Facebook Hello

As helpful as it is, caller ID doesn't really tell you everything about who's ringing your phone or why. Is it an acquaintance? A best friend's birthday? Or a robocaller? Facebook might have a better solution. It's rolling out Hello, the previously leaked Android caller ID app. The software shows all the Facebook information that a caller is willing to share, whether it's public or between friends -- you may know who someone works for even if it's the first time you're speaking together. You can also find out how many times a number has been blocked, automatically block the worst offenders and search for people or places. Facebook is only offering Hello in Brazil, Nigeria and the US right now, but it won't be surprising if the app spreads elsewhere before long.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Got a Nexus 6? Itching to dump your traditional wireless service provider for something a bit more ambitious? Google's got you covered. After months of speculation and a not-so-subtle nod from Sundar Pichai at Mobile World Congress, the search giant's new mobile phone service -- Project Fi -- is finally official. The company's plan is both as savvy and as unorthodox as we'd expect: Instead of trying to build out and maintain its own nationwide network of cell towers and repeaters, Google's instead combining Sprint and T-Mobile's coverage footprints with millions of pre-vetted WiFi hotspots to provide users with the fastest, most seamless mobile experience it can in real-time.

Well, that's the plan anyway. You're probably just clamoring for the invite link at this point (here you go), but it's important to note that Google created Fi to fill in the gaps that already exist in our more-mobile-by-the-day lives.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Boy shouting at smart phone

It can't have escaped your attention that security experts have declared open season on Apple products over the last few weeks. At San Francisco's RSA conference, an even more terrifying exploit has been revealed that has the power to send your iPhone or iPad into a perpetual restart loop. Mobile security firm Skycure has discovered that iOS 8 has an innate vulnerability to SSL certificates that, when combined with another WiFi exploit, gives malicious types the ability to create "no iOS zones" that can render your smartphones and tablets unusable. Before you read on, grab a roll of tinfoil and start making a new case for your iPhone.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Microsoft Health for Android on a Moto X

When Microsoft said its Health platform was open to everyone, it wasn't kidding around. The company has revealed that its mobile Health app will soon get step counts and calorie burns from the sensors built into your phone -- you won't need a Band (or any wearable tracker, for that matter) to put fitness data in Microsoft's cloud. The update is due for Android, iOS and Windows Phone in the "coming weeks." Don't worry if you do like the Band, though, as it has a few upgrades in store as well.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

CeBIT 2015 Technology Trade Fair

Say what you will about BlackBerry's current state of affairs, but in its heyday it was a workplace no-brainer because of its then-unparalleled security systems. Well, the Canadian company has plans to make that work in its favor with an encryption certificate based on subsidiary Certicom's elliptic-curved cryptography. As Reuters reports, this could secure numerous devices ranging from connected car systems to smart meters -- ease of security and authentication are the name of the game here. In fact, the outfit's already netted some support from across the pond with a contract that'll cover some 104 million household energy management gizmos and smart meters in Britain. BlackBerry also wants to beef up its research and development that could improve on computer data security. So in case you were wondering what the company formerly known as Research in Motion's been up to, now you know.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

0 Comments

Traffic on Los Angeles highway and with office buildings in the background,Motion, Routine, Mode of Transport, City, Road, Tran

Los Angeles' traffic problems are legendary, which is probably why the City of Angels is following Boston's lead and partnering with Waze for real-time traffic alerts. The LA mayor's office Periscoped the announcement (as you do, I suppose), and tweeted that the partnership could lead to better understanding of how traffic moves in TInseltown and hopefully improve commutes. How's that? Well, the data inherently goes both ways. Specifically, Google's traffic app should tip off drivers to natural road hazards, car crashes and amber alerts while simultaneously informing the county about where backups and other issues are occurring. No word if it'll extend to pointing out where paparazzi are hiding, though.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Vine sharing on an iPhone

So you've discovered a catchy Vine video that you know your friends will instantly appreciate, but they're scattered across multiple social networks. Will you have to sit there diligently tapping the share button over and over again to make sure everyone sees it? Not after today. Vine has updated its iOS app (Android is coming soon) with a revamped sharing feature that posts those six-second clips on multiple services in one shot. All you have to do to spread the word is mark the social networks you want to include (such as Tumblr, a new addition) and hit the share button. There's still no Instagram option, to no one's surprise, but this could otherwise save you a lot of effort.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

0

When its calling feature hit Android gadgets a couple weeks ago, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton said the tool would make its way to iOS soon enough. Well, today's the day. WhatsApp calling is rolling out to folks wielding Apple devices, allowing you to chat with friends and family around the world. If you'll recall, the feature uses WiFi rather than a data connection, so you won't have to worry about international rate hikes. While the new version of the app is already available at iTunes, the release notes warn that the calling feature is rolling out slowly, so it may not be available for you immediately.

0 Comments

Google announced in February that it would start highlighting mobile-friendly sites on phone searches -- today, that update is finally here. Now, when you search Google on your phone, you're more likely to see results that are optimized for smaller screens, rather than desktop sites that require a lot of tapping and zooming. Basically, it's a kick in the pants to lazy web developers who haven't yet catered to the growing number of mobile internet users. The update only applies to phones -- not tablets -- and Google notes that it affects individual pages, not entire sites. It also won't stop desktop sites from showing up in mobile searches if they rank highly enough. You can test the mobile friendliness of your site with this test, or by running the Google's Mobile Usability Report on your site. Naturally, if you don't spruce up your site, you can expect a drop in mobile traffic from Google.

0 Comments

Disney Research is apparently developing plastic accessories that can control phones, which might even be more far-out than MIT's thumbnail trackpads. They're called acoustruments, and they can control phones with sounds from their own speakers. How? Well, each acoustrument comes with a U-shaped tube that feeds ultrasonic sound from the phone's speaker to its mic. You can control the phone with that setup by disrupting the sound, say, by blocking holes on the tube like you would on a flute. Its controls don't necessarily have to be holes, either -- they could be buttons, switches, knobs, wheels, sliders and anything else that can alter the sound wave to indicate an action.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

If you own a smart TV or an iOS device that's getting a bit long in the tooth, you may need to do some upgrading this week if you want to continue using the YouTube app. Due to certain changes in the app's API, it'll no longer work on a number of models released in 2012 or earlier, including second-generation Apple TVs, Panasonic TVs, Sony TVs and Blu-ray players, as well as devices running Google TV versions 1 or 2. You'll know you're affected if a video showing the notice above plays upon firing up the app, though most models released in 2013 or later are safe.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Push notifications on Chrome for Android

Chrome's website push notifications are no longer confined to your desktop -- they now surface on your phone, too. Grab Chrome 42 for Android and you can opt into alerts from websites that show up no matter what you're doing. You won't have to worry about missing out on breaking news, even if your favorite sites don't have dedicated apps. You'll also have an easier time adding home screen shortcuts for those sites if you always want them close at hand. It'll be a while before many of the sites you frequent can deliver notifications (eBay, Facebook and Pinterest are some of the early adopters), but it's worth upgrading now to get ready.

0 Comments

"China is the number one market with connected products."

That was how Intel's Senior Vice President Kirk Skaugen kicked off his keynote at IDF in Shenzhen, citing China's staggering 30 percent share of worldwide connected-device purchases in 2014. The country gobbled up 40 percent of the 46 million Intel-powered tablets shipped globally. Not bad, but 46 million is hardly anything compared to the 420.7 million smartphones shipped in China alone in the same year -- only a tiny percentage of which packed an Intel chip. Most others relied on Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung. Intel's smartphone market share is so small that it never dared to share the stats; it could be as low as 2.81 percent in the Android space, according to benchmark specialist AnTuTu.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

After the better part of a year, Samsung is ready to launch new tablets in the States -- if not quite the high-end models you might be looking for. It's releasing 8- and 9.7-inch versions of the Galaxy Tab A, a low-cost slate whose centerpiece is an iPad-like 4:3 aspect ratio that gives you more breathing room when you're browsing the web or reading a book. Neither model is especially powerful between the 1.2GHz quad-core chip, 1,024 x 768 screen, 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front shooter, but they do carry Samsung's lighter-weight software loadout, including bundled Microsoft apps. You'll also get between 16GB to 32GB of storage, depending on the model. The Tab A will reach American shops on May 1st starting at $230 for the 8-inch model, and $300 for the 9.7-inch version. And don't worry, cost-conscious Galaxy Note fans, Samsung hasn't forgotten about you: a version with a bundled S Pen is due on May 17th for $350.

0 Comments

If you're feeling brave, Twitter is (once again) letting you receive direct messages (DMs) from any old person. As before, you'll have to opt-in by ticking a box in the settings -- but once you do, even folks who don't follow you can send you a note. On top of that, you can now reply to anyone who DMs you, even if they're not a follower. That's a big change from the status quo -- previously, you've only been able to receive messages from people you follow, and send them to those who follow you. To drive home the point, Twitter put a Direct Message button front and center on your contact page for its iPhone and Android apps.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments