BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS – Here’s something I wish would come to a future iPhone, or – even better – and iPad: E-ink. Imagine being able to switch to an e-ink version of the tablet and read in bright sunlight. Or turn off the various radios and enjoy a battery life measured in months, not hours.
Remember those novelty retro cellphone handsets? The ones with curly cords that attached to your handset’s proprietary connector and made it look like you were making a call on a rotary telephone circa 1970? In the pub?
Well, the Swissvoice ePure is something like that, only more useful, and way, way cooler looking.
Take one look at my cellphone and you’ll either laugh at me, pity me or envy me. It’s a Sony Ericsson P900, a brick of a smartphone introduced in 2003, and I got it when my P800 was stolen from my bag in London’s Soho (at that time, Orange in the UK gave you free insurance for your phones — go figure).
And after a few years of struggling with various dumbphones and the execrable Samsung Behold, I’m back to the P900 and I love it. Why? Because it was designed to be used like the iPhone, not crippled by carriers like everything else these days.
iPhone app 'Email 'n Walk' lets you e-mail and walk at the same time
Do you hate those morons who wander through the streets whilst tapping text messages into their phones? Do you want to knock the stupid handset out of their hands every time you’re forced to swerve or step aside to avoid them? Then you might consider moving to Fort Lee, New Jersey, where police have started fining pedestrians who they catch texting while they walk.
Stolen phones. Photo West Midlands Police (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Stolen phones could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a collaboration between the U.S government and the four biggest mobile carriers. The new scheme will use a central database of stolen handsets, and the carriers will use this to block their reactivation.
The idea is that it will reduce cellphone theft by making stolen phones virtually useless.
With more than 100 Android devices out in the wild and more being manufactured every day, OEM’s are running out of clever names for their devices. Of course they could always use the highly technical Android Phone Name Generator to come up with the next magnificent mobile moniker, but that would be too easy. Instead, it appears manufacturers are looking to the condom industry for their tantalizing trade names.
The historical home of yearly mobile excess: Plaça d'Espanya in Barcelona
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — When we shuffle from meeting to product demo to boozy party it’s easy to forget what a weird place the yearly Mobile World Congress is. Tens of thousands of attendees flood Barcelona’s hotels and commandeer its taxis, while companies from tiny to huge spend a fortune to sell and promote their wares.
As Ferris Bueller might say, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it. Here’s a quick look at the best, worst and weirdest of this year’s show.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — As ever, NTT DoCoMo has some weird new tech to show off at the Mobile World Congress. This year, it’s a cellphone battery that charges fully in just ten minutes. and if you’re really in a hurry, you can get enough juice to last a couple of hours in just a minute.
Microsoft's strict Win 7 specs mean there isn't much to differentiate handsets
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — There’s a curious flipside to Microsoft’s iron-grip on the minimum specs for Windows 7 phones: They’re pretty much all alike. This is clearly to Microsoft’s advantage — who cares what brand is on the box as longs as it runs Windows? But it makes it hard to write much about new handsets unless they have great style (Nokia) or, say, a fancy camera. And so there is almost nothing to say about the ZTE Orbit.
Ask a lot of people who don’t use iPhones like to dismiss Apple’s impact on the smartphone industry. Hey, we had PDA-like smartphones with touchscreens before the iPhone, so what’s the big deal?
Such logic is patently absurd, but as it often does, a picture says a thousand words about how a thousand shitty devices did things before the iPhone came around, and how the makers of these crappy phones do things now that the iPhone is the gold standard of smartphone design.
Think that’s pathetic? Check out how tablets changed after the iPad too. Unreal!