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We all know how it feels: to be out for the day and your smartphone is beeping or vibrating at you alerting you to the fact that you're on less than 20% charge. Then you can literally feel the minutes clicking over with each percent going down into that drain that your battery slides into. Well, not for long.
An Israeli startup known as StoreDot is looking to solve this thanks to the by-product of research from the nanotechnology department of the Tel Aviv University, which was looking into Alzheimer's disease. The researchers have discovered that a particular peptide molecule has high capacitance, which means it has the unique ability to hold an electrical charge.
Batteries that use this technology can absorb charge much faster than others, but their overall capacity would be smaller. This new technology can't just be baked into current smartphones and devices, but StoreDot is currently in discussions with 15 smartphone makers, with the hopes to getting a contact with a couple of those companies before the end of the year.
Released as part of the developer preview, Apple's next update will include a wide range of emoji's with various skin tones -helping express Apple's sensitivity to racial diversity.
Instead of white-only options being available, you can now select out of six skin tones what you wish your emoji face or hand to display. There are also numerous updates to sexual-preference, including families with children and couples of same-sex, rather than the previous male-and-female only.
There's a few other updates including new gadgets like the Apple Watch and also an Australian flag thrown into the mix - all set for release in the next few months.
Ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona next month, analysts are picking apart the current state of the smartphone market. Consumers have a number of appealing choices at the moment, as the smartphone market is "highly mature," and it is becoming harder for vendors to differentiate from one another.
"While Apple had a very successful 2014 and a record fourth quarter, Apple has to come up with something innovative in 2015 to replicate record sales," said Annette Zimmermann, researcher director at Gartner, in a press statement.
Samsung has 28 percent global smartphone market share (28 percent), ahead of Apple (16.4 percent), Lenovo (7.9 percent), LG Electronics (6 percent), and Huawei (5.9 percent), according to TrendForce. However, the competition is becoming explosive with Huawei capturing 5.9 percent market share, putting everyone else on notice that it is a serious contender.
Google has reached a deal with Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile for support with the Google Wallet mobile payment app. The tap and pay service will be pre-installed on Android devices running KitKat or higher from the three mentioned US wireless carriers later this year.
The Google Wallet tap and pay feature was rolled out in 2011, with the mobile payments market growing since then. Google's deal to have Wallet pre-installed, along with acquiring unknown intellectual property from Softcard, shows it is ready to step up support for mobile payments.
Apple Pay has shown rivals that there is potential in the mobile payments market, but companies need to create stronger alliances. This Google Wallet deal could be a strong first step towards building a long-term Apple Pay competitor.
Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S6 at its Samsung Unpacked event on March 1, but the company continues to tease the world about its Galaxy S6. Check out the video on #TheNextGalaxy below.
The 45-second video doesn't show much, but it does tease metal flowing and reflections being free, all while being powerful, and borders disappearing. Colors are living, and the entire phone looks like it could feature curves, as there are a lot of them in this video. We don't have much longer to wait now, thankfully.
500 New South Wales Police officers have been handed Samsung Galaxy Note 4's in order to help them complete daily duties as part of the NSW Police Forces "real-time policing" campaign.
Filled with various applications, the lucky bunch includes "the Police Transport Command, Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, Motorcycle Response Unit, Mounted Unit, Dog Unit, the State Crime Command's Gangs Squad and Domestic and Family Violence Teams" as reported by Gizmodo.
Including the ability to perform instant background checks, the officers will use these devices to take notes and complete various other tasks including using the GPS for navigation and location purposes.
This follows the news that 1,000 Queensland Police officers received iPads in 2014, to perform similar tasks.
HTC is expected to officially unveil the One M9 smartphone on March 1 when Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 kicks off, but there are some early leaks on HTC's upcoming flagship smartphone.
We can expect HTC to bake in an 8-core Snapdragon 810 processor clocked at 2GHz, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of NAND flash storage expandable through microSD, and more. On the back, we have a 20-megapixel UltraPixel camera, which is reportedly housed inside of a camera module that protrudes from the rear of the One M9's body, like the iPhone 6 Plus.
Software wise, we should see Android 5.0 Lollipop with Sense 7 splashed on top. Two new colorways are shown off in the leaked shots, with a gold and silver style for a two-tone look while the other is gunmetal gray. BoomSound speakers make the cut, with the 5-inch 1080p display filling out the One M9. We should expect the know the exact details on the phone on March 1 when MWC 2015 starts.
Phablets could see wider workplace adoption if new apps are created to increase employee productivity, though businesses are taking their time. The current generation of phablets have screen sizes ranging from 5.5- to 6.1-inches, and app developers have more screen space to include additional features.
Business leaders are following consumer adoption of phablets, but are still unsure what to make of the popular mobile devices for employees.
"Enterprise adoption of smartphones, beyond the BlackBerry, was driven initially by [bring-your-own-device] adoption trends," said Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT, in a statement to eWEEK. "Phablet sales are following similar trends so there's a likelihood that enterprises will connect the dots in recognizing that large devices will make it easier for workers to do some tasks that weren't effectively supportable on standard-size phones."
There is alarming concern over the rising number of smartphone owners addicted to their mobile devices and apps, altering their real-world relationships. A recent survey found 92 percent of smartphone owners admit their device has altered how they connect with friends, while 58 percent say smartphones altered health.
Users are becoming more dependent on smartphones and mobile apps, with 55 percent of the "top app users" saying they check at least one app on their phone every hour.
"Regardless of how much or how little people are using their smartphones, to me the bottom line is whether it is making their work, play and relationships better," said Bryan Kirschner, Apigee Institute director, in a statement published by CNBC. "While some of the usage data in our research is striking, on balance, I believe that smartphones are making lives better."
The worldwide market for refurbished mobile phones sold to end users will increase from 56 million units in 2014 up to 120 million units by 2017, according to the Gartner analyst group.
Consumers in mature markets upgrade their smartphones on average of every 18 to 20 months, opening the door to a lucrative used market. Seven percent of those devices are recycled, 23 percent are handed down, and 41 percent are traded or sold privately.
"This rise in smartphone reuse will impact not only the sales of new units, but also the revenue streams of all those involved in the smartphone supply chain," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Stakeholders that are already participating in take-back or trade-in programs need to have a strategy for turning used devices into a positive asset."