Category Archives: Mobile

Former Google VP says he’ll never buy an Android phone for taking pictures, recommends an iPhone

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

Vic Gundotra, the name that’s been associated with Google+ and search giant’s mobile division for many years, has just decided that Android smartphones aren’t as good as he thought they would be in comparison with Apple’s iPhone 7.

According to Gundotra, the main reason Android smartphones can’t have great cameras, as opposed to the iPhone 7, would be the fact that it’s open source and must remain “neutral to all parties.”

Here is the problem: It’s Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds …

London is getting another dockless bike rental service

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

Competition over putting bums on the seats of rental bikes is hotting up in London, with Mobike today announcing an expansion of its dockless service into the capital in September. The company will start by parking 750 bikes around the London Borough…

Amazon will become a bona fide film studio this year

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

Amazon has traditionally stuck to buying and producing films, relying on indie film studios to distribute its flicks to cinemas. However, its next big release will see the retail giant’s burgeoning production arm move one step closer to becoming a fu…

Microsoft Closes Down ‘Word Flow’ Keyboard for iOS, Points Users to SwiftKey

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

In April of 2016, Microsoft opened up a beta test and then launched its Word Flow Windows Phone keyboard on the iOS App Store in the United States. Over a year later, some users have noticed that Microsoft has now closed down the app and removed it from Apple’s App Store (via WindowsCentral).

On Word Flow’s Microsoft Garage page, the company notes that “the Word Flow experiment is now complete,” and suggests that users download SwiftKey. Microsoft acquired SwiftKey in February of 2016, so it appears that the company has decided to focus solely on one predictive keyboard app on the iOS App Store.

As with all apps removed from Apple’s App Store, when attempting to visit old links for Word Flow on iTunes [Direct Link], an error message now reads, “The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the U.S. store.”

The Word Flow experiment is now complete! We encourage you to download the SwiftKey Keyboard from the App Store. The SwiftKey product team is frequently building and evaluating new features for SwiftKey and shipping updates.

Like many third-party keyboard apps, Word Flow incorporated GIFs, theme customization options, and machine learning for better predictive texts. The app’s standout feature was “Arc Mode,” which curved the iOS keyboard into a circular shape and hugged the side of the iPhone that a user would type on, allowing for comfortable one-handed typing.

Now that it’s gone, users won’t have access to Arc Mode, but SwiftKey includes many of the same features as Word Flow, including a swipe-to-type ability. The app was updated about two weeks ago with emoji prediction, new themes, upgraded 3D Touch features, and more languages. SwiftKey is available to download from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Microsoft

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Apple Pulls VPN Apps From China App Store As Russia Signs Law Banning Their Use

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

Russia has banned VPNs and other software that enables users to gain anonymous access to websites. The new law was signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday and will come into effect on November 1st (via TechCrunch).

Leonid Levin, chairman of the Duma’s committee on information policy and technology, was quoted by state-run media as saying that the new law is not targeted at “introducing new bans for law-abiding citizens” but aims to prohibit access to illegal content.

However, privacy advocates see the law as another way for the Russian government to restrict access to political content that it disagrees with. In 2015, it became mandatory for all user data from Russian citizens to be stored in Russian-based servers, and last year another law was passed making it necessary for internet service providers to retain traffic data for up to a year.

Recently the government threatened to block access to the Telegram encrypted messaging platform unless the company that runs the app provides more information about itself.

Elsewhere, virtual private networks took another blow over the weekend, as reports emerged that Apple has removed the majority of VPN apps from the App Store in China, following regulations passed earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government.

The action was first revealed by ExpressVPN, a provider based outside of China. The company said in a blog post that “all major VPN apps” including its own had been removed from the App Store. It also shared a note from Apple explaining that its app was removed because “it includes content that is illegal in China”.

“We’re disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts. ExpressVPN strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties,” ExpressVPN wrote on its blog.

A few hours later, Apple shared a statement with TechCrunch explaining its decision to pull the apps from its App Store in China:

Earlier this year China’s MIIT announced that all developers offering VPNs must obtain a license from the government. We have been required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.

Earlier this month, China reportedly started blocking some features of the WhatsApp messaging service, as authorities continued to tighten controls over the country’s internet.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: China, Russia, VPN

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The Moto G5S Plus shows off its three color variants in leaked renders

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

Ever since the Moto Z2 Force Edition’s launch event, the company’s other devices we were expecting to see unveiled there, the Moto X4, G5S and G5S Plus have seemed more like mythical beasts than actual, upcoming products. And while we’ve heard of a possible release window for the former, the latter duo is still something of an enigma. But while we wait, the ever reliable serial leakster Evan Blass has come to the rescue with a new set of renders of the G5S Plus to sate our appetite.

While we’ve seen leaked renders of this particular mid-ranger before, …

Amazon sale: Protecting your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus screen has never cost less

by News on July 31, 2017, no comments

Best iPhone 7 Plus Screen Protector

There’s nothing quite like the moment of sheer horror you experience when you drop your smartphone and you hear that awful “crunch” sound as it hits the ground. Yes, that’s the sound of the display shattering, and we’ve all been there. It only has to happen to you once before you realize how important it is to protect your device with a good screen protector, and now is the perfect opportunity to stock up. Amazon has 2-packs of the JETech Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector for iPhone 7 and JETech Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector for iPhone 7 Plus on sale right now, dropping the price to as low as $3 per screen protector. These have an impressive 4.3-star rating from more than 1,100 customer reviews, so you know they’re great quality.

Here are some key details from the product page:

  • NOTE: Due to the round edge of iPhone’s, the screen protector will NOT cover the full screen, but only the flat area
  • Made with high quality 0.33mm thick premium tempered glass with rounded edges exclusively for Apple iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Extremely high hardness: resists scratches up to 9H (harder than a knife)
  • High-response and high-transparency
  • Dust-free, fingerprint-free, one-push super easy installation, bubble free
  • Retail package includes: 2-Pack tempered glass screen protector, cleaning cloth, instruction

iPhone 7 Screen Protector, JETech 2-Pack Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPho…: $6.99

iPhone 7 Plus Screen Protector, JETech 2-Pack Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple…: $5.98

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