Google Killing Off Inbox Email App

Google’s alternative email app Inbox will stop working on April 2nd. Many — but not all — of Inbox’s hallmark features have recently been introduced in Google’s Gmail app.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Getting calls from 0300 200 3842 today?

Getting calls from 0300 200 3842 today?
It really wasn’t that long ago that we posted an article about scammers and how easily they can trick you into parting with your money. Last time it was a London number masquerading as HMRC, and in June last year we captured the recording of the call in question.

It was a pretty scary trick, with the scammers calling you from a London number and then asking you to press a digit and go through to their “call centre” to pay an outstanding fee. There were threats of legal action and a mention of your own home being under surveillance. If you did go through to the scammers call centre, they would no doubt do their best to get the fake unpaid debt from you.

Now however, it has jumped up a notch. The calls have started again, with at least three people in the office here receiving a new and even more threatening automated message. This time there’s an apparent “warrant for your arrest” unless “overdue tax is paid”. It again asks you to “press 1 to talk to a HMRC colleague”, which in fact puts you through to the scammers call centre.

Getting calls from 0300 200 3842 today?

The big twist here is that the caller ID is the real number of the HMRC collections team.

When the scammers call you – do not press 1 to go through to the “call centre” – you will be routed through to them and they’ll do their best to extract cash for your (fake) “unpaid tax”.

If you call 0300 200 3842 AFTER you will get through to the real and very overwhelmed HMRC team who are (as of today) completely snowed under with confused callers.

After around 40 minutes in a hold queue the gent from HMRC stated..

We have had this before and they used a London number. It wasn’t too bad, but now they’re faking our real number and we’ve had hundreds of reports today. Some people have received two calls today, so we believe that the scammers are calling you once and – if you miss the call and return it – you get through to us and it affirms the belief that the original call was real. It also causes us to have long call queues, so we don’t always have the chance to tell you it’s not a real call from us.

The scammers are then calling you BACK AGAIN a couple of hours later, and by then you’re far more inclined to believe it’s real. Very deceiving. We’re working to get a message added to our line, but as a rule of thumb we would never just call out of the blue – you would have received official documentation and far more.

Be wary guys. Don’t panic. Stop and think about it. Would HMRC call you without sending documentation first? Would they use an automated message?

The post Getting calls from 0300 200 3842 today? is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Over a half of Brits getting disturbed at night by cold-calls

Over a half of Brits getting disturbed at night by cold calls
Having trouble sleeping? Well, I’ve recently had a few calls at night. It does tend to make you jump out of your skin at first. A call, in the middle of the night, is usually a sign that something is wrong – perhaps a member of the family is in trouble or something like that. So, you tend to jump up and grab the call.

Due to the overnight calls, I started putting my phone into flight mode when I go to bed. Being up all night is not going to help with my thesis – something I’m working hard on right now. At night, if anybody needs me urgently, they’ll have to call the home phone instead.

However, research has just been published which shows that over half of Britons (56%) have been disturbed during the night by nuisance calls, with many unplugging their landline to escape the calls.

Over a half of Brits getting disturbed at night by cold calls

There seems to be a bit of local variance to this too, with 80% of residents in Leicester being woken by nuisance calls, 69% in Cardiff and 64% in Birmingham.

Vix Leyton, Home Comms experts at www.broadbandchoices.co.uk told us..

“As more and more people conduct their business via mobile and more typically text rather than speak, you would think the spectre of the nuisance call would have been dealt with but our research shows it’s still a massive problem. GDPR means aggressive and intrusive marketing has to be kept out of our inboxes, but more needs to be done to stop us being badgered in our own homes to avoid the last resort of Brits unplugging from landlines permanently.”

The research also revealed the disparity in home-phone usage depending on how old you are. Nearly all over 60s (some 93%) keep their lines for calls, but just 65% of under 30s have a handset.

The post Over a half of Brits getting disturbed at night by cold-calls is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Skoda testing deliveries direct to your boot

Skoda testing deliveries direct to your boot
OK, this one sounds a little weird, but let’s have a look anyway.

Getting deliveries can always be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, especially if you’re at work or on the toilet. Despite you waiting around, you’ll probably find that the delivery driver turns up just when you’re busy, then you have to re-arrange the delivery or head to some remote depot miles away.

Now, as part of a pilot scheme by the Skoda innovation team, you could have parcels delivered to the boot (trunk) of your car. All you’ll need to give is the address of your car and the registration plate, then the courier will place the parcel delivery directly into the boot.

Skoda testing deliveries direct to your boot

It is, of course, more geared towards Skoda owners, and the technology required for remote access to the car is currently being tested. The pilot is starting in the Czech Republic, where couriers are given secure access to your boot. Skoda tech has enabled the brand to allow couriers to use a mobile app to pop the boot, with the location of the car displayed to the courier via GPS. The courier is granted a one-time access to open the boot within a pre-defined time slot, then they re-lock the boot after placing the parcel in the boot. Once that’s done then the customer is notified about the successful delivery.

Skoda testing deliveries direct to your boot

This, of course, does raise the question of trust. What if the delivery driver (who’s probably not paid a great deal) opens the boot and sees a brand new TV in there that you’ve just collected from Currys? Or if you’ve got your £5000 road bike in the back of your estate car?

The service and technology is currently getting thoroughly tested by a small selection of customers and trusted partners.

The post Skoda testing deliveries direct to your boot is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Coolsmartphone Podcast 240 – Look at my teeth!

This week, in Podcast 240, I experiment with cross-fading. Yes, cross-fading. To be honest I had to Google it to see what it was. It’s where the audio fades nicely between two tracks. It’s because I record the podcast in various chunks, during trips to work, to the gym and elsewhere. I then splice it all together, so I’ve used a bit of cross-fading so you can hear where I switch topics and sections. Clever.

This Podcast covers Mobile World Congress and I dive into the various announcements …. but, deep down, I had a bit of a problem with MWC 19. Listen in to hear more on that.

Coolsmartphone Podcast 240   Look at my teeth!

Also included in this episode..

– Smartphone-powered click farms
– Cars that tell you what to do
– Making (a small amount of) money from your smartphone
– Going to the gym
– Being unable to talk properly
– Dental work
– Audi drivers
– I’m getting a parcel!
– Great Vodafone SIM-only deal
– Get help with your coverage issues, sometimes for free!

Enjoy!

Getting Connected

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The post Coolsmartphone Podcast 240 – Look at my teeth! is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Plantronics Rebrands As "Poly"

Following its merger with Polycom, Plantronics is rebranding the combined company as “Poly”. The new entity will focus on solutions for businesses and office workers. Plantronics has made Bluetooth headsets with a professional bent for many years. Polycom is a leading manufacturer of audio- and video-conferencing solutions.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Twitter Revamps Camera Interface

Twitter’s new camera function offers an all-new visual interface that makes it faster and easier to share visual content, including photos, videos, and live streaming. The updated app has been rolling out in recent days. A new shortcut takes users directly to the camera by swiping sideways from the main feed. The interface offers standard and live modes. The standard mode has a large capture button that users can tap quickly to take a still, or hold to capture video. Both modes include prompts to add your location and a text comment. There’s also a separate prompt to add a description of the visual content for the visually-impaired. The camera function defaults to the phone’s rear camera, but supports selfie mode as well.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

My gaming history

I remember, when I was a kid, a time before a “console” was even a thing. At Christmas I remember playing records. Proper records. Big vinyl double-albums with pictures of all the bands and singers. It was great. I even had my own record player.

My gaming history

Then, one day, something appear which plugged into our TV. It had a couple of very rudimentary controllers and looked nothing I’d ever seen before. Plugging it in, tuning the TV to the right frequency and getting any kind of decent picture was a big of an artform. But, after a bit of messing around, it would burst into life. It was the first video game I’d ever seen. It was my introduction to the famous Pong game.

My gaming history

The console had other games on there too, but they were broadly similar to Pong. It would be called “Tennis” or “Squash” but they were all pretty much the same and involved two large “bats” (if you can even call them that) hitting a ball (which was square!) It was an Atari 2600 and was made out of wood. How many consoles are made out of wood now? Not many, I can tell you!

After that, I didn’t touch a console for many, many years. It took a while, but I eventually managed to get my hands on a Spectrum 48k. This was definitely not a console machine, but you could still play games. The games I remember the most from this time were Jet Set Willy, Horace Goes Skiing, Jet Pac and Daley Thompson’s Decathlon. The latter actually cause the rubber keys to lose their letters because I was hammering them so much in the game.

My gaming history

If you’ve ever played Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, you will probably remember that you needed to press one key for one “foot” and then another key for the other “foot”. Thus, the faster you pressed these in sequence, the faster your player would run, but you ended up pushing so hard on the keys that you’d rub off the letters. I didn’t have a “Z” or an “X” for years, but it didn’t stop me from learning how to code in BASIC.

My gaming history

After a while, I jumped up to the Amiga A500 – a huge leap forward in power. It also gave me far more colours to play with, as there was only 8 on the Spectrum!

The Amiga used floppy disks instead of loading from cassette tapes, but I moved up to the A1200 after a bit and experienced the speedy loading enabled thanks to something called a “hard drive”. My favourite games were Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Bubble Bobble, Speedball 2 (I still remember playing that like it was yesterday) and Gods.

My gaming history

Gods was a brilliant platformer, with really high-quality sound and graphics. It had a puzzle-solving element to it too.

I moved onto PC gaming but tended to get distracted by the more interesting things you could do with desktop computers, like being able to browse the internet etc. In fact, it was a few years later when – on my mobile phone at the time – I got hooked on the infamous Snake game. This popped up on other phones later, but Snake tended to be pre-installed on Nokia phones and it would have you hooked. Worldwide, at the time, some 350 million devices had Snake and you could even play two-player via the infrared port.

My gaming history

A couple of  mates then had the N-Gage, but it was a long time before smartphones almost re-introduced gaming on a mobile phone, and I remember how mainstream makers like Sony Ericsson gave us the Xperia Play – this was an attempt to try and bring the Playstation experience and the phone together. In 2011 though, it didn’t do terrifically well. Perhaps it was a little far ahead of the curve. After all, it was powered by a single 1GHz CPU and had just 512GB of RAM. Try putting one of the more modern Android games on that now and, well, it wouldn’t work. The games back then were far, far behind what consoles could do.

As phones got more and more powerful, with screen increasing in size and graphics processors being included too, developers made use of the capabilities. Games such as Angry Birds introduced millions of users to the mobile gambling universe through these new touchscreen phones. By 2013, mobile gaming was world-famous.

On my phone, I’ve gone through a lot of popular Android games, from Pokemon Go, Fortnite and more. I’ve also played those quick “time fillers”  such as Crossy Road, Toon Blast, and the ones that need you to invest a bit more time, such as Minecraft or The SIMs.

My gaming history

Nowadays, we have many apps and games for passing the time, and the gambling industry has also helped to blur the lines in this area too. There’s not a great deal of disparity between those “time filling” apps where you need to select blocks or pop balloons and casino games, where you have to scratch off panels or choose a number. Online casinos are now popular, mainly because their games can be easily accessed. Also, well-known slot games similar to Starburst slot or Book of Ra are liked because there’s a familiarity with regular Android or iPhone games which are used by so, so many users. Indeed, I have a bit of a history with the casino industry, having worked for a well-known online gambling company for a number of years.

This is an industry like no other, where the pace of change is never-ending and utterly ruthless. You cannot pause for a second or relax, as the competition will take the opportunity and will move ahead in a matter of weeks. This, in a way, is good for players as it’ll deliver better experiences, with gaming, gambling, casino and bingo games showing just what is possible from a smartphone. In turn, it means that developers of other games have to make better and more advanced graphics and gameplay. As the big online gaming companies have such huge resources, they’re able to dedicate bigger resources to Android and iPhone games than the regular indie developers, so you’ll sometimes see improvements in graphics and sound in those games first, before it propagates down to other games within the Google Play or Apple iTunes stores.

My gaming history

In the last couple of years, because the technology is now cheaper and performance has increased, developers have really upped their game. When I think back to the blocky Spectrum game-play or the refresh-rate on my Amiga, it’s like a million years ago. Now we have high-resolution gaming, VR gaming and hugely fast experiences – in our pocket.

When I think about how far we’ve come, it’s really amazing. Plus, if I want, I can play the old games that I used to play on the Amiga and Spectrum (even Pong!) via emulators or re-made versions from my mobile app store.

The gaming industry is going to continue pushing ahead, reaching a whole new level in 2019, and beyond. The hardware and software are getting better each year, and developers are finding a new revenue model and a new market now that everybody, everywhere has a device that will run their game. It’s no longer restricted to those owning a console. The target market is now everyone.

The post My gaming history is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

A fun way to get your kids brushing properly.

A fun way to get your kids brushing properly.
Kids love sweets, so ensuring that they’re brushing their teeth regularly is key. You can’t always monitor this, so PlayBrush is a great way to create a solid dental cleaning routine.

Instead of making brushing teeth a chore, the 2 minutes task can now be made fun thanks to the PlayBrush Smart. It’s an attachment for your normal brush and is available in four colours. It also connects to the PlayBrush app and makes the process fun via several teeth-brushing games. These will help motivate them and into cleaning their teeth properly and for longer in all the correct places. A brushing coach has audible instructions and measures the position, duration and regularity of each brushing session.

A fun way to get your kids brushing properly.

The PlayBrush Smart is available to buy online for £19.99 from Playbrush. There’s also a full “Sonic” version with a charging base and replacement head available.

The post A fun way to get your kids brushing properly. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

How AI is revolutionizing mobile technology

How AI is revolutionizing mobile technology
There’s a bit of a problem with the smartphone market right now. The clever technology that used to set each manufacturer apart is now easier to get, easier to duplicate and cheaper to buy.

Because of this, the average smartphone buyer sees many different phones with similar designs and similar capabilities, so it’s harder for smartphone manufacturers to stand out from the crowd. It therefore rests on just branding and advertising to try and make the difference, and to try and pull customers in.

Reaching saturation level

With everybody owning a phone, there’s less chance to try new and innovative ideas and designs. People have become comfortable with the phones they already have, and want all the apps to work on the next phone in the same way. They don’t necessarily want a new interface and a new way of interacting with the phone that may block this.

So the designs are roughly similar, meaning that smartphone manufacturers continue making that design better and better. This is done by introducing quicker cameras, longer-life batteries and higher-quality screens. However, each manufacturer has kept in step, and we’ve reached a plateau where the pace of innovation has begun to slow somewhat. No longer are we seeing huge “stand out” improvements. Now it’s a more gradual change.

AI to rescue ?

In the last year we’ve seen a huge push towards Artificial Intelligence in phones. Handsets which can determine what you need, before you need it. The biggest area of change has been within the camera application, where AI now adjusts lighting, contrast, exposure and all the other clever camera settings automatically based on whatever you’re taking a photo of. Now, your smartphone camera will know if you’re taking a scenic photo of a field or you’re in a low-light restaurant taking a selfie. It’ll tweak the camera levels and get you the best photo, all without you having to faff around too much.

More and more “neural processors” are appearing, which can help you get more out of your phone. Another example of this is  with the battery life – a problem that has long plagued the gadgets we use. Now AI can automatically adjust battery usage based on your activity, and you reap the rewards by actually being able to use your phone for longer.
How AI is revolutionizing mobile technology

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

So what is this “Internet of Things” exactly? Well, it’s basically the growth of internet-connected gadgets. Everything from traffic lights to sensors. No longer do we just have our computers and phones connected to the internet – now it’s everything in-between. Toasters, fridges, TVs, lights, thermostats, doorbells, picture frames, mirrors and sensors. All embedded with the required tech to communicate with the internet, bringing you enhanced functionality a better experience and  the chance to interact with other devices too – like controlling everything with your phone.

It’s not an exaggeration to state that the list of devices is growing, with everything from dairy animals to churches soon hitting the list of IoT.

Up until recently, the nearest anybody has got to this world is via the “smart home”. Smart thermostats, such as Nest, and Smart Meters which record your electric and gas usage silently sending details back to your supplier. However, outside there’s an even greater use of these clever IoT devices. In healthcare, you can now have devices that track and monitor equipment position – this is essential in a large, sprawling hospital where finding a wheelchair or heart monitor needs to be quick. It means less time finding things and more time spent on patient care.

The health element also extends outside of the hospital, with out-patient care now getting augmented with connected “patches” that attach to the arms of patients, feeding back details such as ECG, heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posture and activity readings. Imagine a smart band, but enhanced greatly. This can alert doctors to potential problems before they even happen.

How AI is revolutionizing mobile technology

Of late we’ve also seen connected toothbrushes too. These have the potential of transmitting data back to your dentist, but you and your family can monitor how often and how well you’re brushing – ensuring that kids are doing what they’re told!

The Internet of Things will continue to connect everything, making more interfaces in vehicles, plane engines – even walls and floors – to the internet. AI will enable us to build up the patterns from the information, creating even better solutions.

Author Bio

This is Sharon Winget, Staff Writer with GoodFirms, a review and rating platform of top IT companies & software. A tech geek at heart, I firmly believe technology can transform societies. I enjoy blogging about web design, email marketing, and content marketing.

 

The post How AI is revolutionizing mobile technology is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News