All Articles Tagged "smartphones"

Kids Younger Than A Year Old Are Already Using Smartphones & Tablets

April 28th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Are kids getting more and more precocious each generation? It seems so. According to a new study, more than a third of kids under one year old are already using smartphones and tablets.

But moms and dads, stop handing your smartphones to your kids! Experts say this can damage your child’s  development. Skip those learning apps for kids.”The British government warned in 2013 that too much on-screen time causes emotional problems for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of screen devices among children under age 2,” reports The Washington Post.
But despite these warnings, the new survey by pediatric researchers at the Einstein Healthcare Network found that kids as young as six months old are playing around with smartphones and tablets. And the majority of the kids are minority and low-income. The study polled 370 parents of children ages six months to four years old as they visited a pediatric clinic for a low-income, minority community in Philadelphia. Of the respondents, 74 percent were African American and 14 percent were Hispanic.

The study found that among kids younger than one, 52 percent watched television on mobile devices, 36 percent were allowed by parents to scroll the screen, 15 percent actually used apps while 12 percent played video games. And almost a quarter of the kids under a year old had already called someone using a smartphone.

A majority of two year olds were using cellphones or tablets, according to the summary.

“We didn’t expect children were using the devices from the age of 6 months,” said Hilda Kabali, a third-year resident at Einstein who led the survey. “Some children were on the screen for as long as 30 minutes.”

These numbers are up from a 2013, Internet survey of 1,463 parents that found among kids under 2, 38 percent had used smartphones or tablets.

Experts are totally against this trend, and say parents should encourage their kids having personal interaction and put down the digital devices. “In addition to persuading parents to waste money on useless products, marketing products for babies as teaching numbers and letters sends a troubling and potentially harmful message to parents about learning and how babies should spend their time,” said Susan Linn, director for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, last year.


Motorola Droid Turbo Is A Little Bigger, But Is It Better?

January 5th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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motorola turboA year ago, I wouldn’t give an Android phone the time of day. But things have changed. I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S5, and giving Android devices more of a chance. Why not, right?

Google’s operating system (Android) is in first place in the U.S. with a 51.5 percent market share, according to research firm ComScore, and releases such as the Google Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Sony Xperia Z3 and the Motorola Droid Turbo are proof that Androids are here to stay.

Available for Verizon customers, the Droid Turbo boasts amazing battery life, crisp display and a powerful processor. While some may disapprove of the look and feel (it’s bulkier), it packs a 21-megapixel camera with 4K video recording and a 2.1 megapixel rear camera, a 5.2-inch Quad HD display and 3,900 mAh battery that runs for up to 48 hours. An added feature, Motorola’s Turbo Charger, powers the device for up to eight hours after only a 15-minute charge. That’s a 60 percent charge in 15 minutes.

The device has a Kevlar back, which prevents the Droid Turbo from bending; it’s water-resistant and can withstand spills and up to 20 minutes in a downpour. Its Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is scratch-resistant, so you can throw your phone in your bag and not worry about scratches. If your screen is damaged within your two-year contract, you can replace it once for free. This also applies to customers who purchase the phone through Verizon Edge.

It’s very simple to wake up your phone. When you reach for your device, the display awakens to show you the time and notifications. You can also wave your hand over the screen to dismiss a phone call or silence an alarm.

The Droid Turbo by Motorola is available online and in Verizon Wireless stores. The 32GB model is available in Metallic Black, Metallic Red, and Black Ballistic Nylon for $199.99 (with a new two-year activation, or $25 per month on Verizon Edge). The 64GB Black Ballistic Nylon model will also be available for $249.99 (with a new two-year activation, or $27 per month on Verizon Edge).

Are you an Android or iOS user? Would you try the Motorola Droid Turbo?

Images via Motorola

“I’m Sorry, What Did You Say?” 9 Signs You’re Addicted To Your Cell Phone

September 15th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Can you put your phone down for a minute to read this?

Cell phone addiction is real. You promise to put down your smartphone — but not until you’ve checked your Facebook news feed and emails. While we might shrug off these accusations, cell phones are changing the way we do business. Don’t let it be your downfall. Here are some signs you’re addicted to your phone.

The Lowdown On Samsung’s Two New Phones, Galaxy Note Edge & Galaxy Note 4

September 5th, 2014 - By Janel Martinez
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The iPhone 6 is not the only new smartphone debuting this month. Samsung unveiled a suite of products during simultaneous events in Berlin, Beijing and New York on Wednesday. Of the cool gadgets the tech giant presented, there were two new Galaxy Notes: the Galaxy Note Edge and the Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung is hoping the Galaxy Note 4 will build on the success of its Galaxy Note 3, which launched last fall and hit 10 million units sold in two months of its launch. The Note Edge’s unique curved Edge screen provides easy access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality (even when the cover is closed) all with the swipe of a thumb. And if you’re watching videos, your notifications will appear right on the screen—no more disturbances.

“The Galaxy Note series signaled extraordinary innovation within the technology industry. Its larger screen size and iconic S Pen technology launched a new standard in smartphone culture,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics. “With the introduction of the Galaxy Note series, we brought the age-old culture of the pen and notepad into the digital world. The new Galaxy Note 4 introduces the most refined Note experience to-date by combining all the latest technology that users expect from the Galaxy series.”

Here, MadameNoire will walk you through the features of the oversized, Android-powered Galaxy Note models.

Note 4

Size/Display: Approximately 5.7 inch Quad HD, 518 ppi (2,560-by-1, 440) Super AMOLED display. It’s the same as the Note 3, and reproduces clearer, more vivid images with deep contrast better viewing angles and response times as fast as a millionth of a second.

Audio: Comes equipped with multiple microphones and an improved speakerphone for better noise cancellation when speaking in noisy environments. Its built-in Voice Recorder offers eight different directional voice tagging and a selective playback capability that allows users to isolate and listen to specific voices in a group conversation.

Camera: 16-megapixel rear-facing camera featuring a Smart Optical Image Stabilizer that counter-balances camera shake and automatically extends exposure time in dark settings. Also, a 3.7 megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9 offers a default 90 degree shooting angle and up to 120 degree wide angle. Think: Perfect for usies with friends!

Memory: 32 GB Internal memory + micro SD slot (up to 64GB); 3GB RAM

Processor: 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor

Color: Available in October, Charcoal Black, Frost White, Bronze Gold and Blossom Pink.

Battery: According to Samsung, the Note 4 will charge up to 50% in 30 minutes.

Operating system (OS): Android 4.4 (KitKat)

S-Pen: More responsive and versatile (reports PC Mag)

The Note Edge is very similar to the Note 4, but has a new form factor.

Note Edge

Size/Display: 5.6 inch Quad HD (141.9mm), 2,560-by-1, 440 + 160 Super AMOLED display. The 160 rows of extra pixels are used for the side display. It’s all about the edge screen, which allows users to display information and notifications along the strip along the edge of its thin screen. It’s 3.8mm wider and 2.2mm shorter than the Note 4.

Camera: Rear Facing: 16-mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Smart OIS.  Front Facing: 3.7 Mega pixel camera with f1.9

Memory: 32/ 64 GB Internal memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB); 3GB RAM

Processor: 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor

Color: Available later this year, Charcoal Black and Frost White.

Battery: Comes with a smaller 3,000mAh battery.

Operating system (OS): Android 4.4 (KitKat)

The Galaxy 4 will be out next month. However, the Galaxy Note Edge has no release date as of yet.

Which phone would you purchase: the new school Galaxy Edge, or upgraded Note 3, better known as the Note 4? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Circle Sept. 9! Apple Rumored To Announce iPhone 6 Next Month

August 6th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Twin Design /

Twin Design /

iPhone lovers mark your calendars. Tech blog Re/Code reports Apple will officially debut its latest smartphone, the iPhone 6, on next month September 9th. If Apple does make the announcement on that day, the phones will hit the market 10 days later, on September 19.

The phone is expected to be larger than any iPhone before it, featuring a 4.7-inch screen. “Apple has also been said to be working on a 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6, but recent reports have said Apple may not announce that version until later this year or possibly in early 2015,” reports The Los Angeles Times. Japan’s Famitsu newspaper reported the iPhone 6 screen would be “significantly” higher in resolution. The resolution for the iPhone 5S is 1136 x 640.

The larger-screen iPhone is expected to help Apple compete with smartphones by Samsung and HTC that have screens larger than the 4-inch iPhone 5s. However, it might be tough to match the sales of the iPhone 5. During its first weekend, the sales figures for the iPhone 5s and 5c totaled nine million, making it Apple’s biggest launch, reports 9 To 5 Mac.

Additionally, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be thinner and will feature an all-new metallic design.

“One of the most persistent rumors has been that iPhone 6 will be covered in near-indestructible sapphire glass. Several online videos purported to show users bending, stabbing, scratching and hitting these displays to prove their worth. However while sapphire will still be used for the camera lens and home button, analysts recently said there had not been enough sapphire glass in the manufacturing supply chain to indicate the phone will be covered in it,” reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Of course, Apple is staying mum on the details for now.

Open Sesame! President Signs Act Making Unlocking Cellphones Legal

July 29th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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UPDATE: As expected President Obama signed into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. It is now makes it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones. This means your can now use your smartphone with any cellular network, not just the one you were under contract with when you first purchased the phone.

An added perk of the act: Consumers are also permitted to sell or buy used unlocked phones,.

There is one catch. “Consumers will still be restricted by the terms of the service contracts they sign with their carriers. For many, this means they will not be able to unlock their devices until two years after they were purchased, but it varies by device and carrier,” reports The Los Angeles Times .

Cellphone unlocking became illegal in 2012 when the Library of Congress elected not to renew an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The way the act, which bans copyright infringement, is worded it makes cellphone unlocking illegal. But from 2006 through 2012, the Library of Congress had made an exemption to the act that allowed consumers to unlock their cellphones.

The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act counteracts the Library of Congress’s 2012 decision. But it may only be temporary as the Library of Congress reviews exemptions to the DMCA every three years. The next review is in 2015.

Also the just-signed act does not legalize the unlocking of tablets or any other devices, only cellphones.

Originally reported on July 29, 2014: One thing that bugs cell phone users is that many providers “lock” smartphones to their networks, giving consumers limited options for service. But now a cell phone unlocking bill has finally cleared the U.S. House and is headed to Obama to say yea or nay.

Most insiders say the President will approve the legislation, which will give mobile phone users the right to “unlock” their phones and use them on competitors’ wireless networks. Currently, it is illegal to do so — though many look for ways to get phones unlocked.

“The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget,” Obama has said.

According to a 2012 ruling by the Library of Congress, which oversees U.S. copyright law, phone unlocking is illegal, even after the consumer is no longer under contract with the wireless carrier they bought the phone from. You can actually go to jail for doing unlocking your phone. But in December, some carriers such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc, Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc made a voluntary deal with the Federal Communications Commission to make it easier for consumers to unlock their phones following the expiration of their contracts.

The proposed legislation “reinstates the exemption given to mobile phones in the copyright law before the controversial 2012 ruling by the Library of Congress and calls on the officials there to reconsider the issue during its next round of reviews in 2015, potentially expanding the exemption to tablets and other devices,” reports The Chicago Tribune.

“Today’s action by the House moves us closer to alleviating any confusion stemming from the Copyright Office’s 2012 decision,” Jot Carpenter, vice president of government affairs at the wireless association CTIA, said in a statement.

The People’s Smartphone? Motorola Introduces The No-Contract, $129 Moto E

May 15th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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moto EFirst-time smartphone users are going to like this. Motorola has introduced an affordable phone for just $129 — sans a service contract — called the Moto E.

Compare this to the 16-gigabyte iPhone 5s with no contract, which will run you $649. And the average price of a smartphone is $337.

“Now we want to radically transform the mobile industry once again by making quality smartphones that can do great things available to practically everyone,” Motorola said in a blog post.  Moto E should appeal to the 70 percent of cell phone users who still own feature phones that connect to the Web but cannot run mobile apps.

“We believe it’s time the feature phone era came to an end and that quality smartphones are made accessible and affordable for all,” Motorola said.

The Moto E has a 4.3-inch screen that features 540×960 pixel resolution with 256 pixel-per-inch density. And it runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the latest version of Google’s mobile software, and has a 5-megapixel rear camera. On the downside, it only has 4 GB of storage. Users can however expand its capacity through its microSD slot. It also cannot connect to high-speed 4G LTE networks. Moto E is limited to 3G networks and lower. “The device uses a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, and Motorola said it has a battery that can last throughout the day for the average user,” reports The Los Angeles Times.

Moto E can be pre-ordered online for  delivery in early June.

Motorola is also offering a new version of the Moto G, a low-cost device debuted recently for $179 with no contract. A new $219 version can connect to 4G LTE networks. According to Motorola, the Moto G was its bestselling phone ever. So look for the cheaper Moto E to be flying off the shelves.

It’s already sold out on Indian e-commerce retailer Flipkart

Everything Will be Alright: BlackBerry Pens Open Letter Reassuring Customers

October 17th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Don’t worry, says BlackBerry. The struggling Canadian company has written an open letter to customers saying it will not go out of business, reports The Los Angeles Times.

BlackBerry published an open letter as part of an all-out media campaign designed to ease nervous customers’ worries that the company will go under.

“These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges,” the company wrote in the letter, which it posted on its website Monday. “We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.”

The letter was also published in 30 newspapers around the world. In it,  BlackBerry says users have “no doubt seen the headlines” about the company. “And speaking of those dramatic headlines, it’s important that we set the record straight on a few things,” it said.

Customers have reason to wonder about the state of the company. There was recent news that BlackBerry had struck a tentative deal to be bought by a Canadian insurance company for $4.7 billion. “That led to a separate filing by BlackBerry’s co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, that said the duo might finance their own takeover,” reports The Times.

And last month BlackBerry disclosed it planned to lay off about 4,500 employees, or about 40 percent of its workforce. It has been reeling over the loss of nearly $1 billion in its most recent quarter.

On top of this, Apple reportedly has been recruiting BlackBerry’s employees.

“Despite all that bad news, BlackBerry said in its letter that it has substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free. It plans to restructure, with a goal to cut expenses 50%,” reports The Times. (Bit of a sidebar: See how important it is to be debt free! When the going gets tough, having no debt will keep you going.)

BlackBerry added that customers “can continue to trust us to keep your communication safe and private” and noted that it recognized iOS and Android devices have become more popular in the workplace. The company announced it was working on a solution to help businesses manage all the different platforms “seamlessly and securely.”

But the company knows it can’t please everybody.

“Yes, there is a lot of competition out there and we know that BlackBerry is not for everyone,” the letter said. “That’s OK.”

14 Ways Your Smartphone Just Got Smarter

October 7th, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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In this day and age we should only be surprised that our phones can’t beam us from one physical location to another. Our phones can do just about anything which accounts for why so many of us would be lost without them. Below you’ll find 13 cool new reasons to live and die by your electronic device. Long live the smartphone!

Forget 40 Hours. The New Normal Is A 72-Hour Work Week

September 29th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Did you realize your smartphone may be making you work longer hours?

According to a new study, “Always On Never Done” by the Center for Creative Leadership, workers who use a smartphone for work are connected to the office an average 13.5 to 18.5 hours per day. On the other hand, those who don’t use a smartphone for work are connected to the office an average eight to 10 hours per day. Smartphone-equipped workers interact with their office work 72 hours per week (including weekends), reports Business Insider.

Since you are using a smartphone for work, your clients, co-workers and boss assume you are always available. “In today’s world, the expectation is that when a question comes up, you’ll answer it within 30 minutes, whether it’s 8:00 at night, or 6 a.m.,” organizational consultant Ed Muzio, author of Make Work Great, tells Business Insider.

Globalization also plays a role, as more workers are interacting with colleagues across the world on what has become a 24-hour business cycle, notes Business Insider.

According to experts, since it is rare to find a good-paying, full-time job that only requires a 40-hour workweek, workers tend to accept 24/7 connectivity as the norm in today’s workplace. Still, they point out that companies that take advantage of such policies usually have more turnover and lower job satisfaction rates.

“In addition to the stress and burnout from work, they feel like they don’t have any down time with their friends or family, and they start to resent their employer,” Peggy Klaus, author of Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They’d Learned Sooner, tells the website.

According to a separate study by the American Psychological Association, more than a third of workers said communication technology increases their workload, and makes it more difficult to stop thinking about work or take a break from work.

And when people find themselves connected around the clock, it can lessen returns in worker output. “After a certain point, you’re just not as effective,” Muzio says.

Connected workers generally had just three hours per day in which they weren’t sleeping, working, or checking in with the office found the CCL report.  And more than half of consumers say they check their phone while lying in bed, before they go to sleep, after they wake up, and even in the middle of the night.

All of this leads to higher stress at home and less family time, 12 percent of executives regularly step away from dinner and other family gatherings to deal with business calls and other work issues, and 41 percent of executives do so occasionally, according to a study released last year by Forbes Insights.

Believe it or not, always checking a smartphone causes neurological changes. Once your brain is in the habit of looking at a small screen for updates every few minutes, when it’s unable to do so, it begins to activate neurotransmitters associated with anxiety and stress, Larry Rosen, author of iDisorder: Understanding our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us, tells Business Insider.

“For your own health, you need to set up boundaries and limits,” Rosen says. “You’re modeling the behavior up to your boss and down to your kids, and setting yourself up for a lifetime of anxiety.”

How often are you checking your smartphone?