Hands On with the Alcatel Idol 5 for Cricket

The Alcatel Idol 5 is a $200 Android phone with a premium design carved from metal and curved glass. It has a few unique features like a reversible display and a theme creator that uses the colors the camera sees. It also has a few extras like stereo speakers, USB-C, and NFC. It’s also designed to work with a new VR headset from Alcatel. We check it out in person and share our impressions in this hands-on.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Alcatel Idol 5 Offers a Premium Design for $200

Alcatel today announced the Idol 5 for Cricket Wireless. The Idol 5 is a $200 Android phone with a premium design that marries a solid metal body with a curved glass front. Its hardware features include front-facing stereo speakers, NFC, a USB-C connector, and a customizable shortcut key. On the software side, it has several features that make the phone fun to use, such as a Color catcher app that automatically picks three colors from what the camera sees and generates a new interface theme based on those colors, including new wallpaper and icons. The 12-megapixel camera includes several creative modes, such as light trace, cinemagraph, and instant collage. It also works with Alcatel’s new UNI 360 VR goggles. Alcatel’s new VR Home app for the UNI 360 lets you run Google Cardboard VR apps with extra features like the ability to receive notifications and see the room around you without leaving VR mode. VR Home is exclusive to Alcatel Idol phones. The Idol 5 also has a 5.2-inch full-HD display, MediaTek Helio P20 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel front camera, Android 7, memory card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It will go on sale with Cricket on October 27th.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

FCC Wants Apple to Turn On iPhone's FM Radio

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai today suggested that Apple enable the FM radio chips found inside iPhones. The FM radios are there, but Apple has left them inert. “It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first,” said Pai. The remarks follow a series of devastating storms that have wrecked portions of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. FM radios provide access to information that may not otherwise be available thanks to potentially downed or spotty wireless service. Many other phone makers have already enabled the FM radios within their devices. Apple did not immediately comment on Pai’s request.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

LG V30 Goes On Sale October 13 for About $800

LG and its carrier partners today announced pricing and availability for the V30 smartphone. Preorders for the handset commence October 5 with an expected ship date of October 13. Exact pricing varies a bit by carrier, but the average retail price of the phone comes in at $800. T-Mobile, for example, is seeking $80 down and $30 a month on T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan. AT&T is charging $27 per month for 30 months on AT&T Next. AT&T has a limited buy-one, get-one deal on the V30, though out requires at least one port in and a subscription to DirecTV. The V30 is LG’s camera-focused flagship. It has a 6-inch FullVision display, glass-and-metal design, and twin rear-mounted cameras.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Cloud Ups Game Against Amazon with Bitium Purchase

Google Cloud has moved to boost its market share against Amazon in the lucrative cloud, buying Santa Monica cloud-services firm Bitium.

Bitium connects employees’ computing devices to a company’s cloud-based applications, with an emphasis on both cybersecurity and ease of access — key considerations in this age of rampant hacking and complicated, time-sucking countermeasures to prevent phishing and other attacks.

“The move from on-premise enterprise applications to the cloud has unlocked new levels of productivity and collaboration for businesses and their partners, employees and customers,” Google Cloud product management director Karthik Lakshminarayanan said in a blog post Tuesday.

“With the increase in cloud adoption, there are new considerations about how to manage cloud applications within an organization and to ensure that the right levels of security and user data access policies are in place,” Lakshminarayanan said.

First-quarter data from 2017 showed Amazon Web Services with a third of the global market for the data storage and artificial intelligence-boosted processing that make up the cloud, according to Synergy Research Group. Microsoft, Google, IBM, Alibaba and Oracle grew faster than Amazon in the quarter, but trail far behind on revenue, Synergy reported.

The cloud-computing market is expected to expand to $162 billion in 2020 from 2015’s $67 billion, according to an April report in Forbes.

Google did not respond to the question of how much it’s paying for Bitium.
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Troubled Toshiba, Bain Finalize Memory-Chip Business Sale

Toshiba and a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity signed a deal Thursday for the sale of the Japanese electronics company’s computer memory chip business, a move long opposed by Toshiba’s U.S. joint venture partner Western Digital.

The consortium includes Apple Inc. and Dell Technologies Capital as U.S. investors, who will not acquire common stock or voting rights over the business. The sale of Toshiba Memory Corp. is priced at 2 trillion yen ($18 billion).

The deal was widely expected as Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp., which also has railroad and nuclear energy units, had announced it earlier, and the board signed off on it last week.

But Western Digital has repeatedly opposed the sale of the NAND flash-memory SanDisk joint venture, stressing it will continue with legal action. Toshiba reiterated in a statement that it will go ahead with the deal, despite any litigation or moves by Western Digital to block the deal.

Other participants in the consortium include SK Hynix of South Korea, which will invest 395 billion yen ($3.5 billion).

The U.S. investors, which also include Kingston Technology Corp. and Seagate Technology, will invest 415.5 billion yen ($3.7 billion).

But the Japanese companies will hold more than 50 percent of the common stock in the consortium’s special company, called Pangea, which also plans to get 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) in loans.

Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan have also expressed interest in putting money into Pangea, Toshiba said.

The share transfer will close by the end of March next year, it said.

Toshiba has been battered by massive losses related to its U.S. nuclear operations at Westinghouse Electric Co., which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Toshiba’s massive red ink began with reactors it has been building in the U.S. which are still unfinished, partly because of beefed-up safety regulations following the…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Post-Irma, Some Still Without Internet in Florida

The power’s back on in Florida. So why is the internet still out for some people, more than two weeks after Hurricane Irma struck? When power fails, so do home and business internet connections. When Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sept. 10, 6.7 million customers lost electricity, or nearly two-thirds of the state. Nine days later, all but 1 percent of the state — 100,000 — had the power back on.

With internet service, it’s less clear where things stand. The Federal Communications Commission, which tracks home phone, internet and TV outages, published its last update more than a week ago, on Sept. 18, when there were still close to 900,000 customers without service from cable providers.

Major internet providers such as Comcast, Charter and Cox now say 98 percent to 99 percent of their affected customers have had service restored. (AT&T cites similar figures for its overall network.) But it’s not clear how many actual people still lack service.

In Houston, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding that led to power losses and interrupted home phone, TV or internet service for at least 284,000, according to FCC numbers. As of Sept. 5, the last FCC report, almost 154,000 customers remained without service. AT&T says Texas is operating normally, Comcast says Houston has been back to normal for several weeks, Charter and CenturyLink say a small number of customers are still affected.

Why Outages Drag On

Many homes will get internet back once power is restored. But that’s not true for everyone.

Even if a home’s power is back on, there could still be problems with the underlying cable network or central facilities. Sometimes equipment in a home or street is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced. (Mobile service tends to bounce back faster. Cell towers are more easily fixable and carriers can use each…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Roku's IPO: Can Company Fend Off Amazon, Apple and Google?

Snap Inc., the biggest technology company to go public this year, has seen the value of its shares nearly slashed in half as investors realized, among other things, that Facebook’s Instagram could marshal its considerable resources to simply copy Snapchat’s features.

Now investors are raising a similar concern about the company behind the tech world’s latest initial public offering, the video streaming service Roku, which begins trading Thursday on Nasdaq. But instead of having to worry about only one major foe, Roku must prove it can outmaneuver a cast of formidable competitors, including Amazon, Apple and Google.

All three offer streaming video boxes featuring the most popular apps, such as Netflix and Hulu, to the growing number of cord-cutters untethering themselves from cable television.

Moreover, Amazon and Google are large enough to sell their hardware at more affordable prices, adding more price pressure on rivals. Amazon, for instance, introduced a 4k Ultra HD Fire TV streaming player for $69.99 on Wednesday, around $20 less than Roku’s similar Premiere+ device. Not to mention, most TVs sold today feature functions to download streaming video apps.

So why should investors roll the dice on Roku when it begins trading at $14 a share?

“The simple answer is they’ve managed to compete so far,” said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research. “They’re up against the three biggest ecosystems and they’ve still managed to take considerable share.”

Indeed, Roku’s 32.6% market share of America’s 150 million connected TV users last year was ahead of Google Chromecast (29.9%), Amazon Fire TV (26.3%) and Apple TV (19.9%), according to research firm EMarketer.

Buttressing that success, Dawson said, is the fact Roku users aren’t locked into any one ecosystem; it offers everything. That gives its users more choices for apps rather than being force fed Apple, Amazon or Google content.

“They’re like the Switzerland of the streaming…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Nokia Adds 3G and US Support to Retro 3310

HMD Global today announced the Nokia 3310 3G, an updated version of its retro feature phone announced earlier this year. The new model is slightly larger and has a new interface, but externally looks like the 2G version of this year’s 3310. The design is inspired by the 3110 that was one of Nokia’s best-selling GSM phones when cell phones were first taking off globally. The 3310 3G comes in two versions, one of which has quad-band GSM and WCDMA 1/2/5/8, which would support AT&T’s network in the US. It also has a 2-megapixel camera, a memory card slot, Bluetooth, and and FM radio. It will go on sale next month, first in Australia.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Magic Appoints Javier Jimenez as President of Magic Americas

Magic Software Enterprises Ltd., a global provider of end-to-end integration and application development solutions, announced today that it has appointed Javier Jiménez to the role of President of Magic Americas to accelerate expansion in the Americas in response to strong market demand for integration software. The company continues to see significant sales growth and continued momentum for their Magic xpi Integration Platform.

Magic xpi enables data to be shared seamlessly between eCommerce, CRM, ERP, and backend financial and manufacturing systems to improve operational efficiency and the customer experience and support data driven projects, such as digital transformation.

Mr. Jiménez brings a wealth of over twenty years of experience in executive and sales management, operations, and financial management with startup and established high technology companies, including Comverse Technology, iWeb Technologies and BluePhoenix Solutions. In his role at PeerApp, he was instrumental in tripling sales within two years from less than $10 million to almost $30 million and most recently at Intraway, he led the successful execution of the company?EU?s global expansion in the USA and European markets.

?EU?With intelligence being collected on smart devices and shared on the cloud, there is an enormous opportunity to enable organizations to harness data to gain insights on machine and human behavior to make companies more efficient and increase customer satisfaction,?EU? said Mr. Jiménez. ?EU?I am honored to work alongside Magic Software?EU?s experienced employees and dedicated partners to expand our network of organizations that gain competitive advantage through integration.?EU?

About Magic Software Enterprises

Magic Software Enterprises empowers customers and partners around the globe with smarter technology that provides a multichannel user experience of enterprise logic and data.
Source: Mobile Tech Today