." I'm not so sure; I bought one of the low-end Fire tablets and returned it, disappointed not in the hardware (seemed not bad at all for $50, with a decent screen, snappy video, and sound that was better than reviews had led me to expect) but rather by the intentional limitations of the OS itself.
Cellphones

Tracking Caucusgoers By Their Cell Phones (schneier.com) 43

Okian Warrior writes: Dstillery gets information from people's phones via ad networks. When you open an app or look at a browser page, there's a very fast auction that happens where different advertisers bid to get to show you an ad. Your phone sends them information about you, including, in many cases, an identifying code (that they've built a profile around) and your location information, down to your latitude and longitude. On the night of the Iowa caucus, Dstillery flagged auctions on phones in latitudes and longitudes near caucus locations, some 16,000 devices. It then looked up the characteristics associated with those IDs to make observations about the kind of people that went to Republican caucus locations versus Democrat caucus locations. It drilled down farther by looking at which candidate won at a particular caucus location.
Social Networks

WhatsApp To End Support For BlackBerry, Nokia, and Other Older Operating Systems (whatsapp.com) 188

nerdyalien writes: While everybody is immersed in the Apple vs. FBI case, WhatsApp has posted a blog entry that could potentially alter the mobile landscape as we know it today. By the end of 2016, WhatsApp will no longer support many older mobile operating systems from BlackBerry, Nokia, Android and Windows Phone. Moving forward, WhatsApp will only support the latest and greatest iPhone, Android and Windows Phone platforms. With over 1 billion active users, and the backing of Facebook, is WhatsApp finally reducing the mobile landscape to a three-horse race ?

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