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During the CeBIT tech conference in Germany, Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi announced plans to begin offering smartphones and connected home products to European markets. The announcement means Xiaomi is building confidence and readying a future fight against Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and other popular brands already in the European market.
"We are in a position to go on the international market with smartphones and smart-home products," said Lei Jun, Chief Executive Officer at Xiaomi, in a statement during CeBIT. "In the future we will come to Germany, we will come to Europe and other regions in the world."
Xiaomi has focused on its home market of China, with international expansion to India, Brazil, and a few other select nations. The company is slowly planning expansion into the United States, but is taking a strategic approach before trying to launch smartphones that would compete with the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and other popular leading devices in the US.
Benefiting from its "Einstein" artificial intelligence project, Microsoft plans to roll out the Cortana personal assistant offering to Apple iOS and Google Android devices. Cortana has been available on Windows phones for about one year, and a desktop version will be introduced with Windows 10 later this year.
Microsoft has altered its strategy in recent years, providing its services on non-Windows PCs, laptops and mobile devices - trying to integrate products to the more popular Android and iOS mobile platforms. However, Microsoft wants Cortana to go beyond Siri's capability, using AI to help with enhanced speech recognition, along with better machine learning to adapt to a user's behavior.
"This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame," said Eric Horvitz, managing director of the Microsoft Research team, in a statement to Reuters. "We're defining the competitive landscape... of who can provide the most supportive services that make life easier, keep track of things, that complement human memory in a way that helps us get things done."
Eighty-seven percent of survey respondents believe it's dangerous to read and write text messages while driving, but 18 percent admit they are unable to "resist the urge" to use their mobile devices, according to a survey conducted by Bovitz and the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.
Not surprisingly, millennials tend to use their smartphones more often while driving, with 17 percent admitting they do so, while seven percent of 35-54-year-olds text while driving.
"People are admitting that it's dangerous to text and drive, but it's still a behavior that people cannot shake," said Jeff Cole, founder and director of the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, in a public statement. "Large majorities recognize the dangers of texting while driving, but we found disturbing differences in actual behavior based on age."
The tablet market is predicted to reach 234.5 million units in 2015, and will see 2.1 percent year-over-year growth from 2014 over the next five years, according to the IDC research group. Google Android-powered devices accounted for 67.3 percent of the tablet market, shipping 154.7 million units, compared to the Apple iPad (27.6 percent) with 63.4 million units shipped.
However, Microsoft Windows, which ended 2014 with just 5.1 percent market share, will reach 7 percent in 2015 - could reach 14 percent by 2019. Manufacturers embracing Windows 10 will help push shipment volumes from 11.6 million in 2014 up to an estimated 38 percent in 2019.
"Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft's share of the market, but on the industry as a whole," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director of Tablets at IDC. "There is an appetite for a platform that can provide a productivity experience that remains consistent across multiple form factors and device types, and we believe Microsoft is well positioned to capture some of that demand."
Your general computer USB port will charge at 0.5A, meaning devices will be slow to fill and often larger products like iPad's will either refuse to charge or never raise a percent in battery level. According to Andy & Rich, one useful example is the fact that their device will effectively enhance your charging speed from a general Macbook to iPhone from 0.46A to 1.1A without any drivers, software or optional extra's plugged in. The device can also be used for wall-USB chargers, seeing iPad's which previously refuse to charge accept the power being given.
The cable also blocks data transfer when wanted, meaning that this tangle-free braided cable will see your data stay safe and device continue virus free.
If you're interested in providing support, an $11 investment will secure you one cable for your own use.
Up until now, you've had to purchase Android-powered devices through Google Play, but the Mountain View-based giant has just opened up a new store for all things Google, known as the Google Store.
The Google Store sells everything Google, including smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, Chromecast, Android Wear devices and accessories, and even Nest products. The new store UI is beautifully clean and easy to use, with the company adding that the store is the result that they've added countless products to their family over the last few years, and wanted to provide an easier way of purchasing them.
The launch of the Google Store is good timing, as the company has just launched its new Chromebook Pixel 2 laptop, which is now on sale for $999.
Intel seemed overwhelmed trying to join the smartphone and tablet markets years ago, but has learned from its mistakes, and wants to supply hardware for low-cost smartphones. The company hopes its code-named SoFIA - now known as the X3 chip - will be ideal for cheaper smartphones and tablets, and still looks to win over manufacturers.
At least 20 manufacturers want to use Intel's X3 to power their devices - as Intel looks for new ways to compete with Qualcomm. Intel is now No. 2 in the tablet CPU market, while exploring methods to compete in the smartphone market.
The first Atom X3 smartphones will be available later this quarter, with quad-core 3G and LTE models expected before the end of Q2.
LG's G3 smartphone was one of the best Android-powered handsets from 2014, and while Mobile World Congress has come and gone without an announcement from LG, we know that the G4 is coming.
Well, according to The Korean Press, LG will launch its new "super flagship" smartphone in the second half of the year. LG's Mobile Business boss, Cho Jun-ho, has said that the South Korean giant wants to release a product that stands above the G series. Jun-ho said: "We are planning to release a product that stands above the G series. It will be launched during the second half of this year".
Samsung announced and showed off its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge handsets at its Samsung Unpacked 2015 event not too long ago now, but the South Korean giant has reportedly received a huge 20 million pre-orders for their new handsets.
The news is coming from a "top executive at a leading mobile carrier in Europe" according to The Korea Times. This executive remained anonymous, but they did say: "Samsung received some 20 million pre-orders for the S6 and S6 Edge _ 15 million of S6 and five million of the S6 Edge from mobile carriers, worldwide. This is the record".
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge handsets will be available next month in select markets.
Fujitsu has developed a new iris authentication biometrics system, which the Japanese company has built into a prototype smartphone. The mobile device is unlocked simply when a user looks into the smartphone's screen, where the iris is read instantaneously. Fujitsu's system uses a custom compact infrared LED and infrared camera paired with biometric-authentication software to scan a person's iris.
Traditional security on smartphones begins with a password/PIN code or fingerprint scan, but the use of iris scanning provides new security opportunities. Fujitsu claims its technology is easy to use and difficult to fake, providing a more secure solution.
There is more focus on keeping smartphones secure, as users stay logged into email, social media accounts, and access mobile banking apps.