Posts tagged Phone
The rise of mobile devices and persistent connectivity, as well as apps and cloud services, has put us all at potential risk when it comes to online security. Simply put, it’s no longer as basic as using strong passwords and strong encryption on websites and services. According to a recent effort by Google in making its systems more secure, the company is looking into implementing smartphone tagging, life-long tokens, and requiring two-step verification on its services.
This is part of Google’s revolving five-year roadmap for security. The last time Google made an effort to map out its big-picture security plan was in 2008, and it’s now high time to do a revamp. During that time, Google planned an implemented two-step verification, which required both a password and a key before granting access to a user’s account — originally sent as a six-digit code via SMS.
This has only been optional, though, and Google wants to ”rollout a change to our login system in which we will be much more aggressive.” What happened since 2008? A lot, apparently.
Google cites a few things that have pushed the company to become more aggressive in its security stance. First, in 2008, smartphones were not yet as popular as they are today. Eric Sachs, group product manager for identity at Google, says that they did not see it coming. “Five years ago, this level of smartphone adoption was not predicted.” And so with the popularity of smartphones today, Google will weave in security and authentication with mobile devices, as well as back-end improvements.
High friction, but only at the start
According to Sachs, Google does not have qualms with increasing the so-called friction in logging in, if only to improve security. “We don’t mind making it painful for users to sign into their device if they only have to do it once.” The key here is that you only have to be inconvenienced once — such as by keying in both your password and a key, like one sent to your mobile phone via SMS or generated by an authenticator app. The next points of access or login should be token-based. Other apps and services should never have to ask for your credentials again, for as long as you have access to your mobile device.
Instead, Google’s proposed login methods would involve your mobile device of choice — your Android smartphone for instance. In place of keying in your password to access a third-party service, for example, you can simply approve your web login by approving it from an alert on your smartphone.
As alternatives, Google proposes using technologies like NFC to “bootstrap” logins. For example, you can login to a service by tapping your smartphone onto an NFC terminal on your notebook computer or other device. Of course, this assumes both devices support the technology, and Google actually envisions such a login method for Chromebooks. But because the company does not have control over other manufacturers’ hardware, Google is still going to look for acceptable standards that can work across different devices and platforms.
Google knows you
Going beyond unlocking and authentication, though, Google’s plan for security is much more sophisticated. An added factor would be determining behavioral patterns and raising flags when usage deviates from these patterns. “We are beginning to experiment with apps on the phone that display notifications about risky behavior on an account.” For instance, you might usually access web apps and services from a certain location or during a certain time of the day. If you suddenly access it from another place (another country?) and at a strange time, then Google might ask you to approve the action on your mobile device before proceeding.
Apart from these systems, Google also espouses smarter hardware that will improve security and the platform for accessing apps and services. The company notes that systems like biometrics will be a good addition, although there are still issues with fingerprint or facial recognition, among others.
What Google says is difficult at this point is account recovery. “Account Recovery is our achilles heel,” says the white paper. Google says it should be easy enough for the real user to access, but still difficult for malicious hackers to crack. “Bad guys will try to hijack accounts through account recovery systems, but this poses hard challenges since the recovery systems have to help the real owner who has truly lost access to those other factors,” Sachs writes.
Another big concern is that security risks have grown because malicious hackers have found better ways to monetize hijacked accounts. As such, they are willing to go through lengths to get into these accounts.
Google is confident about the results of its earlier 2008 five-year security plan, and is hopeful that its 2013 plan will also result in better security for both end-users and developers. You can check out the draft report, PUBLIC DRAFT: Stronger Consumer Authentication – 5 year report, from the source links below. Google has also prepared a slide deck for a simpler presentation.
A newly discovered FCC filing mentions a Motorola-made smartphone that’s yet to be launched, the Motorola XT1058, which could be a potential candidate for the rumored Google X Phone.
The XT1058 is the codename of this new device, and in case it rings a bell that’s because just recently we’ve seen a Motorola XT1055 version show up in alleged benchmark results. At the time, we wondered whether the XT1055 was the X Phone, and now we’re pretty much doing the same thing with the XT1058.
In fact, no matter whether we’re looking at the X Phone or not, it’s more than logical to assume that the XT1058 and the XT1055 are related considering their model numbers, and we could be looking at different versions of the same handset for the U.S. market.
According to the FCC, the XT1058 comes with support for AT&T LTE bands and NFC, and from the looks of that image above, the XT1058 is awfully similar to that handset spotted in Vietnam, which apparently has model number XT912A (check the second image below), just ahead of the Galaxy S4 unveiling event.
Now, a similar handset to that XT912 was shown in recent leaks originating from @evleaks. That was said to be AT&T’s X Phone version, and it even had “AT&T XFON” printed on the back.
In fact, that Motorola handset from Vietnam was said to be an X Phone prototype soon after it appeared, and we kept an eye on it ever since.
With all that in mind, one could conclude that the XT1058 could be the AT&T X Phone candidate we have discussed when looking at previous rumors, and that wouldn’t be an unreasonable line of thinking.
Getting back to the XT1055 model that was spotted in unconfirmed AnTuTu benchmarks, we’ll remind you that at the time the handset was said to pack a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The handset scored 18252 in AnTuTu according to the screenshot below.
Digging even deeper into old X Phone rumors, we’ll remind you that the company is said to work on other device in addition to the X Phone. One particular report mentioned three specific codenames, Yeti, Sasquatch and Ghost, with the latter supposedly heading to all carriers, while the first two were said to be AT&T exclusives.
Meanwhile, AT&T was rumored to be the exclusive X Phone carrier in the U.S. for the first months after launch (even though a conflicting report is saying that Verizon will get the handset first). And the Ghost popped over in additional benchmark results by itself, also prompting more X Phone speculation.
What’s certain for now is that the XT1058 has hit the FCC, which means we should see it unveiled at some point in the near future. Whether it’s the X Phone or not, and whether we’ll see it next week at Google I/O 2013 or not, we’re still going to cover it thoroughly for you, as we get more details about it.
In the past 12 months, we saw the quote-unquote phablet — a.k.a. the overgrown smartphone — rise to dominance, and now it has pretty much become the new face of the Android smartphone market. Gone are the days of phones with modest 3.5-inch screens, dual-core processors, and limited wireless features. Nowadays, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a handset that doesn’t have a 5-inch screen, quad-core CPU, and some form of next-gen wireless networking.
Last year’s phones were great, don’t get us wrong. Who could forget the HTC One X, the first Android handset with a quad-core processor? Or the nature-inspired Samsung Galaxy S3? Again, last year’s phones were awesome. But it’s about time that we all took a look at a new list of the best Android phones ever released so far, and compare them with the stuff that we believe will arrive in the later months. Then we’re going to pick out the very best one out of this selection, just like we did in 2012.
2013 has been an absolute whirlwind of a year for Android. We’re seeing the biggest device makers try their best to exceed consumer expectations, while at the same time, trying to one-up each other by releasing bigger, better, and faster phones. There has been a lot of emphasis on “bigger” there, but we’re not complaining.
There are a lot of great phones worthy of being called the best out there, and we know that more are on the way (Nexus 5, anyone?) so we will update this piece accordingly. But we also know that there can be only one. So without further ado, meet the contenders.
If you’re looking for reasons why you should not upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S4 — or purchase any other phone, for that matter — we can give you at least one. The HTC One is, by far, the absolute best Android phone that HTC has ever concocted, and it’s a serious contender for the title of best smartphone of 2013. It’s also a symbol of HTC’s fight for survival.
HTC One Specs
- 4.7-inch Super LCD3, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels), ~469 ppi
- 4MP auto-focus camera with LED flash (1080p video recording)
- 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 CPU + Adreno 320 GPU
- 32GB/64GB internal storage (no microSD support), 2GB RAM
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, upgradeable to Android 4.2.2
- 2,300mAh battery (non-removable)
We have to admit, the HTC One doesn’t exactly scream “best Android phone ever” on paper. Some of its features might even make it look a bit underwhelming. “4-megapixel camera?” We know, we had the same reaction when we first found out about it, too. But don’t let it fool you.
Although the HTC One might appear to be under-specced, it’s anything but. It’s actually one of the more feature-rich handsets outed so far this year, especially when it comes to the camera. It also offers a unique homescreen experience courtesy of a little something called HTC BlinkFeed, which may or may not be useful depending on how you use your phone.
The bottom line is, in the sea of Android copycats, the HTC One easily stands out. Now if only HTC can get it to the hands of consumers already…
Trying to capitalize on the enormous amount of work that it did dating back to early 2012, Huawei is now on the verge of convincing many people to change their viewpoints concerning the Huawei brand. Still, though it’s no stranger to catching people’s attention, Huawei has all its work cut out for it.
As part of its plan to take on the entire Android market on all fronts, Huawei is expected to launch the still rumored Huawei Edge, a smartphone with an all-aluminum chassis and top-of-the-line features that would make most big brand flagship phones from other companies cry.
Huawei “Edge” Specs
- 4.9-inch, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
- 13MP camera
- 1.7GHz quad-core K3V3 CPU + Mali T604 GPU
- 16GB/32GB internal storage
- Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- 2,600mAh battery
It’s not clear when — or where — the Huawei Edge is first going to arrive. But once it does, it’s likely to be talked about, pictured, tested, and perhaps even mandhandled as much as possible. We know we would.
LG pretty much gets a free pass to be on this list because of its status as maker of the current flagship Nexus smartphone from Google. And it doesn’t hurt that it did a really great job with it, too. The LG Nexus 4 is one of the most in-demand Android phones out on the market because it offers a no-frills “stock” Android experience, one that won’t leave users annoyed with bloatware and scrambling for ways to flash custom ROMs in order to get some peace of mind.
LG Nexus 4 Specs
- 4.7-inch IPS+, HD (1280×720 pixels), ~318 ppi
- 8MP auto-focus camera with LED flash (1080p video recording)
- 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU + Adreno 320 GPU
- 8GB/16GB internal storage (no microSD support, 2GB RAM
- Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, upgradeable to Android 4.2.2
- 2,100mAh battery (non-removable)
Another thing that makes the LG Nexus 4 a must-have is the fact that it gets Google-issued Android software updates faster than any other handset you can buy right now, which is standard operating procedure for all of Google’s Nexus devices. There are some who find the Nexus 4′s lack of support for microSD cards quite disappointing, but the good news is that Android — the default version of the operating system itself, that is — doesn’t really take up too much space to begin with.
With all of that said, the LG Nexus 4 is clearly not the most powerful model that you can get your hands on. People tend to buy it more for the software, and rarely ever for the hardware. It even lacks an FM radio, but buying it will likely to lead to you saving a bunch of money, and that’s a good thing.
Meizu claims a spot for itself in this year’s list of contenders for the best Android phone with the upcoming (still rumored) Meizu MX3.
Meizu MX3 Specs
- 5.1-inch LCD, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
- Exynos 5 Octa processor
- 32GB/64GB internal storage + microSD card support, 2GB RAM
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Very little is known about the Meizu MX3 at this point, so we can’t really tell you much, though we want to. The most interesting bit of info that we know about it so far? It will ship with the exact same processor that’s fitted in the Samsung Galaxy S4. If that’s the case, it’s sure to be a powerful phone, no matter what.
Not much is really known about the rumored Motorola/Google X Phone at the moment — though there has been no shortage of rumors that sometimes seem to contradict each other whenever they pop up. But even now it doesn’t look like it’ll have much to offer in terms of specs. Just as with Google’s Nexus line of smartphones, the draw will likely be due to the software, as there is a possibility that the X Phone will launch as the first handset rocking Android version 5.0.
Motorola Google X Specs
- 4.8-inch LCD, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
- 32GB/64GB internal storage (no microSD card support), 2GB RAM
- Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or Android 5.0.1
Even if the X Phone doesn’t launch with what would then be the latest version of Android, it is still more than likely to have other things going for it, though it’s difficult to tell exactly what these will be. In any case, it’s surely something to look forward to if only for the fact that it will mark the first time in a long time that Motorola launches anything new. So keep watching.
You can’t have a list of the best Android smartphones without what is currently considered by many as the undisputed king of all: the Samsung Galaxy S4. It has all of the features that made its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, a favorite, plus it also comes with the latest version of Android pre-installed.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Specs
- 5-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels), ~441 ppi
- 13MP auto-focus camera with LED flash (HDR + 1080p video recording)
- Exynos 5 Octa 5410 with PowerVR SGX 544MP3
- 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB), 2GB RAM
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 2,600mAh battery (removable), 62 hrs. music, 17 hrs. talk
On top of all the Samsung Galaxy S4′s standard features, there’s also a number of exclusive software tricks, of which some can be life-changing while the rest are completely useless. Some users have argued that Samsung should have just left these software tricks out in favor of letting users enjoy all the extra storage space, but the die has been cast.
Many people have been very vocal about their disappointment in the Galaxy S4′s apparently limited amount of internal storage (at least in the case of the base model that’s supposed to offer 16GB), but we think that if the urge to purchase this Android-based powerhouse is strong enough, that won’t be enough to stop them. After all, what’s the point of having a microSD card slot?
Also of note from Samsung is the upcoming Galaxy Note 3, which is sure to arrive at some point in the not-so-distant future. Have a look at a quick list of its rumored specs below.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Specs
- 5.99-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
- 13MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
- Exynos 5 Octa SoC with octa-core Mali-450 MP GPU
- Uknown amount of internal storage, 3GB RAM
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean or Android 4.3 with TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0
In many ways, it will be like an upgraded version of not only the Galaxy S4, but also the Galaxy Note 2. It won’t be without issues (Can you imagine how hard it will be to buy pants after this?) but we have a strong feeling that these will be outweighed by all of the benefits.
Sony has been making a lot of moves in the Android universe lately, and users can’t help but notice. But don’t call it a comeback; Sony has been here for years. The flagship Xperia Z is the product of the vast amount of knowledge and experience that Sony has acquired from working in the mobile industry for so long.
Sony Xperia Z Specs
- 5-inch TFT, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels), ~441 ppi
- 13.1MP auto-focus camera with LED flash (HDR, 1080p video, sweep pano)
- 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU + Adreno 320 GPU
- 16GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB), 2GB RAM
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, upgradeable to Android 4.2
- 2,330mAh battery (non-removable), 40 hrs. music, 11 hrs. talk
As you can see, the Xperia Z is not just beautiful on the outside. With the kind of specs it has, it’s quite beautiful on the inside as well. Its camera feature in particular is interesting, owing to its use of the exclusive Exmor RS sensor from Sony. And did we mention it’s water-resistant, with the ability to survive being dipped for up to 1 meter under water?
It may not be a Nexus, but Sony has promised to provide plenty of software support for users of the Xperia Z well into the future. In fact, it decided to create an Android Open Source Project for it last month in order to show its commitment. Among other things, it fully works with the latest nightly builds of CyanogenMod as well.
Although not very big in the West, Xiaomi is one of the few Chinese brands worth keeping an eye on. Its next move is expected to be the launching of the rumored Xiaomi MI-3 or M3 smartphone, pictured above in metallic and glassy form.
Xiaomi M3 Specs
- 5-inch LCD, Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
- 13MP camera
- 2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
- 3,000mAh battery
If you think that the Xiaomi M3 kind of looks like the HTC One, you’re not alone. And if you think that it would be a leading benchmark scorer when it finally arrives, you’re not the first person to think that, either. It looks like the only thing that could hurt this phone’s chances of becoming a worldwide best-seller is if it gets outed with a ridiculously high price tag. That, or if it isn’t made available worldwide in the first place.
Prospective owners of the Xiaomi M3 will probably have some way of importing it into any country somehow. But of course, it would have to actually be for sale first before that can happen. So for now, we wait.
Rounding out our list of contenders for the title of best Android phone in 2013 is ZTE, with a phone that is rumored to be the first one in the world to have the NVIDIA Tegra 4 SoC. Here’s a spec sheet based on all of the things that we’ve learned about it so far.
ZTE N988 Specs
- 5.7-inch, HD (1280×720 pixels)
- 13MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
- NVIDIA Tegra 4 SoC
- 2GB RAM, unknown amount of internal storage
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
We still aren’t sure why ZTE might think it’s a good idea to pair a low-resolution panel with such a large display on a device — akin to what they did with the ZTE Grand S — but perhaps we’ll find out soon enough.
The use of NVIDIA’s latest Tegra SoC ensures that it will easily ace benchmark tests and possibly offer unrivaled mobile gaming performance, a la Project Shield. Besides which, it will probably have no trouble running the latest version of Android (and maybe even much later ones), and that makes it worth looking forward to as well.
Which of the above-listed Android phones do you think will win? Did we miss anything? Are there any handsets listed here that don’t belong? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Making sure that your mobile device is well-protected — whether it is against excess data charges or cellphone theft — is of utmost importance these days. Protection against scratches to the screen in particular is one of the most pressing issues for smartphone and tablet owners, and an entire industry is now dedicated to serving this very important need. Currently, Corning leads the industry with its world-famous Gorilla Glass screens. But makers of sapphire screens — a promising alternative — might soon rise to dethrone it. Is it ready for the challenge?
As it turns out, Corning is not only ready to face the oncoming sapphire-gilded wave of the future, but it is also prepared to shoot down claims that sapphire could someday replace its Gorilla Glass screens. It recently ran tests of its toughest Gorilla Glass 3 material and compared it with its own lab-grown sapphire sheets. In the end, it concluded that sapphire is just a little more scratch-resistant but still just as prone to damage and breaking.
In a statement that was first released to CNET, Corning’s senior vice president and operations chief of staff Jeff Evenson said that samples of their in-house and lab-grown sapphire could not best Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 in the classic tumble test, where devices are spun for 45 minutes to see how it fares against scratches. He also called sapphire “brittle,” and noted that it could be dangerous to users if handled right after breaking. Corning and Evenson are just not very big fans of sapphire, apparently.
In other words, what Corning is saying is that sapphire may not be the best material to use for next-generation smartphone displays, which are only bound to get bigger and more feature-rich as technology progresses. Also, if you’re thinking of potential sources of workable sapphire display covers in the future, you can count them out. Corning says that it doesn’t plan on using sapphire alternatives in lieu of Gorilla Glass any time soon.
It’s important that you choose a phone or a tablet that you know won’t break very easily after being knocked around and scratched a few times. But it’s also important to remember that pretty much anything will break if the drop-off point is high enough, or if the force of impact is strong enough. Perhaps the best piece of advice you can take from all of this is just don’t ever, ever drop your tablet or phone.
Police, media claim carrier, manufacturers aren’t doing enough to prevent phone thefts, take all the wrong angles0
Today the New York Times published a piece on the explosion of cellphone thefts, the rise of the black market systems that wipe the phones and resell them, and the efforts – or alleged lack thereof – of carriers and manufacturers in not doing enough to prevent the thefts in the first place. The piece approaches the problem from all the wrong angles, and here’s why…
Things go south almost immediately with a quote from District of Columbia Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier, who says “The carriers are not innocent in this whole game. They are making a profit off this.” Technically, yes, if a customer has to walk into a carrier store and buy a new phone because their previous one was stolen, then the carrier can take a profit on it. But the same rule applies if somebody steals my laptop or my car or my coffee when I’m not looking. I’m going to have to go buy a new one, and the seller is going to take a profit. That’s how business works. Of course, with all of those excepting my unattended cup of coffee I can purchase insurance to cover their replacement cost on the occasion of all sorts of events, event thefts. That includes that smartphone.
I don’t want to go down the “blame the victim” route, but let’s be honest here: protecting something you hold in your hand and making it less desirable to purloin is not the job of manufacturers or carriers. In fact, they’re in the business of making devices more desirable, because they want you to buy them. That a product being more attractive to legitimate buyers also makes it more attractive to thieves is just the way things are.
Once you walk out of the store with that shiny new iPhone or Lumia or Galaxy or BlackBerry, it’s no longer the carrier’s or manufacturer’s responsibility to maintain physical security of the device. It’s yours. Chief Lanier’s jurisdiction saw a record of 1829 cellphone thefts in 2012, an average of nearly seven per day.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg singled out the theft of Apple iPhones and iPads accounted for 14% of crimes, supposedly making them single-handedly responsible for an uptick in the overall crime level for the city. While there’s little doubt that many New Yorkers were robbed specifically for their Apple-branded devices, that 14% involves all crimes where iPhones and iPads were stolen, not just people who were targeted for daring to brandish an iPhone in public.
Continuing to harp on the “iPhone thefts driving rising crime rates” theme, we have to consider that the iPhone and iPad are highly popular devices. They sell incredibly well and report after report have shown that owners use them more heavily than those who have purchased other devices. There are more people who are using iPhones and other smartphones on the streets, and thus more targets of opportunity.
As The New York Times points out, carriers and manufacturers are working to make stealing smartphones they sell more of a pain. The major US carriers have partnered with law enforcement across the country to launch a stolen phone database. It is essentially a list of the unique IMEI numbers (International Mobile station Equipment Identity) from phones that have been reported stolen. Once a phone’s on the list, in theory an attempt to activate it on the network should throw up red flags.
Unfortunately for these efforts, if you know what you’re doing it’s relatively easy to modify a phone’s IMEI and circumvent the database. There’s no law against it, but that’s something that New York Representative Eliot Engel (D) wants to change with the introduction of the Cell Phone Theft Protection Act to the United States Congress. The legislation is intended to discourage the theft of cell phones by “requiring wireless commercial services to cut off service to a stolen phone” by creating a national stole phone database (done – independently by carriers and law enforcement without prompting of the federal government), requiring all phones in the US to have unique ID numbers (done – the IMEI was created by the industry for exactly this reason), mandating that carriers make it possible for customers to remotely wipe their devices (manufacturers are on this), and making it illegal to alter a phone’s IMEI.
The last point is really the only “new” item to US law in Engel’s legislation. It’s already against the law in countries like the UK and Latvia to alter a phone’s IMEI, expressly with the goal of suppressing phone theft and resale. There’s just one rub, though: the act of stealing is already illegal. Altering an IMEI is trivial compared to actually stealing the phone, making doing so illegal isn’t going to cause any crook to second guess what they’re doing.
Manufacturers too have been on the track of working to make their phones less desirable to be stolen, or at the very least protect the data of the owner once they are. Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and others offer built-in services for their devices that enable you to remotely track, ring, lock, and wipe devices on your account (BlackBerry and Microsoft also allow you to display a message on the device). These sort of features aren’t built into Android by Google, however, unless you’re on a Google Apps account. Numerous third-party apps are available to add remote security features to Android devices.
The issue with those services is one of consumer awareness. Most simply aren’t aware that they have the option to remotely wipe a device if it’s been stolen. Many would probably be pleased by the ability to remotely command their phone make a sound so they can figure out where they left it last night.
Of course, all of these services do no good if the phone’s radios are turned off – once it’s off the internet, no amount of back-end services are going to enable you to remotely wipe the phone. Criminals have grown saavy enough to know that the first thing you do after stealing somebody’s phone is turn it off, if not immediately wipe it yourself. To imply, as Chief Lanier, Mayor Bloomberg, Representative Engel, and others have, that iPhones and Galaxies and Lumias are driving crime rates and that it’s the responsibility of carriers and manufacturers to do something about it is absurd.
Carriers and manufacturers have been for some time working to minimize the incentive to steal smartphones. They’re operating on market forces; consumers don’t like it when the smartphone they’ve come to rely upon is stolen, so the industry has an incentive of their own to make it less desirable to steal them in the first place. The manufacturers and carriers that build the best systems to protect the data on a smartphone (and that’s usually the most distressing part to anybody who has lost possession of their device) and do the best job of marketing that to customers will reap the benefits from customers who opt to buy their product.
The same game played out nearly a century ago as the automobile. As automobiles began to grow in popularity, so did theft of the new horseless carriages. Manufacturers eventually began to include alarms and immobilizers to deter against vehicle theft. Today, cars can be equipped with two-way alarm systems that alert you of exactly what’s happening to your in distress automobile. But that hasn’t stopped grand theft auto in the slightest sense. There are more cars on the road today than at any time in history, and everything from expensive and security-laden new Cadillac Escalade SUVs to old Honda Accord and Toyota Camry sedans continue to be stolen every day. If something is desirable, thieves will find a way to get their hands on it.
As technology advances, so will the techniques of criminals. No amount of technology is going to make it any less desirable to steal the smartphone I hold in my hand. It’s an expensive piece of technology, and while we can do much to safeguard the data it holds, that data isn’t what thieves are usually after – it’s the hardware itself. Protecting my phone once I’ve walked away from the sales desk in the carrier store is my responsibility and my responsibility only. I don’t hold Starbucks as responsible for the physical security of my coffee nor would I consider Honda complicit if somebody stole by car.
Just because it’s a popular target for thieves doesn’t mean make my smartphone any different.
Source: The New York Times
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Microsoft has released a new commercial for the Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 920, and in it they show off both Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S. A lot. So much, in fact, it’s hard to know what the commercial is about until the very end, when the Lumia 920 finally makes an appearance. Anyone outside Microsoft see the problem there?
The theme is: Don’t fight. Switch. The setting is a wedding where the groom and the bride’s side both use different phone platforms, and quickly get into a heated, and pretty funny war of insults that escalates into full-blown Mobile Kombat. When nothing but dust and decimation remains, the waiters wonder if Lumia couldn’t just help them all get along.
Here’s what Microsoft’s Michael Stroh had to say on the Windows Blog:
I did as well. And it wouldn’t be out of place on a late night comedy show. Actually, it would kill as comedy. But this isn’t comedy, it’s the real, brutal, smartphone market, and here is that Microsoft is promoting Apple and Samsung over their own brands, and that’s exactly what happens to them in the market already. Apple had a “switcher” campaign for the Mac many years ago, and while they had a generic “PC” character, he was seldom if ever branded, and there certainly wasn’t ever any recognizable, competing hardware in the frame.
Ultimately, however, I didn’t really end up caring any more about Windows Phone than I did at the beginning, and that makes it a pretty ineffective commercial. Give it a watch and tell me what you think. Anything there that’s better than, I don’t know, say Microsoft actually releasing an XPhone Halo edition?